Brexit: news

5 Nov 2018 A US trade deal could threaten our farming welfare standards and food quality. It could put UK agriculture out of business if it failed to lower standards to US levels. This, in turn, would risk trade with EU with its higher standards. Environment S of S, Gove, says this won’t happen. International Trade S of S, Fox, says he’s ok with it. Another brexit mess…Post-Brexit US trade deal risk to food safety.

30 Sep 2018 – Gina Miller sums up all that’s wrong with Boris Johnson’s so called Super- Canada FTA. It’s clear, succinct and damning – Boris Johnson’s ‘super-Canada’ plan could never work. Here’s why.

17 Sep 2018 – A serious piece of academic research about the consequences of Brexit on the UK’s food supply – referred to in a long piece by Jay Rayner 

17 Sep 2018 – The following came from the BBC website today – Brexit is no longer the will of the people, if it ever was –

  • Anti-Brexit campaigners have claimed that, even if everyone who voted in the 2016 EU referendum were to vote the same way again, demographic changes mean that the UK population will have a remain majority by 29 March 2019, when the UK leavesPeter Kellner, the former YouGov president, has done the analysis for the People’s Vote campaign, which wants a referendum on the final Brexit deal. His analysis involves looking at how the people voted in 2016 and then calculating how population changes – the death of mostly older voters, based on average death rates, and the fact that people who were too young to vote two years ago are now over 18 – will have altered the mix. It assumes people would vote as they did in 2016, and does not take into account evidence showing there has, separately, been a slight shift to remain. There is a very strong correlation between being older and voting leave, and previously Kellner calculated that the crossover point – the moment when remain would outnumber leave, assuming everyone still alive voted as they did two years ago – would come in November next year. But in the light of new polling showing that the “new voters” (people who are 18 or 19 now) are even more pro-remain than assumed has led him to conclude the the crossover point will come on 19 January next year. Kellner said:

YouGov’s latest figures tell us how those who were not yet 18 last time would vote now. Those who say they are certain to vote divide seven-to-one for remain. This matters statistically: for it helps to explain why demographic factors alone will cause the UK this winter to switch from a leave country to a remain country.

Because this cross-over point occurs before March 29, 2019 – when the UK is due to leave the EU – it means the British public’s view of Brexit will have changed even without anyone who voted two years changing their mind. Young people who were not eligible to vote in 2016 and can do so now make it much harder for anyone to claim that Brexit is still the ‘will of the people’.

Older voters are just as keen on leaving the EU as they were two years ago, younger voters are moving even more strongly into the remain camp – and the very youngest voters back continued membership of the EU by a remarkable margin. It is very rare for a significant demographic group to support one side so overwhelmingly on an issue that splits the nation down the middle.

What is more, young voters are the ones who will still be dealing with the long-term consequences of the current Brexit drama in ten or 20 years’ time, long after many leave voters have gone. Today’s young voters are making clear that they want a pro-European inheritance – and are ready to stand up and be counted, in a fresh public vote.

14 Sep 2018 – Dominic Raab still fantasizing –  EU denies Brexit talks are ‘closing in’ on deal

2 Sep 2018 – It’s Norway or nothing, says Barnier and do not think for one second that he hasn’t agreed this with EU Heads of State. Farewell the deluded fantasies of May, Raab, Liddington

1 Sep 2018 – An intemperate but not unfair piece from The Independent – Liam Fox says ‘No deal’ not Government’s fault!

31 Aug 2018 – Simon Jenkins in today’s Guardian is right isn’t he? If a People’s Vote doesn’t take place or fails to put the brakes on Brexit then the “soft” variety of EU departure is our only hope of avoiding cataclysm – Hooligan Brexiters now offer a mad, dystopian future nobody voted for

26 Aug 2018 – further risk to our trade in EU? And to UK safety standards and consumer protections – Whither the CE mark now?

