Brexit News for Tuesday 30 May

Brexit News for Tuesday 30 May
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Theresa May to woo working class with tough line on Brexit…

Theresa May will try to re-energise her general election campaign today by urging working-class Labour and Ukip voters to switch to the Conservatives over Brexit. With a new poll indicating that Labour is solidifying recent gains, the prime minister will seize on “aggressive” Brexit demands from Brussels to insist that only she can negotiate a deal to “define” Britain’s future. She will also explicitly woo voters who are concerned about immigration and Britain’s sovereignty, saying that their views have been “ridiculed and ignored for too long”. The Tories’ decision to use the final full week of campaigning to refocus on Brexit comes after a poll suggested that attempts to portray Jeremy Corbyn as soft on terrorism had failed to win over voters. – The Times (£)

…as she seeks to counter the “aggressive” negotiating demands of the EU

European Union bureaucrats are demanding that “current and future family members” of European nationals in the UK should have an open-ended right to settle in this country after Brexit. They also want Britain to continue to agree to pay the pension costs of Brussels bureaucrats after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019. The demands are made in two negotiating papers which have been published by the EU ahead of formal Brexit talks starting on June 19, just 11 days after next Thursday’s general election. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, will today condemn them as “aggressive” and stress that she is better placed to negotiate Britain’s exit from the EU. – Telegraph

  • Eurocrats want Britain to pay into budget after leaving – Express
  • Theresa May will attack ‘aggressive’ Eurocrats like Jean Claude Juncker who are demanding huge Brexit divorce bill – The Sun
  • Theresa May accuses European Commission of aggressive move on Brexit negotiations – City A.M.
  • Theresa May seeks to refocus campaign on Brexit as EU negotiating position toughens – Independent
  • May seeks to switch election focus on to ‘aggressive’ Brussels – FT (£)
  • Never mind the PM’s social care wobble: the election really is about Brexit – Walter Ellis for Reaction
  • Wobble or not, Theresa is the only show in town even if I don’t believe she will deliver the tungsten-tipped Brexit I want – Richard Littlejohn for the Daily Mail

May and Corbyn probed on Brexit during last night’s TV showdown

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn were left bruised but not battered as they survived tough questioning from voters and veteran interviewer Jeremy Paxman on Sky News… Brexit Secretary David Davis said: “The Prime Minister brought it back to the fundamentals – who is going to get the best Brexit deal, and in doing so who will be able to secure our economy, our public services and our national security.” …Mr Corbyn refused to be drawn on immigration levels under Labour after Brexit, though he said it would “probably” be no higher than at present… Mrs May also repeated her “no deal is better than a bad deal” slogan when asked if she was prepared to walk away from Brexit talks. When Mr Paxman asked whether she was prepared to walk away, Mrs May replied: “I think you have to. In negotiations you have to recognise that you’re not in there to get a deal at any price.” – Sky News

  • Theresa May vows to be a ‘bloody difficult woman’ to protect Britain’s interests – Express
  • Theresa May adamant she will walk away from EU without a deal if UK punished for Brexit – Express
  • Theresa May vs Jeremy Corbyn: who won? – Telegraph (£)

> WATCH on BrexitCentral’s YouTube channel: Theresa May tells Paxman that no deal is better than a bad deal

Barnier urges Europe’s MPs to be vigilant about “unfair” British competition

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has urged European MPs to be vigilant throughout the Brexit talks because there is a risk of unfair British competition… “Once it leaves the Union the UK could be tempted to distance itself from our standards, for example on consumer protection or on financial stability rules,” Mr Barnier said in his Malta speech. “We must ensure that this inevitable divergence does not become unfair competition. Since if that were to happen I think most of you would feel very reluctant to approve such a deal. To avoid that situation, it is necessary for your parliaments to follow closely the entire negotiation process.” – BBC News

