Tag Archives: brexit

  • Courtesy Flickr

    Democracy Rules OK in the EU

    I responded to John Redwood‘s bogus claims in The Yorkshire Post that Brexit is justified because it is somehow undemocratic for 28 democracies to work together in the EU.  (Redwood will try anything to avoid discussing economic damage of Brexit!)

  • On whether the UK has the option to change its mind

    My reply to Sean Kelly MEP’s ‘blue card’ question.

  • Response to Donald Tusk & Jean-Claude Juncker statements

    Speaking in the European Parliament on the conclusions of the European Council meeting in December.

  • Courtesy Leo Wilkinson

    Should Labour fear single market rules?

    Are there specific aspects of single market rules that would be problematic for a Labour government? Several are cited from time to time. Writing for Labour List, I point out that none in fact would cause insurmountable problems to delivering our manifesto,

  • Courtesy Fabian Review

    The crunch point on Brexit is fast approaching

    Writing for the Fabian Review, I have outlined the where the UK stood in at the end of the phase one of the Brexit negotiations, and look at the immense challenges and risks facing us in 2018 if the government does not face up to reality rather than relying on rhetoric.

  • Courtesy Flickr by EU2017EE

    Confusion and Delusion 

    After Theresa May’s diplomatic and political debacle on Monday, we have to ask: ‘Is there any kind of Brexit the PM can deliver?’

  • Courtesy Inha Leex Hale via flickr

    Is 29th March 2019 the date we leave the EU?

    The date of 29 March 2019 is never far from the lips of government ministers. As the two-year period for negotiating our departure from the European Union runs down, that day is heralded by leading Brexiters as one of the few certainties left in this chaotic Brexit process. But, as is often the case, reality is far less straightforward

  • YouTube screenshot

    Speaking on European Council’s ‘insufficient progress’ decision

    I spoke to parliament about the European Council’s decision that insufficient progress has been made on Brexit negotiations, as expected, and of the divisions within the Tory party causing this.

  • Courtesy Tax Credits via Flickr

    Why May can’t settle on the money 

    The so-called Brexit bill – in fact a calculation to be made of the UK’s share of projects that we have already agreed to – is something that Theresa May cannot settle because of a deliberate strategy of the hard line Brexiteers on the right wing of her party.  

  • Courtesy Pixabay

    Brexit and Pharmaceuticals: Access to Medicine

    A sector that doesn’t raise its voice in public (for fear of annoying ministers) but which is very worried about the consequences of Brexit, is the pharmaceutical industry. This is yet another industry which, behind the scenes, is asking for a “bespoke” agreement for its sector with a “deep and comprehensive” trade agreement and even a pharmaceutical protocol.

  • Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

    No Deal? Nonsense

    The idea that, in order to strengthen its position in the Brexit negotiations, Britain must show that it is prepared to walk away without a deal, is a load of nonsense.

  • Tory MEPs sacked for stating the obvious

    The Conservatives have removed the whip from two of their MEPs, Richard Ashworth and Julie Girling, for voting in favour of a non-binding European Parliament resolution which noted that “sufficient progress has not yet been made” in the Brexit talks.

  • MEPs vote that ‘sufficient progress’ has not been made on Brexit talks

    MEPs today voted, rightly in my view, that there has not yet been ‘sufficient progress’ in the Brexit negotiations. As Acting Leader of the EPLP, I have issued this statement and here is my speech in the parliament’s debate:

  • Courtesy descrier.co.uk via Twitter

    A Brexit that works for Britain?

    The reason why there is so much confusion and chaos about what Britain should aim for in the Brexit negotiations is simple. Neither of the two possible types of Brexit is an easy option. And in its attempts to force one or the other through, the government risks sidelining both parliament and the people.

  • Courtesy Pixabay

    May’s Fudge in Florence

    Flying all the way to Florence, with a large entourage, pursued by an army of journalists, to give a speech that she could have given in London, Theresa May’s speech today was more about the show than the content.

  • Diversity is the Heart of Britishness

    One of the least pleasant aspects of Boris Johnson’s recent rant was his comment that young people in Britain today have “split loyalties” because they wear or fly the European flag. Identity is pluralistic, not uniform.

  • Courtesy JPC

    Sky News Interview : Adam Boulton

    Talking with Adam Boulton about the many complex challenges with Brexit negotiations, the importance of protected food names for the British Economy and why we should remember that Brexit is ‘if’ not ‘when’, until we know what kind of deal is on offer.

  • Courtesy wikimedia commons

    Japan’s concerns about UK’s Brexit deal

    A letter from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs published last year has resurfaced this week, and is a stark reminder of how little progress has been made on Brexit negotiations, and of the uncertainty it causes for industry and trade.

  • Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

    Dispelling Roger Bootle’s Euromyths

    Last week, economist Roger Bootle wrote a piece for The Telegraph entitled ‘We cannot be fooled by the myth of EU economic success’. I have taken the liberty of reproducing it here and correcting and commenting upon many of the inaccuracies that the piece contained.

