Posts Tagged ‘Brexit’

Brexit: Theresa May Again Meets EU Leaders — talks that could be hampered by divisions at home

December 14, 2017

Theresa May will urge European Union leaders to approve an agreement to move Brexit talks on to a second phase after an embarrassing parliamentary defeat.

The Prime Minister will repeat her case for moving the talks on to trade negotiations, which she sees as crucial to offering certainty for businesses.

The 27 other EU leaders are all but certain to approve the deal to move to “phase two” on Friday, after Ms May has left Brussels, launching a new stage of talks that could be hampered by divisions at home and differences with the EU.

Live Updates

Brexit should be cancelled, Austrian prime minister says

Austria’s prime minister has said he hopes that Brexit can be reversed, hours after British MPs voted to give themselves a veto on Theresa May’s final deal. Arriving at European Council summit in Brussels Christian Kern said Brexit would likely throw up problems that are “not easy to solve”.

Arriving at the summit in Brussels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there were “still a few questions remaining open” about the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, but there was “a good chance that the second phase can now begin”.

French President Emmanuel Macron said it was “not simply a council about Brexit”, stressing that his focus was on issues of EU defence and migration policybeing discussed on Thursday evening.

UK must accept EU laws to prevent ‘dramatic and damaging’ impact on economy after Brexit, MPs warn

A transition period after Brexit where the UK continues to accept EU rules would be a “price worth paying” for economic stability, an influential Commons committee has said. Cross-party MPs on the Treasury Committee said the Government should consent to a “standstill” transition deal with Brussels, which would likely include remaining in the single market and customs union, and accepting judgements from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) after Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019.

Tory former minister who rebelled against May warns she faces second defeat

Conservative ex-cabinet minister Dominic Grieve has said he does not care about “knives being out for me” over his role in forcing changes to Theresa May’s Brexit plans, as he warned the Prime Minister she faces a second defeat.

All you need to know about the Brexit bill’s Amendment 7 and why it has just humiliated Theresa May

Theresa May’s government was handed a defeat on the Brexit bill as 11 MPs rebelled and backed an amendment to give Parliament a much greater say in leaving the European Union (EU).  Amendment seven, tabled by the former attorney general Dominic Grieve, requires any Brexit deal to be approved by a separate Act of Parliament before it can be implemented.

High Court just ruled Government policy of deporting homeless EU citizens is illegal

The IndependentThe High Court has ordered the Government to stop deporting homeless EU citizens under a controversial policy that has been ruled unlawful. Mrs Justice Lang said measures introduced last year were discriminatory and violated European law, following a challenge by two Polish men and a Latvian. The three men were all facing removal because they were found by police and immigration officers sleeping rough.

Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, said a transition period needs to be closer to five years than two.
Speaking in the Dail on Thursday, he insisted that businesses need time to adapt to any new realities in the context of Brexit.
He also said that, in his view, the commitments that the UK Government has made to Ireland and the rest of the EU are “cast-iron”.

Watch the moment Theresa May was defeated by her own MPs in humiliating Brexit vote

The Independent — This is the moment that the government lost its key vote on its Brexit bill after a rebellion by 11 Conservative MPs. In front of a packed House of Commons in the end the Government was defeated by 309 votes to 305, a margin of just four votes. Cheers erupted as the result was announced.

This is from the FT’s Brussels Correspondent. Luxembourg’s PM says the EU will not renegotiate a deal with Britain if Parliament rejects the one on offer. 

Luxembourg’ PM Bettel asked if EU will renegotiate exit deal if rejected by parliament: “No”.

Tory former minister who rebelled against May warns she faces second defeat

Conservative ex-cabinet minister Dominic Grieve has said he does not care about “knives being out for me” over his role in forcing changes to Theresa May’s Brexit plans, as he warned the Prime Minister she faces a second defeat.

Asked whether the Prime Minister agreed with the Archbishop of Canterbury (see 9.22am) a Downing Street spokesman said:

“The Government understands there are strong feelings on both sides, we continue to listen to views and move forward to secure the Brexit deal the country needs.”

