Boris Johnson promised he would never agree to a Brexit deal like this under any circumstances
- Boris Johnson will on Saturday urge members of the UK Parliament to back his new Brexit deal with the EU.
- Under the deal, the UK will cut all existing customs and trade ties with the European Union, with the exception of Northern Ireland which will retain some trading arrangements in order to avoid a hard border with Ireland.
- However, this decision means that there will need to be new customs and regulatory checks on the Irish Sea, effectively creating a new border between the two parts of the United Kingdom.
- Read more: What is in Boris Johnson's new Brexit deal with the EU and what does it all mean?
- Johnson's U-turn on this pledge has lost him the support of the DUP who are now committed to opposing the deal when it comes to a vote on Saturday.
Amazon Releases New Public Data Set to Help Address “Cocktail Party” Problem
- Maarten Van Segbroeck, an applied scientist in the Alexa International group and first author on the associated paper, cowrote this post with Zaid Ahmed.
- Amazon today announced the public release of a new data set that will help speech scientists address the difficult problem of separating speech signals in reverberant rooms with multiple speakers.
- Each participant was outfitted with a headset microphone, which captured a clear, speaker-specific signal.
- Also dispersed around the room were five devices with seven microphones each, which fed audio signals directly to an administrator’s laptop.
- The data set we are releasing includes both the raw audio from each of the seven microphones in each device and the headset signals.
- The headset signals provide speaker-specific references that can be used to gauge the success of speech separation systems acting on the signals from the microphone arrays.
Has Boris Johnson's Brexit deal got the votes to pass the UK Parliament?
- That leaves 639 voting MPs, which means Johnson needs 320 -- a simple majority -- to get his Brexit deal through.
- There are 244 Labour MPs, but a handful of them voted for Theresa May's deal and might vote for Boris Johnson's.
- The Democratic Unionist Party, which props up the Conservative government, says they won't vote for the deal.
- The Scottish Nationalist Party, Plaid Cymru, Independent Group for Change and the one Green MP are all likely to vote against the Johnson deal -- another 45 against, for a total of about 295.
- Among them, the most important group is the 28 self-styled "Spartans" -- the hard Brexiteers who voted against Theresa May's deal on all three occasions it was put before Parliament.
- Add to that the the handful of Labour MPs who might support the government, which gets Johnson closer to 310.
Here's what we really need to be debating
- Rather than encouraging conversations about big, long-term challenges that the nation faces, the discussion too often veers toward what is currently on the minds of viewers.
- As a nation, red and blue, we need to hear how a candidate thinks about these if we are to really evaluate what they would want to do with their power, should they win.
- The history of great leadership revolves around moments when US presidents have been able to tackle these sorts of challenges.
- Johnson pushing through Congress federal policies that ended the plight of elderly Americans lacking health care, and Ronald Reagan figuring out an arms agreement that helped break down the Cold War. When presidential historians talk about legacies, this is what we are talking about.
- The party leaders who agree on the framework and the moderators who handle the actual conversation must make sure that candidates are pushed into this sort of conversation.
What is in Boris Johnson's new Brexit deal with the EU and what does it all mean?
- But it also means there will need to be a new regulatory border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom in the Irish Sea. This will lead to big new costs for trade on both sides of the United Kingdom and is opposed by Johnson's governing partners the Democratic Unionist Party.
- This combined with the continuing opposition of the DUP, who say they will be "unable to support these proposals in Parliament," means that Johnson's prospects of passing the deal look very slim.
- Boris Johnson and Arlene Foster Reuters The DUP principally objects to the proposals because it is a unionist party, meaning it opposes any barriers being erected between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
- Instead, the Northern Irish assembly as a whole will decide how to vote, meaning republican parties — who are politically opposed to the DUP — will have to give consent to arrangements as well.
Boris Johnson's opponents move to force a second Brexit referendum as hopes for passing a deal fade
- LONDON — The prospects of a second Brexit referendum increased dramatically on Thursday after a Labour minister indicated that the opposition party will instruct its MPs to back moved to hold a public vote on Boris Johnson's proposed deal.
