Posts by OLD BOY

    I think the GATT thing has already been mentioned at one of the debates and hustings and the conclusion was it was not workable.

    May's deal with the backstop dropped should get through parliament. It's not what we want, but we're not going to get what we want, unless as I said, the whole things collapses, an election happens and new blood enters the fray.

    As I said in the no-deal thread, if some conservative MPs defect to the Lib Dems next week (one of them has already been deselected by the local conservative party, Phillip Lee) then that will collapse parliament and an election must then happen and we'll see if Boris does a deal with Farage. If he wants to stay in power, he may have little choice. And could the unthinkable happen, could we end up with Deputy PM Farage by early autumn??

    I think it is workable, Horizon, provided that the EU play ball. We need their agreement to use Article 24 and the reason it is said that it is unworkable is that it's assumed the EU would reject the idea. However, that would hurt EU industries, so I would have thought they would be amenable to the idea if the Withdrawal Agreement is dead.

    That would be great and the sooner they do it the better even if its just to end the whinging of those that claim not to like anything the BBC shows, but then go onto to say they only watch things on iPlayer anyway. :D

    In my view, the existing arrangements are likely to be maintained until the next licence review in 10 years' time. At a designated date after that, the existing channels will be abolished and access to BBC programmes will be via Britbox, for which a subscription will be payable.

    Politically, that will be a difficult move, so it will be interesting to see how they deal with that. They won't want to upset all those elderly people, for whom this change will be incomprehensible.

    Thank you, Fidget. I am inclined to believe, having skimmed through this document, that the 'common rulebook' is intended only to apply to EU/UK trade, thus giving us flexibility to make trade deals under alternative conditions with other countries.

    This being the case, I think that many are under a misapprehension about this proposed arrangement.

    This is the crux of the problem Old Boy. If we go with May's plan, then the EU will very much dictate what we can and cannot still do, regardless of May's reassurances to the contrary.

    Well,I sincerely hope that this is just the common misconception a lot of leavers have regarding May's plan. I think many people do believe that the common rulebook will apply to all trade, but her statements seem to suggest otherwise.

    If it does apply only to EU trade, I don't have a problem with it. As far as I am aware, this has not been made clear.

    As far as I am aware, the EU rules will apply to every business, just as they do now. That is one of the bones of contention with the Chequers plan. It may not stop us getting trade deals, but it will certainly make them more difficult. Chequers guarantees us none of the Brexit 'bonuses'. Chequers is so vague that it could well be used to disguise free movement (just give it another name), payment to the EU (but it won't be called 'membership fees', and all the rest of the things we want to escape from.

    It should only apply to EU trade, otherwise this is a no-no for me. What's it got to do with the EU how we trade with the rest of the world when we leave? Unbelievable!

    There is just one thing puzzling me about May's 'common rulebook'. Is the intention that this applies only to trade with the EU or will this have a wider impact?

    We cannot agree to this if it restricts our ability to trade with the rest of the world.

    However, if it just applies to EU trade, isn't this just like the kind of clause you would find in any trade deal?

    No it doesn't.

    It seems that VM wanted to pay UKTV lower fees, as many of their channels were on Freeview and it didn't see the point in paying a premium for free channels. VM also wanted more ondemand stuff from UKTV too, but the BBC were blocking it.

    From what I can gather, it looks like they've met somewhere halfway. VM is paying more money for the channels and in return, is getting more on demand stuff.

    And the interesting thing is, that the BBC has agreed to negotiate on making the BBC archive available to Virgin Media viewers.

    I am watching the Daily Politics show open mouthed , Dawn Butler , spouting more crap than ever just said this government is racist , yet another reason this Labour party is unfit to govern.

    Labour is trying to divert attention from the anti-Semitism scandal in their own party, which JC seems unable to deal with.

    Something definitely needs to be sorted now, little point in looking back and saying something should have been done in the past unless it's just for finger pointing and point scoring reasons.

    Labour's 'blame game' is beyond the pale. People might take them more seriously if they actually tried to help put the matter right than trying to make people believe there is a government conspiracy to undermine the Windrush generation.

    The cards were destroyed on their watch. However, it looks like the officials were to blame, not the politicians.

    Obviously, the Lords don't see any merit in our forging our own trade deals when this was one of the major benefits of leaving the EU.

    I would go along with a customs arrangement that allowed us to do so, but remaining in the Customs Union as it is - that's a no-no for any self respecting Brexiteer.

    With good reason May just seems a bit wishy-washy over Brexit, but that is to be expected from someone who is in the remain camp she is never going to fully commit, agreeing to pay the EU a bribe just to get them talking about us leaving, as for it being a negotiation all that seems to have happened is the EU have made demands of what they want and May has agreed with them, even the so called Brexiteers within the government seem happy to sit back and go with the flow not wanting to rock the gravy boat and draw attention to themselves no doubt, it all seems a bit lights are on but no one is home.

