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Wed 22 May 2019
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Byline Times‘ regular wire-service rounding all the bad news fit to print about Britain’s pending exit from the EU

Deal or No Deal

Cooper-Letwin

Red Lines still stuck

Flextension to ease the tension

Belgium showdown

Stricter conditions on UK coming

European Elections looking likely

EU tells Ireland it has ‘got its back’

China benefiting from EU paralysis

Politicians in Westminster seen as culpable

Tories facing big local government seat losses

Turning the clock back to 1922

Britain has becoming a laughing stock

Hardline ERG seems to be shattering

Boris Johnson in hot water

Jaguar Land Rover car sales fall across the year

Operation Brock is not winning friends

  • The vice president of ferry operator DFDS said he was not at all impressed by Operation Brock’s traffic management plan to date, while Port of Dover officials said they were ‘reserving judgement,’ whilst still admitting they did not believe Brock to be the best solution

Brexit confusion could EU tenants in the UK

Portsmouth could become a No Deal hotspot

Jobs at Risk

Jaguar Land Rover begins Brexit shutdown as sales fallJLR’s factory shutdowns began as the carmaker, which is owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata, released full-year results. JLR sold 578,915 vehicles globally in the year to March, down 5.8%. In March alone, sales fell 8.2%, mainly because of an 11.4% decline at Land Rover, while Jaguar recorded a 0.2% dip. The carmaker blamed weaker demand in China, whose economy has slowed sharply. JLR sales in China slumped 34%, while sales in Europe were down 4.5% because of uncertainty around the future of diesel vehicles, and the impact of new emissions legislation. The effects of the fuel efficiency and emissions testing procedure, called WLTP, have been felt across the industry.

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


Administrative Fall Out

Home Office denies rejecting Ofsted director’s Brexit settled status applicationThe Home Office has insisted a deputy director of Ofsted hasn’t been ‘denied settled status’ under their scheme for EU nationals. Daniel Muijs, who is Deputy Director of Research and Evaluation for the education watchdog, said he had been `rejected` in a post on Twitter . He wrote: `Have just found out my application for settled status in UK has been rejected. `I now need to find evidence of residence since 2013. Not a good feeling.`

8th Apr 2019 – Daily Mirror
Additional sources: (BBC News)

Operation Brock: No-deal Brexit plan is safe despite crashes and breakdowns, Highways England claims

After a series of accidents, criticism from ferry companies and port operators reserving judgement, Highways England has insisted its no-deal Brexit plan is safe and effective. Operation Brock was designed to ease congestion if traffic towards the port of Dover grinds to a standstill. But the vice president of ferry operator DFDS saying he was `not at all impressed` with the plan, while Dover port bosses meanwhile, said they were reserving judgement on the operation’s success although they admitted admitted they are not convinced it is the best solution. Highways England however, said there had only been an estimated half a dozen crashes and breakdowns in the contraflow system in Kent since it was introduced on 25 March, although a spokesman admitted he was unable to provide accurate figures.

8th Apr 2019 – The Independent


No-deal Brexit means less food variety – Wales’ first minister

Wales could see “less variety of food” in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the first minister has warned. Mark Drakeford said there were products on supermarket shelves now which would not be there after a no-deal – something he called a “genuine risk”. Although the impact would be “devastating” on industries, he said there would not be food shortages. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the UK food industry was “highly resilient”.

8th Apr 2019 – BBC News


Irish funds industry group sets up office in Brussels ahead of Brexit

The lobby group for the Irish funds industry is to open an office in Brussels to beef up its European Union advocacy ahead of Brexit. Amid fears of a clampdown on financial services across the EU in the absence of the UK, its chief advocate, Irish Funds, has appointed former BNY Mellon executive Umar Ahmed as its new head of EU affairs. From next month, Mr Ahmed will lead the industry body’s engagement with the EU institutions, regulatory authorities and other stakeholders. Irish Funds chief executive Pat Lardner described the move as a `a natural extension` of the group’s domestic advocacy strategy but acknowledged Brexit made it that bit more urgent.

8th Apr 2019 – The Irish Times


City of London alarmed at EU’s no-deal Brexit equity trading plan

Fund managers holding European equities are praying that a no-deal Brexit is avoided this week. Europe operates the world’s most integrated cross-border share trading marketplace but the UK’s possible sudden departure from the EU would cleave this network into two: EU and non-EU markets.

8th Apr 2019 – Financial Times
Leaving London: voices from the financial front lines of Brexit

The current trickle of new arrivals is stirring concern about upward pressure on property prices and extra competition for places at international schools. The FT has spoken to people in six of the cities affected by these moves – Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin, Amsterdam, Milan and Madrid – to hear how Brexit is playing out.8th Apr 2019 – Financial Times

Rise in cost of probate has been delayed by Brexit turmoil

Plans to increase the cost of probate for grieving friends and families sorting out the wills of loved ones are being repeatedly delayed by Brexit, amid a widespread backlash against their implementation. The proposals, dismissed by critics as a `stealth death tax`, would introduce a sliding scale of charges to replace the current flat rate of £215 for granting official approval of any will. The increases had been due to come into effect on 1 April but no date has been fixed for a parliamentary motion in the Commons that would pave their way. They were expected to raise £155m a year for the Treasury. Brexit has been blamed for eating into parliamentary time.

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


Cork hotel sees big decline in UK customers since Brexit vote

Mr Grant’s UK clients traditionally came from two sectors – individual or family clients and tour operators. Yet since the vote for Brexit the numbers coming to him from first category have dropped significantly. He says this is primarily due to changes in exchange rates, which means Ireland is more expensive for British visitors than before. `The change in currency since the vote has made Ireland 22 per cent more expensive purely on the exchange rate, not to mention the fact that costs are also rising here since the recession.

