Speaker and in office since 2009

Speaker and in office since 2009

The British royals didn’t let themselves be asked for long and finally stepped onto the lawn in sports gear and kicked the kids. But they were also active in other sports. Meanwhile, word of this very special visit spread throughout Northern Ireland. Numerous fans gathered and greeted William and Kate. They also paid a visit to a youth center in County Fermanagh. The last point of the day was a party in the Belfast Empire Hall with committed young people.

Sources used: Gala: You are visiting Northern Ireland unannounced

Shortly before the EU summit on Thursday, there seems to be movement in the Brexit negotiations. At least representatives of the EU are cautiously optimistic. But many questions remain.

Under great time pressure, the EU and Great Britain came closer to a Brexit agreement on Tuesday. There are «first signs of progress,» said Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. EU negotiator Michel Barnier told MEPs about movement on the British side. «An agreement now seems to be within reach,» concluded Left MP Martin Schirdewan from the information.

Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed on Tuesday that they would work for a regulated Brexit until the last minute. The aim was a draft contract by Wednesday and a decision at the EU summit at the end of the week. However, the negotiations dragged on in Brussels on Tuesday evening. There was no end in sight, they said. Officially, neither side wanted to comment on the state of negotiations.

Ireland’s Prime Minister remains cautious

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is aiming for a deal at the EU summit to carry out Brexit as planned on October 31, more than three years after the referendum on leaving the EU. Without an agreement, the prime minister would have to apply to the EU for an extension of the deadline from Saturday under a British law – which he definitely does not want. Last week Johnson made concessions on the controversial Ireland issue. But this was not enough for the EU. Apparently they refilled on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Varadkar was cautious in Ireland. Things are moving in the right direction, but the gap between the UK and the EU is still wide. It is unclear whether a deal will come about in time for the EU summit.

Different deadlines

European Minister of State Michael Roth (SPD) had previously said that there were two simple conditions for an agreement: the EU internal market must be preserved and peace in Northern Ireland must be protected. «Now it’s up to our British partners again to do what is necessary.» EU negotiator Barnier put it this way: «It is high time we poured good intentions into legal text». The negotiations are difficult, but an agreement is possible. Behind closed doors, Barnier said, according to diplomats, a breakthrough must be achieved by Tuesday evening.research paper on to kill a mockingbird

German government representatives named a different deadline: a draft contract should be available by Wednesday afternoon. However, one is skeptical whether this will succeed. If there are only cornerstones, one has to negotiate further. In that case, a special EU summit before October 31 is not excluded.

Backstop issue

Finland, Austria and the Netherlands also expressed doubts about a quick deal before the summit. However, they did not exclude Ireland and France. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Johnson on the phone on Tuesday without any details being revealed.

The point of contention was still the question of how the border between the EU state Ireland and British Northern Ireland can be kept open. From the EU’s point of view, this is necessary in order to avoid new unrest in the former civil war area. However, the Community does not want goods to flow into the internal market through the «back door» of the new EU external border in Ireland, uncontrolled and duty-unpaid.

«Only that which does not raise questions is feasible»

A special customs partnership is now up for debate, which is intended to make controls at the border line superfluous. According to information from German government circles, Great Britain could possibly take over customs controls for the EU. But the EU must be able to check this and, if necessary, intervene or sue. These details are very important.

Should an agreement be reached, it would have to be ratified in good time not only by the British but also by the European Parliament. SPD European politician Jens Geier was open to a last-minute deal in an interview with the German Press Agency, but restricted: «Only that which does not raise any questions. Everything has to be clarified before we say yes.» 

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In the opinion of the Green MEP Terry Reintke, an extension is necessary in any case. «The British Parliament will need time to find a common way forward,» she told the dpa. «As the European Parliament, we have already decided to give the UK this time. The European Council should follow suit and postpone the Brexit date.»

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is losing support with his Brexit course. After his brother Jo, Labor Minister Amber Rudd is now also throwing out.

British Labor Minister Amber Rudd has resigned in protest against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit course. Rudd announced this on Saturday evening on Twitter. She also resigned from the conservative faction. The resignation of the moderate politician is a severe blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

You no longer believe that a regulated exit from the EU is the main goal of the government, wrote Rudd in a letter to Johnson. «The government is putting a lot of energy into preparing for a no deal, but I haven’t seen the same level of intensity in talks with the European Union,» wrote Rudd.

Rudd: «Can’t support this political vandalism»

Johnson’s expulsion of fellow MPs from the Tory faction on Tuesday also contributed to the move. «I can’t watch good, loyal, moderate conservatives be excluded,» wrote Rudd. «I cannot support this political vandalism.» That is why she is leaving the parliamentary group.

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Johnson had thrown 21 Tory rebels from the parliamentary group on Tuesday who had voted against their own government in the dispute over the prime minister’s Brexit course. These include such prominent members as senior president and ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer Ken Clarke and the grandson of war premier Winston Churchill, Nicholas Soames.

