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"News from the Brexit Cliff Edge" 25th Mar 2019

News Highlights

Welcome to the Brexit Cliff Edge

Remainers on the March

  • More than one million people marched in support of the Put it to the People demonstration on Saturday, with many arguing it was a larger rally than the Stop the War rally in 2003
  • There were other marches taking place at the same time elsewhere in the UK: two examples: one in Lerwick and one in Bangor saw 80 and 300 people taking part, respectively
  • The online petition to 'Revoke Article 50 and Remain' passed 5.3m signatures this morning, just before 6am, and is the fastest growing petition in UK history
  • Until the statutory instrument adopting the EU's new Brexit Extension deadlines is put into law (later today) the UK will still be 'technically' leaving the EU on March 29th
  • The PM is having to fight to stay in office, with growing calls for her to stand down now all over the Conservative leaning press - a coup on Sunday was said tobe in motion against her, but it fizzled out, for now!
  • If the PM fails to get her deal through Parliament at the third attempt, the government is considering allowing indicative votes in Parliament on seven alternative options: revoking Article 50, a second referendum, the PM's deal, her deal + customs union, the deal plus a customs union and single market access, a standard free trade agreement or a no deal.
  • ITV's Robert Peston says that if all seven options fail to secure a majority in parliament, Theresa May will automatically opt for a No Deal Brexit
  • Norway's PM told the press a Norway-style EEA membership might not be a great option for the UK after Brexit. She said 'the debate about the EEA in the UK is a long way from the realities of what the EEA agreement actually is in practice'

Russian interference and a public inquiry into Brexit?

  • Sky News said the UK has a duty to investigate potential Russian interference in the Brexit referendum
  • The Guardian learnt that diplomats, business figures and MPs are increasingly warming to the idea of a public inquiry into Brexit and how it has been handled

Theresa May - Third time lucky?

  • The hardline DUP appear to still be reluctant to vote for any Theresa May deal that does not address the Irish backstop concerns they have in the Withdrawal Agreement
  • Theresa May went toe-to-toe in a private meeting with would-be successor Boris Johnson and said she would not stand aside for him in order to get her deal passed
  • Former Tory deputy PM, Michael Heseltine called Theresa May's address to the nation from Downing St last week, in which she heaped blamed on everyone else but herself, 'an affront to democracy'
  • The FT reported that at last week's European Council, it was clear to the EU27 leaders that Theresa May had lost total control over events in the UK. They gave her little chance of staying in office, but tried to help her with a rolling set of dates for her UK Brexit Article 50 extension

The brakes were slammed to stop the nationwide Brexit motorway protest

  • The pro-Brexit campaigners who were going to jam up the UK motorways in slow motion convoys failed abysmally. Some are now facing prosecution for 'inconsiderate driving while trying to bring roads to a standstill'
  • The public hostility towards MP's - stoked by Theresa May's speech - has led to Hull's Diana Johnson being threatened she would be shot and hanged. Anna Soubry was advised not to go home for the weekend by police because of death threats. The SNPs Ian Blackford was threatened as he set up for an interview. Dominic Grieve MP is facing a motion of No Confidence in his constituency from around 100 'new' members of his local party. The deputy speaker of the House of Commons advised all MPs to travel in groups for safety reasons
  • Nigel Farage's band of around 60 Marchers for Leave were banned by the National Trust from their grounds. But he still gave a speech in a pub car park, in which he said millions in the country supported them
  • The Conservative Party's second biggest donor said there should be a government of national unity to solve the Brexit crisis

Welsh independence referendum on the horizon?

  • Plaid Cymru called for a vote on Welsh independence after the UK leaves the EU
  • A U.S. senator told the Irish press that due to the size of the EU market the USA will prioritise a trade deal with the EU before one with the UK
  • Liam Fox's Department of Trade team signed a trade continuity deal with Cariforum (Caribbean countries) helping to maintain imports of bananas, rum and sugar into the UK. This means Britain now has trade continuity deals for about a third of the trade value that it currently has because of its membership of the EU

INEOS wants to evade EU pollution rules

  • Greenpeace unearthed documents which show INEOS is threatening to close its manufacturing and chemical plant in Middlesborough, 'unless it is allowed to defer compliance with EU rules that prevent air and water pollution.' INEOS is owned by the UK's richest man, leading Brexiteer Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who recently announced he was leaving the UK to domicile in Monaco for tax avoidance reason

