this was before the daesh prisoners escaped from the kurdish detention camps

Turkey says it expects solidarity from NATO against threats
Reuters, Oct 11 2019

Cavusoglu & Stoltenberg in Istanbul, Oct 11 2019. Photo: Huseyin Aldemir/Reuters

ISTANBUL – Turkey has reiterated to NATO Sec-Gen Stoltenberg that it expects the alliance to show strong solidarity with Ankara against threats to Turkish security, Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said on Friday. Speaking alongside Cavusoglu at a news conference in Istanbul, Stoltenberg said he expected Turkey to act with restraint in its push into Syria, adding that NATO the international community must find a sustainable solution for Daesh prisoners held by Kurdish forces in Syria. As Ankara pressed on with an offensive against Kurdish militants in north-eastern Syria, Stoltenberg said Turkey must ensure that progress in pushing back Daesh in Syria was not jeopardised.

Reuters themselves correct the second paragraph to say international community, not NATO. Now, below, the sequel after the weekend’s fighting:

Kurdish-led authority: 785 Daesh-affiliated foreigners escaped Syria camp on Sunday
Reuters, Oct 13 2109

BEIRUT – The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said 785 foreigners affiliated with Daesh managed to escape a camp where they were being held following Turkish shelling on Sunday. In an apparent reference to Turkish-backed Syrian rebels, the administration said in a statement that “mercenaries” had attacked the camp where “Daesh elements” in turn attacked camp guards and opened the gates.

evil fucking journalist scum

i think lansman orchestrated this set of damning admissions to oust corbyn

Labour Party risks bankruptcy over anti-Semitism investigation, NEC members fear
Benjamin Kentish, Independent, Oct 13 2019

Members of Labour’s ruling executive have privately voiced fears that the party could be bankrupted as a result of an official inquiry into anti-Semitism, the Independent has learnt. Members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) have expressed concerns that a damning verdict from the equalities watchdog about Labour’s handling of anti-Semitic abuse could open the party up to a slew of lawsuits from Jewish members and former members, possibly resulting in hefty damages having to be paid. It is understood that the issue was discussed at a recent NEC meeting, with members of the committee voicing major concerns about the fallout from the probe and who would be financially responsible. Party bosses were asked what protections are in place for a scenario in which Labour has to cover the cost of multiple legal battles and potential payouts. Two sources said the discussion was quickly “shut down” by party officials and allies of Jeremy Corbyn, and that the committee remains in the dark about the potential financial implications. The fears are fuelled by the party’s worsening finances. Figures revealed this week showed that Labour made a loss of £655k last year, compared to a profit of £1.45m the year before, as a result of a fall in membership, rising staffing costs and losses incurred by last summer’s Labour Live event. The party’s finances are likely to come under further strain if it has to fight a general election later this year. Some NEC members are worried that the financial situation could become unmanageable if the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) finds that the party has failed to protect Jewish members. The watchdog opened a formal investigation into Labour in August and is due to report next year. The Independent understands that multiple NEC members and other senior party figures have been asked to give evidence to the inquiry. Amid growing concern about the outcome of the inquiry, several NEC members are understood to have asked officials what indemnity Labour has, following fears that members of the committee may have to personally foot the bill if the party runs out of money. They believe that, like trustees of a charity, they are legally and financially responsible for the party. Others committee members are said to have been “stunned” when it was pointed out that they may be personally liable. One NEC member said of the EHRC inquiry:

If it’s really bad then it opens up all sorts of possibilities and it has been raised that the whole thing could basically bankrupt the party. People are really worried. The party has been asked to let us know what indemnity it has because there are concerns that NEC members are going to ultimately be responsible for this. If we were a charity, the Charity Commission would have been all over us months ago. The EHRC is effectively playing the same role as the Charity Commission and we are effectively the trustees. That means we are legally responsible.

A second NEC member said:

There have been concerns raised about who is legally responsible for the Labour Party. Some of us are worried about this. The grown-ups on the NEC who do not have the backing of the trade unions are all concerned. We don’t know what’s happening. I don’t think it’s occurred to most of the NEC that there could be financial implications, but it has to some of us. We’ve raised the question but haven’t had an answer.

