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  1. #321
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    Britain expects 'very significant' week for Brexit talks as clock ticks down

    LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and the European Union are heading into a “very significant” week, British foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Sunday, as talks over a trade deal enter their final days with serious differences yet to be resolved.

    EU negotiator Michel Barnier told reporters in London that “works continue, even on Sunday” on his way to a negotiating session, as both sides look for a deal to prevent disruption to almost $1 trillion of trade at the end of December.

    “This is a very significant week, the last real major week, subject to any further postponement... we’re down to really two basic issues,” Raab told the BBC.

    Despite missing several self-imposed deadlines, the negotiations have failed to bridge differences on competition policy and the distribution of fishing rights.

    But Britain’s transitional EU exit agreement - during which the bloc’s rules continue to apply - expires on Dec. 31, and Britain says it will not seek any extension. A deal would have to be ratified by both sides, leaving little time for new delay.

    “The bottom line is... in the ordinary course of things we need to get a deal done over the next week or maybe another couple of days beyond that,” Raab told Times Radio in a separate interview.

    Earlier, he had signalled some progress on the ‘level playing field’ provisions which look to ensure fair competition between Britain and the EU, and said fishing remained the most difficult issue to solve.

    Despite accounting for 0.1% of the British economy, fishing rights have become a totemic issue for both sides. Britain has so far rejected EU proposals and remains adamant that as an independent nation it must have full control of its waters.

    “The EU have just got to recognise the point of principle here,” Raab told Times Radio.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-b...-idUSKBN2890FM


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  2. #322
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    Time is running out for Brexit trade deal, EU and Britain say

    BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and the European Union cautioned each other on Monday that time was running out to reach a Brexit trade deal, with big differences still to be bridged on state aid, enforcement and fishing.

    The United Kingdom leaves the EU’s orbit on Dec. 31, when a transition period of informal membership ends following its formal departure last January, and the sides are trying to secure a deal to govern nearly $1 trillion in annual trade.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is also tackling Europe’s worst official death toll from COVID-19, says a deal would be preferable but that Britain, which joined the EU in 1973, would flourish without one.

    Talks in London over the weekend were “quite difficult” and “massive divergences” remain on the most thorny elements of fisheries, economic fair play and settling disputes, an EU source said.

    Johnson’s spokesman said there had been some progress but “there still remains divergence on issues (such as) fisheries and the level playing field.”

    “We want to try and reach a free trade agreement as soon as possible but we’ve been clear we won’t change our negotiating position,” the spokesman said.

    After breaking multiple deadlines, the negotiators are stuck mainly on fishing, state aid and how to resolve any future disputes.

    A trade deal would not only safeguard trade but also buttress peace in British-ruled Northern Ireland, though some disruption is almost certain at the busiest EU-UK border points.

    Failure to secure a deal would snarl borders, spook financial markets and disrupt delicate supply chains that stretch across Europe and beyond -- just as the world grapples with the vast economic cost of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-b...-idUSKBN28A0NF


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  3. #323
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    EU trade deal will be sorted at the end of the month. Pleasing, and of course predictable.
    I have heard Labour people say that the PLP should abstain from the vote on the deal - in order to be firewalled when the job losses pile up.

    My own view is that at this point it is all hands to the pumps and limiting further harm to Britons by signing the deal is the only responsible thing to do.

  4. #324
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    Polly Toynbee in the Grauniad.....

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...Z3E_iB7w3caWPo


    Ignore the blustering brinkmanship: there will be a deal between Britain and the EU. This week, next week or in the final second before the clock strikes 12, this Brexit-crazed government will sign on the line.

    It needs no crystal ball to foresee a deal. Though this government is disgraceful and dishonest, it is not certifiably insane. It will not kill off the car industry, manufacturing, farming, finance and fishing. It will not cut off security and police relations with Europe. Nor will it want a hard border in Ireland, breaking the Good Friday agreement. And nor will it freeze friendship with the new US president, nor leave relations with our nearest neighbours and traders irreparably rancorous.

    The Faragists, and the hardcore MPs in the European Research Group, want that door-slam, still seeking the forever unattainable sovereignty phantasm. But for Boris Johnson’s Brexit cabinet, this is the moment of truth. Finally ministers have to face up to the futility of what they have done: they will struggle to deny their Brexit idea was a lie, never available. For the Brexiteers, Johnson’s deal will fail miserably. That’s because any deal would always trade some of that sovereignty fairy dust for something more tangible – such as no massive tariff on British beef.

    However hard he bluffs and fibs to disguise the inconvenient truth, Johnson will sign a deal that agrees to align with EU standards on working rights, animal welfare, the environment and much else. For any future divergences there will be an adjudications body, which may or may not be the European court of justice.

    Fish will be reapportioned, with complexity and transitions that try to shield the hard fact: we took back control of our waters in theory, but gave it up in the same breath because there is no fishing industry without that vital EU market to buy more than 70% of our catch. Our 12,000 fisher folk were shamefully exploited as Brexit visual aids; everyone knew they were destined to be sold down the Channel. This is the last bitter cod-liver oil pill that UK negotiators are struggling to swallow, but they will.

    Lawbreaking clauses in the internal markets bill repudiating last year’s EU withdrawal agreement will be abandoned. The Northern Ireland protocol will stand – so there will be a border down the Irish Sea, with customs posts. That’s despite Johnson pledging, “There’s no question of there being checks on goods going from Northern Ireland to Great Britain or Great Britain to Northern Ireland.”

    Those who shout betrayal will be dead right. Everyone who voted Brexit, or for Johnson, believing his magical cake-and-eat-it deal was oven-ready will be betrayed. His party’s manifesto read: “Boris Johnson’s new deal takes the whole country out of the EU as one United Kingdom.” No, Northern Ireland is left out. And watch another crack in the union open under an SNP victory in next May’s Holyrood elections. Betrayed are any who believed last year’s Tory manifesto unicorn: “Get Brexit done – and we will see a pent-up tidal wave of investment into our country.”

    A deal was always inevitable because the rules laid out by Margaret Thatcher’s single market are crystal clear: the more you want to trade with the market, the more you must conform to it. Johnson will attempt whoops of Waterloo triumph as he tries to smear lipstick on his pig of a deal. The EU will politely suck lemons, though Emmanuel Macron may spit back.

    Here’s the verdict from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) on the deal, hidden in annexes and unearthed by Jill Rutter for UK in a Changing Europe. The deal will cause a 4% drop in GDP. Even the pandemic won’t hide the Brexit hit to manufacturing and finance, as mountainous red tape includes 270m customs declarations (as opposed to 55m now) and 50,000 new customs agents. New customs IT will only go live on 23 December; road hauliers have no handbooks; lorry parks are unfinished. No wonder the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, was silent on Brexit in his spending review last week.

    All ministers have been forced to look over the no-deal abyss. That’s why they know they face the worst of all worlds: they will eat their words and betray fellow Brexiters, yet still carpet-bomb the country’s economy.

    Labour must hose down victory cheers for this deal with an icy shower of contempt. Naturally, Labour says it will examine the deal first. But then Keir Starmer must forensically shred its several-hundred pages. Those arguing that voting for it might bring back “red wall” seats are fighting the last war: voting for it is to own it, and its effects will be painfully clear by the next election. David Cameron backed the Iraq war and it hamstrung his later attacks on its calamitous consequences.

    As shadow Brexit secretary, Starmer laid out six tests. The key demand was to meet the Tories’ pledge to deliver the “exact same benefits” we get from the single market and customs union.

    The upcoming deal will spectacularly fail that test: voting for it risks Starmer’s reputation for straight-dealing. The border chaos, shortages on shelves, even medicines delayed may last for months, but the OBR and Bank of England have exposed deeper damage to come. Looking back, it will seem clear that an opposition should have opposed it. Abstention is not pusillanimous, but the only honourable option.

    And there’s also the possibility that Johnson’s delays might mean a deal comes too late for parliament to vote on it. So at the very least, Labour should not decide how to vote until it sees the bill.

    Of course, Labour could be obliged to vote for it and save the nation if a humiliated Johnson can’t stop his MPs voting it down. But that’s unlikely; and to vote for this atrocious deal in any other circumstance would be Starmer’s first serious mistake.


    The 2008 crash caused a 4% drop in GDP. So that means another ten years of austerity, even without the pandemic.

    Hard days ahead, for a long time.

  5. #325
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    No-trade deal Brexit is still possible, UK minister says

    LONDON (Reuters) - A senior British minister said on Tuesday there was still a chance of a turbulent Brexit without a trade deal as talks with the European Union had snagged on fishing, governance rules and dispute resolution.

    Just 30 days before Britain leaves the EU’s orbit following a standstill transition period since it formally quit the bloc, the sides are trying to agree a trade deal to avoid a rupture that could snarl almost $1 trillion in annual trade.

    With each side urging the other to compromise, a French official said Britain must clarify its positions and “really negotiate”, and cautioned that the EU would not accept a “substandard deal”.

    Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the cabinet minister who oversees the Brexit talks for London, said a deal was close but that to get it over the line the EU would have to live up to its responsibilities.

    Asked if a “no deal” scenario was closer than anyone would admit, he told ITV: “It’s certainly the case that there is a chance that we may not get a negotiated outcome.”

    “That’s why it’s important business prepares for all eventualities, but I very much want a deal and I believe that we can secure one,” Gove said.

    Gove avoided repeating an earlier prediction of a 66% probability of a deal, declining to give a figure.

    The pound rose above $1.34 for the first time in three months on Tuesday, indicating investors remained optimistic that a Brexit deal will be clinched.

    While most major investment banks say a deal is their central prediction, some investors have pointed out that Wall Street and the City of London were poorly prepared for the 2016 referendum as few believed the United Kingdom would vote out.

    Failure to secure a deal would snarl borders, spook financial markets and disrupt delicate supply chains that stretch across Europe and beyond -- just as the world grapples with the vast economic cost of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-b...-idUSKBN28B40N


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  6. #326
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    EU tells Brexit negotiator: don't let deadline force bad trade deal

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator told member states’ envoys on Wednesday that negotiations on a trade deal with Britain were reaching “a make-or-break moment”, and they urged him not to be rushed into an unsatisfactory agreement.

    Four diplomats told Reuters after a briefing by Michel Barnier that the talks remained snagged - as they have been for months - on fishing rights in British waters, ensuring fair competition guarantees and ways to solve future disputes.

    “He said the coming days will be decisive,” said a senior EU diplomat who took part in the briefing, just over four weeks before the end-of-year deadline for a deal to avoid what could be an economically damaging divorce.

    Speaking under condition of anonymity, the diplomat said Barnier did not specify a date by which an agreement must be clinched, but time will be needed for all 27 member states and the European Parliament to approve it before Dec. 31.

    “Swift progress is of the essence,” David McAllister, who chairs a Brexit group in the European Parliament, said on Twitter. “An agreement needs to be reached within very few days if (the European) Council and Parliament are to complete their respective procedures before the end of the transition period.”

    Britain formally left the EU on Jan. 31 after 47 years of membership but then entered a transition period under which EU laws apply until the end of this year to give citizens and businesses time to adapt.

    EU rules for the internal market and the EU Customs Union will not apply to Britain from Jan. 1.

    Failure to secure a trade deal would snarl borders, spook financial markets and disrupt delicate supply chains that stretch across Europe and beyond, just as countries grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-b...-idUSKBN28C1DF


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  7. #327
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    UK-EU trade talks down to the wire

    Pressure is mounting on the UK and EU negotiating teams to finalise a post-Brexit trade deal.

    Talks went on late into Wednesday evening at the business department in central London.

    The two sides are urgently seeking compromises in key areas before current trading rules expire at the end of December.

    Fishing rights, competition rules and how an agreement should be enforced remain outstanding issues.

    The two sides have been locked in talks since March to determine their future relations once the UK's Brexit transition periods ends on 31 December.

    Ireland's foreign affairs minister said there was a "good chance" a deal between the two sides could be agreed in the coming days.