Prudence moves her money to Luxembourg

  • The UK's largest insurance group, The Prudential, said it has just finished transferring £36bn in assets to Luxembourg, which is to become the company's hub for all its EU business after Brexit
  • Finnish central bank chief, Olli Rehn, told Reuters 'Brexit is the biggest risk facing the slowing Euro zone economy in the short term.'  He added 'I believe Europe's financial markets seem to be far too relaxed and are seriously underestimating the potential risks that a disorderly Brexit may cause'
Jobs at Risk
INEOS threatens to close UK plant unless it can dodge EU pollution rules
Top Brexiteer Sir Jim Ratcliffe (leaving UK to live in France) runs INEOS. He said it could close its Middlesbrough manufacturing plant unless it is allowed to ‘defer compliance’ with EU rules designed to prevent air and water pollution, according to documents obtained by Unearthed. An analysis of data from the Environment Agency (EA) also reveals the plant clocked up 176 permit violations between 2014 and 2017, 90 of which related to air and water emissions. An EA spokesperson said: “air emissions are well over legal limits and this poses a risk to the environment”.
Economic Impact
Markets seem to underestimate threat of Brexit - ECB's Rehn
The risk of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal is the biggest risk facing the slowing euro zone economy in the short term, Finnish central bank chief Olli Rehn told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper in remarks published on Monday. “In the short term Brexit is surely the biggest threat,” said Rehn, who sits on the European Central Bank’s rate-setting Governing Council. “Financial markets seem to be too relaxed and appear to underestimate the risk.” He said the ECB had made arrangements with the Bank of England to blunt turbulence in the case of a disorderly Brexit. Asked about the risk of recession in the euro zone, Rehn — who is often mentioned as a potential candidate to succeed ECB President Mario Draghi — said: “Growth has indeed slowed down significantly and we must be worried about the economy.”
Brexit or not, Prudential says it made sense to move some business to Luxembourg
U.K.’s largest insurer, Prudential, said it finished transferring some of its operations to Luxembourg about a week ago. The insurer announced earlier this month that it was transferring 36 billion pounds ($47.58 billion) of assets to Luxembourg, which is intended to be the company’s hub for its European business after Brexit.
No-Deal Brexit Risk Hangs Over Pound Investors After EU Reprieve
Pound traders face the risk of yet another vote on Theresa May’s Brexit plan next week, with the prospect of no-deal continuing to hang over the currency. Sterling dodged a bullet as the European Union extended the Brexit deadline by two weeks to April 12, or to May 22 if the prime minister’s deal passes Parliament at a third attempt. The last-minute reprieve still doesn’t remove the threat of Britain crashing out of the EU and the pound tumbling for Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Hard Brexit would cost every person in Gloucestershire an extra £732 a year
A hard Brexit will cost every man, woman and child in Gloucestershire £732 a year, according to a new policy paper. The figure is nearly double the amount it will cost people in the county in the event of a 'soft' Brexit, which will cost £413 per person.
Countdown to Brexit: three market indicators to watch
These measures recommended to potential investors include watching changes in the yield curve, the wearing off of the effects of a weaker currency than have buoyed share prices for a while and the FTSE volatility index
Administrative Fall Out
Brexit: Kent County Council prepares for no-deal disruption
A council has employed extra staff, stockpiled supplies and warned schools against closing as it prepares for six months of no-deal Brexit disruption. Kent County Council is preparing for queues on the M20 and backlogs at the Port of Dover if existing border arrangements end next Friday. Additional trading standards officers are in place at the port. Schools have been told to suspend teaching and take on a "carer role" rather than closing if short staffed. Advice to head teachers warns that closing schools could "result in several hundred working parents having to leave their place of work to look after their child".
Brexit: This is what business uncertainty looks like
"I think stockpiling will continue for the next six months at least, until everybody knows how the transition periods are going to work, if there is an agreement made, so we know how the border control processes work and settle down. "Personally I just want to see a decision made so that the industry, the whole of the industry, can get on with doing their jobs. 110% capacity is not an efficient way to operate but we need to service our customers and make sure their needs are met so we are squeezing every ounce of space that we can out of the units."
Brexit: Petition to remain in the EU hits 3 million signatures
A petition calling on the UK to revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU has gathered more than four million signatures in under three days. By 14.30 CET on Saturday it had attracted more than 4.2m names making it the most popular one ever on the UK parliament's website. "The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is 'the will of the people'," it reads. "We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU. A People's Vote may not happen - so vote now."
No-deal Brexit: What is the UK government doing to prepare?
EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the Article 50 process, offering to postpone Brexit for at least two weeks beyond the original 29 March exit day. Theresa May says she still wants to leave the EU with a deal, but if she cannot win the support of MPs then the possibility of a no-deal Brexit remains. So with the clock still ticking, what is the government doing to prepare for a no-deal Brexit?
Brexit fears boost British tourism
Uncertainty about Brexit is the biggest single problem facing UK businesses right now. However, for some sectors that uncertainty is proving to be a real benefit. The British tourism industry has seen a surge in business so far this year. Ashbourne Heights Holiday Park in Derbyshire’s Peak District has seen its bookings rise by over 60%.
I spoke to 40 UK-based Polish women about Brexit – here's what I found
Then there are those, mostly with families, whose livelihoods cannot be that easily transferred to another place. These women are therefore anxious about Brexit – particularly on how it may effect their children’s future. Ksenia, for example, told me: “I might have to apply for residency or citizenship, which is costly. Now that I started a family here and I have a child here, that’s linked to new worries. Will I have problems accessing the NHS or getting social assistance?”
Will Mini Plant Oxford move shutdown date because of Brexit?
Oxford's Mini plant will not be moving its planned shutdown period despite the UK's Brexit date shifting by at least two weeks. EU leaders last night agreed an extension to article 50, meaning the UK will not now leave the union until April 12 at the earliest. Prime Minister Theresa May was told if she can get her deal through parliament next week then the withdrawal date could be further extended until May 22 in order to pass the necessary legislation. But the last-minute developments won't impact on BMW's plans to close its Cowley factory for four weeks after the original Brexit date of March 29.
Brexit go slow protests - when they will happen on M6, M62, M4, M5, A494 and A30
A go-slow protest at the way Brexit has been handled is expected to cause traffic chaos at locations throughout the UK later today. The Brexit Protest and Direct Action Group UK, which now has 24,000 Facebook members, is scheduled to take its campaign to ...
Ports braced for Brexit protests, with further go-slows planned on M62 at Manchester and Warrington
Holyhead Port is bracing itself for a Brexit protest tonight. The Brexit Protest and Direct Action Group UK, which now has more than 24,000 Facebook members, is set to demonstrate there over the Government's handling of leaving the EU. According to campaign leader Ian Charlesworth, from Deeside, a convoy of vehicles is set to roll into Holyhead Port at 10pm (March 23) - but what form the protest will take is yet to be fully decided.
