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Newsletter 18/12/23

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Airbus and Rolls Royce announced that they had been commissioned to build 220 new aircraft for Turkish Airlines, in a deal worth billions for UK manufacturing.

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Dear Subscribers,

Airbus and Rolls Royce announced that they had been commissioned to build 220 new aircraft for Turkish Airlines, in a deal worth billions for UK manufacturing. The planes will be built for the most part in the UK, with Rolls Royce supplying 70 engines to be assembled and tested in Derby.

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Made in Britain

The UK has signed an international treaty with Italy and Japan to develop new supersonic stealth fighter jets. The multinational initiative will have its headquarters in the UK and is due to deliver a new generation of fighter jets by 2034.

The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, vetoed a package of EU funding for Ukraine worth €50 billion. In response, EU leaders pledged to find a way to deliver the aid regardless. The pledge makes a mockery of the EU’s own constitution: if member states have a veto, then the veto should be respected, if they don’t, then

The European Commission has announced that it will drop conditions it had set the previous Polish government in order to unblock €110 million worth of funding for the incoming pro-Brussels government led by Donald Tusk.

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Polish voters rewarded for voting ‘correctly’

A third round of bilateral negotiations for an enhanced free trade agreement between the UK and Switzerland concluded this week. The government reports that good progress has been made and draft texts agreed for several areas.

The government announced £2 billion worth of subsidies for 11 ‘green hydrogen’ projects based in the UK. The projects are expected to invest £400 million in UK production of hydrogen over the next 3 years.

Media

Dean Godson on Ireland’s security freeloading

Lord Frost on the Windsor Framework

Blog

A Lexiteer manifesto: building a British Social Model by the Democratic Left Network

The Democratic Left Network, which was set up to advance a left case for Brexit, argues that an in-coming Labour Government should make full use of the UK’s newly independent powers to revitalise the UK economy.

Despite the unlikelihood of the next Labour government creating a new social model of political economy for the UK, it would be instructive for those on the left who still think Brexit was a mistake for economic reasons and for those of other political persuasions who believe leaving the EU was some sort of conservative or classical liberal cause, to see why Brexit is an essential prerequisite for transforming British capitalism. To that end, the remainder of this piece outlines the broad contours of what might be deemed a Lexiteer’s manifesto for replacing the UK’s current (and failed) model of political economy that was shaped by four and a half decades of EU membership.

Books on Brexit: UK in a Changing Europe Podcast by Briefings co-editor Robert Tombs for UK in a Changing Europe

We thought that BfB readers might like to hear this interesting and thoughtful interview with our co-editor Robert Tombs, Emeritus Professor of French History and Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge and Hussein Kassim of UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE).  In this succinct book, Robert Tombs debates the notion that the decision to leave the EU is historically explicable by Britain’s very different historical experience, especially in the twentieth century, and because of our more extensive and deeper ties outside Europe. He challenges the orthodox view that Brexit was due solely to British or English exceptionalism: in choosing to leave the EU, the British, he argues, were in many ways voting as typical Europeans. The discussion ranges over a the referendum, the divisive nature of Brexit and Britain in the post-Brexit world.  Enjoy.

Key Points

Debates about Brexit are asymmetric. Critics can point at once to all the things which Britain lost as a result of leaving the EU, because they were lost all at once when we left the EU. Supporters cannot point at once to all the things which Britain has gained and will gain from Brexit, because these trickle in one by one as the government signs new trade deals or chooses to take advantage of an opportunity. One way of overcoming the asymmetry is to keep track of all the changes made since 2020 and fit them together into a coherent overall picture. To that end, and as 2023 draws to a close, here is a summary of the progress made on post-Brexit trade agreements over the past year:

In March, the UK signed a digital trade deal with Ukraine.

In April, the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Oklahoma.

In May, free trade agreements with New Zealand and Australia negotiated in 2021 and 2022 came into force.

Also in May, negotiations for an updated free trade agreement with Switzerland were launched. The existing agreement replicated previous arrangements when the UK was a member of the EU.

In June, the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Utah.

In July, the UK signed an agreement to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – an Asia-Pacific trade bloc of 11 countries.

Also in July, the government announced plans for an updated trade deal with Turkey, for which negotiations will begin in 2024.

Also in July, the UK finished the fourth round of negotiations for a trade deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council.

In September, the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Washington State.

In November, negotiations for an updated trade agreement with South Korea were launched.

Also in November, a call-for-input on a trade deal with the Maldives closed.

Also in November, the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Florida.

In December, the UK finished the 13th round of negotiations for a trade deal with India. Negotiations will continue in 2024.

Twitter

(@Briefings­_Brit)

We are also on Twitter, posting articles and retweeting the daily events that bring

Brexit to the fore in the national news.

Facebook

Discussion also continues over on Facebook.

How you can help

There is much about Britain’s relationship with Europe that remains to be decided. Our MPs listen to their constituents. Do continue to send them links to our articles, especially on matters relevant to your constituency. Alternatively, make an appointment to speak to them at their next surgery. Let them know what you want post-Brexit Britain to look like..

Yet it is also time for unity and reconciliation. Keep reading our posts and share links to our quality content to help others understand how leaving the EU has benefited the UK economy and democratic governance. We aim to educate our critics to think differently and more positively about the long-term impact of Brexit.

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Yours sincerely,

Newsletter Editor

A Cambridge Philosophy Graduate

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Briefings For Britain