AuthorTopic: BREXIT! The FUN Begins!  (Read 22285 times)

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💩 John Bercow: Brexit's uniquely British internet star
« Reply #210 on: November 04, 2019, 01:14:15 AM »
Pelosicrat is completely outclassed by Berkow.  Can we recruit him as a stand-in for the Impeachment hearings?

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💩 Speaker John Bercow gives Boris Johnson a telling off
« Reply #211 on: November 04, 2019, 01:55:09 AM »
Pelosicrat is completely outclassed by Berkow.  Can we recruit him as a stand-in for the Impeachment hearings?

Guaranteed he gets a Talk Show on BBC or SKY Newz.

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💩 A Public Address by The Right Honourable John Bercow
« Reply #212 on: November 07, 2019, 03:21:48 AM »
Berkow takes on the Brats at Harvard.  ;D

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💩 Boris Johnson may just have met his match: the voting public.
« Reply #213 on: November 24, 2019, 05:52:03 AM »
IOW, it's Idiots vs Idiots.  BoJo is an Idiot and so are the Brit Voters.

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https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/boris-johnson-may-just-have-met-his-match-voting-public-n1089436

Boris Johnson may just have met his match: the voting public.


The test for the Johnson, who is fighting his first election as prime minister, is how he acts when the laughter stops.
Watch: Prime Minister Boris Johnson hazed by U.K. flood victims
Nov. 15, 201901:23
Nov. 24, 2019, 12:30 AM AKST
By Patrick Smith

LONDON — Known as a charismatic and energetic campaigner who is happy to mingle, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was thought to be the Conservative Party’s greatest asset. With the simple slogan of “Get Brexit done,” many analysts have predicted he will be staying at No. 10 Downing Street into 2020.

But it has not turned out to be plain sailing for Johnson ahead of the national election on Dec. 12.

A recent trip to crisis-hit communities in the north of England, where severe flooding submerged houses and cut off vast swathes of towns and roads, gave Johnson a large dose of reality as locals were caught excoriating him.

In Doncaster, South Yorkshire — long a bastion of the opposition Labour Party — Johnson approached one woman busy clearing up flood damage to ask how she was doing.

“I’m alright, thank you, but I’m not very happy about talking to you,” she said Nov. 13, holding a wheelbarrow as the broadcast cameras rolled. “You’ve not helped us … I don’t know what you’re for today.” The unnamed woman’s withering response was filmed by broadcast news cameras and widely shared on social media.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson talks with a local woman pushing a wheelbarrow during a visit to Stainforth to see the recent flooding.Danny Lawson / Getty Images

The government has been widely criticized in flood-hit communities for a slow response. Some families claim they received no assistance or even any communication for 48 hours as their homes and businesses were ruined. The U.K. Environment Agency estimates that more than 800 properties have been flooded but media reports suggest the real figure could be double this.

Even more awkwardly that day, the prime minister was shunned at a local community center nearby where flooded families were sheltering.

After refusing to shake his hand, one woman said: “Why has it taken you so long, five days Boris, to come and see us?”

“The people who were walking in here, Boris, you didn’t see them — little girls from Fishlake with no shoes on their feet, a 78-year-old lady, Boris,” the woman, who didn’t give her name to the rolling TV cameras, said as she summed up the local mood.

The Conservative Party has now been in power either governing alone or as part of a coalition for almost 10 years. The early part of their reign focused on reducing the United Kingdom’s public debt through punishing public service cuts and measures to boost the economy and the housing market.

Now, Johnson has made getting Brexit done his number-one priority, amid various populist public spending promises on health care that reverse the party’s previous spendthrift approach.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks with a local woman during a visit to Stainforth to see the recent flooding.Danny Lawson / Getty Images

Tim Bale, a politics professor at Queen Mary University in London, said while Johnson may seem gregarious and open, he often doesn’t connect with people as well as might be expected.

“He’s quite good when he doesn’t have to come into very close contact with ordinary people, when he gets to charm a few people and then he’s off,” Bale said. “The moment it gets interactive and edgy, then he’s in big trouble. But it doesn’t seem to have done any damage to the Conservatives in the polling.”

However, Bale added, the Conservative Party’s poll ratings are currently well ahead of Labour, partly because of the relatively low standing of its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

“It’s all relative — they are facing one of the weakest oppositions and opposition leaders that we’ve seen. So, there isn’t a continual contrast between a fantastically popular opposition leader and Boris Johnson, he’s got no real competition,” he said.
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“A lot of bad behavior is priced in as far as the voters are concerned with Boris Johnson,” Bale said. “He shares that Teflon quality with Donald Trump.”

