Posts belonging to Category UK



BREXIT: Prepare for the worst

Brussels and Westminster run out of time

Even with the current heatwave and hosepipe ban, there is a chill in the air when it comes to Brexit. Repeat after me in a gravelly, Northern accent: “Winter is coming.” Britain is sweating under the pressure of a loud ticking countdown, and the EU is nervously glancing at its watch, looking away, and then frantically checking the time once again. Project Fear is becoming Project Reality as both Brussels and Westminster run out of time. Since Theresa May triggered Article 50 in March 29 last year, formally notifying the EU of Britain’s exit, the prime minister started a two-year process. In just two years, Britain would have to negotiate both its divorce and future relationship with the bloc.

In many ways, the British government has only got the ball rolling, producing its starting position on trade post-Brexit. And even then, it caused cabinet disarray, resulting in resignations from ministers including Brexit secretary David Davis and foreign secretary Boris Johnson. As time runs out, there are those who bracing themselves for the worst case scenario. Britain will leave the EU on March 29, 2019 (and with a transition period until December 31, 2020), but they could be doing so without completing a deal with the bloc.

BREXIT: May warns rebels

Back me or risk ‘no Brexit at all

British Prime Minister Theresa May warned her divided party on Sunday that there may be “no Brexit at all” if they wrecked her plan to forge a close relationship with the European Union after leaving the world’s biggest trading bloc.

“My message to the country this weekend is simple: we need to keep our eyes on the prize,” May wrote on Facebook. “If we don’t, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all.”

Linking the fate of Brexit to her own survival in such an explicit way indicates just how precarious May’s position remains after her government was thrust into crisis and U.S. President Donald Trump publicly criticised her Brexit strategy.

Trump Says May’s Brexit Plan Likely to Kill Off U.S. Trade Deal

U.S. president backs Boris Johnson as future prime minister

President Donald Trump dealt a double blow to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, saying her plans for a soft Brexit would likely end hopes of a trade deal with the U.S. and that Boris Johnson, who quit her cabinet this week, would be a “great” leader.  “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the U.K., so it will probably kill the deal,” Trump said in an interview in the Sun newspaper to be published Friday.

His comments in the Sun, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, a political ally of the president, appeared after May had hosted Trump at a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

Brexit secretary David Davis resigns

Government into crisis

David Davis has resigned as Brexit secretary, shattering the hard-won consensus around Theresa May’s Chequers deal and plunging her government into crisis.

His resignation was swiftly followed by that of fellow Department for Exiting the EU ministers Steve Baker and Suella Braverman. It forces May to reshuffle her government, at the same time as trying to convince backbenchers to support her plan.

Davis sent a bluntly worded resignation letter to Theresa May, saying he would not be a “reluctant conscript” to the plan agreed at Chequers, which he said was “certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense”.

https://www.the guardian.com/

Uber wins licence to work in London

15-month probationary licence

Uber will be able to continue operating in London, after a court decided the ride-hailing firm should be awarded a new 15-month probationary licence, after being told of sweeping changes to its practices.

The ride-hailing firm’s future in one of its biggest global markets had been in jeopardy after Transport for London ruled last September that it was not “fit and proper” to hold a private hire vehicles operator licence.

At the start of a two-day hearing, Uber admitted that London’s original decision not to renew its five-year licence had been correct. TfL cited concerns about public safety and security, including a failure to report crimes or alleged crimes to the police, and to conduct proper background checks on drivers.

But Uber’s lawyers convinced Westminster magistrates court that it had since cleaned up its act, while continuing to operate in the capital pending its appeal.

https://www.theguardian.com/

EU shut Britain out of Galileo

UK firms are being blocked from bidding for contracts

A fresh row over the UK’s involvement with the Galileo satellite programme, to which the country’s taxpayers have already paid £1bn, threatens to poison the Brexit talks after the EU shut Britain out of the project.

A majority of member states have turned against the UK and voted in favour of pushing forward on the next round of contracts for the £8bn project, despite requests for a delay to allow negotiations over British involvement to progress. UK firms are being blocked from bidding for contracts.

Galileo is an £8bn satellite navigation system intended to rival the US-controlled global positioning system. Once fully operational in 2020 it will provide accurate position, navigation and timing information to be used by governments, citizens, industry and the military.

https://www.theguardian.com/

Brexit: Airbus ‘set to quit’ UK

Tens of thousands of jobs at risk

Aerospace giant Airbus is preparing to quit Britain due to fears of a hard Brexit, potentially putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk, it was reported last night.

The European aerospace company, said to generate £1.7billion a year in tax, is set to abandon plans to build aircraft wings at its British plants, according to The Times.

Production will be moved to China, the US or elsewhere in Europe, rather than taking place here as was previously hoped. Airbus, which has factories in Bristol, Portsmouth, Stevenage and Broughton in north Wales, employs 14,000 people in the UK while a further 110,000 jobs are supported by its supply chain.

https://www.metronews.com/

Paris beats London as Europe’s favorite investment destination

BREXIT impact  + “Macron effect”

An Ernst & Young survey shows Paris has overtaken London as Europe’s most attractive destination for foreign investors for the first time since EY began such reports 15 years ago.

The change in the continent’s pecking order is a sign of the impact of both Brexit and the “Macron effect”.

The French capital was ranked No. 1 for foreign direct investment by 37 percent of businesses, based on a survey of 502 companies and data from EY and IBM covering 2017.

Leading Brexit campaigners held secret meetings with Russian officials

MPs call for police to investigate Arron Banks’ links to Russia

MPs are calling for the police and parliament to investigate the links between the millionaire Brexit donor Arron Banks and the Russian government, after it emerged that he met the Kremlin’s ambassador to the UK three times, rather than once as he originally claimed.

With pressure growing on Banks to explain his relations with Moscow during and after the EU referendum campaign, the Bristol-based businessman will face a postponed hearing on Tuesday before the digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) select committee, which is investigating “fake news”.

Showdown at G7

Trump sticks with hard line on trade

U.S. President Donald Trump is not backing down from the tough line he has taken on trade, the White House’s top economic adviser said on Wednesday, setting the stage for a showdown with top allies at this week’s G7 summit in Canada.
The meeting on Friday and Saturday in Charlevoix, Quebec, will be the first chance G7 leaders have had to confront Trump in person since U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union were imposed last week.