Brexit LIVE: Boris to offer EU fishermen PAYOUTS in desperate bid for deal – staggering!
BORIS JOHNSON and the EU’s Ursula von der Leyen have set Sunday as the new deadline to reach a “firm decision” on a future Brexit trade deal and the Prime Minister is said to considering a compromise that will likely infuriate Brexiteers.
Brexit: No deal ‘more beneficial’ claims Calvin Robinson
Huge sticking points on fishing, state aid and governance still remain with the Ms von der Leyen concluding earlier this week the UK and EU were still “far apart” on those issues. French President Emmanuel Macron has retained his hardline stance on fishing in a move which threatens to scupper a trade deal between the EU and the UK.
Mr Macron insists he does not want France to have its “cake and eat it” but he is also not going to give up “his share of cake” – which he believes is giving EU fishermen the same rights in UK waters as they had when Britain was part of the bloc.
In a bid to break the deadlock and meet his and the European Commission president’s Sunday deadline Mr Johnson is said to considering options to entice Mr Macron to accept the UK’s proposals.
Government sources have signalled to the Daily Telegraph financial support could be offered to EU fishermen by Mr Johnson in a bid to secure a deal in the final days of talks.
It comes after reports last month suggested fishing quotas could be delayed until a later date, permitting EU fishermen to continue operating in UK fishing waters from January 1, 2021 as part of a transition period for fisheries.
With less than 48 hours to the Sunday deadline, contingency plans have been escalated on both sides as a no deal Brexit has become increasingly likely with the transition period due to end on December 31.
Brexit latest: 48 hours until Boris and VDL deadline – Prime Minister says no deal ‘wonderful’
Despite this Mr Johnson has remained confident the UK with thrive with or without a deal, although he has stressed the former is more preferable.
The Prime Minister argued while leaving the transition period without a deal was not what he had “set out to achieve” it would allow the UK to “do exactly what we want from January”.
He told The Times: “Unfortunately there are two key things where we just can’t seem to make progress.”
“I’ve got to tell you that from where I stand now it is looking very, very likely that we will have to go for a solution that I think would be wonderful for the UK, and we’d be able to do exactly what we want from January.”
Boris Johnson and the EU are racing agains the clock to secure a trade deal before December 31
Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen has set a deadline of Sunday to reach a ‘firm decision’
The European Commission president also told EU leaders yesterday morning a no deal Brexit was more now probable.
Ms von der Leyen said: “I will not give percentage odds but there is higher probability for no deal than a deal.”
She has also made “repeatedly made clear” to Mr Johnson “the principle of fair competition” which would requiring the UK to remain tied to EU equivalent trading standards was a deal-breaker for the Brussels side.
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Admiral Lord West, a former chief of naval staff, said he agreed the Royal Navy should protect UK waters from foreign fishing vessels if asked to do so in a no deal Brexit scenario.
Lord West told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is absolutely appropriate that the Royal Navy should protect our waters if the position is that we are a sovereign state and our Government has said we don’t want other nations there.
“There are complications in that you can push vessels aside, you can cut their fishing tackle but boarding these foreign ships, they’ll need to pass probably a little thing through Parliament to give authority to board and get on them.
“There is no doubt if you are a fisherman who has fished for years there – they are, as our fishermen are, quite stormy people – and you get a bit of a punch-up and you might need some Marines and things.”
1pm update: Senior Tories react angrily to Boris Johnson’s handling of the Brexit talks and threat to deploy Royal Navy gunboats
Tobias Ellwood, Conservative chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, called the threat “irresponsible” while former European commissioner Lord Patten accused the Prime Minister of behaving like an “English nationalist”.
Former defence minister Mr Ellwood told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think these headlines are absolutely irresponsible.
“We need to be focusing on what is already in the bag – 98% of the deal is there, there are three or four outstanding issues.
“Important though they are, let’s park those for the future. Let’s get this deal because economically, but most importantly, international reputationally this would be so damaging to Britain – it would be a retrograde step, a failure of statecraft.”
