Brexit News for Sunday 16 July

Brexit News for Sunday 16 July
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Labour chiefs dismiss Tony Blair’s call to keep fighting Brexit

In his latest foray into the Brexit debate, the former prime minister said the election of French President Emmanuel Macron had opened up the prospect of real change in Brussels which could enable Britain to stay in the bloc. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the party respected the outcome of last year’s referendum vote to Leave, while shadow chancellor John McDonnell insisted there was no desire to reopen the divisions over Brexit. – Evening Standard

  • John McDonnell hits back at Blair’s criticism of Labour’s Brexit policy – Observer
  • Blair: UK could stay in a reformed EU – Channel Four News
  • Tony Blair ‘feels sorry’ for Theresa May as job ‘under threat’ – Sky News
  • Tony Blair refuses to offer evidence for claim UK could stay in a reformed European Union – Telegraph
  • Jeremy Corbyn tells Tony Blair ‘politics has changed’ – Sky News
  • Tony Blair’s latest pro-EU outburst is a classic example of the slyness we came to expect of him as Prime Minister – The Sun on Sunday

David Davis warns Brussels: You can’t pick referee for legal disputes after Brexit

David Davis will tell the European Union this week it cannot “pick the referee” for legal disputes after Brexit as a new round of talks begin. Despite the hopes of some in his party, the Brexit Secretary is holding a firm line when it comes to ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice [ECJ]. – Telegraph

City of London accuses France of plot to ‘wreck Britain’ – even if it gains nothing itself

France has boasted to City of London chiefs that it will use Brexit to sabotage the British economy, according to a bombshell leaked memo. The memo, sent to Ministers, says the French government and banking chiefs are plotting to ‘actively disrupt and destroy’ the UK’s multi-billion-pound financial sector when Britain leaves the EU – even if France gains nothing. – Mail on Sunday

Former civil service head warns Theresa May of Brexit chaos

In a warning over the scale of the challenge now facing the government, Lord O’Donnell, the former cabinet secretary, writes in the Observer that Britain is in for a “rough ride” unless cabinet ministers unite and back a long transition deal to soften the impact of Brexit. “The EU has clear negotiating guidelines, while it appears that cabinet members haven’t yet finished negotiating with each other, never mind the EU,” the crossbench peer warns. He calls on ministers to “start being honest about the complexity of the challenge”. – The Observer

  • Brexit is a massive venture. There’s no way these changes will happen smoothly – Lord O’Donnell for the Observer

Summer of scheming beckons as Tory plotters consider toppling Theresa May by Christmas

It was the kind of moment Westminster watchers love. Across a sea of suited politicos and glasses full of Pol Roger, Boris Johnson and David Davis locked eyes. The scene was The Spectator’s summer party; the backdrop, endless speculation the Foreign Secretary and Brexit Secretary want the top job if Theresa May goes. – Telegraph

  • 30 Tory MPs would back David Davis in leadership bid, his allies claim – Telegraph

‘If you kicked us out, this town would die overnight’: British expats in picturesque France shrug off Brexit fears

Cheers erupt as the Tour de France, that most Gallic of sporting events, kicks off a stage from Eymet, the most British of French towns. UK and French nationals applaud as the cyclists pedal off into the sunflower-strewn hills of “Dordogneshire”, as the French département, or county, is often dubbed due to its population of up to 10,000 British expatriates. – Telegraph

Britain may produce its own radioactive cancer medicine after Brexit

A British firm is building powerful nuclear machines which could allow the country to rely on its own source of radioactive cancer medicine after Brexit. Alliance Medical UK is working on two particle accelerators which will produce Technetium-99m, a radioactive isotope used to detect cancer. – Telegraph

Just one in five House of Commons committees chaired by an MP who backed Brexit

Just one in five Commons select committees that scrutinise the Government is chaired by someone who voted for Brexit, new analysis has revealed. The MPs who head up the Brexit, Treasury, business and trade committees all voted to stay in the European Union last year. – Telegraph

