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  GRM Speech: Chatham House
Posted by: Griff Rhys Morrison - 08-30-2020, 11:21 PM - Forum: Marked - Replies (1)

Gruffydd Rhys Morrison, former Shadow Foreign Secretary and Labour MP for Easington, made a speech to the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House.
Thank you for accepting the invitation to join me this evening. It is a great pleasure to be able to speak to you at this esteemed and respected venue, which continues to do important policy research on some of the most interesting and complex issues of our age. One could not have envisaged, ten years ago, that a Labour internationalist, would be speaking to you to oppose a European Treaty, put forward by a Tory Government. Such is the curiousness of our times.
I want to start by saying that it is not my intention this evening to proselytise, nor to convert. Rather, I shall seek to reflect, candidly perhaps, but fairly and rooted in that common golden thread that I believe we shall share; that evidence should be our compass and research our tool for crafting sustainable, credible foreign policy and for enacting change in our international institutions. If we can agree on that, I think we will get along just fine for the next hour or so.
I think it prudent to start my reflections with the matter of hyperbole. When I entered Parliament in 1974, it was an age of consensus. Economic, social, diplomatic. The consensus, beaten and reviled now for a good decade by the extreme elements of politics, was perhaps, more of a covenant. A solemn understanding and silent agreement between the left and the right that ultimately, what mattered in this country when it came to public policy was results. Outcomes. Did our policy-making make life better for people? How much? For whom? How do we know? Will it last? These were the questions that dominated what was an era of debate and discussion, but also of respect and rationalism.
Hyperbole, I believe, crept in slowly. At first, it was the domain of the printed press, of tabloids and exposés. Then, as the television programmes started to join-in, we found that key figures in public life started coming forth with outlandish claims about each other. Every policy would rob the poor of their food, would crash the economy. The left, in the eyes of many, became united in communism, and the right, in the eyes of as many, become fascists. Where did the middle ground go? From speaking with many Members of Parliament, and the public, my conclusion is this; the middle are still there. We still exist. We've simply been penned-in by the hyperbole swirling around us. It encloses on us and renders us motionless. If we are to push for evidence-based policy-making once more, we must first reject hyperbole and hold fast against the backlash we will inevitably get when we're simultaneously accused of being Tories and Trots.
So how do we move beyond hyperbole? The first thing we can do is to question. Asking questions is one of the most powerful democratic tools in our arsenal and equipping journalists, politicians and the public with a set of those tools will ensure that we can hold those with power and authority to account. We must reserve the right to be the ones who hold the powerful to account, to demand transparency and scrutiny and to challenge answers. During my time as Shadow Foreign Secretary, I made a habit of asking questions on every Ministerial Statement given, even when they seemed in perfect order or uncontroversial. I didn’t do this for press attention, in fact I very rarely told the press I was asking questions in the House, but rather because it was my duty to ensure that if somebody is going to come before the democratically-elected Parliament of this country, that they be expected to expand, to explain, to clarify, to justify, and if I did my job right, to convince.
I take that view on the Maastricht Treaty. My first role is not to approve or oppose but to challenge, to hold it up to scrutiny and ask questions. Whom does it benefit? What powers does it give? To whom? How many? How will they be held accountable? How will the public retain control? My own ideologies, internationalist though I undoubtedly am, must come second to the presiding obligation that I have both as a Member of Parliament and as a private citizen, to pick apart the answers presented, to compare that with the information before me, and to make a judgement based not on my own prejudices but on the research and evidence unveiled. I have said before, I think it was to the Fabian Society, that our principles must guide our decision making. That is absolutely right. However, one of the most key principles we must uphold, in any part of modern society, is that of fairness and evidence.
So what answers have my questioning revealed? I went into this process as an ardent internationalist, and I remain one, but it did reveal to me the careful balance we must take in our belief in cooperation and global solutions to common problems, with the need to protect the interests of our constituents and working people. That can sometimes be a delicate complex balance. Maastricht, in the negotiated form, I have found, fails to preserve that balance. It lands solidly in favour of particular ideologies and solutions without real accommodation for nuance or evidence. I want to believe in a Treaty for Europe but what has been presented does not reflect that. Rather, the Treaty opts to rather shamelessly promote specific interests and policy-goals. It is less of a Treaty for cooperation between like minded nations and instead has become something of a standardised format for economic and political policy.
Take the 3% budget deficit rule, for instance. Ask those powerful questions. Why 3%? Whom does that serve? What impact will that have on government? On people? When is 3.1% acceptable? Why is 2.9% more acceptable? The answers to these have not been particularly forthcoming. I believe the Chancellor was asked about this in Parliament and his answer went something like; "well Labour would spend more." And we would. If the evidence suggested a particular public service needed investment at 4%, you're damn right I would want to spend more and I have seen no evidence that doing so would irreversibly damage the economy, nor do I have access to any evidence that suggests it would wreck the economies of fellow European friends and allies. There's that hyperbole again.
The social charter was particularly important to me, ideologically. Credit where credit is due, I am pleased the Government has signed up to elements of it. However, we must ask why only some? Why did they agree to sign up to some elements and not others? Why was collective bargaining left out specifically? The only answers that have been revealed so far is that the Government did not want to sign up to a social charter that would see pay powers or trades unions protected. That is not evidence-rooted policymaking, that is ideology driving decision making.
If we bake-into a Treaty, an ideological set of rules for ourselves, we cease to be internationalist or cooperative rationalists, we become instead servants to belief over evidence. My contention is that in policymaking, we should be ideological atheists. Rooted in principles, yes but not blind to research or the results. Being an internationalist doesn't mean we must jump at every opportunity to sign a Treaty and call it a job well done. Rather, being an internationalist, means carefully considering the balance of national interests and collective interests and using evidence to find that all-important middle ground. We must say yes to data, yes to facts, yes to cooperation with others. But where ideology has become religion and a Treaty a Church?  A Treaty for Europe, yes, but a Treaty for Monetarism? I'm an atheist. 

