Brexit on the edge

first_img The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. It’s been more than three years since the U.K.’s historic vote to leave the European Union, known as Brexit, and the stalemate over how and when (and even, still, whether) to exit has consumed political bandwidth and a few careers. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a fervent Brexit supporter who was pressing to hit an Oct. 31 deadline for departure, presented Parliament with a new withdrawal agreement he etched with EU leadership late last week and pressed for a vote, which was denied. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow also refused Monday to allow a quick balloting on whether to give the deal a tentative blessing. To gain some insight into what happens next, the Gazette spoke with Lord Peter Ricketts, a former Fisher Family Fellow of the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a highly respected diplomat, and a life peer in Britain’s House of Lords.Q&ALord Peter RickettsGAZETTE: Where do things stand?Ricketts: Johnson tried to [push] for a vote on his deal in principle with the EU by the House of Commons on Saturday. MPs declined and effectively said that they needed to study the legislation in the normal way. The government tried a second time [Monday] and again, that was rebuffed. What will happen now is the government will introduce a 100-page-plus bill which will go to what they call “second reading” in the House of Commons [Tuesday]. That is where we’ll get the first indication of: Is there a majority in principle for Boris Johnson’s deal? Because if it passes second reading, it will spend two or three days in committee stage in the Commons, with a very tough, time-tabling motion, which will limit the time for discussion. That will be controversial, but that’s what the government will try to do. Then it will come to the [House of] Lords this coming weekend with the aim of getting it back to the Commons and ironing out any differences in time for the thing to become law by, say, Tuesday or Wednesday next week, and for Britain to leave [the EU] on the 31st. It’s an incredibly ambitious timetable, but given that there is quite a strong mood here now that, after three years or more, Britain has got to take some decision or other, I think, probably Parliament will try to meet that deadline if the government can show Tuesday that there is a majority [that favors it] in principle.GAZETTE: Which side has the momentum in their favor?Ricketts: This is the closest that Britain has come to a proposition that can get a majority of support in the House of Commons. Theresa May’s previous attempts at this fell short by a long way. The Saturday vote was not so much on the substance of the bill; it was more about not having enough time and being rushed into a decision. Now that the government is proposing some time to look at the draft law, I think they have a reasonable chance of having a small majority in favor. And if that’s the case, then the Lords certainly won’t stand in the way because we’re not the elected chamber. So there is now a reasonable chance Britain will leave on the 31st with this deal. If that doesn’t happen, then there will be a further delay because it’s very clear that there is no majority for leaving into the chaos of a no-deal Brexit and so, if this deal falls short, I think there will be a delay, possibly for several months, to give time for either a general election or a second referendum and to reshuffle the political cards, so to speak.GAZETTE: What about Johnson’s political future? Is this make or break?Ricketts: He has staked his reputation on getting a deal on the 31st of October. I think if he winds up getting a deal, but it’s slightly after the 31st, that isn’t a great problem for him. He would then go for an election as soon as he could. The Labour Party is in rather a weak state, and Johnson would try to capitalize on an impression that he had sorted out the mess; he had delivered a deal, delivered on the referendum, and he should therefore have a majority to govern. If this deal falls apart and he’s forced to go into a referendum or an election having failed to get a deal, that is a serious setback for him because he’s been a one-issue prime minister; he’s not really put any focus on anything else. So, yes, it’s high stakes for Johnson and his party and equally for the Labour Party, as well.GAZETTE: Has the possibility of a second referendum or election substantially increased?Ricketts: The polls have consistently shown over the last six or nine months that people would like to have a second opportunity to express an opinion because everyone’s learned a lot more about what leaving the EU means. I think there is a growing momentum behind the idea of a second referendum. I would say it’s not really represented in the House of Commons, where there’s an awful lot of people still against it, people who worry about unpopular reaction from those who voted leave once and then find, three years later, they’re being asked to vote again. The other alternative is to have a general election — the political parties might prefer that. The problem with a general election, of course, is that then the Brexit issue gets intertwined with all the other issues in voters’ minds — the economy, the personalities of the leaders, and all that. Whereas a second referendum keeps the focus on: Do you like this deal or would you prefer to stay in the EU? I can’t predict how that will turn out. Looking at the political landscape, it’s more likely to be a general election than a