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About Saintslass

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  1. I thought Trump's tariffs were 35%?
  2. So did someone from MI5 (or MI6) call up the Sunday Times to report this? Or do we have a leak in our intelligence services now?
  3. I think she is putting Scotland firmly in its place. She has suggested there will be more powers devolved but Nicola Sturgeon will be forced to accept that Scotland can only apply to join the EU as an independent nation, the polls are not showing a majority in favour of another referendum and Westminster under May will not allow another referendum. Sturgeon has boxed herself in and I've no sympathy.
  4. Well, I thought May's speech was excellent She made it clear that we are exiting the single market, which is obvious to those of us with a brain in full working order given that EU leaders have consistently made it clear that we cannot remain a member of the single market without also retaining free movement of people. Given that one of the clearest messages of the leave campaign was taking back control of our borders, how anyone ever considered anything else is beyond me. The aim is to negotiate a free trade deal. Canada just completed one. Yes, that took seven years, but we start from a different point: we have equivalence with the other 27 states. So there is no haggling over product standards or what have you. She said she was open to some negotiation over the customs union, which is fair enough. But having listened to the best explanation of the whole thing on the BBC from a professor at Lancashire Business School this evening I can't see how remaining in the customs union will make sense because of all the non-tariff baggage that comes with it (for example, there will be constraints on May's industrial policy provisions as a result of being a member of the customs union). She was very positive about our relationship with the EU and very positive about her hopes for the EU, wanting it to be successful. However, she learned from Cameron and decided to play hardball: some member states want punitive terms for the UK to punish us for wanting to leave. I am very glad she basically gave the finger to those member states and asserted that if the EU sought to punish us by trying to force punitive terms we would just leave and rely on WTO rules. Apparently, according to the professor of Lancashire Business School, the trade weighted average of tariffs for EU countries is under 2% although obviously some areas, like farming and fisheries, bring double digit tariffs. But then, as the prof pointed out, we have absorbed a 15% drop in Sterling value and so some higher tariffs could be absorbed and the UK still remain competitive. Again, she undermined Labour by stating she would offer up the Brexit deal for a vote in the Commons and the Lords. Labour and the leader of the Brexit committee have been banging on about this for a while and yet when cornered they cannot explain how a vote at that point would work: if the deal was voted down, what is the alternative? We will have triggered Article 50 so there is no EU membership. She is a crafty lady is Theresa May. Obviously, all that she did today was set out broad but substantive principles about what the government is seeking from the negotiations and where the lines in the sand are drawn. I think she honoured the referendum result by drawing the lines where she did, which is pretty good going for a remainer. The devil is in the detail in some areas of course but I definitely agree with all that she set out on the table today. I think one of the most difficult elements to the negotiations will be Northern Ireland. But at least there is the Common Travel Area ensconced in the EU legal framework already, which will help negotiations I'm sure. And the pound had its biggest one day rise since 2008!
  5. I have sufficient intelligence to know the difference between someone's professional life and their private business.
  6. Apparently things were better in the NHS in the second week in January. No surprise really. It's the same every year. Funny how that hasn't been reported on the TV. The BBC have snuck it on their website though: There was an interesting piece on BBC North West tonight focusing on Furness General Hospital in Barrow. There is some innovative thinking in the region when it comes to agencies working together and different systems, practical and technological, being adopted to help create a smoother health and social care system. It was also interesting to hear a hospital doctor saying that they don't need more beds, what they need is to work out ways to use the beds they have more effectively.
  7. You are completely rewriting history there. Totally and completely! Or don't you remember things like the hysteria over Nigel Farage and his poster? Immigration, the single market and taking back control of our laws were precisely what the vote was about. You know it but you've hit on this self-delusion from somewhere that has turned you into a history denier! It's quite amusing actually, if not a little sad.
  8. Speak for yourself. I voted leave because I don't want and never have wanted the UK to be subject to the EU, in any way whatsoever. Only I didn't get a chance to express my view until I was halfway through my time on earth. That was a long wait but it was worth it.
  9. Well, it might do to people with your view of the world.
  10. Which country was the trade deal with?
  11. We will find out because I'm sure someone somewhere will start legal action. Legal actions are starting up all over the place. People can't cope with democracy when its outcome doesn't fit with their wishes these days.
  12. I didn't misunderstand anything. Norway wanted to be a member of the single market and so has to be subject to the four principles stuff. We don't want to be subject to those four principles - which underpin EU membership - and so we can't be a member of the single market. Norway has to allow freedom of movement of people, goods, etc in order to be a member of the single market and has also had to adopt all the directives that go along with that. Norway has EU membership lite. We voted for no EU membership.
  13. Reagan did the same thing. Anyone would think a US president meeting a Russian president in a third country is a new thing. Personally, I would much rather the US and Russia be on speaking terms. Both countries, as well as my own, do stuff that either I don't agree with or find abhorrent, but that doesn't change the urge I have not to see the Cold War reinvented.
  14. You can't remain a member of the single market and control migration and all your own laws. Leaving the EU cannot be done without leaving membership of the single market. However, access to the single market is another thing entirely; all countries who do trade with EU countries have access to the single market. I've no idea why people are getting in a flap about this. I voted to leave the EU. Given the 'four principles' bollokeys, that means no longer being a member of the single market. Given that we cannot complete trade deals with countries external to the EU if we remain in the customs union then obviously leaving the EU also means leaving the customs union. However, the whole point of the two year negotiation period is to negotiate a new relationship with the EU, one that we will have once we have left membership of the EU. That will entail negotiating a new access to the single market.
  15. In the print copy of the Times yesterday there was an article on the subject of GP cover. They used two very different practices as examples of how out of hours cover can be created without whinging about too few GPs, etc. One practice comprised two GPs and they worked a shift system between them. The other practice comprised 20 GPs and they offered minor surgery and all sorts of other things. Both practices returned almost 100% positive ratings from their patients. Just as there are hospitals and Trusts that can cope with winter A&E surges and who are developing relationships with social care and such like so there are GP practices that can offer flexible services while maintaining high levels of patient care and completion of paperwork. The questions asked should be why the failing GP surgeries, hospitals and Trusts are failing, not whether the NHS needs more money. The NHS is a bunch of local organisations using a national brand. It isn't a national organisation.