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Westlake Legal Group > immigration

Iain Mansfield: We have nothing to fear from No Deal

Iain Mansfield is a former senior civil servant, winner of the Institute of Economic Affairs Brexit prize and a Conservative councillor candidate. He writes in a personal capacity.

One constant on our journey to leave the EU is that the predictions of Project Fear have repeatedly failed to come true. Despite the predictions of the Treasury, there was no immediate recession, “immediate and profound economic shock”, ten per cent drop in house prices or ‘’Punishment Budget’ as a consequence of the vote to Leave. Instead we’ve seen a growing economy, the highest ever level of employment, growing wages, falling inflation and an £11.8bn increase in exports in 2018.

The new bogeyman is No Deal. The summer of 2018 saw repeated stories of planes being grounded in the event of No Deal, only for, entirely predictably, the EU to make provision in December for flights to continue for twelve months to allow alternative measures to be put in place. More recently, claims that our trade to other countries would grind to a halt are being refuted by the regular drumbeat of mutual recognition agreements signed by the Department of International Trade, including one last week with our largest non-EU trade partner, the USA. I do not say that there will be no short-term impact in the event of No Deal, but it will be vastly less than is being suggested.

In my 2014 prize-winning paper for the Institute of Economic Affairs, I explicitly considered the possibility of No Deal. No Deal was not the preferred outcome – I would have preferred a Free Trade Agreement, outside both the Single Market and Customs Union, similar to the position set out by Vote Leave in June 2016. It was, however, always a potential outcome, and it was important to consider how to put in place policies to make a success of it. In this article, I set out a high-level set of policies for making a success of No Deal, drawing on that paper and ongoing developments in the four years since.

Making a success of a Managed No Deal

Citizen’s RightsThe welfare of both UK and EU citizens is of the highest priority. As the Prime Minister has already announced, all EU citizens living in the UK should continue to be able to do so, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations. Many EU countries have already put in place equivalent arrangements for UK citizens and similar commitments should be sought from those that have yet to do so.

Visas and Migration: The UK should put in place visa-free arrangements for short-term tourist and business travel, covering up to 90 days in any 180 day period, mirroring the scheme already announced by the EU. Immigration rules for EU nationals should be brought in to line with those for non-EU nationals, ending the current discriminatory arrangements. There should be no cap on the number of EU students, but students arriving after March 2019 should not receive government-funded loans and should pay fees at international rates.

‘Divorce bill’: In the event of No Deal, it is self-evident that no money should be paid to the EU.

Trade and tariffsThe UK should abide by WTO rules and impose the same tariffs on EU importe that are currently faced by imports from outside the EU. Notwithstanding the theoretical positive economic case for unilaterally removing tariff barriers, it is important that shutting the UK out of EU markets is not a cost-free decision for continental business, in order to build the environment for a future deal once the political climate has altered.

Due to the UK’s trade deficit with the EU, estimates suggest we stand to collect up to an extra £13 billion a year from tariffs, while the EU would gain only £5 billion. Some of these funds should be used to help industries most impacted by EU trade barriers adjust and find new markets, in a strictly time-limited and tapering way to prevent them fostering inefficiency and rent-seeking behaviour. The rest should be reinvested into infrastructure and other competitiveness-enhancing investments.

Within six months of leaving, the UK should draw up a list of goods on which the EU has imposed unnecessarily high tariffs. This should prioritise consumer goods that the UK produces little of itself – from oranges to textiles – to directly reduce the cost of living without harming jobs.

Industrial StrategyIn contrast to Project Fear’s claims, EY’s 2018 UK Attractiveness Survey – an annual examination of the performance and perceptions of the UK as an investment destination – confirmed that the UK remains the number one destination for inward investment in Europe, with the number of investment projects up six per cent from the year before. Though Brexit has had an impact, it is small: 79 per cent of businesses say that they’ve increased or not changed their plans to invest since the Brexit vote, with only eight per cent saying they are likely to relocate assets within the next three years.

The UK should capitalise on this investor confidence. With full freedom to set our own regulatory affairs, the UK should rapidly seek to reform business regulation in areas where the EU has imposed unnecessary bureaucracy, particularly in sectors where this has directly targeted UK competitiveness. Existing labour rights and environmental standards should be maintained.

Broader measures to promote business investment should also be brought forward. A step-wise lowering of corporation tax to 15 per cent by 2022, an enhancement of R&D tax credits, the creation of special export zones and increased transport infrastructure, particularly in the Midlands and North, are all ideas that should be considered for fast-track implementation.            

