Tag Archives: hard Brexit

Juncker-May deadlocked in Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May faces  perspective of Brexit delay weeks before the official date of the UK departure from the block in absence of the endorsed deal, ensuring the orderly separation.

May met the EU leaders at the margins of the Summit in Egypt in attempt to win support for the deal negotiated by her government, and subsequently rejected by the Westminster.  A number of bilateral meetings took place at Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh where Arab League-EU summit has taken place.

In spite of May‘s considerable efforts to re-shape the deal, making it acceptable for the British lawmakers, the EU executives insist they will not re-open the negotiations, however they are ready to supply with political declarations.

The position of the EU executives has not been changed since the deal has been endorsed by the EU Council in the end of the 2018. The political declarations only are not suffice for the UK lawmakers to accept the deal in its current state.


EU refuses to reopen Brexit deal

Following the demands of the British lawmakers Prime Minister Theresa May is attempting to renegotiate an Article 50 deal with the European Union, however Brussels is firm in its refusal of introduction of any change. The Irish border ‘backstop’ remains the apple of discord. (Image: illustration).

Within the current disposition the EU is preparing for ‘hard’ Brexit, meaning to leave the bloc under the WTO rules.

The EU top negotiator Michel Barnier said the position of Brussels institutions vis-à-vis the deal remains unchanged.

The EU rigid approach, and pressure applied to the UK, to opinion of experts is an attempt to direct Britons to cancellation of Brexit in one or the other form: for postponing it indefinitely, or demanding the second referendum.
Meanwhile the attempt of Labour MP Yvette Cooper to delay Brexit and stop a ‘No Deal’ has failed

BoE prepared to no-deal Brexit

While discussing the Brexit in Davos the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on that many British businesses still face problems that have yet to be solved if the UK leaves the European Union without an agreement to smooth its transition.

There are a series of logistical issues that need to be solved, and it’s quite transparent that in many cases they’re not,Carney said at a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Carney repeated that the Bank of England (BoE) had room to react to a hard Brexit, adding that policy could move in either direction in such a scenario.

Breixt identities polarized Britons

The UK is increasingly polarized by Brexit identities and they seem to have become stronger than party identities, a new academic report finds.

Only one in 16 (1-16) people did not have a Brexit identity, while more than one in five( 1-5) said they had no party identity.

This report highlights the fundamental divisions Brexit has created, and in some cases exacerbated, in British society. New Brexit identities have emerged, which seem to be stronger than party identities. Divisions are also clear on national lines, as well as between MPs and their respective party members,” professor Anand Menon, director of The UK in a Changing Europe, said.

 Sir John Curtice’s latest analysis of public opinion on a further referendum finds there has been no decisive shift in favour of another referendum.

 The report, Brexit and public opinion 2019, by The UK in a Changing Europe, provides an authoritative, comprehensive and up-to-date guide to public opinion on each of the key issues around Brexit.

 Brexit identities

  • The UK is increasingly polarized by Brexit identity: By mid-2018, only just over 6% of respondents to the British Election study did not identify with either Leave or Remain
  • New information about Brexit is interpreted in ways that reinforce pre-existing views.
  • Those seeing themselves predominately as Scottish or Irish are more inclined to support Remain while among those who describe themselves as English not British, there is strong support, not only, for Brexit but for a ‘hard’ Brexit.

 No deal

  • Polls show just 4% think that no deal means a reversion to the status quo ante.

Only 8% think that ‘nothing important would really change’ if the UK left the EU without a deal

  • MPs are even more divided than the public on the impact of no deal: Only 2% of Leave backing MPs expect medical supply shortages if there is no deal and 14% of Leave voters; 75% of Remain supporting MPs expect shortages and 55% of Remain voters.


  • The number of people who see immigration as one of the most important issues facing the country has more than halved from around 45% in the months leading up to the referendum to under 20% – the lowest level since 2001
  • Most people are ‘balancers’ when it comes to immigration – appreciating both its costs and benefits.

 Party politics

  • More voters than ever describe Labour’s position as ‘unclear’ and ‘confused’

Labour’s Brexit position is under increasing pressure from members and supporters

  • More Conservative voters (46%) than Conservative members (38%) support Theresa May’s draft Brexit deal and a survey of Conservative MPs show them more aligned than ever with their eurosceptic membership.

 Other findings

  • Analysis debunking the widespread assumption that Remain voters have higher levels of understanding of European Union issues than Leave voters
  • Polling showing the relative unity of voters in the EU27 on attitudes to the Brexit negotiations.

The 23 chapter, 58 page report is written by 34 academics and is the most comprehensive and authoritative analysis of Brexit and public opinion to date. It analyses emerging Brexit identities and what voters want from Brexit.

