Blog: Brexit news – live: ‘Scottish visa’ proposed as Keir Starmer gives speech on post-Covid economy – The Independent

Watch live: Keir Starmer delivers speech on Britain’s post-pandemic economic future

Keir Starmer has vowed to “forge a new contract” with the British people in a speech laying out his economic vision for the UK.

The Labour leader proposed a new British Recovery Bond to raise billions of pounds to invest in local communities, jobs and businesses.

He invoked the spirit of 1945, when Clement Attlee’s Labour government led Britain’s recovery after the Second World War.

Mr Starmer said the Tories were not concerned about social justice and that “failed Conservative ideology” had not helped the country.

Elsewhere, Holyrood advisers have suggested that a post-Brexit “Scottish visa” could help to prevent depopulation in rural areas.

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The latest news on Brexit, politics and beyond direct to your inbox every weekday

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Northern Tory MPs declare support for controversial mine

Northern Tory MPs have written to the leader of Cumbria Country Council, saying that a decision to not open a controversial coal mine would pose a “serious risk” to the region’s economy.

This comes after the development at Whitehaven was strongly condemned for breaching the government’s climate change commitments.

As a result, the council said on 9 February that it would reconsider the proposal it had initially approved.

‘Red wall’ MPs accuse Labour of ‘turning its back’ on Northern communities

Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 11:10

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Post-Brexit ‘Scottish visa’ could tackle depopulation, say government advisers

A special “Scottish visa” could help tackle depopulation in rural areas, Scottish government advisers have said.

Boris Johnson’s government has previously rebuffed the idea of separate immigration rules for different parts of the UK.

Experts advising Nicola Sturgeon’s administration urge UK government to consider radical move

Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 10:51

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Report suggests voter ID will be required from 2023

Voters could be required to bring photo ID to polling centres on election days from 2023.

The change will form part of the new Electoral Integrity Bill that will feature in the Queen’s Speech this spring, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Conservatives claimed in their 2019 manifesto that the plan would “protect the integrity of our democracy”.

However, campaigners have warned that it would have disastrous consequences, locking “millions out of the ballot box”.

Darren Hughes, the head of the Electoral Reform Society, said in October that the proposal would “disproportionately hit older voters, people of colour, and those on low incomes”.

Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 10:29

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Rules on visiting care homes could be relaxed soon, says minister

Care minister Helen Whately has hinted that rules restricting care home visits could be eased within weeks.

Ms Whately said she “really, really wanted to open up” residential homes when the third English lockdown ends.

Currently, family members are allowed to visit their relatives, but they this can only be done outside at a social distance.

“I don’t see that we have to wait for the second vaccination dose,” she told Sky News.

Helen Whately says ‘don’t see that we have to wait for second vaccination dose’ to increase visiting

Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 10:10

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Critics note irony in David Frost’s Cabinet appointment

Critics on social media have noted the irony in Boris Johnson’s appointment of the former Brexit negotiatior David Frost as the minister for relations with the EU.

Lionel Barber, the former Financial Times editor, tweeted that it is ironic for an unelected official to be in charge of UK-EU relations, given the Brexit’s campaign’s “incessant railing against unelected bureaucrats in Brussels”.

The Labour MP Jess Phillips also made a remark on social media to the same effect.

Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 09:45

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Inside Politics

Here’s Adam Forrest with our daily politics round-up, which today looks at David Frost’s new Cabinet position and the current state of Northern Ireland protocol talks.

The negotiating chief – given a new role in cabinet – takes over protocol talks at a delicate moment, writes Adam Forrest

Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 09:20

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‘Swiss-style’ arrangement only ‘part’ of solution, says DUP

Arlene Foster, the DUP leader and Stormont first minister, said on Wednesday that a potential “Swiss-style” arrangement would only be “part of the solution” to post-Brexit trade disruption in Northern Ireland.

Under this model, the UK would need to align its animal and plant regulations with the EU to avoid goods checks over the Irish Sea.

The Northern Irish first minister said this could help overcome some trade disruption but added that it would not remove all the red tape brought by Brexit.

“So for us what we’re really interested in is a long-term solution, a permanent solution to the problems that we’re currently facing,” Ms Foster said.

Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 09:02

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Starmer to vow to be as bold as Labour in 1945

Keir Starmer will deliver a speech on Thursday aimed at silencing his detractors, who accuse him of excessive caution and a lack of vision.

The Labour leader will say that leadership like Clement Attlee’s in 1945 is needed to help the UK recover from the coronavirus crisis.

“I believe people are now looking for more from their government – like they were after the Second World War,” he will say, adding that “failed Conservative ideology” cannot achieve that.

Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has the details

Covid crisis is like post-war ‘call to arms’ Labour leader will say – likening his task to Attlee’s transformation of Britain

Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 08:42

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EU’s Sefcovic to meet with Northern Irish business leaders

Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s vice president, will meet with Northern Irish business leaders on Thursday to discuss post-Brexit trade arrangements.

The DUP called last month for the Northern Ireland protocol to be scrapped, as the party thinks checks over the Irish Sea threaten the constitutional unity of the UK. The EU has insisted this will not happen, as the protocol is designed to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 08:22

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PM gives Brexit negotiator David Frost a Cabinet position

The prime minister has appointed his chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, as minister for relations with the European Union. 

Among other tasks, the hardline Brexiteer, who was made a peer last year, will oversee the implementation of December’s agreement with the EU.

His appointment to Cabinet brings one of Boris Johnson’s closest advisers to the heart of the government’s policy on Europe.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock reports:

Peer takes over from Michael Gove as UK representative on Joint Committee with EU

Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 07:58

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