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  Let's Lead Europe Launch (Alex Cardigan)
Posted by: Alex Cardigan MP - 08-30-2020, 05:31 PM - Forum: Marked - Replies (1)

Taking to the stage last, after both Bibi Lauria and Roy Hattersley, fellow Co-Chairs of Let’s Lead Europe, have spoken, is Liberal Democrat leader, and MP for rural Montgomery, Alex Cardigan. He is dressed in less formal attire than his colleagues, but still in a fairly charmingly rustic way, having decided it was far too hot to wear a tie or jacket.

[Image: 5lpWcvdW-EJRxiRIvcCdjqANIZcImpnc8AbLB5LI...p6LBRhTRUV]

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for being here. Having heard these speeches, from my colleagues in both the Conservatives and Labour, I do feel a bit like we are doing something rather brave, and rather rare here, at least in British politics. We are all here to genuinely work cross-party for the common good. But, I’ll be honest with all of you. When I was first asked to be a part of this project, I was actually slightly reticent. After all, Europe has issues, issues that we all acknowledge. On the Common Agricultural Policy, we need real change, and I know that farmers in my constituency are crying out for reform. On the environment, I feel that the current community isn’t ambitious enough - we could do a lot more. On the level of accountability and democracy, there are valid concerns - I could go on. But I tell you what, my issues with the British Parliament far outnumber those with Europe. And my issues with lazy local Councils outnumber them too. Politics isn’t perfect, and it is an act of political cowardice to let the great be the enemy of the good. And this project, the European project, one which brings people together, former political adversaries together, and allows us to work, live, laugh, love, and be at home across a whole continent, well, that is absolutely worth fighting for.

