Brexit News for Wednesday 15 November

Brexit News for Wednesday 15 November
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Ministers see off early Commons challenges to EU Withdrawal Bill…

Ministers have seen off challenges to a key Brexit bill on the first of eight days of scrutiny in the House of Commons. The Government successfully navigated five votes on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which seeks to transfer European law into British law, during the first two groups of amendments. But debate focused on the Government’s desire to include an exit date in the Bill of 11pm on March 29 2019, with Tory backbenchers lining up to voice concerns. – Evening Standard

  • How the EU (Withdrawal) Bill could change the course of Brexit – Politico

…as nearly 20 Tory MPs threaten to rebel against fixing Brexit leaving date in law…

Nearly 20 Tory MPs are threatening to rebel against the Government’s plans to enshrine the date of Brexit in law including seven former ministers and two committee chairmen.  The MPs confronted Julian Smith, the new chief whip, during a meeting on Monday to express their fury at the Government’s plans.  The rebels include many Tory MPs who are usually loyal to the Government but are concerned that fixing the date of Brexit to March 29, 2019 will “tie our hands” in negotiations. – Telegraph (£)

It was always clear that an opportunistic, flip‑flopping Labour Party would, despite its promises and the clear wishes of many of its own supporters in the election campaign, put every obstacle in the path of Brexit. But at least Jeremy Corbyn can offer the feeble defence that he and his colleagues are in Opposition. Such shameless hypocrisy is to be expected. What equivalent excuse can rebel Tory MPs offer – MPs who voted in favour of triggering Article 50, yet now suddenly find they have insurmountable scruples about accepting its inevitable consequences? – Telegraph editorial (£)

  • Brexiteers livid with Telegraph front page – Guido Fawkes
  • Labour attacks Brexit leaving date ‘gimmick’ –  BBC
  • Tory rebels line up to attack Theresa May over Brexit date – The Times (£)
  • Bill to enshrine Brexit deal in law not enough for Tory rebels – Politico
> On BrexitCentral today: The 70 MPs who opposed repeal of the European Communities Act 1972


>WATCH on BrexitCentral’s Youtube Channel: Highlights of the Committee stage of the Withdrawal Bill


Labour MPs turn on Frank Field for suggesting their voters wanted Brexit

Labour MPs turned on their veteran colleague Frank Field in the House of Commons yesterday for daring to suggest that voters in the party’s electoral heartlands supported Brexit. Mr Field was heckled by Labour MPs as he told them they “needed educating” to accept that the majority of their constituents voted to leave the European Union. Divisions in both the Labour and Conservative parties were laid bare as MPs began the first of eight sessions in the Commons about the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill which formally writes into British law thousands of Brussels regulations after the UK has left the EU. – Telegraph

  • The day Labour MPs tore each other apart over Brexit – Michael Deacon for the Telegraph (£)
  • ‘I’ve Never Inherited My Houses!’ -furious Frank Field clashes with Labour MPs over Brexit – Sun
  • Labour MP Frank Field urges cross-party ‘war cabinet’ for Brexit – Sky News

EU court rules citizens who become British will keep family immigration rights

EU migrants who become British citizens can bring in spouses and partners from non-EU countries, the European Court of Justice ruled yesterday in a defeat for the government. The court said that an Algerian illegal migrant had the right to live in Britain with his wife, García Ormazábal, who is from Spain and has become a British citizen while also retaining her Spanish nationality. It said that the Home Office had been wrong to refuse Ms Ormazábal the right to have her Algerian husband live with her in Britain. – The Times (£)

  • David Davis told Brussels will not accept deportation of EU immigrants – Independent

David Davis sets out post-Brexit vision for financial services

David Davis has committed to protecting talent within financial services after Brexit, as he gives his clearest indication of the government’s thinking for the sector yet. Speaking at UBS this morning, the Brexit secretary set out his vision of the City’s future relationship with the EU after March 2019, based on three key planks: protecting financial stability, ensuring consumer protection and supporting the system built since the 2008 crash. A major component would be protecting the “mobility of workers and professionals across the continent,” Davis said. “Whether this means a bank temporarily moving a worker to an office in Germany, or a lawyer visiting a client in Paris, we believe it is in the interests of both sides to see this continue.” – City A.M.

