MIL-OSI UK: Speech: PM statement to the House of Commons: 15 January 2019

Source: UK Government

Mr Speaker, the House has spoken and the Government will listen.
It is clear that the House does not support this deal. But tonight’s vote tells us nothing about what it does support. Nothing about how – or even if – it intends to honour the decision the British people took in a referendum Parliament decided to hold.
People, particularly EU citizens who have made their home here and UK citizens living in the EU, deserve clarity on these questions as soon as possible. Those whose jobs rely on our trade with the EU need that clarity. So with your permission Mr Speaker I would like to set out briefly how the Government intends to proceed.
First, we need to confirm whether this Government still enjoys the confidence of the House. I believe that it does, but given the scale and importance of tonight’s vote it is right that others have the chance to test that question if they wish to do so. I can therefore confirm that if the Official Opposition table a confidence motion this evening in the form required by the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, the Government will make time to debate that motion tomorrow. And if, as happened before Christmas, the Official Opposition decline to do so, we will – on this occasion – consider making time tomorrow to debate any motion in the form required from the other opposition parties, should they put one forward.
Second, if the House confirms its confidence in this Government I will then hold meetings with my colleagues, our Confidence & Supply partner the DUP and senior Parliamentarians from across the House to identify what would be required to secure the backing of the House. The Government will approach these meetings in a constructive spirit, but given the urgent need to make progress, we must focus on ideas that are genuinely negotiable and have sufficient support in this House. Third, if these meetings yield such ideas, the Government will then explore them with the European Union.
Mr Speaker I want to end by offering two reassurances.
The first is to those who fear that the Government’s strategy is to run down the clock to 29th March. That is not our strategy. I have always believed that the best way forward is to leave in an orderly way with a good deal and have devoted much of the last two years negotiating such a deal. As you confirmed Mr Speaker, the amendment to the business motion tabled last week by my Right Honourable and Learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield is not legally binding, but the Government respects the will of the House. We will therefore make a statement about the way forward and table an amendable motion by Monday.
The second reassurance is to the British people, who voted to leave the European Union in the referendum two and a half years ago. I became Prime Minister immediately after that referendum. I believe it is my duty to deliver on their instruction and I intend to do so.
Mr Speaker every day that passes without this issue being resolved means more uncertainty, more bitterness and more rancour. The Government has heard what the House has said tonight, but I ask Members on all sides of the House to listen to the British people, who want this issue settled, and to work with the Government to do just that.


MIL-OSI UK: Taoiseach needs to stand firm on backstop – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Source: Sinn Féin

15 January, 2019 – by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald, speaking after British politicians rejected the Brexit deal, said that Ireland’s people, Ireland’s economy and Ireland’s peace process all need to be protected and that the Taoiseach needs to stand firm on the backstop.
Teachta McDonald earlier attended a briefing on the contingency plans from Tánaiste Simon Coveney.
She said;
“The contingency plans place a heavy emphasis on East-West relations and arrangements but the situation regarding Ireland remains unchanged.
“Ireland’s people, Ireland’s economy and Ireland’s peace process all need to be protected as we go forward now.
“The Taoiseach and the Tánaiste and our partners at a European level need to stand firm and not move away from or attempt to dilute the backstop.
“We need to say clearly to the British that if they wish to Brexit then that’s a matter for themselves but any Brexit agreement needs to recognise, understand and protect the people, the economy and the peace process on this island.”


MIL-OSI UK: People’s Vote a must following Government Brexit deal defeat

Source: The Green Party in Northern Ireland

Tuesday 15 September 2019
Clare Bailey MLA, leader of the Green Party has said that the government defeat on the EU Brexit deal means a People’s Vote is a must.
Clare Bailey MLA said: “Westminster and Theresa May’s government are in chaos, a People’s Vote is a must.
“The option to remain must be on the table as part of a People’s Vote.
“The conditions under which the UK will leave the European Union have been set out and the final say must sit with the people.
“We know that the Leave campaign broke electoral law, we know that reaping an additional £350m for the NHS was a fiction and we know that the deal on the table is opposed by MPs.
“The majority of people across Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU and the polls tell us that most people would swing to remain if a vote happened tomorrow.”
Clare Bailey MLA concluded:
“The Tories and Labour Party are hopelessly divided and there is no consensus on a way forward – a People’s Vote can push through the parliamentary impasse.”
Media contact
Sinead McIvor – 07701 302 498

