Majority of Scots willing to leave UK

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told the BBC that Holyrood could try to block the UK’s exit from the EU.
She was speaking following a referendum on Thursday which saw Britain vote by 52% to 48% to leave Europe.
However, in Scotland the picture was different with 62% backing Remain and 38% wanting to go.
SNP leader Ms Sturgeon said that « of course » she would ask MSPs to refuse to give their « legislative consent ».
Keep up with the latest news following the Brexit vote
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Corbyn under pressure amid top team revolt
Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, insisted the Edinburgh parliament did not have the required authority to block Brexit.
In an interview with the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland programme Ms Sturgeon was asked what the Scottish Parliament would do now.
Ms Sturgeon, whose party has 63 of the 129 Holyrood seats, said: « The issue you are talking about is would there have to be a legislative consent motion or motions for the legislation that extricates the UK from the European Union?
« Looking at it from a logical perspective, I find it hard to believe that there wouldn’t be that requirement – I suspect that the UK government will take a very different view on that and we’ll have to see where that discussion ends up. »


Germany makes plans for a post-Brexit Britain and wants us to still trade with the EU


She is already making plans to keep business going with Britain just hours after it was announced Brits had voted for Brexit.

Boris Johnson has said there is no need to rush the process of leaving the EU but it looks like it needs us as work is already underway to draw up terms.

German business paper Handelsblatt reports Germany wants to offer us ‘associated partnership status’ with other European Union countries.

This is according to an eight-page document entitled “The German strategy regarding a Brexit”, where the finance ministry said it wanted “to offer constructive exit negotiations” with other EU members, and adds it expects the talks between Brussels and London to be difficult.

The precise terms of the “associated partnership status” will depend on the deal hammered out between Britain and the remaining EU members.

It would draw up a framework for co-operation between us and the European Union and could include political, trade, social, cultural and security links.

Germany’s strategy comes after Brussels chiefs demanded Britain get on with leaving the EU.

In a joint statement from Commission President Jean Claude Juncker and EU Council chief Donald Tusk, the PM was urged to invoke Article 50 – effectively Britain’s resignation letter – as soon as possible to kick-start talks over a departure.

They said: “This is an unprecedented situation but we are now united in our response.

“We now expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be.

“Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty.”

But in his resignation speech earlier today David Cameron signalled the UK would not be in a position to begin divorce negotiations until a new PM is in Downing Street this October.

Britain remains a member of the EU with all the rights – and obligations – until the process of negotiations over the terms of a departure is settled.

Invoking Article 50 begins a two-year period of talks to try and thrash out terms.

Earlier today European Parliament chief Martin Schulz threatened to hit Britain with “consequences” – to show other EU member states they should not follow the UK out of the door.

‘Brexit’ Opens Uncertain Chapter in Britain’s Storied History

By Steven Erlanger New York Times

LONDON — Asked to vote in or out, Britain has chosen decisively to cast off its 43-year-old membership in the European Union, leaving it to face a more complex question: What kind of nation will it be now?

Will Britain be the outward-looking, entrepreneurial, confident country that makes its independent way in the world, as the leaders of the Leave campaign insisted it could be?
Or will it retreat to become a Little England, nationalist and a touch xenophobic, responding to the voters that drove it to quit the European Union?

Even more important: Will it even hold together? With Scotland deeply pro-European, pressure will increase for another independence referendum that could bring an end to the United Kingdom.

Britain, a nation whose storied history has encompassed the birth of constitutional government, global empire, royal pageantry and heroic defense against fascism, is entering unknown territory.

The questions about its new path could remain unresolved for years. On Friday morning, at least, Britain remained a member of the European Union in full standing, just as it was 24 hours earlier.

But the impact of this plebiscite is likely to be profound and long-lasting, well beyond the immediate tumult in the financial markets, and the questions about Britain’s future will be answered against the backdrop of potential political, legal and economic upheaval.

A Conservative government with its first majority since 1992 has ripped itself apart on a global stage and is badly damaged. The main question on that front seems to be whether Prime Minister David Cameron and his top aide, George Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer, leave slowly or speedily. An early general election is not out of the question.

Once Britain begins the formal process of withdrawing from the European Union by exercising Article 50 of the treaty that governs membership in the bloc, it will trigger a two-year clock on negotiations, a period in which Britain — including millions of European citizens living in Britain and British citizens living in the European Union — will be in limbo.

And if the British Treasury, the Bank of England, the International Monetary Fund and the Institute for Fiscal Studies are to be believed, the British economy is in for a severe shock. The Treasury estimates that the British gross domestic product, representing the size of the economy, will fall by 3.5 percent, clobbering tax receipts; that half a million people will lose their jobs; and that housing prices (and thus personal wealth of homeowners) will fall by 10 percent.