    Speaking to Ireland's Newstalk Radio, Simon Coveney said the EU needed to "hold our nerve" and trust its chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

    "I believe if we do that, there's a good chance that we can get a deal across the line in the next few days," he added.

    Boris Johnson has said the UK remains "absolutely committed" to "getting a deal if we can".

    Speaking on Wednesday, the prime minister said the EU side "know what the UK bottom line is," as talks continued in what is seen as a crucial week.

    Negotiators got back to work in London on Thursday morning - face-to-face talks have been ongoing since the weekend after a week-long pause.

    Discussions had to move entirely online after Mr Barnier was forced into self-isolation after one of his colleagues tested positive for Covid-19.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55171563


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  8. #328
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    Brexit: 'Prospect of breakthrough receding' in UK-EU talks

    The prospect of a breakthrough in post-Brexit trade negotiations between the UK and EU is "receding", according to a senior UK government source.

    They told BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg that the EU team were "bringing new elements into the negotiation" at the "eleventh hour".

    But the source said a breakthrough was "still possible in the next few days".

    Talks were continuing into the night in London. Current trading rules expire on 31 December.

    Both sides are urgently seeking compromises in key areas, including fishing rights and competition rules.

    An EU source told the BBC's political editor that talks were "extremely sluggish" around the so-called level playing field for competition rules and standards.

    But another source from Brussels said there were "never any surprises or new demands from the EU side".

    Laura Kuenssberg said both sides were suggesting to her that the real sticking point was over how those rules would be policed.

    The UK and EU have been locked in talks since March to determine their future relations once the UK's Brexit transition period ends in less than four weeks' time.

    The BBC's political editor said: "The stumbling blocks certainly aren't new, but the sense on the UK side is that talks have gone backwards 24 hours".

    She added that there were "still real problems to solve".

    Earlier, Ireland's foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney told Irish broadcaster RTE that talks were "at the very end".

    Speaking ahead of Brexit meetings in Paris with his French counterpart on Thursday, he said efforts were under way to close negotiations "in the next few days".
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55171563.



  9. #329
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    Brexit: Time running out as Brexit trade talks restart

    The UK and the EU are set to resume talks on post-Brexit trade later, with time running out to achieve a deal.

    A senior UK government source said the prospects of a breakthrough were "receding" and accused Brussels of making new demands over business rules.

    But a Brussels source denied this, with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier calling Friday an "important day".

    Both sides have to agree and ratify any deal by 31 December, when the current rules on EU-UK trade end.

    If they do not, they will do business on World Trade Organization rules, meaning the introduction of tariffs.

    The UK and EU teams, meeting in London, are urgently seeking compromises in key areas, including fishing rights and business competition rules, ahead of an EU summit scheduled for Thursday.

    Rather than return to Brussels as planned on Friday, Mr Barnier will now stay in London to continue discussions.

    Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed to BBC Radio 4's Today programme the talks were "in a difficult phase".

    He added that the UK had "said all along" that it wanted the EU to recognise it as "a sovereign and independent nation" and it was "on the basis of that that a deal will be done".

    France's Europe minister, Clement Beaune, said his government could "veto" any deal reached, if it did not satisfy his country's demands, particularly on fishing rights - an area of contention between France and the UK.

    "If there's a deal that isn't a good one, we'd oppose it," he told Europe 1 radio.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55182450


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  10. #330
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    There will be a deal, it's all sorted bar the fishing.

    I can see a lot of the little fishermen doing badly out of this though. The big boats out of western Scotland are going to dock in NI, which will be in a special customs zone with the Republic of Ireland and from there exportable to mainland Europe. Good for the port of Belfast, for haulage across the Ireland of Ireland, and the ports of Dublin, Cork and Rosslare. What do you say @Donal Cozzie?

  11. #331
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    Brexit: Boris Johnson and EU chief seek to break trade deal deadlock

    Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen will seek to break the stalemate over a post-Brexit trade deal on Saturday.

    Negotiators for the two sides called in the two leaders after saying "significant divergences" remained following a week of intensive talks.

    Time is running out to get a deal through before the UK leaves EU trading rules on 31 December.

    Most of the deal has been completed but key sticking points remain.

    These include fishing rights, the rules governing state subsidies for business and how the agreement is policed.

    One source close to the negotiations on the UK side suggested there had been a more optimistic outlook earlier in the week but pointed to demands for EU fishing boats to have ten year access to UK waters as one issue that derailed progress - as had been reported in the Telegraph.
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55191436.



  12. #332
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    Most of the legal text is already written.

    Just a couple of things to iron out this weekend.

  13. #333
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    The EU's chief Brexit negotiator is on his way to Brussels to give an update on the paused negotiations ahead of an emergency phone call between Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

    On his way into London's St Pancras station, Michel Barnier told reporters: "We keep calm," adding: "If there is still a way... we will see."

    One EU official has said that no emergency summit of EU leaders is planned at this stage, Reuters news agency is reporting.

    The negotiations on a potential trade deal have gone down to the wire.

    With time for an agreement rapidly running out, the two sides' chief negotiators announced last night that they were putting the talks on "pause" to allow political leaders to take stock.

    In a joint statement following the latest round of negotiations in London, the UK's Lord Frost and the EU's Michel Barnier said the conditions for an agreement had still not been met.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  14. #334
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    Brexit: UK-EU trade talks to resume over 'critical issues'

    The UK and EU have decided to return to the negotiating table to try to agree a post-Brexit trade deal, despite "significant differences".

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen made the decision during a phone call on Saturday.

    A statement said there were three "critical issues" to address.

    Negotiating teams will reconvene in Brussels on Sunday, and the leaders will speak again on Monday evening.

    In the joint statement from Mr Johnson and Ms Von der Leyen, they said fishing rights, competition rules and how any deal is enforced were still causing problems, with the statement adding: "Both sides underlined that no agreement is feasible if these issues are not resolved."

    But the leaders continued: "Whilst recognising the seriousness of these differences, we agreed that a further effort should be undertaken by our negotiating teams to assess whether they can be resolved."

    The BBC's political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, said the next meeting "feels like a last roll of the dice, rather than ironing out a few last minute glitches", and the next 48 hours would be "critical".

    The UK left the EU on 31 January but remains under EU trading rules until the end of the year.

    The two sides have been holding talks since March in an attempt to secure a deal before this time, which is called the transition period, ends on 31 December.

    If a deal is not agreed by that point, tariffs - or taxes on goods - could come into force.

    But the same three sticking points have stopped negotiating teams coming to an agreement, and on Friday, talks came to an end with both sides saying "significant divergences" remained.

    In their statement, Mr Johnson and Ms Von der Leyen said they "welcomed the fact that progress has been achieved in many areas".

    But, they added: "Nevertheless, significant differences remain on three critical issues: level playing field, governance and fisheries. Both sides underlined that no agreement is feasible if these issues are not resolved.

    "Whilst recognising the seriousness of these differences, we agreed that a further effort should be undertaken by our negotiating teams to assess whether they can be resolved."
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55201085.



  15. #335
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Most of the legal text is already written.

    Just a couple of things to iron out this weekend.
    One can only hope.

    The dilemma for the progressive parties will be whether to support the deal or not. Obviously any deal will be worse economically than full EU membership. Labour can either risk further alienation of Northern voters by abstaining from supporting the deal, or vote for it and risk the Tories saying “but you voted for it” as unemployment rises. Ditto for the Scot Nats, and the Libs in their SW heartlands.

  16. #336
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    Brexit: 'Deal to be done' as UK-EU trade talks resume

    There is "still a deal to be done" between the UK and EU on post-Brexit trade, a minister has told the BBC ahead of talks resuming later.

    But Environment Secretary George Eustice said "sticking points" on fishing and business rules remained.

    UK chief negotiator Lord Frost is in Brussels for the talks, with the deadline for a deal approaching.

    Ireland's foreign minister has said it is "in everybody's interest" to reach an agreement.

    One of the disagreements is over access to UK waters by the EU's fishing fleets - an issue which erupted last week, with the UK accusing the EU of making extra "last-minute" demands.

    Another is what measures there should be to ensure a "level playing field" for businesses on both sides.

    If a deal is not reached, border checks and taxes will be introduced for goods travelling between the UK and the EU at the end of the year.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55204371


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  17. #337
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    Brexit: UK-EU trade talks continue as 'sticking points' remain

    The UK and EU have resumed talks on post-Brexit trade, with a minister telling the BBC there is "still a deal to be done" despite time running short.

    Environment Secretary George Eustice said "sticking points" on fishing and business rules remained.

    UK chief negotiator Lord Frost is taking part in discussions with EU counterpart Michel Barnier in Brussels.

    EU sources told the BBC an agreement on fishing was close but a No 10 source said there had been "no breakthrough".

    The UK government source told the BBC on Sunday evening: "Nothing new has been achieved on this today."

    A senior EU diplomat told the BBC that fishing "was definitely not the issue the talks are stuck on".

    The diplomat added there was still a dispute over what measures there should be to ensure a "level playing field" for businesses on both sides and how to enforce agreed standards.

    Ireland's foreign minister has said it is "in everybody's interest" to reach an agreement soon.

    Border checks and taxes will be introduced for goods travelling between the UK and the EU if a trade deal is not reached and ratified by the end of the year.

    Mr Eustice told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "There's still a deal to be done, but there's no denying that the end of last week was quite a setback."

    He added: "The sticking points remain - quite fundamental ones. We've been clear all along that we can only do an agreement if it respects our sovereignty."

    Mr Eustice also said: "I think we probably are now in the final few days in terms of deciding whether there can be an agreement."
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55204371.



  18. #338
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    EU tells Johnson to decide as time runs out for Brexit deal

    BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - British and European Union negotiators made a last-ditch effort on Monday to bridge stubborn differences standing in the way of a post-Brexit trade deal, but they had at best 48 hours left to avoid a disorderly parting of ways at the end of this month.

    “EU-UK negotiations have entered the endgame, time is running out quickly,” said an EU diplomat after the bloc’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier gave member states’ envoys to Brussels a downbeat assessment of the state of play. “It is for the UK to chose between ... a positive outcome or a no deal outcome.”

    With growing fears of “no-deal” chaos after London finally leaves the EU’s orbit on Dec. 31, talks resumed before British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen review the situation in a call at 1600 GMT.

    Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, whose country would be the hardest hit of the 27 EU states if there is no trade accord, put the chances of a deal at 50-50. Investment bank JPMorgan said its odds on a no-deal had risen to one third from 20%.

    The British pound tumbled on concerns that there would be no agreement covering annual trade worth nearly $1 trillion.

    Barnier told members of the European Parliament in a separate briefing that negotiations could go on until Wednesday, but no further, Ireland’s RTE news said.

    EU diplomats said the ball was now in Johnson’s court.

    “People need to understand that the British are playing with fire here and the fire can burn everybody and that’s something we should all try to avoid,” said Mairead McGuinness, Ireland’s commissioner in the EU executive.

    However, the Sun newspaper reported that Johnson, a figurehead for Britain’s campaign that led to a ‘vote leave’ victory in a 2016 referendum, was ready to pull out of the talks within hours unless Brussels changed its demands.

    In London, a lawmaker in Johnson’s governing Conservative Party said France would have to make concessions on fishing, and the EU would have to drop what he said were new demands on fair competition known as the level playing field.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-b...-idUSKBN28H0LW


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  19. #339
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    BREAKING: Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have released a joint statement following their phone call today, saying "conditions for agreement are not there due to remaining differences on three critical issues."

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    Brexit: PM to meet EU chief in bid to save trade deal

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will travel to Brussels this week to meet European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a last ditch effort to salvage a post-Brexit trade deal.

    It comes after a 90 minute phone call between the two leaders failed to produce a breakthrough.

    In a joint statement, they said the conditions for a deal were "not there".

    "Significant differences" remained on fishing, business competition rules and governance of any deal, they added.

    "We asked our chief negotiators and their teams to prepare an overview of the remaining differences to be discussed in a physical meeting in Brussels in the coming days," the leaders said in their statement.

