Brexit News for Thursday 3rd November

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at 2016.11.03
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Brexit News for Thursday 3rd November

high-courtHigh court to declare if government has right to trigger Brexit

The lord chief justice is to deliver the high court’s momentous decision on whether parliament or the government has the constitutional power to trigger Brexit. After less than three weeks considering the politically charged case with two other senior judges, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd will read out a summary of their decision at 10am on Thursday to a packed courtroom in London’s Royal Courts of Justice. In order to prevent leaks of the market-sensitive ruling, which involves a large number of parties, preliminary drafts of the judgment have unusually not been sent out in advance to the lawyers. The outcome of the case, which ventures into constitutionally untested ground, will resolve whether MPs or ministers have the authority to formally inform Brussels about whether the UK intends to leave the European Union. – The Guardian

> Hugh Bennett on BrexitCentral: Legal attempts to stop Theresa May from triggering Article 50 risk demeaning the integrity of June’s referendum

Europe in danger of ‘losing the plot’ if it obsesses over punishing Britain for Brexit, says Irish prime minister Enda Kenny

Mr Kenny told an all-Ireland forum on Brexit on Wednesday that the British decision to leave the EU presented Ireland with the “most significant economic and social challenge of the last 50 years”, and that some EU members wanted to punish Britain for leaving… But he warned that Europe needed take a pragmatic, long-term view of the UK divorce talks or risk damaging itself: “Europe’s got to decide for itself in these negotiations where it wants to be in the next 50 years, and if it becomes obsessed with what the United Kingdom might, or might not, get then Europe itself loses the plot.”… He added that he had agreed with Mrs May that there will be “no return” to the borders of the past and a continuation of the Common Travel Area that has enabled free travel between the UK and Ireland since 1923. – Daily Telegraph

  • Ireland is launching a charm offensive on the UK’s financial services market after Brexit – City A.M.
  • Brexit’s new Irish question. Or British question, if you prefer. – Paul Goodman on ConservativeHome

Ex-Australian PM lauds ‘determined’ Brits who will ‘make a success of’ Brexit

Former Australian prime minister John Howard has lauded the British public and insisted their determination will make a success of Brexit – which will, in turn, boost the economy in his own country. Speaking on LBC, the Australian [said]: “I’ve got every confidence that they will make a success of it. Success means that you adjust to the inevitable disruption that’s going to be involved in certain areas, economic growth continues – Britain has had a pretty good level of economic growth compared with most countries in Europe over the last four or five years… I think the willingness of Britain to adopt an open attitude towards trade and to understand that the Asian-Pacific part of the world is the future of economic growth and economic development [is required].” – Daily Express

Article 50 author Lord Kerr says Brexit not inevitable

The Scottish cross-bench peer who wrote Article 50 – the procedure by which the UK would leave the EU – believed it was “not irrevocable”. In a BBC interview, Lord Kerr of Kinlochard said the UK could choose to stay in the EU even after exit negotiations had begun. He has also renewed calls for either parliament or the public to be given a chance to stop Brexit… A Department for Exiting the European Union spokesman said: “The UK voted to leave the European Union. The people have spoken and it is now the duty of the government to make sure that happens. Government lawyers also made clear in legal proceedings before the High Court that, as a matter of firm policy, notification of withdrawal will not be withdrawn.” – BBC

Eurosceptic fury after head of civil service says Brexit warnings in referendum were ‘objective’

The head of the civil service has attracted fury from Eurosceptic MPs after claiming that official warnings about the impact of Brexit during the referendum were “factually correct and objective”. Sir Jeremy Heywood said in a blog that the “civil service did its job” and was “scrupulous” during the referendum, producing work “as we should, at pace and with accuracy”… Steve Baker, Tory MP and leading Eurosceptic, said: “From my point of view as a leading leave campaigner the Government’s arguments were partisan propaganda.”… Iain Duncan Smith, the Tory MP and former Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “There was huge pressure from Government and lines got blurred and broken.” – Daily Telegraph

