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It really isn’t about bangers decked in Unions Jacks. The row over sausages moving from mainland Britain to the supermarkets of Northern Ireland is necessary in Johnson’s eyes to show Tory Brexit loyalists that he is never, ever, going to compromise with 27 other European nations.
These are sad times.
All of us in the LME believe that the European Union has been, and is, a great historic force for peace and progress. We understand that, as a human construct, it is not perfect. But we see our values shared and represented there - internationalism, freedom, partnership, co-operation, friendship, tolerance, and social justice are its practical objectives, applied in a community of law. We all agree the rebuilding of the UK’s relations with our nearest neighbours, the world’s largest trading block, and this highly successful union is crucial to the future health, security and prosperity of the UK.
The drivel from Boris Johnson and Priti Patel about sending in giant warships to monster tiny dinghies with a few refugees sitting wet and miserable in them would be funny, were it not yet more evidence of the Brexit government’s pathological need to scapegoat foreigners who end up in Britain.
Much publicity has been given to the post-Brexit rights of UK citizens who are legally resident in EU countries. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the plight of those who make frequent trips to EU countries whether for business or pleasure, including the estimated 500,000 Britons with second homes in the EU. Many UK citizens, such as retirees, currently are able to spend many months at their second home while maintaining a residence in the UK. This is about to change.
The government are doing “everything we can” to “stop a second wave of coronavirus that has started to roll across Europe”, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
He was paraded across the morning broadcast media with a line that should have carried a US-style tag “I am Dominic Cummings and I approve of this message”. It’s clear that the Brexit gang in No 10 are out to blame Johnny Foreigner for a new spike in Covid-19 cases and deaths in the UK.
I once found myself in the same Strasbourg restaurant as Ian Paisley. When Paisley left it seemed half the customers around the room got up to leave with him. They were of course his bodyguards. No such entourage ever followed John Hume, who despite the many threats he received, refused personal protection.
UK universities are already reeling from Brexit uncertainty and the fallout from COVID-19. We now learn of new measures, which would impose international student rates on EU students and make them ineligible for student loans, further exacerbating the crisis.
Anne Corbett and Claire Gordon (LSE) give their critical view of an emerging post-Brexit strategy for universities and warn of its potential negative consequences.
For decades everyone assumed that Europe would break the Conservative party. Instead it came close to breaking Labour.