Tags: Brexit, Clare Bailey MLA, Green Party, Green Party NI, People’s Vote
by Clare Bailey MLA


MIL-OSI UK: Jeremy Corbyn MP, leader of the Labour Party, closing speech to EU Withdrawal Agreement debate in the House of Commons – The Labour Party

Source: Labour Party UK



Thank you Mr Speaker. This has been a vitally important debate for the future of our country and our future relationship with the European Union following the decision of the people in the 2016 referendum.


The debate today is the culmination of one of the most chaotic and extraordinary parliamentary processes I have experienced in my 35 years as a member.


Parliament has held the government in contempt for the first time ever for failing to publish their legal advice.


Then for the first time in a generation or more, on 10th December a government failed to move its own business in the House.


The government has been defeated on a vote on its own Finance Bill for the first time since the 1970s.


The Prime Minister opened the debate on her deal more than a month ago – a debate which was due to end on 11th December, but she pulled it in a panic, as she herself conceded it would have been rejected by a significant margin.


She has run down the clock in a cynical attempt to strong-arm members into backing her deal.


Despite her promises, she has failed to negotiate any changes to her deal with Europe.


No wonder the Prime Minister has suddenly discovered the importance of trade unions, and, having voted to clip their wings in the 2016 Trade Union Act, she has utterly failed to convince them that she has anything to offer Britain’s workforce.


And this is the heart of the matter: The Prime Minister has treated Brexit as a matter for the Conservative Party rather than for the good of the country.


But she has failed to even win over her own party. Many Conservative members who voted Remain are opposed to this deal, as are dozens of Conservative members who voted Leave.


After losing her majority in the 2017 general election, the Prime Minister could have engaged with members across this House. She could have listened to the voices of trade unions.


And if she had been listening, both businesses and trade unions would have told her that they wanted a comprehensive and permanent customs union to secure jobs and trade.


The decision to rule out a new customs union with a British say, and the lack of certainty in the deal risks business investment being deferred on an even greater scale, threatening jobs and living standards.


Or even worse, it risks many companies relocating abroad, taking jobs and investment with them.


Mr Speaker, many workers know exactly this situation, because they are facing this reality now their jobs are at risk.


Both the First Ministers of Wales and Scotland have also made clear to the Prime Minister their support for a customs union to protect the jobs and the economy.


This deal fails to provide any certainty about future trade.


It fails to guarantee our participation in European agencies and initiatives. Losing this co-operation undermines our security, denies our citizens opportunities, and damages our industries.


Mr Speaker, the Withdrawal Agreement is a reckless leap in the dark.


It takes the country no closer to understanding our post-Brexit future, and neither does the Future Partnership document.


Under this deal, in December 2020 we will be faced with a choice: either pay more and extend the transition period, or lock us into the backstop.


At that point, the UK would be over a barrel. We would have left the EU, have lost the UK rebate, and be forced to pay whatever was demanded.


Alternatively, the backstop would come into force; an arrangement for which there is no time limit or end point. It locks Britain into a deal from which it cannot leave without the agreement of the EU.


The last two years gives us no confidence that this government can do a deal in under two years. So, at some point before December 2020, the focus would then inevitably shift from negotiations on the future relationship, to negotiations on an extension to the transition period including negotiating what further payments we should make to the EU.


The vague Future Partnership document says it: “can lead to a spectrum of different outcomes … as well as checks and controls”. There is no clarity whatsoever.


And there is not even any mention of the “frictionless trade” promised in the Chequers proposals.


The former Brexit Secretary promised a “detailed”, “precise” and “substantive” document. The Government spectacularly failed to deliver it.


So I confirm that Labour will vote against this deal tonight because it is a bad deal for Britain.


And as we have heard over the past week, members in all parties – including many in the Conservative Party – will join us in rejecting this botched and damaging deal.


And I welcome the fact that there is a clear majority to reject any “No Deal” outcome. The amendment to the Finance Bill last week demonstrated that.


