Brexit: Customs union deal discussed by May and Corbyn will make people £800 worse off, economists warn | The Independent

The compromise Brexit deal being discussed by Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn– with the UK staying in a customs union – would deliver an £80bn hit to the economy after 10 years, economists have said.

People would be an average of £800 worse off, GDP would shrink by 3 per cent and there would be £13bn less a year to spend on public services, compared with EU membership, the analysis found.

“It would involve significant non-tariff barriers that would hinder trade, particularly in services. That would be a material economic burden,” the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said.


Source: Brexit: Customs union deal discussed by May and Corbyn will make people £800 worse off, economists warn | The Independent

EU irks Britain by calling Gibraltar ‘colony’ | Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain could get visa-free access to the European Union for its citizens even after no-deal Brexit but objected on Friday to language used in the proposed EU regulation which described Gibraltar as a “colony”.

The row highlighted strains over the territory on Spain’s southern coast as Britain quits the Union and the remainder of the EU states swing the bloc’s policies behind Spain, which is taking advantage of Brexit to ramp up its claim to “The Rock”.

The new regulation would let British citizens can visit the EU without a visa for up to 90 days even if there is no special withdrawal deal.

It made a new distinction between those living in Britain and those who are citizens of Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory which is now in the EU.

Diplomats said the British ambassador to the EU raised London’s objections to this in a meeting of EU envoys. A British spokeswoman said: “Gibraltar is not a colony and it is completely inappropriate to describe in this way.”


Source: EU irks Britain by calling Gibraltar ‘colony’ | Reuters

MPs send Theresa May back to Brussels to renegotiate Brexit deal – POLITICO

LONDON — MPs voted to send U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May back to Brussels to renegotiate the Brexit deal she agreed with the EU in November.

A proposal put forward by senior Tory backbencher Graham Brady demanding that the controversial Northern Ireland backstop be replaced by “alternative arrangements” won the backing of 317 MPs with 301 against — a majority of 16.

Downing Street had whipped Tory MPs to support the amendment.

The backstop is a central part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement which is designed to prevent the need for the hard border on the island of Ireland. Opening the debate, May told the Commons that she would seek to reopen the agreement and negotiate legally-binding changes.

“What I’m talking about is not a further exchange of letters but a significant and legally binding change to the Withdrawal Agreement,” May said.

French President Emmanuel Macron was the first EU leader to respond to developments in Westminster, saying the Brexit deal cannot be renegotiated.

Speaking in Cyprus, Macron said the Withdrawal Agreement “is the best accord possible. It is not re-negotiable,” the Guardian reported.

Macron said Britain leaving the EU without a deal is a situation that “no one wants, but we should all prepare for.”

Read this next: UK parliament rejects move to delay Brexit


Source: MPs send Theresa May back to Brussels to renegotiate Brexit deal – POLITICO

Theresa May Brexit deal hammered in parliament, but be wary of prospects of a new ‘consensus’ approach : The Conversation

Another day, another record. The 230 majority against the motion to approve Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement on the UK’s exit from the EU smashes pretty much any parliamentary record one cares to discover.

That May’s immediate response was to make time for the house to debate and vote on Labour’s motion of no-confidence in her the day after her loss was thus hardly a surprise: how else to respond to such a heavy blow against the central platform and policy of the government?

And yet the abiding impression of these events was of avoiding a resolution, for as long as possible. Most obviously, May did not offer her resignation. That was a reflection not of her principles but rather her analysis of the situation. As she noted in her statement, a lack of majority for her deal doesn’t mean there’s a majority for another course of action. Without that alternative majority, she clearly feels there is still everything to play for and she is the right person for the job.

In essence, what May offered parliament was a “put-up or shut-up” proposition. Should the government win the confidence motion – which looks very likely indeed – she will hold a series of cross-party talks, inviting parliament to bring ideas and suggestions about how to build a majority position. The results will then be put to the EU for negotiation and agreement.


Source: Theresa May Brexit deal hammered in parliament, but be wary of prospects of a new ‘consensus’ approach : The Conversation

Truck drivers support Brexit despite fears of no-deal chaos | Euronews

Just off the M25 motorway, which encircles London, truck driver Tim gets ready to settle down for the night. He drives all over Europe, a crucial cog in Britain’s supply chain.

Despite fears of a no-deal Brexit bringing chaos to his industry, it’s not something he worries about.

