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Brexit LIVE: Trouble for EU! UK business confidence hits 4-year high – eurozone dealt blow

Brexit: UK 'may need a big row with EU' says Hoey

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The Lloyds Bank Business Barometer survey also revealed UK companies were more optimistic about what is in store for the British economy over the next 12 months. 

Alongside this, a record number of UK businesses were planning to increase salaries and economic optimism rose for the first time in three months.

Meanwhile, business confidence in the eurozone fell following a rise in COVID-19 cases across the bloc and issues with supply chain disruption.

The data from the European Commission revealed confidence had fallen for the first time in 2021.

Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist at Lloyds, said: “This tells a positive story about the country’s economic recovery.

“This confidence is driven by the continued success of the vaccine rollout, the removal of lockdown restrictions and adjustments to self-isolation rules.”

It comes as UK GDP grew by 4.8 percent in the second quarter of 2021 as the majority of lockdown measures were relaxed across the four nations.

Lloyds surveyed 1,200 UK companies this month.

PLEASE FOLLOW BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES: 

6:30am update: Tony Blair had no problem with leaving the EU in early days of career

Tony Blair had “no problem” with leaving the European Union as a young politician starting out despite his recent views about Brexit, according to Remainer Lord Andrew Adonis.

Speaking on “The Prime Ministers” podcast, Labour peer Lord Adonis revealed how as a young left-wing member of the Labour Party, former Prime Minister Tony Blair did not have an issue with the concept of Britain leaving the European Union either in public or in private.

The revelations continued as Lord Adonis explained how Mr Blair’s views were as a result of his desire to fall in favour of then Labour leader Michael Foot.

Lord Adonis said: “Michael was the son of a liberal, his father was a very long-standing West Country liberal and indeed his brothers remained liberal.

5:30am update: Sturgeon abandoned bid to remain in EU after rejection poll

Nicola Sturgeon briefly abandoned her policy of rejoining the EU immediately after a second independence referendum as a poll showed record euroscepticism in Scotland, unearthed reports reveal.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she has no plans to call a separate referendum on whether an independent Scotland should join the European Union.

She said a “detailed prospectus” would be put to Scots ahead of any second independence referendum, and she claimed most people would want to be part of the EU again. She was pressed on the issue as she launched the SNP manifesto for the Holyrood election at the end of April.

Ms Sturgeon said: “That’s not my policy.

“Just as in 2014 when people had a detailed prospectus on which to base their vote, that is my intention for a future independence referendum too.”

4:00am update: Labour MP Clive Lewis calls Brexit a ‘post-colonial panic attack’

A Labour MP has caused outrage by describing Brexit as a “post-colonial panic attack”.

Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South took to Twitter and said: “In essence, Brexit was a colossal, post-colonial, panic attack.” The tweet garnered many opposing responses from Twitter users. One follower wrote: “You would think Labour MPs would have better things to do.

“Just another reason Labour won’t see power.”

Another said: “Dear god, I know it’s a Bank Holiday weekend, and still people who just can’t bear the thought that actual democracy, ie an individuals right to vote as their conscience dictates, could’ve gone against what they desperately wanted, so, so pathetic, move on.”

Mr Lewis was one of 52 Labour MPs who rebelled against Jeremy Corbyn’s three-line whip to vote against the Government’s Brexit Bill in 2017.

He resigned his position as shadow business secretary in protest against the bill.

2:00am update: Liz Truss ensembles army of trade chiefs to deliver UK economic boom

Liz Truss is beefing up her trade team to seize lucrative opportunities across the continent and Central Asia ahead of an economic boom.

The International Trade Secretary has appointed two HM Trade Commissioners to boost British trade across the continent. 

The two roles which can pay up to £120,000 per annum will play a crucial role in attracting inward investment and helping British businesses seize export opportunities throughout Europe and Central Asia.

