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Brexit Watch - News and Views

Why economic forecasts get the impact of Brexit wrong

(5/4/17) Professor Philip Booth writes: The economics profession has not exactly covered itself in glory in recent years. Few people forecasted the crash. Forecasts of economic recovery after the crash were dreadful. Neither the Office for Budget Responsibility nor the Bank of England have had a particular good recent record and, also, the widespread forecasts of doom and gloom in the event of a Brexit vote have proven to be wide of the mark. Read the full post on the IEA website.

Leavers worked very hard for years to secure Brexit – but we were also helped by a string of good luck - by Patrick O'Flynn MEP

(06/04/17) Excellent article by UKIP's Patrick O'Flynn who recognises that luck played a massive part in us winning the EU referendum. Read the full post on Brexit Central.

Vintage Nigel Farage as he accuses EU of ‘behaving like the mafia’

Farage in EU Parliament
5/4/17) Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage likened the EU’s stance on a Brexit divorce bill to organized crime during a European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg on Wednesday. “You’re behaving like the mafia, like we’re a hostage. We’re not — we’re free to go,” Farage said to loud jeers from fellow MEPs. Read the article and see the video on Politico.

Barnier lays out key principles for Brexit talks

(5/4/17) EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told the European parliament Wednesday that agreeing on citizens’ rights, phased negotiations and European unity will be key to successful talks with Britain going forward.

Speaking to MEPs at a plenary debate in Strasbourg, Barnier also issued a blunt warning to London against pursuing simultaneous discussions of divorce terms and the future relationship between the EU and U.K. Read the full article on Politico.

Comedians tell how anti-Brexit jokes are damaging their careers as audiences outside of London walk out in offence

(4/4/17) Comedians have told how anti-Brexit jokesare killing their careers as audiences outside of London walk out in offence.

A number of comedians have described scripting their take on Britain leaving the European Union for left-wing audiences in London, only to face unamused audiences when they take their acts out to the rest of the country. Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.

Is the government’s Great Repeal Bill a missed opportunity to slash red tape?

(31/3/17) Len Shackleton, professor of economics at the University of Buckingham, says Yes. Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, says No. Read the argument in City A.M..

BBC Today programme's Nick Robinson says the BBC no longer has a duty to be “broadly balanced” over its Brexit coverage

(4/3/17) Mr Robinson had said that while the BBC had to be impartial, it was “not the same as ‘balancing’ one ‘side’ reading out ‘lines to take’ with other ‘side’ doing same. “Referendum is over,” the BBC’s former political editor said. Meanwhile, Mr Farage, a leading figure in the Leave campaign, responded: “Simply can’t believe Nick Robinson thinks that the taxpayer-funded BBC does not need to provide balance on Brexit.” Read the full article in i News.

And here is Peter Bone MP's response to Nick Robinson on Leave Means Leave.

Cultural clash between Europeans and the British could sink Brexit negotiations

(30/3/17) One of the key issues in Brexit negotiations has not been recognised - European politicians find their UK counterparts very difficult to work with. To them, the British appear arrogant, insensitive and contrary. The reason for this is the yawing gulf that separates Britain and Europe over the rules of political engagement. Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.

Britain will get money back from the EU instead of paying to leave under plans being considered by ministers

(2/4/17) European leaders have warned the UK that it will face a divorce bill of up to £50billion for outstanding commitments and pension liabilities. However The Telegraph understands that officials are currently drawing up a register of the UK's assets in the European Union as part of negotiations.

In addition, a Government source said: "This is being presented in a binary way as a divorce bill, in which we owe them. It's not like that. It's more like leaving a gym or a club. You don't continue to pay for other people to use the facilities after you leave". Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.

What does triggering article 50 mean for young people?

(29/3/17) As the UK takes the first official step towards Brexit, young writers give their views on what this means to them. See their views in The Guardian.

Theresa May must be ready to walk away from the EU

(31/3/17) Comment from the Telegraph: The UK must be prepared to walk away from the Brexit negotiations without a deal. This week, Theresa May made a perfectly reasonable, even conciliatory, opening gambit to the EU. The EU has replied with insults and threats to the future of Gibraltar. If its goal is to tie us up in ridiculous distractions for two years, and even dictate the kind of economy that we will have after leaving, then Mrs May must make it clear that Britain would rather walk than talk. Read the full article.

