Brexit is a tragedy for the British and for the Europeans
Speaking to Catalonians, who voted for independence from Spain in October last year in a non-binding referendum, he said: “Let’s take note of foreign mistakes, let’s learn from the historic error which Brexit represents for the United Kingdom and think about the prosperity of our citizens.”
He added: “There are more things that unite us than those that separate us, let’s give priority to the union of Europe and Spain.”
In a cutting remark, Spain’s premier said people in the UK spend 24 hours a day thinking about Brexit and “the Europeans think about it for four minutes every trimester”.
Mr Sanchez said Spain will need to put emergency measures in place if there were to be a no-deal Brexit and called the EU divorce a “tragedy”.
Mr Sanchez told the UN Brexit brings an opportunity for a new relationship between the UK overseas territory Gibraltar and the EU.
Spain and UK authorities are exploring bilateral arrangements regarding Gibraltar following Brexit.
Mr Sanchez said: “The Gibraltar protocol is resolved, it’s been closed with the British government, and what we are doing now is working out the four memorandums for the bilateral relationship between the government of Spain and the UK.”
The International Air Transport Association has warned the number of flights between the UK and Spain could collapse by 95 per cent if no Brexit deal is agreed.
The Prime Minister was in an optimistic mood as she walked into the European Council building, in Brussels, for crunch talks. The Prime Minister hopes to strike a deal with the European Union in the coming days and weeks but admitted it would not be easy.
‘What we’ve seen is that we’ve solved most of the issues in the withdrawal agreement,’ she said. ‘There is still the question of the Northern Irish backstop … by working intensively and closely, we can achieve that deal. ‘Now is the time to make it happen.’ The EU has demanded a ‘backstop’ to ensure there are no customs posts or other controls along the currently invisible border between the UK’s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.
Mrs May is hoping to convince EU member nations her plans for a friendly divorce are workable despite previously being told by them to go back to the drawing board. She met with Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the EU Commission, and European Council President Donald Tusk, earlier today.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she still believed it was possible to conclude a ‘good and sustainable’ agreement but stressed Germany also is preparing for the risk of a no-deal departure.
|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Universal credit has proved controversial almost from the beginning, with reports of IT issues, massive overspends and administrative problems.
It’s being rolled out across the UK. But now concerns are being raised that 3.2 million working families will lose £48 a week – about £2,500 a year- compared with the old system.
The system has been made significantly less generous since it was announced.
What is it?
Universal credit is a benefit for working-age people, replacing six benefits and merging them into one payment:
income-based jobseeker’s allowance
income-related employment and support allowance
child tax credit
working tax credit
It was designed to make claiming benefits simpler.
A single universal credit payment is paid directly into claimants’ bank accounts to cover the benefits for which they are eligible.
Claimants then have to pay costs such as rent out of their universal credit payment (though there is a provision for people who are in rent arrears or have difficulty managing their money to have their rent paid directly to their landlord)
|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA|AIWA! NO!|Theresa May will on Thursday ask her Brexit “war Cabinet” to agree a backstop plan that would keep Britain in a customs union with Brussels until a permanent trade deal can be agreed.
British and EU negotiators are understood to have agreed in principle to an all-UK backstop plan to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland that would remove the final major obstacle blocking a withdrawal agreement.
Boris Johnson said the deal would turn the UK into a “permanent EU colony” and the DUP angrily threatened to break its confidence and supply deal with the Conservatives and potentially bring down the Government if the Prime Minister goes through with the plan, which it described as a “sell out”.
A cabinet meeting will be held ahead of May’s trip to Brussels, slated to start on October 17, where she hopes to outline a plan for a compromise deal on the Irish border.
Theresa May will reportedly discuss an obligation to keep the country in an effective customs union with the European Union following Brexit, but having “a clear process” for steps to end it later.
The cabinet meeting will take place on October 16, the Times reported.
“I remain confident we will reach a deal this autumn … [It is] time for the EU to match the pragmatism we have shown,” BREXIT Secretary Dominic Raab said, as quoted by the Sky News broadcaster
A source in the British government has said that ministers feared they could be bounced into accepting several potential changes to the customs arrangement and the areas of EU law that the UK must follow after Brexit. The Times reports that some ministers, including Home Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Brexit Minister Dominic Raab might refuse to accept the proposed changes.
However, later on Tuesday, ITV reported that the PM’s Europe Advisor, Oliver Robbins, managed to achieve substantial progress with EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, which might be an indirect confirmation of The Times report, as since the UK and Northern Ireland would remain within the Customs Union, there would be no obstacles preventing the free movement of goods and labor between the two Irelands.
In June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Although Brexit is scheduled for late March 2019, London and Brussels still cannot agree on a number of key issues, including the Irish border and customs arrangements, making a no-deal scenario a possibility.
EU citizens will NOT get preferential treatment after Brexit, says Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott. Non-EU citizens, including those from Commonwealth nations, are treated as “second-class migrants” under the current system. She said: “Once trade deals have been struck and established there will be no unequal treatment based on which countries people are coming from.
British PM May says EU and non-EU nationals will have the same immigration rights after Brexit
AIWA! NO! //EU and non-EU citizens, including those from India and Australia, could have the same immigration rights after Brexit, British Prime Minister Theresa May indicated on Monday.
