Blog: Lord Trimble to take UK government to court over Brexit Irish backstop

With an unmatched number of scoops, Brexit has become our most read and commented-on topic since the referendum. Follow key Brexit developments from differing regional perspectives along with expert trusted analysis.

Source: Brexit

Blog: Did Churchill and Napoleon PREDICT Brexit? How Britain ‘was incompatible’ with Europe – Express

Theresa May is set to go back to Brussels hoping to renegotiate her Brexit deal after an amendment by Sir Graham Brady, demanding an alternative arrangement to the backstop, was voted for by MPs last Tuesday evening. However, the EU immediately shot down the Prime Minister’s hopes of renegotiating her withdrawal agreement – insisting the deal on the table is already the “best available”. Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said on Wednesday that the prospect of a no-deal Brexit has therefore increased because of the attitude of Brussels “fanatics” who refuse to compromise.

During a speech at the European Parliament, the prominent Brexiteer claimed that the only antidote to a no-deal scenario and its negative impacts would be the use of “Article 24 of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)”.

Mr Farage said: “Why don’t we prepare to go to the World Trade Organisation, use Article 24 so that, after we leave on March 29, we have a two-year period of no tariffs, no quotas, no restrictions of any kind, no problems or difficulties of any kind with Ireland?”

World Trade Organisation rules are a diverse range of international agreements aimed at encouraging and aiding the international trade of a wide range of goods and services.

According to Mr Farage, under WTO rules Britain will have the ability to trade with the whole world on its own terms and retain its position as a global trading power.

In 2004 documentary “The Real Face of the European Union”, author Philip Day claims that Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 1800s and then former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the 1950s both believed Britain’s future was not in Europe, arguably predicting the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Mr Day said: “Winston Churchill believed Britain had an incompatible destiny with that of the continent.

“Referring to the UK reliance on overseas trade, Churchill stated that if Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, we will choose the sea.”

He added that Mr Churchill was “independently remarking on the same phenomenon Napoleon had noticed 150 years before”.

Mr Day noted: “Great Britain was a global trading power and the nations of Europe weren’t.”

Mr Day added that during World War 2, according to the Nazis, Great Britain was crippling Europe because it was “drawing trade away from the continent”.

He noted: “If Britain could be conquered militarily or be economically broken up once and for all as a significant economic and political entity, the spoils of all her trade and wealth would go to whoever ran the new European empire.”

Source: “brexit” – Google News

Blog: Brexit Could Cost the UK and EU 700,000 Tourism Jobs – Fortune

As Brexit looms at the end of March, 700,000 tourism jobs across Europe could be lost, according to the Independent. The World Travel & Tourism Council estimated that the U.K. would lose 308,000, while 399,000 positions in other parts of Europe would be in danger.
“Our members are already seeing an impact on their businesses and workforce,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC CEO.
The organization based its calculation on an International Monetary Fund projection that economy of the U.K. will shrink by 7.7% by 2030 in the case of a no-deal Brexit, which seems the increasingly likely outcome, according to Bloomberg.
A January report out of the U.K. Parliament highlighted some of the problems. Many people working in tourism and hospitality in the U.K. are EU nationals who would no longer have an automatic right to live and work there. The sector currently employs 3 million people and represents a more than $170 billion addition to the economy. Tourists also means air travel, and a lack of a deal could create disruption, driving people to go elsewhere.
And then there’s the impact of Brexit on people in Britain traveling to Europe on vacation, the Independent separately reported. With the negative impact on the British economy, people might have less money overall. Then there is the likely loss in value of the pound. British citizens would find a more disadvantageous exchange rate, increasing the financial pressure.

Source: “brexit” – Google News

Blog: UK letter vowed to protect Nissan from Brexit fallout – The Irish Times

The UK government promised Nissan that its operations would not be “adversely affected” by Britain’s departure from the EU, in a series of pledges that led to the Japanese car group’s 2016 decision to build new models at its Sunderland plant.

The assurances were contained in a letter from business secretary Greg Clark to then-Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn, a copy of which has been obtained by the Financial Times.

Nissan announced at the weekend that it had decided to abandon plans to make its X-Trail SUV at the Sunderland plant, urging the government to rule out a no-deal Brexit before inflicting more harm on the UK’s car manufacturing industry. The text of the letter highlights the gulf between a no-deal scenario, which could involve tariffs and delays at the British border, and previous pledges made by the government.


