Hypocrisy of EU as it blames UK for its own ‘intransigence to negotiate’

Ever since the Brexit referendum EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals living in other EU countries face uncertainty about their ability to stay where they are. The British government has so far refused to guarantee the rights of EU nationals.  Following reports of administrative barriers, MEPs are increasingly concerned that EU citizens’ right to stay in the UK are not being fully respected. They held a debate on the issue on 1 March and will also organise hearings to gather evidence.

On 1 March the House of Lords voted in favour of an amendment to guarantee the rights of EU citizens, yet since the Brexit referendum the UK government has so far refused to offer any formal reassurances to the 3.1m EU citizens living in the UK, insisting it could harm its effort to secure the rights of the 1.2m UK nationals estimated to be living in other EU countries.

Věra Jourová, the commissioner for justice, said: “As long as the UK remains a member state all rights and obligations continue to apply. I am fully aware that EU citizens living in the United Kingdom are concerned about their future rights. EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom deserve to know what their rights will be in the UK after the UK has left the European Union and the same applies for UK citizens residing in the other 27 member states.” – (Editorial comment:  So why has the EU so far refused to negotiate on the issue?)
EU News:  Brexit: Parliament looks into rights of Europeans living in the UK

Exiting the European Union: Ministerial statement 2 February 2017 - Secretary of State David Davis made a statement in the HoC on the publication of the White Paper setting out government's 12 negotiating objectives to build a Global Britain with a strong new partnership with the EU after our exit.  …..

Today we are publishing a government White Paper on the UK’s exit from, and new partnership with, the European Union.  ……  This White Paper sets out those aims and the thinking behind them.  ….  This is based on the 12 principles that will guide the government in fulfilling the democratic will of the people of the UK.  These are:   …….  • securing the rights for European Union citizens already living in the UK and the rights of UK nationals living in the European Union

PM statement on European Council: 6 February 2017Brexit:  Finally turning to Brexit, …. On the issue of acquired rights, the general view was that we should reach an agreement which applied equally to the other 27 member states and the UK, which is why we think a unilateral decision from the UK is not the right way forward.

But as I have said before, EU citizens living in the UK make a vital contribution to our economy and our society and without them we would be poorer and our public services weaker.  So we will make securing the reciprocal agreement that will guarantee their status a priority as soon as the negotiations begin, and I want to see this agreed as soon as possible because that is in everyone’s interests.

We have voted to leave the EU, but not Europe: article by Theresa May - At the same ….  I also want to guarantee the rights of all EU citizens, including what the French government estimate to be over 300,000 French people who are already living in Britain, and I hope France will do the same for the Brits who have made their lives there. At the recent Informal European Council, the general view was that we should reach an agreement which applied equally to all member states, so I will make securing this reciprocal agreement a priority as soon as the negotiations begin, because this is in everyone’s interests.

Researched Links:

EU Ombudsman urges appropriate Brexit transparency

EU News:  EC presents White Paper on the future of Europe: Avenues for unity for the EU at 27

EU News:  Future of the EU: MEPs discuss five scenarios set out by Jean-Claude Juncker

EU News:  UK must obey EU free movement laws until it leaves the EU, say MEPs


Practical Steps to Real Cyber Security
By Sir Kevin Tebbit KCB CMG (Former Head of GCHQ)

'As the global digital economy becomes a growing reality at a local level The Public Sector should prepare cyber and security strategies to become Hacker Hardened’

THE NEW PRIME TARGET: Hackers are increasingly targeting local and central government, recognising the rich opportunity to exploit the move towards the wider use of digital services.

CALM VOICE OF REASON: The Cyber Security space is very noisy and you would be forgiven for being deafened by the racket. There are just a few practical steps that you can and should take to mitigate the risk for your organisation.

JUST THE ESSENTIAL FACTS PLEASE: In this paper, Sir Kevin Tebbit (former head of GCHQ) argues that, as part of the necessary approach, local government should be given a specific remit for cyber resilience, with both executive and political accountability. 

Click here to find out more and download your copy of ‘Practical Steps to Real Cyber Security’.

It is not just Northern Ireland where the Brexit borders issue gets more complicated

Ministers have held the second meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee (Gibraltar EU Negotiations) to discuss Gibraltar’s priorities as we prepare to exit the European Union.