UK-Ireland land border: No physical barriers should be erected on the Irish border. Importers bringing goods across the border should be required to register and pay tariffs on any imports using an online portal, with compliance enforced via spot-checks on industrial and commercial facilities and an enhancement of the existing cross-border arrangements used to combat smuggling. The success of this system should be reviewed 12 months after exit, ideally in partnership with the Republic of Ireland, and limited border checks introduced only if both parties agree it is necessary.

Individuals should be allowed to move freely across the island of Ireland, with eligibility for work, residency and benefits checked only when a person applied for such. A generous allowance for transport of goods for personal consumption should be put in place.

Existing controls would remain in place at airports and ports to monitor travel between the island of Ireland and Great Britain.

If the Republic of Ireland chooses to erect physical barriers on the border, that would be its decision, not the UK’s.

Future EU Relations: The UK should not seek to immediately negotiate a trade deal with the  EU. After the acrimony of the current negotiations, this would be unlikely to lead to a positive outcome. Instead, the UK should increase business certainty by clearly pursuing an economic path that lies outside the EU.

The year immediately following exit should be used to regularise agreements in essential areas, such as air travel, which will initially be covered by emergency arrangements. These should largely be technical affairs modelled on the EU’s and UK’s arrangements with third parties. It may also be possible to negotiate entry into stand-alone, uncontroversial, programmes such as those on scientific cooperation.

It is likely that in three to five years’ time the political situation may have calmed sufficiently to seek to negotiate a stand-alone trade agreement. This should be modelled on the Canada Free Trade Agreement and would take as its status quo the No Deal arrangements, in order to avoid unreasonable expectations on either side.

We have nothing to fear from No Deal

I am not a No Deal fanatic. Last year on this site I advocated support for Chequers, and I still believe that, if the backstop is removed from the Withdrawal Agreement, the deal would be worth signing. We must not, however, accept a deal at any cost. To succeed in any negotiation, one must be prepared to walk away – and the actions of MPs who have effectively announced that they will take any deal, however bad, have undoubtedly hamstrung our negotiations.

The Conservative Manifesto set it out clearly: No Deal is better than a bad deal. I continue to hope that a compromise will be found, and that the EU will agree to remove or place a time-limit on the backstop. However, rather than accept a deal which yokes us indefinitely to the EU, we should embrace a future outside. No Deal would bring with it many compensations, including regulatory freedom, tariff income and £39 billion of cold, hard cash. Britain’s fundamental economic strengths, competitiveness and international relationships, supported by an appropriate set of domestic policies, mean it is abundantly clear that we can have a positive economic future in this scenario.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Former border super-hawk Kirsten Gillibrand: Sure, I could support tearing down some border fencing

Westlake Legal Group kg Former border super-hawk Kirsten Gillibrand: Sure, I could support tearing down some border fencing wall Trump The Blog immigration hawk gillibrand border blue dog

Let this serve as your daily reminder that she is, in fact, The WorstWestlake Legal Group 2122 Former border super-hawk Kirsten Gillibrand: Sure, I could support tearing down some border fencing wall Trump The Blog immigration hawk gillibrand border blue dog   . I don’t use the term “border super-hawk” lightly either but she earned it for her approach to immigration as a young Blue Dog Dem representing a conservative district in upstate New York 10 years ago. In some alternate reality she never got appointed to the Senate and is currently Trump’s most hardcore Democratic backer in the House, pissing off progressives by backing him to the hilt on the wall.

Nah, I’m just kidding. A Twitter pal is right that she would have been wiped away as part of the big red wave of 2010. Instead we’re stuck in this reality, where she’s a pretend leftist who’s headed for one percent of the vote in the Democratic primaries. That’s the only consolation in watching this clip. Beto really might support open borders on the merits but Gillibrand’s simply saying the most expedient thing she can say, as she does at every moment. If a miracle occurred to make her the nominee and she suddenly had to face a purplish national electorate, she’d drop her open-borders stance as quickly as she dropped her strong-borders stance before.

Speaking of centrists and the Democratic primaries, Howard Schultz somehow figured out a way to get the left to hate him even more, a feat I would not have guessed was possible:

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said Thursday that he would be willing to abandon his presidential ambitions midstream if Democrats nominate a centrist who makes it too difficult for him to win as an independent candidate…

A more moderate Democratic nominee, such as former vice president Joe Biden or former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, could complicate Schultz’s perceived path to victory.

