UK Jews apply 4 German CTZ + Brexit, Spain & Gilbraltar + Left-wing principles slide

Brexit prompts thousands of British Jews to apply for German citizenship, which the Nazis stripped from their ancestors

SUMMARY POINTS: More than 70 years after the Holocaust, Brexit has prompted thousands of Jews in Britain to apply for German citizenship, which was stripped from their ancestors by the Nazis during the Third Reich. Many Jews in Britain are applying for German citizenship in order to preserve their ties with Europe. The German Embassy in London says it has received more than 3,380 citizenship applications since the Brexit referendum in June 2016. In comparison, only around 20 such requests were made annually in the years before Brexit.

Spain to insist on excluding Gibraltar from any Brexit deal

RELEASE: Spain has long claimed sovereignty over Gibraltar, a rocky peninsula attached to southern Spain by a narrow causeway. Gibraltar is due to leave the EU together with Britain, but Madrid’s claim to it has been boosted by the fact that 97 percent of its citizens voted to remain in the EU in Britain’s 2016 referendum on leaving Europe. “After Brexit, Spain wants to include in writing in every document signed with the EU that it has nothing to do with Gibraltar, which should be based on a different relationship,” said the source. “This strategy will be followed in all agreements that will be signed.”

Britain’s parliament will vote on Tuesday on possible changes to the agreement reached by Prime Minister Theresa May on London’s exit from the EU, which was rejected last month by parliament. The dispute between Madrid and London over Gibraltar had threatened to derail the Brexit negotiation process in November, but a last-minute deal cleared the way for the 27 EU states to approve the divorce package.

RELATED: Effect of Brexit on Gibraltar (Wikipedia)

The Immigration Bill fiasco shows that Labour’s left-wing principles are on the slide

EXCERPT: . . . Having opposed every line of the government’s Immigration Bill, Labour was set to abstain on it. At the last minute, the front bench U-turned to oppose the bill, though with only a one-line whip. The result was a government majority of 63, with 78 Labour MPs absent and, probably, a number of Tories holding back from rebellion on the basis that Labour wasn’t going to show up properly.

[...] How did this happen? There are all kinds of “clever” arguments to abstain. Was Labour just trying to hide the numbers and force the Tories to negotiate over amendments? Was this about trying to end indefinite detention? (Well no, because there is nothing to stop you from whipping against and then amending later anyway.)

Labour’s plan to abstain was certainly not at the behest of Diane Abbott, a long-time defender of free movement. Neither was it indifference to the bill’s contents. Here was a piece of legislation that threatened to extend the hostile environment, introduce an income threshold that would exclude millions of people, and create a system of short term visas which would, according to the Joint Committee for the Welfare of Immigrants, “create an underclass of workers open to exploitation by employers”.

The truth is that core parts of Labour’s principled left-wing offer under Jeremy Corbyn are now on the slide, driven by a mixture of triangulation towards right wing arguments against free movement on one hand, and Westminster bubble syndrome on the other.

Among some parts of the Labour leadership, there is now an ingrained obsession with needing to “deliver Brexit” and be seen to do so. Against the weight of party members and Labour voters, who overwhelmingly now want a new referendum, a small group of politicians and strategists are briefing incessantly the other way, seeking to construct a narrative that Labour might lose front benchers if it follows through on its own policy. Last night, the same tendency tried to use the Immigration Bill to “send a message” to voters that Labour would deliver the end of free movement. The thundering condemnation of the grassroots held them back.

All of the left-wing party activists who were outraged at the possibility of Labour abstaining on the Immigration Bill now need to take a long, hard look at where we are headed. What we are witnessing is a race to the bottom – both in terms of the rights of migrants in the wake of Brexit, and in terms of the left’s principles. The most radical Labour leadership since George Lansbury is standing aside from crucial questions of principle that Corbyn would have died in a ditch over just a few years ago. Unless its supporters wake up to that fact, we will lose....


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