Thursday, 12 September 2019: UK government publishes worst-case scenario for no-deal, EU criticises Israel PM Netanyahu’s annexation plans, Germany still sees hope for Brexit deal, Rally for Catalonia’s secession from Spain


UK government publishes worst-case scenario for no-deal: The government on Wednesday published “Operation Yellowhammer,” its planning scenario for a no-deal Brexit. The report paints a damning picture of disruptive effects should the UK leave the EU without an agreement: Financial services and the sharing of law enforcement and personal data would be disrupted. Cross-channel traffic could be cut by 40-60% within a day, with disruption lasting 3 months. This would have an impact on medicines and medical products imported into the UK. The food sector would be hit in a matter of weeks, if not days, due to its reliance on free-movement and non-tariff trade within the EU. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the paper confirmed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was prepared to punish those who could least afford it.,

Scotland court rules suspension of parliament illegal: A Scottish court ruled on Wednesday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful because it had the purpose of stymying parliament. The judges failed to issue an interdict, or injunction, ordering the UK government to reconvene parliament, prompting a row over whether the decision meant MPs could go back to the House of Commons. The UK government will appeal at the UK supreme court against the latest ruling, which also contradicts a decision in Johnson’s favour by senior English judges last week.,

Raab to confront Iran over British prisoners: Iran has detained two British-Australian women and one other Australian citizen. One of the women, a blogger, was reportedly told by Iranian authorities she was being held to facilitate a prisoner swap with Australia. The British government said in a statement Wednesday that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met with the Iranian ambassador and raised serious questions about dual nationals detained in Iran. Raab will also confront Iran over its detention of British nationals at a United Nations meeting in New York this month. Relations between the UK and Iran have been strained in recent months by a row over the seizure of oil tankers in the Gulf.,,,

Brexit: PM Johnson has ruled out NI-only backstop
Former work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd: First speech since leaving cabinet
Immigration status: Ministers reverse May-era student visa rules


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EU criticises Israel PM Netanyahu’s annexation plans: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced plans to annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank as an election promise if he wins next time. The EU said it did not recognise any changes made to the pre-1967 borders, other than those agreed by both parties. An EU spokesperson said any Israeli settlement plans would be illegal under international law, and its continuation and actions taken in this context undermined the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for lasting peace. Saudi Arabia and Turkey also condemned Netanyahu’s plan of annexation. Israeli aircraft struck targets in Gaza on Wednesday., (Annexation plans); (Gaza)

Germany still sees hope for Brexit deal: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that there was still every chance of getting an orderly Brexit. The fact remained, however, that after the withdrawal of Britain, Germany would have an economic competitor at its door. She said that once Britain left the EU, the remaining member states must unite and strengthen the project. In her speech at the German parliament, Merkel also identified climate and digitalisation as the two great challenges facing Germany. She defended her government record and proposed multilateralism, as well as the social market economy, as solutions to the climate crisis, which she said the government considered a challenge for humanity. Germany would have to spend money to combat climate change, but doing so would be a good investment. (Brexit);, (Climate)

Merkel and Erdogan talk about Syria crisis: German Chancellor Merkel spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the phone Wednesday to discuss the Syria crisis as well as the refugee question. With the number of refugees on the Greek islands increasing, the German government has called on Turkey to repatriate refugees, a move that was agreed on by the EU and Turkey. 3.6 million Syrian refugees already live in Turkey, the world’s largest expatriate Syrian population, along with hundreds of thousands from other countries. UK Border Force has intercepted 86 people in the English Channel who were trying to use small boats to reach Britain from France. According to the United Nations, tens of thousands of women and children continue to be kept in inhumane conditions in a camp in Syria.,, (Greece); (English Channel); (Syria)

Romania withdraws interim commissioner nomination: Romania has dropped its nomination for a fill-in commissioner for the final weeks of the Jean-Claude Juncker-led EU Commission. Juncker had called on countries not to nominate fill-in commissioners, saying their entitlements would be a waste of taxpayers’ money, and pledged not to give any fill-ins a portfolio.

Climate: EU has no new commitments for United Nations climate summit
Economy: European Central Bank ECB lowers growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020


Building another pipeline in addition to Nord Stream 1 doesn’t make any sense.
Designated EU Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager sees no need for the planned gas pipeline Nord Stream 2.


Rally for Catalonia’s secession from Spain: Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards who support the secession of Catalonia gathered in Barcelona on Wednesday. Police said that around 600,000 people turned out for the protest. Catalonia’s regional president Quim Torra had urged people to take to the streets and call for independence. A dozen leaders of Catalonia’s 2017 failed attempt to secede are currently awaiting a verdict from the Supreme Court on charges that include rebellion. Torra has said a guilty verdict would provide an opportunity to make another push for independence, without specifying how that could be carried out.,

China and Germany in row over Berlin’s support for Hong Kong activists: China’s foreign ministry summoned Germany’s ambassador to Beijing on Wednesday over a meeting between Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. China said the meeting between Wong and Maas will have a negative effect on bilateral relations between China and Germany. Wong held his own press conference in Berlin on Tuesday in which he compared the situation in Hong Kong to the Cold War division of the German capital. Wong has also implored German politicians to cease exporting police equipment to Hong Kong and to publicly condemn police violence against protesters. Chinas has announced plans to exempt 16 types of US products from additional tariffs.,, (Hong Kong); (US)

Poland suspends parliament’s session: The Polish opposition has criticised a move by the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) to suspend parliament at the close of business Wednesday until after an election in October. The PiS argues that the recess aims to give lawmakers more campaign time, but the opposition suspects the ruling party is planning political moves after the election, like passing unpopular laws that could have turned off voters if they were done before the ballot. Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro has survived a no-confidence vote.,

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Dutch doctor acquitted in euthanasia case: A Dutch doctor was acquitted on Wednesday of all charges for the euthanasia of an elderly patient who suffered from dementia. Judges found the patient had expressly requested euthanasia at an earlier stage in her disease, and the doctor had acted carefully in accordance with the law in the case, consulting other doctors and the patient’s family, and on the basis of her will. The patient also had a certified living will stating her wish for euthanasia if her condition were to worsen significantly.

Italy: Prime Minister Conte hopes for EU support
Austria: Parties express doubts about ÖVP hacker attack
Czech Republic: President Zeman wants to revoke Kosovo recognition
Germany: Russia orchestrated Chechen rebel’s murder in Berlin, US officials say

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Hong Kong bid to buy London Stock Exchange: Hong Kong has made a surprise takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange LSE. Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) said Wednesday it had made a proposal to the LSE to combine the two companies in a cash and share deal worth £29.6 billion, or £31.6 billion including debt. The Hong Kong offer, however, is contingent on the LSE not merging with the UK-based data company Refinitiv. The LSE described Hong Kong’s offer as unsolicited and highly conditional. It said it would consider the proposal but restated its commitment to the Refinitiv transaction.,


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