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Brexit LIVE: Boris prepares to follow through on no deal threat – Operation Brock released

BORIS JOHNSON is ready to follow through with his no deal Brexit threat following the commencement of Operation Block this week.

PUBLISHED: 08:12, Wed, Aug 5, 2020 | UPDATED: 00:25, Thu, Aug 6, 2020

The Government released documents designed to ease disruption at border ports in the event of a no deal Brexit. The Department of Transport has launched Operation block to assess the possible disruption at Dover and through the Channel Tunnel. The document, which was published on Monday will consult on of staturory instruments which will be presented i nthe autumn. Britain’s first post-Brexit is in sight as UK and Japanese officials have agreed major concessions paving the way for an agreement to soon be signed. The two sides have been locked in negotiations since last month and are now expected to agree a deal which will outstrip parts of the Japan-EU agreement. Although Japan and the UK missed the deadline last month set by chief negotiator, Hiroshi Matsuura, a deal is now in sight after Tokyo agreed to slash import taxes on UK goods. 


International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss is expected to meet with her counterpart today in London to discuss the deal. It is understood Japan has agreed to reduce import taxes on UK bacon to seal a deal.

While Japan will agree to reduce tariffs on pork imports within 12 years in its EU agreement, those tariffs could be dropped quicker than 12 years if a deal is agreed and ratified before January 1.

The two will also agree wider protections for Kobe beef and Scotch exports, better than what was included in the EU-Japan deal. 

Japanese officials have also indicated tariffs on automobiles and automobile parts could be removed. 

Trade minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said previously: “In the negotiations, we hope to urge Britain to bring forward the period for which tariffs will be removed mainly for autos and auto parts.”

According to The Sun, the future deal will also wipe out tariffs on British luxury leather goods while Japanese electric and car parts will be reduced in price. 


In light of this deal, the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier has indicated Brussels is willing to drop demands on state aid requirements. 

Brexit Live: UK set to agree deal with Japan

Brexit Live: UK set to agree deal with Japan (Image: GETTY)

Mr Barnier has attempted to tie the UK into EU rules and regulations.

Telling European diplomats, he indicated this demand could now be dropped to be replaced by an independent dispute-settling mechanism. 

One diplomat said: “There must be a solid framework with independent oversight.

“If they agree to settle on broad rules for granting state aid and to have this independent institution, then we have a deal.”

Plans for a Free Trade Port in Scotland are due to be discussed in an event this month, which officials say could boost industry post-Brexit.

The Free Trade Zone, also called a freeport, will technically be outside of the UK’s customs territory, meaning any goods that arrive there won’t immediately be subject to tariffs until they enter the economy, Daily Business Group reports.

It is proposed that the port will be built in the Cromarty Firth, Scotland, as part of plans to build ten such zones in other parts of the UK.

More details are due to be outlined on August 20.

Bob Buskie, chief executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth, said the Free Trade Zone would “make Cromarty Firth and the Highlands a vital hub of industry.”

Edward Browne takes over live reporting from Paul Withers

9.16pm update: Brexit boom set to ‘rekindle’ Scotland’s key sectors despite SNP doom-laden warnings

Brexit is expected to help kickstart some of Scotland’s ignored manufacturing sectors, including fishing, farming and oil and gas, according to an MSP who dismantled the SNP’s Remain argument.

Scotland will not suffer from Brexit because the country has a “huge amount of goodwill” to it globally, according to Tory MSP Miles Briggs.

He spoke to Express.co.uk about why leaving the European Union was actually going to “rekindle” some of Scotland’s key sectors, despite the SNP’s intense opposition.

The nationalist party have claimed that the reality of Brexit is pushing Scottish people to support independence.

Mr Briggs said: “There’s obviously key industries like fishing and farming that will benefit.

“The oil and gas sector specifically could be looking at different deals in the future around decommissioning as well.

“Norway has done all the running on decommissioning work.