Asked if they were confident the party would be able to cope financially with whatever the EHRC concludes, the member said:

No. There is no basis for that confidence.

Suggesting that Labour could run out of money if it had to pay extensive damages, another Labour source with an understanding of the situation added:

There are fears that if the EHRC goes against the party then individual victims will have the right to go for damages from the party, and who knows where that ends up. Nobody can be sure, because there’s no precedent for it. Nobody quite knows what the liability is for the individuals NEC members. If they are liable then it makes it even more damaging that Jennie and her team won’t share their understanding of what the damages might be and the possible implications. Clearly, NEC members are worried about that scenario but the conversation got completely shut down. Councils all around the country are having to borrow money to pay victims of historic sexual injustice. The danger is that the Labour Party will have to do the same if it is subject to victim or class action, having been found to be institutionally anti-Semitic.

Some also voiced concerns that, in this scenario, there would be “another round of victim-blaming,” with Jewish people blamed by some for the party’s difficulties. NEC members have repeatedly raised concerns that, despite their legal responsibilities, they have not been allowed to read or contribute to the party’s response to the EHRC. The response is understood to have been drafted by party officials in conjunction with Mr Corbyn’s team, but a small handful of NEC officers decided it should be submitted without being seen or approved by the wider committee. One NEC member said:

We don’t know whether the party has made a very solid, sound presentation to the commission or the complete opposite. There is a total ignorance of what has been said on behalf of the party. Most of the NEC don’t trouble themselves about these things. They haven’t worked out that they will have, potentially, as individuals, a legal responsibility.

Labour declined to comment, although sources said the party did not believe that individual NEC members could be held personally responsible. However, in a speech earlier this year, Baroness Hayter, Labour’s deputy leader in the House of Lords and a former NEC member and chair of the Labour Party, said:

There’s been a serious undermining of the NEC by denying its members, who have legal responsibility for the party, membership figures, financial structures, financial accounts, the submission in their names to the EHRC.

the dark arts of dominic include insurrection

Invoking the spectre of rioting is an insult to those who voted Leave
Bridget Phillipson, Groon, Oct 13 2019 (MP for Houghton and Sunderland South)

3500Dominic Cummings, master of the dark arts of briefing. Photo: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Using the threat of other people’s criminal violence to demand you get your way is despicable from anyone. It is the politics of the protection racket. It’s not, sadly, altogether unusual these days, but what’s new in recent weeks is threefold. First, these threats are coming directly from government. Not from the prime minister on the record, but anonymously, from “senior sources” and “No 10 briefings”. These threats are then being given credibility by widespread dissemination in print, on broadcast, and above all online by journalists who might do well to question whether they should be broadcasting or printing such comprehensive statements to which no one is prepared to put their name. Anonymity is often one of the worst poisons of our politics and now it’s a key tool of government strategy, not least because it creates process stories that distract from the horrendous damage that government policy is doing, and will go on doing, to working people’s lives.

Second, the people of whose violence we are supposed to be frightened are being both identified and briefed on acceptable triggers by the government. Leave voters, the subtext of all this briefing suggests, are all supposed to be furious, to be liable to resort to unrest. As someone who represents thousands of people who voted Leave, I find this a vile smear on my constituents. I don’t think that Britain would be well served by leaving the EU, but the overwhelming majority of people who voted to leave are not potential criminals: it is appalling to suggest they might be. Leave voters are not the violent far right: instead, they are decent people with whom, on this issue, I happen to disagree. Most of them voted not for a dramatic rupture with our European neighbours but for leaving with a good deal, as they were so often promised in 2016. The transformation of what Brexit means from “with a deal, of course” to “at any cost, on an arbitrary date” has been extraordinary. The mantra that we can “get Brexit done” quickly is one of the biggest lies of all. Brexit is a decade-long project, at best, that will devour our politics. As well as smearing half the population, the government’s unsourced briefings tell us quite specifically what the government thinks might trigger violent criminality. An extension to article 50. A confirmatory referendum. Further attempts by parliament or the courts to ensure the rule of law. So the government is preparing not merely to excuse but to shape for its own purposes the threat of violent unrest. Quite why anyone should believe that a referendum will cause riots, but the government’s preferred option of a general election centred on Brexit will be absolutely fine, is entirely beyond me. How can anyone with any shame maintain with a straight face that two democratic events will be so different in this regard?

