No Free Lunches…..
Brexit: Warning on migration if Britain stays in EU single market.
EU migration will not fall sharply if the UK stays in the single market, a pressure group has said. If the UK kept market membership after Brexit, net migration from the EU was unlikely to drop below 155,000 a year in the medium term, compared to 189,000 now, Migration Watch said. Market membership and migration control were incompatible, it claimed. The government has not yet set out its negotiating objectives ahead of official Brexit talks. Trade and migration are likely to be key sticking points when talks begin - expected to be in the spring. Prime Minister Theresa May has indicated she wants limits on existing freedom of movement rules as part of the final deal. This, ministers believe, would help the government in its broader objective of reducing net migration - the difference between the number of people settling in the UK and those leaving - to below 100,000 a year. Overall net migration has been consistently higher than 300,000 in the last 18 months, hitting 335,000 in the year to June 2016, according to the latest figures published. During that period, a record number of EU citizens - 284,000 in total - came to live in Britain as net EU migration totalled 189,000.
Brexit and population increase 'to change UK radically' by 2030.
Life in the UK will undergo "radical" change in the 2020s due to Brexit, population changes and jobs being taken by robots, a think tank has predicted. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said there would be a Brexit "aftershock" and that the UK's exit from the EU would be "the firing gun on a decade of disruption". It identified wide-ranging factors that would "reshape how we live and work". The government has promised to "forge a new role" for the UK in the world. In its report, the IPPR, a centre-left think tank, said Brexit would be one of the major "disruptive forces" in the years ahead, saying the vote had delivered a "profound shock" to the UK's political and economic order which was likely to set the country on a path of permanently lower growth and living standards. It also anticipated a "demographic tipping point" with a population boom and the number of people aged 65 and over predicted to rise by a third by the end of the next decade. The report said this would impose new strains on the state with the funding gap for adult social care expected to hit £13bn by 2030-31. This would lead to an increase in the UK's deficit - the gap between income and spending - it said.
Brexit: Theresa May urged to rule out interim deal.
Theresa May has been urged to rule out a transitional Brexit deal and ensure the UK's full exit from the EU within two years of negotiations beginning. Campaign group Leave Means Leave said a "clean, swift" exit should be among the PM's red lines for upcoming talks. It also said the UK must withdraw from the single market, customs union and common farming and fisheries policies. On Thursday, a former top EU lawyer warned of a "catastrophe" for the UK if no interim trade accord was struck. Jean-Claude Piris, head of the EU Council's legal service from 1988 to 2010, said there was no way the UK could negotiate a new free trade deal with the rest of the EU in the two years set aside for determining the UK's exit - warning it would take at least five years and probably more. He told the Financial Times that the UK must avoid falling into the "WTO gap" - whereby its trading arrangements with the rest of the EU reverted to World Trade Organisation rules with likely tariffs and border checks - and this would require some form of stop-gap agreement. But Leave Means Leave said there could be no interim arrangement that required the UK to remain in the single market or customs union.
UK's ambassador to the EU Sir Ivan Rogers resigns.
The UK's ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers, has resigned. Sir Ivan, appointed to the job by David Cameron in 2013, had been expected to play a key role in Brexit talks expected to start within months. The government said Sir Ivan had quit early so a successor could be in place before negotiations start. Last month the BBC revealed he had privately told ministers a UK-EU trade deal might take 10 years to finalise, sparking criticism from some MPs. Ministers have said a deal can be done within two years. Labour said Sir Ivan's departure was "deeply worrying" and Prime Minister Theresa May must be prepared to listen to "difficult truths" about the likely complexity of the Brexit process. The diplomat was due to leave his post in November. Sir Ivan is a veteran civil servant whose previous roles include private secretary to ex-chancellor Ken Clarke, principal private secretary to ex-PM Tony Blair and Mr Cameron's Europe adviser. He was criticised in some quarters for "pessimism" over Brexit after his advice to ministers - which he said reflected what the 27 member states were saying - was reported. Pro-EU figures raised concern about the impact of Sir Ivan's departure, while Brexit campaigners welcomed his decision. Former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, who once worked for Sir Ivan in Brussels, described his resignation as a "body blow to the government's Brexit plans". He added: "If the reports are true that he has been hounded out by hostile Brexiteers in government, it counts as a spectacular own goal."
Post-Brexit trade deals 'to create 400,000 jobs'.
Nearly 400,000 jobs could be created as a result of post-EU trade deals with other countries, pro-Brexit campaign group Change Britain has claimed. By leaving the EU's customs union, it said, the UK would be free to negotiate deals with the US, India, China, Japan, Canada, Korea and trading blocs in South America and South East Asia. This, it said, would bring an estimated £23bn export boost and 387,580 jobs. But the figures were dismissed as flawed and misleading by opponents. Pro-EU campaigners said the statistics were based on the assumption of replicating EU deals with other countries that the UK would no longer be part of. The UK would simply not be able to secure deals of a "comparative depth" to those negotiated by the EU after Brexit. Change Britain, which grew out of the Vote Leave campaign group, is pressing for a so-called "hard Brexit", where the UK pulls out of the single market and the customs union when it leaves the EU. It says this will give it flexibility to negotiate the most beneficial trade arrangements with the rest of the world. Its research is based on 2012 calculations by the European Commission about the boost to exports and jobs in the EU as a whole if trade deals were struck with six leading economies and two major trade blocs, South East Asia's Asean and South America's Mercosur.
All details above from BBC News website.
[It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything the effect of the French Presidential election will be on Brexit. One thing we can say – at least there will probably be an EU to leave in 2 years’ time which might not have been the case if the election had gone the other way. So, Good Going France! The other thing rumbling on in the news presently is the growing spat being Team UK and Team EU about negotiating positions and relative positions in the same (or different) galaxies in the reality stakes. The way that Teresa May came out fighting after everything became public hints that most of the German newspaper report was correct. It looks like it’s going to be a long, HARD two years ahead….. I would NOT want to be on that negotiating team, no way.]