Brexit News for Wednesday 6 September

Brexit News for Wednesday 6 September
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EU migrant numbers will be capped after Brexit under leaked Home Office plans

Low-skilled EU migrants will only be allowed to work in the UK for two years before being sent home under Brexit plans to curb migration after 2019, leaked documents show. Ministers are also considering a “direct numerical cap” on low-skilled workers to fulfil the Government’s policy of getting net migration down to the tens of thousands. – Telegraph (£)

The 82-page paper, marked as extremely sensitive and dated August 2017, sets out for the first time how Britain intends to approach the politically charged issue of immigration, dramatically refocusing policy to put British workers first.
“Put plainly, this means that, to be considered valuable to the country as a whole, immigration should benefit not just the migrants themselves but also make existing residents better off,” the paper says. – Guardian 

  • Whitehall dismisses Holyrood’s call for powers over immigration post-Brexit – The National
  • Leaked Home Office immigration proposals for after Brexit spark criticism – City A.M.

UK wants to attract brightest scientists and work with EU post-Brexit

Following Brexit the UK will still want to continue collaborating with the EU on science and innovation, ministers have stressed in a paper explaining their position as part of the withdrawal negotiation process. Brexit secretary David Davis wants to make sure the best scientists are still attracted to working in Britain, despite the exit from the EU. – ITV News

  • DexEU will publish its science position paper today, and here’s what it’ll say – City A.M.

World University Rankings: London ranked best city

Oxford and Cambridge have been ranked as the top two universities in the world for the first time, and London named as the world’s best university city… A world league table shows that London has more elite universities than any other city. It now boasts 14 universities in the world’s top 500 list, beating its nearest competitor, Paris, with 10, and Boston, with eight. – Evening Standard

David Davis says UK could hold out over agreeing Brexit bill until March 2019…

Britain may hold out on agreeing to the size of its Brexit divorce bill until the end of talks in March 2019, David Davis has suggested. The Brexit Secretary said the issue of how much money the UK should have to handover to Brussels is likely to rumble on for the duration of negotiations. The Government has already committed to giving MPs a vote on the final Brexit deal agreed with Brussels. – Telegraph (£)

  • ‘Bonjour, minister’: David Davis gets a very continental welcome back to No. 10 – Telegraph

…as EU mocks government’s request for continuous Brexit talks

The government’s request for continuous Brexit negotiations was ridiculed in Brussels amid claims that British officials do not have enough to talk about during the current monthly sessions. Yesterday the government said that it was ready to step up the pace of negotiations, which since June have been taking place in week-long sessions each month. – Telegraph (£)

Key Brexit negotiator doubts trade talks can start in October

…The European Union’s deputy Brexit negotiator told German lawmakers that she’s skeptical talks with the U.K. will be able to move on to trade in October, according to two people present at the closed-door briefing. Sabine Weyand briefed a special session of the European Affairs Committee of the lower house, or Bundestag, in Berlin on Monday and told lawmakers that no movement had been made in the key areas under discussion, those who attended the hearing said. – Bloomberg

The EU’s five biggest Brexit howlers…and the five mistakes Britain made too

The Brexit talks have become a dialogue of the deaf as David Davis and Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator, talk across each other on the major questions of the Brexit bill and whose courts will enforce any deal. – Telegraph (£)

We share your Brexit fears, says Barnier

Michel Barnier has assured the government of the European Union’s support in Brexit negotiations but emphasised that any deal on the border must respect EU law. Simon Coveney met the EU’s chief negotiator in Brussels yesterday for an update on the talks with Britain. – Times (£)

Why Barnier is Britain’s best friend in Brussels

Britain’s favorite Brussels punching bag may be its best shot at a Brexit deal. As withdrawal talks took a tense turn in recent days, Michel Barnier, the EU’s dapper French negotiator, has been called silly, arrogant and inflexible in the U.K., even a “smackhead begging for his next hit of our money” by one pro-Leave group. Among EU insiders, however, the vilification of Barnier by British officials and media is just the latest example of what they view as a clueless approach by the U.K, and a failure to accurately read the political landscape across the Channel. – Politico