I am here because I firmly believe that Britain’s future lies in Europe, and lies as a leading player in Europe. I have zero interest in playing a superficial, outer-circle role here. I want to make a clear case both to the British people and to our friends and allies on the continent that we mean business, and we are going to pioneer the reforms, changes, and new, ambitious projects that the community desperately needs. We are a great nation that has always had enormous overseas influence - let’s prove that, and let’s lead the way in creating a stronger continent. I make a very direct emotional plea here. Yes, the economic advantages are huge, and the jobs and industrial benefits are enormous, but that isn’t the case I wish to make. I want to make a case for this being a first step to adopting a more European form of politics, a more co-operative and compromising, Christian brand of doing things in this country. That’s why I’m so delighted to be here on a podium, not just as a Liberal Democrat, but amongst friends from other parties, who have similar ambitions, and understand the need to make this case, whatever the whips may say.

I’d also like to make it clear that all of us here want to act democratically, and want to put the will of the people at the centre of the discussion. Having a vote on the European issue, on the single currency, is important. We cannot do this top-down, and have no wish to impose an unwanted change on the public. What we want to do is make our case, in an open and free election, and to show that Britain’s future is brightest, strongest, and best if we are leaders in the continent. Because if we want reform, and if we want change, then we have to be the champions of it. We have to be the ones proposing things, acting proactively, not playing the role of armchair critics. I want us to lead the way in supporting more co-operation on environmental legislation, I want us to lead the way on creating a currency that will make trade between nations and job creation the easiest it has been in our lifetimes, and I want us to be proud that we are part of a community of nations. I spent a long career in the BBC travelling the world, meeting all sorts of people, and seeing all sorts of culture. I do not want that to be the preserve of those who are merely lucky, as I believe I was - I want those opportunities to be there for all British people, to travel, to trade, to have a better life. Adopting the single currency would not infringe on sovereignty, it would expand it, and expand our nation’s frontiers as far as the Mediterannian sea. Surely that ideal is worth fighting for?

Lastly, I just want to make a very simple argument. I was born in 1945, the year that war across Europe ended. We have had peace in Europe, in our time, for my entire life. I am one of the first British people in history to be able to say that, and mean it. That is a remarkable achievement and has only been made possible through co-operation, through working together, and through leadership from nations who are willing to be politically brave to do the right thing. I want us to be a country that does the right thing, and that leads the way in the world - that’s why I’m here today, backing this campaign, and why I cannot wait till Britain is stronger and better off for it.

Cardigan left the stage to applause from the assembled crowd at Trafalgar Square, and grabbed the hands of Hattersley and Lauria, lifting them up in a cheers-ing motion, as a lovely sign of unity.

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  Let's Lead Europe Launch (Bibi Lauria)
Posted by: Bibi Lauria - 08-30-2020, 05:26 PM - Forum: Marked - Replies (1)

[Image: z5QO3ug.png]

Having invited key London and national media, and party members from all main parties, as well as sapping in passing onlookers, Bibi takes to a makeshift stage, with "Let's Lead EUROPE" emblazoned on banners behind her, on an abnormally warm February afternoon in Trafalgar Square. She is smartly dressed and businesslike; beside her is Roy Hattersley, in a tweed jacket and bright red tie, looking rather statesmanlike; beside him is Alex Cardigan, sleeves rolled up on a floral shirt, having abandoned his jacket.

Good morning! Thank you all for turning out today!

If you had told my sixteen year old self – freshly dropped out of school – that she would someday stand, and deliver speech, on stages just like this one, I doubt she would ever have believed it in a thousand lifetimes. And yet, against the odds, here we are. People often remark on similar such stories as akin to the ‘American Dream’  – one where perseverance, and a little elbow grease, can achieve extraordinary things. But I have always reject this label for my own life, for it lacks the underlying truth that very few can get ahead without a little help from society at large. I would never have been able to turn from dropout, to social housing support officer if it were not for the compassion of others, that knew nothing about me other than that I believed desperately in changing lives for the better. And this is not unique to me – for it is the story of so many of our countrymen. It is not so much an ‘American Dream’, but a ‘British Truth’.