But it is not enough for this House to vote against the deal before us and against No Deal. We also have to be for something.


So, Mr Speaker, in the coming days it is vital that this House has the opportunity to debate and vote on the way forward, to consider all the options available.


The overwhelming majority of this House voted to respect the result of the referendum, and therefore to trigger Article 50.


So I say this to our negotiating partners in the EU: If Parliament votes down this deal, then re-opening negotiations should not, and cannot, be ruled out.


We understand why after two frustrating years of negotiations you want this resolved, but this Parliament has only one duty – to represent the interests of the people of Britain. And the deal negotiated by this Government does not meet their needs.


The people of Britain include many EU nationals who have made their lives here. These are people who have contributed to our country, to our economy, and to our public services, especially our NHS. And those people are now anxious and have no faith in this government to manage the process of Settled Status fairly or efficiently, and the early pilots of the scheme are very far from encouraging.


The Prime Minister claimed that this is a good deal, and so confident was she of that that she refused to publish the government’s legal advice. But, her government’s own economic assessment clearly tells us it is a bad deal.


This deal is the product of two years of botched negotiations in which the government spent more time arguing with itself than it did negotiating with the European Union.


And it’s not only on Brexit where they have failed.


Under this government more people are living in poverty, including half a million more children. Homelessness has risen every year; too many people are stuck in low paid and insecure work; too many people are struggling to make ends meet and falling into debt.


Nothing in this Brexit deal – and nothing on offer from this Government – will solve that.


And that is why Labour believes that a general election would be the best outcome for the country if this deal is rejected tonight.


We need to keep in mind that the vast majority of people in our country don’t think of themselves ‘Remainers’ or ‘Leavers’.


Whether they voted Leave or Remain two and a half years ago, they are concerned about their future.


So Mr Speaker, I hope tonight that this House votes down this deal and then we move to a general election so that the people can take back control and give a new government the mandate needed to break the deadlock.


But first Mr Speaker, I ask the House to vote against this deal – a bad deal for our economy, a bad deal for our democracy, and a bad deal for Britain.


MIL-OSI UK: Turkey suspending live exports of cattle “a further setback for Irish beef farmers” – Martin Kenny TD

Source: Sinn Féin

Turkey suspending live exports of cattle “a further setback for Irish beef farmers” – Martin Kenny TD | Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin – On Your Side

15 January, 2019 – by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin Agricultural spokesperson Martin Kenny TD has described the news that Turkey has suspended live exports of cattle as “a further setback for Irish beef farmers.”
Deputy Kenny said;
“Live exports is a very important part of the Irish beef sector and it will be a huge loss to farmers bringing cattle to market.  
“There will be a noticeable loss of buyers for the export market around rings in markets up and down the country. 
“I have previously called on the Minister to develop more export markets to ensure there is some competition for Irish meat factory cartel.
“I will be raising this again with the Minister as action needs to be taken to ensure Irish beef farmers are protected especially with Brexit coming down the tracks.”

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MIL-OSI UK: Taoiseach must engage with Nurses & Midwives Union Representatives – Pearse Doherty TD

Source: Sinn Féin

15 January, 2019 – by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Dáil Deputy Leader Pearse Doherty has told the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that he must engage with Union representatives of Nurses & Midwives who are set to engage in strike action. The Donegal TD was speaking to Taoiseach Varadkar at Leaders’ Questions earlier today.
In just over a fortnight’s time, members of the INMO are due to commence industrial action, with a series of 24-hour stoppages planned over the coming weeks.
Teachta Doherty said;
“Strike action is the last thing that nurses and midwives – or any medical professional for that matter – wants to have to undertake Taoiseach, but our nurses and midwives have been forced to undertake such action as a result of the ignorance, arrogance, and ineptitude of you and your government.
“Nurses, midwives and their Unions have continuously sought proper engagement with the Minister for Health, as well as the Minister for Finance, to address the problem of staff shortages, as well pay issues, to avert industrial action but their concerns have been routinely ignored.
“It is staff in our hospitals who have acted in a responsible and mature manner. You however, have decided to disengage.
“Nurses and midwives deserve our full support in their demand for a better health service that treats them as essential, skilled workers with dignity and value.
“For years now, nurses and midwives and their Unions have offered up realistic proposals to try and address it.
“In April last year, the Dáil also passed a Sinn Féin motion calling for the introduction of recruitment and retention measures based on realistic proposals which prioritise pay.
“Will you now concede that you have failed to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis Taoiseach? Will you accept that pay is an issue that needs to be addressed?
“Will you now commit to a proper engagement with Unions so that our nurses and midwives get what they deserve – a fair deal?”


