Brexit: Liz Truss says countries 'want to work with' the UK
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Robert Oulds, director of the pro-Brexit Bruges Group think-tank, said the UK would be “betraying” Brexit if it backs down to Brussels on the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
He said: “The whole United Kingdom should leave the European Union fully and not be subject to rules from a foreign court. Northern Ireland must not be a colony of the EU.
“Northern Ireland’s future is to be decided by the people of Northern Ireland, equal Brexit for all British citizens in our own country.”
Of Boris Johnson, Mr Oulds added: “Boris is in a difficult position politically, he cannot afford any more missteps.”
Mr Oulds’ comments come after reports Brexit minister Lord Frost will tell his EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic that the UK accepts the ECJ will have a role in the protocol.
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Macron erupts! France asks EU to start legal action against UK over fishing row
France has threatened to take legal action against the UK as a post-Brexit row over fishing ignites once again.
Clement Beaune, France’s Minister for European Affairs, has said Paris will ask the European Commission to look into taking legal action against Britain over fishing licences.
It comes after Mr Beaune said France had obtained 93 percent of the licences it has applied for to enable its fishermen to land in UK waters.
Maritime Minister Annick Giradin said 73 applications were still outstanding.
NI will get medicine at same time as GB, EU proposes
Medicines will continue to be available in Northern Ireland at the same time as in the rest of the UK under plans to simplify the Northern Ireland Protocol, the European Union (EU) has said.
The protocol means Northern Ireland is still inside the EU’s pharmaceutical regulatory system.
However, it gets most of its medicines from Great Britain, which is not.
The EU says its new proposals mean medicines entering NI from GB will not need additional labelling or testing.
Whatever it takes! EU defiant over hated Brexit deal and still won’t budge on demands
The EU remains defiant in the face of demands by Brexit minister Lord David Frost as the bloc refuses to budge over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The news comes as the UK is to change tack in negotiations over the Protocol and will push for an “interim” deal to avert any further deterioration of political stability in the region.
Lord Frost is set to propose a new approach based on a “staged solution” with a deal on customs declarations and physical checks on goods a priority to address the immediate impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.
He will also suggest a new solution for governance, softening the UK’s demand that the European Court of Justice should be eliminated from dispute resolution entirely.
In a bold move by the European Union, the bloc’s vice-president Maros Sefcovic reached out to the people of Northern Ireland on Twitter.
He said: “I promised to do whatever it takes to ensure the continued supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.”
He added: “We’re now turning this genuine commitment to the people of NI into a lasting solution.”
More from Jeffrey Donaldson
The DUP leader added: “It is shocking that in the middle of a pandemic there is uncertainty over our access to medicines because of the NI Protocol.
“Brussels should have no role in deciding Northern Ireland’s access to medications.
“This is another blatant breach of the Belfast Agreement. A foreign power should have no role in dictating to this part of the United Kingdom whether we can access medicines at the same time as the rest of the United Kingdom.
“Our constituents should be able to access the same drugs at the same time as the rest of the United Kingdom.
“We are seeking meetings with medicine suppliers to gauge the impact of this decision but given the EU still seeks to retain an element of control over medicines we expect the latest announcement by the EU to still leave significant problems for our constituents.”
Jeffrey Donaldson issues threat of NI protocol
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has issued a threat over the Northern Ireland protocol.
The DUP leader warned if Northern Ireland is not protected in the UK internal market, the Stormont Assembly may be in jeopardy.
Speaking on Friday, Sir Jeffrey said: “We are very clear, having already withdrawn our ministers from the North South Ministerial Council, in the absence of decisive action by the Government and soon, we will take the action that is necessary to bring this matter to a head. I do care about Northern Ireland being separated from the rest of the United Kingdom, it is wrong and it needs to be put right and the Government needs to act, and if they don’t then I will.
“I have tried to be patient, I have given time for these negotiations, but here we are months later and apart from these proposals on medicines we don’t have agreement on other key areas.”
He added: “Lord Frost says that rapid progress now needs to be made, but I am absolutely clear in the absence of such progress then decisive action needs to be taken by the UK Government to restore Northern Ireland’s place within the UK internal market.
