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Theresa May Appoints Sajid Javid as UK Home Secretary

Following Javid's promotion, the Downing Street also announced that former Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire will return to the cabinet as Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary.

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In a Tuesday radio interview International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said it was not acceptable for the unelected House of Lords to try to block the democratic will of the British people, who voted by a 52-48 margin in June, 2016 to leave the EU.
The Independent newspaper Tuesday night reported that May was preparing for a Brexit meeting with select cabinet ministers Wednesday at which they will try to come up with a joint position on post-withdrawal customs relations following rejection of Britain's existing proposals. wikimedia commons

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday named Sajid Javid, the son of a Pakistani bus driver, the new Home Secretary following Amber Rudd’s resignation for “inadvertently misleading” MPs over targets for removing illegal immigrants.

Javid, whose family came to the UK in the 1960s, is currently Communities, Local Government and Housing Secretary, reports the BBC. He is also the first member of an ethnic minority to hold the position.

The 48-year-old former investment banker and MP for Bromsgrove had also served as the Business and Culture Secretaries.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday named Sajid Javid, the son of a Pakistani bus driver, the new Home Secretary following Amber Rudd's resignation for "inadvertently misleading" MPs over targets for removing illegal immigrants.
Sajid Javid, wikimedia commons

“The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Sajid Javid MP as Secretary of State for the Home Department,” the Downing Street said.

Rudd handed her resignation papers to May on Sunday night. Her exit followed weeks of revelations about the treatment of “Windrush generation” of Caribbean immigrants, who settled legally in post-war Britain but whose right-to-remain has been questioned, and controversy over the government’s “hostile environment” immigration policy.

Following Javid’s promotion, the Downing Street also announced that former Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire will return to the cabinet as Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary.

Javid, who first entered Parliament in 2010 and supported remaining in the European Union despite being regarded as a Eurosceptic, led the government’s response to last year’s Grenfell fire disaster.

Over the weekend, he told the Sunday Telegraph the Windrush scandal felt “very personal”.

“I’m a second-generation migrant. My parents came to this country from Pakistan just like the Windrush generation.

“They came to this country after the Second World War to help rebuild it… My dad worked in a cotton mill, he worked as a bus driver.

“When I heard about the Windrush issue, I thought that could’ve been my mum, dad, uncle or me.”

Rudd’s resignation after the Guardian revealed that in a leaked 2017 letter to May, Rudd had told the Prime Minister of her intention to increase deportations by 10 per cent, seemingly at odds with her denials that she was aware of deportation targets.

Also Read: Imran Khan Elaborates 11-Point Agenda For New Pakistan

She was due to appear in the House of Commons on Monday to explain the revelation.

Speculation about her future had swirled on April 27, as the Home Office and Downing Street failed to respond to claims that she was aware of targets for removing illegal migrants from Britain.

On April 26, May had apologised to the UK’s black community in a letter she sent to the national Afro-Caribbean daily, The Voice, saying: “We have let you down and I am deeply sorry. But apologies alone are not good enough. We must urgently right this historic wrong.” (IANS)

 

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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May Survives Through Vote Of No-Confidence

If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?

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Theresa May
Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Jan. 16, 2019. VOA

British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in parliament Wednesday, one day after lawmakers voted overwhelmingly against her plan to divorce Britain from the European Union.

Surviving the vote enables May to refocus on getting a Brexit deal through parliament. She has until Monday to offer a new proposal to the House of Commons, but it isn’t clear what she will propose.

Shortly after the 325 to 306 vote allowing May to remain in office, she invited party leaders for Brexit talks Wednesday night.

More talks?

May said before the vote Wednesday that Britain would leave the EU on the March 29 target date, and that the bloc would only consider extending the negotiating period if there were a realistic exit plan.

Aides to the prime minister said she will try to buy more time and return to Brussels to try to cajole EU leaders into a renegotiation.

EU leaders have repeatedly rejected the possibility of renegotiations since the deal was concluded in November, but British officials hope Brussels now may offer enough concessions to secure parliamentary backing on a replayed vote on an amended deal.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labor Party, filed a motion of no confidence in the government immediately after the result Tuesday.

Britain would have held a general election had May lost the vote. Most analysts said they expected her to survive the vote, and the minority Northern Ireland party she relies on to keep her minority government in office had said it would back the government.

Tuesday’s vote was the biggest parliamentary reversal ever handed a sitting government, with lawmakers — including more than 100 rebels from her ruling Conservative Party — refusing to endorse the highly contentious Brexit deal.

Britain, May
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labor Party, talks during a no-confidence debate after Parliament rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal, in London, Jan. 16, 2019. VOA

The government’s defeat plunged into greater disarray Britain’s scheduled March 29 exit from the EU. Major questions remain about how and whether it will happen.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said Wednesday that after the British parliament’s rejection of a draft agreement detailing the country’s divorce from the EU, the risk of reaching the deadline with no deal in place is higher than ever.

The vote against the agreement was the biggest parliamentary reversal ever handed a sitting government, with lawmakers, including more than 100 rebels from her ruling Conservative party, refusing to endorse the highly contentious Brexit deal.

Just 202 lawmakers backed May’s deal with 432 voting against it. The defeat dwarfed the previous 1924 record when then-Labor Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald lost a vote by 166, triggering the collapse of his government and a general election, which he lost.

After the vote, May said, “The vote tells us nothing” about what the House of Commons would agree to regarding Brexit.

Second referendum

Britain, May
A pro-European demonstrator protests in front of a Leaver campaign board opposite the Houses of Parliament in London, Jan. 15, 2019, ahead of lawmakers’ vote on whether to accept British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Later, the plan was soundly defeated. Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29. VOA

The defeat of May’s plan will give further momentum to a burgeoning campaign in the House of Commons, and among Remainers in the country, for a second referendum, according to analysts. Remainers hope a replayed referendum would reverse the Brexit plebiscite of 2016, which Leavers narrowly won.

The vote on the deal — which originally was due in December but was delayed by the government when it became clear there was insufficient backing for it to pass — also leaves hanging in the balance May’s future as prime minister. Her aides maintained at the end of a day of high political drama that she wouldn’t resign.

“She is the person who has to deliver Brexit,” said British Business Minister Claire Perry, who said May didn’t need to resign.

“There will be other attempts at this. There will be strenuous efforts to improve on the deal,” Perry said.

The sheer scale of the defeat throws into doubt whether even a reshaped Brexit Withdrawal Agreement would secure parliamentary approval in the future, even if the EU is prepared to reopen negotiations.

Britain, May
British Business Minister Claire Perry arrives to attend a Cabinet meeting at Downing Street in London, Jan. 15, 2019. VOA

‘Hopelessly optimistic’

“Her Plan B, more of the same, is hopelessly optimistic,” said commentator Isabel Oakeshott.

Also Read: British Lawmakers Rejects Brexit Deal, PM Faces Vote Of No-Confidence

EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted when news of the historic vote broke: “I take note with regret of the outcome of the vote in the House of Commons this evening. I urge the UK to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. Time is almost up.”

EU President Donald Tusk reflected the frustration of many in Brussels, tweeting: “If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?” (VOA)