- 1 Post Brexit
- 2 Labour's Stance
- 3 Article 127
- 4 David Davis
- 5 No Deal / Hard Brexit
- 6 The Final Deal
- 7 Transition Period
- 8 Possible Outcomes
- 9 The Divorce Bill
- 10 Impacts
- 11 Trading Provisions
- 12 Freedom of Movement
- 13 Trade Deals
- 14 Northern Ireland Border
- 15 Wales
- 16 General Angst
- 17 Incorporation (or not) of EU Law
- 18 The EU Withdrawal Bill 2017/19
- 19 Notification of Article 50
- 20 The EU Referendum Bill 2015/6
- 21 The EU Referendum
- 22 The 1975 Referendum
- 23 The Groups of Brexit
- 24 Images / Cartoons / Pictures
- SourceWatch, Powerbase, Brexit
- Brexit Diaries, Barbara Wesel: Deutsche Welle (No.25 is next); Politics.co.uk, Ian Dunt.
- Excellent thread on the Power Brokers pushing for a hard Brexit here. See sub-thread here
- Why Britain Voted for Brexit: An Individual-Level Analysis of the 2016 Referendum Vote, Sept.2016
- Useful article with pics, vastly shortened, for a page.
- Excellent map of the UK, showing how MPs declared their voting intention. BBC
No Spin, just Facts: Leave: 36.7%. Remain: 35.3%. Undecided/didn't vote: 28%. Thus: 63.3% didn't vote to leave, albeit 64.7% didn’t vote Remain also.
Ochlocracy: mob rule. Referendums are a profoundly un-British institution that we are not remotely used to. The barrier for a referendum should be set much higher than that for an ordinary election and should certainly not be based on a simple majority of votes as was the case in the Brexit referendum. It is a travesty of democracy to maintain that a decision taken by 33% of the electorate, 25% of the British population and only 2 out of the 4 nations of the UK represents the "will of the British people". Any political course followed as the consequence of a referendum should require overwhelming support from the electorate and of all of the nations and regions of the UK, and be seen and known to represent the national consensus of opinion. There is no way that the Brexit referendum even remotely satisfies these criteria. Comment on a Times article
- Jan.07.2019: There is no leftwing justification for Brexit. We must fight it to the last. The Brexiters want to tie us to the Trumpist US – and ditch the social obligations of the EU. The left has to stand against them. However damaging globalisation has been, it can now only be tackled on a global scale. Britain standing alone cannot face down the forces of global capitalism. And the Brexiters know this, which is why they are doing what they are. For these fanatical Brexit extremists, the project is about aligning the UK with the Trumpist US - they are the same people, on different sides of the Atlantic. The romantic notion of the UK as a freestanding global trading nation is a myth designed to hoodwink the public. There are only two options globally: the EU or the US, and these extremists want to tie the UK to Trump’s US. Chris Matheson, MP for City of Chester, The Guardian.
- Sept.12.2018: If Brexit is so great, why do Johnson, Rees-Mogg and Bone look so sad? The three arch-Brexiteers photographed with their heads in their hands have reason to despair. Let me count the ways. Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian.
- Aug.20.2020: EU rejects British plan for post-Brexit return of asylum seekers. UK set to lose right to transfer refugees to other EU countries under Dublin regulation. When the Brexit transition period expires on 31 December, the government will lose the right to transfer refugees and migrants to the EU country in which they arrived. A British plan presented to Brussels would allow the UK to return “all third-country nationals and stateless persons” who enter its territory without the right paperwork to the EU country they had travelled through to reach British shores. Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian. See also Immigration Policy
- Dec.26.2018: Outside the EU, Britain faces a bleak future in Trump’s world. Long-held assumptions, such as Britain’s claim to a “special relationship” with Washington, are an anachronistic embarrassment. To survive on its own in a world full of hazards, Britain is relying on the familiar frameworks, multilateral institutions, laws, regulations, diplomatic conventions and commercial codes that have governed state-to-state relations since 1945. But it is exactly this consensual rulebook that Trump is recklessly tearing up. If there is to be a US trade deal with supplicant Britain, for example, it will be on Trump’s onerous “America first” terms. Forget the Irish backstop for a minute. Forget the price of fish. Who will stop Putin and the onwards march of Europe’s hard-right? Not Trump. He welcomes anything that weakens the EU. The post-Brexit challenge posed by China is of a different order: as much moral as economic. Does Britain really want to become further entangled with a communist dictatorship whose internal repression is matched by an aggressively expansionist, illiberal world view? Bottom line: how much would Liam Fox and friends give up to sweeten a deal with Beijing? Turkey is another big market – and no friend to Brussels. Does Britain really want to cosy up to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose idea of a good day at the office is killing Kurds and locking up a newspaper editor or two? Or emerging Brazil: a lot of jolly juicy opportunities there, as Boris Johnson might say - except Brazil recently elected a hard-right president who plans to burn down the Amazon for cash. India has moved on since the days of empire. Its GDP will overtake Britain’s in 2019. Any deal with Delhi will be costly. And it may not be long before belittled Britain forfeits its permanent seat on the UN security council, too. Simon Tisdall, The Guardian.
- Nov.14.2018: Brexit: Labour MPs told voters want second referendum. The People's Vote campaign commissioned the poll fromm YouGov. It found that of the 159 Leave constituencies that elected a Labour MP last year a majority of voters in every seat now supported a public vote on the outcome of the negotiations. Among the other findings of the survey was that across 67 of the most marginal Tory seats an average of 56% of people wanted the public to be given a “final say” compared with 44% who did not. Oliver Wright, The Times.
- Nov.14.2018: Jo Johnson’s stance on Brexit is dishonest and dangerous. ...to be fair to Jo Johnson, what he really wants is just to stop the whole thing. The problem is that it is reliant on Jeremy Corbyn, and that is not a great thing to be reliant upon. Labour presents its Brexit position as a neat hierarchy in which it seeks to inject democracy into the process (as if we haven’t had enough of that already, thank you very much). First it will push for a general election and then, if it doesn’t get that, it will campaign for a “people’s vote”. Yet this is not a hierarchy. It is the simultaneous adoption of two completely contradictory positions. In a general election Labour would be campaigning to carry on with Brexit, while in a second referendum it would be campaigning to stop Brexit. That is why it has been so waffly about the nature of the second referendum. Daniel Finkelstein, The Times.
- Mar.01.2017: Article 127: The key Brexit decision with a one-month deadline. March 29th is the deadline for invoking Article 127 of the 1994 European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement. This, like Article 50, triggers the termination of membership. In this case it’s not our membership of the EU, but the EEA, the broader single market which includes non-EU countries Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Article 127 declares that contracting parties - one of which is the UK - must give twelve months’ notice of departure: March 29th 2019. if a contracting party does not do so, they must consider themselves still members and therefore bound by all the ensuing obligations. In other words, we stay in the single market until we trigger the clause. Jonathan Lis, Politics.co.uk.
- 2018.01.02: The hypocrisy of #DavidDavis is breathtaking! It’s #Britain that wants to walk out but keep the best bits @RCorbettMEP
- 2018.01.02: David Davis says EU cannot 'cherrypick' terms of free trade deal The Guardian
- 2018.01.02: We are considering the precise mechanism to bring Davis to justice for his very many "brexit" lies. Can you help in any way? Maybe a Formal Report of all his lies to the European Parliament? EyeJosh
- Petition - Mr David Davis MP: Misconduct in Public Office, RestoreOurDemocracy
- 2018.01.02: A close reading of David Davis’ delusional Telegraph piece on Brexit, New Statesman, Anoosh Chakelian
- 2018.01.01: How we will deliver the best Brexit in 2018, Telegraph, David Davis
No Deal / Hard Brexit
- Feb.07.2019: Why disaster capitalists are praying for a no-deal Brexit. They want to tear up our green regulations so they can plunder and pollute the environment for profit. The rich leavers demanding the hardest of possible Brexits, with their offshore accounts, homes abroad and lavish pensions, will be all right. The public protections people have fought so hard for, that we obtained only through British membership of the EU – preventing water companies from pouring raw sewage into our rivers, power stations from spraying acid rain across the land, chemical companies from contaminating our food – are at risk. Liam Fox's talks with the US showed them demanding the destruction of food and environmental standards as the price of the trade deal. Boris Johnson has suggested that leaving the EU will allow us to dismantle green standards for electrical goods and environmental impact assessments. Iain Duncan Smith has pressed for the removal after Brexit of the carbon floor price, which has more or less stopped coal-burning. Jacob Rees-Mogg has proposed that we might accept “emission standards from India”, one of the most polluted nations on Earth. A joint trade review by the British and Indian governments contemplates reducing standards on pesticide residues in food, and hormone-disrupting chemicals in the plastics used in toys. The tantalising prospect for the world’s pollutocrats is that the UK might become a giant export-processing zone, exempt from the laws that govern other rich nations. It’s a huge prize, which would begin to reconfigure the global relationship between capital and govts. They will fight as hard and dirty to achieve it as they did to win the vote. George Monbiot, The Guardian.
- Setp.25.2018: No-deal Brexit better than Canada-style deal, says Theresa May. Prime minister says basic trade deal touted by hardline Tories would risk breakup of UK. Peter Walker, The Guardian.
- Jul.18.2018: British people would rather stay in the EU than accept a no-deal Brexit. A new YouGov poll has found that the British public would much prefer to remain in the EU than to accept the kind of no-deal Brexit being pushed by Conservative Brexiteers. The idea of a 3-way referendum, proposed this week by former Cabinet minister Justine Greening, is itself unpopular with voters, with only 36% in favour of the proposal and 47% opposed to the idea. The poll also indicated that Labour (41%) had opened up a 5-point lead over the Conservatives (36%) following the badly received so-called Chequers agreement and the ongoing series of resignations from May's govt. While Theresa May survived a key vote on the customs union last night which could have ended her premiership, her future still remains in doubt, with around 40 letters from Tory MPs understood to have been submitted to party authorities. A vote of no confidence would be instigated if the number were to rise to 48. Thomas Colson, Business Insider.
- Jun.13.2018: Shadow minister and five Labour PPSs resign to defy whip over Brexit – as it happened. How MPs voted on the EEA; MPs vote against Lords customs union amendment by majority of 27; Full list of 126 MPs who voted in favour of staying in EEALabour says around 90 MPs rebelled over EEA - 75 for, and 15 against; MPs vote against staying in EEA by majority of 201. Corbyn says EEA 'not the right option for Britain'. Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian.