“I would reassess the situation if the numbers change as a result of a centrist Democrat winning the nomination,” Schultz said.

Having an independent run by Schultz scare Democratic primary voters into supporting a centrist as party nominee is the worst-case scenario for progressives, I assume. If they had to choose between, say, a binary Biden-versus-Trump race and a three-way contest between Bernie Sanders, Trump, and Schultz, I think they’d take the latter. At least in the second situation they get a nominee about whom they’re truly excited and who would push the country much further left if elected. And there’s no guarantee that Schultz would, as most pundits expect, end up pulling more votes from Sanders than from Trump. He *might* benefit Democrats by jumping in and stealing some center-right votes from suburbanites who dislike Trump but would otherwise prefer him to the Democratic candidate. Schultz is doing what little he can here to push them towards their least favorite outcome.

And when I say “little,” I do mean little. Very, very little.

Exit question: Has Open-Borders Beto finally decided to jump in? Sure sounds like it.

The post Former border super-hawk Kirsten Gillibrand: Sure, I could support tearing down some border fencing appeared first on Hot Air.

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Trump on emergency decree: I didn’t need to do this, I just wanted to build the wall faster

Westlake Legal Group t-16 Trump on emergency decree: I didn’t need to do this, I just wanted to build the wall faster Trump The Blog immigration faster emergency declare border amnesty

I’m imagining Andrew McCabe watching this clip, having just spent a day being told that the 25th Amendment should be reserved for cases of mental incompetence, and thinking, “Exactly.”

We don’t need to get into why this is a damaging thing for him to admit, right? We all graduated from fourth grade. Suffice it to say, George Conway’s probably correct that “I didn’t need to do this” will be the first line of every complaint filed in court against Trump’s emergency declaration.

There are two ways a court might attack his new executive order. One is on the law, imposing some sort of constitutional limit on the president’s power to declare emergencies when it’s clear that Congress opposes him doing so. The other is on the facts, i.e. even assuming for argument’s sake that the president can declare an emergency over Congress’s objection, the particular facts in this case don’t support the finding that an emergency exists. Courts prefer not to issue sweeping rulings about constitutional powers if they can avoid it, so now that Trump’s handed them a handy factual argument against his case — by his own admission the situation at the border wasn’t so urgent that he had no choice but to act when he did — they’ll probably rule against him on those grounds instead of on separation-of-powers grounds.

But we’ll see. Philip Klein thinks Trump’s point about speed in the clip can be used to bolster his emergency case. If it wasn’t an emergency, he wouldn’t be in a hurry, right? I think that’s undermined by the part where Trump says he “didn’t need to do this” but certainly Klein’s take is how the DOJ will try to spin the comment.

Why did Trump declare an emergency, anyway, when he might have achieved the same thing by using other forms of executive action and thereby avoided an attempt by Congress to override his declaration? This line from WaPo stopped me cold: “Yet for Trump, the negotiations were never really about figuring out how to win. They were about figuring out how to lose — and how to cast his ultimate defeat as victory instead.” I think that’s right. And if the point ultimately was more about saving face than securing a meaningful policy win, an emergency declaration does make more sense. It’s bold (“Trump liked the idea of declaring a national emergency because it’s the maximalist, most dramatic option,” notes Axios) and it reflects the right’s belief that illegal immigration is a genuine national crisis. Trump was afraid of looking weak in front of his base if he declined to choose the emergency route, notes a different WaPo story. Might as well go big. It’s not like the pipsqueaks in the Senate are going to vote to stop him.

There’s one glaring problem with an emergency decree, though, that Nate Silver noticed:

Westlake Legal Group n-1 Trump on emergency decree: I didn’t need to do this, I just wanted to build the wall faster Trump The Blog immigration faster emergency declare border amnesty

Silver’s been beating the drum for weeks now that Trump’s “all base, all the time” strategy is wrecking his chances of reelection. The reason is that the middle is the only slice of the electorate whose views of him ever change. The right loves him unconditionally and supports everything he does. (Sorry, Ann.) The left hates him just as unwaveringly. Follow the link to Silver’s post and you’ll find a table demonstrating just how rigid Trump’s approval was among Republicans and Democrats even during the shutdown. The only group where the needle ever moves is independents. If he can figure out a way to win more of them over, he’s suddenly in good shape for 2020. If instead he keeps doubling down on ideas that the right loves but which indies dislike, like an emergency decree to build the wall, he could be cooked. If righties outnumbered lefties in the electorate, victory might be a simple matter of turning out the base. But they don’t and it isn’t, as the midterms just proved. And no matter who Trump faces next year, that person’s bound to be a less juicy target for political attacks than Hillary Clinton was.