The Tories have sacked their own vice-chairman after he helped defeat the Government over Brexit

Tory MP Stephen Hammond has been sacked as a vice-chairman of the Conservative Party after he rebelled against the Government on a key Brexit vote. The former transport minister voted in favour of Dominic Grieve’s amendment seven, to back his attempt to ensure MPs have a “meaningful vote” on the withdrawal deal. Before the news broke, Mr Hammond said the rebels had been prepared to work with the Government to ensure a meaningful vote.

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Brexit: Theresa May’s EU summit marred by embarrassing defeat at hands of Tory rebels

December 14, 2017

The Prime Minister has been forced to give Parliament a greater role in EU withdrawal after losing a critical vote

By Joe Watts Political Editor

The Independent

Theresa May is heading to a key EU summit after being embarrassed by her own MPs
  • Watch the moment Theresa May is defeated by her own MPs in Brexit vote

Theresa May is set to arrive in Brussels for a key EU summit on Thursday having suffered a damaging defeat in Parliament over her central piece of Brexit legislation.

The Prime Minister is to use the EU event to try and make the case for moving Brexit talks on to trade negotiations quickly, but European leaders will now be left wondering if she still has the political support in London to deliver any deal.

There were cheers from opposition MPs in the House of Commons when it emerged the Government had been forced to accept changes to its EU Withdrawal Bill, which it is now claimed will guarantee Parliament a “meaningful” final vote on any Brexit deal Ms May agrees.

The embarrassing defeat – the first inflicted on Ms May as she pushes through her Brexit plans – came after Jeremy Corbyn ordered Labour MPs to back an amendment to her legislation proposed by ex-Conservative attorney general Dominic Grieve.

The result immediately exposed deep divisions on the Conservative benches, with reports of a heavy-handed Government whipping operation creating tension, blue-on-blue clashes in the Commons and one Tory rebel sacked from his senior party position within moments of opposing Ms May.

Rebels braced themselves for a wave of abuse from the Brexit-backing media, but insisted they had no choice but to put principle before party and vote against the Government.

Ms May was supposed to enjoy something of a victory at the EU council summit on Thursday, expected to rubber-stamp the judgment that “sufficient progress” has been made on divorce issues to move on to the next phase of talks.

But with difficult obstacles already arising in Brussels, the defeat in London lays bare the difficulties Ms May will have in delivering anything she agrees on the continent.

Following the blow, the Government immediately hinted it may try a parliamentary counteroffensive later in the legislative process to undo the change forced upon it.

A Government spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed that Parliament has voted for this amendment despite the strong assurances that we have set out. We are as clear as ever that this Bill, and the powers within it, are essential.

She added: “We will now determine whether further changes are needed to the Bill to ensure it fulfils its vital purpose.”

The key vote in the Commons came over Mr Grieve’s amendment seven, with the legal expert insisting it was necessary to prevent Ms May’s flagship Brexit legislation becoming a “very worrying tool of executive power”.

Up to now Ms May had promised Parliament a say of sorts over the final deal she agrees in Brussels, but as it stood it would be a ‘take it or leave it’ vote and ministers would retain powers to enact any deal without first gaining Parliament’s permission.

The change means the terms of any Brexit deal must now first be approved with a full Act of Parliament –effectively allowing MPs to re-write parts of the deal before any of it is implemented by Ms May.

Ministers are now under heavy pressure to drop another part of Ms May’s proposals that would fix 29 March 2019 as Brexit day – opening the way for the Article 50 period to be extended to ensure Parliament can approve any deal before the UK drops out of the EU.

That part of the Bill was to be voted next week, but after the defeat Downing Street may conclude it will lose that too.

Ms May’s whips applied heavy pressure on Conservative rebels and Justice Minister Dominic Raab offered minor concessions in the Commons, but rebels said it was too little too late.

In the end the Government was defeated by 309 votes to 305, a margin of  just four votes. In total 11 Tory MPs voted against the Government, including eight former frontbenchers. A further Conservative MP abstained.