We are – yes – a nation of proud individualists; from bakers and builders, to cooks and creators – there is a rich vein of talent and drive that runs in the blood of every one of this land's children; but this has never meant that we are afraid to come together as communities, big and small. The extraordinary pride that we have in our ability to be self starters, is mixed with a raw compassion – a moral philosophy that we treat neighbour like self. In an unwritten social contract, signed at birth in NHS hospitals, we guarantee to all that we will never fault, nor stumble, in the pursuit of common good. But this responsibility we undertake spans wider than just these shores. This contract has guided generations of our countrymen to fight, often literally, in the names of all. From Wellington and his defeat of Napoleon, to Churchill and the liberation of Europe – we have never doubted that this duty encapsulates the continent too. For Britain’s story is, and will always be, inextricably tied to that of our friends and partners on the continent. From the First World War, to the Second; our national story is one where we refuse to hide in the fight for liberty, tolerance and prosperity for all Europeans. I believe that we must vigorously chase these values, for which British men and women have twice laid down their lives this century. It is those values, for which this great country has toiled for at its own peril.

But a future of prosperity and freedom cannot be delivered by Britain alone. In a world divided by loyalties to East and West, we have been put at risk of being caught in the crossfire of international diplomacy and conflict. We must be realistic that we no longer live in the golden age of British independence. Caught between two great empires, we have sensibly tied ourselves to friends across the Atlantic. But as this world evolves, we must stand ready to change with it. And where there is opportunity – we must stand and seize it.

Where forty eight years ago we stood shoulder to shoulder on the beaches of Normandy with French, Polish, Czech, Norwegian, Belgian, Dutch, Dane – European sons – we now have the chance to bring together this continent once again.

A single currency is the coming question that will be posed to Britain. Whether intentionally or not, the wheels of a train that has been slowly and quietly assembled, over the last thirty five years, are now beginning to turn in rapid motion. The click-clack of their approach is growing ever louder, and it is essential that we are ready and willing to jump aboard – not as a passenger, nor as the coal shoveler, the engineer or the ticketmaster – but as the conductor. A single currency in Europe offers up an extraordinary and unparalleled opportunity for Britain to gain through the common labours of this continent, whilst being able to steer the wheel. The single currency is our chance – Europe's chance – to solidify those values that we cherish most, without bloodshed nor losers. 

This is more than just a moment – it is re-emergence of the Age of Europe.

But there are those that sit opposed to this bold vision. Those that foretell a grave sovereign disaster, where we are no longer able to exert the full powers required to govern ourselves. It is, indeed, a scary prophecy. This country has been made Great by the decisions taken here at home. But obsessed with crystal balls, the point has been sorely missed that British involvement in a single currency is the best way to secure the long term sovereignty of this country. I fear that we are trapped to become a 51st State, should we not embrace this chance.

Our question is akin to shepherds and sheep; whether we are to lead, or be led. With a European single currency, in which Britain plays a key role, we will have the powers and influence to guide every decision along the way; but if we are to be stuck outside it – isolated as a rocky American outpost, that refuses to cooperate with our historic partners – then we are knowingly and willingly casting aside our vital chance to lead. We must not allow ourselves to shy away from taking up our rightful mantle at the heart of this project, which will come to influence us whether we play our part or not. 

But it is the right of the British people to make that decision. I am deeply honoured to serve as a member of a government that has guaranteed that voice on this issue – with the promise of a referenda, should a single currency emerge. And it is that promise of a referenda that has led me here today. I am immensely proud to announce the launch of the Let’s Lead Europe movement, which will raise the public banner for British entry into a future single currency spanning the European continent.

This is a hugely unifying moment for Europe and Britain alike. So it is with great pleasure that I can welcome one of my co-chairs to the stage – Roy Hattersley MP. This is a truly cross-party movement.

Please give him a very warm welcome!

[Hattersley does some spiel and then introduces Cardigan, whose speech can be found in a separate thread.]

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  M2 - Ratification of the Maastricht Treaty
Posted by: Dylan Macmillan - 08-27-2020, 10:24 PM - Forum: Division Lobbies - Replies (26)

Mr Speaker, I beg leave to offer the House the following Motion.

