Category: Brexit

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Teetering on the brink

Anthony Robinson

Yesterday marked 100 days to the end of the transition period and the beginning of an omni-crisis for the government. Coronavirus is once again on the rise, threatening a second peak over the winter, with 6,208 new cases reported, virtually the same as at the height of the pandemic in May. At the same time, […]

Farming protest planned for Northallerton tomorrow

Charlie McCarthy

For generations, sheep and cattle farmers have shaped the upland Yorkshire landscape we all cherish. Now many traditional farmers, so vital to the fabric of our rural communities, are at risk of being put out of business. Uplands farmers – particularly sheep and beef cattle farmers in the Yorkshire Dales and on the North York […]

Going to Europe next year?

Sue Wilson

On 18 September, the newly merged Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office launched a public information campaign for post-Brexit travellers to Europe – Going to Europe next year? The campaign is designed to “help British travellers prepare for changes when visiting Europe from 1 January 2021”. Any new government campaign usually warrants a catchy new slogan, […]

Wakefield’s MP seems confused by the Brexit bells and whistles

Anthony Robinson

The new Tory MP for Wakefield may well be an ardent supporter of Brexit, but his understanding of it varies between shaky and non-existent. His article in the Yorkshire Post only demonstrates his own shortcomings. Imran Ahmad-Khan says he has spent many years in distant, sometimes dangerous, places and thinks Britain had ceased to be […]

Biden fires warning shot across Johnson’s law-breaking plan

Anthony Robinson

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden last night tweeted a clear warning to Boris Johnson that he will not allow the Good Friday Agreement to become a “casualty of Brexit”.  The former vice president, whose Irish roots are in Ballina Co Mayo, has strongly supported the peace process and was quick to condemn any move that […]

Excuses, weakness and mendacity: the shambolic approach to Brexit continues

Lord Newby

As the government tries desperately to limit the domestic political damage caused by its plans in the internal market bill to break international law by unilaterally tearing up the withdrawal agreement, it has used a series of excuses to justify its position. Of these, perhaps the most pathetic was the agreement could be broken because […]

Johnson never intended to stick to the withdrawal agreement

Anthony Robinson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with President of the European Parliament David Sassoli for a meeting at Downing Street.

In what may be regarded as the ultimate in bad faith, last October – as the UK and EU teams were engaged in intensive final negotiations in Brussels – Johnson is alleged to have taken legal advice about repudiating the withdrawal agreement even before the text was completed. He was never committed to keeping the […]

Take a walk in Theresa’s shoes

Andy Brown

Imagine that you could put yourself in Theresa May’s shoes for a short while. I realise that this may not be easy for those of you who don’t normally favour designer kitten heels, but stick with me for a while as it is worth the effort. It is a year ago and you are the […]

Not at all Good, seriously Bad, and incredibly Ugly: government game-playing is immature, disrespectful and downright dangerous

Amanda Robinson

As Anthony Robinson (no relation) highlighted on the 14 September, the UK government announced last week that they intend to break international law. Perfectly stated by David Allen Green, “the government of the United Kingdom is proposing to enact legislation that is deliberately intended to make it possible for ministers to make regulations that would […]

UK internal market bill: Henry VIII powers on steroids

Natalie Bennett

Unless you’ve just splashed down from Mars, you’ll have noticed that the government has got itself into a great deal of hot water over the internal market bill. Former prime ministers, of various hues, have lined up to express their horror at its cavalier, casual dismissal of international law and repudiation of a treaty that […]

Rebels with a clause: now the fun and games will start

Jane Thomas

Ester Weber, reporter at The Times told twitter this morning: “One Tory MP in a big Leave constituency tells me: ‘In a patch like mine I think almost anything would be tolerated in the name of Brexit … Except fly-tipping.’” This may well be true, and the expectation that the government is about to fall […]

Circling the wagons in Downing Street

Anthony Robinson

The furore about the UK proposing to break international law has every potential to grow into a full-blown constitutional crisis. If the UK internal market bill, which will override Johnson’s EU withdrawal agreement, passes the Commons this week it may well be blocked by peers, setting the two chambers against each other. However, the extraordinary […]

Brexit stage set for showdown, as EU vice president reads Gove the riot act

Anthony Robinson
Vice President Šefčovič

Following hard on the heels of the government’s announcement on Tuesday that it intends to break international law by allowing the UK internal market bill (UKIM) to supersede parts of the withdrawal agreement, EU Vice President Marcoš Šefčovič flew to London earlier today. In a meeting with Michael Gove, he read him the diplomatic equivalent […]

Johnson now heading for his own Suez moment

Anthony Robinson
Boris Johnson in Downing Street

In 1956, prime minister Anthony Eden conspired with France and Israel to invade Egypt and recover control of the Suez Canal, which had been seized by president Nasser. It was an act of monumental hubris and Britain was eventually forced to withdraw under pressure from the USA and Russia. It was a seminal moment and […]

Johnson is trashing Britain’s international reputation

Anthony Robinson

The Telegraph claimed in a banner headline this morning that the prime minister is to tell the EU that the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) he renegotiated and signed last year “never made sense”.  A senior government source is quoted as saying some of the consequences “were not foreseen” at the time. Simon Nixon, chief leader writer […]

Jam tomorrow: Brexit, lorry parks and congestion planned for Hull

Jane Thomas

Spare a thought this weekend for Hull, with the news that ministers will be using new powers to buy land to provide Brexit lorry parks and customs facilities, to deal with the extra border checks around the Humber. In a case of “no shit Sherlock”, the government has finally woken up to the fact of […]

Is there a way back to the EU?

Michael Hindley

As a Lancastrian European, let me begin by taking my hat off to ‘Leeds for Europe’ for recently getting the EU flag hoisted over Leeds Town Hall. However for any ‘rejoin’ campaign to gain traction, those who wish to have remained members of the EU must surely realise that even if Brexit proves to be […]

Logistics bodies starting to put up “distress flares”

Anthony Robinson

Freight industry trade bodies have written a joint letter to cabinet office minister Michael Gove calling for an “urgent roundtable meeting” to express growing concern about the state of nation’s preparedness to deliver a “functional operating border” for traders next year. In a Tweet, the FT’s Peter Foster characterises it as the industry sending up […]

A glimpse down the Brexit rabbit hole

Anthony Robinson

As part of the check, change, go campaign to alert citizens and businesses about the huge adjustments coming down the track in just four months’ time, the Cabinet Office proudly tweeted last week about being “committed to growing the customs sector” as part of the preparations. We are committed to growing the customs sector for […]

Trussed up farmers

Andy Brown

You have to hand it to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss. She can voice two contradictory ideas in one speech better than almost anyone else in the Cabinet. Even when speaking to Yorkshire farmers. So the front page of the Yorkshire Post on 28 August reported her giving an absolute re-assurance to farmers and consumers […]

Boxed in Johnson given two weeks to save EU talks

Anthony Robinson

The future relationship talks are “reaching the end of the road” and a moment of truth is looming for the prime minister. The Times claims Johnson has been told that he has just two weeks to save the future relationship talks, with the EU refusing to “move forward” until Britain sets out its state aid […]

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