Pre­mier choice vows to limit im­mi­gra­tion

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE favourite to be­come Bri­tain’s next prime min­is­ter vowed to push for an EU trade deal that lim­its im­mi­gra­tion as a law firm warned Brexit needed par­lia­ment’s back­ing to be­gin.

The shock June 23 vote caused up­heaval in Bri­tish pol­i­tics and fi­nan­cial mar­kets, leav­ing law­mak­ers at odds over what ne­go­ti­at­ing po­si­tion to take and when to be­gin the exit pro­ce­dure from the Euro­pean Union.

Though she cam­paigned for the “Re­main” side, In­te­rior Min­is­ter and Con­ser­va­tive lead­er­ship fron­trun­ner Theresa May has said she will hon­our the re­sult of the ref­er­en­dum and has ruled out hold­ing a gen­eral elec­tion be­fore 2020.

“The Brexit vote gave us a very clear mes­sage that we couldn’t al­low free move­ment [of peo­ple] to con­tinue as it had,” Ms May told ITV, adding that she would seek a guar­an­tee for the sta­tus of EU na­tion­als al­ready in Bri­tain.

“It’s also about en­sur­ing that we get the best deal pos­si­ble on the trade of goods and ser­vices,” she added.

Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel has in­sisted a Bri­tish trade deal would have to in­clude free­dom of move­ment.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ge­orge Os­borne plans to slash cor­po­ra­tion tax to un­der 15 per­cent – the low­est for any ma­jor econ­omy – in a bid to keep busi­nesses in Bri­tain, the Fi­nan­cial Times re­ported on July 3.

The five ri­val con­tenders to suc­ceed Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, who re­signed when Bri­tain voted to leave the EU last month, have dis­agreed on how quickly the coun­try should trig­ger its exit process.

Ms May, who polls in­di­cate is the most pop­u­lar can­di­date, has in­sisted there should be “no timescale” for the exit, though her ri­val An­drea Lead­som has pushed for the process to be­gin quickly.

Once Bri­tain trig­gers Ar­ti­cle 50, the le­gal pro­ce­dure for ex­it­ing, it will have two years to ne­go­ti­ate terms.

But the process faces a le­gal chal­lenge from law firm Mish­con de Reya, which said it would ar­gue the govern­ment needs the back­ing of par­lia­ment to act.

“The out­come of the ref­er­en­dum it­self is not legally bind­ing,” said part­ner Kasra Nouroozi. “For the cur­rent or fu­ture prime min­is­ter to in­voke Ar­ti­cle 50 with­out the ap­proval of par­lia­ment is un­law­ful.”

Both of Bri­tain’s main par­ties were thrown into dis­ar­ray by the vote.

Jeremy Cor­byn, leader of the op­po­si­tion Labour party, is hold­ing on tena­ciously to his po­si­tion af­ter a mass re­bel­lion against him by law­mak­ers who passed a no con­fi­dence vote in him by 172 to 40 last week.

Mr Cor­byn, who has cru­cial union back­ing and was elected last year in a land­slide by or­di­nary Labour party mem­bers, urged his col­leagues to re­spect the party grass­roots.

“I am ready to reach out to Labour MPs who didn’t ac­cept my elec­tion and op­pose my lead­er­ship,” he wrote in the Sun­day Mir­ror.

Con­ser­va­tive MPs are due to be­gin vot­ing this week to whit­tle their five can­di­dates down to two. The con­test has proved tur­bu­lent so far.

Last week for­mer ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary Michael Gove dra­mat­i­cally pulled sup­port at the last minute from his close ally, for­mer Lon­don mayor Boris John­son, in or­der to launch his own bid.

The in­ci­dent was not men­tioned in Mr John­son’s first col­umn in the Daily Tele­graph since the de­fec­tion, in which he crit­i­cised an out­pour­ing of sup­port for the EU that fol­lowed the vote.

Mr John­son in­sisted that it would be pos­si­ble to both limit im­mi­gra­tion and se­cure a free-trade deal with the EU with­out tar­iffs or quo­tas.

“The fu­ture is very bright in­deed,” Mr John­son said. –

Photo: EPA

Bri­tish In­te­rior Min­is­ter Theresa May is against the free move­ment of peo­ple in Europe.

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