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Brexit Watch - News and Views

Theresa May to announce UK will reclaim its waters for British fishermen

(24/3/17) Theresa May is expected to announce within weeks that the UK will reclaim its waters for British fishermen by pulling out of a deal that pre-dates the EU. The Prime Minister will take Britain out of the 1964 London convention which allows European fishing vessels to access waters six to twelve nautical miles from British shores. Read the article in the Daily Telegraph.

Pret criticised for offering teenagers sandwiches in exchange for work to solve looming Brexit staffing crisis

(25/3/17) Pret a Manger has been criticised for offering teenagers sandwiches in exchange for work, instead of money, to solve a potential Brexit-induced staff shortage. Pret is said to be on the cusp of a staffing crisis, as just one in 50 of job applicants to the sandwich chain is British. If foreign workers avoid the country because of Brexit, or choose to return home, Pret could find itself short of staff. Read the article in the Daily Telegraph.

Jean-Claude Juncker: Britain must stump up to leave the European Union

(24/3/17) The European Commission president also said it was a "failure and a tragedy" that Brexit is taking place - and said the EU will not be "naive" in its negotiations with the UK once Article 50 is triggered next week. In an interview with the BBC, Mr Juncker said: "It will be a bill reflecting former commitments by the British government and the British parliament. There will be no sanctions, no punishment, nothing of that kind." Read the article on Politics Home.

Brexit trade chief Liam Fox confirms plans to take back control of policy from Brussels

(24/3/17) BREXIT trade chief Dr Liam Fox yesterday confirmed plans to take back control of trade policy from Brussels – as revealed by The Sun. Challenged by Labour on our exclusive, the Trade Secretary signalled a new law was coming in the Queen’s Speech that would transfer the power to collect tariffs back to Britain. The move will also make Britain ready to strike new trade deals from the day we leave the EU. Read the article in The Sun.

Cost of living in London has tumbled since Brexit

(22/3/17) London has tumbled down the rankings of the world's most expensive cities as the fall in Sterling since the Brexit vote made it more internationally competitive. The capital fell from the 6th most expensive place to live last year to the 24th in 2017, its lowest point in 20 years. Manchester fell 25 places - more than any other city in the world. However, there could be a sting in the tail as import costs rise.. Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

Gibraltar sovereignty 'must not be a bargaining tool in Brexit talks'

(22/3/17) The future sovereignty of Gibraltar must not become a "bargaining tool" in the upcoming Brexit negotiations, the Government has been warned. The UK must be alert to any move by Spain to advance claims over the territory as part of divorce talks with Brussels, peers have insisted.

There were also calls during a House of Lords debate for the border between Gibraltar and Spain to be "as free flowing as possible" following the UK's departure from the EU, given the economic importance of the frontier. Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.

Exporters enjoying Brexit ‘sweet spot’ from weak pound, says Bank of England deputy Governor

(23/3/17) Britain’s exporters are benefiting from an economic “sweet spot” because the pound is weak and there has not been any disruption from Brexit - but companies have also been warned that it might not last for long. Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.

UK retail sales shrug off Brexit fears with February rise

(23/3/17) Looks like the doom-monger, Remoaner 'experts' got it wrong AGAIN! Britain’s retailers received a respite from a two-month losing streak when spending in high street stores and online bounced back in February. The Office for National Statistics said retail sales volumes were up by 1.4% on January and 3.7% higher than in February 2016. Read the full story in The Guardian.

Minister told to remind Germany of cancelled WW2 debt amid EU demand for £50bn Brexit fee

(21/3/17) The Government was today urged to remind Germany how huge sums of its debts were cancelled after the Second World War as Theresa May prepares to enter Brexit negotiations. Prominent Tory MP and veteran eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash suggested ministers “bear in mind” a post-war deal that saw Germany’s debt halved amid likely demands Britain pay a multi-billion pound EU exit fee. Read the full article in the Daily Express.

Brexit more important than keeping the UK together, public say in poll for the Telegraph

(17/3/17) Brexit is more important to voters than keeping the United Kingdom together, an opinion poll for The Telegraph has indicated. Sixty per cent of respondents agreed that Britain’s EU departure mattered more than stopping the UK’s break-up, while just 27 per cent disagreed. Furthermore a majority of people said they would still vote for Brexit even if they knew it could trigger Scotland’s independence. Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.

