SNP brutally slapped down after Brexit warning – 'They don't want democracy in UK!'

She told MPs: “The Prime Minister referred to Northern Ireland and said, ‘this is a good deal’ when he struck it last year. Now he seems to disagree with himself.

“No wonder it’s reported today that the head of the UK Government Legal Department has just quit because of the rowing back of the withdrawal agreement and Northern Ireland.

“Their internal market bill is taking a wrecking ball to devolution, they’re hell-bent on a poor deal or no deal Brexit, to hang with implications, but using the internal market bill to renege on part of the withdrawal agreement is extraordinary and dangerous.

“Can the minister explain what discussions he’s had with cabinet colleagues about the impact of these plans on Northern Irish business and the Good Friday Agreement?”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson told to ‘be bold’ & tear up Brexit withdrawal agreement

Mr Lewis shot back: “We have a distinct difference of opinion because whereas the SNP want to hand back powers straight to Brussels, we the UK Government are certifiably clear that we want to take those powers back for the residents and citizens of the United Kingdom.

“Indeed we will be devolving power to the devolved authorities, something that we have outlined in our discussions with the devolved authorities, including the First Minister of Scotland.

“This is about taking power from the EU, as people voted for, and giving it back to the people of the United Kingdom, including the Scottish Parliament.

“I’m just sorry that the SNP don’t share the desire to see democracy exercised here in the UK.”

EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier warned that respecting the Irish protocol is vital for peace and future partnership.

Brexit talks are set to resume for the eight-round this week but now tensions are high.

The Government’s legislation could change the nature of Northern Ireland customs arrangements.

However, there are fears that this could lead to a hard Irish border and therefore jeopardise the Good Friday Agreement.

Under the withdrawal agreement’s Irish protocol, Northern Ireland effectively remains in the EU’s customs union in order to avoid customs checks.



Ruth Davidson makes hilariously brutal jab at Sturgeon after claim she loves democracy

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attempted to defend her push for independence despite there being other crucial issues in Scotland. Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson made a dig at Ms Sturgeon after the First Minister claimed she wanted an independent Scotland referendum because she respected and believed in democracy. Ms Sturgeon said:”On a basic matter of democracy, I believe it is for the people of Scotland to choose their own future.

“I will argue that case in a democratic election.

“People will have the ability to decide in the way that they vote.

“If they endorse my view, that there should be a referendum on independence, people will then have the right to choose Scotland’s future.

“Fundamentally I believe in democracy.

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“I think we now know that Ruth Davidson doesn’t.”

Ms Davidson sharply replied: “It seems Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t believe in democracy when she doesn’t like the answer.”

More to follow… 



Royal coup: Juan Carlos' astonishing role in plot to overthrow democracy exposed

Juan Carlos has left Spain for an unknown destination this week after he was linked to an inquiry into alleged corruption. The 82-year-old announced the move on Monday in a letter to his son, whom he handed power to in 2014. It came after Spain’s Supreme Court opened an investigation into the alleged involvement of Juan Carlos in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia.

The BBC’s Nike Beake called the links “humiliating” after Juan Carlos appeared set to go down in history as a hero after manoeuvring Spain from a fascist dictatorship after the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975 to the modern democracy it is today.

He abdicated in 2014 after nearly 40 years as King following a corruption investigation involving his daughter’s husband and a controversial elephant hunting trip the monarch took during Spain’s financial crisis.

The most recent incident will, many argue, likely tarnish Juan Carlos’ name.

Yet, the former King made a memorable and historic move in 1981 when he curtailed a right-wing coup.

If successful, the coup would have effectively plunged Spain back into the fascist regime it had only recently escaped in the Seventies.

The decisive moment came on Monday 23 February, 1981.

Spain was thrown into a state of political confusion after around 200 soldiers and members of the paramilitary Civil Guard stormed the country’s parliament, the Cortes, firing automatic weapons and shouting orders.

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Those inside parliament were held at gunpoint for 18 hours, demanding power be handed over with plans to reinstate Francoism.

It was during this time that Juan Carlos, in the symbolic uniform of the Captain-General of the Spanish armed forces, gave a publicly televised broadcast denouncing the coup and calling for the Cortes’ democratic proceedings to continue.

The broadcast is considered to have been instrumental in forcing the rebels to surrender and eventually free the captive MPs.

Juan Carlos ordered the armed forces to take all the necessary measures to crush the coup, and said: “The Crown cannot tolerate in any form any act which tries to interfere with the constitution which has been approved by the Spanish people.”

He told junior ministers in the national Cabinet “to constitute themselves into permanent session, to guarantee the governing of the country within civilian rules”.

