Brexit – News and Updates
Brexit – News and Updates
Brexit will affect every single one of us. News stories and updates will be posted here.
Britains time in the EU is running out
10th December – Anger as Theresa May refuses to set new date for Commons vote on her Brexit deal, ahead of fresh EU talks
Source – www.independent.co.uk
Theresa May sparked anger across the Commons by refusing to say when MPs will vote on her Brexit deal, as she prepared to head to Brussels to beg EU leaders for further concessions.
The showdown was dramatically delayed almost certainly until the New Year after the prime minister admitted a Tory revolt meant she was heading for a crushing defeat “by a significant margin”.
But condemnation of Ms May for pulling back rose when Downing Street failed to set a new timetable for the vote – arguing it depended on when Ms May could “get the assurances” from the EU to pass the deal.
Government sources admitted a quick breakthrough was unlikely, suggesting the vote would be shelved until the New Year and refusing to say it would even be held in January.
The impasse remains the Irish border, where a gulf remains between MPs’ demands for the UK to be able to escape the backstop and the EU’s refusal to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement.
The pound plunged to a 20-month low within minutes of the announcement of the delay, as the markets digested the deepening Brexit chaos.
It came just hours after the European Court of Justice confirmed the UK has the right to cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50 unilaterally, remaining in the EU on its current membership terms.
Unless a “meaningful vote” is staged, MPs have no formal mechanism to stop the UK crashing out of the EU with no agreement next March – something the prime minister admitted, for the first time, would cause “significant economic damage”.
The extraordinary uncertainty was condemned by MPs on all sides, Jeremy Corbyn saying: “If the prime minister cannot be clear that she can and will re-negotiate a deal then she must make way.
Justine Greening, the former Conservative cabinet minister, said: “Parliament has gone round in circles on Brexit. Now today, even that’s stopped. Britain must find a direction. Kicking the can down the road again solves nothing.”
And Sammy Wilson, Brexit spokesman for the Democratic Unionist Party – the Tories’ partners in power – turned on Ms May, saying: “Doesn’t she believe that, every time she returns to the House with her tail between her legs, she humiliates the British people?”
A furious Mark Francois, deputy chairman of the hard Brexit-supporting European Research Group of Tory MPs, said the government had “run away and hidden in the toilets”, adding: “What the government have done today is shameful.”
No 10 also sparked fury by refusing to let MPs decide whether the vote, scheduled for Tuesday evening, should be pulled – despite being all-but ordered to do so by the Commons Speaker
5th December – World news story – An open letter from HMA Simon Manley to British nationals living in Spain. Source www.gov.uk
HMA to Spain Simon Manley offers an update on the recent developments on the UK exit from the EU after the special European Council on Brexit.
Citizens’ rights is a key part of the agreement, so this represents a big step forward in providing certainty for UK nationals living in Spain. As the PM said following the European Council “If you are one of the over 3 million EU citizens who has come and built your life in the UK – come to be our colleagues, our neighbours and our friends – you need a deal that guarantees your rights. If you are one of the almost 1 million UK nationals living elsewhere in the EU, you need the same. This deal delivers for you all.”
The next stage is for the UK Parliament to vote on the deal the Government has negotiated, which is expected on the 11th of December. The European Parliament will also vote on the agreement.
If approved, the Withdrawal Agreement will secure the rights of 1 million UK nationals living in the EU. It means that the 300,000 British people who have chosen to make Spain their home have a legal guarantee that they will be allowed to stay here after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.
You can read the whole address from Simon Manley HERE
4th December – BREAKING NEWS – UK can cancel Brexit by unilaterally revoking Article 50, European Court advocate general says., Consent of other member states ‘not needed’ Source the Independant.co.uk
Britain can still cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50 without the consent of other EU member states, the European Court of Justice’s advocate general has said.
The EU’s top court has been considering the question of whether the UK can decide not to go ahead with Brexit at this late stage after a legal challenge by campaigners.
The formal legal recommendation cites Britain’s “sovereignty” in treaty-making matters and says withdrawal “may be revoked at any time” during the negotiating period, as long as it is done in good faith.