- May.01.2018: Remainer Lords vote to strip Theresa May of ability to walk away from EU with no deal in bid to 'delay, frustrate and ultimately block Brexit' as one peer compares PM’s tactics to those of Hitler. The HoL voted to force ministers to reopen talks if MPs reject a deal. 19 Tories backed the amendment, which was passed by 335 votes to 244. Lord Roberts of Llandudno claimed during the debate that the UK could follow the path of Nazi Germany unless the PM's powers were curtailed. Yesterday’s amendment to the Government’s flagship Brexit legislation gives MPs the power to decide what ministers should do – including ordering them to hold fresh negotiations with the EU – if the Commons votes against the final Brexit deal. Viscount Hailsham, Lord Bilimoria, Lord Heseltine, Lord Patten, Lord Deben, Lord Willetts, Steve Baker, Lord Newby, Lord Fairfax of Cameron, Lord Howard, Baroness Jones, Lord Callanan. The govt suffered a 2nd legislative defeat yesterday after peers backed plans to give Parliament a say on the mandate for Brexit talks. In a 3rd defeat, they voted to keep existing measures for child refugees in Europe. It is the 9th defeat for the govt at the Bill’s report stage in the Lords overall. The bill will return to the Commons, where MPs could vote to overturn the changes. Another amendment to give MPs and Lords the right to call a 2nd referendum was defeated. (list of tories who joined the rebellion). John Stevens, The Mail Online.
- 2018.01.19: Why Donald Trump backs a hard Brexit. Trump despises the European Union because, as the most powerful unity of developed nations on Earth, it has real clout in economic and foreign policy debates. The weaker the EU becomes – and Trump is right to think Britain’s leaving the EU will leave both sides of that bargain less strong – the closer we get to Trump’s dream of a new world order, with him and his regressive vision at the centre of everything. For Trump "America First" is more than a slogan, it’s a game plan for the future. Left Foot Forward, Alison McGovern
- 2018.01.10: Hardline Brexiteers are now afraid of no deal. @StandardNews >> "We are somehow surprised that the UK is surprised that we are preparing for a scenario announced by the UK Government itself”: that was the deadpan response of the European Commission to Brexiteer outrage that the EU is preparing for a no-deal Brexit. Evening Standard
- 2018.01.09: I think the leaked letter is simply more evidence of the arrogant, contemptuous, passive-aggressive attitude of the Westminster/Whitehall bubble towards the EU institutions. (Thread about W/W attitude towards the EU, very interesting.) @Ottocrat >> "David Davis attacks EU’s ‘damaging’ no-deal Brexit planning". Financial Times >> Reddit
- 2018.01.08: In the leaked letter Davis warns the PM that the EU's preparations for no-deal Brexit are likely to cause companies to relocate to the continent, @PickardJE + @PickardJE >> David Davis attacks EU’s ‘damaging’ no-deal Brexit planning. His letter to PM says Brussels guidance to companies is threat to UK interests, Financial Times >> Here's the leaked letter from Davis to May about the threat to British jobs from EU "no deal" preparations: @PickardJE
The Final Deal
Labour's Red Lines Keir Starmer: Labour has six tests for Brexit – if they’re not met we won’t back the final deal in parliament LabourList
- Dec.14.2018: Westminster has known the options since 2016. Which Brexit does it want? The chaotic theatre of British politics doesn’t change facts. There are three possible approaches – and time is running out. Rafael Behr, The Guardian.
- Nov.15.2018: Delusional Brexiteers have lost the plot. Not one prominent advocate of Brexit has been able to articulate a plan that has the remotest hope of passing through parliament. In a sane world, Tory Leavers would bank a partial victory but their intransigence now makes a second vote necessary Philip Collins, The Times.
- Nov.14.2018: Commons forces ministers to release legal advice on deal. Ministers will publish up to 5,000 pieces of legal advice on the Brexit deal after losing a parliamentary battle. Brexiteers and the DUP joined with Labour to force the concession. In the face of inevitable defeat, Conservative MPs were whipped to abstain, but Labour refused to accept Mr Lidington’s undertakings and proceeded with the motion. David Lidington criticised Labour’s demands, saying the motion could theoretically require the release of 5,000 documents. He said that Geoffrey Cox, the increasingly influential attorney-general, would present his legal opinion to MPs orally before the Brexit vote, and that the government would publish a summary of its legal position. Sir Keir Starmer insisted that Labour only wanted to see Mr Cox’s final advice. He said that publishing the advice was the right thing to do. Henry Zeffman, The Times.
- Apr.20.2018: Britain sets demands for a bespoke deal with EU. Britain has set out its demands for a bespoke Brexit deal with “breadth and depth” to be agreed with the European Union by October. Oliver Robbins said that the UK needed a detailed and substantive agreement that set out the future trade and economic partnership. He said that Britain was prepared to negotiate on a labour mobility and immigration regime. Other areas would be a customs partnership and “level playing field” procedures to ensure regulatory alignment in areas such as agriculture. ... Bruno Waterfield, Oliver Wright, The Times.
- Mar.28.2018: Keir Starmer says Labour is prepared to vote down Brexit bill. Party has six tests the deal must meet in order to gain support, shadow Brexit secretary insists. Healther Stewart, Patrick Wintour, The Guardian.
- Theresa May under fire over Brexit transition deal. Theresa May faced a storm of protest over a transition deal struck with Brussels after conceding a series of her high-profile Brexit demands and agreeing to the “back stop” plan of keeping Northern Ireland under EU law to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland. David Davis lauded a provisional agreement on the terms of a 21-month period, ending on Dec.31.2020. Liam Fox, Ssecretary for International Trade, would be allowed to sign new trade deals to come into force in 2021 and the UK could choose to be part the EU’s foreign policy and defence initiatives. Yet as details emerged of the extent of the British govt’s acquiescence to the EU’s terms, on issues ranging from immigration to fisheries, senior Tory figures, including the former leader Iain Duncan Smith, turned their fire on Downing Street. The UK has also rolled over on the demand of Michael Gove, Environment secretary, for a renegotiation of the fishing quotas for the last year of the transition period was angrily denounced by Tories in Scotland. Ruth Davidson, Douglas Ross, Nigel Farage, Simon Coveney, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Britons in Europe Jane Golding Daniel Boffey, Anushka Asthana, Lisa O'Carroll, The Guardian.
- Jan.11.2018: It takes two to tango over Brexit, Hammond tells EU. The EU's "relative silence" about the kind of post-Brexit relations it wants with the UK must end, Philip Hammond is to tell German business leaders. There is "little, if any signal" from the EU about its priorities for talks on future co-operation due to begin in March, the chancellor is claiming. Separately, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox Dr Fox told the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs on Wednesday to focus on the "bigger picture". He said there was political danger in suggesting events were "because of" or "despite" Brexit because the govt could lose credit for the economic recovery - that the UK had also rolled over on the demand of Michael Gove, the environment secretary, for a renegotiation of the fishing quotas for the last year of the transition period was angrily denounced by Tories in Scotland.it would not "own" the recovery. He is also believed to have told his Conservative colleagues that Labour remained in a state of confusion on Brexit and that some of their voting record on the withdrawal bill could be used as a weapon against them in key constituencies. BBC News, '
- Jan.10.2018: Hammond on EU: Stop talking about 'punishing' UK over Brexit. In a speech to business leaders in Berlin tonight, the chancellor will say it is time for the European Union to engage more positively in the Brexit negotiations. And stop talking about "punishing" the UK over Brexit. After months of grumpy noises from Brussels over a perceived lack of clarity from the UK, Philip Hammond will say that Britain needs to hear about the ambition the EU has for a deep trading relationship with the UK. My sources point out that with Australia, Canada and America all making positive overtures about free trade agreements with Britain, the lack of a similar offer from the EU could lead to unintended consequences. Logically, "no deal" could be one of those. BBC News, Kamal Ahmed
- Jan.10.2018: The way forward on Brexit is a new vote on whatever EU deal is reached. This state of affairs can be overcome with a referendum in 2019 on the terms of the EU withdrawal bill. The Guardian, Andrew Adonis
- Jan.10.2018: Germany to Demand UK Pay for Post-Brexit Bank Access. Britain won’t get bespoke trade deal, German govt says. UK ministers are in Germany to push financial-services case. The UK cannot hope for a trade agreement that includes financial services unless Britain agrees to make substantial contributions to the EU budget and adheres to European law. Bloomberg, Birgit Jennen, Ian Wishart
- Jan.09.2018: They are pleading with Germany to wreck the Single Market that made Germany rich| by carving out an exception for the financial services industry to stop it relocating to… Germany and their argument is that there will be another financial crisis unless the banks that caused it stay in the country where the crisis started. So off they toddle begging bowls in hand to plead for more #extrawurst in the one place above all others that is sick to death of their constant entitled demands for Extrawurst.
