Tag Archives: latvia

This week in Europe: 17-20 December…

EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement signed

Catherine Bearder, the Liberal Democrat European spokesperson on international trade, has welcomed the EU trade deal with Singapore as a potential gateway for the UK’s insurance and banking sector into the Asian market.

This free trade deal with Singapore will bring huge benefits to the UK’s financial services sector in particular. Negotiating as a block of 27 countries with the biggest single market in the world has given Brussels the necessary weight to insist that European banks will enjoy a level playing field with US competitors. Britain on its own would have struggled to achieve

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Daily View 2×2: 15 December 2009


It’s December 15th. It’s 4 years since Latvia amended its constitution so that same-sex couples would not be entitled to marry.

2 Big Stories

Registrar who refused to carry out civil partnership ceremonies loses appeal
Islington Council has won its High Court appeal against a ruling that it had discriminated against a Christian registrar who refused to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies.

From the Islington Tribune:

Lillian Ladele, 48, had hoped to overturn a decision by a top employment tribunal judge who had backed Islington Council in the dispute.
The council said Ms Ladele’s religious beliefs, that same sex unions were “sinful”, clashed with their strict employment codes and meant she was failing to fulfil her duties.

High Court “Master of the Rolls” Lord Justice Dyson dismissed the appeal this morning and ordered Ms Ladele, who was not present in court, to pay costs.
In a 17 page judgement, Lord Dyson said: “Islington wished to ensure that all their registrars were designated to conduct, and did conduct, civil partnerships as they regarded this as consistent with their strong commitment to fighting discrimination, and internally in the sense of relations with and between their employees. I find it very hard to see how this could be challenged.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Ruth Polling (Islington’s cabinet member for Equalities) said,

This is very welcome news. The judgement is the right one as it confirms all public sector employees must carry out their duties without discrimination and Islington was right to insist this of all our staff. We are delighted it provides much-needed clarity for employers across the country.”

You can read more here.

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Daily View 2×2: 7 October 2009

Two big stories

Cuts are in the air this conference season, but none of the parties are calling for these ones.  The BBC reports that British Airways is cutting 1,700 jobs and introducing a two-year pay freeze for cabin crew.  Evidently asking employees to work for free, as the airline did a few months ago, didn’t do the trick.

Meanwhile, the Daily Express reports that little seems safe from the Conservatives attempts to out-cut Labour and the Lib Dems.  Ministers’ pay to be cut.  MPs’ jobs to go.  All but the lowest paid civil servants to have their pay frozen.  …

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Opinion: A frightening party of selfishness and reactionism

As the Tories gather for their conference, it is very tempting to suspect that, despite the Cameron makeover of the party, they are still unreconstructed hateful fire-breathers underneath.

Just look at a couple straws in the wind which have re-emerged in the last few days.

It is tempting to think that the old “posh” Tories still exist. That basically the Conservative party is the party of the rich. Does the bumbling Eric Pickles flat-cap schmooze-over mean anything? No, it would seem if you look at what the Tory party regards as a “typical family”. Extrapolations on Liberal Conspiracy reveal that the …

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