EU exit

On the 23rd of June 2016 more than 62.53% of the electorate did NOT vote to leave the EU.

And as I write, after less than a week, I am sick and tired of the media saying the people voted to leave. And now, at the start of the second week, the leave people are saying the vote was decisive.

This is WRONG : only 37.47% of the electorate voted to leave.

The government has set a higher figure of 60% of eligible voters, to be achieved for industrial action in public services to take place. So, a higher figure is needed to go on strike than to leave the EU.

Here is what happened after the 24th of June 2016 :

EU nurse applicants drop by 96% since Brexit vote
There has been a sharp drop in the number of nurses registering to work in the UK since the EU referendum, figures suggest.

Last July, 1,304 nurses from the EU joined the Nursing and Midwifery Council register.

That compares with just 46 in April this year, a fall of 96%.

I think it best that you read the whole article.

Brexit election?
I think that there will be a lot of tactical voting this time, but the effect will be minimal.

UKIP leave voters will vote Tory because the wicked Tories are pressing ahead with leaving, and the UKIP people know that a vote for UKIP will not get anyone elected and might just let in someone from the stay side.

Added to which, it appears that a lot of marginal Labour held seats have a smaller majority than the UKIP vote at the last election. So UKIP and Tory vote should win it.

Labour has today said that leaving is going ahead, and almost implies is a distraction, with them going on about hitting the rich and so on. UKIP voters who might have voted Labour to get at the rich will still vote Tory as they really want to leave, and secondly, they know that any attempt to hit the rich will fail as these people always find a way around it.

If Labour had come out and said they would have another referendum, even a lot of the rich would vote for them, despite the threats, as they want to stay, and as I say, they can get around anything.

Which leaves the wishy-washies, who have only said that they will put the final deal to a referendum with two options, accept the deal or stay in.

And as I have said many times, I am amazed, as will be history, that there is not more of an outcry against the leave situation. If the vote had decided to stay, can you really envisage the leave people sitting back and saying "It is the will of the people"? No, they would be moaning and getting up campaigns and no end of bad tricks. Just as the Scots refuse to be quiet.

£490 million to be spent on new post EU passports
The UK passport could turn dark blue again after Brexit under a £490m contract to redesign and produce a new version of the document.

The passport is routinely redesigned every five years and Eurosceptics view the new contract as a way to ditch the EU burgundy cover in favour of a return to the colour of the past.

Comment :
1. Do we really spend £490 every five years to redesign passports?
2. Like so much of Brexit, those in favour are old men and the head girl, looking back to the past. The young do not have a say in anything.

This is just a total distraction, aimed at making the head girl look tough.

Most people could not care less about the place.

Like the Falklands, we pump money into the place, and they cash in on their own low tax economy and give nothing back to the mother country. And I bet they come here for the NHS if ill. The Falklands get a vast amount of money and military support at great cost, yet they are rolling in it from oil reserves, and send none of it our way.

One can quite understand the Spanish attitude to Gibraltar. How would we feel if the Isle of Wight was considered a Spanish territory?

A quickie trade deal
Instant gratification with no thought of the risks?

An American has suggested a trade deal can be finalised in ninety days. Some of the leave people have suggested only a very short time is needed. I agree fully with both of these statements. The Americans could come up with a totally one-sided deal next week if asked, and our people would only be able to pick at the edges as they have no experience in such matters.

The Americans have been working out a deal with Canada for seven years, and a long time with the Pacific countries, which Trimp has walked away from. Thus, they have an extremely experienced negotiating team, whereas the UK has not negotiated anything for a few decades. And surely one needs experience of such matters to succeed?

Of course the US want bi-lateral deals, just them and one other country at a time. So they can pick them off one by one.

Wednesday 18th January
Wales will be hit harder than hard
Arfon MP Mr Williams asked Mrs May:
"How can abandoning membership of the customs union that takes 68% of Wales's exports, including 90% of our food and drink exports, and which supports 200,000 jobs cause anything other than calamitous self-harm?"

The prime minister replied: "What we will be doing is negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union to get the best possible access for trade with the European Union.

Whatever is negotiated with the EU will be less than we have today.
Here is the reasoning :
1. The only thing the Prime Minister has said she wants to opt out of is the free movement of people - or rather the free movement of people to work and settle in the UK.

2. She is very keen on the free movement of goods and services. She wants: "the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and the EU's member states."

She does not want to opt out of that.

3. The freest possible means what we have today.
For example: no tariffs on goods travelling in either direction, mutual recognition of each other's technical standards, the freedom to offer services across borders and more.

In short, it means the provisions of the single market that apply to goods and services.

4. But Mrs May seems to accept that we can't have that without also accepting freedom of movement for workers. And that is one of her red lines.

5. So once that has gone, the freest possible movement for goods and services will presumably mean something less than the single market, something less than we have today.
How much less will be a matter for negotiation.

European press reaction to May’s Brexit speech
A "catalogue of demands with some threats thrown in" is German news magazine Der Spiegel's description of Theresa May's Brexit speech. It says that her desire to leave the single market while retaining access to trade with Europe shows that her government is "not just nasty but also blind to reality".

Germany's Die Welt also mocks her with the headline "Little Britain" and accuses her of leading the country into "isolation".

France's Liberation remarks that Mrs May's comment that no deal is better than a bad one suggests that she is threatening to turn Britain into a tax haven. "If this is not blackmail, it looks a lot like it," it says.

Monday 16th January 2017
Trump is just so ignorant
In an interview, Trump says there will be a quick trade deal with the UK.

Never rush into such important things, I say. If a complex issue is resolved speedily, it will mean one side is sat on, the UK. Our politicians will want a speedy deal to show they are doing something, regardless of its worth. Remember the extradition deal we have with the US? To get someone back, we have to prove the earth, but they just have to prove a crime is likely. Weighted like a fat man on one end of a see-saw, and a child on the other.

