Brexit News for Saturday 5th November

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at 2016.11.05
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Brexit News for Saturday 5th November

stephen-phillips

Conservative MP and Brexit supporter resigns over ‘policy differences’ with Government…

The MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham has left with immediate effect after announcing he had “very significant policy differences” with the current Government. Mr Phillips, who has repeatedly called for Theresa May to reveal her Brexit plan to Parliament before beginning the formal process of leaving the European Union, said he was “unable to properly represent” his constituents. – Evening Standard

  • Stephen Phillips: I can’t live with being a Conservative – Guido Fawkes
  • Brexit court appeal ‘final straw’ for Tory MP Stephen Phillips – Sky News
  • MPs suggest Stephen Phillips was furious over lack of promotion – Daily Telegraph
  • If Phillips’s resignation triggers a “Brexit by-election”, Brexit will win – Mark Wallace for ConservativeHome

…as speculation grows about an early general election

Ministers are preparing for an early general election after Theresa May saw the first Conservative MP resign in protest at her handling of Brexit. The prospect of the Prime Minister being forced to call a national vote in order to be able to deliver Brexit is now being “openly discussed” by Government ministers, senior sources said… David Jones, a minister in the Brexit department, [said] that voters are “sick” of Remain supporters in Parliament attempting to “thwart” the will of the British people. One member of the Government said that Mrs May “must now go to the country” to increase her parliamentary majority and ensure Brexit cannot be delayed. – Daily Telegraph

  • Anti-Brexit parties would win 150 fewer seats than pro-Leave parties at a general election, analysis suggests – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn urges May to set out Brexit plans ‘without delay’ – Sky News
  • Theresa May should take the Europhiles head on and call a general election right now – Nigel Jones for the Daily Telegraph (£)
  • Only a snap election will resolve this Brexit mess – Andrew Lilico for CapX
  • The last thing May needs is an early election – Matthew Parris for The Times (£)

The fallout from the Brexit legal challenge continues as Tory and Lib Dem peers threaten to block Article 50…

Tory Baroness Wheatcroft, a former newspaper editor who joined the Lords in 2010, claims a majority of peers would be in favour of stalling on Brexit until they get more detail from Theresa May… While MPs in the Commons would likely back the Prime Minister’s Brexit plan, peers could put a range of obstacles in her way and there is anxiety among Leave campaigners that they would vote to delay Brexit, or make an attempt to water down proposals. Jonathan Isaby, who runs pressure group Brexit Central – Vote Leave’s successor organisation – said yesterday’s High Court ruling that triggering Article 50 must get parliamentary approval was unnecessary. He said: “If we had the House of Lords seeking to reverse the will of the elected House of Commons and the will of the British people on the referendum, it is signing its own death warrant. The Government should be able to trigger it using Crown prerogative powers.” – Evening Standard

  • Nick Clegg branded undemocratic as he plans to use unelected Peers to water down Brexit – Daily Mail
  • Could pro-Remain MPs and peers scupper Brexit? – BBC
  • Martin McGuinness ‘refuses to rule out Sinn Fein taking Westminster seats for first time to block Brexit’ – The Irish Independent
  • 3 charts show why there’s almost no chance parliament will block Brexit – Business Insider UK
  • If Theresa May wants to get Article 50 through Parliament, most British people are behind her – Asa Bennett in the Daily Telegraph (£)

…but Theresa May tells Merkel and Juncker the Brexit timetable remains the same…

Theresa May has reassured Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Juncker that she is determined to stick to her timetable of triggering article 50 to leave the EU by the end of March, despite a high court judgment that could delay her plans. The prime minister’s spokesman said that in phone calls this morning, she had confirmed to the German chancellor and European commission president respectively that the government would appeal against the judgment to the supreme court, and still expected to be able to meet her self-imposed deadline. – The Guardian

…and remains confident of victory in the Supreme Court…

Downing Street insisted the case – to overturn the High Court and give the Prime Minister the right to trigger withdrawal under Article 50 – would go ahead and would be won… No 10 has refused to say whether different legal arguments would be put forward, to try to achieve a different result – or whether the under-fire Attorney General would oversee the case. And the Scottish Government could yet join the legal challenge, after SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would “actively consider” becoming involved. – The Independent

…while the German Foreign Minister urges Britain to trigger Article 50 quickly at a bilateral meeting with Boris Johnson

[German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier] said: “We need to create the conditions for negotiations to start as quickly as possible. Even though the decisions of the British judiciary, as we have seen this week, makes the involvement of Parliament necessary. But, after all the discussions we should now be clear about this, a limbo situation doesn’t help anybody… I hope very much that the consequences of the High Court ruling won’t lead to extending the whole process, and dragging things out.” – Daily Express