An aggregate of voting intention polls from the BBC puts the Conservatives in a comfortable lead at 40 percent, with Labour trailing at 29 percent, and the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats a distant third with 15 percent.

The poll numbers betray what has been a rocky few months for Johnson, who’s been hit by a number of scandals that in other circumstances may have ended the career of a prime minister.

An investigation is underway into how and why businesses owned by an American technology entrepreneur, Jennifer Acuri, then based in London, received a £11,500 grant while Johnson was mayor of London, from a promotional firm linked to his office.

Acuri claims the pair had a close personal relationship, which was not declared in Johnson’s list of official interests. Johnson has maintained there was “no interest to declare.”

In June, police were called to the home of Carrie Symonds, where Johnson was staying, after reports from neighbors of a loud argument.

And that’s not to mention Johnson’s unprecedented run of 12 vote losses in the House of Commons, becoming in the process the first prime minister to lose his first vote in Parliament since 1894.
Mayor Boris Johnson as London mayor gets stuck on a zipwire on Aug. 1, 2012.Ben Kendall / PA Wire file

So, recent campaigning has been a far cry from Johnson’s image as a light-hearted comedian, who famously got stuck on a zipline while waving Union Jacks during the 2012 London Olympics (allegedly after lying about his weight). Johnson later explained, “It turned out I was the Yuri Gagarin of the zipwire. I was testing it.”

Not everyone is amused by his antics. Chris Patten, former chairman of the Conservative Party and the last British governor of Hong Kong, said in August that party members had “chosen a mendacious chancer. It is no exaggeration to say that Johnson has lied his way to the top, first in journalism and then in politics.”

The test for Johnson, who is fighting his first election as prime minister in the most fractious and divided political period of modern times, is how he acts when the laughter stops.

“It’s about caring and showing his concern and empathy for the predicament the flood-hit victims had,” according to Feisal Ali, a media trainer with the PR agency Media Zoo.

“If you’ve lost everything, the last thing people want to hear is what you’re going to do tomorrow. At that moment, they want to be listened to and heard.”
Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is a London-based editor and reporter from NBC News Digital.
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💩 Johnson and Corbyn clash on Brexit in TV head-to-head election debate
« Reply #214 on: December 06, 2019, 03:47:04 PM »
Nostradamus RE PREDICTS BoJo will win, but no majority in Parliament and no coalition with the Lib-Dems.  Thus, further Kabuki forthcoming.  ::)

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💩 Calls grow to stop Boris Johnson with tactical voting as race tightens
« Reply #215 on: December 08, 2019, 06:12:27 AM »
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/07/calls-grow-to-stop-boris-johnson-with-tactical-voting-as-race-tightens

Calls grow to stop Boris Johnson with tactical voting as race tightens

Eleventh-hour appeal to anti-Tory voters as poll shows Conservative majority halved


Toby Helm and Michael Savage

Sat 7 Dec 2019 14.29 EST
Last modified on Sat 7 Dec 2019 18.20 EST

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Boris Johnson with a man dressed as Santa Claus while out campaigning in Stockport, Greater Manchester, this weekend.
Boris Johnson with a man dressed as Santa Claus while out campaigning in Stockport, Greater Manchester, this weekend. Photograph: Toby Melville/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

A cross-party alliance of opposition politicians has launched an 11th-hour appeal to anti-Tory voters to consider switching allegiance in Thursday’s general election, amid signs that a late surge of tactical voting in a few swing seats could deprive Boris Johnson of a majority in parliament.

The calls from senior Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP figures come as a major poll suggests Johnson’s likely majority has been cut in half in the last two weeks – from 82 a fortnight ago to just 40 with four days to polling day.
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The analysis of almost 30,000 voters, for the pro-EU Best for Britain campaign, also finds that tactical votes by as few as 40,700 people in 36 key seats could prevent Johnson from forming a majority government.

Without a majority, Johnson is unlikely to be able to deliver the central promise of the Tory campaign – “to get Brexit done” – as he will struggle to get enough MPs’ votes. The DUP, which agreed to prop up the Tories after the 2017 general election, is now fiercely opposed to Johnson’s Brexit deal.

The special polling analysis concludes that if tactical voting keeps the Tories out in the three dozen seats, the Conservatives would have 309 MPs, Labour 255, the SNP 49, the Lib Dems 14, Plaid Cymru three and the Greens one. To guarantee a majority, a governing party needs 325 MPs.

Naomi Smith, Best for Britain’s chief executive, said: “This election is on a knife-edge, and, if enough Remainers hold their nose and vote for the candidate with the best chance of stopping the Tories, we’re heading for a hung Parliament and a final-say referendum.”

