Brexit LIVE: Frost and Sefkovic primed for crunch talks as Article 16 pressure ramps up

Brexit grace period extension discussed by Leo Varadkar

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Tensions are once again ramping up with Ireland becoming increasingly desperate for the European Union to agree a new deal around trade with the UK as Lord Frost increases the pressure. And Mr Frost and Mr Sefcovic will stage talks later this week in a bid to break the deadlock. Mr Sefcovic is also planning to visit Northern Ireland on Thursday and Friday, during which time he will meet political, business and civic leaders.

On Monday, the UK’s Brexit minister said Britain plans to extend post-Brexit grace periods on some goods imports to Northern Ireland in a move to provide London and Brussels with more time to find a long-term resolution on trade with the province.

A trade deal between the two sides came into force on December 31, 2020, and saw the Britain agree to leave some European Union rules in place in Northern Ireland and accept checks on goods arriving there from elsewhere in the UK.

But a bitter war of words has broken out, particularly around the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol – the UK insists the arrangement isn’t viable and wants it changed, while the EU is rejecting any hope of the treaty being renegotiated.

Lord Frost said the UK would be extending the current grace periods to “provide space for potential further discussions” with the EU over possible reforms to the Protocol.

But fears are increasing in Ireland, with a senior government official noting the statement from Lord Frost made no mention of a delay from the British to its own scrutiny of EU imports.

Lord David Frost Maros Sefcovic

Lord David Frost Maros Sefcovic (Image: Lord David Frost and Maros Sefcovic are gearing up for more talks aimed at breaking the deadlock)

The official told Politico: “It’s our clear understanding that the British intend to delay introduction of some or all checks originally planned to go live at UK ports on October 1.

“This could be seen as a quid pro quo for their failure to introduce new measures on GB trade to Northern Ireland by that date.

“We expect to hear something along these lines, officially, in the coming week.”

Britain is crucial to Ireland as it is its top agri-food export market, and trade will almost definitely be impacted once the UK’s port controls on EU imports kick into gear.

The Irish official added: “The reality is that any delay to the introduction of full border regulations on exports to Britain will be overwhelmingly welcomed by businesses here because Britain is such a fundamentally important market for Ireland.”

Earlier in the day, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar had said following talks with UK Cabinet minister Michael Gove, he expects the UK to delay its own imposition of trade barriers on EU imports to Britain as part of its extension to the grace periods.

But a UK Government official hit back: “Our position hasn’t changed on that,” adding they didn’t understand Mr Varadkar “making that link, they’re not really related issues at all”.

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4:30am update: Brexit: EU warned of ‘water war’ in revenge for sausage row

Brexit tensions between the UK and EU over the “sausage war” risked escalation as Brussels was warned of a potential “water war”.

The EU and UK have been embroiled in a “sausage war” in recent months, and less than 30 days remain until the current deadline to reach an agreement.

As things stand, Northern Irish shops will be banned from selling, among other things, British sausages from October 1, unless an agreement is reached or talks are extended.

The British Government is looking to extend the grace period further – allowing goods to move from Great Britain to Northern Ireland – but Brussels responded with a threat, saying it could launch legal action against the UK.

Brexit front pages

Brexit in front pages (Image: Express)

1:30am update: ‘Focus on the Dutch!’ EU warned over upcoming euro fiscal rules row

Brussels has been warned Nexit could be on the cards as member states prepare to start a new fight on the future of the bloc’s fiscal rules.

EU member states are preparing for a new battle as the bloc prepares to discuss the future of its fiscal policy once the suspension of the rules, introduced during the coronavirus pandemic, are lifted at the end of 2022.

The plan, believed to be initiated by Italy and other southern member states, will be to fight to soften the strict euro stability criteria.

The goal is to transform the current temporary status quo into a permanent policy for the eurozone countries.

12:15am update: Elon Musk concerned as EU set to wave through UK tech takeover

Elon Musk has joined a long list of concerned technology experts who are opposed to the $40billion (£29billion) takeover of the British chip designer Arm by a US rival, according to reports.