Former Scottish Government minister reveals several SNP MSPs secretly voted for Brexit

A former Scottish Government minister has disclosed that he and several other SNP MSPs secretly voted for Brexit in the EU referendum and questioned why rule from Brussels would be better than being part of the UK. Alex Neil, who served in Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond’s governments, said he had decided to vote Leave around ten days before the June 23 referendum but did not want to “rock the boat” by making his preference public at that time. He told the Telegraph that he had since been approached by “a number” of SNP MSPs who did the same but who will not publicly contradict the First Minister’s pro-EU stance. – Daily Telegraph

Hammond and Davis seeking common Brexit plan as feud abates

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis are setting aside their ideological differences in an effort to work out a common strategy for leaving the European Union as the British government’s deadline to trigger Article 50 draws nearer, according to government officials… Hammond, who campaigned against Brexit, and Davis, who’s fought EU membership for more than 20 years, are meeting frequently to work out how far Britain should insist on immigration controls and whether the country should still contribute to the EU budget, the officials said. Hammond has already persuaded Davis of the need to protect the interests of U.K.-based banks, according to one of the officials. – Bloomberg

Chinese investors thank Cameron for Brexit openings

Brexit may have shocked the world but it convinced Hou Weijun, a Chinese businessman, to conclude a £20 million investment in an Edinburgh environmental project. “The traditional view is that Brexit is bad but I’m confident in the UK and its policies. It can now be more flexible and take its own, democratic route,” said Mr Hou… His upbeat assessment, music to Brexiteer ears, appears to be echoed by Chinese investors excited by the pound’s depreciation and the UK’s reputation for quality. “We thank Mr Cameron for Brexit, as that gives us an opportunity with companies like you,” one mainland Chinese financial investor told a British entrepreneur at the China Outbound conference in Shanghai. – The Times (£)

Berlin concerned Britain could use its intelligence-gathering capability as a bargaining chip in talks to leave EU

Germany fears Britain may pull out of a key intelligence-sharing programme in May next year, a move that it says would create a “moment of weakness” in the fight against terrorism and jeopardise security across the EU. As the continent remains on alert for terrorist attacks, Berlin is understood to view intelligence as Britain’s primary contribution to European collaboration, and fears it could use future cooperation as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations. According to documents seen by the Guardian, Germany is already lobbying the British government to renew its role in Europe’s law enforcement agency, Europol, before its current collaboration runs out on 1 May 2017. – The Guardian

Richard Ekins: The High Court has misjudged the law on Article 50. The Supreme Court must fix their mistake

The Government should have won the Miller case. Yesterday’s High Court judgment was badly mistaken and, if the Government argues its appeal properly, the Supreme Court should overturn it… The High Court has said that this prerogative power has been overridden by the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA 1972) and that before the Government can trigger Article 50 there must be a new Act of Parliament expressly authorising this executive action. But the High Court got its constitutional law wrong. – Professor Richard Ekins in the Daily Telegraph (£)

Henry Hill: May is right to defend the royal prerogative

Many of you will probably have seen the common refrain from Remainers on social media: “Looks like Brexiteers aren’t go keen on Parliamentary sovereignty now!” The tone and phrasing may vary, but the key message is the same – that the High Court has hoist Leavers by their own petard. Except of course that ‘Parliament’ does not mean ‘the House of Commons’. It also consists of both the House of Lords and, crucially, the Crown-in-Parliament, from whence flows the royal prerogative… Not only is executive power a legitimate and normal part of how democratic government works, but the Government must be able to act decisively on its mandate if the snares of the privileged and powerful (wherever they be laid) are not to bind it tight to their own interests. – Henry Hill on ConservativeHome

Steve Hilton: Anti-Brexit ruling reveals staggering arrogance of liberal elites

All this back and forth with court cases and technical challenges is, in the end, a total waste of time and a distraction from what should be the UK’s priority right now: action to create jobs and opportunity in an open, globally engaged post-Brexit British economy. The establishment’s pointless and counterproductive refusal to accept the verdict of the people shows that Britain has a detached and decadent ruling class that can’t focus on real things affecting real people, and instead indulges its own vanity while ignoring the economic and social hardship faced by millions of people on a daily basis. – Steve Hilton for Fox News

Naushad Forbes: With Britain freed from plodding EU trade negotiations, it’s a great time to strengthen UK-India links

