The issue of housing is already showing itself to be key in the run up to local elections this year. Faced with the prospect of Labour gains, the recent government announcement of a new public register of ultimate owners of UK properties is both an attempt to push through legislation ahead of the EU withdrawal, and to show that government is thinking about issues other than Brexit. Read more
Connect is delivering five regional policy events for the Transport Knowledge Hub – a new tool for local authorities, LEPs and transport decision-makers considering making investments in transport projects.
The prospect of the UK crashing out of Europe grows every day
Our politicians seem more focussed on what they don’t want during transition and after Brexit, rather than a clear plan for what the UK does want. The recently resigned Brexit Minister Lord Bridges told the House of Lords of his frustration. “What do we value? Sovereignty and control or market access and trade? There are still no clear answers to these basic questions”. Angela Merkel meanwhile says “we are open to any kind of partnership but it is in the UKs hands to tell us how close a partnership it wants”. Read more
The EU (Withdrawal) Bill has come a long way, and there is a long way to go. But the debates that are coming up will shape the politics of Brexit; in some cases, they may shape our future relationship with the EU. Read more
Connect is proud to support #Vote100 today, celebrating 100 years since Parliament passed the Representation of the People Act giving the first women the right to vote. Since 2016 our work with the Women and Work All-Party Parliamentary Group has examined how employers and policy makers can help to deliver gender balance in the workplace. The APPG’s first report, Women Returners, helped to shape Government policy with the introduction of £5 million funding for returnships. The Group’s second report, Making the Industrial Strategy work for women, was published last month. We are pleased to have launched the APPG’s 2018 programme of work, How to Recruit Women for the 21st Century, which will examine the recruitment process from start to finish and develop recommendations to improve female representation across the employment and labour market.
In a survey by the Political Studies Association, the minimum wage was judged to be the best policy of recent decades . Devolution, Sure Start, the Human Rights Act, the smoking ban, and the Northern Ireland peace process were also highly rated, as was ‘privatisation’, a policy which divides opinion. Read more
Eight Brexit related Bills will be put before Parliament in the coming months. Connect’s Managing Partner, Andy Sawford, gives the low down on what the different Bills are, why they are needed, and what the prospects are for gaining Parliamentary approval. Read more
- The next government will be Conservative led, supported by the Democratic Unionist Party.
- Theresa May is continuing as Prime Minister. Her future is uncertain – remember that the Conservatives are famously ruthless at dispatching their Leaders. Ruth Davidson is the Conservative’s star of this election, with 13 gains in Scotland.
- Jeremy Corbyn will continue as Labour leader, strengthened by Labour’s better than expected performance, making gains across the country. Canterbury is Labour for the first time in a hundred years and Labour have gained Kensington. Expect more of the ‘let Corbyn be Corbyn’ strategy, with Labour doubling down on more radical policies.
- The SNP had a bad night, although coming from a high base. The Liberal Democrats had an ok result, gaining four seats overall, but not the breakthrough they were hoping for, and Nick Clegg is out of Parliament. UKIP’s vote share crashed and Paul Nuttal has resigned, with a Nigel Farage comeback possible. Caroline Lucas was returned for the Greens. Plaid gained a seat in Wales.
- Some Ministers have lost their seats and there will be a major reshuffle of the Government and the opposition frontbench. There will therefore be many new Ministers and Shadow’s to engage with.
- Policy is in flux. The Conservative manifesto will not be implemented in full, partly because of the Parliamentary arithmetic, and partly because that manifesto itself is seen as being a contributor to the Conservative’s loss.
- Brexit will happen, but not fully as planned by Theresa May when she triggered Article 50. The timetable remains the same in terms of the end date, despite the delay in getting the negotiations started.
- Parliament will be more important, with every vote on a knife edge in the Commons, and the Lords playing a stronger role.
- There could be another General Election this year. It would be very likely, were it not for the Brexit timetable.
- Public Affairs support is more important than ever in these extraordinary times – Connect are here to help.
Sir Winston Churchill, February 16, 1922:
“The whole map of Europe has been changed … but as the deluge subsides and the waters fall short we see the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging once again.” Read more