Section: Politics

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Who doesn’t want a Brexit deal?

CG Forrester

There is only one deal which can be called an actual deal. It’s the one being negotiated intensively this week with Michel Barnier and David Frost, the negotiators for the European Union (EU) and the UK respectively. It’s probably fair to say that both of these actors want the deal, although until recently the mandate […]

Cabinet cronies and the PPE fiasco

Faye Forde

In a functioning democracy the average person isn’t thinking about government procurement policies. If we do give it thought, we might expect that the government awards contracts under a fair and transparent system that prevents corruption and ensures a good deal with taxpayer money. In such a democracy, we are not glued to our phones […]

Farmers feel abandoned by the Tories

Phil Bennion

In a Farmers Weekly poll last week 98 per cent of respondents had the view that the government does not have farmers’ best interests at heart. Considering that the overwhelming majority of farmers usually vote Tory, this is a resounding condemnation of government policy. The combination of government positions on the Agriculture Bill and the […]

Kent: what lorry parks tell us about Brexit

Edward Cartwright

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of bad news for those in Kent on how Brexit will affect the county: queues at the border, permits for lorries to enter, hastily built lorry parks and rows of Portaloos. Predictable though this may all have been, Kent voted to leave the European Union (EU) during the 2016 […]

Boris Johnson ‘at war’

CG Forrester

There has rarely been a time in our history when good leadership has mattered more, yet Boris Johnson seems to be ‘at war’. His current battles are with the European Union (EU), Scotland, Greater Manchester (recently), the House of Lords, the judges, the church, farmers, many of his own backbenchers and indeed anyone else who […]

The East Midlands says no to no deal!

EM Bylines Team

Best for Britain (with other organisations) asked FocalData to conduct regional research on a no deal Brexit showing that there is very clearly no mandate for a no deal in any part of Britain. This includes the East Midlands which was one of the largest ‘Leave’ areas in the 2016 referendum. Their fieldwork was conducted […]

A view from the street: proposed reforms to the planning system

Carolyn Thornborow

This photograph shows the first (and often only) notice that most of us ever have of a planning application in our neighbourhood. It’s an A4 piece of paper tied to a lamppost with a bit of string, at roughly the level of most people’s eyesight. But for how much longer? The authors of the government’s […]

Neat, plausible and wrong – a Brexit audit

Richard Hall

On becoming Conservative leader and prime minister in July 2016 Theresa May boldly stated “Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it.” Twelve weeks before the UK cuts all links with the European Union (EU), it’s time to audit that statement. On 26 June 2016 it became clear that the politicians […]

Can we ever agree on Brexit?

George Smid

The UK has left the EU, although the real changes are not until 1 January 2021. Has leaving brought the British people together? The politicians, public bodies and private pollsters are still trying to figure out the public sentiment about Brexit. Do we all see the bright future ahead as the prime minister does? At […]

White feathers for cowardly MPs

Anna Girolami & Garry Lawrence

Earlier this year, The Guardian and the Daily Mirror broke the story of how Dominic Cummings, eminence grise to Boris Johnson, flouted lockdown laws to suit himself. For one former Tory voter, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Garry Lawrence had been watching the degradation of public offices and the government’s slide […]

#No2NoDeal Rally attracts big names

Hania Orszulik

The ‘Remain’ voices at the #No2NoDeal Action Day virtual rally on 8 October said they have not been silenced and they would not stop fighting for EU and UK values. The rally last week was the European Movement’s second virtual rally on this theme. The event featured speakers from across the political spectrum, including the Conservative party, […]

The #No2NoDeal Campaign

EM Bylines Team

When the East Midlands Bylines team heard there was to be a ‘No 2 No Deal’ action day on Thursday 8 October we decided to find out more. After all, the polls make it quite clear that only a very small minority of people, regardless of how they voted in 2016, want to leave the […]

Not united over unitary authorities

EM Bylines Team

It is alleged that a new democratic deficit could be arising in many of our local communities with already-delayed council elections (2020) possibly being put back until 2023 due to reorganisation (see letter below). There is also a feeling amongst smaller political parties and independent councillors that yet another ‘power grab’ is going on by […]

Leicester, Xinjiang

Simon Ferrigno

forgotten lands on the frontiers of textiles As the US implements a partial ban on cotton from the Xinjiang region of China because of concerns over forced labour and even genocide, recent scandals about low wages and insecure employment in Leicester’s textiles sector seem to have dropped off the radar. But both are symptomatic of […]

I don’t want to lose my eyesight because of Brexit

Janet Boucher

These words were a comment made by a listener, Julia, in Radio 4’s In Touch programme for visually disabled viewers on August 25th. The topic was the supply security of sight-saving drugs and the risk Brexit disruption might pose to people’s health. Julia suffers from glaucoma and takes three lots of eye drops, all imported from […]

Feeling unsettled

Carolyn Brown

All of us must know someone who is an EU citizen living in the UK whether it is a family member, friend, colleague or neighbour. The latest Home Office EU Settlement Scheme statistics reveal that 4,600 people have been refused settled status while 1,475,500 have only been granted temporary ‘Pre-Settled Status’ and 212,400 are still […]

Failing farming

George Smid, Lisa Brewin, Andrew Brown

Covid-19 and Brexit have one thing in common. They can fully consume our minds and displace everything else. Worse, we are defining ourselves and our fellow citizens by how we view Covid-19 and Brexit. Consensus on the contrasting views seems impossible. But one thing the opposing groups will agree on is the importance of food […]

Time to get extradition right

Stewart Tolley

When Anne Sacoolas drove on ‘the wrong side of the road’ in sleepy, rural Northamptonshire, she was not expecting to kill anyone, but as the tragedy of Harry Dunn’s death shows, this is exactly what happened that fateful day in the summer of 2019.  Since then there has been an extensive battle to try and […]

Populists, libertarians, kleptocrats … and where to find them

Carol Weaver

Forget traditional conservatives, socialists and liberals! We are in a new era now. The West is influencing the world with its liberal democracy, values and human rights far less than it once did and these aspects of freedom are being eroded at home too with regular attacks on democracy within the UK. Only the EU […]