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The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has responded to the suggestion that Parliament could be prorogued as a means of facilitating a No Deal Brexit. Addressing MPs yesterday, Bercow said, “Parliament will not be evacuated from the centre stage of the decision-making process on this important matter. That is simply not going to happen.” This comes after Conservative leadership contender and former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab refused to rule out such a course of action. Leader of the Commons, Mel Stride, told MPs that the matter of a prorogation was “ultimately in the gift of the Queen,” adding, “I think Her Majesty should be kept out of the politics of our Parliament, and I am sure that matter will be in the forefront for those who toy with such decisions in the future.”
Meanwhile, several Conservative leadership contenders including Health Secretary Matt Hancock, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, former Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom, and former Universities minister Sam Gyimah have ruled out the possibility of seeking a prorogation as a course of action in the context of the Brexit negotiations. Writing to colleagues yesterday, Hancock said, “A policy on Brexit to prorogue Parliament would mean the end of the Conservative Party as a serious party of government.”
Separately, Prime Minister Theresa May will officially resign today as leader of the Conservative Party, but will remain in office until a successor is chosen. This comes as 10 Downing Street ruled out commencing the Commons summer recess before a new Prime Minister takes office. They also clarified that there is “no question of the Prime Minister hanging around beyond the Conservative leadership contest,” after earlier suggestions that May could delay her resignation until it is clear that her successor has the confidence of the Commons.
Elsewhere, the BBC confirmed that it will host a TV debate on 18 June between those candidates still in the race.
Hansard BBC I BBC II Guardian Matt Hancock Politico London Playbook
The Labour Party narrowly defeated a strong challenge from the Brexit Party to hold the seat of Peterborough in yesterday’s by-election. Labour candidate Lisa Forbes won the marginal seat by 683 votes (31%), ahead of the Brexit Party’s Mike Greene (29%). The Conservatives were third on 21% and the Liberal Democrats fourth with 12%. The by-election had been called after former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya was convicted of perverting the course of justice and ousted by a recall petition.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has agreed to keep rates on hold until 2020. The refinancing rate will remain at 0% while the deposit rate will rest at -0.4%. Meanwhile, the bank forecasts GDP growth of 1.2% this year and expects inflation to be around 1.3% through the year.
The Financial Times
A YouGov poll published yesterday showed that 52% of Germans surveyed are in favour of a fresh election, with 27% wanting the current coalition government to remain in power. The poll surveyed 2,000 people between June 3 to 5.
This comes as a survey of 1,250 Germans, published by public broadcaster ZDF’s Politbarometer, showed the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) polling at 27%, followed by the Greens at 26%, with the centre-left SPD and right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) tied in third place at 13%.
The Finland President has appointed a new centre-left coalition government with Social Democrat Antti Rinne as Prime Minister, following elections in April. The Social Democrats reached an agreement with four smaller parties last week to form the coalition. At the Cabinet’s first news conference, Rinne said, “We [the government] are determined to tackle the challenge of climate change. But it needs to be done in a socially fair way.”
Elsewhere, Norway’s Oil and Energy Ministry has called for an extensive review of the risks associated with constructing a new power cable to the UK. In a statement the ministry said,”The fact that the future relationship between the UK and the European Union remains unresolved contributes to the uncertainty in the matter being addressed.”
In a new blog Open Europe’s Marcus Cadier responds to the general election results in Denmark. Cadier writes, “The challenge for the new government will be to keep both pro-immigration and anti-immigration voters satisfied. They will also face a difficult balancing act in parliament – they are likely to need support from both sides at different times without making enemies of one or the other.”
Meanwhile, Open Europe’s Anthony Egan explores the risk of an Italian debt crisis. Egan writes, “Talk of Italy being the site of Europe’s next debt crisis has increased since the country slid into a technical recession earlier this year. With a ruling populist coalition willing to flout EU spending rules, soaring public debt and deep-rooted economic issues, cause for concern is warranted.”