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Tue, 1 December 2020

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Take out the trash: The bad news you may have missed on the last day of parliament before MPs break up for summer

Take out the trash: The bad news you may have missed on the last day of parliament before MPs break up for summer

Emilio Casalicchio

3 min read

Here are the bad news stories you may have missed as the Government took out the trash on the last day of parliament before summer.


BREXIT POWER GRAB

Theresa May today performed an astonishing power grab as she formally took charge of the Brexit negotiations and downgraded Dominic Raab to the position of her deputy. The move is unlikely to cheer her pro-Brexit backbenchers.

 

EU LAWS CLIMBDOWN

Britain will stay tied to EU laws - and be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice - throughout the Brexit transition period ending in December 2020. Yet more reason for anti-EU MPs to be unhappy. Meanwhile, Dominic Raab spelled ‘European Union’ wrong in the white paper announcing the move.

 

NO-DEAL STOCKPILING

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS would be stockpiling medicines just in case the UK crashes out of the EU without a Brexit deal, while Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the Government would take steps to ensure an "adequate food supply".

 

PAY RISES BELOW INFLATION

The big public sector pay freeze ended with the announcement of hikes for teachers, doctors, police, prison officers and the armed forces - but most of the rises will be below inflation.

 

FRACKING GETS GREEN LIGHT

Fracking has finally been approved in Lancashire after months of protests over the issue. Energy firm Cuadrilla will begin work in late August or early September at the Preston New Road site, Energy Minister Claire Perry announced.

 

RED ARROWS BASE TO CLOSE

RAF Scampton, the home of the Red Arrows, is to be sold off to save £140m. A statement by Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said the iconic display team would be moved to “locations more fit for purpose”.

 

COURTS TO CLOSE

Seven courts in England will be closed - including one in Theresa May’s own backyard - in a bid to save cash. They are: Blackfriars Crown Court, Banbury Magistrates' and County Court, magistrates' courts in Maidenhead, Chorley, Fleetwood, and Northallerton and Wandsworth County Court.

 

HOUSING DOC DELAYED

A policy document on social housing which was promised before the summer break has been delayed. Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said ministers had “missed their own deadline” on the long-awaited green paper.

 

CROSSRAIL BUDGET SOARS

The budget to deliver the new Crossrail service in London has shot up by £600m. Rail Minister Jo Johnson said “cost pressures” meant the final bill for the project - which when finished will be named the Elizabeth Line - will be £15.4bn.

 

IMMIGRATION DETENTION CONDEMNED

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced a major shakeup in immigration detention after a Government report said conditions in the centres were still not good enough and made more than 60 new recommendations. The report was handed to the Home Office in April this year... but the Government waited until today to release it. 

 

OOOPS...

And finally: The Government gave £13.3m to the army in Jordan between 2015 and 2017 but forgot to tell MPs. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said “robust measures” had been taken to ensure the oversight would not happen again.

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