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.
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. “
The education secretary Gavin Williamson has surpassed even Chris Grayling for consistently failing in his latest Cabinet position. His detrimental influence on a whole generation looks set to be complete. Yet he seems untouchable. Why?
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 UK fishing industry voted for Brexit in 2016 with high hopes of a better future but Johnson’s deal appears to many to be a betrayal of their communities, leaving them worse off and facing a bleak future
Andy Brown looks at how the pandemic has already reshaped society, and what we can do to make these changes into beneficial ones. As people move out to the country, and the government steps in to prop up markets, maybe we need to be more imaginative about how we utilise this change for good.
A Cambridge law professor has highlighted the unstable nature of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which can be terminated by either side with 12 months’ notice, or tariffs imposed by way of retaliation if one side’s regulations diverge excessively from the other.
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.
Meryl White’s latest recipe celebrates epiphany with a look at some festive recipes from around the world. Here she shares a recipe for Galette des pommes – apple tart.
The BBC faces a rocky road ahead, with the Dowden enquiry and the appointment of the new chairperson – former Goldman Sachs banker, and Conservative Party donor. Richard Sharp. And Cummings’ departure will not make a difference to its survival, the damage has been done. The lies spoken and the criticism will continue.
For a country so hell bent on taking back control of its borders, it appears that there are absolutely no controls for Covid-19, allowing this deadly virus the freedom of movement denied to so many of us now we have left the EU.
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.
Dr Pam Jarvis looks at how Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor has been treated differently to her male on-screen predecessors. While an advancement for gender equality in science-fiction, Whittaker’s character has been plagued with maternal stereotypes, gendering the treatment of the character in a role which had the opportunity to escape such shoehorning.
John Cole reviews Ian Dunt’s book, How To Be a Liberal. The book stretches back as far as Aristotle to draw a history of liberalism over millennia, examines the personal lives of many of the early liberals, and offers advice for all readers to help create a better world.
Immigration and asylum in 2020 was dominated by three themes – Brexit, the new immigration criteria and rules, and the rise in the number of refugees crossing the channel.
The Sizewell drama has a long way to run yet, with huge issues at stake. This is an excellent opportunity to accept that nuclear power presents us with insurmountable problems of waste, siting and rapidly emerging health issues, and to shine a spotlight, yet again, on the depressing reality that nuclear power generation is inexorably linked to the nuclear weapons industry.
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.
The vaccine programme that was to form a central part of our route out of Covid-19 has been thrown into total disarray, following a series of chaotic government announcements. With its ‘mix ‘n match’ approach and delayed schedule, the government is no longer following the science.
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.
Way back in the summer of 1979 there was mass unemployment that was heading up towards three million, and the strident divisive politics of Margaret Thatcher were just about to be inflicted on the nation. Instead of staring at the negative, Ian Dury got together with his band the Blockheads and released one of the […]
Why is this quasi obituary here? Well, the circumstances of Aunty T’s death were such that I feel that I must advocate for us all to protect those who are at risk from a Covid-19 death, particularly the elderly and vulnerable.
The government updated its Border Operating Model yesterday giving exporters just a few hours to prepare before the transition period ended. Model case histories show the colossal increase in paperwork that starts from today.
Steve’s friend Tim has to reassess his options having left his partner Cassandra to move into his car. “There’s been a certain element of re-evaluation, Steve.”
Yesterday, Independent Sage called for a 5-point plan to tackle the immediate coronavirus crisis. This echoes what the all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus called for 2 months ago. Yet still the government fails to take effective action.
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.”
We look at our fourv’People of the Year’ for 2020: telling the stories of Marcus Rashford, Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
There are no recommendations for plague books, or books on Brexit, yet all of the books we recommend are very topical and touch on current anxieties about the environment, right-wing populism, religious and racial identity, mental health, and current politics and economics. There is also hope, warmth, optimism and practical suggestions. This is, by no means, a gloomy reading list!
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”.
Graham Avery looks at the impact of the Brexit trade deal on fishing in the UK. “It offers the British fishing industry a significant increase in quotas over a five-year period, but little hope of further increases after that.”
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.