Shambolic Labour – Brexit Issues

Labour Party Conference

CorbynThe Guardian had this on Saturday: “Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn wins convincing victory over Owen Smith – Party leader increases mandate after beating challenger Owen Smith, leaving rebel MPs to decide whether to return to the frontline” as well as this: “Corbyn leadership win shows Labour is now a changed party – With Jeremy Corbyn increasing his mandate, members with more centrist politics may now leave the party”.

On Sunday, Tom Baldwin, formerly a Labour Director of Communications and Strategy  : “Labour is trapped in the past – as is Corbyn. Can the party learn how to win again?”

Today (Monday), the Guardian reports: “Jeremy Corbyn critics will not be silenced despite unity calls – Wes Streeting, Angela Eagle and Hilary Benn among those speaking out against leader just a day after his re-election

Entirely predictably, the Telegraph on Saturday had this: “This missed opportunity to crush Corbyn has condemned Labour to oblivion” and this: “Don’t be afraid of Jeremy Corbyn. Be afraid of what comes after him” and today on its live account of events it reports “Jeremy Corbyn sets path to ‘annihilation’ as Labour council group leader quits and tells MPs to form breakaway party” and there is also comment from former Home Secretary David Blunkett describing the re-election of Corbyn as an “utter disaster”.

On the Conservative Home site on Saturday there was this: “Corbyn’s re-election: Labour confirms itself as a fashion statement party – no longer fixed on winning”.

Many Conservative activists may be happy with the idea that that Labour is making itself unelectable.  But our parliamentary democracy is based on the concept of an opposition able to hold the government of the day to account and ready, if need be, to form an alternative government.  It remains to be seen just how the Labour Front Bench will be organised and how the Labour MP’s  who have no confidence in Corbyn’s leadership will behave.   Will there be a credible opposition ?

At least there is some indication of how Corbyn sees things.  The Independent had this: “Corbyn favours ‘Norway model’ post BrexitThe Labour leader indicated that access to the single market, similar to that which Norway currently has, is the relationship Britain should seek after it exits the European Union”.  But see this in the Guardian: “Jeremy Corbyn says UK should reject key aspects of single market after Brexit – Labour leader wants full access to EU markets for British firms but would seek to ditch certain directives and obligations”.

It looks as if the remainder of this Parliament will feature splits between the “Leave” and “Remain” camps in both the Conservative and the Labour party.

Brexit Issues – Banking and Financial Services 

The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have been at the UN General Assembly but the opportunity was taken to explore some Brexit issues.  See this in the Financial Times: “Theresa May canvasses Wall Street over Brexit – PM talks to Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and BlackRock on New York visit” and see also this “Wall Street warns Theresa May of need for ‘long runway’ before Brexit – US banks tell May they would like several years to prepare for impact”.

But see this in the Telegraph: “Brexit warning: US bank bosses from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and BlackRock threaten Theresa May with relocation”.

The fact is that all the non EU overseas banks in London will need to consider their operations post Brexit.  The Australian Business Insider has his “LEAVING LONDON: Confidential Deutsche Bank Brexit briefing shows where it thinks other banks will go.” The article ends with this comment:

The Deutsche paper is speculative and written shortly after the Brexit vote. No one knows for sure what the UK’s Brexit agreement is going to look like.  But the mere fact that a major investment bank is even discussing a post-London future suggests banks are prepared for London’s near-1,000 year history as a centre for international trade and finance to come to an end, if needs be.”

See also this article in the Guardian: “Lloyd’s considers opening EU subsidiary to be ready for Brexit – Insurance market working on ‘contingency plan’ so it can continue trading across Europe once article 50 is triggered” and this in the Financial Times: “City of London fears May government is shifting towards ‘hard’ Brexit – Alarm political momentum will trigger damage to financial hub“.

Brexit Mythology

The Washington Post published this some time ago:  “The myths that Brexit was built on on“.   There have, of course, been many instances of such myths being peddled to create the misconception in the mind of the electorate that the United Kingdom would be better off by leaving the European Union.  See also this in the Financial Times: “Metropolitan myths that led to Brexit“.

One person who ought to now how mythology works on our minds is Paul Goodman, a Roman Catholic who tested his vocation as a novice at a Benedictine Abbey on the Isle of Wight before opting for journalism,  principally at the Telegraph.  He was the Conservative MP for Wycombe 2001-2010 and he is now the Executive Editor of the Conservative Home website.  In language strangely akin to hagiography, Mr Goodman has posted this article in praise of Brexit: “A day to stand back from the fray, and marvel at the stupendous fact of Brexit“.

