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Brexit and Circuses 13 Jun 7:09pm Brexit and Circuses
The May government survives, barely, but the EU breakup goes badly.
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The Guardian view on ‘no deal’: no dice | Editorial 3 Jun 1:02pm The Guardian view on ‘no deal’: no dice | Editorial
Leaked reports from David Davis’s department detail the catastrophic possible consequences of daring the EU to call Britain’s bluffIn the months after the referendum Mrs May came up with two slogans: “Brexit means Brexit” and “No deal is better than a bad deal”. One was obviously tautologous waffle and the other was just as obviously untrue. Now that both have been abandoned, we can see that untruths are sometimes better or at least more informative than waffle. Brexit will always mean Brexit, but it has become horribly clear that even a very bad deal would be preferable to no deal at all.
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The Guardian view on Brexit and the royal wedding: which is the real Britain? | Editorial 20 May 1:26pm The Guardian view on Brexit and the royal wedding: which is the real Britain? | Editorial
The royal wedding was newly inclusive. But Brexit seeks to close doors, not open them. Referendums in Britain and Ireland challenge those nations to decide where they are headingEvery ancient nation takes the long walk to modernity in its own roundabout way. None is as ramrod straight as the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park down which the
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The Guardian view on Brexit and devolution: wanted – joined-up thinking | Editorial 15 May 1:42pm The Guardian view on Brexit and devolution: wanted – joined-up thinking | Editorial
Brexit is not only about the hard/soft argument. It is also about who gets the last word in the different nations of BritainBritain’s Brexit argument began life as a dispute between remaining in the European Union and leaving it. After the vote to leave in 2016, that original dispute has gradually been overlaid by the battle between a hard and soft Brexit. The House of Lords debates on the EU withdrawal bill, which have
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The Guardian view on Brexit and parliament: another way is possible | Editorial 13 May 12:03pm The Guardian view on Brexit and parliament: another way is possible | Editorial
A majority of MPs would help Theresa May sideline the wreckers in her party if she dared to make alliances across the floorUnder normal circumstances, a government with vital laws to pass in a short space of time would get a move on. But not much about Brexit is normal. The clock is ticking, yet the bill to enable an orderly withdrawal next March is marooned. Peers voted for amendments to soften the character of Brexit. Uncertain of how this will play out in the lower chamber, the government last week declined to send the bill straight there as would be usual practice. And it isn’t only the withdrawal bill in limbo. Bills on customs and trade are frozen in early stages of the process. Last year’s Queen’s speech promised bills on fisheries, farming and immigration, of which there is as yet no sign.
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The Guardian view on environmental policy: Gove’s labour lost | Editorial 11 May 12:07pm The Guardian view on environmental policy: Gove’s labour lost | Editorial
The proposed regulations to protect the environment are a test case for policy after Brexit – and the results are not reassuringLet’s suppose that Michael Gove is entirely sincere in his desire to improve the countryside and to manage and mitigate, the effects of humans on their environment. He may be. He has announced a number of new and eye-catching measures, most recently an attack on
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The Guardian view on Brexit and the Irish border: alchemy fails again | Editorial 20 Apr 12:12pm The Guardian view on Brexit and the Irish border: alchemy fails again | Editorial
The prime minister has wasted precious time backing fanciful plans that looked unworkable from the start. A change of direction is long overdueTheresa May’s desire to combine exit from the EU’s customs union with an invisible border in Northern Ireland is not in doubt. The issue is not how much the prime minister wants a solution but whether a solution exists. Without one, Mrs May’s entire Brexit strategy unravels. Downing Street has been working on technical solutions to this problem, fleshing out formulas described by the prime minister in a
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I’ve negotiated with the EU – and I know we can still stop Brexit | Steve Bullock 5 Apr 8:49am I’ve negotiated with the EU – and I know we can still stop Brexit | Steve Bullock
The final stages of the EU withdrawal bill are when events happen so rapidly realities can change in an instantShould remainers now “get behind” Brexit and turn their energies to shaping a close UK-EU relationship or to rejoining the EU post-Brexit? That is what some
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We have six months to foil Brexit. And here’s how we can do it | Timothy Garton Ash 29 Mar 2:28pm We have six months to foil Brexit. And here’s how we can do it | Timothy Garton Ash
There’s a crucial vote this autumn. With our politics so unpredictable there’s a real chance to influence undecided MPsIf all goes according to the Brexiters’ plan, we will wake up exactly one year from today to find that Britain is no longer a member of the European Union. In practice, we anti-Brexiters have just six months to avert that outcome. For if, in its “meaningful vote” this autumn, the British parliament decides to accept whatever interim deal has been cobbled together by British and EU negotiators, that will be the
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Fifteen years on, the Iraq war is still poisoning our national life | Gary Younge 29 Mar 1:46pm Fifteen years on, the Iraq war is still poisoning our national life | Gary Younge
From Corbyn’s rise to Brexit and the collapse of trust in Westminster, this is Britain’s Vietnam: a conflict without end“You can tell a true war story by the way it never seems to end,” wrote Tim O’Brien in his novel about Vietnam, The Things They Carried. “Not then, not ever. In a true war story, if there’s a moral at all, it’s like the thread that makes the cloth. You can’t tease it out. You can’t extract the meaning without unravelling the deeper meaning.” For all the ways in which US politics
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The Guardian view on Brexit and Russia: a fatal flaw | Editorial 23 Mar 1:11pm The Guardian view on Brexit and Russia: a fatal flaw | Editorial
EU solidarity with the UK against Moscow is welcome, but the prime minister still hasn’t resolved contradictions at the heart of her policyTheresa May is fond of observing that Britain will not be leaving Europe when it leaves the European Union, which could be a statement of geographical banality or strategic significance. The prime minister’s point,
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The absolutism of their culture war has made compromise impossible for Brexiters | Nick Cohen 3 Mar 7:05pm The absolutism of their culture war has made compromise impossible for Brexiters | Nick Cohen
Mocking liberals is easy for the Tory ultras but a workable plan for how to govern is far too boringCulture wars are endless because their participants enjoy them so. It’s fun, if you are on the right, to mock liberal double standards and break liberal taboos. So much fun, it becomes instinctive: a way of lashing out rather than a way of thinking. If the left is dominated by puritan preachers who denounce the faults of everyone but themselves, the right is dominated by a satirical “contrarian culture”, which is now so predictable there’s nothing contrary about it. Liberals and leftists are humourless hypocrites, the party line runs. At Oxfam or in Hollywood, they satisfy the brute desires they deplore in others. In the privacy of their Tuscan and Hampstead homes they show every indication of wanting to hoard rather than share their wealth. Worst of all they are elitists, who look down their dainty noses at the masses who voted for Brexit and Trump, and damn them as racist fools. The satirical right dominates the conservative web and newspapers because it delivers the occasional truth about liberal hypocrisy, which you do not have to be a conservative to appreciate. Satire worked as a counter-culture protest because from the 1990s until 2016 the “establishment” was politically correct, and most of us enjoy seeing the pomposity of the powerful punctured. As the contrarians head to power, however, outsiders can see the teeth behind the smirk. The label that has stuck to the demagogues who dominate British and American politics is “the alt-right”. But, as Brexit is proving, it is as much a “bullshit right”.
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A customs union won’t help – there is no such thing as a ‘soft’ Brexit | Vernon Bogdanor 27 Feb 8:35am A customs union won’t help – there is no such thing as a ‘soft’ Brexit | Vernon Bogdanor
The real choice facing Britain is stark: between a ‘hard’ Brexit and remaining a fully paid-up member of the European UnionThe Labour party now supports Britain
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If the elite ever cared about the have-nots, that didn’t last long | John Harris 26 Feb 1:00am If the elite ever cared about the have-nots, that didn’t last long | John Harris
The knee-jerk denigration of Brexit and Trump was bad enough, but now it is being intellectualisedTen days or so ago, on the great sunlit upland of empathy and rational debate that is Twitter, the science writer Ben Goldacre
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Mrs May’s ‘awayday’ was a sideshow: the big Brexit crunch will be in parliament | Andrew Rawnsley 24 Feb 7:05pm Mrs May’s ‘awayday’ was a sideshow: the big Brexit crunch will be in parliament | Andrew Rawnsley
The customs union has always had majority backing in the Commons. Now Corbyn seems to be on board too It is many people’s idea of the most diabolical circle of hell – Dante meets David Brent – but “the awayday” is suddenly in vogue with political leaders. Theresa May summoned her senior ministers for a well-publicised eight-hour meeting at Chequers where they supposedly thrashed out an agreed position on Brexit. There was definitely a lot of thrashing about; I’m not persuaded that they have actually come to a sustainable agreement. To rather less fanfare, Jeremy Corbyn sequestered the shadow cabinet at an officially undisclosed location for their own Brexit summit. Of the two meetings, it is the one that has attracted much less media attention – the Labour gathering on Monday – which looks to be much the more significant. The undisclosed location of Labour’s gathering was, in fact, a room with a table in parliament. The “awayday” was not really away and it did not take a day. The meeting was important because, after weeks of tortuous internal debate, the official opposition is finally moving towards a new and much less ambiguous position. This is to commit to Britain remaining within a customs union with the EU after Brexit. It is a development with potentially huge consequences for the future of Brexit and the rather less important matter of the future of Mrs May. In combination with Tory rebels, the opposition will now threaten a major defeat on the government. If the government loses, that Chequers meeting will be made redundant. If defeat triggers a leadership crisis, Mrs May might also be made redundant.
