|26/04/2019||Vince Cable: Anti-Brexit parties should have joined forces for European elections||,,Vince Cable has admitted his “regret” that Remain parties will not be fighting the EU elections on a united front.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|26/04/2019||Lib Dems launch EU election campaign with 'Stop Brexit' message||,,
Party to field 70 candidates but laments Change UK’s refusal to join forces on remain ticket
The Liberal Democrats launched their European election campaign on Friday in east London with a simple message, Stop Brexit, but expressed disappointment that there wasn’t a single pro-Europe grouping.
The “unapologetically pro-European party” slate of 70 candidates includes local councillors, a chartered engineer, a former journalist, and those who are new to politics.Continue reading...
|26/04/2019||To rage against Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK is simply childish | Simon Jenkins||,,No conceivable purpose is served by 200,000 people coming to London to shout insults at the US president
What is the matter with us? A US president has been invited to Britain on a state visit, and is coming in June. It is a state courtesy, between one democracy and another, on the occasion of a wartime anniversary. No conceivable purpose is served by 200,000 people coming to London to shout insults at him.
I cannot think what possessed Theresa May to invite Donald Trump in the first place, but she did. State visits are like that. The Queen entertained Romania’s Ceauşescu, Zimbabwe’s Mugabe and Zaire’s Mobutu. Alongside them, Trump might seem an angel. Britain has the deepest of bonds with the US, with ties of history, commerce, culture and education. Washington’s present leadership may embarrass, even outrage, people on both sides of the Atlantic. That is no reason for childish protests against a guest invited in Britain’s name.Continue reading...
|26/04/2019||Forget Andrew Adonis’s U-turn on Brexit. It’s Labour that should really make one | Mike Galsworthy||,,The anti-Brexit campaigner now says he supports the party’s ‘sensible alternative plan’. But the leadership must change tack
On Wednesday, Andrew Adonis, a leading anti-Brexit champion, appeared to put the strangest statement on his Facebook page. “I am deeply sorry for off-the-cuff comments I made during a live LBC radio phone-in last September,” he wrote. “I encourage all voters, whatever their position on Brexit, to vote Labour in the upcoming European parliament elections.” He then began a very uncharacteristic officious policy sermon including the statement: “Labour has put forward a sensible alternative plan that would ensure a close economic relationship with the EU after Brexit.”Continue reading...
|26/04/2019||In the Brexit era, Britain is more Mr Bean than James Bond | Owen Jones||,,If there’s any film character Tory Brexiteers identify with it’s tool of empire Bond. In reality, they’re more slapstick than sexy
We spend far too much time getting down about the state of the country – the whole international laughing-stock, spinning manically out of control and generally going nowhere thing is pretty draining. Yet hardly any effort is spent crudely shoehorning in film references to explain our political plight. This is a real shame, because for the Tory Brexiteers who valiantly yelled “Charge!”, then promptly led us off a cliff, the story of the past three years has fundamentally been a clash between self-perception and reality.
Our macho superhero will gloriously defend a country whose government has wet itself while everyone else was watchingContinue reading...
|26/04/2019||Remainers: don’t panic about European elections. Just participating is a win | Jonathan Lis||,,Yes, the Brexit party may do well. But the elections will change little, and disprove the idea that the EU lacks democracy
Shall we start with the good news or the bad news? The bad news is that the remainers’ European election campaign has so far proved an amateurish shambles. The anti-Brexit parties have refused to coalesce and are arguing among themselves, the Labour party is still pretending it doesn’t want the election to happen, while Change UK is campaigning under three aliases and has already lost two candidates to historical racist tweets.
The good news is that it almost certainly doesn’t matter. Of course the European elections are important, and of course remainers should aim to succeed. The European parliament gives legislators – and by extension, ordinary voters – direct power and influence over the EU project. Consequently the election will help shape our contribution to the EU in the coming months (or perhaps years). What it will not do is change any of the facts or dynamics over Brexit.Continue reading...
|26/04/2019||Scottish nationalism’s Brexit hiatus||,,Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this week held back from triggering a second referendum on independence.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|26/04/2019||P&O sues over £33m Eurotunnel payout in Brexit ferry fiasco||,,
Firm says government’s settlement puts it at a competitive disadvantage
P&O Ferries is suing the government over its £33m settlement with Eurotunnel, in the latest controversy over the Department for Transport’s fraught no-deal Brexit preparations.
The department was forced into the £33m payout after failing to include Eurotunnel in its agreements with ferry operators to provide emergency cross-Channel services, including the scrapped contract with Seaborne Freight.Continue reading...
|26/04/2019||Brexit: Irish backstop could undermine EU standards, report says||,,
Study for German Green party says backstop could let UK flout EU green and social standards
It is a dastardly trap, designed to lock freedom-loving Britain into the European Union’s protectionist customs union: that is the argument against the so-called backstop, cited by hardline Brexit advocates as the main reason why they have thrice voted down Theresa May’s deal with the European Union.
But as the dust settles after months of chaos in Westminster, suspicions are growing on the other side of the Channel that the backstop could in fact be the very opposite: a brilliant deception device constructed by crack UK negotiators, which would allow a more reckless British prime minister to undermine the EU’s green and social standards while still keeping access to the European single market.Continue reading...
|26/04/2019||How an act of anti-Welsh vandalism is fuelling the push for independence | Michelle Thomas||,,
A new spirit has arisen from the desecration of a memorial to the flooding of a village so an English city could have water
Cofiwch Dryweryn. These words – “Remember Tryweryn” – crudely scrawled on a wall near Aberystwyth in the 1960s, serve as a memorial for Capel Celyn, the Welsh-speaking village that was flooded to provide water for Liverpool, some 67 miles away, in 1965.
Liverpool city council officially apologised for its actions 40 years later, in 2005, but the mural commemorates a painful and pivotal period in Welsh history which had far-reaching consequences for Welsh politics, including the significant loss of Labour seats to the nationalist party, Plaid Cymru, in 1966. It could be argued that if Capel Celyn hadn’t been drowned, the Welsh assembly wouldn’t have been established just over 30 years later. That’s what “Cofiwch Dryweryn” stands for.Continue reading...
|26/04/2019||Theresa May risking public faith in politics over EU election: UK watchdog||,,Situation is 'unprecedented in a mature democracy,' according to Electoral Commission chair John Holmes.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|26/04/2019||Let foreign students work in the UK for two years after graduation, says former universities minister||,,Foreign students should be allowed to work in the UK for up to two years after they graduate, according to a former universities minister.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|26/04/2019||Boris Johnson pockets £160,000 for just two speeches||,,Boris Johnson has bagged a staggering £160,000 in additional earnings for two speeches he gave in March.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|26/04/2019||Farage and Extinction Rebellion: two politics of protest, only one has a future | Gary Younge||,,The Brexit party and climate protesters share a frustration with conventional politics. There the similarity ends
Watching Nigel Farage, leader of the new Brexit party, saunter the few minutes from a Wetherspoons pub to Clacton pier on Wednesday, surrounded by media and supporters, I recalled Michael Rosen’s poem explaining that fascism does not arrive “in fancy dress”: “Fascism arrives as your friend. / It will restore your honour, / make you feel proud, / protect your house, / give you a job, / clean up the neighbourhood, / remind you of how great you once were …”
The point here is not to insult – though those it describes will, of course, be insulted. It is to offer the closest, most accurate description of the social base, rhetorical impulses and political orientation of those attending and addressing the Brexit party event. They are the same people you will see at a Le Pen, Salvini or a Trump rally: older, rural, exurban and provincial (they were white, too, though since this was Clacton, that is hardly an indicator). The collection of pinstripes, tattoos, Barbour jackets and tracksuits marks a crude illustration of the class alliances at play. Rich and poor, brought together by a chronic grievance.Continue reading...
