Delaying Brexit has come at a cost.

It has cost us trust in our democracy.

For those who voted in good faith at the last General Election; who believed the promises of MPs who said they would honour our vote to leave the EU.

And it has a massive financial cost – in extra payments to the EU.

It costs an extra £1 billion in payments to Brussels every month we delay.

And how much has this delay cost us in lost opportunities?

The very opportunities which we voted for – to lower living costs by forging new trade deals around the world.

With so much delay, is it any wonder my friend Jacob has taken to lying down on the government front bench.

But there has been one, immediate cost from delaying Brexit… 

The prolonged uncertainty has caused worry and concern to over 3 million EU Citizens living in the UK.

For those EU citizens living here, I have a direct message today. 

You are not a part of the negotiation. Your life and livelihood in the UK is not in doubt.

The Prime Minister set out in his first hour in office, on the steps of Downing Street, that we want you to stay.

To bring up your families in our communities…

To work in our public services and for our businesses…

In our NHS – where there are now 700 more EU doctors than at the time of the referendum. 

We value the contribution you make to our country and are pleased that you have chosen to make your home here.

We have guaranteed your rights to live, work and stay in the UK with full citizens rights for as long as you choose.

Now it is time for the EU to match that guarantee.

We are all too familiar with the refrain ‘despite Brexit’.

Yet, despite Brexit, we have record low unemployment… and the highest inward investment of any country in the EU.

Despite Brexit, just last week, London overtook New York to become THE world’s number one city for investments in fintech firms…

And despite Brexit, Jaguar Land Rover have opened the UK’s biggest state-of-the-art car design centre in Warwickshire, delivering a £500m vote of confidence in Britain.

It’s time to stop apologising for Brexit, and to unleash the opportunities it offers.

We can source products that we do not produce at a better price.

Too often the EU restricts access to markets that want to trade with us…

Like the foods that we do not grow, or the goods that we do not specialise in producing,

With new trade deals with other countries we can help the developing world through trade, rather than handing out aid.

To empower countries through free trade is the essence of being Conservative, and an important reason why I am a Brexiteer.

To use Brexit as a catalyst for change across all parts of our United Kingdom, including areas like my own in the Fens…

Who see Brexit as an opportunity – not a problem to be solved.

Jeremy Corbyn parades his credentials as an animal welfare campaigner.

But his delay prevents any sovereign choice on the continued live exports of animals. 

He claims to care about the planet, yet his delay to Brexit means we can’t choose to remove VAT on environmental products like solar panels.

His delay prevents us from implementing a new Agriculture Bill designed for our British farmers rather than the French.

Delay also means less time to focus on our people’s priorities.

It’s the Conservatives who want to get Brexit done so that we can focus on what the people want to see.

The biggest increase in spending on the NHS…

Tackling crime through the extra 20,000 police officers…

Levelling up opportunity, including on school funding…

And delay puts our United Kingdom at risk..

Encouraging the Scottish Nationalists that if one referendum can be ignored, then so too can the 2014 referendum on the integrity of the UK itself.

We will defend the Union – because we are the Conservative and Unionist Party.

And what do Labour want to have more delay on Brexit for? 

They cannot even count the vote at their conference on what they want to do… and it wasn’t even Diane Abbott doing the counting.

Remain?

Sit on the fence?

Keep it a secret until after the election?

Labour don’t trust the people and that is why the people cannot trust them.

Labour ignore the votes of the many, because they prefer to listen to the opinions of the North London few.

Their position is to negotiate Brexit and then to scrap it.

That would demolish the UK’s negotiating position.

And what would they do once they had negotiated this fantasy ‘better’ deal?

As the Shadow Foreign Secretary herself has made clear, they would bring it back and have an unwanted and divisive second referendum, where they would campaign for Remain against their own deal.

Labour’s Brexit policy can be summed up in three words: dither and delay.

And look at the so-called Liberal ‘Democrats’.

They want to revoke Article 50 without even letting you have a say.

The Lib Dem position is now so extreme that it has even been rejected by the Green Party.

