Category Archives: Brexit

Brexit has hit the UK as hard as the Covid pandemic or the energy shocks

The fact: deal with it, Brexiteers.

Believe it or not, there are still some people who haven’t twigged that Brexit has harmed the UK economy.

So here’s their regular reminder. Consider it a sort of top-up:


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As the DUP digs in its heels, is Northern Ireland facing hard times?

Stormont: still locked as the DUP’s representatives dig in their heels over post-Brexit trade.

Rishi Sunak has managed to avoid humiliation in the vote on the ‘Stormont Brake’ aspect of his ‘Windsor Framework’ deal with the EU over trade in Northern Ireland. Instead the shame was hung on the Democratic Unionists and Tories in the European Research Group faction.

MPs voted by 515 to 29 to support the deal agreed by Rishi Sunak.

But the defeat means the DUP has vowed to continue its boycott of the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont – with possibly serious consequences for the province.

Spokespeople for the other Northern Irish political parties have begged the DUP to come back, according to the BBC:

Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O’Neill said the DUP had to “stop their boycott” of Stormont so that executive ministers could take control of the budget.

Ministers had to be in post to make the case to the Treasury for extra funding for Northern Ireland, Ms O’Neill added.

“This budget is about to cause catastrophic damage to public services,” she said.

“So the DUP need to get around the table with the rest of us, make politics work.”

Alliance Party MP Stephen Farry said Northern Ireland was “bleeding at present”, with problems piling up and public services in real crisis.

He said his party had asked the UK government to consider providing a financial package and it appeared “the door is open to that”.

“This will require the parties in Northern Ireland to work together and to make a very persuasive case… to the Treasury,” he said.

“So it reinforces the impetus on the DUP to join the rest of us in ensuring we have proper governance here.”

Ulster Unionist assembly member Robbie Butler said the level of budget cuts “on that cliff edge at the moment actually is quite alarming”.

He urged the DUP to accept the “difficulties” with the Windsor Framework and “put the people of Northern Ireland first”.

Social Democratic and Labour Party leader Colum Eastwood said the DUP had to accept that it could not get everything it wanted from the new Brexit deal.

“We have a huge opportunity with this [deal] to trade into both [UK and EU] markets unencumbered,” said the Foyle MP.

“People in Britain would give their right arm to have that opportunity.”

But DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the ‘Windsor Framework’ would not deliver the long-term stability and prosperity that Northern Ireland needs.

Adding insult to injury, he adopted the rhetoric of Labour’s Keir Starmer, saying there was “an element of the sticking plaster” about Rishi Sunak’s new deal with the European Union, and it would not work.

He went on to say he is “not a quitter” and will continue trying to get the deal changed – a tall order, considering the joint UK-EU body that is overseeing Brexit will meet o ratify the legal changes brought about by the Windsor Framework – tomorrow (Friday, March 24, 2023).

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has met the five main Stormont parties at Hillsborough to discuss the new Brexit deal as well as Northern Ireland’s public finances, which he said were not in a good state.

He said he would have to set Northern Ireland’s budget for the coming year within the next few weeks if the executive was not up and running soon – and there would be some “tough decisions” if that happened.

It seems a very thinly-veiled threat, not just to the DUP but to all of the Northern Irish politicians: “get back to normal or suffer”.

But nobody in NI will be in any doubt about where responsibility will lie if the Tories in Westminster penalise them with Budget restrictions, and there may be knock-on consequences at the ballot box.

Is the DUP really willing to court electoral wipeout for the sake of what many see as not just a lost cause, but also a pointless one?


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As the ERG prepares to vote against Rishi Sunak’s Northern Ireland deal, its hypocrisy is exposed

Jacob Rees-Mogg: try not to throw up on your screen – it’s only a satirical comment on his rabid nationalism.

This is embarrassing for Jacob Rees-Mogg and all his European Research Group (ERG) colleagues who are about to vote against Rishi Sunak’s ‘Windsor Framework’.

It’s just an improved update of the Northern Ireland Protocol that they all supported to the hilt when Boris Johnson brought it, “oven-ready”, to Parliament.

Have a gander at this video clip in which Peter Stefanovic exposes the hypocrisy:

The ERG was set to vote with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party against the ‘Stormont Brake’ aspect of the ‘Windsor Framework’ today.

Doesn’t it seem clear that this decision is a political move – probably intended to destabilise Rishi Sunak in preparation for a possible return by Boris Johnson?


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Eurosceptic Tories withdraw support for NI deal. Will Rishi Sunak have to rely on Labour?

Mark Francois: he reckons the ‘Stormont Brake’ is “practically useless”.

This could be hugely embarrassing for Rishi Sunak.

After triumphantly trumpeting his ‘Windsor Framework’ for trade between Northern Ireland, the European Union and Great Britain, and claiming that it should win huge support from MPs, a hugely-influential group of his own party has turned against it.

The European Research Group (ERG) has said the so-called ‘Stormont Brake’, on which Commons MPs are due to vote tomorrow (March 22), is “practically useless”.

This mechanism is intended to give Northern Ireland greater influence on how EU laws are applied there.

