May-be

May-be

Now that our dear Prime Minister has come back from paying her respects to the journalist shot dead in Belfast, she must concentrate on her problems in the House of Commons.

There is talk of her bringing the WA back to Parliament for a fourth time.  But will Speaker Bercow allow it? After all, the rules say the same question can’t be asked twice. I would imagine he faced a lot of pressure before he allowed it to come back to MPs a third time. Will he capitulate again?

If he does allow it to be put again, is it likely to be passed? There is certainly some tedium creeping into the members of the House of Commons, as there is in the country. Many of them just ‘want to get on with it’ and have it finished one way or the other.

I’d like to think MPs are a sturdy lot and stick up for what they believe in, but perhaps that is being a bit naïve.  For sure, there are quite a few who are prepared to continue to vote against the capitulation within the WA (how does Mrs May get away with assuring the House and the country that it is a good deal for the UK when it obviously is not?).  MPs like Sir John Redwood and Sir Bill Cash should be applauded for their stoic resistance to the deal.

There are others like Jacob Rees-Mogg, for whom I had such great hopes but who we now find would be prepared to sell his soul to the devil.  After this has all died down, I expect an announcement that he has been appointed to a cosy and lucrative little post somewhere.

Because of the huge yet dwindling majority at the first three times the WA was presented to the house, I would imagine there is a very hard rump of members of both parties who would not vote for it under any circumstances.

So Mrs May’s only hope is to persuade Jeremy Corbyn to instruct his members to vote for it. What has government come to when a Prime Minister can’t get a law through the House of Commons using her own party and has to go cap-in-hand to the Leader of the Opposition?

Corbyn, of course, knows this. He has got her over a barrel, which is why the talks are going on so long. He can demand anything he wants in the knowledge that she is desperate. She’s holding out at the moment, but so is he. Will they ever reach a consensus? If they do, you can bet it’ll be a sell-out for the Conservative Party.

But what if May considers his demands to be beyond the pale? What if they both refuse to budge and the talks break down? What are her options then? She would be a fool to bring the WA back to the House without Corbyn’s agreement, so I would imagine that’s out of the window.

So we’ll go into next week’s local elections, and the Tories will be slaughtered. May must know this; she’s not an idiot. She will have been studying the polls and will realise that even if the local elections have very little to do with Brexit, grassroots Tories are pig-sick of what she’s doing.

She’s going to lose several councils to Labour, others to no overall control and I suggest Independents have a fighting chance. There’ll be voters who have voted the same way all their lives but would never vote for their party again. But they wouldn’t vote for the opposition party in a month of Sundays. Who do they vote for? They might just stay at home; I suggest the turnout will be remarkably low.

But May isn’t worried about the locals.  All she cares about is her place in Downing Street – which is precisely why she won’t call a General Election. She knows full well that she’d have to move out because the Tories won’t win the majority of seats, although I think Labour will do badly as well. Corbyn is no leader.

May isn’t concerned about the EU elections either, for the same reason.  Let all the Brexiteers like Farage win the seats! There’ll be chaos in Brussels, but it won’t be her problem.

But if she has failed to have her WA approved in Parliament, what’s her next step?  She could go for a second referendum, despite saying over and over again that she wouldn’t (remember “We’ll be leaving on 29 March 2019”?). That would take several months to organise and we can imagine the question will be loaded. If, having ignored the result of the last referendum, she goes down that route, how will the British public be able to trust anything she says ever again?

She could do nothing and leave the EU without a deal by default on May 22nd but although there are lots of us who would welcome that, at heart, she is a Remainer and thus unlikely to let that happen.

She could resign – and the peoples’ favourite at the moment is Boris Johnson, who would certainly see to it that we left the bloc on WTO rules. However, the leader/Prime Minister is chosen by the Parliamentary party and they are mostly Remainers. They will do their best to ensure Boris doesn’t get into the top spot, despite the prospect of his leading the party to electoral success.

She could ask Brussels for a renegotiation of the Withdrawal Agreement, although Barnier and co have said time and time again that it simply won’t happen.

There could be a no confidence vote in the Government which, if passed, would give May just 14 days to persuade enough MPs to vote for her in a second no confidence vote. If she lost the second vote there would be a General Election which many Tory MPs would want to avoid.

There could be a censure vote against the Prime Minister. If that were passed, although that would be humiliating for her, it would not necessarily force her to resign.

Alternatively, the government could decide to cancel Brexit altogether, although that would plunge the country into constitutional chaos. That may be the answer, and I would vote for it on the grounds that we the people could eventually get a Brexiteer into No.10 who would take us out without all this fuss.

