The House of Lords has voted against the government to put in place measures to try and block parliament being prorogued by a new Prime Minister intent on forcing through a no deal Brexit.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
The House of Lords voted by 272 votes to 169, a majority of 103, for what is being called the Anderson Amendment, after the cross-bench peer who tabled it.
This aims to put in place measures surrounding the Northern Ireland power sharing executive that would force the government to sit throughout October.
The guardian reports that:
"This means the bill, as now amended, could make it illegal for the government to prorogue parliament in the autumn if the power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland has not been restored."
And, says the Guardian piece, thirteen Tory peers voted against their own government on this bill.
The Anderson amendment is based on the ones Dominic Grieve tried to push through the House of Commons on the same bill very recently. But one of those was stopped by the Speaker not selecting the amendment for debate and voting on and others were voted down.
Grieve did manage to get one through that instructed the government to make fortnightly reports on power sharing though.
What the Anderson amendment does, is adds to this by forcing the government to make reports and hold debates on the progress being made towards the restoration of the power sharing arrangement in Northern Ireland. That I assume makes it harder to avoid than just making reports.
The bill does have to go back to the House of Commons tomorrow, where this amendment inserted by the Lords could well be voted out.
But if the House of Commons has already very recently rejected something similar, then by what authority do our esteemed Lords decide that MPs had better think and vote again on it?
When Grieve initially put forward his amendments, other MPs were saying that they went well beyond what was required. So it's obvious that these moves are Brexit driven and not Northern Ireland policy driven, so should be rejected.
There is now fear-mongering talk about the pound falling towards parity with the dollar after Brexit.
Morgan Stanley has warned:
"The pound has come under intense selling pressure since Prime Minister May withdrew from her party leadership position, leaving markets with increased concern that the U.K. may be heading towards a harder Brexit.
"Should this scenario materialize, pound-dollar could fall into the $1.00-$1.10 range."
This would be a reduction in the value of the pound of up to 20% in comparison with the dollar – as I speak the pound is worth just over $1.24c and does seem to be rising a bit today.
But when you look back at the value of the pound against the dollar you will find that sterling has fallen steadily since well before the second world war, when it stood at about $5 to the pound.
I've left a link in the descriptions box below to a website that shows a little on this change in the sterling dollar rate over the decades.
I've also constructed this graph from data supplied by www.macrotrends.net that shows the Sterling to US Dollar exchange rate since early 1971.
All you have to do is look at what has happened to the exchange rate in the decades up to the EU referendum date and compare it to what has happened since to see that maybe the effects of the Brexit vote have been overstated and that we're still above the low seen in 1984 to 5.
And what it shows is that confidence in a currency can come and go quite quickly. We should therefore not be measuring our independence against short term currency fluctuations.
And also bear in mind that the IMF has declared in its External Sector Report out today that the US dollar is overvalued and that the euro is as much as 18% undervalued for Germany but 4% overvalued for France, reports the Guardian.
And onto Boris Johnson. The Telegraph reports that he has recruited hardline Eurosceptic Daniel Moylan as senior Brexit policy adviser. Moylan says the report, is implacably against the backstop and the Withdrawal Agreement. But one moderate Tory MP is quoted as saying 'we're doomed' if Moylan is on the team.
And here's some interesting news. West Midlands MEP for The Brexit Party, Andrew England Kerr, has Tweeted out a video where he says about MEPs from other member states that:
"I’ve been approached by colleagues from several European countries who are keeping a close eye on Britain with a view to follow us out!
It’s our responsibility to make Brexit a success, not just for Britain but for the whole of Europe!"
What gets me though, is that all the other countries in the EU27 keep unanimously agreeing to another Article 50 extension.
If only just one of them had refused we'd already be out and on our way to post-Brexit success.
Although, as far as I'm concerned, Robin Tilbrook is right and we've already left the EU be default on the 29th March 2019!
I’ve been approached by colleagues from several European countries who are keeping a close eye on Britain with a view to follow us out!
It’s our responsibility to make Brexit a success, not just for Britain but for the whole of Europe! pic.twitter.com/ouJ4KK7hlv
— Andrew England Kerr (@englandkerrmep) July 17, 2019