Tag Archives: impact

‘A great deal’ for whom? The UK will haemorrhage money!

Thumb up: But Boris Johnson won’t lose money on his Brexit deal like the rest of us.

Read this, which refers to Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal:

A “great deal”? Or a nightmare?

Some of you will no doubt be saying, “Don’t give us all that Project Fear talk, Mike! It’s all just scaremongering to keep us as vassals to the fascist EU superstate!” Or whatever.

But is it scaremongering? Is it really, when the economic figures come from Boris Johnson’s own official government analysis?

Isn’t it more accurate to say that the unelected prime minister is once again lying through his teeth in the knowledge that the kind of voter who would respond as I suggest above will lap it up?

Analysis published by the UK government last November suggested that a deal along the lines of that agreed by Johnson would have a major adverse economic impact on the UK, with British people hit by falling wages and declining growth.

Consider this:

Johnson’s own government’s analysis suggested that a deal along the lines of that agreed on Thursday will reduce annual economic growth by 6.7% compared to staying in the EU. That’s a major hit to the UK economy which will make average households thousands of pounds poorer than they would have been had we remained in the EU.

The UK government’s own analysis also suggested that a deal along the lines of Johnson’s would have a big impact on the average wages of people living in the UK. According to its central projection, average real terms wages would fall by 6.4% compared to staying in the EU.

The economic hit would inevitably lead to the UK government being forced to borrow more, or dramatically slash the services it provides to the public. According to the government’s own analysis, there would be a 3% increase in borrowing as a percentage of economic growth.

Admittedly, negotiations over the final shape of the UK’s future trading relationship with Europe – and the rest of the world – have not yet begun – Boris “Get Brexit Done” Johnson lied about that too.

But the broad direction is clear. The UK economy is going into a ditch.

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Labour to call for all private government briefings on harmful effects of Universal Credit to be published

We’re hearing more and more horror stories about the effect of Universal Credit on the people who are forced to claim it, now.

The latest accounts seem to have done some good, prompting the Conservatives to delay completion of the flawed benefit’s rollout across the UK while they consider ways of minimising hardship caused to people being transferred onto it.

Joy at the decision has been dampened by the revelation that the options being considered won’t do much good – and the fact that the benefit would still target families with children, women, and minority groups with disproportionate cuts in income.

We have been led to believe that even Conservative backbenchers have been considering rebelling against their own government, in the belief that a show of defiance over a matter that has outraged the public might save them from losing their Parliamentary seats at the next general election, which might not be far away.

Perhaps the decision to delay completing the rollout of UC across the whole of the UK was made to pacify these potential rebels.

Their opportunity to make a stand would have come in an Opposition Day debate on Universal Credit today (October 17). Whether that happens or not, the Labour Party has almost certainly outflanked both them and the government itself, with its plan for a “humble address”, in which the Queen is asked to direct that certain documents be released.

In this case, the documents would be private briefing papers on the impact of the roll-out of Universal Credit on recipients, household income and on claimants’ debts:

It seems certain that any papers released in this manner would show that the Conservatives were well aware of the harm their Universal Credit would do – but went ahead with it anyway.

That would include the potentially-rebellious Tory backbenchers; they would have been perfectly aware of the drawbacks to claimants of the benefit as it had been designed.

So Labour’s move – if successful – would expose the Conservatives on multiple levels.

The resulting scandal could be catastrophic for the Tories.

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Request for new Brexit impact analyses shows the UK and EU are dancing in the dark

Embrace? Theresa May is trying to draw Jean-Claude Junker into her death-grip but he is determinedly holding her back.

This will be the final brand in the bonfire of David Davis’s 58 (or however many there were supposed to be) Brexit analyses, then.

MPs have signalled they either don’t believe the information in those documents – or they are out of date.

It also shows that the Conservative government has been trying to negotiate a Brexit deal without any idea of the possible effects – of any outcome. Perhaps Mr Davis should have spent a little more than four hours this year in talks with his counterpart, Michel Barnier?

