For U.K.s Boris Johnson, Hardball Tactics Seem the Only Way to a Brexit Deal – The New York Times

LONDON Britain was at sea, lost in a fog of self-doubt. It had dithered only to retreat. And in its pursuit of Brexit, it exuded a conspicuous infirmity of purpose.

When Boris Johnson, now prime minister, resigned as foreign secretary in 2018, he was brutal in his critique of the government he had quit and of its leader, Theresa May.

Now, more than a year after her ouster, trade talks with the European Union are deadlocked, the mood is poisonous, and there are only weeks left to salvage a deal as Britain prepares to leave the blocs economic zone in January.But Mr. Johnson has already achieved what some analysts say is his one overriding objective: to avoid any comparisons of his negotiating style to that of his predecessor, Mrs. May.

While critics lampooned her as weak and risk averse, Mr. Johnson has gone to the other extreme, most recently by threatening to walk away from parts of a Brexit withdrawal agreement that he struck with the European Union only last year.

That prompted outrage, threats of legal action and speculation that the trade negotiations could collapse. But many analysts say this is just another move from Mr. Johnsons hardball Brexit playbook.

He absolutely had to have a bust-up to prove he wasnt Theresa May, said Anand Menon, a professor of European politics at Kings College, London, referring to the governments threat to override parts of an agreement that was designed to prevent the creation of a hard border between Ireland, an E.U. member, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Menon puts at 50:50 the odds of Britains leaving the European Unions economic zone in January with no trade deal at all.

But in stating this month that this would still be a good outcome, Mr. Johnson made a blunt point that, unlike Mrs. May, he has a solid majority in Parliament and the power to take an economic risk by leaving the bloc without a trade agreement.

There is a clarity about what Boris Johnson is doing that was lacking under Theresa May, Professor Menon said, so to that extent he can still bask in the glow of doing better than she did.

Whether that will translate into a deal will be tested in the coming weeks as the Brexit negotiations reach a climax with just a little cautious optimism in the air.

The backdrop to those talks is one of acute mistrust, worsened when Mr. Johnson threatened to walk back part of the withdrawal agreement that he struck last year. But the main theory in Brussels is that this was designed to raise the stakes in the negotiations, gain diplomatic attention and accelerate engagement at the highest political level.

These discussions are stuck on the issues of fisheries quotas and, most seriously, on Britains reluctance to agree on a set of antitrust rules with the European Union that would limit Londons ability to subsidize its own companies (and therefore, Brussels fears, dump cheap goods in continental Europe).

Historically, British governments and particularly ones under the Conservative Party, which Mr. Johnson now leads have tended to spend less cash this way than many of their continental counterparts, making this an odd issue on which to torpedo an agreement.

The blockage seems to come from Mr. Johnsons powerful adviser, Dominic Cummings, who sees no need for Britain to tie itself to any European rules and wants the freedom to subsidize the high-tech industries of the future, said Charles Grant, the director of the Center for European Reform, a research institute.

The combative Mr. Cummings appears content to do without any trade deal with the European Union and, in line with its hardball approach, the British government has gone into battle over an issue that few Britons care about. But there are differing shades of opinion and priorities in Downing Street.

Ultimately I think Boris Johnson wants a deal, Mr. Grant said.

True, Britain is now asking for a much more basic agreement than Mrs. May sought, and the economic gains of striking one are correspondingly lower. But the economy is more important now because the coronavirus has left British businesses reeling and in a weaker position to cope with the fallout of a no deal exit.

In any event, some Brexit watchers think they have seen similar tactics from Mr. Johnson before.

Last year, he talked tough but then retreated and signed the withdrawal agreement from which he is now threatening to reject. He has also been threatening to walk out of the current trade talks since early summer if progress was insufficient. Yet even as seemingly little or nothing of substance was accomplished until recently, his negotiating team remained at the table.

Mr. Johnsons pugilistic negotiating style should therefore not come as a surprise. Even while serving in Mrs. Mays cabinet, he let it be known that he favored a more muscular and unpredictable approach, that he wanted to try to seize the initiative in a set of talks where, in terms of economic scale, Britain is by far the smaller player.

His well-known appetite for making the big play was reflected in private musings, which were quickly leaked, about what President Trump would do to negotiate a Brexit deal. Thered be all sorts of breakdowns, all sorts of chaos, Mr. Johnson said. Everyone would think hed gone mad. But actually you might get somewhere. Its a very, very good thought.

This strategy, along with a desire to banish the memory of Mrs. Mays premiership, explains much of what has since occurred in the fractious discussions between London and Brussels, and the consequent brinkmanship.

For many supporters of Brexit, Mrs. Mays government was nothing short of a humiliation, with Parliament paralyzed, Britain missing deadlines for leaving the European Union and their project ridiculed. Some also felt that their warnings had been ignored because, while Mrs. May insisted that having no Brexit deal would be better than getting a bad one, few felt that she meant it.