    A senior UK government source has warned that a deal may not be possible, after the phone call between the PM and the European Commission president.

    "Talks are in the same position now as they were on Friday. We have made no tangible progress," the source added.

    "It's clear this must now continue politically. Whilst we do not consider this process to be closed, things are looking very tricky and there's every chance we are not going to get there."
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55224096.




  21. #341
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    Brexit: Johnson heads to Brussels on Wednesday for last ditch trade talks

    Boris Johnson is heading to Brussels on Wednesday for talks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on a post-Brexit trade deal.

    The pair are under pressure to get an agreement before the UK stops following EU trading rules on 31 December.

    The dinner meeting comes after intensive talks between EU and UK officials ended in deadlock.

    Major disagreements remain on fishing rights, business competition rules and how a deal will be policed.

    Mr Johnson will work through a list of the major sticking points with Mrs von der Leyen, who is representing the leaders of the 27 EU nations.

    He will take part in Prime Minister's Questions before travelling to the Belgian capital. EU leaders are due to meet for a summit of their own on Thursday.

    A UK government source said "political impetus" would be required if the talks are to make any more progress.

    "If we can make progress at a political level, it may allow Lord Frost and his team to resume negotiations over the coming days," the source added.

    EU sources told the BBC that EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier briefed the bloc's Europe ministers that talks were tilting towards no deal being reached before the deadline.
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55238783.



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    Brexit: PM says deal 'still there to be done' ahead of crunch trip

    Boris Johnson has said the EU is insisting on terms "no prime minister could accept" in UK-EU trade talks.

    The PM told MPs "a good deal is still there to be done", ahead of post-Brexit deal negotiations with the European Commission president.

    But he said the EU was seeking an "automatic right" to retaliate against the UK if its labour and environmental standards diverged from theirs.

    He will have dinner with the EU chief Ursula von der Leyen this evening.

    The prime minister also suggested the EU could not accept the UK having sovereign control over its fishing waters after Brexit, as he answered questions at Prime Minister's Questions.

    Time is running out to reach a deal before 31 December, when the UK stops following EU trading rules.

    Major disagreements remain on fishing rights, business competition rules and how a deal will be policed.

    At the dinner, expected to begin at 19:00 GMT, the prime minister will work through a list of the major sticking points with Mrs von der Leyen, who is representing the leaders of the 27 EU nations.

    A UK government source said progress at a political level may allow the negotiations - between the UK's Lord Frost and EU's Michel Barnier - to resume over the coming days.

    But the source added that it was important to be "realistic" that an agreement might not be possible.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55248502


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  23. #343
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    It appears that the stumbling block is the “level playing field”. Johnson has agreed that he will not weaken safety and environmental law to undercut the EU. But going forward, if the EU raises their own standards, we will have to as well, or the EU will drop the free trade deal and level tariffs. So we become rule takers instead of the rule makers we were as EU members.

    Which means No Deal, 8% drop in GDP, food and medicine shortages, food prices rising.

    But at least Johnson has agreed to put the EU-EK border at the ports thus upholding the GFA. It means a customs border within the UK though.

    So much for the oven-ready deal promised. Johnson either lied to the people, or he was not aware of the facts. Both should be resignation issues.

  24. #344
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    It appears that the stumbling block is the “level playing field”. Johnson has agreed that he will not weaken safety and environmental law to undercut the EU. But going forward, if the EU raises their own standards, we will have to as well, or the EU will drop the free trade deal and level tariffs. So we become rule takers instead of the rule makers we were as EU members.

    Which means No Deal, 8% drop in GDP, food and medicine shortages, food prices rising.

    But at least Johnson has agreed to put the EU-EK border at the ports thus upholding the GFA. It means a customs border within the UK though.

    So much for the oven-ready deal promised. Johnson either lied to the people, or he was not aware of the facts. Both should be resignation issues.
    Lied to the people?
    A certain poster would call you a looney leftie snowflake remouner for bringing up the past because let's face it the lies started in once the original Referendum was announced.

  25. #345
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    It appears that the stumbling block is the “level playing field”. Johnson has agreed that he will not weaken safety and environmental law to undercut the EU. But going forward, if the EU raises their own standards, we will have to as well, or the EU will drop the free trade deal and level tariffs. So we become rule takers instead of the rule makers we were as EU members.

    Which means No Deal, 8% drop in GDP, food and medicine shortages, food prices rising.

    But at least Johnson has agreed to put the EU-EK border at the ports thus upholding the GFA. It means a customs border within the UK though.

    So much for the oven-ready deal promised. Johnson either lied to the people, or he was not aware of the facts. Both should be resignation issues.
    8% drop in GDP? And? How much did the GDP fall by due to covid? Way more!

    You also miss out the fact Boris has now assured the EU that he will not break any international law now.

    Also you fail to mention how checks between NI and IRE have been agreed. Ireland is safe, and the IRA will continue to have immunity from prosecution. Biden's brethern are safe too.

    Please stop worrying about rise in food prices etc, the GBP is getting stronger.

    Tell me how Retail, Hospitality, and Aviation industry will recover after C19?

    The only lies were from project fear. Planes will fall out the sky right?
    Last edited by Technics 1210; 10th December 2020 at 00:46.

  26. #346
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    Side point : Any Remoaner complaining about the rise in food, fuel, cost of living prices etc, is not only selfish but bluffing. These same lot wouldn't complain if the value of their assets, such as property, went up.

    Stop pretending you remoaners care, you don't, you are selfish through and through.

  27. #347
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    Brexit: 'Large gaps' remain after crucial trade talks in Brussels

    Boris Johnson's dinner with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen - aimed at breaking the Brexit trade talks deadlock - has ended without agreement.

    A No 10 spokesperson said "very large gaps remain" - but talks will continue with a "firm decision" on the prospects of a deal by Sunday.

    Mrs von der Leyen said that the two sides were still "far apart".

    Talks between the UK's chief negotiator Lord Frost and the EU's Michel Barnier will resume in Brussels later.

    The two negotiators also attended the three-hour dinner meeting between the two leaders.

    The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg said the evening had "plainly gone badly" and the chances of the UK leaving the post-Brexit transition period at the end of the year without a firm arrangement was a "big step closer".

    Time is running out to reach a deal before 31 December, when the UK stops following EU trading rules.

    Major disagreements remain on fishing rights, business competition rules and how a deal will be policed.

    The dinner was seen as a last-ditch opportunity to work through the main sticking points and for the two sides to try and find some common ground.
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55249561.



  28. #348
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    8% drop in GDP? And? How much did the GDP fall by due to covid? Way more!

    You also miss out the fact Boris has now assured the EU that he will not break any international law now.

    Also you fail to mention how checks between NI and IRE have been agreed. Ireland is safe, and the IRA will continue to have immunity from prosecution. Biden's brethern are safe too.

    Please stop worrying about rise in food prices etc, the GBP is getting stronger.

    Tell me how Retail, Hospitality, and Aviation industry will recover after C19?

    The only lies were from project fear. Planes will fall out the sky right?
    Of course GDP has fallen due to COVID. Recovery of retail and air travel will begin as the vaccine is rolled out but that Act of God is unrelated to the political act of Brexit. Above and beyond the impact of COVID, GDP will fall further by 8% in the case of No Deal or just 4% in the case of the thin deal still available - the latter case equivalent to another ten years of austerity.

    Given that Johnson has already broken international law, we will be stigmatised for a long time. Trust took years for UK to build, then Johnson lost it in an instant. How much damage that single action has done to us has yet to be revealed.

    I mentioned that the GFA is protected in my previous post, at the price of dividing the UK as NI now resides in the Customs Union. In the case of No Deal, expect British firms who trade with the EU to start relocating there. Good for NI, bad for GB.

    So - best case we have a thin trade agreement with 4% loss of GDP where we are legislative rule-takers from Brussels. So much for Take Back Control. We have given away control in this scenario.

    Or - we keep control of our laws, accept 8% GDP loss (equivalent to the Wall Street Crash), tariffs go onto the imported food and medicines we need to live, and more people are pushed into poverty.

    These options are what Brexit has come down to.

  29. #349
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Of course GDP has fallen due to COVID. Recovery of retail and air travel will begin as the vaccine is rolled out but that Act of God is unrelated to the political act of Brexit. Above and beyond the impact of COVID, GDP will fall further by 8% in the case of No Deal or just 4% in the case of the thin deal still available - the latter case equivalent to another ten years of austerity.

    Given that Johnson has already broken international law, we will be stigmatised for a long time. Trust took years for UK to build, then Johnson lost it in an instant. How much damage that single action has done to us has yet to be revealed.

    I mentioned that the GFA is protected in my previous post, at the price of dividing the UK as NI now resides in the Customs Union. In the case of No Deal, expect British firms who trade with the EU to start relocating there. Good for NI, bad for GB.

    So - best case we have a thin trade agreement with 4% loss of GDP where we are legislative rule-takers from Brussels. So much for Take Back Control. We have given away control in this scenario.

    Or - we keep control of our laws, accept 8% GDP loss (equivalent to the Wall Street Crash), tariffs go onto the imported food and medicines we need to live, and more people are pushed into poverty.

    These options are what Brexit has come down to.
    Which international law has Boris broken?

    The 8% figure was touted before C19 lockdown, and a higher figure few years ago. Meaning nature has caused more damage to the economy than Brexit will.

    We have taken back control, it's the EU grovelling and begging over fishing now; Macron in particular.

    UK has made some USA good tariff free speech recently. We didnt have this control before, we do now.

  30. #350
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    Brexit: EU sets out plans in case trade talks with UK fail

    The EU has published contingency plans in case of the possible collapse of Brexit trade talks with the UK.

    The plans aim to ensure smooth UK-EU air and road travel, as well as allowing the possibility of fishing access to each other's waters.

    They come after talks between UK PM Boris Johnson and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen aimed at ending a deadlock over the deal ended without agreement.

    The UK is due to stop following EU trading rules on 31 December.

    The UK left the EU at the end of January this year, but a transition period of 11 months followed to allow the two sides to try to negotiate a deal.

    The prime minister's spokesman said such a statement from the EU had been expected and that the government had already set out its own plans in the event a trade deal could not be reached.

    Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55259144


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  31. #351
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    Which international law has Boris broken?

    The 8% figure was touted before C19 lockdown, and a higher figure few years ago. Meaning nature has caused more damage to the economy than Brexit will.

    We have taken back control, it's the EU grovelling and begging over fishing now; Macron in particular.

    UK has made some USA good tariff free speech recently. We didnt have this control before, we do now.
    The Internal Market Bill breached parts of the Irish Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement. But yes, Johnson backed down from that. So now the EU has erected a customs barrier separating GB from NI. That’s giving control away.

    Fishing accounts for 0.1% of GDP. If tarrifs go on, all the little boat skippers will go out of business.

    A year ago I had hoped the Norway Minus model was possible. Then I hoped at least for Canada +++. But we don’t even get that.

    Are you honestly happy with - at best - a 4% reductIon in GDP further to that caused by the pandemic, with Brussels exerting control over our employment, environment and safety laws? Again that’s giving control away. Surely it is the worst of all possible outcomes, and the Brexit Ultras will turn on Johnson for it.

  32. #352
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    The Internal Market Bill breached parts of the Irish Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement. But yes, Johnson backed down from that. So now the EU has erected a customs barrier separating GB from NI. That’s giving control away.

    Fishing accounts for 0.1% of GDP. If tarrifs go on, all the little boat skippers will go out of business.

    A year ago I had hoped the Norway Minus model was possible. Then I hoped at least for Canada +++. But we don’t even get that.

    Are you honestly happy with - at best - a 4% reductIon in GDP further to that caused by the pandemic, with Brussels exerting control over our employment, environment and safety laws? Again that’s giving control away. Surely it is the worst of all possible outcomes, and the Brexit Ultras will turn on Johnson for it.
    The reason why fishing accounts for 0.1% of GDP is because this figure factors in EU membership. This figure would rise once UK is out of the EU and controls its waters. The question to you is would you prefer British fishermen to benefit/contribute to the UK economy or you want the EU to take a greater share and higher GDP of fishery with UK losing out?

