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"News from the Brexit Cliff Edge" 16th Apr 2019

News Highlights

Welcome to the Brexit Cliff Edge

Turkey worries about a Halloween Brexit

The City of London's Brexit lobbying barage failed

                                Labour will 'haemorrhage' votes if it fails to back second referendum in EU elections, MEP leader warns Corbyn

                                UK businesses at most gloomy since referendum - Deloitte

                                • A new Deloitte survey says that 8 out of 10 finance leaders are expecting the long-term business environment to worsen as a result of the UK leaving the EU. Pessimism about the short term effects of Brexit remains high, with 49% of CFOs expecting to reduce capital expenditure and 22% anticipating having to trim M&A activity. More than half (53%) plan to cut hiring staff because of Brexit

                                UK economy is leaning heavily on consumer spending as Brexit drags an anchor on business

                                • As spending on business investment falls and exports slow, the economy is being propped up (just), by consumer spending. The Bank of England Governor Mark Carney recognised the risks this involves when he said; 'when expansion is reliant on consumer spending, you start watching the clock to try to gauge how much longer it will all last'

                                Operation Brock kills purple carpet or rare orchids

                                Brittany Ferries says it has seen Brexit-linked costs increase by £43m since the referendum

                                Edinburgh airport boss raises Brexit uncertainty and tax concerns

                                Irish hospitals are actively recruiting Irish nurses in UK hospitals due to Brexit

                                London finance sector job openings have halved in last two years, due to Brexit jitters

                                Senior Tories fear thousands of Brexit activists are infiltrating the Conservative Party

                                Corbyn publicly states 'it is a challenge to negotiate with a government that is collapsing'

                                Any kind of harm to the Good Friday Agreement would scupper a US-UK trade deal post-Brexit - Nancy Pelosi

                                • At an event held in the LSE in central London, U.S. House of Representatives speaker, Nancy Pelosi, made it clear that if the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland was altered in some way, because of Brexit reintroducing a hard border, there would be no chance of a UK-USA trade deal

                                Theresa May sent 3 Brexiteers to meet the EU's Michel Barnier for discussions as a 'reality check' for them

