Three pro-EU parties set to unveil Remain pact for UK election (FT)
- Three pro-EU British political parties hope to unveil a Remain election pact as early as Thursday, under which they will step aside for each other in dozens of constituencies to maximise Remain candidates’ chances.
- But those involved in the talks warned that the plan, involving the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and Green party along with some independent MPs, entailed complex internal debates as well as intraparty discussions.
- The template for the cross-party deal was the recent Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, when the Lib Dems seized the seat from the Tories by just 1,400 votes after Plaid and the Greens did not run candidates.
- The pact is expected to affect about 60 of the 632 seats in mainland Britain — although the precise number is fluid — to try to damage Boris Johnson’s hopes of a Tory majority.
Farage to challenge Johnson in 600 Seats: UK campaign trail (Bloomberg)
- The Brexit Party leader will not stand as a candidate in the U.K election and will instead focus on campaigning across the country as his party fields 600 candidates.
- His refusal to back Johnson has prompted criticism from other Brexit supporters, who claim the strategy may split the anti-EU vote and help Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn win.
- Polls from this past weekend suggested that the Conservative party’s lead in the upcoming general election was narrowing.
UK will not extend Brexit transition period – Johnson spokesman (Reuters)
- The British government will not extend the transition period that follows a Brexit withdrawal agreement, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.
- The spokesperson said that the government must continue to prepare for all possibilities including that the country leaves the European Union on 31 January 2020 without a deal.
- At present the Brexit transition period, which will follow any Brexit agreement that is voted through the UK and EU parliaments, will last until 31 December 2020.
- This period could be extended once by two years, meaning it could last until 31 December 2022.
Financial institutions still fear no-deal risks, despite Brexit extension (MLex)
- The recently agreed extension, which sets a new date for the UK’s departure from the EU as 31 January 2020 — or earlier, if a withdrawal deal is approved by its parliament — provides more time for the finance industry to lobby to fill the post-Brexit gaps they say could seriously affect financial stability.
- One of the biggest no-deal Brexit fears for banks and their customers concerns the use of clearinghouses. It rests on the question of equivalence, which gives UK and EU businesses mutual access to markets without requiring a license.
- In December last year, the European Commission confirmed it would grant temporary equivalence to UK clearinghouses in a no-deal Brexit scenario, when there was a possibility the UK would crash out of the EU in March 2019, however this arrangement expires in March 2020.
- European policymakers may want a clearer picture of the political situation in the UK before they agree to extending the temporary arrangement that could otherwise be a card to play in Brexit negotiations.