Friday, 11 May 2018

Should the EU referendum be annulled?

It’s reported that police are investigating evidence that the chief executive of a key organisation that campaigned for Brexit allegedly committed criminal offences during the 2016 referendum.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

A new vote on Brexit means more democracy, not less

Nobody gave ‘informed consent’ for Brexit. That’s because, in the 2016 referendum, the electorate was not sufficiently informed.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Prime Minister, we already have frictionless EU trade

This week in Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“We are committed to delivering on our commitment to having no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and that we have as frictionless trade as possible with the European Union.”

'We can stop Brexit' - Catherine Bearder, MEP

 Click to view video on YouTube

At the European Parliament in Brussels I interviewed LibDem MEP, Catherine Bearder, who gave a positive message: We can stop Brexit.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Migrants: Hug them, don't hate them

It’s reported that record numbers of migrant nurses and midwives from EU27 countries left Britain last year, exacerbating fears that a Brexit ‘brain drain’ will worsen the NHS’s already chronic staffing crisis.

According to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, a total of 3,962 such staff from the European Economic Area (EEA) left their register between 2017 and 2018.
Reported The Guardian today:
‘The number of departures was 28% more than the 3,081 who left in 2016-17 and three times higher than the 1,311 who did so in 2013-14, the first year the NMC began keeping data on such departures.
‘At the same time, the number of EU nurses and midwives coming to work in the UK has fallen to its lowest level. Just 805 of them joined the NMC register in 2017-18. That total is just 13% of the 6,382 who came over the year before.’
Janet Davies, the chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing said, “It feels that efforts to boost the number of nurses are being dragged down by a botched Brexit.”
She added that the government’s refusal to detail the rights that the 3 million EU citizens living in Britain will have once the UK leaves the EU in March next year is a key cause of the loss of EU staff.
“Nurses returning home, or giving Britain a miss entirely, are doing so because their rights are not clear enough.”
In interviews conducted by the NMC, Brexit was cited as the main reason why EU-trained staff are stopping working in the UK. Almost 3,5000 people who left the register between June and November 2017 were included in the survey.
In addition, mistreatment of the Windrush generation by the British authorities is “raising anxieties” among EU citizens hoping to settle in the UK after Brexit, a group of MEPs warned British officials in Brussels,
The delegation, led by the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, met officials from the Home Office to summarise concerns they have about transition and post-Brexit arrangements for EU citizens who wish to live in the UK after Brexit.
The European Parliament has expressed concern for some time about the provisions on citizens’ rights set out in the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and UK, in particular about the difficulties involved in applying for residence.
Commented Mr Verhofstadt, MEP:
“The treatment of the Windrush generation under UK immigration law has unfortunately created renewed anxiety among EU citizens in the UK and shows why we have to get this right.”
Brexit is causing distress; it’s making migrants settled here no longer feel welcome.
‘You’re talking about us as if we’re not in the room’, is how many EU and non-EU migrants have expressed their hurt and alarm at how some British people have displayed dislike for them during and following the EU referendum.
Too many EU migrants was cited as one of the main reasons people voted for Brexit.
The feeling of not being welcome in Britain was compounded by the speech of Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, at the Conservative Party’s first annual conference following the EU referendum.
She announced that foreign workers should not be able to “take the jobs that British people should do”.
After Brexit, she said, companies in Britain could be forced to publish the proportion of “international” staff on their books. It was a proposal that would effectively “name and shame” businesses which fail to hire British workers.
This Tory idea represented discrimination plain and simple – something that’s not allowed under EU rules or principles.
And even though the policy idea was quickly withdrawn (because of public outrage) it told us something about the true feelings of those in the Tory regime
Both the Home Secretary, and Prime Minister Theresa May, pledged during last year’s general election to reduce net migration to just tens of thousands. The message was clear: we don’t want EU migrants here.
None of this makes sense. Why make EU migrants feel so unwelcome here, when they give and do so much for our country?
After all, these EU migrants represent only 5% of our population – that’s small, and can hardly be described as ‘mass migration’.
And almost all of the EU migrants here are at work, spending most of their earnings here, paying taxes, and making a substantial net contribution to our Treasury.
They enrich our country economically and culturally.
Britain has a record number of people at work, and record numbers of job vacancies – currently around 800,000 vacancies (source ONS).
That’s far more than can be filled by British workers, so EU migrants here are vital.
They not only help on our farms and in our factories, and care for our elderly and infirm, but they also do highly skilled work too.
Such as scientists, doctors, dentists, nurses, lawyers, accountants, teachers, pilots, engineers, architects – skills this country urgently needs.
Since we have more vacancies than can be filled by the indigenous workforce, and since most EU migrants are gainfully employed here, it must show that the numbers already here are about right.
EU migration to Britain is already efficiently controlled by the jobs market, and businesses want to be free to choose the best people.
That isn’t always necessarily a British worker. If it was, why doesn’t Manchester United only choose British footballers?
In summary, EU migrants are a boon to this country, not a burden.
They are filling job vacancies that mostly Britons can’t or don’t want to do. They are making a significant contribution to the wealth of Britain.
They have become our work colleagues, friends and partners.
If all EU migrants here took the day off tomorrow, Britain would come to a standstill.
Maybe that’s what’s going to happen with this Conservative government’s nasty, xenophobic, Brexit policies.
It’s time to appreciate EU and all other migrants here. Let’s hug them, not hate them.

