Brexit transition status: If you must Brexit, think it through first!

The government’s preparations for regulatory trade negotiations are less advanced than they should be. Discussions are still taking place within government on the UK’s position on a number of important regulatory issues. This creates a real risk that the government will be pushed into making concessions it shouldn’t – or will fail to make concessions it should. The government should address this by making sure it knows what it is willing to accept and what would cause it to walk away from the table.

The government will find it easier to resist pressure from trading partners if it has a more coherent idea of its regulatory strategy. While all regulations are different, there are often common principles underlying them (for example, the precautionary principle). Some governments have set out their strategy as regards these cross-cutting issues in public documents, such as the European Commission’s 2000 Communication on the Precautionary Principle. The UK should do the same as a way of setting its independent regulatory policy on a solid footing.

Extracts from the Institute of Government’s Trade and Regulation after Brexit report – August 2020

The Independent says:

Brexit: Boris Johnson’s promise of lucrative trade deals in trouble, study warns

PM vowed to ‘take back control’ – but dithering has handed advantage to countries on other side of the table, Institute for Government says.

Phil Moorhouse’s view

Brexit has consequences that people should have known

In some ways, Brexiters, who despise EU bureaucrats and rail against extra-national decision making, seem to treat it as an act of nature that there are Europe-wide regulatory systems whereas, when transition ends, British citizens will be excluded from their provisions. The related underlying issue is that for many Brexiters the vote to ‘take back control’, with all its emotional resonance, was not thought about in concrete legal or institutional terms but as a kind of symbolic, feel-good act.

That’s partly to do with the taking for granted of the familiar accoutrements of modern life without realising that they are the product of extensive, albeit largely invisible, institutional arrangements. So ‘of course’ nowadays planes fly us to wherever we want without restrictions, as if this were not the outcome of complex agreements such as the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA), and ‘of course’ we can travel, work and live freely within Europe, as if that were not the outcome of freedom of movement rights.

It’s this – along with its counterpart in rejecting all warnings of the practical consequences as being ‘Project Fear’ – which I think partly explains why business and governmental preparedness for the end of the transition period has been so limited. Many people simply don’t understand or believe how radically things are about to change, even if a trade deal of some sort is done. Only as they belatedly come to do so do they realise what they have let themselves in for, as with MP Bob Stewart’s recent bathetic plea for the continuation of pet passports so that he can still take his dogs to France.

This week, an example was Brexiter MP Peter Bone’s bemusement (during a Select Committee meeting) that mutual recognition of standards between the UK and EU will not be possible when we have left the single market. Bone has been campaigning to leave for his entire political life, has all the resources of the House of Commons Library at his disposal and yet still hasn’t acquainted himself with relatively basic facts.

Extracts from ‘The Brexit Blog’ July 2020 by Chris Grey

Hopes for an extension of Transition period fading

North Herts for Europe has had a letter published in the Comet:

It is now looking increasingly unlikely that an extension of Transition period with the EU can be agreed by the end of this month, and according to a Social Market Foundation report commissioned by the cross-party Best for Britain group published in May ‘Assessing the economic implications of coronavirus and Brexit’ p 8, available from Best from Britain) failing to negotiate a deal with the EU, in combination with the impact of COVID-19, will result in a huge negative economic impact on Hertfordshire, where a large number of jobs are in the areas of manufacturing, finance, banking and insurance. Yet our government is still threatening to end the transition period in which our current trading arrangements apply on 31st December, if an extension agreement is not reached with the EU by the end of June.

Britain’s departure from EU decision-making bodies has now occurred, but the economically disastrous No-Deal outcome for which the UK is currently heading does not have to be inevitable. The European Movement would like to urge readers to write to their MP to encourage them to demand that the Government extend the current transition arrangements (as the other countries of the EU have already indicated their willingness to do). If this is not done, the economic damage caused by COVID-19 will be greatly increased.

