Category: Brexit

The oven-ready deal was no deal – Negotiations collapsing

October 16th, 2020 by

Negotiations between the EU and UK have been breaking down for weeks and today Boris Johnson told the country to prepare for an Australian-type deal. In real language, that’s no deal.

Boris Johnson had previously said in September 2019 that failure to get a deal would be a “failure of statecraft”, and by his own words, this is a failure.

Boris Johnson had set a deadline for negotiations to conclude yesterday, 15 October. Despite the deadline passing, EU member states have now agreed that Michel Barnier can continue the discussions with the UK over the next two weeks.

However, there are still two sticking points preventing a deal, state aid, and fishing. As it stands, both sides in the negotiations appear to be standing their ground. The EU has stuck to its negotiating position despite the UK expecting them to blink first.

Update: 3PM GMT

Leaked letter highlights serious problems with border control plans

July 9th, 2020 by

A leaked letter from Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, highlights serious concerns about the government’s full border control plans. She warns of smuggling and a legal challenge from the World Trade Organisation.

UK formally confirms it will not seek transition period extension

June 12th, 2020 by

During the current COVID-19 crisis the UK economy has plunged 20% due to the lockdown. Today the Conservatives officially announced they will not seek a transition period extension.

The UK will leave the EU on 1 Jan 2021 which could now damage the economy further as the country tries to get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government details new points-based immigration policy

February 19th, 2020 by

The government has now detailed their immigration policy which will come into effect January 2021. The system is a new points-based system. A total of 70 points is required to be eligible to apply; some characteristics are tradeable and are detailed in the table below.

We accept the MAC’s recommendation on salary thresholds, including to lower the general salary threshold from £30,000 to £25,600. Migrants will still need to be paid the higher of the specific salary threshold for their occupation, known as the ‘going rate’, and the general salary threshold. However, as set out below, under the points-based system for skilled workers, applicants will be able to ‘trade’ characteristics such as their specific job offer and qualifications against a lower salary. There will continue to be different arrangements for a small number of occupations where the salary threshold will be based on published pay scales. We will set the requirements for new entrants 30% lower than the rate for experienced workers in any occupation and only use the base salary (and not the allowances or pension contributions) to determine whether the salary threshold is met. Additionally, in line with the MAC’s recommendations, we will not introduce regional salary thresholds or different arrangements for different parts of the UK.

Source.

Characteristics Tradeable Points
Offer of job by approved sponsor No 20
Job at appropriate skill level No 20
Speaks English at required level No 10
Salary of £20,480 (minimum) – £23,039 Yes 0
Salary of £23,040 – £25,599 Yes 10
Salary of £25,600 or above Yes 20
Job in a shortage occupation (as designated by the MAC) Yes 20
Education qualification: PhD in subject relevant to the job Yes 10
Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job Yes 20

Responses

 

The blame game begins as UK trade position hardens

February 1st, 2020 by

It’s been less than 24 hours since the United Kingdom left the European Union and it appears the government has already started the blame game.

With Brexit now done and dusted, the EU can no longer be the target for problems at home in the UK. Johnson appears to be taking fire at the EU already by attempting to talk tough on trade negotiations with a take it or leave it attitude before they have even begun.

The reality of not being able to have his cake and eat it has not sunk in and comments today hint at a turbulent few months of trade negotiations.

This could all be government bluster ahead of negotiations but it reiterates that a no-deal option is still firmly on the table which would be the worst possible outcome for the UK.