Prime Minister Boris Johnson departed Downing Street to vote on his last minute Brexit deal in an extraordinary sitting of the British parliament on Saturday (19 October), a day of reckoning that could decide the course of the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union.
More than three years since the United Kingdom voted 52-48 to be the first sovereign country to leave the European project, Prime Minister Boris Johnson Johnson will try to win parliament's approval for the divorce treaty he struck in Brussels on Thursday (October 17).
In a day of Brexit high drama, lawmakers convene for the first Saturday sitting since the 1982 Argentine invasion of the Falklands, while hundreds of thousands of people march to parliament demanding another referendum.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH BREXIT MINISTER, STEPHEN BARCLAY, SAYING: "I think the vote will be tight today but the prime minister (Boris Johnson) has shown he's listened to MPs on all side of the house.
He's addressed the central concern MPs had, which was the back stop, the concern that it would be used be as a veto by the EU and as leverage by them in the future talks.
But he's also listened to MPs for example on the Labour side in terms of his commitments on workers rights or, as set out in the Queen's Speech, the environmental standards commitments he's made and having an independent body to review to those in the future.
So he has listened, and it is now time for members of parliament to step up to their responsibilities and pass this deal." Johnson cast the vote in parliament as the last chance to secure an orderly Brexit.
Though he is obliged by law to seek a Brexit delay if his deal falls, Johnson said the United Kingdom would still leave on Oct.
European Union leader Charles Michel has criticised the UK at the UN GeneralAssembly for its threats to renege on parts of the Withdrawal Agreement itsigned with the bloc. He warned on Friday that the 27-nation organisation willnot back down in the final weeks of talks on a free trade deal. Mr Michel said“respect for treaties, a basic principle of international law, comes to beconsidered optional even by those who, until recently, were its historicalguarantors”. “All this in the name of partisan interests,” he said inreference to the UK Government.
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The monsoon session of the Parliament, held under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, is ending earlier than planned amid a surge in infections. But rather than the unprecedented precautions and measures taken inside the two Houses, this session might be remembered for the fierce face-off between the treasury and Opposition benches, especially over the manner of passing of two controversial agricultural reform bills. The political clash caused by the fracas in the Rajya Sabha, the suspension of some Opposition MPs, the rejected motion against the Deputy Chairman, and the boycott of proceedings is now reaching the President of India's doorstep. Opposition parties are approaching the President, accusing the government of trampling on Parliamentary tradition while pushing through a number of legislations. Watch Hindustan Times senior editor Aditi Prasad decode the significance of this short, yet stormy Parliament session with deputy political editor Saubhadra Chatterji.
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Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has updated MPs on the "reasonable worst-case scenario" planning by the Government as the UK approaches the end of the Brexit transition period on 31st December. Mr Gove said the Government is "committed" to negotiating a new free trade agreement with the EU before the end of the year but insisted "things will change" for businesses and individuals as they trade with and travel to the EU, whatever the outcome of the talks. Report by Blairm. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
Rishi Sunak has outlined new financial support for workers and businesses at a Downing Street press conference. The chancellor also warned "for at least the next six months the virus and restrictions are going to be a fact of our lives". Report by Blairm. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he could not promise that “everyone can go back tothe job that they used to have”. At a Downing Street press conference he said:“We obviously can’t sustain the same level of things that we were doing at thebeginning of this crisis, but nor would it be right to do so either, becausethe situation has evolved.
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Boris Johnson chose to visit a police training centre in Northamptonshire today instead of attending his chancellor's major announcement in the House of Commons. Downing Street denied speculation about a rift at the top of Government, insisting there was "absolutely not" a problem between Mr Johnson and Rishi Sunak. The prime minister told reporters that his visit was to talk to police about enforcing new coronavirus rules he laid out on Monday. Report by Blairm. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
The Government’s chief medical and scientific advisers have held a coronavirusbriefing at Downing Street to explain how the virus is spreading in the UK andwhat could happen as winter approaches. Here are the main points.
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The government's Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England Professor Chris Whitty have arrived at 10 Downing Street ahead of their televised briefing. Report by Blairm. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay has said that the chancellor has “levelled with the public” on the UK’s economic outlook amid the coronavirus pandemic. Report by Patelr. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
In frontier nations there’s worry over the administrative burden. Those involved in rescue missions in the Mediterranean that there are no new funds to patrol the sea. And among politicians who want to block migration, there’s concern that refugee cases should be dealt with outside the Union.
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Sir Keir Starmer has said Boris Johnson has questions to answer over "breaking international law" by tabling legislation which would breach the Brexit divorce deal brokered with Brussels last year. The Labour Party leader accused the prime minister of either knowing what he signed and mis-selling the withdrawal agreement or not knowing what he signed which "takes us to new levels of incompetence". Report by Blairm. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
The leader of the main opposition party in Belarus was in Brussels on Monday to apply pressure on the European Union to go ahead with sanctions against officials accused of election rigging. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya sees no reason why sanctions now can't be pushed through. Adam Reed reports.
The “politicisation” of Northern Ireland issues by Brussels in Brexit tradetalks is threatening the Good Friday Agreement, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raabhas told US congressional leaders. Mr Raab’s comments came after the speakerof the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, warned Congress would neverpass a free trade agreement with the UK if legislation to override the Brexitdivorce settlement was to “imperil” the peace process.
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