Brexit News for Sunday 12 November

Brexit News for Sunday 12 November
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Boris and Gove’s secret memo to Theresa May dictating terms for a clean Brexit

Theresa May is effectively being held to ransom over Brexit by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, a bombshell leaked letter reveals. The Cabinet heavyweights made a series of veiled threats in a secret missive to the Prime Minister – which contained blunt instructions on how she should deliver the ‘hard Brexit’ they demand. The incredible letter also contains the sinister-sounding instruction that Mrs May should make rebel Cabinet Ministers toe their line by ‘clarifying their minds’. It lays bare Cabinet tensions and will fuel claims that the Brexit stance of Mrs May – who supported the Remain campaign during the EU referendum – is being dictated by Mr Gove and Mr Johnson. – Mail on Sunday

UK must stand firm on Brexit bill, warn Boris Johnson allies following EU ultimatum

Britain must not cave in to EU demands for a bigger Brexit divorce bill after Brussels set a two-week deadline for the UK to concede, allies of Boris Johnson have warned. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, on Friday said Britain must show “real and sincere progress” on the Brexit bill if it wants to break the deadlock by the end of the year. It comes amid reports that Theresa May is preparing to increase the UK’s offer to the EU after Brussels said that the €20 billion (£18 billion) she has already committed was not enough. The EU wants at least €60  billion. – Telegraph (£)

Theresa May reportedly faces defeat by MPs demanding vote on final Brexit deal…

Theresa May faces a devastating Commons defeat over Brexit within weeks if she continues to deny parliament a meaningful vote on the final deal with the EU, Tory and Labour MPs have warned. With the withdrawal bill returning to the Commons on Tuesday, a cross-party group who oppose a hard Brexit and are co-operating on tactics say they believe they have the numbers to defeat the government if they are denied such a vote. While the critical amendments and closest votes are not expected to be taken until next month, Tories who oppose a hard Brexit insist there is no softening of their position and that they are biding their time ready to strike before Christmas. – Observer

…as Sir Vince Cable says House of Lords is ready to defeat parts of Theresa May’s Brexit Bill

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable has warned that peers across the House of Lords are ready to join forces and inflict defeats on the Government over Brexit. In an exclusive interview with The Independent, he set out how he has met with peers in a bid to ensure the Government does not use Brexit legislation as an excuse to get rid of rights and protections currently enshrined in European law. Sir Vince also revealed how interest is growing among members of the Lords in the idea of having a “referendum of the facts” once the country knows what kind of Brexit deal it faces. – Independent

Britain could gain a £65 billion windfall from Brexit, find Economists for Free Trade

Britain could gain a £65 billion windfall from Brexit if the Chancellor seizes its “economic opportunities”, according to a report to be published this week. A paper produced by a group of Eurosceptic economists warns that official forecasts are failing to question “negative” analysis of the effects of Britain’s departure from the European Union published during last year’s referendum campaign. Instead, the 16-strong Economists for Free Trade group said its own modelling, based on Brexit taking place in 2020, showed that growth would improve, wages would rise, and unemployment fall. – Telegraph (£)

> Professor Patrick Minford on BrexitCentral today: How Brexit will reinvigorate the British economy

Michael Gove’s plan for a green revolution after Brexit

An independent watchdog to “give the environment a voice” and “hold the powerful to account” will form the cornerstone of a “green Brexit”, the Environment Secretary discloses. Michael Gove reveals plans to set up a “world-leading” statutory body to maintain environmental standards, together with a national policy statement that will permanently “embed” protections for land, water, air and wildlife into policy-making as Britain leaves the European Union. – Telegraph (£)

  • Outside the EU we will become the world-leading curator of the most precious asset of all: our planet – Michael Gove MP for the Telegraph (£)

Revealed: The 10 places set to hit the Brexit fishing jackpot

Long-neglected ports such as Lowestoft, Grimsby and Whitby could be given a new lease of life, along with Cornish coastal towns and seaside resorts such as Scarborough. At the moment 60 per cent of Britain’s fishing stock, worth £650million a year, is caught by foreign vessels from the EU. Environment Secretary Michael Gove confirmed in June that after Brexit, British fishermen will have exclusive rights to fish in a 12-mile zone around our coast. At a meeting at historic Fishmongers’ Hall in London last week, the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation predicted that reclaiming control of British waters would be one of the “great successes” of Brexit. – Sunday Express

Liam Fox: I’m not a Little Englander, I’m a free marketeer

Fox is clearly relieved at the opportunity to talk about trade after so much Westminster pantomime. He launches into his vision for Britain as a modern trading nation. “I’m no more a little ‘Europeaner’ than I am a Little Englander,” he says, as he explains why a post-Brexit Britain will be a truly open economy. Fox’s passion for the subject is palpable; he waxes lyrical, his left hand clutching his red ministerial file and a list of things he’s meant to say, the other – often waving about – strokes the fabric of the sofa every time he mentions the words “free trade” and “Brexit”. – Telegraph (£)

‘Ireland will not be ignored’ on post-Brexit border question, says Republic’s Foreign Minister…

