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EU Says No-Deal Risk ‘Palpable’ as Court Resumes: Brexit Update

18.09.2019 8:39


(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson’s lawyer promised the Supreme Court the government will file a statement overnight on what it will do if it loses the landmark case over its suspension of Parliament. A ruling against the government has the potential to derail Johnson’s Brexit strategy and even curtail his premiership.Key Developments:Day 2 of court hearings has begun; Click here for live streamGovernment lawyer James Eadie promises written statement on Johnson’s plans if he loses, after the court warned it would be “entirely inconvenient” if it wasn’t provided before the hearings endThe third and final day of hearings is Thursday, but the Supreme Court hasn’t given a date for a rulingPound drops as much as 0.5% after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the risk of a no-deal Brexit is “palpable”Court Demands Johnson’s Plan If Defeated (1:30 p.m.)Just before finishing, Eadie turned to the question of what the court could order and how the government might respond if the ruling goes against it. It was an issue that concerned the judges on the first day of the hearing, with one asking if Boris Johnson might prorogue Parliament for a second time.The government must provide the court with its plan in the event of defeat and "it will be entirely inappropriate if you don’t do it by the end of tomorrow," Judge Brenda Hale, the president of the court, said.Eadie responded that the government will work on its reply overnight as Judge Robert Reed spoke up to note that the issue could be a "very difficult question" for the judges.Judge Questions Lack of Government Witness (1:20 p.m.)Judge Nicholas Wilson asked James Eadie why no senior government official had come forward with a witness statement to back up the cabinet minutes outlining the reasons for the suspension of Parliament. Had that been done, the government’s evidence would have more weight in the court’s eyes.“No one has come forward from your side to say that this is true,” Wilson said. “Isn’t it odd that nobody has signed a witness statement saying this is true?”Eadie countered: “My Lords, you have the witness statement you have,” referring to the document from a government lawyer. It would be unusual for a senior official to be called to give evidence in a case like this, Eadie said, and any application for that to happen would “be resisted like fury.”Denmark Ramps-Up No-Deal Preparations (12:35 p.m.)Denmark is ramping up preparations for a no-deal Brexit amid concerns at Boris Johnson’s strategy and estimates that divorce without an agreement could cost the Nordic nation as much as 1.3% in lost growth over the next 5-10 years.“The new British government’s approach is worrying,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod told reporters in Copenhagen as he announced the creation of an emergency task force of officials from eight ministries.The Foreign Ministry estimates that around 60,000 Danish jobs, or 2% of the labor force, relies on exports to the U.K.. Tax authorities have hired 50 new staff and the government will spend 10 million kroner ($1.5 million) on a new public awareness campaign.Judges Question ‘Post Hoc’ System of Control (12:20 p.m.)Two judges challenged government lawyer James Eadie’s suggestion that Parliament could address any harm stemming from its suspension after it is recalled. Justice Brian Kerr called it a “post-hoc system of control,” and Justice Jill Black also questioned the idea.But Eadie said that Parliament “can resume all the functions of control it had beforehand.” Eadie effectively argued that the 17 days between Parliament is due to be recalled for a Queen’s speech and the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline would be enough to address any issues.“There is time, and it’s up to Parliament and the government to legislate what they consider necessary,” he said.Barnier: U.K. Must Provide ‘Robust’ Solutions (11:40 a.m.)Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said the U.K. government must accept the need for “legally robust solutions” in any withdrawal accord, and said the two sides shouldn’t be wasting time “pretending to negotiate.”“We are building a treaty, we’re not making a speech” Barnier told the EU Parliament in Strasbourg. “It’s finding solutions that work, and that’s something that we’ve communicated to Boris Johnson and his team.”Barnier’s comments echo those of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (see 8:40 a.m.), who demanded the U.K. provide its proposals for an alternative solution to the contentious backstop -- the fallback measure designed to keep the Irish border free of checks after Brexit -- as soon as possible. A British official said Tuesday the government is still sounding out the bloc on its ideas for the border before submitting written proposals.Tytti Tuppurainen, European affairs minister of Finland -- which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency -- said in the same debate that achieving the U.K.’s orderly withdrawal must remain the bloc’s priority “until the very last moment, given the negative consequences of a hard Brexit.”German Businesses Toughen No-Deal Tone (11:30 a.m.)The influential German BDI industry lobby group said it would rather have a hard Brexit on Oct. 31 than accept another delay that leads nowhere, even if -- as the group expects -- it trims economic growth by 0.5 percentage points and leads to the loss of nearly 100,000 jobs.