Third, for all the government’s denials,there is the possibility that these efforts to whip up civil unrest, and the fear of it, have a darker purpose. That the unrest they claim is a risk is intended not merely to happen but then to provide a pretext. It’s hard to trust a government that uses lying so systematically both as a way of evading responsibility and as a tool for creating distractions. A couple of minor incidents might see the prime minister reach for the emergency powers in the Civil Contingencies Act without time for the courts to stop him. After all, it is no good Brexit being subsequently ruled unlawful, after we have already crashed out in international law. Now I am used to threats of violence, sadly: like all MPs, I’ve had people making threats about me and my family that are chilling. Many are from people who hide behind false names or strings of numbers. But the government seeking to use these threats to serve its purposes is sickening and unprecedented. I find it hard to forgive Tory MPs for nearly a decade of voting for the systematic impoverishment of my most vulnerable constituents, but I had thought better of many of them than to support a government like this. I hope in the votes ahead they do not forget that it is their prime minister who has taken us to this dangerous and bitterly divided place.

Dominic Cummings’s big ego has been a gift for the press
Roy Greenslade, Graun, Oct 13 2019

When journalists land a scoop it’s only natural for them to boast about its significance. So I guess we can forgive James Forsyth, the Spectator’s political editor, for his hyperbolic claim last week that he had been the recipient of “the most explosive Downing Street memo in modern times.” In fairness, it was hugely interesting, and not just for its content. It was a rare example of a supposedly confidential source being cavalier about his own identity. Step forward Dominic Cummings, special adviser to Boris Johnson. Allegedly? No, for sure. Eventually, despite a measure of initial reticence, several newspapers felt confident enough to name him. This episode was further proof that Brexit is changing Britain’s political and journalistic culture. It certainly merits the description as the most explosive political event since … well, since any living politician and living political journalist can remember. Quite simply, there has been nothing like it in the collective experience of Westminster and Fleet Street.

Let’s deal first with the significance of the memo’s eye-popping content. Cummings was detailing the government’s game plan should it be necessary to extend the Brexit deadline still further. In that event, to quote the Guardian columnist Gaby Hinsliff, No 10 was in effect “threatening almighty vengeance.” Aside from providing a delighted Forsyth with an intimate view of the state of the negotiations, it not only revealed No 10’s strategy but also its frustration over the failure to achieve its primary objective to take the UK out of the EU on Oct 31. Then came the pushback, the threat of a drama to come. Cummings wrote of “legal advice” that means “we can do all sorts of things to scupper delay which for obvious reasons we aren’t going into details about.” We must presume Cummings’s “leak” was intended as a message to MPs of all parties and possibly Ireland’s prime minister Leo Varadkar, along with EU leaders in Brussels. But what was striking was his flagrancy. It was as if he wanted to be recognised as the author. Here was a man blandly described in time-honoured fashion by Forsyth as “a contact in No 10” virtually outing himself as the source. This was so unusual that, in spite of political journalists knowing his identity, several felt constrained from saying so. Instead, their reports referred to him with the usual range of indirect terms: “a No 10 source” (the Times and Daily Express); “a senior government source” (Daily Mail); and “aides” (the Sun, pluralising an individual). Others were less inhibited. The Daily Telegraph referred to “a memo widely believed to be a text sent by Dominic Cummings”. The Guardian was a little more guarded. It reported that Julian Smith, the Northern Ireland secretary, had “issued a rebuke to the person who briefed anonymously to the Spectator, believed to be the prime minister’s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings.” Simon Walters, in the Mail, did not hold back. He wrote:

The Downing Street ‘source’ quoted by the Spectator bore the unmistakably contemptuous and crude tone of Johnson’s de facto chief of staff Dominic Cummings.

