Newsletter to subscribers – July 15th 2018

Briefings For Brexit Podcast

It’s been a busy week for our editorial team and content writers at B4B again this week. In what may go down as one of the most defining weeks in the Brexit

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The Week’s unravelling events

It’s been a busy week for our editorial team and content writers at B4B again this week. In what may go down as one of the most defining weeks in the Brexit Deal or No Deal scenario we set out our own views on that Chequers Brexit Plan that saw Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary and David Davis the Brexit Secretary exit the Cabinet and three of their junior ministerial colleagues resign, and two vice-chairs of the Conservative Party step down too.

The Blog Robert and Graham wrote on: Snookered at Chequers? Gives the B4B blow by blow account of the weeks’ unravelling chaotic events in Westminster.

Although we wrote this before Donald Trump took over the Sun to explain why he thought Brexiteer Boris Johnson would make a good Prime Minister and why he rated Theresa May’s  Brexit negotiating skills as Zero, we do set out our stall on that now ill-fated Chequers Brexit Plan. Next week we will give our reaction to the newly published White Paper.

We firmly believe as we explained:

“The Chequers Deal is damaging for the UK. Far too many areas of UK policy will be determined or constrained by Brussels and the concessions are unnecessary. If further concessions are made, including on migration, Brexit will be a mockery and the legitimacy of our democracy would be undermined.

We should not have been surprised by the climb down at Chequers. Avoiding difficulties for the just-in-time manufacturers in the car, aircraft and other industries has driven the process since the start of Mrs May’s tenure as PM. Confidential undertakings were made to Nissan right at the beginning to keep up investment from Nissan and other car producers. The PM has now delivered. She is aiming to have no impediments to goods trade with the EU, no tariffs, no regulatory differences, and no border checks.

Unfortunately, this means there will probably be no trade agreements with non-EU countries either, including the USA. The USA, Australasia and South America will want to sell us hormone treated beef and GM maize, but our adherence to EU rules will prevent this.”

After explaining more about the complex situation the government now finds itself in we conclude that:

“The only serious suggestion must be a leadership contest. No 10 will have calculated that the Brexiteers do not have the numbers to win, but the reality of leadership contests is that they can spin out of control. Whatever path is taken, the Chequers proposals need to be overturned. If a further climb down takes place on migration, as some expect, Brexit will indeed be a mockery and would undermine the legitimacy of our democracy.

A new leader could return to the prosaic but sustainable details of Max Fac. This will be a hard slog against a Brussels with an extra sense of loss if the prize of a compliant UK slips out of their gasp, but we now know what we are up against in Brussels. Moreover, cracks are starting to appear in the EU wall. A complaint from the German Interior Minister about security, warnings from the Austrian President and squeaks from German car manufacturers all start to reveal the realities of a negotiation that has thus for appear much too one-sided.

If there is any logic and sense of reality in the government’s present position, it can only be to win time to prepare for the likelihood of ‘No Deal on trade’, which we have consistently argued, and in detail, is infinitely better than the Bad Deal that is now taking shape.”

More Blog content

Naysayers of the Brexit Apocalyse by Lee Rotherham:

In a new Blog Lee Rotherham asks what in detail would be required to avoid no deal on Brexit. According to his audit, about four fifths of the issues individually listed – whether IT, legal, administrative or systematic – are relatively straightforward to deliver, providing there is good will on both sides. His assessment is that in most cases is that, unless counterpart negotiators are hostile, identifying the issue already goes a large way towards solving it.

He argues: “The fundamental reality about prepping for a No Deal scenario is that the other side simply don’t believe you in negotiations if you are not seen as serious. Failure to prep, by emboldening the Commission and encouraging it to heighten its demands, in itself makes the No Deal scenario more likely to happen.”

Chequers. A Trap for the Left by Richard Tuck:

Richard Tuck argues that the key aspect of the Chequers deal is UK adherence to EU state aid rules and competition policy. It is not the Conservative Brexiteers who have been out-manoeuvred by this document: it is the Corbynite Left.

He concludes: “So it is not the Conservative Brexiteers who have been out-manoeuvred by this document: it is the Corbynite Left.  But they are hamstrung by the vaguely pro-EU sentiment in the rest of the Labour Party, and will not be in any position to oppose this aspect of some future deal with the EU.  The original promise of membership of the Common Market in the eyes of Conservatives – the reason why (among other people) Margaret Thatcher was initially such a keen supporter of it – will have been kept.  Indeed, if these proposals are accepted by the EU, including the end of free movement, Thatcher’s dream of an independent UK which would never again suffer from socialist measures will have triumphed.  Seen from this perspective, it is not at all surprising that a Cabinet consisting of her children should have agreed to this document.”

The EU’s Weak Base in Technology by A Former CEO of a Major: Company

A former major company CEO argues that the EU’s current status as a minnow in the Global Technology World should cause concern for its future growth prospects.