It was, however, pleasing to see this response to the Goodman panegyric from someone more connected with reality:

You must be joking! Neither I nor any one I know has lost sight of the implications of Brexit whether it [is]  the extra 10% I have to pay on every thing not priced in £s, The uncertainty about EU grants and finance faced by Universities and other institutions, will friends and colleagues be allowed to say in the UK? Will other relatives be allowed to work and study abroad?  My children, and most young people I know have given up on this country as it turns in on itself, and are seeking EU or US citizenship. Then, if we do finally leave there is the probability of long term loss of growth. All in all I would prefer not to stand back and think about it. Thank God I’m nearing retirement and don’t have to face the prospect forging a career in a small isolated country whose delusions of grandeur have led it to cut itself off from its neighbours.

 

A Few Financial and Political Issues

Liberal Democrat Conference

farronThe Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton ended with a barnstorming address by their Leader, Tim Farron MP, calling on Tory and Liberal centrists to join the Liberal Democrats – not necessarily a bad idea for those, who like me, think that the popular vote on Brexit was engineered by the swivel eyed loons of the Conservative Party, aided and abetted by the horrors of UKIP and the incompetence of Jeremy Corbyn.  The highlights of Tim Farron’s address can be seen on the Lib-Dem website.

The Guardian has this opinion piece: “Will this Brexit offer get the Lib Dems back in the game? – Tim Farron has little choice other than to make his party the pro-European choice. But a second referendum is a risky option”.

The Conservative Home Blog has this piece:  “Mo Metcalf-Fisher: The Lib Dems have become the pro-EU UKIP

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Metcalf-Fisher – 2nd Left – getting out the Leave Vote in Hammersmith

Poor Mr Metcalf-Fisher graduated from  the University of Essex (established as long ago as 1963) with a BSc in  Politics and later a MSc in Public Opinion and Polling.  One might have thought that these Essex degrees might have have equipped  him to run good election campaigns.

But in the 2011 Colchester Borough Council Elections he came 3rd with a Liberal Democrat winning the seat and in 2012 he again lost to a Liberal Democrat 477-192.  After those failures he took a job as a Parliamentary Assistant to James Cleverly MP, the Tory Member for Braintree and more recently he organised some get out the vote efforts for the Vote Leave campaign.   

Since he was twice beaten by Liberal Democrats in local government elections, one can understand  why Metcalf-Fisher might  want to seek to do the Liberal Democrats down.  But one or two sensible comments from other readers of his post are worth reading:

  • As they (Liberal Democrats)  have been hoovering up by-election victories in local government in recent months I think we should be cautious about writing them off.  Moreover, Brexit is not the totality of politics and the more we bang on about it, the more UKIPy we sound ourselves.”
  • It’s what I would do in their place. When Brexit inevitably goes pear shaped there will be a lot of bitterness and disappointment out there to capitalize on.”
  • And this from an Ex-Tory Agent:- “If the Conservatives don’t come up with a Brexit deal I like, I am open to voting Lib Dem if they offer an alternative I prefer. I’ve been a Conservative all my life, been a professional in the party, and if I feel this way, imagine the Tory Remain voters who have fewer ties with the Conservative Party.

Labour Party

CorbynThe Labour Party Conference is not till 25th September in Liverpool.

But as this Guardian article explains: “Labour not this far from power since the 1930s, says David Miliband – Former foreign secretary and one-time leadership favourite says party is unelectable under Jeremy Corbyn”.

The Conservative Party & Brexit

The  Conservative  parliamentary majority is still a very small one.  So much depends on whether or not there will be  Parliamentary votes on the Brexit process. As of 16th May 2016, 75% of MP’s who had declared their intention were in favour of remaining in the EU and only 25% were Brexiteers – see our Conservative Difficulty page.

Financial Issues arising from the Brexit Vote

From the Financial Times:-

All these articles in the Financial Times give a good perspective on the issues the Government now faces.  Nicolas Véron has written a well researched article in  Prospect entitled:   “The City will decline—and we will be the poorer for it”. 

