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Brexit debate: Sound, fury far more of nothing

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LONDON – It took a battle during the courts for MPs to acquire their say on Brexit. When it finally came, it hardly mattered.

The U.K. parliament’s great Brexit debate, the opening scene in the operation?authorizing Prime Minister Theresa May to commence Britain’s divorce in the EU, began Tuesday and was best summarized through the Conservative MP Julian Lewis. A?20-year veteran of House of Commons debates, Lewis?rose?to increase his words of wisdom to a long catalog of weighty orations by parliament’s big beasts, from both Europhile and Euroskeptic wings of the home.

He stood, drew breath and proclaimed: “In my opinion, the people decided and I am planning to vote accordingly.” And?your, he sat down.

The debate was?closest thing to a formality that British parliamentary democracy can conjure.

There was an abundance of sound and fury, because the fundamental divisions between those who wanted the U.K. to go away countries in europe and people who would not,?were played out again. But, ultimately, as Lewis said, people have spoken plus its politically unimaginable for either present in big parties to appear to never listen – in order that it signified nothing.

Nevertheless, there was clearly a chance for Ken Clarke, the first kind Tory Chancellor plus a veteran of your defeated European cause, to earn a powerful speech that served to remind May and her ministers of ways different things was – and exactly how wrong things still might go.

For the existing warriors on the Euroskeptic cause it had been on a daily basis of triumph.

Britain’s role within the European had “restored to all of us our national self-confidence” and given the country “a political role on earth,” Clarke lamented. British trade prospects outside look under appealing, he added.

    “Nice men like President Trump and President Erdo?an are impatient to abandon their normal protectionism and present us access,” he archly proclaimed.?”Let me ‘t be too cynical – Little doubt, somewhere a hatter is holding a tea party which has a dormouse while in the teapot.”

    He has not been much gentler by himself party, invoking the inflammatory?name of Conservative right-winger Enoch Powell, who famously attacked government immigration policy along with his “Rivers of blood” speech in 1968, musing that even he?will be amazed at just how the Tories became so “Euroskeptic and rather mildly anti-immigrant” for the reason that EU referendum.

    Clarke said he previously vote – together with “conscience content” – against Article 50, on the principle that “every MP should vote upon an issue with this importance reported by their opinion of the best national interest.”

    No doubt recalling that inside the referendum a projected 480 MPs backed remaining in the EU versus 159 who backed Leave, Clarke ended darkly: “I hope that the consciences of other people of parliament will remain equally content.”

    For the earlier warriors with the Euroskeptic cause, though, it had been daily of triumph. Former cabinet minister John Redwood took Brexit to?Arthurian heights because he called on MPs to vote for Article 50 to revive the “once and future sovereign parliament within the Uk.”

    As he waxed too many lyrical, his fellow Tory, Alberto Costa, seated adjacent to him, rose no fewer than half a dozen times to interject, narrowly avoiding a swipe from Redwood’s gesticulating right arm.

    “Mr. Costa, I say to you gently that you simply remember fondly the merits of keeping a safe, secure distance,” Speaker John Bercow advised helpfully.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg, famous for his devotion for all things historic, reckoned that referendum day, 23 June 2016, would rank alongside the battles of Agincourt and Waterloo in “the annals of British history.”

    The forthcoming negotiations, Nick Clegg predicted, will?quickly get “nasty and acrimonious.”

    Far more somber in tone was Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer. In case the debate revealed anything, it absolutely was the extraordinary challenge his party has faced in forming a coherent solution to Brexit. The vast majority of its MPs C and two-thirds from the voters nationwide C backed Remain. Most of their constituencies, for the reason that New Statesman stated, had majorities for Leave.

    “We have before us a short and relatively simple bill, but also for the Labour party, this is the extremely hard bill,” Starmer began, prompting hoots of derision through the Tory benches.

    Difficult indeed. The party has already seen two frontbenchers resign rather than stick to the party whip and elect Article 50 and, evening, another – Clive Lewis, tipped as being a future leader – said yet not choose Article 50 for the bill’s third reading in the near future if Labour’s amendments may not be accepted, a posture which could cost him his job if Corbyn decides to impose?another three-line whip and only Article 50 before next week’s vote.

    Labour was not a common party drawn in different?directions through the competing claims of principle and the people’s will. Including the staunchly pro-EU Liberal Democrats faced what for him or her is really a significant rebellion, with 2 of their nine MPs defying leader Tim Farron by indicating they’ll abstain on Wednesday’s second reading vote, and not vote against Article 50.

    Not that – as Julian Lewis so adroitly explained during the briefest speech throughout – each of it matters. The federal government is rightly confident that Article 50 will pass comfortably. But then, when the former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, a former MEP, grimly foresaw, the best task begins. The forthcoming negotiations, he predicted, will?quickly get “nasty and acrimonious.”

    “I have a great sense of foreboding,” he stated, to harrumphing from Euroskeptics C and thoughtful silence from those less certain of where the unstoppable juggernaut that may be Brexit will lead.

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    Black caucus chairman pushes to censure Trump over ‘shithole’ remark

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    Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond on Thursday introduced a solution to censure President Donald Trump over what he contends would be the president\’s racist rhetoric referring to El Salvador, Haiti and African nations as \”shithole countries.\”

    The resolution – who has much more than 130 co-sponsors, including House Democratic leaders – calls over the House to publicly state its support for any nations Trump disparaged, censure and condemn the president for his statements, and demand he retract his comments and apologize.

