Posts Tagged ‘Philip Hammond’

Next phase of Brexit negotiations will be delayed for two months because of the UK’s refusal to discuss ‘Brexit divorce bill’

July 27, 2017
By Peter Foster
The Telegraph

Europe has warned that the next phase of Brexit negotiations will be delayed for two months because of the UK’s refusal to engage with Brussels on the so-called ‘Brexit divorce bill’, The Telegraph can reveal.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, made the warning in a private meeting with EU ambassadors in Brussels, according to an account of the meeting obtained by The Telegraph.

The EU has said it will not talk about trade or the UK’s future relationship with the EU until “sufficient progress” has been made over the questions of protecting citizens’ rights, the Northern Ireland border and the financial settlement.

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According to Mr Barnier’s initial timetable, the plan was for the EU to make a judgement on “sufficient progress” at the October European council, but he told EU ambassadors that this was now “very unlikely” and the deadline would slip to December.

The next round of…

Read the rest:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/27/exclusive-eu-says-brexit-talks-could-delayed-uk-continues-stonewall/

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Post-Brexit Trade Deal Between UK and US Is In The Works — Liam Fox launches fresh drive on US-UK trade deal

July 24, 2017

By Nile Gardener
The Telegraph

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Theresa May with Donald Trump at the G20 Summit in Hamburg

The International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is in Washington for the start of key talks with US officials laying the groundwork for a post-Brexit trade deal with America.

Fortunately for the British government, there is no bigger supporter of Brexit on the international stage than the leader of the world’s superpower. In President Trump’s own words, a US-UK free trade agreement will be “a very, very big deal, a very powerful deal, great for both countries and I think we will have that done very, very quickly”.

Donald Trump told Theresa May in January that Brexit “is a wonderful thing for your country”. And at the G20 Summit in Hamburg this month Trump emphatically rejected the ludicrous idea advanced by Barack Obama that Britain would be at “the back of the queue” for a trade agreement with the US.

Read the rest:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/23/post-brexit-us-uk-trade-deal-states-want-nothing-less/

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Liam Fox launches fresh drive on US-UK trade deal

From FT

By  in London
July 23, 2017

Image result for Liam Fox. Bloomberg, photos

Liam Fox. Credit Bloomberg

Liam Fox will on Monday launch a fresh attempt to boost the UK’s trade relationship with the US, arguing that commercial ties between the two nations could be worth an additional £40bn in the decade after Brexit if both sides remove existing barriers. On a two-day trip to Washington, where he will meet leading figures in the Trump administration, the international trade secretary will acknowledge that there is a limit to how far discussions on a US-UK trade deal can proceed while Britain remains in the EU.

But Mr Fox said on Sunday that an internal analysis by his department showed that bilateral US-UK trade could rise from £167bn a year to about £207bn by 2030 “if we’re able to remove the barriers to trade that we have”.

As he prepares to meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Mr Fox told the BBC: “It will be a difficult discussion . . . but we’ve got great support from the United States and the administration as well as Congress to help push the agenda forward.” He added: “Agriculture’s always a very difficult issue . . . but we’ll want to look at a whole range of other things, on financial services, for example, and other parts of the service economy.”

Mr Fox’s visit comes as he faces mounting pressure from Philip Hammond, the chancellor, to prove that Britain can secure lucrative trade deals with non-EU states after it leaves the EU in March 2019. The trade secretary said on Sunday that he had been won round to Mr Hammond’s idea that there should be a two-year transitional period after Brexit happens to minimise disruption for British business.

“Having waited for over 40 years to leave the European Union, 24 months would be a rounding error,” Mr Fox said, adding that the transitional period must be over before the next election in 2022. “I don’t think people would want to have it dragging on,” Mr Fox said.

However, cabinet-wide agreement on a transition is only part of what Mr Hammond has been seeking. He is also pressing for the UK to remain in an arrangement similar to the customs union throughout the transitional period to ensure that the UK economy does not fall off a cliff edge.

The chancellor believes that Britain should prioritise EU trade during the transitional period and should only give up on joining an “associate customs union” if Mr Fox has nailed down big trade deals that would offset the loss of trade with Europe.

The disagreement is at the heart of cabinet disarray over leaving the EU Mr Fox warned on Sunday that if the UK stayed in a customs union arrangement after Brexit “we wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of the freedoms available to us when we leave the European Union.”

He added that “there’s still a discussion to be had” on the issue.

One leading UK business figure warned on Sunday that a headlong rush into a “politically attractive” trade deal with the US risked exposing British companies to hostile takeovers and handing American groups the upper hand.

“The US has many of the world’s toughest trade negotiators, whereas the UK has ceded policy and know-how to the European Commission for decades,” Adam Marshall, the head of the British Chambers of Commerce wrote in the Observer.

“If talks began on a US-UK deal over the coming months, I know which of the two I’d put my money on.”

Mr Marshall added: “There is a huge risk that UK-based firms will continue to face higher upfront costs and regulatory requirements after any agreement, leaving them at an instant disadvantage to US competitors that would suddenly have wider scope to compete in and buy up chunks of the UK market.”

