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CLUSTER-CLUCK ‘Chicken’ Jeremy Corbyn blocks Boris Johnson’s snap general election and No Deal Brexit

    Natasha Clark  Alex Matthews  Steve Hawkes

    4 Sep 2019, 20:10Updated: 5 Sep 2019, 8:52

JEREMY Corbyn and Tory rebels last night threw out Boris Johnson’s demands for a snap election and rammed through laws to stop a No Deal Brexit.

The PM’s bold rallying cry to go to the polls was rejected by MPs who claimed he was setting them a “trap”.
Boris Johnson lost a bid to call for a snap general election last night
Boris Johnson lost a bid to call for a snap general election last nightCredit: PRU
Corbyn said Labour would only back an election after the rebel bill to block a No Deal is rubber stamped by the Queen
Corbyn said Labour would only back an election after the rebel bill to block a No Deal is rubber stamped by the QueenCredit: PA:Press Association
Speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston, Boris mocked Corbyn and said he may need to 'get out the chicken suit'
Speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston, Boris mocked Corbyn and said he may need to 'get out the chicken suit'Credit: ITV/Peston

Only 298 MPs opted for an election - far short of the two thirds of MPs (434) he needed to get it through.

The vote was lost after Corbyn ordered his MPs to abstain in the knowledge this would prevent Boris getting the two thirds majority he needed.

The decision to abstain rather than vote against BoJo's proposal was a vain move to dodge accusations the Labour leader is being cowardly by turning down the chance to fight the PM in an election.

It's the first time an Opposition party has ever not voted for an election.

Boris demanded to go to the country rather than accept Corbyn’s demands to go cap in hand back to Brussels in just six weeks’ time.

Speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston last night, Boris mocked Corbyn, saying he may need to “get out the chicken suit”.

And he claimed he believed Labour would be so “consumed by cowardice” they would fold and back a poll.
Bank: We overdid the gloom

By Tracey Boles

BANK of England boss Mark Carney has admitted the economic hit of a No Deal would be “less severe” than he previously predicted.

The governor rowed back on last year’s figures as he addressed the Treasury Select Committee yesterday.

He told MPs the bank now forecasts a more manageable 5.5 per cent decline — instead of the 8 per cent bandied about before.

The change is due to No Deal preparations — “the impact of which has been to reduce the worst-case scenario”, he said.

He also forecast 7pc unemployment.

“I don’t think I have, I have never known a time in modern history when the Leader of the Opposition has refused to take part in a general election," Boris said.

“I can only invite our viewers, Robert, to speculate why he may be so disinclined - does somebody need to get out the chicken suit?”

Boris even said he believed Corbyn had gone against his "constitutional duty" as Opposition leader to take part in a general election.

But he doubled down on his decision to boot out 21 Tory MPs including Sir Ken Clarke and Sir Nicholas Soames.

“These are friends of mine, I take no joy in any of it.

"But it was sad and surprising that they should choose to undermine our ability to get a deal.”
New law to stop No Deal Brexit

A LAW designed to stop a No Deal Brexit was rammed through last night.

Boris Johnson had warned the legislation to delay Brexit in order to prevent a no-deal departure next month would "scupper negotiations".

But the bill passed all stages in the Commons yesterday.

It appeared as though the bill could have been stalled in the Lords amid accusations of time-wasting.

The Lords sat until 1.30am on Thursday when chief whip Lord Ashton of Hyde said all stages of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill will be completed by 5pm on Friday.

"We have also received a commitment from the chief whip in the House of Commons that Commons consideration of any Lords amendments will take place on Monday and it is the Government's intention that the Bill be ready for Royal Assent," he told peers.

The late night debate capped a day of high drama in Westminster.

The Prime Minister also warned Hard Brexiteer Tory MPs that they too could face the axe - in the same swift manner as the Remainer rebels.

He told Robert Peston: "What the people of this country want is a Government that's determined to come out of the EU on October 31."

Asked if he'd dispatch Hard Brexit rebels frustrating a new EU deal as well, he said: "What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."

But Boris predicted more sackings wouldn't be necessary, adding: "Colleagues are going to find that the deal we get is extremely good.

"People are going to want to vote for it because it gets us out of the EU."

Boris had earlier begged rebels to let the people decide a way out of the Brexit deadlock that has paralysed Westminster for three years - and let them choose who they want to get them out of this mess.

His plan was to call a vote in mid-October and storm a crunch Brussels summit on October 17 to demand a new deal, with a fresh mandate from the British people.

But Boris accused MPs of having "totally wrecked" his chances of getting a new EU deal by backing the legislation to prevent a No Deal Brexit.

He told Peston: "The truth is that we've had our chance to get a deal in Brussels on Brexit really badly damaged if not totally wrecked by the surrender bill."
Bercow on the warpath

JOHN Bercow renewed his war against No 10 yesterday by slapping down Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid in an hour.

But the Commons Speaker was accused of bias and branded a “windbag” for hitting out at ministers.

Remainer Mr Bercow berated the Tory leader for addressing Jeremy Corbyn as “Jeremy” during Prime Minister’s Questions.

Later, he gave the Chancellor a dressing down for talking about Brexit while outlining spending plans.

Mr Bercow butted in to say: “It bothers me greatly that you, in the course of a statement, seem to be veering into matters unrelated to the spending round upon which you are focused.”

One angry Tory MP shouted out, calling Mr Bercow a “windbag”.

Another Tory, Andrew Bridgen, stormed later: “John Bercow knows he will no longer be Speaker after the forthcoming General Election.

"He is on his swansong and determined to go out with a bang playing to his Labour and Remain supporters right to the bitter end. And he is very bitter.”

It comes a day after Mr Bercow told Cabinet minister Michael Gove to “be a good boy” while revealing their kids go to the same school.

He said: “When he turns up at our school as a parent, he’s a very well-behaved fellow.

“He wouldn’t dare behave like that in front of the headmaster.”

Earlier, the PM taunted the stony-faced Labour boss in the Commons after his defeat, saying: "He’s the first leader in the history of this country to refuse an invitation for an election!

"The obvious conclusion is that he does not think he will win."

He then joked it that it was also a first that the "Opposition has opted to show confidence in Her Majesty's Government!"

The PM is now stuck in a devastating deadlock which could wreck his vow to leave the EU do or die on October 31.

However, defiant Boris is not giving up without a fight and Number 10 is already plotting new ways to force through a general election and give the people the chance to decide Brexit.

Boris hinted he could try again and bring another election forward in the "next few days".

He could escape from the mess as early as next week as Jeremy Corbyn promised to back an election as soon as a No Deal bill from rebels becomes law.

It will force Boris to go back to the EU and seek another Brexit extension.

    He’s the first leader in the history of this country to refuse an invitation for an election
    Boris Johnson

He told the Commons last night: "I don't want an election, but this House has left no other option than letting the public decide who they want as PM.

"Is he now going to say the public cannot be allowed an election to decide which of us sorts out this mess?

"He has demanded an election for two years while blocking Brexit!"

But Corbyn claimed: "The offer of the election is a bit like the offer of an apple to Snow White.

"Not an apple but the poison of a No Deal."

Significantly, Corbyn did say he would support an election after the rebels' bill gained Royal Assent with a rubber stamp from the Queen.

This could happen by the start of next week, which would leave enough time for an election to still take place in October before the crunch EU summit.

If Boris won an election and got a majority then he could repeal the law.

This move by Corbyn goes against the claim of shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer that Labour would wait until the bill had been enacted on October 19, further showing the splits within the party.

Last night rebels led by Hilary Benn and Sir Keir Starmer rammed the next stage of their new No Deal blocking, 'Surrender' law through the Commons.

MPs opted 327 - 299 to bat the bill over to the Lords for more debates and votes.