However this situation pans out, both the country and the House of Commons seem to be polarised: one side fervently in favour of Brexit and the other side wanting to stay in the EU. I suggest that eventually, we will see two groups, each comprising current MPs from both the left and the right. This has already started with the launch of Change UK, a party that wants anything but change! MPs of all hues have joined the party whose specific aim is to stop the Brexit procedure and stay in the EU.

And Farage’s Brexit Party has received support from both Tories like Ann Widdecombe and Labour Brexiteers. When these two factions come face to face, there will be a constitutional battle like we have never seen before.

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Theresa May risking public faith in politics over EU election: UK watchdog

British Prime Minister Theresa May risks undermining voters’ faith in politics by allowing them to elect representatives in a European Parliament election she has said she still hopes to avoid, the U.K.’s Electoral Commission said Friday.

Writing in an op-ed for the Times, Chairman of the Electoral Commission Sir John Holmes said the situation was “unprecedented in a mature democracy,” and warned that participating in next month’s European election without knowing whether elected MEPs will end up taking up their seats raises “serious concerns.”

“Even if the elections go ahead as planned, no one can tell whether those elected will take their seats or, if so, for how long,” Holmes wrote. “There are bound to be questions about the impact on voters, now and in future, when a significant electoral process is in such doubt, especially when its value is being openly questioned by the government.”

U.K. voters are expected to cast their ballots for the European election on May 23, and parties have been publishing their electoral lists in preparation. But May has said she does not want the election to take place, suggesting she could cancel it as late as the day before — if MPs back her EU withdrawal bill.

If the U.K. leaves the EU before the new European Parliament sits in July, any MEPs elected in the May 23 vote would not take their seats.

Holmes suggested the Electoral Commission would hold an inquiry after the vote, saying: “We will come back to these issues once the elections are behind us.”

The U.K.’s participation in the European election has also thrown a wrench in the European Parliament’s plan to resize — and rebalance — the institution after Brexit. In 2018, the institution agreed to cut the number of MEPs from 751 to 705, and to allocate the 27 seats that had been the U.K.’s to 14 “under-represented” member states. Now some member countries are expected to elect all their would-be MEPs in May and then wait until the U.K. leaves for them to take their seats. Others could hold mini-elections only when — and if — the U.K. finally leaves.

News review – Friday 26 April 2019

News review – Friday 26 April 2019

Brexit

Independent
Britain should leave the EU without a deal if the only alternative is remaining in the bloc, Jeremy Hunt has said. The foreign secretary said he would be willing to deliver a no-deal Brexit if he is prime minister because the “democratic risk” of not leaving the EU is greater than the economic damage of leaving without an agreement. He insisted the UK would “make a success” of a no-deal outcome despite the “very significant” disruption it would cause.  Mr Hunt is tipped as a frontrunner to succeed Theresa May as prime minister. He backed Remain in 2016 but has since emphasised the need to deliver Brexit and often sided with Eurosceptic colleagues in cabinet. Asked if he would be willing as prime minister to take Britain out of the EU without a deal, the foreign secretary told a Westminster lunch: “If there was a binary choice between no deal or no Brexit I would choose no deal because I think the democratic risk of no Brexit ultimately is higher than the economic risk of no deal.”

Sky News
Pro-Brexit convert Jeremy Hunt has claimed no-deal would be better than no Brexit, as he all but confirmed he will run for Tory leader. In a speech to political journalists in Westminster, the formerly pro-Remain foreign secretary spelled out his new pro-Brexit credentials. Quizzed about the Tory succession, in which he is expected to be a candidate, he said the next leader should support Brexit, “as I do”, even if they failed to vote Leave in the past.

WA

Express
THERESA May is planning to give MPs another vote on the Withdrawal Bill as early as next week and will use the promise of her quitting even sooner than planned in a bid to get her deal passed by the House of Commons, it has been claimed. And she will attempt to take a definite answer on the Northern Ireland back-stop out of the bill in a bid to ease its path. This comes amid growing discontent at Mrs May’s leadership with MPs from the 1922 committee only narrowly voting against a rule change to allow an early confidence vote on the Prime Minister.

Mail
Ministers today piled pressure on Theresa May to bring back her Brexit deal within days as it was claimed she could tear out the Irish backstop torn out to swing the vote. The Prime Minister could decide to remove the controversial border clause in the hope MPs vote for it and send a new message to Brussels that it must be axed or changed if Britain is to leave the EU.

Sun
THE Tories’ most powerful backbencher has called on Theresa May to support a fresh Commons bid by Brexiteers to strip the Irish backstop from her EU deal. The Sun can reveal that senior Tory Eurosceptics are planning to table an amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to remove the controversial insurance plan that keeps Britain tied to the EU indefinitely.