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The world is clear-eyed about Brexit, and knows it must be reversed | Martin Kettle 21 Feb 12:11pm The world is clear-eyed about Brexit, and knows it must be reversed | Martin Kettle
Our exit from the EU poses a threat to the international liberal order. In the long run, it is untenableThe foreigner’s political eye can be innocent, failing to see the tangled vernacular in an unfamiliar land. But it can sometimes see the big political picture with greater clarity. Foreigners can see what Americans struggle to accept about their terrible gun culture. Foreigners can see that Italians will demean their country if they re-elect Silvio Berlusconi. What about foreigners’ views of Britain? What do their eyes see that we too often miss? Here are three examples, all garnered from just the past few days. They are widely representative.
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Sad disappearance of UK-owned carmakers | Brief letters 14 Feb 12:35pm Sad disappearance of UK-owned carmakers | Brief letters
Brexit and Northern Ireland | UK carmakers | Women’s bathing | Quorn | Getting the pillFollowing the resounding Labour vote that Polly Toynbee predicts will see off a hard Brexit, what are the chances of UK citizens in Northern Ireland being able to vote for the party that’s going to save them from a hard border (
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Brexit ultras v Tory realists: that’s the real battle | Rafael Behr 5 Feb 1:37pm Brexit ultras v Tory realists: that’s the real battle | Rafael Behr
There is a mandate to leave the EU, but not for endless revolution on terms dictated by Jacob Rees-MoggRevolution is not an event. It is a process. So the zealous revolutionary is ever vigilant against backsliding and ideological deviation. For some, the battle never ends. Brexiteers’ fear of counter-revolution is now stronger in the Conservative party than actual opposition to Brexit – and more disruptive. Only a
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Remains of the auroch at Stonehenge depend on a Bullock | Brief letters 5 Feb 1:02pm Remains of the auroch at Stonehenge depend on a Bullock | Brief letters
Brexit and empire | Claire Kober interview | Theresa May picture | Auroch remains near Stonehenge | Bookcase coffinsCan the Guardian stop going on about why the UK voted for Brexit (The delusions of war and empire that led to Brexit,
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Mount Tory is ready to blow over Brexit – and May can’t stop it | Polly Toynbee 28 Jan 1:55pm Mount Tory is ready to blow over Brexit – and May can’t stop it | Polly Toynbee
The PM is not to blame: no leader could keep a cap on boiling Brextremists, Binos (‘Brexit in name only’) and stay-insToday’s
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Censorship wins no arguments and just helps the right | Nick Cohen 13 Jan 1:30pm Censorship wins no arguments and just helps the right | Nick Cohen
Banning the Daily Mail from Virgin trains achieves nothing but giving it a dissident glamour it doesn’t deserveHow you think is as important as what you think. If you believe you can ban your way to victory by mounting heresy hunts against all who veer from the true faith, you will not only deserve to lose by some airy moral reckoning. You will lose whether you deserve to or not. As losing is no longer a trivial event in the age of Brexit and Trump, it is worth understanding the consequences of going beyond the old liberal principle that only demagogues who incite violence should be banned. The moral arguments against censorship are so old I can recite them in my sleep. The practical case against a “liberal” movement that reaches for the censor’s red pen like a drunk reaching for a bottle deserves more attention.
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The Guardian view on Brexit and the reshuffle: beware the dog that didn’t bark | Editorial 10 Jan 2:55pm The Guardian view on Brexit and the reshuffle: beware the dog that didn’t bark | Editorial
On the face of it, Theresa May’s ministerial shake-up had little to do with Brexit. In reality, the issue underlies everything about the government’s prospects in 2018Brexit was the dog that didn’t bark in Theresa May’s
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Blair, Milburn and Adonis have important things to say on Brexit and Britain today | Letters 5 Jan 1:27pm Blair, Milburn and Adonis have important things to say on Brexit and Britain today | Letters
The goal of many Brexit leaders is a Singapore-style low-wage, low-benefit, low-regulation economy, writes
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I knew that many people don’t vote. I should have asked why | Rafael Behr 3 Jan 2:00am I knew that many people don’t vote. I should have asked why | Rafael Behr
Like politicians and pollsters, I wasn’t curious about the alienated and the apathetic – until Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn brought them back to the ballot boxThe clue was in the question. “What about the nonvoters?” Since elections are settled by the people who show up, the impact of those who don’t is likely to be small. There’s a reason they’re called nonvoters. It isn’t easy to disentangle the motives of people whose only known common trait is reluctance to express a preference. Pollsters find them as hard to fathom as politicians do – and politicians have vested interests in interpreting silence as consent.
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Our patience is wearing thin. Commerce needs clarity on Brexit | Adam Marshall 30 Dec 2017, 5:00pm Our patience is wearing thin. Commerce needs clarity on Brexit | Adam Marshall
A business leader calls for focus in the EU negotiations and incentives to make 2018 a boom year As we enter 2018, the UK has some enduring business bright spots. Yet despite the optimism that drives many of our best firms, we start the new year with below-par economic growth, stubborn inflation, low rates of investment and far too few potential recruits for the many jobs on offer. Some very big decisions lie ahead. Getting the twin challenges of Brexit and the economic fundamentals right will require leadership, consistency and clarity – after a year in which business has been dismayed by what it sees as division and disorganisation across Westminster.
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From Trump to Brexit, 2017 was the mourning after the year before 23 Dec 2017, 12:00am From Trump to Brexit, 2017 was the mourning after the year before
The two seismic events of 2016, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, continued to cause mayhem throughout 2017 If 2016 was the year the democratic world went on a wild bender, 2017 was the year of the hangover. It was when we woke, slumped on the floor, still in yesterday’s clothes, heads pounding, to see how badly we’d trashed the room the night before. It was the year in which we contemplated the damage done, feared what more was yet to come – and searched out glimmers of hope that, somehow, we might avoid the worst. But it was also the year in which troubles that had been stored up years or decades earlier – some ignored, others denied – burst through the surface, demanding our attention and crying out for something else too: a reckoning long overdue.
