Boris Johnson

John McDonnell - UK Politics Today

Britain’s parliament needs to be recalled immediately to discuss Brexit, the opposition Labour Party’s finance spokesman John McDonnell said on Monday, after leaked official documents forecast possible food, fuel, and medicine shortages. Britain has less than 74 days to resolve a three-year crisis that is pitting the country against the EU, its closest trade partner, and parliament against the executive. The outcome will mark its most significant geopolitical move since World War Two. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Britain will leave the European Union, with or without a transition deal, on Oct. 31. His calls for the EU to renegotiate the existing exit deal have so far been rejected in Brussels. That puts Britain on course for an unmanaged exit, which an official assessment published by the Sunday Times said would jam ports, increase the risk of public protests and severely disrupt the world’s fifth-largest economy. McDonnell, the Labour Party’s second most powerful man, said that the looming crisis demanded parliament’s summer break be brought to an early end. “There’s a need now to bring MPs (members of parliament) back together again because we need time now to really have a proper debate and discussion about this,” John McDonnell, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, told BBC radio. His comments add weight to a demand made on Sunday, signed by more than 100 lawmakers, to recall parliament to discuss what they called a “national emergency”. Parliament is currently not due to sit until Sept. 3, when it willContinue reading

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Oliver Letwin UK NEWS

A Conservative lawmaker at the centre of efforts to block a no-deal Brexit said on Saturday he was pessimistic about his chances because he and other party colleagues could not support a caretaker government led by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. With Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowing to take Britain out of the European Union with or without a deal by Oct. 31, anti-Brexit politicians from all sides have been trying, and so far failing, to agree on a plan to stop it from happening. Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, wants a caretaker government with himself as head, and then an election. But other opponents of a no-deal Brexit worry that Corbyn, a staunch leftist, would not win enough support, prompting leaders of smaller parties to put forward their own suggestions as to who could lead a government long enough to delay Brexit. Oliver Letwin, a lawmaker from Johnson’s ruling Conservatives, was asked to lend his support to Corbyn this week, but he told BBC Radio on Saturday: “I don’t think it’s at all likely that a majority would be formed for that and I wouldn’t be able to support that, no.” Asked to explain why, he said even an interim Corbyn-led government could do more damage than a disorderly exit from the world’s biggest trading bloc. Conservative opponents of a no-deal Brexit are deeply suspicious of Corbyn, whom they see as a dangerous Marxist intent on nationalising swathes of British industry and hiking state spending and taxes.Continue reading

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Boris Johnson - USA NEWS HEADLINE

Opposition parties launched rival campaigns to topple Prime Minister Boris Johnson and stop him taking Britain out of the European Union without a deal, illustrating fractures in the anti-Brexit movement that make neither scheme likely to succeed. Johnson has promised to push through Brexit by Oct. 31, with or without a deal, setting the scene for a showdown in parliament where a majority of lawmakers are opposed to an EU divorce without a transition agreement. With parliament the main obstacle to Johnson’s “do or die” pledge, lawmakers are urgently seeking a way to remove him or change the law to delay Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn, the veteran socialist leader of the Labour Party, said lawmakers should support a vote of no confidence and back him to lead a “strictly time-limited temporary government” that would postpone Brexit and hold an election. “This government has no mandate for No Deal, and the 2016 EU referendum provided no mandate for No Deal,” Corbyn said. “I therefore intend to table a vote of no confidence at the earliest opportunity when we can be confident of success.” A handful of lawmakers from Johnson’s own Conservative Party said they would listen to Corbyn’s proposals. However, his chances of success were crippled by the leader of the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrat party, Jo Swinson, who said Corbyn was not the right figurehead for an emergency government. “We are facing a national crisis. We may need an emergency government to resolve it but if Jeremy Corbyn truly wants that toContinue reading

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Boris Johnson UK Political Story Today

A legal bid to prevent British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suspending parliament to stop lawmakers blocking a no-deal Brexit will be heard at a Scottish court next month. A group of about 70 lawmakers from opposition parties are backing a bid to have Scotland’s highest civil court rule that Johnson cannot ask Queen Elizabeth to prorogue, or suspend, parliament before Britain leaves the European Union on Oct. 31. The case had its first court outing on Tuesday at which the Court of Session decided that a substantive hearing would take place on Sept. 6, said lawyer Jo Maugham from the Good Law Project which is supporting the challenge. English courts do not sit in August. Johnson has said Britain will leave the world’s biggest trading bloc on Halloween whether it has a divorce agreement or not and that also remains the legal default position. However, a majority of lawmakers in parliament have previously indicated they would not allow a no-deal Brexit. They have been investigating what parliamentary procedures can be used to prevent such an outcome, and in July backed proposals to make it harder for Johnson to force through any departure without a deal. In June, House Speaker John Bercow said it was “blindingly obvious” that the prime minister could not sideline parliament. “That is simply not going to happen,” he said. “STOP NO DEAL” However, Johnson, who replaced Theresa May on July 24 after she failed three times to get her withdrawal agreement through parliament, has refused toContinue reading

