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"News from the Brexit Cliff Edge" 4th Mar 2019

News Highlights

Welcome to the Brexit Cliff Edge

  • The Department for Exiting the EU is haemorrhaging staff - a quarter of all its civil servants quit in the last six months
  • A new Kantar Retail report warns that supermarkets are preparing for possible food shortage disturbances, if a No Deal Brexit were to occur
  • The British Meat Processors Association says it has been flooded with calls from worried businesses. They are saying buyers are now looking to other countries for supplies due to Brexit uncertainty
  • The Cumberland News has been told that local NFU helplines have seen a sharp increase in worried farmers, concerned about the weather, loss of EU payments and Brexit. They have some members now on `suicide watch`
  • A detailed 18-page report from U.S.  trade negotiators, playing hardball with regard to a future trade deal for the UK, said Britain must lower its food standards, post Brexit, and open up its agriculture fully to American farmers
  • A business survey confirmed that British businesses are stockpiling goods at a rate unseen for 30 years
  • The CBI reported that its members have seen the weakest growth in 6 years in recent months. CBI members cite Brexit concerns and the prospect of global trade barriers
  • The PMI Index says business confidence is down, with jobs going and investment suspended. It added that the numbers were not worse only because of business stockpiling
  • The University of Surrey is offering redundancy terms to all its staff, as it battles reduction in tuition fee income and Brexit concerns
  • Thanet District Council has to cut £730k from its local government budget, so its plans to invest in Ramsgate port have been dropped
  • A Tory minister has approached the Independent Group. In addition, 3 other leading Tories are facing No Confidence votes
  • Nick Timothy, Theresa May`s former close aide, gave a BBC interview in which he explained Mrs May sees Brexit as little more than a damage limitation exercise
  • The government agreed to pay Eurotunnel £33m over the Ramsgate ferry dispute
  • The Daily Telegraph reported there would be no changes to the Withdrawal Agreement
  • The government believes Nicola Sturgeon is on the point of asking for a second Scottish Independence referendum
  • The Tory eurosceptics warned Theresa May not to bounce Parliament into a fresh vote on her deal, as they need time to review any changes to it secured by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox
  • A new survey indicated that 2/3rd of Labour voters in Leave voting seats support a second referendum
  • The DUP/ERG say they intend to give Theresa May 3 tests to pass before they will support her in any parliamentary vote on the withdrawal deal
  • If the UK leaves with No Deal millions of lambs may have to be slaughtered for health and safety reasons
Jobs at Risk
Honda reveals it had plans to make electric cars in Swindon before plant closure
Honda has admitted that it had already invested in manufacturing the next line of electric vehicles in Swindon. Senior figures at Honda told workers at the plant that robot technology to build electric cars was being delivered by boat, before the sudden announcement last week that the plant will close. It is understood the new technology in transit was to switch the joinery of panels of the new 2021 hybrid models from welding to adhesive. The new technology would have been installed over the summer when the workers had planned stoppage time.
Surrey University makes £15m cuts and offers redundancy to all staff
All staff at the University of Surrey are offered redundancy as Brexit and tuition fee review hits income.
Economic Impact
UK factories slash jobs, stockpile at record pace before Brexit: PMI
British factories are cutting jobs and bracing for Brexit by stockpiling goods at a record pace, but consumers seem less worried, suggesting their spending might help to shore up the economy, data showed on Friday. A measure of manufacturing - the IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index - hit a four-month low in February, and the fall would have been worse if factories had not rushed to build up inventories to see them through any Brexit border chaos.
Factories stockpile at record rates as they brace for Brexit, an industry indicator shows
The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), shows UK manufacturers are stockpiling at the fastest pace seen in any leading economy since data started to be collated
UK firms report weakest growth since April 2013: CBI
British businesses reported their weakest growth in nearly six years during the past three months due to fears of a no-deal Brexit and rising global trade barriers, the Confederation of British Industry said on Sunday. The CBI’s index of private-sector activity over the past three months dropped to -3 in February from zero in January. This was its lowest since April 2013, when Britain was still recovering from the global financial crisis. Firms expected similar weakness in the three months ahead, when Britain is due to leave the European Union after over 40 years of membership.
Attitudes to Brexit and economy quizzed in poll for BBC Wales
More than half of Welsh voters now think Brexit will have a negative impact on the economy, the annual St David's Day poll for BBC Wales suggests. Of 1,001 adults polled, 56% thought it would have a negative impact on the Welsh economy - more than last year. Meanwhile 51% thought it would impact negatively on the general way of life in Wales, also up on 2018.
