AuthorTopic: BREXIT! The FUN Begins!  (Read 15156 times)

Offline RE

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💩 Brexit: Theresa May defends 31 October delay to MPs
« Reply #120 on: April 11, 2019, 10:25:01 AM »
Still haven't read that they have repealed Article 50.


Brexit: Theresa May defends 31 October delay to MPs

Media captionTheresa May: "If we want to get on with leaving, we need to start this process soon."

Theresa May has told MPs it remains her "priority" to deliver Brexit, defending the decision to delay the UK's exit from the EU by more than six months.

The new deadline of 31 October, set following late-night talks in Brussels, means the UK is likely to have to hold European Parliament elections in May.

The prime minister promised to pursue an "orderly" Brexit, adding that the "whole country" was "frustrated".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the latest delay a "diplomatic failure".

Brexit was originally set to happen on 29 March. But after MPs repeatedly rejected Mrs May's withdrawal agreement with the EU, the deadline was put back to 12 April.

The new 31 October deadline averts the prospect of the UK having to leave the EU without a deal this Friday.

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But, under EU rules, the UK will have to hold European Parliament elections in May, or face leaving on 1 June without a deal.

In a statement to the House of Commons, Mrs May said she "profoundly" regretted her deal not being agreed to by MPs.

She said: "The whole country is intensely frustrated that this process of leaving the European Union has not been completed."

On the latest delay, she said: "The choices we face are stark and the timetable is clear. I believe we must now press on at pace with our efforts to reach a consensus on a deal that is in the national interest."

Mrs May also told MPs that backing her deal would mean there was no need for European Parliament elections.
Talks with Labour

The government is continuing to hold talks with Labour aimed at achieving a consensus on how to break the deadlock in Parliament.
Media captionJeremy Corbyn says the Article 50 delay is a "diplomatic failure"

Mrs May said: "Reaching an agreement will not be easy, because to be successful it will require both sides to make compromises.

"But however challenging it may be politically, I profoundly believe that in this unique situation where the House is deadlocked, it is incumbent on both front benches to seek to work together to deliver what the British people voted for."

In response, Mr Corbyn said: "The second extension in the space of a fortnight represents not only a diplomatic failure but is another milestone in the government's mishandling of the entire Brexit process."

    Can the UK revoke Article 50?
    How could another Brexit referendum work?
    What is Theresa May's withdrawal agreement?
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    How do European elections work?

He added: "The prime minister has stuck rigidly to a flawed plan and now the clock has run down, leaving Britain in limbo and adding to the deep uncertainty of business, workers and people all across this country."

Mr Corbyn said cross-party talks were "serious, detailed and ongoing", but warned that the government would "have to compromise".

If no agreement was possible, he said: "We believe all options should remain on the table, including the option of a public vote."
What happens next?

Shortly - Talks continue between the Conservatives and Labour on how to end the Brexit impasse

23 April - MPs return from Parliament's Easter recess

2 May - Local elections take place in England and Northern Ireland

23 May - European Parliament elections are scheduled to happen in the UK, if MPs do not back Theresa May's agreement with the EU in time to avert them

31 October - The UK leaves the EU, unless MPs back the withdrawal agreement in advance of this deadline

Ian Blackford, the SNP's Westminster leader, urged Mrs May to use the extra time to hold a second EU referendum.
Media captionAfter Bill Cash calls on her to resign, Theresa May replies: "I think you know the answer to that."

"It's now a very real possibility that we can remain in the European Union," he said.

"As of today, there are 204 days until the new Brexit deadline on the 31 October, so will the prime minister now remove the ridiculous excuse that there isn't enough time to hold a second referendum with remain on the ballot paper?"

And Brexiteer Conservative MP Sir Bill Cash accused the prime minister of "abject surrender" to the EU in allowing the delay and said she should resign.

Before the Brussels summit, Mrs May had told leaders she wanted to move the UK's exit date from this Friday to 30 June, with the option of leaving earlier if Parliament ratified her agreement.
What was agreed in Brussels?

    A Brexit extension "only as long as necessary" and "no longer than 31 October" to allow for the ratification of the withdrawal agreement
    The UK "must hold the elections to the European Parliament" and if it fails to do this, the UK will leave on 1 June
    The European Council reiterates there can be no reopening of the withdrawal agreement negotiations

    Read the EU's conclusions here.

European Council President Donald Tusk said future developments were "entirely in the UK's hands", adding: "They can still ratify the withdrawal agreement, in which case the extension can be terminated."

Mr Tusk said the UK could also rethink its strategy or choose to "cancel Brexit altogether", but urged: "Please do not waste this time."

The EU had been split over the length of delay to offer the UK, and by law its other 27 member states had to reach a unanimous decision.
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💩 Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit Stance Is Sensible, Varoufakis Says
« Reply #121 on: April 25, 2019, 04:46:46 AM »
Yanis drops in his 2 cents on Brexit.   ::)


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💩 Theresa May urges Jeremy Corbyn to do a Brexit deal
« Reply #122 on: May 05, 2019, 02:20:21 PM »
Put their differences aside?  They HATE EACH OTHER'S GUTS!


Theresa May urges Jeremy Corbyn to do a Brexit deal

Theresa May has called for Jeremy Corbyn to "put their differences aside" and agree a Brexit deal.

The UK was supposed to leave the EU on 29 March - but the deadline was delayed until 31 October, after MPs rejected Theresa May's withdrawal agreement three times.

Mrs May is now seeking Labour support to get an agreement through Parliament.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, she said they should "listen to what voters" said in Thursday's local elections.

The Conservatives lost 1,334 councillors, while Labour failed to make expected gains, instead losing 82 seats.

The Liberal Democrats benefited from Tory losses, gaining 703 seats, with the Greens and independents also making gains.

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The prime minister blamed the Brexit impasse for the losses - but said the elections gave "fresh urgency" to find a way to "break the deadlock".