    I will take a drop 4% drop on GDP compared to double digit drop with C19.

    Don"t measure everything in GDP. Brussels will not exert its power - where did you read this? Maybe you missed the part that EU will be enshrined in UK law. We get to trim the laws.

    The problem is Remainers still believe they can revert the 2016 result, not happening. Remainers still beating the old drums.

  33. #353
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    It won’t be “compared to”
    @Technics 1210, it will be “on top of”.

    We won’t catch any more fish because about 40% of our coastal waters have been sold off outside EU jurisdiction. We can’t just take them back, it would be piracy. The small fishers can survive if there is a free trade deal - but if tariffs go on they will go out of business and coastal villages will die.

    So yo are prepared to accept the 4% GDP drop - equivalent to another ten years of austerity - but that will mean we are rule-takers under the level playing field - if the EU raises standards we must too - and we have given up the control we had over those rules. We will have less sovereignty than when we were EU members.

    Or we could crash out under No Deal, and keep sovereignty but then tariffs go on imports and exports. And we will still have to meet EU standards to export to them.

    These are the only two options.

    At present I would be happy with Canada +++ but our PM has failed to secure that.

  34. #354
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    The EU is playing extreme hard ball with the UK. The EU (understandably from its own point of view) is using this opportunity to demonstrate to all its members that if anyone dates to try and leave the club after becoming "made", they will get both their legs broken on the way out. I can see the UK choosing to exit at the end of this year without a deal in place.
    Last edited by James; 11th December 2020 at 02:15.

  35. #355
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    The EU is playing extreme hard ball with the UK. The EU (understandably from its own point of view) is using this opportunity to demonstrate to all its members that if anyone dates to try and leave the club after becoming "made", they will get both their legs broken on the way out. I can see the UK choosing to exit at the end of this year without a deal in place.
    I don't think that is so. They were happy to treat us like Norway at one point. We could have got Canada+++ if we had competent negotiators. Their Four Freedoms are sacrosanct to them and indivisible, and from the outset our Gov has tried to cherrypick bits of the 4Fs it likes, and that was never feasible.

  36. #356
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    Brexit: 'Strong possibility' of no trade deal with EU - PM

    Boris Johnson says there is a "strong possibility" the UK will fail to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.

    Speaking for the first time since a crunch meeting in Brussels, the PM said "now is the time" for firms and people to prepare for a no deal outcome.

    Talks continue between the two sides, but Mr Johnson said they were "not yet there at all" in securing a deal.

    Time is running out to reach an agreement before the UK stops following EU trade rules on 31 December.

    Weeks of intensive talks between officials have failed to overcome obstacles in key areas, including competition rules and fishing rights.

    Mr Johnson met European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday, but the pair failed to make a breakthrough.

    Mr Johnson pledged British negotiators, who earlier resumed talks with their EU counterparts in Brussels, would "go the extra mile" to reach a deal.

    But he said the EU wanted to keep the UK "locked" into its legal system, or face punishments such as taxes on imports, which had "made things much more difficult".

    The PM added that the EU's proposals would mean, despite leaving the bloc earlier this year, the UK would be forced to remain a "twin" of the 27-country organisation.

    "At the moment, I have to tell you in all candour, the treaty is not there yet and that was the strong view of our cabinet," he said.
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55266678.



  37. #357
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    It won’t be “compared to”
    @Technics 1210, it will be “on top of”.

    We won’t catch any more fish because about 40% of our coastal waters have been sold off outside EU jurisdiction. We can’t just take them back, it would be piracy. The small fishers can survive if there is a free trade deal - but if tariffs go on they will go out of business and coastal villages will die.

    So yo are prepared to accept the 4% GDP drop - equivalent to another ten years of austerity - but that will mean we are rule-takers under the level playing field - if the EU raises standards we must too - and we have given up the control we had over those rules. We will have less sovereignty than when we were EU members.

    Or we could crash out under No Deal, and keep sovereignty but then tariffs go on imports and exports. And we will still have to meet EU standards to export to them.

    These are the only two options.

    At present I would be happy with Canada +++ but our PM has failed to secure that.
    Trade deals do not give countries any competitive advantage; lowering taxes do, and this is what the EU are afraid of given UK has the power to attract money by lowering corporate/VAT compared to EU.

    As for Canada +++, didn't the Remainers mock and ridicule this very 'deal; when David Davis proposed it in 2017?

  38. #358
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    Trade deals do not give countries any competitive advantage; lowering taxes do, and this is what the EU are afraid of given UK has the power to attract money by lowering corporate/VAT compared to EU.

    As for Canada +++, didn't the Remainers mock and ridicule this very 'deal; when David Davis proposed it in 2017?
    I have a serious question for you.
    Please try and assist me here if you can.

    Without a deal, no access to the single market and trade basis WTO rules, how will lowering taxes attract business? I mean if a Chinese or Indian company or even an English person wants to set up a business, why would lower corp taxes be an incentive when they would have to pay tariffs to trade to the EU?

    The whole point of foreign companies setting up here in the Uk is their ability to trade to the world and in particular to the EU?

    Also, we're looking at a decade more of austerity measures which surely isn't the right climate to be cutting more taxes?

    I'd like to have your views on this please.

  39. #359
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    Trade deals do not give countries any competitive advantage; lowering taxes do, and this is what the EU are afraid of given UK has the power to attract money by lowering corporate/VAT compared to EU.

    As for Canada +++, didn't the Remainers mock and ridicule this very 'deal; when David Davis proposed it in 2017?
    The EU isn’t afraid of us.

    Trade deals give a competitive advantage to countries within the trade deal over countries outside the trade deal. This is why countries enter trade deals.

    What you propose by lowering taxes is a reduction in services already gutted by austerity, on top of the economic damage done by COVID. That means more poverty and more inequality and less social cohesion - and which socio-ethnic groups will be scapegoated? Anyone ‘Other‘. Parallels with Weimar Germany are stark.

    Canada+++ is obviously superior to what we are facing now, and should have been pursued all year. Canada will now have an advantage over us in trading with our nearest neighbours.

  40. #360
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    Brexit: EU leaders told no UK trade deal most likely outcome

    A trade deal is unlikely to be agreed with the UK by Sunday's deadline, European leaders have been warned.

    They were told by European Commission boss Ursula von der Leyen no deal was the likeliest end to "difficult" talks.

    Afterwards, French President Emmanuel Macron said the EU would stand firm on key principles such as access to its common market and fishing quotas.

    The EU has rebuffed Boris Johnson's request to speak to Mr Macron and Germany's Angela Merkel individually.

    The UK prime minister hoped to speak on the phone to the leaders of Europe's two largest economies but, according to EU officials, was told discussions could only take place through the bloc's negotiator Michel Barnier.

    Speaking after Mrs von der Leyen's latest comments, Mr Johnson said a no deal outcome was "very likely" in the coming days unless there was a "big change" from the EU.

    Time is running out to reach an agreement before the UK stops following EU trade rules on 31 December.

    Weeks of intensive talks between officials have failed to overcome obstacles in key areas, including competition rules and fishing rights.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55271914


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  41. #361
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    The EU isn’t afraid of us.

    Trade deals give a competitive advantage to countries within the trade deal over countries outside the trade deal. This is why countries enter trade deals.

    What you propose by lowering taxes is a reduction in services already gutted by austerity, on top of the economic damage done by COVID. That means more poverty and more inequality and less social cohesion - and which socio-ethnic groups will be scapegoated? Anyone ‘Other‘. Parallels with Weimar Germany are stark.

    Canada+++ is obviously superior to what we are facing now, and should have been pursued all year. Canada will now have an advantage over us in trading with our nearest neighbours.
    That's not what I asked you. Why is Canada +++ appealing now, and not in 2017?

    Trade deals give you competitive advantage? Remind me how the EU economy was doing BEFORE Brexit? 600M more Euros created this week. EU losing a customer, or EU/EZ economy crumbling?

    Explain to me why, if EU/EZ is such a great economy yet have the highest youth unemployment; the future?

    UK proved EU process is a joke. UK signed a trade deal with JP in 1/20th of the time compared via the EU.

    Project fear was a hoax and is dead.

    Stop siding with the side that tried to bomb you.
    Last edited by Technics 1210; 11th December 2020 at 19:44.

  42. #362
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    Canada+++ is (relatively) appealing now because it is better than the no deal we are facing. Or was when it was still an option. The steak option (full EU membership) is off the menu but I would prefer a burger and chips (C+++) to cat food (no deal).

    I don’t understand your second question. Yes the EU economy is shrinking compared to world GDP but that is no reason to raise tariffs against ourselves when they account for 45% of our imports and exports. It’s so self-destructive.

    We already had a FT deal with Japan when we were in the EU. The new UK-Japan deal will not stop their car giant relocating to Europe if tariffs go on.

    If you are worried about youth unemployment why have you chosen to damage our own economy and put more youth out of work?

    Nobody ever tried to bomb me.

  43. #363
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Canada+++ is (relatively) appealing now because it is better than the no deal we are facing. Or was when it was still an option. The steak option (full EU membership) is off the menu but I would prefer a burger and chips (C+++) to cat food (no deal).

    I don’t understand your second question. Yes the EU economy is shrinking compared to world GDP but that is no reason to raise tariffs against ourselves when they account for 45% of our imports and exports. It’s so self-destructive.

    We already had a FT deal with Japan when we were in the EU. The new UK-Japan deal will not stop their car giant relocating to Europe if tariffs go on.

    If you are worried about youth unemployment why have you chosen to damage our own economy and put more youth out of work?

    Nobody ever tried to bomb me.
    You perefectly understand my second question. If you pretend the EU economy is so great et al, why hasn't it performed so well?

    Yes, Europe tried to bomb UK, WW1 and WW2. Save the pendantry . Want to be friends with the nations that tried to bomb UK? Though the fact that you didn't identify yourself as a Brit is more telling.

    You know the answers, you are just toying now.

    As for why the Canada +++ is appealing now, if the Remainer cult hadn't tried to subvert a democratic result, we may have had a deal by now. This is why the deal sounds appealing to you! because Remainers lost; 4 years of accusations of racism, foul play, and the laughable second referendum. Every trick in the book played, but failed. Is this why your view has changed?

    Remainers were acting like Trump is now. The Russians did it! Election is rigged! Court Case! Despite the UK judiciary and parlimentary process saying otherwise.

    So forgive me if I ignore your opinions on democracy. You don't belive in democracy unless the result favours you.

  44. #364
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    You perefectly understand my second question. If you pretend the EU economy is so great et al, why hasn't it performed so well?

    Yes, Europe tried to bomb UK, WW1 and WW2. Save the pendantry . Want to be friends with the nations that tried to bomb UK? Though the fact that you didn't identify yourself as a Brit is more telling.

    You know the answers, you are just toying now.

    As for why the Canada +++ is appealing now, if the Remainer cult hadn't tried to subvert a democratic result, we may have had a deal by now. This is why the deal sounds appealing to you! because Remainers lost; 4 years of accusations of racism, foul play, and the laughable second referendum. Every trick in the book played, but failed. Is this why your view has changed?

    Remainers were acting like Trump is now. The Russians did it! Election is rigged! Court Case! Despite the UK judiciary and parlimentary process saying otherwise.

    So forgive me if I ignore your opinions on democracy. You don't belive in democracy unless the result favours you.
    I don’t know. I just know that makes no business sense to erect trade barriers against nearly half our import/export market, when a trade deal is available right now.

    “Europe” didn’t bomb the UK. One European nation did, and we helped rebuild them after 1945, and protected them from the USSR. We are friends and allies, it’s only people who can only understand Europe in terms of the World Wars who aren’t friends. That’s a failure of education. A bit silly to be holding grudges about something that ended decades before I was born.

    I still identify as a Briton, as an Irishman and as a European, just not an Englishman any more.