“They have to get on with it and if they don’t act then I’m afraid that brings into question the stability of the political institutions and the Government will be answerable if they fail to act.”
Major Brexit change: British drivers face having to apply for new licences under plans
Brexit rules will mean British drivers face costly new measures over licences in order to drive in the European Union starting from May next year.
Drivers will be required to get new international operating licences if they want to travel back and forth to the EU from May next year, the Government has announced.
The additional red tape will come into force next year alongside a series of further checks at Dover and other ports that were delayed three times in 2021.
The new rules will apply to van drivers wishing to cross over into the European Union.
According to updates on the gov.uk website, anyone driving a van, a light commercial vehicle or any car towing a trailer will be required to have a “goods vehicle operator licence” to enter the EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland from May.
The costs are likely to infuriate small business owners and van drivers that rely on European trips to sustain their businesses.
READ MORE: /news/uk/1537789/Brexit-news-driver-licence-rules-change-european-union-vans
Euro getting weaker! EU in crisis as inflation devastates bloc
The Euro is getting weaker, but not for the reason many Europeans think.
As the euro continues to tumble and inflation soars, many Europeans have been quick to point to the energy crisis as the driving force behind the devastation.
But German publication Focus has pointed to a different, less obvious culprit.
The German finance analysts suggest it is their nation’s dependence on imports from abroad which is sending the euro crashing down, rather than rising energy prices.
While Germany battles its fourth wave of coronavirus, the inflation rate is rising unchecked.
According to data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), inflation in November was 5.2 percent.
The Christmas season, which is usually already expensive for many families, will therefore become even more expensive.
EU ‘needs £640m from UK’ in order to keep key project alive despite Article 16 threat
The EU “needs” the UK’s €750million (£640million) contribution for the bloc’s space observation programme to progress, despite Article 16 threatening Britain’s permanent exclusion.
Copernicus is the EU’s space observation programme that uses satellite data to assess the Earth’s environment and brings together a number of different stakeholders across Europe.
It is managed by the European Commission in partnership with the EU’s 27 member states.
The UK had been planning to contribute £15billion to three EU science projects, including Copernicus, Horizon Europe and Euratom.
Verhofstadt sticks oar into North Shropshire by-election
Guy Verhofstadt has blasted Boris Johnson after the Tories’ devastating defeat in the North Shropshire by-election.
Posting on Twitter, the MEP said: “Populists in government are like the dog that caught the car.
“Britain deserves better… and British voters know it!
“Congratulations to our sister party, the Liberal Democrats, for this telling victory.”
Frost issues fresh threat to EU over triggering Article 16
Lord Frost has warned the European Union that Britain remains ready to trigger Article 16 in the bitter row over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
In a statement today, the Brexit minister said: “It is disappointing that it has not been possible to reach either a comprehensive or worthwhile interim agreement this year.
“A solution needs to be found urgently early next year.
“For as long as there is no agreed solution, we remain ready to use the Article 16 safeguard mechanism if that is the only way to protect the prosperity and stability of Northern Ireland and its people.”
Outrage as study links Covid deaths and Brexit voters
A new study that has drawn a link between deaths from Covid-19 and people who voted for Brexit has attracted outrage from MPs and voters alike.
Research by Ludovic Phalippou of the University of Oxford and Betty H.T. Wu of the University of Glasgow appears to show a direct correlation between Brexit-voting districts of the UK and those that have the highest rate of fatalities from COVID-19.
According to the research, the boroughs of Boston, Great Yarmouth, South Holland, and Hartlepool, for example, have the fourth highest fatalities from the virus in the UK and the biggest share of the vote for Brexit, with all four districts voting more than 75 percent for Leave in 2016.
By contrast, the 20 boroughs with the lowest death rates all voted heavily for Remain.
Speaking to Express.co.uk about the findings, Conservative MP David Jones described the study as “a very odd exercise to do in the first place”, questioning, “why would they do this?”
UK’s entry to £5.7bn project on ‘life support’
The EU has refused to budge on the issue of post-Brexit access to the Copernicus Earth observation programme and the UK is now at risk of being locked out of the £5.7billion (€6.7billion) scheme.
Ministers were accused of kicking the can down the road earlier this month after both the UK and EU failed to resolve the issue of British “association” to the programme by November 30.