Tactical Voting – Recommendations for Hitchin and Stevenage

As a non-affiliated organisation, North Herts for Europe recommends voting LibDem in Hitchin and Harpenden and Labour in Stevenage – Explanation below.

What is Tactical Voting?

Our First Past The Post (FPTP) voting system developed when just two parties competed against each other. The one with the most votes was the winner, and that was fair and proper.

Now, however, there are a number of parties competing for votes, sometimes with a similar policy on a key issue, such as holding a People’s Vote. In this situation the votes in support of that issue may be split between several parties. In contrast, just one party may hold a different view, such as being strongly pro-Brexit. Even if the majority of people vote for parties supporting a People’s Vote, because the voting is split, the single pro-Brexit party could easily emerge as the winner.

Even if you’ve voted many times before you may not be familiar with the concept of Tactical Voting.

Tactical Voting arises from people deciding which of the parties with a similar policy has the best chance of winning, and voting for that party even if it is one they would not normally support. By voting in this way, people increase the chances of getting the outcome they actually want, rather than allowing a minority view to win the day.

Impact of Tactical voting

Due to using the First Past The Post (FPTP) voting system, there is often only a small difference in the number of votes for two, or even three parties. Consequently only a small number of votes may be needed to push a candidate into the winning position, ‘past the post’ in horse racing terminology.

Tactical voting – Why now?

Tactical Voting is much more significant than ever before, as party loyalties are being superseded by voters’ views about Brexit. The figure for those intending to vote tactically has been increasing from 22%, 24% last week and is now 30%!

Poll reveals record-breaking 30 percent of public plan to vote ‘tactically’ in General Election

Tactical voting websites

There are a number of Tactical Voting websites and this number is increasing. They obtain their figures from various polling providers and histories. Some would be based on national rather than local conditions. However the histories, understandably, tend to be based on, well, history, and generally don’t take account of Tactical Voting which now appears to be a major influence.

Taking care in Tactical voting

The different Tactical Voting websites can, confusingly, give different recommendations, may contradict each other and can change as they receive new data. So it’s necessary to understand what’s going on on the ground.

If you are prepared to vote tactically, holding your nose if necessary to prevent Johnson’s disastrous deal, or even worse, a ‘No deal’ at the end of 2020, both the Labour party and Liberal Democrats are pushing for a Peoples Vote. We recommend voting for one or the other, depending on where you are registered to vote.

Locally the Labour party appears more focused on winning Stevenage. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats are putting the great effort into the Hitchin and Harpenden constituency.

“Moreover there are a many “Remainers”, especially in Harpenden who have said they will switch to voting Libdem, but cannot bring themselves to vote for Corbyn’s Labour Party.”

Consequently as a non-affiliated organisation, North Herts for Europe recommends voting for:

Jill Borcherds (Labour) if you are in Stevenage, and

Sam Collins (Liberal Democrat) if you are in Hitchin and Harpenden.If you are in North East Herts constituency, it seems unlikely that tactical voting would change who wins the seat. However,  the candidate with the best chance of beating Sir Oliver Heald is Kelly Green (Labour) 

For more details see: Tactical Voting – Recommendations for Hitchin and Stevenage > North Herts for Europe

And on Election day send a message out saying ‘I’ve voted, have you?’ to increase turnout.

Splitting the Remain Vote – Tactical Voting or a Nightmare? – A letter published in the local Comet newspaper.

December 2019 -The Brexit election

“We still need a Peoples vote to determine if the country wants Brexit. So we need to prevent a Tory majority, as they will proceed to implement their damaging Brexit. Due to the First Past the Post electoral system we all need to consider voting Tactically.

North Herts for Europe, as a non-party organisation, is assisting local campaigns which are working to prevent a Tory majority. Please join us, complete the form at the bottom of the page to be kept informed.