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Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings - UK News in Politics

Boris Johnson has lost no time in making his mark as British prime minister. In two weeks, he has toured the country telling Britons a spending squeeze will end and they will leave the European Union on Oct. 31 no matter what. His moves bear the hallmark of one man who has stayed behind the scenes since Johnson became prime minister on July 24 but has a vital role — senior adviser and de facto chief of staff Dominic Cummings. Dominic Cummings, the architect of the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum, says little in public. Yet comments by two sources who worked with him at Vote Leave, his essays, blogs and reports from insiders over the last few years suggest a policy of moving fast and bypassing others in pursuit of a goal. The two sources, one supporter and one critic, say the threat of a no-deal Brexit is a plan by Cummings designed to force the EU to compromise on the departure deal agreed by Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May, and to pin the blame on the bloc if no new agreement can be reached. Parliament rejected that deal because some lawmakers feared it could bind Britain to EU rules it would no longer have any say over, leading to a “Brexit in name only”. But Johnson’s insistence that the government will, if it has to, pursue a no-deal Brexit, has weakened the pound as investors bet Britain, already at risk of recession, could see a disruptiveContinue reading

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Boris Johnson UK Political News Now

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to all government employees on Friday to tell them that preparing for a no-deal exit from the European Union is his and their top priority, according to a copy of the email seen by Reuters. Johnson has promised voters Britain will leave the EU on Oct. 31 with or without an exit deal, demanding that Brussels drop parts of the existing proposed deal relating to the Irish border and negotiate a fresh exit arrangement. But the EU is adamant that the legal terms of the deal cannot be rewritten, raising expectations among politicians and financial markets that Britain is headed for an unmanaged divorce from the bloc in less than three months’ time. “I would very much prefer to leave with a deal – one that must abolish the anti-democratic Irish backstop, which has unacceptable consequences for our country,” Boris Johnson said in the email. “But I recognise this may not happen. That is why preparing urgently and rapidly for the possibility of an exit without a deal will be my top priority, and it will be the top priority for the Civil Service too.” Previously, pro-Brexit campaigners have criticised the ranks of Britain’s civil service, which adopts a politically neutral stance while working to enact government policy, saying they were biased towards remaining in the EU and trying to obstruct the exit process. Many investors say a no-deal Brexit would send shock waves through the world economy, tip Britain into a recession, roilContinue reading

Boris Johnson - UK Politics News Headline

Will he, won’t he — and can he be stopped? Westminster is abuzz with talk of whether Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use an election to force through his Brexit plan. Many MPs are deeply opposed to his threat to take Britain out of the European Union without a deal on October 31. There is speculation that Johnson could call an early election to strengthen his mandate for a no-deal Brexit. Boris Johnson has dramatically boosted public spending since taking office, fueling speculation he is preparing not only for Brexit, but a general election as well. The two are likely to be linked. On Monday, Johnson traveled to Lincolnshire, eastern England, to lay out details of his £1.8 billion ($2.2 billion) boost for the National Health Service, delivering on his 2016 Brexit campaign vow while maintaining a focus on domestic policies. It follows recent pledges to hire more policy officers and increase infrastructure spending, including on railways. It’s part of what the government calls economic “boosterism” as it prepares for Brexit on Halloween; it includes a cash injection of £2.1 billion to prepare the economy for a no-deal split from the EU. But despite Johnson’s public words to the contrary, politicians are increasingly taking the rapid domestic policy roll-out as proof he’s gearing up for a snap poll. On Aug. 4, even Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly didn’t rule it out. MPs might themselves try to force an election to oust Boris Johnson and further delay Brexit afterContinue reading

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Boris Johnson UK Political News Now

