Today – even by the standards of the speed of news about Brexit – has been an extraordinary day. Here are the five stand out issues:

  1. 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…
  2. 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…
  3. 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…
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-16-22-11

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