Sources indicate Whitehall is prepared to pay the hefty £640million (€750million) subscription bill, but the Government has been blocked over issues related to Northern Ireland.
Any hope of progress now appears to be stuck in limbo as senior officials within the European Space Agency (ESA) mull over even further delays.
Massive £11bn trade deal signed with Australia
A massive £11bn trade deal has been signed with Australia, marking a huge post-Brexit win for the UK.
This is the first “from scratch” post-Brexit trade deal, as other agreements recently signed by the UK have largely been rolled-over deals from the country’s previous EU membership.
Announcing the signed deal, the High Commissioner for Australia to the United Kingdom, George Brandis said it was a sign of the UK and Australia’s “unshakeable friendship”, adding that it is the “fastest and most comprehensive deal ever”.
Macron sparks French fury over new ‘ridiculous’ UK travel ban
Emmanuel Macron’s ban on UK tourists has sparked the fury of French people who described the last-minute move as “ridiculous” and “inconsistent”.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced new tough coronavirus restrictions will be enforced from Saturday, including a requirement for “compelling reasons” to travel to or from the UK.
Reacting to the news, French people lashed out against their government’s decision.
Twitter user Jerome Loreiau asked: “And for the rest of Europe? Nothing? From your political point of view it may seem coherent to you but from a health point of view it is inconsistent.
“Either you harmonise with all the countries, or nothing. Anyway, it’s useless, the virus is already there in France by the thousands.”
UK ‘literally dodged a bullet’
Defence analysis by a Brexit think tank has revealed that almost 2,000 partnerships have been established in the European Union under its new military arrangements since the programme officially started in 2017.
The research by the Brexit group looked at the projects set up under the EU’s “Permanent Structured Cooperation” (PESCO) programme for combined military development.
Exactly one month ago EU foreign affairs and defence ministers agreed the launch of 14 new projects, bringing the current tally to 60. Once these projects are complete, they will form a new superstructure of unified military capabilities between EU member states.
Under the plans of former Prime Minister Theresa May the UK would have become part of this programme, despite the UK having voted to leave the bloc in June 2016.
Speaking to Express.co.uk today, Managing Editor of Facts4EU Brian Monteith said: “The UK has literally dodged an EU bullet.”
Frost blasted as he offers ‘flexibility’ to EU demands
Lord Frost has been accused of failing to take back British control in the latest round of Brexit talks.
On Thursday the Brexit minister told the House of Lords: “The degree of pragmatism that we show in future to Irish goods coming to Great Britain will be related to the degree of pragmatism and flexibility that the EU shows in allowing goods to move freely around all parts of the UK.”
Critics suggest the idea of the UK waiting on a thumbs up from Brussels in order to move goods within its own borders is a sign Lord Frost is not doing enough to regain British sovereignty.
Scots for Leave said on Twitter: “That’s not taking back control, Lord Frost. That’s not sovereignty.”
Redwood delivers hilarious ‘Brexit elf’ Christmas story
Sir John Redwood has released his annual Christmas message, telling the funny story of an elf who goes “in search of the true Brexit”.
Published as part of an annual tradition with the influential think tank The Bruges Group, Sir John tells the tale of an elf who was “over the moon” when Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016 but since feels left down.
Santa’s little helper goes on a mission through the “dark, and largely empty, Covid-cleared corridors of Whitehall”, looking for answers as to why freedom outside the EU has not been fully seized.
New laws to ‘solve all issues’ over medicine flow between GB and NI
The EU is expected to announce new proposals allowing medicine to move freely from Brexit Britain into Northern Ireland, recent reports claim.
The new legislation is set to be announced by Maros Sefcovic, European Commission vice president, on Friday, sources confirm.
It is also believed Brexit minister Lord Frost is aware of the development and is set to deliver a statement.
Brexit Britain ‘opens new frontiers’
Brexit Britain ‘opens new frontiers’ by signing ‘landmark’ free trade deal with Australia.
London and Canberra have finalised the “landmark” free trade accord which was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison back in June.
The deal, which was signed at a virtual ceremony on Thursday night, will cut tariffs on imports of wines and even make it easier for Brits to travel Down Under for work.
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