Brexit latest news – EU vows to IGNORE Boris' deadline for trade talks and insists it won't budge on demands on key area

THE EU has vowed to IGNORE Boris Johnson's deadline for talks to conclude on a post Brexit UK-EU trade deal.

The Prime Minister insisted a deal must be struck by October 15 in order for it to pass before the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31.

But the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has reportedly slapped back at the deadline, branding it a "trap" to get members to back down in key areas in order to meet the PM's timeline.

Mr Barnier is set to tell European leaders that further concessions are needed from the UK, warning them that October 15 is simply a chance to "take stock" of negotiations, not to end them according to The Times.

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

  • Claudia Aoraha

    BARNIER WARNS EU LEADERS AGAINST A 'HALF BAKED' BREXIT DEAL

    The EU’s chief negotiator told a meeting of European ambassadors on Wednesday that any discussion next week of a possible compromise – especially on fishing – would “damage unity.”

    The EU is planning to limit the summit conclusions to a bland statement “taking stock” of negotiations.

    Agreement is close, but a deal will not be made at any cost.

    They have emphasised that protecting the integrity of the single market is of upmost importance.

  • Claudia Aoraha

    WE WANT BORIS

    European capitals want Boris Johnson to take personal charge of the Brexit talks before they will step in to salvage a last-minute deal.

    Member States are warning No 10 the trade negotiations are set to drag into December and risk total failure if he doesn't get a grip on them now.

    Senior figures in Brussels are urging the PM to pick up the phone to fellow leaders like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to break the impasse.

  • Claudia Aoraha

    FRANCE WANTS HARD-LINE

    France is still threatening to derail those hopes of a compromise by sticking to the hard line over fishing.

    Its Europe minister Clement Beaune said: “Our fishermen will not be a bargaining chip and pay the price for UK choices. We’ll not accept a bad compromise.”

    But EU diplomats said French President Emmanuel Macron is isolated in his desires.

  • Claudia Aoraha

    BARNIER TO TELL UK THAT EU WILL WATER DOWN STANCE ON FISHING

    Michel Barnier will today tell Britain that he will water down the EU stance on fishing rights.

    The bloc’s Brexit negotiator will defy French calls for him to remain firm on status quo access to our waters.

    Mr Barnier told a meeting of 27 EU ambassadors the bloc must soften its position on this issue to get an agreement.

  • Tariq Tahir

    BACK BRITISH FARMERS ON FOOD STANDARDS SAYS STARMER

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on the Prime Minister to back British farmers by guaranteeing the UK's high food and farming standards in law after Brexit.

    Ahead of a visit to National Farmers' Union president Minette Batters' farm in Wiltshire, Sir Keir warned that without action to protect standards there was a “real risk” of lower quality food ending up on British plates.

    He has written to Boris Johnson urging amendments to the Agriculture Bill, which sets out farming policy after Brexit, to guarantee high standards and stop imports of lower quality food.

  • Tariq Tahir

    KENT PERMIT FOR TRUCKERS CONFIRMED

    Lorry drivers using the channel crossings in Kent will need an access permit to enter the county following the end of the Brexit transition period at the end of the year, the Government has confirmed.

    The scheme, originally announced last month by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, is intended to stop the county's roads being clogged up once customs controls with the European Union are re-imposed from January 1.

    According to the latest updated Government guidance, a new “check an HGV” service will enable hauliers to check if they have the correct customs documentation in order to obtain a Kent access permit.

    Mr Gove, who is responsible for Brexit implementation, has previously warned that queues of up to 7,000 trucks could form in Kent unless businesses do more to prepare.

  • Tariq Tahir

    EU SAYS PROGRESS IN TRADE TALKS

    The European Union said it finally sees progress in trade talks with the United Kingdom – but insists there is no guarantee that an agreement will be delivered on time.

    “I would say that the mood appears to have changed,” Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said when he hosted European Council President Charles Michel.

    “But the mood is one thing. It does need substance to follow the mood.”

    Michel acknowledged time was running out on a potential agreement that could save hundreds of thousands of jobs on both sides of the English Channel.

