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Wednesday's Business and Politics round-up

18 Sep 2019

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Good morning,

The case over the legality of Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament will return to the Supreme Court today. 

The first case is an appeal by anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, who lost in London High Court after judges ruled that Johnson acted lawfully in proroguing Parliament. The second case is Government’s appeal against the decision made by the highest court in Scotland, which ruled that Johnson acted unlawfully. 

Justice Minister Richard Keen QC said yesterday that the Prime Minister will abide by any Supreme Court ruling on recalling Parliament, but refused to rule out Johnson potentially suspending Parliament again before the Brexit deadline at the end of October. 

The hearings are expected to run until Thursday. 


The morning's top stories, rounded up for your convenience. 

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Will of the people

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to hold another referendum and “carry out whatever the people decide” if elected to Government. Corbyn said that the ballot paper would offer a Labour-negotiated Brexit deal and an option to remain in the EU. 

In an interview with the Guardian, Corbyn stated that the pledge made Labour “the only UK-wide party ready to put our trust in the people of Britain”. This comes after the Liberal Democrats agreed a new manifesto pledge earlier this week to scrap Brexit altogether without another vote if the party gained a majority in the next election. 

Corbyn also reiterated Labour’s four demands for a “sensible” deal with the EU, including a new customs union, a close single market relationship, guarantees on workers’ rights and environmental protections. 

Labour Party annual conference will commence this weekend and it is expected that the leadership will face an increasing pressure from party members to back Remain. 


Short of cash

Consumer association Which? has warned Chancellor Sajid Javid that millions of people who rely on cash are at risk of being left behind as free-to-use cash machines were disappearing quicker in deprived areas than in affluent ones. 

Although cash use is falling, campaigners are seeking to ensure that nobody is left behind. Which? has urged the Chancellor to implement a cash guarantee to the people who need it most. The association is calling for an independent body to be set up which would be funded by banks and would step in if local communities were running short of access to cash in shops and ATMs. 

A Government spokesperson said in response that “we’re coordinating work across government, regulators and industry so we can protect access for everyone who needs it. Part of this work includes investing over £2bn in the Post Office since 2010, giving people across the country local access to everyday banking services at one of its 11,500 branches”. 


Automation error

A committee of MPs has called for the Government to develop a “UK Robot and AI Strategy" by the end of next year after research has found that the UK is falling behind other G7 countries when it comes to preparing for automation of the workplace and the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee published Automation and the Future of Work report yesterday, which stated that action is needed to improve adoption rates of automation within industry. “The potential for an increase in automation to help tackle the Productivity Puzzle and improve living standards has not yet been effectively addressed by the Government,” said the report. 

The Committee has also called for a flexible and relevant school and university curriculum, as well as “large-scale” expansion of lifelong learning and re-skilling. 

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