Brexit LIVE: Boris scandal blamed for 'change' in UK stance over hated EU deal

Rachel Hagan

Post-Brexit moves will ‘help unlock potential’ across the UK

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has said post-Brexit moves to replace EU state aid rules will unleash reams of potential within the UK. He said measures contained within the Subsidy Control Bill will develop skills, infrastructure and new technologies. 

EU state aid rule applied until the Brexit transition period ended on December 31 2020, and the interim measures which followed.

Speaking at third reading before the Bill cleared the Commons, Mr Kwarteng told MPs: “It establishes a subsidy control system that has been designed by the UK and for the UK. It demonstrates this Government’s clear commitment to seize the opportunities arising from Brexit.

“For the first time the decision on whether to grant a subsidy will fall to the granting authority itself.

“At the heart of the regime is a set of clear and proportionate principles which will be underpinned by guidance.

“Local authorities, public bodies and the devolved administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast will be empowered to decide if they can issue taxpayer-funded subsidies by acting consistently with the principles outlined in this legislation.

“This includes a principle specifically designed to minimise distortions to UK competition and investment.

“The new regime will help unlock potential so all areas of the UK will feel the benefits of targeted subsidies in their areas.

“This includes investment in skills, infrastructure and also in new technologies as well as research and development.”

Rachel Hagan

Expert warns returning to the EU would result in Euro adoption

A poll released last month showed that most Britons would opt for rejoining the EU rather than sticking with Brexit.

The survey of over 2,000 people by Savanta found that 82 percent of those who did not vote in the 2016 referendum say they would now vote to rejoin the EU.

Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes, said: “Five years on from the Brexit referendum, this polling suggests a country that is equally divided, but with the momentum shifting towards a majority who would now vote to rejoin the EU.”

But Britons may rethink this if they realised that the UK would have to adopt the Euro, according to Anthony Salamone.

Read more here

Rachel Hagan

Macron critised for using Brexit fishing dispute to create an environmental disaster

After Britain handed France 23 extra licences to French boats on Friday, it has been revealed that the move may have a serious outcome for the future of the planet.

This is because bottom-trawling and dredging can cause the destruction of coastal habitats. Earlier this year, a paper released by Nature revealed that 1.3 percent of the ocean floor is trawled each year, which releases almost 1.5 gigatonnes of CO2 annually.

Boats operating in British waters under the EU Common Fisheries Policy until this year account ranked fourth in the world for total emissions from trawlers.

Read more here to find out which countries it was just behind.

Rachel Hagan

We have to thank Angela Merkel for Britain’s Brexit

Jonathan Saxty says we must be grateful to Angela Merkel for Britain’s Brexit, because of her “perceived inability to compromise with London, on the back of her open-door migration policy, in no small part secured victory for the Leave side.”

Read more here

Rachel Hagan

Third of UK importers not ready for full Brexit customs checks

Nearly a third of British companies that import goods from the EU are “not at all prepared” for full post-Brexit customs checks, according to a survey of business leaders.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) polled firms that import from the EU and 3 in 1o said they were not at all prepared for the change, with 37 percent of small businesses and nearly a quarter of large ones saying they were not ready.

Kitty Ussher, chief economist at the IoD, said: “In just three weeks’ time, significant changes to our customs arrangements are going to be introduced, for which a large portion of businesses are either unprepared or simply unaware. This will exacerbate existing supply chain problems leading to further congestion at ports, as well as extra costs from accidental non-compliance for many businesses.”

Members were also asked what they would most like to see improved about the business environment they face.

The UK’s new trading relationship with the EU was the number one issue, with 16 percent of votes and skills shortages second at 15 percent.

Rachel Hagan

France fishermen ‘fed up with being pushed around’

A French fisherman has said he is fed up “at being pushed around” and having to bide his time before he receives his licence to continue fishing in British and Channel Island waters. 

Fisherman Christian Dubois, who makes a living out of fishing in British waters, insisted it is now time for France to put extra pressure on the UK. 

Mr Dubois told DW News: “We are leading these actions for the remaining licences that have not arrived. We want to show the British that we are fed up with always being pushed around: ‘Next week, next week!’, they say. But we’ve had enough and here we are, taking action!”

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.


Michael Curzon

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

Parts of the German media have turned on French President Emmanuel Macron after he branded Boris Johnson a “clown”.

German media outlet Welt has published an article on the relationship between Mr Macron and Mr Johnson titled: “Johnson, a clown? Pull yourself together, Macron!”

In the piece, Thomas Kielinger writes: “Macron uses criticism of Brexit and the distance to the ‘unreliable’ Johnson like a concert pitch, which intensifies the contrast between the countries that were once part of the Entente Cordiale.”

Read Brian McGleenon’s full report here.

Michael Curzon

Fury erupts at Boris over Brexit fishing climbdown

James Lee has written a full report on June Mummery’s contribution to the post-Brexit fishing rights debate (see below) here.

Michael Curzon

‘Give EU bully boys an inch and they will take a mile’

Former Brexit Party MEP June Mummery has criticised Brexit Minister Lord Frost for “rolling over” and granting France 23 more fishing licences.

