Thanks for all of your comments. As the last Open Thread is getting full, here is another one.
|Williamson's Park, Lancaster, looking worth a visit|
Time for me to turn to an impartial journalistic expert. He's Justin Lewis, a Professor of Journalism. He spoke to me from his office at Cardiff University.
On Brexit Theresa May says there will be no second public vote. But could there be a swing towards the idea? We'll get the opinions of Professor John Curtice, Justine Greening and Labour's Dame Margaret Beckett.
(1) Former Mrs May advisor (and declared Remain voter) Katie Perrior.
(2) Former David Cameron communications director (pro-Remain) Sir Craig (no relation) Oliver.
(3) Former senior minister under Mrs May (and declared Remain voter), Damian Green.
(4) Former Lib Dem coalition minister (and declared Remain voter) David Laws.
(5) Pro-Brexit MP Stewart Jackson (described by Mark as being an "ardent pro-Brexit MP").
(6) Former (tricky to place) Mrs May advisor Chris Brannigan.
(7) Former (strongly pro-EU, pro-People's Vote) mandarin Lord Kerr.
(8) Former George Osborne advisor (anti-Brexit, pro-People's Vote) James Chapman, and
(9) (Anti-Brexit, pro-People's Vote) Conservative MP Heidi Allen.
Now, the core of the argument over whether the Brexit deal is a good one - and we really want to help you come to a view on that - at the core of it is an argument over whether Britain needs to sign up to some kind of customs union with the EU.
Chris Morris was faithfully arguing what most experts and exporting businesses think. He was entirely in line with the consensus of opinion. It was that Peter Lilley thought the consensus is wrong. Chris Morris was not a Remainer. He was simply arguing the facts as most people who have thought about it do see them.
@BBCSimonMcCoy classic.....'So they have no baa...ck up plan?' #Brexit 😆😆 pic.twitter.com/dFjca735G1— Mark (@savplaysbass) November 29, 2018
Eva Fodor: The government has forced us out of this country. It's this simple. It's very obvious that it's designed to make our lives impossible.
Eva Fodor: This is an obvious and clear violation of the principle of the rule of law. The government passes ad hoc regulations without consulting people. This is an obvious and blatant restriction on academic freedom. It's actually closing a university. So this government, the Hungarian government, has designed the legislation that closes a university. This has not happened within the European Union, so it is a purely authoritarian move.
George Baron: In every nation they would like a strong leader, a father-like figure, but the strong institutions of democracy could make limitations to that desire. If the institutions are weak there are no limitations, and if a cynical guy with talent would like to seize total power he can do it if the institutions are not strong enough.
|From an earlier occasion when Jacob told Evan off|
This isn't a general election, even though it looks a bit like it. The Prime Minister's Brexit deal is the candidate, MPs are the voters. She's hopeful the Government's numbers today show her compromise is better than nothing.Theresa May: It shows that the deal we have negotiated with the European Union is the best deal available for jobs and the economy, that also delivers and honours the referendum.There are lots of possibilities that today's statistics just don't and cannot include. But the Brexit campaign certainly didn't say the economy would slow down on the side of a bus. The Chancellor this morning was remarkably clear:Philip Hammond: If we are only looking at the economic benefits, remaining in the EU, is a slightly better economic outcome than the Prime Minister's deal. But the Prime Minister's deal gives an outcome remarkably close to the benefits of staying in.
Clive Myrie, BBC newsreader: Good evening. The Bank of England is warning of an immediate economic crash if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal. The Bank's forecast is of a shock to growth more damaging than the financial crisis of 2008, with the economy shrinking by 8%. The Governor, Mark Carney, says interest rates would rise, house prices would fall, and unemployment would increase.
Simon Jack, BBC Business Editor: Enter Brexit centrestage. A man with a warning. Leaving the EU without a deal could trigger an economic crash worse than the one that followed the financial crisis. [Clip of Mark Carney, saying, "We have constructed a worst case no deal, no transition Brexit scenario with a series of events including friction is at the border, difficulties at ports, sharp moves in financial markets would costs more for people and businesses to borrow, a series of events happening at the same time"]. Now this is not a prediction or a forecast, merely a possibility in the Bank's worst-case scenario.
Evidently one BBC hand doesn't know what the other BBC hand is doing.Simon Jack, BBC Business Editor: I can't stress this enough, Clive: These are not predictions or forecasts. These are just possibilities, lots of possibilities. Of all the possibilities you could look at, this is the worst.
Evan Davis: Now you might say, well, economic forecasts are hopeless, but do bear in mind these are not forecasts. They are not saying what will happen in 2033, because lots can change. They look at what happens if you change just one or two things - trading arrangements or migration - so, to take an analogy, it's hard to predict precisely how long any of us will live but it is much easier to analyse the effects of smoking on average length of life, cos you're just changing that one thing, smoking. Also note these projections tell a similar story to others that have been done by independent economists. They're all in line. These scenarios are the economic consensus. Rebel economists have different figures, but sometimes to get them they've assumed that we changed our economy in quite radical ways.
Robert Buckland MP: And there's a good reason for that. It's not about me being secretive, Evan, it's about a convention that has long existed within government, and not just this government but governments across the world....
Evan Davis: (interrupting) You can break the convention. Parliament has actually voted on this one. You didn't oppose the vote in Parliament. Why didn't you oppose the vote in Parliament if you wanted to stick by this convention?Robert Buckland MP: I made the arguments very clearly, Evan, that the convention was there for good reason, which is about the indivisibility of collective decision-making...Evan Davis: (interrupting) But Parliament...Parliament was aware of that when it unanimously supported the idea of publishing, on this occasion, for this particular vote, all the legal advice.Robert Buckland MP: Yeah, but, what,what I think we are seeking to do is to strike absolutely the right balance between the need for openness and understanding by parliamentarians across the House as to the legal basis for the government's decision-making and also respecting what I'm afraid is an unavoidably important constitutional convention. If this starts to break down, then what future to we have for proper collective cabinet decision making. I shudder to think frankly...Evan Davis: (interrupting) Oh come on! (laughing)Robert Buckland MP: ...and that's why it's important. I'm sorry, Evan, it is...Evan Davis: (interrupting) We're not going to have children starving if we publish government legal advice! We take your point, Robert Buckland, Solicitor General, and the Speaker may rule on whether it's a contempt of Parliament. But you've made the case for keeping some of it back. Thank you very much for talking to us this evening.