Tag Archives: brexit

Jardine: Hunt faces an impossible challenge

Lib Dem Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine clearly doesn’t envy Jeremy Hunt’s task – even if he can’t do any worse than his predecessor:

Jeremy Hunt has been set a devastatingly low bar by his predecessor when it comes to basic competency, with him leaving a litany of errors in his wake. Hunt does, however, also face an impossible challenge when it comes to advocating for Britain around the world at a time when his Conservative government are doing huge damage to our economy and influence in their pursuit of Brexit.

The public demand better from their government than the farce that

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LIVE THREAD: Davis (and Johnson) quit, takes junior ministers with him…

23:59 A fascinating day comes to an end. We hope that you’ve enjoyed our coverage, and do continue the debate via the comments section. Goodnight from all at LDV!

21:34 And I think that that’s it as far as the Cabinet and major posts go, as Geoffrey Cox becomes the new Attorney General.

No women, very little new blood, but it looks as though the Brexit/Remain balance has been broadly maintained.

It does feel like an administration limping from one crisis to the next, but like the grey skies over mid-Suffolk this evening, you can’t rule out thunderstorms. And who’s that coming over …

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Davis, Baker and Braverman quit, welcome to my day: 9 July 2018 – the day the Conservative Party breaks?

The overnight news that David Davis has resigned as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and that his junior Ministers, Steve Baker and Suella Braverman have gone with him, is the first public sign that the Chequers Accord is not the panacea that it was first thought to be.

I’ll be trying to keep up with developments here, but it may be that we are in a state of chaos. What larks, eh?

But seriously, what does this mean for the Government and for Brexit? And how should Liberal Democrat’s respond? Is it, as I would suggest, time to call …

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Help our MPs choose their Commons debate – last chance to have your say

Lib Dem MPs have a relatively rare opposition day debate this week. They are approaching it a bit differently by giving you a chance to decide the subject.

What’s particularly brilliant is that you get to vote preferentially too. That’ll be useful for next year’s Ashdown Prize organisers to note.

An email from Alistair Carmichael landed the other day:

On Tuesday 10th July, our MPs have an opposition day debate in Parliament.

This means that we can pick one topic and have MPs debate and vote on it in Westminster.

And we want to hear what you think MPs should be

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Vince: PM’s plan weakens Britain

I should have actually written it on here, but I reckoned that the number of Cabinet ministers resigning today would be zero. Whether that holds up when they start to get grief from their constituency associations is yet to be seen.

It was always clear that whatever came out of the Chequers summit today would be less than what we have already.

We can’t get as good a deal as we get from being a full member of the European Union. We should be in there shaping hhe EU response to the challenges facing us all whether they be on security or …

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YouGov Polls

Since the Brexit referendum media and politics seems to have turned anti-European but it seems that the public opinion is slowing starting to shift towards being more pro-European. There is increasingly despair among the public about the lack of leadership and success with the Brexit negotiations. Two years on from the referendum vote and we really don’t know where we will be and what will be agreed over the next 5 months. A YouGov poll has consistently found that about two thirds of those polled feel the negotiations are going badly.

Below I have collected a number of YouGov polls around Brexit. They make for interesting reading.

Surprisingly, a recent YouGov poll found that 31 percent of Tories say the government’s Brexit decision is wrong. This compares with 73 percent of Labour voters and 83 percent of Lib Dem voters. Because some voters think that the government now has a duty to implement the referendum 30 percent of Remainers want the government to go ahead with Brexit. Although, those who were undecided, during the referendum, are beginning to gradually favour staying in the EU.

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Cabinet Playing Whiff-Whaff with Theresa May

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians passed on through generations, says that “When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.”

