Brexit news latest – Boris 'INCANDESCENT' at France over border chaos near deal deadline – plus NHS begs for extension

BORIS Johnson has toughened his stance on Brexit as he and Ursula von der Leyen personally tackle fishing head on.

The PM was reportedly left "incandescent" at France's behaviour over closing Calais because of mutant Covid. 

Another insider said the PM's stance had "hardened" in recent days because of President Macron.

The source said: "There's a real chance relations with the French sink this whole thing, if there was ever a time to tell them to get stuffed, this might be it."

Follow our Brexit live blog for all the latest news and updates…

  • Shayma Bakht

    BORIS TO NEGOTIATE "UNTIL THE VERY END"

    Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick said he was "reasonably optimistic" about the prospect of a Brexit trade deal with the European Union.

    But he told Sky News: "There is still the same serious areas of disagreement, whether that is on fisheries or the level playing field.

    "We are working through those issues, our negotiators will keep going – the Prime Minister has been very clear that he is going to negotiate until the very end which is December 31 because that is the right thing, it is what the British public would expect."

  • Ben Hill

    TARIFF TALK

    The temporary deal allows tariffs between Canada and the UK to remain at current levels.

    With the interim agreement, the Canadian government "is making sure businesses can easily continue trading without adding paperwork for businesses and importers," it said in a statement.

    "These measures will ensure stability and certainty on both sides of the Atlantic," it added.

    Bilateral trade with Britain was worth Can$29 billion (18.5 billion euros) in 2019, according to official government figures. Britain is the main market for Canadian exports to Europe.

  • Ben Hill

    CANADA DEAL

    Canada and Britain have signed a temporary agreement to avoid an increase in tariffs between the two countries after the British exit from the European Union in early 2021.

    At the end of November, the two countries announced they had concluded a provisional post-Brexit trade agreement that would reflect, as of January 1, the terms of the deal that Britain benefited from as a member state of the EU.

    But the agreement could not be ratified before the Canadian parliament went into its winter recess, which would have resulted in an automatic increase in tariffs between the two countries on January 1.

    The temporary deal allows tariffs between the two countries to remain at current levels until the new trade deal is passed in parliament, a foreign ministry statement said.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    WHAT IS A NO DEAL BREXIT?

    A No Deal departure from the European Union means leaving without formal arrangements for the future relationship.

    Britain's trade, customs and immigration rules were tied up with the single market and a host of EU regulatory bodies.

    The UK ended up leaving the EU on January 31 with a transition period until December 31 2020.

    While we did leave with a deal – in which this transition period was agreed – there is still the possibility of ending up in a no deal scenario still.

    If there is no arrangement for our future relationship by the end of this period then Britain will have left the EU with no deal and will trade on World Trade Organisation rules.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    BREXIT-SCEPTIC EX-LABOUR LEADER REJECTED FROM LORDS

    ex-Labour deputy chief Tom Watson has been rejected for a peerage for the second time.

    He was overlooked by Labour boss Sir Keir Starmer for his latest list of House of Lords appointments, published yesterday.

    In 2019, he urged the Labour party to become pro-remain, The Guardian reports.

    An ongoing Parliamentary investigation into Mr Watson’s involvement in the false VIP Westminster paedophile ring is understood to be the reason behind Sir Keir’s snub.

    Mr Watson was first nominated earlier this year by ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    VON DER LEYEN 'KEEN TO WRAP UP A DEAL'

    It is understood Mrs von der Leyen is keen to wrap-up a deal and is now heavily lobbying coastal Member States to accept a compromise.

    She is said to be "in constant contact with all parties involved" and is likely to consult key figures including Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel.

     

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    WHAT ARE THE KEY STICKING POINTS?

    FISHING: The EU wants continued access to Britain's fishing waters after we leave. It's claimed Britain would be happy with a five year deal to phase out access, but the EU have pushing for eight. One of the key referendum claims was that Britain would be able to take back control of our borders – including fish – when we leave the EU.

    LEVEL PLAYING FIELD: Brussels wants a shared set rules and standards to ensure businesses in the UK do not have an unfair advantage over their competitors. The UK has said it won't lower its standards, but wants to be able to set its own rules.

    GOVERNANCE: Who decides what happens if the terms of the deal are breached? The EU wants an European body to decide the terms, but the UK aren't keen on this and want an independent arbitrator to have the final say.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    BOTH SIDES MOVE AWAY FROM ORIGINAL OFFERS

    Both sides have moved a significant way from their last "final offers" giving the last hours and days of talks a fresh boost.

