Rolling updates of today’s political developments, including the Queen’s speech vote, division over a possible election and EU debate over Brexit extension
- Full story: Cabinet split over pre-Christmas election
- Corbyn urged to resist election calls
- Analysis: Labour reluctance goes beyond no-deal fears
He’s currently visiting the French Glorioso Islands off the south-east coast of Africa, but the French President Emmanuel Macron remains a key figure today amid EU27 deliberations over what type of Brexit extension to grant the UK.
While reports this morning suggest that he favours a 15-day delay, by contrast Germany is among the states backing European Council President Donald Tusk’s proposals for an extension to January 31.
EU ambassadors met last night in Brussels but did not agree to the UK’s request. It is believed that the French government does not favour a three-month extension unless the UK commits to an election or a second referendum.
However, it would be willing to agree a short extension of a few weeks to enable the British parliament to complete ratification of the treaty.
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As an election looms, here’s some interesting food for thought in the form of research into what parties can learn from the last time Britons went to the polls in 2017.
A summary published today on the LSE’s website suggests that the Tories “went overboard in their rhetoric on ‘getting on with the job’ of Brexit, (risking the alienation of their more moderate supporters) and on the robotic message of ‘strong and stable leadership’.”
There is a clear left-wing anti-austerity constituency in Britain, and rather than being out of touch with the public mood, as many New Labour grandees feared, our analysis shows that Labour’s message under Corbyn resonated both with party supporters and the wider public.
By offering its supporters policies they strongly agreed with, Labour also thwarted the electoral threat potentially inherent in its vague position on Brexit.