Why Arlene Foster is denying the DUP could live with a soft Brexit

Arlene Foster on Downing Street

It’s no secret that the DUP could accept a customs union or Norway-style Brexit. But it can’t let Tory Brexiteers know that.

The DUP has issued a curious rebuttal to a well-sourced story in today’s Times on its leadership’s openness to a Brexit solution involving a customs union or single market membership.

Senior sources within the party tell the paper that they could support a “softer Brexit, as long as it applied to the whole United Kingdom”. Neither DUP MPs nor Arlene Foster, their leader, are shy of articulating this position in public.

Foster in particular has been more than willing to stress that ultimately, her party has only one, inviolable red line – that the whole United Kingdom exits on the same terms – and that all else about the shape or hardness of Brexit is secondary. She even said so in an interview with the Times in November.

But notwithstanding the fact that it reflects her own stated position, Foster has described this morning’s story as “inaccurate and no doubt intended to undermine efforts to get the necessary changes to the Withdrawal Agreement” and “an attempt to cause division”. She adds: “For the future we want an agreement which returns control of our money, our laws and our borders through a UK-wide trade agreement with the EU.”

Though written as if it were a denial, Foster’s rebuttal isn’t and cannot be one, for the obvious reason that it is true that she and her party could accept a UK-wide soft Brexit. It is instead designed to protect the DUP from the political consequences of the division she says the story is an attempt to foment.

Tories have long suspected, with some justification, that nobody in the DUP is particularly doctrinaire about the politics of EU withdrawal apart from Sammy Wilson, its pugnacious …read more

Source:: New Statesman


Republican congressman who yelled ‘go back to Puerto Rico’ apologizes to California colleague

By Herman Wong | The Washington Post

A Republican congressman apologized for shouting “Go back to Puerto Rico” on the House floor on Thursday, said Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., who Democrats had believed was the target of the verbal attack.

The remark came after Congress had adjourned for the week but lawmakers exchanged insults as they fought over issues related to a bill to fund the government, according to Politico.

“I was shocked, because I often heard those kinds of comments when I was a kid growing up in Pacoima, California, where I was born and raised,” Cárdenas said in an email statement, adding that he had been waiting to speak at the moment.

It was initially unclear who made the remark, which came on the same week Republican Rep. Steve King was stripped of his committee assignments over racist comments.

Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., later admitted to making the statement. But Smith’s communications director, Joey Brown, said in an email that the congressman was “speaking to all the Democrats who were down vacationing in Puerto Rico last weekend during the shutdown, not any individual.”

Cárdenas, the youngest son of immigrant parents from Mexico, is the chairman of Bold PAC, the electoral arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which organized a delegation to visit Puerto Rico over the weekend. The trip has been attacked by conservative media and President Donald Trump as the longest government shutdown in history continued, The Post’s David Weigel reported.

The White House seized on the idea of Democrats “partying on the beach instead of negotiating,” as polls have found most voters blaming Trump for the 24-day impasse over funding the federal government, the longest shutdown in history. “We were not going to let Donald Trump stop us, whether he created a shutdown or whether he wrote mean tweets about us,” said Rep. …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


7 wallet phone cases that keep your most essential cards accessible and safe

Silk wallet phone case

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

I’m no tech expert, but I’ve recently discovered a few accessories that have made using my phone a better experience — especially as a city commuter. One of those gadgets is a PopSocket grip, which makes it easier to hold on to my iPhone X and to use it one-handed, and the other is a case with a built-in card wallet.

These are slightly different than the folio cases, which usually have card wallets and a flap that folds over and covers the screen of the phone when it’s not in use. The ones I prefer have slots on the back of the case and no screen cover.

I don’t use my wallet case as a replacement for a real wallet, but it allows me to carry around a few of the essentials I need regular access to, like my metro card, a credit card, and my work ID. Now that I’ve been carrying mine around for a while, I’m convinced there’s no better option out there for commuters or city-dwellers who need frequent access to their various cards and IDs.

Here are 7 card wallet cases to keep your essentials close:

SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks’ holiday gift guides, in one place

Silk iPhone Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 Case

Available on Amazon for iPhone 6/6S, iPhone 6 Plus/6S Plus, iPhone 7/8/7 Plus/8 Plus, iPhone X/XS/XR/XS Max, Galaxy S6 edge, all models $13.99-$14.99

Arguably the most popular of all phone wallets, Silk’s Wallet Slayer is about as sleek and simple as they come. The grippy silicone case has room to …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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