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BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:13 am

Labour conference: Brexit vote decision sparks anger.

Pro-EU Labour MPs have expressed anger after no Brexit motions were chosen to be voted on at party conference.

Instead, delegates chose Grenfell Tower, rail, growth and investment, public sector pay, workers' rights, the NHS, housing and social care.

Party sources said there would be no vote on contentious issues such as single market membership.

But shadow chancellor John McDonnell said there would be a debate on Brexit and a "very thorough" one.

He said: "There will be the normal report from the national executive committee and if people want to vote on that they can."     More in link.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41378928?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_source=twitter
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:04 pm

Emboldened UK Labour Party divided over the B-word: Brexit.

BRIGHTON, England (AP) — Ben Asson drove 200 miles (320 kilometers) and slept in his car to deliver a message to Britain's Labour Party and its left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn. The brewer from Wales stood outside the seaside conference center hosting the opposition party's annual gathering with a hand-written sign: "Get real, JC. Stop riding the fence. Stand up for our EU rights."

"Brexit is the biggest question," said Asson, who wants a new referendum on membership in the bloc. "Everything else is just moving around the deckchairs on the Titanic." Some 48 percent of British voters backed staying in the European Union in last year's referendum, and many of them hope the country's main opposition party can soften or stop Brexit. Hundreds of demonstrators marched past the conference on Sunday, urging Labour to back an "exit from Brexit."

But the party is hesitating over picking up the anti-Brexit mantle. Labour has yet to decide whether it wants the U.K. to be in the EU, semi-detached or fully outside the bloc. Pro-EU party members failed to get a vote on Brexit policy onto the agenda at the four-day conference, which runs until Wednesday in the English seaside city of Brighton.

Labour finance spokesman John McDonnell, a Corbyn ally, said Monday said there needed to be "a bit more consensus-building" before a decision. But lawmaker Heidi Alexander said Labour looked like "a laughing stock" for dodging the issue.

The Brexit divide is clouding what should be an upbeat gathering. Labour stunned pundits and pollsters in June's snap election by reducing Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives to a minority administration.

Labour's old-school socialist policies — nationalizing railways, scrapping university fees, giving all children free school lunches — appealed to many voters weary after seven years of spending cuts by the Conservative government.

While Labour didn't win, its result far outstripped expectations, and made the 68-year-old Corbyn a hero to the party's growing and increasingly youthful membership. The bearded, no-frills Corbyn is greeted like a rock star at mass rallies across the country. As the conference opened Sunday, delegates in the auditorium belted out his now-ubiquitous theme song: "Oh, Jeremy Corbyn," sung to the riff from the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army."

Some grass-roots Labour members feel like they've got their party back after the slick, centrist "New Labour" years under former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his successors. "It used be very suit-orientated," said delegate Andrew Ward, sporting a kilt, a red Labour t-shirt and multiple facial piercings. "It's not now. It's very inclusive of young people. It's for everybody."

Many Labour lawmakers and party officials are less enthusiastic about the party's new direction — and Corbyn's position on the EU is one reason why. Corbyn opposed Britain joining the bloc in the 1970s, and he was a half-hearted campaigner for remaining during last year's referendum.

Many in the party want to keep Britain's economy close to the EU after Brexit by staying inside the bloc's single market in goods and services and its tariff-free customs union. But Corbyn says staying in the single market could tie the hands of a future Labour government by limiting state aid to industry.

He also says a Labour government would limit immigration, a repudiation of the EU principle of free movement. Some in the party worry that Labour is betraying its internationalist principles. "We are not being honest about the cost of Brexit," lawmaker Seema Malhotra told a meeting at the conference. "In my local hospital, there's a 15 percent vacancy rate for doctors and nurses" as EU citizens begin to leave.

She said Europeans have begun to feel unwelcome in Britain, "and that is an outrageous message for us to be sending." So far, Labour has committed only to staying in the single market and customs union during a limited transition period after Brexit.

That is also the view of the government. May said last week that Britain is willing to keep paying into EU coffers, and abiding by EU rules, for two years after the U.K. formally leaves the bloc in March 2019.

The party's ambiguity on Brexit is, in a sense, pragmatic. Labour leaders are trying to appeal to "remain" voters in London and other big cities, and to people in struggling former industrial towns who voted to leave.

For now, Labour is waiting — to see whether the divorce negotiations grind to a halt, or whether May's challengers in the Conservative Party try to topple her. "What I'm hoping is that there will be a general election before these negotiations are over," said Labour's Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer. "So that we can take over the negotiations and we can fight for the sort of relationship with Europe that we believe in."

The precise details of that relationship remain to be seen.
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  bb1 on Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:42 pm

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/john-mcdonnell-brexit-labour-party-conference-backroom-fix-eu-shadow-chancellor-a7965401.html

ohn McDonnell has denied a backroom “fix” to block a vote on Brexit policy at Labour’s conference, insisting he is trying to “build a consensus”.

The Shadow Chancellor described the list of priority issues that will be debated – which excludes EU withdrawal – as “democracy at work”, because it was decided by delegates in Brighton.