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The NHS staff who rallied to my son’s aid show there is hope, even in bleak times | Jonathan Freedland 22 Dec 2017, 10:34am The NHS staff who rallied to my son’s aid show there is hope, even in bleak times | Jonathan Freedland
Brexit and Trump dominate the news. But amid the gloom we should not forget that a vital part of our nation continues its inspiring workThere has been so much bad news this year that I thought I’d offer a little sparkle of something more heartening. Perhaps it might serve as a reminder that even those clouds that have darkened our skies most – the menacing dominance of technology, the strained state of our public services – are, every now and again, lined with a trace of gleaming silver. The story begins with an accident. Cycling home from school, my 16-year-old son, Jacob, was knocked off his bike by a van that had veered into the cycle lane. I rushed to pick him up and took him to our nearest hospital, the
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The British elite is at war with itself – on a scale we’ve never seen before | Paul Mason 18 Dec 2017, 11:41am The British elite is at war with itself – on a scale we’ve never seen before | Paul Mason
Our elites used to keep calm in a crisis. But now – with the Tories fighting to the death over Brexit and the tabloids terrified by Corbyn – they’ve lost their heads When I first started working at the BBC, in 2001, what struck me was not how most of the people in charge were from the same universities, or that it was assumed you were a ski enthusiast, or how casually people dropped the names of powerful people they knew. It was the uniformity of thinking. There were progressive people and conservative people, but they mostly subscribed to the groupthink of the elite. Surveying the levels of anger, abuse and fractiousness in the upper levels of British society today, it feels like a very different country. The
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Why nativism, not populism, should be declared word of the year | Cas Mudde 7 Dec 2017, 4:00am Why nativism, not populism, should be declared word of the year | Cas Mudde
The Cambridge Dictionary has got its definition and its application wrong. It conflates the term with the nativism of the radical rightLast week the Cambridge Dictionary declared populism its 2017 word of the year. In many ways, that makes perfect sense. Since Brexit and Trump, virtually every political event has been couched in terms of populism, from the Dutch parliamentary elections to the French presidential elections
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David Davis is bluffing on Brexit. And now it’s clear for all to see | Rafael Behr 6 Dec 2017, 7:37am David Davis is bluffing on Brexit. And now it’s clear for all to see | Rafael Behr
The secretary of state’s blustering over the impact assessments reveals one thing: the whole of the government’s Brexit strategy is built on lies and obfuscationIt called to mind Bill Clinton’s
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The Guardian view on Alan Milburn’s resignation: Brexit and fairness don’t add up | Editorial 3 Dec 2017, 2:46pm The Guardian view on Alan Milburn’s resignation: Brexit and fairness don’t add up | Editorial
The former Labour minister’s attempts to promote social mobility have been frustrated by a government that is too preoccupied with Brexit to give the issues any focusTheresa May heads to Brussels on Monday for another round of talks aimed at striking a deal about Brexit terms at next week’s EU summit. Mrs May is pursuing a deeply destructive Brexit strategy, which should be opposed, insisting on the UK breaking with both the EU single market and the customs union. However, the recent mood music on money, citizens’ rights and
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The Damian Green fiasco exposes Theresa May as a trapped and wounded leader | Deborah Orr 1 Dec 2017, 12:26pm The Damian Green fiasco exposes Theresa May as a trapped and wounded leader | Deborah Orr
Mesmerised by Brexit and oblivious to the world, Britain staggers on, led by a band of wretched ministers Antics at Westminster are now beyond farcical. In the latest debacle, a retired former Scotland Yard officer saw fit
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The Guardian view on Brexit and the Irish border: Britain’s shameful dereliction | Editorial 19 Nov 2017, 2:14pm The Guardian view on Brexit and the Irish border: Britain’s shameful dereliction | Editorial
From the referendum campaign onwards, Brexiters have ignored the dire implications for Ireland. The neglect is a political and moral failure alike
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Britain once punched above its weight. Now we are irrelevant | Jonathan Powell 13 Nov 2017, 1:00am Britain once punched above its weight. Now we are irrelevant | Jonathan Powell
After Brexit and Trump, with the two pillars of its foreign policy broken, the UK’s allies can only look on in puzzlement
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Simple facts prove that Catalan secessionism is a selfish goal | Aurora Nacarino-Brabo and Jorge San Miguel Lobeto 8 Nov 2017, 7:40am Simple facts prove that Catalan secessionism is a selfish goal | Aurora Nacarino-Brabo and Jorge San Miguel Lobeto
Catalonia has a lot in common with Brexit and other bourgeois populist movements, and little to do with romantic notions of freedom versus oppression
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The Guardian view on languages and the British: Brexit and an Anglosphere prison | Editorial 3 Nov 2017, 2:51pm The Guardian view on languages and the British: Brexit and an Anglosphere prison | Editorial
The English language may seem an asset for Britain. But its dominance may also cut the British mind off from what the rest of the world is sayingThe language (or languages) spoken in a society help to define its identity. That is as true of Britain as of every other nation. Most countries, like Britain, have one or sometimes more official languages. To become British, for instance, a person must prove
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We are obsessed with Brexit and Trump: we should be thinking about China | Martin Kettle 20 Oct 2017, 1:00am We are obsessed with Brexit and Trump: we should be thinking about China | Martin Kettle
It will no longer do to skip over the detail of the superpower’s beliefs and ambitions. What Xi Jinping says and does will shape our worldThis has not been, it must be admitted, an exactly stellar week for those of us who continue to make the case for the enduring strengths of liberal democracy. On the contrary, it has felt like one humiliation after another. In the House of Commons,
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Who’s to blame for Brexit’s fantasy politics? The experts, of course | Aditya Chakrabortty 17 Oct 2017, 1:00am Who’s to blame for Brexit’s fantasy politics? The experts, of course | Aditya Chakrabortty
Magical thinking about the future is not confined to the cabinet. Just ask the Office for Budget ResponsibilityPolitics, runs the cliche, is the art of the possible. The compromise. The curbed expectation. Not any more. Not in the age of Brexit and Trump. In 2017, politics is the art of the impossible. Of writing blank cheques and scattering them to the wind. Of peddling fantasies and promising the voters they will be made flesh by tomorrow.
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The Guardian view on the SNP conference: deals and ideals | Editorial 8 Oct 2017, 2:15pm The Guardian view on the SNP conference: deals and ideals | Editorial
It is a mistake to write off the Scottish National party on the basis of the 2017 election. But Nicola Sturgeon faces tough practical challenges on Brexit and the public financesThe 2017 general election was
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The Observer view on Theresa May and the need for political courage | Observer editorial 7 Oct 2017, 4:31pm The Observer view on Theresa May and the need for political courage | Observer editorial
The prime minister must come up with bold initiatives to address both Brexit and the pressing domestic agenda A cloud of political paralysis has enveloped Theresa May’s government since her majority was eroded in June’s general election. She has found herself a hostage to the warring factions within her party, with all the formal power that comes with being prime minister, but none of the authority required to use it. Her disastrous speech to the Conservative conference in Manchester last week risks deepening this toxic inertia. To the delegates, the personal tragedy will have been most immediately apparent. It was extraordinarily bad luck to be accosted by a protester and stymied by a nasty cough, all against the background of a set that literally fell apart in front of the nation’s eyes. In this modern age of leadership, it not only serves as a metaphor for her shrinking authority, it eats away at it further.
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The Guardian view on Brexit and the Bank: the challenge of populism | Editorial 28 Sep 2017, 2:16pm The Guardian view on Brexit and the Bank: the challenge of populism | Editorial
It is 20 years since the Bank of England gained independence. It may not survive the nationalist pressures of leaving the EUBank of England independence, announced just five days after Labour’s 1997 landslide victory, was a tightly kept secret of the kind that Gordon Brown made his trademark. Yet it was almost at once accepted as the last, critical piece of a framework to protect the UK economy from the inflationary tendencies of weak governments on a par with joining the European Community 25 years previously. Today, at
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Brexiters are being naive over US trade. Bombardier is a taste of things to come | Simon Tilford 27 Sep 2017, 9:05am Brexiters are being naive over US trade. Bombardier is a taste of things to come | Simon Tilford
Outside the EU’s protective umbrella, Brexit Britain would be at the mercy of strong-arm US trade tacticsThe EU and the US have been squabbling about support for their respective aircraft makers, Boeing and Airbus, for decades. Despite this, the US has never resorted to such heavy-handed tactics with Airbus and the EU as it now has with Canada’s Bombardier, placing thousands of jobs at the firm’s Northern Ireland factory in doubt. And for good reason: the US would have too much to lose from such action. The EU is a big market with a powerful trade authority, and US producers are too dependent on the EU market for the US to risk retaliation. This case gives us a real taste of how the UK will be treated in negotiations over a US-UK trade deal post-Brexit, and how vulnerable the country will be. Disputes between governments over subsidies to aircraft makers are commonplace. Given the huge barriers to entry into the industry state support is indispensable. Boeing gets its subsidies through US defence spending – which helps to finance the company’s development costs – whereas Airbus has tended to benefit from more direct government assistance. The Canadian government has extended support to Bombardier to develop its new C-series regional jet, leading the US Department of Commerce to claim that the company is selling the jets in the US market at below cost. Both the Canadian and UK governments claim the support they have extended to the firm complies with World Trade Organisation rules. Despite this, the US has taken punitive steps against its two closest allies, imposing
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Martin Rowson on Theresa May, Brexit and the winds of change – cartoon 7 Sep 2017, 1:59pm Martin Rowson on Theresa May, Brexit and the winds of change – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2017/sep/07/martin-rowson-on-theresa-may-brexit-and-the-winds-of-change-cartoon">Continue reading...
