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August Branch Meeting Reminder

Branch meeting
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Concerns Raised Over Reluctance to Support Equality

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MSP and MEP Discuss Brexit On Stirling Doorsteps

Stirling Branch campaign with Alyn Smith
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The Brexit Ultimatum

Shoot herself in the head

By Steven Paterson former MP for Stirling

Such was the surrealism of the week just witnessed that the Prime Minister reminded me of that scene from the classic Mel Brooks spoof Western Blazing Saddles, when the new sheriff arrives in the town of Rock Ridge to find himself somewhat less than welcome.

Pointing a gun to her head, the Prime Minister warned: ”Hold it! The next man makes a move, the United Kingdom gets it!” Hold it, men. She’s not bluffing.

It seems that every day that passes sees one development or another that pushes any kind of deal between the UK and the EU27 over Brexit further out of reach and less attainable, and underlines the deathlike grip the extreme hard Brexiters have over this process. They want no deal, and it looks increasingly as if they will be able to force such an eventuality on a reluctant parliament which has become as paralysed and powerless as the Government which tries to lead it.

Take the knife-edge votes on Monday and Tuesday for example. The hard line European Research Group, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg and supported by Stirling’s Tory MP Stephen Kerr, tabled amendments to the Government’s customs bill designed to gut the recent “Chequers Agreement”, leaving the Government with the invidious choice of rolling over and accepting the amendments or facing a catastrophic defeat which would likely have ended Theresa May’s premiership.

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The Beginning of the Dead-End Game

Prime Minister Theresa May

This week’s comment from Steven Paterson, former MP for Stirling

The tedious creep towards the Brexit endgame suddenly accelerated in the past week or so, as the looming negotiation deadline in September finally forced the Prime Minister to nail down some actual proposals at her Chequers showdown.

Cue the resignations of the Brexit Secretary David Davis, who had clearly been side-lined and ignored by the Prime Minister, and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, whose political calculation after seeing Davies resign on a point of principle was that his chances of becoming the next Prime Minister were better served in resigning too.

Boris Johnson,
possibly your future PM and to quote Frankie Boyle, “a cross between a serious head injury and an unmade bed……” scary thought.
Image licensed from depositphoto.com
Any question that the Prime Minister has seen off her extreme hard Brexit opponents is entirely illusory, of course. Both Johnson and Davies will be vociferous critics of her Brexit negotiations from the backbenches and in the press, and the precarious arithmetic for the minority Tory Government in the House of Commons means that each time a significant vote on the matter comes along, the risk of defeat is very real.

It’s anyone’s guess how many such defeats May’s administration can take before collapsing, but we are probably about to find out. Votes on customs arrangements take place in the Commons today (Monday), and the hard Brexit brigade, whose leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has been scathing in his criticism of the Prime Minister’s position and the White Paper published following the Chequers conference, may seek to derail the Government depending on the level of support he can count on.

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SNP Condemn Tory Pride in UC

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Rogue Broadband Group Disbanded by Council

Fibre and Ethernet
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A Long Hot Summer

By Steven Paterson former MP for Stirling

In the end, the EU Summit was a bit of a damp squib with no real progress on Brexit to note. And this is remarkable, now that it is over two years since the referendum and with a deal, if there is to be one, requiring to be agreed by October in order to allow its ratification in EU member states.

It seems the gravity of what is at stake is lost by a public long since bored to tears by the glacial rate of progress on the technicalities and intricacies of this issue.

Yet Brexit has enormous ramifications for the economy and jobs in this country, and the UK’s fantastical position is to persist with the obvious pretence that everything will be alright on its own. This is taking complacency to a staggering and unbelievably irresponsible degree. Reports from EU countries like Ireland now indicate that preparations for a no deal Brexit are being stepped up by the EU27, who despair at a UK Government which simply cannot get its act together. It seems utterly incredible that facing the biggest constitutional change in decades, the government charged with delivering a Brexit deal cannot even participate in meaningful negotiations as yet because it has still not finalised its own position a full two years into the process.

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Bruce Promotes LGBT+ Equality Campaign In Parliament

Bruce Crawford MSP wearing his TIE campaign tie
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Crawford Urges Constituents Not To Leave Dogs In Hot Cars This Summer

dog in a pool
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