|24/04/2019||John Bercow confirms voters to be given chance to unseat convicted Tory MP||,,Voters will get the chance to oust a Tory MP after he was convicted of filing false expenses claims, John Bercow has confirmed.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||Scottish government will push for second independence referendum by May 2021, Sturgeon tells MSPs - live news||,,
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including PMQs
This is from the Financial Times editor Lionel Barber.
Sturgeon pledges #indyref2 by May 2021 - if UK leaves EU. Caveat important. No majority for Scottish independence right now, but #Brexit changes everything. Do Nigel Farage and @Jacob_Rees_Mogg care about territorial integrity of UK?
Here is the Scottish government’s news release about Sturgeon’s announcement.Continue reading...
|24/04/2019||Farage: Brexit party will use EU poll to oust 'remain parliament'||,,
Former Ukip leader outlines ambition to take control of Brexit process at rally in Clacton
Nigel Farage has returned to the seaside town where Ukip had its first MP elected five years ago, promising at a rally in Clacton that his new Brexit party will use the momentum of European elections to oust a “remain parliament”.
Railing against a “political class” who he said had betrayed the people of Britain, Farage claimed to hundreds of supporters on Clacton pier that what was at stake was not just Brexit, but whether or not Britain was a democratic country.Continue reading...
|24/04/2019||The EU won’t change course on Brexit – look at the Greek debt crisis | David Henig||,,British bickering goes on but that doesn’t make the EU likely to reopen the deal. October will be the crunch point
The UK’s Brexit debate has restarted after a 10-day break just as before, only with a new end date of 31 October. Brexiteers continue to press for the Irish backstop to be replaced with alternative arrangements, while the government and the Labour front bench seem to be making little progress in finding a consensus position.
But once again, scant attention is being paid to the other side of the negotiating table. If we look more closely there, we find hardening attitudes across the EU to anything other than the UK leaving on the basis of the withdrawal agreement, regardless of the flaws that have seen this rejected three times by parliament. Just as with the Greek debt crisis, the EU now wants to see proposals adopted, direction set and to deal with the problems later.Continue reading...
|24/04/2019||Humiliating blow for Change UK as second candidate dumped over offensive social media comments||,,Change UK have been dealt another humiliating blow after they were forced to dump another European election candidate for offensive social media posts.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||PMQs as-it-happened: David Lidington and Emily Thornberry clash||,,Theresa May's de facto deputy David Lidington filled in for the Prime Minister at the weekly Commons clash - while Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry stood in for Jeremy Corbyn. See how it all unfolded and grab the FULL quotes here.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||Tom Watson accuses Labour MP of spreading 'misinformation' over Israeli army tweet||,,Tom Watson has accused a fellow Labour MP of spreading "misinformation" after he shared a video which wrongly claimed to show Israeli soldiers beating up Palestinian children.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||Huawei dilemma is a question of Britain's post-Brexit future||,,
The UK must weigh its ties to the US and Australia against the value of Chinese friendship
It may sound like an argument about technology, but in reality it is a battle of geopolitics. Should Brexit Britain yield to pressure from the US and ban Chinese hi-tech manufacturer Huawei from supplying kit to British mobile phone companies?
Or should the UK keep the door open to China – and benefit not just from cheaper technology but across the economy in sectors such as nuclear power, where the world’s most populous country has shown it is willing to invest.Continue reading...
|24/04/2019||Business investment ‘signficantly’ lower due to Brexit uncertainty, warns Philip Hammond||,,Business investment is “significantly” lower due to uncertainty around Brexit, Philip Hammond has warned.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||PM’s latest headache? Whether to extend Parliament session||,,
Ending current session now could help May bring her deal back. But it would open a can of worms with her party, DUP and Queen’s speech.
The post PM’s latest headache? Whether to extend Parliament session appeared first on InFacts.
|24/04/2019||Manchester City fans could teach Brexit Britain how to put the fun in failure | Daniel Lavelle||,,Win or lose, leave or remain – City supporters know it’s important never to take yourself too seriously
The British are celebrated for their ability to laugh at themselves. Which is good – because we’re not celebrated for much else at the moment. But even our talent for self-mockery is being strained. The cause is understandable: Westminster’s incompetence is so farcical it should be funny. But it’s not. We’re in danger of becoming a nation of dour, po-faced haters (and self-haters). So thank the lord for Manchester City fans. And as a Man United fan I never thought I’d hear myself say that.
In these dark days it is the blue half of Manchester that is showing the rest of the country it is still possible to not take yourself too seriously. City learned the hard way. They endured 35 years of pain – not winning a single trophy while United swept up everything in front of them. And in that time they learned the invaluable lesson – it’s best to poke fun at yourself before others get the chance.Continue reading...
|24/04/2019||Conservative grandee Ann Widdecombe quits Tories to stand for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party||,,Conservative grandee Ann Widdecombe has quit the Tories to run as a candidate for Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||Theresa May lets Huawei build parts of 5G network 'despite Cabinet fears over national security'||,,Theresa May is to let Chinese telecoms giant Huawei build parts of Britain's new 5G network despite security warnings from ministers.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||Blow for Change UK as candidate forced to quit over 'Romanian pickpockets' remark||,,A European election candidate for Change UK has been forced to quit over comments he made in the past about "Romanian pickpockets".||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||EXCL Lord Bates blasts Brexit 'aggressiveness and intolerance' as he quits government to walk to Brussels||,,A government minister has revealed that "aggressiveness, intolerance and incivility" over Brexit led him to quit his post and go on a walk from Belfast to Brussels.||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||Labour pledge to scrap planning 'get-out clause' which lets developers build 'slum housing'||,,Labour have vowed to scrap a "get-out clause" which allows property developers to build "slum housing".||www.politicshome.com||Visit...|
|24/04/2019||Terror in Sri Lanka – podcast||,,
On Easter Sunday, explosions across Sri Lanka killed hundreds of people and wounded many more. As the country reels in shock, Michael Safi describes reporting in the aftermath. Plus: the Guardian’s chief political correspondent, Jessica Elgot, on what to expect from Brexit now parliament is back
On Easter Sunday, eight explosions killed more than 321 people in Sri Lanka, including 45 children, and left over 500 wounded. It was among the worst terrorist attacks worldwide since 9/11.
The Sri Lankan government has been criticised for a serious security lapse before the suicide bombings, after it was alerted that the terrorist group National Thowheeth Jama’ath was planning to attack churches, but failed to take action against them or pass on the warning. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombings, though as yet there is no evidence to back this up. Sri Lanka’s defence minister said it appeared the attacks were in retaliation for the recent mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand.Continue reading...
|23/04/2019||Labour says Theresa May unwilling to offer key Brexit concessions||,,
Little progress as talks resume, with Labour seeking changes to political declaration
Labour has accused Theresa May of failing to offer any substantive changes to her Brexit deal in cross-party talks, as Downing Street’s hopes of a breakthrough in time to avoid taking part in European parliamentary elections waned.
