Brexit

Talks between the UK and the EU are faltering, says the Mail.

The EU’s top negotiator has accused the British government of being clueless over Brexit – and warned this looks like it will delay negotiations on a future trade deal.
Michel Barnier yesterday told EU ambassadors that talks on the future relationship between Britain and the bloc are now less likely to start in October because of a lack of progress.
According to briefings from Brussels, he said Britain has ‘no position’ on the Brexit divorce bill and is unclear in its positions on other crucial issues too.
And it has been claimed that there have been no detailed discussions on the Irish border issue – despite two rounds of formal Brexit talks. 

While the Prime Minister is away, the Chancellor has spoken out. His comments are reported by Westmonster.

Big time Remainer Philip Hammond spoke to the BBC this morning, with the Chancellor painting a picture of delays, watering down and inaction.
His support for a transition period means that “many things will look similar” even after 2019, and that “it will be some time before we are able to introduce full migration controls between the UK and the European Union”.
Hammond also insisted that the UK won’t be able to sign new trade deals post-Brexit until 2022, saying: “Of course all of these things are to be negotiated. I think we recognise that it will take some time for us to negotiate trade deals with countries.

The Times also quotes the Chancellor.

Philip Hammond’s vision for a post-Brexit transition deal was backed by Leave-supporting Tory MPs, Labour and the Liberal Democrats yesterday in a rare display of cross-party unity. The chancellor set out the first detailed plan on behalf of the cabinet for what he would like to see after March 2019. It needs to be agreed by Brussels and the 27 other members of the European Union if it is to become a reality.
Mr Hammond said that the public wanted to see little change immediately after Brexit and the government would seek a transition deal which kept trading relations the same as at present for one to three years.

And the Sun claims he said nobody wants to see immigration fall.

THE CHANCELLOR incensed Brexit backers yesterday by demanding a “standstill” transition deal with the EU to avoid empty supermarket shelves and economic chaos.
Philip Hammond declared that “literally nobody” wanted to see a dramatic fall in migration immediately after Brexit in March 2019.
He seized on the absence of Theresa May – who is on holiday in Italy – to push his agenda for a long transition after Brexit.
Mr Hammond said it would be “rational” for Britain to continue following EU regulations for two or three years after we leave in March 2019, to avoid disrupting trade.
The Chancellor told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There’s going to have a period where we move rationally from membership of the European Union.

The Express claims the Chancellor’s comments have provoked a backlash.

FEARS have been raised that Brexit could be delayed or even stopped after Philip Hammond announced details of a three year, two stage “transition period”.
The proposal of a delayed exit that could keep Britain under Brussels rule for another five years prompted a swift backlash from Brexit campaigners with concerns raised that any attempt to reverse last year’s vote could lead to riots.
And it brought about warnings from senior Tory parliamentarians that the Government “must not drag its feet” over ending Brussels rule over Britain.
With the UK set to Leave in March 2019, Mr Hammond has suggested that there is a “transition period” where Britain stays in the EU’s single market and customs union to avoid a so-called “cliff edge Brexit”.
This would be followed by an implementation period to get new customs, immigration and borders systems underway.

And the Telegraph claims we’ll be in for a second referendum.

The next general election will be a “second referendum” on Brexit if Philip Hammond gets his way over a lengthy transition period lasting up to three years, MPs warned yesterday.
The Chancellor, who is running the country while Theresa May is on holiday, said that after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019, there will be a “business as usual” period before new rules on migration and trade are gradually introduced.
He has won the backing of Brexiteers including Michael Gove and Liam Fox for an implementation period “of at the most three years”.
But Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary who is currently on a working trip in Australia, has not spoken publicly in support of the Chancellor’s stance and is likely to be the biggest Cabinet opponent of a lengthy transition.

The Guardian comes in with a continuation of the current relationship we have with the EU.

Britain’s relationship with the EU may look similar to its current one for up to three years after Brexit, with free movement, access to the single market  and an inability to strike trade deals  with other countries, Philip Hammond has said.
The chancellor confirmed multiple reports over the past week that the cabinet had agreed to seek a transitional period of about three years, ending before the next election, which is due in 2022.
He said there was broad consensus in the cabinet that such a period would be necessary to cushion the impact of leaving the EU.
The agreement was made last week but not announced by Theresa May, who has left the UK for a three-week holiday. Instead, the news has seeped out from other cabinet ministers, and was confirmed by Hammond on Friday morning.

EU

Meanwhile, across the Channel, it seems that EU citizens will have to register after Brexit, says the Independent.

EU citizens moving to the UK will have to register with the Home Office after free movement ends in 2019, the Home Secretary has said, as she again indicated a Brexit “implementation phase”.
Amber Rudd’s comments came after immigration minister Brandon Lewis said earlier in the day the Government was “very clear” that the free movement of labour would end after Brexit.
Ms Rudd, along with the Chancellor Philip Hammond and other soft Brexit advocates, has been keen to reassure the business community there will not be a ‘cliff edge’ Brexit which would threaten labour flows.
A transitionary period of up to four years after the UK leaves the EU is expected to see EU nationals register to work in the country, despite the strong will of many Eurosceptic MPs to reduce immigration from the bloc. 

