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Brexit news latest – Boris ORDERED to 'never back down' on key issue as UK-EU trade deal talks enter crunch week

BORIS Johnson has been ordered "never to back down" as Brexit trade deal talks with the EU entered a crunch week.

Brexiteers warned the Prime Minister that any compromise on key sticking points such as fishing rights in order to get a trade deal ratified before the December 31 deadline simply wouldn't allow for a "clean Brexit".

Ex Brexit Party MEP Claire Fox told the Brexit Unlocked podcast that she believes Boris will be "finished" if he fails to deliver a "clean Brexit", while many other Brexit purists have insisted no deal is better than "caving in".

Fishing rights is proving a major sticking point when it comes to getting a deal, with the EU insisting they want the current deal retained, allowing them extensive fishing privileges in British waters, even after Brexit.

Instead the UK wants a Norway-style deal where access is re-negotiated every couple of years to ensure the level of access to UK waters is always in Britain's best interest.

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

  • John Hall

    PROTECTING OUR SOVEREIGNTY

    Britain’s chief negotiator, David Frost, said on Sunday there has been some progress over recent days and that the two sides have common draft treaty texts.

    However, significant elements are yet to be agreed.

    “We may not succeed,” Frost admitted.

    He added: “We are working to get a deal, but the only one that’s possible is one that is compatible with our sovereignty and takes back control of our laws, our trade, and our waters.”

  • John Hall

    EU & UK TOO FAR APART

    A senior EU diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the two sides were “still a bit too far away to be able to feel comfortable”.

    They repeated that Britain needed to make a choice because “the timetable is very tight”.

  • John Hall

    WHAT ARE THE STUMBLING BLOCKS?

    British officials repeatedly say any Brexit trade deal must respect this country’s sovereignty.

    But counterparts at the EU say the proximity of Britain to the bloc means Brussels cannot hand it a trade deal similar to those it has agreed with countries such as Canada.

    The two sides remain deadlocked over two main areas: the level playing field and fisheries, a sector laden with symbolism for Brexit supporters in the UK.

    Both sides have called on each other to shift position for the breakthrough needed to secure a deal and offer businesses clarity on what happens at the beginning of 2021.

  • John Hall

    TALKS COULD 'FALL APART' – COVENEY

    Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday that the UK government “understands only too well” that a major breakthrough must be made with EU Brexit negotiators over the next week to 10 days.

    He said: “That’s required for a deal this week.

    “The real question is whether the political appetite is there to do it.

    “I think we will (get a deal) – that’s been my prediction for a while but I won’t be shocked if it all falls apart.”

  • John Hall

    'WE REALLY ARE IN TROUBLE'

    “We really are in the last week to 10 days of [post-Brexit negotiations], warns Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.

    “If there is not a major breakthrough over the next week to 10 days then I think we really are in trouble and the focus will shift to preparing for a no trade deal and all the disruption that that brings,” Coveney told Ireland’s Newstalk radio station.

  • John Hall

    TEN DAYS TO UNLOCK TALKS

    Britain and the European Union have a week to 10 days to find a way to unlock trade talks, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday.

    He was commenting after both sides called on the other to move their position on two of the most troublesome areas.

    The trade talks resume today in Brussels after there was little movement on the most contentious areas.

    These are the so-called “level playing field” fair competition rules and fisheries.

  • John Hall

    TALKS STEPPING UP

    London and Brussels have stepped up negotiations for a trade deal that would protect nearly one trillion dollars of trade from disruption, reports Reuters.

    It's less than seven weeks before a transition period ends and Britain completes its faltering Brexit journey out of the bloc.

  • John Hall

    SMALL UK MANUFACTURERS ‘IN DARK’ RE BREXIT FUTURE

    Nearly half of small and medium-sized British manufacturers have no idea how the end of the Brexit transition period at the end of this year will affect their business, a survey found.

    Some 47% of manufacturers surveyed said they did not know what the end of the transition would mean for their business, while 32% said it would hinder their recovery.

    Only 3% predicted a boost, according to the joint survey by consultancies South West Manufacturing Advisory Service (SWMAS) and the Manufacturing Growth Programme.

  • John Hall

    RED LINES UNCHANGED

    As Brexit talks are due to resume, the UK confirmed on Monday that its red lines remain unchanged.

    But, the government wants to reach a trade deal with the European Union if the bloc chooses to make progress.

    “Our red lines haven’t changed and we’re preparing for whatever the outcome is,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News.

    “Of course our preference is to get a deal and that is open to the Europeans if they choose to make the progress that’s needed,” he added.

  • John Hall

    'BIG DECISIONS'

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock today said the Government will continue to work on the Brexit deal this week.

    He said: “In terms of the big decisions that we’ve got coming up this week – the big expansion of mass testing that we’re announcing this morning, doubling the testing capacity by the early new year.

    “Obviously the work on the vaccines – good news the start of the new vaccine trial from Janssen today – and we hope that works because we’ve got 30 million of those on order.

    “And then obviously working on the Brexit deal, which Lord Frost has gone to Brussels today to agree with.

    “All these things, the Prime Minister will, I have absolutely no doubt, be gripping in his normal way.”

  • John Hall

    POST-BREXIT FREE PORT SCHEME

    Proposals to develop up to 10 new free ports in the UK have taken a step closer with the Treasury inviting applications for the scheme.

    Areas selected will benefit from a range of tax reliefs, including on the purchase of land, and the programme will create thousands of jobs, the Treasury said.

    The bidding for free ports opens on Monday for seven spots in England, with the first expected to open in 2021.

    The free port model works by allowing companies to import goods tariff-free and only paying once it was sold into the domestic market, or exporting the final goods without paying UK tariffs.

  • John Hall

    TALKS CONTINUE

    Talks on a future trading relationship between the UK and European Union post-Brexit continue this week as the clock continues to tick until the end of the transition period.

    Lord David Frost is in Brussels for another round of negotiations ahead of a European Council video summit on Thursday which has been touted as a deadline for a draft deal.

    The UK formally left the European Union in January, but will continue to follow the bloc’s regulations until the end of the year – just over six weeks away.

    If no agreement is in place at the end of December, goods travelling between the two parties will be subject to tariffs set out by the World Trade Organisation.

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