Brexit news latest – Food prices could ROCKET under no deal, MPs warn as Boris blasted for laughing off no deal question

DESPITE mounting chaos across the UK transport secretary Grant Shapps has insisted Britain is 'ready' for a No Deal Brexit.

Mr Shapps said border chaos meant months-long plans were forced to come to fruition "a little earlier than anticipated".

He added: "To a large extent, it shows we are ready.”

Yet last night, hopes of a trade deal soared amid claims the EU had reduced demands for a fishing transition period from ten years to five."

With a new strain of the killer disease effectively cancelling Christmas for millions in the UK, vast swathes of Europe have closed their borders with Britain in the hope of containing the virus.

This has led to widespread fears of food shortages in shops as good struggle to enter the country.

And with a no deal Brexit now just 10 days away, Boris Johnson has come under enormous pressure to postpone the additional food, border and travel chaos a no deal Brexit would inevitably cause.

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

  • Shayma Bakht

    "TIME IS IN SHORT SUPPLY" SAYS BOJO

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman said "time is obviously in very short supply" to get a deal ratified by January 1.

    He said the UK is prepared for World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms if there is no agreement with the EU.

    He added: "We will need to ratify any agreement ahead of January 1. The Leader of the House made clear that we would recall Parliament in order to give MPs a vote on the necessary legislation."

    Asked if there could be a "stand still" agreement to maintain current arrangements until a deal is in place, the spokesman said: "We have been clear on this point that we will either leave the transition period on December 31 with a free-trade agreement or we will leave with Australia-style WTO terms. That remains the case."

  • Shayma Bakht

    FOOD PRICES COULD RISE

    Food prices may rise if the Government does not make changes to post-Brexit immigration policy, MPs have said.

    Plans to restrict UK food producers' access to workers from the rest of Europe risks undermining their competitiveness, according to the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Committee.

    British food and farming industries face "dramatic changes" when freedom of movement from the EU ends with the post-Brexit transition period on December 31, the committee's report said.

    The study noted that people from European Economic Area (EEA) countries currently account for the majority of workers in sectors of the food industry like meat processing and picking crops.

    The committee said: "The Government must be ready to make changes to its new immigration policy, or risk increased food prices."

  • Shayma Bakht

    FTSE 100 TAKES A HIT FROM BREXIT DEADLOCK

    UK's FTSE 100 dropped more today as a Brexit deadlock dents the economic outlook and a greater number of countries shut their borders to Britain over the new strain of the covid-19 virus.

    The blue-chip FTSE 100 fell 0.4% by 0805 GMT, after closing at a three-week low on Monday.

    France shut its border to arrivals of people and trucks from Britain, closing off one of the most important trade arteries with mainland Europe.

    Officials say they are working to find a resolution to the French halt, however, domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 rebounded from sharp losses in the previous session.

    On a brighter note, data shows Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 16.0% in the third quarter.

  • Ben Hill

    DEADLINE MISSED

    Another Brexit deadline was missed on Sunday night, as Nicola Sturgeon demanded an extension of the transition period to focus on the Covid crisis.

    Scotland's First Minister, the London Mayor, and a string of Tory MPs have demanded Boris Johnson cave to calls to prevent the possibility of a No Deal Brexit on New Year's Eve.

    However, No10 said that the talks would not go on beyond the end of the year – and the transition period would not be extended despite the current Covid crisis.

    UK and EU negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier both met in Brussels on Sunday, the deadline the European Parliament laid down for a deal to be signed off by for the end of December 31.

  • Ben Hill

    'NIGHTMARE BEFORE XMAS'

    Oil prices dropped further on Tuesday, adding to steep losses from the previous session.

    The fast-spreading new coronavirus strain has shut down much of Britain, and has prompted several countries to close their borders to British travellers and freight.

    "The nightmare before Christmas scenario has set in, with a combination of the 'mutant virus' compounded by Brexit angst," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi, referring to doubts over whether UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson can secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union.

    Innes said the oil market had been overbought, so the selloff was inevitable.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    WHAT IS A NO DEAL BREXIT?

    No Deal departure from the European Union means leaving without formal arrangements for the future relationship.

    Britain's trade, customs and immigration rules were tied up with the single market and a host of EU regulatory bodies.

    The UK ended up leaving the EU on January 31 with a transition period until December 31 2020.

    While we did leave with a deal – in which this transition period was agreed – there is still the possibility of ending up in a no deal scenario still.

    If there is no arrangement for our future relationship by the end of this period then Britain will have left the EU with no deal and will trade on World Trade Organisation rules.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    EUROPE VACCINE BLUNDER

    Europe risks another year of lockdowns because of blunders in the EU's vaccine buying scheme.