referendum, but this is a very volatile and unpredictable moving target here and if this deal is voted down in the House of Commons, with all the anger that will go with that, it may be that the mood will swing toward a second referendum. There’s certainly quite a lot of support for that. Definitely.GAZETTE: The EU indicated Monday that another extension will be granted, if necessary. What is its calculus?Ricketts: From the European side, big picture, everyone is fed up, tired of Brexit. They want to get on with their new agenda. They’ve got a new commission taking over on the 1st of November, a new parliament, new set of issues to grapple with. Everyone would like to see the Brexit issue out of the way, but no one wants to take the historic responsibility of being seen pushing Britain out because that’s the kind of thing that could leave bruises for decades to come. There are two scenarios — if the House of Commons is struggling along on the point of reaching agreement on legislation [and] just needs a few more days, that sort of short, technical extension would be no problem on the European side. If the thing falls apart, I think the Europeans would prefer to give us the time to sort ourselves out and think again rather than pulling the plug on the whole process and saying it’s all over now.GAZETTE: How will the agreement affect the U.K. economy and national security?Ricketts: There is a difference between leaving with a deal and leaving with no deal. If it was this deal, it at least gives a transition period, which is more than a year. It could be extended, where things stay as they are effectively while a new relationship is worked out. That’s good for business. But if it turns out that the longer-term destination is a more distant one between Britain and the single market, then that is going to be bad for business because regulatory barriers, potentially tariff barriers and others, will go up in due course. A bit the same on security: If it’s a deal, there’s time to renegotiate Britain being involved in all the different security instruments that the EU has — shared databases, extradition agreements, police alerting systems — a whole range of cooperation instruments that the law-enforcement systems use a lot. If we have a year or two to stitch that back together again, that will avoid the knife edge that people worry about. But if there’s a no deal in all those areas, then there’s a much more immediate and more disruptive impact on both businesses and on security and all our other interests.Bottom line, in whatever kind of Brexit it is, Britain will wind up being worse off because the best possible relationship we have with the European Union is the one we have now. Any deal will mean less trade, less investment, a more difficult and clunky relationship on security. The Bank of England forecast is that, with a deal, Britain might lose, for example, 6 or 7 percentage points of GDP looking five to eight years ahead. And with no deal, it could be 8 to 10 percentage points [less] overall after 10 years than it would be if it stayed in the EU. So there’s a serious economic impact. There’s going to be a reduction in the capacity to work with other European security agencies, which overall increase the risks here. The areas that are least affected are intelligence cooperations, which don’t go through the EU. On defense, NATO, the relationship with the U.S., is our paramount defense alliance, and that is not affected. The amount of EU defense is pretty modest. So in defense and security, there’s least impact. Foreign policy, on the economic agenda and the law enforcement agenda, I would say, is the biggest impact.GAZETTE: How does this agreement benefit the EU?Ricketts: I don’t think it benefits anyone. I think it’s a lose-lose. For individual EU countries, they will see some advantages. For example, our French friends will see opportunities to draw jobs away from London and into Paris because banks will need to have operations that are licensed to operate in the European Union, so there’ll be some job opportunities. But overall, there will be an impact on the European economy as well, but it will be less than for the U.K. Perhaps the biggest impact on the European economy is to lose one of the three big players in the EU, leaving only two, Germany and France, who have their own differences. Losing the country that is perhaps the most globally focused, with the most global interests, the biggest defense player in Europe, the country with a historic investment in trading relationships around the world — losing that country out of the EU will change things inside the EU. It may reduce the EU’s weight in the world, its appetite to be a global political player, it leaves France as the only really global country in the EU. So I think it has geopolitical impact on the EU in the way the EU operates in the world.GAZETTE: What’s the next thing to watch for to gauge where this all may be going?Ricketts: The very important vote in the House of Commons on the second reading of this legislation will be critical tomorrow. Because if that passes second reading, it means Britain is on course to agree to this bill, whether by the 31st of October or slightly later, and leave the EU in an orderly way or be it to a destination that some of us do not much fancy. If the vote tomorrow does not pass, then Boris Johnson is in a real mess, then I think we’re in for a longer delay and it’s probably a general election in a very chaotic, political context.This interview has been edited for clarity and condensed for length.last_img read more

