Category: Brexit

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Fishermen’s trade bodies accuse Johnson of lying to them

Anthony Robinson

Fishing trade organisations have accused Johnson of negotiating a “desperately poor” deal for them, misleading them by claiming the deal was a major success and essentially of telling lies about the new quotas. Tory MPs who were quick to offer support find themselves out on a limb.

Has Gove torpedoed the UK fishing industry?

Anthony Robinson

As fishermen accuse the government of betrayal and selling them out, Michael Gove’s words are about to come back to haunt him. In 2016, he accused the EU of being a “job destroying machine”. Four years on he has become an industry destroyer.

Culture wars: the Brexit sellout for touring musicians that makes us all poorer

Jimmy Andrex

“t’s not just musicians who’ll suffer if they can’t tour Europe. It’s the sound engineers, the lighting engineers, the backline techs. It’s the caterers and the wardrobe assistants and the production managers. It’s the drivers of trucks and tour buses. It’s the companies they work for, it’s the mechanics they employ. It’s PA companies, and lighting companies. And it’s the businesses here, in the UK”

Brexit: coming to a store near you very soon?

Anthony Robinson

Even the Daily Mail has finally woken up to discover the reality of Brexit, warning that supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables are being squeezed by Brexit red tape at our ports. The Guardian reports one leading business figure figure describing the new rule book as a complete “shitshow”.

Bees and neonicotinoids: rapid action on the environment

Andy Brown

Instead of encouraging and properly subsidising farmers to move away from industrial production techniques that are ceasing to work, the government has chosen to stick with a failed strategy. It is now encouraging farmers to use the next generation of powerful insecticides and to keep on overdosing fields with chemicals fertilisers that wash off into streams and rivers.

A price worth paying for ‘free’ trade? (part 2)

Richard Carden

Former civil servant Richard Carden dives into just what sovereignty means, and what we may have to pay for it. “There will be some costs to our newfound sovereignty; economic costs already traced out here, and political costs in establishing impact on the international scene. “

A price worth paying for ‘free’ trade?

Richard Carden

As of now all we have succeeded in is recreating for ourselves the trade opportunities we were about to lose by leaving the EU. To claim these are new opportunities, as ministers have repeatedly done – what is that if not conscious and wilful deception of the uninformed public?
We are entitled to expect great things from the vast amount more time Defra will have to devote to British interests.

The threat of no-deal was a hoax

Jon Danzig

Jon Danzig examines the idea that ‘no deal’ Brexit was only ever intended to be a threat, so that we’d be happy with whatever deal was agreed. It’s an old trick. Tell the people the worst-case-scenario looks probable, then sense the relief when it’s avoided – with something that’s also terrible, but not so terrible, so people don’t mind so much.

OK, we’ve left the EU, now show us the cake?

Anthony Robinson

Johnson has claimed his deal is from the patisserie shop but he seems to be finding it difficult to identify the cake we are going to have or how we will be able to eat it. There is still no indication of where Britain intends to diverge from EU rules.

Leaving Erasmus: a missed opportunity for the young people of the UK

Dr Hywel Ceri Jones

Dr Hywel Ceri Jones was the EU Commission’s director for education, training and youth when Erasmus was founded in 1987. He argues that the Scottish and Welsh governments should now jointly call on the UK parliament to reconsider and reject the rationale for the damaging decision to leave the Erasmus scheme, putting first the future of our young people and the interests of the four nations.

2021: Brexit’s groundhog year

Anthony Robinson

The year is beginning as did the last one. A treaty signed and more EU negotiations ahead. This is Britain’s post-Brexit future as far ahead as we can see, as we learn to live alongside the world’s largest and richest single integrated market.

Abandoning Erasmus: another act of vandalism?

Juliet Lodge

Juliet Lodge looks at what the UK education sector will lose from abandoning the Erasmus scheme and replacing it with the Turing programme. “Alan Turing, after whom the government’s scheme has been named, would probably not have approved of this act of what Nicola Sturgeon calls educational vandalism.”

The SNP calls it right: “the emperor has no clothes”

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy writes on the SNP’s opposition to the government’s damaging Brexit deal: “The alignment of international events and incompetence of Westminster leadership is a conjunction of forces that the nationalists in Scotland could only ever have dreamt of”.

Labour needs to insulate itself from a bad deal

Yorkshire Bylines

Labour MPs and peers need to be very careful about supporting a deal which will inevitably result in blue wall communities suffering extra hardships. The government has a comfortable majority and there is no compelling need for Kier Starmer to support the bill tomorrow. Labour should keep their hands clean and abstain.

Be careful what you wish for: the reality of Brexit

Andy Brown

Andy Brown looks at some of what we now know we will lose from leaving the EU on the terms negotiated by the government. “The best that can be said is that the UK dodged the bullet of no deal with one week to spare. As the Conservative Michael Heseltine said, the prisoner has escaped death row only to face a life sentence.”

Peak stupidity and peak oil use

Andy Brown

Andy Brown looks at how humanity’s collective stupidity has peaked at the same time as its oil consumption. “The idea that the world needs to be managed with greater environmental sensitivity has much more traction with the young than the concept that we need to look backward and try to recreate a golden age that never existed.”

Brexit: the year-end review

Anthony Robinson

With suspicious timing, the government finally landed a free trade deal at the eleventh hour. Is it the freedom promised or has Boris Johnson negotiated Britain into a strait jacket and what will it mean for our future relationship with the EU?

Brexit: learning from disaster inquires

Dr Stella Perrott

Stella Perrott was a civil servant from 1996 to 2007 and has undertaken a number of inquiries and reviews following public sector failures. Here she assesses what we already know from previous inquiries into serious incidents, and what these lessons should be telling us about the lack of Brexit planning.

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