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Latest Politics news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice
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1. Ben Jennings on Theresa May and the Tory conference – cartoonПт., 21 сент.[−]
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2. Theresa May demands respect from EU in Brexit negotiationsПт., 21 сент.[−]

PM gives combative speech after rejection of Chequers plan, stoking ‘no deal’ fears

Theresa May has accused the European Union of not treating the UK with respect in a deliberately combative address that prompted a sharp fall in the pound amid fears that it made a no deal Brexit more likely.

Twenty-four hours after her Salzburg humiliation, the prime minister gave a hastily arranged televised Downing Street statement in an effort to reassert herself.

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3. UK's Windrush scheme begins refusing people deemed ineligible for citizenshipПт., 21 сент.[−]

Applicants ruled out because of criminal convictions or lack of documentation

A specialist taskforce set up to help people who believe they are victims of the Windrush scandal is to start the process of refusing cases deemed to be ineligible for documentation or citizenship.

The Windrush taskforce was created after it emerged that long-term residents of Britain had been wrongly targeted by Theresa May’s hostile environment policy to tackle illegal immigration and were being told to prove their right to be in the country or leave.

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4. We now need a people’s vote on Brexit. But don’t assume remain would win | Jonathan FreedlandПт., 21 сент.[−]
Theresa May’s Salzburg humiliation and angry statement signalled the failure of Chequers. The biggest battle begins now

The hills were alive with the sound of humiliation. At Salzburg, Theresa May was hoping she’d hear if not sweet music, then at least enough warm words from European leaders to allow her to say her Chequers plan still lived. Instead, they told her it “ would not work”. Stung by that, she took to the Downing Street podium on Friday to deliver an icy death stare in Brussels’ direction – and to demand that the EU treat Britain, and her, with “respect”. There was even a hint that talks could break down, if the EU did not explain its objections and come up with counter-proposals.

Related: Theresa May demands respect from EU in Brexit negotiations

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5. Chequered history: what EU summit fallout means for Brexit campsПт., 21 сент.[−]

Here’s how critics may seek to capitalise on Theresa May’s humiliation in Salzburg

Related: Theresa May demands respect from EU in Brexit negotiations

Theresa May came out to defend her Brexit strategy on Friday, demanding respect from the EU as her allies insisted that her post-Brexit proposals were still workable even after their rejection by EU leaders at Thursday’s Salzburg summit. Meanwhile, her critics seek to capitalise: whether to push the prime minister to ditch her Chequers proposals, call for a new referendum or demand the UK walks from the talks.

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6. The Guardian view on Theresa May’s Brexit: panic dressed up as statecraft | EditorialПт., 21 сент.[−]

There were ways in which the brutal dilemmas of Brexit could have been better navigated, but no government could have avoided them altogether

Theresa May’s humiliating rebuff by European Union leaders in Austria this week has many proximate causes and one common root: Brexit threatens the stability and integrity of the EU, while downgrading the UK’s diplomatic and economic standing in the world. No British prime minister taking on such a project can expect help from continental counterparts. Nor can they anticipate gratitude for their actions at home as the painful consequences emerge. Mrs May today tried to regain the initiative with a Downing Street statement. She reaffirmed familiar opinions. She rejected off-the-shelf models of association with the EU, the Norwegian and Canadian templates, on the grounds that the former retains too much Brussels jurisdiction, while the latter requires too tangible a border in Northern Ireland. She restated opposition to a second referendum, and trumpeted Britain’s readiness to embark on Brexit next year without any deal. To underline that point, she offered reassurance to EU citizens resident in the UK that their existing rights will be respected. For that to even need saying is testimony to the way ministers have allowed this process to be shrouded in confusion that in turn stokes alarm. This was panic dressed up as statecraft.

Meanwhile, the broader terms of the UK’s position recall the prime minister’s most notorious accidental catchphrase: “Nothing has changed.” Only now the tone is more defiant and, as a result, the temperature has risen. Mrs May is doubling down on her Chequers blueprint, and calculating that the EU side, perhaps regretting the Salzburg snub, will be more accommodating. That is not impossible. Work in Brussels was already moving slowly but not unproductively towards compromise behind the scenes. But Mrs May’s fundamental problem is located in domestic politics, not in Brussels, and cannot be dismissed with angry glares at the camera. It is this: all models of Brexit sit on a spectrum between wanton national self-harm and damage limitation. There is no painless path that might allow a government to fulfil the referendum mandate without severe cost. The moribund Chequers plan is no exception. Another prime minister might have navigated the brutal dilemmas of Brexit better, but no government could have avoided them altogether. A test for all parties during the present conference season is how honestly that fact can be addressed. For Labour the challenge is to evolve its Brexit position beyond tactical calibrations.

