Brexit News for Monday 11 September

Brexit News for Monday 11 September
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David Davis warns MPs not to vote against EU Withdrawal Bill tonight…

David Davis has told MPs that voting against the Brexit repeal bill would result in the UK suffering a “chaotic” exit from the European Union. The Brexit Secretary said that British people had not voted for “confusion” when they took part in last year’s referendum. As a result, he said, Parliament should respect the will of the people when it decides whether to back the Government on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. – Sky News

  • Blocking EU repeal bill is vote for chaotic Brexit, Davis warns MPs – Reuters
  • How Britain’s backbenchers’ plan to change the course of Brexit – Politico

…as Tony Blair calls on MPs and ministers to rise up and oppose Brexit while hinting at plans for a new political party…

An unrepentant Tony Blair has called on MPs and Tory ministers to rise up against the Government and oppose Brexit, as he hinted at plans for a new political party to offer a second referendum. The former Labour Prime Minister called on politicians to “find the leadership within yourself” on the eve of the Brexit debate in Parliament on Monday. – Telegraph (£)

In a paper for his think tank, the Tony Blair Foundation, Blair radically changed his stance on immigration, saying the government must “confront the underlying causes” of Brexit in order to avoid the “immense damage a Hard Brexit – and frankly there is no other on offer – will do”. – City A.M.

  • Ken Clarke tells Blair: Brexit is inevitable – Guido Fawkes
  • Is Brexit die already cast on Tony Blair’s remain mission? – Sky News
  • Tony Blair is off his trolley on Brexit – Iain Martin for Reaction
  • Charles Moore: The silver-tongued Tony Blair won’t spin Britain back into the EU – Telegraph (£)
  • Tony Blair has once again shown his lack of respect for democracy – Telegraph view

…and Corbyn is accused of a ‘con trick’ on Labour voters as his MPs prepare to vote against a critical Brexit law

Jeremy Corbyn was accused of performing a ‘con trick’ on Labour voters last night as his MPs prepare to vote against a critical Brexit law. The Labour leader will order his MPs to oppose the EU Withdrawal Bill in a Commons vote today. Brexit Secretary David Davis said opposing the bill was a vote for ‘chaos and confusion’. Justice Minister Dominic Raab accused Mr Corbyn of fraud after Labour told Brexit supporters during the election that it would respect the result of the referendum. – Daily Mail

Britain already planning for Brexit no deal scenario in payback for divorce bill demands

The prospect of Britain walking out of Brexit talks with the EU has come closer with claims that the Government is set to go on the offensive and lay out the benefits of “no deal”. The Daily Express has learnt that international trade secretary Liam Fox has told friends that his department is preparing the case on how no deal is better than EU membership… Senior Brexiteers believe that if trade talks are postponed then there is little value in talking to the EU and instead the UK should quit the talks. – Express

John Redwood: There is no legal basis for the EU demanding an extortionate Brexit bill

“Article 50 is clear,” he said. “Once a state leaves it has no further rights and benefits, and no further duties or obligations. It is of course true the treaty does not prevent the EU accepting a payment volunteered by a departing state if it wished to pay one. However, the UK could not make such a payment legally under our own law and system for controlling public spending.” The former Welsh secretary, who voted for Brexit, said ministers have “absolutely no authority to make one-off additional payments to the EU. The only way Mr Davis could authorise a leaving payment would be to put through an Act of Parliament specifically authorising such an ex gratia payment. I can’t see many Conservative MPs wanting to vote for that.” – Sunday Express

Trade chief Crawford Falconer would scrap regulations to strike new deals

Britain’s new chief trade negotiator has backed scrapping domestic regulations to get a trade deal in defiance of business leaders and ministers who vowed not to allow a “regulatory race to the bottom”. Crawford Falconer, 63, a British-born New Zealander, took up his job last month after a million-pound search for the right candidate to negotiate trade deals after Brexit. – Times (£)

Leaked memo from City’s Brexit envoy reveals ‘sobering’ analysis of EU stance

Brussels shows no interest in finding “long-term solutions” to Brexit and could ignore the interests of European Union business, a leaked memo to financial leaders has warned. There is just a “one per cent” chance of the EU agreeing to start discussing a trade deal in October as the UK wants, according to a source quoted in the note. – Telegraph

Transport secretary Chris Grayling says Britain’s maritime industry will make waves post-Brexit

The government pledged today that Britain’s £15bn maritime industry will go from strength to strength in the wake of Brexit, as it devises an export plan to help bolster trade opportunities. Speaking ahead of a roundtable with international industry figures at 10 Downing Street, transport secretary Chris Grayling said today that leaving the European Union “will allow Britain to seize new opportunities and rediscover our heritage as a truly global, seafaring, trading nation”. – City A.M.

