Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Home Tags Great Britain

Great Britain

British politics is falling apart – the Tories are to blame, but Labour is...

It is the deep unseriousness with which this historically serious issue is being treated by many of the protagonists that illuminates most the irresponsibility of it all. Three years later much of the British political class still seems to have no idea. The wreckers in the Conservative Party are willing to destroy everything in their path – British institutions, diplomacy, their country’s international reputation, the compact between generations – in pursuit of an ideological project with an uncertain outcome. His latest wheeze – refusing to talk to Theresa May until she rules out a no-deal Brexit – ignores the fact that she needs help to achieve that. With Corbyn it didn’t have to test very hard. We need to pay attention to the state of our politics and public debate. Our political and media debate needs to hear all points of view (as Peadar Toibin exhorted in an Irish Times podcast). We need to debate and discuss our national interest – something both Paschal Donohoe and Micheál Martin did in impressive speeches this week. How can we help the British? Ireland should be a persuader for EU concessions that do not damage our national interest.

‘Aren’t you going insane?’: readers’ questions from beyond Brexitland

I’m seriously confused (Danni, US) Brexit is the process of the UK leaving the EU, which it narrowly voted in favour of in a referendum in June 2016. The process is governed by article 50 of the EU’s Treaty of Lisbon and is happening in two stages: first, the two sides negotiate their divorce deal (the “withdrawal agreement”), and after this they will sort out their future trading relationship. In theory, the post-Brexit trading arrangements between the EU and the UK will avoid a “hard” border, but they could take years to negotiate so the EU has insisted on a “backstop” guaranteeing the absence of a hard border until those arrangements are in place. The backstop leaves the whole of the UK in a customs union with the EU “unless and until” the EU agrees it can leave. Brexiters do not like this at all. This now looks quite likely, but it may only last for a few months because a new European parliament is sworn in in July and EU rules require all member states to be represented – a problem if the UK is still a member. Why does Jeremy Corbyn think he can negotiate a different or better deal with the EU than Theresa May? Other than that, hardly any of the 68 trade deals from which the UK benefits as an EU member, and which it said it would have replicated by the time of departure, are near, and none will be ready by 29 March, according to the FT. Brexiters talk about “trading on WTO terms” as if it is what the world does, but it does not: it may trade under WTO rules, but all 164 members of the WTO have also agreed bilateral or regional trade deals that allow them to trade on much better terms than the WTO baselines. No sensible nation would leave the world’s largest single market, the EU, to trade with it on WTO terms, as would happen in the event of no deal. (Remo Casale, New Zealand; Georg Beck, Germany) In order: By the British government softening its red lines to allow it to arrive at a form of Brexit that is acceptable to both the EU27 and the UK parliament – something it should have done a long time ago – or, possibly, by holding a second referendum.

How European Politicians Are Reacting To The Defeat Of The U.K. Brexit Plan

Brussels is the seat of the European Union. And so to find out how politicians there are reacting, we've reached Jeremy Cliffe, Brussels bureau chief for The Economist. SHAPIRO: When British parliament overwhelmingly voted down this deal that Theresa May had worked out with the EU, how did EU leaders react? The two-year period in which Britain is supposed to be negotiating its exit from the EU is almost up. SHAPIRO: Another - a number of British lawmakers said, we can get a better deal from the EU. CLIFFE: It's not realistic within the U.K.'s existing red lines. There's a real gap between, I think, what many people in London think they can get and what the Europeans are willing to give. And many people here don't want Britain to stay in beyond the start of the new parliament session, which is in July, simply because then you'd have the question of what do you do with - do you give British politicians seats in that new parliament, or does Britain somehow sit in the EU without having representation in its legislature? It's not completely inconceivable that Britain could extend its membership and extend the negotiating period beyond the start of the new parliament, which might mean having British members of that European parliament sitting for the remaining period of the negotiation. SHAPIRO: Jeremy Cliffe, thanks so much for joining us.

