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January 27, 2017

The Brexit Bill in full

Rarely do we have the occasion to be able to cite an entire bill, verbatim, in our Daily Newsbriefing. The Brexit bill, published yesterday, is an exception (we did cut out the ceremonial section that prefaces every bill):

“A bill to confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU... 

Power to notify withdrawal from the EU

 (1) The Prime Minister may notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.

 (2)This section has effect despite any provision made by or under the European Communities Act 1972 or any other enactment.

Short title

 This Act may be cited as the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017.

Readers may be justified in asking the question: so this is what all the fuss was about? The answer is yes. And Rafael Behr, no fan of the Conservative government like most of his colleagues in the Guardian, writes with an air of resignation that this is it. Parliament will vote in favour of Article 50 very shortly. We would like to add that Brexit will be, at that point, effectively irreversible: 

“The bill contains no hint of ceremony, no symbolic or practical deference to parliamentary sovereignty or scrutiny, although the court ruling arguably invited something of that nature. The proposed act reads instead as a stingy concession yielded reluctantly, under duress, with a very simple political calculation in mind – that MPs will not dare to delay or derail its passage for fear of being seen as stubborn defiers of the national will, as expressed in last year’s referendum. That calculation is surely well founded. There is not a majority in the Commons to thwart the progress of this bill.”

Indeed. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, will not only support the bill but he has imposed what is known in the UK as a three-line whip, the ultimate pressure a party leader can put on his MPs. If you defy the whip, you lose any official job, and possibly even the status as a member of the Labour Party parliamentary group (though not the seat itself). There will be some rebels. A front bench spokesman resigned yesterday on the grounds that her North London constituency voted overwhelmingly in favour of Remain. But the rebellion is contained. Two thirds of Labour MPs represent constituencies that voted Leave. The parliamentary majority in favour of the Article 50 trigger will be massive.

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January 27, 2017

Fillon says he would withdraw if charged

François Fillon went public yesterday and defended his wife and her job. His wife, he said on television, did work that included press reviews, proofreading his speeches, and meeting people for him. Fillon said he would withdraw his candidacy if he were charged.

If Fillon is able to prove that his wife worked for him, there is still the issue of how much she was paid, writes France 24. French law limits members of the National Assembly to a maximum of five staff members, who are paid from a monthly budget of €9,561. According to Le Canard Enchaîné, Penelope Fillon sometimes earned upwards of €7,000 per month – or almost the entire budgeted amount – during the 14 years she worked on and off as her husband’s parliamentary aide. This is not compatible with her image as a quiet country loving mother, busy raising her four children single-handedly.

The other troubling accusation is the high salary Penelope drew from a review, owned by her husband's billionaire friend Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière. Though this is not a misuse of public money, it does raise a couple of uncomfortable questions and clouds the image of Fillon as a Mr Clean. 

