Brexit: Boris Johnson denies lying to Queen about reasons for prorogation – live news

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Here is more from the ruling in the Belfast high court rejecting a challenge to prorogation and the government’s Brexit strategy. In his written judgment Lord Justice Bernard McCloskey said:

I consider the characterisation of the subject matter of these proceedings as inherently and unmistakably political to be beyond plausible dispute.

Virtually all of the assembled evidence belongs to the world of politics, both national and supra-national.

In the past John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, has floated the idea of moving towards a four-day working week. He commissioned the distinguished economist Lord Skidelsky to produce a report for Labour on reducing working time and today the 60-page report (pdf) has been published.

Entitled How to achieve shorter working hours, it is a long way from a blueprint for a full roll-out to a standard four-day working week. But it does propose various mechanisms that could nudge employers in that direction.

Individuals choose how much to work but within the limits set by the institutions of a particular society. These include the market system, but they also include cultural norms and the ways in which power and wealth are distributed inside and outside the market. At present, the rules governing employment are largely set by financial logic. This is inimical to a civilised reduction in hours. There is therefore a strong argument for setting up countervailing institutions to ‘nudge’ society in a direction which science and technology makes possible, and which is also desired by most people. A balance will need to be struck between what workers want from employment and what employers can afford to give. The game can be played for lower stakes than at present, but the stakes must not be so low as to bankrupt an economy, which still largely relies on private enterprise to ‘deliver the goods’.

Something is very wrong with how the world of work has changed in recent years.

Millions are working long hours, while others don’t get the regular hours they need.

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