While the Tories chose austerity, Portugal decided to invest – and it’s their economy that’s booming

While the Tories chose austerity, Portugal decided to invest – and it’s their economy that’s booming

While the Tories chose austerity, Portugal decided to invest – and it’s their economy that’s booming

It is intriguing to note that Portugal’s budget deficit fell to 0.5 per cent of gross domestic product in 2018, the lowest level since the country returned to democracy 45 years ago.

This clearly demonstrates that there is an alternative to austerity as the deficit has fallen from 11.2 per cent of GDP in 2011 when Portugal negotiated a €78bn bailout with the EU and the International Monetary Fund.

The reduction is mainly driven by an increase in government revenues, including taxes and social security contributions reflecting economic growth and rising employment.


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Some other eurozone countries expressed alarm when the centre-left Socialist government, with the support of the Communist Party and Left Bloc, took power in 2015 on an anti-austerity platform.

However, a series of government budgets raised taxes and restored civil servants’ salaries, eased a surtax on employees’ incomes and breathed new life into the welfare system.

So, while we continue to pursue an austerity agenda in the UK, what Portugal has demonstrated, despite concerns over the economic policies it is pursuing, is that there is another way.

Rather than blindly following an austerity agenda, the example set by Portugal is something we in the UK would be well-advised to take note of.

Alex Orr

Edinburgh 

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1/50 9 April 2019

German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets British Prime Minister Theresa May as She arrives at the Chancellery in Berlin for talks before travelling to Paris

AFP/Getty

2/50 8 April 2019

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and fellow Labour MPs welcome the newly elected MP for Newport West, Ruth Jones (right), to the Houses of Parliament

PA

3/50 7 April 2019

James Cracknell celebrates after winning the Men’s Boat Race with Cambridge. Former Olympic and World Champion Cracknell, 46, became the oldest entrant in Boat Race history, qualifying after taking up a Master of Philosophy degree in human evolution

Getty

4/50 6 April 2019

Davy Russell, riding Tiger Roll, celebrates winning the Random Health Grand National at Aintree racecourse in Liverpool. He became the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back renewals

EPA

5/50 5 April 2019

Activists in hazmat suits and masks stop traffic in west London in a protest accusing authorities of lying after cancer-causing chemicals were found in soil close to Grenfell Tower

PA

6/50 4 April 2019

England football manager Gareth Southgate with the OBE that he received at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London

PA

7/50 3 April 2019

Newborn lambs in a snow covered field near Allendale, Northumberland, after temperatures dipped below freezing overnight. Hill snow, sleet, showers and gales are expected for parts of the UK as the chilly snap keeps hold.

PA

8/50 2 April 2019

Armathwaite Hall hotel in Keswick, Cumbria holds Lemoga classes with the lemurs from Lake District Wild Life Park, who were mingling with the class to create a personal yoga experience which aims to heighten the sense of wellbeing for both lemur and human. With their friendly, outgoing personalities and love for human contact, lemurs make the perfect yoga buddies, helping people to laugh, unwind and stretch away their troubles

PA

9/50 1 April 2019

Fire fighters attend to two police cars that were destroyed after being set on fire outside Goldthorpe police station in South Yorkshire in a suspected arson attack

PA

10/50 31 March 2019

Forensics teams work at the scene of a stabbing in Edmonton in London. Four people have been stabbed in a spate of knife attacks in the north of the capital over the weekend

Getty

11/50 30 March 2019

Workers from the Honda plant in Swindon during a protest march through the town as the car giant will be urged to reverse its decision to close its UK plant

Unite South West/PA

12/50 29 March 2019

Pro-Brexit protesters outside Westminster as MPs voted on a Government motion on the EU withdrawal

PA

13/50 28 March 2019

England football captain Harry Kane is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by the Duke of Cambridge during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace

PA

14/50 27 March 2019

Gallery staff give a final dusting to the ‘Olympe’ sculpture by Aspencrow, modelled on Cara Delevingne and an interpretation of Medusa, as it is unveiled at the JD Malay Gallery in Mayfair, London

