“They’re taking our jobs” – when protectionism hurts the working class opinion

Brexit: What trade deals has the UK done so far? - BBC News
Written by Harry Johnson for the Telegraph

For a quite long time now there had been somewhat of a consensus amongst British politicians that free trade is beneficial. This was reflected with bills like the cross-border taxation Act passing 86 to 7 and the Freeport motion receiving wide support from both the Left and the Right. 

At a recent questions session the Work , Skills and Labour Secretary /u/Stalin1963 seems to have taken a stand this consensus by stating that 

>”The ‘fruits of globalisation’ are being offset by rapid urbanisation, increasing economic inequality, increased poverty and homelessness, and increased deprivation. The rapidly increasing transnational movement of money and jobs to cities and countries where costs are cheapest is contributing to the urbanisation of poverty. Unfortunately, the good… is being masked by the vast discrepancies and inequalities that are of a much larger scale.”

 This is starkly contrasted by Labour’s manifesto commitment to free trade. Yet the Work Secretary was not the only recent cabinet Minister to support protectionism with u/KalvinLokan arguing for protectionism in defence procurement while a member of government . On the far-left Solidarity members have argued for protectionist measures to be implemented with the party choosing to back an almost complete reversal of the Cross-border Taxation Act.

As of today anywhere in between 55 and 80 percent of all food products we consume are imported ,while exports and imports combined equate to around 2/3s of our GDP . It would be utterly foolish for a British government regardless of its political allegiance to gamble that away by pursuing mercantilist policies and running the risk of a trade war in the name of attempting to bring back “‘old’’ industries or to gain some negligible amount of perceived leverage.

In fact we don’t even need to dabble in hypotheticals because the negative impact of protectionist policies are well documented. In the 18th and 19th centuries a series of protectionist measures known as the Corn laws caused drastic rises in the prices of grain and ultimately were a contributing factor to the famine in Ireland that set the island back decades.

In the US the pursuit of protectionist tariffs decimated economic growth , forced many farmers out of business all the while sensitive industries like freight hit unprecedented lows  Moreover tensions with Canada and the European Union lead to the souring of relations between longtime allies and disruptions to supply-chains that put many working-class people out of business , those who the left claim to support.

According to one report the conflict is claimed to have cost the United States 300 thousand jobs, moreover, the wealthiest households were found to spend 0.3% of their after-tax income on tariffs , while those in the bottom 10% spent 5 times that. In the United Kingdom the impact of such policies would likely be far greater as the percentage of imports to GDP is roughly twice that to the US here in the UK.

Contrast that with the benefits of free trade and globalisation. Free trade allows Britain to specialise and to produce specialised goods and services  that it can later exchange with the rest of the world.At the end of the day the benefits of  comparative advantage allow us to generate more value than we would have otherwise. To claim that we can somehow create a stronger economy by repatriating the industrial base is like to say that one would prefer the poor to be poorer if it meant the rich were less rich….

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

Are you new to blogging, and do you want step-by-step guidance on how to publish and grow your blog? Learn more about our new Blogging for Beginners course and get 50% off through December 10th.

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Work and Labour Secretary fails to answer 53% of initial questions in controversial MQs.

*This article was written by David Seimarsson, Editor in Chief of the Telegraph*

According to calculations done by the Telegraph, Labour Secretary Stalin1953 failed to answer 53% of initial questions put to him at Ministers Questions, a figure that will be a fresh headache for Government leadership.

The Secretary answered just 20 of the 43 initial questions put to him. When followup questions and answers are included this figure becomes 23 out of 46. 

Several former Cabinet Secretaries have fallen foul of failing to answer a majority of their MQs, with several resigning or being sacked as a result.

During Blurple 2 sophisticatedmurder, the International Development Secretary was dismissed as a result of failure to answer MQs, with Labour and the Lib Dems among those to push for their dismissal. During the first Blurple government InfernoPlato would resign as Energy Secretary following an MQs session where he missed over half the questions, while during Sunrise JellyCow99 infamously refused to step down as Home Secretary after missing over half of the questions put to them.

Even without the missed MQs, this session was still garnering significant political attention due to a number of controversial comments from the Labour Secretary.

