Brexit UK news – Boris Johnson says 'devil in the detail' as 1,255-page deal is published following historic agreement

Brexit UK news – Boris Johnson says 'devil in the detail' as 1,255-page deal is published following historic agreement

12/27/2020

BORIS JOHNSON said the "devil is in the detail" as he urged Tory backbenchers to support the UK's historic £660billion Brexit trade deal.

Both the UK and EU published the 1,255-page treaty on Boxing Day morning, as the prime minister works to persuade Eurosceptic Tories to back it as the “right deal” for the country.

The PM acknowledged “the devil is in the detail” but insisted it would stand up to inspection from the European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteers, who will assemble a panel of lawyers to examine the full text.

His message to Tory MPs came as the EU’s 27 member states indicated they will formally back the deal agreed by the UK with Brussels’ officials within days.

The agreement is expected to be the first-ever zero-tariff trade agreement with the EU and was made after Boris and European Commission Chief Ursula Von Der Leyen broke the crucial fishing deadlock on Christmas Eve.

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

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    CONTINUED

    "But this deal also provides reassurance because there's a stable, regulatory co-operative framework mentioned in the deal which I think will give people that reassurance that we will remain in close dialogue with our European partners."

    In his first interview since brokering the deal with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday, Boris said that the agreement secures "access for solicitors, barristers" and a "good deal for digital".

    But he told the Sunday Telegraph that it "perhaps does not go as far as we would like" on financial services.

    "I think there was always going to be people who want to reopen the debates of four years ago but I don't think that would be the right thing to do," he said.

    "I actually think this deal can represent an enormously unifying moment for our country and bring people together after the divisions of the past few years.

    "For those who voted to leave, this deal means that we will have the freedom that people sought, control of our laws, our borders, our trade.

    "But for those who were anxious about the economic implications of leaving they should be enormously reassured by the comprehensive nature of this free trade agreement."

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    THANK YOU BREX

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak believes the Brexit deal will give Britain the chance to do business "differently."

    He spoke as PM Boris Johnson conceded the agreement with Brussels may fall short of his hopes for the financial sector.

    However, Mr Sunak said the UK can now "do things a bit differently" while vowing to make the City of London THE place to list new companies.

    The trade treaty brokered with Brussels gives little detail on financial services and EU market access must still be negotiated for British-based firms in specific deals.

    However, the Chancellor said: "Now that we've left the European Union we can do things a bit differently and we're embarking on that journey, for example, examining how we make the City of London the most attractive place to list new companies anywhere in the world.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    EU MARKET ACCESS AT RISK IF UK FAILS TO KEEP TO EUROPEAN STANDARDS – VARADKAR

    Leo Varadkar has warned that if the UK fails to keep to EU standards, its access to the European market could be threatened.

    The Tanaiste said that while the UK has the power to deviate from EU regulations, they have to "largely" follow European rules where it is relevant.

    Mr Varadkar also said that the UK's access to the European market is "not unconditional", as laid out in the 1,246-page treaty.

    He said the post-Brexit trade deal means British businesses do not have to pay tariffs or quotas.

    The Tanaiste told Newstalk: "It does still give them access to the European single market, a market of 400 million people, the biggest and wealthiest market in the world.

    "They don't have to pay tariffs or quotas either which is advantageous to them."

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    SNP MPS TO VOTE AGAINST BREXIT DEAL WHICH IS 'DISASTER FOR SCOTLAND'

    SNP MPs will vote against Boris Johnson's Brexit deal when it comes before the Commons, Westminster leader Ian Blackford revealed as he branded it a "disaster for Scotland".

    He said the agreement, which was finally reached with the European Union on December 24, was an "unforgiveable act of economic vandalism and gross stupidity".

    SNP leader and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already accused the Conservatives of having "sold out Scottish fishing all over again" in the Brexit treaty.

    But Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, insisted it would deliver for all parts of the UK, as he urged all MPs from north of the border to "give it their wholehearted support".

    Mr Jack made the plea after the SNP Westminster leader said the agreement – which was published in full on Boxing Day – was a "very bad deal for Scotland".

  • Jon Rogers

    NO DEAL WASN'T EMPTY THREAT SAYS JOHNSON

    Boris Johnson has insisted the prospect of leaving the EU with no deal was not an empty threat.

    He told the Sunday Telegraph that he and the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator Lord Frost “came to the conclusion several times that things were going in the wrong direction and that our best bet was to go for no deal.”

