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A leaked document from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) says lorries will only be able to move goods across the border if they have the correct reference from the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) – a new and untested IT platform that still hasn’t been given the green-light for release. Lorry drivers will be required to file the relevant customs paperwork electronically to receive the correct approval, but the Government could ban trucks who don’t have the correct clearance from reaching ports, although the HMRC document does not make clear how that will be enforced. Britain remains in the EU’s single market and customs union through the Brexit transition period, which ends on December 31, 2020, meaning goods can be moved across the border without having the relevant customs declarations in place. THIS BLOG IS NOW CLOSED. Click HERE for your latest Brexit updates
But that will all change when Britain finally completes its departure from the EU on January 1, 2021, and customs declarations will be required on all imported and exported goods – regardless of whether the two sides agree a free-trade agreement.
The Government now faces a huge race against time to avoid any issues at the border with its biggest trading partner, with any potential delays for trucks triggering miles-long queues at ports such as Dover.
At Dover in particular, some 10,000 trucks arrive daily and currently drive straight out of the port without the need for documentary, but parking space there is limited, meaning it could be difficult to check paperwork at the dockside, thus the need for an electronic system.
HMRC said in a statement, which didn’t when or if the GVMS will be ready or tested before use: “We are regularly engaging with industry as plans develop, in particular with regard to a new IT system that will facilitate movement at the border.”
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Brexit news: The Government is drawing up plans that could trigger a crisis for lorry drivers (Image: GETTY)
7.30am update: This blog is now closed. Click HERE for your latest Brexit updates
5.00am update: MPs back immigration legislation to end EU freedom of movement
The lesgislation was passed at the third reading by 342 votes to 248, majority 94.
The Bill is now set to be debated by peers in the House of Lords.
The legislation is part of the strategy to establish a points-based immigration system, which will be implemented from 2021.
3.00am update: Britain and Japan to reach trade deal by end-July
Tokyo aims to agree to at least the same automobile duties as it has in its current EU trade deal, Tokyo’s chief negotiator said.
“It is our highest priority to achieve an agreement within the time frame… We need to adjust ambitions to a realistic level,” Hiroshi Matsuura, chief negotiator for trade talks with Britain told Reuters on Tuesday.
1.00am update: Transition period set to officially end on 31 December 2020
Midnight has now passed, which means the UK will officially not extend the transition period past December 31 2020.
The Government has said that trade discussions will need to be completed “by the Autumn” for any agreement to be settled by the end of year.
11.15pm update: Today former Prime Minister Theresa May has added to the outcry over David Frost’s appointment as national security adviser.
Theresa May has launched a forthright attack on Boris Johnson’s government over the appointment of the EU negotiator David Frost as the UK’s national security adviser.
11.00pm update: The UK and Brussels both blame each other for prolonging City’s uncertainty
A deadline to agree on a regulatory equivalence for financial services and allow business after Brexit will likely be missed. Both parties had agreed to complete assessments of the other’s regulatory regimes for financial services by Tuesday 30 June, with the expectation that they would be deemed “equivalent”, allowing business to continue in the new year. It is now understood that agreement will not be reached by the deadline.
Ursula von der Leyen (Image: GETTY)
10.30pm update: Angela Merkel has aid how the UK must live with consequences of weaker ties to EU.
Today the German leader signaled that a compromise on trade would be less likely as she hardens her tone on a no-deal Brexit.
8.30pm update: UK nationals living in Europe have been refused job interviews because of Brexit, MPs told.
UK nationals in Europe, which represent the 1.2 million UK ex-pats living on the continent, told the EU Future Relationship Select Committee on Tuesday that, for many, the loss of rights was “already real”.
UK nationals currently have the right to work and study abroad during this so-called grace space while the EU and Britain work out leaving terms.
7.30pm update: Taoiseach Micheál Martin has told the European Commission president of the need to support Irish regions and sectors worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Martin spoke with Ursula von der Leyen earlier today, where she also congratulated him on becoming Taoiseach and on the formation of the new coalition government.
