Brexit LIVE: Changing their tune! 'EU waffle' over Ukraine silences doubters in the US

Jack Walters

Boris to finally use post-Brexit powers as he’s poised to make major tax U-turn

Boris Johnson is considering cutting VAT on energy bills in a major U-turn after apparently ruling it out a few weeks ago. 

The news comes as rising prices caused by the European wide energy crisis is impacting British family’s budgets.

With around 13 percent of the UK population living with fuel poverty, the U-turn will come as a welcome tax break for those struggling the most to keep warm.

The measure is one of a number of possible options to tackle the cost of living crisis that the Prime Minister and Chancellor plan to discuss this week.

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Jack Walters

Michael Portillo sounded death knell for future of EU finances

Michael Portillo once predicted that the future of the euro was “doomed”.

In recent years, Mr Portillo has become better known for his train journeys around the world than for his role in British politics. Mr Portillo had a long career in politics, both as an MP and a Government minister, eventually leaving politics in 2005 after he failed to seek re-election.

This evening, he returns to a role that many Britons are likely more familiar with; traveling around the British Isles by locomotive, immersing himself in the often spellbinding scenery of the nation’s coastal regions in BBC Two’s, ‘Great Coastal Railway Journeys’.

hile Mr Portillo has focused mainly on following in the footsteps of the great travellers in recent years, he continues to provide political comment and analysis for politics programmes.

In 2017, appearing in the BBC’s now finished ‘This Week’ show — a review of the political week — presented by Andrew Neil, he spoke about the EU and how the bloc’s future using the euro appeared, to him, “doomed”.

Speaking alongside Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek minister of finance and member of the Hellenic Parliament, who is a vehement critic of the EU, Mr Portillo reflected on Mr Varoufakis’ conclusions and provided his own take on the euro and its direction.

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Jack Walters

Vote Leave ally defends PM over blackmail allegations

Michael Gove has come to the defence of Boris Johnson after it was alleged Government whips had threatened to withdraw investment from the constituencies of Conservative rebels and release negative news stories against them.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove stood up at the despatch box to update the House of Commons on the Government’s levelling-up fund yesterday.

During his update to MPs, the Brexit-backing Cabinet Minister also responded to the SNP’s communities spokesperson about allegations of blackmail, which have been levied against Boris Johnson and his whips.

Mr Gove, who campaigned with Mr Johnson on the Vote Leave campaign in 2016, responded by saying: “There is no evidence of any abuse of levelling-up funding.

“If anyone has it, I hope that they will bring it to the House’s attention.

The Surrey Heath MP added: “As for any suggestion that someone may be on the receiving end of lots of negative press stories for voting against the Government, as someone who is solid, 100 percent, totally behind the Prime Minister and yet also on the receiving end of a plethora of negative press stories, I can tell the honourable member that there is no correlation between the two.”

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Jack Walters

Good evening!

Good evening from London. I’m Jack Walters, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on Brexit for the next eight hours. Please feel free to get in touch with my as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

Twitter – @JTWalters99

Email – jack.walters@reachplc.com

Government needs to take ‘swift action’ to reduce Brexit impact on dentistry

An opposition MP said the Government should “take swift action to reduce the impact of Brexit” on dentists providers in the UK. 

Labour MP Darren Jones told MPs that EU dentists needed to be able to continue practicing beyond 2022 and called on the Government to renew the NHS dentistry contract to ease backlogs.

Mr Jones set out three steps the Government should take saying the NHS dentistry is “broken and the problems are getting worse”. 

He said: “The system only works for those with dental emergencies if they are lucky and with everyone else required to pay private fees in a private dental system that costs significant amounts of money.”

Eu announced package to support Ukraine

The European Commission has announced a €1.2 billion package to support Ukraine amid rising tensions with Russia.

Ursula Von de Leyen announced the package “to address financing needs due to the conflict and support the country’s resilience-building efforts.”

Von der Leyen also called on partners such as the International Monetary Fund to renew their engagement with Ukraine.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky thanks the European Commission on Twitter saying: “A strong Ukraine is key to European security. The EU is once again showing strong support for Ukraine.”

What is the Northern Ireland Protocol?

The Northern Ireland Protocol is part of the UK’s withdrawal agreement from the EU that ensures there is no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. 

The Government is seeking substantial changes to the protocol arguing that it is hampering the free movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK and damaging community relations.

Following talks today, chief Brexit negotiator Liz Truss was asked whether the end of February could be a deadline for talks. 

