Boris Johnson accused of ‘mis-selling’ Brexit deal
The post-Brexit trade deal signed between the EU and UK is coming under scrutiny from pro-European and Eurosceptic groups keen to learn what the agreement will mean for both sides after a draft was published on Boxing Day.
Boris Johnson has said the “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 1,246-page text.
However Lord Ricketts, the former national security adviser, warned that security and justice co-operation will be “slower” and “more clunky” than under EU membership, and that the UK will have a “more arms-length” role in Europol.
National Crime Agency welcomes trade deal
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said it welcomes the Brexit trade deal with the European Union, which set out terms on security and information sharing.
An NCA spokesperson said: “This will allow us to retain access to the majority of EU law enforcement criminal justice tools that benefit law enforcement across Europe.
“We will work with our law enforcement and government partners to facilitate the transitions necessary.”
Tom Batchelor26 December 2020 15:10
Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal will give the PM a short-term boost – but now he has other problems to deal with | Analysis
It was hardly surprising that Boris Johnson wrapped himself in the Union Flag as he began his campaign to sell the UK’s trade deal with the EU, writes Andrew Grice.
Or that he replayed his greatest hit by recalling the Brexit referendum. “This deal expresses what the people of this country voted for in 2016,” he told a Downing Street press conference.
Tom Batchelor26 December 2020 14:55
Boris Johnson and his government are ending the year as they started it – a massive disappointment | Opinion
“I’m going to send a Hail Mary email to Matt Hancock, but I know what the answer is.” This was a message from one of my staff to our office WhatsApp group the day before our office closed for Christmas Day, writes Jess Phillips.
That morning he’d heard the desperate voice of a critical care nurse asking us if, as she was working on Christmas Day, there was any way she could postpone her Christmas Day and the visitors she had arranged to 27 December. The question had broken our hearts because we knew the answer.
Tom Batchelor26 December 2020 14:40
‘We had to compromise somewhat,’ says negotiator
A senior member of the UK’s negotiating team has defended the fishing compromise set out in the post-Brexit trade deal with the EU after coming under criticism.
The unnamed official, quoted by the PA news agency, said: “Fisheries was one of the areas where we had to compromise somewhat. Both sides have had to. But the crucial thing on fisheries policy is that although there is a transition, at the end of the transition it returns to normal arrangements and we have full control over our waters.
“There’s a transition to that point and ideally we would’ve got out of it a bit faster but where we’ve got to is acceptable and offers gains for the fisheries industry in the short run and a huge right to control everything and work within that after this five-and-a-half-year transition.”
Tom Batchelor26 December 2020 14:25
Government taking Scotland in ‘wrong direction’ with Brexit, says Sturgeon
The UK government is “forcing” Scotland in the “wrong direction” with Brexit, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The Scottish first minister, speaking as the deal on the future relationship between the UK and the EU was published, complained that promises made to the country’s fishing sector had been “broken”.
She also insisted it was “extraordinary” that Boris Johnson had decided to “inflict a hard Brexit” on the UK in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting recession.
Ms Sturgeon spoke out on the issue after the Scottish government warned the agreement reached by the prime minister could cost Scotland £9bn by 2030.
Analysis by the Scottish government indicated GDP could be reduced by about 6.1 per cent, compared to staying in the EU.
With Scotland having voted to stay in the EU in the 2016 referendum, Ms Sturgeon stressed that Brexit was happening “against the wishes of most people in Scotland” and said it would “hit jobs and living standards at the worst possible time”.
Tom Batchelor26 December 2020 14:10
Last minute deal gives just a week to prepare – and leaves many questions unanswered
Despite the deal, unanswered questions linger in many areas, including security cooperation — with the UK set to lose access to real-time information in some EU law enforcement databases — and access to the EU market for Britain’s huge financial services sector.
Many others areas, from fishing to wine, require subsequent negotiations, proving that the issue of Brexit has not been settled.
Tom Batchelor26 December 2020 13:55
‘One of the biggest and broadest agreements ever,’ claims negotiator
Downing Street’s chief Brexit negotiator Lord Frost has said the trade deal with Brussels should herald a “moment of national renewal”.
After the publication of the treaty, the peer said it was “one of the biggest and broadest agreements ever” that he said ensures the UK “sets its own laws again”, without mentioning the added bureaucracy and friction for people and businesses that Brexit will bring, from customs paperwork to limits on where Britons can live and work.
“The way we’ve achieved that is there’s no more role for the European Court of Justice, there’s no direct effects of EU law, there’s no alignment of any kind, and we’re out of the single market and out of the customs union just as the manifesto said we would be,” he said.
“This should be the beginning of a moment of national renewal for us. All choices are in our hands as a country and it’s now up to us to decide how we use them and how we go forward in the future.”
Tom Batchelor26 December 2020 13:40
Tom Batchelor26 December 2020 13:25
Will the deal allow goods to be exchanged between the EU and the UK as they are today?
The European Commission has produced a Q&A for the deal.
On the question of free trade, it states:
Trading under ‘FTA’ (free trade agreement) terms – even one as ambitious as this one, with zero tarifs or quotas – will inevitably be very different compared to the frictionless trade enabled by the EU’s Customs Union and Single Market.
-rules of origin will apply to goods in order to qualify for preferential trade terms under the agreement;
-all imports will be subject to customs formalities and will need to comply with the rules of the importing party;
-and all imports into the EU must meet all EU standards and will be subject to regulatory checks and controls for safety, health and other public policy purposes.
Tom Batchelor26 December 2020 13:10
‘First trade deal in history to erect, rather than remove, barriers to trade’
Tom Batchelor26 December 2020 12:55