- As the Prime Minister meets with Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier today, the EU leaders should recognise the compromises the UK has made in order to move talks forward.
- It’s encouraging to see reports that a senior Brussels official believes the withdrawal deal is 90% of the way to being agreed. Indeed, it is clearly in the EU’s interests to progress negotiations to trade at the earliest possible opportunity.
- On the issue of the Irish border, the Government has been clear that it does not want to see the return of a hard border, whilst Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has himself previously admitted that it is ‘not going to be possible’ to reach an agreement on the border until the shape of the future EU-UK relationship emerges (Irish Times, November 2017, link).
- Politicians in Brussels should see sense and move talks forward to phase two.
Tony Blair should stop trying to undermine the democratic decision of the British people
- It is deeply disappointing - but not surprising - that Tony Blair is working to reverse the referendum result and to keep Britain in the EU (Sun, December 2017, link).
- It’s sad that the former Prime Minister refuses to respect the democratic wish of 17.4 million people. However, it should be remembered that during his premiership, Blair handed over more money and more powers to Brussels, therefore it is no surprise that he wants to overrule the referendum result.
- Tony Blair should stop trying to scaremonger over peace in Northern Ireland. It is immoral to create scare stories over this. Since the referendum politicians in Ireland and the UK have worked peacefully to solve the issues. The Project Fear claims that were made about peace in Northern Ireland before the referendum have not manifested. Tony Blair should stop repeating them.
Brexit will see more powers devolved
- MPs will vote today on amendments proposed by the Scottish and Welsh governments regarding the flow of powers to the devolved administrations after Brexit (BBC, December 2017, link).
- There are reports that the Government is looking to redraft parts of the Bill in order to satisfy the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that powers will be devolved to them after we leave the EU (Telegraph, December 2017, link).
- Politicians should recognise these efforts made by the Government, and not try to block the progress of Brexit legislation.
Good economic news
- A US-based life sciences investment fund is planning to invest up to $1bn to create a large biotech company in the UK (Financial Times, December 2017, link)
- Facebook is set to create 800 new jobs in the UK as it opens a new London office (BBC, December 2017, link). The office will be Facebook's biggest engineering hub outside the US.