    Britain was slammed earlier this year for refusing to join the EU-wide scheme.

    But EU member states are now embroiled in a furious row amid fears it will take months for the vaccine to be rolled out.

    And Eurocrats are even said to have turned down 200 million extra batches of the German developed Pfizer jab to avoid slighting the French.

    Brussels has been warned it will be left with too few doses while the UK forges ahead with mass immunisation.

    Fury is rising in Berlin with growing calls for Angela Merkel to sideline the EU scheme and start a national buying programme.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    HIGHWAY ENGLAND CLOSES MOTORWAYS

    The M20 was closed tonight with hundreds of lorries stranded in Kent as France's travel ban sparked food shortage warnings.

    Boris Johnson today pleaded with Emmanuel Macron for an end to the chaos as Highways England closed the M20 due to heavy freight numbers heading towards Dover and the Eurotunnel in Folkestone.

    Lorries were stuck in huge lines on the motorway after the UK ban ordered by Mr Macron last night over the mutant Covid strain.

    Operation Brock was tonight rolled out to deal with the congestion, with the M20 closed between junctions seven and nine until 8am as a contraflow barrier was installed.

    HGVs arriving in Kent tonight will be diverted to nearby Manston Airport to park, with a contraflow system reopening the M20 in both directions tomorrow.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    BUSY WEEK AHEAD

    The Prime Minister faces an extremely busy week ahead.

    The UK is currently grappling with a mutated strain of coronavirus, alongside border issues and fishing talks.

    On top of all that, the Brexit deadline looms after Christmas.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    FISHING TALKS TURN A CORNER

  • Elizabeth Little

    M20 CLOSED AS HUNDREDS OF LORRIES LEFT STRANDED

    The M20 was closed tonight with hundreds of lorries stranded in Kent as France's travel ban sparked food shortage warnings.

    Boris Johnson today pleaded with Emmanuel Macron for an end to the chaos as Highways England closed the M20 due to heavy freight numbers heading towards Dover and the Eurotunnel in Folkestone.

    Lorries were stuck in huge lines on the motorway after the UK ban ordered by Mr Macron last night over the mutant Covid strain.

    Operation Brock was tonight rolled out to deal with the congestion, with the M20 closed between junctions seven and nine until 8am as a contraflow barrier was installed.

    People were left stranded in Dover after the sudden French border closure
  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    SHAPPS ADAMANT DEADLINE WON'T BE EXTENDED

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has remained adamant the transition period won't be extended, saying businesses knew the change was coming and had planned for it.

    He told BBC Breakfast: "I think the one thing which could actually add fuel to the fire would be ending something that everyone's known is ending for a very long time, which is the end of the transition period which completes on December 31, so absolutely not, no.

    "The important thing is that businesses continue to prepare, that individuals are prepared."

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    TOBIAS ELLWOOD: 'LET TALKS CONTINUE'

    Chair of the Commons Defence Committee Tobias Ellwood also called for the clock to be paused.

    He wrote on Twitter: "LET BREXIT TALKS CONTINUE.

    "The biggest decision in a generation. 98% agreed (exceeding Canada’s).

    "But these are far from ideal conditions to rationally determine our future prosperity & security terms.

    "If there’s no deal by NY let’s do what’s best for the UK & pause the clock."

    A spokesperson for the PM rejected calls to extend the transition, adding: "It will end on December 31. That remains our position."

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    LORRY DRAMA

    An ITV reporter has said he is "baffled" by claims made at today's press conference that there were queues of 170 lorries in Kent.

    ITV's Joel Hill reports Kent Highways said there were 500 lorries on the M20 at the time.

    He said the numbers currently stood at 945.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    SIMON HOARE ON BREXIT DEADLINE

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    NICOLA STURGEON ON BREXIT DEADLINE

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    WHAT IS A NO DEAL BREXIT?

    A No Deal departure from the European Union means leaving without formal arrangements for the future relationship.

    Britain's trade, customs and immigration rules were tied up with the single market and a host of EU regulatory bodies.

    The UK ended up leaving the EU on January 31 with a transition period until December 31 2020.

    While we did leave with a deal – in which this transition period was agreed – there is still the possibility of ending up in a no deal scenario still.

    If there is no arrangement for our future relationship by the end of this period then Britain will have left the EU with no deal and will trade on World Trade Organisation rules.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    LEADERS DEMAND NEW DEADLINE

    Scotland's First Minister, the London Mayor, and a string of Tory MPs have demanded Boris Johnson cave to calls to prevent the possibility of a No Deal Brexit on New Year's Eve.