Lord Patten said: “While I hope for the best, I do fear for the worst because it is very, very difficult to see what the plan is, how we’re going to do so brilliantly when we’re out of this ‘cage’ of Europe – which we of course helped to build because the main constructor of the single market was Margaret Thatcher.”
Fishing rights in UK waters has been a major sticking in trade talks with the EU
More candidates from the rest of the world are now applying for jobs in the UK than those from the EU, according to new research.
One expert said the data was an eloquent illustration of the nation’s appeal as a workplace with Brexit looming.
During the last year, the share of clicks on UK vacancies by candidates based outside the EU increased by 19.7 percent according to research by job site Indeed.
Jack Kennedy, economist at the global job site, said: “Now – for the first time in seven years – the average UK role is attracting more interest from outside the EU than from Europe.”
Sir Keir criticised the Prime Minister for attempting to “dress up” no deal as an Australian-style arrangement
But his comments prompted a swift backlash on social media.
One critic said: “I don’t think delivering what the country voted for can be described as a failure to be honest.”
Another said: “We voted to leave! The ballot paper did not say leave with a deal or leave without a deal.
“It was Leave the EU or Remain in the EU.”
Mr Bonnell claimed the UK was trying to take “ take advantage of the common market in Europe” in Brexit trade talks.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Bonnell said: “Europe is a common project if people want to leave Europe fair enough.
“But they can’t both be advantageous on one side being free to decide on their own future and take advantage of the common market in Europe.
“It’s not a question of Europe willing to make it as hard as possible.
“It’s a question on the logic of Europe and logic of a single country out of Europe.”
Lord Digby Jones told talkRADIO there is “a degree of wanting to punish us” and “envy” among EU states.
He told radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer: “Boris told his cabinet colleagues that the EU want to punish Britain. He is absolutely right.
“I’ve talked to people in Europe about this, there is a degree of wanting to punish us, there is a degree of envy that they can’t believe that Britain is standing up to them.”
8am update: Tory MP demands assurance from Boris Johnson
Reacting to the news the Royal Navy could intervene in a no deal Brexit, Daniel Kawczynski has urged the Prime Minister to give an “absolute guarantee” they will be deployed should talks fall through on Sunday.
Mr Kawczynski tweeted: “In the event of no deal with EU on Sunday we must receive absolute guarantee from Boris Johnson that British naval forces will be deployed from January 1st to prevent illegal French fishing in our waters.”
7.30am update: Former Australian prime minister tells Boris Johnson “be careful what you wish for” with EU trade deal
Malcolm Turnbull, who was Australian prime minister between 2015 and 2018, warned Boris Johnson there was no trade deal between his country and the EU which meant “large barriers”.
Speaking on BBC Question Time, Mr Turnbull said: “Australia has a deal with the EU on WTO terms and there are really some very large barriers to Australian trade with Europe, which we are seeking to address as we negotiate a free trade agreement with Europe
“But Australians would not regard our trade relationship with Europe as being a satisfactory one.
“There are very big barriers to Australian exports of agriculture products in particular and a lot of friction in the system in terms of services.”
Brexit latest: Countdown is on as the Brexit transition period ends on December 31
7am update: A no deal Brexit could cost Scotland’s food and drink industry £2billion, an industry leader has warned.
James Withers, the chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink, said the ongoing uncertainty over the UK’s future relationship with the EU means some businesses are already stopping selling products there.
Coronavirus has also caused “huge losses for businesses who are way more fragile going into 2021 than they otherwise would have been”, he said.
He warned Boris Johnson walk away without a deal on top of that could push some firms out of business.
Scotland normally exports about £1.2billion worth of food to the EU every year, he said, adding having to resort to World Trade Organisation terms will be a “living nightmare for a lot of food and drink businesses”.
Mr Withers said: “The impact of tariffs could effectively end most of our red meat exports to Europe.
“Scotch lamb would face tariffs of between 40 percent and 50 percent, beef over 80 percent.”
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