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Sunday, 22 July 2018

No trade deal, no money: Dominic Raab vows UK will NOT pay £39bn 'divorce' package if EU refuses to compromise as he slams Brussels for 'irresponsible' scaremongering

Britain will refuse to pay the £39billion divorce package to the EU if it does not compromise on a trade deal, the new Brexit Secretary vowed today.
Dominic Raab upped the ante in negotiations by warning that there will be 'conditions' built into the cash settlement in the UK's Withdrawal Agreement with the bloc.
He also slammed 'irresponsible' scaremongering from Brussels over the consequences of no deal Brexit - and made clear that the government is ramping up preparations in case the EU does not display 'goodwill'.
The threat came after the EU's Michel Barnier delivered a withering rebuttal of Theresa May's Brexit plans, suggesting they will be unacceptable.
But Mr Raab - who met Mr Barnier last week for the first time since being appointed to the key job - made clear that failure to strike a trade deal will result in Britain refusing to pay up. 
Dominic Raab - pictured left meeting Michel Barnier last week for the first time since being appointed to the key job - made clear that failure to strike a trade deal will result in Britain refusing to pay up
Dominic Raab - pictured left meeting Michel Barnier last week for the first time since being appointed to the key job - made clear that failure to strike a trade deal will result in Britain refusing to pay up
Article 50 requires, as we negotiate the withdrawal agreement, that there's a future framework for our new relationship going forward, so the two are linked,' Mr Raab said in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph.
'You can't have one side fulfilling its side of the bargain and the other side not, or going slow, or failing to commit on its side.
'So, I think we do need to make sure that there's some conditionality between the two.'
Pressed on whether he would put such a provision into legislation, Mr Raab said: 'Certainly it needs to go into the arrangements we have at international level with our EU partners. We need to make it clear that the two are linked.' 

John Major says fresh Brexit referendum is 'morally justified' 

Remainers have stepped up calls for a second referendum on Brexit today. 
Tory ex-PM Sir John Major repeated his view that another national ballot would be 'morally justified'.
'It has downsides. I mean, frankly, a second vote has democratic downsides. It has difficulties,' he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show .
'But is it morally justified? I think it is. 
'If you look back at the Leave campaign a great many of the promises they made were fantasy promises. 
'We now know they are not going to be met.'  
Referring to the 'irreconcilable' stance taken by hardline Tory Brexiteers, Sir John said: 'That has boxed the Government and particularly the Prime Minister into a corner. 
'They are a minority of the House of Commons, a substantial minority of the House of Commons, but they are larger than the Government's majority. 
'The danger at the moment is that they will frustrate every move the Government seek to make and by accident, because nothing can be agreed, we will crash out without a deal.'Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr show this morning, Mr Raab accused the EU of 'irresponsibly' ramping-up pressure in withdrawal negotiations.
Asked about comments from Brussels that a no deal scenario would mean there would be no specific arrangements in place for UK citizens living on the continent, or for EU migrants in Britain, he said: 'Well, I think that's a rather irresponsible thing to be coming from the other side. 
'We ought to be trying to reassure citizens on the Continent and also here. 
'There is obviously an attempt to try and ramp-up the pressure.' 
Mr Raab said he would be returning to Brussels on Thursday for more Brexit talks. 
He said: 'If it's reciprocated, the energy that we are going to bring to these negotiations, the ambition, and the pragmatism, we (will) get a deal done in October.'
Mr Raab refused to be drawn on claims that the government has been stockpiling food and medicines.
However, he insisted 'any responsible government' would be planning for all possible outcomes. 
As Tory tensions flared again today, Mr Raab's predecessor as Brexit Secretary, David Davis, urged MrsMay to tear up her Brexit plan and start again.
Mr Davis unleashed another salvo at the PM's Chequers blueprint - which would see the UK obey a 'common rule book' with Brussels and collect some taxes on behalf of the bloc.
In an interview with the Sunday Express, Mr Davis - who quit a fortnight ago in protest at Mrs May's approach - predicted negotiations with the EU would remain deadlocked.
'We're going to have to do a reset and come back and look at it all again,' he said.
'I think when we get to the autumn, if we are in the situation where we don't have any degree of agreement, we're going to have to start again.'
Mr Davis urged ministers to draw up fresh proposals based on an amalgamation of the 'best bits' of deals the EU has already struck with other countries, such as Canada, South Korea, Switzerland and New Zealand.
Mr Barnier met with EU ministers in Brussels today before emerging to deal a series of hammer blows to Mrs May's planMr Barnier consulted other ministers before his critique

Mr Barnier met with EU ministers in Brussels on Friday before emerging to deal a series of hammer blows to Mrs May's plan
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis has unleashed another salvo at the PM's compromise blueprint for future trade
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis has unleashed another salvo at the PM's compromise blueprint for future trade
But he said preparations for no deal need to accelerate from the current position of 'consult and cajole' to 'command and control'.
'By the end of the summer it should be plain we are making proper preparations for this,' he said.  

What is in Theresa May's Brexit blueprint?

