Published On: Tue, Sep 1st, 2020

Brexit news: Boris Johnson orders Emmanuel Macron to ‘respect our sovereignty’ | Politics | News


The aggressive response from Downing Street came after France accused the UK Government of deliberately stalling ongoing Brexit trade deal negotiations, which Britain and the European Union remain deadlocked on just four months until the transition period ends. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said trade talks were not advancing because of the “intransigent and unrealistic attitude of the United Kingdom”, and told the country’s ambassadors the EU27 would not buckle under pressure from Britain. He said: “On Brexit we always showed unity and proved wrong those who saw signs of an overall implosion of Europe.

“It is in staying united that we can stick to our line of a global accord.”

But Downing Street furiously hit back, accusing the EU of making it “unnecessarily difficult to make progress”.

A spokeswoman said: “We have been clear from the outset about the principles underlying the UK approach: we are seeking a relationship that respects our sovereignty and which has a free trade agreement at its core, similar to those the EU has already agreed with like-minded countries.

“However, the EU is still insisting not only that we must accept continuity with EU state aid and fisheries policy, but also that this must be agreed before any further substantive work can be done in any other area of the negotiation, including on legal texts, making it unnecessarily difficult to make progress.

brexit uk eu trade deal

Brexit news: Downing Street has hit back at France as trade deal talks reach a critical point (Image: GETTY)

brexit deal france

Brexit news: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said trade talks were not advancing because of the ‘intransigent and unrealistic attitude of the United Kingdom’ (Image: GETTY)

“We will continue to work hard to reach agreement and look forward to the next round taking place next week.”

The latest outburst comes as Michel Barnier refuses to open discussions on Britain’s new fisheries proposals until the UK budges on other issues.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, who is meeting UK counterpart David Frost in London today (Tuesday), is insisting on “parallelism” – where multiple aspects on a range of issues must be agreed before moving forward.

Mr Frost is expected to vent his frustration at the refusal from the EU to discuss proposals on how to manage fish stocks.

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brexit frost barnier meeting

Brexit news: David Frost and Michel Barnier are meeting again in London later today (Image: GETTY)

9.45am update: UK manufacturing sector grows at fastest rate in six years

Britain’s manufacturing sector expanded at the quickest rate for over six years last month.

The IHS Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) recorded a score of 55.2 in August, from 53.3 in July.

A score of above 50 is considered an expansion in the sector.

9.36am update: Fishing row erupts: Sturgeon’s furious SNP threatens to scupper Boris’ Fisheries Bill

A scuffle erupted last night as a Bill on UK fishing rights after Brexit is set to be voted on at Westminster.

The UK Government’s Fisheries Bill, which creates the powers for the UK to operate as an independent coastal state and manage its fish stocks sustainably outside the EU is currently in process.

The Bill, which was passed through House of Lords on July 1 and now faces the scrutiny of the House of Commons, ends current automatic rights for EU vessels to fish in British waters.

If access to UK waters for foreign vessels is negotiated, Westminster says the Bill will also enable the Fisheries Administrations to ensure foreign vessels follow the same rules as British vessels.

MPs are set to debate the Fisheries Bill in a second reading in the House of Commons today.

But the SNP have threatened to vote against the Bill in an official boycott against the Tories and urged new Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross and his five Westminster MPs to follow suit.

brexit nicola sturgeon

Brexit news: Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP is threatening to scupper Boris Johnson’s Fisheries Bill (Image: GETTY)

9.15am update: ‘End this political pantomime!’ Former MEP demands UK walk away from EU deal talks

Former MEP Martin Daubney has said the UK should walk away from trade deal talks with the EU and trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms as Brussels refuses to give ground on a number of key red lines.

He tweeted: “The EU haven’t budged an inch on fisheries, the level playing field nor state aid. On that clear basis, they do not appear to want to do a deal.

“For that reason, it’s time to walk away now and go WTO & end this political pantomime.”

8.45am update: Scottish facing challenges with possible hard Brexit as economy forecast to struggle

Scotland’s economic growth is forecast to contract by 9.1 percent in 2020 as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The latest predictions come from KPMG, which has seen the accountancy firm revise its Gross Value Added (GVA) forecast for Scotland from a 6.8 percent drop.

The forecasting model predicts Orkney and Shetland will be Scotland’s worst-affected regions, with drops in GVA of 11.4 percent and 11.1 percent respectively.

Catherine Burnet, KPMG’s Scotland chairwoman, said: “Our latest revised forecasts for Scotland highlight the scale of uncertainty facing the country over the coming months.

“The next six months could provide the greatest challenge as the business community wrestles with both the ‘new normal’ of a post-Covid-19 world and a potential hard Brexit.

8.30am update: Boris Johnson facing pressure from returning MPs over Brexit deal with EU

The Prime Minister is facing pressure from his backbenches over a number of issues s MPs return to Westminster after the summer recess.

Mr Johnson has come under fire for overseeing a series of U-turns over the last few weeks, including on exam results and face coverings in schools.

But the Government is also facing challenges over Brexit, specifically around striking a trade deal with the EU before the end of the transition period on December 31, as well as the merger of the Foreign Office and Department for International Development.

brexit eu uk trade talks

Brexit news: Negotiations on the EU-UK future partnership (Image: EXPRESS)

8.10am update: Barnier heads to London for urgent Brexit talks

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier is meeting UK counterpart David Frost in London later today as the two sides desperately attempt to kick start deadlocked negotiations.

They are expected to hold informal talks in Downing Street ahead of the eighth round of formal negotiations in the capital next week.

Officials arranged today’s meeting to try to inject fresh momentum into the wrangle following despair on both sides at the lack of progress during last month.

7.45am update: UK accuses EU of DELIBERATELY blocking deal – Barnier heads to London

The UK has accused the EU of making it “unnecessarily difficult to make progress” in trade deal negotiations after France blamed the deadlock on the “intransigent and unrealistic attitude of the United Kingdom”.

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the country’s ambassadors the EU would not buckle to accept Boris Johnson’s demand for a free trade deal without guarantees of European fishing rights and commitments to obey a host of Brussels regulations.

He said: “On Brexit we always showed unity and proved wrong those who saw signs of an overall implosion of Europe. It is in staying united that we can stick to our line of a global accord.”

But a Downing Street spokeswoman hit back: “We have been clear from the outset about the principles underlying the UK approach: we are seeking a relationship that respects our sovereignty and which has a free trade agreement at its core, similar to those the EU has already agreed with like-minded countries.

“However, the EU is still insisting not only that we must accept continuity with EU state aid and fisheries policy, but also that this must be agreed before any further substantive work can be done in any other area of the negotiation, including on legal texts, making it unnecessarily difficult to make progress.

“We will continue to work hard to reach agreement and look forward to the next round taking place next week.”



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