Wednesday, 18 September 2019: UK Supreme Court hears parliament suspension case, Germany to uphold halt in arms exports to Saudi Arabia, EU clears Eon’s acquisition of Innogy, Failure to form government in Spain

⊂ UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

UK Supreme Court hears parliament suspension case: The most senior judge in the UK said the case surrounding Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s parliament suspension raised a serious and difficult question of law. Lady Hale and ten other judges must decide whether advice Johnson gave to the Queen about prorogation was lawful. In a judgement last Wednesday, Scotland’s highest court had said the suspension was unlawful and an attempt to stymie parliament.
bbc.com, uk.reuters.com

EU given Brexit draft with backstop scrubbed out: Prime Minister Johnson’s Brexit negotiators have so far only presented the EU with a draft of the withdrawal agreement with the backstop scrubbed out, UK government sources told the “Guardian”. In a move that has caused tensions with EU leaders, Johnson’s team are refusing to put forward a written proposal to Brussels at this stage for fear it will be rejected out of hand or publicly rubbished.
theguardian.com

Swinson says Lib Dems face fight to stop Brexit: Party leader Jo Swinson closed the Liberal Democrat conference with a message that the next election would be a fight for the heart and soul of Britain as she pledged to stop Brexit and counter the rising tide of populism and nationalism. Swinson attacked Prime Minister Johnson’s exit strategy as sickening and warned voters not to trust his ability to strike a new deal in the next month, nor believe his assertion that a no-deal Brexit could be managed.
theguardian.com, uk.reuters.com

Arms trade: International trade secretary Truss should resign over illegal Saudi arms sales, say MPs theguardian.com
Brexit: Labour would carry out further referendum result, party leader Corbyn pledges bbc.com
Party conference: Ukip leader Braine accused of insulting party over conference no-show 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 ⊃

Germany to uphold halt in arms exports to Saudi Arabia: German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the country will stick to a halt in arms exports to Saudi Arabia, saying she did not see any reason to change the government’s stance. Merkel said events in Yemen showed work on a political solution was urgently needed. She also condemned recent drone strikes against Saudi oil facilities, but said further assessment was needed to determine who was behind the attacks. The US government has held Iran responsible for the attacks. A senior US official said the United States had identified the exact locations in Iran from which a combination of more than 20 drones and cruise missiles were launched against Saudi oil facilities. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled on Wednesday to meet with officials in Saudi Arabia.
reuters.com, faz.net (Merkel); cbsnews.com, nytimes.com (US)

Merkel criticises Israel’s annexation plans: German Chancellor Merkel has criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement last week that he intended to annex the Jordan valley in the occupied West Bank. She repeated that Germany backed an internationally negotiated peace solution in the sense of a two state solution and warned that Israel’s annexation plans were hurting efforts to negotiate a peace deal. In Israel’s parliamentary election on Tuesday, Netanyahu and his centrist challenger Benny Gantz appeared to be neck and neck. Facebook blocked a chatbot from Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party’s account for violating election day rules.
euronews.com (Merkel); nytimes.com (Election); reuters.com (Facebook)

EU clears Eon’s acquisition of Innogy: The EU Commission has granted the German energy group Eon permission to take over Innogy from energy supplier RWE. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by Eon. The company agreed to drop most of its customers supplied with heating electricity in Germany and to discontinue the operation of electric charging stations along German autobahn highways. Following the asset swap, Eon will focus on the distribution and retail supply of electricity and gas, whereas RWE will be primarily active in upstream electricity generation and wholesale markets. As part of the deal, Eon will become a grid and network player and RWE will speed its shift from a fossil-fuel power generator to a majority renewables player.
europa.eu, bloomberg.com, reuters.com

Apple appeals tax payment: Apple is launching a legal challenge against an EU Commission order to pay 13 billion euros in back taxes. The EU said tax rulings by Ireland in 1991 and in 2007 had artificially reduced Apple’s tax burden for over two decades, effectively making it illegal state aid. Apple said that the order to repay taxes defied reality and common sense. The company is expected to argue that it did nothing wrong as it had followed Irish and US tax laws.
euronews.com, dw.com

EU Parliament backs Lagarde as next ECB chief: The former head of the International Monetary Fund IMF, Christine Lagarde, has obtained parliament’s approval to be the next president of the European Central Bank ECB. She was nominated in July for the role to succeed Italian economist Mario Draghi. Lagarde already told lawmakers in September that she will probably continue with Draghi’s loose monetary policy. Luxemburger Yves Mersch was also voted in by the EU Parliament to become the deputy chief of the ECB’s supervisory arm.
europarl.europa.eu, dw.com

Rule of law: EU grills Hungary over rule of law concerns euronews.com
EU accession: European Council President Tusk calls for opening EU membership talks with North Macedonia politico.eu
EU Commissioner Hahn: “Europe is colourful” de.euronews.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

We are hearing the well known baseless lying accusations from the pro-immigration liberal elite. And that is echoed by the liberal Western European media.
Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga has rejected accusations from the European Union that Hungary is in breach of EU values.
dw.com, euronews.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Failure to form government in Spain: The country will hold its fourth election in four years on 10 November after rival parties failed to break a months-long impasse. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said it had been impossible to complete the mandate given to him by the Spanish people in the last vote in April. Sanchez made the announcement after King Felipe said there no viable candidates to lead a new government after consulting the leaders of the major political parties to know whether it was still possible to reach a deal.
reuters.com, euronews.com

French protesters acquitted on grounds of climate crisis: Two climate protesters who removed French President Emmanuel Macron’s portrait from an official building were justified in doing so, a French court has found. The court said the protesters’ action was legitimate given the serious, current and imminent danger of climate change. The judge conceded an object of strong symbolic value had been stolen but that the climate crisis was more serious, saying climate change was a constant that seriously affected the future of humanity by provoking natural catastrophes that poorer countries did not have the means to protect themselves against.
theguardian.com, euronews.com

“Ocean Viking” rescues more people in the Mediterranean: The migrant rescue ship “Ocean Viking” has rescued 109 shipwrecked people from the Mediterranean Sea. In Greece, at least 24,000 people are trapped in vastly overcrowded Aegean island camps in squalid conditions. More than 700 people, including families and young children, have been evicted from a temporary migrant camp in France. Asylum applications in Europe are up by 26% in July.
zeit.de (“Ocean Viking”); theguardian.com (Greece); theguardian.com (France); reliefweb.int (Asylum applications)

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Italy’s ex-PM Renzi to form new party: Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has announced his decision to leave the Democratic Party (PD) to form his own party. Renzi said he was leaving the PD to form a new centrist force that would do politics differently, just two weeks after PD joined forces with their political foes, the populist Five Star Movement (M5S). Renzi noted that he would continue to support the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
dw.com, theguardian.com

Netherlands: Government stops tax party for multinationals ibtimes.com
France: Economy to resist euro zone downturn reuters.com
Switzerland: Referendum on climate neutrality by 2050 euractiv.com
Italy: Soldier stabbed near Milan train station dw.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 ⊃

Sturgeon wins award for her Brexit stance: Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has won an award from a group of one hundred European print media editors for her stance against Brexit and for being a crucial voice of reason in the debate over Britain’s exit from the EU. The M100 Media Award is intended for people who have made their mark on Europe and are committed to strengthening democracy, freedom of opinion and the press. Previous recipients include journalist Deniz Yücel, former boxing champion Vitali Klitschko and the staff of the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo”.
heraldscotland.com

 

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