While that sentence could be said to reflect Walters’s personal animosity towards Cummings, I tend to think it speaks volumes about the changing political viewpoint of the Mail itself. There’s a story in the making. Back to Cummings. Whatever one thinks of him, there is something wonderfully refreshing about his way of going about his business. His memo to Forsyth is part of a pattern. He has not concealed his fingerprints on a number of previous leaks from No 10, especially in the lead-up to the supreme court ruling against the prorogation of parliament. Not for Cummings the usual backroom role of an adviser. No smoke and mirrors for him. He is a very public eminence grise who enjoys the limelight and, apparently, revels in the consequent notoriety. He appears determined to be his own man rather than be part of someone else’s story. Whether or not this is bad for the country, we shall see. It cannot be denied it’s rather good for our trade. We thrive on colourful characters courting controversy. Journalism is often the beneficiary of big egos in the sense that, in promoting themselves, they inevitably provide stories. One problem for Cummings is how he deals with journalists in the coming weeks. Can he hope to brief on an entirely confidential basis? With this and other lengthy examples of his writing style in the public domain, it’s impossible to conceal his authorship. Then again, he obviously doesn’t want to be anonymous.

It is unlikely that the Cummings way will lead to a change in how political journalists obtain their information. Down the years there has often been criticism about the cosiness of the lobby system and the opacity of Westminster and Whitehall sources. But it’s a necessity. Off-the-record conversations allow information to reach the public domain that would otherwise remain secret. Nor, as some critics believe, is it a system widely open to abuse. Reporters working in a competitive media environment police each other by checking on the truth of an opponent’s story. Indeed, when scoops occur, one of the more unedifying practices is the hunt for the source by rivals. Although one’s own confidential sources must be respected, other people’s are not. Most of the time, the system of unattributable briefings is uncontroversial and, in such circumstances, single sourcing is also accepted as the norm. No one can conceive of doing it differently. Even in Pindostan, where a culture of openness contrasts with Britain’s more secretive climate, journalists rely on “deep background” to flesh out their stories. Politics thrives on concealment of some kind. So, in spite of the darkness of his message, let me applaud Cummings, the messenger who has stepped out of the shadows. We may not have him for long, of course, but let’s enjoy him while we can.

sunk in gross turpidity

Pelosi crime family
Colonel Cassad, Oct 13 2019

It’s a five. The speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who not long ago declared the beginning of procedure of impeachment of Trump over Ukraine, was also involved in the Ukrainian corruption scandal. It turns out that like Biden, the son of Nancy Pelosi was engaged in business in Ukraine after the overthrow of Yanukovych’s regime. In 2017, Paul Pelosi came to Ukraine as a representative of the companies Viscoil and NRGLab, ostensibly in order to discuss cooperation in the “field of football.” While Pelosi came to Ukraine to discuss energy security in 2015, NRGLab was interested in questions of gas production in Ukraine even before the coup.

Promotional video from 2013 later deleted from YouTube in which
the Pelosis talk about the benefits of energy-saving technologies.

Working in NRGLab, Pelosi Jr has been actively engaged with Viscoil, which his mother advertised. At that time, Viscoil had its own problems with the law, and in the beginning, its leadership consisted of one citizen of the Russian Federation Sergey Sorokin. In addition, the son Pelosi was in 2014 in the leadership of another company, which was accused of securities fraud. Read more here.

The Thugs are spreading this hashtag on Twitter in full measure. It is obvious that the Thugs dumped such dirty linen to drown opponents wanting to overthrow Trump. The result continues to come up dirty details on the topic of how the Pindo establishment, primarily the leadership of the Demagogs (Clinton, Biden, Pelosi, etc) was involved in the Ukrainian corruption at the highest level. The theme of samazinot Pelosi in Ukrainian affairs will be supported with the obvious goal to destroy her politically and to strike at the top of the Demagog Party. Ukraine itself will still be a subject of debate in Faschingstein, but not in the way in which we would like in Kiev.

