A cautious Eurosceptic Welcome for Mrs May's Agreement

The completion of the first stage of the negotiations for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union was bound to cause controversy.  The nature of such a process was that compromises will be made. The question for those of us who want to leave is whether we can accept them. Are they compatible with regaining control, the central argument of the Leave campaign.  I have been deliberately slow to come to a conclusion because there is inevitably noise and spin around the fifteen page document that has been issued as well as differences of interpretation from the participants.  Each of the three areas is important and to some extent interlinking, so it is worth looking at them in turn.

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A Cardiologist Views Brexit

I am as British as any Brexiteer. I served as Regimental Medical Officer in the Gurkha Field Force in Hong Kong. An ancestor lost a leg at Waterloo. My family members were decorated in several wars. Thirty members of my family served around the world in the East Yorkshire Regiment and the Northumberland Fusiliers. Imperial glory runs in my veins. I feel the tingle of a special relationship when in Delhi or in “The Commonwealth of Connecticut”. But the past belongs to the past. I belong to the future. Although I enjoy reverie as part of my personal culture, it does not determine my destiny.

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A Budget for Spread-sheets and Aspiration

A wholly unexpected development is about to astonish the world. This government is going to get something right.

Over the past few months, Philip Hammond has come under pressure, for three reasons. First - the least - important - it is known that he does not enjoy the Prime Minister's confidence. There is an easy retort to that: so what? Mrs May's confidence is a heavily devalued currency. It is of course true that public conflict between PM and Chancellor is no way to run a government. But little about this government is any way to run a government. The second follows on from all that. The Brexiters do not trust Mr Hammond. They accuse him of failing to make plans and provisions for Brexit - because he still hopes that it will not happen.

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No need to fear the Turnip Bogle. Putting some flesh on a ‘Bare Bones’ Brexit.

David Davis is due to brief the Cabinet soon on the implications of a ‘no deal’ Brexit – perhaps on Halloween itself. But we should not be too scared.

Discussions about the prospect of ‘no deal’ frequently generate more heat than light. Often, this is because the participants are not talking about the same thing.

At one extreme, some people interpret ‘no deal’ to mean an outcome where the UK leaves the EU in 2019 without any agreement on the future relationship. In addition to dropping out of the Single Market and Customs Union, this implies the end of cooperation in a wide range of other areas, including aviation, trade in medical isotopes, and security. Planes wouldn’t fly, cancer patients would be denied drugs, and terrorists would find their ghastly work even easier.

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