PA

15/50 26 March 2019

PD Marci with handler PC Neil Billany, PD Kai with handler PC Jean Pearce, PD Bruno with handler Rob Smith, PD Delta with handler PC Mark Snoxhall, PDSA vet Rosamund Ford, and PD Dave with handler PC Andy Salter at Borough market in London where the dogs were honoured with the PDSA Order of Merit for helping emergency services during the 2017 London terror attacks at Westminster Bridge, London Bridge and Borough Market

PA

16/50 25 March 2019

Britain’s Attorney General Geoffrey Cox arrives in Downing street, London for a cabinet meeting. British Prime Minister Theresa May will today chair a potentially volatile meeting of her cabinet amid reports of an attempted coup by colleagues over her handling of Brexit.

AFP/Getty

17/50 24 March 2019

Workers peeling off stickers left on the Cabinet Office door on Whitehall, London, left by anti-Brexit campaigners after they took part in the People’s Vote March

PA

18/50 23 March 2019

Protesters take part in the Put It To The People March on Whitehall in London. Thousands of protesters gathered for the march from Park Lane to Parliament Square calling for a public vote on the Governments final Brexit deal

Getty

19/50 22 March 2019

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after a news briefing after meeting with EU leaders in Brussels

Reuters

20/50 21 March 2019

The mosque and community centre on Albert Road in Birmingham where a police forensic team are at work after it had its windows smashed with a sledgehammer. An investigation involving counter-terrorism officers has been launched after four mosques in the Birmingham area were attacked overnight

PA

21/50 20 March 2019

Gallery technicians install Edvard Munch’s The Scream at the British Museum in London, ahead of the opening of Edvard Munch: love and angst exhibition, which runs from 11 April to 21 July

PA

22/50 19 March 2019

The ‘tall ship’ William II passes a wind turbine as it sails along the north east coast near Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear after it set off from Blyth in Northumberland on a voyage round the coastline of Great Britain calling at 10 ports en route and changing crews at each stage. The Blyth Tall Ship project is a charity working alongside Blyth community volunteers to recapture the spirit of adventure that was employed in the town to discover the Antarctic 200 years ago and the turbine is part of a pilot field operated by EDF off Blyth which uses concrete float-and-submerge foundations

PA

23/50 18 March 2019

Messenger, the largest bronze cast sculpture in the UK, arrives in Plymouth Sound by barge as it makes its way to be installed outside Theater Royal Plymouth, Devon

PA

24/50 17 March 2019

Flooding in Silsdend, Yorkshire. Heavy rain has caused widespread flooding across the country. Flood warnings remain in place across the UK

PA

25/50 16 March 2019

Police at the scene in Fulham, west London where a 29-year-old man was stabbed to death this morning. The Metropolitan Police said it was called “to reports of a fight in progress” by ambulance crews and arrived on the scene at about 12.27am. The victim was found with stab wounds and died at the scene at 12.56am despite attempts by paramedics and members of the public to save his life

PA

26/50 15 March 2019

Schoolchildren gather around Queen Victoria Memorial at Buckingham Palace as they take part in a student climate protest in London. Thousands of pupils from schools, colleges and universities across the UK will walk out in the second major strike against climate change this year. Young people nationwide are calling on the Government to declare a climate emergency and take action. Similar strikes are taking place around the world today including in Japan and Australia, inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg who criticised world leaders at a United Nations climate conference

Getty

27/50 14 March 2019

Families of those killed during Bloody Sunday march through Bogside in Derry, Northern Ireland. The Public Prosecution Service announced only one former British soldier is to be put on trial in connection with his role in the shootings that left 13 people dead in Derry on 30 January 1972. Families of those killed gathered outside The Museum of Free Derry, yards from where the killings took place, before marching to the city centre hotel to hear the announcement

Charles McQuillan

Getty

28/50 13 March 2019

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond leaves 11 Downing Street as he heads to the House of Commons, to deliver his Spring Statement. He announced he was slashing the UK growth forecast and warned no-deal Brexit will destroy pledge to end austerity