On Saturday night, there were further signs that Johnson faces a close race against Labour in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat, where the Lib Dems are said to be “doing no more campaigning” so as not to take votes from the Labour candidate, Ali Milani.

On Saturday, Vince Cable, the former Lib Dem leader, said he could see the case for tactical voting in some areas. “I have been out there campaigning to persuade Labour voters to support Liberal Democrat candidates in constituencies like Lewes and Cheltenham. But I also know there are a great many good Liberal Democrat voters preparing to back Labour in seats like Canterbury and Sedgefield. I understand why they are doing that and recognise why it may be necessary if we are to stop Brexit being forced on us by the Tories.”
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Current leader Jo Swinson, asked in an Observer interview if the Lib Dems should be pulling back in Johnson’s seat, said her job was to drum up votes for the party. But she added: “I understand tactical voting is part of our system, because it’s a rubbish voting system. One way people can use that system to deliver more of what they want is to consider voting tactically.”

Labour’s sitting candidate in Hove, Peter Kyle, a leading advocate of a second Brexit referendum, said: “This is an election like no other, and we either do things differently or pay the price. To deliver for our nation, we need to be smarter. That means encouraging Labour supporters in seats we have no chance of winning – but a non-Tory candidate can win – to do whatever it takes to deny Boris Johnson the majority he craves to deliver his brutal Brexit and continue his reckless premiership.”

Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, said: “Voters can stop a Boris Johnson government if they choose to vote tactically. In Scotland, the SNP is the challenger in every one of the Tory-held seats so by voting SNP, Scotland can play its part in locking Boris Johnson out of Downing Street. In the rest of the UK, it is time to put national interest before tribal party interest so that collectively we can deliver a progressive parliament, focused on protecting our health service, ending austerity, eradicating poverty, delivering justice for women, pensioners and for Scotland, securing the ability to choose our future.”

On Friday, former Tory and Labour prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair attended a rally on tactical voting. Describing the decision to leave the EU as the worst foreign policy choice in his lifetime, Major said: “Tribal loyalty has its place. It can be good and honourable. But sometimes you need to vote with your head and your heart. For your country and your future. This is such a time.”

Saturday’s batch of regular polls showed marked differences in the Tory lead. Opinium’s poll for the Observer has it unchanged from a week ago at 15 points, on 46%, Labour on 31% and the Lib Dems on 13%. But Savanta/ComRes puts Labour up four points on 36%, just six points behind the Tories, who are unchanged on 42%.

Writing in the Observer, Jeremy Corbyn describes the election as a “fight for the survival of our NHS as a free public service that puts patients before profits”. He adds: “My parents’ generation fought hard to establish a universal health service, owned and run by the public. They left it in our trust. It’s our duty to defend it.”

Johnson, in a letter to voters on Sunday, praises the 1945 government for creating the NHS, which he describes as one of the great achievements in British politics in the 20th century. He adds that this election is one of the most important in more than 100 years, the result of which “will be felt for decades to come”.
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💩 Johnson Leads Polls as Election Looms
« Reply #216 on: December 09, 2019, 03:26:58 PM »
The BIG DAY for the Brits tomorrow!  I'm still betting on a Hung Parliament.

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💩 General election 2019: Parties make last pitches on final campaign day
« Reply #217 on: December 11, 2019, 12:26:30 AM »
I thought the BIG Day was Tuesday, apparently we need to wait until Thursday to see how this one shakes out.  :(

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https://www.bbc.com/news/election-2019-50734814

General election 2019: Parties make last pitches on final campaign day


Image copyright Getty Images/AFP/PA

The party leaders are set for a frantic day of campaigning as they criss-cross the country to promote key messages ahead of Thursday's general election.

Jeremy Corbyn will say Labour offers a "vote for hope", while Boris Johnson will say the Tories are the only party who can "get Brexit done".

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson will also call on people to back her candidates to stop the UK leaving the EU.

Polls will open at 07:00 GMT on Thursday and close at 22:00.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is also expected to be making her final pitch to voters, as the six-week campaign enters its critical final hours.

    Election 2019 manifesto guide
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Ms Sturgeon - who took part in a BBC debate with other Scottish leaders on Tuesday evening - has published an open letter calling Boris Johnson the "greatest danger to Scotland of any Tory prime minister in modern times".

The Conservatives retain a solid lead over Labour, according to the BBC's opinion poll tracker.

A poll produced by YouGov released on Tuesday evening suggests the Conservatives are on course for a small majority of around 28.

