Another Government Brexit White Paper

Following the chequers Statement the government has produced a Brexit GOODS ONLY [WHITE PAPER] although it was not made available to all Labour MPs before the house sat yesterday on 12 July 2018.

Some Tory Brexiters want to force Theresa May to publish a rival draft white paper by David Davis. A group of Tory backbenchers want to table a “humble address” in parliament, to ensure that the draft produced prior to the chequers meeting on 6 July 2018 is made public.

John Howarth MEP, got it right when he said “Locking the Tory cabinet away in an obscure part of Buckinghamshire may seem like a sensible step to solving the UK’s many problems – so long as they weren’t allowed out!”
What a shambles this Tory lot are – no that’s wrong they are evil!

The Home Affairs select committee has been told a load of rubbish

Amber Rudd told the home affairs select committee that there were no targets for enforcing the removal of migrants. However, it has been shown that a document passed to her last year shows that she was well aware of them.  So she definitely knew of the targets that she now claims she will be abandoning the policy.

It’s now definitely too late for the Home Secretary to be ‘heartbroken’ as she claims! See this comment <Here>

Solidarity and Equality

Mail to Members

Our Party was founded on the principles of solidarity and equality. We are proudly anti-racist, and at our best when we work together, uniting people in hope and against fear and division.

This week, Jewish leaders wrote to me to express their anger and upset about antisemitism in the Labour Party.

I want to assure you that prejudice against, and harassment of, Jewish people have no place whatsoever in our Party.

It’s important to develop a deeper understanding of what constitutes antisemitism.

Often it takes familiar forms, but newer forms of antisemitism have also appeared, sometimes woven into criticisms of the actions of Israeli governments.

Criticism of Israel, and support for the rights of the Palestinians, is entirely legitimate. Support for justice for the Palestinian people should provide no one with the excuse to insult, harass or encourage hatred of Jewish people.

And abuse and personal attacks of any kind, on social media or in person, are never acceptable.

I am committed to ensuring our Party is a welcoming and secure place for everyone. I offer all Jewish members my assurance that this applies equally to them. I want all of us to hear Jewish voices and listen.

If you are not Jewish, I want you to better understand the importance of this issue and what we can do together to ensure our Party remains true to our values.

Zero tolerance for antisemitism means what it says. We will not accept it.

We have to get this right, all of us. Because divided societies cannot achieve justice.

As we head into elections in May and look towards the next General Election whenever it might come, let’s take the lead in building a society free from prejudice. One that enables everyone to realise their full potential, and cares for all.

Thank you for supporting Labour.

Jeremy Corbyn
Leader of the Labour Party

New General Secretary

Mail to Members

I am honoured — and thrilled — to be today taking over as the Labour Party General Secretary. I take particular pride in being only the second woman to hold this post.

My overriding priority is to unite our whole party — members, trade unions, MPs and other elected representatives — in working for the election of a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn at the earliest opportunity. The crisis in our NHS, collapsing local government finances and falling living standards all underline the urgency for change.

Only Labour, campaigning together as a united team, taking our message to every community in the country, can deliver that change. I look forward to working with you and all our activists across Britain in building a dynamic, 21st century campaigning force, mobilising a movement behind the message that took us so close to victory last June.

Creating that unity requires recognising and tackling problems in our own Party, above all in relation to antisemitism. This week I will be moving to ensure the full implementation of the Chakrabarti report and introducing new procedures to deal with complaints and disciplinary cases. The stain of antisemitic attitudes must be completely eradicated within the Labour Party — we are the party for people of all races and faiths, the party of full equality for all, or we are nothing. Likewise, I will tackle any manifestation of misogyny, bullying or abuse of anyone, as Jeremy Corbyn has pledged.

I inherit a tremendous staff team at Labour HQ and in the regions and nations. Working with the largest membership of any democratic socialist political party in Europe we can build on our great electoral advances of last year. I look forward to playing my part in winning the Labour government, Labour local authorities and Labour representatives our people need.

Jennie Formby
General Secretary
The Labour Party

Jo Cox stood for the best of Labour

Jo Cox was a unique Labour MP whose approach to politics, international development and her family marked her out as compassionate and clever. Her work in Westminster and life outside Parliament were cruelly cut short in an act of senseless barbarity in Birstall, West Yorkshire, 16 June 2016.

MPs, activists and the wider Labour movement are grieving today while the deepest pain is borne by her husband and their two children.

