|23/02/2019||Local Tory bosses warn MPs not to block no-deal Brexit as crunch Commons vote looms||,,Local Tory bosses have warned their MPs not to block a no-deal Brexit ahead of a looming Commons showdown this week.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|23/02/2019||Brexit: Greg Clark, Amber Rudd and David Gauke issue delay warning||,,Greg Clark, Amber Rudd and David Gauke say extending Article 50 is better than "crashing out" of the EU.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|23/02/2019||European agriculture needs more protectionism, says Macron||,,Special support needed for young farmers starting out.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|23/02/2019||‘Soviet vassal state’: Jeremy Hunt makes gaffe in Slovenia||,,
UK foreign secretary criticised after statement displaying lack of awareness country was part of Non-Aligned Movement
The UK foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has incorrectly claimed Slovenia was a Soviet vassal state during his visit to Ljubljana to discuss the Brexit negotiations with his counterpart Miro Cerar.
Slovenia was in fact the wealthiest state within the former Yugoslavia, which was outside the iron curtain and formed part of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).Continue reading...
|23/02/2019||Labour unveils plan to let workers push for flexible hours from day one of new job||,,Workers would be able to request flexible hours from their first day in a new job under plans unveiled by Labour's Dawn Butler today.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|23/02/2019||Fresh Cabinet split as Health Secretary 'warns Theresa May against plan to cap care costs'||,,Health Secretary Matt Hancock has called on Theresa May to ditch plans for a £100,000 "universal" cap on social care costs.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|23/02/2019||Three Cabinet ministers publicly urge Theresa May to rule out no-deal Brexit||,,Brexit should be delayed if Parliament does not approve a deal in the coming days, Greg Clark, Amber Rudd and David Gauke have publicly warned Theresa May for the first time.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|23/02/2019||Independent Group of MPs would back Theresa May in a no-confidence vote, says Heidi Allen||,,The new Independent Group of MPs would support Theresa May if she faced another no confidence vote in the Commons, one of its members has indicated.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|23/02/2019||Jeremy Corbyn rebukes Tom Watson over claim Labour gripped by 'virulent' bullying||,,Jeremy Corbyn has denied bullying exists on a "wide scale" in the Labour Party following the resignation of nine MPs who cited rising anti-Semitism under his leadership.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|23/02/2019||Ivan Rogers slams UK government, again||,,The former top diplomat said Britain's political class lives in a fantasy land.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|23/02/2019||Brexit: Rudd, Clark and Gauke should resign, says Andrew Bridgen||,,
Three cabinet ministers have signalled they could vote to delay withdrawal from EU
Three cabinet ministers who signalled they could vote to delay Britain’s withdrawal from the EU should resign, a Tory Brexiter MP has said.
Amber Rudd, Greg Clark and David Gauke should step down, said Andrew Bridgen, a member of the hard-Brexit European Research Group (ERG). He said the ministers were rejecting government policy in breach of cabinet collective responsibility.Continue reading...
|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.
|23/02/2019||Ministers threaten Cabinet walkout to prevent no-deal Brexit||,,Amber Rudd, David Gauke and Greg Clark set a one-week deadline for a breakthrough.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|23/02/2019||UK food imports from EU face '£9bn tariff bill' under no-deal Brexit||,,
Analysis comes as government expected to outline plans to mitigate price shock next week
The government is expected next week to spell out its plan to mitigate a potential £9bn food-price shock from a no-deal Brexit, as analysts predict the cost of staples such as beef, cheddar cheese and tomatoes could soar.
With just over a month until the Brexit deadline, the Department for International Trade is expected on Monday to publish a list of new import taxes, or tariffs, that will apply to 5,200 products, including food and clothing, should the UK crash out of the EU without a deal.Continue reading...
|23/02/2019||Labour seeks to stem antisemitism crisis after Ian Austin quits||,,
Lord Falconer may deal with complaints as Labour faces impact of ninth MP resigning
Labour is considering appointing an independent reviewer to oversee its handling of antisemitism complaints as the party battles to stem the flow of resignations after a ninth MP announced his departure on Friday.
Lord Falconer said he was in advanced conversations with the party’s general secretary, Jennie Formby, about taking up a new position in which he would examine whether the party was handling antisemitism and other complaints fairly. The former lord chancellor, who is respected on all wings of the party, said he had approached Formby with his proposal “because of my horror that the party has not been able to show it is dealing with antisemitism properly”.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||Brexit: Theresa May warned dozens of Tories could rebel over no-deal||,,Downing Street says talks continue "at pace" to get the changes to Theresa May's Brexit deal demanded by MPs.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/02/2019||The Guardian view on Britain’s political parties: Brexit is breaking the mould | Editorial||,,
It would be ironic if, as Britain prepares to leave the EU, the country’s fragmentary politics became more characteristically European
Across Europe, old two-party political systems have been fragmenting for a generation and more. In most western European countries, the left-right split has long been overlaid by others, notably on social values and identity. Germany now has seven significant parties in the Bundestag. France has at least nine in a national assembly dominated by a party that did not even exist in 2016. Ireland’s Dáil has 10 and more. Spain’s outgoing congress of deputies some 13. Part of this fragmentation can be explained by differences in electoral systems and in national histories that make multiparty outcomes more likely. But not all of it. The fragmentation also reflects the fact that all societies have evolved in the post-industrial era, and that politics has had to adjust.
Is the same thing happening here? It already has done in Scotland. The abandonment of the Labour and Conservative parties by 12 MPs this week suggests it may be happening in England, too. Britain’s old duopoly was challenged in the 1970s and 1980s. The process did not go as far or fast as it did elsewhere, partly due to our first-past-the-post system. But the same stresses and strains were there, helping to boost parties like the Liberal Democrats, Ukip and the nationalists. The 2017 election saw a swing back to the old parties. Now, fragmentation may be resuming. It would be ironic if, as Britain leaves the EU, British politics become more firmly European.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||Has Theresa May finally exhausted her colleagues' patience?||,,
Departure of ‘three amigos’ is a sign that Tory MPs may defy the whip in Wednesday’s Brexit vote
Theresa May has emerged, battered but unbowed, from so many confrontations with one or other wing of her fractious party over the past two years that survival against the odds has become her best known political trait.
But the dramatic departure of three MPs on Wednesday, to cross the floor and join eight ex-Labour colleagues on the opposition benches, sharpened the extraordinary risks she faces in the days and weeks ahead.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||The odds are against them, but these MPs could yet change our politics | Jonathan Freedland||,,Those who say the Independent Group is bound to fail forget that the political playbook has been shredded
Westminster has a new parlour game. Since Monday, a conversation with anyone in or around politics will open with a round of “So what are the chances for this new Independent Group?” Players are encouraged to produce ever smarter reasons why the cluster of 11 MPs who broke from their former parties – eight from Labour, three from the Tories – is doomed to fail. Bonus points are awarded for historical references or imaginative use of polling data. By way of a warm-up, there are the obvious early arguments. New or third parties do notoriously badly under our first-past-the-post electoral system: just look at the SDP. There are no heavyweight figures to match the Gang of Four, who broke from Labour in 1981. The Independents have no leader and no clear policy stance.
