Freedom of movement will continue in event of no-deal Brexit, suggests Sajid Javid: Brexit News for Friday 2nd November

Freedom of movement will continue in event of no-deal Brexit, suggests Sajid Javid: Brexit News for Friday 2nd November

Freedom of movement will continue in event of no-deal Brexit, suggests Sajid Javid…

Freedom of movement will continue in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Sajid Javid has suggested. The Home Secretary said a “sensible transition period” will be needed on the issue of EU immigration if the UK crashed out of the bloc without a divorce agreement. Downing Street did not reject Mr Javid’s comments and refused to confirm freedom of movement would come to an end immediately after March 2019 if there was no deal. Mr Javid’s intervention appeared to contradict remarks made by a senior Home Office official who told the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday that the intention was for free movement to be “turned off” the day after Brexit in a no-deal scenario. It came as Theresa May’s official spokesman said the Prime Minister had full confidence in Caroline Nokes, the Immigration Minister, after she told the same committee employers would be expected to check whether EU nationals had the right to work in the UK if there was no deal. – Telegraph (£)

  • Sajid Javid says free movement must continue even if there’s No Deal Brexit, scolding Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes – The Sun
  • Downing Street yet to decide on free movement of EU citizens in case of no-deal – Independent

…while he is forced to reassure businesses after immigration minister’s blunder on screening EU workers

The Home Office has been forced to reassure businesses they will not be required to screen their EU employees after Brexit, after the immigration minister suggested they would need to impose “rigorous checks”. On Thursday, Sajid Javid also said businesses would not be expected to do “anything different than they do today” just 24 hours Caroline Nokes told a committee of MPs they would need to check the eligibility of EU workers. It came after small firms expressed “deep concern” about the claims made by Ms Nokes earlier this week, with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) warning companies would struggle to cope with the “additional burden”. The U-turn is likely to prove deeply embarrassing for Ms Nokes, who told the Home Affairs Committee that employers would be expected  to check whether EU nationals have the right to work in the UK if there is a no-deal Brexit.- Telegraph (£)

  • Home Office says minister was wrong over EU right-to-work checks – Guardian
  • Immigration minister u-turns after falsely claiming employers would have to check EU workers’ status after no-deal – Independent

EU floats compromise on Irish border backstop with London

EU Brexit negotiators are exploring a compromise on a plan for Northern Ireland that would give the UK stronger guarantees that a customs border would not be needed along the Irish Sea. The tentative proposal, briefed to EU ambassadors on Wednesday and floated with UK officials, is intended to overcome the dispute between London and Brussels over “backstop” provisions to avoid a hard border in the island of Ireland. In a concession to London, the EU would lay out the full terms of a “bare-bones” all-UK customs union in Britain’s exit agreement, avoiding the need to negotiate a second customs treaty after Brexit, according to several diplomats familiar with the plan. The stop-gap measure would remain in place until a permanent UK-EU trade agreement is agreed. – FT (£)

Theresa May promises Scottish Tories the UK will be out of the Common Fisheries Policy by end of 2020…

Theresa May has bowed to demands from her Scottish MPs that the UK will be out of the hated Common Fisheries Policy by end of 2020 even if the Brexit transition period is extended, David Mundell has said. The Scottish Secretary said the Prime Minister had been “very clear” in their private conversations that any extension to the transition period would have no impact on the deadline for leaving the CFP. He said the UK would be an “independent coastal state” negotiating at the annual fisheries negotiations in December 2020 “regardless of what else happens.” Scotland’s fishing leaders reacted with delight to the unconditional pledge, saying it was “much needed and welcome news.” It followed a threatened Scottish Tory rebellion last month after the Prime Minister repeatedly refused to confirm that extending the transition period beyond 2020 would have no impact on leaving the CFP. The 13 Scottish Tory MPs signalled they were ready to vote down a Brexit deal if fishermen remain at the mercy of EU fishing quotas any longer. – Telegraph (£)

  • EU fishing row threatens to snag May’s customs union plan – Guardian

…as EU member states demand access for their boats to UK fishing waters in return for an Irish border solution

European countries are demanding Theresa May grants their fishing boats access to our waters in return for a UK-wide solution to the Irish border. Member states have said they do not want to give Britain a tariff-free customs deal unless they get guarantees over rights for their trawlermen. And they fear accepting such terms in the Withdrawal Agreement would cost them a vital bargaining chip in later trade negotiations. Theresa May wants to secure a UK-wide Customs Union as part of the backstop plan to prevent a hard border from re-emerging on the island of Ireland. She has turned to that solution after eurocrats’ original plan, which would carve Northern Ireland away from Great Britain, was rejected by the DUP. But now it has emerged France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Germany are spearheading the charge to resist the PM’s demands. – The Sun

Prime Minister shoots down report that financial services Brexit deal is almost secured

The City’s access to financial markets in the EU after the UK exits the bloc next year would be based on the EU’s so-called equivalence system, according to a report in The Times this morning. A deal is ready to go if the Prime Minister and her EU counterparts can reach an overall Brexit agreement this month, an official also told Reuters today. That saw sterling spike to 1.291 against the dollar, after it bounced back from a two-month low yesterday, while it climbed to 1.135 against the euro. However, Theresa May’s spokesperson dashed hopes of such a deal being close, saying: “When the BBC chooses to lead its bulletin on a speculative page 14 news story, it is time for everybody to take a deep breath.” – City A.M.

