Brexit latest: Boris Johnson puts chance of deal at 30% – and problem is NOT fish quotas | Politics | News


The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has warned British counterpart David Frost a deal must be agreed by the end of October to be ratified by the European Parliament in time for the end of the transition period on December 31. If no deal is agreed, London and Brussels will fall back to trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms – adding potentially huge tariffs to a range of exports, including fish. But the UK’s desire to use state aid to bulk up its technology sector means the Boris Johnson’s top team are unwilling to budge in negotiations on this crucial red line, which continues to be a major stumbling block in trade talks.

James Forsyth, the political editor of The Spectator, wrote in a column for The Times: “The chances of a Brexit deal have receded significantly over the summer.

“Inside No 10, they now think there is only a 30 to 40 percent chance that there will be an agreement.

“The sticking point isn’t fish — I’m told that there is a “deal to be done” there — but state aid, the question of how much freedom Britain should have to subsidise companies and industries.”

The Prime Minister does not want to agree to any new state aid rules with the EU that would prevent the Government from actively investing in the technologies of the future – a plan that puts him on a direct collision course with Brussels.

brexit uk eu trade deal

Brexit latest: Boris Johnson’s top officials only think there is a 30-40 percent chance of a deal (Image: GETTY)

Mr Barnier has repeatedly warned he will not agree to any deal until the UK details an acceptable state aid regime that would not allow its own firms a competitive advantage over their EU counterparts.

Fishing also continues to be a huge sticking point in trade talks, with Britain wanting the percentage of quotas reserved for UK vessels in its waters doubled from 25 percent to more than 50 percent.

FOLLOW EXPRESS.CO.UK FOR LIVE UPDATES:

brexit fishing

Brexit latest: Boris Johnson as vowed to protect UK fishermen in any deal with the EU (Image: GETTY)

11.18pm update: Tory MP ‘hugely surprised’ as council leader blasts plans for post-Brexit lorry park

A Conservative MP has expressed surprise after the leader of the Labour-run Warrington Council criticised the government’s plans for a new post-Brexit lorry park in the area.

Council Leader Russ Bowden said the government’s decision had been “imposed on us without any consultation” and blasted what he called “centralised decision-making”.

He added: “Decisions of this magnitude should be made locally, not through a national, centralised approach.”

But Andy Carter, Tory MP for Warrington South, argued the lorry park, which is due to be built on an industrial estate in Appleton Thorn, would create jobs.

According to the Warrington Guardian, Mr Carter said: “I’m hugely surprised to hear the leader of the council arguing against bringing much-needed jobs into the town, while at the same time ripping up huge swathes of the green belt.”

Edward Browne takes over live reporting from Emily Ferguson

Lorry queue

A lorry queue near Kent in 2015 (Image: Jack Taylor / AFP / Getty)

9.52pm update: Boris urged NOT to accept same fishing policy in EU trade talks – ‘Not in a million years’

Brexit trade talks with the EU remain at a deadlock, despite having just weeks left to secure a deal ahead of the end of the transition period on December 31.

The two sides are unable to agree on several key points, including fishing rights.

The EU want a deal done by October so that it can be ratified before the transition period runs out.

But Boris Johnson has been urged not to compromise on fishing to push through a deal.

An Express.co.uk poll, carried out from 11am-9pm on September 4, asked: “Should UK accept the same EU fishing policy for a Brexit trade deal?”

The vast majority of the 12,568 respondents voted yes.

Ninety-seven percent of readers (12,179 people) voted “no”, with just three percent (355 people) saying “yes”.

Less than one percent (34 people) opted for “don’t know”.

9pm update: Cost is NOT an issue’ Ex-MEP exposes EU’s shocking wastefulness

The European Union has no concept of financial discipline, is woefully out of touch and has accrued all of its power through “guile and deceit”, a former Brexit Party MEP has said.

Rupert Lowe also offered candid assessments of high-profile figures Guy Verhofstadt and Michel Barnier – while warning fellow Europeans Brussels was hell-bent on gaining control of every aspect of their lives.

Mr Lowe, who served as MEP for the West Midlands Region after being elected in May of last year, opened his lid on his time at the European Parliament, which he said was both an “interesting place” and deeply flawed as an institution.

He told Express.co.uk: “It’s the only place I have ever worked where how much something cost was not an issue.”

7.48pm update: Labour responds to Tony Abbott’s appointment

Shadow international trade secretary Emily Thornberry said: “There are two factors that should have immediately disqualified Tony Abbott from this role.

“First, his history of offensive statements is so long and repetitive that it speaks to serious defects in his character, which is not one I think should be representing Britain on the world stage.