Nvidia, the world’s leading maker of graphics and artificial chips, is set to notify the European Commission of its plans to purchase Arm this week. Brussels appeared ready to wave the acquisition through without any opposition, but there are a number of politicians and experts calling for it to be blocked.

Among them, Mr Musk – the CEO of electric car Tesla – who has reportedly signalled competition concerns over the buy-out of the Cambridge semiconductor company.

The US monopolies watchdog, the Federal Trade Commission, launched an inquiry into the deal earlier this year and its findings are expected in the coming weeks.

David Atkins takes over from Ciaran McGrath

brexit eu northern ireland protocol

Brexit LIVE: The EU has rejected the possibility of the Protocol being renegotiated (Image: GETTY)

10.51pm update: 

Brussels’ hardline strategy over Northern Ireland is part of a deliberate “attack” aimed at splitting up the United Kingdom, a Brexiteer economist has warned.

Dr Timothy Bradshaw even drew a comparison with Kosovo, which split from Serbia after the war of 2008 – claiming Northern Ireland could go the same way.

Dr Bradshaw, a theological lecturer and Anglican clergyman, was speaking in the week Brexit Minister Lord David Frost was preparing for fresh talks with EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic later this week.

Discussions will once again centre on the Northern Ireland Protocol, the controversial mechanism for preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland – but there is little hope of a breakthrough.

10.16pm update: 

Margaret Thatcher’s warnings about the folly of a European army have been borne out by the EU27’s consistently low defence spending, prominent Italian eurosceptics have said, describing the idea as a “pipe dream” which will merely alienate both London and Washington.

And Brexiteer and Tory MP Sir  said Europe itself was heavily dependent on  and the US for its own defence needs, let alone anywhere else in the world.

Bepi Pezzulli, Editor-in-Chief of La Voce Repubblicana, the official journal of Republican Party of , and Stefano Magni, a journalist and essayist, an associate professor of Economic Geography at the Faculty of Law, University of Milan, took aim at the bloc in an article written for the website of the Facts4EU think tank.

They were speaking after Joseph Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, suggested the US’s chaotic pullout from Afghanistan would serve as a “catalyst” for the bloc to establish its own permanent military division.

9.10pm update: Not just the UK then, says Redwood

Tory Brexiteer Sir John Redwood has suggested lorry driver shortages elsewhere in Europe – and in the United States – have cast doubt over suggestions similar problems in the UK are related to Brexit.

Sir John, a member of the European Research Group (ERG) tweeted: “Poland short of lorry drivers.

“The USA turning to 14 year olds to fill jobs in hospitality.

“Those ’Brexit’ problems popping up in lots of different countries!”

Tory MP Sir John Redwood

Tory MP Sir John Redwood (Image: Twitter)

7.53pm update: 

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are expected to benefit from Boris Johnson’s plan to hike National Insurance.

Mr Johnson’s Cabinet has given the green light to a new tax on earnings which is designed to raise the billions of pounds needed to address the crippling social care crisis currently facing the country. The Government is to raise National Insurance contributions by around 1.25 percent to pay for the reforms.

Announcing his plans to shake-up social care and boost funding for the NHS, Mr Johnson revealed the devolved governments will benefit from 15 percent of the hike.

The Prime Minister said: “While Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own system, we will direct money raised through the levy to their health and social care services.

“So, in total, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will benefit from an extra £2.2 billion a year, and as this is about 15 percent more than they would contribute through the levy, it will create a union dividend of £300 million.”

7.15pm update:

The future of the EU could be in danger after it emerged Italy is plotting to “attack” a key rule which has kept the creaking bloc’s currency alive.

Mario Draghi’s government wants to abolish “moderate borrowing” so that debt-plagued countries like Italy can once again get their hands on exorbitant amounts of cash “on tick”.

The so-called Stability Pact limits the budget deficit of the eurozone countries to three percent of economic output and the total debt to 60 percent.

It was introduced to control government spending – especially in countries that have a history of ropey public finances.

Mario Draghi

Mario Draghi, Italy’s Prime Minister (Image: GETTY)

6.09pm update: 

Britain has been predicted to be a “Trojan Horse” for the arrival of fake Made in Italy products following Brexit.

