The Royal Society has issued a dire warning that the UK is already suffering a big drop in science funding from the EU because of Brexit.- MPs in Parliament warn it could get even worse contrary to claims by Boris Johnson. Full story here
I have done a story today on Byline Times on an issue that will further divide the communities in Ireland – proposed changes by the European Commission to cease putting the clocks forward and back every year. It is coming to a head just as the UK is close to leaving the European Union. You can read it here.
Whitehall is condemned yesterday by a powerful all party committee of MPs for being over secretive over the award of nearly £100m of management consultants contracts to handle Brexit.
The Commons Public Accounts Committee accuses Whitehall of breaching government guidelines in making public contract details, awarding nearly all the work to just six companies and covering up some of the contracts.
Full story on Byline Times.
As you can see from the picture above the Government has sneakily already decided that Britain has left the EU as far as 2.35 million disabled blue badge holders are concerned.
My new card for my wife issued this week has been stripped of its EU symbols even before we have left the EU. It appears to reassure people by using nine foreign languages to describe it as a disabled parking card.
But investigating the real position of disabled driving post a ” No Deal ” Brexit this is totally misleading and could easily end up with holiday makers being fined in some European countries for illegal parking.
At present as a member of the EU all UK blue badge holders can get concessionary parking in virtually all European countries. If they hire a car they can take the blue badge with them as it is not tied to a particular vehicle. And the Independent Living advice site thinks nothing has changed. It says:
“It is not likely that Brexit would lead to the UK changing the format of the Blue Badge, so there is no obvious reason why it would not continue to be recognised across Europe, in the same way as those issued in Switzerland and Norway. “
However a more detailed investigation on a disabled motorists site paints a different picture.
It shows that once Britain leaves with a No Deal using this card will vary from country to country. In Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Iceland, Norway,Austria, Poland,Luxembourg, Romania and Cyprus there will be no problem.
But in France, Croatia, Finland,Leichenstein and Latvia the card won’t be recognised because we are from a third country.
In Germany you will have to notify the local council or police and get a card to park as a disabled driver.
And it may not be recognised in Holland, Belgium or the Czech Republic because it does not have a disabled wheelchair sign on the card.
In Malta and Portugal you must apply in advance for a special card if you want to use it. At present as a member of the EU you have no problems and can use the Blue Badge Card.
In Italy you have to check with the local council – it will vary from city to city where you can use your card. At present you can use it everywhere. The same applies to Lithuania and Hungary.
In the UK it is being left to the local council’s discretion whether they want to recognise blue badges from other EU or European Economic Area countries.
So far as I can see the government does not seem to have thought about it at all – most advice dates from 2008 and 2013 on Whitehall websites.
Boris Johnson has appointed one of the most hard line and divisive women to replace Amber Rudd as secretary for state for work and pensions. The new secretary of state’s voting record reveals a tranche of reactionary views likely to be offensive to gays, women, pensioners and non smokers. She would also like millions of Europeans who live in the UK to have no right to stay here.
Cigar smoking Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk, Coastal, would like to lift the ban on smoking in public places, bring back limitless betting odds on addictive gambling machines and is an opponent of gay marriage. Her voting record is recorded on Theyworkforyou.com
The full story is on Byline Times here.
Boris Johnson has shot himself in the foot over plans to flood the House of Lords with up to 100 No Deal Brexit supporting peers and simultaneously planning to prorogue Parliament.
The scheme announced over the Bank Holiday weekend has already run into serious trouble in the Lords.
In an article in Byline Times I explain how the PM has now annoyed the Lord Speaker Lord Fowler as well as John Bercow, the Commons Speaker- and how his plan will run into the ground through House of Lords procedures and a competing peerage list from Theresa May. See here
I have a full story on Byline Times here.
As a taster:
Parliament’s financial watchdog announced the “super investigation” a week after Parliament rose. It now includes the extra £2 billion Johnson earmarked this month for “turbo charging” the No deal process.
It follows a total of 24 reports by the NAO on Brexit since 2016 which highlighted scandals and public waste. This included the exposure of former transport secretary Chris Grayling’s mishandling of No Deal Brexit freight contracts which cost the country over £50m including paying Eurotunnel £33m in an out of court settlement.