May warns Sturgeon publishing leaked Brexit analysis would harm UK’s “national interest”

DOWNING Street has urged Nicola Sturgeon to resist fully publishing Whitehall’s top secret analysis – which suggested Britain’s economy would slump after Brexit – warning it would jeopardise the UK’s “national interest” in the Brussels talks.

Michael Russell, the Scottish Government’s Brexit Minister, has written to David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, making clear that the First Minister believes the public has a right to know the full impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU on jobs and living standards.

“This is not our analysis and we do not see it as our responsibility to make arrangements on confidential handling. I want to be clear that if you send the analysis to us, we will make it public,” declared Mr Russell.

The UK Government has indicated that, together with MPs, the devolved administrations will receive the full draft analysis on a “confidential basis”.

Read Full Article: May warns Sturgeon publishing leaked Brexit analysis would harm UK’s “national interest”

EU rejects Brexit trade deal for UK financial services sector

Jim Brunsden in Brussels JANUARY 31, 2018 1097

Full Article Here

EU Brexit negotiators have set out a tough line on financial services, ruling out an ambitious trade deal for the lucrative sector and arguing that Europe would benefit from a smaller City of London, according to confidential discussions among the other 27 EU member states.

In a rebuff to the UK, which is seeking to put financial services at the heart of a trade deal with the bloc, an internal EU27 meeting this week concluded that future arrangements should be based on “equivalence” — the limited and revocable access given to third-country institutions — rather than a wide-ranging new pact.

At present, such provisions give financial groups from countries such as the US conditional access to the single market for some services.

“There was a strong commission message that there would be no special deal,” said an EU diplomat briefed on the discussions — a first attempt to thrash out the bloc’s position on the issue before negotiations with Britain start in March. “The UK is being told from the beginning what the situation is.”

Another EU diplomat said: “They are out of the internal market, that’s it. There can only be a much less ambitious agreement.”

Ensuring that financial services are not badly hit by Brexit is a top priority for the UK, since the sector is Britain’s biggest source of exports and tax revenue.

Theresa May’s government has also argued that if the City were damaged it would adversely affect financial stability and EU groups’ cost of financing, while contributing to the fragmentation of the sector.


Read Full Report: Financial Times

Theresa May Should Sack Tory MP Ben Bradley


Ben Bradley, the newly appointed Tory vice-chairman, found himself in a spot of bother this past week as a series of right-wing blog posts he had written before becoming a MP resurfaced.

They are pretty damn shocking.

Rising star Ben Bradley, appointed to help the party appeal to young voters, made the comment in a now-deleted blog post. He has since apologised after being approached by BuzzFeed News.

Source: This New Tory Party Vice Chair Suggested Unemployed People Should Have Vasectomies

The shameful blogs include articles written in support of deep Tory cuts to tax credits and social security, where he said low-income families should have vasectomies to prevent them having children and said the UK would soon be “drowning in a vast sea of unemployed wasters”.

He also criticised our public sector workers, including teachers and nurses, for opposing Tory austerity cuts to public services. Despite now earning £75,000 a year as an MP, he claimed workers in our schools and NHS were “lost in their own fantasy land”, “can’t see how good they’ve got it” and should quit if they don’t think they are paid enough.

If that wasn’t enough, even more blog posts have now come to light – revealing that he also thinks “police brutality should be encouraged” and “Scottish people should not be trusted with big jobs”. My SNP colleague Neil Gray, our social justice spokesman, has called on Theresa May to sack him. And rightly so. Bradley’s attacks on low-income families, and our dedicated public service workers, are deeply offensive and make him unfit for office.

The comments are all the more insulting given that it’s the Tory Government’s own policies that have made millions of low-income families poorer and worse off – with falling wages, an unfair public sector pay cap, cuts to social security and the longest period of falling living standards since records began.

In Tory Britain, the majority of families have suffered from stagnant wages, while those at the bottom have been forced to rely on food banks and payday loans as a result of the UK Government’s devastating cuts to support. The Tories rightly called for Labour MP Jared O’Mara to be suspended over his offensive blog posts. It would be hypocrisy of the highest order if they now fail to act themselves.

