Theresa May to offer Commonwealth a post-Brexit bonus at this week’s meeting in London: Brexit News for Monday 16 April

Theresa May to offer Commonwealth a post-Brexit bonus at this week’s meeting in London: Brexit News for Monday 16 April
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Theresa May to offer Commonwealth a post-Brexit bonus at this week’s meeting in London

Theresa May will pledge to put the 52 other nations in the Commonwealth at the heart of a global Britain after Brexit, as London hosts a summit of their leaders on Monday for the first time in 20 years. The prime minister will call for the Commonwealth to be a beacon for free trade, at a time of increasing protectionism, and will offer UK funding to work towards common standards across Commonwealth members. The value of goods and services flowing within the Commonwealth is estimated at $687bn and likely to rise to $1tn by 2020. – FT (£)

  • Theresa May launches Commonwealth female entrepreneurs fund – PoliticsHome
  • Indian visit brings promise of strong Commonwealth and trade ties – Express
  • Lord Marland: Britain ‘must boost trade with Commonwealth’ – Times (£)
  • Royals set for ‘Brexit charm offensive’ at Commonwealth leaders meeting – Sky News
  • In Brexit appeal, Britain’s May calls on Commonwealth to boost trade – Reuters
  • Narendra Modi’s London visit may help thaw frosty relationship – FT (£)
  • Can the Commonwealth provide Britain’s trading future? – FT (£)
  • Can the Commonwealth be good for post-Brexit Britain? – Kamal Ahmed for the BBC
  • Brexit bonanza: Commonwealth head expects £1trillion trade surge in just two years – Express
  • The Commonwealth’s survival is all down to the Queen – Spectator

> Shanker Singham on BrexitCentral today: Britain’s neglect of the Commonwealth must change as we leave the EU

Previously on BrexitCentral:

‘People’s Vote’ anti-Brexit campaign calls for referendum on final EU deal

MPs, celebrities and business leaders have come together to launch a campaign for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between the UK and the EU. The People’s Vote campaign endeavours to unify different anti-Brexit groups in order to demand voters are given the final say rather than parliament on the deal secured by Theresa May. MPs including the Conservative’s Anna Soubry, Labour’s Chuka Umunna, Liberal Democrat’s Layla Moran and the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas gathered at the launch of the campaign in Camden in north London on Sunday. – Independent

Outside, a few dozen pro-Brexit supporters had staged a counter-protest, greeting the queue of remainers with placards bearing slogans such as “Full Mettle Brexit Now”. “We know that they’re going to be calling for a second referendum, which they will dress up as something else. We believe that a vote has already happened,” said Lucy Harris, one of the organisers of the counter protest. Their picket had, she said, been guided by “leavers of London” and had brought together supporters of all parties and none. – Guardian

…as Sir Patrick Stewart claims his best-known characters would have been Remainers…

The X-Men would have voted Remain, Hollywood actor Patrick Stewart claimed today as he launched a bid to block Brexit. Sir Patrick said his two best-known characters – Charles Xavier from the hit comic book films and Star Trek’s Jean-Luc Picard – would have wanted to stay in the EU as they were ‘admirable individuals’. – Daily Mail

  • Beam them up! Star Trek captain joins MPs on Planet Bremoan and warns that exiting the EU will see Britain face war, pestilence and eventual oblivion – Daily Mail
  • I want a ‘people’s vote’ referendum on Brexit because we were lied to during the last campaign – Sir Patrick Stewart for the Independent

…and he is mocked by Andrew Marr for launching the campaign in Camden…

Marr hit out at the idea of a group of wealthy business leaders and famous celebrities wanting to re-run the Brexit referendum. He said: “That is exactly the problem, a famous actor in North London, surrounded by rich backers. You should be in West Yorkshire, where you were born, somewhere outside the metropolis.” – Express

  • Fraser Nelson attacks anti-Brexit campaign led by luvvie actors and the wealthy elite (not the British people) – Express

> WATCH on BrexitCentral’s YouTube channel: Sir Patrick Stewart calls for a second EU referendum

…while Boris Johnson reminds us that the people have already had a vote on Brexit

Boris Johnson drew upon Star Trek to defend Brexit as he replied to Sir Patrick Stewart’s belief that Jean-Luc Picard would have backed Remain. The Foreign Secretary part-quoted one of the sci-fi franchise’s famous lines as he claimed Brexit will enable the UK to “boldly go” to areas it has neglected in recent years as it seeks trade deals. Mr Johnson also dismissed Sir Patrick as having had “something in Star Wars” when faced with questions about the new People’s Vote campaign, which is pushing for voters to be given the final say rather than Parliament on the deal secured by Prime Minister Theresa May. – Belfast Telegraph

> WATCH on BrexitCentral’s YouTube channel: Boris Johnson on Sir Patrick Stewart’s calls for a second EU referendum

Amber Rudd dismisses claims of ‘post-Brexit immigration row’

Amber Rudd has said the UK is “not overwhelmed by Brexit” following shocking accusations from Remoaners that Theresa May’s cabinet is in disarray over immigration after the UK leaves the European Union, it has emerged. A source claimed Mrs May had been persuaded by Remoaners to lower the barriers to entry for EU citizens to immigrate to the UK after Brexit. Members of the Prime Minister’s cabinet were alleged to have convinced the PM to make such a decision to see “what the UK can unlock” in negotiations with Brussels. Speaking to Business Insider, the source added: “There was a huge argument about whether immigration in a broader sense — in particular around preferential migration regime for EU citizens — would be up for grabs in talks. “It won’t surprise you to learn that certain parts of the Cabinet said absolutely not.” – Express

UK businesses look overseas as two in five have plans to start exporting in the next six months

Two in five businesses in the UK are planning to export for the first time or enter a new market in six months, despite current market uncertainty. In its latest Business Barometer report, Lloyds Bank said that the prospect of increased profits and turnover were the main reasons why firms were looking to expand their business abroad. Almost one fifth (18 per cent) explained they were looking to export due to existing demand overseas, and 13 per cent wanted to take advantage of currency exchange rates. – City A.M.

