Category: Brexit

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Brexit reality update: mussels arrive 30 hours late, many dead or dying

Julian Andrews

Last week in West Country Voices, I wrote about a Brixham-based, family-owned company which has – somehow – managed to continue exporting live mussels to the Netherlands, despite the many and varied obstacles placed in its way as a direct consequence of Brexit. I have no connection with this enterprise other than as a writer. […]

“It’s business, Boris…but not as we knew it”

Julian Andrews
mussel fishing vessel

Imagine that you run an innovative, environmentally sustainable enterprise which employs your wife, your kids and ten local people. You’ve been in the business for over 30 years and you know exactly what you’re doing. You and your family have invested decades’ worth of emotion, aspiration, knowledge and money in it. You’ve won the industry’s […]

Grassroots for Europe say: Patel’s Bill steals our rights

Editor-in-chief
two placards opposing Patel's Police Bill

This is a press release from campaign organisation, Grassroots for Europe. We do not usually publish these verbatim, but this is a well-worded and powerful summary of the situation we face, a situation that seems unbelievable in the UK, a situation which is a key characteristic of a repressive regime. We will be covering the […]

“They don’t like it up ’em!” Dad’s Army Brexitland

Mike Zollo

Some might feel that Brexit is trying to take us back to the rather quaint England portrayed in Dad’s Army, a world in which the country had its back against the wall fending off an evil foe, when patriotic, nationalist spirit was generated by its leaders and xenophobia was fostered to fuel the determination to […]

More than words

Jim Funnell
neon art "all we have is words"

Words matter. Every second around 6,000 tweets are sent worldwide, equating to 500m a day – that’s 200bn tweets of 280 characters every year – you can watch it happening in real time at Internet Live Stats. It’s a lorra words. And 2021 was full of them. 2021 was the year of what was said […]

“Say whatever you like. You’ll probably get away with it”

Julian Andrews
Michael Gove - scouts' honour

This is the tale of one man’s attempts to hold a politician to account for his public utterances – utterances which some would say represent an over-sized helping of double standards. If this interests you and you are one of those who, like me, are inclined to exclaim, “You effing liar” whenever a current Tory […]

A year of very British scandals

Sadie Parker
meme of the big figures of political scandal in 2021

Has there ever been a British government this rotten, this out of touch with the public and this much of a danger to British democracy, public well-being and our international reputation? Judge for yourself as we take you on a whirlwind tour of the highs and lows of 2021, a year many of us might […]

Farming: the great betrayal

Sadie Parker
meme of Boris Johnson against map of North Shropshire and a tractor

Various reasons are given for the Liberal Democrats’ stunning by-election win in Leave-voting North Shropshire on 16 December. In Helen Morgan, they had a strong, local candidate who fought a vibrant, positive campaign and was able to inspire tactical voting by members of other progressive parties, notably Labour. The Conservative candidate, impressive on paper, was […]

Farewell, Frosty. Please don’t come back.

Mr Rushforth
Cartoon of Lord Frost

What was that he said about Brexit? “I’m very pleased and proud to have led a great UK team to secure today’s excellent deal with the EU. Both sides worked tirelessly day after day in challenging conditions to get the biggest & broadest trade deal in the world, in record time.” Or something like that. […]

Liz Truss: the free market ideologue now ‘negotiating’ Brexit

Tom Scott

This 2019 article is from Tom Scott and Molly Scott Cato’s Cabinet of Horrors blog. It remains extremely pertinent, especially so given Truss’s move to ‘negotiate’ Brexit following Frost’s resignation. That’s the same Brexit Johnson and Frost claim to have got done… It would be easy to dismiss Liz Truss as an intellectual lightweight, and […]

Is Boris Johnson being fitted for concrete shoes?

Tom Scott
Boris Johnson as the Godfather

The prime minister may soon have cause to reflect on the lessons of the greatest gangster movie ever made.­ Tom Scott explains the connection. Boris Johnson’s sister, Rachel Johnson, once described her brother as “quite Sicilian” in his attitude towards loyalty. She was no doubt thinking of the Sicilian Mafia, and not just because one […]

The funny side…

Graham Hurley
Boris Johnson pants on fire

The former French ambassador to the UK, Sylvie Bermann, went into print a couple of days ago to reflect on what remains of her country’s relationship with the Brits.  When she left office in 2017, there was a measure of mutual trust and conversations were conducted in good faith. Since then, Boris Johnson has barged into […]

Costa Britannia? Bremaining in Spain after Brexit

Mike Zollo
view of Malaga

Brexit has had a devastating impact on the many British citizens who have second homes on the continent. Mike Zollo explains the work of campaign and support organisation Bremain in Spain. For my wife and me, as for many thousands of British nationals who spend time in Spain and/or have their own properties there, the […]

The letter we are still waiting to receive

Editor-in-chief

This is a letter we have yet to receive and even the idea of it may make the blood of some of our readers boil. But does it, or a version of it, languish in draft emails on computers right across our region, addressed but unsent? It would be good to think so.Go on. Open […]

Follow the money! Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, Even the Daily Mail has been reporting on the “outside” earnings of Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon. He earned £400,000 a year advising the British Virgin Islands tax haven over corruption charges and has agreed to take on two more weeks of work for that government despite the […]

REDmembrance and the poppy

Mike Zollo

Red is and always has been my favourite colour. I am by no means unusual in this: red is one of the top two favourite colours. It is also a colour which represents so much. Red is the colour of love, fire, blood, the sun, energy, life-force, violence, danger, anger, adventure and extremes. It can […]

Remembrance 2021

Anon

For most of us in this country, war is something that happens to other people. We have lived in peace since 1945 and the wars in which the United Kingdom has engaged since then have been on foreign soil (my apologies to readers in Ireland who may feel that they spent a good many years […]

The Brexit red tape explosion – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief
email icon

Reader Phil Biles has been frustrated by his attempts to get this letter in the Bournemouth Echo, not least because another letter writer seemed to secure publication of his letters on a weekly basis, despite his assertions “having no basis in fact”. Here is the letter which failed to get exposure: In response to the […]

That Morrison’s chicken story – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

There’s been quite some furore on social media regarding product-labelling in supermarkets geared, seemingly, to play well with a Brexit-supporting customer. The trend for union-flag-badging of some groceries to denote them as 100 per cent British has encompassed such items as bananas (!) and tomatoes (that were also specified as being from Spain in the […]

The iron cage revisited: how Brexit constrains the UK

Bob Hancké

In recent weeks, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU has once again been making headlines. Bob Hancké reports on a recent study which suggests not only that the agreement has made trade in goods between the UK and the EU very difficult, but that it has also severely limited Britain’s ability to […]