Britain is “ready and willing” to do a deal to leave the European Union if Brussels renegotiates the agreement, a senior government source said on Tuesday, denying that a no-deal Brexit was Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s central plan. Boris Johnson, who took over as prime minister two weeks ago, has taken a hard line with the EU, demanding that it show willingness to change the deal it agreed with his predecessor before negotiations can restart to secure Britain’s smooth departure from the bloc. His insistence that Britain is boosting preparations to leave without a divorce agreement if Brussels refuses to renegotiate has spooked markets, sent the pound tumbling and prompted some lawmakers to suspect a no-deal Brexit is his ultimate goal. A report in The Guardian newspaper cited EU diplomats as saying they believed a no-deal Brexit was the “UK government’s central scenario”. The government source said this was not the case, but the EU had to understand that Johnson could not again bring forward the deal that was rejected by Britain’s parliament three times, leading to the resignation of his predecessor Theresa May. “We want a deal. It’s sad that they don’t want to negotiate with us,” the source said, on condition of anonymity. “The fact that the Withdrawal Agreement has been rejected by large margins by the House of Commons on three occasions means that, if there’s going to be a deal, they have to be prepared to renegotiate. We’re ready and willing to do so.” Johnson hasContinue reading

Sajid Javid - UK NEWS TODAY

Britain said it is ramping up preparations for a no-deal Brexit by spending an extra 2.1 billion pounds to stockpile medicines, hire more border officials and fund one of the biggest peacetime advertising campaigns. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took power last week, has pledged to leave the trading bloc without an agreement in three months unless the EU agrees to renegotiate the deal agreed by his predecessor Theresa May. In his first major policy announcement, new finance minister Sajid Javid said the outlay will allow the government to increase training for customs officials, hire more staff to deal with an expected increase in passport applications, and improve infrastructure around ports. “With 92 days until the UK leaves the European Union it’s vital that we intensify our planning to ensure we are ready,” Javid said. “We want to get a good deal that abolishes the anti-democratic backstop. But if we can’t get a good deal, we’ll have to leave without one.” Wrenching the United Kingdom out of the EU without a deal means there would be no formal transition arrangement to cover everything from post-Brexit pet passports to customs arrangements on the Northern Irish border. Many investors say a no-deal Brexit would send shock waves through the world economy, tip Britain into a recession, roil financial markets and weaken London’s position as the pre-eminent international financial centre. Supporters of Brexit say that while there would be some short-term difficulties, the disruption of a no-deal Brexit has been overplayed and thatContinue reading

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Boris Johnson UK Political Story Today

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Wednesday meet leaders in Northern Ireland, the key battleground in Britain’s fight to leave the European Union and the focus of increasingly tense rhetoric on both sides of the Irish Sea. He arrived in Belfast on Tuesday night amid warnings from Irish leaders that his vow to leave the EU, with or without a deal, risks breaking up the United Kingdom. Johnson will hold talks with Northern Ireland’s main political parties to discuss the restoration of the British province’s power-sharing government, which collapsed in January 2017. But Brexit will be the issue hanging over the visit. Ireland has a land border with the province that both sides want to keep free-flowing after Brexit, both for economic reasons and, more importantly, to maintain the delicate peace deal that brought an end to decades of violence between Irish nationalists and British loyalists. The removal of checks on the border with Ireland was considered a key factor in reducing tensions. But after Brexit, that border will become part of the EU’s external frontier and would legally require policing. The agreement struck by Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May proposed the so-called “backstop” solution, a mechanism designed to preserve the EU’s single market and prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland. But many eurosceptic MPs believe it gives the EU too much control over Britain and rejected the deal three times. Johnson told Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, on Tuesday that the “backstop” plan was unacceptable, puttingContinue reading

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Boris Johnson UK Political News Now

Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised on Tuesday to lead Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31 “no matter what” as sterling tumbled and Ireland warned that the bloc would not be renegotiating the thrice defeated divorce deal. The British pound fell on Tuesday as investors bet Johnson’s Brexit brinkmanship could trigger a messy divorce that would sow chaos through the world economy and financial markets. Sterling crashed through trading barriers, falling to an intraday low of $1.2120 in shallower overnight Asian trade, the lowest since March 2017. The pound has lost 3.6 cents since Johnson was named Britain’s new prime minister a week ago. “The prime minister made clear that the UK will be leaving the EU on October 31, no matter what,” Boris Johnson’s Downing Street office said in a statement about a phone call with Irish PM Leo Varadkar. Johnson demanded again that one of the most hotly contested elements of the Brexit divorce agreement – the Irish border backstop – would have to be struck out if there was to be a deal. “The prime minister made clear that the government will approach any negotiations which take place with determination and energy and in a spirit of friendship, and that his clear preference is to leave the EU with a deal, but it must be one that abolishes the backstop,” Downing Street said. The backstop is a provision in the deal that would require Britain to obey some EU rules if no other way canContinue reading

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