MIL-OSI UK: Speech: Launch of the new Toyota Corolla

Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments

Hiroki Nakajima, Ambassador, ladies and gentlemen, it is a huge honour and a pleasure to be here to celebrate this success. Dr van Zyl referred to the decision to invest in TNGA. That was a thrilling moment to have that vote of confidence in the future, building on the success of over a quarter of a century of achievements here in Derbyshire.

But it is a particular pleasure to be able to meet team members on the line to see it now going into production and making cars that will be sold not just in this country but around the world. And it is fitting that you have invited what I like to think of as team Toyota here from the plant, from the local community and right across the country and we are all delighted at your success and are determined to make sure it can power forward in the future.

Now the Corolla of course is a historic car. This is a historic moment for a historic car. When it was launched in 1966, it was launched with these words, that it was “The most wanted car by the market – presented to the world by bringing together the essence of Toyota’s technology”. And what we see today through this investment is that those values and those traditions continue.

Right from the outset, it was the Corolla that brought sports car technology to the school run if I can put it that way. It was the first family car with front brake discs. It was the first Japanese car with a floor-mounted gear lever. And the first Japanese car with a 4-speed fully-synchronised manual transmission. Britons, when it was first launched, could own a piece of the future, and this is as true now as it was then.

The Corolla that we are celebrating today is a fitting heir to this tradition of continuing innovation. And as we move into the era of clean technology, the facts that the hybrid technology pioneered by Toyota is being produced here in Derbyshire, and of course in Deeside in North Wales, is a tremendous source of pride to all of us in the United Kingdom.

2,600 people work here, members of Toyota work force here onsite and 600 more in Deeside. But of course, we know that beyond the factory gates so many partners are part of this success and I know that many of them are represented here today. I just wanted to refer to and pay tribute to those who may not have the Toyota brand but are very much part of that success. Adient who supply seats for the vehicles just down the road in Burton-Upon-Trent. I think Garry Linnett is here from Aisin who produce panoramic car roofs. This fantastic innovation that’s going to be appreciated for those endless summer days that we look forward to in the UK.

Kevin Schofield, I think is here from Futaba who produces the weld and sub-assembly parts, and seeing all of these parts come in at short notice, and seeing them so brilliantly deployed in these vehicles, is a real demonstration of the power of the model that Toyota has pioneered and has taught much of the rest of British manufacturing.

So, this has always been a successful partnership. We have drawn and learnt much from Toyota’s presence here. We think this has been a successful joint-collaboration over the years and we are thrilled that it is moving to the next stage.

Dr van Zyl reflected the importance of having those conditions that have been central to success. Having a skilled, dedicated and motivated workforce that we have in abundance here and you always will. But also, to make sure we recognise the importance of public policy that is supportive and backs investments like this. We should be able to continue to trade without introducing any of those frictions that would disrupt what is a perfect process that has been optimised here.

I hear that very strongly. Over the years, the evidence that has been presented by Toyota and other firms within the advanced manufacturing sector in the UK has been instrumental in determining the kind of relationship that we want.

In these days ahead, I will continue to be a strong advocate for that kind of relationship which has been so crucial to our success.

Toyota has done the country a service, in bringing to life the benefits and the actuality of just-in-time production of advanced manufacturing and the benefits that there are to all. We are very grateful for that and we give this commitment; we will always back you, we will always celebrate your success, and we will always listen to you, and to act on what you need to prosper in the future.

Today’s a fantastic day of celebration. It is a huge honour to have been asked to be part of it. Thank you very much indeed for inviting me. I’d like to hand over to the ambassador.


