Politics update: May uses Brexit’s border controls to win over MPs, Corbyn says second referendum ‘not option for today’


May focuses on EU immigration in new speech to sway MPs


Theresa May will use a speech to business leaders on Monday to promote what she sees as the positive aspects of her Brexit deal, such as allowing the UK to curb EU immigration.

Speaking at the CBI annual conference in London, the prime minister will say: “Getting back full control of our borders is an issue of great importance to the British people,” adding that EU citizens will no longer be able to “jump the queue ahead of engineers from Sydney or software developers from Delhi”.

By highlighting aspects of Brexit which are seen as most important to leave voters, Downing Street hopes it can sway Tory MPs who are uncertain on how to vote when the deal reaches parliament.

May: 48 no-confidence letters not reached “as far as I know”

May Sky Sophy Ridge

Theresa May has said she doesn’t believe that the magic number of 48 letters of no-confidence, needed to trigger a vote of confidence in her leadership, has been reached.

Speaking to Sophy Ridge for Sky on Sunday, the PM said that the Tory committee chairman Graham Brady had not been handed 48 letters of no-confidence “as far as I know.”

The prime minister’s Brexit plan was thrown into chaos last week, after the draft withdrawal agreement reached with the EU was opposed from all sides, leading to European Research Group leader Jacob Rees-Mogg publicly submitting a letter of no-confidence.

Asked in the Sky interview what she thought of dissenters looking to replace her in her own party, May said: “It is not going to make the [Brexit] negotiations any easier and it won’t change the parliamentary arithmetic.”

Full interview below:

Read more: How does a no-confidence vote work?

Corybn: Second referendum is ‘not an option for today’

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said in an interview with Sky that a second referendum is a long-term prospect, refusing to support the option for the time being.

In an interview with Sophy Ridge for Sky, Corbyn said that a second referendum was an “option for the future, but it’s not an option for today.” He added: “If there was a referendum tomorrow, what’s it going to be on, what’s the question going to be?”

Corbyn, who has vocally opposed Theresa May’s Brexit deal since the withdrawal agreement was announced last week, was also asked how he would vote in second referendum on Brexit, to which he said he ‘did not know’, as he would see what the “options would be at that time.”

Criticising the prime minister’s deal, Corbyn added: “We’ll vote against this deal because it doesn’t meet our six tests.”

“We don’t believe it serves the interest of this country, therefore the government have to go back to the EU and renegotiate rapidly.

“There’s 500 pages in this document much of which is quite vague. Where’s the guarantee on environmental protections? Where’s the guarantee on consumer protections? Where’s the guarantee on workers’ rights?”

Full interview with Sky below:

UN report claims UK has inflicted “great misery” with years of austerity

Philip Alston UN rapporteur poverty and human rights

The UK government has inflicted “great misery” on its people with a decade of austerity policies, according to a report by Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

Alston, who undertook a two-week fact finding mission to the UK, has declared in a 24-page report that “poverty is a political choice” in Britain.

About 14 million people, or a fifth of the UK’s population, are living in poverty, with 1.5 million unable to afford basic essentials, according to the report. Alston also includes figures by the Institute of Fiscal Studies and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

An early part of the report reads:

“But the full picture of low-income well-being in the UK cannot be captured by statistics alone. Its manifestations are clear for all to see. The country’s most respected charitable groups, its leading think tanks, its parliamentary committees, independent authorities like the National Audit Office, and many others, have all drawn attention to the dramatic decline in the fortunes of the least well off in this country.

But through it all, one actor has stubbornly resisted seeing the situation for what it is. The Government has remained determinedly in a state of denial.”

Alston’s report will be presented to the UN human rights council in Geneva next year.

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