He writes: “Looking to the future of the EU’s economic growth prospects without Britain, more attention should be paid to the remarkable fact that EU technology companies account for just some 5% of the World Technology Index (IShares Global Tech ETF). Whilst the EU share of World GDPhas declined significantly since 1980 from some 30% to sub 20% ex UK, it is still the second largest economic entity in the World, albeit a supranational one.

This makes it even more extraordinary that the EU economic block is such a minor player in World Technology, the principle driver of growth in the world’s largest economies.”

Brexit: The Next Campaign By a Former Civil Servant:

They write: “By its weakness and lack of courage, the government is about to transform Brexit into a permanent feature of the British political landscape. Instead of forging a new relationship with Europe, we now face decades of rancorous dispute and souring relations.

Was it ever thus? Probably.”

As this article explains: “At any rate, we are now poised to give new life to the old adage that the British fight well and negotiate poorly.

If the decisions taken at Chequers last Friday are allowed to stand, immense damage will have been done to British democracy. The result of the referendum of June 2016 was a majority decision to leave the European Union. What we are now offered verges on Brexit-in-name-only (BINO?). We will take law from Europe on vast swathes of our commerce. Our ability to strike trade deals will be circumscribed. European courts will continue to subvert British law. In Whitehall, tongues are already wagging about a major climb-down on immigration come autumn. To say that we are about to make ourselves a vassal state is not mere rhetoric – it is a simple matter of definition.”

Why the People’s Vote is a Bad Idea by Bryn Harris:

Bryn Harris proposes five reasons why the People’s Vote is a bad idea. It is unfair; too late; inappropriate; undemocratic and self-defeating. The supporters of this proposal have fooled themselves that the term ‘People’s Vote’ is more than a pitifully transparent euphemism for ‘second referendum’.

Harris argues: “Last Saturday 100,000 people attended a march through Central London to demand a ‘People’s Vote’ – that is, a referendum to decide whether the UK accepts the withdrawal agreement between the EU and UK, and leaves, or rejects it, and remains.

Despite the large number of people in attendance – a tally which, as any fair-minded Brexiteer should accept, was not unimpressive – the proposal for a second referendum remains a fundamentally bad one. Bad enough, one suspects, that the millions of reasonable and fair-minded people in this country will reject the proposal outright.”


David Jones MP tells B4B why the Conservative Party will reject Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit Plan:

The Rt Hon David Jones the Conservative MP for Clwyd West, and a former government minister in the department for exiting the EU (DExEU), who also headed the Vote Leave Campaign in Wales in the 2016 Referendum tells B4B why he thinks Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit Plan is now dead in the water.

David Jones MP said he thought the balance of power on Brexit had now moved outside the Cabinet to the parliamentary and wider Conservative party. He also speculated that by the time Parliament came back from its summer break to reconvene in the Autumn it was entirely possible that the UK would be heading for a No Deal Brexit, and eventually one similar to a Canada-style Free Trade agreement.

Jones told us: “The government now has got to go back to the drawing board, it has got to reflect on what Brexit actually means. It has to reflect on the issues of the three red lines (leave SM; leave CU; leave ECJ), which I believe most Conservative MPs want to see reinstated and it has got to come up with a position which accommodates that. Until such time as it does that, any negotiations it has with Barnier are not likely to be approved here at Westminster. “

Richard Tuck talks us through his thought processes on why it is not the Conservative Brexiteers who have been out-manoeuvred by the Chequers Brexit Deal but the Corbynite Left.

He warns: “They are hamstrung by the vaguely pro-EU sentiment in the rest of the Labour Party, and will not be in any position to oppose this aspect of some future deal with the EU. “



We have enjoyed your engagement with us on Facebook. Here is a flavour of some comments:

One post commented on Trump v May: “Seems Trump understands what Brexit is about, more than Mrs May does.”

Another post said: “NO DEAL IS BETTER THAN A MAY DEAL #nodealbetterthanamaydeal time for May to resign before she lets UKIP in for a generation.”

While a third made this observation: “They won’t have to reject it. EU will do it as even though they’ve wanted UK to shift on its Red lines, they, will never shift on theirs 1 bit.”



We have also been busy on Twitter retweeting the daily events that bring Brexit to the fore in the National News.

Tom Newton Dunn’s scoop of the week with that Trump interview attracted nearly 400 Retweets.

@tnewtondunn The Trump Interview – @POTUS says May’s soft Brexit will “kill” a future US trade deal: “She didn’t listen to me”.

While Matt the cartoonist at the Telegraph @MattCartoonist clocked up 3.2k of RTs for his cartoon on July 11th  showing the England football defeat score 2: 1: “Mrs May said it was a good outcome and gave us most of what we wanted:”

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Briefings For Britain