|30/05/2020||‘Utterly irresponsible’ – Inside the battle over Jacob Rees-Mogg’s plan to bring the Commons back amid the coronavirus lockdown||,,Parliamentary officials raced to get an unprecedented virtual chamber up and running during the coronavirus lockdown. But the Government wants MPs to ‘set an example’ as the rest of the country starts to head back to work. Alain Tolhurst reports on t...||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|29/05/2020||UK sets out Hong Kong ‘path to citizenship’ plan||,,Nearly three million people could be eligible for the scheme.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|29/05/2020||Coronavirus: Rishi Sunak vows fresh help for self-employed as firms take on more furlough costs||,,Rishi Sunak has confirmed the self-employed will get a fresh round of state support to help them weather the coronavirus crisis, while firms with staff on furlough will be asked to start footing more of the bill.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|29/05/2020||June Brexit summit on cards as talks head for deadlock||,,
PM and commission president likely to meet with progress unlikely in talks next week
Brexit talks are heading towards deadlock as senior advisers in Brussels and London concede a breakthrough in the final round of talks next week is unlikely.
It means a high-level political summit between Boris Johnson and the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, in the middle of June is now almost certain as talks among officials on a trade deal and the future relationship hit the buffers.Continue reading...
|29/05/2020||Number 10 stands by vow to open up citizenship to Hong Kong residents as China warns of ‘countermeasures’||,,The UK Government is sticking to its threat to give greater rights to people in Hong Kong unless China rethinks a controversial new security bill.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|29/05/2020||Michel Barnier: UK needs to get real if it wants a Brexit deal||,,An agreement by the end of the year will be 'very difficult, but it is possible,' EU negotiator says.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|29/05/2020||Charities warn Boris Johnson millions of vulnerable people at risk over 'mixed and confusing' coronavirus guidance||,,Charities have warned millions of vulnerable people are being put at risk over the Government's "mixed and confusing" coronavirus advice.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|29/05/2020||The Breakfast Briefing: Boris throws protective ring around top scientists PLUS Jacob Rees-Mogg accused of flicking ‘multiple v-signs’||,,Your essential guide to what’s moving this morning from the PoliticsHome team||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|29/05/2020||EXCL Jacob Rees-Mogg’s ‘incomprehensible’ plans to reopen Commons will turn ill and disabled MPs into ‘eunuchs’, senior Tory warns||,,The Government’s current plans to bring the House of Commons back from June 2 will turn self-isolating and disabled MPs into “parliamentary eunuchs”, a former minister has warned.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|29/05/2020||Coronavirus furlough scheme: Rishi Sunak ‘to ask employers to start paying a fifth of wages’||,,Firms will be asked to pay a 20% of the wages of employees on the Government’s furlough scheme, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|29/05/2020||Government vows ‘clean resilient recovery’ as delayed Cop26 climate summit gets a new date||,,A major international climate summit that was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic has been rescheduled to next year, the Government has confirmed.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|29/05/2020||Labour slams ministers over block-booking of care home beds for coronavirus patients||,,Labour have hit out at the Government after it emerged that beds in care homes had block-booked for recovering coronavirus patients to ease pressure on the NHS.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|29/05/2020||For years, the Tories have banked on impunity. Is their luck finally running out? | Andy Beckett||,,
The party has clung to power by flouting political norms, but in the Cummings affair it faces an angry and contemptuous public
Will the Tories get away with it? In many ways, it’s been the central question in our politics since they squeaked back into government in 2010. Ever since they used the power vacuum after that year’s hung-parliament election to quickly cobble together a coalition with the Lib Dems, the Tories have been careering from one narrow scrape to the next.Continue reading...
|29/05/2020||Welsh government says public should not travel more than five miles from home as lockdown measures eased||,,First minister Mark Drakeford has urged the Welsh public to “stay local” by avoiding trips more than five miles from the home as the country prepares to ease some of its lockdown measures.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|29/05/2020||Don’t scrap ‘lifeline’ coronavirus support for self-employed, MPs tell Rishi Sunak||,,More than 100 MPs have backed a cross-party call to extend the Government’s self employment support scheme before it ends this weekend.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||Boris Johnson says it is ‘unfair and unnecessary’ to ask top scientific advisers about Dominic Cummings row||,,It is "unfair and unnecessary" for people to ask the government's scientific advisers about the Dominic Cummings row, Boris Johnson has claimed.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||All the changes to England's lockdown announced by Boris Johnson||,,Changes to schools, shops and contact with friends and family have all been announced as part of the next step in the Government's "roadmap" for exiting the coronavirus lockdown.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||Groups given green light to socialise in parks and gardens as PM eases lockdown||,,Groups of up to six people will be able to socialise together in parks and gardens from Monday, after Boris Johnson announced a relaxation of lockdown rules in England.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||Dominic Raab: UK will extend visa rights unless China 'steps back' from Hong Kong law||,,Dominic Raab has announced plans to extend citizenship rights for people in Hong Kong unless China "steps back" from a controversial new security bill.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||Nicola Sturgeon confirms Scots will be able to meet in groups of 8 under new lockdown easing plans||,,Nicola Sturgeon has said groups of up to 8 will be allowed to meet as long as they stay outside, under new plans for lifting lockdown restrictions.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||David Evans: Who is the new boss at Labour HQ and is he up to the job?||,,He’s the most powerful person in the Labour Party you’ve never heard of, and Sir Keir Starmer’s wish for a strong, united front means its newly-appointed general secretary has a big job ahead of him. Kate Forrester reports||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||Number 10 stands by Dominic Cummings after Durham Police say Barnard Castle trip ‘might’ have breached lockdown rules||,,Number 10 has stood firm by Dominic Cummings after Durham Police conclude his trip to Barnard Castle “might have been a minor breach” of lockdown rules.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||Read in full: Durham police statement on Dominic Cummings||,,Durham Constabulary have issued a statement on the Prime Minister’s most senior adviser. Read it in full here||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||Spain’s government lashes out at Nissan over Barcelona factory closure||,,The government thought the factory's future was 'guaranteed.'||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||Matt Hancock says ‘onus’ is on employers to pay people’s wages if they’re asked to self-isolate under new test and trace plan||,,Matt Hancock has said that employers are responsible for paying the wages of anyone asked to self-isolate as the new test and trace programme is launched.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||Keir Starmer tells Boris Johnson to ‘get back on track’ after Dominic Cummings row as he demands 24-hour coronavirus test target||,,The Government needs to “get back on track” in the wake of a major row over whether Dominic Cummings breached lockdown rules, Sir Keir Starmer has said.