Welcome to Britain Watch

All the signs are that the governance of Britain is spiralling out of control: record trade and budget deficits; a swollen bureaucracy; an inadequate but costly education system; a government incapable of providing for our future energy needs; record emigration of native Britons, unprecedented levels of immigration; a mind-set putting the non-citizen ahead of the British citizen.

Britain Watch has been set up to highlight key examples of these trends and to promote practical reforms to reverse the incompetence and loss of national self belief they engender. All readers are invited to participate.

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Short News

Don't Miss A New Deal for Brexit
This is Technomica Paper 15 by Stephen Bush and is tipped to be the way through the Brexit log-jam!

Negotiating with the EU after we have left

The Times correspondent Simon Nixon’s quote from an EU official that “once the UK has left, we will be able to be much more flexible” (21 February)” is surely  right. It points the way to unblocking the present impasse.

Let the EU and the UK agree to postpone the leaving settlement until after the UK has left on March 29th together with an Agreement that both sides keep the existing tariff and customs regime for say 12 months, extendable by mutual agreement if a replacement regime has not been agreed.

Under GATT article 24 this would not require extending the EU’s common external tariff to third parties, as WTO would be informed that this “Tariff Standstill Agreement” was a precursor to a long-term Trade Agreement.

This way, everything becomes possible: Parliament would get a proper, considered say over the final  agreement, the European Research Group would be able to argue for low tariffs; Britain would be free at the end of the standstill period to conclude negotiations with other countries as well as the EU; new border arrangements could be properly trialled including those at the Irish border; Mrs May would fulfil her solemn declaration to take Britain out of the European Union according to the Withdrawal Act, on March 29th. and could retire with honour if she and her colleagues wished this. There would be no need to fiddle around with contentious Article 50 extensions.

 

 

Don't Miss Clean Break - Fresh Start
Find the latest Technomica paper from Prof Bush, showing the advantages of “No Deal”.

Brexit Muddle
If anybody in the world is in doubt about the basic reason for the terrible muddle in Parliament and in the country over Brexit, consider this. On a visit to a school on January 25th, Theresa May (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) was asked by a child what Brexit actually meant.  Mrs May reportedly answered: “That’s a difficult question to answer because every MP seems to have their own idea.” [more »]

Fear of Clean Break
Don’t Miss the excellent new paper by Lord Peter Lilley and Cllr Brendan Chilton “30 Truths About Leaving On WTO Terms”.

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Queen’s Consent necessary for Bills on Treaty making

It is astonishing that Speaker Bercow’s assertion that the latest anti-Brexit Bill did not require Queen’s Consent (QC) to go to Third Reading on Friday night (6/9/19), went unchallenged in the Courts. (See Stephen Bush’s bannered Daily Telegraph letter of 10th August citing Tony Blair’s withholding of QC to block Tam Dalyell’s Bill to prevent the Iraq War [1999-2000 session].) 

If Gina Miller et al can seek to claim that the Prime Minister’s binding advice to the Queen to prorogue parliament from a date between Monday 9th and Thursday 12th September was somehow illegal, ultra vires, then Bercow’s repeated decisions in favour of any Bill seeking to wreck or delay Brexit must also be challengeable. 

The source of Bercow’s confidence in declaring that this latest anti-Brexit Bill (Hilary Benn) did not need Queen’s Consent to proceed to Third Reading can be traced to his assertion that he had taken “expert” advice on the Cooper-Letwin Bill (Withdrawal Act Amendment No 4) from someone called the “Clerk of Legislation”. 

This individual in turn apparently cited the fact that the Article 50 “trigger” Act of March 2017 was judged by this same individual, or his predecessor, not to need Queen’s Consent on the curious grounds, that although Article 50 was indisputably concerned with an international treaty (Lisbon) saying we were leaving, it “didn’t require the UK to actually do anything”.  This clearly contradicted the essence of the Supreme Judgement[1] in the Miller case only 2 months before.  Moreover the Withdrawal Act of 26th June 2018 itself received Queen’s Consent before 3rd Reading, presented by David Davis (Hansard of 17th January 2018, column 1002). 
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