Midday News Round-up

The UK faces a “constitutional crisis” if Theresa May does not publish the full legal advice on her Brexit deal on Monday, Labour has warned.

The PM says the advice is confidential, but some MPs think ministers do not want to admit it says the UK could be indefinitely tied to EU customs rules.

Sam Gyimah, who quit the government on Friday, said releasing the advice was “key to restoring trust in politics”.

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox will make a statement about it later. He is set to publish a reduced version of the legal advice – despite calls from MPs from all parties to publish a full version.

MPs say this will not not respect a binding Commons vote last month, which required the government to lay before Parliament “any legal advice in full”.

 

TV legend David Attenborough has said climate change is humanity’s greatest threat in thousands of years.

The broadcaster said it could lead to the collapse of civilisations and the extinction of “much of the natural world”.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

The meeting in Katowice is the most critical on climate change since the 2015 Paris agreement.

Sir David said: “Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate Change.”

“If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

the Blue Planet star is taking up the People’s Seat at the conference, called COP24. He is supposed to act as a link between the public and policy makers at the meeting.

“The world’s people have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is running out. They want you, the decision makers, to act now,” he said.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, said climate change was already “a matter of life and death” for many countries.

He explained that the world is “nowhere near where it needs to be” on the transition to a low-carbon economy.

But the UN Secretary-General said the conference was an effort to “right the ship” and he would convene a climate summit next year to discuss next steps.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has announced $200bn in funding over five years to support countries taking action against climate change.

 

A tribunal is to be asked to decide whether veganism is a “philosophical belief” akin to a religion, in a landmark legal action.

Jordi Casamitjana says he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sports after disclosing it invested pension funds in firms involved in animal testing.

He claims he was discriminated against, and the tribunal will now decide if veganism should be protected in law.

The League Against Cruel Sports says he was dismissed for gross misconduct.

It denies the sacking was because of his veganism.

Mr Casamitjana says he is an “ethical” vegan.

“Some people only eat a vegan diet but they don’t care about the environment or the animals, they only care about their health,” he told the BBC.

“I care about the animals and the environment and my health and everything.

“That’s why I use this term ‘ethical veganism’ because for me veganism is a belief and affects every single aspect of my life.”

 

Beijing will “reduce and remove” the 40% tariffs it places on US cars imported into China, US President Donald Trump has said.

China has not commented on President Trump’s announcement, which he made on Twitter without providing details.

The move, if confirmed, would be welcomed by a car industry unsettled by the escalating US-China trade war.

President Trump and Xi Jinping have now agreed to a temporary truce in the bitter dispute.

Failure to strike a deal would have seen tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese goods rise from 10% to 25% at the start of next year, and would have opened the way for tariffs on additional Chinese goods.

On Monday, China’s foreign ministry said the presidents of China and the US had instructed their economic teams to work towards removing all tariffs following the G20 meeting, Reuters reported.

Asian markets rallied after news of the trade war truce. In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 2.5% and the Shanghai Composite index jumped 2.6%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 1%.

The gains spread to Europe, with the UK’s FTSE 100 index, the Cac 40 in France and Germany’s Dax index all up by about 2% in early trade.

 

Campaigners have accused the Home Office of a lack of “decency” after it emerged dozens of people deported to Commonwealth countries have not been contacted by the Windrush task force.

Ministers said “no specific attempt” had been made to approach 49 people deported to Ghana and Nigeria in 2017.

The Home Office says it is up to Commonwealth citizens to seek information about their status.

MPs said it showed the government had learned nothing from the scandal.

The Windrush scandel was uncovered earlier this year, after many people from Commonwealth countries who had legally lived in Britain for decades were wrongly classed as illegal immigrants and deported.

They had been encouraged by the UK government to settle in Britain from the late 1940s until 1973.

However, although they had been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, some immigrants did not have formal paperwork confirming their residency status.

It meant when the Home Office embarked on its so-called “hostile environment” policy designed to make staying in the UK more difficult, some Commonwealth immigrants were wrongly deported.

Their problems were compounded by a Home Office decision, in 2010, to destroy their landing cards – often the only record of their immigration status.

Following a public outcry, the government set up a task force to help people formalise their right to remain in the UK.

Thousands of people have now contacted the task force and received documents confirming their right to stay in Britain.

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