Brexit News for Friday 23 June

Brexit News for Friday 23 June
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May unveils ‘fair and serious’ offer to let EU citizens stay in UK after Brexit

More than three million EU nationals living in the UK will be given the right to stay permanently after Brexit and treated like British citizens, Theresa May told European leaders last night. The Prime Minister’s “fair and serious offer” to European leaders in Brussels was cautiously welcomed by European leaders. She pledged that all those who arrived in Britain before she triggered Article 50 in March will be entitled to stay. Mrs May also said that she did not want to “break up families” in a clear indication that the spouses and children of EU nationals who live abroad will be eligible to join them in the UK. However she said it is “vital” that any deal will have to be “reciprocal” and based on the European Union granting the one million British citizens who live in the Europe the same rights. – Telegraph

The plan, which will be published in full on Monday, guarantees permanent settled status for three million EU citizens already living in the UK, including rights to healthcare, education, benefits and pensions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was a “good start”, but there were many issues still to be resolved… Mrs May told EU leaders that no matter what was agreed on the cut-off date, there would be no “cliff edge” for any EU citizen lawfully resident in the UK on the actual day of Brexit. Everyone would be given a two-year “grace period” to “regularise their status under new laws”, she said. The plan also scraps an onerous 85-page residency document that has led to much agony among EU citizens forced to supply boxes full of supporting documentation… She said the rights would be guaranteed under UK law and in UK courts, not under European law as demanded by the EU position paper. – Sky News

  • May says 3m EU citizens can stay in Britain – The Times (£)
  • Theresa May only granted brief Brexit digestif – Politico
  • At long last, Theresa May offers assurance to EU nationals – Fraser Nelson for the Spectator
  • Theresa May urges EU leaders to back her counter-terror blitz on web giants and get rid of terrorist material from the internet – The Sun
  • Britain’s stance unclear after general election, says EU parliament president – Independent

Peter Foster: EU citizens’ rights after Brexit – the unanswered questions

Mrs May did not clarify the ‘cut-off’ date from when EU citizens will qualify for the offer to obtain settled status in the UK, instead she set a range… The EU has been clear in its own working paper that it wants full rights extended to all EU citizens residents in Britain up until ‘B-Day’. Mrs May says this will “the subject of discussion”… Mrs May is explicit that the UK commitment that we make to EU citizens “will be enshrined in UK law and will be enforced through our highly respected courts.” This formally sets up one of the major clashes between the two sides. The EU is demanding that the European Court of Justice should have “full jurisdiction corresponding” over the Withdrawal agreement” – a position that the UK says is absolutely untenable. – Peter Foster for the Telegraph (£)

  • UK and EU on collision course over rights of EU citizens – Politico

> Martin Howe QC on BrexitCentral: The EU’s unacceptable ECJ demands would create a privileged caste of EU citizens with superior rights in the UK

> Dr Gunnar Beck on BrexitCentral: A Brexit not involving a clean break from the jurisdiction of the European Court would be a Brexit in name only

> Hugh Bennett on BrexitCentral: The EU’s attempts to crowbar the ECJ into the deal on citizens’ rights will wreck the negotiations

Donald Tusk says door remains open to UK staying in the EU despite Brexit talks by quoting John Lennon’s Imagine

The European Council’s President has said the door remains open to Britain staying in the EU despite Brexit talks getting underway – by quoting John Lennon. The Brussels chief used lyrics from “Imagine” as he became the latest senior figure on the continent to suggest last year’s historic vote to leave could be reversed. Speaking at a press conference he said “you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” while addressing the prospect of the UK remaining in the bloc. – The Sun

  • Belgian PM slaps down EU chief Tusk slapped down over claim Britain can reverse Brexit – Express
  • Dutch PM says he ‘hates Brexit from every angle’ and calls for form of continued EU membership for UK – Independent
  • Irish Prime Minister says ‘door remains open’ for UK to stay in EU – Independent

Theresa May to push through Repeal Bill vote to thwart leadership challenge…

Theresa May plans to fend off a leadership challenge by tabling Brexit legislation immediately after next week’s crucial vote on the Queen’s Speech. The prime minister’s first objective is to win Commons backing on Thursday for her stripped-down legislative programme to prove that the Conservatives can form a viable government. Once established in power, however, some Conservatives want to move quickly to change their leader. Mrs May will hold off the threat by ensuring that MPs vote by the summer recess on the bill to repeal the European Communities Act, according to senior party figures. The move will force Tory MPs to choose between securing the first stage of Brexit and plunging the process into doubt by removing the prime minister. – The Times (£)

  • Corbyn takes first poll lead over May as voters say trade is the priority – The Times (£)
  • DUP hold secret talks with Labour and Lib Dems in bid to heap pressure on Theresa May to accept their spending demands – The Sun
  • DUP-Tory deal prospect ‘very good’, says Sir Jeffrey Donaldson – BBC News

