Blog: Gibraltar preparing for no deal Brexit – govt solidifies plans amid Frost-Barnier deadlock – Daily Express

Next week the two negotiators will meet for yet another round of meetings following last month’s talks which Mr Barnier bemoaned as resulting in “no progress” on key issues. Gibraltarians are wasting no time in planning for a hard Brexit and Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia last week chaired a meeting of the Brexit Strategic Group set up by the Government of the Rock.

The Gibraltar Government has stressed that it is still “confident that a good economic association can be agreed that will greatly benefit” the British Overseas Territory.

No deal planning was at the centre of the meeting and reports by the Brexit Executive Group, which includes different groups of specialists, were examined.

A spokesman for the Government said: “The planning work for a no deal that had been carried out in 2018 and 2019 had been very useful and, in some areas, had served as a general rehearsal for the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This is the case, for example, of the storage of materials by the Health Authority and the establishment of an oxygen plant in the hospital.

In other cases, departments and agencies had drawn up detailed action plans for a no deal Brexit, which were later adopted to deal with the epidemic.

Mr Garcia said: “The Government continues to plan for all possible scenarios because this is the responsible strategy.

“Clearly, the greater the planning, the more likely it is that problems will be identified and solutions found.

“The issues become more tangible as we move towards December 31 and it is expected that all the work done so far will be very useful if no agreement is reached.”

READ MORE: Fishing fury: MP urges ban on supertrawlers plundering UK waters

The Gibraltarian Government maintains several lines of work including commitments made in relation to the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU, the Gibraltar Protocol and the accompanying Memoranda of Understanding (MoU).

Politicians in the archipelago are also working with the British government to lay out a roadmap for the future relationship with Brussels in the context of the Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (CFTA).

As the Brexit transition period deadline of December 31 inches closer, the Gibraltarian Government is also seeking an ambitious relationship with EU member states, especially Spain, with whom they held a first official round of talks on June 9.

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Gibraltar described the talks as “positive and constructive.”

Meanwhile the EU has been warned it will betray itself if it stands by and lets Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko brazenly hang onto power following the country’s election.

The election has been marred by claims of vote-rigging as the president claimed to have scooped up more than 80 percent of the vote.

Writing in Der Tagesspiegel, a Germany daily newspaper, diplomatic correspondent Christoph Von Marschall said: “Many EU citizens are likely to ask a different question: What do we have in common with the country, what is it to us?

“But the debate in Belarus is about something that is part of Europe’s identity: democratic elections.

“The one on Sunday wasn’t democratic. Election observers were not allowed.

“Opposition representatives were not allowed to be present during the count.

“Lukashenko switched off the Internet in order to make it difficult to exchange information and organise protests.”

Mr Von Marschall questioned if Germany and the EU accept such a scenario in Europe.

He said: “Won’t the EU and the federal government let the opposition down if nothing follows now except wringing hands about developments, verbal criticism of Lukashenko and verbal solidarity with the ten million citizens there?”

The White House has expressed dismay over the violent protests which have broken out across cities in Belarus including the capital Minsk as people call for an end to the reign of “Europe’s last dictator”.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg and Maria Ortega.

Blog: How will UK fund fees be affected post-Brexit? – Funds Europe Magazine

brexit_fund_fees_government_investmentAround mid-June this year, fund fees came into the spotlight again when the European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma) called for greater coordination between EU member states to prevent asset managers from overcharging retail investors.

Esma said funds were overcharging retail investors and urged more consistency on fees across the EU. What will this mean for UK asset managers once the Brexit transition is over? 

Fees significantly reduce returns and asset managers may have to pay compensation to retail investors if fees are unjustifiable, Esma said, adding that fee levels had decreased only marginally in recent years. 

The regulator has urged fund houses to identify and quantify all costs for funds in a bid to promote transparency. This would require asset managers to reveal when fees are paid to themselves, or to third parties such as brokers and administrators.

brexit_uk_investment

But once the Brexit transition period is over and the UK leaves the EU, what will this mean for UK firms operating in the bloc?

