The Press Room

20 April 2018

EU rejects Theresa May’s Irish border solution as doubts grow over whether UK can leave customs union (Telegraph)
Mrs May’s plan for avoiding a hard border was subjected to a “systematic and forensic annihilation” this week at a meeting between senior EU officials and Olly Robbins, the UK’s lead Brexit negotiator.

Tory MPs among backers of motion demanding vote on EU customs union (The Guardian)
Theresa May faces new rebellion after House of Lords defeat.

Labour Will Work With Tory Rebels to Fight for EU Customs Union (Bloomberg)
The Labour Party has given its clearest signal yet that it will join forces with rebel Tories in an attempt to defeat Theresa May on Brexit, threatening a political crisis that could bring down her government.

More defeats to come in Lords Brexit battle (BBC)
On the scale of the defeats - majorities of 123 on the first and 97 on the second, there will be plenty more.

Britain sets demands for a bespoke deal with EU (The Times)
Britain has set out its demands for a bespoke Brexit deal with “breadth and depth” to be agreed with the European Union by October.

Michel Barnier: Still 25 percent of work to do on Brexit (Politico)
If UK tries to cherry-pick EU benefits, Brussels will say ‘no way,’ EU negotiator warns.

Final sum for Brexit divorce bill ‘shrouded in uncertainty’ (Sky News)
The Government has put forward £35-£39bn as the likely sum, but the National Audit Office says it is based on “assumptions about future events”.

Britain wants the EU to protect its products from imitation post-Brexit, but is reluctant to return the favour (Independent)
UK wants to keep benefits of EU’s ‘geographical indications’ scheme but has been unable to secure an agreement with Brussels on the issue because it is not committing to protecting EU products in return.

European Investment Bank pulls back on UK funding (Financial Times)
France and Germany take advantage of Brexit to be main recipients of venture capital.

Manufacturing false hopes: why Brexit will hit the makers (Prospect)
In the wake of the referendum, Leavers have been too quick to celebrate manufacturing’s better-than-expected performance.

Brexit peril sends ripples across the Atlantic (Financial Times)
Problems loom for America whether London keeps its euro derivatives clearing or not.

Labour Could Bend on Immigration to Keep Banks in Britain After Brexit (Bloomberg)
McDonnell says Labour could be flexible on freedom of movement and is better placed to protect bankers than May’s Tories.

Brexit details taking too long to agree, warns City chief (Financial Times)
Call to look at fallback options owing to ‘hard boiled attitudes’ in EU.

U.K. Urges Fix for Brexit Threat to $137 Trillion of Derivatives (Bloomberg)
The U.K.’s top financial regulators called for lawmakers on both sides of the Channel to defuse the threat posed by Brexit to 96 trillion pounds ($137 trillion) worth of derivatives contracts.

Brexit cases are already piling up reveals European Court of Justice boss (Telegraph)
Koen Lenaerts, who runs the Luxembourg-based court, said: “The Brexit cases will come and they will come from the most unexpected angle you could imagine.” 

Brexit May Freeze U.K. Out of Robotics, EU Digital New Wave (Bloomberg)
The U.K. is at risk of missing out on the European Union’s booming digital market that spans robotics, battery-powered vehicles and three-dimensional printing.

Can Europe process the British expats? (Financial Times)
EU27 has not thought through future systems for UK citizens living in its countries.

Vernon Bogdanor: How Brexit will erase your rights (Prospect)
The looming withdrawal of rights in Britain is so unusual, it is hard to see how it will play out. What does “taking back control” mean in practice?

Why Yanis Varoufakis believes Britain should have stayed in the ‘absolutely awful’ EU (Yorkshire Post)
While he believes the EU is run with a combination of “authoritarianism and incompetence”, former Greek finance minister Varoufakis believes Brexit will be a costly mistake for the UK.

Could Britain stand another vote on Brexit? (The Economist)
It is Parliament, not a fresh referendum, that is most likely to derail Britain’s exit from the European Union.

19 April 2018

Brexit bill: May under pressure after two big defeats in Lords (The Guardian)
Amendment calling for UK to continue in customs union with EU passed by majority of 123.

Tory peers join revolt against Britain leaving customs union (The Times)
More than a dozen former Conservative ministers, including five who served in the cabinet, defied Theresa May yesterday and rejected her plan to pull Britain out of a customs union with the EU after Brexit.

Theresa May will ‘live with’ Lords defeat on Brexit bill without changing course, says cabinet minister (Independent)
The senior Conservative told The Independent the wording of a proposed Lords amendment is not ’prescriptive’ enough to materially change Brexit.