Coup leaders had previously told supporters they had the underpinning of the King – yet the broadcast immediately disproved this.

So influential was Juan Carlos’ move that even anti-monarchists pledged their support for the King.

When he ascended the throne, Communist leader Santiago Carrillo predicted that the monarchy would soon make way for another Franco-like era.

Carillo, however, gave an emotional speech following the failed coup, remarking: “Today, we are all monarchists.”

Following the King’s handling of the coup, public and political support for the monarchy sky-rocketed.



China furiously threatens UK will 'bare the consequences' for standing up for democracy

Earlier this week Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming threatened British resolve to stand with the pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong who are imperiled by the new security law. The law that was imposed on Hong Kong via dictat from Beijing has already been used to arrest ten citizens for “acts of secession, subversion of state power, terrorist activities and collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security”. Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming tweeted: “China wants to be UK’s friend and partner.

“But if you treat China as a hostile country, you would have to bear the consequences.

“To quote Dr Zbigniew Brzezinski: If we treat China like an enemy, they will become an enemy.

“It’s up to UK side to decide what they want in the end.”

He also warned: “Any attempts to disrupt or obstruct implementation of the National Security Law will be met with strong opposition of 1.4 billion Chinese people.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has defended the UK’s stance against the new security law (Image: GETTY)

“All these attempts are doomed to failure!”

The Chinese ambassador to the UK also held a briefing at London’s exclusive Walbrook Club in a bid to ensure the business community that the new security law would not affect international financial institutions.

Speaking to Express.co.uk senior fellow at the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute Andreas Fulda said: “The case of Australia shows that the Chinese Communist Party has no qualms to follow through with its threats of retaliation.

“In the latter case, an entirely reasonable request for an independent international inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 was enough to trigger a major crisis in the bilateral relationship.

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Pro democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong

Pro democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong (Image: GETTY)

“Chinese economic sanctions against Australia were the result.”

Mr Fulda who is author of The Struggle for Democracy in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong added: “It doesn’t take a PhD in International Relations to foresee that UK-China relations are going to deteriorate markedly in the coming weeks and months.

“There are increasing points of conflict, whether it is the incarceration of Uyghurs and Kazakhs, the suppression of Hong Kong’s democracy movement or the threat of retaliatory measures should the British government ditch Huawei.”

Mr Fulda spoke of the future of Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G upgrade as nearing a “U-turn” that could see other European countries following the UK’s example and excluding Huawei from their infrastructure.

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Hong Kong police

Hong Kong police (Image: GETTY)

Xi Jinping has ratified the new security law for Hong Kong

Xi Jinping has ratified the new security law for Hong Kong (Image: GETTY)

He said: “Government leaks to the British media have prepared the public for a U-turn on Huawei, which will most likely be excluded from 5G infrastructure building.

“This will incur the wrath of General Secretary Xi Jinping, not least since other European countries are likely to follow the British example.

“This would be a major set back for the Chinese Communist Party’s ambitions to separate the UK and mainland Europe from the United States.

“Add to this the likelihood of targeted Magnitsky sanctions by the British government on mainland Chinese and Hong Kong-based decision-makers who are complicit with the implementation of the illiberal National Security Law.

Hong Kong police in riot gear

Hong Kong police in riot gear (Image: GETTY)

“While it is debatable how much of a deterrent such sanctions on individuals will be for the regime, such acts will be met by stern opposition from the CCP.”

Mr Fulda has predicted that UK-China relations will enter a downward spiral of measures and counter-measures that could see a ripple effect across Europe.

He has stated that there are already influential voices in Germany who have called for greater European solidarity with their British partners.

Mr Fulda said: “This will put additional pressure on Germany to toughen up its China policy.

Hong Kong police

Hong Kong police (Image: GETTY)

“Germany currently holds the six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

“The Chinese Communist Party thus has very few good strategic options.

“If it doesn’t follow through with its retaliatory measures against the UK it will be exposed as a paper dragon.

“And if it does retaliate this will set a chain effect in motion which has the potential to lead to a united front of European liberal democracies against the Chinese Communist Party.

“The Chinese Communist Party thus faces a lose-lose scenario.”



China panic: Democracy across entire GLOBE in danger – Hague issues dire warning

Beijing has imposed a controversial new security law on Hong Kong, that has sent shockwaves throughout the world and led to several global superpowers, including the UK, to intervene and threaten punishment on the country in retaliation. These laws allow for life imprisonment for actions deemed as sedition, subversion, terrorism or foreign collusion, and threatens foreigners with punishment if they criticise Beijing’s actions in the city. Now China’s enforcement of their communist mantra has intensified after books to do with ‘pro-democracy’ were removed from libraries and authorities demanded schools and nurseries teach their pupils to obey the new security law.