- Hammond and Davis Insist German and UK Views Not Incompatible. Germany’s view that the UK can’t retain EU membership benefits when it leaves the bloc is “not incompatible” with Britain’s perspective, they wrote in a guest column for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. UK Brexit Secretary David Davis and Philip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer, seek an audience with German officials and business leaders during a visit to the country this week. They called for "imaginative and inventive" standards to be applied to new economic relationships between the UK and the remaining 27 EU member states.[ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-09/german-u-k-views-not-incompatible-hammond-davis-in-faz Bloomberg], Patrick Donahue
- "Davis and Hammond make plea to Germany in pursuit of Brexit deal." Chancellor and Brexit secretary seek deal to avoid catastrophe for Britain’s financial services industry after UK leaves EU. The Guardian, Lisa O'Carroll, Philip Oltermann
- 2018.01.09: German hostility risks derailing UK plans for bespoke Brexit trade deal. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is strongly opposed to a British plan for so-called "managed divergence" from the EU after Brexit, with senior EU officials and experts warning that the German leader considers the idea another ruse for Britain to "have its cake and eat it." The Telegraph, Peter Foster
- 2018.01.07: UK in push to remain part of EU medicines agency. Financial Times
- 2018.01.06: Turns out it's hard to use the intra-communal VAT system when you're not in the community. @GuitarMoog
- "More than 130,000 UK firms will be forced to pay VAT upfront for the first time on ALL goods imported from the EU after Brexit." @CloughOlive
- UK companies will face huge new VAT burden after Brexit. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jan/06/vat-upfront-after-brexit-uk-imports The Guardian], Toby Helm, Phillip Inman
- "More than 130,000 UK firms will be forced to pay VAT upfront for the first time on ALL goods imported from the EU after Brexit." @CloughOlive
- 2018.01.02: This year sees MPs vote on Britain’s future. So it’s crucial to dismiss the govt’s procedural scaremongering. The vote won’t be for deal or no deal; if MPs reject the govt’s Brexit deal then Britain will NOT crash out of the EU, @NickClegg
- 2018.01.02: Playing with process on Brexit offers May diminishing returns. Government claims about the effect of a no vote in parliament are built on sand, The Financial Times, Nick Clegg
- 2017.12.22: The Brexit struggle awaiting Theresa May in 2018. Ministers are slowly forging a consensus—around an outcome that is legally, politically and practically impossible, Prospect Magazine, Jonathan Lis
- 2017.12.08: Tory twists and U-turns: The bumpy (and embarrassing) road to Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker revealed that the first round of talks had been signed off on Friday. Brexit Divorce Bill: currently £39 billion. Irish Border: problem still to be solved. EU Citizens' Rights: criminal checks + charges of £72.50. ECJ: will continue to have a role re EU citizens rights until Mar.2027 (8 yrs). RT
- Jan.27.2018: UK to keep EU rules for 'around two years' after Brexit, say ministers. Philip Hammond, David Davis and Greg Clark set out business transition plans in an open letter. The Guardian, Nicola Slawson
- May.09.2018: Brexit: ‘No chance’ of Labour change on single market. Jeremy Corbyn’s team has warned Labour MPs not to expect a change in the party’s Brexit position after the Lords voted to keep the UK in the single market. However, just under half the party’s backbench peers rebelled last night. Lord Kinnock, Lord Reid, Lord Hain, Lord Dubs and Baroness Royall, were among the 83 Labour peers backing an amendment to keep Britain in the European Economic Area (EEA). Chuka Umunna. The defeat in the Lords brought to 14 the total number of hostile amendments forced on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill during its passage through the report stage of the upper chamber. Lord Alli, Lord Mandelson, Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, Lord Foulkes of Cumnock. Francis Elliott, The Times.
Overturn the Referendum
- Apr.20.2018: Expat can sue to overturn Brexit referendum. Harry Shindler was denied a vote under a rule barring those who have lived abroad for more than 15 years. The Conservatives promised in 2015 to ditch this rule and give expatriate citizens votes for life. The EU’s general court has accepted his case, and he will sue to overturn the Brexit referendum. He argues that the result was invalid because he and 11 other long-term expatriates were denied a vote. The court will hear the case which argues that the EU was wrong to initiate a withdrawal procedure “without expatriate European citizens having had the opportunity to set out their views on the possible loss of their European citizenship”. Bruno Waterfield, The Times.
- Jan.22.2019: Companies press Brexit panic button in further blow to Theresa May. P&O Ferries opts for Cypriot flag, Sony confirms HQ move, and Pets at Home stockpiles cat food. James Dyson, the Brexit-backing billionaire, dealt a further blow to the govt by revealing he is shifting his company headquarters to Singapore. Jim Ratcliffe, the UK’s richest person with a £21bn fortune, was reported last year to be planning to leave Britain for Monaco. The CBI said the litany of business announcements should send politicians a clear and simple message: "a March no-deal must be ruled out immediately". Rupert Neate, The Guardian.
- Aug.23.2018: Hard borders, Brexit and international trade. In anticipation of the publication of the long-awaited “technical notes” readers may like to take a look at the 68 “Brexit preparedness notices” already published by the European Commission and easily available on the EC website (ec.europa.eu). Although these notices are not exactly a riveting read, they are far less impenetrable than one might imagine, and simply describe the areas and arrangements of the EU to which we presently have access as members. Anyone who believes that they will not be adversely affected in any of the 68 areas by giving up EU membership must either be very fortunate or be living a very simple, isolated kind of life. 'more The Times.
- Aug.21.2018: Brexiteers are using the notion of Project Fear to manipulate you. The phrase is used to dismiss expert warnings and build a sense of drama that will allow ‘not disaster’ to be labelled success. Nigel Farage, Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Gove. As these drawbacks become more widely understood, however, the public doesn’t seem to be relishing the idea of a hard Brexit. What better way to win them round than arguing that, just like in Jun.2016, dire predictions of economic collapse will not materialise. The hardliners are now operating under an unfalsifiable premise: there is no negative information about Brexit that they wouldn’t slap the Project Fear label on to. David Shariatmadari, The Guardian.
Revocation of Article 50
- Feb.02.2018: MPs will not get chance to vote against Brexit, Scottish court told. UK government lawyer dismisses legal questions on withdrawing article 50 as hypothetical. The Guardian, Severin Carrell
- Jan.14.2018: Why the EU should let the UK revoke Article 50. An intervention is needed to halt, or at least pause, this cycle of harm. New Statesman, Steve Bullock
- Jan.11.2018: The European Parliament has published a lengthy paper on whether it is possible to revoke the Article 50 notification. We can withdraw with agreement. We probably can't unilaterally (but it's complicated). And the CJEU needs to take a look. @JolyonMaugham, '
- Jan.11.2018: Only European Court of Justice can decide whether Article 50 can be revoked, EU Parliament study says. @MrSamWilkin, '
- Jan.08.2018: EU would help UK abandon withdrawal plans if country changed its mind, says Chuka Umunna. Labour MP holds private talks with member states' govts on hypothetical aftermath of Article 50 being revoked. The Independent, Andrew Grice
- Jan.22.2018: UK has already 'agreed in principle' with EU to Norway-style transition. The UK has already "agreed in principle" to a Norway-style Brexit transition period in which it accepts all EU rules with no power to shape them, a senior figure in Brussels says. The Independent, Shehab Khan, Joe Watts
- Dec.19.2017: Stairway to Brexit: Barnier maps out UK's Canadian path. A free trade deal with the European Union similar to those it has with Canada and South Korea is the logical outcome of Britain’s Brexit “red lines” and EU rules, according to a graphic issued by EU negotiator Michel Barnier on Tuesday. Reuters, '
A Second Referendum
- Also see Nigel Farage
- Dec.14.2018: Winning a second Brexit referendum is possible – with Europe’s help. Instead of rerunning 2016 we should choose between May’s deal and staying in a reformed EU. No one is expecting an opt-out on free movement: the EU would never grant such a thing. But when Yvette Cooper’s Home Affairs Select Committee probed what measures would still be compatible with the rules of the single market, it found many already used by other EU member states – a whole range of controls that, mysteriously, neither David Cameron nor May ever took up – as well as several possibilities, legal under EU treaty law, that have never been properly explored. What it surely comes down to is political will. It makes sense to urge the EU to do its bit to ensure that remain has the best shot at winning a fresh contest. I understand why Juncker and friends don’t want to help Theresa May leave. But they have an alternative. They can help us stay. Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian.
- Nov.08.2018: Holyrood backs second referendum over Brexit. The Scottish parliament has backed a second Brexit referendum in a landmark vote that will increase the pressure on Westminster to follow suit. Nicola Sturgeon had been reluctant to back a second Brexit referendum in case it set a precedent to overturn any future independence vote. She relented last month and agreed to offer the SNP’s unequivocal backing for a vote on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Holyrood voted 66 to 28 in favour of a People’s Vote in a split that exposed internal party divisions on Brexit and a second referendum. All Green MSPs and the majority of the SNP, with the exception of Kenneth Gibson, who abstained, backed the Lib Dems in the face of unanimous Conservative opposition.The majority of Labour MSPs abstained with the exception of Daniel Johnson and Kezia Dugdale. Mark McLaughlin, The Times.
- Apr.15.2018: Fight for ‘people’s vote’ on final Brussels deal. Nine anti-Brexit groups will join together today to launch a campaign for a new referendum to give the public the final say on Theresa May’s eventual deal with Brussels. But their polling suggests references to another “referendum” is off-putting to some voters, hence the focus on a “people’s vote”. When asked in those terms, the pollsters Opinium found that 52% of voters wanted the public to have a vote on the final deal, with 31% against. Linkback: Chuka Umunna, Anna Soubry, Caroline Lucas, Layla Moran, Mariana Mazzucato, Open Britain, European Movement International. Tim Shipman, The Times. See also The Guardian
- Apr.08.2018: Public backs fresh referendum to have 'final say' on terms of Brexit deal, new poll by Best for Britain finds. Support is growing for a fresh referendum on the final Brexit deal, according to a new poll showing the public back the idea for the first time. 44% of people want a vote on the exit terms secured by Theresa May. However, Labour remains opposed to a fresh referendum. Best for Britain said its poll found that nearly 25% of people who voted Leave in the 2016 referendum want a vote on the final terms. 2/10 Conservative voters backed another referendum – as did 66% of Labour voters. Rob Merrick, The Independent.
- Jan.11.2018: Is there still enough time for a further referendum? The overlooked logistical question. And it would need primary legislation. @DavidAllenGreen, Twitter.
- Nov.30.2017: There will soon not be enough time for a further referendum before 29 Mar.2019. @JackOfKent, Twitter.
- Dec.02.2017: There will soon not be enough time for a further referendum before 29 March 2019. David Allen Green, Jack of Kent Blog.
Vote on the Deal: Remain or Leave
- Mar.20.2018: MPs need to delay final Brexit vote, insists OBR. Parliament may have to wait until at least Dec.2018 to vote on Britain’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union to give the Office for Budget Responsibility time to pass judgment on the final Brexit deal. Parliament pushed hard to secure a vote that could yet prove a key moment in the Brexit process. An anti-Brexit group, Best for Britain, is hoping to pull enough MPs together to oppose a bad deal in a move that could force Theresa May to put the final deal to a referendum. Pilip Aldrick, The Times.
- Jan.04.2018: What We Now Know. Realistically, 2018 will be the last chance to secure a say on whether the new relationship proposed with Europe is better than the existing one. And to insist that the ‘deal’ contains the necessary detail to make the say meaningful. Today we publish ‘What We Now Know’, what we have learnt about Brexit since 23rd June 2016. But the campaign in the first instance is not to reverse the decision; but to claim the right to change our minds once we see the terms of the new relationship. Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Tony Blair
- How will we trade services with the EU on World Trade Organisation rules? I'll wait for your reply. In the meantime, you might like to look up the fact that the WTO is so slow, it only has Service conditions for the EU 15, not the EU 28. @BrexitBin
- Oct.26.2018: Britain faces talks with 20 nations after trade protest. Britain is preparing for trade negotiations with almost two dozen nations after they objected to the terms it proposed for its World Trade Organisation membership after Brexit. Liam Fox confirmed yesterday that countries have “expressed reservations” over the draft text put forward by the UK before its departure from the European Union. Callum Jones, The Times.