But in an extraordinary turn of events Theresa May's deal won a new lease of life in scenes of chaos in the Commons.

A bid from 17 Labour MPs to lay down a version of the ex-PM's old deal again will now have to appear within days.

On another dramatic day in Westminster yesterday:

    Winston Churchill's grandson Nicholas Soames fought back tears during an emotional speech after Boris booted him out of the Tories
    Philip Hammond led a furious backlash from the rebels who were kicked out - and said he'd rather "boil his head" than hand power to Corbyn
    Donald Trump backed Boris again after his defeats, telling reporters: "Boris knows how to win. Don’t worry about him."
    Thousands of protesters gathered outside Westminster as the crunch clash took place inside the Commons

Earlier on Wednesday Boris tore into Corbyn for refusing to support an election and dubbed him “chlorinated chicken”.

Boris raged: "Let the people decide! Let the people decide on what he is doing to this negotiating position by having a general election on October 15."

And he appeared to mouth: “Call an election - you great big girls’ blouse!”

The PM has point blank refused to ask for another extension from Brussels - and last night stressed he wouldn’t quit either.

    Let the people decide on what he is doing to this negotiating position by having a general election on October 15.
    Boris Johnson

SNP boss Nicola Sturgeon was piling on the pressure tonight for Mr Corbyn to back the motion to call an election - but her MPs backed down after it was clear he wouldn't vote for it.

She tweeted: "It's starting to feel like Labour doesn't want an election at all - and leaving this PM in place knowing he'll try every trick in book to get what he wants would be irresponsible.

"Opposition must get bill through and then seek to force election BEFORE Parliament prorogued."

But their leader in Westminster, Ian Blackford said: "Once a no deal has been blocked, MPs across this House and on the opposition benches should come together to bring down this government – not on the Prime Minister’s terms, but on the right terms."

A poll last night put the SNP on track to nick seats off the Tories in Scotland, which is why the SNP are so keen for a snap poll.
The Sun Says

FOR two years Labour has goaded the Tories into calling an election. Now, incredibly, the wretched, snivelling coward Corbyn runs away from one.

Every day he and his arrogant Marxist mob sneered “Bring it on!” Until the moment they were finally offered the chance to stand before the electorate.

Corbyn and his greasy sidekick Keir Starmer have concocted wafer-thin excuses for this monstrous U-turn.  The public won’t buy them.

Boris Johnson has reluctantly accepted that voters must now decide whether to go ahead with Brexit, deal or No Deal, on October 31.

Or whether Labour and treacherous ex-Tories should be able to enforce an aimless further delay, condemning an exhausted public to more bitter division and costly uncertainty.

Labour isn’t as scared of No Deal as it is of a ballot-box reckoning. Mainly for its MPs in Leave marginals, faced now with campaigning for Remain. Labour no longer respects the 17.4million Brexit voters it has betrayed. But they have to face them in the end. Why not now?

If Corbyn truly believed he was a shoo-in for No10 he would bite Boris’s hand off for the chance to snatch the keys. But his ratings are at historic lows.

He feebly tries to claim the PM wants “to avoid scrutiny”. But Boris is literally inviting it from voters. Corbyn is chicken.

Labour knows its Brexit “policy” — “we’ll negotiate a new deal, then campaign against it” — is comically ridiculous. It knows it is grievously wounded by its anti-

Jewish racism, its ruinous economic policies, its fondness for tyrants and terrorists and its idolising of collapsed Latin American dictatorships.

It fears Boris’s Brexit-backing Tories, no matter how weak they now appear.

Corbyn was always an unpleasant dimwit and a liar. Turns out he is a bottler too.

Tories accused Labour of running scared of an election.

Nigel Evans blasted: "I’ve been an MP for 28 years and I have not seen anything like that – it’s Alice in Wonderland meets Westminster.

"You can’t carry on as the Leader of the Opposition saying you want to turf out Boris Johnson without having that early election."

Veteran Tory Ian Duncan Smith raged: "I've never seen a moment when an opposition doesn’t want to take over.
“This is a bizarre affair when they are running away from trying to defeat a Government.
"If the Right Honourable Gentleman who leads the Labour Party right now genuinely believes in democracy - put up or shut up!”

Lucy Allen MP tweeted: "A general election is a people's vote but UK Labour won't let the people have a say."

And Business minister Kwasi Kwarteng said that the leftie leader was frightened of a vote.

He told the BBC: "The leader of the opposition has said repeatedly that he wants an election, and it’s perverse of him to say now that he doesn’t want one. It suggests that he’s rather frightened of a general election."

Former Tory leader Lord Michael Howard said MPs opposing a general election are acting with "arrogance".

"Not only do they think they know better, they are not prepared to let the British people have their say in an election," he raged.

Meanwhile, some Labour MPs were fuming too with the decision to dodge a crunch chance to go to the polls.

    We are not voting for a general election today
    Sir Keir Starmer

Labour backbencher John Mann was outraged, tweeting: "Oh these clever people. Let's spit on the working class and a majority of the electorate. Stop Brexit.

"Then ask them to vote us into power. We are dealing with people who don't respect the views of the people."

Meanwhile, top Tories lashed out with fury after 21 rebels were booted out of the party following Tuesday's historic defeat.

Philip Hammond said it was Boris who was making a Jeremy Corbyn government more likely - and that he would sooner “boil my head” than hand him power.

    A general election is a people’s vote but @UKLabour won’t let the people have a say.
    — Lucy Allan MP (@lucyallan) September 4, 2019

May's deal gets brought back from the dead

THERESA MAY’s Brexit deal won an extraordinary new lease of life last night in scenes of utter chaos in the Commons.

A move by 17 Labour ‘leave’ MPs to force Boris Johnson to publish a draft Brexit agreement based on the ex-PM’s proposal was PASSED last night during the vote on legislation to block a No Deal.

The amendment tabled by Labour’s Stephen Kinnock and Ruth Smeeth went through as no ‘tellers’ were available to count the number of MPs poised to vote it down.

It means MPs will have a chance to debate and vote on a version of the Withdrawal Agreement if and when an extension to the current Brexit deadline of October 31 is implemented.

There is no deadline or specified date for the vote.

Sources claimed the ‘Reman’ Alliance led by Labour were “furious”.

But one Commons clerk last night downplayed the significance of the move. The clerk – Graeme Cowie - said he wasn’t “sure what this amendment does”.

And he added: “It attaches a purpose for the desired extension, but it doesn’t actually compel a Government to actually introduce a bill.”

Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement was voted down three times. Mr Kinnock wanted a new deal based on cross-party talks with Labour - which had paved the way for a closer customs union with the EU - to be at the centre of the new deal.
In Boris' first PMQs session he accused the Labour boss of running scared of a new poll
In Boris' first PMQs session he accused the Labour boss of running scared of a new pollCredit: EPA
Theresa May enjoying the fun in the Commons yesterday
Theresa May enjoying the fun in the Commons yesterdayCredit: AP:Associated Press
Hillary Ben introducing his rebel bill in the Commons yesterday
Hillary Ben introducing his rebel bill in the Commons yesterdayCredit: PRU
Jeremy Corbyn's top team revealed they would block an election bid
Jeremy Corbyn's top team revealed they would block an election bidCredit:
From top left: Sam Gyimah, David Gauke, Alistair Burt, Philip Hammond, Guto Bebb, Steve Brine, Caroline Nokes; Justine Greening, Sir Nicholas Soames, Anne Milton, Rory Stewart, Ed Vaizey, Margot James, Stephen Hammond; Ken Clarke, Richard Harrington, Sir Oliver Letwin, Richard Benyon, Dominic Grieve, Antoinette Sandbach, Greg Clark
From top left: Sam Gyimah, David Gauke, Alistair Burt, Philip Hammond, Guto Bebb, Steve Brine, Caroline Nokes; Justine Greening, Sir Nicholas Soames, Anne Milton, Rory Stewart, Ed Vaizey, Margot James, Stephen Hammond; Ken Clarke, Richard Harrington, Sir Oliver Letwin, Richard Benyon, Dominic Grieve, Antoinette Sandbach, Greg Clark

