Brexit News for Tuesday 11 July

Brexit News for Tuesday 11 July
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Australian PM says he won’t ‘muck around’ and wants a free trade deal with the UK ‘speedily’ after Brexit

Speaking alongside Theresa May during a joint news conference at Number 10, Malcolm Turnbull said: “As Britain moves to completing its exit from the EU, we stand ready to enter into a free trade agreement with the UK as soon as the UK is able to do so. Once Brexit is achieved, we look forward to speedily concluding a free trade agreement… Australians are fleet of foot, we don’t muck around… we will move as quickly as the UK is able to move.” … Mrs May said a trade deal with Australia was a “priority” for the UK to build on the £14bn-worth of trade between the two countries post-Brexit. The Prime Minister said International Trade Secretary Liam Fox would visit Australia in the “coming months” as part of ongoing talks. – Sky News

Mrs May reiterated his remarks and said the UK Government will continue to push for the EU Australia deal to be signed before Britain leaves the bloc… The Australian Prime Minister said he recognised Mrs May’s vision of Brexit as a chance for Britain to take a new global role with “big horizons and big opportunities” and said he wanted Australia to be a partner in that drive. “There are no two nations in the world that trust each other more than the UK and Australia,” he said. “We are family in a historical sense, we are family in a genetical sense. We are so close, and that trust is getting stronger all the time”, he said. – Telegraph

  • Australia ready to do a trade deal with Britain, Malcolm Turnbull says – The Times (£)
  • Exciting possibilities for post-Brexit trade deals – Express editorial

> WATCH via BrexitCentral: Australian PM: “We look forward to concluding free trade agreement with Britain”

> WATCH via BrexitCentral: Theresa May and Malcolm Turnbull press conference in full

UK government concedes transitional role for ECJ after Brexit

European judges could continue to have sway over Britain for a “limited time” after Brexit, the British government has conceded, in a development that could pave the way for a softer exit with the UK retaining closer ties to the EU. Theresa May said last year that one of her negotiating “red lines” was an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK… However, on Monday Mrs May’s spokesman said: “The transition rules could involve the ECJ for a limited time. That’s a matter for negotiation.” … Some pro-Brexit Tory MPs have indicated they might be prepared to compromise on some of their principles during a transition period, provided it is short and with a clear expiry date. – FT (£)

  • UK government: European top court could have role during Brexit transition – Politico

Chuka Umunna’s cross-party group says ‘all options’ should be on table

Labour’s Chuka Umunna said there must be a deal which maintained the closest links with the EU, including possibly remaining in the single market. He said it was “nonsense” to claim the group, whose members include ex-Tory minister Anna Soubry and Green leader Caroline Lucas, wanted to stop Brexit… Mr Umunna was criticised by senior figures in his own party after he unsuccessfully tried to amend the Queen’s Speech last month to get the UK to commit to remaining in the single market and customs union… Conservative MP Rishi Sunak said the group should come clean about its intentions and said that remaining a member of the single market – and therefore having to continue accepting freedom of movement and the authority of the European Court of Justice – would be unacceptable. – BBC News

  • Parliament not a ‘passive bystander’ on Brexit, says Labour’s Chuka Umunna – Sky News
  • ‘We want to f*** over the Government’: Lib Dems and Labour in major Brexit coup – Express
  • Tory MPs have to support PM and her Brexit plans – Leo McKinstry for the Express

> WATCH via BrexitCentral’s YouTube channel: Tory MP Rishi Sunak tells Labour’s Chuka Umunna that staying inside the single market would be a betrayal of the vote to Leave

Theresa May facing Tory rebellion over UK’s departure from nuclear regulator Euratom

Nine Tory MPs have indicated they are opposed to the Government’s plan to pull out of Euratom, the nuclear watchdog, raising the prospect of a showdown in the House of Commons over the issue… Mrs May told MPs on Monday that Britain will seek a close post-Brexit relationship with the regulator. But she insisted that membership of Euratom is “inextricably linked” with membership of the EU as she reiterated that the UK’s current relationship with Euratom will come to an end… The United States and Canada are among those countries with agreements that enable them to engage in nuclear cooperation with Euratom countries. Meanwhile, the Government described as “completely untrue” claims that thousands of cancer patients could face treatment delays as a result of the UK leaving Euratom. – Telegraph (£)

  • What is Euratom, why is there a row about it, and why does it matter? – Telegraph
  • Brexit won’t cause cancer – Guido Fawkes
  • UK nuclear regulator will need more inspectors after departure from Euratom – FT (£)
  • UK should stay in Euratom nuclear body, says Labour – Guardian
  • Dominic Cummings criticises Theresa May’s Brexit plans – Sky News
  • Ministers act to head off revolt over membership of European nuclear regulator – Guardian

> David Jones MP on BrexitCentral: We can’t pick and choose the bits of EU membership we like – so with Brexit must come withdrawal from Euratom

