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.”
BY CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//LONDON (Reuters) British Prime Minister Theresa May cautions Tory rebels that unless they support her potential Brexit deal with the EU then they will face a no deal.The United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29 and yet little is clear: There is, so far, no full exit agreement and some rebels in May’s Conservative Party have threatened to vote down a deal if she clinches one.
“I think that the alternative to that will be having no deal,” May told BBC TV.
The fate of May’s government and her Brexit plan is in doubt because it is unclear whether she could command the 320 votes she needs in the House of Commons, the lower house of the British parliament, to approve a deal.
Recent signals from Brussels have buoyed hopes that the United Kingdom and the EU can agree and approve a proper divorce agreement before the UK leaves on March 29, though the sides are still divided on about one fifth of the detail of a deal.
But many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement, thrusting the world’s fifth largest economy into a “no-deal” Brexit that they say would weaken the West, spook financial markets and block the arteries of trade.
As Britain now faces a choice between a bad Brexit deal or a damaging “no-deal” Brexit, voters should be given another referendum, London mayor Sadiq Khan said.
May’s former foreign minister, Boris Johnson, attacked May’s Brexit plans.
“If the Brexit negotiations continue on this path they will end, I am afraid, in a spectacular political car crash,” Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
May’s proposals, named for a country house where they were hashed out in July, call for free trade of goods with the EU, with Britain accepting a “common rulebook” that would apply to those goods.
“The whole thing is a constitutional abomination, and if Chequers were adopted it would mean that for the first time since 1066 our leaders were deliberately acquiescing in foreign rule,” Johnson said, referring to the 11th Century invasion which established Norman rule over England.
Johnson scolded May for her handling of the Brexit negotiations on the future of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, the only land border between the EU and the United Kingdom after Brexit.
The Times newspaper reported that the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, is working on a new protocol text outlining how to use technology to minimize checks on the border.
Under the EU plan, goods could be tracked using barcodes on shipping containers under “trusted-trader” schemes administered by registered companies, the Times reported.
Reuters reported on Sept. 12 that EU officials were working on a sensitive Irish protocol to the draft Brexit treaty with Britain, as part of what Barnier has called efforts to “de-dramatize” the issue and get a deal.
The proposals are to be circulated to European governments after the Conservative Party conference which starts on Sept. 30, according to the Times.
The “revised draft of the Northern Ireland protocol”, according to a diplomatic note of talks between EU ambassadors, will propose that most new checks would not happen at any border, the Times said.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will not reconsider parts of the Brexit agreement with Britain that have already been agreed on, like the divorce bill London will have to pay, a spokesman for the bloc’s executive said on Thursday.
Prime Minister Theresa May suggested on Wednesday London could refuse to pay a financial settlement to the bloc if the sides fail to reach a comprehensive agreement on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
“We will not be revisiting those areas of the withdrawal agreement that are now settled, including the financial settlement,” the European Commission spokesman told a regular news conference.
‘No-deal’ Brexit? Britain sets out the damage for consumers and business
bY Andy Bruce, Kylie MacLellan//LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will publish advice to businesses and the public on Thursday about how to cope with the disruption that exiting the European Union without a divorce deal would cause to everything from mobile phone roaming charges to vehicle standards. Recent signals from Brussels have buoyed hopes that the United Kingdom and the EU can agree and approve a proper divorce agreement before the UK leaves on March 29, though the sides are still divided on about one fifth of the detail of a deal. But many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper a deal, thrusting the world’s fifth largest economy into a so called “no-deal” Brexit that they say would weaken the West, spook financial markets and silt up the arteries of trade.
Britain has stepped up planning for the effects of such a departure and on Thursday afternoon will publish 28 technical notices on the impact on areas including customs and borders, competition, fisheries and aviation. Brexit minister Dominic Raab said a no-deal Brexit was unlikely, but that the United Kingdom would manage the challenges and eventually flourish. “With six months to go until the UK leaves the European Union, we are stepping up our ‘no deal’ preparations so that Britain can continue to flourish, regardless of the outcome of negotiations,” Raab said. May chaired a cabinet meeting on preparations for a no-deal Brexit on Thursday. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney attended part of the meeting. Both sides need an agreement to keep trade flowing between the world’s biggest trading bloc and the United Kingdom, home to one of the world’s top two financial capitals. “Getting a deal with the European Union is still by far and away the most likely outcome,” Raab said.
But Moody’s Investor Service said the probability of a “no-deal” had risen and such a scenario would damage the economy, especially the automotive, aerospace, airline and chemical sectors.
