Brexit news latest – No Deal now looking LESS likely after 'major Boris concession' and threat to send in UK Royal Navy

THE EU's chief Brexit negotiator has insisted a trade deal CAN be reached after Boris Johnson suggested No Deal was fast approaching.

It comes after the PM agreed to a list of compromises at the weekend.

Meanwhile, tensions on fishing boiled over after a fierce row broke out between French fishermen and the UK's defence secretary.

Last week, No Deal was looking very likely, prompting furious French fishermen to threaten to block ports in protest.

Trawlermen said they would respond to being shut out of UK waters by stopping ferries carrying vital goods from entering major ports.

The UK's defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said Britain was ready for “whatever is the challenge” and even warned the navy could be drafted in.

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

  • Christy Cooney

    'COULD BE A DEAL THIS WEEK'

    A post-Brext trade deal could be agreed this week if a compromise can be reached on fishing, Michel Barnier has said.

    The EU's chief negotiator was speaking after the resumption of talks ahead of the end of the transition period at the end of this year.

    Yesterday, he briefed EU ambassadors on the state of negotiations, and reportedly said a deal was in reach if an agreement could be reached on fishing quotas.

    Speaking to the Telegraph about the briefing, an EU diplomatic source said: "[Barnier] was a lot less gloomy than I was expecting.

    "If both sides can come out of their trenches on fish, Barnier said there could be a deal this week."

  • Christy Cooney

    DEAL POSSIBLE BUT PATH 'VERY NARROW', SAYS BARNIER

    A Brexit deal is still possible but the path to an agreement remains "very narrow", the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said.

    A key sticking point has been whether a mechanism is required to keep UK regulatory standards in line with those of the EU, or to correct for any divergence, and stop British businesses having an unfair advantage over those in the bloc.

    Barnier has said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now agreed the need for such a mechanism, and that the concession had made a deal more likely, the Guardian reports.

    Barnier said that, “for the first time", the UK had "accepted a mechanism of unilateral measures” would be necessary to correct for any “systemic divergences which distort trade and investment”.

    He added: “But this mechanism needs to be credible, effective and quick. We are working on this."

  • Patrick Joseph DUGGAN

    BREXIT PANIC BUYING

    PANIC-buyers have ignored warnings not to stockpile in the event of a No Deal Brexit and harsher Tier rules as they hit the shops again.

    The UK and the EU yesterday vowed to continue negotiations – but some nervous shoppers were seen leaving Costco with huge hauls of loo roll, beer and baguettes.

    The British Retail Consortium urged shoppers not to panic – and said retailers are increasing stocks to ensure a "sufficient supply of essential products.

  • Patrick Joseph DUGGAN

    BLOCKADE THREAT

    FRENCH fishermen have vowed to blockade Dover and Calais if there's a No Deal Brexit – and warned it could lead to "warlike" tensions in the Channel.

    Trawlermen said they would respond to being shut out of UK waters by stopping ferries carrying vital goods from entering major ports.

    And they said Britain's threat to send gunboats in to repel foreign vessels "would mean that we are negotiating things that relate to war".

  • Patrick Joseph DUGGAN

    TENSIONS EXPLODE

    BREXIT fishing tensions exploded yesterday after the Defence Secretary vowed to use the full might of the Navy to protect British boats “going about their lawful business”.

    Ben Wallace warned Britain was ready for “whatever is the challenge on 1 January”.

    And they said Britain's threat to send gunboats in to repel foreign vessels "would mean that we are negotiating things that relate to war"

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    LORRY DRIVERS FEAR HUGE DELAYS

    Lorry drivers working ports at Calais fear huge delays over Brexit.

    One driver, speaking to Sky News, said: "The long waiting times, the queues that would be at the ports.

    "They are the main worries for the drivers. The time that the crossing will take is the real concern."

     

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    WHAT HAS BORIS JOHNSON SAID ABOUT A NO-DEAL BREXIT?

    Boris Johnson said on Sunday December 13 that there had been "hopes to finish things off today if there was a deal to be done.

    "As things stand, I'm afraid we're still very far apart on some key things.

    "But, where there is life there is hope, we are going to keep talking to see what we can do.

    "The UK certainly won't be walking away from talks, people will expect us to go the extra mile."

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    CORNWALL TO KEEP BRUSSELS OFFICE AS MPS BLAST ‘WASTE OF TAXPAYERS’ MONEY’

    Cornwall Council has said it will not scrap its office in Brussels. 

    The region overwhelmingly voted to exit the EU. 

    Leader Julian German, Independent, said the office was “important” for helping to maintain trade for local business and would not be shut down after December 31.

