Tag Archives: Brexit

'I'm so angry' Elton John rages at 'philistine' Brexit chiefs who 'f***** up' fishing deal

He raged: “I’m so angry. I’m livid about what the government did when Brexit happened, they made no provision for the entertainment business, and not just for musicians, actors and film directors, but for the crews, the dancers, the people who earn a living by going to Europe.

“People like me can afford to go to Europe because we can get people to fill in the forms and get visas done, but what makes me crazy is that the entertainment business brings in £111 billion a year to this country and we were just tossed away.”

Elton continued: “The fishing industry – which they still f****d up – brings in £1.4 billion and I’m all for the fishermen, but we’re talking about over a hundred billion pounds of difference here, and we weren’t even thought about,” claiming that “the arts don’t matter” to those in power.

Speaking to The Guardian, Elton revealed that he has been in discussions with Lord Strasburger in the House of Lords about his beliefs.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Take that, Brussels! Brexit win as London STILL world's most vital fintech hub outside US

The 2021 Global Fintech Rankings, compiled by Findexable, also showed the fintech space outside of the capital and throughout the rest of the UK is expanding at a rapid pace. This is evidence Brexit and the current Covid pandemic has had next to no impact on London’s start-up scene, with the City’s fintech space predominantly powered by the growing “challenger bank” sector. 

The newly-published Index, which first came out in 2019, ranks the fintech ecosystems of more than 264 cities across 83 countries, using Findexable’s data from its own records.

Data has also been collated and verified by the industry’s Global Partnership Network, which includes more than 60 fintech associations around the world.

London remains second behind San Francisco, and despite making a number of substantial gains since last year’s Index, EU countries have been unable to unseat the capital in the rankings.

EU cities such as Berlin have risen three places to sixth and Stockholm jump 21 positions to 14th, while Moscow and Zurich both moved up 12 spots to 18th and 26th respectively.

Hamburg leaped 13 places to 30th but in a major blow for the Brussels trading bloc, Paris plunged 21 positions to a lowly 36th.

But the latest Index also shows massive progress for a number of UK cities outside of London as the country continues to defy gloomy post-Brexit forecasts.

The latest rankings show two UK cities have made it into the top 50.

Manchester has climbed 19 places to 34th position, while Cambridge surged into the top 40 by jumping a massive 55 places to 38th position.

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“We have even seen fintech companies emerge in towns like Macclesfield, Ashford, Caerphilly and Inverness.”

He added: “It is part of a greater push toward bridging the gap between companies and their customers that we have identified happening across the world since the annual report started in 2019, but which has accelerated in the last 12 months as a result of the pandemic driving more people to use digital finance.

“Where there are more customers there will be more businesses, and in an innovation-driven sector like fintech that translates to greater chances for new ideas that can shake up the entire industry.”

Mambu Chief Customer Officer Elliott Limb, chief customer officer of cloud banking platform Mambu, said: “Fintechs are part of a global revolution to make financial services easier, faster and simpler, and the UK is a major part of this.

“They are changing the way we save, spend, borrow, and invest money.

“Whether competing, cooperating or supporting traditional financial institutions, they are reshaping digital services for a real-time, on-demand world.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

EU struggling to cope without UK as bloc 'more politically fragmented' after Brexit

Brexit: Lord Adonis says UK ‘could rejoin the EU’

The EU’s single market commissioner, Thierry Breton, claimed Brexit has “weakened and isolated the UK”. Any concrete benefits for Britain are “hard to see”, Mr Breton said, while the pandemic has exposed even further downsides of a UK outside a collective bloc. His comments come five years on from the historic vote in 2016 which saw 52 percent of Britons make their disdain for Brussels heard.

The UK wouldn’t leave the EU for another four years, however.

Only at the turn of 2021 did the country officially exit the single market and customs union.

While many hailed it as a victory for Britain, Mr Breton, talking to the Guardian, said the promises made by Brexit campaigners were “far from reality” as the two powers build a new relationship.

Yet, myriad reports and studies paint a bleak picture for the EU.