“After the end of the transition period, Esma and the EU27 NCAs [National Competent Authorities] will not have the ability to undertake supervisory convergence activity on the UK,” an Esma spokesperson tells Funds Europe.

Esma’s requirements for EU countries aim to make investment information more comprehensive and easily accessible for retail investors, allowing them to assess past performance and costs of products across the bloc.

These factors are similar to those addressed by the UK’s regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), earlier this year, albeit by a different approach, according to Morningstar’s director of policy research, Andy Pettit. 

UK fund boards, however, will have to go further than their EU counterparts with their Assessment of Value reports that the FCA now requires.

“Directors are in essence, compelled to wear the hat of their investors when conducting the assessment and conclude whether the service they provided represented good value for the fees they charged,” Pettit says. 

Read the full article from our July/August issue here: The latest assault on fees

© 2020 funds europe

Blog: I stopped Brexit Party destroying Tories now Boris must stand-up for Brexit- NIGEL FARAGE – Express

That issue was the Northern Irish backstop and Boris’ victory on the night was its removal from the treaty, which meant that the entire UK would not be trapped in the customs union. But it came a price. Ever since that moment, Northern Ireland has effectively been placed in a different constitutional position to the rest of the United Kingdom; a point that has been used by Nicola Sturgeon in her attempt to break Scotland away from the UK. But the Prime Minister was able in the early hours of the morning to declare a great negotiating victory and a good deal for the United Kingdom. The press and much of the public believed him. There was a sense of relief following months of parliamentary deadlock and the appalling tactics of the Remainers that now there was a deal that would finally allow us to leave.

I sat for hours that morning with my lawyer in Brussels and went through the document line-by-line, even memorising some of the articles.

It was clear that this deal was little better than Mrs May’s. Not only was Northern Ireland to become a different entity, but the European Court of Justice would have a continued say in British public life.

There were also clever legal wordings that would keep us within the common fisheries policy and commitments to continued regulatory alignment. In short, I felt it was not Brexit.

As the moment of the general election approached, the Prime Minister continued to sell his “oven-ready deal” to a public that were more than happy to believe him.

It presented me with a huge political dilemma. If the Brexit Party fought every seat and condemned the deal, there was a real risk that our vote would allow many more Pro-EU liberal democrats into the House of Commons.

This may well have led to a second referendum, something that would have damaged trust in our political system for many years to come. Equally, the Conservative Party was keen to get Brexit Party candidates off their backs.

In the end, Boris made a promise that we would not agree to continued alignment of rules.

In these circumstances, I withdrew our candidates in 317 seats that were held by the Conservatives and they went on to win a great victory.

To be fair to Boris and the Government, ever since that moment the excellent Chief negotiator David Frost has held the line that we will become an independent country.

On the other side, I do understand why Michel Barnier is so upset with us. He sees the UK government as having reneged on its Withdrawal Agreement promises made in Brussels last October.

This, above all, is why we have the current impasse.

There are now many who backed the Withdrawal Agreement who would happily see it ditched, with Iain Duncan Smith being the most prominent among them.

My own guess is that a deal will be reached in the coming months but one in which we have continued financial liabilities through the European Investment Bank and one in which we will not truly be free in areas such as state aid.

These are issues that would have caused huge problems to a Prime Minister a year ago, but my sense of things is that the public is now more concerned with Covid 19, illegal immigration and deteriorating law and order in our cities.

The year 2020 will be remembered in history as the year we finally left the European Union, but the final shape of our withdrawal looks unlikely to be the true freedom that many of us had fought for for decades.

Blog: Stilton drives wedge between UK-Japan Brexit deal – BBC News

stiltonImage copyright
Getty Images

A post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and Japan may have met an unlikely obstacle – stilton cheese.

