Brexit Part 3: Unlawful suspension of Parliament
A ruling from the U.K.’s Supreme Court has deemed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attempt to prorogate Parliament unlawful. Johnson’s suspension of Parliament was supposedly meant to pave the way for a Queen’s speech, which marks a new session of Parliament.
However, there are some notable issues that have complicated this claim. Johnson notably sought to implement one of the longest prorogation periods in British history, throughout a period in which he was meant to be negotiating with EU officials regarding his Brexit deal. According to the court, this prorogation was a transparent attempt to entirely remove Parliament from the Brexit process.
This ruling produces a number of implications for Boris Johnson. Firstly, this ruling is a continuation of Johnson’s inability to control his government; he has not won a motion in Parliament since taking power as prime minister. He also must now decide if he wants to call for another prorogation of Parliament.
When questioned, this is something he has refused to rule out. This has already caused for MPs to call for his resignation. This is not surprising, but it now has significant additional weight as he performed a downright unlawful act as prime minister. It is unclear what the path forward will be, as the clock winds down to the deadline for a decision on Brexit.
Ukraine reaction to Trump whistleblower scandal
After the phone call between American President Donald Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the entire news world has focused on little else. The call focused on an attempt by Trump to use defense aid for Ukraine as a bartering chip to provoke an investigation into Joe Biden’s son’s business dealings in Ukraine. The reaction from Ukraninans has been divided. Civil servants, for the most part, have lamented the possible implications of the call with one official saying, “It’s coming at the exact moment when we finally have a chance to reform Ukrainian law enforcement agencies and make them free from political influence.”
However, unlike the U.S. where the situation has been inescapable, in Ukraine “The Guardian” is reporting that the media has barely talked about it and has described coverage of it as “muted.” Ukranians are hopeful of Zelenskiy, who was sworn in earlier this year, but the story has begun to pick up coverage in the past few days. How their president ends up responding to the scandal seems to matter more to them than the geopolitical implications or what he did during the phone call.
Former President of France, Jacques Chirac, dead at 86
On Thursday, Sept. 26, former mayor of Paris and President of France Jacques Chirac died. After his passing, many French figures and foreign leaders praised his time in office. Current President Emmanuel Macron said Chirac was “a statesman we loved as much as he loved us,” and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called him “a great statesman and European.” The Eiffel Tower went dark on Thursday night in honor of the late head of state and a day of mourning will be held for him on Monday.
Chirac’s 12-year tenure as president, though riddled with scandals and lacking major legislative accomplishments, endeared him to his people. His two most lasting actions in office were keeping France out of the United States’s failed invasion of Iraq and acknowledging the French government’s role in the Holocaust. Chirac was also the standard bearer for France’s Conservative party for nearly two decades.