December 17, 2019

Johnson Signals Priorities With Davos Boycott: Brexit Update
(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson issued a strong message that his government will remain focused on Brexit by banning his ministers from attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next month. The prime minister, who will also not attend, said he wants to “get on with delivering the priorities of the British people.”Key Developments:U.K. official says no ministers will go to World Economic Forum in DavosJohnson says Parliament should resist SNP calls for Scottish independencePrime minister plans to change the law to prevent extension of the Brexit transition period; pound fell as much as 1.5%EU warns ruling out an extension risks a new Brexit cliff-edgeMembers of Parliament being sworn in from todayParliamentary Labour Party meets this evening for the first time since its comprehensive election defeat, with candidates to replace leader Jeremy Corbyn already jostling for positionCity Warns Over Rush to Deal (3:45 p.m.)The City of London warned against a hasty Brexit agreement that could damage services -- which make up about 80% of the U.K. economy.“The December 2020 deadline is ambitious and it is critical the services sector is not sacrificed in the rush to get a deal” said Catherine McGuinness, policy chief at the City of London Corporation, which administers the financial district. “This is just the beginning of the Brexit process.”The future framework deal with the EU must focus on “securing maximum market access and developing a structure for the U.K. economy to prosper in the years ahead,” she said.Johnson Calls for Divisions to be Healed (3:15 p.m.)Boris Johnson said he wants a “new and generous” spirit of cross-party cooperation as he pledged to get Brexit out of the way and concentrate on the U.K.’s domestic priorities.“We are going to be able to get on with delivering the priorities of the British people,” the premier told the House of Commons. “After three-and-a-half years of wrangling and division, we in this government will do whatever we can to reach out across this House to find common ground, to heal the divisions of our country and to find a new and generous spirit in which we conduct all our political dealings.”Johnson also said Parliament “should resist the calls of those who would break up the United Kingdom,” a reference to calls (see 2:45 p.m.) from the Scottish National Party for a second referendum on Scottish independence.Sturgeon Calls for Scottish Referendum (2:45 p.m.)Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reiterated her plan to demand the right to hold another independence referendum.“This is a watershed moment for Scotland,” Sturgeon told lawmakers in Edinburgh on Tuesday. “So this week I will take the next steps to secure Scotland’s right to choose.”Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament she will submit a so-called Section 30 request for the transfer of power with the aim of holding a referendum in 2020. After her Scottish National Party won 48 of the 59 seats in Scotland in last week’s election, Sturgeon has said she has the mandate for another vote on breaking away from the rest of the U.K. in the wake of Brexit.Business Lobby Supports Ban on Brexit Extension (2 p.m.)There’s support from business for Boris Johnson’s decision to explicitly rule out in legislation any chance of an extension to the Brexit transition phase beyond the end of 2020.“Business has had enough of uncertainty and shares the prime minister’s ambition for a fast EU trade deal,” Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the country’s biggest business lobby, the Confederation of British Industry, said in a statement. “Speed and ambition can go hand in hand if the right approach is taken. There’s no time to lose, with a top priority being to build a best-in-class trade architecture, with business round the table, enabling EU trade talks to begin early in the new year.”Gardiner: Next Labour Leader Should Be Woman (1:25 p.m.)Barry Gardiner, Labour’s trade spokesman, told Bloomberg Radio he thinks the party’s next leader should be a woman and suggested she should be from the Midlands or Northern England -- a verdict that would rule out two potential candidates, the party’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer, who’s one of the favorites, and its foreign affairs spokeswoman Emily Thornberry, whose constituency is in London.“I think it is natural that it should be a woman,” Gardiner said, before adding it’s important that it should be someone from “those northern towns, the midlands, the industrial heartlands” that have traditionally voted Labour. “There are many, many women in our party from those areas where we can see leadership potential,” he said.Gardiner, who was born in Scotland though represents a London constituency in Parliament, said he’s “not made any decision whatsoever” as to whether he will stand for leader or deputy leader.EU Warns of Brexit Cliff-Edge (1 p.m.)While U.K. officials have expressed their intention to wrap up the future partnership with the European Union by the end of the Brexit transition period on Dec. 31, 2020, the bloc’s officials are sounding less convinced.Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the EU will find Johnson’s move “strange,” adding that it will limit the U.K.’s options in negotiations.Earlier Sabine Weyand, director general for trade in the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, cautioned that Johnson’s intention to prevent any prolongation would require the bloc to plan accordingly. “That means that, in the negotiations, we have to look at those issues where failing to reach an agreement by the end of 2020 would lead to another cliff-edge situation,” she told a European Policy Centre conference in Brussels.Johnson, Von der Leyen Agree to Get to Work (12:45 p.m.)Boris Johnson spoke with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen by phone on Tuesday and they will start Brexit talks as soon as possible, the prime minister’s spokesman James Slack told reporters in London.“They agreed to work together with great energy to agree a future partnership by the end of 2020,” Slack said. The “greater clarity” of passing a law to stop an extension to the transition period means “the U.K. and EU will be able to get on with it and have a great future relationship wrapped up” by the end of the year, he said.Businesses will need to prepare for the U.K. to be outside the bloc’s single market and customs union, Slack said. “In all circumstances we will be leaving the single market and customs union and the EU regime associated with that,” he said.Tory Voters Get Younger (11:25 a.m.)Conservative voters got younger on average in Thursday’s election compared with 2017, according to pollster YouGov. Two years ago, the age at which a voter was more likely to vote Tory than Labour was 47. This time around it was 39, according to YouGov’s survey of 42,000 people.The survey also found that class is no longer a key indicator of how people vote, with the Tories beating Labour in every social grade group.Tuesday’s Ceremonial Proceedings (11 a.m.)Tuesday’s proceedings in the House of Commons are largely ceremonial and start at 2:30 p.m. Initially, they’ll be presided over by the longest-standing Member of Parliament, Father of the House Peter Bottomley. Then, through a process that involves Sarah Clarke, a senior Commons official known as “Black Rod” and MPs processing to the House of Lords and back, Speaker of the House Lindsay Hoyle is set to be re-elected.Shortly afterward, MPs will be sworn in one-by-one, taking an oath of allegiance to the crown -- or making a solemn affirmation that doesn’t make reference to God. They must do so in English and can follow it with an oath or affirmation in Welsh, Scottish Gaelic or Cornish.Johnson: Voters Have High Expectations (10:45 a.m.)Boris Johnson hosted the first meeting of his cabinet since the election and invited the TV cameras in as he addressed his top team, repeating lines from his stump speech during the campaign.“People have a high level of expectation and we have to deliver for them,” he said. “There’s a huge, huge agenda of delivering social justice and addressing every problem from social care to homelessness.”The prime minister also emphasized the importance of swift action to seal the support of people in traditionally Labour voting areas who backed him in last week’s vote. “We must recognize that people lent us their votes at this election, It was quite a seismic election but we need to repay their trust and work 24 hours a day, work flat out, to deliver on this.”Gove: U.K. Can Get EU Trade Deal in Time (Earlier)Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the next phase of Brexit negotiations on a free-trade deal will be concluded by the end of the transition period which expires on Dec. 31, 2020, meaning the U.K. will avoid a no-deal divorce from the European Union.“We’re going to make sure we get this deal done in time,” Gove told the BBC on Tuesday, adding that the bloc has promised to conclude negotiations by the end of 2020. “We’ve seen before how deadlines can concentrate minds.”But EU leaders have warned it’s highly unlikely negotiators can complete the kind of deal Johnson wants in time, pointing out that Canada’s agreement with the EU -- the model he refers to -- took seven years to finalize. Sabine Weyand, director general for trade at the European Commission, said Johnson’s move meant the bloc should prepare for a potential “cliff-edge situation.”Rayner, Long-Bailey in Leadership Pact: Guardian (Earlier)Angela Rayner is ready to stand aside in favor of her friend and shadow cabinet colleague Rebecca Long-Bailey in the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, the Guardian reported.Rayner will instead concentrating on running for the deputy leadership of the party, which was comprehensively beaten in last week’s general election, the Guardian said, citing unidentified allies of the two women.Read more: Life After Corbyn? The Politicians Vying to Become Labour LeaderEarlier:Boris Johnson Revives No-Deal Brexit Threat With Change to LawPound Election Rally Erased by Johnson’s 2020 Brexit PledgeLife After Corbyn? The Politicians Vying to Become Labour Leader\--With assistance from Greg Ritchie, Thomas Penny, Roger Hearing, Caroline Hepker, Alastair Reed and Silla Brush.To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net;Kitty Donaldson in London at kdonaldson1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Stuart Biggs, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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