The Brexit blockades that are confirmed as going ahead (including on the M5) as cost of protests to the South West is revealed
The planned action has been branded as 'hopelessly irresponsible' by Tim Jones, chairman of the South West Business Council. Mr Jones said: "Our usual estimate for disruption on this vital route is £1million an hour, but given the timing on what is the most crucial time of the week for deliveries and employee movements, I think you can easily add 25 per cent to that. "It is hopelessly irresponsible and flies in the face of how the South West economy supports itself. Small businesses cannot withstand this and this is literally taking cash away from people."
Political Shenanigans
Tory bastards are back, and Theresa May is so scared of them, she might give us no-deal Brexit
Until the statutory instrument adopting the EU’s new deadlines is put into UK law, this Friday, March 29, will still be legally Brexit day. The prime minister and other ministers have intimated that this will be the first order of business tomorrow, but the Brexit process has repeatedly demonstrated that the government’s word is not always its bond. The vicar’s daughter has proved particularly unreliable.
PM fights to retain power as MPs look to seize control of Brexit
Theresa May tries to stay in power as MPs seek to seize control of parliamentary business in a bid to secure a softer Brexit. Meanwhile, Sunday newspapers had reported that a cabinet coup was under way, with a growing number of MPs putting pressure on the prime minister to set a date for her departure. A proposal led by former Tory ministers Sir OIiver Letwin and Dominic Grieve, together with Labour's Hilary Benn, will attempt to seize control of parliamentary business away from the government.
Plan for MPs to get votes on seven Brexit options if Theresa May's deal defeated again
Number 10 is understood to be considering allowing parliament to vote on seven alternative options next week amid growing fears that Theresa May will not get her Brexit plan through the House of Commons. A senior minister in the government told Sky News that plans are being drawn up to give MPs a choice between revoking Article 50, a second referendum, the prime minister's deal, her deal plus a customs union, the deal plus a customs union and single market access, a standard free-trade agreement, or a no-deal Brexit. Another source confirmed to Sky News that senior figures within government had been speaking openly about getting behind the idea.
Avoiding Irish hard border in no-deal Brexit scenario ‘very difficult’
Avoiding a hard border in Ireland in a no-deal Brexit scenario will be very difficult, the country’s European Affairs Minister has said. Helen McEntee said the risk of the UK leaving the EU without an agreement remained “very strong”, but insisted Ireland was still not planning for border checks. Ms McEntee said the Dublin government would only enter into negotiations with the UK and EU Commission on how a future border would work when, or if, it became clear that a no-deal is the only option. “If a no-deal scenario is the only option left and looking like that is going to happen, then we need to sit down with the Commission and with the UK and we need to understand and work with each other, and essentially this is negotiation as to how we can avoid borders on the island of Ireland and, be under no illusion, it’s very difficult without a deal,” she told RTE Radio One.
Brexit: Vote on Theresa May's deal may not happen next week
Theresa May has told MPs there might not be a third vote on her Brexit deal next week if there is insufficient support for it to pass. If it does not pass, the EU has set a deadline of 12 April for the UK to propose a new plan. Supporters of another EU referendum are due to march through central London later. Labour's Tom Watson will speak at the event, pledging to back May's deal if she agrees to hold a referendum on it. Meanwhile, an online petition calling for the UK to remain in the EU has attracted a record number of signatures.
MPs have one shot this week to avert a no-deal Brexit, say senior government members
The prime minister and the EU will be looking at the indicative votes that are due to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday - on Tuesday sponsored by the PM, on Wednesday under the backbench initiative of Sir Oliver Letwin - to see if a majority of MPs can demonstrate their support for a deliverable alternative to a no-deal Brexit. If they don't, Theresa May's conclusion may well be full steam ahead to a no-deal Brexit, I am told - which will be music to the ears of perhaps a third of the Cabinet and Tory Party.
Secret Cabinet Office document reveals chaotic planning for no-deal Brexit
The extent and range of the impact of a no-deal Brexit is revealed in a confidential Cabinet Office document that warns of a “critical three-month phase” after leaving the EU during which the whole planning operation could be overwhelmed. The classified document, seen by the Guardian, sets out the command and control structures in Whitehall for coping with a no-deal departure and says government departments will have to firefight most problems for themselves – or risk a collapse of “Operation Yellowhammer”.
Tory whips ‘threaten to walk out of the Government’ after Theresa May’s Brexit blunders
Theresa May’s control over the Conservatives was close to collapse last night amid fears that government whips were on the verge of quitting after a week of serious missteps by the Prime Minister. Party unity appeared to have all but evaporated as Cabinet ministers openly defied Mrs May by plotting to seize control of the Government’s Brexit plans next week. The Prime Minister is expected to table her Brexit deal for a third meaningful vote on Tuesday, but few MPs expect her to secure enough support to get the agreement over the line, and many predict that a defeat could cost Mrs May her job.
The Brexit farce is about to turn to tragedy
There are two big lessons. First we are paying the price of our failure for years to explain the EU. What is it for? Security. It delivers good political relations among neighbours — the best guarantee of security you can get. We have benefited very directly from this. Being in the EU together meant that for the first time we worked with Dublin as equals. That, and the open border, enabled peace in Ireland. In Britain, no one noticed. The EU is a political project: the customs union and the single market are means to an end. Why did no one tell us? The second lesson is that we are governed by the parties for the parties. The system would never get past a decent competition regulator. Most people know that it makes no difference how they vote. We are the oldest parliamentary democracy, and it shows.
Brexiteer fury as Government confirms MPs to get vote on alternatives if they reject Theresa May's deal
Eurosceptic Tories have erupted in anger as Cabinet minister Greg Clark confirmed MPs will be given a vote on a string of Brexit alternatives if they reject Theresa May's deal for a third time.
Brexit deal: Norway-style EEA membership may not be right for UK, says Iceland prime minister
Membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) may not be the “right solution” for the UK after Brexit, the prime minister of one of its key members has said. Icelandic prime minister Katrín Jakobsdottir expressed hesitancy at the idea that Britain could join the EEA, suggesting that the debate in the UK was far from the realities of the agreement. She was in Brussels to meet her EU counterparts for a celebration of 25 years of the EEA’s existence – joking that “maybe some of the EU leaders have other things on their mind” after a late night Brexit negotiation that spilled over into the early hours of the morning.
Brexit: May urged to quit to help deal pass
Two ministers touted as a potential caretaker PM in reports of a cabinet coup say they fully back Theresa May. Environment Secretary Michael Gove told reporters it was "not the time to change the captain of the ship". And the PM's de facto deputy David Lidington insisted he was "100% behind" Mrs May. Meanwhile, the Brexit secretary said an election will become more likely if MPs vote this week for a Brexit option the government does not want.