Their poll puts the Conservatives on 43%, which their model translates into 339 seats; Labour on 34%, with 231 seats; the Liberal Democrats on 12%, with 15 seats; the Greens with 3% and one seat and the Brexit Party on 3%, with no seats. The SNP are projected to have 41 seats, an increase of six on 2017, and Plaid Cymru are unchanged with four seats.

A similar YouGov analysis last month had the Conservatives ahead of Labour by a bigger margin, with a Tory majority of 68.

But the pollster points out that its seat share estimates come with some uncertainty, and the margin of error could put the Tories' final seat numbers between 311 and 367, meaning neither another hung Parliament nor a larger Tory majority can be ruled out.

Fieldwork was conducted between 4 and 10 December, with 100,000 people polled.
'Voters ignored'

Labour is hoping for a late swing in its favour, as happened in the 2017 general election, while the Tories are warning about the possibility of a hung Parliament, amid concerns about voter complacency.

Both party leaders will be hoping to put a rocky few days behind them, as they embark on the traditional election-eve tour of target seats.

Boris Johnson is expected to start Wednesday doing a milk round, and will use events throughout the day to stress key Tory pledges on investing in the NHS, raising the number of police officers and bringing in a new immigration system.
Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Jeremy Corbyn mans the phones at Labour HQ in Glasgow

But his main message will be on Brexit, saying those who voted to Leave had been "ignored" since the referendum.

He will also say those who voted to Remain had had their own priorities "ignored" due to Parliament's focus on leaving the EU.

"Brexit is the key to unlocking this action - because unless we get out of this quicksand of a Brexit argument, our future as a country remains uncertain," says Mr Johnson.

"We are the only party with a plan for the future, and the only party whose plan you can trust."
'Put money in your pocket'

Mr Corbyn will begin in Scotland before heading to the north-east of England - where the Tories are targeting Leave-voting Labour seats - to appeal to undecided voters.

He will repeat pledges on funding for the NHS, expanding free childcare and lowering transport fares, promising to "put money in your pocket, because you deserve it".
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Boris Johnson visits a production line in the North West of England

But he will also tackle Mr Johnson's message, saying: "Labour will get Brexit sorted - we will secure a good deal for working people, and give you the final say."

The party has promised to negotiate a new deal with the EU within three months of being elected and put it to another referendum - versus Remain - within six months.

"This is the most important election in a generation and people have the chance on Thursday to vote for a government for the many, not the few," Mr Corbyn will add.
NHS row continues

Labour will also level accusations at the Tories about what five more years of them in government will do to the NHS, including longer waiting lists and increases in wait times for cancer treatment and in A&E.

The party claims that, on current trends, the number of patients waiting for treatment will increase "beyond current record levels".

But Health Secretary Matt Hancock has dismissed their analysis as "nonsense", adding: "The biggest threat to our NHS is Jeremy Corbyn and his disastrous plans for a four-day week and uncontrolled and unlimited immigration."
Media captionElection explained: Hugh Pym on what to look out for on the NHS

Meanwhile, Ms Swinson will be going to rallies with Lib Dem members to double down on her anti-Brexit message.

She will say voting for her party can stop Mr Johnson getting a Conservative majority, and stop the UK from leaving the EU.

The leader will call on her activists to "keep going [and] fighting for every vote", but will also tell other voters that supporting them will not be a wasted ballot.

"To everyone out there who has a growing pile of Lib Dem leaflets on their kitchen table - we can win where you live," she will say.

"You can stop another Conservative MP being elected. You can stop Boris Johnson from getting a majority he doesn't deserve. You can help us stop Brexit."
'People have lost faith'

The SNP will take a similar tack in its appeal to Labour voters in Scotland, calling on them to back their party to "beat the Tories and lock Boris Johnson out of No 10".

The party's Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, will say his party is the main challenger for every Tory-held seat in the country and they are "the only party strong enough to defeat Boris Johnson in Scotland and deprive him of the majority he craves".

The Brexit Party will also be on the road, campaigning across the north of England.

Leader Nigel Farage's message will be aimed at Leave voters in Labour areas, telling them "not to waste your vote" on Tories who have little chance of winning the seat.

Instead, he will call for them to back his party to ensure Brexit goes ahead.

Plaid Cymru's leader, Adam Price, will use the last day of the campaign to publish a draft law which would make lying by politicians a criminal offence.

He will say: "People have lost faith in our politics, and we have a duty to restore it before it's too late. It's depressing that it has come to this, but if we need a law to stop politicians from lying then that is what should be in place."
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💩 UK election forecast: Conservative majority narrows to 28 seats
« Reply #218 on: December 11, 2019, 01:24:49 PM »
I'm still betting on a hung Parliament.