A trade deal in goods is concerns about 20% of our economy, and most goes to the EU at present. Thus any deal with the US, to be meaningful, will need opening new markets on a massive scale. And this takes years after a deal is announced.

All so depressing. An just to keep the foreigners out. Most of those who voted to leave the EU love the foreigners playing for their football team, love all the foreign takeaway foods, love the foreigners in the NHS. But no, they voted not to have them.

Wednesday 23rd November
The Times, 23rd November
Boris Johnson and David Davis, the cabinet ministers leading Brexit, have been accused of ‘unbelievable arrogance’ and having no idea what leaving the European Union means.

The attack by Manfred Weber, one of Germany’s most senior politicians and an ally of Angela Merkel, followed a bad tempered meeting in Strasbourg with Mr Davis, secretary of state for exiting the EU.

It came as European ambassadors told The Times that Mr Johnson’s pronouncements and jokes about Brexit, both in public and private, were causing damage. “This is no longer amusing. It is serious stuff,” one said.

While Mr Davis described the talks as “great fun”, senior MEPs criticised a lack of clarity over what it wants from Brexit five months after the referendum. “I didn’t hear anything new”, Mr Weber said. “Among them there is no idea what Brexit really means.”

Monday 13th November
India will be a big market for us after leaving the EU. Or will it?
Indian companies have invested more in the UK than anywhere else in Europe. They've seen it as the bridge to the EU. As a result of Brexit, that bridge is about to be broken, so having good links with the UK will become less important.

That means India could, in future, see Britain as a less essential trade partner, just as the UK needs its enormous market even more.

I will not continue as you really should read this article yourself. I heard it on the radio and it was extremely powerful.

Tuesday 8th November
Scotland wades in
The Scottish government is to seek to intervene against the UK government's appeal to the Supreme Court over the triggering of Article 50.

The Lord Advocate, Scotland's most senior law officer, will now apply to be heard in the case.

He is expected to argue that the consent of the Scottish Parliament should also be sought before Article 50 is triggered.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister said :
"And triggering Article 50 will inevitably deprive Scottish people and Scottish businesses of rights and freedoms which they currently enjoy.

It simply cannot be right that those rights can be removed by the UK government on the say-so of a prime minister without parliamentary debate, scrutiny or consent."

Sunday 6th November
Prices begin to rise
Walkers and Birds Eye are set to raise the prices of some items due to the falling strength of the pound.

The pound has fallen 18% against the US dollar since June's UK Brexit vote.

Walkers, owned by US giant PepsiCo, says "the weakened value of the pound" is affecting the import cost of some of its materials.

Birds Eye, owned by New York-listed Nomad Foods, says its products are priced in dollars, so the pound's fall means sterling costs have risen.

Last month, food giant Unilever raised the wholesale price of many household products after falls in the value of sterling increased the cost of products made outside the UK.

Friday 28th October
Why do the media keep getting it wrong?

Today, the BBC website says :
A spokesman said the British people had expressed their view very clearly on 23 June, when 51.9% of voters opted to leave the EU ….

Of course, this should say : …. when 51.9% of those who voted …. which is not the same as 51.9% of those entitled to vote.

They are fond of saying ‘The British people have voted’. I would say that on the 23rd of June, everyone who wanted to leave voted, but a vast number of those who wanted to remain did not vote for some reason. I know a lot of people who did not vote because they felt they did not have enough information, but tended to feel we should remain.

If the vote was held again next week, the result would be to remain by a very large margin.

Friday 21st October
The EU-Canada trade deal, Ceta has stalled.

The TUC says the deadlock over Ceta should be a "wake-up call" to ministers.

"Britain will need a trade deal with the EU after Brexit, and it mustn't follow the failed Canadian model," said the union body's general secretary Frances O'Grady.

"We need a new approach to trade that creates good jobs and protects public services and workers' rights. Not one that just prioritises the needs of big business."

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron accused the prime minister of a "haphazard" approach to Brexit in her own cabinet.

"Instead of putting the views of a minority of hardline Tory Brexiteers first, our prime minister should be doing what's right for the British people," he said.

"This means remaining in the single market, maintaining cross-border security and ensuring that Brexit leaves nobody worse off."

Thursday 20th October
David Davis is in "cloud cuckoo land" if he believes Brexit talks are heavily weighted in favour of the UK, a former Treasury civil servant told the BBC.

Mr Davis told the House of Commons on 10 October: "One of the things that I have discovered in the past few months is that in many areas - not just the City, and not just as regards cars - the balance of negotiating advantage is incredibly heavily stacked our way."

The Brexit Secretary and other minister should "rein back" "hard and unconstructive" talk, former Treasury civil servant Sir Brian Unwin said. Sir Brian, was a senior civil servant under Labour and Conservative governments - including Margaret Thatcher's, when he helped negotiate the UK's budget rebate.

He told BBC Radio 4's World at One: "I saw that Mr Davis the other day was reported to have said that the negotiating odds are unbelievably weighted on our side. Well I think that is utter rubbish, I mean, it really is cloud cuckoo land."

He said opinion was "hardening" towards the UK among EU countries: "They do not want the integrity and the future of the European Union to be put at risk by Brexit and in particular they do not want the United Kingdom to emerge with advantages which might encourage other member states to think of leaving."

Sir Brian, who was president of the European Investment Bank, also said he felt it would be "suicidal" were Britain to leave the EIB - which is owned by the 28 EU member states, as its funding had been "enormously important" to UK infrastructure.

Friday 14th October
My last post said that I was to stop this commentary, but things are starting to get going, so maybe I will continue. But not on a daily basis.

So, what has made me change my mind?

A landmark EU-Canada free trade deal called Ceta is almost at the signing stage.

The main point of interest is that some British politicians see Ceta as a good basis for a post-Brexit UK trade deal with the EU.

Ceta does not involve EU-style free movement of labour. But for services - 80% of the UK economy - the Ceta terms are less favourable than those they have now.

And this is what the government is aiming to sign up to post-EU.

