Theresa May given ‘last chance’ to convince EU leaders of Chequers plan: Brexit News for Thursday 26 July

Theresa May given ‘last chance’ to convince EU leaders of Chequers plan: Brexit News for Thursday 26 July
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Theresa May given ‘last chance’ to convince EU leaders of Brexit blueprint…

European leaders plan to let Theresa May sell her Brexit blueprint directly to member states in an effort to kickstart stalled talks on Britain’s departure. A meeting in Salzburg in September is being lined up as the venue where the prime minister can hold direct talks to avert a no-deal Brexit. The proposal emerged after the intervention of Angela Merkel, who is concerned  at the apparent drift in the talks. A government source said last night that it could be “Britain’s last chance” to sell a compromise that would avoid a hard Brexit. – The Times (£)

… as UK ‘prepares for Brexit surrender to Frenchman’…

Without a dramatic course change from Brussels or leading Tory Brexiteers, only one route to Brexit remains that is likely to be palatable to the EU and could also carry a majority in the House of Commons — though it is unlikely May could survive it as prime minister. Capitulating to Brussels’ wish to see the U.K. stay in the EU’s single market may yet prove to be the U.K.’s best chance of avoiding a crisis, at least as a temporary solution, according to two government ministers who spoke on condition of anonymity. A series of crunch moments in recent weeks have exposed the precariousness of the U.K. prime minister’s position. Brussels has shown little enthusiasm for May’s compromise Brexit white paper since its publication earlier this month, while her own MPs reacted with open hostility amid Cabinet resignations and angry speeches denouncing her “sellout.” – Politico

…and Michael Gove shouts ‘This is not a betrayal!’ at questioner at constituency meeting

An earnest, good looking, young business man fellow had the outrageous temerity to bring up the Chequers subject. ‘Michael’, he said, ‘Perhaps the reason that people aren’t emailing you and talking to you about the Chequers situation is that they…’ and then he said it. ‘well…. they don’t trust you?’… Gove lost it. We sat dumbfounded as the Govachino puffed out his chest and delivered his riposte. ‘This is not a betrayal!’ he screamed. – Brexit Debate

Irish Deputy PM says UK can’t afford a no-deal Brexit…

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has warned that the UK “cannot afford” to leave the EU without a deal. Speaking to the Today programme Mr Coveney described talk of the UK “crashing out of the EU” as “bravado”. The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 but has yet to agree how its final relationship with the bloc will work. The White Paper on the UK’s future relationship with the EU was published earlier this month. – BBC News

  • Why is Irish PM Leo Varadkar a cheerleader for the EU? It’s no friend of Ireland – Brendan O’Neill for The Sun
  • It’s sad how Irish politicians try to belittle us — our stance won’t change over leaving the EU – The Sun editorial

> Watch on BrexitCentral’s YouTube Channel: Irish Foreign Minister says Britain can’t afford no deal

…and said he would support extending Article 50 to get ‘sensible’ Brexit deal

Ireland would support an extension of Article 50 in order to reach a “sensible” Brexit deal, the country’s deputy prime minister has said as he accused Brexiteers advocating no deal of “bravado”. Simon Coveney has claimed that “Britain cannot afford” a no deal as he suggested that extending the negotiations would be welcomed in Brussels in order to achieve an outcome that was “good” for all parties. Mr Coveney confirmed that his government was stepping up no deal preparations but believed that that such a scenario would have “significant” and “negative implications” for Britain. – Telegraph (£)

  • Ireland would “absolutely” back extending Brexit talks to avoid no deal  – City A.M.

Young Brexit activist who was fined £20k by elections watchdog launches bid to fight back against ‘politically motivated stitch-up’

A young Brexit activist who was fined £20,000 by the elections watchdog over his referendum campaigning has today launched an appeal to help him overturn the verdict, The Sun can reveal. Darren Grimes, 24, was last week told he had broken strict spending laws by the Electoral Commission – and has been referred to the police. But he claims the charges against him were “trumped up” – because members of the commission are fanatical opponents of Brexit. Mr Grimes is now crowdfunding to raise the money he needs to lodge a legal appeal against the verdict. He was able to reach his initial target of just £20,000 in just two hours after the fundraising effort was first reported by The Sun. The campaigner, who now works for a think-tank, believes he will be able to overturn the judgment because of huge holes in the Electoral Commission’s case.  – The Sun

  • Brexit campaigner Darren Grimes raising funds to appeal against fine – BBC News
  • Help me to challenge the Electoral Commission’s ruling – Darren Grimes for ConservativeHome
  • Help me challenge the Electoral Commission – Darren Grimes Crowdfunder

Hammond vows strong resistance to rules gap with Northern Ireland during Belfast visit…

Philip Hammond has played down the chance of Northern Ireland adopting different rules from the rest of the UK after Brexit. The chancellor, on a visit to Belfast, stressed that the prospect of any further regulatory divergence between the province and the mainland was unlikely. His comments come amid signs that Brussels is pushing for an agreement over the “backstop”, the insurance policy to ensure that no hard border develops between the UK and Republic of Ireland that could mean different regulatory rules being applied in each country. – The Times (£)

