Your round-up of the stories that you should discuss at interview this week.
- General Election 2017
Reported by Paige Waters
Theresea May called a snap election to take place for voting on June 8th 2017. A snap election may be called for one of two reasons; these either being that there is a vote of no confidence in the government or the MPs vote for an early election with a two-thirds majority.
What will this mean for Brexit?
If labour wins the election, it has been predicted that we will be more than likely to see a “soft Brexit” rather than a hard one. Labour intends to remove the Conservatives Brexit white paper and replace it with new negotiating priorities. They intend to emphasis strongly on retaining the single market and customs union.
On the other hard, Conservatives intend to seek a new “deep and special partnership with the EU”. They wish to leave the single marker and customs union; believing that no deal is better than a bad deal for the UK.
The green party want to stage a second referendum on accepting final Brexit deal or remaining in the EU. Furthermore, Liberal democrats wish to also hold a second referendum after a deal is reached with Brussels.
Where will each party stand in the economy?
Labour has insisted on eliminating the government’s deficit on day-to-day spending within the next five years. Additionally, they wish to transition to a publicly owned energy system and reverse Royal Mail privatisation. Labour also wish to balance government spending with the amount it raises in taxes.
The conservatives want to increase the national living wage to 60% of median earnings by 2020. They want to introduce energy tariff cap to extend price protection for vulnerable customers, while maintaining competitive element of the retail energy market.
The green party have stated that they intend to introduce a universal basic income regardless of employment status. As well as abolishing zero hour contracts and increasing the minimum wage to £10 an hour by 2020.
Liberal democrats have stated they will boost the economy by committing to a 100 billion package of infrastructure investment.
What are the parties’ intentions for immigration?
Labour prioritises growth, jobs and prosperity over “bogus immigration targets”. They are not including students in immigration numbers but will crack down on fake colleges.
Where as conservatives wish to reduce immigration to “sustainable” levels; this means that the annual net immigration will be in the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands. They want to overseas that students will remain in the immigration statistics. They want to offer asylum and refuge to people in parts of the world affected by conflict and oppression but want to tackle and reduce asylum claims in the UK.
The Green party want to protect EU freedom of movement. Liberal democrats make positive case for immigration and make all hate crimes an aggravated offence. They want to push for freedom of movement I Brexit negotiations.
Read more on The Guardian.
- Commercial Law
British Airways board is likely to require an inquest into the recent IT failures
Reported by Anna Flaherty
Over the bank holiday British Airways faced computer problems which led to 75,000 people being unable to catch their intended flight. There were even instances where customer’s baggage was flown out whilst the owners of said luggage were unable to fly. The amount to cover the compensation of these customers has already been estimated to cost over £100 million. This matter has likely wrecked the reputation of the world-renowned airline. Allegedly it was a power failure that caused the check-in systems to crash, causing the vast array of errors. However, IT specialists and power providers have been sceptical of this given explanation. This is perhaps why the board of British Airways is expected to request an inquiry into the matter. It is also speculated that too much out-sourcing of operations to India could have contributed to the fiasco. Whatever the cause, the matter has hindered the company’s position in the market, with Ryanair gaining many last-minute bookings.
Uber fires top engineer in midst of legal fight with Google
Reported by Anna Flaherty
Anthony Levandowski, head of Uber’s self-driving car unit, has been fired. Having formerly worked for Google, his previous employer is accusing him of stealing trade secrets and giving them to Uber. He supposedly stole 14,000 documents from the company’s self-driving spinoff, called Waymo. Levandowski has invoked his right under the 5th amendment (so that he need answer questions where his answers might incriminate himself), and so he has refused to testify in court. Meanwhile Uber is maintaining its innocence in the matter. On the 12th May Uber was given an injunction, prohibiting Levandowski from working on the technology, an injunction that he allegedly failed to comply with. This breach also contributed to his dismissal.
- Family Law
British dual nationals begin to see their EU rights be restricted
Reported by Anna Flaherty
EU nationals who have come to Britain and in turn earned British nationality are now finding that their family members may be refused the right to reside. In an upcoming case that will soon be decided by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), a dual British-Spanish national will challenge Britain’s decision to deport the woman’s Algerian (non-EU national) husband. This may interest those who are currently studying EU law, as it is known that family members (including spouses) have the right to reside with an EU national working in the host state (in this case, Britain). If the CJEU supports this decision, allowing it on the basis that the woman had British nationality, it will affect the number of people who apply for British passports in fear that their loved ones will be deported as a result. Whilst this may assist the Governments plans to reduce the number of EU Citizens from residing in the UK, it will mean restricting individual rights of many people who already live in the UK. This case will be a very controversial one, particularly in the light of Brexit, with other countries (Poland and Spain) already making legal submissions. This case will decide to what degree Brexit is likely to affect families in the UK, or even families across the whole of Europe, if other countries decide to follow Britain’s behaviour.
Read more in The Guardian
- Real Estate
The General Election: How should we approach the housing crisis?
Reported by Anna Flaherty
London provides the best example of how serious the housing crisis has become. In London, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that the average house price in 2015 was £472,000; this is 13 times the average annual wage when mortgagees will only provide you with 4.5 times your annual wage. As a result, fewer people can afford to buy property and rents in London have increasing by 38%. Home ownership increasingly becomes a dream for those who are not yet on the property ladder. However for investors this has provided an opportunity, as despite Brexit and the fear that there will be a decrease in the number of wealthy overseas students coming to the UK, they have not been off-put. In fact James Pullan, the head of student property at property consultancy Knight Frank, has said that over 70% of investment still comes from overseas.
This presents how the housing crisis is enforcing the notion of property power being in the hands of the wealthy, representing greater class division. The General Election will decide what approach will be taken to resolve this issue. Solutions range from promoting longer leases, building more homes to promoting the Help to Buy scheme that recently ended in in 2016.
Find out more about what the Help to Buy scheme is in this previous update on the The Student Lawyer