Ministers are under pressure to spell out the type of relationship we should have with the European Union. The crunch summit at Chequers is for the Tories to settle their differences although they are strong views on both sides, this Tory summit is supposed to provide an agreed way forward. Michael Gove has alleged ripped up a document that explained the customs partnership proposed by Number 10. The Defence Secretary has told his department that if he doesn’t get the £20 billion he is asking for he will remove the Prime Minister (PM) as he made her, he can break her. The MoD budget for 2016/17 was £35.3bn, and because of the weak position of the PM we now have the US Defence Secretary, James Mattis, warning us that France would replace the UK as America’s closest ally in Europe if we don’t increase our defence spending. Moreover, then there is Boris with his bog roll comment and even worse his inflammatory private and a rather coarse dismissal of business concerns about Brexit.

The PM is getting bullied. How can we have a deal when groups within Cabinet are pulling in a different direction and believe they will achieve their objectives without any fear of consequence. Power is perceived and not something that’s tangible, a loss of that perception leaves the PM in a very vulnerable position and makes it very difficult for her to pursue an agenda and therefore lead. Talk about being pushed from pillar to post.

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Tories claim credit for EU Directive giving greater rights to holidaymakers.

So the Scottish and Northern Irish schools have broken up and people are starting to head for the sun. Although, to be honest, they might as well have stayed at home this year. I’ll bet you by the time I head to the Highlands at the end of August, the weather will have well and truly broken.

Anyway, I digress. Anyone heading on a package holiday will have greater rights today. This is not because of anything that the Tories have done, although they show they have the brassiest neck in the history of the universe by claiming credit for it.

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Options to Remain

An option to remain in the EU is an essential part of any people’s vote. But should it be just one option? That immediately creates a disadvantage compared to the Brexiters, who habitually have at least two options on the table – for example, a negotiated settlement or leaving with no deal.

On the surface of it, a 3-way vote might seem workable:

  • Remain in the EU
  • Accent the negotiated settlement
  • Leave with no deal

Indeed, some might argue this would favour Remain, since the Leave vote would be split. If the alterative voting system …

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What chance for British people to retain their EU citizenship?

I guess it is unsurprising, but there has been a jump of more than six times in the number of British people seeking citizenship of another EU country. 

I look at these figures with more than a touch of envy. One of the worst things about Brexit is losing my EU citizenship. It’s not just about freedom to travel. It’s about belonging to an organisation that has democracy, peace and human rights at its heart. The EU flag is the only one I have ever felt comfortable wrapping myself in. There is somewhere on the internet a video of me …

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In praise of being a by-election candidate

It’s 18 months since Jamie Reed resigned as the MP for Copeland, forcing a very unexpected by-election.

I’d never intended standing for parliament.  I was very content running my own business and being a local (lowest level – unpaid) Councillor, campaigning on a local issue I was passionate about (keeping our maternity services).

Copeland was not a winnable seat (we had no Lib Dem councillors there and all the Lib Dems were in Stoke fighting Nuttall) but by-elections command a lot of party and media attention, so being the candidate gave me the chance to do many things I couldn’t have done in an unwinnable seat in a general election for example:

– Copeland contains Sellafield – the hub of the nuclear industry.  Our nuclear experts were very worried about the consequences of the UK pulling out of the Euratom agreement as part of Brexit.  Lord Teverson and Baroness Featherstone helped me get this issue rapidly on the Westminster agenda.  Because I was raising it in Copeland, the main party candidates had to know about it so their parties had to help them and this issue quickly gained cross party attention.

– I was also very concerned about a particularly toxic academy issue we faced.  The other candidates didn’t properly understand it but by raising it again and again and explaining it in depth at hustings I was able to make sure they did.  To her credit, Trudy Harrison (the elected Conservative MP) has got herself onto the Education Select Committee and is working hard on this issue.

– I was able to drive forward my work on our maternity issues with the help of Norman Lamb, Baroness Brinton and the local media.

 – I was able to be a role model for the kind of evidence-based inclusive democracy I believe in, for example I was able to set up hustings in areas that felt neglected.

I got high level training on working with the media and plenty of experience.  I got the support of very experienced politicians and my fantastic agent Andy Sanger and so was able to learn a great deal very quickly.

