Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Look out Welsh Assembly – The Hamilton’s are coming!

Whilst trawling through YouTube I came across a video of Mostyn and his wife Christine in full flow!

It was only when Neil Hamilton showed a serious interest in standing for the Welsh Assembly as a candidate for UKIP that he revealed that his was first name is Mostyn.  
He also revealed that he has always had ‘hiraeth’ for Wales.  That by the way could be so only he truthfully knows!
Mostyn was born Fleur-de-Lis, a pit village near Blackwood, his father worked for the coal board and his grandfathers were both coal miners.
His schooling was at Amman Valley Grammar School and then Aberystywth University .

Neil Hamilton pictured in the Amman Valley Grammar School's 1966 school photograph

He is famous for many things – an archetypal Englishman, losing his Conservative Parliamentary seat amid allegations of taking cash for questions and the television appearances with his wife Christine.
However not many people are aware of this performance by the couple.  

In 2006, the couple showed their support for England's World Cup campaign of that year with their very own song. Apparently not many people bought the song or saw the video, but here it is. Enjoy!  Ctrl/click and view


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Next 24 hours the latest Welsh Political Barometer Poll will be out

I predict movement in voter opinion in the Senedd election

In the main I have just been an observer of the goings on so far in this Senedd elections campaign.

However using a mixture of gut feeling, keeping an eye on the key issues dominating politics since the last poll and then watching the party leaders' interviews and debates on TV I have a hunch there will be movement in voter opinion.

Two key issues have dominated the headlines and they have been the steel industry and predictable the EU referendum.  Others have been the health service, standards in education and the North Wales ‘powerhouse’.

I think the two first issues have impacted on voter opinion and both have damaged the Conservatives, but to what extent Labour has benefited from this I am undecided over.  It is possible that Plaid Cymru could have gathered extra support over the steel crisis issue.

The biggest mistake made by the Tories was that by Andrew RT Davies over his support for an exit from the EU. I commented at the time in a blog ‘Oh Andrew what have you done’?  It might very well be that in Mid Wales in particular the Liberal Democrats could figure in the beneficiary column.

UKIP continue to have problems with ongoing divisions over candidates and some high profile disagreements. So I believe their support will have dropped some more.

Turning to the Leaders’ contribution on television – just like in the General Election hustings the women party leaders have undoubtedly come over better.  The Green Party leader has impressed and Kirsty Williams’s performances have been on balance better than Leanne Wood. Sadly these days the Liberal Democrats lack the broader firepower whereas Leanne has the advantage of a stronger campaigning team across Wales.

Also having watched some of the S4C programmes Plaid Cymru dominates over the other parties – but how much that will be of benefit to them is anyone’s guess.

The interesting seats will probably remain Cardiff North and Central, Llanelli and as an outside bet Ceredigion. I have followed Liz Evans’s campaign on social media and certainly she seems to be making an impact.

After saying all that the people who follow my Blog will have noted that the biggest impact on voter opinion in Wales is not the Welsh based media but that which emanates from London. 

So that aspect has always got to be borne in mind.

So my prediction for tomorrow’s Welsh Barometer Poll that voters are on the move!

Support for Labour rather static although they should be seeing an increase , Conservatives will have dropped further as will UKIP; Plaid Cymru will be a clear second; the Liberal Democrats and the Greens also will see an increase in support.  

Time will tell!

Friday, 22 April 2016

Questions facing farmers if the UK vote to Leave EU

UK farming and the 'great unknowns'

Would there be access to the European market, and under what conditions?
  • What would a future British agricultural policy look like, particularly for direct support?
  • If the UK will continue to have access to the EU’s single market, but take a different approach on support to farmers, how will fair competition for our farmers be ensured?
  • Would Britain be more or less open to imports?
  • What immigration policy would the government pursue and how would it affect our access to labour?

A recent NFU report prepared for the Yorkshire Agricultural Society called ‘The Implications of ‘Brexit’ for UK Agriculture’ provides a detailed analysis on the likely implications for the Farming community. The report covers farm support, budgetary issues, the environment, animal health and welfare, migrant labour, plant protection, genetically modified organisms and World Trade Organisation Rules. 

The report deals with what can only be called the great unknowns! 

