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Brexit Watch - News and Views

Trade options after Brexit

(Nov 2016) After the referendum vote to leave the European Union, important policy decisions remain about the model for the UK’s future relationship with the EU – whether to remain in the single market, opt for EEA, a free trade agreement or independent WTO membership.

This article by the Economic & Social Research Council is a summary of a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, entitled The EU single market: the value of membership versus access to the UK. Branch members will no doubt view it as very 'pro-Remain' but it is interesting also because it describes the options available to the UK. Read the article.

Farage to lead 100,000-strong march on Supreme Court on day of historic Brexit court hearing

(07/11/16) Nigel Farage is planning to lead a 100,000-strong march to the Supreme Court to coincide with the start of the Government’s attempt to stop peers and MPs delaying Brexit.

The march, organised by the anti-European Union campaign Leave.EU, will end with a rally in Parliament Square within sight of the court building where judges will be hearing the appeal. Read the article in the Telegraph.

UKIP and Constitutional Reform - by John Poynton FCA

The decision by the High Court that Brexit does require an Act of Parliament before Article 50 can be triggered highlights the out-of-date nature of our unwritten constitution. It derives from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 when sovereignty transferred from Crown to Parliament. That was certainly an advance for democracy at the time, but since then the franchise has become universal and by implication the people as a whole have become sovereign, not Parliament. Yet our constitution has never been updated to reflect this. It brings the people into conflict with parliament, which is not safe or healthy.


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Why Britain should leave the EU – by Mike Lynch

(04/11/16) This long post by an anonymous lawyer, is yet another powerful, reasoned argument as to why Britain must leave the EU. It exposes the shaky foundations on which the EU is built and questions the pillars which sit on these foundations. He posits three reasons why the motives for which the EU was set up are actually wrong, and questions four arguments justifying its existence - peace, economic, human rights, and 'togetherness'. Read the full post...

The unelected 'activist' judges who mounted a 'power grab': High Court trio who blocked Brexit are led by one who founded group dedicated to furthering European integration

(03/11/16) The bombshell court ruling which has bogged down Britain's exit from the EU in a legal quagmire has sparked a row over how UK judges are appointed.

The Lord Chief Justice, Baron Thomas of Cwmgiedd, alongside Sir Terence Etherton and Lord Justice Sales, ruled that the Prime Minister does not have power to trigger Article 50 to start the two-year Brexit process. The unelected trio were today accused of 'striking down the will of the people to set in train leaving the EU'. Read the article in the Daily Mail.

Article 50 court decision risks provoking huge public anger - Nigel Farage

(03/11/16) From the UKIP national website:

Following the High Court decision calling for a Parliamentary vote on the triggering of Article 50, Nigel Farage said,

"I worry that a betrayal may be near at hand. Last night at the Spectator Parliamentary Awards I had a distinct feeling that our political class, who were out in force, do not accept the 23rd of June Referendum result.

"I now fear that every attempt will be made to block or delay the triggering of Article 50. If this is so, they have no idea of the level of public anger they will provoke."

Brexit could overwhelm UK politicians: Think tank warns that negotiations will test the UK to the limit

(02/11/16) Brexit is such an enormous legal, constitutional and bureaucratic challenge that could prove too much for British politicians and civil servants to untangle, according to a report from independent think tank U.K. In A Changing Europe, published Wednesday. Read the article on Politico.


(05/11/16) Comment by John Poynton:
This is interesting news - the idea that all the laws emanating from the EU are not in fact already on the statute book! The latter is what we have always been told.

In any case the article misses the point. Brexit simply gives us the freedom to make our own choices; to 'take back control'. Our review of all these laws will indeed take a long time, whether they have to be included ,excluded or just modified, but it all happens after Brexit. There is no rush or need for delay. Another Remainer red-herring?

Brexit-backing boss of Wetherspoons threatens to stop selling European beers if 'bullying' EU leaders impose tariffs on Britain

(02/11/16) Tim Martin, the Brexit-backing chairman of JD Wetherspoon, made the threat to European leaders as he warned that sales at the pub chain have slowed. He used a first-quarter trading statement to rip into German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker for their reaction to Britain's decision to leave the EU. He accused them of putting European businesses at risk by telling them not to negotiate with UK companies and to adopt an 'intransigent' attitude. Read the article in the Daily Mail.

The spectre of Scoxit - Bagehot

(22/10/16) It remains in Scotland’s interests to stay in the United Kingdom. Yet it is also true that the two largest parts of Britain’s union are growing apart. Brexit is both a symptom and a catalyst of that process, lending nationalism momentum and allowing unionists no room for complacency. They underestimate Ms Sturgeon at their peril. Read the article in the Economist.

Brexit could pull the pin out of the EU grenade. That's why the Eurocrats are terrified.