What’s more, within three hours of launching they were playing defence after one of their number, Angela Smith, seemingly referred to black and minority ethnic people as having a “funny tinge”, a racism so crude it was bewildering. Notice too how they struggle to surmount the contradiction of demanding a people’s vote on Brexit while refusing a people’s vote on themselves by refusing to trigger byelections in their own seats.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||Just when the country needs Tom Hanks, we get Derek Hatton | Marina Hyde||,,The shortage of heroes in British politics is acute. All that seems to be on offer is fighty extras
Derek Hatton, George Galloway, Chris Williamson, Ken Livingstone: these guys may not physically sit together in public life, but I definitely think of them as “a grouping”. In fact, it is perfectly possible that over time they could be joined by “like-minded individuals” from the right. Galloway got on like a house on fire with Nigel Farage during the referendum. Unfortunately, both of them seem to have been pulled from the inferno unscathed.
Yup, you can totally picture their independent minds dovetailing with disaffected #MeToo defendants or even defectors from the daytime schedules, such as Noel Edmonds. If things were different, they’d hang out more with their brother-from-another-mother Julian Assange. Like I said, it’s a mood; it’s a feeling. They don’t have to share every view. Most of them will have an objection to paying the licence fee, say, while only some of them will get slightly aroused when they think about Marine A. Quite a lot of them, actually. And not just the obvious ones.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||Labour must move faster on antisemitism, says McDonnell, as Austin quits - politics live||,,
As Ian Austin quits the party, John McDonnell says it has been to slow to tackle antisemitism
Thanks for following the blog today and for all of your comments. I’m going to leave you with a summary of the afternoon’s main developments.
Members of Theresa May’s cabinet will make it clear that they believe she must go after the forthcoming local elections, my colleague Jessica Elgot reports.
Senior figures in government have suggested they want the prime minister to leave shortly after the first phase of the Brexit negotiations finishes – or risk being defeated in a vote of no confidence at the end of the year.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||Theresa May must go in three months, cabinet ministers say||,,
Senior Tories to make clear PM should give way to new leader for next phase of Brexit
Cabinet ministers will make it clear they believe Theresa May should step down after the local elections in May and allow a new leader to deliver the next phase of the Brexit negotiations, the Guardian understands.
Senior figures in government have suggested they want the prime minister to leave shortly after the first phase of the Brexit negotiations finishes – or risk being defeated in a vote of no confidence at the end of the year.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||John McDonnell says Labour ‘moving towards’ backing second EU referendum||,,Labour is “moving towards” backing a second Brexit referendum that could see Britain end up staying in the European Union, John McDonnell has said.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|22/02/2019||October’s march changed Brexit landscape. Bring on March 23!||,,
700,000 who marched last year boosted campaign for People’s Vote. With the stars aligning, the time’s ripe for another big push next month.
The post October’s march changed Brexit landscape. Bring on March 23! appeared first on InFacts.
|22/02/2019||What UK’s political crack-up means for Brexit||,,The Independent Group's formation adds an extra layer of complication to British politics.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|22/02/2019||Brexit: Irish government hopes no-deal plan 'sits on shelf'||,,The Irish government hopes its legislation for managing a no-deal Brexit will "sit on the shelf".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/02/2019||Michel Barnier says there is high chance of 'accidental' no-deal Brexit||,,
EU’s chief negotiator says UK needs to make faster decisions with deadline looming in five weeks
Michel Barnier has said he is more concerned than ever after a week of talks with Theresa May and the British negotiators that has left Brussels fearing an accidental no-deal Brexit in five weeks.
As the British prime minister heads to Egypt for an EU-Arab summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, the bloc’s chief negotiator publicly said he believed there remained “a chance” of ratifying the deal.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||Labour may be on brink of big shift towards new referendum||,,
Party could ask MPs to vote on its Brexit plan next week. If they say no, Labour may call for people to have final say on whether we quit.
The post Labour may be on brink of big shift towards new referendum appeared first on InFacts.
|22/02/2019||Funereal TIG launch distracts from Grayling's latest humiliation||,,
Also this week: Labour mayoral candidate’s disastrous interview and the thrilling return of Tutankhamun
There had been so much speculation that had come to nothing in recent weeks about Labour and Tory MPs resigning the whip to form a new party that I was rather wrong-footed to get an email at 8am saying it was actually happening on the Labour side and I needed to be in central London in the next hour. The launch was a curious affair at a rented office space in Etc Venues – not quite the gravitas of the Social Democratic party’s Limehouse Declaration – and felt more funereal than celebratory. Still, it was definitely a result for Gavin Williamson and Chris Grayling, as the press attention on the Independent Group (TIG) meant everyone missed their latest embarrassments in the Commons. At defence questions, Private Pike couldn’t stop himself from doubling down on his threat to go to war with China – to the embarrassment of everyone on his own benches – and then appeared to be totally unaware that by voting for the Brady amendment he had actually voted against the prime minister’s own deal. Grayling couldn’t even bring himself to face his latest humiliation and just stayed silent while a junior minister tried to explain why Flybmi was the latest airline to go out of business. Presumably Grayling couldn’t quite believe there was a sector of the transport sector that had failed without his active intervention.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||UK driving licences will not be valid in Ireland under no-deal Brexit||,,
British licence holders living in Ireland would need to get Irish licences before 29 March
Ireland will no longer recognise the UK driving licences of people living in Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Road Safety Authority of Ireland, a state agency, said this week a mutual recognition agreement would end and that holders of British licences would need to swap them for Irish licences before the UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March.Continue reading...
|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.
|22/02/2019||Rubbish spot: London council mocked for placement of Brexit posters||,,
Tower Hamlets has put ‘this is your home’ notices aimed at EU citizens on side of bin lorries
A London council has been criticised for putting posters telling European residents “this is your home” on the sides of rubbish trucks.
Tower Hamlets council has placed posters around the borough encouraging its 41,000 residents from the European Union to secure their right to stay after Brexit, however it has been suggested that the message could be misconstrued.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||Tory defectors are just getting involved in a Labour party tussle | John Redwood||,,
The Independent Group is just an anti-Corbyn faction – and no place for Conservatives who made promises about Brexit
I find it difficult to fathom why three Conservative MPs would wish to join the Independent Group formed by Labour MPs. They argue that the Conservative party has shifted away from them under Theresa May over the last year and a half. There is no evidence to support this.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||Ian Austin becomes 9th MP to quit UK Labour||,,Member of Parliament says he has become 'ashamed' of party under Jeremy Corbyn.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|22/02/2019||Ian Austin becomes ninth MP to quit 'broken' Labour in protest against Jeremy Corbyn||,,Ian Austin has become the ninth Labour MP to quit the party in the past four days, saying he had become "ashamed" of its direction under Jeremy Corbyn.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|22/02/2019||Dozens of Tory MPs ready to block no-deal Brexit, May warned||,,
Andrew Percy tells PM that moderate leavers are prepared to vote against government
Dozens of Conservative MPs are prepared to vote against the government in order to block the UK leaving the EU without a deal, one of the leaders of a group of more than 100 Tory politicians has said.