BBC Director General Tony Hall defends his 'extraordinary' reporters against MPs' claim of anti-Brexit bias

(21/03/17) BBC Director General Tony Hall has defended his 'extraordinary' editors and reporters against MPs' claims the Corporation is biased against Brexit. The BBC chief was responding to a letter from more than 70 MPs, mostly Conservatives, accusing the Corporation of gloomy Brexit coverage. Tory MP Julian Knight, who co-ordinated the letter, warned that the BBC was in danger of losing touch with its viewers and giving too much airtime to 'diehard Remainers'. Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

50 groups behind Article 50 - BrexitCentral

(18/3/17) Jonathan Isaby & Matthew Elliott recognise fifty groups and organisations that contributed over the years to the collective Brexit effort. Some are well-known campaigning organisations, political parties or think-tanks with a national reputation; others are smaller pressure groups you may not have even heard of, but which nevertheless played a role in influencing public opinion and the terms of the debate or in marshalling support for Brexit. Some have existed for years are are still going strong; others have had a role to play during a particular period in our 40-odd year relationship with the EU; while some were founded specifically to campaign in the run-up to last year’s referendum or indeed in its direct aftermath. See the full summary list at BrexitCentral.

Outrage as Juncker boasts that no-one else will want to leave the EU after they see how badly the UK is punished for Brexit

(20/03/17) No-one else will want to leave the EU after they see how harshly Britain is punished, Jean-Claude Junker has insisted. The European Commission chief boasted that the 'example' of the UK would ensure the survival of the Brussels club. He also threatened that Theresa May will have to accept demands from the EU for a divorce bill. But his bullish stance was derided by Eurosceptics who accused him of living in a 'fool's paradise'. Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

Tony Blair did more than anyone to cause Brexit. He should keep quiet about it - Sunday Telegraph leader column

There is a good argument to be made that Tony Blair did more than any other British politician to bring about our exit from the European Union, and also to alienate the electorate from political leaders.

His vital act was to open Britain’s borders to eastern European workers in 2004, even as other states were retaining entry restrictions. Read the full leading article in the Sunday Telegraph.

'Defect or RESIGN!': Tim Farron urges centrist MPs to abandon Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to help him fight against a hard Brexit

(19/03/17) Tim Farron has challenged centrist Tory MPs to defect to the Lib Dems or resign their seats to help him fight a hard Brexit. The Liberal Democrat leader said Mrs May had dragged the Tories to the right while Labour had collapsed on the left. Mr Farron claimed the last four Prime Ministers - David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Sir John Major - now had more in common with his party than their own. Read the full story in the Mail on Sunday.

MPs cheer as the Article 50 bill gets Royal Assent and becomes law

(16/3/17) What we've all been waiting for - the Speaker of the House of Commons announcing that Article 50 has been given Royal Assent by the Queen. We are now free to triggering Article 50 and begin the process of leaving the anti-democratic, corrupt, anti-British, inefficient and dictatorial EU. See the short video (courtesy of The Sun).

Theresa May accused of 'losing momentum' and 'making errors' by delaying formal start of Brexit talks

(14/3/17) Theresa May has been accused of “losing momentum” and “making errors” by delaying the formal start of Brexit talks in the wake of Nicola Sturgeon’s shock demand for a Scottish independence referendum. This delay has led to concerns that Mrs May now cannot begin formal talks until May, missing the chance of talks with EU leaders on April 6. Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.

It's all unravelling now! Nicola Sturgeon 'abandons plans to stay in the EU if she wins referendum' as polls show most Scots are Eurosceptics

(14/3/17) Nicola Sturgeon has abandoned plans to immediately rejoin the EU if she wins a second referendum as a new poll showed most Scots are Eurosceptics, it has been claimed.

However, the 46-year-old reportedly fears that the Scottish National Party's policy of an independent Scotland joining the EU might put off the 400,000 people who voted for independence and Brexit. Read the full story in the Daily Mail.

Theresa May FINALLY wins the power to trigger Article 50 - At last!

(13/3/17) Theresa May has finally won the power to trigger Article 50 after peers backed down and passed the Brexit Bill after two crucial votes in the Commons earlier. MPs followed orders to delete an amendment on guaranteeing the rights of EU nationals, backing the Government 335 to 287, majority 48.

The Commons also defeated the second amendment on the timetabling of votes at the end of the negotiation by a majority of 45. Peers then debated the deletions but did not offer any further resistance. It means the historic legislation will be law by tomorrow. Read the full story in the Daily Mail.

Defiant Boris Johnson insists quitting EU with no deal would be 'perfectly OK

(12/3/17) Boris Johnson has condemned “apocalyptic” warnings over Britain quitting the EU without new trade arrangements and insisted a ‘no deal’ scenario would be “perfectly OK”. The Foreign Secretary argued Britain could flaunt its “robust economy” and come out on top by forging new trade agreements with nations it has been barred from “engaging properly” with for 44 years. Read the full story including comments from others on Politics Home.