Return to Structure

first_imgSummer break is almost over. That’s right — no more late nights, naps during the day and, my favorite, living without a schedule. While I hate to remind you that our time will no longer be our own, I hope to make it easier for parents, as well as teachers, to return to their respective routines, which includes getting children back to school.As parents, we are instrumental in our children’s educational success. There are some things we can do to prepare little ones for success in the classroom.Establish a routine early. Begin earlier bed- and wake-up times one week prior to returning to school. It may be tempting to let them hang out until they drop and then sleep late the following day, but it will also be more difficult for them to go to bed and get up when they do have to adhere to a schedule.Budget educational time. My second-grader must read and complete worksheets daily. I have also added educational apps to his tablet. I have found the absence of anything educational for two months makes the transition back to school more difficult.Maintaining educational time for middle schoolers is a tad more difficult, but it is possible. My daughter must practice her instrument, and she is working on poster ideas for the upcoming 4-H Demonstration Project Achievement. For my high schooler, I impress upon him the importance of good grades (he has two years left in high school), upcoming projects, tests and milestone achievements. It also helps that college football will return soon — I use that to try to captivate his interest in college and discuss his future plans as well.If structured educational activities haven’t been part of your schedule, try to add a few to the last weeks of summer vacation to ease the transition.Wake up early on the big day. No matter how well you plan, something will go awry. Waking the children up earlier will leave time for that lost belt, slow start or just to work out the excitement of returning to school. It will also leave you less stressed when something doesn’t go as planned.Eat a good breakfast. No one knows better than me how difficult it is to get children to their designated place at the right time. Skipping breakfast to save time is not the answer. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Make sure your child has a balanced meal before going to school. According to research by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Children that have eaten a nutritious breakfast have energy, improved concentration and better grades.” I have found that preparing food the night before really helps.Provide the pep talk. A pep talk can include the rules of engagement in the classroom. My aunt always reminded me to listen to the teacher, keep my hands to myself, complete my work and avoid talking in class. Remind your children of these same things. You may sound like a broken record, but children are not little adults and they require reminders. Your child’s teacher will thank you.Make homework a priority. Going back to school will bring with it the return of homework. Identify expectations regarding homework. In my home, homework must be completed prior to any extracurricular activities. It is also a good idea to take inventory of school supplies. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard “I couldn’t find a pencil or a sharpener” as an excuse for not completing homework.From one excited parent to another, good luck as we tackle the first nine weeks of the 2017-2018 school year.last_img read more

Trump supporters sue to stop election certification in ‘certain’ Georgia counties—Black counties

first_imgxSurprise, surprise. The complaint only challenges predominantly Black counties including: Fulton, Richmond, Chatham, Clayton, Cobb, Henry, DeKalb and Gwinnett. (Atlanta metro, Augusta, Macon, and Savannah.) And exactly zero rural, white counties. https://t.co/XKXQN37N90— G O L D I E. (@goldietaylor) November 12, 2020They could not keep Black voters from turning out, so they’re trying to take their votes away after the fact.Control of the U.S. Senate is at stake. We need you to phonebank, textbank and do other crucial work necessary for Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock to win seats in Georgia. Click to find the activity best for you.- Advertisement – ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 12: Atlanta resident Robin Dennis leaves with a voter sticker after casting her ballot at State Farm Arena during the first day of early voting in the General Election on October 12, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. , State Farm Arena is Georgia's largest early voting location. Early voting in Georgia runs October 12-30. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)Black voters matter.The Trump campaign has filed yet another stupid lawsuit contesting the election and trying to stop certification in certain Georgia counties. This suit alleges that there is “evidence that sufficient illegal ballots were included in the results to change or place in doubt the results of the November 3, 2020 presidential election” in “certain counties.”Those counties:- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img We’ve got one last shot at booting Senate Republicans from power in January. Please give $3 right now to send the GOP packing.last_img read more

