Archive for the ‘Trade policy’ Category

The ‘Irish Sea border’: what does it mean for GB business?

We examine the impact of the Brexit plans under discussion between the EU and UK

In agreeing a deal to guarantee the Irish border remains invisible, with no checks fuelling inter-community tensions, the UK is moving the border to the Irish Sea.

But the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) fears it will create an unwelcome new Brexit burden in Great Britain, forcing manufacturers to take on a mountain of paperwork and breaching Theresa May’s promise that east-west trade would remain unfettered.

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Labour MPs who vote for a Johnson Brexit deal should lose the whip | Owen Jones

Supporting an agreement to rip up our rights and protections would mean they could no longer represent the party

Even a broad church must be bound by a common faith. Labour’s founding purpose was to secure parliamentary representation for organised labour, and to use that power to advance the collective conditions of working people. Sure, there were some interpretations of that historic mission that were more radical than others. Some believed it meant humanising the existing system, others replacing it altogether. (Even New Labour, which struck an accommodation with Thatcherism, invested in public services, the minimum wage and tax credits to improve the lot of millions of working-class people.)

A striking exception in Labour history was the premiership of Ramsay MacDonald who, in 1931, attempted to slash public spending and unemployment benefits. When his own party refused to sanction such a remorseless assault on the British working class, MacDonald formed a coalition with the Conservatives, provoking swift expulsion from Labour and leaving his legacy in the history books a byword for betrayal.

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Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal would make people worse off than Theresa May’s | Anand Menon and Jonathan Portes

According to our study, the deal now being discussed would reduce per capita GDP by 6.4%, as opposed to 4.9%

Back to the (original) backstop? By conceding that any customs border will have to be in the Irish Sea, Boris Johnson appears to have revived the possibility of a Brexit deal. But the focus on the politics of the Irish border risks missing the implications of his proposals for the economy of the UK as a whole. And, as we reveal in our report for The UK in a Changing Europe, these are significantly worse than was the case for Theresa May’s Brexit plan.

Indeed, Johnson’s motivations for ditching May’s withdrawal agreement have little if anything to do with Northern Ireland. Rather, it is because the new prime minister sees the ultimate relationship the UK should have with the EU very differently to his predecessor. Gone is the notion that a shared customs territory and close regulatory alignment on goods should form a “bridge” to the long-term relationship. As Johnson put it himself in his letter to Jean-Claude Juncker: “The backstop acted as a bridge to a proposed future relationship with the EU in which the UK could be closely integrated with the EU customs arrangements and would align with EU law in many areas. That proposed future relationship is not the goal of the current UK government. The government intends that the future relationship should be based on a free trade agreement in which the UK takes control of its own regulatory affairs and trade policy.”

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Government signs up ferry firms for £87m in case of no-deal Brexit

Four companies agree contracts that will help ensure supply of vital medicines

The government has signed contracts worth almost £87m with four ferry companies to help ensure the supply of vital medicines in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O and Stena Line would be ready to deliver capacity equivalent to thousands of heavy goods vehicles a week from the 31 October Brexit deadline. The four firms will operate on 13 routes from eight UK ports that are less likely to face disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit: Teesport, Hull, Killingholme, Felixstowe, Harwich, Tilbury, Portsmouth and Poole.

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UK prepared for no-deal Brexit but some risks remain, says Gove

Minister admits challenges for some businesses ‘cannot be entirely mitigated’

Michael Gove, the minister tasked with no-deal Brexit planning, has said the government is ready to take the UK out of the EU without an agreement, hours after a bitter war of words broke out over the state of Brexit talks.

Gove said in a statement to the Commons that he was impressed by the steps manufacturers and supermarkets had taken to prepare for no deal, and by measures put in place by the ports of Dover and Calais and the automotive sector.

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UK tweaks tariffs amid no-deal Brexit countdown

Adjustments made for duties on trucks, bioethanol and clothing in effort to keep prices down

The government has announced changes to British tariffs on lorries, bioethanol and clothing in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Revisions to the temporary tariff schedule are an attempt to keep down prices for people in the UK after Britain leaves the EU, according to the Department for International Trade.

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