Mostrando entradas de octubre, 2017

Diplomat Davis

Desperate for a deal in December, David Davis is turning to diplomacy.
The Brexit secretary plans a series of meetings with senior officials from Germany and elsewhere in a new diplomatic push to win over European leaders and unblock exit talks, Bloomberg’s Tim Ross reports. There’s concern on the U.K. side that some member states don’t fully appreciate the scale of Prime Minister Theresa May’s efforts so far, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Talks are stuck on the issue of the divorce bill. The EU wants about 60 billion euros (£53 billion; $70 billion); May has made clear so far that she’s prepared to pay about a third of that and is going through other claims “line by line.” 
The EU wants more movement from the U.K. before it will agree to start talking about the crucial trade and transition arrangements that will be needed in just 17 months. May has already taken a politically risky leap – plenty of voters oppose paying a big bill – and the U.K. side thinks it’s time fo…

Deadly serious

What kind of say should British lawmakers have on the final Brexit deal?
That question has dominated Westminster this week as the unpredictability of the next 17 months continues to shape British politics. Meanwhile, the lack of progress in even fixing dates for further negotiation rounds is raising eyebrows on both sides of the English Channel. 
Members of Theresa May’s Conservative Party said on Thursday that they would consider rebelling against the government if it’s necessary to ensure Parliament gets a binding vote on the final deal. “We are deadly serious,” Nicky Morgan, who leads the influential Treasury Select Committee, said in the House of Commons. Ministers have promised verbally that members of Parliament will get a vote on the outcome of talks, but are resisting calls to codify this commitment in law.

An additional complication comes with the prospect that anti-Brexit campaigners are considering a legal challenge against the government over the lack of a binding vote, accor…

La factura del Brexit bloquea el paso a la segunda fase de negociación

Los Veintisiete hacen un gesto a Londres al prometer analizar ya la relación futura
El impulso dado para desencallar el Brexit no puede enmascarar el principal escollo en el camino: la disputada factura de salida que tendrá que pagar Reino Unido. Los jefes de Estado y de Gobierno de la Unión Europea han querido tender la mano a la primera ministra británica, Theresa May, pero advirtiendo de que, en la concreción de las cuentas, queda todo por hacer. “Ofrecí un compromiso firme”, ha alegado May tras la cumbre europea concluida este viernes en Bruselas. “Está muy claro que se necesitan más pasos”, ha opuesto la canciller alemana, Angela Merkel.
La puesta en escena que ofrecieron las dos cabezas visibles de la UE —el presidente de la Comisión, Jean-Claude Juncker, y el del Consejo, Donald Tusk— al término de la reunión de gobernantes revela bien la disyuntiva. Bruselas es consciente de que no ha habido progresos suficientes en el Brexit, como esperaba poder constatar en octubre, pero prete…

Who are EU talking to?

European governments are starting to say in public what they’ve long hinted in private: they don’t know how to deal with a U.K. government that is so divided on Brexit that no one knows what it wants.
In unusually candid comments, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told the BBC on Tuesday that the government’s internal disputes made it a difficult negotiating partner.
“It is quite a difficult negotiation when people who want to leave the European Union in Britain don’t really seem to agree among themselves what that actually means.”
Others have also come out publicly to say what’s been hobbling negotiations, which have stalled again only weeks after Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech in Florence. That had fueled hope on the EU side that some progress could be made. A European summit on Thursday and Friday – originally slated as the date when talks would move on from the divorce settlement to future trade arrangements – will yield little on the Brexit front, with leaders planning encourag…

Brexit talks have reached a deadlock.

Brexit talks have reached a deadlock, and the U.K. is pinning its hopes on European leaders to find a way out. The problem is no-one in Europe really wants to help.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said he was convinced that “with political will” progress is “within our grasp” in the next two months. The Brits understood his comments as an “elegant cry for help” aimed at European leaders, Bloomberg’s Tim Ross reports. Others saw it differently, with the onus put firmly on the U.K.’s squabbling government to find something else to offer.