Brexit talks resumed on Tuesday between a team of ministers and shadow ministers. But Labour sources said the government team again appeared unwilling to countenance changes to the political declaration, which sets out the UK’s future relationship with the EU.Continue reading...
|23/04/2019||Secretive hard-Brexit Facebook campaign got 1m responses||,,
Ads run by Lynton Crosby firm may have collected emails, says information commissioner
A million Britons responded to a secretive Facebook campaign for a hard Brexit overseen by Lynton Crosby’s company, according to the information commissioner, who said the respondents’ email addresses may have been harvested for future use.
Elizabeth Denham told MPs her investigation into the Mainstream Network campaign group had raised concerns about how valuable voter data was being collected by the under-the-radar campaign, potentially in breach of data protection rules.Continue reading...
|23/04/2019||Our Brexit limbo has given us two new parties, but the same old politics | Rafael Behr||,,Never mind the insurgent ‘outsiders’. What we need is better politicians, not anti-politics, to get us out of this mess
Imagine that, for some reason, you want to lose an election. You need a vote-repellent campaign, something really unsupportable. You would probably form the Establishment party – passionately in favour of the system, cheering for the status quo. Your candidates would boast of their credentials as career politicians. Their slogan would be “business as usual”.
This imaginary party is the perfect adversary, the most beatable thing in British politics – which is why real-life parties all want to run against it. Everyone claims to be the new politics and pins the despicable badge of oldness on their rivals.Continue reading...
|23/04/2019||Farage's new recruits join class struggle for the glorification of Nige | John Crace||,,
Brexit party candidates prove as unconvincing as their leader in vowing to emancipate the people
You’d have thought that if Theresa May was really serious about the UK not taking part in the European elections, she might have chosen not to spend the whole of last week on holiday. And that she might have been pushing ahead to get her deal through parliament sometime this week. Or next. Instead her team have been involved in ongoing half-hearted talks with Labour that everyone knows will inevitably end in deadlock. The most interesting development to emerge so far has been the varied sandwich menu.
But the prime minister is a woman who likes to have a plan. Even if her plan is to have no plan. So the government is adamant there is no need for it to make any more than cursory arrangements for the elections due to take place in four weeks’ time. The Conservatives are the uncoiled spring. Poised to give the appearance of being taken by surprise. Not everyone is quite so convinced the elections won’t happen, which is why they have been using the time since article 50 was extended until October to prepare for them.Continue reading...
|23/04/2019||UK's biggest fishing trawler sails up Thames in Brexit warning||,,
Kirkella owners concerned that UK fleet could lose access to waters off non-EU states
The biggest whitefish trawler in the UK fleet sailed up the Thames on Tuesday to highlight the threats facing the fishing industry if Brexit negotiations fail to deliver a deal.
The Kirkella, based at Hull, can catch 2.3 million fish on every two-month voyage, plying the seas of the Arctic, Greenland, Norway and the north-east Atlantic. Built last year, it has travelled to the Arctic five times so far, and on Wednesday it will be officially named and launched by the Princess Royal at Greenwich in London. Spectators will be treated to 3,000 free portions of fish and chips.Continue reading...
|23/04/2019||Labour and No 10 blame each other for lack of progress in talks on Brexit compromise – as it happened||,,
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, as MPs return to the Commons after the Easter recess with the Brexit deadlock continuing
Labour's Jeremy Corbyn calls on government to change its approach to cross-party #Brexit talks: "They cannot keep on just regurgitating what has already been emphatically rejected three times by Parliament"https://t.co/rSOx2TsKyN pic.twitter.com/EqV388R8Xw
[The executive] have to decide whether they wish to change the rules or not.
I suspect quite a robust discussion will take place, because the executive represents all wings of the party. Eventually a motion will be put and that will be voted on.
Meeting now. Different views about how to proceed. Options a) force May to name a date b) change rules to allow a new ballot (90+ MPs threshold) c) do neither and let her stand down on own terms. One Brexiteer ‘22 officer told me remainers trying to protect May... https://t.co/vgwYZTmVR2
I am disappointed because it will change the nature of the event a great deal, for us the centre of the events was meant to be the veterans.
It’s the 75th anniversary, this is probably the last time they will get together like this, the last time when they will meet the Queen, the last time the people of the city will be in a big event with them.
International development minister Lord Bates has resigned from the government, forcing Theresa May into the latest of a long series of changes to her administration. As the Press Association reports, the Tory peer offered his resignation last year after turning up late for a parliamentary appearance, but it was refused by the Prime Minister. There was no immediate explanation for his decision to go now.
A former Downing Street aide to David Cameron, Lady Sugg, has been appointed junior minister in the Department for International Development, moving from the Department for Transport. Her place at the DFT is taken by Lady Vere of Norbiton. Both continue to serve as whips in the House of Lords.Continue reading...
|23/04/2019||Rachel Johnson and Gavin Esler to stand for Change UK||,,
EU citizens, teachers and carers also among anti-Brexit party’s 70 European election hopefuls
The anti-Brexit party Change UK has launched its European elections campaign, revealing a slate of 70 candidates that includes Boris Johnson’s sister, seasoned politicians disillusioned with their parties, and people completely new to politics.
Rachel Johnson said she was standing to make sure Brexit did not wreck the chances of a bright future for her children and other young people, and that her decision to stand was not an attack on her Brexiter brother.Continue reading...
|23/04/2019||What are the major threats to Theresa May's leadership?||,,
PM faces pressure from her cabinet, the parliamentary party, grassroots activists, donors and other parties
Theresa May returns from the Easter recess facing pressure from all quarters of her party to consider her position as prime minister – but secure in the knowledge that there remains very little they can do to force her to go. Here’s a look at the pressure points on her.Continue reading...
|23/04/2019||Senior Conservatives to vote on ousting Theresa May||,,
Some 1922 Committee members want to change rules to allow second no-confidence vote
Senior Conservatives are to vote on whether to make it easier to force Theresa May out of office within weeks by changing the party’s rules to allow a no-confidence motion at any time.
The 1922 Committee will meet later on Tuesday to discuss amending its rules, which currently state a leader cannot face a second no-confidence motion within a year of the previous one.Continue reading...
|23/04/2019||Former communist standing as MEP for Farage's Brexit party||,,
Libertarian Claire Fox is one of five new candidates announced for European elections
Nigel Farage’s Brexit party has unveiled a former revolutionary communist who once supported Irish republicanism and opposed the Good Friday peace deal as one of five new candidates for the European elections.
Claire Fox, who now styles herself as a libertarian and is a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze programme, told the launch event she most likely only agreed with Farage on one issue – Brexit.Continue reading...
|23/04/2019||State visit is chance to remind Trump of EU’s role in peace||,,
UK visit due to happen alongside US president’s commemoration of D-Day. EU’s role in security of continent couldn’t be more pertinent.