May’s failure to act on her own vice-chairman is no doubt partly because her position is weak. But the bigger issue for the Tories is that Bradley’s views are only slightly more extreme versions of ones that are widely held across the party.

This right-wing Tory dogma is the exact reason they keep dismissing the SNP’s calls to deliver a real living wage, to lift the public sector pay cap and end social security cuts. May once criticised the Tories for their “nasty party” reputation. Well, now she is responsible for it.


Theresa May ridiculed in European Parliament for claiming credit for EU regulations

Theresa May has been ridiculed in the European Parliament after her Government took credit for two major EU regulations in the space of a week – without mentioning where the laws had come from. The Prime Minister spent part of last week hailing the introduction of a ban on credit card charges, as well as mandatory fees for plastic bags in shops, as a win for consumers and the environment.

The Prime Minister spent part of last week hailing the introduction of a ban on credit card charges, as well as mandatory fees for plastic bags in shops, as a win for consumers and the environment.

But despite Conservative-branded publicity being prepared for social media and a major set-piece speech about the environment off the back of the latter policy, the two laws were in fact EU regulations and directives.

“I see the confusion is a little bit widespread in Britain at the moment. Michael Gove for example has forgotten that the ban on plastic bags is an EU regulation,” he said, speaking on Tuesday morning in Strasbourg.

“The Prime Minister, Ms May, doesn’t know, apparently that the abolition of charges on credit cards is a consequence of a directive of the EU.”

Mr Verhofstadt also made light of the “whole hilarious thing about passports” in Britain – which it turns out are not stipulated to be any particular colour by EU regulations, despite claims by Brexiteers and pledges to bring back blue covers after Britain leaves the bloc.

He also joked about Nigel Farage’s meeting with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, arguing that the former Ukip leader seemed “disorientated” after the event.
Source: Theresa May ridiculed in European Parliament for claiming credit for EU regulations

Letter to the Prime Minister from 68 senior NHS A&E Drs.

Copied from Twitter, source and full letter below

10th January 2018

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing to you as Consultants in Emergency Medicine, Fellows of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and as Clinical Leads (Consultants in charge) of our Emergency Departments, representing 68 Acute Hospitals across England and Wales.

We note your recent apology to patients and thanks for how hard we and other NHS staff are working.

We feel compelled to speak out in support of our hardworking and dedicated nursing, medical and allied health professional colleagues and for the very serious concerns we have for the safety of our patients.

This current level of safety compromise is at times intolerable, despite the best efforts of staff.

It has been stated that the NHS was better prepared for this winter than ever before. There is no question that a huge amount of effort and energy has been spent both locally and nationally on drawing up plans for coping with NHS winter pressures. Our experience at the front line is that these plans have failed to deliver anywhere near what was needed.

We acknowledge that our Trusts and local CCGs are doing everything they can to create capacity and more beds in the short term, and we are grateful to them for their continued assistance in such a time of crisis. We also acknowledge the help and support given to the Emergency Departments by our colleagues in other specialties and disciplines across our hospitals.

The facts remain however that the NHS is severely and chronically underfunded.
We have insufficient hospital and community beds and staff of all disciplines especially at the front door to cope with our ageing population’s health needs.

As you will know a number of scientific publications have shown that crowded Emergency Departments are dangerous for patients. The longer that the patients stay in ED after their treatment has been completed, the greater is their morbidity and associated mortality.

Recent media coverage has reported numerous anecdotal accounts of how appalling the situation in an increasing number of our Emergency Departments has become. These departments are not outliers. Many of the trusts we work in are in similar positions.

Last week’s 4 hour performance target was between 45 and 75%.
Thousands of patients are waiting in ambulances for hours as the hospitals lack adequate space.

Some of our own personal experiences range from
Over 120 patients a day managed in corridors, some dying prematurely
An average of 10-12 hours from decision to admit a patient until they are transferred to a bed
Over 50 patients at a time waiting beds in the Emergency Department
Patients sleeping in clinics as makeshift wards

We have known for a number of years that recruitment of staff to Emergency Departments has been challenging. The recent collaboration between the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and NHS England, Health Education England and NHS Improvement will provide a medium term solution to grow our clinical workforce as well as decrease the attrition rate.