The warning to Theresa May was delivered on Friday by Andrew Percy of the Brexit delivery group – regarded in the party as a moderate band of remain and Brexit-supporting MPs – who said many wanted to act if the “intransigence” of hardline Brexiters led again to the prime minister’s own deal being rejected by parliament.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||Labour MPs must stay and fight – the country needs strong Tory opposition | Clive Efford||,,
Now is not the time to walk away. We must unite to reassert our traditional values and ready ourselves for the next election
Labour MPs understand that splitting our party risks giving power to an undeserving Tory party for the foreseeable future. Unchecked Tory rule, almost certainly dominated by the extreme right of that party, will be devastating for our public services, NHS, schools, economy and for the manner in which Brexit is completed.
There are deep divisions in our country that have festered for many decades and culminated in the decisions of 17 million people to vote to leave the EU. Whatever the outcome of Brexit, those divisions will still be there and will need addressing.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||Labour report rebel MP Joan Ryan to Information Commissioner over alleged data breach||,,Labour has reported one of the rebel MPs who quit this week to the Information Commissioner over claims she tried to access sensitive data held by the party.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|22/02/2019||Jeremy Corbyn warned ‘dozens more MPs will quit party’ unless he backs second EU referendum||,,Jeremy Corbyn has been warned that a further raft of Labour MPs are ready to quit the party unless he backs calls for a second EU referendum, it has been reported.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|22/02/2019||The City may thrive despite Brexit, but the rest of us won’t | Simon Jenkins||,,
With a ‘free port’ deal negotiated behind closed doors, the financial sector will be fine. Meanwhile, others face ruin
An iron law of modern British government says that whatever London wants, London gets. On Monday, with no fuss or publicity, the Bank of England and a group of City interests reached an apparently boring deal in Paris with the European Security and Markets Authority. It follows a similar deal with the European commission last December. Both state, in effect, that, as far as the City is concerned, if there is a no-deal Brexit, Brexit did not happen. It was just play-acting by idiots down the road in Westminster.
Up to £41tn in financial guarantees, insurances, hedges and other derivatives, all within the EU’s regulatory regime, is said to be at risk in the City’s clearing houses. For everyone involved, this is a grownup business, not to be left to the mercies of the likes of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg. The regulators have duly issued licences to the clearing houses, allowing Europe’s banks to disregard EU rules and continue trading on London’s derivatives platforms. Financially speaking, London is to become a “free port”. Sighs of relief all round.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||The EU must resist impatience with Britain – for its own sake | Timothy Garton Ash||,,I can understand why many in Brussels are growing frustrated, but they may repent at leisure what they decide in haste
“I will celebrate,” said an emphatic German voice behind me, while some dignitary on stage mouthed the conventional polite platitudes of regret about Britain’s departure from the EU. “I will celebrate when it’s over at last.” A week spent talking to politicians, officials and opinion-makers on the continent tells me that this captures the prevailing mood among Britain’s frustrated and increasingly contemptuous European partners: just get the negotiated withdrawal agreement across the line and Britain out of the door – then we can go back to fighting the real battles for Europe, starting with the European elections.
While I understand all the feelings and calculations behind this view, it is profoundly shortsighted. It abandons those of us still fighting for Europe in Britain and underestimates the EU’s role in deciding Britain’s future. A divided country in the midst of a collective nervous breakdown is painfully dependent on the reaction of its now much stronger EU negotiating partner. This explains why every tweet from Donald Tusk, every hint from Jean-Claude Juncker, every nuance from Michel Barnier, is pored over in the British media with almost Sovietological attention. The EU is a major actor in the British debate, not merely a reactor to it. The conclusion is clear: it’s not just Britain that faces a big choice over Brexit, it’s also Europe.Continue reading...
|22/02/2019||Ireland steps up effort to shelter economy from no-deal Brexit||,,
Bill readied amid concerns over impact on agriculture, food processing and transport
Ireland is accelerating preparations for a no-deal Brexit amid growing alarm that parts of the Irish economy could face severe disruption and even collapse – and that the UK hopes to leverage that prospect to wring concessions from the European Union.
Leo Varadkar’s government is due on Friday to publish a mammoth omnibus bill incorporating 16 pieces of legislation to try to shelter Ireland from the doomsday scenario of the UK crashing out of the EU.Continue reading...
|21/02/2019||Theresa May reaches out to Remainer rebels amid quit rumours||,,It comes as an Independent Group MP says they could support the PM if she gives them an EU referendum.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|21/02/2019||Brexit: Japan trade deal will not be ready by deadline||,,The UK won't be able to roll over an EU trade deal with Japan in time for a no-deal Brexit, Liam Fox has said.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|21/02/2019||No-deal Brexit threat 'focusing minds'||,,Chancellor Philip Hammond says he is "determined to get a deal" but the possibility of no deal remains.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|21/02/2019||The Guardian view on Britain and China: it’s complicated | Editorial||,,Beijing’s might and ambitions, and the approach of Brexit, make the path ahead more difficult. It’s time for careful thought
A few years ago, George Osborne announced that Britain’s relations with China were entering a “golden era”. On Thursday, his successor as chancellor gave a more measured assessment: they are “complex”, Philip Hammond said, noting that they “had not been made simpler” by the defence secretary Gavin Williamson’s threat to deploy an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea.
Britain, blanching as Brexit approaches, is more anxious than ever to keep Chinese cash flowing. Diplomats from other nations say London is already less willing to criticise Beijing because it knows how much it will need it. Yet some of the lustre is coming off bilateral dealings, as it is from China’s relationships elsewhere. The Trump administration is viscerally hostile, but Beijing’s increasingly repressive turn at home and forcefulness abroad has alarmed many who were more sympathetic to it.Continue reading...
|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||UK food supply under threat from no-deal Brexit||,,Farmers and food suppliers say they need more guidance about what to do in case of no agreement.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|21/02/2019||Donald Tusk: ‘Hell’ comment was to get Brexiteers’ attention||,,European Council president says Brexiteers did not expect their victory and so were not prepared for it.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|21/02/2019||EU looks out for consumers, not just big business||,,
Claim EU only looks out for big business crumbles under scrutiny. EU competition law protects consumers and stands up to corporate giants.
|21/02/2019||Juncker: I’ve got Brexit fatigue||,,Commission president 'not very optimistic' a no-deal Brexit can be avoided.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|21/02/2019||Fight over tariffs shows ministers still clueless on Brexit||,,
Gove and Hammond’s spat over food tariffs tells us two things: government still doesn’t know what Brexit means; and we’re better off in EU.