Quote:That this House ratifies the Maastricht Treaty.

Mr Speaker as many in this House know the Government have spent the past year negotiating the next phase of the European Economic Community, the negotiations in Rome which occurred so successfully laid strong groundwork and throughout the month of January the final touches were put in place enabling the Prime Minister to sign on the dotted line this month. Mr Speaker this is no ordinary European Treaty, this is not an accession treaty admitting more Member States and it is not a competence treaty expanding European collective decision making, it is nothing short of an evolution of the fundamental nature of the European project. The European Economic Community will be reorganised into a European Union.

What this entails Mr Speaker is a reformation of what we understand as the European Economic Community into the European Union. The EU shall be made of three pillars:

  1. The European Communities pillar that shall encompass economic, social and environmental policies. It shall comprise the European Community, the European Coal and Steel Community, and the European Atomic Energy Community. All of which are being transferred from the old EEC.
  2. The Common Foreign and Security Policy pillar shall take care of foreign policy and military matters. I should note for the benefit of this House that there shall be no single European Military Force, a point I shall elaborate on further later in my speech.
  3. Finally the Justice and Home Affairs Pillar brings together cooperation in the cross-border fight against crime and criminal syndicates.
Mr Speaker these pillars define the central tenets of the new European Union. The Maastricht Treaty does many things, it formalises and ratifies a commitment to fully integrate the financial markets of Europe strengthening London’s grasp as the premier financial capital of the World. This is a tremendous win not only for the British financial sector but indeed for the entire British economy and will help us rebound and strive for better into the next century. The Foreign Policy pillar strengthens our joint response to international events, those who question why this could possibly be required need only look at the situation in the Soviet Union and Iraq. The Soviet Union have been roundly criticised for their shamefully wrong decision to deprive the United Kingdom of diplomatic representation by rejecting our diplomat to Moscow, a flagrant breach of international law, while Iraq proved that there is space for European military cooperation with the Anglo-French Basra landings leading to the overwhelming victory in Kuwait enabling us a speedy victory and restoring peace, law, and order to the people of Iraq. Finally the Justice and Home Affairs pillar signals our commitment to work with our European brothers in the fighting of crime covering criminality as wide ranging as drug, weapon, and people trafficking, international acts of terror, organised crime, bribery, fraud, murder, the list goes on and on. Our officers shall have access to international resources to help speed up the solving of the most heinous crimes and bring their perpetrators to justice.

Now Mr Speaker I move onto the consequences of the Rome Negotiations. The European Parliament and European Council have been strengthened immeasurably by this treaty, they now get a binding say on every matter of the European Union. There shall be no law passed to us from Brussels and Strasbourg that has not been positively approved by a member of Her Majesty’s Government and our elected MEPs. Mr Speaker I think I speak for this whole House and indeed the entire country when I welcome this dramatic and positive step towards the empowerment of the peoples of the European Union. The Commission will remain the Executive of the European Union but it will not have the power to unilaterally pass law, as with Her Majesty’s Government and the Houses of Parliament they must seek the positive endorsement of elected officials accountable to the people. Furthermore on the matter of the European Council this treaty is the first treaty in European Economic Community, or European Union, history to be written without either a single power being transferred from unanimous voting to qualified majority voting or see the voting power of the European Council change. In other words the European Council is the same today as it was yesterday and shall remain that way tomorrow. The British Government, and all other European Governments, shall retain their vetoes on existing competencies and all new competencies shall be created under the unanimous voting umbrella. This is another huge win for national sovereignty that I, this Government, and I believe the whole House will be able to endorse.

