Lammy on the EU/FTC

Lammy on the EU/FTC

Two days ago, David Lammy, Labour’s Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs made a speech (mirrored) to a seminar hosted by “UK in a changing Europe”, in which he makes a searing attack on Johnson’s Govt, highlighting the myopia of the defence white papers, and the sectarianism of their approach towards Northern Ireland, and towards the EU. He concludes by stating that Brexit is over, we’re out but that a Labour Government will seek to improve the terms of the Trade & Co-operation agreement, albeit without renegotiating the deal, and without rejoining either the customs union or the single market.

Duncan R2, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Different times

This is disappointing for those of us who never wanted to leave and campaigned with Labour to remain; when will this mandate of the referendum die? When the Labour leadership says, “Not in 50 years”, it is not speaking for me!

In his speech, Lammy says,

The question the country faces is no longer leave or remain. We have already left. The questions people are asking are: How do I pay the bills? How do I put food on the table? How will afford my heating this winter? How do I get an appointment with a GP? What jobs and opportunities are there for my children? And how do we keep our country safe? Only Labour wants to leave behind the binaries of the past.

… the issues that have divided us for half a decade have been settled,

David Lammy MP at UK in a changing Europe

I say, “No they haven’t!”

Corbyn tried this, and Labour’s anti-Corbyn Remainer plotters and Labour’s true Remainer ideologues and voters told him to fuck off; if this comes from Keir and his focus group[1] driven kitchen cabinet. Kier can go there too! This is too important an issue to be a factional issue in my mind.

Brexit has led to a reduction in trade, both imports and exports, failing businesses, a falling currency, a labour shortage, weaker growth, a reduced foreign inward investment flow, the impact of the last compounded by falling domestic investment and the withdrawal of the EU’s cohesion fund expenditure not being replaced by the Govt’s levelling up promises. Brexit also threatens the Union in both Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Lammy addresses the issues of Northern Ireland, and states the Protocol Bill introduced to the House of Commons breaks international law. He then lists a series of failings of the policy and the Bill and concludes,

It’s not even enough to get the DUP to commit to return to Stormont. The only people this Bill satisfies are the ERG.

It’s an interesting and devastatingly accurate criticism.

When he lists proposals on trade friction, he only focuses on Great Britain and Northern Ireland, there seems little interest in addressing the problems that being outside the single market/customs union causes in Kent, or on the east coast and in Scotland, or even in Wales as Eire/Europe trade is diverted to avoid the UK

He proposes free movement for creatives and professional services workers; there is no recognition of the Labour shortages in the UK economy, nor that the UK’s ‘flexible’ immigration policy has a requirement that immigrants can economically support themselves, with a job earning more than £25,600 [2]. This limit means we cannot recruit large numbers of worker roles from abroad, both white and blue collar, most obviously agricultural workers and even teachers.

For some reason they’re frightened of free movement, presumably electoral politics, but immigration numbers are not declining and won’t because the work needs to be done and the taxes paid. Lammy and Labour’s proposals are a freedom of movement for the rich, and says nothing about the right to learn and live across the continent.  Anyone studying Starmer’s track record in the topic knows it comes from him and McSweeny’s focus groups.

He talks about ‘Adequacy’ and ‘Equivalence’. There is little doubt that the Tories plans for weakening the GDPR and monetizing personal data, the extension of state surveillance and their attacks on the independence of the ICO will jeopardise the UK’s ‘Adequacy’ ruling which is becoming more valuable as the CJEU reviews standard clauses and binding corporate commitments against the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Adequacy is important for small business who want to operate without a compliance department. With Adequacy, businesses can trade with the EU and with EU citizens, if we lose it then it becomes more difficulty, although at the moment we have an Adequacy ruling, which we can expect to last until 2024.

Lammy argues that adequacy is crucial for our digital services companies. What digital services companies?  There are now no UK quoted large music companies, the top three of the top four are quoted in the ‘States, while Universal is quoted in the Netherlands and let’s not talk about movies.  For the UK digital services exports, we are talking about people, which brings us back to freedom of movement and the same is true for movies.  Obviously, BT & Vodafone and the BBC are important players here, but the BBC monetises its content through other digital services companies, such as Netflix and Sky[3] and is constrained by law from streaming its own content outside the UK.