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||Labour demands action on personal protective equipment as survey reveals BAME staff more likely to face shortages||,,Black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) nursing staff are more likely to have problems accessing protective equipment, a new survey branded “deeply concerning” by Labour has revealed.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||The Breakfast Briefing: What you need to know as the coronavirus Test and Trace programme gets underway||,,Your essential morning guide to what’s moving in Westminster from the PoliticsHome team.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||Public have ‘civic duty’ to take part as NHS Test and Trace programme launches across England||,,A much-anticipated mass coronavirus contact tracing programme is being launched in England on Thursday, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock telling Brits they have a “civic duty” to take part.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|28/05/2020||Cabinet minister Penny Mordaunt says Dominic Cummings row has ‘undermined public health messages’||,,The row over Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham during lockdown has “undermined key public health messages”, Cabinet minister Penny Mordaunt has said.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|27/05/2020||Boris Johnson hints at u-turn on Universal Credit ban for thousands of migrants after ‘jaw-dropping’ committee grilling||,,Boris Johnson has hinted that the Government will review rules that prevent thousands of migrants living in the UK from accessing a raft of state benefits despite paying taxes here.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|27/05/2020||Boris Johnson says Britain ‘did not learn the lessons’ of 2002 Sars pandemic as he is grilled on coronavirus testing delay||,,Boris Johnson has said a failure to “learn the lessons” of the 2002 Sars pandemic is partly to blame for the UK’s slow switch to a mass testing programme for the coronavirus.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|27/05/2020||Boris Johnson says inquiry into Dominic Cummings lockdown row ‘not a good use of official time’||,,Boris Johnson has dismissed calls from MPs for an inquiry into his senior adviser’s trip to Durham during the coronavirus lockdown.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|27/05/2020||Boris Johnson orders review of two-metre social distancing rule to help pubs re-open||,,Boris Johnson has asked Government experts to look again at the two-metre social distancing rule in the hope it can be reduced.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|27/05/2020||UK would not extend Brexit transition period if asked, top negotiator David Frost says after Michel Barnier letter||,,It is the UK Government’s “firm policy” not to extend the Brexit transition period, the country’s chief negotiator has said, after Brussels said it remained “open” to such a move.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|27/05/2020||UK media tops the Brussels bubble||,,The Brussels media contingent has shrunk by nearly a fifth since 2018.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|26/05/2020||Brexit talks 'risk stalemate' if no progress on key issues||,,
EU sources say union needs to see movement from Britain in terms of fair competition
Brexit talks risk reaching a stalemate if there is no progress in the next round of negotiations between the European Union and the British government, EU sources have said.
The two sides are due to resume talks next week, the final round scheduled before a “high-level conference” in June to assess progress before the end-of-year deadline.Continue reading...
|24/05/2020||By backing Cummings, Johnson has laid bare his disdain for the British public | Martin Kettle||,,
The prime minister’s self-centred endorsement of his overmighty adviser is an outrageous snub to the rest of us
The shadow of death still hangs over the country. The losses from the Covid-19 virus continue to mount. The end is not yet in sight. The way we live will be altered by the pandemic and its consequences for years to come. Amid the weight and seriousness of life-changing and life-ending events, how can the national conversation be dominated for three days by the bad behaviour of Dominic Cummings during the lockdown?
The answer is brutal but clear. It is because Cummings has so much power and has done so much to make this country what it is today, first because of Brexit, and now because of the mishandling of the pandemic. The furore over his rule-breaking cannot be dismissed as a bubble issue, especially after Boris Johnson backed him so comprehensively and divisively from the No 10 lectern today. Now, whether Cummings ultimately goes or stays, this is a choice that affects everyone and everything.Continue reading...
|24/05/2020||How Dominic Cummings became indispensable to Boris Johnson||,,
PM prizes aide’s ability to slice through complexities and has sought to defend him following lockdown breach
In Downing Street on Brexit night, 31 January this year, while Boris Johnson sounded a gong and quaffed Chateau Margaux, Dominic Cummings reportedly wept.
For Johnson, getting Brexit done was part and parcel of achieving his long-held ambition to be prime minister (the next best thing to “world king”, as the young Johnson once put it).Continue reading...
|24/05/2020||Outrage at U-turn on promise to reunite child refugees with UK family||,,
Charities fear for safety of lone youngsters as draft text of Brexit negotiations shows Britain wants to end sanctuary
The Home Office has drawn up plans to terminate the current system of allowing child refugees to be reunited with family in the UK, according to a draft text of the government’s Brexit negotiating document.
It reveals that the UK government will be pushing during the next round of EU exit talks to effectively end the system where unaccompanied minors, often fleeing conflict, are granted sanctuary in the UK.Continue reading...
|23/05/2020||Johnson's promised Brexit border in Irish Sea 'will not be ready in time'||,,
Influential thinktank warns that UK will need to extend transition period in wake of coronavirus or risk very hard border
A new Brexit border in the Irish Sea will not be ready by Boris Johnson’s end-of-year deadline, according to a new analysis that warns more than 60 administrations, government departments and public bodies will be involved in overseeing the new system.
Ministers finally admitted last week that there would be some checks on certain goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK from next January, when the Brexit transition period comes to an end.Continue reading...
|22/05/2020||The Guardian view on climate and Covid: time to make different choices | Editorial||,,
Despite some fine words about the environmental crisis, ministers are pushing ahead with a trade bill that threatens to damage the planet
The dust storms that devastated the US prairie during the Great Depression were the worst ecological disaster in American history. They were also, partly, manmade. Decades of farming in the Great Plains had rid the topsoil of its native grass, leaving nothing to prevent fields crumbling to dust when drought struck in 1931. Across the Dust Bowl in midwest America, millions of acres of farmland were swept away in brown blizzards. Forced off the land, hungry families headed west in search of new jobs and lives. The dust blew so far east that it settled on the White House lawn.
Almost 90 years ago the US president’s response was not to lie about the scale of disaster or blame others. Instead, Franklin D Roosevelt launched one of his New Deal’s signature relief programmes: the Civilian Conservation Corps. Its mission was to put unemployed Americans to work. More than 3 million people planted 3bn trees, built shelter belts across the Great Plains to reduce the risk of dust storms, and created 700 state parks. FDR’s legacy survives, but his policy is venerated more in name than in deed.Continue reading...
|22/05/2020||UK’s coronavirus quarantine in force from June 8||,,Travelers to Britain will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and face fines if they don't comply.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|21/05/2020||UK economy on course for a slow rebound, healthcheck show||,,
Coronavirus and looming Brexit means recovery ‘measured in years, not months’, says survey
Britain’s economy is on course for a slow rebound from the coronavirus outbreak amid mounting business concern over the hit to consumer demand, despite early signs of improvement in May.