On Friday, the two sides said they hoped to agree the details of a post-Brexit trade agreement by the end of the month.

The Department for International Trade said talks are ongoing.

But progress has reportedly been blown off course after International Trade Secretary Liz Truss requested better terms for British blue cheeses.

The Financial Times, which first reported that talks had hit a snag, said Ms Truss may be looking for a symbolic victory, as sales of blue cheese to Japan from the UK were only £102,000 last year.

A better deal for the products may mean her department could claim a slightly more favourable deal than the one the EU secured with Japan last year, when the two sides secured a cut of €1bn of tariffs on food.

Dairy and other food products are among the EU’s biggest exports to Japan.

Ms Truss is a long-term fan of UK produce. In 2014, when she was environment secretary she told the Conservative Party conference it was a “disgrace” that “we import two-thirds of our apples, nine-tenths of our pears, and two-thirds of our cheese”.

The Department for International Trade declined to say more about the report, other than that talks are ongoing and point to Ms Truss’s comments from Friday, when she said a consensus had been reached between the UK and Japan and said a deal was expected by the end of the month.

“Negotiations have been positive and productive, and we have reached consensus on the major elements of a deal – including ambitious provisions in areas like digital, data and financial services that go significantly beyond the EU-Japan deal,” she said in a statement at the time.

“Our shared aim is to reach a formal agreement in principle by the end of August.”

Blog: Investment fund fees post-Brexit – Funds Europe Magazine

brexit_fund_fees_government_investmentAround mid-June this year, fund fees came into the spotlight again when the European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma) called for greater coordination between EU member states to prevent asset managers from overcharging retail investors.

Esma said funds were overcharging retail investors and urged more consistency on fees across the EU. What will this mean for UK asset managers once the Brexit transition is over? 

Fees significantly reduce returns and asset managers may have to pay compensation to retail investors if fees are unjustifiable, Esma said, adding that fee levels had decreased only marginally in recent years. 

The regulator has urged fund houses to identify and quantify all costs for funds in a bid to promote transparency. This would require asset managers to reveal when fees are paid to themselves, or to third parties such as brokers and administrators.

brexit_uk_investment

But once the Brexit transition period is over and the UK leaves the EU, what will this mean for UK firms operating in the bloc?

“After the end of the transition period, Esma and the EU27 NCAs [National Competent Authorities] will not have the ability to undertake supervisory convergence activity on the UK,” an Esma spokesperson tells Funds Europe.

Esma’s requirements for EU countries aim to make investment information more comprehensive and easily accessible for retail investors, allowing them to assess past performance and costs of products across the bloc.

These factors are similar to those addressed by the UK’s regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), earlier this year, albeit by a different approach, according to Morningstar’s director of policy research, Andy Pettit. 

UK fund boards, however, will have to go further than their EU counterparts with their Assessment of Value reports that the FCA now requires.

“Directors are in essence, compelled to wear the hat of their investors when conducting the assessment and conclude whether the service they provided represented good value for the fees they charged,” Pettit says. 

Read the full article from our July/August issue here: The latest assault on fees

© 2020 funds europe

Blog: Kent’s moveable Brexit barrier won’t be completed until 2022 – Left Foot Forward

Grant Shapps said it would be ready by December 2020 when the transition period ends.

New technology to deal with post-Brexit traffic in Kent won’t be fully completed until 2022, according to the Highways England website.

The government plans to install a moveable barrier on sections of the M20 to help handle cross-channel Brexit disruption.

This barrier can be moved relatively quickly into place by two machines, like a zip. This means one side of the M20 can quickly be expanded while the other is shrunk.

Similar systems are already in use in the USA, Australia and New Zealand to help deal with rush-hour traffic. The system was also used once in the UK following a fire in the channel tunnel.

In February 2020, the Department for Transport said this “permanent contingency arrangement” will be in place in December 2020 – when the UK’s transition period with the EU ends.

