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Brexit: Britain Gets ‘No Deal’ As Punishment For Leaving And Not The Reward |RN

jedwards@businessinsider.com (Jim Edwards)
    © Getty Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

* Many pro-Leave people believe “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

* They’re wrong: “No deal” is the worst-possible deal Britain could get.

* Article 50 is structured like a trap in order to deliver a “no deal” scenario to any country that dares to leave the EU.

* Theresa May and Philip Hammond seem to be belatedly waking up to the fact that threatening to walk away without a deal is a really bad idea.

LONDON — This week, Peter J. North, the editor of the Leave Alliance blog, outlined how fantastic he thinks post-Brexit Britain will be, once the UK finally gets out of the EU in 2019:

“We can the expect to see a major rationalisation of the NHS and what functions it will perform. It will be more of a skeleton service than ever. I expect they will have trouble staffing it. Economic conditions more than any immigration control will bring numbers down to a trickle.

“In every area of policy a lot of zombie projects will be culled and the things that survive on very slender justifications will fall. We can also expect banks to pull the plug in under-performing businesses. Unemployment will be back to where it was in the 80’s.

“… Anyone who considers themselves ‘Just about managing’ right now will look upon this time as carefree prosperity. There are going to be a lot of very p***** off people.

“… Effectively we are looking at a ten-year recession. Nothing ever experienced by those under 50.”

“Admittedly this is not the Brexit I was gunning for.”

Theresa May                © Provided by Business Insider UK Theresa May

He is still in favour of Brexit, he adds. “Admittedly this is not the Brexit I was gunning for. I wanted a negotiated settlement to maintain the single market so that we did not have to be substantially poorer.”

The problem is that, like a lot of Leavers, North wasn’t banking on the government choosing “no deal” — and thus no access to the Single Market — as its main strategy. In fact, until recently, “no deal” was regarded as the worst possible outcome for precisely the fears that North describes.

Yet in the last few months, “no deal” seems to be the government’s target policy.

Back in May, Theresa May fought the general election with a Conservative manifesto that said: “no deal is better than a bad deal” for the UK in the Brexit negotiations with the EU.

The idea behind that phrase is that during the Article 50 negotiations Britain’s chief weapon would be the prime minister’s ability to get up from the table and walk away as if this were the thing that Europe fears most.

What if all the planes stopped flying?

But as her chancellor, Philip Hammond, said yesterday, “no deal” is an empty threat: The uncertainty of Brexit is already dragging down the British economy, and “it is theoretically conceivable that in a ‘no deal’ scenario there will be no air traffic moving between the UK and the European Union on March 29th, 2019.”

He called that a “realistic worst-case scenario.”

Philip Hammond                  © Provided by Business Insider UK Philip Hammond

There are millions of hardcore Leavers out there who actually want this. They think “hard Brexit” is the best Brexit, and they are actively urging the government to leave with no deal. They think “no deal” is some sort of threat that the EU is trying to avoid.

Wrong.

“No deal” is not our backup threat to the EU. It’s the worst possible outcome for the UK.

No deal involves no access to the Single Market, tariffs and taxes on UK exports, restrictions on British people travelling and working in Europe, and major cross-national employers leaving Britain in order to maintain their ties to the much larger European market. There are almost no economic advantages to “no deal,” only the political advantage of not being bound by European law. (And even then, if we want to trade with Europe after Brexit, our exports will have to obey their laws.) It will shave several points off GDP growth, which right now is so weak that would mean a recession.

No deal is the bad deal.

It is the punishment Brexit. It is the deterrent to leaving, not the reward. “No deal” is what the EU wants “pour encourager les autres.”

“I think we should be aiming a tad higher than avoiding death”

May again referenced “no deal is better than a bad deal” in her Florence speech, in which she talked about “our preparations for our life outside the European Union – with or without what I hope will be a successful deal.” (Emphasis added.) But she went on to say, “Let us open our minds to the possibility. To a new era of cooperation and partnership between the United Kingdom and the European Union. And to a stronger, fairer, more prosperous future for us all. For that is the prize if we get this negotiation right.”