After April’s unprecedented economic slump as lockdown measures brought the UK economy to an effective standstill, the latest monthly health check for growth and jobs from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (Cips) suggested the economy has recovered slightly this month.Continue reading...
|21/05/2020||Britain's pride in its past is not matched by any vision for its future | Timothy Garton Ash||,,
There have been times over the last few weeks when it has felt as if we were living through a looped replay of Dad’s Army
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? The Covid-19 crisis is a mirror held up to each nation. Some, such as Jacinda Ardern’s New Zealand, look very good indeed. Many have celebrated an unfamiliar unity, solidarity and selflessness, praising as distinctively Spanish, Italian or Danish the very same qualities that just across the frontier are being lauded as Portuguese, French or Swedish. Others, such as the United States and Poland, are tragically revealed as incapable of achieving national solidarity even when faced with such an external threat. Instead they appear more politically polarised than ever, like a man whose right arm is fully engaged in wrestling with his own left arm while a tiger mauls his back.Continue reading...
|21/05/2020||Farmers urge UK government to protect food standards in post-Brexit trade bill||,,
Union and consumer groups warn post-Brexit trade policy must hold food imports to same standards as UK
Farmers, environmentalists and consumer groups are pressing the government to honour its manifesto pledge not to undermine food standards with low-quality imports in a post-Brexit trade policy.
A coalition of organisations, led by the National Farmers Union, failed to secure amendments in the Commons to the agriculture bill last week to protect UK farmers and producers from lower-quality imports from countries like the US.Continue reading...
|21/05/2020||No-deal Brexit 'would overwhelm local emergency teams'||,,
Leaked report warns local disaster planning already exhausted by coronavirus crisis
Preparing for the impact of a no-deal Brexit later this year would overwhelm local emergency response teams exhausted by the Covid-19 pandemic, a leaked Whitehall report has warned.
A review by a committee set up to review the response to coronavirus said failing to seek an extension to Brexit negotiations threatened to “compound Covid-19 with a second UK societal-wide, economic and social, chronic threat”.Continue reading...
|20/05/2020||UK coronavirus: official death toll rises by 363 to 35,704 – as it happened||,,
Here’s a closing summary of the main developments today:
Johnson pledges UK-wide coronavirus tracing by 1 June
The government has bowed to pressure to give indefinite leave to remain to families and dependants of migrant NHS support staff who die as a result of contracting coronavirus.
The move follows criticism that care workers, cleaners and porters had been left out of the scheme, which only applied to certain occupations including nurses, biochemists and radiographers.
Every death in this crisis is a tragedy, and sadly some NHS support staff and social care workers have made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of saving the lives of others.
When I announced the introduction of the bereavement scheme in April, I said we would continue to work across government to look at ways to offer further support. Today we are extending the scheme to NHS support staff and social care workers.Continue reading...
|20/05/2020||What checks will there be on goods crossing Irish Sea?||,,
As government concedes there will be checks, we outline why, on what, and when they will begin
The government has finally conceded there will be extra checks and paperwork on some goods trade across the Irish Sea after Brexit. So why, on what, and when will they begin?Continue reading...
|20/05/2020||The Guardian view on ‘Global Britain’: a lonely fiction | Editorial||,,
The Brexit vision of the UK setting international standards for free trade was a delusion even before a pandemic changed the game
The UK’s strategic orientation in the world is rarely the most salient topic of national debate, and it is lost almost entirely in the mostly domestic politics of quarantine. But coronavirus changes the international context in which Britain operates as a power – large by European standards, but not an equal to the US or China.
The world into which Boris Johnson thought he would be launching his country on exit from the EU is not the one in which it is now adrift. Borders have closed; trade is disrupted; blame flies between nations and regions. Tension between Washington and Beijing simmers close to boiling.Continue reading...
|20/05/2020||Michel Barnier: 'Dynamism needed to avoid UK-EU talks stalemate||,,He criticises the "tone" of the UK negotiator David Frost, but believes talks can progress.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|20/05/2020||UK holds its nose on Northern Irish border||,,After months of resisting the idea, the UK has accepted there will be customs checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|20/05/2020||Barnier’s letter to UK: Let’s stop sending letters about Brexit||,,EU Brexit negotiator responds to his British counterpart.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|20/05/2020||Cost of keeping UK MPs safe skyrocketed: report||,,Heightened security measures put down to Brexit divisions and terrorist threats.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|20/05/2020||Brexit: Gove confirms plans for checks on goods crossing Irish Sea||,,
Minister says checks on animals and food products are needed to maintain island of Ireland’s ‘disease-free status’
The government has confirmed for the first time that there will be Brexit checks on animals and food goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK from next January.
The announcement, detailed in a 23-page document released by the government on Wednesday, comes months after Boris Johnson pledged there would be no checks on trade crossing the Irish Sea – telling businesses that if anyone asked them to fill in new paperwork, they could “throw it in the bin”.Continue reading...
|20/05/2020||Nudge theory could heal Brexit Britain's divide over lockdown | Lee de Wit||,,
The theory received bad press, but it could help reconcile those who value freedom and those who want to minimise harm
There was a rare moment of relative unity in the UK at the start of April when nine out of 10 people said they supported the lockdown. However, as the government seeks to ease the lockdown, a polarised landscape is starting to re-emerge, the fault lines reflecting attitudes toward Brexit. A recent YouGov survey found that 47% of leavers supported the government’s easing of the lockdown compared with 26% of remainers.
Remainers and leavers both indicated high levels of support for letting people exercise outside more than once a day, but YouGov found that leavers showed more support than remainers for allowing people to play tennis or golf, visit garden centres, meet one friend, sit and sunbathe in public areas like parks, and encourage people to return to work.Continue reading...
|19/05/2020||UK coronavirus: George Eustice urges furloughed workers to pick fruit; death toll rises by 545 – as it happened||,,
Official total now at to 35,341; UK facing ‘severe recession the likes of which we haven’t seen’, says Rishi Sunak
Speaking at Downing Street’s daily press conference, the environment secretary, George Eustice, urged Britons to apply for jobs as fruit pickers to compensate for the fact that only a third of the eastern Europeans who normally come to the UK to do this work are expected to arrive.
Here’s more on the news earlier that Labour’s annual party conference has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The conference, which would have been Sir Keir Starmer’s first as leader and was due to be attended by 13,000 people in Liverpool in September, will be replaced with online events.Continue reading...
|19/05/2020||UK negotiator to EU: ‘It does not have to be like this’||,,Brussels should 'think again' on its offer for a post-Brexit relationship, David Frost tells Michel Barnier.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|19/05/2020||Gove proves ultimate shapeshifter while Eustice leads masterclass in banality | John Crace||,,
As government failures stack up, another day passes when no one takes responsibility for anything
As the body count continues to rise and the government’s failures become more and more obvious – just imagine how many more people might have died if Matt Hancock hadn’t thrown his protective ring around care homes from the very start – you can sense ministers and scientists increasingly socially distancing themselves from any sense of responsibility.