The following are Extracts from Inews

Fighting Brexit and beating Boris Johnson are well-aligned goals – with tactical voting, Remainers can do both

Voting for someone who isn’t your first choice feels wrong, but it offers a way for Remain voters to be represented

The whole point of tactical voting is that you cast your vote for a party which would not ordinarily be your natural choice, a party that you might even find unpalatable, in exchange for a voter of that party doing likewise in favour of the party you do support, in a seat where it stands a better chance. 

There is now a majority in the UK that wishes to Remain in the EU. With the exception of a few outliers, most of the three hundred polls in the last two years put Remain ahead – 74 out of 75 in 2019 – with a stable lead of six to seven points. 

Brexiters know this, which is why they will never agree to a second referendum. They are trying to push through something as “the will of the people”, absolutely knowing it is not. 

We will have to be incredibly sensible, measured, flexible, well informed and up-to-date.  There will be local issues, which we will understand better than any pollster.

We are best placed to intuit the character and credibility of local candidates. And we will be quicker at noticing local shifts in opinion and factoring in national polling shifts as the campaigns go on. 

This is an election in which nobody will be able to take you by the hand and tell you what to do. It is an election in which you, the voter, will have to be the adult in the room.

Everyone can walk away a winner, because our primary objectives, by happy coincidence, align entirely. Whether stopping Johnson or stopping Brexit ranks higher in your priorities, they are now one and the same.  Alex Andreou is a writer, co-host of the Remainiacs podcast and occasionally works with Best for Britain, a tactical voting site. 

March together for decency and democracy this Saturday 19/10/19.

Next Saturday we march en masse to register our voices at a time when they are being ignored by Government. Democracy is a debate and demands that we be heard and be seen as the new majority on the Brexit issue. 

North Herts for Europe cordially invites you to join us and Harpenden for Europe in Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 2ND, between 11.45am and 12.30pm ready to march together to Parliament Square. As you may know Parliament will be sitting despite this being a Saturday, and this momentous day will be crucial in the planning of our prosperity, safety and cohesion for the future.

A Poll of polls now shows remain with a clear and consistent majority. When a nation’s people are ignored by their Government those people must demand to be heard again. 

North Herts for Europe have two other meeting points through the day:
3pm Costa Coffee, above Waterstones, Trafalgar Square. WC2N 5EJ

6.30pm The Parcel Yard, Kings Cross Station. N1C 4AH

We are asking for our politicians to work together cross party to arrest the diminishement of the UK that is Brexit and return to the people their democratic voice.

We look forward to seeing you there on this day like no other in our living memories. We must return truth to leadership so we can make properly informed choices.

If you live in or around North Hertfordshire or Stevenage and plan to attend please let us know by emailing nherts4europe@mail.com thanks.

Gove announces Open borders for Organised crime gangs

In the House of commons today, 8 Oct 2019, Michael Gove announced the ‘Disconection of SISII’ as part of Brexit. This is the system which continually shares information on criminals and their activities in and between EU states. Of course this includes the UK and Ireland. See official Government statement. And then read the consequences below.

Preparations for No deal Brexit – As announced in Parliament on 8 October 2019

Gove’s speech exactly as delivered. Transcript

Last year 1412 suspects were arrested in the UK using the European arrest warrant, which will no longer be available to the Police.

UK to Lose Access to Million Pieces of Information on Criminals in Case of a No-Deal Brexit

From the Independent:

Britain will be at greater risk from terrorism and organised crime if it crashes out of the EU without a deal, a government document has admitted.

Attempts to reach new security agreements with EU members – to replace the European Arrest Warrant and the Schengen Information System database of suspects – “cannot fully compensate”, it concedes.

The admission comes just weeks after James Cleverly, the Conservative party chairman, insisted security co-operation would continue seamlessly, even after a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.

In contrast, the ‘No-Deal Readiness Report, published by Michael Gove, states that a crash-out “would result in some mutual loss of capability for the UK and EU member states”.

The UK would be forced to aim for “maximising our use of Interpol” and to use “bilateral channels and other multilateral mechanisms outside EU structures”.

