Brexit LIVE: ‘Anxious’ EU keen to settle key sticking point of hated deal, Coveney admits

EU hits out at Lord Frost’s Northern Ireland demands

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Simon Coveney said he understood there was “still quite a gap” between the UK and the EU on what has become a major sticking point in renegotiations of the Northern Ireland Protocol. However, he believed that both sides wanted to avoid “a falling out” over the issue.

Northern Ireland receives most of its medical supplies from the rest of the UK. However, as the nation remains part of the single market, a grace period on EU regulations is intended to run out in January.

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brexit live

Follow below for live updates on Brexit (Image: GETTY)

Jack Walters

France consider tighter travel restrictions on Brexit Britain after Omicron surge

Paris is reported to be considering introducing more travel restrictions on people arriving from Brexit Britain after concerns grow about the Omicron variant in the UK.

Gabriel Attal, the official government spokesperson, told France Info radio on Tuesday morning authorities will reveal new rules later this week.

He said: “We’re looking into how we might strengthen our framework, and that’s the work that is going on currently, and I think might be completed in a few days.”

Jack Walters

Remain-supporting Tory MP claims Brexit is ‘destroying’ agriculture

Neil Parish, 65, tore into Torbay MP Kevin Foster, 42, over the impact Brexit has had on the UK’s agriculture industry. 

Mr Foster, an immigration minister in the Home Office, was accused of overlooking recommendations to protect British sectors after the UK severed ties with the Brussels bloc.

But Mr Parish, who supported Britain remaining a member of the European Union in 2016, said: “We are seeing our industry slowly being destroyed.”

The MP for Tiverton and Honiton, a seat which backed Brexit during the referendum, added: “I thought Brexit was about encouraging production in this country, not discouraging it.

“This is down to labour shortages.”

Aleks Phillips

EU citizens rights body launches legal action against Home Office

The statutory body established to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit has today launched legal action against the Home Office, accusing it of breaching rights.

The Independent Monitoring Authority has launched judicial review proceedings against the Government department “as it considers their position that citizens who fail to apply for Settled Status before the expiry of their Pre-Settled Status automatically lose their rights, is unlawful.”

2.5 million EU citizens who have been granted pre-settled status are at risk of losing the right to live, work or rent in the UK, and could be deported.

Dr Kathryn Chamberlain, Chief Executive of the IMA said: “In taking legal action now we hope to provide clarity for those citizens with Pre-Settled Status of which there are 2.485 million as of November 30, 2021.”

A Home Office spokesperson told the Guardian: “We take our citizens’ rights obligations very seriously and have implemented the arrangements we agreed under the withdrawal agreement in good faith.

“We do not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.”

Aleks Phillips

France ‘will not give up’ on fishing licenses

France has received more than 80 additional licenses in the ongoing row over access to UK waters, according to its Minister for the Sea.

In a tweet this evening, Annick Girardin gave an update on Brexit talks between the two countries.

She added that despite the new licenses, “the fight continues for all our fishermen. We will not give up.”

Annick Girardin

Annick Girardin (Image: Twitter)

Aleks Phillips

Aleks Phillips taking over from Rachel Hagan

Aleks Phillips is taking over this live blog from Rachel Hagan. Follow here for further Brexit updates.

Rachel Hagan

IMF boss says the UK will face more post-Brexit trade problems

Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, has said Britain is due to face more disruption to its trade with the European Union when it the new post-Brexit customs checks from January 1 come in. 

After the IMF published an annual review of Britain’s economy, she said: “Trade with the EU has dropped significantly and we expect there will be more impact ahead as the custom checks are going to be introduced in UK in the beginning of next year.”

Rachel Hagan

Brexit is ‘destroying’ British agriculture

Neil Parish has told Euro Weekly that British agriculture is being destroyed by Brexit.

Since Brexit, the number of vegetables being planted has dropped by 25 percent and poultry production has dropped by more than 12 per cent.

Mr Parish said: “We are seeing our industry slowly being destroyed.” He asked the minister why farm workers had not been added to the shortage list, as was advised by the migration advisory committee. I thought Brexit was about encouraging production in this country, not discouraging it. This is down to labour shortages.”

Rachel Hagan

Businesses are still uninformed of post-Brexit changes

With the final phase of the UK’s departure from the EU just around the corner, businesses have voiced their concerns over a lack of communication of what is to come. 

Since the end of the transition period importers have had a six-month grace period on submitting customs declarations and paying associated tariffs, but from January 1 this ends.

Chief economist at the Institute of Directors (IoD) Kitty Ussher said to The Loadstar: “A large portion of businesses are either unprepared or simply unaware, and this will exacerbate supply chain problems, leading to further congestion at ports, as well as extra costs from accidental non-compliance.

“Government needs to ramp-up an awareness campaign, simplifying the guidance, so all importers feel confident they know how to keep supplies flowing into the new year.”

A Twitter poll by trade consultancy Trade and Borders found 43.5 percent of 168 respondents claim to be “still confused” over the changes, while 47 percent asked “what changes” were due to come into effect from January.

