Category: Brexit

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NEW WRITER

Message to Starmer: think again about rejoining the EU

Colin Gordon

Pro-European campaigners have written to Sir Keir Starmer to urge him to moderate his hardline view and think again about rejoining the EU. In the light of recent polls and evidence that Brexit is not going well, Grassroots for Europe supporters are asking Starmer to consider the possible benefits to Labour of a more moderate standpoint.

NEW WRITER

Pride and shame: why I no longer feel proud to be British

Richard Haviland

“It’s some years now since I could say I felt proud to be British.” The British government’s sense of entitlement and lack of humanity towards refugees have changed Richard Haviland’s feelings of pride in being British to shame about what the government is doing: “I don’t hate my country, I just hate what they’ve done to it.”

Marching with Ukraine: ‘Today we tell Putin he will fail’

Tamsin Shasha

Thousands gathered in the capital in a sea of blue and yellow. Tamsin Shasha describes the recent Stand With Ukraine march in London: “Our hearts soar. We are proud to be here. We are proud to challenge this government’s despicable response to the refugee crisis and their insistence on bureaucratic visas.”

The war in Ukraine, Brexit and the UK’s energy crisis

Dorothy Smith

On 24 February, wholesale gas prices rose 28% on the news that Russian forces had invaded Ukraine, with some experts predicting that UK consumers’ energy bills for gas and electricity could rise to £2,500 or even £3,000 a year. Brexit hasn’t helped either.

NEW WRITER

A bumpy landing on Faridge Farm

James Cory-Wright

“I know it’s March but I must say that February is always the longest month, despite Dudley, Eunice and Franklin’s best efforts to liven it up.”… Welcome to the first Sussex Bylines ‘digested month’ by James Cory-Wright

One year on: in search of Brexit benefits

Alison Rees

Brexit leaves us worse off, with UK-EU trade hit particularly hard. Many small businesses have ceased to import or export altogether. The government has consistently overpromised and overstated Brexit benefits. Unsurprisingly then, a recent survey found growing dissatisfaction with the EU-UK trade deal among both Remain and Leave voters.

Follow the money: the rise and rise of the Russian oligarchy in Britain

Ginny Smith

Following the deregulation of the City of London and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, former KGB operatives and spymasters with expert knowledge of Western economic systems looted billions from the Soviet state treasury and stashed it into accounts in Europe and the US. Ginny Smith traces the rise of the Russian oligarchy in Britain and exposes its reach deep into the British establishment, the City of London and our political system.

SUSSEX PEOPLE AND PLACES

Sussex has its very own link to Europe. Let’s cherish it.

Tom Serpell

Newhaven is important in Sussex history and could be in its future. Brexit may be unhelpful but does not prevent travel. Tom Serpell and his wife cherish their local route to France to remind themselves of life beyond these shores and continue to enjoy another culture every bit as civilised and interesting as our own.

BREXIT VOTE FIVE YEARS ON

So, after all the promises: is Brexit really done?

Dorothy Smith

In the light of all the propaganda, no doubt some people were persuaded by the slogan’Get Brexit done’, to change their vote at the last general election, imagining that, after Brexit, things would change for the better.  On the day the UK officially left the EU, 31 January 2020, Britain’s exit was presented by Boris […]

Blood on her hands

Ross McNally

Under Home Secretary Priti Patel, what was once the policy of fringe British National Party crackpots is now at the heart of government. Her response to the deaths of 27 refugees at sea is playing politics with people’s lives.

TOXIC SHOCK

For the birds: Brexit’s latest shock, a toxic threat to our water system

Ginny Smith & Rick Dillon
a yellowhammer bird in a tree

The safety of our water systems is now threatened due to the shortage of HGV drivers who deliver the chemicals needed to decontaminate wastewater. This is therefore a problem stemming directly from the consequences of Brexit – and one which, among many others, was predicted in the government’s own Operation Yellowhammer report, which laid out disaster contingency plans in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which has now become reality.

