Brexit News for Friday 23rd December

Brexit News for Friday 23rd December

Six months after the EU referendum, 54 per cent of Brits ‘want Brexit as soon as possible’

An ICM poll to mark the six month anniversary of the landmark referendum today found 54% want the PM to implement the result as soon as possible. And just one in five voters – 20% – disagreed. The number in favour of a quick EU departure includes a quarter of all Remain voters, in a sign the country is finally beginning to unify around the huge decision. – The Sun

EU support for “favourable Brexit deal for Britain” said to be dwindling…

Theresa May is being warned that European support for a favourable Brexit deal has “declined significantly”. EU opposition to Britain’s withdrawal has hardened in the six months since the referendum, claims a report by study group UK in a Changing Europe. Even Britain’s traditional allies will be unwilling to support the Prime Minister when she begins her Brexit negotiations next year. Many EU leaders believe the UK is living “on Fantasy Island” over its hope it can strike a deal – and they are preparing for a “showdown” when the talks starts, says the report. – Daily Mirror

…as the same report suggests the new post-Brexit landscape could squeeze Labour out…

Brexit Britain is a “new political landscape”, in which Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party could find itself squeezed on all sides, according to a new report marking six months since the referendum result… It is unclear which parties will benefit from this period of political volatility, the report argues – but it looks unlikely to be Labour. Political scientist Matthew Goodwin uses his essay, Brexit, Six Months On, to argue that the referendum campaign, “exposed a deep and widening divide in the political geography of Labour support”. – The Guardian

…while Lib Dem EU spokesman Nick Clegg submits 20 question for the Government to answer on Brexit

Mr Clegg said it was “astonishing” that basic information about the Government’s plans for the post-Brexit future was still not available, six months after the June 23 vote to leave the European Union. His demands come amid uncertainty over how much detail will be included in the plan Theresa May has agreed to publish before withdrawal talks begin under Article 50 of the EU treaties, which she has promised to invoke by the end of March. – Daily Express

Business confidence at highest level since March as faith in the British economy rises

Rising faith in the British economy has driven business confidence to its highest level since March, according to a survey by Lloyds bank. The study found overall confidence among firms was up 7 points to 39 per cent this month. Meanwhile, economic optimism rose 16 points to 30 per cent. – Daily Mail

Flexible employment law ‘can help London remain financial centre post-Brexit’

James Sproule, chief economist at the Institute of Directors (IOD), said the flexibility of UK employment laws drew financial companies to the capital, while the use of the English language also gave London an edge over rival financial centres. He added that the likes of Paris and Frankfurt would also have to grapple with the unpopular task of cutting corporation tax and personal tax rates if they wanted to attract bankers post-Brexit. – The Express and Star

  • Theresa May urged to get transitional Brexit deal for City – The Guardian
  • Business and parliament must work together to avoid a ‘cliff edge’ Brexit – Nils Pratley for The Guardian
  • Hospitality industry demands 100,000 Brexit work permits a year – Sky News
  • VW switches official language from German to English – EurActiv

Court battle over £60bn Brexit bill may take years

The battle over the UK’s Brexit “divorce” bill could go to the International Court of Justice in the Hague and take years to resolve, a leading Cambridge University academic predicts. The fee that the European Commission is expected to present to Britain — reports put this at about £60 billion — could have to be settled in the international court, according to Catherine Barnard, professor of EU law. A court case would not necessarily derail the Article 50 talks, but Britain could have to withdraw from the bloc without knowing what the final bill was going to be, she predicted. – The Times (£)

  • The most ‘toxic’ issue during Brexit talks is something Theresa May has so far failed to shoot down – Lianna Brinded for Business Insider

Queen reportedly frustrated with May’s secrecy about Brexit plan during September Balmoral stay

The Queen was left “disappointed” with Theresa May after the prime minister declined to share plans for Brexit during her first stay at Balmoral…Mrs May stuck to her “Brexit means Brexit” line during the visit to Scotland in September rather than giving a private briefing on how she intended to negotiate Britain’s way out of the European Union, according to a source close to the monarch. The prime minister’s failure to go beyond her public remarks during the stay meant that the Queen’s relationship with her 13th prime minister did not get off to an ideal start, the account suggests. The Queen’s disappointment echoes political criticism of Mrs May’s refusal to offer a “running commentary” on the terms of Brexit. – The Times (£)

  • A glimpse of disappointment over Theresa May’s unwillingness to discuss her vision of Brexit gives rise to the notion that she may not have one – The Times editorial (£)
  • On her Brexit plans Theresa May keeps mum in front of ma’am – Brendan Cole for the International Business Times

Andrew Marr: An optimist’s guide to Brexit

It is time to think differently. Brexit is coming, and relatively soon. We have to assume that the UK will be outside the EU within two and a bit years. An entirely new chapter in our politics will then begin. Yet most of the British political class is so battered and demoralised by the Brexit decision that they cannot take what is likely at face value, and start to chart how they intend to reshape a country that has much more power over its own governance. This is odd; and it is a dangerous wasted opportunity. Parliamentary power, expan­ded and reinforced, gives new opportunities to both the left and the right to change Britain. Rather than being paralysed by fear, we ought to be on the lip of a great invigoration of our democracy. Yet hardly anyone seems to be talking about the new agendas that are opening up. – Andrew Marr for the New Statesman

Joseph Hackett: Project Fear is being discredited in real time

Remember when Remain campaigners insisted Brexit would lead to the loss of three million jobs reliant on the EU? Remember when they told us the mere act of voting Leave would cause investment to suddenly dry up? Remember, for that matter, when they told us a Leave vote would risk an immediate ‘technical recession’ with thousands of job losses? The facts, as usual, have discredited these dire warnings. – Joseph Hackett for The Commentator

Mark Nayler: It’s no surprise Spain has already blocked Nicola Sturgeon’s half-baked Brexit plan

Sturgeon’s key proposal – that Scotland be allowed to remain in the Single Market post-Brexit, even if the rest of the UK leaves – spells danger for the Spanish government for one very simple reason: it would acknowledge Scotland as a separate entity, entitled to its own laws and to negotiate as an autonomous nation. That is everything that Rajoy’s government wants to prevent happening with Catalonia. It’s also why Jorge Toledo, Spanish Secretary of State for the EU, has said that during Brexit talks Spain will deal with ‘only one negotiator – the UK government’. Yet Sturgeon says she will hold another referendum on Scottish independence if her proposals are rejected, as it looks certain they will be by Spain; in that way, too, inspiration for secessionists in Catalonia would come from Scotland. – Mark Nayler for The Spectator’s Coffee House blog

  • Ex-Labour MP Mark Lazarowicz backs SNP Brexit plan – The Times (£)

Brexit comment in brief

  • Five people who made the Brexit vote happen 5) Victoria Woodcock – ConservativeHome
  • What did the Brexit vote reveal about the UK? – Mark Easton for the BBC
  • A first look at the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland – Filippo Biondi and Inês Goncalves Raposo for Bruegel
  • If the EU allows a handful of Belgians to block a trade deal with Britain, it deserves to collapse – Peter Foster for the Daily Telegraph (£)
  • The Brexit apocalypse has been deferred – Hamish McRae for The Independent
  • The Remoaners’ post-truth politics – Matthew Ellery for Huffington Post
  • Brexit spells ruin for our country; MPs must be free to vote against it – Brian Barder for LabourList
  • Berlin: The eurocrats still don’t get it – Rory Broomfield for Comment Central
  • Brexit has left Labour staring into the abyss – Matthew Goodwin for CapX

Brexit news in brief

  • Thirty things you didn’t know about the EU referendum – The Guardian
  • Investor $2m visa applications rise post-Brexit vote as investors take advantage of weaker sterling and avoid immigration limits – City A.M.
  • MPs’ working hours may be lengthened to allow enough time for passing Brexit legislation – The Independent

A Brexit tale – the night before Christmas

…The Brexiters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of free trade deals danced in their heads.
And the angry Remoaners stalked the hallowed hall
Waiting to use Parliamentary procedure to make Brexit fall…

By Mr M Larrington via John Redwood MP