All tagged political intelligence
June was a success for fashion in the House of Commons; Dr Lisa Cameron, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Textiles and Fashion (for which Fashion Roundtable provide the secretariat) mentioned the industry on two separate occasions. Mary Creagh MP, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, which questioned retailers and government officials for the Committee’s sustainability of the fashion industry inquiry, brought up the disappointing (but again, expected) news that government rejected all of the recommendations made in the final report.
Uncertainty has been the main theme of Brexit – who is making the decisions, what are the decisions and on what grounds are they being made? From your typical News Night viewer to the ambitious business owner to those sitting in Parliament, no one seems to fully comprehend what is going on. As well as being very tiring, it is expensive. Businesses cannot prepare for the unknown, and millions of pounds have already been spent (possibly in vain) on Brexit contingency plans both in the public and private sectors.
In a bold act of rebellion, seven Labour MPs broke away from the Party and united as the Independent Party. Declaring their loss of faith and disappointment in a Party that no longer represents their values, Luciana Berger, Ann Coffey, Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith and Chuka Umunna summoned a press conference to announce their resignation and intention to sit in Parliament as a “new, Independent Group of MPs.”
Low-Level Letter Boxes – It is indicative of our peculiar Westminster system, that in a period dominated by uncertainty around Brexit and when Parliamentary time is so precious, that debating time was allocated to a discussion about changing the height of letter boxes. Fashion Roundtable has always tried to argue that Parliament will listen to fashion, as long as they shout loudly enough, and in the right direction. So if you’re reading this and you are frustrated, write to your MP with our help, and your message will be delivered (albeit it in a higher than usual letter box).
Approaching the end of November, we were posed with a difficult question: do we try and take the shocking events of that month and leave several unanswered questions going into December? Or do we batten down the hatches and review the end of year once the Christmas festivities have died down?
Furthermore, as we are well through the ‘100 days to go’ point, there are three self-perpetuating challenges that face the UK Parliament: there is no Parliamentary majority for the deal negotiated by the Government, there is no time or European appetite to renegotiate, Parliament has passed the bill to leave but hasn’t passed the bill that tells us how.
The build-up to the annual budget this year largely focused on whether this was going to be a Brexit emergency budget, or a business-as-usual budget. It proved to be the latter, but the Chancellor warned that in the event of a no-deal or a bad deal, it was likely a new budget would be required, with revised figures and targets. The Chancellor was not given an easy ride leading up to the announcement, as many in his party and in No.10 appeared to challenge some of his key messaging, but in general there was optimism about the proposals.
This article provides a fashion tint to the winners from this year’s budget.
“For fashion, the concerns remain around sourcing lower paid, skilled workers, whose wages fall below the £30,000 per annum wages bar of visa systems, such as Tier 2, to service the production of UK-made clothing and jewellery. Nonetheless, a more open engagement with non-EU migration is likely to improve the flexibility of workers and further entrench seasonal flows of labour.“
This is one of those moments that inspires theories of elections, mass resignations and political crisis – Brexit must surely now be cancelled? No. The Prime Minister has, despite her critics, created an atmosphere of calm and stability, albeit it without the strength. Add to this, the lack of appetite from any senior Conservative to take over and the even greater lack of Parliamentary appetite for another General Election. It must be remembered that the Fixed Terms Parliament Act, brought in by the coalition, still prevents a Government from simply calling a General Election, or from calling a vote of no confidence.