Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron arrives at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London. | HANNAH MCKAY

This week unexpected twists in British politics meanwhile, Spain faces controversy with Prime Minister Sánchez's divisive deal, and Spain seeks to scrap the 90-day rule for UK citizens.

‘Call Me Dave’ is Back

When Suella Braverman was relieved of her duties on Monday, the plot twist that nobody expected was the return of former Prime Minister David Cameron to the cabinet. With James Cleverly shunted into the Home Secretary position, it left a vacancy at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for a certain Mr Cameron to fill. So, seven years after he left Downing Street following the ill-fated EU referendum, he not only finds himself back at the frontline of British politics but also a life peer in order to formalise his comeback. In a world rocked by events in the Middle East and Ukraine, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak clearly believes that Cameron will bring a much-needed depth of experience (Cameron became an MP in 2001, Sunak in 2015), while the new Foreign Secretary is likely hoping that the public will overlook the skeletons in his closet, from Greensill to austerity and, the gift that keeps on giving, Brexit.

An investiture plenary session is held at the Spanish parliament, in Madrid
Pedro Sanchez voted Prime Minister again.

Sanchez’s Divisive Deal

Here in Spain, Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is odds-on to secure another term in the top political spot after two tough days of investiture debate. To collect enough votes to see off his PP rival, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, Sánchez has struck up various coalition deals, including offering an amnesty to two key Catalan separatist parties - ERC and Junts - in exchange for support. The amnesty would wipe the slate clean for those activists and civil servants involved in the illegal independence referendum of 2017. One of those to benefit would be Carles Puigdemont who fled to exile in Belgium after the failed breakaway attempt, but could now feasibly return to Spain without being arrested. News of the amnesty has sparked huge, sometimes violent, protests in Madrid, Barcelona and beyond. Spain has been looked after by a caretaker government since the inconclusive national elections of July 23.

Scrap the 90-Day Cap

Having dropped its post-Brexit requirement for British musicians and roadies to obtain a complicated work visa for activities shorter than 90 days, the Spanish Government seems to want to take things a giant step further and scrap the 90-day ruling for all UK citizens coming to Spain. Life has been especially challenging for second-home owners since Brexit and, as the UK is at the cornerstone of Spain’s tourist market, the powers that be are going to approach the EU and ask them to lift the 90-day limit. Of course, the rule isn’t something that Spain implemented, nor is able to get rid of, but it hopes that it can lobby the EU to be made an exception. As it stands, third-country citizens (including Brits) can only stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days for every 180. Those who overstay their welcome may face penalties, deportation, and bans on future entry. Meanwhile in France, the French Senate has recently approved an amendment to the country’s immigration law giving British homeowners the automatic right to a long-stay visa. The National Assembly must debate the change before it becomes law. If rubber-stamped, Brits would only have to worry about the 90/180 dilemma when visiting Schengen areas outside of France.

PALMA - Normalidad en el primer día a 80 en la vía de cintura FOTO:PERE BOTA
Speed limit to change from 80 to 100 next month.

End of the Eighty

Put 18 December in your diary, for on this day the speed limit on Palma’s Vía Cintura will rise from 80 to a more favourable 100kph. When President of the Balearics, Marga Prohens, swept into power this summer, she pledged to eliminate the unpopular 80kph maximum established by her predecessors on 31 January 2021. True to her word, the entire Vía will adopt the new 100kph limit, except for the Génova tunnel and Can Blau level crossing which will remain at 80 for safety reasons. The transition also comes with improvements to the road surface and acoustic screens for noise reduction.

Lashings of Hash

By way of a sequel to the 19 bundles of hashish that were recovered in waters off Mallorca last month, 59 more have appeared off the south coast of Minorca. Their discovery took place between Friday and Saturday, with each bale weighing around 35 to 40kg. In fact, a helicopter had to be called in to lift them to shore. As yet, the origin of the narcotics is unknown, and it remains to be seen if the two hauls are connected.

Premios Billboard 2019
Billionaire singer-songwriter is looking for a home on the island.

Migratory Swift?

According to the celebrity rumour mill, Taylor Swift is house hunting in Mallorca. The billionaire singer-songwriter was on the Island in September to celebrate the nuptials of Film Director Steven Piet and actor Joey King, and could be drawn to our laidback lifestyle and scenic coastal landscapes. If she invests in Balearic bricks and mortar, she’ll be joining the ranks of fellow celebs Michael Douglas, Brad Pitt, Annie Lennox, Richard Branson, Joseph Fiennes and more. Taylor is currently busy with The Eras Tour which started in the US on 17 March and will see her play 151 shows across 5 continents before its conclusion in Canada in December next year.

Second Summer

No English-speaking newspaper round-up would be complete without a mention of the weather. Since last Friday, Mallorca has been experiencing a ‘second summer’ characterised by unseasonably high temperatures – up to 27 degrees in parts of the Island - with 19 being more normal for this time of year. But, while the calm, settled anticyclonic conditions will predominate throughout the weekend, residents are shortly in for a shock. Cold air from Northern Europe will arrive on Tuesday causing temperatures to plummet by around 10 degrees. Rain is also expected. Enjoy the last of the t-shirt weather while you can.