Speaking after the vote Mr Grieve struck a sorrowful tone, saying he “didn’t wish to rebel against the Government, it’s not something I make a habit of doing”.

He added: “To my mind I had no option but to continue with this. I had hoped even during the course of the afternoon that the Government would try to do something.

“But the proper thing to do was to table their own amendment, and so when five minutes before the end they come along and say well actually they are going to make a concession that was not fully explained, and I have to say falls a bit short of what’s needed, I had to make an immediate decision.”

Dominic Grieve led the Tory rebellion on the Brexit bill (Getty)

Another ex-minister Stephen Hammond was sacked from his party role of Conservative vice-chairman after he rebelled with a “heavy heart”.

He said afterwards: “I made it very clear that for me this was a point of principle and just occasionally in one’s life, one has to put principle before party.

“I know that sounds pompous, but I’ve never done it before.”

He added: “The Government could have been a little bit swifter of foot. I think there was a way out of this, we were all very close, but the Government chose not to go that way.”

Conservatives Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry also voted against the Government (Getty)

Ex-cabinet minister Nicky Morgan, also among Conservatives who refused to budge, tweeted that Parliament had acted to take back “control of the EU Withdrawal process.”

Meanwhile Anna Soubry MP said the Government had “got to stop playing silly games” and realise that times had changed since the Bill was drafted before the election, when Ms May had a Commons majority.

Labour said their whips’ efforts to convince Brexiteers in their own party to vote for Mr Grieve’s amendment had been crucial.

Leave-supporting Labour MPs all backed the Tory backbench amendment to inflict defeat on the Government.

David Davis on Brexit: ‘You don’t have to be very clever to do my job’

Mr Corbyn said: “This defeat is a humiliating loss of authority for the Government on the eve of the European Council meeting.

“Labour has made the case since the referendum for a meaningful vote in Parliament on the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.”

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said: “This is a momentous day for Parliament and a humiliating defeat for Theresa May.”

Conservative rebels were braced for a deluge of abuse from the Leave-backing media on Thursday, with Brexiteers in their own party already attacking them in and outside the chamber.

Tonight, the Tory rebels have put a spring in Labours step, given them a taste of winning, guaranteed the party a weekend of bad press, undermined the PM and devalued her impact in Brussels. They should be deselected and never allowed to stand as a Tory MP, ever again.

Nadine Dorries demanded her fellow Tory MPs be stripped of their seats in Parliament, tweeting that they had, “put a spring in Labours step, given them a taste of winning, guaranteed the party a weekend of bad press, undermined the PM and devalued her impact in Brussels.”

Sir Desmond Swayne told the Commons the rebel amendments simply aimed to delay Brexit, dismissing them as “sanctimonious guff” and their Conservative backers as “idiots”.

He added: “Now we see the real motive and of course he was assisted by others, who comrade Lenin would have properly referred to as useful idiots.”

Senior Tory Bernard Jenkin said: “To dress this attempt to reverse Brexit as an argument in favour of parliamentary sovereignty is nothing but cant.”

Desmond Swayne, former International Development Minister (House of Commons)

Hours after the vote, Ms May was on her way to Brussels to push European leaders to begin discussing the EU’s future trade deal with Britain.

The Prime Minister needs Brexit talks to move on to trade as quickly as possible, but European negotiators are warning that how the ‘transition period’ plays out must be decided first.

It is an early sign that the withdrawal agreement – reached after torturous negotiations and including a UK commitment to pay some £39bn to Brussels – has not automatically opened the way to trade talks.

PMQs: Theresa May refuses to back down on Brexit amendments in exchange with Anna Soubry

A leaked draft of a text to be considered by the EU27 leaders on Friday suggests that trade talks may not start until after a subsequent summit in March.

The Cabinet, let alone the wider Conservative party in the Commons, is split over how the transition will take place, giving rise to concerns over how easy it will be for Ms May to deliver an agreed position in the light of the Commons defeat.