    The Prime Minister claimed the “absolute conviction” that the UK could just “get up and walk away” without a deal was partly behind why some agreements were reached.

  • Jon Rogers

    TESCO: BREXIT IMPACT ON FOOD PRICES WILL BE 'VERY MODEST'

    The impact on food prices due to Brexit will be "very modest," according to the boss of Tesco.

    Chairman John Allan told the BBC that it would "hardly be felt in terms of the prices that consumers are paying".

    "The tariffs were the things that were going to generate the price increases," he said.

  • Jon Rogers

    GERMANY WARNS OF 'PAINFUL CUTS' COMING TO EU FISHING FLEET

    German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner has warned of “painful cuts” for the EU’s fishing industry due to the trade deal the bloc has reached with the UK.

    Ms Kloeckner said in an emailed statement: “It is all the more important that the agreement provides for a transitional period, with defined quota regulations and guaranteed access to fishing grounds.

    “This gives at least a certain degree of planning security.

    “But it is also clear that we must support the fishermen and give them a hand in this difficult situation. Looking to 2026, it will be important to find a long-term solution.”

     

  • Jon Rogers

    BREXIT DEAL WILL DELIVER FOR ALL PARTS – SCOTTISH SECRETARY

    Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, insisted the Brexit trade deal would deliver for all parts of the UK, as he urged all MPs from north of the border to "give it their wholehearted support".

    Mr Jack made the plea after the SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the agreement – which was published in full on Boxing Day – was a "very bad deal for Scotland".

    But Mr Jack insisted Scots would expect their MPs to "do the right thing" and back the agreement in Wednesday's Commons vote.

    The UK Government minister said: "We have secured a historic Free Trade deal with the EU that delivers for Scotland and the whole of the UK.

    "This is a deep and wide-ranging deal, covering trade, security, travel, transport, energy, health and social security."

    Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has defended the Brexit deal
  • Jon Rogers

    UK ECONOMY EXPECTED TO BE 23% LARGER THAN FRANCE'S BY 2035

    Britain's economy is predicted to be 23 per cent larger than France's by 2035, a new report has said.

    The Centre for Economics and Business Research’s annual tally of the world’s leading economies sees the UK retake fifth place from India.

    Douglas McWilliams, Deputy Chair of the CEBR, pointed to the UK’s strengths in digital and creative services as evidence of the country’s future-proofed economic strength, City AM reports.

    “We have a huge competitive advantage in this tech-based sector which the pandemic has kicked forward. Most of this is pretty Brexit-proof provided the UK continues to attract talented people,” he said.

  • Jon Rogers

    SNP TO VOTE AGAINST BREXIT DEAL

    The SNP has said it will vote against the post-Brexit trade deal struck with the EU, when the Commons meets on Wednesday.

    Ian Blackford, the party's leader in Westminster, said: "Boris Johnson's extreme Tory Brexit is an unforgivable act of economic vandalism and gross stupidity, which will cause lasting damage to the economy and leave the UK much worse off at the worst possible time – during a pandemic and economic recession.

    "With the Labour Party lining up behind Boris Johnson, it is clear Westminster will impose this hard Tory Brexit regardless of how Scotland votes, but it is not being done in our name.

    "It is a disaster for Scotland."

  • Mark Hodge

    LABOUR MPs WARNED TO VOTE FOR BREXIT DEAL

    Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds has urged Labour MPs to vote for the Brexit trade deal despite grave concerns over the treaty.

    Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has ordered his MPs to back the agreement, arguing that despite its problems it is far better than the alternative outcome of a chaotic no-deal.

    But there have been suggestions that shadow ministers are poised to resign in order to defy a three-line whip when the House of Commons votes on the pact on Wednesday.

    Today, Ms Dodds said MPs must support the deal in order to give certainty to businesses ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period on Thursday.

    Asked about a possible Labour rebellion, she told BBC Breakfast: "I obviously don't want to see that, I want to see a situation where we have as much certainty for businesses as possible.

    "We've heard for example that there may well be some members of the European Research Group on the Conservative side who are saying that they are going to be voting against this implementing legislation – I don't think that's sensible.

    "I'm not going to say to you that this is the deal that Labour would have secured because it really isn't – this is a thin deal – but we don't want to create more problems for businesses right now by preventing the implementation of what the Government has achieved."

  • Jon Rogers

    TRAVEL & WORK RULES REMAIN BETWEEN BRITS AND IRISH

    Travel and work arrangements for Brits and Irish will remain the same under the new trade deal with the EU.