She said: “We need to make as much progress as we can in the next few weeks.

“The situation in Northern Ireland is very difficult, we want goods to be able to flow freely that’s why we need to make urgent progress.”

Brexit Britain to seize huge deal

An ambitious Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is expected to create huge benefits for both Brexit Britain and India. 

The two countries began negotiations earlier this month into the agreement which could boost total trade in the UK by up to £28 billion a year by 2035 and increase wages by up to £3 billion across the country.

Recent figures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) state that India is now the sixth-largest economy, with Britain in fifth place. At its current rapid growth rate, India is expected to overtake the UK this year.

Data suggests India’s economy is worth $2.94 trillion, while the UK is estimated at $3.11 trillion.

Tory MP slams SNP for criticising Brexit while supporting independence

The SNP cannot claim independence would be good for Scotland while criticising Brexit, a Conservative MP has said.

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie told MPs he could not support the SNP motion calling for action on the rising cost of living because of a reference to “rising costs of the UK leaving the EU”.

He said: “The problem is you cannot make the argument that leaving the European Union, the impact on businesses that it had, it was bad for growth and created poverty, while saying that independence and the hammer blow that it would bring to the economy would be good.”

He added that this was the reason he would not be joining them in their lobby this afternoon.

Brexit will continue to cause ‘significant delays’ unless agreement in met

The CEO of the Port of Dover said Brexit checks will continue to cause large delays to tourists unless a new agreement is brought in. 

Doug Bannister told the MailOnline if a solution isn’t found there will be “significant queues for both tourists and freight”.

From the autumn, Brits travelling to the EU will be required to provide biometric data but there is no electronic system to check passports and data. 

Mr Bannister said: “We have nine months to design a process to identify and implement technology and come up with a regulation that works, and invest in any infrastructure and other investments that we need to.

“It feels a very short period of time to get that all done. It probably could get done, but what needs to unlock is the UK government speaking directly with French counterparts and wider in the European Union about how we’re going to create a solution for this.”

Francesca Edwards

MP calls for ‘multi-million pound Brexit recovery fund’

The SNP work and pensions spokesman has called on the Chancellor to “launch a multi-million pound Brexit recovery fund”. 

David Linden said the Government has no sense of “urgency” when it comes to the cost-of-living crisis, telling MPs it is “imperative” solutions are brought forward. 

He said: “The Government must introduce an emergency package to boost household incomes and reverse rising levels of poverty across these islands.

“We want the Chancellor to launch a multi-million pound Brexit recovery fund to mitigate against the very worst and growing costs of Brexit.”

Francesca Edwards

DUP leader not prepared to be ‘strung out for weeks’ over NI Protocol

The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party has warned the UK Government that he is not prepared to be “strung out for weeks” over the Northern Ireland Protocol. 

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the Government needs to make clear it will move to suspend parts of the protocol, by triggering Article 16, if a negotiated deal if not met. 

Following talks between Liz Truss and Maros Sefcovic earlier today, Sir Jeffrey said he needs to hear from Liz Truss and Boris Johnson what “decisive action is the Government prepared to take”.

He added: “That is a UK Government commitment. It was part of the New Decade, New Approach agreement (2020). It hasn’t been delivered, it needs to be delivered.”

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson (Image: PA)

Francesca Edwards

UK must find solution to Northern Ireland trade issues quickly, says Truss

Chief Brexit negotiator Liz Truss said progress needs to be made in “short order” with the European Union to solve post-Brexit Northern Irish trading challenges.

The foreign secretary said she is “absolutely determined to protect political stability and peace” in Northern Ireland. 

Ms Truss added: “I want to work constructively with the EU to be able to achieve that and we need to do it in short order.”

Francesca Edwards

UK and EU continue ‘constructive’ talks

Liz Truss and Maros Sefcovic agreed there was a “constructive atmosphere” in their talks earlier today.

The pair met in Brussels for talks aimed at making progress on issues around the Northern Ireland Protocol. 

Officials will continue talks throughout the week before Ms Truss and Mr Sefcovic meet. 

A joint statement said they “reaffirmed their shared desire for a positive EU-UK relationship underpinned by our shared belief in freedom and democracy, and co-operation on common global challenges”.

Francesca Edwards

Sefcovic send warning to Liz Truss to ‘stay focused’

Maros Sefcovic reportedly told Liz Truss to “stay laser focused” on negotiations.

Daily Telegraph Brussels correspondent Joe Barnes claimed the European Commission vice president sent Ms Truss a warning during their meeting. 

