Whatever the state of the Brexit negotiations, Britain remains a long, long way from a full-blown second EU referendum. Too far, most Westminster watchers believe, for a referendum to happen before Britain leaves the club at 11 p.m. on March 29, 2019. Why? Isn’t a head of steam building for a “people’s vote”? Didn’t the popular London mayor come out in favor? Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat claimed yesterday that EU leaders are on board too. Surely it’s only a matter of time before the desperate prospect of no deal forces a change in the political weather in Westminster? Don’t bet on it. A well-funded, cross-party campaign has certainly found some political traction with calls for a referendum on the terms of Britain’s EU divorce. After months of flailing around for a slogan, suddenly “people’s vote” has started to show signs of polling well. But that’s still not a second referendum on EU membership — … [Read more...] about Why a second Brexit referendum is unlikely
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Norway first, then Canada — easy. Except it isn’t. Faced with the mad riddle of taking Britain out of the EU in a way that is acceptable to both the U.K. parliament and Brussels, a growing number of Tory MPs and thinkers have alighted on an idea: the Brexit one-two. Former minister Nick Boles refloats his version of the plan in an op-ed for the Sunday Telegraph, saying he could no longer support the “humiliation” of the Chequers plan. And it is rumored that Cabinet Brexiteer Michael Gove is sympathetic to it. The idea is simple: First ditch Chequers (and probably lose its architect Theresa May in the process). Next, agree to “park temporarily,” as Boles puts it, in the single market like Norway. Finally, once Britain has finally left the EU, start negotiating a looser free-trade relationship like Canada’s. The Brexit one-two might look like a smoother route out of the EU — it is anything but. The great benefit of this play is … [Read more...] about Soft Brexit bridge is no magic solution
The emergency siren is whirring, but few are taking much notice. The most fundamental Brexit truth right now is this: Unless there is a concession from Brussels over the next few months, a full-blown political crisis in the U.K. is inevitable. And right now, that concession is nowhere in sight. That is the reality facing Theresa May as she prepares for the most important Cabinet meeting of her premiership at her Chequers country retreat on Friday, where she hopes to forge a consensus on the government’s preferred future relationship with the EU after Brexit, which could form the basis of a breakthrough in the negotiations with Brussels. All signs suggest it will involve a lot of British give. But without any EU take it will be pointless. Fundamentally, both sides have until March 29, 2019 to sign a withdrawal agreement which settles the terms of the divorce and sketches out “a framework” for what the future EU-U.K. relationship will look like. In that document, there … [Read more...] about London’s Brexit time bomb is about to blow
Brexit Files Insight Theresa May has begun a diplomatic push to sell a customs compromise — but Brussels is highly skeptical. It’s now all eyes on July 2022 — the date Brexit might actually mean Brexit. According to senior officials familiar with internal Cabinet discussions, Britain could need just over three years after it has left the EU to make preparations for its new long-term customs relationship with the bloc — although many are still pushing for a much quicker changeover. As POLITICO revealed Wednesday, to bridge the gap between March 29, 2019 — when Britain formally leaves the EU — and mid-2022, when officials think the new technical border solutions will be ready, Theresa May and David Davis hope to negotiate a “time-limited goods arrangement” with Brussels. The bridge is needed because the currently agreed transition period, which runs to December 2020, probably isn’t long enough. Under this … [Read more...] about UK customs proposal is really Brexit delayed further
0 Have your say For high streets, retail parks and malls to survive the growing roll call of closures, tenants will have to be even leaner or offer something very different, writes Jane Bradley At Edinburgh’s Craigleith shopping centre, Toys R Us workers are removing empty shelving units from the shop floor. Discount signs are visible on every wall and display.The staff, putting on a brave face for the handful of customers who are scouring the depleted stock for bargains, all know the store is going to close, but they have not yet been told exactly when it will happen.The mood is despondent. “How else can you feel in this situation?” asks one young man, who does not want to be named. His position at the store, which only opened in October amid much fanfare, is his first job since leaving school. “I’ll have to start looking for something else,” he adds. His colleague, who has worked in a string of retail jobs, is not hopeful either. … [Read more...] about Insight: Is in-store shopping past its sell-by in Scotland?