    We have had 12 months of Tory majority, enough to set Canada+++ up. But Johnson (and May before him) had to try to satisfy their own Brexit headbangers as well as those MPs who sought a deal. That was never possible. I suspect that Johnson has negotiated in bad faith with 27 nations all along, wasting all that time and energy when he could have declared no deal a year ago and given the nation a year to prepare.

  45. #365
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I don’t know. I just know that makes no business sense to erect trade barriers against nearly half our import/export market, when a trade deal is available right now.

    “Europe” didn’t bomb the UK. One European nation did, and we helped rebuild them after 1945, and protected them from the USSR. We are friends and allies, it’s only people who can only understand Europe in terms of the World Wars who aren’t friends. That’s a failure of education. A bit silly to be holding grudges about something that ended decades before I was born.

    I still identify as a Briton, as an Irishman and as a European, just not an Englishman any more.

    We have had 12 months of Tory majority, enough to set Canada+++ up. But Johnson (and May before him) had to try to satisfy their own Brexit headbangers as well as those MPs who sought a deal. That was never possible. I suspect that Johnson has negotiated in bad faith with 27 nations all along, wasting all that time and energy when he could have declared no deal a year ago and given the nation a year to prepare.
    We also had Covid19 this year.

    May tried to satisfy Remainers, she was a remainer herself. She was never going to negotiate anything in good faith.

    The negotiations were almost sealed a few weeks ago until Macron decided it would be a good idea to torpedo the deal with a veto.

    Boris is doing what May should've done in 2017 - walk away.

    As for what Europe think of the UK, I think you are naive in believing mainland Europe cares about the UK, they don't. It was France that blocked UK from joining the EEC until CDG died, and even today, Merkel and Macron refused to take calls from UK PM.

    We honestly wouldn't been in this mess had remainers accepted the 2016 result.

  46. #366
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    By Sunday if there is no deal, how will it impact price rises and what other type of mess are looking forward to?

    Brits need to wake up to reality, this isnt the 1800s, this small island is no longer an Empire but a broke nation hanging by a thread.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  47. #367
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    If we exit without a deal, there will be five times as many customs checks at the border, and also there will be some price rises on certain consumable goods which range from negligible to noticeable. The customs checks impact would be delayed for six months however, as the government is happy to waive EU imports through for a while until it gets its house in order.
    Last edited by James; 12th December 2020 at 12:07.

  48. #368
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    If we exit without a deal, there will be five times as many customs checks at the border, and also there will be some price rises on certain consumable goods which range from negligible to noticeable. The customs checks impact would be delayed for six months however, as the government is happy to waive EU imports through for a while until it gets its house in order.
    So Brexit doesn't mean Brexit because the government has given itself an extra six months to get it's house in order. Not exactly an inspiring message that the government really believes in Brexit in the first place.


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  49. #369
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    We also had Covid19 this year.

    May tried to satisfy Remainers, she was a remainer herself. She was never going to negotiate anything in good faith.

    The negotiations were almost sealed a few weeks ago until Macron decided it would be a good idea to torpedo the deal with a veto.

    Boris is doing what May should've done in 2017 - walk away.

    As for what Europe think of the UK, I think you are naive in believing mainland Europe cares about the UK, they don't. It was France that blocked UK from joining the EEC until CDG died, and even today, Merkel and Macron refused to take calls from UK PM.

    We honestly wouldn't been in this mess had remainers accepted the 2016 result.
    Had we started planning for No Deal four years ago we would have been in better shape now, no doubt.

    But Parliament would never have accepted that - it meant breaking the GFA.

    What a mess. Cameron has brought us low by gambling to silence his nationalist headbanger MPs and losing.

  50. #370
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    By Sunday if there is no deal, how will it impact price rises and what other type of mess are looking forward to?

    Brits need to wake up to reality, this isnt the 1800s, this small island is no longer an Empire but a broke nation hanging by a thread.
    Trucks will be waved through customs for a six month grace period, though importers and exporters must fill in lots of forms. That in itself will impact on prices as admin costs rise.

    After the six months, the trucks will be held in ports for up to 24 hours according to the Port of Rotterdam.

    If you have a German or French or Italian car, it will take longer to get parts and you will pay more. No more JIT supply chains.

    Medicines will get more expensive.

    Imported food prices will rise, though home produced food prices will not. There will probably be fewer bananas and sweet peppers on the shelves. Food poverty will increase.

    The Japanese car plants in Sunderland will close. Not all at once - a given model line will run to the end of its life and then cease production, and a new line will open in the EU27.

    There will not be an apocalypse but the economy will suffer a slow puncture and standards of living will fall.

    All that on top of COVID.

    Within two years the Government will be incredibly unpopular, and Starmer will be PM of a coalition by 2024.

  51. #371
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    Trade talks between the UK and European Union are continuing in Brussels with one day to go until a deadline imposed by the two sides.

    The leaders of both parties have warned they are unlikely to reach a post-Brexit trade deal by Sunday.

    On Friday, Boris Johnson chaired a "stock-take" on the UK's preparedness for a no-deal scenario.

    Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said four Royal Navy patrol boats are ready to protect UK fishing waters.

    The Sunday deadline was set by Mr Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after the pair met in Brussels on Wednesday, after months of talks failed to achieve an agreement.

    Mr Johnson said the EU needed to make a "big change" over the main sticking points on fishing rights and business competition rules, while Mrs von der Leyen said no deal was the most probable end to "difficult" talks.

    The EU has rejected Mr Johnson's request to bypass the European Commission and speak directly to French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Angela Merkel about the unresolved issues.

    According to EU officials, he was told discussions could only take place through the bloc's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, who is meeting with his UK equivalent in Brussels.

    If a trade deal is not reached and ratified by both sides by 31 December, the UK and EU could impose taxes - tariffs - on each other's goods.

    This could lead to higher prices for some goods, among other changes.

    Brexit happened but rules didn't change at once: The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020, but leaders needed time to negotiate a deal for life afterwards - they got 11 months.

    Talks are happening: The UK and the EU have until 31 December 2020 to agree a trade deal as well as other things, such as fishing rights.

    If there is no deal: Border checks and taxes will be introduced for goods travelling between the UK and the EU. But deal or no deal, we will still see changes.

    A major sticking point in negotiations has been access to UK fishing waters, with the EU warning that without access to UK waters for its fleets, UK fishermen will no longer get special access to EU markets to sell their goods.

    The MoD has said it has conducted "extensive planning and preparation" to ensure it is ready for a range of scenarios at the end of the transition period, including having 14,000 personnel on standby to support the government over the winter with the EU transition, as well as with Covid support and other events such as severe weather.

    It said four offshore patrol boats will be available to monitor UK waters and added that it would have "robust enforcement measures in place to protect the UK's rights as an independent coastal state".

    An expansion of powers for the Royal Navy Police, enabling officers to potentially board foreign boats and arrest those breaking the law, is one proposal in the MoD's no-deal contingency planning, a spokesman confirmed.

    According to the MoD's website, three River Class patrol ships with a crew of 45 sailors already work "at least 275 days a year at sea enforcing British and European fisheries law".

    BBC economics editor Faisal Islam said the government's contingency assumptions are that a lack of business readiness will lead to queues of thousands of lorries, with Kent - which is home to the Port of Dover, operating an access permit for hauliers.

    A presentation, seen by the BBC, only identified room to fast track between 70 and 100 lorries of perishable goods per day should there be tailbacks, he said.

    The authorities have chosen to focus on "fish and chicks" - live and fresh seafood, often transported from Scotland to French restaurants, as well as day old chicks. No other commodities have been added to the list, he adds, raising fears among other food exporters.

    Source BBC


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  52. #372
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    So Brexit doesn't mean Brexit because the government has given itself an extra six months to get it's house in order. Not exactly an inspiring message that the government really believes in Brexit in the first place.
    Well, exactly. Even if there are genuine Leavers in government now, like Rees-Mogg / Mickey Gove / Priti Patel, I certainly don't get the sense that Boris believes in it. He chose to lead the Vote Leave campaign four years ago purely to advance his own career, and whenever he talks about Brexit nowadays (particularly the prospect of leaving without a deal) he sounds like a bloke who has his fingers crossed behind his back. At heart, he is a Liberal Tory and Pro-European who is putting a brave face on things.

  53. #373
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    No deal on Brexit trade 'very very likely', Johnson says

    LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain is likely to complete its journey out of the European Union in three weeks without a trade deal, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.

    Britain quit the EU in January but remains an informal member until Dec. 31 - the end of a transition period during which it has remained in the EU single market and customs union.

    Both sides say they want to agree arrangements to cover nearly $1 trillion in annual trade but negotiations are at an impasse, with Britain standing to lose zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the huge European single market.

    “It’s looking very, very likely we’ll have to go for a solution that I think will be wonderful for the UK. We’ll be able to do exactly what we want from Jan. 1. It will obviously be different from what we set out to achieve,” Johnson told reporters.

    “If there’s a big offer, a big change in what they’re saying then I must say that I’m yet to see it,” said Johnson, the face of the “leave” campaign in Britain’s 2016 Brexit referendum.

    He later held a meeting with senior minister Michael Gove and officials to assess the country’s preparedness for a no-deal departure, a government official said.

    Von Der Leyen was quoted by an EU official as telling leaders of the bloc’s 27 member states attending a summit in Brussels on Friday that prospects for a deal had worsened.

    “The probability of a no deal is higher than of a deal,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

    Johnson and von der Leyen have given negotiators until Sunday evening to break the deadlock over fishing rights and EU demands for Britain to face consequences if in the future it diverges from the bloc’s rules.

    Johnson must decide whether the deal on offer is worth taking or the future freedom and domestic political benefits afforded by leaving without one outweigh the economic costs.

    A Brexit without a trade deal would damage the economies of Europe, send shockwaves through financial markets, snarl borders and sow chaos through the delicate supply chains which stretch across Europe and beyond.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-b...-idUSKBN28L0NR


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  54. #374
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Trucks will be waved through customs for a six month grace period, though importers and exporters must fill in lots of forms. That in itself will impact on prices as admin costs rise.

    After the six months, the trucks will be held in ports for up to 24 hours according to the Port of Rotterdam.

    If you have a German or French or Italian car, it will take longer to get parts and you will pay more. No more JIT supply chains.

    Medicines will get more expensive.

    Imported food prices will rise, though home produced food prices will not. There will probably be fewer bananas and sweet peppers on the shelves. Food poverty will increase.

    The Japanese car plants in Sunderland will close. Not all at once - a given model line will run to the end of its life and then cease production, and a new line will open in the EU27.

    There will not be an apocalypse but the economy will suffer a slow puncture and standards of living will fall.

    All that on top of COVID.

    Within two years the Government will be incredibly unpopular, and Starmer will be PM of a coalition by 2024.
    Good info, thanks.

    In an already struggling economy with mass job losses, this is like a nail in the head of the nation.

    I dont like Boris but I hope he sees sense and ensure the public dont suffer any more than they need to.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  55. #375
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    Brexit: No-deal navy threat 'irresponsible', says Tobias Ellwood

    Deploying Royal Navy gunboats to protect UK fishing waters under a no-deal Brexit would be "undignified", a former Conservative minister has said.

    Tory MP Tobias Ellwood described the threat as "irresponsible" after the Ministry of Defence said four ships were ready for "robust enforcement" when the transition period ends.

    UK-EU trade talks are continuing ahead of a mutual deadline on Sunday.

    The MoD said it was prepared for a "range of scenarios" after 31 December.

    Navy vessels are already deployed to enforce UK and European fishing laws for large parts of the year.

    A major sticking point in negotiations has been access to UK fishing waters, with the EU warning that without access to UK waters for its fleets, UK fishermen will no longer get special access to EU markets to sell their goods.

    A UK government source said talks were continuing overnight "but as things stand the offer on the table from the EU remains unacceptable".

    Mr Ellwood, who chairs the Commons Defence Committee, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that headlines highlighting the threat to deploy the navy risked distracting from the ongoing talks and were "absolutely irresponsible".

    "This isn't Elizabethan times anymore, this is global Britain - we need to be raising the bar much higher than this," he said.