Tim Farron claims he will be “proved right” over EU by 2019

Tim Farron said: “I don’t want to sound overconfident, but we will be proved right within two years. Hopefully, by 9 June. But if we are proved right, at the latest by 2019, then things can change, can’t they?” He added: “I think it will win seats by the way, and we have seen progress, but my motivation is to a degree whether I can look my kids in the eye and say I did everything I could.” While the party, which takes a hard remain stance to the European Union, initially benefitted from support from areas like Richmond Park, which it won in a byelection last year – largely pro-EU, wealthy areas – it has seen its support slide in recent weeks, dipping below double figures. – Express

Former counter-terror chief says Britain’s security won’t be harmed by Brexit — because of our spooks’ global reach

A former Met Police counter-terror chief insists Britain’s security won’t be affected by Brexit – because of our spooks’ global reach. Richard Walton said Britain would hardly notice any difference in counter-terrorism work if it ceased to be a member of Europol. And he said the huge efforts made to build up deploy operatives “on the ground” and the UK’s direct, state-to-state, relationships with individual countries were far more important. Writing for the Policy Exchange think tank he said: “The reality is that Brexit will have little, if any, impact on UK counter terrorism operations.” …The blast came after ex-Lib Dem deputy PM Nick Clegg said that Brexit would leave Britain more vulnerable to terror atrocities – The Sun

Brexit opponents abandon ‘escape clause’ case in Irish courts

A lawyer and a trio of Green party politicians abandoned an Irish lawsuit seeking to give the U.K. a last-minute Brexit escape clause if public sympathy turned against leaving the European Union during two years of negotiations. “It is clear that Ireland does not want a reference to the Court of Justice in Luxembourg of the questions in the proceedings,” tax lawyer Jolyon Maugham, who has been a vocal Brexit opponent, said in a posting on his website on Monday. “This stance surprised me.” Maugham filed the suit in Dublin, seeking a declaration that Article 50 “is revocable at the discretion” of any EU member state, according to an April 1 statement on his website. Maugham said previously that his ultimate goal was to get the case referred to the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg… Maugham was joined in the lawsuit by Northern Irish politician Steven Agnew, England and Wales Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley and Keith Taylor, a Green member of the European Parliament. – Bloomberg

  • Brexit challenge struck out in Irish High Court – Guido Fawkes

Angela Merkel insists Germany will not cut ties to US and Britain

Angela Merkel tried to calm fears of a historic rupture with the US and Britain yesterday by insisting that she remained a strong Atlanticist despite her view that the allies were no longer “completely reliable”… Mrs Merkel yesterday added a warning against isolationist policies which was seen as a further message primarily directed at Washington. “Anyone who today puts on national blinkers and no longer has eyes for the world around him is, I am convinced, ultimately out on a limb,” she said at a conference in Berlin on sustainable development. She repeated her insistence from Sunday that, while Berlin and Washington would “of course” remain close partners “we also know that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands”. – The Times (£)

  • German political leaders step up attacks on Trump – BBC News
  • Merkel embrace of activist role takes own allies aback – Guy Chazan for the FT (£)
  • A France-Germany axis: what could possibly go wrong (again)? – Iain Martin for Reaction
  • Merkel’s speech was a blunder and risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy – Gideon Rachman for the FT (£)
  • Merkel’s suggestion that Britain and America were becoming less reliable allies for the Europeans may be a dangerously self-fulfilling prophecy – The Times (£) editorial
  • Why Angela Merkel’s comments about the UK and US shouldn’t be given too much weight – Henry Newman for the New Statesman
  • Britain and America play key roles in ensuring European scrutiny — the EU would be foolish to spurn them – Telegraph editorial
  • Laughable for Angela Merkel to preach on Nato’s ‘reliability’ while Germany fails to meet its member target – The Sun says
  • NATO will survive both Trump and Merkel’s criticisms, but it might not survive Prime Minister Corbyn. – Christopher Howarth for ConservativeHome

