Brexit: Lord Frost speaks of ‘disappointment’ with EU
Boris Johnson’s Conservative Government has implemented a grand total of 68 agreements since the transition period ended in January.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) revealed the deals – which cover around a third of the globe – to BBC Newsnight’s Policy Editor Lewis Goodall this evening.
He said that the “vast majority” of these were “EU rollover deals”.
The only countries where the UK has “deals which go beyond that which we enjoyed with the EU” are with Japan, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
There is also an agreement in principle with Australia.
In total these represent about 5.5 percent of world GDP, he said.
He added: “There’s also the FTA (free trade agreement) with the EU although of course that was a far worse trade deal than we enjoyed as members of the single market/customs union.”
The journalist went on to say that the UK is close to an agreement in principle with New Zealand, seeking accession to the trade block the CPTPP and “will soon begin negotiations with India”.
Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit trade deal have been revealed
A spokesman also said: “We are also negotiating with Singapore on a bespoke digital economy agreement and have also recently closed our public consultations on improving our existing bilateral trade agreements with Mexico and Canada.”
Mr Goodall added: “But that’s it so far. Deals with countries worth around five percent of global GDP.
“Higher with the EU but as I say, net we’ve lost significant market access vis a vis our old position.
“The argument was that the big prizes would be US and China. Both seem completely distant prospects.
“Of course it’s been a pandemic. Nations across the world have had bigger priorities than securing trade deals.
“Nonetheless the prospect of securing more FTAs was held up as one of the great prizes of Brexit, with countries “queuing up” for new deals.
“Indeed lots of versions of Brexit were rejected on the basis that it would impede our ability to do those deals.
“With so few improved deals yet achieved, pressure will be on government for more results.”
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Jeremy Vine: Ann Widdecombe shuts down Brexit criticism
3.37am update: France ‘throws toys out of pram’ as fears grow over Channel fishing punishment
France could use the ongoing AUKUS security pact crisis as a form of revenge in the Jersey fishing dispute, a minister has claimed.
An amnesty period allowing French vessels unfettered access to Jersey waters is due to expire on September 30 – before new measures come into place.
From October 1, French vessels have to show evidence of their history fishing in Jersey waters else they face not being issued with licences.
Crunch negotiations have been taking place over the last few weeks to resolve the issues but Jersey ministers, alongside UK officials, have yet to reach an agreement with France.
2.40am update: Macron’s sidekick rages at UK’s ‘vile anti-French lies’ as France tipped for EU army drive
Macron’s closest ally, Clement Beaune, lashed out against the UK over reports the French President would be prepared to give up his UN seat for an EU army.
The French leader was tipped to be spearheading plans for a European Defence Union at the expense of France’s seat on the UN Security Council.
French MEP Sandro Gozi was reported to have revealed that President Macron is in discussions over the introduction of an EU army in connection with France’s Security Council position.
Mr Gozi, who is from Macron’s LREM Party, said: “I think that if we move on these things we can put on the table also the discussion on the Security Council.”
1.20am update: ‘Sobering not only for France’ German erupts on ‘irritating’ Brexit Britain security pact
German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass has suggested: “resentment on the French side” caused the breakdown of a key meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
It comes amid an ongoing dispute over a new security pact in the Indo-Pacific between Australia, Britain and the USA, known as AUKUS.
The deal’s announcement caused anger in France as it led to the end of the nation’s own deal with Australia, worth £27billion (31.5m euros).
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described it as a “stab in the back”, and suggested it amounts to “unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
00.30am update: Liz Truss jets off to seal another Brexit trade deal paving way for £110billion agreement
Liz Truss is looking to keep up her record of bolstering Global Britain as she heads to Mexico today to boost economic cooperation.
Ms Truss became a firm favourite among Tory members after securing dozens of post-Brexit trade deals as International Trade Secretary.
Taking on her new role as Foreign Secretary last week, Ms Truss is looking to continue promoting trade with the UK around the world.
The South West Norfolk MP will today travel directly from the UN General Assembly in New York to Mexico City.
11.15pm update: EU civil war: Denmark backs Washington in submarine row with France and Brussels
Denmark has lashed out at the European Union for siding with France in the diplomatic spat over its failed submarine contract with Australia.
Becoming the first EU nation to breakaway, Copenhagen defended US President Joe Biden as “very loyal” to Europe despite facilitating the AUKUS military pact.
Paris is furious that Canberra cancelled its contract to buy French-built submarines in favour of nuclear-powered technology from the US and UK.
Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen said: “I think it’s important to say – given the talks going on in Europe right now – that I see Biden as very loyal to the transatlantic alliance.
Dan Hastings takes over from Oliver Pritchard-Jones.
