Remainers Need To Come Clean: A ‘Deal Or Remain’ Referendum Is Impossible

It has been Liberal Democrat policy right from the beginning. Yet now Remainers across the political divide are slowly coalescing upon a “deal or remain” referendum as one of the few avenues to oppose Brexit without outright demanding for the referendum vote to be annulled. Today, Owen Smith has become the latest to demand the British people get a final say on the final deal.

It is a very politically-attractive strategy: they can legitimately dodge accusations that instead of frustrating democracy, they’re in fact demanding more of it. The only problem, obviously a tiny one, is that such a referendum would be impossible.

Free trade agreements don’t happen quickly, as Remainers rightly argued in the referendum. The “final deal” will certainly not be available by March 2019, never mind months prior to that in time for a referendum. The transitional deal which, if it happens, will amount to “EU membership without a say” might be, but nobody is asking for a referendum on that. The EU’s deal with Canada took seven years from the beginning of negotiations to the conclusion and it was famously nearly killed off when a region of Belgium refused to sign up to it. Whatever Liam Fox […]

Fashion Weeks In February 2018 Broke The Record For Race And Gender Diversity But Little Else

Fashion week across London, New York, Paris and Milan is the perfect time to see how inclusive the fashion industry is. The numbers really can’t be denied. What’s really stood out this season is that racial and trans/non-binary visibility has increased but, frustratingly, every other aspect of diversity has slowed down.

The Fashion Spot has released it’s bi-annual diversity report , which found that more women of colour walked the runway at the 242 shows which ran during February 2018. Out of 7,608 models, 32.5% of castings were models of colour, a 2.3% rise from last September’s shows. Models walk the runway during the Jacquemus show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2018/2019 on February 26, 2018 in Paris, France. Transgender and non-binary models also featured significantly more than in previous years. 56 transgender and eight non-binary models walked in 52 shows. This time last year, only 12 trans and non-binary models walked the 2017 shows in February. Rebecca Lewis/BFC via Getty Images

I Sense The Tide Is Turning On School Funding – But Education Needs Money Now

Tim Hall via Getty Images I have a sense that the tide is turning on school funding.

The latest wave rolled over last Friday when the influential Education Policy Institute reported that the proportion of local authority maintained secondary schools in deficit has nearly trebled. They said that over sixty percent of these schools spent more than their income in 2016-17.

Whilst this report focused on maintained schools, a national report by a firm of accountants a day or so later showed that 55% of the 450 academy trusts that they had audited up to August 2017 were in deficit.

As reported in the Waugh Zone , NAHT’s own survey of members was published as a report this week , with 71% of members expecting to have to set a deficit budget in 2019/20 and 79% by the following year. In this year, 80% had made cuts to teaching assistant roles and 37% had cut teaching roles in order to secure a balancing budget.

If you watched ITV News recently you will have seen the incredibly powerful testimony of our member Michelle Gay, who runs Osborne Primary School in Birmingham. She was in tears as she warned of the dire consequences for […]

Stephen Parkinson Accused Of Publicly Outing Shahmir Sanni In Brexit Intimidation Row

Theresa May ’s political secretary has been accused of publicly disclosing the sexuality of a former partner who turned whistleblower to accuse Vote Leave of breaking electoral law.

Lawyers for Shahmir Sanni say a communique on behalf of Stephen Parkinson is the “first time a Downing Street official statement has been used to out someone”.

In a statement, his lawyer said: “My client is now having to come out to his mother and family tonight, and members of his family in Pakistan are being forced to take urgent protective measures to ensure their safety.”

Both men were activists for pro- Brexit groups during the run up to the EU referendum.

It is believed Sanni will suggest Vote Leave illegally co-ordinated with another group, BeLeave, to evade spending caps.

Sanni said in a statement: “It’s sad that Stephen feels he can’t tell the truth about cheating in the Referendum. I think he understands why I had to do the right thing and let people know what really happened. But I never imagined that he, with the help of Number 10, would choose to tell the world I am gay, in a last desperate attempt to scare me.“This is something I’ve never told most of my […]

BBC Journalist Frank Gardner Criticises Heathrow Airport’s Treatment Of Disabled Passengers

A BBC journalist has criticised Heathrow Airport’ s treatment of disabled people after he was kept waiting on a plane for nearly two hours while staff tried to locate his wheelchair.

Frank Gardner, who was returning to London on a flight from Ethiopia, was forced to wait on the stationary aircraft on Saturday morning when his wheelchair was taken to the terminal, rather than the plane door.

The BBC security correspondent posted updates on Twitter, saying he was “so utterly sick” of groundstaff losing his wheelchair.

“Just when is UK’s premier airport going to stop treating disabled passengers this way?”, he wrote on social media. I am so utterly sick of @HeathrowAirport ground staff ‘losing’ my wheelchair. Over 70 mins after landing back from Ethiopia I’m still stuck on an empty plane while they try to find it Just when is UK’s premier airport going to stop treating disabled passengers this way? pic.twitter.com/f84wXCgXKB — Frank Gardner (@FrankRGardner) March 24, 2018 Gardner said it took 100 minutes for staff to locate his chair and bring it to the plane.