BERCOW BOOTED Tories set to 'depose biased Bercow' after his furious blast at Michael Gove
REBEL YELL Cabinet ministers demand Boris U-turns on expulsion of 21 Remainer Tory MPs
'COWARDLY CORBYN' Boris to ram through election on Monday after Corbyn runs scared
FARAGE FIGHT Farage names his price for election pact with Boris as No Deal Brexit
CORBYN CLUCKS UP BREXIT Is THIS the most dangerous chicken in Britain?
SPEAKER IN DANGER Tory MPs plot to remove Speaker John Bercow after he sided with Remainers
POLL POSITION UK General Election odds 2019 – what's the latest from the bookies?
NOW LET BRITAIN DECIDE Boris demands election as rebels take step to block No Deal Brexit
BURKA BLAST Sikh MP angrily confronts Boris Johnson for 'letterboxes' burka comment
CRACKING THE WHIP What does withdrawing the whip mean and has Boris Johnson done it?
Donald Trump said Boris was a 'winner' despite his defeats
Donald Trump said Boris was a 'winner' despite his defeatsCredit: Reuters
Pro-Brexit protesters outside Westminster yesterday
Pro-Brexit protesters outside Westminster yesterdayCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
Deadlock 'Breaker'

BORIS Johnson last night revealed his plan to break the Brexit deadlock — agreeing an all-Ireland market for livestock and agriculture.

During a bitter Commons debate, the PM said he was ready to propose an alternative to the backstop.

Under the plan, Northern Ireland would match Irish and EU rules in certain sectors after Brexit to avoid the need for a hard border. The idea emerged ahead of talks with Irish PM Leo Varadkar, left, next week.

It mimics a compromise European capitals were brainstorming — where the North  would mirror Brussels on animal and plant health.

It threatens to enrage Ulster Unionists by, in effect, putting a  border down the Irish Sea between the Britain and Northern Ireland. But  senior DUP sources hinted they could back it,  as long as Belfast’s  Stormont Assembly  has a veto on which future EU rules Northern Ireland accepts.

The PM has repeatedly told the EU   there is no chance of a deal unless the backstop —­ which is bitterly opposed by Brexiteers — is killed off.

The backstop is designed to avoid a hard border on Ireland by tying the UK to EU customs rules unless a new trade agreement is signed.
Boris Johnson fails to get MPs backing for an early General Election
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💩 Brexit talks are going nowhere fast
« Reply #166 on: September 06, 2019, 04:05:27 AM »

Brexit talks are going nowhere fast

Analysis by Nina dos Santos, CNN

Updated 1:16 PM ET, Thu September 5, 2019

Boris Johnson's position weakens in UK Parliament 02:41

Brussels (CNN)Boris Johnson has repeatedly insisted that a no-deal Brexit must remain on the table in order to protect Britain's negotiating position with Europe.
But the reality is, those negotiations are not going anywhere quickly.
At the G7 meeting of world leaders in France lasts month, the British Prime Minister had promised EU Council President Donald Tusk he would deliver a new set of proposals soon.
So it was with some surprise that EU officials, at the first of a series of twice-weekly sessions with UK negotiators this week, diplomats and officials told CNN the UK did not put forward any of the "concrete" ideas they had been promised. It was a waste of hours of preparation, they said.

"We don't really know where the show is going and what the script is or what the finale is," said one EU diplomat. "We are not optimistic and it's getting serious."
After five hours' worth of technical talks on Wednesday, it seems that all the UK and EU agreed upon was to carry on meeting, leading to the sense in Brussels that Johnson is merely running the clock down to use the EU negotiations as a backdrop to an imminent election campaign.
The political crisis has inensified in Westminster.
The political crisis has inensified in Westminster.
Meanwhile in London, the political crisis has intensified. The brutal scenes in the House of Commons, during which the Prime Minister lost his majority and turfed out 21 loyal Conservatives, did not go down well with a bloc which prides itself of having brought harmony to post war Europe. Likewise, Johnson's earlier decision to prorogue -- or suspend- parliament early also raised eyebrows among those defending democracy on the EU's eastern flank.
After briefing representatives of EU member states and the European Parliament, Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiators, said the EU would remain "vigilant, united and calm."
Boris Johnson's brother resigns in new Brexit blow
Boris Johnson's brother resigns in new Brexit blow
Philippe Lamberts, a Member of the European Parliament, was more forthright. "For all the PM's bluster about getting a deal, there are no real negotiations going on in Brussels, despite the EU's door remaining wide open," said Lamberts, who is a member of the European Parliament's Brexit Steering Group, which was briefed by Barnier this week.
As evidence of the trust deficit facing Johnson, particularly with regard to his insistence that both sides ditch the so-called Irish backstop and find another solution to the Irish border conundrum, Barnier cancelled a planned appearance in Belfast next week fearing it "would not be appropriate" and would "undermine the chances of an orderly Brexit."
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier briefied the European parliament this week.
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier briefied the European parliament this week.
EU officials may have experienced some schadenfreude when they saw parliament seize control of the agenda from the government, passing a bill that would require Johnson to request another extension to the Brexit process.
But none of this will help the UK's cause much at this late stage.
If anything, the scenes in Westminster and Brussels this week have made Britain appear a less stable, reliable partner -- one which unless it has a good enough or "concrete" reasons cannot take for granted the EU will automatically grant it a last minute stay of execution for Brexit after all.

The EU knows it must give the appearance that its doors remain open, lest it be depicted as the bad guy in the Brexit fight. But there is a sense among member states that negotiating with Johnson is becoming increasingly futile, given he no longer has anything close to a majority in the UK parliament, which must approve any Brexit deal.
"What's even the point?" asked one EU diplomat. "They can't deliver."
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💩 Boris Johnson's Brother Resigns From U.K. Parliament Over Brexit
« Reply #167 on: September 06, 2019, 04:54:39 AM »
No more JoJo, now only BoJo.


Boris Johnson's Brother Resigns From U.K. Parliament Over Brexit

September 5, 20191:11 PM ET
Shannon Van Sant

Jo Johnson, brother of Britain's prime minister, Boris Johnson, resigned from Parliament and his brother's Cabinet on Thursday.
Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Jo Johnson, the brother of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has resigned from Parliament, in the latest sign of Brexit turmoil. Jo Johnson says that in recent weeks he has been "torn between family loyalty and the national interest" and that he is stepping down from his roles as both a government minister and a member of Parliament.

"It's an unresolvable tension," Jo Johnson said in a tweet, "and time for others to take on my roles as MP & Minister. #overandout"

Jo Johnson had been a member of Parliament for Orpington, a district on the southeast of London, since 2010.

Jo's resignation follows a string of defeats for Boris, who has repeatedly promised to pull the U.K. out of the European Union by the current deadline of Oct. 31. On Wednesday night, Parliament voted to block Boris' plan to leave the EU without a deal, and members of his own party have spoken out to protest his decision to purge 21 Conservative Party members of Parliament who opposed a no-deal Brexit.

The expelled Conservatives include prominent members such as Nicholas Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill, who has served as a member of Parliament for 37 years, and Ken Clarke, the longest-serving member of Parliament. Some of the lawmakers reportedly learned they had been kicked out of their party via text message.
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This is the second time Jo Johnson has taken a very public stand over Brexit. Last year, he stepped down from Theresa May's government in protest of the withdrawal agreement she negotiated with the European Union. In 2016, the two brothers were on opposite sides of the referendum, with Boris pushing to leave the EU and Jo in favor of remaining.