Now I mentioned earlier in my speech that this treaty includes provision to preclude the creation of a European Army. Written into the Maastricht Treaty is a provision stating clearly and unambiguously that any further integration is required to be made via treaty change. As the Maastricht Treaty does not allow for the creation of a European Army that means that such a move would need to be unanimously agreed to by member states in the form of a new treaty, enshrining another British veto into European law that allows us to stop reforms that run contrary to our interests dead in their tracks. Speaking of the British veto I am pleased to once again reaffirm this Government’s commitment that any future single currency would be subject to a British opt-out which will then be put to a referendum of the British people. That provision is included in the text of the Maastricht Treaty and the referendum shall be legislated into law before the upcoming General Election so that no party on any side of the House can sign us up to the single currency without either a vote in the Commons to repeal that Act or a referendum of the British people. Rest assured Mr Speaker that we on this side of the House will not be taking the former option. To round off the subject of economics Mr Speaker the Maastricht Treaty also includes reform of the ERM expanding the bands’ tolerance to 15%, allowing for strong fiscal action as required to counter economic hardships faced by the British people and the peoples of other EU nations, and allowing for nations to re-peg their currency should they wish to do so.

Mr Speaker as I have said before Britain wins when Britain leads. Britain is leading in Europe and in turn creating a Europe that works for us. The Rome Negotiations and Maastricht Treaty have set the stage for a European Union that democratises the EU, strengthens and respects the sovereignty of individual nations, and strengthens the role of our financial institutions creating opportunities for the British economy to grow and provide us with the revenue required to further our fiscal objectives in the budget. This is what can be achieved if we engage with Europe rather than treating them as a Napoleonic evil that must be fought every bit as hard as the external threat of Communism. Mr Speaker I am pleased to commend this statement to the House and will be equally proud to move this motion after the time for debate is over.

Quote:OOC Note:

The Maastricht Treaty is essentially the same as irl with the three pillar system. The deviations from real life are called out in the subsequent paragraphs with the veto protection + expansion, the Euro Referendum, the need for more treaties if we want to expand, the ERM laxing, an expediting of the integration of Europe’s finance markets around London, and a requirement for the EU to wait until the Single Currency and its institutions are all set up before further expansion can take place.

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  PC17: Signing of Maastricht Treaty
Posted by: Redgrave - 08-27-2020, 10:03 PM - Forum: Marked - Replies (50)

What do you think about this landmark event?

Closes at 23:59pm UK on 30th August

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  Prime Ministerial Speech: Signing of Maastricht Treaty
Posted by: Redgrave - 08-27-2020, 09:43 PM - Forum: Marked - Replies (1)

Aubyn Myerscough, the Prime Minister, addresses a group of diplomats and civil servants on the Maastricht Treaty.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to speak to you - the hardworking public servants and diplomats who fight for British interests day in, day out - on the eve of your achievement: the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and a reformed Europe.

It is a treaty for a new Europe, ready for a new era, committed to fighting the challenges we face together. It is a treaty that reminds us that what 12 nations is  committed to is a ‘union among the peoples of Europe”. It reminds us that the now European Union is not about government, bureaucracy, and state control but it is about the people, community, and the public interest. The interest of ours - and the Community’s citizens - must always come first and foremost. 

Unlike others who have flip-flopped on Europe, the Government has remained steadfast to our commitment of a Europe for the people, a Europe that works for the public, and a Europe respects the diversity of our communities. I’ve always believed that Britain needs as much Europe and cooperation as is necessary and as much democracy in the European Union as possible, while maintaining the right to opt-out on the issues it matters so strongly about. 

That is why Britain drove the creation of the single European Market, making it easier to trade across borders. It’s why we fought for and won a fairer budget settlement for our country. And it’s why we’ve worked with our allies for responds to the needs of its European citizens, while respecting national identity and national traditions.

And that is what you’ve secured with the Maastricht Treaty. It commits to further integration of financial services benefitting London and the U.K. It ensures our hardworking police offices have access to information and support if a fugitive from British justice is in Europe. It strengthens the role of democracy, with an empowered European Parliament and a clear role for the British Government. No law, not a single one, will be implemented in Britain without approval by a British Minister in the European Council or the scrutiny of British MEPs in the European Parliament. It protects the pound, while also giving the British people the right to choose the Euro if they see fit. This is a good deal for Britain - and it is a good deal for Europe too. 