The Irish Deputy Prime Minister said on Wednesday that “there are solutions to this but it is a matter of political will”. 

I agree.

The Commission has said that it is open to “creative and flexible solutions on the border in Northern Ireland”. 

I am too.

President Juncker said “he is not wedded to the backstop”. 

Nor are we. So let’s abolish it.

The Prime Minister and I are focused on negotiating a deal.

But if we can’t get a deal, we’ll leave on 31 October anyway.

Michel Barnier once said that “the clock is ticking”. 

For Jeremy Corbyn – the election clock is now ticking very loudly. 

Our communities should not have to pay millions for each further hour of his delay.

We, as Conservatives, know it’s your money that he would waste.

We need to get Brexit done.  And with this Prime Minister, we will.

The post Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay addresses Tory Party conference: end delay to unlock Brexit opportunities appeared first on BrexitCentral.

First, the bad news. UK business investment in non-financial assets, which includes factories and machinery, has stalled since the vote to leave the EU in 2016. Indeed, investment has fallen outright in five of the last six quarters, and is now about 1½% lower than a year ago.

This is still not the ‘collapse’ that some would have us believe. The UK’s overall economic performance over the past year has also still been better than many of its peers. But it does make the UK an outlier in terms of capital spending. The level of business investment in the UK is roughly the same as it was three years ago, compared to typical increases of 10% in other major economies. If growth in investment here had kept pace with that elsewhere, our GDP might now be 1% higher.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has also been softening. This is partly a global trend and there are still plenty of bright spots, such as the tech sector. But the UK has seen a relatively sharp fall in cross-border investment in new physical projects.

For once, there is little doubt about the cause. Numerous surveys show that both local and foreign businesses have been deterred from investing in the UK by the extended Brexit uncertainty. Given that their main concerns are about new barriers to trade, it is no surprise that cross-border investment has been hit particularly hard.

Nonetheless, the current weakness of investment is not a good argument for cancelling Brexit altogether. For a start, it need not have been like this, if the negotiations had been handled better. Investment began to pick up again shortly after the referendum once firms had overcome the initial shock of the result, and as the warnings of an immediate recession were proved wrong. The high point in capital spending did not actually come until the end of 2017.

Since then, unfortunately, the needlessly prolonged and botched process of leaving the EU has led many firms to put spending back on hold. The mixed signals about the preparedness to leave without a deal – summed up in the Yellowhammer leaks – have only compounded this problem.

It would also be wrong to argue that the solution is to delay the departure from the EU even further. This would presumably require some combination of an early general election, another referendum, and a takeover by an interim government, perhaps led by Mr J Corbyn. This would surely prolong and increase the uncertainties over Brexit, and add others.

There are much better reasons to believe that investment will rebound once Brexit finally happens. There is plenty of evidence, such as EY’s UK Attractiveness Survey, that the UK remains the top destination for FDI in Europe, and that many firms have only ‘paused’ projects rather than cancelled them altogether. Similarly, London is still well ahead of other European cities in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).

What’s more, even if the UK does leave on 31stOctober without a deal, many businesses would surely prefer the certainty of some short-term disruption, for which both sides will now be much better prepared, than continued dithering with no idea what happens next. As the Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, succinctly put it, ‘I’d rather leave with No Deal than drag negotiations on’.

Of course, leaving on 31st October without a deal would not end all the uncertainty, especially about the long-term relationship between the UK and the EU. It is possible that, in a few areas, it might simply confirm some of the worries about the short-term impact, and provide certainty of a bad outcome. But even in these areas, businesses would finally know what they have to cope with, especially in terms of any new tariffs and red tape.

The investments that are currently only on hold will then gradually be restarted, just as in 2016 when the economy initially stalled, then accelerated again. This time the UK would actually be leaving the EU. But this also means that businesses will have even harder evidence that the nightmare scenarios – including those apocalyptic Yellowhammer headlines – are more ‘Project Fear’.

