Brexit news latest – Food shopping will cost MORE in event of no deal Brexit with £3.1 billion added to cost of imports

FOOD SHOPPING is likely to cost more in the event of a no deal Brexit, the British Retail Consortium has warned.

No deal tariffs will add around £3.1 billion a year to the cost of importing food – a fee that will almost certainly be passed on to shoppers.

"If there is no deal before Christmas, the increase in tariffs will leave retailers with nowhere to go other than to raise the price of food," the BRC warned.

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  • 'AVOIDING FOOD TARIFFS IS GOOD FOR BOTH SIDES'

    Steering clear of an increase in food prices in supermarkets would be “beneficial to both sides”, according to the government.

    The British Retail Consortium has said a no-deal Brexit would lead to Brits paying more for food and drink.

    But a government spokeswoman said: “Negotiations are ongoing and discussions will be continuing at the next formal round in Brussels next week.”

    “The UK is a significant importer of food and other goods, and avoiding tariffs should be beneficial to both sides, particularly given our shared commitment to high regulatory standards.”

  • NO-DEAL BREXIT 'WOULD PUSH UP SUPERMARKET PRICES'

    A no-deal Brexit would lead to an increase in the prices Brits pay for food at supermarkets, the British Retail Consortium has said.

    The group said that additional tariffs would push up the annual cost of importing food and drink by £3.1billion.

    The UK is set to leave the European Union without a deal at the end of this year unless the government can negotiate a free trade agreement.

    “If there is no deal before Christmas, the increase in tariffs will leave retailers with nowhere to go other than to raise the price of food,” the BRC said.

  • NO FERRY FIRM BUST

    THE ferry firm handed a multi million-pound contract from the Government despite having no ships has gone bust.

    Seaborne Freight went into liquidation earlier this month, owing nearly £2million.

    It was given £13.8million by former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in 2018 to provide extra capacity in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

    The contract with the Kent-based company was terminated last year.

    Labour's Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMahon said: “The disastrous legacy of Chris Grayling lives on.”

  • GOVE BLASTS STARMER

    MICHAEL GOVE has blasted Sir Keir Starmer over Brexit after he said he could could back Nicola Sturgeon's bid to hold another divisive Scottish independence vote.

    Cabinet Minister Mr Gove said: “Sir Keir Starmer has a problem accepting referendum results.

    “He tried to block Brexit, and now he wants to work with Nicola Sturgeon to renege on the Scottish referendum result.”

  • SUPERMARKET BILLS TO SOAR

    SHOPPERS will pay more after a no-deal Brexit, the British Retail Consortium has warned.

    Supermarket bills would soar if the UK leaves without a deal, The BRC claims.

    Tariffs would add £3.1bn a year for Britain to import food and drink without a free trade agreement.

    The BRC said:“If there is no deal before Christmas, the increase in tariffs will leave retailers with nowhere to go other than to raise the price of food.”

  • FUR SALES COULD BE BANNED POST BREXIT

    The sale of fur could be banned after the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union under plans drawn up by ministers.

    Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is behind the plans.

    He is a close friend of Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds – who is an animal rights campaigner.

    Last year, a furious Ms Symonds branded anyone who wished to buy fur as “really sick” and that clothes brands were “nuts” to sell it.

  • TENS OF THOUSANDS OF EXPATS AT RISK OF LOSING BANKING FACILITIES

    Tens of thousands of UK expats are at risk of losing banking facilities when the Brexit transition comes to an end in December.

    Financial experts say EU rules will force UK banks to cancel accounts and credit cards of any expat who does not have a UK address.

    The rules, known as 'passporting', means free movement of services UK banks have been benefitting while the country was a part of the European Economic Area, will end on New Years Eve this year.

    Thismeans thousands of people will be without access to banking facilities.

  • WHAT IS RISHI SUNAK'S SUPPORT JOB SCHEME?

    • To be eligible, employees must be working at least a third of their contracted hours and be paid for those hours in full by their employer.
    • For the two thirds of the other hours not worked, the Government will pay a third – so 22 per cent of their overall wages.
    • The employer will have to pay the other third of it. It means with the third they are already paying, they will have to fork out 55 per cent of the total wages.
    • The scheme will start on November 1 – the day after the other furlough scheme ends.
    • It's open to all small and medium sized businesses, even if they didn't use the furlough scheme beforehand.
    • The Job Support Scheme will only help those on the PAYE pay roll. Self-employed workers have been given more time to pay their tax bill and extra grant help.
    • It's likely that employees won't have to apply – and the employers will do the work for them.
    • Employers were previously able to claim back the wages from the HMRC portal

    GOVERNMENT 'FAILING' TRANSGENDER PEOPLE

    The government has been accused of “failing” transgender people after scrapping plans to make it easier for a person to officially change gender without a medical diagnosis.

    Women and equalities minister Liz Truss said the Gender Recognition Act in England and Wales will not be changed as it provides “proper checks and balances” while supporting people who want to change their legal gender.