You don’t need to take it from Silver, though:

Follow the link in her tweet and read Walter’s piece about what Trump is up against in the midwest. The secret to his success in 2016, she notes, was much stronger enthusiasm among his fans than among Hillary’s plus feelings of ambivalence towards *both* nominees among less partisan voters. That enthusiasm gap will close next year thanks to Democrats’ eagerness to defeat him, though, and unpopular measures like an emergency decree for the wall do him no favors among the “ambivalent” segment. He’s governing as though his approval rating were 55 percent instead of 43. That’s the only explanation for why he’d wait until after his party lost total control of Congress to pick a fight on the wall, force an unpopular shutdown over it, prolong the political agony by giving Congress a few weeks to negotiate a deal that was bound to disappoint, and now finally resolve the standoff with an even more unpopular emergency decree. Even as a base strategy it’s failed. Some border hawks like Coulter are irate that he agreed to sign such a weak bill and some conservatives are irate at how he’s stepping on separation of powers. What a fiasco.

And the fact that it would end in a fiasco, if perhaps not this precise fiasco, was foreseeable from the start.

Here’s Trump giving Coulter the “Ann who?” treatment even though she helped write his immigration plan as a candidate. By the way, a bill is already brewing in the House that would overturn Trump’s emergency declaration. Guess who’s behind it.

The post Trump on emergency decree: I didn’t need to do this, I just wanted to build the wall faster appeared first on Hot Air.

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Beto O’Rourke: Yes, we should tear down the border fence near El Paso

Westlake Legal Group bo Beto O’Rourke: Yes, we should tear down the border fence near El Paso wall The Blog Immigration and Customs Enforcement immigration enforcement Chris Hayes border Beto O'Rourke barrier

A few years ago this would have been evidence that he’s not running for president. No one with national ambitions would claim that not only do we not need more border security, we should undertake to remove some of the security measures we’ve already built.

In 2019, with the left having embraced open borders forthrightly, it’s evidence that he is running.

He’s arguing at cross-purposes here, claiming that the fence doesn’t effectively deter illegal immigration but also that it deters it so effectively that it steers illegals into trying to cross into the U.S. over more dangerous unfenced terrain, which for some ends in death. This is a recurring theme of O’Rourke’s immigration rhetoric: Even non-lethal means of border enforcement are immoral because there’s always some risk of a lethal outcome if an illegal is determined enough to try to cross. It’s no different from saying that it’s immoral to bolt your door at night because doing so might force an intruder to break a window to gain entry and he might cut himself while stepping past the shards. To Beto, the moral burden is entirely on the homeowner, not the intruder. America’s basic sovereign prerogative in controlling who enters the country isn’t so much as a fart in the wind in his thinking.

I assume he would support withdrawing all forms of security at the border, not just walls, apart from counterterrorism checks on people entering. After all, by O’Rourke’s logic, what’s the difference between a fence and a Border Patrol outpost? If we’re worried about illegals putting their lives at risk by trying to cross through the desert, fear of detection by the BP is as much of an incentive as avoiding a physical barrier is. The chatter about fences and walls and so on obscures the more basic and ominous point, which is that he believes border enforcement is wrong in principle. And increasingly within his party, especially among younger progressives, he’s not alone.

The post Beto O’Rourke: Yes, we should tear down the border fence near El Paso appeared first on Hot Air.

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Pelosi: You want to talk national emergencies? School shootings like Parkland are a national emergency

Westlake Legal Group pp Pelosi: You want to talk national emergencies? School shootings like Parkland are a national emergency The Blog stoneman pelosi Parkland national emergency immigration douglas

The more I think about it, the more I think today’s fiasco is low-key one of the stupidest, most self-defeating episodes of Trump’s presidency. He had total control of government for two years, at any point of which he could have demanded full funding for the wall, and somehow he parlayed it into:

1. A bad immigration bill which his base despises and which gives him barely more than a billion dollars for “fencing,” and
2. An emergency declaration which the public hates, which probably won’t stand up in court, and, if it does, will certainly benefit the left’s agenda more long-term than it will the right’s.