The European Parliament’s chief Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt tweeted: “British Parliament takes back control.

“European and British Parliament together will decide on the final agreement. Interests of the citizens will prevail over narrow party politics. A good day for democracy.”


The Telegraph

Theresa May suffers major Commons defeat after Tory Brexit rebellion

Theresa May is heading to a major Brussels summit today after pro-European Tory MPs delivered the prime minister her first Commons defeat and boasted that Parliament had “taken control” of Brexit.

In a sign of bitter recriminations Stephen Hammond, one of the rebels, was immediately sacked as Vice Chairman of the Conservative Paty after he backed the amendment guaranteeing Parliament a vote on the final Brexit deal.

One Brexit-supporting Tory called for the rebels to be deselected and never allowed to stand as Conservatives again as they were accused of handing Labour a “victory” in the Commons.

Mr Hammond was one of 11 Tory MPs who joined Labour and the Liberal Democrats on Wednesday in backing an amendment that guarantees Parliament a “meaningful vote” on Brexit.

At least two more abstained. The Government said it was “disappointed” as senior Conservatives raised concerns that the vote…

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Brexit defeat for Theresa May as MPs back curbing government powers — What Theresa May’s Brexit defeat means

December 13, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) – MPs defeated Prime Minister Theresa May’s government on Wednesday, voting to change her Brexit blueprint in a move which could complicate her efforts to sever ties with the European Union.

The parliament voted 309 to 305 in favour of an amendment to demand parliament pass a separate bill to approve any final deal with the EU.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Andrew Heavens


The Guardian

What Theresa May’s Brexit defeat means

British PM facing rebellion over key Brexit bill — It’s not over until it’s over…

December 13, 2017


© AFP/File | Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May managed to strike a deal in Brussels last week to move onto the next stage of Brexit negotiations, but is already facing more problems

British Prime Minister Theresa May was Wednesday facing a rebellion from her own MPs over whether parliament will have a “meaningful vote” on the final Brexit deal in what would be a damaging defeat.

A vote is expected later on Wednesday on an amendment to a landmark bill ending Britain’s membership of the European Union and incorporating thousands of pieces of EU legislation into the British statute books.

Dominic Grieve, an MP in May’s Conservative Party, proposed the amendment requiring any Brexit deal to be made law by a binding parliamentary vote.

Ten Tory MPs have signed Grieve’s amendment.

If the government loses, that would deal a heavy blow to May less than a week after she struck a deal in Brussels to move onto the next stage of negotiations.

“The government needs to listen to what’s being said to them,” Grieve told Sky News on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, my impression of the last few days, when I’ve been talking to the government, is that it seems to be a bit of a dialogue of the deaf. They’ve turned this into a battle of wills.”

Keir Starmer, chief Brexit spokesman for the main opposition Labour party, has tweeted that his MPs will back the amendment if pushed to a vote.

– Government ‘committed’ to vote –

Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith, a hardline Brexiteer, earlier accused Grieve of “looking for ways to derail the bill”, saying the amendment would “tie the government’s hands” in negotiations with the EU.

The row revolves around Clause 9 of the bill, which hands the government “Henry VIII powers” to implement the Brexit deal without parliamentary approval.

Brexit secretary David Davis has promised to give MPs a final vote, and issued a statement Wednesday in a bid to head off the rebellion.

“The government has committed to hold a vote on the final deal in parliament as soon as possible after the negotiations have concluded,” he said.

“This vote will take the form of a resolution in both Houses of Parliament and will cover both the Withdrawal Agreement and the.”

The statement did not specify whether the resolution would be legally binding.

“The government will not implement any parts of the Withdrawal Agreement – for example by using Clause 9 of the European Union (Withdrawal) bill – until after this vote has taken place,” he promised.

The statement did little to appease the potential rebels as it did not spell out what would happen if MPs voted against the terms of the divorce deal.

Only if MPs approve the resolution will the government bring forward a bill to give the Withdrawal Agreement domestic legal effect.