Head meet sand. What contact tracing app that was supposed to be the key to ending lockdown? Oh that one! We never meant to imply it was that important. Or that it would necessarily be ready when we said it would. Rather it was just an adjunct to some other measures that we haven’t yet thought of. So we are in a game of musical chairs for the morally bankrupt. Which means that Michael Gove is in with a definite chance of winning.Continue reading...
|19/05/2020||Brexit talks: Britain accuses EU of treating UK as 'unworthy' partner||,,
Chief negotiator David Frost says proposed trade deal would make UK ‘bend to EU norms’
Britain’s chief negotiator, David Frost, has accused Brussels of treating the UK as an “unworthy” partner by offering a low-quality trade agreement that he says would force the country to “bend to EU norms”.
In an extraordinary letter to the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, the prime minister’s envoy says Brussels’ proposal that EU state aid rules be part of British law is “egregious” and “simply not a provision any democratic country could sign”.Continue reading...
|19/05/2020||UK Labour Party cancels annual conference due to coronavirus||,,Flagship annual gathering will be replaced with online events.||www.politico.eu||Visit...|
|19/05/2020||Government publishes 'approach' to post-Brexit trade deal with the EU||,,Michael Gove says the bloc held up talks with its "ideological approach" as the UK publishes its plans.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|18/05/2020||The Guardian view on Covid-19 and migration: a ministerial power grab | Editorial||,,
If the government gets its way, our coronavirus heroes may not be here to save us next time
Why is the government pressing ahead with an immigration policy that was designed for a world that no longer exists? Brexit’s strident rhetoric posited falsehoods about migrant workers being behind depressed wages, housing shortages and stressed public services. But that was before coronavirus. Many Britons have woken up now to the fact that vital sectors in the NHS, social care and food production have been kept going by low-paid EU and non-European workers of the kind whose numbers the home secretary, Priti Patel, plans to restrict.
Ms Patel’s immigration bill claims it is introducing a points-based system, but it is more an income-based one. She proposes to end freedom of movement from the EU and apply the same salary threshold and skills requirement to prospective migrants wherever they come from. The rules are due to take effect in January and it is estimated that two-thirds of EU migrants now classed as key workers would not qualify for a work visa next year. The bill fails because the crisis has shown that salary alone is a poor guide to a person’s value to society.Continue reading...
|18/05/2020||The 'lockdown sceptics' want a culture war, with experts as the enemy | Peter Geoghegan & Mary Fitzgerald||,,
The dismissal of coronavirus expertise, the pitting of ‘elites’ against ‘the people’ – it’s Brexit all over again for the high-profile contrarians
Within days of Boris Johnson announcing lockdown restrictions in late March, Toby Young – self-appointed general secretary of the Free Speech Union – had his own take on the government’s tripartite slogan. “Stay sceptical. End the lockdown. Save lives.”
Scepticism has a long and venerable history. From Descartes’s musings on metaphysics to Carl Sagan’s “fine art of baloney detection”, sceptics are unafraid to ask unpopular questions. Even if it means being branded a heretic.Continue reading...
|17/05/2020||Brexit: Michael Gove urges EU to show 'flexibility'||,,He says a "big philosophical difference" remains between the UK and EU in post-Brexit trade talks.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|14/05/2020||How coronavirus is reshaping Europe in dangerous ways||,,
From green backlash to reimposition of border controls, pandemic is accelerating tensions that could unravel the EU
We are still in the early chapters of the Covid-19 story and it’s too soon to judge the full impact of the pandemic. But one can tentatively discern six negative trends for Europe. These had all emerged before the virus struck but are now accelerating. In various ways they are all likely to help the cause of anti-EU populists: greater economic autarky, stronger borders and more hostility to green policies.Continue reading...
|11/05/2020||Brexit: UK-EU trade talks resume ahead of June summit||,,Both sides are due to decide next month whether a 31 December deadline should be extended.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|05/05/2020||Brexit: Simon Coveney says trade talks progress not good||,,The Irish deputy PM says time is short to reach a trade deal this year, with much still to do.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|05/05/2020||UK-US trade talks will not be an easy ride||,,Both sides are desperate for a speedy agreement, but there are clear sticking points.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|04/05/2020||Trade talks between UK and US set to get under way||,,Ministers say they will drive a "hard bargain" but Labour say they must be "wary" of President Trump.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|29/04/2020||Johnson's baby marks new chapter in PM's very public private life||,,
After a tumultuous four months, the PM enters a familiar Downing Street balancing act
It is hard to imagine any British prime minister has been through such a rollercoaster of personal emotion in the space of four months as Boris Johnson. Only a month ago the prime minister was in a hospital ward wondering whether the coronavirus that continued to grip his lungs would mean that he would die in office only three months after securing a resounding personal mandate from a Brexit-weary electorate.Continue reading...
|24/04/2020||Brexit: Disappointing progress in trade talks, says Michel Barnier||,,The EU's chief negotiator says the 'clock is ticking' as the UK calls for "constructive" talks.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|24/04/2020||Brexit talks: who is involved and what is being covered?||,,
In 40 video sessions, teams have been trying to ‘refocus’ on future relationship
Brexit talks on the future relationship between the UK and the EU resumed this week after a six-week interruption caused by coronavirus.
Over five days and 40 video sessions, 10 negotiating teams were expected to provide an urgent “refocus” before the 30 June deadline for both sides to formally agree to extend the transition period if the UK asks for one.Continue reading...
|27/02/2020||Brexit trade deal: What do the UK and EU want?||,,The UK and EU have set out their stalls for negotiations on their future relationship.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|27/02/2020||Brexit: UK negotiating objectives for trade with EU, in a nutshell||,,
UK vision for next phase of Brexit abandons commitments made in October alongside withdrawal agreement
The government has released its negotiating objectives for the next phase of Brexit, centring on the future trading relationship and other issues.Continue reading...
|26/02/2020||Labour leadership candidates clash over Brexit at Guardian hustings – video||,,
Keir Starmer came under fire from Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy over Labour’s Brexit position, both arguing that it contributed to the party’s landslide defeat in December.
