EU pushes Brexit Britain to name new commissioner – Reuters
- The European Union pressed Britain on Tuesday to name a representative for the new executive European Commission despite the country’s planned departure for the bloc.
- With campaigning underway for a national election on Dec. 12, the British government has so far shown little interest in the matter after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to delay Brexit for a third time, until Jan. 31.
- But the EU is keen to press ahead with the launch of its new commission on Dec. 1, which will be headed by the German Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman to hold that post.
- The body, which normally comprises of one representative from each member state, holds powers including negotiating international trade deals, policing members states’ finances and proposing EU-wide laws on a range of topics including the environment and migration.
- A spokeswoman for von der Leyen said in Brussels on Tuesday that London has failed to reply to a letter from her asking it to name a commissioner.
- Under EU laws, Britain is obliged to propose a name. The other 27 EU states also made clear London needs to do that when they granted Johnson the latest Brexit delay last month.
Brexit Party MEP quits as candidate – BBC
- The Brexit Party’s MEP for Scotland has quit as a general election candidate in protest at its decision not to field candidates in seats held by the Tories.
- Louis Stedman-Bryce said he backed an agreement with the Conservatives in Scotland to help fight the SNP.
- But he said he could not support the UK-wide arrangement because he does not approve of Boris Johnson’s proposed Brexit deal.
- He said he had made the decision not to stand in the election with a “heavy heart“, adding: “Whilst I supported a localised agreement with the Tories in Scotland to help prevent the onslaught of the SNP, I cannot support standing down PPC’s across all Tory seats.“
Tory MPs fear Boris Johnson ready to sacrifice southern seats – Financial Times
- Conservative MPs who are retiring at the general election fear Boris Johnson is prepared to sacrifice Conservative seats in southern England with a party manifesto aimed at winning over Labour voters in the Midlands and the north.
- Keith Simpson, who is stepping down as Conservative MP for Broadland in Norfolk, said it was “almost impossible” to frame a manifesto that would win over Leave-voting Labour constituencies in the north while fending off a challenge by the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrat party in the south.
- Another retiring Tory MP said that colleagues in southern seats who were fighting the December 12 election feared they would be “collateral damage” in Mr Johnson’s strategy to secure a parliamentary majority by seizing seats in the north with a pro-Brexit, big-spending manifesto.
- But Mr Johnson’s team said the manifesto, expected to be published in the last week of November, would not just be aimed at wooing Labour constituencies in the north, but also defending wealthier Tory seats with small majorities in the south.