Politics update: Labour and Tory MPs battle no-deal Brexit, as US and UK accuse China of cyber hacking campaign

Politics Update 21.12.2018 No Deal Brexit

Good morning. Here’s your daily Politics Update.

US and UK accuse China of cyber hacking campaign

Donal Trump and Xi Jinping

The UK and US have accused hackers linked to the Chinese government of attempting to steal trade secrets and technologies, in a sustained cyber hacking campaign that lasted over a decade.

UK Foreign Office and the US indictment allege that the two Chinese nationals carried out a campaign across Europe, Asia and the US that breached Chinese bilateral and international commitments, focussing on theft of commercial intellectual property.

UK Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said the UK and its allies will expose hackers and “ensure the rule of law is upheld” as the two people were charged on Thursday.

Speaking on Thursday, Hunt said: “This campaign is one of the most significant and widespread cyber-intrusions against UK and allies uncovered to date, targeting trade secrets and economies around the world … These activities must stop.”

Labour and Conservative MPs battle against no-deal

Politics Update 21.12.2018 No Deal Brexit

Senior Labour and Tory MPs have tabled a new amendment to the finance bill that would only allow a no-deal exit if MPs voted to proceed with one, in an effort to prevent the government pushing through a no-deal Brexit if Theresa May’s deal is voted down in parliament in January.

The move was made by a cross-party group of MPs led by Labour’s Yvette Cooper, who said on Thursday that the risks of a no-deal Brexit to Britain were “far too high and it would be irresponsible to allow it to happen”.

Speaking on Thursday, Cooper said that there was no majority for a no-deal Brexit in the Commons, but added: “But if the government won’t rule it out, then Parliament needs to find opportunities to stop the country reaching the cliff edge by accident – starting with the finance bill in the first week back, then looking at every other legislative opportunity too.”

Earlier this week, several cabinet ministers threatened to resign from the party whip if plans for a no-deal Brexit become government policy, after Downing Street announced over £2bn in funding to be set aside for a no-deal scenario.

Tory MP Anna Soubry accosted by pro-Brexit supporters

The Conservative MP Anna Soubry was accosted by protested outside parliament on Thursday by a group of pro-Brexit supporters, who was harassed by member of the group who shouted “traitor” and said that she was “on the side of Adolf Hitler.”

Soubry, an anti-Brexit MP, has called for the police to do more to stop what she called “far-right” protesters, as she was worried about the safety of MPs and reporters, citing the 2016 murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a far-right terrorist.

Speaking on Thursday, Soubry said: “What happens if one of those people had a knife, or a handgun? The police say, ‘Oh, they’re protesters, so they’re fine.’ But they’re doing something in your face, calling you a fucking traitor, calling you lots of other weird stuff,”

“One of these people could be a proper, serious threat. A member of parliament was murdered by somebody. Police should have an absolute duty to intervene, to keep members of the public safe – and that includes me.”

DWP minister admits more than 4,500 disabled people wrongly stripped of benefits

Ministers from the department for work and pensions have admitted that more than 4,500 disabled people were stripped of their benefits, despite having “good reason” for missing assessments.

The DWP has admitted their mistake, nearly a year after it was first revealed, when judges at the Upper Tribunal, which considers administrative matters in the UK, ruled that claimants benefits should not have been stopped.

“We expect around 4,600 people to gain as a result of this review exercise,” a statement to MPs says. The statement was made amongst a dozen last-minute announcements in the Commons. The disability equality charity Scope described it as “deplorable”.

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