Great Britain

Brexit LIVE: Frost to present solution that sets UK industry free from red tape nightmare

Brexit: David Davis warns of 'three more years' of negotiations

The UK Brexit minister's team, aided by other government officials, is due to present a solution to industry in the autumn. During Brexit talks with the European Union, the UK did not secure an agreement with Brussels to recognise one another’s safety standards, known as conformity assessments. But leading figures have warned failure to find a suitable replacement for the EU's safety standards system could fotrce manufacturers to move trade elsewhere as the components needed for use in the UK will not have a suitable “kitemark”.

There are currently markings on products in locations throughout Britain and European that say "CE", which means they meet European health, safety and environmental standards.

A Government-approved testing body must manage these kitemarks, but from the start of next year, roducts must be separately approved for a UK regime.

But industry bodies have warned time is fast running out to find a solution, as there is next to no capacity for testing certain goods ahead of the January 1, 2022 deadline.

Three people familiar with the matter told The Independent these issues had come to a head during a meeting of the Business Brexit Taskforce last months, which includes the B5; the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Institute of Directors (IOD) and Make UK.

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Brexit LIVE: Lord Frost is set to present a solution to set UK industry free from red tape nightmare (Image: GETTY / PA)

Lord Frost was reportedly told ahead of the meeting and during the session that conformity checks have now become an extremely urgent issue.

Ben Fletcher, chief operating officer at industry body Make UK, said: “Conformity assessments are rapidly becoming a major blockage for companies who are now in a queue to get their products approved with the clock ticking down to the end of the year.

“Many more are not even aware that this change is happening so soon.”

“There is enormous bureaucracy involved in approving test centres and government needs to urgently fast track their approval so these delays in getting products approved for UK companies can be removed.”

William Bain, head of trade policy for the BCC, said: “We have serious concerns about the effect on business of the looming deadline for CE marked goods coming onto the market in Great Britain.

“Without a long-term solution, or at the very least an extension to the easement beyond January 2022, manufacturing supply chains could face serious disruption if suppliers in the EU cannot have components assessed under the British standards regime.”

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Brexit in Express front pages

Brexit in Express front pages (Image: Express)

11.10pm update: David Davis warns Farage UK faces three more years of Brexit negotiations 'more to come!'

David Davis has warned Nigel Farage that Britain faces three more years of negotiations with the EU over Brexit.

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis has told Nigel Farage on GB News that talks with Brussels to iron out issues with fisheries and the Northern Ireland protocol will take years to complete.

Mr Davis and the former Brexit Party leader sat down for Mr Farage's Talking Points segment on GB News to reflect on Britain's journey to leaving the EU.

Mr Farage described the Brexit deal delivered by Boris Johnson as "not perfect" and agreed that further negotiations would likely take years.

9.30pm update: Tell the EU to negotiate, Nicola! Lord Frost attacks the latest SNP Brexit demands

Lord Frost will warn the Scottish government that the EU must agree to "significant changes" to the Brexit rules for Northern Ireland.

It will come after SNP minister Angus Robertson said the tensions between London and Brussels were of “great concern”.

The pair are set to meet later today to discuss the Government’s plans to renegotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The post-Brexit border fix has been a source of great frustration in the region and has sparked controversy between the UK and EU.

Isabella Marsans is taking over from Steven Brown.

8.40pm update: Brexiteer lashes out Thierry Breton following UK vaccine remarks

A Brexiteer has lashed after the EU's French Commissioner Thierry Breton bragged over Ireland's vaccine rate.

David Jones, Deputy Chairman of the European Research Group, told Express.co.uk: "What it does illustrate is the fact elements of the French administration are viscerally opposed to the United Kingdom.

"That remark was purely gratuitous. If he were in a position to say France has surpassed the UK in terms of vaccinations then I suppose I would understand it.

"To suggest Ireland is doing better is rather weak really.

"Of course it also means that Ireland is doing better than France as indeed England is."

Celebrating Ireland's vaccine success, Mr Breton boasted as EU factories "keep supplying vaccines to the world".

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Brexit LIVE: Lord Frost is leading current talks with the EU (Image: GETTY)

6.20pm update: Visceral hatred! Fury as 'weak' EU chief gloats on Irish jab rollout in 'gratuitous' swipe

A Brexiteer has lashed after the EU's French Commissioner Thierry Breton bragged over Ireland's vaccine rate.

