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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 Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:10 am

Brexit: No 'direct jurisdiction' for ECJ after Brexit, say ministers.

The UK will no longer be under the "direct jurisdiction" of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) after Brexit, a government policy paper will say.

Ministers say they want a "special partnership" with the EU, but it is "neither necessary nor appropriate" for the ECJ to police it.

Critics say the word "direct" leaves room for the ECJ to still play a part.

The pro-EU Open Britain group said the phrase paved the way for a "climbdown" over the jurisdiction of the court.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Labour MP Chuka Umunna said: "Nothing the government says it wants to deliver from Brexit - be it on trade, citizens' rights, or judicial co-operation - can be achieved without a dispute resolution system involving some role for European judges."

But Leave campaigner Bernard Jenkin told the Daily Telegraph the court "should not have any role" post-Brexit.

"No non-EU country will be much interested in talking to us about a free trade agreement if we still look hobbled by our relationship to the EU," added the Conservative MP.

Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to take the UK out of the Luxembourg-based ECJ's jurisdiction after Brexit.

But the question of how future agreements between the UK and the EU will be enforced is proving contentious.

The policy paper will be released later as ministers argue there are plenty of other ways of resolving disputes without the European courts.

The ECJ is in charge of ensuring member states abide by EU law.

Its rulings are binding on all member states, and it also settles disputes between countries and EU institutions.

After the UK voted to leave the EU last year, Mrs May promised to make the UK a "fully independent, sovereign country".

But pro-EU campaigners say the government made an "appalling error" by making leaving the ECJ a "red line" in Brexit negotiations, saying new courts will now be needed in all the areas it extends to, including trade, citizens' rights and security.
European Court of Justice
Decides whether the institutions of the EU are acting legally, and settles disputes between them
Ensures that the member states of the EU are complying with their legal obligations as set out in the EU treaties; and allows member states to challenge EU legislation
Interprets EU law at the request of national courts
Brexit Secretary David Davis, who will resume negotiations with Brussels on 28 August, has spoken of the "arbitration arrangements" that will be needed in areas where the UK and the EU make new arrangements - but insists these will not involve the ECJ.

"If Manchester United goes to play Real Madrid, they don't allow Real Madrid to nominate the referee," he said last month.

Wednesday's publication - the latest in a series of papers setting out the UK government's stance on key issues - will say there are a "variety of precedents for resolving disputes that may arise between the UK and the EU" without the ECJ having direct jurisdiction.

These will need to include the free trade deal the UK hopes to strike with the EU to replace its membership of the single market.

Red lines 'blurred'

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour's shadow Brexit secretary, said: "The prime minister's ideological insistence that there can be no future role whatsoever for the ECJ or any similar court-like body risks preventing the deal Britain needs."

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said Mrs May's "red lines are becoming more blurred by the day", saying the ECJ had "served Britain's interests well" and should not be "trashed".

The Institute of Directors called for "flexibility and pragmatism" when leaving the ECJ's jurisdiction.

"The emphasis here should be on ending its direct effect, not trying to throw off the influence of the court altogether," it said.

On Monday, the president of the court of the European Free Trade Area (Efta) - which governs Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway's relationship with the single market - suggested his institution could be used.

But this could anger some Eurosceptic Conservative MPs, because the Efta court, also based in Luxembourg, tends to follow closely the ECJ with its rulings.

'Offering certainty'

The ECJ has also emerged as the central stumbling block in reaching a deal on the rights of EU nationals after Brexit.

The EU side believes the ECJ should have a role in enforcing these rights - a proposal rejected by the UK.

The UK government said its paper on Wednesday would offer maximum certainty to businesses and individuals. It will also suggest that dispute resolution mechanisms could be tailored to the issue at stake in each agreement.

"It is in the interests of both the UK and the EU, and of our citizens and businesses, that the rights and obligations agreed between us can be relied upon and enforced in appropriate ways," a spokeswoman said.

"It is also in everyone's interest that, where disputes arise between the UK and the EU on the application or interpretation of these obligations, those disputes can be resolved efficiently and effectively."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-41012265
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:26 pm

Home Office apologises for letters threatening to deport EU nationals.

Department mistakenly sent out up to a hundred letters to EU nationals telling them to leave UK or face removal.

The Home Office has apologised after it mistakenly sent up to 100 letters to EU nationals living in the UK ordering them to leave the country or face deportation.

One of the letters was publicised on social media by a Finnish academic who believed she was about to be forced to leave, prompting the government to admit that it had sent 100 or so letters threatening recipients with deportation. It could not confirm how many went to EU nationals, but said that all were from within the European Economic Area.

The error came to light after Eva Johanna Holmberg, who has lived in the UK with her British husband for most of the last decade, spoke of her dismay at receiving one of the letters, which said that if she did not leave the country of her own accord the Home Office would give “directions for [her] removal”.

Holmberg, a visiting academic fellow from the University of Helsinki at Queen Mary University of London, was told in the letter that she had a month to leave.

But after the Guardian asked the Home Office for clarification of her situation it immediately backtracked and said that the letter was one of around a hundred that were sent by mistake.

“A limited number of letters were issued in error and we have been urgently looking into why this happened,” a spokesperson said. “We are contacting everyone who received this letter to clarify that they can disregard it.

“We are absolutely clear that the rights of EU nationals living in the UK remain unchanged.”

The government had previously told EU nationals that they did not need to apply for residency because their status was not at risk.After the mistake came to light, the Home Office called Holmberg to “apologise profusely”, she said. But the person who telephoned her would not confirm that the government would cover her legal costs of around £3,800. “The best way to apologise and ease my distress would be to cover my expenses,” she said. The Home Office would not say whether it intends to cover the costs of those who received the letters.

