UK Update – Conservatives

Missy is back in action with a report from the UK and Europe. Report 1:


The big news today is that David Cameron has resigned from Parliament effective immediately. This has forced a by-election in his electorate, but it shouldn’t be an issue as it is a safe Conservative seat.

Last week Brexit Minister David Davis intimated that the UK would not be looking for a deal that necessary included remaining in the single market by saying it was very improbable that they would. He was rebuked by Theresa May, with a spokesperson saying that it is not right to be putting all their cards on the table before negotiations, and claimed that it was his opinion not Government policy. This has led some commentators to think that it will be a soft Brexit, whilst others think she is wanting to keep all negotiating points secret in order to execute a hard Brexit.

On Theresa May, and Brexit, she has stated that there will not be a points based immigration system after Brexit. Theresa May is not in favour of points based systems as she said it does not curb immigration, and does not necessarily bring in people who contribute to society, she is in favour of a work permit based system, where immigrants will have to have a job prior to migrating to the UK. This will include EU citizens as well.


UK update

Missy updates us again from the UK

Hey All,
Well I have been in holiday mode since Friday afternoon, so apologies for my lack of updates. :)
I see Pete did a post on Owen Smith and his policies (“A cold-eyed, practical, socialist revolution”), so I won’t go there.

The big news today (and over the weekend) is David Cameron’s honours resignation list, which was leaked. It contains his friends, advisers, staff, prominent Remain campaigners who have done nothing else, Conservative Party & Remain campaign donors, and most controversially Samantha Cameron’s stylist.

There are calls for the list to be blocked by Theresa May, but she has very diplomatically stated she won’t interfere in the decision of the independent honours committee. There were stories a few weeks ago that the honours committee weren’t happy with many on the list.

And speaking of Theresa May, she has shown herself as a tough negotiator by blocking the controversial Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Plant. This was to be a joint enterprise between the UK, France, and China, TM has put it on hold until it can be reviewed. It is said that she has always had reservations about the Chinese being involved, considering it a security risk, supporters of the project claim she is being racist because it is China.

Apparently some Chinese official was over last week as it was expected the deal would be signed, and he went home humiliated. Some have also suggested this is a snub to George Osborne as the project was his idea, and he worked hard on it, and promoted it.

She has also been accused of humiliating Francois Hollande during her visit to France – or at the very least exerting her dominance over him (take that how you like).

It seems that due to Hollande’s stature (he is short) most world leaders stand on the step below him during a photo call so that they appear roughly the same height, TM apparently not only stood on the same step, but also wore her trademark kitten heels instead of flats, thereby towering over him.

Anyway, I am away tomorrow until the end of the week, so won’t post on UK politics – but might (boringly) give an update on my visit to Ypres, where amongst other things I am going to visit the trench line of the Otago Regiment which my Great Great Uncle fought in, I am quite looking forward to it.


Guardian: Theresa May will not block Cameron’s ‘cronies’ honours list



UK update

Missy’s UK update


David Cameron followed tradition and did a list of resignation honours – essentially a pile of people getting honours or peerages as payment for their loyalty to Cameron. Interestingly some of the honours on his list have reportedly been blocked by Whitehall for ethical reasons. The list has not been released as yet, so who is on it, what they were in line to get, and the reasons for being blocked are all speculation.

This is seen by some as a move by the Cabinet Office, and others in Whitehall to try and reverse the view of the public of cronyism. It is yet another thing that has marred David Cameron’s exit from Downing Street.

As expected Hollande has indeed demanded that the UK trigger article 50 immediately, Theresa May has said the UK will not rush into it and will only trigger article 50 when the groundwork for Brexit has been completed. Of course this is taking much longer than it should because Cameron refused to let any Government department prepare any plans in the event of a Brexit vote.


Corbyn is coming under increasing pressure in the media, and from his MPs today.
First an MP (sorry can’t remember his name at the moment) has tweeted several tweets accusing Jeremy Corbyn of trying to bully him by threatening to call his father to put pressure on him to fall into line.

The father of the MP in question was a Sinn Fein councillor, but is unknown to Corbyn, it is believed that Corbyn thought that as the MP’s father was Sinn Fein he would share similar political views and therefore agree to put pressure on the MP.