Véron makes a very important point: “London’s financial sector is a huge generator of tax receipts for the government: according to the City of London Corporation, in the year to March 2015, the City paid £66.5bn in tax, equivalent to almost two thirds of the national education budget.

One wonders how the government would make good that kind of hole in the national budget – perhaps all will be revealed in the Autumn Statement.

Party Conference Season Continues

UKIP Conference Postscript

As expected, Diane James was elected as the leader of UKIP.  The Guardian has this: “Ukip elects Diane James as new party leader – First female leader will inherit party riven by infighting and complicated by Nigel Farage staying to shape its EU strategy”.

The New Statesman has this:  “Why Ukip’s new leader Diane James should terrify both Labour and the Tories”.

The Liberal Democrat Conference

The Liberal Democrat Conference started yesterday in Brighton.  See the Conference Agenda.  The Guardian has these reports on yesterday’s developments:

The sad fact of life is that the Liberal Democrats paid a very high price for going into coalition with the Cameron government.  Yes, the have the right ideas on Britain’s membership of the EU, but it is hard to see how they can recover from their near obliteration in the last election in time to be effective in opposing the Tory & UKIP Brexiteers.

The European Union and Brexit

The Telegraph has this: “Brexit deal threatened with veto by four countries unless Theresa May guarantees their citizens right to work in Britain“.  This is about the negotiating position of the Visegrad states: The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.  It is a perfectly understandable position from their point of view.

The Commission is, of course taking a hard line as explained by the Financial Times: “Europe spurns UK plea for Brexit guidance – London’s attempts at secret talks get cold shoulder from Brussels“.  This approach, of course, strengthens the Commission’s negotiating position and, in effect, says that talks cannot start until the Article 50 Notice is given.

The Prime Minister is very wisely not saying when she will do that.  See this in the Mail on Sunday: “No 10 cools talk of a new year Brexit by insisting Theresa May did NOT tell EU chief she’ll trigger the process in January or February as Brussels digs in over free movement of people.

The Chancellor is also wisely seeking to avoid a “hard Brexit”.  See this, also in the Financial Times: “Cautious Hammond argues against Brexit clean break – Chancellor’s warning voice on dangers of going too far“.

The Chancellor, the Prime Minister and the Bank of England must be taken to know what a hard Brexit would do for the economy – and, if they are in doubt, the Chairman of the Bundesbank has made matters clear:  see this in the Guardian: “Hard Brexit will cost City of London its hub status, warns Bundesbank boss – Passporting rights to operate across EU will be lost if UK does not at least stay within the European Economic Area, says Jens Weidmann“.

However, the Eurosceptic loons in the Conservative  Party are hard at work.   See this worrying development reported in the Telegraph: “Theresa May faces rebellion as Tory MPs launch new ‘hard Brexit’ campaign“.

How this may develop remains to be seen.  This opinion piece in the Guardian is worth reading: “It is not ‘time to move on’ over Brexit: it’s time to fight – As the reality of what lies before Britain dawns, the voice of the people, which spoke via the referendum, may well wish to speak again“.

Janet Daley writes this in the Telegraph: “The EU still hasn’t understood that it is a totalitarian institution“.

The reality is that the Commission, is getting above itself.  The EU treaties are written as between the Member States and at present the UK is a Member.  Our negotiations should be with the governments of the other Member States.

The proper role of the Commission is akin to that of the civil service – to give effect to what the Member States decide

 

UKIP Conference

UKIP Party Conference – Bournemouth

The UKIP Conference takes place today and tomorrow in Bournemouth.  The Conference Agenda is to be found here on the UKIP website.  UKIP conferences are notoriously shambolic so it is perhaps a bit early to assume that Diane James will indeed be the next UKIP leader.  The Daily Express (a paper close to UKIP) has this: “Amazing bid to keep Farage: Ukip members in last-ditch attempt to make sure Nigel STAYS“.

BreakFarThe Financial Times has This: “Farewell Nigel Farage and so long to Ukip as we know it – The Eurosceptic party is in the grip of an identity crisis” and also this “Next Ukip leader needs policies to make Brexit Britain great – I will build on our election manifesto — and keep a close eye on May, writes Diane James”.

The Telegraph writes “Nigel Farage insists he will support new Ukip leader but says ‘I’m not going away’” while the Guardian reports on a UKIP defection to the Conservatives: “Nigel Farage aide defects to Tories claiming a mass exodus from Ukip”.