The statement is significant because it would mean Britain would have the power to stop a no-deal Brexit from happening, even if Theresa May’s deal is voted down next week.
UK government lawyers also have already conceded that parliament has the power to instruct the Government to revoke Article 50, meaning MPs worried about a no-deal would have powers to stop one from happening.
EU lawyers had argued that the UK needed a vote of other member states if it wanted to back out, while the British government had said the Court should not rule on the question because it was hypothetical.
Though the advocate general’s opinion is not a final legal ruling, it is very unusual for the full court to overturn its recommendation. A final ruling by a panel of judges is due in the next few weeks.
The Government has been trying to convince MPs to vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal by warning that voting it down could trigger a no-deal.
The EU has repeatedly said the options available to Britain are the deal on the table, no-deal, or no Brexit. However it was legally disputed whether all EU member states would have to unanimously agree to let Britain stay….. CONTINUE READING HERE IN THE INDEPENDENT ONLINE
25th November – EU leaders agree UK’s Brexit deal at Brussels summit
EU leaders have approved an agreement on the UK’s withdrawal and future relations – insisting it is the “best and only deal possible”.
After 20 months of negotiations, the 27 leaders gave the deal their blessing after less than an hour’s discussion.
They said the deal – which needs to be approved by the UK Parliament – paved the way for an “orderly withdrawal”.
Theresa May said the deal “delivered for the British people” and set the UK “on course for a prosperous future”.
Speaking in Brussels, she urged both Leave and Remain voters to unite behind the agreement, insisting the British public “do not want to spend any more time arguing about Brexit”.
The UK Parliament is expected to vote on the deal in early December, but its approval is far from guaranteed.
Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, the DUP and many Conservatives MPs are set to vote against.
Mrs May has appealed to the public to get behind the agreement, saying that although it involved compromises it was a “good deal that unlocks a bright future for the UK”.
The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. continue reading here on BBC.com
17th November – British rights in Spain ’to be DEFENDED in no-deal Brexit’ – BREXPAT BOOST
Article by Joe Duggan – Express.co.uk
British tourists currently also gain access to the Spanish health care system and elsewhere in the EU through a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Health care in the event of a no-deal Brexit is the main concern among Brexpats in Spain’s members, with more than 100,000 British residents in Spain pensioners.
Ms Hernandez said: “Some are desperately worried, people here who need medical help, will all types of illnesses, some who have cancer. If Theresa May pulls the plug, what the hell is going to happen to them?
“I can’t believe anybody would be that heartless.
“We have to remain optimistic. We have had the support of the Spanish from the start.”
According to Spanish financial and business newspaper Expansion, Mr Sanchez’s Socialist government wants to ensure British residents can continue to use Spanish hospitals, with the UK government paying around £223 million (€300 million) to fund the care.
Read the full story HERE
13th November some good news at last – EU says British citizens will not need visas to visit member states in event of no-deal
UK to be placed on visa-exempt list
British travellers will not need visas to visit the European Union for short stays even if there is a no-deal Brexit, the European Commission has said.
Commissioners made the recommendation to put the UK on the visa-exempt list at a meeting in Strasbourg on Tuesday. The offer is dependent on the UK offering reciprocal arrangements for EU citizens.
Travel advice issued by the Commission says: “The European Commission has proposed to the EU legislator to exempt UK nationals from visa requirements for short-term stays”.
The EU puts all countries on either a visa exempt list or a visa required list. Visa policy is coordinated for the whole Schengen passportless area.
British travellers could still be inconvenienced by Brexit because the EU is planning to bring in a system where countries outside the bloc will need to apply for an electronic travel authorisation in advance, even if they are visa-exempt.
Continue reading this story in the INDEPENDENT
10th November – Jo Johnson: ‘Democratic travesty’ not to have another Brexit vote
Article written by the BBC News
The UK needs to “pause and reflect” before doing something “irrevocably stupid” over Brexit, Jo Johnson said a day after quitting as a minister.
