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22 October 2019

Five things you need to know today: Trudeau loses majority, and last push on Brexit

Also: number plates go green.

By New Statesman

Trudeau loses majority

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau looks likely to have lost his majority in the country’s parliament, meaning that he will have to rely on other parties to pass legislation in his second term. 

Projected results from yesterday’s federal election suggest that Trudeau’s centre-right liberals will win 156 seats, down from 184 in 2015, and 14 short of a majority. His main rivals, the Conservatives, are up from 95 to 122. 

MPs to vote on Brexit timetable

The House of Commons will today vote on the government’s proposed Brexit timetable, which would allow the UK to leave the European Union by the end of this month. 

The programme motion, which MPs will vote on today, would see them spend the next three days on intensive debate of the 110 page Withdrawal Agreement Bill published last night, before voting to confirm it on Thursday. Opposition MPs have warned that this is not enough time to give proper consideration to such important legislation.

“ISIS bride” appeals loss of citizenship

Shamima Begum, the so-called “ISIS bride” who travelled to Syria to join Islamic State, is beginning an appeal against the government’s decision to strip her of British citizenship. 

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Then Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked Begum’s citizenship last February, claiming she still posed a risk to the public. Begum’s lawyers argue that, because it left her stateless, the move was illegal. The preliminary hearing at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission is expected to last four days.

UK police fly to US to interview Harry Dunn suspect

British detectives are travelling to the United States to continue their investigations into the death of Harry Dunn. The 19 year old died after a crash involving a car owned by a US citizen, who later left the country claiming diplomatic immunity. Dunn’s family, who understood the investigation to have been completed, described the news as “perplexing”.

Numberplates go green

The government has unveiled plans for electric vehicles to use bright green number plates. The move is intended to make it easier to identify the vehicles, to make it easier for them to benefit from schemes, such as free parking or low-emission zones, aimed at greener vehicles. Environmental charities said that, without financial incentives, the plan was little more than a gimmick.