…as Vince Cable reveals Lib Dems are holding secret talks with Tory Remainers to force “soft Brexit”…

The frontrunner to be the next Liberal Democrat leader has admitted he is in secret talks with the Conservative MPs about frustrating Brexit. Sir Vince Cable said that he was holding informal negotiations with Tory MPs who backed Remain at the referendum about working together to soften the impact of leaving the European Union in 2019. That came as the Lib Dems were expected [to table] an amendment to the Queen’s Speech to keep Britain in the single market and the customs union and require ministers to commit to spending £350million a week on the NHS after Brexit. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has been in talks with the Democratic Unionist Party for 10 days now about its 10 MPs propping up the minority Tory Government. However even with the backing of the DUP it would take only seven Tory MPs to switch sides in the House of Commons to defeat the Government. – Telegraph (£)

  • Lib Dem leadership: Norman Lamb out of the race – BBC News
  • How and why the Lib Dems went backwards in every seat they were defending last month – Richard Holden for ConservativeHome

…and Sadiq Khan deepens Labour Brexit splits with call for UK to remain in single market

London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Thursday called for the United Kingdom to seek continued access to the European Union’s single market after Brexit. Citing Prime Minister Theresa May’s failure to secure a parliamentary majority in this month’s snap election, Khan said the government must work to remain in the single market during Brexit negotiations… Tim Farron, the outgoing leader of the Liberal Democrats, also called on the government to retain single market membership as Brexit negotiations proceed. – Politico

Scottish Secretary David Mundell suggests Government will call SNP’s bluff over Brexit consent threat

David Mundell has indicated the UK Government will call the SNP’s bluff over threats to derail an “orderly” Brexit and warned Nicola Sturgeon she must drop plans for a second independence referendum if she wants to remain First Minister. The Scottish Secretary said it would be “incredible” for the Nationalists to withhold consent for the Repeal Bill, which seeks to plug the huge gaps in the statute book that will be left by thousands of redundant EU laws. He said doing so would create extraordinary “uncertainty” in Scotland alone and he was “very relaxed” about MSPs giving their approval to the Bill. Trying to frustrate Brexit would also mean turning down extra powers repatriated from Brussels, he added… His outspoken intervention came after the SNP’s Westminster leader suggested Ms Sturgeon could drop her threat to derail the UK Government’s Brexit plans in return for a seat at the negotiations in Brussels. – Telegraph

  • SNP threaten to hold Brexit bill to ransom unless Nicola Sturgeon gets a seat at the negotiations with the EU – The Sun
  • The Repeal Bill’s Scottish challenge is political, not constitutional – Henry Hill for ConservativeHome

PM should guarantee post-Brexit funding says Welsh Tory leader

The Welsh Conservative leader says the UK government should make a clear guarantee that Wales ‘will not lose a single pound as a result of Brexit.’ Andrew RT Davies, who was one of the most high-profile Leave campaigners in Wales, says Theresa May’s government should pledge to match levels of funding that Wales currently receives from Brussels once Britain leaves the EU. His call comes in an article that he’s written for the BrexitCentral website. – ITV News

> Andrew RT Davies AM on BrexitCentral yesterday: ‘Hard Remainers’ need to join Leavers in shaping the post-Brexit landscape

Manufacturing orders hit highest level since 1988

UK manufacturing order books swelled to a near three-decade high in June as the weaker pound pushed up demand for British-made goods, according to the Confederation of British Industry. A survey by the UK’s biggest business group showed total orders climbed to the highest level since August 1988 in the quarter to June, driven by increases in the food and drink, tobacco and chemicals sectors. Export orders also rose to a two-decade high, the poll of 464 factory bosses found, even as output eased back to levels seen at the start of the year. – Telegraph

ECB makes bid to become the regulator for euro clearing

The European Central Bank (ECB) has fired another warning shot in the battle for London’s euro clearing market, after it proposed new rules which will give it regulatory powers over the market… The move comes as London attempted to defend its euro clearing market, which handles 90 per cent of euro denominated derivatives clearing activities. Last week the ECB laid out a shake-up of its European Market Infrastructure Regulation (Emir) which tightened up rules for “systemically important” clearing houses operating outside the European Union. Although the shake-up avoided the “nuclear option”, requiring all euro clearing activity to take place in the EU, it nonetheless unsettled the City. On Tuesday Bank of England governor Mark Carney defended London’s euro clearing market, saying moving it out of the capital was in “no-one’s interest”, and could cause costs to rise tenfold. – City A.M.