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory with a population of over 32,000. In 2015/16, its GDP was forecast to be £1.77bn. Its main industries are tourism, financial services, online gaming, shipping and construction.  The discussions centred around the opportunities & challenges in areas such as trade and market access, with ministers in agreement that we must ensure Gibraltar’s interests are taken into account.
Researched Links:

DExEU:  Robin Walker: 'Gibraltar has particular interests'

Government must ensure Gibraltar's voice is heard during Brexit say Lords

Joint Statement by the Foreign Secretary and the Chief Minister of Gibraltar

Foreign Secretary concern at Spain’s ‘political point-scoring’

Minister for Europe condemns serious Gibraltar incursion

TUC analysis details risk to NHS & social care in England from loss of EU workers

IPPR:  Bedford shows way to integration for British towns

IPPR:  Government must act to prepare for post-referendum changes

Enabling a Digital UK

More than 4m free digital skills training opportunities will be created as part of a Digital Strategy to make Britain the best place in the world to start & grow a digital business and ensure our digital economy works for everyone.

A pioneering new Digital Skills Partnership will see Government, business, charities and voluntary organisations coming together to make sure people have the right skills for the jobs in their area and are aware of all the digital training opportunities on offer. This Government-led initiative will help both businesses and individuals and make sure no one is left behind.

The strategy includes new commitments, including a plan by Lloyds Banking Group to give face-to-face digital skills training to 2.5m individuals, charities and SMEs by 2020; plans by Barclays to teach basic coding to 45,000 more children and assist up to 1m people with general digital skills & cyber awareness; and a pledge by Google, as part of their commitment of 5 hours of free digital skills for everyone, to help boost digital skills in seaside towns.  It is part of the Government’s ambitions to ensure everyone has the skills they need to flourish in a digitally-driven economy.
Researched Links:

DCMS:  Digital Strategy to make Britain the best place in the world to start & grow a digital business

CBI: Is Britain the best place to start & grow a digital business?

techUK:  Spectrum in the UK Digital Strategy

techUK:  Data at the Heart of the UK Digital Strategy

BCS welcomes publication of the Government's Digital Strategy

GDS:  In tech and talented? The government’s digital transformation needs you

techUK:  Digital Strategy Commits to Transformative Public Services

GDS:  How we’re making GOV.UK work harder for users

GDS:  In tech & talented? The government’s digital transformation needs you

NCSC:  More than 5,000 teenage girls ready for national cyber skills challenge

MGS - Skills Management: A Method for Measuring Resource Skills in a Public Sector Organisation

‘HAL’ graduates from rogue space computer to ‘2017; A Global Trade Odyssey’

New measures to support Britain’s world-leading AI sector are set to be announced as part of a bold Digital Strategy to boost growth & deliver a thriving, outward-looking digital economy that works for everyone. 

Accenture has estimated AI could add in the region of £654bn to the UK economy by 2035. So the Strategy builds on the plan set out in the Government’s Industrial Strategy to capitalise on Britain’s existing strengths and back new technologies where the UK can take a lead.

Britain already has a competitive advantage in Artificial Intelligence, with some of the world’s most innovative AI companies based here and a rich ecosystem of investors, employers, developers and clients. It is a fast-growing area for research and commercial investment, including by major global digital companies, and was identified as one of the technologies that could be supported through the Government’s new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and the Challenger Business Programme.
Researched Links:

DCMS:  £17m boost for the UK's booming artificial intelligence sector

ICO:  AI, machine learning and personal data

techUK:  Funding for UK leadership in AI secured

Dstl:  First Innovation Fund challenge event - presentation slides

Robots & artificial intelligence: MEPs call for EU-wide liability rules

NIC launch technology study call for evidence

AI Week is coming – Why not get involved?

Greg Hands speech on smart cities

Dstl:  £100,000 for Research into Automation & Machine Intelligence

Government thinking on AI and robotics needs reboot

UK must take leadership in AI development & implementation

Are we one step closer this week to an AI driven world?

AlphaGo proves victorious but what does this say about the future?

techUK welcomes Government support for creation of a Data Ethics Council

DEMOS:  Here's a guide to using the new Electech

Use of technology & data can help plug NHS funding gap

Supplier Locator Spotlight
AMP Consultants
Steel Frame Structures and Superstructures Designers

AMP Consultants is an international business based in England specialising in the design of steel frame structures and superstructures for the building construction industry with a global focus. We bring to our projects a world of experience.

