Boris Johnson Meets with Jean-Claude Juncker

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has today met with Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, in Luxembourg to discuss matters relating to the Brexit agreement.

A statement issued by the European Commission said:

“President Jean-Claude Juncker and Prime Minister Johnson had a working lunch today in Luxembourg. The aim of the meeting was to take stock of the ongoing technical talks between the EU and the UK and to discuss the next steps.

President Juncker recalled that it is the UK’s responsibility to come forward with legally operational solutions that are compatible with the withdrawal agreement. President Juncker underlined the commission’s continued willingness and openness to examine whether such proposals meet the objectives of the backstop. Such proposals have not yet been made.

The commission will remain available to work 24/7. The October European council will be an important milestone in the process. The EU27 remain united.”

A spokesperson for Johnson said:

“The Prime Minister and President Juncker had a constructive meeting this lunchtime. The Brexit Secretary and Michel Barnier were also in attendance.

The leaders agreed that the discussions needed to intensify and that meetings would soon take place on a daily basis. It was agreed that talks should also take place at a political level between Michel Barnier and the Brexit Secretary, and conversations would also continue between President Juncker and the Prime Minister.”

Scottish Court Rules Suspension of Parliament as Unlawful

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has denied that he lied to the Queen following a decision made by the highest civil court in Scotland that his request to prorogue Parliament was unlawful. The decision made by the Scottish courts will be tested by the Supreme Court next week, with the possibility that Parliament may be recalled.

The Prime Minister said in an interview with the BBC that he had “absolutely not” lied to the Queen, but he refused to release documents requested by the House of Commons which would further clarify the situation. He also refused to recall Parliament, saying that the matter would be decided on in the Supreme Court.

Valerie Vaz, the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, said in a statement:

“In light of today’s judgement that the government misled the Queen and that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful, and null and of no effect, please confirm that Parliament will be recalled without delay.”

Jo Swinson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, posted on Twitter:

“Scottish judges have found in favour of 75 MPs (including me and other
@LibDems.) We argued that Boris Johnson’s Parliament shutdown is illegal, and designed to stifle parliamentary debate and action on Brexit.”

Conservative Government Lose Majority as MP Defects to Liberal Democrats

The Government has today lost its majority in the House of Commons following the defection of Phillip Lee, the MP for Bracknell, to the Liberal Democrats. Lee, who had been a member of the Conservative Party for 27 years, crossed the floor of the Chamber of the House of Commons during Boris Johnson’s statement on the G7.

Lee said in a letter to the Prime Minister:

“The Brexit process has helped to transform this once great party in to something more akin to a narrow faction, where an individual’s conservatism is measured by how recklessly one wishes to leave the European Union.”

 

Pound Tumbles to 28-Month Low Against Euro

The pound has tumbled in morning trading following the political uncertainty in Government, with the currency at a 28-year month against the US dollar. With the exception of a brief ‘flash crash’ in October 2016, the pound is also at a 34-year low against the dollar.

Prime Minister Pledges More Money for Education

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has pledged more money for education and has said in a statement that extra financing will be made available for primary and secondary education at the next Spending Round.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“When I became Prime Minister at the start of the summer, I promised to make sure every child receives a superb education – regardless of which school they attend, or where they grew up.

Today I can announce the first step in delivering on that pledge – funding per pupil in primary and secondary schools will increase, and be levelled up across the entire country.

We should not accept the idea that there can be “winners or losers” when it comes to our children’s futures. That’s why we are providing additional funding now and for the future for every school, with those historically underfunded receiving the greatest increase.

My government will ensure all young people get the best possible start in life. That means the right funding, but also giving schools the powers they need to deal with bad behaviour and bullying so pupils continue to learn effectively.”

Angela Rayner, the Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said in a statement:

“This comes nowhere close to meeting the Prime Minister’s pledge to reverse the Tories’ education cuts, let alone matching Labour’s plans to invest in a National Education Service. Instead, it is yet another con trick by a politician who shown time and again that you just can’t trust his promises.

With the Chancellor only committing to a one-year Spending Round schools are being told to wait years for desperately needed funding, and the truth is that the government’s figures would prove an absolute fantasy after the damage done by a disastrous no-deal Brexit.

Pupils with special educational needs and disabilities are struggling to access the help they need, and yet today the Education Secretary hasn’t even offered enough to cover half of the funding shortfall and not for another year.