                                Labour is not interested in solving the Tory Brexit dilemma

                                Theresa May not considering an election during her walking break

                                John Bercow looks set to remain to kill off Brexit

                                Labour-Tory Brexit talks back on this week

                                No Deal Brexit preparations are NOT winding down after all

                                Downing Street under pressure to close down Labour talks on Brexit

                                Economic Impact
                                An unlikely casualty of a hard Brexit - Turkey's exports
                                Already mired in recession, Turkey stands to lose access to its second-largest export market for years to come if Brexit goes wrong, with its autos, textiles and appliances facing the biggest risk. Britain and the EU agreed last week to delay Brexit until Oct. 31. But if Britain ultimately leaves without trade arrangements - a so-called “hard” or no-deal Brexit - most of Turkey’s $3.7 billion (£2.8 billion) trade surplus with the UK would be wiped out, according to a United Nations report. Turkey would feel the most pain with $2.4 billion in lost exports a year, followed by South Korea and Pakistan, the report said. Exports are considered vital to Turkey’s recovery from recession after last year’s lira crisis knocked some 30 percent off the value of the currency. If Britain leaves the bloc without a replacement trade deal, Turkey, covered by the EU’s customs union, would lose open access to the UK market.
                                Brexit: UK businesses at most gloomy since referendum – Deloitte
                                British businesses are the most gloomy they have been about Brexit since the 2016 referendum, with eight out of 10 finance leaders expecting the long-term business environment to be worse as a result of the UK leaving the EU. Pessimism about the short-term effects of Brexit remains high, with nearly half (49%) of CFOs expecting to reduce their capital expenditure and 22% anticipating having to trim mergers and acquisitions activity. More than half (53%) of CFOs also expect to reduce hiring staff because of Brexit – the highest level in more than two years.
                                How the City of London’s Brexit lobbying barrage failed
                                The sector recognised how much it stood to lose if it did not keep its connections with the EU but the travelling caravan ruffled more than a few feathers. “There are lots of stories of arrogance . . . about the UK going round European capitals and saying ‘you need us’. That got people’s backs up,” said Sam Lowe, a trade expert at the Centre for European Reform think-tank. Another person who was involved in the lobbying effort acknowledged: “We weren’t very clever about that.” One year on, the trips across the Channel continue, but the tone has changed. Negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU still have not started in earnest. Yet with few exceptions, no one expects the City to achieve anything like the ambitious partnership it was hoping for. “One of the UK’s only globally competitive sectors is being thrown under a bus,” Conservative MP and former minister Jo Johnson has warned.
                                UK economy leans on consumers as Brexit drags on business
                                Moving slowly in the fog of Brexit and slowing global growth, Britain’s economy is increasingly reliant on consumers and their spending as business investment and exports fade. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the world economy was suffering some of the same problems. “Normally when expansions are reliant on the consumer, you start watching the clock, in terms of how much longer it will last,” he said.
                                This Brexit Delay Is a Bond Market Opportunity
                                For now, investor demand is hot as the hunt for yield is in full swing. With sterling currency, credit and interest rate markets becalmed then the brief lull in politics makes for a welcoming environment for corporate issuers.
                                Administrative Fall Out
                                Brittany Ferries BLAMES BREXIT after EU shipping giant costs INCREASE by £43 million
                                Brittany Ferries, which ships around 200,000 trucks across the English Channel each year, says the financial hit has increased dramatically in the past two years following the referendum. The France-based company transports goods across the channel from the UK to ports in France, Spain and Ireland. In 2017, 4.8 million heavy goods vehicles operated through those routes.
                                Brexit no deal planning has destroyed thousands of Britain's rarest orchids, it emerges
                                Brexit no-deal planning meant a council destroyed 17,000 of Britain's rarest orchids in one day - and it will take up to eight years for them to grow back. Volunteers from Kent Wildlife Trust had been lovingly tending the purple carpet of rare bee and common orchids for over 15 years. A spokesperson said they were "devastated" by the news. As well as 9,000 Pyramidal Orchids and nearly 8,000 Common Spotted Orchids, it was also home to Bee Orchids, and the extremely rare Man Orchid. Not only did they attract and sustain a thriving population of bees, but 20 different butterfly species were sustained by the verge. Now, all that remains of the verge is a lump of mud after Kent County Council ordered it to be bulldozed to make way for a drainage ditch due to Operation Brock, intended to tackle queues coming to and from Dover in the case of a No Deal Brexit.
                                Airport boss raises Brexit and tax concern
