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This week in Brexit: 26 November – 2 December

Posted by Lotty Reeves on 4th December 2018

Monday 26 November 2018

  • Theresa May’s Brexit deal would result in long-term economic cost of between £700 – £1,100 per person each year compared with staying in the EU according to analysis produced by the independent think-tank the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (source link).
  • Theresa May defended her proposed Brexit deal amid criticism from MP’s and confirmed MP’s will get the chance to vote on the deal on 11 December 2018 (source link).
  • President Trump described the Brexit deal negotiated by the UK government as “[A] great deal for the EU” and questioned if the UK would still be able to negotiated a trade deal with the US post-Brexit  (source link).

Tuesday 27 November 2018  

  • Former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon has described the Brexit deal as the “worst of all words” and stated that it was “doomed” and must be renegotiated. Further reducing support amongst Tory MP’s for the deal (source link).
  • Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have agreed to take party in a live TV debate on Brexit before MP’s vote on the deal. The SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and Greens have demanded to be involved in any debate to ensure that a range of views on Brexit were reflected. However, the prime minister has so far refused calls for smaller parties to be involved, stating that she and Jeremy Corbyn represented nearly 90% of MP’s in the Commons between them (source link).
  • Judges at the European Court of Justice have concluded a four-hearing on whether the UK can revoke Article 50, the article triggering the process of leaving the EU, without permission from remaining EU member states. Verdict from the court is due at a later date (source link).
  • The PM’s Brexit deal could leave the UK economy as much as 5.5% smaller in 10 years’ time than it would be if the UK had stayed in the EU according to research published by the London School of Economics, King’s College and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. With the cost to public finances being as much as 1.8% of GDP (source link).
  • Companies looking to store extra supplies of fresh foods in the run-up to Brexit in March 2019 may be to late according to the chief executive of the food and drink federation. Ian Wright, giving evidence to MPs, said there was no bookable space remaining in warehouses that can store frozen or chilled produce in the near future (source link).
  • Debate between MPs on a Plan B should the PM fail to get her Brexit deal passed have gained momentum. Two ideas in contention are for a second referendum to be held with an option to remain or for a “Norway plus” deal where the UK negotiates entry to the European Economic Area (“EEA”). According to reports, Amber Rudd (works leading Brexiteer) have formed an alliance to back the idea of the UK entering the EEA should the PM’s Brexit deal be voted down. Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP, and Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, have also indicated they would consider the option of the UK joining the EEA (source link).  
  • UK reportedly close to agreeing an open skies aviation agreement with the US to take effect after post-Brexit. However, reports suggest that the draft terms are inferior to the rights the UK currently enjoys as an EU member, with tighter restrictions on ownership, tougher terms for new entrants and no special access to the Fly America programme, which allocates tickets for US government employees (source link).
  • The PM has rejected President Trump’s criticisms of her Brexit deal, insisting that the UK would have an independent trade policy, allowing the UK to negotiate and sign trade deal with countries from around the world including the US (source link).
  • Countries at the World Trade Organization backed the UK’s continuing membership of the Government Procurement Agreement. A 47-country deal that opens up nations’ public contracts to foreign bidders, boosting UK efforts to prepare for post-Brexit trade (source link).


Wednesday 28 November 2018

  • Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has suggested it would be “inevitable” that another EU referendum would be called if Labour were unable to call another general election. The shadow chancellor admitted that forcing another general election to be called would be “very difficult”. Under the Fixed Terms Parliament Act 2011, a general election can only be called if two-thirds of MP’s vote for one or if a majority of MP’s back a no-confidence vote in the prime minister. If MP’s pass a no-confidence vote, a 14 day period allows a for a new government to be formed with the backing of MP’s. If no government is formed within the 14 day period, a new election must be held (source link).
  • Chancellor Phillip Hammond has told the BBC that the Brexit deal would leave people worse off than staying in the EU and that no version of leaving the EU would make people better off (source link).
  • PM has insisted government analysis shows that the UK will be “better off” under her Brexit deal, with the PM claiming that the analysis does not show the UK will be poorer in the future than we are today but shows the UK will be better off with the deal (source link).
  • Airbus, the European aerospace group which employs 14,000 people in the UK, has backed the Brexit deal, stating that it has not made any investment in the UK in the past year due to the uncertainty over the UK’s exit from the EU. However, the Brexit deal negotiated by the government would allow the company to invest again if it is passed by MP’s (source link).     
  • Bank of England has stated that the economy could receive a boost if MP’s pass the government’s Brexit deal, but that some of the economic losses incurred since the EU referendum would never be recovered (source link).
  • Theresa May conceded that any form of Brexit would leave the UK worse off and that the deal negotiated by the UK government would only mitigate the economic damage of leaving the EU (source link).