French whip up storm in bid for London’s euro-clearing billions

One of the eurozone’s top central bankers has stepped up the campaign to claim the City’s lucrative euro-clearing business by declaring that it is impossible for it to remain in London. François Villeroy de Galhau, a member of the European Central Bank’s governing board and head of France’s financial regulator, made the statement as the European Commission worked on proposals intended to force euro-denominated derivatives to be cleared in the eurozone… The ECB has already failed in one attempt to bring euro-clearing under its jurisdiction. It is concerned that the market is so large that it could present a systemic risk that is beyond its control. – The Times (£)

William Hague: The one way to turn Brexit into a certain disaster would be electing Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister

After setting out a muddled policy on April 25, Jeremy Corbyn and Labour have acted as if Brexit is not taking place, hoping that voters will forget that the crucial task of conducting the negotiations is about to begin only days after polling day. Well might they try to avoid this issue, for the one way to turn leaving the EU into a certain disaster would be to put Mr Corbyn in charge of it. He has not personally shown the slightest interest in planning for such talks, in which a mastery of detail by the prime minister of the day will be essential. Typical of that, he has given up any negotiating leverage from the outset, with his spokesman on Brexit, Sir Keir Starmer, saying that leaving the EU without a deal is “not a viable option”. The attitude that we have to strike a deal whatever the price would, naturally, lead to that price being very high indeed. – Lord Hague for the Telegraph (£)

Andrea Leadsom: Brexit can let us give British agriculture a better deal

Leaving the EU also presents huge opportunities for the environment, our food and farming industries, and rural communities. Our priorities are simple: to grow more, sell more and export more Great British food, and to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we inherited it… For the UK’s fishing communities Brexit also brings opportunities. After leaving the EU, Britain will be able to control our fishing waters – and the resources in them – out to 200 nautical miles… As we translate the body of European law into our domestic regulations, it means that the rules around the environment, food and farming will be set in the UK. Over time, that means we will be able to prioritise scrapping unnecessary burdens on farmers and ensure that our environment is enhanced by laws that focus on the needs of the UK, rather than 28 EU member countries. – Andrea Leadsom for ConservativeHome

  • Post-Brexit, the Queen must make do without farm subsidies – George Eustice interview with Politico

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: The other Brexit has been forgotten – leaving Europe’s nuclear community is just as fraught with fissile hazard

The UK ceded treaty control over its nuclear industry to Euratom when the country joined the EU, just as it ceded treaty control over trade deals. The agency’s staff – many of them British – carry out all our inspections. They have permanent operations at Sellafield. These powers can be repatriated but doing so does not restore Britain to the legal status quo ante. The UK would then be in limbo. It would have to negotiate 18 fresh treaty agreements with the US, Japan, Korea, Kazakhstan and other states… While Euratom comes under European Court jurisdiction, this is narrowly-constrained. It implies no broad sway over other areas of UK law. What Britain could do is to remain in Euratom as an associate member and defer to ECJ judges. Switzerland is the sole precedent for this. That arrangement was made hostage to Swiss capitulation on free movement of people, but Britain is obviously not Switzerland. – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard for the Telegraph (£)

Brexit comment in brief

  • How Britain will pay a key role in building China’s new silk road – Szu Ping Chan for the Telegraph
  • Potential new route to UK for migrants after court of appeal decision on Cyprus military base – Peter Hill for the Express
  • Southampton Port considers risks if tide turns after Brexit – Callum Jones for The Times (£)
  • The Schulz effect has failed to deliver – Bill Wirtz for CapX

Brexit news in brief

  • Theresa May’s plan to slash net migration to tens of thousands would double unemployment, claims report – Independent
  • Theresa May’s left-wing election pledges could damage Brexit trade deals, warn experts – Express
  • Eurostar CEO sees business travel beating Brexit concerns (video) – Bloomberg
  • France’s Macron holds ‘frank exchange’ with Putin – BBC News
  • Greek minister warns ‘no excuses’ on bailout deal – BBC News