Section: UK

Proportional representation and minority rule

Andy Brown

One of the things about democracy is that you have to accept the result when you lose. We all know that Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in the United States and Boris Johnson’s Conservatives won the 2019 general election in the UK. Except, of course, for one tiny little point. In both of […]

The ‘internal market’ destruction of devolution

Natalie Bennett

Today, speaking in the House of Lords second reading of the internal market bill, my fellow Green peer Jenny Jones will be focusing on the aspect of the bill that has attracted the most attention – the insy, teeny, tiny (as the government would have you believe), breaking of international law. The rule of law […]

Britain “never asked for” a Canada-style free trade agreement

Anthony Robinson

From Boris Johnson’s statement on Friday we can see the developing narrative that the government intends to adopt in the coming days, as Brexit reaches its unhappy denouement. The prime minister said that from the outset we wanted “nothing more complicated than a Canada-style relationship” – shorthand for CETA, the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement signed […]

British industry unites in last ditch plea to avoid no deal Brexit

Yorkshire Bylines

Calls for political leadership as firms said to face a “hat-trick of unprecedented challenges” British industry has come together to make a final desperate plea for the government and the EU to show political leadership as trade talks hang by a thread this weekend, with time, patience and trust fast running out. Both sides continue […]

Having a memory is now a weapon

Andy Brown
person holding covid sign

If there is one thing worse than Donald Trump, it is Donald Trump on steroids. Before his dreadful performance at the first presidential debate, he tried to insist on Joe Biden being given a drugs test to see if he was being artificially stimulated. After his illness he emerged with such a powerful cocktail of […]

Open letter to Boris Johnson

Sue Wilson

Dear Prime Minister, I thought I’d write to you, sooner rather than later, as I’ve little confidence of your remaining a resident of number 10 for too much longer. First let me reassure you as to the purpose of my correspondence. The last time I wrote to a sitting prime minister was just before I […]

Boris Johnson’s next job could be in can-kicking

Anthony Robinson

The prime minister’s latest deadline came and went yesterday with no free trade agreement in sight and the resolution agreed by the European Council not only ignored it completely but called on the UK to “make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible”. Last night his spokesperson at No 10 said Mr Johnson, “noted […]

Funding uncertainty looming large for many in the third sector

Jane Thomas

Yesterday was D Day, the deadline that Prime Minister Boris Johnson set for an agreement with the European Union (EU) on trade. But as reported in the Huffington Post on Wednesday, it seems that it has now slipped, leaving that absolute immoveable deadline as – well – moveable. Apparently, Johnson will make an assessment after […]

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 […]

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