May was possibly hinting that she understands that “no deal is better than a bad deal” is like putting a gun to your head and shouting “stop or I’ll shoot!” The tactic is especially dumb when you understand that the Article 50 negotiation process is essentially structured like a trap, precisely in order to deliver a “no deal” scenario to any country that dares to leave the EU.

It will take several more months, and perhaps some grim job losses in Leave-voting constituencies, and among farmers, before Brexiteers realise just how wrong “no deal” can go.

Charlie Mullins, the extravagantly coiffed plumbing empire boss, said it best this week:

“The simple fact is that half a loaf is always better than starving to death, although personally, I think we should be aiming a tad higher than avoiding death.”

NOW SEE: Brexit blunder – how May walked straight into the EU’s Article 50 trap

                              © Business Insider

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Net Migration To UK Falls To lowest For Three Years As EU Citizens Leave |RN

By PA Reporters
(Steve Parsons/PA)               © Provided by The Press Association (Steve Parsons/PA)  

Net migration to the UK has fallen to the lowest level for three years after a surge in the number of EU nationals leaving the country.

Official estimates show the overall measure – the difference between arrivals and departures – was at 246,000 in the year to the end of March, a fall of 81,000 compared with the previous 12 months.

The Office for National Statistics said more than half of the change can be accounted for by a 51,000 decrease in net migration of EU citizens.

Emigration of EU citizens increased by 33,000 year on year to 122,000 – the highest outflow for nearly a decade.

There was a particularly sharp rise, of 17,000, in departures of citizens from the so-called EU8 countries which joined the union in 2004 – Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

At the same time, there was a 19,000 decrease in immigration from the EU, although this was not “statistically significant”.

Nicola White, head of international migration statistics at the ONS, said: “We have seen a fall in net migration driven by an increase in emigration, mainly for EU citizens and in particular EU8 citizens, and a decrease in immigration across all groups.

“International migration for work remains the most common reason for migration with people becoming increasingly likely to move to the UK or overseas only with a definite job than to move looking for work.

“These results are similar to 2016 estimates and indicate that the EU referendum result may be influencing people’s decision to migrate into and out of the UK, particularly EU and EU8 citizens.

“It is too early to tell if this is an indication of a long-term trend.”

Net long-term migration estimates reflect the balance between the numbers coming to the UK or leaving for at least 12 months.

The overall figure of 246,000, which includes migration from outside the EU, is the lowest since the year ending March 2014.

EU net migration was estimated at 127,000 in the year to March, a dip of 51,000 in the previous 12 months.

The figure for the rest of the world was also down, by 14,000, to 179,000.

Separate population figures for 2016 revealed that the number of Polish nationals living in the UK has passed the one million mark for the first time.

Last year around one in seven residents were born abroad, and one in 11 had a non-British nationality.

Another dataset released on Thursday showed that more than a quarter (28.2%) of births in England and Wales were to women born outside the UK, the highest level on record.

Statisticians said that despite an overall decline in the number of births between 2015 and 2016, births to mothers born overseas increased by 2.1% as foreign-born women make up an increasing share of the female population of childbearing age.

Brent in north-west London was the local authority area with the highest percentage of births to non-UK-born women, at more than three quarters (76.0%).   (Press Association)

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Free Movement Of People To End In March 2019, PM’s Spokesman Says |RN

UK Border control             © Reuters UK Border control  

Free movement of EU citizens to Britain will end when the country leaves the EU in March 2019, Downing Street has said, moving to contain a Cabinet row over immigration after Brexit.

As senior ministers appeared to contradict each other for days over the issue, Theresa May’s spokesman insisted there is “broad agreement” on the Government to make Brexit as smooth as possible.

