Monday, 19 September 2016

Unreliable Clive?


This is him, Clive Anderson, saying 'Is that all going to be taken away?'Is that all going to be taken away?

Clive Anderson's often enjoyably thought-provoking Unreliable Evidence has just had its own Brexit special "exploring the legal fall-out from leaving the EU". As the programme's own website put it:
Clive Anderson and a panel of leading experts in EU law, with a range of views about the problems and the solutions, discuss the legal implications of Brexit. They are constitutional lawyer Richard Gordon QC, former Justice Secretary Lord Falconer, pro-leave barrister Martin Howe QC and solicitor Niki Walker, who specialises in areas of law heavily influenced by the EU.
As you'd expect (if you're a fan of the programme), it wasn't a dry discussion at all...

...and, as you'd probably also expect (well at least from a BBC Radio 4 programme on the subject of Brexit), the one-and-only pro-Leave guest (of four) quite often found himself on 'the receiving end'. Mr Howe, however, though being rather ganged up on, stood his ground admirably. 

The programme (three of the guests and the presenter) focused quite a lot on the 'complexities' of leaving the EU, so, I suppose, this must be placed among the Radio 4 programmes focusing mainly on the possible downsides of Brexit and, thus, of demonstrating BBC anti-Brexit bias.

As for how fairly Clive conducted the whole affair, well, I think he did a fairly good job but, still, especially as the programme went on, I think it became possible to guess with some considerable confidence how he himself voted in the EU referendum (unless he was being devilishly good at playing devil's advocate, like a barrister! - which I doubt). 

Here's a sample of his later questions:
What about movement of people? Because that's one of the strong benefits that people feel at the moment, because you can go and live in Italy, Italians can come and live in London, French people...There's a freedom around that. Is that all going to be taken away? 
So Martin Howe, we've only touched on some of the complexities here. Do you think the vote for Brexit - the people casting that vote - they all appreciated quite how complex this whole procedure was going to be? And do you have any worries about the whole thing getting bogged down for years?
(interrupting Martin Howe) What about my question about the complexities of all this? Do you think this was appreciated by people voting for Brexit? That it would require quite such a lot of revisiting of such a lot of treaties, legislation, everyday life?

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