- Mar.16.2018: Trump will turn trade regulators' fairy dust to ashes if he gets his way. Member states comply because they believe in the system. If they don't, they don't. Trump has just laid dynamite at the WTO's door. His huge new tariffs on steel and aluminium, obviously intended to shore up domestic production, would normally be scrutinised by arbitrators and judges under the WTO's dispute settlement system, and would almost certainly be ruled illegal. For decades there has been a gentlemen's agreement not to lean on this exception, for good reason. "If the legitimacy of WTO dispute settlement is at risk, the entire trading system is at risk." The White House has been blocking new appointments to the appellate body, bloating the workload of the bench and slowing down its work. None of this will kill the WTO instantaneously; America is no longer as fundamental to international law as it likes to think. But even if the WTO lives, its wings will be permanently clipped. Raphael Hogarth, The Times.
Can non-EU countries be in the Single Market
- Jan.10.2018: People ask if non-EU countries can be in the Single Market? Yes - Norway, Iceland & Lichtenstein are. So it is simply wrong to claim you have to be an EU member to be in the Single Market. Twitter, @ChukkaUmunna
- Not correct. See FTAs covering services between EEA 3/EFTA and third countries). Services is a shared competence within the Single Market, not exclusive to the EU like those for goods. Check trade agreements of EFTA members in the EEA and their indep. participation in TiSA. @GeorgePeretzQC
- It is disingenuous to say we can stay in SM. Yes, it is correct that Switzerland/Norway etc are, but in reality these won't be on offer, these are sweeteners only available for countries who the EU hope will join as full members in future. Not country leaving. "EU says final Brexit trade deal will be "along same lines" as agreements with Canada, South Korea and Japan". Barnier says UK red lines have ruled out relationship similar to other European countries. (Independent). @OperaBinoculars
- Norway does have a say in shaping EU rules, they sit on the same committees and expert groups that draft the rules, just like any EU member, but they don't have a formal vote beyond that. @MagsManston >> Norway and the EU: the EEA Agreement
- No. The Norwegian govt says it has "access to" but is not "in" the SM. "It gives our companies access to the single market and ensures that they can compete on the same terms as companies in EU countries." @DevonSeaGlass >> Norway and the EU single market. The European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement ensures that Norway can take part in the EU single market, and thus benefit from the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital. It guarantees non-discrimination and equal rules and competition throughout the EEA. Govt.no.
- This is disingenuous; they have access but are no more full members than the man selling poppies in the lobby is an employee of Tesco. @ArglesJonathan >> Why the EEA is not the same as membership of the Single Market, UK Trade Policy Observatory, Peter Holmes, Sussex.ac.uk
- Today the EU Single Market turns 25! From the free movement of data, to the free movement of people, the EU #SingleMarket connects us in so many ways. @EPP >> Europarl_EN Video
- Please show this easy-to-understand image to Corbyn. @JohnnyStarling >>
- Britain is right to reject EEA membership: As an Icelander, I should know. City AM, Hjörtur J Guðmundsson, Mar.23.2017
- Norway, Iceland + Lichenstein have to impose 3/4 of EU laws, Pay contributions, Mirror the ECJ + have Free movement, ALL of which the UK voted against! COme on Chuka stop trying to con the British people! @FalGal >> Dear Britain, don't make the same mistake Norway did – you don't want to be inside the EEA, The EEA agreement is one-sided because it is only the EU which can introduce new legislation; EEA states only have a right of reservation with regard to new legislation, they cannot propose new rules. The Telegraph, Helle Hagenau, Feb.02.2017
- Sept.22.2016: But Chuka, not long ago you were happy to ditch the Single Market, if it meant we could keep out all the nasty foreign types. What happened? Twitter, @b11ckchps
- Sept.22.2016: Chuka Umunna: We Should Be Prepared To Sacrifice Single Market Membership To Axe Freedom Of Movement. Other Labour MPS who agree FoM has to be axed: Jonathan Reynolds, Rachel Reeves, Stephen Kinnock, Emma Reynolds. HuffPost, Owen Bennett
The Divorce Bill
- 2018.01.18: Emmanuel Macron rejects special access for City after Brexit. French leader invites UK to ‘be my guest’ in single market if it pays and obeys EU rules. Financial Times
- Apr.20.2018: Brexit will cost ‘at least £10bn’ more than taxpayers were told. The Brexit divorce bill will end up being at least £10bn more than ministers claimed at the time the deal was signed, a report by the National Audit Office says. The NAO accused the Treasury of failing to incorporate key uncertainties of “which it was aware” when ministers announced that the settlement would cost Britain between £35–£39bn. The govt’s estimate did not include Britain’s commitment to the European fund that hands out overseas aid, the NAO said, adding that this would cost £2.9bn after Brexit. The Treasury claimed it did not include the payments because the fund is not included in the main EU budget. Under EU financial rules, Britain could also have to pay up to £3bn more in budget contributions after formal withdrawal in Mar.2019 than the Treasury estimates, to offset earlier payments being lower. Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee, said the govt needed to be clear with taxpayers about what Britain was paying for and why. “Whereas the promises made by some Brexiteers of the bounty that our public services would receive post-Brexit are likely to be downgraded, I fear the cost of the UK leaving the EU could increase further,” she said. Oliver Wright, The Times.
- Jan.10.2018: Theresa May's £39bn Brexit divorce bill to be investigated by auditors to establish if it is "reasonable." Parliament must be able to scrutinise the reasonableness of this bill' says Treasury Committee] chairwoman Nicky Morgan. Auditors will investigate the £39bn "divorce bill" Theresa May has agreed to pay as part of a Brexit deal, to assess if it is "reasonable". The National Audit Office (NAO) will pore over the "assumptions and methodologies used" to calculate the payment, to settle the UK’s liabilities before EU withdrawal. The move will see the details of the bill – which the Prime Minister has sought to obscure, to curb controversy – being set out in exhaustive detail. Rob Merrick, The Independent.
- Last year: "Doesn’t seem likely there will be such a bill for £50bn... we pay into European Investment Bank, so actually we’re going to get a windfall from leaving. I think the scaremongering about having to pay to leave is just not true." @PickardJE
- 2017.04.06: Suella Fernandes says that there is unlikely to be a bill from the EU for the UK to leave and claims it is part of "project fear". See Suella Fernandes.
- Jan.26.2019: Brexiters never had a real exit plan. No wonder they avoided the issue. The harsh truth about leaving the EU was obvious five years ago. But the right covered it up. Nick Cohen, The Guardian.
- Jan.23.2019: Wealthy Brexiteers like James Dyson are jumping ship. Why might that be? James Dyson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nigel Lawson – the leave elite appears to want Brexit for everyone else but themselves. Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian.
- Sept.06.2018: Farmers criticise temporary agricultural worker visa scheme. Lisa O'Carroll, The Guardian.
- May.24.2018: German bid to block UK from crucial defence plan. A German-backed clique in the European Commission has created a rift between Brussels and Paris with its plan to exclude Britain from the Galileo satellite project. French officials have privately told the commission that they are unhappy at proposals to deny the UK access to the EU-wide scheme’s encrypted navigation system for government and military users after it leaves the bloc. They have joined Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the Baltic states in objecting to shutting Britain out. Diplomats are alarmed that a group of senior Brussels officials, led by Martin Selmayr, the commission’s most senior mandarin, are exceeding their remit. In particular they are concerned that the Bonn-born Mr Selmayr wrote to Sir Tim Barrow, Britain’s ambassador to the EU, in April in effect to end British participation in Galileo without proper consultation. Bruno Waterfield, Oliver Wright, The Times. See also Don’t underestimate the gravity of Galileo
- Mar.26.2018: May fights to stay in range of €10bn EU satellite deal. Theresa May is fighting to prevent Britain being frozen out of an EU satellite project. The EU is planning to withhold contracts relating to the security elements of the €10bn Galileo satellite programme from UK companies after Brexit. The exclusion from Galileo’s “public regulated service” (PRS), an encrypted navigation system for government users, would also mean that the British armed forces would be cut off from the programme, set up to be a rival to the US GPS. Only EU members can access the encrypted PRS system but the US and Norway are in negotiations with Brussels over joining the programme. Mrs May is working to try to rescue the Galileo situation with Gavin Williamson and other senior ministers including Greg Clark, the business secretary. Nadeem Badshah, The Times.
- May.22.2018: Brexit has cost each UK household £900, Bank of England governor Mark Carney says. Mark Carney gives MPs estimates on the hit to the UK economy from the Brexit vote as he defends the Bank of England's policies. In the session with members of the treasury select committee, the governor was also forced to defend the Bank's decision not to raise interest rates this month as it had previously guided it could. Committee chair, Nicky Morgan MP, asked if the hint of a "somewhat earlier-than-expected" rate hike was "rather confusing" for households and businesses. He explained: "We give guidance. The guidance is conditional on the economic outlook. James Sillars, Sky News.