Italian farmers’ group Coldiretti have warned that due to the impact of Brexit, the arrival of these products could begin imminently.

The fake Made in Italy products, which is estimated to move around 100 billion euros throughout the world, has included the USA as one of the major counterfeiters of the industry.

Following Brexit, Britain have been attempting to negotiate a privileged trade agreement with the USA.

As well as the USA, there have also been negotiations being carried out which would cause further privileged trade agreements in place with both Canada and Australia.

It has been estimated by Coldiretti that the impact of Brexit has not gone unnoticed by the beverage and food sector of Italy as it is said there has been a loss of around 5 percent on average.

5.15pm update: 

Britain may be forced to go cap in hand to Emmanuel Macron this Christmas – because labour shortages in the UK are likely force people to buy imported French turkeys, a major supplier has warned.

Paul Kelly, managing director of KellyBronze, which produces hand-plucked, free range turkeys, said the sector will be “hit massively” this  because it relies on agencies who bring in labour from the  that was no longer accessible.

Mr Kelly suggested France, led by President , would likely be the beneficiary this year.

Brexit Britain is perfectly placed to become a “global leader” in the emerging field of environmentally friendly hydrogen, a billionaire green entrepreneur Jo Bamford has said after launching a £1billion fund aimed at putting the UK ahead of the pack.

Mr Bamford has teamed up with multi-family office Vedra Partners to launch HYCAP, a  investment fund.

More than £200million has already be raised after the first round of investment, with plans to inject the cash into UK businesses, with the focus on speeding-up green  production and supply, creating jobs and contributing to the Government’s  targets.

With the UK hosting COP26 in Glasgow later this year, Mr Bamford said there was no time to waste.

Jo Bamford

Jo Bamford, the green entrepreneur (Image: Jo Bamford)

4.30pm update: Chancellor confirms autumn Budget date

The Chancellor will announce the conclusions of the 2021 Spending Review in an autumn Budget on October 27, the Treasury has announced.

The three-year review will set UK Government departments’ resource and capital budgets for 2022-23 to 2024-25 and the devolved administrations’ block grants for the same period.

Announcing the start of the Spending Review, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve delivered on an unprecedented scale to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods.

“Despite the worst economic recession in 300 years, we have not only got people back into work through the Plan for Jobs but continued to deliver on the priorities of the British people.

“At the Spending Review later this year, I will set out how we will continue to invest in public services and drive growth while keeping the public finances on a sustainable path.”

3.32pm update: Labelling system can break Northern Ireland deadlock, says UUP

A labelling system for products entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain is among proposals outlined by the UUP for resolving post-Brexit trade problems.

The party said identifying products not at risk of entering the Irish Republic as for “UK sale only” would be one way to reduce new Irish Sea checks required under the terms of the contentious Northern Ireland Protocol.

The party also suggests designating the main ports in Northern Ireland “free ports”, where reduced duties and taxes apply, as a way to limit Brexit bureaucracy.

The UUP proposals are included in a revised version of the party’s policy document outlining its alternatives to the protocol.

The UUP is also urging the adoption of a bespoke veterinary deal between the EU and UK, to cut the number of safety checks on animal and plant products entering Northern Ireland from GB.

It also insists that the supply of medicines should be immediately removed from the remit of the protocol, to end the prospect of disruption to supplies between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

3.10pm update: Three border police stations to be sold off after Brexit delay

After Brexit uncertainty halted plans, the PSNI has indicated that the time is now right to put three border police stations back up for sale.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) confirmed to PA news agency that the sale of three border police stations, which had been paused following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, is now set to go ahead.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said that the police stations will now be recommended for “disposal”.

The police stations are in Castlederg and Aughnacloy in Tyrone and Warrenpoint in Down.

None of the three stations are currently in use and no PSNI officers are based there.

City of London

City of London: One of the world’s foremost financial centres (Image: GETTY)

3.05pm update: Plan unveiled for London to overhaul New York as top financial centre

Britain needs to ease taxes on banks and make it easier to hire staff from abroad, its financial and professional services lobby said in a blueprint to help London unseat New York as the world’s top international financial centre within five years.

