May appoints new peers after Brexit defeats: Brexit News for Saturday 19 May

May appoints new peers after Brexit defeats: Brexit News for Saturday 19 May
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May appoints new peers after Brexit defeats

Downing Street has nominated nine new Conservative peers, including a number of former ministers, to sit in the House of Lords. Among those put forward for a peerage are former communities secretary Sir Eric Pickles and former trade and industry secretary Peter Lilley. The move follows a series of government defeats in the Lords, where Theresa May does not have a majority, over Brexit. The Democratic Unionists will get one new peer while Labour will get three. The Lib Dems, which have more than 100 peers in the unelected chamber, said it was a “desperate bid” by Theresa May to quell opposition to her Brexit policy. – BBC News

Of the 6 ex-Tory MPs just handed peerages, only one, Peter Lilley, backed Leave at the referendum. Edward Garnier, Alan Haselhurst, Eric Pickles, John Randall and Andrew Tyrie all backed Remain. Hardly stacking the Lords with enthusiastic Brexiteers as some would have us believe. – Jonathan Isaby on Twitter

  • New Peerages in full – Guido Fawkes
  • Theresa May set to nominate a dozen new peers to boost her Brexit position in the House of Lords – The Sun
  • Go for it, Theresa! Pack the Lords with a hundred new Leave-backing peers – for a year – Alex Deane for ConservativeHome
  • How badly have meddling peers wrecked Theresa May’s Brexit bill? – The Sun

> Sir Bill Cash MP on BrexitCentral today: Failure to reverse the Wrexiteers’ changes to the EU Withdrawal Bill would undermine trust in democracy itself

Theresa May’s new Brexit backstop ‘must not last more than two months’ says Iain Duncan Smith…

Theresa May’s new “backstop” plan to keep Britain aligned with the EU customs union after Brexit would must not last more than “a month or two”, a leading Tory Eurosceptic has said. Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, said Brexiteers would be prepared to accept the plan only if it was strictly time-limited. Mrs May will tell European leaders next month that she will keep the whole of the UK aligned with customs tariff rates set in Brussels as a backstop if other arrangements to avoid a hard border in Ireland are not ready by the end of the transition period. – Telegraph (£)

…as UK customs proposal is delayed further…

It’s now all eyes on July 2022 — the date Brexit might actually mean Brexit. According to senior officials familiar with internal Cabinet discussions, Britain could need just over three years after it has left the EU to make preparations for its new long-term customs relationship with the bloc — although many are still pushing for a much quicker changeover. As Politico revealed Wednesday, to bridge the gap between March 29, 2019 — when Britain formally leaves the EU — and mid-2022, when officials think the new technical border solutions will be ready, Theresa May and David Davis hope to negotiate a “time-limited goods arrangement” with Brussels. – Politico

…since the European Commission could reject Theresa May’s idea

Brussels is likely to reject Theresa May’s plan to keep Britain tied to EU customs rules beyond 2021 because it believes the backstop clause to prevent a hard Irish border can only apply to Northern Ireland and not the whole UK. “The European commission has always understood it as applying to Northern Ireland only,” an EU source told The Telegraph, “It has always said that Northern Ireland is a unique situation”. – Telegraph (£)

UK will save £109m by not having to elect MEPs next year

The UK will save £109 million by not taking part next year’s European Parliament elections, the Government will say today. Members of the European Parliament (MEP) elections are due to take place next May, after the UK leaves the European Union. An upcoming Government answer to a Parliamentary question, seen by the Daily Telegraph, said: “We estimate that not holding European Parliamentary elections will save British taxpayers at least £109 million next year; this is in addition to the cost of the British contribution to the EU budget. – Telegraph (£)

  • Britain will save £100m after Brexit from not having to hold European elections – The Sun

Theresa May says Nicola Sturgeon is only opposing Brexit Bill because she wants independence…

Theresa May has argued that the only reason Nicola Sturgeon opposes the Government’s Brexit Bill is that the SNP leader wants to use the row in her fight to break up the United Kingdom. Mrs May told the Welsh Conservative conference that Ms Sturgeon is the “only First Minister in the UK” who has rejected the EU Withdrawal Bill and argued this was directly linked to the fact she is “the only First Minister who wants to break up the United Kingdom. – Telegraph (£)

…as SNP claim fear of Sinn Féin ‘behind devolved EU powers stance’

The Scottish Brexit Secretary has said one of the reasons the government is resisting devolving some powers from Brussels to the Scottish Parliament is due to fears of what Sinn Féin might do in a future NI Assembly. Mike Russell said David Lidington, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, discussed the issue with him earlier this week. The Scottish Parliament has refused to give its consent to the UK’s Brexit legislation. It believes it should have the powers.  “The whole reason why devolution in Scotland and Wales had to be subverted was out of fear of what Sinn Féin might do in a legitimate assembly,” Mr Russell told BBC NI. “The issue here is people’s consent and people’s votes. If the UK government is so afraid of people voting and consenting, then they should give up democracy all together. – BBC News

If it’s America First, Europe will follow suit, says German economy minister

Europe will respond in kind if the US pushes on with its America First policy, placing its economic interests before all others, Germany’s minister for economic affairs and energy Peter Altmaier has said.In an interview with ARD television, Altmaier said: “The US are our friends and partners, and we want to defend our common values.”But if it’s America First, and they put their economic interest before others, then they have to expect Europe to define their own interests and fight for them. – City A.M.

  • EU sets out measures to protect European businesses from US Iran sanctions – City A.M.