And the Sun is one of those papers quoting the Prime Minister of Malta, who claims he knows what we Brits are thinking.

BREXIT will not happen and the “mood is changing” against our EU exit, a top European leader has declared.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat called on politicians in Britain to call for a second referendum to overturn last year’s result and for us to STAY within the bloc.
Mr Muscat has been on the inside track of Brexit talks as Malta has held the presidency of the European council for the last six months.
And he told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant: “For the first time, I’m starting to believe that Brexit will not happen.
I am seeing hopeful signs that indicate things will change. I see encouraging signs that the tide is turning.
I’m not saying the Brits have made a mistake, but the mood is changing.”

The Express also quotes the Maltese boss.

THE Maltese Prime Minister has claimed Brexit might not actually happen despite the referendum vote, saying opinion has changed in Britain.
Joseph Muscat, 43, who was former president of the European Council, called for a new UK prime minister to call another referendum on the final EU exit deal.
He told the Dutch newspaper De Volksrant: “For the first time, I’m starting to believe that Brexit will not happen. I am seeing hopeful signs that indicate the tide is turning. Doubt is creeping in.
It would be good if a political leader in the UK stands up and is courageous enough to address this new situation. Someone who says: let’s put the Brexit  end-deal to a popular vote.”

International trade

However, the options for trade across the world are increasing, says the Express.

BRITISH ministers are being urged to consider becoming an “associate member” of the European Free Trade Association (Efta) to help immediately boost global trade ties after Brexit.
Swiss academics have proposed a special arrangement for the UK that would see it benefit from the trading bloc’s lucrative web of economic pacts whilst taking back sovereignty from the EU.
Under the plan Britain would create formal ties with Efta – a bloc of four countries that has trade deals with 38 countries worldwide – whilst leaving the Single Market and Customs Union.
Experts say the proposal would allow the UK to “take back control” as promised during the referendum but would also help mitigate the economic impact of leaving the EU.
Under such an arrangement Britain would be completely free of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the EU Commission, and would not have to accept continued freedom of movement with Europe. 

The Mail claims trade with the US is on the cards.

Donald Trump’s new spokesman has declared there is a ‘100 per cent’ chance of a US-UK trade deal after Brexit.
White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci highlighted the ‘special relationship’ between the two nations and President Trump‘s love of the UK as a reason why a trade deal would be secured.
Mr Scaramucci also defended Mr Trump’s controversial style, saying that he preferred someone who knifed people in the front rather than indulging in Washington ‘backstabbing’.

And the BA boss says business will continue, reports Westmonster.

More Brexit reality from another big hitter today, with IAG (owners of British Airways) Chief Executive Willie Walsh insisting that business will go on as normal for the airline industry post-Brexit because it is in the interests of European economies.
Walsh was clear: “These are issues which will be relatively easy to address. This is something where there is absolute alignment. The British citizens travelling abroad are a significant element of EU tourism and EU trade. I’m confident this will be dealt with.”
He dismissed scaremongering on Brexit from RyanAir boss Michael O’Leary too, saying: “I am much more optimistic than Michael. I think he’s highlighted some issues and in his own style he’s turned these issues into a crisis.”

Trade with Mexico is being discussed, says Breitbart.

Britain’s trade minister Liam Fox met with Mexican counterparts Thursday to lay the foundations for a post-Brexit trade deal, part of a global diplomatic offensive to smooth its departure from the European Union.
Fox announced Britain had launched an informal working group with Latin America’s second-largest economy seeking to “ensure all the preferential arrangements that the UK currently enjoys with Mexico remain in place.”
Britain is walking a delicate line as Brexit talks inch forward in Brussels.
It will be ousted from all EU trade deals when it leaves the bloc — scheduled for March 2019.

And even trade with the EU is on the cards, says the Express.

BRITAIN is in a “strong position” to negotiate a better trade deal with the EU than the much heralded agreement with Canada, a new report by leading international trade lawyer David Collins has concluded.
It comes as top inventor and businessman Sir James Dyson declared that he has no fear of walking away without an agreement.
The confidence in Brexit Britain by experts in their fields contrasts starkly with the continued doom and gloom from Remainers who have been attempting to talk down Britain’s prospects when it throws off Brussels rule.
In a week where BMW announced a multi-billion investment in the UK to build the electric Mini, Professor Collins, who is also professor of international economic law at City University, said there is “all to play for in EU/ UK talks”.

However, the anti-Brexit Guardian claims the EU/UK talks are not going well.

The Brexit negotiations are faltering and the UK government’s hopes of opening talks on a future trade deal with the EU this autumn look increasingly likely to be dashed, the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has reported back to the bloc’s member states.
In the starkest sign yet of the parlous state of the negotiations, Barnier told ambassadors to the EU that the British government had so far been unable to provide sufficient clarity on its positions during the last week of talks, leaving him pessimistic about the future.
The European council, whose members comprise the member states, is due to rule at the end of October on whether sufficient progress has been made on the issues of citizens’ rights, the UK’s divorce bill and the border in Ireland, in order for negotiations to be widened to include the future relationship.