Liam Fox ranks nations as gold or silver trading partners

Tensions at the top of government have increased after a secret cabinet committee paper revealed that Liam Fox’s department has divided countries he wants Britain to trade with into “gold” and “silver” categories. The international trade secretary has provoked irritation by listing the countries he considers ripe for a deal, but risks offending others ranked as lower priority. The paper also recommends taking preparatory steps for future trade deals, even though no decision has been made to leave the customs union. – The Times (£)

EU planning new rules to take UK’s £440bn derivatives business, says London Stock Exchange boss

Financial transactions can currently be cleared anywhere in the world and London has a dominant position in the market, processing £440 billion of trades every day and supporting 100,000 jobs. But the EU is now considering limiting the amount of euro transactions that can be processed outside the EU, so that it can force the industry to move within its borders after Brexit, according to [London Stock Exchange chief executive Xavier] Rolet. Millions of euro-denominated transactions are currently cleared in New York, but a cap on US trades is now being considered, so that similar restrictions can be placed on London when it is outside the EU, a move that could fatally undermine the industry. – The Independent

China’s Geely commits to investment in post-Brexit Britain

Asked if the vote for Brexit would affect their British interests, [the Chairman of China’s largest private car maker, Zheijiang Geely Holding Group, Li Shufu] said that there would be “no impact” on trade between the UK and China. For Geely, he added, “there is no plan to change the decision for future investment”… The Geely group also owns Volvo, and the London Taxi Company. Currently Geely is planning a major investment in the Midlands to support a new generation electric cab, which will also be the base for an electric light van, which the company will export. – The Independent

Latest housebuilding data shows no impact of Brexit vote

British housebuilders have not scaled back construction plans in the three months since the country voted to leave the European Union, data showed on Thursday, despite central bank forecasts for a sharp slowdown in housing investment. Registrations of new homes – a preliminary step before building begins – came to 35,953 in the third quarter, unchanged from the same period last year, the National House Building Council said… The NHBC said 5 percent more houses were built by its members in the three months to September than a year earlier, and a separate survey of purchasing managers in the construction industry on Wednesday showed the fastest growth in seven months. – Reuters

Pro-Brexit Wetherspoons boss threatens to drop European drinks over EU ‘bullying’

The outspoken Wetherspoons chairman and Brexit campaigner Tim Martin accused Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, of placing an “unfair burden” on its supply chain by encouraging European business to be deliberately uncooperative with UK companies… “Wetherspoons normally agrees on trade deals with suppliers for three to 10 years,” he said. “If we, and companies like ours, are unable to agree on tariff-free transactions, it will inevitably result in a loss of business for European companies which have done nothing to deserve this outcome. Indeed, the ultimate sanction will be in the hands of UK consumers, should they take offence at the hectoring and bullying approach of Juncker and co.” – Daily Telegraph

Nicola Sturgeon slapped down by SNP donor who says Brexit could be good for Britain

Stagecoach tycoon Sir Brian Souter said quitting the EU is “not as big a deal as people are making out”. The billionaire also insisted critics of June’s Leave vote are “overestimating the damage”… Sir Brian added: “There is a whole world of trade relationships out there. The question is whether we have the guts to make our own way in the world now we are out of this club.” – Daily Express

  • Former minister to join Brexit ‘awkward squad’ as SNP divisions spill into open – Herald Scotland

William Hague: UK could be Spanish ‘hostage’ in Brexit talks

Spain could use the issue of sovereignty over Gibraltar to hold the UK “hostage” towards the end of Brexit negotiations, William Hague has warned. Lord Hague said transitional arrangements should be put in place to avoid a stalemate for business, adding it would be a “miracle if anything is wrapped up in the next two years”. The former Tory leader, who backed staying in the 28 member bloc, suggested that Madrid may use “joint sovereignty over Gibraltar” as a bargaining chip. – PoliticsHome

European commissioner in racist comments row insists “there is nothing to apologise for”

Under fire European commissioner Günther Oettinger on Wednesday said “there is nothing to apologise for” in relation to his comments about “slant eyes” Chinese ministers, after being stopped on the street by a journalist in Brussels… The chorus of critics who disagree is growing, and now includes the Chinese government. “The relevant remarks reveal a baffling sense of superiority entrenched in some Western politicians,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press conference Tuesday. – Politico

Vincenzo Scarpatta: WTO rules mean UK-EU divorce and new trade arrangement are not fully separable

