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Gove: I'll make Brexit work for animals too

Gove: I'll make Brexit work for animals too The government has published a new law that says it must treat animals as “sentient beings” when it makes laws. Environment Secretary Michael Gove promised to “make Brexit work not just for citizens but for the animals we love and cherish too”. The draft law also increases the maximum sentence for serious animal cruelty to five years in jail. The Green Party said the government had done a “screeching u-turn”. Gove hits back at ‘animal sentience’ social media campaign The move follows…

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Second EU referendum e-petition debated

Second EU referendum e-petition debated A petition calling for a second EU referendum will be debated by MPs later. The online petition has attracted more than 130,000 signatures since September. The petition calls for voters to be given a “final say” on the Brexit deal before the 2019 exit date. The government said Brexit had “the largest democratic mandate in UK political history” and there would be no second referendum. The petition, which will be considered in a Westminster Hall debate from 16:30 GMT, proposes a referendum with three options…

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It's time to 'embrace an android' says Labour's deputy leader

It's time to 'embrace an android' says Labour's deputy leader Worried that a robot will one day take your job? Don’t fear says a senior politician who is urging people to “embrace an android”. If machines can take over routine tasks, deputy Labour leader Tom Watson believes, it will liberate people to focus on areas generating more wealth. If properly regulated, he says the growth of automation could create as many jobs as it will eliminate. “I suppose what I am really saying is – robots can set us free.”…

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Brexit: Theresa May claims new sense of optimism in talks

Brexit: Theresa May claims new sense of optimism in talks Theresa May will tell MPs there is a new “sense of optimism” in the Brexit talks after her last-minute deal aimed at moving them to the next phase. She will say she expects EU leaders to agree to start talks about future trade and security at a summit on Thursday. The PM will insist she did not cave in to Brussels over the so-called divorce bill and “alignment” with EU laws. And that she had stuck to the principles she…

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Ban pension cold-calling now, MPs demand

Ban pension cold-calling now, MPs demand Cold-callers trying to sell pensions could be banned by next summer if the government takes action now, a group of MPs has demanded. Members of the Work and Pensions Committee said that otherwise, the ban may not happen until 2020. The MPs want the government to include the measure in a bill, which is before Parliament. At least £42m has been lost to pension scammers since 2014, according to the City of London Police. Many fraudsters make their first approach to consumers by phone…

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Jeremy Hunt challenges Ralf Little

Jeremy Hunt challenges Ralf Little The health secretary says he’ll debate actor Ralf Little over claims he’s lied about the NHS. In an interview with Newsbeat, Jeremy Hunt says he’s waiting for the Royal Family star to “show the evidence” that he hasn’t expanded NHS mental health provision. The pair started rowing on Twitter weeks ago after the MP appeared on TV talking about investing in care. Mr Hunt said: “I get involved in lots of Twitter spats with lots of people when I think they’re not being fair about…

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Johnson to meet Iranian president on second day of talks

Johnson to meet Iranian president on second day of talks Boris Johnson will meet Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on his second day of talks in the country. The UK foreign secretary will continue to press for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been held in Tehran since April 2016. BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins says she faces a possible court appearance later on new charges. On Saturday, Mr Johnson held “frank” talks within his Iranian counterpart for two hours on a range of subjects. During the meeting with Mohammed…

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Brexit: MPs call for 'meaningful' Commons vote

Brexit: MPs call for 'meaningful' Commons vote A cross-party group of MPs says the promise of a “meaningful vote” for Parliament on any Brexit deal should be enshrined in the EU Withdrawal Bill. Former Conservative attorney-general Dominic Grieve will table such an amendment to the bill later this week. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on EU Relations supports the move, urging backbenchers to put “the national interest” above party politics. The amendment will be debated in the House of Commons on Tuesday. The parliamentary group – co-chaired by Labour’s Chuka Umunna…

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Brexit: Michael Gove says UK voters can change final deal

Brexit: Michael Gove says UK voters can change final deal Voters can use the next general election to have their say on a final Brexit deal, Michael Gove has said. The environment secretary praised Theresa May’s “tenacity and skill” in securing a last-minute deal to end phase one negotiations on Friday. But, writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said if British people “dislike the arrangement”, they can change it Reports suggest the cabinet will meet on 19 December to discuss its “end state” plans for Brexit. Mr Gove said the…

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Man held over House of Lords disturbance

Man held over House of Lords disturbance A man has been arrested in the House of Lords after a debate was interrupted by shouting. The man was held on suspicion of common assault and criminal damage, following the incident in the public gallery. Labour peer Lord Giddens was speaking in a debate on Friday morning when he paused as a shout was heard, noting a “continuing disturbance from outside”. The annual Archbishop of Canterbury’s debate was about the role of education in building a flourishing society. A spokesman for the…

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