March 25, 2019
International trade secretary says real choice is still between Theresa May’s deal and no deal
Government could ignore indicative Brexit votes, says Liam Fox
Liam Fox has indicated the government could ignore MPs’ views from indicative Brexit votes this week if parliament’s stated choice goes against the Conservative manifesto, insisting the real choice is still between Theresa May’s deal and no deal.
The international trade secretary dismissed calls for May to be ousted, or for the prime minister to offer to resign in return for her Brexit plan being passed, as suggested to her by Tory Brexiters on Sunday.
Asked about plans to replace May, Fox told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think there’s a lot of supposition in this. What I think is true is that the real debate is not really about the withdrawal agreement at all. The real debate is about our future relationship with the European Union once we’ve left.”
Later on Monday, after May has updated the Commons on last week’s Brussels summit, MPs will have a chance to vote for an amendment seeking to reserve Wednesday’s Commons business for a series of non-binding indicative votes on various Brexit options.
But Fox said the fact the options would include ideas such as a deal involving single market membership, a second referendum or rescinding Brexit, showed there was a disconnect between a “leave electorate and, seemingly, a remain-leaning parliament”.
He said: “I was elected, as 80% of members were, to respect the referendum and leave the European Union. I was also elected on a manifesto that specifically said no single market and no customs union. That, for Conservative MPs who are honouring the manifesto, limits their room for manoeuvre.
“And that is part of the reality that restricts us here. The number one constraint is that we contracted out parliament’s sovereignty on the issue of the European Union to the people.”
MPs should instead, Fox said, focus on passing May’s deal at the third time of asking or else risk no deal or a further Brexit delay necessitating the UK taking part in European elections. The latter would, he predicted, “unleash a torrent of pent-up frustration from voters”.
The chances of May’s deal being passed appeared to grow even more distant after a summit on Sunday at her Chequers country retreat, with Boris Johnson and other leading hard-Brexiters leaving without agreement.
Tory rebels present said the prime minister repeated “all the same lines” about her deal and that nothing new emerged during the three-hour meeting, at which Jacob Rees-Mogg, Iain Duncan Smith and Dominic Raab were also present.
The talks took place amid reports of an imminent coup to remove the prime minister – claims that were forcefully denied by Michael Gove, David Lidington and Philip Hammond.
However, calls for May to depart soon have grown, with the Sun on Monday using its front page for an editorial demanding the prime minister step down.
Nigel Evans, a leading Conservative Brexiter, and joint executive secretary of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, said on Monday that May should set out a plans to quit to get her deal through.
“Clearly a number of people do not want the prime minister anywhere near the next phase of negotiations, which is the future trading relationship between ourselves and the EU,” he told Today.
If she left there could be “an orderly replacement of the prime minister” with a full leadership contest, he said.
Oliver Letwin, the Conservative former minister who is among those who have led the amendment on the indicative votes, now signed by more than 120 MPs, told Today it could take several rounds of voting to find a consensus.
“I think MPs are very grown up and sensible about this, and given the opportunity, eventually – not necessarily in the first round – they will probably come up with an alternative,” he said.
Others in attendance at Chequers on Sunday included David Davis, a former Brexit secretary, Steve Baker, a leading hard Brexiter, and May ally Damian Green.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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