Friday, 18 October 2019: Sturgeon says SNP will not vote for Brexit deal, EU leaders endorse Brexit deal, Turkey and US agree ceasefire in northern Syria, Catalan leader Quim Torra considers new referendum

⊂ UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

Sturgeon says SNP will not vote for Brexit deal: The Scottish National Party (SNP) will not vote for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal in parliament because it poses a much harder exit from the EU, leader Nicola Sturgeon announced on Thursday. She said Scotland did not vote for Brexit in any form, and SNP lawmakers would not vote for Brexit in any form. The SNP is to call for a three month extension to Brexit to allow time to hold a general election. Ian Blackford, the party’s Westminster leader, has tabled an amendment to Saturday’s motion in the Commons, rejecting the new Brexit deal and calling for an extension until at least 31 January 2020, allowing for an early election.
reuters.com, bbc.com

Corbyn defends record on antisemitism after MP quits: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn defended his record on tackling antisemitism on Thursday, after MP Louise Ellman quit the party and called the Labour leader unfit to be prime minister. Corbyn said he had taken the most resolute action possible of any party leader to deal with issues of antisemitism or racism of any form in the Labour party. Corbyn thanked Ellman for her work in the Labour Party and defended the party’s record on antisemitism. He said an inquiry had been set up, and certain members were suspended and indeed expelled.
politico.eu

Labour candidate accuses Lib Dem rival of dirty campaign tactics: A Labour parliamentary candidate has accused her Liberal Democrat rival of using dirty campaigning tactics after he sent her an open letter demanding to know her view on an Islamic charity to which she has no links. Dr Faiza Shaheen suggested that Dr Geoffrey Seeff wanted her to be publicly highlighted as a Muslim when he wrote to her about the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), an organisation she had not heard of.
theguardian.com

Confederation of British Industry: CBI calls on Labour to publish nationalisation plans theguardian.com
London: Conservative MP Mark Field to stand down over Brexit disagreement bbc.com
N. Ireland: Stormont to be recalled after abortion petition bbc.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

politjobs.ukAssociation of Directors of Children’s Services seeks Policy Officer *** The Royal Society seeks Senior Policy Adviser (Education) *** ITV Cymru Wales seeks Public Affairs Manager *** Independent Age seeks Public Affairs Officer *** Dogs Trust seeks European Policy Advisor (Publish your job ad)

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

EU leaders endorse Brexit deal: The leaders of the EU countries have formally endorsed the new Brexit agreement with the UK. The deal will have to pass in British parliament on Saturday. Members of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) said they would not vote for the deal as it stood. The opposition Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats called for another referendum. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said the new deal did not amount to a proper Brexit and warned the UK would never fully break free from the EU if it was approved. The new agreement must also be approved by the EU Parliament. Bernd Lange, the chair of the EU Parliament’s trade committee, raised concerns about whether the agreement adequately protected the EU internal market from dumping products coming from third countries. EU Council President Donald Tusk said a deal was always better than no deal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted that it contained key demands from the EU side, including maintaining the integrity of the common market and preserving the Good Friday Agreement.
cnn.com, politico.eu, apnews.com

Turkey and US agree ceasefire in northern Syria: The US and Turkey agreed Thursday to a five-day ceasefire in the Turkish offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. The intention is to allow the Kurds to withdraw to roughly 20 miles away from the Turkish border. Turkey will pause Operation Peace Spring for 120 hours in order to allow for the withdrawal of Kurdish YPG forces from the safe zone, US Vice President Mike Pence said after talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The US also agreed not to put new sanctions in place and to end current sanctions if the ceasefire holds. However, Turkey does not see the agreement as a ceasefire. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu described it as a pause, solely to allow the Kurdish fighters to withdraw. Kurdish authorities have called for a humanitarian corridor for the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, and have accused Turkey of resorting to banned weapons such as napalm and white phosphorus munitions. The BBC has reported that Erdogan put a controversial letter from US President Donald Trump in the trash. Kurds have been organising daily demonstrations across Germany.
time.com, cbsnews.com, reuters.com (Ceasefire); independent.co.uk, france24.com (Kurds); bbc.com (Letter); dw.com (Germany)