The post Fight over tariffs shows ministers still clueless on Brexit appeared first on InFacts.
|21/02/2019||In charts - what could happen after Brexit vote?||,,Theresa May still needs to get her Brexit deal through Parliament. What might the next move be?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|21/02/2019||Philip Hammond: Threat of no-deal Brexit is driving efforts for deal||,,A no-deal Brexit would damage the UK's 'economy and its standing in the world,' said the UK chancellor.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|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||May and Juncker dive into Brexit fine print||,,The two leaders focus on changes to the Political Declaration in a joint statement after their Brussels meeting.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|20/02/2019||Honeymoon period for Independents as main parties regroup||,,
It remains to be seen whether the Labour and Tory defectors have a long-term future
It is possible for Downing Street to argue that the defection of three Conservative MPs changes very little. The quitters, after all, are well-established backbench rebels, independent-minded MPs highly unlikely to support Theresa May over Brexit.
Anna Soubry has been outspoken for years about the prime minister’s embrace of Brexit and the rightward drift in the Tory party. Last summer she claimed that May was in the grip of the “forces of darkness”, meaning the anti-European ERG.Continue reading...
|20/02/2019||Tory defectors: why we're leaving the party – video||,,
The Conservative MPs Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston give their reasons for quitting the party for the new Independent Group.
Hard Brexiters have taken over amid a lurch to the right, they say, and the modernising wing of the party has been “destroyed”Continue reading...
|20/02/2019||Tory modernising wing destroyed, says Anna Soubry - video||,,
Anna Soubry is one of three Conservatives who have quit the party to join the Independent Group. The trio said Brexiters had taken over and the modernising wing of the party had been destroyed.Continue reading...
|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.
|20/02/2019||Who are the three Tory defectors?||,,
Why MPs Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen are quitting the party
The former barrister and television presenter was a senior figure in David Cameron’s government, in which she sat in the cabinet as a business minister. Representing Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire, she has long expressed concern that Theresa May was pursuing a hard Brexit and taking the party too far to the right.Continue reading...
|20/02/2019||MP Heidi Allen quits Tories after having to fight 'for benevolence' – video||,,
Heidi Allen has resigned as a Conservative MP after becoming disillusioned with what she sees as a lack of empathy in her party and having to battle for compassion within the UK’s welfare system.
Allen, who joined the new Independent Group of MPs alongside fellow former Conservatives Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston, says hard Brexiters have taken over the Tory party and that the modernising wing has been ‘destroyed’Continue reading...
|20/02/2019||When it comes to security, UK is safer in EU||,,
Home secretary has written to EU counterparts warning of no-deal disruption to security. InFacts imagines a reply from one of our EU allies.
|20/02/2019||BBC doesn’t get PM’s key promise quite right||,,
Next week MPs could start process to force May to delay Brexit. But the BBC misleadingly says the vote will be “non-binding”.
|19/02/2019||Jeremy Corbyn tells exiled MPs they were elected on a Labour manifesto – video||,,
Jeremy Corbyn has spoken of his regret that seven MPs have left the Labour party. The seven MPs, including Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger, announced their resignations at a press conference on Monday. They cited as reasons Labour's handling of antisemitism and its stance on Brexit. Corbyn said on Tuesday: 'They were elected to parliament on a manifesto ... they were elected to carry out those policies. They decided to go somewhere else'Continue reading...
|19/02/2019||Conservatives being 'manipulated by Brexit zealots', ex-PM Major to warn||,,Sir John Major will urge a "mainstream majority" of Tory and Labour MPs to stop the UK leaving next month.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|19/02/2019||Price hikes or bust farmers? Another miserable Brexit choice||,,
Pro-Brexit ministers are at loggerheads over no-deal tariffs. Fox wants to slash and burn, Gove wants farmers protected. Neither is good.
The post Price hikes or bust farmers? Another miserable Brexit choice appeared first on InFacts.
|19/02/2019||May has 3 choices next week. All are awful – for her||,,
Whatever PM does next week, she is in a seemingly losing position. That’s good news for those fighting for a People’s Vote.
The post May has 3 choices next week. All are awful – for her appeared first on InFacts.
|19/02/2019||Honda confirms Swindon car plant closure||,,The firm says the move is due to global changes in the car industry and has nothing to do with Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|18/02/2019||Irish deputy PM: British backstop proposals are ‘wishful thinking’ – video||,,
Ireland's deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, warned British negotiators that their demands in the next round of Brexit talks must be reasonable. He rejected proposed alternatives to the backstop as 'wishful thinking' and insisted that there would be no last-minute concession from the EU to fundamentally alter itContinue reading...
|18/02/2019||4 more Ratcliffes fleeing the Brexit ship||,,
Dyson, Lawson, Rees-Mogg… wealthy Brexiters (or their assets) are moving out of UK. Leaving ordinary folk to mop up their mess is shameful.
|18/02/2019||'We have all now resigned': seven Labour MPs quit party – video||,,
A small group of MPs have resigned from the Labour party in order to sit as an independent group in parliament. The MPs delivered an attack on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the party for being ‘institutionally racist’ and betraying its members over BrexitContinue reading...
|18/02/2019||BBC accidentally broadcasts sweary voiceover as Labour MPs resign – audio||,,
BBC News mistakenly broadcasts a voiceover in which a man can be heard using an expletive during live coverage of a press conference held by a small group of Labour MPs to announce their resignation from the partyContinue reading...
|18/02/2019||Brexit makes a mockery of Global Britain||,,
From aborted China talks to Fox’s failure to rollover deals, consequences of striking out alone in a post-Brexit world are becoming clear.
|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...|
|17/02/2019||Porsche warns UK customers of Brexit price rise||,,The German carmaker asks new UK customers to agree a possible 10% price rise for post-Brexit deliveries.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|17/02/2019||Brexit: Theresa May urges Tory MPs to unite and back deal||,,Theresa May writes to Tory MPs, as minister suggests their fears could be addressed without reopening deal.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|15/02/2019||Brexit: UK-US agree to preserve trading arrangements||,,It allows businesses to continue trading as they do today, the international trade secretary says.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|15/02/2019||RBS warns of Brexit harm as profits double||,,Profits jump at the bank, but it warns the economy faces a heightened level of Brexit uncertainty.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|15/02/2019||Owen Jones meets the naked anti-Brexit protester: 'We are a nation of prudes'||,,
Dr Victoria Bateman hates Brexit so much that she is taking her clothes off and is challenging Brexiters to debate with her in the nude. But is it an effective campaign strategy? Or just a sign of our fevered political times? A fully clothed Owen Jones tries to find out
|14/02/2019||Corbyn calls on May to bring forward 'coherent' Brexit plan – video||,,
Theresa May has suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of hardline Brexit supporters who refused to support her approach to leaving the EU. May was not present for the defeat, by 303 votes to 258, in which she again lost control of her party in the crucial final weeks before Britain is due to leave the EU on 29 March. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, demanded May come to the Commons to explain her Brexit plan in the absence of parliamentary support for her approachContinue reading...
|14/02/2019||'Labour is red, Tories are blue': MPs read Brexit poems on Valentine's Day||,,
MPs mark Valentine's Day by reading poems in parliament about leaving the EU. The leader of the house, Andrea Leadsom, and the SNP's Pete Wishart both elicited groans with their offeringsContinue reading...
