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Rex N

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Rex is a freelance writer in medical affairs, economics and sport. A former teacher and examiner of Economics, his interest in European Union affairs took root when discovering the depths of the Maastricht Treaty. He is a committed democrat having campaigned for a popular vote to decide on further integration measures, based on fact rather than spin.

Rainbows

Theresa May used to tell us “Brexit means Brexit”. However, she never really told us what Brexit means. In truth Brexit is like a rainbow, a range of colours, opinions and viewpoints. If we can define a rainbow, can we define a Brexit? Can it ever be touched? On our …

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Brexit election

The general election has finally been called. Of course a general election should be about more general issues but will Brexit dominate the agenda? The early stages suggest that this will be the defining issue. Looking back at previous elections, 2015 provided a surprising Conservative majority. Many aspects may have …

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Four legs

Again and again the House of Commons declines the opportunity to hold a general election. Ostensibly no vote will pass. The House is in paralysis. Why do they perpetuate the situation? As ever, it is worth reviewing how this came about, the history going back to the general election of …

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Brexit witching hour

Our man Rex seeks to establish the Brexit agenda for the week ahead. The last week of October promises to be a fascinating, indeed crucial, week in the quest for Brexit. What will happen? We don’t know for sure but there is a timetable, of sorts. There are four key …

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Decisions, decisions, Brexit made simple

Ostensibly, Brexit is drawing to an end game. Boris pledged to achieve this by 31st October, “do or die”. Decisions have to be made but what decisions and by who? This is an attempt to make the issues simple, despite the complications. The latest Withdrawal Agreement (WA) provides changes to …

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Finger of fudge

It seems that a new Brexit deal has finally been agreed, for the time being at least. There are still hurdles to leap, not least in EU and British parliaments. Have developments been sufficient to give us all a treat? Juncker has outlined a summary of intent: “There will be …

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Mole hill

Mole hill or mountain? The Supreme Court has decided. Boris Johnson has acted unlawfully. The eleven law Lords and Ladies leapt into deciding that he incorrectly advised the Queen. This Prorogation of Parliament was found to be wrong. Has he dug himself into a hole? Is this a media mole …

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Another fine mess

From the outside looking in, the House of Commons has become a comedy. It is hard to pick a genre, farce, slapstick, Month Python – or is it the theatre of the absurd? The government, even given a confidence and supply agreement with the DUP, is technically in a minority. …

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Prorogation – some perspectives

Boris has made the decision to seek prorogation of Parliament. Voices from all political parties, including elements of his own, have screamed outrage. Is prorogation a political necessity or are the cynics right? History might provide some perspective. Prorogation is the process of ending one session of Parliament in order …

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Why does the UK import meat?

Why does the UK import and export meat? The world around us sparks up curiosities. Twitter is a mine for curiosity, throwing up some great questions which sometimes we take for granted. Recently, this question appeared: “Can someone explain to me why we import meat please?” Going beyond the brief, …

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“No deal” or Withdrawal Agreement?

The new Prime Minister appears to be standing his ground that the backstop must go. The EU’s key players still insist that the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) can not be changed. A key Remainer, Dominic Grieve appears publicly to accept that Brexit will happen. Philip Hammond argues that Boris is asking too …

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Backstop revisited

The new Prime Minister has taken the stance that negotiations for withdrawing from the EU can not start until the EU removes the back stop. The main players in the EU insist that the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) can not be re-opened, therefore the backstop can not be withdrawn. What does it all …

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Brexit – the final countdown?

Are we entering the final countdown to Brexit? Logically, there are three options, to leave without a deal, to leave with a deal and obviously not to leave. The probability of each outcome depends on perspectives taken. As things stand, there is only one deal available, what has become known …

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The Boris Cabinet

Boris Johnson is now Prime Minister. His Cabinet is not merely reshuffled but well and truly scattered. Has he created a house of cards from a new deck or is he just the Joker? An immediate observation is that of diversity. Of the four great offices of state, PM, Chancellor, …

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Conservative leadership contest

Conservatives leadership challenge Theresa May has finally stepped down as party leader. The race to succeed her as Prime Minister is on. The aim of this is to summarise the relevant candidates and to track progress in the campaigns. The timetable of events is short, May’s last day as leader …

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Brexit – breaking the impasse

The original deadline for Brexit, 29th March 2019, is less than 4 days away. Debate continues, resolution seems so far away. What can be done to ensure an “orderly withdrawal”? The key is in the provisions of Article 50, the mechanism for leaving the EU. A critical word is “agreement”. By …

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Brexit tariff reduction

News has broken that in the event of “No Deal”, up to 90 % of tariffs will be removed. Confirmation seems to have come from a refusal to deny from Greg Clark, Business Secretary. Naturally, views have been expressed, from all political vantage points. The opposition can be expected to …

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Brexit – where next?

Theresa May has seen the biggest government defeat in British history. Her Withdrawal Agreement has been kicked into touch.  The grieve amendment means that she has to bring Plan B back to parliament next week. Where do we go from here?  It is worth reflecting for a moment how we …

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Two weeks to agree divorce bill? A reply to Barnier.

Michel Barnier has given Britain a fortnight to offer a divorce settlement if talks are to progress to trade. What should our reply be? We have some suggestions. Theresa May has made some very generous offers. EU countries will not be out of pocket during a transition period. Reciprocal rights …

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General election 2017 – winners and losers

Following a campaign that has been both turbulent and tranquil, the day is finally over. The voters can have had their say. This was an election that didn’t have to happen. The Fixed Term Parliament Act provided for a date in 2020, a year that could have provided perfect retrospective …

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