Boris is now calling for a snap election, hoping to form a stable majority in Parliament that could support his plan to leave the EU — with or without a deal. Opposition lawmakers also want elections, but Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, says he won't agree to an election until there is a law stopping a no-deal Brexit.

In Wednesday's pivotal vote, former Prime Minister Theresa May sided with Johnson. But she could also be seen laughing in the Parliament chamber, chatting with Clarke as ire was directed at the new prime minister. On Tuesday night, while driving away from the Parliament buildings, May was seen smiling.
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Re: 💩 Boris Johnson's Brother Resigns From U.K. Parliament Over Brexit
« Reply #168 on: September 06, 2019, 07:18:10 AM »
No more JoJo, now only BoJo.


Boris Johnson's Brother Resigns From U.K. Parliament Over Brexit

One wag had it that JoJo resigned in order to spend less time with his family.
"...reprehensible lying communist..."

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💩 Brexit: MPs block Prime Minister’s bid for early election
« Reply #169 on: September 07, 2019, 04:56:39 AM »
<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>
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💩 This Week in Brexit: The Wheels Come Off the Boris Express
« Reply #170 on: September 07, 2019, 06:20:58 AM »

This Week in Brexit: The Wheels Come Off the Boris Express

By Joshua Keating
Sept 06, 20192:15 PM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks across a field as he visits Darnford Farm in Banchory near Aberdeen on September 6, 2019 in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Animation by Lisa Larson-Walker. Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images

“Let me put it this way: There is a part of my soul that still yearns to believe.”

That’s British Prime Minister Boris Johnson talking about, of all things, the Loch Ness monster during a visit to Scotland on Friday. But he could just as easily have been talking about his yearning to deliver Brexit by the end of October after a bizarre week that saw the Parliament, his own party, and even his own brother turning against him.
More on Brexit

    An Omnishambles Like No Other Omnishambles
    Brexit Is Making Everyone Very Tired
    Anarchy in the U.K.
    Both Sides of Brexit Claim They’re Fighting for Democracy. Who’s Right?

Previously on Brexit: Let’s recall where we were when this week started. Over the summer, Johnson was elected prime minister by the Conservative Party on a pledge to pull the U.K. out of the European Union by Oct. 31, the current deadline, even if they cannot reach a deal. He claims he is attempting to negotiate a new Withdrawal Agreement, without some of the more unpopular aspects of the deal that Theresa May negotiated and Parliament rejected earlier this year. If he can’t get the Europeans to agree—and right now it doesn’t look likely that they will—he’s repeatedly said that he’s willing to pull the U.K. out without a deal on Oct. 31, an action that could have devastating economic and political consequences.

Parliament returned to session this week and opponents of a no-deal Brexit—who include the opposition Labour Party, several smaller parties, and a number of rebel Tories—are dead-set on doing everything possible to stop it, and have spent the last few weeks discussing various strategies for doing so.

Last week, Johnson asked the queen to shut down Parliament—an act known as prorogation—from some time next week until Oct. 14. There are some normal reasons for prorogation but in this case it was fairly obvious that Johnson and his chief strategist, Dominic Cummings, were trying to give Parliament as little time as possible to thwart him. This week, that plan fell apart spectacularly. Here’s how it happened.

Monday in Brexit: The Labour Party introduced a bill that would give Johnson until Oct. 19—just after a crucial European Council summit—to reach a deal. If he can’t, he would be required to ask the EU for an extension of the Brexit deadline until Jan. 31. (This would be the third time it has been delayed.) On Monday, Johnson said there are no circumstances under which he would do that and vowed that if the bill passed, he would call for a new general election in mid-October.
inRead invented by Teads

The idea behind a new election is that it would allow the pro-Brexit forces to pick up seats and retake the agenda. You may recall a similar gambit backfired spectacularly on Theresa May back in 2017, but Johnson was running out of options.
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Tuesday in Brexit: Things only got more bleak on Tuesday. The Conservatives and their partners, the Democratic Unionist Party, came into the week with just a one-vote majority in Parliament. Then on Tuesday, pro-Remain Conservative MP Phillip Lee dramatically walked across the aisle to join the Liberal Democrats while Johnson was speaking, wiping out his working majority. (This then provoked a backlash within the Lib Dems, with some high-profile members quitting over Lee’s anti-LGBTQ views.)

Twenty-one Conservatives then joined the opposition to vote to open debate on the anti–no-deal law and were summarily kicked out of the party. These included some heavy hitters like former Chancellor Phillip Hammond, former Justice Secretary David Gauke, and Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Johnson’s hero Winston Churchill. The idea here is that when the new election happens, Johnson wants to put only pure Brexiteers before the voters.

Amid the chaos, arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg got comfy on the frontbenches.

Wednesday in Brexit:  Johnson went through the weekly “Prime Minister’s Questions” ritual for the first time, and it was as chippy as you might expect. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Johnson of misleading the public about the status of negotiations with the EU and preparations for a no-deal Brexit. Johnson referred to Corbyn as both a “chlorinated chicken” and a “big girl’s blouse.” (I don’t know exactly what that means, but it sure sounds sexist.) Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi also called out Johnson for past comments comparing women wearing burqas to “letterboxes.”

The opposition, boosted by the 21 former Conservatives, easily passed the anti–no-deal bill. They then rejected Johnson’s motion to call an early election next month.

This last bit requires a bit of explanation. Labour does want to have a new election soon—the party wants to run the country, after all—but it wants to make sure no-deal is definitely off the table first. (There’s some disagreement among the party’s leaders over whether they should wait until the bill becomes law, or when it’s actually implemented. Perhaps because he doesn’t like being called a “chlorinated chicken,” Corbyn wanted it sooner, but for now it looks like the party is set on waiting until November to make sure the extension really happens.)
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It used to be that the prime minister could just call an election whenever he likes, but under a law called the Fixed-Terms Parliament Act passed back in 2011, he needs two-thirds of Parliament to agree, giving the opposition veto power over his plans. For this mess, as with Brexit itself, the country has former Prime Minister David Cameron to thank.

Also on Wednesday, the EU basically declared a no-deal Brexit a natural disaster in order to free up contingency funds. It’s worth remembering that the assumption of all this maneuvering is that the EU would agree to another extension if the U.K. asks for one. The general assumption is that it would—nobody wants no deal—but not a foregone conclusion and at the very least, they might make the Brits sweat for a few days in late October.

Thursday in Brexit: Speaking at an event with new police recruits in Yorkshire, Johnson said he’d rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask Brussels for another extension, but he was vague about whether this meant he would resign rather than comply with the new law.

That same day, Johnson’s brother Jo, the minister of state for universities and science, resigned from the government and the Conservative Party over his brother’s stance on Brexit. Jo Johnson had been pro-Remain during the referendum but the two had managed to patch things up, until now.

Friday in Brexit: The anti–no-deal bill was passed by the House of Lords, meaning it will become law on Monday. Johnson went off in search of the Loch Ness monster and had a run-in with a bull.

Next week in Brexit:  On Monday, Johnson will again try to call an election for October, and will most likely fail again. He can then either shut down Parliament immediately or try something else. Ironically, his move to shut down Parliament last week give him less time for maneuvering—Parliament has to be shut down by Thursday. This is an important lesson that you shouldn’t ask the queen to put something in writing for you unless you’re sure you really want it.

