A senior German lawmaker, an adviser to the French prime minister and a former deputy head of the Bank of England have proposed that a post-Brexit Britain forms a new “continental partnership” with the EU. In a paper published on Monday by the Brussels-based Bruegel think-tank, five experts argue that Britain be given a say in the affairs of a more closely integrated European Union in return for contributing to shared security and budgets as well as accepting a degree of easy immigration for European workers. A key aim would be to avoid a rancorous split following the British vote to quit the Union on June 23, further diminishing the clout the continent will have in the world.
A senior German lawmaker, an adviser to the French prime minister and a former deputy head of the Bank of England have proposed that a post-Brexit Britain form a new “continental partnership” with the EU. In a paper published on Monday by the Brussels-based Bruegel think-tank, five experts argue that Britain be given a say in the affairs of a more closely integrated European Union in return for contributing to shared security and budgets as well as accepting a degree of easy immigration for European workers. A key aim would be to avoid a rancorous split following the British vote to quit the Union on June 23, further diminishing the clout the continent will have in the world. “Neither the UK nor the continuing members of the EU can escape their geographical interdependencies. Both have a stake in economic and political stability in Europe,” they wrote.
CONSUMERS felt buoyant about their personal finances and job security with optimism hitting record levels in the weeks following the Brexit referendum vote, a survey has found. The research is the latest evidence that the decision to leave the European Union has failed to dent voter confidence despite dire warnings from Remain campaigners. However, people are feeling gloomier about the national situation. The findings came from the monthly Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report which works tracks spending habits and consumer confidence. In July it found that nearly seven in 10 people – 67 per cent – believed their own personal financial situation was excellent, very good or somewhat good – the highest level in the survey’s history.
Migrants in Calais seeking asylum in the UK should be allowed to lodge their claim in France, the president of the region has told the BBC. Xavier Bertrand said people living in the camp known as the Jungle should be able to apply at a “hotspot” in France rather than waiting to reach Britain. UK officials currently check passports in France, stopping many from entering. The Home Office said “those in need of protection should seek asylum in the first safe country they enter”. The Jungle camp has become the focal point of France’s refugee crisis with up to 9,000 people living there. Almost every night many try to circumvent passport checks by hiding inside vehicles entering the port and the Channel Tunnel to get to Britain.
The Home Secretary will bluntly reject calls to scrap the border deal between Britain and France when she meets her French counterpart in Paris later. Amber Rudd is meeting interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve for scheduled talks on co-operation on counter-terrorism and security following the spate of terror attacks in France. But border security has been propelled to the top of the agenda following calls by senior French politicians, led by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, to move checks on migrants from Calais to the UK. Mr Sarkozy, who hopes to make a comeback in the French presidential election next year, said the controversial “Jungle” migrant camp should be shut down and moved to Britain.
The home secretary, Amber Rudd , is expected to tell her French counterpart on Tuesday that Britain is determined to retain the Le Touquet agreement that allows border checks to take place in Calais, despite growing controversy in France. Rudd is expected to travel to Paris to meet Bernard Cazeneuve face-to-face for the first time. The pair had been due to discuss cooperation on terrorism and security following a series of deadly attacks in France, including in Nice . But she is also expected to warn the French interior minister that proposals mooted by the regional president for hotspots to be set up, where migrants could apply for asylum in Britain directly from the Calais camps, are unacceptable to the UK government. A Home Office source said: “This is a complete non-starter. The home secretary is crystal clear that people in need of protection should seek asylum in the first safe country they enter. That’s the long-held norm, and we are going to stick to it.”
A French plan to let migrants lodge UK asylum claims in Calais sparked a major borders row last night. Xavier Bertrand, who is chief of the Calais region, called for ‘hotspot’ application centres to be set up in the port city. Migrants hoping to cross the Channel illegally would instead be able to make a British asylum claim while still on French soil. But British politicians said the idea would make the chaotic situation in Calais even worse. Amber Rudd slapped the proposal down, with sources close to the Home Secretary saying it was a ‘complete non-starter’. A senior Whitehall insider even suggested the UK could threaten to withdraw security co-operation if France tore up existing border arrangements at Calais.
Britain is threatening to review security co-operation with France should it try to shift the Calais border back across the Channel. Senior government sources issued the warning after leading French politicians called for the unravelling of a 2003 deal under which British border checks take place in Calais. The agreement stops thousands of potential migrants from crossing into Britain. Amber Rudd, the home secretary, will fly to Paris today for talks with Bernard Cazeneuve, her French counterpart.
Global accountant Deloitte has called on Britain’s government not to clamp down on skilled migrants following Brexit, saying it could backfire on the economy. Britain’s vote in June on to leave the European Union means many banks and other financial firms will need advice from firms like Deloitte on whether to relocate business to the continent. David Sproul, Deloitte UK’s senior partner and chief executive, said Brexit also brings new challenges. “The early economic indicators suggest the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote will lead to a slowdown in the second half of this year,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. A Deloitte survey of chief financial officers showed that restricting the inflow of skilled migrants to Britain could hurt the country’s ability to attract investment.
Britain can be more successful outside of the European Union, a former governor of the Bank of England has said. Lord King of Lothbury also suggested a future decline in UK productivity could be a result of the Remain camp exaggerating the repercussions of the Brexit vote. He maintained “we don’t really know” how our economy will fare outside of the EU and that any predictions “were highly speculative”. “We are now in a better position to rebalance the UK economy,” Lord King told Central Banking magazine. “An unfortunate aspect of the campaign was the government forecasts of what the consequences of Brexit might be, which inevitably were highly speculative, in particular for the long run.
Weights and measures
Butchers and grocers are demanding the right to dust off their old weighing scales and sell produce in pounds and ounces again following the Brexit vote. The British Weights and Measures Association said more and more traders wanted the return of imperial measures, which were axed in 2000 to comply with EU regulations. Retailers are allowed to display imperial units when selling produce, but this can only be as a ‘supplementary indication’ because EU law only permits the sale of goods in kilograms and grams. The imperial measurements cannot be displayed larger than metric ones and are not allowed to be part of the transaction. The scrapping of traditional pounds and ounces caused huge protests, with some traders – known as the ‘Metric Martyrs’ – defying the threat of prosecution to continue trading in imperial measures. Now the Government is coming under increasing pressure to allow shops and market stalls to sell meat, fruit and vegetables using traditional measures.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, designed to forge a trade deal between the European Union and the USA, have collapsed, German’s economy minister has announced. The cause of the collapse has been cited as failure to move forward on any of the major planks of the deal, which has been dogged by controversy and widespread opposition from all sides of the political spectrum. “In my opinion, the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it,” Sigmar Gabriel admitted during a question-and-answer session with citizens in Berlin, noting that in 14 rounds of talks, the two sides haven’t agreed on a single common item out of 27 chapters being discussed. Neither Washington nor the European Commission, which is leading the TTIP negotiations on behalf of EU member states, were willing to comment on Gabriel’s interjection.
EU competition officials could order Apple to pay billions of euros in back taxes following claims it received preferential treatment from Ireland. The final ruling, expected on Tuesday, follows a three-year probe into Apple’s Irish tax affairs. The EU Commission is claiming that Ireland offered illegal state aid to Apple by offering the American tech firm a deal that was overly generous and not on offer to other companies. The Financial Times reports that the bill will be for billions of euros, making it Europe’s biggest tax penalty. Apple and the Irish government are likely to appeal against the ruling and have both denied wrongdoing.