Brexit.

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
10,864
SLU Posts
18459

I've made my views pretty clear, I think, but I'm being reluctantly won over to Starmer's point of view.

We (Labour) don't want to go into the next general election advocating a wholesale renegotiation of the treaty, though individual areas will certainly be up for review, so best to draw a line under the past, defuse Tory attacks about abstaining and, instead, spike their guns by voting for the agreement, since it's better than no deal, the only alternative available at this point, and then holding the government to account for having prepared so badly for what they negotiated.
 
  • 1Agree
Reactions: Sid

Arkady Arkright

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
541
We (Labour) don't want to go into the next general election advocating a wholesale renegotiation of the treaty, though individual areas will certainly be up for review, so best to draw a line under the past, defuse Tory attacks about abstaining and, instead, spike their guns by voting for the agreement, since it's better than no deal, the only alternative available at this point, and then holding the government to account for having prepared so badly for what they negotiated.
I see McDonnell is telling the rest of the Corbynistas to vote against the deal. Is this the last post-mortem twitch of a dead faction, or are we doomed to another 5 years of Labour opposing itself, rather than the Conservatives ?
 

Sid

When life gives you lemons, trade them for coffee.
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
4,242
Location
Limburg, NL
SL Rez
2007
Joined SLU
Yes
I'm watching darts instead of Westminster.
 

Chin Rey

Lag fighter
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
540
Location
Norway
SL Rez
2013
A seven months belated post and it may not be relevant anymore but it's way too good to pass and it's still a serious heads up.
In May 2020, the British government confirmed that they demanded a 10% import tax on cars to protect the British car industry - Confirmed: 10% import tax on new cars from European Union | Autocar

This is of course beyond stupidity and well into the realms of insanity.

It did not end up in the final agreement - EU may have been kind enough to prevent the UK from scoring such a spectacular own goal or maybe the British government/negotiating team had second first thoughts? EU will apply a 10% import tax on British made cars but that's because of another clause in the agreement, not this one. However, even though the UK dodged this bullet (and then ran straight into another one), what other hidden "treasures" have managed to go under the radar?

I can actually mention one right away. The UK decided to leave the Erasmus student exchange program because it was too expensive. UK is of course a net "importer" of exchange students and the net gain for British economy from the Erasmus project has been estimated to be almost £250 million a year.

Time for an out-of-context quote from an old Willie Nelson/Waylon Jennings classic:
"I know what you're thinking and I don't think you're thinking at all."
 
Last edited:
  • 1Like
Reactions: Sid

Stora

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
236
SL Rez
2002
Commons backs post-Brexit trade deal

MPs back the government's post-Brexit trade deal with the EU by 521 votes to 73 - that's a majority of 448.

The European Union (future relationship) bill now heads to the Lords and needs to become law before the post-Brexit transition ends tomorrow night.
 
  • 1Thanks
Reactions: Sid

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
10,864
SLU Posts
18459
I see McDonnell is telling the rest of the Corbynistas to vote against the deal. Is this the last post-mortem twitch of a dead faction, or are we doomed to another 5 years of Labour opposing itself, rather than the Conservatives ?
I've not seen many specific names, other than Diane Abbott and a couple of others, but I see the voting figures overall on one division were 521 votes for vs 73 against.

Since the 73 MPs who voted against includes the SNP, the DUP, the LIb Dems and PC (I think), the Labour rebellion can't have been particularly large.
 

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
10,864
SLU Posts
18459

In total, 36 Labour MPs abstained in the vote, including staunch campaigners against Brexit such as Stella Creasy and Neil Coyle, and leftwingers such as Rebecca Long-Bailey and Diane Abbott.

Just one Labour MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, the MP for Streatham, went further and voted against the deal.
ETA: I received an email from my MP (Labour) explaining why he voted for the deal. It's a very thoughtful, personal, piece, I think.

I’m very grateful to all those who were able to attend the virtual meeting last night. I felt it would be important to hear constituents’ concerns, but am sorry that the short notice meant that not everyone who might have wished to was able to attend.

I wanted to update you on today’s events in Westminster.

Today we voted on the implementation of the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement. In essence, the choice was between supporting the implementation of this treaty, or supporting a No Deal Brexit. There were no other alternatives on offer.

Sadly, for those of us who opposed Brexit, Remain is no longer an option. The choice was between a bad deal and no deal.

The colossal efforts over the past three and a half years to limit the damage from leaving the EU, the efforts to secure a confirmatory, public vote on any deal, the fifty-plus Parliamentary votes on Brexit: these have not succeeded.

