The annual report of the Department for Exiting the European Union, published on Wednesday, showed legal costs were the most significant area of expenditure after staffing.
In total, David Davis’s department spent £3.7m on legal costs. Of that, £2.2m went on commissioning legal advice on policy from government lawyers. And of the remainder, £1.2m was accounted for by two legal cases – the article 50 case and a separate action over Britain’s membership of the European Economic Area.
Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson, Tom Brake, said: “This £1.2m bill is a kick in the teeth for taxpayers. The Conservatives fought every step of the way in the courts to try and avoid proper scrutiny over Brexit, now the public is having to pick up the tab.”
Gina Miller brings a case or two against the government and the legal bills are the government’s fault?
Support for Britain to remain in the EU single market and customs union is overwhelming among Labour party members, according to a poll showing that more than eight out of 10 think the UK should stay in Europe’s key trading blocs.
I think Corbyn did in fact win a majority of the Labour Party, no? And Jezza’s plans for that smashing of neoliberalism cannot be done while in the Single Market and Customs Union.
Believing we should stay in is not stupid, merely mistaken. Believing we should follow the magi money tree road is not stupid, merely mistaken. But insisting that we must do two mutually exclusive things at the same time, yes, that’s……
Britain must rush to agree a trade deal similar to the one being hammered out between the EU and Japan or face having the UK’s £72bn-a-year car industry taken apart, a trade lawyer has warned.
The alarm has been sounded by Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, a former diplomat who has represented the EU at the World Trade Organisation and is co-author of the European Commission’s Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment on the EU-Japan trade deal.
He said Japan and the EU are close to sealing a deal – dubbed “cheese for cars” – which will give Japanese companies tariff-free access to European markets, an arrangement likely to benefit the country’s huge manufacturing base. In return, Europe’s farmers will get similar access to Japan.
The EU-Japan trade deal could be agreed in just six months and come into force before Britain bows out of the EU in 2019. Once in place it could suddenly make Japanese companies’ UK manufacturing plants less competitive than similar factories in Europe.
There is no freedom of movement between Japan and the EU. So, free trade can be done and done simply.
At this potentially disastrous moment in our history, it is time for Corbyn and McDonnell to move on – indeed, from some of his public remarks, I deduce that McDonnell is more prepared to move against the whole idea of Brexit than Corbyn.
The point is that Labour has captured the imagination, and support, of the young who, unless the whole idea of Brexit is rescinded, will have to suffer the consequences of their elders’ vote to make the country poorer.
They both know very well that their plans for a magic money tree driven Venezuelan fantasy cannot be done while members of the EU. And I would rather expect William Keegan to know this.
The argument of democratic principle is clear. June 2016 was a decision to move house. But we had no inkling of what our new home would look like. We surely need to look around before we take the plunge – in case, once we’ve seen the state of the kitchen and the upstairs bathroom, we decide to stay put. Put another way, once the Brexit terms are known and settled, Britons deserve a straight, up-or-down choice.
Keep having these votes until it goes the right way, eh? They did it to Ireland, France, Holland, Denmark……
The only way such delusions will fade is if they are finally tested in the real world and found wanting, whereupon this country may at last be ready to humbly engage with modernity. And in that sense, to paraphrase a faded politician, Brexit probably has to mean Brexit. That may result in a long spell of relative penury, and an atmosphere of recrimination and resentment. By the time everything is resolved a lot of us will either be very old or dead. But that may be the price we have to pay to belatedly put all our imperial baggage in the glass case where it belongs, and to edge our way back into the European family, if they will have us.
Theresa May faces the prospect of a humiliating Commons defeat on her ‘great repeal bill’ after Labour said their MPs would not back it unless she made sweeping changes.
Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said last night he was putting the Prime Minister ‘on notice’ of the changes he said needed to be made, including on workers’ rights and parliamentary scrutiny.
The words he’s using, we must make sure rights remain in UK law etc. OK, I don’t agree, but I understand that. This bill moves all current rights into UK law. For as we repeal the European Communities Act those enacted under EU law will no longer apply. So, as far as I can see, the bill is doing exactly what he wants it to be doing. It’s enacting in UK law those EU rights so that they remain. It all comes later when we discuss which will stay in UK law, that’s not part of this bill.
So what actually is it that he’s complaining about?
Please note, this isn’t rhetoric or anything from me. I’m genuinely mystified. Anyone?
Barnier said no deal would aggravate losses for both sides, above all the British. He invoked the scenario of 19% tariffs on British beer, wine and spirits entering the continent and 12% on British lamb and fish, most of which is exported to the EU.
So more of it stays here and we get to eat and drink it.
Austria deployed tanks against possible migrant incursions on its border with Italy Tuesday prompting Rome to summon the Austrian ambassador to clarify matters.
Meanwhile European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker said Italy would have European solidarity “in deeds and not just words” – and the EC said in a new migrant action plan for Italy, which allotted 35 million euros and called for a new coordination centre in Libya, that Rome should draft a code of conduct for NGO ships rescuing asylum seekers off Libya. The Italian foreign ministry summoned the Austrian ambassador after Vienna said it was ready to deploy up to 750 troops at its border at the Brenner Pass “very soon” unless the flow of migrants from Italy diminishes. “I think that border controls will be activated very soon and an army deployment will be necessary,” Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil was quoted as saying by the Kronen Zeitung newspaper Tuesday. He added that the measure will be “indispensable if the flow of migrants from Italy does not diminish”. Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz then defended the plan. “Our preparations for controls at the border with Italy are not only just, but also necessary,” Kurz said. “We are preparing to defend our border at the Brenner if that is necessary”.
Should the EU referendum result be annulled? For the past year I’ve been arguing that this would mean defying a democratic decision – even if it was informed by lies. Democracy is not negotiable. But what if this was not a democratic decision? What if it failed to meet the accepted criteria for a free and fair choice? If that were the case, should the result still stand? Surely it should not.
But his plan for a “Buy European Act” to restrict public contracts in the EU to companies operating mainly within the bloc appears to have been quietly shelved at the summit. Under the proposal, British businesses would have been excluded from bidding after Brexit.
Another of the French president’s suggestions, to control investment in the EU by non-members such as China, was also watered down amid opposition from Greece, Portugal and Spain, all hungry for foreign investment in the wake of the Euro crisis.
Clegg identified the leading players of the Brexit elite as “the hedge-fund managers for whom EU-wide regulations are an overburdensome hindrance to their financial aspirations”.
He added: “[They are also] the owners and editors of the rightwing press, whose visceral loathing of the EU has shaped their respective papers’ tone and coverage for decades; the Tory backbenchers, many of whom still inhabit a preposterous past in which Britannia still rules the waves and diplomacy is best conducted from the royal yacht; a handful of multi-millionaire businessmen who have, in some cases over 30 years or more, bankrolled whichever party, or politician, stands on the most aggressive EU-bashing platform.”
“We’re leaving the EU, and because we’re leaving the EU we will be leaving the single market and, by the way, we’ll be leaving the customs union,” Mr Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, in his first interview since the election. “The question is not whether we’re leaving the customs union.
“The question is what do we put in its place in order to deliver the objectives which the Prime Minister set out in the Lancaster House speech of having no hard land border in Ireland and enabling British goods to flow freely backwards and forwards across the border with the European Union.”