The credibility I gained during the by-election meant that I was elected to Cumbria County Council last May.  From there I’ve been able to continue to protect maternity services and I’ve been able to have a positive impact on more issues than I can count.  

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LibLink: Layla Moran “Airbus shows businesses are running out of patience with our Government”

Layla Moran has been writing on Huffpost on the fallout from Airbus’s announcement that it will pull out of Britain (with the loss of thousands of jobs) if there is no transition deal on Brexit.

She writes:

The difficulty for those of us campaigning against an extreme Brexit ripping us out of the world’s largest market is that not enough people feel that the economy is nose-diving.

Take Airbus. It is looking for a breakthrough later this week at the European Council meeting, or else. It was a brave announcement, that if we don’t secure a decent trade deal, it is likely to move factories and jobs abroad – brave not for the act of leaving but for coming out and saying it.

So why did Airbus risk such an announcement? Because this wasn’t a threat. This was the first stage of its disinvestment from the UK; the risk of a no-deal Brexit is now simply too great, and too soon. Even a company the size of Airbus cannot afford to risk £1billion a week.

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Brexit: It isn’t all over yet – not by a long way!

Several comments on LibDem Voice last week argued that we’re all too late to stop Brexit: ‘it’s a done deal.’  Except that it’s not: we have a government that still has no clear idea of what future economic relationship it wants to have with the EU after we leave, and no coherent proposals for managing our future borders with the EU.  9 months from the date on which the UK is committed to leaving, Theresa May is holding together a divided Cabinet by endlessly postponing hard decisions that would trigger resignations from one side or another. The odds are rising on a political crisis towards the end of this year, as hard Brexiteers call for Britain to crash out of the EU without a deal, the Prime Minister promotes a formal exit which will leave us still following EU rules for an extended transition period (‘Brexit in Name Only’, or BRINO), and business protests that they lack any guarantees about future rules to encourage investment in Britain.

Remember what No.10 was saying about the timetable a year ago?  To manage an orderly exit, we would negotiate a package of measures with the EU by June 2018, to be agreed at the June EU Council.  That would allow time for the necessary legislation in the UK, and ratification both here and in other EU states, to be completed before March 29th next year.  We are now reaching the June European Council, after months in which David Davis has assured us that the negotiations ‘are making good progress’, and find that there is no package and little attention to Brexit on the agenda. Number 10 is now briefing the media that there may be ‘serious’ negotiations at the October European Council, but that agreement on key issues may be postponed until December.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 117 Comments

Telling Tales

The government is keen to play up the supposed benefits of Brexit. We are now getting to the ‘business end’ of the negotiations and as expected all is not as it seems. The government is talking up walking away with no deal instead of an accepting a bad deal (a bad deal would be an admission of its failure to negotiate with the EU) with the Brexit dividend that will be used to provide the NHS with a birthday present. Regarding the dividend, the Institute of Fiscal Studies made it clear that this was twaddle.

Just over a year ago the Office for Budget Responsibility (the governments’ official forecaster) estimated that as a result of lower economic growth because of Brexit tax revenue would fall by 2020/21 by £15 billion. It should also be noted that UK’s growth has gone from the faster-growing economy in G7 to the lowest other than Italy’s. This fall in revenue significantly surpasses our net contribution to the EU. The Institute of Fiscal Studies notes that there will be less rather than more money for the NHS and other services.

If we take our commitment to pay the agreed £45 billion plus a long-term obligation to pay pensions identified (until the need is exhausted), government’s commitment to support agricultural and the scientific research in universities – where then is the dividend for the NHS?

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Watch: Jane Dodds on Welsh Lib Dems’ vision and campaigns

Yesterday, I caught up with Jane Dodds briefly at the People’s Vote rally in Parliament Square. Wales voted to Leave in the referendum, so I wondered if people there were now starting to wonder if they had made the right decision.

Jane is offering a vision of hope and optimism to Welsh people with particular focus on tackling inequality and loneliness so we talked a bit about how that’s going.