Mr Fox’s US visit came as Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said that Britain would have to end its membership of the single market after Brexit because the two things “are inextricably linked”. However, Mr Corbyn left open the question of whether the UK should remain a member of the customs union.

Mr Corbyn said: “We have to make a judgment on that. We haven’t jumped on either side of that fence, but again the customs union is part of the European Union. We could have a bespoke trade arrangement with the European Union which says that we would have broadly similar trade arrangements with other parts of the world.”

https://www.ft.com/content/cb69623c-6f9c-11e7-aca6-c6bd07df1a3c

Backroom Whispers — So Who Leads AFTER Theresa May? — Jockeying for position in the UK

July 23, 2017
Brexit chief is ahead in a party survey but the search is on for a surprise candidate

David Davis is the preferred choice among Tory members to replace Theresa May as leader, but the race is wide open, according to the most comprehensive measure of party opinion since its disastrous election campaign.

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The Brexit secretary was identified by just over a fifth of Conservative members asked to name their favoured successor to May, ahead of foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who still retains support among the rank and file. However, the level of support for both men was well below that of members who said they did not know or could not choose a successor, confirming the belief among MPs that a relatively unknown candidate could emerge over the next two years to seize the crown.

The revealing survey of more than 1,000 Tory members, shared exclusively with the Observer, follows weeks of infighting and briefings fuelled by uncertainty over May’s future. Tory MPs are now beginning what will be a febrile summer recess, with some fearing that a leadership contest could be triggered in the autumn.

The survey was carried out as part of the Party Members Project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It shows that 21% of members backed Davis, 17% backed Johnson and 26% did not know or opted not to choose any candidate. Party members are reluctant for May to stand down now – with 71% backing her to stay and 22% saying she should quit.

A distant third behind Davis and Johnson was backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Brexit-supporting traditionalist whose occasional recourse to Latin and unapologetic Conservative messages is turning him into a cult figure. Rees-Mogg secured the backing of 6% of members. He was among more than 30 other names put forward by members as potential successors to May, an indication of the wide-open nature of the race to replace her.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, right, with team captain Ian Hislop on Have I Got News For You.
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 Jacob Rees-Mogg, right, with team captain Ian Hislop on Have I Got News For You. Photograph: Richard Kendal/BBC/Hat Trick/Richard Kendal

Several MPs have told the Observer that they are desperate for a “Where have you been all my life?” candidate to re-energise the party, which was stunned by losing its majority at the last election. While most MPs are anxious to avoid a leadership contest until Britain’s Brexit negotiations have been completed, some believe that there is a danger of Davis supporters provoking a battle this autumn, around the time of the party’s conference. One senior MP said: “Everyone knows that we have a problem to address and most people hope it will be done in a timely and decent way.”

However, the jockeying for position has caused such anger that senior party figures are already certain they could quickly gain more than 100 signatures in support of a candidate to run against Davis and avoid a coronation.

Read the rest:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jul/22/david-davis-theresa-may-conservative-leadership

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Theresa May EPA

May herself has been made powerfully aware that no one wants to hear her new stuff. This week Britain had a queen’s speech that was so thin on policy I’m surprised they didn’t pad it out with a dream sequence (unless that’s the Brexit bit). You can tell the Conservative Party is out of control because all manner of apparitions have escaped its ghost-containment unit.

Broadcasters who’ve spent a year being told Andrea Leadsom can’t come to the phone because she’s trapped under something heavy are now able to put her on the telly several times a day. Leadsom’s media appearances are outstripped only by those of the former party leader Iain Duncan Smith, who has emerged from wherever the Tories hid him, and is now peddling a brilliantly knowing form of self-satire. At least, I think that’s what happening. There’s no other reasonable explanation for a man who’d be intellectually outgunned by any of the runners at Royal Ascot this week deciding to launch an attack on “silly people in the Conservative party with big mouths and small brains”.

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Today, Davis is the UK’s man at the Brexit negotiating table, and would doubtless assure you those days were just a distant mammary.

Second favourite is Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, who this week said he wouldn’t be running for the leadership until 2019, when the help will have cleaned up his Brexit mess. (I paraphrase slightly.) What a shame to see someone stifle his own ambition in this self-effacing sort of way. Lean in, mate. Then again, perhaps Johnson’s reticence was influenced by his coach-crash interview with Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4 this week.

And yet, because Johnson remains Britain’s foremost stupid-person’s-idea-of-a-clever-person, some believe he dun it on purpose. If I understand this theory correctly, Johnson deliberately sabotaged himself this week because he knows that the favourite never wins in a Tory leadership contest. So when he sounded like someone wantonly clueless who’d rather refresh his odds on Betfair than consider discrimination against black people in the criminal-justice system, it was all careful calculation. Mmm.

Moving on, we come to Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the exchequer, who will have marked himself as a relatable choice with his explanation of why Britain needed to transition gradually out of the European Union. “When you buy a house, you don’t necessarily move all your furniture in on the first day you buy it.” Two things, Phil. 1: Yes you do. 2: It’s slightly fascinating that anyone’s takeout from the past few weeks could be the universality of a home ownership metaphor. I mean, really? Really?