|26/04/2019||Labour unveils plan for £2.8bn social care fund to help dementia sufferers||,,A Labour government would spend an extra £2.8bn on adult social care in a bid to improve the lives of people suffering with dementia, the party have announced.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|26/04/2019||Senior ministers deny being source of Huawei leak as top civil servant launches inquiry||,,Senior ministers have denied being behind the leak of information from a top-security meeting amid calls for a criminal probe to be launched.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|26/04/2019||Anger as Labour European election leaflets fail to mention second referendum||,,Labour frontbenchers have reacted with fury after the party produced European election leaflets without any mention of a second referendum.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|25/04/2019||Adonis apologises for telling Brexiters not to vote Labour in EU elections||,,
Peer backs party’s alternative plan for leaving EU in post criticised by Chuka Umunna
The pro-remain Labour peer Andrew Adonis, who is standing for the party in the EU elections, has backed its “sensible alternative plan” to deliver a Brexit deal, in a Facebook post that baffled some of his supporters.
In the post, Lord Adonis, a candidate European parliament elections candidate in the South West England constituency, apologised for “off-the-cuff comments” he had made during an LBC radio phone interview, in which he said those who were pro-Brexit should not vote Labour because the party was going to stop Britain leaving the EU.Continue reading...
|25/04/2019||The Guardian view on the Conservatives: the headless chicken party | Editorial||,,Brexit is destroying the Tory party. But the latest leak reveals a government that has lost its bearings on national security too
In the view of the postwar Labour prime minister Clement Attlee, “No government can be successful which cannot keep its secrets.” By that yardstick, still the traditional one in British politics, Theresa May’s government is one of the least successful in our history. This is not merely the view of its opponents. It is also the view of its own key members. Less than a month ago the Conservative chief whip, Julian Smith, admitted to the BBC that “discipline is not as good as it should be”. Brexit, he continued, had generated “the worst example of ill-discipline in cabinet in British political history”.
That’s quite a claim. But it is hard to blame Brexit directly for the extraordinarily reckless new act of indiscipline that took place this week. On Tuesday the government’s national security council, which is chaired by the prime minister and contains senior ministers as well as security officials, agreed that the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei could build parts of the UK’s 5G network. This would normally have been a tightly guarded and unpublicised decision – Attlee, for instance, involved only a few trusted ministers in his momentous 1947 decision to build an independent British nuclear weapon. Instead, the Huawei decision was reported in full detail in the following morning’s Daily Telegraph, which named five cabinet ministers who opposed it, and laid the decision directly at the feet of Mrs May.Continue reading...
|25/04/2019||Hunt calls for Trump to address parliament during state visit||,,
Foreign secretary’s support for US president seen as revealing ambition to be next Tory leader
Jeremy Hunt has come out in favour of Donald Trump being invited to address both Houses of Parliament despite protestations from other politicians about the controversial state visit, as he made a thinly veiled pitch to be the next Conservative leader.
The foreign secretary said it was important to give the US president the “best possible welcome” when he visits in June to attend D-day commemorations.Continue reading...
|25/04/2019||Liam Fox accused of legitimising climate change denial - live news||,,
Rolling coverage of the day’s political coverage as it happens
Scotland’s future cannot and will not be decided by the arrogant diktat of this shambles of a Tory government which has been rejected by Scottish voters at every election and which is soon likely to be out of office.
Whatever people’s views on independence, a strong majority of people back the Scottish parliament’s right to determine the nation’s future.
It has got to be somebody who believes in Brexit because that’s the fundamental mission of the government at the moment.
You have to be someone who believes - as I do and, to be honest, I think all the people who are touted as leadership contenders do - that Britain can make an extraordinary success of our post-EU future.
This election will be very much be about the remain vs leave vote, this will very much be an election once again for people to register that they do not want to be dragged out of the EU, that there is no good to come from Brexit, and they do not want Brexit foisted upon us.
Turning back to Scotland and the SNP’s decision to push for another referendum on independence if the UK does leave the EU, John Swinney, the deputy first minister, has insisted that statements from the UK government saying it will not allow such a poll (yesterday, and again today) are not the end of the matter. Speaking at the Scottish Council of Development and Industry (SCDI) annual forum in Edinburgh, he said:
I don’t currently think the UK government looks particularly stable, if I may put it as delicately as that.
I think there’s a lot of water to go under the bridge about these questions, we’ve a lot of discussions to undertake with the UK government and others on these questions but I don’t think that should be viewed as the last word on the subject.Continue reading...
|25/04/2019||Row erupts as former Jeremy Corbyn aide is made Labour's head of complaints||,,A row has erupted over a former aide to Jeremy Corbyn being put in charge of Labour's complaints unit.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|25/04/2019||US deal damned whether we’re in EU customs union or not||,,
White House is against UK-EU customs union, Congress won’t sign off deal without one. Brexiters’ transatlantic trade dream is going nowhere.
The post US deal damned whether we’re in EU customs union or not appeared first on InFacts.
|25/04/2019||Jeremy Hunt: I would choose no-deal over no Brexit||,,Jeremy Hunt has said he would rather the UK left the European Union without a deal than stay in the bloc.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|25/04/2019||Don’t write off Andrew Adonis yet||,,
Adonis’ parroting of Labour’s mealy-mouthed policy will be vindicated if Corbyn comes off fence. If not, he shouldn’t stand as a candidate.
|25/04/2019||Liam Fox branded ‘dinosaur’ for suggesting public may not ‘accept’ climate change causes||,,Liam Fox has been branded a “dinosaur” in his attitude to climate change after he called on the public to help tackle it regardless of if they believe scientists’ explanations of its causes.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|25/04/2019||EXCL Theresa May’s top official launches leak inquiry after Huawei 5G decision revealed||,,Theresa May’s most senior national security adviser has launched an inquiry after details of a top secret meeting on Chinese firm Huawei’s role in the UK’s 5G network were leaked, PoliticsHome has learned.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|25/04/2019||MPs warn post-Brexit environment plans fall ‘woefully short’||,,
Proposals to replace EU rules ‘downgrade’ green principles, says cross-party committee
Proposals to replace the EU’s strong environmental protections after Brexit “fall woefully short”, according to a highly critical report from a cross-party committee of MPs.
The environment secretary, Michael Gove, said in December that the UK’s environmental standards would be enhanced after Brexit. But the MPs’ report said the proposals “severely downgrade” the environmental principles that underpin current EU rules.Continue reading...
|25/04/2019||Farage wants voters to ‘trust’ him. That’s rich||,,
Brexit Party is appealing to voters “on trust”. Its leader’s record as MEP, lies in 2016 and subsequent vanishing act suggest anything but.
|25/04/2019||There will be no soft Brexit now. It’s no deal, revoke or another vote | Martin Kettle||,,
A compromise solution was possible once, but not any more. For pro-Europeans, the choice is starker and simpler
Ever since the Brexit vote in June 2016, many of us pro-Europeans have had to live with a dilemma. On the one hand, we regarded the vote to leave the European Union as a disaster for our country. On the other, we accepted the galling reality that it was the democratically expressed view of the majority. Three years on, I still think we were right about Brexit. But we still lost the vote.