  • UK and EU make progress on Brexit deal on financial services – Reuters
  • No 10 denies financial services deal has been reached – Guardian
  • Barnier rejects May’s financial deal – EU ‘will control’ UK’s market access – Express
  • Pound soars as hopes rise that Britain and EU will strike a deal within days – The Sun

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom infuriates Remain-backing MPs by hinting Government could just ignore their Brexit deal amendments

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom infuriated remain-backing MPs by hinting the Government would simply ignore amendments made to the crunch Brexit deal vote. The Cabinet Brexiteer sparked an angry backlash after saying it may not be possible open talks with Brussels if Parliament shoot down any deal Mrs May brings back – even if MPs demand it. She suggested Britain may not have time to negotiate a new deal if MPs decide to amend any Brexit agreement in Parliament’s “meaningful vote” say on the deal. She told the Commons that the government would “take action” on any amendments to the Brexit deal motion approved by MPs but added that it may not be possible for ministers to “proceed on the basis of an amended vote”. Her remarks came after Conservative former cabinet minister Ken Clarke warned the Government against offering MPs the choice of deal or no deal. Last night Labour blasted the admission, saying “he cabinet can’t ignore the fact that parliament won the right to a truly meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal.” – The Sun

> WATCH: House of Commons Clerk Sir David Natzler tells the Brexit Committee the Government would have no obligation to follow Commons motions trying to force any particular course of action on Brexit

David Trimble accuses Irish Government of using the Brexit talks to undermine the Good Friday Agreement…

Former Ulster Unionist Party leader Lord Trimble has accused the Irish government of using the Brexit negotiations to undermine the Good Friday Agreement. The former first minister of Northern Ireland, who won the Nobel prize for his role in the peace process, accused Leo Varadkar’s government of “riding roughshod” over the 1998 agreement… The Conservative peer said in a foreword to a think tank report that the achievements of the Good Friday Agreement were being put at risk. In the report, produced by the centre-right Policy Exchange, Lord Trimble said: “It is clear to me that the Irish side in the Brexit negotiations is undermining the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, riding roughshod over its terms and violating its spirit. ” The report said the European Union and Irish demands “go well beyond the avoidance of a hard border”. – Belfast Telegraph

…as he expresses his fear that Northern Ireland could become an ‘EU protectorate’

Lord Trimble, who was first minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2002 and won the Nobel prize with John Hume for his role in the peace process, accused Leo Varadkar’s government of “riding roughshod” over the 1998 deal. He claimed that the Brexit process could result in Northern Ireland ending up as part of an “effective EU protectorate”… Lord Trimble said: “There is a genuine risk that Northern Ireland will end up as part of an effective EU protectorate, without the say-so of the Northern Ireland assembly. This would be an appalling breach of the principle of consent, which runs through the [Good Friday] agreement.” – The Times (£)

‘Brexiteer Facebook’ launches to help Eurosceptics fight for a clean break

Brexiteers across the United Kingdom will now have a chance to meet like-minded Eurosceptics with the launch of a new social and political network.‘Leavers of Britain’ aims to bring Brexit supporters together, whether the intention is just to have an informal coffee or to organise something more formal like a campaigning event. Organisers say this will allow people to “take politics into their own hands” and carry out “DIY activism” to campaign for a ‘clean Brexit’. Lucy Harris, founder of the grassroots group, told the Telegraph: “Now that arch-Remainer Nick Clegg, someone who has persistently called to overlook Leave voters and their vote to leave the EU, is Facebook’s head of Global Affairs and Communications team, Leave voters will now have an online space where they’ll actually be welcome.” – Telegraph

> Lucy Harris on BrexitCentral today: Why I’m launching Leavers of Britain

Labour will be wiped off the map by furious Leave voters if they block Brexit, warn Gisela Stuart and Kate Hoey

Labour could be wiped off the map if the party tries to block Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn was warned today. Party veterans claimed the leftie leader is turning off Leave voters with his metropolitan agenda. And they insisted Labour will be fighting for its future if they refuse to accept the result of the 2016 referendum. Around a third of Labour voters supported Brexit – even though the party leadership is heavily pro-Remain. Ex-MP Gisela Stuart, who chaired the Vote Leave campaign, said today: “Nobody out there has changed their mind.” She warned that Labour could end up making the same mistake it did in Scotland – where the party lost 97 per cent of its seats after the independence referendum. – The Sun

