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NewsBrexit news – live: Michael Gove ‘cool’ with ripping...

Brexit news – live: Michael Gove ‘cool’ with ripping up Northern Ireland protocol

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Related video: ‘Frustrating’ lack of flexibility from EU over protocol, says Northern Ireland secretary

Michael Gove has said he is “super cool” with the idea of legislation to tear up the Northern Ireland Protocol unilaterally – despite the risk it could spark a trade war with the EU.

The levelling up secretary was said to be furious about foreign secretary Liz Truss pushing for radical action to remove protocol checks – but insisted on Wednesday that he was relaxed about the plan.

Asked how angry he was about the move on a scale of one to 10, Mr Gove told LBC: “Minus five. I’m super cool with it. I’m a big, big Liz Truss fan.”

However, Mr Gove also claimed Boris Johnson was an “expert negotiator” and suggested the threat to ditch the protocol could be part of UK negotiating tactics.

It comes as foreign secretary Liz Truss said the UK “will not shy away” from taking action on the Northern Ireland Protocol after Boris Johnson indicated the situation was “now very serious”.

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Gove says no to emergency budget

“I don’t think we need an emergency budget. I do think we need to make sure we have the right balance between paying down our deficit, keeping the confidence of international markets, and keeping interest rates as low as possible- with also targeting help on the very poorest.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 May 2022 12:25

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Starmer ‘has shown leadership’ by vowing to resign if fined, Westminster SNP leader says

Scottish National Party leader Ian Blackford has praised the Labour leader for his promise to resign if he is fined over Beergate.

The SNP leader said: “As far as Keir is concerned, I have to say that he’s acually shown leadership and leadership that has not been shown by the prime minister.

“I’m sure if Keir is wrong then Keir will accept his responsabilities, as he should, because that’s what dignity and respect of the office that we all hold and public life is about.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 May 2022 12:15

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Minister raises ‘grave concerns’ over proposals to change Human Rights Act

The Scottish equalities minister has reiterated her “grave concerns” over plans from the UK Government to change the Human Rights Act.

Christina McKelvie argued the Act’s safeguards are “an essential feature of a democratic society founded on the rule of law”.

Proposals to bring forward a Bill of Rights were confirmed in the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday, after a pledge to reform human rights laws was included in the Tory manifesto in 2019.

The Government said the changes will strengthen “freedom of speech” and bring “proper balance” between the rights of individuals and effective politics.

But Ms McKelvie has denounced the move, and claimed the UK Government risks interfering with the devolution settlement.

Ms McKelvie said: “The Human Rights Act has successfully protected rights and freedoms across the whole of the UK for more than 20 years. We will continue to robustly oppose any attempt to replace it with a Bill of Rights.

“The safeguards provided by existing legislation protect every member of Scottish society. They are an essential feature of a democratic society founded on the rule of law.

“These rights are also at the heart of the devolution settlement. Changes must not be made without the explicit consent of the Scottish Parliament.

“At the same time, the Scottish Government is showing human rights leadership by protecting and enhancing our rights and freedoms. Future Scottish legislation will extend human rights safeguards even further.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 May 2022 12:05

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Stop playing ‘game’ with protocol, says Sinn Fein

People in Northern Ireland are being held “to ransom” by the DUP and the UK government, said Sinn Fein’s Stormont leader Michelle O’Neill.

“We can’t be used as a pawn in the middle of a game between the British government and the European Union,” she said.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 May 2022 11:55

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Michael Gove drops Tory promise to build 300,000 homes a year

Cabinet minister Michael Gove has effectively dropped the Conservative party’s pledge to build 300,000 new homes a year – saying he was no longer “bound” by the target.

The levelling up secretary said “arbitrary” targets for the number of homes were less important than the quality of new housing and winning community support.

Politics writer Adam Forrest has more:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 May 2022 11:42

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Windfall tax on energy companies would kill investment, energy minister says

The UK Government believes a windfall tax on energy companies would kill off investment and cost jobs, energy minister Greg Hands has said.

He also said the Scottish Government’s opposition to new nuclear power stations is preventing it from being part of a “renaissance” of the sector.

Addressing Holyrood’s Net Zero Committee on Wednesday, one MSP responded to his comments on a windfall tax by saying the cost-of-living crisis is “killing off people”.

Conservative minister Mr Hands said world events had driven up energy prices and the UK Government is not able to completely insulate consumers from this.

He said UK ministers are spending £22 billion this year to help households with the cost of living.

Some of this help – such as the Energy Bills Support Scheme, which will provide a £200 reduction in electricity costs – will not be felt until October, he said.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 May 2022 11:31

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‘Don’t touch this’ EU leaders warn PM against ditching protocol

German chancellor Olaf Scholz has leader warnings against the UK government threat to tear up the Brexit protocol deal unilaterally.

“No one should unilaterally cancel, break or in any way attack the settlement we have agreed together,” he said.

Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo said: “Our message is quite clear: Don’t touch this … If that agreement would be revoked, then I would think that the whole system will be revoked. I would not see any other solution.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 May 2022 11:22

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It is ‘bonkeroony’ that prime minister should resign over Partygate, Gove says

Communities Secretary Michael Gove has said it is “bonkeroony” to suggest Boris Johnson should have to resign over lockdown parties in Downing Street.

Mr Gove denied that a pledge by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to stand down if he is fined for breaching Covid rules put pressure on the Prime Minister – even though he has already received a fixed penalty notice.

“For anyone who has suffered during Covid, the thought that others broke the rules is undeniably painful and difficult,” Mr Gove told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

“But it is also the case that the Prime Minister was responsible for a series of very, very big decisions during the Covid crisis that meant we now look better than many other countries.

“The idea that the Prime Minister should resign is bonkeroony.

“That doesn’t diminish for a moment the pain that people endured and the fact that mistakes were made.

“I think it is entirely fair to say that you deeply regret that things went wrong, that people do deserve to learn lessons, that there should be full acknowledgement, contrition and apologies, but that it doesn’t merit the resignation of a sitting Prime Minister.

“Whatever Keir Starmer wants to say or do, that is a matter for him.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 May 2022 11:12

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Michael Gove criticised for ‘silly voices’ as families ‘struggle to survive’

Michael Gove has been criticised for “using silly voices” as he appeared to attempt American and Scouse accents during a broadcast interview.

The Communities Secretary was talking about the prospect of an emergency budget on BBC Breakfast to deal with the cost-of-living crisis when he broke into the different accents.

Mr Gove said the words “an emergency budget” and “a major, capital letters, big news story” in what appeared to be an American accent.

He also said “calm down” in a Scouse accent, which reminded viewers of comedian Harry Enfield’s sketch.

My colleague Catherine Wylie reports:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 May 2022 11:02

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1.5m UK households will struggle to pay bills in next year due to cost of living squeeze

An estimated 1.5 million households across the UK will struggle to pay food and energy bills over the next year as the cost of living crisis continues to bite, new research shows.

The NIESR urged chancellor Rishi Sunak to take action in order to prevent households from crumbling under debt burdens.

It come as the government faced heavy criticism for failing to provide concrete plans which outline how it will tackle the cost-of-living crisis and support struggling families.

Read more here:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 May 2022 10:52

Source: The Independent

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