He tweeted: “Sefcovic says in meeting with Liz Truss he told her to stay ‘laser focused’ on issues important to NI, such as movement of goods and customs formalities.

“If political goodwill is maintained, could lead to a timely agreement on durable solutions.”

Sefcovic says in meeting with Liz Truss he told her to stay u2018laser focusedu2019 on issues import to NI, such as movement of goods and customs formalities. u2018If political goodwill is maintained, could lead to a timely agreement on durable solutionsu2019 pic.twitter.com/vVm3o86B9B

u2014 Joe Barnes (@Barnes_Joe) January 24, 2022

Francesca Edwards

Good afternoon

Good afternoon I’m Francesca Edwards, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on Brexit for the next eight hours.

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: francesca.edwards@reachplc.com

Twitter: @FrankieLEdwards

Tara Fair

EU chief Sefcovic ‘desperately wants’ to strike deal with UK over Brexit protocol

EU Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic appeared “weary” following the latest round of Brexit talks with the UK.

Sky News chief political correspondent Jon Craig suggested the EU chief “desperately wants” to reach an agreement with the UK.

Mr Sefcovic has been conducting negotiations with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in recent weeks in a bid to reach an agreement over the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol included in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Sky News chief political correspondent Jon Craig noted the EU chief appeared rather “weary” as he discussed the latest development in the talks with Ms Truss.

Mr Craig said: “He sounded like a man who desperately wants to make progress, almost weary in his body language and tone.

Tara Fair

‘Not in the business of setting false deadlines,’ says Sefcovic

Maros Sefcovic has reminded Britons that he is “not in the business of setting artificial deadlines” as he continues fresh Brexit talks with Liz Truss. 

He said: “As you know, I am not in the business of setting artificial deadlines, but I will act with a sense of urgency.

“With Liz Truss, we will take stock at our level by the end of next week.

“And we have also agreed the EU UK Joint Committee on withdrawal agreement will take place in the course of the next month.”

‘Not in the business of setting false deadlines,’ says Sefcovic (Image: SKY NEWS)

Tara Fair

Truss talks ‘could lead to a timely agreement,’ says Sefcovic

EU chief Brexit negotiator Maros Sefcovic has given an update on the current talks between himself and Liz Truss. 

Mr Sefcovic said: “The EU has proposed an extensive reduction of formalities unmatched for any other third country.

“So if political goodwill is maintained, our discussions could lead to a timely agreement on durable solutions that would immediately and significantly help operators on the grounds.”

Truss talks ‘could lead to a timely agreement,’ says Sefcovic (Image: SKY NEWS)

Tara Fair

Rip up hated deal now! Boris facing new rebellion as MPs demand action NOW

A group of MPs have reportedly demanded that Boris Johnson scrap the Northern Ireland Protocol in return for support.

The European Research Group is putting pressure on the Prime Minister to rip up the hated Northern Ireland Protocol in return for supporting him as he struggles to hold on to power, according to Euronews journalist Shona Murray.

Tory MP Bernard Jenkins earlier tweeted that the Northern Ireland Protocol “cannot be a permanent agreement” as he explained the UK would be within its rights to trigger Article 16 if a new deal could not be negotiated.

The “pragmatic approach” the European Union hoped Liz Truss would bring to negotiations “may not materialise due to domestic political circumstances of an embattled PM”, she adds. 

Tara Fair

EU ultimatum as bloc prepares to CUT OFF Brexit talks – Sefcovic plans extraordinary move

The EU has issued an ultimatum to the UK, threatening to temporarily cut off Brexit talks if there is no breakthrough before March.

Liz Truss, who took over from Lord Frost’s Brexit brief late last year, will meet with EU Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič in Brussels today, on Monday.

They will open yet another round of negotiations over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mr Šefčovič has warned that if this and other talks soon to follow do not result in a breakthrough, negotiations will be paused at the end of February, according to reports.

One MEP, quoted in RTÉ, said: “The EU doesn’t want to get dragged into the Northern Ireland election campaign if this isn’t resolved by the end of February.”

EU ultimatum as bloc prepares to CUT OFF Brexit talks – Sefcovic plans extraordinary move (Image: GETTY)

Tara Fair

Brexit negotiations will be overtaken by Northern Ireland election

Fresh Brexit negotiations between Liz Truss and Maros Sefcovic will likely be overtaken by the Northern Ireland elections, according to Raoul Ruparel, former special adviser to the Prime Minister on Europe. 

