Brexit news latest – EU in PANIC MODE as Barnier's own side urge him to back down and accept Boris' fishing demands

THE EU is in panic mode today as ministers urged Michel Barnier's Brexit negotiation team to back down to UK demands.

The EU if formally insisting the UK gives them exactly the same fishing rights in British waters after Brexit as they do during it, rather than a deal that is negotiated every year or two, as Boris Johnson wants.

But now some EU ministers have warned Barnier that failure to back down with destroy any hopes of a UK-EU post-Brexit trade deal – something that could see the EU unable to fish in British waters at all, at least temporarily.

The news comes as it was claimed the UK could strike a Brexit trade deal this week if the EU “doesn’t move the goalposts".

The UK and EU will need to seal an arrangement by Saturday to have time to get it through their respective parliaments by the end of the year.

Follow our Brexit live blog for all the latest news and updates…

 

  • Chris Bradford

    SNP FREEPORT OPPOSITION 'NARROW-MINDED', SAY SCOTTISH TORIES

    Scottish Conservatives have warned that the SNP is putting jobs at risk by opposing the introduction of freeports.

    Graham Simpson, transport spokesman, said the Nationalist opposition was solely due to "narrow-mindedness" and could stifle economic growth in Scotland post Brexit, the Scotsman reports.

    The UK government officially opened freeport applications in England earlier this month.

    They would allow tariff free import of goods but opponents consider this to be a "race to the bottom".

    At the SNP conference, members are expected to pass a resolution which calls on the party to recognise that freeports "cannot and will not offset the damage caused by Brexit".

  • Chris Bradford

    UK POTATO IMPORT BAN COULD AFFECT IRELAND'S CHIPS

    A possible ban on the importation of potatoes from the UK could affect supplies in Ireland, it's feared.

    From January 1, UK produce could fall foul of EU food safety rules.

    Many outlets in Ireland, including chip shops, use British potatoes for chips.

    A takeaway fears that a ban would not only change the taste and type of chips Irish consumers enjoy, but could also lead to changes in portion sizes, RTE reports.

    Dublin chip shop Leo Burdock use British spuds because of their unique quality, which makes them suitable for frying.

    "They have a better balance, chemically their composition, the dry matter and the sugars are more suited for the frying of chips, so that have that crispness and that flavour," said Derek Duggan.

     

  • Chris Bradford

    EXPLAINED: WHAT IS A NO DEAL BREXIT?

    Britain left the EU at the beginning of 2020 – more than three years after the nation narrowly voted to leave the union.

    The UK and EU are in talks regarding a future trade deal but there are still disagreements in areas such as fisheries, state aid and how to resolve disputes.

    There is a prospect that talks could break down ahead of the end of the transition period on December 31.

    But what does a no-deal scenario mean for Brits? Read our handy explainer here.

    Credit: PA:Press Association
  • Chris Bradford

    POUND TICKS UP ON POTENTIAL EXTENSION OF TRADE TALKS

    Sterling saw a slight uptick following the news that trade talks between the UK and EU could be extended if a deal wasn't reached by the deadline.

    The Pound was up 0.2% against the dollar and 0.1% up against the euro at 8:20am on Monday.

    The transition period is due to end on December 31 but Environment Secretary George Eustice raised the prospect that the talks could continue into 2021.

    "We really are now running out of time, this is the crucial week, we need to get a breakthrough,” he told Sky News.

    “I really do think we are now in to the final week or 10 days, of course if great progress were made this week and you’re nearly there it’s always possible to extend those negotiations."

  • Chris Bradford

    'UK AND EU NEED TO AVOID BLAME GAME' SAYS IRISH MINISTER

    Britain and the EU need to avoid engaging in a "blame game" as the "truth of Brexit" and its challenges become clear, Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney has said today.

    The UK will complete its exit from the EU on 31 December – deal or no deal as the transition period will not be extended.

    Mr Coveney said that there was a big incentive to get a deal done but there were two big issues that are as yet unresolved.

    “The truth of Brexit is now being exposed in terms of the challenges of it,” Coveney told Radio Ulster.

    “This is something that the UK and the EU have to find away forward on as opposed to focus on a blame game as regards who is at fault.”

  • Chris Bradford

    'NO DEAL BREXIT OFFERS NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR BRITISH FARMERS'

    A no-deal Brexit offers "new opportunities for British farmers", according to a senior cabinet minister.

