Saturday, January 29, 2022
Home Tags BBC Radio 4

Tag: BBC Radio 4

Former communist standing as MEP for Farage’s Brexit party

Nigel Farage’s Brexit party has unveiled a former revolutionary communist who once supported Irish republicanism and opposed the Good Friday peace deal as one of five new candidates for the European elections. Claire Fox, who now styles herself as a libertarian and is a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze programme, told the launch event she most likely only agreed with Farage on one issue – Brexit. Claire Fox: infamy's child Read more “I’ve spent my whole life fighting for leftwing causes, so I can tell you, no one is more surprised than me to be standing as candidate for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party,” said Fox, a former member of the Revolutionary Communist party who is still involved in some of its successor organisations, such as the Academy of Ideas, which she heads. “To be honest, Nigel and I are unlikely to agree on a range of issues – workers, women’s rights, immigration, public services,” Fox told the launch event in Westminster. Earlier, Farage had promised his organisation would be about more than Brexit, saying it was “about changing politics for good, changing the shape of our political parties”. He added: “Please don’t think for one moment that the Brexit party is here just to get a process vote on 23 May – far from it, 23 May for us is just the beginning. “We have a two-party system and those parties now serve nothing, frankly, but themselves.” Farage castigated Labour for, as he put it, reneging on its promise to support Brexit, saying: “We’re going to go after that Labour vote in a very big way.” The other candidates unveiled were Lance Forman, a strongly pro-Brexit businessman who heads a family fish company; James Glancy, an ex-soldier who is now an environmental activist; Matthew Patten, a charity executive; and Christina Jordan, a former nurse described by the party as a community leader. Recent polls have suggested Farage’s new party, formed after he left Ukip over its switch to a hard-right, anti-Islam stance, could win the most votes if the UK takes part in European elections on 23 May. Before Easter, the party announced its first five candidates, among them Annunziata Rees-Mogg, sister of the Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Richard Tice, a property millionaire and long-time Farage ally who will also chair the party.

The upside of Brexit anxiety

Mental health experts are warning that these anxieties are indeed cause for concern. Listener accounts of Brexit anxiety were paired with expert “remedies” for coping with the “condition.” Among the experts was a GP, who urged that the best way to deal with Brexit anxiety was for people to take control of the things they can control, such as sleeping, eating, exercising, and limiting their exposure to social media. First, Brexit anxiety clearly has a political cause. Therapists and psychiatrists reached out to offer their advice on how to deal with Brexit anxiety. With anxiety comes action Negative emotions have a bad reputation, especially in politics. After all, we usually take political action because some perceived problem in the world has evoked negative emotions in us and we persist in our action partly because such emotions fuel us. But emotions can only play this role if we are able to channel them into political issues, such as Brexit. It implies that the negative emotions people feel about Brexit are potential mental health problems to be solved by a personal change, even though these emotions evidently have political causes and solutions. Recent weeks have shown us some of what is possible when people are able to channel their emotions politically. Expert warnings about the health risks of Brexit anxiety won’t stop protests like this from happening.

Brexit consensus still possible after Commons deadlock, says Letwin

Eight votes on alternative Brexit options, put before the Commons after MPs seized control of the parliamentary process from the government, resulted in no majority for any of them, although the vote was close on one softer Brexit option. Oliver Letwin, the Tory former minister whose amendment created the process, said this was to be expected, and that if May’s deal is defeated for a third time if put to MPs on Friday, this could forge unity if the only other option was no deal on 12 April. Letwin said he had expected no majorities on Wednesday. He said: “MPs will be voting on the basis of seeing what happened last time. “If it doesn’t then I think people will finally see that that isn’t going to happen by 12 April and I think quite a lot of Tories who didn’t vote for any of the options because they were, perfectly honourably, taking the view that until they had a last chance to vote for the prime minister’s deal they didn’t want to commit themselves to anything else, may come round and say: OK, we’ll choose among these options.” The indicative votes capped a dramatic day in Westminster during which May promised her MPs she would step down from No 10 for the next stage of the Brexit process if her deal is passed. But soon afterwards the Democratic Unionist party announced it still could not back the plan, making success in the Commons much less likely. “It’s very difficult to translate how people vote the first time, when they don’t know how other people are voting, to how they will vote when they can see how other people are voting, under new circumstances. Although there was no majority for one particular option, I think it showed that there were areas of commonality.” She told Today: “What’s imperative now over the next few days is that parties across the house work with each other to find reasonable compromises to try and navigate a way out of this.” At the same time, Conservative Brexiters said they had not given up on their plan. A proposal to leave the EU without a deal on 12 April, put forward by the Tory MP John Baron, lost by 160 votes to 400. He told Today: “The legal position is that if we cannot agree a course of action other than article 50 then the natural default position is that we leave on no-deal, WTO terms.