The spokesman said that proposals for a new immigration system after Brexit will be brought forward “in due course” and added: “It would be wrong to speculate on what these might look like or suggest that free movement will continue as it is now.”

With Mrs May away on a three-week holiday break, tensions have heightened among the Conservatives.

Divisions burst into the open after Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd said they backed transitional arrangements after the UK leaves the bloc, suggesting EU migration could continue.

Mr Hammond said last week that there should be no immediate change to immigration rules when Britain leaves the bloc, adding that there would be a registration system in place for people coming to work in the UK during the transitional period.

But in an interview with The Sunday Times, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said that any such move would “not keep the faith” with the referendum result.

He said the Cabinet had not agreed on a stance on immigration.

And a spokesman for Boris Johnson was forced to dismiss a suggestion that the Foreign Secretary was considering quitting the Government in protest at the way Brexit was being handled.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said the Foreign Secretary was “doing an excellent job”.

He said details of a post-Brexit implementation period were a matter for negotiations, he added, but Britain is not seeking an “off-the-shelf” solution.

According to the Financial Times, Mr Hammond told business leaders that he hoped for an “off-the-shelf” transition deal with Brussels to maintain current trading relations with Europe for at least two years after Brexit.

Number 10’s comments came as Cabinet ministers Jeremy Hunt and Sir Michael Fallon sought to play down reports of a Cabinet split.

Mr Fallon, taking part in Passchendaele memorial events in Ypres, said the issue of immigration policy during a transitional deal would be “one of the details” for the Brexit negotiations.

He told Sky News: “All of us, whichever way we vote back in the referendum, we are determined to make a success of us leaving the European Union,” adding that “you mustn’t believe everything you read in the newspapers.”

Mr Hunt, the Health Secretary, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the Cabinet was “completely united”.   (Sky News)

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How British Top Diplomat Went To Asia And Annoyed The Chinese |RN

Alex Morales and Linly Lin
           © Brendon Thorne – Pool/Getty Images

 

Boris Johnson spent a week visiting Japan, New Zealand and Australia in the pursuit of post-Brexit trade deals. Instead, the gaffe-prone diplomat ended up riling a far bigger economy: China.

Known back home just as ‘Boris,’ Johnson is a popular figure often tipped as a future prime minister while he serves as foreign minister. He played a key role in changing the tide of public opinion in favour of the U.K. leaving the European Union.

In his official capacity, he’s been charged with charming nations and convincing them of the value of strengthening commercial ties with the U.K. even as it prepares to quit the biggest trading bloc of them all. The problem is that his rhetoric often lands himself in trouble.

In a speech in Sydney on Thursday, Johnson urged all countries bordering the South China Sea “to respect freedom of navigation and international law.” That sounded the alarm back in China, arguably the one economy Britain can ill-afford to peeve given the political sensitivities in play.

 

Britain “is ready once again to articulate our commitment to international order with money and a military presence,” he said, adding “that is why one of the first missions of our two vast new aircraft carriers will be to sail through the Straits of Malacca.”

Making Waves

While Johnson didn’t point the finger at China directly, his comments were interpreted as an indelicate reference to overlapping territorial claims in the region by countries including China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

China claims most of the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, and in recent years it has boosted its military presence, reclaiming thousands of acres of land to build artificial outposts on reefs. The Strait of Malacca is the gateway to the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean from the Indian Ocean.

“There are no longer any British colonies in East Asia and the presence of Britain’s warship in the region is more like an aberration,” China’s Global Times said on Friday in an editorial. “Brexit is weakening Britain’s influence, and it appears that the country needs to do something to assert its sense of identity. If it goes too far, however, it will get itself in trouble.”

While the Global Times isn’t a Chinese government publication, it’s affiliated with the ruling Communist Party and is often used as a mouthpiece for government thinking. The government’s official response was more measured.