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For Labour to win over Scotland, Jeremy Corbyn needs to sing a different tune | Gerry Hassan 28 Aug 2017, 9:29am For Labour to win over Scotland, Jeremy Corbyn needs to sing a different tune | Gerry Hassan
Instead of taking the lead on Brexit and Scottish independence, Corbyn is gave the same old socialist lines. He needs to take advantage of a stalling SNP Jeremy Corbyn has been
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Now Jeremy Corbyn must say no to Brexit: the time for evasions is over | Steve Richards 21 Aug 2017, 9:16am Now Jeremy Corbyn must say no to Brexit: the time for evasions is over | Steve Richards
There is no option of a ‘soft’ Brexit, and Labour’s mockery of the Conservative government’s position rings hollow when its own position is a mess
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Grouse-moor shooters of Britain be warned: your time is running out | Patrick Barkham 14 Aug 2017, 1:10pm Grouse-moor shooters of Britain be warned: your time is running out | Patrick Barkham
The new season feels like the beginning of the end. Brexit, and the clamour for animal rights, will mean the extinction of this annual moorland slaughterOne proponent of the Victorian pastime of
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Jacques Delors foresaw the perils of austerity. How we need his wisdom now | Mark Seddon 11 Aug 2017, 2:00am Jacques Delors foresaw the perils of austerity. How we need his wisdom now | Mark Seddon
At the EU he was a lone voice against hyper-globalisation and its rust-belt economics. The era of Brexit and Trump needs his internationalist spirit
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Brexit and the Disunited Kingdom 25 Jul 2017, 6:48pm Brexit and the Disunited Kingdom
‘I’ve never seen British politics as chaotic as it is now,’ says an expert.
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Britain Is Committed to Brexit and Free Trade 23 Jul 2017, 5:42pm Britain Is Committed to Brexit and Free Trade
As an independent U.K. embraces the world, the U.S. will remain our foremost partner.
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The Guardian view on Brexit and farming: outlook unsettled | Editorial 23 Jul 2017, 1:34pm The Guardian view on Brexit and farming: outlook unsettled | Editorial
In his first speech last week, the new Defra secretary Michael Gove called Brexit ‘the unfrozen moment’. But that may not mean the sunlit uplands lie ahead for agricultureThe “unfrozen moment” Michael Gove, the new Defra secretary, called the impact of Brexit on agriculture and the environment in
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Cheer the end of sexist ads. But what about the Brexit and NHS lies? | Anne Perkins 18 Jul 2017, 3:44pm Cheer the end of sexist ads. But what about the Brexit and NHS lies? | Anne Perkins
Though the Advertising Standards Agency has emerged as an unexpected beacon of liberal values, in some crucial areas it remains toothless
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The Guardian view on cabinet leaks: not before time, the battle of Brexit | Editorial 17 Jul 2017, 2:26pm The Guardian view on cabinet leaks: not before time, the battle of Brexit | Editorial
A spate of ministerial leaks point to efforts to stop Philip Hammond’s attempt to put the economy first in the Brexit talksTheresa May’s cabinet is limping towards the temporary relief that this week’s start of the summer parliamentary recess may offer. A spate of leaks, mainly against the chancellor, Philip Hammond, nevertheless shows the extent of ministerial disagreement over Brexit and much else, and the weakness of Mrs May’s much-diminished authority. On Tuesday, Mrs May will attempt to lay down the law about cabinet collective responsibility once again. Few expect the lesson to stick for long. That’s because Mrs May lacks the clout to get rid of even Larry the Downing Street cat, much less to sack a disloyal minister. The recess can cover over but cannot conceal a set of divisions that the government must nevertheless confront. All cabinets leak. Mostly they do it officially in the form of “guidance” to the media. But cabinet ministers leaking against one another is relatively rare. When it happens, it is almost invariably a sign of deep prime ministerial and cabinet weakness. Harold Wilson’s 1964 cabinet was a notable example. So was John Major’s in 1992. If Theresa May’s cabinet now makes that three, it is because all these governments have something in common: small or non-existent majorities. A fragile majority, divisive issues, a weak prime minister and mischief-making ministers always make an unstable mix.
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Why we should be suspicious of the Tory ‘get Hammond’ project | Jonathan Freedland 17 Jul 2017, 7:06am Why we should be suspicious of the Tory ‘get Hammond’ project | Jonathan Freedland
The chancellor may have an abacus where his conscience should be, but cabinet leaks should give us pause. He wants a sane Brexit, and hardliners want him out of the way
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Dear Jeremy Corbyn. Your meeting in Brussels is a chance to recast Brexit | John Palmer 13 Jul 2017, 3:39am Updated Dear Jeremy Corbyn. Your meeting in Brussels is a chance to recast Brexit | John Palmer
At your talks today with the chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, you must show yourself willing to reject Brexit and embrace radical EU reform
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The Guardian view on Brexit and business: speaking for Britain | Editorial 7 Jul 2017, 1:34pm The Guardian view on Brexit and business: speaking for Britain | Editorial
The clock is ticking on the Brexit process. It is time for ministers to get real about the economic issues and press for a transitional dealIt is now more than a year since
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It is laughable to say Londoners don’t understand immigration | Jess Phillips 1 Jul 2017, 7:05pm It is laughable to say Londoners don’t understand immigration | Jess Phillips
We are all at the front line of Brexit and a ‘no deal’ will hit the poorest areas hardestLast week, I voted for
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Can Brexit be stopped? The answer is in our hands | Jonathan Freedland 23 Jun 2017, 2:30pm Can Brexit be stopped? The answer is in our hands | Jonathan Freedland
One year on, the certainties of the leave case are collapsing. We’re no longer shackled to that verdictOne year on, the political weather has changed and suddenly a once unthinkable question can be asked: might Brexit be stopped? The obvious shift is in the power of a government whose animating mission was meant to be British departure from the European Union. Put simply, Theresa May sought a mandate for hard Brexit and didn’t get it. That leaves the forces of leave weakened, and remain emboldened.
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As Labour politicians, we reject a hard-right Brexit, and defend the single market | Stephen Doughty, Chuka Umunna and others 20 Jun 2017, 12:30pm As Labour politicians, we reject a hard-right Brexit, and defend the single market | Stephen Doughty, Chuka Umunna and others
We oppose the Brexit policy being dictated by the Tory right. Leaving the single market would cost public services £31bn. Our party should fight thatJeremy Corbyn has rightly said that Labour’s position on Brexit is to focus on a deal that
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Why is Theresa May still in No 10? Because the Tories need a human shield | Martha Gill 20 Jun 2017, 9:02am Why is Theresa May still in No 10? Because the Tories need a human shield | Martha Gill
The Conservatives are letting May take the flak for the election, Brexit and Grenfell Tower before she is ruthlessly disposed of. Labour has a duty to shake things upTheresa May can’t be enjoying her job very much at the moment. Her personal poll ratings have dived, protesters bay for her resignation, and the rightwing press has turned on her with a single-mindedness once reserved for promoting her campaign slogans and trashing her opponents.
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Labour is clear: Brexit would be better with single market membership | Chuka Umunna 16 Jun 2017, 10:22am Labour is clear: Brexit would be better with single market membership | Chuka Umunna
To sacrifice membership in negotiations, as the Conservatives have promised, jeopardises jobs and does little to address voters’ concerns over immigrationSince the election result became known, there has been some debate about Labour’s approach to Brexit, especially in relation to our membership of the single market. All of us will want to take notice of the message delivered by the British people last week. When the prime minister called the snap election, she said that the country was united behind her Tory government’s vision of Brexit, but it was not. The result on 8 June showed how patronising, complacent and simply wrong that analysis was. If the public has said anything, it is that it does not trust this government to deliver Brexit, and it fears the extreme and chaotic plan outlined by ministers.
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There’s a member of the living dead walking Downing Street | Andrew Rawnsley 10 Jun 2017, 7:05pm There’s a member of the living dead walking Downing Street | Andrew Rawnsley
With the Conservatives having lost all faith in her leadership, Mrs May is still in office but she has no power No one won this election, but everyone can see who lost it. The country, which sensed hubris and punished it with humiliation, can see. Foreign leaders shake bewildered heads at the chaos inflicted on a Britain that was once renowned abroad for its stability. They can see. The world can see. Theresa May triggered an early election to secure a majority and a mandate – and she has got neither. She presented the country with an imperious demand for a blank cheque on Brexit and much else. The country declined to sign it. She chose to conduct this election as a referendum on her leadership – and was told no. That the nation didn’t say yes to anyone else does not mitigate the devastation of that negative personal verdict on the Tory leader. During the campaign, she said that she would have lost the election if she lost six seats.
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The Guardian view on the 2017 election result: a call for a different Britain | Editorial 9 Jun 2017, 2:56pm The Guardian view on the 2017 election result: a call for a different Britain | Editorial
The election has confounded Theresa May and many others. It is a vote against austerity and for a less abrasive Brexit, and it marks the revival of the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn
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Drunk on Dunkirk spirit, the Brexiters are setting sail for a dangerous future | Daniel Todman 3 Jun 2017, 1:00am Drunk on Dunkirk spirit, the Brexiters are setting sail for a dangerous future | Daniel Todman
The delusion that the UK stood bravely alone through the war means that there is a real risk of Britain believing it doesn’t need Europe to surviveSeventy-seven years ago this week, the evacuation began of British and Allied troops from Dunkirk. Driven back to the French coast by the German advance, it had seemed that few of them would escape. By 4 June 1940, a third of a million British and French servicemen had been rescued. It was the start of a remarkable summer, around which thick layers of mythology would accrete. As Britain approaches another crisis with Europe, might the emotional power still exerted by these myths encourage a dangerous path for Brexit and the future? Might the UK be about to face the consequences of its misremembrance of the second world war?