    Irish leader Leo Varadkar said that very little will change around travel rules for Irish citizens.

    "They still will be able to travel freely to Britain and live, work and study there," he added.

    "Other Europeans won't but that's a special arrangement that we have because of the Irish protocol and common travel area.

    "British people will still be able to come here.

    "In some ways we will have certain advantages in Ireland when we are looking for investment, we can say that if you set up your factory or your tech company in Ireland you will have access the European market, but also the European labour market which is really important too.

    "There will be duty free when we can start flying again between Britain and Ireland."

  • Jon Rogers

    VARADKAR: UK ACCESS TO EU MARKETS 'NOT UNCONDITIONAL'

    Leo Varadkar has said that the UK's access to the European market is "not unconditional".

    The Tanaiste told Newstalk: "It does still give them access to the European single market, a market of 400 million people, the biggest and wealthiest market in the world.

    "They don't have to pay tariffs or quotas either which is advantageous to them.

    "But it's not unconditional. So what they have agreed to is what we call a level playing field.

    "They have agreed to a non-regression clause in all but name, so we said you can only have access to the market if you don't reduce your standards when it comes to workers' rights, the environment, health and safety, product standards – all of those things."

  • Jon Rogers

    BREXIT DEAL COULD ERODE WORKERS' RIGHTS

    Boris Johnson's post-Brexit trade deal with the EU leaves workers' rights and environmental protections at risk of erosion and will slow the economic recovery, an early analysis has warned.

    The IPPR think tank's assessment, published on Sunday, says that the bar for proof of breaches of the "level playing field" to safeguard the issues is so high that it will be rarely enforced.

    But as Tory Eurosceptics pore over the 1,246-page treaty to see if they can give their backing, the IPPR added to criticism of the deal from the fishing industry.

    Marley Morris, a director focusing on trade and EU relations, warned that the commitment in the deal not to decrease current standards in a bid to gain an unfair competitive advantage is "considerably weaker than expected" and sets "a very high bar for proof".

    "Given it is notoriously difficult to prove that any lowering of protections affects trade or investment, the deal is unlikely to prevent the UK Government from weakening EU-derived labour and environmental policies if it so chooses," his report says.

    He later added: "This leaves protections for workers, climate and the environment at serious risk of being eroded."

  • Jon Rogers

    'ONE OF THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE TRADE DEALS EVER SIGNED'- SUNAK

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has described the Brexit deal with the EU as "one of the most comprehensive trade deals ever signed".

    Sunak said: "I think this deal represents one of the most comprehensive free trade agreements ever signed and it's a good deal for British families, businesses and jobs.

    "It gives us a fantastic platform to go forward, maintain tariff-free access to European markets but also capitalise on new opportunities, whether that's signing new trade deals – and we've already signed, I think, 58 covering about £200 billion worth of trade with, more to come – or trying new things like free ports for example, which will create jobs, drive investment and increase trade.

    "So all of that is exciting to look forward to.

    "But in the short term, our challenge remains dealing with coronavirus, making sure that we've got economic support in place for British families and businesses as they go through what is a difficult winter period."

  • Jon Rogers

    SHADOW CABINET MEMBERS PREPARING TO RESIGN

    Some members of Sir Kier Starmer's shadow cabinet are preparing to resign over the Labour leader's support for the Brexit deal, reports say.

    The Labour leader is facing a revolt after he said on Christmas Eve he will back the agreement.

    "We seem to be making a stand over a Conservative project. It is deeply uncomfortable for some MPs," one MP told The Guardian.

    Another said: “We are being asked to support a Boris Johnson deal that is full of holes, on issues of security, fishing rights or level playing fields. Plus, it is going to go through anyway on Tory votes alone. I do not understand Keir’s position.”

  • Jon Rogers

    BREXIT DEAL A 'UNIFYING MOMENT' FOR UK

    The Brexit trade deal with the EU can be a "unifying moment" for the country, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said.

    Sunak said anyone who is worried about the economic implications of the breach with Brussels should be "enormously reassured about the comprehensive nature" of the agreement.

    The deal gives that reassurance, he said, because it provides a "stable regulatory co-operative framework".

  • Jon Rogers

    BREXIT ALLOWS UK TO DO FINANCIAL SERVICES DIFFERENTLY

    Brexit offers Britain a chance to do things differently in financial services, finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Sunday, but a trade deal with the EU gives reassurance that there will be co-operation on the regulatory approach to sector.

