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- Brexit: The EU gives Johnson a two-week ultimatum to present its plan for Northern Ireland
Premier Boris Johnsonamenaza with keeping Parliament closed even if the Supreme Court stipulates that his decision to cancel the sessions until October 14 is "illegal . " The highest court will rule early next week, after three days of intense legal battle, punctuated by dozens of anti-Brexit protesters and the empty Westminster ghost.
When asked if he would be willing to reorder a new suspension, if the Supreme Court rules against the Government, Johnson threw balls out claiming that he has " the greatest respect for the judiciary of this country " and assuring that he prefers to "wait to see what transpires. "
Richard Keen, a lawyer representing the premier, warned the eleven judges of the Supreme Court whatever their opinion, " the next step must be taken by the Government or Parliament ." One of the magistrates returned the ball with sneer asking him: "How will Parliament decide if it is closed?".
According to the documents delivered to the court, Johnson is considering the option of ordering a new temporary suspension if he loses the battle in court. The Government would argue in that that the forced presence of Isabel II in the protocol Discourse of the Queen has "very serious practical consequences" and requires "a safety device" that cannot be improvised and is initially scheduled for October 14.
Attorney David Pannick, on behalf of activist Gina Miller, the first to bring Brexit to court, warned that if the Supreme Court decides that the suspension was "illegal," Westminster will have to open the doors "as soon as possible during the next week".
Former Premier John Major, through his legal representative Edward Garnier, also threw his accusing finger against Boris Johnson claiming that the reasons given for suspending Parliament for five weeks (the preparation of the Queen's Speech and the holding of annual conferences of the parties) "not so real", and what really the conservative leader is to eliminate parliamentary obstacles to his plans for hard Brexit .
The toughest attack on Johnson started from Aidan O'Neill, representing fifty-one deputies who filed the initial lawsuit against Johnson in the Scottish courts. In an intervention loaded with political powder, O'Neill called Johnson " the father of all lies against the mother of all Parliaments " and said that the suspension of the House of Commons has can be defined simply as "an abuse of power ".
The opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who next Tuesday will close the annual Labor Party conference in Brighton, predicted that the Supreme will rule against the Government and that Westminster will be able to recover normal activity next week. Liberal-Democratic leader Jo Swinson has accused Johnson of "behaving like a dictator," silencing parliament and purging his opponents.
Boris Johnson, who used the day to meet with his military leaders to project a calculated image of strength, said in the meantime that negotiations with the EU are moving forward and referred to the statements of the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker: " He has said that he does not feel emotional attachment to the Irish "safeguard", and that is something he did not say a few weeks ago. "
Downing Street in the meantime sent a challenging message to the European Union, refusing to abide by the 12-day ultimatum to present an alternative proposal to the "safeguard" to avoid returning to the hard border between the two Irlandas, the biggest stumbling block in the negotiations .
Johnson's ultimatum was formulated the previous day by French President Emmanuel Macron and by Antti Rinne, Prime Minister of Finland, who holds the presidency of the European Union. "The vague talks are irresponsible and the United Kingdom must make a clear proposal very soon if it wants us to discuss it," Rinne said, at the time of proposing on the horizon on September 30 as the deadline.
So far, Johnson has only submitted versions of the agreement without the "safeguard" and with undisclosed proposals such as the creation of a "common area" of agricultural and livestock products on the island, dismissed by Brussels for considering that the majority of trade between Belfast and Dublin would be out of that agreement and would require the creation of customs.
The leader of the Unionist Democratic Party, Arlene Foster, opened for her part and for the first time the spigot to a " solution only for Northern Ireland ". Foster held an unexpected meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, in an unusual show of the thaw between Belfast and Dublin in recent days.
To the question about whether he would be willing to admit a specific solution for Northern Ireland , different from that of the rest of the United Kingdom but without putting territorial unit at risk, Foster simply replied: "I hope so." The unionist leader, who last week had a long encounter with Boris Johnson, recognized for the first time the peculiarity of Northern Ireland "for its historical and geographical position", which would be the only land border of the United Kingdom with the Union European
To date, the unionists had flatly refused the possibility that Northern Ireland would remain in a possible customs union or in an alignment with the single market because it would be tantamount to creating an artificial border in the Irish Sea. The unionists have begun a shift in their position in the face of a recent economic analysis that warns of the loss of up to 40,000 jobs in industry and agriculture in the case of a Brexit without agreement.
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