Brexit LIVE: Civil Service 'still refusing to accept the fact that UK has left EU'

Oliver Dowden quizzed on Brexit ‘opportunities’ by Ferrari

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George Brandis, the former Australian High Commissioner to the UK, wrote in The Times that needed to “rediscover the spirit of enterprise that once defined it”. The Australian diplomat added that the UK’s Civil Service “was still struggling to come to terms with the fact that the public had decreed that Britain would withdraw from the European Union”. Mr Brandis claimed that Whitehall has failed to grasp the prospect of a “truly global Britain” and that this attitude is cultural rather than shaped by economic reality. Mr Brandis added that, “a near half-century cocooned within the EU has, in some sectors, taken the edge off the spirit of enterprise which once so defined Britain”.

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Australian diplomat claims Whitehall has still not embraced Brexit

Australian diplomat claims Whitehall has still not embraced Brexit (Image: GETTY)

Brian McGleenon

Macron finally speaks to Boris after snubbing UK for Putin and US

Macron has finally spoken with Boris Johnson for the first time since being re-elected French President 12 days ago after first holding talks with Vladimir Putin, Germany and the US.

The two leaders, who have endured a strained relationship over a range of issues, agreed to work more closely on security while committing to reinvigorate the “Anglo-French relationship”.

Emmanuel Macron was elected 12 days ago on April 24 after beating right-wing rival Marine Le Pen in the hotly-contested French election.

The French President spoke regularly to Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the early weeks of his campaign, with the two leaders even speaking for more than two hours again earlier this week.

Brian McGleenon

Union breakup feared as Northern Ireland shifts closer to Dublin after Sinn Féin success

Northern Ireland faces being pushed into ever-closer ties with Dublin and the EU as a result of the Brexit Protocol, DUP MP Sammy Wilson has warned.

Northern Irish unionist Sammy Willson has pinpointed two alarming trends flowing from the Brexit Protocol which could see the province sucked closer and closer to Dubin by European Union rules.

Mr Wilson is concerned that post-Brexit trading arrangements have left unionists in Northern Ireland “without a voice” while businesses are forced to build ever closer trade links with the Republic of Ireland.

Brian McGleenon

Boris Johnson set to unleash UK’s power as EU shackles cast aside in major speech

The Queen’s speech will see Boris Johnson set out a new data reform bill to separate the UK from EU privacy legislation.

Shortly after Her Majesty’s speech next Tuesday, May 10, the government will announce data protection reforms following consultation with businesses and civil society, according to Sky News.

The full package, with a draft bill slated to be published this summer, includes scrapping cookie consent banners – although these are not actually covered by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) but the UK’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.

However, the discussion will likely spark over whether the changes risk compromising the UK’s data adequacy status with the EU, which could affect the flow of data between the two.

A report by the New Economics Foundation gave what it described as a conservative estimate that if the UK were to lose its adequacy status, business costs would shoot up by at least £1.6billion over the next 10 years.

William Murphy

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