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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Brexit"

WATCH: May’s press conference. Her pitch is…I am Boycott.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Gove Agonistes

On the one hand, the Environment Secretary is in the very front line of a No Deal Brexit; understands the instrinsic difficulties it would bring to the movement of food and agricultural goods, and recognises that, even if these could be addressed swiftly, that might not be quickly enough for voters.

(It may also be that as one of Vote Leave’s two frontmen during the EU referendum campaign, the other being Boris Johnson, he feels particularly exposed.)

On the other, reports from yesterday’s Cabinet meeting agree that he doesn’t like Theresa May’s draft deal, though they diverge about the degree of support he eventually offered it.  The sum of his argument seems to have been that a bad deal, or at least a flawed one, is better than no deal.

So the position he seems to be in, as we write, is that he is unwilling either to vote against the deal (and resign) or to speak for it.  Though we add that he is unavailable for interviews today for family reasons that are known to this site.

As his dramatic pull-out from Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign reminded us, Gove is capable of dizzying about-turns – though there is a deep consistency to some of his long-held positions, such as his support for free speech, Israel and rigorous education.  His would be another huge resignation, and it can’t be ruled out.

At any rate, ConservativeHome understands that he has certainly been offered the vacant Brexit Secretary post, which he has reportedly turned down.  A leadership challenge to Theresa May, apparently imminent as we write, would flush him out one way or another.

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WATCH: The Rees-Mogg scrum. He confirms to a media pack that a leadership challenge is on.

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WATCH: Mundell’s ferocious attack on Raab. He says: “I’m not going to be bounced into resigning by carpetbaggers.”

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WATCH: Raab on why he resigned. May’s deal would be “devastating for public trust in our democracy”

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WATCH: Rees-Mogg signals support for a challenge to May’s leadership

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WATCH: “It delivers in ways that many said could simply not be done.” May’s Commons statement. Full text.

“With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to update the House on our negotiations to leave the European Union.

First, I want to pay tribute to my Rt Hon Friends the Members for Esher and Walton and Tatton.

Delivering Brexit involves difficult choices for all of us.

We do not agree on all of those choices but I respect their views and thank them sincerely for all that they have done.

Mr Speaker, yesterday we agreed the provisional terms of our exit from the European Union, set out in the Draft Withdrawal Agreement.

We also agreed the broad terms of our future relationship, in an Outline Political Declaration.

President Juncker has now written to the President of the European Council to recommend that “decisive progress has been made in the negotiations.”

And a special European Council will be called for Sunday 25 th November.

This puts us close to a Brexit deal.

Mr Speaker, what we agreed yesterday was not the final deal.

It is a draft treaty that means we will leave the EU in a smooth and orderly way on 29 March 2019 and which sets the framework for a future relationship that delivers in our national interest.

It takes back control of our borders, laws and money.

It protects jobs, security and the integrity of the United Kingdom.

And it delivers in ways that many said could simply not be done.

We were told that we had a binary choice between the model of Norway or the model of Canada. That we could not have a bespoke deal.

But the Outline Political Declaration sets out an arrangement that is better for our country than both of these – a more ambitious free trade agreement than the EU has with any other country.

And we were told we would be treated like any other third country on security co-operation.

But the Outline Political Declaration sets out a breadth and depth of co-operation beyond anything the EU has agreed with any other country.

So let me take the House through the details.

First, on the Withdrawal Agreement, the full legal text has now been agreed in principle.

It sets out the terms on which the UK will leave the EU in 134 days’ time on 29 th March 2019.

We have secured the rights of the more than three million EU citizens living in the UK, and around one million UK nationals living in the EU.

We have agreed a time-limited implementation period that ensures businesses only have to plan for one set of changes.

We have agreed Protocols to ensure Gibraltar and the Sovereign Base Areas are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

And we have agreed a fair financial settlement – far lower than the figures many mentioned at the start of this process.

Mr Speaker, since the start of this process I have been committed to ensuring that our exit from the EU deals with the issue of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

I believe this issue can best be solved through our future relationship with the EU. But the withdrawal agreement sets out an insurance policy should that new relationship not be ready in time at the end of the implementation period.

I do not pretend that this has been a comfortable process – or that either we or the EU are entirely happy with all of the arrangements that have been included within it.

Of course this is the case – this is an arrangement that we have both said we never want to have to use.

But while some people might pretend otherwise, there is no deal which delivers the Brexit the British people voted for which does not involve this insurance policy.

Not Canada +++. Not Norway for Now. Not our own White Paper.

The EU will not negotiate any future partnership without it.

