• There are reports that the UK and EU have agreed a financial settlement as part of the withdrawal agreement (Telegraph, November 2017, link)
  • It should be noted that neither the UK nor EU have confirmed a final figure.
  • Whilst it’s encouraging that progress is being made in the negotiations, we hope that this settlement only covers what we owe the EU and also what Brussels owes the UK. Taxpayers will feel aggrieved if they have to pay over the odds.
  • It is also important to recognise that if we had stayed in the EU, the UK would have paid this sum as well as billions more every year. Since 2000, we have given €100bn more to the EU than we got back.
  • Brussels should recognise the concessions made by the UK over the ‘Brexit bill’, and move talks forward to trade at the earliest possible opportunity.

EU jobs risk shows why it’s in Brussels’ interest to sign trade deal

  • The Centre for Economic Policy Research has released a report which warns that the EU could see job losses of over 1.2 million if it fails to sign a trade deal with the UK (Mail, November 2017, link).
  • As Change Britain Chair Gisela Stuart said, ‘With the EU in the midst of a youth unemployment crisis, it would be irresponsible for politicians in Brussels to refuse a deal which could then see over one million jobs lost in Europe.’
  • It’s yet further evidence why it’s in the EU’s interests to strike a trade deal with the UK. Any attempts to delay trade talks will only be to the detriment of EU businesses and workers.

Senior Labour figures must be clear on second referendum

  • Diane Abbott has written to two constituents suggesting that she would advocate a second referendum on the Brexit deal (Guardian, November 2017, link).
  • Although the shadow Home Secretary has since stated that the letters were ‘poorly worded’, it is concerning that a senior member of the Labour party is proposing such a commitment.
  • This is not in line with Labour party policy and indeed is not in line with the views of the country. Just last month a poll revealed that 53% do not want a further vote, compared to 35% who do. Even one quarter of Remain voters are against another referendum (Observer, October 2017, link).