Brexit News for Saturday 9 September

Brexit News for Saturday 9 September
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Theresa May to deliver clean Brexit speech to Conservative Party conference next month…

Theresa May, UK prime minister, is planning to use a major speech in Europe this month to set out her proposals for a “no cliff-edge” Brexit transition deal, with ministers saying any interim agreement must be “as close as possible” to current relations. While that message will resonate well with business and Brussels, Mrs May will deliver a much tougher missive to the Conservative party conference a few days later, promising Eurosceptics that her end goal is still to deliver a “clean” Brexit. – FT (£)

…as she is accused of stacking parliamentary committees to help push through Brexit laws…

Losing her majority in June’s snap election made Brexit a whole lot trickier for Theresa May — but the government has a plan to help smooth its parliamentary progress. Without a phalanx of Tory MPs cheerleading the plethora of legislation needed to ease Britain’s EU exit through all stages of the process, the government risks tricky blockages. The solution: To slip in a motion to be voted on late on Tuesday night, which will give the government a majority in standing committees — where clause-by-clause legislative heavy lifting takes place and parliamentary mischief can be made. – Politico

…but denies that this is a ‘power grab’ and claims she has enough votes to get the EU Withdrawal Bill through the Commons

Downing Street is confident they have the votes to get the EU Withdrawal Bill through Monday’s Common’s showdown, The Sun can reveal. A senior source said the numbers were “in the bag” — but Tory Whips were moving to see off another testy division lobby battle on Tuesday. – The Sun

Boris Johnson says he is ‘rock solid confident’ of an EU deal…

Boris Johnson has said he is “rock solid confident” the UK will clinch a deal with the EU after Brexit. The Foreign Secretary, speaking during a visit to Estonia, urged both sides to work together to solve the thorny issue of the Irish border. “I think we can all work together to come up with a solution on that one. It is not beyond the wit of man,” he said. – Sky News

…and says the EU has a legal duty to discuss future trade relations

In a potentially provocative move, he also explained to reporters before a meeting with his EU counterparts in Tallinn, Estonia, that the EU had a legal duty to discuss trade relations. “Article 50 makes it very clear that the discussion about the exit for a country must be taken in the context of a discussion of the future arrangements, and that’s what we are going to do,” Johnson said. – Guardian

NIESR predicts uptick in UK GDP growth

Economic growth in the UK is likely to have “nudged” upward so far in the third quarter, according to estimates from an influential think-tank. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimates that gross domestic product increased 0.4 per cent in the three months to August, compared to 0.2 per cent in the prior three-month period. – FT (£)

‘It’s Jean-Claude Juncker who is unstable’ – British MEPs hit back at EU chief after personal attack on David Davis…

British MEPs have hit back at Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, after he claimed that UK Brexit secretary David Davis was lacking in “stability”. Mr Juncker, the EU’s most senior official, suggested on Thursday that Mr Davis was incompetent in a personal attack that escalated an already tense climate between London and Brussels. – Telegraph

…as Guy Verhofstadt says that the leaked Home Office immigration plans have ‘poisoned the diplomatic well’

The Government’s leaked post-Brexit immigration plans “have poisoned the diplomatic well”, the EU’s chief negotiator has claimed. Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit negotiator, said that the proposals to target lower-income workers after Brexit has caused the most discontent among MEPs. – Telegraph

UK’s bid to retain Euro clearing after Brexit gains EU allies

The UK has gained potential allies in its bid to hold on to the business of clearing euro-denominated derivatives after Brexit. Sweden said a European Union proposal to allow authorities to force the biggest foreign derivatives-clearing firms to set up shop in the bloc could prove excessive, according to a Sept. 4 document that summarizes the positions of 10 national governments. Spain highlighted the “considerable costs” a location policy would entail, and Ireland warned that it could leave firms scrambling to find clearing alternatives. – Bloomberg

New car production boosts manufacturing output

The sector expanded by 0.5%, driven in part by the production of new cars, official data from the Office for National Statistics showed. The production of motor vehicles, trailers and semi trailers grew at the fastest rate since March 2009 at 13.7%. – Sky News

  • UK manufacturers enjoy strongest growth this year in July – Telegraph
  • New car production drives pick up in UK manufacturing – Times (£)

Reprieve for Tories accused over ‘hard Brexit’ email

Theresa May has refused to sack one of her ministers and a Treasury aide over allegations that they promoted an email designed to tie the government’s hands on Brexit. Suella Fernandes, head of the European Research Group (ERG) and a ministerial aide in the Treasury, and Steve Baker, a minister in the Brexit department, were accused of pushing an unhelpful Brexit letter that set red lines on trade deals that officials think may be undeliverable. – Times (£)

Europhile Nicky Morgan labelled a hypocrite after accusing hard-line Tories of ‘undermining’ EU negotiations

