Wednesday 6 June 2018 - People's Vote

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Morning briefing: 'Global Britain' myth busted - Labour's EEA quandry - Brown's migration plans

The myth that “Global Britain” will cut lots of attractive trade deals across the world is exploded in a damning new report. Its verdict: “The central irony of Brexit is that, far from enhancing Britain’s free trade links and its trading reputation, it risks crippling both.”

The new report by Open Britain digs deep into the problems of reaching agreement with six countries that Brexiters seem most enthusiastic about striking deals with. Each brings its own problems.

  • Expect the US to demand access for its drugs companies to the NHS and its chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-pumped beef to our supermarkets. Since it holds all the cards, we can also expect little in return for our world-beating services industry.
  • Getting access to China, especially for services, is incredibly difficult, and it drives a hard bargain - see the China-Switzerland deal.
  • India won’t let Brexiters have their cake and eat it: gaining access to its market but refusing looser immigration rules for Indian citizens.
  • Human rights will be a stumbling block in any deal with the Gulf states. Their ongoing negotiations with the EU and Australia show they are a tough nut to crack.
  • Australia won’t be a pushover either. And guess what? They’ve got hormone-treated beef too.
  • New Zealand should be the easiest deal to seal. But it could threaten Welsh and Cumbrian hill farming, as a cross-party group of MPs warn in the Times today. It won’t move the needle either. Only 0.2% of our goods exports go there.

Rather than gaining new trade deals after Brexit, we’re more likely to lose deals with more than 65 countries that we currently enjoy from our EU membership. Expect to renegotiate these on worse terms, thanks to the UK’s relatively small size compared with the EU.

Forget the Brexiters’ Global Britain fantasies. It’s clear that leaving the EU is bad for our trade around the world.



To EEA or not to EEA?

Labour’s amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill calling for the UK to keep “full access” to the single market won’t pass when MPs consider the bill next Tuesday. Tory “mutineers” won’t back any amendment proposed by Jeremy Corbyn, with some already being bullied by hardline Brexiters in their constituency associations for not toeing the government’s line.

Pro-European Labour MPs such as Chris Leslie are calling the move a “missed opportunity” and saying the party should instead back the House of Lords amendment which calls for the UK to participate in the European Economic Area, the so-called “Norway” model.

Tweet of the day

"No progress". Theresa May's chaotic Brexit gets slammed by the head of the Freight Transport Association - an organisation that knows poor logistics when they see it. Read more from the FT (£).


Quote of the day

“The EU has been the greatest dream realised for human beings since the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

"It has brought peace, prosperity, compassion for the poor and weak, purpose for the aspirational and hope for all its people.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in a recent speech in Serbia.

Video of the day

Well worth a watch! Amatey Doku hands out the FFS "Brexit Awards" to the most ridiculous Brexiters of the week.


InFacts is looking for a new PR executive! Think you've got what it takes to spread the word that May's botched Brexit is a bad deal? Apply here!

Meaningful vote concession?

One of the other big issues MPs will debate next Tuesday is whether to keep the Lords’ amendment calling for Parliament to get a truly meaningful vote on the Brexit deal. This is an absolutely crucial amendment, as it could pave the way for a People’s Vote on the final deal.

A senior backbencher who has led revolts in the past is suggesting that the government is going to make concessions on the meaningful vote rather than seek to overturn it, according to the Guardian. The devil will be in the detail. Tory mutineers mustn’t have any truck with “concessions” that neuter the amendment.

Graphic of the day

Prospect - the trade union for professionals, representing scientists, engineers, managers and other specialists - has voted to support of People's Vote on the final Brexit deal.



Gordon Brown’s 6-pronged migration policy

The former Labour prime minister has called for tougher migration controls as part of a package of measures designed to address the concerns of Brexit voters.

The Guardian lists Brown’s six-point policy as follows: “no undercutting of wages by migrants; registration of jobs to give local people a chance to apply; registration of migrants on arrival in the UK; possible removal of migrants if they failed to find a job within nine months; a ban on employment agencies advertising jobs abroad that had not been advertised in the UK; and a bigger fund to help mitigate the impact of migration on local communities.”

We could probably do all this without quitting the EU.

Video of the day 2

Ex-PM Gordon Brown tells the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg that many in Westminster still haven't come to terms with the issues that drove the giant anti-establishment Brexit vote in 2016.


More Brexit news…

HMRC chief defends £20bn customs figure (BBC)

Jon Thompson added in his latest appearance in front of the Commons Treasury committee to say that the “no deal” scenario of falling back on WTO rules would see similar costs from new customs checks.

NHS faces Brexit staffing crisis unless visa caps lifted – report (Guardian)

Concerns for eastern Europeans in Brexit ‘settled status’ plan (Guardian)

UK military secondments to EU to cease after Brexit (FT £)

Lights could go off in Northern Ireland without a Brexit deal (BBC)

Top Brexit comment

Hugo Dixon: We could well end up with perpetual CRAP (InFacts)

Emily Andrews: A People’s Vote will fight a Brexit turning back the clock on women’s rights (Left Foot Forward)

Martha Gill: It’s time for Theresa May to purge the cabinet rebels (Guardian)

Looking forward…

Today, Wednesday 6 June

- Theresa May meets Norway PM Erna Solberg
- GMB annual conference
09:30 Trade minister Greg Hands speaks to Commons EFRA committee on post-Brexit trade in sugar
12:00 Prime Minister's Questions
PM Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu holds talks with Theresa May
15:00 Cambridge Analytica's Alexander Nix at DCMS committee's "fake news" inquiry
16:00 David Davis speech on Britain’s future security relationship with the EU
18:30 Brexit department's top civil servant Philip Rycroft interviewed at UK in a Changing Europe event

Tomorrow, Thursday 7 June

09:30 Michael Gove takes environment, food and rural affairs questions in Commons