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Brexit Watch - News and Views

Work with the EU, not against it, Michel Barnier tells May

(17/5/17) The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has appealed to Theresa May to work with the union during the negotiations and not against it, following the prime minister’s claim that Brussels had sought to attack both her leadership and British interests.

Addressing the European parliament in Strasbourg, Barnier cautioned against an aggressive approach to the talks due to start after the UK’s general election on 8 June, the result of which he said he hoped would bring stability. Read the full article in the Guardian

Grow up or we'll walk away - says Nigel Farage MEP to the EU Parliament

(17/5/17) Speaking today in the European Parliament plenary debate in Strasbourg on the European Council’s adopted guidelines for the Brexit negotiations UKIP MEP Nigel Farage labelled Mr Juncker’s behaviour as unacceptable and called for a change of tactics from the EU or the United Kingdom may be forced to walk away from the talks before the end of the year. See the video and read the full transcript on the UKIP website

Spain sets sights on post-Brexit citizens deal

(17/5/17) Spain will push for a post-Brexit deal on citizens as close as possible to the status quo, according to the country’s foreign minister, who expressed frustration that London was over-complicating the issue.

The government in Madrid, emboldened by an economic recovery and a measure of political stability, is marking its return to the larger European diplomatic stage by staking out a firm position on citizens — and adding a potentially complicating factor to the already fractious Brexit negotiations. Read the full article on Politico

New poll suggests more than two thirds of people 'now support Brexit'

(15/5/17) More than two thirds of people now support Brexit following the emergence of "Re-Leavers", according to the latest poll. A total of 68 per cent of respondents would like to see Britain withdraw from the EU, the latest YouGov figures show. Some 45 per cent said they were Eurosceptics, while 22 per cent said they wanted the Government to ignore June's election result. Read the full article in the Telegraph

Death of '1.5m oldsters' could swing second Brexit vote, says Ian McEwan

(12/5/17) At a Brexit conference in London, the author said ‘angry old men’ are shaping UK’s future and by 2019 the mood could be different. The two-day Convention on Brexit and the Political Crash, organised by the journalist Henry Porter, struck a defiant opening note on Friday as politicians and artists debated whether any Brexit deal agreed by the government should be put before voters. Read the full article in the Guardian

What citizens in the other 27 EU countries think should be the EU's priorities to negotiations over Brexit

(12/5/17) In total 78 per cent of people polled in nine key EU states said that protecting the interests of the 27 remaining members must come ahead of giving the UK a fair trading agreement.

But the strength of feeling against Britain varies significantly from country to country, and the results indicate Theresa May could find an unexpected ally in the form of France. Read the full article in the Daily Express

Gibraltar says it plans for hard Brexit, with end of access to EU market

(9/5/17) Gibraltar is preparing for a post-Brexit setup in which its firms will have no longer access to the European Union market but will maintain a preferential relationship with Britain, a top Gibraltar financial official said on Tuesday.

"We are currently planning for a hard Brexit," James Tipping, director at Gibraltar's government body for financial promotion, told EU lawmakers in a hearing in Brussels. Read the full story on Reuters

David Cameron slams ‘Extreme Brexit’ Tories as he wades into 2017 General Election campaign

(11/5/17) David Cameron has urged Theresa May to stand firm against Tory ministers who want “extreme Brexit”. The former Prime Minister broke his silence in the 2017 general election as he hit the campaign trail for the first time in Crewe. Meanwhile Paul Nuttall said: “The mask slips, Cameron’s comments are exactly what we thought all along. Mrs May is a Remainer at heart and this election is all about ensuring that she has a majority of lobby fodder to force through a soft meaningless Brexit against the wishes of the British people. Read the full article in the Huffington Post.

Why an EEA agreement is no alternative to Brexit

(10/5/17) This article, entitled 'Why Norwegians now want a referendum on quitting the European Economic Area' gives sure reasons as to why EEA agreements are no 'soft' alternative to leaving the EU. Any EEA agreement means “pay, obey and no say”. Read the full article on Brexit Central.

£70bn fund chooses London as European HQ

(10/5/17) PSP, a £70 billion Canadian pension fund, has backed Britain’s post-Brexit fortunes and opened its new European headquarters in Victoria. Read the full story on Euro Guido.