    The EU had originally demanded a decade long transition to London's three, with hours of "tortured" talks whittling that down to a possible compromise.

    Brussels wanted an 18 per cent reduction on quota share, with the Brits moving significantly from their 80 per cent cut opening offer.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    NEW FISHING DEAL?

    The PM presented a new British offer on fishing during two phone calls with Mrs von der Leyen last night. 

    He proposed EU boats give back 35 per cent by value of their current catches in UK waters, to be phased in over five years. 

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    FRENCH STILL PLAYING HARDBALL

    Ms von der Leyen's EU Commission called for the travel ban on the UK to be lifted on Tuesday afternoon, while the French were still playing hardball.

    Yesterday EU negotiator Michel Barnier said: “We are really in the crucial moment. We are giving it the final push." 

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    WHAT IS A NO DEAL BREXIT?

    A No Deal departure from the European Union means leaving without formal arrangements for the future relationship.

    Britain's trade, customs and immigration rules were tied up with the single market and a host of EU regulatory bodies.

    The UK ended up leaving the EU on January 31 with a transition period until December 31 2020.

    While we did leave with a deal – in which this transition period was agreed – there is still the possibility of ending up in a no deal scenario still.

    If there is no arrangement for our future relationship by the end of this period then Britain will have left the EU with no deal and will trade on World Trade Organisation rules.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    STILL A WAY TO GO

    There is still a way to go with Brexit talks.

    No10 sources said there was still progress to be made.

    Meanwhile, Mr Johnson is understood to be "incandescent" at France's behaviour over closing Calais because of mutant Covid.

    Another insider said the PM's stance had "hardened" in recent days because of President Macron.

    The source said: "There's a real chance relations with the French sink this whole thing, if there was ever a time to tell them to get stuffed, this might be it."

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    38 PER CENT OF BRITS SAY 2020 WAS ‘OK’

    Almost 40 per cent of Brits would rate 2020 as an “okay” year.

    The bizarre revelation was made in a YouGov survey.

    Despite an endless 12-months of Brexit crunch talks – oh, and a global pandemic, Britons maintain that classic stiff upper lip.

    And two per cent have said they have had a great year, and seven percent abeled the year "good."

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    PM TAKES CHARGE

    Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen have taken personal charge of thrashing out a deal on fish as Brexit talks reach their climax. 

    Some officials on both sides are hopeful a deal could be reached as early as tomorrow if talks continue to go smoothly but there are growing fears relations with France may explode chances of a compromise.

    The PM and the Commission chief are now locked in frequent phone calls trying to find a breakthrough on the last stumbling block – access for EU boats to British waters.

    They pair have set up a direct hotline between Downing St and the EU HQ "part and parcel" of the final stretch of negotiations. 

    A senior source on the UK side told The Sun "there is a deal on the table now and both sides want to be home for Christmas Eve, but things are strained."

  • Shayma Bakht

    BREAKING: NHS ASKS PM TO EXTEND BREXIT TRANSITION PERIOD

    The NHS confederation sent Prime Minister Boris Johnson a letter asking to extend the Brexit transition period by a month – stating that no-deal outcome would cause health risks in the middle of a pandemic.

    Faced with a new strand of the virus and an increase in Covid-19 infections, they say that a month delay will take the NHS out of "the immediate danger zone and will enable the NHS to continue to focus on fighting the pandemic without having to contend with disruptive changes brought about by a no-deal outcome".

    They ask for "tough" action similar to the new Tier 4 rules help protect the NHS.

     

  • Shayma Bakht

    Road Haulage Association asks the UK for "clarity"

    Richard Burnett, chief executive of RHA, warned that hauliers need "clarity".

    He accused the government of taking a "high-risk strategy" by not resolving EU market access issues sooner.

    Burnett said: "EU hauliers are saying if there is disruption in the UK we will not come, and we have a supply chain issue there and in terms of getting product in.

    "But then if we've got issues around our ability to go and bring this product back because of market access issues, we have a big problem.

    "So on literally every front at the moment we have no clarity, the clock is ticking, we're almost at the year-end and all of these issues are still unresolved."

