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  • jk40 (Photo by Rain Bennett on Unsplash)
    Article: Dec 2, 2021

    The Liberal Democrat demand for a public enquiry into lessons learnt from our covid experience has still to be met.

    One lesson that it doesn't need an enquiry would surely be that government communications must be clear and simple. Another is that the public finds it completely unacceptable that the government sets one set of rules for us whilst ignoring them with impunity themselves.

  • 72zq (Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash)
    Article: Dec 1, 2021

    Two unrelated stories today show that we are continuing to damage our environment with real consequences. Despite all the green statements and targets issued by the government the reality on delivery continues to disappoint. As we have said many times before you should judge the Conservative party on what it achieves not the promises it makes.

  • us20 (Photo by Alejandro Luengo on Unsplash)
    Article: Nov 30, 2021

    It was inevitable really, that the UK leaving the EU and the associated red tape around imports and exports linked to that decision, would change trade patterns around the Irish Sea, and so it has proved.

    The Guardian reports on official data showing that the volume of goods shipped directly from Ireland to the EU on new Brexit-busting ferry routes have rocketed by 50% in the past six months as exporters seek to avoid travelling across land through Great Britain.

    The paper says that figures published by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) show significant traffic diverted away from the traditional routes between Dublin and Britain to some of 32 new ferry services direct to ports such as Le Havre, Cherbourg and Dunkirk in France and Zeebrugge in Belgium.

    Inevitably, this is going to have a detrimental impact on Welsh and Engliosh ports, with IMDO report showing freight volumes from Dublin port to Liverpool and Holyhead in Anglesey down 19% in the first three-quarters of 2021 compared with 2020 and down by 30% on the two routes from Rosslare in south-east Ireland to the Welsh ports of Pembroke and Fishguard:

    "It is clear that the new trading arrangements between Ireland and the UK have had a significant and negative effect upon ro-ro [roll-on roll-off lorry haulage] freight traffic between the two countries," the IMDO report said. "Underpinning all of these trends are the new customs and trading arrangements between Ireland and the UK that came into force on 1 January 2021," it added.

    "One-third of all ro-ro in the Republic of Ireland now operates on direct routes to ports in the European Union, up from a 16% share in 2019," the IMDO said.

    Traffic for the second and third quarters of this year show Irish Republic to EU traffic is already up by 52% compared with the entirety of 2019, it added.

    The decline in demand for the ferry services to Wales and Liverpool has also seen Northern Irish ports receiving a Brexit dividend, with freight volumes hitting "unprecedented highs in 2021".

    Yet another area of the UK economy where the Brexit divident has proven to be a negative.

  • l62a (Photo by Brad West on Unsplash)
    Article: Nov 29, 2021

    Its always good to blame the French when things go wrong. politically it seems to be a easy win

    When it comes to immigration by boat across the channel however we need to be careful. Our track record in this area leaves a lot to be desired.

    Back in 2016 when harrowing pictures of the child washed up on a European beach first appeared there was widespread public revulsion and a call for something to be done. The result was the so called Dubbs amendment which committed Britain to take unaccompanied children into the UK. Alf Dubbs who as a child came to the UK fleeing the Nazis hoped some 3000 children would be resettled . In the end before the government quietly shelved the scheme only around 500 had been admitted

  • ny77 (By Richard Townshend - https://members-api.parliament.uk/api/Members/4066/Portrait?cropType=ThreeFourGallery: https://members.parliament.uk/member/4066/portrait, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86678175)
    Article: Nov 25, 2021

    The news last night that almost 30 refugees had drowned in the channels is so sad and shocking.. That it should happen in one of the worlds busiest shipping lanes between two of the worlds richest countries makes it doubly unforgivable. It is the latest in a growing list of areas where our Home Secretary is struggling to meet her promises.