German arms exports to Turkey at highest level since 2005: Germany sent €250.4 million worth of weapons to Turkey in the first eight months of this year. That is already higher than any annual amount since 2005 — even without including the last four months of the year. The deputy leader of the Left party’s parliamentary group, Sevim Dagdelen, criticised these numbers. She said all of the German government’s talk about a restrictive arms export policy was just a sham. The ministry of economics said the arms that were supplied to Turkey were exclusively maritime products.
dw.com, tagesschau.de

How is the EU doing when it comes to gender equality?: The EU and its members have a long way to go before their societies reach equality between men and women, according to the 2019 Gender Equality Index by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGA). Far from being a women-only issue, gender equality engages men just as much and it’s generally seen as a precondition for sustainable development. With this in mind, EIGA has been monitoring the advancement of gender equality throughout the EU since 2013, measuring progress through six core domains: work, money, knowledge, time, power, and health, and taking into account national contexts on relevant policy areas.
euronews.com

G7: White House selects Trump’s Doral resort as site of next G7 summit politico.eu
Ecuador: Europe welcomes Ecuador deal to end violent protests neweurope.eu
Hong Kong: Hecklers dragged out in new parliament chaos bbc.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

I hope that one day our British friends will decide to come back.
European Council President Donald Tusk has said he feels sad about the UK’s exit from the EU, but has insisted that if the UK ever decides to return, the door would always be open.
eu-info.de

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Catalan leader Quim Torra considers new referendum: Speaking to Catalonia’s regional parliament, Catalonia’s pro-independence regional leader Quim Torra called for a new vote on self-determination for the region within two years. Torra said the prison sentences handed down to Catalan leaders would not stop a second vote from going ahead. He also condemned the violence that has surfaced in recent protests and called for the unrest to stop, saying peaceful means were the only way forward for separatists. Torra added there was a false narrative that the Catalan separatist movement was violent. He called for calm and serenity.
euronews.com, bbc.com, time.com, france24.com

Autobahn speed limit fails in German parliament: Germany’s parliament has voted against a bill proposed by the Green party that would have introduced a speed limit of 130 kilometres per hour on the nation’s highways. The German government had already ruled out a speed limit in January, saying the measure would do little to shrink Germany’s carbon footprint. Green party lawmaker Anton Hofreiter said speed restrictions were long overdue and would help prevent fatal accidents, bring down costs for motorists and reduce noise pollution and climate emissions. CDU politician Gero Storjohann warned against total surveillance of the autobahn. FDP politician Oliver Luksic said the autobahn was the safest road and argued there was a higher accident risk on country roads.
dw.com, faz.net

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Italy wants less cash transactions: Italians do almost 86% of all their business in cash, thus often escaping the value-added tax (VAT). The Italian government’s drive to combat tax evasion seeks to encourage the use of easily traced credit and debit cards rather than opaque cash transactions. The country’s new budget introduces sanctions for retailers and service providers that do not accept credit cards and lowers to 2,000 euros from 3,000 the threshold above which it is illegal to make cash transactions.
boerse.ard.de, reuters.com

Poland: Thousands protest against strict regulation on sex education welt.de
Germany: Government lowers growth forecast for 2020 reuters.com
Austria: Warming climate puts “Grüner Veltliner” wine at risk reuters.com
Sweden: Number of bomb attacks has risen sharply tagesspiegel.de

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: Bitkom sucht Referent europäische Digitalpolitik (w/m) *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Innovation Project Manager *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Project Assistant for EU Funded Projects *** PwC seeks Public Affairs Senior Manager Belgium *** Johnson & Johnson seeks Policy Assistant, Government Affairs & Policy EMEA *** Public Policy Manager, Connectivity *** Ryanair offers Public Affairs internship
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Commuters drag climate activist off train: Protests by climate activists disrupted services and enraged travellers in London on Thursday morning. At least four protesters were arrested after fights broke out at subway stations. At Canning Town station in east London, commuters threw drinks at one protester who was walking on top of a train before pulling him off and launching into a fight. A physical altercation between the crowd and the protester ensued, which ended only after station staff and other passengers intervened.
nbcnews.com, cnn.com

 

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