Brexit BOMBSHELL: Nicky Morgan could be the next Prime Minister claim senior Brexiteers
The former Education Secretary is a Remainer, bur pro-Brexit MPs have privately suggested she could be a “unity” candidate to take over as leader, according to the Telegraph. This suggestion follows her involvement in the so-called Malthouse Compromise for Brexit, along with fellow Remainers and Brexiteers alike. Mrs Morgan campaigned to remain in the EU, but has since said: “The abiding mood in the country is ‘get on with it’ and patience on all sides is running out.”
Sky Views: UK has a duty to investigate potential Russian interference
Nigel Farage claimed "Russian collusion" when it appeared that a number of signatories to a parliamentary petition calling for the government to stop Brexit came from outside the UK. It is unclear whether the former UKIP leader genuinely believes this or was simply conveniently drawing on an issue - Kremlin interference in Western democracies - many observers suspect played a part in the Brexit referendum that he and fellow Brexiteers such as Arron Banks won. Either way, Mr Farage's remark on his Twitter account is a reminder of the threat to democracy posed by hostile states that use websites and social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as a weapon, by exploiting existing divisions in democratic societies.
Corbyn’s no2 Tom Watson leads massive anti-Brexit march in clearest sign Labour now backs staying in EU
Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson will tomorrow lead a huge march to overturn Brexit, he announced tonight. Jeremy Corbyn's no 2 is attending the "Put it to the People" protest in the clearest sign yet Labour will try and force through a second referendum. Mr Watson will tell Theresa May he is prepared to back her Brexit deal - as long as she holds a public vote on it. It was previously thought none of Mr Corbyn's top team would be at the march which is set to be attended by hundreds of thousands of diehard Remainers.
Avoiding Irish hard border in no-deal Brexit scenario ‘very difficult’
Avoiding a hard border in Ireland in a no-deal Brexit scenario will be very difficult, the country’s European Affairs Minister has said. Helen McEntee said the risk of the UK leaving the EU without an agreement remained “very strong”, but insisted Ireland was still not planning for border checks. Ms McEntee said the Dublin government would only enter into negotiations with the UK and EU Commission on how a future border would work when, or if, it became clear that a no-deal is the only option. “If a no-deal scenario is the only option left and looking like that is going to happen, then we need to sit down with the Commission and with the UK and we need to understand and work with each other, and essentially this is negotiation as to how we can avoid borders on the island of Ireland and, be under no illusion, it’s very difficult without a deal,” she told RTE Radio One.
Brexit: What are indicative votes?
Before any indicative votes can take place, MPs must secure the parliamentary time for debate. Usually the government has control over what happens day-to-day. MPs have tried - and narrowly failed - to take control away from the government in recent weeks, but a fresh attempt by a cross-party group of MPs, including Labour's Hilary Benn and Conservative Sir Oliver Letwin, may prove successful on Monday evening. However, to avoid being forced, the government could voluntarily set aside time for MPs to debate - something ministers have previously suggested. Though the precise format is unknown, one possible process would see a series of motions being presented setting out each Brexit option. MPs would then vote on each option in turn with the results announced after each vote.
Brexit: Vote on Theresa May's deal may not happen next week
Theresa May has told MPs there might not be a third vote on her Brexit deal next week if there is insufficient support for it to pass. If it does not pass, the EU has set a deadline of 12 April for the UK to propose a new plan. Supporters of another EU referendum are due to march through central London later. Labour's Tom Watson will speak at the event, pledging to back May's deal if she agrees to hold a referendum on it. Meanwhile, an online petition calling for the UK to remain in the EU has attracted a record number of signatures.
Scots to join London march for second Brexit referendum
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has joined hundreds of thousands of people on a march in London to demand a second Brexit referendum. She spoke to crowds gathered at the end of a rally organisers of the "Put It To The People" campaign say more than a million people attended. Bus-loads of protesters travelled through the night from across Scotland to support the People's Vote event. It came after the EU agreed to delay the UK's departure from the EU. She told the crowd that Theresa May had pitched parliament against the people.
Brexit is about to 'destroy' the Tory Party and Theresa May, says Michael Portillo
The latest Brexit developments will “destroy” the Conservative Party, Michael Portillo has warned. Speaking on the BBC1 politics show This Week, the former deputy leader of the Conservatives said there was no chance Mrs May’s deal would get past MPs. He also insisted that no-deal was off the table – but the prospect of revoking Article 50 and stopping Brexit was equally unlikely. Instead, he painted a particularly gloomy picture for the Tory Party in his predictions for the coming weeks. He said: “I think Parliament will try to take over the process – Parliament may well succeed. What emerges from that will be unacceptable to Mrs May. “Mrs May will resign before April 12 and, before April 12, an interim leader of the Conservative Party – I suppose it would be David Lidington, the deputy prime minister will say he will want to explore with the EU an alternative.”
Pro-remain MPs draw up plans to vote on revoking article 50
Pro-Remain MPs are drawing up plans for a vote on revoking article 50 as an emergency measure to stop Britain crashing out of the EU, after an online petition to cancel Brexit became the most popular ever. By Saturday night more than 4.6 million people had signed the petition on the parliament website, which states: “A People’s Vote may not happen – so vote now”. Public discussion about halting Brexit was considered politically toxic until just days ago. But that shifted last week as the prospect of crashing out drew closer and the number of petition signatures rose dramatically. A cross-party group of parliamentarians is now examining the possibility of cancelling the Brexit process, following concerns that Theresa May could end up backing Tory MPs who favour a no-deal departure if her own withdrawal agreement is rejected again. They are planning to table an amendment to Brexit legislation closer to the day of Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU.
Corbyn’s team split over soft Brexit
Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet is set to clash again over Brexit this week, with supporters of a second referendum concerned that the Labour leadership will opt to facilitate a soft Brexit. With senior Labour figures openly calling for another public vote at the anti-Brexit march in London on Saturday, other influential MPs believe Corbyn’s inner circle is actually warming to a Norway-style Brexit that would see Britain leave the EU, but remain closely aligned to it. Tensions between Labour and its pro-Remain activists are already high after the party released a tweet on Friday evening asking if supporters had any “big weekend plans” and called on them to go out leafleting for May’s local elections.
Calls grow for public inquiry into Brexit | Politics
Calls for a public inquiry into Brexit are mounting among diplomats, business figures, peers and MPs, amid claims that the civil service is already planning for a future investigation into how it has been handled. The decision to call the referendum, the red lines drawn up by Theresa May and Britain’s negotiating strategy are all issues that senior figures would like to be examined.
Varadkar: 'Brexit will define UK for next generation'
Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar has said that Brexit will define the UK for the next generation. Mr Varadkar added that "it doesn't have to define" the Republic of Ireland. The taoiseach told delegates at the Fine Gael conference in Wexford that "we live in extraordinary times". "The last two and a half years, the last two and half months, even the last two and a half days have seen many twists and turns in the Brexit saga," he said. "Throughout all of it, we have stayed firm. We have held our nerve and we have stayed the course."
Theresa May admits third Brexit deal vote may not take place next week
Theresa May has admitted she may not garner enough support to get her twice-defeated Brexit deal through the Commons next week, amid mounting speculation about the future of her premiership. The Prime Minister wrote to MPs warning that if there is insufficient support for her Withdrawal Agreement in the coming days that she could seek an extension to Britain’s EU membership beyond the European Parliament elections.
EU forces choice of their political lives on MPs
MPs have a weekend to decide whether to initiate civil war against Theresa May and the government and instigate a once-in-a-century reconfiguration of the structure of political parties.
For Young People, a March for a Second Brexit Vote Is Just the Start
An online petition on Parliament's website is unlikely to change the course of Brexit, but Britons keep signing anyway. Young people see a future threatened by restriction on freedom of movement and opportunity so many will be marching on Saturday
Brexiteer fury as Government confirms MPs to get vote on alternatives if they reject Theresa May's deal
Eurosceptic Tories have erupted in anger as Cabinet minister Greg Clark confirmed MPs will be given a vote on a string of Brexit alternatives if they reject Theresa May's deal for a third time.
It’s not too late to stop Brexit. Saturday’s march will force politicians to hear us
Public outrage at the crippling incompetence and indecision in Westminster reached new levels this week when the petition to revoke article 50 and remain in the EU hit 2m signatures, crashing the parliamentary petition website several times. But this crisis must be ended with the public’s consent – and Saturday’s march is another important opportunity to give a voice to this country on the defining issue of our age.
Cross-party negotiations may be the only way to achieve Brexit with unity, pride and purpose
If Labour’s alternative plan for a close economic relationship can’t get a parliamentary majority, then Common Market 2.0 is a Brexit compromise which might just get us out of this difficult period and out the other side with unity, pride and purpose. We would leave the political institutions of the EU, taking control of our laws, our farming and our fisheries but keep close economic ties to our neighbours. It would avoid a catastrophic No Deal — which would be a disaster for businesses in places like Ashfield.
Richard Branson: UK dangerously close to full-scale Brexit disaster
I fear the UK is still dangerously close to the full-scale disaster that a no-deal exit from the European Union would be. Employers and unions agree. In a rare joint statement, the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress have warned of a “national emergency”. The time for the UK Government to rethink its approach is now. At this juncture, it seems implausible that another motion to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement would actually win majority parliamentary support. And even with an extended Brexit deadline, that’s a major risk to the UK, and to the Union itself. This is a moment of profound national crisis for the UK. Yet there is no sign of the inclusive leadership such a crisis requires. Prioritising party over country, the Prime Minister is no longer acting in the national interest. Instead, she has decided to pitch herself as the defender of the “people” against the machinations of Parliament.
Scottish politicians to join anti-Brexit march
Nicola Sturgeon has called for a lengthy extension to allow a second Brexit referendum ahead of the Put It To The People march in London. The Scottish First Minister urged opponents of Brexit to seize the “moment of maximum opportunity” presented by the delay agreed by the EU. Before she joined the rally backing a second EU referendum, Ms Sturgeon said: “This is now the moment of maximum opportunity – we need to avoid both the catastrophe of no deal and the damage which would be caused by the Prime Minister’s bad deal.
May tells Johnson: I will not step aside to solve Brexit crisis
Theresa May told Boris Johnson she had no intention of stepping aside to help resolve the Brexit impasse at a high-stakes meeting earlier this week with the man seen as the favourite to replace her. In the meeting, the former foreign secretary, who remains opposed to May’s Brexit deal, demanded to know how the prime minister would change approach, which was interpreted as a coded message that he believed she should quit. May responded by saying she was drawing up plans in case her Brexit deal was carried through by the House of Commons, including a “restructuring” of the Department for Exiting the European Union, signalling she anticipated staying put.
Political Setbacks
Authority in tatters, power leaches from Theresa May
The PM’s best survival hope may be that MPs cannot reach a strategy beyond her own withdrawal agreement. Emmanuel Macron, French president, arrived in Brussels giving Theresa May a 10 per cent chance that she could save her Brexit deal and probably her premiership. By the time he had listened to a haunted Mrs May address the European Council, he had revised his opinion: he gave her a 5 per cent chance. One EU diplomat said leaders of the 27 other member states had recognised Mrs May and her government had lost control of events. “The message was ‘We need to take over. They are not capable of doing it themselves’,” added the diplomat. Donald Tusk, European Council president, said Mr Macron’s 5 per cent chance was too generous.
Brexit march: Former Conservative deputy prime minister calls Theresa May’s No 10 speech an ‘affront to parliamentary democracy’
Theresa May’s address to the nation from Downing Street will rank in history as an “affront to parliamentary democracy”, the former Conservative deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine has said. In a scathing assessment of the prime minister’s decision to blame MPs for the current political crisis over Brexit, Lord Heseltine said he was “appalled” by her speech on Wednesday.
People's Vote march ‘too big to ignore’, organisers warn MPs
The organisers of Saturday’s march demanding a fresh EU referendum, estimated to have drawn a crowd of more than 1 million people, have told MPs that it was too big to ignore. The Put it to the People protest was one of the biggest demonstrations in recent British history. Members of the People’s Vote campaign group, which coordinated it, have expressed confidence that it will prove to have not been in vain.
If Theresa May is to get her Brexit deal she must offer up her job or we could face a general election
On Wednesday, No Deal ­suddenly seemed a likely option again. The EU were saying they would only grant Theresa May’s request for an extension if her Brexit deal passed before March 29, something that is highly unlikely. But on Friday morning that meeting was cancelled. Why? Because after the EU agreed to halt the UK’s ­departure until at least April 12, No Deal is once again highly unlikely. This delay means if May’s deal fails again, ­Parliament will have enough time to step in and take ­control of the process.
Theresa May could drop vote on Brexit deal if it lacks support
Theresa May has indicated she may not bring her deal back to parliament for a third vote if there is not enough support for it. In a letter to her fellow parliamentarians, she wrote: "If it appears that there is not sufficient support to bring the deal back next week, or the House rejects it again, we can ask for another extension before 12 April." The prime minister set out four options available following the EU's acceptance of a delayed departure date. Revoke Article 50, Leave with No Deal, Pull vote hold European Elections longer extension, No Deal leave May 22nd
It's time for MPs to decide what type of Brexit they actually want