On BBC Radio 4’s Today he called again for another referendum, saying what was being offered fell “spectacularly short” of what had been promised.
The ex-transport minister said it would be a “democratic travesty” to not have another vote.
He denied his actions amounted to a coup against the prime minister.
Mr Johnson, who voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum, stood down as Theresa May’s prospective deal with Brussels was being presented to Cabinet ministers.
Mr Johnson warned the UK faced a choice between “vassalage” under her proposals and “chaos” if it left the EU without a deal.
The MP for Orpington in Kent said he had “happily taken the decision” to end his own ministerial career and, when asked if he thought other ministers would resign, he said if they thought it was right thing for them to take a stand then “good on them”.
Cabinet ministers have been invited this week to read the UK’s draft withdrawal deal with the EU. Theresa May has said the withdrawal deal is 95% done – but there is no agreement yet on how to guarantee no hard border in Northern Ireland. Continue reading HERE
Press Coverage – 09/11/2018
9th November – Two legal rights that will disappear after Brexit
David Greene, Edwin Coe’s Senior Partner was interviewed on the Sky News programme, Ian King Live, on Wednesday evening (7th November), discussing the impact of Brexit on the legal sector and on people’s lives.
David suggested that a ‘No Deal’ Brexit could have a substantial impact on the legal sector as well as the wider British economy.
He highlighted two day-to-day areas that would be affected by this – the right to access compensation if a package holiday goes wrong and how insurance disputes would be handled after a car accident while in the European Union.
Part of his interview is available on the Sky News website.
7th November – Spain seeks contingency plans with UK tour operators over fears of no-deal Brexit
‘We want to be optimistic, but we are at a point at which we all have to keep up the pressure on the negotiators’
Article written by Chris Baynes of the Independent
Spain’s tourism minister has met with UK tour operators to discuss contingency plans to ensure millions of British tourists can still visit her country in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Reyes Maroto is holding talks this week with the heads of some of Britain’s biggest travel companies, including Thomas Cook, to draw up proposals in case the UK crashes out of the EU with no withdrawal agreement in place.
About 18 million British tourists travel to Spain each year, accounting for nearly one-quarter of all visitors.
“British tourists need to know that Spain next year will still be an attractive destination,” said Ms Maroto, minister for trade, industry and tourism.
“We are outlining a list of measures, the most important of which are to have laws and regulations in place that will allow us to respond quickly to any problems that can come up with the movement of goods and people at the border.”
International tourism accounts for about 11 per cent of Spain’s €1 trillion (£870bn) economy and the sector is the country’s biggest employer. More people travel to Spain from the UK than from any other nation. Continue reading here in the INDEPENDENT.
1st November – No more holidays to Europe if we leave the EU without a deal, MP says.
There will be ‘no holidays’ on the continent for Brits if the government fails to reach an agreement on data-sharing with the EU, ministers were warned.
The intervention in the Commons follows warnings from industry leaders that if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement.
Labour MP Daniel Zeichner raised this point during Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) questions today. He highlighted one business in his constituency which would have to strike 72,000 data deals with EU firms in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
‘Does the minister understand if Brexit means Brexit, no deal means no holidays?
DCMS secretary Jeremy Wright responded: ‘I think that’s ever so slightly on the alarmist side. Read more here in Metro
Pet travel to Europe after Brexit
Advice for pet owners planning to take a pet to any EU country after 29 March 2019 in the unlikely event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
To make sure your pet is able to travel from the UK to the EU after 29 March 2019 in any scenario, you should contact your vet at least 4 months before travelling to get the latest advice.
Rules for pet travel
The rules for taking your pet to any EU country will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal and is treated as an unlisted country.
You must get your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and then vaccinated against rabies before it can travel.
However, to allow effective contingency planning in the worst case scenario of the UK not being granted third country status, you’ll need to take the following steps to make sure your pet can travel after 29 March 2019:
- You must get your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and then vaccinated against rabies before it can travel. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. You’ll need to talk to your vet about whether you need a rabies vaccination or booster before this test.
- Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory.
- The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (Your pet must have a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).
- You must wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel.
- You must take your pet to a Official Veterinarian (OV), no more than 10 days before travel to get a health certificate.
If there’s no deal, pet passports issued in the UK would not be valid for travel to the EU. Read more HERE
31st October – Brexit deal will be agreed within three weeks, Dominic Raab tells MPs
A Brexit deal will be agreed with the EU within three weeks, Dominic Raab has predicted – despite the apparent stalemate in the negotiations.
The Brexit secretary told MPs the talks were on course to achieve a breakthrough by 21 November, insisting: “The end is now firmly in sight.”
In a letter to the Brexit committee, Mr Raab wrote: “While obstacles remain, it cannot be beyond us to navigate them.
“We have resolved most of the issues and we are building up together what the future relationship should look like and making real progress.”
And, in a crucial sentence, he added: “I would be happy to give evidence to the committee when a deal is finalised, and currently expect 21 November to be suitable.”
However, Theresa May’s spokesman refused – multiple times – to endorse her minister’s view that the talks were poised to achieve success, despite the failure to strike a deal at the EU summit this month.
“We have always said want to conclude the process as soon as possible,” he said, declining to say that would happen in November. Read more here in the Independent
Schengen Visa´s Explained
A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any members of the Schengen Area, per stays up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes. … It enables its holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengenzone from any of the Schengen member countries.
17th October – Brexit: ‘Expectations low’ as PM heads to Brussels
Theresa May is heading to Brussels to speak to EU leaders as she battles to keep hopes of a Brexit deal alive.
Expectations of a breakthrough are low, with talks deadlocked over the Irish border issue.
EU leaders say it is up to the UK prime minister to come up with fresh ideas to solve it.
Mrs May is sticking to the plan she has already set out – but there is speculation the post-Brexit transition period could be extended.
This European Council meeting was meant to be the occasion when the remaining 27 EU member states gave the green light for a special summit in November to finalise the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Read more here on the BBC website
11th October – Kent motorway to shut as work begins on possible post-Brexit lorry park
A Kent motorway is undergoing a series of closures as work begins on turning it into a potential lorry park to deal with the possible impact of a no-deal Brexit.
In the most significant practical work yet to prepare for the consequences of the UK crashing out of the EU, the M26 will be closed through the night until next week for site surveys before another set of closures in the month leading up to Christmas to install gates in the central reservation.
Work has already started on the M20 motorway, with further closures ahead, where the DfT has earmarked a 13.5-mile stretch between Maidstone and Ashford as a holding park for thousands of trucks. The four-lane southbound carriageway will be closed, while a two-lane contraflow will allow traffic to continue to the Channel.
Now it has been revealed that ministers are also planning to use the M26, a 10-mile motorway that links the M25 to the M20 in Kent starting 65 miles from Dover, to park more lorries. Read more here in the Guardian
Number two of the Brexit Ministry, Robin Walker: “We ask the EU countries to protect the British workers”
The decisive moment is imminent. With less than two weeks of the European Council – in which the loose fringes of Brexit should be tied – the number two of the Ministry for the Exit of the EU bets on Theresa May’s plan and urges Brussels to raise new and “necessary” “suggestions to be able to advance.
At what point is the possibility of a ‘no agreement’?
It’s unlikely. All parties are focused on reaching an agreement and it is our absolute objective, but it is necessary to be prepared for all possible scenarios, and the United Kingdom is. Theresa May announced after Salzburg that even if there were no agreement we would protect the rights of European citizens in our country, and we would like to see the same kind of commitment on the part of the Member Statestowards the British in their territories, it is something I have asked the Spanish authorities.
So, will there be an exit agreement for October 18?
The European Council is a good opportunity to secure an agreement, this is what we are working on and we have had weekly meetings with Brussels to achieve it. There are pending issues in which the parties do not agree, but we believe that we have a credible proposal that respects the key concern of the EU : the indivisibility of the four freedoms and the integrity of the single market. We consider the possibility of an extraordinary Council in November, but our goal is to be in October.
