Narrow win for May
Theresa May avoided a major rebellion in the commons yesterday as an important vote on the customs union was won by six votes. The amendment, backed by Tory remainer MPs, meant the the UK would have to join a customs union with the EU if ‘frictionless trade’ had not been agreed by January 2019. The commons did unexpectedly backed calls for the UK to remain under EU medicines regulation, though this is not seen as a significant defeat for the government.
The defeat of Tory remainers means that May’s Brexit proposals live to fight another day, and the PM may avoid a vote of no confidence, at least until the commons enters recess on 24 July.
It’s May’s only recent significant victory, and a much needed one. Over the past two weeks she has seen a number of resignations from senior Tory MPs, and significant damage done by Donald Trump’s comments against her Brexit plan.
Boris goes back to work, and breaks the ministerial code
Boris Johnson has gone back to working as a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, only a week after resigning from the government. The move defies rules for MPs which state that former cabinet ministers cannot accept new jobs for three months after leaving their government role. Johnson hasn’t responded to the rule breach, and is unlikely to – former chancellor George Osbourne did a similar thing when he became Editor of the Evening Standard whilst he was still an MP, with many calling it a breach of ethics.
And in the US… Trump ‘accepts’ that Russia meddled in the election
On Tuesday, Donald Trump backtracked on his support of Russia over his own intelligence services, and finally made a statement in support of the findings of US intelligence services which show that Russia meddled with the 2016 US election. On Monday, at the meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Trump said he didn’t “see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.”
However, in typical fashion the US president also claimed that “it could be other people also”, adding that there was “a lot of people out there.”