Holmberg added that the situation was evidence of serious failings at the Home Office. “I believe this is a case of incompetence,” she said. “They don’t have enough resources to handle their application procedures and there is, so to speak, a fault inbuilt in the system.”

Others warned that the Home Office error would make other EU citizens in the UK fear for their future. James McGrory, executive director of the pro-EU pressure group Open Britain, said: “This is shameful stuff from the same department that gave us the disgraceful ‘go home vans’ a few years ago.

“It’s little wonder that many EU citizens feel worried about their future status in the UK when they hear of people with every right to be here getting letters threatening their deportation.”

The Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, Ed Davey, said that the letters shamed Britain. “EU nationals who have made their lives here are already facing huge uncertainty over Brexit. It is appalling that some are now being officially threatened with deportation,” he said. “Amber Rudd should personally write to apologise to each of those affected and explain why such a catastrophic error was made.”

Before receiving the news that the deportation order was issued in error, Holmberg, who specialises in British social and cultural history during the renaissance, described her horror at the threat to her UK status.

“It seems so surreal and absurd that I should be deported on the grounds that I’m not legal. I’ve been coming and going to this country for as long as I remember,” she said. “I don’t know what kind of image they have of me but it’s clearly quite sinister based on the small amount of info they actually have on me.”

Holmberg had lived in the UK without complications for some time, but on the day Theresa May triggered article 50, she applied to confirm her status as an EU-qualified person who had the right to remain in the UK – for her own “peace of mind”. But her application was refused on 29 June because the “University of Helsinki [is] not located in the UK, therefore you are not employed in the UK”.

“I thought that it seems that they don’t even know what’s going on and that a new system is coming soon so I thought I’ll just wait until they sort themselves out and figure out what kind of documentation and proof is needed,” she said. “So, I spoke to my husband and friends and decided to just leave this, at least I don’t have to leave the UK – it’s OK.”

“I realise that I probably shouldn’t have done that because last Thursday I get this notice saying: ‘A decision has been taken to remove you from the UK.’

The scale of the Home Office error will unsettle EU nationals who were previously told by the government to stay calm and wait to apply for the right to remain until new systems are put in place next year. Around 3.5 million EU citizens live in the UK, and many of them have described their anxiety over the possibility of their deportation since the Brexit vote.

Holmberg said that the Brexit vote had been a shock to her. “I tend to be an optimistic person so on the night of the result I decided I’d go to sleep and wait for the result in the morning,” she recalled. “My husband, who was less optimistic, stayed up all night and watched it unfurl. The irony is that he was actually interviewed by the Finnish media on the day and he said: ‘I’m worried this will make my life and my wife’s life more difficult,’ and they were prophetic words.”

Before the Home Office acknowledged the error Holmberg had intended to lodge an appeal because her lawyers said that the decision had no basis. “They said that no judge would allow this and that it is unlawful, arbitrary and completely out of proportion,” she said.

The letter provoked widespread condemnation on social media after a tweet about Holmberg’s situation was widely shared.

“It beggars belief that Eva, who is married to a UK citizen, pays taxes in the UK and has five years’ guaranteed employment as a visiting fellow, has been issued with a letter threatening her removal and possible detention,” said Caroline Lucas, Holmberg’s MP, before the error came to light. “I am fighting this decision on her behalf and on behalf of all those living in the UK whose lives are being turned upside down by the government callously playing hardball over Brexit.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/aug/23/home-office-apologises-for-letters-threatening-to-deport-eu-nationals
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  bb1 on Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:38 pm

Imbeciles.

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

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:00 am

EU Worker Exodus Threatens UK Food Industry, Some Leaving Already - Survey.

Nearly half of businesses operating in Britain's food supply chain say European Union workers are thinking about leaving because of uncertainty around Brexit, an industry survey showed on Thursday.

Food processing makes up the biggest chunk of British manufacturing and relies heavily on immigrants, all though much of debate so far around Britain's departure from the EU has focused on sectors like car production and aerospace.

Forty-seven percent of companies in Britain's food supply chain -- which includes farms, food processors, supermarkets and restaurants -- said their EU workers were considering their future as a direct result of the June 2016 Brexit vote, according to the survey compiled by several trade bodies.

Nearly a third of respondents to the survey, conducted between March and May, said some EU staff had already departed.

While Britain's economy has slowed sharply this year, evidence that the Brexit vote made an impact on the labor market is less clear.

Still, official data last week showed the number of EU-born people working in Britain rose just 1.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, the weakest increase in seven years.

"An abrupt reduction in the number of EU workers eligible to work in the UK after Brexit would result in significant disruption for the entire food supply chain," said Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium.

He added that this would have consequences for the availability and price of food in Britain.

Around a fifth of the 2 million EU nationals working in Britain are employed in the food and drink supply chain.

Thirty-six percent of companies in the survey said their businesses would be unviable without access to EU workers.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said the government will guarantee the rights of EU citizens already in resident in Britain, but the details of a future immigration system are still unclear.

"We must stress the urgency for more detailed information about a new system before 2019, if it is to be implemented once the two-year Article 50 period ends," the report said.

The future of the border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was another worry cited by respondents in the survey.

Britain wants no border posts or immigration checks between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland after Brexit, but critics have said this goal may be unworkable.

The report said some companies could move to the Republic of Ireland if Brexit disrupts the Common Travel Area that currently exists with Northern Ireland.

The survey, based on 627 companies, was compiled by the Food and Drink Federation.

Members of the Association of Labour Providers, British Beer and Pub Association, British Hospitality Association, British Retail Consortium, Food and Drink Federation, Fresh Produce Consortium, and the National Farmers Union, took part.
https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2017-08-23/eu-worker-exodus-threatens-uk-food-industry-some-leaving-already-survey?src=usn_rd
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:30 pm

Globalized auto industry vulnerable to new Brexit borders.

