British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's attempt to call a snap election failed to garner the support of two-thirds of lawmakers in the House of Commons on Wednesday — leaving the Brexit process in limbo. It was his third defeat in the lower house of Parliament in just two days — coming right after opposition MPs and rebels in Johnson's Conservatives approved a bill that could force Johnson to ask the European Union for another Brexit delay, a step he has repeatedly said he will not take. With Johnson losing his majority after expelling rebel Tory MPs and with time running out before the UK is due to leave the EU on October 31, here's a look at what to look out for over the next few days: What's happening with the no-deal Brexit bill? The bill was passed in the House of Commons. Now lawmakers in the upper chamber of Parliament, the House of Lords, will debate it. Time will be tight to get the bill approved, as Johnson has moved to suspend Parliament as of next week. … [Read more...] about Brexit: What’s happened and what’s next?
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Fisheries ministers meeting in Brussels to decide EU quotas for next year have set some stocks within levels scientists deem sustainable but left many others vulnerable to overfishing. The ministers also said there would be a review of the planned ban on the discarding of edible fish at sea, which could, in effect, mean the wasteful practice is allowed to continue despite an eight-year battle to end it. For the UK, there were substantial increases in quota for a few species, including monkfish off western Scotland, which was up by a quarter, western hake, which was increased by more than a quarter, and a 10% increase in fishing for skates and rays in the Channel. George Eustice, the fisheries minister, said: “We entered into discussions knowing that a good deal needed to carefully balance progress towards sustainability targets, while ensuring that we listen to the scientific evidence on the health of fish stocks and safeguard a profitable future for our hardworking fleet.” … [Read more...] about EU fishing quotas pose risk to some stocks, say campaigners
The Vote Leave campaign promised that Britain would “take back control”, and that Brexit would give the UK back its sovereign powers. If there is one thing we have learned from the progress of the EU withdrawal bill through parliament, it is that Theresa May is not interested in the sovereignty of parliament. Her government is hurtling headlong into a Brexit that could see the UK lose much control – over its borders, its trade with the world and its global standing. Theresa May has set out her red lines: leaving the EU customs union, leaving the single market, and no longer being subject to EU laws or rulings of the European court of justice (ECJ). In other words, a hard Brexit. If the prime minister cannot deliver tough restrictions on immigration into the UK, she knows that Brexit will have failed, tangibly, to do what she promised. Yet she is also unhappy with allowing parliament to scrutinise the government’s Brexit legislation because she knows this could … [Read more...] about Desperate for a hard Brexit, May has shown she has no time for democracy
It's my deal or no deal — that is essentially what Theresa May said when asked about the prospects of Brexit. You almost expected her to break out in song. In fact, the prime minister stayed in her usual Maybot mode: "I believe we will get a good deal. We will bring that back from the EU negotiations and put that to Parliament. I think that the alternative to that is not having a deal." May is off to meet her European Union counterparts in Salzburg and the British side had raised expectations. She would personally sell her Chequers proposal and they would surely buy into some cherry picking for the United Kingdom. The prime minister of course had hoped for some tangible results in order to calm her fractious Conservatives. The party conference in early October is likely to be a near-death experience for May. Everyone in the EU knows that and they're waiting to see what happens next. Politics is quite Darwinian in that sense. Read more: Plotting Conservatives reject Theresa … [Read more...] about Brexit Diaries 46: I’m doing it my way, says Theresa May
Already under pressure, Prime Minister Theresa May's government lost three votes in the House of Commons on Tuesday, even before the main debate got underway. May is seeking approval from the house for the exit deal from the EU which her negotiators signed off last week. That vote will be taken next Tuesday. But this Tuesday began with a setback for her as a European Court of Justice advocate general gave formal advice that revoking the "Article 50" divorce notice was an option for the House without the other EU 27 member states having a say. The UK does not need approval of other EU countries to withdraw from Brexit, the advocate ruled. Then, MPs voted 311 to 293 in favor of holding the UK government "in contempt of parliament" for refusing to release key legal advice on the Withdrawal Agreement and the backstop legal guarantee for avoiding a hard border with Ireland. House Leader Andrea Leadsom said the government would publish "the final and full advice provided by the … [Read more...] about UK government loses key votes as parliament gains powers in next Brexit steps