Please, somebody, make it stop. This week the House of Commons is expected to vote, again, on Theresa May’s Brexit deal. In typical fashion, the Government refuses to say exactly what it has planned. That’s probably because it’s as confused as the rest of us. But we should prepare for a third “meaningful vote” on the deal – known at Westminster as MV3.
Online trolls want Hull MP Diana Johnson 'shot and hanged' over Brexit
A Hull MP says she has faced distressing calls online for her to be “shot and hanged” as the Brexit decision date has neared. MPs have twice voted against Theresa May’s Brexit deal in recent weeks, with all three Hull representatives playing their in defeating the PM's deal
Brexit march: Leave campaigners hit out at ‘mob rule’ as one million people join second referendum protest
Daniel Hannan, a Conservative MEP and leading Brexiteer, compared the march to “mob rule”, adding that “17.4 million is a lot bigger that one million”. “The great thing about elections is that they replace mob rule,” he added. “We can ask people what they want instead of trying to infer the mood of ‘the street’. To remind you: 17.4 million is a lot bigger than one million, even if we accept the latter figure at face value.”
BREXIT BETRAYAL: Government already preparing to REJOIN EU - ‘They have COMPLETE contempt'
The Sunday Express learnt a recent contingency planning meeting between the Brexit Department and HMRC included rejoining the EU as a high possibility. A senior Government source admitted that all departments are now including the same contingency planning on EU membership. The source said: “In the end government departments have to consider all possibilities and there is a high chance that a future government may want to take us back into the EU.
Brexit: leaver go-slow on roads leads to prosecutions
Pro-Brexit campaigners have been prosecuted for inconsiderate driving while trying to bring roads to a standstill. According to organisers, the demonstrations aimed to ensure the UK leaves the EU on 29 March by causing gridlock on motorways and A-roads using a convoy of slow-moving vehicles. The protesters were aiming to target between 30 and 40 locations over the weekend, including the M25, M6 and M1.
'We voted to leave and we should' - Stoke-on-Trent snubs national petition calling for Brexit to be cancelled
A petition calling for Brexit to be cancelled has now been signed by more than three million people across Britain – but it has gathered little support in Stoke-on-Trent. The petition, calling on the Government to revoke Article 50 – the legislation which allows the UK to leave the European Union – passed the three million mark before midday on Friday.
Sky Views: UK marches deeper into Brexit mess created by Cameron and May
Whatever happens we will not be "leaving the EU on 29 March in an orderly fashion" as the prime minister has so often promised. If Mrs May wants to know why, she will only have to look in the mirror at the leader who has spread division instead of trying to unite a divided country.
Brexit Has Triggered Britain's Most Ambitious Migration Exercise Ever
Some migration advocates fear that the sheer volume of EU citizens' applications could overwhelm the country’s ever-more antagonistic immigration regime—one that hasn’t exactly been known for its competence in recent years. Others worry that the most vulnerable EU nationals—such as the elderly, people with limited English, and even children—are at risk of being left behind.
‘Traitor to England’: Ian Blackford harassed by Brexit supporters in London
The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford was harassed by a group of Brexit supporters who shouted abuse at him as he walked down Whitehall. Mr Blackford and fellow SNP MP Stephen Gethins were leaving the Cabinet Office shortly after 4pm following a meeting to discuss Brexit with minister David Lidington. A group of around a dozen people followed Mr Blackford, shouting “traitor to England” and “leave means leave”. Media interviews that were scheduled to take place outside the Cabinet Office had to be abandoned. The pair were escorted back to parliament by a police officer. Mr Gethins said: “Ian took it with characteristic good humour, but no one should have to face that kind of abuse.”
Brexit March London: Forecasters predict fine and dry weather for huge rally calling for People's Vote
Marchers are set to assemble on Park Lane around midday, before the route takes hundreds of thousands of people down Piccadilly and St. James’s Street, through Trafalgar Square and along Whitehall to Parliament Square where a rally is expected to begin at 2.30pm and end just before 4pm. Met Office spokesman Steven Keats said: “There is a band of cloud and rain moving south, so it’ll be a drizzly start to Saturday.
Dominic Grieve facing a move to oust him as MP on March 29 for ‘wrecking Brexit’
Brexit wrecker Dominic Grieve will face a move to oust him as MP – on the day Britain should be leaving the EU. At least 100 angry Tory members are threatening to oppose a confidence vote at his local party’s AGM on Friday.
One million join march against Brexit as Tories plan to oust May
In one of the biggest demonstrations in British history, a crowd estimated at over one million people yesterday marched peacefully through central London to demand that MPs grant them a fresh referendum on Brexit. The Put it to the People march, which included protesters from all corners of the United Kingdom and many EU nationals living here, took place amid extraordinary political turmoil and growing calls on prime minister Theresa May to resign. Some cabinet ministers are considering her de facto deputy David Lidington as an interim replacement for her, although as pro-Remain he would be strongly opposed by Brexiters. Organisers of the march said precise numbers had been difficult to gauge, but they believed the protest could have been even bigger than that against the Iraq war in February 2003.
Cabinet Ministers Are Plotting To Oust Theresa May As Even Her Fed Up Whips Say Her Brexit Deal Is Doomed
It was the moment, according to one source present, that Theresa May lost her whips office, her best chance of passing her Brexit deal, and her ultimate authority as prime minister. Having endured months of frustrations with Downing Street in the least envied job in Westminster, chief whip Julian Smith assembled his team of enforcers to sit down with the PM and deliver their honest advice. Knowing the consequences of what they were about to do, before the meeting they agreed: “What happens in the whips office stays in the whips office.” One whip told colleagues they felt like crying. May began with a boilerplate speech imploring her team to do all they could to find a majority for her withdrawal agreement, telling them the country wanted to move on and get the deal over the line so she could focus on her domestic agenda. It was too much for Paul Maynard, one of her senior whips, who spoke first in response.
Brexit march: Million joined Brexit protest, organisers say
Hundreds of thousands of people have marched in central London calling for another EU referendum, as MPs search for a way out of the Brexit impasse. Organisers of the "Put It To The People" campaign say more than a million people joined the march before rallying in front of Parliament. Protesters carrying EU flags and placards called for any Brexit deal be put to another public vote. On Thursday, European leaders agreed to delay the UK's departure from the EU. PM Theresa May is coming under pressure to quit after saying she might not put her Brexit deal to a third vote by MPs.
Brexit march: Remainer walks 200 miles to join protest
A man has walked 200 miles to join a march in London in favour of another EU referendum, engaging with Brexit supporters along the way. Ed Sides set off from Swansea two and a half weeks ago and has "taken time to listen as much as talk". Wales for Europe had booked out 30 coaches to transport protesters to Saturday's demonstration. But one Leave supporter said a fresh vote would just prolong the arguments for another three years. Others from across Wales made their own way to Hyde Park for the march.
Brexit march: A carnival of colour as a million people turn protest into a party