PA

29/50 12 March 2019

British Synchronised swimmers Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe, attempting to recreate their World Championship routine in a pool filled with plastic for The Big Bang Fair challenge, opening this week at the NEC Birmingham. The campaign for the Big Bang competition, which is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) for young people in the UK has been created to help highlight how the eight million tonnes of plastic dumped in the world’s oceans every year affects marine life

PA

30/50 11 March 2019

Snow surrounds the Tan Hill pub in North Yorkshire

PA

31/50 10 March 2019

A man feeds food to dogs during the ‘Brexit Dogs Dinner’ protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London

Reuters

32/50 9 March 2019

Protesters from the climate change pressure group Extinction Rebellion demonstrate by pouring fake blood onto the street outside Downing Street in London

Reuters

33/50 8 March 2019

A woman runs with her Komondor dog as it is judged in a show ring on the second day of the Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham

AFP/Getty

34/50 7 March 2019

Scaffolding which has blown down in strong winds in Hampstead, north London

Robert Berg/Twitter/PA Wire

35/50 6 March 2019

Police and bomb disposal services outside the University of Glasgow after the building was evacuated when a suspect package was found in the mailroom

PA

36/50 5 March 2019

Police officers secure the scene where a suspicious package was found near Waterloo railway station. Other packages were also found at Heathrow Airport and London City Airport, with the police saying they were bombs. Counterterror officers are investigating the three devices as linked following a series of evacuations. One of the packages opened by office staff at Heathrow Airport burst into flames. Scotland Yard did not rule out the existence of other bombs. “The packages – all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags – have been assessed by specialist officers to be small improvised explosive devices,” a spokesperson said. “These devices, at this early stage of the investigation, appear capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened. “The Met Police Counter Terrorism Command is treating the incidents as a linked series and is keeping an open mind regarding motives.”

Reuters

37/50 4 March 2019

Large waves crash over the sea walls at Cleveleys near Blackpool, as the remains of Storm Freya, which has battered Britain with gales, heavy rain and snow causes widespread travel disruption

PA

38/50 3 March 2019

Christopher Hepworth with partner Tanisha Prince (right) on their way to victory in the annual UK Wife Carrying Race at The Nower in Dorking, Surrey

PA

39/50 2 March 2019

Police officers search near the scene on St Neot’s Road in Harold Hill, east London following the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old girl on Friday night. Police were called to reports of a knife attack in the Romford area by the ambulance service at 9.25pm. The girl was pronounced dead at the scene just over an hour later. Her next of kin have been informed and detectives from the Metropolitan Police have launched a murder investigation

PA

40/50 1 March 2019

Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Niamh Emerson celebrate after winning gold and silver medals in the women’s pentathlon at the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow

Getty

41/50 28 February 2019

A painting, believed to be the second version of “Judith Beheading Holofernes” by Italian artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, is picutred during a photocall in London following its restoration. – The 400-year-old canvas — depicting the beheading of an Assyrian general, Holofernes, by Judith from the biblical Book of Judith — was found in 2014 when the owners of a house near the southwestern city of Toulouse in France, were investigating a leak in the ceiling. It is a burst of violence painted in haunting tones by a Renaissance master worth at least $100 million — or yet another fake distressing the art world.

AFP/Getty

42/50 27 February 2019

Dozens of firefighters worked through the night to battle a major moorland blaze in West Yorkshire. More than 1.5sq km of Saddleworth Moor was ablaze in the early hours of Wednesday morning after the UK’s hottest winter day on record

Reuters

43/50 26 February 2019

Alastair Cook after he received his knighthood at Buckingham Palace

PA

44/50 25 February 2019

Nobby the polar bear cools down at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park during unseasonably warm weather. The park was covered in a blanket of snow at the end of February 2018 as the UK was hit by sub-zero temperatures. Forecasters have said that after this weekend’s warm weather, temperatures later this week should return to normal

PA

45/50 24 February 2019

Olivia Colman won the best actress in a leading role award for ‘The Favourite’ at the 91st Academy Awards in Hollywood

PA

46/50 23 February 2019

Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson seen on the big screen as he addresses a protest over the BBC’s Panorama programme outside the BBC in MediaCityUK, Salford

