The BBC’s political independence from the British Government, theoretically enshrined in its Charter, is more tenuous than ever.
Balthasar van der Ast, Basket of Fruits, 1625 Oil on wood, Staatliche Museen, Berlin. Image: WGA
“[Grimsby] voted by 70 per cent to 30 per cent for Leave. Two weeks ago, the anxious representatives of one of the town’s biggest remaining industries, seafood processing, went to Westminster to petition MPs to grant Grimsby the exceptional status of a free trade port if we leave the Single Market….
[Cornwall’s] farmers reported that fruit and veg are rotting in its fields because so many EU migrant labourers have left since the referendum…The farming industry will collapse. The hospitality industry will collapse.”
Article by Jenni Russell in The Times, 16 November, 2017
Brexit heartlands want someone else to pay
Well here’s an irony. As Brexit in whatever form gets closer, and its damaging implications for trade and jobs start to become clearer, some of the regions, industries and groups that most enthusiastically supported Leave are starting to raise the alarm about its impact or demand special exemption from its consequences.
Take Grimsby. It’s one of the most deprived areas of Britain; it hasn’t flourished in the decades since we joined the EU and it voted by 70 per cent to 30 per cent for Leave. Two weeks ago, the anxious representatives of one of the town’s biggest remaining industries, seafood processing, went to Westminster to petition MPs to grant Grimsby the exceptional status of a free trade port if we leave the Single Market.
Grimsby is desperate to avoid the imposition of post-Brexit tariff barriers, delays and customs checks on its fish business, because it imports 90 per cent of its fish fresh from Europe. It is also worried about losing the 20 per cent of its workforce that comes from abroad. If Brexit goes ahead without any special concessions to Grimsby, then an industry that includes Young’s and The Saucy Fish Co, and that employs 5,000 people, fears it will lose its competitive edge to rival centres in Germany and France.
Cornwall wants special treatment too, after rejecting the EU by 57 per cent to 43 per cent…. Continue reading
William Hogarth Tail-piece or The Bathos. Image: Wikipedia
Brexit could be “the moment we finally failed as a great nation and became a second or third tier nation”. George Freeman, Chairman of the Conservative Policy Forum, Theresa May’s chief political adviser (The Independent)
“You should never be ashamed to admit you have been wrong. It only proves you are wiser today than yesterday.” Jonathan Swift
“It is the right of those of us who voted to remain to continue to speak for what we believe is in our country’s best interest and not allow ourselves to be cowed into silence.” Ian McEwan