Moon of Liberty Midweek Newsround

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News Digest of the week so far at 10.15 pm on 2nd August 2017

London Evening Standard – Theresa May’s spokesman says freedom of movement will end in 2019 after cabinet row

Huffington Post Opinion – The case for votes at 16, afterall, you can have sex with your MP at 16 – Cat Smith MP

BBC News – Anthony Scaramucci out after just 10 days as White House Communications Director

Fortune.com – Venezuelan currency now worth less than World of Warcraft money

BBC News – British Gas to raise electric prices by 12.5%

Daily Post – 3000 homes to be built in Anglesey after council decision

The Independent – UK Manufacturing unexpectedly strong in July

City AM – Deutsche Bank commits to the City of London easing Brexit fears

Baltimore News – The Queen apparently has four cocktails every day

ABC News Brisbane – 2016 census reveals Australia’s most ‘normal’ town

ABC News Brisbane – Home Ownership beyond most of the young in Queensland

The Independent – President Trump launches ‘Real News’ presented by his daughter In Law

ITV News – Human Embryo editing breakthrough could help find answers to numerous genetic diseases

BBC News – Prince Phillip Carries out final public engagement (BBC News) 

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Moon of Liberty Editorial – Brexit & The Trump Wing

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Editorial – Reflections of the Moon

Brexit – It’s the outcome that matters

The process of the UK leaving the EU is in a precarious position. Despite their being in my view not a shred of evidence the decision to leave the EU being a mistake, for some reason those who want to block the process from happening are appearing more confident. Much of this is to do with splits in the cabinet, with Chancellor Phillip Hammond calling for a 3 year transition period and Trade secretary Liam Fox declaring free movement of people, which would be part of any such arrangement, must end in 2019.

Meanwhile post the failure of Prime Minister Theresa May to win a majority, she looks powerless to stop the cabinet battles, which are a proxy for what they see as the inevitable leadership contest to come, from going on around her. Ultimately while these day to day machinations will fascinate the press, what actually matter is the final outcome. Expect the process to continue slowly until the final moment when, as is the EU way, the path to a deal will suddenly speed up.

Whatever happens in the deal, or whether there is no deal, no option is in my view worse than remaining in the EU, the consequences will be in effect accepting the Superstate the EU wants to move to and the end of a Free Britain. This is far more important than the wranglings in the run up, the final outcome is what matters and the defeat of those wanting to stop the process is essential to ensure we remain in a free country in whatever form it ends up.

The Trump Wing

Fans of the Drama series ‘The West wing’ could be forgiven for thinking the current US administration is another series of their favourite entertainment show. The President’s health care plan is voted down by a member of his own party after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Two members of the administration leave within days. Never ending controversy via the President’s twitter feed. It is a script any top drama script writer would have issues making up. 

The only thing President Trump has in his favour is that it is debatable if there is anyone in the Democrat Party who can seriously take in on and he continues to have an army of support who will dismiss any bad news as fake new or mad up by the media. As bizarre as this White House looks, can a second trump victory in 2020 be ruled out? No it can’t. Talk of him being impeached over something like the Russian issue is likely overblown, the Democrats must think hard if they are to come up with a way to oust him, it will be more difficult than many believe.

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Moon Of Liberty Editorial -The next Brexit battles

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Reflections Of The Moon

The next Brexit battles

Last week saw an historic turn of events. Nearly 500 MP’s voted to start the process of Leaving the European Union, something until a very short time ago would have been unthinkable. Regardless of if you thought that vote should have occurred or not (and I don’t), it was unquestionably an historic moment. Does that mean it is all over? No, there could still be battles in the House of Lords to come, although the size of the Commons majority and the threat of future sanction if the unelected house tries to stand in the way of the will of the public Referendum makes that less likely.