Oh, and he shut down the government in the process to make all of that happen, taking a (temporary) hit to his approval rating in the process. It’s almost miraculously incompetent.

At least he earned some cred from his populist fans by declaring that emergency, though. Wait, no? They still think he’s a sellout?

Philip Klein sees the future. And not the distant future, either:

Those who seek to limit the size and scope of government should want it to be more difficult for the executive to arbitrarily use power. That Trump is taking this action means that a Republican president will have been on board with using emergency powers to undertake a massive infrastructure project without the consent of Congress. What’s more, the Republican leader in the Senate, along with no doubt plenty of other Republicans, will have signed on this action, along with, no doubt, plenty of conservative Trump cheerleaders.

For the past week, we’ve been debating infeasibility of the Green New Deal. But many of its provisions suddenly become a lot more politically possible if a president is allowed to seize emergency powers in such a way. If Trump succeeds, it would not be difficult for a Democrat to declare an emergency based on the National Climate Assessment, and then go about using the military for massive infrastructure projects in clean energy.

“I don’t want this national emergency move to become the new Harry Reid’s filibuster reform,” warns Dana Loesch. Better hope that Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh “disappoint” the right by nuking this power grab, then. Because, as you’re about to see, Nancy Pelosi’s already thinking about the possibilities of future executive decrees. Selling the public on the idea that gun violence is a national emergency would be a lot easier than selling them on the idea that illegal immigration is.

By the way, most of the chatter this past week from the media’s White House sources was that Trump *wouldn’t* declare an emergency. Rather, he’d cite some form of “legal executive authority” to try to re-appropriate Pentagon money for the wall. The advantage of doing that was that it would have prevented Congress from holding a vote to try to rescind his order; by law, in cases of an emergency decree, the House and Senate can act to nullify the decree. The fact that Trump is going ahead with a decree anyway makes me think he’s confident that, with McConnell’s backing, the GOP caucus will fall in line and not try to override any emergency declaration. To put that another way, it’s within the power of 20 Senate Republicans to stop him from setting this garbage precedent. But they won’t do it because they care more about their jobs than they do about letting POTUS flout separation of powers, even knowing full well how this will be used against the right down the road.

The post Pelosi: You want to talk national emergencies? School shootings like Parkland are a national emergency appeared first on Hot Air.

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McConnell: Trump will sign this terrible immigration bill — and also declare an emergency on the border

Westlake Legal Group t-14 McConnell: Trump will sign this terrible immigration bill — and also declare an emergency on the border wall Trump The Blog Shutdown ingraham immigration Government compromise border bill

Here we go.

The view earlier this afternoon on the populist right…

…and the view on the establishment right:

If Trump finds the bill objectionable, and there are various reasons why he might, he could always reject it and offer to sign a clean short-term funding bill to keep the government open while negotiations continue. But would Pelosi agree to that? She might say “take it or leave it.”

In which case, I assume, Trump would say “leave it,” offer to sign a clean long-term funding bill to avert a new shutdown, and remove the border-wall fight to court by declaring a national emergency. There’s really no reason not to at this point. His fans would love it if he rejected a bad border compromise, and he stands a chance of winning a court battle that would allow him to reappropriate Pentagon money. What does he gain by signing legislation that his base dislikes if he’s resolved to invoke some sort of executive authority and have a fight over the wall in court anyway?

Per CNN, he’s allegedly been complaining to staff that Republican negotiators in Congress got outmaneuvered by their Democratic counterparts. I’d say that the outmaneuvering began in 2017, when Trump failed to turn up the heat on the Republican-controlled Congress to fund the wall for him, but fair enough:

[P]rivately, Trump has cast the GOP’s dealmaking efforts as inadequate and wondered why he, an experienced dealmaker, wasn’t consulted at more regular intervals as the two sides haggled over an agreement. The White House acted largely on the sidelines while congressional negotiators struck a deal.

That was intentional, according to people familiar with the process, who noted Trump’s attempts at brokering an agreement between lawmakers proved futile during the record-length government shutdown that ushered in the new year…

“I pray” Trump signs the bill, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby told CNN Thursday.