I am very fond of saying to as many audiences as possible that the new millennium is just eight years away. It will be a millennium of enormous opportunity, change, and transformation. And we must make a success of our membership, working with our allies and also those who we disagree with towards the national interest and a common goal. A more prosperous, responsive, democratic Europe is what will come about of this Treaty - and a stronger Britain too. 

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  MS 14 - Soviet Diplomatic Situation
Posted by: Dylan Macmillan - 08-27-2020, 08:08 PM - Forum: Ministerial Statements - Replies (3)

Mr Speaker I beg leave to offer a statement on the United Kingdom’s diplomatic mission to the Soviet Union.

Mr Speaker as many in this House know, and Labour gleefully point out to Her Majesty’s Press and this Chamber, the Soviet Union rejected our appointed Ambassador to Moscow. Mr Speaker this is a very serious matter indeed no matter how many political points Labour feel they can score from it. These actions from Moscow violate international law, treaty provision, and just about every diplomatic norm in the book. In short Mr Speaker it is nothing less than a full frontal assault on international peace and order. Ambassadors are essential to a country’s diplomatic mission in another nation, that is why a nation’s ambassador is selected by that nation and that is also why this Government was absolutely convinced of the need to get the best person for the job to do it. The British Ambassador to the Soviet Union is an incredibly difficult job at the best of times as they are our mouthpiece in Moscow which is why I determined it was best for Sir Rodric to return to his post. Mr Speaker Her Majesty’s Government did not and does not accept the Soviet Union’s request for a new ambassador, to do so would undermine our mission to the Soviet Union and hamper the capacity of our embassy in Moscow.

Mr Speaker while some are content to point the finger of blame for this event at the Government the Government have not been content to sit idle. For the past month the Government have been in meetings and discussions with our international allies to build a global acceptance and hunger for action around the unacceptable nature of the Soviets’ actions and building a consensus around our reaction. Mr Speaker I can confirm that at the present time Phase One of the plan has been agreed to by the entirety of the EEC and NATO including the organisations themselves and the constituent nations, Phase Two of the plan has been agreed to by NATO and its constituent nations with discussions ongoing in the EEC. Mr Speaker after I have concluded my business in this Chamber today I shall be returning to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to summon the Soviet Ambassador and present him with a joint statement, signed and supported by the aforementioned nations and organisations, demanding an end to these games and the resumption of normal diplomatic relations with Sir Rodric being accredited with his staff for the roles they have been appointed to undertake. Mr Speaker should the Soviet Union refuse to follow international law and continue to deny our ambassador and staff their accreditation then the agreed protocol for Phase Two is for NATO members to expel Soviet Diplomats in response, this shall include the United Kingdom.

Mr Speaker this Government dearly desires normal relations with the Soviet Union however it is clear that the Soviet Union is not receptive to those wishes at the present time. The measures I have outlined today are designed to bring the Soviet Union back into compliance with international law, firstly via diplomatic niceties and urgings, then through more concrete actions in the expulsion of diplomatic staff. Discussions with our European friends and neighbours on Phase Two and further discussions with all partners on potential action for further actions are ongoing in case they are required and I will of course keep the House updated on these matters. Mr Speaker I urge all sides of the House to come together on this matter, the United Kingdom’s diplomatic mission to Moscow has been harmed by the actions of the Soviet Union and therefore quite clearly our national interest has been as well. It is as inappropriate to attempt to score petty party political points from this situation as it would have been for us to bow down to the Soviet Union’s demands for a fresh ambassador simply because they did not approve of the sterling work done by our current appointee. Equally Mr Speaker I urge the Soviets to stop playing games with diplomacy and international law, accredit our ambassador and his diplomatic staff so that normal relations may resume and we can return once again to the status quo.