The post State visit is chance to remind Trump of EU’s role in peace appeared first on InFacts.
|23/04/2019||4 ways to stop Brexit if Tories oust May||,,
If Tory MPs get rid of May as their leader, the political crisis will get even messier. But there will still be lots of ways to stop Brexit.
|22/04/2019||Nicola Jennings on Nigel Farage and the EU elections – cartoon||,,Continue reading...||www.theguardian.com||Visit...|
|22/04/2019||Only Labour can stop Nigel Farage and his Thatcherite revival | Andrew Adonis||,,A win for the Brexit party at the European elections would be catastrophic for Britain. There is only one way to stop them
• Andrew Adonis is a Labour peer. He is standing to become a Labour MEP at the European elections
In the European elections, in just 31 days’ time, Britain faces a stark choice. Will we back Nigel Farage or stop him? To stop Farage, Labour must come out on top. This isn’t just a mathematical and presentational reality (no other opposition party is likely to outpoll him), it is also a political imperative. For to defeat Farage, it is essential that we not only outvote him but also overwhelm his hard-right Thatcherite ideology.Continue reading...
|22/04/2019||Smaller parties have a surprisingly big impact on British politics | Hannah Peaker||,,
By influencing the policies of Labour and the Tories, parties such as the Women’s Equality party effect change, whatever their results
Technology sometimes reminds you that the unpredictable is actually all too predictable. At its last extraordinary general meeting, the national executive for the Women’s Equality party finalised a snap general election strategy. Now I was emailing for the fifth time in as many months to request yet another EGM – the word extraordinary was beginning to lose all meaning. I began typing apprehensively, “I’m afraid it looks as though we are headed for …” – only for Gmail’s autocomplete function to suggest, without pause or irony, “another election”.
Don’t get me wrong: the WE desperately wants to fight the European elections. And we will. The resurgence of far-right politics across Europe threatens women and minorities in ways the political establishment cannot begin to understand. The two largest political parties are tying themselves in knots in their attempts to take back control – of their own backbenches. Both the government and opposition will be asking voters to send their candidates to Europe in order to ensure that we leave.Continue reading...
|22/04/2019||Extinction Rebellion is leading a new, youthful politics that will change Britain | Matthew d’Ancona||,,
A generation of networked rebels will bring down an old order whose failings have been laid bare
I am a fan of generation gaps. Though academics and the media love to identify new demographic cohorts – Generation X, Generation Z, Net Gen, Gen Wii – such distinctions often confuse mere fashion with decisive transformations in behaviour, social priority and worldview. But we need such transformations, the inter-generational arguments that they spawn, and the changes that, sooner or later, they compel upon us all.Continue reading...
|21/04/2019||Ben Jennings on Brexit and the Easter recess – cartoon||,,Continue reading...||www.theguardian.com||Visit...|
|21/04/2019||Brexit: Labour must back another referendum - Tom Watson||,,Labour's deputy leader says the move would counter a challenge from Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|18/04/2019||All you need to know about Brexit||,,A guide to plans for the UK to leave the European Union.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|17/04/2019||Overall pro-EU vote is best measure of election success||,,
While bumper crop of pro-European MEPs would be great, a majority voting for pro-EU parties is key to winning public vote on Brexit.
The post Overall pro-EU vote is best measure of election success appeared first on InFacts.
|16/04/2019||Irish border could cost Brexiters their US trade fantasy||,,
Brexiters have been blasé about border politics since 2016. Now Congress speaker warns it could make their US trade dream a “non starter”.
The post Irish border could cost Brexiters their US trade fantasy appeared first on InFacts.
|16/04/2019||Actually, there is time to put it to the people||,,
Long-winded timetables that have been suggested can be shortened. Real problem is not law and procedure but lack of political commitment.
|16/04/2019||Donald Tusk and Guy Verhofstadt clash over Brexit extension – video||,,
Donald Tusk, the European council president, has turned his fire on senior MEPs after he was accused of dividing the EU and prolonging the Brexit crisis for Europe by delaying it to 31 October. The European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, had warned during a Brexit debate that the EU27’s decision last week would 'poison' the European elections in which Britain would now need to take part. Tusk replied by saying Verhofstadt should 'deeply rethink and reformulate' his argument, since he was 'heartily and energetically applauded' by Nigel FarageContinue reading...
|16/04/2019||Brexit weekly briefing: Tory support plummets as Halloween cliff-edge looms||,,
Exhausted MPs return home for Easter break while May stresses ‘need for reflection’
Welcome to the Guardian’s weekly Brexit briefing, trying to make sense of the nonsensical since June 2016. If you would like to receive this as a weekly email, please sign up here. And catch our monthly Brexit Means podcast here.
After all that excitement, the briefing is taking a break and will be back on 30 April.Continue reading...
|15/04/2019||Boris plan to heal country isn’t ‘serious analysis’ either||,,
Telegraph says Johnson columns not “serious, empirical, in-depth analysis of hard factual matters”. That very much applies to latest claims.
The post Boris plan to heal country isn’t ‘serious analysis’ either appeared first on InFacts.
|15/04/2019||Latest ruse to pass May’s deal? Just ignore all the bad bits||,,
Genius idea came from loaded polling by eurosceptic think tank Open Europe. Pulling wool over voters’ eyes is disingenuous and won’t work.
The post Latest ruse to pass May’s deal? Just ignore all the bad bits appeared first on InFacts.
|12/04/2019||What are the key dates between now and the new Brexit deadline?||,,
Britain is due to remain an EU member until 31 October after agreeing a six-month extension
This week, a six-hour debate among EU leaders concluded with Theresa May being offered a six-month extension to article 50.
Britain will remain a member state of the EU until 31 October, with the option to leave earlier if the prime minister can secure House of Commons support for her Brexit deal.Continue reading...
|12/04/2019||Nigel Farage launches Brexit Party ahead of European elections||,,Ex-UKIP leader calls for "democratic revolution", as Annunziata Rees-Mogg named among candidates.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|12/04/2019||Can the Tories and Labour agree on Brexit?||,,Both sides want to avoid taking part in European elections but significant hurdles to agreement remain.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|12/04/2019||'No more Mr Nice Guy': Nigel Farage launches Brexit party - video||,,
The former Ukip leader launched his new party on Friday, pledging there would be 'no more Mr Nice Guy'. Farage hit out at both the Conservative and Labour parties and said the two-party system was 'unfit for purpose', during his launch speech in Coventry, which was held days after Britain was granted a second Brexit delay. 'Our leaders are happy to continue down the path of managed decline. I genuinely believe right now, this nation, we are lions led by donkeys,' Farage said.Continue reading...
|12/04/2019||Owen Jones asks Sinn Féin leader if Brexit could lead to a united Ireland – video||,,
Owen Jones speaks to Mary Lou McDonald about Brexit, the implications for the peace process and the possibility of a united Ireland, and tries to answer once and for all why her party will never take its seats in the British parliamentContinue reading...
|12/04/2019||No-deal Brexit: What is the UK government doing to prepare?||,,Operation Yellowhammer is the name of the government's no-deal plan||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|12/04/2019||Tories face European Parliament election nightmare||,,
Bitterly divided, their vote could be squeezed between pro and anti-Brexit parties. This may represent an opportunity for pro-Europeans.
