Divorce law reforms
NO-FAULT divorces would be introduced under a planned shake-up of the “archaic” law governing the end of marriages, the Justice Secretary has announced.
The need for couples to separate or allege “fault” would be taken away under a proposed change unveiled by David Gauke.
Spouses would also be stripped of any right to contest a divorce application made by their partner, a consultation launched today has proposed. LABOUR is unlikely to back any Brexit deal Theresa May secures from Brussels, a senior ally of Jeremy Corbyn has warned.
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said she could not see the Prime Minister coming back with an agreement which would meet the six tests set by the party for supporting any deal.
In an interview with the FT Weekend magazine, she said they would not vote for a “flimsy bit of paper” simply because the Government said the alternative was nodeal.
A Labour source said the party’s position had not changed and that Ms Thornberry was simply being “sceptical” about the prospects of the Government reaching an acceptable agreement.
Nevertheless her comments add to the pressure on Mrs May, who is facing strong opposition to her Chequers blueprint for leaving the EU from hardline Brexiteers.
Without support from some opposition MPs, the Government may struggle to get any agreement through Parliament.
Downing Street is hoping that the prospect of a no-deal Brexit will force critics to fall in line behind the Chequers plan.
The effect of a no-deal Brexit on house prices was raised by the governor of the Bank of England yesterday. Mark Carney said that a worst-case scenario would see prices fall 35% over three years.
But Ms Thornberry has warned ministers appeared to be heading towards a defeat on a deal, paving the way for a general election.
“I can’t see them coming back with a deal that is going to meet our six tests and I can’t see them coming back with a deal that will unite the Tory party, for heaven’s sake,” she said. “They are not capable of governing . . . We’re either going to have a general election in the autumn or we’re going to have it in the spring.”
Her comments will come as a setback to Labour pro-EU campaigners – who want the party to back a second referendum instead.
However, Ms Thornberry said the Chequers plan, which would see Britain maintain a “common rulebook” with the EU for trade in goods and agriculture, was too vague to work.
Meanwhile, campaigners have won a High Court challenge against the Electoral Commission over spending by Vote Leave in the run-up to the EU referendum.
The Good Law Project brought a judicial review against the commission, arguing it failed in its duty to regulate the referendum process ahead of the vote in June 2016.
In a ruling yesterday, Mr Justice Leggatt said the commission had “misinterpreted” the definition of referendum expenses in relation to the Vote Leave campaign.
An investigation by the commission concluded in July, fining Vote Leave £61,000 over the matter, and referred it to the police.
Mr Justice Leggatt said the Electoral Commission’s findings were made on a different legal basis so the High Court proceedings remained relevant.