Brexit news latest – Boris to lead LAST DITCH Brexit deal talks tomorrow as both UK and EU plot next moves

BORIS Johnson will lead last ditch Brexit deal talks with Brussels tomorrow, it has been announced.

The Prime Minister confirmed he would be meeting with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen where both sides "will ‘take stock and discuss next steps".

The eleventh-hour attempt to find common ground on a trade and security deals is being seen as a positive move in Brussels, providing a gateway to further rounds of negotiation.

Both the UK’s chief negotiator David Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier have said an agreement must be reached this month for a deal to be in place by the time the transition period ends on December 31.

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

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    IRISH PM CALLS FOR EU SOLIDARITY ON BREXIT BILL, TRADE TALKS TO GO ON

    Ireland's Prime Minister Micheal Martin said on Friday Britain must respect Brexit arrangements for the sensitive Irish border as this week's talks between the bloc and London failed to close the gaps on a new trade deal.

    The EU launched a legal case against Britain on Thursday for undercutting their divorce deal and a senior UK minister said differences remained in talks on a post-Brexit partnership in everything from trade to energy to transport.

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to talk on the phone with the head of the EU's executive, Ursula von der Leyen, on Saturday to assess negotiations on their future relationship and agree next steps.

    Von der Leyen, EU leaders' chairman Charles Michel and Martin are due to update the summit of the bloc's 27 national leaders in Brussels on Friday. The EU and Ireland say Britain's new Internal Markets Bill threatens the Irish peace.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    CONTINUED

    Another added: “The EU will have to soften its position. We should not just limit ourselves to the interests of a few states.”

    A British official said: “We've been clear we won’t accept any proposals which compromise UK sovereignty over our fishing waters.

    “In order to make progress, the EU must accept our position as an independent coastal state and any agreement on quotas must reflect that reality.

    “We remain committed to working hard to reach an agreement by the middle of October.”

    Hotheaded France has already been told to pipe down after it called for immediate legal action against the UK over changes to the Irish border fix.

    More on the story here.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    RECAP – HALIBUT OUT, PARIS

    France is under mounting pressure from other European states who want to let Michel Barnier drop the EU's hardline fishing demands.

    Paris has infuriated fellow capitals by standing firm on its insistence the bloc must secure status quo terms.

    The row erupted after a meeting of EU envoys this week, with representatives from non-coastal states warning Brussels is being “too strict”.

    They're ready to accept we'll take back control of our waters, and want to use a £4.6bn emergency fund to compensate European fishermen.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    BREXIT TRADE TALKS TO GO ON UNTIL MID-OCTOBER EU SUMMIT SAYS SOURCES

    Britain and the European Union will continue trade talks next week and until a summit of the bloc's leaders on Oct. 15-16, sources told Reuters.

    This week's round of negotiations between the EU and London on a new trade agreement after Brexit, the last scheduled, failed to resolve all the outstanding issues, the sources said.

    But more would follow, according to an EU diplomat and an official with the bloc, who both follow Brexit and spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity as negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost wrapped up this week's talks.

    With time running out to put a new trade agreement in place by the end of the year, the EU's 27 national leaders are due to next meet on Oct. 15-16 to assess progress on Brexit.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    CONTINUED

    Dublin now says the easiest way to solve the row over a hard border between Britain and the Republic would be a free trade deal without barriers.

    Earlier this week, Irish PM Micheal Martin warned talks were heading for failure because of the dispute. It came as UK chief Brexit negotiator David Frost was urged to remain steadfast in haggling with the EU over access to our waters.

    The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations said taking them back was a litmus test of UK sovereignty.

    Britain and Norway yesterday agreed a deal on fishing access which No 10 hopes to mirror in the EU negotiations.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    RECAP – BORDERING ON A DEAL

    Ireland has dropped talk of a No Deal and now insists there is a good chance a trade pact can be done.

    Its foreign minister Simon Coveney said overcoming the obstacles was “very doable”.

    He played down Boris Johnson’s move to overwrite parts of last year’s Brexit deal in a softening of Dublin’s attacks on No 10.

    Mr Coveney added the PM’s concerns would “become irrelevant” once a deal was done. He said: “The incentive is there. We know what the outstanding issues are and they are not insurmountable.”

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  • Niamh Cavanagh

    BREXIT CARNAGE

    BorisJohnson shrugged off a threat of legal action from Brussels over plans to rip up key parts of his Brexit divorce deal.

    The EU has accused Britain of acting in bad faith and began the process of suing over the PM’s move to rewrite last year’s Withdrawal Agreement.

    If found to be in breach of EU rules the UK could face a bill running into the hundreds of millions — but such action could take years to pursue.