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Theresa May has luck on her side to raid Labour’s voter base | Mark Wallace 29 May 2017, 7:33am Theresa May has luck on her side to raid Labour’s voter base | Mark Wallace
For 15 years May has been developing her ‘Erdington’ strategy of expanding the Tory church. Brexit and Corbyn have made this task much easierPolitics at the top demands trade-offs. Every prime minister does the things that they have to do, in order to buy the right to do the things they want to do. That is more difficult for some than for others. David Cameron had a tough time: he never wanted to be Mr Austerity, but circumstances forced him to be much more flinty and less cuddly than he planned. He pledged to match Labour’s spending plans, as part of his modernisation agenda, and fought to maintain that position for almost a year after the financial crisis began. Eventually, he had to concede that the fiscal circumstances had left him out of step with voters, and economic good sense. So began the process of abandoning the programme which he had once dreamed of.
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Why ‘keep the Tories out’ won’t work in Scotland this election | Ruth Wishart 29 May 2017, 7:00am Why ‘keep the Tories out’ won’t work in Scotland this election | Ruth Wishart
Old tribal rivalries have come to the fore in England, but north of the border, Brexit and independence are what people really care aboutIn the
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Labour’s scrapping of tuition fees isn’t the progressive measure it appears | Frances Ryan 22 May 2017, 7:24am Labour’s scrapping of tuition fees isn’t the progressive measure it appears | Frances Ryan
The best way for Jeremy Corbyn to help disadvantaged children would be to boost early-years education. Inequality takes root young With the threat of a hard Tory Brexit and crumbling public services, to be distracted by Labour’s internal divisions this election is to focus squarely on the wrong thing. But there’s one dispute that’s worth paying attention to – not as gossip but because it’s a snapshot of one of the biggest debates facing the left.
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Labour must bring hope to the millions caught in our broken system | Frances Ryan 11 May 2017, 3:00am Labour must bring hope to the millions caught in our broken system | Frances Ryan
With wages stagnant and more children growing up in poverty, there’s a place for Labour to reach voters who want a better Britain No matter how exceptional the circumstances of Brexit and austerity, or how much is currently at stake, this election, like any other, can be boiled down to one thing: how politics resonates with voters’ lives. We saw it with the leave campaign’s “take back control” – a message that simultaneously spoke to fears and hopes – and hear it each time Theresa May positions herself as “
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Ukip got what it wanted. Time to disband | Simon Jenkins 5 May 2017, 4:49am Ukip got what it wanted. Time to disband | Simon Jenkins
This single-issue party has been snuffed out by a combination of Brexit and an intransigent Theresa May – who now picks up its legacyToday’s local election results have been terrible for Labour, but they have been terminal for Ukip. It appears to have lost every seat it has fought, even in its heartlands of Lincolnshire and Essex. On results so far, its poll share has fallen from 22% to little more than 3%. The reason is obvious. The party that mutated from the Referendum party in 1997 was a classic single-issue movement. Under the charismatic but chaotic leadership of Nigel Farage, it demanded an EU referendum,
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The EU knows Theresa May is deluded on Brexit. And soon the Tories will | Nick Clegg 3 May 2017, 9:15am The EU knows Theresa May is deluded on Brexit. And soon the Tories will | Nick Clegg
While the EU 27 defend their national interests, the Brexiteers destroy ours: their vision of economic utopia cannot fend off the cold facts of economic realityStilted, awkward, tense. Reports of last week’s
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The ‘peaceful’ decade that set up our current turmoil | Jonathan Freedland 21 Apr 2017, 2:44pm The ‘peaceful’ decade that set up our current turmoil | Jonathan Freedland
The 1990s felt like a holiday from history at the time, but landmines were being planted that would explode into Brexit and TrumpTo voter fatigue we can add news fatigue. When Theresa May announced a June election, to add to the votes Britons had already cast in 2015 and 2016, to say nothing of the Scottish referendum in 2014, only part of the reaction – captured so perfectly by Brenda, she of the viral “
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The hidden threat of a liberal centre-ground moderniser | Steve Richards 18 Apr 2017, 2:00am The hidden threat of a liberal centre-ground moderniser | Steve Richards
These terms are ubiquitous and, given that David Cameron, Tony Blair and George Osborne sign up to the description, now dangerously misleading tooWith politics in a state of bewildering flux, three terms recur that attempt to make sense of it all. The complacent application of these terms is partly responsible for Brexit, and could delay the formation of a formidable opposition to a seemingly dominant Conservative party. The terms give the impression of assertive precision when in fact they are dangerously misleading. And as the dysfunctional Labour party suffers yet another identity crisis and the Conservatives’ obsession with Europe moves towards an energy-sapping denouement, the terms will become even more widespread.
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Now Labour must heal the wounds of Brexit and salvage a fairer future | Hilary Benn and Ed Miliband 2 Apr 2017, 3:06am Updated Now Labour must heal the wounds of Brexit and salvage a fairer future | Hilary Benn and Ed Miliband
Progressive politicians should unite to give hope to both Leave and Remain sides For all of us who believe the EU has helped keep the peace, and that our membership has given us prosperity and made Britain bigger, not smaller, these have been a particularly sad few days. The triggering of article 50 brought home the fact that we are leaving and the risks that lie ahead. Many who believe heart and soul in the European ideal now pin their hopes on somehow reversing the result. We share this apprehension for the future, but we think there now needs to be a different approach.
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1 Apr 2017, 7:05pm Brexit is happening. The time for regret is over, so let’s plan for the future instead | Henry Porter
The Convention on Brexit and the Political Crash will help pave the way in understanding a new BritainHalf way through the American civil war, Abraham Lincoln wrote a mostly business-like letter to Congress that contains sentiments that eerily apply to the present day. “The occasion is piled high with difficulty,” he said, “and we must rise – with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.” Those words – “think anew, act anew” – are the theme of the
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29 Mar 2017, 1:46pm Brexit and article 50: it’s not over till it’s over | Letters
Brexit is not inevitable despite the disappointing defeatism in
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The Guardian view on Brexit and publishing: a hardcore problem | Editorial 17 Mar 2017, 3:01pm The Guardian view on Brexit and publishing: a hardcore problem | Editorial
London book fair has shown how upbeat the literary world can be – and how worried our cultural businesses have become at the thought of losing old certaintiesThe mood at this week’s
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India, Brexit and the legacy of empire in Africa | Letters 16 Mar 2017, 2:42pm India, Brexit and the legacy of empire in Africa | Letters
It is disingenuous of Shashi Tharoor to pretend that religious hatred did not exist in India before “the British introduced it” with their policy of “divide and rule” (
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Ben Jennings on Brexit and political divisions – cartoon 13 Mar 2017, 4:44pm Ben Jennings on Brexit and political divisions – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2017/mar/13/ben-jennings-on-brexit-and-political-divisions-cartoon">Continue reading...
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Brexit and the treatment of children with cancer | Letters 13 Mar 2017, 2:30pm Brexit and the treatment of children with cancer | Letters
The warning that children with cancer risk missing out on drug trials (
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We’ve been offered an olive branch on EU citizenship. Don’t let them swat it aside | Roland Rudd 10 Mar 2017, 10:48am We’ve been offered an olive branch on EU citizenship. Don’t let them swat it aside | Roland Rudd
Guy Verhofstadt’s idea that Britons continue to enjoy some rights in Europe was music to millions of ears. The government must respond to this goodwill in kindDespite Brexit, and the often tone-deaf nature of the current government’s diplomacy, it is heartening that senior European politicians remain committed to British people having a close relationship with Europe in the future. That is why
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The Guardian view on Michael Heseltine: he was right to rebel | Editorial 8 Mar 2017, 2:49pm The Guardian view on Michael Heseltine: he was right to rebel | Editorial
By sacking one of the most important Conservatives of recent times, Theresa May proves that Brexit and one-nation Toryism are not compatible
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Copeland was an easy sprint. Theresa May now faces a muddy marathon | Anne McElvoy 26 Feb 2017, 12:00pm Copeland was an easy sprint. Theresa May now faces a muddy marathon | Anne McElvoy
Forget byelections, the prime minister’s real problems will come with Brexit – and from within her own partyPolitics offers so few outright triumphs that they deserve celebration when they occur. Seizing the Big Mo, Theresa May threw on her ceremonial visit-to-the-north Barbour and
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This Copeland disaster shows just how big Labour’s problems are | John Harris 24 Feb 2017, 2:25am This Copeland disaster shows just how big Labour’s problems are | John Harris
Yes, there are flashes of hope, and campaigning in Stoke was dogged. But the party is racked by a historic crisis that preceded the leadership of Jeremy CorbynAmid Trump, and Brexit, and the political hurly-burly that now regularly grips mainland Europe, it is easy to get the impression that politics no longer follows hard-and-fast rules, and amounts instead to a series of unforeseen events and complete accidents. Still, at the risk of sounding hopelessly old fashioned, let us remind ourselves of the political state we are in, what it would have once have entailed, and what has just happened in Cumbria and Stoke-on-Trent.
