Brexit News for Thursday 13 April

Brexit News for Thursday 13 April

EU workers turning their backs on British jobs

More than a quarter of British employers have experienced a fall in job applications from European Union workers since last June’s Brexit referendum. The decline in candidates has come despite the booming UK jobs market. Advertised vacancies rose by 10 per cent in the first quarter compared with last year, according to Reed, the jobs website. Its findings comes after anecdotal evidence from the Bank of England that EU nationals are leaving the UK and no longer looking for work here as a result of the pound’s fall. Sterling’s decline since last June has equated to a 12 per cent pay cut in euro terms. The drop in EU applications will be welcomed by Leave voters who wanted lower immigration but will cause problems for business. Most companies have not changed their hiring intentions but are now having to recruit from a smaller pool of workers.- The Times (£)

More than half a million EU citizens were employed in Britain’s retail, hotel and restaurant industries last year, according to a government study published yesterday — highlighting the country’s reliance on migrant labour. A further 400,000 EU citizens worked in the financial and business services sector, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It reported that migrants from eastern Europe were likely to work more hours and earn lower wages than other workers, including Britons. It found a split between migrants from western EU states and those from the poorer, eastern European countries that have joined the union since 2004. – The Times (£)

  • Britain’s jobs boom: Unemployment rate at lowest level since summer 1975 – Daily Express
  • Brexit has not hampered jobs – there are more positions than ever, Damian Green says – Daily Express

Dexit Next? Danish party want to regain power from Brussels after ‘inspirational’ Brexit

Leaders of the Danish People’s Party (DPP) have demanded Denmark regains power from the European Union following Brexit. Kristian Thulesen Dahl, the leader of the DPP has insisted the party is observing Brexit closely so they can follow a similar path out of the European Union. Speaking on a BrexitCentral podcast, the leader said they are studying what happens to Britain during the process. He said: “What we are studying here in Great Britain is because we in Denmark are very Eurosceptical as well. “We think that far too much is being spent in Brussels and we would like to regain power to our nation as well as the Brits are doing when it comes to the Brexit.” The deputy chairman, Søren Espersen, reiterated this message, before he described Britain’s decision to leave the EU as “inspirational”. He added: “We are here in London at the moment to study what is going on during these Brexit negotiations. – Daily Express

> Podcast: Dexit after Brexit? Opt-out or get-out – BrexitCentral

EU ignores Polish call for flexible Brexit negotiations as bloc seeks to punish Britain

Polish officials have defended Britain and called on the EU to drop their demand for exit negotiations to finish before the UK can discuss trade with the EU. In the first sign of a break in unity from the Brussels bloc, Poland asked the EU to consider allowing the simultaneous discussion of both a new trade deal and Britain’s divorce from the crumbling European project. In return, Polish Eurocrats pushed for the EU to request a firm deal on citizens rights – and for Britain to pay the EU’s £50billion divorce bill. Despite strong support from Poland’s EU delegation and mixed support from Dutch delegates, the Union are likely to ignore the request.- Daily Express

Government rejects Germany’s call for new EU referendum

Downing Street rejected a call from a senior German politician for Britons to be given a chance to change their minds about Brexit. Katarina Barley, the general secretary of Germany’s SPD party, became the most senior European figure to propose that the UK should hold a second referendum once the divorce terms are clear. “When the referendum was held, nobody really knew what it would be about — not the British people, not even the political class,” she said. “A lot of people wrongfully thought that Britain could get a deal like Switzerland or Norway without the inconveniences … without free movement of labour. Now they know that this isn’t the case.” – Evening Standard

London tech firms should look to Asia not Europe after Brexit

Chancellor Philip Hammond today told London’s fast-growing financial technology sector that it should look to new markets in Asia rather than in Europe after Brexit. He warned that “the world does not owe us a living” and said the UK would have to fight to maintain its status as a leading player on the global stage. Addressing a FinTech conference in the City of London, the Chancellor promised that Britain will remain open to the “brightest and best” jobseekers from abroad. And he welcomed new investment in London’s FinTech firms by two major banks, saying the capital was witnessing a “fourth industrial revolution”. Barclays announced it will open the “largest FinTech accelerator of its kind in Europe” in London next month, with 500 workspaces for start-up firms. – Evening Standard

  • Philip Hammond encourages UK to stay ahead of the curve – The Sun
  • Chancellor Philip Hammond asserts importance of immigration for UK fintech – City A.M.

