It comes as British and EU negotiators have agreed 80 per cent of a Brexit deal.
A report from MakeUK and BDO revealed regions that had previously been Labour constituencies were now at most risk from a no-deal Brexit.
Areas such as Wales, north-east of England, and Yorkshire and Humber face losing out as nearly two-thirds of their exports go to the EU.
Experts warn that along with the coronavirus pandemic, it could be ‘fatal’ for some companies.
This latest report comes days after a furious exchanges in the House of Commons regarding the future of Brexit – with the Scottish National Party accused by the government of “stirring up division” as they debated an extension to the transition period beyond 2020.
Scottish Government analysis has found ending the transition period in 2020 could remove £3 billion from the Scottish economy in two years – on top of the impact of coronavirus.
Meanwhile Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Thursday the criteria for the points-based immigration system.
She revealed that foreign nationals coming to the UK for work purposes must have 70 points to successfully apply.
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- Joseph Gamp18th Jul 2020, 5:51 pm
SAFETY EXPERTS WARN UK-US TRADE DEAL SHOULD NOT INCLUDE UNSAFE AMERICAN-MADE CARS
Safety experts are urging the UK government to exclude American cars from any post-Brexit trade deal – as US manufactured vehicles are required to meet lower safety standards.
The Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety say imported vehicles should meet British safety standards for accidents with pedestrians, cyclists and children – which at present they do not.
Boris Johnson has indicated he expects cars to be included in any new transatlantic trade agreement – but campaigners point to a spike of pedestrian injuries and deaths in US road accidents.
As first reported by the BBC, the council said in a letter to trade secretary Liz Truss: “We note that in negotiations covering food safety the USA has argued against accepting higher UK standards. It has sought to characterise these as protectionism.
“We are concerned that pressure for lower safety standards will be applied in negotiations regarding the automotive sector.
“US vehicle safety standards are much lower than those permitted for vehicles sold in the UK.”
- Chiara Fiorillo18th Jul 2020, 4:32 pm
UK FIRMS UNPREPARED FOR NO-DEAL BREXIT DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
Many UK firms are now less prepared for a no-deal Brexit than they were a year ago, ministers are being warned.
Due to the pandemic, stockpiles have been wound down, Brexit-related staff redeployed and cashflows seriously depleted.
The Institute for Government thinktank warned in a report: “Many businesses and public bodies have run down stockpiles built up ahead of a potential no-deal Brexit last year, either because it was not economically viable to maintain excess supplies or to mitigate the disruption caused by gaps and delays in supply chains caused by the coronavirus.
“The coronavirus crisis has not only held up progress on Brexit preparations but, in some areas, has actually set businesses back.
“Firms reeling from the economic consequences of coronavirus are poorly placed to prepare for Brexit: in many cases, they’re in a worse position than in the months leading up to the potential no-deal in October 2019.”
- Chiara Fiorillo18th Jul 2020, 3:50 pm
CORNWALL ASKS FOR £700m TO MAKE UP FOR LOST EU FUNDING
Brexit-voting Cornwall has called on the Government to provide £700 million to fill the gap left by the European Union’s funding post-Brexit.
The figure would cover the loss the region will suffer over the next ten years due to the impact of leaving the EU, Indy 100 reports.
The council’s chief executive Kate Kennally said: “The amount is the same as what Cornwall Council has been calling for in terms of the equivalent of what Cornwall would have received from the EU and as the level of funds to catch up with other parts of the country as part of the levelling up agenda.
“We are calling for it as a single pot to prevent us having to continually bid for separate pots.
“We want to have the funding in a single pot that will be managed by organisations here in Cornwall.”
- Chiara Fiorillo18th Jul 2020, 3:17 pm
US AMBASSADOR SAYS EU CRITICISM OF POLAND ‘OVERBLOWN’
The US ambassador to Poland said the European Union’s criticism of Poland’s adherence to democracy is “overblown”, as Warsaw faces cuts to EU budget funds over its judiciary reforms.
