No-deal Brexit risks breaking up UK, warns Theresa May – the Guardian

  • May warned Scottish Conservative supporters in Stirling that “a lot of people have taken the union for granted over the years”.
  • She continued: “It’s not a case of either you can deliver Brexit or you can ensure that you maintain the union. You need to do both.”
  • May, whose relationship with Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has been increasingly strained, also hit out at the Scottish government, saying: “Over the last three years I have learned that while other parties can be relied on to work with the UK government in good faith to make devolution a success, an SNP Scottish government will only ever seek to further the agenda of separation.”
  • Earlier on Thursday, the SNP leader told STV news that May’s conduct as prime minister had led directly to an increase in support for independence.
  • David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister and Theresa May’s de facto deputy, told BBC Radio 4’s World at One earlier on Thursday that the union was under threat, not only from Scottish nationalism or pressure for Irish unification, but from English “indifference”. He said a no-deal Brexit would make the breakup of the UK more likely.
  • A recent Panelbase poll in the Sunday Times Scotland found support for independence would jump to 53% if Johnson became prime minister. It found he had a popularity rating among Scottish voters of -37, a worse rating than Nigel Farage.

EU agency settles Canary Wharf Brexit dispute with WeWork deal – the FT

  • The European Medicines Agency has settled a court case with Canary Wharf Group over the regulator’s Brexit-related departure from London after subleasing its office in the UK capital to WeWork.
  • Canary Wharf Group said on Thursday that a £500m legal dispute over the future of the EMA’s lease had been settled, with the EMA withdrawing its appeal against a High Court ruling that the lease agreement was still valid despite Brexit.
  • Instead of pursuing the appeal, the European regulator, which moved its headquarters to Amsterdam in March, has agreed a sublease of the 285,000-square-foot property at 30 Churchill Place to WeWork, the fast-growing shared office group. The sublease will last until the original lease expires in 2039.

House of Lords demands clarity on no-deal Brexit – the FT

  • Before the next PM decides whether to press the button on no-deal, people deserve to see an authoritative assessment of what the real world impact of a WTO Brexit could be — and one that is independent from government.
  • It’s therefore welcome that the House of Lords on Wednesday voted for just such a report to be produced.
  • The upper house voted by 245 to 99 to set up a joint parliamentary committee, comprising MPs and peers, to examine the possible impact of a no-deal Brexit.
  • Delivery of this report is still not assured. Although the Lords has voted for this initiative, it now has to be backed by a vote in the Commons. Lord Hannay says the government’s record for common sense on anything related to Brexit is not impressive “so they may well try to smother or to sidetrack this initiative”.