The other 27 members of the EU combined have about five times the economic might of Britain. They also have a strong incentive to deny the UK a deal so attractive it might encourage others to follow the British example.
DEAL OR NO DEAL?
As May tries to clinch a deal with Brussels, she is facing rebels in her Conservative Party who say they will vote down any deal that fails to deliver a sharp break with the EU.
Raab, speaking to BBC radio, said he did not believe May’s government would lose a vote in parliament on the deal.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, said on Monday that a Brexit deal was possible “within six or eight weeks” if negotiators were realistic in their demands.
Last month, the government published 25 technical papers out of a total of more than 80, which detailed how tariffs, financial services, state aid and pharmaceuticals would operate if Britain departs without a divorce deal.
Ever since the shock 2016 Brexit vote, major companies have been planning for Brexit, but chief executives say the scale of disruption from a disorderly Brexit is such that it is hard to prepare for.
Profit at Britain’s biggest department stores group, John Lewis Partnership, was wiped out in the first half as it was forced to match discounting by its struggling rivals on a fiercely competitive high street.
“With the level of uncertainty facing consumers and the economy, in part due to ongoing Brexit negotiations, forecasting is particularly difficult,” John Lewis said.
Brexiteers accept there is likely to be some short-term economic pain but say Britain will thrive in the longer term if cut loose from what they see as a doomed experiment in German-dominated unity and excessive debt-funded welfare spending.
Opponents of Brexit fear that leaving the bloc will weaken what remains of Britain’s global influence, further undermine its reputation as a haven for investment and hurt the economy for years to come.
Writing by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by David Stamp and Kevin Liffey
The PM will spell out the timeline at a special Cabinet meeting to consider the consequences of a failure in negotiations with Brussels.
The gathering comes as ministers are set to unveil another tranche of papers on the preparations for the UK crashing out of the bloc.
The documents will confirm that drivers would need a new international licence to use their cars on the continent.
Britons with less than six months to run on their passports would also have to renew before travelling to the EU.
But the government will also reveal some good news – declaring that mobile phone companies have agreed there will be no extra roaming charges.
Meanwhile, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has opened another flank in the Brexit battle by threatening to slash the £39billion ‘divorce bill’ if Brussels refuses to compromise.
Mr Raab is meeting EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier in the Belgian capital later today
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Raab said one of the consequences of a no-deal Brexit ‘is that obviously we wouldn’t pay out the money that has been agreed as part of the withdrawal agreement’.
The said the UK would ‘recognise our strict legal obligations’ but that the amount paid would be ‘significantly, substantially lower’ than the £39billion.
There are claims the figure could be more than halved if the EU blocks an agreement and the UK could slow down the timetable for paying the balance.
Mr Raab issued a stark warning to Tory Brexiteers – and some Remainers – who have criticised Mrs May’s Chequers plan, saying they will merely increase the chances of a no-deal outcome.
‘I do appreciate the concerns on all sides,’ he said.
‘But when push comes to shove, there will be the choice between the deal that I’m confident we can strike with the EU and the no deal scenario.
‘We are making sure we are ready for the latter. But I think it would be by far the optimum outcome to have a negotiated deal, and I think that will focus everyone’s minds.’
Mr Raab’s comments echo Mrs May’s statement yesterday that Britain’s £39billion divorce offer to Brussels will be slashed if the EU fails to grant a comprehensive trade deal.
The Prime Minister insisted it was a ‘specific offer’ made on the expectation of an acceptable agreement.
She warned the bloc that without a deal ‘the position changes’. Mrs May stressed that the UK was ‘a country that honours our obligations’. But sources suggested the divorce payment could be slashed by more than half if there is no deal.
What is in Theresa May’s Brexit blueprint?
These are some of the key features of the Chequers plan being pushed by the UK government:
A new free trade area in goods, based on a ‘common rulebook’ of EU regulations necessary. This will require the UK to commit by treaty to match EU rules
‘Mobility’ rules which will end automatic freedom of movement, but still allow UK and EU citizens to travel without visas for tourism and temporary work. It will also enable businesses to move staff between countries.
Continued UK participation in and funding of European agencies covering areas like chemicals, aviation safety and medicines
A ‘facilitated customs arrangement’, removing the need for customs checks at UK-EU ports. It would allow differing UK and EU tariffs on goods from elsewhere in the world to be paid at the border, removing the need for rebates in the vast majority of cases. In theory this allows Britain to sign trade deals.
Keeping services – such as banking or legal support – outside of the common rule book, meaning the UK is completely free to set its own regulations. It accepts it will mean less trade in services between the UK and EU.