7.00pm update: Pound sterling has slipped into a period of instability due to Brexit.
A Bank of America currency analyst said: “We believe sterling is in the process of evolving into a currency that resembles the underlying reality of the British economy, small and shrinking”
The pound sterling has behaved more like the volatile currency of a developing country over the past four years since the Brexit referendum vote, according to an analysis by foreign-exchange traders.
Angela Merkle with Xi Jinping (Image: GETTY)
6.30pm update: The UK Government plans a new Brexit bureaucracy for British businesses to avoid chaos at ports.
Lorries will need permission from new HMRC computer system before heading for Dover.
British businesses exporting to the EU will have to wait for permission from HMRC before moving their goods, under bureaucratic new government Brexit plans designed to stave off chaos at ports.
6.00pm update: German industry is not optimistic about the country recovering after the devastating lockdown effect on the economy.
A shock survey has shown a stark lack of optimism among German industry leaders as they brace themselves for the long road to recovery after the coronavirus lockdown.
5.30pm update: The EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said the UK’s banking proposals are ‘unacceptable’.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator sharply accused London on Tuesday of seeking to preserve its position as a global financial gateway to Europe, despite its divorce from the bloc.The City of London has been Europe’s financial hub for decades, one of the major benefits of Britain’s 47 years of EU membership that ended on January 31.
4.50pm update: Rights of UK citizens in EU at risk as member states’ legislation not yet in place.
British citizens living in the EU risk serious work and travel hurdles from next year because member states have failed to get to grips with the impact of Brexit on their rights, MPs have been told.
4.15pm update: Warrenpoint Harbour in Northern Ireland “needs 40,000sq ft facility for goods checks”
South Down Sein Féin MP Chris Hazzard said this would be for goods entering Northern Ireland from the UK as part of the Northern Ireland only backstop that could result from Britain’s exit from the EU.
At the end of the Brexit transition period in January, Northern Ireland will continue to follow EU rules on agricultural and manufactured goods, while the rest of the UK will not.
Additionally, the whole of the UK will leave the EU’s customs union but Northern Ireland will continue to enforce the EU’s customs code at its ports.
The border port at Warrenpoint Northern Ireland (Image: GETTY)
3.45pm update: Theresa May has criticised Boris Johnson over his choice of Brexit envoy for a security role.
Speaking in the Commons, she suggested David Frost did not have the required expertise or independence to succeed Sir Mark Sedwill in the role.
Labour said the choice of Mr Frost, who is currently leading the UK’s trade talks with the EU, was “dangerous”.
1.40pm update: SNP home affairs spokeswoman in furious Vote Leave outburst
Joanna Cherry said the decision to replace Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill is all about the “revenge” of the Vote Leave campaign.
She said: “Of course Sir Mark Sedwill should be thanked for his distinguished service, but the truth is that his card was marked last year when he warned the Cabinet that Brexit would be a disaster.
“He also said that the consequent recession could be worse than 2008 and that prices could go up by 10%.
“So this is all about the revenge of the Vote Leave campaign whose so-called mastermind (Dominic Cummings) is now pulling the strings of this government.
“Although one does have to wonder about the masterly-ness of a mind that thinks a good way to test one’s eyesight is to go for a 60-mile drive.”
1pm update: ‘So important’ to promote UK interests by having representation in Brussels
Foreign Affairs Minister Wendy Morton has insisted it is “so important” to be able to promote the interests of the UK by having representation in Brussels after the Brexit transition period ends in December.
Conservative former minister Sir Christopher Chope told the House of Commons: “It’s very disappointing that (Ms Morton) hasn’t got a target for the reduction in the number of bureaucrats in Brussels to take effect on January 1 next year.
“Can I suggest that the target might be to reduce the current numbers of 250 down to 50. Can she explain why she doesn’t think that’s possible?”
Ms Morton responded: “Of course as an independent country, (Sir Christopher) would understand that we want to have representation in Brussels because after the transition period what is so important is about promoting UK interests and UK influence overseas.”
