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Latest Politics news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice
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1. Brexit: Bercow refuses to allow 'meaningful vote' on deal today - live news20:15[−]

Rolling updates on latest political developments, including Speaker saying withdrawal bill motion is ‘in substance the same’ as the one on Saturday

• Boris Johnson has been denied the opportunity to hold a second vote on his Brexit deal in the House of Commons after the Speaker, John Bercow, ruled that it would be “repetitive and disorderly”.
Bercow said it would break longstanding conventions for MPs to debate and vote on the agreement struck in Brussels last week, little more than two days after Saturday’s historic sitting.
“Today’s motion is in substance the same as Saturday’s motion, and the house has decided the matter. Today’s circumstances are in substance the same as Saturday’s circumstances,” Bercow said in the Commons on Monday.

• Soft-Brexit Tory MPs and independents are resisting the idea of attaching a customs union to Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement bill, meaning it would likely need an alliance of all opposition parties to pass.
Conservative MPs and former Tories, who previously backed the idea of a customs union, suggested on Tuesday they would prefer not to reopen the issue and wanted to support Johnson’s deal.
Damian Green, the leader of the One Nation caucus, and Oliver Letwin, who has been heavily involved in the parliamentary fight against a no-deal Brexit, both indicated they would back Johnson’s deal without a customs union appended.

The leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, is on his feet in the House of Commons and tells MPs that the government will try to pass key Brexit legislation through the Commons in three days this week.

He added that the withdrawal agreement bill would be debated at second reading and committee stage on Tuesday, with further discussion on Wednesday before the conclusion of proceedings on Thursday.

If the bill passes second reading tomorrow - the first key vote on it - MPs will then get the chance to vote on the programme motion setting out this accelerated timetable.

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2. Sajid Javid refuses to assess economic dangers of Brexit plan20:06[−]

Chancellor accused of believing ‘evidence is superfluous to good policy making’

Sajid Javid has rebuffed MPs’ demands for the Treasury to carry out a thorough economic assessment of the government’s Brexit deal, claiming it is “self-evidently in our economic interest”.

Related: If Johnson adds a customs union, remainers should finally accept his deal | Simon Jenkins

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3. How a Tory Brexit could finally unite Britain’s workers | Zoe Williams19:51[−]
Boris Johnson’s deal is such a threat to workplace rights, and will affect so many, that an energised resistance is inevitable

It is not unreasonable for the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and assorted organisations concerned with the nation’s prosperity, to concentrate on the future of the customs union – or more precisely, what the future for British workers will look likewithout it. “The jobs or wages of men with low formal qualifications working in skilled manual occupations may be under particular threat,” remarked Agnes Norris Keiller, author of the IFS report, leaving “as you might expect, if you decimate your manufacturing sector” judiciously unsaid.

Related: What Johnson's deal means for workers' rights, the NHS and the economy

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4. Brexit: what just happened? And what happens next?19:43[−]

Speaker blocking second Brexit deal debate plays into PM’s ‘people v parliament’ narrative

Yet another potential crunch day for Brexit in the Commons has proved less decisive than it might have been. So what do we know?

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5. EU would agree to Brexit delay, says German minister19:34[−]

Merkel ally Peter Altmaier says ‘it goes without saying’ Brexit extension would be granted

Germany’s economic affairs minister has wholeheartedly backed the option of a Brexit extension beyond 31 October, as the European parliament pulled plans to hold a vote on Boris Johnson’s deal this week.

Peter Altmaier, a key ally of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said he believed a technical extension to allow extra time for legislation to pass or a longer period to accommodate a general election or second referendum would be offered.