Since coming to power in 2015, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has faced criticism from the EU over its overhaul of its judiciary system, with Brussels accusing Poland of violating EU laws.
As its relationship with the EU has faltered, PiS has focused on building strong ties with the United States, especially since President Donald Trump came to power in 2016.
“If you’re asking me…do I think that a lot of the attacks on Poland about democratic values is overblown, my answer is yes, I do,” US ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher told Reuters in an interview.
- Chiara Fiorillo18th Jul 2020, 2:19 pm
SNP MP FURIOUS AS BREXITEERS SET TO BE AWARDED PEERAGES
SNP MP Pete Wishart said it is “absurd” that leading Brexiteers will be awarded peerages, but former Commons Speaker John Bercow won’t be given one.
Referring to former England cricketer Sir Ian Botham, Mr Wishart told Sky News: “This is just the most absurd and ridiculous political institution anywhere in the world.
“We’re going to be having a whole raft of Brexiteers appointed by the Prime Minister to have a part in our legislature.
“These people can now make laws, make amendments and initiate legislation. What’s his qualification? He’s a cricketer who supported Brexit. It’s absolutely absurd.”
He added: “Let’s look at two candidates for the House of Lords: Ian Botham, Brexiteer and cricketer, and John Bercow, former Speaker of the House of Commons with something like 25 years political experience.
“I’d ask your listeners: who is more qualified to have a role in deciding the laws of this country? Who is more qualified?”
- Chiara Fiorillo18th Jul 2020, 12:45 pm
BRITAIN ‘HAS LEFT NORTHERN IRELAND BUSINESSES IN THE DARK’
The British government’s lack of understanding and overly political approach to post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland has left businesses in the dark, a Westminster committee has said.
The Northern Ireland affairs committee condemned the UK government for leaving businesses ill-prepared for the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31.
The committee’s findings come after members conducted an inquiry into the Northern Ireland protocol, The Times reports.
Under the terms of the protocol, which is designed to avoid border checks on the island of Ireland, Northern Ireland will be part of the UK’s customs territory but will still follow EU customs law and administer the bloc’s rules at its ports.
The region will also follow EU single market regulations on goods.
- Chiara Fiorillo18th Jul 2020, 11:54 am
EX-MEP SAYS GIVING HAMMOND PEERAGE IS ‘UTTER DISGRACE’
Former Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe has warned Boris Johnson has “got this so wrong” following reports former chancellor Philip Hammond is in line for a peerage.
He tweeted: “Giving Philip Hammond a peerage is an utter disgrace.
“The establishment looks after their own! The man spent years frustrating Brexit and almost succeeded. Boris has got this so wrong.
“Hammond was a failure. In my view, failures should not be rewarded with peerages.”
- Chiara Fiorillo18th Jul 2020, 11:06 am
SIR IAN BOTHAM ‘SET TO BE MADE A PEER FOR BACKING BREXIT’
Boris Johnson is to mark his first year in Downing Street by rewarding Brexit supporters – including Sir Ian Botham – with life peerages, it has been reported.
The former England cricketer is among 30 new peers to be announced later this month, according to The Times.
The list is said also to include four ex-Labour MPs – including Frank Field and Gisela Stuart – who both supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum.
There will be peerages also for Ian Austin and John Woodcock, who backed Remain but who supported Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal and urged Labour voters not to support Jeremy Corbyn, the paper said.
At the same time, it was reported that Mr Johnson will seek to heal the divisions in the Conservative Party with peerages for Ken Clarke, Philip Hammond and Ed Vaizey.
- Chiara Fiorillo18th Jul 2020, 10:33 am
BORIS SHOULD HAVE GAMBLED ON NO DEAL LAST YEAR, EXPERT SAYS
Boris Johnson should have followed through with his threat to leave the EU without a deal last year, an expert has claimed.