Brexit 2019: mortgage and house price predictions – Which? News
Brexit could have a big impact on house prices and mortgages. WHICH outlines a range of experts and their predict as to what will happen to the market over coming months.
Administrative Fall Out
Meat export orders cancelled due to Brexit
The British Meat Processors Association said they've been inundated with calls from companies reporting that overseas customers are now cancelling orders and buying their product from other countries due to the lack of clarity around Brexit.
Desperate Cumbrian farmers on 'suicide watch' after being driven to the brink by late payments, weather woes and Brexit
Desperate farmers are on the emotional and financial brink after being hit by late payments, weather and Brexit. Distressed farmers are calling crisis networks and a The Cumberland News learnt some farmers are on “suicide watch”.
UK pays Eurotunnel 33 million pounds over 'secretive' no-deal Brexit ferry contracts
Britain has paid out 33 million pounds to settle a claim with Eurotunnel which runs the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France after the firm took legal action over the process to award ferry contracts to cope with a no-deal Brexit.
Brexit exodus as QUARTER of civil servants working on deal quit inside last six months
Over 500 civil servants have left the Department of Exiting the EU since its creation in July 2016 - DEXEU should have 700 staff. 516 staff left since its creation in July 2016 to last December. FOI figures show.
No-deal Brexit threatens cull of 10m lambs
Millions of British lambs may have to be slaughtered and then buried or burnt, rather than eaten, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, government officials have told farmers. This is because UK lamb may be banned from sale to the EU from March 30 under meat hygiene rules applied to non-EU countries. If exports are allowed to continue, they would face tariffs of 45%.
Spain unveils measures to protect 400,000 Brits if no-deal Brexit
The Spanish government has issued a range of measures aimed at protecting British citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The royal decree, approved on Friday, gives British residents of Spain access to healthcare until at least the end of 2020. Spain will also provide residency for an estimated 400,000 Britons and preserve freedom of movement across its border with Gibraltar.
No-deal Brexit: Supermarkets prepare for looting and riots amid fears of food shortages
Supermarkets are planning for possible disturbances in the event of a No Deal Brexit, according to a new Kantar report.
Crown dependencies face crackdown on secret companies
Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man face a financial transparency crackdown, after Conservative MPs ambushed prime minister Theresa May to demand an end to secret company ownership. The three crown dependencies are exempt from EU rules requiring countries to publish registers of the real owners of companies. Transparency campaigners argue that the lack of disclosure has aided large-scale money-laundering. Jersey has previously warned that such a move would “trigger a constitutional crisis”, because the crown dependencies are self-governing and not represented at Westminster.
It's four weeks to go until Brexit day, so would Britain still vote Leave amid this chaos? Let's look at the polls
Slightly more people now believe the decision to Leave was wrong than they did before according to UGov polling reflecting a shit in public opinion over the last 10 months
German Companies Have a Brexit Plan: Send the Bill to the Brits
A meeting of German businessmen identified the pitfalls they face with regard to the UK dropping out of the EU a) British components may no longer count as EU content and that could affect whether they meet tariff-free criteria with partners like Japan and South Korea b) Accessing corporate IT systems from British subsidiaries may breach EU data-sharing rules c) Accounting systems need to be able to allow the U.K. to reclassify as a “third country” for tax purposes to avoid potential penalties d) Contracts need to be reviewed to clarify which country’s laws are being applied and where conflicts will be resolved e) Sending employees across the channel to attend conferences could raise visa issues
MPA calls for national interest to trump party politics on Brexit
Tthe Mineral Products Association (MPA) is calling for all MPs, whether ‘leavers or remainers’, to wake up to the need for the national interest to trump party politics over the coming weeks.
Political Shenanigans
£1.6bn 'bribe' for poorer towns as May seeks Labour's backing for Brexit deal
Left-behind towns in England are to get a £1.6bn funding boost as part of a package of measures to win support for Theresa May’s Brexit deal among Labour MPs, who said the new cash would not buy their votes. Labour MPs including Lisa Nandy and Gareth Snell who have signalled they might back May’s deal criticised the approach and said the cash would do little to tackle the effects of austerity. The prime minister said the Stronger Towns Fund, much of it allocated over seven years to the north of England and the Midlands, would go to areas that had not “shared the proceeds of growth”.
