Category: News Bites

The oven-ready deal was no deal – Negotiations collapsing

October 16th, 2020 by

Negotiations between the EU and UK have been breaking down for weeks and today Boris Johnson told the country to prepare for an Australian-type deal. In real language, that’s no deal.

Boris Johnson had previously said in September 2019 that failure to get a deal would be a “failure of statecraft”, and by his own words, this is a failure.

Boris Johnson had set a deadline for negotiations to conclude yesterday, 15 October. Despite the deadline passing, EU member states have now agreed that Michel Barnier can continue the discussions with the UK over the next two weeks.

However, there are still two sticking points preventing a deal, state aid, and fishing. As it stands, both sides in the negotiations appear to be standing their ground. The EU has stuck to its negotiating position despite the UK expecting them to blink first.

Update: 3PM GMT

Leaked letter highlights serious problems with border control plans

July 9th, 2020 by

A leaked letter from Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, highlights serious concerns about the government’s full border control plans. She warns of smuggling and a legal challenge from the World Trade Organisation.

UK formally confirms it will not seek transition period extension

June 12th, 2020 by

During the current COVID-19 crisis the UK economy has plunged 20% due to the lockdown. Today the Conservatives officially announced they will not seek a transition period extension.

The UK will leave the EU on 1 Jan 2021 which could now damage the economy further as the country tries to get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government details new points-based immigration policy

February 19th, 2020 by

The government has now detailed their immigration policy which will come into effect January 2021. The system is a new points-based system. A total of 70 points is required to be eligible to apply; some characteristics are tradeable and are detailed in the table below.

We accept the MAC’s recommendation on salary thresholds, including to lower the general salary threshold from £30,000 to £25,600. Migrants will still need to be paid the higher of the specific salary threshold for their occupation, known as the ‘going rate’, and the general salary threshold. However, as set out below, under the points-based system for skilled workers, applicants will be able to ‘trade’ characteristics such as their specific job offer and qualifications against a lower salary. There will continue to be different arrangements for a small number of occupations where the salary threshold will be based on published pay scales. We will set the requirements for new entrants 30% lower than the rate for experienced workers in any occupation and only use the base salary (and not the allowances or pension contributions) to determine whether the salary threshold is met. Additionally, in line with the MAC’s recommendations, we will not introduce regional salary thresholds or different arrangements for different parts of the UK.

Source.

Characteristics Tradeable Points
Offer of job by approved sponsor No 20
Job at appropriate skill level No 20
Speaks English at required level No 10
Salary of £20,480 (minimum) – £23,039 Yes 0
Salary of £23,040 – £25,599 Yes 10
Salary of £25,600 or above Yes 20
Job in a shortage occupation (as designated by the MAC) Yes 20
Education qualification: PhD in subject relevant to the job Yes 10
Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job Yes 20

Responses

 

Boris Johnson’s new cabinet and the Tufton Street lobbying network

February 15th, 2020 by

It’s been known for a long time that many of the current crop of Conservatives have links to the pro-leave Tufton Street pressure groups. In a new article on DesmogUK, they connect the dots between the new cabinet and their advisors to these organisations following the reshuffle on Thursday 13 February.

These connections are especially important as they highlight the uphill struggle the UK will have when it comes to saving our environment and regulations with Tuton Street lobbying organisations continuing to influence government policy.

Many of these groups are climate change deniers with organisations within Tufton Street taking donations from the fossil fuel industry. The connection between these lobbying groups and senior members of the government is certainly something to be concerned about.