Great Britain

Brexit news latest – UK close to striking trade deal if EU ‘doesn’t move goalposts’ as huge changes for farmers revealed

DEAL OR NO DEAL

THE UK could strike a Brexit trade deal this week if the EU “doesn’t move the goalposts” as huge changes for British farming have been revealed.

The UK and EU will need to seal an arrangement by Saturday to have time to get it through their respective parliaments by the end of the year.

This comes as a seven-year plan to phase out paying subsidies to farmers based on the size of their land has been laid out.

Farmers will receive money for improving productivity and the environment - resulting in cleaner air, water and happier livestock.

The present system of "direct payments" per acre under the EU's common agricultural policy will be reduced next year with the aim to have completely abolished it by 2028.

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

  • BREXIT TO TRANSFORM FARMS

    Brexit will transform our fields and farms as the country undergoes the biggest change in farming policy for half a century.

    The government will make a promise of a seven-year plan to phase out paying subsidies to farmers based on how much land they own.

    A post-Brexit overhaul of agriculture in England will be laid out and farmers will receive money for improving productivity and the environment.

    The move is hopeful that wildlife will thrive, air and water will be cleaner and livestock will be treated more humanely.

  • EUROPEAN TRADESMEN LEAVE LONDON CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

    More than 60,000 European brickies, builders, carpenters and others have left London’s construction industry in the past two years and most are unlikely to return, trade chiefs warn.

    The EU-born workforce in the capital has shrunk from 115,000 in the third quarter of 2018 to just 53,000 today, a fall of 54 per cent and far greater than the overall 14 per cent decline in the market as a whole.

    But it could leave the industry desperately short of labour when it starts to grow again as EU-born employees have traditionally made up more than a third of the numbers required for projects ranging from housing to office blocks to schools and hospitals.

    Some of this will be compensated by a rise in UK nationals and other foreign workers who are from non-EU countries, said the figures from the Construction Products Association (CPA) based on ONS data.

    They found that since 2018 the overall number of employees in construction in London has fallen by 14 per cent from 300,000 to 259,000.

  • MAJORITY OF FOOD AND DRINK FIRMS FEEL UNPREPARED FOR BREXIT

    Almost three-quarters of Scotland’s food and drink businesses feel unprepared for Brexit and any resulting disruption, according to research.

    Scotland Food and Drink said with a month to go until the transition period ends, the industry feels it is in a “perilous position”.

    The industry body has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking urgent action and assurances around trading arrangements once the transition period ends on December 31.

    With many of the new trading rules still unknown, coupled with businesses fighting to survive the impact of the pandemic, the industry has called for a six-month grace period to adjust to whatever the new trading rules are – in particular on the requirement to issue millions of new export certificates for food products.

    Industry leaders will meet Victoria Prentice, a minister in the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on Tuesday to discuss the issues.

  • UK URGES EU TO BRING ‘FRESH THINKING’ TO BREXIT TALKS

    The Government has repeatedly said it is prepared to leave the transition period without a deal if the EU fails to move, and talks have been deadlocked for months over fishing rights and other issues.

    They include the governance of any deal and the “level playing field” conditions aimed at preventing unfair competition by cutting standards or increasing state subsidies.

    But ahead of what Number 10 said could be the final week of talks, a source close to the negotiations said: “Over the coming days we will continue to negotiate with creativity and intensity.

    “We hope that the EU will come with some fresh thinking because what we’ve seen so far doesn’t cut it. They must understand that we are not going to sell out our sovereignty.”

    Mr Barnier arrived in London on Friday night telling reporters that he would continue to work with “patience and determination” to reach an agreement.

  • THE ROAD TO DIVORCE

    JANUARY 2013: David Cameron promises a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU

    JUNE 23, 2016: People of Britain vote in favour of Brexit by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, and Cameron resigns

    JANUARY 18, 2017: Theresa May takes a hard line on talks with the EU, saying: “No deal is better than a bad deal.” 