16 Aug 2018 – Support for remaining in the EU is growing in Scotland with greater demand for SNP and Labour leader’s to strengthen their stance against Brexit – Majority of Scottish voters feel ignored by UK ministers on Brexit

6 Aug 2018 – Recommended by a p4e member (our thanks to her) and worth hearing. It’s not a rant. Not an accusation. Just a calm quiet plea to think again – based on our current understanding and knowledge – about our decision to leave the EU – A Point of View – Think Again – @bbcradio4

26 July 2018 – EU/US relations are on the up. What will that mean for all Dr Fox’s hopes and dreams? – EU improves trade relations with US

But the Guardian strikes a note of caution – Are EU/US trade talks all they seem?

16 July 2018 – …where the EU has expertise and cohesion, Britain has confusion and disarray – EU institutions are now portrayed as running rings around British negotiators

10 July 2018 – does this suggest Labour is serious about its 6 tests? Will Corbyn allow his MPs to vote down May’s deal (if she gets one)? – Labour poised to vote down Brexit deal

10 July 2018 – events since last Friday’s brexit away day at Chequers have changed the government landscape. And weakened or strengthened the PM’s position? – Is it opportunity or disaster for the prime minister?

7 July 2018 – BBC’s Farming Today often has useful things to say about Brexit. That it’s on at 5.45am during the week and 6.30am on Saturday may mean you have missed it. Today’s episode concentrated on a big soft fruit farm in Herefordshire. And you will not be surprised that recruiting pickers is a big issue. Hear it here

6 July 2018 – The BBC has an interesting piece on what ‘services’ comprise. Who would have thought that Rolls Royce derive 52% of their income and all of their profit from services. Read it here

6 July 2018 – after reading the entries below, a friend sent me the following link from a blog from the London School of Economics Definitely worth a read

3 July 2018 – The Guardian has a piece on how business of all shapes and sizes are now urgently questioning the Government about what will happen after Brexit. You can read it here As well as the BCC (see post immediately below), the article also refers to a letter written by the Professional and Business Services Council (PBSC). You can read that letter here 

This is particularly important as:

  1. It seems possible that Theresa May is going to propose to the EU that the UK effectively stays in the Single Market for goods of all sorts but leaves for the kinds of services the PBSC members provide. The PBSC letter demolishes such arrant nonsense.
  2. The UK runs a big trade surplus on services (sadly completely dwarfed by the much larger deficit on goods). Professional and Business Services are the largest  component of services and generates a big trade surplus to the EU.

3 July 2018 – The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has 24 questions it wants answered about Brexit. It awaits answers on 22 of them. You can see the detail here Note that the BCC represents small and medium sized businesses. So contrary to the nonsense spouted by some of the Brexit nutters, it’s not just large multi nationals who are getting uppity. 

27 June 2018 – Is crunch time coming? – EU27 pressure on May is growing.

26 June 2018 200 turn out for Perth’s March against Brexit

25 June 2018 – maybe the Autumn conference season will see the change we want from Labour – Momentum seeking people’s vote?

20 June 2018 – City of London jobs moving out and lost tax revenue will result. Scare mongering or reality? – Sir Mark Boleat speaks to Cass Business School today

17 June 2018 – Russia’s role in the Brexit vote is being ignored – BEEB for Brexit?

8 June 2018 – Perth for Europe in the news – Perth marchers plan Brexit protest

8 June 2018 – a time-limited backstop plan with no time-limit? May will have to make more concessions – May’s plans just don’t cut the mustard

6 June 2018 – why won’t Labour wake up and behave like an Opposition? Come on Jeremy before it’s too late – Why won’t Labour support even soft Brexit?

5 June 2018 – how much damage can the UK car industry take? And we are still an EU member – UK car components shunned by EU companies

5 June 2018 – More Scottish Labour voters support remaining in EU than leaving it according to yesterday’s Sunday Herald – Poll suggests most Scottish Labour voters back Remain

1 June 2018 – Scottish Engineering expresses frustration with slow and shambolic Brexit negotiations – Scottish Engineering demands clarity

1 June 2018 – BBC article dispels many of the Brexiters’ myths on EU tariffs – Is EU protectionist?

31 May 2018 – Van driver spells out to Rees-Mogg the reality of crossing borders into 3rd countries – Ciaran tells it like it is

30 May 2018 – maybe this is the proper democratic process for a referendum? – How Ireland conducted its referendum

29 May 2018 – perfectly put by Nick Clegg – Clegg hits nail on the head

28 May 2018 – so much devil in the detail – who knew pet passports could be unavailable after Brexit? Heard about it on the news this morning – this item from last year gives more detail 