    How so? We always said we'd pay what we owe the EU and they can go whistle if they want any more. We are committed to pay £40bn, not over £100bn.

    Theresa May has not given in over sovereignty, the right to set our own laws, the right to do our own trade deals (in fact we have now got agreement to negotiate these during the transitional period), the right to control immigration, etc.

    Considering the small majority she has in Parliament with politicians of her own party at each others throats over this, not to mention the hostility of the EU, I think she's done bloody well!

    Contrast this with Jeremy Corbyn, who is still advocating we stay within the customs union despite the implications for us to strike our own trade deals!

    Theresa May has not given anything away that is remotely important in terms of our overall goal. The transition period will pass.

    As long as after 2020, we can control our own borders, control our money and have full control of our laws, then history will judge that May would've done a good job, especially, as you say, if there are no tariffs.

    I think the next batch of negotiations with the EU about our future relationship with them is next month, so we should hear within the next six weeks, whether things are going okay or not.

    That's right, and Theresa May has not thrown in the towel on those important issues.

    I must have missed Syria attacking the UK, when did it happen?

    Maybe not, but this is about the use of chemical weapons. There was an attack on our soil by the Russians, who are propping up Assad's odious regime, which is using chemical weapons at will.

    Do you think the world should just put up with this? We have surely learned from experience that when dictators are allowed to abuse their power without being brought to book, they just get stronger and more brazen in their adventures against other countries.

    Oi!, don't blame me if it all goes wrong on financial services!:P

    She's got us past phase 1, true, by giving into the EU on every one of their main demands so far, especially on money. I'll be optimistic and hope for the best, but going by this government's current performance, there are at least some worries, but as you say OB, she has to tread a fine line between two diametrically sides and that's just within her own government.

    Ha ha!

    I don't think that we have been caving in to the EU, though. We agreed to stump up £40bn, (not £100 bn+) to recognise our budget commitments, we have secured an acceptance that we can negotiate trade deals during the implementation period, etc. We can't expect to get our own way on everything, but I think it is going OK so far, to be honest. The rights of Brits abroad and EU citizens over here seem to be reasonable in all the circircumstances.

    The main concerns I have outstanding are that there should be no tariffs, we should have control over our own laws, the ability to make our own trade deals, control over the movement of people in and out of the UK and a sensible arrangement on financial services that enable us to continue our business much as we do now. A sensible trade and services deal would pretty well resolve the border issues, although there would still be a big implementation job for us to do.

    I am reasonably confident that we will achieve all of this. The benefits are for both sides, actually.

    I'm just hoping that now May has shown that she has a bit of passion and backbone when she was talking about trying to rid the world of chemical weapons she seemed almost human, that she now use some of that new found passion and backbone to negotiate the best Brexit deal for the UK instead of being like the wet lettuce she has up to now.

    I don't know why you say that, Ron. I appreciate the frustration people feel about not knowing what is going to happen, but this is a negotiation. TM is having to tread a very fine line to ensure that a major fall out doesn't happen between remainers and Brexiteers, including in her own party, and ensuring that we do not say anything that leads to a major upset within the EU, and yet at the same time letting the EU know we mean business. The situation would be bad enough for her if she had a decent majority in Parliament, but everything is so tenuous.

    And yet, despite the naysayers, TM has got us past Phase I which many thought she would not achieve, and it looks very much that we will get a suitable trade deal with no tariffs. Sure, there are still problems to be overcome, but we know through the Cameron experience that if you trounce of to Europe proclaiming what you are going to get, you come back with your tail between your legs.

    Don't think for one moment that TM and her team don't have a plan to overcome the borders issue. They will reveal it when it is time.

    The only worries I have concern financial services, but I would be very surprised if the UK Government didn't have an arrangement in mind to overcome the passporting problem. Anyway, Horizon says that will be all right...?

    I do understand where you are coming from, although I don't think any government would be wise to concentrate solely on domestic issues.

    It is with great regret that I see Russia becoming a problem for us again, and just sitting tight and hoping it will go away is not sensible in my view. Russia seems to have no issues with Assad using chemical weapons and indeed he has even used them just recently on British soil. Whilst we could have just watched the US and Trump's new good friend Macron as they bombed Assad's chemical storage plants, there are wider issues involved, including supporting an unstable US president do the right thing and also supporting us in the reaction to the Salisbury attack.