  • Jeremy Corbyn warned over Labour fortunes in party heartlands where voters backed Brexit – The Mirror

Bank of England signals it would accelerate rate rises after orderly Brexit…

The Bank of England signalled on Thursday that it would need to step up the pace of interest rate rises in the years ahead if Theresa May was able to negotiate a smooth Brexit deal. Announcing the verdict of the bank’s latest Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the BoE said rate rises would still be “gradual”, but it indicated that it would need to raise interest rates to 1.5 per cent over the next three years to keep inflation under control. Three months ago, it suggested only one quarter-point increase was necessary over the same period to stop the economy from overheating. The faster pace of monetary policy tightening was needed because the economy was no longer depressed and any excess spending and rapid growth would now push inflation persistently above the central bank’s 2 per cent target, according to the MPC. – FT (£)
Leaving with no Brexit deal could force rate rise – The Times (£)

  • Bank of England holds UK interest rate amid Brexit uncertainty – Politico
  • Bank may not cut interest rates in support of no-deal Brexit, says Carney – Guardian

…while Carney’s warning that a no-deal Brexit would mean rate hikes draws scepticism

Mark Carney’s warning that a no-deal Brexit would mean interest rate hikes isn’t convincing economists. Mark Carney’s warning that a no-deal Brexit would mean interest rate hikes isn’t convincing economists. The Bank of England governor says that crashing out of the European Union without a deal could trigger a supply side shock of a rare, once-in-a-generation magnitude. That would push up inflation and warrant tighter monetary policy. But in the chaos of a disorderly exit, judging the extent of any hit to supply will be nigh-on impossible, meaning officials would probably be more defensive. Carney himself was at pains to find comparable situations in major advanced economies — he mentioned the oil shock of the 1970s, which sparked spiraling wages as output shrank. The only recent examples of central banks lifting rates while the economy tanks come from emerging markets such as Turkey or Argentina. – Bloomberg

Steve Baker: A Norway-style Brexit would be a terrible result that would sell our country short

The Remain and Leave camps agreed on little during the 2016 referendum, but they did agree on two fundamental points. First, that everyone should accept the result, and second, that leaving the European Union meant leaving the Single Market. The Remain camp, in particular, were unrelenting in their portrayal of the UK outside of the Single Market and rubbished the twilight position of Norway in the EEA/Single Market as “fax democracy” – all the rules with no votes. Over two years later and we are still in the EU. Sometimes the negotiations look more like a bid by the Government to join the EU than to leave it. Outside parliament, the continuity Remain campaign who ironically call themselves, The People’s Vote (‘this time we’ll listen, if you get it right’), are unrelenting in their support for the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union. – Steve Baker MP for the Telegraph (£)

Alan Cochrane: David Mundell won Common Fisheries Policy battle by speaking softly but carrying a big stick

Speak softly … but carry a big stick. Teddy Roosevelt’s maxim for political wheeler-dealing has always been one worth adopting anywhere and it appears to have paid off over an important aspect of the Brexit negotiations. It was learned yesterday that Prime Minister Theresa May has at last caved in – conceded is the polite term – to the genuine outrage of her Scottish Secretary David Mundell over the idea that an extension of Britain’s transitional arrangements on leaving the EU would mean that Scotland’s fishermen would be subjected even longer to the restrictions of the Common Fisheries Policy. The generally quiet-spoken Mundell expressed his trenchant views to Downing Street almost as soon as Mrs May appeared to go along with the EU offer of an extended transition period, so that outstanding Brexit issues could be properly settled. He insisted this meant that the CFP would continue to hold sway over the British deep sea fishing fleet – the bulk of it based in Scotland – beyond the end of 2020, when its rule was supposed to expire. – Alan Cochrane for the Telegraph (£)

Caroline Flint: HMRC needs to step up its preparations for Brexit

The challenge facing the government’s tax collector, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), as Brexit approaches, is a daunting one. Today’s report by the public accounts committee examines the huge task ahead for HMRC as it prepares for both deal and no-deal scenarios, as well as managing a backlog of problems in its own backyard. It’s not all bad news. It is two years since HMRC received new powers to access information to help tackle tax compliance risks. Large companies must now disclose how much tax they have paid wherever they operate globally. Two years on, HMRC’s risk assessments are more comprehensive and their enquiry process is faster as a result. I still believe publishing company reporting should be mandatory. In 2021 the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will introduce a register of people benefitting from property owned by overseas companies. That’s good, but HMRC should proactively use the register to tackle tax avoidance. It appears that their role in this so far has been limited. – Caroline Flint MP for The Times (£)

