Nicky Morgan Hints at BBC Licence Fee Reform

Speaking to Nick Robinson’s Political Thinking podcast this week, Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan hinted that substantial reform for the national broadcaster might be just around the corner. Morgan said that the funding of the BBC is an issue that increasingly comes up on the doorstep: “why do I pay my licence fee, I don’t watch it, I don’t agree with it.” She went on to hint that scrapping the archaic licence fee was on the table going forward…

“This is the start of a process… people outside politics expect politicians to ask those questions, not just go ‘it’s all fine'”

Guido can’t wait…

mdi-timer 24 January 2020 @ 15:00 24 Jan 2020 @ 15:00 mdi-comment Comments
NiMo: SNP/Lib Dem Election Motion is another Anti-Brexit Coup

mdi-timer 27 October 2019 @ 08:52 27 Oct 2019 @ 08:52 mdi-comment Comments
Merkel: Backstop Can Be ‘Overwritten’

Merkel has given a strong hint that the EU could be prepared to move on the backstop, telling a German press conference that the backstop will be “overwritten” if alternative solutions can be found. This doesn’t actually change the EU’s position yet – as things stand the UK would still be signing up to the backstop in the legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement while the alternative arrangements would be in the non-binding political declaration. It’s still a significant softening of the EU’s rhetoric around the backstop after stonewalling the issue throughout the Tory leadership contest…

It’s good timing, the Alternative Arrangements Commission run by ProsperityUK, led by Greg Hands and Nicky Morgan, published their 268-page Alternative Arrangements Report and Protocols just yesterday. No solution for the Irish border is going to be perfect from day one but it does blow apart the fiction promulgated by May and the EU that the backstop is the only way to solve the border issue. The backstop remains by far the single biggest impediment to a sensible deal, no excuse for either sides’ negotiators not to be looking at alternative arrangements now…

mdi-timer 19 July 2019 @ 11:27 19 Jul 2019 @ 11:27 mdi-comment Comments
Bitter Anna Soubry Heckles Nicky Morgan

Nicky Morgan intervened on Theresa May’s opening speech to confirm the “surprising” news that Tory Remainers and Leavers had formed an unlikely alliance around the ‘Malthouse Compromise’.

One MP who obviously didn’t have much to offer the constructive cross-partisan discussions was Anna Soubry, who was caught grumbling loudly “would have been nice to have been told that” as Morgan spoke. Given that she’s doing everything she can to derail Brexit altogether, Guido isn’t really sure why she’s surprised to be left out. How times have changed…

mdi-timer 29 January 2019 @ 14:55 29 Jan 2019 @ 14:55 mdi-comment Comments
‘The Malthouse Compromise’: Leavers and Remainers Unite Behind Brexit ‘Plan C’

In an unexpected development late last night, reports began to leak out of a secret compromise hammered out between Brexiteers including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker and Remainers including Nicky Morgan and Stephen Hammond. Even Remain-leaning Government ministers Robert Buckland and Kit Malthouse are on board, with Baker crediting Malthouse for bringing the warring factions together as he confirmed the reports which somehow managed to remain secret until last night. Remarkable given the range of people involved…

According to the messages sent to Tory MPs by Nicky Morgan last night, The ‘Malthouse Compromise’ would’:

  • Replace the backstop with the alternative protocol from the ‘Better Deal’ report launched last month, which would be “acceptable indefinitely”.
  • Extend the transition period for up to a year until the end of 2021 to give time for a smooth transition to a new relationship (Plan A).
  • Include a “triple safety net” around exiting with no Withdrawal Agreement:
    • Continue to offer ‘Plan A’
    • Agree a standstill transition period with the UK paying its financial commitments
    • Offer a GATT 24 WTO-compliant standstill on trade with no tariffs, no quantitative restrictions and no new barriers for execution” to come into force at the end of 2021 if the future relationship has not been agreed by then

Morgan says that “this would allow time for both parties to prepare properly for WTO terms, but also provide a period in which the parties could obviate this outcome by negotiating a mutually beneficial future relationship”. EU citizens’ rights would be guaranteed in all circumstances.

The big question is how this plan relates to today’s Parliamentary action. There are no amendments specifically related to it for MPs or even the Government to get behind, but the broad coalition of support behind it makes it impossible to ignore. Guido understands that Downing Street is interested in the proposals but has concerns about technical aspects around SPS checks…

Brexiteers remain divided over whether to support Sir Graham Brady’s amendment on renegotiating the Irish backstop, despite Theresa May giving it her official backing last night. Liam Fox confirmed on Today that the Government would be seeking to reopen the legal text of the deal if the amendment passed, potentially reassuring Brexiteers that it is not simply going to be ‘Operation Figleaf Mk II’. Guido cannot see any good reason for Brexiteers not to support Brady’s amendment, it is compatible with the ‘Malthouse Compromise’ and the best chance of changing the worst aspect of May’s deal…

mdi-timer 29 January 2019 @ 09:00 29 Jan 2019 @ 09:00 mdi-comment Comments
Nicky Morgan: Article 50 Must Be Extended

mdi-timer 20 January 2019 @ 13:41 20 Jan 2019 @ 13:41 mdi-comment Comments
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