Politics update: Davis attacks Chequers, Brown warns of ‘summer of discontent’


Gordon Brown warns of ‘summer of discontent’ as a result of Universal Credit

Gordon Brown, the former prime minister and Labour leader, will call for a halt to Universal Credit, the government’s flagship benefits scheme, saying it will continue to cause ‘burning injustice’ if it is not scrapped.

Speaking in Edinburgh, the former Labour leader will say: “Surely the greatest burning injustice of all is children having to go to school ill-clad and hungry. It is the poverty of the innocent – of children too young to know they are not to blame. But the Conservative government lit the torch of this burning injustice and they continue to fan the flames with their £3bn of cuts. A return to poll tax-style chaos in a summer of discontent lies ahead.”

Brown’s comments come only a few days after John McDonnell also criticised the rollout of Universal Credit. Speaking to Sky News, McDonnell said: “We’ve looked and looked, we can’t see that either the government’s or other proposals could reform it. It’s in a shambles, and it’s actually iniquitous as well.”

Davis to MPs: Chequers will cost us at the next election


The former Brexit secretary, David Davis, has appealed to fellow Conservatives in a letter warning them of “dire” consequences of Theresa May’s Chequers proposal.

Davis, who resigned as Brexit secretary in July in protest over the Chequers proposal, sent the letter to all of his parliamentary colleagues, as talks reach their final stage in Brussels. He urged his colleagues to consider the Canada-style trade agreement which he has much preferred since the start of negotiations.

Davis wrote: “No 10’s stated position that there is only a binary choice between her Chequers plan and no deal is not correct. A third way does exist.”

“If we stay on our current trajectory we will go into the next election with the government having delivered none of the benefits of Brexit, with the country reduced to being a rule-taker from Brussels, and having failed to deal with a number of promises in the manifesto and the Lancaster House speech,” he said.

Chequers: In Support and Opposition

Penny Mordaunt – Secretary of State for International Development

“The prime minister can count on my support. But what I would say is that we don’t know where this is going to end up. We are at a critical moment now. The ball is firmly back in the EU’s court; we are waiting for them to respond.”

Dominic Raab – Brexit secretary

“These negotiations were always going to be tough in the final stretch. That’s all the more reason why we must hold our nerve, stay resolute and focused. I’m confident we’ll reach a deal this autumn.”

Keir Starmer – Shadow Brexit secretary

“We’ve been here before, many times … It’s like Groundhog Day. We get the same old story. The secretary of state pretends everything is going according to plan.”

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Fracking regulations around earthquakes could be relaxed

Regulations in place to stop fracking projects if they trigger minor earthquakes could be relaxed, according to the UK energy minister, Claire Parry. Rules were put in place after a fracking operation in Lancashire caused two earthquake tremors.

In a letter obtained by Greenpeace, Perry told a colleague that the current regulations were “set at an explicitly cautious level … as we gain experience in applying these measures, the trigger levels can be adjusted upwards without compromising the effectiveness of the controls”

Read: What is Fracking? – a Brief History

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Daniel Cody

Daniel Cody is SEO Editor at the New Statesman, and the creator of No Majesty. He is the host of the podcast Britain on the Rocks.