Two and a half years after Britain voted to leave the EU, the UK cabinet on Wednesday night backed the text of the draft withdrawal agreement drawn up by British and European negotiators – but with a series of ministerial resignations already on Thursday, the fallout has already begun. Here is a non-exhaustive guide to what the agreement broadly says, which parts of it are proving controversial (and why), how likely the prime minister now is to get it through parliament, and what could happen next. What is the withdrawal agreement? Think of it as the separation agreement between the UK and the EU. Running to 585 pages, it covers three main areas: Britain’s financial settlement with the EU to meet agreed commitments. The post-Brexit rights of EU citizens in the UK and British citizens on the continent. A mechanism to prevent a “hard border” on the island of Ireland. The agreement also includes a much sketchier (and non-binding) seven-page political declaration … [Read more...] about Theresa May’s Brexit deal: everything you need to know
Theresa long island medium
Theresa May privately warned that companies would leave the UK if the country voted for Brexit during a secret audience with investment bankers a month before the EU referendum. A recording of her remarks to Goldman Sachs, leaked to the Guardian, reveals she had numerous concerns about Britain leaving the EU. It contrasts with her nuanced public speeches, which dismayed remain campaigners before the vote in June. Speaking at the bank in London on 26 May, the then home secretary appeared to go further than her public remarks to explain more clearly the economic benefits of staying in the EU. She told staff it was time the UK took a lead in Europe, and that she hoped voters would look to the future rather than the past. In an hour-long session before the City bankers, she also worried about the effect of Brexit on the British economy. “I think the economic arguments are clear,” she said. “I think being part of a 500-million trading bloc is significant for us. I think, … [Read more...] about Exclusive: what Theresa May really thinks about Brexit shown in leaked recording
It was described as Brexit in a single shot. Theresa May stood awkwardly in the middle of the room while EU leaders chattered and embraced, apparently oblivious to her presence. Amid the roar of voices, the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, greeted the prime minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, with air kisses and a friendly pat on the back. Standing alone, the British prime minister fiddled with her cuffs. May, of course, was not ignored by leaders as they arrived in Brussels for a summit on Thursday. Although May walked in alone, another clip showed her smiling and talking to other people in the room. But the snapshot happens to be a telling image of what the leaders of the other 27 member states want to convey. That, while Britain heads for the EU exit door uncertain of what it is doing, the EU’s remaining 27 stand strong and together – united, as the EU motto goes, in diversity. Even seasoned Brussels diplomats have been surprised by how well EU unity has … [Read more...] about ‘Lonely Theresa May’ video at EU summit is Brexit in a nutshell
Beach BBQs, ocean sunsets and a trip to Stingray City: Antigua and Peter Island make a big impression on Rory Bremner By Rory Bremner Published: 09:55 BST, 11 February 2014 | Updated: 18:27 BST, 4 March 2014 e-mail 1k shares 9 View Even with the plethora of medium and long-haul destinations available to today’s discerning travellers, there’s still something special about the Caribbean - that collection of islands cast like a string of pearls into the sea between the Americas.The islands offer many contrasts: from the exclusive, super-rich haunts of St Barth’s and Mustique to those playboy tax-havens and cruise-ship magnets St Thomas and St Maarten; from the smoky, sultry, Latin American passion of Cuba and Puerto Rico to the yacht-friendly breezes of the Grenadines or the steel-drum, calypso exuberance of the cricketing West Indies.Palm-fringed beaches? Ocean sunsets? Rum punch and Pina Coladas? Get in. Jewel in the Caribbean's crown: Rory Bremner … [Read more...] about Beach BBQs, ocean sunsets and a trip to Stingray City: Antigua and Peter Island make a big impression on Rory Bremner
Theresa May speaking in the House of Commons today Theresa May had been looking jittery all morning. She put her glasses on, she took her glasses off, she clutched her notes. She ignored her friend and neighbour on the green benches, Ken Clarke, mouthing, ‘Not now’. At one point, the former Prime Minister walked out of the chamber – she was wearing that old pair of leopard-print flat pumps – and then returned. Was it all too much, a return to the scene of so much heartbreak? But then all became clear when, on one of the few occasions since she’d tearfully left office, Mrs May stood up to address a packed House of Commons. You could have heard a pin drop. Necks craned, ears strained. MPs even stopped tweeting. A miracle. And do you know what? She smashed it. She was like a new woman. Clear as a bell, too: no sore throat caused by endless arguments with intransigent men. Instead, we got lashings of passion and even a little joke: ‘I feel a … [Read more...] about LIZ JONES COMMONS SKETCH: Theresa May smashed it. And no sore throat caused by rows with stubborn men!