Jeremy Corbyn tables no confidence motion in Theresa May

Jeremy Corbyn tables no confidence motion in Theresa May
Jeremy Corbyn tables no confidence motion in Theresa May

Jeremy Corbyn has tabled a motion of no confidence in Theresa May as Prime Minister.

|JOE MELLOR, TLE|AIWA! NO!|The PM thought she had seen off the Labour leader, when she announced that she would hold the EU deal vote next Jan 14. However, Corbyn has decided to go through with the no confidence motion, as the vote is not soon enough.

Jeremy Corbyn has tabled a motion of no confidence in Theresa May as Prime Minister after she attempted to quash support for a Final Say referendum in a statement to MPs.

This move is not the same as a proper motion of no confidence in the government and, unlike a proper motion of no confidence, the government does not have to allow time for it to be debated.

It’s not clear whether MPs will actually be able to take part in the vote this week. If it does take place, its result won’t actually be binding.

Mr Corbyn said she had “led the country into a national crisis”, and lost the support of her own cabinet.

This is what Jeremy Corbynsaid in his point of order at the end of Theresa May’s statement.

Corbyn said in his point of order in the Commons: “It’s very clear that it’s bad, unacceptable that we should be waiting almost a month before we have a meaningful vote on the crucial issue facing the future of this country.

“The prime minister has obdurately refused to ensure a vote took place on the date she agreed, she refuses to allow a vote to take place this week and is now, I assume, thinking the vote will be on January 14 – almost a month away.

“This is unacceptable in any way whatsoever.

“So, as the only way I can think of ensuring a vote takes place this week, I’m about to table a motion which says the following: ‘That this House has no confidence in the prime minister due to her failure to allow the House of Commons to have a meaningful vote straight away on the withdrawal agreement and framework for future relationships between the UK and European Union.’

“That will be tabled immediately, Mr Speaker.”

ONS student loans change adds £12bn to deficit

Hillman said that the change risked a “triple whammy” of fewer university places, less funding per student and tougher student loan repayments.

|AIWA! NO!|The national deficit will increase by £12bn when the Office for National Statistics changes the way it records students loans.

A portion of the government’s student loan payments will be treated as capital spending rather than government lending from autumn next year.

This means the government has accepted some of the student debt will never be repaid, the ONS said, announcing the accounting change today.

The move “can be thought of as the government effectively cancelling a portion of the loan at issuance”.

Jonathan Athow, ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics, said: “To ensure the treatment of student loans better reflects the way the system works in practice we will split the government’s student loan payments into a portion that will be repaid and is therefore genuine government lending and a portion that is not expected to be repaid, which will be treated as government spending.”

The change means the deficit will increase by approximately 0.6 percentage points of GDP a year, which equates to around £12bn in the current year, the ONS said.

Matt Whittaker, deputy director at the Resolution Foundation think-tank, said the accounting change would effectively cancel out the chancellor’s expectations of a ‘Brexit deal dividend’.

“It could complicate the chancellor’s planning by adding as much as £72bn to the borrowing figures over the next five year – virtually wiping out the £74bn fiscal windfall he was handed at the recent Budget,” Whittaker said.

“Without tweaks to his fiscal framework, gone too is the chancellor’s Brexit ‘deal dividend’ that he had hoped to spend next Spring,” he added.

Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute think-tank, said: “The 180-degree flip by the ONS may seem embarrassing for policymakers but it is more embarrassing for the official accountants, who are changing how they regard investment in higher-level skills.”

Hillman said that the change risked a “triple whammy” of fewer university places, less funding per student and tougher student loan repayments.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank said the current accounting treatment of student loans generates a “fiscal illusion” that is “absurdly generous” to the government in the near-term deficit.

Matt Waddup, head of policy and campaigns for the trade union the University and College Union, said: “What we need is a new approach which recognises that higher education is a public good and should be funded through taxation, including increased contribution from business.

“For too long one of the key beneficiaries of our higher education system has contributed too little.”

Businesses benefit from the pool of talented graduates from universities, he explained.

