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Brexit Watch - News and Views

MPs have 10 days to pass Theresa May’s Brexit deal or face a weaker Brexit negotiating position with the EU

(2/3/19) MPs have ten days to pass Theresa May’s Brexit deal or calamity strikes. Her deal is far from perfect. But what will happen if it doesn’t pass is truly appalling, according to James Forsyth, of The Spectator. Read the full post in The Sun.

Spain guarantees Britons' rights in desperate bid to protect tourism

(01/3/19) Spain will today announce a string of Brexit contingency plans to protect the rights of 300,00 British expats in the event of a no deal. Under the plans for the royal decree, British residents and tourists would be guaranteed healthcare and social security, which provides rights for unemployment benefits and pensions, until at least December 31, 2020. Madrid is desperately trying to protect its crucial tourism industry, which is the second largest sector of its economy. Last year 18 million British tourists visited Spain while on their travels across the Continent. Read the full post in the Daily Express.

Britain's economy is set to boom and become the largest in Europe - because of Brexit: by economist Liam Halligan

(28/2/19) Despite a global slowdown, Britain expanded 1.4 per cent last year, recording just 4 per cent unemployment. Yet Germany and France are on the brink of recession, the Italian economy is contracting and eurozone joblessness is twice as high. Read the full post on The Telegraph.

Brexiteer Tories tell Theresa May they will back her deal if she lays out timetable to quit Downing Street this year

(1/3/19) Brexiteer Tory MPs have told Theresa May they can deliver a majority for her EU deal if she lays out a timetable to leave No10 this year. The Sun has been told that “dozens” of sceptical backbenchers are now ready to hold their noses and vote for the PM’s revised divorce agreement, even if she can only win small tweaks to it. Read the full post on The Sun.

Rumours of ERG split on No Deal Brexit

(28/2/19) Tory Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg has been accused of softening his Brexit demands to help his pal Boris Johnson become PM. Growing tensions within the 80-strong hardline Tory European Research Group erupted in public on Wednesday. However, Brexiteer backbenchers are split over what changes are needed for them to back Theresa May’s revised EU exit deal. Read the full article in The Sun and insight on Guido.

No deal? No problem. Britain must – and can – hold its nerve by Aussie ex-PM Tony Abbott

(2/3/19) This article gives an encouraging perspective from one of our great allies. The most telling extract comes at the end:

'All along, the real difficulty has not been negotiating Brexit. It has been the neurotic anxiety of the official political class about leaving the European project, which they see somehow as a civilising force. The Brexit vote was possibly the greatest ever vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom. It was a reminder of the global leadership that Britain has historically provided. The risk you face now isn’t no-deal Brexit, but rather the official class losing its nerve and proving incapable of quickly resolving this muddle. If that happens, it would be hard to take Britain seriously again.'

Read the full story in The Spectator.

Brexiteer HECKLED by BBC audience after warning no deal is being 'DEMONISED'

Brexiteer Liam Halligan was heckled by audience members when he warned a no deal Brexit has been “demonised” during a heated row with Europhile MP Ken Clarke. The Brexit-supporting economist got into a heated debate with the Tory Remainer while speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? debate show in the Remain-supporting village of Llithfaen in north-west Wales. Read the full story in the Daily Express

Countdown to Brexit

(14/2/19) via the Daily Mail

  • Valentine's Day

  • MPs will hold another round of votes on Brexit.

    They are not due to pass judgement on Theresa May's deal - instead debating a 'neutral' motion simply saying that they have considered the issue.

    However, a range of amendments are set to be tabled. They could include proposals to delay the Brexit date beyond March 29.

    Labour is pushing a change that would force another 'meaningful vote' on the PM's Brexit deal by February 26, regardless of whether she has finished renegotiating the package with the EU.

  • 24-25th February

  • Mrs May could have an opportunity to seal a new package with fellow EU leaders at a joint summit with the Arab League in Sharm el-Sheikh.

    However, it is not clear how many will attend the gathering - or whether she will have completed the deal by then.

  • 27th February

  • Downing Street is trying to head off a potential Tory Remainer mutiny by promising MPs will get another set of votes by this date regardless of whether there is a final deal.

  • 21-22nd March

  • The PM will attend a scheduled EU summit in Brussels that would effectively be the last opportunity to get agreement.

    Some MPs fear that Mrs May is trying to delay for as long as possible, and might even try to hold a make-or-break vote in the Commons on March 26. That would be just 72 hours before Brexit, giving them a very stark deal-or-no-deal choice.