Mrs May said she hopes to find a "unified, cross-party position" with Labour - despite admitting that her colleagues "find this decision uncomfortable" and that "frankly, it is not what I wanted, either".

Talks between Labour and the Conservatives are to resume on Tuesday.

According to the Sunday Times, Mrs May will comprise on three areas: customs, goods alignment and workers' rights.

The paper says she could put forward plans for a comprehensive, but temporary, customs arrangement with the EU that would last until the next general election.

The BBC's political correspondent Chris Mason said reaching a deal was "fraught with risk" for both Mrs May and Mr Corbyn.

"A deal on a customs union would be deeply divisive for the Conservatives," he said. "Accepting there'd be no new referendum would split Labour."

The public is fed up with the failure of both of the two main parties to find a way to honour the result of the referendum [and] take the UK out of the EU

    Prime Minister Theresa May
    Writing in the Mail on Sunday

Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers, told the Telegraph that staying in a customs union could lead to a "catastrophic split" in the Conservative Party.

And, in the same paper, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said: "If the Tories do a deal with Labour on the customs union they will be going into coalition with the opposition against the people."

On Saturday, former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said a deal with Labour would not be legitimate.

"As a result of the devastating [local] election result, the PM has in effect become a caretaker," he told the BBC.

"As such, she is not empowered to make any deal with the Labour Party which itself suffered a very similar result. Two discredited administrations making a discredited deal is not the answer to the electorate."

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💩 Deja Vu the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland
« Reply #123 on: May 06, 2019, 01:11:07 AM »
"It's da same old ting since 1916..."

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May 3, 2019
Irish Return to Political Violence?
by J.P. Linstroth

This past week, I had a conversation with a friend of mine from Belfast, Northern Ireland about the so-called ‘New’ Irish Republican Army (IRA) and its murder of Irish journalist, Lyra McKee, 29 years old, April 18th. Both of us expressed outrage. After all, the ‘Good Friday Agreement’ for peace in Northern Ireland was signed almost exactly 21 years ago, finally ending ‘The Troubles’, which cost nearly 3,500 lives.

Most believed that such extrajudicial killings were relics of the past. The Northern Irish murders ended, or so we thought, with the ‘peace accords’ at Stormont Palace and House of Commons in 1998. Even so, some observers of the Northern Irish Troubles knew IRA hardliners remained after the peace deal had been signed—those who could not accept peace in Northern Ireland, who would not stop the violence until a utopic vision for a ‘unified Ireland’ was achieved.

The tumultuous years of the Troubles lasted in Northern Ireland from the 1960s until 1998, but historically speaking, the violence between Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants has deep roots in the sectarian divide of Irish history to the 17thcentury ‘Plantation Era’.

The early years of the conflict between native Catholics against the settler Protestant British and Scottish ‘planter class’ resulted in the Confederate Wars (1641-1653) and the Williamite War (1689-1691), and then to 1916, a bit more than a century ago, and the ‘Easter Rising’ in Dublin, Ireland, where a concerted effort was undertaken to win Irish independence from Great Britain and establish the Irish Republic. It was led by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Irish Volunteers, and the Irish Citizen Army, when the British were heavily engaged in fighting World War I. This historical period was instrumental in Irish history when political party Sinn Féin garnered a majority of Irish votes in 1918 and later would evolve into the political arm of the IRA.

From the 1960s to 1990s, the Troubles were a period of convoluted killings between Catholic-Republican paramilitaries and Protestant Ulster-Loyalist paramilitaries, as well as the IRA against the British military and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), a time of reprisals and counter-reprisals, resulting in assassinations, car bombings, civilian casualties, death threats, disappearances, hunger strikes, petrol bombs, political-jockeying for power, political murals, prison sentences, sectarian community-divisions, and continual terrorism.

Both Unionists and Republicans have united against dissident ‘New’ IRA paramilitaries because of the murder of the journalist Lyra McKee in Derry during Easter Week. After 21 years of relative peace, their willingness to dialogue is welcome and signifies that we are undeniably in a new era where sectarian violence has no place in this ‘new’ Northern Ireland. Talks about power-sharing between Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have been revived since the breakdown of such discussions in 2017.

A statement by the ‘New’ IRA’s political party Saoradh, claimed: “Tragically a young journalist, Lyra McKee, was killed accidentally”—was not good enough to the Northern Irish majority who supported the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

After all, it was in the city of Derry where the infamous ‘Blood Sunday’incidents happened some 47 years beforehand on January 30th, 1972. It revolved around the British Army shooting at 48 unarmed Irish-Catholic marchers, 13 of whom were killed, protesting political internment.

Astonishingly, the investigations of Bloody Sunday continue nearly half a century later, with 150 or moreBritish or Northern Irish ex-soldiers under scrutiny and three on trial currently.

Prior to the journalist’s slaying, the Police Service of Northern Ireland/Royal Ulster Constabulary (PSNI/RUC) conducted a raid on the Creggan Estate—a large housing development with a violent history—in Derry searching for explosives and weapons as preventative measures against terrorism during this past Easter weekend.

What ensued was a political riot. Its original intent evolving from a Saoradh demonstration commemorating the Easter Rising of 1916. To protest the police raid, dissident Republican militants set two cars ablaze with Molotov cocktails and began firing live rounds in the direction of police and gathered crowds. During the melee, Lyra McKee, was gunned down by some masked gunman among the New IRA paramilitary-rioters. The New IRA admitted it and apologized.

This so-called New IRA was formed from those Republican paramilitaries who did not believe in the Northern Irish peace process, along with young, impoverished, and unemployed youth who were born after the Good Friday Agreementand raised with sectarian beliefs. The PSNI believe the New IRA may have several hundred members. The political situation in Northern Ireland worsened since 2016 from a potential BREXITfailure and the threat of ‘borders’ and ‘police checks’ returning to Northern Ireland.