Waddup also said the government should reverse its cuts to corporation tax and ringfence that money to fund universities. 

A government spokesperson said: “This is a technical accounting decision by the independent ONS. It does not affect students, who can still access loans to help with tuition fees and the cost of living and which they will only start repaying when they are earning above £25,000.”

The ONS announced earlier this year it was beginning work to reclassify the way student loans were treated in the national accounts.

Matt Damon stars as a relaxed David Cameron in SNL sketch mocking Theresa May’s Brexit struggles

Matt Damon parodies David Cameron in SNL Brexit spoof

Matt Damon parodies David Cameron in SNL Brexit spoof

|TELEGRAPH REPORTERS|AIWA! NO!|Saturday Night Live poked fun at Theresa May’s difficult week, David Cameron and Brexit in a sketch performed by series regular Kate McKinnon and guest star Matt Damon, last night. 

The skit, titled “Happy Christmas, Britain!” opens with the Prime Minister demonstrating her famous dance moves, flanked by four dancing policemen, before opening her speech with: “What a dreadful week it’s been. My Brexit deal is falling apart, I almost got voted out and no one in the world likes me at all. But it’s still Christmas so let’s try to have some cheer tonight, shall we?”

She’s joined by a high-foreheaded Matt Damon as David Cameron, “the man who called for the Brexit vote, then when it passed, he bounced and left me to clean up his mess”.

Kate McKinnon and Matt Damon played Theresa May and David Cameron on Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon and Matt Damon played Theresa May and David Cameron on Saturday Night Live CREDIT: NBC

“You look well rested,” she observes, before he tells her that he’s just returned from a relaxing holiday in the Maldives.

“You know what’s funny?” he says. “People hate me but they really hate you. Even though I did Brexit. I mean you’ve got to laugh.”

The pair are then joined by Elton John (played by Aidy Bryant), who delivers a pile of presents that all turn out to be faeces, and Voldemort: “the one person in Britain more reviled than me”. 

The show also sent up Donald Trump in a cold open sketch that spoofed It’s a Wonderful Life, imagining how the world would look had Trump, played once again by Alec Baldwin, lost the election. Robert De Niro also made an appearance as Robert Mueller, who is far happier now that he had the time to see his grandson. 

Theresa May Is All We Got Left For Meaningful Brexit

|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Of course Tony Blair has every right to offer his opinion on Brexit. Anybody has that right, at least at this rate.

Theresa May shouldn’t be bothered about this for as long she has a handle on the BIGGER picture – Brexit on a good deal. And on good time.

 Yes! The Prime Minister had a privileged upbringing and always got her own way – but again let her have her own way this time on BREXIT –  because she is the best of the Torys left as far as we are aware and based on the situation the last time we checked. And because our collective lives on this island depends on it.

Not so sure how much credibility she has left or she has lost; but she is solid, committed and principled to some point. And it is better.

Is the Prime Minister actually an insult to the office she holds? NO! Amidst all the political cacophony and sniping; she has demonstrated intellect., statesmanship and stamped her feet on gas when she needed to.

Full throttle!

May’s attack on Blair shows strain is taking its toll

Daily Express
Theresa May SLAPS DOWN Tony Blair as he tries to rally Remain 'insurgency' against Brexit | Politics | News |

Daily ExpressTheresa May SLAPS DOWN Tony Blair as he tries to rally Remain ‘insurgency’ against Brexit | Politics | News |

David Hannay is a member of the House of Lords and former UK ambassador to the EU and UN.

Theresa May’s latest outburst against Tony Blair’s support for a further referendum on Brexit shows that the strain is really beginning to take its toll. Not surprising after a terrible week both in Westminster and Brussels; but deeply alarming in that it shows not a hint of new thinking in the predicament she finds herself in, just opportunistic lashing out.

Is John Major also guilty of an “insult to the office he once held”? He has, after all, called for a new referendum too. And Gordon Brown? Next we will be being urged to criticise Barack Obama when he opposes some of Donald Trump’s wilder policies. But of course Blair is a soft target because he is disliked by many Labour supporters who May is hoping will stem the shift towards that referendum.

