Brexit News for Tuesday 13th December

Brexit News for Tuesday 13th December

Philip Hammond publicly moots support for Brexit transitional deal

Chancellor Philip Hammond has backed a transitional deal for Brexit saying it would be “helpful” to allow longer than two years for the UK’s EU exit. Mr Hammond told the Treasury select committee that there was an “emerging view” that having longer would tend towards a “smoother transition”. There would be “less risks of disruption” including “crucially risks to financial stability”, he added. However, both business and government would have to make changes, he said. – BBC

The top Tory deepened a major Cabinet split over arrangements after the UK quits the bloc. Brexit Secretary David Davis last week said he was “not really interested” in such a pact to ease withdrawal, according to a leaked memo of a meeting with City fatcats. In a thinly-veiled slap down to his colleague, Mr Hammond insisted “thoughtful politicians” believed a transitional deal would be “beneficial”. – Daily Mirror

  • With no plan, we can’t Brexit by March 2019. So Britain will need an EEA-type deal – Jim Gallagher for the LSE blog
  • Is crafty Philip Hammond making fun of the Brexiteers? – Michael Deacon for the Daily Telegraph (£)

Labour threat to amend Article 50 bill without “meaningful” Brexit roadmap

In a major speech, [Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer] will accuse Theresa May of failing to “bring the country back together’ after the referendum, because she speaks to “one side of the divide” only. And he will pledge to amend any Article 50 Bill brought forward next year if the Prime Minister fails to produce a “meaningful plan” for Brexit. – The Independent

  • McDonnell sets out New Economics conferences to “transform” Brexit debate – LabourList
  • For Labour to veto Article 50 would be supremely dangerous – Tom Harris for the Daily Telegraph (£)

Britain should stay in the EU’s customs union as transition deal, say Lords

Britain should stay in the EU’s customs union as an interim step on the way to Brexit, giving the government more time to plan for a total split with Brussels, according to the House of Lords’ EU committee. Such a move would be simpler than negotiating full Brexit, which the committee believes is close to impossible in the planned two year timeframe, and will take pressure off the negotiators. – Daily Telegraph

  • UK naive to expect easy ride in Brexit trade talks, says Lords report – The Guardian
  • The House of Lords is pushing for special Brexit treatment for Northern Ireland – Business Insider
  • How to manage the Northern Irish border after we leave the EU – Christopher Howarth for ConservativeHome

European citizens living in UK should remain under jurisdiction of EU law after Brexit, radical new plan proposes…

European citizens living in Britain after Brexit should remain under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, according to remarkable proposals tabled by senior European Commission negotiators, the Telegraph has learned. The radical idea – which is certain to be rejected by Britain – was set out at a meeting between Michel Barnier, the chief European Commission negotiator and officials from the 27 other EU member states, according to an EU diplomat familiar with the discussions. “The European Commission legal service was of the view that a political declaration on the rights of EU citizens in the UK would not be enough and that EU law must be available to EU citizens after Brexit, under the jurisdiction of the ECJ,” said the source. – Daily Telegraph (£)

  • EU citizens in post-Brexit UK should be under European law – Politico

…as Theresa May indicates she would be prepared to consider ‘associate European citizenship’ for British people

Downing Street has signalled it may be willing to do a deal with European leaders that could grant Brits “associate citizenship” of the EU.After being asked about the idea, Theresa May’s spokesperson confirmed the UK would “want to find a way” to allow people from the UK to live and work in the European Union after Brexit, though officials later underlined that the Government was not tied to any particular method of doing so. – The Independent

Remain-supporting MPs from Leave constituencies try to explain why they voted against the March deadline for triggering Article 50 last week

The vast majority of those who chose not to back the motion represented constituencies where most voters had backed Remain. However, six MPs voted against the motion, despite representing constituencies which voted Leave. So had these MPs shown “contempt” for leave voters, as their critics suggested? We spoke to some of them to find out. – Business Insider

Confusion over Nicola Sturgeon single market ‘membership’ Brexit demand

Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to clarify her stance on a special Brexit deal for Scotland after a senior SNP minister said her key demand of single market membership is “only possible if you are a member of the EU.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Forecasts for Scots economy remain ‘weak’ and hampered by Brexit – The Scotsman

‘What part of Leave don’t they understand?’ Richard Tice asks of Remoaner lawyers

In a passionate rant, Richard Tice questioned those leading the legal challenges and their understanding of the people’s demands to eradicate the free movement of people into the UK. Speaking on BBC’s Radio 5 Live, the Leave.EU co-founder claimed Britons had voted for Brexit so the government can regain control of its borders – and that is only possible while being outside the European single market. Mr Tice, a successful businessman, said: “I don’t know what it is about the simple word leave that these gentlemen don’t understand? It was made crystal clear by David Cameron, George Osborne, Michael Gove before the referendum that if we voted to leave the European Union, we would leave the single market.” – Daily Express