Some think that UKIP is principally an electoral threat to the Labour Party, particularly  in the more deprived areas of the country.  See this article dated 17th August 2016 in the Independent: “Why Labour should be more worried about Ukip’s leadership battle than its own”.

In reality, UKIP and Farage pose a threat to all other parties and only one thing is certain: Whatever happens at this conference. Farage will not be going away.

 

 

Indian Summer before Brexit

Run up to the Party Conferences

The House of Commons will adjourn  tomorrow for the Party Conferences recess.  The House will not resume sitting until 10th October 2016.

The Prime Minister and the Conservative Party will be looking towards the Conservative Party Conference 2-5 October 2016 in Birmingham  – perhaps in many ways relaxed by the fact that the Labour Party is unlikely to provide an effective opposition when Parliament resumes in October.

But unexpected things can happen at  even the best planned conferences and if there is a single issue which has potential for causing trouble, it may well be Brexit.  There are any number of fringe events with Brexit themes.  There will be Brexit Ministers present.

Triggering the Brexit Process

Thus far, the Government is still sticking to the line that Article 50 can be triggered using prerogative powers.

The House of Lords Constitution Committee has released a significant report on the invoking of Article 50 (The Report is available online) and it concludes that it would be constitutionally more appropriate for Parliament to approve the process either by way of resolutions in both Houses or by way of a Bill.   This may not come as welcome news to the Brexit Ministers.

At paragraph 26 of its report the Committee says:  “A legal challenge has been made to the Government’s position that it may trigger Article 50 as an exercise of prerogative power. A full hearing at the High Court is expected to take place in October 2016. We do not intend therefore to express a view as to the merits or otherwise of the differing legal arguments set out above. Rather we consider whether, and if so how, it would be constitutionally appropriate for Parliament to be involved, irrespective of whether the courts decide that parliamentary involvement is a legal requirement.”

It is to be noted that Lord Pannick QC,  a very distinguished member of the Committee,  very properly refrained participating in this enquiry because he will be appearing as Counsel in the Judicial Review proceedings in October.

The Guardian reports on the Committee Report here: “PM should seek parliamentary approval over article 50, says Lords committee – House of Lords constitution committee says nature of EU referendum means parliament must play central role in Brexit process”.

Conservative Brexiteers

Problems for the Prime Minister may well come from the Brexiteers in her cabinet and her own back bench as evidenced by a new pressure group largely formed from members of her own party.  Named “Change Britain”  it is effectively a continuation of the Vote Leave campaign.  The Chairman is Gisela Stuart MP but many of the founding supporters are Conservative Brexiteers.

Boris2Surprisingly, the Foreign Secretary has recorded a video message featured on the site.  The Guardian has this:  “Boris Johnson backs Brexit pressure campaign Change Britain – Foreign secretary records message supporting group that aims to push Theresa May to fully deliver EU exit” and the Telegraph has this: “Boris Johnson backs hardline Brexit campaign Change Britain as pressure from senior Tories builds on Theresa May”.  Boris would probably have been better off refraining from so overtly supporting this new Brexit pressure group – but clowns invited to the top table are always allowed a certain amount of licence – at any rate for a time.

whittingdaleThe Guardian also references this piece in the Telegraph: “Theresa May should invoke Article 50 within weeks, says John Whittingdale”.  First elected in 1992, Whittingdale  only went into office when David Cameron chose him as Secretary for Culture Media and Sport in May 2015 .  His time in Parliament included a scandal relating to lapdancing clubs  –  see his Wikipedia profile.   Mrs May wisely did not include this particular dinosaur in her Cabinet and this may be why he is making trouble.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox Facing Inquiry Into Ministerial Conduct

Perhaps the first prize for Brexit Ministerial  ineptitude during last week must go to The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP who is plainly looking for something to do – see this in the Financial Times: “UK business too fat and lazy to seek new export markets says Fox – Pro-Brexit trade secretary angers exporters with ‘rather play golf’ comments”.    The Trade Secretary is, of course, in a difficult position.  Until the UK has left the EU, it cannot negotiate its own trade deals.  So, at the moment he has little to do.  Perhaps he could spend some time reading some of the many comments at the foot of the FT article.  They are not complimentary.

teresamay5The one bit of good news for the Prime Minister may be that the State of the Union address of Jean Claude Juncker to the European Parliament seems to have gone down like a lead balloon in most of the European press – see this BBC report:  “Brexit: Juncker fails to impress Europe’s media“. There are many good reasons why Mrs May should take as much time as she thinks she needs before triggering Article 50 – not least because opinion is changing in the EU.  As time passes and Member States start to consider the full implications of Brexit for their own countries – the negotiating position of the UK may well improve quite substantially.

