• Pro-EU politicians have tabled an amendment which seeks to give parliament the power to extend the Article 50 process (Times, December 2017, link).
  • Make no mistake - this is yet another tactic by MPs who refuse to accept the referendum result to keep the UK in the EU. Indeed, one of the signatories to the amendment - Chuka Umunna - told an audience of Remain supporters earlier this week to ‘stop it [Brexit] from happening’ (Politico Playbook, December 2017, link).
  • These MPs claim to be defending parliamentary sovereignty in pushing for this amendment, yet they’re happy for over 60% of our laws to be made in Brussels.
  • Instead of using every legal loophole and parliamentary procedure to stop Brexit, MPs should work on securing the best deal for the UK.

In EU’s interests to give UK time to secure deal

  • With the Irish Taoiseach stating that the Prime Minister will suggest a new wording for a Brexit deal on the Irish border within 24 hours, there are some reports that Theresa May has a further two days to agree a text if Brexit negotiations are to move on to the next phase at the European Council (Guardian, December 2017, link).
  • This is misleading. A number of papers quote an EU official who makes clear that Jean-Claude Juncker is prepared to meet Theresa May ‘at any time, including on days next week in the run-up to the European summit.’
  • Remember, in early November Michel Barnier claimed that the UK had two weeks to ‘clarify key issues’ on the withdrawal agreement, however this deadline was never enforced.
  • It is clearly in Ireland’s and the rest of the EU’s interests to move talks forward to trade, therefore putting in place arbitrary deadlines would not be logical.

Good economic news

  • A new survey by the IoD has shown that 83% of young firms are feeling optimistic about their prospects for the year ahead (CityAM, December 2017, link).