Blog: EU’s Barnier not optimistic about avoiding a no-deal Brexit – Sunday Telegraph – Reuters UK

FILE PHOTO: European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier leaves the European Commission headquarters to attend a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels, Belgium, August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union’s top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he was not optimistic about avoiding a no-deal scenario as the EU could not meet Britain’s demands that the backstop for the Irish border is removed from the withdrawal agreement.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Barnier said that the so-called “backstop” had to stay to protect the integrity of the EU’s single market while ensuring an open border on the island of Ireland.

“I am not optimistic about avoiding a no-deal scenario, but we should all continue to work with determination,” Barnier said, according to extracts of his article on the newspaper’s front page.

“The backstop is the maximum amount of flexibility that the EU can offer to a non-member state.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to take Britain out of the EU with or without a deal on October 31. Opposition lawmakers plan to act next week to stop no-deal in parliament.

Writing in the same newspaper, Johnson’s de facto deputy Michael Gove said that to remove the option of a no-deal Brexit on Oct 31 would “diminish” the “chances of securing changes” to the Brexit deal that could get it passed through parliament.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Source: “brexit” – Google News

Blog: Parliament must give Boris Johnson the space to secure a better Brexit deal – Telegraph.co.uk

At times in the last three years it has seemed that Parliament will do anything but the one thing it promised. To honour the democratic vote to leave the EU. Instead of coalescing behind a deal to get us out, Parliament has quibbled, prevaricated, delayed and disappointed.

The Commons has repeatedly said what it won’t accept but has never accepted that we are here to serve the people and respect their decision. The Labour Party, in particular, have been guilty of the most spectacular bad faith. They promised on page 24 of their 2017 election manifesto to honour the referendum result but then, with some honourable exceptions, have consistently voted not to

The Prime Minister has made clear that…

Source: “brexit” – Google News

Blog: Brexit is poisoning our politics – it needs to be resolved before we can move on – The Independent

As a child my favourite pantomime was the local legend of the Lambton Worm in which an arrogant aristocrat throws an underweight fishing catch down a well and comes back years later to find it has become a giant worm holding the entire region captive.

Now that Boris Johnson is making the transition from pantomime buffoon to political despot, the extent to which David Cameron’s Brexit worm has poisoned our political well becomes distressingly clear. Arrogant Old Etonian Cameron called the referendum to sort out the internal party politics of the Conservative Party. He didn’t take it seriously, he didn’t put in place basic checks and balances such as defining what ‘Leave’ meant or ensuring a viable majority had to vote for such an overwhelming change to our economic and social landscape.

The narrow victory for an undefined Leave was followed by Theresa May choosing to pander to her right rather than bringing the country together. As a result, the country is more deeply and passionately divided on Brexit then on any issue since the reformation – when people felt their very souls were at stake.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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Johnson’s attempt to prorogue parliament is an acknowledgement of that – an avowal that he and his Brexiteer A team cannot win the argument on Brexit. They cannot win the argument in parliament so they have to close it down. They cannot win the argument in the country so they won’t give the people a Final Say. They cannot win the argument politically so they won’t hold a general election. All they can do is change the facts on the parliamentary ground, reduce sitting days, introduce a Queen’s Speech, and keep MPs from carrying out our constitutional duty, because once they have got across the 31 October deadline, opposition to their Brexit becomes obsolete.

The northeast’s economy is integrated with our European partners. A no-deal Brexit will be devastating for us. I know therefore that I have to use the brief time available to me in parliament to do everything I can to prevent a no-deal Brexit. People across the country have demonstrated their opposition to Johnson’s smash-and-grab-on democracy and Jeremy Corbyn is bringing together members of parliament from all sides to oppose the coup and stop a no-deal Brexit.  

Shape Created with Sketch. Peterborough by-election: Brexit Party loses out to Labour

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left Created with Sketch. right Created with Sketch.

Shape Created with Sketch. Peterborough by-election: Brexit Party loses out to Labour

1/14 Peterborough By Election

Independent candidate Bobby Elmo Smith watches the by-election count on June 07, 2019 in Peterborough, England. Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene is looking to become the Brexit Partys first MP to Westminster in the Peterborough by-election, which was triggered following the removal of former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya by a recall petition.

Getty

2/14 Peterborough By Election 2

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in Newborough in Peterborough prior to votes being counted in the Peterborough by-election.