Speaking at the Guardian-hosted hustings in Manchester, Long-Bailey said discussions were too focused on Westminster. Nandy described Labour’s approach as 'tone deaf'. Starmer admitted Brexit was a factor but said multiple issues came up on the doorstep, including antisemitism and a lack of trust in Corbyn. The ballot for the contest opened this week and the results are due to be announced at a special conference on 4 AprilContinue reading...
|25/02/2020||Post-Brexit trade talks: what are the next steps?||,,
What can we expect from the talks that begin next week?
Brexit negotiations to secure the future relationship between the UK and the EU start next Monday.Continue reading...
|21/02/2020||EU leaders express concern over filling €75bn Brexit shortfall – video||,,
Leaders of EU countries have expressed concerns the union's long-term budget talks may not conclude in an agreement as politicians' positions have been miles apart on how to fill the €75bn (£63bn) hole left by Brexit.
The European council president, Charles Michel, came under criticism for aiming 'too high', with a proposed budget of 1.074% of the bloc’s gross national income (€1.094tn)Continue reading...
|17/02/2020||Article 50, backstop etc: Brexit jargon explained||,,From settled status to divorce bill, find out what the key terms mean.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|17/02/2020||All you need to know about Brexit||,,A simple guide on the UK leaving the European Union.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|14/02/2020||Negotiating with a bloc seven times your size: Clash no 1 - Financial Services||,,
The UK has the same rules as the EU right now – but EU rules are evolving continuously under the pressure of technological change. The main Directive about trading securities is about to be examined later this year - as part of the normal review cycle. The UK will not be at the table when the EU debates reversing a key concession to the UK after the Great Financial Crash. Very technical yes, but very significant!
The significance of financial services to the UK economy – two handy factoids:
Importance of exports of financial services: in 2017, there was a surplus in financial services trade of £44 billion (43% of financial services exports went to the EU). Even after this surplus, the UK still recorded an overall deficit of £73 billion on the balance of international payments that year (or 3.5% of GDP – the largest by far amongst the world’s leading economies).
However, the FT has reported – with the aid of a long distance camera shot of the UK’s negotiating documents – that “The British government is demanding the EU sign up to a “permanent equivalence” regime for financial services that will last for “decades to come” to ensure the City of London can maintain access to the European market after Brexit.” The EU’s chief negotiator – Michel Barnier – responded immediately in striking language “I would like to take this opportunity to make it clear to certain people in the United Kingdom bearing authority that they should not kid themselves about this - there will not be general, open-ended, ongoing equivalence in financial services".
The EU has not forgotten that the City was the epicentre of the Great Financial Crash (GFC) that wrought havoc with the EU’s economy (as well as with the UK’s!). A huge wave of post-Crash legislation ensured that the financial stability of the EU would never be imperilled again. Reviewing this legislation to cope with market changes poses a difficulty for the UK. Maintain “equivalence” with EU rules while they are in a continuous process of evolution: be a “vassal state” OR “take back control” and lose “equivalence” – and thus business.
Specific example: Regulation of trading in financial instruments (MiFID II).
The Investment Services Directive (ISD) of 1993 was a key plank of Mrs Thatcher’s drive to create a single market to rival that of the US. So it was enacted just after the single market came into force in 1992. Major changes in the structure of financial markets occurred in the succeeding decade – driven by technological developments - so MiFID I was enacted in 2004 to respond to this. In the light of bad experiences in the GFC, the Directive was updated in 2014 as MiFID II. It came into in force in 2018 and, as usual with financial services legislation, is now up for review after two years. So a proposal is due later this year. As the UK is no longer in the EU, it will not be at the negotiating table.
At first glance, some of the initial proposals from the European Securities Market Authority (ESMA) to the European Commission are highly technical tweaks on data reporting. However, discussion is rising about repealing aspects of the “open access” rules of MiFID II for settling derivatives trades – where London has overwhelming dominance at the moment. The scale of these markets is mind-boggling: The notional value of euro-denominated derivatives is about 50 time EU GDP! They are at the heart of the provision of liquidity in securities markets – so correspondingly at the heart of concerns about financial stability in the EU.
The UK pushed hard for MiFID II rules to require exchanges to allow traders to have “open access” to settle their derivative trades at whatever EU-regulated clearing house they chose. As London will soon cease to be subject to EU rules, EU players are now arguing – unsurprisingly - against the continuation of that rule. In time, that could well push market liquidity in euros away from London and into the euro area.
Graham Bishop is Chair of the European Movement National Council.
|03/02/2020||Brexit: where do the EU and UK stand before talks begin?||,,
The two sides already appear far apart, with negotiations due to finish by October
The UK left the European Union on Friday night. On Monday morning, the two sides began the arduous task of reconstructing a 47-year-old relationship based on trade, security, foreign policy and numerous technical policies.
Michel Barnier, returning as EU chief negotiator, published the EU’s draft negotiating objectives, declaring them “nothing surprising”, as they repeated the EU’s long-stated principles. Less than an hour later, Boris Johnson began setting out the UK’s opening position, with a very different vision.Continue reading...
|03/02/2020||'There is no need for a free trade agreement': Boris Johnson outlines UK stance after Brexit – video||,,
During a speech in Greenwich outlining the government's stance on negotiations with the EU, the prime minister claimed the UK would not need to accept EU rules in trade. Boris Johnson said: 'British fishing grounds are first and foremost for British boats.' This was in stark contrast with the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, who said in a press conference one hour earlier that an agreement 'should provide for continued, reciprocal access to markets and to waters with stable quota shares'.
|03/02/2020||Brexit: Barnier says UK exporters must prepare for EU border checks – video||,,
The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, outlined the conditions of the EU’s ‘exceptional offer’ of a trade deal with the UK post-Brexit.
He said the EU was willing to offer a zero-tariff, zero-quota deal on goods. Acknowledging that the UK would offer trade competition, Barnier said competition was ‘normal’, but that it must be open and fair. He also warned that exporters must now prepare as UK goods entering the EU would be subject to border checks – which he said was an automatic consequence of the UK’s choices
|03/02/2020||'Should we go home?': Despair and defiance for Poles post-Brexit – video||,,
In the 24 hours after Brexit, the Guardian visited members of the Polish community in Plymouth, an area that voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU in 2016. Margaret, who works full time in a children's home and runs a Polish school at the weekends, says she feels confusion and despair – but also defiance.