Top economist warns Brussels’ death is near and the world should prepare

Roger Bootle believes Italy is edging closer to the EU exit door and France’s impending election could see Marine Le Pen surging to power, raising serious questions about how the Brussels bloc could continue to exist. The “existential threats” Italy and France pose to the Eurozone mean Britain should be preparing for the end of the European Union early to ensure as little turmoil as possible, warns the managing director of Capital Economics. Mr Bootle poured scorn on the continental club, pointing out that for all the talk of hard and soft Brexit, the European Union may well not exist within a few years anyway. – Daily Express

  • Europe has entered one of its periodic states of protracted disorder – John Gray for the New Statesman

Post-Brexit jobs boost as fashion retailer ASOS and BT announce plans to hire 2,000 extra workers

Fashion retailer ASOS has announced plans to hire an additional 1,500 people, while BT has created 500 extra jobs in a further sign of Brexit Britain defying doom-laden predictions of job losses. The additional telecoms jobs will be based at BT’s centres in Swansea, Warrington, Doncaster and Accrington. The 500 additional jobs are in addition to its previously announced target of 1,000 posts across the UK and Ireland by the end of next year. – Daily Mail

  • Job optimism at three-year high despite Brexit – Sky News
  • Majority of employers planning to take on more staff – The Guardian
  • Are we still being too pessimistic about Brexit? – Gerard Lyons and Nina Skero for City A.M.

Daniel Hannan MEP: Brussels’ latest building sums up the EU rather well

The EU is breaking records for unpopularity. Its leaders have been rebuffed in referendums in the U.K. and Italy. Anti-Brussels candidates are leading the polls in France and the Netherlands. How has it responded? By unveiling a $350 million new palace in Brussels. The monstrous new structure, called “Europa,” will house the European Council — one of the many bodies that run the EU. I can best describe it as a vast egg inside a glass cube. If I were a literary critic, I’d call it the EU’s “objective correlative” — the thing that symbolises, in physical form, what is wrong with the entire project. Late, over-budget, wanting any sense of human proportion, labyrinthine, inaccessible, built to overawe: Here is the EU in glass and concrete. – Daniel Hannan MEP for the Washington Examiner

  • Brexit looks like racism to the outside world – they need to be shown the truth – Daniel Hannan MEP for the International Business Times

Dennis Hayes: After Brexit, snowflake professors need to grow up

School teachers and academics have helped to create what has been called a ‘snowflake generation’ of students. Now, we are seeing the rise of snowflake professors. Academics should get a grip. Brexit is exciting. The vote was an expression of a desire for a real kind of politics, unlike the vague concern with the poor and needy peddled by so many liberal academics. Brexit has shown us a real, adult desire for change. – Dennis Hayes for Spiked

Will Butler-Adams: We must all be exporters now, and help build a more cosmopolitan, outward-looking Britain

Entrepreneurs and small business owners must not be put off their stride by the doom-mongering in much of the media. SMEs, the heart of any economy, need to focus on the factors that they can control. I am far more interested in getting sales in the US to overtake those in the UK or launching our Brompton electric bike than I am about what European import tariffs might be in two years’ time. – Brompton Bicycles CEO Will Butler-Adams in the Daily Telegraph

  • Brexit can enrich not just Britain, but the world – Shanker Singham for CapX

Andrew Lilico: If growth does slow, it won’t be Article 50’s fault

Whatever most economists’ models said, the economy itself doesn’t believe it will be materially worse off over the long-term. If the UK voting to leave the EU didn’t make the economy believe that, why would triggering Article 50 change things so much? The BCC’s forecast stagnation from April 2017 might just conceivably happen, but it’s hard at this stage to grasp how Brexit could be responsible. – Andrew Lilico for CapX

Brexit comment in brief

  • What’s the point of trousergate? It’s a way of dressing up another Brexit row – Suzanne Moore for The Guardian
  • Clamour for a quick-fire Brexit will grow if Trump overhauls financial regulation – Mark Field MP for City A.M.
  • Only England and Wales voted to leave the EU. So the UK should let them go – Steve McCauley for The Guardian
  • Why Article 50 Brexit vote is crucial for UK-China relations – Max Johnson for Spears

Brexit news in brief

  • Theresa May untroubled by exclusion from EU dinner – The Guardian
  • David Davis asks car chiefs to list Brexit costs – FT (£)
  • Latest legal bid to scupper Brexit destroyed by masterminds of court challenge – Daily Express
  • Spain’s financial watchdog eyes wooing London business to Madrid – FT (£)
  • EU governments ready Brexit negotiating text – Reuters
  • EU keen to move on with ‘life after Britain’ – EurActiv
  • Brexit supplier switch an ‘opportunity’ says Premier Foods boss – Food Manufacture
  • UK’s current GDP growth rate won’t last, warns CBI – BBC
  • V&A museum asks artists to travel through time to tackle Brexit – BBC

And finally… Brexit gag wins Christmas cracker joke competition

Brexit – surely no laughing matter – has won a joke competition, narrowly beating Sports Direct and BHS (proving that it has even been an interesting year for business news). UKTV’s comedy channel Gold today reveals the top 20 “modern Christmas cracker jokes”, submitted on Twitter, shortlisted by a panel and voted for by 2,000 British adults… How will Christmas dinner be different after Brexit? No Brussels. – City A.M.