Last week, British Interior Minister Sajid Javid said that London was waiting for a formal rejection by Brussels of May’s plan …
There have been talks about the technical elements of Checkers, about which the EU had doubts. We believe that we have been able to answer these questions and that our proposal respects the interests of the EU. In the negotiation, there must be respect between the parties and, in order to advance together, we need new proposals from the EU.
How do you assess the attitude of Brussels at the Salzburg summit?
It is important for the entire process that we respect the red lines of each part. I can understand how important it is for the EU and its Member States to protect the integrity of the single market, something that the UK has respected in its proposals, but I think it will be good for both parties to have a clear vision of the future relationship before the end of the period. transition. In all hard negotiations there are tactics of pressure on both sides , but the important thing, as our minister for the Brexit, Dominic Raab , is to keep calm and continue negotiating, instead of going into games of making public statements against some and others.
Has there been progress in the negotiations on Gibraltar?
I have had meetings with representatives of the Spanish Government about the negotiations that are taking place in Brussels regarding Gibraltar. It is a process in which we are completely including the Gibraltarian Government. Both parties have a great economic interest in the region and we hope to reach a solution that works for all, especially in terms of the border.
What level of priority is being given to the issue of the rock in the Brexit negotiations?
The British Government assumes that it has a great responsibility on the external relations of Gibraltar, because it will leave the EU together with the United Kingdom, but as for Spain, we have not only talked about Gibraltar. The key issue is the future bilateral relationship between Madrid and London regarding the amount of investments that Spanish companies have in our country and regarding the rights of Spanish citizens, but also those of the British in Spain. One of the points that needs to be resolved bilaterally is the vote. We want to ensure that citizens of both countries outside their territory can continue to vote in local elections.
Has the question of the sovereignty of the Rock been raised?
The United Kingdom has always been very clear on this issue and we would never hold negotiations on sovereignty without the involvement of the Government of Gibraltar. In these conversations, the issue of sovereignty was not on the table. The nature of the talks held with the Spanish Government has been about future agreements that allow us to collaborate for the prosperity of all.
What message would you send to Spanish workers in Gibraltar?
There will still be differences between the United Kingdom and Spain over Gibraltar as the issue of sovereignty, but with respect to workers’ rights, both governments have a firm commitment to reach a solution that works for workers . The exit agreement contains important commitments to protect border workers, as is the case of Gibraltar. We want to cause minimal disruption at the border and that is important, also for Andalusia.
What kind of reception will the Government’s new immigration plan have, based on a system of merits?
One thing that became clear during the referendum is that the British were concerned about the freedom of movement agreements of EU citizens in the UK. People wanted to see changes in that respect and greater control of immigration. It is very important that we exercise this control in a reasonable way, but we are still a country that wants to attract people to work and this system is based on the skills of foreign workers, therefore it is not discriminatory with nationality, that is a good start. We want to reach specific agreements with partners to facilitate the freedom of movement of workers of companies that invest in the United Kingdom, such as Banco Santander, and I am sure that in the coming decades there will continue to be contributions from Spanish workers to our country. We are committed to protecting the rights of European workers in any scenario of rupture, we want to see the same on the part of the countries of the EU.
The above article has been translated from the Spanish El Mundo News, read the original article here – www.elmundo.es
If you do have a holiday booked for after the EU leave date should renew their passports as soon as possible, officials have said.
Those who don’t could be barred from entering EU countries Europe if a no deal Brexit happens. Read more HERE
September 24th – Brexit no-deal could prevent flights and even coaches travelling to the EU
Brexit has already threatened a number of travel issues for UK tourists heading to Europe after leaving the EU.
Grounded flights, additional visas and new passport rules have all caused fears in regards to a no-deal Brexit.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, this could also affect bus and coach operators that run between the UK and the EU.
