Thursday 1 November 2018 - People's Vote

Thursday 1 November 2018

Morning Briefing: Scotland for a People's Vote - banking "deal" - flip-flops galore!

Scotland voted to Remain in the EU much more decisively than the UK as a whole voted to Leave. Scotland still wants to stay in the EU – and it wants a People’s Vote at the end of the Brexit talks. This is the background to today’s launch of Scotland for a People’s Vote.

New polling by Survation being published by Scotland for a People’s Vote shows 59% of Scots want a People’s Vote and 63% want to stay in the EU, after excluding don’t knows. The Scottish people also believe by a margin of two to one that, if there was a People’s Vote, the UK as a whole would vote to stay in the EU.

Being in Europe is good for Scotland, and a People’s Vote is a democratic opportunity for Scotland’s wishes to be respected. Scotland can come together and play a leading role in the campaign for a People’s Vote.

By contrast, there is no good Brexit – just a range of bad Brexits: economic damage and disruption; the loss of political influence and say in Europe; and the knock-on impact on everything from police cooperation to foreign policy cooperation.


Brexit will be damaging to Scotland. Scotland should therefore demand the chance for everyone across the UK, and especially in Scotland, to express their view on the unfolding Brexit outcome.

Today’s launch will be followed with a letter-writing campaign to build support among Scotland’s elected representatives, and street stalls distributing leaflets including in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Perth, Stirling, Inverness and St Andrews.

Scotland can help to make the case for a People’s Vote. Scottish politicians across different parties have argued against the damage Brexit is already causing. The SNP, Lib Dems and Scottish Greens now support a People’s Vote, as do many Labour politicians in Scotland.

Scotland for a People’s Vote is calling on all Scottish politicians to back a new vote. A strong political lead from them can help ensure that the clear majority in Scotland who back a People’s Vote are given a voice before the coming crunch vote in the House of Commons.

Kirsty Hughes is director of the Scottish Centre on European Relations and a leading supporter of Scotland for a People's Vote.

Video of the day

WATCH: Here's why Scotland is demanding a People's Vote on Brexit.


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Tweet of the day

Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgfield, points out that the amount of funding for NHS doctors training is going down. Meanwhile £500 million is being put aside to prepare for Brexit, surely there are better ways to spend that money?

Banking a done deal?

Brexit negotiators have reached a “tentative agreement on all aspects of a future partnership on services”, The Times reports. Be in no doubt - this so-called "deal" would see the UK give up sovereignty and become a rule-taker in a key sector of our economy. It is a taste of things to come for the rest of the negotiations, which won’t take place until after we have left the EU.

The proposed agreement would give UK banks access to the EU market so long as the UK’s financial regulation remained aligned with that of the EU, with both sides able to deny the other market access after going through independent arbitration. While this is better than nothing, it’s not as good as our current “passporting” arrangement with the EU: our access could be withdrawn if either side changes its laws. And by the nature of the deal, the UK would have to follow the EU’s lead rather than the other way around. We could expect to see rules made to cherry-pick business from London, to go along with the tax-breaks already on offer.

Quote of the Day

When it comes to it, countries like France are going to do everything it can to make life hard for the City... It is one thing to have warm words in a political declaration that is not binding and tying it down in a legal document

A banker talking to The Times gives a somewhat glum appraisal of the rumoured deal on financial services.

Video of the day 2

WATCHEven the government’s top independent economic adviser agrees we are heading for a ‘blindfold’ Brexit, with no guarantees about the future.

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Raab’s flip-flop

Dominic Raab has made a spirited attempt at the record for the fastest U-turn in British history, telling a select committee he would be happy to talk to it on the November 21 after “a deal is finalised”, before having to admit “there is no set date for the negotiations to conclude”. The current mood in Britain does seem optimistic that we’ll see movement on a deal this month. Raab’s bigger sin might have been to let slip early that “no deal” is a no-go, thus taking away one of May’s preferred party management tools. In Brussels, however, the EU’s deputy chief negotiator believes “nothing has changed”, with talks still locked around the Irish border backstop, with the Telegraph reporting that Michel Barnier is under increasing pressure to resolve the impasse and get a deal done.

Graphic of the day

Home Office flip-flops

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes is also eating her words this morning. After Nokes told a select committee that employers will have to conduct "right to work" checks on EU nationals, the Home Office issued a clarification that “EU citizens will continue to be able to evidence their right to work by showing a passport or national identity card”.

EU nationals will be concerned that the Home Office is bringing its usual chaos and confusion to Brexit. In case anyone’s forgotten, this is the department that’s set up an app to register for settled status that doesn’t work with iPhones, which brought us the Windrush scandal, and which once tried to introduce a national borders system which totally overlooked the possibility that someone might have two passports.

Remainer Now

WATCHHugh voted leave in the referendum in 2016.  He thought he was voting for more money for public services, for more trade - now he realises that this wasn’t the case.  This is why we need a People’s Vote.

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More Brexit news…

Australia's banks begin relocating functions from London (FT £)

Border Force to open two new processing centres for 'high-risk' customs arrivals in Milton Keynes and Hayes (Independent)

Hard Brexit would have 'big implications for UK's debt mountain, MPs told (Telegraph)

Lobby MPs to back Brexit deal, May urges business leaders (FT £)

Top Brexit comment

Simon Nixon: Britain's failure to appreciate Ireland's position may yet lead to a border poll (Times £)

David Hannay: PM’s ‘my deal or no deal’ ploy is a false scare tactic (InFacts)

Looking forward...

Today, Thursday 1st November

- MPs conclude debate on Budget, vote expected
- ONS: Population statistics published
- Theresa May hosts leading industrialists at Number 10 Downing Street
09.15 Suella Braverman and Crawford Falconer speak at Chatham House Global Trade conference
10.00 IFS chief gives evidence to Treasury committee on Budget