UK MPs vote to delay EU departure – BBC News
Brexit delay: What just happened?
Most Conservative MPs voted against delaying Brexit – including seven cabinet members – meaning Mrs May had to rely on Labour and other opposition votes to get it through.
But some Labour frontbenchers resigned to defy party orders to abstain on a vote on holding another referendum.
Shadow housing minister Yvonne Fovargue, shadow education minister Emma Lewell-Buck, shadow business minister Justin Madders, Ruth Smeeth, a shadow ministerial aide, and Labour whip Stephanie Peacock, all quit their roles to oppose one.
Theresa May, who has long insisted that the UK will leave the EU on 29 March with or without a withdrawal deal, voted to delay Brexit.
She had been forced to offer MPs a vote on delaying Brexit after they rejected her withdrawal agreement by a large margin, for a second time, and then voted to reject a no-deal Brexit.
She has warned that extending the departure date beyond three months could harm trust in democracy – and mean that the UK would have to take part in May’s European Parliament elections.
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Downing Street said the government was still preparing for a no-deal Brexit.
Theresa May is planning to hold another “meaningful vote” on her withdrawal deal by Wednesday – after it was overwhelmingly rejected on two previous occasions.
If she wins that vote, she will ask for a one-off extension to Brexit get the necessary legislation through Parliament at an EU summit on Thursday – if not she could ask for a longer extension.
A spokesman for the European Commission said extending Article 50, the mechanism taking the UK out of the EU on 29 March, would need the “unanimous agreement” of all EU member states.
And it would be for the leaders of those states “to consider such a request, giving priority to the need to ensure the functioning of the EU institutions and taking into account the reasons for and duration of a possible extension”.
It is still technically possible that we could leave the EU at the end of this month – the law has not changed.
But politically it is now almost entirely out of reach.
The prime minister is accepting she will miss one of the biggest targets she has ever set herself.
Tonight’s vote is awkward for another reason, as it again displays the Conservatives’ fundamental divisions.
This is more than a quarrel among friends, but a party that is split down the middle on one of the most vital questions this administration has posed, with cabinet ministers, as well as backbench Brexiteers, lining up to disagree with Theresa May.
Read more from Laura
Downing Street said this was a “natural consequence” of Mrs May’s decision to offer a free vote on an issue where there are “strong views on all sides of the debate”.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss tweeted: “I voted against a delay to Brexit. As a delay was passed by Parliament, I want to see deal agreed ASAP so we can minimise to short, technical, extension.”
Seven cabinet ministers – Ms Truss, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson – voted against the government motion. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Health Secretary Matthew Hancock said “it is still possible to deliver Brexit on the 29 March”
Health Secretary Matthew Hancock said it would be “extremely difficult” but “still possible to deliver Brexit on 29 March with a deal”.
He said there were now two options: “To vote for the deal and leave in orderly way or a long delay and I think that would be a disaster.”
MPs earlier rejected an attempt to secure another Brexit referendum by 334 votes to 85.
And they also rejected a cross-party plan to allow MPs to take control of the Brexit process to hold a series of votes on the next steps, by the narrow margin of two votes.
Following the votes, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reiterated his support for a further referendum after earlier ordering his MPs not to vote for one. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Jeremy Corbyn: Public vote an “option to break deadlock”
He said: “Today I reiterate my conviction that a deal can be agreed based on our alternative plan that can command support across the House.
“I also reiterate our support for a People’s Vote – not as a political point-scoring exercise but as a realistic option to break the deadlock.”
Labour abstained when MPs voted on the referendum proposal, tabled by Independent Group MP Sarah Wollaston, arguing that now was not the right time to push for a public vote.
But 17 Labour MPs defied party orders and voted to oppose another referendum – while 24 Labour MPs rebelled to vote in favour of one.
Among frontbenchers to quit over the issue, Ms Peacock said: “It is with deep regret I tonight resigned from Labour’s front bench, because I believe we should respect the result of the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.”
Labour’s plan to delay Brexit to allow Parliamentary time for MPs to “find a majority for a different approach” was defeated by 318 to 302 votes.
Coca-Cola reveals how much plastic it uses – BBC News
These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Getty Images For the first time, Coca-Cola has revealed it used three million tonnes of plastic packaging in one year.
It’s part of a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation which is pushing for companies and governments to do more to tackle plastic pollution.
In total, 150 companies are pledging to reduce their plastic usage as part of the campaign.
But some companies including Pepsi, L’Oreal and H&M haven’t said how much plastic they use. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Coca-Cola used 3 million tonnes of plastic in 2017
It’s hard to visualise what three million tonnes looks like. But everyone can picture a blue whale.
Now picture 15,000 of them. That’s roughly three million tonnes.
In 2018, the company announced a pledge to recycle a used bottle or can for each one the company sells by 2030.
Coca-Cola markets 500 brands of fizzy drink, juices and water and says it will also work towards making all of its packaging recyclable worldwide. Image copyright Getty Images
Many companies have been committing to being more green after concerns about plastic waste were highlighted in shows such as the BBC’s Blue Planet 2, narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
In this report, 31 companies – including Mars, Nestlé and Danone – reveal how much plastic packaging they create in a year. Nestle: 1.7m tonnes. Colgate: 287,008 tonnes in 2018. Unilever: 610,000 tonnes. Burberry: 200 tonnes of plastic in a year.
Companies are trying to be more open about how much plastic they use – and how much waste they create.
In February 2019, Nestle got rid of plastic straws from its products and is using paper ones instead.
Burberry was criticised in 2018, when it said it destroyed unsold clothes , accessories and perfume worth £28.6m to protect its brand.
It’s now stopped the practice.