    "Being ready for the worst-case scenario and using this final 48 hours to actually get a deal, they are two very different things," he added.

    He said the focus should be on what is "already in the bag" and that outstanding issues like access to fishing waters could be sorted once a trade deal is signed.

    Former Tory party chairman Lord Patten accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being on a "runaway train of English exceptionalism".

    Humza Yousaf, the Scottish government justice minister, told the BBC: "This UK government gunboat diplomacy is not welcome in Scottish waters.

    "We will protect our fisheries where necessary. Police Scotland and Marine Scotland have primacy to do that. But we won't do that by threatening our allies, our Nato allies in fact, by threatening to sink their vessels."

    But Admiral Lord West, a former chief of naval staff, defended the threat of using the Royal Navy to protect UK waters from foreign fishing vessels if asked to do so in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

    "It is absolutely appropriate for the navy to do as it is told by the government," he said, adding that additional powers would allow Naval officers to deal with "stormy" altercations with foreign fishermen.
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55286439.



  56. #376
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    Good info, thanks.

    In an already struggling economy with mass job losses, this is like a nail in the head of the nation.

    I dont like Boris but I hope he sees sense and ensure the public dont suffer any more than they need to.
    I now suspect that he has been deliberately negotiating in bad faith for a year - that he has to crash us out to satisfy his party donors.

  57. #377
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I now suspect that he has been deliberately negotiating in bad faith for a year - that he has to crash us out to satisfy his party donors.
    Oh come on. Sometimes its the Russians now it's Boris' party donors? Was May negotiating in good faith? She was satisfying Remainers, particularly MPs. Were the EU negotiating in good faith?

    Lets not forget then 17M who will not just be satisfied but relieved once this is over: thus restoring some faith in Democracy which was all but destroyed by Remainers.
    Last edited by Technics 1210; 13th December 2020 at 17:19.

  58. #378
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    Looks like von der Leyen has agreed to extend talks.

    I think she is wasting her time, but full marks for trying.

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    Brexit trade talks: UK and EU to 'go the extra mile' in effort to agree deal

    The UK and EU have agreed to carry on post-Brexit trade talks after a call between leaders earlier on Sunday.

    In a joint statement, Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said it was "responsible at this point to go the extra mile".

    The pair discussed "major unresolved topics" during their call.

    The two sides had said Sunday was the deadline for a decision on whether to continue with talks, with the UK set leave EU rules at the end of the month.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55292890


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  60. #380
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    Brexit: Negotiators to enter 'extra mile' talks

    Talks over a post-Brexit trade agreement will resume later, after the UK and EU agreed to "go the extra mile" in search of a breakthrough.

    It comes after the two sides agreed on Sunday there had been enough progress for negotiations to continue.

    PM Boris Johnson has warned the sides remain "very far apart" in key areas, but "where there's life there's hope".

    Time is fast running out to finalise an agreement before the UK's Brexit transition ends in just over two weeks.

    The decision to keep talking came after Mr Johnson discussed the main sticking points with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday.

    A new deadline for a decision has not been set - but the ultimate deadline comes on 31 December, when the UK stops following EU trading rules.

    Without a trade deal in place by then, the two sides would begin trading on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms, meaning taxes - or tariffs - would be introduced, potentially raising the cost of imported goods such as food.

    Fishing rights, "level playing field" rules on how far the UK should be able to diverge from EU laws, and how any agreement should be policed remain the major stumbling blocks.

    The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier will resume talks with his UK counterpart Lord Frost later, after briefing ambassadors of EU member states.

    According to an EU source, Mr Barnier is believed to have told them talks over a level playing field remained hard, but were moving towards an agreement.

    He is also said to have told them a wider deal could fall into place if a route towards an agreement on fishing rights can be identified.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55298464


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  61. #381
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    Brexit: UK wants EU trade deal but not 'at any cost' - Boris Johnson

    The UK wants a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU but not "at any cost", Boris Johnson has told his cabinet.

    Mr Johnson also told his senior ministers that the talks are still "most likely" to end without an agreement, the PM's spokesman said.

    UK-EU officials are trying to agree a trade deal by 31 December, when the UK stops following EU trading rules.

    If no deal is reached, the UK and EU would trade under World Trade Organization rules.

    This outcome would lead to each side imposing taxes - or tariffs - on imported goods, potentially leading to higher prices.
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55319853.



  62. #382
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    'Narrow path' in view for trade deal - EU chief

    A "narrow path" has opened up for the UK and EU to strike a post-Brexit trade deal, the president of the European Commission has said.

    Ursula von der Leyen said the "next few days are going to be decisive", with negotiators working "day and night" to reach an agreement.

    She said negotiations over how a deal would be enforced are "largely being resolved".

    But she added talks over fishing rights are "still very difficult".

    Officials from both sides are continuing talks in Brussels, as they race to strike a deal before the UK stops following EU trading rules on 31 December.

    Despite weeks of intensive talks, they have remained stuck over fishing rights and how far the UK should be able to depart from EU rules.

    Updating the European Parliament on an EU leaders' summit last week, Mrs von der Leyen said: "As things stand, I cannot tell you whether there will be a deal or not.

    "But there is a path to an agreement now - the path may be very narrow, but it is there."

    She said that negotiators had agreed a "strong mechanism" to ensure neither side lowers their environmental or social standards, which was a "big step forwards".

    But she added differences remained over how to "future proof" rules in this area, although disagreements over how to enforce a deal "by now are largely being resolved".

    A UK official said on Wednesday: "We've made some progress, but we are still very far apart in key areas."

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55330599


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  63. #383
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    UK and US in talks over mini trade deal

    The outgoing US administration is in talks with the UK to try to seal a mini-deal to reduce trade tariffs, Trump's trade chief has told the BBC.

    US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he was hopeful for a deal that could see punitive tariffs on Scottish whisky lowered.

    The UK recently said it would drop tariffs against the US over subsidies for aerospace firms.

    This was in a bid to reach a post-Brexit trade deal with Washington.

    In his first international interview, Mr Lighthizer suggested the UK would need to go further than last week's announcement breaking with the EU's support of European plane maker Airbus.

    "I'm talking to to Liz Truss, about that about trying to work out some kind of a deal... I'm hopeful we can get some kind of an agreement out you know, you never know we don't have a lot of time left," he said.

    "We have the advantage in that both the US and the UK - particularly the current government of the UK - are not big subsidisers, where some other countries are more inclined to subsidise. So it would be helpful if we could come to some kind of agreement," he said when asked about lowering tariffs on whisky and cashmere. "We are in discussions, we'll see how that works out."

    Last week, the UK unilaterally broke with European support of Airbus in a long-running transatlantic trade dispute, changing policy expressed only in January this year of ongoing support even after Brexit, by announcing it would no longer apply tariffs to imports of Boeing aircraft.

    Liz Truss said that she wanted to "de-escalate" the 16-year-old conflict over subsidies.

    The Airbus-Boeing tariff row
    However, the BBC understands that in a phone call, the USTR told the Trade Secretary directly that the US would not treat this as a concession, because, outside of the EU, the UK had "no authority" to continue to apply retaliatory measures on the US.

    "For sure, it's true that the UK as an individual was not a party to that Airbus-Boeing litigation, right," said Mr Lighthizer.

    "We brought an action against the EU, France, Germany and the UK. The EU just brought one against us, the member states did not in all cases. so there's no question that as a legal point, that is correct," he added.

    Instead, the US wants the UK to make concessions on the separate EU dispute over steel and aluminium, where US bourbon was among products upon which European tariffs were levied.

    The talks are part of a general move by President Trump's trade team to wrap up the Boeing-Airbus dispute with the EU, and the UK separately, outside the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    The US' top trade negotiator also explained why, despite high hopes even this year for a full US-UK free trade agreement, the next administration had a "short period" now in the first half of 2021 to try to wrap up a deal.

    While he said it was "extremely likely" that a full deal would be struck "before long", he emphasised that "tough compromises have to be made" on agricultural issues, for example.

    'Each side has to get something out of it'
    Asked about demands to adapt UK food standards on beef and chicken, as well as reforms to the way the NHS pays for US medicines, Mr Lighthizer said: "These negotiations are ongoing.

    "You know, clearly, the US needs to get additional access to the agricultural market in the UK - that's an important part of it, each side has to get something out of it. These are complicated technical issues. And they're the kinds of things that will be worked out, I think, in the in the final stages of negotiation."

    He also indicated that the US team were never convinced that the UK was actually going fully to depart from EU trade rules, because of the sheer amount of UK-EU trade, despite that being the stated policy of the current government.

    "The Brexit situation was always something that was on our mind, if you think about it," he stressed.

    "The nature of our relationship is going to be affected by the nature of the relationship between the EU and the UK, right. They're a much bigger trading partner to you than we are, so that has an impact... I've always had the view that there's just an awful lot of trade between the UK and the EU and it was hard to see there weren't going to be any rules to that."

    Mr Lighthizer made it clear that giving the US "new access" to UK markets was important, but would be "less significant" should the same deal be offered by the UK to another country.

    "But, you know, that'll be sorted out here probably in the next two or three weeks or so... one way or another. And then I think there's no reason why the US and the UK can't get to a deal fairly expeditiously after that," he added.

    Mr Lighthizer confirmed that the Trump administration were still planning to hit back against countries levying digital services tax hitting big US tech firms "unfairly".

    He also defended the actions of the current administration in ripping up decades of multilateral action in building a global trade system.

    However, he said he had no regrets and had helped "reorient the global trading system" to help ordinary American workers rather than large corporations.
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55341970.



  64. #384
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    Alistair Campbell in The New European. It’s a long read but illuminating and very scary.

    “It was early in August 2018, as I stepped from a train at Marylebone station, that I experienced something of an Ancient Mariner moment – and was introduced to what he called “the most important book nobody has ever heard of”.

    Britain was in the middle of a heatwave, I had spent the day at a football coaches’ seminar in the Midlands, and was keen to get home. But my 2018 Mariner was not a man to be ignored. He chased me down the platform, calling my name – “Mr Campbell! Mr Campbell!” – but as I turned, I couldn’t see where the voice was coming from, so carried on towards the ticket barrier.

    The shouting became louder, came closer, and, eventually, there he was, out of breath, his face creased with the look of a man who was definitely on a mission. He did not have the Ancient Mariner’s long grey beard, but he did have a glistening eye.

    “I am friend, not foe,” he began. He apologised for shouting, apologised for stopping me, and thanked me for campaigning against Brexit.

    “I know you’re busy,” he said. “But,” – now he was rummaging into a backpack that he had slung forward from his shoulders, and produced a dog-eared book – “if I give you this book, do you promise me you will read it?”

    I was still working out whether to switch into the polite-fob-off mode that anyone with a public profile has to deploy from time to time.

    “I promise you won’t regret it,” he said. “But, more importantly, if you don’t read this book, you won’t fully understand why Brexit is happening.”

    “Okay,” I said, taking the book, and looking at the cover. “I will definitely look at it. Promise.”

    At the back of my mind was the pile of unread books by my bed. He sensed I was hedging.

    “Even the first chapter,” he said. “Even if you just read the first chapter, please, I promise, you will see straight away why it matters.”

    A few days later, I did read the first chapter. And I did see straight away why it matters. I wrote about it the next week in The New European, but even among that passionately anti-Brexit audience, fighting at the time for a second referendum on whatever deal was finally delivered, it was hard to get people excited about a book from the last millennium. Yet, as the fantastical promises for Brexit come up against the harsh realities of leaving by the end of this month, the book’s relevance feels all the greater now.

    It is called The Sovereign Individual and if I was unaware of its publication, it might have been because it happened in early 1997, when I was busy working on New Labour’s campaign for the election in May. But my Mariner was correct: it really does help you understand why elements of the political right fought so hard for Brexit, and why they are relishing the chaos it has unleashed.