Independent
Theresa May is said to be considering forcing MPs to vote on her Brexit deal for a fourth time next week after she saw off the latest attempt to oust her from office. The prime minister is planning to bring forward a law to enact her withdrawal agreement, even though it has been rejected by MPs three times, reports suggest. The law is expected to include new guarantees that the government hopes will entice both Tory Eurosceptics and wavering Labour MPs to vote for the deal.

Theresa May

Mail
Theresa May‘s stay of execution is being seized on by enemies of Boris Johnson – but his supporters claim Tory MPs have ‘bottled it’, it was revealed today. The Prime Minister has been given some breathing space after senior Tories rejected plans that could have seen her forced from office within weeks. In a significant setback for Mrs May’s Brexiteer critics, the ruling executive of the 1922 Committee of MPs blocked a bid to change the leadership rules to allow a fresh vote of confidence in her.

Sun
TORY would-be leaders were today urged to get behind Theresa May’s Brexit plan – because it’s the best way to get her out. Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the country won’t be able to move on until Brexit is put to bed. And he blasted rebel MPs who refuse to back the PM – putting our EU departure at risk.

Express
THERESA MAY was spared a new no confidence vote by Tory backbenchers only to block the election of Boris Johnson as next leader of the Conservative Party, it has been claimed. The Prime Minister was given the chance to quit in a few weeks rather than being abruptly cast out by a vote called by the powerful 1922 Committee in an attempt by the former Foreign Secretary’s enemies to quash Mr Johnson’s rise to power, according to a source.

Express
THERESA MAY has set herself a new Brexit deadline of June 30 to ensure that British MEPs elected next month never take up their seats, Whitehall sources revealed last night. Government insiders say the Prime Minister given up hope of cancelling UK participation in the European Parliament poll by securing Commons approval for her withdrawal deal within the next three weeks.

TBP

Telegraph (by Nigel Farage)
If there is a more arrogant and dishonest national political figure at the moment than Lord Adonis of Camden Town, I am not aware of them.  This Labour peer and pro-EU obsessive (I do not use the term lightly) has spent the last 34 months lobbying for a second EU referendum because he doesn’t like the result of the first one.

Sun
THE Brexit Party is planning to take on the Tories and Labour in the next General Election, Sun Online can reveal. Nigel Farage has confirmed he wants to run candidates for Parliament in future to stop Remainer MPs blocking Brexit. His new party is on course to come top in next month’s EU elections just months after it was founded.

Express
NIGEL FARAGE’S Brexit Party could be heading for victory in the forthcoming European elections, the latest polls have revealed. Who will win the European Elections 2019? Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party could storm ahead of their opponents in the upcoming European Parliament elections next month. The elections will be held between May 23 and 26 where a total of 751 MEPs will be chosen to represent the EU’s member states.

Change UK

Westmonster
Just two days into the fledgling Change UK – The Independent Group – Remain Alliance Euro-election campaign and it is facing big teething problems. Beyond the confusing three names, bland managerial logo, and dismal poll numbers, two candidates have already been expelled from the list. Since then more comments have been emerging that have made it hard to tell the ChUKas apart from the pre-Batten Kippers… Now Guido can bring you the quiz we’ve all been waiting for… ‘Who Said It? ChUK 2019 or UKIP 2014?’ Can you guess which are comments from 2019 ChUK MEP candidates and which are from the heady days of UKIP councillors and candidates back in 2014..?

Tommy Robinson

Mirror
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon has announced he is standing to be an MEP in the forthcoming EU elections. The far-right extremist, who calls himself Tommy Robinson, launched his website today, the final day of nominations to stand in the Europe-wide poll. Despite his role as an advisor to Ukip leader Gerard Batten, he’s still barred from joining the party, and will stand in the North West region as an independent. In a message on the website, he took a swipe at Nigel Farage, calling him “just another millionaire stockbroker who looks down at the working classes”.

BBC News
English Defence League (EDL) founder Tommy Robinson has announced he will stand in the upcoming European Parliament elections. Mr Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is expected to stand as an MEP candidate in the North West England constituency. He pledged to represent “the working class of England” if elected as an Independent MEP.

Sun
FORMER English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson is going to run to be an MEP in next month’s EU elections. The far-right hot head – known also as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – will stand as an independent in the North West, if they end up taking place. Bookies Paddy Power had his chances at 3/1 to be elected. He hit out at Brexit Party boss Nigel Farage, calling him “just another millionaire stockbroker who looks down at the working classes”.

EU

Independent
The government is facing a legal challenge over its preparations for the upcoming European parliament elections amid fears that millions of EU citizens in the UK could be deprived of their vote. Under current rules, EU citizens must register to vote and also sign a special form stating that they are not also voting in any other EU country, known as a “UC1”, by 7 May. But chaos surrounding the date of the UK’s departure from the EU means the form was only sent to 2 million European nationals on the electoral register a few weeks before the deadline – instead of the usual four-month period.