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    At a news conference announcing the resolution alongside House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) as well as other Democrats, Richmond (D-La.) said Trump\’s controversial comments \”should have not been made\” and \”were factually inaccurate.\”

    Richmond conceded, however, the resolution isn\’t \”privileged,\” meaning House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) might need to say yes to carry it in order with the chamber to keep a vote. It\’s almost certain Ryan will not likely do this.

    \”If he doesn\’t, we then will be at other ways to just make a vote on there,\” Richmond told reporters. \”But the facts from the matter is definitely the speaker should bring it up. In the event that he doesn\’t, establishing is enabling and recurring to allow obama to perpetuate this hateful rhetoric, as well as at certain point – whether you agree or disagree – I believe this is the speaker\’s obligation to safeguard the dignity of the property.\”

    If Ryan will not allow a vote, Richmond said he among others would hunt for "creative" strategies to force one.

    Like most Republican leaders, Ryan hasn\’t said much for the president\’s reported comments, though he did acknowledge the other day that they are \”very unfortunate\” and \”unhelpful.\” For Richmond, however, that wasn\’t enough.

    \”It\’s unfortunate when I miss my bus. Or it\’s unfortunate in the event the airlines lose my luggage,\” he was quoted saying. \”But when the president of america decides to Africa, Haiti and El Salvador which he used, which isn\’t unfortunate. That is wrong. That\’s disgusting. That is definitely hurtful. There are a variety of words because of it, but unfortunate\’s undertake and don\’t.\”

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    Ryan's 2017 fundraising haul: $44 million

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    House Speaker Paul Ryan raised more than $44 million in 2017, an off-year record to get a House leader – a financial haul Republicans hope will shore up vulnerable GOP members in what\’s shaping up to often be a tough midterm cycle for Republicans.

    In a final quarter, Ryan raised $4.8 million, his political operation will announce Thursday – down from $6.7 million during the third quarter.

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    The infusion of greenbacks is a follower of Republicans passed a tax reform law last December, which GOP members said would drive support among voters and donors. But also in 2018, Republicans must defend its 24-seat majority spanning a broad battlefield, while President Donald Trump\’s approval ratings stay in the bottom 40s and Democrats hold a broad bring success the generic ballot. Nearly 24 retirements, including California Reps. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa latest research by, will force Republicans to invest more heavily to protect these open seats.

    In 2017, Ryan transferred $32 million to the National Republican Campaign Committee, which announced a unique record-breaking off-year total with $85 million raised in the last year. Ryan also transferred $1.7 million on to GOP members, as well as hosting 49 fundraisers for members.

    "This eye-popping number is usually a testament to Speaker Ryan, House Republicans, as well as the agenda them to led your strugle on in 2017," said Kevin Seifert, executive director of Team Ryan, the speaker\’s fundraising committee.

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    Bannon won't testify again on Russia Thursday

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    Former White House adviser Steve Bannon declined House Russia investigators\’ request to go back for a second interview Thursday, telling lawmakers through his lawyer their own obtain him to go back just 2 days after his first appearance was "unreasonable."

    "The Committee\’s subpoena provides require Mr. Bannon\’s appearance for that second deposition [Thursday] at 2pm. That may be plainly insufficient time for me to undertake precisely what the Committee has asked," Bannon\’s attorney William Burck wrote within a Wednesday letter to store intelligence committee leaders obtained by POLITICO.

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    Instead, Burck told committee leaders that the former senior aide to President Donald Trump would return after reaching an accommodation when using the White House to make sure his testimony doesn\’t violate executive privilege.

    On Tuesday, Bannon-citing instructions from your Trump administration-refused to reply Republican and Democrats\’ questions on his amount of the White House, the post-election transition team and in some cases about his conversations with the president after he was fired from his post in August. His stonewalling infuriated persons in both parties, who subpoenaed him immediately. But despite the subpoena, Bannon declined to reply to their questions.

    Burck\’s letter told the committee\’s top Russia investigators, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), that Bannon remains ready to answer the committee\’s questions-but after striking an understanding together with the White House while on an acceptable scope of questioning.

    "There isn\’t any conceivable solution to talk to the White House Mr. Bannon\’s time using the transition and also the White House, obtain their thoughts about the knowledge he previously provide, communicate those views back to the Committee, relay the Committee\’s views time for the White House, and then negotiate or facilitate a binding agreement amongst the Committee along with the White House from the time allotted by the Committee\’s subpoena," Burck wrote.

    Committee members at the moment are weighing calling hold Bannon in contempt of Congress for avoiding their questions. They\’ve noted that White House lawyers haven\’t formally invoked executive privilege-they just have suggested that Bannon\’s testimony might implicate it.

    White House officials have argued that it is customary for Congress to coordinate the scope of the questions with current and former officials to stop violating privileged information.

    But GOP and Democratic lawmakers have questioned this argument, suggesting they see no reasonable interpretation of executive privilege that might preclude Bannon from discussing his time over the transition team, that is before Trump was president.

    Burck indicated that the committee didn\’t have use of White House and transition documents that has to be relevant precursors to the questions for Bannon and suggested lawmakers and Bannon would require time for them to produce them and review them before Bannon\’s next interview.

    "There are lots of lawyers over the Committee plus the Staff, and i also could well be surprised as long as they believed it becomes anything in addition to unprofessional even unethical should be expected to depose a witness that has did not have possibility for review relevant documents," he said.

    Burck also indicated a potential disconnect between committee staff and lawmakers. He revealed that he had informed the employees of the committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the White House "may not permit Mr. Bannon to discuss his in time the transition and the White House unless an accommodation was agreed between your Committee plus the White House."

    "Staff raised no objection to the telltale restrictions in any of such conversations," he said. "The main objection came yesterday within the Members who appear not to have been informed by Staff about our prior conversations."

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