It has been a month since the UK voted to leave the European Union — but something is missing. Where is the economic collapse? What of EUpocalypse Now? Where is the Brexageddon that we were promised? To the shock of many — not least business titans who bankrolled the Remain campaign — the instant collapse doesn’t seem to be happening. The UK economy is, for now at least, taking Brexit in its stride. The oft-predicted job losses? During the three weeks from 23 June, job listings were up 150,000 compared to the same period last year according to Reed Group, a recruitment consultant. ‘That’s an 8 per cent rise,’ says James Reed, its chairman. ‘The vote hasn’t affected things — people are still hiring.’
THERESA May yesterday delivered an unequivocal warning to Angela Merkel that Britain is not prepared to put up with unlimited EU migration any longer. The Prime Minister flew to Berlin for her first face-to-face talks with the German chancellor, opening the discussions on Britain’s exit from the bloc. The pair – now the two most powerful women leaders in the world – appeared to be forging a warm working relationship. Mrs May said: “We have two women here who have got off to a very constructive discussion, two women who, if I may say so, want to get on with the job and want to get the best possible results for the people in the UK and in Germany.”
Theresa May has said the UK will not begin official negotiations on leaving the EU this year as she held talks with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. Speaking in Berlin, the PM said securing a “sensible and orderly departure” from the EU would take time. But she insisted the UK would not “walk away” from Europe and wanted to retain the “closest economic links”. Mrs Merkel said the two sides desired to get the “best result for Britain” but urged more clarity on timing.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slashed its forecasts for UK growth following the vote to leave the European Union, yet the British economy is still expected to grow faster than that of Germany, France and Italy next year. UK GDP growth is now expected to slow to 1.3pc in 2017, some 0.9 percentage points below what had been pencilled in in the IMF’s previous round of forecasts. With the exception of Nigeria, the UK’s 2017 growth forecast received the sharpest downgrade of any of the 16 economies assessed by the IMF
The Bank of England said it had seen no clear signs yet of damage to British companies after the vote to leave the European Union, and one of its policymakers said she would wait for more evidence of a slowdown before backing an interest rate cut. The BoE had warned before the June 23 referendum that companies could suffer from a Brexit vote. But it said on Wednesday that its regional agents found most companies they talked to after the vote did not plan to cut hiring or investment. “As yet, there was no clear evidence of a sharp general slowing in activity,” the report said although it noted business uncertainty had risen markedly. Sterling jumped almost a cent against the U.S. dollar as the BoE report struck a less downbeat tone than other surveys that have shown declines in business and consumer confidence.
Britain’s businesses have taken the Brexit vote in their stride and there are no signs of a sharp economic slowdown, the Bank of England said yesterday. In its first assessment of the impact of the European Union referendum on June 23, the Bank said that most companies were adopting a “business-as-usual” approach and were not cutting back on either investment or hiring. The monthly economic health check said that there was “no clear evidence” of a slowdown in business activity or lending by banks to companies.
British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Tuesday the Bank of England would take the first steps to help steer the economy through its Brexit shock, and possible budget measures would not come until later this year. Hammond, who was named as chancellor of the exchequer by Prime Minister Theresa May last week, also declined to confirm whether he would follow through on his predecessor George Osborne’s plan to make further cuts to corporation tax. In a question-and-answer session with lawmakers, Hammond said the central bank would take any immediate action to alleviate Britain’s Brexit slowdown, while he would spell out new fiscal plans in the autumn.
EUROPE’S response to the migrant crisis has been feeble because the continent is being run by “Chamberlains instead of Churchills”, Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders has told supporters of Donald Trump. The eurosceptic politician went on a shocking rant during the Republican Party convention in Cleveland, Ohio, saying the EU project is “collapsing” due to “a decades-long policy of open borders and cultural relativism”. And, in a similar rhetoric to Donald Trump, he warned the rise of Islamist extremism in Europe will “only get worse” and hundreds of jihadis return to the continent from Syria and Iraq, where Islamic State (ISIS) is rapidly losing territory.
The EU’s former fisheries chief has said it is an illusion that the UK will be able to dictate its fishing policies after Brexit. Maria Damanaki, the former commissioner for fisheries, who oversaw the most sweeping reforms of the EU’s common fisheries policy in decades, said: “The idea that you can control fisheries at a national level is an illusion for any country, but especially the UK – with Brexit or without. International cooperation is needed to keep stocks and control.” Damanaki pointed to the UK’s geography, with most of its fishing grounds shared with or bordering upon those of other nations. “How would you control the waters between Ireland and the UK?. How would you control the other international waters [such as the North Sea and the English channel]?”
MPs have rejected a bill that would have changed Britain’s voting system to a form of proportional representation. Green MP Caroline Lucas proposed the Electoral Reform Bill as a private members’ bill. It would have amended the Representation of the People act to ensure that the House of Commons was elected using the Additional Member System – a proportional voting system. That system, currently used in Scotland, Wales, and London, would ensure that the seats in parliament broadly reflected the votes cast.
London’s new and first Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan has refused to back a request for the terrorist outfit Hezbollah to be a proscribed organisation. Following a question from UK Independence Party (UKIP) London Assembly member David Kurten, Mr. Khan said that he would not back a ban on the group which has recently had supporters and sympathisers protesting with its famous yellow jihadi flag at ‘Al Quds Day’ in London. Mr. Kurten asked the question in the discussion following Assembly member Kemi Badenoch’s question: “What action is the Metropolitan Police Service taking against the use of flags representing designated terrorist organisations as seen during the recent al-Quds Day march in London on July 3rd?”
THERESA MAY ruthlessly ridiculed the Scottish National Party today as she led her first Prime Minister’s Questions. Mrs May mocked SNP MP Angus Robertson after he asked her to “ensure that remain means remain” for Scotland. Scotland voted to remain in the EU during the referendum, despite the UK as a whole voting to leave. Mrs May told him: “I have to say to the gentleman, because this is a line that he has been taking for some time, he took it with my predecessor, I do find it a little confusing given that only two years ago in the Scottish Referendum the Scottish National Party was campaigning for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom, which would have meant leaving the European Union.”
Theresa May savaged Jeremy Corbyn at her first Prime Minister’s Questions during a response that drew immediate comparisons to Margaret Thatcher. In a jibe over the Labour leader’s comments to David Cameron about unscrupulous employers, Mrs May said Labour MPs would be familiar with a “boss who exploits the rules”. In a punchy exchange, during what has been widely viewed as an accomplished performance, she said: “I suspect that there are many members on the opposition benches who might be familiar with an unscrupulous boss.
The EU unveiled national targets Wednesday for cutting greenhouse gases by 2030, insisting Britain is still legally required to help the bloc meet its UN goal despite being set to leave. Wealthy northern European countries including Britain bear the brunt of the EU’s plans to meet the commitment it made at the Paris climate summit in December to cut emissions by 40 percent over 1990 levels. Despite Britain’s shock referendum vote last month for Brexit, the European Commission included it on its list of proposed binding emissions targets for all 28 EU countries.
Scores of giant Lion’s Mane jellyfish have been found washed ashore in Ireland. They are part of a swarm heading for the British Isles as temperatures soar. Swimmers have been warned to beware of the creatures which boast powerful stings that can trigger potentially fatal anaphylactic shocks. John Leech, of Irish Water Safety, said a ‘number of people’ had been hospitalised after from a Lion’s Mane sting.