mardi, août 02, 2016

Brexit weekly briefing: Theresa May's EU tour fails to bring clarity | Politics | The Guardian


theguardian.com

Brexit weekly briefing: Theresa May's EU tour fails to bring clarity

Peter Walker
Welcome to the Guardian's weekly Brexit briefing, a summary of key developments as Britain moves slowly – perhaps imperceptibly – towards the EU exit. Readers who received our previous daily email will continue to receive this one; those who would like to do so can sign up here.
Producing the Guardian's thoughtful, in-depth journalism is expensive – but supporting us isn't. If you value our coverage of the momentous Brexit vote, please become a Guardian supporter and help make our future more secure. Thank you.

The big picture

In her ongoing efforts to define what it was that 52% of the UK electorate voted for last month, the prime minister, Theresa May, continued her progress round assorted European capitals – with little sign that she (or anyone else, to be fair) is any nearer knowing the answer.

At a press conference in Rome with her Italian counterpart, Matteo Renzi (who demanded a "clear timeline" for the UK's exit), May reiterated that London had no plans to trigger article 50 – the start of the formal two-year leaving process – anytime soon, since all parties needed to work out the "nature of our relationship".
She also repeated her warning – threat? – that the UK would ensure the protection of EU citizens in Britain only if British citizens got the same rights in EU countries. The government "will deliver" on British voters' call for curbs on freedom of movement, she said, while also securing the best possible future trade deal.
Since most of Europe considers free EU movement a prerequisite of free EU trade, quite how the government will achieve this is unclear. May said in Rome she had an open mind on the question and that the UK could end up with a model that is "not necessarily ... on the shelf already".
She delivered the same message later last week, telling the prime ministers of Slovakia and Poland in Bratislava and Warsaw – the fifth and sixth EU capitals on her grand tour – that:

We need to find a solution that addresses the concerns of the British people about free movement while getting the best possible deal on trade in goods and services.
Whatever that solution may eventually turn out to be, warnings are now coming thick and fast that Brexit is going to be an awful lot more complex – and protracted – than anyone has yet even begun to imagine.
The whole thing could take years, largely because – as various Brussels diplomats told the Financial Times – London is still "nowhere" on deciding its position, and the parties have "not even worked out what all the questions are, let alone found the potential answers."
In a paper that made many waves in Brexitland, Charles Grant of the authoritative Centre for European Reform pointed out last week that exiting the EU will require negotiating not just one deal, but six:

The first will cover Britain's legal separation from the EU; the second a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU; the third interim cover for the UK between its departure from the EU and the entry into force of the FTA; the fourth accession to full membership of the WTO; the fifth new FTAs to replace those that currently link the EU and 53 other countries, and the sixth co-operation on foreign, defence and security policies.
Still, talks – when they eventually get underway – on the first of those deals should at least be smoothed by the decision last week by the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, to make veteran French politician and Brussels insider Michel Barnier chief Brexit negotiator.
The appointment of Barnier, an ex-EU commissioner who clashed repeatedly with the City of London and the UK government over financial services reforms, was greeted as "an act of war" by some in the UK. Others pointed out he was a highly experienced – and not anti-British – politician and dealmaker.
Meanwhile, the British economy continued to suffer from post-Brexit blues, with calls intensifying for the Bank of England to cut interest rates later this week. After one set of figures showing the UK manufacturing sector was sinking at its fastest pace in more than three years and another indicating the referendum had triggered the biggest fall in consumer confidence for 26 years, the Guardian's economics editor, Larry Elliott, warned bluntly that:

While it is still possible there has been an overreaction ... the idea that business will ride things out after a month or two of turbulence now looks fanciful. Policy action – and decisive policy action at that – is going to be needed, starting with the Bank of England.
Lady Wheatcroft told the Times, meanwhile, that pro-remain peers in the House of Lords could well delay Brexit legislation when it eventually comes their way, while former Lib dem leader Nick Clegg said the government may have a mandate to take Britain out of the EU, but parliament must vote on how.