  • Brexit and Citizens’ rights: The devil is in the detail

    What happens to EU citizens’ rights – of EU citizens here and Brits in other EU countries – after Brexit? This is the first key issue of the Article 50 “divorce” negotiations. It is a cause of great anxiety for the millions of citizens affected. In this briefing I look at several of the key areas for negotiation – and the serious implications for millions if they are not resolved.

  • Courtesy Flickr

    After a year, we are still no clearer

    Negotiations formally start today. The EU envisages around 22 four-week cycles to the negotiations in which each cycle addresses specific issues, with a week of preparation, a week of exchange of papers and explanation, a week of negotiation to find a deal and a week of reporting back to secure agreement with what the negotiators […]

  • Yorkshire, Brexit and the General Election – A film from FRANCE 24 (in English)

    FRANCE 24 came over to Yorkshire to film a piece on how people and politicians in the region felt about Brexit and the General Election. It was a pleasure to take them to University of Leeds and Digital Exchange in Bradford to explore the views of students and the technology community. Pour nos amis français, il ya a une version en français aussi.

  • Courtesy Vimeo

    Theresa in Wonderland

    The utter foolishness of Theresa May’s ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ mantra when it comes to negotiating a new relationship with the EU is back in every speech by her and senior cabinet ministers as well as appearing in the Conservative manifesto. It can’t be emphasised enough that ‘No deal’ is simply not an option.

  • My response to EU Brexit Guidelines

    Addressing the European Parliament about the clear guidelines set out by the European Council for Brexit negotiations.

  • Brexit and the Environment

    One of the most important issues in the Brexit debate is the environment, but it is hardly a surprise that this Tory government does not appear to be concerned about how leaving the EU will threaten the UK’s environmental protections, given that one of Theresa May’s first acts as Prime Minister was to scrap the Department for the Energy and Climate Change.

  • courtesy geograph.org.uk via wikimedia commons

    Brexit and the Railways

    I was recently given a document entitled “seven key principles for Brexit” produced by the Rail Delivery Group, which works with Network Rail and the passenger and the freight operating companies. Here are some of their key concerns.

  • courtesy Christopher Combe Photography Yorkshire via Flickr

    Why a ‘hard’ Brexit is particularly bad for Yorkshire

    Despite what many Leave campaigners promised during the referendum campaign, Theresa May wants to take Britain out of not just the EU, but also the single European market, the customs union and the various European technical agencies. This approach is particularly dangerous for Yorkshire.

  • Courtesy Flickr

    May is trying to pre-empt Brexit difficulties – it could backfire!

    Theresa May has sprung an early election, breaking her earlier pledges not to, for three reasons: She knows the Brexit negotiations will very quickly cause her problems, as the unpalatable choices she has to make will alienate many voters and elements in her party – better to have the election before that begins to bite! […]

  • Statement in European Parliament on the Brexit Resolution

    Today the 73% of the European Parliament agreed a resolution in response to article 50 being triggered. It is Labour’s responsibility to hold Theresa May’s government to account for their promise secure “exactly the same benefits”.

  • Speaking at Unite for Europe rally

    On 25th March I spoke to thousands of protesters in Parliament Square about why should keep fighting this government on Brexit.

  • Courtest Wikimedia commons

    Brexit and Immigration: Squaring the circle

    Politicians have to understand the public’s concerns about immigration and take action on this. But leaving the European single market primarily because of its provisions on freedom of movement would have a major economic cost, while at the same time changing very little, if anything, in terms of the UK’s ability to control migration. But there is a way to square the circle…

  • March for Europe: Newcastle

    On Saturday I spoke to a crowd of over 1,000 people who were protesting agains the tory hard Brexit which they did not vote for. This is a summary of my speech.

  • courtesy Wikimedia Commons

    May’s Mess on Migration

    That Theresa May should come down on the side of the hard Brexiteers should not be a surprise. As a long serving Home Secretary, she must take much of the blame for setting – and failing to keep – a target of reducing net immigration to Britain to tens of thousands a year.

  • Image: Miron Podgorean

    Fabian Review | The Next Steps

    Fabian Review has launched a regular series of pieces looking at the view from Brussels on Brexit from the UK and EU politicians playing key roles in the negotiations, to which I will be regularly contributing.

    To start the series, I explain what the EU is planning while it waits for Britain to fire the Brexit starting pistol.

  • Courtesy Thijs ter Haar via flickr

    Brexit and EU Agencies

    Theresa May’s statement that we won’t be trying to stay in bits of the EU means that, in principle, we shall also be leaving more than 40 EU agencies (including some located in Britain) which perform tasks on behalf of all member states, including us, over a wide range of policy areas.

  • courtesy wikimedia

    The Brexit Bill: My response

    The government’s determination to push the European Union (Notice of Withdrawal) Bill through the Commons with such limited time for debate to consider the many implications of such a momentous decision, is a serious affront to the parliamentary sovereignty that they claimed to hold dear.

  • Courtesty jeffdjevdet via flickr

    What now on Brexit?