Sir Michael Caine says that Britain is being run by the European Commission President

Sir Michael Caine says he supports Brexit because he doesn’t want Britain to be controlled by European Union bureaucrats. At the Venice Film Festival, the Oscar-winning actor said Britain was ‘being run by a man called Mr Juncker’ – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, a former prime minister of Luxembourg. Sir Michael, 84, said on Tuesday that ‘up until I was 20, I thought Luxembourg was a radio station. I didn’t even know it was a country and now he’s running my country – and he doesn’t seem to like us.’ – Daily Mail

Everyone wants to trade with Britain, says Iceland’s foreign minister

“Everyone” wants to strike a free trade deal with the UK, Iceland’s foreign minister has claimed. Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson, who has already cautioned European leaders about punishing Britain with a bad trade deal, called for a quick resolution to trade talks between the EU and the UK. – Telegraph

  • Iceland has exposed the Remainers’ gloom: Who wouldn’t want to trade with Brexit Britain? – Asa Bennett for the Telegraph (£)

Blame me for Project Fear’s Brexit vote failure, says George Osborne

George Osborne says he is to blame for the failure of his Project Fear bid to stop Brexit. The ex-Chancellor admitted his campaign ahead of last year’s EU referendum was not good enough. Speaking for the first time about his role in losing the vote, he said: “If you run a campaign and you lose, it’s not a very good campaign. “I was central to the campaign, so I’m not blaming anyone but myself.” – Daily Mirror

Italian prosecco sales soar in Britain

Britain’s insatiable thirst for prosecco has boosted Italian exports and pushed sales to record highs, but experts warn that British drinkers are getting their fixture of fizz far too cheaply. Italians reacted with apprehension as Lidl, the British supermarket, offered six bottles for £20 last month, leading to long queues and even scuffles outside stores as stocks ran out. – Times (£)

Exports at record high

It’s not every day that manufacturing is seen as a bright spot on Britain’s economy. But new figures today show that exports are at a record high, confounding those who thought the Brexit vote would spell immediate doom – Channel 4 News

UK insists tech can make Irish border ‘invisible’

Technology can create an invisible border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis has said. Both Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney have said technological solutions alone will not solve the Border issue. – Irish Independent

Britain set to defy Brexit doom-mongers and clock up another quarter of economic growth

Britain looks set to clock up another quarter of economic growth – confounding warnings that the Brexit vote would trigger a painful recession. A closely-watched health check of the economy yesterday put the UK on course to expand 0.3 per cent between July and September – the fifth consecutive quarter of growth since the vote to leave the European Union. – Daily Mail

Back-to-school spending boosts retail sales

The high street dash for uniforms and childrens’ shoes in the back-to-school rush helped boost retail sales last month. Retail sales rose by 1.3pc on a like-for-like basis in August compared to a 0.9pc drop the year before, according to fresh figures by the British Retail Consortium and KPMG. Total sales also rose by 2.4pc last month, compared to a 0.3pc decline in August 2016. – Telegraph

Businesses on foreign deals spree

Takeovers and mergers involving British companies came close to doubling in the last quarter as deals worth £30 billion were announced, with the acquisition spree largely driven by UK businesses hunting abroad. Hours after it emerged that Aveva, the London-listed engineering software company, would be bought by Schneider Electric, of France, official figures were published that showed outward M&A by British companies hit a six-year high in the three months to the end of June. – Times (£)

Theresa May: How I’ll make Brexit a success for everyone

This week, schools across England return from the summer break to start a new academic year. Infants will experience their first day at school. Teenagers will make the transition to college. For all, this is a time of excitement and promise. Parliament also returns this week. The biggest single item on our agenda is the legislation to make our withdrawal from the European Union a reality and a success. But the result of last year’s referendum represented more than just a vote to leave the EU – it was a vote for change here at home, too. – Theresa May for the Daily Mail

Tom Harris: If Labour votes against the Great Repeal Bill, it’s because it’s decided to foil Brexit

If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, etc. At best Labour is conflicted on Brexit, torn between the will of the people (and the party leader) and the vast majority of MPs and ordinary members. But after the latest bout of hand-wringing over the issue, there can be no doubt that the Remainers hold the upper hand in the Labour Party. – Tom Harris for the Telegraph (£)

Quentin Letts: Labour’s Remainers have turned into Reversers!