“On first reading, the major problems with this: no guarantee of a vote before we leave the EU; and, no guarantee we get full details of terms and approve them before the PM finalises the Withdrawal Agreement,” Labour MP Chuka Umunna, a prominent pro-EU campaigner, wrote on Twitter.

Nigel Farage says Brexit will have to be fought all over again

December 13, 2017
Nigel Farage told MEPs that Britain ‘will effectively, once transition is granted, have left the EU at the end of March 2019 in name only’

Brexit will have to be fought all over again after the “great deception” of a transition deal pushing back the date of the UK-EU divorce, Nigel Farage said today in a fiery debate in the European Parliament.

MEPs in Strasbourg were debating ahead of Friday’s Brussels summit, where EU leaders will formally agree that Britain can move on to trade and transition talks after making “sufficient progress” on the financial settlement, citizens’ rights and Ireland.

Theresa May asked for a transition deal of about two years in her Florence speech, which would mean Britain would not leave the EU until 2021. During that time it is expected Britain will pay into the EU Budget and observe EU law but lose its voting rights.

“I fear Brexit at some point in the future will need to be refought all over again,” said Nigel Farage, an MEP and former leader of the UK Independence Party.

“We will effectively,…

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EU parliament backs outline Brexit deal — Withdrawal accord will be legally binding

December 13, 2017

STRASBOURG (Reuters) – The European Parliament urged EU leaders on Wednesday to allow the next phase of EU negotiations to start, backing a motion that recognized the talks had made sufficient progress as a well a line criticizing Britain’s Brexit negotiator David Davis.

Earlier on Wednesday, the EU’s chief negotiator told lawmakers that Britain could not renege on commitments made to ensure Brexit talks with the European Union move on to discussions on the future relationship between the two.

European Union leaders are almost certain to judge on Friday that “sufficient progress” has been made on the rights of citizens, the Brexit divorce bill and the Irish border to allow negotiations to move to the next phase. The EU executive recommended last week that the leaders approve trade talks.

European Parliament — FILE photo

The European Parliament will have to approve any Brexit deal, although its motion on Wednesday was not binding.

The agreement, presented in a joint report last Friday, was in the view of some in Brussels, undermined by Brexit minister David Davis’s comment that it was more “a statement of intent” than a legally binding. Davis has subsequently said he wants the accord swiftly translated into a legal text.

Image may contain: 1 person, suit

David Davis

“We will not accept any going back on this joint report. This progress has been agreed and will be rapidly translated into a withdrawal accord that is legally binding in all three areas and on some others that remain to be negotiated,” EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told EU lawmakers.

Barnier said a lot more further steps were required to secure an orderly withdrawal.

“We are not at the end of the road, neither regarding citizens’ rights nor for the other subjects of the orderly withdrawal. We remain vigilant,” he said.

Barnier said the next phase of talks would focus on a “short and defined” transition period and initial discussions on a future relationship, which he stressed would not erode the EU single market and its four freedoms, including free movement of people.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

UK’s May faces parliamentary showdown with Brexit rebels

December 13, 2017

By Willaim James

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May’s control of the Brexit process will undergo its stiffest parliamentary test yet on Wednesday, when she faces a showdown with rebels in her party over the laws that will take Britain out of the European Union.

Image result for Theresa may, photos

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. FILE photo

May’s government is trying to pass a bill through parliament that will repeal the 1972 legislation binding Britain to the EU and copy existing EU law into domestic law to ensure legal continuity after ‘Exit Day’ on March 29, 2019.

After six days of debate in parliament ranging from the legal minutiae of Brexit to the gaping differences between ‘Remainers’ and ‘Leavers’, May could face a defeat as lawmakers demand more say over the final exit deal.

Wednesday’s likely flashpoint is an amendment put forward by a member of May’s own party, the government’s former attorney general, Dominic Grieve, who wants parliament to have a meaningful vote on any deal before it is finalised.

If passed by a simple majority vote, the amendment would require parliament to approve the government’s final Brexit deal by passing a separate written law once the terms of the withdrawal agreement are known.

