Section: UK

Brexit planning gets bogged down in Kent

Anthony Robinson

Yesterday, the Transport Select Committee took evidence from the leaders of various port and freight transport associations, and later from Rachel Maclean, under secretary of state at the Department for Transport. It was not an encouraging meeting. Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), believes that delays in Dover in January are […]

Secret Whitehall ministry uncovered

John Cole

Top investigative journalist Ivan Inckling has blown the cover of a government department that up to this point was unknown outside the top Civil Service and government ministers. This is the Ministry of False Economy (mission statement “Penny Wise, Pound Foolish”). This department is quietly mothballed if Labour is in power, but then swings into […]

Disorderly Brexit discouraged, says OECD report

Jane Thomas

A disorderly exit from the European Union’s (EU) single market without a trade agreement would have a “major negative impact on trade and jobs”, says a new survey published on Wednesday. We will face a double-whammy economic hit if the effects of the pandemic are coupled with the effects of a disorderly exit without a […]

Juggling time bombs: Covid-19 and Brexit

Amanda Robinson
blackboard with inscription and mask on black background

As the government announced a three-tier covid system apparently to be assessed by the rate of infection, even though there is no effective test and trace system for the UK, forgive me for concluding that the safest way forward for the UK is a government of national unity. Despite its attempts to deflect the public’s […]

#ThanksChancellor

Jane Thomas

We may be in the clutches of the worst public health crisis for generations, but there was something very British in the way that the public took to Twitter as Boris Johnson was making his statement on the latest restrictions. As the North was going into collective meltdown, and northern politicians of all persuasions were […]

Food standards: Yorkshire MPs’ vote makes you sick

Anthony Robinson
white and orange chicken in cage

Following a demonstration by farmers yesterday outside parliament and the Channel 4 Dispatches programme last night about US food and farming products, MPs had the opportunity to vote to adopt an amendment to the agriculture bill to prevent sub-standard food reaching our shores. Lords amendment 16 would have required agricultural and food imports to meet […]

Music, Covid and Brexit: can the show go on?

Alex Toal

Imagine an industry that contributed more than three times as much to the UK economy as steel and employed almost 200,000 people. Imagine an export that is beloved across the globe, and which helped sustain many through lockdown. Now imagine it being shut down for the entirety of the pandemic, even as most of the […]

Brexit damage limitation: three examples that affect us all

Edward Mitchell

The UK and the EU are getting “closer and closer” to a Brexit trade deal, according to officials, though negotiations may continue until mid-November to avoid a no-deal. While idly channel surfing recently, I came across the last few minutes of a parliamentary select committee chaired by Hilary Benn. Giving evidence were Paul Everitt, chief executive at […]

The British Government: Bully Boys Inc?

Amanda Robinson

If you’ve read this article in Sussex Bylines by Ginny Smith, you will know that what triggers me into action is someone attempting to silence or ‘pick’ on another, particularly a group.  Last week Rishi Sunak told creatives to consider retraining. This is a man who worked for the investment bank Goldman Sachs after graduating, […]

UK fishing: out of the frying pan into the fire

Anthony Robinson

Somebody once said, when Britain left the EU we didn’t fall into a void but into something far worse. This was in respect of aviation and the thicket of international agreements which preceded the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA), but it applies equally to fishing and the common fisheries policy. Leaving the common fisheries policy, […]

The scale of our national agony in 2020 needs a radical vision

John Harris

On 1 October, the UK2070 Commission published its latest report, ‘Go Big Go Local; a new deal for levelling up the UK’. We can compare the ambitions of this report with the speech of the prime minister at the virtual Conservative Party conference and whether the government shares to any extent at all the idea […]

King John and Boris John-son: the parallels are uncanny

Andrew Milroy

As Richard Corbett noted in his recent Yorkshire Bylines article – ‘The government’s attack on Magna Carta undermines the foundation of our constitution’ – the iconic Magna Carta is over 800 years old but still has analogies and resemblances to the present day. Boris Johnson himself has many similarities with reputedly the worst king in English […]

Coming up Trumps

Andy Brown

I’m feeling optimistic about the United States of America. Which is not something I have been able to write for some time. It also might seem a touch naïve when night after night we see people on our screens expressing their extreme loyalty to Donald Trump. I even saw a TV clip last week where […]

Our food from our farms

Salli Martlew

James sits on my doorstep and has a cuppa and a chat when he delivers my supplies from Blacker Hall Farm. He’s good company as we talk through how the increased trade is affecting his work life and the farm shop. He reminds me that the vast majority of their vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat […]

Magna Carta: a dream to cling to for the common people?