    I really do hope that we can persuade Putin eventually that we are better friends than enemies, and persuade them that supporting Assad is a bad idea. But my common sense tells me that this is not reality, and all attempts to bring that about are like spitting in the wind. We are forced into making these gestures in respect of chemical weapons because there are so few alternative options. We look away now at our peril.

    I am completely with you on NHS reform and dealing with the homeless and also expecting people to carry personal responsibility for their actions. Unfortunately, actually doing something about it doesn't seem to play well with the electorate these days.

    Thanks for the welcome back. I've been a Tory all my life but this lot are beyond the pale. It's the sheer injustices of the system that get me. I'm all for kicking the feckless into life but when people are literally being robbed by the government denying them help when they need and deserve it, when May does nothing but announce another "crackdown " on drugs, crime or terrorism when the only answer is zero tolerance and harsher prison sentences, for any member of this government to say "We stand for principles and civilised values." is sheer hypocrisy.

    It would be interesting to hear your solutions, Morgan, and where the money will come from to implement them. Unfortunately, the last Labour Government left us in a bind and we are still paying for it now.

    I really cannot blame the government for most of these topics except the first one , too many people using NHS as a cure all , many homeless have help but will not take it, black kids killing each other through ignorance in London is not anyone's fault but their own , are white kids doing it ?

    As far as the first article is concerned, I don't think we should rush to judgement on this. The police are trying to protect the pensioner concerned and his wife, and I dare say we don't know the background in terms of why his relatives are not permitted to have contact with him.

    What is clear to me is that the traveller community has within its ranks people who constantly ignore our laws and think they can do what they like. This is not helped by the fact that the police tend to leave them alone as it is too difficult to deal with them.

    A clampdown is long overdue. That is what the government should be concentrating on now. This is just another example of the madness of the political correctness that poisons our society.

    You seem to think that people prefer sleeping in cold streets to having a home for themselves and their families. Perhaps you can get a doctor's appointment within 3 weeks and aren't one of those waiting months for treatment. And the point is that it doesn't matter who's " doing it", it's going on and no one seems to be interested in doing anything about it. Still, you can console yourself with the thought that if ever you need urgent medical treatment you will be the only really genuine one in the queue, if ever you get stabbed it will the robber's ignorance which is to blame and not the lack of police on the streets and if ever you have the misfortune to lose your job and then your home because you can't pay the mortgage or rent it will be entirely your own fault and so won't accept any help from the state or charity.

    I think this is too simplistic a response, Morgan. Whilst we all agree that there is a lack of appropriate housing available, (and it is worth reminding ourselves that the government has embarked on a massive housebuilding programme), the fact remains that there are many people sleeping rough who do so either because they refuse help or because their anti-social behaviour has had them thrown out of their accommodation.

    That is not to say that there is nothing we can do about that, because in my view, we should be setting up hostels and the police should be removing these people who are on the streets and transfer them there. People should not have the choice of begging and sleeping rough on our streets.

    As for the NHS, this needs major structural change and modernisation of its antiquated systems. Otherwise, we just end up throwing more money at it with little to show for that, and still with demands for more money.

    The government is trying to deal with these major NHS issues, but is being hampered by continued politicisation (or cynical 'weaponisation') by the Labour Party, even though they did not even attempt to introduce reforms to address deep seated problems in our health service. What I do remember is Andy Burnham trying to cover up (rather than deal with) the lack of care in hospitals which saw people drinking out of flower vases to hydrate themselves.

    Just to play devil's advocate here, Brexit is not until next March and the real Brexit, subject to agreement, doesn't start until 2021. So, we're somewhat off seeing the effects of our decision at the moment. But despite what Cameron and his "mate" Osbourne said, the world hasn't fallen in yet.

    ....And it's not likely to, either. I'm afraid that there are many people in this world who do not like change and are fearful of the consequences it may bring. However, when we look back, we can see how change can bring about many advantages, some of which were not even envisaged at the time.

    In the case of Brexit, I think that most remainers honestly believe that there will be a big fall off of trade with the EU, whereas the truth is that there will be little change, plus we will be able to increase our share of world trade by entering into our own trade deals.

    We will also be able to pocket a huge proportion of the money we currently send to the EU. So where, exactly, is the downside? There is a lot of work to be done to ensure our borders are managed appropriately and without the delays that could happen if this is not thought through, and of course we need to get those trade deals done with all the countries we want to trade with, but if we get this right, the advantages to the UK of pulling out of this huge bureaucratic monstrocity of an organisation known as the EU are enormous.

    We will regain our own sovereignty and we will be able to control who comes into and leaves the country to boot.

    Good question OB.

    I like the idea of double summer time, but not the darkness until 10 and as elderly people are out and about usually earlier than later, it would be bad news for them and potentially more dangerous for them.