At times in the past five months, a pragmatic compromise has seemed tantalisingly viableContinue reading...
|25/04/2019||UK growth likely to rise above 1.5% next year, says thinktank||,,
Plans to ease austerity slightly over next five years are not believable, according to NIESR
Britain’s growth rate will bounce back above 1.5% next year as ministers exceed existing public spending budgets to cope with an ageing population, a leading thinktank has said.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said plans to ease austerity only slightly over the next five years were “unbelievable”. It added that government spending would almost certainly need to increase by more than expected in the next few years, increasing the UK’s GDP growth.Continue reading...
|24/04/2019||Theresa May survives attempt to allow early no-confidence vote||,,
Move to alter Tory party rules fails but backbenchers demand ‘roadmap’ for her departure
Theresa May has survived an attempt to change Tory party rules to make it possible to oust her within weeks, but backbench MPs have demanded a “roadmap” for her departure, in a fresh blow to her authority.
Amid a growing sense of political paralysis at Westminster, Brexit-backing members of the executive of the powerful 1922 Committee were keen to change the rules that insulate the prime minister from a fresh leadership challenge until December.Continue reading...
|24/04/2019||1922 Committee rejects rule change for Tory leadership contests – live news||,,
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including PMQs
This is from my colleague Heather Stewart.
No plans for Theresa May to respond tonight to the 1922 committee's calls for her to set out a timetable for her departure if Brexit deal fails, Downing Street sources say.Continue reading...
|24/04/2019||Conservative MPs demand clearer ‘road map’ for May’s exit||,,But backbenchers opted not to change the rule that prevents her being challenged before December.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||Lyra McKee wrote of Derry’s lost ‘ceasefire babies’. We owe it to her to help them | Séamas O’Reilly||,,
The city is united in revulsion over the journalist’s murder. The violence won’t end unless we listen to young people
On Wednesday in Belfast, the funeral of journalist Lyra McKee took place, following her murder in Derry last week. She was a steadfast activist and writer who had, at just 29, been doing award-winning, hard-hitting and empathetic journalism for many years. She captured the experiences of LGBTI people in Northern Ireland, her own included, and portrayed the struggles of all people in the province regardless of age, class, orientation or politics. She had only recently moved to Derry to live with her partner, a native of the city. Responsibility for her death was claimed by the New IRA, a dissident paramilitary grouping mostly considered a fringe movement of dissolute men, now held in contempt by all but the most craven extremists. On Monday, it released a statement “apologising” for the killing, itself such a repulsive piece of self-serving cowardice that no further mention of its contents is warranted here.
As someone born and bred in Derry, I can scarcely remember the city being more united in revulsion. To see the DUP leader, Arlene Foster, applauded on stage at a vigil for McKee in the staunchly nationalist Creggan estate, is testament to that.Continue reading...
|24/04/2019||The European Parliament’s big Brexit problem||,,Britain’s 73 MEPs will upset the balance of power in Brussels.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||Nicola Sturgeon pushes for Scottish independence vote if Brexit goes ahead – video||,,
The first minister of Scotland is pressing for another referendum on independence by May 2021, assuming Brexit goes ahead. Speaking in the Scottish parliament, she said: 'If we are to safeguard Scotland’s interests we cannot wait indefinitely. That is why I consider that a choice between Brexit and a future for Scotland as an independent European nation should be offered in the lifetime of this parliament'Continue reading...
|24/04/2019||Farage: Brexit party will use EU poll to oust 'remain parliament'||,,
Ex-Ukip leader outlines ambition to take control of Brexit process at rally in Clacton
Nigel Farage has returned to the seaside town where Ukip had its first MP elected five years ago, promising at a rally in Clacton-on-Sea that his new Brexit party will use the momentum of European elections to oust a “remain parliament”.
Railing against a “political class” who he said had betrayed the people of Britain, Farage claimed to more than a thousand supporters on Clacton pier that what was at stake was not just Brexit, but whether or not Britain was a democratic country.Continue reading...
|24/04/2019||Second Change UK candidate quits EU election over past tweets||,,Joseph Russo dropped out after reports that he tweeted derogatory comments about women.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||Sturgeon: Brexit should trigger Scottish independence vote by 2021||,,Scotland's first minister says 'independent nations' wield more power in EU than Scotland does within the UK.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||Huawei dilemma is a question of Britain's post-Brexit future||,,
The UK must weigh its ties to the US and Australia against the value of Chinese friendship
It may sound like an argument about technology, but in reality it is a battle of geopolitics. Should Brexit Britain yield to pressure from the US and ban Chinese hi-tech manufacturer Huawei from supplying kit to British mobile phone companies?
Or should the UK keep the door open to China – and benefit not just from cheaper technology but across the economy in sectors such as nuclear power, where the world’s most populous country has shown it is willing to invest.Continue reading...
|24/04/2019||PM’s latest headache? Whether to extend Parliament session||,,
Ending current session now could help May bring her deal back. But it would open a can of worms with her party, DUP and Queen’s speech.
The post PM’s latest headache? Whether to extend Parliament session appeared first on InFacts.
|23/04/2019||Meet the anti-Farages||,,The Brexiteers 'stole our patriotism and I want it back,' says Change UK candidate Gavin Esler.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|23/04/2019||UK’s unpredictable European election — and its impact on Brussels||,,New parties look set to profit from Brexit uncertainty in the UK.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|23/04/2019||What are the major threats to Theresa May's leadership?||,,
PM faces pressure from her cabinet, the parliamentary party, grassroots activists, donors and other parties
Theresa May returns from the Easter recess facing pressure from all quarters of her party to consider her position as prime minister – but secure in the knowledge that there remains very little they can do to force her to go. Here’s a look at the pressure points on her.Continue reading...
|23/04/2019||Change UK unveils candidates for European election||,,The party describes itself as "the new Remain alliance."||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|23/04/2019||State visit is chance to remind Trump of EU’s role in peace||,,
UK visit due to happen alongside US president’s commemoration of D-Day. EU’s role in security of continent couldn’t be more pertinent.
The post State visit is chance to remind Trump of EU’s role in peace appeared first on InFacts.
|23/04/2019||4 ways to stop Brexit if Tories oust May||,,
If Tory MPs get rid of May as their leader, the political crisis will get even messier. But there will still be lots of ways to stop Brexit.
|21/04/2019||Liam Fox warns EU will get ‘disruptive and resentful’ British MEPs||,,Trouble ahead for bloc if Britain takes part in European Parliament election, UK trade secretary suggests.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|21/04/2019||Brexit: Labour must back another referendum - Tom Watson||,,Labour's deputy leader says the move would counter a challenge from Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|18/04/2019||All you need to know about Brexit||,,A guide to plans for the UK to leave the European Union.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|17/04/2019||Overall pro-EU vote is best measure of election success||,,
While bumper crop of pro-European MEPs would be great, a majority voting for pro-EU parties is key to winning public vote on Brexit.