8th Apr 2019 – The Irish Times


Brexit confusion could hit EU tenants in UK, say landlords

EU citizens will face problems renting properties in the UK because of Brexit, private landlords have said. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) said the confusion over Brexit meant some landlords were likely to refuse EU citizens as future tenants because the government had failed to give them clear instructions over the settled status scheme introduced last week. `They do not follow every twist and turn of Brexit and it is unreasonable to assume that they are going to be able to divine the details of the settled status scheme from statements made by Theresa May or government ministers,` said David Smith, the RLA’s policy director.

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


Brexit: ‘No extra funding’ for no-deal Portsmouth port

The government has provided only 10% of the money needed for no-deal Brexit plans at Portsmouth, according to the channel port’s director. Mike Sellers said contingency plans would cost £4m, but the Department for Transport (DfT) had provided £345,000. He said the government was “not accepting there is going to be a potential issue at Portsmouth”. The DfT said the estimated risk of disruption did not warrant extra funding. Mr Sellers said delays at the port, which could be caused by post-Brexit customs checks, could cause congestion across Portsmouth and supply issues to the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands. He said there were currently only 13 lorry lengths between the port and the motorway.

8th Apr 2019 – BBC News


Wealthy Chinese Still Beating Path to U.K. Even With Brexit Woes

Political gridlock and years of Brexit drama haven’t dampened demand from wealthy Chinese for U.K. investor visas. Chinese applications for Tier 1 investor visas rose 19 percent to 144 in 2018 from a year earlier, according to data obtained from the Home Office by private equity firm Growthdeck. The number applying has almost doubled since 2016, when the U.K. voted to leave the European Union. Chinese comprised 63 percent of the 228 applications last year, up from half in 2017, according to Growthdeck. Hong Kong was second with 26.

8th Apr 2019 – Bloomberg


Thousands of Brits have made a home in France. Brexit could complicate their lives.

Each E.U. country has established its own plan for how to treat resident Brits in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In 11 of the 27 member countries, British citizens would automatically be allowed to stay as long as they like. But in 17 countries, they would only get a grace period before they would need to try to claim residency. In France, they would have up to a year to get their papers in order, or face losing their medical coverage and potentially deportation.

7th Apr 2019 – The Washington Post


Political Shenanigans

@YvetteCooperMP Our cross party Bill now has Royal Assent.

Our cross party Bill now has Royal Assent. Parliament has voted tonight against the damage & chaos that No Deal would cause for jobs, manufacturing, medicine supplies, policing & security.9th Apr 2019 – @YvetteCooperMP


Yvette Cooper Bill: What happens to the attempt to block no-deal Brexit this week?

The European Union Withdrawal (No 5) Bill legally rules out leaving the bloc without a deal and forces the Prime Minister to seek further Article 50 extension. If passed, it would requires the Prime Minister to table a motion seeking MPs’ approval for an extension to Article 50 to a date of her choosing. Mrs May has already written to the EU seeking a further Brexit delay, but the bill would make it UK law that the negotiation period would be extended in order to rule out a no deal. Although Mrs May indicated she would request the postponement, Ms Cooper said her legislation would allow `more clarity` over any delay.

8th Apr 2019 – iNews


Brexit: Cross-party talks to continue amid impasse

Ministers and their shadow counterparts will continue cross-party talks on Tuesday, Downing Street has said, as they try to break the Brexit deadlock. “Technical” discussions among officials took place on Monday evening. Sources indicated the PM had not accepted Labour’s customs union demand, but there was a move towards changing the non-binding political declaration. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said there had been no change in the government’s “red lines”. A Downing Street spokesman said the government was “committed to finding a way through” which requires both sides “to work at a pace”.

8th Apr 2019 – BBC News 


Six in 10 Britons think no-deal Brexit unlikely this week – Sky Data poll

Most Britons think a no-deal Brexit is unlikely – but many remain worried by the prospect of leaving the EU without a deal this Friday, according to a Sky Data poll. Six in 10 (62%) think the UK is unlikely to leave the EU without a deal this week, while 27% think it is likely to happen – 11% admit they don’t know. Parliament has repeatedly rejected the idea of leaving the EU without a deal, and the prime minister has ruled it out – but unless a deal is struck to further delay Brexit in the coming days, a no-deal Brexit will happen automatically on 12 April.

8th Apr 2019 – Sky News


Labour ‘would back revoking Article 50 by the end of this week if the only alternative is a No-Deal Brexit’

Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said that her party would `consider very, very strongly` backing the nuclear option of reversing the 2016 decision should a No Deal be likely

8th Apr 2019 – The Sun


‘Flextension’ and just tension in Brussels as UK requests another Brexit delay

It’s official: Brexit doesn’t mean Brexit. At least not on April 12. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May formally appealed to the EU Friday for yet another extension of the U.K.’s departure date, perhaps until June 30. Or maybe until May 22. Or maybe sooner.

8th Apr 2019 – Politico
UK’s new Brexit date could be fixed by small group of EU leaders

Britain’s new exit date from the EU, and the conditions attached to a Brexit delay, will likely be fixed in the gilded rooms of the Belgian prime minister’s 16th century Egmont Palace hours before Theresa May addresses the leaders. Under emerging plans, a small group of EU leaders whose countries will be most affected by the UK’s departure will be hosted by the Belgian PM, Charles Michel, on Wednesday afternoon. The guest list is likely to include the leaders of France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland. The purpose of the proposed coordinating meeting, three hours before May was set to address the full complement of 27 heads of state and government, would be to try to shepherd the debate that would be held later on, and avoid potentially catastrophic errors, the Guardian has learned.

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


House of Lords prepares to approve Brexit delay bill

The House of Lords and MPs in the Commons on Monday passed the final stages of a bill requiring prime minister Theresa May to consult parliament on the length of any new Brexit delay, and seeking to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal on Friday. The bill, now an Act of Parliament, proposed by Labour MP Yvette Cooper and approved by the House of Commons last week, is a key initiative by backbenchers to try to take control of the Brexit process amid the deadlock at Westminster over Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement. The draft legislation had encountered hours of filibustering on Thursday by Eurosceptic peers who want the UK to leave the EU without a deal. But it passed the Lords on Monday, with peers amending the draft legislation to reduce the possibility of an `accidental no-deal Brexit` because Mrs May lacked the authority to negotiate with other EU heads of government.