    JANUARY 29, 2019: The first Brexit deadline passes after the UK asks the EU for an extension

    JULY 13, 2020: The Government begins an ad campaign urging firms to prepare for end of transition period 

    SEPTEMBER 22, 2020: Cabinet minister Michael Gove sends a letter to hauliers warning about a queue of 7,000 lorries in Kent 

    OCTOBER 13, 2020: Treasury and cabinet office minister Lord Agnew says that businesses have their “heads in sand” over Brexit changes 

    NOVEMBER 29, 2020: Britain’s foreign minister said today there is only about a week left for the UK and the European Union to strike a post-Brexit trade deal

    JANUARY 1, 2021: End of transition period. If there is no deal, UK will revert to World Trade Organisation terms, including tariffs

  • FERRY ROUTE OPENS BETWEEN FRANCE AND IRELAND

    A new freight ferry route linking Ireland and France will open once Brexit it agreed.

    The route offers “direct and paperless transport between EU countries”.

    DFDS, a Danish international shipping and logistics company, said Friday that it would start operating sailings on the route between Dunkirk and Rosslare on 2 January 2021.

  • MAJORITY OF FOOD AND DRINK FIRMS FEEL UNPREPARED FOR BREXIT

    Almost three-quarters of Scotland's food and drink businesses feel unprepared for Brexit and any resulting disruption, according to research.

    Scotland Food and Drink said with a month to go until the transition period ends, the industry feels it is in a "perilous position".

    The industry body has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking urgent action and assurances around trading arrangements once the transition period ends on December 31.

    With many of the new trading rules still unknown, coupled with businesses fighting to survive the impact of the pandemic, the industry has called for a six-month grace period to adjust to whatever the new trading rules are - in particular on the requirement to issue millions of new export certificates for food products.

  • EXPLAINED: WHAT IS A NO DEAL BREXIT?

    BRITAIN left the EU at the beginning of 2020 – more than three years after the nation narrowly voted to leave the union.

    Negotiations continue, but the EU and UK still disagree over future arrangements for areas such as fisheries, state aid and financial services.

    But what does it mean for Brits? Read our handy explainer here.

  • STURGEON TO ANNOUNCE £100M FUND TO HELP SCOTS

    A £100 million fund will be set up to help hard up Scots this winter, Nicola Sturgeon will announce, with the support including direct payments of £100 to all families with children in receipt of free school meals.

    The Scottish First Minister will say the coronavirus pandemic has shown that it should no longer be accepted that problems with poverty and inequality are "inevitable or insoluble".

    The action comes in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, which has seen many lose their jobs or have their incomes cut.

    The new £100 million winter fund for low income households will provide those in need with cash to help "pay their fuel bills and make sure children don't go hungry", Ms Sturgeon will tell the SNP annual conference.

    In addition to this, it will help pay to get older people connected online and provide help for the homeless.

  • ‘KEEP HEART AND KEEP THE FAITH’

    SNP members must “keep heart, keep the heid and keep the faith” as they push for independence, the party’s Westminster leader will tell its conference.

    Addressing the online event on Sunday, Ian Blackford will issue a call for unity, mirroring a similar message from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon the previous day.

    The goal of the party, he will say, is to elect “an independence majority” at the 2021 Holyrood elections which will then hold a referendum on the country’s constitutional future.

    Mr Blackford will look to rally the party faithful in his speech, the day after a rift between one of his MPs and the leadership grew wider.

    In an interview with the Times on Saturday, Joanna Cherry called for an end to the “cult of leader” at the top of the party – whether it’s Alex (Salmond) or Nicola, or anyone else” – to be replaced with a more “collegiate” approach to internal debates including how best to accelerate Scottish independence.

  • ‘FAILURES EXPLOITED BY CRIMINAL GANGS’

    A Labour MP has criticised the Government for not delivering on promises.

    It comes after a joint agreement between France and the UK was signed earlier today to increase police patrols in Northern France to deter migrants from attempting to cross the English Channel.

    Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “An effective agreement with the French authorities would be welcome, but the Conservatives have regularly announced progress and not delivered.

    “These failures have been exploited by criminal gangs, and left desperate people taking to dangerous sea routes as the Conservatives have suggested unconscionable options, like wave machines and nets.

    “A deal with the French authorities alone is not enough. The Conservatives continue to fail on establishing safe routes and have abolished DFID (the Department for International Development), the department that has addressed the reasons people flee their homes in the first place.”