    “The coming days are crucial. This is the moment of truth,” Michel said.

  • Elizabeth Little

    ITALIAN PM URGES JOHNSON TO ‘COME GOOD’ ON BREXIT DEAL

    Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has urged the British government to come good on a Brexit deal – while admitting it was “difficult to feel optimistic” amid legal wrangling over the withdrawal agreement.

    Referring to Boris Johnson’s tabling of a bill that violates key elements of the agreement reached with Brussels last year, Conte said: “Obviously the legislative move in the UK creates tension.”

    He went on: “But beyond this step I believe there will be an agreement in the end…and trust that the British government will be willing to reach one that ensures reciprocal advantages.”

  • Elizabeth Little

    EU CAPITALS URGE PM TO STEP IN TO BREXIT TALKS

    European capitals want Boris Johnson to take personal charge of the Brexit talks before they will step in to salvage a last-minute deal.

    Member States are warning No 10 the trade negotiations are set to drag into December and risk total failure if he doesn't get a grip on them now.

    Senior figures in Brussels are urging the PM to pick up the phone to fellow leaders like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to break the impasse.

    They have complained he is completely detached from the talks, meaning it's impossible for capitals to get involved in a high-level political compromise.

    EU sources said during a phone call with Brussels chief Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday the PM “didn't have much to say” on substance.

    And they warned there is unlikely to be any major progress before next Thursday's crunch summit in Brussels unless his approach radically changes.

    Read more on this here.

  • Elizabeth Little

    THERESA MAY LEADS OPPOSITION TO PM’S PLANNING REFORMS

    Theresa May is the latest senior Conservative to speak out against Boris Johnson’s new planning reforms.

    The ex-prime minister warned the plans would amount to “removing local democracy, cutting the number of affordable homes that will be built, and building over rural areas”.

    It comes as a Tory rebellion on the issue begins to take shape.

    Speaking in a debate in the Commons on Thursday, Ms May said the government was “absolutely right” to want to build more homes and to “level up across the country”.

    But she added: “The problem with these proposals, the problem with this algorithm on housing numbers is that it doesn’t guarantee a single extra home being built and far from levelling up it forces more investment into London and the south. This is a mechanistic approach and it is ill-conceived.”

    Ms May, now a backbencher representing her Maidenhead seat, is among Tory MPs worried about the impact of the planning reforms on their local areas.

  • Elizabeth Little

    PRESIDENT OF EU COMMISSION SAYS VACCINE 'UNDER DISCUSSION'

    The President of the European Commission says recommendations for effective vaccination are under discussion.

    Writing on Twitter, Ursula von der Leyen wrote: “Meeting with our expert Covid-19 panel.”

    “Agreement that trends are worrying & need to step up effort to protect ourselves. Everyone is responsible.”

    “We discussed recommendations for effective vaccination across Europe.”

    “My priority is to help keep everyone safe and healthy.”

  • Elizabeth Little

    CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA 'NOT INVOLVED' IN BREXIT

    The Information Commissioner has ruled Cambridge Analytica was “not involved” in the EU referendum.

    A three-year investigation into the misuse of personal data, centring around the activities of the firm, has now closed.

    The investigation led to big fines for Facebook and two pro-Brexit campaign groups – Vote Leave and Leave.EU.

    But it found Cambridge Analytica was not involved in the 2016 Brexit referendum “beyond some initial enquiries made… in the early stages”.

  • Elizabeth Little

    DOCUMENT REVEALS TRUCKER BREXIT RULES

    A document released today has revealed truck drivers leaving Britain across the English Channel will be legally required to get a 'passport' to drive into Kent.

    Europe-bound HGV drivers spotted on key roads without a 'Kent Access Permit' will receive a £300 on-the-spot fine.

    The 271-page border plan published today is also the first time the government has formally confirmed its list of Brexit lorry parks after weeks of insisting the sites were not final.

    The network of hastily-erected concrete sites is designed to prevent chaos when EU rules come crashing to an end at the stroke of 11pm on New Year's Eve.