Deadline aside, Johnson doesn’t have a whole of options left to get his quick election. He could try to amend the Fixed-Terms Parliament Act, which would require only a one vote majority. This might have been a better option before he kicked 21 people out of his party. Even more extreme: He could attempt to trigger an election by calling a vote of no-confidence in himself. This is weird for two reasons. First, it would put Labour in the awkward position of deciding whether to thwart the prime minister by declaring that they do have confidence in him. Second, of the many things that Johnson has been accused of over the years, lacking confidence in himself is not one of them.
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💩 Brexit: Parliament to be suspended after MPs vote on holding election
« Reply #171 on: September 09, 2019, 02:06:52 PM »
"Democracy" in Action!


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💩 Brexit: Jeremy Corbyn's Improbable Journey
« Reply #172 on: September 10, 2019, 05:18:30 AM »

An Improbable Journey

REINVENTION: Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has appeared to shift his views on Britain's membership of the European Union. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Jeremy Corbyn, Britain’s unlikely EU warrior, makes last stand on Brexit


For decades, Jeremy Corbyn was among the EU’s strongest critics. Today, he is the last line of defence against Britain leaving the bloc on Oct. 31 without a withdrawal agreement.


Filed Sept. 9, 2019, 10 a.m. GMT

In 2009, a little-known British politician declared he didn’t want to live in a European empire of the 21st century.

The speaker was Jeremy Corbyn, then a backbench Member of Parliament (MP) on the hard left of the Labour Party. He was addressing a rally against the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty that gave Brussels greater powers.

Today, Corbyn is his party’s leader and he is fighting a very different campaign: Preventing Prime Minister Boris Johnson leading Britain out of the EU, “do or die,” on Oct. 31.

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Corbyn’s journey – from Eurosceptic to last line of defence against leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement, from Socialist rebel to leader of an opposition united against Johnson – is among the most improbable in modern British history.

In a backbench career spanning more than three decades, Corbyn voted against his own Labour Party over 400 times. He became Labour Party leader in 2015.

Corbyn was at his most rebellious during fellow Labour member Tony Blair’s premiership in 1997-2007, opposing closer economic and political ties with the EU, which is viewed by some on the hard left as a “capitalist club,” and voting against the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He has called members of Hamas and Hezbollah “friends.” He once described the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a “military Frankenstein.” Corbyn’s Labour is being investigated for anti-Semitism by Britain’s human rights watchdog after a surge in complaints since Corbyn took office. Labour has said it will cooperate fully with the inquiry and Corbyn has promised to tackle the “poison” of anti-Semitism.

Labour MP Neil Coyle, who backed Corbyn to become party leader in 2015, sums up why for many people he is a divisive figure, and why he came to regret lending Corbyn his support: “He has 30 years of baggage on dodgy issues,” Coyle told Reuters.

Corbyn, 70, declined to be interviewed for this article. Reuters spoke to half a dozen people who know Corbyn well, including some of his closest allies, and reviewed past speeches, his parliamentary voting record, and overseas trips to paint a picture of the man who could be Britain’s prime minister after an election expected in weeks.

Colleagues described a principled politician with little personal ambition who became the Left’s candidate for the Labour Party leadership in 2015 simply “because it was his turn,” a political activist more than a parliamentarian, a firm believer in the redistribution of wealth and drawn to any “liberation struggle.”
YOUTH APPEAL: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn took to the stage at Britain’s 2017 Glastonbury Festival. Above, revellers cheer his speech. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
CUBA LINKS: At the Labour Party conference in 2018, souvenir cufflinks featured Corbyn in the style of Che Guevara. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Since becoming leader, Corbyn has appeared to change tack on some issues. He has said he opposes leaving the EU on terms that will hurt ordinary Britons and believes any “Brexit” deal must be put to a popular vote. He has supported Britain’s commitment to NATO and said he regrets calling members of Hamas and Hezbollah friends.

Corbyn’s opponents are unconvinced. They believe he still harbours dangerous, hard left views on the economy and foreign policy. Corbyn has a deep-rooted antipathy to Brussels that is unlikely to have changed, these people say. One of Britain’s longest-serving and most respected MPs, Ken Clarke, has known Corbyn for 30 years. “He doesn’t modify his views,” observed Clarke, a former Conservative minister.

The Labour leader’s critics, including some within the party, say he hasn’t done enough to challenge anti-Semitism.

The making of the man

Corbyn grew up in a middle class family in the rural English county of Shropshire. His father, David, was an electrical engineer. His mother, Naomi, taught maths. Corbyn’s parents met in the 1930s at a local meeting in support of the Spanish Republic against Franco’s fascist rule. They shaped Corbyn’s Socialist beliefs.

“Both committed Socialists and peace campaigners, my mum’s inspiration was to encourage girls to believe they could achieve anything in their lives,” Corbyn said in a speech to the Labour Party conference in 2016.

Dennis Skinner worked alongside Corbyn in the Labour Party’s Socialist Campaign Group of left-wing lawmakers. One of nine children, and the son of a miner, Skinner embodies Labour’s working class roots.

Skinner said Corbyn came from a very different Socialist household. “They probably didn’t sit around a table with four or five brothers all arguing the toss about this, that or the other. I can imagine his father would say, ‘Now it’s your turn Jeremy, do you want to make a contribution?’”

When he was 15, Corbyn joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, an advocacy group that wants the UK to get rid of its nuclear weapons and opposes NATO. He would later become vice president of the disarmament group, a position he still holds.
CAMPAIGNER: Corbyn is described by some colleagues as an activist more than a parliamentarian. Here he is pictured in 1998 with Isabel Allende, the daughter of former Chilean President Salvador Allende. They were campaigning to have former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet extradited for trial in Spain.

At the age of 19, Corbyn became a teacher in Jamaica, then travelled around Latin America – the start of an enduring fascination with the region. It was the late 1960s, when leftist groups were on the rise. Corbyn was in Santiago, he has said, when “the great” Salvador Allende and his Popular Unity party were readying for power. Last December, Corbyn flew to Mexico for the inauguration of leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has called Corbyn his “eternal friend.” Corbyn’s third wife is Mexican lawyer and activist Laura Álvarez.

On the back benches

Corbyn was elected to parliament in 1983 as MP for London’s Islington North, a patchwork district of multi-million pound Georgian homes and social housing. He has increased his majority from just over 5,000 in 1983 to more than 33,000 now. Friend and ally Jon Lansman says Corbyn cares deeply about his constituents.

“He did a lot of stuff on housing, on migration, poverty, benefits,” said Lansman, who worked on Corbyn’s Labour leadership campaign in 2015 and co-founded Momentum, a pro-Corbyn movement.

Mike Gapes, a former Labour MP who now represents a small, centrist party, was also on the Left of Britain’s politics in those early days. Like Corbyn, Gapes voted in a 1975 referendum to leave the forerunner of the EU, the European Economic Area. “We wanted to introduce import controls in the siege economy, a form of Socialism in one country,” Gapes said.

Over the years, Gapes went on, “many of us moved on from those delusions” but a few kept the faith. “One of them was Jeremy Corbyn.”

Ronnie Campbell, MP for the northeastern English constituency of Blyth Valley, first met Corbyn in 1987 and remembers how the new MP’s scruffy appearance, in particular his refusal to wear a tie, challenged parliamentary tradition. “The Tories would get up and say, ‘Mr Speaker, there’s somebody in this chamber not properly dressed.’ And it was Jeremy sitting in the back with no tie.”

Campbell described Corbyn as an “inquisitive” man who would talk to pretty much any protest or rebel group because he wanted to “hear it from the horse’s mouth.” Some of his meetings got Corbyn into trouble. He drew all-party criticism for inviting Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams to parliament in 1984 at the height of violence in Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein was the political arm of the Irish Republican Army that fought a decades-long war against British rule.

Campbell said some of Corbyn’s allies were “mortified” when they found out he was talking to Adams. Corbyn responded, “We’ve got to get to know what their cause is and what they want, and that was his argument at the time,” Campbell said. “We’ve got to try and understand these people.”