The Labour Secretary came out in favour of closed shop practises, a union arrangement where employees are required to be a member of a specific union and makes their continued employment conditioned on said membership. This broke from the government line, as when the government Press Officer was asked if the government supports closed shop practises the answer provided was “no”.

Globalisation was the target of criticism from the Labour Secretary, who blamed globalisation for “rapid urbanisation, increasing economic inequality, increased poverty and homelessness, and increased deprivation”. This comes as the government is in the midst of talks with the EU regarding a free trade agreement, and after the Labour manifesto included a promise of unilateral tariff abolition.

They also criticised corporation tax cuts, which have been planned and announced by the Chancellor already, offering another example of a CCR breach.

This MQs session will be a new political problem for a government that doesn’t need one right now, and will provide a challenge to justify for the Prime Minister and the rest of the government leadership.

The government has yet to provide comment.

The Shadow Work, Labour and Skills Secretary Tommy2Boys made the following comment

“Labour need to first of all show up to parliament and do the minimum required of them. And then once they’ve got a grasp on that they should start pushing policies which won’t force people out of employment as they currently advocate for with closed shops, but policies which will encourage job creation such as cutting corporation tax.”

The following comment was provided by Libertarian Leader Friedmanite19:

“It was interesting to see the Secretary come out against the Chancellor’s proposal of reducing corporation tax telling the House there are more economic solutions to achieve the above apart from corporation tax changes. Clearly during the session CCR went out the window on corporation tax and closed shop unions. It was disappointing to see the government dodge scrutiny from the House as they left many questions unanswered.”

Op-Ed: We need to talk about Turkey.

This op-ed was written by Seimer1234, former Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary and International Trade Secretary.

We need to talk about Turkey.

It’s a conversation that has long been an uncomfortable one for the West, particularly since the ascension of Recyp Erdogan to the Presidency. Erdogan has shown himself to be fundamentally anti-democratic, a problem for NATO and keen on flexing power over weaker neighbours, however vital security and economic interests have been put first and foremost. 

While previous efforts and statements of condemnation have happened, such as the motion I proposed a year ago condemning the arrest of Canan Kaftiancoglu which received cross party support, little real action has been taken on the matter.

This all has emboldened Turkey, and it has come to a head this year. 

Erdogan inserted Turkey into the conflict in the Caucasus, prolonging the conflict, increasing the loss of life and setting the peace process in the region back decades. 

In the Mediterranean, Turkey has pursued an expansionist policy, sending naval vessels into Greek and Cypriot water and is now planning further military exercises close to Greek islands to send a message to a growingly exasperated EU considering sanctions.

In Libya Turkey has failed to meet its Berlin Conference promises to stop arming Libyan military groups, pushing its influence in the country to stretch further control over the Mediterranean.

Turkey’s previous defence of the Uighur minority has given way to subservience to the Chinese government, sending thousands of Uighur refugees back to China, assisting in the Chinese government’s ethnic cleansing campaign. 

Erdogan has also ratcheted up tensions with France, a NATO ally, making derogatory comments about President Macron’s mental capacity and attempting to organise boycotts of French goods.

The West’s continued self imposed blindness to Erdogan’s neo-ottoman foreign policy is simply untenable. While Turkey has previously been a vital ally in the fight against terrorism, accusations from France and others that Turkey has sent Syrian jihadists to Nagorno-Karabakh to fight on their behalf clearly shows Turkey’s previous utility as a regional fighter against terrorism is decreasing.

Turkey’s behaviour is a serious threat to NATO, and leaves the dark possibility that, if Turkey continues unchecked, the nuclear option of NATO expulsion under the Vienna Convention may be left as the only possible remedy.

This option is far from ideal, and is not inevitable. Action can, and in my view must, be taken immediately to push Turkey to de-escalate, particularly in the Mediterranean.

So, what can the government do?