“With every delay, the cost of preparations increase,” Director General Joachim Lang said Wednesday at a press briefing in Berlin. He accused Boris Johnson’s government of “playing with fire,” and said it shouldn’t be given an extension without a plan in place to avoid a no-deal split with the EU.Despite the tougher tone, the BDI, which estimates German companies have spent billions of euros on preparations, said it still sees a no-deal Brexit as the “worst of all possible outcomes.”Who Better Than Court to Protect Parliament? (11:15 a.m.)Justice Nicholas Wilson asked government lawyer James Eadie who was “better placed to protect the principle of parliamentary sovereignty” than the Supreme Court.Eadie replied: “It’s no good simply turning up and shouting about parliamentary sovereignty, because parliamentary sovereignty can mean a number of things.”The exchange goes to the heart of the case, which is trying to determine whether the government’s five-week suspension of Parliament was unlawful.‘Treasury Devil’ to Open Day 2 for Government (10:15 a.m.)James Eadie, the government’s go-to lawyer in major pieces of litigation -- a role known as the “Treasury Devil” -- is due to kick off the second day of hearings at the Supreme Court. Aidan O’Neill then presents on behalf of 80 Scottish lawmakers, who secured the ruling in Edinburgh that the government’s suspension of Parliament was unlawful.The government’s main contention is the issue has no place being decided by judges, and that Johnson has acted within his powers. The decision to prorogue Parliament was one of “high policy and politics, and not law,” they argue.“The appeals would also involve the courts identifying and enforcing a new constitutional convention as to the length of prorogation, which the courts have no jurisdiction to do,” lawyers led by Eadie said in their written arguments.Both the Scottish and English challengers -- who lost their separate case in the High Court in London -- argue the issue falls squarely in the jurisdiction of the court to deal with and that Johnson abused his executive powers.“It is not, and cannot be, right that the executive can exercise its powers so as to remove itself from accountability to Parliament in relation to decisions of high constitutional -- and potentially irreversible legal, economic and social -- impact,” lawyers for Joanna Cherry in the Scottish case said.Sturgeon Doubts Johnson’s Brexit Ideas (9:30 a.m.)Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon cast doubt on Boris Johnson’s proposal to replace the so-called Irish backstop, and said the prospects of a Brexit deal “have to be slim.”“We will have to see what unfolds over the next few weeks, but it’s a very limited form of Northern Ireland-only backstop he appears to be talking about,” Sturgeon told reporters in Berlin, where she is due to meet German officials. “It’s very difficult to see how Boris Johnson can secure a deal that satisfies the European Union and commands a majority” in Parliament.On the Supreme Court hearings in London, Sturgeon said that a ruling for the government would effectively mean a “government can suspend Parliament at any time it wants.” Conversely, a loss for Johnson would mean he “will have been found to have acted unlawfully” and would have to consider his position.Speaking at the German Council on Foreign Relations on the fifth anniversary of the Scottish independence referendum, Sturgeon predicted that “over the next few years,” Scotland will become an independent member of the EU. “We are living in extraordinary and unprecedented times in the U.K,” she said.Juncker: Sticking Point Is Still the Backstop (8:40 a.m.)In his briefing to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Monday’s talks with Boris Johnson, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the main sticking point remains -- as it has for months -- the so-called backstop provision for the Irish border. He demanded the U.K. provide its proposals for an alternative solution in written form as soon as possible.Juncker said that while the discussions with Johnson in Luxembourg were “friendly, constructive and, in part, positive,” the risk of the U.K. leaving the bloc without an agreement at the end of October is “palpable.” The pound fell 0.3% after Juncker’s comments.A British official said on Tuesday the government is sounding out the bloc on its ideas for the Irish border before submitting its plans in written form.Carney Could Be Asked to Extend Term on Brexit: FT (Earlier)Bank of England Governor Mark Carney could be asked to extend his term past Jan. 31 if Brexit is delayed again, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter it didn’t identify.The newspaper cited a government official as saying the process of choosing Carney’s successor is going “very slowly,” while an expected election in the fall makes it likely that a decision would not be made until a new government was in place.Responding to the report, the Treasury said “the process is on track and we will make an appointment in due course.”Earlier:Johnson Struggles in Supreme Court on Day One of Suspension CaseRecord Numbers Seek Debt Help With U.K. on Brink of BrexitEurope Hunts For Boris Johnson’s Plan: Brexit Bulletin--With assistance from Stuart Biggs, Thomas Penny, Alan Crawford, Ian Wishart, Chris Reiter, Jonathan Stearns and Morten Buttler.To contact the reporters on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at [email protected];Jonathan Browning in London at [email protected];Franz Wild in London at [email protected] contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at [email protected], Stuart Biggs, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

EU lawmakers vote to approve Brexit delay if UK requests one

18.09.2019 8:26

September 18, 2019 8:26 PM
STRASBOURG (AP) - European Parliament lawmakers on Wednesday (Sept 18) voted overwhelmingly in favour of another Brexit delay if Britain requests one and certain conditions are met, after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the chamber that a no-deal scenario remains "very real."

