Today Programme 9 May

My interview with Nick Robinson prior to Labour’s launch of the manifesto for the European elections.

Proportional Representation in Regional Constituencies. How does it work?

The D'Hondt system used for election MEPs is proportional, but votes for smaller parties are not always translate into seats. Here is an explainer of how the system works. For Westminster elections, parties each put up one candidate for each constituency. The one with the most votes wins the single

Where are we now on Brexit, a new referendum, and the European elections?

Brexit is turning out to be very different from what was promised by the Leave campaign three years ago, so it is justified to ask people to confirm whether they wish to proceed or not.Not holding a referendum on the actual Brexit deal is tantamount to saying to the public “You had your say three ye

‘We are bound by more than just Treaties’.

Speaking in the final European Parliament session before the May elections, the day after the terrible blaze at Notre Dame de Paris, I reflect on President Tusk’s comments that ‘we are bound by more than just treaties’ and why parties supporting Brexit are afraid of another referendum, now the Brit

Radio Humberside Interview 11 April

After an unpredictable few days and weeks, the EU27 and the UK have agreed to a further extension until 31 October 2018. Here I talk about what this means for our continued membership, MEP elections in May, Brexit and the increasing possibility of a confirmatory ballot.

Put it to the People March

On Saturday 23 March, I joined well over one million others to call for a public vote on whatever Brexit deal finally emerges from this dysfunctional Tory government. Parliament has (thankfully) already ruled out a disastrous No Deal Brexit. Theresa May’s current deal, already twice defeated by sign

Fisking Theresa May’s Grimsby Speech

Theresa May gave a speech in Grimsby today ahead of the second “meaningful vote” on her Brexit deal in Parliament on Tuesday. Below is the text of her speech, with my comments inserted in red.Next week, Members of Parliament in Westminster face a crucial choice. Whether to back the Brexit deal – or

What the heck happens now?

Looking beyond Westminster procedures, government splits, and other shenanigans, there are only four possible outcomes of the Brexit saga. Looking beyond Westminster procedures, party splits, and other shenanigans, there are only four possible outcomes of the Brexit saga:1. A no-deal Brexit Such a s

Italian PM speaks to European Parliament

There was an interesting debate in the European Parliament yesterday with the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte.The first striking thing was that Nigel Farage initially sat on the front row, keenly anticipating what he thought would be a Eurosceptic speech from a Prime Minister who heads a coal

It’s not just the backstop!

Despite her focus on it, the "backstop" is not the main problem (if indeed it is a problem) with her deal. There are plenty of other problems with it that she wants us to ignore. Fifteen failures in Theresa May’s dealTheresa May is working on the assumption that the only problem with her Brexit deal

Hey UK, the EU’s watching you!

Brexit has illustrated once again that the British press and politicians immersed in the notorious ‘Westminster bubble’ tend to forget that continental politicians, journalists and diplomats – most of whom speak and read English well – are also watching the debate. The idea that strategies and tacti

Fisking “Common Market 2.0” (Revised)

The “Norway Plus Group” of MPs have put forward a paper called “Common Market 2.0” as a possible alternative Brexit deal to current deal. I analyse how credible it actually is, in this long read. Below is the revised text of the “Common Market 2.0” paper put forward on 23 March by the “Norway Plus

Navigating the Brexit Deadlock

Within 24 hours of losing the 'meaningful vote' by an unprecedented margin, Theresa May defeated a vote of No Confidence in her government. So how does Parliament proceed? Although the defeat for Theresa May’s Brexit deal was widely expected, one of this magnitude – the biggest government defeat eve

Falsehoods, Failures, Fibs & Fabrications

The 40 reasons to back the Brexit deal published by the Prime Minister to support her deal, are a frantic farrago of frequently fanciful falsehoods, failures, fibs or feeble fabrications. They are listed below with my comments on each of them in red, explaining why this entire document is so disinge

The Political Declaration: A Wishy Washy Wish List

After nearly two years of wrangling, more between the rival factions within her own party than with the EU, over the manner of the UK’s mooted departure, Theresa May agreed last week to an unpopular Withdrawal Agreement. Then, like a disorganised undergraduate who realises the night before that a pa

My response to Theresa May’s last-minute Brexit deal

Theresa May has finally been able to convince (most of) her cabinet that Brexit requires reaching a deal with the European Union on the Withdrawal Agreement, but this is a bad deal for Britain for many reasons.First, the deal offers no clarity on the future relationship on which a five page document

Rebutting Richard Aikens

Richard Aikens has argued that the EU cannot succeed because it will become a federal state that most of its citizens do not want. He makes a number of assumptions and, in my view, latches on to several misconceptions, which I address in this piece.Richard Aikens argued in his UCL lecture of Feb 22n

Uncertain futures: How Brexit could leave our children less protected

Uncertainty reigns supreme in the Brexit negotiations. But what is now clear is that Brexit will weaken our rights, protections and shared standards. And while many hundreds of articles have been written on customs unions and chlorinated chicken, scant attention has been paid to what Brexit specific

Brexit Not Looking Good for Farmers

Visiting Fortshot House Farm near Wike last week I discussed a number of issues facing farmers in Yorkshire, with none more pressing than what Brexit could mean for their future.I was delighted to be invited to Fortshot House Farm near Wike last week to meet with local farmer Peter Trickett and repr

Place Jo Cox

On 27th September, the city of Brussels honoured the memory of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, by naming a square beside the Ancienne Belgique music venue she often visited in the years she lived here, as Place Jo Cox, (in Dutch: Jo Cox Plein) in a formal ceremony. More In Common Choir Sing

Developments in EU Sea Bass rules to favour recreational anglers

Update on the EU rules concerning sea bass fishing for anglers, following action by Labour MEPs.Sea bass stocks have been dangerously low for some time and are at risk from falling below the level at which recovery can be guaranteed. Measures to protect them were needed. But despite commercial fishe