Authorities in Hong Kong announced that nine books, including two by Joshua Wong, one of the leaders of the pro-democracy protests, were under review for “compliance” with the new law.

In response to this, Mr Hague, wao is also a former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, wrote in The Daily Telegraph: “What do we learn from Wong’s new book, that helps us understand why an immensely powerful state wants to suppress the thoughts of a 23 year-old activist and has previously held him in prison? Why is he such a threat that his every word has to be hunted down, pulped or burned?

“He recounts the warming feelings towards China among his generation at the time of the 2008 Olympics, accompanied by the hope that “one country, two systems” might actually work.

“But then he explains how this went sour as the commitment to universal suffrage in Hong Kong was abandoned, and Xi Jinping, “a wolf in panda’s clothing”, came to power. A new political identity, of “unbelonging towards the motherland”, was thus forged.

hong kong china

China news: Hong Kong has been left furious by the controversial new security law (Image: GETTY)

hong kong security law

China news: The people of Hong Kong have protested against the security law from China (Image: GETTY)

“My main reflection on Wong’s book, however, is that the central weaknesses of both western democracy and Chinese totalitarianism are exposed. In the case of the West, that weakness is our complacency, our indifference to growing dangers, our easy assumption that we are too smart to be undermined from outside.

“It takes a young activist from the other side of the world to point out to European and American readers that autocratic regimes, including Russia, are mounting a serious threat to free societies.”

Mr Hague details the huge effort by the Russian state under the presidency of Vladimir Putin to “sow discord in western countries and corrode their unity”.

But he explains the situation in China is slightly different, as “their political leaders become less willing to confront an aggressive foreign policy or human rights abuses”, leading to a dangerous precedent of democracy being slowly “eroded”.

READ MORE: China erupts accusing UK of spreading LIES over Hong Kong security law

hong kong protests

China news: Violent protests have erupted throughout Hong Kong (Image: GETTY)

The former Conservative leader says: “China’s undermining of democracy is more subtle, and almost a by-product of becoming the world’s first or second economy with centralised control of huge enterprises and cutting-edge technology.

“As China’s stake in western economies increases, their political leaders become less willing to confront an aggressive foreign policy or human rights abuses. As China becomes an indispensable market for western corporations, they feel ever more bound to refrain from criticism.

“Slowly, inexorably, the freedom to think or speak differently globally is being eroded.”

But Mr Hague claims that while some democracies have previously been slow to react to such threats, some are now starting to fight back.

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william hague

China news: William Hague has warned global democracy is in serious danger (Image: GETTY)

william hague democracy

Cina news: William Hague has sent a huge warning to the world (Image: GETTY)

He uses the example of the UK working on new legislation to block foreign takeovers impacting on key technologies and national security, promising consultations on closing loopholes on foreign spending in elections, and establishing a new Counter Disinformation Cell.

The former Conservative leader also commends the decision to open the country’s borders to Hong Kong’s residents as a result of the ongoing action from China.

But he warns: “Far more will need to be done, by many more countries and in co-ordination with each other, for these efforts to be successful. American leadership, paralysed by White House refusal to accept the scale of Russian involvement in the last presidential election, will be vital.

“The idea of the G7 working with Asian democracies such as Japan, South Korea and India is the right one, but at the moment, most people in advanced democracies do not realise what is happening, and those hurling abuse at each other on social media are oblivious to how they are manipulated from afar.

“Wong says he is ‘sending out a distress signal to the world so that counter-measures can be taken before it is too late’. We should listen to him, for in focusing on our tardiness in protecting ourselves he is spot on.

“Yet his diagnosis of the ultimate flaw in autocratic regimes is also correct: that they continually have to double down on repression at home and showing strength abroad.

“He argues that such a two-front strategy is the only way to retain power, “however invincible and invulnerable they appear to the outside world”. This is indeed China’s problem.

“The price of pushing forward the border with India on land, clashing with Vietnam at sea, bullying Australia on trade and suppressing dissent in Hong Kong with arbitrary law is mounting alarm around the world.”



Democracy under attack! Hong Kong reveals details of China's new security law

These new rules will also be overseen and enforced by a new mainland agency with the powers of the state behind it. The idea is that with these new powers, the agency would be able to take over some cases and operate in the city without falling under local jurisdiction. Released late on Tuesday night was a six-chapter (66 articles) full draft of the controversial legislation.

The full text was released only after it became effective in the city amid widespread concerns about its implications, despite official reassurances that only a small minority would be targeted.