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💩 The UK could be heading for a hung parliament. Here's what it means
« Reply #219 on: December 11, 2019, 04:00:39 PM »
https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/11/uk/uk-election-hung-parliament-intl-gbr-ge19/index.html

The UK could be heading for a hung parliament. Here's what it means

By Tara John, CNN

Updated 11:55 AM ET, Wed December 11, 2019


Britain could wake up on Friday with a hung parliament.

London (CNN)UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson may be gunning for a stronger mandate in Thursday's general election, but a seat projection has not ruled out his Conservative party failing to regain its parliamentary majority.
The latest estimate from British pollster YouGov has the Conservatives on track for a 28-seat majority, but the polling range stretches from 367 seats in Parliament to 311 -- below the magic number needed for a governing majority. This particular model for predicting the outcome of an election was correct in 2017 while other traditional polls were wrong.
Britain could wake up on Friday then, with what is known as a hung parliament -- its third in a decade.
What is a hung parliament?

A hung parliament occurs when no single party gains the 326 of 650 seats needed in the UK's parliament for a full governing share.
Instead of immediately triggering a fresh election, the party with the largest number of seats will usually first attempt to strike a coalition agreement or some other kind of deal with one of the smaller parties.
This could be undertaken as a formal coalition or through an arrangement known as confidence and supply. In this arrangement, a smaller party agrees to back its larger partner with crucial votes in return for policy influence but does not take ministerial seats.
The dirtiest UK election ever? Here are some of the lowest moments of the campaign
The dirtiest UK election ever? Here are some of the lowest moments of the campaign
It will be a struggle for Johnson to form a minority government or coalition. He burned bridges with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which previously propped up a Conservative government, by breaching one of its red lines: allowing the province to be treated differently from the rest of the UK.
Labour might find it easier to form a coalition, but at this stage is ruling out a formal agreement.
Any potential deal that Labour were to strike with the Scottish National Party (SNP) or the Liberal Democrats would require major concessions: be it another Scottish independence poll, a second EU referendum, or for Corbyn to drop the prospect of negotiating a new Brexit deal with Brussels.
Has this happened before?
Yes, there has been a hung parliament twice in the past decade.

The UK saw its first coalition government since World War II in 2010, when Conservative leader David Cameron teamed up with the Liberal Democrats -- helmed by Nick Clegg.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May was also faced with the predicament after her snap election gamble misfired in 2017 and she lost her governing majority. She struck the deal with the DUP to support her minority government.
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💩 UK General Election 2019 LIVE: Voting to the Results
« Reply #220 on: December 12, 2019, 04:15:02 AM »
Game On!

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💩 Election 2019 Live: The Results
« Reply #221 on: December 12, 2019, 03:53:01 PM »
Glad I didn't put any money on this one.  ::)  Looks like more BoJo.

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Now, will he actually get Brexit done? ???  :icon_scratch:

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https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/13/headline-reaction-to-johnsons-election-win-around-the-world.html

‘Historic victory’: How the world is reacting to Boris Johnson’s landslide win
Published Fri, Dec 13 20195:13 AM ESTUpdated an hour ago
Vicky McKeever    @vmckeevercnbc
   
   
   
Key Points

    The Telegraph calls it a “historic victory” for Boris Johnson.
    Spain’s El País said polls pointed to a “resounding majority” for Johnson.


British Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party Boris Johnson speaks to supporters and press as the Conservatives celebrate election victory on December 13, 2019 in London, England.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
As the world wakes up to the news of a landslide victory for the ruling Conservative Party in the U.K.’s general election, CNBC takes a look at frontpage reaction from newspapers across the globe.
‘Carrie on Boris – Tory landslide … and Corbyn’s on his bike’ – The Sun

British tabloid The Sun pictured a “jubilant” Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds arriving in his west London constituency of Uxbridge this morning. It also referred to the “disaster” defeat suffered by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who announced plans to step down.
‘Rejoice! Boris surges to landslide win’ – The Daily Mail

Another of the U.K.’s newspapers, The Daily Mail, showed Johnson on a “victory march” as the “Tories storm the North” and the Labour party’s “Red Wall falls,” referring to seats in the north of England and the Midlands which had traditionally voted for the leftist opposition. The Mail said voters delivered a “humiliating verdict on Jeremy Corbyn’s brand of socialism.”
‘Johnson unleashed’ – The i paper

The i paper described the Conservative’s victory as a “blue tide” sweeping the U.K. and how the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, lost her seat in a “bleak night” for the centrist party.
‘Labour in meltdown as Johnson seizes majority’ – The Guardian