…but Northern Ireland fudge could be too tempting for Brussels

There is a time-tested method for making fudge in Brussels. Generations of EU leaders have found it invaluable, and might do so again over the question of Brexit and the Northern Ireland border. The recipe is quite versatile. Take any intractable problem. Mix with a contrived deadline. Stir vigorously, preferably at a summit after midnight. If a problem still needs more time to fix, then — voilà — a political fudge is confected to win breathing space. The vexing Irish question seems a classic candidate for artful obfuscation. The public message from the EU has been: not a chance. To Brussels, Brexit is no normal intra-family squabble. Legal clarity is essential. – FT (£)

Fewer City jobs will move to Europe for Brexit day, Bank of England believes…

Banks, insurers and other finance companies will need to move fewer jobs than feared on Brexit day, the Bank of England believes. It had expected between 5,000 and 10,000 jobs would be relocated to the EU as a result of Britain’s departure from the bloc. But now Sam Woods, a Deputy Governor of the Bank and head of the Prudential Regulation Authority, believes it could be fewer than that.“We have had an estimate for some time now of 5,000 to 10,000 jobs, which you can think of as 0.5pc to 1pc of jobs there are in this country in the relevant sector – so, a relatively small move on Day One,” Mr Woods said in an interview with Bloomberg. “I think it will be at the bottom end of that range. If anything, it might be slightly below that.”  – Telegraph (£)

…as Barclays boss says there will be no terminal damage to the City

Barclays boss John McFarlane has struck a note of caution about the impact of Brexit on the City, saying he doesn’t believe it will cause “terminal damage”. In an interview with Reuters, the chairman also known as ‘Mac the Knife’ shrugged off fears that the plan for the sector’s future trading relationship, revealed as part of the Brexit white paper earlier this month, would cripple job creation and trigger London’s rapid decline as a global financial services centre. Dismissing concerns by some of his colleagues that moving away from mutual recognition is a mistake that could cost the City market access, McFarlane said: “I don’t think in the long run that there will be terminal damage [to London].   – City A.M.

Theresa May defends stockpiling food and medicines for Brexit saying she’s being ‘sensible’ in preparing for a ‘no deal’

Theresa May has defended stockpiling food and medicine for life after Brexit – saying she’s being “sensible” in preparation for potentially leaving the EU without a deal. The Prime Minister said she was working round the clock for ‘every eventuality’ and people should not panic – but instead be comforted by that news. She was backed up by her Chancellor Philip Hammond, who agreed it was a “responsible thing for a government to do”. Speaking to Channel 5 News, Mrs May was asked if Brits should we “worried” after the Brexit Secretary confirmed secret plans have been drawn up to stockpile processed foods to protect supply chains. Yesterday Dominic Raab confirmed The Sun‘s story that the Government would not gather food – rather help industry “make sure that there’s adequate food supplies”. It followed the Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealing his department was “working up options with industry for stockpiling” medicines and other supplies but there was still “work to do”. – The Sun

  • Theresa May discusses stockpiling and what the non-negotiable issues of Brexit are – Telegraph (£)

Trump says no new tariffs against EU after parties agree to trade negotiations

U.S. President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the United States will pause its plans to impose new tariffs against the European Union and work to resolve existing differences over trade in an attempt to avoid a full-blown trade war. The “new phase” in the trade relationship between Washington and Brussels comes after Trump met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who traveled to the White House with his team to attempt to head off potential tariffs on U.S. imports of autos and auto parts. In a joint statement in the Rose Garden, Trump and Juncker also announced that the two trading partners will work to eliminate tariffs on all non-auto industrial goods, increase cooperation on energy purchases and work together to reform the World Trade Organization. – Politico

  • US and EU agree to work towards lower trade barriers EU BBC News

Nestle defeated by EU in crunch court ruling over the shape of Kit Kat

A European court rejected an appeal by Nestle today to copyright the shape of its Kit Kat chocolate bars.The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) said that Nestle was unable to copyright Kit Kat’s shape as it had not acquired “distinctive character” throughout the entire European Union. While it had previously been accepted that the mark had gained distinctive character in Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands,, Austria, Finland, Sweden and the UK, it had not done so throughout every member state. In 2006 the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s (EUIPO) had ruled that Nestle could copyright Kit Kat’s shape, but that decision was overturned in 2016. – City A.M.