    But Tory MPs have blasted the decision as a “waste of taxpayers’ money.”

  • 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

    CONTINUED: DEFENCE SEC BEN WALLACE ON FISHING BLOCKADE BUST-UP

    Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: “Whatever happens in the negotiations people should respect each other's sovereign waters and follow the rule of law and behave peacefully and in line with it.”

    And he insisted he was not making a threat but just protecting UK shores "like any other European seaborne nation".

    "We will be there to make sure we protect our fisherman because they have the right to be protected as they go about their lawful business," he added.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    DEFENCE SEC VOWS NAVY WILL BE DRAFTED IN TO DEFEND CHANNEL IF FRENCH BLOCKADE PORTS

    Brexit fishing tensions exploded today after the Defence Secretary vowed to use the full might of the Navy to protect British boats “going about their lawful business”.

    Ben Wallace warned Britain was ready for “whatever is the challenge on 1 January” after French fishermen vowed to blockade the Channel if there is No Deal.

    And they said Britain's threat to send gunboats in to repel foreign vessels "would mean that we are negotiating things that relate to war".

    He hit out: “When it comes to a Brexit deal whatever that is, it is no secret that we would use our military to help support in logistics or anything else as required by other departments – we only do things at the request of civilians. If they ask for help we will give it.”

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    PANIC-BUYERS IGNORE WARNINGS FOR NO-DEAL BREXIT

    Panic-buyers have ignored warnings not to stockpile in the event of a No Deal Brexit and harsher Tier rules as they hit the shops again.

    Some nervous shoppers were seen leaving Costco with huge hauls of loo roll, beer and baguettes.

    The British Retail Consortium yesterday urged shoppers not to panic – and said retailers are increasing stocks to ensure a "sufficient supply of essential products".

    However, shoppers were seen out again today standing in long queues in Manchester to get into Costco as some were seen pushing trolleys full of goods to their cars.

    You can read more here

    Shoppers in Birmingham with bread, vegetables, oil and other goods in their trolleysCredit: SWNS: South West News Service
  • Chiara Fiorillo

    EU 'FULLY DEDICATED' TO REACH A DEAL

    The European Union is "fully dedicated" to reach a post-Brexit trade deal before Britain's transition out of the bloc ends on December 31, the European Commission said on Monday.

    Commission spokesman Daniel Ferrie told a news briefing: "We're of course aware that time is short. The more time that goes by the less likely it is that we will have a deal in place on the first of January, that's just a statement of fact.

    "I cannot say what may or may not happen over these days.

    "But what I can say, though, is that we are fully dedicated to trying to reach a deal with the UK."

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    'INAPROPRIATE' FOR UK TO 'FLEX ITS MUSCLES'

    It is "inappropriate" for the UK to "flex its muscles" on fishing, a top official has said.

    Dimitri Rogoff, president of Normandy's regional fisheries committee, said: "There will therefore be blockages to ferries, since this mainly happens by ferries. And on that, we are quite clear and determined."

    The powerful fishing leader said it was "inappropriate" for the UK to "flex its muscles" in the talks by threatening to send in the Navy.

    He said: "We've seen this before a long time ago and we hoped never to see it again in this Europe, which is one of sharing resources.

    "Now the UK has decided to leave but from there to sending warships, it's unimaginable."

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    MICHEL BARNIER SAYS EU HAS TAKEN A ‘HARDER’ POSITION ON FISHING 

    Michel Barnier told EU ambassadors No 10 has taken a harder position on fishing during the last few days of Brexit trade talks – which was denied in Britain.

    During a briefing to top envoys he said British negotiators were "backtracking" on possible areas of compromise.

    However, he struck a more optimistic tone and said he did think that a deal was still possible this week.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    FRENCH FISHERMEN VOW TO BLOCKADE PORTS OVER NO DEAL

    French fishermen have vowed to blockade Dover and Calais if there's a No Deal Brexit – and warned it could lead to "warlike" tensions in the Channel.

    Trawlermen said they would respond to being shut out of UK waters by stopping ferries carrying vital goods from entering major ports.

    Dimitri Rogoff, president of Normandy's regional fisheries committee, said that will lead to Dutch, Belgian and German ships piling into French waters.

    He told radio station France Info: "If we are deprived of our fishing grounds, we will not watch the British supply the French market.

    "There will therefore be blockages to ferries, since this mainly happens by ferries. And on that, we are quite clear and determined."

  • 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.

  • Christy Cooney

    BREXIT WILL BE 'SLOW PUNCTURE' FOR UK ECONOMY, SAYS EX SIEMENS CHIEF

    The impact of Brexit will be like a "slow puncture" for the UK economy, the former chief executive of tech giant Siemens has said.

