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Category: BREXIT

Are there any honest Scottish Nationalists?

Are there any honest Scottish Nationalists?

In 2014, when the last once-in-a-generation Scottish independence referendum was held, the Scottish government under the then First Minister Alex Salmond published what it claimed was a comprehensive plan for how Scotland’s future as an independent nation would play out.  It was, in truth, a rather curious document, a mixture of high constitutional aspiration, a technical document glossing-over most of the difficulties, and a party manifesto, including a fair smattering of comically trivial measures which independence would unlock (“use Scotland’s…

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What should Britain do with any excess vaccines – the Referendum divide

What should Britain do with any excess vaccines – the Referendum divide

Remainers more likely than Leavers to back the idea New polling from Ipsos finds a significant Brexit divide on what Britain should do about any surplus of vaccine that it night find it has. For those who voted Remain in 2016 are markedly more likely to want to share any excess vaccines with 66% saying the UK should pass on some of its extra doses. This compares with only half (50%) of those who voted to leave the EU saying…

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BREXIT. Undoing (some of) the damage. Part 2: From Principles to Policies

BREXIT. Undoing (some of) the damage. Part 2: From Principles to Policies

pic YouTube In Part 1 of this article, I proposed six principles which a future UK government should apply to the problem of improving future trade and political relations with the EU.  Those were: 1 No Fantasy; 2 Urgently restore friendly relations; 3 Understand the EU’s position; 4 Prioritise mitigating the most damaging of the new barriers; 5 Go for the easy wins in domestic political terms; 6 Move on from the obsolete framing of ‘Remainers’ and ‘Leavers’; 7 Be…

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BREXIT: Undoing (some of) the damage. Part 1: The Principles

BREXIT: Undoing (some of) the damage. Part 1: The Principles

Just a few weeks in, and the practical effects of re-erecting the trade barriers which the UK spent 40 years helping to dismount are becoming more obvious by the day. Remarkably, it seems to have come as a complete surprise to the government that the EU rules which it had itself been enforcing up until Dec 31st in respect of imports from ‘third countries’ now apply to us.  Every day, new stories emerge of businesses cruelly throttled by the extra red…

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Special relationship: the British right’s appeasement of Donald Trump

Special relationship: the British right’s appeasement of Donald Trump

Barring a much bloodier insurrection than the one mounted two weeks ago, Joe Biden will assume the presidency of the United States on Wednesday.  Where does that leave the UK? Britain has long prided itself on its special relationship with the US, choosing to overlook the fact that the US tells France that is its oldest ally, that it has a strategic partnership with Israel and so on.  For many Leavers, focusing on the Anglosphere was a central rationale for…

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Speed reading

Speed reading

The UK-EU trade agreement has now been put up on the government website, all 1,246 pages of it. That is 486,549 words. It is marginally longer than Lord of the Rings. Its prose is still more turgid and some of it might as well be written in Elvish. The government is giving the agreement one day’s debate on 30 December.  That means that an MP who did nothing other than read the agreement from cover to cover would be able to give well…

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Deal

Deal

Charles Hawtrey died an untimely death. The Carry On actor, famed for playing eccentric and effete characters, was in real life a cantankerous alcoholic so devoted to the pursuit of gay sex that he moved to a naval town to be close to the sailors. When he was advised by doctors that he needed to have both legs amputated if he was going to live, he refused, deciding that he would rather die with his boots on. The attitude of many Remainers…

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