|14/02/2019||Brexit: Andrea Leadsom reads Valentine's ode to deal||,,Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom marks Valentine's Day with a "roses are red" poem about leaving the EU.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|13/02/2019||Brexit: Theresa May plays down 'deal or delay' report||,,Theresa May tells MPs not to rely on hearsay, as Brexit dominates Prime Minister's Questions.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|13/02/2019||Border technology 'could take 10 years'||,,A trade expert told MPs that a technical solution should not be ruled out, but that it would take time.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|13/02/2019||Ford warns no-deal Brexit would be 'catastrophic'||,,The carmaker says it will do "whatever is necessary", following a report it could move production abroad.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|12/02/2019||Brexit: Mark Carney warns of no-deal 'economic shock'||,,The Bank of England governor urges MPs to solve the Brexit impasse amid warnings of slowing global growth.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|12/02/2019||Bradley accused of 'fiddling while Rome burns'||,,The secretary of state is criticised for seeking more appointment powers in the absence of Stormont.||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.
|12/02/2019||Government sued over no-deal ferry contracts||,,Eurotunnel says the contracts were decided in a "secretive and flawed procurement process".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|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.
|11/02/2019||Safeguarding our future||,,
With our politicians in continuing disarray - surely it is time to ask the people if this is what they voted for. And before anyone says that another referendum would 'betray the will of the people', they should ask themselves, "How can 'the people' betray 'the will of the people'?" It's a logical impossibility. The people's votes are 'the will of the people' at the time that they are cast. And 'the people', Remainers and Leavers alike have the right to decide their future based on facts not fiction.
|09/02/2019||A committed Labour voter backs a People’s Vote||,,
I am what I believed until now was a lifetime Labour supporter; but with less than 50 days to go until March 29th, the sense of my own powerlessness as a 76-year-old pensioner in Jenny Chapman’s Labour constituency of Darlington in County Durham is almost overwhelming.
I spent a decent chunk of my professional life living and working in Hackney as a teacher of English and ultimately as the first headteacher of Stoke Newington High School, where 27 languages were spoken as mother tongues and Bengali and Turkish were taught to GCSE level. I have therefore had a lot of experience fighting to create and maintain the highest possible educational standards in a richly multicultural but very stressful social services area of the country. I was there when Diane Abbott first became Stoke Newington’s MP.
I believe that the EU is one of the most successful peace projects there has ever been. As a nation, we should be supporting it. The very best way for us to do that is, of course, for the UK to remain a full member of the EU. My MP knows as well as I do that the evidence is overwhelming: no version of Brexit will ever come close to the benefits this country has enjoyed as a full member of the European Union. Just as importantly, the EU is significantly stronger with the UK as a full member working with the other 27 countries to address the issues we Europeans must face in the challenging times that lie immediately ahead for the whole planet.
I know that there is little, if any, chance of calling to account those who promoted the lies and fantasies at the heart of the Leave Campaign: shamelessly beguiling the educationally and economically most deprived in areas hit deliberately hardest by the Tories’ calculatedly disastrous policy of ‘Austerity’. The hard right is still at it in the tabloid press: demonising the EU and spewing pointless, irrelevant guff about sovereignty, freedom and being in control of our own destiny again, when their real aim is to grab even more power and further enrich the already rich at the expense of those they claim to champion but actually don’t give a stuff about (except when they need their votes).
|08/02/2019||A short piece on the importance of volunteering||,,
The government is failing us at this most critical moment. As the Prime Minister plays for time and uses bullying tactics and the threat of a disastrous crashing out of the EU to frighten parliamentarians into line, it is clear that Westminster is unable to lead.
So much has changed since summer 2016 when the Brexit was not clearly defined. I believe it makes sense for people to have a say with the reality of the options facing us and not just the generalised utopia of the
Brexit. We need a People's Vote based on the current situation.
I have done my bit manning local street stalls, leafleting and gathering signatures for the People's Vote petition that was handed into Downing Street last year. I have also volunteered at the Peoples Vote HQ, which I think is a very effective way to help. I've helped with inputting data as well as phone banking.
Working on street stalls, I've found most people feel dismayed by the failure of elected politicians to represent their voters and to protect economic and social living standards - this applies to both those who voted for Leave as well as for Remain 3 years ago. And most agree that the current proposed solution is a lowest common denominator that satisfies nobody. The response to phone banking has also been good and many of the people I spoke to continue to offer support for the People's Vote campaign.
By volunteering at the HQ, I feel like I am doing my part to help reach people. More and more people are realising that a vote on the Brexit deal is the only viable and realistic way forward.
Sam Leitch is a member of the European Movement and a volunteer for the People's Vote campaign.
|08/02/2019||Brexit: Labour plan can get majority, says John McDonnell||,,John McDonnell says only Labour's "very British compromise" can get MPs' backing and avoid no-deal Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|08/02/2019||Why everyone should campaign for a People's Vote||,,
I’ve been optimistic about our chances of getting a People’s Vote for over a year. I’ve always believed Brexit would lose its popularity once it hit reality.
However I have many friends who very much want to Remain, but don’t believe our campaign will work.
I’ve been thinking about why, for me and other Remainers, it’s worth supporting the People’s Vote campaign regardless of whether we succeed.
Repairing our reputation as a country
Assuming we do leave the EU, there will be new trading relationships to be organised with the EU and other countries.
Our country’s long reputation as a sensible & reliable trading partner is being severely damaged by how our government is behaving,
The current chaos in our Parliament, and the dishonesty of the Brexiter MPs is being covered by newspapers around the world.
|07/02/2019||Brexit: May says she can get deal through with binding changes||,,EU leaders reject the PM's call for legally-binding alterations, as the two sides plan more talks.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|07/02/2019||Theresa May on Brexit timing and Tusk 'hell' tweet||,,Theresa May says Donald Tusk's comments "were not helpful and caused widespread dismay" in the UK.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|07/02/2019||Brexit: What's behind Corbyn's letter to May?||,,What's missing from the Labour leader's Brexit demands is as important as what is in them, says Iain Watson.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|07/02/2019||Brexit: No meeting of minds in Belfast or Brussels over backstop||,,Theresa May heads to Brussels, but the divide over the Irish border backstop shows no sign of abating.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|07/02/2019||Why is May going back to the EU on Brexit? Eight key questions||,,
What are the proposals being worked on, and how likely is it UK will leave without a deal?
After MPs passed the Brady amendment last week calling for the Irish backstop to be replaced with “alternative arrangements”, the prime minister pledged to renegotiate with Brussels in an effort to secure the changes she said parliament had demanded.Continue reading...
|07/02/2019||UK jobs 'attracting less interest from EU workers'||,,A leading jobs website says the number of searches from Europe for British jobs has dropped since 2015.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|06/02/2019||Donald Tusk: Special place in hell for Brexiteers without a plan||,,The European Council president sparks a backlash from Brexit-backing MPs after his comments.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|06/02/2019||Four cemeteries and an EU trip||,,
War: such a waste of young lives. The EU helps to bring peace.
