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Brexit Watch - News and Views

How a tiny Canadian IT company helped swing the Brexit vote for Leave

(24/02/17) While the Remain camp boasted of their success in reaching out to millions of people on Facebook, home to the millennial voters who would be expected to back Britain staying in the EU, it has emerged that the Leave campaign spent nearly half of its cash on a secretive consultancy firm that helped win the social media battle.

AggregateIQ (AIQ), a technology company operating out of a tiny office above an opticians in a provincial Canadian city, was given £3.5 million by Leave campaigners in the run up to last year’s EU vote – equivalent to more than ten per cent of the £32 million spent by both sides during the campaign. Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.

Boeing to open first European factory at Catcliffe - #despiteBrexit

(24/02/17)US firm Boeing has announced plans to open its first European commercial factory in South Yorkshire, creating at least 30 jobs. If approved, the £20m plant will be built next to an existing research centre founded in 2001 by Boeing and the University of Sheffield.

The company said the factory, at Catcliffe in Rotherham, could also lead to new jobs in the supply industry. Read the full story on the BBC website.

WE DON'T NEED EU Britain will be self-sufficient and won’t need extra EU migration through visa schemes after Brexit, Lord Green claims

(23/02/17)BREXIT BRITAIN can be “self-sufficient” in low-skilled jobs and has no need to fear an exodus of EU workers – it was claimed today. Migration Watch founder Lord Green insisted there was “ultimately” no need for temporary seasonal VISA schemes for migrants. Read the full article in The Sun.

Europe wants Britain to pay billions into EU schemes up until 2023

(21/02/17)The European Commission wants Britain to be paying into EU projects for four years after it has signed a Brexit deal, with final payments continuing up until the end of 2023, the Daily Telegraph has learned. The plan is part of a European Union demand that Britain settles a €60bn “Brexit bill” before being granted a deal that will govern future trade relations. Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.

The inevitability of Article 50 - by Andrew Duff (Liberal MEP 1999-2014)

(23/02/17) Very interesting blog on why Article 50 is inevitably going to be invoked and why Remoaners have little chance of getting its revocation. The second reading debate in the House of Lords (20-21 February) on the Bill to allow Theresa May to pull the trigger on Article 50 turned on whether parliament should insist that the government give it a ‘meaningful’ vote on the outcome of the Article 50 negotiations. Nobody quite nailed what ‘meaningful’ in this context means: parliamentary etiquette does not really admit of any vote being meaningless. Read the full Blog.

If Lords try to delay Brexit there will be the stench of a stitch up, says PAUL NUTTALL

(21/02/17) History does not repeat itself but it often rhymes, as the saying goes. This week’s rhyme is all about democracy. More than a century ago Britain was mired in a major constitutional crisis around the legitimacy and powers of the House of Lords.

Back in 1909 a Liberal government commanding majority support in the House of Commons with its Labour allies saw the so-called “People’s Budget” of David Lloyd George – that planned to increase taxes on the rich to pay for social welfare – blocked by the unelected Lords.

The crisis resulted in the Parliament Act which clipped the wings of the Lords, allowing the Commons to push through legislation once it had been delayed for a year. Read the full article in the Daily Express.

Expedia and Amazon back Britain

(19/02/17) As politicians and businesses wrestle with potential changes to U.K. border controls, two huge Tech firms are expanding in the country.

Expedia Inc. will expand its U.K. office by 138,000 square feet, or to roughly twice the size of its existing space, and has signed a new lease that runs until 2030, according to a company statement. The company currently has about 1,400 staff at its London hub. Amazon is also hiring for its U.K.-based voice-recognition technology, cloud computing centers and Prime Air division, it said in a statement. Read the full article on Bloomberg.

Read this and weep - what uncontrolled borders really mean

'Homeless' gang drives to Cambridge in a Romanian car, feeds a meter with coins... and then heads off scrounging for the day in the city centre.

(19/02/17) Clutching a child’s crutch in one hand and desperately proffering the other, he looks a hopeless case well deserving of charity. But what the kind-hearted locals handing him their loose change probably don’t know is that hours before this man was spotted the centre of Cambridge, he had driven into the city, fed a parking meter with eight hours’ worth of coins and walked a mile to the site of his begging. Two other beggars also travelled with him in the Volkswagon Passat estate on Saturday morning. Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

Blair – Pro-Europeans must “rise up in defence of our beliefs”

(17/02/17) This article is from Open Britain, the Remoaner organisation that evolved from the 'Stronger In' campaign and shows the full text of Tony Blair's astonishing speech.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair today told pro-Europeans to “rise up in defence of our beliefs” in a speech, organised by Open Britain, to pro-European activists in central London. He criticised the Government’s push for “Brexit at any cost” and called on progressives to unite behind an open, tolerant future for Britain. Read the full speech (if you can).