PA

3/14 Peterborough By Election 3

Lisa Forbes of the Labour Party accepts her win for the local seat after all votes are in and counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

4/14 Peterborough By Election 4

Votes are counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough, England on June 6, 2019. – A local by-election was triggered when Peterborough’s former MP Fiona Onasanya was sacked by her constituents in the first successful re-call petition prompting a by-election

AFP/Getty Images

5/14 Peterborough By Election 5

Votes are counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough, England on June 6, 2019. – A local by-election was triggered when Peterborough’s former MP Fiona Onasanya was sacked by her constituents in the first successful re-call petition prompting a by-election.

AFP/Getty Images

6/14 Peterborough By Election 6

Votes are counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough, England on June 6, 2019. – A local by-election was triggered when Peterborough’s former MP Fiona Onasanya was sacked by her constituents in the first successful re-call petition prompting a by-election.

AFP/Getty Images

7/14 Peterborough By Election 7

Lisa Forbes of the Labour Party accepts her win for the local seat after all votes are in and counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

8/14 Peterborough By Election 8

Lisa Forbes of the Labour Party accepts her win for the local seat after all votes are in and counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

9/14 Peterborough By Election 9

Labour Party faithful cheer as Lisa Forbes accepts her win for the local seat after all votes are in and counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

10/14 Peterborough By Election 10

Labour Party faithful cheer as Lisa Forbes accepts her win for the local seat after all votes are in and counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

11/14 Peterborough By Election 11

Alan “Howling Laud” Hope of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (L) and party faithful arrive at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

12/14 Peterborough By Election 12

Alan “Howling Laud” Hope of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (C) and party faithful arrive at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

13/14 Peterborough By Election 13

Mike Greene (C) of the Brexit Party confers with party members at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough, England on June 6, 2019. – A local by-election was triggered when Peterborough’s former MP Fiona Onasanya was sacked by her constituents in the first successful re-call petition prompting a by-election.

AFP/Getty Images

14/14 Peterborough By Election 14

By-election votes are counted at the KingsGate Centre in Peterborough.

REUTERS

1/14 Peterborough By Election

Independent candidate Bobby Elmo Smith watches the by-election count on June 07, 2019 in Peterborough, England. Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene is looking to become the Brexit Partys first MP to Westminster in the Peterborough by-election, which was triggered following the removal of former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya by a recall petition.

Getty

2/14 Peterborough By Election 2

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in Newborough in Peterborough prior to votes being counted in the Peterborough by-election.

PA

3/14 Peterborough By Election 3

Lisa Forbes of the Labour Party accepts her win for the local seat after all votes are in and counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

4/14 Peterborough By Election 4

Votes are counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough, England on June 6, 2019. – A local by-election was triggered when Peterborough’s former MP Fiona Onasanya was sacked by her constituents in the first successful re-call petition prompting a by-election

AFP/Getty Images

5/14 Peterborough By Election 5

Votes are counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough, England on June 6, 2019. – A local by-election was triggered when Peterborough’s former MP Fiona Onasanya was sacked by her constituents in the first successful re-call petition prompting a by-election.

AFP/Getty Images

6/14 Peterborough By Election 6

Votes are counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough, England on June 6, 2019. – A local by-election was triggered when Peterborough’s former MP Fiona Onasanya was sacked by her constituents in the first successful re-call petition prompting a by-election.

AFP/Getty Images

7/14 Peterborough By Election 7

Lisa Forbes of the Labour Party accepts her win for the local seat after all votes are in and counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

8/14 Peterborough By Election 8

Lisa Forbes of the Labour Party accepts her win for the local seat after all votes are in and counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

9/14 Peterborough By Election 9

Labour Party faithful cheer as Lisa Forbes accepts her win for the local seat after all votes are in and counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

10/14 Peterborough By Election 10

Labour Party faithful cheer as Lisa Forbes accepts her win for the local seat after all votes are in and counted at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

11/14 Peterborough By Election 11

Alan “Howling Laud” Hope of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (L) and party faithful arrive at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

12/14 Peterborough By Election 12

Alan “Howling Laud” Hope of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (C) and party faithful arrive at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough.

AFP/Getty Images

13/14 Peterborough By Election 13

Mike Greene (C) of the Brexit Party confers with party members at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough, England on June 6, 2019. – A local by-election was triggered when Peterborough’s former MP Fiona Onasanya was sacked by her constituents in the first successful re-call petition prompting a by-election.

