Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Theresa May’s press conference at the EU-Arab summit in Sharm El Sheikh
Anna Soubry, who left the Conservatives last week to join the Independent Group, has said she is considering taking contempt proceedings against the government if she does not get cabinet papers setting out the dangers of a no-deal Brexit by Wednesday. She tabled an amendment calling for the publication for the Brexit debate two weeks ago. It was expected to pass, and she only withdrew it when the Brexit minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, gave her a verbal assurance from the despatch box that the material would be published.
Today Soubry told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show that she had not yet seen the no-deal report. She went on:
This minister, with the agreement of the government, said ‘We will give you these papers’. These papers are really, really important.
What they show is an impartial, honest appraisal of the grave dangers to our country in trade and economic terms if we leave without a deal. We believe that the public have a right to see those papers.
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If not for devolution Scotland might have been independent by now, Tony Blair has said. As the Press Association reports, the former prime minister suggested that without his party offering the devolution referendum in 1997 the country could have left the UK. In an interview with Holyrood magazine, Blair said he believed devolution had been “essentially a success” as Scotland remained within the UK and any regrets he had were over not considering more ways to increase cultural alignment between the two. He went on:
Having said that, I think people forget that there was a huge amount of pressure for devolution as an alternative to independence and if we hadn’t offered that alternative, you might have had an independent Scotland by now.
Ultimately, I think we overestimated, for sure, the degree to which devolution would quash independence, that’s correct … But I think were it not for Brexit now, probably the mood in Scotland would be less in favour of independence than for some time.