Refugees Work: so why not let them?

Tom Serpell
Migrant workers in the fields in the USA

Refugees could make a contribution if this country would only allow more in and let them work. This would relieve desperate people of the dangers of life in camps, on the road or under the control of smugglers. It would enable them to demonstrate their skills and commitment to this country. It would add to the workforce and enrich our culture. This surely constitutes a win-win.

BREXIT VOTE FIVE YEARS ON

Defenders of Democracy: Steven Bray

Ginny Smith
Steven Bray wearing a blue top hat with a yellow and black 'Stop Brexit' ribbon. He has a Union flag draped around his shoulders and an EU flag in the background.

Five years on from the EU referendum vote, Ginny Smith interviews “Mr Stop Brexit”, Steven Bray. A coin dealer from Port Talbot, Wales, Bray became a national and international symbol of UK resistance against Brexit and inspired thousands of others to join his protests at Westminster.

Tracks of a Trickster – who does Boris Johnson think he is?

Rev Susie Courtault
A satirical photo tableau depicting Boris Johnson and new bride Carrie Symonds in the rose garden with body bags piled high

Because adultery and abortion are considered sinful in the Catholic Church, a large number of Christians (who take their faith very seriously) are appalled that a serial adulterer, and someone well known to have abandoned his children, could get away with taking the sacraments in Westminster Cathedral. Yet reinventing himself is part of his raison d’être. I suspect he has no particular attachment to being able to take the sacraments and went along with the whole process because he had no strong opinions either way — and that is exactly what a trickster would do.

NEW WRITER

Bum note – does Johnson’s government hate choral singing?

Ruth McDermott
Photo of a Heathfield Choral Society concert from before Covid

Many activities that prolong exposure to heavy breathing have been given the go ahead for indoor activity, such as working out at the gym, laughing with mates down the pub or chatting over a meal at a local restaurant, not to mention thousands of fans gathering at a football stadium to watch a game, no doubt doing what fans will – hugging, celebrating, chanting and singing! So why has the Government banned all amateur choirs from rehearsing indoors?

What legacy do you want to leave?

Tom Serpell
An adoring grandfather holds up his infant grandchild, who is smiling back

A retired, lifelong left-of-centre activist ponders what constitutes a meaningful legacy, and worries his generation is failing to leave the next with the right kind of wealth…

EUROPE DAY

What does Europe mean to you?

Sussex Bylines
EU flag, with one start missing.

Sunday 9 May, is Europe Day: an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe and the anniversary of the historic ‘Schuman declaration’. Here we feature some personal testimonies from Sussex people who feel strongly connected to Europe and the EU.

DEFENDERS OF DEMOCRACY

Defenders of Democracy: Terry Reintke MEP

Ginny Smith

Terry Reintke attributes her growing awareness of inequality and the injustices in the world to the fact that she grew up as a German. Living with the knowledge that my grandparents and great-grandparents had a duty as citizens in a democracy to speak up for the rule of law, for minorities, and they didn’t really do that. That knowledge brings a level of responsibility and it is why politics and democracy have always played an important part in my own thinking.

NEW WRITER

EU nationals – second-class citizens in post-Brexit Britain

Cllr Marianna Ebel

Thousands of EU citizens were disenfranchised in the 2019 European elections – and yet the High Court has ruled that they have no redress against the government. And to avoid becoming an ‘undocumented migrant’ they are forced to apply for EU Settled Status. Cllr Marianna Ebel explains the issues.

LONGER READ

Walking in the Downs – a lockdown odyssey

James Joughin
James Joughin and his dog Ringo on the South Downs, summer 2020

“After slouching around Preston Park a few times I was getting bored and it was then, with the startling visibility of those early lockdown weeks, that I noticed the distant peaks glistening on the horizon, and hatched a vague plan to head up there and ‘explore the South Downs Way’ as my tattered Brighton guidebook maintained I should.”