To ensure its distribution I have below repeated the Report’s contents relating to the range of scenarios after exit. 

There are five broad scenarios after Exit and each of these has different implications for farmers. These scenarios can be placed on a continuum ranging from the most integrated to the least integrated:

1. Customs union. The UK withdraws from the EU, but remains within the customs union. Goods from within the customs union can move freely, including British farm exports, as can those from outside once a Common External Tariff (CET) has been paid. However, it does not differ much from EU membership and might be unacceptable to opponents of membership.

2. The ‘Norwegian’ solution in which the UK rejoined the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) and remained in the European Economic Area (EEA). The CAP regime as such is not included in the EEA, so there would be scope for a domestic policy. However, more generally, it involves accepting EU regulations while having a limited influence in them.

3. Switzerland is in EFTA but not the EEA. It has a series of bilateral treaties with the EU negotiated on a case-by-case basis. The difficulty as with the Norwegian solution is that a considerable body of EU law has to be accepted without the ability to shape it.

4. A simple free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU is probably the UK’s preferred option, but may be difficult to achieve.

 5. The default option is for the UK and EU to trade with each other within the WTO system if an agreement cannot be reached on a FTA. This would be damaging to UK farmers in terms of tariff barriers in Europe and free access of imports.

New EU-UK Relationship and the The range of scenarios after Exit

A number of possible relationships are available, although not all of them may be acceptable to the EU. In any event a protracted negotiation would be necessary following a referendum decision to leave the EU. All sectors of the economy will be impacted by the post-withdrawal trade regime, and consequently it is very unlikely that agri-food interests would be a decisive factor in determining its form.

However, because of the rather high tariffs that the EU currently imposes on many agricultural and food products —as compared to the lower tariffs that more usually apply to both manufactured products and raw materials— the post-withdrawal tariff regime is of particular interest to UK agriculture.

For example, the EU’s most-favoured-nation (MFN) tariff —i.e. the import tax it imposes in the absence of WTO-sanctioned preferential trade agreements— on a car is 10 per cent of the value of the car, whereas that on fresh lamb carcasses is 12.8 per cent plus €1,713 per tonne. The latter would be a hefty charge on UK lamb exports to France if a preferential trade regime did not apply. Similarly, the UK would charge an import tax on products coming from its former EU partners: €1,896 per tonne on Irish and Danish butter for example, if the UK continued with the MFN tariffs it currently applies.

Whilst high tariffs on agri-food imports from the EU might appear to offer welcome protection to UK farmers they would be highly disruptive for the food industries, and would act to push up consumer prices. Listed MFN tariffs are very high in comparison to the current support prices under the CAP. Indeed for sugar the MFN tariff exceeds the nominal support price!

As the UK obtains a large share of its sugar from outside the EU, but currently imported at zero or low tariffs because of preferential trade agreements, it would be highly disruptive if these import arrangements could not be continued after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. 

Consequently the determination of the eventual trade regime is of considerable importance.
From a UK perspective the key objective would be to seek to have continued access to the single market, which is the principal economic benefit of membership, while eliminating or reducing the impact of those EU regulations that are seen as harmful to UK interests.

As a House of Commons research paper notes, ‘Whatever the arrangement there is likely to be a trade-off between the level of access to the single market, and freedom from EU product regulations, social and employment legislation, and budgetary contributions’ (Thompson and Harai, 2013: 10). 34 www.yas.co.uk

The implications of ‘BREXIT’ for UK agriculture
It is possible to place five options on a continuum, ranging from the most integrated to the least integrated:

1. Customs union. The members of a customs union (CU) fix a Common External Tariff (CET), and once this tariff has been paid imports from third countries are in free circulation and – as with products originating within the union – can move freely from one member state to another. From a trade perspective possibly the least disruptive option would be for the UK to withdraw from the EU, but retain the CU. Existing tariff arrangements, both with EU member states and with third countries, would be maintained and there would be no need to renegotiate tariffs and concessions within the WTO. (This would not stop the members of a CU from restricting the import of agricultural products on legitimate health/environmental grounds.)

 If agriculture was included as part of this deal it would be relatively easy to negotiate and a good outcome for British farm exports. Such a deal would also be more acceptable to other members of the WTO. On the other hand, it does not differ that much from EU membership and might therefore be unacceptable to those opposed to membership. However, if agriculture was excluded from the EU-UK CU, then this would be problematic.

