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Jeremy Corbyn vs Boris Johnson - UK News

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn traded barbs over Brexit and public spending Wednesday as campaigning unofficially kicked off for the country’s crucial yet unpredictable Dec. 12 general election. The Conservative and Labour leaders honed their pitches to the public while speaking during the House of Commons’ weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session, the last before Parliament is suspended for the five-week election campaign. “This election is a once-in-a-generation chance,” Corbyn said. “People have a chance to vote for real change after years of Conservative and Lib Dem cuts, privatization and tax handouts for the richest.” Johnson agreed “that there is a stark choice facing this country.” He said the choice was between “getting Brexit done and ending the dither and the delay” if the Conservatives won, and “economic catastrophe under the Labour Party.” The partisan peacocking came a day after the House of Commons approved an early election that politicians hope could break the deadlock over Britain’s stalled departure from the European Union. The date will become law once it is approved later Wednesday by the unelected House of Lords, which doesn’t have the power to overrule the elected Commons. The looming national vote comes 2 1/2 years before Britain’s next scheduled vote in 2022 and will be the country’s first December election since 1923. While Johnson’s Conservative Party has a wide lead in opinion polls, analysts say the election is unpredictable because Brexit cuts across traditional party loyalties. Johnson told Conservative lawmakers onContinue reading

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Brexit Headline Today

The United Kingdom will ultimately leave the European Union on the terms of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deal, a senior Downing Street source said on Thursday, as EU leaders mulled offering London a three-month flexible Brexit delay. More than three years after voting 52%-48% to be the first sovereign country to leave the European project, the United Kingdom is waiting for the EU to decide how long the latest delay to Brexit should be. “This ends with us leaving with the PM’s deal,” a Downing Street source who spoke on condition of anonymity said. “We will leave with a deal, with the PM’s deal.” When asked when Brexit would happen, given that the current deadline of Oct. 31 is only a week away, the source said: “Parliament has taken back control.” Johnson won the top job by staking his career on getting Brexit done by Oct. 31, though he is almost certain to fail to do that after parliament defeated his proposed legislative timetable on Tuesday. So will there be an election before Christmas? “Perhaps,” the Downing Street source said. “We shall see.” As British politicians discuss the pros and cons of a Christmas election, responsibility for the timing of Brexit has passed to other European capitals: Berlin supports a three-month delay, while Paris is pushing for a shorter one. Timing is crucial to the Brexit riddle. While both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron appear to be fatigued by Brexit, they fear a no-deal exit thatContinue reading

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Boris Johnson on UK Politics

Britain clinched a last-minute Brexit deal with the European Union on Thursday, but still faced a challenge in getting it approved by parliament. “Where there is a will there is a deal – we have one. It’s a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is a testament to our commitment to find solutions,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a tweet a few hours before an EU summit in Brussels. He said he would recommend that leaders of the other 27 member states approve the deal. “I believe it is high time to complete the divorce process and move on, as swiftly as possible, to the negotiation on the European Union’s future partnership with the United Kingdom,” Juncker said in an attached letter. Separately, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “we have a great new Brexit deal”. Johnson is hoping to get approval for the agreement in a vote at an extraordinary session of the British parliament on Saturday, to pave the way for an orderly departure on Oct. 31. However, the Northern Irish party that Johnson needs to help ratify any agreement has refused to support the deal that was hammered out over weeks of negotiations. The head of the main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said in Brussels he was “unhappy” with the deal and would vote against it. Lawmakers in his party said they had been told to vote for another referendum on Saturday. STERLING SURGES Nevertheless, sterling surged moreContinue reading

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Boris Johnson - UK Political News Today

The European Union agreed on Friday to enter intense talks with Britain to try to break the deadlock over Brexit, lifting financial markets with a sign that a deal could be done before the Halloween deadline. A flurry of activity has brought the fraught bargaining process to a new level as Britain’s scheduled departure date of Oct. 31 grows ever closer, but it is still uncertain whether the two sides can make a breakthrough before then. The move came at the end of a tumultuous week which started with a public row between London and Brussels. By Thursday British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar said they had found “a pathway” to a possible deal, and by Friday some officials were expressing guarded optimism. “I think both of us can see a pathway to a deal, but that doesn’t mean it’s a done deal,” Boris Johnson said on Friday. “There’s a way to go, it’s important now our negotiators on both sides get into proper talks about how to sort this thing out.” Ireland is crucial if a deal is to be done to avert a potentially disorderly Brexit that would hurt global growth, roil financial markets and could even split the United Kingdom. Dublin will have to consent to any solution to the toughest problem of all: how to prevent the British province of Northern Ireland from becoming a backdoor into the EU’s markets without having border controls. A diplomat and an EU official saidContinue reading

