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Should the UK House of Lords Move to York?

by John Brian Shannon

The respected Brexiteer Jeff Taylor (see video above) is sceptical of the UK government and its 3.5-years of Brexit dithering (who isn’t?) but like the Prime Minister, I think there’s a case to be made for moving the UK House of Lords to York and believe there are many ways to improve on the present House of Lords model to the point that most Britons would again see the HoL as a very necessary asset to the country.

The government should postpone the House of Commons renovations and sink the money into the HS2-to-York high-speed rail link to speed its construction timeline AND the government should begin building a new House of Lords building to be designed by the Lords and Ladies of the House (eg: a purpose-built building near York) that should be ready for occupancy by the time HS2-to-York is complete.

Further, the government should decide to limit the number of Lords to the same number of seats as the House of Commons (but do it through attrition only) and each Lord and Lady should have responsibility for a specific region of the country, or specific segment of the economy, or a particular and important social issue (like the NHS, immigration, Trident, chlorinated chicken, or cyber-security, for only a few examples) that would fall in line with their career expertise, to advise HM’s government and Britons.

And I believe strongly that they should publish public reports on their findings (with secret information redacted from the public report, obviously) on a very accessible to the public House of Lords weekly (non-technical and plain-language) blog.

Finally, allowing the House of Commons politicians to name future Lords must be the worst way to appoint people to such high office — it reeks of cronyism and political patronage — it’s no wonder the House of Lords is unpopular with many Britons.

Future Lords should be appointed by the Crown, full stop. For example, Sir David Attenborough should sit in the House of Lords as a climate change expert, and (Sir!) Nigel Farage should sit in the House of Lords as an expert on the EU Parliament.

The fewer ex-MP’s appointed to the House of Lords… the better… to my mind.

Now that’s a House of Lords model that would work wonders for the UK!


UK, House of Lords moving to York

Visit or subscribe to Jeff Taylor’s excellent Brexit YouTube channel here.

Parliament Approves UK General Election for December 12th

by John Brian Shannon

The UK Parliament voted today to hold a UK General Election on December 12, 2019 which should help end the present Brexit impasse in the House of Commons.

Some 3.5-years after the June 23, 2016 referendum a majority of Britons voted to leave the EU (that’s 1,223-days ago!) and the UK is no closer to leaving the EU. So with the House of Commons deadlocked, Prime Minister Boris Johnson pressed for a General Election to allow their bosses (the UK People) to decide the future of the country. Smart!

A Quick Look at the Brexit File:

  • On June 23, 2016 a majority of Britons voted to leave the EU,
  • Followed by the February 1, 2017 House of Commons vote where MP’s approved  the Article 50 Withdrawal Act to Leave the European Union (498-114),
  • And then PM Theresa May’s June 8, 2017 General Election win (an election where every party ran on a platform of delivering Brexit),
  • Followed by last week’s House of Commons vote approving Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal (but in a separate vote, MP’s didn’t approve the timing of the deal)
  • Now Britons have another opportunity to weigh-in via the ultimate ‘People’s Vote’ — a UK General Election — where citizens of legal voting age can support Brexit or not, support the domestic platform of any party or not, etc.

With polls favouring the Conservatives and their lead increasing, it might be a tight race.

YouGov UK General Election 2019 voting intention tracker October 2019

YouGov Westminster voting intention tracker October 2019. Image courtesy of YouGov/Express.co.uk

Certainly the ruling Conservatives are a known quantity, in power since May 11, 2010; First with PM David Cameron until June 24, 2016, followed by PM Theresa May until July 23, 2019, and now, PM Boris Johnson since July 24, 2019 — while Labour hasn’t formed a government since PM Gordon Brown stepped down almost a decade ago.

The only way Labour can manage to stay-on as the official opposition is to run on anything but their Brexit platform, and instead, run on what they could do for the NHS, for low-cost housing, for worker’s rights and other social issues, IMHO.

While this election shouldn’t be all about Brexit, it will be for a majority of voters who want 3.5-years of economic uncertainty to end and they know the Conservatives will deliver.

The issue of our times, at present, is Brexit. And that’s what The People will be voting for, or against.


Predictions?

Based on nothing except that I always get these things right… hehehe, here are my UK General Election 2019 predictions.

The Conservatives will form a small majority government, Labour will gain many seats — while the Lib Dems, the SNP, and independent MP’s will take a beating at the polls. The Brexit Party will become the 3rd party in the House of Commons behind Labour, while the Greens and Plaid Cymru will barely hold onto their existing seats. UKIP won’t win a seat.

Whatever happens, I hope that every MP who is dedicated to serving their constituents does well in this election no matter what side of the Brexit divide they’re on.

Good MP’s like that are worth their weight in diamonds. Good luck, MP’s!


Read: UK set for 12 December general election after MP’s vote (BBC)

Read: UK General Election: A Really Simple Guide (BBC)

EU Offers a ‘Flextension’ to the UK & Parliament Voted Down a UK General Election

by John Brian Shannon

1,222 days since the 2016 Brexit referendum and we’re no closer to Brexit, yet the EU has graciously granted another Article 50 extension, but this time it’s a unique type of extension coined by EC President Donald Tusk, called ‘Flextension’.

It’s unique because it grants the UK Parliament more time to get its house in order, and allows the official Brexit date to fall on any day the UK Parliament chooses between October 31, 2019 and January 31, 2020.

Which is pretty awesome of European Commission president Donald Tusk, extremely generous of European Union president Jean-Claude Juncker, and it demonstrates patience personified by the leaders of the EU27 countries.

Who’d have thought that a staunch Brexiteer like myself would feel such gratitude for the generosity and patience shown to the dysfunctional UK House of Commons by EC/EU/EU27 leaders?

Really folks, we should thank them sincerely — for the problems related to Brexit aren’t on the EU side as they’ve consistently delivered one message with one tone and one conclusion, while UK politicians have been all over the map. And if they aren’t squabbling with the EU they’re squabbling among each other, to the end that Brexit is no further along today than it was back on June 23, 2016 when Britons voted to leave the EU.

The present House of Commons couldn’t agree that water is wet or that the sky is blue. How EU heads have put up with all the mixed messaging coming from the UK side over the past 40.5 months (1,222 days) since the June 23, 2016 EU referendum is beyond comprehension.

(UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is new on the job having served a grand total of 96-days at this point, so we can hardly put the blame on him)

All in all, the EU side has shown class and consistency throughout the entire Brexit saga.

Although I have disagreed with some of their ideas or bargaining positions relating to Brexit etc., (and hey, they’re in business for the EU, not for me) they’ve demonstrated they’re a world-class operation and deserve that recognition.

That’s all for today, folks. Thanks for your time!


If you want to verify today’s Brexit news, please read these two short BBC articles:

  • Brexit: Johnson agrees to Brexit extension – but urges election (BBC)
  • Brexit dance goes on as EU approves new extension for UK (BBC’s Katya Adler)