Ministers say both trade chiefs will lead on a coordinated government effort overseas to promote UK trade, delivering jobs and prosperity for the UK economy.

12:00am update: Brexit rules blamed as couple divided by Irish border

Brexit rules have separated a married couple as they are forced to live on either side of the Irish border because of what one MP called a “borderline unconstitutional” application.

Corrinne and Brett Giles are currently living 25 miles apart due to the post-Brexit immigration rules. Since leaving the EU, UK citizens’ non-British spouses need to apply for pre-settled status before 29 March next year, if they want to return as a family to the country visa-free. 

Pre-Brexit, all UK citizens and family members could return to the UK at any time without visas under EU movement laws, but this freedom has since ended.

As the UK Government allowed the visa-free movement to continue until March 2022, non-British spouses have a period in which to acquire the documentation which should only take “a few weeks” to process. 

10:30pm update: Arlene Foster calls for action on Northern Ireland Protocol 

Former DUP leader Arlene Foster has said she hopes the UK government take action to deal with the damage which the Northern Ireland Protocol is doing to the UK’s internal market “before irreparable damage is done”.

Mrs Foster has also warned that any solutions on dealing with the past “must be victim led and not further concessions to those who caused such pain and grief for years in Northern Ireland”.

She said these are the two “most contentious issues” for her successor as party leader post pandemic and post Brexit.

9:30pm update: Bosses fear supply chain disruption as one of top threats to growth 

Nearly two thirds of UK chief executives have seen their supply chains come under strain during the pandemic, while bosses globally now fear supply disruption as one of the biggest risks to growth, a survey has revealed.

A worldwide survey of chief executives by KPMG found supply chain risk is one of the three biggest business challenges, alongside cyber security and environmental and climate issues.

It showed that bosses in sectors that produce goods – such as consumer and retail, manufacturing and automotive – consider supply chain problems as their main threat to growth.

The findings come amid a mounting supply chain crisis in the UK, caused by a lorry driver shortage, the pandemic and Brexit. 

8pm update: Liz Truss to negotiate new trade deal with Turkey as Turks flock to UK

Turkey and the UK will start to negotiate a more comprehensive trade deal to increase bilateral cooperation between both countries in a boost for Brexit Britain.

Turkey and the United Kingdom rolled over a free-trade agreement in December days before Britain formally left the European Union in 2020, to keep up the existing flow of goods.

The trade ministers of the two countries signed an agreement on December 29 with ministers saying the extended deal would replicate existing trading terms.

But Minister for Exports Graham Stuart said a new and more ambitious deal was on the horizon, which will include financial services.

7pm update: EU fury as Frankfurt and Paris won’t overtake London

The European Union’s financial centre won’t be able to oust London as top dog, an expert warned.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) said in its annual survey of bankers earning more than £850,000 that the UK’s total number of highly paid bankers dropped by 95 high earners across 2019.

Despite this, the UK remains the country with the lion’s share of wealthy bankers in Europe, accounting for 71 percent of the 4,963 bankers in the top pay category across the bloc in 2019.

6pm update: EU shamed for not being as generous as Britain for resettling Afghans

The European Union has been slammed for failing to follow Britain’s lead by pledging to welcome thousands of Afghan refugees.

At an emergency meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, mean-spirited EU nations were squabbling over how to stop waves of migrants arriving on Europe’s shores.

The bloc was warned it risks losing face if it doesn’t at least match Britain’s efforts prevent a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan after it fell to the Taliban.

Luxembourg’s veteran foreign minister Jean Asselborn sparked a war of words with his German counterpart by suggesting the bloc should set a target for resettling between 40,000 and 50,000 people.

5pm update: Nicola Sturgeon launches blistering Brexit attack in Holyrood session

Nicola Sturgeon delivered an intense attack on Brexit and Westminister ahead of the MSPs’ voting in new Green Party junior ministers as she blasted HGV driver shortages and empty shelves which she blames Brexit for.