Read the rest:

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/boris-johnson-for-uk-pm-or-david-bra-size-davis-place-your-bets-1.3132694

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Tory grassroots figures call for Theresa May to consider quitting by Christmas

Theresa May, the Prime Minister
Theresa May, the Prime Minister CREDIT: AFP PHOTO / POOL / MATT DUNHAMMATT DUNHAM/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

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Theresa May must consider quitting before Christmas, grassroots Tories have told The Sunday Telegraph amid concerns her leadership instability is undermining Brexit.

Leading voices among Tory activists have said the Prime Minister’s authority will never recover from the election flop and called for a swift leadership change.

They want Mrs May to spend her summer break, which starts this week, planning a transition that would see a colleague take over without a leadership race.

One activist group leader said Mrs May was politically “crippled”, while a cabinet minister’s local party chairman called on her to go within months.

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It shows the precariousness of the Prime Minister’s position after making it to Parliament’s summer recess. MPs will closely consider her future in the coming weeks.

The full fury of Tory activists over the election was made clear to the party’s board last month at…

Read the rest:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/22/exclusive-tory-grassroots-figures-call-theresa-may-consider/

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Britain faces up to Brexit — Michel Barnier, David Davis Negotiations are Theater of the Absurd (Théâtre de l’Absurde)

July 21, 2017

As long as the government stays in denial about Brexit’s drawbacks, the country is on course for disaster

CRISIS? What crisis? So many have been triggered in Britain by the vote a year ago to leave the European Union that it is hard to keep track. Just last month Theresa May was reduced from unassailable iron lady to just-about-managing minority prime minister. Her cabinet is engaged in open warfare as rivals position themselves to replace her. The Labour Party, which has been taken over by a hard-left admirer of Hugo Chávez, is ahead in the polls. Meanwhile a neurotic pro-Brexit press shrieks that anyone who voices doubts about the country’s direction is an unpatriotic traitor. Britain is having a very public nervous breakdown.

The chaos at the heart of government hardly bodes well for the exit negotiations with the EU, which turned to detailed matters this week and need to conclude in autumn 2018. But the day-to-day disorder masks a bigger problem. Despite the frantic political activity in Westminster—the briefing, back-stabbing and plotting—the country has made remarkably little progress since the referendum in deciding what form Brexit should take. All versions, however “hard” or “soft”, have drawbacks (see article). Yet Britain’s leaders have scarcely acknowledged that exit will involve compromises let alone how damaging they are likely to be. The longer they fail to face up to Brexit’s painful trade-offs, the more brutal will be the eventual reckoning with reality.

Winging it

In the 13 months since the referendum, the awesome complexity of ending a 44-year political and economic union has become clear. Britain’s position on everything from mackerel stocks to nuclear waste is being worked out by a civil service whose headcount has fallen by nearly a quarter in the past decade and which has not negotiated a trade deal of its own in a generation. Responsibility for Brexit is shared—or, rather, fought over and sometimes dropped—by several different departments. Initially Britain’s decision not to publish a detailed negotiating position, as the EU had, was put down to its desire to avoid giving away its hand. It now seems that Britain triggered exit talks before working out where it stood. The head of its public-spending watchdog said recently that when he asked ministers for their plan he was given only “vague” assurances; he fears the whole thing could fall apart “at the first tap”.

As the scale of the task has become apparent, so has the difficulty of Britain’s position. Before the referendum Michael Gove, a leading Brexiteer in the cabinet, predicted that, “The day after we vote to leave, we hold all the cards.” It is not turning out like that. So far, where there has been disagreement Britain has given way. The talks will be sequenced along the lines suggested by the EU. Britain has conceded that it will pay an exit bill, contrary to its foreign secretary’s suggestion only a week ago that Eurocrats could “go whistle” for their money.

The hobbled Mrs May has appealed to other parties to come forward with ideas on how to make Brexit work. Labour, which can hardly believe that it is within sight of installing a radical socialist prime minister in 10 Downing Street, is unsurprisingly more interested in provoking an election. But cross-party gangs of Remainer MPs are planning to add amendments to legislation, forcing the government to try to maintain membership of Euratom, for instance, which governs the transit of radioactive material in Europe. Even within the government, the prime minister’s lack of grip means that cabinet ministers have started openly disagreeing about what shape Brexit should take. Philip Hammond, the chancellor, has been sniped at because he supports a long transition period to make Brexit go smoothly—a sensible idea which is viewed with suspicion by some Brexiteers, who fear the transition stage could become permanent.

The reopening of the debate is welcome, since the hard exit proposed in Mrs May’s rejected manifesto would have been needlessly damaging. But there is a lack of realism on all sides about what Britain’s limited options involve. There are many ways to leave the EU, and none is free of problems. The more Britain aims to preserve its economic relationship with the continent, the more it will have to follow rules set by foreign politicians and enforced by foreign judges (including on the sensitive issue of freedom of movement). The more control it demands over its borders and laws, the harder it will find it to do business with its biggest market. It is not unpatriotic to be frank about these trade-offs. Indeed, it is more unpatriotic to kid voters into thinking that Brexit has no drawbacks at all.

