Brexit News for Sunday 8th January

Brexit News for Sunday 8th January

UK’s ex-EU Ambassador Sir Ivan Rogers quits Civil Service days after his resignation…

Sir Ivan Rogers has resigned from the Civil Service – just days after stepping aside from his role as UK ambassador to the EU. A spokeswoman said: “Sir Ivan Rogers resigned as UK Permanent Representative to Brussels on 3 January….he did not seek any further Civil Service appointment and has therefore resigned from the Civil Service with immediate effect.” – ITV

… having secretly discussed Brexit with David Cameron before Christmas

Sir Ivan Rogers held secret talks with David Cameron before Christmas to warn him that Theresa May was botching Brexit. Britain’s ambassador to the European Union — who resigned last week after accusing the government of “muddled thinking” — told the former prime minister that May was not doing enough to prepare for the risk of the UK making a “disorderly” departure from the EU. Rogers has told friends that he fears a hard Brexit will lead to “mutually assured destruction” between Britain and the rest of the EU. – The Sunday Times (£)

Break up of the EU is possible after Brexit, warns German deputy leader

Germany’s insistence on austerity in the euro zone has left Europe more divided than ever and a break-up of the European Union can no longer be ruled out, according to German deputy leader Sigmar Gabriel. ‘I also know about the state of the EU. It is no longer unthinkable that it breaks apart,’ he said. The Social Democrat vice chancellor told Der Spiegel magazine on Saturday that strenuous efforts by France and Italy to reduce their fiscal deficits came with the political risks which threatened the future of the bloc. – Mail on Sunday

Trump’s likely EU envoy is a Brexiteer: Insiders predict US trade deal within 12 months

Professor Ted Malloch, whose appointment is expected to be announced within days, said he believed Britain would “move to the head of the queue” for a trade deal with the US. Insiders say the President-elect will make an offer to complete the deal within a year when he meets Prime Minister Theresa May for the first time next month. Dr Malloch, who is a friend of former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, discussed the role with Mr Trump in New York last week, revealing the conversation had gone “very well”. – Sunday Express

  • A wealth of experience: Trump’s man in Brussels – Sunday Express
  • Trump ‘very much’ looking forward to meeting May – Sky News
  • Donald Trump says Britain is ‘very special’ and ‘looks forward’ to meeting Theresa May – Daily Express

Click here to read BrexitCentral’s interview with Ted Malloch from November

Nicola Sturgeon warns PM she is not bluffing on indyref2

Nicola Sturgeon has warned Theresa May that she is not “bluffing” on the promise of a second independence referendum if Scotland is “driven off a hard Brexit cliff”. Scotland’s first minister told the BBC’s Andrew Marr she felt the prime minister had “no plan” in terms of her strategy for the UK leaving the EU. She said she was prepared to compromise and wants Ms May to do the same. The UK government has said a special deal for Scotland is unrealistic. – BBC

Theresa May MP: I’m determined to build the shared society for everyone

When the British people voted in the referendum last June, they did not simply vote to withdraw from the European Union; they voted to change the way our country works – and the people for whom it works – forever. It was a quiet revolution by those who feel the system has been stacked against them for too long. – Theresa May MP for the Sunday Telegraph

Sunday Times: Mrs May needs an optimistic vision for Brexit

The ingredients for that are in our own hands: lower corporate and personal taxes, a better educated workforce, a deregulated and flexible economy and one of the few in Europe which meets the Nato target of spending 2% of GDP on defence. There is talk of using such a “Singapore of Europe” vision of 21st-century Britain as a bargaining tool in negotiations with the EU. That, to us, is the wrong way round. Low taxes to attract foreign direct investment and improve incentives are worth doing for their own sake, as is deregulation, not just as a bargaining tool. In this respect, so far, Mrs May’s approach has disappointed. Talk of workers on company boards, or registers of foreign employees, though since rolled back, have sent out the wrong signals. Lower taxes barely feature. The impression has been given of a defensive, closed Brexit obsessed with reducing immigration, even if this carries an economic cost. We need an open and optimistic Brexit and the prime minister needs to articulate it. – The Sunday Times (£) editorial