Fortunately, the majority of former Provisional Republicans, and Sinn Féin politicians, do not support the New IRA nor the Saoradh, and their unrealistic goals for unification of Northern Ireland with the rest of the island.

On Wednesday, April 24th, McKee’s funeral was well-attended by British and Irish politicians, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Irish President Michael Higgins, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, and Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. All the Northern Irish political parties were equally represented.

McKee was survived by her mother, two brothers, and three sisters. She was described as an LGBT activist and also survived by her partner Sara Canning. The service was at the Protestant St. Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast, even though McKee was from a Catholic family. Her family wished her funeral to be well-attended by the entire community. Her family described Lyra as a woman with a “warm and innocent heart” and who was a “great listener,” who was also “smart” and “strong-minded,” and who believed in “inclusivity, justice, and truth.”

We can only hope McKee’s death will not be in vain. We can only hope the Good Friday Agreement remains in place and the political parties believe again in the peace process and not a return to violence.

As the Irish Nobel Laureate, novelist, playwright, and poet, Samuel Beckett, once declared: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
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Not gonna have a deal by Halloween.  I wonder if Nigel is heading back to EU Parliament?


World News
May 12, 2019 / 10:50 PM / Updated 24 minutes ago
UK PM May's party slumps to fifth place as pressure mounts for her to go
Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives have fallen to fifth place in an opinion poll ahead of the May 23 European parliamentary election as pressure grows for her to set a date for her own departure.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party was in the lead, up four percentage points, on 34% while May’s Conservative Party had just 10%, the YouGov poll for the Times newspaper showed. The opposition Labour Party was down five points on 16%.
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Two parties which support staying in the EU, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, were on 15% and 11% respectively.

The collapse in support for the Conservative Party is piling pressure on May to set a date for her departure. Senior Conservatives want May to set out her plans this week.

Nearly three years since the United Kingdom voted 52% to 48% to leave the European Union, there is still no agreement among British politicians about when, how or even if the divorce should take place.

“The reason I am back today doing what I am doing is because frankly we’ve been betrayed by our career political class,” Farage told TalkRadio.

“If the Brexit Party comes out on top in a couple of weeks time, we must have a place at the negotiating table with the government to help put together our strategy.”
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at church, as Brexit turmoil continues, in Sonning, Britain May 12, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Britain was due to have left the European Union on March 29, though May has been unable to get her divorce deal approved by parliament so she has turned to the Labour Party, led by socialist Jeremy Corbyn, in a bid to court his support.

Labour’s Brexit pointman, Keir Starmer, told The Guardian newspaper that any cross-party deal lacking a confirmatory referendum would not pass parliament as about 150 Labour lawmakers would oppose such a deal.


May, who secured the leadership in the chaos that followed Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union, has promised to step down if lawmakers back the deal she struck with Brussels to leave the bloc.

But the prime minister has lost heavily on three attempts to get it through parliament.

Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, which can make or break party leaders, said that May had been asked to give “clarity” about her future at a meeting this week.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage appears on BBC TV's The Andrew Marr Show in London, Britain, May 12, 2019. Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout via REUTERS

The new deadline for leaving the EU is Oct. 31 though many Brexit supporters fear that the whole divorce could be derailed.

“We are at real risk of sleepwalking into remaining in the EU,” Brexit Secretary Steven Barclay wrote in the Sun newspaper.

“That is why I believe that it would be inexcusable for the Government to not use the coming months to continue to prepare for the real risk we leave the EU without a deal.”

He later wrote in Twitter that in a choice between a no-deal exit or staying in the EU, he would vote to leave without agreement.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden and Angus MacSwan
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💩 Nigel back in the Catbird Seat
« Reply #125 on: May 15, 2019, 12:28:24 AM »

Nigel Farage, Brexit’s Loudest Voice, Seizes Comeback Chance

Nigel Farage in London in January. After two decades promoting withdrawal from the European Union, Mr. Farage formed the new Brexit Party.CreditCreditLeon Neal/Getty Images

By Stephen Castle

    May 14, 2019

CLACTON-ON-SEA, England — The campaign bus draws up and out steps a familiar figure in a smart suit and tie, who strides down the street, stopping at a pub, where he poses for pictures grinning with his pint, as he has done countless times before.

Nigel Farage — Britain’s most famous and pugilistic populist — is back on the trail.

Mr. Farage spent two decades promoting withdrawal from the European Union. When Britons voted for it in a 2016 referendum, and Prime Minister Theresa May and her Conservatives promised to see it through, he shifted his focus to media work, hosting a radio show and appearing on television news programs.

But the shambolic failure of attempts to deliver Brexit has given Mr. Farage another opening, and his newly founded Brexit Party threatens to become a guided missile aimed at Britain’s two main parties. Both are badly split over the question of Europe and both are already facing a backlash from voters.

Mr. Farage’s target is the elections to the European Parliament, normally a low-key contest in Britain. This time, it was not supposed to happen in the country at all, because Brexit was scheduled for March 29.


But with the departure deadline delayed until at least Halloween, the election is going ahead. That is bad news for the Conservative and Labour parties, which suffered losses in local elections this month that the Brexit Party did not contest.

But it is particularly awful for the Conservatives, many of whose usual supporters are livid that Mrs. May has failed to deliver on Brexit; voters could desert the party in droves. In one recent poll on the European elections, the Conservatives were buried in third place, with 13 percent, well behind the 30 percent for the Brexit Party and 21 percent for Labour.
Pro-Brexit demonstrators gathered for a speech by Mr. Farage in London in March.CreditDan Kitwood/Getty Images
Pro-Brexit demonstrators gathered for a speech by Mr. Farage in London in March.CreditDan Kitwood/Getty Images

Into that crucible has stepped Mr. Farage, perhaps the most divisive figure on the British political landscape, but also among the most effective. He has taken to the stump and to social media with a simple message: that Britain should leave the European Union even without any agreement. In the process, he excoriates what he calls a Brexit betrayal by mendacious elites.