The strategy paper on Tuesday from TheCityUK reiterated some ideas already aired in government-backed reports and elsewhere in recent months as the City of London looks to recoup ground lost following Britain’s departure from the EU.

The paper said: “By some metrics, the UK is losing ground: London is currently slipping further behind New York each year while other centres are strengthening.”

The US financial capital overtook London in 2018 in a leading annual survey, it said, adding that New York dominated in stock market listings.

TheCityUK lobby group, which promotes the wider financial sector abroad, paper added in the paper: “The UK therefore needs to adopt a relentless focus on strengthening its international competitiveness to win back the prize of being the world’s leading international financial centre.”

Britain’s departure from the European Union effectively closed London off from its biggest financial services customer, adding further pressure to catch up.

1.40pm update: ‘Give them NOTHING!’ Frost urged to pull plug on EU talks and go for WTO as Brexit erupts

Britons have reacted in fury after the EU’s refusal to negotiate one of the most controversial aspects of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

The bloc has released a statement outlining their refusal to budge on the current details of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The statement comes after Brexit minister Lord David Frost suggested further discussions on the protocol that creates a hard border down the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

After learning of the EU’s refusal to renegotiate one Express.co.uk reader declared the Prime Minister should “go straight to World Trade Organisation rules and give them nothing”.

The Briton demanded Boris Johnson “invoke Article 16 and tear up the withdrawal agreement now”.

They continued: “Go straight to World Trade Organisation rules and give them nothing.

“Do what the majority voted for back in 2016 and that leaves the EU in its entirety.”

brexit lord frost

Brexit LIVE: Lord Frost is leading the UK’s talks with the EU (Image: GETTY)

12.09pm update: Brexit warning: UK faces shortage of pasta, olive oil AND tomatoes due to red tape

Italian pasta producers have warned that Brexit bureaucracy has smashed exports of our favourite Mediterranean foods to Britain.

Shipments of Italian pasta, tomatoes, olive oil and prosciutto to the UK have plummeted as a result of the red tape, it was claimed.

Italian pasta exports to the UK slumped by 28 percent in the first five months of this year.

Exports of extra virgin olive oil also fell by 13 percent, tomato sauce and tinned tomatoes by 16 percent and cheese by nine percent.

Italian farmers’ group Coldiretti blamed soaring transport costs for the slump in exports to the UK.

They said lorries loaded with Italian foods were held up by Brexit-related customs red tape.

Coldiretti said: “This is caused by bureaucratic and administrative problems due to the UK leaving the European Union.”

Exports of Italian food to the UK are normally worth around £2.9billion a year.

10.46am update: BBC director of news to step down after row over Brexit-bashing journalist

BBC director of news Fran Unsworth is to step down after a row over a Brexit-bashing journalist who the corporation was considering hiring.

Fran Unsworth is set to leave the corporation after having held the position of BBC’s director for news and current affairs since January 2018. Her stepping down comes amid internal battles over a staff reorganisation and news that Jess Brammar was in the running for a top BBC post.

The rumoured appointment came under scrutiny following previous Brexit-bashing Ms Brammar had conducted on social media, including an instance in a since-deleted tweet where she described Britain’s EU exit as being like a popular TV comedy drama but “less funny”.

Ms Unsworth is set to step down by the end of January after being a lifelong BBC employee. Her current position involved overseeing the national broadcaster’s news and current affairs output.

She is among a small number of senior representatives who sit on the BBC board, the body responsible for setting the overall strategy of the corporation.

Nicola Sturgeon launches blistering Brexit attack

9.50am update: ‘Keep your nose out!’ Britons erupt as Biden’s Brexit meddling could ‘civil unrest’

Joe Biden has been warned to stop interfering in Brexit after it was claimed the US President risks causing “civil unrest” in Northern Ireland by siding with the European Union instead of Britain.

Lord David Trimble, the former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), has written to Mr Biden urging him to stop “political uncertainty” and damage to “the Northern Ireland economy” caused by post-Brexit trade compromises with the EU.