Left-leaning paper The Guardian said Johnson was “triumphant after trouncing Labour with (its) pro-Brexit strategy” and that both of the major parties were “stunned” by the exit poll last night, suggesting a “decisive majority” for the Conservatives.
‘Johnson’s historic victory’ – The Telegraph

Meanwhile, pro-Conservative paper The Telegraph, which once counted Johnson as a columnist, highlighted that the ruling party was set for its “biggest success since (Margaret) Thatcher”, who won a landslide vote in 1987.
‘Europa bye-bye’ – la Repubblica

Italy’s la Repubblica went for a snappy headline in response to the Conservative victory, alluding to the fact that the Conservatives “absolute majority” means “the path for London seems clear: Brexit will happen on the January 31 2020,” according to a translation.
‘Los sondeos apuntan a una mayoría rotunda de Johnson’ – El País

“Polls point to a resounding majority for Johnson,” was the translated headline from Spain’s El País, mentioning that this looked to be worst result for the Labour party since 1935.
‘British voters hand Johnson and Brexit a big win’ – New York Times

The New York Times said the Conservative victory was a “resounding vindication” for Johnson, “defying predictions that he would be tossed out of a job” and that the Prime Minister “now seems assured of leading Britain through its most momentous transition since World War II.”
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💩 Pound slumps 1% as Boris Johnson raises fresh risk of a no-deal Brexit
« Reply #223 on: December 18, 2019, 02:39:57 AM »
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/17/uk-government-to-block-any-delay-to-post-brexit-deadline-pound-falls.html

Pound slumps 1% as Boris Johnson raises fresh risk of a no-deal Brexit
Published Tue, Dec 17 20191:53 AM ESTUpdated 2 hours ago
Holly Ellyatt   @HollyEllyatt
   
   
Key Points

    The pound fell more than 1% in early trade Tuesday after media reports said that the British government will block a delay to the post-Brexit transition period.
    Local media reported early Tuesday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will add a revision to the Brexit bill (formally known as the Withdrawal Agreement Bill) that would explicitly rule out any extension to the transition period beyond December 2020.
    The U.K. is due to leave the EU by January 31, 2020.


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks to supporters on a visit to meet newly elected Conservative party MP for Sedgefield, Paul Howell at Sedgefield Cricket Club on December 14, 2019 in County Durham, England.    WPA Pool

The pound fell more than 1% Tuesday after media reports said that the British government will make it illegal for the post-Brexit transition period to be extended, leaving little time for a trade deal to be agreed with the EU.

Local media reported early Tuesday that Johnson will add a revision to the Brexit bill (formally known as the Withdrawal Agreement Bill) that would explicitly rule out any extension to the transition period beyond December 2020. The U.K. is due to leave the EU by January 31, 2020.

The reports have raised concerns that the U.K.’s new, more empowered government under Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be steering the country towards a harder Brexit.

The legislation, if implemented, would leave only 11 months for a trade deal to be struck with the EU and many people think that is not enough time.
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The pound initially fell to a low of $1.3236, down 0.7% from late Monday levels following the report by British broadcaster ITV, and later reported by the BBC and other media outlets.

Early Tuesday morning, the pound was down almost 0.4% against the dollar, at $1.3282 before weakening further to fall below $1.32. By midday, the pound was trading 1% lower at $1.3188.

The transition period seen as a time of adjustment for both sides post-Brexit. Crucially, it’s a time in which the EU and U.K. can negotiate a trade deal.

During the transition period, EU laws continue to apply in the U.K. as if it’s a member state, but the country would no longer be represented in the EU’s decision-making bodies. Currently, the transition period has the option of being extended for up to two years if both sides agree.

British media reports say that the Johnson’s government will try to make it illegal for the transition period to be extended in a bid to put more more pressure on the EU and to fast-track a trade deal.

Boris Johnson’s move comes from an emboldened Conservative Party which won a resounding victory in last week’s general election and gained a majority of 80 seats in Parliament. The win was seen as enabling Johnson to pursue his party’s own Brexit agenda more easily and Tuesday’s news appears to support that.

The U.K. has a vested interest in signing a speedy trade deal. It is keen to strike trade deals with other nations outside the bloc (a large part of the pro-Brexit argument was that leaving the EU would allow the U.K. to trade freely with the rest of the world) and while it can negotiate trade deals during the transition period, these cannot come into force until the transition period ends.