(25/10/16) The EU is in crisis, and its leaders know that Britain's departure could be the bloc's breaking point. Mr Tusk and his fellow Eurocrats know that many citizens are unhappy with the way things are going, and so could be inspired by Britain if it can show that a better future awaits outside of the EU. A successful Brexit could in effect be the start of a stampede of member states towards the exit door that could see the EU crumble. Read the article in the Telegraph.

Brexit will not cause UK trade 'disruption' - WTO boss

(26/10/16) The head of the World Trade Organisation has vowed to ensure Britain will not face a trade "vacuum or a disruption", however tough its exit from the European Union.Roberto Azevedo said that he did not believe the Brexit vote was "anti-trade" and dismissed fears that Britain could suffer a sudden seizure of trade during or after its negotiations with the EU. Read the article on Sky News.

REMOANER ALERT! 'Brexit is not the will of the British people – it never has been'

(24/10/16) The Rev Adrian Low analyses the post-referendum polls and demographic trends and argues that the UK electorate, as a whole, has been consistently against Brexit and the Remain majority will increase year-on-year. Oh dear! Read the post on the LSE blog.

Calm down. We don’t need a negotiating stance on Brexit

(22/10/16) It’s time for everyone to calm down. There’s a long way to go, and there can really only be one objective for Britain – securing the best possible ongoing economic and diplomatic relationship. The rest is just noise. Read the post by Jeremy Warner in the Telegraph.

UK economy expands after Brexit vote

(27/10/16) The U.K.’s gross domestic product grew by 0.5 percent in the three months following the Brexit vote. The figure came in better than expected in the first official assessment of economic growth released since the U.K. voted to leave the EU in June. Many analysts had anticipated a slide into a recession from the shock result.Read the Politico article.

Britain is the most business-friendly major economy, World Bank rules as its annual index casts fresh doubt on doom-laden Brexit warnings

(25/10/16) Britain is the most business-friendly major economy on the planet, the World Bank has said – casting fresh doubt on predictions of economic collapse after Brexit. The UK came top of the G7 group of industrialised countries in an annual index on ease of doing business, one place ahead of the US and significantly higher than any nation in the Eurozone.

In the overall league table, Britain ranked seventh. Supporters of Brexit said the study scotched claims that Britain would cease to be attractive to investors after leaving the EU. Read the Daily Mail article.

Four reasons why banks won't leave the City of London after Brexit

(25/10/16) Oliver Wyman’s report for TheCityUK on life beyond Brexit estimated that even under the hardest of departures - with no deal with the EU and the UK operating on WTO terms - some 35,000 jobs would be at risk. But such a high number is unlikely for the following four reasons. Read the Telegraph article

EU'll lose out! 'Hard' Brexit would cost other member states £8BILLION a year more than the UK

(25/10/16) A 'hard' Brexit would leave EU states facing nearly £8billion a year more in tariffs than the UK, according to a report. Firms from the bloc would add almost £13 billion a year in costs to their exports if Britain leaves the customs union without an alternative free trade deal. By contrast UK companies would be hit with a much lower £5.2 billion bill for sales to the other 27 states. Read the Daily Mail article

It's nonsense! Banks dismiss gloom-laden claim they'll quit the UK after Brexit

(24/10/16) Banks and Tory MPs last night dismissed as ‘nonsense’ dire warnings that financiers will move their business abroad due to Brexit. Anthony Browne, head of the British Bankers’ Association, sparked fury yesterday by saying smaller banks could react to the uncertainty by moving operations overseas within weeks.

He predicted that larger financial institutions would follow in the first few months of next year, saying: ‘Their hands are quivering over the relocate button.' But the gloom-laden claims were undermined by the fact that a number of High Street banks said leaving the EU would make little difference to their business. Read the
Daily Mail article

Ministers fear UK-EU trade deal could take decade as Walloons torpedo Canada agreement

(23/10/16) Ministers fear it could take a decade to secure a post-Brexit free trade deal with the European Union after a little-known region in Belgian blocked a flagship agreement with Canada. Crisis talks between EU leaders and Canada collapsed on Saturday following the decision of Wallonia, with a population of 3.5 million, to torpedo the deal.

It meant a the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement [CETA] which had been signed off by all 28 EU countries has now been plunged into uncertainty. Read the full article in the Telegraph and the article from The Guardian, EU-Canada trade deal in crisis as Canadian minister walks out

The City of London should thank the voters of Wigan for Brexit

(19/10/16) Deutsche Bank’s problems are symptoms of the EU malaise caused by over-regulation and political conceit, writes Brian Monteith.