About 3.6 million EU citizens live in the UK, and Poland is the most common country of origin for foreign nationals. Polish is the second most widely spoken language in Britain, according to the last censusContinue reading...
|01/02/2020||Brexit Day: how the night unfolded as the UK left the EU – video||,,
At 11pm on Friday 31 January, the UK left the European Union after 47 years of membership. In Westminster, Brexiters celebrated with speeches, light shows and recorded Big Ben bongs to mark the moment. Across the UK, remainers held vigils, protests and pledged the UK would one day rejoin.
|31/01/2020||Britain leaves the EU to recorded Big Ben bongs and God Save the Queen – video||,,
At 11pm on 31 January, Britain officially left the EU after 47 years of membership. Downing Street marked the moment by beaming a virtual Big Ben onto Number 10 to chime. Nearby, in Parliament Square, Nigel Farage led a rendition of God Save the Queen
|31/01/2020||Johnson addresses nation on Brexit Day: 'This is the dawn of a new era' – video||,,
Boris Johnson has described Brexit day as a moment of national renewal and change, adding: 'This is the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act.’ The UK now moves into a transition period under which it abides by EU rules until the end of 2020Continue reading...
|31/01/2020||Union jack removed from EU parliament building – video||,,
The union flag has been removed from the esplanade outside the European parliament building, where the flags of all member states are displayed. It was replaced by the EU flag featuring a circle of 12 yellow stars. Britain will become the first country to leave the European Union at 11pm on Friday, after 47 years as a memberContinue reading...
|31/01/2020||Union jack taken down at EU Council building in Brussels – video||,,
Officials removed the British flag from the European Council on Friday, leaving the 27 flags of the EU's remaining member states. By midnight Brussels time (11pm GMT), the UK’s 47-year stay in the European club of nations will come to endContinue reading...
|31/01/2020||Brexit timeline told through culture||,,We take you through what's happened in the world since the EU referendum was announced.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|31/01/2020||Brexit: How did we get here? The past four years in two minutes||,,It's been more than three years since the UK voted to leave the European Union but how did we get here?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|27/01/2020||Conference on the Future of Europe||,,
As I was in Brussels for business, I was able to pop in to the European Movement International’s (EMI) meeting with Carnegie Europe in the European Parliament last Wednesday. The triggers for the meeting were two-fold: Carnegie has just published its Report on “Six ideas for rejuvenating European democracy” whilst the European Commission that day had formally adopted its Communication on the Conference on the Future of Europe. EMI’s President – Eva Maydell MEP – hosted the event and Commission Vice-President Dubravka Šuica introduced the Commission’s paper.
She was at pains to say that there must be no “pre-judging” of the outcome of such a consultation exercise. The history of these “conferences” is that they acquire a life of their own and massive change can emerge. Could this make the EU become an attraction to British voters again in the fullness of time?
The topic was irresistible after Dave Rowen had introduced his recent survey of Branch Chairs to the National Council two weeks ago. They put the top priority – by far – for EM (UK) as “promoting the EU, its values and its benefits”, along with “democracy” as a major wish. So it was a great privilege to listen to an author of this new project in the Parliament buildings where the project was launched only in October 2019. The plan is for a formal launch of the Conference on Europe Day – 9thMay – with completion in 2022 so that the output can be in force and operational for the European Parliament elections in 2024. A demanding timetable if history is any guide!
Are our supporters fully aware of this project? Doubtful. A quick Google search only produced coverage in the FT and Guardian – highlighting the risk that UK media will now cut coverage of the EU down to the bare essentials of the negotiations. I can recommend the free content from Euractiv– and their coverage of the Commission’s launch. We will need access to this calibre of factual journalism as the UK press cuts the news flow from the EU.
The Communication described the Conference as “As a major pan-European democratic exercise, the Conference will be a new public forum for an open, inclusive, transparent and structured debate with citizens around a number of key priorities and challenges.” The scale of the ambition is also clear from the European Parliament’s recent resolution:
- European values, fundamental rights and freedoms,
- Democratic and institutional aspects of the EU,
- Environmental challenges and the climate crisis,
- Social justice and equality,
- Economic and employment issues including taxation,
- Digital transformation,
- Security and the role of the EU in the world
Carnegie’s six ideas also illustrate the breadth of the ambition for this project:
Graham Bishop is the Chairman of The European Movement National Council.
|13/12/2019||Why we lost – and where we go from here||,,
When the history of Brexit is written, the Lib Dems’ decision to let Johnson hold this election will be seen as a key strategic error.
|11/12/2019||7 reasons to vote Johnson out||,,
We can kick Johnson out. So brave the elements and vote for the candidates with the best chance of beating the Tories.
|11/12/2019||Trump sabotages Brexiters’ last-ditch safety net||,,
Relying on the WTO for our trade was always a terrible idea. Now that the US president has ripped a hole in it, it’s economic suicide.
|11/12/2019||With a final tactical voting push, we can beat Johnson||,,
Good news from YouGov poll is Tory lead is shrinking. Bad news is they are still ahead because too many pro-European votes are being wasted.
The post With a final tactical voting push, we can beat Johnson appeared first on InFacts.
|10/12/2019||Johnson won’t stop the chaos – that’s just propaganda||,,
A Tory victory means more chaos. The only way to end the arguments over Brexit and fix our real problems is to vote them out.
The post Johnson won’t stop the chaos – that’s just propaganda appeared first on InFacts.
|10/12/2019||Tories bully BBC because it’s easily cowed||,,
Johnson yesterday hinted he would axe the licence fee. This had two purposes: cover up his NHS blunder and pummel the BBC into submission.
|10/12/2019||At Christmas you tell the truth, but not if you’re Johnson||,,
PM rips off Love Actually in his video but misses out the punch line: “Just because it’s Christmas and at Christmas you tell the truth.”
The post At Christmas you tell the truth, but not if you’re Johnson appeared first on InFacts.
|10/12/2019||Don’t worry about voting tactically for Corbyn. He won’t win||,,
Right-wing press has branded Corbyn unelectable. They are right - he is. Not for the reasons they suggest, but because of simple maths.
The post Don’t worry about voting tactically for Corbyn. He won’t win appeared first on InFacts.
|09/12/2019||Tory “punch” propaganda backfires||,,
To cover up Johnson’s NHS disaster, Tories fabricate story about Labour activist punching Hancock aide.
|09/12/2019||Johnson’s dishonesty and disorganisation on Irish Sea border||,,
Not only is Johnson lying about surrendering to the EU demand for an internal UK border, he isn’t ready to deliver a deal by December 2020.
The post Johnson’s dishonesty and disorganisation on Irish Sea border appeared first on InFacts.
|28/11/2019||Chichester Public Meeting shows The Way Forward||,,
What an evening! Six great local speakers, passionate about the EU, and passionately explaining why.
|18/10/2019||Dominic Grieve QC MP speaks to over 200 In St Albans to shed light on Brexit, Boris Johnson, and the path to a People’s Vote||,,
Dominic Grieve QC MP spoke at an open meeting in St Albans last Thursday on the ‘absolute mayhem’ of Boris Johnson’s chaotic government, the disaster of a No Deal Brexit and the fast-growing campaign for a People’s Vote on any deal.
|25/09/2019||Andrew Adonis Speaks to Local Group Tees4Europe||,,
Tees4Europe Chair Scott Hunter reflects on Andrew Adonis visiting his group, and how the group's youngest campaigner highlighted the one good thing about Brexit.