Outrage as Spain draws Gibraltar into Brexit negotiations

(31/3/17) The EU has put the future of Gibraltar at stake in the coming Brexit negotiations, in effect backing Spain in its centuries-old dispute with the UK over the British overseas territory. A clause in the nine-page draft document outlining the EU negotiation position suggests that unless Britain is willing to let its citizens on “the rock” be subject to an inferior economic future than those in the UK, the EU has in effect handed the Spanish government a veto on Britain’s entire future relationship with the bloc. Read the full article in the Guardian.

Article 50 was designed never to be used. Now we're heading into dangerous and unknown territory - by Gina Miller

(28/3/17) Quote: "People like myself – calling for a transparent, scrutinised Brexit negotiation process to ensure it is not executed at the cost of Parliamentary sovereignty".

If Parliamentary sovereignty is so important to Gina Miller, why was she happy for the UK Parliament to consistently hand over more and more of it to the EU? What a hypocrite! See her article in the Independent.

Brexit is a golden chance to throw some EU regulations on a bonfire

(28/3/17) The House of Commons estimates that ministers will have to import 19,000 EU rules and regulations into the statute book. There is an irritating conceit among some Remainers that Europe has civilised the UK, that without our membership we would still be sending children down pits. On the contrary, Britain has been the originator of a great deal of progressive legislation. Read the full opinion article in the Daily Telegraph.

The brilliance of Brexit

(29/3/17) Campaigners, politicians and writers on why Brexit is a great thing. See Spiked Online.

Paul Nutall: UKIP will be the "Guard dogs of Brexit"

Paul Nutall
(29/3/17) Paul Nuttall commenting today, on the serving of the letter invoking Article 50 said, “While negotiations continue we will continue to be the 'guard dogs of Brexit', holding the Government's feet to the fire at home and our MEPs will be working to ensure our friends on the continent do not pull any fast ones. We will provide the political threat to ensure no backsliding takes place and ensure that Brexit does indeed mean Exit." Read his full statement on the UKIP website.

Britain's Article 50 letter: The full text

(29/3/17) Read the full text of Theresa May's letter invoking Article 50 on Sky News.

Britain's EU divorce letter is revealed: Historic moment as PM FINALLY triggers Article 50

Sir Tim Barrow hands letter to Donald Tusk
(29/3/17) Theresa May has vowed to forge a 'bright future' for Britain after our historic EU divorce letter was finally delivered - including a stark warning to Brussels that punishing the UK on trade would mean losing cooperation on security and terrorism. In a day of high political drama, the Prime Minister was cheered to the rafters by Tory MPs in the Commons as she confirmed her envoy Sir Tim Barrow had handed the formal notification to European Council president Donald Tusk in the Belgian capital. See the pics and full article in the Daily Mail.

A great day for freedom: Theresa May signs letter invoking Article 50

PM signs article 50 letter
27/3/17) Mrs May last night signed the letter to European Council president Donald Tusk informing him that the UK is triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal method of leaving the 28-member bloc. The letter was due to be conveyed to Brussels by diplomats last night to be handed to Mr Tusk by our ambassador to the EU Sir Tim Barrow at lunchtime today. It starts a two-year process that will see the UK leave on March 29, 2019. Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

UK businesses are confident about their post-Brexit future and few are making strategic changes, survey reveals

(27/3/17) A survey of more than 70 large, publicly-listed companies in the UK has revealed that businesses remain broadly confident, and firms are not making major changes to their strategies and operations as the UK creeps towards an uncertain, post-Brexit world. Read the article in the Independent.

Paul Nuttall MEP: Six key tests to prove Brexit means Exit

Six key tests on Brexit
(27/3/17) In a speech on Monday, Mr Nuttall said that the UK's exit - set in motion by last year's Leave referendum vote - must be "done and dusted" by the end of 2019. Mr Nuttall set out six key objectives that he says any acceptable final agreement must be judged against. Read the full statement on the UKIP website and the BBC online report.

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.
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