Tom Goodenough

What the papers say: Britain’s Brexit trump cards

What the papers say: Britain's Brexit trump cards
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The EU holds all the ‘trump cards’ in Brexit talks. Or at least that’s what some ‘Remainers’ would have you think, says the Sun in its editorial today. Don’t believe it, the paper insists, pointing out that the EU 27 ‘export a massive amount of goods to the UK’. In fact, as the government pointed out yesterday in its Brexit position paper on trade, our friends on the continent ‘sell more stuff here than to China, Russia, India and Brazil combined’. All this means that it is ‘massively in their interest to work with Britain’ - a realisation that is starting to sink in, the Sun suggests. Take the report published in Germany, for example, ‘which revealed genuine fears of damage to its economy if we are allowed to walk away without a proper trade deal’. The fact that European countries need Britain to secure a Brexit deal as much as we do, means it is vital ‘Britain must not give in on Theresa May’s red line on complete withdrawal from the European Court of Justice’, argues the paper. An answer to this - put forward in the Times yesterday - would be to ‘join the court of the European Free Trade Association’. Given that this would ‘allow Britain to trade freely while ditching the hated ECJ’, we should take the court’s president up on his offer, concludes the Sun.

Across the Atlantic, ‘the Trump administration is a wreck adrift on high political seas’, says the FT. The president is searching for purpose- and he thinks he might have found it in the form of tax reform. It is on ‘this life raft’ ‘that the president hopes to at last secure a major legislative achievement and rebuild relations with his party’, says the paper. Trump’s critics are keen to put a stop to the president doing just about anything. Yet ‘even for the president’s detractors’, it is clear that the US tax system desperately needs reform. The high rate ‘imposed on corporations’, for example, or the ‘treatment of profits earned abroad’ by US firms makes the country’s economy ’less competitive’ than it might otherwise be. But the worry for the FT is that the pressure of time might make Trump opt for a ‘quick win’ on tax: an ‘unfunded cut’. This could push up interest rates, warns the FT, which also says the idea that unfunded tax cuts pay for themselves over time simply isn’t true. If the president wants to properly shake-up the US system, he should be allowed to, concludes the paper. But a quick fix shouldn’t be allowed to go through. After all, ‘tax reform should be designed to help the country, not save the president,’ concludes the paper.

Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, has said online hate crime should be treated the same online as in the ‘real world’. She’s right, says the Times, which says that wherever it might be found ‘hate is hate and crime is crime’. Yet it’s clear that the ‘CPS is playing catch-up’, says the Times, which argues that the fact Saunders is only just coming out now with her comments - when hate speech online has been a problem for many years - shows the CPS’s ‘response to changing times’ has been ‘woeful’. It’s high time that ’guidelines for prosecuting online hate crime need to be updated’, argues the Times, Saunders will be well aware of this, concludes the paper. ‘But she has work to do to show she is as serious as she claims about online hate.’.