Johnson faces perilous Brexit ratification after Brexit deal vote blocked

KONFRONTASI-Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s faces a potentially perilous ratification of his Brexit divorce deal in the British parliament after the speaker refused to allow a vote on it on Monday.

With just 10 days left until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on Oct. 31, the divorce is again in disarray as Britain’s politicians argue over whether to leave with a deal, exit without a deal or hold another referendum.

British paedophile stabbed to death in prison

KONFRONTASI-One of Britain's most notorious paedophiles, who abused up to 200 Malaysian children, has been stabbed to death in prison, the Press Association news agency has reported.

Richard Huckle was murdered at HMP Full Sutton in Yorkshire on Sunday, sources said.

The Sun reported that he had been stabbed to death with a makeshift blade and was found in his cell.

Huckle was given 22 life sentences at the Old Bailey in 2016 for an unprecedented number of offences against children aged between six months and 12 years.

Dozens arrested at Extinction Rebellion climate protests

KONFRONTASI-Dozens of activists were arrested as Extinction Rebellion protesters kicked off a fortnight of peaceful civil disobedience worldwide demanding governments take urgent action on climate change.

Activists blocked roads, bridges and squares all over London's government district of Westminster on Monday. 

By 12.30pm local time (1130 GMT), 135 people were arrested in the British capital, the Metropolitan Police said in a tweet. 

Hundreds joined a sit-in on busy inner Sydney road in Australia, which police brought to an end by dragging away demonstrators and charging 30 people. 

A small group of activists also locked themselves to a bridge in Brisbane, where police said they arrested and charged seven people.

Meanwhile, demonstrators shut down part of Wellington, New Zealand's capital, by chaining themselves to a bright pink car. Police said 30 people were arrested later in the day but none were charged.

'Burn capitalism, not petrol'

They were the start of planned disruptions in 60 cities around the world over the next two weeks by protest group Extinction Rebellion, which is warning of a looming environmental "apocalypse".

In the German capital Berlin, about 1,000 people blocked the Grosser Stern, a traffic circle in the middle of the city's Tiergarten park dominated by the landmark Victory Column, in a protest that started in the early hours.

Members of Extinction Rebellion also set up a camp outside Chancellor Angela Merkel's office, reflecting dissatisfaction with a climate policy package drawn up last month by her government.

In the Netherlands, hundreds of demonstrators chanting "rebellion!" blocked traffic in downtown Amsterdam, defying a ban by police who said they would make arrests to prevent them from disrupting commuters.

'No Planet B'

Extinction Rebellion was established last year in the United Kingdom by academics and has become one of the world's fastest-growing environmental movements.

Campaigners want governments to declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025, halt biodiversity loss, and be led by new "citizens' assemblies" on climate and ecological justice.

British PM preparing to call election on eve of Brexit showdown with parliament?

KONFRONTASI-Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to call an election, British media reported on Monday, on the eve of an historic showdown with parliament over Brexit.

Johnson’s promise to take the country out of the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without a deal to smooth the divorce between the world’s fifth-largest economy and its biggest trading partner has propelled the United Kingdom towards a constitutional crisis and a battle with the 27 other members of the bloc.

An alliance of opposition lawmakers are plotting with rebels in Johnson’s Conservative Party to take control of parliament and tie the government’s hands with legislation that would block a no-deal exit, fearing leaving without a deal will be ruinous.

Just 24 hours until parliament returns on Tuesday from its summer break, Johnson’s enforcers warned rebels that if they voted against the government they would be kicked out of his Conservative Party.

With little clarity on whether the deadlocked British parliament might be able to come up with a resolution to the three-year Brexit crisis, talk turned to a possible election.

“We want a general election,” opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said, to oust Johnson’s “phony, populist cabal”.

He added: “We must come together to stop no deal - this week could be our last chance.”

However, former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Corbyn, a veteran socialist, to avoid what he cast as an election “elephant trap” Johnson had laid for Labour.

“Boris Johnson knows that if no-deal Brexit stands on its own as a proposition it might well fail but if he mixes it up with the Corbyn question in a general election he could succeed despite a majority being against a no-deal Brexit because some may fear a Corbyn premiership more,” Blair said.

Johnson has called a cabinet meeting for later on Monday and could ask lawmakers to vote on calling an election if they vote against his government on Brexit, the BBC’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg said.

The Sun newspaper’s political editor Tom Newton Dunn also said Johnson was preparing to call an election.

Asked if Johnson was planning an election, his spokesman said: “He has been asked this on many, many occasions and his answer has always been that he doesn’t want there to be an election.”

After winning the top job in the chaos that followed the 2016 EU membership referendum, then Prime Minister Theresa May bet on a 2017 snap election but lost her majority.

UK Labour moves to prevent new PM pursuing no-deal Brexit: Starmer

KONFRONTASI- Britain’s opposition Labour Party said on Wednesday it had brought forward a motion for parliament to take control of government business to prevent a new prime minister pursuing a no-deal Brexit.

Labour is using a vote on Wednesday to try to seize control of the parliamentary agenda later this month to give lawmakers the chance to introduce legislation aimed at preventing the suspension of parliament or a no-deal exit.

British police arrest 113 climate change activists after London roads blocked

KONFRONTASI -   British police have arrested 113 people after climate change activists blocked some of London’s most famous roads including Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and Waterloo Bridge in an attempt force the government to do more to tackle climate change.

