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From deterrent to contagion: Brexit as a cautionary tale?

09.07.2020 3:22

I was very glad to have attended the EPOW seminar series this week, where one of my longer-standing thoughts about Brexit finally got some more robust grounding than the impressionistic approach I’ve taken to date. Sara Hobolt was presenting her co-authored paper on the impact of attitudes towards Brexit on attitudes towards your own country’s […]

Tags: Brexit

Leaked Liz Truss letter warns that Boris Johnson's Brexit border plans risk smuggling, legal challenge, and global reputational damage

08.07.2020 22:19

Liz Truss, the UK's international trade secretary, told government colleagues she worried that the UK's Brexit border plans wouldn't be ready on time.


Which version of Brexit did Britain vote for?

08.07.2020 18:15

The referendum question was unbalanced because it pitched a known outcome with an entirely unknown outcome. The referendum question asked if the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? ▪ REMAIN A MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION □ ▪ LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION □ We all knew what remaining […]

Tags: EU, NBA, Brexit

How Powerful Is Your Passport In A World Facing A Pandemic?

08.07.2020 15:21

As air travel begins to resume and parts of the globe cautiously begin to re-open, travel freedom and mobility has rapidly changed for many citizens in the time of the coronavirus. Premium Passports Lose Their Shine: The Henley Passport Index ranks passport power based on the number of destinations their holders can enter without a visa. An extraordinary shift in passport power has occurred due to temporary pandemic-related bans.Japan Holds No. 1 Spot: Without taking the various travel bans and restrictions into account, Japan continues to hold the No. 1 spot on the Henley Passport Index. Singapore remains in second place, while Germany and South Korea rank jointly in third. Both Japan and South Korea have been included on the EU's list of safe countries, while Singapore has been excluded.This means Singaporean passport holders have far less travel freedom than their closest competitors on the index, which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association. EU Bans American Visitors: Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. passport usually ranked within the top 10 on the Henley Passport Index in the sixth or seventh place, with American citizens able to access 185 destinations around the world without an advance visa. Last week, the EU released a list of countries whose residents would be allowed entry into the bloc after July 1 based on coronavirus-related health and safety criteria.The list includes Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea, all of which have traditionally scored highly on the Henley Passport Index.The Henley Passport Index says that, in a move perceived as a stinging rebuke for its poor handling of the pandemic, the U.S. has been excluded from the list, as were Brazil and Russia.This could eventually change if the countries come to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic and manage to control the spread, or a vaccine is found. U.S. nationals now have roughly the same level of travel freedom as citizens of Uruguay , which is included on the EU's list of welcome countries and ranks 28th on the Henley index. In another striking inversion, the U.S's dramatic decline in passport power means that Americans find themselves with a similar level of travel freedom usually available to citizens of Mexico, which is 25th on the index. "As we have already seen, the pandemic's impact on travel freedom has been more drastic and long lasting than initially anticipated," says Christian Kaelin, chairman of investment migration firm Henley and Partners. The EU's recent decision will have far-reaching effects, he says. International Mobility Restricted: The Henley Passport Index says that as premium passports lose their privileges, experts suggest that the crisis is likely to make international mobility more restricted and unpredictable in the longer term."Even as countries open their borders, it is expected that numerous governments will use epidemiological concerns as a justification for imposing new immigration restrictions and nationality-targeted travel bans that will mainly be aimed at citizens of developing countries," says Yossi Harpaz, assistant professor of sociology at Tel Aviv University."The passports of both developing and developed nations stand to decrease in value, at least temporarily. In such uncertain times, global demand for dual citizenship and investor visas is expected to increase."See more from Benzinga * Martini Tax: US Considering .1B In New Tariffs On UK, European Goods * Bank Of England Boosts Bond Buying By 4B, Maintains Bank Rate * UK Formally Confirms To EU That It Won't Extend Brexit Transition(C) 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Trade secretary concerned that Brexit border plans could lead to smuggling, leaked letter reveals

08.07.2020 14:49

Liz Truss, the Trade Secretary, has warned that Boris Johnson's Brexit border plans could result in smuggling and the breaking of international rules in a leaked letter. The Government announced last month that full border controls will not be applied on goods until July 2021, despite Britain leaving EU trading and customs rules at the end of 2020. Business groups fear the delay risks a "disaster" for firms trading with the EU. In an explosive letter to Cabinet ministers on Wednesday, Ms Truss warned that the new regime risks the UK's international credibility. The leaking of the letter to Business Insider has raised suspicions that she may be moved from her post in a mooted summer reshuffle. In the private correspondence to Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, and the Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, Ms Truss highlighted four "key areas of concerns" about the Government's border plans, which are due to be published on July 13. Saying that the proposals would create a series of logistical, political and reputational risks for the Government, the letter demands "assurances that we are able to deliver full control at ports by July 2021 and that plans are in place from January to mitigate the risk of goods being circumvented from ports implementing full controls". Suggesting that a lack of preparedness could lead to smuggling from the EU if UK ports are not ready to carry out checks, she said the UK could "be vulnerable to WTO challenge". This is because Britain plans to temporarily give the EU preferential treatment, which could breach WTO rules if there is no UK-EU free trade agreement in place.