London4Europe Vice-Chair Nick Hopkinson reflects on the purpose of the EU on the back of a visit to war graves: 'It makes me realise how lucky I am - how lucky our generation is. My great uncle was sent to Italy to fight; he was killed. I was awarded a place to study in Italy and it changed my life.'
I was recently reminded of a poster from the 1975 referendum campaign: “Forty million people died in two European wars this century. Better to lose a little national sovereignty than a son or daughter. Vote Yes to keep the peace. Keep Britain in Europe.”
Although we pool sovereignty, rather than lose it, I accept the overall argument. The European Union (EU) does underpin peace in Europe. It is said this argument does not have resonance amongst the young, who may take the peace dividend for granted. If so, that is a testament to the EU’s success. Strangely, the peace argument now seems to be lost on most of those over 59, two thirds of whom voted yes in 1975.
The Leavers argue NATO, not the EU, keeps the peace in Europe. NATO is indeed the cornerstone of our military security. However, there can be no peace without prosperity. Post war Western policy-makers knew Marshall Plan aid and NATO alone could not deliver economic growth in Western Europe, make another war in Europe impossible nor stop the advance of Communism. Pan-European economic integration was also needed. And wars are fought by countries, not by armies. NATO is a military alliance. It needs political cooperation for it to work. Amongst European countries, that comes largely through the EU.
|06/02/2019||Laura Urquhart Prieto: Why I support a People's Vote||,,
As a young woman, I want to be able to give the best future to my future children. Young people today are much more connected to other young people across the world, in ways that were not the case even a few decades ago. The June 2016 referendum reflected this, with young voters overwhelmingly choosing to remain in the EU (Goodwin and Heath, 2016: 227). I want my future children to be participants of the globalized and interconnected world we now live in as much as the children of other European nations.
|06/02/2019||Andrea Leadsom on Donald Tusk's Brexit comments||,,The leader of the House of Commons asks who the European Council President is, and who voted for him.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|06/02/2019||Brexit: Could 'customs co-operation' bridge a gap?||,,As Germany calls for "creative solutions" to replace the backstop, what is being touted in Westminster?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|06/02/2019||Brexit: EU's Donald Tusk on 'special place in hell'||,,The European Council president says he has been "wondering what a special place in hell looks like for those who proposed Brexit without a sketch of a plan"||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|04/02/2019||Brexit: What are the new ideas for the Irish backstop?||,,As the PM plans to return to the EU with new ideas on the Irish backstop, what could be discussed?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/02/2019||WTO rules debunked||,,
Internet entrepreneur and domain name expert Edwin Hayward explains what “trading on WTO terms” really means…
As EU members, we participate in over 750 international treaties. Many relate to trade, enabling us to trade freely with the EU, the EEA, and 40+ other countries.
Other treaties cover non-trade issues, from airworthiness certificates to drivers' licences, UK and EU citizens’ rights, food safety, environmental protections, workers rights, etc.
On Brexit Day, we leave the EU. That means we lose all the benefits of its treaties. Those treaties are gone in a flash, as if we’d fed them into a shredder. (That’s not the EU being vindictive, it’s just how the Article 50 process works.)
Even IF we have a transition period, the treaties will already be gone, but we will be shielded from the immediate shock by the transition arrangement.
Right now, we share in trade deals with 78 countries (22 more pending). These deals cover 60.7% of all our of all our goods imports, and 66.9% of our exports. Overnight, we will lose them all, wave goodbye to the painstaking gains of over forty years of trade negotiations.
In the absence of trade deals, we will be reduced to trading on WTO terms. WTO is a complicated system of tariffs and quotas, plus a baseline set of rules designed to make trade a little less painful and a little smoother than it otherwise would be.
WTO provides a baseline for trade, but it is the absolute minimum that all rational countries seek to improve on. That's why everyone's trying to sign trade deals all the time. The whole point of trade deals is to improve on the basic terms offered by WTO.
In trade terms, WTO can be likened to fourth division football: it's definitely a step up from a kick-around in the park using jerseys as goalposts, but it's by no means a high standard.
|01/02/2019||Addressing skills shortages critical to the future of UK science||,,
The UK must plug science skills gaps to maintain its world-leading position for medicines and vaccines research and development.
The UK must plug an increasing number of science skills gaps to maintain its world-leading position for medicines and vaccines research and development, says the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
The UK is falling behind Europe and the rest of the world in terms of numbers of students studying many STEM subjects vital for discovering the advanced treatments and technologies of the future.
The ABPI warns that these highly-skilled scientific roles – vital to the UK’s successful pharmaceutical and biotech sectors - could move to other parts of the world if the situation is not addressed as a matter of urgency.
Despite the number of UK undergraduates studying STEM subjects increasing by 16% over the last decade (compared to an overall increase across all subjects of 13%) undergraduate numbers for EU students increased by 52% and non-EU students (worldwide) increased by 63%.
The figures come from the ABPI’s latest biennial survey of member pharmaceutical companies, looking at the challenges of recruiting suitably qualified and experienced staff. Bridging the skills gap in the biopharmaceutical industry (2019).
The new evidence comes as the UK seeks to protect its position as a hub for global life-sciences as it addresses the ill-advised step of leaving the European Union. Along with the skills shortages, respondents identified Brexit as the most critical threat to job growth in the UK, in an industry which invests significantly more in R&D than any other sector.
The report shows areas of significant concern, as identified by over 30 companies:
To help future proof the UK’s medicines R&D workforce, the ABPI is:
|01/02/2019||UK objects to description of Gibraltar as 'British colony' in EU law||,,The UK objects to language in legislation allowing visa-free travel for Britons after Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
Migration has sustained the UK's old age dependency ratio. Without new immigration to boost the proportion of working age adults we must expect further changes to the pension age. Author of this article Janette Hurles works in Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. She is currently researching how companies are addressing the challenges of the demographic time bomb in terms of attracting and retaining older workers.
|31/01/2019||All you need to know about Brexit||,,A guide to plans for the UK to leave the European Union, which is due to happen on 29 March.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|31/01/2019||A guide to Labour's Brexit tribes||,,Like the Conservatives, the Labour Party is divided over Brexit - here are the main factions in the Commons.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|31/01/2019||How ready is UK for a no-deal Brexit?||,,A think tank report assesses how ready the government is to leave the EU without a deal.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|31/01/2019||How has business been affected by Brexit so far?||,,With two months to go until the UK is due to leave the EU, how are firms and the UK economy faring?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|30/01/2019||Brexit: Corbyn tells May to rule out no deal at meeting||,,The Labour leader said it was "not acceptable" for the PM to keep the no-deal option on the table.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|29/01/2019||Brexit: Your simple guide to the UK leaving the EU||,,Feeling a little lost about what's going on with Brexit? Here's our basic guide.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|29/01/2019||Full list: amendments to May’s statement on defeat of her Brexit bill||,,
The amendments chosen by Speaker John Bercow and how MPs voted on each one
MPs have voted on a series of amendments to Theresa May’s statement on the defeat of her Brexit bill.
