Tag Archives: brexit

The Government does not have a clue on a solution to the Irish border problem

Being an earnest seeker after truth I downloaded the full Joint Report of 8 December in order to discover just how the Prime Minister proposed to accomplish the trick of leaving the single market and the customs union whilst still having no physical border between the European Union, ie the Republic of Ireland, and the UK, ie Northern Ireland.

I searched in vain. There are no practical plans whatsoever in the Report. All there is are statements of intent on “the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland,” relying “to a significant extent on a common European Union legal and policy framework,” on being “committed …. to its guarantee of avoiding a hard border,” and “will propose specific solutions,” “will maintain full alignment,” with the necessary EU rules and “will establish mechanisms to ensure the implementation and oversight of any specific arrangement to safeguard the integrity of the EU Internal Market and the Customs Union.” It has the worthy aims of “what” they want, but nothing of “how”.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 34 Comments

Brexit Resolution: statement from Catherine Bearder MEP

Yesterday the European Parliament voted in favour of a Resolution to allow Brexit talks to progress to the next stage.

Both the Commission and Parliament have now recommended to the European Council that progress has been made in the three key areas: on citizens’ rights, Northern Ireland and the financial settlement.

This Resolution is the last piece in the puzzle to allowing the Brexit talks to progress to the next stage.

It effectively moves the UK one step further away from a disastrous “no deal” situation which would risk thousands

Posted in Europe / International and Europe Referendum | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Vince to argue for single market and customs union on visit to Ireland

Our Vince is off to Ireland tomorrow, where he’ll meet leading Irish politicians to discuss Brexit.
Vince will be discussing the implications of the end of the first phase of Brexit negotiations, set to be approved by EU leaders, which failed to find a long-term solution to the Irish border issue.

He said:

The Conservative government has so far botched Brexit, and amongst the people who stand to be most affected are those living on the island of Ireland.

Even after the ‘divorce settlement’ and the agreement to proceed with trade talks, it isstill unclear how a hard border will be averted.

Audiences in Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland are being told different things. Many of the achievements of the Good Friday Agreement have been put at risk as a result.

The unnecessary decision by the Conservatives to leave the Single Market and Customs Union was not mandated by the EU referendum. It is a miscalculation that will harm commerce between our countries.

Those economic ties are much stronger than is generally realised, given the Republic is the fifth biggest customer for UK exports and we are the second biggest market for Irish exports. 6,000 vehicles cross the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland every day.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

A rare bright spot in the Brexit nightmare

There have been precious few bright moments since the Brexit nightmare started. In fact, I can’t really remember any that didn’t involve being at an anti Brexit protest with other pro-Europeans.

I seriously didn’t expect the Government to lose tonight.  I thought that Tory rebels would express concern but ultimately line up behind Theresa May and David Davis. I felt it was more likely given that May is on the up at the moment. Maybe I was wrong, though. It’s probably easier to rebel on a good day than inflict what may be a fatal act on a government that you support.

I’d got in from work just as the vote was being called and the commentary was all about people thought to be certain Tory rebels now abstaining. My heart sank. But then when the tellers lined up, the opposition side started cheering. A tight vote had gone the right way.

The Government lost by 4 votes. 309 people backed Dominic Grieve’s amendment, 305, including Labour MPs like Kate Hoey and Frank Field, voted with the Government.

My reservation is that there is very little point in Parliament having a meaningful vote if Jeremy Corbyn simply lines up his people to support the Tories in implementing a really unpleasant and painful brexit. Labour did what it was supposed to do tonight, but every time it’s had the chance to do something it says it believes in, like back the single market,  its MPs sit on their hands.

Will they do the right thing as the issues kicked so deftly into the long grass have to be confronted and resolved? Who knows? At least they have the chance, I suppose.

And what of the Lib Dem reaction to the Government defeat? Tom Brake used some novel phrase we’ve never heard before about taking back control:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Vince: Labour should be ashamed

Over the past few days, Liberal Democrats have been challenging Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party to back our amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would keep us in the single market which is so important for jobs and prosperity.

We are at this singularly unlucky point in time where we have a reckless and incompetent government leading us towards a potentially terrible Brexit. It doesn’t know what it wants as ministers say different things. You have both Gove and Davis undermining the deal before the ink is dry. It does nothing for the reputation of our country.

You would think …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 55 Comments

The Mail on Sunday and Nigel Farage in one day? Vince takes the fight to the right

I certainly didn’t think I’d ever be embedding Nigel Farage’s LBC show on this site, but the first 20 minutes of today’s is well worth watching because our Vince is on there.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 14 Comments

Clegg criticises May on Brexit, talks about defeat and the Westminster culture that enables bullying and harassment

Nick Clegg gets loads of column inches this weekend.

He has a long interview with Camilla Cavendish in today’s Sunday Times magazine (£). They discuss Brexit, Parliament, sexual harassment and his son’s Blood Cancer.

He describes the serendipitous series of events that meant that he took Antonio to the GP:

To this day, I don’t know what possessed me to take him to the GP. It was those early days in September, you know, when you have to get kids ready for school. Miriam had to work very heavily that week, so I was at home most of the time, helping to do the preparatory things, buying clothes for the new term — and Antonio said he had this thing. We had an afternoon, so I thought, ‘Why don’t I just take him, and he’ll stop going on about it.’ ”

This was quite out of character, he says. “Normally, I’m quite brutal. My Dutch mum regarded going to doctors and hospitals as something one should avoid at all costs.

Thankfully, Antonio is now well on the mend.

Nick spoke about what he’s up to now he’s out of Parliament. He’s taken up drumming and tried (unsuccessfully) to learn to surf.

The interview was conducted just around the time that sexual harassment hit the headlines. Nick slammed the culture at Westminster which created the environment for this abuse:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarfrankie 16th Dec - 4:14pm
    Gordon, The problem Jackie has is the constitutional deficit actually grows if we follow the Norway path. Imposing rules made by others with no input...
  • User AvatarGordon 16th Dec - 3:53pm
    LJP – I was thinking only of the way the negotiations have gone so far with surrenders at each point by Davis & Co. but...
  • User AvatarNick Collins 16th Dec - 3:53pm
    Merry Christmas, Tony. I'm sorry that you have lost the ability to distinguish telling it as it is from sarcasm.
  • User AvatarChris Lewcock 16th Dec - 3:41pm
    Great that this item has been put up on LDV. Thanks Duncan. However, I do wonder if Members should have to depend on occasional (inevitably?...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 16th Dec - 3:41pm
    @ Katharine Pindar I am sorry that I didn’t express myself clearer. My point was that if the LVT is rolled up to be paid...
  • User AvatarCiaran Smith 16th Dec - 3:13pm
    As an atheist, I was disheartened to see the abuse Tim Farron got during the election campaign for his views. Whilst I disagree with his...