    The legal threat comes after No10 ignored a midnight deadline set by Brussels to ditch controversial clauses from the Government’s Internal Market Bill that would overwrite parts of the 2019 deal.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    UK AND EU STILL HAVE VERY SIGNIFICANT TO RESOLVE – MINISTER

    Some very significant issues remain to be resolved in talks between Britain and the European Union about their future post-Brexit trade relationship, British housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Friday.

    Jenrick also told BBC radio it was too early to say what a conversation scheduled for Saturday between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen would involve.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    CONTINUED

    The two leaders will speak on Saturday to discuss the “next steps” following the conclusion of the final formal round of talks in Brussels.

    Both sides have acknowledged that time is running out if they are to achieve an agreement before the current Brexit transition period comes to an end at the end of the year.

    Mr Johnson has said he is prepared to walk away from the negotiations if there is no agreement by the time of the next EU summit on October 15.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    JOHNSON TO SPEAK WITH EC PRESIDENT TOMORRROW

    Boris Johnson is to speak to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday to “take stock” of negotiations on a post-Brexit free trade deal and to “discuss next steps,” a Downing Street spokesman said.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    CONTINUED

    On Thursday, Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said a “letter of formal notification” would be sent to the UK after ministers rejected a demand to withdraw the provisions from the controversial UK Internal Market Bill by Wednesday.

    She said the move marked the first step in an “infringement procedure”, with the British Government now invited to send its observations within the month.

    “This draft Bill is by its very nature a breach of the obligation of good faith laid down in the Withdrawal Agreement,” she said.

    “The deadline lapsed yesterday, the problematic provisions have not been removed, therefore the commission has decided this morning to send a letter of formal notice to the UK Government.”

  • Abe Hawken

    FINAL ROUND

    Chief negotiators Lord Frost and Michel Barnier will conclude the final formal round of trade talks between the UK and the EU with a meeting against the backdrop of legal proceedings.

    They will close a week of post-Brexit talks in Brussels with a meeting on Friday after the European Commission launched action against the UK after the Government refused to withdraw plans to override key elements of the Brexit divorce settlement.

    Both the UK’s Lord Frost and his EU counterpart have said they need to reach an agreement this month for a deal to be in place by the time the transition period ends on December 31.

  • Abe Hawken

    BREXIT CARNAGE

    Boris Johnson shrugged off a threat of legal action from Brussels over plans to rip up key parts of his Brexit divorce deal.

    The EU has accused Britain of acting in bad faith and began the process of suing over the PM’s move to rewrite last year’s Withdrawal Agreement.

    If found to be in breach of EU rules the UK could face a bill running into the hundreds of millions — but such action could take years to pursue.

  • Hana Carter

    BROADBAND TAX COULD BE CUT

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak is being urged to cut broadband tax and save households nearly £2 billion a year.

    Tory MPs and broadband start-ups want the Treasury to slash the VAT on high speed internet from 20 per cent to five per cent – which would save the average household around £70 a year.

    Jonathan Gullis and Dehenna Davison, MPs in “red wall” ex-Labour seat, plus top Tories Tom Tugendhat and Tracey Crouch have written to Mr Sunak.

    The broadband rate of 20 per cent is four times higher than other utilities, and CEO of broadband startup Cuckoo Alexander Fitzgerald has joined the MPs in calling for the cut.

    They argue that the tax rate should reflect the fact the internet is a necessity, not a luxury.

  • Hana Carter

    FLOATING WALLS COULD BE PUT IN THE CHANNEL TO STOP MIGRANTS

    Floating walls could be deployed in the Channel to block illegal migrants from reaching the UK under plans ordered by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

    The Home Office asked trade group Maritime UK to help draw up the scheme to deploy the “marine fencing”.

    An email from the group sent to the Home Office last month — obtained by the Financial Times — revealed the idea was being pursued as a serious proposal to deal with the “small boats challenge” in one of world’s busiest shipping lanes.

    Boris Johnson is also said to be in favour of housing asylum seekers on disused ferries as a way of deterring migrants.

    Government sources said the PM favours this plan over proposals to use off-shore islands such as the Outer Hebrides, Shetlands or the Isle of Wight as asylum centres.

    The Times reported that the Home Office was looking into buying 40-year-old disused ferries from Italy worth £6million each.

  • Hana Carter

    GOVERNMENT FIGURES AT ODDS WITH BORIS'S PPE CLAIM

    It has been revealed that despite Boris Johnson's claim that 70 percent of PPE is to be made in the UK, government figures suggest it will be closer to just over 30 percent.

    More than 3.5 billion items, including aprons, goggles, facemasks and gloves, have been bought by the government this year to protect NHS and social care staff from the spread of coronavirus.

    In July, it was revealed that £15bn had been allocated by the Treasury to buy such kit – equivalent to about £200 per person.