Click here to find out more.

No more Silos
The PM's talk of a proper industrial strategy, with more active intervention into the activities of the economy, marks a significant shift from the approach taken by previous Governments of the last 40 years, but so far there's little evidence of the strategic framework or the co-ordination across Government necessary to achieve 'an economy that works for all', says the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Government's industrial strategy marks change but lacks long-term plan

CBI: Industrial Strategy and the Midlands Engine

TUC backs MPs’ call for joint decision-making framework on industrial strategy

Preparing for ‘Global’ Trade

At the heart of the UK’s industrial future

Sheffield selected as site of Boeing's 1st manufacturing facility in Europe, working closely with the AMRC to develop new techniques.  Boeing Sheffield will enable the aerospace company to bring the manufacture of key high-tech actuation components & systems in-house. These include components for Boeing’s next-generation 737, 737 MAX and 777 aircraft.  This should enhance production efficiency and reduce costs.

Locating the plant alongside the University of Sheffield’s world-class Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) will also allow Boeing to initiate a major R&D programme. Specifically the aerospace company will look to innovate new techniques in manufacturing.
Researched Links:

Innovate UK:  Boeing to open new production facility in Sheffield

AMRC | The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research ...

Telegraph comment: Boeing's decision to establish first European base in UK shows our international potential post-Brexit

Telegraph:  Boeing selects Sheffield for first British manufacturing plant

Dstl:  Spotlight on the Accelerator Enduring Challenge

Healthcare becomes more digital

The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme is looking for start-ups and SMEs to join its second programme cohort later this year.

The programme offers support, tailored to each business’s specific needs, focusing on engagement with clinicians & healthcare experts, refining products to meet needs, deepening understanding of the health system, showcasing in health facilities and developing business models in order to progress product development and access to the market.

A dedicated team of skilled Digital Health (NHS) Navigators works alongside the SMEs, helping them engage with healthcare experts, to understand & respond to the needs of the market and gain first-hand advice on products in development.  The closing date for applications is 23:59 Thursday 20 April 2017.
Researched Links:

TechUK:  Health Start-ups and SMEs sought for DigitalHealth.London Accelerator Support

DH.L Accelerator: NHS Navigators Appointed - DigitalHealth.London

If you are one of them, it is a literally ‘lifesaver’
NHS England has recently confirmed that 3 new specialised treatments will be made available for patients in England.  It is estimated that up to 145 people a year will meet the clinical criteria to benefit from the treatment options being made routinely available to their clinicians with funding from NHS England:
Researched Links:

NHS England:  Patients with rare conditions to benefit from new treatments

That’s 5% of the Welsh population are rare exceptions

First hormone replacement therapy for parathyroid disorder

NICE says patients accessing more cancer drugs following price drops

NICE approves kidney cancer drug for NHS use

Screening for risk of kernicterus not beneficial

Talking Hands helps Abigail express herself

NICE recommends elosulfase alfa (Vimizim) for treatment of very rare life-limiting genetic disorder under managed access agreement

NHS England negotiates price cuts for ultra-rare Morquio A syndrome drugs

Families of children with rare diseases welcome Lottery funding

New advanced drugs available on Welsh NHS with £14m investment

NHS Commissioning:  Rare Diseases Advisory Group (RDAG)

UK Strategy for Rare Diseases - NHS England

NHS England and NICE respond to rare disease patients

Rare diseases - GOV.UK

A major health issue of growing importance

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is informing about a potential increased risk of lower limb amputation (mostly affecting the toes) in patients taking the SGLT2 inhibitors canagliflozin, dapagliflozin and empagliflozin used for type 2 diabetes.

Patients taking these medicines are reminded to check their feet regularly and follow their doctor’s advice on routine preventative foot care. They should also tell their doctor if they notice any wounds or discoloration, or if their feet are tender or painful.

The review of SGLT2 inhibitors was prompted by an increase in lower limb amputations (mostly affecting the toes) in patients taking canagliflozin in two clinical trials, CANVAS and CANVAS-R.  The studies, which are still ongoing, involved patients at high risk of heart problems and compared canagliflozin with placebo (a dummy treatment).
Researched Links:

EU News:  Diabetes patients reminded of importance of preventative foot care

DH:  Warm welcome for UK diabetes prevention programme in Dubai

NHS England:  Collaboration is key to the diabetes model of care

Equivalent to more than the whole population of Scotland

Emotional support required as well as medical

Proactive healthcare in the community is cheaper than surgery

There are huge challenges ahead

As ministers ‘grapple’ with the huge challenges of Brexit and the domestic policy agenda, a new report from the Institute for Government looks at how they can be effective in their jobs. Now more than ever, the country needs effective political leadership, and to understand what that looks like.