The situation is akin to Theresa May trying to dance with Jean-Claude Junker in a completely dark room; for all she knows, he is as far away from her as it is possible to be – and that is probably the way he wants it.

The story simply reinforces the view This Writer put forward on June 2: Members of the Tory government don’t care what impact Brexit will have on the people of the UK.

Their only concern is how they personally can profit from it.

The Treasury and Bank of England have been asked to draw up analysis of the impact of any Brexit deal struck with the UK.

The Commons Treasury select committee said it had also requested research from the Financial Conduct Authority on the potential impact of the withdrawal agreement and future framework.

Treasury committee chairwoman Nicky Morgan said MPs should be “properly informed” before the promised parliamentary vote on the deal.

Source: MPs request Bank and Treasury Brexit analysis

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The Tories couldn’t be bothered to assess the impact of Brexit – so London Mayor Sadiq Khan did it for them

Topical: Carillion was a construction company, and has just crashed. Brexit would cause more job losses, it seems.

The predictions aren’t good – no wonder David Davis preferred to say he hadn’t done any research.

It’s better to look a complete fool than to have to admit this:

Isn’t it?

Try this:

Or this:

Not looking good, is it?

There’s more. Sadiq Khan tells us:

New independent economic analysis commissioned by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, indicates that a ‘no deal’ hard Brexit could lead to a lost decade or longer of significantly lower growth. The worst-case scenario could result in:

  • 500,000 fewer jobs
  • 87,000 fewer jobs in London by 2030
  • nearly £50bn UK-wide investment lost by 2030

Financial and professional services could be the hardest hit with 119,000 fewer jobs nationally. Other sectors reported include: science and technology (92,000 fewer jobs), construction (43,000 fewer jobs) and the creative sector (27,000 fewer jobs).

Even softer Brexit scenarios, like the UK remaining in the Single Market, but leaving the Customs Union after a transition period could still result in a 176,000 fewer jobs across the country.

The report also shows that London could suffer much less from Brexit than the rest of the country – increasing geographic inequalities across the UK.

A future trade relationship must be agreed between the Government and the EU by 27 October this year. The Mayor is warning that with just 10 months to go, time is running out.

In total, five scenarios were modelled by Cambridge Econometrics to illustrate the range of possible outcomes of the UK’s future relationship with the EU. These are:

  • Scenario 1 – A ‘close to status quo’ scenario where the UK remains part of both of the single market and customs union
  • Scenario 2 –  A scenario where the UK remains part of the single market, but not the customs union
  • Scenario 3 – A scenario where the UK remains part of the customs union, but not the single market
  • Scenario 4 –  A hard Brexit scenario in which trade between the UK and the EU falls under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules with a two-year transition period from March 2019
  • Scenario 5 – The same hard Brexit scenario but without a two-year transition period

For more information on each scenario – see the full report

What now?

A future trade relationship must be agreed between the Government and the EU by October this year. The Mayor is warning that with just 10 months to go, time is running out.

He said:

“I’ve released these impact assessments because the British people and our businesses have a right to know the likely impact on their lives and personal finances.

“This new analysis shows why the Government should now change its approach and negotiate a deal that enables us to remain in both the Single Market and the Customs Union.”

Source: Mayor warns hard Brexit could lead to ‘lost decade’ of growth and employment | London City Hall

It all dovetails very well with this opinion, too:

Whichever way you consider it, Brexit won’t be pleasant.

Fancy an alternative?

TSSA Union leader Manuel Cortes reckons Jeremy Corbyn – if elected prime minister – could keep the UK in a reformed European Union. That would be much better for all of us than the Tory Brexit we’re getting.

Ah, but there’s a big push to make us all believe that Mr Corbyn is a closet Brexiter at the moment. Lots of people you’ve never heard of, trying to be authoritative on Twitter.

