This Week in British Politics 19-25 February 2018

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Brexit plans conclude, Ken Livingstone returns and Northern Ireland violating Human rights. On the week of the Brits, the biggest news still came from British politics.

Brexit

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Theresa May and 11 ministers conclude Brexit talks to decide the UK’s approach in long talks at Chequers. The PM will set out the position in a speech next week, after a discussion by the full cabinet.

Shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer has formally confirmed that the Labour Party wants the UK to remain permanently in the EU’s customs union post-Brexit.

Labour Party

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Iain McNicol stepped down as Labour general secretary, it is said to be the latest sign that Jeremy Corbyn is consolidating his position and leadership of the party. McNicol became a controversial figure in the party after a row over the rules for the 2016 leadership race and he would most likely be replaced by a left winger whose views align more with the new direction Corbyn is leading the party in.

The Labour party is planning to launch an inquiry into allegations of antisemitism against Ken Livingstone after insiders said he was likely to be readmitted to the party within weeks.

Northern Ireland

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The committee on the elimination of discrimination against women said thousands of women and girls in Northern Ireland faced “systematic violations of rights through being compelled to either travel outside Northern Ireland to procure a legal abortion or to carry their pregnancy to term”. The 1967 Abortion Act was never extended to Northern Ireland, and abortion remains illegal in all but the most extreme circumstances.

The US government is considering a list of people for the role of special envoy to Northern Ireland. This comes months after President Trump reportedly “promised” US Congressman Richard Neal that he would not abolish the role. Northern Ireland has been with a devolved government for 13 months, after a coalition led by the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin collapsed in January 2017.

Other

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Tory MP Ben Bradley has had to apologise for a tweet in which he claimed Jeremy Corbyn had links to Cold War spies. Bradley alleged that Corbyn had “sold British secrets to communist spies”. Labour said that Bradley, 28, had agreed never to repeat the allegations.

A petition calling on Theresa May to take action to build trust in the Grenfell Tower inquiry has passed the landmark 100,000 signatures, meaning parliament must now consider debating the issue. This comes after the grime artist Stormzy raised the issue during his Brits Award performance.

More articles in This Week in British Politics
  1. This Week in British Politics: 8th-14th October
  2. This Week in British Politics: 17th-23rd September
  3. This Week In British Politics: 8th-15th July
  4. This Week in British Politics: 5 March – 11 March 2018
  5. This Week in British Politics 19-25 February 2018
  6. This Week in British Politics: 1-7 January 2018
  7. This Week in British Politics: 15-21 January 2018
  8. The Week in British Politics: 12 March – 18 March 2018
  9. This Week in British Politics: 2nd – 9th September 2018
  10. This Week in British Politics: 10th – 16th September
  11. This Week in British Politics: 1st – 7th October
  12. This Week in British Politics: 15th-21st October
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