According to the Highways England website though, it will only be completed in 2022. December 2020, it says, is just the end date for “temporary resilience”.

Highways England says the cost of the project is £60m. Much of this will go to the California-based company providing the machines.

This new solution follows Operation Stack and Operation Brock, which sought to establish temporary lorry parks in the event of Brexit transport disruption.

The UK’s transition period with the EU will end at the end of 2020. The government has said coronavirus is no reason to extend the transition period.

Joe Lo is a co-editor of Left Foot Forward

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Blog: Italexit boost: Almost half of Italians will want to quit EU if Brexit is a success – poll – Daily Express

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Less than a fortnight after launched his No Europe of Italy party, modelled on Nigel Farage’s , the survey, commissioned by Euronews, will make for sobering reading for European Commission President , struggling to maintain unity after the recent wranglings at last month’s European Council summit. The survey saw 1,500 people in Italy, Germany, France and Spain interviewed between July 17 and 18 – a total of 6,000 altogether.

Questioned about whether they agreed, strongly or otherwise, with the idea of quitting the bloc in five years’ time if Brexit was seen to be a success, 45 percent said they did.

Significant levels of Euroscepticism were also revealed in France, where 38 percent agreed with the statement, and Spain, were 37 percent did.

In Germany, just 30 percent said yes, indicating less dissatisfaction with the status quo.

Gianluigi Paragone

Gianluigi Paragone launched No Europe of Italy last month (Image: GETTY)

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage with his Italexit t-shirt (Image: Nigel Farage)

The interviewees were also asked whether the UK would benefit from quitting the bloc – and 43 percent of Italians, and 45 percent of the French, said it would do.

The Spanish were less sure (35 percent) with just 31 percent of Germans believing Britain will thrive outside the EU.

Mr Paragone launched his party the day after the ratification of the EU’s coronavirus rescue plan, which includes a £677 billion package of measures aimed at mitigating the impact of the pandemic.

JUST IN: EU army warning: Ireland told to get out now as Macron and Merkel plot

Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (Image: GETTY)

On face value, the proposals will benefit Italy – but sceptics including Mr Paragone fear it will see the country saddled with enormous debts.

Mr Paragone, a former Five Star Movement senator, has pledged to free his country “from the cage of the European Union and the single currency”.

Dr Mattia Zulianello, a political scientist at the University of Birmingham, told Euronews: “It is too soon to assess the real electoral potential of the new Italexit party.

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Giorgia Meloni

Giorgia Meloni, leader of the right-wing Brothers of Italy party (Image: PA)

Matteo Salvini

Matteo Salvini, Lega leader (Image: GETTY)

“The Italian party system is already overcrowded by the presence of various parties being critical of the EU, in various forms and degrees: Matteo Salvini’s League, Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy and the Five Star Movement.

“Such parties have considerable electoral support, and the electoral prospects of the new Italexit party will pretty much depend on its capacity ‘to steal’ voters from these parties.”

He added: “Rather than rejecting the very idea of European integration per se, most Italians are unhappy with the concrete functioning of the EU and with the direction it is taking.

Giuseppe Conte

Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s Prime Minister (Image: GETTY)

I am afraid that discontent with the EU will further increase in autumn

Dr Mattia Zulianello

“In other words, there are many shades of Euroscepticism, meaning that increased discontent with the functioning of the EU does not necessarily imply real support for Italexit.

“Euroscepticism is a polyhedric phenomenon: it is not black or white.”

“I am afraid that discontent with the EU will further increase in autumn, when the real extent of the economic crisis will become fully evident.”

Italy growth

Italy’s growth rate was almost stagnant last year – even before the pandemic (Image: Express)

Speaking last month, Dr Marina Cino Pagliarello, of the London School of Economics told Express.co.uk: “I’m not sure you can really talk about euroscepticism, but there is a sense of disenchantment, but the same optimistic vision of Europe is no longer present.