Some key battles will come this week in the commons however. Last weeks vote was only the second reading, this week will see the committee and report stages as well as a final (for now anyway) 3rd reading vote. It could come back to the Commons at the end if the Lords ask the Commons to look at some of their amendments. These stages allow MP’s to table their own amendments to add to the bill. Many amendments on all sides have been tables, from the SNP the Lib Dems and the Labour side. Not all will be considered, that will be for the Speaker John Bercow and his team to decide. Given how Bercow has operated however, the more contentious ones will likely be chosen and debated.

Two serious possibilities will be to guarantee the rights of foreign nationals already here and a debate on the terms of the vote Parliament will get at the end of the process. As for the foreign nationals issue, it is unlikely a deal on this will not be done in the negotiation, or separately if there is no free trade deal. This would be a difficult one for the Government to weigh up, ideally this is still a negotiating card the Government would like to keep, however there is a majority in the commons to get it through if the MP’s really want to push for it. It is not inconceivable that if the Government thought they may lose, they could conceded this anyway. I support all foreign nationals right to stay here and have no problem with this getting through. Indeed, the good will it would create may create the conditions for a better deal in the end to be obtained.

The other battle over the type of vote is more complex and could prove more important.. The Government’s position is that if there is a deal, Parliament will vote for the deal or for no deal. But what if there is just no deal? For most this would be a case of tough luck, however those desperate to stay in the single market sense an opportunity here. If there is no deal surely Parliament should have the opportunity to accept an alternative to no deal.. Theresa May has said as far as she is concerned no deal is better than a bad deal. That means trade returning to WTO rules. By pushing their amendment those pro the single market hope to keep their hope alive by forcing a vote in which the alternative would either be the EEA option, or worse still for those more cynical of the motives of some of those MP’s, there is the other option of this being a back door way of staying in the EU, as Tim Farron has proposed as the alternative in his Referendum.

It is tough to say whether any amendment based on an alternative vote could get through. In theory there may be enough Tory rebels, but some Labour MP’s will be against it as well and accounting for abstentions and perhaps the DUP backing the Government, it would still be a tough ask to win the vote. If this is called by the speaker it is one the Government must fight, their position of bi lateral deal or no deal is the right one for this country and it’s negotiation and the executive must not lose control of the terms of the final vote as it could hand those who still hope Brexit won’t happen a small window of opportunity. The Government has set out the right course, this week could see attempts to blow it off course, this must not happen. Battles this week may in the long run prove more important than last weeks vote.

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Moon Of Liberty Polling & Elections – YouGov, Ipsos-Mori & by election in Bromsgrove

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Polling – YouGov & Ipsos-Mori

Current trend of a 100 plus Tory majority projections continue

Two polls were released on the 19th January, a new polls from YouGov and the first from Ipsos Mori since I began calculating the seat breakdown on the new boundaries. YouGov sees rotten news for Labour, Their voting intention down to 25% with a battering in the North of England and Yorkshire would see a projected Conservative majority of 144. Ipsos-Mori is not quite that bad, but still sees a Tory majority of 114 and similar figures in the North and Yorkshire regions, the only real difference is they lose slightly less in the Midlands and Wales than YouGov showed. Either way it continues to look very healthy for Theresa May and very poor for Jeremy Corbyn. On both sets of figures Copeland where there is an upcoming parliamentary by election would fall to the Tories, it will be interesting to see if the by election bares this out.

Both polls showed the SNP below 50% and while they remain well ahead in Scotland, they appear to be falling from their peaks in line with recent Scottish local by elections where their invincibility of a couple of years ago is not as strong as it was. Ipsos-Mori also has some good news for the Liberal Democrats with some stronger figures in London and the South, the first and so far only sign in national polling of their local by election successes since the Referendum coming through. It is the first poll under the new boundary calculation that gives them a double figure seat return.