RIP 108morris108, who died when they took his channel away

Willem Felderhof, Dutch Anarchy, Oct 4 2019

With indescribable sadness and pain in my heart I was informed that my dear friend Maurice Herman (Morris) passed away on the Oct 2 at 3 AM Cambodian Time. Shortly after our last talk we did on Sep 19, Morris became sick and his condition was deteriorating rapidly to the point that he passed away on Oct 2. Although I did not yet receive detailed information confirmed directly, Morris died as a result of severe dengue fever. His condition had rapidly declined over the past few days. Blood was coming out of his right eye and mouth. His liver was failing. His heart had stopped beating for a while, and the doctors spent 30 minutes resuscitating him. He recovered, but died a couple of hours after that. I met Morris for the first time when I was traveling in Cambodia in 2014 and we became close friends. We did do numerous talks on his YouTube channel after that. His Morris108 Youtube channel with over 60,000 subscribers and more than 10,000,000 views was taken down this recent summer during the Orwellian censorship cleansing operation which took down more than 18,000 channels including my own. Morris and his family were depending on the donations on his channel so the impact of this was huge. Click on the link below to support the family of Morris and help them recover some of the medical costs and to help support his wife and three children who all live in Cambodia. All the members in his family are Cambodian citizens and they literally have no income or funding at all as they depended entirely on the donations coming in from the work of Morris. Morris was a very dear and precious friend, his commitment to the Truth and sharing this with the greater audience has been inspiring for many to follow his example. He was a very loving father with a unique character. I am going to miss him dearly, may you rest in peace dear Morris and may your loved ones find the strength to cope with this enormous loss. You are always in my heart dear friend and amazing brother in arms Morris, with Love, Willem

Please share this information and donate via this Gofundme link to support his family:


boris is garbage, OK

Boris Johnson to press EU leaders over Brexit deal – report
Groan, Oct 13 2019

Boris Johnson will speak to Merkel, Macron and Juncker, by the end of Monday to urge them to support his Brexit deal, the Sunday Times has reported. Johnson will offer the three leaders the option to either help him deliver a new deal this week or agree on a “friendly version” of a no-deal Brexit by Oct 31. The newspaper quoted a source familiar with the conversations as saying:

He’ll be talking to Merkel, Macron and Juncker by the end of Monday to see if there’s agreement on a landing zone for Northern Ireland and customs. The alternative is to agree a friendly version of no deal and finish it that way.

Security chiefs have convinced Johnson a no-deal Brexit will heighten the danger of extremist attacks in Northern Ireland and on the mainland, along with sectarian violence in cities such as Glasgow, according to the report. As a result Johnson desperately wanted a Brexit deal, the Sunday Times reported. according to the newspaper, Johnson told a senior Conservative in a private conversation:

Any one of these risks we could cope with, but taken collectively they would be a massive challenge to the UK state and no one would choose to go down that route.

A EU source cited by the Sunday Times said the chances of a deal at Thursday’s EU summit in Brussels were “50-50.” On Friday, Johnson declined to say whether Northern Ireland would stay in the EU customs union after Brexit.

Brexit: Sign this deal or let us go now, Boris tells EU
Tim Shipman, Times, Oct 13 2019

Boris Johnson is to offer EU leaders a historic grand bargain on Brexit: help deliver his new deal this week or agree a “no-deal” departure by Oct 31. The prime minister will speak to Merkel, Macron and Juncker, in the next two days and say: “Let’s finish this off.” Johnson’s intervention comes on the eve of a crunch week for his premiership ahead of a Brussels summit on Thursday and a historic Saturday sitting of parliament next weekend, the first since the Falklands War. Diplomats say Johnson wants to enlist Juncker and the German and French leaders to press the chief EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, to agree the details of the skeleton …

a very straighforward opinion from dublin

Some home truths about the relationship between the UK and Ireland
Lucie McInerney, Independent, Oct 12 2019

I moved from Ireland to the UK back in autumn 2010, as the Irish economy was in tatters; the property bubble had burst and the banks were facing disaster. Representatives from the EC, the IMF and the ECB (the Troika) were traipsing around the streets of Dublin enveloped in smart Aquascutum raincoats, battling the elements while trying to cajole the Irish government into the “Economic Adjustment Programme for Ireland.” Otherwise known as the “bailout.” It was the height of the eurozone crisis and Ireland was high on the global news agenda. As a recently arrived Irish business journalist, I promptly found myself back in my hometown, just weeks after I had left, to cover the negotiations between the Irish government and the Troika. Would the then-taoiseach Brian Cowen and his finance minister, the late Brian Lenihan, sign up to the terms set out by these seemingly nameless, faceless apparitions sweeping around the streets of Dublin? Or would Ireland bound impetuously over the ominous cliff edge everyone was talking about? The implications for the global financial system were huge. At the time, it didn’t occur to me to consider the significance of Ireland featuring in the news in the UK.