Those estimates were criticized by the Leave campaign, including senior members of government, as unfounded fear mongering. Now Britain will find out how accurate they are.
This vote was a severe shock to Britain’s political class from voters who are angry, confused and deeply distrustful of elites.

The Labour Party joined Mr. Cameron in campaigning to stay in Europe, as did nearly all the other parties represented in Parliament, with the exception of the Democratic Unionists and the U.K. Independence Party, which was founded on a platform of leaving the European Union. Yet despite that solid wall of establishment voices — or perhaps because of them — Britain voted for a fundamental change in direction.

“The British political class should pay attention,” said Tony Travers, professor of government at the London School of Economics.

“There is a lot of disaffection with both main parties,” he said. In 1955, the Conservatives and Labour won 97.5 percent of the vote, but in last two elections, the two won only about 66 percent of the vote, he said.

Graphic | Repercussions of Britain’s Exit From the E.U. Investors, policy makers and countries face a messy breakup with vast financial, economic and political implications.

“Into that vacuum something else has to move, but what?” Mr. Travers asked. “The political class has to wonder how to appeal to those who increasingly feel left out of the system, how to stop large numbers of voters feeling cut out of economic change and success.”

The Conservative Party is already split between traditional establishment figures like Mr. Cameron and others who embraced the anti-elite, anti-immigration posture of the Leave campaign, most prominently the former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and one of Mr. Cameron’s senior cabinet members, Michael Gove.

Irish trade deal ‘impossible’ after Brexit

ARTHUR BEESLEY A British cabinet minister has warned that it could be impossible to make special tariff arrangements for Ireland in the event of a vote to leave the European Union. 

The warning from work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb comes amid signs of concern in Dublin about the outlook for the June referendum.

At a Cabinet briefing last week, ministers in the outgoing government were told that the next administration would need to devote considerable time and political resources to Brexitpreparations if UK voters choose to leave. 

Politically sensitive

Numerous risks are foreseen but the question of any public intervention in the referendum campaign by the Irish authorities will not be settled by the outgoing Coalition. While this is seen as a matter for the next government, it is sensitive politically in view of anxiety that the Leave camp might seize on any Irish argument against Brexit as an improper intrusion in the UK debate.

Mr Crabb said that, if a post- Brexit UK was relying on its membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to regulate trade with the EU, it would have to offer the same terms to all WTO members.

He was speaking in Bristol at the launch of a 200-page UK Treasury assessment of the economic cost of leaving the EU. The report looked at three options: membership of the European Economic Area, like Norway; a bilateral trade deal with the EU, like Canada; or relying on WTO rules to regulate trade.

“We’d have to decide where to set British import tariffs. Would we choose to set high tariffs on food to protect British farmers? Or would we set low tariffs on food to protect British consumers?” Mr Crabb said.

“Regardless of what we decided on import tariffs, there’s a catch. WTO rules would require us to offer the same tariff to all countries. So if we wanted to offer low tariffs to our neighbours in Ireland, we’d have to do the same for all other 160 countries in the WTO.”

At present, there are no routine customs controls on imports and exports between the UK and Ireland.

Noting the operation of the common travel area since the 1920s, the Treasury report warned of new customs controls and duties if Britain left the EU customs union.

“Goods being exported across the border could be subject to various forms of customs controls and their liability to duty determined according to complex rules of origin. This would affect the current high level of cross-border activity and trade flows,” the report said.

Northern Ireland

“Indeed, Ireland is Northern Ireland’s single largest export market. The latest data shows 37 per cent (£3.6 billion) of Northern Ireland’s goods and services exports go to Ireland.

“In 2014, Northern Ireland manufacturing sales to Ireland were worth £1.4 billion, approximately 10 per cent of Northern Ireland’s total external manufacturing sales and equivalent to 37 per cent of Northern Ireland’s total domestic sales.”

Fergal O’Brien, head of policy at business lobby Ibec, said there was evidence that Irish firms were postponing investment decisions due to uncertainty over the referendum.

“There is investor uncertainty out there that is probably already impacting on board-level decisions or investment projects [among] UK corporations in terms of their investments across Europe, including Ireland, and definitely in Irish companies as well,” Mr O’Brien said.

“In a number of cases I think it is giving some companies cause for pause and thought.”


Brexit Would Lead to 6% Drop in U.K. GDP

LONDON—U.K. Treasury chief George Osborne said Monday that a British exit from the European Union could permanently damage its economy, as the government laid out its most detailed assessment yet of the potential economic implications of leaving the bloc.
Mr. Osborne, citing a new government analysis, said the U.K. economy could be around 6% smaller in 2030 if it left the EU than if it remains a member. That is a loss of income equivalent to £4,300 ($6,107) a year for every British household, Mr. Osborne said.

