Politics update: Fresh court action against the government, UK and EU at a distance

Politics Update 29.01.2017
Theresa May Davos Speech

Theresa May speaking at Davos on Thursday.

Theresa May could be ousted by MPs at any moment

As pressure mounts on the Prime Minister over a botched reshuffle and dwindling stance on Brexit, new reports from inside Downing Street suggest May could soon see a wide vote of no confidence from MPs. Speaking to The Guardian, one Conservative backbencher claimed the PM was “as vulnerable as she’s ever been.”

Last week May was under fire from Conservative MP and former minister Nick Boles, who said her government is guilty of “timidity and lack of ambition”. The public outburst on Twitter reflects several reports of infighting at Downing Street over the ‘lack of vision’ by the PM and her cabinet.

Gina Miller threatening the government with legal action over £1bn DUP deal

Gina Miller

Campaigner Gina Miller, known for winning her court case against the British government over its authority to implement Brexit without approval from Parliament, is threatening to mount a legal case against the government related to the £1bn paid to the DUP after the last general election, to prop up the Conservative minority government.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Ms Miller, and on behalf of the Independent Workers Union, have issued a legal letter to the government as a reaction to £50 million of the money offered by the government, which has been freed up to ‘address immediate health and education pressures in Northern Ireland.’ Miller and her lawyer’s point to an earlier agreement that the government made, that insists that cash support offered in the DUP agreement could not be spent until a parliamentary vote was heard.

‘Some Distance’ between what UK and EU want for Brexit

Downing Street has said that there is “some distance” between what the UK wants for the Brexit transition and what the EU wants. Speaking at a Number 10 lobby briefing on Monday, the prime minister’s spokesman said that directives setting out the EU’s current position on the Brexit transition period would be released on Monday afternoon.

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Last week the health secretary Jeremy Hunt said at Commons health committee that a Brexit transition deal may not be finalised until after March. Agreements still have to be reached on tough issues such as the Irish border and the role of the European court of justice, and last week the UK government was warned by EU diplomats that these outstanding divorce issues must be resolved in order for a transition deal on trade to forward.

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