                                The boss of Scotland's busiest airport has said the industry is currently "not a comfortable place to be", because of high taxes and Brexit uncertainty. Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said he was expecting a solid summer, but insisted the Scottish government must cut air passenger duty. He also said certainty over the UK's deal for leaving the EU was needed so airlines could invest confidently. Government plans to cut air passenger duty have been hit by legal issues. Scottish ministers want to replace the tax with an alternative, then cut it by 50%, before eventually scrapping it completely.
                                Irish hospitals hope to recruit Irish nurses in UK worried about Brexit
                                The number of UK-based Irish nurses looking to return to Ireland to work within the HSE has seen a “sharp rise” according to organisers of a Nursing & Midwifery Job Fair held in London at the weekend. Recruiters from Dublin’s Beaumont and the Coombe maternity jospitals as well as other Irish hospitals were in London on Saturday, hoping to lure nurses working in the UK to work in Ireland. While Irish citizens will retain their rights after Britain leaves the European Union, Brexit was a push factor. “Brexit was a contributing factor for me looking into going back home,” says 22-year-old Irish student nurse Caoimhe Ludden. “I’m like everyone else in London who just thinks the whole [BREXIT] thing is a joke.”
                                London Finance Job Openings Halve in Two Years on Brexit Jitters
                                Job vacancies in London’s finance industry have halved in two years as uncertainty over Brexit knocks business confidence, a survey by recruiter Morgan McKinley has found. The number of jobs available in the city’s financial services industry and the number of finance professionals seeking new jobs have each fallen by more than half in the past two years, the recruiter said, although both measures rose slightly from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of this year. “The inability of the government to reach consensus on a Brexit deal has crushed confidence among City employers,” Hakan Enver, managing director at Morgan McKinley, said in a statement.
                                Brexit: Dangerous toys, cars and household goods could flood into the UK
                                Crucial delays to rooting out unsafe products could be triggered unless ongoing access to the European Safety Gate rapid warning system is thrashed out, according to Which?
                                Foundation Trust suffers £27m hit from rail delays and Brexit
                                A specialist trust which has been a major beneficiary of the current financial regime is at risk of missing its “control total” by £27m, after an expected accounting adjustment was scuppered by delays to a rail project and Brexit uncertainties. Royal Brompton and Harefield Foundation Trust was expecting to report a near breakeven position in 2018-19, after benefitting from an upward revaluation of Chelsea Farmers Market, an investment property it owns. The value of the property was expected to rise by £20m, which would have scored within the trust’s income and expenditure position for the year. However, according to a finance paper to the trust board on 27 March, there has been a downward revaluation of £7m.
                                Does the man who coined the word Brexit regret it? ‘I wouldn't have if I had copyrighted it’
                                In a piece called ‘Stumbling towards the Brexit’, Wilding described the UK establishment’s fractured relationship with the EU, and a swell in anti-European rhetoric: “Unless a clear view is pushed that Britain must lead in Europe at the very least to achieve the completion of the Single Market, then the portmanteau for Greek euro exit might be followed by another sad word, Brexit.” It wasn’t until 2016 when representatives of the Oxford English Dictionary called him that he was told that the word had been traced back to him as the first person to use it. It was then made the dictionary’s word of the year. Wilding isn’t just another political pundit – he’s a former solicitor in EU law, former media director of the UK’s Conservative Party and former advisor to then-British Prime Minister David Cameron.
                                Political Shenanigans
                                If MPs truly value democracy, boycotting the European elections is the last thing they'll do
                                The elections due to take place on 23 May will be different. They will go ahead unless Theresa May ... cent would support Labour, 26 per cent pro-Remain parties (the Liberal Democrats, SNP, Greens and Change UK, also known as the Independent Group) and ...
                                Brian Monteith: The Brexit Party should not be written off in Scotland
                                The tendency in Scotland is to write off sympathy for Brexit but, just as I warned in this column five years ago, there is a substantial eurosceptic minority looking for a voice. The last time there were EU elections in 2014 Scotland returned a Ukip MEP with over 140,000 votes and 10.5 per cent of the vote. On 23 May, when the European elections that were not meant to take place will be held, the Brexit Party should pick up that seat if it offers a rational and inoffensive home for that existing support. Indeed it could do even better if there is a significant fall in Conservative or Labour support.
                                Senior Tories fear thousands of Brexit activists are infiltrating the Conservative Party to have a say on who the next PM will be
                                Senior Tories fear they are being infiltrated by thousands of Brexit activists joining to pick a new PM after the party’s membership swelled by a fifth. The Sun can reveal that a fresh surge of 30,000 have joined the Conservatives within the last 12 months. The influx boosted its overall numbers to more than 150,000 - at least a seven year high. While CCHQ insiders insist some of the rise is from a new recruitment drive, other party chiefs say the prospect of having a say on Theresa May’s successor is now being heavily exploited.