As an aside : Opponents fear that Ceta will be used as a model to push through an even more controversial and wicked (see below somewhere) EU-US trade deal, called TTIP.

I hope that all who read this will remember that when the media say that 'the British people voted to leave', it is a total mis-representation of the truth. As I have mentioned, only 37.47% of the electorate voted to leave. Remember that.

Monday 12th September
Cameron looks after himself
Lots of ‘nice’ and insincere things are said after Cameron announces he is leaving parliament so that he can cash in on having been Prime Minister.

But Labour's Angela Eagle declined to add her voice to the tributes, telling the BBC Mr Cameron had "put his whole country at risk to settle a debate in his own party" through the EU referendum.

"He has now walked away leaving others to clear up the mess."

I could not have put it better.

Wednesday 7th September
Leaving the EU is now farcical
Talk today is about a future trade deal with Australia. Wonderful, since they take 1% of our exports, and this will really help us in the future.

But we cannot start formal trade negotiations until we leave the EU, in about two and a half years time.

Now for the best bit.

The UK has no trained trade negotiators of its own, because it does not need them as it cannot sign deals while an EU member – but the Australian trade minister Steven Ciobo has said he has offered to loan Australian experts to the UK for the talks.

So, we will have tough negotiations on trade between the UK and Australia conducted by Australians on both sides. I am sure a hard bargain will result. Hard for us to swallow.

Monday 29th August
The UK are not good at high level negotiating.
I dread to think what the forthcoming negotiations on leaving the EU will result in. We have virtually no trained or experienced negotiators, and those we have had have a poor track record.

Consider the 2003 extradition treaty between the United States and the UK.

If we want some returned from the US, a request must include "such information as would provide a reasonable basis to believe that the person sought committed the offence for which extradition is requested." We virtually need to prove that the person is guilty before the US will return someone.

This requirement does not apply to requests submitted by the US to the UK. They merely have to show there is "probable cause" to justify the request.

Who in their right mind agreed to this? Our UK negotiators.

We have just been told that the secret, yes secret trade talks between the EU and US are going nowhere. The agreement is known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP.

One area causing great concern is if a European government changes a law and it means US companies or investors see a fall in business and profits, then they are allowed to sue to government.

So, US companies will dictate and restrict what EU governments can or cannot do. Now, if this is not a loss of sovereignty as bemoaned by the leave campaign, what is?

The UK has been one of the most enthusiastic of the EU member countries for TTIP. Which does not need much imagination to lead to the conclusion that if it were to leave the EU, the UK would fall over backwards to sign anything along the lines of TTIP that the US asked. Total disaster.

Theresa May will begin drawing up Britain’s blueprint for Brexit this week, with her cabinet split over the terms of European Union withdraw­al.

Senior Tories say Philip Hammond, the chancellor, is resisting plans by other ministers to pull out of the EU single market.

A Whitehall turf war has broken out, with the Treasury muscling in on Brexit negotiations — to the irritation of David Davis and Liam Fox, the ministers appointed to lead the planning.

Gus O'Donnell cabinet secretary from 2005 to 2011, has said making Brexit happen would be difficult, partly because article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty - the step required to officially begin the process - was designed "in a way that is very strongly in favour of those who are staying, not the leaving party".

He said he "wouldn't be in a rush" to trigger article 50, as the government must first work out a "strategic plan to say 'what kind of UK do we want, what's our place in the world, what are we trying to achieve in these negotiations'".

Comment : Answers to all these questions should have been put to the piblic before any vote. It seems that the question voted on was purely to leave or not to leave, and having decided to leave, the next question is ‘Where shall we go’? Not a way to run a country.

Friday 26th August
A Civil Service recruitment drive is under way - especially for trade negotiators.

Former head of the civil service, Lord Kerslake, told Civil Service World that departments involved in the UK's relationship with the EU had "all been stripped back" in recent years and that the civil service should "put a stop on haemorrhaging people".

He thinks there are British staff, currently working for the European Commission, who would be "prepared to come back".

But former senior civil servant Andrew Cahn wonders if it's as simple as that. He reckons there are some "very brilliant negotiators" who could be lured out of retirement but that they are eyed with suspicion because so many were "committed Remainers".

In such a febrile atmosphere Whitehall is likely to recruit some negotiators from other countries.

"Divisive" and "anti-immigrant" rhetoric by UK politicians during the EU referendum helped to fuel a spike in race hate crimes in the weeks before and after the vote, a UN body has said.

It said prominent political figures had "failed to condemn" racist abuse and created prejudices during the campaign.

The report - by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed concerns at the negative portrayal of immigrants in the UK and a rise of racist online abuse and said it was "seriously concerned" at the sharp increase.

It said the EU referendum campaign had been marked by "divisive, anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric".

Thursday 25th August
U-turn by Welsh pro-Exit leaders
During the campaign, Vote Leave promised to reduce or stop immigration, and Leave campaigners encouraged that belief. It was central to their success. But now, two leading exit people think otherwise.

Monmouth MP David Davies has backed the idea of some freedom of movement between the UK and the EU, provided "benefits and council houses" are stopped for EU migrants.

Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies has also said free movement would be acceptable with an overall cap.

The head of Labour's Welsh campaign to stay in the EU, Lord Hain, said
"This is frankly shameless and shameful to renege on the promises that were made."

Wednesday 17th August
On Tuesday this week, exchange desks at two airports were offering just 99 euro cents for a pound, according to foreign currency specialists Caxton FX.

MoneyCorp at Stansted was offering €0.9915, while ICE's rate at Luton was €0.990.

The pound hit its lowest level in three years on Monday.

The value of the pound has fallen by 12% against the euro since the vote to leave the EU, and about 10% against the US dollar.

Monday 15th August
UK employers have become more cautious about hiring new staff following the vote to leave the EU, a report claims.

"There has been a clear deterioration in hiring intentions... as a result of the Brexit vote," the report said.

