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Cross-party Brexit talks to end without agreement
After MPs rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal for the third time in March, the prime minister said she would speak to Labour, to try to find a compromise. The BBC has learned those talks are about to end – without an agreement.
Labour wanted a permanent and comprehensive customs union with the EU after Brexit. But some Conservatives felt this didn’t honour the result of the referendum – and would stop the UK negotiating its own trade deals with the wider world. At the same time, Labour had “fears about the durability of a deal agreed with a weak prime minister”, according to Newsnight’s political editor Nicholas Watt.
The next Brexit vote is due in the week of 3 June, when MPs will vote on the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill – which is legislation needed to implement Mrs May’s deal. If that bill is defeated, Mrs May is expected to step down. Meanwhile, the public will vote in European elections in six days’ time. Read all the parties’ Brexit positions here.
100 stabbed to death in UK this year
One hundred people have been fatally stabbed in the UK so far this year, according to BBC research. The first death was 33-year-old mother Charlotte Huggins, who died in London just a few hours after celebrating the start of the new year. The 100th death was John Lewis, 32, who died in Middlesbrough on the evening of 14 May. Almost half the victims were under 30 and were overwhelmingly male.
See where the stabbings took place, the names of the victims, and other analysis, here.
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Bowel cancer increasing in young people
More young people under 50 are being diagnosed with bowel cancer, two international studies have found. Although total numbers of cases in young people remain low, the studies highlighted a sharp rise in rates in 20 to 29-year-olds. Researchers are not clear why this is happening – but say poor diet and obesity could be factors.
The hunt for the next prime minister
Laura Kuenssberg, BBC Political Editor
“Discussing an election timetable” doesn’t sound that exciting.
But the paragraph tucked into the short formal letter from Sir Graham Brady to Tory MPs all but marks the end of Theresa May’s premiership and the beginning of the official hunt for the next leader of the country.
It confirms in black and white that after the next big vote, in the first week of June, the prime minister will make plans with the party for choosing a successor.
Right now, the expectation is that vote will be lost (although it is not impossible, of course, that Number 10 could turn it round).
And the conversation that’s been arranged won’t just be a gentle chat about what to do next.
Read the rest of Laura’s blog here.
What the papers say
Most of the papers focus on the likely end of Theresa May’s time as prime minister. Tears welled in her eyes as she made her argument to stay in Downing Street a little longer, says the Daily Telegraph, but the sympathy and patience of senior Tories on the 1922 Committee had run out. The Guardian says the expectation that Mrs May will resign, if her Brexit legislation is rejected again, will mean more Tory eurosceptics vote against it. The Daily Mail thinks her chances of success are slim – so a dignified exit is now probably for the best.
See all the front pages here.
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19:00 Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage to address rally in Edinburgh, on his first 2019 campaign trip to Scotland
14:00 Statue of Victoria Wood unveiled in Bury, accompanied by a brass band playing her music
On this day
1978 The coffin containing Charlie Chaplin’s body – missing since his grave was robbed 11 weeks ago – is found near Lausanne, Switzerland
These looked like Tories, scorned (Washington Post)
How milkshake became a protest tool (New Statesman)
Labour’s Brexit tactics are failing spectacularly (Guardian)
Why you should snog a Tory (Spectator)