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox abandons time-limit and unilateral exit clause for Brexit backstop
The Attorney General has abandoned attempts to secure a hard time-limit or unilateral exit mechanism from the Irish backstop, The Telegraph has been told. Some Cabinet ministers are already resigned to the Prime Minister losing a second meaningful vote on her deal amid concerns that changes to the backstop secured by Mr Cox will not be sufficient to win round Brexiteers.
Brexit supporters give UK PM May three tests for EU deal
A group of Brexit-supporting lawmakers who rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union exit deal in January have set out the changes they want to see to her agreement in return for their support. “The mechanism has got to be legally binding, so effectively treaty-level change,” one of the group, Conservative lawmaker Michael Tomlinson, said in an interview with the newspaper. “The second part is the language. It can’t be a reinterpretation of the withdrawal agreement or a re-emphasis; it’s got to be really clear language as to where we are going ... The third requirement is a clear exit route.”
'Star chamber' of Brexiteers: the Eurosceptic legal group that holds the PM's fate in their hands
The fate of Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement could be decided by a star chamber of Eurosceptic lawyers. The panel of eight lawyers - seven of whom are serving MPs - has been assembled to forensically examine any legal changes to the Brexit deal secured by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox. When the amended agreement is put to another meaningful vote on March 12, it is likely to hinge on whether the lawyers agree that what Cox has brought back from Brussels constitutes a legal change that will ensure the Northern Ireland backstop cannot endure indefinitely.
Theresa May's Team Is Already Plotting A Third "Meaningful Vote"
Senior figures in Theresa May’s team privately fear she will lose the second "meaningful vote" on her Brexit deal and are gaming whether they can secure a majority at a third attempt. As Westminster waits to see if Attorney General Geoffrey Cox returns from Brussels next week with legally-binding changes to the Irish backstop – the insurance policy to prevent a hard border – allies of the prime minister conceded to BuzzFeed News that whatever he comes back with may not be enough to win the second vote on the deal.
Brexit: Boost for Corbyn as Labour voters in party's heartlands back Final Say referendum
Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to support a fresh Brexit referendum enjoys the overwhelming backing of Labour voters in Leave-voting areas, new research has found. Only 21 per cent of those in the north and the midlands who voted Labour at the last election said they opposed the dramatic policy shift – a figure dwarfed by the 66 per cent in favour. In a further boost for Mr Corbyn, 35 per cent said it made them feel more favourable towards Labour, compared with just 14 per cent who said it made them feel less positive
Now Tory Brexiteers plan a 'hop, skip and jump' exit from EU on March 29
Tory Brexiteers are prepared to settle for what they call a “hop, skip and jump” Brexit – paving the way for a deal as early as this week so Britain leaves the EU on time. The HOP is to reluctantly accept Theresa May ’s new deal with Brussels.The SKIP is the transition to get a free trade deal in place while we are effectively still in the EU. And the JUMP is to finally cut all EU ties by December 2022 at the latest. Tory Brexiteer Nigel Evans said: “Hop, skip and jump is not the clean break we all campaigned for. But now is the time for compromise to break the logjam.” Fellow Brexiteer and ex-Minister John Whittingdale added: “I want to leave on March 29. We have to compromise.”
Cabinet ministers 'expect Theresa May to quit in November'
Several of Theresa May's Cabinet colleagues believe she will have stepped down as Prime Minister by the end of the year, it has emerged.
The active pursuit of a delay to Brexit, with no purpose beyond frustration, is a betrayal of referendum result
Both ministers make the case that moving to an Article 50 extension without some strong purposes is futile, particularly if it is just to thwart the result of the 2016 referendum
Brexit delay now unavoidable, says EU, as Andrea Leadsom and Jeremy Hunt warn of attempt to frustrate departure
Delay to Brexit is now unavoidable, even if MPs sign off a deal next week, the European Commission has suggested. In an interview with a Spanish newspaper, Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, indicated that a "technical" extension would be needed to implement a deal. His deputy, Sabine Weyand, later "liked" a tweet summarising his comments, in English, as "extension now inavoidable [sic] - will be granted". Mr Barnier's comments confirm the private view of a significant number of the Cabinet that a limited delay is now inevitable
No self-respecting country would accept this deal. MPs must vote it down
Hardline Brexiteer Daniel Hannan calls on Eurosceptics to vote down Theresa May's Brexit deal
The outcome of Brexit now depends on Geoffrey Cox, Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds
I don’t see how Cox could come up with a form of words on the Irish border that would bridge the gap between the EU27 and the DUP. But, and I have no inside information on this, it would be astonishing if the DUP were not also engaged in negotiations with the prime minister over the next stage of their supply and confidence agreement. The two-year commitment to extra public spending in Northern Ireland, which was signed after the 2017 election, expires in the summer.