The evidence is all around us that Brexit promotes hate. Is that really the kind of country we want Britain to be?

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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The tide is turning on Brexit

Most Britons would now vote to remain in the European Union if there was another referendum held next week. That’s the result of a major UK-wide survey of more than 200,000 readers of local newspapers called The Big Brexit Survey.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Thursday, 29 March 2018

The day Britain's interests were betrayed

It’s one year ago that Prime Minister Theresa May triggered the Article 50 notice for the UK to leave the EU.

29 March 2017 will not be celebrated in history. It’s the day that Britain’s interests were betrayed.
Almost all of Theresa May’s current cabinet, including Mrs May herself, said during the EU referendum campaign that Brexit would damage Britain, make us poorer, put our security at risk, and could undo our own union of the four countries of the United Kingdom.
But the Prime Minister and her ministers went ahead with Brexit anyway, against their own strong advice to the nation not to.
This is how I reported the triggering of Article 50 this time last year:


SHE’S GONE AND BLOODY DONE IT – the one thing she said just one year ago would not be in Britain’s best interests. She’s triggered Brexit.
Theresa May has gone against her own advice that Britain shouldn’t leave the EU.
Not just her advice. But the strong advice of 70% of her cabinet ministers, who also less than a year ago urged the country not to Brexit.
Why are they doing it? Because people told them to? Does that make any sense? If people told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it? Would you volunteer to do it?
Because Mrs May and most of her cabinet have volunteered to do something they all said would be bad for Britain. In doing so, they are betraying our country.
They are doing something that, by their own admission, will not be in the nation’s best interests, but on the contrary, most definitely against our interests.
Two-faced Theresa today formally wrote to the European Union to trigger Article 50, starting two-years of gruelling divorce proceedings that could forever ruin our relations with the mainland of our continent.
She should listen once again to the speech she gave on 25 April last year. Then she said:
“I believe it is clearly in our national interest to remain a member of the European Union.”
And she also said then:
“My judgement, as Home Secretary, is that remaining a member of the European Union means we will be more secure from crime and terrorism.”
As for replacing the trade we do with the EU with other markets, she asserted that this would be an unrealistic route. She said:
“We export more to Ireland than we do to China, almost twice as much to Belgium as we do to India, and nearly three times as much to Sweden as we do to Brazil. It is not realistic to think we could just replace European trade with these new markets.”
And there were other serious risks too.
“If we do vote to leave the European Union, we risk bringing the development of the single market to a halt, we risk a loss of investors and businesses to remaining EU member states driven by discriminatory EU policies, and we risk going backwards when it comes to international trade.”
And other risks too.
“Outside the EU, for example, we would have no access to the European Arrest Warrant, which has allowed us to extradite more than 5,000 people from Britain to Europe in the last five years, and bring 675 suspected or convicted wanted individuals to Britain to face justice.”
And leaving the EU, she said, could lead to the disintegration of the EU, resulting in “massive instability” with “real consequences for Britain.”
In addition, Brexit might prove fatal to “the Union between England and Scotland”, which she did not want to happen.
And if Britain left the EU, she argued, we might not be successful in negotiating a successful divorce settlement.
Explained Mrs May,:
“In a stand-off between Britain and the EU, 44 per cent of our exports is more important to us than eight per cent of the EU’s exports is to them.”
She added, “The reality is that we do not know on what terms we would win access to the single market.
“We do know that in a negotiation we would need to make concessions in order to access it, and those concessions could well be about accepting EU regulations, over which we would have no say, making financial contributions, just as we do now, accepting free movement rules, just as we do now, or quite possibly all three combined.
“It is not clear why other EU member states would give Britain a better deal than they themselves enjoy.”
And in summary, Mrs May said:
“Remaining inside the European Union does make us more secure, it does make us more prosperous and it does make us more influential beyond our shores.”
Most of Theresa May’s cabinet were of the same view: Leaving the EU would be against Britain’s interests, it would represent a disaster for our country.
• Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said: We will be safer, stronger and better off if we remain in the EU.
 Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: I passionately believe it is best for us all and our country if we remain a member of the EU.
• Justice Secretary Liz Truss said: I don’t want my daughters to grow up in a world where they need a visa or permit to work in Europe.
• Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon said: Make no mistake – a vote to Leave would be payday for Putin.
• Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said: We will be better off and more secure by remaining in the European Union.
• Education Secretary, Justine Greening said: Staying in the EU is smart diplomacy and smart economics.
• Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley said: If you want a stronger, safer, better off Britain, then the positive choice is to vote Remain.
• Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green said: Leaving the EU would cause huge economic damage.
And so on, ad nauseam. The Prime Minister, and the majority of her government ministers, strongly urged Britain to remain in the EU in the interests of the country’s prosperity and security.
So, what’s happened to them all? Were they stupid then and clever now?
Before the referendum, these politicians said what they sincerely believed to be in the best interests of Britain. But after the referendum, these politicians are saying and doing what they insincerely believe will be in the best interests of themselves.
Future history books will have a collective noun for them. Hypocrites.
Fortunately, it will prove to be their downfall.

Unfortunately, it’s likely to lead to our country’s downfall too.

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