Diane James is named as UKIP’s new Party Leader

SOURCE: BBC

The Greens have named Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley as their co-leaders, Labour will announce there’s soon and now UKIP have named Diane James as their newly elected Party Leader.

UK politics has officially been ‘re-designed’ post voting to exit from the EU, with a completely new direction as to where the UK goes and how it’s governed.

The news of Diane James’ victory for UKIP leadership came yesterday at UKIP’s party conference yesterday.

Below outlines the results:

Diane James 8,451
Lisa Duffy 4,591
Bill Etheridge 2,052
Phillip Broughton 1,544
Elizabeth Jones 1,203

Source: BBC 2016

New leader Diane James, a prominent Vote Leave campaigner,  stated in her opening speech that the Prime Minster Theresa May has to “get on with getting the UK out of the EU”.

Ms James had been strongly regarded as the favourite to succeed Nigel Farage, who has quit as it’s leader following the UK’s vote to leave the EU. He feels that his ‘job is done’ and he has ‘given his all to the party’.

MEP Ms James, won with 8,451 votes, ahead of Lisa Duffy in 2nd, who received 4,591.

She said UKIP was “the opposition party in waiting” and said the Tories “cannot be trusted with true Brexit”.

“The threats to the referendum outcome are increasing by the day,” she said, adding she would reject “Brexit-lite”.

UKIP is known to now be the ‘face of UK Euroscepticism’ for nearly two decades. Mr Farage bows out by helping turn UKIP from a fringe party, into one of the biggest parties in UK politics – in terms of votes at the 2015 general election. He also independently helped towards persuading more than 17 million people to vote to leave the EU.

Ms James further said that UKIP had “moved mountains on the political landscape” and was the “change movement of the United Kingdom”.  She quotes: “I believe in UKIP’s values of liberty, common sense, democracy and pragmatic approaches to the challenges this country faces.”

She ended by telling the party conference that she might use ‘different language’ and be ‘less frank’ than Mr Farage, but she would be honest and “uphold all the beliefs and values that this party stands for”.

When directing this at the Prime Minister, she said: “If you’re watching this afternoon, you’ll be watching the opposition party in waiting.”

What do you make of UKIP’s newly elected leader Diane James?

Will she hold the government into account for Brexit? Will she be a good leader for UKIP? What will she put onto the table for UK politics in the ear of Article 50 and Brexit?

Comment your views on Diane James and UKIP below 

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Labour Leadership Candidate Owen Smith states he would ‘consider rejoining the EU’ if Prime Minister

SOURCE: BBC

Owen Smith, one of two Labour leadership hopefuls, the other being the current leader Jeremy Corbyn,  has told Andrew Marr – host of the Andrew Marr show, that he would “consider applying to rejoin the EU if he became prime minister”, when the UK had already left.

It was stated by Mr Smith with reasoning that he “could support the move if the UK was in recession or the NHS was on its knees”.

It is publicly known that he has previously called for the public to ‘have a say’ on the terms of the UK’s Brexit deal.

Furthermore, Mr Smith has also promised to fight towards a general election happening, making a “really strong case for us to stay” in the EU.

However, if the current Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggers Brexit using Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty next year, it means the UK will have inevitably left the bloc before the next scheduled general election in 2020.

Also speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Smith – who is openly emphasising himself as ‘more pro-EU’ than current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – said it “was hard to answer a ‘hypothetical question’ about what he would do if he took over with the UK already outside the EU.”

However, he said if the “price of staying out” would cause something as catastrophic as a recession or damage to the NHS – “then I think the sensible and responsible thing for a Labour government to do is to say we are better off in the European Union”.

Despite the 23rd June referendum result to leave the EU, Mr Smith predicted “we will be telling a very different story to the British people” sometime in the future, if people’s well-beings and lives are suffering as a result of brexit.

He finally reiterated his open calls for a second referendum or a snap general election – to formally take place before the UK leaves the EU – on the terms agreed for Brexit.

What do you make of Owen Smiths comments on the possibility of him processing a UK re-entrance into the EU, if elected as PM?

Will this be undemocratic on his behalf to do considering the EU referendum result to leave winning by 3.8%? Will he ever be the PM? Will he beat Jeremy Corbyn to become Labours new leader?

Comment your views on Owen Smith’s ideas and chances of being PM or Labour leader below

Theresa May reportedly rejects Australian Points-Based system used for EU nationals

SOURCE: BBC

The Australian Points-Based System in which Vote Leave campaigners constantly addressed to be the way in which the UK would assess and bring in other EU nationals post-brexit was today declined as appropriate by the Prime Minister Theresa May.

