European Union

Explainer: Why does the UK PM’s Brexit speech in Florence matter?

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DD

Daniel Demaret

"Cancel that. I just saw the refences ..."
DD

Daniel Demaret

"I was expecting to see references to ..."

Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech in Florence today is expected to be her biggest announcement on Brexit since January, when she committed to leaving the single market.

She is attempting to break the deadlock in negotiations with the European Union after three previous rounds of talks in which little has been agreed.

According to the BBC, one minister said May plans on making an “open and generous offer” in her speech. However, another cabinet minister has warned against the UK offering too much money to the EU, saying, “it’s our only leverage.”

Time is running out

The timespan for a Brexit deal is two years. The UK now has 18 months left to negotiate a deal with the EU after May triggered Article 50 in March.

However, European Chief Negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier, has said the Article 50 deal will have to be negotiated by October 2018 to give the European Parliament time to vote on it. This would leave the UK with 12 months left to agree on its divorce bill which the EU says must be settled before it will negotiate citizen’s rights, trade agreements and law and immigration policies.

After three rounds of monthly talks the UK is yet to agree on this.

If, after the two year period for Brexit, no deal is reached the UK will automatically revert to World Trade Organisation (WTO) trading rules. This would mean the UK would have to pay tariffs on goods and services it exported into the EU. Economist from the Centre for European Reform John Springford estimates these costs would range from 2.2 percent to 9 percent of UK GDP.

Take back control

Theresa May’s Brexit speech has significance beyond the EU. What she says will potentially split her cabinet, which is already divided on the UK’s relationship with the EU.

May’s Conservative Party lost its majority in June after deciding to call a snap election and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson recently published a 4,000-word article promoting a hard Brexit. Some commentators say she needs to set out her own position and get her cabinet and party to unify behind a vision.

Why the EU cares

If the UK left the EU without paying anything towards a divorce bill it would leave a £20bn black hole in its budget, according to the BBC’s political editor. Although it seems unlikely the EU would agree to this, as it gets closer to the UK leaving the EU, it will want confirmation that the UK at least intends to contribute something towards the bill.

Clarification for the public and opposition

So far May has refused to clarify the kind of deal she is after. Just a few days ago in Canada she said she wanted a “bespoke” deal. She has said the UK will no longer be in the single market (which eliminates tariffs on goods) but she still wants frictionless trade and an end to freedom of movement (the ability for EU citizens to move freely between EU countries) – something the EU has said is not possible.

She recently declined an invitation from the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajanito, to publicly address the elected European representatives of Parliament.

Pressure is mounting on May to clarify her government’s position after the Labour Party has said it wants to stay in the single market and customs union for a transitional period.

May’s former co-chief of staff, Nick Timothy, says nobody should expect an “immediate breakthrough.”

“In public, the Europeans will be surly. Expect negative briefing from the commission, sarcasm from Guy Verhofstadt, and a polite but not positive reply from Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker.

“Offering to pay an exit bill … should prompt further talks that will get the negotiators to stage two.”


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Harry is one of the journalists at WikiTribune. He is a masters graduand from Cardiff University, with a diploma in Magazine Journalism. He has an interest in politics and science, having previously studied Geography at Aberystwyth University. Follow Harry on Twitter @harryridgewell

History for stories "Explainer: Why does the UK PM’s Brexit speech in Florence matter?"

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05 April 2018

• (view) . . Comment: Help us analyze gender pay gap data‎; 15:33:14, 05 Apr 2018 . . Steve Stevenson (talk | contribs)‎‎ ( Comment -> - "Do you see any omissions or limitations in the data?" I think hours worked could be important and the type of worker i.e. full time or part time. Also the level in the organization seems like it would be important. Looking at the ons - https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/womeninthelabourmarket/2013-09-25 "In April to June 2013, looking at the not seasonally adjusted series, around 13.4 million women aged 16 to 64 were in work (42% part-time) and 15.3 million men (12% part-time)" Full time 13.464 million men vs 7.772 million women. Part time 1.836 million men vs 5.628 million women. I'd imagine part time tends to be a lot less per hour causing some of the gender pay gap. Also when aiming at 50:50 representation we should remember full time across the country is 66:33. Also from same ons: "For example, full-time men worked on average 44 hours per week whilst full-time women worked 40 hours per week." That's 10% more on average that full time men work over women, I'd imagine that could bring a bit of a storm. If you consider a full time employer at 37.5hrs per week, the 40 hour people are working an extra 6%, 44 hour people are an extra 17%. This would suggest in average full time males vs average full time females an 11% extra work gap, whether this is reflected in pay or needs to be adjusted for is another question. Example: "In other words when comparing median hourly rates, women earn 96p for every £1 that men earn." (96*37.5)/40 = 90p (100*37.5)/44 = 85.2p That's the pay gap reversed in this case assuming average full time employee numbers from the ons. )

12 January 2018

09 January 2018

13 December 2017

Talk for Story "Explainer: Why does the UK PM’s Brexit speech in Florence matter?"

Talk about this Story

  1. Other

    I was expecting to see references to each and every article.
    What is wikitribunes policy here?
    Perhaps I just did not see the references?

    1. Other

      Cancel that. I just saw the refences in the links. Very nifty 🙂

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