Boris Johnson says legislative solution needed for NI protocol
A Tory MP who was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault over allegations that date from between 2002 and 2009 has been released on bail, the Metropolitan Police said.
The unnamed MP, who is in his fifties, has been asked by his party’s whips not to attend parliament while a police investigation is ongoing.
Foreign secretary Liz Truss said that she was “very, very concerned about the reports,” adding that the case was clearly a “matter for the police.”
The arrest comes just weeks after Westminster was rocked by another round of “Pestminster” allegations against sitting MPs. They led to the resignation of one Tory MP, Neil Parish, after he admitted he had watched pornography in the Commons chamber.
Meanwhile, prime minister Boris Johnson has been under intense pressure to publish the legal basis for plans to override the Northern Ireland protocol, as the EU raised the spectre of an all-out trade war by warning it was ready to retaliate.
Foreign secretary Liz Truss on Tuesday announced the government will bring legislation to unilaterally ditch the protocol, despite a plea from the Bank of England to avoid a damaging trade war.
Vice-president of the bloc Maroš Šefčovič responded saying he had “significant concerns” about the plan and warned that “unilateral actions are not acceptable”.
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Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape released on bail
The Conservative MP arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault offences has now been released on bail pending further enquiries by the Metropolitan Police.
Scotland Yard said the unnamed man in his 50s – also detained on suspicion of indecent assault, abuse of position of trust and misconduct in public office – was taken into custody on Tuesday.
In an updated statement on Wednesday, the force said he has “been bailed pending further enquiries to a date in mid-June”, adding: “An investigation is ongoing.”
Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 08:12
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss resisted calls to impose a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas giants.
She said that implementing such a move would make it “difficult to attract future investment into our country”.
Ms Truss acknowledged that inflation is “extremely high”, and there is “no doubt” things are “very difficult for people across Britain and in fact across the world” owing to “global headwinds”.
Speaking to Sky News she said: “The problem with a windfall tax is it makes it difficult to attract future investment into our country. So there is a cost in imposing a tax like that.
“And my view is lower taxes are the best way to attract more investment, to get the businesses into this country that can create these high paid jobs, which is what we need to face down these global headwinds.”
Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 07:56
Brexit is back over the Northern Ireland protocol dispute – so what happens next?
When Boris Johnson visited Sweden and Finland to sign mutual security pacts with the two countries last week, the union jack flew alongside their national flags and the EU’s 12-star emblem.
For the prime minister, it was the perfect image of “global Britain”.
The strong leadership he has shown during the Ukraine crisis has enabled Johnson to rebuild alliances broken by Brexit with several EU members. Yet the rapprochement does not extend to the EU as a whole.
Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 07:27
Brexit has increased risk of dangerous foods reaching UK, watchdog warns
Brexit has increased the risk of dangerous foods reaching the UK because inspectors are shut out of the EU’s “rapid alert system”, ministers were warned on Tuesday.
The Food Standards Agency is still scrambling to build defences to compensate for the loss of data, the National Audit Office (NAO) has found.
The regulator has admitted it needs a 65 per cent boost to its resources to “deliver the same result achieved with the EU’s system”, the report warned.
“Failures in food safety can have catastrophic consequences for human life, public confidence, the wider economy and international trade,” NAO said.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 May 2022 07:08
NI business chiefs urge PM to pull back from plan to ditch protocol
Business leaders in Northern Ireland have urged Boris Johnson to pull back from radical unilateral action to ditch protocol checks, as the prime minister heads to Belfast for crisis talks.
According to reports, ministers are ready to table the bill as early as this week to override the protocol – despite EU warnings that such a move would violate the Brexit treaty and could spark a trade war.
However, the Northern Ireland business Brexit working group – an umbrella body comprised of 14 business organisations – has written to Mr Johnson to say a compromise with the EU is still possible. “We still believe that the way to resolve this is in discussion, and not in taking extreme action,” chief executive Stephen Kelly told The Independent.
“There’s still road to travel.”
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 May 2022 07:01
Bill to tear apart NI protocol to be laid out within weeks
Foreign secretary Liz Truss has set out her intention to bring forward legislation within weeks overwriting parts of the post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland.
“Our intention is to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to make changes to the protocol. Our preference remains a negotiated settlement, and we remain open to further talks if we can achieve the same outcome,” she said.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 May 2022 06:25
EU raises concerns over UK government’s plan on NI protocol
European Union vice president Maroš Šefčovič on Tuesday said he had “significant concerns” about the plan by the UK government to tear up the Northern Ireland protocol.
“Unilateral actions are not acceptable. The potential of the flexibilities proposed by the bloc is yet to be fully explored. They can deliver a real difference on the ground (sic),” he tweeted.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 May 2022 06:05
Brexit row: PM under pressure to publish legal advice
Prime minister Boris Johnson has been under pressure to publish the legal basis for plans to override the Northern Ireland protocol amid retaliation warnings from the EU.
Legal experts questioned foreign secretary Liz Truss’ assertion in the Commons that a proposed parliamentary bill, which would tear up the agreement struck by Mr Johnson in 2019, is “legal in international law”.And there was unease on the Conservative benches over the potential damage to the UK’s reputation if it is seen to be breaching its international obligations.
“MPs will want to see the legal advice and know it is sustainable and arguable before going ahead with this,” one former minister told The Independent.
“We don’t want to be back in the same battle as we had with the Internal Market Bill, with ministers talking about breaking the law in a limited way.”
Andrew Woodcock has more.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 May 2022 05:43
Conservative MP held on suspicion of rape
A Tory MP in his fifties has been arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault over allegations that date from 2002 to 2009, the metropolitan police said.
The unnamed MP has been asked by his party’s whips not to attend parliament while a police investigation is ongoing.
“In January 2020, the Met received a report relating to alleged sexual offences having been committed between 2002 and 2009. The offences are alleged to have occurred in London. An investigation is ongoing, led by officers from Central Specialist Crime,” a spokesperson for the police said.
“A man, aged in his fifties, was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust, and misconduct in public office. He remains in custody.”
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 May 2022 05:26
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Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 May 2022 04:38