Morning Briefing: D-Day tributes demonstrate current political divisions
As veterans and politicians gather to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, it is impossible not to think of the risks to the world the selfless soldiers who gave their lives to save Europe from tyranny won. As the UK is stuck in the Brexit whirlpool, a few politicians would do well to listen to veterans like Eric Chardin (see video below) before racing over the No Deal Brexit cliff-edge.
The 94-year-old ex-soldier's comments came as more than 120 veterans signed a letter warning that peace and friendship in Europe is threatened by Brexit.
What we learned from Trump's visit
President Trump’s scattergun state visit may have a long term effect on the battle between a No Deal Brexit and a People’s Vote. He made a point of interfering in UK politics, backing a No Deal Brexit, cosying up to Nigel Farage and supporting hardline Tory leadership candidate Boris Johnson.
He and his ambassador Woody Johnson let the cat out of the bag by openly targeting the NHS as being “on the table” as well as revealing to the British people the true potential cost of a hard right exit in areas such as food standards. And he blundered into the complex question of the Irish border.
He wants to see Britain crashing out of the European Union in the most humiliating fashion possible so that we have no option but to sign up to a transatlantic trade deal where the US holds all the cards.
Leading medical journal the Lancet last year exposed the threat to NHS drug procurement from Trump and the People's Vote campaign hammered home the point yesterday with a detailed dossier. It is a clear US trade negotiating objective to secure access for American pharmaceutical companies, who want us to pay much more for vital drugs. This could lead to the NHS - and patients - paying higher prices for drugs.
Even after he left the UK following the moving D Day commemorations in Portsmouth, Trump continued the chaos with a bizarre press conference alongside Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar where he seemed to compare the Irish border to his controversial proposed Mexican wall.
“I think it will all work out very well, and also for you with your wall, your border,” he said. “I mean, we have a border situation in the United States, and you have one over here. But I hear it’s going to work out very well here.”
It revealed a staggering lack of understanding of what is at stake on the island of Ireland when it comes to Brexit, a far-cry from the vital support given to creating the Good Friday Agreement by Bill Clinton two decades ago.
A perfect storm slams into the UK car industry
Now it is Ford’s Bridgend engine plant that is facing closure with 1,700 direct jobs set to go and many more in the supply chain, a brutal blow to the south Wales economy.
It’s not just Brexit uncertainty: falling sales in China and the collapse of the diesel car market are global issues that are hammering the motoring industry. But the UK is no longer seen as a viable base, thanks to Brexit, evidenced by announcements of closures in Swindon by Honda, reductions in investment by Nissan in Sunderland and huge job losses at Jaguar Land Rover (owned by Indian company Tata).
It is the perfect storm of global structural shifts combined with UK and Brexit-specific challenges that are smashing a previously-vibrant industry. And it is the workers and their families who will suffer from the disaster of this ongoing Brexit crisis.
Even short of the catastrophe of a no deal crash out, Brexit threatens the slow death of Britain's advanced manufacturing. Plants might not close overnight but as investment is switched to plants that remain inside the world's biggest single market, the UK would be reduced to, at best, assembling goods already built elsewhere. Jobs will go, pay will fall and the wider economy will be stuck in a long term slowdown relative to even our closest neighbours.
And UK insurer Aviva revealed this morning that 1,800 jobs will go in a streamlining operation. Half of the company's 30,000 staff are in the UK.
Risk to farmers from post-Brexit subsidy change
The National Audit Office has warned that a radical change to farming subsidies after Brexit could fail as not enough time is being allowed for farmers to prepare for it. In a change from current EU rules, farmers would receive subsidies based on environmental and wildlife projects rather than land cultivated.
Politicians and farmers are concerned that some farms could go out of business, particularly small family-run farms. The NAO said it had "serious concerns" that not enough time is being given to manage the massive change. It is yet another example of how the exit from Europe is creating unforeseen challenges.
Peterborough by-election is another test for Jeremy Corbyn
The voters of Peterborough go to the polls this morning to replace disgraced Labour MP Fiona Onasanya. It is another electoral test for Jeremy Corbyn as the party tries to block another surge from the Brexit Party. Another electoral defeat will pile the pressure on the leader to shift his Brexit policy towards backing a People's Vote, while a dismal show for the Conservatives will bring Theresa May's premiership to an end - and probably boost Boris Johnson's campaign.
It's clear that Brexit must be put to the people. Now is a crucial time to get involved with the People's Vote campaign. Sign up to volunteer today.
Quote of the Day
“We live in a parliamentary democracy. You can try to lock the gates of parliament. But to do so for this purpose would be unlawful. This plan is unlawful, undemocratic and unachievable. And the idea itself is profoundly offensive to our liberty, constitution and traditions."
Conservative contender Rory Stewart blasts his hard-line rival Dominic Raab who refuse to rule out proroguing Parliament - effectively shutting it down - in order to crash out of Europe with a No Deal Brexit.
Video of the Day
Consumer watchdog Which? warns against lower food standards in any future transatlantic trade deal.
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Tweet of the Day
Want to try some chlorinated chicken? For our Future's Sake campaigners offer it to the public.
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