See tributes to Jo Cox in LabourList [Here]

Spring 2016 Budget – Typical Tory Budget

Typical Tory Budget

On Wednesday 16 March 2016, the Chancellor, George Osborne, delivered his eighth Budget. A budget that was a culmination of six years of his failures — Jeremy Corbyn let him know:
This budget failed on the deficit, failed on debt, failed on investment, failed on productivity, failed on his own welfare cap and failed to tackle inequality in the UK.

This budget has failed you – See Jeremy Corbyn reply in the Commons on Wednesday
[Here]

Nearly 801,000 workers are on zero hour contracts. The Chancellor announced £3.5 billion of additional public expenditure cuts, which would further reduce stimulus to the economy. George Osborne has paid for tax cuts for the wealthy by taking money from disabled people. Another £1.4 billion of welfare spending cuts will mainly fall on people with disabilities and further erode the purchasing power of many citizens.

Wednesday was a day of humiliations for the Government. George Osborne’s budget statement clearly demonstrated that the ‘long-term economic plan’ is disintegrating. Across the hall, the Government was decisively defeated in the House of Lords in three separate votes on the Trade Union Bill. On the Political funds, the Government had its heaviest loss, with Peers voting 320 to 172 to limit the measure to new members, and allow a 12-month transition period. The Government’s proposed ban on allowing electronic balloting for votes on strike action also suffered a crushing defeat, of 320-181. The Government is insisting on forcing the bill through, so we may be looking at another Tory rebellion.

Will George Osborne, Chancellor, publish his personal tax return ?

Tory Government puts the interests of multinational corporations at top of their priorities

The Government continues to say that the ONLY alternatives are spending cuts or tax increases. They always ignore the tax dodgers who never pay their whack – and they continue to put the interests of big business first over the British working people. Possibly if everyone paid their dues, there would be no need for any austerity.

The UK economy is in trouble as we well know – otherwise why the austerity – Government debt is increasing at about 3 per cent of GDP each year. To get that under control we need the corporations who avoid paying tax to pay what they are due not reach secret agreements with HMRC behind closed doors to pay trivial amounts of tax. The tax system probably needs complete overhaul, but that will not happen until we get a Labour Government. Until then the least we can push for is that the Government stops paying lip service to dealing with multinational corporations.

It is not just the UK that is losing out, but France and other EU countries that these corporations operate in. For example Netflix paid absolutely no UK corporation tax in 2014 despite being estimated to have around 4.5m UK subscribers. However, it did pay tax in Luxembourg, but at an equivalent rate of about 5 per cent. Vodafone made £1.97bn of profits in the year to March 31, 2015 but confirmed that it paid no UK corporation tax in 2014/15. Of the top 10 companies on the London Stock Exchange, six paid no UK corporation tax in the period covered by their latest annual accounts.

The EU has for far too long, been dragging it’s feet on this issue, but Labour MEPs together with other Socialist and Democrats in the European Parliament have been backing measures to combat corporate tax dodging. Needless to say the Tory MEPs have consistently voted against any measures of this type while paying lip service to the need for them.

The European Commission announced on 28 January 2016 proposals for new laws to tackle tax avoidance and evasion in the EU, which echo the recommendations of Labour MEP Anneliese Dodds’s recent report.

The plans include making more companies report, country-by-country, where they make their profits and where they pay their taxes. Other proposals include applying sanctions to tax havens and companies using them. The new legislation will mean EU countries will need to take a common approach to preventing tax avoidance and tackling tax havens. It’s no wonder that David Cameron wants the UK to be able to ignore EU directives, but still be a member of the EU.

John McDonnell said: “The mask has finally slipped. The Tories have been saying they want to clamp down on tax avoidance to the British people, but when they think our backs are turned they are telling their MEPs to oppose any measures to make it happen. The truth is they run a ‘don’t know, don’t care’ approach to tax avoidance.”

John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, has written to George Osborne, Chancellor, to ask him for full disclosure and transparency of the Treasury’s tax deal with Google. See the letter in full [Here]. John has published his own tax return in the Sunday Mirror and has called on George Osborne to follow suit.

Why is ANY investor-state dispute mechanism needed?

On 16 September 2015 Cecilia Malmström, the European Union’s Commissioner for Trade, put forward a proposal to change the current policy on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The proposal was to replace the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which is about allowing corporations to sue governments over laws which might affect their profits, with another system that would be used for all ongoing and future deals by the European Union (EU). This will be known as the Investor Court System (ICS).