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7. The Brett Kavanaugh case shows we still blame women for the sins of men | Rebecca SolnitПт., 21 сент.[−]
From Anita Hill to the victims of Cosby and Weinstein, women are disbelieved, powerful men excused. When will we learn?

We have been here before. We have been here over and over in an endless, Groundhog Day loop about how rape and sexual abuse happen: offering the same explanations, hearing the same kind of stories from wave after wave of survivors, hearing the same excuses and refusals to comprehend from people who are not so sure that women are endowed with inalienable rights and matter as much as men – or, categorically, have as much credibility. We are, with the case of Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee for the US supreme court, who has been accused of sexual assault, revisiting ground worn down from years of pacing. Kavanaugh denies Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that he forcibly held her down and assaulted her when both were at high school. We have only the accounts of the participants, and these, it seems, will always contradict each other. The allegation and the denial put us back in a familiar scenario.

The last five years have been an exhaustive and exhausting crash course in how abusers and rapists (and attempted rapists) and their victims behave, and how they are perceived and treated, but the learning curve of the wilfully oblivious resembles the period at the end of this sentence.

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8. Charity may have shared rough sleepers' data without consent, watchdog findsПт., 21 сент.[−]

St Mungo’s was subject of complaint over possible link to deportations by Home Office

The information commissioner has found that it is likely that a leading homelessness charity passed key information about migrant rough sleepers to Home Office enforcement teams and may well have done so without their consent.

Some of these vulnerable rough sleepers were subsequently rounded up against their will and deported by Home Office officials.

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9. For Northern Ireland’s young, a people’s vote on Brexit is a must | Doire FinnПт., 21 сент.[−]
Despite voting for remain, Northern Ireland faces the double blow of leaving the EU and having 20 years of peace torn up

I have lived in Northern Ireland all of my life, raised in the small border town of Newry on a political boundary line that has historically been more treacherous footing for politicians than any sheer gorge or ravine. And yet, as someone in their 20s growing up in the aftermath of the Good Friday agreement, I barely noticed that the foundations on which I had built my young life rested on this uncertain ground – which extremist Brexiters could now thoughtlessly yank away.

Related: Don’t buy the Brexit hype: it’s a border in the Irish Sea or the customs union | Jonathan Lis

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10. After May’s humiliation, Labour must seize the initiative on Brexit | Michael ChessumПт., 21 сент.[−]

By backing a referendum on the deal, Corbyn can prevent a split in his party and lay the foundations for electoral success

Sometimes the most devastating revelations are those which are already obvious. Theresa May’s Chequers proposals were dead before the Salzburg summit, killed off by her own party long before Donald Tusk stuck the knife in, but their demise leaves her stranded. The government now faces a choice between a hard border in Ireland on the one hand, and a humiliating climbdown into the EEA on the other.

This is a crisis for the government but it raises questions about Labour’s position, too. If the EU won’t entertain May’s proposals, then the idea that a Jeremy Corbyn-led government could come to power and deliver a bespoke Labour Brexit before March 2019 is effectively out of the window.

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11. Northern is a disaster. Why have commuters been left to face it alone? | Kate AnsteeПт., 21 сент.[−]

I founded Northern Resist to protest a rail service that is ruining passengers’ lives. When will the government step in?

The service provided by Northern (rail) has fallen well below a decent standard for many years now, but has significantly worsened since Arriva took over the franchise in 2016. I founded the Northern Resist group to protest about how difficult people’s lives were becoming to manage as a result of a train service that is so integral to the country’s functioning – and that is failing them every single day.

While the delays, cancellations and overcrowding were my biggest gripes, other issues such as communication, my treatment on social media and general lack of empathy towards my situation exacerbated my angst with Northern. Following the timetable change in May 2018 the situation became a whole lot worse. The chaos that ensued on Northern and other parts of the UK rail network was laid bare by the rail regulator’s report on Thursday – “nobody took charge”, it concluded.