Experts think most countries will want to see what the U.K.’s trading relationship will be like with the EU before they negotiate their own trade deals with Britain, however.
Johnson empowered

Close follower of Brexit proceedings and J.P. Morgan Economist Malcolm Barr said that Johnson’s move was a surprise in that it was done without apparent pressure from a group of influential hard Brexit supporters, known as the European Research Group (ERG), from within the Conservative Party.

“As much as we anticipated that the possibility of extending the transition period would be removed from U.K. law, it comes as something of a surprise to us that Johnson appears to have done this entirely voluntarily, rather than as a result of pressure from amendments proposed by the ERG as the legislation came to the (House of) Commons. The signal of intent on his part is, in our view, very clear,” he said in a note Tuesday.

Following the latest media reports, Barr said the risk of a “no deal” end to the transition period stood at 25%, “a number we regard as uncomfortably high.”

“The negotiation process is path dependent and we could find ourselves on that path even though neither negotiating views it as their first preference,” he warned, although J.P. Morgan believes that some form of “deal” has a higher probability of 50%.

“Within the spectrum of probabilities, however, we are changing the numbers so that a simple (Withdrawal) Treaty amendment which changes the end date of the transition has less probability, while some form of “deal” has more. Given the commitment Johnson is now set to enshrine in law, it looks like whatever agreement is reached will be presented as a new deal, even if it takes large parts of the transition conditions and pushes them into 2021.”
Crowd-pleaser

The reported move to block any delay to is seen as a way for the government to show voters that backed the Conservative Party (many of whom doing so for the first time having abandoned the opposition Labour Party in droves) that it is determined for the U.K. to leave the EU without further delay.

Since the EU referendum in June 2016, many British voters have become frustrated with multiple instances of political deadlock. The Conservatives were seen to have performed well with much of the electorate in the election due to its mantra that it would “get Brexit done.”

The latest government move has drawn criticism from the opposition, with the Labour Party’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Kier Starmer saying it represents “reckless and irresponsible behavior we have come to expect from Boris Johnson’s Government.”

But Conservative Minister Michael Gove said Tuesday that the government was committed to securing a trade deal with the EU by the end of 2020, Reuters reported.

A weaker pound gave a little boost to U.K. equities Tuesday with London’s FTSE 100 index trading in positive territory while its continental counterparts traded lower. Maarten Geerdink, head of European equities at NN Investment Partners, told CNBC Tuesday that the latest reports from the U.K. would “produce another cliffhanger for Europe.”

“It will be another target that the market can focus on,” he told CNBC’s Capital Connection. “But I do think the fact that he (Prime Minister Boris Johnson) has such a huge majority in parliament does give him a lot more room to get the deal done.” Geerdink cautioned investors that “there is still some time to see how this plays out,” however.
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Offline RE

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💩 Brexit was a distraction. Now Europe is facing a hellish 2020
« Reply #224 on: December 21, 2019, 04:04:39 AM »
HELL  :evil4: is well distributed around the world these days.   ::)

RE

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/20/europe/europe-is-in-deep-trouble-analysis-intl/index.html

Brexit was a distraction. Now Europe is facing a hellish 2020

Luke McGee

Analysis by Luke McGee, CNN

Updated 11:00 PM ET, Fri December 20, 2019


Blair: Brexit is going to happen, 'it's tragic' 17:03

London (CNN)Brexit has been a massive headache ever since the UK voted to leave in 2016. It took two prime ministers, 1274 days, three deadline extensions and two general elections for an exit deal finally to be deemed acceptable by the British Parliament.
But it also sucked up oxygen in Brussels, as the EU's diplomatic energy fixated on the single issue of having a country leave its bloc.
In that time, the EU was forced to pay less attention to other problems among its member states. Problems that present a far greater long-term threat to the European project than Brexit ever could.
For the EU is being undermined by nations within its ranks ignoring the rule of EU law, deviating from Europe's high standards on human rights and laughing in the face of freedom of expression.

