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

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

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

G20 announce that Global Economic Risks have ‘heightened’ due to Brexit

SOURCE: BBC

After the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, risks to the world economy have heightened, according to the global finance chiefs at the end of the G20 summit in China.

The outcome of last month’s EU referendum ‘adds to the uncertainty’ for the global economy, the group of the world’s 20 largest economies further said.

“In the future, we hope to see the UK as a close partner of the EU,” the G20 collectively said.

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond revealed the subject had come up ‘a great deal’ at the two-day talks.

“The reality is there will be a measure of uncertainty continuing right up to the conclusion of our negotiations with the EU,” Philip Hammond told reporters.

Following the meeting in the Chinese city of Chengdu, the G20 group said it was well placed to actively cope with the potential economic and financial impact from the Brexit vote.

However, despite the threats the G20 agreed that despite the Brexit vote, the global economy ‘would improve in 2016 and 2017’, Mr Weidmann (the president of Germany’s central bank) said.

Separately, G20 policymakers said they recognised that excess steel supply was a global issue.

The excess capacity of steel has had a negative impact on trade and workers and requires a collective response, they said.

It was also announced that Britain’s decision to leave the EU has led to a ‘dramatic deterioration’ in economic activity, not seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Data from IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, shows a fall to 47.7 in July, the lowest level since April in 2009. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

What do you make of these announcements by the G20? 

Has the Brexit warnings by the Stronger In campaigners become a fact? Will the economy suffer heavily from a brexit? If so, will it be able to grow again by 2017?

Comment below your views on Brexit’s outcomes and a potential global economy suffering the G20 have announced as a result of brexit

David Cameron steps down as PM as Theresa May immediatley takes over

SOURCE: BBC

Today the Prime Minister David Cameron resigned from his post after accepting his defeat in the EU Referendum and choosing to inevitably step down for another to become leader. That person who won the chance to become the new Prime Minister was Theresa May just days after becoming one of two potential successors in what was going to be a head-to-head race to the leadership with Andrea Leadsman.

However, Ms Leadsom chose to stand down from the race on Monday, allowing the only remaining candidate, the former Home Secretary and party-popular Theresa May to win the race early, thus becoming Conservative part leader and Prime Minister.

In her first speech outside downing street as Prime Minister, she announced according to the BBC that she vowed to create a country that works for all not just the ‘privileged few’ and that it’s ”her mission to ‘build a better Britain’.

She further promised to give people who were ‘just managing’ and ‘working around the clock’ more control over their lives.

Mrs May is the UK’s second female prime minister, after Margaret Thatcher.

So what is on her to do list over the next few months?

  • Form a Cabinet: Mrs May will have to choose who she sits alongside around the Cabinet table. The most important appointments – chancellor, foreign secretary and home secretary – are expected to be announced on Wednesday with a fuller government reshuffle following over the next couple of days.
  • Trident Renewal: Her first meeting will be to discuss the Trident renewal and whether the UK should pay to renew it’s trident regimes. A very delicate subject to discuss and vote on.
  • Brexit Talks: Obviously, the UK has voted to leave the EU and she will now have to lead the talks on when article 50 should be triggered to get the process moving. She will have to also appoint a expert team into helping with negotiations in what will be a very firm brussels to negotiate with.
  • Clarify when the next General Election is: Theresa May has already said that she doesn’t want to have a snap general election due to it’s negative effects on an already ‘uncertain’ and ‘unstable’ economy. She will expected to announced the next general election to be held in 2020 as planned before.

What are your views of Theresa May becoming Prime Minister?

Is she the right choice? Will she succeed in the role? Will she successfully lead the UK out of the EU with the best possible outcomes such as gaining free trade? What did you make of David Cameron’s 6 year stint as Prime Minister?

Comment below YOUR views on Theresa May and David Cameron

Parliament to debate the 2nd EU Referendum Petition

SOURCE: BBC

After an online petition calling for a 2nd EU referendum which was signed over 4.1 million times, way over the 100,000 debating limit, Parliament have announced that a debate will be held come September 5th.

The petition was originally rejected by the website, saying ‘we must respect the result and prepare for brexit’ Here is a quote from the petitions website:

”As the Prime Minister made clear in his statement to the House of Commons on 27 June, the referendum was one of the biggest democratic exercises in British history with over 33 million people having their say. The Prime Minister and Government have been clear that this was a once in a generation vote and, as the Prime Minister has said, the decision must be respected. We must now prepare for the process to exit the EU and the Government is committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for the British people in the negotiations.”

They have since stated:

”The Petitions Committee has decided to schedule a House of Commons debate on this petition. The debate will take place on 5 September at 4.30pm in Westminster Hall, the second debating chamber of the House of Commons. The debate will be opened by Ian Blackford MP.”

The UK voted to leave the EU by 52% to 48% in the referendum on 23 June.

The petition, set up on 25 May before the referendum, states: “We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the Remain or Leave vote is less than 60%, based on a turnout of less than 75%, there should be another referendum.”

What’s your view of this referendum petition?

Should there be a 2nd EU Referendum? Should brexit be respected and allowed to process? Will the debate be worthwhile and what will the result of it be?

Comment below your views of the 2nd EU Referendum debate scheduled for September

Is Theresa May the front favourite for Conservative Leadership?

Source: BBC, The Courier

Theresa May has had a boost to her tory leadership campaign, due to being reported as the favourite candidate on offer in the Conservative party.

In a recent interview on Peston (ITV), Theresa May has ”rejected rivals’ claims that the next Tory leader must have supported a Leave vote in the EU referendum – saying people want more than ‘a Brexit prime minister’.”

Furthermore, the home secretary promised to bring the Remain and Leave sides together and ‘govern for the whole country’.

However, pro eurosceptics Andrea Leadsom and Michael Gove both said the winning candidate must have backed Brexit. All of the candidates have been setting out their reasons to become conservative leader in a series of interviews.

The justice secretary Michael Gove, has stated according to the BBC, what his tactics are in the face of criticism, by telling Andrew Marr it would have been a “betrayal of this country” if he had allowed Boris Johnson to run for PM after claims he backstabbed Boris in the race for leadership.

The leadership contest has started due too the current PM David Cameron’s decision to step down by October after he was defeated in the EU referendum.

Like the PM, Mrs May campaigned for a Remain vote, saying during the campaign EU membership made the UK more secure. However, she was less vocal and has been linked to having eurosceptic thoughts about the EU.

But she further told ITV’s Peston on Sunday it was “not a question of ‘what was your view 10 days ago'”, promising to reconcile both sides of the debate and ‘move forwards’.

While talks to extract the UK from the EU and to strike trade deals would be “hugely important”, she said people were “not looking for a prime minister who is just a Brexit prime minister, but a prime minister who can govern for the whole of the country”.

The home secretary has a comfortable lead among MP nominations over her rivals Mrs Leadsom, Mr Gove, Stephen Crabb and Liam Fox.

She has also stated in her interview that if she was to become the new Tory leader, thus simultaneously the new PM, no new general election would take place soon because it may cause further disruption to the Economy and UK jobs during the process.

What do you make of the reports about Theresa May being the favourite for Conservative leadership?

Is she the best person in place to be the new Prime Minister? Are Andrea Leadsom and Michael Gove trying to simply boost their chance of being PM by saying only brexit campaigners should win the Tory Leadership election? Who do you think will become the new Conservative Leader?

Comment below YOUR views on Theresa May and the Conservatives leadership election