‘Tranquil’ Sea

“An individual nation that is not in the region insists on making some waves in the South China Sea where it has turned tranquil,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “China is sincere in creating a golden era in China-U.K. relations, but it requires efforts from both sides to improve any bilateral relationships.”

The economics of keeping China happy are compelling. It was the seventh-biggest destination for British exports in 2017, and the second-biggest outside Europe, buying more than 13 billion pounds ($17 billion) worth of goods in 2016, according to U.K. statistics.

It was also the third biggest source of imports, with Britain buying some 36 billion pounds worth of goods. China’s importance was not completely lost on Johnson, though.

“We will be here as a partner and friend, aiming at good relations with all the major countries of this region — not choosing between them,” he said. “Our relationship with China, the engine of global growth, will be crucial now and in the future.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net, Linly Lin in London at llin153@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at fjackson@bloomberg.net, Michael Winfrey  (Bloomberg)

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Man Who Ran The Leave Campaign Admits Brexit Could ‘Be An Error’

Dan Dominic Cummings said: "In some possible branches of the future leaving will be an error"<br />© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Dominic Cummings said: “In some possible branches of the future leaving will be an error”
 

The man behind the Vote Leave campaign has admitted Brexit could “be an error” and holding the referendum in the first place was a “dumb idea.”

Dominic Cummings, the brains behind the infamous pledge of £350million a week for the NHS, said some possible outcomes of leaving the EU would leave Britain worse off.

Writing on Twitter, he said there were “more possible branches” of the future which made it a good idea.

But he said “other things should have been tried first” before launching a referendum on leaving the EU.

Asked if anything could happen that would make him wish Leave hadn’t won, he replied: “Lots! I said before REF was a dumb idea, other things have been tried 1st. In some possible branches of the future leaving will be an error.”

Vote Leave was behind oversimplified "lies" during the Brexit campaign... (Photo: REUTERS)<br /><br />© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Vote Leave was behind oversimplified “lies” during the Brexit campaign… (Photo…

 

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron declared: “Dominic Cummings has let the cat out of the bag.

“This is the man who slapped the £350million NHS lie on the side of the bus who is now saying leaving the EU could be a mistake.”

James McGrory, executive director of the pro-EU Open Britain campaign, added: “He could have plastered ‘it’s a dumb idea and there will be less money for the NHS’ on the side of a big red bus.

“It would have inserted some reality into the Leave campaign.

“Leading Leave campaigners now seek to blame everyone else for the Brexit mess, but they are as guilty as a puppy sitting next to a pile of poo.”

... but he complained his argument was being over-simplified (Photo: Getty)<br />© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc … but he complained his argument was being over-simplified (Photo: Getty)

 

Mr Cummings rarely appeared publicly but was the campaign director of Vote Leave, the official Brexit campaign which spent around £7million in the EU referendum.

Vote Leave’s now-infamous battle bus said: “We send the EU £350million a week – let’s fund our NHS instead.”

One poster promoted by Boris Johnson went even further, saying: “Let’s give our NHS the £350million the EU takes every week.”

The claim emerged as a sham when analysis for Chancellor Philip Hammond estimated extra borrowing due to Brexit would cost £58.7bn over five years – £226million a week.

Despite his tweet, Mr Cummings has insisted “I did not say ‘ Brexit bad'”.

After he was accused of saying Brexit was a mistake, the man behind such slogans as “Turkey (population 76million) is joining the EU” complained his argument was being oversimplified.

He then tried to explain it using quantum mechanics instead. (The Mirror)

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Brexit: Minister Appointed To Negotiate Britain’s Withdrawal Wants EU ‘Wholly Torn Down’

Joe Watts, Tom Embury-Dennis

         © Provided by Independent Print Limited

The newest member of Theresa May’sBrexit negotiating team has been filmed calling for the destruction of the European Union, The Independent can reveal.

In a speech to a right-wing think tank, minister Steve Baker said the EU should be “wholly torn down”, before branding it an “obstacle” to world peace and “incompatible” with a free society.