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Northern Ireland, Irish Republic, No-Deal Brexit, Border

The small ferry moves gently across the calm waters of Carlingford Lough, connecting the picturesque hamlet of Greencastle in Northern Ireland with the village of Greenore, a mile and a half away in the Republic of Ireland. It began sailing a little more than two years ago, saving farmers, commuters and tourists an hour-long drive inland to the nearest bridge. The service is another sign that the border has all but vanished since the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998, ending decades of sectarian violence and creating a quiet sense of normality that older generations cherish and younger people may take for granted. But if the U.K. leaves the European Union on Oct. 31 without a Brexit divorce deal, this local boat could find itself plying an international border. “We don’t know what to expect,” said Paul O’Sullivan, the ferry company’s managing director. “Brexit has resulted in chaos for our company.” With both in the EU, the border barely resonates. As members, both the U.K. and Ireland have to abide by the rules of the club — the free movement of goods, services, capital and people. In a no-deal Brexit, that all goes and the border — the only land border between the U.K. and the EU — will resonate once again. Little wonder then that it’s been the most intractable issue in the Brexit negotiations over the past three or so years since the U.K. voted to leave the EU in June 2016. With little more than threeContinue reading

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Donald Trump, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Joe Biden - US News - Ukraine Headline

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, wrote: “Heard from White House — Assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / “get to the bottom of what happened” in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.”

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Boris Johnson - UK Politics Headline News

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday cautioned that there would be no Brexit breakthrough at talks with European leaders in New York as gaps remained but said significant progress had been made on striking a deal. Three years after Britons voted to leave the EU, hopes of a breakthrough were stoked last week when Johnson said the shape of a deal on Britain’s departure from the European Union was emerging, and European Commission President Juncker said agreement was possible. But the two sides are split over London’s desire to remove the Irish border “backstop” from the divorce deal struck by Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May. EU diplomats say no acceptable alternative has been proposed yet by London. Johnson, who has vowed to deliver Brexit on Oct. 31 with or without a deal, will meet EU leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York including Germany’s Angela Merkel and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. He will also discuss progress on reaching a Brexit deal with European Council President Donald Tusk. “I would caution you all not to think that this is going to be the moment,” Johnson told reporters on the plane to New York. “I don’t wish to elevate excessively the belief that there will be a New York breakthrough.” Johnson said that while a “great deal” of progress had been made since he took office in July as EU leaders now acknowledged the Withdrawal Agreement reached with his predecessor needed to be changed, thereContinue reading

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Donald Trump, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Joe Biden - US News - Ukraine Headline

President Donald Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine this summer to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a person familiar with the matter said. Democrats condemned what they saw as a clear effort to damage a political rival, now at the heart of an explosive whistleblower complaint against Trump. It was the latest revelation in an escalating controversy that has created a showdown between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration, which has refused to turn over the formal complaint by a national security official or even describe its contents. Trump defended himself Friday against the intelligence official’s complaint, angrily declaring it came from a “partisan whistleblower,” though he also said he didn’t know who had made it. The complaint was based on a series of events, one of which was a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to a two people familiar with the matter. The people were not authorized to discuss the issue by name and were granted anonymity. Trump, in that call, urged Zelenskiy to probe the activities of potential Democratic rival Biden’s son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company, according to one of the people, who was briefed on the call. Trump did not raise the issue of U.S. aid to Ukraine, indicating there was not an explicit quid pro quo, according to the person. Joe Biden reacted strongly late Friday, saying that if the reports are true, “then there is truly no bottom to PresidentContinue reading

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John Bercow vs Boris Johnson - UK News

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday he would not request an extension to Brexit, hours after a law came into force demanding that he delay Britain’s departure from the European Union until 2020 unless he can strike a divorce deal. For the second time in a week, lawmakers then rejected Johnson’s request to try to break the deadlock through an early national election. With the future of Brexit mired in uncertainty, parliament was suspended until Oct. 14, sparking tense scenes in the House of Commons where opposition lawmakers held signs reading “silenced” and yelled “shame on you” at Johnson’s ruling Conservatives. Johnson appeared to have lost control of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union with the approval of the law, which obliges him to seek a delay unless he can strike a new deal at an EU summit next month. EU leaders have repeatedly said they have not received specific proposals ahead of an EU summit on Oct. 17 and 18, at which Johnson says he hopes he can secure a deal. “This government will press on with negotiating a deal, while preparing to leave without one,” Boris Johnson told parliament after the result of the vote on an early election. “I will go to that crucial summit on October the 17th and no matter how many devices this parliament invents to tie my hands, I will strive to get an agreement in the national interest … This government will not delay Brexit any further.” Opposition Labour Party leaderContinue reading

