British government divided on free movement after Brexit — Philip Hammond’s Brexit transition plan causing Tory splits

LONDON (Reuters) – Allowing free movement of people after Britain leaves the European Union would not “keep faith” with the Brexit vote, the international trade secretary said, underling divisions in the government over the issue.

Liam Fox told the Sunday Times that senior government ministers had not reached a consensus on retaining free movement of people for a transitional period, a proposal outlined by Chancellor Philip Hammond on Friday.

Image result for Philip Hammond, photos

Chancellor Philip Hammond

Hammond had said should be no immediate changes to immigration or trading rules when Britain leaves the EU in March 2019, and the status quo could endure until mid-2022.

“If there have been discussions on that, I have not been party to them,” Fox told the newspaper.

“I have not been involved in any discussion on that, nor have I signified my agreement to anything like that.”

Divisions between ministers over Brexit strategy have become more open after Prime Minister Theresa May lost her majority in an early election she called in June. With May away on holiday, the debate has intensified.

Image result for Liam Fox, photos

Liam Fox

Hammond has led a push within the government to secure a business-friendly Brexit that avoids a sudden change in 2019 in the relationship between Britain and the EU, which buys nearly half the country’s exports.

Fox had previously said he backed a transition agreement to smooth Britain’s exit from the trading bloc, but on Sunday he indicated that free movement should not continue.

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox attend Prime Minister Theresa May’s election manifesto launch in Halifax, May 18, 2017.Phil Noble

“We made it clear that control of our own borders was one of the elements we wanted in the referendum, and unregulated free movement would seem to me not to keep faith with that decision,” he told the Sunday Times.

Fox, who campaigned for Britain to leave the EU in last year’s referendum, said any transitional deal needed to be jointly agreed by senior ministers.

“It can’t just be made by an individual or any group within the cabinet,” he said.

An ally of British foreign minister Boris Johnson also came out against Hammond’s plan on Sunday.

Gerard Lyons, a former economic adviser to Johnson when he was London mayor, said a transition period should last for no more than two years.

“Many of the ‘risks’ being highlighted about Brexit are perceived risks, not real risks. And a two-year transition would alleviate many concerns,” Lyons said in a Sunday Telegraph newspaper column.

A growing number of other ministers have said they agree with the need for a transition period but Johnson – who has advocated a tough approach to the Brexit negotiations – has been silent on the issue recently.

Late on Friday, Hammond and Johnson issued a joint statement saying they were “working together to take the UK out of the EU” and its single market, customs union and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. The statement made no mention of transitional arrangements.

Reporting by William Schomberg and Paul Sandle; Editing by James Dalgleish/Keith Weir

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Boris Johnson’s ally attacks Philip Hammond’s plan which could see thousands of EU citizens move to Britain after Brexit

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson’s economic guru has attacked Philip Hammond’s Brexit transition plan.  CREDIT: AFP

Philip Hammond’s Brexit transition plan has come under public attack from Boris Johnson’s economic guru, as significant Tory splits begin to emerge.

Gerard Lyons, the leading City economist, criticises the Chancellor for exploiting Theresa May’s absence on holiday to publicise his own Brexit views.

Writing for the Telegraph, Mr Lyons demands that any transition phase is just two years long – a year shorter than outlined by Mr Hammond.

And he compares warnings of a Brexit “cliff-edge” for businesses to hysteria over the Millennium Bug, which never came to pass.

“There is alarmist talk of a cliff-edge,” he writes. “It reminds me of the Y2K bug where computers were apparently going to stop at the millennium.”

Theresa May
Gerard Lyons, the leading City economist, has criticised the Chancellor for exploiting Theresa May’s absence on holiday to publicise his own Brexit views. CREDIT: PA

He adds: “Many of the ‘risks’ being highlighted about Brexit are perceived risks, not real risks. And a two-year transition would alleviate many concerns.”

The intervention from such a close…

Read the rest:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/29/boris-johnsons-ally-attacks-philip-hammonds-plan-could-see-thousands/

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One Response to “British government divided on free movement after Brexit — Philip Hammond’s Brexit transition plan causing Tory splits”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

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