The report analyses more than 70 candid interviews with former ministers to find out what ministers actually do – and how they can do it well.
Researched Links:

IFG:  New report reveals how to be an effective minister

Many people can ‘relate’ to this issue
Chairman of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, has responded to a new report by Relate on loneliness, which says that 1 in 8 adults has no close friends.
Researched Links:

LGA responds to Relate’s Loneliness report

One can be lonely at any age!

Life is what you make of it mostly

Is this why so many of them are ‘Remoaners’?

‘Groupthink mentality’ is rife within academia, with 90% of British universities censoring speech on campus in 2016, a new report released by the Adam Smith Institute reveals.

People with right-wing & conservative views are under-represented in British universities, making up less than 12% of academics, even though 50% of the general public vote for right-wing parties, risking systematic biases in scholarship.
Researched Links:

Groupthink Rife in British Academia - New ASI Report

If it looks ‘too good to be true’ it probably is!
The Financial Conduct Authority is urging over 55s to check investment opportunities are genuine before they part with their money. This comes as new research, commissioned as part of the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign, reveals that only 42% think they know how to spot a fraudulent investment opportunity. Fraudsters are targeting the growing over 55 population because they are more likely to have money to invest.

FCA:  Inside the mind of a scammer - FCA reveals the tactics investment fraudsters use to deceive over 55s


 More contributions following EU Referendum

Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’:

Researched Links:

DExEU:  Robin Walker: 'Gibraltar has particular interests'

DExEU:  Defence dialogue on our EU exit

HMT:  Ministers in latest dialogue with financial services firms

PC&PE:  Government must act to embed equality in UK after Brexit

PC&PE:  Brexit: the options for trade report debated by Lords

PC&PE:  Government must ensure Gibraltar's voice is heard during Brexit say Lords

techUK:  MPs urged to avoid regulatory divergence on chemical rules

TUC head to warn European politicians of threat to EU workers if Brexit allows undercutting

TUC analysis details risk to NHS and social care in England from loss of EU workers

FDA:  Suspending open & fair competition in recruiting civil servants for Brexit is 'a worrying development'

IPPR:  Government must act to prepare for post-referendum changes

PX:  Going Round in Circles: Developing a new approach to waste policy following Brexit

Groupthink Rife in British Academia - New ASI Report

EU News:  EC presents White Paper on the future of Europe: Avenues for unity for the EU at 27

EU News:  Future of the EU: MEPs discuss five scenarios set out by Jean-Claude Juncker

EU News:  UK must obey EU free movement laws until it leaves the EU, say MEPs

Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest:

Last week, the Institute for Government teamed up with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy to identify five public services – hospitals, adult social care, police, prisons and schools – at breaking point. The joint report warned that the UK faces a combination of failing public services and breached spending controls unless urgent action is taken.
As Frances Ryan writes for the network:
"Over the past few years, central government has been able to get away with what is no less than daylight robbery of council funds. Now, though, the cuts are hitting services we can all see."
The report also proposed a new body to monitor public sector performance. As David Walker explains, this would only work if it were able to 'address two big and persistent problems': better use of data, and ensuring public services are efficient and effective as well as economical.
"What is hard is securing the same level of output and public satisfaction while spending less – and the Treasury just isn’t interested."

Also on the network
Council planners like me could solve the housing crisis - if ministers let us

Council planners like me could solve the housing crisis - if ministers let us
It’s my job to create local plans, work with developers and protect our town and countryside. But constant change has made our work much harder

Digital democracy: lessons from Brazil, Iceland and Spain

Digital democracy: lessons from Brazil, Iceland and Spain
Governments round the world use digital tools to engage citizens, consult on budgets and counter fake news

News in brief
• UK government departments told to outline cuts of up to 6%
• Tax changes could cost UK public sector workers 30% of salary
• Call to investigate arrest of protesters in Sheffield tree-felling battle
• Chairman of housing association behind 'substandard' development resigns
• MPs seek reassurance after police chief says not all paedophiles should be jailed