  • STARMER WILL NOT TELL LABOUR TO VOTE AGAINST BREXIT

    Keir Starmer will not be ordering Labour MPs to vote against Brexit.

    The leader told the Jewish Labour Movement: “We need a deal… We will then look at that deal… We will then make a decision on whether to vote for it or abstain.” 

    Sir Keir added: “I don’t think there’s a much of a case for voting against it when that would be effectively to vote for no deal.”

  • UK SIGNED HISTORIC DEAL AGAINST TRAFFICKERS

    Britain signed a deal with France to halt the tide of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats.

    Home Secretary Priti Patel won a long-running battle to mount a joint crackdown on people-traffickers.

    The number of officers guarding a 90-mile stretch of coastline will be doubled from this week.

    And they will be backed by cutting-edge surveillance gear, including drones, radar, powerful binoculars and fixed cameras.

  • ‘FAILURES EXPLOITED BY CRIMINAL GANGS’

    A Labour MP has criticised the Government for not delivering on promises.

    It comes after a joint agreement between France and the UK was signed earlier today to increase police patrols in Northern France to deter migrants from attempting to cross the English Channel.

    Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “An effective agreement with the French authorities would be welcome, but the Conservatives have regularly announced progress and not delivered.

    “These failures have been exploited by criminal gangs, and left desperate people taking to dangerous sea routes as the Conservatives have suggested unconscionable options, like wave machines and nets.

    “A deal with the French authorities alone is not enough. The Conservatives continue to fail on establishing safe routes and have abolished DFID (the Department for International Development), the department that has addressed the reasons people flee their homes in the first place.”

  • NEW FERRY ROUTE OPENS BETWEEN FRANCE AND IRELAND

    A new freight ferry route linking Ireland and France will open once Brexit it agreed.

    The route offers "direct and paperless transport between EU countries".

    DFDS, a Danish international shipping and logistics company, said Friday that it would start operating sailings on the route between Dunkirk and Rosslare on 2 January 2021.

  • 'LAST LEG OF NEGOTIATIONS'

    Dominic Raab says the UK is in "the last leg of negotiations" with the EU over a post-Brexit trade deal.

    Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme, Mr Raab said: "We're down to really two basic issues, but I think in particular the issue around fisheries.

    "I do think this is a very significant week, the last real major week, subject to any further postponement of the goalposts in terms of the timing."

    He added that a deal was subject to the EU accepting the "point of principle" that the UK would require "control" over its fishing grounds after the transition.

    "If the EU understand that point of principle and we have some pragmatism, we can get there," he said.

  • THE ROAD TO DIVORCE

    JANUARY 2013: David Cameron promises a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU

    JUNE 23, 2016: People of Britain vote in favour of Brexit by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, and Cameron resigns

    JANUARY 18, 2017: Theresa May takes a hard line on talks with the EU, saying: "No deal is better than a bad deal." 

    JANUARY 29, 2019: The first Brexit deadline passes after the UK asks the EU for an extension

    JULY 13, 2020: The Government begins an ad campaign urging firms to prepare for end of transition period 

    SEPTEMBER 22, 2020: Cabinet minister Michael Gove sends a letter to hauliers warning about a queue of 7,000 lorries in Kent 

    OCTOBER 13, 2020: Treasury and cabinet office minister Lord Agnew says that businesses have their "heads in sand" over Brexit changes 

    NOVEMBER 29, 2020: Britain's foreign minister said today there is only about a week left for the UK and the European Union to strike a post-Brexit trade deal

    JANUARY 1, 2021: End of transition period. If there is no deal, UK will revert to World Trade Organisation terms, including tariffs

  • NEW FERRY FREIGHT ROUTE OPENS BETWEEN FRANCE AND IRELAND

    A new freight ferry route linking Ireland and France will open after the end of the Brexit transition period.

    DFDS, a Danish international shipping and logistics company, said it would start operating sailings on the route between Dunkirk and Rosslare on January 2 2021.

    The company said that the move is expected to reduce companies’ dependence on the UK land bridge as well as creating new trade opportunities within the EU’s single market.