“When we talk about Europe it’s more a problem of priorities and of what you want to make with them.

“Italexit is a very remote possibility – Italexit is essentially a slogan really.

“Italians are aware that without Europe we could be completely ruined but you never know for the future.”

Blog: Post-Brexit European Clinical Supply Solutions to be Discussed by Catalent at Upcoming Forum – Yahoo Finance

Catalent, a global leader in clinical supply services, today announced that Paul Ingram, Ph.D., Global Director, Strategic Development and Innovation, will present at the upcoming conference, ‘Clinical Trial Supply Forum’, which takes place virtually on Aug. 25-26, 2020.

SOMERSET, N.J., Aug. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ – Catalent, a global leader in clinical supply services, today announced that Paul Ingram, Ph.D., Global Director, Strategic Development and Innovation, will present at the upcoming conference, ‘Clinical Trial Supply Forum’, which takes place virtually on Aug. 25-26, 2020.

Dr. Ingram’s presentation, titled, “Beyond Brexit: What Now for Clinical Supply Services Across Europe?”, will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 2:40 p.m. BST. While the U.K. is no longer a member of the European Union, it remains part of the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union until the end of the transition period, on December 31, 2020. Dr. Ingram’s presentation will explore the potential impact of the U.K. no longer participating in the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union on the clinical supply chain, and discuss strategic options for managing clinical supplies across the U.K. and continental Europe from the beginning of 2021 and beyond.

During his 25-year career, Dr. Ingram’s work has focused on medical devices and pharmaceutical research and development. He has over 15 years of experience in clinical supplies, working in both Phase 1 unit manufacturing suites and trial supplies service companies, including Quintiles (Aptuit), Fisher Clinical and, since 2011, Catalent. Dr. Ingram obtained his doctorate in pharmaceutical development from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, U.K.

For further information, please visit: https://www.clinical.catalent.com/events/clinical-trial-supply-online-2020/

About Catalent Clinical Supply Services
Catalent is a global leader in clinical supply services, with comprehensive and flexible solutions for small molecules, biologics, and cell and gene therapies and integrated solutions to accelerate speed to clinic. Catalent offers a full range services including clinical supply management, comprehensive packaging solutions, comparator sourcing, cold chain storage and global distribution and specialized supply chain services including direct-to-patient and demand-led supply. With nine GMP clinical packaging facilities and over 50 strategically located depots on six continents combined with more than 25 years’ experience across thousands of studies in more than 80 countries, Catalent has the comprehensive services, global scale and expertise necessary to reliably supply clinical trials of all sizes and complexity anywhere in the world.

About Catalent
Catalent is the leading global provider of advanced delivery technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies, and consumer health products. With over 85 years serving the industry, Catalent has proven expertise in bringing more customer products to market faster, enhancing product performance and ensuring reliable global clinical and commercial product supply. Catalent employs over 13,500 people, including approximately 2,400 scientists and technicians, at more than 40 facilities, and in fiscal year 2019 generated over $2.5 billion in annual revenue. Catalent is headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey. For more information, visit http://www.catalent.com

More products. Better treatments. Reliably supplied.™

 

SOURCE Catalent

Blog: ‘Whether in EU or not!’ Chris Philp thwarts Macron’s Brexit threat over migrant crossings – Express

Speaking to reporters in Paris, the Tory Minister stressed and the UK should work together in their fight against illegal smuggling of migrants in the English Channel regardless of whether Britain is in the European Union or not. He said: “Policing borders is always a shared responsibility between two nation states and I think the discussions we had today were in exactly that spirit.

“Any two countries, whether they’re in the European Union or not, need to work together to police their borders and it is in precisely that spirit that France and the United Kingdom are working together to make sure this border is policed.”

He added: “We are looking at all the options that are necessary to make sure this route is completely cut down.”

The comments come after officials on both sides of the Channel appeared worried Emmanuel Macron could scupper a last-minute trade deal between the EU and the UK over the issue of migrants.

