Archive for the ‘European Union’ Category

Theresa May appeasing hard-Brexit Tories, ministers warn

Key supporters of soft Brexit excluded from talks as PM seeks support for deal

Soft-Brexit cabinet ministers fear that Theresa May is determined to appease hardline leavers rather than reach out across the House of Commons, after key figures were excluded from discussions with other ministers.

May spoke to senior figures including the home secretary, Sajid Javid, the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, the attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, the leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, and the international development secretary, Penny Mordaunt.

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Boris Johnson wrongly denies stirring Turkey fears in Brexit campaign

After speech attacking PM, ex-minister claims he ‘didn’t say anything about Turkey’ in 2016

Boris Johnson has wrongly claimed that he “didn’t make any remarks about Turkey, mate” during the EU referendum campaign, in comments that overshadowed a speech in Staffordshire intended to burnish his leadership credentials.

The former foreign secretary’s clumsy attempt to rewrite history eclipsed a speech highly critical of Theresa May’s Brexit negotiating strategy, and earned him criticism for his refusal to disown or even recognise what he once said.

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Revealed: UK patients stockpile drugs in fear of no-deal Brexit

Doctors call for more transparency amid fears of shortages, especially of insulin

Ministers have been urged by top doctors to reveal the extent of national drug stocks, amid growing evidence patients are stockpiling medication in preparation for a no-deal Brexit.

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP), which represents tens of thousands of doctors, urged the government to be more “transparent about national stockpiles, particularly for things that are already in short supply or need refrigeration, such as insulin”.

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Weekly round-up of events

This week’s event announcement is below.


ICON-S British-Irish Chapter Annual Conference

The United Kingdom’s Withdrawal from the European Union (?)

Domestic and European Constitutional Implications

University of Strathclyde, 24 – 25 April 2019


The UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU involves a major change to – and major test of – the UK’s constitutional arrangements, the precise implications of which remain unclear.  It is also an event of profound significance for the UK’s closest neighbour, Ireland, and for the EU itself.  Barring a decision to delay or revoke the Article 50 process, the UK will cease to be a member of the EU on 29 March 2019.  This conference will mark the UK’s withdrawal from the EU by reflecting on the constitutional legacy (for the UK, Ireland, and the EU) of 45 years of UK membership of the EU, the constitutional implications of the conduct of the withdrawal process, the likely impact of Brexit on the UK’s domestic constitutional order, and the constitutional significance of post-Brexit relationships with Ireland, with the EU, with new trading partners, and with other external organisations, such as the Council of Europe.

Keynote and plenary speakers:

Professor Martin Loughlin, London School of Economics

Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Jo Murkens, London School of Economics

Professor Rosa Greaves, University of Glasgow, University of Oslo

Call for Abstracts:

The organisers invite suggestions for papers or panels on the following (or any related) themes:

  1. Brexit and the UK constitution
    • The constitutional legacy of EU membership;
    • The constitutional significance of retained EU law;
    • Brexit and the territorial constitution;
    • Fundamental rights protection after Brexit;
    • The role of Parliament in the Brexit process;
    • Constitutional referendums and the constitutional role of the people;
    • The UK constitution under stress – lessons of the Brexit process.
  1. Ireland and the Irish border
    • The implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland;
    • UK-Irish relations after Brexit;
    • Irish reunification.
  1. Brexit and the European Union
  • Brexit and the future of European integration;
  • The UK’s impact on the European Union.
  1. The UK’s external relations after Brexit – constitutional implications
    • The UK’s future relationship with the EU;
    • International trade and the UK constitution;
    • The other legal Europe – implications of Brexit for the ECHR.

Proposals for papers (up to 300 words) or panels (up to 300 words outlining the theme of the panel and up to 300 words for each paper) should be submitted by email to [email protected] by Friday 15 February 2019.


Conference fee: £40 (£20 student rate)

Registration details will be published once the call for abstracts has closed.