Amid the risk of inflaming tensions between the UK and EU, the Commissioner for the Internal Markel revelled as 73 percent of Ireland has now been double-vaccinated.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Jones said: "What it does illustrate is the fact elements of the French administration are viscerally opposed to the United Kingdom.

"That remark was purely gratuitous. If he were in a position to say France has surpassed the UK in terms of vaccinations then I suppose I would understand it.

"To suggest Ireland is doing better is rather weak really.

"Of course it also means that Ireland is doing better than France as indeed England is."

5pm update: Nicola Sturgeon suffered Brexit blow after Norway's crushing verdict on EFTA entry

Nicola Sturgeon wanted Scotland to stay in the Single Market using the same path as Norway - but her plan suffered an embarrassing blow in 2016, unearthed reports reveal.

Even becoming part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – the regional trade organisation and free trade area consisting of four European states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – could be an issue for an independent Scotland.

Speaking as it emerged that former First Minister Alex Salmond had held informal talks with EFTA members in Switzerland, Ms Maeland said the Scottish government should have spoken to the UK Government instead as it was "an internal matter for the UK”.

She said: "As for now, I think Scotland has not the competence to go into this EFTA but I think this is an internal matter for the UK, so I think Scotland should talk to the government in the UK about these matters.”

3pm update: Steven Brown takes over from Paul Withers

2pm update: Sturgeon handed huge independence boost as Scotland can power itself 'without Westminster'

Nicola Sturgeon has been handed a huge boost to her independence bid as an expert in energy politics has told Express.co.uk that Scotland would be able to run itself on renewable energy "without Westminster support".

The SNP is said to be ready to step up efforts for a second vote on independence. Renewable energy formed a key part of the first independence battle as Scotland boasts one of the most favourable conditions in Europe for harvesting wind.

At the time, Dr David Toke, from the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen, published a study on the feasibility of Scotland standing alone.

He, along with four other researchers, stated in 2013 that the "political support for renewable energy development" in Scotland is "built on something of a paradox".

They added: "Put simply, without the subsidies paid by electricity consumers in the rest of the UK, the Scottish Government's ambitious targets for renewable energy would be politically unachievable."

But now, eight years later, Dr Toke has told Express.co.uk that "things have changed quite a bit".

In an exclusive interview, he added: "The cost of onshore and offshore wind has fallen by large amounts meaning that, given the cost of wind power is now a lot lower than the current wholesale power price, they would be able to finance their own renewable energy programme without Westminster support.

12.50pm update: Grow up! Macron refusing to meet Boris as French 'crossing street to pick fight' with UK

Emmanuel Macron has been accused of refusing an Anglo-French summit has diplomatic relations between London and Paris turn "toxic".

Diplomats have been trying to arrange a high-level summit between Boris Johnson and the French President for months in an attempt to reset the relationship.

But it has been reported that the French are refusing to agree to a date, with one source describing the cross-Channel ties as “appalling”.

A senior diplomatic source told the Times newspaper: “The Government has reached out to try to arrange a summit but the French aren’t interested.

“They’ve simply said there’s no point.”

Normally cordial relations with France have been at a breaking point ever since Britain voted to renounce its European Union membership in June 2016.

President Macron is known as a hardliner in the bloc’s fight against Brexit and often used his position to make life difficult for our prime ministers.

A senior Government source said there was a view that “elements of the French system are basically crossing the street to pick a fight every day”.

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Brexit LIVE: Emmanuel Macron has been accused of refusing an Anglo-French summit (Image: GETTY)

11.40am update: Brexit master plan as City of London could join forces with Amsterdam to take on EU

Brexit could provide London and Amsterdam a huge opportunity - as the two capitals may join forces to take on the EU and become one of the great financial centres of the 21st century, it has been claimed.

An average €9.2billion (£8.07bn) shares a day were traded on Euronext Amsterdam and the Dutch arms of CBOE Europe and Turquoise in January, a more than fourfold increase from December.

The surge came as volumes in London fell sharply to €8.6billion (£7.5bn), removing the UK from its historic position as the main centre for the European market, according to data from CBOE Europe.

While it is of course a shame that lots of trading is being forced out of Britain, in a recent report, financial columnist Matthew Lynn, argued there is also a natural opportunity for the City.

He wrote: "We should create a twin city financial hub – Lon-Dam. How would that work?

"Amsterdam would handle all the trades and listings which the regulations demand are completed within the EU, while London, as well as re-focusing on the global capital markets, could keep much of the high-level deal-making and research work.

"With similar buccaneering, global traditions, it should be a natural fit – and with the right infrastructure in place, Lon-Dam could be one of the great financial centres of the 21st century."