What should the Prime Minister be doing at this stage? Well, first of all, she does need to recognise that she is not going to get out of the EU 27 the sort of legally binding qualifications to the Irish backstop in the Withdrawal Treaty which she needs if she is to have any hope of getting the backing of the DUP and of those 117 mutineers in her own ranks. Non-binding clarifications In bucket loads may be available, but nothing likely to vary the judgement of her own Attorney-General that there will be no way for the UK to unilaterally exit from the backstop once it has been triggered by failure to reach new trade arrangements which remove any requirement for new controls on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Demand a vote on the Brexit deal

Click here to find out more

So the present deal, however embellished with warm words, is not going to get through Parliament and be ratified. Further delay will not change that harsh reality; it will only increase the damage to British business and the economy as more resources are poured by the government and the private sector into “no deal“ contingency planning. It really is, therefore, time to weigh up Plan B options; time too for a calmer approach and less rigidity in outlook.

What are the options? Well, one is to switch horses and go for the so- called “Norway Plus“. But this comes with an obligation to maintain free movement and with a heavy budgetary contribution and membership of the customs union; and with exclusion from shaping the EU policies we would find ourselves having to apply. It is rather hard to see why this should be preferable to remaining a member.

The other main option, if one regards a no deal exit as unacceptably damaging – as most members of both Houses do so regard it – is to have a People’s Vote. That is now the only way the Prime Minister’s deal has any chance of being approved. It also offers the electorate a chance to express a view on Brexit now that they can actually see what it entails, rather than having it sold to them, as it was in 2016, by a bunch of fantasists who have been demonstrated as incapable of delivering what they promised.

An insult to democracy? Hardly.

Brexit: Tony Blair hits back at ‘irresponsible’ Theresa May as war of words escalates

Tony Blair hits back at ‘irresponsible’ Theresa May as war of words escalates

Former PM hits back at claims he had ‘undermined’ UK during Brexit negotiations and ‘insulted’ office of prime minister

BENJAMIN KENTISH, INDEPENDENT|@BenKentish|AIWA! NO!|Tony Blair has hit back at Theresa May after she accused him of “undermining” the UK in Brexit talks and “insulting” the office of prime minister.

In a highly unusual war of words between a sitting prime minister and one of their predecessors, Mr Blair called Ms May “irresponsible” for trying to “steamroller” her Brexit deal through Parliament.

Responding to Ms May’s criticism, the former prime minister insisted it was “not irresponsible or insulting” for him to campaign for a fresh Brexit referendum and denied he had undermined her during Brexit negotiations.

Mr Blair has been a vocal advocate of the public being given a Final Say vote on Brexit and on Friday called on the EU to prepare to extend Article 50 in order to allow more time for further negotiations or another referendum.

That prompted Ms May to launch an astonishing attack on the him.May attacks Blair for ‘subverting Brexit process for own interests’

In a statement, she claimed “there are too many people who want to subvert the process for their own political interests rather than acting in the national interest”.

“For Tony Blair to go to Brussels and seek to undermine our negotiations by advocating for a second referendum is an insult to the office he once held and the people he once served,” she said.

Mr Blair is understood not to have visited Brussels for several months, and it is unclear what prompted the timing of Ms May’s attack.

Supporters of a fresh referendum pointed out that she had not condemned former Conservative prime minister John Major, who also backs another referendum and last week travelled to Ireland to call for the British government to revoke Article 50 “with immediate effect”.

Responding with a statement of his own, Mr Blair said it was clear that “neither the British people nor their Parliament will unit behind the prime minister’s deal”.

He continued: “In these circumstances it is not irresponsible or insulting to put forward an alternative way to achieve resolution. The sensible thing is now to allow Parliament to vote on each of the forms of Brexit canvassed including the prime minister’s deal.

“If they can’t reach agreement then the logical thing is to go back to the people. To describe such a course as an insult is a strange description of what would be the opportunity for them to instruct Parliament as to how to proceed. Far from being anti democratic it would be the opposite, as indeed many senior figures in her party from past and present have been saying.”