I had arrived in London a green and likely naive young journalist, inexperienced in the way of the world when it came to Anglo-Irish relations. I was unaware that the ties between our two countries were not so much intertwined as rather very much one-way. Savita Halappanavar died seven years ago this month after medical staff denied her request for an abortion following an incomplete miscarriage. That particular night in 2012 I was whiling away a seemingly-interminable night shift on the newsdesk, hunting around social media for potential news and maybe a little bit of an update from friends back in Ireland. This was how I first saw the news of Ms Halappanavar’s death in a hospital in the western city of Galway. During a handover phone call with a senior colleague due to takeover when my shift ended, I suggested that we deploy our Ireland-based correspondent from Belfast to Galway immediately in order to cover the story. I was told in no uncertain terms that I should do no such thing. That this was not a big story and that “no one over here cares.” The next day, once I had woken up from a few hours sleep, I discovered that the correspondent had been sent to cover the story, and that there had been consternation in the newsroom over the fact he was not in position in Galway in time, so we could “only report from Dublin, not from the scene.” Ms Halappanavar’s tragic death proved to be a tipping point in Irish attitudes towards abortion and the role of religion in our supposedly secular society.

On May 25 2018, the Irish government held a referendum on the controversial Eighth Amendment of the Irish constitution which gave the life of the unborn child equal status to that of the life of the mother. The amendment was repealed by an overwhelming 66.4% from a turnout of 64.1%, with all but one constituency in the country voting yes to repeal. News coverage of the “Repeal the 8th” referendum in Ireland was global. It was a truly historic moment with the people of Ireland showing the world who they are. Following just three years after Ireland became the first state to legalise same sex marriage by a popular vote, the Irish had cast off the age-old stereotype of the staunchly Catholic drunken writers and dreamers, who keep pigs in the parlour and a pint of Guinness in one hand at all times and who would never go against the teachings of their parish priest. From an Irish perspective, the UK is our closest neighbour in so many ways, geographically, linguistically, economically, but overall, Ireland’s knowledge and understanding of the British far exceeds that of Brits about the Irish. In school, I learned about the history of Ireland, from the Celts to the founding of the Republic. Like many here in the UK, I learned the history of the Europeans, the patronage of the Medicis and the voyages of Columbus, Cortes and Vasco da Gama. But I also learned in great detail about Great Britain and its empire as well as the connection between the UK and Ireland, detail that is not replicated in the history curriculum here, it would seem.

I learned about the potato blight that struck Europe in 1845. At the time, potatoes were pretty much the only source of food for the majority of the Irish population. As a result, famine struck. The Great Famine (as it is known in Ireland) lasted from 1845 to 1849. Between death and emigration the Irish population fell by three million. At the time, Ireland produced more than enough food in other crops and livestock, but that was all exported to Great Britain and further afield. The first many people in Britain had ever heard of the extent of the Famine was in an episode of Victoria on ITV in Oct 2017. Watching the ongoing back and forth between the governments in London and Dublin about Brexit, the ignorance of many Brits in relation to the Irish psyche and the country’s overwhelming commitment to the European Union project has been equal parts amusing and depressing. In January, then-presenter of BBC’s Today programme John Humphrys caused wry smiles across the Republic when he asked Irish minister Helen McEntee why Ireland didn’t just quit the EU and rejoin the UK. Boris Johnson and a great deal of British politicians would do well to learn more about their neighbours. When it comes to recent referendums, Irish society has shown itself to be very much of one mind on a lot of issues. Irish politicians understand what their constituents want and a hard border on the island of Ireland is not one of them. The Irish population overwhelmingly love the EU and, while divided about plenty of issues, in that regard, they are not for turning.

