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  • Donald Trump’s new administration commits itself unambiguously to meeting America’s NATO obligations. Gaining this reassurance should be Theresa May’s main foreign policy aim, along with the Brexit negotiations and potential trade deals.
  • David Cameron’s programme to boost Life Chances doesn’t vanish without trace.
  • Sajid Javid’s plans to get the big house builders to bank land less and build more work out, and are supported by Conservative MPs.  Housing remains Britain’s number one social justice issue.
  • Technical schools get at least as much attention as grammar schools.
  • Talking of Brexit, that Britain and its interlocutors have not completely misundestood each other – in other words, that swift progress will be made towards a trade deal.  No deal would be better than a bad deal, but a good deal would be better than no deal.
  • That the Government finds something useful for Gisela Stuart to do.
  • That the Government has a major rethink on writing targets into law.  This site supports providing aid (though not rushing out programmes to meet a 0.7 per cent target) and reducing emissions (while keeping energy affordable and keeping the lights on).  Targets deny Ministers and MPs the flexibility they need to balance these aims properly.
  • Francois Fillon wins France’s presidential election and Marine Le Pen does not.
  • Talking of Brexit again, that May makes it clear that if MPs try to amend any Article 50 Bill to require the Government to pursue continued Single Market membership, she will treat any such vote as a matter of confidence – and seek a general election if she loses.
  • The security services cling on to the good luck they’ve had, need and deserve.
  • And finally on the subject of Brexit, that Britain and Ireland are able to carve out a deal within a deal that maintains a customs union, avoids a hard border, and ensures that each other’s citiziens continue to be treated, in effect, as nationals.
  • UKIP, under-represented in Lords as the year opens, is less under-represented when it ends.

130 comments for: Twelve hopes for 2017

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