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Brexit

Farage: “Kill Off” Remain Campaign with Second Vote

 2 min read / 

A new vote on the issue of Brexit will “kill it off” for a generation, claims Nigel Farage.

The former UKIP leader said he was considering a second referendum as a means to settle disputes surrounding the first referendum result. He also claimed that those who would vote ‘Leave’ would be higher than the 52% who voted last time.

Farage said:

“What is for certain is the Cleggs, the Blairs, the Adonises will never ever ever give up. They will keep on whingeing and whining and moaning all the way through this process… I’m [maybe] reaching the point of thinking that we should have a second referendum.”

“I think if we have a second referendum on EU membership we’d kill it off for a generation, the percentage that would vote to leave next time would be very much bigger.”

Farage had previously criticised politicians who were arguing for a second referendum. On Monday he called the former Labour politician, Andrew Adonis, a “twisting little weasel” for suggesting there should be a vote on the exit deal.

UKIP donor Arron Banks has also said he backs a second referendum as “the only option.”

The claim, which some have described as a U-turn, has created a storm on social media:

In response, Adonis has interpreted Farage’s suggestion of a second referendum as a call for a vote on the exit deal:

Some saw the funny side:

Downing Street was firm: “There will not be a second referendum.”

At a conference in Brussels earlier this week, EU President Jean-Claude Juncker said he didn’t believe a second referendum was very likely.

(Photo: By Euro Realist Newsletter (flickr.com) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

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Brexit

Brexit Phase Two: EU-UK Trade Talks

 4 min read / 

What unites European political parties across the political spectrum is a demand that while Britain discusses its future with the EU, it adheres to the principle of freedom of movement throughout the phase two transitional period. This is together with all the other rules of EU membership, including compliance with decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

EU Solidarity

While Brussels conducts day to day negotiations, it will fall to rotating EU presidents to secure cohesion and solidarity among EU27 member states holding diverse agendas for the conduct of Brexit talks. For the next six months, this leadership task falls to Bulgaria. Romania – the EU’s fastest growing economy (in 2017) – takes on the role in January 2019 at what will be a critical time when Britain (finally) leaves the European Union.

On the 29th March next year, Britain will become a ‘third country’ putting its relationship with the EU on a par with Turkey subject to any refinements on single market entry or a ‘bespoke’ customs union granting limited rights for its financial services sector. Business confidence continues to focus on going concerns that without regulatory alignment with the EU, few benefits will be provided from Brexit. It lobbies for ‘frictionless’ trade, which effectively must keep it in line with single market rules for both goods and services.

Car manufacturers have constantly reminded government ministers of potential damage to supply lines by the imposition of trade barriers. They would assert that decades of foreign investment (FDI) in the UK car industry was made in good faith in the knowledge that Britain, with its flexible and liberalized economy, provided the best entry point for the more lucrative EU market. In fairness, other factors also played a part – not least that UK employment laws were less restrictive than in mainland Europe as a result of the Thatcher government’s reforms in the 1980s.

No Deal?

There is still a question whether Britain leaves next year without a deal. Although this looks unlikely, Michel Barnier’s team at the EU Commission prepares for this scenario – taking repeated threats from the hard Brexit camp at face value. Tracking progress for the shape of an eventual deal is not easy, but clues are already appearing. French President Macron’s visit to London on Thursday 18th January helped to re-invigorate the ‘Entent Cordiale’ which historically focused on European military defence cooperation. A renewed Calais Agreement to maintain a tight border on migration would also help to improve Franco-Anglo relations.

But on a post- Brexit trade agreement Macron stands firm in stating:

“If you want access to the single market – including financial services be – my guest. But you need to contribute to the budget and acknowledge European Jurisdiction. There will be no hypocrisy in this respect otherwise it would not work. It would destroy the single market.”

It is hard to see from this statement that the EU27 will weaken from this stance, or that France can be persuaded of a more pragmatic approach by other EU members.

However, this did not stop PM Theresa May from re-iterating her desire for a deep and special partnership with the EU: “I believe it should cover goods and services.” She went on to say “I think the city of London will continue to be a major global financial centre… That is an advantage not just for the UK, it’s actually good for Europe and good for the global financial system.”

Conclusion

In the coming months, understandably, Britain will seek to pick off different EU states to push forward its vision of future trade relations. It is unlikely this “divide-and-rule” strategy will ultimately succeed, and it may well delay the satisfactory outcome of negotiations within the agreed timeline. It is in the interest of both sides to hammer out a deal for the stability of the EU and UK economies.

Keep reading |  4 min read

Brexit

UK Wants EU Medicine Regulation

UK medicine regulation

The UK hopes to remain under the watch of the EU medicine regulator after Brexit.

Editor’s Remarks: Despite calls from the some EU nations that the UK cannot cherry-pick the aspects of the single market that it will enjoy after leaving the bloc, Britain is pushing to remain under EU regulation for medicine. Similar moves have been made for the UK’s chemicals and aviation industries, which some hope will stay adherent to European safety standards and the jurisdiction of the ECJ. The apparent “red line” drawn by Theresa May regarding any future role of the ECJ in British affairs post-Brexit has evidently been blurred in recent months.

Read more on the UK:

Keep reading |  1 min read

Brexit

Juncker: No Second Brexit Referendum

 1 min read / 

Juncker Brexit Second Referendum

Jean-Claude Juncker has said he doesn’t think a second Brexit referendum is a serious possibility.

Speaking at a Brussels conference, Juncker said:

“Don’t believe those who say that it’s not going to happen and that people in the UK have realised their error… I don’t think that’s going to be the case.”

Prominent UK politicians such as the Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable and the former prime minister Tony Blair have both argued Brexit could be averted.

The European Commission President has also told other European countries to be prepared to increase their national contributions to the European budget. He added:

“I’m not in favour of any cuts,”…“Britain will be leaving us so we need to find a means [of] reacting to the loss of a significant number of billions in euros. It will be difficult for the budget coffers of Europe when a net contributor leaves.”

Britain is one of ten net contributors.  At current spending, Brexit will leave the EU with a €12bn-€13bn annual shortfall.

Keep reading |  1 min read

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