PA

47/50 22 February 2019

A girl takes a photo of her dog with daffodils in St James’s Park in London

PA

48/50 21 February 2019

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and the party’s Shadow Secretary of State for Departing the European Union Keir Starmer leave a meeting with European Union Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels

Reuters

49/50 20 February 2019

Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker, Chuka Umunna and Mike Gapes, (middle row, left to right) Angela Smith, Luciana Berger and Ann Coffey, (front row, left to right) Sarah Woollaston, Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Joan Ryan, following a press conference for the Independent Group where the three Conservative MPs, Woollaston, Allen and Soubry, announced their resignation from the party

PA

50/50 19 February 2019

A full moon sets near Whitley Bay, North Tyneside as the sun begins to rise, ahead of the super snow moon on Tuesday evening

PA


1/50 9 April 2019

German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets British Prime Minister Theresa May as She arrives at the Chancellery in Berlin for talks before travelling to Paris

AFP/Getty

2/50 8 April 2019

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and fellow Labour MPs welcome the newly elected MP for Newport West, Ruth Jones (right), to the Houses of Parliament

PA

3/50 7 April 2019

James Cracknell celebrates after winning the Men’s Boat Race with Cambridge. Former Olympic and World Champion Cracknell, 46, became the oldest entrant in Boat Race history, qualifying after taking up a Master of Philosophy degree in human evolution

Getty

4/50 6 April 2019

Davy Russell, riding Tiger Roll, celebrates winning the Random Health Grand National at Aintree racecourse in Liverpool. He became the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back renewals

EPA


5/50 5 April 2019

Activists in hazmat suits and masks stop traffic in west London in a protest accusing authorities of lying after cancer-causing chemicals were found in soil close to Grenfell Tower

PA

6/50 4 April 2019

England football manager Gareth Southgate with the OBE that he received at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London

PA

7/50 3 April 2019

Newborn lambs in a snow covered field near Allendale, Northumberland, after temperatures dipped below freezing overnight. Hill snow, sleet, showers and gales are expected for parts of the UK as the chilly snap keeps hold.

PA

8/50 2 April 2019

Armathwaite Hall hotel in Keswick, Cumbria holds Lemoga classes with the lemurs from Lake District Wild Life Park, who were mingling with the class to create a personal yoga experience which aims to heighten the sense of wellbeing for both lemur and human. With their friendly, outgoing personalities and love for human contact, lemurs make the perfect yoga buddies, helping people to laugh, unwind and stretch away their troubles

PA


9/50 1 April 2019

Fire fighters attend to two police cars that were destroyed after being set on fire outside Goldthorpe police station in South Yorkshire in a suspected arson attack

PA

10/50 31 March 2019

Forensics teams work at the scene of a stabbing in Edmonton in London. Four people have been stabbed in a spate of knife attacks in the north of the capital over the weekend

Getty

11/50 30 March 2019

Workers from the Honda plant in Swindon during a protest march through the town as the car giant will be urged to reverse its decision to close its UK plant

Unite South West/PA

12/50 29 March 2019

Pro-Brexit protesters outside Westminster as MPs voted on a Government motion on the EU withdrawal

PA


13/50 28 March 2019

England football captain Harry Kane is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by the Duke of Cambridge during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace

PA

14/50 27 March 2019

Gallery staff give a final dusting to the ‘Olympe’ sculpture by Aspencrow, modelled on Cara Delevingne and an interpretation of Medusa, as it is unveiled at the JD Malay Gallery in Mayfair, London

PA

15/50 26 March 2019

PD Marci with handler PC Neil Billany, PD Kai with handler PC Jean Pearce, PD Bruno with handler Rob Smith, PD Delta with handler PC Mark Snoxhall, PDSA vet Rosamund Ford, and PD Dave with handler PC Andy Salter at Borough market in London where the dogs were honoured with the PDSA Order of Merit for helping emergency services during the 2017 London terror attacks at Westminster Bridge, London Bridge and Borough Market

PA

16/50 25 March 2019

Britain’s Attorney General Geoffrey Cox arrives in Downing street, London for a cabinet meeting. British Prime Minister Theresa May will today chair a potentially volatile meeting of her cabinet amid reports of an attempted coup by colleagues over her handling of Brexit.