The post Overall pro-EU vote is best measure of election success appeared first on InFacts.
|16/04/2019||Irish border could cost Brexiters their US trade fantasy||,,
Brexiters have been blasé about border politics since 2016. Now Congress speaker warns it could make their US trade dream a “non starter”.
The post Irish border could cost Brexiters their US trade fantasy appeared first on InFacts.
|16/04/2019||Actually, there is time to put it to the people||,,
Long-winded timetables that have been suggested can be shortened. Real problem is not law and procedure but lack of political commitment.
|16/04/2019||Donald Tusk and Guy Verhofstadt clash over Brexit extension – video||,,
Donald Tusk, the European council president, has turned his fire on senior MEPs after he was accused of dividing the EU and prolonging the Brexit crisis for Europe by delaying it to 31 October. The European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, had warned during a Brexit debate that the EU27’s decision last week would 'poison' the European elections in which Britain would now need to take part. Tusk replied by saying Verhofstadt should 'deeply rethink and reformulate' his argument, since he was 'heartily and energetically applauded' by Nigel FarageContinue reading...
|16/04/2019||Brexit weekly briefing: Tory support plummets as Halloween cliff-edge looms||,,
Exhausted MPs return home for Easter break while May stresses ‘need for reflection’
Welcome to the Guardian’s weekly Brexit briefing, trying to make sense of the nonsensical since June 2016. If you would like to receive this as a weekly email, please sign up here. And catch our monthly Brexit Means podcast here.
After all that excitement, the briefing is taking a break and will be back on 30 April.Continue reading...
|15/04/2019||Boris plan to heal country isn’t ‘serious analysis’ either||,,
Telegraph says Johnson columns not “serious, empirical, in-depth analysis of hard factual matters”. That very much applies to latest claims.
The post Boris plan to heal country isn’t ‘serious analysis’ either appeared first on InFacts.
|12/04/2019||What are the key dates between now and the new Brexit deadline?||,,
Britain is due to remain an EU member until 31 October after agreeing a six-month extension
This week, a six-hour debate among EU leaders concluded with Theresa May being offered a six-month extension to article 50.
Britain will remain a member state of the EU until 31 October, with the option to leave earlier if the prime minister can secure House of Commons support for her Brexit deal.Continue reading...
|12/04/2019||Nigel Farage launches Brexit Party ahead of European elections||,,Ex-UKIP leader calls for "democratic revolution", as Annunziata Rees-Mogg named among candidates.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|12/04/2019||Can the Tories and Labour agree on Brexit?||,,Both sides want to avoid taking part in European elections but significant hurdles to agreement remain.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|12/04/2019||'No more Mr Nice Guy': Nigel Farage launches Brexit party - video||,,
The former Ukip leader launched his new party on Friday, pledging there would be 'no more Mr Nice Guy'. Farage hit out at both the Conservative and Labour parties and said the two-party system was 'unfit for purpose', during his launch speech in Coventry, which was held days after Britain was granted a second Brexit delay. 'Our leaders are happy to continue down the path of managed decline. I genuinely believe right now, this nation, we are lions led by donkeys,' Farage said.Continue reading...
|12/04/2019||Owen Jones asks Sinn Féin leader if Brexit could lead to a united Ireland – video||,,
Owen Jones speaks to Mary Lou McDonald about Brexit, the implications for the peace process and the possibility of a united Ireland, and tries to answer once and for all why her party will never take its seats in the British parliamentContinue reading...
|12/04/2019||No-deal Brexit: What is the UK government doing to prepare?||,,Operation Yellowhammer is the name of the government's no-deal plan||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/04/2019||What does a Brexit delay mean for politics, business, citizens and the EU?||,,
Six-month extension presents opportunities, complications and more uncertainty
In the short term, the party is prepared to continue talks with Theresa May to try to see whether a compromise can be found on the future relationship that both sides can support. Two key problems threaten the prospect of success: the prime minister’s almost non-existent authority, and whether it is ultimately ever going to be in Labour’s interests to do a deal with the Tories.Continue reading...
|11/04/2019||What were Merkel and May laughing about at the EU summit? – video||,,
The summit on Wednesday was off to promising start as Angela Merkel approached Theresa May to share something on her iPad. May burst out laughing with Merkel when she saw what was on the device: a photo montage of the two leaders speaking in their respective parliaments earlier that day. Both were wearing a jacket in the same vivid shade of blue – which could be described as EU flag blue. The European council president, Donald Tusk, and Luxembourg's prime minister, Xavier Bettel, were also amused. One of the council’s most senior officials smiled politely.Continue reading...
|11/04/2019||What are PM's Brexit options now that EU has granted extension?||,,
Theresa May has until 31 October to get her deal through parliament - but the way forward remains unclear
After the EU granted a Brexit extension until 31 October, or sooner if Theresa May can get a deal through the Commons before then, we look at the embattled prime minister’s options.Continue reading...
|11/04/2019||Macron’s tough-guy stance on Brexit is part of his political project||,,
French president compared to De Gaulle as he seeks to get on with mission to change EU
Emmanuel Macron’s tough-guy stance at the EU summit – refusing the UK a much longer Brexit extension – was partly down to the French president’s personality, but his reasoning was political.
The 41-year-old, who stood for president without ever having run an election campaign then promised a grand plan to reform the European Union, is known for his impatience. He wants action. He likes to be centre stage.Continue reading...
|11/04/2019||Article 50: Can the UK revoke Brexit?||,,The European Council President Donald Tusk has suggested that the UK could consider "cancelling Brexit". How would this work?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/04/2019||Brexit: How could another referendum on leaving the EU work?||,,There have been renewed calls for another referendum as one option to break the deadlock||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/04/2019||Brexit: UK and EU agree delay to 31 October||,,Theresa May says she regrets the delay but vows to "press on" with getting MPs to back her deal.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/04/2019||What next for Brexit, May's deal and the European elections?||,,
EU agrees to extend Brexit to 31 October provided UK operates as a member state with ‘sincere cooperation’
It was an epic night, starting with a joke between Theresa May and Angela Merkel, involving nine hours of talks over a dinner of scallop salad, cod loin and macadamia nut parfait, and finishing with an extension and a warning to Britain from the European council leader, Donald Tusk: “Do not waste this time.”Continue reading...
|11/04/2019||Brexit: What happens now?||,,The EU and UK have agreed a further delay to Brexit until 31 October. So how will the deadlock be broken?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/04/2019||UK granted Brexit extension but warned not to ‘waste this time’ - video||,,
European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker says he regrets that 'we only talk about Brexit' at the expense of other EU achievements, as EU leaders announced they have given Theresa May a new Brexit deadline of 31 October, four months longer than the prime minister asked for. 'I read the European press this morning, and it was all Brexit, Brexit, Brexit,' Juncker says, but admits everything must be done to avoid a hard Brexit. Theresa May said she was still hopeful of reaching a deal by 22 May, avoiding the need to take part in European elections. European council president Jean-Claude Juncker said it was better to have 'a piece of something than all of nothing' and urged the UK not to 'waste this time'.Continue reading...
|09/04/2019||MPs approve May's article 50 extension – video||,,
Theresa May has won a vote on requesting an article 50 extension until 30 June. The motion was approved with a majority of 310. Most of the prime minister's support was provided by the opposition, with only 131 of the votes coming from Conservative MPs. The leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, and the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, did not vote with the governmentContinue reading...
|09/04/2019||Brexit breakdown: affluence, decay and fury in the Tory heartlands – video||,,
As Tory tensions over leaving the EU continue to grow, John Harris and John Domokos take a trip through the Conservatives' Thames valley heartlands, starting in Theresa May's backyard. It's all there: unbelievable opulence, social decay and a bitter clash between a neighbouring remainer Tory MP and the hardcore local leavers who claim he is a 'traitor'
|07/04/2019||Theresa May warns that parliament must agree a deal to deliver Brexit – video||,,
The prime minister, Theresa May, released a video statement from 10 Downing Street on Sunday to warn that the UK parliament needs to pass a withdrawal deal in order to deliver Brexit.