Not really convincing, is it?

But then, neither is the left-wing ‘Leave’ argument.

Jeremy Corbyn knows this – you can be sure.

So you can be sure that Labour is only supporting Brexit because of the general belief that a tiny majority of the population wants it.

As soon as it becomes clear that this is no longer true, This Writer reckons Labour’s position will change.

That’s why Brexiters in positions of authority are determined to deny us the opportunity to give another opinion, informed as it would be by the facts that have come out since June, 2016.

But these things have a tendency to make themselves known – one way or another.


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Labour forces vote demanding equality impact assessment of Tory economic policies

For information:

Labour has secured a vote to force the Government to assess the impact of social security changes and fiscal measures on disadvantaged groups.

The Government failed to meet Labour’s demand for the Budget to be audited on the basis of gender, race, age, disability, class and region. Other parties have now joined Labour calls for transparency, with 127 MPs from Labour, the Lib Dems, SNP and the Greens, signing Dawn Butler’s letter to Justine Greening calling for all Government policy to be assessed for their impact on disadvantaged groups.

Although the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) places a legal responsibility on public bodies, including the Treasury, to conduct equality assessments, the Treasury has failed to publish adequate equalities audits of its fiscal measures.

This comes as analysis shows that 86 per cent of tax and social security changes continue to fall on women and women only received two thirds of the spending men received in this budget.

Dawn Butler MP, Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Minister, said: “The Tories’ failed austerity project has hit the most vulnerable groups in our society the hardest, forcing women, ethnic minority communities and disabled people to pay the highest price.

“The Finance Bill represents more of the same for groups with protected characteristics who have borne the brunt of Conservative economic failure for too long. We need a detailed assessment to reveal the full damage of Tory austerity.

“The next Labour government will ensure that we publish comprehensive equality impact assessments to enable us to truly build an economy that works for the many, not the few.”

Source: Labour Press — Labour secures vote on amendment to force equality…


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Known liar says UK could lie about Brexit deal; what is the EU supposed to think?

[Cartoon: Ben Jennings.]

David Davis really should know when to keep his mouth shut – especially after his own Brexit ‘impact assessments’ debacle and the recent behaviour of his colleague Boris Johnson.

Let us remind ourselves of the disgrace with which Mr Davis has covered himself, courtesy of this video by Peter Stefanovic:

It is clear that Mr Davis lied about the existence of these documents. If anybody wants to split hairs about the difference between an “analysis” and an “assessment”, This Writer would urge them to look up a dictionary definition of both terms and consider whether there really is a huge difference between them.

Now he has said the last-minute agreement on the Irish border, citizens’ rights and the financial settlement between the UK and the EU27 on Brexit is “non-binding”.

According to the BBC: “He stressed that the deal struck by Theresa May on Friday to move to the next phase of talks was a “statement of intent” and not “legally enforceable”.

“Mr Davis has said “full alignment” would apply to the whole of the UK, not just Northern Ireland, but the Sunday Telegraph said Conservative Brexiteers had been reassured that it was “non-binding” and had been included to secure Ireland’s backing for the deal.”

This shows an extraordinary lack of intelligence from Mr Davis.

Only a few weeks ago, his colleague Boris Johnson caused an international incident when he said he believed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been teaching journalism in Iran – confirming the claims of the Iranian authorities who had arrested her (such actions are considered to be ‘soft’ campaigning against the ruling regime there). In fact, she had been on holiday.

Of course the Iranians took Mr Johnson at his word and threatened to double Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s prison term. The imbecilic foreign secretary is in Iran at the time of writing, trying to put right his monumental blunder.

Now Mr Davis has made almost exactly the same kind of blunder – but one that could have far more serious repercussions for everybody in the UK.

And why not?

All they would be doing is judging him according to his character: He lied about the ‘impact assessments’ and he reckons Friday’s agreement is a lie as well.

