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G20 summit July 2017

by Politicker

Germany took over the presidency of the G20 on 1 December 2016 and the G20 Summit in Hamburg took place on 7 and 8 July 2017. The group has met annually at Head of State and Government level since 2008.

The G20 comprises 19 countries plus the EU. These countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (US).

International organisations also participate in the G20 summits including, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations (UN).

The G20 heads of state and government traditionally focus on issues concerning global economic growth, international trade and financial market regulation.

A brochure was released about the G20 and includes forewards by Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the Mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz.

Following the meetings, the G20 leaders issued a joint declaration G20 Leaders´ Declaration:
Shaping an interconnected world
, which can be found at

https://www.g20.org/Content/EN/_Anlagen/G20/G20-leaders-declaration.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=1

Other related documents can be found at

https://www.g20.org/Content/EN/StatischeSeiten/G20/Texte/g20-gipfeldokumente-en.html

In a press stament released on 8 July, Prime Minister Theresa May spoke about subjects covered at the G20 meeting including counter-terrorism, modern slavery, and climate change. Read the full speech at

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/g20-summit-july-2017-prime-ministers-press-statement

Fisheries and Brexit

by Politicker

The UK Government has announced it is withdrawing the UK from the 1964 London Convention on Fisheries in order to take control of its fishing policy and brings into focus issues surrounding Brexit and the Common Fisheries Policy.

The 1964 London Convention was signed by 13 European countries in order to establish and define a fisheries regime for their coastal waters and it allows vessels from other countries to fish in British waters if they had habitually fished in that same region between 1 January 1953 and 31 December 1962.

The Convention on Fisheries requires Member States to provide two years’ notice if they wish to withdraw and is one of the reasons why it is happening now.

The EU currently governs fisheries policy in the UK with the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which will continue to apply in the UK until the UK has legally ceased to be a member. After that, access to fishing grounds will be determined by international law rather than EU law and the UK will have sovereign control over the resources in its waters.

The future relationship regarding fisheries policy is subject to current and future negotiations between the UK and the EU, however, the EU has stated that

The agreement on a future relationship between the Union and the United Kingdom as such can only be concluded once the United Kingdom has become a third country

so it is unclear how negotiations over a future fisheries policy can be achieved prior to the UK leaving the EU.

The EU recently published an extensive document (164 pages) following a Workshop on “Common Fisheries Policy and BREXIT” of 21th June 2017, organised by the Committee on Fisheries (COMPECH) and the Policy Department B (PECH Research) of the European Parliament.
It examines the Common Fisheries Policy and the implications of Brexit in three parts

  • Legal framework for governance
  • Trade and economic related issues
  • Resources and fisheries

This document was produced on behalf of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries. It provides an economic analysis of the expected consequences of Brexit and examines possible future EU-UK agreements on fisheries issues. The document covers a number of topics and shows figures detailing the amount of fishing performed by EU countries in UK waters, trade in products between the UK and EU and vice versa, possible tariffs on UK imports of fish and fish products from the EU and exports of UK fish and products to the EU etc.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/601981/IPOL_STU(2017)601981_EN.pdf

The Commons Library issued a briefing paper Brexit: What next for UK fisheries?
http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7669

A copy of the 1964 London Convention on Fisheries can be found on the Treaties website of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at

http://treaties.fco.gov.uk/treaties/treatyrecord.htm?tid=2459

or the treaty document at
https://www.dfa.ie/media/dfa/alldfawebsitemedia/treatyseries/uploads/documents/treaties/docs/196601.pdf

Queen’s Speech

The Queen’s speech is part of the State Opening of Parliament and happens when Parliament reassembles after a general election and then at the start of each Parliamentary session. Only the monarch can call a Parliament together and no business can happen until the Queen reads her speech. Her Majesty The Queen delivered the 2017 Queen’s Speech on 21 June in the Houses of Parliament. It sets out the government’s agenda for the coming session, outlining proposed policies and legislation.

The actual speech can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/queens-speech-2017

Here is a summary with details of the 27 Bills and Draft Bills outlined in the speech.

