Posts Tagged ‘Conservatives’

The New Jerusalem of Brexit is revealing itself to be a mirage | Matthew d’Ancona

Talks in Brussels are inching forward on ambiguities and vague promises. Those hoping that Theresa May is carving out real change may be sorely disappointed

So, here’s an idea: let’s abolish the wheel. Let’s escape the tyranny of the circular device, and spend the money saved on axles, spokes and hubs on – oh, I don’t know – the NHS. Let’s take back control of rotation! But wait a minute. This can’t be done overnight. We shall still need some means of transporting ourselves and our goods until we have formally renounced the wheel, but before we have agreed on a new device. There’ll probably need to be an “implementation period” in which we remain “aligned” with the existing circular format.

Related: Chances of no-deal Brexit have 'dropped dramatically' - David Davis

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‘Single market variant’ only way to avoid hard border in Northern Ireland, says Keir Starmer – video

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has said Labour is prepared to accept the ‘easy movement’ of workers between the EU and Britain in order to secure the benefits of both the single market and customs union after Brexit. Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Starmer added that Labour’s approach was ‘the only way to achieve no hard border in Northern Ireland’

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Theresa May secures Tory goodwill but preparations for next battle begin

Following breakthrough on Friday, cabinet is now facing a serious debate about Brexit ‘end-state’

Theresa May’s cabinet is gearing up for a serious debate about the Brexit “end-state”, sources said, as backbenchers on either side of the divide lined up to claim victory over the agreement hammered out on Friday.

Conservative figures who campaigned to remain during the EU referendum said the prime minister’s commitment to a soft Irish border was the “nail in the hard-Brexit coffin”.

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Tories welcome May’s Brexit deal but EU warns of trade talk delays

Cabinet splits mean that in-depth talks about a future trade relationship may not take place until deep into 2018

Theresa May’s “hard won” deal with Brussels to widen the Brexit negotiations was publicly praised by all sides of her divided party, but the EU warned that ongoing splits in the cabinet could still delay serious talks about trade until deep into 2018.

Related: Theresa May secures Tory goodwill but preparations for next battle begin

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The Guardian view on Brexit divorce: Tories divided | Editorial

The puzzle of Northern Ireland has seen Theresa May commit to a soft Brexit. But politically she advocates a hard Brexit, outside the single market and customs union. This tension cannot be sustained

Divorce is often a stressful, hostile process, riven by bad feeling on both sides. For Theresa May’s government, leaving a union with Europe is proving to be a humiliating experience. It has been embarrassing to witness ministers pursue a strategy of bluster, blunders and climbdowns to deliver the misguided exit from the European Union. On Friday morning the terms of the divorce settlement were reached, two months later than expected. In surrendering to reality, Britain could begin talking about how we could rub along once the divorce was finalised. It is instructive that Brexiters in the cabinet congratulated Mrs May for her capitulations, which only weeks ago they would have viewed as treason. The Tory leavers know that the ultimate prize – to depart the EU – is within their grasp. They are prepared to put aside their supposed principles to achieve it.

This is not the end of the marriage but it is the beginning of its end. The needed restoration of faith in the stability that a union of purpose provides will not come through recriminations. To inspire confidence one must demonstrate it in oneself. Yet the 15-page deal crystallises the divisions within the Conservative party. It is significant that the passage on Northern Ireland commits the UK to full regulatory alignment with the EU after Britain leaves the bloc “in the absence of other agreed solutions”. This goes beyond areas of cooperation under the Good Friday agreement and would tacitly commit Britain to many facets of EU membership as a default option post-Brexit. Such an outcome would be anathema to ardent Brexiters, who fantasise about being able to conduct free trade deals outside of the “protectionist” EU.

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Trade talks will not start until February at earliest, EU tells UK

Brussels officials say there can be no discussion on trade deal without ‘more clarity’ from May and her divided cabinet

The EU has told Theresa May it will not start discussing the terms of a trade relationship with the UK until February at the earliest, and only then if the British prime minister has taken a grip of her divided cabinet and come up with an agreed vision of the future.

While May was being lauded by her ministers in London on Friday, EU officials in Brussels said that when leaders did move the Brexit talks forward, the first negotiations would have to be limited to the terms of a time-limited transition period.

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Talks through the night, a pre-dawn flight, and finally the deal was done

PM grabbed two hours’ sleep after crunch talks with DUP leader before sealing deal in Brussels with Jean-Claude Juncker

Theresa May made crunch calls to Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, late into Thursday night to secure agreement to move on the Brexit talks, while the Christmas party at Downing Street played on around her.

Related: Brexit divorce bill estimated at between £35bn and £39bn – live updates

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