    Environment Secretary George Eustice dismissed fears of an embargo on exports and food prices soaring in shops as the clock ticks down to the end of the transition period.

    He argued that British farmers would sell more, claiming: "In terms of most agricultural sectors, we are a net importer.

    "And if you were to put tariffs on beef from Ireland, or dairy products from Denmark, or fresh produce from France, there would be new opportunities for British farmers."

    The claim is likely to infuriate the National Farmers Union who warned that British products could face a 60 per cent export tariff.

  • Chris Bradford

    UK HOLDING FIRM ON FISH

    Britain has dug in its heels over fishing in Brexit talks with the EU, demanding an end to the "unfair" system of EU fishing in UK waters.

    Britain wants a "zonal attachment" agreement – a step that would give it a much larger quota share than if the fish maths were worked out on the EU’s proposals.

    “All we’re asking for … is there to be annual negotiations based on the science and also for there to be a move towards a fairer, more scientific sharing methodology which is called zonal attachment which is broadly where the fish are to be found,” Environment Secretary George Eustice told the BBC.

    “Under that analysis we currently only have access to about half of the fish in our own waters, that is profoundly unfair on our fishermen, we’ve been clear throughout that needs to change," he said.

  • Chris Bradford

    'TIME IS RUNNING OUT'

    Britain and the EU are running out of time if they want to secure a Brexit trade deal, Environment Secretary George Eustice has said today.

    The transition period ends on December 31 but trade talks remain stalled over key issues such as fishing, the level playing field and how to resolve disputes.

    “We really are now running out of time, this is the crucial week, we need to get a breakthrough,” Mr Eustice told Sky.

    “I really do think we are now in to the final week or 10 days, of course if great progress were made this week and you’re nearly there it’s always possible to extend those negotiations,” he said.

    Credit: 2020 Martyn Wheatley / i-Images

     

  • Claudia Aoraha

    CARMAKERS PLEAD FOR CLARITY WITH BREXIT

    Carmakers are pleading for clarity as they stockpile parts and cars for the final Brexit deadline.

    Imported cars are set to become 10 per cent more expensive overnight from January 1 if tariffs are imposed under the World Trade Organisation regime.

    Industry sources said carmakers have built up extra stocks of cars and parts in the UK, as they have done now for three previous Brexit deadlines.

    The industry officials have been threatened with “cliff-edge” jolts because of the potential different trading arrangements.

  • Claudia Aoraha

    'LONDON HAS BEEN THROWN TO THE LIONS'

    At 8am this morning, London Stock Exchange Group Plc's stock trading platform goes live in Amsterdam – as part of their Brexit strategy to move things to the continent.

    Other trading venues like Aquis Exchange Plc have also done the same.

    “The City of London has been thrown to the lions,” said Alasdair Haynes, chief executive officer at Aquis, in Bloomberg.

    He added that the UK could lose even more stock trading than it expects if giant US asset managers like BlackRock Inc. decide to trade in Paris and Amsterdam.

  • Claudia Aoraha

    'MOST FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN FARMING FOR 50 YEARS'

    In the new Brexit transformation, there will be more trees, meadows and wetlands – and fewer sheep and cows as controversial EU farm subsidies are phased out.

    Ministers say it's the most fundamental shift in farm policy for 50 years.

    Under the outgoing EU system, farmers got taxpayers' money based on the amount of land they farm. The richer the farmer, the more the grant.

    The new system, named Environmental Land Management, will pay farmers if they prevent floods, plant woods and help wildlife.

  • Hana Carter

    BREXIT TO TRANSFORM FARMS

    Brexit will transform our fields and farms as the country undergoes the biggest change in farming policy for half a century.

    The government will make a promise of a seven-year plan to phase out paying subsidies to farmers based on how much land they own.

    A post-Brexit overhaul of agriculture in England will be laid out and farmers will receive money for improving productivity and the environment.

    The move is hopeful that wildlife will thrive, air and water will be cleaner and livestock will be treated more humanely.

  • Hana Carter

    EUROPEAN TRADESMEN LEAVE LONDON CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

    More than 60,000 European brickies, builders, carpenters and others have left London’s construction industry in the past two years and most are unlikely to return, trade chiefs warn.

    The EU-born workforce in the capital has shrunk from 115,000 in the third quarter of 2018 to just 53,000 today, a fall of 54 per cent and far greater than the overall 14 per cent decline in the market as a whole.

