Danish Finance Minister Kristian Jensen has said the EU should stop playing ‘a game’ over the Brexit bill and believes that negotiations should move forward to trade talks (Guardian, October 2017, link).
This comes as the Prime Minister will reportedly tell MPs today that member states should give the go ahead to accelerate talks to trade and transition arrangements, and that ‘the ball is in their court’ (Times, October 2017, link).
As Mr Jensen went on to say: ‘The UK is a great trading partner of EU27, a strong ally in defence and security, so we need to find out how we can have a good and close relationship post-Brexit’.
EU leaders should mirror Mr Jensen’s common-sense approach to the negotiations, and move talks forward to the next stage.
UK right to prepare for no deal
It is encouraging to hear that the Government’s plans for a ‘no deal’ scenario are ‘well under way’ (BBC, October 2017, link)
As Justice minister Dominic Raab said, the UK must ‘strive for the very best outcome from these negotiations, but prepare for all eventualities’.
It is promising to read that the Brexit Secretary is confident of a good deal (The Sun, October 2017, link). We hope that the UK and EU negotiating teams will reach a deal that benefits both sides. Indeed, it is in their interest to do so.
But it is vital that we should be prepared to walk away without a deal. If the UK and EU agree to a bad deal, then Britain will be saddled with it for decades.
Good news that Michael Gove wants Britain out of the CFP
Michael Gove is reportedly demanding that fisheries policy is not included in any ‘no-change’ transition deal (The Times, October 2017, link).
This is good news. The CFP has been a disaster for Britain’s fishing industry and for the environment - encouraging dumping.
Politicians have been pledging to change the CFP after the UK leaves the EU. Politicians from both sides of the Brexit divide agree that the CFP is a disaster - Ruth Davidson for example has agreed to campaign to ‘exit the CFP straitjacket’.
Good economic news
Revised ONS figures reveal that business investment rose by 2.5% in Q2 2017 compared to the same quarter the previous year (Financial Times, October 2017, link).
After the opening of its 208th branch last week, Handelsbanken UK CEO Mikael Sorensen said the bank is ‘fully committed to the UK for the very long term’ and that there will be more branches to come (Telegraph, October 2017, link)
It is welcome that leading Japanese car manufacturer, Honda, has reaffirmed its commitment to the UK. The group stated that it remains ‘committed’ to its sales and manufacturing activity in the United Kingdom, pointing to the £200m that was pumped into their Swindon factory in 2016 as evidence (Finance.co.uk, October 2017, link).