The government has not published any estimates of the impact of the various types of Brexit since the referendum, but academic studies suggest that even the “softest” option—Norwegian-style membership of the European Economic Area—would cut trade by at least 20% over ten years, whereas the “hardest” exit, reverting to trade on the World Trade Organisation’s terms, would reduce trade by 40% and cut annual income per person by 2.6%. As the economy weakens, these concerns will weigh more heavily. Britain’s economy is growing more slowly than that of any other member of the EU. The election showed that its voters are sick of austerity. Our own polling finds that, when forced to choose, a majority now favours a soft Brexit, inside the single market (see article).

Back in play

A febrile mood in the country, and the power vacuum in Downing Street, mean that all options are back on the table. This is panicking people on both sides of the debate. Some hardline Brexiteers are agitating again for Britain to walk away from the negotiations with no deal, before voters have a change of heart. Some Remainers are stepping up calls for a second referendum, to give the country a route out of the deepening mess. As the negotiations blunder on and the deadline draws nearer, such talk will become only more fevered.

So it is all the more crucial that all sides face up to the real and painful trade-offs that Brexit entails. The longer Britain keeps its head in the sand, the more likely it is to end up with no deal, and no preparations for the consequences. That would bring a crisis of a new order of magnitude.

This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under the headline “Facing up to Brexit”
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David Davis (left) and Michel Barnier at their news conference in Brussels. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

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Michel Barnier blasts David Davis for ‘lack of clarity’ on EU ‘divorce bill’ as four days of Brexit talks end in deadlock
Updated: 20th July 2017, 
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MICHEL Barnier has blasted David Davis for a “lack of clarity” on the so-called EU “divorce bill” as four days of Brexit talks break up with little progress.

But the UK’s Brexit Secretary struck a more positive tone at today’s Brussels press conference, saying he is “encouraged by progress” on a range of key issues.

Mr Davis said he was ‘encouraged by progress’ on key issues

Mr Davis said he was ‘encouraged by progress’ on key issues. EPA photo

The pair will now hold the first meeting on ‘UK soil’, over a lunch of Scottish scallops and British lamb to round off this week’s round of gruelling talks.

However the mood may be frosty after Mr Barnier took a swipe at the British side – telling reporters there are still “fundamental” disagreements between the two sides.

The EU’s chief negotiator said there had been some areas of agreement about how Brits living abroad and EU nationals living in the UK should be treated after Brexit.

But he said Brussels believed citizens’ rights should be backed by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

And there still appears to be a lot of tension surrounding any costs to be paid by the UK when it exits the bloc.

Mr Barnier said: “A clarification of the UK position is indispensable for us to negotiate and for us to make sufficient progress on this financial dossier, which is inseparable from the other withdrawal dossiers.

The pair are now off to have lunch but the mood may be frosty

The pair are now off to have lunch but the mood may be frosty

“What we want – and we are working on this – is an orderly withdrawal for the United Kingdom, that’s decided.

“An orderly withdrawal means accounts must be settled. We know that agreement will not be achieved through incremental steps.”

In a rebuke to the UK’s preparation ahead of the meeting he added: “As soon as the UK is ready to clarify the nature of its commitments, we will be prepared to discuss this with the British negotiators.”

He said the first round of talks had been about organisation, this week had been about presentation – the “third round must be about clarification”.

And the Brussels chief added: “We require this clarification on the financial settlement, on citizens’ rights, on Ireland – with the two key points of the common travel area and the Good Friday Agreement – and the other separation issues where this week’s experience has quite simply shown we make better progress where our respective positions are clear.”

But the UK is understood to think the EU team are being unclear on what they believe the legal obligations are over the divorce bill as well, with frustration on both sides.

But Mr Davis struck a more optimistic tone following the four days of talks

But Mr Davis struck a more optimistic tone following the four days of talks

And Mr Davis struck a more optimistic tone, saying: “Overall I’m encouraged by the progress we have made on understanding each other’s positions.”

He said the talks had demonstrated the UK had made a “fair and serious offer” on citizens’ rights and there were “many concrete areas where we agree, as well as areas where there will be further discussion” which will be a priority in the next round.

On the financial settlement, Mr Davis said: “We both recognise the importance of sorting out the obligations we have to one another, both legally and in a spirit of mutual cooperation.”

In a sign of the difficulties in reaching agreement he added: “We have had robust but constructive talks this week.

“Clearly there’s a lot left to talk about and further work before we can resolve this.

Mr Davis was criticised for appearing unprepared in this photo

Mr Davis was criticised for appearing unprepared in this photo

“Ultimately getting to a solution will require flexibility from both sides.”

But Mr Barnier the EU was not ready to compromise in the negotiations until the UK accepts its financial obligations.

He said: “I know one has to compromise in negotiations but we are not there yet.

“When I say, and I think I was very clear and transparent about that, that there are things that are inseparable from others.

“That’s the financial settlement, let’s be very clear. We want clarity on that because we need to be able work more until we come to areas of compromise.”

The p[air gave a joint press conference but struck very different tones

The pair gave a joint press conference but struck very different tones. Reuters photo

Underlining his position on the “fundamental importance” of citizens’ rights being protected by EU law and the ECJ, Mr Barnier said: “This is not a political point we are making, it’s a legal one.

