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I have a burning need to know stuff and I love asking awkward questions.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Rule of Law.

Brexit: Theresa May insists government 'getting on with it'.

Theresa May has insisted the government is "getting on" with Brexit, following a High Court ruling that Parliament must vote on when the formal process of leaving the EU can get under way. The prime minister urged MPs and peers to "remember" the referendum result. UKIP leader Nigel Farage warned of protests on the streets if the decision in favour of Brexit was ignored. But the campaigner who brought the High Court case said it would stop ministers acting like a "tin-pot dictatorship". Judges ruled on Thursday that Parliament should vote on when the government could trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Mrs May has promised to get this done by the end of next March. The government argues ministers already have the powers - under the Royal Prerogative - to trigger Article 50 without MPs and peers having a vote. It has vowed to fight to get the ruling overturned next month in the Supreme Court.

Speaking on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show, Gina Miller, the investment manager who was the lead claimant in the High Court case against the government, said: "Everyone in this country should be my biggest fan, because we have used our own money to create certainty about the way ahead." She added: "Do we want a country where we have no process? The case is that [Mrs May] cannot use something called the Royal Prerogative to do it because we do not live in a tin-pot dictatorship," Ms Miller said. But Mr Farage said the court's decision meant the country was faced with "half Brexit", adding that the "reach of the European Union into the upper echelons of this country makes it quite difficult for us to trust the judgement". He warned: "If the people of this country think that they're going to be cheated, they're going to be betrayed, then we will see political anger, the likes of which none of us in our lifetimes have ever witnessed." Asked if there was a danger of disturbances in the street, he replied: "Yes, I think that's right." Mr Farage said: "The temperature of this is very, very high. I'm going to say to everyone who was on the Brexit side, 'Let's try and get even. Let's have peaceful protests and let's make sure, in any form of election, we don't support people who want to overturn this process.'" The row has escalated in recent days, with several newspapers being highly critical of the judges who made the decision, the Daily Mail branding them "Enemies of the people".

Walkers and Birds Eye set to raise prices as pound weakens.

Walkers and Birds Eye are set to raise the prices of some items due to the falling strength of the pound. The pound has fallen 18% against the US dollar since June's UK Brexit vote. Walkers, owned by US giant PepsiCo, says "the weakened value of the pound" is affecting the import cost of some of its materials. Birds Eye, owned by New York-listed Nomad Foods, says its products are priced in dollars, so the pound's fall means sterling costs have risen. Walkers and Birds Eye want to increase the price they charge retailers for their products, but it will be up to the supermarkets whether or not to pass these onto consumers. Last month, food giant Unilever raised the wholesale price of many household products after falls in the value of sterling increased the cost of products made outside the UK. Walkers said it was making "selective cost price changes across our portfolio", including raising the price of standard and grab bag products. It said the move was part of ongoing reviews of its price and promotion schemes. The firm said in a statement that "fluctuating foreign exchange rates" were among the factors involved. A Walkers spokesman told the Press Association that a 32g standard bag was set to increase from 50p to 55p, and the larger grab bag from 75p to 80p. "Since we do not set the retail price of our products, it will be for individual retailers to determine the impact on the price at which they sell our products," they said. The firm added that while its potatoes were British, it imported a number of different ingredients and materials to produce a finished packet of Walkers crisps. These items include seasonings, oil for frying and key raw materials used in its packaging film.

EU puts UK-Nissan deal under scrutiny.

The European Commission says it is in contact with UK authorities after Japan's Nissan said it had been given "support and assurances" over Brexit. Nissan's commitment to its Sunderland car plant, the UK's biggest, had been in doubt following the EU referendum. But after government pledges, Nissan is to build two key models in the UK. "We have seen the press reports regarding Nissan and as a result the Commission... is in contact with the UK authorities," a spokesman said. UK Business Secretary Greg Clark has said Nissan was told that the government would seek tariff-free access to EU markets for the car industry. However, the agreement has raised fears that the government might have breached EU rules preventing unfair state aid to companies. The Commission spokesman said: "The UK authorities have not notified any support to Nissan for assessment under our state aid rules and we've therefore not taken any formal view of this matter." Depending on the terms of the UK's exit from the EU, Britain may well no longer be bound by EU state aid rules following Brexit. But as long as it remains a member, the UK would not be able to favour particular companies. Mr Clark has insisted that that there was "no cheque book" involved in the assurances given to Nissan.

UK public finances to be '£25bn worse off' by 2020.

The prospects for the UK's public finances have deteriorated by £25bn since the March Budget, an influential think tank has warned. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said weak growth would lead to lower-than-expected tax receipts, increasing borrowing by £25bn by 2019-20. The weaker prospects for the economy would result in a "significant increase in the deficit", it said. Its forecasts come ahead of the Autumn Statement on 23 November. The event will mark Philip Hammond's first significant test since he became chancellor. "The new chancellor's first fiscal event will not be easy," said IFS research economist Thomas Pope. "Growth forecasts are almost sure to be cut, leading to a significant increase in the deficit even if all the very challenging spending cuts currently planned are in fact delivered." Several groups have reduced their UK growth forecasts and raised their inflation forecasts since the EU referendum. Last month, the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for 2017 UK economic growth to 1.1% as it warned that the global recovery remains "weak and precarious". International body the OECD also cut its forecast for next year from 2% to 1%, saying: "Uncertainty about the future path of policy and the reaction of the economy remains very high and risks remain to the downside." Last week, the Bank of England upgraded its growth forecasts for this year and next, but cut expectations for 2018 to 1.5% from 1.8%.

All details above from BBC News website.

[So now the House of Lords are debating the Great Brexit Bill – under the ever steely watch of the PM and with the warning of not standing in the way of ‘the Will of the People’ ringing in their ears. Because as we all know, in a DEMOCRACY, once a decision has been made by a small majority that means that everyone else needs to shut the fuck up and march in step until told otherwise. You can’t question the decision, you can’t ask any other questions and you definitely can’t point out any problems, pitfalls, mistakes or false assumptions. No Sir, blindfolds on and quick march to the brink!]

1 comment:

Mudpuddle said...

it is to sigh... i worked in a birdseye cannery as a kid; they were mealy-mouthed weak-kneed double-tongued cheapskates... the more things change the more they stay the same...