Her comments come as she tries to reach an agreement with the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, on a deal that she can persuade MPs to vote through parliament. She said: 'The choice that lies ahead of us is either leaving the Europeon Union with a deal, or not leaving at all'Continue reading...
|07/04/2019||Andrea Leadsom MP: 'It is appalling to consider another referendum'||,,The leader of the House of Commons outlines her opposition to those seeking to 'rerun' the 2016 referendum.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|06/04/2019||Brexit: UK couple issued different passport versions||,,Despite applying on the same day, one passport included the EU on the cover while the other did not.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|05/04/2019||Brexit: UK asks EU for further extension until 30 June||,,Theresa May says she still wants to leave before European elections on 23 May if deal is agreed.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|05/04/2019||Brexit: What trade deals has the UK done so far?||,,The UK says it want to replicate the EU's trade agreements "as far as possible".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|04/04/2019||'The ayes have it': bill to stop no-deal Brexit passes with majority of one vote – video||,,
The House of Commons has approved legislation to prevent a potentially disorderly Brexit departure next week without a deal being reached. Yvette Cooper's bill forces prime minister Theresa May to extend the 12 April deadline if no deal has been agreed. It passed its third reading by a majority of only one vote, 313 votes to 312. It now has to pass the upper chamber, the House of Lords. May said she would seek another short extension to Brexit beyond 12 April in order to try and work with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to get her thrice-rejected Brexit deal approved by parliamentContinue reading...
|03/04/2019||The way you look at life||,,
L4E secretary Andy Pye talks to his friend and former business colleague Chris Rand, who came down from Cambridge to experience his first London march for the People's Vote campaign.
The campaign is now more than a protest. We are, as Mike Galsworthy says, building a community. A community which is based on a solid foundation, is here to stay and will sustain until the end of the Brexit episode. It is a community which can put comfortably over a million like-minded people onto the streets of London. A community which is based on a solid foundation, is here to stay and will sustain until the end of the Brexit episode. It is a community which can put comfortably over a million like-minded people onto the streets of London. How extraordinary that as many as 1 in 40 of the entire population of the UK took time off to visit London and protest - just think of what that means.
|02/04/2019||Nick Boles: Theresa May is 'splitting the country'||,,The former Conservative MP says Theresa May has "mismanaged and misunderstood" the Brexit process.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|02/04/2019||Brexit delay: How can Article 50 be extended?||,,Theresa May has said she will ask for a further Brexit delay to break the deadlock at Westminster.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|02/04/2019||Theresa May: I will try to agree Brexit plan with Corbyn||,,The prime minister says she will seek a further extension for Brexit and work to reach agreement with Labour.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|02/04/2019||It's not a re-run of 2016||,,
Leavers think so; but the question is different
London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg looks at the opinion polls and sets out the arguments to make to those who think that a referendum on the terms would just be asking the same question again until Leave voters get it right.
|01/04/2019||Brexit votes: Boles resigns Conservative whip after vote defeat||,,The former minister said he could "no longer sit for this party" after his motion was defeated.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/04/2019||MPs reject all Brexit options again||,,None of the four Brexit options put forward by MPs gained a majority.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/04/2019||Sir Keir Starmer: 'Take whatever measures necessary to stop no-deal'||,,Labour's shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, outlines on Labour's position leaving the EU without a deal.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/04/2019||Conservative MP Richard Drax apologises for voting for PM's Brexit deal||,,Conservative MP apologises to his DUP "friends and colleagues" for voting for the government's withdrawal agreement on 29 March.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|30/03/2019||Brexit: MPs reject May's EU withdrawal agreement||,,The PM says a longer Brexit delay is "almost certain" after losing by 58 votes - Labour says she must quit now.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|28/03/2019||Brexit: No majority for any options after MPs' votes||,,Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay says the result strengthens ministers' view the PM's deal is "the best option".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|28/03/2019||Brexit: What are the options now?||,,None of MPs' eight proposed Brexit options have secured clear backing in a series of votes in the Commons.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|27/03/2019||Brexit ASMR: Whispering the Withdrawal Agreement||,,Finally, here's something that makes Brexit relaxing.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|26/03/2019||Brexit: Petition to revoke Article 50 passes 5.7m signatures||,,The online campaign to revoke Article 50 is still proving popular - despite Theresa May ruling it out.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/03/2019||Brexit votes: Why does Speaker shout 'Order, Order'?||,,What are all the peculiar things MPs shout in Parliament, and what do they all mean?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/03/2019||Nato chief Stoltenberg: Brexit will not weaken Nato||,,Nato will be an even more key platform for European allies to work together, says Jens Stoltenberg.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/03/2019||'The biggest EU story since the fall of the Berlin wall'||,,Two foreign correspondents in Brussels give us the European view on covering Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/03/2019||Brexit: What is Common Market 2.0?||,,What do politicians mean when they talk about Common Market 2.0 or a Norway plus solution?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/03/2019||Training Britons to take the jobs EU migrants are leaving||,,The firms training thousands of unemployed people to take the jobs that EU migrants are leaving behind.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|24/03/2019||Brexit: Sack the plotters, says Duncan Smith||,,Iain Duncan Smith says the disloyalty some cabinet ministers are showing to the PM is "appalling".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|23/03/2019||Brexit march: Million joined Brexit protest, organisers say||,,"Put it to the People" placards and banners spell out protesters' demand for a say on the Brexit deal.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|23/03/2019||Brexit: People's Vote march to Parliament Square - sped-up||,,Nine minutes condensed into just 90 seconds - protesters walk from Park Lane to Parliament Square.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/03/2019||Ministers 'divided' over process for testing Brexit options||,,No decision has been taken on whether votes on alternatives to the PM's deal should be binding or not.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/03/2019||Brexit: Departure date pushed back by at least two weeks||,,Theresa May is given more time to come up with a Brexit solution after talks with EU leaders.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/03/2019||Brexit: How will it affect my holidays to Europe?||,,A simple guide to how leaving the EU with or without a deal might affect travel to Europe.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|19/03/2019||Call for Brexit being Put to the People - This Saturday||,,
Join us on the march for a People’s Vote on the 23 March in central London and show again that the will of the people is now to get a vote on the final Brexit deal.