Labour campaigners for permanent membership of the EU single market were furious after they were denied an attempt to shift party policy.


READ MORE
Labour MP brands party a 'laughing stock' for failure to debate Brexit
One, former shadow Cabinet member Heidi Alexander, branded her own party “a laughing stock” for ignoring the biggest political issue of the day.
etc.

I find it astounding that so many of the Jezza fans somehow failed to notice that he's no great fan of the current EU setup.

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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:03 am

Corbyn Says Labour Ready to Run U.K. as Euphoria Overtakes Party.

Labour is ready to rule, Jeremy Corbyn will tell activists at the end of a conference that cemented the main opposition leader’s position as the standard bearer of a socialist revival in British politics.

The convention hall and meeting rooms across Brighton, southern England, echoed with chants of his name as scarves, T-shirts and comic books for sale celebrated the politician-cum-pop-icon and his completion of the left-wing project to wrest back control of the 117-year-old party after its shift to the center under Tony Blair. More at link.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-26/corbyn-says-labour-ready-to-run-u-k-as-euphoria-overtakes-party
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  bb1 on Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:26 am

I detest personality cults.

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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:49 pm

EU moving ahead faster on new future than on Brexit talks.

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — The European Union nations, minus Britain, will be coming up with clear options on a more tightly knit future for themselves even before they will allow divorce negotiations with the UK to move toward brokering a new relationship.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said Friday he would be presenting "a political agenda in two weeks' time," after comments in recent weeks from French President Emmanuel Macron, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and others on how to the reform the bloc.

That will be just days before the next EU summit is expected to reject British demands to start negotiating on its future links with the bloc alongside the current talks on how to make the cleanest Brexit possible.

Officials said Tusk will be tasked to reconcile Macron's vision of how the EU should embrace a joint budget, shared military force and harmonized taxes to stay globally relevant with those of nations that might not want to move too quickly.

Tusk said he would seek "real solutions to real problems" and stress the need to make progress "step-by-step, issue-by-issue." A good start was a non-confrontational dinner Thursday night, where few of the usual east-west or north-south fissures spoiled the atmosphere, officials said.

The goodwill has not the been the same on Brexit over the past months. Leaders at the Oct. 19-20 summit have to say whether "sufficient progress" has been achieved on divorce isssues like citizens' rights, the Irish border and a financial settlement to grant the U.K. its wish to start talking about a new trade deal with the EU.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said it will take "a miracle" for there to be sufficient progress by then, despite a round of negotiations in Brussels this week that ended with some progress.

Other leaders sounded a similar tone. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that despite "a better vibe and a better mood coming out of the negotiations" he questioned whether the time was right. "It's still very evident that there's more work to be done."

For the past week, though, British Prime Minister Theresa May has sounded more conciliatory, and in Estonia guaranteed her country's commitment to security even though the nation is leaving the bloc. May visited troops in Estonia close to the Russian border early Friday and said that "the United Kingdom is unconditionally committed to maintaining Europe's security."

She added that "we will continue to offer aid and assistance to EU member states that are the victims of armed aggression, terrorism and natural or man-made disasters." She also proposed a "new security partnership" intended to survive the divorce when her country leaves the bloc in 2019.
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:34 pm

Pro-Brexit party picks leader, rejects anti-Islam candidate.

LONDON (AP) — The weakened U.K. Independence Party on Friday announced that former Army officer Henry Bolton will be its fourth leader in just over one year. Anne Marie Waters, an openly anti-Islam candidate who had divided the party, finished second in the leadership contest. She leads a group called Sharia Watch UK that characterizes the spread of Islam as a threat to Britain.

Waters' defeat indicates the party is likely to keep its focus on Brexit instead of expanding it to include Islam. Bolton said after his unexpected victory that securing Britain's rapid exit from the European Union is the party's "core task." He said Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative-led government had so far failed to deliver on the Brexit mandate that voters wanted.

Britain and the European Union are currently negotiating the terms of Britain's departure. The slow pace of the exit talks has frustrated UKIP supporters, who want an immediate break with the EU. "We want the right to self-determination," Bolton said, calling for an end to decisions affecting Britain being made in a foreign capital. EU headquarters are in Brussels.

Bolton is expected to give his first major speech at a party conference on Saturday in Torquay, an English coastal town 215 miles (345 kilometers) southwest of London. UKIP has struggled since achieving its aim of winning public support for a 2016 referendum to leave the European Union.

It scored less than 2 percent of the votes in Britain's June election — down from more than 12 percent in the election two years earlier — and holds no seats in the British Parliament despite having some representation in the European Parliament.

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who led the party's successful Brexit campaign, had warned UKIP would be "finished" if it embraced an anti-Islam platform.

This version has been corrected to show that UKIP earned 12 percent of the vote two years ago, not last year.
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  bb1 on Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:00 pm

Not much point in them now....

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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:53 pm

Boris Johnson Puts His Foot In His Mouth, This Time On Camera.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidschrieberg1/2017/09/30/boris-johnson-puts-his-foot-in-his-mouth-this-time-on-camera/#b06b8c049a3b

And that has pretensions to be the next PM? The ultimate bookends, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. LL
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:33 pm

Leaving EU with no trade deal will hit UK industries hard.

