Brexit News for Wednesday 8 November

Brexit News for Wednesday 8 November
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Brexit Minister asks ‘whose side’ Labour are on as they demand publication of Brexit papers…

Brexit minister has challenged Labour to prove “whose side they are on” after the Opposition demanded the publication of sensitive Brexit papers. Speaking in the House of Commons, Steve Baker, Brexit Minister, said that Labour needs to look at the “narrative” they are trying to create by demanding the documents. This comes as Brexit Secretary David Davis has written to the House of Commons to say it will have wait another three weeks until it can see the Government’s economic assessments of Brexit. – Telegraph

…but agrees he will release Brexit sectoral analyses within three weeks

Brexit minister Steve Baker says it will take “no more than three weeks” to publish official reports on the impact of Brexit on Britain’s economy. The government had been ordered to publish the Brexit reports immediately by Commons speaker John Bercow. But Mr Baker said officials needed more time to “collate” the information. He was accused of a “cover up” and of being in contempt of Parliament by opposition MPs and some on his own side.He rejected these claims, saying time was needed to “bring together this information in a way that is accessible”. And he questioned the motives of Labour MPs calling for immediate publication, asking them: “Whose side are they on?” – BBC

  • Bercow to consider contempt allegations over Brexit impact assessments  – News and Star
> WATCH on BrexitCentral’s Youtube Channel: Steve Baker asks Labour whose side they are on


UK happiness and well-being rises after Brexit vote

In the year after the UK narrowly voted to exit the European Union, there was a small but significant increase in the population’s feeling of wellbeing, official statistics show… A higher proportion of people reported very high levels of life satisfaction, happiness and feelings that life was worthwhile in the year ending June 2017 compared with the previous year. – BBC

  • It’s official: we’re happier since Brexit vote – The Times (£)
  • The UK’s life satisfaction ratings have improved since the Brexit vote – Telegraph
  • Britain is Happier… Despite Brexit – Guido Fawkes
  • Has Brexit really made us all happier? – Ross Clark for the Spectator

Liam Fox publishes post-EU trade legislation…

Ministers say their Trade Bill includes provisions for the UK to implement existing EU trade agreements and help ensure firms can still access £1.3 tn worth of foreign government contracts. It will also create a new trade remedies body to defend UK businesses against injurious trade practices. The UK cannot sign or negotiate trade deals until it leaves in March 2019. However, ministers say they can “scope” out future deals with key trade partners, such as the US, Australia and New Zealand. – BBC

> On Brexit central Yesterday: UK takes step towards independent trade policy as Government presents Trade Bill


…and says the public won’t accept lower food standards…

The international trade secretary, Liam Fox, has said the British public will not accept the diluting of animal welfare standards, a day after Donald Trump’s most senior trade adviser said a US-UK trade deal hinged on scrapping EU food standards regulations, including on chlorinated chicken. On Monday, Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary, suggested any post-Brexit deal with Washington would hinge on the UK scrapping some EU rules that hinder imports of US chicken washed in chlorine or other products currently prohibited, such as hormone-treated beef. Fox has previously been sympathetic to the change, though Michael Gove – secretary of state at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – has repeatedly said Defra will not allow a weakening of UK food standards. – Guardian

…despite Britain cutting loose from EU regulations

Britain will untether itself from EU regulations after Brexit to forge trade deals with the rest of the world, the trade secretary said yesterday. Liam Fox, speaking the day after his US counterpart spelt out a long list of American preconditions for a US trade deal with Britain, said that the government would move away from the EU model of “harmonisation” of regulations and laws. Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary, had said that the UK retaining EU regulations on chemicals, GM crops and food safety would represent “landmines” for a potential deal. – The Times (£)

  • Liam Fox blasts rich nations for turning backs on free trade Express
  • UK hopes to end ban on pork imports in post-Brexit trade talks with Taiwan – Telegraph

Thousands more job vacancies being offered now than a year ago

Thousands more job vacancies are being offered than a year ago despite continued uncertainty over Brexit, according to a new study. There has been a 16 per cent rise in job vacancies over the past year claim Jobsite A jobs site said there had been a 16 per cent rise over the past year from 126,388 to 146,651.  Jobsite said the biggest growth had been in the legal sector, where the number of vacancies has jumped by 60 per cent, with other large increases in logistics, manufacturing, finance and human resources. – Express

