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Summer Blog

Britain’s Quiet Revolution – Effective, bloodless and immediate.   

 

MPs have now left Westminster , returning to their constituencies for the annual summer break. For many it will be a bitter sweet homecoming. They have been humbled by their voters, who showed more courage then they did in taking one of the most important decisions since 1940 about how Britain is governed, and by whom. Although the vote to leave the EU prompted a period of tumultuous political change, the  sense  of quiet relief across the country is  now palpable. Britain’s democracy has done what it does best. It has facilitated a peaceful revolution against those who wielded power, dramatically but quietly. British people returned their country to accountable, parliamentary government. In their understated way they went to the ballot boxes in their millions. They voted to end autocratic rule by an alien power and, in so doing, set off the chain of events to return power, seamlessly and authoritatively to the people with whom it had, for centuries, rested. The new prime minister, Theresa May, lost no time in completing the revolution.

A Question of Place, a Matter of Identity?

A Question of Place, a Matter of Identity?  

If Labour is to regain the trust of its voters, it must respond to the timeless concerns of voters - economic and cultural, says Rt Hon Frank Field, MP. 

 

Already Labour’s future depends less on who wins the contest between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith, than who is elected UKIP’s leader. That is just one sign of UKIP’s potential challenge to the party’s future.

 

Labour’s greatest danger is if UKIP’s new leader rebrands the party as the English party.

 

I’ve never accepted that UKIP were the most serious long term challenger to Tory disgruntled votes. History has it that Tory voters are good at voting for Lib Dems in protest by-election votes, but are much more inclined to return to the fold at a subsequent, often second, general election.

 

UKIP’s Labour vote appears much more stable and loyal to its new party. The reason for this is simple. Much of the Tory protest vote in UKIP was against a general direction of government policy.

A question of place, a matter of identity?

A question of place, a matter of identity?  

Friday 29th July: If Labour is to regain the trust of its voters, it must respond to the timeless concerns of voters - economic and cultural, says Frank Field, MP

Already Labour’s future depends less on who wins the contest between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith, than who is elected UKIP’s leader. That is just one sign of UKIP’s potential challenge to the party’s future.

Labour’s greatest danger is if UKIP’s new leader rebrands the party as the English party.

I’ve never accepted that UKIP were the most serious long term challenger to Tory disgruntled votes. History has it that Tory voters are good at voting for Lib Dems in protest by-election votes, but are much more inclined to return to the fold at a subsequent, often second, general election.

Leaving the EU & Article 50 - Legal entitlements, practical opportunities.

Leaving the EU & Article 50

Legal entitlements, practical opportunities.

 

Image result for article 50 brexit

 

Friday 22nd July: This week French and European counterparts discussed with Mrs May their thoughts on the timing of Article 50 to give effect to the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU. Monsieur Hollande pressed for rapid action. Mrs Merkel seemed to acknowledge more time may be needed. For her part, the prime minister has stated that the process will begin in 2017. Who is right? Here Martin Howe QC, in an extract based on his new pamphlet*, explains:

Not only is it possible, but it is prudent for the UK to engage in a period of planning and of informal pre-negotiation with other member states, before invoking the formal procedure of Article 50 and setting its 2-year timetable running. There will be a significant task in revising UK domestic law in preparation for exit, even if this is speeded up by using the regulation-making procedures under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972. At the same time the UK will need to replace areas where its international relations are currently conducted via the EU with direct international treaty arrangements. This suggests that 2 years may well be a relatively short period in which to prepare for exit, particularly if, as seems apparent in the aftermath of the vote, no serious contingency planning was done inside Whitehall for the eventuality of a Leave vote.

'Brexit means Brexit'

 ‘Brexit means Brexit’

Friday 15th July: Whatever the view of the opponents of Brexit, the referendum vote must mean what it said. As Robert Tombs explains, the people, not parliament, the Crown, or the courts are the true sovereign, the ultimate source of authority.

Image result for brexit means brexit

This plain statement by our new prime minister would appear to settle the matter. But there are some -- including prominent and influential voices -- who cast doubt at least on the substance and even on the form. The argument is that parliament or the law courts should if not overrule or rerun (though some have argued even that) at least circumscribe or delay the verdict of the referendum. The implication is that a referendum is somehow illegitimate or at least inferior as an expression of political choice, and that it is contrary to our long constitutional history that has made parliament sovereign. Hence, a sovereign parliament should make the final decision as to whether Brexit doesin fact mean Brexit.

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