  • Brexit secretary aims to reassure the City of London FT (£)

Michael Bloomberg says London will remain Europe’s financial capital (despite Brexit)

London will remain an important global financial hub after Brexit, according to billionaire businessman and former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. He said the UK’s departure from the EU would likely slow down London’s economic growth but said the capital would “be the financial centre of Europe for the foreseeable future”. “It has the things the finance industry needs: it is English speaking, it is family-friendly, it has a lot of cultures so you can attract those people here,” Mr Bloomberg told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. – The Independent

MPs warn of ‘massive queues’ and lorries full of rotting food at UK ports if Government fails to upgrade customs system for Brexit

Britain’s ports will face “massive queues” and food will be left rotting in lorries at the border post-Brexit if the Government fails to fund an upgrade to the UK’s customs system, MPs have warned. A new report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) claimed that the number of customs declarations made by traders which HM Revenue & Customs must process could increase five-fold to 255 million after the UK leaves the European Union. Ministers started work on a new customs system before the EU referendum but the PAC said HMRC does not yet know how much it will cost to upgrade the new system to ensure it can cope with Brexit and funding has not yet been made available to increase capacity. – Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby: Remainers should give up attempts to sabotage Brexit

The Europhiles who are now seeking in some way to scupper, hinder or block Brexit outright with their reams of amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill are rather late converts to the cause of robust parliamentary scrutiny. Where were they over the past 40 or so years when thousands upon thousands of EU directives and regulations became the law of the land without a moment of debate in our supposedly sovereign parliament? – Jonathan Isaby for The Times (£)

Pieter Cleppe: Europe would be mad to let Britain leave without a deal

It’s hardly surprising that Brexit isn’t the top priority of the EU27. There is the attempted Catalonian secession from Spain, Greece and Portugal have become financial protectorates of its fellow Eurozone member states, banks in Italy and elsewhere are still struggling with very high levels of bad debt, the governments of Poland and Hungary are on a constant clash with Brussels, and all over Western Europe, eurosceptic populist parties have done well in elections. Still, as much as they may regret the British decision, the remaining EU member states should step up their game to prevent the UK leaving without a deal. Indeed, Brexit is already having a profound effect on the EU – and things can only get worse. – Pieter Cleppe for CapX

Comment in Brief

  • Britain should steer clear of EU defence programmes post-Brexit – Peter Lyon of Get Britain Out for Reaction
  • Ministers continue to mislead us on housing and migration – Express editorial
  • If the Brexit rebels really had a glorious alternative vision then we would have seen it already – Tom Harris for the Telegraph (£)

News in brief

  • Nigel Farage is most successful politician says Ken Clarke – BBC
  • London pays its way but Berlin is a drag on its nation’s finances – The Times (£)
  • City directors feel unable to plan for Brexit – City A.M.
  • Business leaders want continuity with EU regulations post-Brexit, survey claims Telegraph
  • Liam Fox’s department posts report critical of Philip Hammond’s Treasury by ‘mistake’ – Independent
  • Security chief Dominic Grieve ‘to stay’ The Times (£)
  • Ministers have woefully underestimated the huge pressure immigration has put on housing –  Sun
  • ‘Catastrophic’ danger to Britain’s car industry from no deal on Brexit, MPs told Telegraph

And finally… European Parliament in hot water over cold showers

MEPs are in a lather at news that the hot water in their personal showers is to be turned off because of a health risk. In an internal email seen by Politico, the quaestors — a group of EU lawmakers who deal with administrative matters and MEPs’ working conditions — informed their colleagues that they “unanimously endorsed the recommendation to close down permanently the warm-water circuit in members’ offices due to a too-high health risk.” That recommendation came from the European Parliament’s medical service and from an independent expert who warned that “the warm-water circuits have a deteriorated condition due to their age and contain ‘dead-end pipes’ causing a permanent health risk linked to the potential growth of harmful bacteria,” according to the internal email. – Politico