“And second, the fact that he has no experience of detailed trade negotiations, no understanding of Brexit, no belief in climate change, no concern for workers’ rights, and no compunction about killing off Australia’s car industry mean, to my mind, that he has no credentials for this role.

“Tony Abbott is therefore the wrong appointment on every level, which begs the more important question of why on earth Boris Johnson and Liz Truss have given him the job.

“However, with this shambolic excuse for a Government, we may continue to be appalled and disappointed at their serial incompetence, but we should never any longer be surprised.”

brexit boris johnson

Brexit news: Boris Johnson has been tipped to make a late intervention during trade talks with the EU (Image: GETTY)

6.30pm update: Tony Abbott appointed to UK’s board of trade

Tony Abbott, the former Prime Minister of Australia, has been appointed as a trade envoy, representing the UK in trade talks around the world.

Critics raised numerous concerns over allegations against the 62-year-old, including his climate change scepticism and belief that coronavirus restrictions should be lifted.

Mr Abbott has previously said he felt “a bit threatened” by homosexuality and was accused of misogyny by fellow former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended him on Friday, heralding his status as a former leader of “freedom-loving” and “liberal” Australia.

5pm update: Lib Dems ditch policy to re-join Europe

Sir Ed Davey, the newly elected leader of the Lib Dems, has said his party is no longer arguing to re-join Europe, instead it wants Britain to be close to the EU.

He said: “We’ve got to stop no-deal because no-deal would be a disaster and no-deal was not on offer at the referendum, people said there would be a deal.

“We also think we should be as close to our European friends as possible.

“Covid is causing a huge economic crisis and, if you put a very hard Brexit on that, which the Government look like they want to do, that’s going to make our economic problems even worse.

“So we are not arguing to turn back the clock.”

4.08pm update: Sterling continues to fall as no deal Brexit fears mount

The Sterling fell against the dollar for the third day in a row on Friday, retreating from its recent highs, as the dollar strengthened and Brexit risks weighed on the pound.

Pressure has also come from Brexit-related uncertainty and warnings from the Bank of England that the economic fallout from the coronavirus could be worse than expected.

The pound is down around 1.3 percent this week – its biggest weekly fall since June.

Versus the euro, the pound was down around 0.3 percent at 89.51 pence per euro at 1443 GMT.

brexit david frost michel barnier

Brexit news: The trade talks between the UK and EU remain deadlocked (Image: GETTY)

3.10pm update: No deal Brexit fears rise as talks stumble on state aid

The chances of Britain leaving the EU without a trade deal have risen sharply as negotiations have been threatened by London’s insistence that it have full autonomy over its state aid plans, negotiators and diplomats said.

One senior EU diplomat said: “The chances for a deal, or a no-deal, are 50/50.

“There has been absolutely no movement from the British side in the talks.

“If this approach doesn’t change quickly, we won’t be able to negotiate a deal in time.”

Emily Ferguson has taken over live reporting from Paul Withers

1.38pm update: Bring out the big guns! Boris Johnson can SAVE doomed EU Brexit deal at last minute

Boris Johnson can make a last-minute intervention to save doomed post-Brexit trade talks with the EU, one political expert has insisted, but warned “political actors” will have to get themselves involved quickly to avoid a disastrous no-deal outcome.

The Prime Minister’s direct involvement in post-Brexit trade talks with the EU has been minimal, leaving lead negotiator David Frost to head up the negotiating strategy.

But Best for Britain, which launched in April 2017 to stop Brexit and continue the UK’s membership of the EU, has warned “controversial decisions” must now be taken at a political rather than negotiator level.

The campaign group’s CEO Naomi Smith believes significant progress could be made on several crucial red lines once “political actors” involve themselves, but warned this must happen quickly as the clock ticks down to a no-deal Brexit.

1.25pm update: European Council President warns UK to ‘clarify what they want’ in trade talks

Charles Michel has urged Britain to provide more clarity on its plans for state aid in order to unlock some progress in the deadlocked trade negotiations with the EU.

Speaking to Reuters and five other European news agencies, he said: “Sooner or later, the UK should clarify what they want. It’s not possible to leave the European club and at the same time keep all the benefits.”

“The UK should clarify its position. For us, the level-playing field is key and essential.

“It’s impossible that they diverge and there are no consequences, for example on tariffs.”

brexit nigel farage

Brexit latest: Nigel Farage has warned Michel Barnier to accept the UK’s fishing demands (Image: GETTY)

1.10pm update: No trade deal fears rise as talks remained deadlocked on state aid

The prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a trade deal have significantly increased because of London’s insistence on having full autonomy over its state aid plans, negotiators and diplomats said.

