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Brexit is just over a month away and despite repeated claims by the government that progress is being made on changes to the withdrawal deal that might somehow make it acceptable to MPs, theres still no evidence to suggest thats actually the case.
In a speech in Strasbourg the president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, demanded operable proposals, in writing, from the UK on replacing the Irish backstop and warned a no-deal exit was now a palpable risk.
Finland, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, and France said whatever Britain did come up with would have to be tabled within a fortnight so it could be properly discussed by the EU27 before next months summit.
But it emerged that Boris Johnson had been taken aback during his meeting with Juncker last week at the scale and complexity of the potential problems on the border, and the extent to which Britains sketchy ideas have failed to address them.
In a speech in Madrid that went down like a lead balloon, Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay said the purist EU would have to take risks with the Irish border for a deal to be struck, demanding more flexibility and compromise from the bloc.
The government said it would present its plans when it was ready, and then angered the EU27 by insisting that the papers it finally submitted dismissed in Brussels as still very far from what was required must not be circulated.
The EUs chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, later described the British solution for replacing the backstop as unacceptable, adding that the UK governments position would have to change for there to be any hope of success.
Meanwhile, the supreme court heard arguments in London for and against Johnsons decision to suspend parliament until 14 October, including allegations that the mother of parliaments had been shut down by the father of lies and that the governments stated reasons for the prorogation were misleading.
No 10 said it could not rule out proroguing parliament again if it loses the potentially explosive case, while the judges were urged to encourage the speakers of the Commons and Lords to reconvene the parliamentary session. The verdict should come on Tuesday morning (see below).
As the prime minister headed to a UN climate summit in New York, where he was due to meet European leaders saying he was cautiously optimistic he could negotiate a deal with EU leaders, Labour continued to tear itself to pieces over its Brexit policy.
Jeremy Corbyn wanted to stay neutral and let the people decide in a referendum; activists pushed for a campaign to remain; the party conference was plunged into Brexit disarray and then into downright chaos.
In the end, Corbyn won: delegates rejected a motion that would have obliged Labour to adopt an out-and-out remain position before a general election.
In the short term, all eyes are on the supreme court, whose verdict on whether Johnsons decision to prorogue parliament for five weeks was lawful or not is expected on Tuesday morning.
A ruling against the government could trigger a constitutional eruption of volcanic proportions, one legal expert said, with much depending on how the court framed such a decision particularly if it determines that Johnson misled the Queen.
Past that, the crucial problem facing the prime minister is whether or not he can solve the riddle of the Irish backstop and thus wring a deal from the EU (he would then have to get it through parliament, of course, but thats for another day).
At the moment the two sides have starkly different visions of what the withdrawal agreement and the Irish protocol need to guarantee.
Britain has proposed Northern Ireland stays under EU rules for agri-food but that otherwise there be two regulatory zones on the island, with some checks on goods necessary albeit facilitated by technology. The EU wants to secure full frictionless trade across the island in order to maintain the status quo.
At present, there is little sign of any meaningful rapprochement.
In the Guardian, Jonathan Lis argues that the language of Brexit betrayal is poisoning politics:
Our fundamental problem is we have lost the ability to distinguish between compromise and betrayal. We now confront a situation in which language proves as dangerous as policy.
Politicians can no longer merely disagree. They must be acting in bad faith, or subverting democracy, or betraying the electorate. This finds its extreme form in the word treason, which now peppers and pollutes the language of rightwing politicians and commentators. But it has also insinuated itself into the way we address Brexit altogether.
The essential toxin here is the requirement for political purity. This is partly driven by the increasing radicalism of our mainstream political parties and partly by the appetite for nationalism unleashed by the referendum and now rapidly advancing.
Britain is no longer just riven politically and economically, but fully entrenched in a culture war which demands rigid and extreme conceptions of identity. This new polarisation necessitates an all-or-nothing stance not just on Brexit, but on politics altogether. When we join battle on those lines, we leave no room for anything in between or any obvious route to heal afterwards.