 

After the Brexit Statement

The Brexit Secretary’s Statement

david-davis-graphic
David Davis – Brexit Secretary

Yesterday, David Davis MP, now HM Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union delivered what was described as a “statement”  on progress towards Brexit in the House of Commons.  For those who were otherwise engaged, the full text is to be found on the Conservative Home blog: “Davis’ statement on Brexit: full text”.

The Daily Telegraph’s Parliamentary sketch writer gives a fair account of the proceedings (embellished with a very good cartoon):  “What does ‘Brexit means Brexit’ mean? A Tory minister tries to explain…

“As for what Brexit will or even may mean in terms of international trade, immigration, jobs and security, however, Mr Davis was unable to be quite so enlightening. He spoke for a good 13 minutes, but MPs on the benches facing him sounded unconvinced that they’d heard anything new.”

The Guardian report is similarly dismissive: “David Davis accused of having no plan for Brexit – Secretary of state for exiting EU is accused of delivering ‘astonishingly empty statement’ to MPs on government’s plans”.

It was, of course, an empty statement.  Those campaigning to leave the European Union have never had any clear programme about how they they would accomplish their plan to leave the EU without causing huge damage to the UK economy.

Immigration

The British people have always been xenophobic – which other country has such a rich vocabulary of distaste for non-nationals: “bloody foreigners, frogs, krauts, spics, wops, wogs“.

It is worth remembering what were the provisions relating to nationality and citizenship as enacted by the British Nationality Act 1948.  As an imperial power,  all persons born in the United Kingdom and its colonies were British subjects.  In addition all citizens of  the dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Newfoundland, India, Pakistan, Southern Rhodesia and Ceylon were also British subjects and in addition there were special provisions relating to citizens of Eire. All those British subjects had the theoretical right to come to England and live and work on exactly the same basis as someone born here.  But few did, because the cost of travel was too great.  In addition,  if a British subject married a wife who was not British, she could acquire the status of a British subject by registration.

Commonwealth immigration commenced after World War II and was initially officially encouraged because of the UK’s declining population and the need for labour – see these accounts in the National Archives:  (1)  “Origins of Commonwealth immigration” and also how and why steps were taken to restrict such immigration (2) “Commonwealth Immigration control and legislation“.

UKIP2
LOCAL JOBS FOR LOCAL PEOPLE !

People of my age, who remember the vile racist abuse and violence meted out to those who came to the UK from the Commonwealth to do the jobs we did not wish to do and thereby make a better life for their children,  recognise that the Vote Leave and UKIP campaigns used precisely the same tactics in relation to EU citizens as their predecessors did in relation to Commonwealth migrants.  It did not matter to UKIP and others that the Eastern Europeans who, for example,  are picking and packing fruits and vegetables in East Anglia are doing jobs that the local people are unable or unwilling to do.

Just as the public reaction to postwar immigration induced postwar governments to control Commonwealth migration, the public reaction to EU migration in the Referendum was designed to force the government to control EU migration.  Whether it was right, or moral for the government to cave in to the profanum vulgus on this occasion  is questionable.

 

Backlash from the G20 Summit

There is a report in the Telegraph: “Theresa May’s frosty reception at the G20 shows she cannot stonewall about Brexit forever“.  Note that the article is written by a former British Ambassador:-

As Japan rightly points out, the UK for years has been wooing Japanese investment into the UK as a sensible welcoming gateway to the EU Single Market.  Japanese corporations large and small have done exactly what we urged them to do, investing heavily in the UK as a base for Europe-wide production and distribution chains. They are firmly asking both the UK and EU for clarity on all sorts of issues with sharp-end operational importance (rules of origin, intellectual property rights, movement of workers, technical standards and so on).”

TeresaMayThe fact is that neither Cameron’s Government nor the Leave Campaigners had worked out a sensible course of action in the event of a Leave vote in the Referendum.

Mrs May has, quite rightly decided that she needs to work out her strategy first.

 

But the fact that HM Government is so unprepared, does not put the UK in a favourable light with other countries that have relied on us.