And he is, after all, the UK minister responsible for Brexit.

The harm to Mr Davis’s reputation is indelible. If you want proof – look at the reaction to his claims about trade deals after Brexit.

He told Andrew Marr that the UK could sign a “Canada plus, plus, plus” trade deal with the European Union “the second after we leave”.

What do we think of that? See for yourself:

We have a Brexit Secretary who has ruined his own reputation with a silly lie – and giggled like a schoolgirl about it when his falsehood was exposed, let’s remember.

He has acted in extremely bad faith and the EU’s negotiators – not to mention the leaders of the other 27 nations – know it.

And he has ruined not only his own reputation but that of the UK internationally.

Still, he won’t be resigning any time soon. Theresa May is too weak to demand it and besides, the stupid Tory government will simply try to hide behind another lie.

Here it is, in fact:

“New sense of optimism?”

New smell of merde, more like!


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MPs urged to demand action against David Davis over claims he misled Parliament

David Davis [Image: Jack Taylor/Getty Images].

It seems the future of Brexit Secretary David Davis is in the hands of Hilary Benn and the members of the Commons Brexit Committee.

Mr Davis has repeatedly misled Parliament into believing that nearly 60 ‘sectoral impact assessments’ have been compiled into the effect of Brexit on the UK economy.

Now he has admitted that they do not exist – not one of them.

Today, David Lammy asked Commons Speaker John Bercow what action could be taken by MPs over this serious issue. Here is the exchange:

So it seems it is up to Brexit Committee chair Hilary Benn to demand proceedings against Mr Davis for contempt of Parliament.

But other MPs may also write to Mr Bercow.

Readers of This Site are strongly urged to ask constituency MPs to do so.

And any member of the public may write to Mr Bercow also, by emailing [email protected]


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David Davis has LIED REPEATEDLY to Parliament about Brexit impact assessments. He must resign now

This Site said David Davis would be in very deep trouble if he could not explain his behaviour. He has – and remains in deep trouble. But he thinks he is above reproach, like so many of his entitled, privileged Tory friends. And the above is his probable response to anyone who demands appropriate action.

What a difference a few hours can make. Only yesterday, This Writer was mocking the Tories for setting up a ‘reading room’ for MPs to examine the Brexit ‘sectoral impact assessments’, and now we find out they don’t exist!

Mr Davis has been using these nonexistent documents as a shield against Parliamentary opponents since the summer – deliberately lying to Parliament, and the country, over a period of several months.

He cannot claim he did not know these documents did not exist.

MPs (through the Queen, for goodness’ sake!) directed the Department for Exiting the European Union to make these assessments – nearly 60 of them – available to the Commons Brexit Committee on November 1.

No wonder it took DExEU no less than 27 days to provide – not 57 or 58 impact assessments but a single, 800-plus-page document. The impact assessments don’t exist.

Then DExEU set up a ‘reading room’ in which MPs were invited to read these nonexistent papers on a strictly limited basis. The mind boggles.

Now:

The government has not carried out any impact assessments of leaving the EU on the UK economy, Brexit Secretary David Davis has told MPs.

“There’s no sort of systematic impact assessment,” Mr Davis told the Brexit committee.

Committee chairman Hilary Benn asked whether impact assessments had been carried into various parts of the economy, listing the automotive, aerospace and financial sectors.

“I think the answer’s going to be no to all of them,” Mr Davis responded.

When Mr Benn suggested this was “strange”, the minister said formal assessments were not needed to know that “regulatory hurdles” would have an impact.

“I am not a fan of economic models because they have all proven wrong,” he added.

The vilification is practically overwhelming the social media:

Mr Lammy has written an information Twitter thread on this subject, providing a timeline:

There you have it: Contempt of Parliament; lying to Parliament; and of course evidence that Brexit will seriously harm the UK economy (in the absence of evidence that it will do us any good).

Where’s Mr Davis’s resignation?