The PM sets a path for a brighter future

We admire Theresa May for carving a philosophy out of Brexit. The pollsters never predicted that Britain would vote to leave the EU; Mrs May could hardly have been ready to become prime minister. And yet she jumped into office in the midst of a revolution; ready to serve and to do so with purpose. Britain, she writes here, must now become “a stronger, fairer” place. Who could disagree? Brexit has started a necessary conversation about our nation that, hopefully, will put it on a path to a brighter future. Questions will be asked, inevitably, about how exactly Mrs May is going to get us there. – Sunday Telegraph editorial

Stephen Kinnock MP and Emma Reynolds MP: People are worried about immigration – Labour must devise a fair system and reunite the country

The EU referendum was a vote for change on immigration. Free movement of people was rejected and now, as shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer stated in his recent Bloomberg speech, “the status quo is not an option”. Some in the Labour party claim the proponents of managed migration are “Ukip-lite”. We reject this argument, which leaves a vacuum for the right to fill. Moreover, Labour has tended to attribute concerns about immigration to overstretched public services and unscrupulous employers, and tried to counter those anxieties with facts about the overall benefits of immigration. But people are worried about more than pressures on jobs, wages and housing: they are anxious about culture, identity and the rate of change of communities. Many of the areas that voted Leave on 23 June have little or no EU immigration, so it is clear that concerns are not limited to the areas that have experienced large and rapid inward migration flows. They are nationwide, strongly held and generally immune to arguments based on abstract economic data. – Labour MPs Stephen Kinnock and Emma Reynolds for The Observer

Liam Halligan: Get ready for the pound to rise – after the Brexit rows fade

UK manufacturing expanded at its fastest pace for two-and-a-half years in December, according to survey data released last week. Britain’s PMI manufacturing index soared to 56.1, up from 53.1 the month before – where readings above 50 indicate growth. Our all-important services sector – no less than four-fifths of our economy – is also buoyant. Services growth hit a 17-month high last month, the PMI services index reaching 56.2, as employers saw a pick up in both new orders and jobs. Unsurprisingly, then, the entire economy also expanded, according to the same company surveys. Britain chalked up an overall PMI reading of 54.2 in December, up from 52.8 the month before – boosted by a construction rebound and stronger exports. – Liam Halligan for the Sunday Telegraph 

James Forsyth: The other lesson that Theresa May must learn from Cameron’s failed EU negotiation

Theresa May has clearly learnt one lesson from David Cameron’s failed negotiation with the EU. As I write in The Sun this morning. she has realised that if she just asks for what cautious officials think she can get, then she won’t get enough to satisfy the voters—hence Sir Ivan Roger’s resignation as the UK representative to the EU. But an even bigger problem for Cameron’s renegotiation was that the other side never believed he would walk away from the deal. Cameron compounded this problem when he made clear that he wanted the whole thing done quickly, further reducing his negotiating leverage. So, when May makes her big Brexit speech later this month, she should make clear that while she thinks a good deal would be best for Britain and the EU, she is prepared to walk away from a bad one. – James Forsyth for The Spectator

Brexit comment in brief

  • The problem for Jamie’s Italian isn’t Brexit. It’s the menu, the prices and the narcissism – Tanya Gold for The Spectator’s Coffee House blog
  • Adam Boulton: Brussels is ready; Britain fumbles for a plan – Adam Boulton for The Sunday Times (£)
  • Jason Langrish: As a trade negotiator, I’m shocked at Brexiters’ ignorance – Jason Langrish for The Observer

Brexit news in brief

  • We don’t want your money, Tory Eurosceptics declare as donor threatens to cut funding over Brexit – Sunday Telegraph
  • UK tech deals hit record in 2016 despite Brexit effect – Sunday Telegraph
  • Supreme Court undecided over Article 50 Brexit decision experts predict – Sunday Express
  • EU wine cellar has 42,000 bottles – and Britain wants share after Brexit – Sunday Express