The Law of Unintended Consequences……
Michael Fallon: UK will oppose plans for EU army.
The UK will oppose any attempts to create an EU army because it could "undermine" the role of Nato, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has said. Nato "must remain the cornerstone of our defence and the defence of Europe", he said, ahead of informal talks with EU defence ministers in Bratislava. Sir Michael said the UK was not alone in opposing a common EU defence policy. European Parliament President Martin Schulz has said the UK would not have a veto over closer defence co-operation. France and Germany are set to make the case for increased military co-operation at the informal meeting in the Slovakian capital later. Speaking in Bratislava, Sir Michael said the UK "remains committed" to Europe's security despite the vote to leave the EU, and said the bloc needs to "step up to the challenges" of terrorism and migration. But we're going to continue to oppose any idea of an EU army, or an EU army headquarters which would simply undermine Nato. Nato must remain the cornerstone of our defence and the defence of Europe."
Sturgeon links Brexit to austerity in London speech.
Nicola Sturgeon has linked the Brexit vote to the UK government's austerity policies. The Scottish first minister also said remaining a member of the single market after Brexit "will be crucial". And she argued that the UK-wide result of the EU referendum was not a mandate for a hard Brexit. Ms Sturgeon was addressing the annual conference of the Institute of Directors at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Prime Minister Theresa May has predicted that the UK will make a success of Brexit, and that Scotland's status would be enhanced as a result of leaving the EU. But Ms Sturgeon, the SNP leader, told the conference that continued membership of the European single market was the "obvious consensus position" among Leave and Remain voters in the EU referendum.
UK car firms 'want to be in EU single market'.
The success of the UK motor industry could be "jeopardised" if the UK leaves the single market following Brexit, a senior industry figure has said. The chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) told the BBC the sector would be under threat outside the single market. Mike Hawes told BBC business editor Simon Jack that the industry's success came from being in the single market. The European Union is the UK motor industry's biggest export market. Mr Hawes, who has warned on previous occasions that the industry's future growth may be hit, was speaking in Paris where he is attending the city's motor show. He said: "Don't be blinded by the good news that you're seeing not just around our sector but around business in general. We're very concerned that the future state of the automotive industry and the success could be jeopardised if we're not in the single market."
Michael Howard: UK does not need to be in EU single market.
Britain should not remain a member of the single market once it leaves the European Union, former Conservative leader Michael Howard has said. Lord Howard told the BBC the UK should secure "access" to it instead. He also said Brexit negotiations should be concluded "as soon as we can" to avoid prolonged uncertainty about the UK's future relationship with the EU. The government has not said when it will start the formal exit process, other than it will not begin this year. There is also uncertainty over the nature of the UK's relationship with the bloc post-Brexit, especially whether it intends to remain a member of the single market, which offers free movement of goods, finance and people around the EU without any tariffs, quotas or taxes. European leaders have repeatedly stressed that the UK cannot stay in the single market without accepting the free movement of EU citizens.
Liam Fox predicts free EU trade post-Brexit.
The UK's trade with the European Union will be "at least as free" after Brexit as it is now, Liam Fox says. The International Trade Secretary said it was in other countries' interests to avoid tariffs which he said would "harm the people of Europe". He also predicted the UK would be a standard-bearer for global free trade and that Brexit represented a "golden opportunity" to forge new links. Lib Dem EU spokesman Nick Clegg said Mr Fox was "delusional" about Brexit. The UK is unable to negotiate trade deals independently while in the EU so Mr Fox will be negotiating new arrangements with other countries after Brexit, and has already had some talks with countries such as Australia. In a speech in Manchester, he said free trade had "transformed the world for the better" and that the UK had "a golden opportunity to forge a new role for ourselves in the world" in the "post-geography trading world" as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) - the body which helps sets rules for trade between different countries. He said: "As a newly independent WTO member outside the EU, we will continue to fight for trade liberalisation as well as potentially helping developing markets trade their way out of poverty by giving them preferential access to our markets. I believe the UK is in a prime position to become a world leader in free trade because of the brave and historic decision of the British people to leave the European Union. We are leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe and we are ready to take our place in an open, liberal and competitive globalised trading environment."
Commissioner: UK 'must avoid data protection Brexit'.
The UK's new information commissioner has called for the country to adopt forthcoming EU data protection laws, despite its plan to leave the Union. "I don't think Brexit should mean Brexit when it comes to standards of data protection," Elizabeth Denham told BBC Radio 4's PM programme. She added she would press WhatsApp over plans to share data with Facebook. The new EU data protection regulations are designed to strengthen the rights individuals have over their data. The idea is to make companies take the issue of data protection far more seriously. The rules make it mandatory for large companies to employ a data protection officer and data breaches must be reported within 72 hours. The legislation will take effect in 2018 and will apply to any company that handles EU citizens' data, even if that company is not based in Europe.
All details above from BBC News website.
[The Supreme Court will be hearing the Government case soon to allow it to stop our Sovereign Parliament a vote on Article 50 because that wouldn’t be ‘The Will of the People’ it’d be ‘The Will of the People’s Representatives’ in a representative democracy – but who am I to split constitutional hairs…. I’m betting that the Government will lose (again) and be forced to have the vote that they are supremely confident they’ll win. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what that brings out of the woodwork. A ‘Brexit’ shambles? Nothing of the sort!!]