“Simply, if there is to be continuity of EU law, that has to be framed by case law of the court. Only the court can interpret EU law.

“It’s not a choice, it’s an obligation.”

The pair are now heading to the home of Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s permanent representative in Brussels.

And given the 19th century terraced house overlooking the Parc Royal in the heart of the Belgian capital comes under British jurisdiction – the meeting will be the first on ‘UK soil’.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4058219/david-davis-and-michel-barnier-will-hold-first-the-brexit-talks-on-uk-soil-over-a-lunch-of-scottish-scallops-and-british-lamb-today/

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Britain’s Brexit minister David Davis. Photo by Jack Taylor — Getty Images

UK’s May to warn cabinet ministers over top-level leaks

July 17, 2017

Reuters

July 17, 2017

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LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May will remind her cabinet that top level government discussions must remain private, her spokesman said on Monday, responding to a series of reported leaks after recent meetings.

May’s grip on control of her cabinet, which is divided over Brexit, has been severely weakened by last month’s election result when May lost her parliamentary majority, reopening the debate about the nature of Britain’s EU exit.

Finance minister Philip Hammond, who has championed a softer form of Brexit, bore the brunt of a series of critical newspaper stories over the weekend about what was said at private government meetings. He said he was being attacked because of his views on Brexit.

“Of course cabinet must be able to hold discussions on government policy in private and the prime minister will be reminding her colleagues of that at the cabinet meeting tomorrow,” the spokesman told reporters.

He said he was not aware of any plans for a formal inquiry into the leaks.

“She’ll just be reminding them of their responsibilities and making the point that ministers across government need to be focused on getting on with delivering for the British public,” the spokesman said.

Reporting by William James; Editing by Andrew MacAskill

Philip Hammond is deliberately trying to ‘frustrate’ Brexit, Cabinet colleague says

July 17, 2017

Philip Hammond on The Andrew Marr Show

The Chancellor hit out at his loose-lipped colleagues, warning they ‘shouldn’t have’ revealed the contents of Cabinet discussions

Philip Hammond is deliberately working to “frustrate” Brexit and treating pro-Leave ministers like “pirates who have taken him prisoner”, a Cabinet minister has told The Telegraph, in an extraordinary attack on one of the most senior members of the Government.

Branding the Chancellor and his Treasury “the Establishment”, the furious senior minister warned of a deep split over how to leave the European Union, launching all-out war as talks restart in Brussels on Monday.

They also revealed a plot to keep a weakened Theresa May in Number 10 in a bid to prevent an early leadership race, warning of a “critical moment” as David Davis flies out to meet his rival negotiators for discussions to set the terms of engagement.

It came as Mr Hammond hit back angrily after days of damaging accusations were leaked to the media against him, including claims that he made sexist remarks and said  public sector workers were overpaid.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/16/exclusive-philip-hammond-deliberately-trying-frustrate-brexit/

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UK Chancellor Philip Hammond calls nurses and cops ‘overpaid’ while raking in £10k a month renting property — Corbyn called on the Chancellor and other Tories to “reconnect” with ordinary people

July 17, 2017

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Top Tory enjoys a rent-free life in homes paid for with taxpayer cash, while also pocketing £10,000 a month renting out his city townhouse

As millions of public sector ­workers he claims are “overpaid” struggle to meet household bills, Philip Hammond enjoys a rent-free life in homes paid for with taxpayer cash.

And apart from the two grace and favour properties the Chancellor has use of, he is also pocketing £10,000 a month renting out his city townhouse.

Tycoon Mr Hammond was last night accused of being out of touch with the public sector staff, including cleaners, nurses, teachers and 999 crews, he laughingly claims are paid too much, despite his cap of 1% on wage rises.

And the hypocritical Tory sparked even more fury by declaring “there isn’t a free lunch” – despite the two homes he does not pay for.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “He is living on a different planet.

“Public sector workers have had frozen wages for the past seven years.”

Unison branded Mr Hammond’s claim that nurses and hospital cleaners are overpaid “offensive”.

Grace and favour house 1 – Chancellor has lived at 11 Downing Street since last year (Image: Getty)
Grace and favour house 2 – Dorneywood in the Buckinghamshire countryside (Image: Getty Images)

The union’s assistant general ­secretary Christina McAnea said: “The Chancellor’s remarks show he is completely out of touch. After seven years of a punishing pay cap, all public sector employees need a pay rise.

“The care worker hurrying from house to house doesn’t feel overpaid, nor does the hospital cleaner working round the clock, or the teaching assistant going the extra mile for the children.

“They are all low paid, all vital, and all in need of a pay rise now.”

Luxury house in Belgravia he is making cash on
Kitchen is bigger than bedsits that some folk live in (Image: Rightmove)

The Royal College of Nursing added: “Nurses across the UK are being forced to take second jobs, rely on family handouts or even turn to foodbanks.

“It would be insulting of the ­Government to claim these people earn too much.”

But Mr Hammond yesterday shamelessly tried the old Tory trick of pitching ordinary people against each other by declaring public sector staff are better paid than private workers.

Interviewed on the BBC Andrew Marr show, he failed to deny saying at a Cabinet meeting cleaners and others were overpaid.