9.28pm update: Post-Brexit trade a lot ‘easier’ if UK joins Trans-Pacific Partnership ‘Steer influence’
Post-Brexit trade will be a lot “easier” and allow the UK to “steer influence” across the world if it is able to join the Trans-Pacific partnership, according to an expert.
Former trade negotiator for Australia and free trade expert Dmitry Grozoubinski told Sky News the benefit of accession to the bloc would be beneficial to the UK’s trading future following the breakdown of a potential free trade deal between the USA and UK as Prime Minister Boris Johnson failed to convince President Biden to sign the dotted line.
The expert was asked how easy it is for the UK to join an already formed trade deal with Canada, Mexico, and the USA.
He replied: “Some trade agreements like the CPTPP are designed with that process in mind.
“They have accession, the process of joining them, and a procedure to do that built right into the treaty.”
Brexit Secretary Lord Frost
8.55pm update: ‘A great mess!’ Remainer brands Johnson’s Brexit deal ‘unworkable’ with no ‘endgame’
An anti-Brexit economist has claimed that Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement has no “endgame”.
Martin Wolf, the Financial Times’ chief economics correspondent, slammed the Conservative Government’s withdrawal from the EU.
Speaking at an event in Dublin this evening hosted by the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Mr Wolf also claimed the UK has no clue how to resolve issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol.
He told the audience: “What’s the endgame? I think this government doesn’t know.”
8.04pm update: ‘Mind your own business!’ Ann Widdecombe in brutal swipe at Joe Biden’s Brexit ‘lecturing’
Ann Widdecombe blasted President Joe Biden for interfering in the UK’s domestic politics after she was asked whether a UK/US free-trade deal is being parked over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
She appeared on the Jeremy Vine Show on Channel 5 where she was shown a clip of Joe Biden warning he would not want to see any threat to Northern Ireland peace or an introduction of a hard border.
Ms Widdecombe was asked whether Joe Biden may be stalling on a UK/US free-trade deal as he awaits issues over the Northern Ireland Protocol to be ironed out. The ex-Conservative minister argued Mr Biden should “mind his own business” regarding Brexit, adding the Northern Ireland Protocol was already bad.
7.02pm update: Northern Ireland Protocol ‘unworkable’ but will remain ‘permanent sore’
The Northern Ireland protocol is “unworkable” but it won’t be scrapped and will remain a “permanent sore” in the Brexit process, Martin Wolf, chief economics correspondent with the Financial Times, has claimed.
Addressing an event in Dublin hosted by the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Mr Wolf said the UK government had no clear Brexit endgame, and no idea how to resolve the problems with the protocol.
He described the rules governing the North’s post-Brexit trading relations as “unacceptable and unworkable”, and most likely not fully understood by UK prime minister Boris Johnson when he agreed them.
Under the protocol trade between Northern Ireland and Britain is subject to customs checks. The additional red tape has significantly damaged trade between the two locations, particularly the flow of goods from Britain to the North.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
6.25pm update: Gibraltar row: Totally disproportionate! Brexit fury at EU plea – talks on knife edge
Foreign Officer Minister Wendy Morton will today be quizzed by MPs on the European Scrutiny Committee on why Gibraltar was left out of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation agreement.
Although “the Rock” has also left the EU, the British territory is not covered by the trade deal which regulates tariffs and the movement of people.
Gibraltar is instead currently relying on temporary arrangements to keep open its critical artery with Spain as thousands of workers commute to and from the island every day.
It is likely that the committee will examine the differences in the UK and EU negotiating positions, whether the temporary arrangements are stable and what will happen if no deal can be reached with the EU.
5.35pm update: VDL mocked after ‘Little Napoleon’ Macron’s ‘humiliation’ – EU ‘trying to be important’
Brexit Britain has taken to the Internet to mock a desperate attempt by the EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen to make the EU look “important again”.
Following the AUKUS deal in which Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States signed a security pact, some Brits have labelled the angry French reaction as “Little Napoleon’s humiliation”.
With the French leading the revolt against the agreement, one Express.co.uk reader, Muncher89 suggested Macron would seek to influence the EU Commissioner to seek a legal response.
They said: “Next move will be Macron demanding VDL take the Aussies, the Yanks and the UK to their kangaroo court.”
4.36pm update: ‘Get a grip and give me a break!’ PM rages in French as he loses patience with Macron
Boris Johnson has lost his temper at Emmanuel Macron over Frances’s reaction to the AUKUS pact between the US, UK, and Australia.
Boris Johnson has erupted into polished franglais during a question and answer session with the press in Washington as the Prime Minister lost his temper with Emmanuel Macron over the French President’s reaction to the new alliance between the UK, US, and Australia.
Sam Coates told Sky News: “Switching into peerless franglais, the Prime Minister said ‘Prenez un grip and donnez-moi un break.’