In the end Corbyn did not call the MP’s father, which is apparently just as well, as the MP in question said his father would not be happy about such a thing. Corbyn’s office denies this.

Second, 45 Female MP’s have written to Corbyn demanding he does more to stop the abuse from his supporters. They have asked him to sign a pledge to stop the rape threats, death threats, and other forms of intimidation they have suffered over the last few weeks. They have also said he has failed in his duty of care by opposing a secret ballot for a board vote, despite the female MP’s pleas after receiving intimidating messages.

It seems that Corbyn’s kinder, gentler politics is only for those that agree with him.

Lastly, Len McClusky (Unite Union) has gone conspiracy theorist by claiming that the threats being received by female MPs are actually from MI5 agents pretending to be Corbyn supporters in order to undermine him.

And as of about an hour or so ago the news is once again dominated by overseas events with the shooting in Munich.

The Munich shooting will be covered in the next post here.

Missy: (Was) Rather quiet today

Missy’s UK update (it says something about that has happening in the UK lately when the day a new Prime Minister is sworn in is a rather quiet day!

Rather quiet today.

David Cameron had his last PMQs, I didn’t watch, but from reports he managed to get in a few digs about Corbyn, he paid tribute to his CP colleagues, and professed his love for Larry. Don’t get too excited, Larry is the No. 10 cat. :)

Guardian: Cameron delivers parting shots at Jeremy Corbyn in final PMQs

Theresa May has been formally sworn in as PM, and has given her first speech as PM, issuing a statement of intent for her tenure. I haven’t had a chance to read it as I have just got home, but will have a look and see if there is anything unexpected.

Guardian: May’s speech in full on becoming PM

Angela Eagle has yet again timed a speech badly, on Monday it clashed with Leadsom withdrawing from the CP race, today apparently it clashed with the speech from the PM (this is from a tweet by a journalist, so no confirmation as yet).

Just a few notes, TM will move into the flat above No. 11 where DC and family have been living – I suspect it may be because it has a better kitchen after the Cameron’s did it up, and TM is reportedly a keen cook. Larry will remain at No. 10, and for a few minutes this afternoon was essentially the only inhabitant, and therefore running the country as one PM resigned, and the other had yet to be appointed, they were good times!

Only really gossip now, not really any developments as things in CP start to settle and stabilise. It was reported that TM wanted to be the first female PM, and announced this intention as a teenager, needless to say that reportedly she was irritated when Maggie won her election and became PM. I think that is quite funny.

We are expecting the new cabinet to be named either tonight or tomorrow morning.

Guardian headlines:


And Opinion (Polly Toynbee):

Cameron has washed his hands of No 10. But he’s left an almighty mess

What is to become of us?

Cameron has led us into a state of paralysing uncertainty, at the mercy of erratic negotiations with 27 countries over which we have no say. Take back control? Everything feels out of control.

Ken Clarke paid Cameron a barbed compliment by asking him to remain as an active MP in the Commons: “As no two people know what Brexit means, we need his advice.” Of course he knows Cameron has no more clue than anyone else how put back together what his recklessness has broken apart. But the man had no referendum regrets: like Blair over Iraq, how could he admit that now?

As Cameron goes, Ipsos Mori finds his approval rating particularly low, with only 28% satisfied with him, while Theresa May soars in, with 55% saying she “has what it takes”. People can invest all their disparate hopes in a new leader starting out. But many will be disappointed.

Cameron leaves her an NHS in need of urgent treatment. Social care is keeling over, schools are short of teachers, councils are stricken by cuts, Sure Starts and local museums are closing: a long list of services are far worse off, with less money if Treasury receipts fall over the next years.

Behind May on the backbenches, Cameron leaves that malevolent phalanx of Brexiteers, the 84 so EU-phobic they preferred Andrea Leadsom to her – and they will seek to wreck her Brussels negotiations.

While May seems to have taken over the Prime Ministerial role relatively effortlessly there are huge challenges for her, the Conservatives and Britain.

Key from the UK

John Key has arrived in London amidst a fast changing political landscape. When he left New Zealand David Cameron was Prime Minister and both the Conservative and Labour parties were in disarray, both grappling with leadership contests and factional splits.

By the time Key leaves Europe the UK will have Theresa May as Prime Minister and we may know whether calls for a snap election will be heeded or not.