Plenty of space out back in garden (Image: Rightmove)
Living room that workers could only dream of (Image: Rightmove)

“This is a relative question,” he said. “It is a simple fact that public sector workers on average are paid about 10% more than private sector workers.

“The only way we can create the high wage economy we want to have sustainably is to increase productivity, to get our public finances into good order. There isn’t a short cut. There isn’t a free lunch.”

Maybe not for ordinary people. But Mr Hammond, who earns £67,505 as Chancellor on top of his MP salary of £74,000, moved rent-free into 11 Downing Street last year after he was promoted by Theresa May.

But we can reveal he ­advertised his five-bedroom townhouse in Belgravia, South West London, for £2,500 a week – enough to pay for five full-time nurses.

Beautifully tiled walls, floors and units in bathroom
Inside Hammond’s flat for rent (Image: Rightmove)

Records show he started renting it out in February, just a week before his botched bid to clobber self-employed staff with a tax hike in his first budget.

The property tycoon, who is worth more than £8million, bought it with his wife in 2007 for £1.07million. Others there sell for up to £6.7million.

Up until 2011, when the rules were changed, Mr Hammond was claiming up to £24,000 a year from the taxpayer to fund mortgage interest payments.

He also enjoys free use of ­Dorneywood, a Buckinghamshire mansion owned by the National Trust which is handed over for use by ­Chancellors or other top ministers.

(Image: Rightmove)

And a Channel 4 Dispatches programme revealed last week that Mr Hammond could make millions in a deal with a firm if land next to his constituency home in Surrey gets planning permission.

The Chancellor bought the ­greenbelt three-acre plot for £100,000 in 2008 from a housebuilder with an option to sell it back for a potential £6million and split the profits equally.

Chancellor lives rent-free in Downing Street (Image: PA)

Mr Hammond refused to comment on the home he is renting out.

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Mr Corbyn called on the Chancellor and other Tories to “reconnect” with ordinary people rather than just focusing on their rich chums.
He said: “There should be a bit more time spent talking to those who do the difficult jobs in our public services. That’s who you are there to represent.”
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Philip Hammond is deliberately trying to ‘frustrate’ Brexit, Cabinet colleague says

Philip Hammond on The Andrew Marr Show
The Chancellor hit out at his loose-lipped colleagues, warning they ‘shouldn’t have’ revealed the contents of Cabinet discussions

Philip Hammond is deliberately working to “frustrate” Brexit and treating pro-Leave ministers like “pirates who have taken him prisoner”, a Cabinet minister has told The Telegraph, in an extraordinary attack on one of the most senior members of the Government.

Branding the Chancellor and his Treasury “the Establishment”, the furious senior minister warned of a deep split over how to leave the European Union, launching all-out war as talks restart in Brussels on Monday.

They also revealed a plot to keep a weakened Theresa May in Number 10 in a bid to prevent an early leadership race, warning of a “critical moment” as David Davis flies out to meet his rival negotiators for discussions to set the terms of engagement.

It came as Mr Hammond hit back angrily after days of damaging accusations were leaked to the media against him, including claims that he made sexist remarks and said public sector…

Philip Hammond is deliberately trying to ‘frustrate’ Brexit, Cabinet colleague says

Philip Hammond on The Andrew Marr Show
The Chancellor hit out at his loose-lipped colleagues, warning they ‘shouldn’t have’ revealed the contents of Cabinet discussions

Philip Hammond is deliberately working to “frustrate” Brexit and treating pro-Leave ministers like “pirates who have taken him prisoner”, a Cabinet minister has told The Telegraph, in an extraordinary attack on one of the most senior members of the Government.

Branding the Chancellor and his Treasury “the Establishment”, the furious senior minister warned of a deep split over how to leave the European Union, launching all-out war as talks restart in Brussels on Monday.

They also revealed a plot to keep a weakened Theresa May in Number 10 in a bid to prevent an early leadership race, warning of a “critical moment” as David Davis flies out to meet his rival negotiators for discussions to set the terms of engagement.

It came as Mr Hammond hit back angrily after days of damaging accusations were leaked to the media against him, including claims that he made sexist remarks and said public sector…

Delivering Brexit AND improving Britain’s economy

July 10, 2017

A year to the week since she became prime minister, Theresa May is asking opposition lawmakers to help her steer Britain out of the European Union.

As she tries to relaunch her troubled premiership, and as she prepares to publish legislation to shift EU laws on to the British statute, May will on Tuesday suggest rival parties “come forward with your own views and ideas” on delivering Brexit and improving Britain’s economy.

Theresa May lost her majority in June’s general election, complicating Brexit.
Photographer: Andy Rain/EPA

She needs all the assistance she can get. Weekend newspapers once again contained reports of Conservative Party colleagues talking of the need to replace her in the wake of last month’s botched election.

Opposition parties are also preparing to join forces with rebel Tories to hamper the progress of the government’s Repeal Bill, which is due to be published this week. It would reverse the European Communities Act of 1972, which gave effect to EU law in the U.K., and graft EU statutes into British law, giving ministers sweeping powers to adapt legislation without parliamentary scrutiny.

