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19 September 2019

Five things you need to know today: Cameron went to the palace, and time is running out

Also, the questionable life choices of Justin Trudeau.

By New Statesman

Cameron asked Queen for help

David Cameron has admitted asking for the Queen’s help in bolstering the unionist camaign the run up to Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum. In an interview with the BBC, the former Prime Minister revealed that, after a YouGov poll put the “yes” campaign ahead for the first time, he’d felt a “mounting sense of panic”. 

In response, he’d spoken to the Queen’s private secretary, suggesting that, “just a raising of the eyebrow, even you know a quarter of an inch, we thought would make a difference”. The SNP’s Pete Wishart described Cameron’s intervention as “almost beyond belief”.

EU moves to tighten Brexit deadline

Boris Johnson has 12 days to produce fresh Brexit proposals, or “It’s over” for hopes of a deal, Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne said last night. Rinne said 

he and France’s President Emmanuel Macron had agreed that the UK would have until the end of September to produce proposals in writing. Finland currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency – but it’s not clear whether the comments reflect the view of the supranational body as a whole.

Downing Street told the BBC, “We will continue negotiating and put forward proposals at the appropriate time.” Reassuring.

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Climate change most important crisis

Three-quarters of the public believe that climate change is the most important crisis facing the planet, a survey has found. The poll of eight western countries, commissioned by Hope Not Hate, found that a majority of people now think that “time is running out” to save the planet. The survey comes a day before people take to the streets for a week of global climate strikes.

Trudeau under fire over “brownface” picture

Justin Trudeau has apologised, after photos emerged of him in full “brown-face” make up at a 2001 costume party. The photographs, published by Time magazine, were taken at an “Arabian Nights” themed party at the private school where the then 29 year old was working as a teacher.

“I shouldn’t have done that,” Canada’s Prime Minister told reporters. “I should’ve known better but I didn’t. And I’m really sorry.” The photos, frankly, have to be seen to believed. 

And finally

Even as we write, John Humphrys is presenting Radio 4’s Today programme for the very final time. The 76 year old, whose final show will include interviews with David Cameron and Tony Blair, has presented the programme for 32 years. A nation mourns.

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