Labour Party

It seems that Labour’s top people can’t agree on the single market says the Mail.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has contradicted Jeremy Corbyn over the single market as Labour‘s confusion on the policy deepened.
Mr McDonnell – the Labour leader’s closest lieutenant – claimed last night Labour only wanted the ‘benefits’ of the single market and hinted Labour could back continued membership.
Asked on Sunday if he would lead Britain out of the single market, Mr Corbyn said ‘yes’.
The response has triggered a week of angst inside Labour as Remain supporters demand Mr Corbyn soften his position.

France

The French can’t get rid of the migrants waiting for a chance to come to the UK says Westmonster.

It’s been three weeks to the day since 2,700 migrants were evacuated from the Port de la Chappelle in northern Paris, however, it has emerged that 800 people are back on the very same street, sparking fears of a fresh wave of settlers.
Authorities aren’t expecting people to stop flocking to Paris anytime soon. The City’s Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, said: “At this rate, we will exceed 2,000 by mid-August”.
It took 60 coaches to evacuate the makeshift camp earlier this month, where the large group of mostly African men were living in unsanitary conditions that were leading to what the Paris Police Prefect described as “a security and public health risk for both the occupants and local residents.”

Westmonster also reports the French plan to de-radicalise extremists has failed.

France is to close its only de-radicalisation centre, after admitting it just doesn’t work.
The centre, which only opened in February of this year, will be closed after one of its residents was caught attempting to board a flight to Syria  and another was sentenced to 4 months in prison for acts of domestic violence.
The Interior Ministry announced that “the experiment has not been conclusive” and therefore the centre would be “closed permanently”.
The centre was supposed to offer education and de-radicalisation schemes to extremist youngsters, which should have been easy, given there are over 17,000 people on France’s terror watch list.
But only 9 people had attended the centre, and “none of them completed the program”, according to the Interior Ministry.
It is estimated that it cost French taxpayer’s €2.5 million to run the centre every year – that’s almost €280K per resident. It was also heavily criticised by locals for allowing the radicals to roam in and out of the town.

And the country’s president is also in a spot of bother, says the Times.

President Macron has ordered a political shake-up after a series of stumbles that have damaged his image and sown disappointment with his ten-week-old administration.
Mr Macron summoned his lieutenants and aides to the Élysée Palace to review the policy trip-ups and communication blunders that have eroded faith in his pledge to transform France with a new approach to politics.
The image of the omniscient super-leader was further tarnished this week by chaotic scenes in parliament. The bosses and multitude of debutant MPs of his République En Marche party have shown a level of amateurism that has angered veterans of the much diminished establishment parties.

China

Boris is planning a show of strength says the Mail.

China has today hit out at Boris Johnson claiming that he is ‘determined to stir up trouble’ over his plan to send two new aircraft carriers to the region.
The Foreign Secretary yesterday said the show of strength was designed to demonstrate Britain’s support for free navigation rights in international waters at a time when China is trying to assert its dominance in the South China Sea.
But the Chinese Foreign Ministry angrily denounced the idea, saying ‘certain outside countries are determined to stir up trouble’ in the region.
Spokesman Lu Kang said: ‘Whatever banners these countries or officials claim to uphold, and whatever excuses they claim to have, their track record of bringing chaos and humanitarian disasters through their so-called moral interventions in other parts of the world is enough to make nations and people in the region maintain high vigilance. 

Broadband

Slow broadband? Looks like you won’t be entitled to get it any faster, says the Telegraph.

Consumers will not get a legal right to faster broadband despite the Conservatives pledging a new law in their manifesto, Tory MPs fear.
During the election the Prime Minister committed to a “universal service obligation” that would give every household the right to request minimum broadband speeds, including 1.4million homes in rural areas.
However BT is resisting the plans and is understood to be pushing for a “voluntary” deal with the Government which it says will deliver the same benefits without the need for legislation.

And the Independent reports a call for compensation for a slow service.

Dozens of MPs are calling for the urgent introduction of an automatic compensation scheme for broadband users amid warnings that millions of connections are not reaching the minimum standard.
In the report – signed by 57 MPs from across the political spectrum — it is argued that urgent action is needed from Government to investigate poor broadband customer service.
Organised by the British Infrastructure Group of MPs (BIG) and chaired by the Conservative MP Grant Shapps, it also calls on ministers to “finally introduce minimum standards for the broadband sector” and urges Ofcom to add more pressure on broadband services to deliver better standards. 

ITV News also has the story.

Over six million UK broadband connections may not be up to minimum government download speeds, according to a new report.
The British Infrastructure Group of MPs, led by former Tory party chairman Grant Shapps, have called on communications regulator Ofcom to compensate families who do not get the internet speeds they pay for.
The group’s report, entitled “Broadbad 2.0”, which is backed by a group 57 cross-party MPs, found as many as 6.7 million UK broadband connections may not be receiving download speeds above the proposed minimum of 10 megabits per second (Mb/s).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email