Category: Brexit

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Borders and Boundaries – An Email from Northern Ireland.

Martin Griffiths

One of my old college friends who has spent her life working as an illustrator and nurse in Northern Ireland recently wrote the following email to him, which highlights some of her personal concerns regarding the future. I believe that it’s better that we work towards bringing people together than putting up barriers between them […]

When Project Fear became Project Reality

Peter Burke

“In a single generation we should have renounced an imperial past and rejected a European future. Our friends everywhere would be dismayed. They would rightly be as uncertain as ourselves about our future role and place in the world… Our power to influence the [European] Communities would steadily diminish, while the Communities’ power to affect […]

Our “Year of Discontent” Demands a General Election in 2021

Paul Ryder

There has been some excellent journalism in recent days and weeks, particularly from the Guardian and Independent newspapers summing up events in 2020. Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty recently drew attention to the parallels between the current crises and the so-called Winter of Discontent in 1978-79. Then, it was public disaffection and anger with the Labour […]

Welcome to 2021 – Outside the EU

Jon Hill

Many people are marking the end of an era with some poignant articles. The consequences of our decision to actually leave the European Union are becoming apparent.Here are some takes from the world press. This from a descendent of German refugees electing to become a German citizen rather than stay with this country without values […]

Giving up what you have for something you never lost

Peter Burke

This is the week this Brexit government’s dream came true. It is also the week when their promises are put to the test. If they are found wanting let’s make sure they are held to account. Of course, this whole debate has always been about sovereignty. But we should cut through the sound bites and […]

A Stranger in my own Land

Martin Griffiths

I feel like a stranger.Living in a strange land. Yet, I was born and raisedAmongst the English Greens.I even sang JerusalemAlthough not knowing what it means. But I mowed my lawnAnd I trimmed my hedge.I read Cider with RosieUp on Stinchcombe Edge. I even played CricketAll dressed in white,I celebrated The AshesAnd drank beer all […]

A Wrecking Ball in the Name of Sovereignty

Peter Burke

So Parliament has overwhelmingly passed the EU (Future Relations) Bill. Can we stop talking about Brexit now?Hell, no. At the end of a successful negotiations journey I normally feel joy, but today I only feel quiet satisfaction and frankly speaking relief. Ursula von der Leyen The clock is no longer ticking. Michel Barnier I can’t […]

The Brexit Deal – A Report Card

Martin Griffiths

A brief examination of the Brexit Deal signed by Boris Johnson yesterday (30 December 2020) shows that this piece of schoolwork gets very poor marks. We will “take back control”       What have we gained? The ability to negotiate our own trade agreements. A phased 25% reduction in the value of fish caught by the EU […]

A Good Trade Deal or a Sea of Trouble?

Martin Griffiths

Boris Johnson should remember that over optimistic, re-assuring statements do not always go down well outside Downing Street. His recent rhetoric doesn’t indicate that he’s understood this.  When Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich in 1938 with his ‘peace in our time’ deal with Hitler, he announced outside Downing Street, “Go home and get a nice […]

What does the Deal do for British citizens in Europe?

The Editor

The answer is absolutely nothing! Reaction to the deal agreed between the UK and the EU from British citizens living in Europe (UKinEU) has been understandably cool. The four and a half years of negotiations have devoted little time to the needs of the 3 million EU citizens in UK (UKinEU) and the 1.3 million […]

Labour’s Position On The Trade Deal: An Open Letter

Susanna Reece

A letter to Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East and Shadow Chancellor, from one of her constituents. From: Susanna Reece Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2020 Subject: Brexit Trade DealTo: Anneliese Dodds MP Dear Anneliese, I was very sorry indeed to read that Keir Starmer intends that Labour will support the Brexit trade deal, another failure […]

Divorce is just the beginning

Guy Maughfling

“Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived”. There were several ways for Henry VIII to extricate himself from his six marriages, some requiring an executioner and others needing approval from the Archbishop of Canterbury. For much of the UK it wasn’t so easy to escape unwanted relationships until the last 50 years. Matrimonial Divorce Hard as […]

A new poll shows that the British people overwhelmingly want a deal

Melissa Chemam

Ten days away from the end of the year, and the looming date of 1 January, the British government still can’t negotiate a deal with its most important commercial, political and trading partner, the European Union. As the numbers of Covid cases grow every day in the country, what could bring more panic to British […]

The Gap

Jon Danzig

In my latest blog I question whether Britain really is a different type of country to the likes of France and Germany. I conclude that Britain is indeed different because UK is run for the benefit of our political masters and not for the general populace. Is there really something so exceptional and special about […]