Tolerance has disappeared from the same-sex marriage debate

first_imgLifesite News 28 Nov 2012Those who say intolerance is a major problem in the debate over homosexuality and same-sex “marriage” have a valid point, but not in the way they think, according to one of the nation’s most popular pastors. In a whirlwind media tour to promote the tenth anniversary edition of his bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life – What on Earth Am I Here For?, Rick Warren said the belief people can differ without rancor has disappeared, replaced by an insistence on ideological conformity. “I am in favor of not redefining marriage,” he said on Tuesday’s edition of CBS This Morning “It’s not illegal to have a gay relationship in America. And so, it’s not a big issue to me.” Co-host Charlie Rose replied, “You have to be tolerant of other people’s views,” “The problem is that ‘tolerant’ has changed its meaning,” Warren said. “Tolerant used to mean, I may disagree with you completely, but I’m going to treat you with respect. That’s what tolerant means.” “Today, to some people, tolerant means you must approve of everything I do,” he continued. “That’s not tolerance. That’s approval.”Such homosexual lobbyists as Dan Savage have attempted to paint all those who reject homosexual unions as bigots and bullies, a designation both Warren and Rose said does not fit him. Instead, comity and shared aims should animate people in the public debate, Warren said. While he does not endorse every position taken by the National Organization for Women, he has acted as a “co-belligerent” when that group opposes “pornography, that objectifies a woman’s body.”http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/rick-warren-tolerance-has-disappeared-from-the-same-sex-marriage-debatelast_img read more

Ex-India shotput champion Iqbal Boparai murders mother, wife in USA under stress: Report

first_img 1 week ago CPL 2020 JAM vs GUY live streaming, where to watch in India and full match preview 1 week ago Some Congress dissenters now say “sorry” to Sonia Gandhi; others hold their ground LIVE TV First Published: 26th August, 2020 11:50 IST 1 week ago COVID-19: Russia approaches India for Sputnik V vaccine manufacturing & phase 3 trials FOLLOW US Written By Last Updated: 26th August, 2020 11:50 IST Ex-India Shotput Champion Iqbal Boparai Murders Mother, Wife In USA Under Stress: Report Ex-India shotput champion Iqbal Boparai, who had later migrated to the USA, was arrested for the double murder of his wife and mother on Sunday. 1 week ago India exposes Pakistan’s ‘5 big lies’ at UN; ‘biggest sponsor of cross-border terrorism’center_img COMMENT SUBSCRIBE TO US WE RECOMMEND WATCH US LIVE 1 week ago COVID-19: India’s mortality rate is one of the lowest in the world, says Health Ministry Former India athlete and Asian Championship medallist Iqbal Singh Boparai was arrested on Sunday for a double murder. Iqbal Boparai was taken to custody in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania for killing his wife and mother. Following his arrest, local media reported that the 63-year-old was charged on Monday for the same.Also Read: First Ever Summer Youth Olympic Games Were Inaugurated On This Day In 2010Who is Iqbal Boparai?Iqbal Boparai shot to fame after he won a bronze medal for India at the 1983 Asian Athletics Championships held in Kuwait. Iqbal Boparai originally hailed from Urmar Tanda in Hoshiarpur district. He was widely regarded as one of India’s best shotputters during the 1980s. According to a Times of India report, the ex-India athlete’s best was a heave of 18.77m that won him a gold medal in 1988, at the Permit Meet held in New Delhi. He also features in India’s all-time list, featuring in the top 20. After excelling as an athlete for India, Iqbal Boparai had later migrated to the USA.Also Read: Player’s Mentality Has To Match Toughness Of Olympic Games: ReidFormer India champion arrested for murderMedia reports covering the incident indicated that it was Iqbal Boparai himself who confessed to the police that he had killed his wife and mother. The confession was recorded on Sunday following a 911 call. Delcotimes.com quoting a release from the police stated that Iqbal Boparai informed the officers that he had killed his wife and mother and that they were inside his residence. The report further added that upon reaching the scene of the crime, police found two bodies. A body of an elderly woman was found on the first-floor bedroom while the second victim was found in the second-floor bedroom. Police later revealed that both victims had died due to stab wounds.The authorities also recovered a knife covered with blood from the kitchen of Iqbal Boparai’s residence, with the affidavit written by the detective mentioning that both victims had their throats slit. The report concluded that after the murders, Iqbal Boparai had confessed to his son before calling the police, as he asked him to call the police and get him.Also Read: IOA Adopts New Identity On Its 100-year Milestone At Olympic GamesFriends can’t believe Boparai wife and mother murderA Times of India report also revealed that friends were surprised to hear the news about the double murder involving the ex-India athlete. One of Iqbal Boparai’s close friends admitted that while he doesn’t know what went wrong, the ex-India athlete was under severe stress for the past few months and was on medication as well. Another former athlete speaking to the publication spoke about Iqbal Boparai’s humble nature, as they claimed that they still can’t believe the news.Also Read: Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju Reveals India’s Long-term Plans For 2028 Olympic GamesImage Courtesy: Pete Bannan – Media News Group Wasiq Agha last_img read more