Government could ignore indicative Brexit votes, says Liam Fox

Liam Fox has indicated the government could ignore MPs’ views from indicative Brexit votes this week if parliament’s stated choice goes against the Conservative manifesto, insisting the real choice is still between Theresa May’s deal and no deal. The international trade secretary dismissed calls for May to be ousted, or for the prime minister to offer to resign in return for her Brexit plan being passed, as suggested to her by Tory Brexiters on Sunday. The real debate is about our future relationship with the European Union once we’ve left.” Later on Monday, after May has updated the Commons on last week’s Brussels summit, MPs will have a chance to vote for an amendment seeking to reserve Wednesday’s Commons business for a series of non-binding indicative votes on various Brexit options. I was also elected on a manifesto that specifically said no single market and no customs union. The number one constraint is that we contracted out parliament’s sovereignty on the issue of the European Union to the people.” MPs should instead, Fox said, focus on passing May’s deal at the third time of asking or else risk no deal or a further Brexit delay necessitating the UK taking part in European elections. Read more The chances of May’s deal being passed appeared to grow even more distant after a summit on Sunday at her Chequers country retreat, with Boris Johnson and other leading hard-Brexiters leaving without agreement. Tory rebels present said the prime minister repeated “all the same lines” about her deal and that nothing new emerged during the three-hour meeting, at which Jacob Rees-Mogg, Iain Duncan Smith and Dominic Raab were also present. “Clearly a number of people do not want the prime minister anywhere near the next phase of negotiations, which is the future trading relationship between ourselves and the EU,” he told Today. Oliver Letwin, the Conservative former minister who is among those who have led the amendment on the indicative votes, now signed by more than 120 MPs, told Today it could take several rounds of voting to find a consensus. The prime minister, the only woman present, also invited her effective deputy, Lidington, and the environment secretary, Gove, plus Julian Smith, the chief whip, and Brandon Lewis, the Conservative party chairman.

Brexit backstop amendment would give May ‘enormous firepower’

Theresa May would go back to Brussels with “enormous firepower” to renegotiate her Brexit deal if the Commons backed an amendment watering down the Irish backstop provision, a senior Conservative backbencher has said before a crucial series of votes. Blow for May as Ireland stresses it will not yield on Brexit backstop Read more Graham Brady said he was hopeful of ministerial support for his amendment, which says the backstop should be replaced by “alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border”, even though Ireland has repeatedly stressed such a change cannot happen. There is speculation that the government could formally back Brady’s amendment, which is intended to bring back onboard the many Conservative and DUP MPs who voted against May’s Brexit plan when it was overwhelmingly defeated in the Commons earlier this month. The vote against May’s deal “didn’t necessarily indicate that the agreement is dead”, Brady, who chairs the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, told Today, just that MPs had “a very, very fundamental problem” with the backstop. Brady said his amendment was intended to break the impasse: “I’m hoping that the way in which the amendment is crafted can attract that very broad support. And if we can win the vote on my amendment, then I think it gives the prime minister enormous firepower when she goes back. Brady agreed that the change must be legally binding, adding: “I don’t think anybody’s going to accept something which is just warm words.” The Cooper and Boles plan seems set to get formal support from Labour, but the government is unlikely to allow ministers a free vote. This is probably the only opportunity parliament is going to have to intervene in this process, to take control.” He added: “29 March is an entirely arbitrary date, just two years on from when we sent the letter. And the truth is the prime minister has wasted time. She delayed the vote by a whole month over Christmas and New Year, as she thought she would lose it.