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America Chlorinated Chicken

The European Union has long refused to import poultry from the United States that is routinely rinsed with chemical washes to kill germs. But the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the EU is putting the practice back in the spotlight, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson even taunting Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by calling him a “chlorinated chicken.” The term has come to sum up concerns that Britain could be pressured to accept to looser food safety standards when negotiating its own post-Brexit trade deals. Unlike in the EU, the use of antimicrobial sprays and washes is widespread in the U.S. chicken industry. Companies apply them to kill germs at various stages during processing, such as when carcasses are de-feathered, gutted or any other point when feces could splatter and spread germs like salmonella. The chemicals used in rinses have to be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and their use is limited to specified amounts. The agency says the rinses are present in finished products at insignificant levels. The U.S. chicken industry says the use of chlorine has declined to about 10% of the country’s plants, as other chemicals have become more common. It says the rinses help improve food safety, but that it’s difficult to completely rid raw chicken of salmonella and campylobacter germs, which don’t sicken birds and are commonly found in their guts. “Chicken and campylobacter are best friends,” said Ashley Peterson of the National Chicken Council, an industry group. Campylobacter (kam-pih-loh-BAK’-tur) isn’t widely knownContinue reading

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Boris Johnson and Donald Trump - USA - UK News

Britain hasn’t even divorced the European Union yet, and already a new suitor has come calling: the United States. During a visit this week to the United Kingdom, Vice President Mike Pence brought word from his boss, President Donald Trump: The United States is eager to reach a new trade pact — one that won’t be possible until Britain completes Brexit and moves out of the 28-country EU trading bloc. “Our message is clear: The minute the UK is out, America is in,” Vice President Mike Pence said in a visit with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street on Thursday. Not so fast. Building a new U.S.-U.K. trading relationship atop the wreckage of Brexit won’t be easy. British officials are already vowing to resist an agreement that is lopsided in favor of the more powerful United States, creating potential for disputes over matters such as chlorinated chicken and the divisive Scottish dish haggis. “I know that you guys are pretty tough negotiators,” Johnson told Pence. “So, we’re going to work very hard to make sure that that free trade deal is one that works for all sides.” As a member of the EU, Britain outsourced its trade policy to the bloc’s bureaucrats in Brussels. Before it can pursue an independent course and reach a brand-new trade pact with Washington, London will have to negotiate a divorce with the EU— or crash out of the bloc without a deal and risk damaging its own economy. “Until that getsContinue reading

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Boris Johnson in Parliament - UK Politics News Headline Today

Prime Minister Boris Johnson kept up his push Thursday for an early general election as a way to break Britain’s Brexit impasse, as lawmakers moved to stop the U.K. leaving the European Union next month without a divorce deal. Already dealt stinging defeats this week from his opponents in Parliament, Johnson suffered a personal blow as his own brother quit the government, saying it was not serving the national interest. Johnson remained determined to secure an election after lawmakers on Wednesday rejected his attempt to trigger a snap poll. House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told Parliament that a vote would be held Sept. 9 on a new motion calling for an election in October. Johnson’s office said the prime minister would appeal directly to the public with a speech later in the day, arguing that politicians must “go back to the people and give them the opportunity to decide what they want.” Boris Johnson called the refusal by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to endorse an election a “cowardly insult to democracy.” Johnson’s determination to lead Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 faces strong opposition from lawmakers, including members of his own Conservative Party who oppose a no-deal Brexit. His brother, Jo Johnson, quit the government, saying he could no longer endure the conflict “between family loyalty and the national interest.” Jo Johnson was an education minister in his older brother’s government, despite his opposition to leaving the EU without a divorce deal. He said he wouldContinue reading

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Mike Pence - USA Politics News Headline