                                Jeremy Hunt explains Brexit in 90 seconds to class of Japanese schoolchildren
                                Mr Hunt added: "It is absolutely clear that Brexit paralysis, if it continues for a long time, will be highly damaging to our international standing.” He also said talks with Labour had been “more constructive than people thought” but that if they are not successful, the Conservatives may need to work more closely with the DUP.
                                Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit talks: ‘It is a challenge to negotiate with a Government that’s collapsing’
                                Jeremy Corbyn has attacked Theresa May for coming to Labour too late in the Brexit process. He said it was now sometimes difficult to believe the Prime Minister as she is making promises as her government collapses. “It’s scandalous that it came so late in the Brexit process, not at the 11th hour, not even at five to midnight, but at five past midnight after she missed her own deadline of the 29th of March. “Nevertheless, we’re engaging in the talks in a serious and constructive way.
                                Ukip MEPs quit to join Farage’s new Brexit Party
                                Three Ukip MEPs have said they are quitting to join Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party. Deputy chairman and East Midlands MEP Margot Parker, West Midlands MEP Jill Seymour and Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire MEP Jane Collins announced their resignations on Monday. Mrs Parker accused party leader Gerard Batten of “carrying out a purge of party loyalists” and said he had “taken his eye off the ball”.
                                Corby-based MEP quits UKIP and joins Brexit Party
                                East Midlands MEP Margot Parker has today announced her resignation as UKIP deputy chairman and has quit the party. Mrs Parker, who has championed women’s rights and equality, has joined Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. She was UKIP spokesman on women’s rights and gender equality and said: “The party leader of UKIP is carrying out a purge of party loyalists to ensure only supporters of the far right activist Tommy Robinson, with whom he now associates with, are considered for approval by the party.
                                Sir Vince Cable MP: May's local elections should be about housing, social care & the environment, not Brexit
                                On this occasion Brexit will inevitably colour voting preferences. The Conservatives will suffer because they are seen to be badly led and divided over Brexit. And many Conservative activists, who are more radical and pro-Brexit in their motivation, will not be willing to stuff envelopes and deliver leaflets or man polling stations. Labour has a similar problem but most of these elections are not in the Labour heartlands of big cities like London and Birmingham, so they have less at stake. For the Liberal Democrats, these elections are a good opportunity. We have generally been doing well in local by-elections. Our results last May were positive with 75 net gains. We have ground to be retrieved from disastrous elections in the Coalition years. And where we have control of local councils, they have a broadly favourable reputation. We stand to benefit from a swing from the Conservatives. So we have put a lot of effort in, and I have personally been going round to support council candidates from Yeovil to York, whenever I can escape the Westminster bubble and our Brexit-preoccupied Parliament.
                                Harm to Irish peace accord would prevent U.S.-UK trade deal post-Brexit - Pelosi
                                The United States would not strike a wideranging trade deal with Britain after Brexit if a hard border was restored between Ireland and Northern Ireland, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said on Monday. "We made it clear to all, If there is any harm to the Good Friday accord, no (trade) treaty," Pelosi said during a London School of Economics event. "I have to say though every single person, including Theresa May who we spoke to on the phone, everyone said don't even worry about that, it is unthinkable that we would even go there."
                                Even if Theresa May gets her withdrawal agreement through parliament, Brexit is far from assured
                                It is far from clear she can get MPs to eventually support her deal, but even if she could, imagine the enormity of the task she faces next. In order to make good on promises made in a referendum to take back control from EU, MPs must vote to pay billions to the EU, entrench EU law into our legal system for possibly more than half a century and keep the UK under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. If the withdrawal agreement isn’t too politically toxic for May’s pro-Brexit backbenchers, the required terms of implementing the agreement surely are. Yet both must be approved for Brexit to happen and before any talks over future trade deals can start. So what next for the prime minister? She might now want to stand down, call a snap election or consider holding a public vote. However, none of these options makes Brexit any easier to achieve. In fact, it’s never looked more unlikely and difficult.
                                The Good Friday agreement is under threat – but it’s key to resolving Brexit
                                It is precisely because of such issues as the border that there should be a confirmatory vote on whatever now emerges from the Brexit process in parliament. The Irish border question is a metaphor for the entire negotiation. It is not possible for the UK to have frictionless trade with the EU if it remains outside the single market, so the question is how much friction is compatible with the Good Friday agreement, and that in turns defines any Brexit agreement that will pass through parliament.
