Brexit News for Tuesday 18 April

Brexit News for Tuesday 18 April

Remain campaign’s scaremongering shown to be false, Change Britain demonstrates

Scaremongering predictions made by Remain campaigners during the referendum on quitting the European Union have turned out to be overwhelmingly false, according to a pro-Brexit pressure group. Warnings Britain would be plunged into an immediate recession amid spiralling unemployment and delayed spending by businesses and individuals have failed to materialise, Change Britain said. It deemed just one in 10 of the claims made in key government papers during the campaign to be true, such as how the UK could crash out of the bloc if no deal is reached and that leaving hits Britain’s ability to affect the EU’s decision-making. Change Britain chairwoman Gisela Stuart said: “The Remain campaign fed the public with stories of doom and gloom, but this analysis shows why voters were right to see through their scaremongering.” – AOL

  • Just two of George Osborne’s nineteen dire Brexit warnings have come true – Daily Mail
  • Remainers were fear-mongering: Shock new Brexit stats show staggering level of false fear – Daily Express

Britain won’t be ‘shut out’ of the room for EU trade talks says defiant Liam Fox

Brussels is threatening to kick our officials out of meetings to avoid the UK gaining sensitive information for after Brexit. EU officials fear the UK could gain confidential information that would help us agree favourable terms with the same nations after we leave the EU in March 2019. But the defiant International Trade Secretary said: “We are a full partner in the EU until we leave and intend to play our full role.” He added that Britain will “exercise our full legal rights as one of the 28 members until such time as we stop being a member”. – The Sun

  • Liam Fox insists UK will play full trade role in EU until Brexit – FT (£)

UK manufacturing exports surge to two-year high despite Brexit fears

Exports in Britain’s manufacturing sector grew at the fastest pace in two years at the beginning of 2017, while the services industry staged a steady recovery, recording its strongest sales growth since the Brexit vote in June. According to a survey released on Thursday (13 April) by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), manufacturers enjoyed the fastest domestic sales growth since the third quarter of 2015, while export sales grew at the quickest pace since the final quarter of the previous year. – International Business Times

  • Brexit fears which froze recruitment market prove unfounded, says recruiter Hays – Daily Telegraph
  • UK luxury advertising market boosted by Brexit vote, weak pound and tourism – City A.M.
  • Shoppers splurge in Easter bounce – Daily Telegraph

New technology will make Brexit trade a roaring success, reports Leave Means Leave

British businesses could find it easier to export and import after Brexit – if the Government starts work now on designing new systems… Leave Means Leave said the analysis destroyed the “myth” pedalled by Remain supporters that leaving the European Union will inevitably mean queues at the border once Britain is out of the free trade Single Market and customs union. Co-chairman John Longworth, former head of the British Chambers of Commerce, said his “blueprint for frictionless trade” could avoid future problems and streamline existing procedures to help British firms trade around the world. – Daily Express

  • To leave the EU the UK must get on and leave the Customs Union – John Longworth for Reaction

John Longworth writes today on BrexitCentral: Leaving the EU’s customs union could make us the world leader in effective trade

Theresa May urged to stop EU-funded groups destroying Brexit from within

Theresa May is being urged to make sure that anybody who takes part in public consultations on Brexit has to declare any EU funding they have received and contracts signed. The demand comes amid growing concern about a “fifth column” in Britain of EU-funded organisations trying to destroy Brexit and British interests from within. Brussels has ploughed in billions of pounds – ironically provided by the British taxpayer – back into British institutions to buy their support against Brexit, it is claimed. According to research by the eurosceptic Bruges Group, inspired by Margaret Thatcher, the EU has successfully infiltrated British society. – Daily Express

The EU is splitting into separate power blocs…

The countries within the EU are seemingly more divided than ever despite the bloc’s top apparatchiks constantly declaring “Europe is our common future”. While the rhetoric is of unity, clear divisions are apparent. The latest alliance to flex its muscles has been the group of seven “Southern EU Countries”, which met recently in El Pardo Palace in Madrid, Spain. Comprised of the Iberian countries, France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta – the group, meeting for the third time ever, set out its demands saying Brussels nations had to sort out “shared responsibility and solidarity” over migration policy – effectively calling for the northern countries to pull their weight in terms of both providing the finance necessary and taking their share of the migrants arriving in the bloc. – Daily Express

