Brexit

So, here we are, a couple or three months away from the ‘Brexit’  (I so hate that word!) deadline.

What do we know for sure?

  • We were lied to on a grand scale

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  • The far right of the Conservative party are desperate for us to leave without a deal ( what the newspapers are calling a ‘hard brexit’).

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  • The Labour leadership have been less than dynamic over the whole thing.
  • The UK is split more than ever
  • Theresa May has proved to be a ‘uniter’ – Pretty much everyone is united in their dislike of her!

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  • Only 70% of the electorate voted in the referendum
  • Of the 43,000,000 entitled to vote, just 17,410,742 voted to leave (40%)
  • 25,589,258 people did not vote to leave the EU.
  • The consistency for a ‘peoples vote’ – or in other words, a second referendum has been with the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats.

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Given the importance of this issue to the UK in general, would it be right to have another vote?

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This ConservativeGovernment

I’m old enough to have lived through all the recent Conservative governments from Winston Churchill in 1951 onwards.

I cannot remember any that are as extreme and the ones in government at the moment.

What normal people would bring in a policy which actively hurts disabled people, to the point that, they commit suicide, and then spend more in the courts fighting to avoid it becoming public than what they saved in the first place? That is not the way normal human beings treat each other.

Apparently, around 90 people per month are dying after being declared fit for work – The work capability assessments, currently administered by private outsourcing firm Maximus, (having for most of the last government been run by Atos), have been widely criticised, often causing harm to the sick and disabled claimants who are obliged to undergo it. It has been dogged by administrative delays, which have often left claimants stressed and penniless, and there have been hundreds of thousands of appeals against fit-for-work decisions in recent years, about four in 10 of which have succeeded.

The DWP defended the accuracy of the assessments and said the statistics proved no causal effect between benefits and mortality. It said: “These isolated figures provide limited scope for analysis, and nothing can be gained from this publication that would allow the reader to form any judgment as to the effects or impacts of the WCA.”

It is “shameful” and “unsubstantiated” to claim benefit cuts have caused suicides, a Tory minister declared – Sarah Newton accused critics of “deliberately misusing data” to say Tory welfare reforms are driving people to death.

Activists such as the Black Triangle Campaign have spent years amassing dozens of individual reports of benefit claimants’ suicides since the Tories took power in 2010.

Disability campaigners also marched with a banner listing names of people who “died due to sanctions and benefit cuts”.

From the Guardian– The UK government is failing to uphold disabled people’s rights across a range of areas from education, work and housing to health, transport and social security, a UN inquiry has found.

The UN committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities examined the government’s progress in fulfilling its commitments to the UN convention on disabled people’s rights, to which the UK has been a signatory since 2007.

Its report concludes that the UK has not done enough to ensure the convention – which enshrines the rights of disabled people to live independently, to work and to enjoy social protection without discrimination – is reflected in UK law and policy.

In November 2017 the same UN committee issued a scathing report on austerity policies pursued by the UK government in welfare and social care, which it described as “systematic violations” of the rights of people with disabilities. The government dismissed the report as patronising and offensive.

It doesn’t just stop with the DWP, no, the home office are as bad.

“The Conservatives seem hellbent on creating a hostile environment for anyone not from the UK,” said the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Ed Davey back in 2017. “These scare tactics should be beneath any civilised government.”

The tactics, however, are multiplying: landlords are now required to carry out checks on tenants’ immigration status. Hospitals, community interest companies and charities receiving NHS funds must conduct ID checks on patients before treatment in order to bill them if they are found not eligible for NHS care. From January, banks and building societies have been compelled to carry out immigration checks on the owners of 70m current accounts.

In a post-Brexit Britain, the picture is set to get even harsher. The right under which EU nationals can bring family members, including spouses, to live with them in the UK is already a flashpoint in the Brexit talks on citizens’ rights. But in October 2017, a leaked Home Office document suggested the government wants to go further in weakening family reunion rights for EU nationals in Britain, turning thousands more into so-called “Skype families”.

Back in 2012 when Teresa May was home secretary she said “The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants,”  when she was challenged on why annual net immigration, then running at about 250,000, was stubbornly above the Conservatives’ controversial “tens of thousands” target.

Since the EU referendum, detentions and enforced removals of all foreign nationals, including EU citizens, have risen sharply. Analysis of government data shows deportations of EU citizens are at their highest since records began, with 5,301 EU nationals removed during the year ending June 2017, an increase of 20% on the previous 12 months. More broadly, the number of EU citizens detained has increased six fold since 2009. Critics believe that Brexit has, in effect, given the Home Office the green light to target Europeans in the UK.

This, courtesy of the Independent newspaper– In 2015, the last full year for which Home Office data is available, 3,699 EU citizens were detained under immigration powers – 11.4 per cent of all detainees – while in 2009 just 768 were detained, 2.7 per cent of the total.harmondsworth2

What I’m describing above are not the actions of a centre right government – a government that treats it’s citizens in this way is a far right government – bordering on fascist in my view.

Now I understand that not everyone will share my views, however whilst free speech is still allowed in this country please accept my right to use it.