Financial Services equivalence should not be a partisan issue; financial services regulation is global and is managed by the G7 and Bank of International Settlements. The change in market share over the last two years is due to the Eurozone requiring that Euro trades occur on EU/member state regulated exchanges.

These items seem to be tick boxes to prove modernity.

I have been campaigning for five demands to ease the problems of the Brexit treaties, and while Lammy and I agree on a creative’s visa, reentry to Horizon and negotiation with the EU over GB/NI trade, he avoids Erasmus and reciprocal voting rights for the 1m Brits living in the EU. Erasmus is and was an important way in which UK academe recruited talent and exercised soft power. Leaving was ideologically driven and designed to increase xenophobia. Again, Labour and the UK could do better. My demands are 5½ months old; I think the modus of acceptable demands has moved since then and that talking about the single market is both acceptable and justified. Those who oppose the single market due to freedom of movement need to answer the question as to how we pick [4] our domestic fruit and veg which is rotting in the fields.

The last issue I want to pick up on is security and defence. I agree that the Tories have since 2010 been dreadful on defence, firstly gutting the budget and then publishing a white paper that ‘turns to the East’ leaving us with a military unprepared for the Ukraine War and Russia’s aggression. There is no question the UK can only defend itself with allies and that NATO is all there is. However, its defenders must recognised that NATO has over the last 30 years looked outside Europe and spent much of its effort and mindshare on ‘out of theatre’ operations which have stretched the popular consent it holds in a number of European countries. I am also of the view that the UK is not, as Lammy said, the largest European military power. France is! France spends more and has more of most assets and more people. It’s just more vainglorious bullshit, echoing Johnson and the Tory’s party’s mantra that defence is only safe in the Tories hands. It also ignores the fact that the EU treaties have a mutual defence clause, that the US under both Trump and Biden have proved unreliable and Germany is probably on the way to rearming. We need allies and we need France & Germany, The future may be more than NATO.

I am disappointed at the cowardice shown by the Labour Front Bench, but not particularly surprised. Starmer has shown himself to be more accepting of Brexit than Corbyn, who it seems, at least remembered that the policy was to accept the referendum but only if the terms were acceptable. Starmer’s Labour voted for the final deal and are not challenging the Brexiters, even as their fantasy crumbles around them.

Finally I am reminded of a prediction made in of all places the International Socialist Journal, on 2nd Jan 2019 where a dissident author, Wayne Asher, argued for a remain position opposing the more popular, in those circles, Lexit position. He argued that the Brexit vote within the working class was not progressive.  He finished his article,

Imagine a worse case situation in the spring, a chaotic Brexit has led to queues on the M20, factory layoffs, food shortages and high inflation after a currency collapse. We will be forced to tell workers that all this is very dreadful and should be fought, but, ahem…we actually supported Brexit. It won’t wash.

Wayne Asher – ISJ Jan 2019

It looks as if the right of the Labour Party have not read this and are still playing triangulation within the Overton window. There is an uber-Remainer vote to win, it’s young, it works and is often not white. The policy goals are insufficient and they are chasing the wrong votes.


Here’s the speech,


[1] Focus groups should test messaging not policies.

[2] This is more than double the pension and four times universal credit. Why are the benefits so low?

[3] That would explain the massive interest by politicians. We should note that creative industries have historically been net importers.

[4] This business sector needs serious improvements in employment protection laws covering zero hour contracts, sick pay and tied accommodation.


An old idea, whose time has come

An old idea, whose time has come

Has the single market pendulum swung? Tobias Ellwood MP, a Tory, lifted the lid? The GMB voted to recognise that we could do better than the terms agreed; it seems I was preceded (or maybe not) by Ann McMorrin MP, who was rebuked by a courageous un-named Labour spokesperson. McMorrin was followed today, by an article from Stella Creasy, arguing that Labour’s silence on the crapness of the Brexit deal leaves the whole of the narrative to the Tories, although crapness is not the word used by Creasy. This is compounded in my mind by Starmer’s decision to vote for the withdrawal deal! The Creasy article is to my mind very good, and here are two quotes,

For fear of saying the wrong thing, many in Labour claim it is better to say nothing at all about Brexit. But such reticence does not honour those who voted Leave – or Remain. Each wanted their vote to mean something better than chaos at the borders or businesses in peril. Post-Brexit, there are many ways forward for the UK and the EU – and most don’t end in a trade war as a distraction from a prime minister’s personal misconduct

Aneurin Bevan once argued that “silent pain evokes no response”. The same is true of silent politics. It will damage our national interest for generations if hostility about the UK working with the EU seeps into public life without dissent. To be able to do business with the biggest trading block in the world, stand shoulder to shoulder against Russian aggression and tackle climate change, terrorism and social injustice, Britain needs us to speak up now. Keeping stumm is not in anyone’s interest except Johnson’s.