    Children getting to school would also be a worry. Personally, I wouldn't mind, but it's those concerns that have me thinking it would not be a good idea. Even just having BST all year round would mean sunrise after 9am.

    Politics. The same reason why those of us in England have to put up with the clocks going back at all.

    The elderly might have problems with changing the clocks, but otherwise most people should be able to work it out. I think the issue is not the actual changing of the clocks themselves, but they get constantly surprised when the time change happens. It gets widely advertised on tv and elsewhere, but it always seems to catch some people off.

    Half of my devices change automatically and the other half don't. Everything seems to have a clock on it now.

    Remembering to change the clocks is something that will gradually cease to be a problem at all, as long as people don't continue to rely on old fashioned clockwork gadgets, but the reality is that most elderly people do! Even the young would die for a Rolex.

    It would certainly be good to have lighter evenings in winter, but does everyone appreciate that even if we left our clocks on BST all year, the sunsets during December and January would still be earlier than 5 pm?

    To get the lighter evenings people want (still just about light at 6pm) we would need to have double summer time, which means that the sun would not rise until after 10am in London. Is that really what people want?

    I was expecting leadership, clarity and an average ability to respond to questions like a human being rather than a damaged android whereas what we have is a complete embarrassment.

    I think you are expecting too much from Theresa May. If you are expecting her to give you chapter and verse on what her perceived outcome is, you will be disappointed. This is a difficult negotiation with a difficult bunch of Europhiles, and on top of that she is hampered by a lack of a majority and an unco-operative Opposition. Every word uttered on the subject is mulled over by all sides and pulled apart.

    It is also a complex negotiation, and Theresa May cannot risk alienating the public with complexities that will be not understood or misunderstood and then seized on by malcontents on each side. Yes, it may sound a bit robotic at times, but the messages about what we are trying to achieve really needs to be very simple.

    We will not be a member of the Common Market. We will not be in the Customs Union. These are simple messages to put across, and even then you see both sides scrapping over the meaning of that, which is straight forward enough in my book.

    While Theresa May voted on the remain side in the referendum, nobody should hold that against her - she is entitled to her opinion, like everyone else. But one senses that she was the only politician who had a clear sense of how to go about leaving with a favourable deal from the EU. She picked up the mantle and she is carrying out the wishes of the electorate.

    She is half way there already, and if she succeeds, as I believe she will, we will have the best of both worlds - continuing tariff free trade with the EU at similar levels as now, together with the ability to strike our own deals with the rest of the world, with all the increased prosperity that will bring. Such a deal will be good news for most remainers and leavers.

    Unhappiness with the transitional period I do not understand. Do people really expect industry to be able to adapt overnight to the new arrangements? Clearly, they will need time to make these changes, and indeed the government will need to have arrangements in place, at our borders for example, before the new regime kicks in.

    All in all, I think TM is doing a pretty good job in spite of that giant millstone she's got around her neck.

    I do think we will get a trade deal with the EU; it is in the interest of both sides that we do. That being the case, I don't understand the pessimism from the remainers, because this would ensure that our trade with the EU would be much as it is now, plus we will be able to do our own trade deals with other countries. That means more trade, not less, and it would increase our prosperity.

    There are a few problems that concern me, however. Unless I have misread the way things are going, it seems that we will not be able to incorporate financial services into the trade deal. This would be an issue for us, so we will need to get as close as possible to where we want to be with our negotiations.

    Migration is of concern also, because without the skills that we are currently getting from the EU and elsewhere, some sectors will struggle to keep going if the Government does not have in place a sensible framework which will allow employers to recruit from outside the UK. In time, our apprenticeships and training programmes should narrow this skills shortage gap, but our main problem is in the shorter term. If the Government is too gung-ho in its appproach to immigration in an effort to woo certain parts of the electorate, that could spell trouble for industry.

    I am not so worried about the Irish border problem because this will be much easier to resolve with a trading agreement. Nor am I concerned about having an implementation period, because industry needs time to adapt to whatever new rules we apply, and no-one will know that until the negotiations are complete.

    I know many people are frustrated with the process, but given this is a complex negotiation with a hostile EU, I don't know what people were expecting!

    The daft thing about the Sinn Fein stand is that the DUP is not going into coalition with the Government -they are simply going to pledge not to vote down important legislation and support them in confidence motions. The DUP always tend to support the Conservatives, so no change there.

    They may gain a political advantage in terms of achievement by securing more funding for the benefit of Northern Ireland, but all citizens there will benefit from that.

    Basically, this is a storm in a teacup, and Gerry Adams will be stretching his credibility to the ultimate if he tries to use this excuse to prevent a Stormont agreement.

    If he wants to influence anything, maybe he should send his MPs to Westminster to serve their constituences properly.