He has a lot of nerve wondering why his mad negotiation skillz weren’t included in the process given that he’s tried and failed on this issue before and that he’s notoriously bad about changing his mind even after he seems to have staked out a position on an offer. Anyway, he seems convinced that his base will be okay with him signing the bill so long as it comes paired with an emergency declaration; after all, even though the legislation doesn’t deliver the $5.7 billion he’s seeking, he can get the rest that he needs from executive action. That’s not the chief problem that righties have with the bill today, though. (Right, Ann?) The problem is the Democratic goodies that were snuck in there, like the amnesty tidbit identified by CIS in the tweet above. He might win a court battle over the wall but if he signs the bill he’ll still be signing provisions like that one into law. This is why I say it’d make more sense to declare the whole immigration process over, offer a clean long-term funding bill, and have the wall fight in court. Why sign a bad bill if you don’t need to?

Democrats seem pretty chipper about the precedent an emergency declaration will set, meanwhile:

They might not need to pass the Green New Deal through Congress to get the Green New Deal implemented if Trump wins his court battle.

By the way, not every Democrat is voting for today’s bill. Some object to the fact that it … increases funding for Homeland Security. Guess who.

Update: Yup. The days of farting cows are over, my friends.

The idea of Trump declaring an emergency at the border also polled horribly throughout the shutdown, so at a minimum this should stop the recent rise in his approval rating, if not reverse it.

The post McConnell: Trump will sign this terrible immigration bill — and also declare an emergency on the border appeared first on Hot Air.

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Chris White: Time is getting extremely tight to pass all the required withdrawal legislation

Chris White was Special Adviser to Patrick McLoughlin, when the latter served as Chief Whip, as well as to Andrew Lansley and William Hague when each served as Leader of the House. He is now Managing Director of Newington Communications.

The clock is ticking. We’re running out of runway.  Whatever metaphor you wish to use, Parliament has an awful lot of legislating to do before 29th March if it wishes to complete the passage of the seven Brexit Bills, along with a large amount of secondary legislation.

Today, the Prime Minister will update the Commons, setting out the Government’s progress in negotiating with the EU following the passage of the two advisory amendments last month.  They instructed, though not mandated, the Government to seek to both remove the backstop (Brady) and avoid a No Deal scenario (Spelman/Dromey).

Since then, the negotiations have been less than productive, revealed in striking language in the Prime Minister’s letter to the Leader of the Opposition over the weekend.  In it, she stated that she was still seeking alternative arrangements to the backstop without specifying in detail what they were, and that negotiating a free trade deal as a third party outside of the Single Market was a “negotiating challenge”, which is somewhat of an understatement.

A month on from the meaningful vote on 15th January, whilst significant column inches are dedicated to the possibility of the Malthouse Compromise we are no closer to knowing if the EU is prepared to alter the existing deal.  Parliament is running out of time before 29th March, either to pass a Bill implementing an agreed deal, or to pass legislation ensuring the UK is ready for a No Deal Brexit.

The scale of the challenge

On 31st January, the Leader of the Commons quite rightly cancelled the February half-term recess, yet also scheduled a range of business in the Commons that, whilst important, didn’t progress No Deal legislation in any way.  This risk-averse programming is almost certainly down to the fact that, with negotiations ongoing with the EU, the Government doesn’t wish to give any opportunities in the House to amend legislation to include unhelpful and challenging amendments.  For example, there have been strong hints that amendments could be tabled to the Trade Bill in the Lords that would seek to keep the UK in a Customs Union.

If this is the case, and with reports suggesting that the next ‘meaningful vote’ is in around three weeks, in the week commencing 25th February, we may not see any more progress in the Commons on much needed No Deal legislation until a deal is reached that the House can agree on.

In terms of readiness, a number of No Deal preparation Bills have already received Royal Assent, including the Customs Act, the Nuclear Safeguards Act, the Road Haulage Act and the Sanctions Act.  However much more needs to be done. For a start, winning the meaningful vote is only the first step – the Government must then pass a European Union Withdrawal Agreement Implementation (EU WAIB) prior to 29th March to give legal effect to the Withdrawal Agreement.  However the Government must not put all its eggs in one basket, and in order to provide security in the event of No Deal should pass a further six Bills, and additional secondary legislation.

These Bills range from allowing the UK to enter into trade deals, creating a domestic agriculture and fisheries market, maintaining our healthcare agreements, giving powers to implement financial services regulations, to bringing EU citizens under UK law.