Peter MacSwiney, chairman of Agency Sector Management, said the country would have been “better off if we had taken a no deal Brexit last October.”
He said: “By now, we would’ve have sorted all the problems.
“There are going to be problems and there were problems then. But now we’d be nine months further down the line and things would’ve settled down.
“I think a lot of businesses will find themselves somewhere they’re not prepared to be. They won’t know how to get out of it.”
- Chiara Fiorillo18th Jul 2020, 9:40 am
BREXIT NO-DEAL WILL MAKE IT HARDER TO CATCH FOREIGN CRIMINALS, POLICE SAY
A no-deal Brexit would slow down the police and make it harder for them to catch criminals from European countries, MPs have been told.
Richard Martin, the Metropolitan Police’s lead for Brexit, said the contingencies in place to deal with disruption if a trade deal is not reached were “not as quick, or as effective” as the systems currently in place, the Independent reports.
The deputy assistant commissioner told the Commons EU future relationship select committee on Tuesday that “instant, at your fingertips” access to EU-wide criminal databases would be lost to police on the ground.
He said: “It’s at your fingertips, it’s live time, it’s immediate. If we lose that capability, we will revert to Interpol notices which are slightly different They don’t have the full capability of SIS2 [a database].
“Our use of the European arrest warrant combined with SIS2 [a database] means that my officer, who may be in uniform stopping a car on the streets of London, can identify somebody immediately if they are may be wanted for murder in France. Or one of our other member states can immediately arrest them and put them through the extradition process.
“The worst-case scenario is my officer is left in an ambiguous position where [if] they do stop a car, they do stop somebody that’s wanted for a very serious offence. And if there are no other grounds to arrest that person there and then, they’ve got to run off to Westminster magistrates court, which is the only court in the land that can issue the warrant. So, yes, there’s a big risk that they could have abscond or disappear.”
- Chiara Fiorillo18th Jul 2020, 9:05 am
BARNIER CONFIDENT A DEAL CAN BE FOUND
EU sources said it was “puzzling” the UK had no new proposals to bring to the table.
But Mr Barnier is still confident a deal can be struck despite weeks of “going round in circles”.
Negotiators believe the deadlock on trade can be cracked wide open if a compromise is found on state aid rules.
Fishing rights and how disputes between the sides will be settled post-Brexit are the two other key areas of contention.
An EU diplomat told The Sun: “A lot has been done at a technical level.
“There’s 80 per cent of the text you could pretty easily agree on.
“The whole thing is now stuck on these three issues. We’re a bit frustrated because we don’t think it’s so hard to come up with a solution.
“There’s a feeling once we get over the state aid hurdle things will start to fall together.”
- Chiara Fiorillo18th Jul 2020, 8:37 am
BREXIT NEGOTIATORS HAVE AGREED 80 PER CENT OF DEAL
British and EU negotiators have agreed 80 per cent of a deal and are gunning for a breakthrough on a post-Brexit security pact next week.
There will be a full slate of talks in London with a heavy focus on police cooperation where the two sides are “closest” to a breakthrough.
EU diplomats said the sides share a “common ambition” to keep close ties on tackling crime and sharing information about suspects.
But they have warned the UK will have to stop insisting on lower data protection standards after Brexit to make an agreement possible.
You can read the full story here
- Claudia Aoraha17th Jul 2020, 11:20 pm
OPPOSITION FROM DUTCH PM ENDS FIRST DAY OF EU SUMMIT
Dutch Prime Minster Mark Rutte rejected a compromise proposal put forward by the chairman of EU leaders’ talks late on Friday to overcome differences over a planned coronavirus economic recovery fund for the bloc, an EU official said.
The chairman, Charles Michel, then decided to end the first day of talks among the 27 EU leaders after some 13 hours of talks failed to narrow their differences over how to finance recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Member states would put forward their national plans to get money from the new fund, proposed at 750 billion euros, and Rutte demanded that a single member state could veto projects by forward by others.