Britain’s odd new power couple - Davis and Hammond

(13/02/17) An unlikely political alliance has formed at the heart of the U.K. government. Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis — the former the last great hope of Remainers, the latter a veteran Brexiteer — have joined forces to create a power center increasingly driving the U.K. government’s agenda behind the scenes, according to senior government officials and Euroskeptic MPs. One official described it as a “dream team.” Read the full article on Politico

Foreign aid: UKIP calls for 80% cut in annual spending

(16/02/17) UKIP is calling for an 80% cut in the foreign aid budget and for money to be spent instead on domestic services. It said much of the UK's spend, £12.5bn in 2015, was ineffective in alleviating poverty and left recipients worse off by perpetuating bad government.

It wants spending to be stripped back to humanitarian and emergency aid only and a law guaranteeing 0.7% of national income be spent to be repealed. The government said the aid budget helped boost "security and prosperity". The UK's humanitarian spending has more than doubled since 2011. Read the article on the BBC website

UK fishermen may not win 'waters back' after Brexit, EU memo reveals

Fishing grounds of UK waters
(15/02/17) The hopes of British fishermen that the UK can win its “waters back” after Brexit are expected to be dashed by the European parliament, despite the campaign promises of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, a leaked EU document reveals.

MEPs have drafted seven provisions to be included in Britain’s “exit agreement”, including the stipulation that there will be “no increase to the UK’s share of fishing opportunities for jointly fished stocks [maintaining the existing quota distribution in UK and EU waters]”. Read the detailed article in the Guardian

Calm down, Brexit is going to be okay

(15/02/17) Outside the EU, Britain's democratic instinct can flourish and we can become a fairer, more prosperous community. This is 1945 all over again. Our democracy needs work: power is too centralised and Westminster’s authority has been undermined by decades of EU membership but we can see it adapting to reflect the will of the people. Britain’s value and genius starts with this democratic instinct which has nurtured tolerance, individual liberty and respect for good institutions that have been allowed to evolve over centuries. Read the full article by Alex Hickman, co-Director of Change Britain on Reaction Life

British workers down by 120,000, migrant workers increases 430,000

(15/02/17) In a deeply troubling revelation of the state of the UK’s job market, the number of British workers is dropping whilst the number of migrant workers increases.

Figures show that over the last year the number of Brits in employment has gone down by 120,000 whilst the number of EU workers has increased by 190,000 and non-EU migrant workers up 240,000. See the article and chart on Westmonster

Mea culpa! Brexit's hit to growth will be milder than expected, EU says

The European Commission is the latest forecaster to say the impact of Brexit will be milder this year than previously anticipated.

The EU’s executive arm revised up its estimate for U.K. economic expansion to 1.5 percent in 2017 from a 1 percent prediction in November. It left its forecast for 2018 unchanged at 1.2 percent. Read the article on Bloomberg

Thank goodness we're leaving: Our EU bill is set to soar by a third to more than £10bn in the final two years before Brexit

(14/02/17) Britain's contribution to the EU budget is to soar by almost a third – just before the country formally cuts ties with Brussels. Official figures slipped out by the Treasury reveal that the UK's net contribution to the bloc will jump in the final two years before Brexit.

Britain's net payment of £7.9 billion to the EU budget this financial year will rise to £8.1 billion in 2017/18, before reaching £10.2 billion in 2018/19. Read the full article in the Daily Mail

Voting for Brexit wasn't ignorant, uneducated, stupid or racist, says Lord King

Lord King
(13/02/17) Lord (Mervyn) King recently told an audience at the London School of Economics how he resented constant suggestions that anyone who voted Brexit 'must be either ignorant, uneducated, stupid or racist'. A well-placed source suggests that Merv, 68, has been especially agitated by the Financial Times's sourpuss tone since the referendum. Via the Daily Mail's City Diary

Trading opportunities outside the customs union could create 400,000 new UK jobs

(13/02/17) Leaving the EU’s customs union and striking trade agreements with just eight economic partners could result in the creation of up to 400,000 new UK jobs, according to the European Commission’s own figures.

Over 100,000 of these would be in manufacturing (including car, ships and aircraft production) and over 170,000 of these would be in services. This would create jobs across the country including 36,000 in the North West, nearly 30,000 in Scotland and over 87,000 in London. Read the full article on the Change Britain website

Cambridge continues Brexit denial: 'Fears Brexit could break up the UK as Cambridge reaffirms commitment to the EU' - via Cambridge News

Fears have been expressed that Brexit could break up the UK as new data shows Cambridge is more committed than ever to remaining in the EU. As part of a nation-wide Trinity Mirror survey, the Cambridge News has polled residents in and around Cambridge on how they would now vote if asked whether they wanted to leave the EU. Read more in Cambridge News

REVEALED: Britain CAN quit EU without a Brexit withdrawal agreement and save £150 BILLION

(11/02/17) BRITISH Brexit negotiators can walk away from the EU and refuse to pay any more taxpayers' money simply dismissing excessive pay-off demands from senior Eurocrats.

A top legal expert has told Express.co.uk that under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, Britain has the legal right to leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement should they not agree to exit terms. Read the full article in the Daily Express

Apple boss Tim Cook optimistic about UK's Future outside EU

(09/02/17) Apple CEO Tim Cook says the technology giant is committed to Britain's future outside the European Union.

