Manchester United complete shock last-minute signing of former Watford striker Odion Ighalo on six-month loan from Shanghai Shenhua

31 Jan

Manchester United completed the signing of 30-year-old striker Odion Ighalo on a six-month loan from Shanghai Shenhua in a dramatic late deadline day move. The former Watford striker agreed a last-minute deal to join the Red Devils before a deal was rushed through before the 11pm deadline. Ighalo, the Nigeria international, emerged as a late […]

2020 Bathurst 12 Hour schedule

31 Jan

Subject to change. All times and TV listings local (AEDT, GMT +11).Motorsport.tv will be broadcasting Saturday and Sunday’s action live and free to every country outside of Australia and New Zealand.Click here to access Motorsport.tv’s coverage.Austral…

Championship results: Wayne Rooney scores stunning free-kick as Derby beat Stoke, Cardiff and Reading share points

31 Jan

Wayne Rooney showed his star quality with a spectacular free-kick goal in Derby’s 4-0 win over Stoke on Friday night. It was an all-round strong performance from Philip Cocu’s side with some excellent finishing from his forward players. Martyn Waghorn got the scoring going in the 21st minute when he headed past Jack Butland. Chris […]

Odion Ighalo: Manchester United agree loan deal after Tottenham fail with bid for former Watford striker

31 Jan

Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign Shanghai Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo on a six-month loan deal, talkSPORT understands. The Red Devils now face a race against time to complete the deal before the transfer window slams shut at 11pm. United are reportedly confident of getting the deal for Ighalo done before time runs […]

My Thoughts on Brexit Day

31 Jan

I’m at home in Tunbridge Wells tonight. You might think I’d be at some swanky dinner or intending to join the throngs in Parliament Square at 11pm to mark our departure from the European Union. You’d be wrong. I was indeed invited to all these events, and I have no hesitation in saying that I hope those who are attending will have a great time. It’s just not for me.

Brexit

The last three and a half years have been horrendous and have taken their toll on many people on both sides of the argument. Many feel battered and some are broken by the whole experience. Some are just so relieved the whole things is over (sort of) that they want to mark the occasion publicly. I don’t feel that need, even though I too am incredibly relieved by the change in the political atmosphere that has become all too apparent over the weeks since the emphatic election result. It’s as if a weight has been lifted from the country’s shoulders. 

Brexit is now done in the sense that we leave the legal and political structures of the EU at 11pm this evening. It’s something which I became increasingly doubtful would ever happen. But there’s a very long way to go until all aspects of Brexit are settled. In some ways, December 31st is a more significant date than January 31st, given that’s when we really do depart from all aspects of the EU.

Brexit

Arguments will rage about the future free trade deal with firstly the EU, and then other countries, most especially the USA. But I don’t think they’re going to be as corrosive as those over the Withdrawal Agreement. 

As you know, I’ve written a book about the decline of public discourse. Would I have written this book without Brexit? I honestly don’t know. There is only one chapter on it in the book, and it’s one of the shortest. However, Brexit has seen friendships broken, family relationships put under strain and professional relationships destroyed.

I’ve tried my best over the last three and a half years to conduct the debate in a respectful manner, but I know that I have sometimes failed. I’ve tried to understand the other point of view and listen to those who I disagree with. I do understand that people on the Remain side of the debate have a perfectly valid argument, and I could easily argue it myself. I do feel, however, that many Remainers look at people like me, who support the idea of Brexit, as if we are rather simple country bumpkins. We are to be pitied, not understood. I really hope this patronising attitude will graudally dissipate over time. It will if Brexit proves to be a success. 

Brexit

But how do you define success? Economically? By volume of trade? By our abilities to forge our own path in the world? By our parliament deciding its own laws? All these things and more. There will be some who, no matter how well we do economically, will always maintain that we would have done better if we had stayed within the EU. They will never be able to prove it one way or the other, nor will those on my side of the argument. And that gets to the nub of the reason for the intensity of the debate on both sides.