 Most of the academics who contributed to the report are part of The UK in a Changing Europe, including: John Curtice, Sara Hobolt, Rob Ford, Anand Menon and Alan Wager.

On the day the report is being released on 22 January. The UK in a Changing Europe is holding a major conference on Brexit and public opinion 2019 which includes keynote speeches from Sir John Curtice and journalist Adam Boulton.

Image: illustration.

France hopes for orderly Brexit

France is hoping that Westminster will approve Prime Minister Theresa May negociated Brexit deal, an unnamed official at President Macron’s Elysee administration said to Reuters news agency.

Asked whether France would support an extension to the official deadline to Article 50 – regarding little time left for Brexit – the official replied: “We would hope that the vote tomorrow is a favorable one.”

Afterwards, if that is not the case, it will be up to the United Kingdom to make a certain number of demands and proposals to the European Union,” added the official.

Spain warns no-deal “catastrophe”

Leaving the European Union without a deal, or so called ‘hard’ Brexit would be catastrophic, Spain Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said, while confirming that there were contingency plans in place.

Britain’s exit from the bloc on March 29 is uncertain as Westminster is highly likely to vote against a proposed by Theresa May cabinet deal, opening up a way to a disorderly retreat to.

A hard Brexit would be a catastrophe for everyone,”  Borrell, Socialist politician and former President of the European Parliament said during a conference in Madrid.

Tusk meets Barnier ahead of EU Summit

The EU27 leaders will meet in the framework of Summit on December 13 to discuss the situation around Brexit, and latest developments in the UK.
We will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop, but we are ready to discuss how to facilitate UK ratification. As time is running out, we will also discuss our preparedness for a no-deal scenario“,  informed Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council.

The EU leaders relentlessly repeat there will be no Article 50 deal re-negotiation, however they are willing  to “facilitate” the UK ratification of the Agreement.

May warned her downfall would obstruct Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May, confronted with a vote of no confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party, said any new leader would have to extend the March 29 deadline for Britain’s exit from the European Union.

A new leader wouldn’t be in place by January 21 legal deadline, so a leadership election risks handing control of the Brexit negotiations to opposition MPs in Parliament,” May said.

A new leader wouldn’t have time to re-negotiate a withdrawal agreement and get the legislation through Parliament by March 29, so one of their first acts would have to be extending or rescinding Article 50, delaying or even stopping Brexit when people want us to get on with it,” May announced.

May in dire need of EU concessions

A new report from academic think tank The UK in a Changing Europe explains what trading on WTO terms would really mean.

Parliament has begun perhaps its most important peace-time deliberation. A lot of MPs are claiming that trading with the EU on WTO terms would be an acceptable outcome. The report investigates this claim and underlines that trading on WTO terms would be highly damaging to UK trade with the EU and other countries” said professor Anand Menon, director of The UK in a Changing Europe.

The report shows: No WTO member trades on WTO terms only – they all have agreements with other countries, especially their nearest neighbours.

  • It’s often said we trade with the US on WTO terms. In reality, we have more than 100 separate bilateral agreements with them
  • WTO terms are relatively comprehensive on goods but far less so on services-( 45% of UK exports). Barriers to trade in services in particular will increase substantially under WTO terms
  • If we traded under WTO terms, barriers would be inevitable between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
  • The UK would also lose the free trade agreements the EU has signed with other countries
  • Gains from a zero-tariff policy would be nil or limited for more than half of the goods the UK imports
  • The UK is already a member of the WTO so would not have to apply, although it will have to re-negotiate its commitments

There is also a long version of the report, What would ‘trading on WTO terms’ mean for the UK?, which was written by Catherine Barnard, Katy Hayward, David Henig, Holger Hestermeyer, Emilija Leinarte, Sam Lowe, Steve Peers, and Peter Ungphakorn.


May visits Brussels in hope to save deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to pay visit  to European leaders, and European Commission, seeking flexibility to introduce changes to her Brexit deal in a crucial attempt to save it, after postponing a vote that she admitted would fail to approve the deal. (Image above: illustration).

There is a clear interest of the EU to support May in her attempt to save the deal, because ‘hard’ Brexit without agreement would equally hit both EU27 and the UK, furthermore it would significantly add to unpopularity of the bloc, blamed rigidity and incapacity to serve people’s interest, saving jobs, while prioritising ideological concept of Four freedoms over daily life of people.

AMENDED: At her arrival to Brussels EU Council building (around 5PM Brussels time), Prime minister May did not stop for a ‘doorstep’ comments for press, but swiftly passed to the meeting rooms.

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