AFP/Getty Images

14/14 Peterborough By Election 14

By-election votes are counted at the KingsGate Centre in Peterborough.

REUTERS

But our ambition must be to end this national game of no deal brinkmanship definitively, once and for all. Brexit has paralysed our nation’s political life; we have been governed by successive, increasingly isolated Tory governments, each pursuing to some degree a policy – austerity – that has been definitively rejected by the British people.  

Climate change, social care, economic equality – we have big, big issues to deal with. Every day fires burn more of our natural carbon storage – the rainforests – but our international attention is on pursuing replacement trade deals, not combatting climate change. 

Every day, I hear from constituents, friends and families faced with heartbreaking and unbearable decisions to provide social care for loved ones – but our health service is having to concentrate on stockpiling medicines, not social care. 

Every day the gap between rich and poor grows, with starting salaries for graduate lawyers up to £150k while others queue for food banks, and yet that the focus of our economic policies is on reorganising our supply changes and research and development networks away from the EU. Our country and the planet cannot afford to allow this to continue. We need to resolve Brexit in a way that makes sense for Britain, and then move on to rebuild our country to meet a shared vision of our future. We need a government that is actually chosen by the British people, with a programme British people have debated and a majority have actually decided is what they want.

Labour has a plan for rebuilding our economy and making it net zero, for investing in our NHS, our police, our transport system, and our regional and national cohesion – and that works for us all.

But if we don’t resolve what we are going to do as a country about Brexit, the next election will not be about any of the grand challenges we face, it will be about Brexit, and will be dominated by voices and parties that either have no real agenda for our nation’s future, or are hiding their true agenda behind a singular focus on Brexit.

We need a general election desperately. But the path to that election may still have to pass by another referendum so our political well is no longer poisoned by Brexit.

Chi Onwurah is the Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central

Source: “brexit” – Google News

Blog: Economists Worry About the Effects of a ‘No-deal’ Brexit – Voice of America

Concerns are growing that Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union will cause economic problems for both sides.

Making matters worse is the possibility that some European countries may see their economies decrease in the coming months.

This week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to suspend Parliament for weeks. The goal of the action is to prevent lawmakers from passing legislation to block the country from leaving the EU without negotiating an agreement. The time limit for “Brexit,” as it is called, is October 31.

Negotiators have failed to reach an agreement in the three years since a majority of the British people voted to leave the EU in 2016. Many experts now believe a so called “no-deal Brexit” is likely to happen.

Economists and business experts say the result of a no-deal Brexit would cause widespread problems and disorder. Problems could include new taxes on trade, slower movement of people and goods at borders, and problems with licenses to do business in other countries.

Brexit timing also an issue

Britain’s withdrawal comes at an uncertain time for the EU. The trade dispute between the United States and China has already raised concerns for Europe. And Germany, which depends on exports and manufacturing, is facing the possibility of a recession. Germany could “be hit quite badly if a no-deal Brexit occurs in two months’ time.” That is what Andrew Kenningham said. He is an economist with Capital Economics, a research group in London.

Germany is Europe’s largest economy. From April to June, its economy shrank. Many economists believe the same will happen from July to September. That means the country would be in a recession as a no-deal Brexit takes place.

Some economists also predict that Britain could fall into a recession as well. They estimate the British economy would shrink by about three percent.

Italy’s economy did not grow at all from April to June and could also face a recession.

Supporters of Brexit, however, say companies have had more than three years to prepare. Finally leaving, they say, would remove uncertainty.

Nigel Driffield is a professor of international business at Warwick Business School in Britain. He said it could take months or even years for terms of trade to be fully agreed on between Britain and the EU.

He said some companies could prepare by planning for the future.

“However, suppose another (supplier), perhaps in another country, fails to prepare, your part of the value chain still grinds to a halt, and your customer still stops ordering. What do you do?” Driffield asked.

Driffield expects a no-deal Brexit to lead to five to 10 years of negotiations over trade. That is about as long as negotiations with Canada took to complete.

The EU is Britain’s largest trading partner, representing half of its international trade. Trade with Britain is 20 percent of the EU’s trade total. By comparison, 18 percent of Britain’s exports go to the U.S.

Experts say the European countries that would suffer the most from a no-deal Brexit would be smaller ones that ship goods heavily to Britain, like the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland. Larger economies, like those of Germany and France, would suffer less.

