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Britain and EU 'closing in' on a Brexit agreement, Raab says


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Britain and EU 'closing in' on a Brexit agreement, Raab says

By Kylie MacLellan

 

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Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Dominic Raab arrives at Downing Street in London, Britain, September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and the European Union are "closing in" on a withdrawal agreement, Brexit minister Dominic Raab said on Friday, before a meeting of European leaders in Salzburg next week.

 

Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29 but has yet to reach a full exit deal with Brussels, and some rebels lawmakers in Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party have threatened to vote against any agreement unless she changes her proposals.

 

Both London and Brussels are hoping to reach a deal by mid-November. May has said next week's informal EU summit will be a "staging post" in the negotiations that will allow the bloc's leaders to discuss her Brexit plans for the first time.

 

"While there remain some substantive differences we need to resolve, it is clear our teams are closing in on workable solutions to the outstanding issues in the Withdrawal Agreement, and are having productive discussions in the right spirit on the future relationship," Raab said after a phone call with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

 

"We reiterated our willingness to devote the necessary time and energy to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion," he said, adding that the pair agreed to take stock again following the Salzburg summit.

 

Barnier said on Twitter that he had had a "useful dialogue" with Raab but that key differences remained between the EU and Britain over the future of the Irish border and the EU's system of protecting food names.

 

EU officials and diplomats involved in the talks also expressed surprise about the apparent optimism in financial markets on the likelihood of a deal.

 

OPPOSITION

 

On Thursday the British government published a set of advice notices for Britons on how to prepare for the possibility of a "no-deal" Brexit, and May held a cabinet meeting of her top team of ministers to discuss the government's plans for leaving without an agreement.

 

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told the meeting Britain's property market would crash and mortgage rates would spiral up in the event of a chaotic no-deal Brexit, with house prices falling 35 percent over three years, the Times newspaper reported.

 

The Co-Operative <42TE.L>, Britain's sixth-largest supermarket group, said it could not guarantee shortages of some food products would be avoided in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

 

However, Carney also told the cabinet meeting that Britain could expect a 16 billion pound boost if there was a deal struck based on May's so-called Chequers proposals which involve a common rule book for goods trade with the bloc, the Financial Times reported.

 

"Carney said that we would recover three-quarters of the growth lost after the 2016 referendum because Chequers would imply more access to the European market than under current assumptions," an unnamed cabinet source told the FT.

 

Pro-Brexit rebels in May's party have become increasingly vocal in their opposition to her Brexit proposals this week, with one former junior minister saying 80 or more of May's lawmakers were prepared to vote against them.

 

The opposition Labour Party's foreign affairs spokeswoman Emily Thornberry told the Financial Times her party was set to vote against any Brexit deal and the lack of a viable exit from the EU would force May from office before Christmas.

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-09-15
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15 minutes ago, i claudius said:

The EU are desperate for a solution , as is remainer May . mind you it would help the exchange rate . even if my heart tells me to just walk away .

Its more vented spleen with the Brexiteers than any heart.

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28 minutes ago, i claudius said:

The EU are desperate for a solution , as is remainer May . mind you it would help the exchange rate . even if my heart tells me to just walk away .

That’s the thing about those ‘prices worth paying’, they’re not so ‘worth paying’ if the bill comes through your own letterbox.

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56 minutes ago, i claudius said:

my heart tells me to just walk away .

Heart, genitalia, whatever some folks are driven by gets a referendum result..

 

...common sense and good thought to the complexities involved should be it the equation as well.

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When people change their beliefs 'that leaving the EU is a good thing', to accepting that Brexit in its current form is not working, some sanity in responses might return. I would suggest every man and his dog who are up with events are well aware that Brexit (as it stands) is failing the people, and that respecting the referendum vote come hell or high water is a clear path to economic disaster and devaluation of the pound. 

 

IMO, I suspect May will obtain a deal that is better than the 'no deal scenario' but it will be fudged and that neither leavers of remainers would be satisfied and that Tory rebels will topple May before Xmas.  

 

If there is another peoples referendum, which is debatable, I suggest the government  produce a short summary of the deal on the voting form and include a tick box if voters don't agree that it is good enough, otherwise the government will consider it is accepted.   

 

And the acceptance level would be overwhelming - because people don't like ticking boxes. There is factual evidence to support this assertion.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, TKDfella said:

Personally, 'in or out' I just want them to get on with it.

Agree with you on that one.

 

The more they drag this out the more uncertainty and time wasted there is.  

 

I predicted this would happen... drag it out as long as they can... reach no deal (because of incompetence and ideology)… then at the end of the day they will say they want an 'extension' to move the date... more time wasted... while our economy, currency value, society in general keep going down hill.

 

I think after the no deal happens... then when the UK is suffering in the future... the government and media will then start to blame Europe for all our problems… making out we are being punished or persecuted... just to cover up the governments incompetence.