Most lawmakers and analysts think a no-deal Brexit would be economically disastrous. Before the referendum, Mr. Farage breezily assured voters that securing a favorable trade deal with the European Union would be easy because German automakers would demand the right to sell their cars in Britain. Nowadays, he prefers to focus on issues of identity and sovereignty.


An admirer of President Trump, Mr. Farage was certainly popular among the mainly graying supporters who gathered one recent day on the pier at Clacton-on-Sea, once a thriving vacation spot in Essex, east of London, and now an unfashionable outpost at the end of a slow rail line.

What, he asked them rhetorically, would Brexit do for towns like this? “It would make us proud of who we are as a nation once again,” he roared, “and you can’t put a price on that.”

Performances such as this have propelled Mr. Farage back to prominence, which has meant greater scrutiny and some awkward headlines, too. Questions about the Brexit Party’s funding were raised after Mr. Farage refused to identify its biggest donor, though Jeremy Hosking, a financier, later said he had made a large donation. And there was criticism of a speech Mr. Farage gave in the United States in which he claimed that entire streets in one British town were divided on racial lines.

Newspapers have also reported claims that he walked away from a car crash without checking on the welfare of others involved, and that his beer-drinking pose is a gimmick, intended to make him appear down to earth, saying that he really prefers wine.

On Sunday, Mr. Farage seemed to lose his cool during a BBC interview when challenged about past comments on immigration, climate change, gun control and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
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Mr. Farage during a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, in March. His Brexit Party presents problems for both main British parties, which have stumbled over their handling of the pullout from the European Union.CreditFrederick Florin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Mr. Farage during a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, in March. His Brexit Party presents problems for both main British parties, which have stumbled over their handling of the pullout from the European Union.CreditFrederick Florin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Nonetheless, experts acknowledge that Mr. Farage’s raucous brand of politics has proved effective.

“One of the consequences of Brexit and the way that it has been handled is a rebooting of populism,” said Matthew Goodwin, professor of politics at the University of Kent. “Leavers are incredibly disillusioned and frustrated with the positioning not just of the government but of Parliament.”


While the Brexit Party’s threat to the Conservatives is manifest and could accelerate Mrs. May’s promised departure from power, Mr. Farage also presents problems for the opposition Labour Party.

Labour is hampered by relying on the support of an awkward coalition: pro-Brexit voters in working-class areas in the middle and the north of the country; and younger, more liberal voters in London and other big cities who are ardent supporters of remaining in the European Union. Members have pressed the party to make a second Brexit referendum part of its election manifesto.

That split provides Mr. Farage with an opportunity.

“They feel they don’t need to target Conservatives because they have Conservatives anyway,” Professor Goodwin said. “They feel they need to win over Labour voters in pro-Brexit areas.”

As critics point out, Mr. Farage is hardly the political outsider and avatar of the common man that he presents himself as. He was educated at an expensive school and worked as a commodities trader before spending two decades as a member of the European Parliament and failing seven times to win election to the British Parliament.

But in Clacton-on-Sea, he talked of Brexit’s being “openly and willfully betrayed” by politicians and argued that “this political class, that these two parties, that Parliament now need to be swept aside and replaced by better people.” At times, the rally had a pantomime feel as Mr. Farage named members of Parliament, waiting for the crowd to boo or, in one case, yell “traitor!”

To fans like Eileen Kelly, 74, Mr. Farage is the man who “tells it like it is.”

She said she voted for Brexit in 2016 largely because she was unhappy about immigration, and she describes the current impasse in Parliament as a “desperate, awful, situation.”
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Mr. Farage in the north of England in March, taking part in the first leg of a rally supporting Brexit.CreditAndy Buchanan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Mr. Farage in the north of England in March, taking part in the first leg of a rally supporting Brexit.CreditAndy Buchanan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

As for Mr. Farage, she says, “He should be prime minister — definitely.”

Within days of its introduction, the Brexit Party said that it had signed up more than 70,000 supporters at 25 pounds, or about $32, a person, and that it had begun advertising online.


In truth, Mr. Farage had been preparing for this moment for months and had put together a machine far slicker than that of a new pro-European party, Change UK, which emerged from a group of lawmakers who left the Labour and Conservative parties this year.

The biggest problem for the Remain forces — and an advantage for the Brexit Party — is that Change UK has several strong rivals for the pro-European vote. Those include the centrist Liberal Democrats; the Greens; the Scottish National Party; and the Welsh nationalists, Plaid Cymru — not to speak of the Labour Party, despite its ambivalence over a second referendum.

Although the system for European Parliament elections is more proportional than that for most votes in Britain, it still punishes smaller groups. “If you knew these elections are coming up, why on earth don’t you decide to organize a pan-party Remain alliance?” Professor Goodwin said. “It beggars belief.”

Mr. Farage has some competition from the U.K. Independence Party, which he once led. It always contained some eccentric characters with the potential to cause embarrassment. Now it has taken a turn to the far right under its new leader, Gerard Batten, who appointed the notoriously anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson as an adviser. (Mr. Robinson is running in the European elections, but as an independent.)

The split among Brexit supporters could cost Mr. Farage some votes. In Clacton-on-Sea, Chris Manning, 66, who voted for Brexit in 2016, said he was a supporter of Mr. Farage but had not followed the ins and out of whether or not Mr. Farage was still part of UKIP.

But Professor Goodwin said it would be unwise to underestimate Mr. Farage. “The story of the last five years,” he said, “is of nationalists and populists outperforming the others and mobilizing much more successfully than those trying to retain the status quo.”
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💩 Nigel Gets Milkshaked!
« Reply #126 on: May 21, 2019, 01:58:20 AM »
Maybe next time he'll luck out and get Beered.