Boris Johnson: Why we should chuck Chequers

Imagine you leave some stifling desk job and decide to get out into the big wide world — make new contacts in America, that kind of thing. How would you feel if your former company still treated you like an employee? What would you do if you had to obey all the organisation’s rules, and do exactly what they told you? What if you got regular emails saying do this, do that, make me a cup of coffee, your skirt’s too short, please cough up for the company car park — even when you had left? You’d go nuts. You can’t leave an organisation and still be bound by its rules. But that is what the Chequers white paper means. It is vassalage, satrapy, colony status for the UK. For the first time in a thousand years our laws will be made overseas, enforced by a foreign court. It can’t and won’t work. Chuck Chequers. – Boris Johnson MP for The Spectator

  • Boris Johnson slams Theresa May’s ‘soft Brexit’ as grassroot Tories call for her to be sacked – The Sun

Dominic Raab: It’s time to take back control of our borders, our laws and our future

As I head to Brussels today for more Brexit talks, I have the words of many Mail readers ringing in my ears: ‘Let’s get on with it.’  It has been more than two years since the referendum, and I know many people want us to get on and deliver on the verdict of the British people. Taking back control of our money, our law, our borders – and our country’s future. We are well on the way to delivering exactly that. As the new Brexit Secretary, I am relishing the challenge.  Our White Paper, published this month, spells out our vision in more detail and I will be in Brussels today for further negotiations with Michel Barnier. Our plan sets out a principled and pragmatic Brexit. One that sees us outside of the political institutions in Brussels that so many of us campaigned to leave. Not only do we have a plan, we are delivering it. In Parliament, above all the din, we are getting the legislation in place to deliver Brexit. – Dominic Raab MP for the Daily Mail

Asa Bennett: Dominic Raab is Brexit Secretary in name only, Olly Robbins remains in charge

Dominic Raab must have assumed his appointment as Brexit Secretary would give him a big part in shaping the United Kingdom’s approach to negotiating its exit from the European Union. But a few weeks into the new role, he is learning of its limits. The Prime Minister made them painfully clear yesterday in a statement explaining that the “overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations” had actually fallen to her trusted civil servant Olly Robbins and his Europe Unit at the Cabinet Office. The Brexit Department would just provide “support”, while Mr Raab could expect to “deputise” on Mrs May’s behalf. – Asa Bennett for the Telegraph (£)

Matthew Goodwin: Ukip is back thanks to the Chequers backlash

The UK Independence Party might be about to make a comeback. Ever since  Theresa May’s Chequers deal on Brexit, which went down very badly indeed among grassroots Conservatives and Leavers, the opinion polls have been  kind to the Purple Army.The week after the Chequers deal went public, one pollster found support for the party had surged by five points to 8 per cent. It might not sound  like much, but it is its best showing since March last year. Furthermore, such numbers are more than enough to tilt the balance at the next general election toward Jeremy Corbyn and Labour. – Matthew Goodwin for The Spectator

Mark Wallace: What was the Brexiteers’ alternative answer to the Northern Irish border?

The much-touted myth that there was no alternative to the Prime Minister’s Chequers policy was exploded by the publication on ConservativeHome of the draft White Paper – coherent with the Government’s own stated goals – that had been prepared by DEXEU but which was ditched in favour of the new proposals put together in the Cabinet Office. The myth persists in some quarters, presumably because some people prefer it to the truth, and others are genuinely unaware that it is out of date. What’s interesting is that it is on the question of border management, and particularly the Northern Irish border, that critics of Brexit cling most tightly to the idea that there is no option even suggested other than that now touted by the Prime Minister – namely, the continued application of an EU ‘common rulebook’ to the whole of UK goods, and the continued authority of the European Court of Justice.  – Mark Wallace for ConservativeHome

Suella Braverman: We’re making significant progress towards leaving the EU

After six months of discussions, in December last year we reached one of the first landmarks in our negotiations with the EU. The UK and the EU agreed a reciprocal deal protecting the rights of both UK and EU citizens, the structure of a financial settlement and the framework for addressing the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland, also known as Phase 1 issues. In March we built on that progress by agreeing the terms of a time-limited implementation period which will smooth the path to our future partnership. This was agreed very much as a response to the business community and to support trading arrangements after we leave. Taken together, we have now reached agreement on the vast majority of our withdrawal agreement – an international treaty – providing certainty to people and businesses here in the UK and right across the EU. To me, this is proof of the capacity and willingness of both parties to strike common ground on complex issues relating to our departure from the EU. On Tuesday we published a white paper explaining how we will put that international agreement in to UK domestic law. – Suella Braverman for The Times (£)

Brexit in Brief

  • The chaotic UK has given itself a negotiating card by accident – the growing risk of No Deal should terrify Brussels – Ed Hall for ConservativeHome
  • Thank goodness we are now leaving the EU! – Kate Hoey for Briefings for Brexit
  • What the Brexit White Paper means for financial services – Nicholas Thompsell for Briefings for Brexit
  • Stop propping up government, John McDonnell tells Labour rebels – BBC News
  • Firms are offering pay rises and perks to retain EU talent – City A.M.
  • Elton John goes on bizarre anti-Brexit rant saying it’s ‘like a cereal which makes you throw up’ – The Sun
  • UK mortgage approvals rise to highest since September – City A.M.
  • Clark to warn in Italy of Brexit no-deal damage to both sides – Reuters
  • Supreme Court hears defence of Scottish Brexit Bill – BBC News
  • May says Brexit offers ‘unique opportunity’ for farmers – Reuters
  • Gary Lineker joins campaign for second EU vote – Sky News