Politics is alive
17:30 – – On a pretty hectic news day, here’s a recap of today’s key moments:
The historic Brexit trade deal is passed with 448 votes, expected to get royal approval by midnight. Government approved Oxford vaccine. Vaccinations will begin on Monday 4th January under Tier 4 restrictions.
5:25 pm – A day before New Year’s Eve, the message from England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam is pretty clear.
“Quite a dark and depressing picture,” says Prof. Van Tam, warning against meeting friends in NYE. “You have to play your part” to pull us out of the dangerous #coronavirus situation
– Vicki Young (@BBCVickiYoung) December 30, 2020
4:23 pm – Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that the reopening of secondary schools will now be delayed.
. @ GavinWilliamson changes the rules for schools again – Tier 4 secondary schools won’t fully reopen until Jan 18th, with exam-age students returning on Jan 11th. Most primary schools open on Monday.
– Robert Peston (@Peston) December 30, 2020
4:16 pm – If you wonder why there will be 44 million people entering Tier 4 starting tomorrow, there have been 981 deaths in the last 24 hours, along with 50,023 new cases.
That is 567 more deaths than the 414 recorded yesterday.
3:11 pm – New restrictions.
Three quarters of England will not go below Tier 4, while the remaining areas will move up to Tier 3 as the government announces new restrictions.
2:44 pm – The Brexit trade deal is now being passed on to the Lords after being comfortably passed by an overwhelming 448 majority in the House of Commons.
MPs backed the Brexit trade deal – 521 to 73
– Nick Eardley (@nickeardleybbc) December 30, 2020
01:56 p.m. – So much has happened in Brexitland in the past four years that it can be easy to lose track of what has happened.
Fortunately, our own Ed Campbell created an elegant reminder of how we got here.
1:39 pm – Boris Johnson will hold a press conference on coronavirus at 5 p.m. as new Tier 4 restrictions are announced this afternoon.
NEW: Boris Johnson will hold a press conference on Downing Street at 5pm. More Tier 4 restrictions on the agenda.
– Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne) December 30, 2020
12:42 p.m. – A summary of what we’ve seen in the debate so far:
Kevin Brennan sums up the Labor rebellion against the deal and calls it one “The Failure of National Ambition.”The passionate Brexiteer Sir Bill Cash says the Brexit deal is over “48 Years of Submission”. Ian Blackford names the fishing element of the deal “The greatest betrayal of all” to Scottish fishing communities.
11:46 am – In a feeling that feels strong SeenHere Theresa May is still fighting for her deal well over a year after her death.
11:27 am – Will the government change its plans to reopen schools?
Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of Education, will be making a statement on the matter at 4 p.m. today.
11:18 a.m. – – Sir Keir Starmer outlined Labor’s position on the Brexit trade deal this morning.
10:51 a.m. – – Theresa May, whose brief tenure as prime minister was ultimately compromised by Brexit, targets both Starmer and Johnson.
10:29 am – Sir Keir Starmer has now stood up and says, “A thin deal is better than no deal.”
“Let’s do #brexit,” says @BorisJohnson – coining the new phrase, anticipating @Keir_Starmer’s intervention, which is to support the deal but criticize it as “thin” and build on it if elected
– iain watson (@iainjwatson) December 30, 2020
10:18 am – Are we on our way to another national lockdown today? Former Chief Scientific Advisor Sir David King certainly thinks we should be.
NEW: Sir David King of the Independent SAGE Committee calls for an immediate national lockdown in England. Delay will cause “tens of thousands more deaths,” he says.
– Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) December 30, 2020
10:13 am – Boris Johnson is up and speaking in the House of Commons.
There have been some irritable conversations between the Prime Minister and Ian Blackford, the SNP leader in Westminster. Perhaps a strong indication of where the Brexit debate will lead next, to Scotland and the future of the Union.
9:56 am – Valerie Vaz, the shadow leader of the house, spoke here about the importance of avoiding no-deals.
9:35 am – We’re in the House of Commons.
9:25 am – After four and a half years of debate about the complex beast that Brexit is, MPs had around 18 hours to sift through 80 pages of legal text and 76 pages of accompanying explanations.
It is fair to say that some MEPs are not entirely happy with the timeframe allotted for voting on the deal.
It is an absolute shame that we only have 5 hours tomorrow to debate laws that have just been published and give power to a treaty that is more than 1500 pages long and was published only 3 days ago. Complete affront to democracy and the opposite of #TakingBackControl
– Munira Wilson MP (@munirawilson) December 29, 2020
9:15 am – There is much to be done today as both the Commons and the Lords are supposed to get the vote through in a single day.
Here is a rough guide for how to proceed today:
9:30 am – The Prime Minister will get us on our way in about 15 minutes and open the debate on the second reading of the bill.2.30 – The bill is expected to go through the Commons at this point. You can expect some Labor rebellions and SNP opposition, but no real threat to the deal. 3 p.m. – The bill moves to the House of Lords (The Lords).3:30 a.m. – Around 145 Lords will speak on the proposal in a five-hour debate.11:00 p.m. – A rough estimate of the final vote in the Lords. 11:45 p.m. – The bill’s royal ascent is expected to come around midnight.
8:30 am – Will the vaccinations increase? The UK reported a daily record of 53,135 new cases yesterday.
AstraZeneca’s executive director says they could deliver 2 million vaccines a week. The government’s current goal is 1 million a week. There will now be tremendous pressure to raise that target.
– Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) December 30, 2020
8:00 am – The most important developments of today:
Vote on the Brexit trade agreement: PM due to open hearing at 9:30 a.m.Tier 4 expansion: Matt Hancock will announce further restrictions for England later today as the virus continues to mount after the Christmas break.Vaccine: Good news for the UK as an Oxford vaccine approved for use; More than 100 million cans have been ordered in the UK.
7:45 o clock – Some other big news that you will hear this morning as the government announces Oxford / AstraZeneca Vaccine has been approved for use.
Matt Hancock, the Minister of Health, spoke about the good news on TimesRadio this morning.
Matt Hancock explains @TimesRadio why the Oxford vaccine is a game changer: “The reason it’s so important is it’s easy to administer and, critically, we have 100 million doses for everyone to be vaccinated. We can speed it up. ” .
– Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) December 30, 2020
7:30 am – That’s it, folks.
After 1,650 days, 9 hours and 30 minutes since the UK voted to leave the EU, Parliament is taking a break today to vote on an agreement that will determine our future relations with our European neighbors.