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Latest Northern Ireland protocol: Boris Johnson vows unilateral action despite EU warnings

Boris Johnson says a legal solution to the NI protocol is needed

Boris Johnson has confirmed he will push legislation to overturn the Northern Ireland Protocol, despite warnings from Brussels that it will breach the UK’s international legal obligations and a plea from the Bank of England not to do anything harmful start a trade war with Europe.

After a day of meetings with leaders of Northern Ireland’s five main political parties, during which he tried to make progress on the post-Brexit settlement impasse, the Prime Minister said his government wanted to “fix” the protocol through unilateral action.

“We don’t want to scrap it. But we think it can be fixed. And indeed, five of the five parties I spoke to today also see a need for reform,” Mr Johnson said on Monday.

But it seemed unlikely the risky move would break the deadlock on forming a new power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland, as the Democratic Unionist Party insists it demands “decisive action” from the Prime Minister before lifting its boycott.

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Labor seeks vote on Windfall Tax

Labor will try to force a vote in the House of Commons today to pressure Conservative MPs to back a one-off windfall tax for oil and gas producers to cut energy bills.

MEPs will discuss “managing short- and long-term cost of living increases” on day five of the Queen’s Speech debate.

Labor is seeking MPs’ support for an amendment expressing regret at the omission of a windfall tax from the Queen’s speech – after a Labor motion in favor of the policy won support in the House of Commons in February.

The government is cold to a windfall tax. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he was not “naturally attracted” to such policies despite not taking the table’s option, while Kwasi Kwarteng, the economy and energy minister, is firmly opposed.

Ed Miliband, Secretary for Shadow Climate Change and Net Zero, said of an unexpected tax: “This fair and principled measure is now being supported by business, unions, across the political spectrum and most importantly by the overwhelming majority of the public.

“Conservative MPs must now join the British people in calling for a windfall tax – or explain why they continue to oppose measures that would ease the cost of living crisis.”

Liam JamesMay 17, 2022 08:36

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NI log bill was never scheduled this week, Lewis says

Brandon Lewis said there was no intention of introducing legislation this week to unilaterally override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Secretary of State Liz Truss is due to announce before the House of Commons today that the government plans to introduce legislation to tear up the protocol – although a bill is not expected in the next few weeks.

The Northern Ireland Secretary, who asked if plans to present a bill this week had been delayed, told Sky News: “There was never anything like that in sight this week.

“We are still debating the Queen’s Speech and will not conclude the Queen’s Speech debate and vote on it until later this week or later tomorrow, so in that sense it was never in sight.

“But what we’ve always said is that we don’t take anything off the table.”

Liam JamesMay 17, 2022 08:17

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Employment increases from March to April

The number of employed workers in the UK rose by 121,000 to 29.5 million between March and April, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “While the economy was still growing in the first three months of 2022, the picture for the labor market remained mixed.

“Overall employment, while up quarter-on-quarter, remains below pre-pandemic levels.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, around half a million more people have completely withdrawn from the labor market.

“However, job vacancies continue to rise and hit another record high.”

Job changes reached a record high of 994,000 in the first quarter of the year.

Liam JamesMay 17, 2022 08:01

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Truss announces plans to tear up the Northern Ireland Protocol

The Foreign Secretary will today announce her intention to introduce legislation that would scrap parts of Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with Northern Ireland.

It is understood Liz Truss will make the announcement in a statement before the House of Commons after a full cabinet meeting to try to restore power-sharing in the region.

The dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol has deadlocked efforts to form a new executive branch at Stormont, with the Democratic Unionist Party refusing to join government unless its concerns about the accords are addressed.

The Protocol created a trade barrier between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The DUP says Northern Ireland’s economy is suffering, but the party’s opposition is also buoyed by the division the protocol has created.

It is understood that UK-planned legislation – which is expected to take weeks to come in – will give London unilateral powers to relax not only controls on goods moving into Northern Ireland from mainland Britain, but European ones as well Court to remove interference in border issues and change of VAT rates in the province without consent from Brussels.

Britain’s threat to unilaterally change the terms of the protocol risks a trade war with the European Union.

Liam JamesMay 17, 2022 07:46

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Priti Patel Allows Volunteers to Wear Tasers

Priti Patel will announce that volunteer police officers will be able to wear tasers for the first time.

Ms Patel will be speaking at a conference of the Police Federation, which represents ordinary officers across England and Wales, where she is expected to announce that she has given Special Police officers permission to carry Tasers if they undergo the same training as regular officers and are authorized by Chief Constables.

The Home Secretary has no power to order their use, and Tuesday’s announcement comes amid allegations of a “power grab” over changes to a protocol that governs government-police relations.

Our interior editor Lizzie Dearden has more:

Stuti MishraMay 17, 2022 07:30

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Labor urges MPs to support Windfall Tax

Labor has renewed its call for an unexpected tax on oil and gas companies as the party claimed household savings would “collapse” or “vanish altogether” if the cost-of-living crisis hits.

It comes as Sir Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, prepares to table an amendment to the Queen’s speech on Tuesday calling on MPs of all political persuasions to support a tax on energy companies’ extraordinary profits.

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has more details:

Stuti MishraMay 17, 2022 07:10

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Government brings problems with legacy proposals

The UK government is set to table legislation on the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said late Monday that the Government would table the Troubles of Northern Ireland (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill on Tuesday.

It comes the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Northern Ireland to restore power-sharing amid ongoing rows over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Stuti MishraMay 17, 2022 06:50

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Labor to pressure Tory MPs with unexpected tax Commons vote

Conservative MPs are under renewed pressure to back a one-off windfall tax for oil and gas producers to lower energy costs.

Labor will try to force a vote in the House of Commons on Tuesday on its amendment expressing regret at the omission of politics from the Queen’s speech.

It comes as MPs debate the Queen’s speech on “managing short and long-term cost of living increases” on day five of debate.

Richard Wheeler has more:

Stuti MishraMay 17, 2022 6:26 am

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ICYMI: Brits struggling with the cost of living should get a ‘better job’, says minister

Brits struggling with the cost of living crisis should consider working more hours or moving to a better job, a minister in Boris Johnson’s government has said.

Home Secretary Rachel Maclean said the government wanted people to help themselves more in the long term, arguing they could use their local employment office to boost their wages.

“In the longer term, we need to have a plan to boost the economy and make sure people are better able to protect themselves – whether that’s by taking more hours or moving to a better-paying job,” she told Sky News.

Read more from adam woods here:

Stuti MishraMay 17, 2022 5:53 am

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Big Brexit declaration today in Parliament

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is due to make a key statement to the House of Commons today in which she will outline legislation to overturn parts of the post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland, Downing Street has confirmed.

Ahead of the statement to MPs, Ms Truss spoke by phone with European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday evening.

(PA wire)

Stuti MishraMay 17, 2022 5:30 am

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-norther-ireland-ni-protocol-brexit-latest-b2080522.html Latest Northern Ireland protocol: Boris Johnson vows unilateral action despite EU warnings

Bobby Allyn

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