U.K.’s Hammond to Quit If Johnson Becomes Premier: Brexit Update Bloomberg Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt will face an international crisis when they take office on Wednesday — and it’s not Brexit. Iran’s seizure of a British oil tanker in the … Source: “brexit” – Google News
On Tuesday the six remaining candidates to become Conservative leader – and prime minister – go to a second ballot of the party’s MPs. On Sunday night five of them – with frontrunner Boris Johnson not taking part – faced each other during a debate hosted by Channel 4. As expected, the testiest exchanges were over Brexit.
International Development Secretary Rory Stewart and Home Secretary Sajid Javid warned against proroguing – formally ending the current session of – Parliament to get through a no-deal Brexit if MPs fail to back an agreement with the EU. But ex-Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said all options must remain open.
The BBC has discovered that teenagers in Liverpool are being paid up to £1,000 by gang bosses to stab other young people. So-called “elders” want to distance themselves from violence, from fear of arrest, and so are ready to give the money, the Beyond Today podcast found. This follows government data showing almost three-quarters of people caught with knives and offensive weapons in England and Wales last year were first-time offenders.
Brexit: Behind Closed Doors (BBC Four) offered a rare, if excruciating, opportunity to observe the course of the Brexit negotiations from Europe’s point of view –
Filmmaker Lode Desmet’s two-part film Brexit: Behind Closed Doors (BBC Four) offered a rare, if excruciating, opportunity to observe the course of the Brexit negotiations from Europe’s point of view. It allowed the viewer to walk a mile in the EU’s shoes or, at any rate, those of Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian prime minister appointed chief Brexit coordinator on behalf of the European Parliament.
Desmet trailed around after Verhofstadt for two years, filming meetings of the Brexit steering group he chaired (not to be confused with those run by the European Council and the European Commission or the actual EU negotiating team led by Michel Barnier) as they experienced, at second hand, the ups and – mostly – downs of David Davis and Theresa May’s efforts to extricate the UK from the EU.
From this European perspective, confusion and incompetence looked to be the UK’s chief negotiating strategy, with Barnier able to report privately to Verhofstadt after the opening round of talks that poor preparation on the part of the UK team had allowed the EU “to set both the tone and the agenda”.
In this episode, never at any time in the long months that followed did the Europeans look to be anything other than in total control. From the high ground of 27-nation unity, they looked down on a British government that couldn’t even unify itself and, despite the high stakes, they were frequently moved to derisive laughter. As they saw it, they had no need to out-negotiate Britain – the British government was doing too good a job of that itself.
For some viewers this will have provoked outrage: sniffy Europeans scoffing at the chaos of British politics, blithely refusing to budge on British demands. Others will have seen it as sad, painful and humiliating, an inevitable consequence of leaving and not being prepared to play the EU at its own game.
Nevertheless, this was a well-made, atmospheric documentary that perfectly reflected the bafflement – and sense of complexity – with which Britain’s decision to leave the EU is so often met with in Europe. Last night’s edition closed as Verhofstadt’s team reacted with exasperation, scorn and expletive-laden disbelief as, at the 11th hour, the Democratic Unionist Party torpedoed the withdrawal dealthat Mrs May went to Brussels to sign in December 2017.
Things had seemed relatively sane up to that point. We all have an idea how they will respond in tonight’s concluding part, covering the year-and-a-half of political madness that followed.
“No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.” On his birthday we’re sending huge thanks to Sir #DavidAttenborough for being such an incredible advocate for the natural world
Released in 1979, Life On Earth was a watershed moment in natural history documentary making. David Attenborough travelled the world to trace the story of the evolution of life on the planet, employing new innovative techniques to capture rare animals on film and in doing so setting the benchmark by which all nature documentaries are judged.
In Rwanda, Attenborough and his crew were granted privileged access to film Dian Fossey’s research group of mountain gorillas. Originally intending to get close enough to narrate a piece about opposable thumbs, he threw away the script and ad-libbed when he found himself face-to-face with one of the females.
“There is more meaning and mutual understanding in exchanging a glance with a gorilla than with any other animal I know,” he whispered.
Anyone who has had the privilege of spending time with these creatures will tell you that that sentiment remains as true today.
Mr Corbyn said he raised a number of issues with Mrs May, including future customs arrangements, trade agreements and the option of giving the public the final say over the deal in another referendum.
The Labour leader is coming under pressure from senior colleagues to make a referendum a condition of signing up to any agreement.
Demanding the shadow cabinet hold a vote on the issue, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said not backing a confirmatory vote would be a “breach” of the policy agreed by party members at its last conference.
The UK has until 12 April to propose a plan to the EU – which must be accepted by the bloc – or it will leave without a deal on that date.
The PM proposed the talks in a statement on Tuesday night. She wants to agree a policy with the Labour leader for MPs to vote on before 10 April – when the EU will hold an emergency summit on Brexit.
If there is no agreement between the two leaders, Mrs May said a number of options would be put to MPs “to determine which course to pursue”.
In either event, Mrs May said she would ask the EU for a further short extension to hopefully get an agreement passed by Parliament before 22 May, so the UK does not have to take part in European elections.