Britain is the third-largest source of foreign direct investment in India and the largest among the G20 nations. For its part, India has emerged as the third largest investor in the British economy and the second largest international job creator in the UK, exemplifying a true, two-way partnership…  With Britain’s departure from the EU, India would have to negotiate a fresh trade agreement with the UK. This may be easier to accomplish at the bilateral level. UK-India trade in terms of exports and imports has been steady but somewhat slow to grow and could do with some help. You can see why. India and the EU have been negotiating a Free Trade Agreement for nine years. – Dr Naushad Forbes, President of the Confederation of Indian Industry, for the Daily Telegraph

  • Theresa May must shed the mindset of a home secretary and use her most important foreign trip so far to show she is truly open to the world – The Times (£) leader
  • Will India dash UK trade deal hopes? – Justin Rowlatt for the BBC

Nile Gardiner: The US must back free trade deal with Britain

Back in April, at a press conference in London, Barack Obama infamously warned the British people that they would be at the “back of the queue” if they dared vote to leave the European Union… President Obama’s ideological opposition to Brexit blinded him to the reality that a British exit from the EU is in both Britain’s and America’s national interest. His successor in the White House should view Brexit as a unique and timely opportunity for America. A free trade agreement will not only boost both Britain and America’s economies, it will also strengthen the Anglo-American Special Relationship, for decades the engine and beating heart of the free world. It could also act as a model for other FTAs that Britain will sign with countries across the globe, from Australia and Canada to India and Singapore. – Nile Gardiner in the Daily Express

Brexit comment in brief

  • Referendums are now part of our democracy – if judges reverse them, we are in a dangerous place – Charles Moore for the Daily Telegraph (£)
  • The judges’ ruling confirms it: Brexit must go ahead, no ifs or buts – Simon Jenkins for The Guardian
  • The Brexit appeal goes to the heart of the constitutional settlement – Philip Johnston for the Daily Telegraph (£)
  • A perversion of parliamentary sovereignty – Luke Gittos on Spiked
  • The PM must lead us out of this constitutional mess – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • Theresa May would be mad not to crush pro-EU saboteurs and annihilate Corbyn’s Labour – The Sun editorial
  • Theresa May is running out of reasons not to seek an early election – George Eaton for the New Statesman
  • Brexit is going to happen come what may – Douglas Carswell’s blog
  • The government has a plan. Why do Labour claim Parliament is not allowed to debate Brexit? – John Redwood’s diary
  • As Gina Miller’s lawyers, we fought and won a victory for democracy – Emily Nicholson and Katy Colton for The Guardian
  • What should be Labour’s vision for Brexit Britain? – Alison McGovern for the New Statesman
  • Labour could hurt the Tories a lot over Brexit. If only Jeremy Corbyn knew how to do it… – Tom Harris for the Daily Telegraph (£)
  • Think Brexit voters were just angry? Think again. – Christian May for City A.M.

Brexit news in brief

  • Peter Whittle quits Ukip leadership race and backs Paul Nuttall – PoliticsHome
  • Slow growth in eurozone disappoints ECB chiefs – The Times (£)
  • Paris looks to take advantage of Brexit chaos – EurActiv
  • Tim Martin: ‘The EU became a quasi-religion, and universities are the modern-day seminaries’ – The Guardian
  • Europe’s press isn’t happy at the Brexit ruling either – The Spectator Coffee House
  • England’s most deprived area talks of betrayal after Brexit ruling – The Guardian
  • Brexit ‘spinning out of control’, top bosses warn – The Independent
  • Bank of England deputy says UK should be grateful Mark Carney is staying – The Guardian
  • Eurostar sees travel boost from weak pound – Sky News
  • European online lender Spotcap is launching in Britain despite Brexit – Business Insider UK
  • ‘Surge’ of Saturday morning shoppers travelling to Northern Ireland from the Republic – BBC
  • BMW in a position to wait out Brexit negotiations before making UK investment decisions – Belfast Telegraph
  • Nicola Sturgeon: David Cameron told me not to be silly when I warned he could lose Brexit vote – The National

And finally… Marmite bans customers from having “Brexit” on their personalised jars

Mere weeks after the biggest news story of 2016, #MarmiteGate agitator Unilever is offering fans of the divisive yeast spread the opportunity to personalise a jar with their name for Christmas. Of course, the first thing any mature adult would attempt to do is fill the online form with profanities. Most swear words are banned… Vegemite and Bovril work just fine. But try and type “Brexit” in, and the platform considers the referendum compound offensive. – City A.M.

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Published at Sat, 05 Nov 2016 09:52:13 +0000

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