Tag Archives: brexit

David Davis accepts that we could leave without a deal

Yesterday on Peston on Sunday David Davis claimed that in the Referendum those who supported Leave were knowingly voting to leave the single market, ie a hard Brexit. That’s not what Liberal Democrats are hearing on the doorstep.

Davis also said that we might leave the EU without any deal at all, and we had to plan for that possible outcome.

You can watch the interview here, starting 6:20 minutes in.

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May’s Brexit will create a weak and unstable United Kingdom

Voters in next month’s general election are being asked to support Theresa May’s ‘strong and stable’ leadership in the Brexit negotiations. What voters may in fact be choosing is a weak and unstable United Kingdom. Inflation, first prompted by the 15% fall in sterling after last year’s vote to leave the European Union (EU), will continue to erode real standards of living. The drip drip of foreign firms reallocating future investment and jobs outside the United Kingdom will continue. As a result Government tax revenue will decline and Tory austerity will last longer. The Scottish Government will progress a second …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 21 Comments

Poll: Two thirds of Labour Remain supporters are voting Lib Dem this time

A poll in the New European has shown a massive swing from Labour to the Liberal Democrats of Remain supporters.

From the paper:

The poll, of more than 1,300 respondents, compares how people voted in the 2015 General Election with how they intend to vote next month. It suggests the Liberal Democrats will double their share of the vote in this significant section of the population, while Labour’s will halve.

Two thirds (66.6%) said they would be voting Lib Dem on June 8, with Labour on just 22.3%. This represents a huge swing since 2015, when 43.9% voted Labour, and 29.4% Lib Dem. Meanwhile, support for the Conservatives has almost evaporated, from 9.3% in 2015, to just 0.4% of readers saying they will vote Tory next month.

Readers were also asked whether they would vote for any party which promised another EU referendum, with 62.8% saying they would. The Liberal Democrats are currently the only major party to make such a pledge. However, it seems most people have conceded the chances of a second referendum are low. Just 9.3% think there will be another poll.

The paper’s editor Matt Kelly said:

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Conundrum of referendums and why we need another one

Referendums? Are you really so dumb? Surely it should be referenda? All right, I openly admit that I’m no expert on referendums, or referenda, my background being in science and medicine. The following thoughts are strictly those of a layman, but they should be relatively light on establishment bias and received wisdom.

I see five problems and a conundrum

The first problem is that referenda are subject to ‘populist’ forces. What is meant by that?

Suppose there was a referendum on whether we wanted to pay taxes. The populist lobby, attuned to the visceral nature of taxation, would urge us to take back control of our own money. Why let faceless bureaucrats in the government tell us what to do with it? The people should decide how much to give to public services, the armed forces and so on.

In an ideal world of sensible altruistic people, that might work. More likely, the country would go bankrupt.

The second drawback of any referendum is that it polarises and divides with the efficiency of a football match. Supporters flock to opposing sides, whatever the question at issue. Had the question on the ballot paper been “Should be EU remain as it is or move towards greater integration?”, we would now be a nation of remainers pitted against integrationists. A better sort of division, but still a divided nation.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 19 Comments

No deal, no way

There isn’t going to be a free trade deal before we leave the EU.  Theresa May was advised as much by the civil service back in November when it became clear that there is no-where near enough time to negotiate a deal.  In any case it is not in the EU’s political interests to come to an agreement until after we’ve actually left the club so as not to encourage further euro-scepticism on the continent.

Ending free movement will not reduce migration to the tens of thousands.  The government will still have no control of the number of people leaving the country, nor the skills and experience they take with them.  In any case migration in the UK is driven by economics and the government will be in no position to risk a labour shortage and consequent rise in wages and fall in tax receipts.  Economics will take priority above migration, as it has done for each of the last seven years.

Britain is not going to become a low tax, low regulation global trading hub outside the EU.  Any such moves would be classed as fiscal and regulatory ‘dumping’ and would lead to retaliatory measures not just from the EU but the US as well.  That would cripple the global supply chain that underpins our most successful industries.   In any case the government is already spending £50 billion more than its earning, even after 7 years of austerity, and with billions more needed for education, the NHS and infrastructure investment slashing taxes is the last thing on the agenda.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 52 Comments

Nick Clegg: 5p rise in cost of petrol down to Brexit

Last June, the price of petrol was 111.2 pence per litre. Last week, it was 1118.1 pence per litre. The price of oil takes care of about 2p of that. The  rest – around 5p – is due to the post-referendum collapse in the value of the pound against the dollar.

This 5p increase works out at £2.50 on a tank of petrol for an average-sized car, or £60 per year for the average motorist.

For hauliers, the impact of the increase in fuel prices is far greater, adding more than £2,200 per year for the average lorry. 85% of everything we buy is carried by truck, so the increase in fuel costs will push shop prices up too.

Nick said:

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Macron’s victory speech in English

There was joy in the hearts of liberals across Europe on Sunday night when the French results came through. It was certainly worrying that more than a third of voters chose a far-right extremist, but it shows that populism can be beaten.

Tim Farron was quick to congratulate Emmanuel Macron and said that his values could win the day here too:

I would like to congratulate Emmanuel Macron on his election as France’s new President. This is not just a victory for France, but a victory for Britain and the liberal values we hold dear.

A National Front win would have posed a grave threat to our national interest.

Emmanuel Macron has kept the wolves from our door, but we must never be complacent in the fight against racism, fascism and the far-right.

The liberal values of tolerance, openness and free trade that triumphed in France today can triumph in Britain too.

Together we can change Britain’s future, stand up to Theresa May’s hard Brexit agenda and keep our country open, tolerant and united.

Ambafrance has an English translation of Macron’s victory speech. Here’s an extract.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , , and | 8 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 29th May - 8:37am
    No doubt Theresa May will consult her ventriloquist and respond accordingly.
  • User AvatarDaniel Walker 29th May - 8:20am
    @malc It's not intended as anything other than a short-term fix. If you see sections 2.1 part 3: In the longer term and as a...
  • User AvatarDenis Mollison 29th May - 8:17am
    PS - should be "sell arms to Saudi Arabia" of course
  • User AvatarDenis Mollison 29th May - 8:15am
    @Simon, Lorenzo The issue was whether Corbyn sometimes turned a blind eye to violence. No it isn't. Our government, and May as part of it,...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 29th May - 8:06am
    There is method in the madness of those who seek to fill newspapers with Jeremy Corbyn's history when it comes to how best to deal...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 29th May - 7:16am
    My mental arithmetic isn't as good as I thought either! That should be 10,000 police officers!