- Claudia Aoraha17th Jul 2020, 10:43 pm
JOHNSON’S SPIN WON’T DEADEN THE EFFECTS OF BREXIT, SAYS FT
The economic benefits and opportunities of Brexit are more conceptual, while the disadvantages are clear, says the Financial Times.
The economic case for Brexit was tacked on relatively late to counter the arguments put forward by Remain, and now the “upbeat” ideas telling Britons to “get going” will just lead to rising costs and extra bureaucracy.
Financial Times say it’s because: “Brexit was never an economic issue for those who championed the cause. It was about political sovereignty.”
- Claudia Aoraha17th Jul 2020, 9:51 pm
IRISH PROTOCOL ‘CONCERNING’ AFTER LATEST MEETINGS
A series of concerns have arisen following the latest meeting with the UK on the Irish Protocol.
Under the Protocol, Northern Ireland will remain in the UK’s customs territory but will apply EU customs rules and will be part of the EU’s single market for goods.
However, EU sources say they are concerned that creating the appropriate infrastructure to allow customs procedures, as well as food and animal checks, and having trained customs officials and vets in place to operate the facilities, takes time – and that time is running out.
“It’s five months away,” says one official. “Those people need to be ready.”
- Claudia Aoraha17th Jul 2020, 8:42 pm
BREXIT VOTE HITS LEAVE AREAS THE HARDEST
New research has suggested that areas of the UK that voted to leave the EU have suffered the most in terms of economics since the 2016 referendum.
Brexit is likely to further complicate efforts to level up underperforming regions, according to the Financial Times.
- Claudia Aoraha17th Jul 2020, 7:12 pm
AMAZON TO BOOT UK SELLERS FROM EUROPEAN NETWORK
Amazon has warned its third-party sellers in the UK that big changes will need to be made if they still want to sell to customers in Europe once Britain has left the European Union formally in January 2021.
The global e-commerce giant updated its “Brexit guidance” for sellers, revealing that they would no longer let UK based merchants transfer their products to European customers using Amazon’s fulfilment network after January 1, 2021.
Amazon’s move comes against the backdrop of deadlocked trade negotiations between UK and EU lawmakers on how best to proceed with customs checks and tariffs from January next year.
- Alex Winter17th Jul 2020, 5:01 pm
EU LEADERS MEET FOR SOCIALLY-DISTANT CRUNCH TALKS
In almost seven decades of European Union integration, Friday’s summit in Brussels may go down in history as the most hygienic, as leaders gathered in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.
Holding their first meeting in person since February, the 27 EU leaders sat in a chamber designed for more than 10 times that number, in an almost-empty building where meeting rooms were cleaned every time presidents and prime ministers took a break.
Headphones and microphones were regularly disinfected, filtered air was pumped into the meeting chamber and leaders – wearing a range of sombre and colourful face masks – were asked to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between them.
Leaders are facing crunch talks on the bloc’s budget, including coronavirus bail-out options.
- Alex Winter17th Jul 2020, 4:43 pm
‘NOT EVERYONE IN THE WORLD SEES ISSUES THROUGH THE BREXIT PRISM’
Ex Cabinet minister Liam Fox has downplayed the importance of Brexit in his bid to be the first British boss of the World Trade organisation, the BBC reports.
Mr Fox, who voted to Leave, said not every country “sees every issue through the Brexit prism” – and insisted it’s not too early for a Brit to lead the WTO after the UK leaves the EU.
The Tory MP is one of eight candidates vying to replace Brazilian Roberto Azevedo as director-general.
The WTO tries to help countries set global trading rules.
Asked whether ongoing trade talks between the UK and EU would prove an advantage or obstacle to his bid, he replied: “Very fortunately, not everyone in the world sees every issue through the Brexit prism.