AFP/Getty


17/50 24 March 2019

Workers peeling off stickers left on the Cabinet Office door on Whitehall, London, left by anti-Brexit campaigners after they took part in the People’s Vote March

PA

18/50 23 March 2019

Protesters take part in the Put It To The People March on Whitehall in London. Thousands of protesters gathered for the march from Park Lane to Parliament Square calling for a public vote on the Governments final Brexit deal

Getty

19/50 22 March 2019

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after a news briefing after meeting with EU leaders in Brussels

Reuters

20/50 21 March 2019

The mosque and community centre on Albert Road in Birmingham where a police forensic team are at work after it had its windows smashed with a sledgehammer. An investigation involving counter-terrorism officers has been launched after four mosques in the Birmingham area were attacked overnight

PA


21/50 20 March 2019

Gallery technicians install Edvard Munch’s The Scream at the British Museum in London, ahead of the opening of Edvard Munch: love and angst exhibition, which runs from 11 April to 21 July

PA

22/50 19 March 2019

The ‘tall ship’ William II passes a wind turbine as it sails along the north east coast near Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear after it set off from Blyth in Northumberland on a voyage round the coastline of Great Britain calling at 10 ports en route and changing crews at each stage. The Blyth Tall Ship project is a charity working alongside Blyth community volunteers to recapture the spirit of adventure that was employed in the town to discover the Antarctic 200 years ago and the turbine is part of a pilot field operated by EDF off Blyth which uses concrete float-and-submerge foundations

PA

23/50 18 March 2019

Messenger, the largest bronze cast sculpture in the UK, arrives in Plymouth Sound by barge as it makes its way to be installed outside Theater Royal Plymouth, Devon

PA

24/50 17 March 2019

Flooding in Silsdend, Yorkshire. Heavy rain has caused widespread flooding across the country. Flood warnings remain in place across the UK

PA


25/50 16 March 2019

Police at the scene in Fulham, west London where a 29-year-old man was stabbed to death this morning. The Metropolitan Police said it was called “to reports of a fight in progress” by ambulance crews and arrived on the scene at about 12.27am. The victim was found with stab wounds and died at the scene at 12.56am despite attempts by paramedics and members of the public to save his life

PA

26/50 15 March 2019

Schoolchildren gather around Queen Victoria Memorial at Buckingham Palace as they take part in a student climate protest in London. Thousands of pupils from schools, colleges and universities across the UK will walk out in the second major strike against climate change this year. Young people nationwide are calling on the Government to declare a climate emergency and take action. Similar strikes are taking place around the world today including in Japan and Australia, inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg who criticised world leaders at a United Nations climate conference

Getty

27/50 14 March 2019

Families of those killed during Bloody Sunday march through Bogside in Derry, Northern Ireland. The Public Prosecution Service announced only one former British soldier is to be put on trial in connection with his role in the shootings that left 13 people dead in Derry on 30 January 1972. Families of those killed gathered outside The Museum of Free Derry, yards from where the killings took place, before marching to the city centre hotel to hear the announcement

Charles McQuillan

Getty

28/50 13 March 2019

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond leaves 11 Downing Street as he heads to the House of Commons, to deliver his Spring Statement. He announced he was slashing the UK growth forecast and warned no-deal Brexit will destroy pledge to end austerity

PA


29/50 12 March 2019

British Synchronised swimmers Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe, attempting to recreate their World Championship routine in a pool filled with plastic for The Big Bang Fair challenge, opening this week at the NEC Birmingham. The campaign for the Big Bang competition, which is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) for young people in the UK has been created to help highlight how the eight million tonnes of plastic dumped in the world’s oceans every year affects marine life

PA

30/50 11 March 2019

Snow surrounds the Tan Hill pub in North Yorkshire

PA

31/50 10 March 2019

A man feeds food to dogs during the ‘Brexit Dogs Dinner’ protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London

Reuters

32/50 9 March 2019

Protesters from the climate change pressure group Extinction Rebellion demonstrate by pouring fake blood onto the street outside Downing Street in London