Continued co-operation on energy and transport, a ‘common rulebook’ on state aid and commitments to maintain high standards of environmental and workplace protections.
A security deal allowing continued UK participation in Europol and Eurojust, ‘co-ordination’ of UK and EU policies on foreign affairs, defence and development.
Continued use of the EHIC health insurance card.
Mrs May said: ‘The specific offer was made in the spirit of our desire to reach a deal with the European Union and on the basis, as the EU itself has said, that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Without a deal, the position changes.’
A second set of ‘technical notices’ outlining the preparations for a no-deal exit will be published today.
The 24 notices will also cover public procurement, vehicle standards and the future of co-operation with EU space programmes.
On mobiles, ministers will announce they have struck an agreement with the major mobile phone operators that will avoid a return to the exorbitant charges of the past.
Whitehall sources said Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, which account for 85 per cent of the market, have agreed the deal following months of talks with ministers. ‘Market forces suggest the others will follow suit,’ a source said last night.
The £45-a-month cap on mobile data in the EU will also remain, even if talks collapse.
On driving licences, motorists will need a new international licence to use their cars in the EU in the event of no deal. The EU is likely to refuse to recognise UK driving licences if Brexit talks collapse, a Department for Transport document will state.
An international driving licence will be needed for anyone driving in the EU after March 29, for hiring or obtaining insurance, unless Brussels or individual member states waive the rules. To complicate matters, there are two types of permit and different versions could be needed for different countries.
An EU notice issued last month said: ‘A driving licence issued by the UK will no longer be recognised by the member states.’
Ministers say the UK will continue to recognise EU licences.
Government sources said a Cabinet meeting today – the first of its kind – will be told that ministers will have to begin activating the no-deal contingency plans in November in order to have them up and running in time for the UK’s departure from the EU in March next year.
The timescale will intensify the pressure on both sides to strike a deal at a special EU Brexit summit now being pencilled in for the middle of November.
Brussels is sceptical about Mrs May’s willingness to leave without a deal. The new technical notices are designed to demonstrate to both Brussels and the public that the Government will be ready to leave at the end of March.
Mr Raab said: ‘We are stepping up our no-deal preparations so that Britain can continue to flourish, regardless of the outcome of negotiations.’
But she insisted it was ‘very clear that we need to have a link between the future relationship and the withdrawal agreement’.
‘The specific offer was made in our desire to reach a deal with the European Union,’ she said.
‘And on the basis, as the EU themselves have said, that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, without a deal the position changes.’
The Tories slipped one point to 40%, with the Lib Dems on 8%, Ukip on 5% and the Greens on 3%.
Blow for Theresa May as public believe Boris Johnson would do better job of Brexit – new poll
Labour takes commanding poll leads as Tory vote slumps amid Brexit chaos
Labour snatch two-point poll lead as Brexit chaos engulfs Tories
Meanwhile the Prime Minister’s lead over the Labour leader on who is best suited to reach a good Brexit deal has dropped to just eight points, having sat at 16 points in January and a massive 34 points before last year’s general election.
According to the poll, just 26% of the public now back the Prime Minister, compared to 18% for Mr Corbyn – a change from 35% and 19% respectively at the beginning of this year.
However 44% of those polled replied “neither” when asked which leader they rated best on the issue.
ICM pollster Alex Turk said: “The public’s trust in Theresa May being able to negotiate a good Brexit deal for the UK has collapsed.
“It used to be the second strongest area for May compared to Corbyn on the areas we’ve tested, beaten only by protecting people from threats at home and abroad, but now it falls to her fourth strongest area.
“It wasn’t too long ago – back in May 2017 – that almost half (47%) of the public trusted May most to do the best job of negotiating Brexit.
“To see this proportion collapse to just over a quarter (26%) on what’s considered the biggest issue of the day could explain some of the pressure exerted on her leadership coming from within her party in recent weeks.
He added: When couched in terms of negotiating Brexit, there seems to be a public appetite for someone else entirely. We’ve seen those who trust neither May nor Corbyn to negotiate a good Brexit deal jump from 31% in January to 44% in this poll.
“This now means that, more than in any other area we ask, a large slice of the British public tend to trust neither May nor Corbyn on Brexit.
Revelations about the extent of Russian interference in foreign elections – including hacking and spreading disinformation – are just the tip of the iceberg, MPs have warned
The digital, culture, media and sport committee said the country was facing a “democratic crisis” because fake news and manipulated data were becoming so pervasive. The MPs want tougher regulation of social media companies – and a public register for political advertising.