    Peder Gellert, the company’s executive vice-president and head of the ferry division said it would allow companies in the EU and Ireland to “transport their goods directly […] without the customs formalities and possible waiting times that the end of the Brexit transition period will bring about for road haulage passing through the UK”.

  • ATTORNEY GENERAL SUELLA BRAVERMAN ‘VERY EXCITED’ TO BE EXPECTING A BABY

    Attorney General Suella Braverman has announced she is expecting a baby early next year.

    The Conservative MP for Fareham, who is set to be one of the most senior MPs to have a baby while in office, announced she is “very excited about the new addition to our family” on Twitter.

    Ms Braverman became the second female attorney general for England and Wales in February amid a Cabinet reshuffle, after resigning as a Brexit minister over former prime minister Theresa May’s draft deal in November 2018.

    Ms Braverman said: “Delighted to let you know that I am expecting a baby early next year.

    “My husband and I are very excited about the new addition to our family.”

  • ONLY A WEEK LEFT

    Britains foreign minister said today there is only about a week left for the U.K. and the European Union to strike a post-Brexit trade deal, with fishing rights the major obstacle to an agreement.

    As talks continued between the two sides in London, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said I think we are into the last week or so of substantive negotiations.

    The U.K. left the EU early this year, but remained part of the 27-nation blocs economic embrace during an 11-month transition as the two sides tried to negotiate a new free-trade deal to take effect Jan. 1. Talks have already slipped past the mid-November date long set as a deadline for agreement to be reached if it is to be approved by lawmakers in Britain and the EU before years end.

  • MAJORITY OF FOOD AND DRINK FIRMS FEEL UNPREPARED FOR BREXIT

    Almost three-quarters of Scotland's food and drink businesses feel unprepared for Brexit and any resulting disruption, according to research.

    Scotland Food and Drink said with a month to go until the transition period ends, the industry feels it is in a "perilous position".

    The industry body has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking urgent action and assurances around trading arrangements once the transition period ends on December 31.

    With many of the new trading rules still unknown, coupled with businesses fighting to survive the impact of the pandemic, the industry has called for a six-month grace period to adjust to whatever the new trading rules are - in particular on the requirement to issue millions of new export certificates for food products.

    Industry leaders will meet Victoria Prentice, a minister in the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on Tuesday to discuss the issues.

  • MICHAEL SIDWELL DISMISSES BARNIER’S POSITION ON POST-BREXIT FISHING RIGHTS

    Outspoken Brexiteer Michael Sidwell has dismissed Michel Barnier’s position in post-Brexit fishing rights.

    He tweeted: “The EU and Michel Barnier just don’t get it!

    “Fish swimming in our waters are ours. The EU cannot dictate how many they are going to let us keep nor can they take any without our permission.

    “Likewise, we cannot fish in EU waters without their permission.”

  • 'FAILURES EXPLOITED BY CRIMINAL GANGS'

    A Labour MP has criticised the Government for not delivering on promises.

    It comes after a joint agreement between France and the UK was signed earlier today to increase police patrols in Northern France to deter migrants from attempting to cross the English Channel.

    Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “An effective agreement with the French authorities would be welcome, but the Conservatives have regularly announced progress and not delivered.

    “These failures have been exploited by criminal gangs, and left desperate people taking to dangerous sea routes as the Conservatives have suggested unconscionable options, like wave machines and nets.

    “A deal with the French authorities alone is not enough. The Conservatives continue to fail on establishing safe routes and have abolished DFID (the Department for International Development), the department that has addressed the reasons people flee their homes in the first place.”

  • FISHING RIGHTS 'OUTSTANDING BACKBONE OF CONTENTION'

    Fishing rights remain an "outstanding major bone of contention" in post-Brexit trade talks with the European Union but there is a deal to be done, the Foreign Secretary has said.

    Dominic Raab said this could be the last week of "substantive" negotiations as he urged Brussels to recognise the "point of principle" on Britain's control of its waters.

    He told Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "I do think we're in a reasonable position - there's a deal to be done.

    "If you look really at what the outstanding issues are, of course the level playing field, but it feels like there is progress towards greater respect for what the UK position was.

    "On fishing there's a point of principle: as we leave the EU we're going to be an independent... coastal state and we've got to be able to control our waters."

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