“I led a majority government in the House of Commons,” May will say. “The reality I now face as prime minister is rather different. In this new context, it will be even more important to make the case for our policies and our values, and to win the battle of ideas both in Parliament as well as in the country.”

Keir Starmer, Brexit spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, told the BBC it is “highly likely” he’ll seek to amend the repeal bill to limit the role of the executive in changing laws and increase the power of Parliament.

Read More: What’s In the EU Repeal Bill?

Weekend Wrap

  • Group of 20 summit ended with May saying she had been “struck by the strong desire to form ambitious new bilateral trade partnerships,” calling this a “powerful vote of confidence” in Britain.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump said at a meeting with May that their two countries are “working on a trade deal, a very, very big deal, a very powerful deal.” Trump spoke of striking the deal “very, very quickly.” Confederation of British Industry President Paul Dreschsler told Sky News that “we don’t want to walk into a bear hug.”
  • Business leaders welcomed Brexit talks with government officials at a country estate on Friday. HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint said “it was a highly welcome and constructive engagement.” But one-third of businesses surveyed by the British Chambers of Commerce say they want the U.K. to stay in the EU single market and customs union.
  • Brexit Secretary David Davis asked for an unconditional promise to guarantee the rights of European Union citizens living in the U.K., Bloomberg was told. It’s a sign May’s own team is uneasy about her hard-line approach. Some European Parliament lawmakers wrote in a letter that May’s proposal “casts a dark cloud of vagueness and uncertainty over the lives of millions of Europeans.”
  • Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond called for a Brexit deal that keeps Britain close to the EU market, warning “it would be madness” to reject trade ties.
  • Former Conservative minister Ed Vaizey co-wrote an article for the Sunday Telegraph newspaper with Labour’s Rachel Reeves, saying Britain should remain in Euratom, the bloc’s nuclear watchdog.
  • Liberal Democrat lawmaker Vince Cable, seeking to become party leader, said he’s starting to think Brexit “may not happen.”
  • Two of Germany’s largest industry groups told the Observer that their main concern during the Brexit negotiations is to protect the single market for the remaining EU nations, even if that harms trade with the U.K.
  • The head of the Euratom’s regulatory watchdog has told insurance chiefs not to expect big regulatory changes after the U.K. leaves the EU, according to the Sunday Times.

Unhappy Mayors

The EU’s local governments are scrambling to avert a big budget hit from Brexit even as national capitals from Stockholm to Rome present a stoic front in the accelerating divorce negotiations.

The U.K.’s exit is set to leave a 10 billion-euro gap in the EU budget, meaning other rich countries may have to boost contributions by as much as 16 percent, according to the European Committee of the Regions. This leaves a risk of sharp cuts in EU regional funding, which makes up a third of the bloc’s 140 billion-euro annual expenditure and goes to everything from hospitals to waste management projects.

“We need to showcase the importance of the partnerships and the results that can be achieved locally,” Markku Markkula, president of the Committee of the Regions, which represents the EU’s mayors and myriad other local leaders, said in an interview. “It’s a big, big challenge.”

European CommissionShows net contribution to/revenue from EU budget in 2015
European CommissionShows net contribution to/revenue from EU budget in 2015

And Finally?

The hardest of Brexits would make breakfast more expensive, according to KPMG.

If the U.K. was subjected to World Trade Organization tariffs, the cost of a fry-up — a classic English breakfast usually including ingredients such as eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans and mushrooms, served with orange juice and tea or coffee — would increase by almost 13 percent, according to KPMG.

Orange juice and olive oil from Spain and Italy would probably increase the most, by 34 percent and 30 percent respectively, the report said.

The Full English.

Photographer: Joy Skipper/Photolibrary/Getty Images

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-10/brexit-bulletin-may-gets-real-about-her-new-reality

Related:

 Image may contain: 1 person, closeup
Philip Hammond. The chancellor said it was ‘helpful’ that businesses were entering the Brexit discussion. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Brexit May Never Happen — Theresa May’s failure to win an outright majority in a snap national election was the start of the “death knell”

July 9, 2017

LONDON — Britain’s scheduled exit from the European Union may never happen because its main political parties are too divided on the issue, said Vince Cable, a veteran lawmaker bidding to lead the fourth largest political party, the Liberal Democrats.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s failure to win an outright majority in a snap national election last month has cast doubt on her capacity to lead Britain out of the EU, sharpening a debate on what sort of exit deal the government should seek.

“I’m beginning to think that Brexit may never happen,” Cable told the BBC on Sunday. “The problems are so enormous, the divisions within the two major parties are so enormous I can see a scenario in which this doesn’t happen.”

Image may contain: one or more people and sky

Cable served as business minister between 2010 and 2015 when the pro-European Liberal Democrats were the junior partners in a coalition government led by May’s Conservative Party.

He is currently the only candidate in a contest for leadership of his party.

The Liberal Democrats’ influence has waned since 2015, and they hold just 12 out of 650 seats in parliament.

They campaigned in the 2017 election to give Britons a second referendum on leaving the EU once a final deal had been agreed – something Cable described as a possible way out of Brexit.

