Archive for the ‘UK news’ Category

The Guardian view on Brexit and the Irish border: alchemy fails again | Editorial

The prime minister has wasted precious time backing fanciful plans that looked unworkable from the start. A change of direction is long overdue

Theresa May’s desire to combine exit from the EU’s customs union with an invisible border in Northern Ireland is not in doubt. The issue is not how much the prime minister wants a solution but whether a solution exists. Without one, Mrs May’s entire Brexit strategy unravels.

Downing Street has been working on technical solutions to this problem, fleshing out formulas described by the prime minister in a speech last month as “a highly streamlined customs arrangement” or “customs partnership”. On Friday, it emerged that those proposals have been flatly rejected by the European commission as unworkable, both from a legal and a practical perspective.

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Hammond: Brexit transition deal has averted City job losses

Chancellor gives upbeat assessment of state of UK economy at IMF meeting

A damaging haemorrhage of jobs from the City has been averted by the signing of a Brexit transition agreement between the UK and the EU, according to an upbeat assessment of the economy’s prospects from Philip Hammond.

Speaking in Washington, the chancellor said the mood among big American-owned financial institutions was much more positive than it had been before London and Brussels agreed to a 21-month implementation period after the UK officially leaves the EU next March.

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It’s time to stop believing in these ‘magic’ Brexit solutions

UK’s unlikely proposals to solve Irish border question leaves Brussels wondering if customs union may be most realistic option

From the minute the UK government first proposed its idea last August of maintaining “invisible borders” after Brexit, the convoluted plan was dismissed as “magical thinking” by EU officials. What has changed this week is that the time for pretending otherwise has run out.

First, Downing Street reassurances were rejected on Wednesday by the House of Lords, where peers voted by a majority of 123 to push Britain toward a customs union – arguing it was the only practical alternative to wrecking the Irish peace process with a hard border.

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EU rejects Irish border proposals and says Brexit talks could still fail

Michel Barnier says the UK wants to cherry-pick its terms, and that the EU response is: ‘No way’

The EU’s chief negotiator has said there is still a “risk of failure” in the Brexit negotiations as Brussels again rejected the UK’s proposals to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

Michel Barnier said on Friday that a quarter of the work needed to complete preparations for the UK to leave the the EU next March remains to be done, as sources say little progress was made in three weeks of talks to break the deadlock on the vexed Irish question.

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On Brexit, the views of the 48% must be respected too. That’s democracy | David Shariatmadari

Given that the UK is split, it’s only fair if the government delivers ‘Brexit in name only’, as is looking increasingly likely

“We’re heading for Brexit in name only, so I’m pretty frustrated.”

Join the club, Nigel Farage. The tortured process of leaving the EU has been pretty frustrating for everyone, not least the remainers, who see their conviction that Brexit will leave Britons worse off corroborated by every new report about the country’s future.

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Brexit divorce bill will surpass £39bn, warns Whitehall watchdog

Extra £3bn budget payout and $2.9bn overseas aid fund will raise May’s estimate says NAO

The cost of the Brexit divorce bill for the UK could be billions higher than the £35bn-£39bn figure put forward by Theresa May, a report by Whitehall’s spending watchdog suggested.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has warned that the UK could pay an extra £3bn more in budget contributions as well as an additional £2.9bn to the European Development Fund.

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UK interest rates rise not a foregone conclusion, says Bank

Biggest decisions in next few years will be in response to Brexit negotiations, says Carney

Expectations that UK interest rates will rise in May could be overblown, the governor of the Bank of England has indicated.

Mark Carney said that while more rate increases would be coming over the next few years, some of the recent economic data had been softer and inflation had fallen faster than the Bank’s policymakers were predicting in February.

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