  • 11pm, 29th March

  • The UK is due to leave the EU with or without a deal, unless the Article 50 process is extended with approval from the bloc's leaders, or revoked to cancel Brexit altogether.

THE BREXIT PARTY: Formed To Protect The Tory Establishment - by Kris Hicks, Director Of Communications for UKIP

(10/2/19) The Brexit Party is an electoral vehicle for Nigel Farage and friends. With bridges burned with UKIP, Mr Farage had nowhere to go in the event of a delayed Brexit, and another European Parliament election. Et voilà, the Brexit Party. Read the full post in Politicalite

Why I think a no-deal Brexit is now the most likely outcome - Robert Peston

(11/2/19) Most MPs tell me they believe a no-deal Brexit is a remote prospect. They are wrong. I would argue it is the most likely outcome – unless evasive action is taken much sooner than anyone expects. Here is why. Read the full post in The Spectator.

Martin Selmayr is taking over the Brexit negotiations – and that’s bad news for Britain

(30/1/19) A lot of media attention in the UK is often spent on whatever the EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and his team are saying, but I am hearing in Brussels that when Theresa May’s top Brexit advisor Olly Robbins visits EU institutions, he now meets Martin Selmayr, the controversial Secretary-General of the European Commission. Read the full post in The Spectator.

Farage: My new Brexit party stands ready to defend democracy

(8/2/19) The Brexit party was founded with my full support and with the intention of fighting the European elections on May 23 if Brexit has not been delivered by then. I have made it clear many times that I will not stand by and do nothing if the referendum result is betrayed, so should this election need to be contested, I will stand as a candidate for the Brexit Party and I will give it my all. Read the full post in The Telegraph (behind paywall).

Media ignore new production of world's best-selling car in UK in favour of disseminating anti-Brexit news on Nissan

Nissan’s decision not to begin production of a new model of car in Sunderland dominated the media at the start of the week, despite no jobs actually being lost. Funny how quiet the media was when another Japanese car giant did start a major new production line – just last month Toyota commenced production of the new 2019 Corolla at its Burnaston plant in Derbyshire where over 3000 people are employed. Read the full post on Media Guido.

The Netherlands scramble for UK's 'critical medicines' at risk from no-deal

(7/2/19) The Netherlands is scrambling to secure a stockpile of 50 “critical” medicines that are currently supplied by Britain amid growing fears of a no-deal Brexit, the Dutch health minister announced on Wednesday. Read the full post in the Daily Express.

Mike Hookem MEP says Irish border solutions exist, so get on with it

(30/1/19) UKIP Deputy Leader Mike Hookem MEP has issued a statement giving reasons why it is entirely possible to have a technological solution to the Irish border issue that has consumed Brexit. Read the full post UKIP's website.

UKIP Leader Gerard Batten petitions Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament

(31/1/19) UKIP Leader Gerard Batten MEP has petitioned Queen Elizabeth II to prorogue Parliament until after the United Kingdom has left the European Union on 29 March 2019. Concerned that Members of Parliament are using the current session to attempt to delay or stop Brexit entirely, the UKIP Leader has petitioned Her Majesty to discontinue the current session of Parliament without dissolving it (proroguing). Read the full post on UKIP's website.

Theresa May digs in heels for long fight with EU chiefs over new Brexit deal demands

(30/1/19) Theresa May is digging in for a long-haul fight with the EU over her new demands for a Brexit deal, sparking a fresh Mexican stand-off. The PM’s allies revealed she won’t even present details of how she wants the unpopular Irish backstop changed until next week. Read the full post in The Sun.

Swedish foreign minister: I ‘cannot forgive’ UK for Brexit

(29/1/19) Margot Wallström, Sweden's foreign minister and a former European Commission vice president, lashed out today at Britain's political class over its handling of the country's EU exit. “I cannot forgive them for this," Wallström said of Brexit. Read the full post on Politico.

Juncker warns May: permanent customs union is price for revisiting backstop

(26/1/19) Jean-Claude Juncker has told Theresa May in a private phone call that shifting her red lines in favour of a permanent customs union is the price she will need to pay for the EU revising the Irish backstop. Read the full post in The Guardian.

Next German leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer could help salvage Therea May’s battered Brexit - by Trevor Kavanagh

(21/1/19) It is possible,though unlikely, that a new alliance could salvage Theresa May’s battered Brexit, win a majority in Parliament and heal the wounds between Leavers and Remainers. Meanwhile, Germany is under siege from its political and industrial leaders, who are finally speaking out against a breach in trade and security ties with a vital European ally. Together this makes it ­possible to navigate a way through the thicket of bitterness and rancour which has soured ­politics, divided families and split the British nation. Read the full post in The Sun.