Or, in other words, what we had to rely on before the UK joined the EU system.

Police bust multi-billion pound crime racket after 50 tonnes of drugs smuggled into country

Example of Anglo-Dutch cooperation required to beat organised crime from ITV news today 8 October 2019.

They say: “We just need to get Brexit done!”

They

We are all sick and tired of Brexit and would like to hear no more of it.   Does Boris really think it can all be put behind us and we can then get on with everything else that needs to be done – the NHS, schools, jobs, housing, social care, and so much more? Nigel Farage talks about having a “Clean Brexit”.

But if Brexit happens on 31 October that will not be the end of it, especially a ‘No deal Brexit’.  We will lose about 90 existing country trade deals and very few will be ready, despite what Liam Fox promised. It will just be the start of years and years of turmoil and uncertainty, with Britain in a weaker place than ever before.

After Brexit, out of sheer necessity, the UK will ask Brussels for an urgent trade deal.  The reply will be “Pay what you owe, respect the rights for EU nationals, and fix the Irish border before we discuss trade”.  Nothing will have changed.  Except we will be in a far weaker position as a non-member of the club, a “third country” just like so many others throughout the world.  Terms and Conditions will apply.

How many of us realise how prolonged and tortuous the process will be?  Even the withdrawal deal which Theresa May negotiated is riddled with ambiguous statements and matters remaining to be resolved. Inevitably, the result will be far less advantageous than what we have now; that is perhaps understood as the price for breaking free of Brussels.  But do we all understand just how contentious the process will be? Brexit will not be over, it will be just the start of another stage, with much litigation, but now from a position of profound weakness.

That new phase of Brexit – still dominating the news and political agenda for years to come – will be more difficult than anything so far.  For example, any new trade deal with the EU will need to be approved by 27 sovereign governments but also by regional parliaments in a number of countries, as well as the European parliament – each one of these will have a veto, and not want to be weakened by a country no longer a member of the club.

Are we going to be told that all we need is a bulldog approach of “no-surrender”, with the Dunkirk spirit getting us through if we stand firm? An irrevocable exit from the EU will just be the start, not the finish, of a long and difficult  journey to an unknown destination.  Is that what we really want and deserve?

Better to keep what has been achieved over the last forty years, and put Brexit behind us.  Give people the chance to decide what is really best for our country, now and for generations to come. In time, perhaps strengthened by the troubles and turmoil of the past three years, we will regain our rightful place in the top three most influential nations in Europe – and Europe itself will be stronger as a result.

140 MPs write to PM Johnson demanding he recalls Parliament now

Related Posts

Our MPs names do not appear below. Write to Bim, Oliver or Stephen today.

We are wasting precious time. We can be sure Boris Johnson and his unelected advisor, Dominic Cummings, will be working hard through the summer to subvert democracy and silence the many millions of people that do not want Brexit or its effects to continue.

140 MPs have written to the Prime Minister urging him to recall Parliament now. There are very serious concerns to be addressed and this is no time for holidays when our Government are hugely increasing spending to prepare for a completely avoidable disaster.

Please do send a copy of this letter to Bim, Oliver or Stephen depending on which constituency you are in and ask them to support the recall. You might also like to ask them how they intend to protect your medical supplies and fresh food sources should this PM without a mandate drag us into chaos.

Email addresses and Twitter accounts of our MPs

Hitchin and Harpenden
bim.afolami.mp@parliament.uk
@BimAfolami

Letchworth
oliver.heald.mp@parliament.uk
@OliverHealdUK

Stevenage
stephen@stephenmcpartland.co.uk
@SMcPartland

There is a copy of the letter in this article. You can also retweet Stephen Doughty’s tweet.
https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/news/mps-across-the-benches-write-to-boris-johnson-to-recall-parliament-from-holiday-as-uk-on-the-brink/18/08/

Many thanks for your support and action