    The response to the referendum result is still playing out in both of Britain’s main political parties. While the last few weeks have given the appearance – in stark contrast to before the referendum – of a united Conservative party and a divided Labour Party, this could change significantly in the coming period. On the […]

  • courtesy flickr

    Some comments on the Brexit White Paper

    The following is a summary of the Government’s Brexit White Paper – together with my comments in red: Great repeal bill and control of UK laws “We will bring forward a White Paper on the Great Repeal Bill that provides more detail about our approach.” The first promise of this white paper is to promise […]

  • courtesy flickr

    My response to Supreme Court Judgment

    I welcome the judgment of the Supreme Court on the proper process for the triggering of Article 50. We live in a parliamentary democracy. Only Parliament, not the government, can decide on a matter that can affect the rights of UK citizens. Parliament must now seize the opportunity to take control of this process, to determine the best way […]

  • courtesy wikimedia

    Global Britain? More like Broken Britain

    There are no two ways about it: Theresa May’s intention to take us out — not just of the EU, but also out of the European Single Market, the Customs Union and indeed “all parts of the EU” — is deeply damaging, and not just in economic terms. Here are some of the key implications of her speech, which will […]

  • courtesy flickr

    May’s ‘clean’ Brexit can hide neither dangers nor dirty dealing

    Theresa May’s journey towards a bleak, deluded UKIP view of the world continued today as she abandoned key areas of potential negotiation over the Single Market (favoured by most businesses, trade unions and economists) and instead moved the battleground to an ill defined (and unlikely to be agreed) partial membership of aspects of the Customs […]

  • courtesy daily edge

    Brexit and Ireland

    Much of the debate around Brexit thus far has rightly centred on the government’s shambolic handling of the process, and its cavalier attitude to the potentially disastrous impacts on the UK economy. However on the rather serious constitutional question of Ireland, the Leavers’ astounding recklessness has gone almost unnoticed.

  • courtesy Flickr

    The Tory civil war will re-ignite

    The reason why Theresa May is so silent on her Brexit plans is because, as soon as she comes off the fence, the Tory party civil war on Europe will flare up again in public. The divisions between those who consider it vital that Britain continues to participate in the single market and those who […]

  • Brexit supporting press in a panic

    Interesting that, today, there are simultaneous attacks on me in the Telegraph, the Sun and the Express, all about amendments I tabled weeks ago to a draft report by Liberal MEP Verhofstadt in the Constitutional Affairs committee of the European Parliament. It’s clearly a concerted effort, especially as they all give the same distorted view […]

  • Courtesy The Staggers

    Tusk calls out Tory hypocrisy

    In the New Statesman’s rolling blog I point out how the Tory hypocrisy and inconsistency is already damaging our chance of negotiating anything like a good Brexit deal for the UK.

  • From Labour List

    Brexit at any cost?

    In Labour List, I argue that it may well be in the national interest, and Labour’s electoral interest, not to consider Brexit a done deal without a chance to reconsider when we eventually see what it actually entails.

  • Associate Citizenship

    I spoke to LBC’s Clive Bull about the proposal from Mr Charles Goerens, one of Luxembourg’s MEPs, for associate citizenship of the EU for nationals of a former Member State.

  • Vote Leave campaign bus

    Caveat brexitor

    If a travel agent sold you a ‘holiday of a lifetime’ and it turned out to be everything you’d been promised, you would be delighted. But if it turned out to be unpleasant, unhealthy and far more expensive than you’d been led to believe, you’d rightly be upset. That’s why most of us double-check before […]

  • courtesy Public Domain Pictures

    Update from USA

    I just spent four days in Washington and Virginia ahead of the US presidential election, meeting congressional staffers, party officials, diplomats, think tanks, journalists and ordinary people. After the latest events, the presidential race looks uncomfortably close. There is even a small chance that there will be no overall majority in the electoral college (in […]

  • courtesy West Midlands Police via Flickr

    Europol: the first Brexit battleground?

    As Theresa May continues to give a running commentary about how she isn’t going to give a running commentary on Brexit, important real-life decisions continue to mount up. The most pressing issue related to our current EU membership is about the renewal of the UK’s participation in Europol, the Europe-wide policing agency that coordinates some […]

  • courtesy Chatham House via Wikimedia Commons

    Brexit questions for the government

    Labour has published a list of 170 unanswered questions about the government’s Brexit plans. The full list is on the LabourList website and reproduced below. Free movement of goods and services We are assuming that the government has considered the following options for its continued post-Brexit trading relationship with the European Union: (i) maintaining full membership […]

  • Red lines

    Red lines

    In an analysis for the Fabian Society, I suggest a range of possible ways to square the circle between voters’ genuine concerns about migration and the urgent need to keep our economy afloat.

  • courtesy Dafne Cholet via Flickr

    Brexit deadlines

    I wrote this letter to The Times: Sir, Contrary to reports, triggering Article 50 in March 2017 doesn’t mean we will leave the EU in March 2019. The two-year deadline in the treaty is just a last resort, in case negotiations totally fail. Otherwise, the date for departure is set in the Article 50 agreement […]