8th Apr 2019 – Financial Times


Data reveals 32,800 new voters in West Yorkshire since Brexit vote

Despite three quarters of youngsters casting ballots in favour of remain in 2016, this would be unlikely to swing the area’s vote in a second referendum. The People’s Vote campaign says there should be a fresh poll on EU membership so these youngsters’ futures are not decided for them. New Office for National Statistics data shows the number of attainers (people who turn 18 and become eligible to vote) by December 1 this year. In West Yorkshire, by the end of the year, there will be 32,848 new voters since the EU referendum in June 2016

8th Apr 2019 – Yorkshire Evening Post


In call with PM May, Ireland’s Varadkar says open to Brexit delay

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar spoke to Britain’s Theresa May on Monday about her plan to seek a further extension to the Article 50 Brexit negotiating period, the Irish government said in a statement. EU leaders will meet on Wednesday to discuss Britain’s request. The Irish government said that in the call with May, Varadkar had `repeated his openness to an extension of the deadline`.

8th Apr 2019 – Reuters


Jeremy Corbyn says ‘there’s no new Brexit deal yet because Theresa May won’t compromise’

Cross-party talks between Labour and the Government resumed on Monday night after days of little to no progress on Brexit. Earlier, Jeremy Corbyn blamed Theresa May for the two sides failing to come up with a new Brexit deal yet because she won’t give up her ‘red lines’. Meanwhile Tories have confirmed they are already preparing for European Parliament elections at the end of May – admitting Brexit is likely to be delayed until after then

8th Apr 2019 – Metro


Brexit: Theresa May heads to Paris to plead for extension amid Tory fury in London

Theresa May is heading to Europe to appeal to France and Germany for an extension to Brexit talks that could see Britain locked into what furious Tory rebels have branded `second class EU membership`. The prime minister will plead with President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel for a delay to the UK’s departure to avoid crashing out without a deal. She will likely be forced to accept strict conditions. Mr Macron has indicated he could not stand the UK using its continued presence to disrupt EU business as suggested by some Brexiteers, with particular concern about the bloc’s budget being obstructed

8th Apr 2019 – The Independent


Government sets out plan to comply with Brexit delay law, if it passes

The government’s leader in parliament set out plans to hold a 90-minute debate on Tuesday on Prime Minister Theresa May’s request for a delay to Brexit in order to comply with legislation expected to pass into law later on Monday. The legislation is currently under discussion in parliament’s upper chamber. House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said that if it is approved, the government would later on Monday set out the statement which will be debated.

8th Apr 2019 – Reuters


Brexit news latest: Conservatives officially start preparing for European elections

Applications for European election candidates were being accepted by the Conservative Party this evening amid ongoing talks between the Tories and Labour in an effort to break the impasse over Brexit. The Tories sent an email to potential candidates today stating they would be contesting the elections on May 23, with April 24 the closing date for nominations. It said: `Due to the current situation we will be contesting the European Elections on 23 May 2019 and the closing date for nominations is 24 April.`

8th Apr 2019 – Evening Standard


Brexit: Furious Tory MPs tell Theresa May her ‘desperate’ decision to seek talks with Corbyn will ‘damage the Conservatives’ for years

Leading Tory Eurosceptics have attacked Theresa May for her decision to seek Jeremy Corbyn’s help in delivering Brexit, warning that her approach will be `disastrous for the nation` and `threatens to damage the Conservatives for years`. The prime minister reached out to the Labour leader last week after MPs rejected her proposed Brexit deal three times. Talks between the two main parties are continuing as they attempt to find a compromise solution to the deadlock gripping parliament. But the decision to turn to Labour for help in getting a Brexit deal through parliament infuriated Conservative Eurosceptics who fear the outcome will be a much softer Brexit or a fresh referendum.

8th Apr 2019 – The Independent


Mark Carney still stands taller than Brexit’s lost leaders

Carney has come to his own support, quite rightly. In an interview with Sky News, while diplomatically not mentioning King by name, he lambasted his predecessor’s claim that the government could easily prepare for a no-deal Brexit by spending six months arranging interim trade agreements in accordance with WTO rules. `Just like that,` as the late comedian-conjuror Tommy Cooper used to say.

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


Brexit: Will Britain be leaving the EU on Friday?

Thursday April 11 – If the Cooper Bill has been passed by the Lords, it would place new requirements on the PM. If the European Council proposes a different extension date, Mrs May would need to return to the Commons to obtain MPs’ approval. It is also the final date for the UK to take steps to enable European Parliament elections to take place on May 23. Friday April 12 -This is when the UK is scheduled to leave the EU after MPs repeatedly rejected the Prime Minister’s deal. Mrs May has written to European Council president Donald Tusk asking for a further extension to June 30, but the EU 27 will have to agree to it when they meet on Wednesday. If they do not agree to an extension, Britain will leave without a deal at 11pm on Friday.

8th Apr 2019 – ITV News


Barnier pledges EU support for backstop in event of no-deal Brexit

The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has pledged support for the Irish border backstop regardless of what happens in the Brexit negotiations. `The EU will stand fully behind Ireland,` Barnier said on Monday at a joint press conference with the taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, in Dublin. Speaking in English to underline his point, Barnier said that if the UK were to leave without a deal the EU would still expect it to honour the backstop, an insurance policy to avert a hard border on the island of Ireland. `You have our full support,` he said, looking at Varadkar. `The backstop is currently the only solution we have found to maintain the status quo on the island of Ireland … Let me be very clear. We would not discuss anything with the UK until there is an agreement for Ireland and Northern Ireland as well as for citizens’ rights and financial settlement.`

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


May to ask Merkel and Macron for short article 50 extension

Theresa May will travel to meet Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel and plead with them for a short extension to Brexit, claiming talks with Labour have a serious chance of reaching a deal. Before an emergency European summit on Wednesday, the prime minister will travel to Paris and Berlin on Tuesday to make the case for extending article 50 for only a few months. She will make the argument that talks with Labour are on the brink of a breakthrough, although those negotiations stalled at the end of last week and no formal meetings are scheduled to start again.