UK Spending outstrips Peers

Andrew Milroy

The Financial Times reported on 29 November that: “The U.K. has spent more money fighting Coronavirus than almost all comparable countries but still languishes towards the bottom of league tables of economic performance in 2020 and deaths caused by the virus”. Why is this? The government appears to be semi-detached from the rest of us, […]

What Brexit means for British Expats in Europe

Sue Wilson

If you are a Daily Mail reader – or even if you are not – you may well have seen their latest outraged headline criticising the EU. It reads: “Furious British expats blast EU’s new post-Brexit travel rules which will ban them from spending more than three months at a time at their holiday home […]

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish

Peter Burke

The 11th hour, much less the 1,439th minute, is not the right time to have negotiations about points of detail. We are now six weeks past the point where both sides said a deal should be concluded. And yet talks continue, as I speak Michel Barnier is in London, and so far neither side wants […]

An Independent Financial Adviser’s view on the world in times of Covid

The Editor

My “ethical and responsible” financial adviser, Philip Hanley, posts a blog most Mondays which always causes me to smile and sometimes offers sound financial advice. Here’s a sample from this week. If it gets some attention, I may make it a regular feature. Advice doesn’t have to be dull! I was told this week that […]

Is EFTA, the ‘Norway Option’, a step in the right direction?

The Editor

Devizes for Europe investigates, with the help of Professor Juliet Lodge, whether the option of UK joining EFTA (European Free Trade Association) is viable. Our group’s [Devizes for Europe’s] priority is to get as good a deal as we can along the lines of our #RealDeal campaign.  There is however considerable interest in EFTA as an […]

From “Project Fear” to “Project Prosperity”?

Paul Ryder

Back in 2017, the then Prime Minister, Theresa May, told us that No Deal was better than a Bad Deal. May triggered Article 50 and set the clock ticking. She ruled out membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union. This created the Irish border problem, which she was unable to solve. Thus the […]

Business cannot cope with Lockdown and Brexit

Peter Burke

An Oxford doctor urges his MP to extend transition. If we cannot agree a “Good” Deal then we must request an extension to the Transition Period. Dear John, It will not surprise you that I’m writing to you about the second lockdown, which is now imminent. … I am not an ‘instant expert on epidemiology’, I […]

What? Will UK government ignore security as it walks away from EU?

Dr Monica Horten

Theresa May’s exclamation of ‘What?’ as Michael Gove effectively dismissed the idea of an EU security co-operation agreement, was a moment of truth. The former Prime Minister has expressed her concern that the government is ignoring security issues in its hardened drive to leave the EU without any agreement – and indeed, without honouring the […]

Time to Decide: The US Presidential Election

Guy Maughfling

Every four years, on the first Tuesday in November the United States heads to the polls to elect the next President. Like much that comes from the other side of the Atlantic, elections in America are full of superlatives. They are bigger, more expensive and longer. They truly are world-beating. To add to the superlatives, […]

Transatlantic Tango

Peter Burke

By the time you read this, it is entirely possible that the US presidential election will have been resolved, and we will know whether the Americans and the world will have to cope with another four years of incompetence, corruption and mendacity. Equally likely the matter will have been kicked into the long grass as […]

“Save British Farming” are trying to save us from ourselves

Jon Hill

Save British Farming (SBF) was founded by Liz Webster, a farmer in Wiltshire, with the objective of protecting our food standards and our farmers’ livelihoods. SBF says:The Government is selling British farmers down the river … they want to pass Bills that will ditch UK animal welfare and environmental standards for imported food, flood the […]

The Damage to UK of a No-Deal will be Titanic

Peter Burke

If we can’t agree by [15 October], then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on,’– Boris Johnson, 7 September 2020. “Opportunties” outside the EU? “There are huge opportunities for a sovereign independent UK to cut free trade deals very […]

A Letter from a Transgender woman to British social liberals

Zoe Perry

Dear Social Liberals, Thank you to all of you who have been kind and accepting.  I thought you should know that a few of you are not. There is a beleaguered minority in the UK that feels it is coming under increasing attack.  And the malign source is not just from bigots on the political […]

In Limbo – a seemingly endless tale of perfidious Albion

Book Review by X Libris

An updated and expanded version of In Limbo has recently been published by Spokesman Books. The first edition covered the fears, anxieties and feelings of betrayal – by the UK, by friends and, in some cases, by families – of EU citizens living in the UK. Does the updated version tell us of a happy […]

The Politics of Division

Paul Ryder

There is madness, stupidity, destruction and bloody-mindedness all around us. Brexit itself almost amounts to a crime against the British people (West England Bylines Issue 6), if you include in all the associated losses and pain, which the new hard right wing Conservative Party are responsible for. The latest news is that Johnson is preparing […]

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