Politics update: May rules out delaying Tuesday’s Brexit vote, Corbyn vs May TV debate scrapped by ITV

Politics-update

Good morning. Here’s your daily Politics Update:

ITV scraps plans for May be Corbyn debate

Theresa May Jeremy Corbyn Brexit

The debate between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May will not go ahead, after ITV scrapped plans for the event.

Earlier this week, the BBC announced that their debate would not be going ahead, after they could not reach an agreement with Corbyn’s team. The BBC had proposed a panel debate, and was preferred by Downing Street whilst ITV’s head-to-head format is believed to have been rejected by No 10.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 will go ahead with its plans to host “The Real Brexit Debate”, which will see other politicians argue their views. Channel 4 has said the event will feature “four high-profile politicians reflecting the main divisions in the House of Commons.”

Will the vote on May’s Brexit deal be delayed?

House-of-Commons-UK-Parliament

Rumours swirled on Thursday that the ‘meaningful vote’ on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, currently scheduled for Tuesday 11 December, could be delayed due to allow the government more time to plan for the likely defeat, and argue for the deal on the table.

The powerful chair of the Conservative’s 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady called for the vote to be delayed, saying it would be a “perfectly sensible” course of action. He added: “I don’t think there is any point in ploughing ahead and losing heavily.”

However, Downing Street has made efforts to downplay any possible delay. The Independent reports one insider at No. 10 saying: “The plan is still to deliver the vote on Tuesday.”

Speaking to the BBC on Thursday, Theresa May seemed to rule out delaying the vote. Asked whether she was prepared to delay the vote, she said: “No. What I am doing is leading up to a vote on Tuesday. Yes I am meeting colleagues, I’m listening to colleagues’ concerns. Not about delaying it, I’m listening to colleagues’ concerns around the backstop.”

The prime minister was using the interview to hint at a compromise proposal for Brexiters, suggesting MPs could have more say over the introduction of a backstop in the future. This compromise was widely rejected on Thursday.

Those arguing for soft-Brexit in May’s cabinet step up their warnings

Philip Hammond Spring Statement

Soft Brexiters in Theresa May’s cabinet have stepped up their warnings against the risk of a no-deal Brexit, as the prime minister gathered her cabinet on Thursday to discuss her deal, which will be voted on by MPs on Tuesday.

The chancellor Philip Hammond, business secretary Greg Clark and justice secretary David Gauke have expressed their concern to the prime minister about the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, as opposition against May’s deal grows in the Commons.

The Guardian reports one source as saying: “Greg and David in particular have made it clear they could not countenance it,” whilst another said Thursday’s meeting was arranged to “take stock” of the current state of play, in light of government upsets in recent days.

David Davis: pound crashing after no-deal departure would be ‘not a bad thing’

David-Davis

The former Brexit secretary David Davis has said that the pound crashing as the result of a no-deal Brexit would not be ‘a bad thing’.

In an interview with Parliament’s House magazine, Davis also claimed that foreign investment has been “going up” since the referendum.

The sharp fall in the pound after the 2016 referendum result left many people worse off, with the cost of imported goods and fuel sharply rising.

Speaking in the interview, Davis repeated his opposition to May’s Brexit deal, and urged fellow MPs to drive ‘a stake through the heart’ of the deal. Davis resigned in July in protest of the prime minister’s original Chequers plan.

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