LONDON (AP) — Ford's Dagenham diesel engine plant is a marvel of mechanization — a steel and chrome hangar full of LED lighting, robots and computer-controlled machine tools. The U.S. carmaker has invested $2.5 billion in the plant, where 3,150 people churn out an engine every 30 seconds. And they've been here a long time: Edsel Ford, son of founder Henry Ford, personally cut the sod to start construction of the company's U.K. manufacturing headquarters in 1929.

It's hard to imagine Ford would walk away from all that if Britain fails to negotiate a favorable trade deal when it leaves the European Union. But don't bet on it. With auto parts passing through as many as 15 countries before a car is completed, a Brexit agreement that results in new tariffs that increase the cost of Ford vehicles for consumers is no small problem.

"It will force us to consider what the longer-term options are for the investments that we make, because let me be clear: We have to transact business in an environment where we can be competitive, and it's that competitive base that we're interested in making sure is protected," said Steven Armstrong, CEO of Ford in Europe.

Britain's car industry, which employs 814,000 people, illustrates the struggle the country faces as it prepares to exit the EU. Cars are assembled, not forged in a single place. Modern manufacturing techniques result in carmakers having plants in several locations, often in different countries, that specialize in producing pieces of the finished vehicle. For instance, the plant in Dagenham, in east London, makes nothing but diesel engines and parts.

Tariffs, which are non-existent for goods that move from one EU nation to another, are an oversized threat to British carmakers because they could be applied each time those components cross and re-cross international borders on their way to the new car showroom.

"The country has high-tech assembly, a good presence of supply chain, links to Formula One teams that add to innovation — it does have a lot to recommend it," said David Elmes, an expert on global energy and corporate change at the Warwick Business School. "But access to the European market is a concern."

Those concerns can be seen by following the movements of one component throughout the manufacturing process. Take engine assembly 0117A17201110027GK3Q 6007DC on the line at Dagenham, which will eventually power a Transit van. The unit is accompanied by a "birth history," a passport of sorts, that chronicles where and when every component was installed. The summary alone is 56 pages long.

This passport traces the block's world travels from its "birth" as a cylinder block in Cologne, Germany, through Belgium and Holland and finally on to Dagenham. It will get a new "stamp" when the block is shipped back over the English Channel and across Europe to Turkey, where it will become part of a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Some of those vans then cross back across the U.K. border for a third time for sale — and theoretically each time it crosses, it could be taxed after Brexit.

British carmakers, and many other industries, want the government to negotiate an agreement that preserves free trade with the EU's single market after Brexit. Failure to do so could mean that tariffs and quotas are applied according to World Trade Organization rules, which would make each vehicle more expensive.

WTO rules could raise the cost of finished vehicles by 10 percent, says Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. "That could potentially flow through to about 1,500 pounds ($1,920) on the price of any vehicle, any imported vehicle from Europe sold in the U.K. So that would be a difficult and substantial cost to mitigate and clearly it would be to a large extent passed on to the consumer."

The industry relies on Europe as both a market and a supplier, with the EU accounting for 56 percent of U.K. car exports and 69 percent of imports in 2016, according to the SMMT. Besides that, Europe supplies the majority of components within U.K.-built vehicles.

Ford wants to know how the government plans to address this issue — and soon. "We want access to the single market, we want a frictionless ability to move goods from the U.K. to Europe and back again, and we need some clarity on how that's going to be delivered from the government," Armstrong said. "That's what we really want."

Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly said that remaining in the single market is not an option, but the government this month outlined its hopes for an agreement that would permit the "freest and most frictionless possible trade" with EU member states. This could include a temporary customs union with the bloc for up to three years after Britain leaves in 2019 to give businesses time to adjust to the new rules. Negotiations are set to begin again the week of Aug. 28.

A transition period may be crucial for carmakers because they will have to adjust to new borders at a time of dramatic change for the industry. Carmakers globally are rushing to build more electric vehicles, requiring significant long-term investments. Britain currently makes more than 2.5 million engines a year but just under 13,000 electric cars, and the government wants to ban the sale of new diesel-powered cars and vans by 2040. There are also concerns the car market may not grow as much as ridesharing schemes become more popular.

Against this backdrop, Brexit raises a question for carmakers: where to invest in future technologies. In one positive sign, Germany-based BMW recently decided to build its electric versions of the Mini in England.

To encourage more such investment, the government could provide incentives to manufacturers and support technology, said Darren Jukes, head of the industrial products group at consulting firm PwC. The dramatic changes ahead driven by new materials and technology offer a chance to seize the moment.

"We have a clean sheet of paper," Jukes said. "What we have to do now is think about not just the next generation but the generation after that." The change isn't lost on the workers at the Ford's Dagenham operations. There have been cuts and change over decades in the community immortalized in the movie "Made in Dagenham," a film about a strike by female workers in 1968 over equal pay. The word "competitive" comes up often in conversation.

Plus all they have to do is look around — robots do much of the work. In places where a human being is required, a computer is often nearby to correct mistakes. The uncertainty of Brexit worries people like Samy Alakarsamy, who has proudly worked for Ford for 35 years. For him, the debate is more about location than politics. Moving to, say, Germany, is just not on the cards for the 56-year-old.

"I hope the future is here,'" he said while a conveyor belt of unfinished cylinder heads whirled around him. "That's all I'm interested in."

https://www.mail.com/int/scitech/news/5467216-globalized-auto-industry-vulnerable-to-brexit-bord.html#.1258-stage-hero1-1
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:41 am

UK opposition Labour to offer alternative soft Brexit in policy shift.