He explained that although the talks were commencing with a more positive tone than that seen under Lord Frost, the discussions would not be able to progress fast enough to escape the NI election. 

He said: “This is all likely to be overtaken by the looming NI elections.

“There is little chance of much being agreed before the campaign starts in full, not least since with a new negotiating lead things have rightly gone a bit back to first principles.

“But even if something could be agreed, if the NI elections go the way they look likely to, the chance of it being able to be implemented on the ground in NI is very small (at least in the short & medium term).

“Sinn Fein look likely to be largest party, with response from unionist parties very unpredictable.

“At best we may not see an NI Executive being formed for some time, at worst the institutional power sharing arrangements under GF/Belfast Agreement could be thrown into doubt.”

But even if something could be agreed, if the NI elections go the way they look likely to, the chance of it being able to be implemented on the ground in NI is very small (at least in the short & medium term) 6/

u2014 Raoul Ruparel (@RaoulRuparel) January 24, 2022

Tara Fair

Remainer Adonis says there was a ‘potential majority to stop Brexit’ – ‘we’ll never know’

Lord Andrew Adonis has claimed there was a “potential majority to stop Brexit” if Britain had called a second Referendum on its decision to leave the European Union.

The Labour peer claimed the 52/48 percent margin of Leave/Remain voters could have been overturned if another Labour leader other than Jeremy Corbyn had been at the helm of the party and pushed full steam ahead with a campaign to “pull back” the Brexit vote with a second referendum.

Discussing the events in the aftermath of the June 2016 Brexit vote, Lord Adonis told Ian Dale’s All Talk podcast on LBC that he “suddenly noticed” nobody on the “progressive tradition” was doing anything to challenge the vote.

He noted how it was at this point when he decided to take matters into his own hands.

He said: “I suddenly noticed that four, five months after the 2016 referendum, that largely because of Jeremy Corbyn being leader of the Labour Party…

“No-one from the progressive tradition was standing up for Europe!”

Remainer Adonis says there was a ‘potential majority to stop Brexit’ – ‘we’ll never know’ (Image: GETTY)

Tara Fair

‘Gaps between UK and EU larger than before,’ warns former special adviser

Raoul Ruparel, former special adviser to the Prime Minister on Europe, has warned the gaps between the EU and the UK are larger than ever before. 

He explained: “In terms of the negotiations, yes the atmosphere and tone has improved but the substance remains the same and the gaps are very large.

“UK approach remains as set in Command Paper last summer, very far from EU proposals in Autumn last year.

“But the UK approach has changed in one sense, there is a clear desire for a more political negotiation.

“There is a strong case for this given challenges around NI protocol are political as much as technical but this has been consistently opposed by the EU.

“This means gaps between the two sides are actually probably if anything larger not smaller given differences over the process as well as substance.”

This means gaps between the two sides are actually probably if anything larger not smaller given differences over process as well as substance 4/

u2014 Raoul Ruparel (@RaoulRuparel) January 24, 2022

Tara Fair

‘Stranded in EU’ Brexit paperwork blamed as French husband stopped from entering UK

Brexit paperwork has been blamed by a British woman whose French husband was stopped from entering Britain for nearly a year.

A 67-year-old British woman who planned to return to the UK with her 80-year-old French husband after 30 years abroad has claimed Home Office delays have left them waiting for almost a year for the paperwork they need to set foot in the country.

Carmel and her husband, Louis, who asked for their real names to be changed, sold their house in France last year and packed up all their belongings having read that it would take 15 days to get a family permit.

They applied for the paperwork on April 22 but have been in limbo for 10 months, camping out with their children and unable to get on with their lives.

Tara Fair

British fishing industry defies EU’s Brexit scaremongering predictions amid soaring trade

The British fishing industry has defied all predictions of its collapse after Brexit, amid soaring international trade and a huge jump in the support among British customers.

The British fishing industry was predicted to collapse after the UK and EU secured a fraught Brexit trade deal last year.

However, a new report from Al Jazeera revealed that the fisheries have “defied” the scaremongering predictions amid soaring trade.

Speaking from the British port of Brixham, Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull claimed that there has been “a huge turnaround for an industry that was predicting its own demise a year ago”.

Fishing: Restaurant owner discusses ‘roaring trade’

Tara Fair

Boris to finally use post-Brexit powers as he’s poised to make major tax U-turn

Boris Johnson is considering cutting VAT on energy bills in a major U-turn after apparently ruling it out a few weeks ago.