If agricultural trade was not included in the CU, or in any of the trade scenarios envisaged in options 2-4 below, existing MFN barriers would apply on trade between the UK and the EU (including the Irish border), as would be the case in scenario 5. UK lamb would face high tariffs entering France (38 per cent of all lamb produced in the UK is exported to Europe: NFU, 2015: 4), as would Irish beef entering the UK.

 2. The ‘Norwegian solution’, in which the UK rejoined the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) and remained in the European Economic Area (EEA). This would mean a continuation of the free movement of persons, capital, goods and services. The free movement of persons would be of particular concern to Eurosceptics as lack of control over migration has been one of their principal objections to British membership of the EU. The 1994 EEA agreement means that EU laws in areas such as employment, environmental policy and competition policy continue to apply, including those regarded as most burdensome by business.

Iceland and Liechtenstein are also in the EEA. The CAP regime as such is not included in the EEA. Norway has its own domestic farm policy instruments and provides a higher level of support for producers than within the CAP. The Norwegian model is the solution that the EU would be likely to try to achieve, but it is unlikely to be acceptable to those concerned about regulation from Brussels. It involves accepting EU regulations whilst having limited influence on them.

3. Switzerland is in EFTA but not the EEA. EFTA is a free trade area rather than a CU like the EU. The UK was one of the original members. Switzerland has a series of bilateral treaties or contracts with the EU negotiated on a case-by-case basis. There are 20 important agreements and 100 that are less so. Bilaterals I signed in 1999 included an agreement on agriculture and Bilaterals II signed in 2004 included an agreement on processed agricultural products. It should be noted that Switzerland provides a higher level of domestic agricultural support than the EU. As in the case of Norway, this reflects the particular challenges that agriculture faces in terms of terrain and climate.

Norway and Switzerland have the highest levels of producer support as a percentage of gross farm income in the OECD at well over twice the EU levels. These are static agreements, so protocols have to be added from time to time to update them. It is essentially a model of considerable integration without membership. It does not mean, however, that Switzerland is not bound by horizontal policies that cover more than one sector or policy area such as environment and competition. For example, its Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons means that it must introduce equivalent employment legislation to that in operation in the EU, including the Working Time Directive.

 ‘Switzerland is more integrated than Norway into the EU because of geography, but lags behind Norway in terms of legal arrangements and the scope of its access to the single market’ (Buchan, 2012: 5). However, ‘Some say that the Swiss government is adopting more EU standards than many of the EU members’ (Linder, 2010: 89). Moreover, the relationship between the EU and Switzerland has been under some strain and ‘is not a template the EU wants to offer others … if the UK tried to withdraw on a Swiss-style arrangement, the EU would insist on wholesale UK adoption of future single market legislation and on UK acceptance of surveillance and enforcement mechanisms’ (Buchan, 2012: 9).

It is worth noting that in its 2012 report the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee stated (cited in House of Commons Library, 2013: 17),

‘We agree with the Government that the current arrangements for relations with the EU which are maintained by Norway, as a member of the European Economic Area, or Switzerland, would not be appropriate for the UK if it were to leave the EU. In both cases the non-EU country is obliged to adopt some or all of the body of EU Single Market law with no effective power to shape it’.

 4. A simple free trade area (FTA) agreement with the EU is probably the UK’s preferred option, but unlikely to appeal to aggrieved EU member states or to those member states worried about their own Eurosceptic parties. A member state such as France would be concerned about exports to its territory from the UK which was not constrained by the same set of rules. Such an arrangement would likely relate to tariff barriers, quotas and the like, on products originating within the UK and EU, without attempting to harmonise UK law on EU provisions (although some convergence on food safety, animal health and phytosanitary arrangements might be acceptable). 

Recent FTAs negotiated by the EU have not been as simple as this, e.g., that concluded with Columbia and Peru in 2012. Moreover, an agreement could take years to negotiate, and ratify as required in national parliaments. Proponents of a FTA argue that the EU has such arrangements with other parts of the world, but these are generally with developing and emerging countries and there is no precedent for such an agreement with a developed country that is a former member.