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Theresa May’s assumption of absolute power over Brexit spells disaster | Polly Toynbee 23 Feb 2017, 7:46am Theresa May’s assumption of absolute power over Brexit spells disaster | Polly Toynbee
The Queen of Narnia has decreed any Lords amendment to her irrational plans a betrayal. This obduracy could break Britain – and her own leadershipThere is no rhyme or reason to the obduracy of Theresa May. She has chosen the hardest, take-no-prisoners Brexit, and that will probably be her epitaph. In the Lords this week, in one excoriating speech after another, the irrationality of May’s trajectory was spelled out in forensic, lordly style. Ice queen perched on the steps, she cast her refrigerator glare upon them as one peer after another rose to modify her plan to put Britain in the freezer. The queen of Narnia ordains that she alone is keeper of the sacred “will of the people.” End of. Any slight deviation from her personal interpretation of Brexit is a betrayal of democracy itself, and no-one else has any right to suggest alterative exit routes or timetables.
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Notable & Quotable: Nigel Farage on Brexit and Trump 21 Feb 2017, 7:13pm Notable & Quotable: Nigel Farage on Brexit and Trump
‘I am very, very optimistic now for the West.’
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Martin Rowson on Brexit and the supreme court – cartoon 16 Feb 2017, 3:25pm Martin Rowson on Brexit and the supreme court – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2017/feb/16/martin-rowson-on-brexit-and-the-supreme-court-cartoon">Continue reading...
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Who will the Brexiteers blame when the milk and honey fails to flow? | Rafael Behr 15 Feb 2017, 1:00am Who will the Brexiteers blame when the milk and honey fails to flow? | Rafael Behr
The delusional expectations set up by the likes of Johnson and Gove can never be fulfilled by a timid push on jobs and housing. The old lies may get a new outingThere is a question that was never put to the leaders of the campaign for Brexit and has not, as far as I’m aware, been put to the prime minister since her conversion to the cause. It is this: what will you do on the morning of formal separation from the EU that you could not have done the day before?
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No stilton exports to Europe? That’ll mean war, then | Brief letters 12 Feb 2017, 3:05pm No stilton exports to Europe? That’ll mean war, then | Brief letters
Brexit and the European court of justice | Subeditors’ work | Currants in pastry | Donald Trump’s portrait | Shredded Wheat | Archie Macpherson’s hairHow quaint to see in Jamie Fahey’s piece (
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How the lunatic fringe conquered world politics | Nick Cohen 11 Feb 2017, 1:00pm How the lunatic fringe conquered world politics | Nick Cohen
The left and the right ignored the extremists and we ended up with Brexit and TrumpThree types dominate extremist movements: crazies, cynics and creeps. The true crazies are always at the bottom of the heap. Cynical propagandists stoke their righteous fury, without which the extremist movement would collapse. Creeps rise to the top, in extremist movements as elsewhere. They are cynical, too, of course. They know how to manipulate their base. But they must show signs of authentic craziness as well or their grip on leadership would weaken and others would take their place. Crazies, cynics and creeps. Of the three, the cynics are the easiest to understand. They live in the conspiratorial world of clickbait journalism where charlatans churn out fantasies for sites as various as the
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Brexit and Labour’s loss of moral compass | Letters 9 Feb 2017, 2:02pm Brexit and Labour’s loss of moral compass | Letters
Labour’s failure to support the amendment protecting EU workers and residents already in the UK is shameful (
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Brexit and Trump are entangled. Labour must rethink its article 50 stance | John Harris 30 Jan 2017, 4:49am Brexit and Trump are entangled. Labour must rethink its article 50 stance | John Harris
Corbyn’s three-line whip could mean MPs are not just voting to leave the EU, but backing a US leader who is spreading dangerous tensions around the worldTheresa May goes to America to hold Donald Trump’s hand. Inside 48 hours of her departure, that
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Dismayed by democracy? The alternative is far worse| Tom Clark 19 Jan 2017, 1:00am Dismayed by democracy? The alternative is far worse| Tom Clark
The twin prospects of Brexit and Trump may not appeal, but denying people the right to vote is much more dangerousThe vote always had to be fought for, and the battle was often noisy. From the
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In Europe we see only one loser from Brexit – and it won’t be us | Jean Quatremer 18 Jan 2017, 1:19pm In Europe we see only one loser from Brexit – and it won’t be us | Jean Quatremer
Theresa May promises a soft Brexit for Britain and a hard one for everyone else. Why would we let that happen?When someone wants the impossible, in French we say that they want “the butter, the money from the butter, and the dairymaid’s smile”. In more vulgar usage we say they want something rather more from the dairymaid than a smile. This is precisely what we can take away from
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Theresa May must commit to single market in her Brexit speech | Keir Starmer 14 Jan 2017, 7:04pm Theresa May must commit to single market in her Brexit speech | Keir Starmer
The prime minister must pledge to do the right thing for British businesses and workers On Tuesday, the prime minister will give a speech on Brexit. It is another chance for her to spell out what her government is hoping to achieve in the negotiations. The stakes are high and difficult judgment calls will have to be made. But time is running out. The phrases “Brexit means Brexit” and “There will be no running commentary” are well past their sell-by date. Where there is uncertainty, we now need clarity.
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If Jeremy Corbyn is looking for big radical ideas, here’s one that could work | John Harris 13 Jan 2017, 1:00am If Jeremy Corbyn is looking for big radical ideas, here’s one that could work | John Harris
Instead of shooting from the hip on pay, the Labour party leader should champion reform of the benefits systemSet aside the mysteries of his position on Brexit, and imagine for a moment that Jeremy Corbyn’s sudden intervention on
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Loneliness, Brexit and the Obama legacy – Guardian Social as it happened 6 Jan 2017, 11:31am Loneliness, Brexit and the Obama legacy – Guardian Social as it happened
Catch up on a wide ranging discussion of the week’s news and opinion, with views from our journalists above the line and
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Loneliness, Brexit and the Obama legacy – our live look at the week 6 Jan 2017, 11:12am Updated Loneliness, Brexit and the Obama legacy – our live look at the week
Join our discussion from noon to 4.30pm about the week’s news and opinion, with views from our journalists above the line and
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Economists have completely failed us. They’re no better than Mystic Meg | Simon Jenkins 6 Jan 2017, 6:47am Economists have completely failed us. They’re no better than Mystic Meg | Simon Jenkins
On Brexit and the 2008 crash their predictions – distorted by politics – were utterly wrong. The profession owes the public an inquest and an apology It is official. Figures for the past six months show that the forecasts of instant Brexit catastrophe from the Treasury and the Bank of England were garbage. The Bank’s economist, Andrew Haldane,
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The Guardian view on Brexit and the arts: a backlash against the modern | Editorial 28 Dec 2016, 1:35pm The Guardian view on Brexit and the arts: a backlash against the modern | Editorial
The right wants to believe that contemporary art is a liberal-elite conspiracy. Five million visitors to Tate Modern will tell you differentHaving a pop at the absurdities of contemporary art has long been a sport beloved of elements of the press, and it has often been enjoyably and wittily played. The Sun, for example,
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The Guardian view on democracy: an uncertain year | Editorial 25 Dec 2016, 6:59am The Guardian view on democracy: an uncertain year | Editorial
For the ancient Greeks, politics was way of life. We could learn from themIn the annals of modern democracy, 2016 has been pretty eventful. For some in Britain and the US, it has been a great year: in this version of events the will of the people, in the form of votes for Brexit and Donald Trump, has smashed triumphantly through the complacent expectations and blinkered preoccupations of a political elite. For others, though, electorates have delivered results that will be self-evidently harmful both to citizens of these nations, and to stability in the wider world. There has been a distinctly authoritarian streak visible, too, from leaders of democracies including India and Turkey. Demagoguery, the scourge of democracy, has reared its head. According to this view, security – the bottom-line responsibility of government – seems imperilled, particularly in the US, where fears grow that internationally agreed measures to alleviate climate change may well be overturned, and loose words from a verbally incontinent incoming president could spark who-knows-what consequences.