The news comes as rising prices caused by the European wide energy crisis is impacting British family’s budgets.

With around 13 percent of the UK population living with fuel poverty, the U-turn will come as a welcome tax break for those struggling the most to keep warm.

The measure is one of a number of possible options to tackle the cost of living crisis that the Prime Minister and Chancellor plan to discuss this week.

Boris to finally use post-Brexit powers as he’s poised to make major tax U-turn (Image: GETTY)

Tara Fair

Remain fear-mongering scuppered! City powers ahead as UK flourishes

Remainer fear-mongering over a post-Brexit banker exodus has been dispelled by City lenders launching a record recruitment drive.

The City’s banking job market has hit an all-time high, according to the latest figures, scuppering bets laid that Brexit would destroy the City’s attractiveness.

Vacancies in the UK banking sector have skyrocketed 129 percent over the last year, according to research carried out by City recruiter Morgan McKinley.

Morgan McKinley said: “Brexit did not usher in the dramatic movement of finance professionals away from the UK as many previously thought.”

Remain fear-mongering scuppered! City powers ahead as UK flourishes (Image: GETTY)

Tara Fair

Brexit Britain handed huge cancer boost as EU red tape slashed to ‘speed up’ treatment

Brexit Britain has been handed a huge cancer battle win as EU red tape is slashed to speed up treatments. 

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) launched its Project Orbit scheme last year to replace the decisions made by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

It links the UK to the US, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore and Brazil.

Officials have already hailed it for “speeding up the time it takes to get these new medicines to patients”.

Seven medicines have already been approved, in a move that could save scores of lives.

Four of the newly approved treatments are for lung cancer and breast cancer.

Brexit Britain handed huge cancer boost as EU red tape slashed to ‘speed up’ treatment (Image: GETTY)

Tara Fair

What is the new wine tax and why is Australia angry?

Under plans set out by Rishi Sunak which are due to take effect in February 2023, a single tax rate for most wines will be replaced by a sliding scale with 13 bands of duty levied according to strength. 

There are also 14 more bands for fortified wines.

Australia tends to produce stronger wines due to the sunshine, with most clocking in at 13 percent or more. 

But under Mr Sunak’s plans, any wine over 11.5 percent will be taxed more.

Australian wine will be taxed more under new rules (Image: GETTY)

Tara Fair

Banking recruitment drive skyrockets in City

The banking industry job boom has dispelled fears over bankers taking flight from London and relocating to Europe after Brexit. 

In London alone, lenders are recruiting for 96 percent more roles than they were last year.

American investment bank JPMorgan has launched the largest recruitment campaign in the UK of all lenders, seeking to hire 5,330 new bankers last year.

Fellow Wall Street titan Citi was the second most active, creating over 4,000 roles in 2021.

Tara Fair

Liz Truss faces Australian backlash over wine taxes

Liz Truss, foreign secretary and chief Brexit negotiator, is facing a backlash from Australian wine producers during her trip amid complaints that changes to UK taxes on alcohol will destroy the benefits of the post-Brexit deal. 

Industry lobby group Australian Grape and Wine estimates that the tax hikes will cost an additional £70million.

This will be collected by adding 40p to the price of every £5 bottle of Australian wine bought by British consumers.

This compares to a forecast £26million gain from the trade deal.

Australian Grape and Wine chief executive Tony Battaglene said: “It is unfortunate that the result of the free trade agreement will be directly impacted by this [tax]. We are hoping they will look at it and come to a better solution. At the moment, it is very concerning.

“This will discriminate against red wine imports. We estimate it will add 40p to the price of a bottle, and that’s a lot when you’re talking about a wine that is £5.”

Liz Truss faces Australian backlash over wine taxes (Image: GETTY)

Tara Fair

Liz Truss heads to Australia to sign deal

Liz Truss has visited Australia to sign an agreement to deepen trade, investment and technology ties. 

The state of South Australia is a great friend of Britain. Just signed an agreement to deepen cooperation with @SAgovau in key areas including trade, investment and tech.

Closer ties will create jobs and growth both in ud83cuddecud83cudde7 and South Australia and make us all safer and more secure pic.twitter.com/gSCdzwPj6J

u2014 Liz Truss (@trussliz) January 22, 2022

Tara Fair

Good morning

Good morning from London. I’m Tara Fair, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on Brexit for the next eight hours. 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: Tara.fair@reachplc.com

Twitter: @TaraFair_

Harry Byrne

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