Leaving sooner rather than later would also allow the new administration under Boris Johnson to crack on with a broader package of measures to maintain – and enhance – the attractiveness of the UK as a place to do business. This should include additional investment in infrastructure, and tax cuts. And even if sterling fails to recover, the benefits of a more competitive currency will gradually outweigh the increase in the cost of imports.

Finally, there is already evidence that all this is more than just wishful thinking. For example, the July services PMI reported that ‘a number of survey respondents commented on improved sales to clients in external markets, helped by the weak sterling exchange rate against the euro and US dollar. Moreover, the latest survey indicated the fastest increase in new work from abroad since June 2018.’

And in the July manufacturing PMI, ‘manufacturers maintained a positive outlook in July. Over 46% expect output to be higher in one year’s time, compared to less than 10% forecasting contraction. Optimism was linked to new product launches, an expected rebound in export sales, strong order pipelines, reduced uncertainty following Brexit and improved infrastructure (including 5G networks)’.

In summary, Brexit uncertainty may mean that investment is down, but it is not out. Provided the UK now leaves as planned on 31st October, businesses who have been fearing the worst should soon start spending again.

The post Why investment should rebound after Brexit appeared first on BrexitCentral.

If there is one tax cut that would show in totemic fashion that post Brexit Britain is truly ‘Open for Business’, it would be to cut Air Passenger Duty (APD). Since its introduction in 1994 by then Chancellor Ken Clarke, APD has increased by 680% for long haul flights and 160% for short haul at the same time that flight costs overall have fallen by 30% as a result of increased competition
amongst airlines. This has left the UK with the highest aviation taxes in Europe and the developed world, more than double Germany, the next highest in Europe.
 
We are competing in a global market for businesses and investors.  As Brexit approaches the new Chancellor must look with urgency at the impact that APD has on creating a truly global Britain. Put simply, APD is not working. It places an unnecessary cost on passengers and prevents a large number of routes from being economically viable, particularly in our regional economies. 
 
Aviation is crucial to our Brexit future beyond the EU. It is perverse that we are taxing planes and routes ‘out of the sky’ that we need to connect us to future trade opportunities.  Research conducted for Airlines UK last year showed that APD prevented a significant number of routes from being financially viable. APD is causing the UK to miss out on new routes like Bristol to Dubai;
Edinburgh to Delhi; and Birmingham to Tel Aviv. 
 
When my colleagues and I press ministers on this, they will often respond that passenger numbers have increased over the last few years so ‘what’s the problem’. Whilst this is true, it masks the real problem. In trade, ‘connectivity is king’. We lag behind our European neighbours in connectivity terms, with Germany having considerably more direct connectivity to China, Japan, South Korea and Brazil than the UK. This connectivity problem is also exacerbated by our regional airports losing routes, with Edinburgh Airport losing its valuable routes to the USA when Norwegian Airlines pulled the routes citing sky high APD as a key factor.
 
Over the last year, I have met with, and had representations from, airlines from across the world. The clear message from them is that APD is holding back our ability to connect our airports across the UK to the nations that we will need to be connected to for our global trading future.  One international airline made clear to me that they want to add more connections into the UK but are
prevented from doing so by the additional cost of APD to their cost base.
 
The Government’s approach to Air Passenger Duty is motivated by one factor – cash.  Air Passenger Duty brings in over £3 billion each year to the Treasury.  But this approach is simplistic and self-defeating, with research showing that more tax revenue would be raised from other taxes than would be lost from its abolition. It is estimated that there would be a net £570 million in extra tax
receipts in the first fiscal year following abolition, and positive benefits through to 2022 that could add up to as much as £2 billion in additional tax receipts.
 
Aviation is a key driver of economic growth. Take for example the Emirates route from Newcastle to Dubai, which has helped grow trade between North East England and Australasia from £150 million in 2007 to over £360 million for 2015.  Our post Brexit future needs more of these routes and APD is acting as block on airlines adding the routes that we desperately need.
 
APD is an out dated, exorbitant and perverse tax that is preventing us from having the connectivity that we need in a truly global Britain.  The Chancellor has the opportunity to end this and give us the flying start to our post Brexit future by cutting APD by at least 50 per cent, I urge him to do so.