That could allow lawmakers to send May back to the negotiating table if they do not like the deal.

The opposition Labour Party has said it will support the amendment, with some believing it would give lawmakers a greater chance to reopen talks – something that might not be supported by EU negotiators.

Grieve said on Wednesday that he did not want to “sabotage” Brexit, but to make sure parliament was allowed to play its role of holding government to account.

“My impression of the last few days, when I’ve been talking to the government, is it seems to be a bit of a dialogue of the deaf. They’ve sort of turned this into a battle of wills,” he told Sky News. “This is a completely pointless exercise. They need to listen to the point that’s being made and they need to respond to it.”

May is in a precarious position. In June, she gambled on a snap election to strengthen her party’s majority in the 650-seat parliament but instead bungled her campaign and ended up with a minority government propped up by the 10 votes of a small, pro-Brexit Northern Irish party.

Since then she has struggled to assert her authority over a Conservative Party which is deeply divided over the best route out of the EU.

The government has said it is listening to parliament’s concerns and has conceded that a separate piece of legislation, allowing members of parliament (MPs) more say on the deal, would be necessary. The government is planning to pass another bill once the final Brexit deal with Brussels is agreed which will implement the terms of the withdrawal agreement.

The government has been forced to give ground on several issues to ward off other rebellions over the Brexit laws.

On Monday, it accepted a proposal to allow lawmakers greater scrutiny over the passage of EU law into British law.

Still, after striking a deal with Brussels last week to move exit negotiations on to the next phase, covering trade and transition arrangements, May won approval from both the Remain and Leave factions of her party, suggesting attempts to unseat her were on hold.

The government has not ruled out making last-minute concessions to appease Grieve and the 20 or so Conservative rebels who could join forces with the opposition to inflict defeat.

“I think what the MPs are looking for is clarity … We’re looking at the amendment and will respond in due course,” May’s spokesman said on Tuesday.

additional reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Richard Balmforth

Fewer jobs expected to move from London after Brexit

December 13, 2017

FT research shows 6 per cent of staff might move, despite claims of tens of thousands

By  in London
FT — Financial Times

Image result for the city, london, financial district, photos

The UK’s biggest international banks are set to move fewer than 4,600 jobs from London in preparation for Brexit — just 6 per cent of their total workforce in the financial centre — according to Financial Times research.  The FT analysis contrasts with consultants’ original claims that tens of thousands of jobs could move from London after Brexit — including an EY study this week that claimed 10,500 could leave on “day one”.

The FT estimates are based on public statements by 15 of the UK’s biggest international institutions, interviews of more than a dozen senior bank executives about Brexit planning and industry benchmarks. In the case of Deutsche Bank, where Sylvie Matherat, head of regulation, publicly said up to 4,000 jobs could move, the FT estimates that just 350 jobs may leave by April 2019.

The figure amounts to 5 per cent of Deutsche’s London headcount, a proportion broadly in line with other big banks. Some bankers say the lower estimates emerged as they thought through how many jobs and operations would need to move to the EU if the UK loses access to the bloc’s single market.

“Every city wants thousands of people, but what are they going to do?” said one senior executive at a large US institution, adding that the thousands of people sitting in his London office “cover clients” who will mostly be remaining in the UK. Share this graphic At JPMorgan, where chief executive Jamie Dimon warned before the Brexit vote of up to 4,000 London job losses, the number leaving before April 2019 is set to be closer to 700.

Goldman Sachs, which has taken a new office in Frankfurt that could accommodate 1,000 people, expects to move fewer than 500 from London. HSBC is still planning to move “up to 1000 people”, although its chief financial officer recently said the figure could fall.  A few banks still do not know how many staff they will move. BNP Paribas, for example, says it is “too soon to speculate” on the potential reduction in its London workforce.

he UK government says it has made important recent progress on Brexit, highlighting last week’s divorce deal with the EU, which paves the way to negotiations on future ties with the bloc and a transition of about two years under current rules — keenly sought by the City. But Sally Dewar, international head of regulatory affairs at JPMorgan, said her bank’s planning “hasn’t changed to reflect anything that would look like a better [Brexit] outcome”.