I have been opposed to Brexit from the outset. In the winter and spring of 2016, I campaigned hard for ‘Remain’. Alongside many others I canvassed door-to-door, manned information stalls, and lobbied in Parliament. I initiated cross-party conversations with senior backbench Conservatives and the SNP to seek common ground around alternatives to a hard Brexit. Many of you will know that in December 2017, seven months after being elected, I broke the whip by voting to remain in the customs union. In separate votes, I cast for a Single Market, for a Norway plus deal, for the Kyle-Wilson Amendment and many, many others.

Six weeks ago I was convinced that the only defensible option would be to abstain. Since then, I have learned just how much the public doesn’t appreciate abstention in any sense but particularly on major issues, and I have thought deeply about the implications of taking a position that in the end supports a No Deal Brexit.

As you would expect of me, over recent weeks, and especially since this deal was announced on 24 December, I have contacted industry bodies and representatives, our major local employers, and small and medium-sized businesses to hear their views. They are of one voice: they hoped this deal would be approved. They needed certainty, and they needed it urgently; the chaos in our ports pre-Christmas demonstrated this. They told me that a No Deal Brexit would be disastrous for them.

Of course, I’m well aware this deal is not a good deal. Incredibly, because it does not address services, it ignores 80% of our economy. It fails on security: we will no longer be party to Europol, the EWA, ECRIS, or SIS 2. The long-term situation regarding tariffs, quotas and rules of origin is unclear. It replaces the ERASMUS programme with a less comprehensive ‘Turing scheme’ for those students that want to study abroad. It fails to safeguard the freedom to travel previously enjoyed by artists and musicians. It introduces new customs checks and regulatory certification that will cause frictions in our trade, and which the PM promised would never occur. These are just a few of the inadequacies of this treaty. It is my job to do everything I can to ensure that the Government addresses these defects.

This deal is a ‘thin’ deal, but that is better than no deal. This deal ensures that, for now, the UK avoids damaging tariffs on goods that would put up prices and weaken businesses. No Deal would lead to a free-for-all in terms of workers' rights and a diminution of environmental protections.

These past six weeks I have mentally wrestled my way through opposing whatever deal the Conservative government managed to negotiate, abstaining or voting for it. I never imagined we would arrive at this point in our history but here we are.

The vote was for implementation of the agreed UK-EU deal or for a No Deal Brexit. It’s not my deal, nor is it a Labour deal. I think it will be damaging for this country but then Brexit was ever thus. A No Deal Brexit however would have been disastrous. For that reason, I have - with a heavy heart - voted for implementation.
 
Last edited:

Arkady Arkright

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
541
Since the 73 MPs who voted against includes the SNP, the DUP, the LIb Dems and PC (I think), the Labour rebellion can't have been particularly large.
But was it the last twitch of a dead faction, or is it going to go on and on ?
Don't get me wrong. I think Starmer is the right man for the job, and I devoutly wish Labour well in opposing the clique currently running(-down) the UK, but I can't see him succeeding while there's still the poison of Momentum circulating in Labour's veins.
 

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
10,864
SLU Posts
18459
But was it the last twitch of a dead faction, or is it going to go on and on ?
Don't get me wrong. I think Starmer is the right man for the job, and I devoutly wish Labour well in opposing the clique currently running(-down) the UK, but I can't see him succeeding while there's still the poison of Momentum circulating in Labour's veins.
There's always going to be an awkward squad on both the Labour left and right, just as the Tories have people like Marc Francois and the ERG and, until Boris Johnson expelled them, people like Ken Clarke, Rory Stewart and Justine Greening.

All parties are coalitions, after all, and you're always going to have factions on the various wings of each party that become more or less powerful. We've seen it before when Michael Foot (a far, far more considerable figure than Jeremy Corbyn, of course) was leader of Labour for a while, and then the centre and right fought back, with Kinnock expelling members of Militant.

I don't see, though, Momentum and Corbyn supporters being anything like the problem Militant were, though. Most Corbyn supporters I've met seem to me nice but misguided rather than a bunch of hard-core Trotskyite militants.

To me it feels as if politics are on hold at the moment, pretty much. Brexit has now happened, having dominated British politics for the last 5 years to the exclusion of much else until this year, when it was pushed aside by Covid-19, which has trashed all the old economic certainties that underpinned austerity in the UK and elsewhere, and I think most of the next four years will be dominated by the government trying to react to the consequences of Covid-19 and the economic devastation it has already caused and will continue to do, while also trying to deal with the climate crisis and the consequences of systemic racism, both of which are now firmly on the agenda, I think, of both the electorate and of business and institutions.

Certainly it seems to me that the circumstances that contributed to the rise of both Jeremy Corbyn and Momentum -- the crash of 2008, followed by austerity -- have now gone, having been overtaken by the consequences of Covid-19, with the result that a Conservative government ... [channels neil kinnock] a Conservative government [/neil kinnock] ... is borrowing furiously to throw piles of money at everything in sight to fix things, while extending state controls on businesses, and which sees extending the government's ability to subsidise particular sectors of the economy ("trying to pick winners and losers," as Margaret Thatcher would have scornfully dismissed it) as an important benefit of leaving the EU.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England, the IMF, the World Bank and everyone else is on board with economic policies that would have been dismissed as outdated Keynesian recipes for disaster only 10 years ago.