Boris Johnson urges Argentinians to ‘reset’ their relationship with Britain on a five-day Brexit tour of South America

Boris Johnson will urge Argentinians to “reset” their relationship with Britain as he becomes only the second Foreign Secretary to visit the country since the Falklands tomorrow. In a highly symbolic ceremony he will join his Argentine counterpart to lay wreaths at the Falkland Islands War Memorial in Buenos Aires. He is the first UK Foreign Secretary to visit Argentina since 1993. The show of unity will form part of Boris’s five-day tour of South America, which he will be use to “present the many opportunities of Brexit” to the continent. British goods currently make up just 1 per cent of South America’s imports so the UK Government view the continent as a huge area of opportunity to exploit after we leave the EU. – The Sun

UK paid consultants £1.9m for installing ‘Brexit computer system’

David Davis’ Brexit department paid consultancy firm McKinsey and U.S. infrastructure giant Bechtel £1.9 million to design and install a government computer system that helps civil servants overcome the “significant” challenge of delivering Brexit on time, according to a newly published contract. According to the contract’s security stipulations, the project was considered so sensitive that only U.K. nationals employed by the two firms were allowed to work on it, and consultants were also banned from advising foreign governments or private companies on Brexit for two years after the project’s completion.  – Politico

Michael James: Will The European Union Survive?

EU cannot allow countries to write off their debt, because the German government can’t afford to give up pretending that its loans will be repaid: the moment it admitted that Germany was in fact the EU’s milch cow, it would face a taxpayers’ revolt. The EU rightly urges the bailed-out states to reform their economies, but the short-term political and economic costs of reform are greatly magnified in states that can’t devalue their currency. A successor to the EU should be a new European association of independent states dealing directly with one another, not an incipient super-state.  – Michael James for Briefings for Brexit

John Redwood: Brussels still rules

One of the extraordinary things since the vote is the enthusiasm of the UK establishment to carry on implementing everything the EU sends us and to wish to be even more rigorous in applying EU rules, when many continental countries take a much more relaxed approach. I see we are being taken to the ECJ for alleged non compliance with the clean air rules and over EU citizenship rights and we are busily putting into UK law various EU measures. One above all shows just how much control Brussels exerts over us. That is the General Data Protection Regulation. This directly acting EU law comes into force on May 25th. – John Redwood’s Diary

Alex Brummer: The most important thing which PM and Chancellor should be shouting from rooftops during Brexit negotiations is services

As the 2017 report from financial services industry body, The City UK, points out, financial services earned Britain a surplus of £57bn last year – £69.3bn when related services such as legal and consulting are counted. That’s before creative services, ranging from Star Wars movies to Ed Sheeran, are added. A fat, forensic dossier on financial services has been passed by the Bank of England to the Government detailing areas of competitive advantage and potential regulatory solutions. The favoured approach is mutual recognition (or equivalence). This works for the UK at present because many of the rules originated in London. As innovation comes along, some kind of adjudication process will be required to sort out divergences. – Alex Brummer for the Daily Mail

Nigel Farage: The BBC is poisoning our children’s minds with pro-immigration claptrap

Time was when the BBC concentrated its efforts on making radio and TV programmes. The internet has changed that, which explains the existence of its children’s service, BBC Teach. It offers “free classroom resources to schools throughout the UK via our YouTube channel.”This sounds harmless enough but this week I was alerted to a new 5-minute BBC Teach video on immigration which is insultingly simplistic, misleading, dishonest, irresponsible, and exposes any pretence that the BBC is impartial on this most pressing subject. Indeed, I’d say it deliberately poisons young minds into thinking it is somehow unacceptable to want to curtail immigration. – Nigel Farage for the Telegraph (£)

  • Free movement creates a racist immigration system. Brexit can finally end that . – Syed Kamall MEP for the Telegraph (£)

Comment in brief

  • Will Italy’s new government blow the bloody doors off? – Paul Goodman for ConservativeHome
  • Brexit means Brexit? Not in this Parliament anyway – Bruce Newsome for CommentCentral
  • Remainers cannot call themselves liberal while they try to preserve the EU’s control – Rado Tylecote for the Telegraph (£)
  • Britain should start paying the Indian Ocean Rim more attention – Alex Hickman for Reaction
  • A ‘people’s vote’ on the Brexit deal would be a disaster – for one simple reason – Michael Deacon for the Telegraph (£)
  • Galileo row: Brexit will bar UK from EU sat-nav programme, but Britain could build its own – Ann Swift for Reaction
  • The Cabinet’s Brexit trade deal compromise with the EU may finally sink Theresa May – James Forsyth for The Sun
  • How “special” will the UK-EU security partnership really be? – Aarti Shankar for Open Europe
  • We might be plunging towards Brexit chaos – but at least everyone has jobs – Martin Vander Weyer for The Spectator
  • Brexit: A Tory Morality Tale – Andrew Cadman for ConservativeWoman
  • Great Britain. A Square Peg in a Round Hole- David Lucas for Briefings for Brexit

News in brief

  • Nicky Morgan interview: ‘If we get Brexit wrong, we will not be forgiven for a generation’ – The Times (£)
  • Theresa May shunted to very edge of EU leaders’ group photo in Bulgaria – The Sun
  • Brexit border plan ‘must be longer-term’ says Tony Lloyd – BBC News
  • European Union member states surprised at “hardline” tactics the bloc has used in order to freeze Britain out of the Galileo –  Express
  • EU transport official sounds warning on post-Brexit flights – City A.M.
  • DUP ‘ready to topple May’ over Brexit betrayal – Express
  • Anti-EU parties seize power in Italy and Brussels fears key nation will quit next – The Sun
  • £13billion deal with Japanese firm for a new UK nuclear plant could be unveiled next week – The Sun