    The subtitle is “Mastering the Transition to the Information Age”. The use of the word “mastering” is instructive. It is a book written by Masters of the Universe, for Masters of the Universe – aka, Sovereign Individuals. One of the two co-authors, James Dale Davidson, is American; the other is British, very British… Lord William Rees-Mogg, former editor of The Times and father of Jacob, that leading light of the Brexit revolution.

    I did not have to agree with its essential philosophy to recognise that the book is the product of large brainpower, sweeping far and wide in historical research and analysis. Its strength, however, especially reading it today, lies in the force of its predictions about the new millennium that was to dawn three years later.

    It is prefaced by a quote by Tom Stoppard, from Arcadia: “The future is disorder. A door like this has cracked open five or six times since we got up on our hind legs. It is the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.” To most people, disorder is threatening, scary. To Rees-Mogg and the radical right it is a source of opportunity, the chance for the Sovereign Individual to rise above tedious constraints lesser mortals take for granted – tax, regulation, government, even politics and democracy itself.

    The driving theme of this book is the information revolution, “the most sweeping in history”, with which we were all wrestling at the time. I remember a tortured afternoon ahead of then Opposition leader Tony Blair’s Labour Conference speech in 1995, trying to make sense of a passage about “the information superhighway,” which we knew was important, but didn’t fully understand. Davidson and Rees-Mogg were definitely ahead of us in foreseeing just how revolutionary the information revolution might turn out to be.

    Their forecast was that it would “subvert and destroy the nation state, creating new forms of social organisation in the process. It will be faster than any previous revolution, and not without pain.”

    The Sovereign Individuals who would gain most from this “liberation” are “the brightest, most successful and ambitious” among us, they said, “those who can educate and motivate themselves…. Genius will be unleashed, freed from both the oppression of government and the drags of racial and ethnic prejudice.”

    In their view, government is but a drag on ambition and success; welfare something that the rich are forced to fund for the less bright, successful and ambitious. Real success, they argue, will be measured not just by how many zeroes you can add to your net worth, but whether you can structure your affairs in a way that enables you to realise your full autonomy and independence – autonomous of government, independent of communal responsibility.

    There will be no cyberwelfare, no cybertaxes and no cybergovernment. “The good news,” this vision of wonder goes on, “is that politicians will no more be able to dominate, suppress and regulate the greater part of commerce in this new realm than the legislators of the ancient Greek city-states could have trimmed the beard of Zeus.”

    Tax evasion, they joyfully predict, will become the norm for the wealthy: “Transactions on the Internet or the World Wide Web can be encrypted and will soon be almost impossible for tax collectors to capture…. After the turn of the millennium, much of the world’s commerce will migrate into the new realm of cyberspace, a region where governments will have no more dominion than they exercise over the bottom of the sea or the outer planets…. Cyberspace is the ultimate offshore jurisdiction. An economy with no taxes. Bermuda in the sky with diamonds.”

    Politicians are crooks. Welfare is awful. Tax is at all costs to be avoided. The new cyberworld allows all three to be sidelined. Move wealth offshore. Force the privatisation of, well, everything, including “the ultimate form of privatisation – the sweeping denationalisation of the individual”. Starve the nation state to death, and the rich individual becomes sovereign. “Only the poor,” they say “will be victims of inflation”.

    As the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, what they call the “left-behinds,” will become “increasingly jingoistic and unpleasant,” as the impact of information technology grows. There will be a backlash, and it could well turn violent. Social peace will be in jeopardy, especially in America and Europe, they warn. “The more psychopathic of these unhappy souls” will strike out against anyone with more prosperity. The rich and immigrants will be most at risk.

    “A furious nationalist reaction will sweep the world,” we are told. “It is difficult to guess at precisely what point the reaction will turn ugly. Our guess is that the recriminations will intensify when Western nations begin to unambiguously crack apart in the manner of the former Soviet Union.” Was I alone in reading that and seeing the growth in support for Scottish independence, and the increased likelihood of a united Ireland, thanks to Brexit?

    Again, though, Sovereign Individuals must fear none of this, because “every time a nation-state cracks up, it will facilitate further devolution and encourage the autonomy of Sovereign Individuals…. We expect to see a significant multiplication of sovereign entities, as scores of enclaves and jurisdictions more akin to city-states emerge from the rubble of nations.”

    Today, the libertarian right sees Enterprise Cities, Charter Cities and Freeports – able to set their own rules on everything from labour law to codes on corruption – as central to its vision, aggressively pursued by well-funded and well-connected think tanks, like-minded politicians, academics, media and business tycoons. It helps to explain their passion for Brexit. They have never given up on the vision. Just look at what the Conservative MP John Redwood wrote on Twitter yesterday, egging Boris Johnson to no deal: “Time for the government to set out how we will use all the freedoms we win if we just leave the EU without a new legal lock up. Bring on the VAT cuts, the Freeports, the ways to grow more of our own food.”

    The libertarian right always saw Brexit as part of their journey to a low-tax, low-regulation and low-transparency UK. They had to win a referendum and an election on one basis then to deliver their eventual goals on another: a global network of Enterprise Cities competing on the basis of freedom from restraint.

    They would appear to have the support of the current chancellor, Rishi Sunak, a long-term enthusiast for Freeports. His recently announced plan for ten new ones followed seamlessly from the work he once did for the Centre for Policy Studies, which drew criticism at the time for its support for low standards of regulation. His father-in-law, N.R. Narayana Murthy, one of the richest men in the world, laid the first brick of his own Special Economic Zone in India in 2014.

    As a father of three, I know that it is wrong to assume children adopt all the views and manners of their parents. Rees-Mogg Jr may not share every part of the Rees-Mogg Sr worldview. But we know from his own mouth that he shares much of it. Lord Rees-ogg would be very proud of his son’s campaigning role in reversing the UK’s commitment on overseas aid, and even prouder of how he helped get Britain to the hardest Brexit of all, whatever the impact on the “left-behinds” whose votes were just a necessary step on the journey, first in the EU referendum, then in the 2019 general election.

    Two of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s more controversial moves in recent times are more clearly understood on the back of reading this book. First, the shift of millions in his hedge fund from the UK to Ireland. The normal rules of politics say that you shouldn’t do such a thing just as you are heralding a great patriotic future for the UK after Brexit. But the Sovereign Individual puts his wealth where he can best maximise his capital.

    Second, his observation, that it may be fifty years before the country as a whole sees what he calls “the full benefits” of Brexit. Sovereign Individuals are exempt from that long wait because, as Rees-Mogg Sr makes clear, there are huge opportunities from upheaval, and in particular from the weakening of nation-states, the decline of welfare, the death (as he wills it) of social democracy, which is in any event “an illusion… an anachronism, as much an artefact of industrialisation as a rusting smokestack”.

    But what rewards lie ahead for this gilded few if only its members – “a relatively small, elite group of rich represent a more coherent and effective body than a large mass of citizens” – seize the opportunities? “The new Sovereign Individual will operate like the gods of myth in the same physical environment as the ordinary, subject citizen, but in a separate realm politically. Commanding vastly greater resources and beyond the reach of many forms of compulsion, the Sovereign Individual will redesign governments and reconfigure economies in the new millennium. The full implications of this change are all but unimaginable.” Indeed.

    In two earlier books, Blood in the Streets and The Great Reckoning, Davidson and Rees-Mogg forecast the end of Communism and the rise of Gorbachev, the war in Yugoslavia, the Japanese economic bust and the late 80s Wall Street crash, the decline of Marxism and the rise of extreme Islam as chief security concern for the West. So though there are some things they get wrong, they got a lot right.

    And, bearing in mind that the third of this trilogy was written in 1997, when I was part of the Blair team meant to be in touch with the modern world, I certainly was not in touch enough to make this observation: “We believe the Information Age will bring the dawn of cybersoldiers, who will be heralds of devolution. Cybersoldiers could be deployed not merely by nation-states but by very small organisations, and even by individuals. Wars of the next millennium will include some almost bloodless battles fought with computers.”

    Vladimir Putin was two years off becoming president of Russia, Mark Zuckerberg was just 13, Dominic Cummings was still in his 20s, his Vote Leave colleague Matthew Elliot still at college, when Rees-Mogg Sr wrote this: “The result will be a massive problem of data corruption that will provide an accidental illustration of a new potential for information warfare. In the Information Age, potential adversaries will be able to wreak havoc by detonating ‘logic bombs’ that sabotage the functions of essential systems by corrupting the data upon which their functioning depends.” Fake news, echo chambers, the weaponisation of information, the turning against elites – they foretell it all.

    Itook another look at the book this week in an attempt to find a logic to the position to which Johnson’s government has led us. Set in the context of the Rees-Mogg Sr worldview, a desire for no deal is that logic. Had Johnson campaigned openly for it, he would never have won the referendum in the first place. It had to be the destination on a journey fuelled by “the will of the people,” and in which others – the EU, or “Remoaners” – could be blamed when the journey ended in a very different place to that which had been promised.

    There are some European leaders and diplomats who view Johnson as hopelessly out of his depth; someone who, in terms of his understanding of the realities of EU politics, has never really moved on from his days inventing anti-European stories for two Sovereign Individuals from the Channel Islands, the Brexit-fanatical Barclay Brothers. The recent “car crash” dinner with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has done little to dispel that view.

    Others, however, believe that Johnson negotiated in bad faith throughout. In other words – given that the bulk of those who have supported him throughout his career, and ultimately helped him to become prime minister, were insistent on the purest form of Brexit – he was always going to go to wherever the Sovereign Individuals wanted him to.

    Whether it’s uselessness or strategy, EU leaders now view the UK and its prime minister as untrustworthy. That has consequences that will outlive whatever happens on 1 January. Meanwhile, whether it’s no deal or a thin deal, Sunak, Dominic Raab, Priti Patel, Jacob Rees-Mogg and the true Brexit believers are better placed than ever to turn Britain into the kind of country that Rees-Mogg’s father wished it could be”.

  65. #385
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    Alistair Campbell? LOL. The guy responsible for promoting the fake Iraq dossier and public message? Yeah right! Remainers clutching at straws here, move on!

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    Brexit: Trade talks in 'a serious situation' says Boris Johnson

    Talks to reach a post-Brexit trade deal are in a "serious situation", Boris Johnson said after a call with the EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen.

    He warned that "time was short" and that a no deal scenario was "very likely" unless the EU position changed "substantially".

    Mrs von der Leyen said it would be "very challenging" to bridge the "big differences", particularly on fish.

    However, she also welcomed "substantial progress on many issues".

    Talks in Brussels will continue on Friday, with two weeks to go before the UK leaves EU trading rules.

    In a statement issued after the phone call, No 10 said: "He [Mr Johnson] said that we were making every effort to accommodate reasonable EU requests on the level playing field, but even though the gap had narrowed some fundamental areas remained difficult.

    "On fisheries he stressed that the UK could not accept a situation where it was the only sovereign country in the world not to be able to control access to its own waters for an extended period and to be faced with fisheries quotas which hugely disadvantaged its own industry.

    "The EU's position in this area was simply not reasonable and if there was to be an agreement it needed to shift significantly."

    The UK's chief negotiator David Frost echoed the prime minister's tone, tweeting: "The situation in our talks with the EU is very serious tonight. Progress seems blocked and time is running out."

    European Parliament leaders have set Sunday as a deadline for them to see the text of any deal agreed by the negotiating teams.

    The senior MEPs said they would "not be rushed" into approving an agreement at their end, and would have to see the text by the end of the week if they were to sign it off by 31 December.
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55347723.



  67. #387
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    Alistair Campbell? LOL. The guy responsible for promoting the fake Iraq dossier and public message? Yeah right! Remainers clutching at straws here, move on!
    Did you read the article? He was talking about a 1997 book by right-wing libertarian intellectual Lord Rees-Mogg which has proved highly predictive.

  68. #388
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Did you read the article? He was talking about a 1997 book by right-wing libertarian intellectual Lord Rees-Mogg which has proved highly predictive.
    I think the point that @Technics 1210 was making is that few people take anything that Alistair Campbell says or writes seriously anymore, mainly due to the reasons provided.