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Prime Minister Theresa May offers a “new” Brexit plan, but nobody’s buying it

Her attempts to woo the opposition — including a proposed vote on a second referendum — backfired with Brexiteers.
By Jen May 21, 2019, 7:40pm EDT

Prime Minister Theresa May gives a speech outlining a new Brexit deal, which is basically the same as the old Brexit deal, on May 21, 2019. Kirsty Wigglesworth-WPA Pool/Getty Images

British Prime Minister Theresa May offered a “new” Brexit plan Tuesday, in a last-ditch effort to get her still-unpopular Brexit deal approved.

But May largely failed to deliver on the “new” part. Instead, she outlined a 10-point strategy that repeated compromises or plans she’s previously offered. The prime minister did offer a few notable concessions, specifically a vote on a second referendum and a vote on a type of post-Brexit customs arrangement with the EU.

It’s noteworthy that May is giving members of parliament (MPs) a chance to decide whether they want to hold a second referendum — basically, some sort of public vote on Brexit — because this is something she’s staunchly resisted before. But the prime minister didn’t offer many specifics about the referendum, including whether she supported it, how it would be executed, or what the public would even be asked.

May’s other concession, on the customs union — where EU members trade without tariffs and minimal customs checks — offers a choice that will please neither the pro-Brexit camp in her Conservative Party or the opposition Labour Party. May proposed a vote on whether MPs want a temporary customs union membership after Brexit, or a plan for a “customs arrangement” that would allow the UK to trade with the EU, but still pursue its own independent trade policy.

The referendum and customs arrangement concessions are attempts to win over opposition Labour party members even after talks between May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn broke down last week. But these offers likely don’t go far enough. Corbyn has already said nope, not a chance.

“It’s basically a rehash of what was discussed before,” Corbyn said Tuesday.

So this push to win over Labour failed — and it also backfired among the hardcore Brexiteers who already despise May’s Brexit deal and won’t like it any better now. Many only voted for it on the third try because they thought it was the only way to get her out of office. Brexiteers largely oppose any sort of customs arrangement with the EU after Brexit, and most don’t want to attempt a second referendum.

To be clear, May is only giving MPs the opportunity to vote on these options, so they can (and may) be voted down. But it’s still infuriated Conservatives MPs who don’t want these options on the table at all. May hasn’t gained any new backers, and nearly two dozen who voted for her deal the last time around have said they won’t support her on this latest attempt, according to the Guardian.

One minister told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg that May has managed to “take something bad and make it truly worse.”

Of course, there were 10 points in May’s speech. Surely, you ask, there had to be something good in there? By way of an answer, I leave you with this analysis from the Guardian’s Peter Walker, which perfectly captures both the utter exasperation over Brexit and May’s impossible situation.

Walker notes that, in her speech, May repeated promises she already made before — including on workers’ and environmental rights. He points out May’s futile attempts to compromise. On the customs arrangement proposal, he writes: “who will like it? Potentially, no one.”

Put another way, May’s “serious offer” to MPs is pretty much doomed.

The prime minister had previously said that she would set a timetable for her departure after the vote on her Brexit plan and the necessary legislation to get the UK out of the European Union before the October 31, 2019 deadline.

That’s tentatively scheduled for the first week in June. Conservatives who are eager to replace May will want her out as soon as possible — even though whoever takes over as the next prime minister will inherit the exact same Brexit mess.
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Prime Minister Theresa May offers a “new” Brexit plan, but nobody’s buying it

Her attempts to woo the opposition — including a proposed vote on a second referendum — backfired with Brexiteers.

As you like to say, "who cooda node?" On her way out the door, no less.
"Turn off the lights... the party's over."
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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💩 May's Brexit gambit fails as her premiership fades
« Reply #129 on: May 22, 2019, 01:35:38 PM »
Meanwhile, across the pond, TM is not doing a whole lot better than Trumpofsky.  ::)


May 21, 2019 / 10:12 PM / Updated an hour ago
May's Brexit gambit fails as her premiership fades
Guy Faulconbridge, William James

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May’s final Brexit gambit was in tatters on Wednesday after her offer of a vote on a second referendum and closer trading arrangements failed to win over either opposition lawmakers or many in her own party.

Nearly three years since Britain voted 52% to 48% to leave the European Union, May is trying one last time to get her divorce deal approved by the British parliament before her crisis-riven premiership ends.
Related Coverage

    Rumours ministers will move against May - ITV reporter
    Former Conservative minister asks May to consider delaying Brexit deal vote

See more stories

May again appealed to lawmakers get behind her, offering the prospect of a possible second referendum on the agreement and closer trading arrangements with the EU as incentives to what she called the only way to prevent a so-called no deal Brexit.

But the backlash was fierce. Both ruling Conservative and opposition Labour lawmakers criticised May’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill, or WAB, legislation which implements the terms of Britain’s departure. Some upped efforts to oust her and there were reports that her own ministers could move against her.


The impasse in London means it is unclear how, when or even if Britain will leave the European club it joined in 1973. The current deadline to leave is Oct. 31.

Despite the criticism, May stood firm, urging lawmakers to back the bill and then have a chance to make changes to it, so they can have more control over the final shape of Brexit.

“In time another prime minister will be standing at this despatch box,” May said, acknowledging that her time as prime minister was drawing to a close.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is seen outside Downing Street, as uncertainty over Brexit continues, in London, Britain May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

“But while I am here, I have a duty to be clear with the House (of Commons) about the facts. If we are going to deliver Brexit in this parliament we are going to have to pass a Withdrawal Agreement Bill,” she told parliament, where many of her critics left the chamber allowing some of her backers to offer support for her argument to pass the Withdrawal Bill.

Asked by eurosceptic lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg whether she really believed in the new deal she had proposed or whether she was simply going through the motions, May said:

“I don’t think I would have been standing here at the despatch box and be in receipt of some of the comments I have been in receipt of from colleagues on my own side and across the house if I didn’t believe in what I was doing,” she said.