Her reported rejection towards this particular immigration system came within China, where the PM has reportedly denied she had ‘gone soft’ on migration and further stated that people backed Brexit because they wanted ‘an element of control’.

She further stated that a points-based model “would not let the government control arrivals”.

The Ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage said many people had voted Leave because of this policy, also verbally backed by others such as Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.

Although it was known that Mrs May supported remaining in the EU, she has constantly stated that the Brexit vote “must be respected” and further suggested that “curbs on the current free movement of EU citizens into the UK would be a red line in future negotiations with the EU”.

Speaking to multiple journalists and news reporters in China, she dismissed Vote Leave’s proposal of an ‘Australian-style points system’ that would ultimately decide the number of ‘skilled and unskilled’ workers who could come to live and work in the UK every year from the EU and beyond – with numbers to be determined by MPs.

Mrs May highlighted that rather than giving the government control, such a system would “allow anybody into the UK if they met the criteria”, also adding that curbs on student visas had “been a more effective measure to reduce immigration.”

Mrs May also indicated that EU citizens may continue to have their rights to live and work in the UK after Brexit.

What do you make of Theresa May rejecting this particular system of tackling Immigration?

How else can the UK deal with it’s Immigration levels? Is this Australian system the best option for the UK? If you voted to leave the EU, how much did immigration play upon your reasons to vote leave? Was it the major reason behind why you voted to leave?

To find out more about the Australian-Points system, go to this following link. 

Comment your views on how the UK should deal with it’s immigration below

Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley elected as the Green Party’s new co-leaders

SOURCE: BBC

After a summer of uncertainty across all UK political parties, democracy is finally starting to re-shape itself by closing in on new leaders, new policies and new goals in a post-EU era.

The tories have Theresa May, The liberal Democrats have Tim Farron and Labour are narrowed down to either Jeremy Corbyn (current leader of the opposition) and Owen Smith – the challenger to the UK socialist throne.

Looking towards the UK’s ‘smaller’ parties (based on membership amounts and parliamentary elections votes from 2015) we looks towards UKIP and the Greens who are appointing their new respective leaders.

UKIP still have theirs to announce, however on the 2nd of September – The Green Party announced Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley as it’s new co-leaders ahead of the 2020 general election in a ‘job-sharing agreement’.

The two saw off other competition from five others in order to succeed former leader Natalie Bennett, who is stood down after four years in charge.

Ms Lucas, the Greens’ only MP in the constituency of Brighton, was leader of the party between 2008 and 2012, while Mr Bartley is the party’s work and pensions spokesman.

The two said the joint election showed the party was “not bound by tradition”.

Their joint ticket took 13,570 – 88% – of the 15,467 votes cast.

The announcement was made at the party’s autumn conference in Birmingham, at which Amelia Womack was also elected deputy leader.

The other respective candidates in the election were former election candidate Simon Cross, long-serving member Clive Lord, film-maker David Malone, parish councillor Martie Warin and David Williams, who leads the Green group on Oxfordshire County Council.

In the speech after the announcement of the two winning – Ms Lucas explained environmental protections, workers rights, guarantees for EU citizens already living in the UK and a “culture of free movement” should be at the heart of the UK’s Brexit settlement – the terms of which she said should be put to a second referendum.

She won applause from the party faithful for her comments on “the greatest threat to our security today – the accelerating climate crisis” saying fossil fuels should be left “where they belong… in the ground”. “No fracking, no nuclear, no compromise,” she added, to big cheers from the audience.

What do you make of the Greens new appointments?

Will the Greens now have a strong leadership in order to build the party further and beat their 2015 General Election results come 2020? Will they help to rise the parties popularity? How will they effect brexit negotiations?

Comment your views on the Greens new party leaders below

Brexit will go ahead, Government Officials announce

SOURCE: BBC

Today, the government have announced that it will ‘push ahead’ and start to work towards triggering Brexit without Parliamentary approval, according to Downing Street officials.

The statement comes after Theresa May’s cabinet gathered at Chequers (the Prime Ministers Country Escape), and after discussions ended, it was announced at Number 10 that an agreement between collective cabinet ministers that their is a need for a ‘unique’ deal for the UK to occur.

Furthermore, Mrs May told cabinet colleagues that their needs to be a focus on the ‘positive opportunities’ that lie outside the EU, as she reiterated there would be no second referendum.

The BBC have outlined that Mrs May has said the UK would not stay in the EU “by the back door”.

The Prime Minister has also said official talks with the rest of the EU will not begin this year.

