UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to decide on future of 1p and 2p coins

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to decide on future of 1p and 2p coins

Chancellor Philip Hammond will this week rule on the future of 1p and 2p coins, a year after he called them “obsolete”.
In his Spring Statement in 2018, a Treasury consultation about the mix of coins in circulation appeared to pave the way for the end of both of them.
A swift reverse by the Prime Minister’s official spokesman declared there were no plans to scrap the copper coins. Continue reading UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to decide on future of 1p and 2p coins

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Opinion: Hell, Heaven, Purgatory – and Brexit

Opinion: Hell, Heaven, Purgatory – and Brexit

When you die, you end up in hell, heaven or purgatory. So it is with Brexit. Hell is crashing out of the EU with no deal at all. That’s what Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, wants. Heaven would involve Britons changing their minds and staying in the EU, the outcome favoured by pro-Europeans fighting for a new referendum. Purgatory is the half-in half-out option that the prime minister Theresa May has negotiated.

Even pro-Europeans don’t, of course, believe that the EU is literally heavenly. As with any human invention, the EU is imperfect and needs reform. However, it is vastly superior as a mechanism for advancing peace, power and prosperity to the versions of Brexit that Johnson and May are pushing.

To get to “heaven”, MPs first need to reject both “purgatory” and “hell”. They will then conclude that the only sensible option is to ask the people whether they wish to stick to the decision to leave the EU that they took in the 2016 referendum.

We crossed an important milestone on Tuesday when MPs massively rejected the prime minister’s deal. Neither pro-Europeans nor hardline Brexiters like it because it is bad for both our prosperity and our power. We won’t get full access to the EU’s market but we’ll still end up following many rules without a say on them. Continue reading Opinion: Hell, Heaven, Purgatory – and Brexit

BRITAIN’S Conservative Party ‘Brexiteer’ MPs: United in disunity, adamant for uncertaint

BRITAIN’S Conservative Party ‘Brexiteer’ MPs: United in disunity, adamant for uncertaint

We can first dismiss the so-called ‘Cabinet Brexiteers’. They deserve little but our eternal contempt. Once Boris Johnson, David Davis and Steve Baker had resigned in the wake of the Chequers Summit, their ‘We will stay in the Cabinet and continue to press the Prime Minister to change her approach from inside’ position looked increasingly unconvincing and self-serving. Once Dominic Raab and Esther McVey had resigned rather than support May’s Orwellian-labelled ‘Withdrawal’ Agreement it became almost comically untenable.

Penny Mordaunt, Andrea Leadsom, Liam Fox, Chris Grayling and Michael Gove appear to have maintained their implausible positions only up to the point when, forced to choose between upholding democracy and their manifesto pledges, or retaining the trappings and rewards of Ministerial/Cabinet office, they seem to have chosen the latter, suddenly becoming converts to May’s BRINO-Deal with attempted justifications, not excluding warnings that rejection may mean Brexit not actually happening at all, which are wholly unpersuasive.

The supposed submitters of the necessary 48 Letters of No Confidence in May’s leadership to the 1922 Committee have not been much better. There was a seeming naivety on the part of their de facto leader Jacob Rees-Mogg in taking at face value their assurances that their own letters had been submitted, when in fact they had not.

Some senior staunch Brexiteers, notably Iain Duncan Smith, Bernard Jenkin and Owen Paterson, appeared not to join their ranks at all. The ‘revolt’ collapsed in a welter of recriminations, doing nothing to suggest this was, or is likely to be, an effective route to stopping Parliamentary approval of May’s Withdrawal Agreement. Indeed, rumours circulate of knighthoods and peerages dangled as inducements to support May.

The younger, more recent, more committed to Brexit intake of Tory MPs, however, give more grounds for hope. Just to take three at random, the personal statements of opposition to May’s BRINO-Deal and pledges to vote against it from MPs Julia LopezSuella Braverman and Lucy Allan are impressive.

Continue reading BRITAIN’S Conservative Party ‘Brexiteer’ MPs: United in disunity, adamant for uncertaint