Other commentators have been more brief in their criticisms:

https://twitter.com/Barkercartoons/status/938363498635104256

https://twitter.com/xugla/status/938363438014914560

https://twitter.com/Barkercartoons/status/938362573166137345

https://twitter.com/Barkercartoons/status/938366857299529728

Yes – we need action at once:

  • David Davis must resign, and
  • There must be a motion of no confidence in the Conservative government’s handling of Brexit.

These utterly incompetent, vain and arrogant Conservatives must make way for a government that can actually do a job properly.

Ed Miliband put it best, after the failure of talks on the Northern Ireland border:


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Tory liars suggest MPs can’t be trusted with Brexit impact assessments. So what? THEY DON’T EXIST

Robin Walker: Very well-groomed but he talks a load of codswallop.

David Davis and his Brexit gang have made fools of themselves with the claim that MPs can’t be trusted with the 58 sectoral “impact assessment” documents they have been ordered to release to the Commons’ Brexit committee.

After all, who lied to the Commons that these papers existed in “excruciating detail” (in a dig at Theresa May on October 26) – and then had to admit that they didn’t at all? David Davis.

So the implication by John Whittingdale today (November 28) that the full facts should not be shared because “leaks are not without precedent” is risible – Parliament has already proved itself to be far more trustworthy than a government whose minister lied about the form these documents took.

And Brexit minister Robin Walker’s attempt to justify the pig’s ear his department has made of the matter simply made it worse.

“The problem with the motion that was passed is it referred to sectoral impact analysis,” he said. “We were clear from the start that the motion did not exist in the form that was requested, therefore what we have done is to pull together sectoral analysis for the select committee and its scrutiny and I think that will prove valuable.”

Not true. DExEU was forced to go back on the claim that the assessments exist in “excruciating detail” once it became clear that Parliament was going to see exactly how “excruciating” that “detail” was. If the Commons hadn’t voted – unanimously – to have the reports delivered, in full, to the Brexit committee, David Davis, Robin Walker and their cronies would still be telling us that lie.

Now, despite having demanded time in order to “prepare the information” – by which some of us thought DExEU might actually try to divide the information into the 58 sectoral impact assessments we all expected – ministers have delivered to the Brexit committee a single 850-page document … with some of the details removed.

They’ve made a proper dogs Brexit breakfast out of it.

Tory David Davis was blasted today for suggesting members of Parliament’s Brexit committee could not be trusted with his secret Brexit papers.

The Brexit Secretary failed to hand over unredacted papers examining the possible impact of Brexit on sectors of the economy.

Labour MP Hilary Benn, who chairs the Commons Exiting the EU Committee, fumed in the Commons after ministers argued the full papers were not handed over as assurances of confidentiality were not given.

Mr Benn said he objected to “any suggestion” that he or the committee could “not be trusted” to handle the papers.

Source: David Davis blasted for suggesting MPs can’t be trusted with his secret Brexit papers


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Davis told to explain redacted Brexit impact assessments or be in contempt of Parliament. Committee meets TOMORROW

Probable response: David Davis, like the rest of the minority Tory government, seems to think he is above the law. But if he doesn’t explain his actions to Parliament pretty sharpish, he’s going to find himself and his whole rotten gang in very deep trouble indeed.

Failing Brexit Secretary David Davis must stand before the Commons Brexit committee and explain why he – and the Conservative government – have treated Parliament with contempt. As the committee meets tomorrow, we shouldn’t have long to wait.

That is the ruling of Commons Speaker John Bercow after an Urgent Question by Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, who demanded to know why 58 so-called Brexit “impact assessments” were delivered to the Commons Brexit committee, heavily edited – with vital information missing from their contents.

Mr Starmer made it clear that the motion had demanded “not some of the reports, not redacted copies, the full reports”.

Referring to Mr Davis, he said: “Whether he is in contempt of parliament is a matter we may have to come to. He is certainly treating parliament with contempt.”