The respective meeting at the PM’s country residence is clearly the most significant since the referendum vote in June to exit the EU. Despite reports of tensions and diverging priorities among key figures in the Cabinet, the process to leave will go ahead and the Referendum result will be respected.

Its reported that the Cabinet ministers were asked before their summer break’s to identify what were described as the “opportunities” best suited for their respective departments.

These talks are influential upon Mrs May’s empowering words that the government was clear that “Brexit means Brexit”.

She further commented in her speech that: “We will be looking at the next steps that we need to take and we will also be looking at the opportunities that are now open to us as we forge a new role for the UK in the world”

Despite these talks, the prime minister has said the UK government will not trigger Article 50 – the official mechanism for beginning the process of leaving the EU – ‘until the start of 2017 at the earliest.’

Once triggered, discussions over the terms of the UK’s exit will reportedly conclude in two years, unless all 28 members of the EU agree to extend them.

Wednesday’s cabinet meeting is seen as a major opportunity for Mrs May and senior colleagues to talk through the issues involved ahead of this weekend’s summit of G20 leaders in China.

What do you make of the Governments Brexit plans?

Is now the time to get the ball rolling with Brexit? How do you think the UK will negotiate it’s deals with the EU? What will the UK get out of these deals?

Comment your views on brexit below

Pro-Brexit MP Gisela Stuart claims ‘EU citizens are currently being left in limbo’ by the Government

SOURCE: BBC

One of the leading Vote Leave figures Gisela Stuart has said EU citizens in the UK have been “left in limbo” since the referendum result to leave the European Union.

Furthermore, the Labour MP is expected to head a research project on how to protect EU migrant rights after the UK leaves the EU.

It will be a cross-party inquiry for the British Future think tank to examine what kind of legal status’ could be granted to EU citizens in the UK, in time before the process to leave the EU starts by the inevitable triggering of Article 50.

Many Ministers have indicated strongly that they want to protect EU citizens’ status – as long as a reciprocal deal can be negotiated.

It’s reported that multiple MPs from all parties have attacked the government’s stance, saying people “are not bargaining chips”.

Ms Stuart, the former co-chair of the Vote Leave campaign, has stated the government should quickly outline that all EU citizens in the UK – about three million people – will be allowed to stay after Brexit.

She further states that the government should “take the initiative” and emphasize their intentions to protect UK-EU citizens’ rights and that it expected the same treatment for UK nationals abroad.

She also believes Ministers should demonstrate that leaving the EU “doesn’t mean that we’re ignoring people’s rights”.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron believes it’s “pretty shameful” for Ms Stuart to be “claiming to be worried” about the rights of EU citizens.

He said she had been part of a campaign that “whipped up anti-immigrant feeling” and “contributed to an increase of hate crimes against Europeans”.

“It is like the arsonist turning round and saying they are surprised that a fire took hold,” Mr Farron has said.

Lastly, David Davis, the newly named Brexit secretary by new Prime Minister Theresa May, will oversee the negotiations on the UK’s exit from the European Union, and has said that he wants to secure a “generous settlement” for both EU nationals in the UK, and British citizens abroad.

Ministers have said it would be “unwise” to fully “guarantee” EU citizens’ rights without a deal for Britons abroad.

What do you make of the uncertainty behind EU citizens rights living in the UK?

Do the government need to state and maintain transparent and accountable help towards EU migrants living in the UK quickly? Will the government fully help EU migrants living in the UK?

Comment your views on EU migrant rights below

Government ‘Guarantee’ post-EU funds after Brexit occurs

SOURCE: BBC

It has been announced today that EU funding, which the UK receives as a member that will consequently be lost after Brexit occurs, given to organisations involving farming, scientists and others, will be replaced by the Treasury, Chancellor Philip Hammond has said.

Brexit could cost up to £6bn a year in losses of funding, but the Treasury will guarantee to back EU-funded projects signed before this year’s Autumn Statement.

The BBC have stated that agricultural funding which is now provided by the EU will also continue until 2020.

However, critics said the guarantee does not go far enough and there was ‘continued uncertainty’.

Voters ultimately backed to leave the EU in the 23 June referendum by 3.8%, but Prime Minister Theresa May has indicated the UK government will not trigger Article 50, which would begin a two-year process to leave, during 2016.

Furthermore, Mr Hammond has said “EU structural and investment fund projects signed before the Autumn Statement later this year, and Horizon research funding granted before leaving the EU, will be guaranteed by the Treasury after the UK leaves.”

The BBC have also said ‘the EU’s 80bn euro (£69bn) Horizon 2020 programme awards funding for research and innovation and is open to UK institutions while the country remains a member.’