A left-leaning journalist despairs at Labours Brexit policy contortions:
- In memoriam: The victims of progress - Observer Online - November 13th, 2019
- Archbishop reports on progress of document on marriage and family life - Crux: Covering all things Catholic - November 13th, 2019
- Colin Kaepernick workout shows the NFL is finally making real progress and getting it right - CBSSports.com - November 13th, 2019
- Microsoft workers say it's making progress on diversity - Engadget - November 13th, 2019
- Etihad Airways Making Steady Progress On Predictive Maintenance - MRO Network - November 13th, 2019
- DELL Technologies Summit Promises Real Progress in the next "Data Decade" - KEYE TV CBS Austin - November 13th, 2019
- Another Reason For Progress Readers To Get In Shape - mvprogress - November 13th, 2019
- Baseball stadium progress ahead of team name announcement - KAKE - November 13th, 2019
- With Lebanon Making Fragile Progress, Now Is the Wrong Time to Pull U.S. Assistance - Lawfare - November 13th, 2019
- One Thing To Remember About The Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ:PRGS) Share Price - Simply Wall St - November 13th, 2019
- Plans progress to bring Exeter Hospital medical building to Raymond - The Union Leader - November 13th, 2019
- Lots of news, little price progress - Farm and Dairy - November 13th, 2019
- We make progress when citizens tackle the small stuff - Seymour Tribune - November 13th, 2019
- Mike Hopkins: we will speed up our progress by slowing down - 247Sports - November 13th, 2019
- Sources: After conversation with James Dolan, Knicks execs under impression jobs safe if team shows progress this season - SNY.tv - November 13th, 2019
- Spurs show they are still a work in progress in failed comeback attempt against the Grizzlies - Pounding The Rock - November 13th, 2019
- Dak headed to tag after no progress on deal - NFL.com - November 13th, 2019
- Death Stranding Review-In-Progress: The Slog Of Slogs - Forbes - November 13th, 2019
- Fire crews stop progress of brush fire that sent smoke billowing near Hollywood sign - USA TODAY - November 13th, 2019
- Work in Progress: Its Time You Get to Know Abby McEnany, So Let Her Introduce Herself Watch - IndieWire - November 13th, 2019
- John Carmack says he's not 'satisfied with the pace of progress' in VR development - PC Gamer - November 13th, 2019
- Djokovic must beat Federer to progress at ATP Finals after defeat to Thiem - Yahoo Movies UK - November 13th, 2019
- U.S. Slowing But Growing With Soft Landing in Progress, Wells Fargo Says - Bloomberg - November 13th, 2019
- Libra's co-creator at Facebook touts progress after an exodus of key backers of the crypto coin - CNBC - October 16th, 2019
- Watch 76ers' Ben Simmons Discuss the Progress of His Jumper: I'm Getting Better - Bleacher Report - October 16th, 2019
- GM CEO meets with UAW negotiators, another sign of progress ahead of union leadership meeting - CNN - October 16th, 2019
- California and New York Show the Ugly Face of Progress - The Wall Street Journal - October 16th, 2019
- Progress Partners Advises travAlliancemedia on Its Sale to Northstar Travel Group - Business Wire - October 16th, 2019
- Schiff: 'Dramatic Progress' in Impeachment Inquiry, As Intel Committee Does the Job of Special Counsel - CNSNews.com - October 16th, 2019
- Amarna Therapeutics Raises 10 million to Progress lead Development Candidate into Clinical Trials and Appoints a new Supervisory Board - Business Wire - October 16th, 2019
- Most Chicago-area rivers continue to fall some flooding still in progress - WGN TV Chicago - October 16th, 2019
- Sons of Italy progress - KETV Omaha - October 16th, 2019
- NYCFC making progress on and off the pitch - MDJOnline.com - October 16th, 2019
- ASN: The Nightmare in Toronto reveals little progress in Berhalter's first year - AmericanSoccerNow.com - October 16th, 2019
- It Looks Like it's Working! NASA InSight's Mole is Making Progress Again Thanks to the Arm Scoop Hack - Universe Today - October 16th, 2019
- Sports Pistons still in the murky middle, hoping to show progress 10:55 AM, Oct 16 - WXYZ - October 16th, 2019
- World in Progress: How to feed the world in times of Climate Change - Deutsche Welle - October 16th, 2019
- Chicago-area rivers continue to fall some flooding still in progress - WGN TV Chicago - October 16th, 2019
- Dont get too excited about progress on Trumps greatest and biggest deal ever - MarketWatch - October 16th, 2019
