Tag Archives: brexit

Dick Taverne writes…Three reasons the Brexit vote is reversible

Vince Cable has boldly challenged the received Westminster wisdom that the referendum vote is irreversible.  Here are three good reasons why he is right.

Leavers did not vote for Brexit to make us poorer..

A very thorough YouGov inquiry carried out on the eve of the referendum into what motivated Leavers found that very few “expect, or would tolerate, a hit to their living standards …. They were almost unanimous in believing Brexit was a cost-free option.”   There was no evidence of any willingness to make economic sacrifices to achieve such aims as reducing immigration or regaining sovereignty.

Brexit is making us poorer.

The evidence for this is growing stronger every day.  Living standards are declining because of rising inflation while wages stagnate.  More and more companies plan to emigrate, with thousands of probable job losses.  Our economic growth is now the slowest in the G7 – and depends on unsustainable levels of household debt.  There is a growing shortage of key EU workers in vital public industries and services, such as the building trade, the tourist industry and fruit farming; and most ominous of all, thdere is a decline  of over 90 per cent in EU nurses and carers applying to work in Britain.

And worse is still to come.  A recent report commissioned by Mayor Sadiq Khan predicts Brexit could cost 70.000 jobs in the City of London alone, which would have a devastating effect on our national economy.  Indeed the overwhelming majority of economists predict a bleak  future after Brexit.

Posted in News | 29 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes…EURATOM: The wedge dividing the Tories’ ideological Brexit

The Tories’ division on Europe is widening. Nothing demonstrates this more than on one simple issue: EURATOM.

In Theresa May’s letter invoking Article 50 she confirmed that Brexit would mean more than Brexit as the UK would also withdraw from the European Atomic Community, a separate legal entity from the EU.

The UK, a country dependant on nuclear energy, relies heavily on EURATOM; our electricity generation, healthcare provision, scientific development, and nuclear safety are all closely intertwined with EURATOM’s regulatory regime.

Withdrawal could restrict the movement of nuclear materials, damaging scientific research and innovation (particularly in the development of future fusion power plants), and threatening the UK’s nuclear power supply.

What many won’t realise is that this could also restrict supply of key materials for radioactive cancer treatment. Dr Nicola Strickland, president of the Royal College of Radiologists, has already warned of the damage this could do to over 10,000 cancer patients being directly treated by imported radioactive isotopes and the increased cost burden this would place on an NHS already stretched for resources.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 22 Comments

Brexit: yes, it’s personal


One of the things that most struck me about the arguments made by the supporters of Brexit during the EU referendum was that they seemed, in their essence, to be based on emotion. There were many arguments put forward for Brexit that presented it as a rational economic choice, but these arguments were clearly secondary, almost an afterthought, to the ones based on British exceptionalism and distrust of anything foreign.

And yet when you pressed Brexit supporters, as I quite often did, on these points and suggested that perhaps those of us supporting the EU both in the UK and in other Member States also had an emotional attachment to the project, this was pooh-poohed out of hand.  It was implied that, whereas the UK was entitled to indulge its childish Anglo-centric sentiments, foreigners would bow to practicality and Brexit would prevail. This is the basic construct behind the “German carmakers, prosecco” argument, essentially that neither German nor Italian exporters would want to lose the trade with the UK and therefore they would put pressure on their governments to come to an agreement. Likewise, I often heard it said that Spain depended on what was called “British expats” for so much of its income that it would do nothing to upset the Brexit applecart.

Time has proven that these arguments are not only irrational and patronising but actually wrong. It is childish and limiting to recognise your own emotions without recognising them in others too.

Posted in Op-eds | 63 Comments

Vince: I won’t be winning the Bad Sex Award

Vince went from Marr to Pienaar’s Politics this morning..

It started seriously enough and he delivered The Message that there is a great opportunity for us as the other parties are divided. The Brexit train is not unstoppable, he said, and there are significant risks to a disorderly Brexit.

He says there is a sense that people do want to work together to stop things like leaving Euratom. The key is what happens in the Labour Party. The contradiction between him being the hero of young people while working with the Tories to bring about hard Brexit will be exposed.

He says that we may be faced with a completely unacceptable Brexit outcome and people will want the opportunity to vote. With extra young people on the register, the balance of public opinion may be shifting.

He said that all of this could mean an upheaval of the political system and we might just be at the centre of major political transformation like Macron did in France.

He dealt with the age question then. Thankfully, there was no sign of the “culture of youth” stuff he was coning out with last week. He returned to talking about Gladstone who was 82 when he last became PM. Vince said he feels young and has a good team around him. He’s just been through an arduous election and he feels great.

Talk turned to realignment of politics. We aren’t expecting defections but the tensions between the moderates and the revolutionary socialists were, he said, profound.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Who to trust on the economy? The CBI or Dr Fox with his kamikazee Brexit?

This week, it was very welcome to hear the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) calling for the UK to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union once it leaves the EU, until a full trade deal is in place.

This seems to be simple common sense to me.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Vince Cable on Marr: I can see a scenario where Brexit doesn’t happen

Almost-leader Vince Cable was on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning.

Here are some clips:

I like the way that he casually pointed out  that the last Liberal leader to have a coronation was the mighty Jo Grimond.

He said he was optimistic about the party’s future.

Our position on Brexit is “a longstanding principled position which will become increasingly in line with the mood of the country.

Even though he is the only candidate, he said that we will see the Vince Cable manifesto. He was also keen to talk up the strong team behind him, which was another good sign. There have been criticisms before that he’s not a team player – although, to be fair,  he has tended to be right when he deviated from the message during the Coalition years.

Asked if he would take the party in a different direction from Tim Farron, he said that Tim did a very good job, built up our membership but he situation has moved on from where we were two years ago. Brexit dominates the national agenda and he would  have to approach that consistently but in a different Parliament with different dynamics.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 42 Comments

“Very good” Lib Dem statement on EU-Japan trade deal

The Lib Dems were praised today by Politics.co.uk editor Ian Dunt over shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake’s comments on the Brexit Bill.

Tom said:

Last year the Government estimated that an EU-Japan Free Trade Deal  could be worth £5 billion annually to the UK economy – roughly £200 per household. Sadly, by the time the agreement with Japan gets fully ratified, it is very likely the UK will be out of the EU.

Despite a change in public opinion,

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 20 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 26th Jul - 2:19am
    Mick , is correct, this surprise at daft ideas in a democratic party, is more daft than the , yes, very daft ideas ! David...
  • User AvatarMick Taylor 26th Jul - 1:55am
    Hang on a minute. One or two people in our party have odd views, far from the party mainstream and suddenly they're LibDem policy? Hywel,...
  • User AvatarEd Shepherd 26th Jul - 1:17am
    Thatcherite entryists? ID cards? National service? The Lib Dem Party is circling the drain. When he hears about it, Jeremy Corbyn will be laughing his...
  • User AvatarEd Shepherd 26th Jul - 1:11am
    Compulsion to do kind of work always fails. Years of leading volunteers has taught me that let alone the lessons of history. And given 'choice'...
  • User AvatarTorrin Wilkins 26th Jul - 12:55am
    Hywel: I think its jumping to conclusions that because I had him as a friend on Facebook I also looked at all of his posts....
  • User AvatarMichael BG 26th Jul - 12:30am
    @ Ed Shepherd The range of jobs in William Wallace’s “national service” most likely is not wide enough. I would hope people would be able...