Theresa May refuses to rule out keeping UK tied to EU customs union

(23/1/19) Theresa May today refused to rule out keeping Britain tied to the European customs union after Brexit. The PM was asked to say for sure that the UK will be free to strike new trade deals once we quit the EU. But she failed to reply - potentially keeping the door open for a much softer Brexit. Read the full story in The Sun.

What’s the Brexit backstop and what does it mean for the Irish border?

(23/1/19) The backstop plan is essentially a safety net if there is no Brexit trade deal. It would avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.The backstop will see Britain remain in the customs union for as long as necessary until an alternative way of keeping the border open is found. It would ensure that no "tariffs, quotas, rules of origin or customs processes" would be applied to UK-EU trade. It is unclear if the UK would be able to strike free trade agreements with other countries while the backstop endured. Read the full post in The Sun.

The campaign for a People's Vote on Brexit has descended into infighting and splits

(22/1/19) With just over two months to go until the UK is due to leave the European Union, the campaign for a second Brexit referendum is deeply divided over how to achieve its goal. Pro-Remain MPs and officials on the People’s Vote campaign are split on the overarching strategy of how to secure a public vote, on campaign events and tactics, whether People’s Vote should run the Remain campaign if a second referendum is called, and over the actions and motivations of its leading politicians. Read the full article on Buzzfeed.

The 'absolute disaster' of the People's Vote campaign

(23/1/19) The People’s Vote campaign have been getting an absolute kicking on the back of Alex Wickham’s big expose for Buzzfeed (see article above), following Guido Fawkes' report on the campaign infighting last month. Surprisingly, much of it is coming from the Left. Read the full post on Media Guido.

UKIP Cambs member demonstrates in London and features in The Guardian after May's Withdrawal Deal bill is defeated

(15/1/19) Thousands of people’s vote supporters let out a roar in Parliament Square as big screens broadcast the thumping defeat of Theresa May’s deal to leave the European Union. At points during the rally, leave supporters had tried to heckle the protest. Some were moved away by police. One man had a number of “cancel Brexit” stickers applied to his back while he waved a Vote Leave placard. Outside the gates of the palace, Philip Hodson, 60, from Newmarket in Suffolk, stood holding a placard reading: “Uphold our English constitution.” Read the full article in The Guardian.

The cheer on Question Time that will terrify Corbyn’s Labour

(18/1/19) How brilliant was that cheer on Question Time last night? Isabel Oakeshott said Theresa May should just walk away from the EU. Fiona Bruce asked her if she meant we should pursue ‘No Deal’. ‘Yes’, said Oakeshott and there it was, instantly, contagiously, the loudest cheer I can remember hearing from a Question Time audience. Read the full post in The Spectator.

Forget the Remainers’ forecasts of economic disaster – we don’t need a trade deal to trade, says top economist Roger Bootle

(16/1/19) Mrs May’s deal is dead but the pro-Remain establishment is still trying to stitch us up by concocting some way of staying close to the EU or stopping Brexit altogether. Their tactic is to try to frighten the British people into believing that if we leave the EU without a deal then we will face economic disaster. Read the full post in The Sun.

Eurosceptic Tories react to May's Withdrawal Deal bill defeat with proposal: A Better Deal and A Better Future

(15/1/19) In the wake of the Government’s draft Withdrawal Agreement being overwhelmingly defeated in the House of Commons, more than twenty senior Eurosceptic Conservatives have given their support to a document seeking to set out what the Government needs to do now. Read the full post on Brexit Central.

John Bercow named ‘European of the Week’ as EU media outlets brand him hero after he ‘thwarted’ UK Government

(17/1/2019) Speaker John Bercow has been branded “European of the Week” by the continental media — underlining his anti-Brexit credentials. Dutch, German and French media outlets have portrayed him as a hero with videos going viral on social media. Read the full post in The Sun.

There's a secret plan by rebel MPs to stop a No Deal Brexit

(19/1/19) Details of a plan to prevent a no-deal Brexit by tearing up the parliamentary rulebook and allowing a minority of MPs to seize control of House of Commons business have been uncovered. The former Conservative attorney general Dominic Grieve is working with a cross-party group of MPs, including leading Remain-supporting Labour rebels, to draw up a new amendment that would have parliament take control of the Brexit process and let backbenchers introduce legislation to extend or revoke Article 50. Read the scoop story on BuzzFeed.


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