Brexit News for Sunday 18 June

Brexit News for Sunday 18 June
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Queen’s speech scrapped next year to allow more time to tackle Brexit laws…

Theresa May has scrapped the 2018 Queen’s Speech to give the Government more time to push through controversial new Brexit laws. The Prime Minister will on Wednesday launch a two-year parliamentary session rather than the traditional one-year session, in order to give MPs and peers more time to scrutinise Brexit legislation. But the decision is also a tacit admission of some of the parliamentary battles ahead: ditching the Queen’s Speech for 2018 means the Government will avoid having to push through another vote on its legislative programme at the height of Brexit negotiations – and possibly tensions. – Sky News

  • May shows Brexit resolve with long parliament pledge – FT (£)
  • Government to confirm two-year Parliament to deliver Brexit and beyond – Gov.uk
  • Analysis: ‘The Caretaker Prime Minister stays, but will not fight another general election’ – Telegraph
  • May is living Brexit nightmare she warned of – Bloomberg
  • The Tory-DUP deal may promise to bring stability but that is an illusion – Tom Tugendhat MP for the Telegraph

…as reports emerge of a secret plot to oust Theresa May if PM fails to deliver ‘hard’ Brexit

Theresa May will face a “stalking horse” challenge to topple her as Prime Minister if she waters down Brexit, senior Tories have warned. Leading Eurosceptic MPs have told The Telegraph they are prepared to mount an immediate leadership challenge if Mrs May deviates from her original plan. The revelation comes after a torrid week for the Prime Minister in which she faced fierce criticism for her handling of the Grenfell Tower catastrophe. Conservative MPs – including Cabinet ministers – have concluded that Mrs May cannot lead them into the next election and they are now discussing when she could go. – Telegraph

David Davis rebuts Emmanuel Macron over Brexit ‘open door’ on eve of talks

David Davis has told EU leaders they should be in “no doubt” that Britain is heading for the exit door as formal Brexit talks finally begin. In a statement issued before his Brussels trip tomorrow, the Brexit Secretary promised the “historic referendum result” will be “delivered” by Theresa May’s Government. The comments are designed as a direct rebuttal to Emmanuel Macron, the French President who said this week the “door remains open” for Britain to stay in the EU. – Telegraph

  • David Davis heads to Brussels tomorrow with a clear message: we are leaving the European Union. – Gov.uk

EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner says EU will be ‘amicable and firm’ in Brexit negotiations

The European Union will be “amicable and firm” with Britain in Brexit negotiations due to start on Monday, and all possible options are on the table, the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said. “On Brexit, we will be neither ‘hard’, nor ‘soft’, but amicable and firm,” Moscovici told the Sunday edition of French weekly Journal du Dimanche. – Reuters

Sir Keir Starmer claims that the Government’s negotiating stance sets us up for a bad Brexit deal

In a letter to Brexit Secretary David Davis, Sir Keir Starmer urged him to “reset” the country’s exit strategy, adding the Prime Minister’s “inflexible” stance “makes a good deal for Britain less likely, not more likely”. The Shadow Brexit Secretary’s comments come just a week after Theresa May lost her majority in the snap election she had called in the hopes of strengthening her hand in Brexit talks. Formal Brexit talks are expected to start in Brussels on Monday, almost exactly a year after the UK voted to leave the bloc. – Sunday Express

Jaguar Land Rover to hire 5,000 extra staff in major vote of confidence for UK industry

Jaguar Land Rover is drawing up plans to hire an extra 5,000 engineers and technical staff in the next 12 months in what will be seen as a major boost to the UK economy ahead of its departure from the European Union. The recruitment drive, which could be announced this week, will see the country’s biggest automotive business – which produced 544,000 cars on its British production lines last year – increase its domestic workforce by almost 15pc to 42,000. – Telegraph

Bankers are stepping up lobbying attempts to push for access to the single market…