Stella creasy – The Observer 19 June 2022

She’s right, we need to talk about the post Brexit deal and the single market; and if the Chair of the Labour Movement for Europe won’t then there’s little reason to expect others to do so as the treatment of McMorrin shows.  …

The EU and the FTC at GMB22

The EU and the FTC at GMB22

I moved Motion 194, from my branch, on the Future Trade & Co-operation Agreement. This motion called for five reforms in the FTC, calling for relaxation of the agreement on freedom of movement, rejoining Horizon Europe, the mutual R&D programme, to enhance inward investment, rejoining Erasmus+ to continue youth and educational exchanges, mutual reciprocal voting agreements to allow citizens of the UK and of the EU to vote where they live, and to ease trade friction particularly in the context of the Northern Ireland Protocol. I have clipped my moving speech, and Joanne Rust's seconding speech. The CEC supported with qualification, and the motion was carried. If you use the 'read more' button, you can see the video of the debate, the words of the motion and my notes on the speech ...

The Single Market

The Single Market

In the middle of the week, one Tory MP wrote in a House of Commons magazine. He catalogued the decline in trade,  GDP and inward investment. He does not mention the traffic queues in Kent or in European airports. On exports he said,

the fishers who can no longer sell their Scottish salmon, to the farmers undercut by unchecked imports, to Cheshire cheesemakers running into £180 health certificates, even to the City which can no longer sell financial services to Europe, sector after sector is being strangled by the red tape we were supposed to escape from.

Tobias Ellwood MP, Politics Home, The House

He concludes that,

In a nutshell, all these challenges would disappear if we dare to advance our Brexit model by re-joining the EU single market (the Norway model). …

Any model will have benefits and drawbacks. The single market means the free movement of goods, services, capital and people. It would see £7bn of paperwork and checks go, and boost our economy by restoring free trade to sectors demanding change. 

Tobias Ellwood MP, Politics Home, The House

What’s fascinating and brave is that this is a Tory MP!. He makes the obvious point that it’s still outside the EU and needn’t be seen as abandoning Brexit, but many in the parliamentary Tory party disagree. It has attracted the usual idiocy from Lord Frost whose response in a non-linked three tweet thread 🤦 is best seen in this article at the London Economic. It’s as light weight as everything else he does.

He’s right we should re-join the single market, and I think that support for this is growing.

The question I ask is where is Labour on this.


Was there “Remainer Sabotage”?

Launching 2019 General Election campaign

Some in Labour continue to fight over the history of Brexit; the so-called Lexiters seem keen to pin the Tories’ Hard Brexit on Sir Kier Starmer. This latest round was sparked by Eagleton’s “The Starmer Project” with replies by me, Andrew Fisher and now Michael Chessum.

Some are keen to smear Starmer as the architect of “Remainer Sabotage”. He was not! Firstly, the idea of Remainer sabotage is a fantasy and secondly, if such a person exists, it is not Starmer, although I am clear there are some senior Labour parliamentarians who used the issue of Brexit to undermine Corbyn. Fisher, who was there, argues that Corbyn’s shadow cabinet followed Conference 18 policy where Starmer delivered the Shadow Cabinet line from the composite meeting, much to the chagrin of many who wanted an explicit reference to “Remain” in the words of the motion.

The reality is that the saboteurs of Corbyn’s leadership over Brexit were the MPs that like their extra-parliamentary fan club wanted a hard Brexit on any terms, some because of ideological commitment some from careerist motives; they voted against each of the options in the 2nd round of meaningful votes, three of which would have passed if they’d votes yes, including an EEA membership. They wanted a Corbyn led Labour Government which negotiated to leave the EU and rhe single market. Sadly for them neither Corbyn nor the Labour Party wanted to leave on poor terms, which they will not admit, and that is all that was left after they sank the options offered in the meaningful votes.

