Politics update: Johnson, McVey and Raab leadership bids, as Europe gears up for Tuesday’s Commons Brexit vote


Good morning. Here’s your daily Politics Update.

EU court says UK can unilaterally revoke article 50

The EU’s high court has ruled that the UK can revoke article 50, stopping the Brexit process, without approval from member states.

The court ruled that any EU member state can revoke the article 50 process without needing approval from every other member statesaying : “The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU.”

The decision from the European court of justice may significantly affect the government’s argument for Theresa May’s Brexit deal, mere days before the deal reaches the Commons for Tuesday’s ‘meaningful vote’.

Johnson, McVey and Raab hint at Tory leadership bids


Boris Johnson talks to BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday.

Former cabinet minister Boris Johnson, Esther McVey and Dominic Raab have all hinted at the possibility of them launching a bid for Tory leadership, should Theresa May lose a vote of no-confidence after losing Tuesday’s critical vote on her Brexit deal.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, former foreign secretary Boris Johnson said that he felt a “deep sense of personal responsibility” for the results of the 2016 referendum.

When pressed by Marr on whether he would rule out trying to become prime minister, he refused to do so, saying: “I will give you an absolute, categorical promise that I will continue to advocate what I think is the most sensible plan.”

The former work and pensions secretary Esther McVey told Sky News that she would give the position of party leader ‘serious consideration’ if she was given the opportunity.

Speaking to Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, McVey said: “If people asked me then of course you’d give it serious consideration, and do it, if people asked me.”

Speaking to the same Sky News show, former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab also refused to rule out a leadership bid, saying: “I’ve always said I wouldn’t rule it out, but I’m just not going to get sucked into that debate.”

Former European Commission president: EU will re-negotiate with May if deal is voted down

Romano Prodi

Romano Prodi

A former European Commission president has said that Theresa May will be able to re-negotiate with the EU if her Brexit deal is voted down on Tuesday.

Ahead of the crunch vote on the deal on 11 December, Romano Prodi, who was European Commission president from 1999 to 2004, said that it was crucial for the EU to work to avoid Britain crashing out of the bloc without a deal, which would become more likely if Tuesday’s vote goes against the deal on the table.

Prodi’s comments contradict those of the current commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who said in November that the deal currently on the table was “the best deal possible for Britain”.

Pro and anti-Brexit demonstrators clash in London

Riot police restricted a gathering of protestors at Westminster on Sunday to avoid violent confrontations between the groups of protesters for and against far-right activist Tommy Robinson.

Thousands of anti-fascists attended a central London protest on Sunday to counter a march by the far-right campaigner known as Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, and his supporters.

Robinson led a ‘Brexit Betrayal’ march into London on Sunday, protesting against the deal reached between Theresa May and the EU in November. This was met by thousands of counter-protesters who met under a banner saying “No to Tommy Robinson; no to Fortress Britain”.

The two groups clashed in Trafalgar square, with verbal confrontations prompting the police to get involved. Some of this confrontation can be seen in the video by The Guardian below:

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