Category Archives: Brexit

Revealed: rightwing groups plot to ditch EU safety standards on food and drugs

‘Ideal’ UK-US trade deal would see banned products sold in post-Brexit Britain, says accidentally released memo

An unprecedented drive to lobby ministers to ditch strict EU safety standards in order to secure a US trade deal is being drawn up by a transatlantic group of conservative thinktanks, it has emerged.

Organisers of the self-styled “shadow trade talks”, which are set to include 10 leading rightwing and libertarian groups from the UK and the US, are preparing to push their “ideal free trade agreement” that would allow the import of US meats, drugs and chemicals banned in Britain.

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Source: gad

May wants new security treaty with EU next year

British PM says treaty is necessary to ensure military, intelligence and counter-terrorism cooperation after Brexit

Theresa May has called for a new security treaty with the European Union that should be up and running next year to ensure military, intelligence and counter-terrorism cooperation after London leaves the bloc.

“The key aspects of our future partnership in this area will already be effective from 2019,” the British prime minister told top European and US officials at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

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Source: gad

The language we use in public and on social media has repercussions. The first step must greater civility | James Graham

The language we use in public and on social media has repercussions. The first step must greater civility

When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer,” George Orwell said in 1946. As then, so now – but worse. I know, everyone’s always saying things are worse. Let’s not hark back to an age that never existed. But it is time to recognise the conversation crisis in public and civic life.

I don’t quite believe, like some, that the Enlightenment values of tolerance and civilised debate are being reversed; but they are certainly under threat. This age of unreason we’re living through is defined not only by “had enough of experts”, but with normally reasonable people – you and I – behaving wilfully unreasonably to one another. And by the fact civility itself is now regarded as an obstacle to change, where once it was its best hope.

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Source: gad

UK will need 'thousands' more customs officers after Brexit, Dutch MP warns

Netherlands plans to boost customs staff by 750 as reality of Britain’s EU departure sinks in

The Dutch government plans to hire at least 750 new customs agents in preparation for Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The Dutch parliament’s Brexit rapporteur, Pieter Omtzigt, who had recommended the move, said both sides of the English Channel had been slow to wake up to the reality that Britain was on course to leave the EU in 14 months’ time.

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Source: gad

Theresa May to warn EU not to put ideology before citizens' safety

PM to propose new UK-EU security treaty to close gaps that terrorists could exploit

The EU could put its citizens at risk if it allows ideology or rigid institutions to blind its leaders to the need to cooperate against terror threats, Theresa May will say on Saturday, proposing a new UK-EU treaty on intelligence and security.

The prime minister risks a rift with Europe in a speech in which she will say the UK wants to stay closely aligned with Europe on security policy, but that “rigid institutional restrictions” or “deep-seated ideology” could leave gaps that terrorists and organised criminals may seek to exploit.

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Source: gad

Is it possible to reverse Brexit? | Anand Menon

Even if all the hurdles to a second referendum and a remain vote were overcome, a huge number of problems would arise

It’s all kicking off. A poll carried out by ICM for the Guardian showed that, excluding those with no opinion, voters support the idea of a second referendum by a 16-point margin.

Simultaneously, there are signs that the parliamentary battle over Brexit is about to become more joined up. The main groups opposed to Brexit have agreed to pull together under the banner of the grassroots coordinating group (GCG) in an attempt to ensure a popular vote on the outcome of the Brexit process.

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Source: gad

May is on a losing streak. England’s mayors could be a trump card | Anne Perkins

The prime minister is in a bind. Civic leaders speak for the people – surely they’re the kind of allies she needs right now

Late last year, the representatives of Britain’s overseas territories gathered in London. It is an annual event for these 14 appendices of empire, some of which, like Antarctica, are barely populated. Gibraltar, with its land border with Spain, is pre-eminent. Most of the others are small islands in hot places with a relaxed approach to tax affairs. In total, there are about 250,000 people living in these territories, who are protected by the crown and represented in their overseas dealings by the Westminster government.

Related: We thought Boris Johnson would tell us his Brexit plans. He said ‘Go whistle’ | Gina Miller

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Source: gad

Japan thinks Brexit is an 'act of self-harm', says UK's former ambassador

Sir David Warren says it is time for plain speaking on the impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union

Japan sees Brexit as an act of economic and political self-harm that will reduce the United Kingdom’s influence on the world stage, says a former British ambassador to Tokyo.

Sir David Warren, who served in the post from 2008 to 2012, argued it was time for plain speaking on the impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. He regarded the potential effect on UK-Japan relations as “grave”.

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Source: gad

We thought Boris Johnson would tell us his Brexit plans. He said ‘Go whistle’ | Gina Miller

The foreign secretary’s much-anticipated speech was short on detail, but it made it clear we’re heading for a harsh future

For all the hype, the long-awaited Brexit speech that Boris Johnson delivered today amounted to no more than, in his words, another inverted pyramid of piffle. What we, the people, were hoping for – yearning for, in fact, and certainly had every right to expect – was his Valentine’s Day message to be the moment he finally came clean about Brexit. We’ve had the snake-oil salesman’s patter. What the country urgently needs are the mechanics: we want to know precisely how this Brexit flat pack you have talked us into buying at great cost is actually going to be assembled.

For a start, he needed to address the worst-case scenario: what would happen if we botched this thing’s construction. He needed to spell out that no deal in the talks with the EU would mean no transitional period – and that would mean, certainly in the short term, a run on the pound, businesses exiting and the likelihood of unemployment rising sharply.

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Source: gad

Boris Johnson urges remainers to recognise benefits of leaving EU

Foreign secretary says Britons should still work overseas and go on ‘cheapo flights to stag dos’

UK citizens after Brexit should have the freedom to retire to Spain, work overseas, go on “cheapo flights to stag dos” and fall in love with foreigners just as easily as now, Boris Johnson has said, in a speech urging remainers to see the benefits of leaving the EU.

Johnson, whose speech at the Policy Exchange thinktank in London was billed as the foreign secretary’s vision for a “liberal Brexit”, said he wanted to extend a hand to remain voters who he accepted were feeling a sense of loss.

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Source: gad