The two nations have already been locking horns over fishing rights, one of the negotiations’ controversial point of contention. 

READ MORE: Calais MP issues threat over Royal Navy ‘entering French waters’

On Monday, Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson has said the Government will ensure the UK’s “status as an independent coastal state is properly respected” from next year.

When quizzed how Britain will prevent illegal fishing in UK waters, the Downing Street official said: “We will ensure whatever agreement we reach with the EU on fishing rights, or indeed if we are unable to reach one, we will make sure our status as an independent coastal state is properly respected.”

Sources claim that the French president could “scupper an agreement” at the last minute if he believes that a deal does not go in his favour.

A UK government official added to Bloomberg: “The EU continues to insist on access to UK fishing waters in a way that is incompatible with our future status as an independent coastal state.”

French officials claim that Macron could think there are “votes to be had in standing up to the British” in a bid to save his mandate ahead of the next Presidential elections.

He is hoping to regain some support following a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who is planning to visit President Macron at his summer residence on the Mediterranean around August 20th.

 

Last week, the French President demanded the UK pays £30 million to France to police the English Channel to bring down the flow migrants coming to the UK in boats across the Channel. 

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Philp said the French today agreed to appoint their own commander “to take responsibility in this area”. Something he claimed was a “very important step forward”. 

“French authorities are doing a great deal of work. They’ve intercepted well over a thousand people so far this year,” he added. 

“But the sheer numbers crossing the Channel are completely unacceptable to the French Government and unacceptable to the UK Government so it’s quite clear that more needs to be done.

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“And that is exactly what this new, comprehensive action plan that we are working on will aim to do.

“And if we can make this route unviable – which we are determined to do – then migrants will have no reason at all to come to France in the first place.”

The immigration Minister, however, said he would not comment on details of the plan to halt Channel migrants but claimed there were a “number of measures, some of them new, which are under discussion”.

He said it would be “premature” to talk about financial commitments at this stage because the plans were still being developed and finalised.

Blog: Labour can only rebuild the Red Wall by embracing controlled borders and Brexit – Telegraph.co.uk

A party dominated by Remain voting and Remain supporting MPs is going to have to work exceptionally hard to win back the trust of the British people. Labour promised in 2017 to accept the outcome, and was severely punished for going against that promise. And even now, despite a terrible Covid death toll, poor government performance, and entering into a terrible recession the Tories are still clearly ahead of Labour. in the polls. This is precisely because the Conservatives have consolidated that socially conservative, once solid Labour, working class vote behind their man, Boris Johnson.   

To win power, Labour must win back lost Labour and longstanding Tory voters who identify with the values and aspirations of the Leave movement. Their strong sense of place, community, flag and country are alien concepts to many Labour members. Their firm belief that Britain does have a global role and is a powerful force in the world is not shared by many in the Labour movement who have relegated Britain to the role of a medium sized European power. A huge disparity of values and beliefs exist between Labour and its target audience and that must be reconciled if Labour is to win again.

We are four years from a general election. Of course, policy for that election will take time to develop. But, by 2024 it is reasonable to assume that the government will have concluded, or be close to concluding negotiations on trade deals with Japan, USA, EU and many other countries. We will, by then hopefully be through the worst of the recession and Covid will start to become a memory not a condition and the country could be on the path to recovery.

The Conservatives will be able to claim they got Brexit done, saw the country through the recession and pandemic and started to put Britain back on the map as a global trading power. Instead of taking the knee, raging against statues and voting against efforts to end free movement, Labour needs to want power and do what is necessary to achieve power.

From opposition can continue to protest and shout outrage, but the party cannot implement its fairly popular progressive and radical social agenda. To win, Labour is going to have to bite the bullet and embrace Brexit in reality and in the values it represents. For the party and for many MPs it will be painful and contrary to all they believe, but if they do it, power will be within reach.