Westminster’s reply to the SNP’s case for remaining in the single market was taken seriously after all. So why did May allow Sturgeon to claim she’d been ignored?

Here’s a strange thing. There we were, led to believe  that Theresa May had dismissed almost with  contempt Nicola Sturgeon’s  carefully  considered case for the UK, or at least Scotland,  to remain within the single market. It turns out it wasn’t like that at all. We know that because the Scottish Government itself has just published a reply to the SNP’s paper Scotland’s Place in Europe, from the Brexit Secretary David Davis in a letter dated 29 March. It lists … Read more

EU nationals are going through 85 pages of hell to claim their right to remain

In the atmosphere of increasing tension as we enter the month of triggering Article 50, the  government faces at least a temporary defeat in the Lords over the status of EU nationals. Peers are unlikely to accept home secretary Amber Rudd’s claim in a letter to each peer that: a guarantee of EU nationals’  right to stay, however “well-intentioned”, would not help the hundreds of thousands of UK citizens living on the continent as it could leave them in potential … Read more

No side deal for soldiers, Theresa. If you can legislate for the language, you can legislate for the legacy

It  would  be hard to find an issue that  illustrates how little Northern Ireland matters to some Conservative MPs as the campaign to halt police investigations into cases of alleged army misconduct during the Troubles. It’s not so much calculated indifference as blimpish blindness. This was the question to Theresa May at PMQs today: 22 February 2017   Dr Julian Lewis (New Forest East) (Con) Q9. If she will take steps to introduce legislative proposals to provide legal protection to … Read more

Shame on the politicians for allowing the PSNI to become the victims of a tabloid firestorm over army prosecutions

A tabloid storm  blown up  by the Sun and the Mail with the Daily Telegraph in tow  has been set off to save  hundreds, perhaps thousands of “our boys” – the soldiers who served in the Troubles – from the “ witch hunt” of being singled out as a class for prosecution as a result of Army action in the Troubles. The surge probably owes more to  the  establishment campaign against prosecutions over Iraq – one case now being  the … Read more

While the Supreme Court continues the agenda moves on. A hard Brexit looks more and more likely and the future of the Irish border is in the balance.

The Financial Times (£) says it all in the editorial quoted at some length below  – or most of it. If Theresa May had introduced a simple bill granting MPs a vote on Article 50, the November High Court case and the appeal to the Supreme Court would not have happened. What it doesn’t say is that the UK government look like triggering Article 50 before the end of March to leave the single market and the customs union. They … Read more

Theresa Villiers is a semi-detached secretary of state. She needs to focus up, or go.

Mick’s post brings out the striking  ontrast between this debate in the Dail and how Westminster is currently dealing with Northern Ireland.  There is a powerful irony that Dublin is far more interested in our affairs than London, even though London as the paymasters has the overwhelming responsibility. In NI questions on the same day,Theresa Villiers limited herself to a fatalistic statement of the position  on deadlock. Although she has met the parties there have been no serious attempts at … Read more