The post Tories face European Parliament election nightmare appeared first on InFacts.
|12/04/2019||Labour should embrace public vote pledge in EU elections||,,
Potential Labour voters overwhelmingly want a public vote. If party ignores this, many votes will go to more legitimately pro-EU parties.
The post Labour should embrace public vote pledge in EU elections appeared first on InFacts.
|11/04/2019||What does a Brexit delay mean for politics, business, citizens and the EU?||,,
Six-month extension presents opportunities, complications and more uncertainty
In the short term, the party is prepared to continue talks with Theresa May to try to see whether a compromise can be found on the future relationship that both sides can support. Two key problems threaten the prospect of success: the prime minister’s almost non-existent authority, and whether it is ultimately ever going to be in Labour’s interests to do a deal with the Tories.Continue reading...
|11/04/2019||What were Merkel and May laughing about at the EU summit? – video||,,
The summit on Wednesday was off to promising start as Angela Merkel approached Theresa May to share something on her iPad. May burst out laughing with Merkel when she saw what was on the device: a photo montage of the two leaders speaking in their respective parliaments earlier that day. Both were wearing a jacket in the same vivid shade of blue – which could be described as EU flag blue. The European council president, Donald Tusk, and Luxembourg's prime minister, Xavier Bettel, were also amused. One of the council’s most senior officials smiled politely.Continue reading...
|11/04/2019||What are PM's Brexit options now that EU has granted extension?||,,
Theresa May has until 31 October to get her deal through parliament - but the way forward remains unclear
After the EU granted a Brexit extension until 31 October, or sooner if Theresa May can get a deal through the Commons before then, we look at the embattled prime minister’s options.Continue reading...
|11/04/2019||Macron’s tough-guy stance on Brexit is part of his political project||,,
French president compared to De Gaulle as he seeks to get on with mission to change EU
Emmanuel Macron’s tough-guy stance at the EU summit – refusing the UK a much longer Brexit extension – was partly down to the French president’s personality, but his reasoning was political.
The 41-year-old, who stood for president without ever having run an election campaign then promised a grand plan to reform the European Union, is known for his impatience. He wants action. He likes to be centre stage.Continue reading...
|11/04/2019||Article 50: Can the UK revoke Brexit?||,,The European Council President Donald Tusk has suggested that the UK could consider "cancelling Brexit". How would this work?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/04/2019||Brexit: How could another referendum on leaving the EU work?||,,There have been renewed calls for another referendum as one option to break the deadlock||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/04/2019||Brexit: UK and EU agree delay to 31 October||,,Theresa May says she regrets the delay but vows to "press on" with getting MPs to back her deal.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/04/2019||What next for Brexit, May's deal and the European elections?||,,
EU agrees to extend Brexit to 31 October provided UK operates as a member state with ‘sincere cooperation’
It was an epic night, starting with a joke between Theresa May and Angela Merkel, involving nine hours of talks over a dinner of scallop salad, cod loin and macadamia nut parfait, and finishing with an extension and a warning to Britain from the European council leader, Donald Tusk: “Do not waste this time.”Continue reading...
|11/04/2019||Brexit: What happens now?||,,The EU and UK have agreed a further delay to Brexit until 31 October. So how will the deadlock be broken?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/04/2019||UK granted Brexit extension but warned not to ‘waste this time’ - video||,,
European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker says he regrets that 'we only talk about Brexit' at the expense of other EU achievements, as EU leaders announced they have given Theresa May a new Brexit deadline of 31 October, four months longer than the prime minister asked for. 'I read the European press this morning, and it was all Brexit, Brexit, Brexit,' Juncker says, but admits everything must be done to avoid a hard Brexit. Theresa May said she was still hopeful of reaching a deal by 22 May, avoiding the need to take part in European elections. European council president Jean-Claude Juncker said it was better to have 'a piece of something than all of nothing' and urged the UK not to 'waste this time'.Continue reading...
|11/04/2019||May finds a note of harmony in Brussels as Macron sings out of tune||,,
In a rare turn of events, the British prime minister was not the most irritating EU leader at the summit table
Theresa May’s last rendezvous with European Union leaders in Brussels didn’t go well. Her performance was described as “awful dreadful [and] evasive”, while officials complained she didn’t have a plan.
Nearly three weeks later the prime minister was back at the EU summit table with a very similar request: she wanted more time to find a Brexit compromise at home to avoid a damaging crash-out exit.Continue reading...
|09/04/2019||MPs approve May's article 50 extension – video||,,
Theresa May has won a vote on requesting an article 50 extension until 30 June. The motion was approved with a majority of 310. Most of the prime minister's support was provided by the opposition, with only 131 of the votes coming from Conservative MPs. The leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, and the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, did not vote with the governmentContinue reading...
|09/04/2019||Brexit breakdown: affluence, decay and fury in the Tory heartlands – video||,,
As Tory tensions over leaving the EU continue to grow, John Harris and John Domokos take a trip through the Conservatives' Thames valley heartlands, starting in Theresa May's backyard. It's all there: unbelievable opulence, social decay and a bitter clash between a neighbouring remainer Tory MP and the hardcore local leavers who claim he is a 'traitor'
|07/04/2019||Theresa May warns that parliament must agree a deal to deliver Brexit – video||,,
The prime minister, Theresa May, released a video statement from 10 Downing Street on Sunday to warn that the UK parliament needs to pass a withdrawal deal in order to deliver Brexit.
Her comments come as she tries to reach an agreement with the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, on a deal that she can persuade MPs to vote through parliament. She said: 'The choice that lies ahead of us is either leaving the Europeon Union with a deal, or not leaving at all'Continue reading...
|07/04/2019||Andrea Leadsom MP: 'It is appalling to consider another referendum'||,,The leader of the House of Commons outlines her opposition to those seeking to 'rerun' the 2016 referendum.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|06/04/2019||Brexit: UK couple issued different passport versions||,,Despite applying on the same day, one passport included the EU on the cover while the other did not.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|05/04/2019||Brexit: UK asks EU for further extension until 30 June||,,Theresa May says she still wants to leave before European elections on 23 May if deal is agreed.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|05/04/2019||Brexit: What trade deals has the UK done so far?||,,The UK says it want to replicate the EU's trade agreements "as far as possible".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|04/04/2019||'The ayes have it': bill to stop no-deal Brexit passes with majority of one vote – video||,,
The House of Commons has approved legislation to prevent a potentially disorderly Brexit departure next week without a deal being reached. Yvette Cooper's bill forces prime minister Theresa May to extend the 12 April deadline if no deal has been agreed. It passed its third reading by a majority of only one vote, 313 votes to 312. It now has to pass the upper chamber, the House of Lords. May said she would seek another short extension to Brexit beyond 12 April in order to try and work with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to get her thrice-rejected Brexit deal approved by parliamentContinue reading...
|03/04/2019||Jeremy Corbyn says meetings with Theresa May ‘inconclusive’ – video||,,
Labour leader says: ‘There hasn't been as much change as I had expected’ following discussions with the prime minister aimed at breaking the Brexit deadlock. Both Labour and Downing Street described the discussions as ‘constructive’ and said they would hold technical talks, facilitated by civil servants, on ThursdayContinue reading...
|03/04/2019||The way you look at life||,,
L4E secretary Andy Pye talks to his friend and former business colleague Chris Rand, who came down from Cambridge to experience his first London march for the People's Vote campaign.