    But it could leave the industry desperately short of labour when it starts to grow again as EU-born employees have traditionally made up more than a third of the numbers required for projects ranging from housing to office blocks to schools and hospitals.

    Some of this will be compensated by a rise in UK nationals and other foreign workers who are from non-EU countries, said the figures from the Construction Products Association (CPA) based on ONS data.

    They found that since 2018 the overall number of employees in construction in London has fallen by 14 per cent from 300,000 to 259,000.

  • Hana Carter

    MAJORITY OF FOOD AND DRINK FIRMS FEEL UNPREPARED FOR BREXIT

    Almost three-quarters of Scotland’s food and drink businesses feel unprepared for Brexit and any resulting disruption, according to research.

    Scotland Food and Drink said with a month to go until the transition period ends, the industry feels it is in a “perilous position”.

    The industry body has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking urgent action and assurances around trading arrangements once the transition period ends on December 31.

    With many of the new trading rules still unknown, coupled with businesses fighting to survive the impact of the pandemic, the industry has called for a six-month grace period to adjust to whatever the new trading rules are – in particular on the requirement to issue millions of new export certificates for food products.

    Industry leaders will meet Victoria Prentice, a minister in the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on Tuesday to discuss the issues.

  • Hana Carter

    UK URGES EU TO BRING ‘FRESH THINKING’ TO BREXIT TALKS

    The Government has repeatedly said it is prepared to leave the transition period without a deal if the EU fails to move, and talks have been deadlocked for months over fishing rights and other issues.

    They include the governance of any deal and the “level playing field” conditions aimed at preventing unfair competition by cutting standards or increasing state subsidies.

    But ahead of what Number 10 said could be the final week of talks, a source close to the negotiations said: “Over the coming days we will continue to negotiate with creativity and intensity.

    “We hope that the EU will come with some fresh thinking because what we’ve seen so far doesn’t cut it. They must understand that we are not going to sell out our sovereignty.”

    Mr Barnier arrived in London on Friday night telling reporters that he would continue to work with “patience and determination” to reach an agreement.

  • Hana Carter

    THE ROAD TO DIVORCE

    JANUARY 2013: David Cameron promises a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU

    JUNE 23, 2016: People of Britain vote in favour of Brexit by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, and Cameron resigns

    JANUARY 18, 2017: Theresa May takes a hard line on talks with the EU, saying: “No deal is better than a bad deal.” 

    JANUARY 29, 2019: The first Brexit deadline passes after the UK asks the EU for an extension

    JULY 13, 2020: The Government begins an ad campaign urging firms to prepare for end of transition period 

    SEPTEMBER 22, 2020: Cabinet minister Michael Gove sends a letter to hauliers warning about a queue of 7,000 lorries in Kent 

    OCTOBER 13, 2020: Treasury and cabinet office minister Lord Agnew says that businesses have their “heads in sand” over Brexit changes 

    NOVEMBER 29, 2020: Britain’s foreign minister said today there is only about a week left for the UK and the European Union to strike a post-Brexit trade deal

    JANUARY 1, 2021: End of transition period. If there is no deal, UK will revert to World Trade Organisation terms, including tariffs

  • Hana Carter

    FERRY ROUTE OPENS BETWEEN FRANCE AND IRELAND

    A new freight ferry route linking Ireland and France will open once Brexit it agreed.

    The route offers “direct and paperless transport between EU countries”.

    DFDS, a Danish international shipping and logistics company, said Friday that it would start operating sailings on the route between Dunkirk and Rosslare on 2 January 2021.

     

  • Hana Carter

    MAJORITY OF FOOD AND DRINK FIRMS FEEL UNPREPARED FOR BREXIT

    Almost three-quarters of Scotland's food and drink businesses feel unprepared for Brexit and any resulting disruption, according to research.

    Scotland Food and Drink said with a month to go until the transition period ends, the industry feels it is in a "perilous position".

    The industry body has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking urgent action and assurances around trading arrangements once the transition period ends on December 31.

    With many of the new trading rules still unknown, coupled with businesses fighting to survive the impact of the pandemic, the industry has called for a six-month grace period to adjust to whatever the new trading rules are – in particular on the requirement to issue millions of new export certificates for food products.

  • Hana Carter

    EXPLAINED: WHAT IS A NO DEAL BREXIT?

