Brexit news latest – Deal could be struck TOMORROW as Barnier declares 'final push' while EU MEPs gloat at border chaos
22nd December 2020

A BREXIT trade deal could be struck as early as tomorrow Michel Barnier hinted as he declared the "final push" to find agreement is on.

Despite Downing Street's insistence that the UK and EU are still "miles apart" the EU's chief negotiator suggested there was a new momentum to the talks and a deal was there to be done.

Speaking before a briefing for member states' ambassadors on the latest in the trade deal negotiations, Mr Barnier told reporters:  “We are really in the crucial moment".

"We are giving it the final push. In ten days the UK will leave the single market  and we continue to work in total transparency  with the member states right now and with the Parliament," he added.

His comments come as gloating Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt tweeted a video of huge lorry queues at Manston Airport with a caption saying the UK “will now start to understand what leaving the EU really means…”

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

  • Shayma Bakht

    Road Haulage Association asks the UK for "clarity"

    Richard Burnett, chief executive of RHA, warned that hauliers need "clarity".

    He accused the government of taking a "high-risk strategy" by not resolving EU market access issues sooner.

    Burnett said: "EU hauliers are saying if there is disruption in the UK we will not come, and we have a supply chain issue there and in terms of getting product in.

    "But then if we've got issues around our ability to go and bring this product back because of market access issues, we have a big problem.

    "So on literally every front at the moment we have no clarity, the clock is ticking, we're almost at the year-end and all of these issues are still unresolved."

  • Shayma Bakht

    EU IS GIVING A "FINAL PUSH" FOR A DEAL, SAYS BARNIER

    EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said today that The EU is giving a "final push" to reach a potential deal on future trading ties with Britain.

    He said: "We are really in a crucial moment. We are giving it a final push," he told reporters before a meeting to brief EU ambassadors in Brussels.

  • Shayma Bakht

    LABOUR WARNS NO DEAL WOULD BE "CATASTROPHIC"

    Labour has warned the Government that there is "no more time to waste" in reaching a post-Brexit trade deal.

    They say the impact of no deal "would be absolutely catastrophic".

    Shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rachel Reeves, said hauliers "want a deal and they want the transition to be as smooth as possible."

    Ms Reeves said the traffic in Kent is a "small taste" of the "chaos that would ensue".

  • Justin Lawrence

    BORIS JOHNSON CLAIMS UK WILL PROSPER 'MIGHTILY' IN NO DEAL BREXIT

    PRIME minister Boris Johnson has insisted that Britain will 'prosper mightily' without a Brexit deal.

    Michael Barnier is due to make an announcement today about the state of Brexit negotiations, updating ambassadors from the 27 EU nations, as time for a UK-EU deal runs out.

    He will also set out the state of play to MEPs following the prime minister's claims.

    Boris is currently under fire for laughing during a Downing Street press conference on Monday night when asked about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

    He sniggered: "It’s almost the end of the year, you must know by know whether we’re going to get a free trade deal. Will we?"

  • Justin Lawrence

    NEWLYN FISHING PORT PREPARES FOR NEW RULES POST-BREXIT

    THE post-Brexit EU/UK trade deal is still being negotiated with only ten days to go until the deadline passes and the UK officially leaves the European Union.

    Fishers at Newlyn harbour, one of the UK's largest fishing ports, are preparing for new rules on the export of their fish to the EU from January 1st and their return to work on January 4th.

    Credit: Getty Images – Getty

     

  • Shayma Bakht

    BRITONS STOCKPILING FOOD IN CASE OF A NO DEAL

    Over 50% of Britons admit they're planning to stockpile because of Brexit, and food waste is set to rise because of no-deal "panic buying" – a waste company warns.

    The latest data comes from a survey by waste collection company, BusinessWaste.co.uk.

    Its online survey, with 1,100 participants ahead of Brexit, showed 55% (603/1100) are planning on stockpiling foods and goods for Brexit.

    It also shows that 1/5 have already started stockpiling.

  • Shayma Bakht

    BORIS AND URSULA PHONE CALL

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen discussed Brexit and the coronavirus crisis in a phone call yesterday evening, an EU source has said today.

    The previously undisclosed conversation came as London and Brussels try to thrash out a last-gasp post-Brexit trade deal and scramble to respond to a mutant variant of the coronavirus detected in the UK.

  • Shayma Bakht

    EU REJECTS FISHING PROPOSALS, SAY TWO OFFICIALS

    The European Union rejected the U.K.’s latest proposals on fishing, two officials said, deadlocking efforts to secure a post-Brexit trade deal on time.

    Yesterday, the UK made an offer that would see value of the fish the EU catches in British waters shrink by 30%.