Key was interviewed on Breakfast this morning. Here is the Twitter feed:

“David Cameron was doing some packing when I popped in to see him”

“One thing that has come through is how much the UK values it’s relationship with NZ”

“There is no question that Britain is trying to think about what a world with out close ties to Europe will be like”

“They will be looking around the world, at countries like NZ to see what they have to offer, it’s going to be a long game”

“A lot of people thought about the referendum, but not what things would look like afterwards”

“All of their decisions will come with consequences when it comes to trade with Europe”

Before the overnight changes Newshub reported:

Key: NZ will ‘get there’ with Europe trade agreement

Prime Minister John Key says he’s confident New Zealand can shore up trade deals with European leaders and Britain in the aftermath of Brexit.

Mr Key is stopping over in London to meet with outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron, before moving on to France and Italy where he’s hoping to push trade interests.

“The challenge always will be with an FTA with Europe, with the likes of French farmers who are less cautious about New Zealand, a little bit with Irish farmers as well, is very large producers, but I think we’ll get there,” he says.

New Zealand has also offered to help Britain beef up its trade negotiating capacity.

With the rapid changes going on in the UK Key’s visit may be unlucky timing and premature given the change of Prime Minister and uncertainty over Brexit, or it may be opportune timing getting in at the forefront of changes.

I suspect the UK and EU leaders will have much bigger and more imminent priorities than a wee country on the other side of the planet.


More on post-Brexit

A report from Missy on what else has been happening in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.

The rest of post Brexit vote happenings.

The Conservative Party will have a new leader by 2 September, the nominations close on Thursday. I will do a list of the candidates once the nominations have closed, but so far Boris Johnson, Theresa May, Stephen Crabb, Liam Fox have declared, and initial polling has May and Johnson neck and neck.

Osborne has said he won’t run, this will be a blow for him as he was always considered a possible successor for Cameron, and it is believed that he, himself, believed he was the natural successor – he isn’t popular however, in the party or in the electorate, so he was always a long shot. It is believed that Johnson has secured the support of at least one Remainer, and may secure the support of more, which will be crucial if he is to try and unify the party.

Cameron made his last appearance at the EU Leaders Summit, nothing much came of it from what I can gather, just more bluster from EU Leaders.

And on EU Leaders a couple of points that came out of a summary of Juncker’s speech to the Parliament, 1. Juncker refused to accept any responsibility for the UK referendum outcome, 2. Juncker has apparently signalled intent to continue with the greater integration of Europe, and the federalisation (UK Media term I think) of Europe, 3. Juncker slammed German media and Eastern European Leaders who have criticised him since last Friday

Several Eastern European Leaders are putting the blame for Brexit on Juncker, they believe that the EU institutions need reform, and that the UK were spooked by talk of greater integration – these countries fear this as well, and saw Britain as an ally in stopping, or at least slowing, it.

The Leader of the Czech Republic has been the most vocal, the Polish Leader has been more muted, but has suggested that the EU reforms, offers some concessions to the UK, and then the UK have another referendum. Juncker (and Tusk) don’t seem to be too keen on this.
Other leaders are blustering – as to be expected.

Sturgeon was all set to head off to EU for a meeting to talk about how Scotland could remain a part of the EU, however Donald Tusk (President of the EU Commission) has said no to a meeting, the EU have already stated that Scotland cannot remain a part of the EU – they must leave with the UK, and if they vote for independence they must then reapply.

Sadiq Khan is calling on more powers to be given to London to be able to keep the single market, he is stopping short of suggesting independence. This is stupid and arrogant on two counts,

  1. He forgets that it is this attitude of London being better than the rest of the country that contributed to the vote for Brexit and
  2. More Londoners voted for Brexit (1.5m) than voted for him (1.3m), so he really doesn’t have that much support in London. Though this attitude could change it, and could be why he is doing it.

Ireland has demanded Brits stop applying for Irish passports as they are overwhelmed. Ireland, as far as I know still, has a law where if you – or a parent – was born on the island of Ireland (RoI or NI) then you are entitled to an Irish passport, so it sounds like a load of brits from the North, and those with an Irish parent, are applying for a passport to keep an EU passport.

Oh, and one last thing on the EU, apparently they are looking at removing English as an official language.