Britain’s crisis over Brexit has stunned allies and foes alike, and with deadlock in London, the world’s fifth largest economy faces an array of options including an exit with a deal to smooth the transition, a no-deal exit, an election or a second referendum.

The pound was on track for its longest ever losing streak against the euro as some traders said they saw the rising chance of a no-deal Brexit. Those fears pushed investors into the relatively safety of government bonds - particularly those that offer protection against a spike in inflation.
Slideshow (7 Images)

Despite the signs of some support in a near empty parliament, her move towards lawmakers who want to stay in the EU incensed many in her party.

“The proposed second reading of the WAB is clearly doomed to failure so there really is no point wasting any more time on the prime minister’s forlorn hope of salvation,” Andrew Bridgen, a Conservative lawmaker, told Reuters. “She’s got to go.”

More Conservative lawmakers handed over letters to the 1922 Committee, a Conservative group that can make or break party leaders, to demand a no confidence vote in May, whose strategy to leave the EU has been left in tatters.

Local reporters said there were rumours that cabinet ministers were starting a move against her.

Asked about the pressure to resign, her spokesman said: “The PM is focused on the job in hand and what the last 24 hours or so have proved, it is a big one.” Several lawmakers, including Labour’s Brexit policy chief Keir Starmer, said there was little point holding next month’s vote on her bill, which most agreed had no chance of passing a deeply divided parliament.

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, said his party would not be backing the bill and described the government as “too weak, too divided to get this country out of the mess that they have created”.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Kylie MacLellan, Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Elizabeth Piper; Editing by William Maclean and Alison Williams
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Collapse early and avoid the rush!


The suffering caused by austerity helped fuel Brexit – and will only get worse

Frances Ryan

Leaving the EU will make life worse for poor and disabled people – but the anger that led to the vote must be addressed

Thu 23 May 2019 06.40 EDT
Last modified on Thu 23 May 2019 13.04 EDT

Philip Alston (left), the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, in New Lodge, north Belfast during his official visit to the UK in November 2018. Photograph: Bassam Khawaja/United Nations/PA

Unless austerity ends, the UK’s poorest people face lives that are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. That was the finding on Wednesday from Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, who warned worse could be yet to come “for the most vulnerable, who face a major adverse impact” if Brexit proceeds.

Days earlier, down the line at BBC 5 Live, the Brexit party candidate Lucy Harris declared that the average leave voter wants Brexit “at any cost”. Pressed further by presenter Nicky Campbell, Harris admitted this could mean volunteering for “30 years” of economic downturn.

It’s as if we are watching two narratives of Brexit Britain play out simultaneously, an experience made all the more galling by the fact that one side has changed its script. While today’s European elections have seen the Brexit party embrace predicted economic shock as a romantic sacrifice for the greater good, the referendum campaign saw a land of milk and honey promised on the side of buses. Indeed, the infamous “project fear” slur was thrown at any remainer who dared to point out the risks of Brexit.
Britain is trapped in the purposeless austerity that gave us Brexit
Aditya Chakrabortty
Aditya Chakrabortty
Read more

Such hypocrisy is only made worse by the fact that the key proponents of “Brexit at any cost” will be unlikely to be suffering any such cost themselves. Economic downturns, by definition, hit poor and disabled people hardest, while those with the greatest wealth enjoy the profits.

Recent research shows families have already taken a hit from Brexit – household incomes are around £1,500 a year lower today than forecasts made before the referendum vote – and this doesn’t appear to have dampened the desire of sections of the public for even the hardest exit from the EU. Moreover, polls since the referendum have consistently shown a willingness to put the country through pain in order to achieve Brexit. Back in 2017, YouGov found a hefty 61% of leave voters said they thought that “significant damage” to the British economy would be “a price worth paying for bringing Britain out of the European Union”. I remember speaking to one particular leave voter in the days after the referendum. Unemployed and cut off from state support, 62-year-old Martin had walked through the rain to cast his vote. In the London rental he shared with eight strangers, he put it bluntly: “Leaving might make my life shit, but it’s shit anyway. So how much worse can it get?”

This desperate need for change – any change – is fertile ground for those who seek to exploit it. As a nationwide study showed this week that racism in Britain is continuing to grow in the wake of the Brexit referendum, Nigel Farage is lining himself up to be the great victor when the Euro votes are counted – while Tommy Robinson’s toxic brand will linger regardless of election results.

There are no easy answers here, nor neat boxes. There are many like Martin who feel they have nothing left to lose – but there were also plenty of wealthy families in the Shires who backed leave. Similarly, age and sex are as relevant as class: in the 2017 YouGov poll, women and young people were considerably less likely to want Brexit at “significant cost” to the economy than men and older people. In contrast, half of older people said their desire to leave the EU was so strong that they were even willing to accept a member of their own family losing their job.

This mindset may be incomprehensible to staunch remainers, but it is only by understanding it that we can have any hope of changing it. Much has been said in the past two years about the factors that led to the referendum result and yet somehow it still feels as if nothing much has been learned. Voters like Martin are often characterised as “the left behind” – a term that suggests the leave sentiment arose because they could not keep up. But as the academic Dr Lisa Mckenzie recently wrote for the London School of Economics, it is more accurate to say they are voters who know they have been “left out” – of jobs, of wealth, of opportunities.

That it is practically a cliche to point out that Brexit will likely cause further harm to the very people who cling to it, does not make such damage any less painful. As Alston says, at a time of growing hardship, leaving the EU is “a tragic distraction from the social and economic policies shaping a Britain that it’s hard to believe any political parties really want”.

There is a vacuum in British politics – and in a wider sense, society – that has long needed something different. This ground must be occupied by real change: from affordable housing and a strengthened safety net, to more power in local communities. If we do not fill it, Farage and his ilk are all too ready to do so.

