Morning briefing: Jaguar Land Rover - Customs 'third way' - NHS at 70
When Boris Johnson said “f*ck business”, is this what he meant? Did he also mean “f*ck consumers”?
Jaguar Land Rover says it will find it unprofitable to stay in the UK if there's a hard Brexit. Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium has warned that the cost of importing food and drink from the EU will go up 29% and over 12,500 small retail businesses will “be at high risk of going bust in the event of no deal”.
JLR is our biggest carmaker. It employs 40,000 people and supports another 300,000 jobs through its network of suppliers. These are good, high quality jobs. It is also only the latest major car manufacturer to sound the alarm over Brexit, after serious warnings in recent days from BMW, Nissan, Toyota, and the car industry body SMMT.
Ralf Speth, JLR’s boss, told the FT it would only move if this was necessary “to save the company… If I’m forced to go out because we don’t have the right deal, then we have to close plants here in the UK and it will be very, very sad.”
Speth says he needs certainty before investing £80 billion in Britain over the next five years. "We’re in a cycle plan that means I have to make a decision. I can’t just wait, wait, wait, wait.”
That is a thinly veiled attack on our prime minister’s endless time-wasting, which is stifling investment. That is bad for workers and bad for the public finances - and therefore bad for the NHS too, which celebrates its 70th birthday today (see more on this below).
The BRC has written to May and the European Commission’s Michel Barnier about what’s at stake. It says 10,000 containers from the EU containing 50,000 tonnes of food pass through our ports every day. Nearly a third of all the food we eat comes from the EU. A no deal scenario will probably see “food rotting at ports”.
Is this what people voted for two years ago? Is this the Brexit we were promised? We demand a People's Vote on the final deal.
HAVE YOU SIGNED THE PETITION FOR A PEOPLE'S VOTE? WE'VE HIT 185,000: NEXT STOP 200,000!
Quote of the day
“If I’m forced to go out because we don’t have the right deal, then we have to close plants here in the UK and it will be very, very sad."
It’s a f*cker
Theresa May’s latest customs wheeze is called the “facilitated customs arrangement” - or FCA. “We’re pronouncing it f*cker”, one sceptical Cabinet minister is telling friends, according to Politico’s London Playbook.
We still don’t have details of the scheme which the BBC, as so often excessively charitable to the government, calls a “plan”. The prime minister hopes to push it through her Cabinet at her away-day tomorrow.
David Davis has written her a letter saying the FCA is unworkable and a waste of time that will be rejected by the EU, according to the Telegraph. The Brexit Secretary is finally right on something.
The FCA would apparently involve us using some unspecified magical “technology” to determine where goods coming into the UK “will ultimately end up - and therefore whether UK or EU tariffs should be paid”, according to the BBC. Meanwhile, we “would closely mirror the EU's rules - but parliament would be able to decide where to deviate.”
The FCA sounds suspiciously like May’s previous wheeze, the customs partnership, which is unworkable for a host of reasons that I set out in The Times back in April. Meanwhile, the idea that we could mirror EU rules but diverge when we choose is a total non-starter for the other countries. Nevertheless, our prime minister is wasting valuable diplomatic capital by heading off to Berlin today to try to sell the scheme to Germany’s Angela Merkel. What a way to run a country.
Video of the day
WATCH: This Brexit deal is screwing up our future. We need to make more noise
Unhappy 70th birthday: Brexit is bad for the NHS
Brexit is bad for our health:
- It’s driving away the European nurses and doctors we need to treat us
- It’s putting a hole in the public finances, so we have less money to pay for the NHS
- There could be delays getting new drugs if we pull out of the EU regulatory framework for approving new treatments
- Cancer patients may suffer because quitting Euratom could disrupt the supply of medical isotopes
- After burning our bridges with Europe, we’ll be desperate to cut a trade deal with Donald Trump, who wants to milk the NHS for every penny he can.
What could be a better birthday present for our health service than joining the campaign for a People’s Vote?
Tweet of the day
Our Future, Our Choice provide a neat summary of the arguments for a People's Vote
Graphic of the day:
SHARE: MP Alison McGovern tells it as it is
No Deal unit
A team has been established within the Cabinet Office to look at preparations for a no-deal Brexit, according to the Times . The move “has led to renewed speculation” that the Department for Exiting the European Union has a very short lifespan remaining - resolving the inter-government power struggle permanently in favour of the Cabinet Office. This is another sign that all is not well at DExEU; the article is littered with references to civil servants putting very little faith in the department’s ability to manage Brexit. It’s not a sign that negotiations are going swimmingly either.
More Brexit news…
City of London struggles to unite on post-Brexit regulation (FT)
If you don't like deal with EU, don't vote for it, Brexiteers told (Times)
Vote Leave broke campaign spending rules, says Electoral Commission (FT)
Theresa May struggles to unite Tories behind post-Brexit customs plan (FT)
Top Brexit comment
Elliott: The real battle is over the legitimacy of Brexit (Times)
Kettle: There is only one option on the table for the cabinet at Chequers: soft Brexit (Guardian)
Brits with holiday homes across EU are at risk from Brexit (InFacts)
Today, Thursday 05 July
|-||70th Anniversary of the NHS|
|10:00||Lords EU External Affairs Committee discuss post-Brexit customs|
|10:15||Lords EU Internal Market Committee discuss impact on small business|
Tomorrow, Friday 06 July
|-||Cabinet head to Chequers to discuss Brexit white paper|
|09:30||ONS releases UK productivity figures for January-March 2018|