Brexit

Deep into the ‘silly season’, news is getting scarce. The biggest Brexit story is a joint statement by the Chancellor and the International Trade Secretary. The Telegraph reports:

Britain will not stay in the European Union by the “backdoor” and will completely leave the single market and customs union after Brexit in 2019, Philip Hammond and Liam Fox have declared.
After a summer of bitter Cabinet infighting, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Dr Fox, the International Trade Secretary, appear to bury the hatchet with a joint pledge that there will be a fixed transition period after leaving the EU.
In an article written for the Telegraph, the ministers – representing the Remain and Leave wings of the Tory party –  say this will be “time limited” and designed to avoid a “cliff edge” that could damage British business.
Although they do not say how long this period will last, it will not represent an attempt to stay in the EU indefinitely, they say.

Sky News picks up the story.

Britain will leave the European Union by the “back door” leaving the single market and customs union in March 2019, Philip Hammond and Liam Fox have jointly declared.
In an attempt to provide a unified front after a summer of open conflict, the Chancellor and International Trade Secretary have said there will be a transitional “time-limited” period designed to avoid a so-called “cliff-edge”.
However, their joint article for the Sunday Telegraph does not declare how long this period will last.
Mr Hammond and Mr Fox write: “We will leave the customs union and be free to negotiate the best trade deals around the world as an independent, open, trading nation.

And Huffington Post reports the addition backing for a former foreign secretary.

Philip Hammond has been backed by former Tory leader Lord Hague amid ongoing Cabinet tensions about the approach to Brexit.
The ex-foreign secretary said the Chancellor deserves credit for pushing for a transitional deal which preserves close ties to Brussels, giving time for a new trading relationship to be established and avoiding turning Brexit into a “disaster”.
The Chancellor has dismissed suggestions that Brexit could be “postponed or delayed” as ministers push for a transitional deal. 

However, BBC News claims there could still be a transition period.

The UK will need a transition period to help businesses adjust after Brexit, the chancellor and the international trade secretary have said.
In a joint Sunday Telegraph article, Philip Hammond and Liam Fox stressed any deal would not be indefinite or a “back door” to staying in the EU.
Their comments are being seen as an attempt to show unity between rival sides in Theresa May’s cabinet.
It comes as ministers start to set out their detailed aims for Brexit.

The Times describes the announcement as a ‘show of unity’.

Britain will leave the European Union single market and customs union in 2019, the chancellor Philip Hammond and the international trade secretary Liam Fox have announced in an apparent show of cabinet unity on Brexit after months of in-fighting.
Hammond, seen as representing the “soft” Brexit camp, and Fox, a leading “leave” campaigner, last night issued a joint pledge setting out their plan for the UK to have a “time-limited” transitional period after it leaves the EU.
Moderates will be heartened by assurances that a transitional period will avoid a “cliff edge” exit that will adversely affect business.

The anti-Brexit Independent also reports the story.

Senior members of the Government have declared the UK will not seek to remain in the European Union “by the back door” and will leave both the single market and the customs union when Brexit happens in 2019.
Chancellor Philip Hammond, a strong Remain campaigner, and Trade Secretary Liam Fox, a leading Brexiteer, put on a display of unity with a joint pledge that echoes Theresa May’s oft-repeated remark that “Brexit means Brexit”.
Writing in the Brexit-backing
Telegraph, the ministers said there would be a “transition period” if the UK leaves the 28-country block as expected in March, 2019, to avoid an economic “cliff edge” which many businesses and economists fear.
But they added the transition period would be just that, and would not be used as an attempt to prolong membership or to delay the inevitable.

The Sun quotes the Brexit secretary’s view that the ‘divorce bill’ is a no-go.

BRITAIN will tell EU chiefs to forget their £36billion divorce bill unless they strike deal for life after Brexit.
David Davis will insist all cash is off the table until they discuss the “bigger issue” of our future relations.
The Brexit Secretary will bombard them with a mountain of detailed proposals covering everything from trade to migration.
It is part of a determined drive to end the EU’s obsession with a cash settlement and talk about the post-2019 partnership.

And Reuters claims the joint statement includes a transition period.

Britain needs a transition period to soften its exit from the European Union, but it cannot be used to stop Brexit, two senior ministers said on Saturday, signalling a truce between rival factions in Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet.
May’s Brexit strategy has been the subject of open debate among her top team ever since a botched June election which weakened her authority and exposed differences of opinion over how Britain should manage its departure from the bloc.
However the outspoken pro-European Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and ardent Brexiteer trade minister Liam Fox looked to end the debate by setting out a joint position in a newspaper article.

The Express quotes a report by a think tank about the true cost of our membership of the EU.

THE true cost to Britain of being in the EU has been £660million a week since 2010, a think tank says.
This includes more than £80billion lost to the Treasury after the European Court of Justice forced tax rebates to multinationals and £50billion in Eurozone bailout obligations.
In membership fees alone, after the rebate has been returned Britain has paid out £70.6billion in fees.
But the Bruges Groups says our real financial commitment is £275.08billion.
Over seven years that is £34.3billion a year, or £661,260,000 a week. 