- Mar.08.2018: Bleak Brexit impact analysis published by parliament. Previously leaked document finds poor economic growth in all models for future UK-EU relationship. The Brexit Committee's chair, Labour MP Hilary Benn, said "the results of this analysis, undertaken by the govt with the aim of quantifying the potential impact of leaving the EU on the British economy, are already largely in the public domain in one form or another. Allowing this information to be considered in its full context, rather than selectively quoted, will help properly to inform public debate about how the figures were arrived at and what the economic effects of Brexit might be". However, pro-Brexit MPs questioned the credibility of the forecasts. Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair of the backbench European Research Group, said the research had been "so widely leaked and ridiculed for its approach that it is of little consequence". Stephen Doughty, a Labour member of the committee, said: "Now the public can see for themselves the hugely damaging impact of the reckless course the government is pursuing". The Guardian, Healther Stewart
- Feb.22.2018: The latest pro-Brexit analysis has got its sums badly wrong. An analysis by the pro-Brexit advocacy group Economists for Free Trade says the potential gains from the govt's favoured route to leaving the EU would provide a 2—4% boost to national income in the long term. The results contrast with the unpublished internal Whitehall analysis suggesting a 2—8% loss of national income from any plausible Brexit policy. Anyone interested in UK economic policy must wonder what to make of these differences. Economists for Free Trade praise Whitehall officials for adopting a type of trade model they favour. It bases its results on a published paper from the Canadian group Ciuriak Consulting, which specialises in trade modelling. Three questions arise. Has Economists for Free Trade chosen reasonable assumptions, which best describe Britain’s current position and the policy choices? Has it reflected the Ciuriak Consulting paper fairly? The assumptions are nothing like govt policy. They are absurd. Put rubbish into a model and rubbish will spew out. This analysis should not be viewed as anything other than special pleading. If this is the sort of work that is influential among ministers and underpins policy, Britain’s economy is not in safe hands. (Read on Reddit) The Financial Times, Chris Giles
- Feb.07.2018: Hard Brexit would cost public finances £80bn, says secret analysis. Leave-voting heartlands of north-east and West Midlands would be worst hit, report finds. The Guardian, Jessica Elgot, Heather Stewart, Peter Walker
- Feb.03.2018: Rees-Mogg repeats claim Treasury is 'fiddling' Brexit figures. Analysis showing UK would be worse off outside customs union is politically influenced, he says. George Osborne set up the Office of Budget Responsibility because the Treasury forecasts had been politicised. It was thought that they were unreliable on political grounds. With the referendum and with the EU, the Treasury has gone back to making forecasts. It was politically advantageous for them in the past. It is the same for them now. The Guardian, Damien Gayle
- Feb.01.2018: Brexit minister forced into apology for maligning civil service. Steve Baker, Jacob Rees-Mogg, David Davis, Whitehall, Charles Grant (director of the Centre for European Reform, Antoinette Sandbach, Pat McFadden (leading supporter of Open Britain). Dave Penman (general secretary of the FDA union representing senior civil servants. The Guardian, Anushka Asthana
- Jan.30.2018: Brexit minister says Whitehall economic forecasts always wrong. Steve Baker has claimed that civil servants have never produced a correct economic forecast. Slammed the use of Treasury forecasts during the referendum as "Project Fear". (tags: Keir Starmer, William Wragg, Peter Bone, Ken Clarke, Antoinette Sandbach) The Guardian, Anushka Asthana, Peter Walker
- Jan.30.2018: Pro-Brexit Tories accuse party colleagues of deliberate leak. Prominent leave supporters incl. former party leader Iain Duncan Smith and former deputy speaker Nigel Evans accused pro-EU members of the govt of deliberately leaking the assessment. Remain backers incl. former ministers Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan urged the govt to stay in the customs union and the single market. The Guardian, Matthew Weaver
- Jan.30.2018: Brexit Minister Hits Back After Leak of Impact Forecasts. The leak of govt forecasts on the economic impact of leaving the EU... said that each of the three scenarios modeled would bludgeon growth. Former Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, a leading Brexit backer, urged people to ignore the new forecasts. Bloomberg, Robert Hutton
- Jan.30.2018: Leaked Brexit impact report: key questions answered. Why are the latest leaked forecasts so damaging? They spell out that all varieties of Brexit on offer would make Britain poorer, significantly so in the case of anything other than staying very closely linked to the EU through single market membership. The Guardian, Dan Roberts
- Jan.30.2018: Brexit would damage UK growth, says leaked cabinet report. The Guardian,
- Jan.29.2018: This Leaked Govt Brexit Analysis Says The UK Will Be Worse Off In Every Scenario. BuzzFeed News has seen a new Brexit impact assessment, which says leaving the EU will adversely hit almost every sector and every UK region. Govt says "it's an early draft". BuzzFeed News, Alberto Nardelli
- Jan.24.2018: Goldman Sachs boss warns on irreversible Brexit plans. The boss of Goldman Sachs has warned that the US bank's contingency planning is reaching the point of no return. The bank's chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, told the BBC some steps already taken to deal with Brexit were now very unlikely to be reversed. BBC News, Simon Jack
- Jan.24.2018: Treasury Regional Forecasts Here's one they prepared earlier: Govt.uk @RosChappell, '
- Nov.13.2017: Drawbridge economics: the Brexit reality check is coming. What will happen to Britain's economy when the insular turn of Brexit meets the reality of global trade? Prospect, Adam Posen
- Jun.22.2017: Brexit: The economic and business cost to Britain one year after the vote. Twelve months on from the shock result, what has been the impact on UK GDP, on finance, on manufacturers, on exporters? The Independent, Ben Chu, Josie Cox, Zlata Rodionova
- Mar.26.2016: NHS would be put under threat by Brexit. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt warns doctors and nurses would go if Britain left EU but critics slam his stance as ‘scaremongering’. The Guardian, Toby Helm
- Jan.10.2018: VAT in Brexitlandia - warning contains numbers. It seems UK govt did no planning on VAT systems and costs before, during or after the referendum. The EU has proposed a VAT reform which could help reduce the amount of VAT lost by member states due to fraud. The EU estimates the gap between expected VAT receipts and actual receipts for the U.K. is €22bn a year ... Twitter, @37paday
- Jan.06.2018: UK companies will face huge new VAT burden after Brexit. Controversial changes in bill would force importers to pay duty upfront on EU goods. The Guardian, '
- Dec.28.2018: EU nationals deride 'cheery' Home Office UK settlement video. European citizens who want to stay in UK after Brexit face £65 fee. Many EU citizens have reacted angrily to the news they will have to apply to stay in Britain - even if they already have indefinite leave to remain. Kate Lyons, The Guardian.
- Dec.08.2018: EU nationals highlight multiple bugs in Home Office Brexit app. Concerns raised over passport recognition, data sharing and ability to use it abroad. Lisa O'Carroll, The Guardian.
- Feb.25.2018: UK scientist says Britons in Europe 'utterly ignored' by government. Leading astrophysicist Mark McCaughrean, based in the Netherlands, says many may have to forgo British citizenship. One of the most senior British scientists in Europe has made an impassioned plea to the govt to reconsider its implacable opposition to Freedom of Movement, saying it is a direct attack on around 1m British nationals living on the continent. Lisa O'Carroll, The Guardian.
- Feb.07.2018: British group wins right to take Brexit case to European court. Britons living in EU can take case to ECJ arguing existing rights cannot be removed after Brexit. Lisa O'Carroll, The Guardian.
- Jan.18.2018: I write here on what the case in Amsterdam means for UK citizens resident in the EU, - and for Europe. (The Guardian) @JolyonMaugham QC, Twitter.
- May.09.2016: Is David Cameron right that leaving EU could increase the risk of war? PM has raised spectre of conflict to support case for UK remaining in EU. We look at whether his claims stand up to scrutiny. (Ans: no.) The Guardian, Ewen MacAskill
- Jul.16.2018: Theresa May caves in to hardline Brexiters' demands. Customs bill amendments accepted to avoid letting Jacob Rees-Mogg stage show of strength. Heather Stewart, Dan Sabbagh, The Guardian.
- Jan.09.2018: Great report on why our members have called on the govt to make sure post-Brexit Britain can protect itself against steel dumping @CommunityUnion >> @CommunityUnion says a new law will not offer enough protection against cheap steel being dumped in the UK BBC News >> A proposed UK law could offer worse protection against cheap steel being dumped in the UK than EU tariffs. The Customs Bill aims to put in place trading provisions for when the UK leaves the EU. Community union officials from around the UK have warned the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill - aka the Customs Bill - may not offer the same level of protection as EU tariffs. The union represents members in Tata Steel, Liberty Steel, Celsa, British Steel, Sheffield Forgemasters, Vallourec and Outokumpu. Community said: "When the UK leaves the EU we will of course need to set up our own way of preventing unfair trade or dumping of goods. We understand this Customs Bill is putting down the framework for that to happen. But as it is currently written, we fear it will not be effective." News, Brian Meechan
- 2018.01.18: Macron rebuffs City deal after Brexit unless UK pays into EU budget, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jan/18/macron-rebuffs-city-deal-after-brexit-unless-uk-pays-into-eu-budget
Freedom of Movement
- Apr.20.2019: It’s a dangerous myth we will have more control over borders post Brexit. For many Brexiteers, the issue of ‘freedom of movement’ in respect of EU nationals was a major factor in voting ‘leave.’ It has been decided that EU nationals will be able to continue to pass through passport controls using the ‘anonymous’ eGates. There will be no check to see if an EU citizen is entitled to work or have residency here, or whether they are coming to the UK as a genuine visitor. Thus, those who arrive intending to work illegally or engage in criminality will have ‘freedom of movement’ to do so without ‘passing under the eyes’ of UK law enforcement simply by using eGates. Brexit, however will weaken our borders in other ways (favoured nations)... Chris Hobbs, The London Economic.
- Jul.11.2018: UK-India trade review calls for flexibility on food standards and chemical rules. Confidential document details complaints over EU rules on imports such as rice and paneer ahead of prospective post-Brexit trade talks. The UK should be prepared to relax EU rules on food standards and chemical safety as part of a new trading relationship with India, according to an unreleased report by the British and Indian govts. The official joint trade review – obtained by Unearthed despite the UK government’s refusal to release it – spotlights a range of non-tariff barriers to trade identified by Indian businesses, including limits on fungicides in basmati rice, the enforcement of food hygiene standards for milk and dairy products such as paneer and the use of hormone-disrupting chemicals across a range of non-food products. According to the chapter on non-tariff trade barriers written by Indian policymakers, the main issues concern the EU’s limits on the trace amounts of pesticides in food products, its restrictions on hormone-disrupting chemicals, and the burden of its complex REACH chemical regulations. Liam Fox is very happy about this. Zach Boren, Unearthed@Greenpeace.
- Apr.06.2018: India in no 'rush' to sign a post-Brexit trade deal and will tell Britain to accept more migrants. India is not "in a rush" to sign a trade deal with Britain, its high commissioner to the UK has said. Yashvardhan Sinha added that India wants any free trade deal with Britain to make it easier for Indian nationals to travel to the UK. Britain will be able to negotiate and sign new trade deals during the proposed transition period. Adam Payne, Business Insider.
