Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Brexit: and voices across the political divide in Devon

Today's the day and Exeter's sitting MP has something to say about it:

A Brexit Day letter from Ben Bradshaw

By Devon Live | Posted: March 29, 2017

By Ben Bradshaw

So, Article 50 has been triggered and the Government now begins the task of trying to extract us from the European Union.

Invoking Article 50 was the easy bit. Ministers now face the most difficult and complicated negotiations ever undertaken by a country in modern peacetime. And it's us against 27.

In her letter to the rest of the EU, Mrs May adopted a more emollient tone than that struck recently by some of her Brextremist colleagues and their cheerleaders in the anti-European press. This includes a recognition that we face liabilities, which we will have to honour before leaving, an acknowledgement that the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice may have to continue in some form, as least for a transitional period, if trade is not going to be severely affected and the ditching of the threat to remove rights from EU nationals arriving here from now on.

For their part, the other EU Governments in their reply are likely to insist that the issue of UK liabilities, the rights of EU nationals living here and British nationals living on the Continent and that of borders – particularly the border between Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland are settled, before talks on our future relationship, including trade, begin.

This is also a period of danger. Up until now, Brexit has been a British domestic issue and Mrs May has dominated. But now she loses control of the process and the agenda. If she compromises, which she will have to do, in the national interest, she will face accusations of "betrayal" from her hard right MPs and the Brextremist press. These modern wreckers have been quite open about their enthusiasm for walking away without a deal, which would be disastrous for jobs, living standards and security for years to come.

As the implications of such a dirty, chaotic Brexit or even the hard Brexit being pursued by Mrs May – outside the Single Market and Customs Union – begin to dawn, reality will bite. Businesses and sectors that face losing most from tariffs and non-tariff barriers and have so far remained quiet in the hope that the Government will negotiate them a special deal. But they will break their silence once they realise no special sectoral deals are on offer. As the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has made clear to her own car makers and other manufacturers, maintaining the unity of the EU is more important to her and the other 26 than carving out and special deals for particular sectors.

Those of us who oppose a destructive hard Brexit will be working flat out to hold the Government to account. Brexit Secretary David Davis promised in January we will enjoy the "exact same benefits" when we leave the European Union as we do now. I'll be holding him to that.

There is a lot of water to flow under the Brexit bridge in the next 18 months and circumstances, including UK public opinion, could look very different then than they do now.


A Brexit Day letter from Ben Bradshaw | Devon Live

And Cullumpton's youngest councillor has something to say about Brexit too:

Get ’em in young: 18 year-old becomes UKIP’s youngest councillor

Jack Peat
March 28, 2017

Days after the resignation of their only MP Douglas Carswell UKIP seem to be scraping the barrel with an 18 year-old who was too young to even vote for Brexit last year. Councillor William Jones was co-opted to Cullompton Town Council at a full meeting last week.

He will sit as a UKIP representative in the Devon town after choosing the party he claims best represents the interests of young people.

The teen, an apprentice junior surveyor at Mid Devon District Council said he would have voted for Leave but was not old enough at the time of the EU Referendum. He has also called for unity within the country this week as the Government triggers Article 50.

Will said: “At the age of 17 I couldn’t have voted for Brexit, but I would have done if I could. At the end of the day we’ve got a 52 per cent majority for Brexit so Theresa May is going to trigger Article 50.

“Remainers and leavers need to come together to get the best result for Britain. I think at the moment things are also going quite well for UKIP to be honest. We got the referendum result that we wanted and it’s our job now to keep pressing the Conservatives and Theresa May so that she does evoke Article 50 and goes through with it.”



Will, of Cullompton, is already being scouted by UKIP South West representatives and will be standing in the next Devon County Council election.

Others within the party are suggesting he could even stand as an MP.

He added: “In our age group these days, with the younger demographic there are just not enough young people getting into politics, especially on a local government level. I am hoping to bring the youth’s voice and hoping to bridge the gap between young people and the older demographic.”

Tony McIntyre, UKIP chairman for Tiverton & Honiton and the South West said: “He will be standing for Devon County, how he’ll get on, we’ll have to wait and see. We have been screaming as a party for youth. Youth is going to have an impact and here he is, he’s walked into our door and he’s very interested.

“He came down to our conference, met the people there in Weymouth and everybody is very impressed. The sky is the limit with what he could achieve. He’s 18, so let’s see if he continues with his enthusiasm. Certainly at the next general election I will be pressing for him to find out what it’s like to stand as an MP.”



Get 'em in young: 18 year-old becomes UKIP's youngest councillor - The London Economic
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