The risk of a no-deal Brexit remains ‘very real’: European Union chief

18.09.2019 6:20

Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Juncker, who met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, said a no-deal Brexit “might be the choice of the U.K., but it will never be ours.”

EU’s Juncker Says the Risk of a No-Deal Brexit Is Now ‘Palpable’

18.09.2019 4:17


(Bloomberg) -- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday that the risk of a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31 is now “palpable,” sparking a drop in the pound.Juncker, speaking to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, after a meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, said the main sticking point continued to be the so-called backstop to avoid a hard Irish border and demanded that the U.K. provide its proposals for an alternative in written form as soon as possible.Johnson has said he’ll take the U.K. out of the EU at the end of October whether he’s obtained a new deal with the bloc or not. But talks have been sluggish and the EU is skeptical about whether the British government can come up with a solution that doesn’t breach the bloc’s red lines and that can get U.K. parliament approval.The government wants to replace the backstop -- which the EU says is necessary to protect peace on the island of Ireland -- with new measures that avoid the U.K. staying in a customs union with the bloc. But with only six weeks to go, the government hasn’t put forward any formal proposals, EU officials said.“I called on the prime minister to come forward with operational proposals in writing,” Juncker said. “Until such time as those proposals are presented, I will not be able to tell you, looking you straight in the eye, that any real progress has been achieved.”Pound FallsA British official said on Tuesday the government is sounding out the bloc on its ideas for the Irish border before submitting its plans in written form.The pound dipped after Juncker’s comments, dropping 0.3% to $1.2467. It has staged a small recovery this month as the U.K. parliament and the British courts push back on Johnson’s efforts to crash out of the EU in October whether an agreement has been reached or not.Johnson’s officials have indicated he will defy a new law designed to force him to seek a delay to Brexit rather than allow a no-deal split next month. The EU has signaled that it will be open to postponing the U.K.’s departure date rather than see a no-deal crash-out.The talks with Johnson in Luxembourg were “friendly, constructive and, in part, positive,” Juncker said, but added that the prospect of the U.K. leaving the bloc without an agreement to soften the economic blow “remains real.”While there aren’t any written proposals for alternatives to the backstop, the two sides have been talking about possibilities. The U.K. has suggested an all-Ireland agri-food zone, that would eliminate the need for checks. But the EU says this doesn’t go far enough to replace the backstop and insists the government must come up with more ideas.(Updates with British comment in the sixth paragraph.)--With assistance from John Ainger.To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Stearns in Strasbourg, France at [email protected];Ian Wishart in Brussels at [email protected] contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at [email protected], Richard Bravo, Stuart BiggsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Risk of no-deal Brexit 'remains very real': Juncker

18.09.2019 3:45

September 18, 2019 3:45 PM
"That maybe be the choice of the United Kingdom, but never the choice of the European Union," European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament.

From: www.straitstimes.com

Nigel Farage attacks 'pipsqueak' Xavier Bettel: Brexit Party leader slams Luxembourg PM over Boris Johnson 'humiliation'

18.09.2019 3:38

Nigel Farage has labelled the Luxembourg Prime Minister a "pipsqueak" at the European Parliament over his treatment of Boris Johnson.

Brexit Bulletin: Where Is Johnson’s Plan?