“So the north east of Scotland, which is a key part of our oil and gas sector, should and can really actually have a stronger future.”

7.28pm update: Ireland on brink – Dublin faces ‘pivotal moment’ as no deal Brexit an ‘existential’ threat

Ireland is facing up to a harsh post-Brexit reality, and may not be able to withstand the economic shock if the EU and UK fail to agree a trade deal by the end of the year, a former diplomat has warned.

Ray Bassett said reality was finally beginning to dawn on the Irish Government as to the damage such an outcome could inflict.

Mr Bassett, Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, was speaking after Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister, was handed a grim warning in official briefing papers prepared by his department this month.

Specifically, the report warned: “The Department of Finance is currently updating its assessment of Brexit/COVID impacts.”

6.28pm update: Brexit fishing bonanza – Why Britain should not fear WTO trade tariffs

Britain should not fear the trade tariffs that could be introduced after a no deal Brexit, as they may not prove to be a disaster, the head of the Scottish fishing industry predicted.

After the fifth round of trade talks last month, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said a deal with the UK by the end of the year appears “unlikely”.

He complained Britain was demanding “near total exclusion” of European fishing boats from its waters.

While there have been signs of compromise in some key issues, such as the need for a single deal rather than multiple sectoral agreements, Brussels still insists on maintaining its current fishing rights in British waters and wants London to agree to a number of EU regulations, including environmental standards, workers’ rights and state aid rules.

While many believe trading on WTO terms with the bloc could bring disruption, the head of the Scottish fishing industry claimed Britain should not be “frightened to death” by the trade tariffs that could be introduced under a no deal.

brexit michel barnier

Brexit news: Michel Barnier has attempted to tie the UK into EU rules and regulations (Image: GETTY)

5pm update: German economist warns no deal LIKELY as UK’s ‘appreciation for EU low’

A leding German economist has warned a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the European Union is now unlikely because of the stalemate on financial services, claiming Britain’s “appreciation” of Brussels “remains low”.

post-Brexit trade talks have hit a stalemate, with UK and EU negotiators blaming each other for the lack of progress being made and the stubborn stances taken by each on several crucial red lines.

One of the most prominent sticking points in trade talks is financial services, with the UK demanding businesses in the City of London have access to EU markets after Brexit – something Brussels is refusing to give ground on.

Dorothea Schäfer, research director of financial markets at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), believes the continued impasse means a no deal outcome is most likely, and has pointed the finger of blame at UK negotiators.

When asked by German news website taz.de if it is still possible to agree a post-Brexit trade deal, she replied: “I don’t expect it.

“The British Government is still very much focused on the needs of Central England, i.e. England without the financial centre of London.

“The appreciation for the EU remains low.”

brexit uk eu financial services

Brxit news: The UK is wants the City of London to have access to EU financial markets (Image: GETTY)

4.23pm update: UK to regain ‘former greatness’ after ‘giving up’ fleet to join Europe

The UK is set to regain its “former greatness” following the completion of the post-Brexit transition period according to a British fisherman.

Paul Lines told Express.co.uk that during his 45 years as a fisherman he has only seen the demise of the British sector.

However, he stated following Brexit, the UK can return to its former glory and replace their European competition as the dominant force in the industry.

Mr Lines said: “Britain stands to regain some of its former greatness.

“I have been in fishing for 45 years and all I have ever seen is the demise of fishing, I have seen half of our fleet cut up.

“I have seen days where the sea comes in and restricts what you do.

“I have seen quotas fall to the point where we have got one vessel left.

“What we have got left we struggle to get a living from.”

3.26pm update: Boris Johnson warned conceding to EU would be ‘catastrophic weakness of leadership’

The Prime Minister has been warned he would be guilty of a “catastrophic weakness of leadership” if the UK caves into demands from the European Union in post-Brexit trade deal negotiations, leading to support for his Government plummeting among UK voters.

Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Bow Group think tank, told Express.co.uk: “If we concede and agree to the EU’s demands and a deal that is even weaker than the one Boris proposed it shows a catastrophic weakness of leadership, and will see the support for this government plummet even below the levels seen under May’s Premiership.

“Some blame can perhaps fall on the impact of the pandemic, but things look no better now in terms of an acceptable deal being reached than they did under May.

“The truth of the matter is, despite huge fanfare Boris’ proposed deal barely differed at all from May’s.

“He managed to successfully spin that it would lead to a much better outcome for Brexiteers, but now the crunch is coming it seems apparent it won’t.

“The only option to achieve the Brexit people voted for remains a no deal settlement, but ideally a managed one.”

brexit boris johnson

Brexit news: Boris Johnson has been warned over caving into the EU’s demands in trade talks (Image: GETTY)

3.14pm update: Scottish Tory appointment of new leader attacked by opposition

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “Just months ago, the Scottish Tories were maintaining the pretence that they were something different from the extremist no-deal Brexiteers of the Boris Johnson camp.

“Today the instalment of Douglas Ross as their part-time, absentee leader without even asking their members confirms that there isn’t a hint of difference between them.

“It’s also clear that the Prime Minister thinks the entire Holyrood group is useless, having overlooked the lot of them to appoint a backbench MP as leader.

“Combined with the stand-in role of Ruth Davidson, who is only marking time at Holyrood till she gets her ermine and her unelected job for life, it’s all symbolic of Boris Johnson’s contempt for Scotland and our Parliament, and even for their own members.

“It’s not just internal democracy the Tory leadership have disdain for. They are clearly intent on pressing ahead with the power grab against Scotland, with new legislation planned to give themselves a veto over any decisions that don’t fit their failed free market ideology.

“If Mr Ross wants to earn a shred of credibility, his first act as leader should be to insist that plan is scrapped. But I won’t be holding my breath.”

3pm update: SNP deputy says Scottish Tories have have installed ‘Brexit-backing MP to act as puppet for Downing Street’

SNP depute leader Keith Brown MSP said: “Douglas Ross is Boris Johnson’s man in Scotland. Westminster has launched a total takeover of the Scottish Tories and installed a Brexit-backing MP to act as a puppet for Downing Street.

“As his Westminster voting record proves, Mr Ross couldn’t be more out of touch with Scotland. His offensive comments on gypsy-travellers were appalling and he has rubber-stamped every damaging decision on an extreme Brexit, a power grab on the Scottish Parliament and deep austerity cuts to public services – despite the harm to our communities.

“With the threat of Brexit growing, senior Tory MSPs and advisers jumping ship, and Baroness Davidson preparing to join the House of Lords, it is clear the Tories are the same old party with nothing to offer except selling Scotland out.

“Whatever else we’ve learned in this whole grubby coup, and whatever their bluster, senior Tories are now effectively conceding publicly what they have been saying privately for some time – they know there is going to be an independence referendum. Otherwise why bother changing leaders?”

Brexit timeline

Brexit timeline (Image: Express)

Paul Withers taking over live reporting from Bill McLoughlin.

2.27pm update: Government begins no deal preparations 

The Department of Transport has launched its so called, Operation Block designed to implement certain instruments to protect British ports. 

Although the Government is still pursuing a deal, the document is seeking to “underpinning the enforcement of contingency plans for the management of traffic disruption in Kent”.

It states: “Our underlying objective in all this work will be to enable trade in goods to continue to flow smoothly between the UK and the EU.

“But this will be an important moment of change, and there is at least initially a risk of some additional friction at the border – notably if goods arrive without having completed the necessary customs and other processes.”

12.52pm update: EU poll 

Today, Express.co.uk is asking readers, ‘As anti-Brussels campaigns are launched across Europe, who will leave next?’

Visit here to vote in today’s poll. 