EU news: The bloc is tipped to become 'more politically fragmented' after Brexit

EU news: The bloc is tipped to become ‘more politically fragmented’ after Brexit (Image: GETTY)

Brexit day: Today marks five years since the UK voted to leave the EU

Brexit day: Today marks five years since the UK voted to leave the EU (Image: GETTY)

In a paper published by the Centre for European Reform (CER) in 2019, it was suggested that the bloc will become “more politically fragmented” post-Brexit.

This was in part, it said, because the “European Commission and Parliament will be less likely to reflect British ways of thinking and working”.

The report said: “The new European Parliament will be more politically fragmented and less likely to back freer trade with third countries and market liberalisation internally.”

It did note, however, that this would not be a direct result of Brexit, but “because of the evolution of politics in the EU.”

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Ursula von der Leyen: The Commission President is looking to bolster the bloc post-pandemic

Ursula von der Leyen: The Commission President is looking to bolster the bloc post-pandemic (Image: GETTY)

Yet, it added: “The departure of British MEPs from the European Parliament will, however, reinforce this trend.

“Conservative and Labour MEPs often worked hand in hand to support economically liberal policies.

“Populist parties, more supportive of protectionist policies, are expected to do well in the May European Parliament elections.

“Such parties are also likely to benefit disproportionately from the redistribution of 27 of the UK’s current seats among the remaining member states.

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Angela Merkel: Germany is tipped to benefit from the UK's absence

Angela Merkel: Germany is tipped to benefit from the UK’s absence (Image: GETTY)

David Frost: The UK's chief Brexit negotiator

David Frost: The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator (Image: GETTY)

“France and Spain will gain five each, and Italy three; and opinion polls suggest that eurosceptic parties could come out on top in the European Parliament elections in France and Italy.”

Eurosceptic parties went on to make major gains at the European elections in 2019, as well as environmentalist and liberal parties.

Brexit is also expected to affect the way the EU operates.

The “British way of working and administration” has increased operational efficiency within Brussels.

Brexit timeline: The events leading up to Britain's eventual full departure from the EU

Brexit timeline: The events leading up to Britain’s eventual full departure from the EU (Image: Express Newspapers)

The extent of this was proved when the EU indicated that it wished to retain a number of British workers in Brussels who have permanent contracts, and would evaluate the position of temporary workers.

The bloc is not expected to recruit British workers in the future unless they have specific skills that EU nationals do not, however.

Meanwhile, the UK struck its first trade deal from scratch with Australia this month.

It was the first time the country had done so since leaving the EU.

Australia: The UK secured its free trade post-Brexit this month

Australia: The UK secured its free trade post-Brexit this month (Image: GETTY)

A number of existing deals have also been renewed with countries around the world.

Any negatives of Brexit have so far been difficult to fully assess and separate from the fallouts inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

British exports to the EU have been hardest hit by new border formalities, despite a last-minute deal struck in December ensuring tariff-free trade.

Many of the initial “teething problems” reported in January have, however, since been smoothed-out.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

'We've been sailed down the river!' UK farmers' Brexit fury as industry 'thrown under bus'

A lifelong Conservative Party voter and farmer has claimed he is close to turning his back on the party due to feeling “lied to” over Brexit’s potential impact on the farming industry. The farmer added that the UK Government has thrown multiple industries “under the bus” following the conclusion of Brexit.

One farmer said: “Brexit I hoped would make a big change in the way people buy from Britain again.

“But we’ve been sailed down the river as farmers.”

She continued: “We’re just going to be something that they brush aside because let’s face it for them farming now is not that important.

“That is how we feel as farmers.

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“We feel farming has been brushed aside but again it’s through the back door.”

A second farmer said: “I can’t believe as a life-long Conservative voter, I stand at the moment thinking I would be very, very unlikely to vote Conservative again at the moment.”

He told ByLine Times: “Brexiteers said this would a great new world and we would be able to export all over the world.

“We just feel lied to basically.

Ms Mummery said: “The broken promises that our Prime Minister gave us are soul-destroying.