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


Britain must SCRAP Brexit: Austrian economist calls for SIMULTANEOUS exit and trade talks

Britain must scrap Brexit altogether and restart negotiations – in a scenario where the UK’s exit from the EU and future trading relations are agreed at the same time – a top economist has urged. Gabriel Felbermayr, president of the Kiel Institute for World Economy, pleaded for Brexit to be scrapped and exit negotiations to restarted from scratch. He also argued that the EU exit and future relations should be negotiated at the same time, despite Brussels bosses insisting future relations, like trade, be negotiated after the UK exits the bloc.

8th Apr 2019 – Express.co.uk


PM to meet Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel before emergency Brexit summit

Mrs May’s planned travel to Berlin and Paris could yet be interrupted if a bill from Labour’s Yvette Cooper and Tory ex-minister Sir Oliver Letwin is passed into law on Monday night. This would force the prime minister to consult the House of Commons, likely to happen on Tuesday, on the length of the further delay to Brexit she is requesting from the EU. A subsequent motion tabled by Mrs May could then be amended by MPs to either shorten or lengthen – or add further conditions – to any Brexit delay. Revealing the scale of anger among Conservative eurosceptics at the prime minister’s handling of Brexit, former Brexit minister Steve Baker claimed this week “might be the week when the government and parliament are seen to have betrayed” the 2016 EU referendum result.

8th Apr 2019 – Sky News


Is cancelling Brexit the Prime Minister’s new default?

Is the de facto Brexit default now revoking Article 50 this week rather than a no-deal Brexit on 12 April? I ask because the PM is now explicitly saying the choice is a binary one between some version of her negotiated deal and not leaving at all (that is what she said in her sofa chat on Sunday). The point is that she has no power to prevent a no-deal Brexit on 12 April by delaying Brexit; for a delay, she needs the unanimous agreement of the EU’s 27 leaders. But she does have the unilateral power to prevent a no-deal by cancelling Brexit altogether, by revoking the Article 50 application to leave the EU. So, have she and Whitehall, who are persuaded (rightly or wrongly) that no-deal on April 12 would be a catastrophe (especially for the integrity of UK), made a huge emotional leap to prepare for the political (if not economic) explosion of cancelling Brexit this week – in that there remains a serious risk that the EU will not grant the UK an extension or an extension on acceptable terms.

8th Apr 2019 – ITV News


Sinn Féin to meet Corbyn for Brexit talks

Sinn Féin leaders are due to hold Brexit talks with Jeremy Corbyn in London. Party president Mary Lou McDonald says she’ll tell the Labour leader that Irish interests must be protected, whatever the outcome of his negotiations with the Prime Minister. Sinn Féin will also hold meetings with Secretary of State Karen Bradley. Meanwhile the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, will be in Dublin to meet with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. They will discuss the latest Brexit developments.

8th Apr 2019 – ITV News


Why UK MEPs voted against visa-free travel to Europe in a no-deal Brexit

British MEPs have explained why they voted against UK citizens getting visa-free access to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Thirty of them voted against a motion tabled by a Bulgarian MEP to grant British travellers the same concession as dozens of `third country` nationalities, including Australia, Japan and the US. They have told The Independent that they were angered by a footnote to the proposal, added by the European Council after pressure from Spain. It read: `There is a controversy between Spain and the United Kingdom concerning the sovereignty over Gibraltar, a territory for which a solution has to be reached.` Labour MEP Claude Moraes, initially in charge of the proposal, was removed from this duty by fellow MEPs after opposing the addition. He subsequently voted against the motion.

8th Apr 2019 – The Independent


Lords approve Brexit law forcing May to consult parliament on delay

Britain’s parliament approved legislation on Monday that gives lawmakers the power to scrutinise and even change Prime Minister Theresa May’s request that the European Union agree to delay Brexit until June 30.

8th Apr 2019 – Reuters


Yes, you can be a Remainer and a patriot

The armies are massing, the war drums are thrumming, Nigel Farage and Tony Blair stand mouthing Gladiator-style pep talks in the mirror before the battle to come. Increasingly it feels as though another referendum is on the horizon. The hoped-for delay to Brexit points to a second vote. Changing demographics point to a second vote. Parliament’s most popular option has been a second vote. If that second vote comes, Remain must be ready to remedy the mistake made last time around: leaving all the patriotic tunes to Leave.

8th Apr 2019 – The Times


European elections are happening and they will be the most important in British history

Theresa May’s hope is that the prospect of holding European elections will finally scare up a parliamentary majority for her withdrawal agreement. That prospect is, however, slim: that she has already opened up talks with the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, increases the political cost to Labour MPs of breaking ranks to back her accord in its current state. May is at or near the maximum level of support her deal can attract from Conservatives and she may even lose ground among Tory MPs next time the withdrawal agreement is voted on.

8th Apr 2019 – New Statesman


Brexit latest news: Michel Barnier urges Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to strike deal on a customs union

Michel Barnier has urged Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to strike a pact keeping Britain in a customs union with the EU after Brexit. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said that the political declaration, which sets out the terms for negotiations over the future relationship, could be reworked very quickly if cross-party talks between Tories and Labour were successful.

8th Apr 2019 – Daily Telegraph


Should Labour support a second Brexit referendum?

The facts of course have changed. We now know much more about what is on offer. The political class has been forced to remember that Northern Ireland exists, and has come face to face with the reality of leaving an institution we have become completely integrated with.