In London’s Park Lane, James Lancaster and his band, Brass Against Brexit, stood amid the gathering crowds preparing to march on Parliament Square. For the two-mile walk, the 10-piece group – trumpets, trombones, sax – planned on playing a selection of New Orleans jazz, classic pop and (but of course) Beethoven’s Ode To Joy, the European Union’s official anthem. “Brexit is a national crisis – it’s that serious,” the 54-year-old from York said, his giant sousaphone on his back. “But that doesn’t mean our protests against it can’t be a carnival. We’re here because we want to make today joyous. We want to show the world this movement is celebratory.”
Delia Smith calls it a ‘dogs dinner Brexit’ as stars tweet from the Put it to the People march
A clutch of celebrities joined the Put it to the People rally calling for a referendum, on the Brexit deal. Among them were cook Delia Smith, Game of Thrones star Lena Headey, Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman Music stars at the march included Bastille, Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant, James McVey and, of course, Billy Bragg.
'Brexit is killing me!': EU debate weighs heavily on MPs
MPs are under increasing pressure to come to a collective view on Brexit. As the debate wears on and the impasse remains, the stress is beginning to take its toll on some of our elected politicians. Over the last two months, the stress has manifested itself in physical symptoms. “I’m reluctant to moan about it because it’s the same in lots of other jobs. But the weight of this decision is massive.” For instance Ben Bradley MP is getting heartburn “all the time”, has blotches on his face and has high blood pressure. “I’m at the doctors most days having my blood pressure checked now. It’s amazing; if I come off the TV and I’ve been talking about Brexit, I go straight to the doctors and have my blood pressure done. It’s like 160/120 or something ridiculous. If I talk to the kids for five minutes and have it done again, it’s fine.”
Lerwick hosts own Brexit vote march
Around 80 folk marched through the centre of Lerwick on Saturday to voice their support for a ‘people’s vote’ on Brexit. Banners such as ‘Put it to the people’ and ‘Ask us’ were hold aloft as locals of all ages walked from the Market Cross to the Town Hall. Among the walkers included Shetland MSP Tavish Scott and NHS Shetland chairman Gary Robinson. The march took place on the same day a similar event was held in London. The slogan for the national people’s vote campaign proclaims that “they can not, must not and will not force this broken Brexit on the British people without giving us the final say”.
Brexit looks like it is doomed to fail and Conservative chaos must take blame
If Brexit dies, as seems increasingly possible, it will have the unlikeliest of assassins — some of those who most wanted it and stand to lose most from its demise. MPs have twice been given the chance to vote for an exit deal which would secure much of what 17.4million voted for and return some stability to Britain. Twice they have rejected it. In the diehard Remainers’ case that’s because they will not support any Brexit or honour their promises to voters. In Labour’s case it’s solely because they hope to profit from the chaos. In the peculiar case of the Tory ERG and the DUP, two groups who could not be more pro-Brexit, it’s because the deal contains the controversial “backstop” they fear could one day trap us. So next week, barring a dramatic U-turn, they will all seal its doom.
'Cancel Brexit' petition passes three million signatures
A petition demanding Theresa May revokes Article 50 and cancels Brexit has passed three million signatures. "The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is 'the will of the people'," the petition says. "We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU. A People's Vote may not happen - so vote now."
Recap: People's Vote March staged in Bangor to coincide with London Brexit rally
Protesters are gathering in the city of Bangor for a solidarity march to coincide with the People's Vote March taking place today in London. Around 300 people - including politicians and residents - armed with placards and banners have come together at the ...
Why Nigel Farage's pro-Brexit march is not welcome at National Trust properties
A pro-Brexit march promoted by Nigel Farage which has been travelling across the UK has been told it is not welcome at National Trust properties. The 60 odd people had been scheduled to use the properties during the course of the march
'We are not enemies of the people': Hartlepool MP Mike Hill hits back at Theresa May Brexit 'blame'
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill says the Brexit crisis is 'entirely down to Theresa May's own making' after the Prime Minister appeared to blame MPs for its delays. Mr Hill described the language used by Mrs May as even potentially putting MPs' safety at risk from extremists. In a statement this week, Mrs May said she was on the British public's side in wanting to see an an end to Brexit. She said: "You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree. I am on your side. It is now time for MPs to decide.” The EU has agreed to extend the Brexit deadline until May 22 if MPs back Mrs May's deal next week. If not and no alternative plan is put forward the UK is set to leave the EU on April 12 instead of March 29.
Brexit: Revoke Article 50 petition hits 4 million signatures becoming most popular online protest in history
An online petition urging the Government to cancel Brexit has become the most popular to be submitted to the Parliament website with over 4,150,000 million signatures. The Revoke Article 50 petition on Saturday leapt ahead of a 2016 petition calling for a second EU referendum, as thousands of demonstrators are due to march on Westminster calling for a People's Vote. It has had the highest rate of sign-ups on record, according to Parliament's official Petitions Committee, adding over two million signatures in 24 hours.
Anti-Brexit petition shows stark divide in Sheffield and South Yorkshire
In some parts of Sheffield and South Yorkshire more than 12 per cent of the population have signed it whereas in others fewer than 2 per cent have registered their support. The parliamentary constituencies with the most support are Sheffield Hallam with 12.3 per cent of people signing and Sheffield Central with just under 10 per cent support. However, in Sheffield South East the figure is around 2.5 per cent and in Rotherham just 1.79 per cent of people have signed.
A30 Brexit protest: 13 vehicles show up - and three of them are police cars Organiser says ‘It was never going to be a massive event anyway’
About 10 vehicles have set off on a pro-Brexit protest along the A30. The vehicles, three of which have been decorated in banners and flags, left the service station at Plusha at about 3.30pm. No lorries have taken part in the Cornwall protest. The Cornwall Go Slow protest is one of dozens of events being held across the country by pro-Brexit groups. In Devon, lorries are expected to block the M5 this evening. Organisers say the group will travel at about 20mph towards Truro. Initially they said 25 people had signed up to take part in the rolling road block after the prime minister asked the European Union to delay the UK’s exit date beyond March 29.
'We have failed' The pro-Brexit M25 go-slow didn't exactly go to plan
Protesters angry at the situation with Brexit vowed to 'bring the country to its knees' in a 'go slow' protest this evening (March 22). But that's not exactly what happened. Elsewhere in the country there may well have been a hold up or two. But Kent's roads moved as (slowly) as they usually do - with no more hold ups than usual.
Theresa May hints she may drop third vote on Brexit deal
British prime minister Theresa May hinted on Friday that she might not bring her European Union withdrawal deal back to parliament for a third time next week if there was not enough support for it to be passed. Mrs May’s Brexit deal has already been twice rejected by lawmakers but the prime minister was expected to try a third time next week.
Brexit news latest: Theresa May slammed by DUP for 'missing opportunity' to improve deal in Brussels
Theresa May missed an opportunity to fix her Brexit deal and unite Parliament behind her plans in her recent trip to Brussels, according to the DUP's deputy leader. Nigel Dodds delivered a fresh blow to the PM as he indicated his party will not be swayed to back her Withdrawal Agreement. He said: "The Prime Minister missed an opportunity at the EU Council to put forward proposals which could have improved the prospects of an acceptable Withdrawal Agreement and help unite the country."
