No UK-US trade deal if Brexit damages Irish peace, Pelosi warns The FT
· Nancy Pelosi said the US Congress supports Ireland in the face of Brexit challenges, warning that Washington will not strike a UK trade deal if Britain’s withdrawal from the EU undermines the Good Friday peace deal.
· Addressing the Irish parliament on Wednesday, the Democratic speaker of the US House of Representatives said “America will continue to stand with you” in protecting the peace pact of 1998 that ended decades of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.
· Mrs May has herself pledged to maintain a seamless Irish border after Brexit but the most contentious aspect of the treaty is the “backstop” to keep the frontier open even if there is no EU-UK trade deal. Such provisions have been rejected by hardline Conservative Brexiters in Mrs May’s party and by the Democratic Unionists, whose support the UK prime minister needs to stay in power.
UK’s European lawmakers face full obligations until Brexit, Tusk warns MLex
· The UK must approach European Parliament elections seriously, because new British lawmakers could end up sitting “for several months, maybe longer,” European Council President Donald Tusk warned today.
· “They will be full members of the parliament, with all their rights and obligations,” he told the assembly.
UK boosts business bank by £200m as Brexit hits funding The FT
· The UK government is to inject £200m into a state-run scheme designed to provide financing for business amid concerns over a reduction in funding from the EU after Brexit.
· The British Business Bank, which works in partnership with other financial institutions to leverage private capital, offers to share the risk of certain losses on a portfolio of new loans made to companies.
· The government has faced calls to encourage the publicly owned bank, set up by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government in 2014, to invest in start-ups and help offset the impact that Brexit will have on funding for the tech sector.
· “We welcome HM Treasury’s confirmation today that this allocation of £200m is now available to increase provision of much-needed scale-up capital for innovative businesses across the UK,” Mr Morgan said. “We look forward to putting the funding to good use through our delivery partners to enable such businesses to get the funding they need to grow and prosper.”