BBC – Theresa May defends 31 October delay to MPs

  • The new deadline of 31 October means the UK is likely to have to hold European Parliament elections in May.
  • The prime minister said that if the deal agreed with the EU was passed, the UK could leave the EU “as soon as possible”.
  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the latest delay a “diplomatic failure”.
  • May told MPs that the UK would hold full EU membership rights during the extension, saying the country “would continue to be bound by all our ongoing obligations as a member state, including the duty of sincere co-operation”.

Guardian – UK stands down 6,000 no-deal Brexit staff – after spending £1.5 bn

  • The government has stood down an army of 6,000 civil servants who had been preparing for a no-deal Brexit, at an estimated cost of £1.5 bn.
  • The civil servants who had been seconded from elsewhere will now return to their normal duties, but there is no clear role for an estimated 4,500 new recruits after article 50 was extended until Halloween.
  • The Labour party’s Hilary Benn said it was a “costly price” to pay for Theresa May’s belligerent insistence of keeping a no-deal on the table

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