UK parliament’s Brexit roller-coaster reopens for business

first_imgIt has become a vehicle for MPs and peers to reshape the course of Brexit, most notably in the House of Commons, where a band of Conservative rebels voted with opposition parties against the government in December 2017 to guarantee MPs get a “meaningful vote” on the final withdrawal agreement that May negotiates with Brussels. This is the same vote that Starmer is now seeking to strengthen the terms of.Labour Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer | Leon Neal/Getty ImagesOn Wednesday this week, the bill reaches its “report stage” in parliament’s revising chamber, the House of Lords. This is the stage at which the talking stops — the bill has already been subject to 115 hours of debate in the Lords — and voting on amendments starts in earnest.The latest running list of amendments is 36 pages long, but opposition parties and rebel Conservative peers are hoping to secure concessions from the government in only a few areas. Apart from Starmer’s priority of strengthening the meaningful vote, another goal is to limit the scope of the so-called Henry VIII powers taken on by the government in the withdrawal process, and piling pressure on May to seek a customs union with the EU after Brexit.The Conservatives do not have a majority in the House of Lords, so ministers are braced for defeats on several amendments, one government official said. These can, though, be overturned by MPs in the Commons, and none of them are expected to derail the entire Brexit project, so cool heads are being urged, the official said.To limit some of the damage, Brexit minister Martin Callanan wrote to the Lords’ constitution committee last week, setting out a number of planned government amendments that will narrow the range of Henry VIII powers that ministers will acquire via the bill.It almost certainly won’t be enough to satisfy critics in the Lords though. Expect a number of government defeats in afternoon votes in the Lords, as six days of debate (not all in a row) unfold until early May. By mid-May, the bill should have reached its “third reading,” which is likely to be more or less a formality. LONDON — The Easter break has come and gone, MPs have returned to Westminster, and that can mean only one thing: The Herculean task of legislating for Brexit is back on.Ministers are bracing for a turbulent few months as both the House of Commons and the House of Lords take some of their last opportunities to shape the course of the U.K.’s departure from the EU, now less than a year away.First up is the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which reaches the critical phase of its journey through the House of Lords over the next four to five weeks. The key fight will come over a Labour amendment that seeks, once and for all, to end the prospect of the U.K. crashing out of the EU without a deal. “I think customs union and the meaningful vote stand out as issues where anything’s possible” — Labour officialThen, most likely in the week commencing May 21, the bill should return to the House of Commons, where MPs decide whether to accept or reject the Lords’ amendments.In a process known as “ping-pong,” the bill can move back and forth between the two chambers several times over the course of a few days. This could dominate this final week in parliament running up to the week-long break known as Whitsun recess, and is the point at which it will become clear if Conservative rebel MPs are willing to back any new amendments, delivering real defeats for the government.“There clearly is potential. I think customs union and the meaningful vote stand out as issues where anything’s possible,” said one Labour official. Some of the amendments will have cross-party backing in the Lords, including from Tory rebel peers.“It may give some Conservative MPs a bit more cover than they had before Christmas [to rebel],” the Labour official added.Trade and Customs billsThese could also be tricky for the government. The so-called Customs Bill — officially the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill — will empower the U.K. to charge its own customs duties at the border, outside of the EU regime, while the Trade Bill will create the legal framework that enables the U.K. to strike its own trade deals with non-EU countries. Labour’s amendment to the Withdrawal Bill seeks to avoid this outcome, and a new report from the Institute for Government think tank also rejects Davis’ characterization of the vote.MPs will be able to suggest amendments to the government’s motion on the withdrawal agreement, the IfG said, for example, asking the government to redraw its trade strategy.“The government’s timetable for getting its deal through parliament is feasible — so long as nothing goes wrong,” said Hannah White, the IfG’s director of research. “But MPs can force ministers back to the negotiating table and, if they do, the government’s timetable could be unachievable. If MPs were to send ministers back to Brussels to ask for significant changes to the deal, it is likely that Brexit would have to be delayed.” The amendment, which will be debated first in the Lords and — if it passes — in the Commons in May, seeks to give MPs, not the government, the power to decide what happens next if Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement with Brussels is rejected by parliament.“It’s completely unacceptable for ministers to say that if the deal Theresa May brings back is voted down by parliament then that should be considered an instruction for no deal” — Labour Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir StarmerIt may not sound like much, but with the government currently insisting that a vote against May’s deal is a vote for no deal, the amendment could be highly significant, paving the way for MPs to send May back to the negotiating table, changing the terms of Brexit, and perhaps even delaying the U.K.’s departure.“Over the coming weeks parliament will have the chance to take back control of the Brexit debate and force the government to rethink its approach to the negotiations,” Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer told POLITICO. “It’s completely unacceptable for ministers to say that if the deal Theresa May brings back is voted down by parliament then that should be considered an instruction for no deal.”Here’s what to expect from parliament’s Brexit roller-coaster:The Withdrawal BillRemember this one? The mammoth piece of legislation is designed to convert decades of EU law into U.K. law to ensure that rules and regulations governing various walks of life and fields of business continue to function smoothly on Day One after Britain leaves the EU.center_img After a transition deal was agreed in March, the rebels opted to give May some breathing space, two MPs said. The rebels agreed to wait and see how the government’s customs proposals evolved in negotiations with Brussels, hopeful that a customs union or something very close to it would become the preferred option.But there has been no movement in the government’s position. “There have been no further suggestions by ministers,” one MP said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Maybe they are waiting for parliament to be back but it doesn’t sound as if thinking has developed any further.”Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s fisheries and agriculture legislation has been described as “in essence a panic measure” | Christopher Furlong/Getty ImagesLabour, crucially, now backs a customs union, meaning only a handful of Tory rebels would be required to beat the government in a Commons vote on an amendment.“On the question of a customs union, crunch time is coming for the government,” Starmer said. “There is a majority in parliament that reject the prime minister’s red line and believe a customs union is the only viable option for protecting manufacturing and guaranteeing there is no hard border in Northern Ireland. Sooner or later that majority will be heard.”Other legislative flashpointsOther Brexit-related legislation still in the pipeline includes Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s fisheries and agriculture bills and technical legislation related to a new permit system for freight and for truck drivers (the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill).That has been described by Labour peer John Bassam as “in essence a panic measure” of Brexit contingency legislation, which has its report stage in the House of Lords on Tuesday. It must be considered by MPs at some point in the next few weeks or months. Neither has seen any parliamentary action since February and they are due to return to the House of Commons for their report stage.”Maybe [ministers] are waiting for parliament to be back but it doesn’t sound as if thinking has developed any further” — Anonymous member of ParliamentBut the government has shown reluctance to bring them back because of major amendments brought up by rebel Tory MPs that, if passed, would force May to seek a customs union with the EU. That would be a major alteration to the government’s Brexit strategy which, MPs have previously speculated, could lead to May’s downfall if she were defeated in the Commons.There are customs union amendments to the Withdrawal Bill in the House of Lords as well — but most expect MPs to wait until either the customs or trade bill to make any moves.The bills can’t wait forever; they need to be completed before the U.K leaves the EU in March 2019. One government official said it was unlikely they would be brought back to parliament before the May local elections, when the focus will be on the Withdrawal Bill’s passage through the Lords.The Tories’ customs union rebels (10, including Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry, Ken Clarke and Sarah Wollaston, have put their names to an amendment to the trade bill) were expecting this timeframe, and would probably favor a delay until after the local elections, one MP said. The Conservatives are expecting heavy losses in those elections and it could be that a chastened May will be more open to compromise. Then there is the all-important Immigration Bill. Promised in last June’s queen’s speech (the government’s legislative agenda), it has been delayed — a source of tension in Cabinet.“The government’s timetable for getting its deal through parliament is feasible — so long as nothing goes wrong” — Hannah White, Institute for Government director of researchA white paper on immigration will not arrive until after the independent Migration Advisory Committee has reported on the benefits and impacts of EU migration, in a report scheduled for September. The Immigration Bill itself is now expected early next year.This timeframe is causing Brexiteers some disquiet. One government aide expressed concern it left no time for preparations for a new immigration system that might be required if negotiations with Brussels collapse and the U.K. leaves the EU without a deal.The final hurdleOverhanging everything is the anticipated parliamentary vote, in the fall, on the withdrawal agreement that Prime Minister May hopes to secure with Brussels by October. The withdrawal agreement will come with a political declaration agreed with Brussels of what the U.K.’s future relationship with the EU will look like after the 21-month transition period.The government portrays this as a take-it-or-leave-it vote. Brexit Secretary David Davis said in a Q&A with the Spectator magazine as recently as last month: “[MPs] choose whether that deal is acceptable or not and if not, we leave without.”last_img read more