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8 minutes ago, jak2002003 said:

Agree with you on that one.

 

The more they drag this out the more uncertainty and time wasted there is.  

 

I predicted this would happen... drag it out as long as they can... reach no deal (because of incompetence and ideology)… then at the end of the day they will say they want an 'extension' to move the date... more time wasted... while our economy, currency value, society in general keep going down hill.

 

I think after the no deal happens... then when the UK is suffering in the future... the government and media will then start to blame Europe for all our problems… making out we are being punished or persecuted... just to cover up the governments incompetence.

I agree it is total government incompetence and a depolarable state of affairs, but they really have little choice now, because the realities of unravelling decades of EU membership must be a nightmare for any UK government to face.

 

If Theresa May hadn't been so gung-ho in enacting Article 50 with the acceptance of parliament, there could have been, at the very minimum, an examination of the pros and cons and the financial impact. It is only recently more than two years after the referendum that any government papers on the deal outcome have been circulated.    

 

 

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2 hours ago, i claudius said:

The EU are desperate for a solution , as is remainer May . mind you it would help the exchange rate . even if my heart tells me to just walk away .

Don't think the EU are desperate but I concur about the exchange rate which would be welcome news

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There will be a deal of some description as both sides have too much to lose really and a lot of what you see at the moment is grandstanding from both sides so that neither side looks weak. As Chequers seems dead, I only hope that the deal is something along the lines of the Canada++ option as it seems to be the most pragmatic answer which both sides can go for and claim it's good for them. The Northern Ireland bother thing can be solved by tech as it is done elsewhere and it works. As long as the UK can control it's borders, bin the ECJ, has some sort of trade deal basis and make it's own trade deals then that's fine...can take it from there. A Canada++ type of deal will see the pound surge too but I'm not sure that some (businesses/politicians etc.) want to see that. Only fly-in-the-ointment are the MPs that will try to torpedo any deal regardless of what it is. I think it's best to get this type of Canada deal and move on, as this subject has become very toxic to everyone and either way, whatever happens, many people are unhappy.

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3 hours ago, stephenterry said:

IMO, I suspect May will obtain a deal that is better than the 'no deal scenario' but it will be fudged and that neither leavers of remainers would be satisfied and that Tory rebels will topple May before Xmas.  

 

I have a slightly different take on it.  I don't think the Tory rebels will topple May because they don't want to have to deal with the chaotic mess that they would inherit.  Johnson has called upon MP's to "plot against Chequers, not against May" according to the Guardian.  May has been there for the toppling for some time but nobody is likely to grasp this poisoned chalice.  I think that Johnson and JRM will want to stay on the side lines lobbing in grenades until after May has seen through Brexit.  It doesn't matter to them which way this ends but as sure as eggs is eggs they will step up then.  For Johnson and his boys they are playing the long game.

 

2 hours ago, Sir Dude said:

I think it's best to get this type of Canada deal and move on, as this subject has become very toxic to everyone and either way, whatever happens, many people are unhappy.

You are right, many people will be unhappy whatever the outcome and to politicians that means votes and that means their jobs are at risk and that will determine how they respond.  I think the Chequers deal will be rejected and that may lead us towards a Canada style deal in the end.  We won't end up with no deal, I am pretty sure of that (famous last words eh!).

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3 hours ago, jak2002003 said:

Agree with you on that one.

 

The more they drag this out the more uncertainty and time wasted there is.  

 

I predicted this would happen... drag it out as long as they can... reach no deal (because of incompetence and ideology)… then at the end of the day they will say they want an 'extension' to move the date... more time wasted... while our economy, currency value, society in general keep going down hill.

 

I think after the no deal happens... then when the UK is suffering in the future... the government and media will then start to blame Europe for all our problems… making out we are being punished or persecuted... just to cover up the governments incompetence.

On the other hand, when the UK gets a reasonable compromise deal, as they will at the eleventh hour, all the "experts" will realise that all their dire predictions of doom and gloom were absurd.  A reasonable deal is in the interests of both parties.  Labour will NOT win the next election, as leadership is totally lacking. Mrs May is the one taking all the criticism, but it is she and not Corbyn who is getting on with the difficult and complex job.  I see no sign of anybody who wants to take over the current job from her, while negotiations are proceeding, as they have no alternative program which would satisfy the majority of the electorate.

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Quote

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told the meeting Britain's property market would crash and mortgage rates would spiral up in the event of a chaotic no-deal Brexit, with house prices falling 35 percent over three years, the Times newspaper reported.

I wonder what he bases these figures on?

Does he just dream them up?