One senior EU diplomat said: “The chances for a deal, or a no-deal, are 50/50.

“There has been absolutely no movement from the British side in the talks.

“It this approach doesn’t change quickly, we won’t be able to negotiate a deal in time.”

Michel Barnier has told UK counterpart David Frost that Britain must move on state aid, or there will not be an agreement, according to EU diplomats.

But he has said London has not shown enough flexibility and creativity on fair competition, fisheries and solving disputes in order to seal a deal on new trade ties.

A second European diplomat said: “The feedback after Barnier’s talks with Frost in London on Sunday was negative, there has been no breakthrough,” said a second European diplomat.

“The Commission now worries the next negotiating round will end up with nothing,” the diplomat said. “If the UK doesn’t move a bit on the state aid thing, we have a problem.”

1pm update: We need to see more realism from the EU in trade talks – Downing Street

The UK has warned the EU to be more realistic in its approach to post-Brexit trade talks, but declined to comment on a report Boris Johnson’s office sees the chances of a deal at 30-40 percent.

When asked about the report in The Times, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “I’m not going to get drawn into percentages.

“Our goal remains to reach an agreement, and we’ll continue to work hard to do that, but we’ve been clear there is lots of work still to be done.

“We need more realism from the EU, and them to show they understand the fundamentals of our position as an independent country.”

12pm update: France puts foot down as MEP predicts Brexit plan will destroy THIRD of EU’s fishing fleet

The European Union is willing to only accept “minor changes” to the opportunities for British fishermen in a move that could scupper Brexit talks.

Michel Barnier has refused to consider Boris Johnson’s proposals because they hand UK boats a sizable boost. #

The European Union’s chief negotiator has complained this could put a third of the bloc’s fishing fleet out of business.

David Frost, the Prime Minister’s Brexit envoy, has tabled plans that would double the amount British fishermen can catch in the UK’s coastal waters.

But the plans have been branded “unrealistic” by influential European policymakers, who have ordered Mr Barnier to stand firm on the bloc’s fisheries demands.

brexit michael gove

Brexit latest: Haulage firms are asking for an ‘urgent’ meeting with Cabinet ministers, including Michael Gove (Image: GETTY)

10.48am update: Farage quickly corrected over fishing tweet by own Brexit Party MEP

Brexit Party Member of the European Parliament Ben Habib replied to Mr Farage: “Nigel by definition it isn’t annually reviewable, otherwise it would be a meaningless offer.

“Boris is seeking to sign up a long term fishing quota system in breach of manifesto pledges.”

10.25am update: Germany ready to prop up EU fishermen with £4.5bn Brexit fund

A senior German politician urged EU chiefs to prepare for European fishing vessels to be barred from UK waters.

Julia Klockner, the agriculture minister in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, predicted that EU negotiators will continue to demand unchanged access to UK waters.

Ms Klockner said the industry could be propped up by a £4.5billion reserve fund for the “fallout of a no-deal Brexit”.

She told the European Parliament’s fisheries committee: “We need to defend the interest of our fisheries industry and our processing industry in the EU.

“Our fishermen and women need access rights to the UK’s territorial waters and need fishing opportunities.

“I certainly hope that a timely agreement is possible. But, of course, we need to prepare for all scenarios, including a no-deal scenario.”

10.10am update: Farage warns Barnier to bow to Boris fishing demands or no deal will be ‘only acceptable outcome’

Fishing has proved to be a huge sticking point in trade talks, with Britain wanting the percentage of quotas reserved for UK vessels in its waters doubled from 25 percent to more than 50 percent.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage tweeted: “Boris has made a very generous fisheries offer, hopefully subject to annual changes.

“For 40 years the EU fleet has been able to take advantage of us.

“If Barnier rejects this then No Deal will be the only acceptable outcome.”

9.21am update: UK ‘absolutely confident’ will keep supply chains moving after Brexit

Britian is “absolutely confident” it will be able to keep supply chains moving after Brexit, regaredles of the outcome of negotiations with the European Union on a future trade agreement.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was responding to a warning from Britain’s customs and logistics associations the country’s Brexit border preparations were inadequate and risk causing disruption to supply chains next year.

He said the UK’s supply chains had been under intense pressure during the coronavirus pandemic, but had ultimately responded well.

He told BBC radio: “We’ve kept the supply chains going and I’m absolutely confident we’ll do that again in the future going forward.”

9.08am update: Haulage firms demand ‘urgent’ meeting with Government over concerns around Brexit border plans

Haulage bosses want an “urgen” meeting with Cabinet ministers over fears there are “significant gaps” in the UK’s Brexit border preparations.