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Cavs Announce Promotions and Additions to staff

first_img Related TopicsCavaliersCavsClevelandCleveland Cavaliers -Corey PerezIndependence- The Cleveland Cavaliers announced Tuesday afternoon numerous promotions and additions to their coaching, player development, athletic performance and basketball staff. Overall the Cavaliers made eight changes to the inner workings of the team.Among the promotions:Dan Geriot to Assistant Coach/ Player Development, which is a promotion from his previous position of two years Assistant Video Coordinator/ Coaching Assistant. Geriot got his start with the Cavs during their Championship season as a Seasonal Video Coordinator.Mike Gerrity has worked his way through the the team, as he his going into his fifth season with the Cavs franchise. Gerrity started with the team in 2014 as an assistant video coordinator. Then spent a few seasons down in Canton with the Cavs G-League affiliate the Canton Charge, before being elevated to the Cavs this season to Director of Player Development/ Assistant Coach.Among the new additions:Terry Nooner was hired a Player Development coach, Nooner has spent the last three seasons as an Assistant Coach for the University of Maryland Women’s basketball team. Nooner also had stops at Alabama  and his alma mater, Kansas.The Cavs also added Andrew Olson as a shooting coaching. Olson had been an independent basketball trainer previously. Olson worked directly with NBA teams, colleges and nationally ranked high school teams. He is know for developing a way to explain shooting and quantify a player’s shot mechanics with his company, Shot Analysis.Albert Padilla joins the Cavs as an Assistant Athletic Trainer/ Performance Science. Joining him in of more the medical side of things with be Ed Subel, as Subel will serve as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. Both of these men will be key in helping the Cavs not only stay helping, but also helping the younger players continue develop their bodies.The last two additions the Cavs made were Lauren Marvinney as Director of Team Services and Nate Nielsen as Assistant to the GM/ Special Projects. Marvinney had previously worked in the team’s community relations department for almost four seasons. While Nielsen is going into just his second season with Cleveland, spending last season as a scouting intern. Corey Perezlast_img read more

USC’s defensive line in race to prepare for UNC’s pace

first_imgUSC defensive tackle Gerald Dixon Jr., right, shown in a 2014 game against Florida, says the team will feature a defensive line with better conditioning and chemistry when it opens Sept. 3 against North Carolina.USC defensive tackle Gerald Dixon Jr., right, shown in a 2014 game against Florida, says the team will feature a defensive line with better conditioning and chemistry when it opens Sept. 3 against North Carolina.COLUMBIA – Getting off to a quick start is the hope of every football team, but it will be a requirement for the University of South Carolina defense in its season opener against North Carolina on Sept. 3.“They’re one of the fastest teams in the country as far as running plays,” co-defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said of the Tar Heels. “Oregon might be the only team in the country faster.”The Tar Heels averaged 33 points and 429 yards per game in 2014 with an offense that wastes little time between plays. The tempo can exhaust a defense, but Gamecocks defensive end Marquavius Lewis said it’s a matter of preparation and conditioning.“It’s something I look forward to,” said Lewis, a junior college transferUp-tempo offenses make frequent defensive substitutions necessary.“It’s gonna be a hot, muggy day in Charlotte, North Carolina,” Ward said. “We feel like we’re starting to develop some depth, and that’s what we’re going to need, especially up front.”The USC defensive line added several players, including Lewis, in the offseason. Fellow junior college transfers Ulric Jones and Dante Sawyer could see significant playing time against the Heels.“I feel like I’m in pretty good shape,” Sawyer said. “We’ll have a lot of rotation going in, coming out, going in.”Some attributed the defensive line’s inability to pressure quarterbacks in 2014 to poor conditioning. Senior defensive tackle Gerald Dixon Jr. said the squad’s chemistry is better this year.“We worked our tails off during the summer,” he said. “We stayed on each other and we let nothing slide.”Junior defensive tackle Abu Lamin is listed in the USC media guide at 326 pounds but says he’s lost about 20.“I’m feeling real good,” he said. “I feel a lot more flexible.”Dixon Jr. played in USC’s 27-10 season-opening victory against the Heels in 2013. His advice for how to get ready?“Any time you get a chance to run, run,” he said. “I know how North Carolina is. You’ve got to be in good shape. It’s going to be hot. You’ve just got to be prepared for it.”Defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth said he felt a little out of breath after his return to full contact Wednesday. The sophomore, who underwent surgery on a torn right pectoral muscle in the offseason, has two weeks to get up to speed.“I’ll be able to get my wind back,” he said.Players concede that gassers and scrimmages can only do so much, however.“Every team at the beginning of every season is never as fully conditioned as they think they are,” senior defensive end Cedrick Cooper said.“That first drive, you’re gonna be getting tired,” Dixon Jr. said. “Everybody around the country’s gonna go through it. Practice conditions and game conditions, that’s two totally different speeds.”Several players said it takes a game or two to reach peak physical condition. With at least a dozen defensive linemen competing for playing time, the challenge for USC’s coaches will be to find the right mix for game one.Freedom From Religion Foundation aims at GamecocksSpurrier: It’s time to pare down the rosterlast_img read more