There are a few key steps the government should take to try and moderate Tukey’s extreme behaviour. The EU Council is meeting this week to discuss sanctions on Turkey. The UK should do the same and review the implementation of sanctions and new blocks on arms sales to Turkey. We must also step up dialogue with regional partners, particularly Italy, Greece, France, Cyprus and other members of the “Med7”. Diplomatic pressure campaigns should be applied, with the publication of joint statements similar to the one published during my time as Foreign Secretary being a potential option. The PM and Foreign Secretary should also raise the issue at the D12 with relevant allies such as the EU, Italy, France, Germany and the United States.

The government must take action. A continued reluctance to properly put a check on Turkey’s behaviour will result in serious problems for the strength and stability of NATO.

D12 summit falls through.

The planned inaugural D12 summit of 12 allied nations, scheduled to take place from the 27th to the 29th of November in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland appears to have fallen through, with the government making no public statements or confirmation of it’s hosting.

The D12 summit had been organised under the previous government, with heads of government, Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers from the UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, India, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union agreeing to attend. Key goals from the meetings for the UK had reportedly included expanding the Winter Olympics boycott from the USA, UK and New Zealand to a wider cohort, pushing other Five Eyes members to agree to terms regarding Japanese accession into the alliance as well as broader goals surrounding progress on the genocide in Xianjiang and defence co-operation.

There had been no previous indication that the new government would take a different approach to the D12 than the previous administration, with no statement announcing cancellation from the Foreign Secretary since their taking office. Indeed, Labour have voted twice in recent months  in favour of motions calling for the usage of the D12 alliance, those motions being the Asia Defence Motion and 2022 Winter Olympics Boycott Motion.

In a comment provided to the Telegraph, former Foreign Secretary and LPUK Foreign Affairs Spokesman Seimer1234 lambasted the government’s failure, saying “it appears an absentee Shadow Foreign Secretary has now become an absentee Foreign Secretary. The D12 offered an unparalleled opportunity to assert UK leadership on international issues related to China, intelligence sharing and defence co-operation. This apparent failure to host is an immense hit to our national credibility, and I am calling on the government to immediately reschedule.”

OP-ED: Why we must do all we can to prevent the expiration New Start.

This is an opinion piece by unitedlover14, former MoS for Security.

On the 5th of February 2021, the nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation, popularly known as New START, expires after a decade in force. The treaty limits the amount of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and heavy bombers assigned to nuclear missions to 700 per country, deployed and non deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and bombers to 800 per country and deployed strategic nuclear warheads and bombs to 1550 per country. Although this may seem like a large amount, and it is still more than enough to cause a nuclear apocalypse if war were to break out between these great powers, it is still a significant decrease on previous nuclear arms reduction treaties and a step in the right direction. The number of nuclear warheads allowed is down by 30% from the 2,200 limit set by 2002’s SORT (also known as the treaty of Moscow) and down a major 74% from the original 1994 START limit of 6000. 

The treaty is undeniably working. Despite allegations from Washington and NATO that Moscow has been violating other arms control agreements, the INF being the primary source of conflict, the Trump administration has admitted that the Russian Federation is keeping to the terms agreed under New START. A report from the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance published on the first of October 2020 (current as of the first of September 2020) states that the Russian Federation has 510 deployed ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers, 1447 deployed nuclear warheads and 764 deployed and non deployed nuclear launchers and heavy bombers. These numbers are well within the range allowed for under New START limitations. The US has shared similar numbers (verified by Moscow) that show they too are abiding by the restrictions. 

It would be fair to say that the success of this treaty is down to the rigorous inspection procedures allowed for both signatories. New START is protected by national technical means and 18 annual short notice on site inspections. National technical means, or NTMs for short, are the primary methods for ensuring compliance with international treaties and counterproliferation work. Satellite imagery, telemetry intelligence, geophysical intelligence and classic human intelligence all work together to provide international watchdogs with accurate information to ensure that states are complying with agreements they’ve signed or other restrictions on their nuclear arms programmes. In the case of New START, both signatories contribute to an extensive database on the numbers, types and locations of treaty limited nuclear devices to be confirmed with intelligence and inspections. For example, the Russians must notify the United States whenever a new ICBM or SLBM leaves the Votkinsk production plant and when it reaches its destination, which is monitored by satellite imagery. Verification of the restrictions is carried out by 18 annual on site inspections which can begin with as little notice as 32 hours beforehand. 10 inspections are allowed at Type One facilities that house deployed warheads and delivery systems whilst 8 are allowed at Type Two facilities that house non deployed delivery systems. These short notice inspections allow both signatories to check that they are abiding by the limits in place and cannot dispose of evidence of non compliance before the inspection. 

