Bitesize Blighty: November 16, 2018
‘Am, I going to see this through? Yes' – Theresa May, Thursday
- Chaos was the theme of the day on Thursday as Westminster shook in the wake of the final unveiling of the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement
- A wave of resignations followed the Prime Minister’s announcement of the agreed terms of the U.K’s divorce from the EU. Over a period of 48 hours, Mrs May attempted to sell the deal to her cabinet, ministers and businesses, however, her initial success in gaining approval from the cabinet gave way to a wave of resignations by fours ministers; including the Brexit secretary, the Brexit minister and the Northern Ireland minister, along with two parliamentary secretaries
- Since assuming her role In July 2016, Theresa May has fought a sustained battle to both craft and negotiate a deal that fairly reflects the needs of all of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; relentlessly worked and compromised, within reasonable bounds, with the European Union; and struggled to keep her seat as Prime Minister, even as members of her own party grumble about a no-confidence vote
- She has done all this while standing up to foreign skepticism, staunch opposition from the media, opposition parties, leavers and remainers. In a press conference on Thursday evening, Mrs May said the choice left for the government to make was between her deal, no deal, or no Brexit, saying emphatically, “Am, I going to see this through? Yes”.
- In light of Thursday’s resignations and 21 letters of no confidence in the prime minister (48 are required to trigger a motion for a vote) Mrs May has a herculean task ahead in getting the deal through Parliament and holding on to the office of Prime Minister.
Devil in the Detail – The Nitty Gritty of Brexit
- With 585 pages of the draft Brexit Withdrawal deal to peruse, it is no wonder that many of us are still wondering what the fuss is all about. So it’s helpful to read some key highlights of the document that pertain to trade and movement:
- Travel: Neither UK nor EU Citizens will require visas to travel between either’s region, however, they’ll need a passport when they do travel - currently EU citizens are able to travel with only an ID card. not need visas to visit the UK.
- Residency: EU citizens who take up residence before the end of the transition period of December 2020 will be allowed to remain beyond the transition period, and if they stay for five years, they will be allowed to remain in the UK permanently. Following the transition period however, the agreement does get rid of free movement.
- The Single Market: For the foreseeable future, the UK will remain in a single customs union with the EU with no hard border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This is good news for investors and business owners that depend on imports and exports from the EU and have been concerned about what a hard or soft Brexit will mean for business and investment in the UK. However, a clause in the documents gives London’s financial centre only a basic level of access to EU’s market; an access similar to that of Japan and the U.S.
- A backstop: the backstop solution for Ireland and Northern Ireland consists of a “a single customs territory between the Union and the United Kingdom” which will apply from the end of the transition period “unless and until ... a subsequent agreement becomes applicable”
Groovy Seventies! – Royal Goss
- You’ve most likely seen the latest Royal Family’s photos by now. Prince Charles and Camila, his two sons, daughters-in-law and three adorable grandchildren posed for a series of photos in celebration of the Prince of Wales’ 70th birthday. As part of the series of celebrations marking the occasion, the Queen hosted a birthday banquet at Buckingham Palace which was attended by family, close friends and European royalty.
- Another celebration saw the 70 year old prince attend a tea party at St James’ Palace with 70 fellow septuagenarians. Oh to be 70 and a Prince/ss!