Peter Mandelson’s New Labour is back! So you might have thought from the Commons when, on the first day back after the summer recess, the Opposition completely changed the position it held on Brexit just a few weeks ago.
Back then it accepted the result of the EU referendum. Now it wants us effectively to stay in the EU. The transformation is miraculous, a quick-change to rival anything you will see in a West End farce. Opticians could use Labour in eye tests: what can you see now, the circle or the square? Tory MPs said Labour Remainers had turned into ‘Reversers’. – Quentin Letts for the Daily Mail

Lord Strathclyde: Brexit is complex enough without Labour carping from the sidelines

Over the past 14 months we’ve seen so many ideas from the Labour Party about their “plan” for Brexit that we simply don’t know where they stand on the biggest challenge facing our country today. Leaving the European Union will allow us to take back control of our laws and our borders, while freeing us to secure new trade agreements around the world and strengthening our precious Union at home. But this can only happen if we can negotiate a sensible deal with the EU, and at every step of the way Labour appear intent on frustrating that process. The future of the United Kingdom and its place in the world is too important for political shenanigans. – Lord Strathclyde for the Times (£)

Lance Forman: As a family business leader I think long term, that’s why I support Brexit

Family businesses think long term, but much of the non-family business corporate world tend to think short term, whether profits and revenues. Family businesses like mine are less interested in annual profits, we’re interested in the long-term sustainability of the business. We think from one generation to the next. These factors guide my thinking on Brexit and the European Union. And I think many family businesses feel differently on Brexit to the view shared by bigger non-family corporations. – Lance Forman for Family Capital

Chris Moncrieff: Why David Davis is our British bruiser among the bureaucrats

The Prime Minister could scarcely have chosen a better person than David Davis to lead Britain’s Brexit negotiations with the hard men of Brussels. Davis, an amiable bruiser of a minister who sports a broken nose, does not deal in elegant diplomatic language, but talks tough. – Chrs Moncrieff for the Yorkshire Post

Steve Ballinger: Is Britain really divided over immigration?

Britain’s referendum choice is a reset moment for immigration policy – an opportunity to rebuild public trust and take some of the heat and anger out of a debate that has dominated politics for decades. Greater public engagement will reveal not more anger and discord but the common ground on which to base a future immigration policy that could secure political, business and public support. – Steve Ballinger for CapX

Philip Johnston: Brexit is Maastricht’s final conclusion, only with the roles in reverse

Why do I have this overpowering sense of déjà vu? MPs are about to embark on a key debate and hold a crucial vote on Europe. Potential Tory rebels are mulling their options while the whips mutter dark threats. The Labour opposition has reneged on a previously declared position in order to expose the weakness of a Tory government. And Northern Ireland’s Unionists have done a deal to support an embattled Conservative prime minister. – Philip Johnston for the Telegraph (£)

Asa Bennett: Iceland has exposed the Remainers’ gloom: Who wouldn’t want to trade with Brexit Britain?

Britain will remain commercially attractive post-Brexit, as Iceland recognises. It will have a huge opportunity to build on that appeal outside of the EU by taking its wares around the world. Remainers doubt how much the British can achieve by reaching out to global markets, but they can cheer up by asking themselves one simple question: who wouldn’t want to do business with Britain? – Asa Bennett for the Telegraph (£)

Brexit in brief

  • How the radical left has it both ways on Brexit – Peter Franklin for UnHerd
  • Brexit isn’t just a problem for the Tories – Alex Callinicos for the Socialist Worker
  • Great Withdrawal – Times (£)
  • Britain’s post-Brexit ambitions call for an open attitude to immigration – Times (£)
  • Trimble dismisses Hain’s call for Northern Ireland to be in single market with Republic – Belfast Telegraph
  • Andrew Adonis: Labour will back a new Brexit referendum within six months – New Statesman