“I get lots of Remainers saying you know what you voted for and you knew this was going to happen.

“I truly believed Boris…I had a meeting with him where he said if we leave the EU we will take everything back.

“I believed him…and that is what hurts me too.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak square off over 'utter s**tshow' Brexit Royal Yacht plans

Plans for the national flagship, which will cost £200 million, were announced in May. It’s hoped the vessel will boost British trade in the post-Brexit era.

The last royal yacht, named Britannia, retired from service in 1997 and is currently in Edinburgh.

Construction of the vessel, which will form part of the Royal Navy, could begin as early as next year.

However, according to The Times there is a battle in Whitehall about which Government department will be paying.

The Cabinet Office, Department for International Trade and Ministry of Defence are all involved in the project.

However all three are reluctant to stump up the £200 million from their own budgets.

Speaking to The Times one Government insider said: “There is a huge row going on about the royal yacht and who is going to fund it.

“The seeds are being sown for an almighty set-to between Boris [Johnson] and Rishi [Sunak] over spending.”

Another added: “The royal yacht is a complete and utter s**tshow.

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There were reports the new yacht could be named after the late Duke of Edinburgh.

However, there is reportedly scepticism about the project within the Royal Family, with an insider telling The Times: “It is not something we have asked for.”

Announcing the vessel in May Mr Johnson argued it will show “the UK’s burgeoning status as a great, independent maritime trading nation”.

He added: “Every aspect of the ship, from its build to the businesses it showcases on board, will represent and promote the best of British – a clear and powerful symbol of our commitment to be an active player on the world stage.”

However Labour asked to see evidence it will boost prosperity across the country.

Bridget Phillipson, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, urged the Government to “focus on value for money at every stage”.

She added: “Right now our country faces huge challenges, and there’s no sign the government has a plan for the recovery.

“We want to see public money used for targeted investment in a green economic recovery, resources for our NHS, and supporting families to succeed.”

The Royal Yacht Britannia was launched by The Queen in 1953 from a shipyard in Clydebank.

It was in service for 44 years before becoming a major Edinburgh tourist attraction.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

George Osborne's humiliating Brexit property crash prediction as UK market 'on fire'

The Bank of England’s Chief Economist, Andy Haldane, said the UK housing market is currently “on fire” ahead of his final monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting on Thursday. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), property prices rose by 8.9 percent in the year to April, which was down from 9.9 percent boom in March – the biggest rise since 2007. It appears to be an embarrassing blow for Mr Osborne after his downbeat assessment for Britain after Brexit.

Speaking at the G7 summit in 2016, Mr Osborne said: “If we leave the European Union, there will be an immediate economic shock that will hit financial markets. People will not know what the future looks like.

“In the long term, the country and the people in the country are going to be poorer.

“That affects the value of people’s homes and the Treasury analysis shows that there would be a hit to the value of people’s homes by at least 10 percent and up to 18 percent.”

The forecast was shared on Twitter yesterday by the Financial Time’s Chief Political Correspondent, Jim Pickard, who noted: “Not sure this prediction has aged brilliantly.”

The Treasury’s forecast was said to be for the first two years after the vote and came following a series of warnings from Downing Street forecasting dire consequences.

Mr Osborne also said households would be £4,300 a year worse off and millions of jobs would be at risk, while former Prime Minister David Cameron argued that Brexit could jeopardise peace in Europe.

At the time they were accused of scaremongering and negativity by Vote Leave – Former Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said it was “an extraordinary claim and I’m amazed that Treasury civil servants would be prepared to make it”.

She added: “The truth is that the greatest threat to the economy is the perilous state of the euro, staying in the EU means locking ourselves to a currency zone, which Mervyn King, the ex-governor of the Bank of England, has rightly warned ‘could explode’.

“The safer option in this referendum is to take back control of the vast sums we send to Brussels every day and vote Leave on June 23.”

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Jamie Durham, an economist at PWC, said: “These figures appear to confirm the market remains hot, notwithstanding that the housing market was effectively closed in April last year, which makes comparisons difficult to read too much into.