The current state of play is as follows:

Westlake Legal Group Chris-White-Brexit-Bills-Final Chris White: Time is getting extremely tight to pass all the required withdrawal legislation Withdrawal Agreement Trade Bill law immigration House of Lords House of Commons (general) Highlights healthcare Fisheries Farming EU Comment Brexit

As you can see from the above table, agriculture, fisheries, and immigration are well behind schedule and will need considerable work to pass before 29th March.  Equally, Trade has its own issues as outlined above.

The Government also has to pass around 600-700 statutory instruments, or secondary legislation, before 29th March to be ready, in addition to the above Bills.  The timetable for their consideration has increased in recent weeks and the Government might just be on track, but around 200 still have to be considered in the next few weeks. Certainly the SI committees are working overtime, and have significant reading ahead of them.  The Times’s Esther Webber reported one SI from BEIS was “636 pages long, weighs 2.54 kilos and covers 11 matters that would be expected to go in separate documents.”

Will the UK be ready in time?

There are 45 days left until 29th March, and Parliament will sit for 26 of them (not counting sitting Fridays), unless it chooses to add more sitting days to the calendar or change the business on Fridays from Private Members’ Bills to Government business.  If the deadline of 29th March remains in place, it is unlikely that the Government will be able to pass both the EU WAIB and the six remaining No Deal preparation Bills.

This will mean uncomfortable decisions about which Bills it has to prioritise, and whether workarounds can be found through alternative means.  The Trade Bill is probably the highest priority for the Government aside from the EU WAIB, but failing to set up domestic agriculture and fisheries markets prior to exit day, for example, will cause severe concerns and uncertainty in those sectors.  If Government, Parliament and the EU reach consensus about an amended deal, or agree to the existing deal, then it’s likely that there will need to be a short extension to Article 50 as passing the EU WAIB inside a month, whilst technically possible, would be extremely challenging.  However, the Government must continue to progress with the No Deal Bills over the next few weeks, or the UK faces running out of runway before 29th March.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Face-off at 9 p.m. ET: Trump vs. Beto O’Rourke at dueling immigration rallies in El Paso

Westlake Legal Group b-6 Face-off at 9 p.m. ET: Trump vs. Beto O’Rourke at dueling immigration rallies in El Paso wall Trump The Blog Texas rally immigration El Paso border Beto O'Rourke

Tonight we get not one but two rallies with newsmaking potential and they’re being held half a mile apart. Trump’s event is his first major appearance on the trail since the midterms and thus his first chance to riff about the new crop of potential Democratic challengers. We already know his Elizabeth Warren material. Tonight we’re apt to hear some about Booker, Harris, Kirsten “Who?” Gillibrand, and Amy “No, really, who?” Klobuchar. The newsy part, though, has to do with the immigration compromise brewing in Congress. If a deal emerges, it won’t have anything like the $5.7 billion in wall money that Trump is asking for. Two billion for fencing is more probable. Will he try to sell that figure to his hardcore fans as an acceptable compromise or will he announce that it’s a nonstarter and get everyone braced for Shutdown 2.0? El Paso would be a strange location to choose if he’s about to make the case that he doesn’t need as much wall money from Congress as he initially thought. But then, El Paso was a strange choice from the beginning.

O’Rourke’s rally is buzzworthy too, not because he’s expected to announce his presidential run but because tonight may be a test of how much political mojo he retains after dropping off the political map for a few months. He told Oprah last week that he’d decide whether he’s in or out on 2020 by the end of February. If tonight’s rally is a dud, maybe that’ll point him to staying out. If instead Betomania! lives again, progressives might give him a second look after writing him off as a pretender to Bernie’s throne. It’s smart of him to try to counterprogram Trump tonight, I think, since that’ll increase the chances of Trump attacking him at his own rally. Anything the president says about him on TV is good publicity for a congressman looking to build a sense of national stature. And Trump may attack O’Rourke for his own strategic purposes: Why not do what you can to entice Beto into the race, knowing how he’ll complicate things for Sanders, Warren, and maybe Harris? Each man benefits from using the other as a foil here, which is why O’Rourke has been hyping this rally relentlessly on his Twitter feed over the past week.

Two live feeds are embedded below. There may be side-by-side coverage on cable news as well. If you doubt that O’Rourke is a shrewd retail politician, consider how cleverly he’s maneuvered himself into split-screen treatment with the president of the United States.

The post Face-off at 9 p.m. ET: Trump vs. Beto O’Rourke at dueling immigration rallies in El Paso appeared first on Hot Air.