If New START is working so well, why is it at risk for expiration and why does it matter? Like most things in life, politics is getting in the way. From a national, and even world security perspective, the extension of New START is a no brainer for both the United States and Russia. This is something that’s recognised by the Russian Federation, who raised its extension as early as the first year of President Trump’s time in office. The US deferred the issue, wanting to ensure that the Russians were fully compliant before negotiating a renewal. They now know this to be true and yet we are still hurtling towards a dangerous nuclear arms race. Make no mistake, the expiration of this treaty is a very dangerous and scarily realistic outcome. New START’s expiration would be the first time in decades that restrictions on the aforementioned types of nuclear weapons were relaxed and would almost certainly lead to a nuclear arms race at a time where both countries are already undergoing significant nuclear modernisation programmes. We would also lose the vital information on the Russian Federation’s nuclear program that the treaty provides, raising the stakes of the arms race significantly. More intelligence resources would have to be redeployed to fill that gap of information, taking money and people away from vital missions in the Middle East and East Asia. It’s unclear as to the real reasons behind the Trump administration posturing over New START, although they’ve made some vague statements about China and unhappiness with the verification methods. What we do know is that the major players in the Trump administration do not seem to be fond of this treaty and that we may very well be reliant on immediate action from the incoming Biden administration. 

The United Kingdom has a responsibility to avoid a nuclear arms race between two great powers and we have options available to us. As former Minister of State for Security, I attempted to make this a key defence policy for our government. Unfortunately, negotiations between myself and senior Conservative leadership did not complete before the governmental collapse, but I will lay out my arguments in the hope that the Defence Secretary is spurred into action by this article. First and foremost, we could offer to join the treaty as a nuclear power allied with the United States. When the United States brought up the issue of China during negotiations, the Russians indicated that they would like to see the United Kingdom and France sign the treaty too. This would go a long way into showing our good faith and desire to keep the treaty in place whilst not restricting our aims to modernise and renew Trident. We could also set up a diplomatic back channel between Moscow and Washington, allowing a country with a long history of high class diplomacy to act as a third party arbitrator whose sole aim is to see the renewal of the deal. Finally, we can encourage the Biden administration to make the extension an immediate priority, ensuring that New START does not expire before they are able to negotiate a new deal. 

It is clear that New START has been a resounding success, and is one step in the long path of global denuclearisation. It is also clear that the extension of this deal, whilst attempts are made to negotiate a lower number of allowed warheads, should be a policy aim for any government intending to prevent a nuclear arms race between two great powers. It is my hope that this article will encourage our government to make this an immediate defence policy and begin talks with the Trump administration, the Biden transition team and the Kremlin in order to facilitate the renewal of the treaty. Without it, the world would be a less safe place for the United Kingdom and its people. 

Government under siege as new leaks surface – developing story

A meme sent to the Telegraph by one of its readers

Written by Harry Johnson

A new round of leaked statements have been made available to the Telegraph after the leaking of the government’s proposed Brexit strategy. Chief of them being leaks pertaining to the sacking of the former DEFRA secretary who has been expelled from cabinet after being accused of leaking from cabinet  With these new leaks surfacing it appears that these accusations have been put in doubt as according to a member of government who has requested to remain anonymous no evidence has been provided to cabinet as of the time of writing this article.(M: as per request we are not posting minutes publicly ,but are willing to share them with quad if there is a need to verify)

Moreover leaked minutes from a different source show that the government’s communications department has ordered a total radio silence due to fears of further leaks as shown by these minutes. 

 More interestingly leaks have also occurred regarding minimum wage as it appears that the government will raise the minimum wage to £12  despite Conservative objections to a lower rate under the Blurple government.