The chancellor responded to critics by saying the government was “determined to ensure that people have stability and certainty in the period leading up to our departure from the EU”.

The Treasury said it would assess whether to guarantee funding for certain other projects “that might be signed after the Autumn Statement, but while we remain a member of the EU”.

Currently, farmers receive subsidies and other payments under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

It’s said that they get about £3bn a year in subsidies, with the biggest farmers pocketing cheques of £1m. The grants are given for owning land and also taking care of wildlife.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said the Treasury’s announcement was “positive” for farming.

Other examples of projects that have received, or are due to receive regional development fund money, include:

  • £5m for the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre at the University of Manchester
  • £9m for the manufacturing growth programme to support areas in the Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber and the East of England
  • £3m for a new life sciences incubation and innovation centre at Porton Down in Wiltshire

(BBC 2016)

Reportedly, the UK currently pays money into the EU budget, which will stop once it formally leaves.

In 2015 the UK Government paid in £13bn; EU spending on the UK was £4.5bn, meaning the UK’s net contribution was estimated at about £8.5bn, or £161m a week.

The UK private sector receives a further £1-1.5bn annually in EU funding.

What do you make of the Governments post-EU promisees?

Is the affordable for the UK to do? Will this mean Taxation and further Austerity cuts? Are these promises realistic?

Comment below your views on the post-EU funding plans

Russia-UK Relations to Improve?: May and Putin ‘pledge to improve ties’

SOURCE: BBC

Theresa May has, according to the BBC, made contact with the Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate a better relationship between the UK and Russia. 

It’s reported that both leaders have expressed dissatisfaction with UK-Russian relations, and pledged to improve ties, the Kremlin state.

A Downing Street spokeswoman has said that they (May and Putin) have agreed that co-operation on aviation security was a ‘vital part of efforts to fight terrorism.’

The two leaders will meet to talk about building stronger ties at the G20 summit of world leaders in China next month.

The relations between the two countries have been strained overtime, particularly following the UK inquiry which blamed the 2006 poisoning death of former spy Alexander Litvinenko on Russian agents and said it was ‘probably’ approved by Mr Putin.

Other contentious topics have included Russia’s support for the Syrian regime, the annexation of Crimea and fighting in Ukraine, and western sanctions against Russia.

A Downing Street spokeswoman confirmed that the leaders discussed common security threats faced by both countries.

She said: “The prime minister noted the importance of the relationship between the UK and Russia and expressed the hope that, despite differences on certain issues, they could communicate in an open and honest way about the issues that mattered most to them.

The two leaders agreed to develop a “dialogue between their security agencies on issues relating to aviation security”, the Kremlin said.

The Russian government also said Mrs May confirmed the UK’s intention to participate in the 75th anniversary of the first arrival of wartime aid by British convoys to the Russian city of Arkhangelsk, later this month.

How positive are you towards the potential improvement of UK-Russia relations?

Will this be a vital step forward to secure european peace between two major european players? How will America react to this after the past feuds they’ve had with Russia? Will the two nations be able to find common ground and create strong ties between one another?

Comment your views below

The UK interest rates are cut to 0.25%

SOURCE: BBC

It was announced recently that the UK interest rates have now been cut from 0.5% to 0.25% by the Bank of England, which is a record low and the first cut since 2009.

Furthermore, the Bank of England has also signalled that rates could go lower if the economy worsens.

The BBC have stated that the Bank of England has also announced that ‘additional measures to stimulate the UK economy, including a £100bn scheme to force banks to pass on the low interest rate to households and businesses.’

It’s said that it will also buy £60bn of UK government bonds and £10bn of corporate bonds.

Governor Mark Carney said there was scope to cut the interest rate further.

He said that a majority of the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) backed another cut if subsequent data showed the economy was deteriorating.

The governor additionally stated that banks have ‘no excuse’ not to pass on the lower borrowing costs to customers and will be charged a penalty if they fail to do so.

“The MPC is determined that the stimulus the economy needs does not get diluted as it passes through the financial system” – Governor Carney.

The Bank also announced the biggest cut to its growth forecasts since it started making them in 1993.

It has reduced its growth prediction for 2017 from the 2.3% it was expecting in May to 0.8%.

Mr Carney that the decision to leave the EU marked a ‘regime change’ in which the UK would “redefine its openness to the movements of goods, services, people and capital”.

How will the Interests rates effect you?

Here is a link  by the BBC that runs over a few things.

Here is a breakdown to what they think.

Mortgages

They claim that a mortgage is by “far the biggest debt taken on by the majority of households in the UK.”

