This article originally published in December has been updated. Unless the British parliament approves a Brexit deal, or another extension to the UK's EU membership is agreed, or the government decides to cancel Brexit – then by law the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without an agreement on October 31. Several of the contenders to replace Theresa May as prime minister, including the favourite Boris Johnson, say they are determined to take the UK out in the autumn, without a deal if necessary. Polling suggests many members of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party favour such an option. A "no-deal" exit would mean that legal arrangements covering many aspects of everyday life would abruptly cease to apply. It would also bring a significant change in the trading relationship between the UK and the EU. The EU is the UK’s largest trading partner, although its importance has been slightly declining. Official UK figures show that 44% of all UK exports went to … [Read more...] about No-deal Brexit: what would ‘WTO terms’ mean for UK-EU trade?
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UK prime minister frontrunner Boris Johnson has expressed support for an ‘Australian-style’ points system for immigration to the UK after Brexit – here we look at what this implies and what would be in place for Britons wanting to come to France. Mr Johnson has said the UK should be “much more open” to high-skilled migrants, such as scientists, who would be eligible for a high 'points' score, but that it is vital that the country reduce the number of immigrants who are low-skilled or who want to do jobs that can be easily filled by UK nationals. Speaking English would also be a key element in obtaining enough ‘points’ to live in the country, Mr Johnson has said.It is not expected that the EU would reciprocate with any across-the-board policy for immigration from the UK, but rather that Britons coming to countries like France would in future be subject to the usual rules for non-EU citizens.Mr Johnson's comments have been taken as a … [Read more...] about ‘Points’ immigration plan for post-Brexit UK
Anti-EU and pro-EU parties look set to make gains in a Brexit-dominated election for British seats in the European Parliament, while the governing Conservative Party is bracing for one of its worst-ever performances. Daniel Hannan, a Conservative Member of the European Parliament, said he feared the party was facing "total wipeout" and would fail to win any of Britain's 73 seats in the 751-seat EU legislature. Britons voted Thursday but the results will not be announced until all 28 EU nations have finished going to the polls on Sunday. The Conservatives look likely to be punished for failing to take the country out of the EU as promised. Opinion polls suggest the newly founded Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage is set to take the biggest share of votes. It's one of several nationalist and populist parties hoping to increase their vote share across the continent. "If you want Brexit, you've got to vote Brexit," Farage said. "We did it once, they ignored us, so we're going to … [Read more...] about UK Conservatives fear wipeout in Brexit-dominated EU poll
France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, has said he wants to avoid Brexit “polluting” the EU after 31 October, and that European leaders need to know when the UK’s prolonged departure will come to an end. In April, Macron stood alone at a meeting of the EU27 in championing a short Brexit extension in opposition to those willing to give the UK until next year to complete its withdrawal. The October deadline for the British government to have ratified the withdrawal agreement or face a no-deal exit was a compromise position brokered with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. Macron, in a sign of the frustration in Brussels at the risk posed to its future agenda by the UK’s continued membership, told the Belgian newspaper Le Soir the EU needed a clear end date to the continuing saga. The French president, who is running behind Marine Le Pen in polls of voting intentions in this weekend’s European elections, said: “In the case of Brexit, you just have … [Read more...] about Macron wants to avoid Brexit ‘polluting’ EU after 31 October
British Prime Minister Theresa May is set for one last effort to save her much-derided European Union withdrawal deal - but in doing so risks a total collapse of the Brexit project, ministers have suggested. May has acknowledged the unpopularity of her deal, which has already been rejected three times by parliament and has said she would resign once it passed. Her own Brexit minister on Wednesday admitted the withdrawal agreement would be "dead" if rejected again. "I think the House will have to then address a much more fundamental question between whether it will pursue ... a no-deal option or whether it will revoke" the entire Brexit process, Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay told the Lords EU Committee. The talking point of a stark choice between "no deal" and "no Brexit" should May's deal be defeated again, originated in Downing Street early on Wednesday, with the BBC reporting on similar language from Number 10. It was echoed later by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox following … [Read more...] about ‘Reject Brexit deal and risk no Brexit’, UK ministers warn