Today – even by the standards of the speed of news about Brexit – has been an extraordinary day. Here are the five stand out issues:
- A leaked memo shows the UK government has no Brexit plan and estimates that 30000 civil servants are going to be needed to make Brexit work – The Guardian. While I think the civil servant number is excessive, that the government still has no plan is both obvious and worrying, especially because…
- The costs the EU will impose on the UK when it leaves are now becoming clear, and they are hefty – FT. This outlines the line the European Commission is aiming to take in the negotiations, namely to get a swift divorce and then negotiate the long term relationship afterwards. That’s not the only pressure to get a quick deal, because…
- The plummeting pound means the UK is having to pay £1.8bn extra into the EU budget, as the EU budget is calculated in Euro – Daily Mail. The longer the UK waits, the more the cost grows, and the more the economic uncertainty pervades, as seems to be the case as…
- The London hotel industry has registered marked decreases in numbers of guests in October – The Independent. I am not sure this equates to a slump, but it does show that a weakened pound is not enough to help the UK economy rebound.
- The government however is planning how to deal with Parliament, if it loses in the Supreme Court – by drafting a three line bill that is going to be hard to amend – BBC. Meanwhile the opposition has said that those opposing Brexit are “on the sides of certain corporate elites” – Politics.co.uk
So basically the UK has a government with no plan, facing an EU with a plan to be tough, while the UK’s budget position vis à vis the EU is worsening, the tourist industry is struggling, and the government is trying to rush a bill through Parliament and the opposition is not working.
What could possibly go wrong? One thinks some mighty crunch must be just around the corner.
[UPDATE 1 – 15.11.2016, 1630]
I’d missed a word in point 4, now corrected – thanks to Twitter users for having pointed this out!
[UPDATE 2 – 15.11.2016, 1630]
What would a day of Brexit news be without a Boris Johnson howler? He has called Freedom of Movement a “myth,” “nonsense” and “bollocks”. Er, no, Boris – it’s in Article 3 of the TEU.