EU citizens to face tougher deportation laws after Brexit…

EU citizens will face much tougher new deportation laws if they commit crimes in the UK after Brexit, the British government has warned. The new standard, which will apply after Brexit, will mean that EU citizens who are sentenced to more than a year in jail will face deportation, according to a new Brexit technical paper. The tough line emerged before a fresh round of talks opens in Brussels on Thursday and comes despite objections from European negotiators who want the 3.2m EU citizens in Britain after Brexit to retain all their current rights. – Telegraph

  • Migrant criminals could win right to stay after Brexit – Daily Mail
  • Migrants abandon dream of new life to fly home – The Times (£)

…but will be given a two-year grace period to apply for ‘settled status’

Citizens of European Union countries will be given a two-year grace period to apply for settled status once Britain leaves the bloc, the Government has said. Ministers said a new working paper released ahead of the next round of Brexit talks on Thursday spelled out a “streamlined system” for EU nationals. The proposal says the Government intends to keep the amount of paperwork required to apply as low as possible and that any application would be affordable, costing no more than one for a British passport. – Independent

EU warns UK it has ‘less than a month’ to make concessions

The British government has less than a month to make a concession on the Brexit bill in order to guarantee launching trade talks in December, the Guardian understands. Senior officials in Brussels say talks have stalled since Theresa May’s Florence speech and warn the EU will find it difficult to agree to trade talks at a December summit unless the prime minister offers more on the Brexit divorce settlement. There remains “a lot to do on financial obligations”, Italy’s Europe minister Sandro Gozi said on Tuesday, after meeting the Brexit secretary, David Davis, in Rome. – Guardian

Alice Thomson: Brits don’t deserve to be damned by a Yankee

For Brits it’s embarrassing to boast, and it does seem a strange week to do it, but Erlanger’s verdict needs to be challenged. The UK is still the fifth largest economy in the world. In 2016, it achieved its highest level of foreign direct investment, beating Germany, France and Spain, up 7 per cent on the previous year. Unemployment is lower than at any time since Harold Wilson was prime minister. We remain the most generous country in Europe in terms of private charitable donations, according to the World Giving Index. While the Paradise Papers may make it sound as though the super-rich are avoiding all tax obligations, most are not: the wealthiest 1 per cent of Britons, earning over £162,000 a year, are paying 27 per cent of all income tax. – Alice Thomson for The Times (£)

Alexander C. R. Hammond: The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy adds 17 per cent to our food bills

The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, recently denounced the idea of a post-Brexit Britain entering into trade deals with poorer nations. Jones’s main objection lay in the premise that free trade with less developed countries would “undermine Wales’ farming sector.” Jones’s remarks came after meeting International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. Sensibly, Dr. Fox has not been deterred by this warning and remains focused on seeking new post-Brexit trade deals. Shortly after Jones’s comments Chatham House declared that post-Brexit, a market oriented approach with no farming subsidies, like that seen in New Zealand, would ultimately lower food prices and increase British productivity.  – Alexander C. R. Hammond for CapX

Brexit comment in brief

  • Theresa May really is making a mess of Brexit – but she can’t stop the juggernaut – Andrew Lilico for the Telegraph (£)
  • Businesses desperately need unity on Brexit – Willem Marx for City A.M.
  • Luther voted Brexit! And other errors about Britain and the Reformation. – Rebecca Lowe Coulson for ConservativeHome
  • How to fix the eurozone – Paul Taylor for Politico
  • The Brexit roadblock is causing a laissez-faire crisis of government – Bruce Dear for City A.M.

Brexit news in brief

  • Can you be a socialist or progressive and back Brexit? – Labour Leave podcast
  • Public confidence in the Brexit negotiations reaches all time low – Telegraph (£)
  • European Commission considers new look at Apple taxes – The Times (£)
  • We want our Brexit cash boost – NHS boss – BBC
  • Labour Remoaners ‘plotting to keep UK in EU by ousting beasts of Brexit’ Patel and Boris – Express