The post Cutting Air Passenger Duty can give us the flying start to our post Brexit future appeared first on BrexitCentral.

Stopping Brexit is becoming a desperate game. It’s produced a manic inventiveness which is turning out more constitutional crap than thirty years of Liberal Party conferences.

Only the EU can impose “No Deal” by refusing to admit that Theresa May’s deal is as dead as May, so a new government means a new negotiation. Logically therefore Remainers should cart their flags and whinges off to Brussels. They don’t, because their aim is to weaken Britain’s negotiating position, even though that’s the quickest way get the no-deal they deplore.

Which is why they’re trundling every past Prime Minister out of the museum to denounce Brexit as a disaster greater than any they created. It’s also why they’ve begun a desperate search for devices to lock Boris Johnson into a constitutional straightjacket. When they were in power they didn’t mind that Britain has no constitution because it left them free to do what they wanted. Now that Johnson is boss, they’re inventing a constitution to stop him doing what the people want.

This drags the Queen into politics by asking her to use a power she hasn’t got to eject her no-deal government and install an unelected government of National Unity though they can’t say who’ll run it. Can’t be the leader of the opposition. He’s not reliable. How about Margaret Beckett, a reformed ex Brexiteer? Or young Jo Swinson. She wants to be Prime Minister and won’t need parking for her caravan in Downing St, or much accomodation for her MPs.

They call on Parliament to do a job it hasn’t got, by governing instead of the Government. They think Speaker John Bercow will be Euro-daft enough to get Parliament to delay D Day or reverse the vote to implement Article 50. Or both. The Commons can’t do that but our DIY constitutionalists work by Brussels rules not British. So it can.

Then a confidence vote to stop Johnson, though if it’s passed, the Queen would have to ask Jeremy Corbyn. They don’t want that so there would have to be an election. Labour doesn’t really want that because in its present state it would lose. So it’s now calling for a people’s vote, though it can’t say when. Or what on.

To get out of that, Labour’s now written to the Cabinet Secretary to ask him to tell Johnson not to be naughty. When that doesn’t work (as it won’t) Corbyn will be forced to call a vote, which he’ll lose for the same reason that prevents any Government of National Disunity.

Uniting Remainers is as impossible as getting Donald Trump to shut up. The daring Change Party fell apart in weeks. Ms Lucas’s Ladies Against Leaving Cabinet will never untwist its knickers. So bringing senior politicians together cross party would be like packing pit bulls in a sack. The SNP and Labour are deadly enemies in Scotland and (pace John McDonnell) any attempt to conciliate the SNP weakens Scottish Labour, ruling out any possibility of a Labour national majority. So in a vote the few sensible Labour MPs will abstain. Most will hold their noses and vote. The Tories will pull together, desperate to retain power, which is the point at issue in a confidence vote.

McDonnell will then have to cancel the taxi to take Corbyn to the Palace and Johnson will be free to call an election when and if he wants one. He can even win that. Electors tend to prefer a party with clear policies and an impetus. Only Johnson has both.

That’s why people who’ve denounced austerity for years now claim that turning on the money spiggots as Johnson has done is dangerous lunacy, i.e.it might help him win where people should be kept miserable so they’ll blame it on Brexit. Everything Johnson has done or proposed, however useful, must be rubbished and Dominic Cummings denounced as a malevolent Machiavelli controlling Johnson’s brain.

All this is played out just when Johnson and the EU are locked in a high stakes game of bluff. So in undermining Johnson to ensure that Britain fails, Remainers weaken Britain and help the EU they’re so keen on, (Let’s Make Europe Great Again) to inflict as much damage as it can on Britain. Not exactly a popular approach in a nation that voted to come out.

They’re doing it because they’re desperate and that makes them anxious to rewrite a constitution we haven’t got. It’s so crazy that I’m writing a new guide “Creating a Constitution to keep the British People in their Box” – should have an enormous sale in Brussels. Perhaps I’ll even beat Dominic Grieve for the Juncker prize: a model of the Brussels boy pissing on the people.