Here is the Guardian article on the astonishing BBC incident referred to, from January of this year:

Ireland dismisses suggestion it should quit EU and join UK
Lisa O’Carroll, Groan, Jan 26 2019

Ireland has dismissed the suggestion that the best solution to the Brexit impasse might be for the country to quit the EU and join the UK. Questioned about the possibility by the BBC Today presenter John Humphrys, Ireland’s Europe minister, Helen McEntee, said it was not contemplating quitting the EU, that polls showed 92% of the population wanted to remain in the bloc, and “Irexit” was not plausible. She told the Radio 4 programme on Saturday that in the event of no deal, Ireland was “not planning for the reintroduction of a border,” and urged the UK to honour its commitment to ensure the border remained invisible, as it had since the Good Friday peace deal was signed nearly 21 years ago. Humphrys said:

There has to be an argument, doesn’t there, that says instead of Dublin telling this country that we have to stay in the single market etc within the customs union, why doesn’t Dublin, why doesn’t the Republic of Ireland, leave the EU and throw in their lot with this country?

McEntee replied:

To suggest that we should leave? 92% of Irish people last year said they wanted Ireland to remain part of the EU, and in fact since Brexit that figure has only gotten bigger.

The interview came hours before hundreds of people gathered on the border to protest against Brexit. The Border Communities Against Brexit group, which placed a mock concrete wall and army inspection post on the border just south of Newry, said they were taking “a stand against Brexit, against borders, against division.” They said:

We never want to see a border on this island again.

A man uses a sledgehammer to knock down a mock border wall during a protest by anti-Brexit campaigners in Carrickcarnan. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

The Labour MP Ben Bradshaw tweeted:

The Irish senator Neale Richmond tweeted:

McEntee appeared on Today just hours after the Irish taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, raised the prospect of police or soldiers being deployed on the border with Northern Ireland in the event of no deal. Varadkar’s statement was criticised by rival politicians, including the leader of Fianna Fáil, Micheál Martin, who said it was entirely inconsistent with Ireland’s stance on the border to date. He tweeted:

Aides later said Varadkar raised the possibility out of frustration that Ireland was being blamed for the impasse in Westminster, where opposition to Theresa May’s deal was not exclusively about the Irish backstop. In an interview with Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Varadkar said Ireland had already compromised, but Britain was looking for more while offering nothing in the way of solutions itself. McEntee stuck to that line on the Today programme, saying the UK had given undertakings to ensure there was no return to the borders of the past. In addition, she said, Ireland would hold the UK to its role as co-guarantor of the Good Friday agreement:

For some reason the onus … has been shifted back on to Ireland, that we should compromise, that we are the ones trying to be awkward or difficult. We did not vote for Brexit. We don’t believe in it. We respect that it was a democratic decision. We are protecting a peace process. This is not just from an Irish point of view, there is an obligation on the UK to ensure the peace process, the Good Friday agreement is protected and any suggesting that they can walk away from that we simply won’t accept.

Humphrys: Ireland should quit EU to join UK
Jonathon Read, New European, Jan 28 2019

Irish ministers have dismissed a suggestion from a radio presenter that the best way to end the Brexit impasse is for an “Irexit” which would see the country leave the EU to join the UK. BBC Radio 4 Today presenter John Humphrys made the suggestion in an interview with Ireland’s Europe minister, Helen McEntee, who said the country had no plans to quit the EU. Humphrys said:

There has to be an argument, doesn’t there, that says instead of Dublin telling this country that we have to stay in the single market etc within the customs union, why doesn’t Dublin, why doesn’t the Republic of Ireland, leave the EU and throw in their lot with this country?

McEntee pointed to polling which showed Ireland almost unanimously wanted to remain in the EU as evidence his suggestion was not plausible. She said:

To suggest that we should leave? 92% of Irish people last year said they wanted Ireland to remain part of the EU, and in fact since Brexit that figure has gotten only bigger.