The Guardian has a story about former foreign secretary opining about Brexit.

David Miliband has made a dramatic entry into the debate about Britain’s exit from the EU with an impassioned call for politicians from all parties to work together to avoid the Tory high command driving the country “off a cliff”.
Labour’s former foreign secretary warned that Brexit is an “unparalleled act of economic self-harm” and suggested that it is up to MPs of all political colours to fight back against its worst consequences. The country’s future, he argued, should be decided by another vote on the terms of a final settlement – either by referendum or in parliament.
In a scathing article in the 
Observer, Miliband wrote: “Delegating to May and Davis, never mind Johnson and Fox, the settlement of a workable alternative to EU membership is a delusion, not just an abdication.”

EAW

The Telegraph muses on a post-Brexit replacement for the European Arrest Warrant.

Britain could replace the European Arrest Warrant with a “fast track surrender scheme” after Brexit, under plans being considered by ministers.
The new scheme would allow any country which agrees a bilateral deal with the UK to sign up to the new scheme to allow the speedy extradition of criminals.
The arrest warrant enables members of the European Union to extradite suspects from other member states.
Britain surrenders an average of 1,000 individuals a year to other EU states and issues around 200.
The Government has said that retaining membership of the European Arrest Warrant is a “priority” after Britain leaves the EU and described it as “absolutely essential” in bringing murderers, rapists, paedophiles to justice.

Migration

The situation in the Mediterranean is covered by Breitbart.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has suspended its so-called “rescue” missions ferrying migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe.
Françoise Bouchet-Saulnier, responsible for MSF ship 
Prudence, has said the NGO will cease its activities pending explanations from Libya’s nominal government over warnings that “NGOs which pretend to want to rescue illegal migrants and carry out humanitarian actions” are no longer welcome in the search-and-rescue zone in and around their waters, Radio France Internationale reports.
Earlier this week, a Libyan Coast Guard vessel approached another NGO ship — the 
Golfo Azzurro, operated by Proactiva Open Arms — and fired warning shots at it.

Conservative leadership

Back home, the Tory leadership is under further scrutiny in the Times.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is “sounding out” friends about whether he should enter the race to succeed Theresa May. The Old Etonian, who previously said he did not see himself as a “serious” candidate, is giving “careful consideration” to his political career, friends say.
The news comes days after the father of six was revealed as the second-most popular choice to become the next Tory leader in a poll of party members by the ConservativeHome website. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Rees-Mogg, 48, sidestepped questions about his ambition, saying: “I think if I threw my hat into the ring, my hat would be thrown back at me pretty quickly.”
He has resolutely supported May, who lost her party’s majority in June’s general election.

The Express also reports on the prospective contender.

JACOB Rees-Mogg has told a friend he wants to become the Conservative party leader, a close ally of Donald Trump has claimed.
Trump ally Ted Malloch said he went for a private lunch with the hard Brexiteer, who reportedly expressed interest in the role.
Mr Malloch said: “I was at a lunch with Jacob very recently and he indicated he would like to be considered for the leadership when the time comes.
“He did not mean now, but at some point in the future.”
Mr Malloch also urged the Tories to dump “weak” May in favour of “lion” Rees-Mogg.

Tuition fees

Away from politics, university tuition fees are examined in the Independent.

Theresa May is being urged today to cut the soaring cost of going to university and stop students from being punished with debts of more than £50,000, a poll for The Independent reveals.
Almost two-thirds of people want annual tuition fees – which could reach up to £9,250 this autumn at some institutions – to be slashed or scrapped.
And the poll, by BMG Research, shows even stronger support for axing the interest charged on student loans, which will rise to an eye-watering 6.1 per cent next month.
The results come just days before next week’s A-level results, when tens of thousands of young people will learn if they have achieved the marks to go to university, while worrying about the bills.

Royal family

And the Mail has a story about Prince Charles taking on more work.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI announced it through the Vatican, to shock and surprise.
A poised Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands revealed it in a video uploaded to YouTube, and King Juan Carlos of Spain confirmed it by signing a parliamentary bill.
Queen Elizabeth, however, has vowed that abdicate is something she will never do.
Abdication is, after all, a dirty word in the corridors of Royal palaces, especially after the earthquake caused when her uncle Edward VIII quit the throne in 1936 to marry the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson.
And there is no indication that that will ever change.
Yet with the Queen now into her 91st year, and with the hard-working Duke of Edinburgh choosing to retire last month at the age of 96, plans are afoot which, if implemented, would see Charles appointed King in all but name.
Palace sources have indicated that the Queen has told her inner circle that, if she is still on the throne at the age of 95, she will ask for a piece of legislation called the Regency Act to come into force – granting her eldest son full power to reign even while she still lives. 

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