Brexit Minister Lord Frost wants to change the operation of the Protocol
3.05pm update: Flotilla enters River Thames as furious EU super trawler row erupts – Boris urged to act
A fishing ship flotilla sailed down the Thames to Westminster today, demanding the Government protects British waters from mostly EU-based super trawlers.
Greenpeace activists are supporting the demonstration, handing banners from Westminster and Lambeth bridges which read “No fish, no future”.
Fishermen are calling for supertrawlers and bottom trawlers, which are predominantly based in EU ports, to be banned from British waters in the English Channel and North Sea.
Oliver Pritchard-Jones taking over from Richard Percival
2pm update: Scottish Governments halts work on Brexit customs checkpoint over ‘unanswered questions’
Scottish ministers have halted the construction of a customs checkpoint started as a consequence of Brexit because they say Westminster has so far declined to pay for it.
A border control post (BCP) at Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway is due to be used to inspect goods arriving in Scotland from Ireland and the wider EU via Northern Ireland.
Checks on animals, fish, plants, food and feed are required to ensure products entering the market do not present a risk to public health, and these checks are the responsibility of Scottish ministers.
1pm update: Joe Biden’s Ireland remarks a ‘timely reminder’ to Boris Johnson on US trade deal hopes
Joe Biden has given Boris Johnson a “timely reminder” that he would risk any future US trade deal if he ditches Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol, a Sinn Fein minister has said.
Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy said that was his interpretation of remarks made by the US President as he met Mr Johnson in the White House and expressed concern at any moves to create a “closed border” on the island of Ireland.
The Protocol has impacted supplies of Medicines to the region
12pm update: Northern Ireland FM reacts to Joe Biden’s Protocol comments
Stormont First Minister Paul Givan has warned that the Northern Ireland Protocol has “trashed” the Good Friday peace agreement.
Responding to President Biden’s remark cautioning against any changes to the Brexit trading arrangements, Mr Givan said: “We’re all very much committed to making sure that the peace accords, as he (President Biden) referred to them as, are respected.
“The Good Friday Agreement as a result of the protocol has been trashed and therefore that needs to be put right.
“So, I know in my engagements with the new United States Consul General (Paul Narain) here in Northern Ireland, they recognise the very real issues that the DUP has been presenting and the need for a solution to be found that respects our constitutional status as an integral part of the United Kingdom and delivers a practical solution so that we have that unfettered trade east-west, and indeed north-south.”
11am update: Washington is not the decision-maker over Protocol, says Poots
Stormont Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has said Washington is not the decision-maker when it comes to the future of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
DUP minister Mr Poots questioned whether the US administration had read the Good Friday/Belfast agreement and said if they did they would appreciate that the protocol was undermining a key plank of the accord – east/west relations.
“There’s no surprise, the Biden administration have been saying this from the outset,” he told BBC Radio Ulster.
“As far as we’re concerned, I think they need to actually understand what the Belfast Agreement actually does say and go and read it.”
Northern Ireland Protocol explained
10am update: BBC Chairman denies controversy over hiring of Jess Brammar
The chairman of the BBC has denied controversy surrounding the hiring of Jess Brammar as head of news channels has “tainted” her appointment.
Richard Sharp defended the hiring process and told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee such appointments were “a matter for the director-general and the executive team”.
Ms Brammar, former editor-in-chief of HuffPost UK and acting editor of Newsnight, will take up the role of the BBC’s executive news editor of news channels, overseeing the BBC’s two 24-hour news channels – BBC World News and the BBC News Channel.
It comes after her impartiality was questioned after old tweets emerged in which she was critical of Brexit and the Prime Minister.
9am update: George Eustice says Joe Biden is ‘wrong’ over Protocol position
Joe Biden is “wrong” to have concerns about the wrangling over Northern Ireland’s Brexit trade deal, a Cabinet minister said.
Environment Secretary George Eustice suggested the US President “fully appreciates” the details of the row.
Mr Eustice told Sky News: “He is probably at the moment just reading the headlines, reading what the EU is saying, reading what Ireland might be saying, which is that they would like the Northern Ireland Protocol to work in the way the EU envisage.
“We think he is wrong because the truth is that unless we have a sustainable solution that enables trade to continue between GB and Northern Ireland then we are going to have issues, and that itself would become a challenge to the Belfast Agreement.”
8am update: US President expresses opposition to change Irish border arrangements
Joe Biden said he feels “very strongly” that he does not want a change to the “Irish accords” resulting in “a closed border”.
Asked about a UK-US trade deal, the US president told reporters in the Oval Office: “To do with the UK, that’s continuing to be discussed.
“But on the (Northern Ireland) protocols I feel very strongly on those. We spent an enormous amount of time and effort, the United States, it was a major bipartisan effort made.
“And I would not at all like to see, nor I might add would many of my Republican colleagues like to see, a change in the Irish accords, the end result having a closed border in Ireland.”
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