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In this issue
It looks as if the heat is off for the moment, as far as Brexit is concerned. The EU have agreed to extend the deadline for UK withdrawal to 31 October 2019, with the rider that if the UK government can get Parliament to sign up to the Withdrawal Agreement before then, it can leave sooner. President of the European Council Donald Tusk added the pointed request: “Please do not waste this time.”
Theresa May’s hope was to try to secure Labour support early enough to avoid the UK having to take part in the European Parliament elections, due on 23-26 May. That hope looks pretty forlorn. Labour say there’s been some progress but not enough sign of movement on the Government’s part, particularly on their key ask of a customs union. The danger for May is that if she concedes that, she alienates a large chunk of her own party who argue – with some justification – that leaving the EU but staying in the customs union leaves the UK in the worst of all worlds: losing the ability to cut its own trade deals, yet with next to no say in the deals the EU negotiates on its behalf.
Meanwhile Labour seem no closer to committing to a clear course of action either. In the face of plenty of evidence suggesting that a majority of Labour supporters would welcome a clear commitment to a People’s Vote on any withdrawal agreement, the leadership have fudged the issue – offering it only if it can’t win either an improved withdrawal agreement or a general election.
And surprise, surprise… Nigel Faraargh has launched a new party to contest the European elections, imaginatively called the Brexit Party. Still, you have to hand it to him – everyone is clear about the new party’s position on Brexit, and that’s probably the most important issue in many of his potential voters’ minds. Unfortunately for him, the space is still filled with his previous vehicle, UKIP.
On the Remain side, the other new party contesting the elections is floundering. It’s shaky in its media handling – the petition website change.org.uk have already muttered about legal action, and two of the party’s Euro election candidates have had to stand down over embarrassing social media posts. It’s adopted a logo that gives no clue at all to what it stands for, on any issue whatsoever. And with a pick-‘n’ mix combination of monikers (“Change UK”, “The Independent Group”, and even “The Remain Alliance”), it doesn’t even appear to be able to decide on a name.
Meanwhile, back in the real world…leading international relocation company Crown Relo (who you may remember I mentioned last time round) have very kindly alerted us to their “Move Your World” promotion for people planning an international move soon. Use their website to ask for a quotation between now and Friday 10 May and you could get 10% off your shipping costs.
We’re on the fringes of Europe for our latest Quick Quiz and Pic of the Week. Iceland is a fascinating place, with a lot more superlatives than you might imagine for a nation of just 350,000 inhabitants. We’ve come up with five questions about it, but there could so easily have been ten times that number. See how much you know about our Nordic neighbours.
As for the Pic of the Week, we thought we (and you) could do with a laugh. So there’s a picture of a lovely horse for you. You’re welcome.
Are you ever flummoxed by fancy foodie words, mystified by menus, or confused by culinary terms? Then head on over to Scoffopedia.com and become enlightened by our quirky A-Z of food. And it’s got cartoons in it! Don’t forget to tell all your friends about it too.
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So there’s a round-up of all that’s been going on. Come on over and see for yourself! Don’t forget…
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