Politics update: May insists Commons Brexit vote will go ahead, Universal Credit roll-out delayed

Politics update 07.01.2019 Theresa May Andrew Marr

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Theresa May insists ‘meaningful vote’ on Brexit deal will go ahead


Theresa May has insisted that the parliamentary vote on Brexit deal will go ahead, despite growing speculation that it could be delayed yet again.

When asked by BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday whether the vote on her deal would go ahead the prime minister replied: “Yes we are going to hold the vote. The debate will start next week and it will carry on until the following week, but we will be holding the vote.”

MPs are expected to have their ‘meaningful vote’ on Theresa May’s Brexit deal in the week commencing 14 January. The vote was originally set to take place in December, but May postponed this after it appeared that her deal would not get majority support in parliament.

MPs return to Westminster this week, and Downing street has insisted that the prime minister could still win compromises from Europe that would help get her deal through parliament.

In the BBC interview, May confirmed that she was still seeking clarification from EU leaders on the deal currently on the table, specifically around the backstop, which has caused the most concern from her colleagues.

Rudd expected to halt Universal Credit roll-out

Amber Rudd Resignation

A Whitehall source has told The Observer magazine that the rollout of Universal Credit is to be overhauled, after multiple warnings about the negative impact the government’s flagship welfare scheme would have on its claimants.

Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, is expected to cancel plans for a parliamentary vote on whether 3 million claimants should be transferred onto the new scheme. In the face of rebellion from Conservative MPs, the government is now expected to seek approval for a smaller transfer of just 10,000 people onto the new system, before asking MPs to approve the full rollout.

A source told the Observer that Rudd wanted “universal credit to receive a fresh parliamentary mandate and be personally sure the system is working in the interests of every claimant”.

Read more: Universal Credit: Where did it all go wrong?

Labour faces challenge from its members on second referendum

Politics update 02.02.2019 Jeremy Corbyn

Thousands of Labour members are demanding that their party oppose Theresa May’s Brexit deal, and back a fresh referendum, after many members are believed to have resigned in recent weeks over the party’s current stance on the issue.

More than 5,000 members have contacted the party ahead of Wednesday’s policy meeting of senior figures, including trade union bosses, senior party officials and shadow cabinet ministers. At the meeting, officials are expected to warn that local members are resigning over the party’s Brexit policy.

The challenge comes after a new Brexit poll revealed that Labour could lose significant support if the party officially backs or allows its MPs to back a Brexit agreement. Earlier this month, party leader Jeremy Corbyn defied calls from members to change the party’s stance, after saying that he expected Brexit to happen even if his party won an early general election.

Theresa May fails to guarantee NHS waiting times will improve despite £20bn extra funding

Theresa May has failed to give any assurances that NHS will be able to improve its performance, getting back to providing some of its most important services to patients within key waiting times, despite an extra £20bn a year rise in funding.

Asked by BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday whether the targets for providing services such as A&E care, cancer treatment and planned operations would be met in the future, the prime minister admitted that NHS performance was “slipping”, and blamed increased pressures on the service as the main cause.

The prime minister will start this week by launching the government’s 10-year plan for the NHS, which will seek to give clarity to the £20bn-a-year increase in funding announced last summer.

Her refusal to guarantee better waiting times is at odds with what was set out by the prime minister in June, where she said in a speech that her long-term plan for the NHS would include “getting every part of the health service back on the path to delivering core performance standards so patients are never left waiting when they most depend on the NHS, whether that’s for life-saving emergency care or treatment for cancer.”

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