As EU leaders prepare to meet next week at the summit that was initially penciled in as the start of trade talks, the 27 countries are maintaining a united front. Their position is unchanged: the U.K. needs to make clear its intentions on the financial settlement before the future relationship can be discussed.
Prime Minister Theresa May is vulnerable, and could even be toppled and succeeded by a hardliner, but even that prospect isn’t raising the chanc…

She said what...?

Just as it looked like she’d won a reprieve, Theresa May said the unthinkable.
Risking the wrath of her Tory colleagues and shredding the Brexit credentials she has spent more than a year building, she told a radio talk show that if there were another referendum she’d have to think about how she’d vote.
“I voted Remain, for good reasons at the time but circumstances move on,” she said on LBC Radio.
“I’m being open and honest with you—what I did last time round was I looked at everything and came to a judgment, and I’d do exactly the same this time round—but we’re not having another referendum and that’s absolutely crucial.”
She was savaged on Twitter, not least by ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage—another LBC host—who said she wasn’t the right person to deliver Brexit.

But that’s not all: May’s deputy Damian Green then said he thought the U.K. would be better off inside the bloc. Both insisted there would be no second referendum, so it’s all academic.
Any suggestion the prime minister’s heart is …

Hoping for progress...

Prime Minister Theresa May is hoping to make some progress on Brexit this week even as the political plotting at home makes it increasingly unlikely that she’ll survive long enough to ink the final deal. But there’s a glimmer of hope for the U.K. as its negotiating team heads back to Brussels: the tight unity of the EU27 could be about to show some cracks, Bloomberg’s Ian Wishart reports.
The European side has all but ruled out moving on to trade talks at the leaders’ summit next week, and diplomats say some governments are blocking proposals to allow discussion of the transition deal that U.K. businesses urgently need. While the 27 governments have been united so far, that consensus may not hold if trade talks are postponed beyond December, according to the diplomats. Countries including the Netherlands and Denmark are keen to open trade talks as soon as possible.
“In any political negotiations, there is not enough time, not enough money, not enough this, not enough that,” Danish Finan…

Who´s in charge?

Theresa May’s challenges grew fiercer overnight as a former cabinet colleague announced he is running a campaign to oust her, throwing into question the future of Brexit talks.
Grant Shapps, who served as Conservative Party co-chairman during David Cameron’s Downing Street tenure, told Bloomberg’s Tim Ross he has a list of colleagues who want to choose a new leader of the party and prime minister, after May failed to win a majority in June’s national election. The list is growing and includes five former cabinet ministers, as well as Tories from both sides of the Brexit debate, Shapps said.
Shapps is the most senior figure so far to call for May to quit after her disastrous speech Wednesday to close out the Conservative Party Conference. “We think the prime minister should stand aside now voluntarily so there can be a leadership election as soon as possible,” he said in a phone interview. “It is clear that we need to have a reboot and that means it is time to move on.”

Under party rules,…

Project Fear

The U.K. is stepping up its plans for a no-deal Brexit.
As the government tried to present a united front during the Tory party conference, Brexit Secretary David Davis’s message to the faithful was that the government has a “determined exercise” under way so that it’s ready for the worst if talks fail. “Not because it’s what we seek, but because it needs to be done.”
In private too, senior officials are growing concerned that the EU’s refusal to move talks on to trade—with just 18 months to go until Britain leaves—will make a deal impossible before the deadline, Bloomberg’s Tim Ross reports.

Leaving the EU without a deal would be catastrophic for business, throwing industries from financial markets to air travel and pharmaceuticals into legal limbo. After decades under European rules, trading terms would revert overnight to World Trade Organization tariffs, and trucks could pile up at ports awaiting customs checks.
Playing to the domestic audience, U.K. ministers stepped up their rhetori…