LSE fires back at EU plot to seize euro-clearing

(2/5/17) The London Stock Exchange has fired back at Brussels' proposal to restrict London's ability to host euro-clearing, warning that any restriction on the clearing of Euro swaps would "damage European issuers, savers, investors, pension funds and intermediaries". Read the full article in the Telegraph.

Macron puts the City in his cross hairs as the new president bids to lure bankers from London to Paris

(8/5/17) The City of London was in the cross hairs of France's president-elect Emmanuel Macron today as he plotted to fulfil his ambition to lure bankers across the Channel. Officials in Paris believe as many as 10,000 bankers, fund managers and other executives could move from London. Brexit has left question marks over the legal and regulatory framework that will operate in London and particularly over the future of trading in euros. Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

Desperate Germany wants UK to pay for single market access because Berlin faces £4BN bill

(7/5/17) German government officials have proposed giving Britain access to the European Union's single market in return for a fee, Focus magazine said on Saturday citing a Finance Ministry report. The ministry officials calculated Berlin would have to pay an additional 4.5 billion euros (£3.8billion) a year into EU coffers as a result of Britain's departure from the bloc. Read the full article in the Daily Express.

Britain calls in war broker as battle with Brussels over Brexit gets nasty

(7/5/17) Britain has called in an international war negotiator to counter growing hostility between Brussels and London over Brexit. Government officials have met with a leading US negotiator for help after he played a key role in ending the seemingly intractable 52 year-long war in Colombia, South America. William Ury specialises in hostile and emotional conflicts and advises parties on how to turn the other side's anger against them. Read the full article in the Telegraph.

The CBI was wrong about the euro in the 1990s yet is still siding with the EU today

(4/5/17) When Phil Sheppard and Peter Lyon stood up at that CBI conference nearly two years ago to protest that the CBI was the voice of the EU, they were merely stating the obvious: that the CBI had been parroting the EU’s position for such a long time that the two had become indistinguishable.

Now the CBI are back playing their old scratched record of siding with the EU. In their general election business manifesto, published yesterday, they want the Government to “rule out a fall-back into World Trade Organisation rules”, thereby effectively contradicting the PM’s stance that “no deal is better than a bad deal” that she has repeated twice this week. Read the full article on Brexit Central.

Pay the EU £90bn? Here's an argument that they owe US £58bn

(4/5/17) In view of the UK's record as a generous contributor to the EU, our negotiators should argue that we are now entitled to part of the value of those assets that we helped to create. The UK government could also point out the vast amounts of our cash that have been squandered on misspent programmes and failed projects.

So here is the basis for a substantial claim which, in Leo McKinstry's view, our Government would be justified in presenting to Mr Barnier. Read his article in the Daily Mail.

May expected to challenge right of EU citizens to bring family to Britain

(3/5/17) A major clash over the unrestricted right of EU citizens living in Britain to continue to bring spouses and other immediate family to live with them in the UK after Brexit is expected after the publication of the official negotiation guidelines.

The EU’s guidelines state that any reciprocal deal on the rights of EU citizens in the UK must also cover “their family members who accompany them or join them at any point in time before or after the withdrawal date”. Read the full article in the Guardian.

Brussels admits it faces an 'explosive' crisis if UK refuses Brexit bill

(4/5/17) Brussels admitted yesterday that it faces an ‘explosive’ political crisis if the UK refuses to pay a multi-billion pound Brexit bill. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, warned the fragile bloc could crumble if Britain resists demands for the settlement which, say analysts, has ballooned to around 100billion euros (£85billion). Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

Revealed: How Jean-Claude Juncker's 'monster' is plotting to punish Britain for Brexit

(3/5/17) His fearsome reputation is summed up by his many nicknames: Darth Vader, Rasputin and The Monster. As Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief of staff, Martin Selmayr is regarded as the power behind the throne in the Brexit negotiations to come, and the bad news for Theresa May is that he is an EU zealot determined to “punish” Britain for leaving the bloc.

Mr Selmayr, the man widely accused of leaking a damaging account of Mrs May to a German newspaper, is also close to senior figures in Angela Merkel’s party, raising questions about Germany’s role in briefing against Mrs May. Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.