    BRITAIN left the EU at the beginning of 2020 – more than three years after the nation narrowly voted to leave the union.

    Negotiations continue, but the EU and UK still disagree over future arrangements for areas such as fisheries, state aid and financial services.

    But what does it mean for Brits? Read our handy explainer here.

  • Hana Carter

    STURGEON TO ANNOUNCE £100M FUND TO HELP SCOTS

    A £100 million fund will be set up to help hard up Scots this winter, Nicola Sturgeon will announce, with the support including direct payments of £100 to all families with children in receipt of free school meals.

    The Scottish First Minister will say the coronavirus pandemic has shown that it should no longer be accepted that problems with poverty and inequality are "inevitable or insoluble".

    The action comes in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, which has seen many lose their jobs or have their incomes cut.

    The new £100 million winter fund for low income households will provide those in need with cash to help "pay their fuel bills and make sure children don't go hungry", Ms Sturgeon will tell the SNP annual conference.

    In addition to this, it will help pay to get older people connected online and provide help for the homeless.

  • Hana Carter

    ‘KEEP HEART AND KEEP THE FAITH’

    SNP members must “keep heart, keep the heid and keep the faith” as they push for independence, the party’s Westminster leader will tell its conference.

    Addressing the online event on Sunday, Ian Blackford will issue a call for unity, mirroring a similar message from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon the previous day.

    The goal of the party, he will say, is to elect “an independence majority” at the 2021 Holyrood elections which will then hold a referendum on the country’s constitutional future.

    Mr Blackford will look to rally the party faithful in his speech, the day after a rift between one of his MPs and the leadership grew wider.

    In an interview with the Times on Saturday, Joanna Cherry called for an end to the “cult of leader” at the top of the party – whether it’s Alex (Salmond) or Nicola, or anyone else” – to be replaced with a more “collegiate” approach to internal debates including how best to accelerate Scottish independence.

  • Hana Carter

    ‘FAILURES EXPLOITED BY CRIMINAL GANGS’

    A Labour MP has criticised the Government for not delivering on promises.

    It comes after a joint agreement between France and the UK was signed earlier today to increase police patrols in Northern France to deter migrants from attempting to cross the English Channel.

    Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “An effective agreement with the French authorities would be welcome, but the Conservatives have regularly announced progress and not delivered.

    “These failures have been exploited by criminal gangs, and left desperate people taking to dangerous sea routes as the Conservatives have suggested unconscionable options, like wave machines and nets.

    “A deal with the French authorities alone is not enough. The Conservatives continue to fail on establishing safe routes and have abolished DFID (the Department for International Development), the department that has addressed the reasons people flee their homes in the first place.”

  • Hana Carter

    STARMER WILL NOT TELL LABOUR TO VOTE AGAINST BREXIT

    Keir Starmer will not be ordering Labour MPs to vote against Brexit.

    The leader told the Jewish Labour Movement: “We need a deal… We will then look at that deal… We will then make a decision on whether to vote for it or abstain.” 

    Sir Keir added: “I don’t think there’s a much of a case for voting against it when that would be effectively to vote for no deal.”

  • Hana Carter

    UK SIGNED HISTORIC DEAL AGAINST TRAFFICKERS

    Britain signed a deal with France to halt the tide of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats.

    Home Secretary Priti Patel won a long-running battle to mount a joint crackdown on people-traffickers.

    The number of officers guarding a 90-mile stretch of coastline will be doubled from this week.

    And they will be backed by cutting-edge surveillance gear, including drones, radar, powerful binoculars and fixed cameras.

  • Hana Carter

    ‘FAILURES EXPLOITED BY CRIMINAL GANGS’

    A Labour MP has criticised the Government for not delivering on promises.

    It comes after a joint agreement between France and the UK was signed earlier today to increase police patrols in Northern France to deter migrants from attempting to cross the English Channel.

    Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “An effective agreement with the French authorities would be welcome, but the Conservatives have regularly announced progress and not delivered.

    “These failures have been exploited by criminal gangs, and left desperate people taking to dangerous sea routes as the Conservatives have suggested unconscionable options, like wave machines and nets.

    “A deal with the French authorities alone is not enough. The Conservatives continue to fail on establishing safe routes and have abolished DFID (the Department for International Development), the department that has addressed the reasons people flee their homes in the first place.”

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