The Conservatives are historically divided between a deeply eurosceptic faction and more pro-European members. That is expected to make life difficult for May when she puts Brexit legislation through parliament because she will need to unite the party to win key votes.

The second-largest party, Labour, is also riven by disagreement on what kind of deal would work best for Britain’s economy.

Last month Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sacked three members of his policy team after they defied his wishes by coming down in favor of Britain staying in the single European market in a parliamentary vote.

(Reporting by William James; editing by John Stonestreet)

Related:

 Image may contain: 1 person, closeup
Philip Hammond. The chancellor said it was ‘helpful’ that businesses were entering the Brexit discussion. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

UK: Theresa May’s Own Conservative Party Wants A Timetable for Her Departure from No 10

July 3, 2017

By  Political editor
The Guardian

As support for Jeremy Corbyn surges, over 60% of voters now view prime minister less favourably than they did before

 Theresa May
Theresa May’s approval rating is now at -20%, after hitting +21% before the general election Photograph: Matt Cardy/AFP/Getty Images

Theresa May has suffered a startling decline in popularity since last month’s general election with a new opinion poll showing 61% of voters now view her in a more negative light than they did when the electorate denied her an overall majority on 8 June.

The extraordinary transformation in the prime minister’s ratings, which were sky high in early April after she called the snap election, has been accompanied by a rise in public respect for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, according to a new Opinium survey for the Observer.

Corbyn’s reinvigorated party is now on 45%, six points ahead of the Tories (on 39%), which if replicated in a general election would put Corbyn in a strong position to enter Downing Street as prime minister if one was called in the near future.

On 9 April, May’s approval rating stood at an impressive +21% (where the percentage of those who disapprove of her leadership is subtracted from the number who approve) while that for Corbyn had sunk to -35%.

In an extraordinary turnaround, May’s rating is now at -20% (with 31% approving her leadership and 51% disapproving) while Corbyn’s has risen to +4% with more approving of his stewardship of Labour (42%) than disapproving (38%).

May’s struggle to form a coalition with the Democratic Unionist party and her much criticised immediate response to the Grenfell Tower disaster in west London, appear to have contributed to her post-election slump.

By contrast a newly confident Corbyn was seen as having reacted better to the tragedy and has enjoyed adulation from Labour supporters and young people, including at last weekend’s Glastonbury festival.

May and Corbyn are now neck and neck when voters are asked who they believe would make the best prime minister, with 35% saying May and 34% Corbyn.

Read the rest:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jul/01/over-60-of-voters-view-theresa-may-as-pm-negatively-poll

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 Theresa May under pressure to set out timetable for her departure from No 10 

By 

Theresa May is facing pressure to set out a timetable for her departure from Downing Street as a Cabinet split over the lifting of the public sector pay cap deepens.

Senior Tories reportedly want the Prime Minister to set out a timetable at the Conservative Party conference in October for her to hand over the running of the country to a successor.

Read the rest:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/03/theresa-may-pressure-set-timetable-departure-no-10/

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Tory cabinet split as Boris Johnson calls on Theresa May to give public sector workers a pay rise

Mr Johnson reportedly ‘strongly believes’ a public sector pay rise can be done in a ‘responsible way’

Boris Johnson has deepened the split in Theresa May’s top team after putting pressure on the Prime Minister and Chancellor Philip Hammond to give public sector workers a pay rise.

A Government source said the Foreign Secretary wants a wage boost for public sector workers and believes the recommendations of independent pay review bodies which back increases should be followed.

Mr Johnson “strongly believes” a public sector pay rise can be done in a “responsible way” which will not put undue pressure on the public finances, the source said, with the Chancellor still aiming to wipe out the deficit by the middle of the next decade.

Pressure is mounting on the Prime Minister and Mr Hammond to relax austerity, with several Tory MPs calling for an end to the pay cap after the party disastrously lost its majority in the General Election to anti-austerity Labour, which has pledged to scrap the 1% ceiling.

He ‘supports the idea of public sector workers getting a better pay deal’ (Photo: PA)

Mr Johnson’s views go further than those stated by his old adversary and Cabinet colleague Michael Gove, who said the Government has “got to listen” to the pay review bodies, one of which has already recommended a pay rise for NHS workers this year.

The Government source said: “The Foreign Secretary supports the idea of public sector workers getting a better pay deal and believes the pay review recommendations are right.

“He also strongly believes the rises can be done in a responsible way and without causing fiscal pressures.”

It can be done ‘without causing fiscal pressures’ (Photo: REUTERS)

Increasing public sector pay would boost the earnings of 5.1 million workers, including 1.6 million in the NHS and 1.5 million in public education, according to the Institute For Fiscal Studies (IFS). It is likely to cost billions of pounds.

In a Sunday broadcast interview, Mr Gove said it is the Government’s “collective view” to “respect the integrity” of pay review bodies and suggested he was “suppressing” his own opinion on austerity.

In March, the NHS pay review body highlighted “widespread concerns” about recruitment, retention and motivation among employers and staff and said “we are approaching the point when the current pay policy will require some modification, and greater flexibility, within the NHS”.

Read the rest:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tory-cabinet-split-boris-johnson-10728072