Corbyn was one of the sponsors of the Stop the War Coalition, a campaign group set up in 2001 when George W. Bush announced the “war on terror.” Stop the War says it opposes the British establishment’s “disastrous addiction to war.”
CRITIC: Corbyn is no fan of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair. Here Corbyn is pictured in 2018 with Blair and another former Labour PM, Gordon Brown (left). REUTERS/Simon Dawson

    “He has 30 years of baggage on dodgy issues.”
    Neil Coyle, Labour MP, speaking about Jeremy Corbyn

Corbyn has spoken openly about his “difficulties” with Tony Blair, who became Labour Party leader in 1994 and prime minister in 1997. Blair distanced Labour from its Socialist roots and drew the party towards the middle ground. Blair also backed Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

In 2015 at a question-and-answer session, Corbyn was asked by an audience member whether he shared any of Blair’s qualities. “Tony Blair and I were never close,” he said to laughter. “I am sorry, I have a lot of difficulties with Tony Blair.” Corbyn listed his reasons: Blair’s “obsession” with selling off state-owned industry and “with being very close to the U.S. and the neo-Cons, the war in Iraq, and all the problems that have come as a result of that.” Blair has said he believes it was the right decision to join the war in Iraq.

Corbyn’s turn

The Socialist Campaign Group had tried and failed to get one of its members on the Labour leadership ballot for years. At a meeting of the group in 2015, one of Corbyn’s closest allies, John McDonnell, persuaded Corbyn to enter the Labour leadership contest. McDonnell has since become Labour’s finance policy chief. Campbell recalled McDonnell telling Corbyn: “It’s your turn anyway. Get on the paper, at least try to get on the paper. And Jeremy said, ‘OK, I’ll have a bash at it’.”

Lansman said Corbyn was a good choice because he “didn’t have any enemies. Everybody liked him. He was seen as a principled guy, no kind of side to him.”

Corbyn’s expectations of getting the required 35 nominations were so low that he had no qualms about agreeing, people close to him said. To the surprise of many, he passed the threshold.
Corbyn: A bitesize bio

Born: Chippenham, Wiltshire, 1949
Education: Adams’ Grammar School in Newport, Shropshire.
Key past jobs: Trade union organiser, local politician in London’s Haringey district, Labour MP
Campaign slogan: “For the many, not the few”
Hobbies: Growing his own fruit and vegetables, jam-making, Arsenal Football Club. Fluent Spanish speaker.
Favourite book: “Ulysses” by James Joyce
Pet: Cat called El Gato

Elizabeth Piper

In the contest that followed, Corbyn’s criticism of U.S. influence and Conservative austerity policies, introduced after the 2008 global financial crisis, won over many young voters. Labour Party membership surged, and in September 2015 Corbyn won the leadership with almost 60% of the vote.

But Corbyn’s Socialist agenda alienated Labour MPs in parliament. Many of them occupied the centre ground and were loyal to the ideals of Blair, one of Labour’s most successful post-war leaders.

Coyle, one of the MPs who nominated Corbyn, declared less than a year later that he regretted his backing, having concluded Corbyn was a weak leader with a mistaken sense of priorities. There were resignations among Corbyn’s parliamentary team. Health policy chief Heidi Alexander was the first to quit in June 2016.

 “As much as I respect you as a man of principle, I do not believe you have the capacity to shape the answers our country is demanding, and I believe that if we are to form the next government, a change of leadership is essential,” she wrote in her resignation letter.

Corbyn defeated what his supporters called a disgraceful coup attempt by MPs. Labour Party members re-elected him as party leader in September 2016.

Charges of anti-Semitism

During Corbyn’s time as leader, Labour has been beset by accusations of anti-Semitism. In May, Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission said it was launching an investigation into whether Labour has discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish.

The commission acted after receiving “a number of complaints and allegations of anti-Semitism in the party.” It said its inquiry would seek to determine whether the party or its employees had committed unlawful acts and whether the party had responded to complaints efficiently and effectively.

Corbyn has said he is determined to “confront this poison” of anti-Semitism. But he has also drawn criticism that his own comments and actions have created a space for anti-Semitism to flourish.

In March 2018, Corbyn apologised for sending a supportive message to the creator of a London mural after local officials ordered it should be destroyed. The mural depicted Jewish bankers playing Monopoly on the backs of the poor. Corbyn conceded the image was “deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic.” In August 2018, he apologised over an event he hosted in 2010 where a speaker compared Israel to Nazism. That same month, a photograph emerged from a trip by Corbyn to Tunisia in 2014. It showed Corbyn at a ceremony where the perpetrators of the 1972 Munich massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes were honoured by a Palestinian delegation. Corbyn said he was there as part of a wider event about Middle East peace and wasn’t involved in the ceremony.

    “We want to change the party and change the country and that is a long-term project.”
    Jon Lansman, who worked on Corbyn’s Labour leadership campaign in 2015

MP Luciana Berger quit Labour earlier this year, saying the party had become “institutionally antisemitic.” She was one of nine Labour MPs who left the party within one week saying it had been “hijacked by the machine politics of the hard left.” The MPs also accused the party leadership of “being complicit in facilitating Brexit.” Corbyn expressed disappointment at their decision.

Corbyn, a lifelong peace campaigner, has changed tack on defence.

Throughout his decades on the parliamentary back benches, he questioned why NATO wasn’t dismantled after the Cold War and accused the alliance of forcing member states to spend heavily on arms that perpetuate war. He consistently argued against  Britain’s nuclear weapons system, Trident.

But in a foreign policy speech in 2017, Corbyn said it was vital that Britain maintained “a close relationship with our European partners alongside our commitment to NATO.” And he now accepts the Labour Party’s long-standing policy to maintain Trident, although says he remains committed to achieving a “nuclear-free world” and would not use such weapons.

Labour’s foreign affairs policy chief, Emily Thornberry, explained that Corbyn has “been on a journey” since becoming party leader. Critics say he is playing hide-and-seek with his policies, appearing to agree with the party line while not bending on his long-held views. “He really hasn’t moved on much,” said Coyle.

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Corbyn is at his most confident when criticising the government over economic austerity. He has vowed to break with the public spending curbs of successive administrations and create a Britain for “the many, not the few.”

In the country’s 2017 general election, he campaigned to bring key sectors of the economy under state control – the railways, the postal service and some public utilities, such as water. He promised greater investment in public services, including healthcare and education. He said he would raise taxation for the top 5% of earners. Students would no longer have to pay for their university education.

More recently, Labour announced plans to redistribute wealth by forcing companies with more than 250 employees to transfer 10% of their shares to workers.

The Labour Party manifesto was credited along with Corbyn’s energetic campaign with winning considerably more votes than Corbyn’s detractors believed was possible, cementing his position as party leader. Lansman says there is no turning back. “We want to change the party and change the country and that is a long-term project.”

NEW EUROPEAN: Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his EU policy chief are pictured in Brussels in March. Corbyn says any Brexit deal must be put to a referendum. REUTERS/Yves Herman
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💩 Jeremy Corbyn tells Boris Johnson: 'This government is a disgrace'
« Reply #173 on: September 11, 2019, 05:27:28 AM »
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💩 Brexit: Scottish judges rule Parliament suspension is unlawful
« Reply #174 on: September 12, 2019, 02:08:06 AM »
That never stops Trumpovetsky on this side of the Pond, why would it be any different over there? ???  :icon_scratch:


Brexit: Scottish judges rule Parliament suspension is unlawful

    11 September 2019

Related Topics

    Parliament suspension 2019

Media captionThe court ruled that the prime minister was attempting to "stymie Parliament" by suspending it for five weeks

Boris Johnson’s suspension of the UK Parliament is unlawful, Scotland’s highest civil court has ruled.