- Apr.08.2018: Ditch trade deal with Trump rather than accept chlorinated chicken, Britons say. The British public are overwhelmingly willing to ditch plans for a post-Brexit trade deal with the US in order to protect the UK’s high food safety standards. American trade negotiators are expected to demand Britain opens its markets to foodstuffs that are currently illegal under EU rules as the price of a free trade agreement. Practices banned in the EU but currently widespread in the US including chlorine-washed chickens, hormone-treated beef, meat from animals fed on chicken faeces and crops washed with controversial herbicide chemicals. The polling, commissioned by the Institute for Public Policy Research and conducted by Opinium, also shows that the public favour alignment with EU regulations to secure a better trade deal with the EU. A wider report drawn up by the progressive think tank also shows Leave and Remain voters are equally opposed to any reduction in food standards. Last week Japan’s chief diplomat told The Independent that it would prioritise a deal with the European Union over one with a post-Brexit Britain. Jon Stone, The Independent.
- 2018.01.16: The UK will not be able to replicate the EU’s free trade agreements ready for March 30th 2019. The only solution is to ask the EU for help. @SamuelMarcLowe > Centre for European Reform (CER), Samuel Lowe
- Jan.03.2018: 'Build trade with CHINA' Ex-Treasury minister savages ‘mad’ Brexit strategy. Lord Jim O’Neill slammed the Prime Minister’s focus on building trade agreements with smaller nations, rather than forging a strong relationship with China. Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt, Lord O’Neill said that Brexiteers like “ludicrous” Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are “very intellectual, smart people… But they have no clue about the world of economy. They are clueless, sadly.” The 60-year-old former Goldman Sachs economist hit out after it emerged Britain was considering joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership. On Tuesday it was announced that Liam Fox was on a visit to China, but Mr O’Neill says under David Cameron and George Osborne negotiations with the Asian powerhouse would have happened 15 months ago. Chloe Kerr, The Express.
- 2018.01.03: Britain's open to foreign investment, trade minister Liam Fox tells China @Reuters >> Reuters, Michael Martina
- 2018.01.03: Remarkable that UK pundits don't seem to have clocked that TPP isn't even a stable framework. The US has walked out. The Canadians show signs of backing out. The Japanese are struggling to keep it going. The Australians are sceptical. And the Chinese are working to subvert it @APHClarkson
- 2018.01.03: 21 miles of water separate us from our largest market, mainland Europe, and we’re focusing on the Pacific?! The Tories are off their sheds, @Damocrat >> Britain in talks to join the TPP to boost trade after Brexit, The Guardian, Julia Gregory
- 2018.01.02: For those unaware, Simon Fraser is the ex-PermSec (Head) of the Foreign Office @GuitarMoog >> Welcome to cloud cuckoo land @SimonFraser00
- 2018.01.01: Ministers cannot name a single country that asked UK for a post-Brexit trade deal, HuffingtonPost
- Mar.06.2017: EMPIRE 2.0: UK to 'improve trade links with African Commonwealth nations' after Brexit. Britain will try to boost trade relations with African Commonwealth nations in a move dubbed “empire 2.0” by Whitehall officials. Charlie Bayliss, The Exress.
Northern Ireland Border
- 2017.12.31: Ministers consider using volunteers to guard UK borders. Home Office says it is discussing plan to bolster Border Force with scheme similar to police use of special constables, Guardian
- 'Huge challenges' face Wales as a result of #Brexit according to @BevanFoundation. There'll be no dividend, no pot of gold, its time #Brexit leaders come clean >> The epic challenges that Wales is predicted to face in 2018. There are warnings over a fall in wages, less public services and raised community tensions. WalesOnline, David Williamson
- Jan.15.2019: After this staggering defeat for May, our country is left lost and adrift. The prime minister’s catalogue of errors led us to this point. Now we face paralysis and humiliation. Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian.
- Apr.01.2018: Don’t expect much Leave regret when Brexit hurts prosperity. The post-departure outlook is not good. But it will be hard to recognise or quantify any damage to the economy if growth is merely lower than it might have been. UK in a Changing Europe Anand Menon, The Guardian.
- 2018.01.11: No-deal is a disaster. The govt must tell us the truth about Brexit. I have published independent research showing the impact of a hard Brexit on London and beyond. Now we need official transparency about our options. Time is fast running out for the UK govt to secure a good deal from the Brexit negotiations that protects jobs, growth and living standards for future generations. I am calling on the govt to commission and then publish – in full – their analysis of every single option available for Britain to avoid a “cliff-edge” scenario. That means their analysis should look at what we should do if we are unable to secure a good deal from the negotiations, if the negotiations collapse, or if the final deal fails to be ratified by either the British parliament, European parliament, or a number of EU member states. The Guardian, Sadiq Khan
- 2018.01.09: Speech by Michel Barnier at the Trends Manager of the Year 2017 event. Talking to the rest of the member states re approach to no UK in the EU. European Commission
- 2018.01.08: People ask: can non-EU countries can be in the Single Market? Yes, Norway, Iceland + Lichtenstein are. It is simply wrong to claim you have to be an EU member to be in the Single Market. Join @laboursinglemkt to campaign to make it a reality for the UK. @ChukaUmunna
- 2018.01.02: Liam Fox calls for end to 'obsessive' criticism of Brexit, BBC News
- 2018.01.02: The doors have been blown off and EVERYONE can see the shambles inside the great machinery of state., @CloughOlive >> Brexit was only supposed to blow the bloody doors off, The Irish Times, Fintan O'Toole
- 2017.12.27: Port of Rotterdam reveals scale of Brexit challenge. UK will no longer be able to rely on giant Dutch facilities when it leaves EU. Financial Times
- 2017.12.24: The threat to our democracy and our NHS is international - it's only right that we should be international, Twitter
- 2017.12.24: EU precisely the wrong vehicle to tackle any of these things. Its corruption & irresponsible pursuit of growth to benefit corporates & capital at expense of majority is part of the problem, Twitter
- 2017.12.22: The Great Unraveling: Using Science and Philosophy to Decode Modernity, CounterPunch (ecological destruction)
- 2017.12.24: How can you reform the EU when it is dominated by corporate interests? 3/4 EU law written by corporate lawyers & lobbyists. What about the acknowledged democratic defecit? How do you propose to reform it from within? Do you have any answers? Twitter
- 2014.05.05: 30,000 lobbyists and counting: is Brussels under corporate sway? Guardian
- 2017.12.24: Think EU Commission drafts laws. Govs no role: can only submit opinions, ask for amendments & ultimately veto. Deals largely drawn up in secret. In case EU-Mercosur, not due publication 'til 2018 leaving inadequate time for scrutiny & revison. Twitter
- 2017.12.24: Steve Bullock, @GuitarMoog: I was seconded to the Commission for 4 years, and was the lead UK negotiator for €80bn worth of regulations. This is a misunderstanding of the process. 1/, Twitter
- Jessica Simo QC, See this for an example Twitter
- 2017.12.20: UK demands secrecy in Brexit trade talks with US, iNews
- 2017.12.24: EU precisely the wrong vehicle to tackle any of these things. Its corruption & irresponsible pursuit of growth to benefit corporates & capital at expense of majority is part of the problem, Twitter
- 2017.11.14: How Fake news caused Brexit. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that fake news in some of Britain’s leading newspapers helped to cause Brexit. 8 Steps to Genocide, Genocide Watch (video), EU Rope, Jon Danzig
- 2017.06.25: Vernon Bogdanor Lecture: Brexit - One Year On, YouTube
- 2017.05.07: Never before in my adult life has the future seemed so bleak for progressives. As a series of catastrophes unfold, Enlightenment values are being trashed. Matters could get very ugly. The Guardian, Will Hutton
- Feb.14.2017: Europe blinks over Brexit talks? Chief Brussels negotiator says "special relationship" with City of London needed after UK leaves. The Telegraph, Telegraph Reporters
Incorporation (or not) of EU Law
- Jan.02.2018: Starmer to force vote on UK's adoption of EU charter of rights. Twitter, @Guardian
- Jan.02.2018: Shadow Brexit secretary says Tories have failed to prove essential rights will be protected by UK law after Brexit. The Guardian, '
- Dec.21.2018: EU's highest court delivers blow to UK snooper's charter. Indiscriminate collection of emails is illegal, court rules in response to challenge originally brought by David Davis. The Guardian, '
- Jul.21.2009: How UK adopts EU laws. Much of UK law derives from EU legislation, or is inspired by it. Critics of EU institutions sometimes speak of "Brussels diktat", while supporters of integration argue that having common rules makes life easier for EU citizens. Here Timothy Jones, a lawyer at the UK Treasury Solicitor's Department, explains how EU - or "Community" - legislation becomes part of UK law. His analysis is not the official position of the UK govt. BBC News.
The EU Withdrawal Bill 2017/19
- European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, aka The Great Repeal Bill
- May.08.2018: EU withdrawal bill: 13 defeats in the Lords for the government. The government lost 13 votes as the EU withdrawal bill made its way through the House of Lords. It has also made some concessions. Anne Perkins, The Guardian. See also As it happened for names.
- Mar.2017: White Paper:" Legislating for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. Our decision to convert the ‘acquis’ – the body of European legislation – into UK law at the moment we repeal the European Communities Act is an essential part of this plan. The same rules and laws will apply on the day after exit as on the day before. It will then be for democratically elected representatives in the UK to decide on any changes to that law, after full scrutiny and proper debate. This White Paper explains how we will legislate for this approach by introducing a Great Repeal Bill at the start of the next parliamentary session. This Bill will, wherever practical and appropriate, convert EU law into UK law from the day we leave so that we can make the right decisions in the national interest at a time that we choose. DExEU, Gov.uk.
- Apr.18.2018: May set for defeat in Brexit vote on leaving customs union. Theresa May is likely to lose a key Commons vote that would force her to abandon a pledge to pull Britain out of a customs union with Europe. Ten rebel Conservative MPs have signed an amendment to the govt's customs bill that would make securing a customs union with the EU after Brexit its “objective”. The vote is separate from an amendment on the customs union in the government’s withdrawal bill that will be voted on in the House of Lords today. Nicky Morgan, Oliver Robbins, David Davis. Oliver Wright, Henry Zeffman, Bruno Waterfield, The Times. See also The Times re Bob Neill, Sarah Wollaston also signing.
- Mar.29.2018: Nine senior Tories want amendments to EU withdrawal bill. Nine senior Conservatives, including two former Cabinet ministers, have put their name to cross-party amendments to the European Union withdrawal bill. Chris Patten and Douglas Hogg back substantial changes, including a parliamentary vote on staying in the customs union. Ros Altmann, former pensions minister, and former newspaper editor Patience Wheatcroft. Pippa Crerar, The Guardian.