The experience of the EU-Canada free trade agreement may, nonetheless, be relevant. Negotiations for the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement were completed in August 2014 (following a political break-through in October 2013) and the ‘CETA’ is understood, in particular, to remove 99 per cent of customs duties: see http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ceta/index_en.htm. Its objectives, however, are broader, including such matters as the promotion and protection of investment.

For our purposes, what is probably most significant is that CETA does cover many agricultural duties (something which has so often proved difficult elsewhere). Thus, according to the above EU website, ‘[a] far reaching elimination of customs duties will apply also to the farming and food sector’ (with great benefit envisaged for EU high-value, processed agricultural products); and ‘[n]early 92% of EU agriculture and food products will be exported to Canada duty-free’ - although the same website at the same time envisages that all industrial duties are to be eliminated within 7 years.

5. If the CU option is rejected, and agreement cannot be reached on a FTA, then the default option is that the EU and the UK trade with each other as MFN trade partners within the WTO system. The EU then would have little alternative than to impose its CET tariffs against UK products (on lamb to France for example). Equally the UK would have to impose its MFN tariffs on imports from the EU (Danish butter for example). A unilateral MFN tariff reduction scenario by the UK could be even more damaging for UK farmers. UK farm exports would still face tariff barriers entering the EU, but there would now be freer access for all suppliers to the UK market, which would inevitably drive down prices.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Time the 'VoteLeave' (Project Fantasy) supporters stop peddling myths and lies

Britain does not send £350m a week to Brussels

Vote Leave is not in any way a price worth paying for in exchange for fanciful notions like being able to do what we want - free from EU and global repercussions.

A  favourite euro-sceptic myth is that Britain sends £350 million a week or £55 million a day to Brussels. Nigel Farage, Daniel Hannan, Priti Patel, Vote Leave and more recently Gove, Boris and others have all bandied these inaccurate figures about. 
According to Her Majesty’s Treasury Report called “European Union Finances 2015”, the UK's contribution to the European Union (the ‘membership fee’ if you like) was £12.36 billion. It is calculated as a percentage of Gross National Income (GNI)
The UK received an ‘instant rebate’ of £4.86 billion.  This is calculated before we make any payment at therefore the cash amount that was sent to Brussels last year was just £7.5 billion. 

That is equivalent to £273 per household or £116.97 per person around 30p a day!

So starting with £7.5 billion, let’s look at some of the money that the UK gets back:
The European Social Fund which support charities across the UK with a variety of grants, and the UK Cohesion Fund that funds various infrastructure developments in the UK contribute around £1.96 billion (total of £11.8 bn between 2014 and 2020).
UK Farmers receive direct payments of just under £4 billion through the Common Agricultural Policy and Agriculture funding.
A £108 million is paid back to the UK in grants towards a number of other projects.
Therefore out of the £7.5bn we pay into the EU coffers we get back around £6bn in direct cash payments. That leaves net cash difference of £1.5 billion per year.

This is a fraction of the benefits we have got from being part of the EU’s single market. And remember that if we wanted to leave the EU but stay in the single market, like Norway, we’d most likely still have to pay a membership fee. Norway’s net payment per person is about the same as ours.
The CBI reckon that the UK could lose one hundred billion pounds from the economy and a million unemployed if we vote to leave the EU.
As EU members the UK is able to access the European Single Market which means that we are able to sell unlimited products, and services made in the UK totally free of tariffs and duties.   This means that the UK can import parts and raw materials relatively cheaply keep cost of production low and it also means that UK made goods are competitively priced in the largest bloc of customers on the planet.

All this ensures that the UK a great destination for UK and foreign manufacturers to invest and create British jobs, and help build the UK economy.  Without this unlimited free trade, it is unquestionable that investment in the UK economy would slow down significantly. This week’s Treasury report confirms this as do contributions from a number of other quarters such as the IMF, The Economist, Institute of Fiscal Studies and a range of others.

