Theresa May to outline Brexit plans within weeks
The Financial Times reports that Prime Minister Theresa May is likely to announce details of her Brexit plans for financial services and other key sectors of the UK economy within weeks, in a bid to reassure business leaders.
Separately, in a statement to the House of Commons yesterday, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis said, “The government disagrees with the Court’s judgement. The country voted to leave the EU in a referendum approved by an Act of Parliament. Our position remains…that triggering Article 50 [the formal process of leaving the EU] is properly a matter for the Government using its prerogative powers…As a result we will appeal the High Court’s judgement at the Supreme Court.” On the effect of the High Court ruling on the Government’s negotiation timetable, Davis said, “Our plan remains to invoke Article 50 by the end of March. We believe the legal timetable will allow for that.” Davis left open the possibility that the necessary legislation could be tabled and passed through both houses of Parliament before the Supreme Court gives its ruling.
Theresa May: UK will make India the first visa country to have access to our registered traveller scheme
At a meeting with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, called for “greater mobility of skilled professionals,” between India and the UK, and urged “greater mobility and participation of young people in education and research opportunities.” May announced that, “the UK will make India the first visa country to have access to our registered traveller scheme.” She also added, “We have invited the Indian Government to become the first government in the world to nominate top business executives for the Great Club – our bespoke visa and immigration service… [And have] agreed to establish a strategic dialogue on home affairs issues covering visas, returns, and organised crime. As part of this, the UK will consider further improvements to our visa offer if at the same time we can step up the speed and volume of returns of Indians with no right to remain in the UK…And the UK will continue to welcome the brightest and best Indian students, with the latest figures showing that nine out of ten applications are granted.”
Starmer clarifies Labour will not block Article 50 but Government must reveal negotiating plan
Keir Starmer, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “Labour accepts that the government has a mandate to leave the EU… [However] They have no mandate for the terms upon which we leave.” He added, “We will not frustrate the process by simply voting down Article 50 but we’re absolutely clear that before we get to that stage the government must put its plan before parliament.” Meanwhile, Starmer clarified Labour’s position by saying, “We are clear that we need the fullest possible access to the single market, that we should be in the customs union, and that there should be special arrangements for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.”
Separately, Open Europe’s Pieter Cleppe was interviewed by Spanish daily La Razón, saying “It’s unlikely the UK Parliament would dare to scupper Brexit, but it may complicate and delay the process.”
Brexit without EU trade deal could see Ireland GDP be 3.8% lower than what it would have been
According to a study commissioned by the Irish government, Ireland’s GDP in ten years’ time could be 3.8% lower than what it otherwise would have been, if the UK exited the EU without a trade deal and was to rely on World Trade Organisation rules. The report by the Department of Finance and the Economic and Social Research Institute argues that such a scenario would leave Ireland’s unemployment rate 1.9% points higher and wages 3.6% lower. The projections do not take into account measures the Government could take to mitigate the impact.
Timmermans: “I really believe that the European project can fail”
In an interview with EurActiv, the First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans said, “For the first time in 30 years, I really believe that the European project can fail.” He added, “We have fallen into the trap of identity politics. If the driving force of the European construction is national, cultural or ethnic identity, then it will not survive.”
EU Commission asks UK for clarification on what guarantees it provided in Nissan deal
The European Commission is querying the UK government on what guarantees it gave to Nissan that encouraged the company to continue investing in its Sunderland plant. Ricardo Cardoso, a spokesperson for the Commission said, “The UK authorities have not notified any support to Nissan for assessment under our state aid rules and we’ve therefore not taken any formal view of this matter.” When asked to explain what provoked the questions to the UK, he replied: “We follow events; we read press reports … If we see something interesting then we ask questions.”