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Theresa May agrees to resign if her Brexit deal is defeated again

Parliament votes on her Brexit bill in the week of June 3

British Prime Minister Theresa May fended off pressure Thursday from Conservative Party lawmakers demanding she set a date for her resignation, buying herself a few more weeks to try to unblock Britain’s Brexit impasse.
But she agreed to give a timetable next month for her departure, raising the prospect that Britain will get a new prime minister before it leaves the European Union — currently scheduled for Oct. 31.

Leaders of a powerful committee that oversees Conservative leadership contests met May to express growing frustration party ranks at her refusal to name an exit date following her failure to take Britain out of the EU by the original Brexit date of March 29.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/

Low productivity jobs continue to drive employment growth

Employment is rising in OECD countries

The latest Compendium of Productivity Indicators says the trend has compounded the impact of generally weak business investment on productivity growth. The downward pressure on wages may have allowed firms to defer investment decisions, instead meeting increased demand by hiring additional staff and, in turn, undermining the potential for investment-driven productivity growth, the report says.

In France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the top three sectors with the largest employment gains between 2010 and 2017 accounted for one third of total job creation but paid below average wages. Moreover, in Belgium, Finland, Italy and Spain, industries with above average labour productivity levels saw net job losses. The data show wage growth (adjusted for inflation) improving in recent years but remaining below pre-crisis rates in two thirds of OECD countries despite a period of negligible or slow wage growth, and earlier declines in purchasing power in the aftermath of the crisis. Indeed, real wages remain below crisis levels in Greece, Italy and Spain, and have also contracted in recent years in Belgium and Canada.

More jobs in lower paid sectors such as accommodation and catering and health and residential care, weigh on average wages across the economy as a whole.

http://www.oecd.org/

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson sacked over Huawei leak

Compelling evidence

Downing Street said the PM had “lost confidence in his ability to serve” and Penny Mordaunt will take on the role. The inquiry followed reports over a plan to allow Huawei limited access to help build the UK’s new 5G network. Mr Williamson, who has been defence secretary since 2017, “strenuously” denies leaking the information.

In a meeting with Mr Williamson on Wednesday evening, Theresa May told him she had information that provided “compelling evidence” that he was responsible for the unauthorised disclosure.In a letter confirming his dismissal, she said: “No other, credible version of events to explain this leak has been identified.”

http://www.bbc.com

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population

Astonishingly unequal

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of its population, according to new data shared with the Guardian that seeks to penetrate the secrecy that has traditionally surrounded land ownership.

The findings, described as “astonishingly unequal”, suggest that about 25,000 landowners – typically members of the aristocracy and corporations – have control of half of the country.

http://www.theguardian.com/

EU leaders agree to delay Brexit until 31 October

“Please, do not waste this time.”

  • EU leaders agreed to offer the UK an extension on article 50 until 31 October, which Theresa May has accepted.
  • Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, said that until that deadline what happens will be in the hands of the UK. It can ratify the withdrawal agreement, and leave. It can change strategy, or it can decide to revoke article 50 and cancel Brexit. He says the UK will remain a friend of the EU and ended his press conference with an address to “our British friends”: “Please, do not waste this time.”
  • There will be a “review” of the situation on 30 June, but Tusk said the point of the review was to inform EU leaders what was happening and was “not a cliff edge”.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said he took responsibility for blocking a long Brexit delay and convincing other European Union leaders to agree to a shorter one, sayiing he did so “for the collective good”.
  • In a press conference after the agreement was reached, May said “the choices we now face are stark and the timetable is clear”. She acknowledged the “huge frustration” that the UK had not yet left the EU.

https://www.theguardian.com/

UK on the verge to participate in European Parliament elections

The election to be canceled if the UK has quit the EU by the eve of the vote

The British government has laid groundwork that would enable it to participate in the European Parliament elections next month, should the UK still find itself in the EU by the time the vote takes place.

The move signals a possibility that Brexit could be delayed beyond the May 23 election date — nearly three years after Britons voted in a referendum to leave the EU — locking the UK into participating in the European poll. But the Cabinet Office cautioned that taking the legal steps did not mean elections were “inevitable,” saying they would be canceled if the UK has quit the EU by the eve of the vote.

https://www.cnn.com/

Fiat Chrysler to pay Tesla hundreds of millions of euros

Fiat Chrysler tries to avoid fines for violating European Union emission rules

Italian-U.S. carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) has agreed to pay electric carmaker Tesla Inc hundreds of millions of euros to allow Tesla vehicles to be counted in its fleet to avoid fines for violating new European Union emission rules.

The step will let the Italian carmaker offset carbon dioxide emissions from its cars against Tesla’s, bringing down its average emissions of the greenhouse gas to a permissible level, according to the Financial Times, which was first to report the agreement.

https://www.reuters.com/

Brexit: Corbyn to discuss compromise plan with May

Further delay to Brexit

  • The prime minister said she planned to ask the European Union for a further delay to Brexit. Speaking from Downing Street, Theresa May said she understood some people’s desire for a no-deal Brexit but that she wanted time to find a settlement. Any delay would end if and when a deal was struck, she said. The president of the European council, Donald Tusk, appeared to indicate the EU was minded to accede.
  • Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are to meet to discuss a way to break the Brexit impasse. In the same address, the prime minister invited the Labour leader to talks on Tuesday after seven hours of cabinet discussions. Corbyn accepted the offer soon afterwards. It followed MPs’ failure to find an alternative way forward on Monday.
  • May’s plan called for the two leaders to agree a unified approach to put to MPs. If they couldn’t do so, the prime minister said she’d put forward a series of options and abide by MPs’ choice – as long as Corbyn also agreed to do the same.

https://www.theguardian.com/

BREXIT: Parliament rejects for the third time the Brexit deal

Death knell for May’s Brexit deal as lawmakers reject it by 286 to 344

Lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time on Friday, sounding its probable death knell and leaving Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union in turmoil on the very day it was supposed to leave the bloc.

The decision to reject a stripped-down version of May’s divorce deal has left it totally unclear how, when or even whether Britain will leave the EU, and plunges the three-year Brexit crisis to a deeper level of uncertainty.

After a special sitting of parliament, lawmakers voted by 286 to 344 against May’s 585-page EU Withdrawal Agreement, agreed after two years of tortuous negotiations with the bloc.

https://www.reuters.com/

BREXIT: Parliament seizes control

Hard Brexiteers dream is dying

As this phase of the Brexit process grinds towards its excruciating conclusion, mercifully, we might finally be about to learn what can command a majority among lawmakers in the House of Commons. And, in bad news for hard Brexiteers, it looks like their dream is dying.

On Monday night, Members of Parliament indicated to Theresa May that they want to wrestle Brexit out of the government’s hands and take control of the process.

This means indicative votes on Wednesday, in which the Commons will likely coalesce around a softer version of Brexit. If the diehard Brexiteers didn’t like May’s deal, they’re going to hate what could be about to come.

We already know that the majority of the Commons opposes a no-deal Brexit – something the Brexiteers see as a preferable alternative to May’s deal. These indicative votes will likely show us that a majority of MPs also favor closer ties to Europe as a way forward.

https://www.cnn.com/

Revoke Article 50 petition calling for Brexit to be cancelled hits 5 million signatures

One million people marched through London demanding a second referendum on Brexit.

An online petition calling on the government to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit has attracted more than 5 million signatures. The petition, started in late February, became the most popular petition ever submitted to the parliament website after it hit over 4 million signatures on Saturday. The record-breaking number came as an estimated one million people marched through London demanding a second referendum on Brexit.

The parliament website has crashed numerous time since the petition leapt in popularity on Wednesday following Theresa May’s appeal to the British people to support her as she demanded MPs back her deal. But Ms May rejected the message of the petition on Thursday, when a No 10 spokesperson said failing to deliver Brexit would cause “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”.

https://www.independant.co.uk/

Solid majority against Brexit in UK

At least 6% difference  in favor of the ‘Remain’ choice according to different polls

The general public supports holding a second referendum on the decision to leave the European Union if the UK government attempts to Brexit without a deal, according to YouGov.

When the question is whether UK voters favour a referendum if the choice is between leaving with no deal or remaining in the EU, the split is:

  • Support: 50%
  • Oppose: 36%

https://www.businessinsider.com/

Fiat-Chrysler and PSA mull a merger

Objective: becoming a global player

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley gave the clearest response to PSA Group’s nascent overtures for a possible cross-border car alliance: we’re ready to look at anything.

Manley, who took over from late CEO Sergio Marchionne in July and is under pressure to deliver a turnaround for the carmaker’s business in Europe, said Tuesday the U.S.-Italian manufacturer would look at “any deal that would make Fiat stronger.”

Manly was responding to a question at the Geneva Motor Show on whether Fiat Chrysler would engage with PSA. The French carmaker of Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars has started sounding out advisers for a possible deal that would turn the company led by Carlos Tavares into a global player, according to people familiar with the matter. Fiat is among possible targets considered, the people said.

https://www.apnews.com/

MPs overwhelmingly back Brexit delay

The short delay could last until June 30

British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to seek a delay in Britain’s exit from the European Union, setting the stage for Prime Minister Theresa May to renew efforts to get her divorce deal approved by parliament next week. Lawmakers approved by 412 votes to 202 a motion setting out the option to ask the EU for a short delay if parliament can agree on a Brexit deal by March 20 — or a longer delay if no deal can be agreed in time.

The vote makes it likely that the March 29 departure date set down in law, which May has repeatedly emphasised, is likely to be missed, although it is unclear by how long.

The short delay envisaged in the motion could last until June 30, but the longer extension is not currently time-limited. Either would require unanimous approval from the other 27 EU members, whose leaders meet in a summit next Thursday.

http://www.reuters.com