European Lawmakers Pass Contentious Copyright Law

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Despite massive protests, the European Parliament has voted in favour of a new copyright directive. I’m not sure what to think of it. On the one hand, I think it’s vital that copyright holder get paid for their work. On the other hand, free speech in an open debate is paramount. We’ll now have to wait and see what national legislators make of this. My guess is that that most Europeans will never notice the new rules.

Austrian Government MPs Exposed as Members of Nazi Facebook Group

The Facebook group contains propaganda glorifying National Socialism as well as quotes from the French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson under headlines such as “Not a single Jew has been killed in a gas chamber”, Liam Hoare of the Jewish Chronicle reports.

Revolting stupidity.

British Parliament Seizes Control of Brexit Process

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The Speaker of the House of Commons

“An amendment tabled by former Tory minister Oliver Letwin passed, by 329 votes to 302, defeating the government, as MPs expressed their exasperation at its failure to set out a fresh approach,” Heather Stewart and Jessica Elgot of the Guardian write.

The carousel goes another spin…

A government spokesperson has issued the following statement after the defeat:

It is disappointing to see this amendment pass, as the government made a clear commitment to provide a process to find a majority in parliament for a way forward this week.

This amendment instead upends the balance between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future.

While it is now up to parliament to set out next steps in respect of this amendment, the government will continue to call for realism – any options considered must be deliverable in negotiations with the EU. Parliament should take account of how long these negotiations would take, and if they’d require a longer extension which would mean holding European parliamentary elections.