Great Britain

Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson looks to Canada and Mexico after US trade snub

Brexit: Sandell hits out at 'disgraceful' lack of Norway deal

The Prime Minister had hoped that his current trip to America would “reset” the Special Relationship after relations were strained during the pullout from Afghanistan last month.

But after arriving in the US, Mr Johnson admitted that the US President had "a lot of fish to fry" as well as striking deals.

This led government insiders to suggest that Brexit Britain could look to join the existing US-Mexico-Canada agreement instead.

A diplomatic source told the Mirror: "There are a variety of different ways to do this. The question is whether the US administration is ready.

"The ball is in the US's court. It takes two to tango."

The leak was backed up by Bloomberg journalist Kitty Donaldson.

She tweeted: “New: UK weighs joining the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement - a sign Boris Johnson has abandoned hope of getting a bilateral free trade agreement with the US.”


Mr Johnson has apparently given up hope of a bilateral free trade deal with America (Image: Getty)

Mr Johnson has long eyed a free trade deal with the US as one of the chief prizes of Brexit.

But back in 2016 then-President Barack Obama warned that the UK would be “at the back of the queue” for an agreement.

The chances of a deal appeared to be back on the cards after the election of Mr Obama’s successor Donald Trump.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: Getty)

In 2017 the outspoken Republican claimed that the UK was “first in line” for a deal with the US.

But it failed to materialise and with Mr Obama’s vice-president Joe Biden now sitting in the White House - it appears the UK is back in the queue.


Kirkella has been stuck in port due to the lack of a deal with Norway

Fishing vessels have been unable to fish near Svalbard due to the lack of licences (Image: PA)

11.15pm update: Brexit payback: EU's 'anger' at UK sees Brussels pay price for Britain's global alliances

Brussels' hostile approach to the Brexit negotiations is to blame for the UK's success in securing a spot in the newly forged alliance with Australia and the US, according to an expert.

Boris Johnson, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and US President Joe Biden signed a new defence alliance last week that saw France embarrassingly left out.

The partnership, aimed at counteracting China's military power in the Indo-Pacific, saw an order of French submarines scrapped by the Australians.

French President Emmanuel Macron was left furious and has since cancelled military events with all three of his NATO allies in retaliation.

Dan Hastings takes over from Oliver Pritchard-Jones.

9.02pm update: 'Wake up call!' German minister demands EU learn from Brexit Britain's Aukus deal

The EU must speak as “one voice” and learn from the mess that Brexit Britain's Aukus deal has left it in, a German minister has insisted.

European Affairs Minister Michael Roth said that the Australian Government reneging on a £43 billion deal with France to supply it with diesel-powered submarines was a “wake up call”.

Mr Morrison’s Government has dumped the long-standing agreement in favour of being kitted out with nuclear-powered submarines with help from the US and UK.

The snub enraged Emmanuel Macron’s Government which accused the US and Australia of “blindsiding” it.

And as the dust begins to settle on the bitter spat, Mr Roth insisted the development highlighted the importance of EU states working together.

Speaking in Brussels ahead of a meeting of general affairs ministers from the EU’s 27 nations, he said: “We cannot exclusively rely on others but must cooperate, and we have to overcome our differences [within the EU] and speak with one voice.”

Mr Roth added that “the lost trust has to be rebuilt, and it will obviously not be easy.

“But we want to make a constructive contribution [to the process].”

8.24pm update: Brexit made Angela Merkel unlikely hero for Britain’s Remainers

Brexit has made Angela Merkel an unlikely hero among Britain's Remainers, a columnist has claimed.

Rafael Behr said that the length of Ms Merkel's tenure at Germany's helm gave her an almost regal status across Europe.

Writing in the Guardian, he said: "But in Britain (Ms) Merkel represents something different, based on a more selective reading of the record.

"She is an icon for remain-voting liberals, who have experienced the past few years as something more traumatic than normal electoral defeat: more like exile."

Brexit Secretary Lord Frost

Brexit Secretary Lord Frost (Image: Getty)

BBC boss Tim Davie admitted he does not know if anyone in the corporation's senior management supported Brexit - sparking an angry backlash.

The director-general insisted that staff leave their political views "at the door" during a grilling by MPs on bias at the broadcaster.

Mr Davie also insisted the BBC was right to start charging the over-75s for the licence fee. Ministers are currently in the final stages of negotiations with the broadcaster over how much public funding it will receive next year.

At a Commons committee yesterday, Mr Davie was asked if he had hired anyone to the senior BBC team who backed quitting the EU.

He replied: “I don’t know. We are hiring people all the time. I don’t know where my top team is on Brexit. We don’t talk like that.”

6.15pm update: EU cracks: Germany signs space deal with Australia hours before backing Macron in subs row

Hours before Germany publicly backed Emmanuel Macron over the diplomatic row with Australia, the US and the UK, German and Australian generals signed a military alliance in Berlin, in another blow to Paris.

Australia's ditching of a submarine contract with France is another wake-up call for the European Union to strengthen its own sovereignty, Germany said this morning, noting it will be difficult to rebuild lost trust after the move.

"We cannot exclusively rely on others but must cooperate, and we have to overcome our differences (within the EU) and speak with one voice," German European affairs minister Michael Roth told reporters ahead of a meeting with his counterparts in Brussels.

"We all need to sit down at a table; lost trust has to be rebuilt - and this will obviously not be easy. But we want to make a constructive contribution," he added.

4.31pm update: Brexit Britain win as funding for world's largest robotic telescope will see school boost

British schools will see a boost to their science departments after Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) announced plans to open access to the world's largest robotic telescope.