A senior executive at another US bank said that a “a watertight transition period that is legally robust” was “the only way we can responsibly stop, or adjust the timing of, the implementation of our plans to ensure post-March 2019 continuation of critical services to our clients, and that needs to happen very quickly”.

Some bankers say the real impact of leaving the EU could still be dramatic. “The story has always been three to five years out, not what does it do to the City the morning after Brexit,” said Rob Rooney, chief executive of Morgan Stanley International.

“If people judge it by the numbers that move ([immediately] afterwards, they will miss the point.” Several banks say they are planning to move relatively few people in the immediate aftermath of Brexit because it will take time for their EU operations to build up.

They expect to have very small balance sheets when the EU entities begin handling client business on April 1, 2019, and to be able to run some of the risk and support functions for those small EU entities from London.

Share this graphic David Davis, Britain’s Brexit secretary, says the UK is aiming at a trade deal that includes financial services. If there is a hard Brexit that impedes financial services providers’ access to Europe, one bank’s Emea chief executive said it was “inevitable” that the flow of business from the UK to the EU “continues and continues and that the ECB when they feel the moment is right will push to have much more market risk to be run onshore”.

“It’s a real game changer . . . it will make this day one seem very small,” he added. “If we move the substance of the trading to the continent, you’re then moving risk management, product controllers, compliance legal heads . . . the numbers race to a completely different place.”  At present, banks are continuing the preparations for a ‘phase one’, the structure they will have in place immediately after Brexit. “We’re already in the process of revamping our governance of legal entities, submitting all of our documents to regulators, identifying senior managers who would have to relocate,” said Ms Dewar.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has already announced the management of its new EU entity in Dublin — to be led by Bruce Thompson, former group chief financial officer, and chaired by Anne Finucane, a senior executive.

Other banks are expected to unveil their EU leadership soon.  While many banks no longer see the first quarter of 2018 as the point of no return, they will accelerate some aspects of preparation. “By the end of [the first quarter of next year] we will start to have to take decisions around informing clients which then becomes more difficult to unravel,” said Ms Dewar.

From around April, banks will begin engaging with clients and “repapering” them to new EU entities where appropriate. Some banks are planning to move existing client positions to new EU entities from the middle of next year.

Bankers stress that how they move business will depend largely on their clients — how they structure their own international operations after Brexit and where they want to do business. Many banks are in the dark on what their clients are planning.

One senior banker said his expectation was that “stuff will go to New York, more will go to the EU, the UK has always been the loser in this, it’s just a matter of how much”.

Contains many graphics:

David Davis says Brexit divorce will become UK law after avalanche of criticism from Brussels

December 13, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, suit

David Davis

The Telegraph


David Davis was forced to change tack on the legality of the Brexit deal on Tuesday as he admitted the agreement would become British law as “soon as possible” following an avalanche of criticism from EU officials for comments he made this weekend.

Senior diplomats and MEPs, along with the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator, unleashed a series of rebukes against Mr Davis over his suggestion that the UK could backtrack on promises made in the divorce agreement, which was finally agreed on Friday after months of deadlocked talks.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chief Brexit coordinator, accused the Brexit secretary of scoring an “own goal” with the “unacceptable” comments and claimed he had “really undermine[d] trust” between Brussels and London.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, stressed that there could be “no backtracking” on Britain’s part in the next phase of the talks. …

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David Davis

David Davis on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show where he made comments about the UK’s agreement with the EU. Photograph: Handout/Getty Images

From The Guardian:

David Davis has scrambled to salvage relations with Brussels after he was accused of damaging trust in the Brexit talks by making inflammatory comments.

EU leaders have warned the British government against backtracking on promises made in Brussels after Davis suggested a Brexit breakthrough reached last week had no legal status.

Senior EU figures voiced irritation on Tuesday with Davis’s claim over the weekend that the UK’s concessions in an agreement struck last week to move talks on were merely a statement of intent without legal backing.

