Friday, 20 September 2019: Johnson could suspend parliament again if he loses court case, Iran threatens war, UK shares Brexit documents with EU, France dismisses Snowden’s asylum request

⊂ UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

Johnson could suspend parliament again if he loses court case: At the end of the third and final day of a hearing over the lawfulness of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s advice to the Queen to suspend parliament, the Supreme Court justices were asked to encourage the Speakers of the Commons and Lords to reconvene the parliamentary session. Lord Pannick QC, representing the legal campaigner and businesswoman Gina Miller, said that if the court found that Johnson had acted unlawfully but he declined to end the suspension of parliament, then it should be open to the Speaker and Lord Speaker to reassemble parliament. Johnson could suspend parliament again even if the Supreme Court rules that his original suspension was unlawful, a court submission tweeted by an opposition lawyer showed.
theguardian.com, uk.reuters.com

Salmond criticises Cameron for Queen indyref comments: Former prime minister David Cameron’s revelation that he sought help from the Queen ahead of the Scottish independence vote in 2014 has caused displeasure at Buckingham Palace, a source has said. Cameron told the BBC he had asked whether the Queen could raise an eyebrow about the prospect of Scotland voting for independence. Scotland’s former first minister Alex Salmond criticised Cameron for dragging the Queen into politics.
bbc.com, bbc.com

Fastest-growing UK terrorist threat is from far right, say police: The fastest-growing terror threat in the UK comes from far-right extremism. Neil Basu, the UK head of counter-terrorism, said seven of the 22 plots foiled since March 2017 have been linked to the ideology. Police said they and MI5, which since 2018 has taken the lead on the most serious extreme rightwing plots, were carrying out 80 investigations to stop violence fuelled by ideologies such as white supremacism and Islamophobia.
bbc.com, theguardian.com

Homelessness: Parliament apologises for photographing rough sleepers theguardian.com
Health services: Labour plans NHS forest of a million trees at hospitals theguardian.com
Labour Students: Labour student wing to fight party’s decision to abolish organisation theguardian.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 ⊃

Iran threatens war: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has continued to insist that Iran was not behind the attacks on Saudi oil facilities. Zarif threatened that an all-out war would result from a military strike on Iran by the United States or Saudi Arabia. He said Iran was prepared to speak with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, but talks with the United States could only happen once all Iran sanctions were lifted. The US government is currently conducting international negotiations to find a solution to the Iran conflict. The US has granted permission for top Iranian officials, including Zarif, to enter the country for next week’s United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Saudi-led military coalition has reportedly carried out attacks on targets in Yemen.
politico.eu, tagesspiegel.de (Zarif); nypost.com (General Assembly); independent.co.uk (Yemen)

UK shares Brexit documents with EU: The British government has shared confidential documents with the EU that reflect the UK’s Brexit ideas. The EU Commission announced that there would be a meeting this Friday between the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier and the UK’s Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay. Earlier, Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne had called on Britain to present alternatives to the existing Brexit agreement before the end of the month. But Downing Street refused to commit to tabling its Brexit plans for replacing the Irish backstop within two weeks, branding it an artificial deadline.
bbc.com, cnbc.com, theguardian.com

Kövesi poised to become EU public prosecutor: Romanian candidate Laura Codruta Kövesi is set to become the first-ever chief EU public prosecutor. 17 out of 22 EU ambassadors voted for Kövesi on Thursday. The European Council, which has previously backed Kövesi’s appointment to the new role, is expected to vote in her favour. The Romanian government opposed Kövesi’s appointment. A former high-profile anti-corruption prosecutor, Kövesi pursued cases against senior politicians, businessmen and corrupt judges before the government fired her. Kövesi stood accused of abusing her office and over-use of wire-tapping facilities from the secret services; her district prosecutors were accused of pressuring witnesses.
politico.eu, bbc.com

EU Commission: Future President Von der Leyen defends plan to appoint Commission vice president for “protecting the European way of life” politico.eu
Gas supply: Ukraine, Russia fail to reach gas deal for Europe but agree to meet again reuters.com
Next-generation vehicles: EU Commission remains committed to connected car plans euractiv.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

If no proposals are forthcoming, I believe quite a few European leaders agree with the position expressed by Macron. Then it’s over.
Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne said the UK has until the end of September to make written proposals for changes to the withdrawal agreement or its relationship with the EU is over.
euronews.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

France and Germany to cooperate on data infrastructure: The two countries intend to pool efforts to create a sovereign data infrastructure for Europe so that the continent’s data can be stored and processed at home rather than in the United States or China, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier announced Thursday. Seeking to underline Franco-German economic cooperation, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said a pilot plant in France to manufacture electric car batteries will go online in 2022, two years before a second factory opens in Germany, part of a pan-European project to rival Asia’s dominance of the battery market.
reuters.com, reuters.com

France dismisses Snowden’s asylum request: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has reiterated that France will not grant asylum to American whistleblower Edward Snowden. He had asked for asylum in France in 2013. At that time, France thought that it was not appropriate, Le Drian said. The minister did not see why there should be a reason to change that stance, either from a political or a legal point of view.
politico.eu

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Belgian fighter jet crashes in France: A Belgian F-16 fighter jet crashed in northwestern France on Thursday morning, causing eight homes to be evacuated. Both pilots survived after ejecting before impact. One of them had been left hanging from a powerline after his parachute got caught. Emergency workers extracted him safely after cutting off power in the area, and he was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation.
nbcnews.com, euronews.com

Austria: Hacker stole ÖVP data tagesspiegel.de
Italy 1: Prime Minister Conte loses first vote with new government handelsblatt.com
Italy 2: Visit from German President Steinmeier de.euronews.com
Estonia: Estonia marks 1944 massacre of some 2,000 Jews news.yahoo.com

⊂ 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 ⊃

French Leftist leader goes on trial: Jean-Luc Melenchon, one of France’s main opposition leaders, is facing charges of intimidating officials who were investigating him over possible funding irregularities. The trial relates to 2018 raids on his home and party offices conducted at the behest of the public prosecutor’s office in Paris. In footage of the raids, Melenchon and his entourage are seen yelling at the prosecutor and police officers while other supporters are breaking into the premises that had just been sealed off for the search.
uk.reuters.com

 

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