The telescope will be the biggest and fastest robotic telescope in the world. Plans are underway after it was confirmed it will receive £4million in funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

LMJU presently owns and operates another big robotic telescope in the Canary Islands, the Liverpool Telescope (LT), which it has run since 2004 and allows schools to access.

The telescope is controlled by artificial intelligence (AI) and doesn’t require humans. This means it can help Liverpool astronomers explore the far reaches of the universe at a rapid pace.

Dr Chris Copperwheat, LT Astronomer in Charge at LJMU, told“With the new telescope the great thing is we can expand our scope because we’re keeping our current telescopes and we’re going to have two.

“We’re going to have much more time to really expand the scope of our project, we want to reach every school in the UK rather than the 3000 schools currently available.”

“Astronomy is a real kind of gateway drug for kids interested in the science subjects so that’s a core part of our mission.”

Express Newspapers

Express Newspapers (Image: Express Newspapers )

3.48pm update: Sky News' Rigby cuts off Boris in brutal live clash on trade deal 'Come on Beth!'

Boris Johnson snapped at Sky News Political Editor Beth Rigby after the journalist relentless grilled the PM to guarantee a US free trade deal by 2024 - something he was unable to commit to.

Beth Rigby interrogated Boris Johnson during a press junket and demanded to know whether the prime minister could guarantee a free trade deal with the US before 2024. Mr Johnson squirmed as he attempted to divert from the question by stating the UK has already established many trade deals post-Brexit despite Ms Rigby branding the UK as "small fry" to the US.

The Sky News journalist attacked Mr Johnson's Brexit record with the annoyed Conservative leader telling her she was "wrong" with her "gloom" but still refused to guarantee a free trade deal by 2024, nearly five years after the UK left the EU.

Oliver Pritchard-Jones taking over from Richard Percival

3pm update: Lib Dems launch rant over lack of US trade deal clarity 

The Liberal Democrats have accused Boris Johnson of “yet another broken Conservative manifesto promise,” after the Prime Minister admitted that a trade deal with the United States is unlikely to be concluded anytime soon.

Liberal Democrat Trade Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said: "For years we were told one of the biggest prizes of Brexit would be a trade deal with the United States.

“Yet Boris Johnson has effectively admitted the UK is at the back of the queue, despite claiming this would be his flagship trade deal. This has to be his most embarrassing failure yet."

The "dislocation, damage and delays "caused by Brexit should be "immediately addressed" by the UK Government, Scotland's Constitution and External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson has told the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Mr Robertson raised shortages of labour and skills across a range of sectors, including care workers, HGV drivers, and the food and drink sector in a meeting with Alister Jack. 

Norway Fishing

Norway's Fisheries Minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen (Image: Hans Kristian Thorbjornsen/Norway Government)

12pm update: Food chiefs warn of CO2 shortages because of Brexit in days 

Shoppers will start noticing shortages within days as a result of the crisis in carbon dioxide (CO2) supply, a food industry chief has warned.

The gas is used in food packaging and as a method of stunning animals prior to slaughter but supplies are running low.

Spiralling energy costs have led to the suspension of operations at fertiliser plants - which produce CO2 as a by-product - having a knock-on effect on the food industry.

Ian Wright, the chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, said consumers could start noticing shortages in poultry, pork and bakery products within days.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the Government needed to support fertiliser producers, help food producers to look for alternatives to CO2 and address labour shortages in the industry.

The CO2 problems come on top of Brexit-related issues and a shortage of lorry drivers.

Boris Johnson brutally mocked Tony Blair's close friendship with George Bush as he spoke of his own relationship with US President Joe Biden.

Ahead of a meeting of the two world leaders at the White House today, the Prime Minister was eager to talk up the special relationship.

Dismissing claims of any sort of a rift between Washington and London, he said the two countries had never been closer.

UK's most commonly landed fish

UK's most commonly landed fish species (Image: Express Newspapers )

9am update: 'We want to close a deal!' Joe Biden explains red lines for 'striking' US UK trade deal

Joe Biden's US administration has outlined the President's red lines for striking a US UK trade deal while negotiators are "putting their foot down" to "close a deal".

New International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan held talks with US trade representative Katharine Tai yesterday.

A free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States is seen as a major prize of leaving the European Union for the UK Government but is the first major challenge for the new International Trade Secretary, who replaced Liz Truss last week.

8am update: Welsh Cambrian Mountains lamb granted special UK Brexit status 

Welsh Cambrian Mountains lamb has become the latest food to be granted protected status in the UK following Brexit. 

The meat, from lambs born and reared in the Cambrian Mountains area of mid-Wales, has been registered under the Geographical Indication scheme.

It is intended to ensure popular and traditional products from across the country are recognised for their authenticity and origin, and therefore cannot be imitated.

SNP business spokesman Stephen Flynn has pressed the Government on the claims made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson before the 2016 EU referendum that gas bills would be reduced if the UK voted to leave the EU.

He told MPs: "Decades of underinvestment in renewable technologies, the barriers put in place by Brexit, 11 years of Tory austerity, a national insurance tax hike, the plan to rob £20 per week from those claiming Universal Credit, food prices rising, shelves emptying and now this: energy consumers facing skyrocketing, eye-watering bills.

"Let's call this what it is: this is a cost-of-living crisis. And it is one created on the watch of this UK Government."

He added: "What message would he have for the likes of the Prime Minister who, of course, told us in 2016 that if we vote to leave the European Union, energy bills would be reduced?"

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng replied: "I find it extraordinary that he is still relitigating the so-called Brexit wars. Absolutely extraordinary. This is a serious issue and it is not the time to refight the battles of five years ago."

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