Archive for the ‘UK news’ Category

Brexit: France says idea of Australia-style deal is ‘for the birds’

European affairs minister says extra six months may be needed to reach trade deal

France has mocked Boris Johnson’s claim that the UK can have an Australia-style deal with the EU after Brexit as “for the birds”, warning an extra six months may be needed to strike an ambitious trade deal.

Its European affairs minister told an audience in London that such a deal did not exist and it was time for both sides to realise the next phase of Brexit was “for people … not for politicians”.

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UK races to find extra 50,000 staff for post-Brexit paperwork

New recruits needed to process millions of extra declaration forms from 1 January 2021

A race to hire 50,000 people in the next six months to process Brexit paperwork is under way after the government confirmed they would be needed for border operations.

But experts have warned it will be a challenge to train enough people in time to be competent in the complexity of customs declarations and the second layer of red tape involving entry and exit declaration forms that are mandatory for trading with the EU.

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The EU will respect British sovereignty, and Britain must respect ours | Amélie de Montchalin

Access to the single market should be balanced by guarantees on fair competition. That way, we can forge an ambitious future

• Amélie de Montchalin is France’s secretary of state for European affairs

On 31 January, the sovereign and democratic choice of the British people came into force. Brexit happened; it is now behind us. What did not happen, though, to our mutual relief, is a much-dreaded “cliff-edge”, “hard Brexit”, or “no deal”. In spite of all the drama of the past months, we managed to find a compromise together.

Now that the UK has “got Brexit done” I hope that, after such political and media passion, we can go back to reason and restore enough trust in our partnership to build an ambitious relationship. Now that the United Kingdom has left the EU, it has to deal with another fully sovereign power: the European Union. Now that the political phase of Brexit is over, our citizens, our businesses deserve a more pragmatic approach.

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The Guardian view on UK-EU talks: bluster can’t conceal brutal reality | Editorial

If Brexit is any guide Boris Johnson will yield in the endgame to the EU but will be too busy taking a victory lap to spell out the concessions he has made

The synthetic outrage and indignation fabricated in government over the deal it negotiated with the European Union reveal the truth-dodging at the heart of Boris Johnson’s plans. The prime minister has less than a year to build a new relationship – encompassing security, defence and economic ties – with the bloc. Mr Johnson secured an exit that rested upon two deals. One was a withdrawal agreement that tied Northern Ireland to the EU. The other was a political declaration with guarantees for a level playing field on environmental and labour standards as well as state aid policies to avoid UK firms gaining unfair competitive advantage in EU markets.

Mr Johnson played his part in toppling his predecessor, Theresa May, because her Brexit deal was too closely aligned with the EU. He wanted to leave because it would unleash the country’s potential by giving companies in areas from food hygiene to financial services greater leeway to deregulate. If he is right then Brexit will offer the land of milk and honey to firms as relief from their wanderings in an EU red-tape desert. So why upon leaving the EU, might Mr Johnson’s supporters wonder, did the prime minister book a return ticket to its bureaucracy?

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UK to withdraw from European arrest warrant

Government document reveals plans to ditch tool that allows for fast extradition of criminals

The UK is to abandon a crucial tool used to speed up the transfer of criminals across borders with other European countries.

Acting against the warnings of senior law enforcement officials, the government said it would not be seeking to participate in the European arrest warrant (EAW) as part of the future relationship with the European Union.

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Condescension, false humility, divisiveness – welcome to Mikeyworld | John Crace

Michael Gove runs MPs through a maze of contradictions and doublespeak as he sets out stall for EU talks

Every Boris needs a Mikey. A minister who is every bit as morally bankrupt and spiritually dead as his boss. Someone untroubled by the past and whose capacity for mendacity and amnesia is almost limitless. So the prime minister is indeed fortunate to have Michael Gove as his deputy.

Not that there haven’t been a few bumps along the way. Once, back in June 2016, Gove did exhibit a hint of conscience, when he declared he couldn’t possibly support Boris Johnson’s bid to become Conservative leader as he was so clearly unfit for office. If you are being picky, you could ask what took Gove so long as he’d just spent the past few months standing next to him as he told lie after lie. But hey, every sucker deserves an even break. Better one sinner that repenteth and all that.

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Brexit: Michael Gove gives MPs details of UK’s negotiating mandate for trade talks with EU – live news

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Michael Gove publishing the government’s negotiating mandate for the post-Brexit trade talks with the EU

The SNP’s Pete Wishart accuses Gove of “unicornism”. He says the UK will not get a better deal than the one it has now.

Ian Duncan Smith, the Tory Brexiter, asks Gove to confirm that the UK will not leave itself under the control of the European court of justice when it comes to enforcing state aid rules.

Gove says that is correct.

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