Britain's main opposition Labour Party is announcing a policy shift which opens the possibility of the country remaining in the European Union's single market and customs union for several years as part of a "soft" Brexit, a spokesman said on Saturday.

The party would propose the same "basic terms" as Britain's current relationship with the EU during a transition period following Brexit in 2019, and after that for all options to be open, said the Labour spokesman, who declined to be named.

He was confirming a report in Britain's Guardian in which shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer backed "continued membership of the EU single market beyond March 2019" in an attempt to offer a clear alternative to the Brexit currently proposed by Theresa May's Conservative government.

After months of uncertainty and division on Labour's position, this new offer is aimed at providing a springboard for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to potentially defeat the Conservatives at election.

"We will always put jobs and the economy first," Starmer told the Guardian.

"That means remaining in a form of customs union with the EU is a possible end destination for Labour, but that must be subject to negotiations. It also means that Labour is flexible as to whether the benefits of the single market are best retained by negotiating a new single market relationship or by working up from a bespoke trade deal," he was quoted as saying.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/uk-opposition-offer-alternative-soft-brexit-policy-shift-211050790.html
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:46 am

Big business and banks are dominating formation of Brexit warns report.

Brexit is being shaped by big business and banks while the interests of ordinary people are being drowned out, a damning new report has concluded.

The analysis of lobbyist activity exposes how big corporations and the finance sector are dominating back-room discussions with negotiators in both London and Brussels.

At the same time small business, labour groups and NGOs are being marginalised, leading campaigners to warn Brexit will be dictated according to a “corporate bias.”

The report passed to The Independent highlights how a single investment bank had more meetings with officials from the UK’s Department for Exiting the European Union, than Britain’s two biggest trade unions put together, representing millions of workers between them.    More at link.
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/brexit-big-business-banks-dominating-231142635.html
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  bb1 on Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:58 am

Money talks - same as it ever was.

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

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:51 am

Brexit showdown: EU left 'flabbergasted' after British negotiators dismantle legal basis for divorce bill.

EU Brexit negotiators were left “flabbergasted” after their British counterparts launched a legal deconstruction of the so-called “Brexit bill” Wednesday as the Brussels talks headed for an increasingly acrimonious impasse, EU sources have told The Telegraph.

British negotiators spent three hours launching a painstaking, line-by-line rebuttal of the EU’s demands for €100bn divorce settlement to the barely concealed fury of EU negotiators.

"There was total amazement,” the EU source said, “Everyone was completely flabbergasted that this young man from Whitehall was saying that the EU's preparation on the financial settlement was 'inadequate'. It did not go down well."

The “intense” exchanges were the first time the two sides have butted heads over the details of the divorce bill and sets up what is expected to be a frosty joint press conference on Thursday between David Davis, the Brexit Secretary and Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator.

Both men failed to hide their differences when talks opened on Monday, with Mr Davis demanding more “flexibility” from the EU, while Mr Barnier demanded an end to “ambiguity” from the British side.

In a sign of open frustration on both sides, Mr Barnier again accused the UK of failing to specify its positions. "To be flexible you need two points, our point and their point," he said. "We need to know their position and then I can be flexible."

British negotiators have consistently refused to say what the UK is prepared to pay for Brexit, but have sought to turn the tables on the EU side by attacking the legal basis for their demands.

In an 11-page presentation containing 23 slides and 47 paragraphs of dense text, the British negotiators argued that the European Commission’s 4-page position paper on the financial settlement provided scant basis for a settlement.

“The UK is not convinced that the European Commission's paper [on the financial settlement] is satisfactory,” said a source with knowledge of the UK strategy, “ "Nobody would write a cheque on the basis of the Commission's paper."

Among the slides was a reference to the key part of Article 50 which says a member state’s withdrawal from the EU should be agreed with reference to the “future relationship”.

The EU side is currently refusing to discuss a future EU-UK relationship until there is “sufficient progress” on the issues of the financial settlement, citizens’ rights and the Northern Irish border - all issues the UK says cannot be settled without reference to the future deal.

“It's difficult to negotiate with people who have perhaps not been given the flexibility to negotiate," added the source, echoing British concerns that the EU has created an unworkable straitjacket for the talks.

Other areas of the talks are understood to have made scant progress, with the EU refusing British requests to continue the EHIC health insurance scheme for British tourists after Brexit and threatening measures that could instantly clog industry supply chains on both sides of the Channel.

With the impasse over the talks deepening, Mr Barnier and other top EU officials have warned that the chances of Britain progressing onto future relationship talks in October, as originally planned, are now receding.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament's chief Brexit negotiator, made the same threat Wednesday and was accused of going "way beyond his pay grade" after he suggested that the talks could grind to a halt in October.
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:39 pm

UK Brexit chief faces jeering lawmakers during talks update.

LONDON (AP) — Britain's chief Brexit negotiator faced a jeering House of Commons on Tuesday, as lawmakers returning from summer recess challenged government plans to "intensify" talks with the European Union.

David Davis ticked off what he described as accomplishments thus far in the negotiations and described Britain's position as "flexible and pragmatic." As the heckles rose, a languid Davis leaned against the dispatch box and said his message to the European Commission had always been to "put people above process."

"Ultimately, businesses and citizens on both sides want us to move swiftly on to discussing the future partnership and we want that to happen after the European Council in October, if possible," he said.

Britain wants to persuade the 27 other EU nations to start negotiating a future relationship that would include a free trade deal between Britain and the EU by the fall. The EU says those negotiations can't start until sufficient progress has been made on three initial issues: how much money the U.K. will have to pay to leave the bloc; whether security checks and customs duties will be instituted on the Irish border; and the status of EU nationals living in Britain.