LONDON (AP) — Britain would be hurt more than the European Union if it leaves the EU without a trade deal, according to a study released Sunday amid suggestions that Britain should walk away from Brexit talks because of the inflexibility of the bloc's negotiators.

Four of Britain's key manufacturing industries — automobiles, technology, health care and consumer goods — would lose 17 billion pounds ($23 billion) of exports annually if trade between the two sides reverts to World Trade Organization rules, according to the study by international law firm Baker McKenzie.

While the EU accounts for 49 percent of British exports by the four industries, Britain buys just 9 percent of the goods shipped abroad by the same sectors in the EU, the study found. "We have heard a lot about how much Europe exports to the U.K., for example, in the automotive sector," Ross Denton, a Baker McKenzie partner who specializes in trade issues, SAID. "That may be true in numerical terms, but when you look at this as a percentage of their trade, you can clearly see that the EU exports a lot more broadly, to a whole host of other markets, and consequently, it is far less dependent on the U.K. as a market than the U.K. is on it."

As a member of the EU, Britain currently enjoys tariff-free trade with the EU's market of more than 500 million people. Some leading members of Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party suggested last week that Britain should end its Brexit talks with the EU if there is no concrete progress by Christmas.

The government should also be clear that it is prepared to allow WTO rules to take effect on the day Britain leaves the EU — making a so-called "hard Brexit" — to give clarity to businesses and investors who are planning for the future, according to the Leave Means Leave campaign.

"Brussels cannot be allowed to boss Britain around," co-founder Richard Tice said. "It's time we showed how ready we are to walk away." The Baker McKenzie study, produced in conjunction with the consulting firm Oxford Economics, found that WTO rules would result in tariffs and trade barriers such as increased paperwork that would drive up the cost of British goods and force EU consumers to look for alternatives.

There is also a "significant risk" that U.K.-based manufacturers will relocate to EU member countries after Brexit, because many of them are owned by foreign investors, Baker McKenzie said. More than half of the companies that make up Britain's automotive industry and 44 percent of its health care sector are owned by non-EU parent companies, according to the study.

"These companies were likely motivated to base their operations in the U.K. because of the single market access it offered and could seek to relocate if that market access is revoked," the report said.

May's government wants to negotiate a free trade deal that would preserve similar access for British companies after Brexit. But progress has been slow in the face of EU demands that Britain resolve questions about its financial commitments to the bloc, the future status of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border and citizens' rights before there is any discussion of future relationship terms.

EU leaders are expected to decide during an Oct. 19-20 summit whether there has been "sufficient progress" in the negotiations to move onto trade issues. If Britain doesn't manage to negotiate a trade deal with the EU, it could try to offset the projected losses by increasing trade with other countries.

The U.S. and China — the world's two largest economies — are the most important places for Britain to expand trade, followed by Japan, Canada and Korea, Baker McKenzie said. Britain would have to increase exports to these countries by 60 percent to make up for shipments to the EU that would be lost under WTO rules, the law firm said. To meet this goal Britain must negotiate a series of free trade deals, but it can't do so as long as it is a member of the EU.

"The UK is caught between a rock and a hard place on Brexit," Samantha Mobley, Baker McKenzie's London chief for EU and trade issues, said. "Our data shows that the U.K. needs to begin the very lengthy process of negotiating free trade agreements with third country markets now in order to mitigate the cliff-edge effect of the fall in trade in case no EU agreement kicks in immediately."
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:24 pm

Theresa May's Brexit plans in ruins after France and Germany 'reject transitional arrangement'.

Paris and Berlin will reportedly reject requests for Brexit talks to move on to a possible transitional arrangement until the so-called “divorce bill” is settled, in a huge setback to Theresa May after her well received speech in Florence.

In that speech, the Prime Minister proposed a two-year transitional period after the UK leaves the EU, in a bid to break the deadlock of the negotiations.

But, according to the Financial Times, any hope of moving on to discussion of establishing a transitional deal will be effectively vetoed by France and Germany, until the question the UK’s exit settlement is fully agreed.

The UK has consistently argued said that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” making the point that it is hard to agree on the size of the UK’s financial obligations to the EU until future trading terms are known.

Theresa May said in Florence that the UK would continue current payments to the EU until 2021, and would stay in the single market during that time.

But, according to the FT, when the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier met ambassadors from 27 EU countries the plan was rejected by Berlin and Paris, leaving it all but dead in the water.

Mrs May’s speech in Florence two weeks had been considered an effective intervention in unlocking the talks, but the Prime Minister has since lost momentum after her disastrous Conservative party conference speech, which has caused news to surface of fresh plots to remove her as party leader, further damaging her credibility in Brussels and elsewhere in Europe.

Earlier this week, a leading association of German businesses warned German companies operating in the UK to start preparing for a "very hard Brexit", in which the UK left the EU with no trading arrangements in place. This would lead to the immediate imposition of large tariffs on cars and other goods, and the possibility of customs checks and huge tailbacks at Dover.
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/fresh-blow-theresa-may-apos-101900251.html
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