Any negotiator knows that you can only obtain a good outcome if you are willing to walk away from a bad one, Peter Lilley, a former minister who supports Brexit, wrote in 2017.

When Dominic Raab, who is now foreign secretary, resigned as Brexit secretary the following year, he repeated the argument, insisting: To be taken seriously, we must be willing to walk away.

Mr. Johnson, having threatened to do exactly that and having distanced himself so thoroughly from his predecessor has given himself the political space with Brexit supporters to compromise should he opt to do so.

Ultimately, if Boris Johnson wants a deal, he can overcome any opposition in the Conservative Party it will take what it is given, said Mr. Grant, who worked as a journalist in Brussels at the same time as Mr. Johnson in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Its theater and it might work, Mr. Grant said of Mr. Johnsons aggressive style although he added that as with any high wire act, it can always go wrong, particularly with this political performer.

Boris Johnson doesnt necessarily have a strategy for delivering what he wants, Mr. Grant said. He lives from week to week.

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For U.K.s Boris Johnson, Hardball Tactics Seem the Only Way to a Brexit Deal - The New York Times

Brexit May Save the Irish Government From an Untimely Collapse – Foreign Policy

Ministerial resignations, internal party squabbles, a global pandemic, and a major national scandalno government would choose to face these obstacles at the beginning of its first term in office. Yet this summer, that was the unfortunate fate of Irelands new coalition administrationthe first ever to bring the rival parties of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael together, along with the Green Party. For a time, it seemed as though one of the most remarkable and unconventional political alliances in Irish history would also be one of its most short-lived. They had a very rocky start, to say the least, said Mary C. Murphy, a senior lecturer in government and politics at University College Cork. Its all been quite unprecedented.

Now, however, the return of an external threatBrexitmay save the alliance from an untimely end. On Sept. 9, the British government abruptly sent Brexit talks into crisis by introducing new legislation that seeks to overturn key provisions of Britains withdrawal agreement with Brussels, including a pledge to establish what is effectively a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain. By the British governments own admission, its move breaks international law, and it could jeopardize any Brexit deal.

Since the legislation was announced, Irelands taoiseach, or prime minister, Micheal Martin, has been able to shrug off his profile as the leader of a disaster-prone administration and emerge as Irelands national champion. In publicly criticizing U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and calling on Britain to drop the legislation, Martin has given the Irish something to rally around. Brexit enables the taoiseach to be the taoiseach, the Irish Times political editor Pat Leahy told me. It gives the government a platform to act like a government.

Yet damage caused by Brexit may also be fatal for Irelands government in the long term, particularly if the United Kingdom finally leaves the European Union without a trade deal. Meanwhile, underlying shifts in Irish politicsforegrounded by responses to recent scandalscontinue to haunt the two main governing parties. We are at the cusp of the old system crumbling, said David Farrell, the head of University College Dublins School of Politics and International Relations. What happens next is what we are all trying to figure out now.

Before its potential demise, though, the old system has certainly thrown Ireland a curveball. Perhaps youd have to be Irish to understand just how remarkable the coming together of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to form a coalition government was, Murphy said. The two parties had fought against each other during the bloody Irish Civil War of 1922 to 1923 and remained bitterly opposed for decades afterward. And while both follow roughly similar center-right policies, this history has always precluded them from merging. Instead, theyve alternated as the party in power for nearly a century.

It was also extraordinary that they managed to pull the Green Party on board as the third coalition member. The Green Party advocates environmental legislation anathema to many rural Fianna Fail and Fine Gael members, and it nearly didnt join the coalition due to party infighting.

This unlikely coalition was made possible by a major change in Irish politics: the electoral triumph in Februarys general elections of Sinn Fein, the left-wing nationalist party thats the former political wing of the paramilitary Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). Outvoting all three current coalition members to emerge as the largest party in Irish politics, Sinn Feins unexpected triumph highlighted a growing shift away from the platforms of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Rather than old Civil War-era loyalties, Sinn Fein gave economic issues center stagethough it didnt have enough seats to form a majority.

Sinn Fein played a good hand by highlighting problems in housing and health in particular, Farrell said. Irelands hangover from the global economic crisis is still going, with people facing long hospital queues and financial losses. Sinn Fein capitalized on all that.

The election left neither Fianna Fail nor Fine Gael with enough seats to form a government, separately or in coalition, and the two parties were unwilling to join up with Sinn Fein. So after four months of searching for a workable coalition that would have enough seats to form a majority, the Green Party was pulled on board.

After taking office on June 27, the new government rapidly ran into trouble. Within a few weeks, Martin had sacked his first cabinet appointee, Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen, following an embarrassing drunk driving incident. Several leading members of the Green Party then quit over their partys decision to join the coalition, while others voted against government bills in the parliament.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 crisis continued, and the government faced the difficult task of bringing the country out of a successful lockdown, which had been managed by former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Fine Gael, whose government had remained in office after the election in February, until the new coalition was formed in June. As the lockdown ended and the number of infections rose while confusing new rules and restrictions were instated, Martins stewardship of the crisis contrasted poorly with Varadkars. Arguments between Martin and the more cautious Varadkar, who is now the deputy taoiseach, also began to attract publicity.

