Accelerating Brexit Negotiations
Theresa May and President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker have both agreed to ‘speed up’ Brexit negotiations, after a dinner with Juncker and EU chief negotiator Michael Barnier held in Brussels on Monday.
Theresa May and David Davis flew to Brussels for the reportedly unscheduled talks in an attempt to ease tensions with the EU. Despite this, there are still no hints of any progress being made on key issues, and Michel Barnier has claimed that despite the agreement to speed up the process, talks were still in “deadlock”.
The news comes as a new study by the Resolution Foundation reveals that a ‘no deal’ outcome for Brexit is likely to hit low-income workers the hardest. The report predicts that ‘just about managing’ families would suffer the most from the effects of price rises on household goods, as a consequence of tariffs on EU goods after Brexit.
No Guarantee on Rights
The Times reports that EU officials are ‘dragging their feet’ in order to get a bigger payout from Britain, deliberately stalling on a deal that would guarantee the rights of EU and British citizens after Brexit.
Senior figures close to the negotiations have claimed that a deal which would secure the rights of 3 million EU citizens living in the UK was almost complete, but other government sources said last night that there was resistance from the EU side of negotiations.
Hammond’s Tax Raid
Philip Hammond has reportedly been warned against a planned ‘tax raid’ on older workers, which could be announced in November’s budget.
The chancellor now faces accusation of taxing the old to pay for ‘tax breaks for the young’, in a plan which could link tax to age to promote “intergenerational fairness”. He has been warned not to alienate the Conservative base of older voters with “token tax breaks”.
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The boundaries of parliamentary constituencies will be revised and the total number of MPs will be cut from 650 to 600, in a proposal to be put to the house of commons. Theresa May was once reported to have ditched the new boundaries proposal, but now the plan appears to be back on the table.
The review aims to make parliamentary constituencies more equal in size, with the Constitution minister Chris Skidmore claiming the changes were needed to ensure “fair and equal representation” by the next general election. The proposal is currently being opposed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, and May will need the support of the DUP to continue, but this is growing more unlikely.