The CIPD said the survey's results suggested post-Brexit economic forecasts of a marked downturn in the labour market next year would be proved right.

Other surveys have also suggested that the outcome of the EU vote has had an impact on employment.

The latest Report on Jobs, found permanent placements in July fell at the sharpest rate since May 2009, with participants citing uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Friday 5th August
The number of people in the UK securing a permanent job has fallen for two months in a row, according to a survey.

The Report on Jobs, produced monthly by IHS Markit, collects data from 400 UK recruitment and employment firms.

Its data suggests permanent placements in July fell at the sharpest rate since May 2009, with participants citing uncertainty caused by Brexit.
The results also indicated that some clients of recruitment firms had shifted towards using short-term staff.

"The UK jobs market suffered a dramatic freefall in July, with permanent hiring dropping to levels not seen since the recession of 2009," said Kevin Green, the chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which sponsors the survey.

Thursday 4th August
UK interest rates have been cut from 0.5% to 0.25%.
The Bank of England announced a range of measures to stimulate the UK economy including buying £60bn of UK government bonds and £10bn of corporate bonds.

The Bank also announced the biggest cut to its growth forecasts since it started making them in 1992. It has reduced its growth prediction for 2017 from the 2.3% it was expecting in May to 0.8%. All because of the vote to leave.

Comment : I really cannot see that the rate cut will make any difference. If a project will not produce a profit at 0.5% then something is very wrong and it should not go ahead. Doing so at 0.25% must be very risky indeed.

And whilst the bond measures are aimed to stimulate the economy, the rate reduction will hit all savers, especially pensioners, who will just stop spending, with the philosophy that they had better keep what little they have in case things get even worse.

More and more money will go into the housing market, as the greedy borrow more and more to buy houses they will not live in : buy to rent will increase dramatically and the young will give even more of their disposable income to landlords, taking it out of the useful economy; house prices will rise, so that less money is available to spend and stimulate the economy due to increased mortgage payments.

The manufacturing industry employs only about 2.6 million people in the UK, and accounts for about 10% of our national economic output. It would be far better to give money to the other 29 million people employed, who wouldspend it and would most certainly stimulate the economy. And if the government wanted to both stimulate the economy and be useful, then build things, even borrow money at these low levels; employ people who would spend their money and give employment to others and so on.

Quote from later the same day :
Lower interest rates may give a helpful boost to market confidence, but have little long-term effect on businesses when rates are already so low.

What businesses want is low, stable interest rates for the foreseeable future, which will enable them to make their own growth and expansion plans with confidence.
Dr Adam Marshall, Acting Director General, British Chambers of Commerce

Wednesday 3rd August
The UK has a 50/50 chance of falling into recession within the next 18 months following the Brexit vote, says a leading economic forecaster.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) says the country will go through a "marked economic slowdown" this year and next. It says inflation will also pick up, rising to 3% by the end of next year. "This is the short-term economic consequence of the vote to leave the EU", said Simon Kirby of the NIESR.

Mr Kirby argued that the June referendum vote had led to such financial and political uncertainty that this would bear directly on the spending and investment decisions of both businesses and households. "We expect the UK to experience a marked economic slowdown in the second half of this year and throughout 2017," he said.

Tuesday 2nd August
Activity in the construction industry fell again in July, confirming "a clear loss of momentum since the second quarter of 2016", a survey has said. Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing manager's index (PMI) for the sector fell to 45.9 last month, down slightly from June and below 50, which indicates contraction. The latest number suggests output in the construction industry shrank at the fastest pace since June 2009.

The Brexit vote was the main factor weighing on activity, the report said.

"Anecdotal evidence suggested that economic uncertainty following the EU referendum was the main factor weighing on business activity in July, especially in the commercial building sector," the report said.

1st August 2016
Conservative peer Baroness Wheatcroft has said the Lords could withhold approval of Article 50, the mechanism for leaving the European Union.
There is currently some disagreement over whether Article 50 would need to come before Parliament. But former journalist Baroness Wheatcroft said if it did, "the Lords might actually delay things".
She hoped delays in the Lords of any potential Brexit legislation would lead to a second referendum.

Lady Wheatcroft said that she did not want the Lords to stand in the way of the UK leaving the EU at the moment, but added: "However, if it comes to a bill, I think the Lords might actually delay things. I think there's a majority in the Lords for remaining."

Asked whether she would support peers delaying Brexit legislation she said: "Yes I would.

"And I would hope, while we delayed things, that there would be sufficient movement in the EU to justify putting it to the electorate, either through a general election or a second referendum."

Activity among UK manufacturers contracted at its fastest pace for three years in July, according to a closely watched survey.

The Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing manager's index, the first to have full data since the UK's vote to leave the EU, showed a fall to 48.2, the lowest since February 2013. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, but below 50 indicates contraction. The decline was sharper than an initial reading of 49.1 indicated late last month.
The survey adds to concerns that the vote prompted a sharp fall in activity.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said the survey came "amid increasingly widespread reports that business activity has been adversely affected by the EU referendum". He added: "The downturn was felt across industry, with output scaled back across firms of all sizes and across the consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors.

Friday 29th July 2016
High-profile London estate agency Foxtons has announced a 42% fall in profits, blaming uncertainty around the EU referendum for the fall.

There had been a "sharp contraction" in the London property market in the second quarter of the year, it said. Since the result of the Brexit vote was announced, Foxton's share price has fallen by about 30%.

Thursday 28th July
Lloyds has accelerated its job-cutting scheme, axing a further 3,000 jobs.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio warned that he expects a "deceleration of growth" following the UK's decision to leave the EU. The Group said the increased cost-cutting was as a result of the change in how people do their banking, and due to the chances of interest-rates staying low in the wake of Brexit.

Rob MacGregor, the national officer for Unite, which represents some Lloyds staff, called the job cuts a "further body blow to the UK economy". "These are permanent jobs that are being lost," he said. "As a country, we can't afford to lose these jobs in a challenging post-Brexit world."

