Brexit: Frost and Sefcovic hold crunch talks on phone as Article 16 deadline looms

Brexit: UK has put itself in a strong position says Tim Groser

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Article 16 is a safeguard clause that allows either party to take unilateral measures if applying the Northern Ireland Protocol “leads to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist”. Both Boris Johnson and his Brexit minister Lord Frost have continued to insist the ECJ must be scrapped from the mechanism as part of any overhaul to it – something the European Union has refused to do.

Lord Frost has continued to warn of the possibility of triggering Article 16 of the Protocol if the EU does not cave to the UK’s demands, which would see all or large parts of the mechanism ripped up.

Now, Lord Frost has set up the agenda for next week’s technical talks with Mr Šefčovič, which will take place in London.

Lord Frost has previously called for the ECJ to be scrapped from having any input around the Protocol and a new disputes panel introduced to replace it.

A Government source told The Times: “This is certainly something that we would be interested in looking at.

“It is exactly the kind of compromise that could be acceptable.”

Government insiders claimed ministers are keen to tone down threats to implement the ‘nuclear option’.

They said: “We are going into these talks constructively and if they are still making progress then we want to give them the space to succeed.”

Additional reporting by Luke Hawker

THIS BLOG IS NOW CLOSED, FOR THE LATEST, CLICK HERE

Done it again! Brexit Britain secures ‘world leading’ £2.3bn trade deal with New Zealand

Britain has agreed a historic “world-leading” free trade deal worth over £2.3billion with New Zealand.

Red tape and high tariffs on exports are set to be scrapped under an agreement brokered after 16 months of intense negotiations.

It will make it easier for small businesses to trade with Wellington and remove barriers to trade for technology and services.

The deal was agreed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a video call on Wednesday.

Brexit cave-in? Boris ready to compromise with EU over European court role in deal

Boris Johnson could be prepared to accept a limited role for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the Northern Ireland Protocol, Government insiders have claimed, in a desperate bid to unlock a deal with Brussels.

Both Boris Johnson and his Brexit minister Lord Frost have continued to insist the ECJ must be scrapped from the mechanism as part of any overhaul to it – something the European Union has refused to do.

But senior figures have privately raised the possibility of a compromise that would enable the ECJ to have a limited role interpreting the application of EU law in Northern Ireland.

The revised proposal would see disputes forwarded to an independent arbitration panel, with the ECJ interpreting narrow matters of EU law if the initial dispute resolution did not work.

Rejoiners scaremongering dismantled as petrol stations back to normal – ‘Didn’t need EU’

Petrol stocks have recovered just weeks after the crisis began, with economists attacking anti-Brexit activists attempting to blame leaving the EU for the shortages.

New data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show by the end of last week stocks had recovered to their highest level since May.

On Sunday, tanks at petrol stations were on average 45 percent full.

Storage facilities are rarely ever actually full.

‘Got clobbered!’ Emily Thornberry shamed for ‘talking down’ Brexit Britain’s potential

Emily Thornberry has been slammed for comments she made about the potential of Britain post-Brexit in the House of Commons this week. 

The Shadow International Trade Secretary came under scrutiny from other members of parliament for her comments on Brexit.

At the Department for International Trade questions session on October 21, Emily Thornberry highlighted the New Zealand trade pact, signed yesterday, that was heralded as a “great deal” by Boris Johnson.

She claimed that Asia was “taking us to the cleaners”.

David Atkins takes over from Steven Brown. 

Coveney warns EU will not negotiate on NI Protocol forever

The Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said he believed a deal was possible, but negotiations could not continue forever.

He said: “I think EU has shown a real appetite for compromise, and they have consciously avoided creating tension. I can’t say the same in terms of the British government’s approach.

“I think that window is on offer now to the British government if they want to use it to find a way of implementing the protocol in a way that responds to the vast majority of the issues and problems that have been raised.

“It’s up to the UK government, I think, to take that window and we’ll have to wait and see how that progresses in the next few weeks.

“I can’t tell you when the EU will decide that that approach is getting us nowhere if there’s no agreement.

“But certainly I think there’s a window between now and late December, when the EU, I think, will be open to continuing dialogue and trying to find a way of making this work.”

Wales has ‘direct interest’ in solution to NI Protocol

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We do have a very direct interest in the resolution of the protocol or there being a trading regime between Wales, Ireland and the rest of the European Union, in which checks on trade are proportionate but nevertheless, are sufficient to defend the essential interests of the different parties to that agreement.”

He added: “The longer this goes on, the more anxious we become the ground that has been lost in the last 12 months will be increasingly difficult to recover.”

He said that Wales had a major interest in seeing a stable trading relationship between Ireland, the UK and the EU.

“When we reached that point, to have a stable set of arrangements that everybody can sign up to, then our hope must be that the land bridge which flows through Wales will become, as Minister Coveney was reaffirming today, when it works well it is the quickest, cheapest, and most convenient way of making sure that trade flows.

“We need to try to return to those conditions and there is a very direct Welsh interest in doing so.”

EU red tape hit British businesses in Spain

A British expat on the Costa del Sol told Express.co.uk that Brexit has affected UK-based businesses in Spain and that, in some British supermarkets, the shelves were emptying and not refilling.