Tory MPs warned Mr Baker’s appointment could now risk the UK’s ability to secure good Brexit terms, while Labour said it was “extraordinary” and raised a major question about the Prime Minister’s judgement.

The comments are likely to prove embarrassing for Ms May as she heads into meetings with European leaders this week, including Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron.

In the video, Mr Baker tells a cheering audience: “I think Ukip and the Better Off Out campaign lack ambition. I think the European Union needs to be wholly torn down.”

Filmed at an event by The Libertarian Alliance in 2010, he goes on to argue that the EU has “succeeded in raising economic nationalism to a continental scale”.

The Wycombe MP, who played a lead role in the Leave campaign, adds: “It was meant to defeat economic nationalism, it is therefore a failure in its own terms.

“If we wish to devolve power to the lowest possible level, make it accountable and move on into a free society, then it’s clearly incompatible.

“What I want is free trade and peace among all the nations of Europe as well as the world and in my view the European Union is an obstacle to that.”

The cabinet and wider Tory party is split over the EU, with many MPs pushing a weakened Prime Minister for a more jobs-focussed approach to withdrawal, while Brexiteers are said to have threatened resignations if she changes tack.

Backbench Tories have also said they are working with other parties to try and soften the hardline approach to Brexit Ms May took into the election.

After seeing the video, one Conservative MP told The Independent: “It just reveals what the extreme Brexiteers have been about all along.

“It’s not enough to take the UK out of the EU. They want the entire thing to fall apart.

“How is it possible to negotiate a ‘deep and special relationship’ with the EU, when you have ministers who want the institutions they are negotiating with to disintegrate?”

Another MP said: “This is only going to further embitter relations. It doesn’t help our chances of getting a deal.”

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, who has called for a more co-operative approach to Brexit, said: “there should be no place” for Mr Baker’s views at the Department for Exiting the European Union.

He added: “It is extraordinary that Theresa May has put such an extreme Brexiteer at the heart of the Government.

“This poses real questions about her judgement and the Government’s desire to build the collaborative, cooperative future partnership we need with the EU.”

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake attacked Ms May for appointing a Brexit minister “dedicated to destroying the EU”.

The issue will hang over the Prime Minister as she meets German Chancellor Ms Merkel and French President Mr Macron at the G20 in Hamburg on Friday, whom she has both assured the UK wants a “deep and special relationship” with the EU.

On the same day Brexit Secretary David Davis is inviting jittery business leaders to Chevening in a bid to convince them discussions are in good hands and EU withdrawal will not damage their hope of future trade with the bloc.

A spokesman for Mr Baker said he now “supports the Government’s position and that is why he was happy to take up a ministerial position.”

He was taken on in the post-election reshuffle as Ms May desperately attempted to shore up her position with MPs livid that she had botched the election campaign and lost her party’s majority.

He brought with him the backing of a large swathe of the Tory backbenches – he was chair of Conservatives for Britain, a 50-strong group of Tories who fought Leave, and then went on to run the European Research Group, a pro-Brexit backbench organisation.

The reshuffle which brought him in saw half the ministerial team at Dexeu replaced, with one sacked and another, George Bridges, walking out after it was claimed he became “convinced Brexit couldn’t work”.

Earlier this year, Mr Baker compiled a list of 27 Tory colleagues he claimed were considering voting for changes to Ms May’s Brexit plans, accusing them of seeking to overturn the referendum.

At the time, Mr Baker said: “This is a time to unite behind a democratic result, not plot to repudiate it. Any vote to amend this simple bill is a vote against implementation of the referendum result.”

Mr Baker is also under pressure to reveal his links to a group that donated £435,000 to the DUP to campaign for Brexit during last year’s referendum.