It lists four categories of offences:

Secession – breaking away from the country
Subversion – undermining the power or authority of the central government
Terrorism – using violence or intimidation against people
Collusion with foreign or external forces or external elements to endanger national security.

Although the suggested sentence for some minor offences is less than three years’ in jail, the maximum penalty for each crime is life imprisonment.

However, some suspects can also be extradited to mainland China, but only for cases that involve “complicated situations”.

This is usually to do with interference by foreign forces; cases in which the local government cannot effectively enforce the law and ones where national security is under “serious and realistic threats”.

For those cases in which Beijing exercises jurisdiction, a mainland agency that will be established in Hong Kong to enforce national security will carry out investigations and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate will assign authorities to lead the prosecution.

READ MORE:

Hong Kong doctors must swear an oath of allegiance to Xi Jinping

The law also grants wide powers to mainland agents stationed in Hong Kong.

Under Article 60, the officers and the vehicles they use to carry out their duties are not subject to checks by local law enforcement.

Professor Fu Hualing, law dean at the University of Hong Kong, said the provisions concerning Beijing’s jurisdictions over “very few cases” allowed for a large degree of discretion, which remained to be clearly defined.



Donald Trump is ‘worse than Putin’ and undermining American democracy claims academic

This comes four years after the author predicted that President Trump would turn the US into an autocracy. Masha Gessen is a Russian-American author and columnist for the New Yorker magazine and has been writing about the Russian President Vladimir Putin for two decades.

In 2016, after Donald Trump was elected president in the US, Gessen argued in an essay that the US President should not be regarded as a regular politician.

They also predicted Mr Trump would attempt to transform the US into a Putin-style autocracy.

In Gessen’s new book, Surviving Autocracy, they argue the US President is coming close to achieving autocratic rule.

Speaking to the Guardian, Gessen said: “If you look at the essay, I think it holds up awfully well, unfortunately.

“There’s nothing in it that I would walk back.

“At the same time, a lot of the things that have happened in the past three years have shocked me.”

Gessen described how Mr Trump’s decision to walk to St John’s church to take a photograph holding a bible was something that stunned them.

They said: “The iconography of that, including the clearing of the square with tear gas, the Black Hawk helicopters – it was chilling.”

READ MORE: WW3 fears – Russian bombers scrambled after US spy plane exposed

“They share a lot of characteristics although they are temperamentally extremely different men.

“They both have this contempt for excellence, they both have a hatred of government, and they both have this way of campaigning against government as such, even as presidents of their respective countries.”

Gessen explained that President Putin is less cynical because he has an idea that Russia would fall apart if he stepped away.

They added: “Trump doesn’t even have that delusion.

“It’s all power and money in their purest form.

“And you could dig as deep as you want, you would never find a shred of responsibility.”

Gessen went on to talk about how the police throughout America have “brutally targeted” the media during the Black Lives Matter protests.

They argued this has been caused by Mr Trump’s continuous vilification of the press over the past four years.

They said: “That’s something that I saw as a foreign correspondent in war zones where there was really no sense of any kind of rules or laws.

“This happened because for the past four years Trump has been vilifying the media, portraying the media as the enemy of the people, as part of the problem, as part of the great conspiracy to unseat him. And that’s very terrifying.”



Donald Trump is ‘worse than Putin’ and undermining American democracy claims academic

This comes four years after the author predicted that President Trump would turn the US into an autocracy. Masha Gessen is a Russian-American author and columnist for the New Yorker magazine and has been writing about the Russian President Vladimir Putin for two decades.

In 2016, after Donald Trump was elected president in the US, Gessen argued in an essay that the US President should not be regarded as a regular politician.

They also predicted Mr Trump would attempt to transform the US into a Putin-style autocracy.

In Gessen’s new book, Surviving Autocracy, they argue the US President is coming close to achieving autocratic rule.

Speaking to the Guardian, Gessen said: “If you look at the essay, I think it holds up awfully well, unfortunately.

“There’s nothing in it that I would walk back.

“At the same time, a lot of the things that have happened in the past three years have shocked me.”

Gessen described how Mr Trump’s decision to walk to St John’s church to take a photograph holding a bible was something that stunned them.

They said: “The iconography of that, including the clearing of the square with tear gas, the Black Hawk helicopters – it was chilling.”

READ MORE: WW3 fears – Russian bombers scrambled after US spy plane exposed

“They share a lot of characteristics although they are temperamentally extremely different men.

“They both have this contempt for excellence, they both have a hatred of government, and they both have this way of campaigning against government as such, even as presidents of their respective countries.”

