Brexit didn’t happen so it’s not yet goodbyes, Oettinger accuses the FT of lies, and Uyghur rights activist wins Sakharov prize
This week it’s all about what DIDN’T happen.
After a “flextention” until 31 January was agreed by the European Council, Brexit is once again on hold.
The EU27 has agreed that it will accept the UK's request for a #Brexit flextension until 31 January 2020. The decision is expected to be formalised through a written procedure.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) October 28, 2019
Vittoria Gallagher wailed: “Brexit has LITERALLY had more dates than me this year.”
Brexit has LITERALLY had more dates than me this year. #BrexitExtension
— Vittoria Gallagher (@Vitt2tsnoc) October 28, 2019
You and me both Vittoria!
Berlaymonster was more worried about the kids: “Who’s going to tell them brexmas is cancelled this year?”
Think of the kids.
Who's going to tell them brexmas is cancelled this year?
— Berlaymonster (@Berlaymonster) October 29, 2019
But then given the news of a UK General Election on 12 December followed up with: “Elexmas is coming…”
No. Just no. No more madey-upy words!
Another downside of Brexit failing to happen, is the 50p coins created to celebrate Brexit Day on October the 31st will be melted down at a cost of around £11.5 million.
An example of just how awful this Tory Government is:
The 50p coins created to celebrate Brexit on October the 31st will be melted down at an estimated cost of £11.5 million.
— Freddie (@FreddieBailey96) October 29, 2019
Many people, including Larry the Cat were also very concerned about when Brexiteer MP Mark Francois might explode.
The public is advised to observe a 100m exclusion zone around him!
— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) October 31, 2019
Others in Britain are already reporting widespread election fatigue, including Mariella Frostrup who just can’t muster enough enthusiasm to get to a polling station and vote for any of the entirely self-serving political parties.
Could they be any more out of touch with the voting public? Or is it just me who can’t muster enough enthusiasm to get to a polling station and vote for any of our entirely self-serving political parties? #ChristmasElection #Brexit #fatigue #peoplesvote https://t.co/S2frVGogGW
— Mariella Frostrup (@mariellaf1) October 29, 2019
But there may be some respite on Twitter as CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the platform would stop all political advertising on Twitter globally.
We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…🧵
— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) October 30, 2019
But no, seriously, this is important. Register to vote.
In Brussels, also facing Brexit consequences, is Team Juncker’s Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger.
According to Euractiv’s Jorge Valero, Oettinger is “pretty pissed off because of media reports saying that Germany’s contribution to the EU’s long-term budget will double during the next period.
“I have no idea what your sources are…they are working with figures that are not misleading but a lie,” claimed Oetti.
.@GOettingerEU pretty pissed off because of media reports saying that Germany's contribution to the EU's long-term budget will double during the next period (2021-2027). "I have no idea what your sources are…they are working with figures that are not misleading but a lie".
— Jorge Valero (@europressos) October 30, 2019
The FT’s Mehreen Khan, who first broke the news, said his attitude was “almost Trumpian.”
Almost Trumpian. EU budget commissioner @GOettingerEU accuses FT of printing "lies" about German estimates of their budget contribution.
— Mehreen (@MehreenKhn) October 30, 2019
Bruno Waterfield chimed in: “Always first to lower the tone, the Berlaymont’s gobshite-in-chief Oettinger goes that extra step by slandering the FT!”
European Commission's magic GNI figures being deployed again. Always first to lower the tone, the Berlaymont's gobshite-in-chief Oettinger goes that extra step by slandering the FT (of all papers) https://t.co/25xf5hlsDB
— Bruno Waterfield (@BrunoBrussels) October 30, 2019
And helpfully shared this round-up of gaffe-prone Gunther’s, ahem, “finest” moments.
What's a "gobshite"?, asks an Italian colleague
— Bruno Waterfield (@BrunoBrussels) October 30, 2019
Finally this week, we’ll finish on a slightly more positive note:
European Parliament President David Sassoli announced that Ilham Tohti is the winner of this year’s Sakharov Prize fo freedom of thought. Tohti has dedicated his life to advocating for the rights of China’s Uyghur minority, but was sentenced to life in prison in 2014.
Very pleased to announce that Ilham Tohti is the 2019 #SakharovPrize winner. He has dedicated his life to advocating for the rights of China’s Uyghur minority, but was sentenced to life in prison in 2014. We demand his immediate release https://t.co/Bwx7KADppF #FreeIlhamTohti pic.twitter.com/Z5Q3a6yx8p
— David Sassoli (@EP_President) October 24, 2019
Dozens of representatives around the world went online to express their support for the award and to call for his release.
The European Union 🇪🇺 has consistently raised the case of @Europarl_EN #SakharovPrize winner Professor Ilham Tohti and continues to expect his immediate release. #EU4HumanRights https://t.co/rHqVfBQkcX
— Maja Kocijančič (@MajaEUspox) October 24, 2019
Thrilled Uyghur scholar @PENamerica 2015 Freedom to Write Award honoree Ilham #Tohti wins 2019 #sakharovprize. Will never forget teenage @JewherIlham's poignant, dauntless voice for her father's freedom. He is not forgotten and we will never give up. https://t.co/xOHqcn4ewe
— Suzanne Nossel (@SuzanneNossel) October 24, 2019
Today, @Ilham_Tohti won the #SakharovPrize for dedicating his life to the rights of Uighurs everywhere, but cannot accept the award in person as he received a life sentence in 2014. Tohti must be released, and #China must cease the repression of millions of Uighurs.
— U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee (@SenateForeign) October 24, 2019
.@Europarl_EN awarded Uighur #HumanRights activist Ilham Tohti the #SakharovPrize. #China imprisoned Tohti for his advocacy before detaining over 1 million Uighurs & members of other Muslim minority groups. We call on China to release Tohti & end its campaign of repression. https://t.co/wqQ1Yqxw0s
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) October 25, 2019
Ilham Tohti may not be able to collect his award, but also this week, Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg declined a major environmental prize saying: “It is a huge honor, but the climate movement does not need any more awards. What we need is for our politicians to start listening.”
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg declined a major environmental prize. "It is a huge honor," she said, "but the climate movement does not need any more awards. What we need is for our politicians … to start listening."https://t.co/XaOyGJsTwK
— NPR (@NPR) October 31, 2019
And last but not least, European Movement and the European Women’s Lobby announced the shortlisted candidates of the 2019 Women of Europe Awards… but you’ll have to wait until December 4 to find out the winners.
— European Movement (@EMInternational) October 29, 2019