- Review Of The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card - LowCards.com - October 16th, 2019
- The residential colleges: progress or problem? - The Vanderbilt Hustler - October 16th, 2019
- Professor: Progress Toward Warp Drive Has Been "Enormous" - Futurism - October 16th, 2019
- Good talk: 3D printing leaders weigh in on additive's progress - The Fabricator - October 16th, 2019
- Earthquake retrofits Bay Area making progress, but still more to do - San Francisco Chronicle - October 16th, 2019
- Highways England using drones to monitor progress on major road schemes - Traffic Technology Today - October 16th, 2019
- USA Gymnastics making progress on reform, but status remains uncertain with Tokyo looming - IndyStar - October 16th, 2019
- Portland housing report shows progress, but gap in affordability persists - Press Herald - October 16th, 2019
- Union, City Making Progress in Talks to Avoid Chicago Teachers Union Strike - NBC Chicago - October 16th, 2019
- UK Football: Eddie Gran happy with progress of Sawyer Smith - A Sea Of Blue - October 16th, 2019
- European Work in Progress Cologne 2019 hands out its awards - Cineuropa - October 16th, 2019
- Lawyers push for progress on suits over 2014 explosion near Santa Paula - VC Star - October 16th, 2019
- Rabies Webinar -- An update on recent progress in human rabies prevention recommendations - World Health Organization - September 25th, 2019
- Orioles See Progress Amid Another 100-Loss Season - Forbes - September 25th, 2019
- Murdock sees progress but still more room for improvement on southern border visit - East Oregonian - September 25th, 2019
- What Dak Prescott's one mistake vs. Miami says about his progress, Dallas' defense finally emerges, and more -- Your Cowboys Catch-Up - The Dallas... - September 25th, 2019
- Stories of change: countries making progress towards universal health coverage - World Health Organization - September 25th, 2019
- Darnold making progress - Albany Times Union - September 25th, 2019
- State report points to progress in graduation rates, mixed results locally - Johnson City Press (subscription) - September 25th, 2019
- Minnesota Crop Progress & Condition Update | The Mighty 790 KFGO - KFGO News - September 25th, 2019
- UNDP, UNFCCC Global Outlook Report Assesses Progress Ahead of Five-year Paris Milestone | News - IISD Reporting Services - September 25th, 2019
- Wheres My Roy Cohn? Review: A Fixers Progress - The New York Times - September 25th, 2019
- Progress on the opioid crisis - Portsmouth Daily Times - September 25th, 2019
- VIDEO: OHA Hears About Puna's Kilauea Eruption Recovery Progress - Big Island Video News - September 25th, 2019
- One Year In, El Pueblo Shelter Sees Steady Progress - LA Downtown News Online - September 25th, 2019
- 2020 NFL Draft: Justin Herbert Continues to Progress - With the First Pick - September 25th, 2019
- "We're still a work in progress." - ABC 36 News - WTVQ - September 25th, 2019
- Musk Shares the Latest Progress on the Starship Prototypes - Universe Today - September 25th, 2019
- Total Action for Progress has a fathers first program - WFXRtv.com - September 25th, 2019
- The Cleveland Browns Are a Work in Progress - The Ringer - September 25th, 2019
- Injured Twins Max Kepler, Ehire Adrianza making progress - St. Paul Pioneer Press - September 25th, 2019
- Purdue coach Jeff Brohm says QB Elijah Sindelar is making progress in concussion recovery - Saturday Tradition - September 25th, 2019
- Orioles front office pleased with progress, fan support during trying season - NBCSports.com - September 25th, 2019
- Bill Belichick: Jakob Johnsons progress has been remarkable - NBCSports.com - September 25th, 2019
- White Sox SS Tim Andersons defense continues to be work in progress: Weve got work to do - Chicago Sun-Times - September 25th, 2019
- Illinois Crop Progress for week ending Sept. 22 | News - Agri News - September 25th, 2019
- Trump Celebrates Progress on Border Wall With Hundreds of Miles to Go - Newsweek - September 25th, 2019
- 270 Park Avenue's Shrouded Demolition Making Progress in Midtown East - New York YIMBY - September 25th, 2019
- Progress on recovering missing troops, but still a daunting task ahead - Military Times - September 25th, 2019
- Paris Agreement progress: a look at the climate goals so far - GOOD - September 25th, 2019
- Croatia's Homeland Security System Makes Huge Progress? - Total Croatia News - September 25th, 2019