Theresa May launches furious attack on Tony Blair for ‘undermining’ her on Brexit

|Zoe Drewett, METRO|AIWA! NO!|Theresa May launched a vicious attack on former prime minister Tony Blair for calling for a People’s Vote, accusing him of ‘undermining’ her Brexit talks.

She said Mr Blair was ‘insulting’ the British people and warned a second referendum would amount to Parliament abdicating responsibility. Her furious criticism came amid reports some of her most senior allies in the Cabinet are secretly planning for exactly that – a second vote on the final terms of the deal.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during a press conference on December 14, 2018 in Brussels on the second day of a European Summit aimed at discussing the Brexit deal, the long-term budget and the single market. - May says further Brexit talks will take place with EU in coming days, AFP reported on December 14. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images

Theresa May attacked Tony Blair for ‘insulting’ the British public with his calls for a second referendum on Brexit (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Theresa May attacked Tony Blair for ‘insulting’ the British public with his calls for a second referendum on Brexit (Picture: AFP/Getty) Tony Blair has publicly called for a People’s Vote (Picture: PA)

The Prime Minister said there are ‘too many people who want to subvert the process for their own political interests’. She added: ‘For Tony Blair to go to Brussels and seek to undermine our negotiations by advocating for a second referendum is an insult to the office he once held and the people he once served. ‘We cannot, as he would, abdicate responsibility for this decision. ‘Parliament has a democratic duty to deliver what the British people voted for.’

File photo dated 29/03/18 of Tony Blair. Theresa May has hit out at Mr Blair, accusing him of "insulting"the British people and the office of prime minister by "undermining" Brexit talks with calls in Brussels for a second referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday December 16, 2018. See PA story POLITICS Brexit Referendum. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

Tony Blair has publicly called for a People’s Vote (Picture: PA)

The outspoken attack came after The Sunday Times claimed Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, Mrs May’s defacto deputy, has met Labour MPs to discuss a cross-party consensus on the idea of a new vote.

The newspaper also said Mrs May’s chief of staff, Gavin Barwell was supportive of the idea. A particularly bruising week for the PM saw her narrowly avoid a vote of no confidence from MPs in her party and saw her postpone the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal in the House of Commons.

The UK has had enough Then, her appeals for the EU to be more flexible on backstop proposals for the Irish border were largely rebuffed at a summit of European leaders. The backstop, aimed at preventing the return of a hard border in Ireland, would see the UK remain under EU customs rules if no wider trade agreement had been struck by the end of an implementation period. Critics are said to be concerned about the temporary nature of the backstop.

Prime Minister David Cameron (centre right), alongside Lord Ahmad (second left), Home Secretary Theresa May (centre left ), and Louise Casey (right), chairs the first meeting of his new Community Engagement Forum at 10 Downing Street, London.

Theresa May served in David Cameron’s government (Picture: PA) David Cameron

What do other former British prime ministers have to say about Brexit?  Mrs May’s old boss triggered the EU referendum, campaigned to Remain, then quit as an MP and left Number 10 when he lost the historic vote.

He has remained virtually absent from the ensuing debate over Brexit but earlier this month, he said he did not regret calling the referendum, adding: ‘Obviously I’m very concerned about what’s happening today but I do support the Prime Minister in her efforts to try and have a close partnership with the European Union.’

Gordon Brown Brexit has left the country divided and led to a breakdown of trust within the electorate, according to Gordon Brown. In October, Blair’s successor predicted a future referendum on Brexit will take place. He said if Britain leaves the EU without a deal in March 2019 but with, as he expects, an extended transition period retaining some aspects of membership, the next general election will be fought on Europe.

Blair made Theresa May angry after saying she must stop ‘banging (her) head against this brick wall’ and go for a second referendum. He said the country had been ‘held hostage’ by division in the Tories, but said it wouldn’t make a difference if it was a Labour or Conservative ‘or a divine government’ running the negotiations.

He described the ‘disentangling’ process of Brexit as ‘hideously complex’ and said all options of leaving the EU have ‘significant drawbacks’ compared with staying in.