The view from Europe

While the rest of Europe (much of it now on holiday) waits more or less patiently to learn what kind of Brexit Britain wants, the battle to host the two influential EU agencies currently located in London – the European Banking Authority and European Medicines Agency – is already underway and looks like being won by Madrid and Rome, Euractiv reports.
Without bolshy Britain to hinder his efforts, meanwhile, Juncker – with the backing of eurozone governments – is pushing ahead with ambitious plans to boost workers' rights across the bloc, says Politico, creating a "European pillar of social rights" with rules on, for example, the minimum wage and gender equality.
And a former Italian prime minister, Enrico Letta, has added his voice, in an opinion piece for the same publication, to the chorus calling for the EU to "relaunch or die" in the wake of Brexit, arguing that while divorce will be "complex, exhausting and unsatisfactory from almost every point of view", relaunch must be:

infused with the fullest possible political and emotional investment. The aim of Europe's leaders must be to guarantee that the EU is better able to protect its citizens, economically and socially, as well as ensure their security. We must not permit ourselves to waste this crisis.

Meanwhile, back in Westminster

It's recess time, and there's thus time for all sorts of non-Brexit bickering, not least about David Cameron's decision to give an honour to just about everyone he met in Downing Street except Larry the cat.
And Labour still have a leadership contest, which is proceeding with calm and dignity. Beyond that, we've had perhaps our 150th government reiteration that "Brexit means Brexit" (whatever Brexit means).
Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, had something of a go in trying to lay out a timetable, saying on Tuesday that he didn't expect the triggering of article 50 until the new year, and that he foresaw all the negotiations being done by 2020.
Perhaps less helpfully, Fox talked of agreeing a free trade accord with the EU, only to have his comments "clarified" by Downing Street – who said it was too early to decide on such a thing.

You should also know that:

Read these

In the Financial Times, David Allen Green argues persuasively that Brexiters – including those now in government – have so far shown little inclination to take seriously the size of the task ahead:

In its rewriting of domestic law and policy and its re-figuration of foreign and trade policy, Brexit will be the single biggest exercise by any UK government in peace time – on top of governing a country in a period of austerity with limited public spending and a small majority.
... If leave politicians were candid and realistic about the years, sweat and tears ahead, you could believe they were up to it. But they maintain it is easy, and unless their attitude changes, it is this complacency that will defeat them. Denialism and wishful thinking are not enough.
In the Guardian, comedian Nish Kumar laments that no one in Britain had told him to "go home" for 16 years until the country voted for Brexit last month, adding that "telling me to go back to Croydon seems particularly cruel". Pointing to the 20% rise in reported hate crimes since the referendum compared with the same year-earlier period, Kumar writes that:

Clearly, not everyone who voted to leave the EU is a racist (a phrase I've found myself saying so often in the last three weeks, I'm thinking of having it printed on a T-shirt). But these figures do suggest that the intolerant have been emboldened by the result.
In the Washington Post, William Booth and Karla Adam report on "a whiff of panic in the labs" as British scientists are increasingly worried that the country will be unable to replace the EU funding:

Britain has been a powerhouse of discovery since the age of science began. Newton, Darwin, Crick? They parted the curtain on gravity, evolution and DNA. Now comes Brexit, and to use a nonscientific term, the scientists in the country are freaking out.
And in the New York Times, Roger Cohen slots Brexit into an apocalyptic pattern that includes Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin and, Cohen reckons, may spell the end of that "a interlude that began in 1945" that saw "the construction of a rules-based world order, undergirded by visceral knowledge of destruction and acute awareness of potential Armageddon".
Brexit, Cohen says, was fuelled by lies (and "the charlatan trafficking most vociferously" in those lies, he adds, "boorish Boris Johnson, has just become Britain's foreign secretary".) The referendum result illustrated:

a thirst for disruption at any cost. It was the supporting act for a possible American leap in the dark that would place Trump's portrait in United States embassies around the world.

The week in a tweet




Source: http://bit.ly/2atVJSn

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire

Vous êtes les bienvenus pour partager et commenter mon analyse de l'économie, de la société et de la politique. Tout peut être écrit et publié mais dans le respect de la liberté de penser de chacun et la courtoisie. A moi de proposer, à vous de réagir, de contredire et de donner plus de richesse dans le contenu, car les commentaires, parties intégrantes des billets, en constituent la valeur ajoutée. Les commentaires sont modérés. Vous pouvez commenter sous pseudo ou anonyme mais je me réserve de supprimer ou de modérer tout commentaire indésirable selon les critères énoncés ci-dessus: propos racistes, attaques et invectives personnelles.