Wednesday, October 12, 2016

STATEMENT: Theresa May's Brexit plans

Statement by Thom Brooks, Head of Durham Law School -

·      Little has changed since Theresa May said “Brexit means Brexit”. We still lack much substance on what comes next – except that May wants to keep us all in the dark.

·     It’s a relief to see growing unease in Parliament for May to trigger Article 50 without a plan given proper scrutiny by MPs and the public.

·     The Referendum was for leaving the EU, but not on any terms.

·     Vote Leave promised £350 million per week to the NHS and a points-based immigration system – neither will happen.

·     Vote Leave also promised that leaving would mean Parliament could ‘take back control’. And so it should in deciding the terms and timing for any Brexit.

·     If May fails to do that too, she ignores the three main pledges that won the referendum for Brexit – and risks abusing a vote for one future by giving us something very different. And none of us know what that is. Perhaps not even her Cabinet.

Monday, October 10, 2016

STATEMENT: On Clinton v Trump in Presidential Debate No. 2


·    Americans watching the second Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump saw the most heated confrontation in this increasingly personal campaign.

·     Viewers favoured Clinton over Trump, but we should not overstate the importance of the debate on changing minds.

·     It wasn’t the debate that put a nail in the coffin of Trump’s campaign for the White House but his lewd remarks about women that look like a significant turning point – with more voters turned off from supporting Trump.

·     While Clinton’s chances improve daily – although her campaign has been far from perfect – the real problem for Republicans is where they go next. While their establishment retract endorsements to Trump in their droves, the GOP base still favour Trump overwhelmingly. Trump may not be the face of America or ever lead it, but the longer the Republicans cannot unseat him as their most popular member they will remain looking at the White House from outside the Rose Garden gates rather than from inside the Oval Office.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Theresa May triggers Brexit - by ensuring all EU law is embedded in UK law?

Remarks on Theresa May's recent speech on Brexit to the Conservative Party conference by Professor Thom Brooks, Head of Durham Law School:

·         We’re still no further forward about what ‘Brexit’ means.

·         PM Theresa May has set a deadline for triggering Article 50 by the end of March 2017. But this assumes she can pull the trigger without the consent of Parliament  – and this is hotly contested and will be decided by the courts.

·         Leaving the EU does not mean leaving behind EU laws. May’s new Great Repeal Bill actually keeps all EU laws currently recognised in UK law. The big change is that it opens the door to the repeal of EU laws over time.

·         This is likely to take many years – not only to do a trade deal with the EU, but to select which of the thousands of EU regulations we will keep, which we will amend and which we will reject. This is a revolution that will come no sooner than “in due course” – and it will test the patience of many a Brexiteer.

·         May’s speech made plain her wish that government ministers make executive decisions about EU rules, but this is likely to be challenged by Parliament with fierce resistance.

·         If ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and leaving the EU, the Great Reform Bill will have Brexit mean the UK still having all EU laws – for now and the near future until a plan is on offer. We still seem no closer to that.

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