Welcome to my day – 28 December 2020

Welcome back, gentle readers, after our brief winter hibernation. On behalf of the team, I hope that you enjoyed the Christmas break as best you were able to, and that you’ve all kept well enough. And thank you for the kind comments that some of you have made whilst we’ve been away.

Of course, the big news is that a deal has been negotiated with the European Union and goes before both Houses of Parliament on Wednesday. Labour will support it, whilst the SNP and the Liberal Democrats will vote against, if the news reports are to be believed. It’s a pretty hopeless deal in many ways – the wilful giving up of Erasmus, the apparent lack of understanding as to what a non-tariff barrier actually is and the lop-sided nature of an agreement where goods (where the EU has a trade surplus) are tariff-free, whilst there are no corresponding benefits to the UK’s lucrative services sector being merely three obvious defects. And as for fishing…

But I suspect that time and experience will reveal just how much the United Kingdom, its people and its economy have given up in pursuit of the chimera that is sovereignty.

So, think of today as a gentle loosener before the serious business of analysis begins. We’ll open with a view from Dr Mark Corner in Belgium with some thoughts on how the Liberal Democrats might rebuild, from someone sympathetic to the Party but not a part of it. It isn’t entirely an independent view, but I thought that it might help to kickstart a debate. For, after Brexit, what should be the ground we stand on?

Max Wilkinson is rightly angry about the list of new Peers announced last Tuesday. Indeed, the Lord Speaker is unhappy… very unhappy. But the Peers list is just one of the things that Max thinks we should protest.

It wouldn’t be the end of the year without a review of the year or two, so I thought I might look back at some of the most read posts here at LDV in what turned out to be an extraordinary year.

Jamie Sharpley has been a Party stalwart over many years, indeed, I worked with him to select a European Parliamentary list as far back as 1997. Today, he makes his debut as a contributor, reflecting on what has happened and what might be our next priorities.

And last, but not least, Lawrence Cox offers his thoughts on a book which looks at a potential future for Scotland. One guesses that independence might offer a very different future to one as part of the United Kingdom, and 2021 may give us more insight on that point.

So, enjoy the contributions and let us have your thoughts via the comments sections. And, if you want to look forward to what might be in 2021, why not write something for us?

* Mark Valladares is the Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice. Sometimes, he thinks that Mondays could really do with editing…

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One Comment

  • Whilst it is a poor deal in many ways, I hope it does get through Parliament (it seems the EU27 are happy with it) – will the no-deal idiots such as the ERG members vote against it? Only so that there is some certainty…

    From my perspective – a provider of IT consultancy, the deal has totally failed to deliver anything of worth around business travel. We are going from the simplicity of the current free movement arrangements – to having to deal with the individual visa and foreign worker requirements of each individual member of the EU27.

    Interestingly, it would seem the UK government has also changed the EHIC meaning that many tourists will now need medical insurance…

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