Tag Archives: United Kingdom

UK: May to trigger Article 50 for "Brexit" next week

Source: CNN

"British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger the UK's exit from the European Union on Wednesday, March 29, a spokesperson has confirmed to CNN. Other member states will 'realize it's not worth leaving' the European Union after they see the deal the UK gets, the European Commission President has warned. The loss of Britain to the bloc, which celebrates its 60th anniversary next week, has created speculation that other states might decide to follow suit, something President Jean-Claude Juncker strongly disagreed with in an interview published on Sunday." (03/20/17)


Transforming National Insurance

Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Madsen Pirie

"The now-withdrawn proposal to raise National Insurance rates for self-employed people from 9% to first 10% and then 11% has achieved one positive thing. It has drawn attention to the absurdity of the dual system of income tax and national insurance. Dan Hannan's piece in the International Business Times makes the point that the retention of National Insurance is done to conceal how much tax people are paying. He says people would be very angry if they knew that in addition to their basic rate of income tax at 20%, their National Insurance payments took it to a very much higher level. He is correct, but an honest government should let people know what tax they are paying, even if it changes their readiness to submit to tax increases." (03/15/17)


UK: Commons clears way for Brexit talks with EU

Source: BBC News [UK]

"Parliament has passed the Brexit bill, paving the way for the government to trigger Article 50 so the UK can leave the European Union. Peers backed down over the issues of EU residency rights and a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal after their objections were overturned by MPs. The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent and become law on Tuesday. This means Theresa May is free to push the button on withdrawal talks — now expected in the last week of March." (03/14/17)


Let's decriminalise abortion once and for all

Source: spiked
by Ann Furedi

"Today at about 3pm in the House of Commons, Diana Johnson, Labour MP for Kingston upon Hull North, will introduce a 10-minute rule bill to decriminalise abortion. More specifically, the bill will call for the scrapping of Sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act, which make it a criminal offence wilfully to cause a miscarriage or to supply a woman with the means to do so. The law has been sitting on the statute book since 1861, which was before women could vote, own property or receive a university degree. It was the year Italy became a country and horse-drawn trams first appeared on the streets of London. In short, things were very different back then, except in one respect. Then, as now, women were determined to control their fertility and used whatever means available to do so, and politicians felt the need to butt in and control women's lives." (03/13/17)


Scotland: Sturgeon calls for fresh independence referendum due to Brexit

Source: CNBC

"Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister Of Scotland has announced that she will start proceedings for a second Scottish referendum on independence. The Scottish leader said she expected a referendum to take place sometime between fall next year and spring 2019. In a speech in Edinburgh, the First Minister said that the language of partnership from the United Kingdom had 'gone completely' in relation to Scotland's view on Brexit." (03/13/17)


UK: Government suffers second Brexit defeat in Lords

Source: BBC [UK state media]

"The government has suffered a second Brexit defeat in the House of Lords as peers backed, by 366 votes to 268, calls for a 'meaningful' parliamentary vote on the final terms of withdrawal. Ministers said it was disappointing and they would seek to overturn the move when the bill returns to the Commons. Lord Heseltine, one of 13 Tory peers to rebel, said he had been sacked as a government adviser on regional growth. The previous defeat was on the issue of guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens." (03/07/17)


Let's hope the Lords have signed their own death warrant

Source: spiked
by Mick Hume

"Question: what could be worse than 350-odd unelected members of the House of Lords voting to thwart the will of the 17.4million people who voted for Brexit? Answer: the way that some liberals in the UK hailed this anti-democratic 'revolt' in the Lords as if it was a noble blow for freedom and equality. To anybody with a democratic bone in their body, however, the peers' vote to defeat the elected government on Brexit surely ought to end the argument for abolishing the unaccountable House of Lords. The Lords should have signed their own death warrant this week." (03/03/17)


UK: House of Lords chides government, backs EU citizens' rights

Source: Boston Globe

"Britain's unelected House of Lords handed the government a stinging — though likely temporary — defeat Wednesday on its plans to leave the European Union, resolving that EU citizens should be promised the right to stay in the United Kingdom after it quits the bloc. By a vote of 358 to 256, Parliament's upper chamber inserted a clause protecting EU nationals' status into a bill authorizing the government to begin EU exit talks. … The change must go to a vote in the elected House of Commons, where there is a good chance it will be rejected since Prime Minister Teresa May's Conservative Party has a majority in the lower chamber." (03/01/17)


The welcome and long overdue death of the cult of the NHS

Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Emile Yusupoff

"The state of the healthcare debate in this country is testament to the absurd pedestal the NHS has been placed on, as is illustrated by the hysterical cries of 'privatisation' induced by any reforms, no matter how minor or cosmetic. That universal healthcare can be delivered without a monolithic bureaucracy is apparently specialist knowledge. The debate has been skewed into the holy calling of defending 'OUR-NHSTM' on the one-hand and 'selling it to Richard Branson and leaving poor people to die' on the other. This orthodoxy appears, however, to be being slowly eroded. In spite of Labour having run a campaign that was literally based on claiming that Conservative health policy would kill babies, the Tories managed to win the first government by-election victory since 1982 in a seat that Labour have held since the 1930s." (02/27/17)


UK: MPs clash over Trump visit

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

"MPs have clashed over whether Donald Trump should be given a state visit to the UK in a packed Westminster debate. Protesters gathered outside as Labour's Paul Flynn said it would be 'terribly wrong' to go ahead with the visit. But Tory Nigel Evans told the US president's critics to 'get over it' and that plans would not be changed. The debate was triggered by two petitions — one against a state visit, which got 1.85 million signatures, and one in favour which got 311,000." (02/20/17)