    “It is the government's view that the balance struck in this legislation is correct, in that there are proper checks and balances in the system and also support for people who want to change their legal sex,” Ms Truss told MPs.

    WHAT IS THE JOB SUPPORT SCHEME?

    The Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme – or furlough scheme – will be replaced by the Job Support Scheme.

    The Chancellor confirmed that furlough will end on October 31 and will not be extended.

    The Job Support Scheme will help businesses keep staff employed throughout the winter months when demand may drop if coronavirus restrictions are tightened.

    Employees must work at least a third of their normal hours, and the government and the employer will top up their wages.

    KHAN CALLS FOR TRANSITION EXTENSION

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for the government to seek an extension to the Brexit transition period set to end on December 31 this year.

    He wrote on Twitter : “Today marks 100 days until the end of the Brexit transition period, but negotiations have stalled — raising fears we could be heading for a no-deal Brexit.

    “This would be disastrous for Londoners and businesses. The Government must act now and extend the transition period.”

    BRAVERMAN SLAMMED FOR CALLING FEMALE MP 'EMOTIONAL'

    The attorney general, Suella Braverman has been slammed for calling a fellow female MP “emotional” after she questioned her support for the governmet to break international law.

    Ellie Reeves, Labour MP for Lewisham West and Penge had challenged the government's bid to “disapply” some of the Brexit withdrawal agreement through the internal market bill.

    Reeves said to Braverman that she knew “full well the role of government law officers” was to “uphold the rule of the law, without fear or favour” and that she betrayed this duty by advising the government the bill would not be a breach of the ministerial code.

    Braverman hit back immediately, telling Reeves: “I prefer to take a less emotional approach than the honourable lady.”

    WHAT IS THE TRANSITION PERIOD?

    The transition period is an 11-month phase which started immediately after Brexit day.

    During transition the UK still follows EU rules and trade between the two is the same as before. The UK also continues to pay into the EU budget.

    By keeping most things the same, the idea behind the transition period was to give both sides breathing space to negotiate their future relationship.

    The transition period ends on 31 December 2020 and the deadline for extending it has now passed.

    UK CAR PRODUCTION CONTINUES TO FALL

    Car production has continued to fall as the industry is hit by the virus crisis, new figures show.

    Just over 51,000 vehicles rolled off factory lines in August, down by 44% on the same month last year, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

    Efforts to ramp up production have stalled because of the ongoing pandemic, with weak demand in overseas markets compounded by a significant fall in output for UK buyers, said the trade body.

    The slump is highlighted by an unusually strong August in 2019, when some car plants worked through the customary summer maintenance shutdown period to mitigate the then possible no-deal Brexit in March.

    Production for UK buyers fell by 58% in the month to just 7,795 units, while exports declined by 41% with 73,443 vehicles produced.

    WELSH GOVERNMENT WELCOMES JOB SUPPORT

    The Welsh government welcomed the chancellor’s job support scheme but says it falls short on much needed training investment and measures to help job creation.

    Finance minister Rebecca Evans spoke out about her disappointment over the lack of support for some of Wale's hardest hit sectors.

    She said: “After pressing for further wage subsidy support, I welcome the job support scheme but I am concerned that it is not coupled with new training investment that will be essential to protecting livelihoods in the long term.

    “Whilst the eleventh hour measures announced by the chancellor today prevents the worst consequences of a furlough cliff edge, more needs to be done to help unemployed workers find new jobs and incentivise employers to hire new workers.

    “For some workers this announcement is simply too late.

    RISHI HITS BACK AT EAT OUT TO HELP OUT ACCUSATIONS

    Rishi Sunak has rejected accusations his bumper Eat Out to Help Out scheme caused a spike in coronavirus infections.

    The Chancellor faced criticism today as he unveiled a new package of economic measures to help keep people in work as restrictions caused “fear and anxiety” for many businesses.

    In a Downing Street briefing, Mr Sunak said it “too simplistic” to claim the discount meal deal, which gave Brits 50 per cent of their meal off, up to £10 per person, on Monday to Wednesdays in August.

    The Exchequer picked up part of the bill for roughly 100 million meals.

    When asked about whether the discount had caused a spike in cases as people packed into restaurants, Mr Sunak said: “In terms of the spread of the virus, if you see what's happening in our country, we are following similar paths to others in Europe.

    NORTHERN IRELAND PROTOCOL MUST BE IMPLEMENTED

    The Northern Ireland Protocol must be implemented in full to give the region's businesses the certainty they crave, Simon Coveney has said.

    Ireland's minister for foreign affairs stressed the importance of operating the protocol in “good faith” as he met the leaders of Stormont's four main pro-EU parties.

    Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O'Neill, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, Alliance leader Naomi Long and Green Party NI leader Clare Bailey held talks with Mr Coveney in Dublin.