  69. #389
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    'Just a few hours' left to agree Brexit trade deal, says Michel Barnier

    There are "just a few hours left" for the UK and EU to agree a post-Brexit trade deal, says Michel Barnier.

    Speaking in the European Parliament on Friday, the EU's chief negotiator said it was "the moment of truth" for the two sides to come to an agreement.

    He said there was still a "chance" of a deal, but the "path is very narrow".

    Boris Johnson said the UK side was willing to "keep talking", but added: "Things are looking difficult and there is a gap that needs to be bridged."

    Talks are resuming between the two teams in Brussels after the prime minister and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke on Thursday night.

    Mrs von der Leyen said bridging "big differences", particularly on fishing rights, would be "very challenging", while Mr Johnson said a no deal scenario was "very likely" unless the EU position changed "substantially".

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55358963


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  70. #390
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    Shell shocked: 'Lobster capital' braces for Brexit

    Live shellfish exporters in England have warned a wave of form-filling, certification and tariffs will hit the industry in 2021.

    Traders who sell live crabs and lobsters into the EU expect delays caused by bottlenecks and new rules.

    Fisheries remains a problem for post-Brexit trade talks, but even if a deal is done, trading across the Channel will not be as seamless as it is now.

    More than 80% of crabs and lobsters from East Yorkshire are sold in Europe.

    On a typically blustery morning on Bridlington Harbour the lobster lorry arrives from France.

    It makes stops all along the East Yorkshire coast, loading freshly caught lobsters into sea water tanks to transport and sell back on the continent.

    Exporting live shellfish to France and Spain will become much more challenging when the UK enters into a new relationship with the European Union from 1st January 2021.

    Lobster to get more luxurious?
    Hundreds of shell fisherman and exporters rely on frictionless trade, so a no deal is their worst-case scenario.

    "The cost of everything will rise with all the extra tariffs businesses will have to pay on goods going in both directions," according to Jo Ackers, the company secretary of one of the largest shellfish wholesalers in Bridlington.

    "We are looking at extra tariffs of 8% on lobster and 7.5% on crab with EU countries having similar import tariffs. It is the fishermen and the end of line customers that would get hit with these costs in the long term," she said.

    Ms Ackers runs the Independent Shellfish Cooperative alongside her husband in Bridlington.

    The pair act on behalf of 31 vessels, selling their fresh catch of lobsters, crab and whelks for both processing and the live market.

    Much of it driven by lorry from harbours in Yorkshire to southern ports like Dover or Plymouth and then onwards to markets on the Mediterranean.

    Shellfish receives the highest prices when shipped live to the EU, and so any delays and congestion at the ports will likely hit profits.

    Ms Ackers is not only worried about tariffs being slapped on exports, but higher taxes coming the other way too.

    Costs rising
    She fears the cost of the material the fishermen need to do their work with rise too.

    "A lot of rope and twine is made in Portugal, the most popular clothing manufacturer is French and the most popular wellies are made in the Netherlands. The fishermen are therefore faced with the prospect of increasing prices on the goods they buy while the value of their catch is decreasing," she says.

    From Flamborough Head to Spurn Point, the East Yorkshire coast is home to the UK's largest crab and lobster fishing industry, landing almost £10m worth of shellfish every year.

    This is an economic success story in an area that has often struggled. Many working the shellfish boats are veterans of the 1970's cod wars which finished off the UK trawler fleet.

    New rules, new forms
    Any deal brokered by government is only part of the challenge here. Ms Ackers says in the New Year there will be a bureaucratic mountain to climb.

    "I think it's getting more confusing and complicated the closer we get, it's almost information overload, everybody is trying to tell us what we should be doing, and it quite difficult to sift through it all,' said Ms Ackers.

    Some of the new requirements for live shellfish exports from 1st January 2021 include an export animal health certificate that must be signed by a fish health inspector who will need at least five working days notice.

    It's an official document that confirms your export meets the health requirements of the country it's destined for.

    The importer must then notify an EU Border Control Point. Shellfish must be then checked at a Border control point and UK Customs forms should also be completed.

    40-year-old accord gone
    With just two weeks until this new system begins, frustration is building 300 miles south in Devon amongst the south west fishing fleet.

    Beshlie Pool, the Executive Officer of South Devon and Channel Shellfishermen's Association, warns the logistical challenges ahead are 'very significant and concerning.'

    The association has 75 shellfish boats that land around £5m worth of crab and lobsters at the ports of Salcombe and Dartmouth every year, and like Bridlington, much of it is exported.

    "Our exporting members remain extremely distressed about difficulty with logistics related to the exports from January 1st onwards including issues with the design of government systems and processes, availability of staff needed to sign off exports and a massive increase in paperwork burdens with significant associated costs," said Ms Pool.

    Fishing has always been an emotional issue in the UK's relationship with the European Union, and is at the centre of ongoing negotiations regarding a future trade deal.

    "Parts of our South West fishing fleet are facing the breakdown of a 40-year-old accord with our French and Belgian colleagues, and the associated loss of fishing grounds and therefore revenue," said Ms Pool.

    'Unworkable'
    Exporters says they are working through exceptionally difficult times. Mark Moore, from the Dartmouth Crab Company, warned that 'lack of clarity from Government is impacting our day to day business, as we try to prepare to export in the new year.'

    The company has a fleet of nine lorries and exports live crabs to France and Portugal. Over the decades the shellfish industry has relied on a smooth supply chain delivering seafood from catch to plate within 24 hours.

    Mr Moore is worried about the news rules and regulation could slow things down, which is a major concern when dealing live products.

    "The catch certification requirements remain unworkable, the issuing of European Health Certificates is still in a state of confusion and we are significantly concerned about the additional costs related to these, there is no real guidance available on how tariffs will operate.

    "Frankly, it's a mess''.
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55370313.



  71. #391
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    I think the point that @Technics 1210 was making is that few people take anything that Alistair Campbell says or writes seriously anymore, mainly due to the reasons provided.
    Well, ad hominem is near the lowest form of debate.

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    And in any event the source is not Campbell but Lord Rees-Mogg [1997].

  72. #392
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Well, ad hominem is near the lowest form of debate.

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    And in any event the source is not Campbell but Lord Rees-Mogg [1997].
    You are kidding right? Remainers have been attacking the characteristics and authority of Brexiteers and calling them all sorts. I guess it makes sense now why Remainers never have a point.

  73. #393
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    The reality is Remainers are now clutching to any piece of news, from any source, no matter who, to fit a failed and humiliated narrative.

    JOB on LBC is a master at this; he'd cite JRM if it meant strengthening his view.

    Simply put - desperation.

  74. #394
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    You are kidding right? Remainers have been attacking the characteristics and authority of Brexiteers and calling them all sorts. I guess it makes sense now why Remainers never have a point.
    Point is what Rees-Mogg senior wrote in 1997 - that “sovereign individuals” are inimicable to regulatory bodies such as the EU, and how seek political chaos because they thrive in it. This goes a long way to explaining the Brexit phenomenon and indeed other expressions of right wing populism across the world.

  75. #395
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Point is what Rees-Mogg senior wrote in 1997 - that “sovereign individuals” are inimicable to regulatory bodies such as the EU, and how seek political chaos because they thrive in it. This goes a long way to explaining the Brexit phenomenon and indeed other expressions of right wing populism across the world.
    No it doesn't really. All it demonstrates is that JRM understood what the EU was - a failed political experiment - and he was right. Remainers need to accept reality that the rise of rightwing populism is due to austerity and the myth that the West embraces multiculturalism.

    Where are the left/remainers now that Hungary has banned Homosexual/LGBT from adopting children? Why hasn't the EU stepped in against this blatent act of civil rights inequality? Because the EU is a failed experiment, and you don't need a politicans view from 97 to prove it.

  76. #396
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    This is a point that will be missed by some right wing idiots.

    In a democracy people are allowed to speak their views without being called names.
    A democracy means that every person has a right to vote every five years for something different.

    In 2016 there was a referendum (based on lies) where leave won by a slim majority, albeit they won.
    This does not preclude people from carrying on having discussions and nor does it prevent people from voting to reverse it sometime in the future.

    That's democracy.

    However jealous little idiots just won't get that.

  77. #397
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    Brexit: No trade deal unless 'substantial shift' from EU, UK says

    There will be no post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and EU unless there is a "substantial shift" from Brussels in the coming days, a government source has told the BBC.

    It is understood there is likely to be a decision before Christmas on whether or not a deal can be reached.

    The two sides have been in negotiations about how many years it will take to phase in new fisheries arrangements.

    But an EU source said this was not the only remaining issue left to resolve.

    "Talks are stuck," they said.

    "Not just fish. The UK has other demands and the level playing field is not sorted."

    The level playing field is a trade policy term for a set of common rules and standards that prevent businesses in one country gaining a competitive advantage over those operating in other countries.

    'Flexibility needed'
    Whitehall sources say it is increasingly likely the UK will end its post-Brexit transition period without a free trade agreement with the EU, meaning that on 1 January the two sides will rely on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules to govern exports and imports.

    This could see tariffs introduced on goods being sold and bought - which may lead to increased prices for certain products.

    A government source told the BBC: "We need to get any deal right and based on terms which respect what the British people voted for.

    "Unfortunately, the EU are still struggling to get the flexibility needed from member states and are continuing to make demands that are incompatible with our independence.

    "We cannot accept a deal that doesn't leave us in control of our own laws or waters.

    "We're continuing to try every possible path to an agreement, but without a substantial shift from the [European] Commission we will be leaving on WTO terms on 31 December."

    The EU source said Brussels was not seeking to take control away from the UK over its waters.

    "The point is what the EU can do, under the agreement, if the UK does not give access.

    "So the best thing is to negotiate a stable access regime, to avoid getting to that position."

    Brexit: Can the talks be extended?
    What are the sticking points in Brexit trade talks?
    Why is fishing important in Brexit trade talks?
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to keep talking but warned gaps had yet to be bridged.

    Senior MEPs in the European Parliament have said they will not be "rushed" into signing off a deal on their side and want to see the text of any agreement by Sunday if they are to approve it by the end of the year.

    Speaking in the European Parliament on Friday, the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said that while there was still a "chance" of a deal, the "path was very narrow".

    A senior EU source told the BBC's Brussels correspondent Nick Beake: "The Member States are the EU. And as a former member state, the UK knows well that the EU negotiator is there to protect the interest of Europeans.

    "We believe it is in both sides' interest to reach a fair deal, which cannot be the case without a level playing field and sustainable arrangements for fisheries."

    The two sides have been at odds over the length of time it will take to introduce new arrangements once the UK leaves the bloc's Common Fisheries Policy.

    The UK, led by its chief negotiator, David Frost, has insisted its sovereign rights over its waters must be respected from day one and its fleets must be able to keep a much larger share of their own catch.

    The EU is insisting on a much longer transition period, with guarantees on access and how catches are distributed.

    The two sides are reported to have made progress in recent days on the issues of fair competition and what to do if the UK is deemed to get an unfair competitive advantage by moving away from EU rules and standards.

    If a deal is reached between the two sides, it would need to be agreed by parliaments in the UK and the European Union's member states.

    UK MPs have now finished for the Christmas break, but Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said on Thursday that they could be called back to ratify a deal in the coming days, were one to be agreed.
    Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55381322.



  78. #398
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    Trade deal talks continue as negotiators fail to reach agreement

    Post-Brexit trade talks will continue on Monday after negotiators failed to reach an agreement over the weekend.

    The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart David Frost met in Brussels on Sunday, but key issues remain unresolved.

    The European Parliament said talks needed to have ended on Sunday in order for it to ratify a deal by 31 December.

    A UK government source told the BBC a deal will not be reached unless there is a "substantial shift" from Brussels.

    It is understood there is likely to be a decision before Christmas on whether or not a deal can be reached.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55390304


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  79. #399
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    The pressure builds..


    Last edited by The Viper; 21st December 2020 at 23:36.

  80. #400
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    Part of the negotiation problem seems to be that what the British call "sovereignty" is meaningless to the EU.


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