“We expect that these forces will continue to support price growth over the coming months.”

And the ONS said: “UK average house prices fell on the month in April, ending 11 consecutive months of growth.

“House prices continued to increase when compared with last year, with London once again showing the lowest annual growth most apparent within inner London boroughs.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Macron's fishing time bomb: Brexit exposes EU cracks as French fishermen growing angry

President of Generation Frexit, a campaign dedicated to removing France from the European Union in the same way as Brexit, Charles-Henris Gallois highlighted a key issue with France’s fishing industry. During an interview with Express.co.uk, he claimed French fishermen are being muscled out of their waters from other EU fishers and French President Emmanuel Macron must resolve the problem. He noted that prior to Brexit, other EU member states were utilising both Britain’s and French waters.

But since the UK’s departure from the bloc, fishermen from member states have settled in just fishing in French waters, much to the frustration of native fishermen, according to the campaigner.

Mr Gallois said: “I think that the French fishermen are angry because France has a big maritime zone and we would be basically unable to fish in our own zone.

“We are facing the same issue that you had in the UK.

“We have fishermen in other countries such as Belgium and Denmark and others that are a concern.

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“They are still coming to fish in French waters, they won’t go to the UK waters but they will go to French waters.

“It will be a total disaster for French waters, that is the main issue.

“If the French waters were only dedicated to French fishermen you wouldn’t have any issues.”

Mr Gallois insisted France would be better off if they had full control of their waters.

“I am sure that if we had independent waters in France we would be okay and we would be able to negotiate a clever deal with the UK.

“We could turn it into a win-win situation but that is never the case when the European Union is doing the negotiations.”

Mr Gallois has long remained an advocate of an independent France, separate from the European Union.

He has insisted that if French citizens grow more frustrated with fishing, Covid failures and EU reform, Mr Macron will have to deal with a Frexit movement similar to that of Brexit in the UK. 

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Brexit outrage as UK warned it can 'never escape' EU influence

UK and EU‘s post-Brexit relations have continued to deteriorate in recent weeks as Brussels hits out at Boris Johnson over the Northern Ireland protocol. The EU has warned it will retaliate “swiftly, firmly and resolutely” if the UK continues to challenge Brussels on the Northern Ireland protocol. The row comes as the Government is reported to be considering unilaterally extending the grace periods under the protocol that give businesses in Northern Ireland time to adapt to new rules – including for the import of chilled meats such as sausages and mince from Britain.

The grace periods are due to expire at the end of June but, according to the Telegraph, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is contemplating extending them in the face of a lack of progress towards a new agreement.

This comes amid tension over the City of London’s access to European markets and a recent furore in France over access to Jersey’s fishing waters.

While the UK left the EU to seek more independence, an expert believes Britain will “never entirely escape the gravitational pull of the EU”.

Martin Westlake of the London School of Economics warned in December that the UK will simply need “a relationship with its largest trading partner, whatever form it ultimately takes (and it is probably going to take a long time for the rhetoric to dissipate and the dust to settle).”

He also highlighted the UK will face similar dilemmas to that of countries like Switzerland, Norway and Iceland – all of which are not EU members.

Mr Westlake added: “To take some examples, countries like Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway enjoy all the benefits of the EU’s internal market through their membership of the EEA, but they have had to accept in return that they will have no direct say in the market rules by which they have to abide.”

The expert concluded his essay saying: “Of course, the UK economy will not wither and die once the UK has entirely left the EU – far from it; but, because of the ‘Brussels effect’, it can never entirely escape the gravitational pull of the EU and its internal market.”

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Earlier this month, Swiss foreign minister Ignazio Cassis pulled the plug on talks as the country’s government rejected the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and a free movement directive that would offer permanent residence to EU citizens, with access to social security services.

But Switzerland also faces its own economic conundrum, as the EU has not granted Bern equivalence – meaning it is excluded from parts of the European market.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

'Eurocrats mad' at Brexit Britain's success – EU desperate to see UK's exit as 'failure'

President of Generation Frexit, a campaign dedicated to removing France from the European Union in the same way as Brexit, Charles-Henris Gallois, lashed out at the behaviour of eurocrats on the continent. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Gallois warned the tense situation was creating issues for the UK and French fishing communities. He highlighted the ongoing rows between France and Jersey as an example of an issue made worse by EU politicians.