Here’s our chat:

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Dick Newby: We will not rest until we have stopped Brexit

In the final throws of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, MPs were left focusing on just one issue – the significance of just two words in relation to a parliamentary Motion that the Government would bring forward in the event of ‘no deal’ with the EU on the term of Brexit.  

The two words were “neutral terms”—a phrase, incidentally, which most of us have never heard before. The view of the Lords was that “neutral terms” would prevent the Commons having the opportunity to express a view on the merits of the Government reaching no deal in the Brexit negotiations, and on what should be done next. The Government argued that their formulation was necessary to preserve the constitutional role of Parliament and that anything else would mandate the Government in completely unacceptable ways.

Between the Bill leaving the House of Lords on Monday evening and it returning to the Commons on Wednesday afternoon, the Government clearly thought deeply about this matter and realised that their understanding of parliamentary procedure on Monday was flawed. They produced a Written Ministerial Statement which, in lay man’s terms, says that it will be up to the Speaker to ​decide whether or not any government Motion would be amendable, and that, in any event, there is nothing to stop the Commons debating any Motion that they want to on this issue. We have since seen a battle of spin as to whether this represents a significant climbdown by the Government or whether winning the vote represents a victory. 

I sincerely wish that Dominic Grieve had supported his own amendment on Wednesday. But if I am disappointed, neither the Government nor Parliament can take any satisfaction from what happened. 

This week’s events demonstrate the contempt in which the Government hold Parliament. First, they try to muzzle it by putting “neutral terms” into the Bill. Then, fearing defeat, they publish a Written Ministerial Statement just minutes before the debate in the Commons which rips up their earlier justification for using the “neutral terms” ploy. At every turn they demonstrated their only consistent characteristic: the determination to survive to another day. If there were a World Cup in kicking the can down the road, the Government would win it hands-down. But the can cannot be kicked down the road for ever.

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Two years on….

So what were you doing two years ago today?

June 23rd will forever go down in history and not just for being Mary Reid’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Mary, by the way.

It was a beautiful day in Livingston. I spent the day handing out leaflets, wandering round the college doing what I could to persuade people to vote. We had a good reception. We’d spent the weeks leading up to it campaigning hard and were exhausted after a gruelling Scottish election campaign. The SNP, bless them, were knackered and barely lifted a finger.

The Livingston band of helpers went rogue in the last week. We had been told that we had to hand out leaflets and not knock on any doors. We completely ignored that instruction and actually did some talking to people and I think it was a productive use of our time because we did change minds.

We didn’t lose in Scotland. Every single constituency voted to Remain, but I think we could have done better than the 62-38 result we got. We wouldn’t have found 1.3 million but we could certainly have narrowed the gap by some margin.

While we were ahead reasonably comfortably at our count in West Lothian, results from elsewhere made us wince and swear. Every so often my friend would ring and there would be much mutual swearing. In every election result there are so many what ifs. What if it had been a nice day in London and the storms and floods hadn’t depressed turnout? What if the Remain campaign hadn’t been so eye-meltingly, frustratingly awful?

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Winning back former south-western strongholds: looking beyond Brexit

As a member in the south-west of England I am acutely aware of how we have fallen behind in the rural areas of England where we used to be able to garner a large amount of support. The south-west has a quite rare mixture of very rural communities and a long liberal tradition. In fact, my own constituency of Tiverton and Honiton (now a deep blue Tory area) was once partly represented by Lord Palmerston who was the MP for Tiverton while Prime Minister. Given the past support in the south-west …

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A gentle ramble through Mrs May’s arithmetic…

I’m a mathematician by training, and work professionally with numbers. And, because I find testing arithmetic projections entertaining, I thought that I might play with the proposed “£20 billion for the NHS”. See what you think.

Firstly, I should note that that £20 billion isn’t for you, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, although the Barnett Formula might mean that there is more money available for you too.

I’ll assume that the BBC’s figure of £114 billion for NHS England’s budget is accurate, and note that the Office for Budget Responsibility is predicting that inflation will be fairly constant at 2% per annum …

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Theresa May shamelessly takes up discredited Leave campaign slogan

Most of my memories of the Leave campaign involve the blatant lies it told. 77 million Turks, we were told, would pretty much be here the day after we voted Remain, according to their literature. And the biggest lie of all was emblazoned on the side of a bus. £350 million a week for the NHS.

It was the thought of more money for our beleaguered NHS that prompted many people to vote Leave, something confirmed by Vote Leave’s director, Dominic Cummings.

Within hours of the referendum result, that pledge was in tatters. Nigel Farage distanced himself from

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Alistair Carmichael: Voting for what the SNP wanted would have left Scotland weaker

There’s been a lot of ill-informed nonsense on social media about the way the Liberal Democrats voted, or in fact didn’t vote, on devolution in the Commons the other night. I was going to write a post to explain it all but then found I didn’t have to, because Alistair Carmichael had done it for me, and better.

What I think was the problem is that we didn’t really get our story out in good enough time and allowed the SNP to put it about that we had somehow not stood up for Scotland. We need to learn from this and explain it all beforehand.

Actually, and unsurprisingly, the situation is very different. As Alistair explains here, if we’d voted the way the SNP wanted and had won that vote, we’d have gone back to the original clause of the Bill, which was awful because it would have repatriated all the EU powers to Westminster to be doled out from there. No thanks.

So, Alistair now takes us through what happened and comments on the extraordinary PMQs session yesterday.

There was a single motion voted on which was a government motion to agree with an amendment from the House of Lords (apologies some jargon is unavoidable here but I shall try to keep it to a minimum). This amendment related to the inclusion of a new clause in the bill dealing with the transfer of powers coming back from Brussels post-Brexit. I was not going to support that motion as there is not yet any agreement between the Scottish and UK Governments – the reason why Liberal Democrats in the Scottish Parliament quite rightly voted against granting the legislative consent motion for the Bill.

At the same time, however, the Welsh Government HAVE reached agreement with the UK Government and that is what is now contained in the bill. If it is wrong to vote against the Scottish Parliament’s view then surely it is wrong to vote against the view of the Welsh Assembly. There was an amendment to the government motion from the Labour Party on the order paper that reflected the true position and it was originally my wish to vote for that. Unfortunately, however, that amendment was not put to the vote so, in the circumstances described, an abstention seemed like the appropriate thing to do. In this view we were joined by the Labour Party.

One further consideration. It may not have been what they intended but the actual effect of the SNP vote (if successful) would have been to restore the Bill to the position that it was in when it left the Commons – a much weaker position for Scotland than the one that the Bill currently provides!

There are serious points at issue here :

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An academic Brexodus is upon us

Lib Dem activist Dr Ruvi Zieglar has written for the Cherwell, Oxford University’s newspaper, on the effect of Brexit being felt by universities. Many European staff are leaving because of the uncertainties surrounding jobs, research funding and future prospects.

Ruvi says,

‘Brexodus’ is picking up speed: according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 130,000 EU27 citizens emigrated between September 2016-17, the highest number since the 2008 financial crisis.

Ruvi goes on to explain,

Nearly two years after the referendum, EU27 are still waiting for their post-Brexit rights to be secured….The draft Withdrawal Agreement hardly

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SNP stunt kills off chance of devolution debate

Well, I suppose a bit of drama at PMQs brightens up the day, but what exactly was the point of the SNP’s mass walkout and their leader depriving himself of a vote as one of the most crucial pieces of legislation ever to go through the Commons. Not only that, but he had an application in for an emergency debate on the devolution related issues that everyone except the Scottish Tories are livid about. That fell because he was no longer allowed to be there. Presumably the SNP decided that a walkout would get them more attention on the news than a 3 hour debate. It did, but when this news cycle is over, what have they actually achieved? The square root of bugger all, to be honest.

At the heart of all the fuss is the issue of what happens to powers that were enacted by the EU when/if we leave. There is no agreement between the two governments about what should come to Westminster and what should come to Holyrood. The Scottish people don’t seem to give two hoots either way, to be honest. However, the Scottish Parliament voted by a large majority (everyone except the Tories) for the Scottish Government’s Continuity Bill rather than give consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill. This means that the two Governments are not in agreement and the Tories think that the way to resolve that is for Westminster just to dictate what happens. That is simply not acceptable.

However, there isn’t likely to be a settlement that satisfies the SNP. Their prime motivation is to drive as many wedges as they can between the two Parliaments. The clue is in their name. Everything they do is about trying to get independence.

So today, Ian Blackford, the SNP leader, had a justified go at May at PMQs and then pulled one of the biggest diversionary Parliamentary stunts in the book – moving a procedural motion for Parliament to sit in private. That would have meant that the public galleries would have been emptied and that the broadcast would have been stopped, but only if MPs had voted for it. Speaker John Bercow decided to flambe the situation rather than calm it down. He was all over the place on the procedure. First of all he said that the vote should happen straight away. Then he said he was minded to have it at the end of PMQs. Then he gave the SNP a choice. They all said they wanted it there and then and he insisted it would happen later. If he had just held the vote in the middle of PMQs, the SNP would have lost it and normal service would have been restored. Instead, Bercow went over the top and threw Blackford out. I know I’m always saying that Bercow should be throwing people out, but not like this. I meant the people who jeer and behave like toddlers.

The result was that Bercow’s dithering gave the SNP much bigger headlines than they were expecting. The Speaker isn’t usually so ignorant of procedure. You might be forgiven for thinking that he knew exactly what he was doing. He certainly seemed quite chuffed with himself.

But this excitement will die down. And we’ll be no further forward.

Tim Farron has form for this sort of stuff and he thought they’d made a mistake:

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LibLink: Jo Swinson: Seven steps you can take to fight Brexit

Jo Swinson has written for the New European on Brexit. In the style of her excellent book, Equal Power, she explains the problem and then gives you a whole list of things you can do about it.

We wake up to headlines every day which emphasise the many reasons why Brexit is a bad idea. As well as one of the key protagonists and funders of a Leave campaign having more contact with the authoritarian Russian Government than is seemly (for the avoidance of doubt, none would be seemly), the Government’s own papers suggesting we’d run out of

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Friday fun: Can you tell what Christine Jardine thinks of Scottish Labour’s stance on Brexit?

This week, Christine Jardine appeared on Politics Scotland. She didn’t seem that impressed with what Labour MP Paul Sweeney had to say. And she didn’t even say a word:

She took apart the Tories on their Brexit shambles though

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Surely we should be concentrating our energies on Jeremy Corbyn, not people who are already supporting a people’s vote

Tom Brake has written a letter, a nice letter, to Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry asking them to support his Amendment, to be debated in the Commons this week, to the EU Withdrawal Bill, calling for a People’s Vote on Brexit. He said to them:

Dear Chuka and Anna,

Over the last two years we have worked cross-party to convey to the country the benefits of the UK remaining in the European Union.

Ahead of next week’s debate in Parliament, I urge you to support my amendment 19a to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill which provides for the people to have the

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Brake: May on the back foot over backstop Brexit

Reading the Government’s plans for the Northern Irish border, you have to think that they are running out of sticking plasters and long grass to kick things into in Downing Street.

The thing is, we need to know the permanent solution to all of this before we actually take the irrevocable step of leaving. The Government shouldn’t get away with thinking that it can just kick all the difficult stuff down the road and then blame someone else when it all goes horribly wrong. Playing Russian roulette with the Irish peace process is not something that any responsible government should …

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Brexit causes UK to lose £3.5bn in science and research

Currently, the UK ranks 3rd in the world for the scientific research behind the USA and China. For the period 2007/13, the UK received €8.8 billion out of a total of €107 billion expenditure on research, development and innovation. In the same period over 3,000 UK-based researchers received funding to work overseas (mainly in Germany and Italy).