  • Elizabeth Little

    PLANS FOR BREXIT BORDER SITES

    The government has announced plans for up to 10 inland sites to cope with Brexit congestion and border checks.

    The inland border sites – including in Birmingham, Warrington and at a former airfield near Epping Forest in Essex – are being acquired to relieve ports including at Dover and Liverpool.

    The sites could be in place for up to two years, according to one of councils where the planning process for infrastructure has already begun.

  • Elizabeth Little

    PRESSURE FOR TRADE PROGRESS IN ‘COMING DAYS’

    The European Council president has said the UK needs to take “significant steps” in the coming days to secure a trade deal with the EU.

    Ahead of a crucial summit next week, Charles Michel said talks were approaching a “moment of truth”.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin also weighed in, saying “movement” was required before “end-state negotiations” could begin.

  • Samantha Lock

    EU CHIEF NEGOTIATOR TO TRAVEL TO LONDON TONIGHT

    Downing Street has said that the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will travel to London on Thursday evening ahead of talks with his UK counterpart Lord Frost on Friday.

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman said that following the conclusion of talks on Friday, they would resume in Brussels “early next week”.

    The move comes after Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen agreed at the weekend that negotiations should “intensify” in a final push for an agreement.

    But with just a week to go until the European Council summit set by the Prime Minister as the deadline for determining whether a deal can be reached, there are no plans for the negotiators to continue discussions over the weekend.

    The Prime Minister's spokesman said: “We have been perfectly clear about the need to work towards the October 15 European Council, the EU has agreed to intensified talks, those have been taking place this week and you will see more of them next week.”

  • Samantha Lock

    IDENTITY DOCS TO BE PHASED OUT AT BORDER

    Updated Governmentpost-Brexit guidance confirms that EU, European Economic Area and Swiss national identity cards will no longer be valid as travel documents for entering the UK from October 21.

    Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Our firm and fair approach will treat people from every part of the world equally.

    “Phasing out the use of identity cards at the border, which are some of the least secure documents, is an important step in making our border safer.”

    Following the release of the latest guidance, Mr Gove said: “With fewer than three months to go, businesses need to prepare now for new procedures, whether or not we reach a trade agreement with the EU, so that they can seize the significant opportunities that lie ahead.”

  • Samantha Lock

    LORRIES CROSSING THE CHANNEL WILL REQUIRE KENT ACCESS PERMIT

    Lorry drivers using the channel crossings in Kent will need an access permit to enter the county following the end of the Brexit transition period at the end of the year, the Government has confirmed.

    The scheme, originally announced last month by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, is intended to stop the county's roads being clogged up once customs controls with the European Union are re-imposed from January 1.

    According to the latest updated Government guidance, a new “check an HGV” service will enable hauliers to check if they have the correct customs documentation in order to obtain a Kent access permit.

    Mr Gove, who is responsible for Brexit implementation, has previously warned that queues of up to 7,000 trucks could form in Kent unless businesses do more to prepare.

  • Samantha Lock

    NEGOTIATIONS 'VERY CHALLENGING'

    Irish premier Micheal Martin described the Brexit negotiations as “very challenging”.

    Mr Martin said: “There needs to be movement in terms of getting into end-stage negotiations and we feel there's a lot of work to be done yet on a number of fronts, and it's quite a challenging task ahead of the negotiators to ensure that an agreement is arrived at.”

    The Taoiseach was speaking alongside European Council President Charles Michel outside Farmleigh House in Dublin.

  • Samantha Lock

    MICHEL SAYS BREXIT TALKS FACING 'MOMENT OF TRUTH'

    Talks on a deal between Britain and the European Union on their future relationship face a moment of truth ahead of a meeting of EU leaders next week, European Council President Charles Michel said today.

    Michel, speaking in Dublin after talks with Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, urged Britain to put its cards on the table, saying the bloc needed clarity about their position.

    “The coming days are crucial. This is the moment of truth. There is only one week to go before the European Council” meeting on Oct. 15-16, Michel told journalists.

