PM May says Britain will not compromise over Brexit plan

September 3, 2018

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would not compromise with Brussels over her plans for Brexit as a media report said rivals in her party were set to publish their own proposal calling for a cleaner break with the European Union.

With under two months before Britain and the EU want to agree a deal to end over 40 years of union, May is struggling to sell what she calls her business-friendly Brexit to her own party and across a divided country.

The EU has tentatively welcomed what has become known as the Chequers plan which is designed to protect cross-border trade, but difficult negotiations lie ahead.

“I will not be pushed into accepting compromises on the Chequers proposals that are not in our national interest,” May wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

“The coming months will be critical in shaping the future of our country and I am clear about my mission.”

The plan would keep Britain in a free trade zone with the EU for manufactured and agricultural goods. But some Brexit supporters have said that would mean parts of the British economy would still be subject to rules set in Brussels.

Two of May’s most senior lawmakers – Boris Johnson and David Davis – quit as foreign secretary and Brexit secretary respectively in July in protest at May’s plan, saying it did not go far enough and would let down the millions of people who voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.

According to a report in the Sunday Times newspaper, leading Brexiteer lawmakers in May’s party are ready to publish their own plan for Brexit ahead of the party’s annual conference which begins at the end of September.

That would be designed to heap pressure on May who needs to get any deal with Brussels through parliamentary votes in Westminster before Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29 next year.

May reiterated that Britain would be ready to leave the EU without a deal if the two sides cannot agree on the divorce terms.

Source: Business Insider UK

Theresa May warns her Cabinet there is now no chance of a bespoke Brexit deal

July 3, 2018
  • UK government ministers have warned there is no prospect of a bespoke Brexit deal with the European Union with just weeks to go in negotiations.
  • Oliver Robbins, an aide to Theresa May who is leading negotiations for the UK, reportedly told Cabinet ministers they need be more realistic.
  • The UK must choose between a Norway-style Brexit or a Canada-style free trade deal, Robbins told ministers.
  • Prime Minister May will address the House of Commons on Brexit on Monday afternoon.

LONDON — Theresa May’s chief Brexit negotiator has reportedly warned government ministers there is no possibility of agreeing a bespoke trade deal with the European Union.

Oliver Robbins, a civil servant who leads the UK’s negotiations with the EU, told Cabinet ministers on Friday that Brussels is not going to soften its strict negotiating position between now and the end of talks, the Times reports.

One unnamed minister told the newspaper that the Cabinet had been given a stark choice between a Norway-style Brexit, in which the UK would stay in the single market but accept EU rules it has less influence in shaping, or a limited, Canada-style free trade deal, which would please staunch Brexiteers but is strongly opposed by British business.

“I came out of the meeting and thought we were even more screwed than we were before,” the minister was quoted saying. “I was surprised he admitted how bad it was. If I had to gauge where we are, I would say Downing Street is moving towards the Norwegian model.”

EU figures have warned the UK that time is running out to strike a Brexit deal. On Friday, European Council President, Donald Tusk, said it was the “last call” for the UK put forward an acceptable offer.

Prime Minister Theresa May to under pressure to deliver a Brexit which both protects frictionless trade and the open Irish border but satisfies the demands of Brexiteers in the party for independence from the EU.

Last week, a source close to the EU’s negotiating team told Business Insider that it would reject the model May has reportedly been considering, in which the UK would stay in the single market for goods alone.

“We would say no to that. The UK is not going to get that,” the source close to Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, told BI.

“We’ve always been clear that it’s about protecting the integrity of the single market. As soon as you give the UK the single market for goods, the market begins to unravel. That’s where we are.”

The prime minister will update the House of Commons on the current state of Brexit negotiations on Monday afternoon following her visit to Brussels for the European Council summit last week.

Speaking after the summit, Barnier told reporters that although some progress had been made in talks, there were still some “huge, serious divergences” between the EU and UK positions.

May is widely-expected to soften her Brexit position in the coming weeks in order to break the current impasse in negotiations and avoid a potentially disastrous no-deal scenario.

This is set to involve a watering down of her previous insistence that Brexit will mean no longer being under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. The EU has been clear that the ECJ will have to play a significant role if the UK is to have a close relationship with Brussels after it has left the bloc.

Source: Business Insider UK

British people are now more negative about Brexit than ever before

June 1, 2018

British people are more negative about leaving the European Union than ever before, with Leave voters increasingly uncertain about how Brexit will affect their lives.

The latest ICM tracker poll for the Guardian, published on Wednesday, suggests that a growing number of British people now believe that Brexit will have a negative economic and social impact on life in Britain.

According to the poll:

  • 45% of Brits now say Brexit will have a negative impact on the British economy, with just 30% saying it will have a positive impact.
  • 39% of Brits say Brexit will have a negative impact on life in Britain, with just 32% saying it will have a positive impact.
  • 32% say Brexit will have a negative impact on their personal finances, compared to just 14% who believe it will have a positive impact.

The findings are the most negative ICM have found since they began tracking public opinion on Brexit since the EU referendum in 2016.

The shift appears to be driven largely by Remain supporters who have become increasingly negative about Brexit since the vote. However, ICM has also found Leave voters becoming increasingly unsure about its impact.

“Across all three statements, there’s an indication that the increase in overall negativity could be attributed to increasing negativity among those who voted remain in 2016, while those who voted leave look increasingly unsure about the likely impact of Brexit, answering ‘don’t know’” ICM’s Alex Turk said in a statement.

“This last finding – of possible increasing uncertainty on the impact of Brexit among leave voters – is something to watch out for over the coming months. If Remainers become increasingly certain that Brexit is a bad idea, while leavers waver more and more, then interesting times lie ahead.”

The findings come as pro-EU groups mobilise in an attempt to keep Britain in the EU.

The George Soros-backed anti-Brexit group Best for Britain is set to lay out its detailed plans for stopping Brexit to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Theresa May’s failed general election campaign next month.

Source: Business Insider UK