EU Insider Briefing February 2018




European Movement UK News

Comment from the European Movement UK on Jeremy Corbyn’s speech on Labour’s Brexit policy – 26 February 2018
Stephen Dorrell, Chair of the European Movement UK, said:

“The European Movement UK believes that Brexit is a mistake and it is in the best interests of the UK to remain within the European Union, the Single Market and the Customs Union and to safeguard all the benefits that we derive from our EU membership.

“We welcome Labour’s commitment to a Customs Union with the EU and to avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.  The European Movement was founded after World War II to help foster peace between people across Europe and Brexit should not be allowed to jeopardise the hard-won peace process in Northern Ireland or threaten the Good Friday Agreement.”

Read the full statement here.

UK News Round-up: 19-25 February 2018

The world knows that Brexit must be reversed [Guardian]
Martin Kettle argues in the Guardian that the foreigner’s political eye can sometimes see the big political picture with greater clarity than a country’s inhabitants. He thinks that the overwhelming majority of the rest of the world – or at least the bit of the world that doesn’t welcome the weakening of the rules-based order, of international standards, and of open, pluralistic liberal societies – think that Brexit is a mistaken decision. He suggests that for Britain to do its bit in the world, Brexit must be softened and eventually reversed.

What exactly is the point of leaving the EU? [Times]
Simon Nixon comments that after a week of speechifying by ministers, it is easier to identify what the Government wants to stay the same rather than to change. He looks at the scope of the government’s ambition, which amounts – for the most part – to an attempt to deliver the same outcomes via a different process, and asks: if that’s really the best the government has to offer, then what’s the point of Brexit?

If the Cabinet can’t settle on a version of Brexit without a fudge, how can we know what type of Brexit the public mandated in the referendum? [Independent]
Tony Blair argues that Brexit means more than one version of Brexit. There are two different versions within Government and at least four within Parliament, all with wildly differing consequences. Which did the British people vote for? That is what now makes the case for a final say on the terms of the Brexit the Government finally proposes.

How Brexit is sabotaging a British aviation success story []
Ian Dunt argues that European aviation is fundamentally a British success story. It’s one of the best pieces of evidence for how Britain made the single market work for its services economy and helped make life better for passengers all over the continent in the process. But that success is now a hostage of Brexit. If the hard Brexiteers in Cabinet get their way, Britain will turn back the clock on the last 30 years of development.

Gove’s romantic vision of farming ignores uncomfortable realities [InFacts]
Luke Lythgoe comments that Michael Gove’s vision of farming in the UK after Brexit, which he laid out at the National Farmers Union annual conference, ignored uncomfortable realities over the future of farming subsidies, access to foreign markets and labour, and his new green initiatives.  It would be better for the UK to continue driving reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy from within the EU club.

Brexit will knock 5% off wage growth – says Mark Carney [Guardian]
The Bank of England has warned that economic uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote will knock 5% off UK wage growth by the year end. Without the recovery in the eurozone and Japan and consistent growth in the US, the picture would have been even gloomier. As to the claim by Brexit-supporting economists that a currency devaluation had provided a boost to the economy, Mark Carney, the bank’s governor, said that this was wrong. He said its main effect was to make people poorer: “Depreciations don’t work. They have an economic effect, but they’re not a good economic strategy. They may be an outcome of various things … but it’s how you make yourself poorer”.

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