As part of Brexit, Brussels has slapped a raft of red tape on UK exports to the EU, including meat and dairy.

Many fresh products must now undergo a series of strict sanitary and phytosanitary checks to enter the EU.

The logistical complications have spelled trouble for some British businesses based in Spain as they have had to switch their suppliers.

British councillor Bill Anderson, who lives on the Costa del Sol, has said that at one point the shelves in some British supermarkets in Spain were “emptying” but “weren’t refilling”.

‘Disastrous’ plan to U-turn on promise sparks alarm bells in Westminster

Boris Johnson will reportedly turn his back on Leave voters as he is expected to scrap plans to increase research and development (R&D) spending in next week’s budget.

It comes after the Government previously committed to boosting R&D spending to £22billion annually by 2024 to 2025.

But a three-year delay to this target could be on the cards. Leading UK science figures and institutions have warned how important meeting the Government’s original target is.

Speaking at the Sicence and Technology Committee, Sir Adrian Smith, Chier Executive of the Alan Turing Institute and President of the Royal Society, said: “There is going to be a signal sent at the end of the spending review.

“The nature, the tone and the content of that signal is fundamentally important for the science community.

“If we don’t have a clear signal that the funding is going to come in behind the rhetoric and the aspiration, we’re not going to get that leverage of private investment.

“We need a clear sustainable path to the £22billion by 2024. The danger of a negative signal is potentially disastrous.”

Tory MPs plead for more balance at BBC after Laura Kuenssberg

Tory MPs sick of “BBC bias” have urged the corporation to stop “just presenting propaganda” when Laura Kuenssberg steps down as political editor.

The current face of the broadcaster’s politics coverage is thought to be negotiating a new role.

A major reshuffle of the BBC’s on-air staff would see her move away from the political editor position she has held for the past six years.

In recent years Conservatives have accused the broadcaster of failing in its obligations to remain impartial in its news service.

They are demanding whoever replaces Ms Kuenssberg do more to restore the broadcaster’s reputation.

Wokingham MP John Redwood told Express.co.uk: “Can we please have someone who understands the whole range of opinions in the debate and gives the fair balance treatment of them?”

UK-France fishing row due to Macron looking for ‘handy enemy’ in Britain for next election

The UK-France post-Brexit fishing row has been carried out by Emmanuel Macron in order to make Britain a “handy enemy” for electoral reasons, claims an expert.

Speaking to GB News on Friday political expert Laurie Laird claimed the fishing row serves as a useful tool for President Macron’s electoral ambitions if he is to stand a chance against his rivals in next Spring’s presidential elections.

Ms Laird explained: “President Macron is facing what could be an extremely difficult reelection campaign.

“Macron’s poll ratings have never been particularly good other than a honeymoon period right after he took office.

He is facing some real struggles from both sides: from the left and the right.”

Brexit: Fishing row could be ‘getting ugly’ says Andy Mayer

Brexit Britain’s staggering trade with EU laid bare – more important to bloc than China

The UK’s enormous trade with the European Union has been completely laid bare, with staggering analysis revealing the bloc’s companies sell nearly a third more goods to the UK than China.

The European Commission regularly puts China – the world’s biggest country with a population of more than 1.4trillion – top of its ‘bestsellers’ table every month.

A report published earlier this month by Brussels stated the European Union, US and China together accounted for nearly half (45 percent) of both imports and exports of goods globally in 2020.

But bombshell analysis from Facts4U.org looking at the these latest trade figures from last Friday clearly shows Brexit Britain is a significantly larger market for EU goods than China.

Liz Truss ready to strike deals with India

Liz Truss has arrived in India ahead of meeting with officials as she looks to strike deals on technology and infrastructure.

Boris ready to compromise with EU over European court role in deal

Boris Johnson could be prepared to accept a limited role for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the Northern Ireland Protocol, Government insiders have claimed, in a desperate bid to unlock a deal with Brussels.

A Government source told The Times: “This is certainly something that we would be interested in looking at.

“It is exactly the kind of compromise that could be acceptable.”

Ireland hopeful a Brexit deal can be reached ‘within weeks’

Ireland’s European Affairs minister hopes a deal between the UK and the EU over post-Brexit rules in Northern Ireland can be finalised in a matter of weeks.

Brexit Minister Lord David Frost remains in talks with his EU counterpart over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Last week, the EU put forward a plan to reduce checks on 80 percent of goods travelling through Northern Ireland, but refused to remove the oversight of the European Court of Justice – a key demand from the UK.

Thomas Byrne, said: “I believe that we have all of the tools at our disposal to have an agreement in relation to Northern Ireland within the coming weeks.”

Truss calls on UK and ‘economic powerhouse’ India to strengthen ties

Liz Truss has called on the UK and India to strengthen ties and has described New Delhi as an “economic powerhouse”.

In a statement ahead of her visit, the Foreign Secretary said: “I want the UK and India and to step-up their partnership in critical areas like technology, investment, security and defence.

“India is the world’s largest democracy, a tech and economic powerhouse and a vital strategic partner for the UK.”

Liz Truss to meet officials in India today

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will arrive in India today to hold talks with officials in New Delhi.

Ms Truss will meet foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav in and announce a $70 million investment to fund green tech infrastructure projects across India.

Source: Read Full Article