The campaign is now more than a protest. We are, as Mike Galsworthy says, building a community. A community which is based on a solid foundation, is here to stay and will sustain until the end of the Brexit episode. It is a community which can put comfortably over a million like-minded people onto the streets of London. A community which is based on a solid foundation, is here to stay and will sustain until the end of the Brexit episode. It is a community which can put comfortably over a million like-minded people onto the streets of London. How extraordinary that as many as 1 in 40 of the entire population of the UK took time off to visit London and protest - just think of what that means.
|02/04/2019||Nick Boles: Theresa May is 'splitting the country'||,,The former Conservative MP says Theresa May has "mismanaged and misunderstood" the Brexit process.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|02/04/2019||Brexit delay: How can Article 50 be extended?||,,Theresa May has said she will ask for a further Brexit delay to break the deadlock at Westminster.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|02/04/2019||Theresa May: I will try to agree Brexit plan with Corbyn||,,The prime minister says she will seek a further extension for Brexit and work to reach agreement with Labour.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|02/04/2019||It's not a re-run of 2016||,,
Leavers think so; but the question is different
London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg looks at the opinion polls and sets out the arguments to make to those who think that a referendum on the terms would just be asking the same question again until Leave voters get it right.
|01/04/2019||Brexit votes: Boles resigns Conservative whip after vote defeat||,,The former minister said he could "no longer sit for this party" after his motion was defeated.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/04/2019||MPs reject all Brexit options again||,,None of the four Brexit options put forward by MPs gained a majority.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/04/2019||Sir Keir Starmer: 'Take whatever measures necessary to stop no-deal'||,,Labour's shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, outlines on Labour's position leaving the EU without a deal.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/04/2019||Conservative MP Richard Drax apologises for voting for PM's Brexit deal||,,Conservative MP apologises to his DUP "friends and colleagues" for voting for the government's withdrawal agreement on 29 March.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|30/03/2019||Brexit: MPs reject May's EU withdrawal agreement||,,The PM says a longer Brexit delay is "almost certain" after losing by 58 votes - Labour says she must quit now.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|28/03/2019||Brexit: No majority for any options after MPs' votes||,,Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay says the result strengthens ministers' view the PM's deal is "the best option".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|28/03/2019||Brexit: What are the options now?||,,None of MPs' eight proposed Brexit options have secured clear backing in a series of votes in the Commons.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|27/03/2019||Brexit ASMR: Whispering the Withdrawal Agreement||,,Finally, here's something that makes Brexit relaxing.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|26/03/2019||Brexit: Petition to revoke Article 50 passes 5.7m signatures||,,The online campaign to revoke Article 50 is still proving popular - despite Theresa May ruling it out.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/03/2019||Brexit votes: Why does Speaker shout 'Order, Order'?||,,What are all the peculiar things MPs shout in Parliament, and what do they all mean?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/03/2019||Nato chief Stoltenberg: Brexit will not weaken Nato||,,Nato will be an even more key platform for European allies to work together, says Jens Stoltenberg.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/03/2019||'The biggest EU story since the fall of the Berlin wall'||,,Two foreign correspondents in Brussels give us the European view on covering Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/03/2019||Brexit: What is Common Market 2.0?||,,What do politicians mean when they talk about Common Market 2.0 or a Norway plus solution?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/03/2019||Training Britons to take the jobs EU migrants are leaving||,,The firms training thousands of unemployed people to take the jobs that EU migrants are leaving behind.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|24/03/2019||Brexit: Sack the plotters, says Duncan Smith||,,Iain Duncan Smith says the disloyalty some cabinet ministers are showing to the PM is "appalling".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|23/03/2019||Brexit march: Million joined Brexit protest, organisers say||,,"Put it to the People" placards and banners spell out protesters' demand for a say on the Brexit deal.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|23/03/2019||Brexit: People's Vote march to Parliament Square - sped-up||,,Nine minutes condensed into just 90 seconds - protesters walk from Park Lane to Parliament Square.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/03/2019||Ministers 'divided' over process for testing Brexit options||,,No decision has been taken on whether votes on alternatives to the PM's deal should be binding or not.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/03/2019||Brexit: Departure date pushed back by at least two weeks||,,Theresa May is given more time to come up with a Brexit solution after talks with EU leaders.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/03/2019||Brexit: How will it affect my holidays to Europe?||,,A simple guide to how leaving the EU with or without a deal might affect travel to Europe.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|19/03/2019||Call for Brexit being Put to the People - This Saturday||,,
Join us on the march for a People’s Vote on the 23 March in central London and show again that the will of the people is now to get a vote on the final Brexit deal.
History is unfolding in front of our eyes, dizzyingly fast and with all the votes, amendments and amended amendments it can be easy to lose track of where we are and the fact remaining is still possible. This last week in Parliament, through all of the twists and turns of voices and votes lost, a couple of things are clear.
|19/03/2019||Brexit: Is the UK actually in a crisis over leaving the EU?||,,Politicians and the press have been saying it for months. Are they scaremongering, or is the UK in a major crisis?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|18/03/2019||Brexit: Jeremy Hunt says a 'lot more work' needed to get deal through||,,Jeremy Hunt suggests MPs will only be asked to vote again when ministers are "confident" of victory.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|18/03/2019||Britain's Place in the EU||,,
Sovereignty, freedom of movement, national identity
London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg sets out the case. The harms of Brexit are real but we have a positive case to argue for. Economic prosperity is important but still just a means to an end. Leavers are right in this: the EU is a political project; the issues that matter are sovereignty, democracy, freedom, sense of community with particular reference to freedom of movement, sense of national identity.
|18/03/2019||Travelodge targets parents to fill post-Brexit staffing gap||,,The budget hotel chain plans to open 100 new hotels over the next five years, creating 3,000 new jobs.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|17/03/2019||Brexit: No new vote on May's deal without DUP support - chancellor||,,The chancellor says the PM's deal will not return to the Commons this week without enough backing.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|17/03/2019||Lib Dems 'on mission from protest back to power', Vince Cable to say||,,Outgoing leader Sir Vince Cable also urged his party to keep arguing for staying in the EU.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|16/03/2019||Brexit: DUP says issues remain over deal||,,The party, which has twice voted against the deal, says it remains in discussions with the government.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|14/03/2019||Brexit: Does the UK need to hold European elections?||,,If Brexit is delayed beyond 29 March, would the UK need to participate in May's European elections?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|14/03/2019||Divide and ruin||,,
A huge Government defeat but not yet a victory
Charles Parselle reviews the government’s latest defeat and asks what will it take for MPs, so confident in their own ability to vote and vote again, to trust the electorate on whose behalf they supposedly hold their positions.
|14/03/2019||Why I'm attending the People's Vote March||,,
Hundreds of thousands of people marched in London last October for a People’s Vote on the final deal for Brexit. It was the biggest march since the anti-war protest in 2003 and sent a powerful message to our politicians here and in the rest of Europe that there is huge support for another vote.
