Bercow’s bombshell is rather splendid, Orban’s not banned, but he is suspended, and Google and Vestager are definitely unfriended. This week we are supported by EPRA.
Another week, another twist in the never-ending soap opera that is Brexit. Last Friday Berlaymonster moaned that the Meaningful Vote franchise was getting a bit samey.
I don't think much of this Meaningful Vote franchise.
Maybe needs a change of director.
— Berlaymonster (@Berlaymonster) March 14, 2019
Well hold on to your hat, because it’s Speaker of the House, John Bercow, to the rescue.
On Monday he denied Prime Minister Theresa May the possibility of a third vote on her deal using a little known 1604 convention.
Commons Speaker John Bercow standing up for the people and democracy, why should the government be allowed to have a vote on the same deal 3 times when the people aren’t being allowed a second vote #Brexit #Bercow #PeoplesVote pic.twitter.com/abCYCDgYZt
— Sohail Sajid (@sohailsajid1982) March 18, 2019
Labour peer Andrew Adonis hailed Bercow as one of the few heroes of Brexit.
‘John Bercow is one of the few heroes of Brexit. He has made it possible for parliament to hold government accountable to the people, after decades when the subservience of the Commons to No.10 became the first article in Britain’s unwritten constitution’ https://t.co/xP7DZTO2Lr
— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) March 21, 2019
The British tabloids were less convinced, giving the Speaker what David Yelland called “one of the biggest kickings in Fleet Street history.”
Speaker getting one of the biggest kickings in Fleet Street history tonight… but it is these papers that created this mess, not him. They misled readers and led them to disaster. pic.twitter.com/CsAjxMO61T
— David Yelland (@davidyelland) March 18, 2019
But as the Council considers Theresa May’s appeal for an extension, we’re still in Brexit limbo. Ian Dunt summed it up thus: Europeans won’t make decision on extension until May takes deal back to the Commons. And Bercow won’t allow the deal back in the Commons until May attaches an extension to it.
So Europeans won't make decision on extension until May takes deal back to Commons. And Bercow won't allow the deal back in the Commons until May attaches an extension to it. https://t.co/906AfA5MlI
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) March 20, 2019
Daniel Boffey reported former European council president, Herman Van Rompuy saying that “in any normal country, Theresa May would have resigned a long time ago.”
"In any normal country, Theresa May will have resigned a long time ago", says former European council president, Herman Van Rompuy.
— Daniel Boffey (@DanielBoffey) March 19, 2019
The Telegraph thinks everyone would prefer the end of May.
— Bob Moran (@bobscartoons) March 20, 2019
On Wednesday, the European People’s Party held an extraordinary meeting to discuss the thorny topic of Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party. The Hungarian leader has been straining relations with the group for his attacks on Jean-Claude Juncker, attempts to oust a George Soros’ funded university, and general anti-EU values.
But according to Orban, no one in the EPP raised his anti-Soros campaign with him on Wednesday.
So, according to Orban, no one in the #EPP raised his anti-Soros campaign with him today.
— Jim Brunsden (@jimbrunsden) March 20, 2019
Which seems… uh… unlikely. But he went further: “We never had any campaign against Juncker,” Orban told reporters to gales of laughter.
— Eszter Zalan (@eszterz) March 20, 2019
But what actually happened? Well, it wasn’t exactly an expulsion as Katalin Halmai explained. Manfred Weber said the EPP has suspended Fidesz. Orban himself claimed we’ve unilaterally suspended our membership.
And the adopted text reads: the EPP presidency and Fidesz jointly agree that Fidesz suspends its membership.
.@ManfredWeber: @EPP has suspended #Fidesz.#Orban: we've unilaterally suspended our membership
The adopted text: the #EPP presidency & Fidesz jointly agree that Fidesz suspends its membership
EPP hoped to put the whole Fidesz issue to rest. Did it?
— Katalin Halmai (@eublogo) March 20, 2019
The EPP had hoped to put the whole Fidesz issue to rest. Did it? No. No it did not. As all the other groups lined up to criticise the move.
ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt called the agreement between the EPP and Fidesz “a political trick and fudge that shames Europe.”
The agreement between @EPP & Fidesz is a political trick & fudge that shames Europe & is concluded so that #Orban can stay. EPP have lost the moral authority to lead Europe. The conditions agreed to prevent Fidesz's expulsion have nothing to do with the reality in Hungary today.
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) March 20, 2019
S&D said it was too little too late.
Too little too late to prevent damage caused by #Orban to the Hungarian democracy.
Fidesz's suspension from @EPP is hardly a sustainable solution if we are to stop the spreading of populism in Europe.
— S&D Group (@TheProgressives) March 20, 2019
And the Greens’ Ska Keller said it was far from enough.
Again @EPP shied away from a clear decision. Instead of expelling #Fidesz , they suspend membership. They try to appease everyone until the election and protect @ManfredWeber but that is not enough, say @GreensEP @SkaKeller @ph_lamberts @judithineuropa https://t.co/HpWlvVIrtB pic.twitter.com/hHluCJ2OZY
— Ruth Reichstein (@RuthReichstein) March 20, 2019
Finally this week Google was slapped with another billion euro plus fine for anti-competitive behaviour. In the third fine in recent years, the Commission charged Google €1.49 billion for forcing websites to favour its advertisements over competitors. The case closes a decade-long saga between Brussels and the tech giant.
— EURACTIV (@EURACTIV) March 20, 2019
Making the announcement, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Google had “denied consumers choice, innovative products and fair prices.”
The third @Google case: @Google is fined €1,49bn for illegal practices in search advertising brokering to cement its dominant market position. They shouldn’t do that – it denied consumers choice, innovative products and fair prices.
— Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) March 20, 2019
Asked by reporter James Crisp which was the naughtiest of all the tech giants she has fined, Vestager responded that since the GDPR, she doesn’t keep lists.
Question by @JamesCrisp6: “Of all the tech giants you have fined, which ones have been the naughtiest, and which one have you cost the most?”
Answer by @vestager: “Well, you know, since the GDPR, I don’t keep list.”
(General giggling in the press room.)#Google
— Oliver Grimm (@grimmse) March 20, 2019
Cue more giggling in the press room… it’s been a funny week to be a journalist! And speaking of Vestager, on Thursday, she officially threw her hat in the ring to be next Commission President.
Margrethe Vestager put herself forward for one of the European Union’s top jobs, a day after she cemented her reputation as the bloc’s tough antitrust enforcer by squeezing a $1.7 billion fine out of Googlehttps://t.co/jpv7nyUTqG
— Aoife White (@aoifewhite101) March 21, 2019
Cue everyone immediately calculating the odds.
+ MV is a Northern European, female and has strong profile;
+ DK wouldn’t (surely) torpedo her if Comm prez is a genuine possibility;
? But what does Macron think. If he backs her / forgives her for Alston-Siemens, she could be in the race;
Own view: too many odds against her
— Sam Morgan (@SamJamesMorgan) March 21, 2019
This week we are supported by the European Public Real Estate Association check out their manifesto online or on the app to find out what they are calling for in the property sector.