Britain’s minister for leaving the European Union, David Davis, urged lawmakers not to hold back PM Theresa May’s ability to negotiate a Brexit deal in talks she could trigger as early as this week. Davis on Sunday called on lawmakers to vote to drop two amendments that were added to a bill authorizing the talks with the bloc’s other member states, saying May should be able to enter with no strings attached the WSJ reported.
On Monday the Brexit bill returns to the House of Commons, the U.K.’s lower house, for debate after the House of Lords said it wanted guarantees that EU citizens living in the U.K. could stay after Brexit and that Parliament could vote on the final terms. The final bill must be approved by both houses. Should the bill pass Monday, the government could invoke Article 50 as early as Tuesday according to weekend press reports, but negotiations in Parliament could last several days. The Brexit spokesman for the main opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, told Sky News he expects the government to trigger it on Wednesday or Thursday.
Even if the House of Commons votes in favor of the amendments, May is expected to keep her timetable of triggering by the end of the month. But it would underline how small her majority is in the lower house. Complicating matters is a tweet moments ago by BBG political editor Laura Kuenssberg, who reported that Scotland's Nicola Sturgeon will give May an ultimatum: give Scotland a different Brexit deal or she'll call for section 30, the indyref process.
Hearing Sturgeon will give PM an ultimatum - give Scotland a different Brexit deal or she'll call for section 30, the indyref process— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) March 13, 2017
On the topic of Brexit, Reuters reported on Sunday that David Davis is also drawing up "contingency plans" for Britain in the unlikely event it has to walk away from divorce talks with the European Union without a deal. Ahead of the start of Article 50 negotiations, which could be triggered as early as Tuesday, a committee of lawmakers warned it would be a serious dereliction of duty if the government failed to plan for the possibility of not reaching an exit deal. "I don't think, firstly, that is remotely likely," Davis told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, responding to the report. "It's in absolutely everybody's interest that we get a good outcome."
Parliament's Foreign Affairs committee warned that a breakdown in negotiations would be a "very destructive outcome," causing economic harm to both sides as well as creating uncertainty and legal confusion for individuals and businesses.
"The simple truth is we have been planning for the contingency - all the various outcomes, all the possible outcomes of the negotiations," Davis said. "One of the reasons we don't talk about the contingency plan too much is that we don't want people to think 'Oh, this is what we're trying to do.'"
Asked when May would trigger talks, Davis declined to name a specific date. "Each date has different implications in terms of when it could be responded to by the (European) council ... I'm not going to get into the details why, but there's politics in terms of achieving success."
Finally, for a frank, "on the ground" take on the current state of Brexit, here is an excerpt from Bill Blain's latest Morning Porridge edition:
The UK is going to get interesting. Apparently it’s going to be Article 50 week here in the UK. The risks of complacency are balanced against sterling jitters. As the UK becomes a prime target for global M&A, how much cheaper will Sterling get?
I suspect the rebellious Scots to figure big in the looking uncertainty. As the prime minister gives formal notice we're divorcing Europe, expect all kinds of unpleasantness from Wee Nicola Sturgeon across the border in Scotland. Although the last referendum was a once-in-a-generation event, the UK's democratic decision to exit Europe apparently means the question has to be asked again.
Scotland made a democratic decision to remain part of the UK on Sept 14th 2014. By remaining part of the single indivisible United Kingdom Scotland accepted the democratic will of the whole polity. Yet wee Nicola Krankie makes the convoluted argument that since Scotland incidently voted to stay in Europe in last year's Brexit referendum, then the whole nation of the UK's democratic choice is subordinated to the democratic choice of a small part of the polity.
By the same argument, I could argue the democratic decision of the Blain household is not to pay any more tax to the discredited Tory government. Does my personal democratic decision outweighs any decision the rest of you agree? Nope.
In Sept 2014 Scotland took the democratic decision to remain part of the democratic UK. End of argument. Nicola.. STFU.…
This morning the camera crews were up in Edinburgh where some eejits were saying Brexit means independence. C’mon… As a Scotsman I can assure them as much as they dislike the English, they will dislike the Germans even more..
Meanwhile, a well-spoken concerned housewife was asking why England can't have Brexit while Scotland remains in. Stop. There is absolutely no way, ever, that Europe will allow Scotland to join - to do so would legitimise independence for Catalonia, could trigger the de-Risorgimento of Italy into a separate North and South, and even trigger a partial breakup of France.
And, just in case the SNP haven’t spotted it - the move in Oil Prices since 2014 means the economic rationale for an independent Scotland has become darker than the deepest depths of the North Sea. Will the US shale industry adjusting to long-term prices below $50 and becoming a net energy exporter, while the Saudi's are forced to desperately sell whatever oil they can at whatever price they can get, there is simply no way in the medium term that oil prices justify the reinvigoration of the defunct Scottish Oil base.
Sure, Scotland has the brightest and best people in Europe... but most of us head down to London or elsewhere...