UK car production jumped more than 10% year-on-year in June, says the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

But the industry body warns future growth may be hit if the government does not maintain unrestricted access to markets in the European Union (EU).

The SMMT says the growth was driven by decisions to invest on the basis of demand from its biggest market, the EU. "These decisions were based on many factors but, primarily, on tariff-free access to the single market, economic stability and record levels of productivity from a highly skilled workforce," said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

There are signs from elsewhere that the auto sector in the UK is already being affected by the UK's vote to leave the EU.

Car dealer Inchcape has warned that the Brexit vote is expected to slow growth in UK new car registrations in the coming months.

"Ahead of the EU referendum, the second quarter new vehicle market growth rate moderated to 1% from 5.1% in the first quarter," it said. "We expect this moderation of the new vehicle market to persist into the second half of 2016."

Wednesday 27th July
Former French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier has been appointed by the European Commission to negotiate with Britain over Brexit.

Announcing the appointment, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he "wanted an experienced politician for this difficult job".

A former EU commissioner, Mr Barnier led the EU's banking reforms - a move unpopular in London's finance district.

Theresa May has said she retains an "open mind" about the UK's trading relationships after Brexit amid reports some cabinet colleagues want the UK to pull out of the EU's customs union.

ITV says it will need to cut costs to prepare for economic uncertainty sparked by the UK's decision to quit the European Union.
TV, radio and newspapers have all been hit by fears that advertising spending will be affected by the UK's decision to leave the EU, as consumers are expected to rein in spending.

Tuesday 26th July
Wales will not bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Welsh ministers have said, blaming the high cost and funding uncertainty due to Brexit.

Saturday 23rd July
Britain's decision to leave the EU has led to a "dramatic deterioration" in economic activity, not seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Data from IHS Markit's Purchasing Manager's Indes, shows a fall to 47.7 in July, the lowest level since April in 2009. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

Both manufacturing and service sectors saw a decline in output and orders.

Tuesday 19th July
A legal challenge over the UK leaving the EU will be heard by the High Court in October, two judges have decided.

A number of actions have been launched attempting to prevent the government from formally triggering Brexit without Parliament's authorisation.

During the opening hearing, government lawyers told the High Court Prime Minister Theresa May did not intend to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty before the end of 2016.

Just weeks after the UK voted to leave the European Union, researchers are losing grants.

BBC News has spoken to several research groups and small businesses who say they will soon have to scale down operations and lay off staff.

British universities, in collaboration with small businesses, receive £850m in research grants each year from the European Union.

“Researchers in Europe are looking elsewhere to collaborate” said Dr Nick Wright, of Keele University.

Since the vote to leave the European Union there have been reports that British applicants for grants are already losing out.

Dr Wright told BBC News that Brexit was already beginning to hurt.

Click here for more examples.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the UK's decision to leave the European Union has "thrown a spanner in the works" of its global growth forecast.

Instead of predicting 3.2% growth in 2016, the IMF's World Economic Outlook (WEO) now expects only 3.1%.

It says the UK will be the worst affected of all the advanced economies.

Its 2017 UK growth forecast has been slashed from 2.2% to 1.3% and this year's has been cut from 1.7% to 1.5%.

The IMF's global growth forecast for 2017 has also been revised down from 3.5% to 3.4%.

Before the referendum vote on 23 June, the IMF says that the global economy had been showing promising signs of growth.

Monday 18th July
Shares in two of the UK's biggest house-builders, Barratt Developments and Persimmon, have fallen almost 30% and 25% respectively since 24 June - the day the referendum result was announced.

Friday 15th July
The new minister in charge of Brexit says the UK should be able to formally trigger its departure from the EU "before or by the start of next year".

David Davis called for a "brisk but measured" approach, with a likely exit from the EU around December 2018.

The UK has no trade negotiators to lead its EU exit talks, a former Cabinet minister says.

Oliver Letwin, who was in charge of the government's "Brexit unit" until he was sacked on Thursday, told presenter Sarah Montague any British negotiators were "working for the EU".

More than 100 prospective European students have withdrawn applications to study at a Welsh university following the European referendum result.

Prof John Grattan, acting vice-chancellor of Aberystwyth University, said about half of those pulled out the day after the Brexit vote. Other Welsh institutions said uncertainty could affect student numbers and finances.

"I won't hide it from you that Brexit poses a challenge to the university," Prof Grattan told students during one of the graduation ceremonies this week.

"Over 100 European students have withdrawn their applications to us at this point, 50 by the end of Friday on Brexit day.

"That's a stunning impact on our finances. There are 120,000 European students at British universities."

For many universities, EU and international students are a large part of their income, with most paying between £10,000 and £15,000 a year in tuition fees.

Aberystwyth had 800 students from EU countries in 2014/15 and 600 international students from outside the EU.

A spokesman added: "Unfortunately, news reports abroad have led to articles disseminating the message that EU citizens are no longer welcome in the UK.

"Because of this all UK universities have said that prospective students that had accepted firm offers are now withdrawing them, and we are no exception."

Holiday booking company Lowcost Travelgroup has gone into administration, as uncertainty ahead of the EU referendum and the fall in the pound were blamed for its demise.

"The group experienced significant market headwinds in the run up to the EU referendum as holidaymakers delayed decisions. This was compounded by the Leave vote itself and the subsequent fall in value of the pound," said Finbarr O'Connell of Smith & Williamson, the administrators.

Thursday 14th July
Teresa May starts to appoint new government.

The supply of homes on the UK market fell at its sharpest rate to date and buyer demand hit an eight-year low as Brexit was confirmed, surveyors say.

House prices are expected to fall across the UK in the next three months, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) survey suggested.

Friday 8th July
Annuity rates - which determine the value of pension incomes - have been 'in freefall' since the UK's vote to leave the EU, according to an expert.