US Vice President Mike Pence is receiving a tongue-lashing from European allies as he plays understudy to the president on the world stage. From the Taoiseach of Ireland to the mayor of Reykjavik, leaders have been publicly confronting Pence on issues such as the U.K.’s exit from the E.U., nuclear disarmament and climate change. The appeals appear part of a desperate effort to try to get through to a Trump administration that follows its own norms and rules, and find someone— anyone — who might be able to change the president’s mind. But again and again, Pence has appeared to brush off the efforts, which spilled into public view before he’d even left the airport in Shannon, Ireland. There, Simon Coveney, the country’s foreign minister, confronted Pence with an urgent message about the potential impact of Brexit. He warned a return to hard borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland would not only disrupt commerce, but could also threaten a fragile peace. “As somebody who understands Ireland well, I think you understand why it’s such an emotional issue,” Coveney said, trying to leverage Pence’s personal connections to the country. “It’s a huge issue for this country right now. It’s dominating politics here. It’s about trying to mitigate against potential damage.” Pence, appearing less than amused by the public confrontation, said he was “grateful” for Coveney’s “candor” and quickly pivoted. But the pleas continued in Pence’s meetings with other Irish leaders, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. “All I ask is that you bringContinue reading

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Emmanuel Macron - France Politics Headline Today

France has proposed offering Iran credit lines worth about $15 billion (12 billion pounds) until the end of the year in return for Tehran coming fully back into compliance with its 2015 nuclear deal, an offer that hinges on Washington not blocking it, Western and Iranian sources said. European leaders have struggled to calm confrontation between Tehran and Washington since U.S. President Donald Trump quit the deal, which guarantees Iran access to world trade in return for curbs to its nuclear programme. The United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran last year and tightened them sharply this year. Iran has responded by breaching some of the limits on nuclear material in the deal, and has set a deadline for this week to take further steps. Macron has spent the summer trying to create conditions that would bring the sides back to the negotiating table. An Iranian delegation was in Paris on Monday, including oil and finance officials, to fine tune details of credit lines that would give Iran some respite from sanctions that have crippled its economy and cut off its oil exports. “The question is to know whether we can reach this $15 billion) level, secondly who will finance it, and thirdly we need to get at the very least the tacit approval of the United States. We still don’t know what the U.S. position is,” said a source aware of the negotiations. A senior Iranian official familiar with the negotiations said: “France has offered the credit line of $15Continue reading

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Magna Carta, Brexit, British

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces accusations of triggering the biggest constitutional crisis in decades after he announced that parliament would be suspended for around a month shortly before the country is due to leave the European Union. While Johnson says it is customary for parliament to be suspended – or “prorogued” – before a government outlines its new policy priorities in a Queen’s Speech, his opponents say the timing and length of the suspension is designed to sideline parliament in the countdown to Brexit. Britain has an uncodified constitution, meaning it is largely upheld through convention and precedent. The constitution has changed dramatically down the centuries, with monarchs steadily surrendering their once-vast powers to the government and prime minister of the day. Johnson required Queen Elizabeth’s formal consent to suspend parliament but she was equally required, by custom, to grant it. Following is a timeline of some major constitutional crises over the last eight centuries that have pitted the executive power – originally the crown and later governments acting in its name – against the legislative arm. WHOSE CONSTITUTION? ENGLAND, BRITAIN AND THE UK The story begins in the origins of England’s constitution. England annexed the principality of Wales in the 1530s and then forged the Acts of Union with Scotland in 1707 to create Great Britain. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed in 1801 after the Acts of Union with Ireland, before the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922 left the “UK”Continue reading

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Europeans Voting - EU - European Union

Anna Amato was just two when she moved to Britain from Italy with her parents 55 years ago. She has lived in Britain ever since, attending school and university, working in a variety of jobs, and paying taxes. She has always lived in the city of Bristol in the west of England, marrying a British husband and raising two British children. Like thousands of European Union nationals who have made Britain their home after living in the country for decades, Amato always assumed she had earned the legal right to settle permanently. But the government didn’t agree. The interior ministry rejected her request for permanent residency last year, saying she did not have enough evidence to document her status. She was devastated. “You are in your country, it is a democracy, all of a sudden you are told after this time no one knows what is going to happen to you,” Amato, 57, told Reuters. “Where do I go? It is really, really scary.” Amato is one of a growing number of EU nationals denied the right to live indefinitely in Britain ahead of the country’s departure from the bloc, currently scheduled for October 31. For decades, Britain’s membership of the EU has guaranteed the bloc’s citizens the right to live and work in the country. But as Britain prepares to sever ties with Brussels after 46 years, EU citizens must apply for a new legal lifeline to remain, known as settled status. Under the government’s plans, EU citizens whoContinue reading

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Gina Miller vs Boris Johnson - UK News

"There is no example in modern history when prorogation has been used in this way. It is clearly being used to hamper, in our view, parliament legislating against no deal," Gina Miller told BBC radio.

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