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  • From a currency to a people
  • January 29, 2019
  • What comes after plan B fails? Plan C, of course. C for cliff-edge
  • Gilets jaunes, how to structure a movement in free flow?
  • European Court of Auditors criticises Juncker’s investment fund
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • March 27, 2017
  • Governing formation troubles - Northern Ireland edition
  • Did Trump present Merkel with a bill for Nato?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 30, 2019
  • A pyrrhic victory for Kurz
  • Will there really be UK elections?
  • November 19, 2018
  • May’s pushback is kicking in
  • January 08, 2018
  • Getting real on Brexit
  • Macron in China
  • March 01, 2017
  • The threat of Frexit
  • Fear and loathing of a referendum in Spain
  • How to get around Theresa May’s little ECJ issue
  • Solve the problem
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 11, 2019
  • Politics and the new sense of urgency
  • Ten little monkeys jumping up and down - down mostly
  • August 28, 2018
  • Urban politics and national crisis - the Irish case
  • How anti-semitism became one of the main issues in British politics
  • November 13, 2017
  • A pro-European list: Wauquiez' nightmare
  • Catalan separatism isn't going away
  • Why oh why does Germany behave the way it does?
  • Why the four freedoms matter
  • February 02, 2017
  • Will it come to the use of force in Catalonia?
  • The day Brexit became irreversible
  • Can Trump and May succeed?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 29, 2019
  • People's Vote descends into Civil War
  • CDU at odds on dealing with extreme parties
  • February 13, 2019
  • What to make of the man in the pub - and other tales
  • Macron loses more early advisers - or cuts them loose
  • June 01, 2018
  • Will France and Germany stick together in their response to US trade tariffs?
  • From a eurozone budget to a slush fund
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 09, 2019
  • The EU's impossible dilemma
  • The horsetrading starts in Sibiu
  • May to bring withdrawal bill to Commons week after next
  • September 27, 2018
  • Two ways out of the Brexit impasse
  • February 16, 2018
  • How big will the euro budget be?
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • November 30, 2016
  • Is Russia behind a massive cyber attack in Germany?
  • Will Fillon move to the centre?
  • The Dutch left field is getting crowded
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 18, 2019
  • The horrifying implications of Merkel’s 5G decision
  • April 17, 2019
  • Why it is far from clear that the grand coalition will survive the year
  • Macron's chance and challenge
  • Eurozone firms' surprising response to sagging profits
  • The result of Spain's elections, a riddle wrapped in mystery
  • The MMT debate is coming to Europe - and Germany
  • Greek parliament seeks German war reparations
  • October 15, 2018
  • Black Brexit smoke
  • Bettel can relax and stay in office
  • Solving the crime vs solving the problem
  • April 16, 2018
  • Italy's and Germany's pained response to the Syria attacks
  • On the end of the eurozone's economic honeymoon
  • Why Bulgaria should stay out of the euro
  • Where shall we meet after Brexit?
  • October 16, 2017
  • What‘s the deep meaning of the elections in Lower Saxony?
  • Can Brexit be revoked?
  • Macron's grand narrative
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • October 20, 2016
  • No games please, we are Europeans
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 16, 2019
  • What next, after EU sanctions Turkey?
  • What to make of Johnson’s four-point Brexit plan
  • Galileo fails, and nobody notices
  • March 04, 2019
  • Macron's two-month sprint
  • May's numbers are not there yet
  • Greening QE
  • On the "hope" of a rate raise
  • October 22, 2018
  • A week of intense political tension in the UK
  • Poland's local elections reveal deeply-split country
  • June 11, 2018
  • The end of the G7 - good riddance
  • Macron needs allies for his European agenda
  • Who is going to be the next director-general of the Italian treasury?
  • January 29, 2018
  • Where is the opposition in France?
  • Scenarios and risks for Syriza over Macedonia
  • September 21, 2017
  • Time to get serious about Brexit
  • Would the FDP claim the job of finance minister?
  • The return of the ultra-right to German politics
  • May 15, 2017
  • SPD and CDU disagree on how to respond to Macron
  • Was Rajoy blackmailed?
  • The rise of the re-leavers
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • August 30, 2016
  • Brexit facts on the ground
  • Burkinis and Republican primaries
  • The SPD and TTIP
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 23, 2019