Pirates bolster roster acquiring starter Happ, reliever Soria, 1B Morse

first_imgDetroit Tigers pitcher Joakim Soria. (Photo: Paul Sancya, Associated Press)CINCINNATI (AP) _ After making two moves to upgrade an already solid bullpen, the Pittsburgh Pirates added depth to their rotation and infield on Friday by acquiring pitcher J.A. Happ from Seattle and first baseman Michael Morse from the Los Angeles Dodgers.Pittsburgh sent minor league pitcher Adrian Sampson to the Mariners while shipping enigmatic outfielder Jose Tabata to Los Angeles as the Pirates eye a third straight playoff berth.The start of the stretch run will begin without struggling starter A.J. Burnett. Pittsburgh put the All-Star on the 15-day disabled list Friday with inflammation in his pitching elbow.The Pirates were 5 1-2 games behind St. Louis in the NL Central, but first in line for a wild-card berth and looking to close ground on the Cardinals by upgrading their pitching staff. They worked on their bullpen first, obtaining Joe Blanton from Kansas City for versatility and Joakim Soria from Detroit as another setup reliever on Thursday.Shortly before the non-waiver trading deadline on Friday, they got the 32-year-old Happ, who went 4-6 with a 4.64 ERA in 20 starts and one relief appearance for Seattle this season. They then made the move with Burnett, who had his third straight subpar performance during a 15-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.Morse, who is expected to join the Pirates on Monday, was part of a massive three-team, 13-player deal on Thursday that ended with the 33-year-old traded from Miami to the Dodgers, who then designated him for assignment. Morse, who won a World Series ring with the San Francisco Giants last fall, hit .213 with four homers and 12 RBI for the Marlins this season. Pittsburgh is in need of depth along the infield following injuries to third baseman Josh Harrison and shortstop Jordy Mercer.Tabata, who Los Angeles assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, never lived up to expectations after signing a $21-million contract in 2011. He spent most of the last two seasons bouncing back and forth between Pittsburgh and Triple-A Indianapolis, his most notable contribution this season breaking up Max Scherzer’s perfect game when the Washington ace dinged Tabata in the left elbow with two outs in the ninth inning on June 20.Burnett made the All-Star team for the first time in his 17-year career this summer but has struggled over the last two weeks. The 38-year-old gave up 10 hits, two walks and eight runs _ seven earned _ in 4 1-3 innings in the series opener. The Reds also stole four bases off Burnett, whose velocity was down at the start of the game.Left-hander Bobby LaFromboise was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis to take his roster spot. LaFromboise made his one appearance with the Pirates this season, pitching a scoreless inning on May 14 at Philadelphia.To open a spot for Soria, the Pirates designated reliever Deolis Guerra for assignment. Guerra gave up a pair of three-run homers by Brandon Phillips on Thursday night.Soria arrived in town shortly before the 4 p.m. Hurdle plans to use him in a set-up role for closer Mark Melancon, who has converted a club-record 30 consecutive save chances and is 32 of 33 overall this season.“If that’s the case, the eighth (inning) is very similar,” Soria said.When he walked into the clubhouse, reliever Jared Hughes was first to notice him and say hello. Soria doesn’t have any close friends on the Pirates.“It’s kind of like spring training,” he said. “You recognize faces. I know some of them. It’s normal for us to have these types of situations.”___Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: read more

