From The National: 2018 has been, hands down, the most juvenile period of time I have ever witnessed in politics. Granted, I’ve only been heading to Westminster for a few years at this point, but even my colleagues who have been there much longer than myself will tell you that this year was one for the books.
Sturgeon offers to unite with Corbyn to topple ‘shambles’ government after Theresa May calls off vote on her Brexit deal
From The Independent: Nicola Sturgeon has appealed to Jeremy Corbyn “work together” to topple Theresa May’s government after a crucial vote on the prime minister’s Brexit deal was abandoned, promising the SNP will support a motion of no confidence if it is tabled by Labour.
From WalesOnline: Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price met with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as their parties work to come up with an alternative to Theresa May’s plan for Brexit.
Mr Price argues that the two-year process which is due to see the UK leave the EU on March 29 regardless of whether an exit deal has been agreed should be extended.
He hopes this could pave the way for a second referendum or continued membership of the EU’s single market.
From BBC News: Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed her SNP MPs will vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
The First Minister rejected claims her Westminster MPs could abstain on the vote in the House of Commons. The SNP leader said it would be “deeply irresponsible” for any MPs to endorse the prime minister’s agreement, published last week. And she revealed she will be heading to London to talk to opposition parties about alternatives in the coming days.
Speaking on the BBC’s Marr programme, #NicolaSturgeon criticised the 585 page draft deal between the UK and the EU.
She said: “The withdrawal agreement has lots of flaws within it, and fundamentally, there is no clarity whatsoever about the future between the UK and the EU. The House of Commons is going to be asked to effectively endorse a ‘blindfold Brexit’, where all the difficult issues that have dogged these negotiations for two-and-a-half years are simply kicked further down the road. I think it would be a mistake and deeply irresponsible for the House of Commons to endorse that.”
From Welfare Weekly: The SNP has called on the UK government to “end age discrimination” in minimum wage rates at the Budget.
David Linden, one of the youngest MPs at Westminster, has written to the Chancellor demanding the UK government “stop discriminating against young people” and change the law to ensure that all workers are entitled to a real Living Wage – currently £8.75 in Scotland, £10.20 in London.
Under current UK legislation, younger workers can be discriminated against with lower wages, despite doing the same job.
Since 1st April 2018, workers over the age of 25 are entitled to a minimum wage of at least £7.83 an hour, while those aged 21 to 24 are only entitled to £7.38 an hour, those aged 18 to 20 only £5.90 an hour, those under 18 just £4.20 an hour, and apprentices can be paid as little as £3.70 an hour.
The 28-year-old SNP MP for Glasgow East, who left school at the age of 16 to work as an apprentice, said the UK government had “failed younger people” by refusing to change the law – leaving younger workers thousands of pounds a year worse off.
David Linden said: “Millions of families across the UK have suffered from falling wages and squeezed incomes under the past decade of Tory austerity – but younger workers have also faced discriminatory minimum wages rates, meaning they can legally be paid less for doing the same job.”
From Daily Mirror: Theresa May’s “disastrous” handling of Brexit poses a deadly threat to the NHS, the SNP’s Westminster health spokesperson Dr Philipa Whitford has warned.
“Forcing people into hunger does not incentivise work”: Mhairi Black’s Commons speech on Universal Credit goes viral
SNP MP’s Mhairi Black’s fierce speech in the House of Commons on Universal Credit has gone viral on social media, with over 9 million views on Facebook alone.
“Plunging people into debt does not incentivise work. Forcing people into hunger does not incentivise work. Causing anxiety and distress, and even evicting some families from their homes, does not incentivise work.”
From Sky News: DUP MPs are now each worth more than football star Cristiano Ronaldo following their deal with the Tories, an SNP MP has claimed.
Alison Thewliss noted it was a “slightly odd position” that the Northern Ireland MPs can be viewed as dearer than the Real Madrid forward.
After the last General Election, it was announced the DUP’s 10 MPs had agreed to support the Conservative minority Government under a “confidence and supply” deal.
Under the terms of the agreement, an extra £1bn of taxpayers’ money was to be spent in Northern Ireland, which can be calculated as £100m per DUP member.
In 2009, Ronaldo became the most expensive footballer in history when he signed for Real Madrid from Manchester United for £80m.
Mhairi Black writes in The National… “Child tax credits are paid to people that the Government accepts do not receive enough income to survive on. What does it say about the society we live in when that same Government is prepared only to provide that help for some children?
“What else does it say about our society when the Government says they will only help you provide for a third child so long as they are the product of rape, and only if you can prove that you have been raped?!”