A new paper by banking expert Bob Lyddon “The Deutsche Bank liability”, published by Global Britain, explains why the storm clouds are gathering and the liabilities that the UK could face. Any rescue will be a multi billion affair, and while the UK remains tied to EU institutions like the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank, we will be liable for a hefty share of any financial lifebelt that is thrown Deutsche’s way. Read the full article on Reaction

'Mr. Market' won’t be able to stop and reverse Brexit

Could Mr. Market, and his old gang of friends, the Bond Vigilantes, be about to give the British electorate a lesson in economic realities? In the view of some of the more excitable City commentators, and indeed some of the most senior officials in Brussels, the harsh consequences of leaving the European Union are about to hit home. There is a problem, however, and it is far from minor one. It is not really true. Read Matthew Lynn on MarketWatch.com

Nick Boles MP: Why even Remain voters like me find MiliClegg's attempt to block Brexit so utterly nauseating

The purpose of the guerrilla war being waged by these Remainers is to cling on to as many of the membership arrangements as possible — in the not-so-secret hope a future government of the liberal Left will be able to take us back in. Read his article in the Daily Mail

The people spoke on Brexit - but MPs stuck their fingers in their ears and ignored them.

MPs have been forming an orderly queue to explain to the British people what they had actually voted for. They had not, they were told, voted to leave the European single market. Or end free movement.

Or anything else that could be termed ‘Hard Brexit’. Instead, they had voted for something as yet undetermined. But that didn’t matter. The politicians would do the determining for them. Except there’s a snag. The people did vote for ‘Hard Brexit’... Read the full article in the Mail on Sunday

Let Nicola Sturgeon have her referendum – and find out that a Hard Brexit is better than a Hard Independence

Sturgeon talks of avoiding Hard Brexit, but what she wishes upon Scotland is 'Hard Indy'. Her open door policies must, by definition, deliver a hard border, for remember, England is run by xenophobes. It must deliver a hard austerity, for Scotland’s public finances will become the economic equivalent of a scorched earth policy. And it will deliver a hard Scotland, which will be marked by bitterness and hatred, splitting families and communities – far more than we had a taste of in the last referendum. Read the full article in City A.M.

The falling pound is NOTHING to do with your vote for freedom - Peter Hitchens

The pound sterling would have fallen hard and fast if we had voted to stay in the EU. I am amazed it did not do so long before. More than three years ago, before the referendum was called, I advised you to keep an eye on the value of sterling as a true measure of our huge economic difficulties. Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

Brexit and the BBC's duty of impartiality - Daily Mail

The corporation has become the mouthpiece for embittered Remainers who refuse to accept the will of the people and hope to overturn the referendum result by stealth and scaremongering. Read the article in the Daily Mail.

There is no such thing as a 'soft' Brexit - by John Poynton

As a desperate rear guard action Remainiacs have come up with the idea of a 'soft' Brexit in which the UK would remain a member of the Single Market. They claim that Britain would not have trading access to the EU members' markets unless we remain a member of the Single Market (which is different and would involve accepting all its rules including uncontrolled borders), and love to say that Brexiteers have no clear picture of what Brexit would actually look like!
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Euro septic - by Professor Paul Collier CBE

Picture of front cover of The Euro book
This is a review of the damning book, The Euro by the left-wing US economist Joseph Stiglitz, by Paul Collier who is professor of economics and public policy in the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and so carries some weight.

Collier examines the two options that Stiglitz offers the EU leadership: Plan A is to fix the euro, Plan B is to dismantle it. Both, he says, are not viable and instead he offers his own solution since his view is that 'the euro will eventually unravel in the face of social pressures, in much the same way as Schengen has unravelled: through acrimonious disorder.'

Collier admits to being a 'Remainer' but says that this is because being out of the euro and Schengen while keeping a veto was a good deal for Britain. But he questions the wisdom of the underlying political project. Read the article in the Times Literary Supplement.

Brexit and Article 50 negotiations: What it would take to strike a deal

Matthew Watson is Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick, and he is also a UK Economic and Social Research Council Professorial Fellow. He is one of the contributing authors to The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, Seventh Edition. Here he tries to reconcile the various demands that the UK and the EU will negotiate over once Article 50 is triggered. His conclusion however is that you can't, saying that "It is therefore highly unlikely that everyone will receive the outcome that they think reflects what they voted for on 23rd June." Let's hope he's wrong... Read the article in the Oxford University Press blog.

How dare these Eurocrats call Britain racist while the Far Right's marching in their own backyard - Daniel Hannan

In France and Belgium, Jewish schools and synagogues require armed guards. Racist violence across much of Europe is now becoming almost routine. But the European Commission on Racism and Intolerance says it is alarmed at the ‘intolerant political discourse in the UK'. Here Daniel Hannan MEP responds eloquently and convincingly. Read the article in the Daily Mail.
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