So I think that, since the political and economic conditions that led to the rise of left-wing populism throughout Europe and the US have now changed so radically, we're going to see Corbyn and his supporters fade away into the background for the time being, while Keir Starmer concentrates on being decent and competent and professional and all the things Johnson isn't, and keeps his powder dry while purging the antisemitic left from the Party and trying to hold the government to account for their incompetence and mismanagement.

I don't think the issues that will dominate the next election are going to be at all clear for at least another two years, after which time they'll start emerge, maybe, but it really feels to me as if the joint consequences of Brexit and Covid-19, along with the collapse of many assumptions about the US and its relationships with its traditional allies, have changed the political landscape so dramatically that Corbynism and Momentum now seem very much things of the past.

Inevitably, the fights between right and left in Labour will go on, as they do in all political parties, but at the moment it feels to me as if the personalities and policies associated with Jeremy Corbyn and Labour over the last few years will rapidly vanish into the dustbin of history, to be followed soon after by Boris Johnson and the similar group of second-raters (by and large) and loyalists surrounding him, and for the same reasons.

Then there will be a whole new set of fights over policies and personalities, of course, but it will be a new season of the long-running show, with new writers and showrunners.

ETA

 
Last edited:
  • 1Thanks
Reactions: Sid

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
10,864
SLU Posts
18459
Yeah, but Year 2K was a single, known, issue (or potential issue) that people focussed on for years.

Brexit, in contrast, is an enormous great big treaty containing changes and disruptions to any number of existing day to day cross-border transactions, the effects of which are going to work their way through the system at various speeds.

To be as neutral as I can about it, we're about to start experiencing, at the very least, the consequences of a major overhaul in how a lot of things are done. For some of us (including, I hope, me!) the consequences will be trivial, at least initially, while for others they will be considerably more disruptive in various ways, both expected and unexpected.

We in the UK are in for a lot of surprises from tomorrow as we slowly start to discover what's changing and what's not, but surprises and changes, some unwelcome, there will most certainly be, to my mind.

ETA: I started to write some sub-Lovecraft nonsense about the stars at last coming right at 23:00 tonight in the UK, and we'll round off 2020 in the only possible way with R'lyeh rising from the depths of the Pacific and Cthulhu waking up, but let's just say I think we've now got the long-awaited plot development.

Maybe it'll be like that bit in the last season of GoT when Cersei's mercenary army, the Golden Company, show up at last, so the war can get started, but they haven't brought the elephants with them, and she so wanted elephants. And then Daenerys turns up with her dragons and nukes them all anyway.
 
Last edited:
  • 1Like
Reactions: Beebo Brink

Arkady Arkright

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
541
{Interesting and sensible stuff}
Thank you for a useful and instructive reply. I suspect that my political stance has become somewhat hidebound over the last few years, and I need to do some proper investigation and analysis - until which time I'll try and keep my posting habits a bit less knee-jerk...
 
  • 1Flower
Reactions: Innula Zenovka

Stora

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
236
SL Rez
2002
Some good news to start the year off

Activists cheer as 'sexist' tampon tax is scrapped
The 5% rate of VAT on sanitary products - referred to as the "tampon tax" - will be abolished in the UK from 1 January.
EU law required members to tax tampons and sanitary towels at 5%, treating period products as non-essential.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak committed to scrapping the tax in his March Budget.
Campaigners welcomed the end to what they called a "sexist tax" with activist Laura Coryton saying it was "about ending a symptom of sexism".



Activists cheer as 'sexist' tampon tax is scrapped
 

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
10,864
SLU Posts
18459
Some good news to start the year off

Activists cheer as 'sexist' tampon tax is scrapped



Activists cheer as 'sexist' tampon tax is scrapped

“It’s great that the government is taking it really seriously – if the prime minister can talk about periods, surely anyone can talk about periods,” she said. “But it’s frustrating … to make this campaign into a pro-Brexit thing, because it doesn’t reflect the many different types of people who have been campaigning for it.”

Also, it’s not true, she said, adding that in 2016 – under pressure from the then prime minister, David Cameron, the European parliament had voted unanimously to start the regulatory process to allow any EU country to abolish any tampon tax.

“That process has since gone cold, because we then left the EU and we were the ones pushing for it,” said Coryton. “So if anything, actually, Brexit has made it worse, because if we were to have stayed in the EU, then this piece of legislation would have gone through… then any EU member would be able to axe the tax, not just the UK.