Rates have fallen by 3.5% in the two weeks since 24 June, said Tom McPhail, head of retirement policy at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Before the vote, a 65 year-old with savings of £100,000 would have been able to buy an annual income of £5,069.

Now the value of that pension has dropped to £4,890, a new record low.

Experts had predicted just such a development before the referendum, yet a majority of people over the age of 60 voted to leave the European Union.

Consumer confidence has seen its sharpest drop in 21 years after the UK vote to leave the EU, a survey suggests.

The market research firm GfK conducted a one-off online survey of 2,000 people after the result was known.

Its confidence index fell by eight points to minus nine, a drop not since seen December 1994.

Less confident consumers tend to curb their spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the UK economy.

A separate survey indicated that retailers were already beginning to feel the impact.

The BDO's monthly High Street Sales Tracker showed a strong start to June, with sales growing 3.8% year on year. That decreased throughout the month and by the end of June, after the referendum, sales had fallen by 8.1% compared with last year.

The boss of John Lewis has warned that the fall in the value of the pound could become a "big issue".

Managing director Andy Street said the weak pound could start driving costs higher next year.

More than 3,000 hate crimes and incidents were reported to police in the second half of June this year, an increase of 42% on 2015, National Police Chiefs' Council figures show.

The reports were made between 16-30 June and half of this period falls after the UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June.

At the peak in offending on 25 June, 289 offences occurred across the UK.

Wednesday 6th July
The French government has pledged to make its tax regime for expatriates the most favourable in Europe in a landgrab for London banking business displaced by the UK's decision to quit the European Union.

"We want to build the financial capital of the future," Prime Minister Manuel Valls said. "In a word, now is the time to come to France."

Mr Vall's said France's already favourable tax regime for expatriates and French nationals returning from stints abroad would in future be applicable for their first eight years in France, up from five currently.

More property funds suspend trading.

US computer-maker Dell and the Chinese smartphone company OnePlus are both raising their prices in the UK and saying the move is the result of the nation's vote to leave the EU.

Tuesday 5th July
Britain is turning to the private sector seeking to second consultants to boost a civil service with almost no experience of complex trade negotiations.

Sir Jeremy Heywood the country's top civil servant has held talks with top companies.

However, the companies told Sir Jeremy that their staff were already stretched helping clients deal with the fallout from Brexit, and while they wanted to help, it would come at a big cost to the taxpayer.

Sir Simon Fraser, former Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Office, said last month that Britain had 20 “active” trade negotiators, and would be up against 600 experienced EU specialists.

The government is believed to have estimated that it needs 700 to 750 extra staff for the negotiations.

“The government is going to struggle to gear up to properly negotiate the cross-EU, and wider bi-lateral trade deals” said one business leader.

One leading lawyer said that staff were not willing to be seconded to Whitehall and that the government's recruitment hopes were “dreaming”. They continued “The Cabinet Office needs to come down to reality. They will be confronted with people from the EU who live and breath its rules. They should focus on getting people back from Brussels”.

Source : Financial Times, 5th July, page 1.

Wales might vote to remain in the EU if the referendum was run again, a new opinion poll has suggested.

A ITV Wales/Cardiff University YouGov poll put Remain on 46% and Leave on 41%, while 8% would not vote and and 5% said they did not know.
Wales voted 52.5% to 47.5% to Leave the EU on 23 June.

"If we take out the un-decideds and those who wouldn't vote, these results equate to 53% to 47% balance in favour of Remain," said Prof Roger Scully of Cardiff University.

"Unless those supporting continued EU membership can find some way of overturning or rerunning the vote, their views may now count for very little."

M&G Investments has followed two other major finance firms and suspended trading in the UK's biggest property fund following the Brexit vote.

M&G said withdrawals from its £4.4bn fund had risen markedly because of "high levels of uncertainty in the UK commercial property market" since the outcome of referendum.

UK business confidence has fallen sharply in the aftermath of the vote to leave the EU, research suggests.

The share of businesses that reported feeling pessimistic about the UK economy doubled in the week after the Brexit vote.

The figure jumped from 25% the week before the referendum to 49%, according to YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
Falling confidence can lead companies to pull back on investment and hiring.

Scott Corfe, director at the CEBR, said that the figures indicated a "significant shock reaction" among UK businesses following the vote last month.

Mr Corfe told BBC Newsnight: "Businesses are clearly spooked by the referendum result and they've reined in their intentions for capital spending. They've reined in their expectations for exports and domestic sales growth.

"And business confidence is a leading indicator for where the economy is heading over the coming quarters. What it suggests is that the economy is in for quite a significant slowdown over the next three to six months."
The figures suggest that businesses have become more cautious in their outlook for sales and exports, as well as rethinking their investment plans.

The pound has hit a fresh 31-year low against the dollar as markets remain edgy in the wake of the Brexit vote.

At one point it hit $1.3058 against the dollar, the lowest level since September 1985.

Analysts blamed a disappointing report on the UK services sector, and ongoing uncertainty about the effects of the UK's vote to leave the European Union.

Insurance giant Aviva become the second firm in two days to suspend trading in a UK property fund following the Brexit vote, saying the freeze would take place immediately due to "extraordinary market circumstances".

Mark Priest from ETX Capital said: "Investors are getting very nervous now...

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has accused Brexit campaigners Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage of quitting when things got difficult.

"The Brexit heroes of yesterday are now the sad Brexit heroes of today," he told the European Parliament.

Mr Juncker spoke of Leave camp "retro nationalists". "Patriots don't resign when things get difficult, they stay".

He also said he did not understand why those in the Brexit camp in the UK would want to wait before beginning the formal withdrawal process.
"Instead of developing the plan, they are leaving the boat," he said.

The Bank of England has warned that commercial property is a key risk to the economy following the Brexit vote.

The concern is that the market for commercial property is in deep trouble.

Foreign investors purchasing commercial property have made up 45% of all commercial property bought and sold since 2009.