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


The radicalisation of Remainers – Remainers of the day

Since the referendum in 2016 a Remainer rearguard has emerged. Mr Ricks belongs to Bristol For Europe, one of 200 groups which spend weekends and evenings campaigning against Britain’s departure from the eu. They are found all over the country, from Remainer-choked cities like Bristol to Leave-heavy cities like Hull. As Brexit comes to a crunch, their presence is being felt more than ever. On March 23rd about 400,000 of them arrived in London demanding a do-over on Brexit. A petition supporting the revocation of Article 50, which would stop Brexit in its tracks, has so far attracted 6m signatures. Britain has long had a Eurosceptic fringe. Now it has a well organised and increasingly vocal Europhilic one to match it.

8th Apr 2019 – The Economist


A Brexit compromise is in view. A customs union is the only solution

Within the next two days, Theresa May must manoeuvre herself a Commons majority behind a deal that will win another Brexit extension from the EU on Wednesday. That majority deal is now in full view – it would mean the UK leaving the EU with a customs union in place, as agreed with Labour. This would honour the – frankly vague – wish of the 2016 referendum, and it would provide continuity in trade with Europe. It is a palpable compromise, but for either extreme to present it as a national humiliation or catastrophe is absurd. We have been in that customs union without obvious harm for 40 years.

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


May in diplomatic dash to Berlin and Paris to get support for Brexit delay

The prime minister will today attempt to persuade France and Germany to support her request for another Brexitdelay, ahead of an emergency summit of EU leaders tomorrow. Theresa May will meet Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin this morning, before later travelling to Paris to hold talks with President Emmanuel Macron. She is expected to urge them to accept her request for a delay until 30 June, despite indications from EU Council President Donald Tusk that a longer extension – potentially through to March 2020 – would be preferred by Brussels.

8th Apr 2019 – Sky News


A confirmatory public vote is our bottom line

The labour movement now must speak with one voice: a confirmatory public vote is our bottom line. Love Socialism Hate Brexit is a group of radical and socialist Labour MPs fighting to stop Brexit. We will be writing a column for LabourList every week until …

8th Apr 2019 – Labour List

Political Setbacks

Dr David Smith: A junior doctor’s diagnosis – Brexit is becoming a betrayal of the NHS

Demand in the NHS has never been higher and government funding has failed to keep up with this. Instead of finding more money for the NHS, this Government seeks to drag us out of the EU, simultaneously tearing up decades of carefully written trade deals. The effect of this will be a major hit to our economy, sapping away any hope of a light at the end of the tunnel after years of austerity. Far from the £350m a week promised, Brexit means no extra resources to save our NHS. `It’s okay,` you say. `We can recruit more doctors from overseas.` Don’t bet on it. The end of freedom of movement will make it more difficult for highly-skilled EU doctors to come and work here, while the climate created by the Brexit vote means Britain is increasingly seen as an unattractive place to come, hostile and suspicious of its foreign neighbours. Why would an international doctor want to relocate their life to the UK when they’re made to feel so unwelcome?

8th Apr 2019 – The Yorkshire Post


Oettinger: China is the ‘biggest winner’ from EU’s Brexit ‘paralysis’

The Brexit deadlock has paralyzed Europe and bolstered China, European Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger said. In an interview with Die Welt published Monday, Oettinger said the prolonged discussions over the U.K.’s exit from the EU has “strengthened others,” such as China. “We have been dealing with Brexit for over two years now. That’s costing time and effort, nerves and money. There are so many more important things to do,” he said.”The biggest winner [of Brexit] is China. The Chinese can advance their strategy without disruption and leap everywhere in the world at the opportunities that Europe fails to seize because it’s so preoccupied with itself.”

8th Apr 2019 – Politico.eu


British voters say – Give us a strong leader and reform the Brexit-fatigued system

British voters want a strong leader who is willing to break the rules and force through wide scale reform after three years of Brexit crisis pushed confidence in the political system to a 15-year low. The 2016 referendum revealed a United Kingdom divided over much more than EU membership, and has sparked impassioned debate about everything from secession and immigration to capitalism, empire and what it means to be British. Yet more than a week since the United Kingdom was originally supposed to leave the EU on March 29, nothing is resolved: it remains uncertain how, when or if it ever will.

8th Apr 2019 – Reuters UK


Poll finds Westminster blamed for Brexit deadlock as support for Conservatives and Labour falls

Welsh voters overwhelmingly blame Westminster for the state of the current Brexit negotiations. That is according to the latest poll commissioned for ITV Wales and Cardiff University. The YouGov barometer poll found that opinion is split between 39% of people who hold Theresa May and her government responsible – and 39% who think MPs as a whole are to blame. Eight per cent said the European Union and other European governments are more at fault.

8th Apr 2019 – ITV News


Brexit-supporting MP calls for no confidence vote in May

The deputy leader of a pro-Brexit faction in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party has called for a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May by Wednesday, Sky News reported. `I am writing to you in a personal capacity to express my sincere belief that Theresa May should now resign as prime minister,` Mark Francois, said in a letter to the Chairman of the Conservative Party 1922 Committee, Sky reported. `We simply cannot go on like this, with a weak leader, a riven cabinet and a party in despair. I believe Theresa May has been a failure as leader of our party, which she now threatens to destroy.`

8th Apr 2019 – Reuters


Will Emmanuel Macron veto Theresa May’s Brexit extension?

But as Britain seeks to leave the bloc with a withdrawal deal negotiated to avoid economic catastrophe, it is now French President Emmanuel Macron who is threatening to stand in the country’s way. Speaking before May’s plea for a delay, Macron said that to avoid a chaotic “no-deal” Brexit on Friday, it was up to the U.K. to present a `credible alternative plan backed by a majority` in Parliament before Wednesday’s emergency E.U. summit. May has repeatedly been unable to find enough support from British lawmakers for a deal she hammered out with the E.U.

8th Apr 2019 – NBC News


Labour MP’s constituency office windows smashed in ‘Brexit-related attack’

A Labour MP’s constituency office windows have been smashed in what she suspects may have been an attempt at intimidation over her stance on Brexit. The damage to the office of Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland in County Durham, was inflicted on Saturday and comes amid an increasingly febrile atmosphere in Britain over its exit from the European Union (EU). Ms Goodman, who backed Remain in the 2016 but voted to trigger Article 50 two years ago to respect the result of the referendum, is calling for a so-called soft Brexit and late last month voted to keep the UK in a customs union.