Post-Brexit pound fall luring overseas tourists to UK this Easter

The sharp post-Brexit drop in the value of the pound combined with falling flight costs has lured bargain-hunting overseas tourist to the UK for Easter, according to industry figures. International flight bookings to the UK have increased by 49 per cent for the Easter holiday period, which falls between 31 March and 14 April, compared to the same holiday period last year, according to data by eDreams ODIGEO, one of Europe’s largest e-commerce businesses and owner of online travel agency eDreams. The fall in the pound against the euro since Britain voted to leave the EU in June has made the UK a much more attractive destination, particularly for European travellers, but the rise may also have been fuelled by falling flight costs. – Independent

EU members want more taxpayer cash spent on MEPs to replace uk politicians after Brexit

The European Union (EU) is divided over what to do with the gaping hole left when Britain’s 73 MEPs leave Brussels for the final time. Some Europhiles want them replaced with pan-European politicians to the cost of the taxpayer. But critics said the EU is already unpopular enough without funding positions for more politicians. It would create the coveted “more Europe”, which Jean-Claude Juncker has mentioned on numerous occasions, at a time when anti-European sentiment is growing within the general populous. Paulo Rangel, a member of the EPP from Portugal, said the pan-European lists would “create more Eurocracy” at a time when “the mood is not very pro-European”. – Daily Express

EU Parliament legionella outbreak hits hot water

The EU Parliament’s Directorate-General for Infrastructure and Logistics has ordered the immediate closure of the distribution of warm water in Brussels and Strasbourg Members’ offices following detection of Legionella bacteria. It has happened before in 2002 – the futuristic building was only opened in 1999. The problem is the offices are empty more than half the time with water stagnating. UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge tells Guido: “If it wasn’t so serious it would be comical. On one hand the European Union is fighting to retain control of the UKs fishing waters, yet in Brussels it cannot manage to control a little warm water to MEPs offices. With these offices only fully used half the time due to constituency work and the ridiculous monthly move to Strasbourg, the stagnating water in the Brussels pipes is a disaster waiting to happen. The Parliament here is similar to the water; infested, dangerous and cold. Roll on 2019.” – Guido Fawkes

Theresa May ensures only Brexit key allows entry to No 10

The heads of some of the UK’s biggest companies became accustomed to regular meetings with David Cameron. His successor in Number 10 is proving far more elusive. One FTSE boss said he had not had a single meeting with Theresa May since she took office last year. Mrs May and her ministers were “completely preoccupied” by Brexit, he said, and it was not clear if they had the “bandwidth” to deal with anything else. The prime minister’s team admit she has chosen “a different way” to engage with business but deny she has closed herself off. Indeed, senior lobbyists say it is relatively easy to meet officials in Number 10 — provided you want to talk about Brexit. So what are the ground rules for a business leader hoping to influence decision makers in Downing Street and how do you manage to have that rare thing: face-to-face time with the prime minister? – Financial Times

New European’s plan to “Stir-up controversy” with front page sneering at Skegness

Remain-cheerleading newspaper The New European has accidentally released an internal marketing note detailing its plan to “stir up controversy” and inflame community tensions across Britain’s Brexit heartlands. Guido today unveils the newspaper’s shocking front cover image which will lampoon residents of the Lincolnshire town of Skegness. The staggering picture – set to be displayed on newsstands across Britain within hours – belittles Skegness’s iconic ‘jolly fisherman’, depicting him as a two-finger saluting, evil-clown-faced Leave voter wearing a “Go Away” sweater. It will be accompanied by the headline “Skegness is SO Brexit” and the strapline “Anthony Clavane visits the seaside to see if they still love Leave”. The sneering front page was emailed out this afternoon accompanied by a note revealing The New European‘s plot to sow division in order to boost sales. – Guido Fawkes

Jayne Adye: Brexit must mean no more benefit tourism

Recently, it was revealed controversial child benefits will continue to be paid after Brexit to families of EU migrants who don’t even live in Britain, at huge cost to the British taxpayer. This has clearly been going on for a long time, as we are members of the EU, but although we support EU migrants who already live in Britain remaining here, we believe this part of the ongoing proposals is wrong. We understand new EU migrants will not be able to take advantage of the UK’s benefits system, but it seems the anomaly of those who already live in the UK will continue. This development was set out in a recent paper from the Department for Exiting the European Union. It called for the UK’s 3 million EU migrants to keep their benefit entitlements after Brexit. However, those who arrive after Britain leaves the EU will not be entitled to handouts. Unfortunately, the paper did not address a vital concern. The fact is this is a breach of the Conservative Party’s manifesto. – Jayne Adye for The Commentator

Asa Bennett: No, Russia didn’t deliver Brexit – the will of the people cannot be hacked

Don’t like the way a vote has turned out? Just blame it on the Russians. It’s all the rage these days. Vladimir Putin, previously accused of swinging the US election in Donald Trump’s favour, is now charged by MPs with doing the same during the EU referendum to ensure that Britain voted Leave. Labour MP Ben Bradshaw insisted last December that it was “highly probable”, while his fellow Europhile Chris Bryant claimed in February that there was “clear evidence of Russian direct, corrupt involvement”. A committee of MPs has now waded in. The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs select committee has issued a new report on the referendum, which has already prompted a string of excitable headlines about what role Russia played, best represented by the International Business Times’s “Was the Brexit vote hacked?”. – Asa Bennett for the Daily Telegraph

Iain Martin: Boris is bruised but May needs him onside

Removed of the responsibility to negotiate Brexit, which would have fallen to him if he had succeeded in becoming prime minister last year, he could instead improve his credentials as a statesman on the international stage in preparation, perhaps, for the premiership. It was time to earn a reputation for seriousness. None of it has quite worked out as intended. Off the cuff jokes that were deemed amusing coming from a mayor were branded offensive when cracked by the UK’s senior foreign minister. Some of his European Union counterparts and assorted Brussels panjandrums made disparaging and hostile remarks. The real work of Brexit is being done elsewhere, too. “It is the prime minister, DD [David Davis] and his team at DEXEU and a small group of advisers and officials. Not that much for Boris to do,” says a minister loyal to May. That exclusion is partly down to Whitehall history. The Foreign Office always was the department most obsessively enthusiastic about the EU, to the extent that some of its mandarins worked for decades to push the UK much deeper into integration than the public wanted. – Iain Martin for the Times (£)

Phoebe Luckhust: Seven reasons why London will not fall after Brexit

Some revolutions are quieter than other. Yesterday The New York Times published a interactive essay titled, Will London Fall? which rather startled those people who had no idea it was imperilled in the first place. The piece was written by Sarah Lyall — a New Yorker who lived in London for more than a decade — and posits that the tremors of Brexit could threaten the capital’s status as a world capital. Lyall fled to New York in 2013, so perhaps she has forgotten that London’s mettle is more than a match for a little political uncertainty. These are seven reasons why London will not fall. Ever. – Phoebe Luckhust for the Evening Standard

Emma Haslett: No, London will not fall after Brexit. It will take on the responsibility the nation has left it with

Admittedly, after the result of the EU referendum, Londoners hesitated. But the piece’s view that London and the rest of Britain are drifting ideologically apart ignores the fact it is the capital which, whether it likes it or not, must eventually deliver Brexit. What the UK commanded, London will make so: Brexit will be picked through, pawed over and brokered in the boardrooms and back offices and bars of the capital. London’s pause after the EU referendum, the collective sigh it heaved, came as it took stock. But having paused for breath, run its sums and put together a to-do list, it is ready to make the most of its position of responsibility. Not everyone in this city, home to 8.7m people, each with their own motives and agendas, may agree with the decision to leave the European Union. But its people have taken on the job of executing that decision with level-headed professionalism. – Emma Haslett for City A.M.