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Bit of argy bargy on the Cheshire canals | Brief letters 23 Dec 2016, 12:35pm Bit of argy bargy on the Cheshire canals | Brief letters
Refugee safety | Lozzuckers and Cheshire canals | Yorkshire dialect | Brexit and family harmony | A love letter to the GuardianWe must keep our views in proportion. The terrorist attack in Berlin (
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Your opinions: an exceptionally joyless Brexit – and hope for our prisons 21 Dec 2016, 5:14am Your opinions: an exceptionally joyless Brexit – and hope for our prisons
A space for our readers to talk about articles of the day in the Opinion section
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The Guardian view on Brexit and Scotland: different strokes for different folks | Editorial 20 Dec 2016, 1:56pm The Guardian view on Brexit and Scotland: different strokes for different folks | Editorial
The UK government would be wise to look for compromises with Nicola Sturgeon’s latest demandsOn 23 June the people of Scotland voted decisively to remain in the European Union while the people of the United Kingdom as a whole voted to leave. The nationalist government’s immediate reaction to the 62% to 38% vote in Scotland was to ratchet up the rhetoric about a second independence referendum.
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Pale, stale males are the last group it’s OK to vilify | Simon Jenkins 15 Dec 2016, 1:00am Pale, stale males are the last group it’s OK to vilify | Simon Jenkins
My cohort already faced routine contempt. Now we find ourselves blamed for Brexit and Donald TrumpI am hideously white, and not a man but “male”. Being over 50, I suffer the added failing of being disgustingly old. Such are the routine humiliations of my group. The BBC was called
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From Trump to Brexit, power has leaked from cities to the countryside | Andy Beckett 12 Dec 2016, 2:07pm From Trump to Brexit, power has leaked from cities to the countryside | Andy Beckett
Cities may dominate our culture, but a backlash against liberal values and multiculturalism has been led by rural and small-town votersAs the most successful British and American cities have gentrified and repopulated in recent decades, reversing the inner-city decline of the 60s and 70s, it’s become a cliche to say how powerful they are: economically, culturally, politically. Many people think they’re too powerful. A revolt against urban liberalism and multiculturalism, and their supposed imposition on the rest of the population, was a big element of the Brexit and Donald Trump campaigns. Almost
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The Guardian view on Brexit and Ireland: special relationship, special solution | Editorial 11 Dec 2016, 7:01pm The Guardian view on Brexit and Ireland: special relationship, special solution | Editorial
A House of Lords report brings a much needed sense of urgency and understanding to the Irish dimension of the Brexit vote It can probably be assumed that most leave voters gave little thought to
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Wolfgang Streeck: ‘Look at London – it’s a second Rome. This is what an empire looks like’ 9 Dec 2016, 5:05am Wolfgang Streeck: ‘Look at London – it’s a second Rome. This is what an empire looks like’
The political economist on Trump’s election, why we should be happy about Brexit and the crises facing western democracy Outside was panic. Barely a couple of hours after
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Martin Rowson on Brexit and elections – cartoon 4 Dec 2016, 3:58pm Martin Rowson on Brexit and elections – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2016/dec/04/martin-rowson-on-brexit-and-elections-cartoon">Continue reading...
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How can Labour dodge the twin bullets of Brexit and Ukip? | Mark Seddon 30 Nov 2016, 11:54am How can Labour dodge the twin bullets of Brexit and Ukip? | Mark Seddon
The revolt was real. The party must accept that fact, and reject the elitist tactics of discredited figures such as Tony Blair and John MajorThe reasons for the Brexit revolt are many, but the ugly prejudices of a minority sometimes obscure the fact that globalisation and the low-wage, burger-flipping economic race to the bottom that it brings, lies at very the heart of it – just as it does in the rust-belt states of America. The European Union, admirable in many ways, had for many become too big, too centralised, too fixed on the shibboleth of complete freedom of movement of labour and capital and too obdurate over a single currency disastrous from its inception, so it took the brunt of the June revolt.
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Now is the moment for us Palestinians to renew our national movement | Salem Barahmeh 30 Nov 2016, 7:17am Now is the moment for us Palestinians to renew our national movement | Salem Barahmeh
For years the diaspora has been voiceless, failed by a detached political elite. The seventh Fatah conference is a rare chance to put that rightAnti-establishment sentiment has just produced two shockwaves: Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. Millions used the polls to protest against their economic marginalisation and political alienation. Elites were firmly told: no more business-as-usual. The Palestinian national movement is similarly on its deathbed, and the symptoms that are leading to its demise run parallel to events taking hold in the rest of the world. Palestinians feel marginalised by their broken political system, feuding political parties and lack of economic opportunities. They are frustrated by the Palestinian elite, who have led us to this point and sit disconnected from their people.
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Is a progressive alliance the only way to stop hard-right populism? 28 Nov 2016, 2:00am Is a progressive alliance the only way to stop hard-right populism?
In this week’s Richmond Park byelection, Ukip and the Conservatives are backing Zac Goldsmith. Why can’t the parties of the left work together in the same way to oppose Brexit and Tory hegemony? At 7am on Thursday, polling stations will open in an upmarket corner of west London for the Richmond Park byelection. This odd affair is entirely in keeping with a year of unexpected political events. They might be the party of government, but the Conservatives are not putting up a candidate. The frontrunner is a self-styled “independent”: Zac Goldsmith, the unfathomably wealthy, roll-up-smoking Tory environmentalist who was until recently Richmond Park’s Conservative MP and the party’s candidate for London mayor.
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Martin Rowson on Brexit and Black Friday – cartoon 25 Nov 2016, 3:13pm Martin Rowson on Brexit and Black Friday – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2016/nov/25/martin-rowson-on-brexit-and-black-friday-cartoon">Continue reading...
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Brexit and Trump have exposed the left’s crucial flaw: playing by the rules | Jonathan Freedland 19 Nov 2016, 1:00am Brexit and Trump have exposed the left’s crucial flaw: playing by the rules | Jonathan Freedland
If the leavers or the alt-right had lost the vote, they would be howling. The remain camp and the Democrats must learn a tactical lesson – sheer ruthlessnessJoin me in a little thought experiment. Imagine, if you would, that the Brexit referendum had gone the other way, 48% voting to leave and 52% to remain. What do you think Nigel Farage would have said? Would he have nodded ruefully and declared: “The British people have spoken and this issue is now settled. Our side lost and we have to get over it. It’s time to move on.”
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The UK as we know it can’t survive Brexit and Trump | Gerry Hassan 17 Nov 2016, 11:57am The UK as we know it can’t survive Brexit and Trump | Gerry Hassan
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are in very different places to the UK government. It’s an exciting historic opportunity for a new relationshipThe United Kingdom’s sense of itself and its place in the world are more in question now than they were before Donald Trump’s election. The precarious process of Brexit has destabilised the nature of 50 years-plus of UK foreign policy and international alliances. This, combined with Trump, has now brought into the open a whole host of tensions and doubts about the so-called “special relationship” between the UK and US.