A panel of three judges at the Court of Session found in favour of a cross-party group of politicians who were challenging the prime minister's move.

The judges said the PM was attempting to prevent Parliament holding the government to account ahead of Brexit.

A UK government appeal against the ruling will be heard by the Supreme Court in London next week.

The Court of Session decision overturns an earlier ruling from the court, which said last week that Mr Johnson had not broken the law.

    Why is this court ruling significant?
    MPs demand Parliament be recalled after court case
    Why are MPs being sent home?

The current five week suspension of Parliament, a process known as proroguing, started in the early hours of Tuesday.

MPs are not scheduled to return to Parliament until 14 October, when there will be a Queen's Speech outlining Mr Johnson's legislative plans. The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October.

Opposition parties have called for Parliament to be immediately recalled in the wake of the court judgement, but Downing Street said this would not happen ahead of the Supreme Court's ruling on the case.

Downing Street also distanced itself from reports that quoted Number 10 sources as suggesting the Scottish judges were politically biased, and insisted that the prime minister has "absolute respect" for the independence of the judiciary.
What did the Scottish judges say?

Mr Johnson had previously insisted that it was normal practice for a new government to prorogue Parliament, and that it was "nonsense" to suggest he was attempting to undermine democracy.

But the Court of Session judges were unanimous in finding that Mr Johnson was motivated by the "improper purpose of stymieing Parliament", and he had effectively misled the Queen in advising her to suspend Parliament.

They added: "The Court will accordingly make an Order declaring that the prime minister's advice to HM the Queen and the prorogation which followed thereon was unlawful and is thus null and of no effect."
Media captionJoanna Cherry: "I would feel confident that the UK Supreme Court will uphold this decision."

The group of more than 70 largely pro-Remain MPs and peers behind the legal challenge were headed by SNP MP Joanna Cherry, who said they felt "utterly vindicated".

The parliamentarians appealed to the Inner House of the Court of Session after their original challenge to the suspension of Parliament was dismissed by judge Lord Doherty last week.

Lord Doherty said Mr Johnson had not broken the law by proroguing Parliament, and that it was for MPs and the electorate to judge the prime minister's actions rather than the courts.

But the three Inner House judges said they disagreed with Lord Doherty's ruling because this particular prorogation had been a "tactic to frustrate Parliament" rather than a legitimate use of the power.
Image caption Mr Johnson has strongly denied suggestions that he was attempting to undermine democracy

One of the three judges, Lord Brodie, said: "This was an egregious case of a clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behaviour of public authorities.

"It was to be inferred that the principal reasons for the prorogation were to prevent or impede Parliament holding the executive to account and legislating with regard to Brexit, and to allow the executive to pursue a policy of a no-deal Brexit without further Parliamentary interference."

Lord Drummond Young said that the UK government had failed to show a valid reason for the prorogation, adding: "The circumstances, particularly the length of the prorogation, showed that the purpose was to prevent such scrutiny.

"The only inference that could be drawn was that the UK government and the prime minister wished to restrict Parliament."

The High Court in London says that advice given by the prime minister to the Queen to suspend parliament is basically "political" - something the government has argued from the get go - and so it's not a matter the courts should get involved in because there are really no legal standards against which to judge it.

Scotland's highest court disagreed, strongly.

It ruled that the prime minister's advice could be unlawful if its purpose was to stymie parliamentary scrutiny. That's because parliament's role in scrutinising the government is a central pillar of our constitution, which follows naturally from the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

Two courts, two totally contradictory judgments.

They are now both hurtling towards the highest court in the land, the UK Supreme Court, where that contradiction will be resolved. There will be a definitive ruling on whether the prime minister acted unlawfully, or not - and that will determine whether parliament is to be recalled in the lead up to 31 October.

And that is how our constitution works. Through what's known as judicial review, independent judges can stop the might of government in its tracks if what ministers have done is unlawful. Because as lawyers like to say: "Be you ever so mighty, the law is above you."
What was the reaction to the ruling?

A spokesman for Number 10 said it was "disappointed" by the decision, and would appeal to the Supreme Court.

He added: "The UK government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing Parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this."
Image caption There were angry protests from many MPsin the Commons ahead of Parliament being suspended in the early hours of Tuesday

Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said the ruling was of "enormous constitutional significance", and that Parliament should be recalled immediately to allow it to do the "real and substantive work of scrutiny".

She added: "The prime minister's behaviour has been outrageous and reckless, and has shown a complete disregard for constitutional rules and norms."

Labour's Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said Parliament should be recalled as early as this afternoon.

He told the BBC: "Most people didn't believe Boris Johnson, but for the courts to find he has unlawfully shut down Parliament and that his motive wasn't the one he said it was? That's very powerful.

"I call on him to recall Parliament. Let's get it back open, and sitting this afternoon and tomorrow, so we can debate what happens next and we can debate this judgement."

And Dominic Grieve, the former Conservative MP and attorney general who now sits as an independent, said the prime minister should "resign very swiftly" if he has misled the Queen.

The Liberal Democrats' Brexit spokesman, Tom Brake, said the ruling was "highly embarrassing" for the prime minister, and showed prorogation was "never more than a power grab".

The Court of Session does not criticise the Queen's decision to prorogue Parliament at Boris Johnson's request; it rules on the advice the Prime Minister gave the Queen. But the ruling raises questions for the Palace and the constitutional role of the Queen.

Although the Queen was expected to grant the prorogation - there was precedent for suspending parliament before the Queen's Speech, and she acts on the advice of her ministers - she is not simply a rubber stamp for the government of the day.

How well was the Queen advised? Should the Palace have pushed Downing Street harder as to the reasons for the prorogation? The Queen has been drawn into the Brexit mire, and the questions now go to the heart of her constitutional role.

If she has no discretion at all over prorogation, what is her constitutional purpose? If she has discretion, when would she use it? Traditionally politicians step very carefully around these issues so as not embarrass the Queen and upset the constitutional order. But these are far from traditional times.
What happened at the High Court in London?

High Court judges in London have given their reasons why a similar legal challenge by businesswoman Gina Miller was dismissed last week.

They said they rejected her claim because the suspension of Parliament was a "purely political" move and was therefore "not a matter for the courts".
Image caption Gina Miller is appealing against the decision in the case

Ms Miller's case was deemed "non justiciable" - not capable of being determined by the courts - in a written summary of the reasoning behind the judgment.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton and President of the Queen's Bench Division Dame Victoria Sharp said their conclusion was based on "well-established and conventional grounds".

They said the speed with which Parliament passed a bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit highlighted a flaw in Ms Miller's argument.

"The ability of Parliament to move with speed when it chooses to do so undermines the underlying premise of the case for the claimant that prorogation would deny Parliament the opportunity to do precisely what it has now done," the judges said.

Ms Miller is appealing the decision in the Supreme Court at the hearing which will take place on 17 September.

What questions do you have about the latest Brexit developments?
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💩 Poll predicts hung parliament after election-with SNP, Lib Dems gaining seats
« Reply #175 on: September 12, 2019, 03:21:34 AM »
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💩 Lies, Purging and Prorogation: Two Pivotal Weeks in Brexit
« Reply #176 on: September 14, 2019, 12:43:39 AM »

Lies, Purging and Prorogation: Two Pivotal Weeks in Brexit

Britain is in a profound political crisis, as Parliament is paralyzed by the task of carrying out the fateful vote of the British public to leave the European Union.Credit  Andrew Testa for The New York Times

By Mark Landler

    Sept. 13, 2019
    Updated 3:25 p.m. ET

LONDON — It started with claims that Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain lied to the people and ended with charges that he lied to the queen. In between, there was a political spectacle so gaudy and unheard-of in this country that it raised a stark question: Is Britain in a constitutional crisis?

