Brexit News for Friday 10 November

Brexit News for Friday 10 November
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Theresa May unveils plans to enshrine in law the date and time that Britain leaves the EU…

Theresa May has outlined plans to set the UK’s departure date and time from the EU in law… She said the EU Withdrawal Bill will be amended to formally commit to Brexit at 23:00 GMT on Friday 29 March 2019. The Prime Minister said the decision to put the specific time of Brexit “on the front page” of the Brexit bill showed the government was determined to see the process through. “Let no-one doubt our determination or question our resolve, Brexit is happening,” she wrote. “It will be there in black and white on the front page of this historic piece of legislation: the United Kingdom will be leaving the EU on March 29, 2019 at 11pm GMT.” – BBC

…as she warns Tory rebels that she will not ‘tolerate’ attempts to undermine Brexit..

Theresa May today warns pro-European Tory rebels that she will not “tolerate” any attempts to undermine Brexit as she unveils plans to enshrine in law the date that Britain leaves the EU.    Writing in The Telegraph, the Prime Minister warns MPs that they must not use the passage of the EU withdrawal bill through Parliament over the next month to try to “slow down or stop” Brexit.  – Telegraph (£)

…But I am just as clear of this: we will not tolerate attempts from any quarter to use the process of amendments to this Bill as a mechanism to try to block the democratic wishes of the British people by attempting to slow down or stop our departure from the European Union. The British people have been clear. Parliament itself voted for Article 50 – and for this Bill at its Second Reading. We are leaving the European Union on March 29, 2019. It will be vital for the prosperity and security of our nation to secure the best possible Brexit for our country’s future. As Prime Minister, that is precisely what I am determined to do. – Theresa May for the Telegraph (£)

…as the FT report Theresa May ready to increase £20bn Brexit divorce offer

Theresa May is ready to increase Britain’s offer to the EU over the Brexit divorce bill, after signs that the hard Eurosceptics in her party will tolerate paying more money to break the deadlock in negotiations. Mrs May has said that Britain “will honour commitments we have made during the period of our membership” and her team are working on different scenarios that would see her considerably increase the €20bn she has already put on the table. No big breakthroughs on money were made in the sixth round of Brexit talks, which conclude on Friday in Brussels. – FT (£)

Article 50 author says Brexit can be reversed

The British legal expert who wrote Article 50 will make a major speech today accusing Theresa May of “misleading” the public over whether Brexit can be reversed. Former diplomat Lord Kerr will condemn the Prime Minister for making a “political decision” to withhold the truth, that the Government can unilaterally stop Brexit any time it likes. His latest intervention is the first time he has directly attacked Ms May for failing to be straight with voters about it, with her and her ministers refusing to give clear answers on whether Article 50 can be revoked. – Independent

Barnier: There is no middle way on Single Market or customs union

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has told the UK there is no compromise position on the Single Market or customs union. Barnier, who was speaking in Italy before joining the latest round of formal negotiations in Brussels, said the UK needed to be aware that any decision to leave the European Union and its existing structures would “have consequences”. He said: “You can not be half in the Single Market and half out.We can not want to put an end to the free movement of people while maintaining the free movement of goods, services or capital through a system of general equivalences.” – City A.M.

  • Michel Barnier says ‘time pressing’ as talks resume – BBC
  • First Brexit talks in a month  – Politico

Gordon Brown urges Jeremy Corbyn to back second EU referendum

ordon Brown has urged Jeremy Corbyn to push for a second EU referendum next year if Brussels can be persuaded to make a “game-changer” offer on restricting free movement. The former Prime Minister predicted that the Brexit talks would hit “crisis point” next summer when he said the public will realise the Government has not achieved control over the UK’s borders, trade and courts and was still planning to pay “loads of money” to the EU. – Telegraph

  • Gordon Brown predicts Brexit ‘crisis point’ BBC

Ireland makes fresh border demands in leaked document

British hopes of opening Brexit trade and transition talks this December were thrown into renewed doubt as it emerged that Ireland is making fresh demands over the Northern Ireland border question, the Telegraph can reveal. The toughened Irish stance, reflected in a leaked European Commission document obtained by The Telegraph, blindsided British officials at Brexit negotiations in Brussels on Thursday as Ireland piled on pressure in the talks. British officials had believed that question of how to avoid creating a hard Irish border when the UK quits the EU single market and customs union had been ‘parked’ until the EU opened talks over trade and the future relationship. – Telegraph (£)

  • Dublin demands that UK remain in customs union after Brexit – The Times (£)

EU’s threat: Settle the Brexit bill or we’ll force UK firms to relocate

The European Union will look to use the Brexit deadlock and rising uncertainty in the business world to “shake the tree” and force lucrative businesses to relocate to Europe, if Downing Street fails to make an early move to settle the so-called Brexit bill, the Telegraph has learned. The hard-nosed stance comes as EU ambassadors met in Brussels for preliminary discussions about the shape of a possible Brexit transition and future relationship deal on the eve of Thursday’s Brexit negotiations.- Telegraph

