UK & Europe issues

A forum for UK and Europe related issues.

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  1. Missy

     /  February 27, 2017

    Hi All, sorry for nothing last night – Saturday Night in London is a busy one. 🙂

    The fallout for Labour from the Copeland By Election loss is continuing as Corbyn comes under increasing pressure both from within and outside the party.

    It was revealed this morning that a script was sent to MPs as to what to say about the loss in Copeland, and that they should say that holding Copeland was always an uphill task. Looking at the script it appears that Corbyn was one of the few to actually stick to it, as many have said it was a disaster.

    “Obviously it’s a mixed night in that we wanted, and aimed, to win both seats, but that was always going to be an uphill task and there were particular unique circumstances in play in Copeland.

    It’s disappointing to have lost Copeland. We had a strong candidate in Gillian Troughton, and ran an excellent campaign focused on local issues, but obviously it wasn’t enough.

    Winning in Copeland was always going to be difficult: it’s a marginal seat with a small majority and there were very specific local issues, including the future of the nuclear industry which the Tories focused on, misleadingly claiming Labour would threaten jobs, despite the fact that Jeremy Corbyn spelled out Labour’s commitment to the industry.

    This has been a marginal seat for a long time, the Labour vote has been declining in Copeland since 1997 and obviously Labour’s current polling position is not where it should be.

    The Tories threw everything at Copeland, Theresa May unusually made a personal visit and they poured resources into the campaign. It’s also true to say that politics is presently in a period of flux following the recent Brexit referendum. Throw into the mix low turnout and this was always going to be challenging, but we fought hard, standing up against Tory cuts to the NHS.

    Of course we’re very pleased to have won in Stoke-on-Trent Central. It’s a good result in a seat both the Tories and UKIP were gunning for.

    So while we’d acknowledge that there’s more to do for Labour, winning in Stoke-on-Trent shows that we are competitive and that we are standing up to this failing Tory government, fighting for our NHS and for building an economy that works for everyone.

    Losing in Stoke-on-Trent isn’t good for the Tories and Theresa May. They threw everything at it and Theresa May visited there too, showing that she thought she could win. Many people said the Tories were on track to win both seats and they were briefing that they expected to do well and possibly win both seats. That they haven’t is a blow for them and the Prime Minister.

    In many ways the real story is of a terrible night for UKIP. They threw absolutely everything at Stoke-on-Trent: their party leader was their candidate in a seat they said was their best chance of getting a win. This is a decisive rejection of UKIP’s claims to represent working class people. The people of Stoke have rejected UKIP’s politics of division and dishonesty.

    Nigel Farage said recently that winning in Stoke-on-Trent was “fundamental” to the future of UKIP and the fact that they have lost is a hammer blow to them. This campaign has exposed them and Paul Nuttall, as a party and leader who want to privatise the NHS and who offer nothing to working people. This was supposed to be the seat where they showed they could be an alternative to Labour but after this result that claim lies in tatters.”

    Corbyn is addressing the Scottish Labour Party this afternoon, and he is expected to plead with supporters to not give up, despite the loss in Copeland.

    This comes after the deputy leader Tom Watson appeared on TV this morning suggesting Cobyn lacked coherence and clarity. He went on to say Labour can win a general election with Corbyn, but things have to change.

    • Missy

       /  February 27, 2017

      It seems that Corbyn is not happy about being asked about his future as the Leader of the Labour Party, showing a bit of temper (it’s not the first time in interviews he has let a bit of a temper come through).

    • Nelly Smickers

       /  February 27, 2017

      Always such interesting and informative reports *Missy*……thank you sooo much for taking the time ❗

      And it looks like you and *Katie H* are on the same page with UKIP XD

      • Missy

         /  February 27, 2017

        Thanks for the support Nelly, I do appreciate it.

        I think Katie H is definitely on the money there.

  2. Missy

     /  February 27, 2017

    It could be a rocky week for the Government as the Article 50 Bill goes to the committee stages in the House of Lords. After passing the second reading last week, it is expected that the Lords will attach amendments to the Bill and send it back to the Commons for amendments. The two amendments that are expected are to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK prior to triggering Article 50, and for a Parliament veto on the final agreement.

    On the first amendment, the Government’s position has always been that they are happy to guarantee the rights of EU citizens as long as the UK citizens in the EU get the same in return, it seems though that many MPs in Lib Dems, Labour, and members of the Lords are not worried about the status of British citizens. Looking at Social Media over the weekend, a couple of tweets from UK ex-pats in the EU show their concern on the stance of those that want the guarantee of EU citizens before their own, one referenced the situation for Brits in Gibraltar as Spain sabre rattles over its sovereignty. Interestingly with this is that the EU citizens have no vote in the General Elections in the UK unless they are citizens, (in which case their status is secure), but ex-pat Brits living in the EU who have been out of the country less than 15 years do have a vote (it was estimated at the referendum that was approximately 1 million Brits), so the MPs advocating for this are working against their own interests. If the UK gives a guarantee to 3 million EU citizens that cannot vote, but in the process allow for the EU to not give the same guarantee to 1 million British citizens that can vote, then those that pushed for it may find themselves in a position of having to explain to 1 million voters why they were sold out in favour of EU citizens.

    On the second amendment, there has been some confused reporting around it, one report said that they wanted to attach an amendment to say that the UK cannot leave the EU without a deal – May has previously said no deal is better than a bad deal – but this will work to the EU’s advantage, not the UK’s – however, most reports are saying that the Lords are expected to attach an amendment that just states Parliament must vote on the final deal, but this could leave the UK with no deal.

  3. Missy

     /  February 27, 2017

    In France, it is expected the Le Pen will win the first round in April, but lose in the runoff, however, her support is growing, and other issues within France beyond immigration are pushing more to her side. One example are Farmers. An article this morning in the Telegraph said that more and more Farmers – and those from rural communities – are looking to Le Pen as they blame the EU, and cheaper foods from Eastern Europe, for many of the farms failing.

    DW has done a round up on the French Elections to date.

  4. Missy

     /  February 27, 2017

    the EU Parliament seem to have taken the first step towards censorship.

    A new rule was passed quietly – until reported in Spain – that allows the Parliament to pull the plug on live recording if speeches are deemed to be racist or xenophobic. It seems that the rule is vague, and critics say it could be used as a tool of censorship. There are fears it could be used to control the message from the Parliament as well.

  5. Missy

     /  February 27, 2017

    In further problems for the EU, the Dutch Government voted unanimously to hold a parliamentary inquiry into their future relationship with the Euro, including whether they can withdraw from the Eurozone, and how.

    Part of the problem appears to be a hit the Dutch Pension pots have taken as a result of the European Central Bank’s monetary policies.

  6. Missy

     /  February 27, 2017

    Labour are on to their 4th – or 5th – reason as to why they lost Copeland.

    So far the reasons that have come up over the weekend (that I can remember) for losing are:

    The Weather (Storm Doris)
    Tony Blair and Lord Mandelson
    Tony Blair and Gordon Brown
    Fake News
    Tory Misinformation
    Unique Circumstances (not sure what though – they didn’t elaborate)

    And today the latest one is that the loss is due to changes in demographics in the constituency – though that is an incredible rate of demographic changes considering it is less than 2 years since the General Election where Labour won the seat with over a 2000 majority.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 27, 2017

      They haven’t blamed the Russians yet?

      • Missy

         /  February 27, 2017

        It is only a matter of time Al.

        Though they may be too afraid of looking like conspiracy theorists if they do that after a Labour MP earlier this year was laughed at in Parliament when he tried to blame the Russians for Brexit!