Reuters


33/50 8 March 2019

A woman runs with her Komondor dog as it is judged in a show ring on the second day of the Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham

AFP/Getty

34/50 7 March 2019

Scaffolding which has blown down in strong winds in Hampstead, north London

Robert Berg/Twitter/PA Wire

35/50 6 March 2019

Police and bomb disposal services outside the University of Glasgow after the building was evacuated when a suspect package was found in the mailroom

PA

36/50 5 March 2019

Police officers secure the scene where a suspicious package was found near Waterloo railway station. Other packages were also found at Heathrow Airport and London City Airport, with the police saying they were bombs. Counterterror officers are investigating the three devices as linked following a series of evacuations. One of the packages opened by office staff at Heathrow Airport burst into flames. Scotland Yard did not rule out the existence of other bombs. “The packages – all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags – have been assessed by specialist officers to be small improvised explosive devices,” a spokesperson said. “These devices, at this early stage of the investigation, appear capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened. “The Met Police Counter Terrorism Command is treating the incidents as a linked series and is keeping an open mind regarding motives.”

Reuters


37/50 4 March 2019

Large waves crash over the sea walls at Cleveleys near Blackpool, as the remains of Storm Freya, which has battered Britain with gales, heavy rain and snow causes widespread travel disruption

PA

38/50 3 March 2019

Christopher Hepworth with partner Tanisha Prince (right) on their way to victory in the annual UK Wife Carrying Race at The Nower in Dorking, Surrey

PA

39/50 2 March 2019

Police officers search near the scene on St Neot’s Road in Harold Hill, east London following the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old girl on Friday night. Police were called to reports of a knife attack in the Romford area by the ambulance service at 9.25pm. The girl was pronounced dead at the scene just over an hour later. Her next of kin have been informed and detectives from the Metropolitan Police have launched a murder investigation

PA

40/50 1 March 2019

Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Niamh Emerson celebrate after winning gold and silver medals in the women’s pentathlon at the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow

Getty


41/50 28 February 2019

A painting, believed to be the second version of “Judith Beheading Holofernes” by Italian artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, is picutred during a photocall in London following its restoration. – The 400-year-old canvas — depicting the beheading of an Assyrian general, Holofernes, by Judith from the biblical Book of Judith — was found in 2014 when the owners of a house near the southwestern city of Toulouse in France, were investigating a leak in the ceiling. It is a burst of violence painted in haunting tones by a Renaissance master worth at least $100 million — or yet another fake distressing the art world.

AFP/Getty

42/50 27 February 2019

Dozens of firefighters worked through the night to battle a major moorland blaze in West Yorkshire. More than 1.5sq km of Saddleworth Moor was ablaze in the early hours of Wednesday morning after the UK’s hottest winter day on record

Reuters

43/50 26 February 2019

Alastair Cook after he received his knighthood at Buckingham Palace

PA

44/50 25 February 2019

Nobby the polar bear cools down at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park during unseasonably warm weather. The park was covered in a blanket of snow at the end of February 2018 as the UK was hit by sub-zero temperatures. Forecasters have said that after this weekend’s warm weather, temperatures later this week should return to normal

PA


45/50 24 February 2019

Olivia Colman won the best actress in a leading role award for ‘The Favourite’ at the 91st Academy Awards in Hollywood

PA

46/50 23 February 2019

Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson seen on the big screen as he addresses a protest over the BBC’s Panorama programme outside the BBC in MediaCityUK, Salford

PA

47/50 22 February 2019

A girl takes a photo of her dog with daffodils in St James’s Park in London

PA

48/50 21 February 2019

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and the party’s Shadow Secretary of State for Departing the European Union Keir Starmer leave a meeting with European Union Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels

Reuters


49/50 20 February 2019

Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker, Chuka Umunna and Mike Gapes, (middle row, left to right) Angela Smith, Luciana Berger and Ann Coffey, (front row, left to right) Sarah Woollaston, Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Joan Ryan, following a press conference for the Independent Group where the three Conservative MPs, Woollaston, Allen and Soubry, announced their resignation from the party

PA

50/50 19 February 2019

A full moon sets near Whitley Bay, North Tyneside as the sun begins to rise, ahead of the super snow moon on Tuesday evening

PA

What’s more important, Brexit or our economy?

