Joe Watts, The Independent

Joe Watts

The Independent

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Past:
  • The Independent
  • The Evening Standard

Past articles by Joe:

Brexit: Jeremy Corbyn under pressure to make bold referendum offer in European elections

Jeremy Corbyn is under intense pressure from within his shadow cabinet to give a strong commitment to a new Brexit referendum as part of Labour’s European election campaign offer. A string of senior shadow ministers are advocating a new public vote, alongside MPs from the left and right of the party, buoyed by a groundswell of support from the membership. → Read More

Jacob Rees-Mogg's sister to stand for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party in EU elections

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister is to stand as a candidate for Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party in the forthcoming European elections, it has emerged. Annunziata Rees-Mogg, a journalist and former Conservative candidate, spoke after Mr Farage at the launch of the new party and pledged to make politicians “listen to what the people have said”. → Read More

Brexit: Theresa May hopes for final shot at forcing withdrawal deal through parliament before Euro elections

Theresa May has paved the way to have a final shot at pushing a Brexit deal through the House of Commons, ahead of European elections in May. The prime minister and her aides repeatedly highlighted that the country could avoid the ignominy of electing British MEPs to the European parliament if the commons passes a deal in the coming weeks. → Read More

Brexit: Tory civil war deepens as cabinet ministers and backbenchers rebel over Article 50 extension

The scale of the revolt against Theresa May’s planned Brexit delay has deepened after cabinet ministers and backbenchers refused to back the prime minister’s strategy. Tory MPs voted in large numbers in the House of Commons against delaying Brexit again until even 30 June, though Ms May is set to be forced into a much longer extension. → Read More

Brexit: Theresa May heads to Paris to plead for extension amid Tory fury in London

Theresa May is heading to Europe to appeal to France and Germany for an extension to Brexit talks that could see Britain locked into what furious Tory rebels have branded “second class EU membership” for the foreseeable future. → Read More

Is the revocation of Article 50 by the prime minister becoming more likely?

After more than two years of talks, could the UK be about to call time on Brexit by revoking Article 50? What does “revoking Article 50” mean? → Read More

Brexit: Theresa May to set off on whirlwind tour of Europe in frantic bid to secure extension before EU summit

Theresa May will undertake a whirlwind tour of European capitals in a bid to secure more time to lock in a withdrawal deal before Brexit. The prime minister will meet both German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron, who has taken a more bullish position with the UK over Brexit. → Read More

Brexit: Majority of public now back Final Say referendum amid chaos in Westminster, poll shows

Most of the British public now back having a Final Say referendum on Brexit whatever the outcome eventually is, an exclusive poll for The Independent has found. Amid the chaos in parliament, backing for a new public vote, which has simmered just below 50 per cent for months, finally broke through into a majority in April, according to the BMG Research survey. → Read More

Can the talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn be successful?

Every few weeks a rumour spreads that a lectern has been put out in Downing Street, with journalists fretting it means an election is nigh and that the madness is about to get even madder. Until now, these fears have been unfounded and the lectern has instead seen Theresa May give one statement blaming MPs for the fiasco of Brexit and another calling on Jeremy Corbyn for talks → Read More

Brexit: Labour heading for bust up as top party figures demand Jeremy Corbyn secure referendum in talks with Theresa May

Labour is on the brink of a major bust-up if Jeremy Corbyn fails to demand a second referendum as the price for any Brexit deal struck with Theresa May. → Read More

Brexit: Theresa May tears up strategy as she opens door to softer exit with Jeremy Corbyn's backing

Theresa May has dramatically torn up her strategy, paving the way for a softer Brexit in a bid to secure Jeremy Corbyn’s backing to pull Britain out of the EU. The prime minister confirmed the UK would seek a further short delay to Brexit beyond 12 April in a Downing Street statement that infuriated eurosceptic Tories. Government insiders believe the two big parties’ positions → Read More

Brexit: Theresa May calls crunch cabinet talks as UK heads towards election that ministers admit nobody actually wants

Theresa May has called five-hours of crunch talks with her most senior cabinet ministers on the increasingly likely election that “nobody actually wants”. Despite the most senior Downing Street advisors being bitterly divided on the desirability of a general election, ministers are set to discuss calling the country to the polls if the prime minister’s deal fails to go through. → Read More

Brexit: MPs to debate revoking Article 50 before critical Commons votes

MPs will today debate in parliament whether or not Brexit should be indefinitely delayed by revoking Article 50. The debate comes after a public petition demanding the unilateral move by the government surpassed six million signatories. MPs will discuss it alongside alternative routes advocated in other petitions including holding a second referendum and leaving with no deal → Read More

General election a strong prospect as Theresa May’s Brexit deal defeated for third time

Britain is veering towards a new general election after MPs voted down Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time on Friday. She strongly hinted after the defeat that she will take the country to the polls if parliament does not pass a deal respecting the 2016 referendum result in the next 10 days. Ministers told The Independent a new election was a clear possibility featuring → Read More

Independent Group applies to become political party to stand in EU elections

The Independent Group of MPs who defected from Labour and the Conservatives have applied to become a political party and stand in the EU elections in May. The new party will be called Change UK – The Independent Group, and for time being will be led by former Tory MP Heidi Allen. → Read More

Brexit: Theresa May to hold vote tomorrow on EU withdrawal agreement

Theresa May is set to push ahead with a critical vote on Friday, but only on the ‘withdrawal agreement’ part of her broader Brexit deal. Multiple sources confirmed to The Independent that the government will exclude from the vote, any decision on Britain’s future relations with the EU. → Read More

Brexit: Theresa May lays ground for third attempt to pass her deal through commons tomorrow

Theresa May has paved the way to make her third and probably final bid to get her Brexit deal passed by MPs on Friday. The government effectively booked a slot for a debate in the House of Commons but is yet to confirm that it will definitely bring forward a motion to be voted on. → Read More

Brexit: Theresa May's withdrawal deal in disarray as DUP vows to vote against it after she offers to resign

Theresa May’s plan to secure Tory MPs’ backing for her Brexit deal by promising to resign has been blown apart after her DUP partners in government vowed to block it in a new vote. Ms May announced she will resign within weeks if Tory rebels desperate to see the back of her, allow the Brexit deal she struck with Brussels to pass through the House of Commons. → Read More

Brexit: Arlene Foster says DUP will not support withdrawal agreement in crushing blow for Theresa May

Theresa May’s Northern Irish DUP partners in government have said they will not support her Brexit deal if it is put to a vote again in the House of Commons. The announcement deals a devastating blow to Ms May’s hopes of getting her Brexit deal through the House of Commons at the third time of asking, with her government relying on DUP MPs for its majority. → Read More

Brexit: Everything you need to know about 'indicative votes'

After months of failed attempts, parliament finally wrested some control of the Brexit process away from Theresa May on Monday. It appears to be an unprecedented move, with parliament, not the prime minister’s executive, setting the agenda for what will be debated and voted on during Wednesday’s session. Under the process, parliament could eventually seize further days and → Read More