Brussels has expressed frustration on the course of the talks. As Davis argued progress had been made on citizens' rights, financial settlements, Ireland and Northern Ireland, the chamber erupted into laughter and still more jeers. Unfazed, Davis pressed on.

"Nobody has ever pretended this would be simple or easy," he said. The opposition Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, argued that "too many promises" had been made about Brexit which "can't be kept." "It is a fantasy to think that you can have a deep and comprehensive trade deal without shared institution and the sooner we face up to that the better," Starmer said.

Prime Minister Theresa May is bracing for the first test of the government's new term of office. Lawmakers this week will begin debating the Brexit Repeal Bill, which will effectively transfer EU law to U.K. statute books on the day Britain leaves the bloc.

Opposition Labour Party members have said they will vote against the bill, arguing it would allow ministers to "grab power from Parliament." Some members of May's Conservative Party are suggesting they may vote against the bill in the later stages of the legislative process.
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:33 pm

Thousands rally in London to protest Britain's exit from EU.

Thousands marched Saturday to Parliament in central London to protest Britain's plan to withdraw from the European Union. Organizers of the "People's March for Europe" said the goal was to "unite, rethink and reject" the Conservative government's plan to implement Brexit by 2019. Some protesters carried the EU flag while others carried an "Exit from Brexit" banner.

Ed Davey, a Liberal Democrat legislator, told the crowd he is "embarrassed" by Britain's negotiating stance. "I've gone from anger to distress, from fury to despair. But since the Brexit negotiations begun there's a third emotion I've been feeling: Embarrassment. Embarrassment at our country's leaders. Embarrassment for Great Britain," he said.

Other speakers demanded that Britons be given a chance to vote on the Brexit decisions once negotiations are concluded. Britain voted in June 2016 to withdraw from the 28-nation EU bloc but negotiations with the EU are moving extremely slowly. The talks have been stalled because of disputes over how much Britain will have to pay the EU because of their joint obligations. The two sides have not yet started to discuss future trade relations.

Parliament is expected to vote Monday on a repeal bill designed to eventually incorporate many EU laws into British law once the separation becomes final.

No comment. LL
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  bb1 on Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:12 pm



What a clown! rofl rofl rofl rofl rofl

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

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:07 am

Brexit: Wales and Scotland to launch challenge against Theresa May's bid for sweeping new powers.

Wales and Scotland will formally lay down a challenge to Theresa May’s Brexit plans this week, warning she risks a constitutional crisis if changes are not made.

Governments in both nations are expected to officially submit documents confirming their intention to withhold consent for the Prime Minister’s approach to EU withdrawal unless it radically alters.

Conservative ministers have admitted to The Independent that pushing on without their backing could hold up Brexit, while politicians outside England warn it will strain the UK at the seams.

The devolved governments claim Ms May’s key piece of Brexit legislation will see London snatch authority over key policy areas and give Conservative ministers unacceptably-strong powers to meddle with other laws.

Brexit: Wales and Scotland to launch challenge against Theresa May's bid for sweeping new powers
[The Independent]
Joe Watts
The Independent9 September 2017
Carwyn Jones has said Theresa May is trying to 'hijack' powers that belong to Wales: PA
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Carwyn Jones has said Theresa May is trying to 'hijack' powers that belong to Wales: PA

Wales and Scotland will formally lay down a challenge to Theresa May’s Brexit plans this week, warning she risks a constitutional crisis if changes are not made.

Governments in both nations are expected to officially submit documents confirming their intention to withhold consent for the Prime Minister’s approach to EU withdrawal unless it radically alters.

Conservative ministers have admitted to The Independent that pushing on without their backing could hold up Brexit, while politicians outside England warn it will strain the UK at the seams.

The devolved governments claim Ms May’s key piece of Brexit legislation will see London snatch authority over key policy areas and give Conservative ministers unacceptably-strong powers to meddle with other laws.

It comes as MPs are expected to approve the EU (Withdrawal) Bill at its first Commons hurdle on Monday, but the Prime Minister faces a rebellion later on because even Tories want changes to the same clauses that are angering leaders in Cardiff and Edinburgh.

On Tuesday the Scottish and Welsh administrations will officially start their drive to force concessions, by submitting ‘legislative consent’ papers in their assemblies that set out how the bill must change.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones told The Independent Ms May’s bill will allow Whitehall to “hijack” powers during Brexit that should be passed to Cardiff.

He said: “The UK Government is being rigid in its approach. It’s saying there is only one way. It’s acting as if it won a majority at the election in June. It didn’t.

“We will not consent to the bill as it is, and if they plough on that will spark a difficult constitutional problem. The House of Lords will also take a dim view of the UK Government ignoring the wish of democratically elected assemblies.”

Devolved leaders hope Tuesday’s submission will spur an intense negotiation with London, in which they want to see parts of Ms May’s bill re-written.

Assemblies in both nations will eventually vote on whether to back the bill, with consent needed before the proposed legislation finishes its stages in the House of Lords.

One source in Cardiff said: “Often we would reserve judgement on whether we could back something or not until the vote, but this piece of legislation is so offensive that there is no point in holding back.

“There is no groundswell of nationalistic feeling in Wales right now, but this sort of behaviour is the kind of thing that can fracture relations between countries – it’s not overselling it to use the word ‘crisis’.”

Legal advice quoted in both Edinburgh and Cardiff is that the Government needs consent from both capitals for parts of the bill and Brexit Secretary David Davis has said he intends to seek it.

But it is accepted that if either assembly were to withhold consent, the UK Government could carry on and attempt to pass the bill regardless.