Germany's Angela Merkel says EU must prepare for no-deal Brexit

08.07.2020 11:22

Germany will continue to push to seal a new partnership agreement with Britain by the end of the year, but the European Union should also prepare for an abrupt split from 2021, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday (July 8).


Angela Merkel tells EU to prepare for no trade deal Brexit

08.07.2020 10:18

Angela Merkel said the EU should be prepared for a no trade deal Brexit on Wednesday, the day after Boris Johnson warned the German chancellor that Britain was "ready" to walk away without an agreement. "I will continue to push for a good solution, but we should also prepare for a possible no deal scenario," Mrs Merkel said in the European Parliament in Brussels. "Progress in negotiations so far has been slim, to put it diplomatically," she said as she set out plans for Germany's six-month EU presidency. Mrs Merkel added: "We've agreed with the United Kingdom to accelerate the pace of talks to reach an agreement by autumn, an agreement that could be ratified by the end of the year." Mr Johnson has been adamant that he will not allow the discussions to drag on into the autumn, arguing that British businesses and citizens need certainty on the way forward before then. On Tuesday, the Prime Minister told Mrs Merkel that the UK "would be ready" to leave the transition period at the end of the year on Australian terms – the Government's preferred expression for leaving without a trade deal. A Downing Street spokesman said: "On the future relationship, the Prime Minister underlined the UK's commitment to working hard to find an early agreement out of the intensified talks process. "He also noted that the UK equally would be ready to leave the transition period on Australia terms if an agreement could not in the end be reached." Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, told MEPs in Brussels: "We will do our utmost to ensure that an agreement can be reached with the United Kingdom." Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, is in London for talks this week during a month of intensified negotiations. Last week's round of negotiations in Brussels broke up a day early with the sides unable to bridge their differences over fishing, the "level playing field" guarantees and the future role of the European Court of Justice. Mr Barnier met David Frost, his UK counterpart, for a dinner of halibut in Downing Street on Tuesday night. He said on Wednesday that he had a "nice dinner" and "useful discussion" with Mr Frost, and that negotiators were "working hard for a fair agreement". In Brussels, Mrs Merkel said the coronavirus pandemic was the greatest challenge the EU had ever faced. “We are all aware that my visit today is coming at a the time when the European Union is facing its greatest challenge, ever. The global pandemic has hit people hard in Europe. Over 100,000 lives have been lost in Europe alone,”she said. “Many citizens were not able to visit loved ones because of strict quarantine rules or bid farewell to them as they passed. We must bear that in mind when we commit to economic recovery.” Mrs Merkel said, “We need to mourn our dead and recognise the pain of farewells that were not possible.” EU leaders will meet on July 18-19 for tough talks over a €750 bn recovery fund and €1.1 trillion EU budget, which the European Commission has called for to kickstart the economy after the pandemic. “Europe will only emerge from the crisis stronger than ever if we are willing to overcome our differences and identify shared solutions,” Mrs Merkel said.

Brexit: UK to nominate Liam Fox to lead World Trade Organization

08.07.2020 10:16

The pro-Brexit MP was sacked as international trade secretary when Boris Johnson took over as PM.


Waiting Game: With Earnings Season Straight Ahead, Markets Searching For Direction

08.07.2020 9:21

As if we needed anything else to worry about, Brexit popped back into the headlines today as concerns of a “no-deal” exit by the UK loomed again. Meanwhile, Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy, a victim of “casual Fridays” and the virus.

Tags: UK, Brexit

[Ticker] Brexit talks kick off with Downing Street dinner

07.07.2020 11:29

Top British and EU negotiators will have dinner at the British prime minister's office at Number 10 Downing Street on Tuesday, kicking off the latest round of Brexit talks that have all but stalled amid differences, Reuters reported. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on his way to London in a Twitter post: "The EU wants an agreement, and we are doing everything to succeed, but not at any price."


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