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  George de Cadenet
Posted by: George de Cadenet - 08-25-2020, 09:44 PM - Forum: New Players & Character Creation - No Replies

Admiral George Andrew Phillip de Cadenet (Retd), CB, DSC, ADC, FRAeS is a former officer of the British Royal Navy, a Social Democratic Party politician and the Member of Parliament for Greenwich.

Born on 4 April 1930 in Hampshire, de Cadenet attended Harrow School and went on to read Classics at the University of Cambridge. His father, Bernard de Cadenet, was a Captain in the Royal Navy and his mother a homemaker and housewife. He is an only child.

De Cadenet enlisted for officer training in the Royal Navy at the age of 22. In his early career he served as a helicopter pilot with 814 Naval Air Squadron, 829 Naval Air Squadron and 815 Naval Air Squadron. 

In 1973, de Cadenet was appointed Captain and commander of HMS Ardent. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross having been promoted to the rank of Commodore in 1976. 

De Cadenet was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1979 and appointed to be chief staff officer to the Chief of the Defence Staff. In 1982 he became a Vice-Admiral, and was appointed Chief Naval Warfare Officer. In 1985 he was promoted again to the rank of Admiral and became Commander-in-Chief Fleet, serving for only one year before retiring from the Royal Navy to seek election to Parliament.

Joining the Social DemocraticParty for the first time in 1986, de Cadenet shocked pundits by emerging as the frontrunner for selection to contest the seat of Greenwich, having drawn heavily on his naval experience. Winning the selection and the subsequent by-election in 1987, de Cadenet entered the House of Commons.

Between 1988 and 1990, de Cadenet served on the Defence Select Committee.

De Cadenet is married with three children and five grandchildren. He is a member of the Church of England 

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  Prevention of Terrorism Act 1992
Posted by: William Croft - 08-25-2020, 02:29 PM - Forum: Division Lobbies - Replies (23)

Mr. Speaker, 

I rise today to introduce to the House the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1992. 

In accordance with the second commitment included in the Joint Declaration on Northern Ireland the Government had hoped to sign alongside the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, we bring forth this legislation to show our resolute desire to make progress upon the initiatives we were prepared to support. 

This legislation has one very simple goal: to ensure that every person who considers supporting a terrorist organization in Britain knows they will end up behind bars for doing so. The Act alters the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act (1989) in two key ways. First, it increases the maximum possible sentences for both joining a terrorist organization, and providing support to a terrorist organization, from 10 years to life imprisonment. Second, it introduces mandatory minimum sentences for both of these offenses, which is to be a sentence of 5 years in prison. Consistent with previous legislation, we have made sentences for these two crimes consistent with one another in recognition that both membership and support of a terrorist organization can have an equally dangerous impact on British society. 

There are many ways that the Government intends to strengthen our resolve to fight terrorism, and this legislation is one key component of that plan. The Prevention of Terrorism Act 1992 ensures that judges and the criminal justice system have the full force of the law at their disposal to properly hold terrorists accountable, and to sentence them to a term in jail that is commensurate with the vile crimes they have committed. The financial backers of the IRA who made it possible for them to have the intelligence capabilities, weapons, and explosive materials necessary to commit the attack in Boyle should be held equally responsible for the crime as the actual terrorists themselves. In Britain we must have no tolerance for terrorists, or for those who seek to aid and abed them behind the scenes, and this legislation does just that. 

It is my hope that my colleagues across the aisle, in both the Liberal Democrat and Labour parties, will join the Government in supporting this decisive action. As I told the former Shadow Foreign Secretary just yesterday, despite the unsuccessful cross-party talks, it remains my genuine hope that on this matter we can find common ground. All of us were prepared to sign on to passing stricter counter terrorism legislation just a few days ago. For the British people, for the safety and security of Northern Ireland, let us all set aside our differences and commit to doing the work that must be done.

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  PC16: Cross-Party Agreement Breakdown
Posted by: Redgrave - 08-24-2020, 09:27 PM - Forum: Marked - Replies (37)

What do you think about the breakdown of cross-party talks on Ireland?

Closes at 23:59pm UK on 27th August

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