20th September 2018 – Passport readers at Alicante Airport, in preparation for Brexit
The machinery installed at Alicante Airport in the “B gates” area. These passport readers are part of the preparations for Brexit next year. I have questioned immigration officials in the UK and Spain about the passport readers as I have a professional interest in such matters, until recent retirement I have represented clients in appeal cases before the Upper and Lower Immigration Tribunals for thirty-five years. Both the UK Home Office and their Spanish counterparts say the same thing, the new visa system has been the easiest part of the Brexit process to agree, that’s why they have been able to install the airport hardware so far in advance.
Anyone having residencia before the end of next March is unlikely to be affected as governments on both sides of the divide will not retrospectively remove rights already granted, although a word of caution would apply to pensioners settled here with residencia under the S1 system in case reciprocal health care bites the dust. That brings me to the machines at Alicante Airport. They are “day counters” for the purposes of the Schengen Visa system and will cause some degree of inconvenience for a few members of this page.
As most of you will know, Schengen visas enable non-EU citizens to enter the Schengen area on a single or multi-entry basis for a maximum of 90 days in any period of 180 days. The airport machines will be used to automatically calculate the total days spent in Spain by recording the day of entry and departure.
Here’s an example. Mr & Mrs Jones are UK residents with an apartment in Spain, In 2019 they come over to Benidorm to spend the summer from 1 June to 28 August. Under the new system that would be no problem. Their entry and departure will be recorded, but the inconvenience arises in the fact that they cannot return to the Schengen area (including Benidorm) for at least another 90 days: at the end of November. So if they planned a short break to Cyprus in October, forget it, the readers at the airport will not open the gates and they will be returned (at their expense) on the next flight to the UK.
All of this means is that any property owners or regular visitors to Benidorm without residencia will need to carefully manage their diaries in future to ensure they abide by the 90 day rule. We are not going to have the flexibility we currently have to come and go as we please, but I suppose it’s all part of “controlling our borders”.
The Spanish Government have been urging all residents to make sure all paperwork is in order before Brexit.
Spain wants a special chapter on Gibraltar in Brexit agreement
PM Pedro Sánchez will meet with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier to push for an annex addressing cross-border workers, tax evasion and smuggling in the British territory.
Spain is working to include a specific chapter on Gibraltar in the Brexit agreement. Britain’s planned departure from the European Union in March 2019 is being viewed by Spanish authorities as a good moment to make progress on long-standing claims involving taxes, environmental issues and smuggling in the British overseas territory, which is located in southern Spain. Full story HERE
BRITS with less than six months left on their passports could be banned from travelling to Europe after Brexit, the Government fears.
More bad news if a N0 Deal Brexit is announced -Leaked documents reveal that if we leave the EU with No Deal, thousands of British holidaymakers could be kept away from the continent. continue reading here
Government sources have told Sky News that roaming charges – abolished since June 2017 after changes to EU regulation – would return if there is a “no-deal” Brexit.
Whitehall sources told Sky News the warning is expected to be released on Thursday when the government publishes its second batch of “no-deal” technical notices – although the paper has yet to be signed off. Full story HERE
What is the difference between a Soft and Hard Brexit?
A soft Brexit is usually taken to refer to one that keeps Britain closely aligned with the EU. The objective is to minimise the disruption to trade, to supply chains and to business in general that would be created by diverging from the EU’s regulations and standards, thereby reducing the cost of Brexit. In practice a soft Brexit means staying within both the EU’s single market (like Norway) and its customs union (like Turkey). Soft Brexiteers are willing to be bound by EU rules and tariffs even though Britain will lose any say in making them. They also accept the inevitable consequence that it will be hard, even impossible, for Britain to do any trade deals with third countries.
A hard Brexit rejects the whole idea of close alignment. The goal is to escape burdensome EU regulations and tariffs, so as to be able to draw up rules and customs arrangements of Britain’s own choosing. In practice a hard Brexit means leaving both the single market and the customs union. Hard Brexiteers believe that staying in either would turn Britain into a “vassal state” of the EU. They are willing to accept the short-term disruption and potentially high costs of breaking free from Brussels, because they believe that the long-term gains from better regulation and the striking of free-trade deals all round the world will do more than enough to offset them.