Iceland opens door for UK to join EFTA

Iceland’s foreign minister has opened the door for Britain to rejoin a European trade club that would put it on a fast track to sign dozens of ready made deals after Brexit. Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson said he had spoken to Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary about the UK joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) at a meeting before June’s general election. – Telegraph

The original Grexit: how Greenland split from the EU

Greenland’s fight for independence from the European Economic Community (EEC) began almost as soon as it joined. Despite 71pc of Greenlanders voting against accession to the bloc, a pro-EU Copenhagen persuaded 63pc of the total Danish electorate to vote to join in 1972. As a constituent country of Denmark, Greenland became an EEC member the following year. Many Greenlanders already resented that laws were dictated by a country 2,000 miles away. – Telegraph

Daniel Hannan MEP: The childishness of Remain refuseniks can’t stop Brexit, but it might damage it

What do they hope to achieve, the Remain refuseniks currently filling our airwaves with their threats and lamentations? What is the game plan of Chuka Umunna, Tim Farron, Anna Soubry and the others demanding that we keep every aspect of EU membership? Are they trying to sabotage the referendum result? Are they genuinely interested in securing the best exit terms? Are they luxuriating in the media attention? Or are they just letting off steam, with no very clear objective? Let’s consider the possibilities in turn. – Daniel Hannan MEP for the Telegraph

Matthew Lynn: How to prepare for a US-UK trade deal

At the G20 summit last weekend the US president, Donald Trump, repeated his promise of making a free-trade deal with the UK a priority. That might mean a deal that’s ready to go in 2020. That is a big opportunity. The US is, alongside China, the world’s largest economy. And as the proposed TTIP free-trade agreement between the US and the EU now looks dead in the water, we can forget about our EU rivals matching our access to that market any time soon. There is a lot to play for. Here are five industries that should come out ahead. – Matthew Lynn for Money Week

James Forsyth: Tory leadership tensions mustn’t undermine the Brexit talks

The May-Davis partnership used to be one of the strongest aspects of the government. She had brought him back from the political wilderness to be Brexit Secretary, and he was loyally working on the strategy for the negotiations. Even after the election went so wrong, Davis raced down to London to see her. But, as I say in the Sun today, Cabinet Minister reports that there are now tensions in this relationship. ‘The chemistry is not good now’, one tells me. Another says ‘that relationship has cooled’. – James Forsyth for The Spectator

Dia Chakravarty: Yes, Brexit is a challenge, but have our leaders forgotten why we voted Leave already?

Two news stories caught my eye this week. The EU is planning to spend €12 million on doing up a building in Paris – the “House of Europe” – which it’s going to rent for €6 million a year, as part of the goal of Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, “to bring Europeans closer to the EU”. The second is from our Brussels correspondent James Crisp, who reported that the EU officials’ end of year staff party is planning to serve 700 bottles of wine and 26 different side dishes, costing up to €55,000. – Dia Chakravarty for the Telegraph

Daniel Hannan MEP: Britain and Africa will prosper together if we ditch the EU’s economic colonialism

The further you travel from Brussels, the likelier people are to see Brexit as an opportunity. I’m in Kampala, discussing post-EU commercial prospects with business and political leaders from across East Africa. While not everyone here started as a Leaver, there is now a widespread hope that Brexit will lead to more open trade arrangements, above all in farming, which employs two thirds of Africa’s workforce. – Daniel Hannan MEP for the Telegraph

John Redwood MP: Let’s stop negotiating with ourselves

There are endless discussions in some of the media and in Parliament about what concessions the UK should offer. Why don’t they understand the negotiations may go on for 19 more months? The EU has not yet made a sensible offer or explained how it wishes to maintain full tariff free access to our market with no new barriers. Why do they keep on recycling the same old stale stories, and the same old failed lines from the Remain campaign? – John Redwood MP for John Redwood’s Diary