…as Ireland seeks a common Brexit strategy with Dutch and Danes

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is to meet the leaders of like-minded EU countries to ensure that upcoming Brexit talks move swiftly on to trade and do not get delayed by the UK’s so-called divorce settlement. Mr Kenny will hold a mini-summit next week [this week] in The Hague with the prime ministers of the Netherlands and Denmark, the other two countries most affected by Brexit. The Taoiseach, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte and Denmark’s Lars Løkke Rasmussen do not want the Brexit talks to stall over the “divorce bill” from the EU, which some estimates have put as high as €60 billion. Sources said they are agreed that the “sequencing” of the talks must allow for a rapid move to the second stage of Brexit negotiations, which will lay the foundations for the future EU-UK relationship. – Irish Times

Brussels mulls Norway-style EFTA transitional period for the UK

The European Commission’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier’s team already floated the idea of a zero-tariff interim deal that preserves trade in goods, like German cars or French wine exports to the U.K, but would exclude trade in services and hit the U.K. hard on banking or aviation. Brussels now has a plan B: The U.K. could temporarily become a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) while both sides transition into their future relationship, a senior Commission official told POLITICO. – Politico

Britain preparing to scrap EU green energy targets as part of a bonfire of red tape after Brexit

Britain is preparing to scrap EU green energy targets which will add more than £100 to the average energy bill as part of a bonfire of red tape after Brexit.The UK is currently committed to getting 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020. Ministers have long been critical of the targets because they exclude nuclear power, carbon capture or gains from energy efficiency. The UK is currently on course to miss the target and incur millions of pounds in fines from the European Union. Government sources told The Daily Telegraph that the target, under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, is likely to be scrapped after Brexit. The Daily Telegraph has called on the Conservative Party to promise a bonfire of EU red tape in its 2020 manifesto to put Britain on a radically different course. – Daily Telegraph

Jeremy Corbyn in Brexit pledge to ‘upgrade our economy’

The Labour leader said Whitehall and councils could obtain new opportunities to use their “incredible” purchasing power to support UK businesses and boost local economies. Labour also wants firms bidding for public contracts to have to recognise unions and curb “boardroom excess”. On a visit to Doncaster, Mr Corbyn said Brexit presented “many challenges”. But the Labour leader, who campaigned to remain in the EU, added that severing ties with Brussels could also “give us more powers to encourage best practices and support new and existing businesses and industries in Britain”. – BBC

Brexit is a ‘fantastic opportunity’ for English football says Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish believes Britain’s exit from the European Union represents a “fantastic opportunity” for English football to address what he considers an imbalance within club academies, and to the benefit of the England team. Parish is convinced the presence of so many players from EU nations within academies inhibits the development of local footballers. – The Independent

Support for Brexit hits a five-month high, with 55 per cent of UK population now backing exit from European Union

Support for Brexit has hit a five month high, with 55 per cent of the population now backing Britain’s exit from the European Union, a new poll has found. A new survey from Orb International shows a four per cent boost for Theresa May in days after she triggered the start of Brexit talks at the end of last month. Dissatisfaction with Brexit is now at its lowest level since the survey started last November, with just 45 per cent opposed to leaving the EU. The poll by Orb International also shows that Britons are more concerned about trade talks than immigration for the first time as formal negotiations about Brexit get underway. The survey found that 47 per cent of voters disagreed that “controlling immigration [was] more important than access to free trade”. – Daily Telegraph

Brexit ‘barista visas’ plan could allow workers two years in UK…

The Home Office is looking at plans for “barista visas” to ensure coffee shops and pubs are fully staffed after Brexit. Young European citizens would be able to come to the UK to work in the hospitality industry for two years under the plans. But they would not be allowed to claim benefits or free housing when free movement within the EU ends after Britain leaves. The British Hospitality industry has warned that the shortage of British workers in hotels and restaurants is so severe that many will go bust without a steady stream of migrants. – Sky News

