In 1937 Jean Renoir directed a film called ‘La Grande Illusion’ about French prisoners-of-war during World War I. The title came from a book published in 1909 by Norman Angell called ‘The Great Illusion’ which argued that war is futile because of the common economic interests of all European nations. This is, of course, the […]
Annette Shaw, of Oxford For Europe, writes of the pain she felt as an EU national living in the UK, when the referendum result was announced. She is not alone.
I have to admit that I hadn’t heard of Lia Nici MP before her tweet regarding Queen and flag brought her to some prominence recently. So, I checked her Twitter profile and found that she represents the constituency of Leave-voting Grimsby and describes herself as a proud Grimbarian. Now, forgive my ignorance but I didn’t […]
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org Johnson’s lies have led to the destabilisation of Ireland’s fragile peace. The real culprit for the current unrest in Ireland is the hard-line Brexit dogmatically pursued by Boris Johnson and the Brexiteers. Despite a succession of lies told by Johnson (including that there would be checks and controls between Britain and […]
Dear Editor, I was very struck by the factual inaccuracies, false claims and exceptionally naïve assertions made by Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie in her House of Commons speech this week. According to her, “if the Opposition had been correct about Brexit, the sky would have fallen in by now and dementors sporting EU flags would […]
Write to us at email@example.com When Big Ben rang in the New Year at midnight on 31 December 2020 it sounded the death knell of the transition period, the end of the UK’s membership of the Single Market and the start of the hard Brexit most were dreading. The first few months of 2021 have been […]
Despite all the screamingly obvious evidence to the contrary, most of us hoped that by some miracle Brexit would turn out well. We still live in hope, but the chances are diminishing by the day. Some of what is happening was foreseeable, and some goes even further than the worst predictions of “project fear”
Dog theft campaigners are calling on pets and their owners to participate in the world’s first ever DogZoom event to kick-start the national “Pet Theft Awareness Week” on 14th March. Hosted by Emma Kennedy with surprise video messages from celebrities and politicians. Last year, I noticed a sudden increase on my local social media posts […]
With effect from 1 March 2021 the newly-ennobled Lord David Frost stepped into the role of UK Chair of the Partnership Council. He therefore enters the Cabinet, and becomes yet another ‘unelected bureaucrat’ at the centre of power. He is there to preside over a difficult new round of negotiations at a time when ministers would […]
Most people have heard of Erasmus+, but very few know why Britain decided not to participate in it after leaving the EU. The reason Boris Johnson gave is that the enhanced Erasmus+ is now too expensive. This implies that he may have agreed to stay in had Erasmus not been upgraded. But who knows? Despite […]
Music, classical music in particular, has no borders. While the notes are written down on paper, the music is transmitted through the air and cannot be controlled by political authorities. Note the similarity with the Covid virus! Beethoven’s ninth’s symphony with the message, “Alle Menschen werden Brüder” (All people will become brothers [and sisters, we […]
Based in Birmingham and forming part of the very epicentre of UK high-end engineering, GKN Automotive has more than 500 jobs at stake
“I enjoy a hobby where I show birds in the South of Ireland and on mainland Great Britain. If there is a hard border down the Irish Sea will I still be able to take my birds back and forth?” On 16th October 2019 Desmond Horner, “Desy”, a joiner from Carrowdore, County Down, put that […]
One of the unforeseen consequences of finally leaving the EU on December 31st 2020 is that many businesses are dependent on their supply partners to ensure their exports and payments are processed as efficiently as before. Some shipping companies had announced before leaving that there would be price increases and longer delivery times to some […]
If you have ever cast an eye over a foreign estate agent’s window, you’ve probably considered moving abroad. For some, that’s just a fleeting fantasy, induced by sun, relaxation, and perhaps a glass or two of vino. For others, it’s the start of a dream, or even a journey. From a young age, I dreamed […]
Brexit isn’t working. It’s causing real damage. Who is to Blame? As the border down the Irish Sea starts to cause real damage to the very sensitive balance in Northern Ireland between the two different communities and further damages relationships and trade. Prime Minister Boris Johnson calls for: “Urgent action from the EU to resolve […]
For some light holiday reading I purchased the Guardian on Saturday and the Observer on Sunday after Christmas. I found it cathartic to move away from the epidemic towards something equally depressing. I should first vent my frustration because I feel the present tricky position is relevant to all our futures. But don’t worry dear […]
Musicians are known for their versatility, and it’s clear that the profession will have to change in order to survive, in ways that remain to be seen. This is a real tragedy, not just for the loss to Britain’s previously-thriving cultural scene which was held in high regard internationally, but also for the fact that, like so many industries, the individuals who will be hit hardest are the ones who can least afford it.
This is a petty little saga. But what it says about the small-minded, begrudging, arrogant and self-destructive attitudes of this Government is phenomenal.
Dear Reader of West England Bylines, my apologies for the self-centred nature of this contribution, but I suspect that some of you may be able to identify with at least parts of this story. Brexit has generated a vast amount of writing and commentary, most of it dealing with the obvious areas like trade, economics, […]
British Fishermen can now catch more fish … but can they sell them? UK fishermen usually sell a large proportion of their catch to the EU so access to EU markets is as important as the amount you catch. There is little point being able to catch more fish if you don’t have a market […]
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 […]
It is truly astonishing to reflect how much more common sense the conservative party of 50 years ago had than that of today.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
So Parliament has overwhelmingly passed the EU (Future Relations) Bill. Can we stop talking about Brexit now?
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 […]