- Mar.19.2018: Doctors go on lobbying warpath to defend EU health regulations. An amendment to the EU withdrawal bill, which copies most European law on to the British statute book ready for Brexit day in Mar.2019, is being backed by more than 15 medical groups, including the Royal College of GPs, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, the Royal Society of Public Health and the Faculty of Public Health. Health insiders said that it was the profession’s most concerted lobbying on legislation since the ban on smoking in enclosed public places was debated in 2006. The clause, which is being debated today in the House of Lords, is being tabled by Lord Warner, a crossbench peer and former Health minister, and is backed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, as well as a handful of Conservative peers. The amendment’s practical effect would be to stop the govt or its successors from watering down EU rules on health, including warning labels on cigarette packets, food standards and mechanisms to prevent outbreaks of disease. Baroness Altmann, former Pensions minister who is one of the Conservatives backing the amendment, said that it was “vitally important”. The govt is determined to have the bill return to the Commons with as few amendments as possible. The responses to peers’ questions from Lord Callanan, a junior Brexit minister, are understood to have dismayed constitutional experts on the cross benches. Henry Zeffman, The Times.
- Mar.10.2018: List of 24 retained laws is ‘proof of power grab’. Control of areas such as food labelling, chemical regulation and fishing quotas are at the centre of a constitutional row over the repatriation of EU powers after Brexit. The govt has published a list of 24 laws held in Brussels which it is not prepared to transfer immediately to the Scottish parliament after Brexit, despite them being within devolved policy areas. The Scottish govt said the document confirmed a "power grab" by London and it said it believed the laws should not be transferred to London first without Holyrood’s consent. David Lidington, Cabinet Office minister, said: "The vast majority of these new powers will be in the control of the devolved administrations on the day we leave the EU. There is a much smaller group of powers where the devolved governments will be required to follow current EU laws for a little bit longer while we work out a new UK approach. We are discussing with the devolved govts how this process will work". The Times, Daniel Sanderson, Hannah McGrath
- Feb.26.208: Tories using Brexit to grab back devolved powers, say ministers. David Lidington's power-sharing plans branded an ‘attack on devolution in Wales and Scotland’. The Guardian, Steven Morris, Severin Carrell
- Significant. @ScotGov fighting Brexit anti-devolution powergrab. @GrayInGlasgow
- 2018.01.10: Scottish EU Bill likely to be introduced in Feb. The Scottish Govt has begun preparations to introduce an EU Continuity Bill to prepare Scotland’s laws for Brexit after UK Govt legislation was called "incompatible with the devolution settlement" by a cross-party Holyrood committee. Scottish Govt
- 2018.01.10: David Mundell is "guilty of selling out Scotland" as MPs are denied scrutiny of devolved powers in the Brexit Bill, says the SNP's Europe spokesperson. @Ahmed_Asif1
- Scots blast Westminster for missing Brexit bill deadline. Scottish secretary David Mundell accused of 'selling out Scotland' after plans to amend controversial Clause 11 were dropped. Scottish National party and Conservative politicians have lambasted the UK govt for dropping plans to protect Scotland's position in the Brexit bill at the last moment. Ministers were due to publish amendments to a highly contentious clause in the EU Withdrawal Bill in the Commons on Wednesday that centralised more than 100 EU powers in Whitehall after Brexit, even though they involve policy controlled by the devolved parliaments. Those measures, in Clause 11 of the Bill, had been attacked as a power grab by Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones, the Scottish and Welsh first ministers, fuelling intense pressure inside the Conservative govt and from Scottish Tories to change it. But David Mundell, the Scottish secretary, told the Scottish govt on Tuesday the amendments had been postponed because of unexpected delays in Whitehall. Instead, the changes will be introduced in the House of Lords in early spring. That will severely restrict the rights of SNP MPs to debate the changes since the SNP refuses to join the Lords, as its members are unelected. The Guardian, Severin Carrell
- 2018.01.09: UN says Brexit bill may have broken international environment law (Aarhus Convention). The British government may have breached a major “environmental democracy” law by failing to consult the public when drawing up Brexit legislation. A UN-backed committee has confirmed it is considering a complaint from Friends of the Earth that the government’s EU withdrawal bill breached the Aarhus convention, which requires public consultation on any new environmental law. The “polluter pays” principle and the precautionary principle could both be affected, as could the public’s ability to challenge changes to environmental laws. The Guardian, Laura Laker
- Dec.18.2017: Tory plot to pull UK out of EU Working Time Directive could see 7m UK workers lose rights to paid holidays. The London Economic, '
- Feb.03.2017: Brexit’s Great Repeal Bill is a never-attempted ‘massive problem’: is Oxbridge prof stating the obvious to Lords’ committee? The HoL Constitutional Committee, which includes Article 50 hero Lord Pannick QC, heard from three Oxbridge law professors this week on the challenges faced in bringing in the Great Repeal Bill, aka the legislation which will realise Brexit. Professors Paul Craig (Oxford), John Bell (Cambridge) and Alison Young (Oxford) appeared unanimous in their view that in terms of a legislative process, Brexit is “a massive problem”. From a legislative point of view, the bill has to grapple with how to translate Acquis Communautaire (which means accumulated legislation, legal acts, and court decisions which constitute the body of European law) into UK law in the next two years. Professor Craig speculated (though didn’t believe it likely) that it could be a short bill which would be a “window through which the entirety of Acquis Communautaire is brought into UK law with the detail to be worked out afterwards.” There was also bemusement on what should be parliament’s response if the government proposes to use wide-ranging Henry VIII clauses (which gives it the power to amend, repeal or improve legislation without oversight or scrutiny from parliament) to convert EU law into UK law, which it is likely to have to do given “the massive problem” it faces in purely practical terms. Polly Botsford, Legal Cheek.
- Feb.02.2017: "It's like they can't trust the decision of the people". Fury of voters after their Remoaner MPs defied their own constituents by trying to BLOCK Brexit in Commons vote. Mail Online, Alex Matthews, Matt Dathan, Tim Sculthorpe
- Oct.03.2016: What is the Great Repeal Bill? The Brexit law to end all EU laws (that we don't like). The historic proposal aims to end the European Union's legal supremacy in the UK. It will instantly annul the 1972 European Communities Act (ECA), which gives EU law instant effect in the UK, and give Parliament the power to absorb parts of EU legislation into UK law and scrap elements it does not want to keep. It will include powers to change laws using secondary legislation as negotiations over the UK’s future relationship with its partners continue. Major amendments or new laws may be put forward in separate bills. The process will be separate from Article 50 negotiations, which will activate the formal mechanism to leave the EU. Alexandra Sims, The Independent.
Notification of Article 50
- Feb.09.2018: Theresa May spent almost £1,000 on delivery of Brexit letter Two civil servants took article 50 notification to Brussels, racking up a bill of £985.50. The Guardian, Anushak Asthana
The EU Referendum Bill 2015/6
- Non-Binding Advisory Referendum (pic), @Avro
- Apr.10.2016: David Cameron gambles on the status quo in EU referendum. Government's tried and tested model for key electoral tests is to rely on voters’ innate conservatism to carry the day. The Guardian, Larry Elliott
The EU Referendum
- Jun.23.20167, 51.9% to leave, turnout 72.2%
- In Feb.2016, the Conservative govt of David Cameron negotiated "a new settlement for Britain in the EU" which was then followed by a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU. The result was for the UK to leave the EU and the deal was discarded. United Kingdom renegotiation of European Union membership, 2015–16
- Jan.08.2018: 75% of 18–24-year-olds voted Remain. But 66% of 65+ (the demographic that turned out in the greatest numbers) favoured Brexit. New Statesman., George Eaton
- 2016.04: How to Exit from the EU. EU Truth, Blog written by David Noakes, very anti-EU
- 2016.01.17: Pro-Brexit Arguments: Beyond the Mirage. Red Cliffs of Dawlish, another anti-EU blog.
- Jan.31.2017: In some respects the Brexit referendum was a violation of human rights. Denial of resident rights, Denial of expat rights, Denial of youth rights, Denial of the proper factual basis of a right of free choice, Late Polls – a problem in themselves. The London School of Economics and Political Science, Adrian Low
- undated: Brexit - amending UK domestic law before withdrawal. After over 40 years of membership, there is now a vast body of laws within the UK that are derived from or at least affected by our EU membership. The task of amending UK domestic law in preparation for exit is substantial but achievable... In the process of review of UK law, priority should be given to reforming or sweeping away EU-based laws that interfere with the competitiveness and efficiency of the UK economy. For example, freed from harmonising directives, significant reforms could be made to IP laws to extend exemptions, to restrict scope and terms of protection that confer no economic benefits, and to simplify areas of the law that are unnecessarily complex thanks to EU interventions. The EU’s insistence that rights owners should be allowed to prevent ‘parallel imports’ of their own goods from outside the EU could be ended with enormous economic benefits. The UK would regain control of migration from other EU states. EU citizens who are settled and productively working here should not be put in fear of being sent home, nor would we wish to damage our economy by excluding highly paid or highly skilled workers, such as highly paid bankers in the City or skilled health workers. But the inflow of low-skilled workers could be restricted in the same way as it is from non-member states. The UK would certainly want to take more robust measures than are now permitted by EU law to exclude or remove persons suspected of being a danger to the public or engaged in criminal activities. Lawyers for Britain, '
- Oct.19.2016: Brexit means stupid - so who voted for this? On June 23, 52% of people who could be bothered voted to leave the European Union. At about 6am on Jun.24.2016, Britain began a steep decline into the sort of stupidity not seen since Ron Hubbard decided we were descended from space lizards. This coup d'état was greeted by the public with total apathy, which is not surprising when you consider that they've also swallowed the claim 52% of Britain voted to leave the EU. They didn't. Only 71.8% of voters took part, which means the nation is amputating its EU on the basis of a 37% mandate. If you drag the logic out, 17m people decided what the remaining 47m citizens were going to have to put up with for the forseeable future. You can call that a lot of things, you can even call it democracy, but you can't call it 52% of the UK. The question posed was to leave or remain. The question posed was, in hindsight, the wrong one. The ballot paper should have said: "Would you like Britain to remain as stupid as it is now? Or would you like it be more stupid?" Fleet Street Fox, The Mirror.
