The Guardian World News

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  1. PM won party backing in confidence vote but faces uphill battle to get her deal through Commons

    It is clear there will be no changes to the deal the prime minister brought back last month. Theresa May herself says she isn’t expecting a breakthrough.

    There must be no more dither and delay, or attempts to run down the clock in an attempt to deny parliament alternative options.

    Brexit will happen at the end of March. I am working on the basis that May will try to bring the deal to a vote in the House of Commons in January. I very much hope that the British MPs will become aware over the Christmas holidays that they will not be doing their constituents a favour if they allow it to end in a no-deal Brexit.

    At some point the day of truth will come. The vote has already been pushed back but it must happen before the end of March. The plan is that it will take place in January. Then we will see if there is a majority.

    Nigel Lawson, the Conservative former chancellor, is a hardline Brexiter. But even by their standards, what he says about Theresa May in a Prospect interview is unusually harsh. He says:

    I would have obviously voted against her, because she has been a disaster in every way. The deal which she has come back with is the worst deal imaginable.

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  2. Her policies as home secretary contributed to a toxic climate at the time of the referendum

    At the beginning of this week it was difficult to imagine that Theresa May could be any weaker, her party behave any more recklessly or the country appear any more shambolic in the eyes of the rest of the world. It’s only Thursday and we’re already setting new lows.

    In all of this, May strikes a tragic, hapless figure. Whenever she gambles – on a snap election, the meaningful vote – she loses. When she insists – there will be no snap election, there will be no delay in the meaningful vote – she reneges. I had to wait until the morning to write this because, although she insisted on Wednesday evening that she would carry on, there was no certainty that I wouldn’t wake up to discover that she had changed her mind overnight and bowed out.

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  3. Exclusive: Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe accused of hosting luxury events of little relevance to EU

    A European conservative group co-founded by the Tories and led by Brexit campaigner and MEP Daniel Hannan has been asked to repay more than half a million euros of EU funds following an investigation intotheir spending, the Guardian has learned.

    In a rare negative finding touching a British political party in government, European parliament senior leaders on Monday night ordered the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) to repay €535,609 (£484,367) of EU funds.

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  4. UN secretary general hails ‘real progress’ as truce agreed at end of peace talks in Sweden

    Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to an immediate ceasefire in the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, the UN secretary general has said, in a potential breakthrough at the end of a week of peace talks in Sweden.

    Antonio Guterres said the agreement included the future deployment of UN-supervised neutral forces and the establishment of humanitarian corridors. Troops from both sides will withdraw from the entire Hodeidah area within a maximum of 21 days in a process overseen by a UN-chaired committee.

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  5. Opposition supporters accuse Kabila regime of trying to postpone historic vote

    A fire has destroyed much of an election commission warehouse in Kinshasa as tensions rise in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with just 10 days to go before historic presidential elections which could see the country’s first-ever democratic transition of power or bring further instability and violence.

    The fire damaged thousands of controversial new voting machines and has stoked fears the poll will be undermined by logistic challenges and fraud.

    Barnabé Kikaya bin Karubi, a presidential adviser, blamed unidentified “criminals“ for the blaze, which destroyed about 7,000 of the 10,000 voting machines due to be used in the capital, Kinshasa, but said preparations for the 23 December election were continuing.

    Kikaya said police guarding the warehouse – located in the upscale and usually secure Gombe riverside area of Kinshasa – had been arrested but made no further comment on what or who might have caused the blaze.

    Opposition supporters claimed the fire was the result of arson and accused Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, of seeking an excuse to postpone the poll.

    “We are dealing with a criminal regime. This is not a fire that is accidental. The prime suspect must be the regime itself,” said Valentin Mubake, a former secretary general of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UPDS), the principal opposition party.

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