Today’s announcement completely ignores the impact of cuts on vital services like nursery schools and Sure Start centres or adult learning and training, and school buildings will continue to crumble as cuts to capital funding continue.

Teachers and parents know that it is only a Labour government that can be trusted to invest in an education system that gives every child the best start in life.”

Sir John Major Joins Legal Action Over Proroguing Parliament

Sir John Major, the Prime Minister from 1990 until 1997, has confirmed that he is joining in with legal action to question the advice behind the decision to prorogue Parliament.

Major said in a statement:

“I promised that, if the Prime Minister prorogued Parliament in order to prevent Members from opposing his Brexit plans, I would seek judicial review of his action. In view of the imminence of the prorogation – and to avoid duplication of effort, and taking up the Court’s time through repetition – I intend to seek the Court’s permission to intervene in the claim already initiated by Gina Miller, rather than to commence separate proceedings.”

Clive Coleman, the BBC’s legal correspondent, said:

“You could scarcely have more heavyweight support in this legal challenge to try and stop the suspension of Parliament. We are in unprecedented times and this is an unprecedented intervention.”

Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party said on Twitter:

“Proroguing Parliament is an unprecedented affront to democracy. The rights and freedoms of our citizens have been vandalised. I will be joining the Judicial Review launched in the High Court by Gina Miller and supported by John Major.”

Jo Swinson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said in a statement:

“The attempt to shut down Parliament is an anti-democratic, authoritarian power grab by Boris Johnson, who wants to silence the people and their representatives.

The Liberal Democrats are doing all we can, both in the courts and in Parliament, to prevent both the shutdown of our democracy and a no-deal Brexit. That’s why I’ll be joining the High Court judicial review launched by Gina Miller.”

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, denied that the timing was meant to limit debate on Brexit, saying:

“We are coming up to the last period before we leave on 31 October and in that period, Parliament is going to have a lot to time – they’ve spent three years debating Brexit by the way without actually getting it over the line. They are going to have a lot of time for further consideration.”

Lord Young Quits Government Over Decision to Prorogue Parliament

Lord Young, the former Secretary of State for Transport, Leader of the Commons and Chief Whip, has confirmed that he has resigned from Government over the Prime Minister’s decision to ask for a suspension of Parliament.

Young wrote in his resignation statement:

“As a former leader of the House of Commons in the Coalition Government who restored to the Commons some of the powers it had lost to the Executive, I am very unhappy at the timing and length of the prorogation, and its motivation. While not agreeing with the hyperbole of some critics, I have been unpersuaded by the reasons given for that decision, which I believe risks undermining the fundamental role of parliament at a critical time in our history, and reinforces the view that the Government may not have the confidence of the House for its Brexit policy.”

David Lidington, Former Deputy Prime Minister, Condemns Prorogation Decision

David Lidington

David Lidington, until recently the Deputy Prime Minister in Theresa May’s Government, has condemned the decision to prorogue Parliament.

Lidington said in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme:

“If this had been done by Labour government, Jacob Rees-Mogg would have been leading the denunciations of it. Some of my Tory colleagues, who are cheering at the moment, would have been turning purple with rage.

It sets a very bad precedent for future governments. It’s a pretty good rule that if you are tempted to play around with parliamentary and constitutional procedure, is don’t do something that you wouldn’t want a government of a different party to do to you.”

Ed Miliband, Former Leader of the Opposition, Condemns Prorogation Decision

Ed Miliband, the former Leader of the Opposition, has condemned the Prime Minister’s decision to ask for the prorogation of Parliament. In a statement the Labour MP for Doncaster North said that the decision was “an attempted coup against our democracy”.

He said:

“Suspending parliament to prevent the expression of the will of elected representatives is what autocrats and dictators do. This attempted coup against our democracy to impose a no deal Brexit cannot be allowed to stand.”

Boris Johnson Says Proroguing Parliament Will Allow “An Ambitious New Programme”

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has said in a statement that the decision to prorogue Parliament would allow for a new ambitious new programme in the next session.

Johnson said in a statement:

“We must focus on crucial public priorities – helping the NHS, fighting violent crime, investing in infrastructure and science and cutting the cost of living. We have made an important start – funding for 20,000 extra police officers and new investment in our NHS – but to deliver on the public’s priorities we require a new session and a Queen’s Speech.

I believe it is vital that Parliament is sitting both before and after European Council and if, as I hope, a deal with the EU is forthcoming, Parliament will then have the opportunity to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill required for ratification ahead of 31 October.”