- British people believe the vote to leave the EU was a mistake, according to long-running polling by YouGov. The prime minister is hoping to secure a revised Brexit agreement by the end of the day, which would allow EU leaders to sign it off tomorrow and set up a historic sitting of parliament on Saturday, where he would ask MPs to approve his plan.
- Many Labour MPs have said that they would only be willing to back the deal if it was attached to a confirmatory public vote, and plan to table an amendment to Saturday's vote, insisting that a deal will only be approved if it wins majority support in a referendum, which Labour appears increasingly likely to whip their MPs in favour of.
Boris Johnson has finally agreed a Brexit deal with the EU
- Focus will now turn to whether Johnson has enough support pass the deal through the Commons, after Johnson's governing partners rejected the agreement.
- The self-styled "Spartans," a group of 28 Brexit-supporting Conservative MPs who voted against Theresa May's withdrawal plan three times, have indicated they are willing to back the deal however.
- But Johnson's hopes of success may rest on a handful of Labour MPs in Leave-voting seats, who say they are willing to back a deal but may decide to vote against Johnson's, as they voted against Theresa May's.
- Stephen Kinnock, the Labour MP for Averon, previously indicated he was willing to vote for a Conservative deal but on Tuesday said the prime minister should table an alternative proposal which could win cross-party backing.
Breaking: Pound Collapses as Brexit Deal Crumbles in Flames
- Any hopes of securing a last-minute Brexit deal today went up in flames as the Northern Irish Democratic Union Party (DUP) said they couldn’t support Boris Johnson’s latest proposals “as it stands”.
- Boris Johnson returned to the EU in recent months to negotiate a fresh deal after former Prime Minster Theresa May failed to find a solution.
- But without a clear majority in parliament, Johnson needed the backing of 10 obscure Northern Irish MPs in the Democratic Union Party.
- Traders reacted immediately, sending the British pound tumbling 0.6% against the dollar in a matter of minutes.
- The likelihood of the UK crashing out the EU without a deal has now increased dramatically unless Boris Johnson can find a solution today that appeals to the EU and the DUP.
- Reach him at benjamin-brown.uk or on Twitter at _Ben_Brown.
- Email ben @ benjamin-brown.uk.
'Office Ladies' podcast takes you inside Dunder Mifflin
- That's what they're counting on with "Office Ladies," a podcast launched Wednesday in which Fischer and Kinsey take a stroll down memory lane with the goal of reliving every single episode from the show's nine seasons in a way only they could.
- Only they can talk about the struggle of having audio packs with Velcro straps snagging on pantyhose or when a very-pregnant Kinsey had to get through a scene in the "Dinner Party" episode with her daughter furiously kicking her.
- The idea for "Office Ladies" was born when Kinsey and Fischer came across several plastic bins worth of memorabilia from their time on the show during respective cleaning sprees.
- And Fischer and Kinsey say they want each of their co-stars on as guests, as well as directors, writers and other people whose work behind the scenes crafted the show that's found new generations of fans since signing off in 2013.
Donald Trump tweeted that the Fox impeachment poll was 'incorrect.' It's not.
- Trump's tweet refers to a New York Post piece headlined "Fox News pollster Braun Research misrepresented impeachment poll: analysis." The entire piece is premised on this simple idea: The Fox News poll had a sample of 48% Democrats and Democratic-leaners when, in fact, the actual number, according to Gallup, is closer to 31%.
- The conclusion: Fox News over-sampled Democrats in this poll and so, of course, the results show that people want impeachment!
- Yes, the most recent Gallup party ID poll showed the electorate this way: 38% independents, 31% Democrats and 29% Republicans.
- Because we know from past election results that more people are likely to identify as independents when the election is far off than identify as such when they actually vote.
- A look back at the 2016 exit polling makes that clear: 36% identified as Democrats while 33% called themselves independents and 29% ID'd as Republicans.