Brexiteer replaces Brexiteer as Penny Mordaunt joins the Cabinet

Penny Mordaunt has been promoted to the cabinet as the new International Development Secretary, following the resignation of Priti Patel. Like Ms Patel, Ms Mordaunt was among Conservatives who backed Leave during the EU Referendum campaign. The former work and pensions minister, 44, went straight from Downing Street to meet staff at her new department.Ms Patel quit on Wednesday, admitting unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials had “lacked transparency”. It was the second cabinet resignation in a week. – BBC

  • Mordaunt takes over from Patel as development secretary – The Times (£)
  • Brexiteer Penny Mordaunt replaces Priti Patel – Telegraph
  • Theresa May appoints Brexiteer Penny Mordaunt to UK Cabinet – Politico
  • Cabinet’s new face Penny Mordaunt keeps balance after warning from right – The Times (£)
  • Brexit campaigner to replace minister ousted over Israel meetings – Times of Israel
  • Why does the Tory Cabinet need to be balanced between Leave and Remain? Telegraph editorial (£)

500 days until Brexit: Australia ‘will be key for Britain’s success’ – Chopper’s Brexit Podcast

After another turbulent week for the Government, Christopher ‘Chopper’ Hope is joined in the Telegraph newsroom to mark 500 days until Brexit.  Chopper is joined by James Crisp, the Telegraph’s Brussels correspondent, who gives us the latest news on Brexit and how the talks are going as the sixth round gets underway. Also on the show is James McGory from the pro-Remain Open Britain campaign group and Jonathan Isaby from BrexitCentral. Our Brexit correspondent James Rothwell tell us the latest #DespiteBrexit stories and trade expert Victoria Hewson from the Legatum Institute talk about Britain’s future outside of the European Union. – Telegraph

Central Europe ‘favour letting London take part in decision-making’ on EU defence

EU countries in Central Europe and on the Baltic, from Bulgaria to Lithuania, favour giving London special status to enable it to take part in the decision-making process regarding military missions and, potentially, also on industrial projects in the defence sector, according to diplomats who follow the topic closely. In Western Europe, countries like Denmark support the possibility of countries from outside the EU being able to take part in EU-funded military projects — opening the door to potential U.K. participation. – Politico

Emmanuel Macron: The EU must be reformed through sovereignty and democracy

The European Union has languished and become enfeebled — and we are all to blame. There is a noticeable paucity of ideas and methods. The whole system has capitulated and is at a standstill. Summits bringing together heads of state and of government have become a parody: getting together behind closed doors, repeating lofty principles, changing a word or two in a statement so that it sounds slightly different from the last one. The system is cut off from the world and from real life. What did the Breton farmers I have met in the past few months think?  – Emmanuel Macron for the Spectator

Peter Foster: For its own sake, the EU must help Theresa May over the Brexit bridge

The game of Brexit bluff is now deepening by the day: in public both sides just about keep smiling, but behind the scenes, the stand-off over the so-called Brexit bill is becoming more entrenched as both sides refuse to move forward before the other. Since the EU leaders’ summit on October 19 and 20 – when EU leaders showered some warm words on Theresa May, but not much else – the substantive negotiating process has remained on ice. Technical talks between officials on citizens’ right, the Brexit bill and Northern Ireland have reached their limits. Both sides know where the ‘landing zones’ are on the most difficult issues – now it is a time for political choices and trade-offs. – Peter Foster for the Telegraph (£)

Catherine Barnard: You may not like the EU Withdrawal Bill. But if you want to make Brexit real, it’s the only game in town

The EU (Withdrawal) Bill 2017 – formerly known as the Great Repeal Bill – may be the least popular piece of legislation ever laid before Parliament. It is currently subject to over 400 amendments, and there is some doubt about how it will fare when it hits the committee stage next week. The aim of the Bill is simple and can be expressed in three words. It will repeal (the European Communities Act (ECA) 1972 which took us into the EU in the first place); convert (the content of EU law into UK law, thus ensuring the continuity of law and legal certainty); and correct (those bits of EU law which will not work on Brexit day). Given these laudable objectives, what accounts for its lack of fans? – Catherine Barnard for the Telegraph (£)

Brexit in brief

  • Cabinet chaos is a sign of our national decline – Philip Collins for The Times
  • Voters are losing confidence that a good Brexit deal will be secured for Britain Lord Ashcroft for ConservativeHome
  • Honesty and clarity needed on Brexit – urgently – George Bridges for Reaction
  • The government’s weakness will not be lost on the Europeans – Christian May for City A.M.
  • Negotiating with the EU – again – John Redwood’s Diary
  • European Commission slashes UK GDP growth forecast – Telegraph (£)
  • Europe rips up free-market rules to help farmers – Politico
  • David Cameron lobbies for £500m deal with China – The Times (£)
  • EU Commission downgrades UK growth for Brexit year to 1.1%. – Sky News