8th Apr 2019 – The Independent


Have you changed your mind on Brexit?

Journalists Peter Oborne and Fraser Nelson discuss why they have changed their minds since the 2016 EU referendum. Daily Mail commentator and former Brexiteer, Peter Oborne, told Today that `the economic case for Brexit has collapsed` and that questions around the Irish backstop could lead to `the end of the United Kingdom`. They spoke to Today after Mr Oborne wrote for the political website Open Democracy, calling for a long pause on Brexit.

8th Apr 2019 – BBC News


Conservatives face ‘Brexit deficit’ at local elections if Theresa May fails to secure deal, says Tory pollster

Theresa May’s Conservatives face a voter deficit if no Brexit deal is secured in time for the local elections, according to one of the party’s most respected polling experts. With the deadlock over Brexit showing no sign of easing at Westminster and less than a month to go until parts of the country go the polls, Lord Hayward also claimed turnout could dramatically decline. In England alone at the 2 May election there are 8,374 seats up for grabs, including 33 metropolitan councils, 119 district councils, and 30 unitary authorities.

8th Apr 2019 – The Independent


In May’s home county, Tory problems run much deeper than Brexit

Windsor and Maidenhead voted to remain by 54% to 46%; in the local government district of Wycombe, remain also won, with 52% (Baker, who had said he would resign if remain won, said he was `disappointed` but `also surprised`). In both towns, many people I spoke to on either side of the Brexit divide were weary and exasperated by the parliamentary pantomime, and so keen for it all to quieten down that many of them seemed open to settling for whatever compromise the politicians could come up with. What they were most comfortable talking about was what might happen to their immediate surroundings – and, by extension, the future of the country as seen from the perspective of everyday life.

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


Could Brexit lead to Frexit?

What then if Brexit led to Frexit? And what if the two exits led to a Franco-British Union with a combined GDP ranked 3rd in the world, military power arguably second – and a formidable rugby team. It might solve the Almighty’s nationality dilemma

8th Apr 2019 – The Spectator


The Prime Minister has a point: a no-deal Brexit could unravel our United Kingdom

Any approach by a prime minister to the leader of the opposition to work out a joint solution to the nation’s most pressing issue is fraught with risks and dangers. It is undoubtedly infuriating to many government supporters, and has only a slim chance of success. The tempting strategy for an opposition presented with such an initiative is to appear to engage constructively in the talks, draw the government into concessions that further antagonise its own side, and then pull the rug from under it by pronouncing those concessions as inadequate. They would thereby be closer to bringing down the government, their ultimate goal.

8th Apr 2019 – Daily Telegraph


Theresa May told ‘you are the problem’ by backbenchers furious over Brexit paralysis as they urge her to go for good of the party

Theresa May is facing demands from her own MPs to stand down immediately after senior backbenchers told her she is now `the problem`. A delegation of executives from the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers met Mrs May in Downing Street on Monday and said the mood among party supporters had turned against her over the weekend. Mrs May sat in stony silence and refused to discuss her future as the MPs made clear the `damage` she is causing the party, sources said. The meeting will draw comparisons with the final days of Margaret Thatcher’s reign when she was visited by “the men in grey sui

 Express.co.uk
PM to meet Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel before emergency Brexit summit

Mrs May’s planned travel to Berlin and Paris could yet be interrupted if a bill from Labour’s Yvette Cooper and Tory ex-minister Sir Oliver Letwin is passed into law on Monday night. This would force the prime minister to consult the House of Commons, likely to happen on Tuesday, on the length of the further delay to Brexit she is requesting from the EU. A subsequent motion tabled by Mrs May could then be amended by MPs to either shorten or lengthen – or add further conditions – to any Brexit delay. Revealing the scale of anger among Conservative eurosceptics at the prime minister’s handling of Brexit, former Brexit minister Steve Baker claimed this week “might be the week when the government and parliament are seen to have betrayed” the 2016 EU referendum result.

8th Apr 2019 – Sky News


Is cancelling Brexit the Prime Minister’s new default?

Is the de facto Brexit default now revoking Article 50 this week rather than a no-deal Brexit on 12 April? I ask because the PM is now explicitly saying the choice is a binary one between some version of her negotiated deal and not leaving at all (that is what she said in her sofa chat on Sunday). The point is that she has no power to prevent a no-deal Brexit on 12 April by delaying Brexit; for a delay, she needs the unanimous agreement of the EU’s 27 leaders. But she does have the unilateral power to prevent a no-deal by cancelling Brexit altogether, by revoking the Article 50 application to leave the EU. So, have she and Whitehall, who are persuaded (rightly or wrongly) that no-deal on April 12 would be a catastrophe (especially for the integrity of UK), made a huge emotional leap to prepare for the political (if not economic) explosion of cancelling Brexit this week – in that there remains a serious risk that the EU will not grant the UK an extension or an extension on acceptable terms.

8th Apr 2019 – ITV News


Sinn Féin to meet Corbyn for Brexit talks

Sinn Féin leaders are due to hold Brexit talks with Jeremy Corbyn in London. Party president Mary Lou McDonald says she’ll tell the Labour leader that Irish interests must be protected, whatever the outcome of his negotiations with the Prime Minister. Sinn Féin will also hold meetings with Secretary of State Karen Bradley. Meanwhile the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, will be in Dublin to meet with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. They will discuss the latest Brexit developments.