Whether a transitional arrangement is a possible way of bridging the gap between the UK’s formal exit from the EU and the entry into force of a new, comprehensive trade deal with the EU-27 is increasingly discussed as a potential option for the upcoming Brexit negotiations. WTO rules would help to ensure that any transition was not open-ended or a bridge to nowhere. – Vincenzo Scarpetta for Open Europe

Ed Miliband MP: Why we need to know a lot more about Theresa May’s plan for Brexit – if she has one

The only hope for the Government unifying the country is to change tack. Ministers have nothing to fear from presenting a clear plan to Parliament and everything to gain. They are the Government with a majority. If it is a sensible plan, they will get it through. – Ed Miliband MP in the Daily Telegraph (£)

Gisela Stuart MP: What does the centre-ground look like in a Brexit era?

Those who voted to leave the European Union did so above all because they reject the idea they should be subject to EU laws and EU courts. They are not anti-immigration and certainly not anti-immigrant – they see the huge value Britain gets from skilled, hard-working people coming to make a contribution here. But they believe the immigration process should be under our control and managed to ensure that housing, education and health services are not under pressure and the impact on communities is reasonable. – Gisela Stuart MP for Progress

Lord Soley: Are science and research at risk post-Brexit?

It is in our interest and in the interest of the EU to maintain that advanced educational and scientific base and the transnational co-operation which is an essential part of continuing success… Both EU and UK universities need a close working relationship and it is the job of the negotiators to make that happen. Ideally we will negotiate a bespoke deal which establishes a special relationship between the UK and EU on scientific research and the ability of scientists and researchers to move between universities and research establishments throughout Europe. – Lord Soley for PoliticsHome

Shanker Singham: The cost of EEA membership is not worth it for the UK

The UK must negotiate its own EU trade agreement, according to the Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission… Much work has been done on the cost of not having “access to the single market” even though the terms “access” and “single market” are not particularly meaningful… The reason why there is a cost associated with EEA membership is that if the UK remains within the EEA, and therefore subject to the laws and regulations governing the single market (EEA Regulation) then it will be unable to negotiate agreements on services with other countries… If the UK is bound by EEA Regulation, then it will not be able to negotiate its own domestic regulation. – Shanker Singham for Reaction

Brexit comment in brief

  • If we can do Brexit deal with Nissan, we can save our steel industry – Labour MP John Healey in the Yorkshire Post
  • More good news from the UK economy – John Redwood’s Diary
  • Don’t blame Brexit for the plunging pound and rising inequality – it’s the fault of Mark Carney – Dominic Frisby for The Independent
  • The Brexit war can still be won, but we must start fighting back – WIll Hutton in The Guardian

Brexit news in brief

  • German Council of Economic Experts urging Merkel to block Britain from leaving EU – The Times (£)
  • Nick Clegg claims Europe is ‘set to bar British chocolate’ – The Times (£)
  • Nick Clegg gets the effect of Brexit on food entirely wrong again – Tim Worstall for Forbes
  • May to meet Hungarian PM in London next week – Politico
  • Mark Carney ‘could be persuaded’ to stay if Brexit talks stall – The Week
  • UK faces ratings downgrade if Brexit leads to a bad trade deal with the EU, says Moody’s – Daily Telegraph
  • Merkel says Swiss and British need separate deals on EU ties – Reuters
  • Politeia: Aligning UK bank rules with EU is best after Brexit – Reuters
  • Ryanair sticks to post-Brexit plans of non-UK expansion, flying from Frankfurt – City A.M.
  • Post Brexit, UN even more critical for UK – House of Lords International Relations Committee
  • Agriculture minister George Eustice confirms Brexit could be an opening for GM crops – Farmers Guardian

And finally… Brexit is named word of the year by the Collins Dictionary

It has dominated British politics for the last year, dividing the country and even bringing down a prime minister. Now ‘Brexit’ has been named the Collins dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year’ for 2016 after an unprecedented rise in its usage. The word – defined as ‘the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union’ – was first recorded by Collins in 2013, but it became much more popular as the UK headed towards June’s historic referendum. – Daily Mail

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Published at Thu, 03 Nov 2016 09:49:24 +0000

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