We promised the voters we would leave - if that means backing Theresa May's Brexit deal for now, so be it
Here we are at last, faced with the two ghastly choices: a bad deal or No Brexit. Theresa May’s terrible Withdrawal Agreement looms out of the miasma of confusion and incoherence as the only possible way of avoiding the trap laid long, long ago by the invincibly arrogant Remain forces.
MPs have 10 days to pass Theresa May’s Brexit deal or face a weaker Brexit negotiating position with the EU
If Mrs May’s deal hasn’t won a Commons vote by March 12, the Commons will vote on whether to proceed with No Deal. The Parliamentary arithmetic is such that No Deal will be defeated.
Theresa May has been forced to move on Brexit — now MPs must keep pushing
A refreshing gust of honesty and candour has blown into a decrepit process of post-truth, delusion and deception. The door is ajar to new and liberating options. But it must now be forced fully open. Posterity will not smile on MPs if they surrender this final opportunity to do the right thing.
The Guardian view on delaying Brexit: time to take part in the EU elections
Theresa May envisages only a short delay. But any extension of article 50 raises big issues that would take many months to sort out. So the UK should take part in the European Elections to facilitate a longer extension period
The Tories have a historic opportunity to destroy Labour once and for all
Not since Lord North was prime minister in the 18th century has Britain been governed so appallingly, and yet the Tories could paradoxically still end up crushing Labour and winning the next election with a massive majority. As Friedrich Nietzsche put it in Beyond Good and Evil, “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”
Political Setbacks
Lawyers blow hole in plan for short extension favoured by May in order to pass her deal
A Brexit delay of longer than two months could be illegal unless the UK elects new MEPs, lawyers are warning, appearing to torpedo Theresa May‘s strategy. Article 50 cannot be extended beyond the end of May unless the UK takes part in fresh European parliament elections, according to a legal opinion issued by the German Bundestag.
May sees Brexit as 'damage limitation', says ex-aide Nick Timothy
Theresa May's former chief of staff has told the BBC she always saw Brexit as a "damage limitation exercise". In his first TV interview, Nick Timothy suggested the PM and other ministers' attitude meant the government has "not been prepared to take the steps" needed to make the most of Brexit. And he warned the government's mishandling of it risked "opening up space for a populist right wing party".
Tory Party Showing 'Tell-Tale Signs Of Institutional Racism' Over Islamophobia, Says Baroness Warsi
The Conservative Party is showing “worrying tell-tale signs of institutional racism” over its handling of Islamophobia, Baroness Warsi has said. It comes after HuffPost UK revealed the Tories failed to expel member Colin Raine, despite him sharing hate online and an allegation he was behind a far-right protest at an MP’s office. Raine’s membership was instead allowed to expire, Bishop Auckland Conservative Association confirmed. Reacting to the story, Warsi tweeted: “Reactive not proactive; hiding behind bureaucracy; using process as an excuse; failing to acknowledge the challenge; opaque complaints system.
Brexit: Barnier doubts whether UK will leave EU on schedule
EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has indicated he does not believe the UK will have enough time to approve British prime minister Theresa May’s withdrawal deal by the scheduled exit date of March 29th. Mr Barnier suggested a “technical extension” of up to two months may be needed.
TIG has shaken up the Labour Party – with the threat of 70 more defections chipping away at Corbyn’s power
If Corbyn fails to show real leadership in stamping out antisemitism, declines to give more centrist MPs shadow cabinet roles and influence on policy and allows 50 MPs to be deselected by their local parties, then TIG’s ranks will swell, and Labour’s election prospects diminish. Corbyn’s handling of Brexit will also be important. Although he is edging towards backing a public vote in return for allowing May’s deal to pass the Commons, he will be happy if anti-referendum Labour MPs defeat him. As one MP put it: “He will go into the division lobby with his fingers crossed behind his back.”
Barry Gardiner: Second EU referendum would undermine trust in democracy
The Shadow International Trade Secretary told the BBC's Question Time that a so-called "People's Vote" on whether or not to overturn the result of the 2016 referendum would be "divisive". His comments came just days after Labour announced that it would formally back another referendum between a "credible" Leave option and remaining in the EU.
