Warning: Threats Ahead! (Continuing with Older News…)
Brexiteers in warning to German business.
The German economy will pay a "high price" if its leaders make life hard for the UK over Brexit, British pro-Leave campaigners are to warn. John Longworth, co-chair of Leave means Leave, and ex-minister Owen Paterson will sound the warning at a major German business event on Saturday. Britain will "walk away" if the deal is not right, Mr Longworth will say. Theresa May has said it will be an act of "calamitous self-harm" for the EU to try and punish the UK for leaving. The prime minister has said she wants the UK and the EU to be "good neighbours" in a constructive, new partnership after Brexit. But she has warned that no deal will be better than a bad deal at the end of two years of negotiations - which are expected to start in April. Mr Longworth, former British Chamber of Commerce director general, will echo these views at the Berlin event - attended by German ministers, business, academia and media. "It is entirely sensible for businesses across the EU and Britain who wish to work and trade together to continue to do so and it would be helpful if the British and German governments, as well as key figures in the EU, work towards this goal," he will say. "If the German Chancellor and EU leaders continue down the road of negativity and threats when negotiating with Britain, German business and the German economy will pay a high price."
Labour MPs could vote against leadership on Brexit.
Dozens of Labour MPs might be prepared to go against the party's leadership if there is a vote on starting the Brexit process, the BBC understands. Jeremy Corbyn has said all his MPs will be told to approve the triggering of Article 50 because they should accept the result of last year's referendum. Lib Dem Tim Farron says generations to come will not forgive that position. The Supreme Court will announce next Tuesday whether the government needs to seek Parliament's approval. Ministers say they already have enough powers under the Royal Prerogative to go ahead with Brexit. But campaigners argue that starting Brexit in this way would be undemocratic and unconstitutional. Mr Corbyn said he did not think it was right to block Article 50 in the wake of the referendum result. "It's up to us to use the opportunity that's provided to stop the Tories from doing this bargain basement, low tax haven on the shores of Europe," he told the BBC. "What I'm saying to all of my MPs is we've supported the principle of holding the referendum, the referendum was held, it delivered a result - I don't think it's right to block Article 50 negotiations. It's absolutely right that we're involved in these negotiations and making the case for a fairer and socially just Britain."
Brexit: Labour tensions as Article 50 bill published.
A shadow minister has quit Labour's front bench after being told to back legislation paving the way for the UK's departure from the EU. Tulip Siddiq said she "cannot reconcile myself to the front-bench position". Jeremy Corbyn has imposed a three-line whip on his MPs, telling them to back the newly-published bill. The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has been produced after the Supreme Court ruled legislation would be necessary. In her resignation letter to Mr Corbyn, Ms Siddiq, who had been an early years minister, said: "Leaving the European Union presents enormous uncertainty for my constituents, with most believing that the disadvantages of leaving outweigh any potential benefits." Despite reports he might rebel, Shadow Business Secretary Clive Lewis said on Thursday he would back the bill. But he added: "Labour will seek to amend the Bill to prevent the government using Brexit to trash our rights, public services, jobs and living standards while cutting taxes for the wealthiest." Labour MPs expected to vote against the bill at second reading include former leadership challenger Owen Smith, former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw and Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner. Mr Corbyn said Labour MPs would face a three-line whip to vote in favour of the bill. He said he understood the "pressures and issues" members faced, but called on them to "unite" around "important issues" and "not to block Article 50 but to make sure it goes through next week". Frontbench members of parties are generally expected to resign from their post if they decided to defy a three-line whip.
Warning over government 'overload' ahead of Brexit.
Ministers are trying to do too much and there is a "sense of overload" in Whitehall even before it grapples with the challenge of Brexit, it is claimed. The Institute for Government said the government was "continuing to function" despite having a fifth fewer civil servants than in 2010 and "turf wars" resulting from preparations for Brexit. The government has abandoned four proposed bills in the past six months. In its report, the think tank warned government had become less transparent. The government is expected to clear the parliamentary schedule in the coming weeks to allow Parliament to debate legislation needed to approve the start of Brexit talks. This is having a knock-on effect on the government's wider agenda, with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt revealing on Tuesday that legislation to ensure all foreign migrants and visitors were charged for health treatment had been dropped. He told the Health Select Committee the government was not proceeding with the NHS Overseas Visitor Charging Bill "because of Brexit" but insisted the NHS was still expected to recover more money from people not entitled to free care. Proposed bills on prison and school reform have already been discarded since the EU referendum, while plans for a British bill of rights have been put on the backburner.
All details above from BBC News website.
[So….. Apparently the UK Brexit Minister believes that we can get a free trade deal with the EU post-Brexit. I believe that there’s a word for that: Delusional. Unless we sign up to the free movement of people and, no doubt other things, we will need to negotiate a poorer deal than we have now – inevitably. If we sign up to the Treaty of Rome obligations to get access to the EU internal Market then there’s an easy and relatively painless way to do that which includes a whole host of other advantages. It’s called not leaving. DUH!]