Welcome to The Independent’s politics liveblog. Theresa May will today meet with her full Cabinet, allowing ministers to set our their own visions for the UK’s relationship with the EU after Brexit.

Discussions on the so-called “end state” come amid reports that the Prime Minister and her aides are planning a speech – similar to Lancaster House and Florence – where Ms May will set out the Government’s vision for future trade with the bloc.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has also given another interview, insisting there will be no special arrangement to allow City firms to trade freely in the EU if Britain leaves the single market – a further blow to Ms May’s hopes of securing a bespoke deal with Brussels.

In comments likely to infuriate hardline Brexiteers, Mr Barnier said that the UK must follow all EU rules during the expected two-year transition period following the official date of Brexit in March 2019 – including laws introduced during that time with no British input into decisions.

Live Updates

6 mins ago

Philip Hammond has responded to reports that he branded Michael Gove a ‘liar’ in a cabinet row over the NHS spending claim in the Vote Leave campaign.
 

36 mins ago

Yvette Cooper also accuses the three companies of “grooming people by your own algorithms.”
 
People click on links and are then recommended others that they may never have found. It is a powerful point.

37 mins ago

Yvette Cooper is continuing to interrogate execs from Facebook, Google and Twitter.

She is essentially asking these three people to explain the goings on of her own social media viewing habitats.

 
“Why when I clicked on this, did it then recommend that?”
 
To every question, each can only reply, “I will go away and look at that.”
 
The over-riding suspicion is that the three companies are simply not doing enough to take down extremist content. And the three executives are not doing very much to challenge that perception.

54 mins ago

This is from my colleague Tom Peck who is at the Home Affairs Committee in Westminster: 

Policy chiefs from Google, Facebook and Twitter are appearing before the Home Affairs Committee over the subject of online abuse.

Google and Facebook have said that by next year they expect to have 10,000 and 7,500 staff all watching, reading and removing violent and extremist content.

Yvette Cooper is immediately taking issue with Sinead McSweeney from Twitter, who, she says, has still not taken down various abusive tweets her office reported from last year.

Extraordinary how Twitter reigns supreme as far as politicians, journalists and the rest care. Facebook and Google (which owns Youtube) are many times larger.  

 

1 hour ago

In response to the Guardian’s interview with Michel Barnier, a Government spokesman said: “The EU has said they will offer their most ambitious free trade approach. We are confident of negotiating a deep and special economic partnership that includes a good deal for financial services – that will be in the EU’s best interests, as well as ours.”
 
More on that story here:
 

‘No place’ for the City of London’s financial services in any Brexit trade deal, Michel Barnier warn

The EU’s chief negotiator has warned there will be “no place” for the City of London’s financial services in any Brexit trade deal struck between the UK and the EU. Michel Barnier argued there is not a trade deal anywhere it the world including financial services, adding, “it doesn’t exist”.

1 hour ago

The Electoral Commission has announced that the Liberal Democrats have been fined £18,000 following an investigation that found the party failed to deliver a complete and accurate spending return, during the EU referendum.

Commenting on the fine, Bob Posner, Electoral Commission Director of Political Finance and Regulation & Legal Counsel, said: “The reporting requirements for parties and campaigners at referendums and elections are clear, that’s why it is disappointing that the Liberal Democrats didn’t follow them correctly.

“The major political parties must ensure their internal governance is sufficiently invested in and resourced so they can be sure of meeting their legal obligations. Where the rules are not followed, transparency is lost which is not in the public interest or as parliament intended.”

Open Britain, the pro-EU campaign group, has also been fined £1,250 for failing to deliver a complete and accurate spending return for the EU referendum. 

“The organisation was fined £1,000 because some payments were reported in aggregate rather than as individual payments, and a further £250 in relation to three invoices that were not provided. Open Britain has now paid the total fine,” the Electoral Commission added.

1 hour ago

Jeremy Corbyn: ‘I will probably be prime minister in the next 12 months’

Jeremy Corbyn has said he believes he will probably be prime minister by the end of 2018. The Labour leader said it was likely there would be an election and that he was ready to take responsibility for leading the country. In a wide-ranging interview with Grazia, Mr Corbyn accused some people of having been “extremely irresponsible” in the way they campaigned for the last June’s referendum, but declined to back a second public vote on Brexit.  

2 hours ago

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, has written to EU nationals urging them to stay in the UK after Brexit.

In her letter, she says she is “proud that so many EU citizens like yourself have built your lives in the UK and made it your home”.

She continues: “We value your contribution which is why the Government put safeguarding your rights as the first priority in the Brexit negotiations.

“I am absolutely delighted that we have now reached an agreement with the EU that does this.

“I know that at times you’ve had an anxious wait while the fine details were ironed out, but we wanted to get it right and we have always had you at the forefront of our thoughts.”

The Home Secretary says she hopes the agreement reached earlier this month “provides certainty to you and your family ahead of Christmas”.

She concludes: “EU citizens, like yourself, who have made the UK their home are our family, our neighbours and our colleagues and we want you to stay.”

EU citizens who arrive by March 29 2019 and have been continuously and lawfully living in the UK for five years will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by getting settled status.

2 hours ago

‘No place’ for the City of London’s financial services in any Brexit trade deal, Michel Barnier warn

The IndependentThe EU’s chief negotiator has warned there will be “no place” for the City of London’s financial services in any Brexit trade deal struck between the UK and the EU. Michel Barnier argued there is not a trade deal anywhere it the world including financial services, adding, “it doesn’t exist”.

2 hours ago

Theresa May refuses to guarantee EU rules to limit the working week to 48 hours will survive Brexit

Theresa May has repeatedly refused to guarantee that EU rules to limit the working week to 48 hours will survive Brexit, as the Cabinet debates the controversy. Labour MPs lined up to demand answers on whether the restrictions would be kept, amid suggestions that Brexiteer ministers want to abandon them.

2 hours ago

Pro-Brexit thinktank forced to change name after calling itself an ‘institute’ without permission

A thinktank, set up by pro-Brexit Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, has been forced to change its name after it called itself an “institute” without permission.  The word “institute” is protected by law and can only be used by organisation if either Companies House or the Business Secretary grant permission for it to do so. This is only done if it is believed that research is being undertaken at the “highest level” or the professional body is of the “highest standing”. 

2 hours ago

Labour warns of NHS ‘disaster’ as 100,000 jobs go unfilled

Theresa May has been warned over a deepening crisis in the health service as new figures show more than 100,000 NHS posts are lying vacant. New analysis suggests the number of unfilled doctor positions has risen beyond 10,000 for the first time, while vacancies for nurses soared to 40,000 within the health service in England. Nursing leaders warned the health service is now facing intense pressures amid increased demand, tightening budgets and poor working conditions that across the NHS has led to almost one in 10 posts remaining unfilled.