She did confirm that there would shortly be two consultation papers. One regarding food and farming, and the other focused on the environment. What they wanted to hear were details regarding future export markets, and what support will be available after 2020.
A majority of farmers consider the bureaucracy, red tape, open borders and other aspects of the EU, are too great a price to pay for remaining in the Single Market, so now is the time to spread our wings and resume trading worldwide. Not through the bureaucratic complexities of an organisation with 27 states, speaking 27 languages, and with 27 differing views. No wonder it has taken over a decade to negotiate the deal between the EU and Canada. This deal known as Ceta, now requires the approval of 38 national and regional parliaments, before this deal can be finalised.
Gary Shipton, Editor in Chief of Sussex Newspapers, and Deputy Chairman of Johnson Press Editorial Board, put forward a very powerful argument regarding the ‘freedom of the press’, in The Mail on Sunday on New Year’s Day.
The freedom of the press has never been more important than it is now. With public organisations, including the government, judiciary, education bodies, health service and the police, underfunded and falling over themselves to be seen to be Politically Correct, it falls to the press and their forensic journalists to expose and hold people and organisations to account.
To even contemplate allowing people with too much money, and questionable influence, to drive the process of gagging the press, and making them pay all costs, even when proved right, is absurd.
These are the very people who have been exposed in the past for their misdeeds. They are grubby and arrogant, but due to their deep pockets, they believe they can reap their revenge.
It is worth noting that several people who have fallen victim to press exposure, including David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary, believe the press should remain self-governed. He was a ‘victim’, of the hacking scandal, but despite the ‘misery’ caused to him and his family, he recognises the dangers of taking a regulatory and financial sledgehammer to the British Press.
As Mr Blunkett said, “Impress funded by Max Mosely and its anti-press ally Hacked Off, are seeking to crush basic liberties that stretch back to the 17th Century.”
If Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, is implemented, this form of coercion aims, by using threats of crippling financial penalties, to force newspapers into accepting what has been described as ‘State direction’.
The effect upon local newspapers such as the West Sussex Gazette, with less resources than nationals, would be hugely damaging.
The Culture secretary Karen Bradley will shortly decide whether to implement Section 40. Hopefully the public have made their feelings known and have responded to the consultation which closed today.
Universities are in danger of becoming centres of mediocracy if the Higher Education and Research Bill, championed by Jo Johnson, the universities minister, becomes law. It proposes that they will be graded according to ‘student satisfaction’, rather than as now on the quality of research output.
Students whose intelligence must surely be questionable, are now demanding a ‘safe space’, and a ‘no platform’ culture, which University authorities are giving in to rather than standing up for free speech and common sense.
The Department for Education considers these changes will make it easier for young people to have the opportunity to access a high-quality university education. What utter nonsense, all this will do is churn out poorly educated, pampered graduates who are ill equipped for life in the real world.
It is surely the duty of universities to set high standards. They should not roll over and be driven by a generation of spoilt unworldly students, they must oppose this Bill.