Leaked memo says the UK government still has no overall Brexit plan
BBC and The Times both claim access to a leaked memo 15 Nov
the government has no overall Brexit plan and a negotiating strategy may not be agreed by the cabinet for six months
Whitehall is working on 500 Brexit-related projects and could need 30,000 extra staff
there is still no common exit strategy "because of divisions within the cabinet"
The leaked Cabinet Office memo - written by an un-named consultant and
entitled "Brexit Update" of 7 November - suggests it will take another
six months before the government decides precisely what it wants to
achieve from Brexit or agrees on its priorities.
A government spokesman said it "didn't recognise" the claims made in the memo.
According to The Times the memo says:
"Every department has
developed a 'bottom-up' plan of what the impact of Brexit could be - and
its plan to cope with the 'worst case'.
"Although necessary, this
falls considerably short of having a 'government plan for Brexit'
because it has no prioritisation and no link to the overall negotiation
Plenty of work to be done still but the
government's main focus right now will be winning their Supreme Court
appeal due to be heard from 5 Dec
Hammond says will get UK ready for Brexit challenge
Britain's first budget plan since the Brexit vote will seek to get
the economy prepared for the challenges of leaving the European Union
and help struggling families through tough times ahead, finance minister
Philip Hammond said on Sunday.
But Hammond said that levels of public debt were "eye-wateringly"
high and he would not announce a big increase in spending when he spells
out the economic plans of Britain's new government on Wednesday.
"We've got to make sure that the prosperity that comes from seizing
opportunities ahead is shared across the country and across the income
distribution," he told BBC television.
He was echoing promises by Prime Minister Theresa May to work for
"just managing" Britons, many of whom delivered the biggest political
upset in generations in June by voting to leave the EU.
Earlier on Sunday, the Treasury said Hammond would announce 1.3
billion pounds ($1.60 billion) in new spending on roads as part of his
plans to bolster the economy with two years of talks on leaving the EU
due to begin early next year.
Hammond said an important part of the discussions would focus on
transition arrangements for the period after Britain leaves the EU but
will probably still be negotiating the terms of its new relationship
with the bloc.
With Britain's economy facing a slowdown next year and in 2018 after
the Brexit vote, Hammond has dropped the target of his predecessor
George Osborne of turning Britain's budget deficit into a surplus by
Brexit - The Economist 2017 prediction: "Theresa May will have achieved little of substance"
A Brexit view from The Economist
They reckon that "By the end of 2017 Theresa May will have achieved little of substance"
Britain is now in unknown, volatile territory
she triggers Article 50, Mrs May will begin a two-year countdown to
Brexit. The first couple of months will bring bureaucratic
throat-clearing (the European Commission will lead the talks, with the
European Council breathing down its neck). In the run-up to France's
presidential election, in April and May, mainstream French politicians
will talk tough about Brexit to counter Marine Le Pen, the right-wing
populist who wants her country to hold its own referendum on leaving the
EU. Shortly afterwards German politics will turn inwards ahead of a
parliamentary election in September, probably re-engaging in earnest
with Brexit only in November, once a new coalition has emerged in
I am not totally convined that Brexit will happen in the end. There are a lot of potential things that could stop this happening. The main problem now is the uncertainty. This is likely to continue for a long time yet.
Germany’s Slowing Economy Highlights Need for “Comprehensive” Post-Brexit Trade Deal With UK
Germany’s growth engine slowed more than expected in the third
quarter, as exports fell in the wake of the United Kingdom’s decision to
leave the European Union (EU). According to one German official, the
slowdown hastens the need to reach a new post-Brexit trade agreement
Europe’s largest economy expanded just 0.2% in the third quarter,
halving the previous quarter’s growth rate, the Federal Statistics
Office reported last week. A median estimate of economists called for
0.3% growth. Exports detracted from growth, while household and state
spending increased further.
While the German economy is expected to end the year on a high note,
some are worried about the country’s trade outlook in the wake of
Brexit. Ilse Aigner, Germany’s economy minister, recently said that
Brexit poses a “high risk” to Germany, seeing as how the UK is one of
Bavaria’s “most important trading partners.”
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently indicated she was
willing to compromise on the issue of mobility following the UK’s
referendum. Free movement is a central tenant of pan-European
integration, one that the UK government opposes in the wake of Brexit.
The UK government must invoke Article 50 of the EU Treaty before
beginning a new round of trade talks with Brussels. British Prime
Minister Theresa May has indicated she intends to notify Brussels of her
intent to leave the EU by the end of March.
Another legal challenge regarding Brexit on its way
BBC reporting 28 Nov 2016
The BBC has learned that the UK govt is facing a legal
battle over whether the UK stays inside the single market after it has
left the EU,
Lawyers say uncertainty over the
UK's European Economic Area membership means ministers could be stopped
from taking Britain out of the single market.
They will argue the
UK will not leave the EEA automatically when it leaves the EU and
Parliament should decide, but the government said EEA membership ends
when the UK leaves the EU.
Lawyers expect there to be a legal challenge to decide whether it is
up to Parliament or government to make the decision to take the UK out
of the single market.
If the courts back this assessment and give
Parliament the final say over EEA membership, then MPs could vote to
ensure that Britain stays in the single market until a long-term trading
relationship with the EU has been agreed.
The EEA was set up in the 1990s to extend the single market to non-EU members like Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.All
EU member states are in the European Economic Area and it had been
assumed that when Britain leaves the EU it would automatically leave the
EEA as well.
But some lawyers argue that leaving the EEA would
not be automatic and would happen only if Britain formally withdraws by
triggering Article 127 of the EEA agreement. The legal question is
focused on whether the UK is a member of the EEA in its own right or
because it is a member of the EU.
UK Supreme Court to begin its deliberations on Brexit today
The UK government's appeal against the High Court ruling begins today 5 Dec
We posted on the original 3 Nov decision here and now the highest court in the land will begin a landmark legal hearing into whether
Parliament's consent is required before official Brexit negotiations
The High Court ruled that rights
conferred by Parliament when it passed the 1972 European Communities Act
- which paved the way for the UK to join the then European Economic
Community - were likely to be affected by Brexit.
As a result, it concluded, any process leading to the potential withdrawal of rights could only be determined by Parliament.
Here's the key points:
The case is about whether the government needs Parliament to trigger the process for the UK to leave the EU
The government argues it can start the
Article 50 process using "prerogative powers", a remnant of the era of
all-powerful kings and queens
Justices will be ruling on who has the legal power to change the rights of British citizens
It's worth noting though that this petition is not
designed to prevent Brexit but that Parliament should be allowed to have
its say. Indeed Gina Miller leading the campaign last week conceded on
BBC Radio that Brexit was still very likely to go ahead.
Govt ministers will have a number of options if they lose the appeal, but it
has been reported that a 16-word bill is being prepared which could be
fast-tracked though Parliament, asking MPs and peers "to give
permission" to the government to trigger Article 50 in time to meet the
And yes folks, you can watch the whole thing live here
but don't forget that this part of the process is scheduled to last a
few days ( 5 to 8 Dec. Start times: 5 Dec - 11:00 GMT 6 Dec - 10:15 7
Dec - 10:30 8 Dec - 10:15) and a decision not due until January.
given the market's penchant for dancing on hot coals right now we might
expect some reaction to headlines/comments in the meantime.
In a turnaround UK PM May has agreed to a vote on triggering Article 50 7 Dec
The news came out last night so not new but I'm just highlighting for good order and its potential impact on GBP pairs.
PM Theresa May has agreed to publish her plan for leaving
the EU in order to avoid a possible Tory rebellion and defeat in the
Commons.The government hopes this will persuade MPs to support its schedule for starting the process of leaving the EU.
Labour - which initiated the debate - said it would back the timetable but had wanted scrutiny of Brexit plans. Labour's
shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer put forward a motion to be debated
on Wednesday, with support from some on the Conservative back benches.
party wanted to force the government to reveal its negotiating stance
before formal talks with EU leaders get under way. Downing
Street tabled an amendment agreeing to outline its strategy, in
exchange for MP's approval of the government's timetable for triggering
Opponents to Britain leaving the European Union will launch a fresh
legal action this week, which could further hamper Prime Minister
Theresa May's Brexit plans, The Sunday Times reported.
newspaper said campaigners will write to the UK government on Monday
saying they are taking it to the High Court in an effort to keep Britain
in the single market.
It said the claimants will seek a judicial
review in an attempt to give lawmakers a new power of veto over the
terms on which Britain leaves the EU.
They argue the government
“has no mandate” to withdraw from the single market because it was not
on the referendum ballot paper on June 23 and was not part of the ruling
Conservative Party's manifesto for the 2015 general election.
has said she wants to invoke Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty by
the end of March, kicking off up to two years of exit negotiations.
the High Court ruled last month that Article 50 cannot be triggered
without parliament's assent. That ruling is being challenged by the
government in Britain's Supreme Court.
The Sunday Times said the
new court case hinges on whether the government would also have to
trigger another legal measure — Article 127 of the European Economic
Area agreement — in order to quit the single market.
ministers argue Britain automatically exits the single market when it
quits the EU. But, it said if the claimants win the new case, the
government would have to gain the approval of lawmakers.