The letter, which has never previously been disclosed and which the government previously declined to release under a series of Freedom of Information requests, also promised support of about £80 million (€91 million )towards Nissan’s investments at the site in return for the decision by Nissan to expand SUV production at Sunderland.

The letter said the government’s investment was “contingent too on a positive decision by the Nissan board to allocate production of the Qashqai and X-Trail models to the Sunderland plant”.

The government made no specific promise on the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU – such as remaining in the bloc’s customs union – but vowed to protect car manufacturers in the UK. They would be a “critical priority of our negotiations” with the EU, the letter said.

“The government fully recognises the significance of the EU markets to your presence in Sunderland,” the letter stated. “It will be a critical priority of our negotiations to support UK car manufacturers, and ensure their ability to export to and from the EU is not adversely affected by the UK’s future relationship with the EU.”

Mr Clark has been under pressure from Conservative Eurosceptics to publish the letter of assurances to Nissan, amid suspicions on the Tory right that he had indicated that Britain would seek to remain part of the EU customs union after Brexit.

Despite there being no assurances over the customs union, the letter did acknowledge Nissan’s anxieties over “uncertainties as the UK prepares to leave the EU, in particular your fear that potential future trade arrangements could affect the business case for your investments”.


The letter added that the government wanted to help Nissan “invest, and to grow Sunderland as a superplant within the alliance and a global leader for productivity and innovation”.

The letter stated: “In any circumstance, the government will ensure that the UK continues to be one of the most competitive locations for automotive and other advanced manufacturing within Europe and globally, including sites such as Sunderland”.

The letter also included promises to help Nissan increase its use of local suppliers, as well as continued government support for electric vehicles, such as the Leaf, which is made at the site.

Nissan said: “The letter, written in October 2016, shows Nissan and the UK government’s continued desire to support investment in the UK and maintain Sunderland as one of Nissan’s manufacturing hubs in Europe.

“The letter is no longer commercially sensitive as it contains nothing that hasn’t been disclosed publicly before, and the projects referenced in the letter have now changed.” – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019

Source: “brexit” – Google News

Blog: What is the ‘Malthouse Compromise’ to prevent a no-deal Brexit in March? – Sky News

By Aubrey Allegretti, political reporter

Theresa May is considering a new plan to help her solve the parliamentary deadlock over Brexit.

Its creation has been credited to Kit Malthouse, the housing minister, to unify the warring wings of the Conservative Party, and came about after peace talks between senior Leavers such as the Brexiteer ringleader Jacob Rees-Mogg and Europhile former minister Nicky Morgan.

Endorsed by Tory Brexiteers and Remainers, it is therefore known as the “Malthouse Compromise”.

Sky News unpicks the latest addition to our growing Brexit jargon list.

:: What are the details?

There are two parts to it: Plan A, for how the UK will leave the EU with a deal, and plan B for how it will leave with a no-deal.

Downing Street has already set up a working group to examine its proposals, but the EU has ruled out changing the current deal.

Plan A would see the UK formally request two major changes to the withdrawal agreement struck with Brussels in November.

The first is asking to extend the transition period by one year – the temporary bridge between Brexit and the start of a new trade agreement.

Under the current deal it is due to last until the end of 2020.

But the Malthouse Compromise suggests delaying that until 2021, with the UK paying in more money, but allowing more time for a trade deal to be struck before the transition period ends.

The second is asking to change the backstop – the insurance policy that kicks in to prevent a physical border reforming on the island of Ireland if no trade deal is struck by the time the transition period runs out.

It could be changed, the plan says, to become a “basic free trade agreement” – a slimmed-down version of the full future relationship treaty.

Plan B would see the UK accept that a deal will not be struck by 29 March.

It would ask the EU to honour the transition period anyway – keeping the UK subject to law created in Brussels without representation in its institutions – but again for a year longer than planned.

Brexit will still have happened, but a standstill in the relationship will give more times to prepare for the implications of a no-deal divorce.

Crucially, the promise of citizens’ rights being protected would remain.

:: What do Tory MPs say about it?

It has earned the backing of many influential figures in the party, including Solicitor General Robert Buckland.

Many of its backbench supporters have also been summoned for a meeting with the Brexit secretary to discuss how it could work in practice.

But some Remainer Tory MPs are still less than impressed.