The Guardian reports:  “David Davis’s single market stance ‘not government policy’ – PM distances herself from Brexit secretary’s remarks that staying in is ‘improbable’ as spokeswoman says she will be ‘ambitious’ in negotiations“.

There is a similar report in the Financial Times: “Davis view on leaving single market ‘not government policy’ – Theresa May distances herself from her new Brexit secretary’s comments“.

These reports give the impression that the Prime Minister recognises the desirability of remaining in the EU single market.  It has to be recognised that the “free movement” principles include the free movement of labour.  That is the area of real tension.

But there are many ways of controlling migration.  The Telegraph has this: “Theresa May considers banning EU migrants from coming to Britain unless they have a job“.  The real importance of this is the Prime Minister’s rejection of the points-based system proposed by Brexiteers.

The Guardian reports on a similar difficulty the Swiss are having with the EU: “Swiss blink first in EU standoff with striking similarities to UK predicament – Argument over free movement and access to single market leads to Switzerland creating jobs-for-locals compromise“.   It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

The Financial Times has this: “Theresa May deserves benefit of the doubt on Brexit — for now.  The prime minister’s elusive policies may be a clever strategy, writes Sebastian Payne“.

Indeed, it is entirely likely that the Prime Minister will work out what she considers to be in the national interest and proceed along that path whatever her Brexiteer Ministers might say.  This Prime Minister is every bit as tough as the late Margaret Thatcher was as she has amply demonstrated while she was Home Secretary.

Parliament Goes Back to Work

Introduction

Parliament reassembles this afternoon for the short session before the Party Conferences.

david-davis-graphic
Brexit Secretary David Davis

The Financial Times has this: “Brexit is ‘huge opportunity’, Davis to tell MPs”.  Well he would say that.  His own views were set out in an article published on the Conservative Home blog on 11th July 2016 and republished on 14th July 2016 after he was appointed by the Prime Minister to his present office as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union:  “David Davis: Trade deals. Tax cuts. And taking time before triggering Article 50. A Brexit economic strategy for Britain”.

But where is the evidence to support these views?  What will the Brexit Secretary have to say about the Memorandum the Japanese Government presented to the UK and the European Union just prior to the G20 Summit in China which is now published  (in English) on the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s website:  “Japan’s Message to the United Kingdom and the European Union” ?

See this in the Guardian:  “Britain cannot easily dismiss Japanese Brexit warning letter -If non-EU countries’ economic interests continue to be threatened, 15-page report may well be the first of many warning shots“.

The Japanese insist they are not telling a sovereign power how to negotiate, but just defending Japanese interests. Japanese firms, after all, employ about 140,000 workers in the UK, with Nomura bank, manufacturing corporation Hitachi and carmakers Honda, Nissan and Toyota all having large bases in the country.

Some of the answers may come rather more quickly from the Enquiry scheduled to begin on 8th September 2016 before the House of Lords  EU External Affairs and EU Internal Market Sub-Committees Subcommittees:  “Brexit: future trade between the UK and the EU”.   It is noteworthy that Alistair Burt MP (a former Foreign Office Minister) has today called for Commons Select Committees to monitor the activities of the Brexit Departments.  His piece, which is worthy of respect, is also on the Conservative Home blog here: “Alistair Burt: Why we need Brexit Select Committees – and need them now“.

The Tory Guru Lord Ashcroft writes in the Telegraph: “This is what Britain really wants from Brexit, Mrs May“.   His conclusion:

In a nutshell: yes to full control of immigration, yes to unfettered trade, and no to any further contributions to the EU budget. The deal the voters want with the EU is certainly unique. It may also prove a tall order.”

The Financial Times has this: “Brexiters incensed by PM’s rejection of immigration shake-up – Brexiters accuse Theresa May of ‘backsliding’ after she rules out switch to points-based system“.  Note that  the Prime Minister is reported as saying:-

“Mrs May said on Sunday that voters really wanted to see “control” of EU migration and British officials were studying a range of possible compromises, including an emergency brake on large migrant flows”.

The “emergency brake” option is one which the EU might find acceptable.

The Guardian has this: “Poland wants to play ‘intermediary’ for Brexit talks, says deputy PM – Mateusz Morawiecki says UK must make concessions on free movement and that an EEA-style arrangement may be best solution“.

Nice to see that that Poland is willing to help us save something from the Brexit wreckage.