The SNP’s Brexit spokesman Mike Russell said: “There is already a constitutional crisis here. If they push on without consent it will become deeper and much more intense.

“They would be legislating for both Scotland and Wales without our consents and that would be the first time that has happened in 20 years.”

Both the Welsh and Scottish governments insist their opposition is not about blocking Brexit and say they agree with Westminster that legislation, including limited new powers for ministers, is necessary.

But they argue they cannot back any law which would see them lose influence over areas rightfully theirs to control.

Mr Russell went on: “Our default position is that this is a technical measure and that we want to co-operate with them on it.

“The problem is that the technical measure they have proposed is a dog’s breakfast, that runs against the process of devolution.”

He added: “Now there has to be a shift from the UK Government.”

The Withdrawal Bill will see all EU laws currently affecting the UK brought on to the British statute book on the day of Brexit, with ministers then granted “Henry VIII powers” to alter regulations – so-called because they allowed the Tudor monarch to govern by proclamation.
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/brexit-wales-scotland-launch-challenge-215647931.html
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  bb1 on Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:25 am

I wish Sturgeon would STFU, do what she's supposed to do, which is run our domestic affairs, and stop pretending to be some kind of international statesman.

Unless you live here, you have NO idea of the way everything she touches turns to sh*t.

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

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:47 pm

Former UK leader advises immigration curbs instead of Brexit.

LONDON (AP) — Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is not giving up his campaign to prevent Britain from leaving the European Union, using a Sunday Times article to propose that Britain instead toughen its rules on EU immigration.

The outspoken Brexit opponent says reducing immigration from EU countries into Britain would satisfy many who voted in favor of Brexit in the June, 2016 referendum without subjecting the country to the economic havoc it would face if it leaves the 28-nation bloc.

Blair, who led the Labour Party to three consecutive electoral victories, admits his government okayed the open door policy that brought many eastern Europeans to Britain after their countries joined the EU in 2004. He said times — and economic conditions — have changed, making it mandatory for stiff new controls to be put in place.

"There can be no change to Brexit unless we confront the underlying causes of it," Blair said, conceding that the referendum vote showed a widespread feeling that unchecked immigration was forcing wages down, straining public services, and — particularly when it involves conservative Muslims — raising questions of cultural integration.

Blair's intervention comes as Parliament prepares to vote Monday on a Brexit bill that would eventually convert large swaths of EU law into British law once Brexit is finalized, which is expected early in 2019.

His predecessor, former Prime Minister John Major of the Conservative Party, has also warned about the negative consequences of Brexit. Blair said many senior politicians know that leaving the EU is a grave error that will cause deep economic hardship but feel "trapped" by the referendum vote and as a result are supporting Brexit even though they don't believe in it.

His proposal is based on the concept that the will of the people can be respected if EU immigration is substantially cut both by a series of new rules and by negotiations with EU leaders. Blair's proposal would require EU immigrants to register upon arrival in Britain so officials can find out whether they find jobs or study. It would also require EU nationals to prove they have a confirmed job offer before they can settle in Britain, and ban those without permission from renting property, opening a bank account, or claiming benefits.

In addition, it would make it harder for immigrants to qualify for the National Health Service and allow universities to charge EU nationals higher tuition rates.
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:29 am

Gibraltar official seeks stronger ties with UK post-Brexit.

GIBRALTAR (AP) — For the chief minister of Gibraltar, the British territory's post-Brexit future rests on strengthening its ties with the United Kingdom. Chief Minister Fabian Picardo told The Associated Press on Sunday that his goal after Britain leaves the European Union in 2019 is to "cement the relationship with the United Kingdom" in terms of both sovereignty and a commercial relationship.

Picardo said he wants to "establish that bilateral relationship of trade to continue the morning after Brexit as if the single market between Gibraltar and the U.K. seamlessly moved from one moment to the next."

Gibraltar, a rocky outcrop at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula with 32,000 residents, has strong economic connections with surrounding Spanish regions. In last year's Brexit vote, 96 percent of Gibraltarians voted for Britain to remain in the EU.

Picardo spoke on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum when Gibraltar's inhabitants voted to remain a part of the U.K. and reject Spanish sovereignty. Spain, however, has never relinquished its claim to Gibraltar, which has a strategic position at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, since ceding its control over Gibraltar to Britain in 1713.

Picardo said he's hopeful Spain will not use the Brexit negotiations as an opportunity to re-exert control over the territory. He welcomed what he called the "new realism" of Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis, who became Spain's top diplomat last year.

"I think we have seen since the change ... a new realism emerge into the importance of Brexit for the whole European Union and for this region around Gibraltar of Spain in particular. That this is not a time to exploit opportunities to try and advance the sovereignty claim," Picardo said.

"I think it is a time to preserve the ability of people in Spain to come and work in Gibraltar, the ability of people who work in Gibraltar to live in Spain, and to have that neutrality of interests recognized," he said.

Dastis has said that Madrid's position remains that Britain's control of Gibraltar "violates the territorial integrity of our country." Negotiations between the EU and the U.K. regarding Britain's exit from the 28-counry bloc are ongoing.
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:24 am

Brexit: deportations of EU citizens soar since referendum .

The number of EU citizens the Government is deporting from the UK has rocketed since the Brexit vote, despite ministers' promises to guarantee residents’ rights, The Independent can reveal.

Analysis of official government data shows there were 26 per cent more enforced removals of EU nationals in the first three months of 2017 than in the same period last year.

Almost 5,000 EU citizens have now been deported from Britain in the last 12 months: the highest since current records began and an increase of 14 per cent in the last year alone.