“If we crash out with no deal, the European community and things like that, they’ll quickly want to sort the problems out that come with that, because it affects them as much as it does us. That’s the important thing to remember.” Tim Drury, British trucker said.

“What’s interesting speaking to drivers at this busy truck stop, where up to 150 bed down every night is that while for many, their jobs take them right across Europe, there’s some really strong support for Brexit – regardless of whether that comes with a deal or no deal,” Damon Embling, Euronews correspondent said.

“But in the wider supply industry, there is a worry that extra border checks could delay trucks, could delay deliveries – and hit business hard, if Britain crashes out of the EU,” Embling added.


ource: Truck drivers support Brexit despite fears of no-deal chaos | Euronews

BREXIT LATEST: Victory for May – EU CAVES with major concession in huge blow for France | Politics | News |

UK and EU negotiators are understood to have reached a tentative agreement on their future relationship surrounding services, as well as the exchange of data, with just five months to go before Britain leaves.

With five months to secure a Brexit deal before Britain is due to leave the EU, business leaders are demanding certainty over the kind of trade terms the divorce will deliver.

The services deal would give UK companies access to European markets as long as British financial regulation remained broadly aligned with the EU’s, The Times reported.

Following the news, the British pound was up nearly 1 percent versus the dollar overnight at 1.28 US dollars.


Source: BREXIT LATEST: Victory for May – EU CAVES with major concession in huge blow for France | Politics | News |

No-deal Brexit: survey reveals 44% of people expect the UK to crash out of EU : The Conversation

As the Brexit negotiations grind on, and with a withdrawal agreement still seeming elusive, the British people are becoming more pessimistic about what Brexit might mean. A major new survey by the Policy Institute at King’s College London and Ipsos MORI reveals that nearly half (44%) expect the UK to leave the EU in March 2019 without a deal in place. Only three in ten expect a deal to be worked out.

If we break the population down by party support and preference on Brexit, other fascinating distinctions become apparent. The majority of Remain-backing Labour voters think the UK is heading for a no-deal Brexit, while the majority of Conservative-Leave supporters think the country will leave with a deal.

Strikingly, whatever the outcome of the negotiations, few see much personal economic benefit flowing from Brexit. Only 14% of the public expect that leaving the EU will result in an increase in their own standard of living in the next five years, with twice as many expecting their standard of living to decrease. The public have become more pessimistic since we last asked this question in May 2016, just before the referendum


Source: No-deal Brexit: survey reveals 44% of people expect the UK to crash out of EU : The Conversation

Will house prices crash after Brexit? Experts answer your questions : iNews

If there is a British equivalent to the American Dream, it is buying a home to call your own, watching a bit of Changing Rooms or whatever, doing it up and then selling for a whopping fortune and buying a bigger one. Or, even better: buy a crappy one, rent it out to someone worse off than you and put the rent up beyond inflation.

We are a nation obsessed with property speculation. So it’s unsurprising that when it was reported last week that the Bank of England’s Governor Mark Carney had said ‘house prices would crash by a third in no-deal Brexit’ people (especially those who have bought recently at the top of the market) were rattled.

Friends texted me, my boyfriend texted me. “Are we going to go into negative equity?” they asked. “Is the value of our flat going to go down?”


Source: Will house prices crash after Brexit? Experts answer your questions : iNews

Virgin handed £2bn worth of NHS England contracts : Welfare Weekly

This week’s news that £2 billion worth of NHS England contracts are being handed over to Virgin Care Services, which follows on from the damning report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee last month into the outsourcing of primary care services in England to Capita, has highlighted how the Tories’ shambolic Brexit poses a major threat to the future of the NHS in Scotland, the SNP has said.

SNP Health spokesperson at Westminster Dr Philippa Whitford MP has warned that the power grab over public procurement allows the Tories at Westminster to put Scotland’s NHS under the same threats as the health service south of the border, with the Tories able to open up Scotland’s public services to profiteering firms.

In addition – the increasing threat of a disastrous No Deal Brexit will leave the Tories more desperate than ever to secure a trade deal with Donald Trump’s administration, no matter the cost to our public services. Prime Minsiter Theresa May has continually failed to rule out opening up the NHS to private US firms post-Brexit.


Source: Virgin handed £2bn worth of NHS England contracts : Welfare Weekly