Vince Cable claims Brexit voters were driven by nostalgia for a world where 'passports were blue, faces were white and the map was coloured imperial pink': Brexit News for Monday 12 March

Vince Cable claims Brexit voters were driven by nostalgia for a world where 'passports were blue, faces were white and the map was coloured imperial pink': Brexit News for Monday 12 March
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Vince Cable claims Brexit voters were driven by nostalgia for a world where ‘passports were blue, faces were white and the map was coloured imperial pink’

Vince Cable has suggested that Brexit voters were driven by ‘nostalgia’ for a world in which ‘faces were white’. The Liberal Democrat leader told his party’s spring conference that many older voters wanted ‘a world where passports were blue, faces were white and the map was coloured imperial pink’. A Brexit deal in which the EU dictated the terms of the UK’s departure would ‘create the sense of victimhood Brexiteers crave,’ he said. In his keynote speech to the conference in Southport, Sir Vince renewed his call for a second referendum and said the divide opened up by the June 2016 vote had left the country mired in a ‘protracted, non-violent civil war’. – Daily Mail

  • Vince Cable slammed for “white faces” Brexit slur – City A.M.

Britain could be sued by the EU if it negotiated an exemption from US steel and aluminium tariffs

President Trump has accused the EU of erecting “horrific” trade barriers amid warnings that Britain could be sued if it negotiated an exemption from US steel and aluminium tariffs. The White House will introduce a 25 per cent tax on steel imports and a 10 per cent duty on aluminium later this month. “If they [the EU] drop their horrific barriers & tariffs on US products going in, we will likewise drop ours. Big Deficit,” Mr Trump tweeted. Liam Fox, the trade secretary, plans to fly to Washington this week to discuss an exemption and has pledged to “see how we can maximise the UK’s case for exemption”. Trade lawyers questioned, however, whether EU member states could separately seek such opt-outs. Lorand Bartels, senior counsel at Linklaters, said that there was “nothing formal Britain can do” before leaving the EU. – Times (£)

Jacob Rees-Mogg calls for ‘Brexit dividend’ to be spent on NHS

Prominent Tory backbench Jacob Rees-Mogg has urged the Government to spend the “Brexit dividend” on the NHS ahead of the Chancellor’s spring statement. In an interview on Peston On Sunday, Mr Rees-Mogg warned it was not realistic to expect the current levels of funding to be maintained. He said there had been a “significantly lower real-terms increase in health spending” since the Tories came into power compared to the last time the party was in government, and that the Brexit dividend should be spent on health services. “I would like to see the dividend of leaving the European Union devoted to the health service,” Mr Rees-Mogg said. I think people felt that was promised during the referendum campaign and the figures on health spending, in real terms since 2010, is a 1.1% increase. – ITV News

> On BrexitCentral’s YouTube: Jacob Rees-Mogg on Brexit deal compromises

Boris Johnson clashes with Emmanuel Macron over Brexit…

Boris Johnson has publicly clashed with Emmanuel Macron over Brexit, rebutting the French president’s invitation to Indian students to “gain access to Europe” by boasting of the increase in their numbers arriving in the UK. Macron, who has also made overtures to financial firms seeking a possible exit from London once Britain has left the EU, made his comments during a three-day trip to India. As Macron spoke at an event in New Delhi on Saturday, his official Twitter account sent out a series of tweets in English saying he wanted to make France into India’s “first strategic partner in Europe”. – Guardian

…as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar urges Boris and UK Brexit team to visit the Irish border

Leo Varadkar has called on senior British politicians and advisers to visit the border region after the UK government admitted that three leading figures had not been to Northern Ireland since talks began on preventing a hard border. David Davis, the Brexit secretary, has made one trip to Northern Ireland, in September 2016, since he was appointed to lead Britain’s preparations for leaving the European Union nearly two years ago. Oliver Robbins, Theresa May’s chief Brexit negotiator, has never visited the North and Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, has not since being appointed. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, visited the border and held talks with organisations last February. Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, visited Belfast in September. – Times (£)

  • Varadkar rejects idea post-Brexit border crossings would need pre-registration – Belfast Telegraph

Brexit deadlock between Westminster and Holyrood deepens as Government tables Withdrawal Bill amendments