These are some of the key features of the Chequers plan being pushed by the UK government:
  • A new free trade area in goods, based on a 'common rulebook' of EU regulations necessary. This will require the UK to commit by treaty to match EU rules
  • 'Mobility' rules which will end automatic freedom of movement, but still allow UK and EU citizens to travel without visas for tourism and temporary work. It will also enable businesses to move staff between countries. 
  • Continued UK participation in and funding of European agencies covering areas like chemicals, aviation safety and medicines
  • A 'facilitated customs arrangement', removing the need for customs checks at UK-EU ports. It would allow differing UK and EU tariffs on goods from elsewhere in the world to be paid at the border, removing the need for rebates in the vast majority of cases. In theory this allows Britain to sign trade deals.
  • Keeping services - such as banking or legal support - outside of the common rule book, meaning the UK is completely free to set its own regulations. It accepts it will mean less trade in services between the UK and EU. 
  • Continued co-operation on energy and transport, a 'common rulebook' on state aid and commitments to maintain high standards of environmental and workplace protections. 
  • A security deal allowing continued UK participation in Europol and Eurojust, 'co-ordination' of UK and EU policies on foreign affairs, defence and development.
  • Continued use of the EHIC health insurance card. 
In his interview, Mr Raab admitted he was still trying to persuade all members of the Cabinet that Theresa May's Chequers agreement was 'the best plan to get the best deal'.  
He said: 'I want to make sure we can persuade everyone - grassroots, voters, parliamentary party and ministers, including in the Cabinet - that we've got the best deal and the best plan to get the best deal.'
The Brexit Secretary said critics were mistaken to think Mrs May would not walk away without a deal if she had to.
'They're wrong. No bluffing.
'The ball is now in the EU's court, and don't get me wrong, there will be plenty more negotiations, I've made that clear, but if they show us the same level of ambition, energy, pragmatism, this deal gets done in 12 weeks.'
The comments by Mr Raab on the divorce payment appear at odds with the views of Chancellor Philip Hammond, who said last December: 'I find it inconceivable that we as a nation would be walking away from an obligation that we recognised as an obligation.
'That is not a credible scenario. That is not the kind of country we are. Frankly, it would not make us a credible partner for future international agreements.' 
A You Gov survey for The Sunday Times suggested only 16 per cent of voters think Mrs May is handling negotiations well, while 34 per cent believe former foreign secretary Boris Johnson would do a better job.
Just 11 per cent thought Mrs May's plans would be good for Britain, according to the research. 
Some 38 per cent of people would vote for a new party on the right that was committed to Brexit, while 24 per cent are ready to support an explicitly far right anti-immigrant, anti-Islam party.
The poll found that one in three voters are prepared to back a new anti-Brexit centrist party.
Tory former PM Sir John Major insisted on the BBC's Andrew Marr show today (pictured) that another national ballot would 'morally justified' because pledges from Eurosceptics during the 2016 had turned out to be false
Tory former PM Sir John Major insisted on the BBC's Andrew Marr show today (pictured) that another national ballot would 'morally justified' because pledges from Eurosceptics during the 2016 had turned out to be false

So what would happen if we just walked away? 

MONEY
Leaving without a deal would mean an immediate Brexit on March 29 after tearing up a 21-month transition agreement. This included giving £39billion to the EU, which ministers would no longer have to pay, a House of Lords report claims.
GOODS TRADE
The Chequers agreement effectively proposed keeping Britain in the single market for goods and agriculture to preserve 'frictionless' trade and protect the economy.
Customs checks on cross-Channel freight would cause havoc at ports, hitting food supplies and other goods.
Even Brexiteers admit to a big economic impact in the short term. Britain could waive customs checks on EU produce to free up backlogs, but would Brussels do the same?
TARIFFS
All EU-UK trade in goods is free of tariffs in the single market.
Trade would revert to World Trade Organisation rules. The EU would charge import tariffs averaging 2-3 per cent on goods, but up to 60 per cent for some agricultural produce, damaging UK exporters.
We have a trade deficit with the EU of £71billion – they sell us more than we sell them – so the EU overall would lose out.
German cars and French agriculture would be worst hit, as would UK regions with large export industries. Tariffs could also mean price inflation. But UK trade with the EU is 13 per cent of GDP and falling compared to non-EU trade, which generates a surplus and is likely to grow. The outlook would be boosted by Britain's ability to strike trade deals.
IMMIGRATION
The UK would immediately have control over its borders and freedom to set migration policy on all EU migrants.
UK nationals would likely lose their right to live and work in the EU. There would be legal uncertainty for the 1.3million Britons living in the EU and the 3.7million EU nationals here.
CITY OF LONDON
Many firms have already made contingency plans for no deal, but there would probably be a significant degree of disruption and an economic hit.
Ministers would be likely to take an axe to tax and regulations to preserve the UK's economic advantage.
AEROPLANES
Fears of planes not being able to fly appear far-fetched – unless the EU is determined to destroy both business and tourism. Rules to keep planes in the air are likely to be agreed. The EU has many deals with non-EU countries as part of its Open Skies regime.
EUROPEAN COURTS
Britain would be free from the edicts of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and all EU laws. Parliament would be sovereign.
FARMING & FISHING
THE UK would quit the Common Agricultural Policy, which gives farmers and landowners £3billion in subsidies. Ministers would come under pressure to continue a form of subsidy.
NORTHERN IRELAND
Northern Ireland would be outside the EU, with no arrangements on how to manage 300 crossing points on the 310-mile border.
The EU would want Ireland to impose customs and other checks to protect the bloc's border – something it has said it will not do. No deal could blow a hole in the Good Friday Agreement, with pressure on all sides to find a compromise.

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