Breitbart
The European Parliament has approved a multi-billion euro EU Defence Fund described as “terrible and highly political” by a senior British Armed Forces veteran, as the bloc’s plans for a European Army — once dismissed as “fantasy” — plod forwards. The €13 billion EU Defence Fund was approved by 328 votes in favour to 231 against, according to Forbes, and helps move forward European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s agenda for a Defence Union.

Express
FRANCE is to elect ghost MEPs who will have absolutely no role because their seats will be occupied by British politicians hell-bent on causing EU chaos and quitting the very parliament they are part of. According to many pundits and polls, Britain is likely to elect anti-EU members of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the forthcoming farcical European elections on May 22.

Westmonster
The European Union have chosen to keep details of talks between an EU Commissioner, Tony Blair and George Soros a secret. Pierre Moscovici, the EU’s Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, met with Blair and Soros at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The EU Observer report on the email summary that includes the line: “Soros and Blair: discussions with the two earliest backers of a ‘People’s Vote’”.

Scotland

Telegraph
Would the European Union allow a newly independent Scotland to rejoin the bloc after Brexit and what conditions would Brussels demand from Edinburgh? Nicola Sturgeon wants a Scottish independence referendum by 2021 if Brexit happens. “Independence,” she said on Wednesday in Holyrood, “would allow us to protect our place in Europe.” But as with so much to do with the European Union, things are nowhere near as simple as that.

Guardian
Nicola Sturgeon is to introduce new legislation to stage a second Scottish independence referendum, claiming one must be held by May 2021 if Brexit goes ahead. The first minister said Brexit would have such a catastrophic impact on Scotland’s economy and Westminster’s approach to it had been so chaotic that Scottish voters must have the option to choose independence. In a long-awaited statement to the Scottish parliament on her plans, Sturgeon said the proposed legislation would set out how a new referendum would be held if Holyrood were granted the powers to stage one.

Mail
Nicola Sturgeon could do a deal with Jeremy Corbyn and Labour if it secures a second referendum on Scottish independence, it was claimed today. Scotland’s First Minister said yesterday that Scots should be given the opportunity to vote again before the next Holyrood elections in 2021 – if Brexit goes ahead. Delaying a referendum for two years is a tacit admission that Theresa May will not let her have one while she is in power.

Crime

Mail
The number of killings on Britain’s streets is at its highest level in a decade, shocking crime figures revealed today. There were 732 police recorded homicides – which includes murders and manslaughter cases – in England and Wales last year, the highest since 2008 and the equivalent of two a day. The number of knife offences also rose by six per cent – with more 40,800 recorded crimes involving a blade.

Mirror
Tory Police Minister Nick Hurd has admitted that police cuts are a “factor” driving Britain’s rocketing knife crime. Less money for police forces since the Tories came to power has seen 21,000 officers taken off the beat. Labour said the admission that the government was failing it its “basic duty to keep the public safe”. It comes as official statistics revealed that 40,829 offences involving a knife or sharp object were recorded for 2018 in England and Wales – a 6% rise on the year before. Murder and manslaughter also spiked to 732 killings, up from 655 on the previous 12 months.

Sun
BRITAIN’S murder rate is at its highest level in a DECADE with two people being killed every day, shocking figures have revealed. And knife crime has soared to the highest levels in eight years too as Britain’s blade epidemic continues to spiral out of control. Cops recorded 732 homicides in 2018 – the highest since 2008 – 607 of which were murders.

Education

Times
Private schools are saving taxpayers billions of pounds a year, their head teachers have said in a forceful defence of the sector. The heads used their annual report yesterday to assert the financial benefits of fee-charging schools and the good they are doing for society. The schools bring economic benefits and taxpayer savings totalling more than £20 billion a year by educating pupils who would otherwise need state places and by providing employment, community facilities and tax contributions, an analysis for the Independent Schools Council (ISC) has found.

Huawei

Times
Jeremy Hunt and Gavin Williamson have denied leaking discussions at the National Security Council over Huawei as senior ministers refused to rule out a criminal investigation. The foreign secretary denounced as “utterly appalling” leaks from Tuesday’s most sensitive cabinet committee attended by Britain’s spy chiefs that has called into question future intelligence sharing in Whitehall. The account of the meeting that approved the Chinese telecom company’s role in a new 5G network was described as a “hit-job” by one senior figure who said it was “evidently briefed to make a leadership candidate look tough on China”.

Independent
Ministers “cannot exclude”  the possibility of a criminal investigation after an unprecedented leak of secret discussions over a decision to allow a Chinese telecommunications giant to work on the UK’s 5G mobile network. It follows demands from both Conservative MPs and the Labour Party for a full-blown leak inquiry over reports that Huawei‘s work had been approved at this week’s National Security Council (NSC) – despite opposition from some cabinet ministers.

Sky News
The culture secretary says he cannot rule out a criminal inquiry into the leak of secret talks between security chiefs and ministers about Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. It comes after ministers attacked the “outrageous” leak that the National Security Council (NSC) had approved Huawei’s bid to help build Britain’s 5G network. Jeremy Wright told the Commons: “We cannot exclude the possibility of a criminal investigation”.

Guardian
Cabinet members who were at Tuesday’s National Security Council (NSC) have been sent an ultimatum by Whitehall’s most powerful official to confess or deny whether they leaked a controversial decision to allow Chinese telecoms firm Huawei to help build the UK’s 5G phone network. Cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill is understood to have written to those present and demanded that they tell him immediately whether they were involved.

Health

Times
More than half a million children in Britain have been left unprotected against measles in the past decade, according to a new estimate. The children’s charity Unicef has called for a renewed focus on immunisation to halve a global surge in measles cases that is killing thousands each year. An upsurge in anti-vaccine messages on social media has been blamed for promoting scepticism among parents, but Public Health England says that the bigger problem in this country is difficulty in getting a GP appointment to have the jabs.

Telegraph
Children who have not been given the MMR vaccine could be excluded from school to prevent the spread of disease, the Health Secretary has suggested. Matt Hancock said he could not “rule out” the possibility that unvaccinated children would be sent home if immunisation rates fail to improve. Teaching unions described the idea as a “non-starter”, saying it would be wrong to punish children for their parents’ decision not to vaccinate them, as well as being “unworkable”.

Mail
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has refused to rule out children being kept out of schools if they aren’t vaccinated against measles. Speaking on talkRADIO this morning, Mr Hancock said he ‘wouldn’t rule out anything’ when asked if he would consider the drastic step. MMR vaccinations last year dropped for the fourth year in a row in the UK, while measles cases in England more than trebled in a year in 2018.

Mail
Lung cancer is on the rise among non-smokers as experts warn that GPs are missing the symptoms. Leading health officials said last night the issue received far too little attention – despite the fact 6,000 Britons who have never smoked die of lung cancer every year. Smoking remains by far the biggest cause of lung cancer, but one in seven victims is a non-smoker, and scientists predict that within a decade, people who have never smoked will overtake smokers among lung cancer patients.

ITV News
Lung cancer among people who have never smoked is “more common than most people think”, experts have warned. An estimated 6,000 “never-smokers” – those who have had less than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime – die from the disease every year in the UK, higher than deaths from other cancer types, according to a paper in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Mail
Cancer drugs are not reaching the patients who need them, experts have warned. One in six people diagnosed with cancer have faced problems getting the drugs recommended by their doctors, according to a report by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London. NHS rationing, red tape and hold-ups mean 16 per cent of patients have either faced delays getting cancer treatments or been denied them altogether, polling by the organisation has found.

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PRESS RELEASE FROM UKIP GLOUCESTERSHIRE

PRESS RELEASE FROM UKIP GLOUCESTERSHIRE

UKIP GLOUCESTERSHIRE PROSPECTIVE PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATES AND BRANCH CHAIRMEN RESIGN EN MASSE

At emergency meetings of all six county branches of UKIP Gloucestershire in Gloucester and in the Cotswolds this evening (Thursday 25th April) senior UKIP officials in Gloucestershire expressed their grave concerns about the adoption of YouTuber Carl Benjamin, also known as Sargon of Akkad, as one of UKIP’s two lead candidates for the South West region, which includes Gloucestershire, in the forthcoming EU Parliamentary Elections should these be held on Thursday 23rd May.

Mr Benjamin, who joined UKIP only in December 2018, is known for having courted controversy with his social media history, included a rape tweet to Labour MP Jess Phillips which UKIP Leader Gerard Batten has dismissed as mere “satire”.

Commented Richard Ford, who sits on UKIP’s ruling National Executive Committee and is South West Regional Chairman as well as being the Chairman of UKIP Gloucester and the city’s UKIP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate :

“Many of us here in Gloucestershire have been growing increasingly concerned and uneasy for some time at the direction in which Gerard Batten is moving the party. Things first came to a head last December in a motion of no confidence at the party’s NEC over Mr Batten’s increasing association of both himself and the party with the EDL founder Tommy Robinson. This was after Mr Batten had defied the express will of the NEC to distance itself and UKIP from this association.

Now Mr Batten seems to have gone one stage further and promoted and endorsed the adoption of controversial YouTuber Carl Benjamin, Sargon of Akkad as one of the party’s lead candidates for the South West region in the forthcoming EU Parliamentary Elections, which are currently scheduled to take place on Thursday 23rd May.

All that these associations have done is to distract UKIP’s focus and attention away from Brexit at a key time for our country, when the Conservative government under Theresa May’s failing and chaotic leadership is just not delivering the result of the Referendum at which people voted nearly three years ago, and the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn is not offering any real alternative .

We need to focus urgently on the Brexit which the British people and the people of Gloucestershire voted for nearly three years ago, and therefore I am writing to inform the Party Chairman that I am resigning from all my UKIP offices with immediate effect.  I believe The Brexit Party now offers the only realistic hope of achieving the exit from the European Union for which a majority of the British people voted in 2016 .”

Christina Simmonds, the UKIP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Cheltenham, who was also UKIP’s Parliamentary Candidate in Cheltenham in the 2015 General Election said :

“I have been unhappy for a while that the UKIP leaders have shifted their focus from ensuring the delivery of a meaningful Brexit, by debating the issues, to obsessing about personalities. UKIP had clear membership rules, which it seems are ignored when they appear to be inconvenient, or out of line with what the leadership wants to do (ironically rather like the EU itself). In these circumstances, therefore, I and many of my senior colleagues, as well as rank and file members of UKIP here in Gloucestershire, are left with little alternative but to resign from UKIP with immediate effect .”

In addition to Mrs Simmonds and Mr Ford, UKIP’s Gloucestershire County Chairman and Stroud Chairman Stuart Love, Cotswolds Chairman and 2015 and 2017 Parliamentary Candidate Chris Harlow and Forest of Dean Chairman Averil Summers will also be tendering their resignations, as will many other County branch officials.

