Brexit: It’s Not What We Were Promised.

Slowly, the truth about Brexit is emerging. On the one hand, voters were promised that withdrawing from the EU would end immigration by unskilled workers. Polls showed clearly that was the main reason for Leave voters choosing to do so. Now, we learn that  Brexit will not end immigration from the EU after all. Leave voters will be justified in feeling they were sold a lie.

Brexit Secretary David Davis says UK will stay open to migrants after leaving EU

The Brexit Secretary said it could take “years and years” for Britain to fill all the jobs that would otherwise have been done by EU immigrants coming to the UK to work.

Brexit Minister David Davis shakes hands with Lithuania Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis in Vilnius on Tuesday Petras Malukas/AFP/Getty

His comments were apparently aimed at calming fears in Europe of a sudden shift in policy that might affect EU citizens in the UK, but drew angry comments from Leave campaigners who said their referendum victory was based on a promise of falling immigration.

Speaking on a visit to Estonia, Mr Davis said: “In the hospitality sector, hotels and restaurants, in the social-care sector, working in agriculture, it will take time. It will be years and years before we get British citizens to do those jobs.

Source: The Independent

On the other hand, Remain voters too have reason to feel aggrieved. Throughout the campaign, there were repeated assurances from Leave campaigners, in UKIP and the Conservative Party, that leaving the EU did not mean withdrawing from Europe completely. We were constantly told that we could be outside the EU, but still in the free trade area, just like Norway or Switzerland.  Remainers knew that would not be possible, without agreeing also to free movement of people – and that has been confirmed.  Theresa May has made it clear that the Brexit she is seeking will not be in the customs union, or the free trade area: hard Brexit . Although she rejects the term, that is what in effect we are getting.

On neither count are we getting what we were promised by the Leave campaigners.

 

Greens see hope for gay marriage after Foster comments – BelfastTelegraph

The DUP’s changed position on Stormont’s petition of concern could finally lead the way for same sex marriage in Northern Ireland, it has been claimed.

Green Party leader in Northern Ireland Steven Agnew said DUP leader Arlene Foster’s claims that she would like to see the petition of concern scrapped has left him hopeful of a change in the law for marriage equality.

A petition of concern – a mechanism introduced as part of the Good Friday Agreement to help protect minority rights in the Northern Ireland Assembly – was used by them in 2015 to stop votes on same-sex marriage being passed.

A majority of MLA’s voted in favour of same-sex marriage, but the motion was blocked by the DUP when it deployed the petition.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where gay marriage is not legal.

Source:BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Gay marriage to be introduced in Malta soon – timesofmalta.com

Gay marriage could soon be introduced in Malta as a Marriage Equality Bill is in the process of being drafted, Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli announced this afternoon.

Speaking during an event organised by the NGO Drachma, the minister said the Civil Union Law gave gay couples the same rights as heterosexual couples under a different name. The government was now also “changing this”.

“You are not going to believe this but, just yesterday, I was revising a bill on marriage equality,” the minister said prompting a round of applause by those present.

“Our civil union law is already on a par with marriage. All the rights are there and it’s just different in name so we’re changing that. We’re working on it,” Dr Dalli said.

Same-sex unions were approved by Parliament in Malta on April 14, 2014. The Opposition had abstained.

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Source: – timesofmalta.com

Same-Sex Marriage Laws Linked To Powerful Drop In Teen Suicide Rate | The Huffington Post

Living in a community that recognizes gay marriage can improve the mental health of all teens, according to a new study.

State marriage equality laws enacted in the years before the 2015 Supreme Court ruling were linked to lower rates of suicide attempts among all high school students but especially among teens who identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or unsure. Ultimately, the researchers found, for every year that same-sex marriage laws were in place, 134,000 fewer teens attempted suicide. 

This is noteworthy because queer teens are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers.

While the study doesn’t demonstrate that these laws actually caused a reduction in suicide attempts, lead study author Julia Raifman theorized that having equal protection under the law may account for much of the change.