Rebel MPs are laying a trap to derail Brexit (The Times)
If the government loses votes on the customs union, Britain faces humiliation and a huge bill.

Brexit Negotiators Start Talking Trade With Progress Sluggish (Bloomberg)
The first formal meeting between the U.K. and the European Union on their post-Brexit relationship ended with little in the way of serious progress.

Davis urges May to publish detailed plan for EU ties ahead of Brussels (Financial Times)
Setting out proposals early is seen as a way to seize the initiative from Barnier.

Tusk in warning to UK over Irish border issue (RTE)
European Council President Donald Tusk has warned Britain there will be no withdrawal agreement and no transition deal unless the problem of the border between Ireland and the UK is solved.

Brexit row ‘reaching endgame’ – Sturgeon (BBC)
The dispute between the UK and Scottish governments over Brexit is reaching its “endgame” with a resolution needed in days rather than weeks, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Fear for EU citizens in wake of Windrush scandal (Financial Times)
‘Hostile environment’ policy risks same problems on larger scale after Brexit, warn experts.

Brexit Bulletin: Another Red Line Fades (Bloomberg)
The U.K. government is changing its tune on immigration, with the chief Brexit backers lining up to say that taking back control doesn’t mean slashing numbers.

Boris Johnson: Brexit is not about migration, it’s about who calls the shots (Telegraph)
The Foreign Secretary has suggested the Government should make the “liberal” case for immigration and warned that ”a society that isn’t open to talent will die”.

The wrong Brexit: what happened to ‘Global Britain’? (The Spectator)
The party hierarchy still fails to understand the true motives of those who wanted out of the EU.

Reversing Brexit would pose threat to Europe, warns Francois Hollande (Telegraph)
Any attempt to reverse Brexit poses a threat to the future of Europe, the former French president Francois Hollande has warned, urging the EU to push through a decision he says Britain will “live to regret”.

A British illusion of Commonwealth trade after Brexit (Financial Times)
Deals with disparate economies cannot replace the EU single market.

Commonwealth summit: can Britain still shape the world post-Brexit? (The Guardian)
International trade is firmly on the agenda as the group of 53 disparate nations meet in London.

Brexit trade deal with US ‘will pose biggest threat’ (The Times)
Ministers will have to take controversial decisions on sensitive issues from the NHS to food standards as they negotiate post-Brexit trade deals, a former government official warned.

Liam Fox has underestimated difficulty of getting British farmers a good trade deal, MEPs warn (Independent)
Cross-party letter seen by The Independent shows concern for farmers after Brexit.

May woos Modi as UK pursues free-trade deal with India (The Guardian)
Britain and India have laid the ground for a possible post-Brexit bilateral free trade deal and signed off on a series of commercial agreements worth up to £1bn, according to Downing Street.

ECB Seeks New Powers to Deal With Clearing Crises Outside the EU (Bloomberg)
The European Central Bank is pushing Brussels policy makers for major new powers over clearinghouses in the U.S. and London post-Brexit, upping the stakes in a battle between global regulators.

How Brexit could break Whitehall (The Times)
Over 300 Brexit ‘workstreams’ are being managed across Whitehall. The strain is most immediately evident in policymaking areas. But it will soon become apparent in the executive, implementation, side of government activities too.

18 April 2018

Brussels seeks emergency powers to prepare for hard Brexit (Financial Times)
Commission to issue up to 40 legal measures to reduce uncertainty for business.

Britain risks crashing out of EU if it can’t solve Irish border dispute, warns Donald Tusk (Independent)
Talks on the future relationship are beginning today.

The business consequences of a breakdown in exit negotiations (LSE Brexit Blogs)
The seventh Continental Breakfast seminar at the LSE focused on the potential implications that a breakdown of the Brexit negotiations would have for UK businesses.

Brexit: Why Brussels seems relaxed about the end game (BBC)
After all the impatient European foot-tapping, the incessant talk of ticking clocks and of Article 50 time running out, there’s a distinctly laid-back air in Brussels at the moment when it comes to Brexit.

Theresa May Faces a New Brexit Challenge From the House of Lords (Bloomberg)
Peers seek to force premier to stay in customs union with EU – also challenges on workers’ rights, N. Ireland.

Brexit Minister strikes softer tone as Lords defeats loom (Politics Home)
The Government has hinted at fresh changes to its flagship Brexit bill in a bid to stave off likely defeat in the House of Lords.

What government has to do in order to get its Brexit deal through Parliament (LSE Brexit Blogs)
Raphael Hogarth and Hannah White (Institute for Government) set out what the government has to do in order to get its deal through Parliament, and give effect to that deal in domestic law.