8th Apr 2019 – ITV News


Why UK MEPs voted against visa-free travel to Europe in a no-deal Brexit

British MEPs have explained why they voted against UK citizens getting visa-free access to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Thirty of them voted against a motion tabled by a Bulgarian MEP to grant British travellers the same concession as dozens of `third country` nationalities, including Australia, Japan and the US. They have told The Independent that they were angered by a footnote to the proposal, added by the European Council after pressure from Spain. It read: `There is a controversy between Spain and the United Kingdom concerning the sovereignty over Gibraltar, a territory for which a solution has to be reached.` Labour MEP Claude Moraes, initially in charge of the proposal, was removed from this duty by fellow MEPs after opposing the addition. He subsequently voted against the motion.

8th Apr 2019 – The Independent


Lords approve Brexit law forcing May to consult parliament on delay

Britain’s parliament approved legislation on Monday that gives lawmakers the power to scrutinise and even change Prime Minister Theresa May’s request that the European Union agree to delay Brexit until June 30.

8th Apr 2019 – Reuters


Yes, you can be a Remainer and a patriot

The armies are massing, the war drums are thrumming, Nigel Farage and Tony Blair stand mouthing Gladiator-style pep talks in the mirror before the battle to come. Increasingly it feels as though another referendum is on the horizon. The hoped-for delay to Brexit points to a second vote. Changing demographics point to a second vote. Parliament’s most popular option has been a second vote. If that second vote comes, Remain must be ready to remedy the mistake made last time around: leaving all the patriotic tunes to Leave.

8th Apr 2019 – The Times
European elections are happening and they will be the most important in British history

Theresa May’s hope is that the prospect of holding European elections will finally scare up a parliamentary majority for her withdrawal agreement. That prospect is, however, slim: that she has already opened up talks with the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, increases the political cost to Labour MPs of breaking ranks to back her accord in its current state. May is at or near the maximum level of support her deal can attract from Conservatives and she may even lose ground among Tory MPs next time the withdrawal agreement is voted on.

8th Apr 2019 – New Statesman


Brexit latest news: Michel Barnier urges Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to strike deal on a customs union

Michel Barnier has urged Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to strike a pact keeping Britain in a customs union with the EU after Brexit. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said that the political declaration, which sets out the terms for negotiations over the future relationship, could be reworked very quickly if cross-party talks between Tories and Labour were successful.

8th Apr 2019 – Daily Telegraph
Should Labour support a second Brexit referendum?

The facts of course have changed. We now know much more about what is on offer. The political class has been forced to remember that Northern Ireland exists, and has come face to face with the reality of leaving an institution we have become completely integrated with.

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


The radicalisation of RemainersRemainers of the day

Since the referendum in 2016 a Remainer rearguard has emerged. Mr Ricks belongs to Bristol For Europe, one of 200 groups which spend weekends and evenings campaigning against Britain’s departure from the eu. They are found all over the country, from Remainer-choked cities like Bristol to Leave-heavy cities like Hull. As Brexit comes to a crunch, their presence is being felt more than ever. On March 23rd about 400,000 of them arrived in London demanding a do-over on Brexit. A petition supporting the revocation of Article 50, which would stop Brexit in its tracks, has so far attracted 6m signatures. Britain has long had a Eurosceptic fringe. Now it has a well organised and increasingly vocal Europhilic one to match it.

8th Apr 2019 – The Economist


A Brexit compromise is in view. A customs union is the only solution

Within the next two days, Theresa May must manoeuvre herself a Commons majority behind a deal that will win another Brexit extension from the EU on Wednesday. That majority deal is now in full view – it would mean the UK leaving the EU with a customs union in place, as agreed with Labour. This would honour the – frankly vague – wish of the 2016 referendum, and it would provide continuity in trade with Europe. It is a palpable compromise, but for either extreme to present it as a national humiliation or catastrophe is absurd. We have been in that customs union without obvious harm for 40 years.

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


May in diplomatic dash to Berlin and Paris to get support for Brexit delayThe prime minister will today attempt to persuade France and Germany to support her request for another Brexitdelay, ahead of an emergency summit of EU leaders tomorrow. Theresa May will meet Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin this morning, before later travelling to Paris to hold talks with President Emmanuel Macron. She is expected to urge them to accept her request for a delay until 30 June, despite indications from EU Council President Donald Tusk that a longer extension – potentially through to March 2020 – would be preferred by Brussels.

8th Apr 2019 – Sky News


A confirmatory public vote is our bottom lineThe labour movement now must speak with one voice: a confirmatory public vote is our bottom line. Love Socialism Hate Brexit is a group of radical and socialist Labour MPs fighting to stop Brexit. We will be writing a column for LabourList every week until …

8th Apr 2019 – Labour List


Political Setbacks

Dr David Smith: A junior doctor’s diagnosis – Brexit is becoming a betrayal of the NHS

Demand in the NHS has never been higher and government funding has failed to keep up with this. Instead of finding more money for the NHS, this Government seeks to drag us out of the EU, simultaneously tearing up decades of carefully written trade deals. The effect of this will be a major hit to our economy, sapping away any hope of a light at the end of the tunnel after years of austerity. Far from the £350m a week promised, Brexit means no extra resources to save our NHS. `It’s okay,` you say. `We can recruit more doctors from overseas.` Don’t bet on it. The end of freedom of movement will make it more difficult for highly-skilled EU doctors to come and work here, while the climate created by the Brexit vote means Britain is increasingly seen as an unattractive place to come, hostile and suspicious of its foreign neighbours. Why would an international doctor want to relocate their life to the UK when they’re made to feel so unwelcome?

8th Apr 2019 – The Yorkshire Post


Oettinger: China is the ‘biggest winner’ from EU’s Brexit ‘paralysis’

The Brexit deadlock has paralyzed Europe and bolstered China, European Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger said. In an interview with Die Welt published Monday, Oettinger said the prolonged discussions over the U.K.’s exit from the EU has “strengthened others,” such as China. “We have been dealing with Brexit for over two years now. That’s costing time and effort, nerves and money. There are so many more important things to do,” he said.”The biggest winner [of Brexit] is China. The Chinese can advance their strategy without disruption and leap everywhere in the world at the opportunities that Europe fails to seize because it’s so preoccupied with itself.”