Pep Guardiola helped Toni Kroos to evolve his game

first_img Comparing his old club to his new one, the 24-year-old said: “We speak of them as two of the biggest clubs in the world, but globally Madrid are a step in front.” Real Madrid mifielder Toni Kroos has told ‘Bild’ that his departure from Bayern Munich had nothing to do with former Barcelona boss Josep Guardiola. With respect to Xabi Alonso, who has made the reverse journey, Kroos explained: “He’s an extraordinary player and he will help Bayern a lot. I also hope that he will be really happy in Munich. I don’t see any relation between my signing and Xabi going to Bayern.” Upd. at 20:26 08/09/2014 After winning the World Cup with Germany this summer, Kroos swapped his homeland for Spain, but he has assured the press that he got on really with Guardiola during the time the pair both spent at the Allianz Arena.  center_img “He tuned my game and helped me to evolve,” he said about the Catalan coach. Finally, he referred to the level of la Liga BBVA: “The Bundesliga is more aggressive, but the level here is incredible. Even the smallest teams are trying to play good football.” CEST Sport ENlast_img read more

Bunjil hosts top concert

first_imgBy Kyra Gillespie A unique performance by internationally acclaimed local musicians is coming to Bunjil Place. The Casey Chamber Musicians…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Donation drive

first_imgBy Jessica Anstice At the time the bushfires ravaged the east of the state, many generous individuals and organisations did their bit to…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Selkirk Saints add to recruitment class with two new addition

first_imgLuongo is a 5’10” centre who recently completed his junior career with the PIJHL’s Aldergrove Kodiaks, where he scored nine goals and 33 points in 43 regular season games and added another nine points in 11 playoff contests.His PIJHL totals include 24 goals and 73 points over three years, while he spent the 2009/10 season playing Junior A with the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives and SJHL’s Estevan Bruins. “I’m excited to be coming to Selkirk and have the opportunity to play college hockey surrounded by top level players and coaches,” said Luongo, who describes himself as a gritty, high-energy player.“I’m looking forward to helping the Saints establish a winning tradition and making a run at a championship.” Wolff, meanwhile, joins the Saints following a junior career that included stops with the Oceanside Generals of the VIJHL and the Fernie Ghostriders of the KIJHL, where he compiled a record of 17 wins and 17 losses while totalling a 2.79 goals-against average and .907 save-percentage.He was a VIJHL All-Star in 2011 and was named the Generals’ Playoff MVP after leading his team on a postseason run later that season that saw him collect a 1.84 GAA and .946 SV% over seven games. “It’s always been my goal to play college hockey and I’m excited to be coming to a great school,” says Wolff, who stands 6-foot-3.“I’m going to work hard to establish myself as a top goaltender in the BCIHL and to better my game and skill level overall so that I can further pursue my career in hockey.” Luongo and Wolff join forwards Thomas Hardy and Cole Thomson and defenceman Dylan Smith to bring Selkirk’s commitment total for the 2012/13 season to five. The Selkirk College Saints Men’s Hockey program is doing anything and everything to improve on its last place finish in 2012.The Castlegar-based squad has announces two more commitments for the upcoming season in forward Matthew Luongo of Surrey and netminder Stephen Wolff  of Parksville.last_img read more

Pres Athenry and St Kierans to renew rivalry in All Ireland colleges hurling final

first_imgThis Saturday St. Kieran’s College of Kilkenny face the Pres Athenry of Galway for the second successive year in the All Ireland Post Primary Senior A Hurling Final. Last year St Kierans defeated the Galway side 5-19 to 3-17 in Semple Stadium after extra time, after Pres Athenry had came from 10 points down in the second half. print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Pres are looking to write themselves into the history books as only the second Galway school to lift the cup after St. Raphael’s win in 1995 and their manager Mike Finn has been speaking to Sean Walsh..last_img