Speaking to The Guardian, a government spokesperson said: “We have been running a targeted campaign across print, radio and online to signpost businesses to relevant information – and officials are leading a series of sector-based webinars to help traders and hauliers get ready.”

Rachel Hagan

Good afternoon

Good afternoon from London. I’m Rachel Hagan, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on Brexit. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

Email: rachel.hagan@reachplc.com

Katie Harris

Lord Frost’s ‘softer tone’ causing ‘alarm’

Alarms have been raised by David Frost’s “softening tone” over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

In recent months, warnings that Article 16 of the Protocol would be triggered appeared to be issued almost on a daily basis.

But critics argue that efforts to force the EU into compromise have been dampened, and are fearful of the consequences.

An editorial in the Northern Irish daily News Letter highlights “a clear change of tone from London”.

Katie Harris

Brexit talks extended to 2022

Brexit talks have been extended into 2022, as the UK and the EU have hit a stalemate over the future of Northern Ireland.

Both sides are attempting to seek a compromise over the post-Brexit future of Northern Ireland but the talks have stalled as the EU refuses to cave to Lord Frost’s demands.

The Brexit Minister has demanded that the role of the European Court of Justice in policing the protocol come to an end.

According to sources close to the negotiations, Lord Frost and European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic are expected to announce that the talks will continue into the new year.

lord frost

Brexit minister Lord Frost (Image: PA)

Katie Harris

Brexit Britain in major win

Europe’s largest battery storage system will be built in Teesside in a major boost for Brexit Britain.

Singapore based energy company Sembcorp Industries have announced the plans, which will be overseen by its UK subsidiary Sembcorp Energy UK (SEUK).

It is part of a growing portfolio of battery plants the company has in the UK.

Once complete the latest battery will have a capacity of 360MW. For comparison SEUK currently operates 70MW of batteries with an extra 50MW due to become operational in 2022.

Katie Harris

Verhofstadt accused of being ‘obsessed by UK’

Guy Verhofstadt has been accused of being “obsessed by the UK” after the former Belgian Prime Minister took yet another dig at Leave voters.

The MEP has been berated by Brexiteers after he accused Eurosceptic campaigners of lying about the single market.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Verhofstadt said: “The Brexiteers lied. The reality check: Trading is much harder outside of the single market!”

However, not everyone welcomed the comments made by the ex-chair of the European Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group.

One user, Tom Klik, replied: “Obsessed by the UK!”

guy verhofstadt

Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt (Image: GETTY)

Katie Harris

EU Rejoiners’ hopes dashed as new countries ‘must join Euro’

Rejoiners who hope to see Brexit be reversed may struggle to convince Britons as an expert warns returning to the EU would result in euro adoption.

In January 2020, as the UK prepared to officially leave the EU, Anthony Salamone explained in an article for the London School of Economics that the UK would have to commit to adopting the euro to gain access into the EU.

He said: “The EU would also expect any application to be on the understanding that the UK would be a more normal member state.

“The UK’s major concessions during its first EU membership – the budget rebate, opt-outs on the euro and Schengen, special justice and home affairs arrangements – would not be on offer.

“The UK was largely responsible for the opt-out culture, which is still bemoaned by much of the Brussels establishment. The European Commission is currently seeking to eliminate all budget rebates (following from the UK, other countries have rebates and ‘rebates on rebates’) for the next Multi-annual Financial Framework.”

Katie Harris

Brexit Britain loses patience with Biden

Brexit Britain is losing its patience with the US as the trade row between the two nations continues to worsen by the day.

Negotiations have been ongoing between the countries as the UK tries to end tariffs on steel and aluminium that former President Donald Trump imposed in 2018.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan made the journey to Washington to discuss these tariffs.

Following a visit to the capital of the US, Ms Trevelyan vowed that the UK will do whatever is necessary to bring an end to the dispute.

Politico said: “In its long-running trade dispute with the US over steel and aluminium tariffs, the UK is getting tired of playing nice. The question is whether playing nasty and threatening Washington will work.”

Anne-Marie Trevelyan

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Image: GETTY)

Katie Harris

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Katie Harris

German media turns on Macron after ‘clown’ jibe at Boris

Emmanuel Macron has been savaged by German media for calling Boris Johnson “a clown”.

France’s satirical magazine Le Canard Enchainé claims Mr Macron called his British counterpart “un clown” within his close circle.

The “clown” jibe from Mr Macron was then referenced by a German media outlet called Welt.

The news site headlined a piece about the relationship between Mr Macron and Mr Johnson with the words: “Johnson, a clown? Pull yourself together, Macron!”

Katie Harris

EU blasted as French MEP points to UK vaccine success

A French MEP has blasted the EU, claiming the work it does is not worth the money France pays in, saying: “France pays much more money than it receives”.

Nicolas Bay, National Front general secretary, said the EU had been “absent in coordination” when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK’s procurement of Covidvaccines – which saw it become one of the first nations in the world to approve and begin rolling out mass vaccination in December last year, and one of the nations with the highest vaccination rates – repeatedly infuriated the EU.

Roy Walsh

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