In the week that we hope Article 50 will be triggered, a reminder of what we were promised by David Cameron

David Cameron Chatham House
We were told that there would be no second referendum and that the result would be implemented. So let's trigger Article 50 and get on with it 'When the British people speak, their voice will be respected, not ignored'.

A Parliament veto on Brexit would guarantee a stinker of a deal

(7/3/17) An interesting article by Liam Halligan that explains why falling back on WTO rules would not be a disaster, that the Lords rebels are trying to pass an amendment that allows Parliament to reject the deal via their 'meaningful vote' amendment to the Article 50 bill, and that PM May should compromise by accepting the amendment that gives EU citizens the right to stay in advance of any negotiations. The latter sentiment is in our view wrong and naive but the article is worth a read in The Spectator.

??How will Brexit affect British universities and ??will EU students still be able to study in the UK?

(9/3/17) Since the referendum result to leave the European Union was announced last June, university executives, academic staff and politicians have speculated at length about the future of higher education in the UK. Throughout 2017, a number of Brexit strategies will be proposed by EU member states, the UK government and individual universities. So what will these plans look like, and what could these changes mean for this year's student intake? Read the full article in the Telegraph.

European Arrest Warrant membership 'a priority' for Brexit talks, Amber Rudd confirms

(6/3/17) Amber Rudd has all-but ruled out the possibility of Britain leaving the European Arrest Warrant, describing the mechanism as “absolutely essential” for bringing criminals to justice. Read the full article on Politics Home.

Nigel Farage: Ukip can cause 'bigger earthquake' in 2020 than Brexit referendum

(6/3/17) The party's former leader set three red lines for the new relationship between the UK and Brussels – on immigration, financial contributions to EU budgets, and fisheries policy – and warned that voters would punish the Conservatives at the next general election if they are not met.

In an article for Parliament Magazine, Mr Farage, who still chairs the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group in the European Parliament, cast doubt on Mrs May’s credentials for leading the negotiation. Read the full article on Politics Home.

'Hard' Brexit would be good news for Vauxhall

(6/3/17) A “hard” Brexit would be good news for Vauxhall’s supply chain, the carmaker’s new owner has said as he sealed the long awaited £2bn purchase from ­General Motors.

Carlos Tavares, chairman of PSA whose existing brands include Citroen and Peugeot, said that were the UK to leave the European Union without any form of deal, it would lead to opportunities to increase the manufacturer’s supply chain in the UK. Read the full article in the Telegraph.

Peers warn No 10 against 'sidelining scrutiny' when scrapping EU laws

(7/7/16) Downing Street must not be allowed to use sweeping powers to scrap parts of EU law after Brexit without properly consulting parliament, peers will warn on Tuesday.

In a new report, the House of Lords constitution committee raises concerns about the implementation of Theresa May’s great repeal bill, saying new limits are needed to stop ministers getting rid of bits of EU law through secondary legislation without adequate scrutiny by MPs and peers. Read the full article in The Guardian.

Revealed: how US billionaire helped to back Brexit

(26/02/17) The US billionaire who helped bankroll Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency played a key role in the campaign for Britain to leave the EU, the Observer has learned.

It has emerged that Robert Mercer, a hedge-fund billionaire, who helped to finance the Trump campaign and who was revealed this weekend as one of the owners of the rightwing Breitbart News Network, is a long-time friend of Nigel Farage. He directed his data analytics firm to provide expert advice to the Leave campaign on how to target swing voters via Facebook – a donation of services that was not declared to the electoral commission. Read the full article in The Observer.

UK could quit EU without paying a penny, say Lords

(04/03/17) The UK could walk away from the European Union in 2019 without paying a penny, the House of Lords has said, in a report bound to raise tensions with Brussels in the run-up to Brexit talks.

The British government would have no legal obligation to either pay a €60bn (£52bn) Brexit bill mooted by the European commission or honour payments into the EU budget promised by the former prime minister David Cameron, according to analysis by the House of Lords EU financial affairs sub-committee. Read the full article in The Guardian.

Brexit offers us the chance to reunite with our true friends - the Commonwealth

(04/02/17) An excellent post by Peter Oborne. Over the past four decades, our governments have shamefully ignored the benefits of the Commonwealth. Successive Prime Ministers from Edward Heath onwards have been blind to its economic, cultural and social value. It is no coincidence that those decades of disgraceful neglect have coincided with Britain’s membership of the EU.

Part of the reason for this lies with the ridiculous sense of self-loathing felt by British liberals on account of our former Empire. Crippled by a post-imperial cringe, they have idiotically preferred the sclerotic, statist conformity of a German-dominated Europe to the exciting potential of the Commonwealth that shares many of our beliefs. Read the full article in the Daily Mail.
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