  • Brexit and the student migration paradox – Faisal Islam for Sky News

…with UK employers set to take on immigration enforcement, say experts

Employers in Britain will have to take more responsibility for enforcing immigration rules after Brexit because the Home Office does not have the manpower to monitor EU migrants as well as those from the rest of the world, experts warn. Although the government has not yet revealed the details of its new immigration system, it has become clear that businesses, universities and landlords will have to shoulder some of the burden for ensuring that migrants comply with visa rules once the UK ends freedom of movement and EU nationals are subject to entry controls. It is expected that immigration officials will categorise some businesses or universities with a good record of compliance — ensuring that workers or students leave the country once their visas have expired — as “highly trusted” visa sponsors so they can focus their attention on riskier organisations. – FT (£)

…and half of British public support more immigration of highly skilled workers, poll suggests

More than half of British people support increased immigration of highly skilled workers, suggests a new poll, which charts the UK’s attitude towards migrants from diverse sectors of the economy and different areas of the globe. The combined research by Ipsos Mori and King’s College London found that 52 per cent of British adults believed more immigrants coming to do highly skilled jobs should be admitted, compared with 12 per cent who disagreed. However, the public is considerably less supportive of allowing lower-skilled migrant workers to come to the UK, with only 18 per cent agreeing that more should be allowed to come and do routine manual jobs. Over 40 per cent said fewer should be permitted. – The Independent

British skippers want to see fishing quotas scrapped post-Brexit and replaced with a reduction in days at sea

As experts warn relations between fishermen and the Government are at an historic low, Cardiff University polled almost one in ten of fishing boat captains. And they found concerns Ministers are totally out of touch with the views of Britain’s ocean going strivers. The study found that two thirds of skippers want the EU’s hated Commons Fishery Policy totally scrapped, with a similar level of support for ALL foreign boats being completely excluded from British waters once the UK has left the EU. And 56% of skippers instead favour a “days at sea” method of controlling British fishing waters. – The Sun

  • ‘Unshackle’ UK from EU fishing rules, ministers urged by IEA – Yorkshire Post

Ministers are privately urging Theresa May to double Government’s ‘paltry’ support for the shipping industry to help it make the most of Brexit

Ministers are privately urging Theresa May to double the Government’s “paltry” support for the shipping industry to help it make the most of Brexit. The UK Chamber of Shipping – which represents 175 shipping firms in the UK and around the world – wants to see the Government give £30million to train more seafarers. It said an extra £15million is a “drop in the ocean” for the Government and says the economy will get £4 back for every £1 invested in training sea workers. Transport minister John Hayes backs the move to boost cash for training sea workers and is understood to be lobbying the Treasury for the extra £15million cash. Ministers cut funding by 14% under the last Government – but the shipping industry has warned that the UK will need hundreds more seafarers to meet the Prime Minister’s pledge to use Brexit to strike landmark new trade deals with countries across the world. – The Sun

Theresa May: People are ‘uniting’ after Brexit vote

The prime minister has used her Easter message to suggest people are “coming together and uniting” following divisions over the EU referendum. Theresa May said there were opportunities for the country, and that the shared values of Britons “can – and must – bring us together”. Mrs May, whose father was a vicar, said the UK should be “confident” about Christianity’s role in society and stand up for people’s freedom to talk about their faith. She said: “This year, after a period of intense debate over the right future for our country, there is a sense that people are coming together and uniting behind the opportunities that lie ahead. “For at heart, this country is one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future.” – ITV News

Peter Lilley MP: That £350 million figure. The EU’s negotiating position shows it to be less of an exaggeration than has been claimed

Rarely can a single number have caused so much embarrassment both to its users and its critics as the “£350 million per week” we do, or do not, send to Brussels. It was painted on the side of the Vote Leave battle bus during the campaign. It has since been seized upon by Remain campaigners as the “lie” that delegitimises the referendum result. And this claim is about to boomerang, since the EU’s negotiating position assumes that our true contribution has exceeded the published figure. £350 million per week is the gross contribution that Britain pays the EU before netting off the Thatcher rebate and the money that the EU pays back to British farmers, regions, and so on. The Office of Budget Responsibility puts the net figure at £200 million per week, which it assumes will be used to fund increased public spending. – Peter Lilley MP for ConservativeHome