18.09.2019 2:33


Brexit is 43 days away.(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to get the Brexit Bulletin in your inbox every weekday.Today in Brexit: There’s one question on everyone’s lips, and only Boris Johnson knows the answer. What’s Happening? Two days after Luxembourg’s prime minister made a name for himself with a podium show, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and chief European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier will take center stage. They may try to tone down a discussion that has gotten a little shrill.  Xavier Bettel might lament the “nightmare” of Brexit, but Juncker and Barnier, two of the EU’s most prominent players, are unlikely to display a similar level of disdain when they address the European Parliament in Strasbourg at 9 a.m. CET.  They’ll give MEPs the lowdown on the prospects of the U.K. leaving the EU with an agreement by the Oct. 31 deadline.To avoid a no-deal scenario—which all sides still insist is their aim—the U.K. needs to produce detailed proposals on the changes Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to see in the existing accord, which Parliament repeatedly refused to accept when Theresa May was prime minister. There’s plenty of chatter about what might be on the cards. Bloomberg’s Dara Doyle examined the potential for an all-Ireland food zone yesterday; ITV’s Robert Peston picks up that theme, saying the success of Johnson’s nascent plan hinges on winning Dublin’s backing. Meanwhile, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney yesterday became the latest EU figure to confirm those proposals haven’t been exactly forthcoming. The Guardian reports that U.K. officials have so far only presented a version of the existing deal but with the so-called Irish border backstop merely scrubbed out; HuffPost says Johnson’s team has shown a version of the plan to EU counterparts but won’t hand over a hard copy.Talks with EU leaders are expected to resume next week around the United Nations General Assembly. With time running out before October’s crucial EU summit, Team Johnson appears to be heading for a late reveal and a high-stakes, last-minute negotiation.Today’s Must-ReadsLabour’s Jeremy Corbyn says he’ll take Brexit back to voters if he wins a general election. “We will give the people the final say on Brexit, with the choice of a credible leave offer and remain,” Corbyn writes in the Guardian. The post-Brexit financial landscape could become even more chaotic, writes Mark Gilbert, should regulators in Paris and London disagree on revisiting the rules governing fund managers’ investments in illiquid securities. “Why are you ruining my future by voting for Brexit?” Conservative MP Bim Afolami on being interrogated by an eight-year-old.Brexit in BriefSeconds Out, Day Two | The battle over whether Johnson was within his rights to prorogue, or suspend, Parliament will continue in the Supreme Court today. On a tense first day, some of the 11 justices “appeared to be supportive,” of the case against Johnson, according to Robert Hazell, a professor of constitutional law at University College London. “If I were the government, after the first day, I would be feeling a bit more worried.” Revoke and Remain | Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson confirmed at the party’s conference on Tuesday that she would go further than Corbyn and cancel Brexit if elected Prime Minister at the next general election. “There is no Brexit that will be good for our country,” Swinson said. “Brexit will put lives at risk.”Deeper in Debt | A record of number of Britons sought debt advice in the first half of 2019, Bloomberg’s David Goodman reports. A chaotic Brexit wouldn’t help.Personality Clash | Boris Johnson’s approval rating is getting better (or at least less bad), despite a slew of headlines insisting that he has endured a nightmare a few weeks in office. Figures released by YouGov on Tuesday show how Johnson’s stock has risen since he entered Downing Street, with Corbyn’s net favorability rating down at -49. Johnson is still in negative territory as well.Carney to Stay? | The appointment of a new Bank of England chief is likely to be delayed, the Financial Times reports, suggesting that outgoing Governor Mark Carney could be asked to extend his term past Jan. 31 if Brexit is delayed again.On the Markets | The pound rose on Tuesday as Johnson’s lawyers came under pressure in the courtroom, pushing above $1.25 to reach its highest level since July. It was trading at $1.2492 early on Wednesday.Want to keep up with Brexit?You can follow us @Brexit on Twitter and join our Facebook group, Brexit Decoded. Get the latest news at bloomberg.com/brexit. Got feedback? Send us an email.Spread the word: Colleagues, friends and family can sign up here. For in-depth EU coverage, try the Brussels Edition.For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters.Bloomberg Invest London | October 8 Join global institutional investors and corporate leaders at Bloomberg Invest London on October 8. Speakers include CEOs Anne Richards, Fidelity International; Emmanuel Roman, PIMCO; Bill Winters, Standard Chartered; Andreas Utermann, Allianz Global Investors; and Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Societe Generale. Register with Code: NEWSLETTER at bloomberglive.com/investlondon.To contact the author of this story: Adam Blenford in London at [email protected] contact the editor responsible for this story: Anne Swardson at [email protected], Leila TahaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

EU endorses Lagarde as central bank head

17.09.2019 8:39

The European Parliament has endorsed the nomination of Christine Lagarde to serve an eight-year term as the next president of the European Central Bank.

From: www.news.com.au

Lagarde wins EU lawmakers' approval to lead ECB

17.09.2019 7:33

The European Parliament backed Christine Lagarde on Tuesday as the next president of the European Central Bank, paving the way for her to become the first woman to hold the post.

[Opinion] Amazon fires mean EP must rethink Mercosur trade deal

17.09.2019 2:48

The European parliament debates on Tuesday the fires in the Amazon region. "It goes without saying that, in light of the gravity of the situation, Europe will need to renegotiate the Mercosur agreement", writes MEP Kathleen Van Brempt.

From: euobserver.com

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