The effects outside of Europe are not expected to be very large. However, financial markets could be influenced, weakening the world economy.

Possibly as a result of the lack of clarity, the European Central Bank is expected to announce new measures to ease the availability of money as soon as September 12.

Some experts warn that such measures will help over the short term, but they say politicians must act to reach trade agreements and end disputes.

I’m Mario Ritter Jr.

Carlo Piovano reported this story for the AP. Mario Ritter Jr. adapted it for VOA Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

_______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

license –n. an official document that give permission to do, use, or have something

occur –v. to happen, to take place

value chain –n. a set of activities that a firm operating in an industry does to deliver a valuable product or service

grind –v. to stop working or moving

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Source: “brexit” – Google News

Blog: Final sovereignty on Brexit must rest with the people – The Guardian

We will do everything possible to stop a disastrous no deal for which this Conservative government has no mandate. This is a smash-and-grab raid on our democracy, to force through no deal, which is opposed by a majority of the public.

Most people in Britain reject a Tory no-deal Brexit. Boris Johnson’s government wants to use no deal to create an offshore tax haven for the super-rich and sign a sweetheart deal with Donald Trump.

No deal would destroy jobs, push up food prices and hand our public services and protections over to US corporations. And most of the public want nothing to do with this Trump-deal car-crash Brexit they are being driven towards.

Johnson and fellow Conservatives who campaigned for Leave in 2016 promised people that they would get a deal. In 2017, Boris Johnson, then foreign secretary, proclaimed: “There is no plan for no deal because we are going to get a deal.”

But clearly they haven’t got a deal. And now, running scared of being held to account for his reckless plans for a Trump-deal Brexit, Johnson has decided to shut down parliament to stop them doing so.

But you don’t have to go back to 2017 to find our new prime minister flip-flopping and U-turning to suit whatever position he has adopted at the time.

In late July he promised EU citizens he would legislate to protect their rights. Now we learn the home secretary will end freedom of movement on 1 November without any new immigration rules or protections in its place. Clearly, this is not a prime minister people can trust.

Last week the Advertising Standards Agency banned a Home Office ad about EU citizens registering to stay because it was misleading. And the government registration app won’t be ready until the end of the year (months after the home secretary plans to scrap their rights).

As the Spectator – the magazine Johnson once edited – warns: “There are worrying signs of sloppiness, even negligence, in the way the Home Office is handling all this.”

We already know the kind of consequences such decisions can have. The hurt caused to the Windrush generation by the government’s hostile environment policy is now in danger of being repeated on an even bigger scale, with around 3 million EU citizens living in the UK.

Every week I meet EU citizens who are stressed about their future in this country. Sadly, many are leaving – taking with them their skills and support from our NHS, social care and schools.

The defence secretary, Ben Wallace, let the cat out of the bag when he told his French counterpart that parliament is being suspended because “we’ve suddenly found ourselves with no majority”.

There is an obvious and practical solution when a government finds itself without a majority. It is not to undermine democracy. The solution is to let the people decide, and call a general election.

This week could be the last chance to stop Johnson’s Tory government taking us over a no-deal cliff edge that will threaten jobs and our NHS, mean a restoration of the border in Ireland – threatening peace – and cause shortages of food and medical supplies from day one.

Industry after industry is warning of the deeply damaging impact of a no-deal Brexit. During the summer I listened to the fears of farmers, car workers, NHS staff and many others across the country.

And as Trump’s close ally, the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, lets the Amazon rainforest burn, it could not be clearer that we need to build stronger relations with other international allies in the global fight against the climate emergency.

The threat of a no-deal crash is creating an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. But I am determined to ensure Labour brings people together by giving hope and confidence that a different future is possible, and real change can be delivered for every community, nation and region of our country.

There is a rapidly growing movement of people determined to stop no deal. Last week spontaneous protests sprung up around the country.

People are angry that those who claimed we would “take back control” are now keeping control for themselves – with the aim of handing it over to Donald Trump and US corporate giants in a race-to-the-bottom free market trade deal.

This weekend, Labour MPs have been joining more protests across the country. People are determined that they will not allow a phoney populist cabal in Downing Street, in hock to the vested interests of the richest, to deny them their democratic voice.

It is the people, not an unelected prime minister, who should determine our country’s future.