12.06pm update: Why tomorrow is a huge day for Brexiteers
Tomorrow (July 1) is the last day the UK can ask the EU for an extension to the transition period beyond December 31, 2020.
Boris Johnson and his team of UK negotiators have continued to insist this will not happen – a decision their EU counterparts have accepted.
The Prime Minister wants an agreement on trade and the future relationship signed by the autumn.
The UK and EU are meeting in Brussels this week for the first face-to-face talks since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The first in five week-long rounds of talks will be followed by further negotiations between the two sides in London.
11.17am update: Britain not in rush to seal trade deal with US
The UK has reiterated it is not in a rush to get a trade deal agreed with the US, insisting “quality is more important than speed”.
Trade Secretary Liz Truss was speaking after a second round of talks with US counterparts in Eashington.
She said: “The government is clear there is no set deadline for this agreement.
“Quality is more important than speed.”
11.13am update: UK issues trade deal warning to the US
The UK government has vowed not to compromise the NHS, environmental protection, animal welfare and food safety standards in talks with the US over a post-Brexit trade deal.
Trade Secretary Liz Truss said after a second round of talks with Washington: “Any deal the government strikes must be fair, reciprocal and ultimately in the best interests of the British people and the economy.
“Furthermore, the government remains clear on protecting the NHS and not compromising on the UK’s high environmental protection, animal welfare and food safety standards.”
Brexit news; Negotiations require ‘concrete changes, in the position from the UK, a Portuguese MEP has warned (Image: GETTY)
10.50am update: Merkel admits Brexit will go down to the wire – talks will now go into November
Angela Merkel is prepared to take Brexit talks to the brink in November in order to clinch a last-ditch deal between Britain and the European Union, German sources have revealed.
To avoid failure, the German Chancellor has told colleagues she believes wrangling over the future relationship pact could run until as late as Bonfire Night.
This will leave the UK and EU with a month-long dash to complete the formalities before the post-Brexit transition period expires at the end of the year.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, has previously claimed October would be the “moment of truth” for whether a free-trade agreement between the two sides is possible.
A senior German diplomatic source said: “We need an agreement by the end of December, that means serious negotiations will have to be done by September and October at the latest – so far negotiations have just been treading water.
“We need a deal – hopefully in time for the European Council in the middle of October, and if we don’t have one there’s the possibility to extend into November, but this is really it.”
10.15am update: EU demands ‘concrete changes’ before deal agreed ‘you depend on us’
Brexit negotiations require “concrete changes” in the British team position before an agreement can be struck, Portuguese MEP Pedro Silva Pereira has warned.
Talks resumed in Brussels following weeks of virtual meetings on Monday after Boris Johnson and the top echelons of the European Union agreed to speed up talks.
Both sides have long signalled an unwillingness to move from their red lines as issues like fishing and the so-called level playing field continue to create friction between the UK and the EU.
But Portuguese MEP Pedro Silva Pereira warned there must be “concrete changes” in the UK’s position before Brussels agrees to a deal as he warned the UK “depends” on its trade links with the European Union.
Brexit news: Trade talks between the UK and EU resumed in Brussels on Monday (Image: GETTY)
9.34am update: Pound would ‘almost certainly would depreciate sharply again’ if UK-EU trade deal collapses
Sterling would “almost certainly would depreciate sharply again” if the UK and EU fail to agree a trade deal or extend the post-Brexit transition period beyond the end of this year, a financial expert has warned.
The warning comes after figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the UK economy contracted more than first thought between January and March coronavirus crisis saw activity tumble 2.2 percent in the joint largest fall for 40 years.
The ONS had previously estimated a two percent drop in first quarter GDP, but said the revision came after data now showed a record 6.9 percent plunge in March.
Recent figures from the forecasters showed the UK economy plummeted by 20.4 percent in April – the largest drop in a single months since records began.
