MPs have voted to stop future prime minister from suspending parliament, as Boris Johnson's anti-EU kipper rules tirade has been exposed as false. 

The motion would ensure that parliament is kept open in the days leading up to the 31 October Brexit deadline. A similar amendment was approved last week by just one vote, and a similarly tight result is expected when the Commons divides this afternoon.

The latest bid to avoid no deal comes as Boris Johnson, the favourite to become prime minister next week, faced questions over his claim that EU rules were responsible for UK fisheries having to pay more to transport their products. Brussels rejected the suggestion, insisting the regulations were actually introduced by the UK.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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Elsewhere, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said Theresa May’s agreement was the only way to withdraw in an “orderly manner”.

Follow the latest developments in the live blog below

Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the day's political developments from Westminster and beyond.

The EU secretly offered to put Brexit "on ice" for five years in order to come up with a new deal for Europe, Theresa May's de facto deputy has revealed, writes political correspondent Lizzy Buchan.

David Lidington, the cabinet office minister, disclosed that powerful EU official Martin Selmayr had made the offer during a private lunch in the summer of 2018.

The claims will infuriate Brexiteers, who suspect senior officials such as Mr Selmayr - who was right-hand man to EU Commission boss Jean-Claude Juncker - of trying to thwart the UK's decision to quit the bloc.

 

Labour’s deputy leader in the Lords Baroness Hayter has been sacked from her post as a shadow Brexit minister as the party’s row over antisemitism has deepened further.

A spokesman said she had been removed from her frontbench position ”with immediate effect for her deeply offensive remarks about Jeremy Corbyn and his office”.

He added: “To compare the Labour leader and Labour Party staff working to elect a Labour government to the Nazi regime is truly contemptible, and grossly insensitive to Jewish staff in particular.”

 

In the House of Commons today, MPs will vote on motions aiming to make it difficult for Boris Johnson - if he emerges victorious in the Tory leadership race next week - from suspending parliament to push through his Brexit plan.

It comes after peers voted 272 to 169 in favour of a cross-party motion that will force a government minister to make a series of statements in parliament in October.

That would make it difficult for the next prime minister to prorogue parliament in the run-up to the UK leaving the EU on 31 October – the current Brexit deadline.

Here is the story from last night on the vote in the House of Lords

 
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On the vote today preventing the suspension of parliament (see previous post) the current justice secretary David Gauke said such a move by a future PM would be "outrageous" but did not confirm whether he would back the measures to block it.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I will have to see what the precise amendments are and we're hearing what the whipping will be and the arguments for that so I'm not in a position to necessarily say.

"But what I would say is the idea that Parliament should be suspended in October - a period where it always sits, Parliament has always in recent years sat at that time of year.

"And at a crucial point in this country's history, if you like - that Parliament should not be able to sit, should not be able to express its opinion and its will, I think would be outrageous.

"I very much doubt that any prime minister would in fact suspend Parliament in these circumstances, but I can understand the concerns that a lot of my colleagues have."

The latest Westminster voting intention from YouGov shows the Conservatives leading Labour by four points - as both parties grapple with severe infighting within their ranks.
 

Theresa May used the last major speech as prime minister on Wednesday to take a bitter swipe at the hardline Brexiteers in her own party who brought her premiership to an early end, writes political editor Andrew Woodcock.

Ms May accused opponents of her EU withdrawal agreement of adopting a polarised “winner takes all” approach which had prevented her from resolving the Brexit impasse and delivering the deal that she believed most voters wanted.

In an apparent warning to likely successor Boris Johnson not to impose a no-deal outcome, which opinion polls suggest is opposed by a majority of voters, the PM warned that a successful Brexit must involve “some kind of compromise” to be sustainable and bring the country back together.

If you missed the final hustings of the Tory leadership contest last night, my colleague Ben Kentish has an odd highlight from the event in east London
 
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Two of Britain’s biggest trade unions have denounced the treatment of whistleblowers on antisemitism by the Labour leadership, dealing a fresh blow to Jeremy Corbyn.

Unison, the biggest union, and the GMB, the third largest, took the unusual step of publicly calling on the party to protect employees and former employees following condemnation of Labour’s response to fresh revelations about anti-Jewish abuse.

Unison said it had already raised concerns with the party leadership in private over Labour’s attack on whistleblowers and planned to do so again at a key meeting next week.

 
Britain's economy could be pushed into a recession and real GDP could fall by two per cent by the end of 2020 in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Office for Budget Responsibility has warned today.
 
You can read more below
 

A top EU official has accused the UK’s Brexit negotiators of “running around like idiots”, comparing UK ministers to the hapless characters from classic TV sitcom Dad’s Army.

Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s vice president, said leaders in Brussels believed British ministers would produce “Harry Potter-like” trickery when they began negotiations in 2017.

Instead they acted like Lance Corporal Jones from the classic sitcom, Mr Timmermans told BBC’s Panorama programme, set for broadcast on Thursday night.

Speaker John Bercow has selected the amendment which aims to prevent the future PM from suspending parliament - expect the vote in the Commons around 1.30pm. Given there are eight Tory MPs already listed on the amendment as supporters, it's fair to say this has a pretty good chance of passing later today.
 
This is from Sky News' Beth Rigby
 
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Speaking at a meeting of G7 finance ministers in Chantilly, France, the chancellor Philip Hammond responded to warnings aired by the OBR on a recession.

“The report that the OBR have published this morning shows that even in the most benign version of a no-deal exit there would be a very significant hit to the UK economy, a very significant reduction in tax revenues and a big increase in our national debt - a recession caused by a no-deal Brexit." he said.

"But that most benign version is not the version that is being talked about by prominent Brexiteers. They are talking about a much harder version which would cause much more disruption to our economy.

"The OBR is clear that in that less benign version of no-deal, the hit would be much greater, the impact would be much harder, the recession would be bigger. So I greatly fear the impact on our economy and our public finances of the kind of no-deal Brexit that is realistically being discussed now."

MPs are "racing back" to the Commons from an overseas select committee trip to attend a crucial Brexit vote, MPs have been told.

SNP MP Patrick Grady for Glasgow North stood in for his party's Commons leader Pete Wishart at business questions, explaining: "He is racing back in breathless anticipation of the Lords amendments."

"When the six-week Conservative leadership election began, it looked as if Nigel Farage would be the spectre hanging over it, as the candidates tried to reassure Tory members they would see off the threat from his Brexit Party," writes political commentator Andrew Grice. "As the contest draws to a close, there is a new menace: Donald Trump."

 

According to the BBC, Labour peers in the House of Lords are considering whether to hold a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.
 
A decision, the BBC adds, is expected to be reached at an emergency meeting in Westminster on Monday. Such a result would be non-binding, but of course would be highly significant.
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At the prime minister's daily briefing for journalists, her spokesman was asked whether they had any response to Donald Trump’s approving remarks about his rally audience chanting “send them back”.
 
Theresa May’s official spokesman said: “I don’t know if the prime minister has seen it, but as I said earlier in the week the president’s comments in respect of the congresswomen were completely unacceptable and that remains the case.”
 
Diane Abbott has predicted that Labour MPs will mount a fresh leadership challenge against Jeremy Corbyn amid fresh recriminations over antisemitism in the party.
The shadow cabinet minister, a long-time ally of Mr Corbyn, told party activists that critics of the Labour leader were exploiting his “vulnerability” over the row on handling cases of anti-Jewish hate.
Mr Corbyn is facing renewed pressure over the party's long-running antisemitism row, after several former staffers broke cover to tell a BBC documentary that senior figures had intervened in the handling of complaints.
Meanwhile Labour peers are understood to be gearing up for a confidence vote in Mr Corbyn next week after Baroness Hayter, Labour’s deputy leader in the Lords, was sacked for comparing the mood in the leader’s office to the “last days of Hitler”.
 

 

In the Commons, MPs are now debating the amendments to the Northern Ireland bill that are designed to stop Boris Johnson forcing through a no-deal Brexit.
 
We're expecting them to be voted on imminently and it's too close to say which way the vote will go. Last week a similar amendment passed by one vote. Some reports suggest that current cabinet minsters could resign to vote for today's motion - but there's no sign of that yet...
 
The government has rejected calls for a new judge-led inquiry into allegations that the UK was involved in the extraordinary rendition of detainees in the years after the 9/11 attacks.
 
Theresa May's deputy, David Lidington, told the Commons a few minutes ago that the government "has decided it is not necessary to establish a further inquiry".
 
A new probe had been recommended by parliament's intelligence and security committee, which previously found that UK officials had been involved in 2000-3000 interviews of detainees held by the US at locations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
 
Responding to the government's refusal to open a new inquiry, former attorney general Dominic Grieve, who chairs the committee, said:
 

Our inquiry uncovered new material which had not been presented to, or considered by, any previous inquiry or review. However we had wished to examine certain matters in greater detail and, in order to do so, we wanted to hear from the officers who were involved at the time. In 2017 the government denied us access to those individuals and we were able only to publish the information we had found up to that point. A judge-led inquiry would have presented another opportunity for that full transparency."

He added:

"In our view the UK tolerated actions, and took others, that we regarded as inexcusable. While there was no smoking gun in what we found, we remain of the opinion that there may have been more to be heard from those on the ground at the time."

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