Minister approaches Independent Group of MPs as three more Tory MPs face no-confidence votes
A senior Government minister has approached The Independent Group of MPs, it has emerged, as three more Conservative MPs face no confidence votes by their local parties which could end their political careers. The unnamed Minister of State wrote a letter to a senior member of the group saying they "agreed with everything you have done" opening the possibility of a hugely damaging defection away from the Conservative party.
ERG warns May not to 'bounce' parliament over new Brexit deal
Tory Eurosceptic group says at least two days will be needed to scrutinise new compromise on Irish backstop
How do you kick EU ‘bastards’ out, asks Boris Johnson
It is not clear who runs the EU or how to "kick those particular bastards out," said former U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. "My objection to the EU was not that it was run by foreigners,” Johnson, a Brexiteer who quit Prime Minister Theresa May’s government last year in protest at her Brexit strategy, told a New Delhi conference Saturday, according to AFP. “The problem is we don't really know who is running it."
'Brexit betrayal' march: Nigel Farage charging Leave protesters £50 to join him on walk to London
Leave supporters who want to join Nigel Farage’s march against Theresa May’s Brexit approach are being charged £50. "Core marchers” – those who walk for two or more days – will have to make the one-off payment, which covers accommodation, dinner and breakfast. Other supporters can join the event for free as cheerleaders but would have to fund their own accommodation if away from home overnight.
Hundreds turn out in Cardiff for protest against Brexit
Hundreds of people marched through Cardiff on Saturday to protest against the UK leaving the EU. A march, organised by Wales for Europe, started outside the Central Library on The Hayes, on Saturday afternoon, before heading along Queen Street in the city centre.
Brexit – latest news: 'Talks have stalled', Barnier tells EU ambassadors as minister warns May no-deal will be ‘stopped whenever’
Michel Barnier has told EU ambassadors that no progress has been made in the Brexit negotiations as the UK keeps pushing for changes that would unacceptable to the 27 remaining member states
The Tories won’t be forgiven for a hard Brexit – which equates to a massive tax rise on business
The Conservative Party – the supposed party of business – seems to have abandoned its core principles. It has failed to address the concerns of firms facing massive uncertainty about their future operations as Brexit looms closer, brushed aside the warnings from business representatives and refused to plan properly for all eventualities. This has already resulted in many companies relocating operations and investment away from the UK. Without any clarity about the future relationship with the EU, firms have been forced to spend enormous sums on stockpiling, relocation and administrative changes. Large companies have spent millions revamping their operations to prepare for all contingencies, whereas small businesses have, in the main, not even begun preparations. That is because they have no idea what to prepare for and are struggling to find resources to devote to projects that may be entirely unnecessary.
Grayling under pressure to quit over Brexit ferry fiasco
The beleaguered transport secretary, Chris Grayling, is under mounting pressure to resign after reaching a humiliating £33m out-of-court settlement over a botched Brexit ferry deal. The deputy Labour leader, Tom Watson, said “heads must roll” after the latest chapter in the fiasco, in which the startup company Seaborne Freight was awarded a £14m contract to open a new UK-EU ferry route for emergency medical supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit, even though it had no ships and no port contract.
The EU smells our fear and thinks we are biddable. It's time to walk out of the room
Ex-Minister George Eustice launches a blistering attack on the EU saying "they smell our fear" and we should "just walk out the room" as his route for a negotiated withdrawal agreement
Brexit: 'No deal' Port of Ramsgate funding axed
Funding for the Port of Ramsgate which was at the centre of a row over a no-deal-Brexit ferry contract has been axed. Thanet District Council has approved cuts of £730,000 saying it will no longer keep the port "ferry-ready". In December the government gave Seaborne Freight a contract to run a service to Ostend, Belgium to offset delays in the case of a no-deal Brexit. The Seaborne contract was later cancelled after a backer pulled out.
Diehard Brexiteers long to feel betrayed
If May wins her ‘meaningful vote’ the real arguments begin, and many of the ERG would rather be martyrs than victors. In the deepest recesses of the Brexiteer mind lies a fear of winning, of being tested. Buried in their psyche is the ache for martyrdom. The divide between those who will vote for May’s deal in the days ahead, and those who won’t, is just a difference of opinion about when to cry foul. Betrayal is their unconscious dream. Our job as Remainers will be to help them fulfil it.