  • Delivering Brexit
  • Building a stronger economy
  • Making our country fairer
  • Making our country safer and more united
  • Other measures

Brexit

Repeal Bill – repealing the European Communities Act 1972 and converting EU law into UK law
Customs Bill – to ensure that the UK has a standalone UK customs regime on exit
Trade Bill – to put in place the necessary legislative framework to allow the UK to operate its own independent trade policy upon exit from the EU
Immigration Bill – to establish new powers concerning the immigration status of EEA nationals
Fisheries Bill – to enable the UK to exercise responsibility for access to fisheries and management of its waters.
Agriculture Bill – to ensure that after we leave the EU we have an effective system in place to support UK farmers and protect our natural environment.
Nuclear Safeguards Bill – to establish a UK nuclear safeguards regime as we leave the EE and Euratom.
International Sanctions Bill – to establish a new sovereign UK framework to implement international sanctions on a multilateral or unilateral basis

Building a stronger economy

Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill – will ensure the UK continues to be at the forefront of developing new technology in electric and automated road vehicles
Space Industry Bill – powers to license a wide range of new commercial spaceflight, and to create a regulatory framework to ensure that commercial spaceflight in the UK remains safe
High Speed 2 Phase 2A Bill – will provide the powers to build and operate the next stage of the HS2 network between Birmingham and Crewe.
Smart Meter Bill – to help deliver more transparent energy bills
National Insurance Contributions Bill – will legislate for National Insurance contributions changes announced in the Budget 2016 and Autumn Statement 2016.

Making our country fairer

Travel Protection Bill – will improve protection for holidaymakers by updating the UK’s financial protection scheme for holidays
Draft Tenants’ Fees Bill – to tackle unfair fees on tenants in the private rental market
Draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill – to help tackle the evil of domestic abuse and violence
Civil Liability Bill – to crack down on fraudulent whiplash claims
Courts Bill – to reform the courts system in England and Wales to ensure it is more efficient and accessible
Financial Guidance and Claims Bill – will combine three financial advice bodies into one, ensuring that people across the UK are able to seek the help and advice they need to manage their finances
Goods Mortgage Bill – will implement recommendations from the Law Commission to update Victorian era law on logbook loans

Making our country safer and more united

Armed Forces Bill – will ensure our armed forces have all the resources and capability they need to be the best in the world and keep our country safe.
Data Protection Bill – to ensure the UK has a data protection regime that is fit for the 21st century
Draft Patient Safety Bill – to help improve patient safety in the NHS and instil greater public confidence in the provision of healthcare services in England

Other measures

The programme will include three Finance Bills to implement budget decisions.

The Summer Finance Bill 2017 will include a range of tax measures including those to tackle avoidance.

The programme will also include a technical Bill to ratify several minor EU agreements and further Bills, which will be announced in due course, to effect the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The government will also be taking forward a range of other measures which may not require primary legislation.

Further information can be found at

Queen’s Speech 2017: what it means for you

There is also a document containing briefing notes on the announcements made in the 2017 Queen’s Speech which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/queens-speech-2017-background-briefing-notes

and a copy is also available at

Queen’s Speech Background Notes

Liberal Democrats Leadership

Tim Farron resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrats on 14 June 2017 saying that he was “torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader”. Because the party does not currently have a deputy leader, he will remain as leader until an election is held to choose his successor.

A copy of his resignation speech can be found on the Liberal Democrat Voice website at:

http://www.libdemvoice.org/breaking-tim-farron-resigns-54611.html

Sir Vince Cable has put himself forward as a candidate to become the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. He is a former business secretary and has previously served as deputy leader and acting leader. Although he lost his seat in the 2015 General Election he managed to recapture his former Twickenham seat at the recently held 2017 General Election.

His candidacy was announced on the Liberal Democrat Voice website at

http://www.libdemvoice.org/vince-cable-announces-his-candidacy-54656.html

As there are only a total of 12 Liberal Democrat MPs, there is a limited number of potential candidates available

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