Poland’s lowering of the retirement age for judges breaches EU law, the European court of justice has said, in a victory for civil society campaigners seeking to preserve democratic values. The ruling from Europe’s highest court, released on Monday, is a blow to Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) government, which has drastically increased control over the judiciary in recent years. It will also be a disappointment for Hungary’s government, which is also in the EU dock over the rule of law and has made representations to the court in Poland’s favour. Since taking office in 2015 PiS has assumed direct oversight of state prosecutors and the judicial body that appoints, promotes and disciplines judges. In 2018 the government introduced a law to force the retirement of 40% of supreme court judges. That measure has now been ruled as inconsistent with the EU fundamental values of democracy and the rule of law. In a statement the court said that lowering … [Read more...] about EU court rules Poland’s lowering of judges’ retirement age is unlawful
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Foreign criminals and child abusers face tougher sentences under plans in the Queen’s Speech today. The prison terms for those who sneak back into the UK in breach of deportation orders would be lengthened from weeks to years. And the worst offenders would no longer be freed halfway through their sentences. Rapists and killers would instead serve at least two thirds of their time. Proposed legislation would see those who sneak back into the UK have their terms lengthened from weeks to years. Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘Deterring foreign criminals from re-entering the country will make our country safer' Another law would see murderers who refuse to reveal where they buried their victims spending longer behind bars. The proposed legislation will extend to paedophiles who stay silent about their victims. This follows anger over the release of depraved nursery worker Vanessa George after just a decade inside. The proposed legislation will extend to paedophiles who … [Read more...] about Crackdown on foreign criminals who sneak back to the UK: Boris Johnson unveils package of tougher law-and-order measures in Queen’s Speech today
Boris Johnson today agreed a new Brexit deal with the European Union in a move which keeps alive his hopes of taking Britain out of the bloc by October 31. News of the agreement took many people in Westminster by surprise after the DUP said it could not support the Prime Minister's proposed way forward. Mr Johnson will now ask MPs to vote for the deal at a special 'Super Saturday' sitting of the House of Commons. Here is the deal in full that MPs will be asked to vote on: PROTOCOL ON IRELAND/NORTHERN IRELAND The Union and the United Kingdom, HAVING REGARD to the historic ties and enduring nature of the bilateral relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom, RECALLING that the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the Union presents a significant and unique challenge to the island of Ireland, and reaffirming that the achievements, benefits and commitments of the peace process will remain of paramount importance to peace, stability and reconciliation … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal in full: Read the full text of Britain’s agreement with the EU here
Boris Johnson has expelled 21 MPs from the parliamentary Conservative Party after they rebelled against him in a bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit.Those who have had the Tory whip removed include two ex-chancellors and a number of senior figures in Theresa May's and David Cameron's governments. Some have said they will stand down at the next election - whilst others have vowed to fight attempts to stop them standing again as Conservative candidates. It comes after the rebels teamed up with the opposition on Tuesday to back a motion paving the way for a law seeking to delay the UK's exit date.The legislation would force the prime minister to delay Brexit until January 2020, unless MPs approve either a new deal or a no-deal exit by 19 October. So who are the Tory MPs who rebelled against the prime minister? Philip HammondThe former chancellor, who has been co-ordinating the rebels' efforts, insisted the move was not simply designed to block a no-deal exit but also to give Parliament proper … [Read more...] about Brexit showdown: Who were Tory rebels who defied Boris Johnson?
British manufacturers of products ranging from Scotch whisky to biscuits and Savile Row suits are braced for a significant financial hit after US tariffs came into effect in retaliation for subsidies given to aerospace manufacturer Airbus. Tariffs of 25% came into effect at midnight on the US east coast (5am BST), damaging small businesses with few links to a 15-year aerospace industry battle between Airbus, the European champion, and American rival Boeing. A broad variety of products across the EU have been hit by the tariffs, including French wine, Italian parmesan and Spanish olives. Small British manufacturers with little interest in the rivalry between two of the world’s largest companies expressed consternation at being dragged into the row. “It feels exceptionally odd that we’re caught up in a dispute about aircraft,” said Simon Cotton, chief executive of Johnstons of Elgin, a Scottish manufacturer of cashmere woollen knitwear. He said the Moray company, … [Read more...] about UK manufacturers braced for financial hit as US tariffs bite