Nicola Sturgeon addressed Holyrood where Green Party co-leaders, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, appeared so they could be voted in as junior ministers as part of the SNP’s new power-sharing agreement.

But during her speech, Ms Sturgeon said Scotland needed to address the Brexit “disaster” which she said has caused labour shortages across the country leaving shops running low on supplies.

The chamber roared during her condemnation of Westminster as Ms Sturgeon expressed her support of the Green Party as she hopes to build a strong future for Scotland.

4pm update: Emmanuel Macron’s stark EU admission: ‘Too slow, weak, ineffective’

Emmanuel Macron made a stark admission about the EU’s incompetence, branding it “too slow, too weak, too ineffective”, an unearthed account shows.

The French President has frequently stressed the importance of the EU and the benefits of being a member of the bloc. 

Mr Macron is often credited with helping steer the EU’s agenda, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Since the UK left the EU last year, the French President has also hit out at Britain’s new-found sovereignty and control in relation to its COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

2.50pm update: Mario Draghi’s Brexit jibe to Britain about life outside EU: ‘Race to bottom on standards’

Mario Draghi, Italy’s Prime Minister, issued a sly Brexit jibe towards Britain about life outside the EU, an unearthed account shows.

The UK left the European trading bloc last year, decreasing the number of member states to 27.

Mr Draghi was sworn in as Italy’s new Prime Minister in February this year as the UK was still grappling with life outside the EU.

In the first few days of his premiership, the former President of the European Central Bank (ECB) promised a series of reforms to his country.

He pledged to put all his efforts into tackling the COVID-19 crisis, which ravaged Italy in early 2020.

Ryanair CEO demands UK adopts European system to restarts British tourism

1.46pm update: ‘Drop the red tape!’ Lorry driver shortages blamed on EU paperwork

The UK is suffering from a shortage of 100,000 lorry drivers causing supermarkets to struggle to stock shelves and fears of a Christmas present shortage.

Express readers say Brexit paperwork bureaucracy is the biggest culprit.

The UK is starting to feel the effects of the departure of thousands of European lorry drivers as Brexit, Covid, poor working conditions, and low pay have pushed them to leave the industry.

Without lorry drivers, products like food do not get delivered – in a globalised world, the UK population is dependent on international transport of goods.

12.55pm update: Northern Ireland chaos as EU ‘took advantage of UK disarray’ to impose ‘advantageous’ deal

The EU “took advantage” of the “political disarray” surrounding the signing of the Northern Ireland Protocol to impose a deal that was “maximally advantageous” to Brussels, an unearthed account claims.

The Protocol, which was signed by the Government in 2019, is part of Britain’s post-Brexit arrangements with the EU to govern trade after it left the bloc.

This part of the agreement aims to ensure that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Northern Ireland left the EU with the rest of the UK last year but remains in the EU’s single market for goods.

In theory the Protocol is supposed to maintain the flows of unrestricted trade between Northern Ireland and Britain.

However, strict customs checks on British goods arriving in Northern Ireland have caused chaos for local businesses.

12.05pm update: UK calls on insight into India trade deal 

The UK’s chief negotiator for the Department for Trade and lead to CPTTP and India, Graham Zebedee called on the public to provide insight on what they want from a trade deal with the state. 

He said: “Never mind the transfer deadline – this is the big one.

“Please tell us what you’d like to see in a UK-India free trade agreement by tonight.

“Thanks to the many individuals, organisations and companies who’ve already done so.”

11.12am update: Eurozone crisis as German academics turn back on ‘soft’ single currency

The Eurozone is becoming a “soft currency” warn German academics, who are starting to turn their backs on the European Union’s legal tender.

Despite the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on global economics, the eurozone’s economy grew 2.2 percent in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter.

However, German academics have voiced their fears about the long-term future of the eurozone, saying repealing EU economic treaties has “dire consequences”.