It was a beautiful, sunny day and everyone was good natured and friendly. I have been on every march since the referendum and it was the only one when due to the sheer scale of numbers that I arrived in Parliament Square long after the speeches had finished. There were people from all walks of life and from every corner of the country and many families with young children who will never enjoy the rights and privileges I have been fortunate enough to enjoy and benefit from for almost my whole adult life, if Brexit goes ahead.
The Put it to the People march planned for 23rd March is so important. Tell everyone about it. It will only be six days before the UK is currently due to leave the European Union and it is a matter of urgency that as many people as possible come. It may be our last chance. We know far more now about the damaging consequences of Brexit than we did almost three years ago and those consequences will be with us for generations to come. There is too much to lose and it is still not too late.
If you want to attend the People's Vote March, click here to sign up.
Maggy is a supporter and volunteer for European Movement and the People's Vote campaign.
|14/03/2019||Brexit Basics: What is the backstop?||,,Confused by Brexit jargon? Reality Check unpacks the basics.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|14/03/2019||How MPs rejected a no-deal Brexit||,,In non-binding votes, the House of Commons has said "no" to Britain leaving the EU without a withdrawal deal.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|13/03/2019||Brexit: MPs reject any no-deal option in two votes||,,MPs have rejected a no-deal Brexit in two votes on Wednesday, despite the government having whipped Conservatives not to back it.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|13/03/2019||Brexit timeline told through culture||,,We take you through what's happened in the world since the Brexit referendum was announced.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|12/03/2019||Brexit: Has May agreed changes or compromises?||,,UK PM says she has secured "legally-binding changes" to the Irish backstop but what's the view from Strasbourg?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/03/2019||Brexit: Vote for 'improved deal' or face 'political crisis'||,,The prime minister has secured "legally binding" changes to her Brexit deal, the Cabinet Office minister says.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/03/2019||Brexit: Corbyn asks for PM's withdrawal agreement update||,,Jeremy Corbyn appears annoyed that his urgent question to the prime minister about progress in Brexit talks is not answered by Theresa May.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/03/2019||Sleaford Mods on Brexit, austerity and political disillusionment||,,The punk duo Sleaford Mods talk about Brexit, austerity and modern disillusionment with politics.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/03/2019||Cheese, chops and hops: How will Brexit impact UK producers?||,,With Brexit looming, a lamb farmer, cheese maker and brewer give their take on what it might hold.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|11/03/2019||Big Brexit moment: Will MPs back or bin the PM's deal?||,,The clock is ticking to 29 March when the UK is due to officially leave the EU, but could there still be a last-minute twist?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|10/03/2019||Brexit: Could the UK drop tariffs to zero?||,,Crucial votes on Brexit next week could determine whether the UK has greater flexibility to set tariffs.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|07/03/2019||Brexit harms business||,,
The single market enables British jobs
Under the single market with freedom of movement British citizens may easily establish businesses in other EU countries. Our correspondent, Penny Howard, did just that. She set up Beyondtheyelladog as a company providing tourists with artistic and cultural experiences to enable them to deepen their experience of Italy. Brexit threatens the feasibility of such businesses. Penny Howard's business is now facing closure.
|06/03/2019||Why did Corbyn talk Brexit with Tory MPs?||,,Jeremy Corbyn tells the BBC's Ben Wright why he met a group of Tory MPs to discuss their alternative plan for a Norway-style relationship with the EU.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|06/03/2019||Brexit: Steve Brine on future UK-EU relationship||,,Steve Brine describes the remaining EU nations as "friends" of the UK, as he criticises some of his Tory colleagues.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|06/03/2019||PMQs: Theresa May on Anna McMorrin's call to delay Brexit||,,A Labour MP raises police investigations into EU referendum campaigns and calls for a delay to Brexit until the results are known.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|05/03/2019||Brexit and Economic Development||,,
Following the vote for Britain to leave the European Union the future of the European Structural and Investment Funds programme has been called into question. These programmes total 17.2billion Euros from 2014 to 2020 and provide funds to support schemes that help local areas to grow in disadvantaged areas in Britain. There are over 1,000 individual schemes.
|04/03/2019||To those who say "Just get Brexit over with!"||,,
I sympathise. I really really do.
London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg whole-heartedly agrees with the public’s main demand for Brexit. But it is Remain that delivers, not any of the Brexits on offer.
The biggest desire of the British people is not to take back control or to have peace in Europe. It is that the whole question of Brexit should just go away. I sympathise. It is what I really really want. But neither the Government’s nor the public’s methods for ending the Brexit debate work. Here’s why.
|03/03/2019||Liam Fox: There may be 'no option' but to delay Brexit||,,The International Trade Secretary says that a delay may be needed to deliver a smooth Brexit.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/03/2019||Brexit: The view from BBC Radio 5 Live listeners||,,BBC Radio 5 Live hosted a special Your Call programme, with views from across the UK.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/03/2019||Why a referendum is the right answer||,,
Everything needs a plan
London4Europe Committee member and former HM Treasury senior civil servant Michael Romberg reminds us of the core case for a referendum.
The case for a referendum is very simple. In 2016 Leave had no plan. As we have been told, there is "a special place in hell ... for those who promised Brexit without even a sketch of a plan for carrying it out safely".
No doubt every Leave voter knew what they wanted. None knew what they would get. No-one in 2016 promised any of the three possible Brexits: a May/Corbyn deal, No-deal or a revived May deal.
2016 was a vote on an idea. No-one takes a project from idea to implementation without reviewing the plan. The same people as approved the exploration of the idea should vote on whether they like the plan. That is honourable fair and democratic.
Sure, people were told there would be just one shot. But that only made sense if Leave had a plan. They didn't.
|01/03/2019||May 'struggling to see any Brexit upside', says ex-aide||,,Theresa May's ex-adviser Nick Timothy tells the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg the PM has always seen Brexit as "damage limitation".||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|01/03/2019||Democracy in action||,,
Critics will claim that protesting is an outdated habit that people have taken on through centuries to make themselves feel useful and in the right even though it doesn’t achieve change. One may or may not agree. However, on top of making one feel exemplary, marching for a People’s Vote or protesting is a great way for a citizen to exercise his or her democratic right of freedom of expression for a cause they believe in. On the 20th of October 2018, over 700.000 protesters claimed the streets of London, voicing their opposition to Brexit and seeking a People’s vote on the final Brexit deal. It was one of the biggest mass mobilisations of its kind in the UK. The people marched not just to feel virtuous but because so much is at stake for them and because Brexit will have a detrimental effect on their lives. The march increased the legitimacy of the issue, social media visibility was over the roof, the message spread all across the UK and the world and many politicians made statements acknowledging the importance of the event.
|01/03/2019||Why it's important to attend the Put it to the People March||,,
In October 2018 700,000 people like you took part in one of the largest marches ever staged in London to demand a People’s Vote.