UK asks Supreme Court to rule on Scottish and Welsh Brexit laws (Financial Times)
Legislation gives Edinburgh and Cardiff control over areas such as fishing and farming.

Westminster is taking Edinburgh and Cardiff to court – but it faces difficulties even if it wins (Institute for Government)
The underlying problem is the poor state of relations between the UK and devolved governments over Brexit. And that is a problem that legal conflict will do little to resolve.

Professor John Curtice: Have attitudes towards a second referendum reached a ‘turning point’? (UK in a Changing Europe)
Those arguing for a second referendum may have made some progress in the court of public opinion.

Europe’s warning over Windrush as Brexit chief says scandal ‘deeply worrying’ for EU citizens (Telegraph)
The Government’s handling of Windrush citizens has led to fears that EU nationals could face similar problems, the European Parliament’s Brexit chief has said, as he called on the Home Office to guarantee safeguards.

Brexit Britain slides down Europe’s economic league table (Financial Times)
UK to perform worse than rest of Europe, except Italy, over next two years, IMF warns.

Each Brexit scenario will leave Britain worse off, study finds (The Guardian)
Global Future finds Theresa May’s preferred bespoke deal would cost £615m a week.

London’s Fight to Remain a Financial Hub After Brexit (Bloomberg)
How bad Brexit gets for banks hinges on the details. There are five battlegrounds that could spell the difference between a modest and a major hit.

Brussels cuts UK out of key role in approving new drugs (The Times)
Brussels has rebuffed Theresa May’s plea to remain part of European medical regulation after Brexit in a move that could lead to delays in getting new drugs to patients.

Brexit: ‘Rife misuse’ of data by Leave.EU, MPs told (BBC)
Misuse of data was “rife” among the businesses and campaigns of Leave.EU chairman and ex-UKIP donor Arron Banks, a former Cambridge Analytica (CA) employee has told MPs.

MPs mull summons as ex-Cambridge Analytica chief Alexander Nix dodges grilling (Politics Home)
Suspended Cambridge Analytica Chief Alexander Nix has refused to appear in front of a parliamentary committee.

Brexit Is Causing Ripples in Iceland (Bloomberg)
Foreign Ministry to report on EEA membership pros and cons – Iceland frets over loss of key trade partner, new energy rules.

The Commonwealth advantage: trading with the bloc offers buoyant economic prospects (LSE Brexit Blogs)
Ruth Lea, CBE (Arbuthnot Banking Group), explains why trading with the Commonwealth offers buoyant economic prospects. 

De La Rue decides not to appeal post-Brexit passport deal decision (Sky News)
There was uproar when it was reported that a French-Dutch firm had won a deal to make new blue British passports.

17 April 2018

Peter Kellner: A guide to the coming parliamentary showdowns (Prospect)
Remainers will focus on amending three Bills.

U.K. Labour Lords Expect to Defeat May Over Customs Union (Bloomberg)
First votes on May’s EU Withdrawal Bill due on Wednesday – amendments have support from Tories, Lib Dems, crossbenchers.

Brexit legislation caught in parliamentary logjam (The Guardian)
Almost half the bills needed to pave way for leaving EU have yet to be introduced to parliament.

Withdrawal deal at risk if no clear language on ‘backstop’ solution – Coveney (RTE)
Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs has warned that if there is no clear legal language on the ‘backstop’ solution for the Irish border by the June EU summit then the entire Withdrawal Agreement, including the transition deal, could be at risk.

Ireland warns of perils of failing to agree Brexit ‘backstop’ solution on border (The Guardian)
Foreign minister says withdrawal treaty and transition deal at risk if acceptable wording not agreed.

Windrush scandal ‘deeply worrying’ for EU citizens who fear similar post-Brexit treatment, says Guy Verhofstadt (Independent)
Confirmation of people being wrongly deported is raising concerns in Brussels.

Chinese ambassador to EU: No UK trade talks without a Brexit deal (Politico)
In his first media interview, Zhang Ming warns about ‘spillover effects’ from the Brexit process for the global economy.

Channel tunnel operator’s chief optimistic on Brexit (Financial Times)
Jacques Gounon plans to increase previous estimate of company’s earnings.

Brexit impact on devolution could ‘undermine’ faith in government (The Scotsman)
A reversal in the policy of power flowing from the centre to the regions is a likely outcome of the UK leaving the EU, a paper by the Scottish Centre on European Relations (SCER) found.