Jean-Claude Juncker says Theresa May is 'deluded' in scathing call with Angela Merkel after Brexit talks

(1/5/17) Jean-Claude Juncker phoned up Angela Merkel to tell her that Theresa May is "deluded" and "on another galaxy" after Brexit talks went awry at a disastrous dinner last Wednesday. The European Commission launched a scathing attack on Theresa May in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Read the full article in the Telegraph.

David Cameron says Britain must pay Brexit divorce bill as Theresa May meets EU negotatiors in Downing Street

(27/4/17) David Cameron has said Britain should settle its £50 billion “divorce bill” with the European Union before trade talks can start, as Theresa May held her first face-to-face meeting with the EU’s chief negotiator. Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.

May urged to ‘avoid negotiating with Brussels AT ALL COSTS’ by ex-Greek finance minister

(29/4/17) Speaking to the Telegraph, the former finance minister of Greece said: “My advice to Theresa May is to avoid negotiation at all costs. If she doesn’t do that she will fall into the trap of [Greek PM] Alexis Tsipras, and it will end in capitulation.” Read the full article in the Daily Express.

BREXIT BEGINS: Europe REMOVES Britain from maps of Union

(26/4/17) THE extent to which the triggering of Article 50 has impacted the EU became clear today as the bloc omitted Britain from a series of maps laying out its flagship social policy.The UK was conspicuously greyed out as a non-EU country in material the EU Commission has produced to advertise the launch of its keystone Pillar of Social Rights. See the full article in the Daily Express.

Britain told to keep EU laws or jeopardise Brexit deal

(21/4/17) Brussels is demanding lifelong rights for EU citizens and their families in a move that would overturn Theresa May’s pledge to end the power of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Britain. Leaked European Commission negotiating guidelines reveal that the EU is demanding that Mrs May indefinitely submit to rulings by the ECJ on the pensions, employment and welfare rights of the three million EU citizens living in the UK. Read the full article in The Times.

Remain campaigners urge voters to unseat Brexit-backing MPs

(24/4/17) Voters are being urged to unseat prominent Brexit-supporting MPs such as Iain Duncan Smith, Theresa Villiers and Kate Hoey by the successor organisation to Britain’s pro-EU remain campaign. Open Britain has drawn up an “attack list” of 20 seats, held mostly by Conservative MPs, where constituents voted to stay in the EU but their representatives are Brexit supporters. Read the full article in the Guardian.

Europe will pay if it punishes Britain in Brexit talks, warns Iceland Foreign Minister

20/4/17) Europe should give Britain a trade deal that closely replicates current EU-UK trading relations and not seek to punish the UK after Brexit by erecting trade barriers, the Icelandic foreign minister has told the Telegraph. Read the full article in the Telegraph.

'Brexit can be REVERSED' EU Parliament President says

20/4/17 A senior Brussels bureaucrat today risked angering Brexit voters by saying the decision to leave the EU can be reversed. European Parliament president Antonio Tajani said the EU would happily welcome the UK back if the country decided to U-turn on the referendum. His comments risk angering Theresa May who has said there is 'no turning back' from last year's historic vote.Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

Tory manifesto will guarantee end of free movement, UK to leave single market and no more meddling by Euro judges as May issues her cast-iron Brexit pledges

(19/4/17) Theresa May will place a triple lock on Brexit in the Tory manifesto to stop obstruction by diehard Remainers. Tory sources say she is set to include specific pledges to overcome opposition within her party and in the Lords. The manifesto is expected to commit the Conservatives to ending EU free movement and pulling out of both the single market and European Court of Justice. Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

Britain preparing to scrap EU green energy targets as part of a bonfire of red tape after Brexit

(16/4/17) Britain is preparing to scrap EU green energy targets which will add more than £100 to the average energy bill as part of a bonfire of red tape after Brexit.

The UK is currently committed to getting 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020. Ministers have long been critical of the targets because they exclude nuclear power, carbon capture or gains from energy efficiency. Read the full article in the Telegraph.

EU referendum may have been targeted by foreign cyber hackers intent on influencing result

(12/4/17) The EU referendum may have been targeted by foreign cyber hackers trying to influence the outcome of the historic vote, MPs have warned.

An official website which enabled people to register to vote in the referendum collapsed just hours before the official deadline, forcing it to be extended. Read the full article in the Telegraph.
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