Theresa May will increase the pressure on Nicola Sturgeon over Brexit today by making changes to draft legislation affecting Scotland without seeking the consent of the Scottish parliament. The prime minister has asked David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister, to table amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill regarding devolved powers. In a move certain to exacerbate the strained relationship between Holyrood and Westminster, the changes are not simply being tabled without the consent of the Scottish government, but in the face of clear opposition from Ms Sturgeon and her ministers. Mr Lidington insisted that there was still time for the two governments to reach an agreement on the changes needed in the EU Withdrawal Bill. – Times (£)

  • Devolved governments in Wales, Scotland wary of ‘power grab’ – Bloomberg

We will take back control of fisheries, says Philip Hammond

The UK will quit the EU fishing regime after Brexit, the chancellor has said. Philip Hammond was responding to demands from Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, and Michael Gove, the UK environment secretary, who said: “As we leave the EU, we want the UK to become an independent coastal state, negotiating access annually with our neighbours.” Mr Hammond suggested last week that access to UK fishing waters could be granted in exchange for a trade deal. But during the Peston On Sunday programme on ITV, he said: “When we leave the European Union we will become an independent coastal state. That means it’s up to us to decide whether we would let European fishermen into our waters, and on what terms.” – Times (£)

  • Davidson and Gove are right to oppose a Brexit stitch-up of the British fishing industry – Iain Martin for Reaction

> Austin Mitchell on BrexitCentral on Friday: We must not fail the British fishing industry in the Brexit negotiations

Cabinet reportedly at odds over delay to Brexit immigration bill

Members of the U.K. Cabinet are pressuring Home Secretary Amber Rudd to bring forward a key immigration bill not due before parliament until the end of the year, amid growing tensions within government over Britain’s readiness for a “no-deal” scenario in the Brexit negotiations. The bill is crucial to the U.K.’s plans to control EU immigration post Brexit, but some fear the ongoing delay means it will not be ready in time for Britain’s departure from the European Union on March 29, 2019. – Politico

  • Parliament paralysed as Brexit delays vital votes – Times (£)

Scottish Labour delegates reject motion to back single market membership

Scottish Labour delegates have today backed the leadership’s position on Brexit amid claims of an attempt to “close down” debate . The party’s Spring conference heard angry exchanges amid claims of “interference” by the party’s ruling executive – accusations which were denounced as “lies.” Scottish Labour delegates have today backed the leadership’s position on Brexit amid claims of an attempt to “close down” debate . The party’s Spring conference heard angry exchanges amid claims of “interference” by the party’s ruling executive – accusations which were denounced as “lies.” – Scotsman

  • Scottish Labour members back Jeremy Corbyn’s vision for Brexit despite dissent – i News

Global Britain policy ‘risks damaging UK’s reputation’, MPs warn

The Government’s ‘Global Britain’ strategy lacks substance, resources or clear priorities, a report from the Foreign Affairs Committee has concluded. The report added that the brand had not been precisely defined by the FCO, and that during evidence sessions government ministers had been unable to set out what the policy meant. MPs warned that ‘Global Britain’ represented the Government’s aspirations but did not amount to a strategy. Failure to clarify the position could be damaging to the UK’s ability to influence world affairs after Brexit, they said. – Politics Home

French Brexit adverts banned from London Underground

Adverts aimed at tempting businesses worried about Brexit to move to France have been banned from appearing on Tube trains by London Underground bosses. Mocked up newspaper articles called on worried entrepreneurs to move their businesses to France. But Transport for London (TfL) said the adverts “did not fully comply” with its advertising rules. TfL does not allow images or messages which “relate to matters of public controversy or sensitivity”. The campaign was commissioned by the Normandy Development Agency, which promotes economic growth in the region in northern France. They featured fictional newspapers with the headline: “British business owners can now vote with their feet and leave post-Brexit fears behind.” – ITV News

Former Attorney General backs legal bid to force second EU referendum

Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve said a law passed in 2011 gives the public the right to vote on the final Brexit deal. He said the issue “should be examined in court” through a judicial review proposed by pro-EU campaign group Best for Britain. The case would revolve around their claim that the 2011 European Union Act guaranteed a ‘referendum lock’ on changes to EU treaties. Brexit Secretary David Davis says ratification of the final withdrawal agreement is subject to a different law – the Constitutional Reform and Governance act of 2010 – which includes no such lock. – PoliticsHome