The City’s biggest banks are contemplating stepping up their lobbying attempts amid hopes of guaranteeing a softer Brexit in the wake of the hung parliament. Senior bankers from some of the largest institutions in the Square Mile are understood to have met in the last week for a private discussion on the surprise general election result, which has given them fresh hopes of pushing for access to the single market even after Britain leaves the European Union. – Telegraph

…while business lobbyists join forces to demand the economy is put first in negotiations

Britain’s top business lobby groups have united to demand open-ended access to the European single market — for as long as it takes to seal a final Brexit deal. They have written to business secretary Greg Clark, urging the government “to put the economy first” ahead of the start of Brexit talks in Brussels tomorrow. The letter, from the CBI, British Chambers of Commerce, manufacturers’ group EEF, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors, and seen by The Sunday Times, says a transitional deal should “maintain the economic benefits of the single market and the customs union until a final settlement between the United Kingdom and the European Union is agreed and implemented”. – Sunday Times (£)

The first test in the Brexit talks will be how to handle the Irish border

The EU could demand that Ireland impose tighter checks — on goods, if not people — if the UK leaves the customs union. Fully securing the border is impossible in practice: there are more than 200 official crossings and thousands of informal ones. So the risk is not of any immediate return to a hard border. It is that the door closes enough to inconvenience people seriously and harm the economy, driving new wedges between communities and allowing republican-linked groups to exploit the situation. – Sunday Times (£)

Boris Johnson: not ‘hard’, not ‘soft’, an open Brexit is best

If we get it right (and there is much more goodwill on both sides than you might think), then we can end up with a deep and special partnership with the EU; a strong European Union buttressed by and supporting a strong UK — and still trading and co-operating closely with each other, too. We can and must deliver on the will of the people. We can reflect the mandate of the more than 80% of MPs whose manifestos pledged them to support Brexit. We can do it well, and with profit and honour for both sides. – Boris Johnson MP for the Sunday Times (£)

David Jones MP: Fudging Brexit would be a betrayal of voters

Despite no party securing an overall majority, one thing is clear: more than 80% of the electorate voted for parties pledged to take Britain out of the EU. The referendum vote was unequivocally endorsed by the outcome of the election. The clearest possible mandate for Brexit has been given to both government and parliament. Membership of the EU carries with it acceptance of a number of obligations, including, most notably, participation in the single market and the customs union, and submission to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). – Former Brexit Minister David Jones MP for the Sunday Times (£)

Charles Moore: If the Tories don’t carry out their promise over Brexit, they are finished

I can’t remember a more extreme example of the tension between the short term and the long term than that which the country now faces. In the short term, almost anything could happen. The Conservatives and the DUP could fall out. Theresa May, despairing at the collapse of her reputation, could resign. Equally and on the other hand, she could sack Philip Hammond if he breaks government policy by making his planned speech calling for Britain to stay in the EU customs union. – Charles Moore for the Telegraph

John Redwood: Surely the Chancellor does not want to mar Brexit?

It is said we need to seek associate membership of the Customs Union, with an opt out of its strict rule that a member cannot negotiate free trade deals of its own for certain UK trade in services. How on earth could that work? The main gains from negotiating free trade agreements with other countries will come from those where the present tariff barriers are highest. These are the lower income countries with a big export industry in farm products and basic industry. In order to get access for our services we will of course have to offer zero tariffs and reduced barriers on things like tropical and Mediterranean agricultural products which currently are made dearer by EU impositions. If we cant negotiate on non service trade we have no leverage.
John Redwood MP for John Redwood’s Diary

Brexit in brief

  • The long and stony path to a successful Brexit – Sunday Times (£)
  • Britain has to decide what Brexit means – right now – Robert Colvile for CapX
  • Why an extended, Brexit transition is now on the cards – James Forsyth for The Spectator
  • What matters most about Brexit is the destination, not how quickly we get there – James Forsyth for The Sun on Sunday
  • Brussels to back £5.6bn rescue for Italian lenders – Sunday Times (£)
  • Pew poll shows most Europeans want to take back control from Brussels – The Spectator
  • Brexit talks must involve all parties, says SNP’s new Westminster leader – Evening Express