Below are the amendments that were voted upon, as selected by Speaker John Bercow. This is the order in which they were taken:Continue reading...
|29/01/2019||The 'Malthouse compromise': everything you need to know||,,
Full details of the overnight plan that has won the backing of key Brexiters and remainers
A compromise Brexit plan has emerged overnight in Westminster with the backing of heavyweight Tory Brexiters and remainers, including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nicky Morgan.
Two factions have thrown their weight behind the unexpected new compromise plan, backed by several ministers, which would involve a redrafting of the backstop and an extension of the transition period until 2021.Continue reading...
|29/01/2019||Brexit vote: How can Article 50 be extended?||,,Labour MP Yvette Cooper plans to use an amendment to try to block a no-deal Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|27/01/2019||What is the next Commons Brexit debate about?||,,
The next key vote takes place on Tuesday. What is it about and why does it matter?
The next key Brexit debate in the House of Commons is scheduled for Tuesday. We look at what MPs will be voting on and what the possible outcomes are.Continue reading...
|25/01/2019||Complacency is our Worst Enemy||,,
Something very disturbing happened in Britain in 2016. The referendum seems to have become a catalyst for a change in the climate of debate and media discourse so now statements are allowed which never would have been aired before. The country is divided, families and groups of friends split, due to accusations and abuse.
|25/01/2019||The importance of getting involved with your local group||,,
But what can I do?
So, you've written to your MP several times and now all you can do is to watch helplessly while the Commons follows arcane procedures to try to stop the most obstinate prime minister in history pretend that her Brexit is the 'only possible deal' and that the only alternative is a No Deal Brexit.
No, you don't have to watch helplessly; join your local People's Vote group.
|25/01/2019||Brexiter Tory MP Mark Francois accuses Airbus boss of 'German bullying'||,,Tory MP Mark Francois tears up the words of Airbus boss Tom Enders criticising Brexiteer "madness".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|24/01/2019||Brexit Basics: The transition period explained||,,Confused by Brexit jargon? Reality Check unpacks the basics.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|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...|
|23/01/2019||Brexit Basics: What is the backstop?||,,Confused by Brexit jargon? Reality Check unpacks the basics.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/01/2019||From backstop tweaks to no no-deal: possible amendments to May's next Brexit motion||,,
Several MPs are likely to put forward amendments to PM’s motion on next Brexit steps
Theresa May has published a Commons motion that says MPs have considered the next steps in her Brexit plan. The motion will be voted on on 29 January, and MPs have put down a series of amendments.
The government motion is written in neutral terms and is pretty vague: “This house … has considered the written statement” that was tabled by the prime minister this week, which set out the ways she would attempt to find a consensus for her Brexit deal.Continue reading...
|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...|
|21/01/2019||How do you apply for settled status after Brexit?||,,BBC reporter Helene Daouphars (who is French) looks at how to apply for settled status.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|21/01/2019||Brexit: Jeremy Corbyn on PM's statement and offer of talks||,,Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says the prime minister is in "deep denial" and must change her red lines over a Brexit deal.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|18/01/2019||To Believe in the EU is to Take Pride in British Accomplishments||,,
I’ve always been a patriotic person. I love my country and I’m very proud of our achievements. But I find it puzzling that when we talk about these achievements, we rarely talk about anything after the second world war. But our nation has also helped shape the modern world, in a large part of that is because of our leading role in shaping the modern EU.
When people discussed the big powers within the EU, they didn’t talk about two countries. They talked about three - Britain, France and Germany. The countries of Scandinavia, Eastern and Central Europe, plus Ireland and the Netherlands frequently allied themselves with the UK within the EU, and followed our lead. The old EEC may have started without us but since we joined, we have had a huge role in shaping the modern EU’s economy, its culture and its values.
The best example of how big our influence has been on the EU is the single market. It was the British who was the driving force behind the common market (as it used to be called) which now makes a fundamental part of both the EU’s economy and the UK's economy. (1) We not only started the process, but we also pushed France and Germany to agree to it, and we sent a British man, Arthur Cockfield, to the EU to work out exactly how to do it. He wrote the White Paper that became the instruction manual on the necessary structures and laws the EU adopted so that the single market would work. (1) It created huge economic gains for UK and the EU, it is a tremendous achievement and one we should be proud to be a part of.
|17/01/2019||Speaking up for the NHS||,,
January 15th was a remarkable night in politics. A crowd of thousands had gathered in Parliament Square to watch history being made as MPs voted meaningfully on May’s Brexit deal, and in the end the crowd were not disappointed.
The whole evening leading up to that moment had an air of hope and expectation. I rushed straight there from the hospital when my clinic ended, and arrived just before six o’clock to find the square opposite the House of Commons already crammed with people, seemingly everyone waving blue and yellow flags and placards. At one side of the square alongside Westminster Abbey, a stage had been set up and roving lights bathed the crowd. Huge screens alternated between the speakers on stage and the scenes taking place inside the House of Commons. A succession of speakers were addressing the crowd, each one met with cheers and whistles as they spoke against May’s deal.
It was a huge honour to be invited to speak at this rally on behalf of the British Medical Association. The BMA opposes any form of Brexit and believes it is vital the public has the final say on any proposed deal. I wanted to remind the gathered supporters of the stakes for the NHS in the Brexit debate, and of what we’re fighting to protect. The health of the nation is at risk from Brexit because of the damage it will do to the NHS, and we have to speak up to protect it.
|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...|
|16/01/2019||Brexit vote: European 'surprise' at scale of defeat||,,European media react with surprise to the scale of Theresa May's Commons defeat.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|14/01/2019||Brexit plan: Political declaration and withdrawal agreement||,,Theresa May's Brexit deal comes in two parts - one is short, the other is a hefty document which is legally binding and covers the 21-month transition plan||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|14/01/2019||Could no-deal Brexit lead to loo roll logjam?||,,The Confederation of Paper Industries says it is concerned about the potential for delays in a no-deal Brexit.||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...|
|13/12/2018||Rayner: New referendum 'undermines democracy'||,,Labour frontbencher Angela Rayner says holding another referendum could "make us more divided".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|13/12/2018||Q&A: The Irish border backstop||,,BBC News NI assesses the current position on the Irish border and Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|05/12/2018||Reality Check: Legal advice on the Brexit deal||,,Chris Morris highlights some of the key points in the legal advice on the Withdrawal Agreement.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/11/2018||Reality Check: Brexit withdrawal agreement - what it all 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 blind dates: Johnson and Whelan||,,What happens when two strong-minded individuals from opposite sides of the Brexit debate sit down for dinner?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|20/11/2018||In full: Sturgeon with Kuenssberg||,,SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon says she wants to form a "coalition of opposition" to Theresa May's Brexit plans with Labour and other parties, ahead of a vote of MPs at Westminster.||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...|
|12/11/2018||'Referendum at some point' predicts Brown||,,The British people "have got a right to have the final say" on the UK's relations with the EU, says former prime minister Gordon Brown.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|05/11/2018||Brexit Basics: Free trade agreements explained||,,Confused by Brexit jargon? Reality Check unpacks the basics.||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...|
|17/09/2018||Brexit: What do French people think?||,,Divorce settlements and racing off a cliff are just some of the ways the French media has given its views on Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|27/07/2018||Hard Brexit. Soft Brexit. No Deal. What does Brexit mean?||,,Why do so many people talk about a 'hard Brexit' and a 'soft Brexit'? And what do they mean?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|26/07/2018||'People always think I'm British'||,,An EU citizen who lived in the UK for 40 years fears she will not able to return home after Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|19/07/2018||At-a-glance: The UK's four Brexit options||,,A guide to the four possible scenarios for the UK's future relationship with the European Union.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|05/07/2018||Campaign launch for ‘business and jobs’ amendments to Trade and Customs Bills is direct challenge to Chequer’s ‘Third Way’||,,
As the Prime Minister is set to encourage her Cabinet to back a complex new arrangement on post-Brexit customs, a cross-party group of MPs are increasingly confident they can deliver victory for amendments to key Government legislation that would instead offer business the certainty of remaining in a customs union with the European Union. The amendments have been tabled by MPs from across the House of Commons, including nine Conservatives.
