Brexit news latest – Boris crunch no-deal call TODAY at 4pm with Von Der Leyen amid claims he's ready to quit talks
7th December 2020

BORIS Johnson is ready to pull out of talks 'within hours' over EU demands.

Today he will tell the EU he is not for turning as he vows to stand firm against 11th-hour Brexit demands from France. 

But No 10 said the PM will call time if the EU refuses to budge from their “outrageous” demands.

Mr Johnson could then announce Britain is pushing ahead with a No Deal that means a clean break from Brussels. 

He could address the nation to that effect as early as tomorrow evening. 

After four years, five months and 14 days of negotiations, a source close to the PM said: “It really is end game stuff now. If by close of play Monday there is no movement there’ll at least be a question about whether it’s worth carrying on. 

"We’re not going to give in to EU demands preventing us taking back control of the rules Britons live under. It’s as simple as that.” 

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

  • Joseph Gamp

    BREXIT: THE ORIGINAL 6 MONTH TIMELINE

    Below is a simplified timeline showing how Britain would have originally approach trade talks during the transition period.

    However, as we all know, there have been many divergences and stalled talks, with both sides locking horns over issues such as fisheries and law enforcement.

    Currently, Lord Frost in in Brussels to kickstart talks with Michel Barnier, in what is considered 'the final roll of the dice'.

    Michael Gove is also in Brussels to talks through elements of the Withdrawal Agreement, including the issue of the Irish border and goods into Northern Ireland.

    And Boris Johnson is set to speak to Ursula von der Leyen in a crunch phone call this afternoon at 4pm.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BARNIER CLAIMS UK IS ATTEMPTING TO ‘NATIONALISE’ EU FISHING BOATS – SOURCES

    Diplomats in Brussels are up in arms, claiming Britain is attempting to “nationalise” EU fishing boats with Sunday night's “last minute” fisheries demand.

    The Telegraph reports how UK negotiators told the European Commission that only fishing boats that were majority owned by UK companies could benefit from increased quota after the end of the transition period, if a deal is reached.

    EU Negotiator Michel Barnier told EU ambassadors about the demand at a meeting in Brussels ahead of Boris Johnson's scheduled call with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen later today.

    “It caused quite a stir among the ambassadors, especially the Dutch and Spanish,” one source said.

    Mr Barnier told EU ambassadors that he “could not guarantee” a trade deal before the Thursday’s summit of EU leaders in Brussels – and added he was “neither optimistic nor pessimistic” about a No Deal conclusion to the talks.

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOWNING STREET: GOVERNMENT ‘HAS BEEN CLEAR’ THAT UK WILL LEAVE ON AUSTRALIAN TERMS FREE TRADE DEAL IS NOT REACHED

    The UK would not leave the post-Brexit transition period with a series of mini-deals if a free trade deal (FTA) is not brokered, Downing Street said this afternoon.

    Boris Johnson's official spokesman ruled out negotiations continuing into the new year if talks fail before December 31.

    The spokesman said: "I think we've been clear that if we can't reach an FTA we will leave on Australian terms."

    He also said: "Australia terms would mean the UK trades with the EU under WTO terms based on the principles of free trade."

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK RULES OUT MORE BREXIT TALKS NEXT YEAR – DOWNING STREET

    Britain rejects any extension of a Brexit transition period or further talks past this year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said Monday as negotiations in Brussels went down to the wire.

    "We are prepared to negotiate for as long as we have time available, if we think an agreement is still possible," the spokesman told reporters. But on the possibility of talks continuing next year, he added: "I can rule that out."

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOWNING STREET: FISHING POLICY REMAINS A KEY ISSUE IN CRUNCH TALKS

    Downing Street has said fishing policy remains an issue under negotiation with Brussels in post-Brexit trade deal talks.

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Significant differences remain on critical issues, fisheries being one of them, and that is one of the issues that is currently being negotiated by the team in Brussels today."

    Asked about EU negotiator Michel Barnier reportedly saying no progress was made on Sunday, the spokesman said: "Our negotiations are ongoing but we remain committed to trying to reach an FTA, and that is what our team is there trying to achieve today, but we are clearly in the final stages now."

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOWNING STREET CONFIRMS FOOD PRICES WILL RISE IF UK LEAVES WITHOUT A DEAL

    Downing Street has accepted that food prices will rise if the UK leaves the post-Brexit transition period without a trade deal in place.

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman referred reporters to Environment Secretary George Eustice saying there would be a less than 2% rise on some products as a result of tariffs, but could be higher on products such as beef and pork.

    The spokesman added: "The other point I would make … The big drivers of food prices are exchange rates and also other factors, such as fuel costs and weather events, that can have an impact on food availability."

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK RULES OUT MORE BREXIT TALKS NEXT YEAR – DOWNING STREET

    Britain rejects any extension of a Brexit transition period or further talks past this year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said Monday as negotiations in Brussels went down to the wire.

    "We are prepared to negotiate for as long as we have time available, if we think an agreement is still possible," the spokesman told reporters.

    But on the possibility of talks continuing next year, he added: "I can rule that out."