Dr Pam Jarvis

So Boris Johnson is in trouble with the Tory Party, principally for his handling of the covid restrictions, but also with a section of his party over the internal market bill. Will he stay or will he go? Will he go willingly, or will he be pushed? As Richard Corbett comments, this issue arises again […]

Bordering on the ridiculous

Jane Thomas

With fewer than 90 days to go before we complete the transition period and leave the EU completely, the government has finally published its Border Operating Model to explain how the borders will work for freight after Brexit. The 138-page densely packed document details the paperwork and formalities that will be required due to Brexit. […]

Protecting our nation’s interests from corporate sharks

Natalie Bennett

You might not think that you would ever settle down to read a short article on investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) procedures. You probably didn’t think the UK would Brexit. You might also be bitterly thinking of how the nation no longer wants to Brexit, but is now stuck with it. But please, stay with […]

‘Spy Cop’ laws and the disproportionate surveillance of left-wing groups

Jacob Taylor
black binocular on round device

On Monday, the second reading of the covert human intelligence sources (criminal conduct) bill passed in the commons. The bill, if it becomes law, would provide extra legal protection for agents of the state who commit crimes whilst undercover. Organisations such as Amnesty International and the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign have expressed their concerns […]

International legal body expresses deep concern at actions of UK government

Andrew Milroy

The International Bar Association (IBA) is a worldwide body, founded in 1947. It is the global voice of the legal profession. Bar Associations of lawyers from across the world are members. The IBA investigates national issues of distortion and miscarriage of justice. Respect for the law is a world concern. It was logical therefore that […]

Being human in the time of covid: heart and soul

Dr Pam Jarvis
silhouette of man touching woman against sunset sky

Many, many words have been written and broadcast about the confusing nature of the government’s Covid-19 regulations, probably most succinctly and amusingly summed up by Matt Lucas in his introduction to The Great British Bake Off 2020. People are confused and many are angered by the constantly changing and hard-to-follow regulations for different areas, and […]

Shortages in supply chain “terrifying”

Jane Thomas

News that Roche has admitted that processing capacity has seen a “very significant” drop should ring alarm bells. They are the major provider of swabs and reagents to Lighthouse Labs, who are responsible for processing the majority of Covid-19 tests. This follows hard on the heels of the technical glitch that delayed the reporting of […]

King John-son, Magna Carta and the breaking of international law

Marc Limon and Dan Magraw

Response to Richard Corbett’s recent article on Magna Carta and the Yorkshire barons Magna Carta is an iconic historic document, regarded by many as the foundation of the English constitution and the rule of law – in other words, the idea that the actions of governments (whether monarchies or democracies, and no matter how powerful) […]

Turns out I’m a ‘lefty lawyer’ who’s ‘woke’

Amanda Robinson

As Johnson’s latest slogan was unveiled as ‘build back better,’ it fleetingly occurred to me that perhaps the Conservative Party does not comprehend that it has been running the country for the past ten years, arguably, well and truly into the ground. Therefore, this latest three-word slogan is potentially an attempt to distance itself from […]

Food for thought

Andy Brown
sliced fruits on tray

Last week I went into Morrisons in Skipton to do my weekly shopping. That’s not exactly the most exciting opening line I have ever written, but stick with me. They were selling organic broccoli (all credit to them). But they had wrapped it in plastic that couldn’t be recycled (no credit at all to them). […]

Campaigners say current voting system is a “dangerous outrage”

Sarah Hudspith

People living in Yorkshire and across the UK are signing up to a national campaign to change the voting system for the benefit of voters everywhere, writes Sarah Hudspith. They’re passionate supporters of Make Votes Matter (MVM), the movement for proportional representation. MVM was started in 2015 by a small group of campaigners fired up […]

EU “to call Johnson’s bluff”

Anthony Robinson

It is being reported that the EU is getting ready to call Johnson’s bluff. Bloomberg say the EU has no plans to offer any concessions to the UK ahead of next week’s 15 October deadline set by the prime minister. This follows Barnier’s visit to Berlin yesterday where he met with Angela Merkel and German […]

Senior DBA responds to latest track and trace fiasco

Rob Tomkins

“It’s just not a database!” I have worked in IT for thirty years now, including many years as a senior database administrator (DBA) for some big businesses. Databases have been a passion of mine for years and always will be. As a child, I’d organise Smarties by colour for goodness sake. I take a lot […]

Sheffield coronavirus cases triple in a week: where does the buck stop?

Jane Thomas

As Health Secretary Matt Hancock took to his feet yesterday to explain to parliament, again, what had gone wrong with the government’s ‘world-beating’ system to defeat the virus, it emerged that the number of those testing positive for Covid-19 in Yorkshire had risen sharply.  According to Yorkshire Live, analysis based on Public Health England (PHE) […]

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