8th Apr 2019 – Politico.eu


British voters say – Give us a strong leader and reform the Brexit-fatigued system

British voters want a strong leader who is willing to break the rules and force through wide scale reform after three years of Brexit crisis pushed confidence in the political system to a 15-year low. The 2016 referendum revealed a United Kingdom divided over much more than EU membership, and has sparked impassioned debate about everything from secession and immigration to capitalism, empire and what it means to be British. Yet more than a week since the United Kingdom was originally supposed to leave the EU on March 29, nothing is resolved: it remains uncertain how, when or if it ever will.

8th Apr 2019 – Reuters UK


Poll finds Westminster blamed for Brexit deadlock as support for Conservatives and Labour falls

Welsh voters overwhelmingly blame Westminster for the state of the current Brexit negotiations. That is according to the latest poll commissioned for ITV Wales and Cardiff University. The YouGov barometer poll found that opinion is split between 39% of people who hold Theresa May and her government responsible – and 39% who think MPs as a whole are to blame. Eight per cent said the European Union and other European governments are more at fault.

8th Apr 2019 – ITV News


Brexit-supporting MP calls for no confidence vote in May

The deputy leader of a pro-Brexit faction in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party has called for a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May by Wednesday, Sky News reported. `I am writing to you in a personal capacity to express my sincere belief that Theresa May should now resign as prime minister,` Mark Francois, said in a letter to the Chairman of the Conservative Party 1922 Committee, Sky reported. `We simply cannot go on like this, with a weak leader, a riven cabinet and a party in despair. I believe Theresa May has been a failure as leader of our party, which she now threatens to destroy.`

8th Apr 2019 – Reuters


Will Emmanuel Macron veto Theresa May’s Brexit extension?

But as Britain seeks to leave the bloc with a withdrawal deal negotiated to avoid economic catastrophe, it is now French President Emmanuel Macron who is threatening to stand in the country’s way. Speaking before May’s plea for a delay, Macron said that to avoid a chaotic “no-deal” Brexit on Friday, it was up to the U.K. to present a `credible alternative plan backed by a majority` in Parliament before Wednesday’s emergency E.U. summit. May has repeatedly been unable to find enough support from British lawmakers for a deal she hammered out with the E.U.

8th Apr 2019 – NBC News


Labour MP’s constituency office windows smashed in ‘Brexit-related attack’

A Labour MP’s constituency office windows have been smashed in what she suspects may have been an attempt at intimidation over her stance on Brexit. The damage to the office of Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland in County Durham, was inflicted on Saturday and comes amid an increasingly febrile atmosphere in Britain over its exit from the European Union (EU). Ms Goodman, who backed Remain in the 2016 but voted to trigger Article 50 two years ago to respect the result of the referendum, is calling for a so-called soft Brexit and late last month voted to keep the UK in a customs union.

8th Apr 2019 – The Independent


Have you changed your mind on Brexit?

Journalists Peter Oborne and Fraser Nelson discuss why they have changed their minds since the 2016 EU referendum. Daily Mail commentator and former Brexiteer, Peter Oborne, told Today that `the economic case for Brexit has collapsed` and that questions around the Irish backstop could lead to `the end of the United Kingdom`. They spoke to Today after Mr Oborne wrote for the political website Open Democracy, calling for a long pause on Brexit.

8th Apr 2019 – BBC News


Conservatives face ‘Brexit deficit’ at local elections if Theresa May fails to secure deal, says Tory pollster

Theresa May’s Conservatives face a voter deficit if no Brexit deal is secured in time for the local elections, according to one of the party’s most respected polling experts. With the deadlock over Brexit showing no sign of easing at Westminster and less than a month to go until parts of the country go the polls, Lord Hayward also claimed turnout could dramatically decline. In England alone at the 2 May election there are 8,374 seats up for grabs, including 33 metropolitan councils, 119 district councils, and 30 unitary authorities.

8th Apr 2019 – The Independent


In May’s home county, Tory problems run much deeper than Brexit

Windsor and Maidenhead voted to remain by 54% to 46%; in the local government district of Wycombe, remain also won, with 52% (Baker, who had said he would resign if remain won, said he was `disappointed` but `also surprised`). In both towns, many people I spoke to on either side of the Brexit divide were weary and exasperated by the parliamentary pantomime, and so keen for it all to quieten down that many of them seemed open to settling for whatever compromise the politicians could come up with. What they were most comfortable talking about was what might happen to their immediate surroundings – and, by extension, the future of the country as seen from the perspective of everyday life.

8th Apr 2019 – The Guardian


Could Brexit lead to Frexit?

What then if Brexit led to Frexit? And what if the two exits led to a Franco-British Union with a combined GDP ranked 3rd in the world, military power arguably second – and a formidable rugby team. It might solve the Almighty’s nationality dilemma

8th Apr 2019 – The Spectator


The Prime Minister has a point: a no-deal Brexit could unravel our United Kingdom

Any approach by a prime minister to the leader of the opposition to work out a joint solution to the nation’s most pressing issue is fraught with risks and dangers. It is undoubtedly infuriating to many government supporters, and has only a slim chance of success. The tempting strategy for an opposition presented with such an initiative is to appear to engage constructively in the talks, draw the government into concessions that further antagonise its own side, and then pull the rug from under it by pronouncing those concessions as inadequate. They would thereby be closer to bringing down the government, their ultimate goal.

8th Apr 2019 – Daily Telegraph


Theresa May told ‘you are the problem’ by backbenchers furious over Brexit paralysis as they urge her to go for good of the party

Theresa May is facing demands from her own MPs to stand down immediately after senior backbenchers told her she is now `the problem`. A delegation of executives from the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers met Mrs May in Downing Street on Monday and said the mood among party supporters had turned against her over the weekend. Mrs May sat in stony silence and refused to discuss her future as the MPs made clear the `damage` she is causing the party, sources said. The meeting will draw comparisons with the final days of Margaret Thatcher’s reign when she was visited by “the men in grey sui

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