History is unfolding in front of our eyes, dizzyingly fast and with all the votes, amendments and amended amendments it can be easy to lose track of where we are and the fact remaining is still possible. This last week in Parliament, through all of the twists and turns of voices and votes lost, a couple of things are clear.
|19/03/2019||Brexit: Is the UK actually in a crisis over leaving the EU?||,,Politicians and the press have been saying it for months. Are they scaremongering, or is the UK in a major crisis?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|18/03/2019||Brexit: Jeremy Hunt says a 'lot more work' needed to get deal through||,,Jeremy Hunt suggests MPs will only be asked to vote again when ministers are "confident" of victory.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|18/03/2019||Britain's Place in the EU||,,
Sovereignty, freedom of movement, national identity
London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg sets out the case. The harms of Brexit are real but we have a positive case to argue for. Economic prosperity is important but still just a means to an end. Leavers are right in this: the EU is a political project; the issues that matter are sovereignty, democracy, freedom, sense of community with particular reference to freedom of movement, sense of national identity.
|18/03/2019||Travelodge targets parents to fill post-Brexit staffing gap||,,The budget hotel chain plans to open 100 new hotels over the next five years, creating 3,000 new jobs.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|17/03/2019||Brexit: No new vote on May's deal without DUP support - chancellor||,,The chancellor says the PM's deal will not return to the Commons this week without enough backing.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|17/03/2019||Lib Dems 'on mission from protest back to power', Vince Cable to say||,,Outgoing leader Sir Vince Cable also urged his party to keep arguing for staying in the EU.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|16/03/2019||Brexit: DUP says issues remain over deal||,,The party, which has twice voted against the deal, says it remains in discussions with the government.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|14/03/2019||Brexit: Does the UK need to hold European elections?||,,If Brexit is delayed beyond 29 March, would the UK need to participate in May's European elections?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|14/03/2019||Divide and ruin||,,
A huge Government defeat but not yet a victory
Charles Parselle reviews the government’s latest defeat and asks what will it take for MPs, so confident in their own ability to vote and vote again, to trust the electorate on whose behalf they supposedly hold their positions.
|14/03/2019||Why I'm attending the People's Vote March||,,
Hundreds of thousands of people marched in London last October for a People’s Vote on the final deal for Brexit. It was the biggest march since the anti-war protest in 2003 and sent a powerful message to our politicians here and in the rest of Europe that there is huge support for another vote.
It was a beautiful, sunny day and everyone was good natured and friendly. I have been on every march since the referendum and it was the only one when due to the sheer scale of numbers that I arrived in Parliament Square long after the speeches had finished. There were people from all walks of life and from every corner of the country and many families with young children who will never enjoy the rights and privileges I have been fortunate enough to enjoy and benefit from for almost my whole adult life, if Brexit goes ahead.
The Put it to the People march planned for 23rd March is so important. Tell everyone about it. It will only be six days before the UK is currently due to leave the European Union and it is a matter of urgency that as many people as possible come. It may be our last chance. We know far more now about the damaging consequences of Brexit than we did almost three years ago and those consequences will be with us for generations to come. There is too much to lose and it is still not too late.
If you want to attend the People's Vote March, click here to sign up.
Maggy is a supporter and volunteer for European Movement and the People's Vote campaign.
|14/03/2019||Brexit Basics: What is the backstop?||,,Confused by Brexit jargon? Reality Check unpacks the basics.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|14/03/2019||How MPs rejected a no-deal Brexit||,,In non-binding votes, the House of Commons has said "no" to Britain leaving the EU without a withdrawal deal.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|13/03/2019||Brexit: MPs reject any no-deal option in two votes||,,MPs have rejected a no-deal Brexit in two votes on Wednesday, despite the government having whipped Conservatives not to back it.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|13/03/2019||Brexit timeline told through culture||,,We take you through what's happened in the world since the Brexit referendum was announced.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|12/03/2019||Brexit: Has May agreed changes or compromises?||,,UK PM says she has secured "legally-binding changes" to the Irish backstop but what's the view from Strasbourg?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/03/2019||Brexit: Vote for 'improved deal' or face 'political crisis'||,,The prime minister has secured "legally binding" changes to her Brexit deal, the Cabinet Office minister says.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/03/2019||Brexit: Corbyn asks for PM's withdrawal agreement update||,,Jeremy Corbyn appears annoyed that his urgent question to the prime minister about progress in Brexit talks is not answered by Theresa May.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/03/2019||Sleaford Mods on Brexit, austerity and political disillusionment||,,The punk duo Sleaford Mods talk about Brexit, austerity and modern disillusionment with politics.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/03/2019||Cheese, chops and hops: How will Brexit impact UK producers?||,,With Brexit looming, a lamb farmer, cheese maker and brewer give their take on what it might hold.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/03/2019||Big Brexit moment: Will MPs back or bin the PM's deal?||,,The clock is ticking to 29 March when the UK is due to officially leave the EU, but could there still be a last-minute twist?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|10/03/2019||Brexit: Could the UK drop tariffs to zero?||,,Crucial votes on Brexit next week could determine whether the UK has greater flexibility to set tariffs.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|07/03/2019||Brexit harms business||,,
The single market enables British jobs
Under the single market with freedom of movement British citizens may easily establish businesses in other EU countries. Our correspondent, Penny Howard, did just that. She set up Beyondtheyelladog as a company providing tourists with artistic and cultural experiences to enable them to deepen their experience of Italy. Brexit threatens the feasibility of such businesses. Penny Howard's business is now facing closure.
|06/03/2019||Why did Corbyn talk Brexit with Tory MPs?||,,Jeremy Corbyn tells the BBC's Ben Wright why he met a group of Tory MPs to discuss their alternative plan for a Norway-style relationship with the EU.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|06/03/2019||Brexit: Steve Brine on future UK-EU relationship||,,Steve Brine describes the remaining EU nations as "friends" of the UK, as he criticises some of his Tory colleagues.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|06/03/2019||PMQs: Theresa May on Anna McMorrin's call to delay Brexit||,,A Labour MP raises police investigations into EU referendum campaigns and calls for a delay to Brexit until the results are known.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|05/03/2019||Brexit and Economic Development||,,
Following the vote for Britain to leave the European Union the future of the European Structural and Investment Funds programme has been called into question. These programmes total 17.2billion Euros from 2014 to 2020 and provide funds to support schemes that help local areas to grow in disadvantaged areas in Britain. There are over 1,000 individual schemes.
|04/03/2019||To those who say "Just get Brexit over with!"||,,
I sympathise. I really really do.
London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg whole-heartedly agrees with the public’s main demand for Brexit. But it is Remain that delivers, not any of the Brexits on offer.
The biggest desire of the British people is not to take back control or to have peace in Europe. It is that the whole question of Brexit should just go away. I sympathise. It is what I really really want. But neither the Government’s nor the public’s methods for ending the Brexit debate work. Here’s why.
|03/03/2019||Liam Fox: There may be 'no option' but to delay Brexit||,,The International Trade Secretary says that a delay may be needed to deliver a smooth Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/03/2019||Brexit: The view from BBC Radio 5 Live listeners||,,BBC Radio 5 Live hosted a special Your Call programme, with views from across the UK.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/03/2019||Why a referendum is the right answer||,,
Everything needs a plan
London4Europe Committee member and former HM Treasury senior civil servant Michael Romberg reminds us of the core case for a referendum.
The case for a referendum is very simple. In 2016 Leave had no plan. As we have been told, there is "a special place in hell ... for those who promised Brexit without even a sketch of a plan for carrying it out safely".
No doubt every Leave voter knew what they wanted. None knew what they would get. No-one in 2016 promised any of the three possible Brexits: a May/Corbyn deal, No-deal or a revived May deal.
