Tag Archives: brexit

Brexiters have nowhere to hide on crime, policing, terror and intelligence

With the Brexit debate currently focusing on the question of trade, Brexiters are able to wrongly claim that the UK would enjoy better trade agreements outside the EU, sooner or later. This exercise in hand waving complacency is not available when it comes to our security.

This is not just about the European Arrest Warrant, responsible for the

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 27 Comments

Brexit as political arson by David Miliband

It isn’t the done thing here to link to opinion pieces in the newspapers by Labour politicians. So much that I’m not even sure what category to use. We have LibLink for links to articles by Liberal Democrats, and we have the slightly oddly named “Independent View” for articles by non-members.

But sometimes, hang the taxonomy, this is important enough to link to anyway.

David Miliband steps away from arguments over the costs of membership and Brexit, of whether we could get back the agreements on trade, policing, etc, that Brexit would tear up, the implications, if any, on immigration. Instead he looks at the bigger picture.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 27 Comments

Is it possible for us to “take back control of our borders”?


A number of problems spring to mind as we plan to “take back control of our borders” in the event of Brexit. Inevitably envisioning various scenarios demands a degree of speculation, but the following causes me a good deal of concern.

I suspect Calais may become less of a flash point, though I have an inkling Cherbourg may develop as more of a destination de choix.

Four times a week a giant ferry leaves there for Rosslare. For desperate people that have trekked across a continent and a half I doubt it’ll be seen as too great an added imposition.

Once there the UK border is now approx 277 km away, all 500km of it!

Crossings are available by motorway, country roads, dirt tracks, rail, boat and any number of random fields and….yes.. bogs.

The border was policed, often quite officiously and occasionally with bullets, between 1923 and 1993. It is one of the great triumphs of late 1990s diplomacy that this is no longer the case. Once breached, a trek north to Antrim brings the wretched traveller to within 12 miles of the Scottish coastline,

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 20 Comments

David Owen – remember him?

William Rodgers, Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins & David Owen with funds from SDP supporters, Feb 1981

Some of us were members of the SDP and recall still the various reasons why this new political party was created – not least to combat the anti-European mood which then gripped Labour (the Conservatives were largely fine on the issue. The irony…)

Six years later, Owen refused to accept the will of his own Party to merge with the Liberals. He pretended for a while that the majority who joined the merged party had somehow ‘left’ the SDP and he could therefore continue as Leader of the much reduced force. He finally killed it off when it was overtaken by the Monster Raving Loony Party in a by-election in Bootle.

Since then he has floated around the political scene, with sporadic not terribly perceptive interventions on Radio 4 as a ‘former Foreign Secretary’ and the occasional advice to his imagined followers to vote this or that way in General Elections.

So it comes as no surprise that he is reduced to appearing in the Sun urging people to trash their future by voting for Brexit.

His arguments are thin to say the least. For example this insight:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 28 Comments

Playing chicken with a 27 headed opponent

The game of chicken involves driving head on towards your opponent, as they do the same, and the loser is the one who swerves out of the way first. If neither swerves, then both lose in a much bigger sense. I was reminded of this as Michael Howard was trotting out the usual arguments for Brexit on the Today programme this morning

Howard argued that a trade deal with the EU would still happen, bringing us continued access to the Single Market, because it is in their interests. He even suggested that following a vote to leave, the rump EU should …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

A positive case for remaining in the EU


Many voices express concern that pro-EU activists should avoid emphasising the dire outcome of Brexit because, as we learnt during the Scottish referendum debate, concentrating on the negative makes for a dismal campaign.

Yet how can we not point out that a Brexit, with its consequent uncertain trade agreements especially with the UK’s major partner, would be catastrophic? But yes, we must also give a positive message. Proclaiming past EU achievements doesn’t seem to play well; too many people take them for granted, believe they would have happened anyway and in any case find them boring. However, everyone who supports continuing membership acknowledges the EU’s many flaws. Why not tackle these failings head-on and make improving the EU Britain’s mission? With its Liberal and Social Democrat tenets, LibDems are particularly well placed to develop an optimistic and constructive reform agenda.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 12 Comments

LibLink: Catherine Bearder says that any post-Brexit deal would be tough on the UK


Catherine Bearder, our only Lib Dem MEP, has been interviewed about the consequences of Brexit by the EU Observer.

She doesn’t think that an arrangement similar to Norway’s – being in the European Economic Area but not in the European Union – is achievable.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 42 Comments

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