Boris Johnson news: Government suffers first parliamentary defeat since election, as EU warns Brexit trade talks may not start until March

Adam Forrest, Ashley Cowburn

Boris Johnson is under fire over plans to impose strict new restrictions on EU immigration at the beginning of 2021 – two years earlier than promised by Theresa May. Labour said the proposed limits on lower-skilled migrants were “damaging, ill-informed and reactionary”.

The prime minister is also facing pressure over the mounting costs of the controversial HS2 rail project. Critics dubbed it “white elephant”, as a widely leaked government-commissioned review suggested the total cost could spiral up to £106bn.

It comes as the European Commission said it might take until March to finalise its mandate for trade deal negotiations. Meanwhile, prospective Labour members have until 5pm on Monday to join and vote in the leadership contest – with over 100,000 people believed to have signed up in recent weeks.

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