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Heading towards second referendum on Brexit is possible – Matt Hancock



matt hancock

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has suggested a possibility of holding a second referendum on Brexit if MPs vote against the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement.

While speaking to the media, Hancock said he was “dead set against” the thought of having another vote on the UK’s membership in the EU, but could not rule out the possibility.

“If it doesn’t go through, whether we end up with no deal or second referendum is impossible to know. I think that everybody should vote for the deal because it is in the national interest,” Hancock said about Theresa May’s deal.

Hancock himself doesn’t support a second referendum.

On being asked to rule out the possibility of a second referendum, quick came his reply, “I’m certainly ruling out me supporting it.”

Hancock also told the media, “I think a second referendum would be terrible. It would be incredibly divisive. Think of how divisive the debate about Brexit has been over the last few years. For a second referendum, that would be even worse. But it wouldn’t be decisive either, because if the system had rejected the result of the first referendum, why should people accept the result of the second? I think that is a complete mistake.”

The EU summit is due to take place in Brussels on Sunday. Ahead of the summit, Matt Hancock claimed that “further progress” in the negotiations on the UK and EU’s future partnership has been made by the prime minister.

Hancock also claimed that more MPs would be willing to support the deal after they hear what May had secured this week. The voting for the deal in the House of Commons is due next month.

“The whole package includes the work that is being negotiated this week on the future relationship. It is the future relationship element of this deal which will define our relationship with the EU for the years and the decades to come. The withdrawal agreement is about how we leave. And the whole thing will go to parliament as a package. I think it is a good deal,” Matt Hancock claimed.


Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn Steps in to Prevent a No-Deal Brexit



Jeremy Corbyn

In the wake of the growing calls against a no-deal Brexit, leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has asked opposition leaders and other MPs to join him in a parliament meeting next week. The aim is to discuss about the entire scenario that has led to a political crisis in the county.

Previously, the Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson announced to crash-out the UK from the EU on October 31 with or without a deal. The continuing splits between the views of the British prime minister and political leaders have led to failed tactics, leading to calls of a no-deal Brexit.

Despite a tough challenge, Johnson got a little hope during his visit to Berlin on Wednesday to avoid a chaotic no-deal Brexit from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said that an agreement could even be possible within “30 days” for Britain to leave the EU, if a solution could be found to the thorny issue of the Irish border.

Ahead of leaving for Berlin, he even wrote a letter to President of the EU Council Donald Tusk, outlining his Brexit demands.

Since Johnson requested to remove the Irish backstop, saying that it has “grave defects for a sovereign, democratic country like the UK”, Tusk declined his request saying that the backstop did not have any “realistic alternatives”.

Johnson even went to Paris on Thursday to meet his French counterpart at the Elysee palace. The aim at large is to re-negotiate the ongoing Brexit crisis. By weekend, he would also be meeting US President Donald Trump, who is both a vocal supporter of Brexit and Johnson, along with the leaders of Canada, Italy and Japan at a G7 summit in the French seaside resort of Biarritz.

Observing the drawbacks of a no-deal Brexit that have already led to huge economic downfall, Jeremy Corbyn invited the conservative and independent MPs to his office on Tuesday. Ian Blackford, the SNP Westminster leader and Jo Swinson, the Lib Democratic leader, accepted Johnson’s invitation, calling it a much needed step to block a no deal.

“We must focus on workable options that can actually stop no-deal Brexit, because we do not have time to waste. If Jeremy Corbyn truly wants to stop no deal, then he must be open to options other than his plan to become prime minister and I look forward to hearing about the different options he is willing to explore,” Swinson said.

As the country headed towards a constitutional and political storm, leaders like Jeremy Corbyn have been making efforts and urging leaders to prevent a no-deal Brexit. Several plans have been made to stop the UK’s crashing out from the EU. Some have been favouring article 50 to facilitate an election or second referendum while many others stand in favour of revoking article 50 in case of a no-deal Brexit. Many MPs have been rejecting Jeremy Corbyn and his entire leadership, calling him the leader of a caretaker government.

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Donald Tusk Declines Boris Johnson’s Irish Backstop Removal Request



Donald Tusk

European Council President Donald Tusk has declined Boris Johnson’s request to remove the Irish Backstop. He said that Johnson’s letter asking to scrap the backstop did not have any “realistic alternatives”.

This statement might prove to be nail in the coffin for the impending Brexit negotiations and might have adverse effects for Johnson as the leader of Britain. Johnson in his letter to EU council asked them to remove the Irish Backstop from the withdrawal agreement.

