terça-feira, 15 de novembro de 2016

Theresa May furious at ‘unsolicited’ Brexit chaos memo / Eurogroup chief: Boris Johnson’s Brexit vision ‘impossible’

Eurogroup chief: Boris Johnson’s Brexit vision ‘impossible’

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem throws cold water on Johnson’s idea of trade with EU after UK’s exit.

By ESTHER KING 11/16/16, 9:39 AM CET Updated 11/16/16, 10:34 AM CET

Britain will not be able to leave the European Union’s customs union and continue to trade freely, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the BBC.

His comments come in response to claims made by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Johnson reportedly told the Czech newspaper Hospodářské Noviny that he believed the U.K. could maintain free trade from outside the customs union, possibly suggesting that the country would remain in the single market after exiting the EU.

The customs union allows its members to trade goods without tariffs, but applies duties to some goods imported from outside the union. Brexit supporters see this as a disadvantage, and advocate for the U.K. negotiating its own trade deals.

European leaders have warned the U.K. that it cannot have access to European markets after Brexit without also accepting free movement of labor, an issue that has been a sticking point between London and Brussels.

“[Johnson] is saying things that are intellectually impossible, politically unavailable, so I think he’s not offering the British people a fair view of what is available and what can be achieved in these negotiations,” Eurogroup leader Dijsselbloem said.

Both the U.K. economy and the European economy will be worse off post-Brexit, Dijsselbloem said, calling Brexit a “lose-lose situation.”

“We can do our best to minimize damages but it’s going to be a step back and that is what Boris Johnson should start talking about,” he said.

Downing Street said the government had not yet made a decision on its membership in the customs union.


Esther King  

Theresa May furious at ‘unsolicited’ Brexit chaos memo

Leaked memo claimed 30,000 new staff needed to cope with leaving the EU.

By CHARLIE COOPER AND ALEX SPENCE 11/15/16, 2:50 PM CET Updated 11/16/16, 6:39 AM CET

LONDON — Downing Street has reacted with anger to claims in a leaked memo that its plans for Brexit are in chaos because of divisions within the cabinet.

The memo, produced for the government by a consultancy firm and reported on the front of Tuesday’s Times newspaper, claimed that Whitehall was overwhelmed by the task of Brexit, and could require 30,000 new staff to handle Britain’s departure from the EU.

Theresa May’s official spokesperson said Tuesday that “no credence” should be paid to the memo, which she said was “unsolicited” and “nothing to do with the government.”

In unusually harsh language, she criticized the Times and broadcasters, including the BBC, who gave the memo prominent coverage.

“I struggle to understand why such an unsolicited memo which has no credence can make front page news or indeed lead broadcast bulletins in the morning. There is no basis for it,” the spokesperson said at a press briefing.

The memo, which is understood to have been produced by the accountancy firm Deloitte, had been seen by only “one or a few individuals” in government, and had not been shown to anyone in Number 10, including the prime minister, the spokesperson said.

Deloitte was among a range of consultants asked by David Cameron’s government to assess the task facing Whitehall following the EU referendum result, the spokesperson said.

The memo, dated November 7, states that May is “acquiring a reputation of drawing in decisions and details to settle matters herself,” criticizing the prime minister’s approach to Brexit as “unlikely to be sustainable.”

It also highlights cabinet splits between Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Brexit Secretary David Davis and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox on one side, and Chancellor Philip Hammond and Business Secretary Greg Clark on the other, warning that divisions are harming preparations for Brexit.

Deborah Haynes, the Times’ defense editor, who co-wrote the newspaper article, defended its reporting on Twitter.

The memo was “seen and aided by civil servants,” Haynes said in a Tweet Tuesday.

Number 10 should “stop shooting the messenger and start addressing the challenges” the government faces in negotiating Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, she added.


Charlie Cooper and Alex Spence  

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