The Lexiter conspiracists also ignore both the tradition and enduring presence of a right wing labour opposition to Europe, and their Tory and foreign allies, in the seventies Enoch Powell, and in the 21st century Nigel Farage & Vladimir Putin. This attempted distancing of their unpleasant allies and their racism is endemic in the political practice of Lexit.

The fact is, that the Lexiters particularly in Parliament, allied with the European Reform Group and the UKIP entryists and sabotaged the choice of anything between Remain and the Tories’ Hard Brexit; they legitimised the working class vote for Brexit, colluded with the argument that a metropolitan elite were trying to steal it from them rather than ask for confirmation that the Govt had got it right and gave them permission to vote for Johnson. It’s not Remainers who should be apologising. …

More on Corbyn, Starmer and Brexit

More on Corbyn, Starmer and Brexit

In my post, Is there a Starmerproject I criticised both Oliver Eagleton, its author, and Richard Seymour, its reviewer, for their takes on the role of Starmer’s Brexit positioning as part of his planned route to the leadership. I quoted Andrew Fisher on his clarification that Labour’s 2017 manifesto was to support the referendum result, only if the terms were right.

Andrew Fisher, in an article on Labour Hub, lambasts Eagleton for trying to accuse John McDonnel & Dianne Abbot of betraying a 40 year friendship and suggesting that Corbyn was too weak to get the policy he wanted. Fisher shows that Corbyn supported Labour Conference policy; it just wasn’t what Lexiters thought it was, or wanted. It’s an important contribution from someone that was there, reminding some on the Left that the CLPs, the Unions, and the majority of Labour Voters wanted to remain and wanted a second referendum. It was those who put their sterile dogma and personal careers first and voted down the meaningful votes that really killed Corbyn’s leadership. Their alternative reality doesn’t exist where a harsher Brexit line would have won the 2019 election. Corbynism was broken by then.

Fisher in his article, “I was at the heart of Corbynism. Here’s why we lost”, looks at Corbynism,  Brexit, the issue that broke it, and opportunities for progress. Fisher is clear that internal opposition and sabotage were also part of the story. He concluded that most importantly the Left needs to develop a practiced of respect for others on left; if it doesn’t it will fail. But at some time this horrendous factionalism will end as enough of Lebour’s leadership realise that “a bird needs two wings to fly”. …

Is there a Starmer Project?

Is there a Starmer Project?

Oliver Eagleton has had a book, “The Starmer Project” published by Verso. Eagleton is the assistant editor of the New Left Review and has been doing the circuits to get the book some publicity. I placed my order late last week. It has been previewed by Eagleton himself on Novara Media, and reviewed by Richard Seymour in the New Statesman (£).

Eagleton compares Starmer with Blair, and finds him wanting as, he argues, does Blair, whom he suggests is exploring a Macron like personality based centrist project. Eagleton argues that despite Blair’s essential centrism, his politics had an optimism, originality and Blair was a great orator although, on the downside, he accuses Blair of introducing a crime for each day of office and he went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq and lost 5m votes between 1997 and 2010. He argues all that’s left for Starmer is the authoritarianism and the need to expunge left social democracy as a political option for Britain. Eagleton also notes that Starmer’s cleaving to the Tory agenda is a result of Labour’s unwillingness and lack of ambition to rebuild/build a winning electoral coalition. Eagleton also did an interview with Caitlin Doherty of Jacobin which reprises these arguments and also reinforces the argument that Starmer is a bureaucrat, which is one of the reasons that Starmer’s attack lines are about managerialism and competence, and not on policy values. It’s a sad observation that the anti-corruption legal remediation comes from NGOs such as the Good Law Project.

Seymour writes a pen picture of Starmer’s route to today, his youthful leftism, his early days as a human rights lawyer, his slow route to becoming the DPP and his record in that role. Seymour summarises the position in 2015 as

By the time Starmer launched his political career in 2015 as Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras, his radical days were behind him. He was a middle-of-the-road Atlanticist with close ties to the state. A number of “activists”, including City financier Paul Myners and Guardian journalist Polly Toynbee begged him to stand in the Labour leadership contest in 2015. He declined, backing Andy Burnham, with whom he was politically aligned, while favouring economic austerity and a tougher line on immigration. 