The protests, led by British climate group Extinction Rebellion, brought parts of central London to a standstill on Monday and some stayed overnight for a second day of protest on Tuesday.

Brexit delayed? PM May requests three-month extension, EU pushes back

KONFRONTASI-Prime Minister Theresa May asked for a three-month delay to Brexit on Wednesday to buy time to get her twice-rejected divorce deal though parliament, but the request faced immediate resistance from the European Commission.

May said Britain remained committed to leaving the European Union “in an orderly manner” and she wanted to postpone Britain’s departure to June 30.

But a European Commission document seen by Reuters said the delay should either be several weeks shorter, to avoid a clash with European elections in May, or extend at least until the end of the year, which would oblige Britain to take part in the elections.

The pound fell sharply as May requested her extension.

Nearly three years after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union and nine days before the formal exit deadline, British politicians are still arguing over how, when or even if the world’s fifth largest economy should leave the bloc it first joined in 1973.

When May set the March 29 exit date two years ago by serving the formal Article 50 divorce papers, she declared there would be “no turning back” but parliament’s refusal to ratify the withdrawal deal she agreed with the EU has thrust her government into crisis.

Now May has written to European Council President Donald Tusk to ask for a delay.

“As prime minister I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than the 30th of June,” May told a rowdy session of parliament.

“I have therefore this morning written to President Tusk, the president of the European Council, informing him that the UK seeks an extension to the Article 50 period until the 30th June,” she said.

She said she planned to ask parliament to vote a third time on her departure deal, which lawmakers have already voted down twice. She didn’t say when the vote would happen.

But May did say delaying Brexit did not rule out the possibility that Britain could leave without a deal.

The opposition Labour Party said by choosing a short delay May was forcing British lawmakers to decide between accepting a deal they have already rejected or leaving without a deal.

Pro-Brexit members of May’s Conservative Party are opposed to a longer delay because they fear it could mean Brexit might never happen.


PM to try to break Brexit deadlock with EU concessions

KONFRONTASI-British Prime Minister Theresa May will try to break the Brexit deadlock on Monday by setting out proposals in parliament that are expected to focus on winning more concessions from the European Union.

With just over two months until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on March 29 there is no agreement in London on how and even whether it should leave the world’s biggest trading bloc.

Fears of 'Windrush-type scandal' as EU citizen registration opens

KONFRONTASI-A government scheme designed to allow European citizens to continue living in the UK after Brexit was launched in public test phase on Monday, amid warnings that it could leave tens of thousands of people undocumented in years to come.

The 3.5 million citizens of the EU's 27 countries residing in the UK must go through an online application process to apply for "settled status" if they have lived in the UK for at least five years, or "pre-settled status" if they haven't reached that threshold.

Theresa May promises Brexit deal will deliver vote of British people

KONFRONTASI-British Prime Minister Theresa May has said the draft deal the United Kingdom has struck with the European Union with regards to Brexit will adhere to what people voted for during the 2016 Brexit referendum.

"What we have been negotiating is a deal that does deliver on the vote of the British people," May told MPs on Wednesday after the UK and EU finalised the details of their plan on Tuesday.

May defended the agreement to a group of MPs from her own Conservative party ahead of a meeting with her cabinet, during which she is seeking her ministers' backing for the deal.

Despite an earlier statement, Downing Street said May would not make an official statement on if the cabinet had agreed on the deal on Wednesday night.

Hardline Brexit supporters said the deal included unacceptable compromises.

May said the agreement would guarantee an end to unlimited immigration from the EU and would allow Britain to set its own trade policy, two of the main issues raised during the Brexit campaign.

She added the agreement included a backstop to avoid a hard border in Ireland but said this would be a temporary "insurance policy" if no future relationship is agreed.

"We want to bring the future relationship into place at the end of December 2020," she said.

Accoriding to Al Jazeera correspondent Paul Brennan, the next 24 hours will be crucial for both Brexit and the Theresa May government as a whole.

"We are wondering now if the Brexit piece falling into place or the British government falleng into pieces," Brennan said from London.

"The reaction has been almost universally opposed to the deal, both the Brexiteers and those who want to stay in the EU are extremely unhappy," he said.

"Parliament seems to be at an impasse."

The Irish border has been a key issue during negotiations between London and Brussels.

Both have vowed to prevent the re-emergence of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which will leave the EU with Britain, amid fears the issue could reignite decades-old tensions.

But the two sides disagreed for a long time on how to resolve the issue.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said the agreement "breaches the prime minister's own red lines", adding that negotiations with Brussels had been "shambolic".

"This government spent two years negotiating a bad deal that will leave the country in an indefinite half-way house," Corbyn said.

Conservative Peter Bone, a leading pro-Brexit MP, also criticised May.

"You are not delivering the Brexit people voted for and today you will lose the support of many Conservative MPs and millions of voters," Bone said.

Following the UK's announcement an agreement was signed, Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday that an emergency EU summit could be held on November 25 to vote on the deal.

UK parliament would then vote on the Brexit accord.

If successful, the whole Brexit process should be concluded on March 29, 2019, almost three years after the referendum was held.

However, Brennan said that a failure for the cabinet to approve the deal could lead to real issues for May and her government.

"The timetable from now is that the cabinet has to approve, and if they don't approve she will have to review her position as cabinet leader," Brennan said.

"The real problems will arise in parliament, because there is no majority and if they don't approve that's when we're really in uncharted territory because we might be looking at general elections," he added.