Brexit news live – EU & UK edge closer to trade deal but clash over fishing and fair competition

5 days ago 3

BIG DEAL

Live Blog

21 Nov 2020, 23:47Updated: 21 Nov 2020, 23:47

BRITAIN and the EU are close to an agreement but are still at odds over fishing rights, guarantees of fair competition and ways to solve future disputes, an EU official has said.

"We are both close and far away," a senior European Union diplomat said after ambassadors were briefed on Friday by an EU negotiator.

"It seems that we are very close to agreement on most issues but differences on the three contentious issues persist."

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

BIDEN TO PUT UK AT THE 'BACK OF THE QUEUE'

US President-elect Joe Biden will put the UK at the “back of the queue” in any trade talks, an expert has claimed.

Professor of International Relations at London Metropolitan University, Dr Andrew Moran told Express.co.uk: “The situation has now changed and Britain may well find itself at the ‘back of the queue’ as President Obama famously said, as Biden’s priority will most likely be to focus on rebuilding America’s relationship with the 27 states of the European Union – a relationship that has been badly damaged by Trump.

“A stark reality for Johnson is that the Biden Administration will have other priorities in its first 100 days, not least tackling an increasingly out of control pandemic, rebuilding the economy, and dealing with any problems Trump may choose to create on his way out the door.”

NO DEAL BETTER THAN A BAD DEAL – IAN DUNCAN SMITH

Ian Duncan Smith has said a no deal Brexit is better than a bad deal with the EU.

The former Conservative leader, writing in The Sun, said people were fed up of this never-ending process and could be forgiven for wanting any agreement to get it over with, once and for all.

But he added the country must not buckle now and instead hold our nerve.

He called the demands being made by the EU as “unacceptable.

Read more here.

SUNAK: BETTER TO WALK AWAY FROM BAD DEAL

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has warned it is better to walk away from a bad trade deal with the EU than tie Britain's hands in the future.

He told The Sunday Times: “The major impact on our economy is the coronavirus. It's absolutely not (a question of doing) a deal at any price.

“If we don't get a deal, why is that? It is because they are refusing to compromise on what are some completely reasonable and very transparent principles that we've laid out from the beginning. We are not asking for … super-special treatment.”

The two sides have been locked in talks for months and, while officials say they have made progress in the last few days, a substantial amount still needs to be done for an agreement to be in place and ratified by the year-end deadline.

BRITAIN PAYS £1BN BREXIT DAY BILL

Britain has paid the £1billion bill it was given by Brussels on Brexit Day during trade negotiations.

The European Commission handed the bill to the government demanding £1.09bn on top of its Budget payments to Brussels on January 31, The Daily Telegraph has revealed.

Tory backbenchers had wanted the payment of the Brexit Day bill to be conditional on the successful conclusion of trade negotiations. 

But the invoice was quietly paid in full in the summer, removing a potential obstacle to a deal, after UK-EU trade talks began in March.

GLOBAL BRITAIN

The UK and Canada have reached a “fantastic” post-Brexit trade deal under the same terms as the current EU agreement.

Downing Street said the deal paves the way for negotiations to begin next year on a new “bespoke” agreement with “friend and ally” Canada.

That tailor-made deal could involve removing tariffs on imported goods such as maple syrup.

Boris Johnson and Canadian leader Justin Trudeau sealed the “agreement in principle” in a video call today, the Department for International Trade (DIT) said.

The agreement does not give any new benefits to businesses but rolls over the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement reached by the EU and Canada after seven years of negotiations.

Read more HERE

SNP: 'PM SHOULD APOLOGISE FOR LITANY OF TOXIC TORY POLICIES, FROM AUSTERITY TO A DISASTROUS BREXIT'

The deputy leader of the SNP has called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to apologise for a “litany of toxic policies” from austerity to a disastrous Brexit.

The PM, who was addressing the Scottish Tory conference, warned the SNP that the UK and Scottish governments need to work together amid Johnson's alleged comments that devolution was a “disaster” north of the border.

SNP deputy leader Keith Brown said: “This was a nothing speech that demonstrates exactly how much thought and consideration the Prime Minister really gives to Scotland.

“Zero effort, zero consideration, zero thought, just 10 minutes of hollow nothingness beyond more weasel words of deflection from his blunder in revealing he thinks devolution has been a disaster.

“Instead he should have apologised for insulting the democratic choice of the people of Scotland and for the litany of toxic Tory policies, from austerity to a disastrous Brexit in the midst of a devastating pandemic.”

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY URGES GOVERNMENT NOT TO CUT OVERSEAS AID BUDGET

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has warned the Government not to slash the overseas aid budget in an effort to recover the nation's finances from the coronavirus crisis.

He joined former prime ministers David Cameron and Tony Blair in urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak not to cut the budget in his spending review on Wednesday.

In a significant intervention, Mr Welby told the Observer: “I've seen the good done by UK aid around the world

“Our generosity and strategic input has genuinely changed lives and communities for the better. In his teaching, Jesus tells us we mustn't limit our concept of neighbour simply to those close by to us. We need to heed that message in the tough times as well as the good.