As the House knows, the original proposal from the EU was not acceptable as it would have meant creating a customs border down the Irish Sea and breaking up the integrity of our United Kingdom.

So last month, I set out for the House the four steps we needed to take.

This is what we have now done and it has seen the EU make a number of concessions towards our position.

First, the EU proposal for a Northern-Ireland only customs solution has been dropped and replaced by a new UK-wide temporary customs arrangement that protects the integrity of our precious Union.

Second, we have created an option for a single time-limited extension of the Implementation Period as an alternative to bringing in the backstop.

As I have said many times, I do not want to extend the Implementation Period and I do not believe we will need to do so. This is about an insurance policy.

But if it happens that at the end of 2020 our future relationship is not quite ready – the UK will be able to make a choice between the UK-wide temporary customs arrangement or a short extension of the Implementation Period.

Third, the Withdrawal Agreement commits both parties to use best endeavours to ensure this insurance policy is never used.

And in the unlikely event that it is needed, if we choose the backstop, the Withdrawal Agreement is explicit that it is temporary and that the Article 50 legal base cannot provide for a permanent relationship. And there is also a mechanism by which the backstop can be terminated.

Finally, we have ensured full continued access for Northern Ireland’s businesses to the whole of the UK internal market.

Mr Speaker, the Brexit talks are about acting in the national interest – and that means making what I believe to be the right choices, not the easy ones.

I know there are some who have said I should simply rip-up the UK’s commitment to a backstop.

But this would have been an entirely irresponsible course of action.

It would have meant reneging on a promise made to the people of Northern Ireland during the Referendum campaign and afterwards that under no circumstances would Brexit lead to a return to the borders of the past.

And it would have made it impossible to deliver a Withdrawal Agreement.

As Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, I have a responsibility to people in every part of our country and I intend to honour that promise.

Mr Speaker, by resolving this issue, we are now able to move on to finalising the details of an ambitious future partnership.

The Outline Political Declaration we have agreed sets out the basis for these negotiations and we will negotiate intensively ahead of the European Council to turn this into a full future framework.

The Declaration will end free movement once and for all.

Instead we will have our own new, skills-based, immigration system – based not on the country people come from, but on what they can contribute to the UK.

The Declaration agrees the creation of a free trade area for goods, with zero tariffs, no fees, charges or quantitative restrictions across all goods sectors.

No other major advanced economy has such an arrangement with the EU. And at the same time, we will also be free to strike new trade deals with other partners around the world.

We have also reached common ground on a close relationship on services and investment, including financial services which go well beyond WTO commitments.

The Declaration ensures we will be leaving the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy.

So we will decide how best to sustain and support our farms and our environment, and the UK will become an independent coastal state once again.

We have also reached agreement on key elements of our future security partnership to keep our people safe.

This includes swift and effective extradition arrangements as well as arrangements for effective data exchange on Passenger Name Records, DNA, fingerprints and vehicle registration data.

And we have agreed a close and flexible partnership on foreign, security and defence policy.

Mr Speaker, when I first became Prime Minister in 2016 there was no ready-made blueprint for Brexit.

Many people said it could simply not be done.

I have never accepted that. I have been committed day and night to delivering on the result of the referendum and ensuring the UK leaves the EU absolutely and on time.

But I also said at the very start that withdrawing from EU membership after 40 years, and establishing a wholly new relationship that will endure for decades to come, would be complex and require hard work.

I know it’s been a frustrating process – it has forced us to confront some very difficult issues.

But a good Brexit. A Brexit which is in the national interest is possible.

We have persevered and have made a decisive breakthrough.

Once a final deal is agreed, I will bring it to Parliament and I will ask MPs to consider the national interest and give it their backing.

Voting against a deal would take us all back to square one.

It would mean more uncertainty, more division, and a failure to deliver on the decision of the British people that we should leave the EU.

If we get behind a deal, we can bring our country back together and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

Mr Speaker, the British people want us to get this done. And to get on with addressing the other issues they care about.

Creating more good jobs in every part of the UK and doing more to help families with the cost of living.

Helping our NHS to provide first class care and our schools to give every child a great start in life.

And focusing every ounce of our energy on building a brighter future for our country.

So Mr Speaker, the choice is clear.

We can choose to leave with no deal.

We can risk no Brexit at all

Or we can choose to unite and support the best deal that can be negotiated. This deal.

A deal that ends free movement…

…takes back control of our borders, laws and money…

…delivers a free trade area for goods with zero tariffs…

…leaves the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy…

…delivers an independent foreign and defence policy, while retaining the continued security co-operation to keep our people safe…

…maintains shared commitments to high standards…

…protects jobs…

…honours the integrity of our United Kingdom…

…and delivers the Brexit the British people voted for.