Japanese PM implores Britain not to leave EU without a deal

Japan’s prime minister has implored the UK not to leave the EU without an exit deal, saying it was “the wish of the whole world” to see Britain secure an agreement. The remarks from Shinzō Abe on a visit to London came as two cabinet ministers, Greg Clark and Gavin Williamson, traded blows over the viability of a no-deal. “That is why we truly hope that a no-deal Brexit will be avoided, and in fact that is the wish of the whole world.” Abe, a world leader who has developed one of the closest relationships with May, praised the “strong will and hard work” of the prime minister leading up to next week’s parliamentary vote on the deal. A draft plan to sell the Brexit deal that was leaked in November even suggested that Abe might be persuaded to tweet to support May’s deal, although in person in London the Japanese prime minister went further. “Japan is in total support of the draft withdrawal agreement worked out between the EU and Prime Minister May, which provides for transition to ensure legal stability for businesses that have invested into this country,” Abe said. The comments from the Japanese leader came after an impassioned intervention from Clark, the business secretary, who broke ranks with his cabinet colleagues and urged MPs to work together to block a no-deal Brexit. The business secretary has argued for a series of “indicative votes” on options including a second referendum or a Norway-style deal, in order to establish which choice could command the backing of the most MPs. Clark warned there was a danger the country could “fall into” a no deal unless MPs voted for an alternative. “What parliament needs to do is recognise that we need to put differences aside and establish agreement on a deal. It is something that has to involve the whole of parliament.

Britain to install border gate after Brexit

Britain will install a border gate after Brexit to protect the nation’s borders. It’s hoped the gate will either deter illegal immigration or stop people leaving the country on mass, depending on just how badly Brexit goes. The proposed border gate will consist of exactly one gate without any surrounding fence or wall to cut down costs. ‘Frankly, we’re taking a big loss of Brexit. A single gate is all we can muster from our budget,’ said one government chief. ‘If you don’t want to get tutted at, don’t sneak in. Or out,’ said the project head. Chris Grayling has already awarded the £20 million contract to build the gate to a nice chap he used to go to school with. ‘He already owns a hammer. I’ve done my research on this one,’ promised Grayling.

Mike Smyth: A wild year of B.C. politics — and it could get crazier...

political stories of 2018. Here’s a countdown of the biggest stories of the year: The intrigue around James and Lenz — the top two appointed officials in the legislature — left British Columbians mystified at year’s end. The two men held a news conference to insist they had done nothing wrong. Like many of the biggest stories of 2018, this one will continue into 2019. Eby released a bombshell report called “Dirty Money” and released a series of surveillance videos taken at the River Rock Casino in Richmond. “We will move as quickly as possible to slam the door shut on dirty money in B.C. casinos and cut off funding for organized crime in our province,” Eby vowed. “Government can’t shift money over from the budget to bail out ICBC every year,” Eby said. We have to address the system itself.” That didn’t stop ICBC from inflicting a 6.4-per-cent rate hike on drivers in the spring, while requesting an additional 6.3 per cent increase in December. Next door in Surrey, 73-year-old Doug McCallum completed an amazing political comeback, winning a mayor’s chair he vacated 13 years earlier.

‘Brexit is a business bankrupter’: small firms brace for no deal

The owner of a Bristol online retailer that employs 85 people has said that unless there is a Christmas Brexit miracle he will move part of his business to Germany in January because of impending tariffs on exports to the EU. In anticipation of no deal, he has opened an office in Bucharest with seven staff and he is poised to sign the final paperwork on a new warehouse in Nuremberg to allow him to continue importing and exporting to the continent tariff-free. “Brexit is not a business disrupter, it’s a business bankrupter,” Loughlin said. He believes thousands of businesses are in a similar position but the politicians “are not listening, are not interested in us”. The Institute of Directors said last week that businesses were “tearing their hair out” over the lack of clarity on Brexit, while the Confederation of British Industry said hundreds of millions of pounds were already being diverted away from Britain because of business “despair”. “We’ve done some media locally and we’ve had people calling customer service with abusive messages saying this is all our fault, we’ve had abusive comments on social media that we have had to block and delete,” he said. This is a business that does not work if the UK is not in the single market,” Loughlin said. 'Despairing' businesses triggering no-deal Brexit plans, says CBI Read more He was invited to Westminster to give a talk in Portcullis House about the challenges Brexit was posing to businesses in the west country. “Not a single Tory MP showed up,” he said. There is a massive disconnect,” Loughlin said.