He also argued those wishing to punish the UK were behind the row which has erupted over the Northern Ireland border.

Mr Gallois said: “I don’t think it is just Emmanuel Macron but the whole European Union that were causing the Jersey crisis or even the Northern Ireland crisis.

“It shows that the eurocrats are mad and angry.

“They have seen that Brexit and the vaccination rollout was a success.

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“It shows to other people across the continent that taking back control is the solution.

“They are desperate to see Brexit as a failure to dissuade other countries to leave the European Union.

“That is why they are so mad about Jersey and the Northern Ireland crisis.

“The European Union act like a sect, they want to punish the members that leave the sect.

“They are crazy mad once they have seen that the UK has managed a very successful vaccination rollout compared to the EU who have been a complete failure.”

Earlier in the week, the UK and EU concluded talks that were set to resolve fishing issues between the pair.

At the first meeting of the Partnership Council, Brexit negotiator Lord Frost spoke to European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič about veiled threats issued by member states since the end of the transition period at the end of last year.

French fishermen have accused the UK of being slow to issue licences that would give them access to fish in the UK’s 12-mile zone.

Lord Frost admitted the UK was prepared to stand up to the EU and would not be bullied on fishing.

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He also said during the talks the UK was “frank and honest” about the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

He said: “There weren’t any breakthroughs. There aren’t any breakdowns either and we’re going to carry on talking.

“What we really now need to do is very urgently find some solutions which support the Belfast Good Friday Agreement, support the peace process in Northern Ireland and allow things to return to normal.

“What the EU is insisting on is we should operate the Protocol in an extremely purist way.

“The reality is that it’s a very balanced document that’s designed to support the peace process and deal with the very sensitive politics in Northern Ireland.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Macron savaged for ‘posturing’ in Brexit row as French president wields veto

As a result of the protocol checks now take place on some goods travelling between Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK. This has infuriated unionists, with anti-protocol protests erupting in loyalist areas across the province.

Boris Johnson is urging the EU to compromise in order to safeguard the Northern Ireland peace process.

However Mr Macron has made clear he will veto any changes to the current arrangements Ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall he commented: “I think it’s not serious to want to review in June what we finalised after years of debate and work in December.”

Conservative MP David Jones claimed the French leader is trying to “show toughness” ahead of presidential elections next year.

He said: “It is posturing. He’s actually been posturing for quite a long time.

“He’s in a very precarious position domestically and quite clearly he is attempting to show toughness as a way of boosting his chances in the approach to the presidential election.

Speaking to MailOnline, he added: “Given that the UK and the US both agree that pragmatism is necessary, I would imagine that the EU will pay attention and, if so, he is going to be out of step with the rest of the bloc.”

On Thursday several hundred loyalists marched through Belfast’s Shankill Road demanding the protocol is scrapped.

Protesters, some wearing balaclavas, burned a large banner calling for a united Ireland.

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Speaking to the BBC on Thursday he said: “You will understand that there are ways of enforcing the protocol, ways of making it work, that may be excessively burdensome.

“I just give you one statistic: 20% of the checks conducted across the whole of the perimeter of the EU are now done in Northern Ireland, three times as many as happen in Rotterdam.”

The protocol was introduced in a bid to stop a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, threatening the peace process.

Instead checks take place on goods travelling across the Irish Sea.

Maros Sefcovic, the EU’s lead negotiator with Britain, claimed there are “numerous and fundamental gaps” in the protocol being implemented.

In an article for the Daily Telegraph he warned Brussels “will not be shy in reacting swiftly, firmly and resolutely to ensure that the UK abides by its international law obligations”.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister argued the difficulty is being caused by the EU taking an unnecessarily “purist” approach to the protocol.

They said: “The protocol was a compromise.

“We didn’t expect the EU to take a purist approach when implementing it.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed