Germany disappointed by May’s Brexit plan, suggests second referendum

Britain and the EU sealed a divorce deal in November after months of tense negotiations, despite increasing opposition against Brexit. (AP)
Updated 22 January 2019
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Germany disappointed by May’s Brexit plan, suggests second referendum

  • ‘Yes, I’m disappointed ... that’s not the way forward’
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she would do all she could to make sure Britain leaves the EU with an agreement.

BERLIN: German Justice Minister Katarina Barley said on Tuesday she was disappointed by British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to break a deadlock over Brexit and suggested Britain hold a second referendum.
May on Monday sought to break the parliamentary impasse over Britain’s exit from the European Union by proposing to seek further concessions from the EU on a plan to prevent customs checks on the Irish border.
“Yes, I’m disappointed ... that’s not the way forward,” Barley told Deutschlandfunk radio. She said May had missed an opportunity to drum up support for the Brexit deal agreed with the EU.
Barley, who has both German and British citizenship, said the draft deal would not be changed. But she added there could be leeway in terms of time if there was a second referendum. “This could pacify the situation,” she said.
Michael Roth, German minister for European affairs, also expressed his disappointment with May’s speech, saying on Twitter: “Where is the plan B? Just asking for a friend ...”
A German government spokesman said late on Monday that Germany continued to advocate for an orderly exit and that it expected the British government to agree soon on proposals that are backed by a majority of parliament.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would do all she could to make sure Britain leaves the EU with an agreement.


Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, right, accompanied by Gov. Gavin Newsom, said California will probably sue President Donald Trump over his emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP)
Updated 44 min 44 sec ago
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Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency

  • The complaint added that the Department of Homeland Security had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to evaluate the environmental impact of the wall in California and New Mexico

SAN FRANCISCO: Sixteen US states sued President Donald Trump’s administration Monday over his decision to declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the southern border with Mexico, saying the move violated the constitution.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, said the president’s order was contrary to the Presentment Clause that outlines legislative procedures and the Appropriations Clause, which defines Congress as the final arbiter of public funds.
The move had been previously announced by Xavier Becerra the attorney general of California who said his state and others had legal standing because they risked losing moneys intended for military projects, disaster assistance and other purposes.
Several Republican senators have decried the emergency declaration, saying it establishes a dangerous precedent and amounts to executive overreach.
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia are party to the complaint seeking an injunction.
“Use of those additional federal funds for the construction of a border wall is contrary to Congress’s intent in violation of the US Constitution, including the Presentment Clause and Appropriations Clause,” the complaint said.
It added that Trump had “veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making.”
“Congress has repeatedly rebuffed the president’s insistence to fund a border wall, recently resulting in a record 35-day partial government shutdown over the border wall dispute,” the document read.
“After the government reopened, Congress approved, and the president signed into law, a $1.375 billion appropriation for fencing along the southern border, but Congress made clear that funding could not be used to build President Trump’s proposed border wall.”
The complaint added that the Department of Homeland Security had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to evaluate the environmental impact of the wall in California and New Mexico.
Friday’s declaration enables the president to divert funds from the Pentagon’s military construction budget and other sources.