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Phil Taylor: The rise in rough sleeping has halted at last

Phil Taylor is a Conservative activist in Ealing.

There was good news for the government on Thursday that there has been a slight dip in the rough sleeping numbers.

Overall numbers are down two per cent having risen relentlessly for the seven previous years since 2010. Not everyone was gracious in welcoming the news. For instance, you have to read down to the fourth paragraph of this Guardian piece, entitled “Rough sleeping rises in nearly all England’s major cities”, to find out that numbers have fallen.

Of course, the numbers still make for grim reading. 4,677 souls sleeping rough up from 1,768 in 2010 when the counting system was comprehensively revised and improved, a rise of 165 per cent in eight years.

The causes of this rise are not well understood and there are lots of voices out there trying to pin these numbers on poverty, homelessness and/or “austerity”. The details of the report do give some clues as to what the real drivers are.

It is worth comparing the rough sleeping rate by region with regional disposable incomes. The rate of rough sleeping is pretty much inversely proportional to regional wealth.

Is there not an argument that rough sleeping is as much about a wealth pull rather than just a poverty push?

It is hard to argue that poverty drives rough sleeping when our poorest region, the North East, has the lowest rate of rough sleeping and the numbers have only grown 35 per cent in eight years.

Westlake Legal Group Regional-street-sleeping-and-wealth Phil Taylor: The rise in rough sleeping has halted at last Windsor & Maidenhead Local government immigration homelessness Drugs

The high prevalence of non-UK nationals in these numbers is also considerable evidence of wealth pull.  Only 64 per cent of rough sleepers in England self-identify as UK nationals.  In London, this factor is much more important.  Only 33 per cent self-identify as UK nationals.

Westlake Legal Group Demographics-of-rough-sleeping Phil Taylor: The rise in rough sleeping has halted at last Windsor & Maidenhead Local government immigration homelessness Drugs

Across England last year the number of UK nationals sleeping rough dropped 11 per cent.

In London, the number of UK nationals dropped nine per cent.  In fact, if the number of non-UK EU nationals rough sleeping in London had not risen by a massive 87 per cent last year there would have been a huge drop in London. This year almost half (48 per cent) of rough sleepers in London were non-UK EU nationals (not even counting those who refused to give their nationality).There is no good reason why London should host hundreds of non-nationals sleeping rough on our streets.

The 165 per cent rise in numbers overall across England is driven by rises in 150 or so boroughs, towns and cities. Yes, London and the big metropolitan centres, but also seaside towns such as Brighton, Hastings, Isle of Wight, Weymouth, Torbay,  Blackpool, Worthing, Christchurch, Great Yarmouth and Scarborough.  And university towns such as Oxford and Cambridge.  Tourist centres such as Bath, York, Canterbury and Windsor.  And many, many well to do towns like Luton, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Swindon, Southampton, Woking, St Albans, Sevenoaks, Wokingham, Stafford, Watford and Basingstoke.

We should ask why people end up on the streets, often begging, and certainly, most have very difficult and chaotic lives. Windsor is an interesting case. It gained notoriety last year as a result of the royal wedding and reporting on the plight of rough sleepers who are very visible on Thames Street adjacent to Windsor Castle which is thronged with tourists all year round. The whole borough of Windsor and Maidenhead only has 11 rough sleepers in the count. Either the borough is failing to find people or practically every rough sleeper in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is on Thames Street saying thank you to passers-by as they drop change in their cups.

The annual rough sleeper count statistics we have are a good start but they do not explain rough sleeping behaviour. Clearly visible rough sleeping in wealthy areas is connected with income from begging as much as it is with housing issues. Last year for the first time ever we had some hard numbers on homeless deaths. These showed 32 per cent of deaths were due to drug poisoning and ten per cent due to alcohol-related causes – 42 per cent down to substance misuse. Worryingly the numbers of drug deaths had increased by 52 per cent over the four years 2013 to 2017. Judging by the causes of death of homeless people substance misuse must be a large cause of the chaos that leads to rough sleeping.

Of course, lack of cheap housing must be a factor in rough sleeping but it would not be wise to provide social housing for every non-national who ends up on our streets. Similarly it would probably be unwise to make substance misuse the fast track to social housing. Rough sleeping is a complex problem that didn’t go away under New Labour, contrary to what some may claim. New factors are driving rough sleeping, people from poorer EU states and increasing drug use, and we need to find new answers.

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