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Back Brexit law or risk chaos, PM May's Conservatives tell lawmakers

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Back Brexit law or risk chaos, PM May's Conservatives tell lawmakers

 By William James

 

2018-01-17T001923Z_1_LYNXMPEE0G00Q_RTROPTP_4_BRITAIN-POLITICS.JPG

Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, joins Sutton and Cheam Member of Parliament (MP), Paul Scully, as he campaigns for the forthcoming London local elections, in south west London, Britain January 13, 2018. REUTERS/Leon Neal/Pool

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party urged lawmakers to back the government's Brexit legislation at a vote in parliament later on Wednesday, warning opponents that trying to block the plan would bring chaos.

 

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is set to complete its first journey through parliament's lower house some time after 1900 GMT, a milestone on the long road towards cementing the legal foundations of Brexit.

 

The bill repeals the 1972 law which made Britain a member of the EU and transfers EU laws into British ones. It has become a focal point for the divisive debate about what type of EU divorce Britain should seek, severely testing May's ability to deliver on her exit strategy without a parliamentary majority.

 

Nevertheless, despite one embarrassing defeat, several government concessions and criticism from within her own party, May is expected to win a vote that will see the bill passed to parliament's largely pro-EU upper chamber for more scrutiny.

 

Speaking ahead of the vote, Conservative Party Chairman Brandon Lewis called on the opposition Labour Party, which has opposed May's strategy at almost every turn, to back the bill and show it is not trying to overturn the 2016 EU referendum.

 

"Labour say over and again that they support the referendum result, and can be trusted to act responsibly, but today that will be put to the test. They can either back this bill or vote for chaos," Lewis said.

 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he will instruct his party to vote against the bill if concerns about democratic accountability, protection of workers, the environment and consumer rights are not addressed.

 

Even if Labour vote against, May should be able to win a vote thanks to an arrangement with a small, pro-Brexit Northern Irish Party. A number of Labour lawmakers could also defy Corbyn to help the bill through.

 

The upper house of parliament, the House of Lords, will take months to scrutinise the bill before it can become law. While many there are expected to try to soften the Brexit approach, the most likely area for changes to the bill involves rather technical, constitutional issues.

 

This month both pro- and anti-EU politicians have raised the question of whether to hold a second referendum to give voters the chance to approve whatever withdrawal treaty is agreed with Brussels before Britain leaves the bloc.

 

Leaders of EU institutions weighed into this debate by saying on Tuesday that Britons were still welcome to stay in the EU if they had a change of heart.

 

In response, May's spokesman repeated her determination to follow through on Brexit, even though she campaigned against it in 2016.

 

(Reporting by William James; editing by Mark Heinrich)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-01-17

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4 hours ago, stephenterry said:

And no 'clever' Brexiteer has been able to answer my  question as to why buy goods from Singapore, Hong Kong, or other far flung places when the UK has the biggest (and cheapest) tariff-free market on its doorstep?

 

While I appreciate your point re 'imperfect'  governance  I do hope the UK will agree to remain in both the EU market and customs union, because it would be madness not to do so, from an economy POV. Whether that's possible after the transition period, I have no idea.  

 

What the British government should have done after the referendum result, was to identify exactly what were the public concerns with being a member of the EU,  and show how they would rectify that position  whilst remaining a member with a 'voice' as it is clear now that by upping sticks any 'benefits' of leaving are (possibly) going to bankrupt the UK's economy in doing so. And who is going to pay for this?  The young generation, that's who. And that's the legacy May's government will leave them. A £50 billion debt as from March 2019.

 

 

 

The market on our doorstep is only the cheapest because of high tarriffs placed on imports from countries outside the EU. On an equal footing, most EU goods and products are more expensive.

 

Was your crystal ball a Christmas present?

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4 hours ago, Khun Han said:

 

The market on our doorstep is only the cheapest because of high tarriffs placed on imports from countries outside the EU. On an equal footing, most EU goods and products are more expensive.

 

 

Really? Then how do you explain that the EU as a whole has had a positive trade balance with the rest of the world since 2013 except for 2 quarters where it went very slightly negative? 

https://tradingeconomics.com/euro-area/balance-of-trade

 

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3 hours ago, ilostmypassword said:

Really? Then how do you explain that the EU as a whole has had a positive trade balance with the rest of the world since 2013 except for 2 quarters where it went very slightly negative? 

https://tradingeconomics.com/euro-area/balance-of-trade

 

 

Two reasons: EU exports are largely of the specialist goods/high tech/high marquee value types; EU tarrifs restrict the import of day-to-day goods.