    Last week, the U.K. insisted the EU accept a 60% cut, but the bloc has refused to accept a reduction of more than 25%.

  • Shayma Bakht

    EU TO CONVENE OVER TALKS AT 3PM

    The EU's lead negotiator, Michel Barnier, will update the bloc's 27 national envoys on Brexit talks at 3pm today.

    He will relay disagreements over fishing rights – the key obstacle to a new trade deal, Brussels sources said.

    EU officials said Barnier would then tell the European Parliament's Brexit group that cutting the bloc's catch in UK waters by 30% from 2021 would be too high.

    The bloc earlier offered a reduction of 15-18%.

  • Shayma Bakht

    CONTINUED

    Boris Johnson and Grant Shapp's joint smirk at a no-deal Brexit comment during last night's briefing is being criticised.

    Pro-European Femi Oluwole called them "psychopaths".

    He tweeted: “They laughed. Johnson kept smirking while answering. Don't forget: Even if there's a deal, jobs will still go.”

    Expectedly Labour MPs were also critical of the PM's reaction.

    Labour MP Jack Dromey said: "Tens of thousands of workers face redundancy as a No Deal #Brexit looms. And Boris Johnson laughs! Contemptible, absolutely contemptible."

  • Shayma Bakht

    BORIS SLAMMED FOR GIGGLING ON CAMERA AT NO-DEAL QUESTION

    Boris Johnson has been criticised after being caught on camera chuckling at the prospect of a no-deal Brexit at the latest daily Downing Street briefing.

    The prime minister laughed at ITV's Robert Peston's question, which asked if the UK would leave the EU next week with a deal.

    He asked: “It’s almost the end of the year, you must know by now whether we’re going to get a free trade deal. Will we?”

    Johnson turned to transport secretary Grant Shapps and the pair both laughed in response.

  • Shayma Bakht

    "TIME IS IN SHORT SUPPLY" SAYS BOJO

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman said "time is obviously in very short supply" to get a deal ratified by January 1.

    He said the UK is prepared for World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms if there is no agreement with the EU.

    He added: "We will need to ratify any agreement ahead of January 1. The Leader of the House made clear that we would recall Parliament in order to give MPs a vote on the necessary legislation."

    Asked if there could be a "stand still" agreement to maintain current arrangements until a deal is in place, the spokesman said: "We have been clear on this point that we will either leave the transition period on December 31 with a free-trade agreement or we will leave with Australia-style WTO terms. That remains the case."

  • Shayma Bakht

    FOOD PRICES COULD RISE

    Food prices may rise if the Government does not make changes to post-Brexit immigration policy, MPs have said.

    Plans to restrict UK food producers' access to workers from the rest of Europe risks undermining their competitiveness, according to the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Committee.

    British food and farming industries face "dramatic changes" when freedom of movement from the EU ends with the post-Brexit transition period on December 31, the committee's report said.

    The study noted that people from European Economic Area (EEA) countries currently account for the majority of workers in sectors of the food industry like meat processing and picking crops.

    The committee said: "The Government must be ready to make changes to its new immigration policy, or risk increased food prices."

  • Shayma Bakht

    FTSE 100 TAKES A HIT FROM BREXIT DEADLOCK

    UK's FTSE 100 dropped more today as a Brexit deadlock dents the economic outlook and a greater number of countries shut their borders to Britain over the new strain of the covid-19 virus.

    The blue-chip FTSE 100 fell 0.4% by 0805 GMT, after closing at a three-week low on Monday.

    France shut its border to arrivals of people and trucks from Britain, closing off one of the most important trade arteries with mainland Europe.

    Officials say they are working to find a resolution to the French halt, however, domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 rebounded from sharp losses in the previous session.

    On a brighter note, data shows Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 16.0% in the third quarter.

  • Ben Hill

    DEADLINE MISSED

    Another Brexit deadline was missed on Sunday night, as Nicola Sturgeon demanded an extension of the transition period to focus on the Covid crisis.

    Scotland's First Minister, the London Mayor, and a string of Tory MPs have demanded Boris Johnson cave to calls to prevent the possibility of a No Deal Brexit on New Year's Eve.

    However, No10 said that the talks would not go on beyond the end of the year – and the transition period would not be extended despite the current Covid crisis.

    UK and EU negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier both met in Brussels on Sunday, the deadline the European Parliament laid down for a deal to be signed off by for the end of December 31.

  • Ben Hill

    'NIGHTMARE BEFORE XMAS'

    Oil prices dropped further on Tuesday, adding to steep losses from the previous session.

    The fast-spreading new coronavirus strain has shut down much of Britain, and has prompted several countries to close their borders to British travellers and freight.