Even before the Brexit vote, that inflow of money to the UK had slowed down, falling by 50% in the first quarter of 2016.

The foreign money coming in to the UK is crucial because since the 1980s, the UK has earned far less selling goods and services abroad than it has spent on imports, creating a "current account deficit". Crudely, there's more money going out than coming in.

For years, we have made up for that by attracting money to the UK in two ways. First, foreign investors have been willing to buy shares in UK companies and lend money to our government.

And second, foreign companies have been ready to invest directly by, for example, constructing new buildings in the City of London, or investing in businesses like Jaguar Land Rover to turn them into a success.
All inflows of foreign investment in British companies slowed down in the run-up to the referendum because investors now believe they are taking a bigger risk than before investing in UK companies.

Monday 4th July
Nigel Farage is standing down as leader of the UK Independence Party.

So, Cameron enabled it, Boris and Farage encouraged it, and now the UK is heading into oblivion. And all three of them have jumped ship as if it had nothing to do with them. Let someone else sort it out.

Boris Johnson has accused the government of failing to explain how the vote to leave the EU can be made to work in the UK's interests.
What a cheek. He had no plan to make it work, and now he accuses the government of not having a plan. And none of the other leave people have a plan. Had they done their homework and not told lies, they would have said the morning after the vote "Here is our plan. Now implement it". Instead of which they all duck the issue and leave it to others.

A law firm is taking action to ensure the formal process for the UK leaving the EU is not started without an act of Parliament.

Mishcon de Reya, lawyers acting for a group of business people and academics, said it would be unlawful for a prime minister to trigger Article 50 without a full debate and vote in Parliament.

Standard Life Investments has suspended trading in its UK real estate fund blaming "exceptional market circumstances" following the EU referendum result.

The fund manager said the number of investors asking to withdraw their money had increased following the vote.

"The suspension was requested to protect the interests of all investors in the fund," it said in a statement.

Saturday 2nd July
Thousands of people have marched through London to protest against the referendum decision to leave the EU.

Friday 1st July 2016
Chancellor George Osborne abandons his target to restore government finances to a surplus by 2020.
The UK economy is showing "clear signs" of shock in the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union, he said.
A surplus had been the chancellor's most prized goal, and had been driving austerity measures in previous budgets.
However, Mr Osborne said the UK must be "realistic about achieving a surplus by the end of the decade".
"As the governor [of the Bank of England] has said: the referendum is expected to produce a significant negative economic shock to our economy. How we respond will determine the impact on jobs and growth," Mr Osborne said.

Comment : He is using the exit vote to wriggle out of his failing economic policy and blaming it on the referendum outcome.

Michael Gove said he would not begin official talks with the EU over the UK's exit, by triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, before the end of the 2016, saying "we control the timing and we will do it when we are good and ready".

And Boris said previously that there was no need to rush anything.

Why are they so chicken about doing what they set out to do?

More than a third of voters are not convinced the UK will leave the EU despite last week's referendum result, a poll for BBC Newsnight suggests.
The poll also suggests almost half of voters - 48% - agree there should be a general election before Britain begins Brexit negotiations so that people can vote on plans for life outside the EU.

A leading scientist, Prof Sir Paul Nurse said UK science will suffer unless any post-Brexit agreement allows the free movement of people.
But Leave campaigners say the UK should be able to negotiate a deal to continue to receive European funding and still curb overall immigration.

Comment : Do they really think the EU will dish out money to non-members, or even to ex-members. 'Should be able to' is not 'Would be able to'. They are still trying to make things sound better than they will be.

Thursday 30th June
Read this, if nothing else below :

The European Union's top trade official Cecilia Malmstrom said the UK cannot begin negotiating terms for doing business with the EU until after it has left.
"First you exit then you negotiate," Cecilia Malmstrom said. The exit, under an Article 50 process could last up to two years. Or more.
Under EU law, the bloc cannot negotiate a separate trade deal with one of its own members, hence the commissioner's insistence that the UK must first leave.
It is also against EU law for a member to negotiate its own trade deals with outsiders, which means the UK cannot start doing this until after it has left the EU.
Taken at face value, these rules mean the UK cannot conduct its own trade talks for up to two years. And then until a new deal was complete the UK would become a "third country" in EU terms, she said - meaning trade would be carried out based on World Trade Organisation rules.
A recent trade deal with Canada took seven years to negotiate.
The Canadian agreement will also require ratification by all EU countries, adding another one to two years before it takes effect.
There is concern in the City that having to do business for years under WTO rules could be disastrous for the UK's service industries. Source

One of Singapore's largest lenders, UOB, says it has suspended its loan programme for London properties.
The decision comes in response to uncertainty caused by the UK's decision to leave the EU, the bank said.

The pound fell by more than 1% after Bank of England governor Mark Carney hinted at fresh economic stimulus measures, and is now at its lowest level in more than 30 years against the dollar, following the UK's vote to leave the European Union.
He said it was likely "some monetary policy easing" would be required in response to the Brexit vote.
A deteriorating economic outlook meant action from the Bank was likely during the summer, Mr Carney said.
The Bank's key interest rate - currently at a record low of 0.5% - is its chief tool of monetary policy.
A cut in interest rates would have a knock-on effect on savings rates, and makes the pound a less attractive currency to hold and do business in.

Lawyers are picking over the landscape, and legal opinions are emerging as to how the UK's departure from the European Union might be slowed or even stopped. Source This is well worth reading.

Wednesday 29th June
Trade negotiations
Having voted to leave the EU, the UK will now need to negotiate a new set of trade deals with the EU, and other foreign nations as soon as possible.

But it has been more than 40 years since the UK last got around the negotiating table.

Successful negotiations require a skilled - and large - team, but the UK has not negotiated a trade deal since 1973. The EU has 596 trade negotiators and the UK urgently needs a similarly sized team to craft new deals with major trade partners.