    “This is a challenging situation. We think we need more clarity and we will see if it is possible to make real and concrete progress,” he said.

    The two sides say they are inching towards a deal that would govern around $900 billion in trade after Dec. 31 – when the current transitional arrangements end – though sticking points remain on fishing, level playing field issues and governance.

    Martin said the mood around the talks had changed in recent weeks, leading to intensified engagement between the two sides.

    “But mood is one thing, it does need substance to follow,” Martin said.

  • Samantha Lock

    TRUMP THANKS PM FOR HIS SUPPORT

    Donald Trump thanked Boris Johnson for his “friendship” and support as he recovers from coronavirus, he revealed last night.

    The pair had a brief phone call yesterday, the President of the US said, just days after he returned home from hospital after spending time there being treated for the deadly virus.

    Boris had already texted the President and First Lady his best wishes after his diagnosis last week.

    The world leaders are two of a small handful of people who have contracted the virus while in office.

    Mr Trump said at around 11pm last night: “Just spoke with Prime Minister @BorisJohnson of the United Kingdom.

    “Very thankful for his friendship and support as I recovered from the China Virus.

    “I am looking forward to working with him for many years to come, a great guy!”

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    TRUSS DODGES QUESTIONS ON FOOD STANDARDS

    Liz Truss has dodged tricky questions on food standards and UK farmers.

    She was grilled by MPs following accusations in the Mail on Sunday she attempted to strike a deal with her US counterparts – offering to drop the digital service tax if the Americans agreed to take hormone injected beef off the table.

    The Secretary of State for International Trade insisted everything printed in the paper is “not gospel truth”.

    She also rebuffed fresh calls to guarantee post-Brexit farming standards in law, insisting it could hinder trade with developing nations.

  • Samantha Lock

    UPDATED GUIDANCE ON POST-BREXIT BORDER MODEL

    Britain on Thursday published updated guidance for businesses and passengers crossing the border after the Brexit transition period ends this year.

    “Hauliers will need a Kent Access Permit to proceed to the border,” the government said. “Confirms EU, EEA and Swiss national ID cards will not be acceptable for travel to the UK, including for drivers, from October 2021.”

    The comprehensive guide is available to view online.

  • Samantha Lock

    BREXIT PAPERWORK GLITCHES COULD BACK UP LORRIES IN SCOTLAND

    Lorries heading for Northern Ireland could quickly back up on to main roads if one encounters a problem with Brexit paperwork at Scottish ports, a senior harbour executive warned.

    Regulations around the movement of goods from Great Britain are under discussion following withdrawal from the EU.

    Engagement with Government customs authorities has been significantly ramped up in recent times, but concerns remain, port operators said.

    Larne Harbour general manager Roger Armson said: “The distance between check-in and the main arterial route to the central belt (of Scotland) is very short.

    “You do not need to get much of a delay to start backing traffic up on to those routes.”

    Mr Armson is head of P&O's Larne to Cairnryan ferry operation. He expressed concern if paperwork was not in order after a haulier turned up at the south-west Scotland port.

    “If a unit arrives without a valid goods movement reference, there are no facilities in Scotland for that unit to park up.”

  • Samantha Lock

    BREXIT COULD COST AUTO INDUSTRY €11 BILLION

    BMW Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Peter said Britain's separation from the European Union could cost carmakers and suppliers up to 11 billion euros unless cross-border trade remains tariff-free and unbureaucratic.

    BMW has spent a low double-digit million euro amount this year to prepare for Brexit, Peter told journalists during a virtual roundtable discussion on Thursday.

    “The auto industry association ACEA has estimated that it could cost carmakers and suppliers 10 to 11 billion euros,” Peter said.

    “We need tariff-free trade. And even then, it needs to be seamless. We have a just-in-time manufacturing system so the administrative processing at customs needs to be efficient.”

    Furthermore Britain should continue to keep pace with European Union emissions requirements so that carmakers can offer the same cars in all European markets, Peter said.

    Strong demand for electric and hybrid cars has helped BMW stay ahead of projected fleet emissions reduction targets for 2020, Peter said.

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