Archive for the ‘Foreign policy’ Category

PM faces Brexit extension even if his deal is passed

Labour and former Tory MPs join in bid to force through extension with amendment on ‘super Saturday’

Boris Johnson’s plan to push through a Brexit deal on Saturday looks likely to be frustrated after an alliance of Labour and former Tory MPs united behind a plan to force a new extension.

After clinching a last-minute deal in Brussels on Thursday by agreeing to a customs border in the Irish Sea, the prime minister had hoped to frame the rare Saturday sitting of parliament as a dramatic “new deal or no deal” moment.

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The Guardian view on the Brexit vote: bin this bad deal | Editorial

Boris Johnson’s plan is far removed from the promises of the leave campaign and would be bad for the country. MPs must reject it

“Brexit means Brexit”, Theresa May’s catchphrase, helped the former prime minister navigate a profound political problem: there was no model of a future relationship with the EU that could satisfy all leave voters, and none was specified on the 2016 ballot paper.

The meaning of Brexit then evolved over three years, eventually becoming the deal that Boris Johnson has placed before parliament. This definition is a shrivelled facsimile of the product that was offered by the leave campaign. Pro-Brexit politicians never confronted the trade-offs involved in severing European ties that have developed over four decades. Instead, they dissembled and deceived, wielding the referendum result as a bludgeon to stifle debate.

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For three years we remainers have held our breath. This is the moment our dreams may die | Jonathan Freedland

If Johnson’s Brexit deal is voted through, an idea we cherish, of cooperation across borders, will suffer a devastating blow

It would be tempting to call this the moment of truth, had truth not been an early casualty of a Brexit saga that was mired in lies and deception from the very start. Even so the Brexit story, which has twisted and tormented this country for the last three and a half years, is at a moment of decision. Outside parliament, hundreds of thousands will gather to make one, possibly last, plea to stay in the European Union. Inside, MPs are due to vote on an agreement that, if it passes, will see us make the break in less than a fortnight – thereby ending British participation in a dream that has animated Europe ever since the final bombs fell in 1945.

Almost everything about this moment deserves either regret or condemnation. Forty months have passed since the referendum, but MPs will have little more than four hours to assess the new withdrawal agreement governing Britain’s departure from the EU. That’s barely time to read it, let alone debate and scrutinise it. To rush through a decision of such gravity is not the action of a country that is serious about its own future.

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Manufacturers express deep misgivings over Johnson’s Brexit deal

Lobby group calls for transition extension and loosening of migration rules on eve of vote

Britain’s manufacturers have responded to the prime minister’s Brexit deal with deep misgivings in the run-up to the vote in parliament on Saturday.

The lobby group for the engineering and manufacturing industries, Make UK, said though it was relieved at the possibility of leaving the EU with a deal, the new agreement failed in several important ways to overcome the concerns of its members, not least the transition deal, which stretches to just 14 months, and the lack of commitments to maintaining the closest possible trading relationship with the EU.

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Brexit deal: Boris Johnson launches frantic sales pitch ahead of knife-edge vote on Saturday – live news

Prime minister has said he is ‘very confident’ deal will be approved in historic Commons vote on Saturday

Angela Merkel has told EU leaders a Brexit extension would be unavoidable if MPs vote down the deal agreed with Boris Johnson, my colleague Jennifer Rankin reports. Her story goes on:

During private EU summit talks on Brexit, the German chancellor told her fellow leaders they could not pretend an extension would not be offered to the UK if it was requested, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

Merkel framed Brexit as a historic issue weighing on the EU and said leaders had a responsibility not to push the UK out if there was a request for further delay.

Related: Brexit extension unavoidable if MPs reject deal, says Merkel

Huda Elmi, another member of Labour’s national executive committee, has backed Jon Lansman (see 10.57am) in saying that any Labour MP who votes for Boris Johnson’s deal should not be allowed to stand as a parliamentary candidate for the party again.

It’s pretty basic. Being a Labour MP means opposing the Tories when they try to destroy our country. This reckless sell out deal is even worse than Theresa May's, and any Labour MP that sides with Boris Johnson has no right to stand at the next election.

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John McDonnell expects Labour MPs to hold firm on Brexit deal

Votes of opposition could be crucial when parliament sits on Saturday to discuss PM’s plan

John McDonnell has played down speculation that any more than a handful of Labour MPs could vote for Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal on Saturday, saying he was hoping to persuade his colleagues to hold firm.

Several have already said they will back the plan. McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said there would be “consequences” for any who did, but did not specify whether this could include losing the party whip.

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Brexit extension unavoidable if MPs reject deal, says Merkel

German chancellor tells EU leaders UK should be offered extension if it is requested

Angela Merkel has told EU leaders a Brexit extension would be unavoidable if MPs vote down the deal agreed with Boris Johnson.

During private EU summit talks on Brexit, the German chancellor told her fellow leaders they could not pretend an extension would not be offered to the UK if it was requested, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

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