UK’s Johnson opposes adopting any new EU rules during Brexit transition

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street after a cabinet meeting, in London, November 15, 2016. (REUTERS)
Updated 24 September 2017
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UK’s Johnson opposes adopting any new EU rules during Brexit transition

LONDON: British foreign minister Boris Johnson will oppose any move to adopt European Union regulations made after Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported, risking reigniting divisions over Brexit.
Johnson, who campaigned to leave the EU in last year’s referendum, is one of Britain’s highest-profile politicians and seen as a possible replacement for Prime Minister Theresa May. On Friday, he praised a speech by May in which she set out her plan for a roughly two-year transition period after Brexit.
But the Telegraph reported that Johnson had set out a new set of demands, reviving talk of a split among May’s senior ministers which has the potential to destabilize her minority government.
“Boris will be one of those Cabinet ministers pushing to make sure we don’t have any new EU rules and regulations during the transition,” a cabinet source was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Johnson had fueled talk of a leadership challenge ahead of May’s speech by publishing his own 4,000-word plan for Brexit which was seen as a criticism of May’s more cautious approach.
May’s transition plan, set out in the Italian city of Florence in a speech that sought to break an impasse in negotiations with the EU, underlined the importance of regulation to the future economic relationship with the bloc.
She highlighted the fact that Britain and the EU start with identical regulatory standards and said she wanted “a practical approach to regulation that enables us to continue to work together in bringing shared prosperity to our peoples.”
She did not say whether she thought EU regulations passed during the transition period would be matched by Britain but said, on EU law, that British courts would be able to take European Courts of Justice rulings into account.
May’s Brexit minister David Davis said he did expect British and EU regulations to diverge over time after Brexit.


10 killed in Nicaragua protests against pension reform plan

Updated 15 min 14 sec ago
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10 killed in Nicaragua protests against pension reform plan

  • Students from Polytechnic University have been holed up on their campus since Thursday evading police.
  • Murillo compared the protesters to "vampires demanding blood to feed their political agenda."
MANAGUA: Violent protests against a proposed change to Nicaragua's pension system have left at least 10 people dead over two days, the government said Friday.
In the biggest protests in President Daniel Ortega's 11 years in office in this poor Central American country, people are angry over the plan because workers and employers would have to chip in more toward the retirement system.
The government is willing to hold a dialogue and Ortega will issue a formal call on Saturday, Vice President Rosario Murillo said, adding: "At least 10 compatriots have died."
Demonstrations rocked the capital Managua and nearby cities for a third day.
The new law, besides increasing employer and employee contributions, would cut the overall pension amount by five percent.
"We are against these reforms, which means we're against this government taking from the pockets of Nicaraguans," said Juan Bautista.
He said riot police brutally attacked demonstrators like him because "the dictator does not like people to protest."
A woman nearby shouted: "The people are tired of this repression!"
Students from Polytechnic University have been holed up on their campus since Thursday evading police. Other students took refuge in nearby buildings or residences.
In Las Colinas, south of the capital, demonstrators raised small barricades and with their hands raised asked the riot police not to target them.
Four independent television outlets were taken off the air after they broadcast the demonstrations on Thursday, and two were still blocked on Friday.
Murillo compared the protesters to "vampires demanding blood to feed their political agenda."
The opposition said more than 20 people were wounded while the writers group Pen Nicaragua said that at least 11 journalists were attacked while covering the demonstrations.
"We call on the Nicaraguan authorities to act to prevent further attacks on demonstrators and on the media," said Liz Throssell, spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights."
She urged the government to let people "exercise their right to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly and association," and urged protesters to demonstrate "peacefully."
She also said demonstrators were attacked by government supporters in the city of Masaya.
Miguel Mora, director of the private television channel 100% Noticias -- which the government blocked -- accused Ortega of applying the same censorship he imposed in the 1980s during the Sandinista Revolution.
When Ortega returned to power in 2007 he promised to "never censor a media outlet -- and today he is doing just that," Mora told Channel 14.