150 companies have signed up to be part of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s commitment to reduce plastic pollution. Image copyright Getty Images
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Immigration removals stopped by injunction – BBC News
These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Getty Images Hundreds of immigration removals are in doubt after the High Court ordered the Home Office to stop using a controversial “no warning” tactic.
A charity defending detainees has won an injunction after saying the policy breached the right to access justice.
Medical Justice said the policy prevented immigrants having a fair chance to put their case before they were put on a plane out of the country.
It said the policy had affected a huge range of people living in the UK.
These include members of the Windrush generation and victims of torture, it said.
Ordering the injunction, Mr Justice Walker told the Home Office to stop the removals, pending a full review of their lawfulness.
The decision means the Home Office must immediately cancel 69 removals scheduled for the coming days but during the hearing, the court heard that hundreds, if not thousands, of people were probably subject to the policy in any one year.
The charity’s challenge relates to a policy known as the “Removal Notice Window” in which an individual is given three days’ notice that they will be removed on any day after that.
The individual can then be detained with no further warning – to all intents keeping secret the date of their removal and preventing many of them mounting an effective challenge. Who has been affected?
In one example, a suicidal man with a serious mental illness was detained and removed on the same day – only for a judge to order the Home Office to bring him back because he had been denied the chance to put his case.
In another, a Jamaican man who had been living legally in the UK for decades was detained out of the blue.
It took him weeks to compile the comprehensive evidence of his right to live in the UK – and he narrowly avoided being placed on a removal flight.
Why the college admissions scandal brings up affirmative action – Today News
What the college cheating scandal says about race By Madison Park, CNN Updated 1:20 AM EDT, Thu March 14, 2019
(CNN) The college admissions scandal reinforced for many what they have long believed: That the process can be gamed by those with wealth and influence.
It has spurred discussions about why factors such as donations, athletics and legacy status are baked into the admissions process, which has traditionally benefitted wealthy families. Yet affirmative action, which is intended to help underrepresented minorities, gets intense scrutiny and legal challenges.
“Some people have said wealth is affirmative action for white people,” said Anthony Jack, an assistant professor of education at Harvard University.
It is not affirmative action that threatens the fairness in the college admissions process, its supporters say, but rather the advantages of the rich and powerful.
Fifty people — from Hollywood stars and top industry CEOs to college coaches and standardized test administrators — are accused of participating in a scheme to cheat on admissions tests and to get students into leading institutions as athletes regardless of their abilities, prosecutors revealed Tuesday in a federal indictment.
“These families exposed a system and I hope (this) injects into the American imagination just how much money and backdoor ways that wealthy, especially white wealthy families, get into college and universities,” Jack said.
Larry Summers, the former Harvard University president, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that there needs to be a lot of soul-searching in higher education.
Americans are “not entirely wrong” to think “that elites are rigging the system for their own benefit and for the benefit of their families,” he said. Discourse around affirmative action
The scandal has hit a nerve, going beyond discussions about elitism and raising issues of race.
“Imagine believing it’s affirmative action that’s the problem with college admissions,” the ACLU tweeted. Favorite TV moms embroiled in alleged college admissions scandal
Jack says there is a connection between the scandal and affirmative action.
“It’s so written into the American imagination that these spots (at prestigious institutions) are for white people and anytime a black student or a Latinx student gets in, it’s taking a spot away from them. That’s not what’s happening,” said Jack, the author of “The Privileged Poor,” about the experience of low-income students at elite universities.
“What this is exposing,” he said of the scandal, “is the steps and the leaps and bounds that wealthy families take to secure a spot that is rightfully no one’s — that they think they have proprietary ownership of.”
Many underrepresented minorities say they’re constantly having to prove themselves and their qualifications for a spot. READ: The full indictment charging actors, CEOs and others in a nationwide college admission scheme
A person of color has to “prove yourself at every turn,” said Tiffany Cross, the co-founder and managing editor of The Beat DC, in a panel discussion on “CNN Tonight” with Don Lemon.
“You can be an Ivy League graduate and show up to the table and somebody’s going to question your existence there. Nobody ever asked, ‘How did this basic, ordinary person next to me, who isn’t a person of color, earn their space here?'”
Yet there is little discussion about underqualified white students who benefit from preferences in the admissions process such as sports, family influence and legacies, some say.
Legacies are applicants who are regarded preferentially because they are the children of alumni. They also tend to be white and wealthy, wrote Daniel Golden, the author of the 2006 book “The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges.”
Athletes of patrician sports, such as sailing or water polo, are recruited to college athletics. These types of sports aren’t accessible for students from inner-city schools.
“It shows the hypocrisy of the elevated status that legacies and athletes get in the admissions process,” Jack said. “There’s no moral, social or political justification for those two groups to get preferential treatment in admissions.”
These preferences benefit mostly white and wealthy applicants, but aren’t part of the ongoing debate about affirmative action and what should be considered in the admissions process, he said. Judge hears final arguments in Harvard case that could decide future of affirmative action
Meanwhile affirmative action remains the target of several lawsuits, including a pending case against Harvard, that was brought on behalf of several Asian-American students by a group called Students for Fair Admissions. The group was set up by Edward Blum, a longtime opponent of affirmative action who in the past has used white plaintiffs to challenge racial policies.
The group argues that Harvard disfavors high-achieving Asian-Americans and gives a boost to African-American, Hispanic and other traditional beneficiaries of affirmative action.
“They’re really a conservative group who is using the face of Asian students to say that they’re taking admissions access from Asian students to give them to black and brown people,” Cross said during a Tuesday panel discussion.
“It’s interesting that the privileged people will have other people of color thinking that we stole something from them. They’re not going after privileged people.”