    "The nightmare before Christmas scenario has set in, with a combination of the 'mutant virus' compounded by Brexit angst," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi, referring to doubts over whether UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson can secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union.

    Innes said the oil market had been overbought, so the selloff was inevitable.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    WHAT IS A NO DEAL BREXIT?

    No Deal departure from the European Union means leaving without formal arrangements for the future relationship.

    Britain's trade, customs and immigration rules were tied up with the single market and a host of EU regulatory bodies.

    The UK ended up leaving the EU on January 31 with a transition period until December 31 2020.

    While we did leave with a deal – in which this transition period was agreed – there is still the possibility of ending up in a no deal scenario still.

    If there is no arrangement for our future relationship by the end of this period then Britain will have left the EU with no deal and will trade on World Trade Organisation rules.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    EUROPE VACCINE BLUNDER

    Europe risks another year of lockdowns because of blunders in the EU's vaccine buying scheme.

    Britain was slammed earlier this year for refusing to join the EU-wide scheme.

    But EU member states are now embroiled in a furious row amid fears it will take months for the vaccine to be rolled out.

    And Eurocrats are even said to have turned down 200 million extra batches of the German developed Pfizer jab to avoid slighting the French.

    Brussels has been warned it will be left with too few doses while the UK forges ahead with mass immunisation.

    Fury is rising in Berlin with growing calls for Angela Merkel to sideline the EU scheme and start a national buying programme.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    HIGHWAY ENGLAND CLOSES MOTORWAYS

    The M20 was closed tonight with hundreds of lorries stranded in Kent as France's travel ban sparked food shortage warnings.

    Boris Johnson today pleaded with Emmanuel Macron for an end to the chaos as Highways England closed the M20 due to heavy freight numbers heading towards Dover and the Eurotunnel in Folkestone.

    Lorries were stuck in huge lines on the motorway after the UK ban ordered by Mr Macron last night over the mutant Covid strain.

    Operation Brock was tonight rolled out to deal with the congestion, with the M20 closed between junctions seven and nine until 8am as a contraflow barrier was installed.

    HGVs arriving in Kent tonight will be diverted to nearby Manston Airport to park, with a contraflow system reopening the M20 in both directions tomorrow.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    BUSY WEEK AHEAD

    The Prime Minister faces an extremely busy week ahead.

    The UK is currently grappling with a mutated strain of coronavirus, alongside border issues and fishing talks.

    On top of all that, the Brexit deadline looms after Christmas.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    FISHING TALKS TURN A CORNER

  • Elizabeth Little

    M20 CLOSED AS HUNDREDS OF LORRIES LEFT STRANDED

    The M20 was closed tonight with hundreds of lorries stranded in Kent as France's travel ban sparked food shortage warnings.

    Boris Johnson today pleaded with Emmanuel Macron for an end to the chaos as Highways England closed the M20 due to heavy freight numbers heading towards Dover and the Eurotunnel in Folkestone.

    Lorries were stuck in huge lines on the motorway after the UK ban ordered by Mr Macron last night over the mutant Covid strain.

    Operation Brock was tonight rolled out to deal with the congestion, with the M20 closed between junctions seven and nine until 8am as a contraflow barrier was installed.

    People were left stranded in Dover after the sudden French border closure
  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    SHAPPS ADAMANT DEADLINE WON'T BE EXTENDED

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has remained adamant the transition period won't be extended, saying businesses knew the change was coming and had planned for it.

    He told BBC Breakfast: "I think the one thing which could actually add fuel to the fire would be ending something that everyone's known is ending for a very long time, which is the end of the transition period which completes on December 31, so absolutely not, no.

    "The important thing is that businesses continue to prepare, that individuals are prepared."

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    TOBIAS ELLWOOD: 'LET TALKS CONTINUE'

    Chair of the Commons Defence Committee Tobias Ellwood also called for the clock to be paused.

    He wrote on Twitter: "LET BREXIT TALKS CONTINUE.

    "The biggest decision in a generation. 98% agreed (exceeding Canada’s).

    "But these are far from ideal conditions to rationally determine our future prosperity & security terms.

    "If there’s no deal by NY let’s do what’s best for the UK & pause the clock."

    A spokesperson for the PM rejected calls to extend the transition, adding: "It will end on December 31. That remains our position."

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    LORRY DRAMA

    An ITV reporter has said he is "baffled" by claims made at today's press conference that there were queues of 170 lorries in Kent.

    ITV's Joel Hill reports Kent Highways said there were 500 lorries on the M20 at the time.

    He said the numbers currently stood at 945.

Source: Read Full Article