This will cause a problem for Ireland and Malta – where English is their main language. Each country was allowed to nominate one official language – only UK nominated English, Ireland nominated Irish, and Malta Maltese, so the EU are saying with UK gone there is no need to use English.

Noting English is one of the working languages of the EU institutions, and is apparently the dominating language, however, without the UK they have no country who has nominated English as their official language.

No general election if Boris becomes leader

While the UK Labour Party self implodes in fear of an early election many believe Jeremy Corbyn cannot win the Guardian reports that if Boris Johnson takes over the leadership of the Conservative Party he would not call for an immediate general election.

That puts David Cameron in an interesting position.

No Brexit general election if Boris Johnson wins Tory leadership

Source in former London mayor’s team says he does not believe he needs a new mandate to start negotiating EU exit

Boris Johnson will not call an immediate general election if he wins the Conservative party leadership election and takes over as prime minister, it is understood.

A source in Johnson’s team said the former London mayor, who has been busy seeking the support of high-profile women in the cabinet, believed the result of last week’s referendum was sufficient for him to start negotiating an exit from the EU without seeking a new mandate.

But Johnson has to win the leadership first. He is gathering support.

MPs say Elizabeth Truss, the environment secretary, could throw her weight behind Johnson in the coming days, and that he has reached out to Amber Rudd, the energy secretary.

Rudd is also thought to be open to the idea of backing Johnson, despite clashing with him during the referendum campaign. In a televised debate, she described him as the “life and soul of the party, but he’s not the man you want driving you home at the end of the night”.

Johnson wants to demonstrate he can attract the support of remain campaigners and the liberal wing of the party, with early support from the skills minister, Nick Boles.

However there are other contenders and there could be a strong ‘not Boris’ resistance.

But a number of female MPs, including those passionate about the party’s modernising agenda, have revealed they plan to back Theresa May’s campaign.

One politician described May, the home secretary and remain supporter, as someone with the “work ethic of Thatcher” and said she was one of the few people with enough authority to carry the country into Brexit negotiations. Another said they never thought they would be taking her side, but were desperate to block a “Johnson coronation”.

There hasn’t been long for contenders to consider their chances and round up support – less than a week.

The leadership contest, which closes for nominations on Thursday, has triggered a frantic atmosphere, with MPs rushing around trying to secure the support of colleagues for their preferred candidate. May supporters are each trying to speak to a number of designated MPs in a satellite operation.

Several cabinet ministers are insisting they have still to make up their mind, with some saying they will seek meetings with candidates before deciding.

Rumours swirling around Westminster suggest Andrea Leadsom, the energy minister who campaigned to leave the EU, could be a key figure who might herself run, but is also being courted by various candidates including May.

One list appeared to suggest the home secretary had the edge with numbers, followed by Johnson, but also revealed support for both Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, who is considering her position, and Crabb.

Former defence secretary Liam Fox has already confirmed himself as a candidate, while Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, is also canvassing support.

The chancellor, George Osborne, ruled himself out, saying it was clear he could not provide the unity the party needed.

The Conservative aim is to have a new Prime Minister by 2 September. That’s quite a while to have the leadership of the country in limbo in one of the most difficult times for the UK in the last half century.

Whoever ends up in No 10 will be faced with the task of extracting the UK from the EU, after Cameron said he would not initiate the process before handing over the reins, despite pressure from Brussels for a swift departure.

Extracting the UK from the EU will be the easy part. What happens after that will be a huge challenge for whoever becomes the new Prime Minister and whichever party wins an election that may or may not be held.

Someone on Twitter yesterday said that the UK was like a dog that had been barking at passing cars for a years and had finally caught hold of a bumper bar – and has no idea what to do with it.

Brexit Towers

A cartoon from Warren Brown at Britain’s Daily Telegraph:


David Cameron has slapped himself, and Jeremy Corbyn appears to be in for a slapping from the Labour Party.

Time will tell whether slapping Europe will end up being self flagellation or not.

Chappatte (International New York Times):


That doesn’t show the Irish who want to amalgamate and separate, but the Scottish are seriously considering another look at splitting (a majority of Scots voted to stay with the EU).

BBC: Scotland independence vote ‘highly likely’

Scotland’s first minister says a second independence referendum is “highly likely” after the UK voted to leave the EU.