                                Brexit news: May says no-deal Brexit planning to continue, as Hunt insists Labour talks progressing ‘better than expected’
                                Cross-party talks between the Conservatives and Labour to resolve the Brexit stalemate are to continue through parliament’s Easter recess, as infighting among senior Tories revealed the divisions still plaguing progress. Chancellor Philip Hammond reportedly ridiculed Tory Brexiteers including Michael Gove and Boris Johnson for engaging in a “suicide pact” during the 2016 leadership race in a speech in the US.
                                Hunt: Tory leadership contest must wait until Brexit deal agreed
                                Jeremy Hunt has insisted the contest to succeed Theresa May as Conservative party leader must wait until after the Brexit withdrawal agreement has been voted through by parliament. Hunt, a Brexit convert and Tory leadership hopeful, said passing the EU withdrawal bill remained a priority for the government, as reports suggested leading cabinet members were happy for May to stay in office until the autumn if she failed to get her deal through parliament. Tory leadership hopefuls fear any contest before May’s deal is approved by MPs would allow Brexiters, such as Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, to gain support by pledging to reopen the agreement with Brussels, according to reports on Monday.
                                Theresa May's Brexit plot revealed: Brexiteers sent to EU's Barnier for a 'reality check'
                                Express.co.uk understands the Prime Minister was keen for Mr Duncan Smith, Mr Paterson and Ms Foster to meet with Mr Barnier to understand the realities of the backstop. According to a source, the Brussels negotiator encouraged the British politicians to support the Prime Minister’s hated Brexit deal in order to unlock substantive talks to eliminate the backstop. “Barnier said as long as you ratify the withdrawal agreement, we will work on the alternative arrangements,” the EU source said.
                                Brexiteers should trust the public and support a second referendum
                                During the first referendum, Leave’s position was vague, with varying competing promises and visions. This was deliberate, as it made it harder to pin down, and gave Brexiteers flexibility (most also feared campaigning for a hard Brexit, worried it would alienate more cautious eurosceptics). The problem is, that fluidity made it easy for the whole thing to be hijacked, which it since has been by Mrs May. No matter how hard the government tries to sell it as Brexit, nobody voted for her deal. Yet that is the closest thing to Brexit parliament is prepared to countenance, and as we’ve seen, MPs still cannot be drawn to vote for it.
                                Labour will 'haemorrhage' votes if it fails to back second referendum in EU elections, MEP leader warns Corbyn
                                MEP Richard Corbett, who leads the Labour group in Brussels, said his party could lose traction with the young, pro-European electorate if Labour fails to confirm support for a public vote on a Brexit deal. Labour has insisted the option of a second referendum remains on the table as a last resort to break the Brexit deadlock, but has failed to fully support a fresh poll.
                                Labour doesn’t want to solve Brexit, it only wants to destroy the Tories
                                When you are conducting a negotiation, as leading Conservative and Labour figures are now doing over Brexit, it is essential to understand what the people on the other side of the table really want. For instance, in the talks that led to the Coalition Government in 2010, we soon worked out what the Liberal Democrats wanted most. Apart from getting their hands on ministerial red boxes for the first time in their lives, they wanted a change in the voting system so that they might be in office almost permanently.
                                Theresa May 'not considering election' on walking break, says No 10
                                Theresa May is spending part of her Easter break on a walking holiday in Wales, Downing Street has said. But - stand down everyone - Number 10 has insisted the prime minister is not considering calling a general election. Mrs May famously decided to call a snap election during a walking holiday in Snowdonia in 2017 and went on to see her Commons majority wiped out. She has previously said she loves going to north Wales with her husband Philip "because the scenery's great". The parliamentary Easter recess comes at a turbulent time in politics, with Brexit deadlocked in Parliament and no resolution - yet - from talks between the government and Labour. Last week, the EU extended the Brexit deadline to 31 October, prompting calls from several Conservative MPs for the prime minister to stand down before the summer.
                                European elections will show how Britain really feels about Brexit – of course the government wants to avoid it
                                It’s amazing how many times in the Brexit process we have been told that something unthinkable or impossible for the government to countenance has come to pass. The prospect of Britain going to the polls on 23 May to elect MEPs is the latest such example. But how likely is it? We shouldn’t underestimate how strong the desire of both main parties to avoid the elections will be. For the Conservative Party, the problem is obvious: few Remainers will vote for it, but Leavers are also now offside in large numbers – Conservatives will hope temporarily – due to the failure to deliver Brexit on time. Brexit has consumed the government to such an extent that there is precious little other reason to vote for it. This hypothesis was backed up by polling data this weekend. For Labour, the problem is more subtle. It would need to produce a manifesto, which would surely force it to end its policy of constructive ambiguity and state, in black and white, what its position actually is on a confirmatory public vote.