• Frances Ryan is a Guardian columnist
The UK might be leaving Europe…

… but The Guardian definitely isn’t. In the current climate of uncertainty and tension, we remain deeply committed to our European coverage. In the coming weeks and months, we will continue our mission to look outwards rather than inwards, to stay connected and inclusive.

As the EU elections approach, we will hear daily from our correspondents across Europe, explore and investigate the themes that divide and unite the continent, with all its imperfections, challenges and strengths. The Guardian aims to offer its readers a global perspective on these important events.
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💩 Theresa in the Toilet
« Reply #131 on: May 24, 2019, 03:49:57 AM »
So who's next?  BoJo?


Theresa May to resign as prime minister

    24 May 2019

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Media captionIn a speech outside Downing Street, Theresa May said the failure to deliver Brexit was a matter of "deep regret"

Theresa May has said she will quit as Conservative leader on 7 June, paving the way for a contest to decide a new prime minister.

In an emotional statement, she said she had done her best to deliver Brexit and it was a matter of "deep regret" that she had been unable to do so.

Being prime minister had been the "honour of my life", she said.

Mrs May said she will continue to serve as prime minister while a Conservative leadership contest takes place.

It means she will still be prime minister when US President Donald Trump makes his state visit to the UK at the start of June.

Mrs May announced she would step down as Tory leader on 7 June and had agreed with the chairman of Tory backbenchers that a leadership contest should begin the following week.

    LIVE: Latest updates and reaction
    The Theresa May story
    Theresa May: Premiership in six charts

Boris Johnson, Esther McVey and Rory Stewart have said they intend to run for the party leadership, while more than a dozen others are believed to be seriously considering entering the contest.

The prime minister has faced a backlash from her MPs against her latest Brexit plan, which included concessions aimed at attracting cross-party support.

Andrea Leadsom quit as Commons leader on Wednesday saying she no longer believed the government would "deliver on the referendum result".

Mrs May met Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt at Downing Street on Thursday where they are understood to have expressed their concerns about her proposed withdrawal bill.

In her statement on Friday, she said she had done "everything I can" to convince MPs to support the withdrawal deal she had negotiated with the European Union but it was now in the "best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort".

She added that, in order to deliver Brexit, her successor would have to build agreement in Parliament.

"Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise," she said.
Theresa May at the top

    Nearly 3 years
    as prime minister, following David Cameron

    6 yearsbefore that, as home secretary

    Failed to win 2017 general election outright, but stayed PM

    Remainvoter in the 2016 EU referendum

    Brexit dominated her time at 10 Downing Street


Mrs May's voice shook as she ended her speech saying: "I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold.

"The second female prime minister, but certainly not the last.

"I do so with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love."

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said she had been "right to resign" and that the Conservative Party was now "disintegrating".

A series of Conservative MPs praised Mrs May following her statement.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said she was a "true public servant":
Skip Twitter post by @Jeremy_Hunt

    I want to pay tribute to the PM today. Delivering Brexit was always going to be a huge task, but one she met every day with courage & resolve. NHS will have an extra £20bn thanks to her support, and she leaves the country safer and more secure. A true public servant.
    — Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) May 24, 2019


End of Twitter post by @Jeremy_Hunt

Chief whip Julian Smith praised her commitment to the country as "outstanding":
Skip Twitter post by @JulianSmithUK

    The values, integrity & commitment of @theresa_may to the United Kingdom have been outstanding
    — Julian Smith MP (@JulianSmithUK) May 24, 2019


End of Twitter post by @JulianSmithUK

And Chancellor Philip Hammond said it had been a "privilege" to serve alongside her:

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wished her well despite "profound disagreements", including on Brexit, but added: "The prospect of an even more hardline Brexiteer now becoming PM and threatening a no-deal exit is deeply concerning.

"Added to the experience of the past three years, this makes it all the more important that Scotland is given the choice of becoming an independent country."

Following her emotional coda to her statement on the steps of Downing Street, expect the tributes to Theresa May to flood in, even from those pushing her from office.

Her resilience. Her determination. Her sense of duty.

Ultimately, though, her premiership fell apart in an attempt to bring people together.

Her Brexit deal stymied by too many of her own MPs, she tried to reach out across the Commons.

But in proposing a vote on a referendum - even though she expected MPs to reject another public vote - she over-reached.

Some members of her cabinet who are manoeuvring to replace her withdrew their consent from her latest plan, effectively throwing out its compromises and her leadership.

She pointed today to some of her achievements in office but frankly she has had to announce the timetable for her departure before securing the legacy she desired - leaving the EU with a deal.

In a hung parliament, the question now is whether the next Conservative leader will be able to succeed where she failed.

Or whether something more radical will be required: no deal, a new referendum, or a general election.
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💩 Race to be new UK prime minister begins
« Reply #132 on: May 25, 2019, 01:45:23 AM »
I'm rooting for BoJo.  That would be a hilarious shit show.  :icon_mrgreen:


Race to be new UK prime minister begins

    Conservative Party leadership contest

Image caption Jeremy Hunt, Boris Johnson, Rory Stewart and Esther McVey have already said they will run for the leadership

The race to become the next Conservative Party leader has begun, following Theresa May's announcement that she will step down next month.

The contest will not only result in a new party leader, but also in the next prime minister of the UK.

Party bosses expect a new leader to be chosen by the end of July.

Mrs May confirmed on Friday that she will resign as party leader on 7 June, but will continue as PM while the leadership contest takes place.

She agreed with chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, that the process to choose a new leader should begin the week after she stands down.

Four candidates have confirmed their intention to stand:

    Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
    International Development Secretary Rory Stewart
    Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
    Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey

However, more than a dozen more are believed to be seriously considering running - including Sir Graham, who has resigned as chair of the 1922 Committee.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has ruled herself out, telling the Daily Telegraph: "I don't think it is my time at the moment."