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6. The UK press is reducing Brexit to a crude soap opera, ignoring the real story | Owen Jones19:13[−]
Britain is on the brink of devastating upheaval – its media should focus on explanation and scrutiny, not personalities and gossip

A healthy democracy depends on an active citizenry which is able to make informed decisions. That is, in theory, the role of the fourth estate: to help the public understand their own society and the world around them, to hold the powerful to account and to challenge myths and expose uncomfortable truths. You do not need to be a long-time critic of the British media ecosystem to see those basic functions are not being satisfied when it comes to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. Rather than detailed scrutiny being applied to the most important single political event since the second world war, it has been reduced to a spectacle, a pantomime, all framed on the government’s own terms.

Just as Theresa May’s “ no deal is better than a bad deal” bluster collided with political reality, Johnson’s demagoguery was followed by his own capitulation to the EU’s red lines. Yet his embrace of a deal first offered by the EU 19 months ago – and rejected by May as something “ no UK prime minister could ever agree to” – has been presented as an against-all-odds, critic-defying triumph. The consequences of a deal predicted to strip the country of ?130bn worth of growth – making the average Briton ?2,250 a year poorer over the next 15 years – should be front and centre in the debate. Yet they are not. Johnson declared he would rather “ die in a ditch” than request an extension: but request one he did, and die in a ditch he did not. Yet most of the British press focused on the theatrics of the prime minister not signing a letter and sending a copy of the Benn act instead. This is, of course, exactly the framing the Tories desire.

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7. Labour has been united by an awful Brexit deal – not a ‘Stalinist purge’ in sight | Rachel Shabi17:09[−]
Boris Johnson’s proposal is so damaging to workers’ rights that party divisions are being set aside to oppose it

In the social media swirl surrounding Saturday’s Brexit vote, one parliamentary correspondent noted he had seen Labour’s chief whip walk past carrying a large roll of black duct tape. On a day when every Labour vote was critical, it sparked bemused speculation as to what the tape was for: holding the party’s more wavering MPs hostage? Or just forcing Jacob Rees-Mogg to sit up properly?

Rebel Labour MPs want to support a Brexit deal either because they sit in a heavily leave-voting seat, are Brexiters themselves, or think it should happen because Britain (narrowly) voted for Brexit – or any combination of those three. We aren’t talking huge numbers – the government calculated it potentially had the support of some 15 Labour rebel MPs for Saturday’s non-vote. But things are increasingly tight and increasingly critical: Boris Johnson’s government is pushing an extreme Brexit and has decimated its narrow minority by alienating allies and its own MPs. Every time there’s a Brexit vote, there is a huge Labour operation to keep MPs on side. So far they have been successful, with Theresa May losing three meaningful votes on a Brexit deal, and Johnson’s version now being paused to allow proper scrutiny.

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8. Scottish judges delay ruling in Boris Johnson contempt of court case15:59[−]

Most senior judge says court needs to ensure PM does not try to block Brexit extension

Scottish judges have delayed a final ruling on whether Boris Johnson is in contempt of court to ensure he agrees to an extension to Brexit.

Lord Carloway, the country’s most senior judge, said they needed to be sure the prime minister did not try to block or sabotage the application he was forced to make on Saturday night for an extension to Brexit until 31 January.

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9. Sadiq Khan to fight government attempt to water down green policies15:31[−]

Exclusive: mayor to reject changes to his London Plan which aims to protect green belt and stop Heathrow expansion

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is on a collision course with the government over proposals to water down his green plan for the capital, which involves stopping the expansion of Heathrow and protecting the green belt.

Planning inspectors want Khan to withdraw his objections to Heathrow’s expansion, permit fracking in London, and loosen his commitment to the green belt by allowing building in “very special circumstances”.

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10. If Johnson adds a customs union, remainers should finally accept his deal | Simon Jenkins15:02[−]

Such a concession would allow all sides to honour the political objective of Brexit and end uncertainty about trade and the Irish border

Those still fighting to keep the United Kingdom in the EU are doing themselves no favours. Despite Saturday’s protests for a second referendum and Commons manoeuv ring, a significant portion of the public backs the UK’s vote to leave the EU – and democracy requires it to do so.