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOWNING STREET IS PREPARED TO NEGOTIATE FOR ‘AS LONG AS WE HAVE TIME AVAILABLE’

    Downing Street has said it is prepared to negotiate for "as long as we have time available" after the EU chief negotiator reportedly told MEPs the deadline for talks succeeding is Wednesday.

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Time is obviously in very short supply and we're in the final stages, but we're prepared to negotiate for as long as we have time available if we think an agreement is still possible."

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: PIERS AND SUSANNA CLASH WITH JAMES CLEVERLY OVER LEAKED NO DEAL WROST CASE SCENARIO DOCUMENTS

    Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid clash with minister James Cleverly over leaking of No Deal Brexit worst case scenario document

     

  • Joseph Gamp

    IRISH TAOISEACH: A 'SIGNIFICANT FAILURE' IF NO BREXIT DEAL IS AGREED

    Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin said it would be a "significant failure" if no Brexit deal was agreed.

    He said: "Overall, I think it is in the best interests of all concerned that a proper trade deal is agreed.

    "Our respective economies would suffer, unnecessarily in my view, in the event of a no-deal.

    "A deal can be arrived at. It would be a significant failure if we were to end up with no deal."

    He told media in Co Cork just days remained to clinch an accord as they move towards the end of the year.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON TO HOLD CALL WITH EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT AT 4PM UK TIME

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen are scheduled to discuss post-Brexit trade negotiations at 4pm UK-time (5pm in Brussels).

    In Brussels, commission spokesman Eric Mamer tweeted: "Update to President @vonderleyen agenda for this afternoon: Phone call at 5pm with UK Prime Minister @BorisJohnson on EUGB talks."

  • Joseph Gamp

    LABOUR MP SAYS IT WOULD BE 'AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE' IF BREXIT TALKS AFFECTED DELIVERY OF COVID VACCINES

    A Labour MP says it would be "an absolute disgrace" if Brexit talks affected the transport of Covid vaccines into the UK.

    Jonathan Reynolds, shadow work and pensions secretary, said."The issue here is on how smooth the ports will be flowing after the deadline expires,"

    "Even if there is a deal, there is going to be more bureaucracy at the ports. If you put in the confusion about no deal – that starts to be very worrying.”

    But he echoed James Cleverly's comments this morning, stressing there was "huge common interest" with the EU to make sure vaccines arrive in the UK from Europe.

    "They should be able to deliver it," he said. "Anything that puts that at risk will be an absolute disgrace."

  • Joseph Gamp

    EU OFFICIAL SAYS BREXIT TALKS ARE 'NOT LOOKING GOOD' – AND 'UK MUST COMPROMISE'

    Post-Brexit trade talks are not looking good unless Britain understands the need to compromise on the three key outstanding issues, EU Financial Services Commissioner Mairead McGuinness said on Monday.

    "No, it's not looking good and the reason it's not looking good is that the UK are failing to understand the significance of the three outstanding issues and the need for the UK to compromise," McGuinness, Ireland's representative on the European Union's executive, told Irish broadcaster RTE.

    "I would hope that in that meeting (later on Monday between UK and EU leaders), there will be a report from the negotiators of some progress.

    "Any progress would be a positive move on any of the three issues to allow us then to go on to tomorrow."

  • Joseph Gamp

    BREXIT NEGOTIATORS AT 'MAKE IT OR BREAK IT MOMENT'

    An anonymous source said: "Barnier and Frost negotiated intensively… and made some progress but not quite managed to bridge differences. There has been no decisive progress though some progress has been made."

    According to The Telegraph, the unnamed source said "robust and enforceable cooperation on state aid non-regression clause" and "stable access to UK waters" for EU fishing vessels were the outstanding issues.

    "We are at the make-it-or-break-it moment," they said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: BRITS COULD BE BARRED FROM ENTERING EU FROM JAN 1 UNLESS THEY RENEW PASSPORTS

    Brexit travel rules: Brits could be barred from entering EU countries from January 1 unless they renew passports

  • Joseph Gamp

    IN PICTURES: BARNIER BRIEFS EU AMBASSADORS IN EARLY MORNING CRISIS MEETING

    Crisis briefing was held in Brussels ahead of resumed crunch talks on MondayCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Sources say Barnier cut a gloomy figure during this morning's meetingCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Barnier speaks with France's ambassador to European Union Philippe Leglise-CostaCredit: Getty Images – Getty

     

  • Joseph Gamp

    ENFORCEMENT, FISHING AND FAIR TRADE REMAIN STICKING POINTS IN TRADE TALKS, SAYS DIPLOMAT

    Negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal between Britain and the European Union are still blocked over fishing rights, rules for fair trade and an enforcement mechanism, European diplomats said Monday.

    But talks will continue despite the tight timetable for the European Parliament to ratify an accord before the UK leaves the single market on December 31, with one source stressing that "substance will take precedence over the calendar."

  • Joseph Gamp

    LABOUR SHADOW CABINET MINISTER TO ASK 'URGENT QUESTION' ON BREXIT TALKS THIS AFTERNOON

    Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves had been granted an urgent question in the Commons on Monday afternoon about the post-Brexit trade negotiations.