The post Welcome to constitutional wonderland appeared first on BrexitCentral.

Back in 2016 17.4 million voted to leave the EU. They did so because they believed in Britain. They believed in our future as an independent nation state able to govern our own affairs and choose our future. They chose to take back control of our laws, money, borders and trade.

In the referendum campaign it was clear that leaving meant just that. Leaving. Not keeping bits of the EU. Not keeping the Customs Union, the Single Market or other bits. For if we stay in the Customs Union, our trade policy would continue to be made in Brussels, not Britain. To stay in the Single Market would be to allow the EU to continue to control many of our laws. We all want a deal but that deal must respect the referendum and make sure we do a proper job of leaving the EU. 

Instead Parliament has been gridlocked over Brexit for months. The opinion polls seem clear that not leaving at the end of March was damaging for trust in our democracy. The European Elections being held is the final straw with voters having practically given up on the mainstream political parties. 

After weeks of fruitless talks with the Labour Party, the Prime Minister has unveiled her “new and bold” Brexit deal. The government is trying – for a fourth time – to get it through the Commons. Yet it is worse than the last deal. Most concerning of all is that allowing this bill to proceed past second reading would risk it being a vehicle for remaining in the EU’s Customs Union and a second referendum. That is simply not a risk we can take. 

Running right through the heart of the deal is the backstop – a mechanism, conjured up by Brussels, to trap us under its thumb, tying us to its rules and regulations so that we would not be able to conduct trade deals with the rest of the world. Millions of voters wanted to escape the EU precisely so that we could be free to engage constructively with the fastest growing economies in the world. 

The crypto Customs union that is the Backstop would trap us indefinitely. We could only leave if the EU gave us permission to do so.  It would be unprecedented for a self-governing country, by virtue of signing an international treaty, to be bound to the rules of an international body over which it has no say.  Yet this is precisely the effect of the backstop.

The backstop would turn the UK into a satellite state whilst also posing a grave risk to the Union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  It would do irreversible damage to the constitution of our great nation. And it is unacceptable to our coalition partners in the DUP. 

If the stars align and we manage to agree a trade deal with the EU in a timely fashion after we leave, there will be no need for a backstop.  Yet with the Backstop that would be wholly within the gift of Brussels and unlikely to happen. The better plan is to ditch the backstop and offer the EU a comprehensive free trade deal 

Moreover, this deal hands over £39bn of our money, before the trade talks even begin. It contains a smorgasbord of options which the “remain and reform” Labour Party will exploit to reverse the referendum result – including the possibility of a second referendum which was ruled out by the 2017 Conservative Manifesto. This deal even puts the Single Market, revoking Article 50 and cancelling Brexit altogether firmly back on the table. These are not options that can be supported and the risk is too high to take.

I supported the Prime Minister in March as I thought that was our last best chance to leave the EU.  Yet this deal is worse and the risks of this bill are too high for it to be supportable. 

Countless opportunities await this country when it commits to delivering the historic referendum result in full.  To truly transform our country into a great, self-governing democracy, allowing us to determine our own rules, control our borders, choose how we spend our own money and to end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Sadly this deal of the PM’s cannot achieve that. I will read the whole bill cover to cover but expect the small print to prove to me that I just cannot support it.

The post I backed the PM’s deal in March – but the new ‘offer’ looks beyond the pale appeared first on BrexitCentral.

No one expected us to be holding these European elections but the government’s complete failure on

Brexit means they are going ahead against a backdrop of division and frustration.

A vote for Labour is a vote to bring our divided country back together.

Labour is the only party with a plan to unite our country to make it work for the many, not the few.

We will end austerity invest in our economy and our communities and raise wages and living standards.

Labour’s alternative plan for Brexit which protects jobs, living standards and communities would end the chaos caused by the Conservatives and let us focus on the other big issues facing our country.

It’s a real and credible plan that would allow the next Labour government to rebuild our manufacturing industries. And restore pride and prosperity to parts of our country that have been neglected for too long.

That neglect was, I believe a major reason behind the vote for Brexit in the first place.