                                Bercow stays to 'kill off Brexit'
                                The source said: ‘The MPs have put him under huge pressure not to leave the Chair until Brexit is sorted. He is now unlikely to give any hint of his going until after the summer recess at the earliest – and may well wait to see if the new October 31 deadline is met before hanging up his boots. ‘Ken Clarke – who John listens to more than any other MP – was a particularly decisive voice, telling him that it was his duty to stay.’
                                Political Setbacks
                                Why won’t the remain parties work together for the EU elections?
                                These elections should see the pro-Europeans triumph. While Labour still prevaricates, the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Change UK (the Independent Group as was) are the only unequivocal singers of the EU ode to joy. They all campaign for proportional representation, yet seem to have failed in that spirit of cooperation and coalition. If, just for this one election, they combined as a single pro-EU, pro-referendum grouping, they would do far better. Not only would they win more seats and votes, they would shake Labour off the fence for fear of being eaten alive.
                                Jeremy Hunt: Brexit paralysis ‘highly damaging’ to UK’s global image
                                U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned today that continued indecision around Britain's exit from the EU would be "highly damaging" to the country's standing around the world. Speaking to the BBC's Today program from Japan, where he is on an official trip, Hunt urged MPs to resolve their differences and agree on a deal, saying the U.K.'s trading partners just want Britain to make up its mind on Brexit and get on with it. He said Japan, and other countries, "are very, very keen to protect their trading relationship with the U.K., [and] the point that I'm impressing on Japanese people I meet is our absolute determination to resolve this quickly.
                                The Brexit Party, like everything Farage touches, is all about division
                                As so often with Farage, the launch was long on bombast and short on detail, not to mention riddled with contradictions. The former Ukip leader had begun by declaring war on “career politicians” and “elite establishment figures” whom he claimed had deliberately set out to make sure that Brexit never happened. He conveniently ignored the fact that almost every trade union has spoken out about the dangers of pursuing a hard Brexit. The ironies were inescapable. Farage is nothing if not a career politician. He has now led two political parties, he has been bankrolled as an MEP for 20 years and he has tried – and failed – to get elected to Westminster seven times. Yet somehow Nigel manages to convince himself he is just an ordinary bloke, mainly because he smokes cigarettes and likes a pint.
                                Brexit latest: Theresa May to resume talks with Labour – but a deal is still a long way off
                                How many episodes there are in GoT season 8, and how long each one is Senior Tory and Labour figures are set to resume talks this week in the search for common ground over Brexit.
                                How Britain can make life difficult for the EU during the Brexit extension
                                De Gaulle’s empty chair policy is a striking lesson in getting one’s way with Brussels, in only six months. But could it be borrowed by Britain, were such an unpleasantness even to be contemplated? Unfortunately not. This approach requires all the bombast and prestige of the General to be successful. Today’s UK government cannot claim anything of the sort. And there is some irony in the idea of Britain applying an ‘empty chair’ policy given that that is what Brexit ultimately seeks to achieve.
                                Brexit is a curse on family ties. Just look at the Rees-Moggs, the Johnsons, the Milibands...
                                Our polarised politics are dominated by families with strong lines on Europe. There are also the Johnsons — Boris and Jo — who are still in the same party, though planets apart on how and whether the UK leaves the EU. While Old Etonian Jacob will fag for Boris in the looming leadership contest, Jo hopes to wake up and find the referendum was a bad dream.
                                Brexit: Theresa May faces ‘grassroots revolt’ as calls to quit grow
                                Theresa May faces a “grassroots revolt” among Tories over the delay to Brexit as internal party pressure mounts on the embattled Prime Minister to quit before the end of next month. The Tory leader has already announced she will be leaving office when the current phase of talks are over and former leader Iain Duncan Smith yesterday said she should quit before European Parliament elections on 23 May.
                                Claims anti-Brexit candidates could be on Tory election shortlist
                                YouGov's poll on April 10 to 11 - the first since Brexit was extended up until October - shows Labour a clear leader with 24 percent of the public's backing. The Conservatives are in second place at 16 percent, said the poll of 1,843 people. Meanwhile, Nigel Farage's Brexit Party, which was officially launched on Friday, is third with 15 percent backing, and UKIP is on 14 percent. Another new party, Change UK, which includes Chuka Umunna among its number, are on seven percent. The Liberal Democrats are on eight percent, the same as the Greens, while the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru are both on six percent. That is a steep drop from the 2017 general election.