He said that although Britain’s priority is to leave the EU with a favourable deal however, that could only happen if the backstop is removed from the withdrawal deal as it was “anti-democratic and inconsistent with the sovereignty of the UK as a state”.

After refusing Johnson’s request to remove Irish Backstop, Donald Tusk said, “The backstop is an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland unless and until an alternative is found. Those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support re-establishing a border. Even if they do not admit it.”

Johnson has blamed the Conservative MPs for the refusal and asserted that they are responsible for the failure of his negotiations with the EU as many MPs believed that they could prevent a no-deal.

He further said, “One thing that slightly, I think, complicates the picture is that our EU friends still clearly think that there is a possibility that parliament will block Brexit. And as long as they think there’s a possibility that parliament will block Brexit they are unlikely to be minded to make the concessions that we need. So it is going to take a bit of patience.”

Donald Tusk also shared a taunting photograph of himself on Instagram as he denied Johnson’s request to remove the Irish Backstop. The ongoing tensions have laid foundation for the upcoming meeting between Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

German Chancellor has also rebuffed Johnson’s plan prior to their first meeting, which will take place today in Berlin.

Merkel said, “Of course we will think about practical solutions. If you want to find these solutions in the future, you can also find them in the short term. The EU is ready for that. But for that we don’t need to reopen the exit agreement.”

The refusal to scrap the Irish Backstop might act as a hindrance to Johnson’s plan of ensuring Brexit by October 31. The future of Brexit and its impact on Britain remains dwindling with the standoff between Boris Johnson, Donald Tusk and other members of the European Union.

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Scrapping of European Communities Act: A Saviour amid Brexit Crisis?



European communities act

Since its initiation in 2016, Brexit brought along a ray of hope of new life for Britons, who voted in favour of the UK’s exit from the EU on March 29. However, with continuous Brexit delays, many have lost their hopes. As the country proceeds to a no-deal Brexit path, the question is whether scrapping of the European Communities Act (ECA) be a saviour for its citizens?

The ECA of 1972 provided legal provision for the accession of the UK to the three European Communities, Euratom, and the (now defunct) Coal and Steel Community. It is thus a vehicle that sees regulation flow directly from the law making bodies of the European Union in Brussels into British law.

In a way to move forward amid the Brexit crisis, Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, recently signed an order dismissing the European Communities Act. He said, “This is a clear signal to the people of this country that there is no turning back – we are leaving the EU as promised on October 31, whatever the circumstances – delivering on the instructions given to us in 2016.”

“The votes of 17.4 million people deciding to leave the EU is the greatest democratic mandate ever given to any UK government. The signing of this legislation ensures that the EU Withdrawal Act will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 on exit day,” Barclay added.

In a way to get past the Brexit crisis, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, ahead of leaving for Berlin on Wednesday for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, wrote a letter to the President of the EU Council Donald Tusk, outlining his Brexit demands.

The Conservative Party leader in his letter wrote, “Time is very short. But the UK is ready to move quickly, and, given the degree of commons ground already, I hope that the EU will be ready to do likewise.” 

In case of a no-deal Brexit, Johnson has demanded the abolishment of the Irish Backstop that aims to prevent a hard border along the 310-mile frontier between Northern Ireland the Republic. He has further added that his plan would be “more stable more long-lasting”, calling the existing situation as “anti-democratic and inconsistent with the sovereignty of the UK”.

Johnson also added that the backstop possessed a huge risk to the delicate balance embodied in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, meant for peace. Thereby, he wants alternatives to be arranged on time before the transition period ends in order to improve future relationships.

Since many regulations under the European Communities Act have directly or indirectly impacted the country and its citizens, the government is making every possible effort to repeal the act before the final destination on October 31.

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UEFA Super Cup: Liverpool Wins on Penalties as Chelsea Go Down Fighting



UEFA, Liverpool

Last updated on August 17th, 2019

Never running short on drama, UEFA Super Cup was no less than a roller-coaster ride. While Liverpool held the nerve to defeat Chelsea 5-4 on spot kicks, it was a shame that Chelsea had to end up on the losing side. Scoring 2-goals-a-piece after extra time, both clubs made a flurry of chances, but could not capitalize on the balls that fell their way.

Locking horns in Istanbul, Liverpool started as firm favourites on the night. Meanwhile, for Chelsea, it was another chance to overcome the heartbreak of 2013, when they lost to Bayern Munich on penalties.