Asked whether the EU would get a preferential deal on immigration rights that would mean they would continue to be able to travel to the U.K. more easily, the Prime Minister told BBC Radio 4 in an interview that one of the messages from the referendum was that people “didn’t want a situation where they could see people coming having those automatic rights to travel to the U.K. and a set of rules for people outside the EU…”
“What we will be doing is putting forward a set of rules for people from the European Union and people from outside the EU.”
The issue of preferential rights for EU citizens has been a controversial issue throughout the referendum campaign and afterwards. During the referendum campaign, some politicians courted voters from the South Asian diaspora with promises that Brexit — by enabling Britain to restrict the rights of EU citizens to travel to the U.K. — could provide the government with the capacity to ease rules for those from non-EU countries.
Level playing field
Until recently, the Prime Minister had appeared to keep the possibility for preferential rights for EU citizens open. “We will decide who will come into this country,” she said on Monday.
In a recent interview with Sky News, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said it was not a question of increasing immigration for non-EU citizens but to ensure that a “level playing field” was created to ensure that non-EU citizens would have a “better chance of getting access” to the U.K. within the government’s immigration targets.
The Prime Minister has faced growing pressure over her Brexit plan — which has come to be dubbed as the “Chequers Plan” (after the location at which it was forged) that would result in Britain maintaining a common rulebook for goods, including agricultural products, with the EU after Brexit. However, the plan faced criticism from within her own party, and triggered the resignation of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who recently referred to her plans as a “suicide vest”.
The Prime Minister’s language had to be seen as nothing but rhetoric, says Lord Karan Bilimoria, a cross-bench member of the House of Lords, and a vocal critic of the government’s Brexit strategy, who is part of the growing push for putting the terms of the government’s Brexit deal to the British people in a second referendum.
He argues that the government will have little choice but to maintain preferential access for EU citizens, given the practical needs of the U.K. economy, while at the same time making concessions that would open up immigration policy to non-EU countries. “This has to be seen in the same light as the Ms. May’s wider approach to Brexit, and the so-called three lines she set, which are now looking decidedly faded pink.”
Mark Carney tells the Cabinet property prices could fall 35% in three years in the event of a disorderly withdrawal from the EU.
Mark Carney briefed Theresa May and senior ministers on the Bank’s planning for a “cliff edge” break with the EU at a special Cabinet meeting on Thursday to review the Government’s no-deal preparations.
It is understood he warned house prices could fall by up to 35% over three years in a worst case scenario, as sterling plummeted and the Bank was forced to push up interest rates.
His bleak prognosis came as France said it could halt flights and Eurostar trains from the UK if there was no agreement when Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.
The Bank of England declined to comment on Mr Carney’s briefing to ministers.
However his advice would appear to reflect the findings of the Bank’s latest annual “stress test” of the UK financial system in November, which warned of a 33% fall in house prices in a worst case scenario.
Meanwhile, France’s Europe minister Nathalie Loiseau, in London for talks with Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, warned that Paris could halt major transport links with the UK in the absence of a Brexit deal.
Speaking at the Chatham House international affairs think tank, she said EU member states were working on measures to ensure there was not “chaos” after Britain leaves on March 29.
Asked whether, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it was a “real possibility” Eurostar trains from London could be rejected and planes leaving Britain turned back, she said: “The consequences of a no-deal which you mentioned are correct.
“If we do nothing and if we reach no agreement, this is what would happen, among other examples.”
She added: “This is the reason why we need to prepare for a no-deal because we cannot wake up on March 30 and say to our fellow citizens and to our businesses ‘we thought it would not happen so we are not ready’.”
Downing Street sought to play down her remarks, saying preparations were in hand to deal with “all possible scenarios” after Britain leaves the EU on March 29 2019.
“It is in everybody’s interests for that not to happen,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.
Following the three-and-a-half hour meeting of the Cabinet, the spokesman said ministers remained confident of securing an agreement, but had agreed to “ramp up” their no-deal planning.
“As a responsible Government, we need to plan for every eventuality. The Cabinet agreed that no-deal remains an unlikely but possible scenario in six months’ time,” the spokesman said.
Mr Raab said they were putting in place measures to manage the risks
in the event of no-deal, but acknowledged there would be some “disruption” if there was no agreement.
“We need to be honest about this. In the event of a no-deal scenario, which is not what we want, we would face short-term risks and short-term disruption,” he told BBC News.
The warning came as the Government released its latest tranche of 28 technical papers on the no-deal preparations.
They include advice to motorists that they may need to obtain an International Driving Permit to continue driving on the other side of the Channel if the EU refuses to recognise UK licences.
British drivers who fail to obtain the correct documents may be turned away at borders or face enforcement action, the papers warn.
Among the other advice was:
– Free mobile phone data roaming in the EU “could no longer be guaranteed”, although Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, have said they have no current plans to bring in new charges.
– Transfers of personal data from remaining EU countries to UK companies and organisations could be restricted.
– UK firms working on the EU’s 10 billion euro Galileo satellite navigation
system could be cut out of existing contracts as well as barred from seeking new ones.
The CBI said the notices showed the importance of securing a withdrawal agreement which will give businesses a 21-month transition period in which to adjust.
Director general Carolyn Fairbairn said: “These notices make clear firms would be hit with a sledgehammer in the event of no-deal.”