    Ms Sturgeon said Britain faced a "profoundly serious situation" and called on the UK government to activate plans for a no deal Brexit to prevent further disruption at UK ports.

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan also joined the growing calls for more time to negotiate.

    He said in a statement "major disruption" at Kent is now "inevitable", and fighting the latest surge of Covid "requires the full and undivided efforts of ministers more than ever before."

    Joining the fray, Tory MP and Chair of the Commons' Northern Ireland affairs select Committee Simon Hoare called for the clock to be "temporarily stopped".

    Mr Hoare added: "Time for maturity".

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    BORDER ISSUES WITH FRANCE COULD BE SORTED 'WITHIN HOURS'

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    ‘WORLD TRADE TERMS ARE SATISFACTORY’

    Speaking at a coronavirus press conference tonight the PM insisted World Trade Organisation terms would be “satisfactory” for Britain. 

    He was quick to insist that Britain didn’t not want a deal, however. 

    He reiterated that whatever happens, the country will “prosper mightily”.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    ACTIVATE NO-DEAL BREXIT PLANS TO DEAL WITH FRANCE FREIGHT BAN – STURGEON

    Nicola Sturgeon has called on the UK Government to activate no-deal Brexit port disruption plans as Scottish exporters warn millions of perishable products are stuck waiting to enter France.

    France announced a ban on hauliers taking freight across the Channel on Sunday night over fears around the spread of a new, more infectious strain of coronavirus.

    French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said on Monday a protocol would be adopted at a European Union-wide level "to ensure that movement from the UK can resume".

    Scotland's First Minister welcomed this but said as it is not known exactly when it will take effect, the UK Government should take further action.

    She told the Scottish Government's coronavirus briefing: "In particular, the UK has planned for port disruption as part of a no-deal Brexit, and those plans should now be activated."

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    CONTINUED

    Sir Desmond Swayne said this morning that scientists have been looking at the new strain since September, and demanded a vote on the emergency Tier 4 which was brought in at the last moment on Saturday night.

    He told Radio 4: "How convenient when Parliament went into recess on Thursday suddenly they were then able to produce this revelation.

    "Let’s see the evidence then, let’s have Parliament back and show us and convince us. Come clean."

    He added: "I want Parliament to be recalled so we can scrutinise properly in a democracy decisions that are being made which affect our economy radically and our liberty."

    He said the Government were running scared as they weren't sure of the evidence, adding: "What’s government frightened of? Frightened of its Parliament?"

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    BACK TO WORK

    MPs demanded Boris Johnson drag them back to Parliament today as the PM faced a triple whammy of chaos over Dover, the rapidly spreading mutant coronavirus and ongoing Brexit deadlock.

    Politicians lined up to say the PM should recall them back to Westminster to deal with the ongoing crisis – and challenge the Government.

    Boris will address the nation with a press conference this evening, but there are no plans to recall Parliament at the moment.

    But he's under increasing pressure as Labour boss Sir Keir Starmer said today: "I do think there's a case to look at whether we should recall parliament."

    And backbenchers are grumbling over the latest coronavirus strain – accusing ministers of keeping them in the dark and acting strategically to force the country into another lockdown.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    DOVER CHAOS

    France will lift the lorry travel ban "within hours" after supermarkets warned of food shortages over the mutant Covid strain blockade brought in last night.

    It comes as Boris Johnson was set to meet his Cobra team this morning to address the 48-hour ban ordered by President Emmanuel Macron.

    But the French said "in the next few hours" protocol will be established "to ensure movement from the UK can resume".

    Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said: "In the coming hours, at European level, we will be putting in place a solid health protocol so that flows from the United Kingdom can resume.

    "Our priority: protect our nationals and fellow citizens.”

    Officials in Dover confirmed inbound freight is still coming into the country, despite the huge queues and disruption reported.

    It has been reported Mr Macron said today France "will most probably ask" for negative Covid tests to be shown before entering from the UK.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    RECAP – FALKED OFF

    Britain has been warned of a "Falklands War on its doorstep" as negotiations continue over what access French and other European boats should have to British fishing waters after Brexit.

    It comes after Boris Johnson last week vowed to deploy the Royal Navy to protect British waters in the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

    Fishing has been a key sticking point throughout the Brexit negotiations.

    The UK wants the quotas for British and European boats fishing in British waters to be updated in a way that would increase the British catch, but the EU has resisted the changes.

    On Monday, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the Navy would be used to intercept EU vessels and protect British boats “going about their lawful business” in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

Source: Read Full Article