The heavily debated Northern Ireland Protocol – a key element of the Brexit deal between the UK and EU – has seen customs checks imposed at the sea border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

But it has been branded a threat to the identity of unionists in Northern Ireland, who claim it creates the conditions for an “economic” united Ireland.

Jake Sullivan, the US President’s national security adviser, insisted the Protocol was “critical to ensuring that the spirit, promise and future of the Good Friday agreement is protected”.

However, writing in the Daily Telegraph, Lord Trimble warned in his letter the Protocol damages trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and it subverts “the main safeguards” of the Good Friday Agreement.

During the G7 summit at the start of the summer, Mr Biden had warned the UK Prime Minister not to inflame tensions, but now it is evident Britons are becoming increasingly angry at what they perceive as meddling by the US President.

brexit northern ireland protocol

Brexit LIVE: Northern Ireland Protocol ‘sausage wars’ mapped (Image: EXPRESS)

9.32am update: Brexit Britain handed major victory as UK spaceport picked for historic satellite launch

Brexit Britain’s burgeoning space sector has been handed a major victory as world-leading aerospace contractor Lockheed Martin has selected a site in the Shetland Islands for the UK’s first vertical satellite launch.

Representatives from the company’s UK and US branches met in Scotland on Monday to discuss their prospects for Brexit Britain’s bright future.

Lockheed Martin has unveiled plans for the launch of a small satellite from the proposed SaxaVord Spaceport in the Shetlands, with the mission presently penned in for next year.

Company officials met with the Shetland Islands Council and local community leaders to share the latest developments in the programme.

The meetings also gave Lockheed Martin an opportunity to gauge public opinion about this historic mission.

UK Pathfinder Launch will mark the first-ever vertical satellite launch from UK soil, as well as northern Europe’s first launch of this kind.

The mission will also mark the first commercial launch of the US-based ABL Space Systems’ new RS-1 rocket.

Dr Scott Ridgers, programme execution director at Lockheed Martin Space, said: “We’re really excited to be here with the SaxaVord spaceport team and meet with the local community in Unst and the Shetland Islands Council, we progress our plans to hold the UK’s first vertical launch in 2022.”

brexit joe biden

Brexit LIVE: Joe Biden has been sent a warning by Lord David Trimble (Image: GETTY)

8.40am update: London targets New York with five-year financial plan

London could unseat New York as the world’s top international financial centre within five years if Britain eases taxes on banks and make it easier to hire staff from abroad.

This is according to a strategy paper financial and professional services lobby TheCityUK the country’s key financial hub looks to recoup ground lost following Britain’s departure from the EU.

Britain’s departure from the EU effectively closed London off from its biggest financial services customer, significantly increasing the pressure for it tio catch up.

There are already plans afoot from the UK Government to increase the competitiveness of London’s capital market, and the latest paper from TheCityUK sets a five-year target for the capital to “out-compete its rivals” by amending tax, visa and other rules.

The total tax rate for a London bank is 46.5 percent – 13 percent higher than a bank based in New York.

But as the UK economy bounced back from the Covid pandemic, it may be challenging to convince the Government to cut taxes on finance.

7.50am update: Brexit breakthrough: UK freed from timid EU as new global deal lined up to take on Putin

Brexit Britain is being urged to strengthen its transatlantic alliances and engage in an initiative that will counter the growing influence of Moscow and Beijing in global affairs.

The Three Seas Initiative (3SI) is an economic forum in Eastern Europe that involves 12 EU countries and is designed to promote regional dialogue on shared policy issues.

A new report released this week by Brexiteer and Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski said 3SI would an “attractive proposition” and a “great opportunity” for the UK to engage with European partners in a post-Brexit world.

The 3SI region covers nearly 30 percent of the EU’s territory which is home to over 112 million people across the 12 participating states which include Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia and Estonia.

Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia are also members.

The report says the 3SI needs “significant political and economic support” from other world leaders with the US currently being a major external partner.

Mr Kawczynski argued engaging with the bloc would “counter the growing influence of Moscow and Beijing in the region in the context of energy security and infrastructure investments.”

Harry Byrne

Harry Byrne

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