Rebel Alliance to the rescue - political parties working together to prevent Tory abuse of power
This week the UK has been saved by the Rebel Alliance - isn't that a wonderful name! Actually politics does seem a bit like Star Wars at the moment, Cllr Dr Wendy Taylor, LIberal Democrats parliamentary candidate for Newcatle East, told a public meeting at the Monument in Newcastle this wekend. She went on :
People often say that politicians should work together for the good of the country and that's exactly what has happened this week. I've been inspired to see Liberal Democrats, Labour, Green, Plaid Cymru, SNP, independents and moderate Conservative MPs and peers coming together to prevent one of worst abuses of power this country has ever seen.
Boris Johnson seems determined to force the UK to crash out of the EU. He still seems to believe that the EU will back down at the last minute, but we all know that won't happen. And he doesn't have a plan B. To achieve his aim he decided to shut down the democratically elected Parliament for 5 weeks at a time when the UK is trying to deal with a vital issue that could affect all of us for generations. It was an utterly disgraceful manoeuvre and I'm disappointed it hasn't been found to be illegal. Now he's trying to force a GE on Oct 15th. But the rebel alliance has upset his plans with the bill that was passed yesterday to prevent a No Deal Brexit and by refusing to have a GE before an extension has been agree with the EU. Parliament has taken back control from a dysfunctional, extremist, minority Government with no mandate for what they are trying to do. To those who tell us this is undemocratic and ignores the will of the people, I'd point out that we would already have left the EU if members of the current Government hadn't decided to vote against Teresa May's deal. I'm delighted we haven't left the EU, but it's actually their fault
This week we've also seen 21 Tory MPs decide to put their country first against the wishes of their party and in full knowledge that this could mean the end of their careers and their livelihood. I probably don't agree with them on most other issues, but I think we should all applaud their courage It was appalling that they were thrown out of the Conservative party and I bet Mr Johnson is now regretting that action.
So why should we be so pleased that a No Deal Brexit has been averted. Crashing out of Europe isn't an outcome anyone voted for and would be disastrous for the UK and especially for us in the North East
I'm a doctor and I'd like to concentrate of what crashing out of Europe would mean for health. Just a few days ago the BMA, a highly respected organisation, published a report called leaving the EU without a deal is a leap in the dark
The report says" We know current preparations for no deal are inadequate. This is exemplified by the millions of pounds wasted when the government mishandled a procurement contract for medicine supplies after Brexit, which included contracting with a shipping company with no ships. The government talks of "turbo charging" preparations to leave without a deal, supported by a major information campaign to prepare business and the public for such an event, but leaked documents and informed analysis contradict public reassurances, highlighting the risk of serious damage including, but not limited to, consumer panic, trade disruption, and financial market volatility.
The report also points out that in the 46 years that the UK has been a member of the EU, almost every aspect of life has been guided by European laws and policies. So, any analysis of the effect of leaving must, of necessity, be both partial and simplified. But the risks the BMA see are a series of losses.
• Loss of money, as the economy contracts and the prices of imported goods rise
• Loss of people, as a consequence of reduced migration of key workers from EU countries
• Loss of government capacity, as the civil service, already depleted by many years of cutbacks, is diverted to managing the consequences of Brexit
• Loss of access to European institutions, many of which fulfil roles that will need to be recreated by government, such as for approval of medicines
• Loss of the rules by which international trade takes place, and which have evolved enormously to allow for the free movement of goods and services within the EU
• Loss of societal norms, such as trust in government that could pave the way for civil disorder, especially in the face of shortages of food and medicines. And related to this is the threat, recently highlighted by the police in Northern Ireland, of increased violence there as paramilitary groups exploit community tensions encouraged by Brexit.
Among the other areas affected by Brexit that have implications for health, the most important is government finances, with consequences for areas as diverse as welfare, industrial policy, local government, social care, and the NHS. The others are trade, law and order, food and agriculture and infrastructure problems which have serious health implications, such as water and transport.
So the BMA is calling on the government to be honest and spell out the many threats a no deal Brexit poses for health.
But of course stopping us crashing out of the EU is just the first step.
I'm a Liberal Democrat and a proud European. My mother came to this country as a refugee from Nazi Germany, so I feel particularly strongly about the 74years of peace the EU has helped ensure. I'm sure she's turning in her grave over what is happening to her country. I firmly believe that Britain is stronger in Europe and will continue to everything I can to Stop Brexit. Whether it's via a general election or a People's Vote I will be campaigning all out for Remain. Lets' all work together for that aim. So let's hear you shout
Bollocks to Brexit!