MIL-OSI UK: FM agrees to consider Plaid proposal to devolve controls over welfare in Wales

Source: Party of Wales

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has agreed to ‘explore’ the devolution of welfare administration in a landmark victory for the proposal by Plaid Cymru.
Plaid Cymru have long called for the devolution of welfare administration to mitigate the effects of universal credit.
The First Minister was responding to a question by Labour backbencher John Griffiths AM who asked whether the First Minister would consider devolving welfare administration to alleviate the consequences of universal credit.
The First Minister replied that the Welsh Government “ought to explore the devolution of administration” and that “the case is made for exploration.”
Despite calls from Plaid Cymru AMs, the Welsh Government had previously ruled out the devolution of welfare administration.
Responding to the First Minister’s comments, Plaid Cymru shadow cabinet minister for equalities Leanne Wood AM has hailed it as a victory,
“Plaid Cymru has consistently called for the devolution of welfare administration and at long last, the First Minister has finally agreed today to consider devolving control over the way benefits and welfare are handled so we can have a more compassionate system and protect Wales’ citizens from the worst effects of Westminster’s cruel policies.
“A third of Welsh children are living in poverty, thousands rely on food banks for a decent meal. No Government can claim to be serious about tackling the scandal of our poverty unless they aspire to hold the levers of change which affect it.
 “I call on the Welsh Government to be true to their word and take responsibility for the citizens of this country.’


MIL-OSI UK: Discussing future trade with Irish Minister for European Affairs

Source: Party of Wales

Continued strong trade flow between Wales and the Republic of Ireland and the dangers of a No Deal scenario were on the agenda as Plaid Cymru’s Assembly Member for Ynys Môn Rhun ap Iorwerth met with Irish Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee in Dublin last week.
Visiting the Republic of Ireland alongside Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price last week, both Mr Price and Mr ap Iorwerth met with the Irish Minister of State to discuss the importance of trade between Wales and the Republic, and the importance of continued seamless trade between Holyhead and Dublin.
Traffic through Holyhead Port has increased 694% since the beginning of the Single Market in 1993, and in 2016 over one million vehicles passed through Welsh ports, and many experts have noted how Holyhead Port would be one of the biggest losers in the event of a No Deal Brexit.
Following the meeting in Dublin, Mr ap Iorwerth said:
“It has never been more important to develop the links between our nations. It was clear that the minister shares my concerns for the future of Welsh Ports – and in particular Holyhead Port – in light of Brexit, particularly in the case of a No Deal scenario.
“It is in the interest of everyone concerned to continue seamless flow of trade between Holyhead and Dublin, regardless of which Brexit – if any – we end up with. It is vitally important we avoid a No Deal Brexit. Plaid Cymru are hosting a debate in the Assembly on the dangers of a No Deal Brexit this week, where we will be making the case to have No Deal taken off the table.
“I think the best deal we can get is the one we already have, and think the future of our relationship with the European Union should be put to a People’s Vote now that we have a clear picture of what Brexit really means.”


MIL-OSI UK: Other parties ignoring evidence on climate change

Source: Scottish Greens

Tue 15 Jan, 2019

We need both an urgent and credible response to global climate emergency, which learns from the past and leaves no one behind. Mark Ruskell MSP

Greens have slammed other parties for ignoring the evidence on climate change after they blocked calls to speed up renewable energy and oil and gas decommissioning in a Scottish Parliament debate today (15 Jan 19).
SNP, Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MSPs voted against Mark Ruskell’s amendment which urged an accelerated energy transition in response to the most recent warnings of catastrophic climate change.  
Ruskell, the Scottish Greens environment spokesperson, said that the other parties’ support for maximum extraction of oil and gas is incompatible with the need to cut emissions faster.
Mark Ruskell MSP, said:
“The science is really clear that we can’t achieve the Paris climate commitments unless we leave most of our remaining fossil fuels in the ground. Sadly, the SNP and other parties ignore that evidence when they continue to back multi-billion pound tax breaks for the oil and gas sector.
“That does a huge disservice to the communities whose livelihoods depend on these dying industries. They deserve to hear the truth, no matter how uncomfortable that may be.  We need both an urgent and credible response to global climate emergency, which learns from the past and leaves no one behind. It’s a real shame that Scotland’s other parties either can’t see this yet, or are too afraid to speak it.”

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