  • ECB seeks to regulate euro clearing with change to statute – FT (£)

Fraser Nelson: How Theresa May fatally ignored the lessons of the Leave campaign’s victory

From the offset, Vote Leave sold Brexit as an agenda of national renewal, of tending to people who had been left behind. Its message – “take back control” – actually meant something. “Strong and stable” did not. So the idea, last year, was to serve up an inspiring message that would lead millions to back change. Lesson one: hope sells. Perhaps it was because Mrs May did not support Brexit that she never quite saw the need to frame it as being open and globalist. As Vote Leave knew from the offset, they would be accused of being xenophobic little Englanders with no interest in life beyond the English Channel. So they chose internationalist arguments: why, they asked, do we discriminate against immigrants from non-EU countries? Why not trade fairly with the Third World? And yes, let’s offer immediate and unconditional assurances to every single EU migrant in Britain: we need them, they can stay. But it is a colder, meaner version of Brexit that Mrs May ended serving up in the election. The warmer version that Boris Johnson worked on – offering unilateral security to EU migrants, emphasising good relations with European neighbours – is a policy that ended up being stolen by the Labour Party. – Fraser Nelson for the Telegraph (£)

Daniel Hannan: From fears over recession to Scottish split and refugee camps – EU Remoaners were wrong and we’re stronger than before

A year ago today, Britain ignored the advice of its leaders and instructed them to withdraw from the EU… It’s true that, as with every campaign in history, both sides put the best spin on their arguments. But when it comes to ­outright lies, Leave were not the real culprits. Remain told us a Leave vote would trigger an instant ­recession, cost every family more than £4,000, cause ­Scotland to leave the UK and transplant the Calais refugee camp to Kent. In fact, Britain boomed after the vote, support for Scottish separatism plummeted and the Calais jungle was dismantled. – Daniel Hannan MEP for The Sun

  • The post-referendum picture is a lot brighter than the one painted by doomsayers – Juliet Samuel for the Telegraph (£)

Allister Heath: Why Germany is waking up to the impact of a hard Brexit (and it involves that BMW in the garage)

Brexit could be terrible news for the car industry – the German car industry, that is. The hit to German carmakers from a “no-deal”, so-called “hard Brexit”, characterised by the introduction of WTO tariffs on imports, could be as catastrophic as the impact of the financial crisis and lead to a massive reduction in its trade surplus and huge, politically traumatic job cuts in its core industry. That, at least, is the message from a devastating study published by Deloitte’s German unit, one that will hopefully encourage all sides to get real about the need to maintain free trade when the UK leaves the EU. Of course, the imposition of trade barriers between UK and EU trade would also be terrible news for British manufacturers and consumers. It is imperative to avoid a trade war: protectionism is a brain-dead, economically illiterate policy that impoverishes all sides. – Allister Heath for the Telegraph (£)

  • How a hard Brexit will damage the German automobile industry [German] – Deloitte

Oliver Wiseman: Europe is more divided than Brussels would have you believe

We in Britain tend to believe the EU is inexorably turning into a super-state – and there are certainly those within Brussels and outside it who have devoted themselves to that goal (France’s new president, for example, can’t get enough of federalism). But even among Europe’s elites, there isn’t any consensus for this. On the contrary, they are divided in a way that all but guarantees inaction: 37 per cent think the EU needs more powers, 31 per cent think some powers should be returned to member states, and 28 per cent support the status quo. – Oliver Wiseman for CapX

Brexit comment in brief

  • Brexit: The POLITICO policy guides – Politico
  • One year on, how do we bridge the Brexit divide? – Lord Mandelson vs John Redwood MP for the FT (£)
  • The Salisbury Convention will survive – if the Labour lords know what’s good for them – The Earl Attlee for the Telegraph (£)
  • These are the negotiating skills David Davis will need to get a good Brexit deal – Patrick Forsyth for the Guardian
  • We have four post-Brexit trading options – Graeme Leach for City A.M.
  • The EU referendum has left us with two Britains. This is how we unite them – Sunder Katwala for the Telegraph (£)
  • How Brexiteers kept the Conservatives in power – Alexander Fiuza for Get Britain Out
  • A year on from the Brexit vote, which firms have been the winners and losers so far? – Sam Dean for the Telegraph
  • One year on from the EU referendum, stop taking business resilience for granted – Stuart Lisle for City A.M.
  • Central banks are stumbling around in the dark, unsure of how to respond to an unpredictable world – Jeremy Warner for the Telegraph (£)

Brexit news in brief

  • Bank of England’s Kristin Forbes says signs UK ‘behind the curve’ on rate rises as Bank of England loses focus on inflation – Telegraph
  • EU pushes back decision on London agencies to November – Politico
  • Foreign investors could sue UK for billions over Brexit – The Times (£)
  • ‘Brexit cloud’ threatens Bordeaux wine sellers as weaker pound and tariff fears dampen British sales – Telegraph (£)
  • UK’s expectations of Brexit talks ‘unrealistic’, claims JP Morgan economist – Sky News
  • Brexit: says artificial intelligence will be more disruptive to UK tech than EU withdrawal – Independent
  • Furious Question Time voter blasts Chief Remoaner Gina Miller for demanding Theresa May reveals her Brexit strategy in heated debate – The Sun
  • Emmanuel Macron vows to curb eastern European workers – The Times (£)
  • Greek rubbish strike causes stink – BBC News