  • Putin brokers deal to push Kurds away from border
  • AKK’s biggest gamble yet
  • September 09, 2019
  • Chances of no-deal are rising and rising
  • Resist the beginnings
  • July 29, 2019
  • No-deal Brexit is no longer just a scenario
  • No German warships to the Strait of Hormuz
  • June 18, 2019
  • Retaliation threats over drilling
  • May 07, 2019
  • … while Macron’s European troubles have already begun, and might get even worse
  • Don't discount a Brexit deal
  • Is Tsipras too complacent?
  • Costa - the fiscally responsible Socialist
  • March 28, 2019
  • Fidesz exposes EPP to barrage of provocations
  • How Berlin has turned the ghost of Aachen into a poltergeist
  • February 18, 2019
  • How the splits on the left and the right will affect Brexit
  • January 10, 2019
  • Another quiet day in the Commons
  • From Rome with love
  • December 04, 2018
  • Brexit Revoked - the scenarios
  • In search for a bold response to the gilets jaunes
  • October 29, 2018
  • Why the EEA is no longer a Brexit option
  • Behold the rising superpower: post-catholic Ireland’s European miracle
  • September 25, 2018
  • Be careful what you wish for - second referendum edition
  • August 20, 2018
  • ... and a subtle shift in EU policies towards both Russia and Turkey
  • Nothing to celebrate about the end of the bailout programme
  • Support for Brexit holding up
  • July 05, 2018
  • Does the German compromise work? Legally? Politically?
  • What to make of Salvini's relations with Russia?
  • June 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • May 03, 2018
  • Finland's take on universal income
  • The lessons from Weimar
  • April 03, 2018
  • Is the time for Brexit revocation running out?
  • March 05, 2018
  • One rock, two vetos, three governments
  • Rutte weighs in
  • February 05, 2018
  • How big is Germany's external surplus, really?
  • Macron's first election test
  • Coeure's endorsement of a fiscal union
  • January 08, 2018
  • Getting real on Brexit
  • Macron in China
  • December 11, 2017
  • A new era for the French right
  • Growing scepticism of a grand coalition
  • November 17, 2017
  • Germany's climate change hypocrisy
  • Canada minus the plus
  • October 25, 2017
  • How to think about a Brexit baseline scenario
  • Like the right, the left, too, is divided over Europe
  • October 02, 2017
  • Catalonia recalls EU and eurozone instability
  • French trade unions increase pressure over labour reforms
  • Watch out for a political accident in the UK
  • Municipal elections boost Portugal's Socialists
  • September 11, 2017
  • Turkey issues travel warning for visitors to Germany
  • How nasty is the AfD?
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • August 02, 2017
  • On the importance of a Brexit transition
  • To kill a referendum, starve it
  • How to spot a moron?
  • July 14, 2017
  • We are entering the technical phase of Brexit
  • Don’t be too complacent about the EU
  • June 26, 2017
  • Brexit - the central case and the tail-risk
  • The German fear of Macron
  • June 08, 2017
  • Day 0
  • Macron and his overly enthusiastic minions
  • May 23, 2017
  • When events intrude
  • On Italy's obsession with voting systems
  • May 08, 2017
  • A message of hope
  • Barnier's not so easily agreed Brexit principles
  • The rebirth of the paranoid conspiracy theory
  • April 23, 2017
  • The demise of the AfD has accelerated dramatically
  • On how France will need to confront Germany
  • April 11, 2017
  • What to expect, and not expect from Schulz
  • The view from Berlin
  • The view from Moscow
  • March 30, 2017
  • How strong is support for Macron, really?
  • Last meeting of a grand coalition
  • The unspectacular departure of an MP
  • March 20, 2017
  • Does the language of communiques matter?
  • Spain snap election rumblings
  • Will there be a Brexit deal?
  • March 09, 2017
  • Forget Russian hacking. Berlin fears the CIA
  • Is the multi-speed Europe hot air?
  • March 01, 2017
  • The threat of Frexit
  • Fear and loathing of a referendum in Spain
  • How to get around Theresa May’s little ECJ issue
  • Solve the problem
  • February 22, 2017
  • Schulz and the neoliberals
  • How to get back into the EU
  • The second phase of Trump
  • February 15, 2017
  • Fillon under fire
  • More headaches for Rutte
  • Who are the bigots now?
  • February 10, 2017
  • Brexit realism
  • How not to attack the populists
  • On German hegemony
  • February 06, 2017
  • The Schulz effect, mark III
  • Germany's two asymmetric shocks
  • A Brexit conundrum - or not?
  • February 03, 2017
  • The Schulz effect is getting huge
  • The post-Brexit boom goes on and on and on
  • A correction on Catalonia
  • February 01, 2017
  • Do Republicans have a plan B if Fillon falls?
  • Unforgiven
  • January 30, 2017
  • On the illusion of choice