    With more than 80% of PPE items initially produced in China, concerns were growing not just about cost but the ability of the UK to be self-sufficient in key equipment.

  • Hana Carter

    BUSINESS CONDITIONS 'FRAGILE'

    Almost half of firms have suffered a fall in sales in recent months as business conditions remain “fragile”, according to a new report.

    The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said companies were enduring a sustained “cash crunch” amid the ongoing virus crisis.

    A survey of 6,410 firms, employing more than 580,000 people across the UK, found that cash flow in the services sector remained at levels comparable to the recession a decade ago.

    Business to consumer firms, including hospitality, were faring the worst, said the BCC.

    Two-thirds of respondents in hospitality and catering saw decreases in sales and bookings in the third quarter of the year.

    BCC director general Dr Adam Marshall, said: “Our findings clearly demonstrate that business conditions remain fragile in the face of uncertainty, with the prospect of a difficult winter to come.

    “The economy will need more support, over and above the Chancellor's welcome recent efforts. Ministers must stand ready to provide that support, and to strengthen measures to underpin business cash flow and jobs.

  • Hana Carter

    LORDS WILL VOTE AGAINST BREXIT BILL, SAYS LABOUR PEER

    The House of Lords will reject the controversial Brexit bill, the leading Labour peer Baroness Helena Kennedy QC has claimed.

    She said the legislation represents a “flagrant breach of international law.”

    Asked if peers will seek to amend the legislation, she told the BBC: “Forget about amending it, we are going to be voting against it.”

    She added: “This is Trumpism, this is what this is – which is you tear down the very things that have been built up in the rules-based world since the end of the Second World War. So the House of Lords … are all going to say ‘this is a step too far’.”

  • Hana Carter

    BREXIT SHIFTS £1.2 TRILLION TO EU

    Financial services firms have shifted about 7,500 employees and more than £1.2 trillion of assets to the European Union ahead of Brexit – with more likely to follow in coming weeks.

    About 400 relocations were announced in the past month alone, according to consulting firm EY.

  • Hana Carter

    KEY PRIORITY REJECTED BY EUROPEAN COMMISSION

    Chief negotiator Lord Frost said that one of their key priorities – that parts and components from Japan and Turkey count as British in any deal – has been rejected by the European Commission.

    This means there is still a risk that some UK automotive production may have tariffs when exported to the EU, even if there is a “zero tariff” trade deal struck with the EU.

  • Hana Carter

    MORE FIRMS MOVE ASSETS OUT OF UK

    Consultancy firm EY's report noted that as many as 24 financial services firms have said they will transfer assets out of the UK amid uncertainty about the nature of the City of London’s continued access to the EU.

    For now, London still accounts most of US banks’ assets in Europe.

  • Hana Carter

    WHAT WILL CHANGE ON JANUARY 1 2021?

    While some aspects of the UK and EU's relationship are still up in their air, here are some things that will change when we welcome in the new year.

    • European trips will need more planning
    • Duty-free shopping will return
    • There will be new rules for EU citizens living in the UK
    • There'll be a new immigration system
    • Trade will be different, inside and outside the UK
    • You'll stand in a different queue at border controls

    MICHAEL GOVE HITS OUT AT BBC

    Michael Gove has hit out over those criticising the government's Brexit strategy.

    During at the Blue Collar Conservatism conference, Mr Gove said the government was acting in the nation's best interests.

    He said while the “BBC commentating” and “SW1 bubble” were criticising the UK's handling of Brexit negotiations, the public were in support of the government.

    Mr Gove said: “I think there was a lot of confusion here.

    “One of the things about this is the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and the Government was perfectly clear that we were prepared to be criticised to by everyone in order to safeguard the UK and to deliver Brexit.

    “The BBC commentating, taking classes, the SW1 bubble, people here in Westminster were all criticising the Prime Minister.”

    SNP MP TRAVELLED TO LONDON DESPITE POSITIVE COVID TEST

    SNP MP Margaret Ferrier has admitted to making a return trip to London with coronavirus.

    She said that despite the positive test, she travelled to Westminster on Monday because she was feeling “much better”.

    Ferrier, the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, said there was “no excuse for my actions”.

    This comes as MPs argue over the safety of working in Parliament – particularly with older and higher-risk politicians in the chamber.

    FARMER KEPT CYANIDE TO KILL REMAINERS

    A farmer 'angry over Brexit' kept cyanide in the fridge to 'kill Remainers' a court heard.

    Russell Wadge denied he was plotting a terror attack, instead insisting he was just “interested” in chemicals.

    The 58 year old denies 28 counts of possessing explosives and chemical weapons at his farm in Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire.

    It was alleged that Wadge had planned to use chemicals for “non-peaceful purposes” and owned several books with titles such as “How Terrorists Kill”.

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