It is interesting to note that the government is avoiding internal debate ,opting to have the discussion on minimum wage within closed-off leadership channels. Ministers also propose negotiating with the Conservatives in bad faith in order to get the Tories to vote for something they had opposed under Blurple.

Judging by these newly released documents it appears as if the government is concerned about the growing backlash over leaked minutes. Moreover, the Telegraph is also aware of rumours that the investigation carried out by the Foreign and Northern Irish Secretaries found no conclusive evidence linking the DEFRA Secretary and that it is based upon potentially unreliable information from Libertarian members. Regardless of the validity of these rumors, it appears as if the Phoenix coalition may be far less stable than originally thought.

Coalition faces questions as Welsh Government denies Secretary’s meeting claims.

A rocky start to life for the Lab-Lib Government has hit another bump this evening, as questions to the Welsh Secretary and Welsh Government resulted in divergent claims from both parties over the status of Port Talbot talks. The fate of Port Talbot and the thousands of jobs have been in uncertainty as the region and factory face hard times. The Welsh government has long sought assistance from Westminster to save these jobs and support the local economy but relations between Wales and Westminster over the fate of Port Talbot and the extent of support have been strained. 

In response to questions from Telegraph journalist Tres Commas, newly appointed Welsh Secretary NeatSaucer said that the government was “doing it’s level best to save all jobs at Port Talbot”. NeatSaucer also went on to say they were “in discussions at present” with the Welsh Gov, and that the Welsh Gov had been “co-operative”. He went on to say “We are discussing implementing the Unity Plan and exploring other solutions to save our workers, so yes.” The Unity plan refers to prospal to support Port Talbot which has yet to be approved by Parliament or the Welsh government as of yet. 

Conversations between that Telegraph journalist and the First Minister of Wales SecretarySalami have placed the Welsh Secretary’s account into question however. The First Minister said that while the Secretary “contacted us to schedule a meeting”, no meeting had taken place. The First Minister was keen to praise the Welsh Unity Governments plans on Port Talbot, saying “it will go a long way in saving jobs in the area and at the steel mill”. When asked once more “Has there been any discussions concerning the unity plan between you and the new WM govt ?” The Secretary once again responded clearly saying “No not yet.”

This comes as another source of tension for the Phoenix government has just into the first few days of their tenure the government has run into troubles with leaks that put into question their Brexit strategy and direction for the government. Yesterday the Government expelled the former EFRA Secretary on grounds he was leaking sensitive government information. It has been stormy waters for the new government, with the Queen’s Speech still yet to be presented to the House.

The conflicting accounts from Cardiff Bay and Westminster are a fresh headache for Lily’s government, who have endured a subpar start to the government. NeatSaucer will likely now face further questions and scrutiny over his handling of talks between himself and Cardiff Bay.

The LabLib Coalition and the Welsh Government have been reached out to for comment. This post will be updated when comment is provided.

Leaked minutes indicate government could push for Customs Union membership

Written by Harry Johnson

After receiving fierce criticism from the opposition due to a lack of a clear Brexit strategy it appears that the government’s Brexit strategy has at last surfaced with an anonymous source providing the details to the Telegraph. According to the comments made by the Brexit Secretary the government might override “multiple agreements with the European Union”, which may encompass areas such as aviation, the European arrest warrant and a slew of other agreements previously made by successive Conservative-lead governments.

The Telegraph believes that should the Minister’s plan come to fruition the United Kingdom could expect a much softer deal more akin to the current Status Quo. It is also possible that the government may elect to remain in the ECAA and thus maintain at least partial ECJ jurisdiction over the UK.

The Minister of State expresses his desire to stay in the customs union and ‘as many of the European organisations as we possibly can’

Most damningly however the leaked minutes indicate that the government may wish to stay in the European Customs Union and potentially in the single market as is prerequisite for a Norway plus deal proposed by the Minister. The Minister also made the claims that the UK should stay in as many EU institutions as possible and thus he preferred an EFTA or Norway deal.  It is also unclear whether the government will keep the freedom of movement according to the leaked minutes. 

However, given that the government has proposed to overturn points-based immigration and that any EFTA or Norway deal would most likely require Single Market membership it is highly likely that the government will indeed pursue freedom of movement. 