Nick Robinson vs Charles Moore: Bias and the BBC

Last week, Nick Robinson wrote an article in the Radio Times saying Radio 4’s Today programme no longer has an obligation to balance its coverage of Brexit. This led to criticism from Charles Moore that he was, in effect, admitting to BBC bias. The two met for a discussion in The Spectator offices. Nick Robinson: As you’re so fond of pointing out, Charles, most economists, business organisations, trade unions and FTSE 100 chief executives were Remainers. The BBC’s difficulty is that news tends to be about interviewing people in power: scrutinising them, asking tough questions. It’s right that we should go and look for other voices, look for critics. But what we shouldn’t do is treat everybody as if they fit into a Leave or Remain category, and seek to balance every discussion along those lines. That would be absurd. Nick Robinson and Charles Moore for the Spectator

Podcast: CapX talks Brexit with Lord Lawson

As a journalist, he was a Financial Times columnist, founding business editor of The Sunday Telegraph business pages, and editor of The Spectator. He was a speechwriter and adviser to two Prime Ministers, a tax-cutting Chancellor who worked hand in glove with Mrs Thatcher to transform Britain’s economy, and more recently one of Britain’s most prominent climate change sceptics. We talked about what he’s learned over his career, how he thinks Brexit is going, and where the next crisis is coming from. – CapX Podcast

Mark Brolin: Could Scandinavia follow the path blazed by Brexit?

Given the speed of events, it is easy to forget that only a year ago it was widely expected that the UK would stay within the EU. Despite the level of discontent among voters having reached unprecedented levels, the sense of complacency within Team Remain stayed fairly intact up until the final weeks of the referendum campaign. One thought in particular appeared to serve as a comfort blanket: “Since everyone ‘enlightened’ is a Remainer, surely things have to go our way.” Yet the support of the elites for the European Project – and vice versa – turned out to be something of a double-edged sword. For years, it ensured that those objecting to ever closer union were dismissed as ridiculous. But in the end, this distanced the rulers from the ruled. The bias become so blatant that the voters turned against it. And there is reason to think that the same melodrama is about to play out within other EU member states – albeit with a time lag. The EU apologists who dominate the narrative in every member state capital are currently working hard to convince themselves that events in the UK were exceptional. “British voters were misled by Brexiteer misinformation and the Right-wing press,” they insist. “Things are now going so badly in the UK that the British example will convince other European voters that leaving the EU is undesirable.” – Mark Brolin for CapX

Brexit comment in brief

  • Tony Benn was right, the European Union is not Europe – Fergus Kelly for the Daily Express
  • Hatred, hysteria and lies – how a feted novelist is spreading unhinged fake news and wants the UK to fail post-Brexit – Stephen Glover for the Daily Mail
  • Our Brexit-driven disregard for Ireland is perilous – Nicholas Searle for the Guardian
  • Spain, Argentina: Who will be next to stake a claim in Brexit? – Ana Stanic and Arthur Appleton for City A.M.
  • Brexitland: With pay so low for this long, no wonder there’s anger in Sheffield – Owen Jones for the Guardian

Brexit news in brief

  • Andy Burnham urges the north of England to work together to manipulate May’s Brexit plans – Daily Express
  • Gibraltar should have it’s own free trade zone to ‘deal’ with Brexit, Spanish MP claims – Daily Express
  • The Times is wooing subscribers via a Brexit Facebook group –Digaday
  • British tech turns to Silicon Valley to ward off Brexit blues – The Guardian
  • Corbynistas sign up Occupy Wall Street activist for Brexit festival – LabourList
  • Brexit could free UK from expensive EU Space contracts – FT
  • Vodafone scraps roaming fees in much of Europe – BBC
  • Nigel Farage criticises expat in Germany for claiming Brexit referendum ‘damaged him’ – Daily Express
  • Problems across Europe unless frictionless trade border in place says shipping group – The Guardian
  • Britain heading for ‘transitional’ EU membership after Brexit, claims IMF chief Lagarde – Daily Express
  • Ukip’s Paul Nuttall urges party to ‘keep the faith’ after turbulent year – The Guardian
  • Brexit sees pensioners stay in the UK for their retirement – Daily Mail
  • One in five enquiries to EU legal advice service concern UK residency following Brexit, report reveals – Independent
  • Tony Blair won’t succeed in his attempt to topple Brexit, former adviser says – Daily Express 
  • Tesco’s sales rise for the first time in 7 years – Daily Mail
  • The implications of Brexit on farming in the UK – PoliticsHome