It was Liverpool who picked up the pace of the game and unleashed the attack only in the 5th minute via Jordan Henderson, but could score on the break. Consequently, Chelsea, who were rattled by Manchester United just a couple of days ago, also looked good as a unit. As the game went on, the Blues were holding better amount of possession and pressing Liverpool against the odds.

The Blues carrying the momentum, thus, created some good opportunities and finally broke the deadlock in 36th minute via Olivier Giroud. Besides, N’ Golo kante also looked in fantastic touch and dictated Chelsea’s play in the midfield.

Having scored one, Chelsea hit Liverpool back with another goal via Christian Pulisic, only to be flagged offside moments later. The Reds could do nothing significant in the remaining minutes, as the official blew the half-time whistle with Chelsea leading by 1-0.

Liverpool made a change at the half-time and replaced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Roberto Firmino, before Chelsea got the ball rolling once again. Interestingly, the replacement worked in the best of the ways, as the Reds with Firmion’s assist to Mane scored in the 48th minute.

The goal set the game wide open, with Liverpool relying on breaks to run at Chelsea’s defence. The Reds came really close on one of the attacks, but Kepa Arrizabalaga made two brilliant saves to deny Mohammed Salah and then Virgil van Dijk, only 14 minutes from time. Similarly, for the Blues, Mason Mount scored a low shot past Adrian, but denied by a late offside flag. With neither side able to find the winner inside 90 minutes, the contest moved into extra time.

The extra time began on really high note for Liverpool; courtesy Mane, who put the second goal past Chelsea’s goalkeeper to make it 2-1 in the 95th minute. Chelsea, however, were quick to react and won the penalty just 5 minutes later after Adrian committed foul in the box on Tommy Abraham. Jorginho than converted from the spot to make it 2-2. Nothing really happened in the second-half of the extra time, and the match went into the penalties.

Liverpool converted all five penalties from the spot, but Chelsea’s fifth kick, taken by Abraham, was stopped by Adrian’s trailing leg, to ensure Liverpool were once again champions of Europe.

“I’ve got nothing but pride in the team and the performance and confidence in what that means,” Chelsea coach Frank Lampard told BT Sport. “It was a tough game against a good Liverpool team that had extra time to recover after the weekend. But sometimes football comes down too little moments of luck,” he added.

The Controversy

The new controversy, however, came forward after images showed that Adrian left his goal line before Abraham kicked the ball from the spot. Technically implying that the kick should have been retaken, and Liverpool should not have been declared as winners at that very moment.

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Britain Promotes BritRail amid Withdrawal from Interrail Scheme



interrail scheme

The Rail Delivery Group of Britain (RDG) has initiated a no-member participation in the existing Interrail scheme and Eurail ticket schemes, believing that a separate BritRail pass is “the best option” for visitors to Britain.

The British train companies have rejected the Interrail and Eurail ticket schemes, which let the tourists travel throughout the Europe in just one pass. Launched in 1972, the Interrail scheme is the country’s decade-longest membership, designed basically for the European citizens, while the services of Eurail passes started only from January.

However, with the end of these facilities, the ticket holders would be liable to buy separate tickets to roam around Britain.

One of the major reasons behind the ending of these facilities is believed to be a dispute between two groups, wherein the country’s train operators in order to favour the BritRail scheme stopped selling the Eurail passes.

When compared with the Interrail and Eurail purchases that were shared with other countries, the BritRail purchases were kept in the country. Observing the circumstances, the Eurail group, solely responsible for managing the Interrail schemes and Eurail schemes, decided to end Britain’s membership for it.

As an outcome of the recent decision, the country’s train operators will not recognise the passes purchased by January 2020. It is apparent that the decision will in no way affect the Britons using Eurostar services, except that they will have to pay to reach a Eurostar station in the South East or fly across the Channel to continue their journey from London to other parts.

Amid the climatic crisis, the idea of making rail travel a difficult task brought criticisms from various people. The critics argued that the focus instead should have been on reducing the emissions, while at the same time opening more to the European neighbours amid the Brexit crisis. They held the RDG “deeply irresponsible” over the situation.

The rail experts believe that the BritRail scheme was “a backwards step” as ending the free travel pass might hinder the tourism to Edinburgh, York and Bath. Despite the budget airlines, people might not want to explore much, as none could have the same experience while travelling through air, as they might get on land. 

With the segregation, the Eurail passes will no more be available for the tourists. Thus, BritRail will become one of the best options for the tourists, which would include various deals and convenience of mobile tickets. The British people however, could use the Interrail scheme, get the Eurostar and travel by train across the Europe.

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