POLITICS

Brexit Briefing: By Her Own Logic, Theresa May Caused The Biggest Risk To Brexit

It's not going to plan.

01/06/2017 18:24
HuffPost UK

All you need to know from the world of Brexit this week.

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1) The Best Theresa May Attack Is When She Has A Go At Herself For Putting Brexit At Risk

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After a tough week on the campaign trail, Theresa May is determined for the rest of the election to be focused on Brexit.

In a speech today (Thursday), the Prime Minister reiterated the central thrust of her campaign: Jeremy Corbyn must not be allowed to negotiate Britain’s Brexit deal as he doesn’t have what he takes.

It’s clear the Prime Minister feels very strongly about this. She truly believes Corbyn would sell the UK down the river and possibly even try to reverse the result of the referendum if he was allowed into the negotiating room.

That is despite Corbyn being a greater Eurosceptic than May has ever been.

Look back at all the big rebellions against the EU in Parliament, and you’ll see which of the two was more consistent in trying to stop Brussels take more power from the UK.

If you accept May’s view that Corbyn would get a bad deal – or even try to reverse Brexit entirely – she must surely be angry with the person who made him becoming Prime Minister for the negotiations a possibility; the person who called an election, despite there not needing to be one until a year after the Brexit talks are due to finish. 

She must be fuming with herself.

2) When Is A Barista Visa Not A Barista Visa? When Labour (Don’t Actually) Suggest It.

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For all of May’s – and Tim Farron’s - attempt to make this election about Brexit, it really is the dog that hasn’t barked.

Another issue that usually dominates elections is immigration, but even that has failed to spark into life – Labour hasn’t even made a mug about it this time.

The Daily Mail and Telegraph tried their best to paint Jeremy Corbyn out as a danger to the goal of reducing immigration numbers on Wednesday, citing an “internal policy document” calling for a visa for migrants seeking “low-skilled, unskilled or seasonal work.”

The document was produced as part of Labour’s brainstorming as it put together its manifesto and didn’t make it into the final document.

Despite the rhetoric from the right-wing rags, this policy is not hugely different from an idea considered by Home Secretary Amber Rudd in April – dubbed the ‘barista visa’.

The scheme would see an extension of the Youth Mobility Scheme to include the EU. It currently applies to 18-30-year-olds in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Monaco and Taiwan. 

It allows people to come to the UK to live and work for 2 years, and is seen as a way of making sure seasonal employers still have aspect to a labour market without contributing to long-term migrant figures.

3) Secretly, Brussels Bureaucrats Are Loving All The Extra Brexit Paperwork.

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The European Union might be against Brexit, but it is certainly giving Brussels the opportunity to do what it does best: bureaucracy.

The European Commission this week published draft position papers on citizens’ rights and the financial settlement ahead of the negotiations beginning on June 19.

It feels like Brussels is constantly re-announcing its positions just to make sure the UK understands it absolutely, 100% means it.

The citizens’ rights document managed to wind up Brexit Secretary David Davis – not that’s particularly difficult for the EU. Jean Claude-Juncker could present Davis with a gold statute in his honour and the Brexit Secretary would still be offended they didn’t also make one of his PPS Stewart Jackson as well.

The document states that any rights given to EU citizens in the UK as part of the Brexit deal should also be extended to members of their family – even if they do not currently reside in Britain.

Davis told LBC on Tuesday that Brussels officials were “playing very hardball tactics and someone will have to know how to deal with them”.

He went on: “The demands they are putting up are ridiculously high on EU citizens.

“We are going to give the European citizens here generous rights. We don’t intend to be unnecessarily fierce about this. We will deal with it at the very first negotiations.”

In the financial settlement document, the EU wants the UK to keep paying the salaries of English teachers in Brussels schools for two years after Brexit. 

It also calls for subsidies for farmers to continue until 2020, as well obligations to more than 70 agencies and institutions.

4) If The EU Takes Back Control Of Its Health Care Systems, That £350million A Week Could Come In Handy.

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Theresa May has always insisted it is her responsibility to get a deal not just for EU citizens in the UK, but also for the more than a million Brits living on the continent.

Of that number, about 190,000 are pensioners, and research by the Nuffield Trust think-tank this week warned of the financial cost of them returning to the UK for medical treatment.

Currently, UK citizens living in the EU can access free or cheap health care as part of a reciprocal deal.

The UK sends about £500million overseas in this regard, mostly to Spain where 100,000 pensioners live. Nuffield calculated that if that deal came to an end, and Brits returned home for treatment, it could double the cost to the public purse as an additional £1billion will be needed to be pumped into the NHS.

It might sound a lot, but seeing as the UK will be saving £350million a week after Brexit (copyright B. Johnson et al), it will actually take less than two weeks for the UK to pay the extra money.

Don’t Get Angry, Get Blogging…

At HuffPost we love a good blog, and here are the finest Brexit-penned entries from this week. Have a read, and if any of them provoke an urge in you to speak your brain, send a blog to ukblogteam@huffingtonpost.com and you could find yourself in this very newsletter.

Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson on what the party manifestos say about Brexit means for women. 

Maike Bohn blogs on ‘having no voice’ as an EU national in the election and Brexit debate. 

Chris Whiting with eight, sometimes Brexit-related, reasons to vote Lib Dem.

Joseph Gann on how Brexit puts the entire culinary industry “in peril”. 

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