Dominic Raab: Theresa May’s deal worse than staying in EU

The former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has conceded Theresa May’s Brexit deal would be “even worse” than staying in the EU. Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme what he would do if he had to choose between May’s deal or no Brexit at all, Raab said: “Well, I don’t have to choose that. I’m sorry, I’m not going to give way to hypothetical scenarios. I’ll keep fighting for the best, most successful Brexit.” Pressed further on whether he thought the deal would be worse than staying in the EU, he replied: “Well, I’m not going to advocate staying in the EU but if you just presented me terms, this deal or EU membership – we’d effectively be bound by the same rules without a control or voice over them – yes, I think this would be even worse than that.” Asked about reports cabinet ministers were considering a negotiated no deal, asking the EU to give the country another year of transition and paying some money in return, Raab said: “I would certainly be up for making a best final offer and then considering no-deal deals like that but I think, in fairness, that’s not the course the prime minister has taken. He singled out in his resignation letter the proposed arrangement to avoid a hard border with Ireland through a backstop arrangement, calling it a “very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom”. He added: “I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit.” He also said the deal amounted to a “hybrid of the EU customs union and single market obligations”. “This political declaration contains the instructions for negotiators for the next phase to basically deliver an economic relationship between the UK and the EU which will be stronger and closer than any other advanced economy has with the EU. We can move to a skills-based immigration system, out of the common agricultural policy, out of the common fisheries policy but in a way which is good for our economy and good for people’s jobs.” Asked about reports of cabinet colleagues discussing an alternative no-deal strategy, he replied: “There are no leavers and remainers. From the moment the referendum was over we all have a duty to deliver on the clear instruction that we got from the British people.” He also warned: “There’s a risk on the one hand, beyond that, of no Brexit at all. Neither of those two things are attractive and that is why this deal, which is a strong deal, I believe will gain more and more traction.”

PM urged to drop Chequers in order to win ‘Brexit prize’

The author of a new plan for Brexit backed by senior pro-leave Conservatives has urged the government to abandon the Chequers proposal, saying it would leave a post-departure UK unable to benefit economically from its new place in the world. IEA's Brexit proposals: the main points Read more Shanker Singham from the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) thinktank, who was to launch the plan later on Monday, said Theresa May’s Chequers proposal had approached Brexit “from the wrong end of the telescope” by failing to examine its global impact. “Our approach is: well, what is that prize?” he said. “I think that prize is entirely to be found in your independent trade and regulatory policy. The EU deal would be initially based on convergence, with “mechanisms to mitigate or manage the differences as you go forward”, Singham said. The former Brexit secretary David Davis, who quit the government over the Chequers plan, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chairman of the pro-Brexit Tory European Research Group, are among the speakers listed for the report’s launch in London. One of the key objections to such free trade-based Brexit plans has been how to avoid a hard Irish border. “We are talking about things on the Irish border that actually operate in the rest of the world,” he said. “Every day these mechanisms are used, and we believe that together – there’s no one thing we would do – if you do all of the things we suggest, you will avoid hardening the border.” The report argues that under Chequers, it would be “all but impossible” for Britain to conduct an independent trade policy. “It will bring back real growth, let the UK do other trade deals, and create leverage to get positive results from EU negotiations.” It says Britain should seek to keep the elements of the withdrawal agreement which have already been agreed, including those covering citizens’ rights, the “divorce” bill and the 21-month transition period after the UK leaves in March 2019.