The journalist, who was returning to the UK from Ethiopia, said: “Odd that I can travel round the Middle East and elsewhere without a hitch […]

She’s Famous, From Barbados, and an LGBT Ally

Expand Rihanna Drive, Barbados. © Boris Dittrich/Human Rights Watch “Why are we homophobic in Barbados and other countries in the Eastern Caribbean?” a popular host of a morning television show in Barbados asked me. I was on the island – and his show – to talk about a new Human Rights Watch report about discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Barbados and six other Eastern Caribbean countries.

I pointed out that in Barbados, same-sex activity between consenting adults is a crime – punishable by life imprisonment. The mere existence of the law emboldens people to harass and discriminate against LGBT people, while the police respond inadequately to LGBT people’s complaints.

After the show the taxi-driver, who had been waiting for me in the studio, took me back into Bridgetown. “I watched the show,” he said without further comment.

“Do you agree that LGBT people should not be discriminated against?” I asked, a risky question because I was not really in the mood for a discussion at seven in the morning.

He shrugged his shoulders. “We are Christians,” was his cryptic answer.

“You know what?” I said. “Last year the Anglican bishop of Barbados said that LGBT people are also children […]

John Bel Edwards’ LGBT executive order dies in Louisiana Supreme Court

The Louisiana Supreme Court is sympathetic to Gov. John Bel Edwards view that he can add extra protections for LGBT people who work in state government. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Gov. John Bel Edwards has ordered Louisiana and U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff Friday (March 23) over the Capitol and all public buildings in honor of Tom Benson , the owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans who died March 15 at age 90.

Benson’s funeral is taking place at noon Friday at St. Louis Cathedral, followed by a second-line procession in the French Quarter. "We lost one of our great ambassadors, but his mark will be left on New Orleans and the rest of our state for generations," Edwards said in a statement. "As we walk through the streets of New Orleans, we’ll think of Tom Benson. As we cheer on the Saints and the Pelicans, we’ll think of Tom Benson. Donna and I pray for his wife, Gayle, and his family during this difficult time."

Click here to read the governor’s executive order. Short-term rental property tax spikes would be dulled in J.P. Morrell proposal

State Sen. J.P. Morrell debates his bill with state Sen. Jim […]

Queer Eye’s Tan France admits he has to hide his sexuality when travelling

(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Netflix) Queer Eye’s fashion icon Tan France has opened up about his experiences on the Netflix reboot and his travelling habits — including having to hide his sexuality.

It’s been pretty hard to miss the now iconic reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

The Netflix show landed on our screens last month and the eight-episode series was a roller coaster of emotions that has left fans desperate for more.

Tan France, the fashion designer and true heartthrob of the all-new Fab 5, recently opened up about travelling as a married gay man and his hopes for the show. (Getty) “As a gay man, there are certain places that I avoid. When I go to China, I lie and pretend I’m not married, which is really sad—I leave my ring at home,” France said in an interview with Conde Nast .

“But I’m not willing to risk my safety in a country that could cause me no end of problems or where it’s illegal to be gay.

“I’m very aware of the places I can travel to safely and where I cannot.” Related: Queer Eye fan Bon Jovi stopped fashion guru Tan France to ask for a […]

Brexit: EU leaders set to discuss transition agreement

EU leaders will gather on Thursday for a summit at which they are expected to approve the terms of a transition deal with the UK after Brexit.

The EU’s Donald Tusk said on Wednesday he had recommended a draft legal text on transition, citizens’ rights and other withdrawal issues to its members.

It followed Spanish concerns over how the accord would affect its demands for a say on how Brexit affects Gibraltar.

The transition is set for exit day on 29 March 2019 until the end of 2020.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said what she calls the "implementation period", in which the UK will have to adhere to EU rules, will be a bridge to a new economic and political partnership with the EU.

Under the terms of the agreement, the UK will be able to negotiate, sign and ratify its own trade deals while EU citizens arriving in the UK will enjoy the same rights and guarantees as those who arrive before Brexit. UK and EU agree Brexit transition terms Deal is done – but work remains What will Brexit mean for Britain’s overseas territories? To the dismay of many Tory MPs, the UK will effectively remain in the […]

‘Radical change’ needed on countryside

The UK government is failing rural communities and the natural environment, a report says.

The Lords Select Committee document says there should be radical change in how the countryside is looked after.

It recommends stripping the environment department Defra of its power to regulate on rural affairs, and reforming the Countryside Code.

The Lords said Defra had focused too much on farming and agriculture, rather than other aspects of rural life.

The report describes a "consistent failure, over a number of years, to prioritise the ‘rural affairs’ element" of the remit of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

All this, it says, has had a "profound negative impact … to the cost of us all".The Select Committee on the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 recommends that responsibility for rural affairs should transfer to the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government.According to the report, the body responsible for conserving the natural environment and promoting public access to the land, Natural England (NE), has been "hollowed out" and is now largely ineffective.The report’s chairman, Lord Cameron of Dillington, said: "The last major research was done by the Commission for Social Mobility last year, and it said some of the […]