Jacob Rees-Mogg accuses EU leaders of a ‘high handed colonialist approach’ to citizen rights

The Tory MP accused Guy Verhofstadt, who chairs the European Parliament’s Brexit steering group, of “condescending” the British Government. It comes after the European Parliament threatened to veto Theresa May’s offer on EU citizens’ rights, branding it a “damp squib” which risks creating a “second class of citizenship.” … Speaking to the BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “In no foreign country in the world do foreign nationals expect to be treated better than local people are… They’re negotiating aren’t they, and they want to take a tough line….and we should negotiate back, but too often it seems that we want to roll over and have our tummies tickled, and I’m very against tummy-tickling in this context.” – Telegraph (£)

  • Britain’s future offer for EU nationals defended by top Cabinet ministers – Express
  • Brexit ‘bad cop’ gets angry over citizens’ rights – Maïa de la Baume for Politico
  • EU and UK have already started to soften their positions in Brexit negotiations – Pieter Cleppe for Open Europe
  • Guy Verhofstadt and the EU Parliament’s Brexit demands are the real ‘damp squib’ – Peter Foster for the Telegraph (£)
  • Moggmentum gathers pace – Mark Wallace for ConservativeHome

Financial services still booming despite fading optimism

Britain’s huge financial services sector enjoyed robust profits and rising employment last quarter even though optimism about the future darkened with Brexit looming on the horizon, according to a new poll. The latest CBI/PwC financial services survey of 94 firms found that the majority reported rising business volumes, profits and hiring in the three months to the end of June… “The UK will continue to be a leading financial centre, but political uncertainty and the ongoing wait for an agreed Brexit blueprint are fuelling more questions about companies’ futures and the performance of the wider economy,” said Andrew Kail, PwC’s head of financial services. – Telegraph

> Barnabas Reynolds on BrexitCentral today: How to achieve a win-win Brexit deal for UK-EU financial services

Ministers step up business engagement on Brexit

Business leaders will hold separate talks with two Cabinet ministers on Monday, offering a further indication that Theresa May’s chastened administration is determined to shake off its perceived pre-election antipathy towards the private sector. Sky News has learnt that Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, and Liam Fo‎x, the International Trade Secretary, will meet representatives of groups including the CBI and British Chambers of Commerce. – Sky News

  • No deal ‘unacceptable’ for UK businesses after Brexit: survey – Politico

British hauliers dismiss EU negotiator Barnier’s threats on trade

The country’s two most influential industry bodies both swatted aside comments by the gloomy official who said that “frictionless” commerce will be impossible once Britain has left the EU. The Freight Transport Association (FTA), which represents companies both in the UK and across Europe, said an “immediate start” must be made on a new customs regime for beyond 2019. And the Road Haulage Association (RHA), Britain’s largest transport industry body, predicted businesses will “adapt” and said any significant upping in physical checks would be “catastrophic”… Richard Burnett, the chief executive of the RHA, insisted that whilst checks in future will inevitably involve some higher levels of bureaucracy the new processes “don’t have to interrupt the physical flow of goods”. – Express

Theresa May plans to avoid clash over Gibraltar when King of Spain visits Downing Street this week

Despite the Spanish having a veto over the Rock and our EU deal, Whitehall sources say the PM will swerve mentioning the tricky subject with the Iberian monarch. King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia fly to London for a three day visit amid diplomatic tension between the UK and Spain over the 304-year-old British territory. Downing Street said it was too early to say what Mrs May will discuss at a lunch with the king, but Government sources said they were keen to avoid a fight… As The Sun revealed on Saturday, MPs are threatening an embarrassing walk out if he makes outrageous claims about sovereignty when he addresses Parliament’s Royal Gallery on Wednesday. – The Sun

Asa Bennett: By inviting Jeremy Corbyn to help deliver Brexit, the Tories can tear Labour’s fragile coalition apart

Ministers will have to make difficult compromises over the Brexit talks, so it will be easy for Labour MPs to criticise them. They’ll pretend that their party would have negotiated a much better deal under Jeremy Corbyn, who will continue to piously insist that he is “ready to serve the country”. Calling his bluff, Theresa May has now extended an invitation to him to join her big pro-Brexit tent. Some of his followers will despair about him working with the Tories, but he will have to accept her invitation if he is serious about serving the country. – Asa Bennett for the Telegraph (£)

  • Corbyn rebuffs May’s offer to work together on post-Brexit policies – Guardian
  • Theresa May’s plans to work with Labour on Brexit will hasten her downfall, Tory ex-ministers say – Telegraph (£)
  • Jeremy Corbyn’s graceless, sneering rebuff of PM’s offer to give his Brexit ideas a hearing shows he’s scared of being put to the test – The Sun says
  • If Jeremy Corbyn aids Theresa May, Labour will no longer be able to play both sides on Brexit – Tom Harris for the Telegraph (£)
  • Corbyn has nothing to offer Theresa May – Telegraph editorial (£)

