This week has been dominated once again by fallout from the Brexit vote and the continuing efforts by the Conservative government to show Brexit can be a success. During the week we saw a big announcement from Nissan and a familiar name getting involved in the debate.
Meanwhile, in America, with just one week to go before voters choose the next President, there were more scandals hitting the press. Hillary Clinton faced harsh headlines as the FBI announced they had not finished looking into her email scandal in which they had previously cleared her of any wrongdoing.
Nissan Staying Put
On Thursday it was announced car giant Nissan would be keeping its business in the UK by building two of its new models at its manufacturing base in Sunderland. While this news was warmly greeted by most commentators, it was suspected that during negotiations Nissan were given assurances in order to stay in the UK. Many people on Twitter wanted to know what those assurances might have been, and questioned why they weren’t being made public. Momentum echoed Labour’s shadow Brexit minister, Keir Starmer, who called for more transparency from the government.
There were also many, particularly Brexiteers, who claimed the news showed that warnings during the referendum were not being fulfilled. The Nissan news, alongside the announcement that the economy did not slow as much as expected, were enough to show Brexit was going well.
The Prime Minster was quick to claim the Nissan news as a sign that Britain was going forward and is ‘open for business’ despite the confusion over Britain’s Brexit future.
However, not everyone was convinced. Many suggested the deal showed the priorities of the government were business rather than the rest of the population. Comedian, David Schneider, was one person to suggest this as the topic was being discussed on Thursday’s edition of Question Time.
Blair Brexit Briefing
Former Prime Minster Tony Blair made headlines this week with an in-depth interview for The New European , in which he suggested Brexit represented the risk of, "permanent loss of income" and, “a poorer country”. He also noted that a second referendum should not be ruled out should Brexit cause substantial damage to the economy.
Naturally the statement from Blair received a mixed reception from those on Twitter. Recent Labour leadership candidate, Owen Smith, agreed with the message which echoed his calls for a second referendum during his leadership campaign.
Others were not convinced by Blair’s argument including Conservative MP, Stewart Jackson, who felt his intervention would only serve to strengthen the case for Brexit.
There was also a third group of people who were frustrated to find themselves agreeing with what Blair was saying on Brexit.
Hillary’s FBI Hitch
As Halloween weekend began there was news from America that the FBI were to reopen an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. It was revealed the head of the FBI had notified some members of Congress of their intention to investigate further. It appeared the investigation would focus on a Clinton aide, who has potentially thousands of emails, some of which (it is alleged) could be linked to the president elect, and thus may warrant further investigating.
The Associated Press were among the first to break the news on Friday night which could have a major impact on the remaining week of campaigning in the election.
Clinton came out fighting in the days following the announcement. Hillary’s campaign team called for the FBI to release the full information and said that the country did not know the full facts on the investigation yet. There were also accusations against FBI director, James Comey, regarding his timing of the announcement.
The news was warmly welcomed by Donald Trump and his campaign team who compared the scandal to that of Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal which forced him to resign as President.
Although Donald Trump attempted to make a big deal out of the FBI news it was still unclear whether it had had much impact in the polls. It appeared that the gap between the two candidates had closed marginally over the weekend but Hillary remained favourite.
The coming week will be vital in the race to be president while in the UK much of the focus will again be on Brexit where there will be mounting pressure on the government to reveal what assurances Nissan were given.