It’s said that an estimated ‘11.1 million households have one.’ The typical amount still left to pay on each home loan in the UK is £116,000, according to the Council for Mortgage Lenders.

Some Banks have quickly announced that they would “pass the cut on in full from September, with others expected to follow suit.” The BBC have also said that a “separate scheme announced by the Bank – called the Term Funding Scheme – is designed to ensure that banks pass on the rate cut.”

There are those on fixed rate mortgages – equating to nearly half (46%) of all mortgage holders.

They will see no change. However, if their mortgage term is up soon, they may find they pay less if and when they sign up to a new one. Fixed mortgage rates on new deals have been falling – even when there was no change to the Bank rate.

An increasing number of people have signed up to longer term fixed rate deals – locking them in for up to 10 years. For them, this change is fairly irrelevant.

Savings

The BBC supposedly say that the theory of a Bank rate cut is that “consumers see a cut in their mortgage bill, and a worsening return on their savings, so they go out and spend.” Hence, there is a boost to the economy and the same goes for businesses who will be more minded to invest.

That is the relatively simplistic explanation but it does make it clear that a Bank rate cut is bad for savers.

So overall as an example, “for anyone with £10,000 saved in such an account, they will receive £40 a year in gross interest, which is £25 less than before the cut.”

Pensions

The Bank of England also added further stimulus measures to the rate cut – namely, the purchase of government and corporate bonds. So as the BBC state, this will have no effect on the state pension.

It will, however, add extra pressure on the deficits facing defined benefit pension schemes, such as final-salary pensions, putting increased pressure on businesses to plug that gap or reduce the availability of such pensions.

Holiday money

The decision by the Bank of England has led to a fall in the value of the pound, meaning exchange rates will be more expensive.

What do you make of the BBC’s articles and the interest rate cuts?

Is this all due to the aftermath of Brexit? Will cutting interest rates help stabilise the economy? Do you think that interest rates will fall further?

Comment below your views on the interest rates cut and the BBC’s articles below

UKIP Leadership Race: Steven Woolfe Excluded From The Race After Late Application

SOURCE: BBC

By September, there will be leadership elections for Labour, The Greens and UKIP after the backlash of the EU Referendum sparked resignations and inner party conflicts (apart from the Greens who’s leader Natalie Bennett decided to step down before the EU Referendum).

The Conservatives also were expected to have a new leader in September, however one of the two in the Tory race Andrea Leadsom stood down from the race, meaning Theresa May became the new Prime Minister and Conservative Party Leader.

The article specifically delves upon UKIP’s race, a growing story after being shadowed by the recent Labour Party feuds effecting Jeremy Corbyn as leader, with votes of no confidence given to him by his own MP’s after their public disapproval over his Referendum performance was clearly shown.

Ms Angela Eagle, the former Shadow Business Secretary prompted the backlash through announcing her bid to become Labour Leader. Owen Smith, the current and only person challenging Corbyn to become Labour Leader, then shortly stepped up to the chase in being the new Labour Leader.

However, Angela Eagle stood down from the race, leaving only Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn, the current leader, to battle it out for Labour Leadership Status.

So now the Tory race it well and truly over, and the labour leadership race has quietened down slightly, UKIP have no become the news/public eye for leadership races.

Recently, the main UKIP leadership hopeful Steven Woolfe has been ruled ‘ineligible’ to stand in the contest to replace Nigel Farage – after he submitted his papers late. It was reported to be around 17 minutes late. 

This is big news, because according to the BBC, the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) said it had voted by a ‘clear majority’ to exclude Mr Woolfe – previously seen as the frontrunner.

The MEP said he was ‘extremely disappointed’ by the decision, and three NEC members have quit in protest.

So here are the list of people who are on the UKIP ballot:

  • Jonathan Arnott
  • Bill Etheridge
  • Diane James
  • Lisa Duffy
  • Phillip Broughton
  • Elizabeth Jones

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Woolfe said he believed the NEC had ‘their own reasons’ for excluding him from the ballot, but implied it could have been linked to the fact he was committed to abolishing the executive.

The winner of the leadership contest – which was sparked by Mr Farage’s decision to stand down after the UK voted to leave the EU – is scheduled to be announced on 15 September.

Finally, In a statement announcing the final line-up, the party said: “By a clear majority of NEC members Steven Woolfe MEP’s application was considered to be ineligible as a result of a late submission and as such he did not meet the eligibility criteria.”

What do you make of the recent UKIP leadership movements?

Should Steven Woolfe have been accepted as a candidate, despite handing his application in late? What do you make of the current nominations list? Who do you think will win the UKIP leadership race?

Comment below your views on the UKIP leadership race