10.38am update: Ireland turns on EU as bloc's economic model 'doesn't work in vacuum'

Ireland's banking supremo has warned Brussels its economic model "doesn't work in a vacuum" as he voiced serious misgivings about the EU's pledge to achieve carbon neutrality.

Gabriel Makhlouf suggested the bloc’s approach was outdated - warning it needed radical improvement if Brussels was to hit its 2050 target.

And he feared the EU was failing to learn the lessons of recent crises - not least that of the pandemic.

Mr Makhlouf, who is Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, said a radical rethink of EU economic policies was required - emphasising the European Central Bank could not do all the work.

The EU has already suspended the fiscal rules of its Stability and Growth Pact, aimed at ensuring members of the EU27 live within their means.

In addition the ECB has launched a massive monetary support scheme based on its €1.85trillion (£1.57trillion) asset purchase programme.

However, Mr Makhlouf suggested the ECB might have to extend emergency bond purchases in support of both the private and public sectors as part of its Pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) past the current March 2022 deadline.

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Brexit LIVE: The European trade landscape after the UK's departure from the EU (Image: EXPRESS)

9.30am update: Brexit voter U-turns and demands UK signs up for EU army after saying he was 'misled'

An LBC guest admitted he was "misled" during the Brexit debate and demanded not only a second referendum is granted but that the UK should also join the Eurozone and establish an EU army.

Simon from Southampton joined LBC's Cross Questions and waded in on the Brexit debate before revealing he regretted voting leave in 2016.

He explained he was not informed enough to make a smart choice at the time and argues the referendum was "stolen" from him and many others.

But Simon went one step further and revealed he has reformed his views, now arguing the UK should go ahead with another referendum to go back into the European Union and wanted to see the UK adopt the Euro and even join an EU army.

8.30am update: Downing Street calls on EU to 'engage with us urgently' on Protocol issues

A UK Government spokeswoman said: "It's clear that the Protocol is not working in its current form and significant changes are needed to ensure that it is sustainable for the future.

"The protocol is causing disruption to the everyday lives of people in Northern Ireland - companies are stopping delivering to Northern Ireland, there are growing difficulties with medicines supplies, and products are disappearing from supermarket shelves.

"We have set out our proposals to resolve the serious issues with the Protocol in exhaustive detail in our Command Paper.

"The EU need to engage with us urgently on these issues - we are ready to move forward in a constructive way."

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Brexit LIVE: The UK's Chancellor Rishi Sunak (Image: GETTY)

8.30am update: Scottish Government minister lashes out at Lord Frost over Protocol

External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson has warned tensions between the UK Government and the EU over the issue are of "great concern".

He is due to meet Brexit minister Lord Frost later on Wednesday.

Ahead of the meeting, Mr Robertson said: "The ongoing tensions between the UK Government and the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol are of great concern.

"The entire issue could worsen the already damaging trade impact on Scotland of the UK Government's hard Brexit, and have wider ramifications for EU-UK relations, including further eroding trust."

"Lord Frost needs to explain to Scotland what the rationale is behind the UK Government's high risk and potentially provocative strategy, and provide reassurance that a damaging breakdown in relations can be avoided.

"Scotland is already suffering from the damaging economic impact of Brexit and being removed against our will from a market around seven times bigger than the UK.

"We need to do everything possible to avoid making that damage even worse, which is why I will be urging Lord Frost to ensure that the UK Government proceeds in a spirit of collaboration, not conflict, with the EU."

7.50am update: Escaped just in time! Horror EU plot to 'absorb nations into hostile superstate' exposed

Britain was lucky that it managed to quit the European Union when it did - but the "hostile superstate" remains a threat, as do a "hardcore rump of Rejoiners" keen to take Britain back into the bloc, a Brexiteer has said.

Leigh Evans, editor-in-chief of Facts4EU, was commenting on the think tank’s latest report, which argues eurocrats have “seized power by patience and stealth”, and now enjoy “supreme power over large parts of everyday life for citizens in the EU”.

Given the chequered history of relations between London and Brussels, the case for quitting the bloc was undeniable, Mr Evans told Express.co.uk.

He said: “Thank goodness the United Kingdom got out of the EU while we still could.

“The history of the EU from its beginnings as the ‘European Economic Community’ or EEC/Common Market has been one of mission creep.

"Theirs was always a project to absorb member countries into one superstate, as they made clear from the start when they talked of ‘ever closer union’."

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