How difficult, and how costly, is a hard Brexit? | UK news | The Guardian

Leaving the EU without a deal and falling back on WTO rules would mean paying customs duties on British exports to the EU. Guardian calculations put the annual bill at $7.6bn just in tariff costs. Here’s why:

We calculated the cost in customs duties for each product if Britain carried on exporting to the EU as in 2015 but without a deal. The total bill is $7.6bn, but the pain is not felt equally by all industries, nor by exporters to all destinations.

Source: | The Guardian

Entrenched: Nasty chemicals abound in what was thought an untouched environment | The Economist

NOT far off the coast of Guam lies the deepest point on Earth’s surface, the Mariana trench. Its floor is 10,994 metres below sea level. If Mount Everest were flipped upside down into it, there would still be more than 2km of clear water between the mountain’s base and the top of the ocean.

Such isolation has led many to assume that it and similar seabed trenches will be among the few remaining pristine places on the planet. However, a study led by Alan Jamieson of Newcastle University, in England, has shown that nothing could be further from the truth. As Dr Jamieson and his colleagues report this week in Nature Ecology and Evolution, trenches are actually loaded with pollutants.

Despite the cold, the darkness and the high pressure, ocean trenches are home to ecosystems similar in many ways to those found on other parts of the planet. In one important respect, though, they are different. This is the source of the energy that powers them. In most ecosystems, sunlight fuels the growth of plants, which are then consumed by animals. In a few shallower parts of the ocean, hydrothermal vents provide energy-rich chemicals that form the basis of local food chains. No vents are known to exist below 5,000 metres, though, and no sunlight penetrates a trench. The organisms found in them thus depend entirely on dead organic material raining down upon them from far above.

Since these nutrients, having once flowed into a trench, never make their way out again, Dr Jamieson found the notion that trenches have somehow remained untouched by human activities questionable.

Source: The Economist

Zuma drags the ANC down with him | M&G

The political year is under way. It is an especially important one for South Africa (as well as elsewhere), and it is delicately poised. For the ruling ANC, it is an especially fragile time: if the party fails to exit the Zuma era anything other than extremely carefully, it risks a fatal fracturing.

This is where the laws of physics and politics part company. When a big political entity such as the ANC starts to fall, Galileo’s theorem notwithstanding, it will tend to fall faster than a less weighty political creature.

The ANC is falling faster than we imagined and too speedily for it to see it itself or even comprehend what is happening.

But let us not run ahead of ourselves. What are the elements of such a decisive and, for many people, premature analytical outlook? And what have we learned from phase one of the “political season”?

The first thing is that President Jacob Zuma has been significantly contained and is probably appreciably weaker than he was at any point in the past 12 months.Source: M&G

“‘Honour love whatever package it comes in’: LGBT Christians on the synod vote” (The Guardian)

Ongoing division within the Church of England became apparent after its synod decided “not to take note” of a report on marriage and same-sex relationships. Those who responded to a Guardian callout say not enough is being done for gay Christians and that a split in the wider Anglican communion may be on the horizon.

The published report, which upholds the traditional teaching on marriage, resulted in a mixed reaction among Anglicans. Some were pleased the church recognised the need for “a fresh tone and culture of welcome and support” for gay Christians. Others felt it did not go far enough in accepting same-sex unions, whereas some believed it put the church’s biblical tradition at risk.

Source:The Guardian

Latest From Santa Marta. Open Doors For Women Priests – Settimo Cielo – Blog – L’Espresso

On August 2, 2016, Pope Francis instituted a commission to study the history of the female diaconate, for the purpose of its possible restoration. And some have seen this as a first step toward priesthood for women, in spite of the fact that Francis himself seems to have ruled it out absolutely, responding as follows to a question on the return flight from his journey to Sweden last November 1 (in the photo, his embrace with Swedish Lutheran archbishop Antje Jackelen):

“For the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the last clear word was given by Saint John Paul II, and this holds.”

But to read the latest issue of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” the question of women priests appears to be anything but closed. On the contrary, wide open.

“La Civiltà Cattolica” is not just any magazine. By statute, every line of it is printed after inspection by the Holy See. But in addition there is the very close confidential relationship between Jorge Mario Bergoglio and the magazine’s editor, the Jesuit Antonio Spadaro.

Source:  – L’Espresso