                                EXCL Theresa May tells Whitehall no-deal Brexit preparation will carry on after backlash
                                In an email to all officials, seen by PoliticsHome, the Prime Minister says planning for Britain leaving the European Union without an agreement "must continue" - albeit with "sensibly adjusted" timescales signed off by top civil servants. The move comes just days after the Government was criticised following reports that officials had been told to shelve no-deal planning with "immediate effect" as European leaders agreed to potentially delay the UK's exit until 31 October.
                                Scientists have studied the link between income and vote on Brexit
                                People’s feelings about their own financial situation had the greatest influence on them voting to leave the EU, according to new research. Academics at the Universities of Bristol, Warwick and ETH Zurich analysed the views of 8,000 prospective voters over a 12-month period before and after the 2016 referendum. They say UK citizens’ feelings about their incomes were a substantially better predictor of how they planned to vote than their actual income. Those who described themselves as ‘finding it very difficult’ financially were 13% more likely to vote for Brexit compared to those who said they were ‘living comfortably’. After considering the effects of financial feelings, only the youngest UK citizens – particularly those under 25 – were substantially pro-Remain. people’s feelings about their finances – rather than their actual income – were shown to be the strongest predictor of their views on Brexit,’ he said. ‘This is an important message for economists and political scientists, stressing once more how the bad feelings created after crisis austerity policies, and spread via the media and social media, have sparked the current wave of populism, and how important it is to take into account human feelings along with material factors.’
                                Downing Street under pressure to close down Labour talks on Brexit
                                No 10 is feeling the pressure to pull the plug on Brexit talks with Labour and move to an alternative plan, amid warnings that the opposition is in no hurry for a deal before the European elections. With talks deadlocked and no sign that the government moving on its red lines, neither the Conservatives or Labour want to appear responsible for the breakdown in discussions. Ministers and their opposition counterparts are taking part in working groups on some issues this week, but there will be no discussion before Easter on the big issues of a customs union or a confirmatory referendum, making it easy for Labour to reject the prime minister’s overtures so far.
                                Ken Clarke: ‘Brexit is like a parody version of student politics’
                                Clarke is committed to accepting reality, as he sees it. “Unless and until I can see an opportunity of actually reversing Brexit and restoring a stable membership of the European Union, then in the real world I concentrate on minimising the damage,” he says,
                                Opinion: This is everything that's wrong with the Norway model for Brexit
                                Femi Oluwole spoke to experts on the Norway's relationship with the EU about whether the deal is a good option for the UK, and their answers were less encouraging than you’d think
                                Brexit Party candidate RIPS into David Cameron and Theresa May on TWO Brexit promises
                                Nigel Farage’s newly formed Brexit Party rally has drawn support from many different types of Brexiteers who are unsatisfied with the current state of political affairs. Brexit Party candidate Ben Habib savaged David Cameron on his £9.4 million “fear” leaflet he issued ahead of the 2016 referendum and Theresa May on her “slip and slide” Brexit stance. While speaking at the Brexit rally Mr Habib said: “I’m the founder and Chief Executive of a company called First Property Group.
                                Labour MPs in pro-Brexit seats attack bid to select all pro-EU MEP candidates
                                John Mann issued a direct attack on Richard Corbett, the leader of the Labour group in the European Parliament, while Gareth Snell said it would be a “strategic error” to offer up only pro-Remain candidates. It comes after the Daily Mail reported an apparent plot to stop pro-Leave candidates being selected by the party for the election on 23 May.
                                Fund managers pay UK politicians £236,000 for speeches and advice
                                Asset managers have paid UK politicians hundreds of thousands of pounds for speeches and advice over the past 12 months as investors desperately search for an edge as Britain messily negotiates its departure from the EU. Political figures on both sides of the Brexit divide — including Boris Johnson, Iain Duncan Smith, David Davis, John Redwood, Damian Green and Ken Clarke — received thousands of pounds to share their insights with UK and US investment companies. The payments made by fund managers to politicians — on top of their basic MP salaries of £79,468 — have drawn criticism from consumer rights champions.
                                Trade Deals/Negotiations
                                Nancy Pelosi Warns 'No Chance Whatsoever' Of US-UK Trade Deal If Brexit Harms Good Friday Agreement
                                Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has warned the UK that if Brexit causes “any harm” to the Good Friday Agreement then it can forget about signing any free trade deal with America. Speaking at the London School of Economics on Monday evening, the powerful Democrat said the peace in Northern Ireland must not be “bargained away”. “If there were to be any weakening of the Good Friday accords then there would be no chance whatsoever, a non starter, for a US-UK trade agreement,” she said.