Gessen explained that President Putin is less cynical because he has an idea that Russia would fall apart if he stepped away.

They added: “Trump doesn’t even have that delusion.

“It’s all power and money in their purest form.

“And you could dig as deep as you want, you would never find a shred of responsibility.”

Gessen went on to talk about how the police throughout America have “brutally targeted” the media during the Black Lives Matter protests.

They argued this has been caused by Mr Trump’s continuous vilification of the press over the past four years.

They said: “That’s something that I saw as a foreign correspondent in war zones where there was really no sense of any kind of rules or laws.

“This happened because for the past four years Trump has been vilifying the media, portraying the media as the enemy of the people, as part of the problem, as part of the great conspiracy to unseat him. And that’s very terrifying.”



China branded biggest threat to US' economy and democracy in shocking new claims

Wray made the comments during an interview with Fox News reporter Bret Baier on Wednesday this week.

The fierce accusations came as part of a talk that touched on a variety of issues within the US at present, including President Trump and civil unrest.

Asked about foreign influence in the US, Wray said that China was the nation with which the FBI was most concerned.

He said: “There’s no country that presents a broader or more comprehensive threat to America’s innovation, to our economic security and to our democratic ideas than China does.”

Wray claimed that the FBI currently has more than 2,000 active investigations that “trace back” to China.

He also said that there had been a 1,300 percent increase in economic espionage investigations compared to around 10 years ago.

“This is not about the Chinese people or Chinese Americans,” he added. “This is about the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party.

“They’re pursuing a campaign of intellectual property theft, economic espionage, cyber-intrusions, that target businesses big and small all across the country, and our academic research institutions.”

Wray claimed that the government sometimes did not carry out such activities directly through government officials, but through what the FBI referred to as “non-traditional collectors”.

These could be, for example, businessmen or high-level scientists and academics that have been in some way incentivised to “steal American innovation”.

READ: No10 to be ‘tough’ with US in Brexit trade talks and ‘fight for Britain’

Wray was also asked about any updates into the FBI’s investigations into the origins of the Covid-19 outbreak, which has been a source of tension between the US and China.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been one of the most outspoken figures from the US in this regard.

At the start of May, he claimed there was “enormous evidence” that the Covid-19 outbreak had started from a lab in Wuhan, but did not provide any details of this evidence.

However, around two weeks later the US official seemed to back off slightly from the accusations, telling news outlet Breitbart that “we know it began in Wuhan, but we don’t know from where or from whom”.

During the Fox interview this week, Wray told Baier that he had “nothing to add” to what US intelligence authorities have already said publicly on the issue.

He said: “There’s still insufficient information to really know exactly how the virus emanated from Wuhan”.



China branded biggest threat to US' economy and democracy in shocking new claims

Wray made the comments during an interview with Fox News reporter Bret Baier on Wednesday this week.

The fierce accusations came as part of a talk that touched on a variety of issues within the US at present, including President Trump and civil unrest.

Asked about foreign influence in the US, Wray said that China was the nation with which the FBI was most concerned.

He said: “There’s no country that presents a broader or more comprehensive threat to America’s innovation, to our economic security and to our democratic ideas than China does.”

Wray claimed that the FBI currently has more than 2,000 active investigations that “trace back” to China.

He also said that there had been a 1,300 percent increase in economic espionage investigations compared to around 10 years ago.

“This is not about the Chinese people or Chinese Americans,” he added. “This is about the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party.

“They’re pursuing a campaign of intellectual property theft, economic espionage, cyber-intrusions, that target businesses big and small all across the country, and our academic research institutions.”

Wray claimed that the government sometimes did not carry out such activities directly through government officials, but through what the FBI referred to as “non-traditional collectors”.

These could be, for example, businessmen or high-level scientists and academics that have been in some way incentivised to “steal American innovation”.

READ: No10 to be ‘tough’ with US in Brexit trade talks and ‘fight for Britain’

Wray was also asked about any updates into the FBI’s investigations into the origins of the Covid-19 outbreak, which has been a source of tension between the US and China.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been one of the most outspoken figures from the US in this regard.

At the start of May, he claimed there was “enormous evidence” that the Covid-19 outbreak had started from a lab in Wuhan, but did not provide any details of this evidence.

However, around two weeks later the US official seemed to back off slightly from the accusations, telling news outlet Breitbart that “we know it began in Wuhan, but we don’t know from where or from whom”.

During the Fox interview this week, Wray told Baier that he had “nothing to add” to what US intelligence authorities have already said publicly on the issue.

He said: “There’s still insufficient information to really know exactly how the virus emanated from Wuhan”.