According to the analysts at the Telegraph, it would be very difficult for the government to actually carry out such an agenda without seeking an additional extension, given the sheer volume of negotiations that would have to be redone. The Telegraph has also  reached out to the Libertarian Party’s Spokesman for Trade for a comment on the issue:

“This is extremely worrying and frankly put frustrating for any Brexit ever regardless of the color of their tie. The British public has voted to leave the EU fully over 4 times now, twice in the Brexit and Single Market referendums. Yet what seems to be on offer from the government is a remain minus proposal that would keep us trapped in the EU without representation almost indefinitely. What shocks me the most however is the proposal to remain in the Customs Union. 

Whether you want a soft or hard Brexit you should most definitely oppose this move. A customs union only deal will prevent Britain from forging new ambitious trade deals as we will still be bound to Brussel’s strict tariff policy. In the case of Turkey, this has effectively trapped them in a system where they have all the downsides of being in the EU with zero of the benefits. It’s a fool’s errand really.  It is also questionable whether  staying in the EU can safeguard the GFA any better than the current Irish protocol since the customs union does not guarantee free movement and thus would most likely require us to stay in the Single Market too in what is a remain minus deal that no-one has voted for

This shambles of a proposal only proves why we need the Brexit integrity bill  on the floor pronto. This government is determined to take the easy way and squander the once in a lifetime opportunity to improve our position in the world with a poor deal’’

LPUK trade spokesperson writes for the Telegraph [Op-Ed]

WTO | About the organization - The WTO building: Centre William Rappard

Written by cody5200

NeatSaucer recently wrote an article which made me chuckle and anyone who has been following politics would have been able to see the massive irony in their article.

They claimed:

We have promised to ink out deals with the United States, Japan and similar nations to ensure that as we are leaving the EU with a deal, we can have enhanced trading opportunities, strengthened global partnerships, and increased revenue. These are things which a Blurple Government cannot even in its wildest dreams provide for the people of the United Kingdom.

Let us remember it was the Conservative and Libertarians that saved Brexit from the disaster that was the Liberal alliance who was incompetent at negotating and embarrased the UK on the world stage. This is highly ironic coming from a government which contains the Liberal Democrats who botched negotiations leaving the Tories and Libertarians to save the day and secure a deal with the European Union. Blurple has a track record of delivering whereas Labour has a track record of trying to overturn democratic results and pushing for the debunked Ukraine model. The piece showed how of touch with politics the author was. The fact is Labour have never had a credible plan and at present do not have one. I highly doubt the UK will sign a US trade deal before the end of the implementation period due to the need for the government to focus energy on EU talks. The Libertarians absolutely back a trade deal with the United States and it is hard to take Labour seriously when they have espoused anti US trade deal rhetoric before. Furthermore they can’t even decide what their trade policy is. First they were for abolishing tariffs then against. Labour have no credibility on the matter of international trade.

When we first formed the Blurple government we have put forward a clear and concise vision for a Brexit. A blueprint on how to do it properly and in a manner that most if not all brexiteers can easily get behind. A comprehensive trade agreement with relevant provisions for other issues such as aviation, citizen’s rights, and other issues that would have to be inevitably settled by the 31st.

We built upon this progress in the second and third Blurple governments with the third government almost finalizing the deal to put the issue of Brexit once and for all. Not everything in life goes to plan and the coalition collapsed. Yet the progress made still remains, owing to the efforts of competent ministers like the Foreign and International Trade Secretaries. Two people, I had the immense pleasure of working with in my time as a cabinet secretary.

However, number 10 has a new occupant, a minority Labour-Liberal government that frankly has no clue what it is doing. All that we have heard from them is that they will pursue some sort of a deal by after the official deadline and even that came from a leak, not through official channels. We don’t know what sort of a deal the government wants, how will they solve the issue of Northern Ireland, or the degree of integration with the EU their deal would entail. All we know is that there might be a deal by the first and after that, it’s up to us to fill in the blanks. This is a stark contrast to Blurple where the framework for the EU-UK relationship has been public since July 2019.