ERG chairman Mark Francois has said the group has not decided whether to vote against it, but is leaving the decision to individual members.

But the criticism follows an announcement by Northern Irish MPs from the Democratic Unionist Party that they will not support it.

It puts Rishi Sunak in the excruciating position of potentially having to rely on support for his deal from Keir Starmer’s Labour Party, despite having a Parliamentary majority of around 80 MPs.

If I recall correctly, Sunak has regularly scorned such offers of support for individual policies.

What will it say about his leadership if he can only win the vote with support he didn’t want to have?


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Democratic Unionists will vote against Rishi Sunak’s new Northern Ireland deal. Why?

No entry: are the Democratic Unionists opoposing Rishi Sunak’s new Northern Ireland deal because they don’t want to return to the Stormont Assembly as only the second-largest party?

Do we believe the Democratic Unionists when they say they won’t support Rishi Sunak’s ‘Windsor Framework’ trade deal for Northern Ireland and the European Union because they have “ongoing concerns”?

Party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the party would continue to assess the deal, but that “we don’t believe that this represents the significant progress that we need to see in order to have the institutions restored at this point”:

“There remain for us concerns, for example, and the Stormont Brake deals with the application of EU law in Northern Ireland, but it doesn’t address how are we dealing with change to UK law, which could impact on NI’s ability to trade within the United Kingdom itself.”

He said he wanted to ensure “what the prime minister is claiming is translated into law”.

“Our seven tests have not yet been met. Sufficient progress has not yet been made. I am determined to continue engaging with the government and to get this right,” he added.

Some have doubts…

… and I am among them. The comment triggered an interesting (if short) discussion:

What do you think?


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Tory crumbles under cross examination over Budget

John Glen, Tory Chief Secretary to the Treasury, got badly mauled when he tried to dissemble about the Budget in an interview with Victoria Derbyshire on the BBC’s Newsnight.

He couldn’t explain why it was a “Budget for growth” when medium-term growth forecasts have been downgraded.

And on the effects of Brexit, challenged to admit that it has made the UK poorer, he could not provide an alternative explanation for what has happened since the country left the European Union.

He crumbled under scrutiny.

Watch this car crash interview and understand why Tory leadership has taken the UK nowhere.


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Economic expert tells Rees-Mogg truths about Brexit; Mogg repeats vaccine line

Jacob Rees-Mogg: he’s got his own show now.

This would be amusing if people weren’t so determined to believe Jacob Rees-Mogg’s falsehoods.

The tweet is clear and so is the video clip:

Best line? “By now even Larry the Cat knows he’s lying.”


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The DUP may have solved its ‘Windsor Framework’ dilemma – by passing the buck

The Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland found itself facing a thorny problem after Rishi Sunak announced his new ‘Windsor Framework’ deal for trade between Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the European Union.

That party had been using the lack of a hard-Brexit-supporting agreement on trade as an excuse not to take its seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont, after elections that made Sinn Fein the largest party group there.

But Sunak’s deal has been welcomed almost universally, leaving the DUP with very little wiggle-room.

It left party leaders scrabbling for time in which to find a face-saving way forward.

Now it seems they have found it: pass the buck onto a specially-created committee, act according to its recommendations and – if anything goes wrong – use it as a scapegoat.

Here’s Maximilien Robespierre with the details:


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Here’s why George Eustace is this YouTuber’s ‘Fool of the Week’

Some Tory Brexiteers don’t seem to have the brains they were born with.

Answering a question on whether Brexit is responsible for the UK’s “salad shortage”, former Environment Secretary (I’m not making this up!) George Eustice tried to evade the question by saying the UK is not holding up imports because it isn’t checking incoming freight carrying a number of named goods.

Not only was he negating the very reason we were told Brexit should happen – the UK can’t be “taking back control” if it isn’t actually exercising that control – but he was also telling potential smugglers exactly what they need to say they’re carrying, in order not to be searched at this country’s borders.

Maximilien Robespierre makes the point clearly in this video clip:

The Tories seem to be trying to turn the UK into a smuggler’s paradise. I wonder why.


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Won’t this Brexit ‘benefit'(?) seriously hinder crime detection in the UK?

Information deficit: if the police officers standing behind Brexiteer Boris Johnson at this speech knew how badly he’d harmed their ability to detect crime, would they have arrested him for perverting the course of justice?

Is this yet another ‘unintended’ consequence of Brexit that’s going to seriously harm the people of the UK?

Read:

Frontline police and border force officers will remain locked out of information on a key EU database of terror suspects, criminals and immigration offenders for at least another four years, the Home Office has quietly admitted.

UK police and security services conducted more than 600m real time checks on the Schengen Information System II [SIS II] in 2019, but the following year lost access to its instant information on policing, national security, or immigration alerts because of Brexit. A civil servant said they hoped to get access to a planned new EU international law enforcement alert platform “within two or three years, according to a 2021 House of Lords report”.

But it has now emerged that Matthew Rycroft, the department’s permanent secretary, has said that gaining access to EU datasets is at “a very early stage” and is not expected to be completed before 2027/2028.

Source: UK police and Border Force to remain locked out of EU database of criminals | Home Office | The Guardian


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