The prime minister is increasingly criticized for his harsh approach. On Thursday, his brother, Jo Johnson, resigned from his position as Secretary of State and from his mandate for the Tories in protest. «In the past few weeks I’ve been torn between loyalty to my family and the national interest – it’s an inseparable tension,» said Jo Johnson, explaining his decision.

Rudd was once considered a possible head of government

Rudd was once considered a promising candidate for the office of head of government. She already held the post of Minister of Labor in Theresa May’s cabinet. She also headed the Interior Ministry for a time. The pro-European politicians, along with others, have long been seen as a counterweight to the Brexit hardliners in the cabinet. But most of their comrades-in-arms left after Johnson’s election as prime minister.

According to media reports, opponents of a British exit from the EU without an agreement are preparing for a legal battle with the government. This was reported by the TV channels BBC and Sky News on Saturday, citing parliamentary circles.

Johnson had ruled out asking the EU to postpone the Brexit date again on several occasions. So far, October 31 is planned. He would rather «lie dead in the ditch,» he said.

However, the law against the unregulated exit from the EU passed on Friday stipulates that the government must request an extension of the Brexit deadline if no agreement is ratified by October 19. Johnson’s opponents pricked up their ears when he told reporters on Friday that the law only «theoretically» provides for a Brexit postponement.

Johnson has promised to move his country out of the EU on October 31, «come what may». He wants to have a new election on October 15 voted in the House of Commons on Monday in order to change the law again in good time with a parliamentary majority. But the opposition has already made it clear that it will not allow this. For an early election, the approval of two thirds of all MPs is required.

Experts warn Boris Johnson

It is now speculated that, in the absence of alternatives, the government could try to simply ignore the law or find a loophole to circumvent it. But experts warned that Johnson could end up in jail in extreme cases, should he go above the law.

«He’s just as bound by the rule of law as anyone else in this country,» former Attorney General Dominic Grieve told the BBC on Saturday. «If he does not obey (the law), he can be sued in court. If necessary, the court would issue an order that obliges him to do so (…), if he does not obey the order, he could go to jail sent.»

During protests for and against Britain’s exit from the EU, there were sometimes threatening scenes in London on Saturday. As the British news agency PA reported, the police had to separate groups of several hundred people in Parliament Square.

Occasionally, violent attacks by the right-wing extremist football fan association Football Lads Alliance (FLA) on Brexit opponents and police officers are said to have occurred. The FLA had called on its supporters to demo for Brexit.  

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 Former Conservative MP and Brexit opponent Anna Soubry canceled her planned speech in Parliament Square for fear of attacks from football fans. «I’m a parliamentarian and I have the right to speak and I shouldn’t be afraid, but it’s very, very, very disturbing and I’m actually very scared,» Soubry said, according to the PA. Outside the Downing Street government seat, hundreds of demonstrators called for Johnson’s resignation.

Seven candidates are running for the successor to the resigned House of Commons President John Bercow. Prime Minister Boris Johnson could find the election uncomfortable.

Who will call the British House of Commons to order in the future? The MEPs in London today decide on the successor to the President of Parliament John Bercow, who gained international fame with his striking «order» calls. He resigned from office on October 31st.

There are seven candidates for election as «Speaker of the House of Commons». You first introduce yourself to Parliament one after the other. A secret ballot is then held until an applicant receives an absolute majority. In each round, the MP with the fewest votes and all candidates with less than five percent approval are eliminated.

Johnson threatens another unpleasant speaker

The favorites are Labor MPs Lindsay Hoyle, previously Vice-Speaker, and Harriet Harman, the longest serving MP. The Conservatives give Eleanor Laing the best chance. Labor MPs Chris Bryant, Meg Hillier and Rosie Winterton have also applied. The conservative Brexit hardliner Edward Leigh is also running in the election. 

Since the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not have a majority in the lower house, it is likely to be confronted again with an uncomfortable President of Parliament.

«Speaker» only for one day?

Parliament is to be dissolved in the night of Wednesday for the upcoming election on December 12th. Then the speaker must also be confirmed in office; after the 2015 and 2017 parliamentary elections, this was done without an election.

The President of Parliament has a central role in the lower house. He grants and withdraws the floor of MPs, decides on the admissibility of motions and represents the Chamber before the Queen and the House of Lords, among others. 

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 Bercow was the 157th speaker and has been in office since 2009. In the dispute over the country’s planned exit from the EU, Brexit hardliners in particular criticized the politician, who severed his ties with the conservatives for official reasons, as partisan. The 56-year-old defied conventions several times so that the MPs could prevail in the dispute with the government. Bercow justified this with an increasingly authoritarian style of government. Many parliamentarians praised the fact that he had strengthened the lower house’s rights vis-à-vis the government.

Until recently, Prime Minister Theresa May was hoping to save her agreement with the help of the opposition before the election. But nothing comes of it.

The Brexit Drama – A Chronology in Pictures

Photo series with 52 pictures

Great Britain will definitely take part in the European elections. This was announced by Vice Prime Minister David Lidington in London.