Sunday, 11 September 2016

Brexit: and where next for the South-West

Whilst Brexiters regroup in London
May faces Tory REBELLION as Boris Johnson leads 'hard Brexit' group | UK | News | Daily Express
Brexit camp abandons £350m-a-week NHS funding pledge | Politics | The Guardian

... how is the South-West responding?

Where next with Brexit: 'No' to second referendum as Government accused of 'waffling'

By WMNKLangston | Posted: September 06, 2016

MPs were unimpressed by Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis

Theresa May's new minister for Brexit has come under fire for a lackluster performance in the Commons, with one Devon MP describing his inaugural speech as "one of the worst" he can remember.

Yorkshire MP David Davis made his first Parliamentary appearance in the new role on Monday, promising to "update" MPs on the progress of his department.

But he has been accused of delivering "15 minutes of meaningless waffle" after failing to provide any new details of the Government's plans for leaving the EU.

"David Davis' debut at the despatch box was one of the worst I can remember. It was a mixture of pomposity and vacuity," said Labour MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw. "We were promised details of the Government's plan for Brexit, but got 15 minutes of meaningless waffle. He wasn't able to answer the simplest questions.

"Theresa May provided more detail during her visit to China, when she made clear there won't be a points' based immigration system, £250 million per week extra for our NHS or a cut in VAT on fuel – the three main promises made by the Leave campaign in the Referendum.

"What people and businesses in Exeter want is some idea where this is going and for the Government to get a grip. But it's clear we've been sold a pup and the Government still doesn't have a clue."

Theresa May established the role of Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union following her appointment as Prime Minister in July. The minister is responsible for drawing up Brexit policy, conducting negotiations and coordinating any cross-Government work.

Mr Davis' speech on Monday was expected to shed new light on Government's priorities over the coming months, including policies on immigration and trade. But the he went little further than confirming that Brexit "simply... means leaving the European Union".

Brexit campaigner and North Cornwall MP Scott Mann used the opportunity to ask the Secretary of State about his plan for fisheries. He admitted he was hoping to see "one or two announcements about what we're specifically looking for", but said it was important not to "rush" the process.

"We need to put some meat on the bone as we progress to Article 50... but we need to make sure we get it right," he said. "We don't want to rush into the extrication process with what we are trying to achieve unclear.

Scott Mann

"At the moment David is setting up his department, making sure he's got the right special advisors in place... The general public want us to start this process as speedily as possible, but its important to get the right deal."

Commenting on the speech, fellow Brexit supporter and St Ives MP Derek Thomas said it would be "fair" to describe it as vague.

But he argued it was "unrealistic" to expect one of the "greatest negotiations... in UK history" be to at an advanced level by the beginning of September.

"I think David Davis was clear about the direction of travel," he said. "It was also clear... that front bench are untied on it."

Ministers say no to second referendum backed by 9,000 Plymothians

Ministers have ruled out the possibility of a second referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union, despite a 4 million-strong petition calling for a re-run.

The campaign for a second vote was launched on June 25th - the day after the referendum result was revealed - passing the 3 million signature mark just two days later.

But during a Parliamentary debate in response to the petition, minister for Exiting the European Robin Walker confirmed there "will be no second referendum, no attempts to remain inside the EU [and] no attempts to re-join through the back door".

"Like many people who signed the petition, though by no means all of them, I campaigned for a different outcome," he said.

"But I also spoke out repeatedly in the House, both before and during the passage of the legislation for the referendum, about trusting the people on this matter.

"This was a once-in-a-generation vote and the decision must be respected."

By the time the debate took place on Monday, 4,145, 024 people had signed the petition.

Almost 9,300 Plymouth residents added their names to the document - roughly 4.5% of constituents.

A similar number of Exeter residents signed the petition, as did 8,366 people in the Truro and Falmouth constituency.

Where next with Brexit: 'No' to second referendum as Government accused of 'waffling' | Plymouth Herald

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