This is especially dangerous because whenever uncertainty is introduced to the market chaos and instability. Moreover, no trade deal occurs in a vacuum, a deal we sign with the EU will inevitably impact our trade relationships elsewhere. For instance say the government botched the deal and breached the GFA. Not only would this directly impact Northern Ireland, but also impede a potential UK-US trade deal, due to the current makeup of US congress. This will be true no matter who occupies number 10 and through enhanced parliamentary scrutiny we can avoid such a nightmare scenario.

Glossing over the material issues related to such a strategy, is this really how we want our government to behave with the deadline creeping ever closer? The government is already yet to explain to the House why they wish to haphazardly neuter our force projection capabilities in the Indian Ocean and now they are leaving the House of Commons and more importantly the markets in the dark about one of the largest and most complex undertakings in our history.  There is also no guarantee that there will be a majority for the government’s deal to pass unlike in the case of Blurple 3 where the government could expect to pass its deal easily.  What happens then? 

That is why it is crucial for the coalition to build upon the progress of the Blurple government’s strategy and consequently pursue a free trade agreement with no further EU integration beyond the barebones like the Irish protocol and ultimately why I and my party have felt obliged to table the Brexit integrity bill. We must ensure that Brexit is done on time and properly, lest we wish to risk another 2-page sunrise whitepaper…

A Phoenix or a headless chicken?

Labour's Rebecca Long-Bailey struggles to explain £30billion black hole in  Labour's spending plans during car crash interview

Written by Harry Johnson 

Since we have moved away from a purely first past the post election system to a mixed-member proportional system it has become nigh impossible for a single party or at times groups of parties to secure a majority. Whether that is good or not is ultimately another argument worth its own discussion, but at the end of the day, we have a system that represents the wishes of the electorate quite well indeed.

A  byproduct of such an arrangement is frequent minority governments. Governments with no majority or in other words capability to pass legislation through both Houses, which according to the pre-2014 mentality of British politics should not be or should be kept to the bare minimum. Yet normally this would not be a problem as more often than not some sort of a compromise can be hammered out between the big 4 parties as was the case when Blurple and Clegg governments managed to pass their budgets.

However, all of this ultimately hinges on middle ground existing. In the case of the Blurple budget, it was a common commitment to a dynamic market economy that brought the government and the Classical Liberals together. Under Clegg, it was quite frankly Labour selling its voters down the water, but the official reason is that Labour wanted to avoid the aforementioned Blurple budget from coming into force. Perhaps another good example of such consensus politics at work could be the Brexit government which saw multiple parties working together to get Brexit done despite their differences.

What happens however if this formula breaks down for one reason or another? Say a left-wing coalition of fewer than 40 seats found itself with the keys to number 10 despite a right-wing Parliament. There is not much common ground between either of the Blurple parties and the ultimately left-wing government, which has pledged to overturn many flagship Tory and Libertarian policies like the right to buy and TUBFRA. To add insult to injury many flagship policies of the Phoenix government are either physically impossible as is the case with the 2030 carbon neutrality deadline or too vague to be properly assessed. 

 Ultimately there is so much one can do through statutory instruments and royal prerogative ,which contrary to Solidarity’s belief is quite limited in scope. Any statutory instruments the government does indeed push through can be quite easily negated by a simple vote in Parliament or the case of most treaties indefinitely delayed thanks to the mechanisms of the Ponsonby convention. On the issue of a budget, the only shot the government would have at passing anything resembling a budget is if a deal could be struck with either of the Opposition parties, which is far from a safe bet considering how far ideologically apart the right and the government are.

Moreover, there have also been unconfirmed rumors that the coalition is yet to even formulate the composition of its cabinet and that no agenda has been properly discussed including the urgent issue of the Chagos Islands and the government’s apparent plan to withdraw from the islands entirely without talking to Parliament. We also still don’t know what sort of a Brexit deal the government has elected or will elect to pursue in the coming weeks and months.

Simply put the current government is not a Phoenix, but a headless chicken. A lame-duck with no majority nor the ability to pass most of its legislation. It is only a matter of time before the sun sets on the  Phoenix just like it did with the Sunrise government before.