Region Archives: UK

Theresa Villiers: “ultimately it is parliament’s decision whether we repeal the 1972 European Communities Act or whether we don’t.”

Andy’s valiant attempt at providing clarity on the role of the devolved institutions in the UK’s withdrawal from the EU doesn’t appear to have worked for some of our local representatives. The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, couldn’t have been clearer. “In the weeks and months ahead we will be working with both the more…

If Article 50 is the starting gun, how does the UK get there?

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Well, helpfully for the Tories, Labour is having a meltdown over their own lame duck leader and so (barring an uncanny and uncharacteristic lucky turn in fortunes) may be discounted as providing any serious drag on defining how the Article 50 process for leaving the EU might process. There’s a deal of scepticism as to more…

BREXIT: A possible way forward

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This is something of a work in progress, for which I’m extremely grateful for thoughts. A fantasy PM would use Thursday’s result to get a programme for savage EU reform and a two-circle Europe, get a UK political mandate for that, then use it to checkmate both Juncker and Nicola.  Here’s how: First, we need to keep mind more…

Brexit and the institution of disintegration as structural change…

Is the EU a liability on the ballot papaer?

There’s been so much good writing over the weekend since Friday, I’m going to revert to an earlier approach to blogging and try to keep things short and snappy, First up is Mark Leonard talking on Friday morning to Uri Friedman… …the basic mindset of Europeans has changed. Instead of thinking about the EU as more…

Another of Brexit’s big losers: the opinion polls

In the maelstrom of comment following Leave’s victory in the referendum there have been many groups blamed, criticised etc. Amongst the greatest of the losers, however, are once again the pollsters. The pollsters have a singularly poor record in forecasting British national elections when they are remotely close. The original failure of recent times was more…

Ditching Corbyn now: probably the daftest political idea in the world

As I write Labour politicians are defecting from the shadow cabinet at a rate faster than people left the Titanic. That analogy is flawed as it seems most people behaved rather honourably in that bygone age (although First Class women passengers had the highest survival rate, Third Class women had a higher survival rate than more…

The British government must seek a mandate to negotiate brexit

David Cameron

As the shock of the brexit result continues to reverberate (and will for quite some time) there has been quite a bit of chat, in the mainstream and online media, and among friends, about how this decision could potentially be reversed. At the outset it should be clear that there can be no political prospect more…

Devolved legislatures and the EU

Devolved legislatures and the EU

Jim Fitzpatrick drew our attention to an interesting possibility the other day: (extract from Chapter 7 of The process of withdrawing from the European Union) The key issue here is the competency of Westminster to amend the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the Scotland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 2006 (and 1998 to more…

Hilary Benn has been sacked as Shadow Foreign Secretary

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We had the Tories, now on to Labour as the party leader, Jeremy Corbyn sacks Hilary Benn from the Shadow Cabinet; Newspaper reports suggested Mr Benn had been encouraging shadow ministers to resign if Mr Corbyn ignored the result of the no confidence vote. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said Mr Corbyn “worked himself to the more…

Taoiseach on Border Poll: “There are much more serious issues to deal with in the immediate terms and that is where our focus is.”

Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, was, rightly, quick to dismiss Sinn Féin’s attempted distraction predictably opportunistic call for a border poll following the EU referendum result.  Here’s what she told Radio Ulster listeners “The Good Friday Agreement sets out the conditions under which I am required to call for a border poll – more…

REVERSE, REVERSE

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Just the very quickest of thought experiments:  So, I’d be grateful for help in thinking this through. Namely, whether a pro-Remain party (maybe Labour under Jarvis or Chuka, or maybe a reborn Libs), or two, might find themselves with the seat balance after an Autumn snap election.  Standing, say, on a ‘Let’s Not Leave’ platform. Or, for more…

Boris Johnson as the next Winston Churchill: not necessarily a complement

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The Brexit victory has brought forward its leading light in Boris Johnson. Many now expect him to become the next Tory leader with Cameron having announced his resignation. Against that it must be said that the Tory party does not always forgive the slayer of its previous leader: Michael Heseltine never became leader; though Thatcher more…

Referendum result: DUP in touch with Middle England

Mick has his first thoughts on the EU referendum below. He has pointed out that although the majority of Northern Ireland voted to remain it was close: realistically most unionists voted to leave. To disgress for a moment. Prior to last year’s assembly election people suggested the DUP were beginning to lose touch with substantial more…

So what happens now?

Well, the markets are currently having their say, but I would strongly advise that we look at them in a week and a half and see if they recover from the initial shock. Now for Andy’s predictions on what happens from here. Negotiating our way out The next step is Article 50 notice to leave more…

Northern Ireland votes narrowly for Remain, but what does it mean?

Well, what a night. The final Leave vote will be much narrower than the Yes Vote was in Scotland, and the result much more profound. Although getting out of a long-standing contract with the EU will be a little more complicated. Much of the rapid movement in the money markets have already been exaggerated because more…