She also hinted that she could work with Mr Johnson in the future, saying: "I have worked with him before... we were able to work together."

On Friday, Environment Secretary Michael Gove - another possible candidate - declined to say whether he would stand, saying it was "the prime minister's day".

Most bookmakers have Mr Johnson as favourite, in front of former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Mr Gove.

    Who's standing?
    Kuenssberg: May was overwhelmed

Tory MPs have until the week commencing 10 June to put their name forward, and any of them can stand - as long as they have the backing of two parliamentary colleagues.

The candidates will be whittled down until two remain, and in July all party members will vote to decide on the winner.

The Conservative Party had 124,000 members, as of March last year. The last leader elected by the membership was David Cameron in 2005, as Theresa May was unopposed in 2016.

It will be the first time Conservative members have directly elected a prime minister, as opposed to a leader of the opposition.

Announcing her departure in Downing Street, Mrs May urged her successor to "seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum".

She added: "To succeed, he or she will have to find consensus in Parliament where I have not.

"Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise."

Mr Johnson told an economic conference in Switzerland on Friday that a new leader would have "the opportunity to do things differently".

Outlining his Brexit position, he told the conference: "We will leave the EU on 31 October, deal or no deal. The way to get a good deal is to prepare for a no deal."
Who are the Conservative members?

Most members of most parties in the UK are pretty middle-class. But Conservative Party members are the most middle-class of all: 86% fall into the ABC1 category.

Around a quarter of them are, or were, self-employed and nearly half of them work, or used to, in the private sector.

Nearly four out of 10 put their annual income at over £30,000, and one in 20 put it at over £100,000. As such, Tory members are considerably better-off than most voters.

Read more from Prof Tim Bale here

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have also begun their search for a new leader after Sir Vince Cable confirmed he would hand over the reins on 23 July.

Sir Vince announced in March that he would stand down after the local elections in May, but after a strong performance from the party some questioned whether he would stay on.

However, in a statement on Friday, he said: "We have rebuilt the Liberal Democrats. I will be proud to hand over a bigger, stronger party."
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💩 In UK, Farage's Brexit party storms to EU election victory
« Reply #133 on: May 27, 2019, 12:05:53 AM »

In UK, Farage's Brexit party storms to EU election victory

Date created : 27/05/2019 - 01:16

Tolga Akmen / AFP | Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage reacts after the European Parliament election results for the UK South East Region are announced at the Civic Centre Southampton, Southern England, on May 26, 2019.

Text by:

Nigel Farage's Brexit Party was set to storm to victory in a European election, riding a wave of anger at the failure of Prime Minister Theresa May to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union, early results showed.

The country's two main parties, May's Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party, hemorrhaged support while smaller pro-EU parties did well: the Liberal Democrats were in second place, according to a BBC projection.

Nearly three years after the United Kingdom voted by 52% to 48% to leave the EU, it remains a member and its politicians are still arguing over how, when or even whether the country will leave the club it joined in 1973.

May quit on Friday, saying it was a matter of deep regret that she had been unable to deliver Brexit and arguing that the decision of the 2016 referendum should be honoured. That opened up a period of further uncertainty as the Conservatives decide on who will take over as party leader and prime minister.

BBC projections put the Conservatives on around 10 to 12%, down from 23% in 2014, likely to be one of the party's worst results in a nationwide election ever.

The Brexit Party was in first place, and was likely to do better than the UK Independence Party did in 2014, according to BBC projections.

"It looks like it's going to be a big win for the Brexit Party," Farage told reporters in Southampton in southern England where vote tallies from across the southeast region were being collated.

"The intelligence I get is that the Brexit party is doing pretty well," said Farage, who headed one of the two Brexit campaigns in the 2016 referendum.

While May was forced to delay Brexit after agreeing a deal that the British parliament and much of her party rejected, the Labour Party has voiced both support for another referendum and a promise to honour the result of the 2016 vote.

The impact of such a severe election drubbing for the major parties is unclear though potential successors to May are calling for a more decisive Brexit, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure to openly support another referendum.

Britain took part in the European Parliament elections because it had delayed the date of its exit from the EU, but its MEPs will leave the parliament when Brexit happens.

In total, Britain will elect 73 MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) to the 751-seat parliament. They will not contribute directly to British policymaking on domestic issues like Brexit, but will have a say in EU-wide policy.

'Brexit betrayal'

Farage casts Britain's political system as broken and says parliament and the government are trying to thwart Brexit. He wants the United Kingdom to leave the EU as soon as possible and says the damage of a no-deal departure has been blown out of proportion.

Farage, who as UKIP leader persuaded May's predecessor, David Cameron, to call the Brexit referendum and then helped lead the campaign to leave the EU, has said that failure to implement Brexit would show Britain not to be a democracy.

While the United Kingdom remains deeply divided over Brexit, most agree that it will shape the future of the United Kingdom for generations to come.

Pro-Europeans fear Brexit will undermine London's position as one of the world's top two financial capitals and weaken the West as it grapples with Donald Trump's unpredictable U.S. presidency and growing assertiveness from Russia and China.

The Liberal Democrats, who campaigned under the slogan "Bollocks to Brexit", oppose Brexit and want a second referendum to stop it.

The loss of Britain for the EU is the biggest blow yet to more than 60 years of efforts to forge European unity after two world wars, though the 27 other members of the bloc have shown surprising unity during the tortuous negotiations.

In the 2014 EU Parliament election, what was then Farage's UK Independence Party won with 26.8%, followed by Labour on 24.7% and the Conservatives on 23.3%. The Greens won 7.7% in 2014 and the Liberal Democrats 6.7%. Turnout was 35.6%.
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💩 Nigel exercizes his new Muscle on Brexit
« Reply #134 on: May 27, 2019, 02:23:44 AM »
We're going to hear a lot from Nigel between now and Halloween.  ::)


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