So … Brexit.
The papers are still full of the defectors from the Tory Party and the Labour Party. They are variously suggesting they should hold by-elections or take over the government. Talks of rebellion swirl around the corridors of power and it appears the the Tory Party are facing either a rebellion or an exodus by 30 MPs.
And we have 35 days to Brexit.
Theresa May came back from Brussels with nothing.
Jeremy Corbyn came back from Brussels with …erm … nothing and as he pointed out, unable to negotiate anything because he isn’t in Government. Oh… they loved HIS deal though! He is their sweetheart apparently! Playgrounds to add to our pantomime.
Lots of talk about coalitions, pacts,lots of commentary on this which completely excluded the SNP. Again.
Question time last night had on it an ex UKIP candidate who had appeared before and he was asked to comment very early on in the show! And no, that’s not left here from a previous update, it’s happened again!
Do they keep them in a cupboard? Next to the Garbaldis? Tea? Biscuit? Nasty right wing failed candidate for UKIP?
Trade deals aren’t doing very well either. Despite telling us we will be able to roll over trade deals, we hear Liam Fox announce that we won’t be doing any of that in time for March 29th.
Fitch has put the UK on a negative credit rating watch.
Aviva has a chunk of business moving to the Republic of Ireland at 10.59 on 29th March. Brexit related? Oh no it’s not… oh yes it is – here we go again!
We are seeing reports that people trying to order goods from other countries are not able to do so because the goods won’t arrive until after 29th March. Maybe not a problem if it’s that new insole you were wanting for your shoe, but if it’s a piece of equipment for your business or a special tool or component it’s perhaps a bit more of a problem.
People trying to attend international lectures and conferences are finding that they are told only if we don’t leave with No Deal
Welfare reform continues to hit the poorest. The DWP owes over 200 000 people arrears of ESA after it was discovered that they had made a mistake in their payments.
They are dragging their feet over repayments averaging £6000 per person to the extent that 20 000 have died in the meantime.
Meanwhile in Scotland
The Scottish Government published a Brexit impact assessment on No deal. The UK Government have not done so.
This points out that in the event of No Deal, exports would drop, immigration would fall, unemployment would increase and Scotland would likely enter a recession. Here is your reminder that Scotland voted to remain!
Ian Blackford tabled an urgent question to the Prime Minister on the economic impact of her deal. She ran out of the chamber just as he stood up. Scotland ignored again.
Glasgow City Council passed their budget yesterday and they have committed to paying the equal pay deal. They also have committed to investment in schools to ensure free school dinners for all pupils in P1 to P7. This is one of the most effective ways of tackling poverty and important in what is likely to be a challenging term for the council as they have to find the money for the pay claims.
The Tories and Scottish Labour continue to slag off the Scottish Government on Workplace Car Parking Levy despite it turns out, that both the Tories and Labour had this in their manifestos for the council elections in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Yes really! So… they wanted a car park levy, they really wanted a car park levy, they campaigned for a car park levy and they got a car park levy aaaaaaand now they don’t want it. Playgroup stuff for Gods sake.
Also, The Tories Social Security Spokesperson said in committee yesterday that the bedroom tax doesn’t exist. It does. The FM had to remind her that people don’t have to pay it in Scotland because the Scottish Government pays it for them – spending nearly £60 million on doing so every year. The Tories have no idea how real people live and they don’t care enough to get either their comments right or their benefit assessments right. It’s a damn good job we have a Scottish Government that does.