11.18am update: UK citizens emigrating to EU has risen by 30 percent

The number of British nationals emigrating to other EU countries has risen by 30 percent since the Brexit referendum. 

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Eurostat shows migration from Britain to EU stated the number had risen to 73,642 a year between 2016-2018 up from 56,832 between 2008 to 2015. 

Brexit Live: Mr Barnier has indicated a concession could be made on state aid

Brexit Live: Mr Barnier has indicated a concession could be made on state aid (Image: PA)

10.30am update: Britain to overtake EU in major breakthrough 

The UK is set to overtake the EU on energy efficiency and carbon emissions after Brexit with a bevy of new measures.

The Government has been discussing how to set ambitious new climate friendly standards for electrical appliances with businesses.

Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng suggested that these new measures would give long term savings back to the British public, as well as tackle climate change.

Mr Kwarteng added: “After we exit the transition period, we will be able to go even further and faster than the EU to set energy efficiency rules on new appliances.

“Improving energy efficiency standards of the fridges, ovens and washing machines we all rely on will help save consumers money on their energy bills, while helping us meet our zero emissions target by 2050.”

9.52am update: European firms make plea for help over fears Boris Johnson will rip up red tape

European asset managers have warned the Prime Minister’s move away from EU rules could put them at a disadvantage. 

The European Fund and Asset Management Association has urged the European Commission to relax its controversial performance forecast regulations or risk their sector being left behind by the UK after Brexit.

The leading trade group wants Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation, which requires firms to publish key documents to would-be investors, should be renounced until a full policy review can be carried out.

In a letter to the Commission, Efama has urged eurocrats to fix the flaws to “avoid further confusion among investors and preserve the worldwide eruption of the Ucits framework”. 


9.01am update: UK must agree comprimise on state aid 

The Daily Telegraph’s, Jeremy Warner has called on UK officials to agree a compromise on the issue of state aid. 

State aid has remained one of the key areas of divergence as it dictates the assistance given to organisations by respective governments. 

The EU fears the UK could undercut the bloc by offering preferential aid to companies thus enticing them to Britain. 

In contrast, UK officials fear being tied to Eu regulations and rules. 

Warner wrote: “Understandably, ministers don’t want to tie their hands; the EU system is far too rigid, legalistic and open to manipulation by member states.

“We don’t want to end up agreeing a tougher regime than the EU itself practices.

“But regardless of the EU, commerce obviously does need some sort of a level playing field guarantee that it can be confident will be free of political interference.

“Is the Government really prepared to go to the barricades in defence of the right to do things that previous Tory administrations would have regarded as fundamentally unsound?”

EU-UK negotiations

EU-UK negotiations (Image: Express)

8.41am update: EU rejects calls for new withdrawal agreement

Former Tory leader, Iain Duncan Smith had warned of the UK will be liable for £160billion of unpaid loans due to the withdrawal agreement. 

Due to the payments made by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Financial Stability Mechanism, the divorce payment could go far beyond the £39billion previously expected. 

However, EU Commsion spokesman, Eric Mamer has insisted the agreement will not be reworked. 

He said: “I think it’s very clear that we are not going to get into a debate with British politicians on liabilities or any other of the provisions of the withdrawal agreement.

“The withdrawal agreement is there, it is now a firm document that has been accepted by both parties and it is the basis on which both sides are acting.

“In this document it is clear that the UK has taken a certain number of completely normal legal commitments when it comes to its share of liabilities related to loans that would have been given by the EIB whilst the UK was still a member of the European Union.”

7.34am update: UK-Japan deal in sight 

A deal with Japan is now in sight after Tokyo agreed to drop import taxes on British pork and reduced prices for electrical and car manufacturing goods. 

International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss will meet with her counterpart today to thrash out an agreement. 

According to The Sun, she will hold talks minister Toshimitsu Motegi, while it is also understood British luxury leather will now no longer be taxed upon entering Japan. 

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