Throughout the referendum campaign Brexiteers could make all the arguments they wanted about the benefits of leaving the EU, but they couldn’t actually prove things would be better. I believed with all my heart that we would be better off out, and it’s what I still believe until the facts prove me wrong. I don’t think they ever will. Yes, there will be some areas where problems will be experienced, but overall I firmly believe we have a very positive future ahead of us. If, in ten years time, the facts tell a very different story, those of us on this side of the debate will have some very big mea culpas to make.  Those on the other side should also be good enough to admit that there is a big possibility they too may be wrong, and at the appropriate time admit that things have turned out rather better than they expected. We will see.

Reading this back, it all sounds a bit melancholical, when most people who have read this far will imagine I would be euphoric this evening, and wanting to rub Remainer noses in it. The fact that’s not how I feel is why I’m not in Parliament Square tonight.

Brexit

Conservative MP and leading Brexiteer Steve Baker tweeted this yesterday…

I will not be on Parliament Sq. Bearing in mind our need to unite this country when many people feel great sorrow about leaving the EU, I’m encouraging magnanimity from Brexit supporters. It’s time for big hearts.

I totally agree. I understand that people who’ve fought for this all their political lives wish to celebrate us leaving. I’m glad we’re leaving the EU too.

But let’s not have any gloating or outrageous jingoism. We’ve already seen some very ugly social media posts from ultra-Remainers this week. Let’s not play their game.

Let me finish by paraphrasing the famous closing monologue by President Whitmore in one of my favourite moves Independence Day

In less than three hours, Britain will leave the European Union. We will Brexit.  That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. The 31st of January will be the day Britain declared with one voice: “We look forward. We cast our differences aside. We are the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. And we’re going to thrive!” Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

Happy Brexit Day!

 

Emre Can joins Borussia Dortmund from Juventus on initial loan deal despite late interest from Tottenham and Arsenal

31 Jan

Emre Can has left Juventus to join Bundesliga title-chasers Borussia Dortmund. The Germany international midfielder has joined on an initial loan deal until the end of the season and it will be made permanent for £25million in the summer. Reports on transfer deadline day suggested both Arsenal and Tottenham were going to make late bids […]

Chelsea remain open to late striker deal but transfers appear unlikely after Lampard’s blunt update on Giroud and Mertens

31 Jan

Chelsea are still open to the possibility of signing a new striker this evening, reports claim. Frank Lampard has confirmed Olivier Giroud will be staying at the club after the Blues failed with a move for Napoli striker Dries Mertens. However, with Tammy Abraham injured, Chelsea only have two fit senior strikers, including Michy Batshuayi. […]

Former Swansea star Oli McBurnie reveals expletive-laden letter warning him he’ll get ‘head kicked in’ at Cardiff

31 Jan

Oli McBurnie has received hate mail warning him he’ll get his ‘head kicked in’ if he returns to Cardiff. The Scotland striker spent four seasons at the Bluebirds’ arch rivals, Swansea, before joining Sheffield United in a £20million deal last summer. But McBurnie angered a section of Cardiff fans when he was seen goading them […]

“Britain has not left Europe; it has just stepped into another room”

31 Jan

Tonight I’ll be spending time in my favourite local pub with democracy heads our broken-hearted Europhile landlord who has bought in a load of mainland European cheeses to share with the bar. So, before that moment, here are some of the best links for the day that’s in it from both sides of that divide… – Tim Garton Ash, in The Guardian, counsels us Remainers to get over it and try to make the best of what comes next.. In … Read more

Manchester United consider emergency loan deal for Odion Ighalo as Josh King hopes fade in desperate late striker search

31 Jan

Manchester United are reportedly still keen to land a striker before the transfer window closes at 11pm. The Red Devils failed with a bid for Bournemouth forward Josh King on Thursday and remain desperate to bring in attacking reinforcements due to Marcus Rashford’s long-term injury. The Athletic reports that the club are currently investigating the possibility […]