Amongst all the Brexit madness in the House of Commons, who is looking after the electorate’s best interests? Should we not expect the government of the day to undertake serious due diligence given the enormity to the EU?

The only test the current government is applying is whether it delivers the 2017 referendum result (that was far from decisive and probably dubious, it now emerges). A responsible government should answer these questions also:

  1. With respect to: health, security, economics, climate change, education, trade and industry, the Irish border, travel and the arts – will we be better or worse off?
  2. Now that we know so much more about what was promised in 2017 versus what is deliverable now, are we certain the decision to leave is still supported by a majority of the UK electorate? 

Most political struggles result in policies that tip life’s balance to favour winners at the expense of losers. In the case of Brexit, please remind me who are the winners? It seems clear now that every single one of us will all be losers.

Charles Bradshaw-Smith

Burton upon Trent

Revoke Article 50 now

The government’s Brexit policy has been repeatedly rejected by parliament. With the current division of opinion between MPs, the best we can hope for is the Brexit deal that the least number of politicians oppose.

That does not need to be the best for Britain and its economy, nor the best for the British people – just the least offensive to the warring factions in parliament.

And that is what we would be stuck with because of the time pressures, deadlines and sheer stress on government. The people of Britain and those yet born deserve better.

Surely it makes much more sense to step back and take proper stock of the whole picture, so that decisions can be made in a much calmer, less frenetic environment. When a computer malfunctions and does not work properly, the usual remedy is to press the reset button which takes the machine back to a time when it was working effectively.

Revoking Article 50 does just that. It gives us all time to stop and think. It is generally agreed that Article 50 was invoked too soon, that the government and its officials were not properly prepared.

It is not a betrayal of any referendum: it is dealing with the way that the referendum was handled which is what has got us into this mess.

Does such a rational common sense strategy reflect the will of the people? Currently 5.8 million signatures on the parliamentary petition to Revoke Article 50 suggest that is so. The petition to leave without a deal has over 5 million fewer votes.

One thing that both Leave and Remain supporters are agreed upon is that Brexit has been incredibly poorly managed. Much of this is down to Article 50 being invoked too soon before the government, civil servants and parliament were properly prepared and certain of the way forward.

Revoking Article 50 gives the country time to step back and make a considered, unpressurised decision on the way forward.

Andrew Milroy

Trowbridge, Wiltshire

It’s Cameron’s fault

I have not changed my opinion and feel my worst fears were justified by the current meltdown of the “democratic process”.

David Cameron should be forced to take a choice of resident governor (with zero staff) of

  1. South Shetland Islands
  2. St Kilda
  3. Rockall (my preference)

Tim Colman

Keyworth, Nottinghamshire

Simply remaining inside the EU isn’t enough

Reading John Murray’s letter I had a profound realisation. He’s right about the nature of dissatisfaction leading up to the referendum. As an ardent Remain supporter, and having lived across Europe, I have often considered what I would lose, but rarely considered the ephemeral feeling of hope that could be lost by Leave voters if the result was overturned.

As Remainers, we can’t keep telling people “you were duped by these hack frauds, you’ve been swindled into self-sacrifice like the oysters in The Walrus and The Carpenter”. All some of these people have is hope, to challenge that without a plan for where to go next is insulting and destabilising.

We need to visualise an end state for the whole nation; remember that there is a big difference between what you want to achieve and the opposite to what you don’t want to achieve. 

Leavers, this jock promises to focus more on a positive way forward; hopefully others will join me.

JW Fincham​

Glasgow

The EU has done more than our government for deprived communities

It occurs to me that there is some irony in the voting results of the referendum. The areas most deprived in the UK were the ones who voted in the main to leave, yet it is into many of these areas (the northeast, Cornwall, Wales) that Europe invested billions to assist them out of that deprivation. They then voted to leave the very institution that invested in them, persuaded by arguments from factions of a government which had largely abandoned them to austerity.

If we do get the chance of a Final Say referendum, perhaps this should be pointed out?

Kate Hall

Leeds

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