“A global recovery from the economic consequences of the pandemic requires a global response. Keeping our aid commitment is a strong signal that the UK is a reliable partner for long-term economic, social, environmental and educational advancement across the globe.”

TRANSPARENT PRINCIPLES

Rishi Sunak told the Sunday Times that he hoped Britain and the European Union would secure an agreement.

“Every day I am reviewing bits of text, so there is genuine progress,” he said. “Certainly, it would be preferable to have a deal.”

But he added: “The major impact on our economy is the coronavirus. It's absolutely not (a question of doing) a deal at any price.

“If we don't get a deal, why is that? It is because they are refusing to compromise on what are some completely reasonable and very transparent principles that we've laid out from the beginning. We are not asking for … super-special treatment.”

MORE DEALS NEEDED

British Chambers of Commerce director general Adam Marshall said the Canda deal “will be warmly welcomed”.

But he warned that similar continuity deals were urgently needed with other key markets to avoid “a damaging cliff edge for both importers and exporters”.

MAKING PROGRESS

Rishi Sunak said there was genuine progress taking place in the Brexit talks and he was hopeful the two sides would agree a deal, he told the Sunday Times newspaper.

The Chancellor also said he hoped that by the spring next year he would be able to start thinking beyond the current needs to support the economy and jobs, and on to how he could return the public finances to a sustainable level.

NEGOTIATIONS PAUSED

Negotiations were suspended this week after a member of the negotiating teams tested positive for Covid-19.

SPENDING REVIEW

Ministers have vowed to move 22,000 civil servants out of London in the next decade, and next week’s Spending Review will outline the first wave.

BREXIT SHOWN AS BLUE MONSTER IN DUTCH AD

The Brexit monster has returned to Dutch screens today as it gears up for Britain to leave the EU at the end of the year.

He wakes up, makes himself an English breakfast and a cuppa, before pulling on his Brexit shirt ready to hit the day.

The advert tagline reads: “Don't let Brexit get in your way.”

More on the story here

DEEPER TRADE AGREEMENT

Confederation of British Industry director-general Josh Hardie said the deal with Canada was “great news for businesses”.

He added it can “lay the foundations for an even deeper trade agreement”.

EMILY THORNBERRY WELCOMES CANADA DEAL

Labour's shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry welcomed the “necessary” deal.

“It is now vital that Boris Johnson and Liz Truss show the same urgency in securing the other 14 outstanding continuity agreements with countries like Mexico, Ghana and Singapore, where a total of £60 billion of UK trade is still at risk, and time is beginning to run out,” she added.

GLOBAL COOPERATION

Europe 🇪🇺 and the U.S. 🇺🇸 together possess the power and influence that is “indispensable” to anchor global cooperation in the 21st century. pic.twitter.com/NyOmSVvD2p

— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) November 20, 2020

ANDY BURNHAM CRITICISES THE GOVERNMENT

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said the Government has “no genuine intention” of aiding the North, and called for “much more substantial devolution” to shift power from Westminster.

“I don't believe they have got any genuine intention to level-up the North, and even if they have you can't do it by long-term infrastructure projects alone,” he told the Co-operative Party conference.

“You level-up the North by investing in people, by investing in communities and then building up from there – keeping the wealth in those communities and recycling it for the benefit for everyone.”

'FANTASTIC TRADE AGREEMENT'

FOOD AND DRINK STRATEGY

A plan designed to help Scotland's food and drink sector mitigate the impact of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic has been drawn up by the Scottish Government alongside the industry.

The strategy sets out 50 actions to try and stimulate demand for Scottish produce in key markets and supporting businesses to capitalise on increased demand.

Rural Economy and Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing described the food and drink industry as one of the “true success stories of Scotland's economy”, with record-high exports last year worth an estimated £6.7 billion.

OUTSTANDING ISSUES

The three main outstanding issues – fisheries, state aid rules and governance arrangements – were still to be resolved.

Ms von der Leyen said negotiators were now working from legal texts with “substance where you can go through line by line”.

'BETTER PROGRESS'

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said there had been “better progress” in recent days.

Ms von der Leyen said there are still “quite some metres to the finish”, but that there had been “more movement” on important issues.

JOHNSON URGED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR POST-BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS WITH EU

Boris Johnson must show competence and leadership by taking responsibility for the final days of negotiations to secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, Labour has demanded.

Senior shadow minister Rachel Reeves warned that a failure to secure a treaty would be “a disaster four our country” and a “damning failure of ambition and diplomacy”.

Senior shadow minister Rachel Reeves warned that a failure to secure a treaty would be “a disaster four our country” and a “damning failure of ambition and diplomacy”.

LEGAL CHECKS

The UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement will be subject to final legal checks before it is formally signed.

GLOBAL BRITAIN

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is trying to shape a “global Britain” that can strike out alone and negotiate better agreements than the EU.

So far, his critics point out, the deals have largely been the same.

CERTAINTY FOR JOBS

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “Today's agreement underpins £20 billion worth of trade and locks in certainty for thousands of jobs.

“We look forward to striking a new more ambitious deal next year with the aim of creating more opportunities for businesses and improving the lives of people across the country.”

Read Entire Article