    "Now that we've left the European Union, we can do things a bit differently (in financial services)," Sunak told broadcasters.

    "But this deal also provides reassurance because there's a stable regulatory co-operative framework mentioned in the deal, which I think will give people that reassurance that we will remain in close dialogue with our European partners when it comes to things like equivalence decisions."

  • Jon Rogers

    JOHNSON: BREXIT DEAL CHANCE TO SPREAD OPPORTUNITY

    Boris Johnson has said the Brexit deal with the EU will allow the UK to "spread opportunity".

    Johnson told The Telegraph "big changes" were coming, declaring "it is up to us now to seize the opportunity of Brexit".

    He said a "great government effort" had gone into the plans, with animal welfare, data and chemicals being areas where the UK could diverge from EU standards.

    "This government has a very clear agenda to use this moment to unite and level up and to spread opportunity across the government," Mr Johnson added.

  • Jon Rogers

    FISHING DEAL A 'SPECTACULAR BROKEN PROMISE' – SNP

    The SNP has branded the Brexit fishing deal a "spectacular broken promise".

    The party claimed a clause in the trade agreement which granted fishing access up to June 30 2026 breached Scottish Conservative MPs’ previous commitments to the industry, The Scotsman reports.

    SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said: “No-one in Scotland can ever again trust a word the Tories say. This is a massive sell-out.

    “They have conned and deceived people. Their own words, when they talked about ‘betrayal’ and leaving the common fisheries policy ‘in name only’, have come back to haunt them."

  • Jon Rogers

    BORIS TELLS BRITS TO 'SEIZE THE DAY'

    Boris Johnson has told Brits to seize the day after striking free from the EU’s shackles.

    The PM gave the order just 48 hours after reaching an historic post-Brexit trade and security deal.

    The PM said Brits must “embrace all the opportunities available to us as an independent nation” when the transition period ends at 11pm on New Year’s Eve.

  • Jon Rogers

    BORIS JOHNSON TOUTS 'BIG' CHANGES

    Boris Johnson has touted post-Brexit changes to business taxes and regulation next year as Conservative Eurosceptics pored over the details of his trade agreement with the EU.

    The Prime Minister said that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is "doing a big exercise on all of this" but insisted that the UK would not regress on workers' rights or environmental standards.

    Scrutiny of the treaty began in earnest when the 1,246-page document was officially published on the morning of Boxing Day – less than a week before its implementation.

    It was quickly met with severe criticism from those working in the fishing industry who said they had been "sacrificed" in order to secure the deal with Brussels.

    The Prime Minister said that, although he accepts that "the devil is in the detail" of the deal, he believes that it will stand up to inspection from the European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteers.

  • Debbie White

    CAN I DRIVE ABROAD?

    From January 1, many EU countries will need you to get an International Driving Permit. That costs £5.50 at your local Post Office.

    You will also have to apply for a 'green card' to prove you have the right car insurance.

    The certificates are free of charge – but they're also really important.

    Travellers who forget them will be forced to buy expensive 'frontier' insurance in the country they are visiting.

    The Government has the full list of countries you'll need an IDP to drive in – and which version authorities require.

  • Debbie White

    TORY EUROSCEPTICS EXAMINE BREXIT TRADE DEAL WITH EU AFTER PM'S PLEA

    Tory Eurosceptics are poring over the details of the Brexit trade agreement with the EU as Boris Johnson tried to persuade them it is the "right deal" for the nation.

    Scrutiny of the treaty began in earnest when the 1,246-page document was officially published on the morning of Boxing Day – less than a week before its implementation.

    The PM acknowledged to Tory MPs that "the devil is in the detail".

    Veteran Eurosceptic MP Sir Bill Cash is leading the examination of the full text ahead of a Commons vote.

    Meanwhile, the EU's 27 member states indicated they will within days give their formal backing to the deal, which covers about £660billion of trade to allow goods to be sold without tariffs or quotas in the EU market.

  • Debbie White

    HOLIDAYS AND MIGRATION RULES

    Leaving the EU means an end to the free movement of people from the bloc.

    Most of the rules for holidays and travel into the EU have already been resolved outside of the main Brexit discussions.

    Tourists will be able to visit visa-free for 90 days, but will have to secure one after that, under the post-Brexit agreement.

    It is being replaced by a points-based immigration system – giving the UK full control over who enters the country.

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