Samuel Tombs at Pantheon Macroeconomics said: “Sterling almost certainly would depreciate sharply again if a major second wave of COVID-19 emerges or if the UK and EU fail to either sign a trade deal or to extend the transition period before the end of this year.”
8.37am update: Farmers reassured by new protection in post-Brexit talks
Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, said that free trade deals with nations such as the United States “must be fair and reciprocal”. Ms Truss, has repeatedly said that Britain will keep EU curbs on produce such as chlorinated chicken after leaving the EU.
She revealed the commission in an attempt to calm anxieties that national farms could be damaged by more affordable imports.
The advisory board will suggest policies to ensure that farmers “do not face unfair competition and that their high animal welfare and production standards are not undermined”, she said.
Farming, trade and food authorities are also expected to analyse consumer tendencies and how Britain can increase its agricultural exports.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has been asking for such a commission for 18 months.
The union celebrated the “concrete action” from the government “to address the challenges of safeguarding our high food and farming standards”.
Brexit news: The transition period is due to end on December 31, 2020 (Image: EXPRESS)
8.21am update: ‘We need talks concluded by the autumn’ – Downing Street warning
Downing Street has warned the EU the it wants talks on a post-Brexit trade agreement “concluded by the autumn” as UK negotiators step up the pressure on Brussels.
The first day of the face-to-face meeting between the two sides in the Belgian capital on Monday came a day after it was announced the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost would replace Sir Mark Sedwill as national security adviser alongside his responsibilities on Europe.
Number 10 had indicated it wanted a post-Brexit deal largely concluded by the time he takes up the new role at the end of August.
Boris Johnson had insisted he wants the talks between the two sides to result in an agreement by the end of next month, but the UK and EU had admitted that the end of October is when an agreement needs to be concluded in order to ratify it this year.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We have been clear on a number of occasions that these talks shouldn’t drag and that we want and need them to concluded by the autumn.”
8.12am update: EU ‘calm and united’ as trade deal talks resume – Barnier
Michel Barnier has insisted the EU remains “calm and united in its principles and values” following the first day of the latest round of talks with the UK.
Negotiators from both sides met face-to-face in Brussels on Monday for the first time since the coronavirus crisis forced them to be held remoteley.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Mr Barnier said they would “calm and united in its principles and values”
The meeting – held with participants spaced around the conference table due to social distancing measure – was led by Boris Johnson’s Europe adviser David Frost and his EU counterpart Mr Barnier.
Brexit news: Michel Barnier insisted the EU remains ‘calm and united’ (Image: GETTY)
8am update: Make up your mind! Boris Johnson orders Brussels to hurry up with Brexit deal decision
Boris Johnson has given the EU three months to confirm a trade deal as negotiations are underway in Brussels.
The Prime Minister reportedly does not want talks to continue past September because it will leave businesses with little time to get ready for the end of the transition period in December. This comes as Downing Street confirmed that the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator will take on his new position as Mr Johnson’s national security adviser at the end of August.
Although his role as negotiator will not be replaced, Mr Frost has said that Brexit talks will remain his top priority “until those negotiations have concluded”.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister indicated that the position could overlap but said this would be a short period of time.
They said: “Talks can’t go into the autumn.”
The spokesperson also highlighted how Mr Johnson does not want to be continuing with talks in October.
7.50am update: Brexiteers rejoice as Britain on track to leave EU with no delay – ‘We did it!’
Brexiteers are preparing to celebrate another milestone in the process of quitting the EU tomorrow – with the end of the month marking any lingering possibility of an extension to the transition period beyond 2020.
In accordance with the Brexit withdrawal agreement thrashed out between the UK and EU last year, and enshrined in the EU Withdrawal Act, the deadline for a UK request to any further delay beyond the end of the year is July 1.
Pro-Brexit think tank the Bruges Group underlined their belief that an extension is now impossible, tweeting: “Well folks, it’s nearly the end of June, which means we did it.
“We pushed through the first half of the year without succumbing to the siren calls for a transition extension. Onward and Upward.”