“If I were to be elected the director-general… Britain would be one of 164 countries that would be looked after without fear or favour.”
- Alex Winter17th Jul 2020, 4:26 pm
TALKS ARE ‘ON A COLLISION COURSE FOR FAILURE’
Following on from that last post, Roger Liddle, of the UK-based think tank, the Policy Network, says the UK and the EU “are on a collision course for failure.”
Mr Liddle, a British Labour party member of the House of Lords, served as special adviser on European affairs to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair from 1997-2004.
In a policy paper, he argued: “The negotiations on Britain’s future relationship with the EU are on a collision course for failure.
“To avoid this will require mutual give and take.”
- Alex Winter17th Jul 2020, 4:08 pm
A DEAL MAY STILL HAPPEN – AT THE LAST MINUTE, PREDICTS EX MINISTER
Denis Macshane, a former Europe Minister in the UK, has predicted that, with the UK and EU seemingly still far apart on issues such as fisheries and the trade level playing field, the two sides may have to wait until “the last moment” before any deal is struck.
In an interview with the Parliament Magazine, the former British cabinet minister said: “The only talks that matter consist of the private conversation going on between the left and right sides of Boris Johnson’s head.”
And he said: “I suspect if a deal does happen, it will happen in a rush at the last moment with lots more to be done in the coming years.”
- Alex Winter17th Jul 2020, 3:38 pm
MADDIE SUSPECT ‘EXPLOITED EU’S OPEN BORDERS’
The prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance exploited the EU’s open borders to evade justice, judges were told.
The claims came as Christian B’s lawyer appeared at the European Court of Justice to argue he should be freed from jail on a technicality over his conviction for a rape in Portugal.
Lawyers for the German government argue he has no right to challenge his arrest and say he “made the most of open European borders.”
Here’s everything you need to know.
- Alex Winter17th Jul 2020, 3:16 pm
NO PLANS FOR ECONOMIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT
The Government has no plans to publish an economic impact assessment on Brexit.
The last time official analysis of the economic impact was published was in November 2018.
That happened as Theresa May was attempting to get her Brexit deal through Parliament.
At that time, the Government said Britain’s economy would be 9.3 per cent smaller after 15 years under no deal than it would have been if the UK remained.
On Tuesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak told MPs it would be difficult for economic forecasters now to come up with an accurate forecast due to the coronavirus crisis.
“Given all the uncertainty in our economy I don’t think it would be a particularly accurate or constructive exercise,” he said.
- Alex Winter17th Jul 2020, 2:58 pm
TRIPLE HIT COULD PROVE ‘FATAL’
In a report, Make UK and BDO said regions with formerly solid Labour ‘red wall’ constituencies had a high dependence on exports to the EU.
That puts those areas at most risk from a no-deal scenario with barriers to trade and tariffs.
Almost two-thirds of exports from Wales, the north-east of England and Yorkshire and the Humber went to the EU, experts say.
Stephen Phipson, the chief executive of Make UK, told the Guardian: “Should the UK fail to reach a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU, then those regions with a high concentration of manufacturing and a dependence on Europe as a major market will suffer a triple hit, given the impact of Covid-19.
“For some companies the combination may prove fatal.”
- Alex Winter17th Jul 2020, 2:40 pm
‘RED WALL’ SEATS ARE MOST AT RISK FROM NO-DEAL BREXIT
Manufacturers have warned the Prime Minister that former ‘red wall’ seats won by the Tories in last year’s election would be at most risk of severe economic damage from Brexit talks collapsing.
With less than six months to go before the end of the Brexit transition, manufacturing lobby group Make UK and accountancy firm BDO said industrial areas in the north of England, the Midlands and Wales could face a “triple whammy” should a deal with the EU fail to emerge.
On top of the economic hit to the country from coronavirus and Brexit, it said traditional industrial heartlands had greater trade links with the EU than other places.
That could double down on damage to jobs and growth should talks fail.