City unlikely to get more than “token, minimalist” Brexit deal

A senior City figure has warned that the UK risks being stuck with a “token, minimalist” deal on financial services as part of the post-Brexit agreement with the EU in October. The source, who is privy to conversations with key players on both sides, told City A.M. that while services are likely to be referenced within the final deal, it will be “just a slightly uninspiring, lowest-common-denominator” inclusion that will result in “dramatically less” access than is currently enjoyed. “They will say it’s the most comprehensive deal the EU has ever done on services with any third country and that will be true, but it will not only be less than we have through the Single Market, it will be dramatically less,” he said. – City A.M.

Brexit redraws EU alliances

The European Union’s northern and eastern minnows — which long clustered around Britain as their guardian ally — are groping for new coalitions to prevent France and Germany steamrolling them into deeper integration after Brexit. A Dutch-led northern alliance opposed to French ideas for more risk-sharing in the eurozone has fired warning shots across the bows of Europe’s power couple in recent weeks. As has a Central European group hostile to German-led efforts to make countries take a share of refugees and to tie EU regional aid to compliance with the rule of law. The rising profile and belligerence of both groupings is a symptom of a new, unstable balance of power in Europe. Among the shocks to EU stability: Britain’s vote to leave the bloc, energetic French President Emmanuel Macron’s dozens of reform proposals, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s relative weakness as she emerges from six months of political limbo at the head of another tired grand coalition. – Politico

Telegraph: How could another referendum help matters?

A new pressure group called People’s Vote has been launched to secure another referendum on the final Brexit deal later this year. The title of the organisation begs the questions of what the backers thought of the plebiscite in June 2016. Was that not a people’s vote? Seemingly not, because it came up with the “wrong” answer. The group is headed by the usual suspects at Westminster, like Anna Soubry, the Conservative MP and Labour’s Chuka Umunna. But they are in a minority. This does not presage a sea-change of opinion in the Commons, where MPs voted by an overwhelming majority last year to trigger the process to leave the EU. Ironically, many of those who supported court action to ensure that the decision to trigger Article 50 was a matter for Parliament now wish to take the final decision away from MPs and hand it back to the voters. – Telegraph editorial

Wolfgang Munchau: Germany is frustrating Emmanuel Macron’s grand ambitions

The Franco-German honeymoon has ended. At the beginning of the year, Angela Merkel, German chancellor, and Martin Schulz, the former leader of the Social Democratic party, agreed that Germany would enter into a meaningful dialogue with Emmanuel Macron, the French president, on reform of the eurozone. As it turned out, the eurozone agenda was a personal project of Mr Schulz’s, not of the SPD. When he was ousted as leader in February, the party lost interest. The grand coalition is once again in power, but now without the only interesting project that would have justified its existence. – Wolfgang Munchau for the FT (£)

Catherine McGuiness: London can lead the Commonwealth to more trade, investment, and innovation

This looks set to be an exciting week for the City of London, as today marks the start of CHOGM Week and its associated forums. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is a biennial meeting of world leaders from the 53 members of the Commonwealth, and for the first time in more than 30 years they are gathering here in London. This presents a unique opportunity to celebrate all we share as members of the Commonwealth, as well as look at ways we can grow closer together and ensure continued business growth and prosperity. – Catherine McGuiness for City A.M.

Matt Kilcoyne: Our CANZUK friends should be welcome in post-Brexit Britain

The flags around Parliament Square are up, the hotels, bars, restaurants, and meeting rooms of the City are fully booked, as the heads of 53 Commonwealth governments fly into town. But while we’re rolling out the red carpet for visiting dignitaries, there’s a chillier welcome to their citizens. Britain has never quite found its role in the twenty-first century. Stuck between America to the west and uncomfortable in Europe to the east, we now have a chance to forge a new future with old allies and new friends across the globe. – Matt Kilcoyne for City A.M.

Oliver Gill: Lift up the bonnet and you’ll see Brexit is not driving Jaguar Land Rover’s problems

On Friday JLR stressed it had spent £4bn since 2010 “to future-proof manufacturing technologies”. But experts this weekend pointed out JLR is pitifully behind in its development of electric and hybrid vehicles. Brexit uncertainty is a neat explanation, particularly as it absolves company management of some responsibility for the firm’s current predicament. For all its critics, Tesla, as well as JLR’s more established rivals, are looking to the future. JLR needs to start doing the same. And quickly. – Oliver Gill for City A.M.

Brexit in brief

  • Peers can unite around our Brexit public health amendment – Lord Warner for PoliticsHome
  • Navy hatches plan for border patrols after EU departure – Portsmouth News
  • Pro-EU Milo Djukanovic wins Montenegro’s presidential election – Telegraph