A first step will be to bring back the handful of experienced and expert UK nationals in the European Commission. They will know what to expect when facing European negotiators across the table. Source

Scottish Labour Party politician Tam Dalyell was "furious" at the Brexit vote. MPs should defy the EU referendum result and vote against invoking Article 50 and withdrawal from the EU, he argued.

"People did not understand that they were voting for the end of the single market on which many of their jobs will depend. They didn’t understand about immigration and how little could be done about immigration”.

Tuesday 28th June
Cameron tells EU leaders that the vote to leave was all their fault. Not his.

European Union leaders warned that the UK must honour the principle of free movement of people if it wanted to retain access to the single market after it leaves the EU.
European Council President Donald Tusk said the UK could not pick and choose.
The French and German leaders also made clear that the freedom of movement of EU citizens was non-negotiable.

Fighting for the leadership of both Labour and Conservatives starts in earnest.

Monday 27th June
Pound hits a 31 year low, and government bonds fall below 1% for the first time ever.

Significant increase in racist abuse reported in many places.

Boris says we do not need to rush anything.

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said there can be no talks on Brexit before the UK formally begins the process of leaving the EU. This is in contrast to what Michael Gove said during the campaign. He said that the UK would be able to start negotiations and do the background work before the formal notice to leave was given via Article 50.

Boris suggested the UK would still have access to the EU's single market, a remark quickly challenged by the German Business Institute and Merkel ally Michael Fuchs, MP.
Mr Fuchs said: "It will be possible, of course, but not for free - you have to see with Norway, with Switzerland, you have to pay a certain fee. And the per capita fee of Norway is exactly the same as what Britain is now paying into the EU. So there won't be any savings."

The UK lost its top AAA credit rating from ratings agency S&P following the country's Brexit vote.
S&P said the the referendum result could lead to "a deterioration of the UK's economic performance, including its large financial services sector".

"We were prepared for the unexpected," Osborne said in a statement aimed at calming financial markets after the Brexit vote triggered market turmoil on Friday.
Why did he not make the statement on Friday. Or was he preparing?

Comment : I am sick and tired of reading that older people voted leave. I cannot name a single person I have heard from who voted leave. And all are over 54.

Some companies are likely to impose a hiring freeze following Britain's vote to leave the European Union, according to a leading business group.
The Institute of Directors (IoD) surveyed 1,000 of its members and found that a quarter planned to freeze recruitment.

Consider three key issues in the campaign :
The campaign claim: Immigration levels could be controlled if the UK left the EU. This would relieve pressure on public services.
The claim today: Immigration levels can't be radically reduced by leaving the EU. Fears about immigration did not influence the way people voted.

Boris wrote in today's Daily Telegraph : "It is said that those who voted Leave were mainly driven by anxieties about immigration. I do not believe that is so."

Contributions to the EU budget
The campaign claim: We send £350m a week to Brussels, which could be spent on the NHS instead.
The claim today: The claim was a mistake, and we will not be able to spend that much extra on the NHS.

One of the most controversial claims of the campaign was that the UK sends £350m a week (or £50m a day) to Brussels, which could be spent on the NHS instead.
Over the weekend, Nigel Farage said making the claim had been "a mistake".
On Sunday's Andrew Marr Show, Ian Duncan Smith was shown a Vote Leave poster saying: "Let's give our NHS the £350m the EU takes every week," but he denied that promise had been made and said instead that the NHS would receive "the lion's share" of money that would no longer be spent on the EU.
The actual amount sent to Brussels each week in 2014 was £276m, a little over £100m of which is spent on things in the UK such as subsidising farmers and funding research, which the Leave campaign also promised to continue funding until 2020.

The single market
The campaign claim: The UK does not need preferential access to the single market.
The claim today: The UK should get preferential access to the single market but will not have to accept freedom of movement to get it.

During the campaign, some Leave campaigners said that the UK outside of the EU would not need preferential access to the single market and would just trade under World Trade Organization rules.
But writing in the Telegraph on Monday, Boris Johnson quoted German employers' organisation the BDI saying there would continue to be free trade and access to the single market. Which the BDI later denied.
If the UK wanted to retain preferential access to the single market, many European politicians say it would have to continue to accept freedom of movement.
Boris Johnson said that British people would continue to be able to live, work and study in the EU, while at the same time the UK would be able to introduce a points-based system to control migration.
Leader of the House of Commons Chris Grayling said that we would be able to have a free trade agreement with the EU while at the same time controlling the flow of people coming into the country.
No country so far has managed a deal that allows full preferential access to the single market without having to accept freedom of movement. Source

Sunday 26th June
Nothing from Osborne nor the main leave leaders.

Boris said to be plotting a takeover rather than thinking about the exit.

Scots suggest they might be able to block an exit vote.

Saturday 25th June
The Scottish government hit the ground running (as the press said of the first Blair/Brown government). They has a meeting to discuss what to do, and were to contact foreign governments at once to protect Scottish interests.

Nothing from Osborne nor the main leave leaders.

Friday 24th June
Bank of England made £250 billion available to banks. All that money might go down the drain (or more likely into the pockets of bankers), just to prop up the economy after a needless vote.

An MEP on the leave side said that they did not promise to get immigration down, only to control it.
MEP Daniel Hannan insisted the public had not been misled over how much control the country would have over immigration post-Brexit.
He said: "We never said there was going to be some radical decline ... we want a measure of control".
"Frankly, if people watching think that they have voted and there is now going to be zero immigration from the EU, they are going to be disappointed."

Farage said that having a slogan on the leave campaign bus saying £354 million a week going to the EU could go to the NHS was wrong.

The pound fell.

Cameron washed his hands of the whole thing.

Nothing from Osborne nor the main leave leaders.

On the 'Today' programme, a senior British trade negotiator said that there were perhaps a dozen people capable of negotiating at an international level employed in Britain today. The EU have several hundred.

JP Morgan said that they would be bringing forward plans to move 2000 staff to Dublin or Frankfurt.

There was a big increase in applications and enquiries for Irish passports from UK citizens.