The terms of exit previously negotiated by Theresa May were rejected by remainers, but without any coherent strategy to push that rejection to a satisfactory conclusion. The new deal from Boris Johnson is worse, but even Magna Carta was not perfect. The deal available is serviceable for withdrawal on 31 October. It should be passed and the nation put out of its misery.

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11. How the numbers add up on Brexit deal and possible amendments13:35[−]

Could the Commons back PM’s deal, an all-UK customs union or a second referendum?

As the longstanding political maxim goes, the first rule of being a party whip is knowing how to count. There will be a lot of totting-up of votes this week as MPs consider Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and a series of possible amendments to it.

There are 650 MPs in the Commons, but with the seven non-sitting Sinn F?in representatives, as well as the Speaker, John Bercow, and his two deputies not taking part in votes, the magic number for any victory is 320.

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12. Minister hits out at 'procedural tricks' to delay Brexit deal11:21[−]

Treasury secretary calls on Speaker to grant government second Commons vote

Any attempt by MPs to add a customs union to the government’s Brexit deal would be “procedural tricks” intended to frustrate departure, a senior minister has said, ahead of yet another potentially momentous day in parliament.

Rishi Sunak, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said the Speaker, John Bercow, should grant the government a second Commons vote on its deal on Monday, and that it would be “slightly odd” if he did not.

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13. Labour seeks new alliance to kill off Boris Johnson’s Brexit dealВс., 20 окт.[−]

Labour approaches Tory rebels and DUP in bid to force through amendments to PM’s deal

Boris Johnson’s hopes of winning a clear majority for his Brexit plan faced a new threat on Sunday night as Labour declared that it would seek the backing of rebel Tories and the DUP for amendments that would force him to drop the deal – or accept a softer Brexit.

As both sides sought to gather parliamentary support after Saturday’s vote to force Johnson to seek a new delay to the UK’s departure from the European Union, Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, said Labour was prepared to talk to the prime minister’s former allies in the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) about forging a better deal.

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14. PM's Brexit deal still on knife-edge despite claim he has the numbersВс., 20 окт.[−]

Analysis of voting intentions suggests Boris Johnson is still one vote short of majority

Boris Johnson’s attempts to pass his Brexit deal are still on a knife-edge, despite senior ministers claiming he has the numbers to get it through, according to Guardian analysis of likely voting intentions.

Johnson appears to have got all of his 287 voting MPs on board with his plan, including his brother, Jo Johnson, who backed a second referendum but voted with the government on Saturday.

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15. Brian Adcock on Boris Johnson's Brexit pledge – cartoonВс., 20 окт.[−]
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16. People’s Vote split by power struggle at crucial time for allianceВс., 20 окт.[−]

Peter Mandelson and PR guru Roland Rudd wrangle over future remain campaign

A bitter power struggle within the People’s Vote campaign between the PR guru Roland Rudd and the Labour peer Peter Mandelson has sent the alliance into crisis before a crucial week when MPs will finally test support for a second referendum in parliament.

The organisation is riven by a battle over who will have control over a remain campaign in any future referendum, even though the case for another vote on Britain’s EU membership has not yet been won.

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17. The Guardian view on deadlock in parliament: still time to thwart Johnson’s reckless deal | EditorialВс., 20 окт.[−]

‘Brexit fatigue’ is no reason to back a vision of Britain which fulfils the ambitions of the radical right

In the lead-up to parliament’s historic Saturday sitting, the airwaves resounded to Conservative cries of “get this done”, “let’s move on” and “lift this cloud”. The Tory hope was that understandable Brexit fatigue could become a trump card for Boris Johnson, as he sought to rush through a surprise deal that MPs were given 48 hours to consider. Sir Oliver Letwin’s successful amendment, which withholds approval for it until all necessary legislation is passed, rightly put the brakes on – to the acclaim of up to a million People’s Vote marchers. It also required Mr Johnson to write to the EU asking for an extension under the terms of the Benn act. This he has done, albeit dissociating himself from the request in a second letter (a Scottish court will examine the legality of that move).