A general election is the democratic way forward. And in that election Labour will give the people the chance to take back control and have the final say in a public vote, with credible options for both sides, including the option to Remain.

In the maelstrom of the coming days and weeks, we need to remember that sovereignty doesn’t rest in Downing Street, or even in parliament, but with the people.

Jeremy Corbyn is leader of the Labour party

Source: “brexit” – Google News

Blog: The Establishment’s legalistic rage over Brexit harks back to Britain’s pre-democratic era – Telegraph.co.uk

The Remainers’ inflated notion of parliamentary sovereignty can be traced back in history

We have entered the realm of fantasy politics, as if Lewis Carroll had written the script. “When I use a word”, Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more not less.” Absolutist. Totalitarian. Dictatorial. Fascist. 

Do those flinging these words about know what they mean? Are they careless of how they demean those who really suffered these horrors? “Off with his head”, cries the Red Queen – or is it Philip Pullman? The nastiness and verbal violence that die-hard Remainers have wallowed in since 2016 have reached new depths. Oh, but we don’t mean…

Source: “brexit” – Google News

Blog: The Brexit protesters’ underlying argument is flawed – people did vote for no deal – The Independent

It’s nonsense for protesters to claim that “nobody voted for no deal”.  Theresa May said again and again during the 2017 election campaign “no deal is better than a bad deal”.  It’s even in the Conservative Party manifesto (page 36).

Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement was rejected by Parliament 3 times.  If that isn’t a bad deal what is? Therefore, if the EU does not offer a better acceptable deal, the Conservatives are fully justified by their manifesto to go for “No Deal”.

James Gordon
London NW4 

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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I was brought up in Argentina and Brazil and expected politicians there to do anything to benefit themselves. I had always thought Britain was sensible, honest and legal. I cannot believe what is happening. All my friends abroad are wringing their hands at the state Britain is in, and it will take decades to recover our good name.

P Stevens
Address Supplied

Brexit is wronger than wrong on every level. The case of Anna Amato, as reported by Reuters today, whose parents brought her to the UK 55 years ago illustrates something of just how wrong.

Anna went to school here, followed by university and work. She understandably thought and felt that her right to residency was assured. Wrong!

She’s now in a legal limbo with potentially just days to go.

Let’s take the next step and imagine just for a moment it was us.

Where is our world-renowned sense of decency?

For me, Brexit and racism are as inseparable as the biscuits and cheese I had for lunch.

It has no justification – lawfully (as the referendum was judged defunct and corrupt), and certainly none whatsoever economically or morally.

And you can be sure that one way or another, if we allow our fundamental values to be ransacked like this, it will come back to bite us – hard!

Hoping for good from Brexit is like Vlad the Impaler trying to claim immunity by good karma on the day of judgement.

Maybe he got sent back as Boris Johnson to redeem himself but instead opted for a second reign of horror culminating in a blaze of destruction on Halloween?

Michael Cunliffe
West Yorkshire

Sadly when Boris Johnson’s gung-ho tactics fail and we leave the EU without a deal, his response will merely be an insouciant shrug followed by a feeble “well, at least I tried.”

Christopher Learmont-Hughes
Wirral

It has been slowly dawning on me what was really going on in Westminster. The declared intent doesn’t match the actions of the government and what reasoning there has been is opaque at best.

Patrick Cockburn’s article crystallises it very succinctly. There is one big difference with the events in Turkey and the situation in the UK: Turkey didn’t have the restraining hand of the EU courts and institutions to moderate extreme actions.

Suddenly a possible reason for urgently leaving the EU becomes clear. Progress toward a dictatorship, however benign it wants to be seen, would be severely hampered by our EU partners.

Once free of this, the centralisation of power can really get going.

Ashley Herbert
Huddersfield

Clearly Boris Johnson thinks it’s his Brexit. It’s not, it’s the people’s Brexit. The people elect the House of Commons, so he should hand it back to the people’s parliament or back to the people ourselves in a Final Say referendum. Preferably both.  

He cannot claim that the people want any kind of Brexit, deal or no deal, and then deny both the people and our representatives their freedom to choose.

Ian Henderson
Norwich

Criticism of Ruth Davidson betrays a double standard

Why the criticism of Ruth Davidson’s decision I wonder, seeing that the reason for standing down frequently given by male politicians is ” wanting to spend more time with my family.

Ann Smith
Southport

Source: “brexit” – Google News