    She will ask about the progress and preparations for the end of the transition period.

    Her question is directed at opposite number Michael Gove, but the Government may choose to send another minister in his place.

  • Joseph Gamp

    LUXMEBOURG FOREIGN MINISTER INSISTS DEAL ON OFFER TO PM IS 'FAIR'

    Luxembourg's foreign minister said the deal on offer to Boris Johnson is "fair" and "very ambitious".

    Arriving at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers, Jean Asselborn said: "Boris Johnson said as foreign minister and also as prime minister that the UK will leave the European Union, but not Europe."

    Failure in the negotiations would mean that "de facto UK would leave Europe because it would be the only country in Europe without a trade agreement".

    "Therefore, this proposition on the table is fair, very ambitious, without custom tariffs and without quotas," he said.

    "So I hope that Boris Johnson is doing what he promised."

  • Joseph Gamp

    MICHEL BARNIER GIVES 'GLOOMY' ASSESSMENT OF POST-BREXIT TRADE DEAL PROGRESS

    Michel Barnier is said to have given a "downbeat" and "gloomy" assessment of progress in reaching a post-Brexit trade deal between the European Union and UK following a weekend of tense talks.

    The EU's chief negotiator updated ambassadors from the 27 member states on the state of play on Monday morning ahead of a resumption of discussions in Brussels with his UK counterpart, Lord Frost.

    Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney told RTE news: "Having heard from Michel Barnier this morning, really the news is very downbeat. I would say he is very gloomy, and obviously very cautious about the ability to make progress today.

    "There was news last night on some media sources that there was a breakthrough on fishing. That is absolutely not the case from what we're hearing this morning."

    Mr Coveney said there was "no progress made" on Sunday and that the negotiations "seem stalled" with barriers to progress "very much in place".

  • Joseph Gamp

    TED BAKER CHIEF EXEC SAYS LOSSES WILL CONTINUE IN EVENT OF NO DEAL BREXIT

    Ted Baker said on Monday its half-year losses ballooned as coronavirus-led lockdowns dented retail sales.

    The company also warned of more pain from a no-deal Brexit as the European Union divorce deadline loomed.

    The coronavirus crisis compounded difficulties for the company, which had been hit by profit warnings, management changes and an accounting scandal since founder Ray Kelvin stepped down as CEO in 2019 after misconduct allegations, which he denies.

    Its three-year turnaround plan would deliver 31 million pounds in annual savings, up from the 27 million pounds it targeted earlier, Ted Baker said on Monday.

    Chief Executive Officer Rachel Osborne said: "Even with some of our legacy issues being amplified by COVID-19, our balance sheet is materially stronger than we had envisaged this early in the plan and operational cash flow will be positive for the full-year."

  • Joseph Gamp

    PLANS IN PLACE IN CASE OF MEDICINE SHORTAGES FROM NO-DEAL BREXIT, SAYS SNP MINISTER

    An alert system has been set up in case a no-deal Brexit causes shortages in medicine supply, Constitution Secretary Michael Russell has said.

    Talks with health boards are ongoing to make sure they are prepared for any disruption, he added.

    Mr Russell also said it was "inconceivable" that the SNP would vote for any Bexit deal in the House of Commons, despite saying the UK Government should come to an arrangement with the EU for the future beyond the transition period.

    Speaking on the BBC's Good Morning Scotland, the Constitution Secretary said the Scottish Government was discussing its no-deal planning for a third time.

    He said: "We have put in place something called medicine supply alert notices which will flag up if there are any shortages coming down the track, and we'll be able to address those. We're working with the health boards and others on resilience and indeed there is another event this week."

  • Joseph Gamp

    MICHEL BARNIER 'RATHER DOWNBEAT' THIS MORNING, SAYS EU SOURCE

    The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier was "rather downbeat" about the prospects of sealing a new trade deal with Britain in a briefing for the bloc's national ambassadors in Brussels on Monday, a senior EU diplomat said.

    The diplomat, who was at the briefing, said Barnier told the envoys that differences between the EU and London persisted on the three main issues that have long divided them.

    The official also said the ball was "now in British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's court".

  • Joseph Gamp

    BREXIT DEAL IS 'NEARLY THERE' – BUT MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE IN THE REMAINING TIMEFRAME

    In another interview this morning, this time with BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, James Cleverly insisted a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU is "nearly there".

    But he added negotiators may not be successful in securing a deal in time.

    He said: "The vast majority of the elements of this agreement have been resolved and we're now hanging on a small number of important areas where we don't have agreement.

    "We're nearly there but we are not quite there yet. And it may well be that we will not be able to resolve this in the timescale we've got, but we're nearly there."

  • Joseph Gamp

    EU COMMISSION VP SAYS BLOC 'WORKING HARD' AHEAD OF GOVE MEETING

    European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said he would be meeting with the Cabinet Office minister to discuss the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement.

    He tweeted: "I will meet @michaelgove today in Brussels to discuss the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland.

    "We are working hard to make sure it is fully operational as of 1 January 2021."

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