Oran Doyle, Aileen McHarg and Alison Young (Co-Chairs of the ICON-S British-Irish Chapter)

Boris Johnson condemned after falsely saying he did not make anti-Turkish claims in Brexit campaign – Politics live

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Boris Johnson’s Brexit speech

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove also raised the prospect of the Turkish migrants being able to enter the UK freely if it remained in the EU in a second letter sent to David Cameron during the referendum campaign in 2016. They said:

The Eurozone’s economic crisis is fueling the rise in migration. Millions of people in southern Europe, particularly young people, are giving up hope of their countries escaping recession. Unsurprisingly, migrants from those countries are disproportionately coming to Britain. Given the Eurozone crisis, we can only expect this to continue for many years. If we stay, we are tying ourselves to a broken Eurozone economy while simultaneously accepting unlimited migration of people trying to escape that broken economy. The only way to restore democratic control of immigration policy is to vote to leave on 23 June.

These problems will only get worse when countries in the pipeline to join the EU become members in the near future. British taxpayers are already paying nearly £2 billion for Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey to join the EU. The European Commission recently announced an acceleration of these plans and is already extending visa-free travel to the border with Syria and Iraq. This is dangerous. The Government’s claim that Britain has a veto is meaningless if it is simultaneously trying to ‘accelerate’ this process.

During the 2016 referendum campaign Vote Leave, which was jointly headed by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, claimed that if the UK remained in the EU, and the Turkey succeeded in joining, then around 80m Turks could end up being able to move to Britain.

At one point in the campaign Johnson and Gove wrote a joint letter to David Cameron about this. They said:

Others assert that the UK has ‘a veto’ on Turkish accession. This claim is obviously artificial given the government’s commitment to Turkish accession at the earliest possible opportunity.

If the government cannot give this guarantee, the public will draw the reasonable conclusion that the only way to avoid having common borders with Turkey is to Vote Leave and take back control on 23 June.

Actually, I didn’t say anything about Turkey in the referendum. I think anybody who has followed my utterances during the last 20 years will know that I’ve always been in the camp of those who defend ...

Since I made no remarks, I can’t disown them.

I didn’t make any remarks about Turkey, mate.

You do me an honour. I was happy to support leave, and I do and I did.

Boris puts the moron in oxymoron. He’s now trying to act the great liberal by championing migration, after shamelessly pushing anti-Turkish messages as a leader of the Vote Leave campaign.

But the government must love it when he gets up and gives these speeches. He’s a helpful clown, distracting from the government’s failures by pushing a no deal that Parliament won’t let happen.

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Mordaunt urges May to prepare for no-deal as PM consults cabinet

No 10 says May is meeting ministers throughout day to prepare for plan B statement

Theresa May will hold meetings with members of her cabinet in Downing Street to try to forge a route through the Brexit impasse, as one of her ministers suggested her withdrawal agreement could be improved if the UK was prepared properly to leave with no deal.

May was meeting a large number of cabinet ministers either individually or in small groups throughout the day, Downing Street said, adding that she did not intend to speak to any opposition or backbench Conservative MPs.

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The 10-year challenge is catnip to narcissists. Speaking of which … | John Crace

Also this week: the two-horse race for worst PM of all time, and Piers Morgan being a snowflake

Take your pick. Either Gillette must be struggling to believe their luck or their marketing bods have done a brilliant job creating a backlash to their new advert to send it viral. I’ve watched it several times now and I’m still struggling to see what all the fuss is about. It’s basically just a slick sales pitch in which men are shown they can learn how to behave decently towards women and not bully each other, providing they shave regularly and don’t grow beards. Hardly controversial you would have thought, but it’s enough to have sent some rightwing organisations and Piers Morgan into a meltdown. For someone who has built a career out of saying the outrageous, Morgan has turned out to be a bit of a snowflake himself. He immediately announced he was boycotting all Gillette products because the advert was an affront to masculinity. Men should be allowed to be real men. Gillette must be gutted to lose his business. But it makes you wonder what kind of advert would make Morgan happy. Perhaps one where a man lies in bed while his wife gets the children up, before going to the bathroom where he farts loudly while shaving. He smiles, because that’s the best a man can get.

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