UK leadership hopefuls vow to succeed where May failed on Brexit

first_imgLondon: The race to become Britain’s next premier opened Saturday with an array of hopefuls promising to succeed where Theresa May failed and finally pull the divided country out of the EU. But European leaders insisted they had made their final offer during months or acrimonious negotiations that resulted in an unpopular compromise for which May ended up paying with her job. The British prime minister’s voice broke on the steps of her Downing Street office when she told Britons on Friday that she was quitting on June 7. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’May is bowing out with her legacy in tatters and the country in agony over what to do about voters’ decision in 2016 to abandon the European integration project after nearly 50 years. The markets view the risk of Britain crashing out of the bloc when the twice-delayed departure date arrives on October 31 as uncomfortably high. The pound has been steadily losing value since May 6 and British business lobbies are raising the alarm. Their main concern is that current frontrunners to head May’s Conservative Party say they will get Brexit done at any cost. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China”We will leave the EU on October 31, deal or no deal,” said former foreign minister Boris Johnson in a speech delivered Friday in Switzerland. “The way to get a good deal is to prepare for no deal. To get things done you need to be prepared to walk away.” Johnson’s main challenges will come from former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab — viewed as an even more committed eurosceptic — and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Britain’s top diplomat had bitterly opposed Brexit in 2016 but has since reversed himself and made headlines in September by comparing the European Union to the evils of the former Soviet Union. The contest is being held against the backdrop of European Parliament elections that the new Brexit Party of the anti-EU populist Nigel Farage is expected to win with about a third of the vote. Polls show the Conservatives getting punished for their bickering over Brexit and finishing as low as fifth — their worst result in a national election. The contenders are also mindful of a party revolt over May’s fateful decision to court the pro-EU opposition with the promise of a second Brexit referendum. The concession was designed to help ram her withdrawal agreement through parliament on the fourth attempt.last_img read more

UN chief sends condolences to families of Malawi flood victims

In a statement released on Monday, Mr. Guterres said that he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of life and the “significant damage to people’s homes and livelihoods” caused by the heavy rains and subsequent flooding.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that the flooding has affected some 115,000 people, particularly in the south of Malawi. In a factsheet on the floods released on Saturday, OCHA warned that the number of people affected is expected to rise, as assessment teams reach new areas.The flooding has had a major impact on power supplies in Malawi: according to media reports, the country’s main utility company, EGENCO, has said that more than 80% of the country’s available hydro-electric capacity is down.On Friday, Malawian President Peter Mutharika declared a State of Emergency in the areas hit hardest by the rains and flooding, which followed the formation of a “tropical disturbance” over the Mozambique Channel earlier in the week.Search and rescue teams from Malawi’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs, have been working with local partners to deliver relief to affected people, including tents, plastic sheets, maize, rice, beans, blankets and kitchen utensils, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Homeland Security.The United Nations expressed its solidarity with the Malawian authorities, and committed to support them as they respond to the humanitarian needs of the population: the UN response has involved several main agencies. The World Food Programme (WFP) has deployed two boats to accompany the assessment and response; the UN Childrens’ Fund (UNICEF) is providing drones; and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with the WFP, will support mapping using satellite imagery. read more