How Boris Johnson went from political caricature to delivering a Margaret Thatcher-like election win
How Boris Johnson went from political caricature to delivering a Margaret Thatcher-like election win
The most recent example of this comes from Poland, where the country's Supreme Court had to warn the governing Law and Justice party that its proposed judicial reforms could violate European law so blatantly that it might be booted out of the EU.
The court's words might be a little dramatic. The proposed reforms, which would allow the government to punish judges for engaging in political activity, ignore the EU's requirement that courts act independently of government. But that doesn't mean Poland is going to get kicked out of the EU.
First, you cannot officially expel an EU member state. It's possible to suspend a nation's voting rights under Article 7 of the treaty of the European Union, designed to punish nations that disobey the EU's founding principles. But they are officially still a member state. It would require unanimous agreement among the other member states to even have a vote on doing so. And no one who understands EU politics thinks there is any chance of this happening.
"Article 7 was never designed to deal with a situation where there was more than one delinquent state," says Ronan McCrea, professor of European Law at University College London.
Right now, there are several delinquent states causing havoc in Brussels. About 340 miles south of Warsaw, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban has spent the past decade presiding over assaults on his nation's courts, academic institutions, central bank and press.
The EU has triggered Article 7 procedures against both Hungary and Poland, but both moves led nowhere.
In Malta, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has been hounded with calls to resign for his government's alleged involvement in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a journalist who was investigating political corruption. Earlier this week, Members of the European Parliament voted by 581 to 26 in favor of a resolution to start the Article 7 process on Malta. Muscat says he will leave office next month, but denies all allegations of wrongdoing.
Fmr. 10 Downing St aide: 'There's a prospect of healing'

Fmr. 10 Downing St aide: 'There's a prospect of healing' 07:37
These are merely the most egregious examples of member states undermining the EU's core principles.
Croatia's government is under pressure for failing to reform existing laws enough to protect journalists from facing legal suits for doing their job. There are similar criticisms of tight press control in Greece and Bulgaria. Bluntly, the old continent is hurtling towards a crisis in mutual trust on values and law. And trust is arguably the central pillar of European unity and stability.
Agata Gostyńska-Jakubowska, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, explains that the "backtracking on the rule of law in any member states" creates "a challenge to the whole mutual trust. That is a founding principle for crucial projects such as the single market or justice."
The problem is that members of the EU are overseen by the European Court of Justice. National courts are expected to respect European law. McCrea explains that "the web of rules under which members states automatically recognize each others' decisions is threatened by undermining the rule of law. The EU is a very small bureaucracy. It largely depends on national judges and national civil servants to implement the law."
With so many European nations terrified at the prospect of the EU juggernaut taking a closer look at their alleged indiscretions, there is no way that as a bloc, the member states would give a green light to Brussels singling out one member. So Article 7 is a non-starter.
Labour party leader refuses to leave after huge defeat

Labour party leader refuses to leave after huge defeat 01:20
All of which backs the EU into a hellish corner. "What might bring the EU to an end? It won't be a meeting of EU member states, saying let's end this. But what might start its collapse is some states saying, we don't really accept the primacy of EU law anymore," says Charles Crawford, a former British ambassador to Poland. "Once nation states start challenging the legal order, that is desperately serious for the EU."
The paradox at the heart of the EU is that it insists all states play by the same rules while also being reluctant to interfere in the domestic politics of any members. In some respects, the EU is little more than an agreement between 28 countries to not cheat the system.
As Europe enters 2020, it needs to address problems it has been ignoring since 2016. Brexit required that all the remaining 27 EU members were firmly on the same page. Brussels succeeded, but in doing so had to play nice with all parties.
"The big cost of Brexit for the EU is that it has distracted time, attention and political capital from addressing the real substantive challenges that the EU itself faces," says Mujtaba Rahman, managing director of the political consultancy Eurasia Group. "Brexit was a team-building exercise where the EU could demonstrate how united they were. But it was really something of a cover to disguise how little they agree on the bigger challenges facing the continent."
Those challenges are not limited to member states undermining EU law. The continent is badly divided on how it should address the bloc's economic challenges and what role Europe should play on the global stage.
Andrew Bailey is a safe choice to lead the Bank of England in uncertain times
Andrew Bailey is a safe choice to lead the Bank of England in uncertain times
"The only leader that has a coherent vision is (French President Emmanuel) Macron," says Rahman. "But he's very divisive in the way he goes about it. It's actually highly counterproductive. He wants to build consensus on these questions but the way in which he talks to other leaders actually hurts." And much as it might hurt the French President to admit, the EU is not banking on his re-election in 2022.
All of which means that the EU enters a new decade staring down the barrel of more Brexit negotiations, huge problems among its members and no coherent plan to get everyone on the same page.

Europe needs to act, if the project is to survive. The question is, should it use a stick or carrot to restore unity? Article 7 might be a non-starter, but the EU can tie how big a chunk of the budget a member state gets to its behavior. And nations like Poland and Hungary need that money. How willing is the EU to shake up the gentlemen's agreement and start interfering with domestic politics?
"This is much more of a threat to the EU than Brexit. Brexit, if anything strengthened the union," says McCrea. Without Brexit to hide behind, the fragility of the union will become impossible to ignore. And right now, there is no obvious path Brussels can take that doesn't risk making everything worse. As 2020 rolls on, Europe's biggest cheeses might come to miss talking exclusively about Brexit.
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