Since then it has become clear that more and more people who voted Leave in 2016 are now aware of the true reality of what leaving the Euopean Union will mean to them and future generations.
Parliament is divided and based on what we now know about the consequences for the UK, the chances of a People’s Vote are higher than ever before so we need to march again to reinforce the message that the country should be given the opportunity to decide once and for all whether to leave or remain in the EU.
Please join us as you could be one of those people who played a part in changing the course of our history by demanding a People’s Vote.
See you in London on 23rd March at 12pm.
To find out more and sign up, click here
John is a supporter of the People's Vote campaign
|24/02/2019||Professor Eatwell at Dinner in Eastbourne||,,
European Movement member Paula Welch wrote the following account of a recent dinner Eastbourne European Movement held.
Professor Roger Eatwell, University of Bath was the speaker at our January dinner held at the Hydro Hotel and attended by over 70 members and their guests. His talk centred on his latest book about national populism, a movement that in the early years of the 21st Century is increasingly challenging mainstream politics in the West.
He explained that national populism is not simply a passing protest but reflects views deeply held by many in the electorate who feel they have been neglected even held in contempt by distant mainstream elites. He and co-author Prof Matthew Goodwin had decided to write the book amid two moments that had shocked the West and few pundits saw coming: when Donald Trump was elected President and when British voters stunned the world by voting for Brexit.
|23/02/2019||Sovereignty? Maybe it’s just a family affair||,,
This piece was sent in by George Stevenson.
One of the most potent slogans from the 2016 Leave campaign was ‘Take Back Control’. Somehow, it promised a future where free British citizens (or subjects, perhaps), would control their own futures, without any form of external interference
2½ years later, and the reality looks rather different. But sovereignty still exerts a powerful pull; previous London4Europe blogs have highlighted that this may have been a factor in the votes of voters across the generally affluent South East of England, where complaints about ‘left behind’ communities may have been less prevalent
This idea of having control over our own affairs seems to be very deep rooted. At an individual level, most of us will remember resentments as children about being told to do something we didn’t want to do, and this may last into adulthood as well. As the parent of a 4-year old, I’m acutely conscious of the resistance (or stubbornness) of children if they don’t want to do something. Being without someone telling you what to do is seductive goal for many teenagers
At the level of countries or societies, freedom from an overbearing ruler, and having control over your own affairs, is a recurring theme. From ‘no taxation without representation’ prior to the American War of Independence, through the French Revolution, the emergence of new countries from the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918, the dismantling of the European empires in the years after the Second World War, to the collapse of communism in Central & Eastern Europe in 1989, self-determination for a people or a country has been a powerful, siren image.
So we shouldn’t dismiss this as an argument for Leave voters. Even pointing out that it’s the quality of government that’s important, not whether or not we have ‘full ‘control’ probably won’t cut much ice. Our parents are (mostly) benign, and want what’s best for us, but that doesn’t prevent us from sometimes resenting what they’re telling us to do.
|22/02/2019||Is Theresa May trying to outfox us?||,,
Theresa May’s opportunity to outfox us?
The emphasis on avoiding No-deal and on extending the Article 50 time-table presents Theresa May with a clear opportunity to outfox us. We have to focus on the referendum, writes London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg.
What people are trying to do
People have been mesmerised by the threat of No-deal. Sure, it would be really bad. A third of the country wants it to happen. It could happen by accident. It is the default legal position.
But very few MPs want it. For all her faults Theresa May has a sense of responsibility, even if it is selective. So in spite of the rhetoric it is hard to believe that the Government would actually be willing to countenance No-deal.
Theresa May presents her deal as the way to stop No-deal. The main focus of non-Government efforts is delay: an extension of the Article 50 time period to allow more debate. But it’s not as though we have been short of time: 30 months was quite enough for a serious debate of options and the building of a consensus. What we have not done is face up to realities and policy trade-offs – we seem to need deadlines to even begin to do that. Nor is there any point in an extension for a general election – that could not resolve Brexit.
Separately, once we have agreed a course of action with the EU we will need time to implement it.
The EU’s views
The EU is like everyone else. They will agree to something to please someone else if it is in their own interests.
Brexit is a tedious distraction and they wish it to be over. But they also wish to avoid No-deal, and the blame for it. Having the UK stay in the EU is also something the EU would like, although perhaps increasingly said through gritted teeth. Preserving the integrity and coherence of the Single Market and EU institutions will not be sacrificed for the sake of keeping one country in.
An extension to before the date of the European Parliament elections (23/26 May 2019) would be easy. An extension to the end of June 2019 (before the new Parliament session opens on 2 July 2019) would probably also be easy if Brexit had been confirmed so it is clear the UK would not take part in the EP elections.
Any longer extension would be difficult because the UK would need to hold EP elections and send MEPs for a time. So the EU would only agree to that if it was in their interests (like a referendum with a Remain option).
The Withdrawal Agreement as a mechanism
So far the focus has been on an extension of the Article 50 negotiation period. That would require the agreement of both the UK and of all EU27 member states. But there is another way: the Withdrawal Agreement could come into force on whatever day is chosen.
|21/02/2019||Why we need a referendum||,,
Active Remainers – like me – are often told that we ‘never accepted the (2016) Referendum result,’ as though this were a defect, a sin, even a crime.
Should we be concerned?
Well, first of all, it depends what’s actually being alleged of us. ‘Never accepted the Referendum result’ … as what, exactly?
As the numerical outcome of the vote? Well in that sense, yes, obviously, we do accept it.
As the outpouring of frustration, anger at being neglected, at feeling marginalised or even silenced? Yes, certainly.
As the seizing by many of an apparently rare opportunity to make known their feelings? Well, apparently, yes.
As an informed view of where lay the real causes of that neglect and marginalisation? No, not for a second.
As an informed judgement on the actual impact upon their lives of European Union policy, legislation, regulation and investment?
|21/02/2019||Brexit and Housing Associations||,,
It is generally accepted that there is a housing crisis in Britain. A cross party review has concluded that Britain needs three million more social homes. Housing associations are charged with meeting the need for affordable housing by building new homes. These are funded through government grants, loans that are funded from surpluses and cross-subsidy from activities such as selling houses at market value. Housing associations also need to keep their expenditure within what can be afforded given the rents that they collect.