Ms Mummery insisted in a post published on Twitter that UK negotiators should not concede ground to the EU, noting that once they start doing this, they will never be able to stop.

She wrote: “Let’s be clear. French fishermen are NOT entitled to any more licences – these were given out of our good will.

“I said this would happen: give the bully boys an inch and they take a mile.”

She added that the handing over of more licences was “weak”.

Michael Curzon

Lord Frost sends important message to the EU

Brexit Minister David Frost has issued a new message to the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol, insisting that most Northern Ireland voters want the agreement to be altered.

Lord Frost was quoting a new poll by Lord Ashcroft.

He said this includes some “striking points” which should be heeded by officials in Brussels.

He wrote on Twitter that there are “strong divisions of opinion between communities” on the agreement, but, “even allowing for that, 78 percent think some change to the current agreements is necessary”.

Lord Frost added: “Only 21 percent say there are no problems.”

Ready my full report here.

Lord Frost sends important message to the EU

Lord Frost sends important message to the EU. (Image: Getty)

Michael Curzon

EU relies on Putin!

James Lee has written more on Brexiteer MP Sir John Redwood’s comments earlier today about the EU’s dependence on Putin for power.

He reports: “Britain’s energy regulator is inviting bids to build more high-voltage cables to connect the country’s electricity grid to the European continent – but the plans have been criticised.

“Ofgem is launching a new round of investment bids to build the sub-sea cables, according to a statement published on Monday. The regulator says the plans will help boost national energy security and electrification plans which could help the UK reach its climate goals.

“Taking to Twitter to question the plans, Sir John Redwood, the Conservative MP for Wokingham, suggested more needed to be done internally.”

Read James’s full report here.

Michael Curzon

Fury over post-Brexit fishing deal

Both Boris Johnson and France have been criticised by a former Brexit Party MEP in the ongoing row over post-Brexit fishing rights – Mr Johnson for caving to the EU and France for “continuing to threaten the UK” regardless.

After the UK handed France a further 23 fishing licences, June Mummery blasted the Prime Minister on Twitter for “selling out the fishing industry” to France.

She added: “[Mr Johnson] has just capitulated to the French and handed over more licenses as a goodwill gesture.”

Read my full report here.

Fury over post-Brexit fishing deal

Fury over post-Brexit fishing deal. (Image: Getty)

Michael Curzon

Macron leading EU against Biden

French President Emmanuel Macron is assuming top position in the EU in a dispute with Joe Biden over the Winter Olympics in China.

The US, along with Australia and Britain, is set to boycott the China games in 2022.

But Mr Macron has faced up to calls that Europe should follow suit, insisting that the Olympics “must not [be] politicised”.

Ahead of a meeting between the EU’s foreign affairs ministers on whether or not they should follow the US, Mr Macron said: “As with all things on the international stage, I prefer to do things that have a useful effect.”

Read more by Alessandra Scotto di Santolo here.

Michael Curzon

Ireland makes Brexit gamble

Dublin has bet on increased trade with the EU in a fresh Brexit gamble.

A new shipping terminal for Ireland is opening in France.

Before Brexit, roughly two-thirds of Dublin Port’s trade was with Britain. This is now split 50-50 between the UK and EU.

Justifying this shift, the Irish Maritime Development Office said in a new report: “It is clear that the new trading arrangements between Ireland and the UK have had a significant and negative effect upon ro-ro [roll-on roll-off lorry haulage] freight traffic between the two countries.”

Read more by Dylan Donnelly here.

Michael Curzon

UK must stop replying on EU for energy, argues Brexiteer MP

Brexiteer MP Sir John Redwood has criticised plans, set to be announced by the energy watchdog, to increase electricity links between the UK and countries in the EU.

He wrote on Twitter: “Why are there official plans for more cables to the EU to import yet more electricity?

“We need to produce more of our own energy and electricity, not less.”

He added: “The EU is energy short and cannot be relied on. They rely on Mr Putin.”

Michael Curzon

France demands more fishing licences

French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune confirmed on Monday that his country has been handed 93 percent of the licences it asked for.

But he insisted that “we still need a few dozen licences”.

Mr Beaune told CNews: “No fisherman will be left behind.

“By Wednesday we will have a meeting with the fishermen to see how to secure the remaining licences.”

Clement Beaune

Clement Beaune. (Image: PA)

Michael Curzon

EU poised to twist knife into Boris

Now that the UK has made concessions with more post-Brexit licences for French fishing boats, EU fishing ministers are set to meet in Brussels to sign off on their own quotas.

These will primarily impact EU countries, with the UK having already agreed its 2022 catch limits for fish stocks it jointly manages with the bloc and Norway.

The UK issued 18 French licences to fish in UK waters on Saturday, along with five for fishing in Jersey waters.

In a gleeful statement, the European Commission said: “The Commission will continue to work, together with France, in order to ensure full implementation of the TCA and will examine the legal circumstances around every requested license which has not been granted.”

It also nudged Britain to make further concessions, noting: “A number of vessels seeking access to waters have not yet received a licence.”

Roy Walsh

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