Thomas Mayer, founding director of the Flossbach von Storch Research Institute, suggested that since the 2010 Euro crisis “regulatory principles set out in the EU treaties have gradually been repealed”.

Ann Widdecombe says Brexit can’t be blamed for food shortages

10.16am update: Boris Johnson warned to stand up to the EU 

Speaking on GB News, Nigel Farage and Baroness Hoey claimed invoking Article 16 would send “shockwaves across the EU”. 

After their warning, Express.co.uk readers said: “Nigel – Of course, spot on the money! We voted – ‘To Take Back Control’, remember your mantra Bojo?

“We did not vote to allow the EU to tell us where & we can send ‘Internal Goods’

“Got that Boris – Do something Johnson, like ‘grow a spine’?”

Article 16 was included in the Brexit deal and allows either side to take unilateral action if the agreement is causing undue harm. 

9.29am update: Barnier lashes out at ‘arrogant and dictatorial’ Macron in extraordinary attack

Michel Barnier has branded Emmanuel Macron “arrogant and dictatorial” in a blistering rant live on national television in an apparent attempt to distance himself from the man he is challenging for the French Presidency next year.

The EU’s former chief Brexit negotiator and member of the Republicans party on Thursday confirmed his decision to run.

And he wasted little time attacking the current occupant of Elysee Palace, accused him of numerous “failures” since his election in 2017.

Speaking to Europe 1, the 70-year-old claimed the COVID-19 pandemic, which has included a system of mandatory vaccinations for some key workers, indicated Mr Macron’s government “didn’t trust local communities, regions, departments and municipalities, which have nevertheless shown agility, efficiency and flexibility”.

8.55am update: ‘Goodbye backward EU, Hello superior future!’ Britons rejoice at huge £9TN trade prize

Liz Truss has received yet more deserved praise with Brexit Britain looking set to be joining a mammoth £9trillion free-trade partnership by December 2022 – which could largely replace EU trade.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is hopeful of concluding negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) by the end of next year. The multi-trillion pound bloc consists of Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore, as well as Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Vietnam.

Ms Truss insisted talks with the 11 members of the CPTPP are central to the Government’s “Global Britain” post-Brexit trade agenda.

Reacting to our initial story, one Express.co.uk reader said: “Goodbye to the backwards-looking EU superstate and hello to the open trade club of individualistic sovereignty loving faster-growing Pacific nations.

“Infinitely superior trade future.”

8.15am update: Redwood exposes key inconsistency in Brexit blame game ‘It’s Germany and Poland too!’

Brexiteer John Redwood has exposed an inconsistency in attempts to blame a shortage of lorry drivers on Britain being outside of the EU.

Tory MP John Redwood has blasted attempts to pin a shortage of heavy goods vehicle drivers in the UK on Brexit.

Mr Redwood has argued that the lack of drivers “isn’t a Brexit issue,” he pointed to similar difficulties faced in EU member states such as Poland and Germany, as well as the US.

Instead, the MP insisted that issues with working conditions, training, and retention had led to the crisis in the industry.

7.46am update: So long, Brussels! UK’s incredible global trade options laid out by delighted Brexiteer

Britain can now look to forge long-lasting, mutual beneficial trade deals with countries outside the European Union after severing ties with the bloc and all its associated red tape, Brexiteer and former Labour Party MP Baroness Hoey has said.

The peer, previously Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall until she stood before the last general election, was announced as Britain’s new trade envoy to Ghana earlier this month.

She told Express.co.uk Brexit would also help Britain to put a stop to Brussels’ exploitation of developing countries – by cutting out the EU as the middleman.

7.35am update: Liz Truss nearing New Zealand deal 

As reported by The Sun, Ms Truss is set to agree to a deal with the Commonwealth state “imminently”. 

The deal will cut tariffs on products such as wine and apples. 

A deal with the state is also the latest move in the UK’s tilt to become a dominant player in the Asia-Pacific region. 

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