  • Shayma Bakht

    EU IS GIVING A "FINAL PUSH" FOR A DEAL, SAYS BARNIER

    EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said today that The EU is giving a "final push" to reach a potential deal on future trading ties with Britain.

    He said: "We are really in a crucial moment. We are giving it a final push," he told reporters before a meeting to brief EU ambassadors in Brussels.

  • Shayma Bakht

    LABOUR WARNS NO DEAL WOULD BE "CATASTROPHIC"

    Labour has warned the Government that there is "no more time to waste" in reaching a post-Brexit trade deal.

    They say the impact of no deal "would be absolutely catastrophic".

    Shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rachel Reeves, said hauliers "want a deal and they want the transition to be as smooth as possible."

    Ms Reeves said the traffic in Kent is a "small taste" of the "chaos that would ensue".

  • Justin Lawrence

    BORIS JOHNSON CLAIMS UK WILL PROSPER 'MIGHTILY' IN NO DEAL BREXIT

    PRIME minister Boris Johnson has insisted that Britain will 'prosper mightily' without a Brexit deal.

    Michael Barnier is due to make an announcement today about the state of Brexit negotiations, updating ambassadors from the 27 EU nations, as time for a UK-EU deal runs out.

    He will also set out the state of play to MEPs following the prime minister's claims.

    Boris is currently under fire for laughing during a Downing Street press conference on Monday night when asked about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

    He sniggered: "It’s almost the end of the year, you must know by know whether we’re going to get a free trade deal. Will we?"

  • Justin Lawrence

    NEWLYN FISHING PORT PREPARES FOR NEW RULES POST-BREXIT

    THE post-Brexit EU/UK trade deal is still being negotiated with only ten days to go until the deadline passes and the UK officially leaves the European Union.

    Fishers at Newlyn harbour, one of the UK's largest fishing ports, are preparing for new rules on the export of their fish to the EU from January 1st and their return to work on January 4th.

    Credit: Getty Images – Getty

     

  • Shayma Bakht

    BRITONS STOCKPILING FOOD IN CASE OF A NO DEAL

    Over 50% of Britons admit they're planning to stockpile because of Brexit, and food waste is set to rise because of no-deal "panic buying" – a waste company warns.

    The latest data comes from a survey by waste collection company, BusinessWaste.co.uk.

    Its online survey, with 1,100 participants ahead of Brexit, showed 55% (603/1100) are planning on stockpiling foods and goods for Brexit.

    It also shows that 1/5 have already started stockpiling.

  • Shayma Bakht

    BORIS AND URSULA PHONE CALL

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen discussed Brexit and the coronavirus crisis in a phone call yesterday evening, an EU source has said today.

    The previously undisclosed conversation came as London and Brussels try to thrash out a last-gasp post-Brexit trade deal and scramble to respond to a mutant variant of the coronavirus detected in the UK.

  • Shayma Bakht

    EU REJECTS FISHING PROPOSALS, SAY TWO OFFICIALS

    The European Union rejected the U.K.’s latest proposals on fishing, two officials said, deadlocking efforts to secure a post-Brexit trade deal on time.

    Yesterday, the UK made an offer that would see value of the fish the EU catches in British waters shrink by 30%.

    Last week, the U.K. insisted the EU accept a 60% cut, but the bloc has refused to accept a reduction of more than 25%.

  • Shayma Bakht

    EU TO CONVENE OVER TALKS AT 3PM

    The EU's lead negotiator, Michel Barnier, will update the bloc's 27 national envoys on Brexit talks at 3pm today.

    He will relay disagreements over fishing rights – the key obstacle to a new trade deal, Brussels sources said.

    EU officials said Barnier would then tell the European Parliament's Brexit group that cutting the bloc's catch in UK waters by 30% from 2021 would be too high.

    The bloc earlier offered a reduction of 15-18%.

  • Shayma Bakht

    CONTINUED

    Boris Johnson and Grant Shapp's joint smirk at a no-deal Brexit comment during last night's briefing is being criticised.

    Pro-European Femi Oluwole called them "psychopaths".

    He tweeted: “They laughed. Johnson kept smirking while answering. Don't forget: Even if there's a deal, jobs will still go.”

    Expectedly Labour MPs were also critical of the PM's reaction.

    Labour MP Jack Dromey said: "Tens of thousands of workers face redundancy as a No Deal #Brexit looms. And Boris Johnson laughs! Contemptible, absolutely contemptible."

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