Britain will not be allowed to dictate the future of the Irish border post-Brexit, Ireland’s foreign minister has warned in a hardening of rhetoric over the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Simon Coveney told his party’s biannual conference on Saturday that Ireland would remain a steadfast opponent to any proposal that would create a hard border with the republic. He said Ireland’s position was “consistent, firm and stubborn” and it would not abandon its opposition. – Observer

  • EU: ‘Tories putting party before the interests of Northern Ireland’ – Observer

…as DUP slaps down Brussels over ‘bully-boy tactics’ to weaken integrity of the UK

The MPs propping up Theresa May’s Government “will not accept” a deal with Brussels that weakens Northern Ireland’s relationship with the rest of the UK, their Westminster leader has warned. Nigel Dodds, who leads the Democratic Unionist Party’s group of 10 MPs, said the European Union was failing “to engage in a meaningful fashion” over the border between Ireland and Ulster. He also rejected a claim that Northern Ireland or the UK as a whole must continue to abide by the rules of the EU single market and customs union in order to avoid a “hard border”. – Telegraph (£)

British MEPs in line for €6m ‘golden goodbye’ when UK leaves EU

British Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), including leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, will be in line for a “golden goodbye” pay out of over €6m (£5.3m) when the UK leaves the EU, Sky News has learnt. A senior European Union source has confirmed that these so-called “transition payments”, in effect redundancy money for MEPs when they stand down or lose their seats, will be paid to Britain’s 73 MEPs. However the same source has said that Brussels will not pay for it and that it will in effect be added to the so-called “Brexit bill” which Britain must pay. The scheme awards one month’s salary for each year served as an MEP, up to a maximum of 24 months. – Sky News

Wall Street braced for ‘disorderly Brexit’, warns City

A “disorderly Brexit” is now seen as almost inevitable by the world’s biggest banks — ranking on a par with a global cyber-attack as a threat to the international financial system, the City of London Corporation has warned. In a letter to the chancellor sent on Friday, Catherine McGuinness, chairwoman of the policy and resources committee at the City’s ruling body, offers her “detailed observations on institutional concerns” following three days of meetings with Wall Street bosses and policymakers in New York and Washington DC. “Fears of a disorderly Brexit are increasing,” she writes. “There are concerns that US jobs and global financial stability are threatened.” – Sunday Times (£)

David Davis: Parliament faces a choice — a smooth or a chaotic Brexit

From the first second after 11pm on Friday March 29, 2019, Britain will be out of the European Union. But almost every other detail about how that process happens depends on the choices we make. We’ve taken choices in the negotiations that happened last week: to defend the national interest despite the pressure others will try to apply to us. And next week will see choices taken in parliament, as the Withdrawal Bill returns. – David Davis MP for the Sunday Times (£)

Jeremy Corbyn: Halt the Brexit uncertainty, Mrs May, or go now and let Labour sort it out

“No deal” would risk a jobs meltdown. As Boris Johnson made clear in his fantasy Brexit manifesto, the real aim is not only to reinforce the existing economic system’s ballooning inequalities and growing insecurity but also to put them on steroids. Rather than arguing for ways to undermine rights, protections and freedoms at home, the foreign secretary should be focusing on his day job and acting to promote international peace, security and the interests of our citizens abroad. – Jeremy Corbyn MP for the Sunday Times (£)

Michael Gove: Outside the EU we will become the world-leading curator of the most precious asset of all: our planet

I am the last person to shy away from criticising the European Union when they get it wrong. Indeed one of the reasons I campaigned for us to leave the EU was because I’ve seen first hand the damage it has done to our environment. I grew up in Aberdeen in the Eighties all too vividly aware of how the Common Fisheries policy depleted fish stocks, damaged sustainability and, in the process, undermined the long-term health of our coastal communities. And as a worker at one point in a Farmers’ co-operative, I also saw how another arm of EU environmental action, the Common Agricultural Policy, damaged our countryside. – Michael Gove MP for the Telegraph (£)

Liam Fox: A free-trading Britain can prosper after Brexit

In June 2016, the people of Britain voted to write a new chapter in the country’s history. Since then, not a day has passed without passionate debates on both sides of the Brexit divide. As the UK leaves the EU, for the first time in more than 40 years it will be in charge of its own trade policy. Success in trade and investment is vital for national prosperity. And, contrary to many predictions, the first year since the referendum saw a record 2,265 inward investment projects in the UK, an increase on the previous year. – Liam Fox MP for the FT (£)

Henry Hill: Why the Government is resisting calls to devolve Brexit powers at once

The Government has so much on its plate at the moment that it appears to have forgotten to make its case against the Brexit demands of the devolved administrations. Which is unfortunate, as this is a very important debate. Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones, nationalists big-N and small, are demanding that a huge range of powers in ‘devolved areas’ currently exercised in Brussels be passed straight to Cardiff and Edinburgh. – Henry Hill for ConservativeHome

Brexit in brief

  • Letters: Trading on WTO terms after Brexit would not be the disaster many fear – Telegraph (£)
  • David Davis can talk about canny negotiation all he likes — ultimately, Brexit will come down to the law – Jonathan Lis for Prospect
  • The EU overplays its hand – John Redwood MP for John Redwood’s Diary
  • Brexit is a ‘lose-lose situation for both sides’ – David McAllister MEP for BBC News
  • 40 MPs say May must go – Sunday Times (£)