So as a matter of urgency we ask that you consider supporting strategies that will reduce crowding in our Emergency Departments.
These include;

1. A significant increase in Social Care Funding to allow patients who are fit to be discharged from acute beds to be cared for in the community.

2. A review of the number of hospital beds that are available for acute care. A number of independent organisations have confirmed that the UK has an inadequate acute bed base to meet the needs of its population.

3. Prioritisation to implement the workforce strategy that has been agreed between the Royal College and the relevant arms length bodies.

In the meantime we would like to apologise to our patients for being unable to fulfil our pledge for a safe efficient service and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the staff.

You will understand with the public interest in this matter that we have released this letter to the press also.

We remain hopeful and committed to improving the care of patients in Emergency Departments throughout the UK.

“The NHS belongs to the people….it touches our lives at times of basic human need when care and compassion are what matter most”
The NHS Constitution, 1948.

Note: we sign this on behalf of ourselves and our departments but this does not necessarily represent the views of our individual Trusts.

Shaz Afzal – County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
Shariq Ahmed- Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
Vazeer Ahmed – Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Abosede Ajayi, Charing Cross, ICHNT
Andy Ashton – St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Ravi Ayya- West Suffolk Hospital
Ahmad Aziz – Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Broomfield Hospital
Bill Bailey – Chesterfield Royal Hospital
Tom Blyth – Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (Solihull) Birmingham
Dan Boden – Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
David Clarke – Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Jonathan Costello – Royal Free, London
Jim Crawfurd – James Paget University Hospital, NHSFT
Susan Dorrian – Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (Heartlands)
Ola Erinfolami – Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham
Jane Evans – Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Shindo Francis – Milton Keynes University Hospital
James Gagg – Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton & Somerset NHSFT
Steve Haig – Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Swindon
Elaine Harding – Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust
Miriam Harris – London North West Hospitals NHS Trust
Ed Hartley – University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
Katherine Henderson – Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Chris Hetherington – South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
Caroline Howard – Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Ann Hicks – Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Hywel Hughes – Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Wrexham Maelor Hospital
Nickie Jakeman
Ruchi Joshi – Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
Meg Kelly – United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Tarek Kherbeck, The Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital
Liam Kevern – Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
Milena Kostic – The HillingdonHospitals NHS Trust
Subramanian Kumaran – Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust
Nick Laundy – Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Stuart Lloyd – Bedford Hospital NHS Trust
Stephen Lord, York Hospital, York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Andres Martin – North Middlesex University Hospital
David Matthews – Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust
Nick Mathieu – Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Ann-Marie Morris – University Hospitals of North Midlands
Rachel McColm – Wye Valley NHS Trust
Lisa Niklaus – Barts Health NHS Trust
Julie Norton – University Hospitals of North Midlands
Tom O’Driscoll – Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Glan Clywd
Nick Payne –Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
Rob Perry – Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Ysbyty Gwynedd (Gwynedd Hospital), Bangor, North Wales
Shewli Rahman – Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Junaid Rathore – Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust
David Raven – Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham
Ben Rayner – Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Tim Rogerson – Aneurin Bevan University Healthboard, Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport
Emma Rowland
Mustafa Sajeel – Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Good Hope, Birmingham
Ramy Saker – Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, Wexham Park
Ravi Sant – United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Pilgrim Hospital, Boston
Matt Shepherd – Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
Toby Slade – Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
Dave Snow – Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
Lisa Somers – Whipps Cross University Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust
Sarah Spencer – Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend
Jo Taylor – The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
Nam Tong – The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn NHS Foundation Trust
Will Townend – Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Malcolm Tunnicliff – Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
James Williamson – Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust
Libby Wilson – University Hospitals Aintree NHS Foundation Trust
Athar Yasin – North West Anglia Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Peterborough City Hospital

More on the NHS Crisis below

NHS England  operations deferred throughout January

Current State Of NHS England