Ivan Rogers on Brexit: "What Surprises Me Is the Extent of the Mess"
Ivan Rogers: I knew that it would be a long, tortuous and potentially conflictual process. That doesn't surprise me. What does surprise me is the extent of the mess and the fact that four weeks before the deadline, the political class is unable to come to any serious conclusion about what kind of Brexit they want. Of course, Brexit is a revolutionary moment, but I have never seena political crisis like this in my professional career.
BBC QT panel shuts down People’s Vote saying it would only cause 'more uncertainty'
Mr Zahawi added that a second referendum “undermines the whole principle of democracy in this country”. He said: “Another referendum would cause more uncertainty for business and will be divisive.”
Brexit: Theresa May responds to Irish American concerns
The prime minister said the government's commitment to the 1998 agreement remains "steadfast - to the principles it embodies, the political institutions it seeks to establish and the rights that it guarantees". "No government that I lead will ever take risks with the hard won relative peace and stability that these agreements have established," she added. The US group had expressed concerns about recent votes in the House of Commons, where the government's Brexit deal was rejected because of the Irish border backstop: the insurance policy to maintain an open border unless and until another solution is found.
Simon Schama: When Britain chose Europe From Cobden to Gladstone, Victorian liberalism has a clear message for today’s Brexiters
Forty years after the repeal of the Corn Laws, the failure of Irish Home Rule nearly broke the Liberals. Today, Ireland is still the bone in the throat of British convenience masked as self-righteousness — and Theresa May’s weekly peregrinations to Brussels in ever more pitiful search of amending the backstop to something that can command a majority in Parliament betray the tinniest of ears to what is truly at stake.
UK 'will reject Sturgeon's Indyref2 calls'
The UK government is preparing to reject any call from Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for the power to hold another independence referendum, sources have told the BBC. Ms Sturgeon has said she will reveal her next steps on independence soon. There is an expectation at Westminster that she will call for the power to hold another referendum in the coming weeks.
What Goes On in Those Brexit Talks in Brussels? ‘Nothing,’ Document Says
Since her Brexit plan was overwhelmingly rejected last month, Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain has repeatedly set off for Brussels, ostensibly to negotiate new terms for her country’s departure from the European Union. Each mission has ended without a deal, or even a hint of progress, leaving baffled observers to wonder what, exactly, Mrs. May and European officials talk about in these get-togethers. Now, a confidential document summarizing a Feb. 7 meeting from the European side has offered up an answer: “Nothing.”
Trade Deals/Negotiations
UK-US trade deal: Envoy attacks 'myths' about US farming
Woody Johnson, described warnings over US farming practices as "inflammatory and misleading" smears from "people with their own protectionist agenda". He also said the EU's "Museum of Agriculture" approach was not sustainable, adding: "American farmers are making a vital contribution to the rest of the world. Their efforts deserve to be recognised. "Instead, they are being dismissed with misleading scare-stories which only tell you half the story."
UK says food standards will not be lowered for US trade deal
The UK will not lower food standards to secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the US, the government says. It comes after Washington published its objectives for a US-UK trade pact. The US wants "comprehensive market access" for its farmers' products that would see more US-made food on British supermarket shelves. European Union rules currently limit US exports of certain food products, including chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-boosted beef. If free of EU trade rules, the US want the UK to remove such so-called "sanitary and physiosanitary" standards on imported goods. A Downing Street spokeswoman said: "We have always been very clear that we will not lower our food standards as part of a future trading agreement."
We now know the great prize of Brexit: becoming Trump’s prey
Recall the fury of the leave crowd when Barack Obama dared puncture the Anglosphere fantasy by warning that a post-Brexit Britain would, in fact, be at “the back of the queue” for a trade agreement with the US, prompting Boris Johnson to reach for his racist dog-whistle and remind British voters that Obama was “part-Kenyan”. Recall too the needy relief of those same Brexiters when Michael Gove interviewed the newly elected Donald Trump and extracted a not-quite-promise that Britain and the US would “get something done very quickly”. This week we got a double glimpse into what that “something” might be – and it wasn’t pretty.
Britain's hopes of a trade deal with America just suffered a big blow
The Trump administration on Thursday outlined its goals for a free trade deal with Britain in a document that takes a tough line on agricultural products and warns the United Kingdom against getting cozy with China. The list of priorities, which runs to 18 pages, makes sobering reading for a British government that was hoping for a quick deal on trade with the word's largest economy after Brexit. "This is an uncompromising document from the US point of view, with no mention of mutual benefit," said David Henig, the director of the UK Trade Policy Project and a former UK trade official.