EU Boost to U.K. Services May Fuel Concerns Over Brexit Deal (Bloomberg)
The European Union was the largest contributor to the growth in U.K. services exports in the fourth quarter.

New ONS data tools highlight importance of EU trade (Financial Times)
Push to improve quality of figures aimed at helping post-Brexit strategy.

Varadkar proposes joint cabinet meetings with UK after Brexit (Irish Times)
Without regular meetings relationships will decline, according to the Taoiseach.

Fake news inquiry raises concerns over targeting of voters in Brexit referendum (The Guardian)
New evidence published by MPs includes interview that compares Trump’s campaigning to Hitler’s.

BBC drops documentary on anti-Brexit campaign (The Times)
The BBC has scrapped a planned documentary about the campaign to block Brexit amid concerns that it could be seen to breach impartiality guidelines.

Brexiters tend to dislike uncertainty and love routine, study says (The Guardian)
Those in favour of leaving the EU are more categorical and ‘think outside the box’ less than remainers, researchers say.

16 April 2018

Brexit: Ministers get ready for defeats in the House of Lords on key piece of EU withdrawal legislation (Independent)
Government expects to lose a key vote aiming to make Theresa May rethink her position on an EU customs union.

Parliament’s ‘meaningful vote’ on the Brexit deal will be more than a yes-or-no choice (Institute for Government)
MPs will be able to table amendments, for example, asking the Government to request a longer or shorter transition period or revisit its approach to future UK-EU trade. This could force the Government back to the negotiating table in Brussels.

How Parliament can stop Brexit (Prospect)
The people may have spoken, but Westminster will decide.

Brexit Trade Talks Slowed by Irish Border Fight (Bloomberg)
EU officials don’t expect serious trade talks till June.

EU’s Brexit chief predicts Britain will cave to Spanish demands over Gibraltar (Telegraph)
“This lever is there and the British know it well,” Mr Barnier said, “and I think that the lever of solidarity which we have given to Spain will be effective.”

UK lawyers to challenge Sturgeon’s Brexit Bill within 48 hours (The Herald)
UK Government lawyers are expected to lodge an unprecedented legal challenge at the UK Supreme Court in the next 48 hours to stop the Scottish and Welsh Governments’ own Brexit bills from becoming law.

Brexit: ‘People’s Vote’ campaign group launched (BBC)
MPs, celebrities and business leaders have launched a campaign calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between the UK and the European Union.

The “Resistance” versus “Snowflakes”: how Remainers are divided over Brexit (New Statesman)
Are pro-Europe campaigners in Britain fighting each other?

‘Was the Brexit poll compromised? We may need a public debate about that’ (The Observer)
Damian Collins, chair of the Commons committee looking into data breaches, says we are in the foothills of a global story.

Michael Gove faces backlash from Philip Hammond and Chris Grayling over green Brexit (Telegraph)
Michael Gove is facing a Cabinet backlash over his plans for a “green Brexit” amid concerns that it will lead to increased red tape and damage the economy after Brexit.

Business feels a little brighter on Brexit (Financial Times)
Bosses’ concerns about disorderly EU withdrawal wane but fears for UK economy persist.

How Brexit is set to cause chaos at Europe’s ports (Independent)
Britain is reliant on the port of Rotterdam for trade with the East Asia.

Brexit redraws EU alliances (Politico)
With UK exit, smaller countries fear French and German dominance.

Beware bribery and corruption in Brexit’s new world (The Observer)
The work of Transparency International suggests British businesses need to be careful when looking beyond Europe.

Theresa May to offer Commonwealth post-Brexit bonus (Financial Times)
London hosts summit of 2.4bn ‘Anglosphere’ for first time in 20 years.

Can the Commonwealth be good for post-Brexit Britain? (BBC)
Whatever successes may be ahead, it is important to keep the potential in perspective. After all, Commonwealth nations take just 9% of UK exports of goods and services, while the EU takes 43%.

Narendra Modi’s London visit may help thaw frosty relationship (Financial Times)
British hope India will foster post-Brexit ties, but New Delhi to focus on visas.

Trade with the Commonwealth isn’t actually a priority for post-Brexit Britain (Independent)
Although the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is deploying 250 staff overseas and opening 10 new posts to enhance ‘Global Britain’, the priority will be America, the Asia-Pacific region and – wait for it – Europe.

Can the Commonwealth provide Britain’s trading future? (Financial Times)
Two experts debate how best to develop a more global UK after Brexit.

New Ukip leader Gerard Batten announces plans to quit (Politics Home)
Gerard Batten has formally taken over as the leader of Ukip - but will resign in a year, the party has announced.