Joseph Hackett: Europe needs our co-operation on defence

Prime Minister, Theresa May, has received some criticism from Remainers for allegedly “threatening” the EU by simply pointing out how failure to reach a Brexit deal would adversely affect UK-EU co-operation on security. May is, however, right to remind the EU of areas where it benefits from co-operation with Britain – and where it would lose out if it chose to drive too hard a bargain with us. The hypocrisy of denouncing the Government for daring to raise the prospect of no deal, while taking every ludicrous ultimatum from the EU as entirely natural and justified, needs to be challenged. Britain should not be afraid to talk about its strengths in Brexit negotiations – and another such strength is defence. We are the leading military power in Europe, with the fifth-largest defence budget worldwide – and along with Greece, Estonia, Poland, and the United States, we are one of just five NATO members currently meeting the bloc’s target of spending 2 percent of GDP on defence. – Joseph Hackett for The Commentator

Roger Bootle: Row over UK’s final EU payments is big win for Britain’s lawyers, at least

But as well as making payments into the budget we also receive considerable funds from it. Arguably, in computing the UK’s liabilities, these prospective receipts from the EU should be deducted from the amounts that the UK supposedly owes to the EU… If the UK has to contribute to the EU’s future financial commitments, and perhaps even if it does not, then arguably the UK should be entitled to a share of the EU’s assets, including property, which have been built up mostly during the period of its membership and which its substantial net contributions have helped to finance… As with everything else to do with the UK’s departure, how things pan out will be the result of complex negotiations. A concession in one area may be counter-balanced by an advantage gained in another. – Roger Bootle for the Sunday Telegraph (£)

Trevor Kavanagh: The EU is a rotten egg and Britain is rightfully cracking on with the next best thing

Vicar’s daughter Theresa May used her Easter message yesterday to urge both sides of the Brexit row to bury the hatchet and let our “shared values bring us together”. “After a period of intense debate, there is a sense that people are coming together and uniting behind the opportunities that lie ahead,” said the PM. She might be disappointed. If the polls are anything to go by, Mrs May is in tune with voters. Support for Brexit has grown, from 52 per cent last June to 55 per cent today. Remainers who blamed racism for the Out vote might also be pleased by a steep fall in immigration as the voters’ top priority, replaced by concern about free trade. “The British public are slowly becoming more comfortable with the idea of Brexit,” says pollster Orb International. – Trevor Kavanagh for The Sun

Brexit comment in brief

  • Europe drove Turkey towards an autocrat. We cannot now turn our backs on his people – William Hague for the Daily Telegraph (£)
  • How the EU elite paved the way for populism – Guglielmo Verdirame for Standpoint
  • Working people robbed of £35bn to fund EU welfare for the rich – John Longworth for The Sun
  • Europe risks nightmare as anti-euro ‘Bolshevik’ storms France – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard for the Daily Telegraph (£)
  • Why farming has the most to win or lose after Brexit – Szu Ping Chan for the Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit should stop the damaging erosion of Britain’s pragmatic approach to business regulation – Ed Conway in The Times (£)
  • Britain after Brexit: Three radical plans to boost the UK economy – Tim Wallace for the Daily Telegraph (£)
  • Plaid Cymru is seeking to subvert the wish of the Welsh people for Brexit – Matthew Ellery for ConservativeHome
  • The secret gatherings of foreigners who support Brexit – Andrew Shuen for ConservativeHome
  • Remainers shift to ‘Brexit in name only’ – Paul T Horgan for Conservative Woman

Brexit news in brief

  • UK says no decision taken yet on location of EU agencies post-Brexit – Reuters
  • Three in four Conservative Party members prefer no deal to what they would see as a bad deal – ConservativeHome
  • Ministerial travel costs soar following Brexit vote – PoliticsHome
  • Cabinet differences over plans to allow cheap food imports from the US – Daily Mail
  • How coordination of financial services regulation between the UK and the EU after Brexit could work – Legatum Institute
  • Road to Brexit: European Parliament gets ready to flex its muscles in UK withdrawal talks – The Independent
  • How David Cameron’s chumocracy are cashing in post-Brexit – Daily Mail
  • UK expected to retain strong M&A relationship with the rest of Europe despite Brexit uncertainty – City A.M.
  • Alternative Investment Market bounces back, despite Brexit fears, with number of companies joining rising – City A.M.
  • Decorative candles, dental floss and eclairs: How supermarkets are hiking up prices on obscure items by up to 30% and blaming Brexit – Daily Mail