Seymour – New Statesman

I cannot believe the hubris of suggesting an MP with no time in the House of Commons stand for Leader; it’s on par with appointing people with no election campaigning experience to senior roles in the Labour Party’s organisation and field operations teams.

Seymour looks at Starmer’s role in Corbyn’s cabinet as the shadow spokesperson on Brexit. This is where I part company with Seymour. Labour’s slow move from a worker’s Brexit to a second referendum was driven by three things. The first, the unacceptability of the Tories terms, whether May’s or Johnson’s. Neither Labour Conference nor the 2017 manifesto agreed to “Brexit under any terms”; Fisher, its author, always reminds people, that Labour supported the results of the referendum, provided the terms were acceptable. Secondly, the majority of Labour’s members and voters wanted a second referendum and wanted to remain, much of Labour’s astonishing performance in 2017 was due to remainers having nowhere else to go with only Labour offering any hope of either better terms or remaining. This support within the Party for the EU and the obvious economic damage is what led Corbyn’s closest and longest term allies to come to the conclusion that the Tory Brexit had to be stopped. They became more public after #lab18 and Starmer’s speech. The third factor is that an influential faction within the Labour Party wanted Brexit on any terms; it proved impossible to persuade them to co-operate with the Party and its whip and their parliamentary allies were encouraged by senior members of Corbyn’s office. The reality was that there was no path to Lexit and while Seymour presents Corbyn as seeking to find one, it was never on the table and I question Corbyn’s commitment to it; LOTO were freelancing. May would not or could not compromise enough to get Labour on board and Seymour is silent on the role of Labour’s so-called Lexit MP votes in the meaningful votes (or on medium) in the Spring of 2019 which in retrospect can be seen to have sunk any chance of remaining and although not known at the time sank Corbyn’s leadership. If anything, Starmer’s ’18 speech prolonged Corbyn’s leadership; his interventions on immigration were unhelpful to the Remainer’s cause and to Corbyn.

I have no doubt that many of those inside the Labour Party campaigning for a second referendum did so in bad faith and in the hope of bringing Corbyn down, but not all and the so-called praetorian loyalists who wanted Brexit played into their hands and eventually legitimised the votes of those who voted for Johnson’s Tories for the first time because they too wanted Brexit.

Starmer in his election run for leader did not mention Brexit or the EU and neither did his 10 pledges. This was an obvious clue for those for whom Brexit was the critical issue. Throughout the Corbyn leadership, Starmer has been poor on immigration for instance insisting on toughening up the words in the ‘17 manifesto, other events are listed in Seymour’s review. He was not a serious remainer. Many Labour remainers will have voted for Starmer, but must be disappointed although the clues were there. Some of them have left.

I sort of wonder, why did he lie in his 10 pledges. Has he been captured by the progenitors of New Labour? Or as Seymour says, is triangulating with the Tories where he always wanted to go. Seymour also suggests that oddly like Johnson, the ambition to get the job, is more than the ambition to do something good. There is no doubt he has powerful friends and allies who sustain him in his uber-factional, yet politically empty project.

To get more of the story, we’ll have to wait for Michael Chessum’s book, “This Is Only the Beginning: The Making of a New Left which is not yet available; I am also hoping that Michael looks at the efforts of Labour RemaIN as Labour’s self-destruction over Brexit probably started within that campaign, or even in the seventies when Wilson allowed the Cabinet to do what they liked. This established the precedent that unlike elections, Labour members could campaign against the Party. …

Is exit from the single market dead?

Is exit from the single market dead?

This needs to reported; the UK Government, is postponing the introduction on import checks on goods arriving from the EU. The announcement was made by the Minister for Brexit Opportunities Rees-Mogg. It is reported in the Guardian with the following comment,

You read that right. Jacob Rees-Mogg, arch-leaver and longtime loather of the EU, is now parroting lines from the remain campaign. He is admitting that implementing Brexit in full, honouring the 2016 promise to take back control of Britain’s borders, would be “an act of self-harm”. There’s plenty to attack here, starting with the nerve of hailing this move as “saving” Britons £1bn, when this was £1bn that Britons would never have had to spend at all if it hadn’t been for Brexit. Or you could share the outrage of British farmers, appalled that, thanks to Brexit, they have been left at a serious competitive disadvantage: they now face onerous and costly checks when they ship their goods across the Channel, while French, Italian or Spanish farmers face no such hassle moving their products in the other direction. Or you could worry along with the British Veterinary Association, which warns that not checking food imports leaves Britain exposed to “catastrophic” animal diseases such as African swine fever – a risk that was reduced when Britain was part of “the EU’s integrated and highly responsive surveillance systems”. Or you could join the lament of the UK Major Ports Group, whose members have spent hundreds of millions of pounds building checking facilities, which now stand unused as “bespoke white elephants”.

