Category: Britain

  • Breakthrough on Ireland’s Brexit border

    Negotiators for the UK and the EU have today reached agreement on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement in relation to Northern Ireland. As part of the deal, the UK will withdraw planned legislation that would have over-ridden international law.

  • One week: two worlds – Brexit and the US election

    It’s been a surprisingly quiet week in Brexit negotiations, given that the end of the withdrawal period is now less than two months away. That this is probably a good sign was confirmed by Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney on Tuesday, when he suggested that some form of long term agreement is now likely. The…

  • Sir Joseph Ball: From MI5 to the Conservative Party

    The Conservative leadership used homophobia to keep anti-fascist MPs in line during the 1930s, according to a forthcoming account by Labour MP Chris Bryant.  The BBC has some intriguing details: In  the course of researching his book, Mr Bryant found evidence that Mr  Chamberlain boasted to his sisters that he knew everything the rebels  were…

  • Hardline security bills pose dilemma for Labour

    Several bills going through the House of Commons at the moment demonstrate the Johnson's Government's commitment to the hard edge of state power, in both its overt and covert forms. While this legislation raises significant human rights concerns, Labour has been cautious in challenging the Government so far. This may reflect Keir Starmer's strategy of…

  • Ferrier decision could set up SNP-Labour battle

    Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today called on one of her own party’s MPs to resign from the House of Commons. The SNP withdrew the whip from Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Margaret Ferrier after it emerged she had taken a train from Glasgow to London while Covid positive.

  • Tory rebellion over internal market bill

    When Boris Johnson's Conservatives won an 81 seat majority last December, it looked as if we wouldn't have to worry about close parliamentary votes on Brexit anymore. Johnson may have begun to squander that advantage with the admission that the Internal Market Bill breaks international law. Hufffpost's Arj Singh is reporting estimates of up to…

  • Internal market bill lives up to its billing

    Reports that the UK Internal Market Bill would tear up the EU withdrawal agreement have been causing political ructions all week. Today, the full text of the bill was published, and it looks very much as advertised. Section 45 of the bill states that ministerial regulations apply "notwithstanding  any relevant  international  or domestic law with…

  • Government legal head quits over threat to Northern Ireland protocol – FT

    The FT’s Sebastian Payne is reporting that the head of the UK Government’s Legal Department, Sir Jonathan Jones, has resigned over attempts to undermine the UK’s obligations under the EU withdrawal agreement.

  • UK Government points tactical nuke at the Irish border

    Today’s Financial Times reports that the British Government is planning legislation to over-ride parts of the Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union, threatening the protocol that ensures there will be no hard border on the island of Ireland.

  • Finucane family welcomes Council of Europe decision

    The Irish Government and the family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane have welcomed a decision by the Council of Europe, calling on the British government to fulfil its human rights obligations in relation to the 1989 killing.     The Council has also expressed concern about the British Government's proposals to deal with the legacy…