These resignations will mean that all six UKIP Gloucestershire Branch Chairmen, and all three currently adopted Prospective Parliamentary candidates, as well as the County Chairman and South West Regional Chairman,  have now resigned.

~~~   OOO   ~~~ 

Open Letter
Dear Gerard:

We have known ourselves since the inaugural Surrey meeting in 1984.
Since then, I have done websites for you, door knocked for you, and served with you on the NEC. I also backed you against Henry Bolton.
Now that Tommy Robinson has formally declared he is standing against us, I urge you to, formally and officially, pursuant to the spirit of 4.3.d of the constitution, sever all poltical links with him.
Failure to do this will result in an increased likelihood of my voting “Brexit Party” in the forthcoming Euros.
This is also in part due to the contempt family members hold for Tommy, and my desire not to break from them.
In sadness,
Rob McWhirter

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YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Friday 26th April 2019

YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Friday 26th April 2019

SNAFU – a military expression dating back to WWII – describes best what Brexit looks like this morning. While the HoC was empty, ‘things’ did happen there yesterday. We learned more about Ms May’s desperate attempts to get her WA over the line. But if the Electoral Commission sees fit to admonish the PM then you know things have become … fouled up.

First of all, Sir Bill Cash made this intervention:

“While speaking in the House of Commons Mr Cash said: “On April 11 a statutory instrument extending the period of time for us to leave the European Union was tabled to October 31. It was rushed through this House of Commons in the afternoon following that council meeting which was attended by the Prime Minister. 80 members of Parliament have signed my prayer for the annulment of that order and statutory instrument which we regard as ultra vires and void. Will my right honourable friend ensure that very soon there is a debate on that statutory instrument and naturally on the issue at stake. We believe it should be on the floor of the House.” (link)

‘Prayer’ in parliamentary terms has a special meaning: “A prayer motion can be used by members of either House to object to a statutory instrument (SI)” (link)

Such motion must be tabled by the Leader of the HoC, Andrea Leadsom, and Peter Bone MP made a suitable intervention when she seemed to be unwilling to do so (link):

“Would the Leader of the House make that point clear and would she also confirm in relation to the right-honourable member for Stone not only will we debate on it, we will vote on it?”

The key words are ‘vote on it’. The right honourable member for Stone is Sir Bill Cash. This is the reply by Ms Leadsom:

“My honourable friend is very well aware that it’s the Government’s policy to leave the European Union in an orderly way. That means leaving with a deal. He will also be aware that the decision of this House not to support that deal and, indeed, to require an extension to Article 50 is the reason why such an extension has been agreed.” The furious Brexiteer shook his head as Ms Leadsom continued: “I have made clear to my honourable friend, the member for Stone, that we will be able grant a debate on the statutory instrument that he has prayed against.” (link)

In other words: ‘you can talk all you like, there won’t be a vote’ …  which is actually not so astonishing because Ms May ‘has plans’, or rather, some of her ministers have made plans for her:

“Ministers today piled pressure on Theresa May to bring back her Brexit deal within days as it was claimed she could tear out the Irish backstop to swing the vote. The Prime Minister could decide to remove the controversial border clause in the hope MPs vote for it and send a new message to Brussels that it must be axed or changed if Britain is to leave the EU.” (link)

It’s beyond belief that ministers, just like those MPs who got their amendment about an extension to Article 50 through the HoC before Easter, simply don’t seem to grasp the fact that the EU has told them repeatedly that the WA is non-negotiable. Their proposal is hogwash, but we can discern why they are doing it:

“Downing Street had hoped to bring forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill next week in the hope of getting a version of Mrs May’s deal through Parliament in time to cancel the European Parliament elections on May 23.” (link)

This, and this alone, is what the latest Brexit drama is about: to cancel the EP elections because the ‘strategists’ both in 10 Downing Street and Tory HQ can see full well that they will be hugely damaging to the establishment parties.

So their new plan is nothing new – it is the ‘Brady amendment’ which was one of those multiple amendments voted on in the weeks before the Easter Break:

“The Prime Minister has been asked to throw her support behind the changes, which could see the backstop limited by 12 months or banished completely. […] Sir Brady said: “My amendment on January 29 demonstrates that a majority can be found for the Withdrawal Agreement, as long as the backstop cannot be a permanent state.(link)

While Sir Bill Cash’s important ‘prayer’ won’t be voted on, this desperate attempt by May and her Remain cronies will be served up for a fourth time:

“But it [Ed: Sir Bill Cash’s ‘prayer’] was missing from yesterday’s list of legislation to be considered by Parliament next week. And Tory whips have privately told ministers the idea has been put on hold for at least a week while the PM tries to secure enough backing for it to pass.” (link).

Now look at the reasoning behind this latest May attempt to shove her WA down the HoC’s and all our throats:

“Government insiders say the Prime Minister (has) given up hope of cancelling UK participation in the European Parliament poll by securing Commons approval for her withdrawal deal within the next three weeks. Instead, she is preparing for a determined push to force crucial withdrawal legislation through Parliament in time for the country to quit the EU by the end of June.” (link)

While that looks innocent enough at first glance, the actual aim is not:

“Her new timetable will mean British voters are set to elect a new troop of MEPs next month […]  who will have lost their jobs by the time the new European Parliament assembles on July 2. One source said: “The focus now is on hitting the June 30 deadline so the MEPs don’t take up their seats.” (link)

Savour this: run the unwanted election, waste huge amounts of money on it, give the stupid voters another chance to express their outrage – and then scupper it. The Times comments:

“Mrs May has said that she does not want the election on May 23 to take place at all, suggesting that she could cancel it up to the day before if MPs approve her withdrawal bill. Any MEPs elected will not take up their seats should Britain leave the EU before the new parliament sits in July.” (paywalled link)

It’s about the EP elections, stupid – and about how to thwart the Leave votes again. In an unprecedented intervention, the chairman of the Electoral Commission has written an article in The Times where, first describing the preparations undertaken by the Electoral Commission to run the EP elections smoothly, he issues this warning:

“This is an unprecedented level of uncertainty in a mature democracy. […] Even if the elections go ahead as planned, no one can tell whether those elected will take their seats or, if so, for how long. There are bound to be questions about the impact on voters, now and in future, when a significant electoral process is in such doubt, especially when its value is being openly questioned by the government.” (paywalled link)