The MP was handed £6,500 by the obscure Constitutional Research Council, the body which used a legal loophole to channel the money to the DUP. (The Independent)

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Why Some Brits Are Opting For Belgian Citizenship |The Republican News

Glynis Whiting holding her new Belgian passportImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

 

Brussels is gripped with gossip about the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

The rights of British citizens living there and elsewhere are still to be decided, but a handful of the 25,000 British people living in Belgium do not want to wait for the outcome and are applying for citizenship in their adopted home.

In her house in a smart Brussels suburb, British-born business consultant Glynis Whiting brandished her stiff, shiny, new Belgian passport.

“I went through customs in Germany with it recently and I thought: ‘This is me stating that I am a slightly different person than I was,'” she told me.

A resident of Belgium for two decades, she applied for Belgian citizenship before the UK’s referendum on membership of the EU.

She described it as her insurance policy.

“If the UK had voted to leave it would have been essential for me to stay in Europe with no worries,” she explained.

“If the UK had voted to stay then it was a vote of confidence in my now home country.”

The paperwork for applying for a Belgian passport
Image captionThe application for Belgian citizenship is made at a local level

It was relatively easy for Glynis to meet the conditions laid down by the Belgian government: five years of residence, proof of economic integration such as payments into the social security system, and the ability to speak one of the national languages of French, Dutch or German.

Her only mistake was failing to read the small-print on the application form, which specifies that copies of birth certificates must be less than three months old.

It all cost 200 euros (£170) plus a translator’s fee.

Applications are made at the level of the commune, the branch of local government that plays a big part in any Belgian resident’s official life.

Staff at the town hall in Ms Whiting’s neighbourhood of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert were bemused but welcoming, she said.

 

The neighbouring district of Ixelles is assessing 50 applications from Brits and there have been another 300 requests for information.

Local councillor, Delphine Bourgeois, said interest has come in two distinct waves: immediately after the referendum, and the days before and after the delivery of Theresa May’s letter that triggered the official start of the Brexit process.

Eleven cases are being processed in the suburb of Forest and 48 people have applied to the commune that covers the Brussels city centre.

This suggests there is a steady stream of British people adopting Belgian nationality, but not a stampede.

A woman walking into the European Commission building in BrusselsImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES Image captionJust over a thousand UK citizens currently work for the EU Commission

Questions and rumours abound in the expat community, from which commune has the most relaxed attitude concerning paperwork to whether the police inspect bedrooms to check that couples are definitely married.

To help expats navigate the system, the British Brussels Community Association is planning a series of workshops.

But becoming Belgian is not an option for some of the UK nationals employed in the EU institutions, such as the bloc’s executive arm, the European Commission.

Many of the Commission’s 1023 British staff pay their tax directly into the EU budget which means they may not have contributed enough to the Belgian state coffers, for example.

Then there are the EU agencies’ own regulations.

A letter from a British official, circulating among the European civil service trade unions, is calling on the EU Commission to clarify whether it will apply or ignore the paragraph of the staff handbook that specifies that only citizens of an EU member state can be employed by the organisation.

EU Commission president Jean-Claude JunckerImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES Image captionEU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has said all EU employees would be treated “as Europeans”

 

“With a snap of a finger, the commission could give certainty to British colleagues,” said Michael Ashbrook of Solidarity, Independence, Democracy (SID), a trade union representing employees of EU institutions and agencies.

The European Commission President, Jean Claude Juncker, wrote to staff on the day after the referendum, saying that all employees would be treated “as Europeans” regardless of their nationality.

His spokesman said further details will emerge during the negotiation of the UK’s departure.

The Brexit process gives hope to some British expats, such as Jason Phaetos, who runs the city’s only Cornish pasty stall.

“I’ve asked a few people about how to get Belgian papers but [the EU and the UK] have got to come to some sort of arrangement so I’m not too worried about it at the moment,” he told me.

And does he know of anyone who has left Belgium, fearful for the their future after the referendum?

“Only a couple. They supported Brexit. They moved back England with big smiles on their faces.”

(BBC News)

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