TOMORROW is Commonwealth Day 2019 - a celebration of the 52 countries making up the political organisation. Here's everything you need to know about today's events, and how to watch the Queen on TV. When is Commonwealth Day? Commonwealth Day is celebrated on the second Monday of March. It is not a bank holiday. This year, Commonwealth Day falls on Monday March 11. What is Commonwealth Day? Commonwealth Day is an opportunity for the Commonwealth's 52 member states to come together and celebrate its values - and diversity. The Commonwealth was founded on December 11, 1931. The 2019 theme is 'A Connected Commonwealth' which highlights the co-operation between the culturally diverse family of nations who work together in friendship. In the Commonwealth Charter, it says that "international peace and security, sustainable economic growth and development and the rule of law are essential to the progress and prosperity of all". When will the Queen visit Westminster Abbey and how can … [Read more...] about When is Commonwealth Day, will the Queen visit Westminster Abbey and can you watch on TV?
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After a fortnight of obfuscation, Jeremy Corbyn finally agreed to meet Theresa May for ‘cross-party talks’ to break the Brexit deadlock. But did they get on? Theresa on Jeremy Join Independent Minds For exclusive articles, events and an advertising-free read for just £5.99 €6.99 $9.99 a month Start your free trial Get the best of The Independent With an Independent Minds subscription for just £5.99 €6.99 $9.99 a month Start your free trial Get the best of The Independent Without the ads – for just £5.99 €6.99 $9.99 a month Start your free trial What were you hoping for? Salvation from my own failings, or just someone to share the blame. What did you talk about? The backstop. The customs union. The time I called him a national tragedy. Any awkward moments? At one point, no one spoke for twenty minutes. Good table manners? Impeccable. I left no-deal on it but we both pretended it wasn’t there.Best thing about Jeremy? … [Read more...] about Westminster Blind Dates: When Theresa met Jeremy
0 Have your say In the face of last-minute Brexit panic, giving the politicians in Eire a hard time is not the solution, writes Lesley Riddoch Rudeness towards the Irish seems de rigeur on BBC TV as last minute panic over Brexit grows. In the face of constant interuption by Andrew Marr on Sunday, the Irish Deputy Prime Minister, Simon Coveney, explained that no renegotiation of the Good Friday agreement, the backstop or the overall Withdrawal Agreement is now possible. He made clear; “The backstop is already a compromise... it was designed around British red lines.” In another world, this could have been probed as containing a possible way forward for Theresa May. Instead Andrew Marr seemed irked by a smart, articulate Irish minister giving straight answers to fairly daft questions, driven by the near-collapse of the British political system. Last week, there was outrage online when the Today programme’s John Humphrys told Ireland’s … [Read more...] about Lesley Riddoch: BBC attitude towards Irish politicians highlights Westminster’s Brexit panic
It is all too easy to be depressed by a stream of bad news stories, so the Industrial Strategy published by the combined councils in our region is something to cheer us up. The West Midlands region stands out in the UK, as productivity over the last year increased at twice the rate of the rest of the Country and our output is up over 27 per cent over the past five years – a good growth for our £99bn economy. According to the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), we have the youngest population outside of Europe. We attract a diverse population, which gives us strong international connections. We have long been a forerunner in creative and technological development. All of which makes us a globally competitive force to be reckoned with. The potential for the area is huge, backed by real investment over the next decade overseen by the WMCA. This includes 215,000 new homes by 2031, £69million to support development of new skills, the choice of the region to be the … [Read more...] about WESTMINSTER DIARIES: West Midlands’ industrial strategy should cheer us up
TUESDAY is the last chance saloon for those MPs who want to secure as meaningful a Brexit as possible. That evening, MPs will vote on a series of Brexit amendments designed to show the EU what kind of withdrawal agreement the Commons would accept. At least one of them needs to pass. If one does get the support of a majority of MPs, then Theresa May can go back to Brussels and say, look, this is what will get the deal through my parliament. It will strengthen her negotiating hand, make the EU engage and give her a chance of securing some changes. As one secretary of state says: “She needs to demonstrate she can carry something through.” No10 insiders tell me that May will only go back to Brussels “when we have a very clear set of proposals”. But if none of these amendments can muster a majority, then the EU will just sit tight. It knows this parliament is fiercely opposed to No Deal and so isn’t concerned that the UK will actually go down that route. … [Read more...] about This country will end up with a super soft Andrex Brexit — or no Brexit at all if Theresa May’s deal doesn’t pass in the Commons