MPs on all sides of the house must now hold their nerve to subject Mr Johnson’s deal to forensic scrutiny, undistracted by his totemic Brexit deadline of 31 October. While the EU may not respond immediately to Britain’s request for an extension, it must not conspire with Mr Johnson to allow a no-deal Brexit to take place at the end of the month. The prime minister may wish to dash for the line. It is absolutely not necessary or advisable for the rest of parliament to do the same. Three and a half years of deadlock, almost entirely caused by arguments between Tory leavers, does not mean that, suddenly, anything goes.

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18. Europe is fed up with Brexit, but it’s still best for all if Britain stays in | Timothy Garton AshВс., 20 окт.[−]

Macron may have doubts, but if the deal isn’t approved the EU must grant the UK an extension – for its own sake as well as ours

Granted, Brexit is driving everyone mad. We Brits owe all our European friends a sincere apology, a bottle of whisky and complimentary tickets to a Royal Shakespeare Company performance of Hamlet. For Britain is now Hamlet, forever agonising over whether Brexit is to be or not to be.

So I can perfectly understand why Europeans such as French president Emmanuel Macron just want to be shot of us, so as to push ahead with an important, ambitious agenda for the whole European Union. Nonetheless, it remains in Europe’s own enlightened, long-term interest to go the extra kilometre. This means, concretely, that if the British parliament does not approve Boris Johnson’s new deal this week, the EU should offer an article 50 extension, as formally requested in the letter sent (though childishly not signed) by Johnson.

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19. 'She has listened to us': constituents back Labour rebel Caroline FlintВс., 20 окт.[−]

In leave-voting former pit villages, many agree with the MP’s decision to support Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal

Of the six Labour MPs who rebelled and voted with the government on Saturday, only one, Caroline Flint, is standing again in the next general election. But in her constituency of Don Valley, which she has represented for 22 years, that decision seems unlikely to be a costly one.

Explaining her decision, Flint revealed a stark statistic: in the mining villages in this part of South Yorkshire, she wrote in the Sunday Times, 80% of voters backed leave in 2016 (over the whole constituency the figure was 68%). Parliament has not been listening to these people, she wrote: “The voices in our mining villages remain unheard, despite their support for Labour over many decades.”

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20. Rest assured, Boris Johnson won’t be allowed to ride roughshod over our laws | Gina MillerВс., 20 окт.[−]
A bullying No 10 is trying to stop the EU granting Britain an extension. What matters is the law, and my lawyers are ready
• Gina Miller is a campaigner who has twice defeated the government in the supreme court

Despite another defeat in Saturday’s parliamentary sitting, Boris Johnson may yet have the last laugh. While all eyes are on the Brexit-related legislation, and there is much to get through parliament, there is still the Queen’s speech, which last week laid out the government’s legislative agenda. A vote on that agenda is expected in the coming week – and without a majority of MPs, Johnson could lose again. In the past, such a defeat has tended to result in the prime minister resigning, but with Johnson and his chief adviser Dominic Cummings in No 10 precedent and convention are out of the window.

What Letwin has achieved with his amendment will only hold off no deal or the hardest of Brexits in the short term

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21. Boris Johnson's siren song – cartoonСб., 19 окт.[−]

Somewhere in the middle of the Irish Sea, a mermaid is luring us to our doom

• You can buy your own print of this cartoon

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22. Martin Rowson on Boris Johnson's Brexit deal – cartoonПт., 18 окт.[−]
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23. Steve Bell on Boris Johnson's Brexit deal versus Theresa May's – cartoonЧт., 17 окт.[−]
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24. UK parliament's prorogation: all your questions answeredПн., 09 сент.[−]

Government shuts down parliament for total of weeks as Brexit deadline nears

Prorogation is a formal mechanism to end a session of parliament. It means parliament’s sitting is suspended and it ends all current legislation under discussion. It is usual for this to happen every autumn. The current parliamentary session, which began in June 2017, is the longest in almost 400 years.

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