Top Tory donor: form unity government to solve Brexit crisis
The Conservative party’s second biggest donor has called for a government of national unity to be formed as soon as possible to solve the Brexit crisis. John Griffin, the taxi tycoon who has given £4m to the Tories over the last six years, said the party should reach out to MPs from Labour, the Lib Dems and the Scottish National Party if it is to emerge from EU negotiations with a successful deal. It follows similar demands from fellow Tories including Nicky Morgan and Sir Nicholas Soames. Other Conservative donors have threatened to withhold funds unless it solves the current political crisis, it emerged on Thursday.
Brexit: polls that show how Britain cannot make up its mind
Among 1,800 people asked by YouGov last weekend to choose between various options, 34 per cent chose a second referendum with an option to remain, and 20 per cent chose no deal. A softer Brexit was third with 15 per cent, narrowly ahead of Mrs May’s deal on 14 per cent. When YouGov asked voters to assess the merits of each of the four options on its own, “no deal’ slipped to third place. When what voters considered as an “acceptable compromise” was taken into account, it fell to fourth place.
Plaid Cymru could call for independence poll after Brexit
Wales should hold a referendum on independence if a series of demands are not met after Brexit, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has said. In a speech to his party's spring conference, he said European funding for Wales must be guaranteed. Mr Price also called for cuts in VAT for tourism and construction, and for the devolution of powers over air passenger duty. Wales should also control its own migration policy, the leader added.
Is Theresa May following Richard Nixon's 'madman theory' - or is she actually delusional?
As the Brexit crisis deepens, commentators have begun to liken Theresa May to perhaps the most disgraced leader in western history – Richard Nixon. They don’t mean she lied about a dirty tricks break-in at a hotel called Watergate, but that she’s adopted the former US president’s tactics for defeating an opponent by threatening an action so disastrous it suggests the person making the threat is now irrational. It has come to be known as the “madman theory”.
Girl, 16, hailed for articulate and detailed speech on Brexit during Question Time
A 16-year-old has been hailed for an articulate speech analysing the current Brexit chaos on Question Time. The teenager appeared on the show in Belfast on Thursday night and told the audience that there are going to be “huge generational changes for all of us” as a result of Brexit. In an articulate speech, the 16-year-old slammed the Conservative party for “playing party politics” with Brexit before calling for a “general election and representative democracy”.
As Brexit remains in limbo, Yale's Stephen Roach says the 'imperfect' EU may not survive
“You have to wonder about the future of the European Union itself ... this is an imperfect union and the survivability of it is, I think, a serious question,” Stephen Roach, a senior fellow at Yale University, told CNBC’s Sri Jegarajah on Friday. Even before Brexit came about, the EU faced multiple challenges over the last decade, said Roach, who’s a former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia. Those challenges include a sovereign debt crisis in Greece and a standoff with Italian leaders over the country’s spending plans. And with the U.K. — one of the largest European economies — planning to leave the bloc, it remains to be seen whether the EU has the ability to withstand more pressure coming from member states while still reeling from the shocks of the global financial crisis, said Roach.
James O'Brien On Brexit: I Have Contempt For The Conmen & Compassion For The Conned
James O'Brien coined a new catchphrase for his feelings on Brexit: "Compassion for the conned, contempt for the conmen." The people who voted for Brexit, he says, are our friends and families.
British MPs advised to travel in groups to avoid Brexit abuse
British members of parliament have been advised to take taxis or travel home together to avoid the risk of abuse over Brexit. Lindsay Hoyle, a deputy speaker of the House of Commons, wrote to all MPs saying the Metropolitan Police has been “left in no doubt” that they must ensure “Members of Parliament can vote in Parliament without fear.”
Political map shows spread of Brexit discontent across the UK following petition
The online petition calling for Brexit to be scrapped last night reached 3.5mil­lion names and revealed the new political reality in Britain. The darkest areas of the map are those with most support for revoking Article 50. As expected, they are in ...
May ‘warned her job is on the line’ amid Tory anger over Brexit
Theresa May is returning from another tumultuous Brussels summit amid warnings that her premiership is on the line. EU leaders agreed on Thursday night to give her more time to get her Brexit deal through Parliament. But she faces a Tory Party losing patience with her leadership and threats that MPs could now seize control of the withdrawal process. Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 committee, was reported to have met Mrs May to tell her that most Conservative MPs now want her to quit. The Daily Telegraph said that Sir Graham visited her in Downing Street on Monday after being “bombarded” with text messages from MPs demanding she should go.
Brexit: National Trust bans Nigel Farage’s march from its properties
A pro-Brexit march between Sunderland to London, which has been heavily promoted by Nigel Farage, has been banned from National Trust properties. The March To Leave procession has been told it is not welcome because the charity is “apolitical”. The revelation comes after it emerged marchers, who are walking the 270 miles over 14 days, had already been asked to leave a property run by the organisation in North Yorkshire. Plans to start Tuesday’s leg of the walk – organised by Leave Means Leave – at picturesque Fountains Abbey had to be hastily rearranged after the trust said walkers should not gather at the site’s car park.
Trade Deals/Negotiations
Brexit trade deals will be worse than current EU deals, says Liam Fox's former trade chief
Countries are likely to offer the United Kingdom worse trade deals than it currently enjoys as an EU member, the former head of Liam Fox's International Trade Department has told Business Insider. "The United Kingdom alone can offer significantly less in terms of market access or government procurement than can all of the European Union," Donnelly said. Major trading partners of the UK including Japan and the USA have indicated that they will seek tough concessions from the UK in trade talks because it is a relatively small trading partner. "Trade negotiators are not sentimental," Donnelly said.
US to prioritise trade deal with EU over UK post-Brexit
A US Senator has said that America will prioritise doing a trade deal with the EU over the UK once Brexit has happened. Democratic Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy is currently on a visit to the UK, Northern Ireland and Ireland to report back to congressional colleagues on Brexit. Senator Murphy said a trade deal that would rescue the British economy post-Brexit was not going to happen. He said that he was "skeptical" that any trade deal with the UK would ever happen, pointing out that there was not enough time to negotiate and pass a deal before the end of President Trump's first term in office and the current Congressional session. While President Trump has spoken of his desire to do a trade deal with the UK, any pact would have to be passed by the US Congress before it could be formally signed into law.
UK secures post-Brexit trade deal with group of Caribbean countries
The Department for International Trade said it had signed an economic partnership agreement with the Caribbean forum (Cariforum) of nations, helping to maintain the imports of good including bananas, rum and sugar to Britain. The deal means the government’s push to roll over EU trade deals from which the UK benefits has yielded agreements covering a little more than a third of its trade with the countries involved.