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Prosecco, Brexit and the Trump transition – Politics Weekly podcast 17 Nov 2016, 10:43am Prosecco, Brexit and the Trump transition – Politics Weekly podcast
Heather Stewart is joined by Ian Dunt, Rowena Mason and Matthew D’Ancona to discuss the government’s tight-lipped approach to Brexit As concerns grow that the government has no plan for Brexit, the EU says the divorce bill could be north of £60bn. And a supreme court judge says article 50 may take years to trigger. Can Theresa May navigate a path for Brexit through parliament? We hear from former chief whip
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Neoliberalism and other factors in the breakdown of society | Letters 16 Nov 2016, 2:03pm Neoliberalism and other factors in the breakdown of society | Letters
George Monbiot concludes that, in response to the crisis that lies behind Brexit and Trump, what we need is “a new story of what it is to be a human in the 21st century” (
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10 Nov 2016, 7:20am Brexit and Trump mark a whitelash. Politicians must not pander to it | Polly Toynbee
The US election result will infect Britain’s political psyche, especially on those totemic ‘them and us’ issues – race, migration, poverty and benefitsAs Donald Trump’s victory ricochets around the world, what does it do to us here in the UK? Never doubt that it will infect our political psyche. First to gloat with praise was Nigel Farage, expecting Ukip to cash in. “Brexit plus plus,” Trump
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5 Nov 2016, 8:02pm The Observer view on the high court ruling on Brexit and parliament | Observer editorial
The judgment is not about sabotaging Britain’s EU exit. It’s about respecting democracy and getting the best deal possibleIt has become painfully clear since June’s vote to leave the European Union that Theresa May’s government and its supporters have little or no idea where the country is heading. Lacking a plan or a shared philosophy, they are united by an arbitrary and destructive rush to the exit. Their hysterical reaction to last week’s unanimous high court ruling that Britain cannot quit the EU without parliament’s consent also reveals extraordinary ignorance about where we, as a country, have come from. It is dismaying that those who campaigned so passionately to reclaim British sovereignty appear not to have the first idea about their country’s
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1 Nov 2016, 4:00am Dreaming of a ‘single market-lite’ for Britain? Time to wake up | Duncan Weldon
For many, the ultimate result from Brexit would be free movement of goods and services, with restrictions on labour. That won’t be on the tableOver the past few months the public and political debate on Brexit has moved on to a discussion of the “hard” v “soft” varieties. So far the debate has generated more heat than light, the very terms “hard Brexit” and “soft Brexit” becoming almost as meaningless as the word “Brexit” itself. The path ahead is not binary: instead there is a spectrum of possible outcomes, from a mostly symbolic break with Europe (the soft end), to a much more meaningful separation (the harder edge). One of the key variables in play is whether or not Britain will remain in the European single market, and although the government has not openly stated that it wishes to leave it, its publicly declared objectives do point in that direction.
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31 Oct 2016, 5:00am Politics has gone wrong. Is digital technology to blame? | David Runciman
In the age of Brexit and Trump we shout at each other across a gulf of understanding, not thinking that machines rather than people could be at faultPolitics at the moment is as noisy as it’s ever been in my lifetime. That is why we at the
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24 Oct 2016, 4:53pm Steve Bell on Brexit and state of the union – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2016/oct/24/steve-bell-brexit-state-union-cartoon">Continue reading...
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24 Oct 2016, 2:28pm The Guardian view on Brexit and the union: consensus not confrontation | Editorial
The first meeting of the leaders of the devolved administrations was not a good start. Mrs May must work for their supportGetting out of the EU without precipitating a constitutional crisis is going to be a severe test of the UK’s politicians and the political arrangements in which they operate. It will require tact, diplomacy, patience, and a willingness to try to reach a consensus. So far, there is little evidence of any of these qualities. Most of the blame for that must fall on the prime minister, since although all the participants – the leaders of the devolved assemblies and the UK parliament – have a role in this unprecedented process, she sets the tone: so far, it has been confrontational. She has little alternative but to accept the result, and to play for time while Whitehall works out what needs doing and in what order. But she has sounded high-handed on a hard Brexit, on engaging with parliament and now on the role of the devolved administrations that could lead, all too easily,
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22 Oct 2016, 7:05pm Six safe subjects for small talk in a Brexit- and Corbyn-torn world | Victoria Coren Mitchell
Conversation has turned toxic in our bitterly divided land. Here’s my survival guide… Have you considered becoming a hermit? It may be the only answer. The state of modern politics is such that it’s now impossible for any two British people to talk to each for longer than six minutes without tears, blows or, at the very least, a cold and deeply awkward silence.
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22 Oct 2016, 4:00pm Brexit politicians are putting us on a fast track to financial jeopardy | Anthony Browne
The chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association warns that major players are already planning to relocate from Britain How do you take your Brexit? Soft or hard? Quick or slow? It might all seem semantics but for the UK and Europe it is the £1.1tn question. That is the amount banks based in the UK are lending to the companies and governments of the EU27, keeping the continent afloat financially. The free trade in financial services that crosses the Channel each year, helping customers and boosting the economies in the UK and Europe, is worth more than £20bn. Brexit means Brexit and we are all Brexiters now. But if we get it wrong, that £20bn trade in financial services is at risk and the public and political debate is taking us in the wrong direction. At the banking industry’s annual conference last week, the atmosphere was, as one of the panellists, Lord Mandelson, noted, “gloomy”. The government, and in particular the chancellor, Philip Hammond, and the Brexit secretary, David Davis, are making the right noises. The golden rule of negotiations is start big and never ask for less than you want. But we are in danger of talking ourselves into defeat before negotiations have even begun.
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19 Oct 2016, 1:30am I hate Trump and Farage. But on free trade they have a point | Aditya Chakrabortty
Globalisation, as can be seen from the TTIP and Ceta deals, is about protecting big business – against the public. No wonder voters in the US and Europe are turning to populistsHow they frown. How they fulminate. How they threaten. For decades, presidents and prime ministers, policymakers and pundits have told voters there is only one direction of travel: free trade. Now comes Brexit and Donald Trump – and the horrible suspicion that the public won’t buy it any more. This is how an elite project falls apart. And the elites don’t know what to do, apart from keep insisting the public listen.
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14 Oct 2016, 11:38am Updated Should we be reporting on clowns? Join our live look at the week
We discuss everything from Bob Dylan to Brexit and more. Take part as we debate the week’s news and comment from noon to 4.30pm (BST) today
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14 Oct 2016, 10:31am Updated Should your Uber driver get the living wage? Join our live look at the week
We discuss everything from Bob Dylan to Brexit and more. Take part as we debate the week’s news and comment from noon to 4.30pm (BST) today
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13 Oct 2016, 10:57am Brexit fears send pound tumbling – Politics Weekly podcast
Heather Stewart hears from Vince Cable, Larry Elliott, Catherine Colebrook and Rafael Behr on Brexit and the tumbling value of the pound. Plus Ed Miliband on parliament’s role in Brexit and Labour MP Chi Onwurah on the party’s reshuffle The value of the pound nose-dived to its lowest level in 168 years this week as the money markets took fright at the government’s harsher tone on its plans for Brexit. With little detail spelled out, there was also little reassurance for investors that the UK was determined to stay within the European single market and customs union. We hear from former business secretary
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11 Oct 2016, 8:35am Paul Krugman Blog: Notes on Brexit and the Pound
A weaker pound is part of the adjustment, and should be accepted.
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8 Oct 2016, 11:29pm The loudest sound in Birmingham was of doors being slammed shut | Andrew Rawnsley
The Tories are hurtling towards a hard Brexit and a riven Labour party is no position to stop themSeeking sustenance in a Brummie cafe to get me through the Tory conference, I heard myself request “a full English Brexit”. That’s what it does to your head: several days of close confinement with Conservatives salivating over departure from the European Union. Back in the conference hall, the full English Brexit was being served up by Theresa May and all the mini-Mays in the cabinet as they sought to satisfy the audience’s appetite for the starkest form of rupture with our partners of the past four decades. There are several possible ways of exiting the EU. They range from amicable separation to bitter divorce. The
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6 Oct 2016, 2:40pm It’s time to bring submarine May to the surface
The prime minister is wrong: we do want a running commentary on Brexit. And MPs should work together to ensure we get itTheresa May squeezed every drop of juice out of
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6 Oct 2016, 2:07pm Diversity is a boon – but we’re losing our sense of community | Giles Fraser | Loose canon
Brexit and the new mood in politics is misunderstood as a hostility to outsiders. Rather, it is a cry for togetherness, for the local, for mutuality, for social solidarityThe old Labour party HQ used to be in my parish, on the Walworth Road, just by Elephant and Castle in London. In 1997, Tony Blair moved the centre of operations into a swanky glass tower on Millbank. And from then on Labour began to lose touch with the communities it was set up to serve. Had it remained on Walworth Road the party would have witnessed, right across the street, how the forces of international finance have pushed out ordinary people and destroyed their communities. The postwar Heygate estate is no longer, and shiny new flats are going up that local people will never be able to afford, even at the comically misnamed “affordable housing” rates. Indeed, the very idea of local people no longer implies a longstanding connection. Most of those who were here for generations have gone, priced out. New people come and go all the time. The old Labour HQ is now a backpackers’ hostel. What was once a thick community has become a thin community.
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3 Oct 2016, 1:07pm Hammond is leading Britain into another lost decade | Aditya Chakrabortty
The chancellor has binned George Osborne’s debt targets, which in any case he would have missed, replacing them with hard Brexit and soft austerityPicture the scene. A Labour chancellor has just admitted that Britons will soon get poorer – much poorer. That he has binned his predecessor’s plans for cutting spending and reducing debt – the very ones he had enthusiastically supported until a few weeks ago. What’s more, he has no replacement – merely a resigned acceptance that Britain’s “unsustainable” overdraft will grow bigger. For arguably the first time since the
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