    The meeting came amid the UK Government's controversial bid to override elements of the Northern Ireland Protocol through domestic legislation at Westminster.

    The Internal Market Bill runs contrary to elements of the protocol around the application of EU state aid rules in Northern Ireland, and on the requirement for exit summary declarations for goods moving from the region to Great Britain.

    WINTER SPIKE IN COVID CASES COULD WORSEN PORT DISRUPTION

    Any winter spike in coronavirus cases could worsen disruption at the UK's ports after Brexit, a government documents warns.

    The Cabinet Office document, seen by the BBC, lays out what it refers to as a 'worst-case scenario' for the end of the current transition period at the end of this year.

    Concerns have been raised about the delays and friction that could be seen at ports in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    The document reportedly says that disruption could be worsened by the absences of port and border staff that could be caused by a spike in coronavirus cases once colder weather sets in.

    VULNERABLE KIDS COULD LOSE RIGHT TO STAY

    Children in care and modern slavery victims who are EU citizens could “fall through the cracks” and lose their right to live in the UK after Brexit, it's been claimed.

    EU citizens and their families are asked to apply to the Home Office's EU Settlement Scheme by June next year in order to carry on living and working in the UK when the transition period with the European Union ends after Brexit.

    According to provisional Home Office figures to the end of August, more than 3.9 million applications have been received.

    But a report from the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said many might not know about the scheme.

    SWITZERLAND TO VOTE ON FREE MOVEMENT

    Voters in Switzerland are preparing to decide whether the country should end its free movement agreement with the European Union.

    Switzerland is not a member state of the EU, but has many agreements in place that replicate certain aspects of membership, including free movement.

    The question of whether to end the current agreement will be put to the population in a referendum on Sunday.

    Polls suggest the attempted change won't go ahead, with only 35 percent of people currently supporting it and 63 percent opposing it.

    WHAT DOES NO DEAL MEAN FOR YOU?

    The Government has launched a new “Check, Change, Go” slogan to encourage the public to prepare for the end of the transition period in January 2021.

    A questionnaire on the gov.uk website allows you to answer a few questions in order to get personalised advice on what you should do to prepare for the looming deadline.

    Businesses are encouraged to start “preparing for a new approach to trade with our partners in the European Union.”

    It added: “For individuals this may include registering your residency rights.”

    BORDER 'FRICTION'

    Serious border friction and supply chain disruption are inevitable as trade barriers torn down four decades ago go back up, a veteran diplomat has said.

    Lord Kerr of Kinlochard made his comments as he branded as “absurd” controversial plans to put up a “ring fence” round Kent in a bid to avoid post-Brexit lorry gridlock at Dover.

    Meanwhile, Labour in the Lords likened the need for hauliers to obtain special permits to enter the county as the modern-day equivalent of the Ealing comedy Passport To Pimlico.

    Cabinet minister Michael Gove had said the documentation could help avoid queues of up to 7,000 lorries seeking to cross the English Channel after the UK leaves the single market and customs union at the end of the year.

    BUSINESS IN THE DARK ABOUT NEW RULES

    Business leaders have said many companies are still in the dark about post-Brexit rules.

    With fewer than 100 days until the end of the Brexit transition period, the British Chambers of Commerce called for greater engagement by government.

    The BCC said its research suggested that firms do not know what rules of origin will apply after the transition period, preventing them and their customers from planning and potentially creating “unprecedented” new administration and costs.

    It added there was no clarity on how food and drink due to be sold in the EU and Northern Ireland is to be labelled and limited guidance on the movement of goods from Britain to Northern Ireland.

    CITIZENSHIP FOR SALE

    The number of Brit entrepreneurs looking to “buy” citizenship from countries offering visa-free access to the EU has risen sharply, investment migration firms say.

    The news comes as prospects of a post-Brexit trade deal between Britain and the bloc darken.

    Investment immigration firm Astons said it had seen a 50 per cent and 30 per cent year-on-year increase in interest from clients seeking Cypriot or Greek citizenship respectively this quarter.

    Henley & Partners also reported a rise in requests for advice on investment migration applications to Malta, Portugal, Austria and several Caribbean islands.

    Citizens of certain Caribbean sovereign states including St. Lucia and St Kitts & Nevis also enjoy preferred access to the EU, thanks to close ties with EU members as a result of historic, diplomatic and modern trade agreements.

    IRELAND'S TRADE DEAL CONCERNS

    Any final trade deal between the EU and Britain will only be ratified if EU member states are fully certain the Brexit withdrawal agreement will be implemented in full, the Irish Foreign Minister said today.

    Boris Johnson plunged Brexit into chaos earlier this month by unveiling, and then pressing ahead with, draft legislation that would undercut parts of the 2020 EU divorce treaty relating to Northern Ireland.

    “Why would the EU ratify a new agreement with a country that is threatening to break an agreement that's not even 12 months old,” Simon Coveney, who played a major role in shaping the divorce treaty, told Ireland's parliament.

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