Thursday 29 November 2018

  • Large parts of the UK economy were not ready for a no-deal Brexit according to the governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. Mr Carney told the BBC that fewer than half of business had initiated contingency plans and that the UK would need a transition period to adapt whatever form of Brexit Parliament chooses (source link)
  • Net migration from the EU turned negative for the first time in 10 years in the second quarter of this year, with more EU migrants leaving than arriving in the UK according to figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics. Year-on-year comparisons show net migration to the UK has also fallen to the lowest level in six years. While non-EU net migration has reached its highest levels since 2004 (source link).
  • PM has warned that if MP’s vote down her Brexit deal then no deal Brexit planning would need to be stepped up (source link).
  • Cross-party group of MP’s will attempt to the use the vote on the Brexit deal to ensure that the UK cannot leave without a deal (source link).
  • Justine Greening, former education secretary, has insisted that another referendum could be held in 22 weeks, potentially on 30 May 2019, with the Article 50 process being extended to accommodate another referendum (source link).   


Friday 30 November 2018

  • Theresa May has ruled out a possible compromise on her Brexit deal, insisting that she can still win the crucial parliamentary vote on her deal (source link).  
  • Labour will back the cross-party bid to ensure the UK does not leave the EU without a deal according to the shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer (source link).
  • Leading Brexiteer Liam Fox has urged MP’s to do the right thing and back the Brexit deal negotiated by the government. Reports suggest that up to 100 Tory MP’s are planning to vote against the deal (source link).
  • UK to pull out of the EU’s global positioning system, Galileo, and will instead begin work looking at the possibility of building its own secure global positioning system. After the EU refused to allow the UK to access restricted parts of Galileo after Brexit (source link).
  • Sam Gymiah, the science and universities minister, resigned from the government stating that the UK negotiations over Galileo showed the UK will be “hammered” in future EU/UK negotiations and called for another referendum on the UK’s exit from the EU. Mr Gymiah became the seventh person to resign from the government since the Brexit deal was approved by cabinet last month (source link).
  • Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe has told Theresa May to avoid leaving the UK without a deal, which could risk foreign investment in the UK (source link).  


Saturday 1 December 2018

  • Jeremy Corbyn has accepted Theresa May’s challenge of a TV debate on Brexit on the BBC as long as any debate is between the two leaders head-to-head. My Corbyn had previously preferred ITV’s offer with the PM preferring the BBC’s offer. The debate would be scheduled to take place 9 December, two days before MP’s vote on the deal (source link).

Sunday 2 December 2018

  • Placing a bar on low-skilled migrants from coming to the UK after Brexit would risk inflicting “massive damage” to the livelihoods and communities warned Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the Confederation of British Industry (source link).
  • Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer warned Labour will push to start proceedings for contempt if the government does not publish the full legal advice on the Brexit deal. Theresa May has insisted that such advice is confidential, with the government publishing a reduced version of it. MP’s voted last month to require the government to release any legal advice it receives in relation to the Brexit deal in full to Parliament. Number of parties are said to be ready to support starting contempt proceedings, including the DUP which gives the Conservatives their majority in the Commons (source link).
  • Environment secretary Michael Gove warned that if MP’s fail to back the prime minister’s Brexit deal than there was a risk of “no deal or no Brexit”.  Mr Gove also warned of another referendum if the Brexit deal is voted by MP’s  (source link).  
  • Labour would seek a vote of no confidence in prime minister Theresa May should she lose a key Commons vote on her Brexit deal on 11 December according to the shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer. Sir Keir stated it would be impossible for the prime minister to remain in office if she was defeated on her flagship policy (source link).  

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