The answer, by most accounts, is not yet. But Britain is in a profound political crisis, one that has brought with it a strange argot of upheaval — prorogation, purges, lying — and a Parliament paralyzed by the task of carrying out the fateful vote of the British public to leave the European Union.

After two dizzying weeks, Britain seems poised on a threshold, between the folkways and rituals of its past and a future of radical change, where conventions are turned upside down and old rules no longer apply. Past and future were both on vivid display during these fraught days, sometimes hand in hand.

On Monday evening, when Mr. Johnson’s government prorogued, or suspended, Parliament — an act widely condemned even by some of the prime minister’s fellow Conservatives as a ruthless silencing of debate — the ritual was nevertheless carried out with a ceremony of almost comical formality.
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In accordance with tradition, the Lady Usher of the Black Rod, a stone-faced woman clad in a heavy gold chain and wielding a black-and-gold staff, marched into the chamber and petitioned the speaker of the House, John Bercow, to accompany her to the House of Lords to mark the end of the session.

But then, most untraditionally, members of Parliament, shouting “No!” and brandishing signs that said “Silenced,” draped themselves bodily over Mr. Bercow to prevent him from leaving the chamber. The Black Rod waited stoically for the speaker to comply.

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“I will play my part,” Mr. Bercow said at last, raising his foghorn voice above the din. “This is not, however, a normal prorogation. It is not typical; it is not standard. It’s one of the longest for decades, and it represents, not just in the minds of many colleagues but huge numbers of people outside, an act of executive fiat.”
ImagePrime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a defeat in Scotland when a panel of judges ruled that his suspension of the House of Commons breached the constitution.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a defeat in Scotland when a panel of judges ruled that his suspension of the House of Commons breached the constitution.CreditDaniel Leal-Olivas/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Performances like that had turned Mr. Bercow into one of the sensations of the Brexit debate. He became a thorn in the government’s side, gleefully defying Mr. Johnson and his predecessor, Theresa May, and manipulating parliamentary rules to give backbenchers control of the debate.


Yet the speaker announced the same day that he would step down from his post at the end of October, a decision that reflected, in part, the polarizing figure he had become. His departure will leave a void in Westminster, raising the question of who could possibly bellow “Order! Order!” with the same brio when a new Parliament reconvenes to debate the next phases of Brexit.

In his final weeks presiding over the House, Mr. Bercow seemed as much ringmaster as disciplinarian. With parts of the Conservative Party in open revolt against Mr. Johnson over the prorogue and his threat of taking Britain out of the European Union without a deal, and the opposition inflamed by his maneuver to cut off debate with the suspension, the House of Commons became a stage for political theater of a particularly British variety.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative leader whose upper-crust mannerisms are easy to parody, stretched out on the frontbench during an evening debate, his languorous pose launching a thousand Twitter memes and becoming a metaphor for Britain’s out-of-touch, Eton- and Oxford-educated elite.

Mr. Johnson lampooned the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, when he balked at the prime minister’s call for an early election, calling him a “chlorinated chicken” (his reference was to chemically-treated poultry from the United States, which many Britons fear would flood the country after Brexit).

One of the Conservative renegades, Phillip Lee, defected ostentatiously while Mr. Johnson was addressing the chamber, crossing the aisle to sit with the Liberal Democrats and depriving Mr. Johnson of his single-vote majority.

His act presaged a broader mutiny in Tory ranks. Twenty-one members voted with the opposition to tie their leader’s hands, passing a law that forbid Mr. Johnson from withdrawing Britain from the European Union on Oct. 31 without a deal.
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The speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, one of the sensations of the Brexit debate.
The speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, one of the sensations of the Brexit debate.CreditJessica Taylor/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Johnson struck back by purging the 21 rebels from the Conservative Party. Emotional farewell speeches from party elders like Kenneth Clarke, a former chancellor of the Exchequer, and Nicholas Soames, a grandson of Winston Churchill, injected a somber note into the otherwise raucous proceedings, serving as a reminder of Brexit’s human cost on the political system.


There was a personal cost to Mr. Johnson, too. His brother, Jo Johnson, a member of Parliament and government minister, announced he would resign, saying he was “torn between family loyalty and the national interest.” An ashen-faced prime minister wished his brother the best, but insisted he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask Brussels for another delay in Britain’s departure.

The broader picture was one of chaos. The opposition rebuffed Mr. Johnson’s call for an election, declining to give him the necessary two-thirds backing of Parliament. They worried that Mr. Johnson would try to schedule a vote before the Oct. 31 deadline to leave Europe, and use a new mandate, if he won at the polls, to leave without a deal.

“Parliament is divided, clueless, and doesn’t know what it wants,” said Anand Menon, a professor of European politics and foreign affairs at King’s College London. “Well, that’s also the British people. The political debate has changed beyond recognition because of Brexit.”

For all the stresses they have absorbed, Britain’s democratic institutions have held so far. But the country’s unwritten constitution has been a source of strength, giving members of Parliament flexibility in resisting the government, but also weakness, as it has forced momentous decisions into the judicial and political spheres, with unpredictable outcomes.

“The line between a political crisis and a constitutional crisis in a country with an unwritten constitution simply isn’t a bright line,” said Timothy Garton Ash, a professor of European studies at Oxford University.

“With an unwritten constitution,” he said, “you leave many of these questions to the political process. We are precisely on the ill-defined frontier between a political and constitutional crisis.”

Since by law the prime minister asks the queen to approve the proroguing of the Parliament, the Scottish ruling also raised the question of whether Mr. Johnson had misled Queen Elizabeth about his reasons.
Since by law the prime minister asks the queen to approve the proroguing of the Parliament, the Scottish ruling also raised the question of whether Mr. Johnson had misled Queen Elizabeth about his reasons.CreditPool photo by Victoria Jones

With Parliament dispersed, the focus last week shifted to the courts. In Scotland, Mr. Johnson suffered a defeat from a panel of judges, who ruled that his suspension of the House of Commons breached the constitution. It was designed, they said, to squelch debate on Brexit, not merely to set the stage for his government’s new legislative agenda.

One of Mr. Johnson’s ministers suggested the court was biased. “Many people,” said the minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, using a vaguely-worded formulation that could be drawn from President Trump’s playbook, “are beginning to question the partiality of the judges.”

Since by law, the prime minister asks the queen to approve the proroguing of the Parliament, the ruling also raised the question of whether Mr. Johnson had misled Queen Elizabeth about his reasons.

“Absolutely not,” Mr. Johnson said in a television interview Thursday. He pointed out that an English court had sided with the government on the decision, and that the legal dispute would ultimately be decided by Britain’s Supreme Court. “We need to get on and do all sorts of things at a national level,” he said.

That seems like a pipe dream.

In the coming days, as Mr. Johnson noted, the high court will decide whether he broke the law in suspending Parliament. Next month, he will attend a European Union meeting that will, in all likelihood, determine whether he can hammer out a deal to leave the union.

Beyond that lies the Oct. 31 deadline, which Mr. Johnson insists he will meet, regardless of what Parliament says about his legal obligations.


Amid all those distractions, there were glimpses of a potential deal that would address the fiendishly complicated issue of Northern Ireland’s border with the south. Speaking in Yorkshire on Friday, Mr. Johnson said he was “cautiously optimistic” about a deal, even if he was determined to leave either way.

British audiences have heard this before, and after years of grinding debate over Brexit, their impatience with the whole topic is palpable. As Mr. Johnson paused to sip water in Yorkshire, a heckler interrupted his remarks to confront him about the mayhem in Parliament.

“Why are you not with them in Parliament,” the man asked, “sorting out the mess that you have created?”
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