On 16 September, Andrew Adonis kindly agreed to come to address an audience at an event hosted by Tees4Europe. We booked the hall, circulated tickets, picked Andrew up at the station, and then promptly upstaged him. We had decided that among our other speakers there should be a young person. One name was suggested, and, without asking too many questions, we booked her. Millie, it turns out, was not the sixth former we were expecting. She is 14. It would be an exaggeration to say that at this point that I started to panic, but it certainly had me on edge. But I needn’t have worried. In the space of five minutes, Millie spoke cogently on just about every Brexit-related topic you could think of. It was a breath-taking performance. It hasn’t been easy to select highlights to present here, as there were so many, but here goes …
“As an aspiring Royal Navy engineer and somebody with a keen interest in STEM, standing for science, technology, engineering and maths, the effects of leaving the EU on the UK’s defence, military and STEM is of great concern to me. The EU’s member states work together on a number of defence-related issues, such as researching new defence technologies and joint military deployments. The UK contributes financial support to EU security activities, which fund numerous missions such as the combat of piracy off the Horn of Africa and the prevention of human trafficking in the Mediterranean to name but two. Therefore, it worries me deeply that our exit from the EU will damage both the UK’s military and defence, as well as that of the EU. We are stronger together; we are safer together …
“Now, there is one good thing about Brexit. I know, I know, I’ve been talking about what a disaster leaving the EU would be for the last 5 minutes, but don’t panic. In the past, I think young people have viewed politics as something they need to worry about when they’re older, and something for adults to deal with. Since the Brexit referendum, I believe that young people have become increasingly interested and invested in the politics that will affect their futures, and much more willing to make their voices heard…”
And thus Millie Sheridan brought the house down.
It is not over yet. We will keep fighting, but we need your help.
Or tell Boris Johnson that:
|13/09/2019||Brexit Basics: What is the backstop?||,,Confused by Brexit jargon? Reality Check unpacks the basics.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|30/07/2019||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...|
|26/07/2019||1066 Branch attends No to Boris. Yes to Europe demo||,,
Despite some awful weather forecasts in the preceding days and the start of the school holidays, big crowds gathered at noon in Park Lane last Saturday. As publicity had been limited everyone was pleasantly surprised by the turnout - given the inevitably short timescale to protest against the seemingly unstoppable coronation of “Boris” -. Yet it was on a scale that enabled us all to march comfortably all the way to Parliament Square and hear the excellent speeches (and music!)
1066 Branch was delighted to have the new EM campaign banner – vividly stating “I’m a European!” It drew great attention as we waited in Park Lane. We were delighted to be joined by three ladies from Bath for Europe to help carry it – essential given the size! While we were waiting, we handed out huge wadges of the new EM leaflets round the March. They flew out of our hands!
A great aura permeated the warm streets of London – with a wonderful feeling of togetherness by an amazingly diverse crowd. But it was tinged with a slightly harder edge this time - people like us will not permit such a folly as Brexit to happen – many banners called for “revolt”.
Together, we marched to Parliament Square and managed to hold up our banner at the foot of the Churchill Statue. Judging by his great European speeches founding the European Movement, he would have approved thoroughly!
Most encouragingly, we Remainers are clearly getting kitted up for demos now – judging by the intensity of flags, hats, whistles etc. The whistling outside Downing Street was almost painful in its intensity.
Graham Bishop is Vice-Chairman of European Movement UK and Board member of the Kangaroo Group.
|23/07/2019||European Movement Eastbourne: July Dinner||,,
Eastbourne European Movement Dinner July 2019
Clive Black was the speaker at our July dinner. He opened his talk by stating that the legal
services sector is a UK success story. It is the second largest legal services market in the
world, the largest within the EU, contributes over £26 billion to the economy and is the
jurisdiction of choice for international commercial transactions, dispute resolution and
Thanks to a series of ground-breaking directives which apply across the EU, law firms and
lawyers are granted many rights including being able to: practice as a solicitor on a
permanent basis, give advice on English, EU & international law, to appear in national and
European courts in conjunction with a local lawyer, and to requalify, without an equivalent
exam, after 3 years of practising host state law. He illustrated this liberating effect by stating
that it is easier for a lawyer qualified in Estonia to set up a legal practice in Portugal than it is
for a lawyer in New York State to set up practice at the California Bar.
He went on to explain the challenges Brexit poses to this remarkable achievement. After
Brexit, these ground-breaking directives which allow so much freedom, will be replaced by a
system whereby the professional bodies such as the Law Society and Bar Council may need
to negotiate with 31 national regimes, lawyers will face challenges over market access and
practice rights, individuals over judicial cooperation and the UK over its global status of
English and Welsh law.
He gave an analysis of the impact of Brexit on a number of scenarios including a ‘no deal’
Brexit which could cost the sector up to £3 billion by 2025. The impact could also mean that
judgements made in UK courts not being enforced in EU countries, consumers not being able
to enforce their contracts in EU states, difficulty in claiming for motor insurance accidents,
loss of cross border co-operation in family law matters and could lead to the end of
collaboration on security and policing. His talk gave a fascinating and informative insight
into the UK legal sector and how it might be impacted by Brexit.
Our next dinner is on 11 September where Prof Anwan-Scully will talk about Brexit and the
Disuniting Kingdom. If you would like to come along please call our Chair, Paula Welch on
07510 851722 or visit www.europeanmovementeastbourne.uk
|10/07/2019||Update from European Movement Eastbourne||,,
Tim Bale, Professor of Politics, Queen Mary University of London, was the speaker at our June dinner held at Eastbourne's Hydro Hotel and attended by over 80 members and their guests.
He opened his talk, ‘How to win a second referendum’ by saying that lessons needed to be drawn from the Leave and Remain campaigns of 2016. He looked at the reasons why the Leave campaign had won. In 2016 the campaign was at an immediate advantage following many years of negative messages in the media. Polls showed that the British never felt as European as other EU countries and politicians never made much of an effort to sell the upside of EU membership.
The message of ‘Take Back Control’ was simple and powerful as was the counter message ‘Project Fear’. The outcome of Brexit was deliberately vague so the Remain campaign found it difficult to counter. The Leave campaign was well planned, had charismatic leaders, very good data gathering and technical ability and was clever about using it, targeting people who wouldn’t normally vote.
