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Brexit Watch - News and Views

Der Spiegel's view on the UK and Brexit after 'Calamity May's general election flop: 'A Wave of Anger Crashes over Britain'

(15/6/17) Europe used to have a fearful respect of the Tories. But those days have long since passed. Now, the weakened party may have accidentally killed off Brexit - a pet project that most party leaders didn't want in the first place. Read the full - and very ignorant - article in Der Spiegel

‘No way’ UK can get passporting rights after Brexit, says former Luxembourg finance minister

(17/6/17) U.K. financial services firms will definitely not be able to carry on business as normal within the European Union (EU) after it leaves the bloc, according to Luc Frieden, who has held several portfolios within the Luxembourg cabinet over the past few decades. Read the full article on Yahoo!

Prince Andrew says there may be 'fresh grass' for British business after Brexit

(16/6/17) Prince Andrew, who stepped down as the UK's roving business ambassador six years ago, said he had "no idea" how the country's exit from the European Union would play out and warned of "upheaval." However, he also claimed there were opportunities outside the bloc and the "world is your oyster." Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph

Britain would be '£156 billion a year better off WITHOUT a deal with EU' - John Longworth

(15/6/17) New analysis has revealed that Britain would be better off by £156 billion a year by simply walking away from the EU without a deal. Former British Chambers of Commerce director John Longworth has issued “a Brexit fight back” after Remainers have tried to capitalise on the hung parliament election result to claim that Theresa May’s vision of a clean Break with the EU is “dead”.

The annual boost - worth around a third in growth for the British economy - would continue for at least 12 years as Britain’s economy is transformed by throwing off the shackles imposed by Brussels. Read the full article in the Daily Express

The Government’s plans for a ‘Vote Leave’ Brexit are far from derailed - Matthew Elliott

(12/6/17) It’s no secret that I would have preferred a different general election outcome – my joint editorial with Jonathan made clear that my preference was for a majority Conservative administration.

But the voices now suggesting that the Government’s plans for Brexit have been derailed are, in my view, very wide of the mark. For starters, this general election result does not change or override the result of the EU referendum which took place less than 12 months ago. Read the full post on Brexit Central

There is no “soft Brexit”: it does not exist as a serious or credible option

(11/6/17) The reality is that there is no “soft Brexit”. It does not exist as a serious or credible option. Half-way house arrangements in which we are subject to EU rules but have no say in setting them are the worst of all worlds, which would continue to subject us to all the disadvantages of EU membership but not give us the freedom and opportunities of leaving the EU in shaping our laws, controlling our borders and taking advantage of global trading opportunities. The only softness is in the heads of the people who advocate such half-baked and ill-thought out notions. Read the full article on Brexit Central

Whichever party wins must invest in the future of British manufacturing after Brexit

(4/6/17) The long-term success of the United Kingdom depends not only on our deal with the EU but also on how future governments support the growth and development of the economy. Whichever party forms the government after the 8th June, they will have to adopt a strategy that responds to the challenges of being outside the single market and customs union, including the potential impact of rules of origin, customs delays, tariffs and regulatory diversion. Read the full article on Brexit Central

Theresa May: Brussels must pay its own Brexit bill of billions of pounds

(20/5/17) Brussels must pay its own Brexit bill of billions of pounds for Britain's share of the European Investment Bank and other joint projects, Theresa May has indicated. The Prime Minister says in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph that “money paid in the past” by the UK must be taken into account in the final divorce bill. Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph

Hand over £1bn more, EU chiefs tell Britain: Brussels outlines huge increase in spending despite UK's decision to leave

(31/5/17) Brussels expects the UK to pay an extra £1billion to the EU next year, documents have revealed. In a controversial move, EU officials have outlined a huge increase in spending, which they expect the UK to help fund despite voting to leave. Calls for British taxpayers to pay even more into the bloc’s annual budget will infuriate Eurosceptics amid the ongoing row over the huge Brexit bill being demanded by Brussels. Read the full article in the Daily Mail

Brexit Britain has no need to fear WTO terms

(27/5/17) Andrew Stoler is a Visiting Fellow at Policy Exchange, and a former WTO Director General. Geoff Raby is Head of Trade Policy at Policy Exchange, and a former Australian Ambassador to the WTO.

Were the UK and EU unable to agree to a high-quality bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), it would be bizarre – and could only be attributable to bloody-mindedness by the EU. No two economies that have entered into an FTA negotiation have been more deeply integrated than are the UK and EU today. Already, trade between them is free, their respective services are largely open, and the UK has adopted the EU’s acquis for regulations for the past 44 years. Read the full article on Conservative Home

Gloomy report by CEBR on the impact of limiting migration

(24/5/17) Reducing U.K. immigration to the tens of thousands after Brexit, as the Conservatives have promised to do, could shrink the economy by between 1.5 and 3 percent, with a bigger hit in the future, according to a report published today by the Centre for Economics and Business Research. See the full article on the CEBR website

UKIP Cambs comment: Haven't we heard all this gloom before? Why can't people be positive about Brexit and embrace the opportunities it presents? Like training up our own people instead of hoovering up talent from around the world and inviting them here to put untold pressure on our creaking infrastructure?

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.
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