Take the Automotive sector, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and KPMG carried out extensive analysis of the UKs automotive sector.  Their conclusions from the final report entitled “An economic assessment of the UKs automotive industry with the European Union” are that over 700,000 people in Britain are employed in the automotive sector, and the total contribution to the UK economy is in excess of £60 billion in 2013/14.  One example is Nissan in Sunderland who build 500,000 cars per year only sell 19% of their production in the UK.  A conservative estimate therefore would be that our automotive sector makes cars in the UK for the EU market of around £36.3 billion p.a.
According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) report in conjunction with Deloittes, inward travel on business from other EU countries £0.95 bn per year. (Not tourists, just business).
The UK Agri-Food sector employs over 3.5 million people in the UK and contributes over £103 billion in Gross Value Added to the UK economy in 2013.  Of this a significant proportion is exported all around the globe – a conservative estimate of £70.15 bn per year.
TheCityUK report “A practitioners guide to Brexit: exploring its consequences and alternatives to EU membership suggests that the UK financial and related services sector employs 2.2m people in the UK and of a total GDP contribution to UK GDP of £66 bn in 2014/15.  Exports to other EU countries from this sector were far in excess of the £19.7 bn per year figure I am using.
Therefore just between those 4 sectors alone UK’s GDP is enhanced by £127.1 billion each year.
Remember the UK’s NET cash contribution to the EU is just £1.5 billion, but the benefits to the UK economy from those four sectors alone is £127.1 billion.

By any standard that is a good return on the money we spend!

But it does not end there

As a result of the UKs membership of the EU, we hold over one trillion pounds of money in UK bank deposits from the other 27 EU countries – it is impossible to think that they would leave all that here if we vote to Leave.  

Obviously if we left the EU then some of this business will go away. So assuming the other countries would take say just 17% of that figure out of the country – that would be a loss of £170 billion out of the UK banking sector.

A figure equivalent to half the amount that UK Government spent in bailing out the banks back in 2009).

Furthermore the UK in 2014 received £1,065 billion of foreign investment into the UK economy from countries all around the world.  A large portion of this is to build products in the UK to sell tariff free into the EU.  This is a significant reason for the UK to remain members of the EU. 
Of course it is unreasonable to think that we would not lose all that investment should the UK be outside the EU, but let’s say that other EU countries stopped investing 40% of this investment in the UK and put that money to use elsewhere in the EU, that would be loss of around £170.1 billion out of the UK economy.   If other countries around the world reduced their inward investment into the UK by 25%, that is further loss to the UK economy of another £150 billion.
So the UK pays net £1.5 billion a year and in return our economy benefits to a figure approaching £450 billion.
On top of all this a range of economic, financial, industrial and trading organisations are estimating that anything between 1.5 million to 4 million jobs in the UK is reliant on our EU membership. This is quite feasible because the financial services sector employ 2.2m, the Agri-Foods sector 3.5m and the automotive industry 700,000.
Whichever way UK’s membership of the EU is analysed to Vote Leave is not in any way a price worth paying for some fanciful notions like being able to do what we want free from EU and global interference. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Welsh people far more interested in EU Referendum than the Senedd election May 5

Less than 5% of people in Wales read a Welsh newspaper 

The Daily Mail is read more regularly by four times more people in Wales than the Western Mail

Broadcasters in Wales reach a far greater proportion of people than newspapers But UK news programmes predominate just like English based newspapers do
On May 5th there will be an election for the Senedd (National Assembly for Wales) and also for Police and Crime Commissioners. Then on June 23rd the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union will be held.
The levels of reported interest are by far the highest in the EU Referendum, and lowest in the PCC elections; for the Senedd election only 60% are ‘very or fairly interested’.  
Level of Interest
EU Referendum


Not very/Not at all

Don’t Know

There are some interesting distinctions between the parties:
·         The levels of interest in the EU Referendum are highest among UKIP and Conservative supporters – who are also by far the likeliest to favour of leaving the EU.
·         Plaid Cymru supporters are the most interested in the Senedd election and the UKIP supporters are the least interested.
·         It is surprising that the level of interest in these elections amongst Liberal Democrats is lower than all the other parties other than for the Senedd election, where it is higher than UKIP supporters and on a par with the Conservatives.  Not not included in this post are the levels of Don’t Knows which is higher amongst Liberal Democrats supporters than any of the other parties.

Level of Interest
EU Referendum
Not very/not at all

Level of Interest
EU Referendum
Not very/not at all

Level of Interest
EU Referendum
Not very/not at all

Level of Interest
EU Referendum
Not very/not at all

Level of Interest
EU Referendum
Not very/Not at all

What helps to account for almost 40% of Welsh people being either ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ interested in the Senedd election and for the Police and Crime Commissioners it is over 60% ?