TTIP is still being negotiated behind closed doors – in secret – so that the public find out as little about it as possible. Economic barriers between the EU and the United States are relatively low in any case, but the EU negotiating mandate of June 2013 for TTIP covers market access for goods and services by removing custom duties and gaining easier access to public markets and making it easier to invest. The hope is that it will produce jobs and growth. However, previous similar agreements with other areas have only showed slight benefits and real risks.

The agreement texts are being developed by 24 joint EU/US working groups who each consider a separate part of the agreement, in secret. Negotiations are held in cycles between the USA and Brussels with the first taking place from 7 to 12 July 2013 and the latest, the tenth took place from 13 to 17 July 2015. The EU is now producing reports on each negotiation, but these are little more than a very brief summary – not providing any detail at all. Worthless!

Many will find it incredible that Malmström has had to propose an alternative to ISDS at all. What is wrong with the existing courts that companies and corporations use all the time? Why set up any special system at all? There can only be one answer to that and it will certainly not support justice as we know it.

See Jeremy Corbyn in the House of Commons on 15 January 2015 when TTIP was debated: [Here]

Ed – Why I want to be Prime Minister

Ed Miliband –

So here are the promises I’m making to you about the kind of Britain I will lead:

First, I will undo the damage the Tories have done to our country:

I will scrap the Bedroom Tax, which unfairly punishes the disabled and the vulnerable
I will scrap the Health and Social Care Act, which damages and undermines our NHS
I will scrap the gagging law, which limits our freedom of speech and right to campaign
I will reverse the Tories’ £3bn tax cut for millionaires, so we get the deficit down but do it fairly

Second, I will take on the powerful vested interests that hold millions back:

I will force energy companies to freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017
I will give power back to those who rent their homes, by scrapping letting fees and stabilising tenancy agreements
I will raise money from tobacco companies, tax avoiders, and a mansion tax to fund doctors, nurses, careworkers and midwives for our NHS
I will reform our banks so that they properly support small businesses
I will stop recruitment agencies hiring only from abroad

Third, I will start to rebuild a fairer, better Britain:

I will raise the minimum wage, to ensure that everyone that does a hard day’s work is properly rewarded
I will promote the living wage by giving tax breaks to companies that pay it
I will ban the damaging zero-hours contracts that exploit British workers
I will bring in a lower 10p income tax rate, cutting taxes for 24 million workers
I will support working parents with 25 hours of free childcare for three- and four-year-olds
I will help more young people get on the housing ladder by getting 200,000 homes built every year

Vivian Reding on European Justice Policy

Call to national leaders at the European Council by Vivian Reding

Viviane Reding
Vice-President of the European Commission, EU Justice Commissioner

Justice past, justice present and justice future – three messages to the European Council

Event at the Centre for European Policy Studies

Brussels, 20 June 2014

Main messages of the speech

My call to national leaders at the European Council next week: Don’t discuss only about ‘people’ (and the jobs they should get) but also focus on policies for people.

The Lisbon Treaty was a game-changer for EU justice policy: no more deals done by national governments by behind closed doors; law-making in this policy area has thus become a lot more democratic and transparent.

The 2010s justice policy developments were comparable to the developments in the Internal Market in the 1990s. Over the past four years through over 60 initiatives, we have laid the building blocks of a true European area of freedom, justice and security at the service of citizens.

Justice policy used to be a rather isolated area, often perceived as “a playground for lawyers”. Today, justice has become an instrument to boost economic growth and employment.

Justice policy used to be held hostage to security concerns, consisting mostly of knee-jerk reactions to the latest scare that left no room for the needs and concerns of citizens. We have changed that by putting citizens first.

EU Justice Policy in future needs strategic priorities to tackle challenges. I see three tasks: to build more trust, promote mobility and contribute to economic growth.

The new rule of law framework is now in place and operational. Respect for the rule of law is the prerequisite for the protection of all fundamental rights. Fundamental rights would be an empty shell without the rule of law.

EU citizens’ right to free movement is not up for negotiation. The four freedoms – people, goods, services and capital – go together. No one has a right to pick and choose

By 2020, a true European area of Justice should exist. Citizens and businesses deserve nothing less.

Download or view the full speech – [Here]

Speech: Justice past, justice present and justice future – three messages to the European Council
European Commission – SPEECH/14/481 20/06/2014

This text is taken from europa.eu Press releases database.