The figures come after a leaked Home Office memo revealed comprehensive plans to significantly restrict immigration from Europe when Britain leaves the EU.
More at link.
http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/brexit-deportations-of-eu-citizens-soar-since-referendum/ar-AArDsjN?li=BBoPWjQ
..........................................
Blocking EU repeal bill is vote for chaotic Brexit, minister warns UK lawmakers.

Refusing to back legislation to sever Britain's political, financial and legal ties with the European Union would be a vote for a chaotic Brexit, Britain's Brexit minister David Davis said ahead of a parliamentary vote on Monday.

Parliament is due to hold a second day of debate on the EU withdrawal bill on Monday, before a late-night vote on whether to allow the legislation to continue to the next stage of the process, when more detailed scrutiny will take place.

The bill seeks largely to 'copy and paste' EU law into British legislation to ensure the UK has functioning laws and the same regulatory framework as the bloc at the moment of Brexit, something the government says provides certainty for companies.     More at link.
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/tories-warn-jeremy-corbyn-apos-060651982.html
....................................
Tories warn of Jeremy Corbyn 'con' on Brexit as Labour frontbenchers set to address pro-Remain events at party conference.

Labour shadow cabinet ministers are set to speak at a host of pro-Remain events at the party's annual conference as the Conservatives warn Jeremy Corbyn is preparing to "con" the British public over Brexit.

Diane Abbott, Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry and a number of other key allies of the Labour leader have been booked to speak at the events, including one titled "Why Labour must support free movement", despite the party's promise that the policy will end.

It came as Government ministers warned Mr Corbyn is planning to "con" Labour supporters and the public by voting down the EU Withdrawal Bill in the House of Commons this evening.

It follows his pledge during the election campaign that Labour would not block Brexit and came after the party's decision to trigger Article 50, the start of formal talks.     More at link.
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/tories-warn-jeremy-corbyn-apos-060651982.html
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:15 am

UK lawmakers back key Brexit bill, but fight still looms.

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers voted a key Brexit bill past its first big hurdle in Parliament early Tuesday. But many legislators branded the bill a government power grab, and vowed to change it before it becomes law.

After a debate that stretched past midnight, the House of Commons backed the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill by a vote of 326 to 290. That means lawmakers approve the bill in principle, but the government will now face attempts to amend it before a final vote later this year.

A key plank in the Conservative government's Brexit plans, the bill aims to convert thousands of EU laws and regulations into U.K. domestic laws on the day Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019. Prime Minister Theresa May said the measure provides "certainty and clarity" ahead of the divorce. Brexit Secretary David Davis said that without it, the U.K. faces "a chaotic exit from the European Union."

But the opposition says it would give the government dangerous new powers to amend laws without parliamentary scrutiny. Since Britain joined the EU in 1973, thousands of EU laws and regulations have come to operate in the U.K., covering everything from environmental protection to employment rules.

Justice Secretary David Lidington told lawmakers that the bill is needed to ensure Britain has "a functioning and coherent statute book and regulatory system the day we leave." It calls for incorporating all EU laws into U.K. statutes so they can then be kept, amended or scrapped by Britain's Parliament. The government says that will fulfill the promise of anti-EU campaigners during last year's referendum to "take back control" of the country from Brussels to London.

Critics say the bill gives the government too much power, because it allows ministers to fix "deficiencies" in EU law without the parliamentary scrutiny usually needed to make or amend legislation. Such measures are often referred to as "Henry VIII powers" after the 16th century king's bid to legislate by proclamation.

Opponents worry the government could use the powers to water down environmental standards, employment regulations or human rights protections. Labour Party lawmaker Chris Bryant said the bill "pretends to bring back power to this country, but it actually represents the biggest peacetime power grab by the executive over the legislature, by the government over Parliament, in 100 years."

Members of Labour, the main opposition party, were ordered by their leader to vote against the bill. A few rebelled or abstained, wary of being seen as trying to frustrate voters' decision to leave the EU.

Pro-EU lawmakers from the governing Conservatives largely backed the bill, saying they would try to amend it at the forthcoming committee stage. The government needs to pass the bill to keep its Brexit plans on track. It has been almost 15 months since Britain voted to leave the 28-nation bloc, and nearly six months since the government triggered the two-year countdown to exit.

Since then, negotiations between Britain and the EU have made little progress on key issues including the status of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border and the amount Britain must pay to settle its financial commitments to the bloc.

May's authority took a battering when she called a snap election in June seeking to increase her majority in Parliament and strengthen her negotiating hand. The move backfired when voters stripped the Conservatives of their majority, leaving May reliant on support from a small Northern Ireland party to govern.

Opposition lawmakers, backed by some Conservatives, say they will try to amend the bill at the next stage, when it receives line-by-line scrutiny before a final vote. Conservative lawmakers signaled that the government would likely agree to water down the contentious Henry VIII powers.

Edward Leigh, a Conservative who backs Brexit, said the government should "be generous ... accept some of the amendments" proposed by lawmakers.
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  bb1 on Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:22 am

The government got a bigger majority than many expected.

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

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:09 pm

Brexit department head Oliver Robbins leaves, throwing Government plans into chaos.

The civil servant in charge of the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu) is to move to a new role in 10 Downing Street after just over a year in the job, throwing Theresa May's Brexit plans into chaos.

Oliver Robbins is to take up a new "co-ordinating" role in Downing Street. It comes after a spate of reports during the summer that he had been involved in a series of disagreements with Brexit Secretary David Davis.

Mr Robbins held a dual role, both as the top civil servant at Dexeu and Theresa May's leading Brexit advisor, a position that had caused conflict at the top of the department since his appointment.

Government insiders claimed that it left Mr Davis frozen out of decision making, and that there was no personal warmth between the two men.