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12. Ukip faces 'utter marginalisation' if it embraces hard right, says Nigel FarageПт., 21 сент.[−]

Ex-leader says he is upset far-right activist Tommy Robinson could be allowed into party

Ukip faces “utter marginalisation” if it continues along its current hard-right direction, Nigel Farage has said, as the party he formerly led opened its annual conference with a range of new policies targeting Muslims and equalities laws.

Related: Further shift to right by Ukip may prompt party exodus, say insiders

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13. Why is Labour so timid on education? They make the Lib Dems look radical | Holly RigbyПт., 21 сент.[−]

As a party member I want to see Angela Rayner bringing forward election-winning ideas, not more of the same

I’ve been a teacher for the past five years at an inner London academy, and I’ve seen the injustices that education professionals, students and their parents face first-hand. State schools are chronically underfunded, while elite private school fees cost up to ?30,000 a year. Ofsted and school league tables are used to enforce a narrow vision of education, and an Institute of Education report this week has found that teachers in England have the lowest job satisfaction of all English-speaking countries.

Perhaps most importantly, students are suffering: the OECD has reported that young people in the UK are among the unhappiest in the world. This is the result of 40 years of education “reforms” driven by a rightwing political agenda, favouring privatisation, obsessive testing and endless competition between students and between schools – as if these were things to be celebrated in themselves.

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14. Theresa May memorabilia? Why not? Now may be her time | John CraceПт., 21 сент.[−]

Also this week: Lib Dem dissenters and Jamie Oliver’s control issues

Theresa May, take note. Emmanuel Macron’s personal ratings may be falling, but the French president is still box office gold. In its first three days, the new ?lys?e Palace gift shop sold more than ?300,000 of Macron tat, ranging from postcards of the smiling president selling at a bargain €2 to three gold bracelets engraved with the words “Libert?, ?galit?, fraternit?” for a cool €250 each. Also available are the usual assortment of T-shirts, mugs and key rings – not to mention a box of seven red, white and blue macaroons. With doubts over just how long the British prime minister will remain in office – though the Tory party conference programme has her optimistically down to give a two-and-a-half-hour closing speech entitled General Election 2022 – it’s surely now time for May to cash in while the going is still good. Though videos of her finest performances at PMQs and limited edition copies of her Amanda Wakeley leather trousers might be hard to shift, there must surely be a huge market for other memorabilia. Postcards of her sitting alone at a EU summit personally signed by the Four Pot Plants would fly off the shelf. As would T-shirts with slogans like “strong and stable”, “no magic money tree” and “nothing has changed”. Call it the Brexit dividend.

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15. Former Tory MEP leader criticises party's stance on supporting HungaryПт., 21 сент.[−]

Conservatives voted against EU sanctions process to protect democracy in Hungary

A former Conservative MEP leader has condemned the party’s decision to vote with Viktor Orb?n in opposing a European Union sanctions process to protect democracy in Hungary, amid growing criticism of the Tory party’s drift to the right.

Edward McMillan-Scott was leader of Conservative MEPs between 1997 and 2001, but clashed with David Cameron over the decision to withdraw from the centre-right European People’s party in 2009. A former European parliament vice-president, he eventually became a Liberal Democrat and argues the Conservative party has moved away from its moderate tradition.

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16. Legal action to revoke article 50 referred to European court of justiceПт., 21 сент.[−]

Jolyon Maugham says ruling is vital step in proving UK can remain within EU

A legal action to establish whether the UK can unilaterally stop Brexit has been referred to the European court of justice by the court of session in Edinburgh.

The case was brought by a cross-party group of six Scottish MPs, MEPs and MSPs, who want the ECJ to offer a definitive ruling on whether the UK can halt the article 50 process without needing the approval of all other 27 EU member states.

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17. UK government deficit widens unexpectedly in AugustПт., 21 сент.[−]

Results likely to frustrate chancellor as he prepares to fund pledge for ?20bn annual rise in NHS funding

The UK government deficit widened unexpectedly in August, handing Philip Hammond disappointing news ahead of the autumn budget.

Public sector net borrowing last month, excluding the nationalised banks, grew by ?2.4bn to ?6.8bn compared with August a year ago, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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18. Irish government presses May for fresh border proposalsПт., 21 сент.[−]

Ministers express frustration that PM came ‘empty-handed’ to Salzburg summit

The Irish government has urged Theresa May to put forward new proposals on the Ireland border question in writing to Brussels before the Conservative party conference in order to head off a collapse in Brexit negotiations.

The taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, and the European affairs minister, Helen McEntee, have expressed deep frustration after May came “empty-handed” to Salzburg when the EU had offered compromises on Irish border checks they felt would address British political sensitivities.

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19. ‘Humiliation’ and ‘disaster’: how the UK press covered May’s Salzburg ordealПт., 21 сент.[−]

Many of Friday’s front pages were unforgiving in their verdict on the PM, while others blamed EU ‘mobsters’

The events of Thursday’s Salzburg summit dominate Friday’s front pages in the UK, which use a range of terms such as “fury”, “humiliation” and “disaster” to describe EU leaders’ rejection of Theresa May’s Chequers plan.

The Guardian reports that the prime minister was left fighting to save the proposals – just over a week before the Conservative party conference – when EU leaders led by Donald Tusk and Emmanuel Macron rejected her Chequers plan as it stood. The “ambush” at the end of the summit in Austria has resulted in hard Brexit Conservatives demanding the plan be abandoned.

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20. Brexit: May humiliated by Salzburg ambush as she fights to save ChequersПт., 21 сент.[−]

PM on the defensive after EU leaders take turns to rubbish her plan – just a week before the Conservative conference

Theresa May was left fighting to save her Chequers Brexit plan and with it her authority as prime minister after she was ambushed at the end of the Salzburg summit when EU leaders unexpectedly declared that her proposals would not work.

Related: May: EU criticism of Chequers plan is 'negotiating tactic'

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21. 'The party has imploded': can Ukip survive Brexit?Пт., 21 сент.[−]

Party seems at a loss, but some warn this could be calm before the storm for populism in UK

The European parliament’s vast blue and grey chamber is half empty when Nigel Farage gets to his feet. It is a routine debate on the EU budget and MEPs are not scrimping on detail. They have spoken of frameworks, roadmaps and sustainable goals. But that is not the Farage way.

Making a glancing reference to the “Brexit hole” in the EU budget, the former Ukip leader launches into an attack on Theresa May, who he says is “desperately scrambling” to get the UK into EU programmes, before segueing into a riff on Italy’s political crisis. A lone MEP, from Ukip, claps vigorously.

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22. Labour's annual conference to focus on austerity and BrexitПт., 21 сент.[−]

The party says it plans to unveil new policies to ‘empower local communities’

For all the pre-event talk about Brexit and internal rules, Labour’s annual conference will have an official focus on boosting living standards and helping communities, themes central to the party’s election campaign last year.

Also echoing the 2017 theme, the conference will partially borrow from the election slogan, with the logo showing the motto: “Rebuilding Britain, for the many, not the few.”

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23. Salzburg humiliation leaves May idling at the Brexit crossroadsЧт., 20 сент.[−]

PM left with an acute political challenge as Tory factions crow over her summit performance

With little more than a week to go until the Tory party faithful gather in Birmingham for their annual conference, Salzburg was meant to be a political warm-up lap for Theresa May.

Downing Street hadn’t expected an enthusiastic reception for the Chequers plan from EU leaders but, after a series of cautious interventions from Michel Barnier, the hope was that they would make the political space for her to keep her fractious party on board – leaving the serious haggling for October.

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24. Nicola Jennings on Theresa May and the Salzburg summit – cartoonЧт., 20 сент.[−]
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25. Seamus Jennings on Theresa May and Brexit negotiations – cartoonСр., 19 сент.[−]
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26. The housing crisis will not be solved by curbing speculation alone | Anne PerkinsВт., 28 авг.[−]

The IPPR’s call to freeze land prices is right – but it will take more than a tweak of land supply mechanics to fix the mess

The increase in the value of land that has, or just might get, consent for housing verges on the incredible. This is not any old increase in value. It’s way beyond the increase in the value of your one-bedroom flat, even back in the day when it earned more in a week than you did. No, farmland with planning permission goes up at least a hundredfold, and in chosen parts of southern England – Oxfordshire, say, or Hampshire – the value of the land might go from ?12,000 an acre to ?2m or more, once it’s been signed off by the planners.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) thinktank has been worrying about housing more and for a longer period than almost any other thinktank. So its recommendations carry weight. Today it’s calling for new powers for local authorities to designate land for development and then freeze the price, in an attempt to eliminate the windfall gains landowners make when they get planning permission to build houses on an acre of two of their plot. But reformers should beware. They think they will get more land more cheaply so that new houses cost less. It’s been tried before and it didn’t work then, and it would take a highly controversial increase in local authority powers to have a chance of working now.

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