The new figures increase the Tories average projected lead on Voting Intention to 12.2% and their average projected majority increases from 112 to 124. Labour are currently projected to be on 164 seats. All the up to date figures can be found here

By-Election in Bromsgrove

There was one by election this week in Bromsgrove and some happier new for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour. While the Tories held this safe seat the incredibly low turnout enabled Labour to come surprisingly close to winning it with a swing in their favour of over 11%. This is out of line with recent performances and could be to do with the fact The Tories took their big majority in May 2015 for granted here. Labour will hope to the contrary that it is a turning point rather than a one off. The Lib Dems who have been very strong in local by elections recently did not stand here. The strong performance from Labour sees the Tories projected share lead over the Reds based on local by elections fall from 8.2% to 7.6%. All up to date figures can be found here The details of this by election and the two polls discussed are below.

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MOON OF LIBERTY POLL SCOREBOARD

Voting Intention

YouGov (19/01/2017) – Con 42% Lab 25% UKIP 12% LD 11% Green 3% – Con lead 17%

Ipsos-Mori (19/01/2017) – Con 43% Lab 31% UKIP 6% LD 11% Green 4% – Con lead 12%

Regional based seat Projection

YouGov – Con 372 Lab 156 LD 5 SNP44Plaid Cymru 3 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Majority of 144

Ipsos-Mori – Con 357 Lab 169 LD 11 SNP39 Plaid Cymru 3 UKIP 2 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Majority of 114

MOON OF LIBERTY ELECTION SCOREBOARD

By Election 19/01/2017

Norton (Bromsgrove)Con 219 Lab 186 UKIP 82 Green 20Con HoldSwing (May 2015) Con-Lab 11.3%

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Moon Of Liberty Editorial – May’s Brexit Speech

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May aims for Goldilocks Brexit while rejecting Mummy Bear’s bed

Theresa May has given the most important Brexit speech setting out the details of her plans and objectives for the negotiations to leave the EU. The vote on June 23rd 2016 left three options on the table, one is the EEA option which keeps the UK in the Single Market but also means we have to accept free movement. This option has been known as ‘soft’ Brexit. There is then the ‘hard’ Brexit option otherwise known as the WTO option where there is no deal, the UK has full sovereign control and trade with the EU moves to WTO rules with the potential for tariffs. Then there is the middle route, a bi -lateral deal to be negotiated which could include virtually anything between the those two poles, depending on what is negotiated.

So whose been sleeping in my bed? Hard Brexit is too hard and soft Brexit is too soft for May in an ideal scenario. She wants a bi-lateral deal that is just right, the Goldilocks Brexit. Today she set out what that in her ideal scenario meant. Most crucial it means rejecting free movement on an unrestricted basis of people which means by definition no membership of the single market but instead a free trade deal which negotiates as much access both ways as possible. It means leaving the aspects of the customs union that prevent the UK signing trade deals around the world, while willing to negotiate other parts of it. It is likely this in practice means leaving the customs union altogether as it is difficult to see how partial involvement can be negotiated, but time will tell, perhaps a separate customs agreement in the free trade deal may be possible.

It also means UK law not being subject to the European Court of Justice (Not to be confused with the European Court of Human Rights which is not an EU body.) She made clear Britain does still want to co-operate on science and innovation and in relation to crime and terrorism. There are bodies within the EU which do include non EU members on these issues, which fits in to her saying that while the UK will not make big contributions to the EU, to remain in projects such as these may mean making some contribution  This in my view is not something to fear, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway all make good use and benefit from such projects they are interested in being involved in.

It was a long speech which included a fair amount of irrelevant waffle. But on the bulk of the substance the speech is welcome. She also confirmed Parliament would ratify the final deal, shooting the fox of those complaining Parliament is being sidelined. This was also a Labour demand for supporting Article 50 should Parliament have to vote on that, this should remove this barrier assuming, and this may be naive, Labour sticks to it’s line.. Once Article 50 is triggered there is almost no means of reversing it, the Parliamentary vote on the deal will mean the deal, or the WTO Option, which Government sources have confirmed this afternoon, as time under the Article 50 process will run out. An option I am not scared of, but many are, this means any deal will almost certainly be voted through.