​​“Britain would be permanently poorer if it left the European Union. Under any alternative, we’d trade less, do less business and receive less investment,” Mr. ​Osborne said in a speech in Bristol, England.​”British families will pay a heavy economic price if we leave the EU.​”​

Backers of a British exit dismissed the report. Conservative lawmaker Peter Bone called the predictions “speculative at best, deceitful at worst.”

The UK’s economic future is a key battleground in the country’s June 23 referendum on whether to leave the EU, with both sides in the heated campaign touting contrasting visions of the future of a U.K. less closely tied to Europe. Estimates of the economic impact of a British exit have varied wildly, largely because of uncertainty about how the U.K.’s eventual trade relationships would look.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is spearheading efforts to persuade Britons to vote to remain, has made economic security central to his arguments. President Barack Obama is likely to add his support for Britain’s continued membership during a visit this week.


Brexit, UK

If the Church of England was once the Tory party at prayer, then the nation’s shotgun-owning farmers were the party’s armed wing. I grew up on a farm in the Yorkshire Dales and must have been about 18 before I met someone who didn’t identify as TBC (True Blue Conservative). Ours was one of the safest Tory seats in the country, with the local MP being Leon Brittan and then William Hague. And Margaret Thatcher was considered a hero in our ‘community’ not because of the Falklands war or her defeat of Arthur Scargill but because she liked to greet the dawn by listening to Farming Today on Radio 4 (true).

But the Brexit debate is leaving our True Blue farmers deeply conflicted. On the one hand, without EU subsidies, many of them would go out of business. On the other, their Tory instincts tell them that subsidies are a socialist idea, the opposite of free trade, and therefore plain wrong. Until now, their approach has been to avoid examining their consciences too closely, because it’s not their fault if their counterparts in other EU countries, especially France, represent such an aggressive and powerful lobby.

And it’s not their fault either that a staggering 40 per cent of the EU budget is spunked away on the Common Agricultural Policy, that ingenious device for reducing Europe’s reliance on imported food and drink by first overproducing — those notorious grain mountains and wine lakes — and then underproducing: the equally notorious ‘set aside’ of land, in which farmers were paid not to farm. David Cameron tried to include reform of the CAP in his ‘new settlement’ the other day, but the other EU leaders just stared at him as if he were mad. Some things are sacrosanct.

It’s not even the farmers’ fault that they need subsidies to survive — it’s the fault of Britain’s supermarkets, which fight for market share by keeping food prices artificially low. How do they manage that? They simply pass on the cost to the farmers. A litre of milk, for example, costs a farmer about 30p to produce, but the supermarkets pay him (it’s usually a him) an average of 23p. This is why the number of dairy farmers has halved in the past decade, from 20,000 to 10,000, and why 2,000 more are expected to go bust this year.


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Face à la menace de « Brexit », la livre sterling s’effondre


La livre britannique est tombée lundi à son niveau le plus faible en près de sept ans face au dollar, plombée par le ralliement de l’influent maire de Londres Boris Johnson aux partisans de la sortie du Royaume-Uni de l’Union européenne (UE).

Vers 13h40, la livre a atteint 1,4058 dollar, son niveau le plus faible depuis mi-mars 2009, enfonçant ainsi un précédent plus bas datant de fin janvier. 
La livre a peiné par la suite à se reprendre, alors qu’elle valait encore 1,4392 dollar vendredi soir.

Face à l’euro, la livre sterling a également dévissé, baissant à 77,98 pence pour un euro vers 16 heures contre 77,35 pence vendredi soir. 
La position du maire de Londres dans la balance
Le charismatique maire de Londres, le député conservateur Boris Johnson, a annoncé dimanche qu’il ferait campagne pour la sortie du Royaume-Uni de l’UE, un revers pour le Premier ministre David Cameron quatre mois avant le référendum sur la question.
« Un tel face à face entre le Premier ministre et le maire de Londres (pourtant du même parti) va provoquer des grondements considérables dans le monde des investisseurs et c’est pour cela qu’ils quittent tous la livre pour chercher la sécurité relative que représente à leurs yeux le dollar, en tout cas pour le moment », a observé Augustin Eden, analyste chez Accendo Markets. 

Cameron tente de convaincre

« Quitter l’Europe menacerait notre sécurité économique et nationale », a par ailleurs averti David Cameron, qui appelle les Britanniques à voter pour le maintien dans l’Union lors du référendum du 23 juin.

Ceux qui prônent une sortie n’ont à offrir que « des risques dans un temps d’incertitude, un saut dans l’inconnu », a-t-il ajouté.

« Quand il s’agit des emplois des gens, on ne peut pas juste dire tout ira bien », a-t-il ajouté, soulignant qu’il fallait bien réfléchir aux conséquences d’un Brexit.