    Speaking to the Guardian, Juergen Maier said businesses will face disruption for at least the first half of next year, even if a new trade deal is agreed.

    “It’s going to be a pretty tough for the first six months. That is what I am hearing from the groups that I am on," he said.

    “It’s a slow puncture of the economy is how I describe it, because people will have made their contingency plans to lose bits of their production, to move parts of their research and development over to other places where it’s easier to do it from.

    “They will just start acting on it slowly."

  • Christy Cooney

    TALKS SHOULDN'T GO BEYOND THIS WEEK, SAYS FRENCH MINISTER

    France's European minister his said he thinks Brexit talks should conclude by the end of this week at the latest.

    Clément Beaune said it would be "difficult” for negotiations to be extended any further.

    “Not just because of ratification, but because we need two weeks to organise," he said.

    "Companies are getting anxious. We cannot get to 5pm on December 31 without companies knowing what will happen the next day.”

  • Christy Cooney

    NO DEAL 'POSSIBLE', SAYS NO. 10

    A no-deal Brexit is now only a "possible" option, Downing Street has said.

    The statement marks a deescalation of comments last week by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said no-deal was a "strong possibility" and "very likely".

    Speaking to the Financial Times, a Number Ten spokesperon said today: "No deal is a potential outcome.

    "[It's] possible."

  • Catriona Graffius

    EU NEGOTIATOR MICHEL BARNIER SAYS DEAL STILL POSSIBLE WITH JUST TWO STICKING POINTS LEFT

    EU negotiator Michel Barnier has revealed there are just two sticking points left in Brexit talks and insisted a deal was "still possible".

    Mr Barnier said this morning there "every chance" a trade deal could be agreed, as both Britain and the bloc hurtled towards the end of the transition period on December 31.

    Speaking this morning, Mr Barnier revealed the three major hurdles to striking a deal had been whittled down to just two.

    "We've only been negotiating for nine months, we've needed at least five years for all the previous agreements, we are going to give every chance to this agreement… which is still possible," Mr Barnier said.

    And in an upbeat briefing with European ambassadors Mr Barnier said there had been progress on how to ensure fair competition, but that No10 was digging its heels in on fishing.  

  • Catriona Graffius

    URSULA VON DER LEYEN ADMITS 'MOVEMENT' IN TRADE TALKS AS BRTISH SOURCE SAYS PROCESS 'STILL HAS LEGS'

    Ursula von der Leyen has said "there is movement" in post-Brexit trade talks as both the EU and Britain renewed efforts in negotiating after extending Sunday's deadline.

    The president of the European Commission said relations with the UK will be “about new beginnings with old friends”, as both sides attempt to go "the extra mile" to reach a deal.

    While a no deal outcome is still likely, one British source said the negotiation process "still has legs".

    The EU and Britain are continuing talks over fishing rights and a level playing field in trade after the UK leaves the EU on December 31.

  • Christy Cooney

    IKEA DELAYS AFTER PORT DISRUPTION

    IKEA customers have expressed anger after port disruption caused some deliveries to be delayed by almost two months. 

    One shopper said they’re still waiting for an order placed on October 22 to arrive.

    Ikea has apologised and confirmed it’s facing stock shortages due to congestion at UK ports.

    Ports have been struggling with increased demand caused by coronavirus lockdowns, Brexit stockpiling, and Christmas orders.

    Read the full story here.

  • Christy Cooney

    SNP 'TO VOTE AGAINST ANY DEAL'

    Scottish National Party MPs in Westminster will vote against any Brexit deal, the Scottish government's Brexit secretary has said.

    Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, Michael Russell said: "I doubt any deal will be sufficient for Scotland. We voted against this.

    "[What] we should be doing is saying is this is utter folly. Even at this moment look at this, and imagine what a huge mistake you are making.

    "Why on earth would we vote for the first time ever for a Brexit solution which is utterly the wrong thing for Scotland?"

  • Christy Cooney

    PM SHOULD QUIT IF NO DEAL REACHED, SAYS TORY MP

    A Conservative MP has said Boris Johnson should quit as prime minister if he fails to reach a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union.

    Writing on twitter, Roger Gale, who represents North Thanet, said: “If Mr Johnson fails to reach an acceptable trade agreement with the EU the Prime Minister will also have failed the people of the United Kingdom.

    “As a lifelong member of the Conservative Party, I believe that Mr Johnson's position as Prime Minister would be untenable.

    “As an honourable man, he would have to make way for somebody more able to pick up the pieces, to reunite the whole country and to show the leadership that Great Britain and Northern Ireland deserves.”

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