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11 minutes ago, Retiredandhappyhere said:

On the other hand, when the UK gets a reasonable compromise deal, as they will at the eleventh hour, all the "experts" will realise that all their dire predictions of doom and gloom were absurd.  A reasonable deal is in the interests of both parties.  Labour will NOT win the next election, as leadership is totally lacking. Mrs May is the one taking all the criticism, but it is she and not Corbyn who is getting on with the difficult and complex job.  I see no sign of anybody who wants to take over the current job from her, while negotiations are proceeding, as they have no alternative program which would satisfy the majority of the electorate.

I guess it all depends then on what you consider "a reasonable deal".  A reasonable deal to a remainer isn't going to be the same (or even close) to what a Brexiteer considers a reasonable deal. 

 

I doubt that Corbyn will remain leader for much longer, especially if Labour smell a general election after the final Brexit result.  In which case they could win, maybe in coalition.  May will be gone and it is likely that Johnson will finally get his wish to be leader of the party.

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3 minutes ago, Retiredandhappyhere said:

Basically, yes, just like all the other dire predictions of what would happen immediately after a Brexit "Leave" vote, most of which never materialised.

These are not predictions of what would happen by Carney.  He was asked to present a "worst case scenario" to the cabinet and was careful to stress that these are not predictions and would depend on many different aspects of a no deal.  He was asked to present this at the cabinet meeting, he didn't volunteer this off of his own back.

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1 hour ago, Retiredandhappyhere said:

On the other hand, when the UK gets a reasonable compromise deal, as they will at the eleventh hour, all the "experts" will realise that all their dire predictions of doom and gloom were absurd.  A reasonable deal is in the interests of both parties.  Labour will NOT win the next election, as leadership is totally lacking. Mrs May is the one taking all the criticism, but it is she and not Corbyn who is getting on with the difficult and complex job.  I see no sign of anybody who wants to take over the current job from her, while negotiations are proceeding, as they have no alternative program which would satisfy the majority of the electorate.

I hope you are right.  I have copy / pasted your post onto my computer.  After the eleventh hour I will see how your predictions hold up.  

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11 hours ago, rooster59 said:

The opposition Labour Party's foreign affairs spokeswoman Emily Thornberry told the Financial Times her party was set to vote against any Brexit deal

An interesting choice of words (if they were indeed hers): This would imply that Labour is now in favour of Remain.

Alternatively, she may have meant and even said: We're against any Brexit deal prepared by the current government ...

 

Lots of grounds for misunderstandings in all this.

 

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6 hours ago, Jonnapat said:

Don't think the EU are desperate but I concur about the exchange rate which would be welcome news

Macron at least has made it pretty clear he's bored by the whole thing & just wants it over & done with so that he & Europe can get on with urgent business.

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2 hours ago, dunroaming said:

I doubt that Corbyn will remain leader for much longer, especially if Labour smell a general election after the final Brexit result.  In which case they could win, maybe in coalition.  May will be gone and it is likely that Johnson will finally get his wish to be leader of the party.

Given the power of Momentum within the Labour Party, it's hard to see how Corbyn could be displaced as Labour leader. At the same time it's extremely unlikely (impossible IMHO) that Labour could win a GE with Corbyn as the leader.

 

As usual the Labour Party has shot itself in both foots (feet if your prefer). The most successful Labour leader in my lifetime was Blair, and he was a Thatcherite!

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8 hours ago, loong said:

I wonder what he bases these figures on?

Does he just dream them up?

When did forum Brexiteers ever bother make an effort to read BoE publications about anything at all? Better just make scatter-gun comments.

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5 hours ago, My Thai Life said:

Given the power of Momentum within the Labour Party, it's hard to see how Corbyn could be displaced as Labour leader. At the same time it's extremely unlikely (impossible IMHO) that Labour could win a GE with Corbyn as the leader.

As usual the Labour Party has shot itself in both foots (feet if your prefer). The most successful Labour leader in my lifetime was Blair, and he was a Thatcherite!

Odds shorter on Labour if either the Tories rip themselves apart or the Hard Brexiteers vote together with Labour to bring down the PM>

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13 hours ago, My Thai Life said:

Given the power of Momentum within the Labour Party, it's hard to see how Corbyn could be displaced as Labour leader. At the same time it's extremely unlikely (impossible IMHO) that Labour could win a GE with Corbyn as the leader.

 

As usual the Labour Party has shot itself in both foots (feet if your prefer). The most successful Labour leader in my lifetime was Blair, and he was a Thatcherite!

You perhaps missed the massive swing Labour pulled off under Corbyn at the last election.

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14 hours ago, mfd101 said:

An interesting choice of words (if they were indeed hers): This would imply that Labour is now in favour of Remain.

Alternatively, she may have meant and even said: We're against any Brexit deal prepared by the current government ...

 

Lots of grounds for misunderstandings in all this.

 

The up coming party conference is going to be interesting.

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