2016 was a vote on an idea. No-one takes a project from idea to implementation without reviewing the plan. The same people as approved the exploration of the idea should vote on whether they like the plan. That is honourable fair and democratic.
Sure, people were told there would be just one shot. But that only made sense if Leave had a plan. They didn't.
|01/03/2019||May 'struggling to see any Brexit upside', says ex-aide||,,Theresa May's ex-adviser Nick Timothy tells the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg the PM has always seen Brexit as "damage limitation".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/03/2019||Democracy in action||,,
Critics will claim that protesting is an outdated habit that people have taken on through centuries to make themselves feel useful and in the right even though it doesn’t achieve change. One may or may not agree. However, on top of making one feel exemplary, marching for a People’s Vote or protesting is a great way for a citizen to exercise his or her democratic right of freedom of expression for a cause they believe in. On the 20th of October 2018, over 700.000 protesters claimed the streets of London, voicing their opposition to Brexit and seeking a People’s vote on the final Brexit deal. It was one of the biggest mass mobilisations of its kind in the UK. The people marched not just to feel virtuous but because so much is at stake for them and because Brexit will have a detrimental effect on their lives. The march increased the legitimacy of the issue, social media visibility was over the roof, the message spread all across the UK and the world and many politicians made statements acknowledging the importance of the event.
|01/03/2019||Why it's important to attend the Put it to the People March||,,
In October 2018 700,000 people like you took part in one of the largest marches ever staged in London to demand a People’s Vote.
Since then it has become clear that more and more people who voted Leave in 2016 are now aware of the true reality of what leaving the Euopean Union will mean to them and future generations.
Parliament is divided and based on what we now know about the consequences for the UK, the chances of a People’s Vote are higher than ever before so we need to march again to reinforce the message that the country should be given the opportunity to decide once and for all whether to leave or remain in the EU.
Please join us as you could be one of those people who played a part in changing the course of our history by demanding a People’s Vote.
See you in London on 23rd March at 12pm.
To find out more and sign up, click here
John is a supporter of the People's Vote campaign
|24/02/2019||Professor Eatwell at Dinner in Eastbourne||,,
European Movement member Paula Welch wrote the following account of a recent dinner Eastbourne European Movement held.
Professor Roger Eatwell, University of Bath was the speaker at our January dinner held at the Hydro Hotel and attended by over 70 members and their guests. His talk centred on his latest book about national populism, a movement that in the early years of the 21st Century is increasingly challenging mainstream politics in the West.
He explained that national populism is not simply a passing protest but reflects views deeply held by many in the electorate who feel they have been neglected even held in contempt by distant mainstream elites. He and co-author Prof Matthew Goodwin had decided to write the book amid two moments that had shocked the West and few pundits saw coming: when Donald Trump was elected President and when British voters stunned the world by voting for Brexit.
|23/02/2019||Sovereignty? Maybe it’s just a family affair||,,
This piece was sent in by George Stevenson.
One of the most potent slogans from the 2016 Leave campaign was ‘Take Back Control’. Somehow, it promised a future where free British citizens (or subjects, perhaps), would control their own futures, without any form of external interference
2½ years later, and the reality looks rather different. But sovereignty still exerts a powerful pull; previous London4Europe blogs have highlighted that this may have been a factor in the votes of voters across the generally affluent South East of England, where complaints about ‘left behind’ communities may have been less prevalent
This idea of having control over our own affairs seems to be very deep rooted. At an individual level, most of us will remember resentments as children about being told to do something we didn’t want to do, and this may last into adulthood as well. As the parent of a 4-year old, I’m acutely conscious of the resistance (or stubbornness) of children if they don’t want to do something. Being without someone telling you what to do is seductive goal for many teenagers
At the level of countries or societies, freedom from an overbearing ruler, and having control over your own affairs, is a recurring theme. From ‘no taxation without representation’ prior to the American War of Independence, through the French Revolution, the emergence of new countries from the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918, the dismantling of the European empires in the years after the Second World War, to the collapse of communism in Central & Eastern Europe in 1989, self-determination for a people or a country has been a powerful, siren image.
So we shouldn’t dismiss this as an argument for Leave voters. Even pointing out that it’s the quality of government that’s important, not whether or not we have ‘full ‘control’ probably won’t cut much ice. Our parents are (mostly) benign, and want what’s best for us, but that doesn’t prevent us from sometimes resenting what they’re telling us to do.
|22/02/2019||Is Theresa May trying to outfox us?||,,
Theresa May’s opportunity to outfox us?
The emphasis on avoiding No-deal and on extending the Article 50 time-table presents Theresa May with a clear opportunity to outfox us. We have to focus on the referendum, writes London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg.
What people are trying to do
People have been mesmerised by the threat of No-deal. Sure, it would be really bad. A third of the country wants it to happen. It could happen by accident. It is the default legal position.
But very few MPs want it. For all her faults Theresa May has a sense of responsibility, even if it is selective. So in spite of the rhetoric it is hard to believe that the Government would actually be willing to countenance No-deal.
Theresa May presents her deal as the way to stop No-deal. The main focus of non-Government efforts is delay: an extension of the Article 50 time period to allow more debate. But it’s not as though we have been short of time: 30 months was quite enough for a serious debate of options and the building of a consensus. What we have not done is face up to realities and policy trade-offs – we seem to need deadlines to even begin to do that. Nor is there any point in an extension for a general election – that could not resolve Brexit.
Separately, once we have agreed a course of action with the EU we will need time to implement it.
The EU’s views
The EU is like everyone else. They will agree to something to please someone else if it is in their own interests.
Brexit is a tedious distraction and they wish it to be over. But they also wish to avoid No-deal, and the blame for it. Having the UK stay in the EU is also something the EU would like, although perhaps increasingly said through gritted teeth. Preserving the integrity and coherence of the Single Market and EU institutions will not be sacrificed for the sake of keeping one country in.
An extension to before the date of the European Parliament elections (23/26 May 2019) would be easy. An extension to the end of June 2019 (before the new Parliament session opens on 2 July 2019) would probably also be easy if Brexit had been confirmed so it is clear the UK would not take part in the EP elections.
Any longer extension would be difficult because the UK would need to hold EP elections and send MEPs for a time. So the EU would only agree to that if it was in their interests (like a referendum with a Remain option).
The Withdrawal Agreement as a mechanism
So far the focus has been on an extension of the Article 50 negotiation period. That would require the agreement of both the UK and of all EU27 member states. But there is another way: the Withdrawal Agreement could come into force on whatever day is chosen.
|21/02/2019||Why we need a referendum||,,
Active Remainers – like me – are often told that we ‘never accepted the (2016) Referendum result,’ as though this were a defect, a sin, even a crime.
Should we be concerned?
Well, first of all, it depends what’s actually being alleged of us. ‘Never accepted the Referendum result’ … as what, exactly?
As the numerical outcome of the vote? Well in that sense, yes, obviously, we do accept it.
As the outpouring of frustration, anger at being neglected, at feeling marginalised or even silenced? Yes, certainly.
As the seizing by many of an apparently rare opportunity to make known their feelings? Well, apparently, yes.
As an informed view of where lay the real causes of that neglect and marginalisation? No, not for a second.