Let this criticism – by an establishment figure! – sink in … Democracy and the democratic process obviously doesn’t matter to Ms May, her Tory cronies and her handlers in Whitehell and in Brussels.

Democracy matters to us though. That’s why we voted Leave – and that’s why she, Brussels and the Remainers are so desperate to wreck Brexit by all means, especially foul ones.

The destruction of democracy before our eyes matters to us even more. That’s why TBP has gained such momentum. It can no longer be about party politics, about standing with one’s political tribe.

It has to be about coming together in an alliance, to save our democracy and our democratic institutions which Ms May and her tribe are trampling into the dust.

 

 

KBO!

 

The post YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Friday 26th April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Interview with Christian Lequesne: there will be no more Brexit extensions after Halloween

Christian Lequesne is a professor of European politics at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) and one of the foremost French commentators on UK politics. He spoke to Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz, at the time of the second Article 50 extension granted to the UK, about the EU27’s negotiating objectives, Macron’s stance on Brexit, and France’s vision for the future of the European political project.

What are the objectives of the EU27 at this juncture of the Brexit negotiations? Have they at all changed since the completion of the Withdrawal Agreement? What was the primary reasoning behind granting the UK yet another extension?

The 27 member states have to respect the democratic decision of the British people to leave the EU. It is perfectly legal according to the treaties. But the 27 also have to consider two major developments: the British do not know how to leave and the integrity of the EU single market has to be protected. The second issue is a constraint for all member states, from south to north, east to west. A huge mistake of the British government at the beginning of the negotiation was to think that the 27 could possibly accept a single market à la carte. No way! Such a scenario would be too risky for the economies of all member states. This explains why the issue of the Irish border has been the most sensitive one in the negotiations between the UK and the EU. The new extension decided on 10 April is the last chance the 27 are giving to Theresa May to find an agreement at home. There is still some hope among the 27 that the Conservative government and the Labour opposition could reach an agreement. Another explanation for the latest extension is that no member state (even France which seemed tough) wanted to be accused of being responsible of a no deal scenario in the context of the forthcoming European elections.

There have been a lot of comparisons between De Gaulle and Macron in their approach to the UK’s position in Europe. Are these at all warranted? Has the UK been an impediment to a French Europe?

No doubt that Emmanuel Macron has, like De Gaulle, a “certain idea” of what France should do in the world and in Europe. A big difference between them is that Macron is convinced that a new kind of European sovereignty is necessary to manage public policies like fiscal, migration, and defence. De Gaulle could not have imagined sovereignty beyond the nation state. Macron has an bold agenda for the future of Europe. He wants a reform of the Eurozone, he is pursuing a stronger European defence policy, and wants to achieve a more symmetrical trade relationship between France and China. For Macron, Brexit is a “pain in the neck”, which blocks the EU agenda and prevents moving forward. Macron has however two problems with EU reform which are quite substantial. Firstly, it is contested in France where Euroscepticism forces are prominent. Secondly, Macron has weak support from other leaders of Europe. Germans. in particular. are very conservative when it comes to European reform. They want a consolidation of the “acquis”, but nothing more. A “French Europe” is what hard Brexiters and tabloids are worried about. But I am afraid that it is merely a fantasy. On the economy, which prevails in the definition of EU leadership, Germany is much stronger than France. To move forward, the EU will need again a strong Franco-German tandem, which does not function at the moment.

What is France’s vision for a post-Brexit EU? What are the competing visions for European integration, if and when the UK leaves the union? Which is most likely to prevail?

From a rational point of view, there is no other alternative for the French than working close with the Germans. Macron knows that well but has probably underestimated the change with regard to Europe in the German domestic scene. No real answers had arrived from Berlin after Macron’s speech at the Sorbonne. The Germans are reluctant to move forward on the reform of the EMU, although Mrs Merkel accepted the principle of a budget for the Eurozone in the future. The current CDU/CSU is very different from the period of Helmut Kohl. The party speaks more the language of national interest. On EMU, Germany has strong allies in the North (the so called Hanseatic League) which do not want to rush EU reform. The main challenge France has, in the post Brexit period, is how to define a new agenda with Germany. Much depends of electoral politics on both sides of the Rhine, and on Macron’s capacity to continue economic reforms. This task is very tricky for Macron. When you reform the economy, and the state administration, you have the people protesting in the streets who have the real veto power in France. The “Yellow Vests” make Macron’s strategy on Europe much more difficult. No leader can any longer go against domestic public opinion whiter defining their EU policy. The time of permissive consensus on Europe is over.

Do you think the UK will leave the EU before the current deadline on Halloween? Do you foresee any developments on the continent (including the European Parliament elections) that could prevent this from happening?

The date of exit is really dependent on UK domestic politics. Several scenarios are possible: acceptance of the deal, new elections, new negotiations. There is nothing much the 27 could really do, expect encouraging again and again the British government and opposition to come up with a compromise. One thing is sure: there will be no new extensions after Halloween. If Theresa May (or her successor) does not find a compromise in London before October 31, a no deal Brexit will take place. During the European elections, which have also to take place in the UK, Brexit will be used as an argument by both pro EU and anti EU parties, of course. But continental Eurosceptics will have to be very cautious in how they do it. Brexit has been so difficult that it is no longer a convincing model to emulate, it is not endorsed by their electorates. However, European elections will not prevent Brexit from happening.

This article gives the views of the author, not the position of LSE Brexit or the London School of Economics. Image by Robert Davis from Pixabay 

Christian Lequesne is Professor of Political Science, Sciences Po, Paris and former Sciences-Po LSE Alliance Professor (2006-2008).

Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz is a sociologist. He is Managing Editor of LSE Brexit and Research Officer at the Visions of Europe project at the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit, LSE Department of International Development.

Accept the British Empire is dead and Brexit has failed, top MEP tells Farage and Brexiteers


Brexiteers must accept that the British Empire is dead and buried, a leading MEP has said before challenging Nigel Farage and his Brexit party to “bring it on” in May’s European elections. Philippe ...
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