Arch Tory Europhile Nicky Morgan was labelled a hypocrite today after accusing hard-line Tories of “undermining” EU negotiations. Sparking fresh civil war in the party, the outspoken former Minister and Remain campaigner said it was wrong of 30 MPs to sign a letter urging the PM to deliver a Hard Brexit. – The Sun

Greece’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis warns Theresa May: ‘EU won’t be fair, so walk out now’

Theresa May should abandon Brexit talks with EU chiefs now as Britain is “sleep walking into a disaster”, Greece’s former finance minister has declared. Economist Yanis Varoufakis lead his country’s negotiations with Brussels and other creditors during the climax of the Greek debt crisis in 2015. – The Sun

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Triumphant Brussels likens Brexit to the Third Reich

Brexit has demonstrated to everybody what has happened over three decades of treaty-creep: the Single European Act, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice, and ultimately Lisbon. It has shown how close Britain has come to losing sovereignty altogether. Mr Merritt states that Brexit has made visible the once-hidden “virtues” of the EU. Yet what he mostly says is that the pain (allegedly) being suffered by Britain is becoming apparent to people across the EU. – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard for the Telegraph (£)

Matthew Parris: Spurious claims about power-grabs by ministers will annoy voters who want a serious attempt to make Brexit a success

Fellow Remainers, stand easy. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill on whose second reading MPs will vote on Monday is not our Rubicon, our Kronstadt moment or our last stand. Crying wolf now could discredit our case for revisiting last year’s referendum result when our case comes, as it must, to be put. This week’s Remainer alarum begins to teeter on the absurd. There’s obviously no way to import EU regulation into domestic law except in one huge gulp. Read Thursday’s Commons debate rather than just the headlines about “monstrous” legislation, and you’ll see that even fierce Tory Remainers quietly accept as much. – Matthew Parris for the Times (£)

James Forsyth: As Brexit negotiations turn nasty, Labour risks crisis if it votes Remain by opposing the EU Withdrawal Bill

As one excited Tory tells me, they will now be able to attack Labour for voting against leaving the EU. A significant number of Labour MPs with Brexit-backing constituencies are worried about this. The Tories who liaise with Labour Brexiteers think as many as 35 Labour MPs could defy their leader on Monday. So why is Labour taking this risk? The first reason is that this is a great opportunity for them to cause trouble for the Government. – The Sun

Barnabas Reynolds: Brexit is a win-win opportunity for the City of London

The choice faced by financial institutions is a happy one. The situation is simpler than often assumed. One option is to broadly maintain current access arrangements, but through a looser association between the UK and EU which respects UK sovereignty and in which the UK has autonomy in drafting its own rules. This ‘enhanced equivalence’ model is likely to be available as an option and I have just published a detailed legislative template showing how it can be done. It would allow the UK to move to an Anglo-Saxon common law basis for regulation and to focus the rules solely on key outcomes, not process. The UK would have autonomy over law-making and process so long as international standards were met. Institutions should engage early with the UK Government to assist in a re-focusing of regulations. Barnabas Reynolds for the LSE

Asa Bennett: Britons may be open to paying the EU for Brexit, but they won’t sign a blank cheque

David Davis is justifiably proud of his lawyers for taking apart the European Union’s demand for as much as €100 billion from Britain as part of its departure. “We are going to represent the interests of the British taxpayer and that means rigorously interrogating every line of the argument on funding line by line,” he boasted to MPs on Tuesday. – Asa Bennett for the Telegraph (£)

Juliet Samuel: Theresa May’s language on Brexit is as inspiring as a damp rag. Is she even trying to sell it?

Asked about her message for Tory backbenchers as she navigates treacherous parliamentary waters this week, Mrs May went into full robot mode. Her goal, she said, was “to get the best possible deal” to enable a “smooth and orderly period”, by getting a “smooth and orderly exit”. – Juliet Samuel for the Telegraph (£)

Brexit in brief

  • Brexit requires visionary leadership that we simply don’t have. Yet. – Chris Bullivant for UnHerd
  • It’s time to make Brexit work – Lord Duncan for the Scotsman
  • German questions – John Redwood’s Diary
  • Two men stand in the way of a Brexit deal benefiting millions… a cognac-soaked clown and a puffed-up dandy – The Sun says
  • The Minford research team estimate a gain in trade, investment and welfare to the tune of £135 billion – Kent Matthews for LSE
  • Farage says Germany’s election badly needs a Brexit debate – Bloomberg
  • ‘Britain is most likely to leave EU without a trade deal – and that’s ‘just fine’- Chopper’s Brexit Podcast Episode 20 – Telegraph
  • Vince Cable urges PM to lift lid on EU immigration reports – Guardian