Less than 5% of people in Wales read a Welsh newspaper, survey figures show and the Daily Mail is read more regularly by four times more people in Wales than the Western Mail.

The survey also found 11% regularly rely on the internet for news - whether online sites or blogs and Twitter, with 27% using Facebook. BBC Wales Today is the most widely consumed Welsh media outlet, with 37% of people frequently watching.  ITV's Wales At Six and BBC Radio Wales are the second and third most popular, with 17% and 13% of people in Wales regularly tuning in respectively.

When you tune in to the latest UK political news, it is so often dominated by the news and events surrounding the Westminster ‘village‘. This is natural but unfortunately at a time of elections in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland such preponderance of Westminster news clearly impacts on people’s exposure to the campaign issues in those countries.
The Welsh people are not regularly exposed and certainly not over-exposed to news about Senedd matters, despite the fact that it is responsible for key policy areas such as health and education.
It can also be argued and with a great deal of merit that the Senedd’s proceedings invariably lack vibrancy, open and exhilarating debate, controversy, headline-grabbing news-worthiness that it hardly merits media coverage.  In other words the Senedd’s proceedings are far too often dull and boring – it really is like watching paint dry!  
One of the most striking findings of the survey is the low number of people reading a newspaper produced in Wales – 5% or fewer.

The Western Mail carries the most comprehensive coverage of the Senedd, but the survey revealed that fewer than 4% regularly read it; when asked to name their main newspaper, just 1% of respondents said The Western Mail.
The Daily Mail, by contrast, is almost ten times more likely to be named as a main daily newspaper and is read regularly by four times more people in Wales than The Western Mail. The Guardian is read by 10%, Mirror and the Sun around 6% each with the Telegraph and Times at some 5% each.
In fairness the expansion of on-line news material is expanding rapidly - Walesonline, Daily Post.co.uk, South Wales Evening Post and the Argus. 
Newspapers produced in England reach a far greater proportion of people in Wales than the major titles reporting coverage of Welsh politics.
But with this readership predominance of newspapers produced in England scant if any coverage is given to Welsh matters - unless of course it’s about sport or famous people in the main!

Broadcasters in Wales, on the other hand, reach a far greater proportion of people than newspapers.
BBC Wales Today is the most widely consumed – 37% of people frequently tune in – while 17% and 13% of people in Wales regularly watch ITV’s Wales Tonight or listen to BBC Radio Wales respectively.
But UK wide news is a key source for Welsh people’s news 

The BBC News at Six or Ten is watched by nearly 37% of respondents regularly, while 30% of people tune into the BBC News channel. ITV’s Evening News or News at Ten and Sky News are viewed less often – 11% and 13% respectively – but still rank as key sources relative to other news produced in Wales.

Added to the specific news programmes is the impact of a range of other regular daily or weekly news-bearing programmes such as Daily Politics, Newsnight, Panorama, Question Time and the like which taken all together really do ‘swamp’ the coverage by indigenous programmes produced in Wales.  

Despite these strong viewer numbers, however, content analysis of UK-wide broadcast programming has shown Wales generally, and the Senedd specifically, represent only a tiny proportion of the news agenda.
The survey also found that 11% regularly rely on the internet for news – whether online sites or blogs and Twitter, with 27% using Facebook.

Both the BBC and ITV have regulatory obligations to serve audiences in the nations and, to different degrees, supply important information about politics and public affairs in Wales.
But if we leave aside ITV’s evening bulletin and BBC Wales’ broadcast and online services, the survey showed few people regularly access news produced in Wales.

Devolution confusion

In a 2014 BBC poll, 43% and 31% of respondents thought health and education respectively – two major areas of devolved control – were the UK government’s responsibility, while 42% of people wrongly believed policing was a Senedd matter.
Research has shown that UK broadcast news often gives limited context about the
policy relevance of stories, with perhaps a fleeting mention of “in England” at the beginning of a package. Throughout the decades the news is rarely delivered from a comparative perspective, so an England–only policy issue is interpreted as being such for people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The key contents of this post is based on articles and surveys via Professor Roger Scully and Stephen Cushion both at Cardiff University.