Iain Martin: Make no mistake, the EU needs access to the City

A peculiarity of the British response to the Brexit imbroglio has been our collective determination to pretend that even when we have a decent hand the situation is hopeless. Perhaps British gloom this autumn, unremitting among our intelligentsia, is down to the arrival of poor weather, or to the depressing spectacle of the government’s poorest performing ministers being put on television and proving in the process that they should not be allowed out in public. Whatever the explanation, Brexit Britain is too often cast as the doomed supplicant, rather than as a major economy with serious strengths. One area where the UK is particularly strong is in financial services. The EU badly needs access to the City of London, a highly efficient global giant. Yet somehow it is too often viewed the other way round, quite wrongly, as though we will be lucky to carry on getting any access to the EU. – Iain Martin for The Times (£)

Richard Drax: Enough vacillation, confusion and capitulation. We must deliver Brexit in full

I believe our country has reached a crossroads, both politically and historically. Politically, we have been instructed by the majority of people to leave the EU. If we do not, I fear history will judge us harshly. It is to our detriment that the powerful voices of Remain continue to warn of disastrous consequences were we to leave without a deal. I would be the first to admit that a divorce on this scale was never going to easy. Separation will be painful, but the ultimate prize – our freedom – is well worth it. Talking of which, allow me to indulge in a meeting I had with a Frenchman while out canvassing during the last election. Knowing I was a Brexiteer, he vented his anger and frustration, without pausing to take breath. When he’d had his say, I asked him to define a good friend. He agreed that this was someone who stood by you in good times and bad. I asked him where we were in 1939 and 1940 and then in 1944. He looked stunned. – Richard Drax MP for the Telegraph (£)

The Sun says: It’s high time we began spelling out to the EU the consequences of carrying out their various juvenile threats

There’s an obvious solution if British trucks are made to queue at Calais while Irish ones are waved through. After all, two can play that game. Our Government can instruct customs chiefs at Dover to prioritise our lorries and keep Irish ones parked up. Not to mention French ones. It’s high time we began spelling out to the EU the consequences of carrying out the various juvenile threats with which they have bombarded us in the two years since the referendum. We have been too well-mannered too long. Part of the problem is that our politicians and theirs have talked at cross-purposes. Ours have been committed to fulfilling the Leave vote and achieving a reasonable, mutually beneficial deal. Theirs have devoted their energies to issuing blood-curdling menaces and ­playground jibes, all designed to force Britain to reverse the result. – The Sun

Robert Peston: UK concedes the City will follow EU rules after Brexit

The flurry of overnight speculation that a deal had been done to guarantee post-Brexit access for the City to the EU was all a bit odd. It’s true that a few weeks ago, the Treasury over the course of a couple of days successfully negotiated some “high level principles” for what the future access relationship might be for UK-based banks and other financial institutions to the EU’s single market. But this is a million miles from a deal – which would not and could not be negotiated in its practical detail for months and even possibly years. What was broadly agreed – and as I say by the Treasury, not the Department for Exiting the European Union (DEXEU) – was a possible framework to be included in the political declaration that would accompany the Withdrawal Agreement, on the assumption that the problem of keeping open Northern Ireland’s border can be overcome and there is any kind of formal Brexit deal at all. – Robert Peston for ITV News

Christopher Hope: March 29th is only the start of the Brexit process, say Tory MPs leading the Brexit Delivery Group

Conservative MPs Simon Hart and Andrew Percy join Christopher Hope to bust some Brexit myths on this week’s podcast. First up: the idea that the UK’s relationship with the EU is fixed after Brexit day. In their view, Brexit “is a process and not an event” — and their Brexit Delivery Group of Tory MPs plays a role in that process. Also on the podcast: Professor Matthew Goodwin from Kent University on public opinion on Brexit, and Telegraph columnist Juliet Samuel takes a deep breath and sums up everything that’s gone wrong with the divorce negotiations so far. – Chopper’s Brexit Podcast for the Telegraph (£)

Brexit in Brief

  • Theresa May has lined up her Brexit dominoes, all she has to do is topple the first one and a deal is done – Peter Foster for the Telegraph (£)
  • Northern Ireland border remains ‘the killer’ in Brexit talks – Bruno Waterfield for The Times (£)
  • How the crumbling EU destroyed German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Empress of Europe – Douglas Murray for The Sun
  • Leaving the EU next March would provide a big boost to our fishing industry – John Redwood’s Diary
  • Arron Banks referred to National Crime Agency – BBC News
  • A Brexit deal in November? – FT (£)
  • ‘Germany could be paralysed’ EU fears over lame duck Merkel after she quits politics – Express
  • Hospitals will cover cost of EU staff visas – The Times (£)
  • How Brexit burned UK’s Irish friendship – Politico