Business minister Richard Harrington trashed it in a memo to colleagues, saying it “does not deliver an open border in Ireland”. While Anna Soubry called it “shameful and embarrassing”.

:: Does it have a chance of working?

Downing Street must certainly think so, given the prime minister declared she was “engaging positively” with the plan.

Tory MPs also voted last week to say they would support the withdrawal agreement if the backstop was stripped out and replaced with “alternative arrangements”.

But the main problem will be convincing the EU.

It has ruled out the main proposal in plan A – changing the backstop.

And it has previously ruled out granting a transition period that only leads to no-deal.

:: What will happen next?

At the moment, the UK and EU sides have only confirmed their positions.

Mrs May is likely to have to head to Brussels to meet leaders there face-to-face and press harder for them to budge.

She has a loose deadline of Wednesday 13 February, after which, if Brussels has not budged, she will give MPs another chance to vote on her progress that day.

Source: “brexit” – Google News

Blog: Nissan and Brexit, Sony Tumble, Mueller Report: CEO Daily for February 4, 2019 – Fortune

Furniture Subscription
Fancy leasing IKEA furniture? The flatpack giant hopes so. Inter IKEA CEO Torbjörn Lööf told the Financial Times that the company would “work together with partners so you can actually lease your furniture. When that leasing period is over, you hand it back and you might lease something else… Instead of throwing those away, we refurbish them a little and we could sell them, prolonging the lifecycle of the products.” FT
Aussie Financial
Australia’s corporate regulators will be getting more oversight, thanks to a report into dodgy dealings in the financial sector. The report suggested prosecutions for financial misconduct—mis-selling, overcharging and so on—at banks such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group. BBC
Cold Cars
Electric cars have been struggling with the cold snap, with the weather draining their batteries. Chevy’s Bolt and Nissan’s Leaf have been falling victim to this syndrome, as has Tesla’s Model 3, which also has another issue: the design of the car’s door handles makes it pretty tough to open when ice is involved. Fortune
Populist Davos
Bloomberg‘s Leonid Bershidsky had a chat with Mischael Modrikamen, Steve Bannon’s partner in running The Movement. What’s The Movement? Not a plan to unite Europe’s right-wing populists, Modrikamen now claims, contrary to… well, everything reported about it previously. Apparently it’s more of a Davos for populists, Bershidsky says, with Modrikamen in the Klaus Schwab role. Bloomberg
This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer. Find previous editions here, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters here.

Source: “brexit” – Google News

Blog: Latvian ambassador says UK ‘achieved more than it should’ in Brexit deal and EU WON’T move – Express

Baiba Braze, the Latvian ambassador to the UK, claimed Britain “achieved more than you ever should have” in negotiations with the EU. The European Union has said the Withdrawal Agreement is the only deal on the table, after MPs last week gave the Prime Minister a mandate for the Irish backstop mechanism in the deal to be replaced. BBC host, Martha Kearney, quizzed the Latvian ambassador over whether the EU would risk a Brexit no deal and continue to refuse to reopen the legal text of the deal.

Speaking on the Today programme, Kearney said: “I suppose if no way forward is found, if there isn’t any sort of compromise, you will know that under British law we are going to be leaving the European Union without a deal on March 29.

“In which case, there would be a hard border anyway.”

Ms Braze replied: “That is a question again for the British Government to see with the Parliament, where do they go?”

The BBC host stepped in saying: “That is a risk the EU is prepared to take?”

The Latvian ambassador replied: “Your people did a great job, the EU thinks you have achieved more than you ever should have. It’s a good deal for Britain.

“Whether that can be replaced with something that is now not yet there.

“The Parliament’s will was very clear, what to do with it, how to proceed with it, we don’t know.

“As ambassador here, I cannot explain to my Government that will also ultimately have to make a decision, what is that it will be willing to do.

“That’s why now very clearly the EU has said the Withdrawal Agreement is there. The backstop is part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

“Where do we come out with regard to future arrangements? That is a totally different issue.”

MPs last week gave Mrs May a mandate to return to the EU in search of an alternative to the controversial Irish backstop proposed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The European Union has so far rejected all of Britain’s attempts to amend the Brexit deal claiming the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be renegotiated.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker dismissed the result of Mrs May’s Commons vote which saw MPs back a motion to replace the backstop with “alternative arrangements”.

Mr Juncker said he hoped a deal is possible but warned the terms already on offer remain “the best and only deal possible”.

Source: “brexit” – Google News