Theresa May’s Brexit strategy left brutally exposed by Brussels failure

One shadow cabinet member said the moment at which Labour would table a no-confidence vote was getting “much, much closer”, but said it would depend on the stance of the DUP. In Brussels on Friday, EU leaders insisted they would not do any more to sweeten the Brexit deal containing the backstop that 100 Tory MPs want her to ditch. “We have to exclude any kind of reopening our negotiations on the withdrawal agreement. But of course we will stay here in Brussels, and I am always at Prime Minister Theresa May’s disposal.” The prime minister’s Brexit aide Olly Robbins had been holding secret negotiations since Monday over a two-stage plan to secure the legal guarantee that Downing Street believed could turn MPs in its favour. How No 10 tried, and failed, to contrive EU rescue of May's deal Read more The prime minister had been seeking a “joint interpretative instrument” that would put a duty on both sides to try to get out of the Irish backstop within 12 months of it coming into force. “The 27 member states have given assurances. “We have treated Prime Minister May with the greatest respect, all of us, and we really appreciate the efforts by the prime minister to ratify our common agreement,” Tusk said. He said he had been describing the “overall state of the debate in Britain”. Many questioned whether it would be worth making further concessions to the UK as suggested by May because they would not be accepted. She told reporters she had had “a robust discussion” with Juncker about his comments at the press conference and said she had been “crystal clear” about the assurances she was seeking.
Farage slams Theresa May after delayed Brexit vote

Farage slams Theresa May after delayed Brexit vote

British Prime Minister Theresa May delayed a vote in Parliament to approve her controversial Brexit deal. Nigel Farage reacts on 'America's Newsroom.' Read more on this story here: https://fxn.ws/2Eowpgb FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated to…

DUP deviates – when it suits – in its hatred of different regulations

The Democratic Unionist party (DUP) has rejected any regulatory divergence between Northern Ireland and Britain in the Brexit deal, but there is already some divergence – and it will help keep the lights on, and the food safe, at the party’s annual conference on Saturday. Northern Ireland gets its electricity and trades its livestock in ways which distinguish it from mainland Britain and which have nothing to do with Brexit. Hard, soft or no Brexit, Britain must begin to heal its wounds | Martin Kettle Read more Northern Ireland is part of a single electricity market with the Republic of Ireland, it applies extensive checks on livestock coming from Britain and has distinct rules on the transport of hazardous waste – pragmatic, uncontroversial measures which are not deemed threats to Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom. However, DUP leaders who gather in Belfast for the party’s conference will thunder anew against different rules for Northern Ireland and Britain envisaged in the Brexit deal, branding them an existential threat to the union and therefore reason for the party to issue its own threat to pull the plug on Theresa May’s government. The former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is expected to amplify that warning in an address to about 600 party faithful. Sammy Wilson, one of 10 DUP MPs who shore up the Westminster government under a fraying confidence and supply agreement, branded the leaders of the business and farming groups as “puppets” of Downing Street. “If you see divergence between GB and Northern Ireland, it would only be in those areas where it would make sense for Northern Ireland to be aligned with the EU,” she said. “It won’t be the case that a whole raft of EU law is dumped on Northern Ireland. “There cannot be a border down the Irish Sea, a differential between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK,” the party leader, Arlene Foster, told the BBC last month. Blanket opposition to any new regulatory divergence has shredded the DUP’s relationship with May, endangered its pact with her government and alienated traditional business and farming allies.
Skip to toolbar