Mr Robbins' departure from the department is just the latest chapter in a series of chaotic movements among civil service staff dealing with Brexit at the very highest level. At the start of this year, Sir Tim Barrow had to replace Sir Ivan Rogers as the UK's ambassador to the EU, with Sir Ivan warning that government ministers had become unwilling to listen to or accept advice and guidance from civil servants.

A government spokesperson said Mr Robbins would continue to lead the UK side in the Brexit negotiations, but confirmed he would no longer work in Dexeu.

The department said in a statement: "In order to strengthen cross Government co-ordination of the next phase of negotiations with the European Union, the Prime Minister has appointed Oliver Robbins as her EU Adviser in the Cabinet Office, in addition to his role as EU Sherpa.

"He will continue to lead the official-side UK team in the negotiations, working closely with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and coordinate relations with the Commission and Member States.

"The Prime Minister has appointed Philip Rycroft, currently Second Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the EU and Cabinet Office, as Permanent Secretary, Department for Exiting the EU.

"The Department will continue to support David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, to ensure a smooth exit and to seize the opportunities presented by leaving the EU.

"This will include his role as principal of the negotiations, leading on exit-related legislation, domestic preparedness for exit and engagement with stakeholders in the UK, including the devolved administrations, and in the EU27 and beyond."

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, said it smacked of “chaos”.

He told the Evening Standard: “Moving key individuals at this critical time adds a whole new dimension to the government’s chaotic approach to Brexit. Deep divisions in the Cabinet and a complete lack of leadership are putting the national interest at risk.”
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  bb1 on Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:48 pm

It's all going splendidly, isn't it? This is going to go on for years...

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

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:01 am

Opposition sees Brexit 'chaos' in UK govt shifts and feuds

LONDON (AP) — The British government's attempt to appear strong and united over Brexit wobbled Monday as a top official was shifted from his post days before a new round of divorce negotiations with the European Union. Opposition lawmakers said the move reflected the Conservatives' "chaotic" approach to handling the biggest challenge facing the country.

Prime Minister Theresa May, meanwhile, faced calls to discipline fellow Conservative Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson for undermining her leadership by publishing his own manifesto for Brexit. A week before negotiations between Britain and the bloc are due to resume in Brussels, the U.K. government announced Monday that the top civil servant on its negotiating team had left the Department for Exiting the European Union. The department said Oliver Robbins was moving to become May's EU adviser.

The move follows reports of friction between Robbins and Brexit Secretary David Davis, the U.K.'s top negotiator. Opposition Labour Party Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said the shuffle "adds a whole new dimension to government's chaotic approach to Brexit."

In March, Britain triggered a two-year countdown to departure from the 28-nation EU. Since then, negotiations have made little progress on key issues including the status of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border and the amount Britain must pay to settle its financial commitments to the bloc.

EU officials say talks can't move on to future relations with Britain until key divorce terms have been agreed upon. May is making a major speech Friday in Florence, Italy, that is intended to help break the logjam.

But before she could speak, Johnson laid out his own vision of Britain's future outside the EU in a 4,000-word article for the Sunday Telegraph newspaper. It called for the U.K. to adopt a low-tax, low-regulation economy outside the EU's single market and customs union.

The article drew rebukes from May's Cabinet allies — and sparked immediate speculation that Johnson wants to replace May as leader of the Conservative Party. Unlike May, who campaigned to stay in the EU before last year's referendum, Johnson was an enthusiastic supporter of the "leave" side. He has the support of some Brexit-backing Conservative lawmakers, who worry that May will settle for a compromise "soft Brexit" that somehow keeps Britain inside the EU's single market.

Some lawmakers called on May to fire Johnson — whose bumbling, jokey persona masks intense political ambition — but she is likely in too weak a position to do so. Her authority was severely undermined when she called an early June 8 election in a bid to increase her majority — only to see the Conservatives reduced to a minority administration.

May said Monday that "Boris is Boris," but insisted she was firmly in charge. "The U.K. government is driven from the front, and we all have the same destination in our sights, and that is getting a good deal for Brexit with the European Union," she said during a news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa.

Johnson's article also was criticized by Britain's statistics regulator, which accused him of misleadingly claiming that leaving the EU will give Britain control of an extra 350 million pounds ($475 million) a week.

U.K. Statistics Authority chief David Norgrove called the figure "a gross misuse of official statistics." He said the 350 million pounds was a gross rather than net figure. It doesn't take into account a substantial rebate that Britain receives before the money is sent, or money the EU sends to Britain, which reduces the figure to about half the amount cited.

Also Monday, the British government called for a wide-ranging security treaty with the EU to ensure that intelligence-sharing and law-enforcement cooperation continue after Brexit. Such a deal would allow Britain to remain a member of the EU police body Europol and keep use of the European Arrest Warrant, which allows for the quick extradition of suspects.

But it is unclear what legal framework would underpin such a treaty, because Britain says it will leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:40 am

Ambassador: UK aims for “smooth, seamless” Brexit
By Hungary Matters

The United Kingdom’s goal should be a “smooth, seamless” divorce from the EU, the British ambassador to Hungary told state television. Iain Lindsay spoke to the programme following a meeting of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, with ministers of foreign economy of the Visegrad Group in Budapest on Thursday. Trade between the UK and the V4 countries totals around 31 billion euros annually, Lindsay noted. One of the topics at yesterday’s meeting was the rights of the 1.2-1.5 million V4 citizens who currently work or study in the UK, he said. A transitional period will be included in the procedure, he said, to give people and firms time to adjust to the new conditions.
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Re: BREXIT: UP-TO-DATE NEWS AS IT HAPPENS

Post  bb1 on Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:08 pm

Somehow, I don't see anything about this being 'smooth and seamless'....

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