MEP Molly Scott Cato tweeted:

universal panic, hooray

Support grows for a new Brexit poll amid fears over Johnson’s plan
Toby Helm, Michael Savage, Observer, Oct 12 2019

Pro-remain MPs predicted on Saturday that they were gaining sufficient cross-party support to secure a second Brexit referendum as fresh doubts were raised over whether Boris Johnson can secure a deal with the EU that can pass through parliament. The push for a second vote appeared to be gaining momentum before what promises to be a dramatic “super Saturday” showdown in parliament next weekend. That emergency House of Commons sitting, called by Johnson, will be held after a critical EU summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. It will coincide with a pro-referendum march through London, which organisers say a million people could join. On Saturday the chances of Johnson securing a deal that will win the crucial support of the 10 DUP MPs appeared to be in growing doubt as Nigel Dodds, the party’s leader in Westminster, questioned key elements of the proposed deal, including the idea of Northern Ireland being in some form of post-Brexit customs partnership with the EU. Dodds said:

Northern Ireland must stay in a full UK customs union, full stop.

Asked if the ideas that are reportedly being discussed behind closed doors by the UK government and the EU could work, he added:

No, it cannot work because Northern Ireland has to remain fully part of the UK customs union.

For Johnson to stand any chance of getting a deal through parliament, he will need the DUP to be firmly behind it. Many Tory MPs in the hardline pro-Brexit European Reform Group say they will take their lead from the DUP. With the hopes of securing any deal on a knife edge, Labour is understood to be ready to whip its MPs to back a second referendum. A source involved in the effort said:

We believe we are getting closer to the majority it needs. The task now is maximising that majority and seeing whether Johnson finally concedes that it is a way out for him too.

While there is likely to be more support from Tories and ex-Tories for a second referendum if the government fails to secure a deal, and the alternative is a no-deal Brexit, key figures say plans for a referendum on any deal the prime minister returns with is also gaining support. On Saturday night the Labour MP Peter Kyle said the signs were that a Johnson deal would be bad for the economy and that sufficient MPs would insist on it being subject to a confirmatory public vote. he said:

If Johnson brings back a deal that would deliver less frictionless access to European markets than Theresa May’s deal offered, and that seems to be precisely what is on offer, the idea of that getting through the Commons on its own two feet would be akin to a suicide mission. If a deal like that is offered we will amend it so it can only come into effect after a confirmatory referendum in which the options would be to leave on those terms or Remain. I have no doubt from soundings I have taken that an amendment to secure a confirmatory vote would be successful.

Pro-referendum MPs are also examining other possibilities including reviving May’s deal and making that subject to a second referendum. Nick Boles, the former Tory MP who quit over Brexit, said he would back any deal that the EU accepted but made clear that should no deal emerge from the EU council, a second referendum would be needed. he said:

I have been very reluctant to accept that a referendum might be necessary to break the logjam. But if Johnson is unable or unwilling to agree a deal with the EU next week, we will be left with no alternative. A snap election will resolve nothing and could prolong the agony. Instead we should hold a referendum which offers people the choice between a soft Brexit deal and remaining in the EU. Parliament should pass all the necessary legislation to implement the deal so, if people vote again to Leave, Brexit would happen immediately and require no further votes in parliament.

Paul Masterton, a Scottish Tory MP, said:

My instinct on this is the numbers are there for a second referendum if he doesn’t bring back a deal, but they aren’t if he does.

Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, told a conference on Saturday:

If Johnson does manage to negotiate a deal… then we will insist that it is put back to the people in a confirmatory vote. If he can’t – or I should say won’t – get a deal … we will take whatever steps are necessary to prevent our country crashing out of the EU without a deal.

If Johnson has not secured a deal by 19 October, he is obliged under the Benn act to ask the EU for an extension to UK membership until Jan 31. Starmer said Labour would ensure he complied with the law.

I have heard some cabinet ministers suggest that Johnson could send a second letter to the EU saying he doesn’t want an extension. That’s the equivalent of attaching a Post-it note to divorce papers saying ‘only kidding’! It’s a ridiculous idea. So, let me be clear: if no deal is secured by this time next week, Boris Johnson must seek and accept an extension.

Johnson is expected to update the cabinet on Sunday afternoon. A Downing Street source said:

We’ve always wanted a deal. It is good to see progress but we will wait to see if this is a genuine breakthrough. We are a long way from a final deal. The weekend and next week remain critical to leaving with a deal on Oct 31. We remain prepared to leave without a deal on Oct 31.