 

How much meat does the EU export to Australasia? How much fruit and veg does the EU export to South America? How much in household goods/small electricals does the EU export to Asia? How much clothing does the EU export to Asia? Etc, etc.

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10 minutes ago, Khun Han said:

 

Two reasons: EU exports are largely of the specialist goods/high tech/high marquee value types; EU tarrifs restrict the import of day-to-day goods.

 

How much meat does the EU export to Australasia? How much fruit and veg does the EU export to South America? How much in household goods/small electricals does the EU export to Asia? How much clothing does the EU export to Asia? Etc, etc.

Well, it's mostly a highly economically developed area. Of course it exports high tech stuff. The kind of industry that pays high wages.

 As for fruit and vegetables? Do you really want European workers to be paid the kind of wages South Americans earn? And what percentage of the economy is fruits and vegetables anyway? The more economically developed a nation is, the smaller that percentage is going to be.

And as for the EU restricting the import of day to day goods?  Really Is it  reasonable to suppose that other nations would just accept EU restrictions on their exports but not impose countervailing restrictions on EU exports? That's not how the world works. Here's a link to just EU trade with China a major source of day to day goods. . It hardly supports your contentions.

http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/china/

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1 hour ago, ilostmypassword said:

Well, it's mostly a highly economically developed area. Of course it exports high tech stuff. The kind of industry that pays high wages.

 As for fruit and vegetables? Do you really want European workers to be paid the kind of wages South Americans earn? And what percentage of the economy is fruits and vegetables anyway? The more economically developed a nation is, the smaller that percentage is going to be.

And as for the EU restricting the import of day to day goods?  Really Is it  reasonable to suppose that other nations would just accept EU restrictions on their exports but not impose countervailing restrictions on EU exports? That's not how the world works. Here's a link to just EU trade with China a major source of day to day goods. . It hardly supports your contentions.

http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/china/

 

You agreed with my first contention about the nature of most EU exports.

 

My second contention about day-to-day goods. Firstly, do you really want to help keep second and third world countries as second and third world countries by restricting trade with them? And your attempt to make equivalence between restrictive EU trading practices and trading practices across the world in general is laughable: The EU has looong been notorious throughout the world for being difficult to trade with. Anyway, you sidestepped my question about why the EU can't export much in the way of day-to-day goods outside it's member area, so I'll answer it for you. It's because, on an equal footing, the EU's goods are too damn expensive, even compared to produce from wealthy first world countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

 

I don't know what your link is supposed to prove, or how it fails to support my contentions. One of the first things it states is that the EU keeps China on a tight trade leash, which actually supports one of my contentions.

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5 hours ago, Khun Han said:

 

You agreed with my first contention about the nature of most EU exports.

 

My second contention about day-to-day goods. Firstly, do you really want to help keep second and third world countries as second and third world countries by restricting trade with them? And your attempt to make equivalence between restrictive EU trading practices and trading practices across the world in general is laughable: The EU has looong been notorious throughout the world for being difficult to trade with. Anyway, you sidestepped my question about why the EU can't export much in the way of day-to-day goods outside it's member area, so I'll answer it for you. It's because, on an equal footing, the EU's goods are too damn expensive, even compared to produce from wealthy first world countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

 

I don't know what your link is supposed to prove, or how it fails to support my contentions. One of the first things it states is that the EU keeps China on a tight trade leash, which actually supports one of my contentions.

I guess I have to ask what is your definition of day to day goods? Appliances? Clothing? Which of these goods do Australia, New Zealand, and Canada manufacture? I don't know of any major developed nation where these are manufactured in significant quantities.

As for the EU keeping China on a tight trade leash, it's also true that the reverse is the case as the link I suppled shows:

"When China joined the WTO in 2001 it agreed to reform and liberalise important parts of its economy. 
While China has made progress, some problems remain:

  • a lack of transparency
  • industrial policies and non-tariff measures that discriminate against foreign companies
  • strong government intervention in the economy, resulting in a dominant position of state-owned firms, unequal access to subsidies and cheap financing
  • poor protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights"

Your claim is I think the first time I've heard China described as a victim of unfair trading practices!

 

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