“We will have a final agreement only if the final commitments taken by Theresa May and the British government on Friday are respected,” he told journalists. “And we will be vigilant; we will not accept any backtracking from the UK.”

A senior ally of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said the British government risked losing the EU’s good faith. “The first phase of #Brexitnegotiations was meant to build trust,” tweeted Manfred Weber, the head of the centre-right bloc in the European parliament. “By downgrading this agreement to a statement of intent, the UK government is putting our trust at risk. The EU27 & UK must make it clear on Thursday that the agreement is binding for both sides.”

Barnier also rejected Davis’s claim that a future trade treaty could be signed on 30 March 2019 – the day after the UK’s EU exit. Barnier said he expected the EU and UK to sign “a political declaration” on the future relationship. “But it cannot be anything else. In technical, legal terms it simply is not possible to do anything else. And David Davis knows that full well.”

The Brexit secretary had told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that a trade deal could be signed “maybe one minute after we leave, or one second after”.

Davis was engaged in urgent telephone diplomacy on Tuesday in an attempt to persuade Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, that the UK government’s word could be depended upon.

Britain must obey EU environment rules for post-Brexit air deal: campaigners

December 13, 2017


© AFP/File / by Danny KEMP | As part of the European aviation area, Britain’s industry has soared, with low-cost EasyJet battling with the UK’s historic carrier British Airways.

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The EU must make Britain’s air industry sign up to the bloc’s environment rules if it wants to keep access to European skies after Brexit, a campaign group warned in a report Wednesday.Airlines should stay in the EU’s emissions trading scheme and follow rules against subsidies to prevent Britain becoming a “carbon haven”, Brussels-based group Transport and Environment said in the report seen by AFP.

The group — which has had meetings with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier’s task force — warned that without a deal British planes could be unable to land in the bloc the day after the UK leaves.

“As London works out its future relationship with the EU, it should be able to keep its current level of access to Europe?s aviation market by agreeing to maintain EU rules designed to curb flying?s environmental impact,” said Kristina Wittkopp, legal analyst at Transport and Environment (T&E) who wrote the report.

The publication of the report comes on the eve of a European Union summit at which leaders are expected to approve the opening of talks on a future relationship with Britain, including on a trade deal.

T&E said Britain should stay in the European Common Aviation Area — which allows planes from EU states and some neighbouring countries to operate anywhere within the bloc — even though it would mean overriding London’s Brexit “red line” of being free from EU law.

British Brexit Minister David Davis said on Sunday that he wanted a Canada-style arrangement between Britain and the EU, with “individual specific arrangements” for sectors including aviation.

As part of the aviation area, Britain’s industry has soared, with low-cost EasyJet battling with the UK’s historic carrier British Airways.

Outside the area, Britain’s airline industry could be forced to set up new bases within EU territory. Without a Brexit deal it would not be allowed to fly there at all.

– ‘Carbon haven’ –

But the group said that if Britain does want to stay in the aviation area, the EU should make it a condition that it also remains in the EU’s emissions trading scheme (ETS), which is aimed at reducing the impact of global warming.

Under the scheme, carbon producers buy allowances to offset what they emit — currently at seven euros ($8.2) per tonne of carbon dioxide — funds from which are put back into measures to tackle climate change.

“Any deal must ensure the UK does not quit the aviation ETS so that these airlines? flights between the UK and Europe will still be required to purchase allowances,” the report said.

Britain should also remain subject to EU state aid rules, which prevent governments giving subsidies to companies, as giving handouts to British airports and airlines would “distort competition and harm the environment by spurring a growth in traffic.”

“To prevent Britain becoming a ?carbon haven? for the aviation sector post-Brexit, it is essential that EU state-aid rules continue to apply to the UK,” the report said.

It added that Britain should also become a paying, non-voting member of the European Aviation Safety Agency, which sets standards for safety and maintenance across the bloc, Transport and Environment added.

by Danny KEMP