Eight logistics firms have written to Michael Gove to highlight fears the UK-EU supply chain “will be severely disrupted” next year if issues are not resolved before Brexit.

The group wants a roundtable meeting with the Cabinet Office minister, as well as with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to discuss areas including IT systems and physical border infrastructure.

The letter states: “As key participants in the supply chain who will be required to deliver a functional operating border for GB and EU traders next year, we have visibility of the current state of preparedness which as it stands has significant gaps.

“If these issues are not addressed disruption to UK business and the supply chain that we all rely so heavily on will be severely disrupted.”

The letter adds: “The Covid pandemic has demonstrated to both Government and the general public the importance of a free-flowing supply chain, and with transition occurring at the same time as a potential second Covid spike it is critical we ensure the supply chain is protected.

“We are asking you to take seriously our concerns and listen to the detail during this roundtable so that we can collectively help Government manage through this enormous challenge with as little disruption as possible.

“Our aim, like yours, is to have a functional and effective border that allows goods to flow from January 1 2021.”

ursula von der leyen eu news

Ursula von der Leyen addresses a press conference following the resignation of EU trade commissioner (Image: Getty)

8.47am update: Government secrecy hindered plans for leaving EU – report

Secrecy around the UK Government’s Brexit negotiating objectives impacted on plans for the country’s departure from the EU, according to a new report.

A study from the National Audit Office has examined the lessons learned from the Government’s attempts to prepare the UK following the 2016 referendum.

The 23-page The Learning For Government From EU Exit Preparations report said secrecy maintained by the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu), which was disbanded after the UK left the EU on January 31 and entered into an 11-month transition period, did not aid cross-Government working.

The NAO said: “Dexeu kept a tight hold on communications, keeping secret anything which might pertain to the UK’s negotiating position,” the NAO said.

“This instinct for secrecy in government can get in the way of effective coordination, collaboration and a sense of urgency in progressing towards a common goal.”

The report noted that espite extensions to the Article 50 exit period, “many key systems were not expected to be ready for day one of EU exit”.

It also said there was “limited work” before the EU referendum more than four years ago to identify the impact of loosening ties with the EU.

The study also revealed 22,000 civil servants were working on Brexit ahead of the delayed October 31, 2019 deadline.

The report said: “Staff turnover in EU exit roles, and particularly in Dexeu itself, was higher than for the Civil Service in general.

“The problem was particularly acute at more senior grades. In its less than four years in existence, Dexeu had three permanent secretaries.

“Other departments most affected by (the) EU exit have also seen changes at permanent secretary level, including Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and HMRC.”

brexit transition period

Brexit latest: The transition period ends on December 31, 2020 (Image: EXPRESS)

8.25am update: Brexit warning – UK will be forced to make first move in crunch EU talks and compromise

The UK could eventually blink first in the bitter trade talks with the European Union because the Brussels bloc will be able to absorb the devastating impact of a no-deal Brexit much better than Britain.

Tim Bale, Deputy Director at the UK in a Changing Europe think tank and Politics Professor at Queen Mary University of London, warned while both sides will wait for the other to blink as the clock ticks down to a no-deal Brexit, the UK could be forced to make its move first.

He said Britain is not in a position to be able to absorb the impact of a no-deal Brexit like the EU would be able to, due to an immediate shortage in supplies across a number of lucrative sectors and industries.

8.10am update: ‘No deal. No problem!’ Frost urged to ‘stick to his guns’ over fishing

The UK’s chief negotiator David Frost has been urged to stand his ground in trade talks with the EU over fishing, which has proved to be one of the major stumbling blocks in negotiations so far.

Britain wants the percentage of quotas reserved for UK vessels in its waters doubled from 25 percent to more than 50 percent.

Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice tweeted: NO sell out of fishing.

“Our excellent negotiator David Frost must stick to his guns: Covid has taught us that we must make more in Britain & buy more from Britain to create & protect British jobs.

“No deal, No Problem.”

8am update: UK sees only 30-40 percent chance of deal with EU – report

Senior UK officials in Boris Johnson’s office see only a 30-40 percent chance there will be a trade deal with the EU due to the continued deadlock over state aid rules.

Britain’s desire to use state aid to bulk up its technology sector means the Prime minister’s top officials are unwilling to budge in negotiations on state aid.

James Forsyth, political editor of The Spectator, wrote in a column for The Times: “The chances of a Brexit deal have receded significantly over the summer.

“Inside No 10, they now think there is only a 30 to 40 percent chance that there will be an agreement.

“The sticking point isn’t fish — I’m told that there is a “deal to be done” there — but state aid, the question of how much freedom Britain should have to subsidise companies and industries.”





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: