Two out of three people believe that the EU is trying to bully the UK over Brexit: Brexit News for Sunday 11 March

Two out of three people believe that the EU is trying to bully the UK over Brexit: Brexit News for Sunday 11 March
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Two out of three people believe that the EU is trying to bully the UK over Brexit

Two in three people believe the European Union is attempting to “bully” the UK in the Brexit negotiations, according to a new poll. A survey carried out for the Telegraph reveals that while the split of Leave and Remain voters is largely unchanged since the referendum, 67 per cent of individuals, regardless of their voting preference, agreed that “the EU is trying to bully the UK” in its approach to the talks. – Telegraph (£)

Scottish fishermen want immediate exit from EU policy post-Brexit

Scottish fishermen have demanded the immediate exit from the common fisheries policy (CFP) when Britain leaves the European Union. The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) insists the UK must be able to operate as “a fully-functioning coastal state” after it has left the bloc in March 2019. The call is one of several “red lines” which the industry is warning the UK Government not to cross in Brexit negotiations with the EU. – STV

Michael Gove and Ruth Davidson unite to demand UK unhook from fisheries policy – Sunday Times (£) 

Dame Judi Dench, Sir Andy Murray, Joanna Lumley and 27 other celebrities call on Government to use Brexit to ban fur imports

Dame Judi Dench, Sir Andy Murray, Joanna Lumley and 27 other celebrities today call on the Government to use trade freedoms after Brexit to ban all fur imports. In a letter to the Sunday Telegraph, which is also signed by Twiggy, Sue Perkins and Ricky Gervais, the group questions: “if fur is too cruel to produce in this country, it’s too cruel to sell in this country.” The authors urge Theresa May to consider the “animals who have suffered a lifetime in tiny barren cages, often driven insane by neglect”. – Telegraph (£)

Anti-Brexit campaigners launch latest bid to force second EU referendum

A legal challenge to force Theresa May to concede a second EU referendum has been launched by anti-Brexit campaigners. They claim a loophole in the Prime Minister’s Brexit tactics means that she will be legally obliged to offer a second vote. Anti-Brexit group Best For Britain, which is leading the challenge, says it is using the same legal arguments successfully deployed by campaigner Gina Miller. – Mail on Sunday

EU migrants in Britain claimed more than £4bn a year in benefits

Those from Eastern Europe received more in welfare than the average UK citizen — and paid less income tax. In the run-up to the Brexit referendum, ministers had insisted the figures were not available. But the cost of open doors migration has now been revealed. Data from the Department for Work and Pensions, taxman and Treasury shows EU workers received more than £2.2billion in tax credits and housing benefits, £1.1billion in out-of-work payments and £700million in child benefit. There is a stark contrast between Western and Eastern Europeans. Nearly half the personal taxes paid by migrants from countries such as Romania, Bulgaria and Poland went straight back in tax credits and child benefit. DWP figures were not broken down by country. But if they followed a similar distribution, then almost all of the taxes went back in working-age benefit. – Sun on Sunday

Firms’ priority is Brexit transition agreement not final deal, KPMG finds

Firms in the aerospace, hospitality and manufacturing industries, together with business leaders in the North West, Northern Ireland and East Midlands, are the most bullish about Brexit. The majority of companies also favour a quick Brexit transition agreement over drawn out end-state negotiations, no matter how good the deal, according to a survey. Some 280 business chiefs responded to the study commissioned by KPMG, all from firms with revenues greater than £100m. More than two thirds of the business leaders said they would prefer legal certainty on transition by April 2018 with a less ambitious future deal, rather than a more comprehensive one determined at a later date. –Telegraph

France wants to knock out the City, but does the EU?

According to City sources, the French government has asked banks to state how many jobs they are moving to Paris. When one bank reported it as jobs “created”, it was told that this should be rephrased as jobs moved out of London. The hardline approach is rooted in the idea that the UK “stole” jobs from Paris in the 1980s and this is a chance for revenge. However, southern and eastern European nations are concerned about access to international capital markets after Brexit, because London is a global market for liquidity and risk capital. Three-quarters of Italian sovereign-debt dealers are in the capital, for example. The European Commission has to consider all member states’ wishes. “It wants financial services spread out through the EU,” said Andrew Pilgrim, who runs the government practice at the financial services firm EY. “That avoids an increased concentration of risk.” – Sunday Times (£)

‘Keep America Great!’ Donald Trump reveals 2020 slogan as he rails against EU over tariffs

Mr Trump gave an impassioned defence of his tariffs and was drowned out by cheers as he vilified the EU. He said: “Now, all these countries are ringing up…a lot of you are originally from EU countries, that sounds nice, but the EU they kill us on trade.” Addressing the EU directly he said: “Open up the barriers and get rid of your tariffs, and if you don’t do that we’re going to tax Mercedes Benz, we’re going to tax BMWs. Cars are the big money item.” Mr Trump was then drowned out by supporters as he appeared to mention other EU products to tax. – Telegraph

Sales of gin in Britain hit record high – sparking trade and jobs boom

Gin sales have hit a record high as Britain’s thirst for the trendy spirit has sparked a trade and jobs boom. More than 16 million bottles, worth £413 million, were sold in the run-up to Christmas – and off-licences are enjoying a mini-bonanza for Mother’s Day. There are now 315 distilleries in Britain, more than double the number operating five years ago, and 100 brands to choose from. And latest market figures show sales were up 27 per cent last year, with 51 million bottles sold, worth almost £1.4billion. – The Sun

Dutch MEP Sophie in ’t Veld attempting to skewer the ‘Monster of Brussels’, Martin Selmayr

The bureaucratic coup two weeks ago has placed unparalleled executive powers in Martin Selmayr’s hands. One senior EU politician said the appointment was sprung on the commission after governments were given no advance warning. The resignation of Selmayr’s predecessor, Alexander Italianer, had been revealed only moments earlier. Appointing the head of a national civil service — the equivalent of Selmayr’s new job — without a competition process would be impossible in many countries, the politician added. The commission has denied anything untoward in Selmayr’s appointment. A spokesman said it had adhered “religiously” to all procedures: “Everything was done by the book.” – Sunday Times (£)

The Sun on Sunday: Use Brexit billions to make like Donald Trump and slash tax, Phil

Chancellor Philip Hammond today declares that “there is light at the end of the tunnel”. It comes as Britain is forecast to see the first sustained fall in debt for a generation. On this page today, he rightly focuses on important issues, such as tackling plastic pollution. But there is something missing that really does interest hard-working people — putting more money in their pockets. A report today reveals that some £25billion will be available by the time Britain leaves the EU. The Chancellor should use this Brexit bonanza to unleash tax cuts right across the board. This would stimulate growth, create jobs and put cash in the pockets of Sun readers. – Sun on Sunday editorial

Mark Wallace: Even fans of the EU are getting fed up of its bullying approach to the Brexit talks

Leavers and Remainers have a variety of points of disagreement, to state the obvious. Given the often deep and sometimes rancorous divisions which still linger in some quarters, it’s always interesting to find out about areas where people with diametrically opposed views of the EU still agree to a sizeable extent. One such example is presented in today’s Sunday Telegraph, which carries the results of a poll tracking sentiment around the Brexit negotiations. Asked the question “do you agree the EU is trying to bully the UK in the Brexit negotiations”, 67 per cent either agreed or strongly agreed, overall. – Mark Wallace for ConservativeHome

Peter Marshall: We must all now focus on finding a way to build a positive future relationship

We may not say, along with Henry Ford, that “history is more or less bunk”. But in the management of our affairs we often seem to behave as if that was our opinion. Brexit is a prominent case in point. Let us therefore take a cold look at the facts: The EU has lost its way. At the outset, in the days of the European Economic Community, “l’esprit communautaire” had a specific significance: it expressed the community spirit, the complement of, but also to some extent a check on, l’acquis communautaire, the accumulation of EEC treaties, laws, precedents and powers. – Peter Marshall for ConservativeHome

Brexit in brief

  • How about some new subjects for media interviews about Brexit? – John Redwood’s Diary
  • Look on Labour’s Brexit and despair – Alex Massie for the Sunday Times (£)
  • Cable accuses Tories of Brexit ‘fraud’ on voters – Belfast Telegraph
  • Aviation industry braces for Brexit with CEOs divided on fallout – Bloomberg