Three years of botched negotiations between the Government and the European Union have left everyone frustrated.

Over 17 million people voted to leave the European Union. As democratic socialists, we cannot ignore that.

We voted to trigger Article 50 in 2017 and promised to respect the referendum in our general election manifesto and again at our party conference last year.

But we cannot respect the government’s shambolic handling of Brexit that has caused huge uncertainty for people, businesses and jobs.

When Theresa May became Prime Minister she didn’t consult either Parliament or the country

Brexit policy was announced through a series of speeches declared, never discussed.

What we got was three years of the Tories spending more time arguing with themselves than negotiating with Europe.

What the Prime Minister finally cooked up led to the biggest government defeat in parliamentary history.

It wasn’t until that damaging deal had been defeated three times and the Government had already missed its own deadline for leaving that the Prime Minister finally admitted she needed to compromise.

Labour agreed to talks because we believed it was the right thing to do to see if we could get a better deal in line with our plan and the needs of businesses and trade unions a deal that would see us leave the

European Union but keep a close relationship with our major trading partners. So far in those talks, there has been no big offer, and the red lines remain.

It’s difficult negotiating with a disintegrating government with cabinet ministers jockeying for the succession, rather than working for an agreement.

It’s in the country’s interests to try to get this sorted one way or another.

But we can never accept the government’s bad deal or a disastrous No Deal.

So if we can’t get a sensible deal, along the lines of our alternative plan or a general election, Labour backs the option of a public vote.

I am very worried about how divided our society has become.

Every week I go to a different part of the country to campaign to meet people and to listen.

And over the last year, I’ve seen the divisions around Brexit grow.

In communities and families, there are real tensions.

So how do we go forward?

We could all retreat to our respective side of the argument and let bitterness drive us further apart.

We could allow ourselves to be defined only as ‘remainers’ or ‘leavers’ labels that meant nothing to us only a few years ago.

But where would that take us?

Who wants to live in a country stuck in this endless loop?

What’s needed is a bit of understanding.

Understanding of why so many people felt so frustrated with the system that they voted to leave.

And understanding of why so many others believe that staying in the EU is the only way to protect our open and diverse society.

Some people seem to look at the issue the wrong way around.

They tend to think the first question is leave or remain as if either is an end in itself.

I think they’re wrong. The first question is what kind of society do we want to be?

And on that people can find so much common ground.

Labour, and only Labour stands on that common ground in this election.

That’s why we insist the real divide in our country is not how people voted in the EU referendum. The real divide is between the many and the few.

Whether you’re from Tottenham or Mansfield, Stockwell or Stoke here in Medway or Manchester so many of the problems you face are the same.

And while the government’s incompetence and divisions over Brexit have created this deadlock the injustices in our society are deepening.

Those injustices aren’t to do with back stops implementation periods and all that obscure jargon.

They’re about whether your children will go to a school that can afford the basics or one that has to send begging letters to parents.

Whether your relatives will be treated quickly and safely on the NHS or wait in pain and distress for months.

Whether your parents will get a helping hand in old age or be left isolated and afraid.

And whether we as a country can end the burning injustices in our society that Theresa May once talked of but did nothing about.

Austerity insecure work and low wages cause anger and disillusion.

Some want to use that to stoke further division.

But it wasn’t the EU that slashed public services to pay for tax cuts for the richest it was Tory governments.

It wasn’t nurses and teachers who crashed our economy it was the bankers and hedge funds.

And it wasn’t immigrants who caused the biggest squeeze on wages since the Napoleonic Wars it was bad employers.

We need solutions, not scapegoats.

When you blame your neighbour rather than the powerful for problems with the health system or for overcrowded classrooms or for a lack of housing you’re letting those responsible off the hook.

You haven’t trained a doctor or a nurse you haven’t opened a new school you haven’t built a house you haven’t secured a penny of extra investment.

All you’ve done is fuel an atmosphere of division and nastiness.

It’s only by coming together and working together that we can improve people’s lives.

Labour will stand up for all workers black and white.