‘No deal’ Brexit could cost UK and EU companies £58 billion

Companies in Britain and the European Union face an extra 58 billion pounds in annual costs if there is a no-deal Brexit, with Britain’s vast financial sector set to be the worst-hit industry, according to a report on Monday. Firms across the EU’s 27 countries other than Britain will have to pay 31 billion pounds a year in tariff and non-tariff barriers if Britain leaves the bloc without a deal, the report by Oliver Wyman management consultants and law firm Clifford Chance said. In return, British exporters to the EU will have to pay 27 billion pounds a year. “These increased costs and uncertainty threaten to reduce profitability and pose existential threats to some businesses,” the report said. Britain is due to leave the EU next year after voting in favour of ending more than four decades of political, economic and legal ties with the world’s largest trading bloc. – Reuters

Wetherspoons boss says UK should walk away from Brussels and give Britons £20 billion boost

Leading Brexit supporter Tim Martin dismissed arguments that Britain’s economy would be damaged by leaving the EU without a deal. Speaking on Sky News, the founder and chairman of JD Wetherspoon said the UK would thrive by trading with the rest of the world on WTO rules. He said: “I think the main point is we are leaving. I personally feel we could trade very well trading on WTO rules and a lot of the information about how bad it would be from the CBI and elsewhere has been false. If the Government believe that they would be able to take a more robust line with the EU but they have listened to everyone. – Express

> On BrexitCentral’s YouTube: Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin on leaving the EU on WTO terms

Outlook for UK financial services brightens, with assets set to reach £1.5 trillion by 2020, according to EY

A well-managed Brexit and stronger than expected economic performance will boost the financial services sector in the year ahead, according to an analysis from EY Item Club. The outlook for the UK financial services sector is better than many had hoped, the findings showed, but challenges remain in the the consumer credit, residential mortgage and business lending markets. Equity markets should still perform well in the year ahead, despite recent turbulence as the worldwide uptick in GDP growth continues to support asset prices, the forecast said. Fixed income assets such as bonds are also going to benefit from gradual hikes in interest rates from the Bank of England, along with tighter monetary policy from the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve. – Telegraph

Boris Johnson: Commonwealth has key role to play in the bright future for Britain

As Her Majesty and Prince Philip drove from Entebbe Airport to the capital, Kampala, they were greeted by cheering crowds lining every inch of the 20-mile route. I cannot imagine any head of state except the Queen – or any international organisation except the Commonwealth – stirring such popular enthusiasm. So I’m delighted to report to readers of the Sunday Express that Her Majesty will be opening another Commonwealth summit on April 19 and this time the occasion will be here in London. We are unlikely to rival Uganda when it comes to mass gatherings – something that will be of comfort to the Metropolitan Police – but this event will demonstrate the immense value of the Commonwealth, now and in the future. In some countries, international meetings happen in plate glass conference centres – think sumptuous and functional but, dare I say it, rather bland. – Boris Johnson MP for the Express

Tom Newton-Dunn: Money talks as Britain walks – which means we will get a good Brexit deal

So that’s it then. Britain is the rock, and the EU the hard place. Theresa May is the poor soul caught in the ­middle, trying to work out how on earth to bridge the Grand ­Canyon-sized gap between them. That’s the received wisdom anyway, after EU Council ­president Donald Tusk spelled out Brussels’ vision of a Brexit trade deal last week vastly more limited than Theresa May’s five days earlier. “A pick-and-mix approach is out of the question,” insisted Mr Tusk, throwing the PM’s intricate plan for the economy back in her face. Has mass depression set in among ministers? Might we just as well walk away now? Here’s the funny thing. Behind the scenes in Whitehall, there is optimism that a good deal is still very ­possible. – Tom Newton-Dunn for The Sun

Brexit in brief

  • Tariffs and trade – John Redwood’s Diary
  • With the US turning towards protectionism, should the UK take this opportunity to join the TPP? – Geoffrey Yu and Emily Redding for City A.M.
  • Post-Brexit Irish border solution ‘vital’ says IoD – BBC News
  • Brexit not a vote to roll back devolution, says Drakeford – BBC News
  • Will British airlines lose their rights to fly to America after Brexit? – Economist
  • Post-Brexit border checks ‘may triple queues’ to port – BBC News