Workers’ rights best secured by staying in single market, says TUC chief

Continued membership of the European Union single market is the best way to protect British workers after Brexit, the TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, will say on Monday, increasing the pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to shift Labour’s policy. Speaking at the TUC’s annual congress in Brighton, as MPs in Westminster prepare for a debate on the EU withdrawal bill, O’Grady will say: “We have set out our tests for the Brexit deal working people need. Staying in the single market and customs union would deliver it.” – The Guardian

> Fawzi Ibrahim last week on BrexitCentral: The TUC and labour movement should embrace Brexit or become irrelevant

Gibraltar looking to ‘cement’ relationship with UK for post-Brexit era

Gibraltar’s chief minister is keen to forge even stronger ties with the United Kingdom after Brexit. Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said his goal after Britain leaves the European Union in 2019 is to “cement the relationship with the United Kingdom” in terms of both sovereignty and a commercial relationship. – BT

  • The Gibraltarian spirit and its close UK relationship will mean we will face the EU exit negotiations constructively and together – Sir Alan Duncan for the Sunday Express

US ‘still eager’ to sign post-Brexit trade deal with Britain

Britain must strive for a quick and seamless Brexit transition before a trade deal with the US can be struck, business leaders there warned last night. But America remains “eager” to strengthen its special relationship by boosting trade ties once Britain is free of EU shackles. The first major report by the US-UK Business Council follows the arrival to London of new US Ambassador Woody Johnson, the charismatic billionaire and owner of the New York Jets American football team. – Sunday Express

MSPs to raise major fears in Brussels talks with Michel Barnier

MSPs will raise concerns with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator about the impact on Scotland’s economy and jobs during keynote talks in Brussels today. Frenchman Michel Barnier, who has clashed with opposite number David Davis over the UK’s approach to talks, will hold a meeting with members of Holyrood’s European committee in Brussels. – Scotsman

UK businesses say they need to know Brexit transition plan

More than two-thirds of UK businesses say they need to know the details of any transition arrangement after Brexit by June 2018 — just nine months from now — in order to plan properly. A survey of 1,000 businesses by London First, a lobby group, and Lloyds Banking Group revealed the impatience of companies to start planning for life after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019. – FT (£)

Theresa May briefs Queen on Brexit latest during visit to Balmoral

The Prime Minister arrived on Friday with her husband to brief the Queen on the latest Brexit talks and negotiations. And yesterday, the pair joined the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Rothesay to worship at Crathie Kirk. The reading from St Matthew might have been considered appropriate for Mrs May in the current challenging climate. – Press and Journal

May told to fire Labour peer after Brexit attack

Theresa May is being urged to sack a Labour peer who heads the government’s infrastructure body after he damned David Davis’s negotiating approach and vowed to attempt to reverse Brexit. Lord Adonis, head of the National Infrastructure Commission, declared that “eight-year-olds have a better grasp of the power dynamics” of Brexit than Mr Davis, the secretary of state for exiting the European Union. He also set out his vision to “defeat” Brexit in an article in The Observer yesterday, a position which is incompatible with government policy. – Times (£)

Slippery EU chiefs launch series of leaks in bid to ruin Britain’s Brexit demands, claim officials

Slippery EU chiefs have mounted a dirty tricks campaign in a bid to undermine Britain’s Brexit demands, it has been claimed. Furious officials believe senior Eurocrats have sanctioned damaging leaks to wreck the credibility of David Davis. – The Sun

40 Brexit troublemakers to watch

With views on Brexit transcending traditional political divides, how Britain extricates itself from the European Union will test party unity right across British politics. Prime Minister Theresa May is squeezed between committed Remainers in her party, who want the softest Brexit possible, and a hard-line faction who believe leaving the European Union without any deal at all is a real option. – Politico

Mon dieu! British passports may be made in European Union

Post-Brexit UK passports – seen by Eurosceptics as a symbol of the nation’s regained independence from Brussels – could be made in Europe, it has emerged. Two foreign companies, believed to be French and German, are competing with a British firm for the £490m contract. – Sky News

Juliet Samuel: We must help Europe’s pragmatists win the Brexit argument

I still believe the pragmatists will win out in the end on both sides. But their victory cannot be taken for granted. Angela Merkel will not simply fly to our rescue at the behest of her carmakers. The UK must do more to make it clear that cooperating is worthwhile for Europe. It does not have much time to get it right. – Juliet Samuel for the Telegraph (£)

Dia Chakravarty: We need to call the EU’s bluff, and prepare for a no-deal outcome

It is a rare moment when one is reminded of the value of democratically-elected politicians running a country. Whatever grievances one has against them, they are still better than any form of unelected alternative. EU bureaucrats can afford to jeopardise the future of the European member states in order to teach the insubordinate UK a lesson. Our politicians cannot. – Dia Chakravarty for the Telegraph

Mark Littlewood: Bergerac’s island and the clues to solving the post-Brexit puzzle

In the 1980s, Jersey rose to prominence thanks to the popular television police drama Bergerac. Once we have finally extracted ourselves from the EU, it could play a more important role in our national life by providing a lesson in how a prudent, low-tax economy can generate growth and wealth. Sadly, so far, we appear to lack a leading British politician willing to even think along such radical, but sensible, lines. – Mark Littlewood for the Times (£)

Brexit in brief

  • Labour betraying voters over Brexit – Peter Madeley for Express & Star
  • The Government must accept trade-offs and acknowledge the gains from immigration – Times (£)
  • It is in May’s interests for Brexit talks to fail – Emily Thornberry MP for the Times (£)
  • EU foreign policy – John Redwood MP for John Redwood’s Diary
  • Ireland’s Simon Coveney urges UK to remain in Customs Union – BBC News
  • City urges Government to prioritise Islamic finance ahead of possible Brexit boom – Telegraph
  • Government is now buying more wine from the UK than any other country – Sunday Express
  • Juncker plans new vision for Europe (with no mention of Brexit) – Times (£)

And finally… Britain has been dropped from all new EU merchandise on sale in Brussels gift shops — even though Brexit has yet to happen

Britain has been wiped from EU merchandise being sold in Brussels even though Brexit hasn’t happened. Fancy t-shirts, hoodies and ties sold close to the European Parliament no longer show any reference to the UK. – The Sun