May also re-iterated that if forced to choose between soft or hard Brexit she will go for the Hard option. “No deal is better than a bad deal.” she added. Again while she insisted it was unlikely to get to that and she was confident of a deal, she made clear the Government are happy to walk away with no deal even making reference to the UK changing it’s economic model if required. From a libertarian point of view very tempting not to get a deal at all. Even so, if forced to choose she has rejected mummy bear’s too soft bed and is prepared to lie in daddy bear’s too hard bed and willing to challenge Parliament to do so too. It’s an ambitious approach and she will not get everything she wants, but the fact she is willing to go down the route of the WTO Option if necessary is reassuring and gives her greater control of events. It means the weakest deal option has been rejected and makes a good deal more likely, with some porridge left over for Goldilocks to boot.

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Moon Of Liberty Newsround – 15th January 2017

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News Digest – 15th January 2017 @ 10.25 pm

The Guardian – UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond suggests UK could become a low tax haven if there is no single market access

Fox News – Nigel Farage on why Brexit and Donald Trump are winning

The Moon Of Liberty/Winning At Politics – Polling update from Survation & Opinium

Irish Times – Donald Trump may invite talk show hosts and bloggers to press conferences

Sky News – Education company co founded by Jeremy Hunt for sale for £35 million

Independent – Theresa May to say she is willing to leave the Single Market in upcoming Brexit speech

ABC News – 19 Democrat congressman to boycott Trump inauguration 

ABC News – Reince Priebus says it remains to be seen if Iran nuclear deal will hold

NBC News – US Supreme Court to take case that could affect the Washington Redskins name

Facebook Comment – Despite ‘humanitaria crisis’ people say the health service is improving – John Rentoul

Manchester Evening News – Son of late magician Paul Daniels arrested over cannabis factory

Telegraph – Inside newly liberated Mosul university, Islamic State still exist

Daily Express – Trump set for tense clash with Jean Claude Juncker over EU Army

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Moon Of Liberty Newsround – 14th jan 2017

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News Digest – 14th January 2017 @ 9.20 pm

The Sun – New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English gives Britain a Brexit boost with regard to trade deal after meeting with Theresa May

Daily Mail – EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier concedes he wants a special deal with London on financial services

CapX Comment – The EU Customs Unions is a protectionist racket – Ryan Bourne

Fox News – Vatican seeking youth input ahead of Bishop’s meeting

Telegraph – Queen is saddened by the death of Lord Snowdon

Spectator Comment – Michael Gove was accidentally right about experts – Fraser Nelson

The Sun – Theresa May vows to end European Court of Justice role in Britain

The Guardian – Green MEP Jean Lambert explains why she is standing for President of the European Parliament

Fox News – Family Feud host Steve Harvey meets Donald Trump to discuss policy on inner cities

New Statesman – How many more Labour MP’s could follow Tristram Hunt’s lead and resign?

Washington Examiner – DC National Guard commander will be forced out by Inauguration Day

Associated Press – Drone Schools look to woo younger pilots

ABC News – ‘Black Swan’ exercises taking place to practice in case of a US National emergency

The Sun – The best and worse UK banks for hidden charges

BBC News – Dozens die in IS attack on Dier Al-Zour in Syria

Sky News – Investors breathe life into the Green Deal scheme axed by UK ministers

Reuters – Officials say there are big risks in Donald Trump’s feud with security agencies

Newsweek Comment – Don’t kid youselves, Donald Trump is winning – Matthew Cooper

ABC News – Three Cleveland offices face charges after investigation into shooting of Tamir Rice

Bloomberg – Donald Trump promises a report on hacking within 90 days of taking office

Washington Journal – Parent of special needs child explains the difficulties of educating her son in US public schools

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