And we will guarantee the rights of EU citizens and students in this country and British people who want to work and study in the EU.

We are internationalists to our core.

So when we see the emboldened far right strutting its stuff across Europe and in this country too in the shape of UKIP and its hangers-on our response is to strengthen our ties with working class and progressive movements both at home and abroad.

The biggest issues facing us like tax avoidance and the power of multinational corporations are international issues that demand international solutions.

And the biggest issue of all the climate and environment emergency that threatens everyone’s future cannot be averted by one country alone.

Climate breakdown air pollution and the frightening loss of species demand collaboration across borders.

And I am proud that Labour led the way last week to make the UK parliament be the first in the world to declare an environment and climate emergency.

I hope our action sparks a wave of declarations of a climate emergency by parliaments and governments around the world.

So we will always cooperate closely with our progressive allies in Europe and across the world.

These elections are also a chance to challenge the poison being peddled by the likes of Nigel Farage.

He says Brexit is being blocked by the elite It’s not true The large majority of MPs have voted for a Brexit deal in one form or another.

The Brexit party is in fact the No Deal party.

And for millions, No Deal would mean no jobs.

An economic shock threatening entire industries.

And here in Kent turning the M20 into a permanent lorry park, causing massive disruption.

It would be an elite Brexit that would only work for the richest.

Who wants to deregulate slash public services and rights at work still further.

It would be a Donald Trump Brexit leaving us at the mercy of a reckless and bellicose US administration.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit is a Brexit for conspiracy theorists.

For those who see Muslims and migrants or George Soros as the enemy.

Only Labour can see off the Farage snake oil in this election.

And stand by our country’s values of tolerance, openness and diversity.

It’s said that Labour is trying to offer something to everyone over Brexit.

I make no apology for that.

Labour will never be the party of the 52 per cent or of the 48 per cent.

We are the part of the great majority who reject the politics of smear and scapegoating.

In favour of unity for social justice.

Other parties appeal to just one side of the Brexit debate because they aren’t really committed to taking on the tax dodgers the big polluters or the financial gamblers who crashed our economy a decade ago.

To transform our country and tackle injustice, inequality and the climate crisis we need to unite the overwhelming majority of people and take on the privileged and powerful.

Labour will address the inequalities that helped fuel the Brexit vote by investing in our communities and people ending austerity and creating a fairer society.

And we will lead the fight against racism at home and across Europe wherever and however it arises.

It is Labour that wants to bring our country back together.

So whether you voted leave or remain in 2016, I urge you to vote Labour the party that is determined to bring the many together and take on the entrenched power of the few.

The post Jeremy Corbyn launches Labour’s EU election campaign, full speech appeared first on BrexitCentral.

Richard Drax makes a surprising Point of Order at the start of the Business of the House debate…

Then Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom reiterates her support for the Government’s deal…

Sammy Wilson intervenes…

Sir Bernard Jenkin makes his contribution…

Jacob Rees-Mogg responds to an intervention…

And Kate Hoey delivers her contribution…

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay gives his thoughts on the debate…

And Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer gives his…

Former International Trade Minister Greg Hands follows…

Steve Barclay addresses the result of the indicative votes

 

 

The post Highlights from the Indicative Votes Debate – Day II appeared first on BrexitCentral.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove kicks off the debate with a fiery exchange with former Tory MP Anna Soubry…

Vicky Ford MP followed…

Michael Gove then responds to calls for a second referendum…

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer responds…

Crispin Blunt intervenes…

Andrew Percy makes a pointed remark…

Former DEFRA minister George Eustice makes his speech…

Iain Duncan Smith added his thoughts…

And John Redwood followed with his contribution…

Then Andrew Bridgen gave a timely reminder to the House…

Shadow Brexit Minister Matthew Pennycook responds…

Then International Trade Secretary Liam Fox close the debate…

The Prime Minister Theresa May responds to the Government’s No-deal Brexit Motion defeat (Ayes 321 – Noes 278)…

Then Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn gives his response…

Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom confirms that the vote on extending Article 50 will take place on Thursday 14th March…

The post Highlights from the No-deal Brexit Debate appeared first on BrexitCentral.