As an informed judgement on the actual impact upon their lives of European Union policy, legislation, regulation and investment?
|21/02/2019||Brexit and Housing Associations||,,
It is generally accepted that there is a housing crisis in Britain. A cross party review has concluded that Britain needs three million more social homes. Housing associations are charged with meeting the need for affordable housing by building new homes. These are funded through government grants, loans that are funded from surpluses and cross-subsidy from activities such as selling houses at market value. Housing associations also need to keep their expenditure within what can be afforded given the rents that they collect.
The European Union has never involved itself in housing policy and there are no European regulations affecting housing in Britain or any other member state. The UK government makes housing policy in England and it is a devolved responsibility in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. However, the impact that Brexit will have on housing associations and their ability to provide affordable homes will be negative and significant in all parts of Britain.
The Regulator of Social Housing (a government body that regulates housing associations in England) is giving advice to housing associations about what they should do about Brexit. Speaking to the Social Housing Annual Conference in January, Simon Dow, the Chair of th Regulator, referred to the Bank of England’s forecasts about the effects of a ‘disorderly Brexit’ on the economy. These include a fall in Gross Domestic Product of 8%, an increase in unemployment to 7.5%, an increase in inflation to 6.5%, a reduction in house values of 30% and an increase in interest rates to 5.5%. These would all have an adverse impact on housing associations. He then advised that:
“Providers must be stress testing for Brexit and ensuring that they have the mitigation strategies in place that they can implement.”
Following this, Paul Hackett, Chief Executive of Optivo Housing Association told the ‘Inside Housing’ magazine that they had stress tested a scenario where property values fell by 35% resulting in a 25% reduction in the number of new homes developed. He concluded that government would have to mitigate this by more than doubling what it was prepared to provide in grants:
“We would need to have a conversation with government about using grant in a counter- cyclical way... On rented homes, we would need around 50% of cost on new builds (in grant) ... This would be higher if shared ownership was taken out of the picture.”
However, Jeanne Harrison of Moody’s (an agency that provides credit ratings for housing associations) told ‘Inside Housing’ that
“Government support for associations (through grants) ... could also decline if the public finances are stretched as the government attempts to mitigate the broader impacts of... Brexit.
Another credit rating agency - Standard & Poor’s - has warned that a no-deal Brexit would lead to the downgrading of the credit ratings of about half the housing associations in Britain with associations that provide market sale housing being downgraded the most. They told ‘Inside Housing’ that:
“We can reasonably expect certain negative shocks to the UK social housing sector... Sharp declines in house prices and the higher average inflation in... 2020/21... would shrink operating margins which, in turn, would reduce earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation margins. Moreover, we forecast a reduction in social housing lettings while we consider housing associations will increasingly struggle to increase social housing rents in 2020/21.”
Lower credit ratings would make it more difficult for housing associations to raise loans and would increase the interest rates at which they could borrow. Many housing associations are borrowing extensively in advance of Brexit to mitigate the risk of not being able to borrow afterwards.
The construction industry is dependent on imported components and labour. The UK imports £10billion of construction materials a year and the proportion of construction workers from outside the UK is 20% nationally and 56% in London. A falling pound, tariff and other barriers at ports and the ending of Free Movement is likely to result in increased construction prices and shortages of materials and labour.
|20/02/2019||Join me at the Put it to the People March||,,
On 23 March the Put It to the People March will take place in Westminster. It will be an opportunity to demonstrate the ever-growing opposition to the Brexit deal offered by the Prime Minister and, in particular, the real risk that the UK will crash out of the EU as soon as 29 March.
The march on Westminster last October gave a huge boost to the People's Vote campaign. Hundreds of thousands of us showed up from all over the UK. We showed the depth of feeling across the land
Now, with just days before our notice to leave the EU expires and still with no arrangements in place to manage the transition, it is essential to show our support for the parties already supporting a People's Vote (including the Lib Dems, the SNP, Plaid Cymru & the Greens), to encourage the Labour Party, which remains open to the idea; and to encourage the Conservative Party MPs who are fighting a no-deal Brexit.
|18/02/2019||Brexit: Will Britons living in the EU still get healthcare?||,,A reader asks about state healthcare for UK nationals in EU countries.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|12/02/2019||Brexit - the view from Liverpool||,,
My home town is what you might call a singular place. I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the UK quite like it. Geographically in England, but culturally, ethnically, spiritually, it’s a Celtic and a world city. Because of our port history, our roots extend to the four corners of the world. We are first and foremost Scousers, true internationalists, our identities not limited to the borders of one country.
Not surprisingly, then, Liverpool voted to remain in the EU. We also have a strong radical political tradition here. We have taken enough blows from successive governments, and we know when another one is on the horizon, and let’s call out Brexit for what it is: the brainchild of the right wing of the Tory Party. It is not an anti-establishment uprising. Rees-Mogg, Johnson, Farage, Banks? Anti-establishment? Do me a favour. Brexit is the long-term plan of a group of rich white men, for whom internationalism of the sort the EU embodies is anathema. It is part of a broader plan to reduce the UK to a deregulated, low wage, Western version of Singapore. It will make us all poorer, in many ways, and it will hit the poorest worst of all. Here in Liverpool, we’re not going to take that.
|11/02/2019||Why I'm supporting a People's Vote||,,
For me, the EU is about much more than economics, even though this too is important. The foundations of the EU were laid after the war, at a time of destruction, chaos, forced mass migrations, revolutions, civil wars, retribution and starvation. Leaders at the time realised that Europe needed to come together to end centuries of war by building cooperation, at first through trade and economic prosperity.
By 1990, the EU was crucial in supporting former Communist countries in Eastern Europe as they democratised and I have discovered recently how much the EU backed peace in Ireland too when the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1997. This work involved more than trade and economics.
|24/01/2019||Article 50, backstop etc: Brexit jargon explained||,,From Article 50 to Backstop, find out what the key terms mean.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/01/2019||Brexit: What is Labour's customs union policy?||,,Labour wants a new customs arrangement with the EU, but how would it work?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|16/01/2019||WTO rules: What happens if there's a no-deal Brexit?||,,Could the UK maintain an open border with Ireland if there is no deal, asks BBC News NI's John Campbell.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|18/12/2018||Brexit: How Europe does second referendums||,,As calls for a second vote on Brexit grow, the BBC looks at other countries which have voted twice.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/11/2018||The withdrawal agreement - what it means||,,Chris Morris analyses the key points from the 585-page draft agreement between the UK and the EU.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/11/2018||Brexit: What's in the political declaration?||,,Chris Morris picks out key passages from the draft political declaration on the EU and UK's future relationship.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|17/11/2018||Brexit: What is the customs union?||,,Confused by Brexit jargon? Reality Check unpacks the basics.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|15/11/2018||Brexit video explainers||,,BBC correspondents on the background, jargon, (and some of the) questions and answers as the UK prepares to leave the EU.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|30/10/2018||Brexit: What is the Norway model?||,,The UK prime minister is in Norway and Brexit is bound to come up.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/09/2018||What is a 'Canada-style' trade deal?||,,Could the Canada-EU trade deal be a model for the UK's relationship with the EU after Brexit?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|24/09/2018||Brexit: What happens next?||,,With Brexit talks in deadlock, what might happen between now and the official departure day next March?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|24/06/2016||EU referendum: The result in maps and charts||,,How did the Leave camp clinch victory in the referendum on the UK's membership of the EU after what was a very closely fought contest?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|