The SNP’s Pete Wishart said he wanted to refresh his call for contempt proceedings to begin.

While not going as far as to say that contempt had been committed, Mr Bercow invited Mr Wishart to resubmit his letter in light of developments, and said he would consider it in a timely way. He said he would advise an “urgent audience” between the committee and the Brexit secretary.

“I think when it is suggested that that meeting should be soon, it means soon, not weeks hence. It means very soon indeed. No other diarised engagement is more important than respecting the house, and in this case the committee of the house, which has ownership of this matter and to which the papers were to be provided,” said Bercow.

“As and when matters evolve, if a further representation alleging contempt is made to me I will consider it very promptly and come back to the house. I hope the house knows me well enough to know that I will do my duty.”

The next meeting of the Brexit committee is tomorrow (November 29). Do you think Mr Davis will turn up?

The controversy flared up yesterday (November 27), when the Department for Exiting the European Union delivered the 58 impact assessments – not in full, as required by a binding Parliamentary vote, but incomplete. They have been redacted, we are told, in order not to include commercially sensitive information:

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer made it clear that this is not acceptable. The Parliamentary vote was for the full reports to be delivered to the committee. It would then be for committee members to decide which parts should be edited out before the public was allowed to see them – the intention being to ensure that Conservative government ministers could not hide facts they simply deem inconvenient to themselves.

Mr Starmer expanded on his tweet as follows:

For those who are unable to read images, he said: “Parliament was very clear in its instruction to ministers. All 58 impact assessments should have been shared with the select committee in full, without redaction and unedited.

“If the Government has failed to comply with this ruling then we will not hesitate in raising this matter with the Speaker.”

Raising it with the Speaker implies action against the government for contempt of Parliament. This is really a last resort, because it would be better, strategically, to have the full documents and see what the Tories are trying so hard to hide.

But the Tories are backed against a wall – a contempt ruling will bring their ability to govern properly into question, and we all know that they can’t. Meanwhile, voices of dissent are proliferating:

Some have already decided the government is in contempt of Parliament – like Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, according to Political Scrapbook:

https://politicalscrapbook.net/2017/11/why-the-government-is-in-contempt-of-parliament-over-brexit-papersas-explained-by-jacob-rees-mogg/

But this isn’t the only controversy around Brexit at the moment.

We know about “the bundle of deceitful promises for which people voted, of which the most flagrant and often quoted was the £350m for the NHS”.

We know about the Electoral Commission’s investigation into “whether donations and loans from Brexit campaigner Arron Banks and one of his companies broke campaign finance rules in the run-up to the EU referendum”.

And we know that supporters of Brexit have been reduced to posting fake news about it on the social media. Oh – you didn’t know about that? Here‘s a story about Tory MP Richard Graham, who posted a whopper about Mars relocating from Brussels to London. The claim is, of course, completely fake.

What about concerns that Russia tried to influence the result of the original EU referendum? Here‘s Left Foot Forward‘s view.

The issue may become clearer now that Facebook and Twitter have agreed to share data with the Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee on troll accounts used by the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency. Further information is available here and any information suggesting Russia seriously influenced the result could help trigger an annulment of the referendum result.

Of course, it might be hard to get a significant proportion of the population to accept an annulment, for one sad reason: Prejudice.

The New Statesman is more optimistic, though: That magazine reckons Brexit can certainly be stopped – but the wrong people are leading the campaign to do so, and this is harming it.

Negotiations are continuing, even while all of the above is taking place – but even this aspect of the Brexit fiasco is falling apart, because it has become crystal-clear that the Conservative government, having forced a vote in the knowledge that it might result in the UK’s departure from the EU, simply doesn’t know what it wants.

 

Think Brexit negotiations are going badly? It’s about to get a whole lot worse

What a ridiculous situation. The sooner we get out of this whole pointless process, the better.


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