There is a majority in Parliament – in both Houses – for some form the ‘soft’ Brexit. The question is, can it get out?
Let’s be clear – the Brexiteers are right about one thing: the majority of MPs stood on manifestos committing us to leaving the EU. But they did not commit themselves to any old Brexit Theresa May and David Davis decide we’ll get. Labour’s manifesto was ambiguous and many individual candidates entered their own local caveats.
The majority in the House of Commons would probably now vote for something like this:
We formally leave the EU in April 2019.
We agree an “interim” deal to remain in the EEA or EFTA (or both) and the customs union pending further negotiations.
Such a deal could satisfy soft Leavers and Remainers. For now. Continue reading “The Soft Brexit Solution Struggling to get out?”
[Republished with permission from politics.co.uk]
Andrew Blackie was an Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) operations inspector from 2007 to 2017. Here he outlines various options for how to investigate what took place at Grenfell.
By Andrew Blackie
There has been a lot of discussion about how the investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire should proceed in the wake of the tragedy. Every day that debate becomes more politicised. In order to come to a sound judgement on it, it’s worth taking a look at the various models on offer, so that we can assess them for speed, purpose and independence.
Disaster investigations in the UK depend on what sort of incident it was. Some are done with the intention of prosecution or determining liability, others are purely for learning and others are a hybrid. Continue reading “Grenfell: How to investigate what happened”
[see important Update at bottom]
Settling the position of EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU is at the top of the agenda for the Brexit talks that have just started. Good.
Let’s assume, as everyone seems to be saying, that a generous settlement is reached which allows all of them to stay where they are now if they want to.
If that does happen then the UK would need to come up with a process to grant them the right to remain and documents – preferably simple – that would show they had such a right.
It needs to do it quickly – assuming this part of the negotiations is settled by say October that will give the UK about 18 months to process this. Remember, as soon as we withdraw from the EU in April 2019 three million EU27 residents of the UK would legally have no right to be here.
So how could it be done? Continue reading “Passport to Remain – how would the UK process residency rights for 3 million EU27 nationals?”
[Now with very important comment about the privatised Building Research Establishment – see below]
There are two answers to the above question – one simple and one much more complex. We don’t know the full answers to either yet, but we know more or less what the questions and areas of uncertainty are. Continue reading “Why did Grenfell Happen? It’s probably simple, and complicated.”
The utterly appalling sight of our fellow citizens being burnt alive, trapped in a tall building, naturally fills all of us with deep sorrow, and for many anger.
How could this happen? Could it happen again?
There are two sort of questions that need examining. The first, and by far the most urgent, is how did this happen in the technical, proximate cause, sense? How could a tower block that’s stood for 4-5 decades suddenly turn into such towering disaster?
Immediate ‘Air Accident Investigation Branch’ type investigation? Continue reading “Grenfell – we need an ‘Air Accident’ type investigation, now”
On Sunday I tweeted this:
Guess what happens today?
Crystal ball? No, just understanding the mindset of Bennite (Corbyn) and Trotskyist (McDonnell) politicos. Continue reading “The Struggle is in the Streets: the Corbyn/McDonnell Insurgency Strategy After the Election”
The Fixed Term Parliament Act (FTPA) was the love child of the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition government.
It was designed primarily to ensure that a minority-coalition Government could – would – survive for a whole Parliament.
That was the primary aim and indeed that is what the FTPA achieves. It makes it very difficult to defeat an incumbent Government, even a minority one and especially a coalition (what a surprise). Continue reading “The Paradox of the Fixed Term Parliament Act: Protecting Government and Rebellion”
First a quick reminder of the balance of power in the House of Commons:
The Tories have 316 voting MPs, the ‘rest’ have 313 (323 with DUP).
If the DUP
Abstain = 3 vote Tory majority.
Vote with the Tories = 13 vote majority
Vote Against = 7 vote minority
(For full explanation see my previous blog here) Continue reading “The asymmetry of potential Tory rebellions over Brexit (spoiler: hard Brexiteers look away now)”
[Updated 10 June 2017]
Well, I didn’t see that coming.
I will leave (for the moment) others to begin the unpacking of how the result happened. I want to just do a quick (and accurate) check on where this leaves the House of Commons and therefore power.
Firstly the Conservatives have won 317* seats at the time of writing (with all 650 seats declared).
(*not 318 as the BBC are reporting. For some odd reason they are including the Speaker – who is no longer a member of any Party – as a Tory as I explain here.)
Continue reading “The Real Balance of Power in the House of Commons”