The European Union has never involved itself in housing policy and there are no European regulations affecting housing in Britain or any other member state. The UK government makes housing policy in England and it is a devolved responsibility in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. However, the impact that Brexit will have on housing associations and their ability to provide affordable homes will be negative and significant in all parts of Britain.
The Regulator of Social Housing (a government body that regulates housing associations in England) is giving advice to housing associations about what they should do about Brexit. Speaking to the Social Housing Annual Conference in January, Simon Dow, the Chair of th Regulator, referred to the Bank of England’s forecasts about the effects of a ‘disorderly Brexit’ on the economy. These include a fall in Gross Domestic Product of 8%, an increase in unemployment to 7.5%, an increase in inflation to 6.5%, a reduction in house values of 30% and an increase in interest rates to 5.5%. These would all have an adverse impact on housing associations. He then advised that:
“Providers must be stress testing for Brexit and ensuring that they have the mitigation strategies in place that they can implement.”
Following this, Paul Hackett, Chief Executive of Optivo Housing Association told the ‘Inside Housing’ magazine that they had stress tested a scenario where property values fell by 35% resulting in a 25% reduction in the number of new homes developed. He concluded that government would have to mitigate this by more than doubling what it was prepared to provide in grants:
“We would need to have a conversation with government about using grant in a counter- cyclical way... On rented homes, we would need around 50% of cost on new builds (in grant) ... This would be higher if shared ownership was taken out of the picture.”
However, Jeanne Harrison of Moody’s (an agency that provides credit ratings for housing associations) told ‘Inside Housing’ that
“Government support for associations (through grants) ... could also decline if the public finances are stretched as the government attempts to mitigate the broader impacts of... Brexit.
Another credit rating agency - Standard & Poor’s - has warned that a no-deal Brexit would lead to the downgrading of the credit ratings of about half the housing associations in Britain with associations that provide market sale housing being downgraded the most. They told ‘Inside Housing’ that:
“We can reasonably expect certain negative shocks to the UK social housing sector... Sharp declines in house prices and the higher average inflation in... 2020/21... would shrink operating margins which, in turn, would reduce earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation margins. Moreover, we forecast a reduction in social housing lettings while we consider housing associations will increasingly struggle to increase social housing rents in 2020/21.”
Lower credit ratings would make it more difficult for housing associations to raise loans and would increase the interest rates at which they could borrow. Many housing associations are borrowing extensively in advance of Brexit to mitigate the risk of not being able to borrow afterwards.
The construction industry is dependent on imported components and labour. The UK imports £10billion of construction materials a year and the proportion of construction workers from outside the UK is 20% nationally and 56% in London. A falling pound, tariff and other barriers at ports and the ending of Free Movement is likely to result in increased construction prices and shortages of materials and labour.
|20/02/2019||Join me at the Put it to the People March||,,
On 23 March the Put It to the People March will take place in Westminster. It will be an opportunity to demonstrate the ever-growing opposition to the Brexit deal offered by the Prime Minister and, in particular, the real risk that the UK will crash out of the EU as soon as 29 March.
The march on Westminster last October gave a huge boost to the People's Vote campaign. Hundreds of thousands of us showed up from all over the UK. We showed the depth of feeling across the land
Now, with just days before our notice to leave the EU expires and still with no arrangements in place to manage the transition, it is essential to show our support for the parties already supporting a People's Vote (including the Lib Dems, the SNP, Plaid Cymru & the Greens), to encourage the Labour Party, which remains open to the idea; and to encourage the Conservative Party MPs who are fighting a no-deal Brexit.
|18/02/2019||Brexit: Will Britons living in the EU still get healthcare?||,,A reader asks about state healthcare for UK nationals in EU countries.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|12/02/2019||Brexit - the view from Liverpool||,,
My home town is what you might call a singular place. I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the UK quite like it. Geographically in England, but culturally, ethnically, spiritually, it’s a Celtic and a world city. Because of our port history, our roots extend to the four corners of the world. We are first and foremost Scousers, true internationalists, our identities not limited to the borders of one country.
Not surprisingly, then, Liverpool voted to remain in the EU. We also have a strong radical political tradition here. We have taken enough blows from successive governments, and we know when another one is on the horizon, and let’s call out Brexit for what it is: the brainchild of the right wing of the Tory Party. It is not an anti-establishment uprising. Rees-Mogg, Johnson, Farage, Banks? Anti-establishment? Do me a favour. Brexit is the long-term plan of a group of rich white men, for whom internationalism of the sort the EU embodies is anathema. It is part of a broader plan to reduce the UK to a deregulated, low wage, Western version of Singapore. It will make us all poorer, in many ways, and it will hit the poorest worst of all. Here in Liverpool, we’re not going to take that.
|11/02/2019||Why I'm supporting a People's Vote||,,
For me, the EU is about much more than economics, even though this too is important. The foundations of the EU were laid after the war, at a time of destruction, chaos, forced mass migrations, revolutions, civil wars, retribution and starvation. Leaders at the time realised that Europe needed to come together to end centuries of war by building cooperation, at first through trade and economic prosperity.
By 1990, the EU was crucial in supporting former Communist countries in Eastern Europe as they democratised and I have discovered recently how much the EU backed peace in Ireland too when the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1997. This work involved more than trade and economics.
|24/01/2019||Article 50, backstop etc: Brexit jargon explained||,,From Article 50 to Backstop, find out what the key terms mean.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/01/2019||Brexit: What is Labour's customs union policy?||,,Labour wants a new customs arrangement with the EU, but how would it work?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|16/01/2019||WTO rules: What happens if there's a no-deal Brexit?||,,Could the UK maintain an open border with Ireland if there is no deal, asks BBC News NI's John Campbell.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|18/12/2018||Brexit: How Europe does second referendums||,,As calls for a second vote on Brexit grow, the BBC looks at other countries which have voted twice.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/11/2018||The withdrawal agreement - what it means||,,Chris Morris analyses the key points from the 585-page draft agreement between the UK and the EU.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|22/11/2018||Brexit: What's in the political declaration?||,,Chris Morris picks out key passages from the draft political declaration on the EU and UK's future relationship.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|17/11/2018||Brexit: What is the customs union?||,,Confused by Brexit jargon? Reality Check unpacks the basics.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|15/11/2018||Brexit video explainers||,,BBC correspondents on the background, jargon, (and some of the) questions and answers as the UK prepares to leave the EU.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|30/10/2018||Brexit: What is the Norway model?||,,The UK prime minister is in Norway and Brexit is bound to come up.||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|25/09/2018||What is a 'Canada-style' trade deal?||,,Could the Canada-EU trade deal be a model for the UK's relationship with the EU after Brexit?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|24/09/2018||Brexit: What happens next?||,,With Brexit talks in deadlock, what might happen between now and the official departure day next March?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|
|24/06/2016||EU referendum: The result in maps and charts||,,How did the Leave camp clinch victory in the referendum on the UK's membership of the EU after what was a very closely fought contest?||www.bbc.co.uk||Visit...|