Jonathan Frredland – TheGuardian

The BBC also report with a comment from Faisal Islam, their economics editor, although they find a quote to illustrate the benefits, or at least the avoidance of further harm. This is the fourth postponement. The critical politics is that this Government, things that the customs checks are a harm.

Luke Cooper of Another Europe, in an article on Brexit Spotlight also highlights the announcement and concludes with,

This is why the Rees-Mogg announcement shows that the game is up for the British exit from the single market. … This [the asymmetric checking system] is self-evidently unsustainable. If the most nationalistic government in recent British history is not able to fully extricate the country from the European market, then it simply isn’t possible. The question now is when – not if – Britain re-joins the single market.

Luke Cooper – Another Europe

At the beginning of the year, I thought that the critical failure of exit from the single market would be in Northern Ireland but maybe not; the new lorry park in Kent is another pressure point and a number of EU exporters were just giving up on the UK as a market. …

Sophie’s choice

I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel Reeves (MP Leeds West) last weekend; she was guest speaker at a Lewisham Labour fund raiser and I was fortunate enough to be able to ask her a question as she was leaving with her sister, Ellie (MP Lewisham West & Penge). I asked where she got her mandate to say we are not going to rejoin the EU in 50 years. She said that it came from Keir and when I said that I’d ask him the same question, she said that we have to win back the Red Wall seats and that even hers remained in jeopardy unless we had a firm position. I did say that “not in 50 years” will lose votes in London, wish I’d made it clear that the “policy” may be posing a choice between the two sisters’ seats.

There’s an interesting asymmetry in the estimated Brexit votes between the two seats, Leeds West 53% leave, Lewisham West and Penge 35% leave. …

Ukraine, war & Britain

Ukraine, war & Britain

I wrote a piece two days ago, focusing on what UK  citizens and residents of good will should do about the war in Ukraine but feel I need to clarify.

I congratulate the Ukrainian people and their armed forces for the defence they have put up. It proves to me that the UK, because that is what I know , was fooled by the hybrid war conducted by Russia who weakened the UK’s will to resist its imperial adventures and defend its own democracy. Russia funded the Brexit campaign and much of the Tory Party; Brexit is a massive weakening of the European self defence capability as we can see by the EU’s speed in responding to the Russian invasion compared with the UK’s pedestrian pace. Russia’s propaganda presented us with a view as to the invincibility and overwhelming numeric superiority of the Russian Army.  This imbued in some British people, including me, a moral cowardice. This cowardice, equivalent to appeasement in the 30’s will have been reinforced by the moral subversion of NATO due to its US led adventurism in the Middle East.

NATO is the only alliance that can act but to call it a great achievement is hubristic and sectarian overstatement. Today’s NATO is not the same organisation as it was thirty years ago. The need for NATO will be proven if Sweden and Finland seek to join but all its fans need to recognise that the US is not the reliable and generous ally it once was. Trump explicitly questioned the US commitment to Article 5 and Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was not agreed by NATO.

The Ukrainian state is not pretty, it has the 3rd worst record in front of the European Court of Human Rights, and is judged by the EIU democracy index as a Hybrid State. In terms of both metrics the Russian record is worse. NATO member Turkey is the second most frequent breacher of the ECHR. But the Russian invasion is a war crime which it seems will now be investigated by the ICC. Good!

Throughout this we must not forget the brave Russians who are expressing their opposition to the war.

At home, a government that speaks for me must

  • Implement effective sanctions
  • Set up effective and generous refugee acceptance programmes
  • Purge itself of Russian funded corruption
  • Develop a defence policy that defends us against real threats not fake ones.

I would add that we should rejoin the EU but that will not happen until it ceases to be a partisan issue, however this will take much less than 50 years. …