27 May 2018 – Red alert: UK farmers warn of soft fruit shortage See Guardian article

23 May 2018 – Dane denied citizenship despite 40 yrs residence – and a stint as mayor of Ipswich!  See Guardian article

23 May 2018 – Scottish whisky industry under threat from Brexit: Secret US trade talks

20th May 2018 – after all the ‘excitement’ of the Royal wedding, see how Brexit threatens the business which supplied asparagus for the festivities

12th May 2018 What’s that Biblical line about sinners repenting? There’s a fair bit about arch Brexiteer Daniel Hannan whingeing about how Brexit is turning out in various media. This is one of them.

11th May 2018 “They [the Brexiteers] think the liberty – the ideological purity – of complete liberation is more important than the risks in losing frictionless trade. I don’t subscribe to that because, as a lawyer, I’m so aware that we’re tied in by numerous international agreements of one form or another. The idea that by shedding the EU we recover this untrammelled national sovereignty is nonsense. The world doesn’t work that way. It never worked that way, even before we were members of the EU.” says Tory MP Dominic Grieve in an an interview

Boris really is doing his best to get sacked – one wonders just how much longer this farcical situation can continue – Boris – ‘sack me!’

The Independent explains the consequences of Brexit for our EHIC cards, with particular reference to those who need frequent kidney dialysis – Independent – EHIC – dialysis

Private Eye (4th May 2018 – pg 11) has a short piece on the options HM Government is debating with itself  about which unattainable customs arrangements post-Brexit it should pursue. It suggests that the culprit for the magical thinking is one Jon Thomson who is head of HM Revenue & Customs. PE also has a piece in its humorous section  (pg 29) entitled ‘Brexit – Your Questions Answered’ – which gives quite succinct answers to customs union questions.

A long piece from the New Statesman, worth the effort of reading it though –

The CBI is doing its best to get Liam Fox to see the error of his ways – difficult task though…

Luke Graham, Tory MP for Ochil and South Perthshire said this in the debate on the Customs Union,

None of our constituents voted to be poorer. None of our constituents wanted to have more barriers between ourselves and our international trading partners. We don’t mind the labels, we don’t mind the mechanism, but I know from my constituents they want to be able to have a customs system that they can rely on, that respects the United Kingdom’s integrity, but also allows them to prosper and be better off than they are today.

Perhaps the barrage of email from P4E members has had the desired effect!

The UK Government continues to insist that the UK will leave the EU Customs Union regardless of the impact this will have on the border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Laura Kuenssberg analyses this continued act of delusion at

Fishing – and the EU Common Fisheries policy – has been one of the most emotive causes of support for Brexit. It is, of course, based on the usual misrepresentation of the facts. The UK was the only member of the EU that allowed fishermen to sell their quotas. Unsurprisingly in a business environment wedded to short-termism, many fishermen did precisely that. The remaining quota – that not flogged off to fishermen from other European countries – is at the disposal of the UK government to allocate as it chooses. And it chooses to allocate most of it to a small number of multi-national companies. This leaves the smaller businesses  – with boats less than 10 metres long – with a trivial amount. See Polly Toynbee’s piece at  

We all know that “£350 million a week for the NHS” was a bare faced lie. But the reality is truly shocking. The respected and independent think tank, Global Futures, has crunched the numbers. It analysed 4 possible scenarios all of which result in significant losses of income for the UK Government. In brief these are:

  1. Moving to an EEA model (essentially the ‘Norway solution’) – loss of £260m per week
  2. An FTA model (‘Canada solution’) – loss of £875m per week
  3. A WTO model (‘hard Brexit’, beloved of Rees Mogg etc) – loss of £1,250m per week
  4. Bespoke model (as fantasised by HM Government) – loss of £615m per week

You can read the full report at

We are now in our 9th year of the unnecessary austerity, with all the closed libraries, potholes, panic stations in the NHS and Care Services and much else besides that it has entailed. It’s hard to imagine quite how awful life in the UK will become if these maniacal right wingers have their way.