I choose to deliver for the British people.

I choose to do what is in our national interest.

And I commend this Statement to the House.

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“We have gone from no deal is better than a bad deal, to any deal is better than no deal.” McVey’s resignation letter – full text

Dear Prime Minister,

There is no more important task for this Government than delivering on the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union. This is a matter of trust. It is about the future of our country and the integrity of our democracy.

The deal you put before the Cabinet yesterday does not honour the result of the referendum. Indeed, it doesn’t meet the tests you set at the outset of your premiership.

Repeatedly you have said that we must regain control of our money, our borders, and our laws, and develop our own independent trade policy. I have always supported you to deliver on those objectives. Even after Chequers when you knew I shared the concerns of a very significant number of colleagues, I believed that we could still work collectively to honour the will of the British people and secure the right outcome for the future of our country. This deal fails to do this.

The proposals put before Cabinet, which will soon be judged by the entire country, means handing over around £39 billion to the EU without anything in return. It will trap us in a customs union, despite you specifically promising the British people we would not be. It will bind the hands of not only this, but future Governments in pursuing genuinely free trade policies. We wouldn’t be taking back control, we would be handing over control to the EU and even to a third country for arbitration.

It also threatens the integrity of the United Kingdom, which as a Unionist is a risk I cannot be party to.

The British people have always been ahead of politicians on this issue, and it will be no good trying to pretend to them that this deal honours the result of the referendum when it is so obvious to everyone it doesn’t.

We have gone from no deal is better than a bad deal, to any deal is better than no deal.

I cannot defend this, and I cannot vote for this deal. I could not look my constituents in the eye were I to do that. I therefore have no alternative but to resign from the Government.

It has been a huge honour to serve as Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, and I am immensely proud of the part I have played in the record levels of employment we have seen in all parts of the UK. Youth unemployment has halved since 2010, and we now have record number of women and BAME in work and since 2013, 972,000 more disabled people in work.

With employment over 3.3 million more than in 2010 we have helped 1,000 more people into work each and every day since we took office.

I am extremely grateful to you for appointing me to the role, and for the support you have given me, not least in the run up to the budget, ensuring Universal Credit got a much-needed injection of £4.5 billion. That has made my decision a greater wrench.

However, in politics you have to be true to the public and also true to yourself. Had I stayed in the Government and supported this deal with the EU I wouldn’t be doing that.

Yours sincerely,

Esther McVey”

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McVey is the next domino to fall. She quits. The spotlight switches to Mordaunt.

She had little alternative after calling for a vote on the draft deal in Cabinet yesterday, pressing her case strongly, and being rebuffed by the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Secretary and the Chief Whip.

The former Work and Pensions Secretary and fervent Brexiteer has kept quiet on the Government’s EU policy since Chequers. This was no longer sustainable. It places more pressure on Penny Mordaunt, who called for a free vote in Cabinet yesterday, to explain her position.

May is left with two Cabinet vacancies to fill.  Ambitious Ministers of State and Under-Secretaries usually strain to fill these.  There will still be enough of them to go round, but there will be a sense now that the new appointments may not last long.

The draft deal looks even more unlikely to pass the Commons, a leadership challenge even more likely.  The survival of this Government in any coherent form must now be under threat.

P.S: Suella Braverman, who some thought might quit DexEU when David Davis and Steve Baker resigned over Chequers, has also gone.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

“I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country.” Raab’s resignation letter – full text

Dear Prime Minister,

It has been an honour to serve in your government as Justice Minister, Housing Minister, and Brexit Secretary.

I regret to say that, following the Cabinet meeting yesterday on the Brexit deal, I must resign. I understand why you have chosen to pursue the deal with the EU on the terms proposed, and I respect the different views held in good faith by all of our colleagues.

For my part, I cannot support the proposed deal for two reasons. First, I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom.

Second, I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit. The terms of the backstop amount to a hybrid of the EU Customs Union and Single Market obligations. No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime, imposed externally without any democratic control over the laws to be applied, nor the ability to decide to exit the arrangements. That arrangement is also now also taken as the starting point for negotiating the Future Economic Partnership. If we accept that, it will severely prejudice the second phase of the negotiations against the UK.

Above all, I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election. This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust.

I appreciate that you disagree with my judgement on these issues. I have weighed very carefully the alternative courses of action which the government could take, on which I have previously advised. Ultimately, you deserve a Brexit Secretary who can make the case for the deal you are pursuing with conviction. I am only sorry, in good conscience, that I cannot.

My respect for you, and the fortitude you have shown in difficult times, remains undimmed.

Yours sincerely,

Dominic Raab”

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