And from The result in maps and charts

The Remain campaign dominated in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In contrast Wales strongly supported leaving the EU but I don’t know if they want to leave the United Queendom.


Political chaos following referendum

British Prime Minister has resigned following the failure the country chose via referendum to leave the European Union. David Cameron says he’ll be gone by October.

The British economy may be gone by then too as the politicians have raised the risks substantially. There are reports that Jeremy Corbyn’s position as Labour leader is at risk too.

David Cameron to quit after UK votes to leave EU

Prime Minister David Cameron is to step down by October after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Mr Cameron made the announcement in a statement outside Downing Street after the final result was announced.

He said he would attempt to “steady the ship” over the coming weeks and months but that “fresh leadership” was needed.

Also: Jeremy Corbyn to face Shadow Cabinet calls to quit

Jeremy Corbyn will face calls to stand down as Labour leader at an emergency meeting of the Shadow Cabinet this morning, PoliticsHome has learned.

The party’s frontbench is set to gather at 10am in the wake of Britain’s decision to quit the European Union.

But the meeting is likely to be dominated by discussions about Mr Corbyn’s own future – with senior sources saying Labour is in a “blind fury” with his performance during the campaign.

PoliticsHome has also learned that least 55 Labour MPs will put their name to a letter calling for Mr Corbyn to quit next week.

The pound has already taken a pounding, along with the FTSE.

BBC: Shares and pound plunge on Leave vote

The London stock market has plunged more than 8% in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

In the opening minutes of trade, the FTSE 100 index fell more than 500 points before regaining some ground.

Banks were especially hard hit, with Barclays and RBS falling about 30%.

Earlier, the value of the pound fell dramatically as the referendum outcome emerged. At one stage, it hit $1.3236, a fall of more than 10% and a low not seen since 1985.

They still have most of Friday to go in Britain.

An interesting breakdown of pre-referendum polling




Obama interferes in UK

In a visit to Britain US president Barack Obama has urged a country he is not the leader of to remain a member of the European Union.

This choice is actually up to the people of the United Kingdom in a referendum. Democratic choice sort of thing,.

This looks like – and is – remarkable interference in the affairs of another country.

The Guardian: Barack Obama: Brexit would put UK ‘back of the queue’ for trade talks

US president, visiting London, says ‘part of being friends is being honest’ as he lays out perils of leave vote in EU referendum.

Barack Obama has warned that the UK would be at the “back of the queue” in any trade deal with the US if the country chose to leave the EU, as he made an emotional plea to Britons to vote for staying in.

The US president used a keenly awaited press conference with David Cameron, held at the Foreign Office, to explain why he had the “temerity to weigh in” over the high-stakes British question in an intervention that delighted remain campaigners.

Obama argued that he had a right to respond to the claims of Brexit campaigners that Britain would easily be able to negotiate a fresh trade deal with the US. “They are voicing an opinion about what the United States is going to do, I figured you might want to hear from the president of the United States what I think the United States is going to do.

“And on that matter, for example, I think it’s fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement, but it’s not going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc, theEuropean Union, to get a trade agreement done”.

He added: “The UK is going to be in the back of the queue.”

That sounds like a blatant threat.

Standing alongside his visitor, Cameron said the referendum was the “sovereign choice of the British people” but it was important for voters to listen to the opinions of allies such as the president. “On this vital issue of trade, where Barack has made such a clear statement, we should remember why we are currently negotiating this biggest trade deal in the whole world, and in the whole world’s history, between the European Union and the United States.”

So Obama is trying to help Cameron influence the referendum. And Cameron is openly using Obama.

This is probably as likely to cause a backlash against Cameron as help his cause.

Quite a few people will be understandably very annoyed with this political interference in another country’s democracy by the US president.

According to this the probability of leaving is low:

Probability of Brexit Drops to 20% as Polls Move Against `Leave’

The probability of Britain voting to leave the European Union dropped to 20 percent on Thursday after the Treasury warned such a move might lead to decades of economic damage, according to the Number Cruncher Politics Referendum Forecast.

The forecast, generated by political blogger Matt Singh, is based on current polling and an analysis of how voters have shifted in previous referendums. The decrease this week reflects the way polls have moved toward “Remain” in the last few days. The index was at 24 percent when it was launched on April 13.

Will Obama’s interference swing the vote against European Union with Britain?