EU’s flagship research and innovation programme are Horizon 2020. Since 2014 we have received about €3.6 billion in new grants, and over 10 per cent of research income for top UK’s university comes from the EU. By leaving the collaborative research community in the EU, the UK may well be isolated, and because of the international standing of UK in scientific research, it will also affect Europe’s overall standing in the world. In the UK, there is concern that if we no longer part of Horizon 2020 and implement a strict immigration regime, the UK will find it harder to attract the best scientists from around the world. University College London stated that 30% of the applicants for their research fellowship were from EU countries and this year there have been no applications.

Research Councils UK highlights that we benefit significantly from the investment and growth resulting from the EU scientific grant. The grant has already leveraged an additional £229 millions of funding from other partners. The government has so far stated that they will continue to fund scientific research to 2020, but there is no firm funding plan after that.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 2 Comments

How Britain staying in can help hold the EU together

 Little by little, the Brexiteers are losing their battle to force our country out of the EU. Although it isn’t yet generally recognised that the vaunted ‘will of the people’ is being exploited by wealthy individuals who have no interest in the economic well-being of ordinary citizens,  moderate pragmatists in both the UK and the EU seem to be strengthening our ties, to mutual benefit – all the more desirable, in a time of trade war.

First, there was the acceptance by Mrs May’s government that things will stay the same, in UK  contributions and rule-keeping and access, throughout a ‘transition period’ up to the end of 2020. Now we hear that the EU Council, representing the individual states, has invited Britain to help determine the EU’s budget up to 2027, in the expectation that we will still be paying large sums to Brussels for years after Brexit.

According to a report in The Times on Tuesday, our government is accepting this invitation, to the fury of both Brexiteers and, interestingly, the EU Commission, which has just presented its seven-year budget proposals for the years 2021- 2028. The Commission is proposing that the gap in finances caused by Britain’s departure should be filled by higher national contributions and spending cuts. The Council apparently prefers to keep Britain’s contributions flowing in. If so, May’s wish for ‘greatest possible access to the single market’ could be granted for several more years, at a suitable price.

Yet this is surely just another sip from a poisoned chalice for Remainers. As with the transition period, acceptance of a further period of ‘belonging’ – like a foster-child bound to leave ‘home’ eventually – obscures the fatal date of the end of March next year when we are pledged to leave. Later rather than sooner, all the ills of severance from our greatest trading partner must happen, unless the British people are given the chance to vote to stay in through a referendum on the deal arranged this year. 

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“Let’s take back control of our money and fund the NHS instead”

Sounds familiar? Time to make some sense of this slogan.

As shown here before, Brexit has already, and, if carried through, will continue to inflict massive economic damage to UK household incomes, tax revenues, and public spending potential.

According to the Bank of England, the British GDP is already £20 billion smaller than it would have been after a remain-vote. This is consistent with the 0.5% GDP growth underperformance of the UK compared to the G7 since 2016 (1% of GDP is equivalent to £20 billion). Given the UK’s previous position at the top of the G7 growth …

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  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 15th Aug - 10:53pm
    Martin As you do not get quite to the point of insulting people, I regard the comments you make worth noting. I think as one...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 15th Aug - 9:54pm
    The honest answer is, "We don't know". What we do know is that to rejoin the EU after Brexit would involve a host of EU...
  • User AvatarGlenn 15th Aug - 9:41pm
    A very brief few days of panic, followed by claims that transition arrangements mean we haven't really left yet, then a couple of more years...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 15th Aug - 9:14pm
    Various - Isn't a problem here that there isn't really any such thing as the 'white working class' any more. At least not in any...
  • User Avatarfrankie 15th Aug - 9:12pm
    Paul, How can you doubt Brexit will be a success when you see the detailed arguments put forward by their leaders and the level of...
  • User AvatarMartin 15th Aug - 9:10pm
    If there is 'no deal' is a conjecture, taken literally the consequences would be rapid and calamitous. The only 'project fear' about it, is to...