The Speaker
Tuesday, 18 June 2024 – 16:37

Crisis in Catalonia: previewing a week in politics

Boris’ Brexit deal to pass?

Boris Johnson planned on putting his Brexit freshly negotiated Brexit deal on the table on so-called ‘Super Saturday’ before the Letwin amendment caused him to pull the vote. The Letwin amendment essentially said that an extension must be sought in order for greater scrutiny of the bill to take place, averting a possible no-deal if the legislation did not pass in time.

After sending a letter requesting an extension, which he was legally required to do under the Benn act (and sending a further letter saying he did not want it), the PM is expected to put the withdrawal agreement back for a vote on Monday or Tuesday.

Whispers in Westminster are suggesting that there could be enough Labour MPs planning to cross the aisle for the bill to make it past the second reading, setting it on its way to becoming law. This may still be difficult with the DUP currently against the deal, due to the creation of a customs border in the Irish sea. It is unlikely that the deal will pass, but with the government still insisting that no deal is on the table, perhaps plenty will be encouraged to cast their vote for the ayes.

Crisis in Catalonia

Last week Catalonia, in the east of Spain erupted in violence after several leaders of 2017s attempted independence referendum were sentenced to jail. The referendum was unilaterally declared by the region, which has a strong movement to become independent from the rest of Spain, with this action being considered illegal by the Spanish government in Madrid.

With the recent news that the upcoming el Clasico derby at the weekend, between Barcelona (Catalonia’s major city) and Real Madrid, has been postponed, more violence is expected. Allegations of police brutality have been rife, with videos circulating of police brutally putting down demonstrations; it is only likely that such clashes will continue again in the coming weeks.

Bernie’s bros

After his recent heart attack, Bernie Sanders campaign for president looked to be floundering. Stuck in third place, Sander’s polling numbers seemed to be falling, with Elizabeth Warren starting to look like the clear front runner as she pulled ahead of both Joe Biden and Sanders.

However, after recovering from surgery, which saw him have stents put in, Sanders put in a strong performance at the most recent primary debate, before a huge boost saw three of the biggest progressives in D.C. back his campaign. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar – the so-called ‘squad’ of young progressive women of colour who joined Congress at the 2018 midterms – all backed the Vermont Senator.

Much of their careers can be owed to the wave of progressivism that Bernie Sander’s 2016 primary challenge inspired in the United States, so it is perhaps not surprising that they have come out to support him, although some expected them to hold off until the primary season began properly in early 2020. Their endorsements will go some way to tackling the allegations that Sander’s fails to appeal to women of colour, which is likely to see an upturn in his polling numbers this week.


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