• Michael Gove has outlined plans to protect and enhance the environment after we leave the EU (Sunday Telegraph, November 2017, link).
  • The Environment Secretary writes that Brexit gives the UK the chance to ‘set the gold standard for environmental science and become a home to centres of environmental excellence’.
  • Mr Gove also highlights the damage that the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy have done to our farming and fishing industries - damaging sustainability and harming biodiversity.
  • This not only points to the opportunities that Brexit provides, but also flies in the face of those who claim that leaving the EU will weaken environmental protections.
  • Outside the EU we can create policies which suit the needs of our environment and those who work in agriculture and fishing, helping to strengthen standards and secure these vital industries.

Unelected Lords should not dilute Brexit

  • It’s disappointing that Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable is talking up how he is working with the House of Lords to force amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill (Independent on Sunday, November 2017, link).
  • Whilst there may be a case for certain aspects of the Bill to be amended, parliamentarians must ensure that these amendments respect the referendum mandate of taking back control of our laws, borders, money and trade. This means leaving the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union.
  • Voters would be rightly outraged if the unelected House of Lords used the legislative process to dilute or delay Brexit.
  • Lib Dems in both the Commons and Lords should recognise that over 80% of people voted for parties in the General Election who support leaving the EU. Instead of seeking to undermine the referendum result, they should be working to make a success of Brexit.

Dyson: UK should not pay extortionate Brexit bill

  • Sir James Dyson is right to argue that the EU should not be demanding an extortionate bill from the UK (Mail, November 2017, link).
  • The inventor described the EU’s call for ‘billion and billions’ of pounds from the UK as ‘outrageous’.
  • The Government has made clear that it will pay the EU what we owe, but it shouldn't pay a penny more. Indeed, the public would be disappointed if we paid over the odds.
  • And as Sir James says, if the EU demands too much money in return for a bad deal, we should be prepared to walk away.
  • Remember, the European Council’s own negotiating guidelines state that: ‘In accordance with the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, individual items cannot be settled separately’. Therefore the bill should only be finalised once we know the deal which will be agreed.

Good economic news

  • Every region across the UK saw economic growth in October, according to Lloyd’s purchasing manager’s index, with the level reaching a nine-month high (Telegraph, November 2017, link)