|04/07/2018||Reality Check: Fishing after Brexit - sink or swim?||,,BBC Reality Check looks at the government's promise of taking back control of UK fishing waters.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|15/06/2018||McFadden – Government’s Brexit red lines could make people in West Midlands less safe||,,
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has today published a report warning that “if the UK fails to reach a satisfactory Brexit deal or leaves the EU without any deal at all, the UK risks falling off a ‘cliff-edge’ in terms of certain security and UK-EU policing cooperation.”
|13/06/2018||Kyle – Comments by CBI President show Brexit poses "existential threat" to UK automotive sector||,,
Paul Drechsler, the President of the CBI, warned today that UK car firms could face extinction if the UK leaves the EU Customs Union, and also said there was "zero evidence" that trade deals outside the EU would provide any economic benefit to Britain.
|12/06/2018||Umunna – Government limping through votes by making big concessions||,,
The Government was forced to offer concessions to potential Conservative rebels today in order to stave off defeat on the so-called 'meaningful vote' amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill.
|12/06/2018||Umunna – Lee resignation “hugely significant moment” for People’s Vote campaign||,,
Dr Phillip Lee MP has resigned from the Government over Brexit and said any final Brexit deal “should go to the people, once again, for their confirmation”.
|11/06/2018||McGovern – TSSA backing a People’s Vote a “massive moment” for the campaign||,,
The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), a transport trade union affiliated to the Labour Party, today voted in favour of supporting a People’s Vote on Brexit at their annual conference.
|10/06/2018||Kyle – Russia allegation “emphasises the need for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal”||,,
It has been reported Leave.EU campaign backers frequently met officials from the Russian embassy.
|10/06/2018||Leslie – £29bn cost of leaving Europe’s economic area||,,
The decision by Labour’s frontbench to vote to only stay in the Customs Union but not in the European economic area could cost the UK £29 billion a year and more than 300,000 jobs by 2030.
|08/06/2018||Streeting – Boris Johnson detests the Chancellor “because he tells the truth” about Brexit||,,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has today delivered a ‘reality check’ to Brexit advocates stating, in Germany, that “we will have to give up some of the advantages of [EU] membership”.
|08/06/2018||Rupa Huq – Brexit meltdown “is only getting worse”||,,
The CBI have downgraded their forecast for economic growth for 2018 and warned that “risks remain … skewed to the downside. In particular a more disorderly outcome to EU negotiations”.
|07/06/2018||Murray – Boris Johnson is utterly shameless||,,
BuzzFeed News has obtained a leaked audio recording of Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, admitting that the UK may well end up with a Brexit deal that is “far worse” than what Brexit supporters had hoped for.
|07/06/2018||Huq – Theresa May is right: Brexit is "a choice between the unacceptable and the unpalatable"||,,
In a letter to Conservative MPs this evening, the Prime Minister has claimed the choice facing the UK on Brexit is between “the unacceptable” and “the unpalatable”.
|07/06/2018||Sharma – Number of people who think Brexit going well now comparable to number who think global warming is a hoax||,,
New polling by YouGov suggests just 10% of the UK public think Brexit is going well, with 73% thinking it’s going badly. That includes 70% of Leave voters.
|07/06/2018||Umunna – Shambles of Brexit means Alan Duncan right to back a People’s Vote||,,
The Foreign Office Minister and Deputy to Boris Johnson, Alan Duncan MP, has thrown the Government’s opposition to a People’s Vote into confusion after reportedly agreeing today that there could be a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal negotiated by the Government.
|07/06/2018||Leslie – New backstop proposal “would be laughable if it weren’t so serious”||,,
The Government has published a new proposal for the so-called ‘backstop’ option for the Northern Ireland border, after a morning of tense talks between Theresa May and David Davis.
|07/06/2018||Streeting – “Sadiq Khan is right to back cross-party amendments on EU Withdrawal Bill”||,,
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called on MPs to back cross-party amendments to the Government’s Withdrawal Bill when it is debated next week in the House of Commons.
|07/06/2018||Angela Smith – “Mistake of historic proportions for Labour to back hard Brexit”||,,
It has been confirmed this morning that MPs will debate amendments on the Withdrawal Bill next Tuesday and Wednesday.
|07/06/2018||Kyle – David Davis reportedly on verge of quitting shows how badly Brexit negotiations are going||,,
There is reportedly more uncertainty today about whether or not the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, will resign over disagreements relating to the Government’s plans for the Northern Ireland so-called ‘backstop’ proposal.
|06/06/2018||Murray – Squabble between May and Davis is battle of the baldies over a comb||,,
Speculation has grown throughout the day that David Davis and Number 10 are locked in a fight over the so-called “backstop” on the Irish border.
|06/06/2018||Creasy – PM’s failure to confirm publication date of promised Brexit White Paper creates “unprecedented” situation||,,
At Prime Minister’s Questions today, Theresa May failed to say when her Government’s promised ‘Brexit White Paper’ would be published.
|04/06/2018||Andrew Lloyd Webber says House of Lords wrong on Brexit||,,Andrew Lloyd Webber says he thinks the House of Lords is wrong to "vote against the will of the people".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|23/04/2018||Brexit: What is the customs union?||,,The government says the UK will quit the EU customs union after Brexit. But what does that actually mean?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|02/03/2018||In full: May's Brexit speech||,,Access to the EU market will be "less than it is now" says the PM outlining new details in the government's position over Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|24/01/2018||David Cameron: Brexit's 'less bad than we thought'||,,The former prime minister was caught on camera at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|04/01/2018||Lord Owen: Brexit can be a positive story||,,The former British Foreign Secretary argues Britain needs to make a success of Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|08/12/2017||DUP leader Arlene Foster welcomes Brexit deal||,,DUP leader Arlene Foster says substantive changes to proposed text for a deal with the EU were made.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|30/11/2017||Brexit: The Irish border bridge where stakes are high||,,The villages of Belcoo, in Northern Ireland, and Blacklion, in the Republic of Ireland, think of themselves as one community.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|