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Bitesized Blighty: October 18, 2019

Hector Don

  • Boris Johnson’s hopes of leading Britain out of the EU on October 31 were hanging in the balance last night, after he secured a Brexit deal in Brussels but faced the threat that it could be scuppered in the House of Commons. The Democratic Unionist Party said it would oppose the deal, which would introduce customs barriers between the region and the rest of the UK. Mr Johnson told colleagues that without the support of the 10 DUP MPs for his deal, which was agreed swiftly in Brussels on Thursday after months of haggling, he could not be certain of winning a crucial Commons vote on Saturday.
  • On Monday evening, the Metropolitan Police imposed a blanket ban on Extinction Rebellion’s London protest, prompting a number of high-profile protestors to call the move ‘unlawful, disproportionate and breach of rights to freedom of expression and assembly’. The Met justified the action, stating that the protests had been excessively disruptive and protesters had repeatedly failed to stick to an order to remain only in the pedestrianised area of Trafalgar square. More than 1,640 protesters have been arrested in London since the start of the group’s “October rebellion”.
  • Prince William and Catherine are currently on a four-day official visit to Pakistan. On Thursday, A Royal Air Force plane carrying the couple aborted a landing after being caught in a severe thunderstorm. The RAF Voyager twice tried to land in Islamabad - at Rawalpindi air base and the main airport - before returning to Lahore, from where they had departed. 

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