John McDonnell: Labour wants to push ahead with Brexit

Labour has repeatedly made clear that it would prefer this option over a “people’s vote” on any deal. Earlier, speaking as Labour prepares to gather in Liverpool for its annual conference, with Brexit high on the agenda, the shadow chancellor told the Guardian he would expect his party’s stance to be similar to the one it took in 2017. “I really think people want this sorted. We’re not ruling out a people’s vote, but there’s a real risk, and I think people need to take that into account when we’re arguing for one.” Much of Labour’s manifesto, if there was a snap poll, would probably be based on last year’s document, The Many, Not the Few, drafted by Corbyn’s policy chief, Andrew Fisher. But McDonnell’s words echoed those of Corbyn, who told BBC Scotland on Thursday, when he was asked whether Brexit should go ahead: “The referendum made that decision.” Labour is keen not to be blown off course by Brexit, and hopes instead to use its conference to show that it is preparing for government, and translating last year’s popular manifesto into concrete policies. McDonnell told the Guardian he would set up a public ownership unit inside the Treasury, allowing him to personally oversee one of Labour’s most transformative economic policies: the nationalisation of public utilities. It’s got to change people’s lives, quickly and effectively, so that means putting money back in people’s pockets through the real living wage, rolling out the investment quickly. But asked if he wants to be Labour leader, he says: “No, no, no, no, no. And as I said the other day, the next leader’s going to have to be a woman. We’ve worked together nearly 40 years.

UK politics – as it happened: Conservatives turn on Boris Johnson over Brexit ‘suicide...

Senior Conservatives denounced the former foreign secretary for comparing the prime minister's Chequers plan to having "wrapped a suicide vest" around Britain and handed the detonator to Brussels. Elsewhere, Jeremy Corbyn faced an angry meeting of his parliamentary party, where the Labour leader was expected to endure recriminations over the party's antisemitism row. He said at least 80 Tory MPs could vote against the plan. I think that it is absolutely right that the cabinet and the parliamentary party backs the prime minister. We have Leave MPs in the Labour Party like we have Remain MPs in the Conservative Party. She rejected suggestions she would quit if Boris Johnson became leader, adding: "I have been in the Conservative Party for the best part of 30 years. He also praised Donald Trump, saying: "The United States currently boasts economic growth rates far in excess of this country, at about 4.5 per cent, and with record low unemployment - and that growth is being driven not just by the US government's decision to cut taxes and regulation, but perhaps even more by psychology: by the sense that the government wants to cut taxes, wants to liberate and energise people. “I understand the argument for a so-called ‘people’s vote’ on the deal, on the deal – not on leaving the EU. She said: "In my party, we regard ourselves as the party for women, yet in 100 years we have never had a woman leader, it appears only men are able to rule the Labour Party. "I now think that was a mistake, because its not about proving we're tough, attacks on women MPs are not just misogyny, they're anti-democratic, if a woman is elected, she is entitled to get on with her job.

Meet the bands who are making politics personal

Sorry, you need Flash to play this. As the lead singer in a punk band, there's something a bit different about Joe Talbot. It's not the word "pops" tattooed on his neck (a tribute to his dad, who hates neck tattoos). The juxtaposition between Joe's work and his artistic life is one of the things explored in my new documentary, The Art of Now: Band Politics for BBC Radio 4. From spirituals and the blues through to Bob Dylan, Public Enemy and grime; music and political protest have always been inseparable - but I wanted to investigate what I consider to be one of the most exciting waves of political songwriting we've seen in years. To explore what was so distinctive about the artists I'm playing on BBC 6 Music, I spent time at gigs and rehearsals with Nadine Shah, Life and Cabbage, asking what motivated them - and trying to find out what made their political song writing so utterly contemporary. Sorry, you need Flash to play this. Warning: Third party content may contain adverts Report Back with Joe Talbot, the lead singer of Idles tells me that caring for his mother, who suffered a stroke when he was 16, didn't just set him on the course of a future job in care - it fuelled his songwriting. I'm not going to pretend that I'm OK with where the NHS is, or where the government is, so why lie? BBC Music homepage BBC Music News LIVE