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Brexit: No 'direct jurisdiction' for ECJ after Brexit, say ministers

Media playback is unsupported on your device The UK will no longer be under the “direct jurisdiction” of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) after Brexit, a government policy paper will say. Ministers say they want a “special partnership” with the EU, but it is “neither necessary nor appropriate” for the ECJ to police it. Critics say the word “direct” leaves room for the ECJ to still play a part. The pro-EU Open Britain group said the phrase paved the way for a “climbdown” over the jurisdiction of the court….

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Scottish ministers urged to lead fight against 'period poverty'

Ministers are being urged to make Scotland a world leader in fighting “period poverty” by making sanitary products free for those who need them. Labour MSP Monica Lennon says access to the products should be “a basic right”. She wants schools, colleges and universities to be required to provide free items in their female toilets. In July, the Scottish government announced a six-month pilot project in Aberdeen aimed at women and girls from low-income households. At least 1,000 people should receive free sanitary products during the trial, which ministers have…

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Theresa May to warn ministers against leaks

Ministers will be told by Theresa May they should be keeping cabinet discussions private, Number 10 says. Following several leaks and briefings over the weekend, ministers will be “reminded” of their responsibilities when cabinet meets on Tuesday. On Sunday Chancellor Philip Hammond suggested colleagues opposed to his approach to Brexit had been briefing against him. It followed press reports of his cabinet remarks on public sector pay. Hammond hits back over leaks Responding to the leaks on Sunday, Mr Hammond refused to comment on newspaper reports that he said public…

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HS2: Route through Sheffield to be announced by ministers

The final route of the Manchester and Leeds branch of HS2 will be announced later, including a decision over its path through Sheffield. Contracts worth £6.6bn will also be awarded for work on the first stretch of the new high speed rail line between London and Birmingham. The transport secretary said HS2 would “drive economic growth and productivity in the North and Midlands”. But critics say the project will damage the environment and is too expensive. The first trains are not expected to run until 2026. The decision over its…

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Ministers 'in the dark' over scale of child vulnerability

Ministers do not know how many hundreds of thousands of children in England are living risky or vulnerable lives, says children’s commissioner Anne Longfield. England’s children’s champion has tried to calculate the total in a report, in the absence of overall official data. She found some 670,000 children live in high risk family situations, thousands with parents in addiction treatment. Children’s minister Robert Goodwill said support for vulnerable children was being given across government. But he acknowledged there was more to do. Ms Longfield highlighted that half a million children…

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G20 finance ministers drop anti-protectionist pledge

Finance ministers from world’s biggest economies have dropped an anti-protectionist commitment after opposition from the US. G20 ministers left the two-day meeting without renewing their long-standing pledge to bolster free trade. Last year, the group of the world’s 20 largest economies vowed to “resist all forms of protectionism”. But since then, President Donald Trump has taken office, and is aggressively pursuing an “America First” policy. His policies include penalties for companies which manufacture their products abroad. Speaking after the meeting ended, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he would not…

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