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Mrs May’s speech – key points

On the 2nd of March 2018 Prime Minister Theresa May made another speech about Brexit and our future relationship with the European Union.

To be honest, there was little in the speech that was new or original, but there were a few sections we would like to highlight. 

She said:

“Others have suggested we negotiate a free trade agreement similar to that which Canada has recently negotiated with the EU – or trade on World Trade Organisation terms.

But these options would mean a significant reduction in our access to each other’s markets compared to that which we currently enjoy. And this would mean customs and regulatory checks at the border that would damage the integrated supply chains that our industries depend on and be inconsistent with the commitments that both we and the EU have made in respect of Northern Ireland.”

On these points, Mrs May  is correct. Neither a CETA or a WTO option Brexit would be good for the UK; as we discuss here


Mrs May is also insisting that we leave the Single Market, despite admitting some of the problems that would cause:

“I want to be straight with people – because the reality is that we all need to face up to some hard facts.

We are leaving the single market. Life is going to be different. In certain ways, our access to each other’s markets will be less than it is now.”

This admission is markedly different from her comments in March 2017 in which she said that we would “trade freely into the European Single Market…the same benefits in terms of that free access to trade”

https://twitter.com/EFTA4UK/status/970052036115992576


Continue reading Mrs May’s speech – key points

Response to Marcus Fysh MP

A curious phenomenon is occurring, where MPs who previously supported negotiating a Norway or Switzerland-style relationship with the EU are now mysteriously changing their minds for flimsy reasons.

Controversial MP Marcus Fysh who once supported the Single Market and UK rejoining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) has now renounced the idea in an article in the Telegraph (surprise, surprise). 

His fellow MP, Antoinette Sandbach has replied to his Telegraph article with the below letter: 

Courtesy of the Politwoops website we can see that Mr Fysh has been busily deleting tweets that tie him to his former stated beliefs:  Continue reading Response to Marcus Fysh MP

Response to Rifkind

The disgraced former MP and former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has waded into the debate on Brexit. His comments have of course been welcomed by the Hard-Brexit fanzine Brexit Central:

Continue reading Response to Rifkind

Into the Brexit minefield

We are now entering a potentially dangerous phase of the Brexit process. Some Westminster politicians seem to think that the hard work is now over, given the epic struggles of 2017. 

In fact, we have merely left the rocky terrain and are now entering the minefield. 

Monsieur Barnier has repeatedly told us that the choice for the UK is between a Free Trade Agreement model (perhaps like CETA) or a Single Market-style relationship like Norway or Iceland

Either alternative has pros and cons for the UK.

The FTA approach would give the UK back more sovereignty (at least on paper) but would leave us a rule-taker in many ways, following rules and regulations ‘faxed’ from Brussels when trading with our largest trading partner (and many other countries which are emulating their rules willingly or unwillingly).

In addition, this approach would mean we would have to strike new deals with the EU and its member states about the rights of UK citizens to live, work, study and retire in the EU (and vice versa).  Continue reading Into the Brexit minefield

Response to Bloomberg

Today, an article appeared on the Bloomberg website discussing their predictions for Brexit talks in the year ahead. Several interesting scenarios are discussed, with some possibilities more likely than others.

In one scenario:

“it proves impossible for May to satisfy her three most difficult audiences: the Irish government, which is backed by the EU; the Democratic Unionist Party, which is propping up her government; and the ardent Brexit-backers within her own party.”  Continue reading Response to Bloomberg

Prospect magazine’s epic fail

Tonight, the UK media are abuzz, talking about an “exclusive” story in Prospect magazine today about Brexit and Michel Barnier. This exclusive story has since been covered by The Sun, Mail, Telegraph and other news outlets.

There are actually two articles, one the original by Christine Ockrent and a reaction piece to it by Prospect editor Tom Clark.

There are two major problems with these pieces.  Continue reading Prospect magazine’s epic fail

Let down by the media

This is a topic we have covered before, but it deserves revisiting. The blame for Brexit going badly cannot be solely attributed to politicians.

Why? because the media that should be bringing the facts to the nation simply isn’t doing so.

Like it or not, the media and politics are entwined like never before. People in Westminster seem to move from jobs at newspapers to political think tanks, to work as advisers to politicians, to Quangos and charities and then back to the media. 

Spend just a short time on twitter and you will often see backslapping tweets like “congratulations to Emma who has gone from the newsdesk at the {insert paper here] to work at the [insert name here] think-tank” or “Congratulations to James who has just left his position at the Smithson foundation charity to work as communications advisor to a Government Minister”.  Continue reading Let down by the media