Wolfgang Munchau: From Brexit to fake trade deals — the curse of confirmation bias

The most dangerous fake news of our time are the stories that fall into the too-good-to-be-true category. Like the one that the EU and Japan have reached a trade deal. The problem with the EU-Japan “trade agreement” is simply that it is not yet a trade agreement. The difficult bits still have to be agreed, including the vexed question over investor tribunals… So why did the EU and Japan announce a deal that is not ready? Look at the timing. It was intended as a public relations coup on the eve of the Group of 20 meeting. The EU wanted to signal its commitment to free trade and to isolate President Donald Trump of the US. – Wolfgang Munchau for the FT (£)

Christopher Howarth: Osborne, Umunna and the CBI are offering a bridge to nowhere – not a bridging agreement

[Their quest] is that the UK should stay in the EEA and Customs Union for an “indefinite” transitional period – transitioning to…well, back into the EU, obviously. This idea is bonkers and does none of those proposing it any credit. Firstly, it is bonkers as a policy. The EEA would be a very bad deal for the UK: it would mean the UK accepting a constant stream of laws made by a foreign state with no influence or accountability, a legal colony… Secondly, it is bonkers as a negotiation strategy… You cannot have an implementation agreement if you have nothing to implement. Likewise it cannot be a bridging agreement, it is a bridge to nowhere. It is a plank, beloved of pirates, with one end in the EU and the other end over the ECJ. – Christopher Howarth for ConservativeHome

Ryan Bourne: Time for the Tories to make the positive case for Brexit

Each day we see a barrage of media stories citing the difficulties of Brexit. And in recent weeks, we’ve seen the same old Project Fear-style economic analysis rising like a phoenix from the flames. The Conservative party needs to get serious about defying the increasing sense that Brexit might not even happen (expressed last weekend by the likely next leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable). And to do so, it needs to start making the economic case for the end goal it has in mind… Most of [May and Hammond’s] messages on Brexit seem to be couched as mitigating the downsides and risks of exiting the EU, rather than embracing the opportunities it presents… But there is no reason at all why, in the long term, Brexit need be costly to the UK economically. The degree of success is largely within our own gift, and depends on how successive governments utilise the repatriated powers on trade, regulation and migration, divert the funds we currently send to Brussels, and respond to international trends and events through domestic policy. – Ryan Bourne for City A.M.

Telegraph: MPs should be looking for Brexit solutions, not fighting pre-referendum debates

The diehards on both sides of the Brexit debate appear to be fixated on the problems, creating some where there are none and blowing others that do exist out of all proportion. What they seem to have failed to realise, while they continue to wrangle with each other, is that the rest of the country has moved on, and is focused on the outcome of Brexit, not on an endless rerunning of pre-referendum debates. If we look for solutions, not problems, it may turn out some are easy to find. – Telegraph editorial (£)

Matthew Lynn: Anything Macron offers business, we should match and improve on

Every government in Europe is looking at Brexit as an opportunity to bolster their own economies. But none is doing so with quite so much passion as Macron’s. That, of course, is fair enough. Anyone who believes in free markets should welcome rivalry between nations. But competition is precisely that – competition. As Macron tries to woo our companies, we should also try to woo some of his. Like how? By matching every offer he makes, by targeting France’s strongest industries, and by creating francophone enterprise zones for frustrated entrepreneurs. – Matthew Lynn for the Telegraph (£)

  • Paris insists battle for Brexit jobs isn’t over as J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon visits – Bloomberg
  • Alarmed Macron overrules his PM Édouard Philippe and reinstates early tax cuts – The Times (£)
  • Macron ally asked to keep close eye on Theresa May as French ambassador to London – The Times (£)

Brexit comment in brief

  • Brexit is a chance to make it safer for refugee children to rejoin their families – Tim Loughton MP for ConservativeHome
  • What the EU-Japan trade deal means for the UK’s negotiations – Vicky Ford MP for City A.M.
  • Chris Patten’s memoir First Confession is wrong about the reasons for Brexit – Lord Howard of Lympne for the New Statesman
  • Bringing down this government for an ideologically pure Brexit would be unforgivable madness – Lord Hague for the Telegraph (£)
  • How immigration poisoned political debate – Oliver Wiseman for CapX

Brexit news in brief

  • Strong trade surplus offers hope for UK services industry post-Brexit – EurActiv
  • Beeb hypes up gloomy ex-Sainsbury’s Remain campaigner – Guido Fawkes
  • UK to have biggest population in Europe within a generation – The Times (£)
  • 80% of Britain’s 1.4m eastern European residents are in work – Guardian
  • Central European workers in the UK outnumber elderly dependents 88 to 1 – Politico
  • German MEP demands that Brexit ends hated EU marmalade law – Telegraph