As the dust settles after another hugely important couple of nights in Westminster, there are some who have sadly sought to issue recriminations about those Brexit-supporting MPs – most of 75 Conservatives and the 10 DUP MPs – who did not support the Withdrawal Agreement on Tuesday.

I am one of those MPs, and I think it’s really important to make something clear. The proposed Withdrawal Agreement that has twice been put before Parliament (and twice rejected by historic margins) is not merely a ‘bad deal’, it is simply not Brexit.

I don’t think many in Westminster are more passionate about delivering Brexit than I am. But Brexit meant one thing above all others: taking back control. The deal that was on offer to us on Tuesday – with its wholly unnecessary ‘Backstop’ – was not, even on the most generous reading, ‘taking back control’.

It would have handed Brussels 100% control of our trade and customs policy and precluded the UK’s right to sign trade deals with the rest of the world. Worse, when the EU signed a trade agreement with another country (for example, China), we would have been compelled to make all the concessions agreed to by the EU, but China would only have needed to offer its concessions to the EU 27, not to the UK. In other words, we would have become the EU’s expendable bargaining chip in negotiations.

Meanwhile, the Agreement would have stripped Northern Ireland of the ability to control and decide its own constitutional status – a right enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement. Northern Ireland would have been treated separately to the rest of the UK, and become a rule-taker in areas such as goods, agricultural products and VAT. As confirmed by HMRC, this regulatory divergence would have required the introduction of paperwork for those who wanted to trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. This went against express promises made by the Government that such a thing would never happen.

To top it all, the UK would have been unable to leave this humiliating state of affairs without the EU’s permission – a situation completely unprecedented in international law. Far from taking back control, the Agreement would have diminished our country to a state of unending ‘vassalage’. This was the bottom line of the Attorney General’s damning legal advice – an opinion echoed by many prominent international lawyers, including Professor Phillipe Sands, Martin Howe QC, and Lord Anderson QC.

It was surprising, therefore, to hear the accusation that those of us repudiating such an agreement were ‘risking losing Brexit altogether’, and will somehow be held responsible if the Government, Parliament and EU subsequently conspired to keep us in the EU.

We need to be crystal clear: the only people who would be responsible for ‘no Brexit’ would be those who vote to take no deal off the table, or to extend – for no good reason – Article 50. The vast majority of Parliament voted to trigger Article 50 in full knowledge of its significance: that we would – in both domestic and international law – be leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 with or without a deal. They also stood of manifestos reiterating the same promise.

If some individuals now regret those decisions, so be it – but they ought to look the electorate in the eye and admit that, rather than hunting around for Brexiteers onto whom to deflect the blame. As the final acts of this drama unfold, I will vote for a good deal, if one can be secured, for the Malthouse Compromise, if this can be delivered, and if needs be for leaving without a deal. But I will not let down my conscience, my constituents or my country by voting for a deal that doesn’t deliver Brexit at all.

The post Brexiteers were right on Tuesday to reject a deal that would leave Brussels in control appeared first on BrexitCentral.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay kicks off the debate, including an early intervention from former Brexit Secretary David Davis MP…

John Baron MP intervened…

Nigel Dodds MP also made an intervention…

Owen Paterson MP followed…

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer responds…

Ian Paisley MP made a humorous intervention…

And former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab MP, made his contribution…

Henry Smith MP makes his contribution… 

Sir John Redwood MP responds to Sir Bill Cash’ contribution…

Peter Bone MP follows with his contribution… 

And David T C Davies MP adds his thoughts…

Mark Harper MP followed…

Then Sammy Wilson MP delivered his speech…

Shadow Brexit Minister, Jenny Chapman gives her closing remarks…

And finally Brexit Minister Chris Heaton-Harris closes the debate with a touch of humour…

Jeremy Corbyn responds to the Government’s EU Withdrawal motion defeat…

And finally Steve Baker of the European Research Group reacts…

The post Highlights from the EU Withdrawal Motion Debate appeared first on BrexitCentral.




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