He then looked at the reasons why the Remain campaign lost. It was predicted that Remain would win and it was just assumed that people would think the economic risk too high. The messages were complex and not easy to get across and the thrust of the campaign was overwhelmingly negative.
The Chancellor’s claim that each person would lose several thousand pounds was not credible. Many businesses did not want to come out publicly on the side of Remain. David Cameron made demands on the EU that were never going to be met. The campaign had no counter attack to the immigration issue. Jeremy Corbyn sat out the campaign and Labour voters were not given the cue from their party and the campaign did not target people who rarely vote.
Finally, he made suggestions that might help any future Remain campaign: use real working people, not celebrities, use simple, powerful messages about people who are disenfranchised, utilise SME rather than big businesses, don’t let outsiders get involved or interfere. The speaker at our next dinner on 10 July 2019 will be Clive Black talking about Brexit and the Business of Law.
If you would like to come along please call our Chair, Paula Welch on 07510 851722 or visit www.europeanmovementeastbourne.uk
|08/07/2019||Europe - what next meeting in Harpenden||,,
Harpenden for Europe, our neighbouring group, organised an event on Tuesday 2 July entitled 'Europe - What next?'. Judith Leary-Joyce, one of St Albans for Europe's founder members, reports on the evening.
|01/07/2019||Lord Heseltine becomes European Movement’s president at members’ evening– and one of St Albans for Europe’s star campaigners opens the evening||,,
On a balmy May evening, European Movement members were invited to an event introducing Lord Heseltine as the new President of European Movement UK, the parent organisation of St Albans for Europe. It took place at Church House just behind Westminster Abbey. Although our group was only set up in 2017, European Movement has been going since 1949, advocating all that time for Britain’s future at the heart of a united Europe. As the Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell, Chair of European Movement explained, Lord Heseltine is in illustrious company – the first President was Sir Winston Churchill and a number of former Prime Ministers from Harold MacMillan to Ted Heath followed.
|28/06/2019||The View from Bexhill||,,
Councillor Richard Thomas shares his experience of campaigning with the 1066 European Movement Branch in Bexhill.
The good news from Bexhill (one of the more strongly Leave supporting areas in the constituency) is overwhelming! When the 1066 branch did a Brexitometer Day in January, two options got quite strong support: No Deal and Remain, with Remain gaining the most support. Opinion has shifted dramatically as No Deal is now rejected by 50:37. Staying in the EU is overwhelmingly favoured by at least twice as many people as in January. Moreover, support for a People’s Vote has nearly tripled since January.
These are sensational results and undeniable evidence of very significant shifts in public opinion, reflecting both local and national efforts. So last Saturday was a massively rewarding day – see Brexitometer below. This was an incredibly encouraging result in the heart of a constituency that voted 58:42 to Leave, gave the Conservatives 67% of the 2017General Election vote, and 57% to hard Brexit parties at the European Parliament Election in May.
Councillor Richard Thomas
|22/06/2019||Views from Brussels about extending the 31 Oct deadline – we must make our voice heard||,,
In Brussels this week to attend the 40th anniversary of the Kangaroo Group – founded to provide the initial impetus to what became the Single Market just a few year later.
This week sees the 79th anniversary of the evacuation of 338,226 servicemen forming the backbone of the British army from Dunkirk. Officially known as Operation Dynamo; it is also described as the miracle of Dunkirk. The French port has found its way into the British conscience through the expression – the Dunkirk Spirit. A description of British ingenuity and resolve against adversity.
|04/06/2019||How useful were the polls?||,,
The polls failed to spot rising pro-Remain sentiment in May
London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg compares the story told by the opinion polls for London with the actual results. A parallel blog published today looks at the results and asks What if?. A separate blog compares the results in 2019 with those in 2014.
|20/05/2019||Reasons to remain in the European Union||,,
1) The EU is history's most successful peace project
The EU was created to ensure peace in a continent torn by centuries of conflict that culminated in WW2. Within the European Economic Area, there has been no war since 1945; this peace, known as Pax Europaea (European peace), is the longest since the end of Pax Romana in 180 CE. For this achievement, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012.
Travelling with my parents from the age of 10, at first in France, was – I now understand – an instructive and exhilarating rebirth. People in villages, seeing our British car, would stop and wave the most joyous of welcomes, others – to our astonishment – would cross restaurants to shake us by the hand and thank us for liberating them.
|16/05/2019||What Europe Day means to me||,,
To me, Europe Day represents something unique in the history of our continent - an unprecedented period of peaceful co-operation between peoples previously so often at war among themselves.
|15/05/2019||Why Europe matters to me||,,
I was born in 1951, soon enough after the war to experience the black dread amongst all the "grown ups" I met at any enquiry about "what it was like in the olden days before I was born". Everyone had happy memories of the 20s and early 30s, but no one could speak of the War period at the end of the 30s and early 40s. During the war, my relatives, like many others, had met refugees from Europe, many of whom had left a big impression. Just down the road from where we lived was a Polish family, who had escaped the German invasion of their country to fight for the allies. "War heroes" we were told. It was clear that WWll was a war with Europe, not against Europe.
|14/05/2019||What Europe Day means to European Movement members||,,
At European Movement, on Europe Day (9th May), we asked our members to let us know why that day is important to them. Here are some of their responses:
"It is important because it gives us the opportunity to show that we are Europeans" - Vicky Seddon
"The UK is made up of many races. My own family tree is made up of Celts from North Wales, Irish from Cork, English and even some from Scandinavia. The country is more European than it realises." Kelvin Lewis
"The reason that Europe is important to me is very simple... peace, cooperation and friendship" Derek Leak
"We organised a Europe Day discussion with pro-Remain MEP candidates in Derby (Green Party, Lib-Dems, and Change UK). We had invited Labour and Tory remainers, but Labour dithered and then declined at the last minute, and the Tories never replied. We focused on positive reasons to vote in the election, the role of an MEP, what they can achieve, what they can do for their regions, and what the new Parliament might do in the next 5 years." Simon, European Movement Derbyshire
|02/05/2019||Your local paper wants to hear from you||,,
First Epping Forest, then the world
London4Europe Committee Member Michael Romberg writes.
London4Europe's Chair, Richard Newcombe, moonlights as Chair of EM Waltham Forest 4 Europe. In that capacity he wrote recently to the Epping Forest Guardian calling for a referendum under the banner We need to know the will of the people in 2019.
The local press - both on paper and online - is an under-utilised resource for Remain campaigners. Local press is seen as a surprisingly trustworthy source of local news according to a survey undertaken for local press campaign group Local Media Works. The tables have not been published. But it was undertaken by Yougov - so there will be some foundation to the claim.
|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...|