Cook said after meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday that he's optimistic about the country's prospects, noting that Apple is moving ahead with a new UK headquarters in London. Watch the short interview or read on Bloomberg

'After Brexit: The Battle For Europe' - review of BBC2 programme

(10/02/17) This is a review of a programme by the BBC Europe Editor Katya Adler who travelled around the continent interviewing its political leaders. At the end of an hour of trotting from Italy to Hungary and across to France, she reached this conclusion:

‘It could be our national debate about Brexit turns out to be an irrelevance,’ she crowed. ‘Sooner or later the EU as we know it may no longer be there for us to leave.’ But despite this, it is an interesting programme with some informed observations. Daily Telegraph. Watch the programme on BBC iPlayer

Support for Theresa May’s Brexit strategy increasing: poll

06/02/17) The number of British citizens who agree with Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy has risen sharply in the past month, according to an opinion poll published Monday.

In the poll, in which just over 2,000 people were questioned online, 53 percent said they agreed with the government’s plans for Brexit, Reuters reported. The figure was 38 percent last month. Read the full story on Politico.

House of Lords given abolition warning over Brexit bill

(09/02/17) The House of Lords has been warned its existence will be put at risk if it attempts to block the Brexit bill, after MPs voted to pass it unamended. The bill - to give the government the authority to trigger Article 50 - was approved by 494 votes to 122 in the Commons, and now moves to the Lords. A government source said the Lords will face an "overwhelming" public call to be abolished if it opposes the bill. Brexit Secretary David Davis called on peers to "do their patriotic duty". Read the article on the BBC.

Government crushes Brexit rebels as it defeats EVERY amendment to Article 50 bill

(08/02/17) Theresa May has crushed the Remain resistance to Brexit in the Commons, successfully defeating every amendment to her historic Article 50 bill. Brexit moved a step closer tonight as new laws enshrining the Prime Minister's powers to launch the two year Brexit process were passed to the Lords.

Mrs May saw off a potential rebellion on the rights of EU nationals after Brexit, defeating a dangerous amendment 332 to 290 with a promise any changes to their citizenship in future will be subject to a separate vote. After a marathon series of nine separate Commons votes, the legislation was granted a third reading by a landslide, agreed by MPs 494 to 122, majority 372. Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

Theresa May defeats rebel demands for Parliament to get final say on Brexit

(07/02/17) Theresa May headed off a rebellion over the Brexit Bill tonight as MPs rejected demands for Parliament to approve her final EU divorce deal. Despite seven Remain-supporting Tory MPs rebelling against the Government, the Prime Minister won a clear majority of 33 in favour of her plans to keep the final Commons showdown a 'take it or leave it' vote.

She saw off what could have been a much larger rebellion by clarifying that her final Brexit package would be put to the Commons before it is ratified by the European Parliament. The list of Remoaner Tories who voted against the Government includes South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen! Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

PwC's 'serious economic shock' turns into Brexit boom

(7/02/17) Before the referendum, the EU-funded PricewaterhouseCoopers wrote the infamous CBI report claiming Brexit would cause a “serious economic shock”, costing £100 billion and 1 million jobs. Today they have performed a screeching u-turn, now claiming Brexit will lead Britain into an economic boom.

The report reveals that Britain will grow faster than any other major advanced economy over the next three decades as the EU’s share of global output diminishes. UK economic growth is predicted to outpace the US, Canada, France and Germany between 2016 and 2050, with average annual growth of 1.9pc. Read the full article on Daily Telegraph.

If the single market is so great for Wales, why is it so poor?

(23/01/17) The leaders of Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru have laid out the case for keeping the principality in the single market – and warned that the economy will be virtually destroyed if they come out. But according to Eurostat statistics, it is shockingly poor. It is on 77 percent of the EU average GDP per capita, adjusted for purchasing power parity. West Wales and the Valleys is on just 69 percent. Read the full article in The Spectator.

Theresa May will not compromise with Tory rebels over Article 50 bill

(06/02/17) Theresa Maywill refuse to offer a compromise to Conservative MPs who plan to "wreck" the Article 50 bill this week by voting for a series of amendments, the Telegraph understands

Following the publication of a white paper and efforts by the Tory whips to find common ground with Conservative rebels the Prime Minister will hold her ground this week despite a rumoured rebellion within her party. Read the full article in the Telegraph.

High Court blocks fresh bid from campaigners for a 'soft Brexit' to keep the UK in the European single market

(03/02/17) High Court judges today took just an hour to throw out 'premature' legal action to force a 'soft Brexit' and thwart Theresa May. The new group of campaigners - including some granted anonymity on safety grounds - want Parliament to vote on keeping Britain in the European single market. They include Peter Wilding, chairman of the pro-Europe pressure group British Influence, who is credited with coining the word Brexit and Conservative lobbyist Adrian Yalland, who voted Leave and runs the Single Market Justice Group. Read the full article in the Daily Mail.
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