The 1975 Referendum
This page contains the text of the Government-produced pamphlet advocating a vote to stay in the "European Community" Common Market) in the 1975 British Referendum on continuing British membership. Every effort has been made to reproduce the style of the original pamphlet, especially in its placing of emphasis. The only additional text is this header and the bracketed annotations denoting such things as the original page numbers. Link
This is a document produced for the govt warning them that to join the (as then) EEC would result in significant loss of sovereignty to Britain. This Document was archived under the ’30 years rule’ and was not released until this Century. Civil Service report on Sovereignty FCO-30-1048
The Groups of Brexit
- Mar.18.2017: The 50 Groups Behind Brexit. Jonathan Isaby & Matthew Elliott, BrexitCentral.
- Anti-Common Market League: The original eurosceptic organisation, set up in 1961 by John Paul to oppose Harold Macmillan’s (then unsuccessful) move to take the UK into the Common Market. It campaigned for increased association with NAFTA and the English-speaking world and for many years indefatigable maverick Tory backbencher Sir Richard Body served as its President.
- Anti-Federalist League: Founded by LSE academic Dr Alan Sked in 1991 to campaign against the Maastricht Treaty, it contested 17 seats at GE-1992, and Sked stood in a couple of by-elections in 1993, but no candidate ever saved a deposit. Later in 1993 the fledgling organisation would would rebrand as the United Kingdom Independence Party.
- Bruges Group
- Business for Britain
- Business for Sterling After Labour won GE-1997 with a landslide majority, there was deep concern that Tony Blair would seek to take Britain into the euro. While the Conservative Party under William Hague was opposed to the UK joining the single currency (at least for one Parliament), its brand was less than universally popular and it needed others to help make the case for keeping the pound. So Business for Sterling was founded in Jun.1998 by former Labour Cabinet Minister Lord Marsh with heavyweight backing from the likes of Lord Kalms, Lord Leach of Fairford and Lord Hanson with (future MP and Remain campaigner) Nick Herbert as Chief Executive. It would ally with New Europe to form the No campaign.
- Caistor Group: Caistor was the venue in Apr.2015 for an EU information seminar that acted as a spur for developing better links between Eurosceptic campaigners. As the referendum drew close, it transformed into a more formal Contact Group under the chairmanship of David Campbell-Bannerman MEP and then subsequently Chris Grayling MP. The group was hosted by Matthew Elliott, first at Business for Britain’s headquarters at Tufton Street and later at Vote Leave’s offices in Westminster Tower. The group acted as a round table mechanism for participating groups, allowing a measure of deconfliction and identifying some key issues that were subsequently addressed (as well as some that weren’t). Its association with Vote Leave was cited by the Electoral Commission as the defining factor in the designation battle.
- Campaign for an Independent Britain
- Change Britain
- Christians for Britain Christians for Britain was set up by left-leaning Rev. Giles Fraser and right-leaning Adrian Hilton to make the case in advance of the 2016 referendum as to why Christians should vote to leave the EU. It had the notable support of Ann Widdecombe, Lord Carey and Edward Fox. They promoted their message using online campaigning and social media as well as public meetings across the country.
- City for Britain: The City for Britain, chaired by Daniel Hodson, was set up in advance of the 2016 referendum to make the case for how the City of London and the financial services industry could actually do better outside of the EU. It played an important role in challenging the establishment consensus that Brexit would be universally bad for the City and since the referendum Hodson has helped establish the Financial Services Negotiation Forum to help provide the UK’s negotiators with the information they need to help secure the best arrangements for the City post-Brexit.
- Civitas Although not directly involved in the referendum, Civitas regularly pumped out "research" during the 2010s promoting opposition to continued British membership of the EU, written by director and Michael Burrage.
- Conservatives Against a Federal Europe: CAFE, as the group was known, was an already-established though small campaign when it was reformed around the group of 8 Tory MPs who lost the party whip for rebelling against John Major over Europe in 1994. It was a particular force during the 1997-2001 Parliament, with approaching 100 Conservative parliamentarians signed up as Vice Presidents in order to back the line – seen as very controversial at the time – that the UK must withdraw from the EU if power over a series of areas were not to be repatriated. Run by future Minister Mike Penning, David Prole, James Gladstone (a great nephew of the former Prime Minister) and Lee Rotherham, its importance as a vehicle diminished when Vice President Iain Duncan Smith became Tory leader in 2001.
- Conservatives for Britain
- Democracy Movement
- Democratic Unionist Party
- Economists for Brexit
- European Foundation
- European Research Group
- Farmers for Britain: Despite a number of polls showing that a majority of farmers actually backed Brexit, the National Farmers Union nonetheless decided officially to support Remain at the referendum. Farmers for Britain, supported by Farming Minister George Eustice and former Defra Secretary Owen Paterson, played a vital role in giving a voice to the majority of farmers who wanted to leave the EU with its stifling bureaucracy and much-criticised Common Agricultural Policy.
- The Freedom Association
- Get Britain Out
- Global Britain
- Global Vision: Established in 2007 by leading economist, Ruth Lea, and Lord Blackwell, Global Vision pushed for a looser relationship for the UK with the EU, based on trade and mutual recognition, while opting out of political and economic union. Both had previously been involved at the Centre for Policy Studies, which itself had regularly published pamphlets advancing eurosceptic arguments, particularly in the 1990s and early 2000s under Tessa Keswick’s directorship.
- Green Leaves: A campaign group established in advance of the referendum, chaired by Mark Hill and backed by Green Party peer Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, for greens and environmentalists opposed to the UK remaining in the EU. It argued that while all major parties were backing a Remain vote, the EU was beyond reform, noting its protectionism against developing countries and the mass youth unemployment it has caused in many parts of the eurozone.
- Historians for Britain: Historians for Britain was a group of prominent academic historians who supported Britain’s exit from the EU. Chaired by David Abulafia, and efficiently run by Oliver Lewis (Research Director for Business for Britain and then Vote Leave), it also included David Starkey, Andrew Roberts, Robert Tombs and Gwythian Prins amongst its members, as well as Dr Sheila Lawlor, Director of the think-tank, Politeia. Historians for Britain comprehensively debunked the myth that the EU had been responsible for peace in Europe since the Second World War and provided an intellectual backdrop for the Brexit campaign.
- Institute of Economic Affairs
- Labour Leave
- Leave.EU / Grassroots Out
- Leave Means Leave
- Liberal Leave
- Vivian Linacre
- Muslims for Britain: Set up by a number of leading figures in the British Muslim community, led by businessmen Aftab Chughtai and Saqib Bhatti, President of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce. Muslims for Britain were very active in the BME media and played a crucial role in reaching out to voters away from the main referendum debate, particularly in the West Midlands where they helped to secure an outright victory for Leave in Birmingham.
- New Europe: Founded in 1999 by former Labour Foreign Secretary and later SDP Leader, Lord Owen, while not being anti-EU (it was pro-enlargement), New Europe was explicitly against British membership of the euro, asserting that “compulsory and irrevocable alignment of economic and social policies with continental Europe may turn out to be extremely damaging”. WIth supporters including former Labour Chancellor Lord Healey and ex-Conservative Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Owen served as the group’s chairman until 2005, ensuring that there was a politically moderate rallying point for those who were unwilling to go along with every aspect of the agenda of EU integrationists. It allied with Business for Sterling to form the No campaign.
- No Campaign: The No campaign was established in 2000 by (generally right-leaning) Business for Sterling and (more centrist) New Europe to be an umbrella campaign against British membership of the euro. Those at the helm of the campaign included future minister George Eustice and Vote Leave’s future campaign director Dominic Cummings. They adopted the slogan “Europe Yes. Euro No” and for a cinema advert in 2002 secured endorsements from celebrities such as Rik Mayall, Harry Enfield and Bob Geldof as well as Labour MPs Diane Abbott and Kate Hoey. The campaign morphed into Vote 2004 under Neil O'Brien, but was wound up once it was clear that Gordon Brown had ensured that his 5 economic tests had ruled out British membership of the single currency for the foreseeable future (generating Open Europe as an offshoot in the process).
- Open Europe
- Out & Proud: Out & Proud challenged the idea that the EU is a bastion of liberal values and progressive politics in appealing to the LGBT community to vote Leave at the referendum. It countered the claims of the Remain campaign that EU membership was responsible for the UK having strong LGBT rights by highlighting, for example, the 16 EU member states which don’t allow same-sex marriage, the 14 which don’t give full adoption rights to same-sex couples and the four members which have no legal measures in existence to change gender.
- People’s Pledge
- Referendum Party
- Fishing for Leave / Save Britain’s Fish: Save Britain’s Fish is a pressure group that was founded in 1990 and dedicated to highlighting the disastrous consequences of the European Common Fisheries Policy for the UK Fishing Industry. Run by John Ashworth and in the past by the likes of Eric Clements and Tom Hay, it has always enjoyed the support, amongst others, of Austin Mitchell and Christopher Gill. Celebrated for its popular Fish and Chip lunches and tub-thumping platform speeches, its fringe events became highly popular at the party conferences. Specifically to campaign on these issues during the referendum, Mar.2016 saw the establishment of Fishing for Leave. It organised what turned into the famous ‘Battle of the Thames’ when Brexit-backing fishermen sailed a 60-strong flotilla through London in protest at the disastrous Common Fisheries Policy, where they were met by Remain campaign boats along with the singer Bob Geldof, who was was snapped raising two fingers up to working fishermen. SBF is now conducting an important campaign about fisheries management and future access rights. Website: http://ffl.org.uk/. See also http://campaignforanindependentbritain.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Seizing_Fish_Txt.pdf
- Students for Britain
- TaxPayers’ Alliance
- TEAM: The European Anti-Maastricht Alliance, to give its original name, was founded at a counter-summit in Edinburgh in 1992. It is unique in being an association of international eurosceptic groups from across the EU and beyond. By interacting, members have been able to provide mutual support, rebutting claims that individual campaigns are isolated and anti-European. Liaison with TEAM during the UK referendum, for example, generated commentaries rebutting the idea of ‘Norwegian Fax Democracy’, and warnings from other referendum campaigns about the tradition of economic scare stories being put out as fake news. Its importance is sure to increase in the coming years as Brexit ripples spread out. An organ that also did sterling work acting as a hub for eurosceptic groups across the continent (particularly those in Eastern Europe pre-accession) was David Wilkinson’s These Tides, supplied the international Eurosceptic fraternity with what was in effect their communal in-house magazine. See also The European Alliance of EU-critical Movements.
- Vote Leave
- Trade Policy Research Centre
- Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
- Veterans for Britain
Images / Cartoons / Pictures
- Brexit means Brexit" / "Leave means Leave - "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less." Twitter