Then came whats known as Golfgate. On Aug. 19, members of the parliaments Golf Society had a gathering that broke the governments own lockdown rules on the number of people allowed to meet. In attendance were senators, party officials from Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, a Supreme Court judge, and Irelands representative on the European Commission, Phil Hogan. It was symbolically immensely damaging, said Tom McDonnell, the co-director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute in Dublin. Many people have died, been isolated, endured so much. Yet then they see the people who make the rules attending parties.

Hogan eventually resigned, along with Dara Calleary, the coalitions second agriculture minister and Fianna Fail deputy leader, and Jerry Buttimer, the deputy speaker for the parliaments upper house. There was a sense that if they allowed those that were there to get away with it, the government wouldnt last long, McDonnell said.

A cull of senior politicians on this scale was unprecedented in modern Irish historybut so was the publics response. Its difficult to remember a past parallel where there was such immediate outrage, said Leahy, the Irish Times editor. It simply wasnt possible for those involved to ride it out. The lower house of the parliament was recalled early from its summer break to debate the scandal, and all across Irish mediasocial and otherwisethere was an enormous display of anger. In a September opinion poll, only 10 percent of participants said they would give their first preference vote to Fianna Fail, Martins partyfive points below the previous poll in May.

The severity of the public reaction, and the damage the scandal caused the establishment parties of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, shows just how much Irish politics has been changing in recent years. The strength of the publics response also reveals that the current coalition is now on a knife edge.

Surviving will not be easy, though, given the major challenges the coalition now faces. We will be dealing with a double economic shock come winter, McDonnell said, when well have the impact of both COVID-19 and Brexit.

The pandemic has already resulted in nearly 2,000 deaths in Ireland and may cause an 8.5 percent contraction of the Irish economy this year. Brexit, meanwhile, may also lead to major economic disruption, especially if Britain leaves with no deal. Irish beef, for example, may face a 50 percent hike in tariffs when exported to the United Kingdomthe industrys largest export market.

No deal would also raise major concerns about the Northern Ireland peace process. The foundation stone of this, the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, allowed for an open border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., and the Republic of Ireland, removing a source of tension between Irish nationalists and British unionists dating back to the 1920s. If the United Kingdom leaves the EU without a deal, the border may become a hard frontier again. This would be anathema to Irish nationalist groupsthe more radical of which, such as the New IRA, have declared their intention to attack any new border posts.

A bad Brexit would almost certainly strain the new coalition even further. While the taoiseach has affirmed that there will be no return of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, its unclear how that could be ensured. The coalition, for instance, might have to conduct customs checks on vehicles traveling from Northern Ireland into the EU single market of the Republic of Ireland. Theres no right answer to that one, said Murphy, the lecturer at University College Cork, but it will expose political division across the party system.

It was, after all, the question of what to do about that border that first pitted Fianna Fail and Fine Gael against each other nearly a century ago. [The government] will have to choose, Leahy said, between border checks and the single market, between the North and the EU. For Fianna Fail in particular, whose ancestors fought a bitter war against the imposition of the border, taking steps to implement border checks may be too much for many old party stalwarts to swallow. Sinn Fein would likely benefit from this, pulling members away from Fianna Fail. And the ones who remain may find themselves wondering if it is not finally time to bury the Civil War hatchet and merge with their old rivals, Fine Gael.

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Brexit May Save the Irish Government From an Untimely Collapse - Foreign Policy

Confidence in UK’s global role plunges after Brexit, poll finds – The Guardian

Belief that Britain is a force for good in the world has plunged in the last 18 months, a national poll has found, with under half of the UK now convinced of the countrys positive impact.

As negotiations on the UKs future relationship enter a key week in Brussels and with the country set to leave the EUs single market and customs union at the end of the year, a poll by Ipsos Mori suggests there is a lack of confidence in Britains global role.

Just under half of Britons (49%) believe that Britain is a force for good in the world, down 10 points from April 2019. While 41% of Britons say the UK should punch above its weight in world affairs, the proportion who believe Britain should stop pretending it is an important power is up five points from last year to 38%.

The public are still more likely to say that Britain should increase its influence around the world than reduce it by 36% to 16%.

The polling was commissioned by the EU-UK forum, a new organisation established in Brussels in an attempt to promote a close relationship between Britain and the bloc in the coming years.

The negotiations over a trade and security deal are due to resume in Brussels on Tuesday, with UK officials talking up the prospects of agreement. EU sources are more cautious, warning that the compromises necessary are yet to be made.

Relations have been made more difficult following Boris Johnsons decision to legislate to allow the UK to unilaterally rewrite the terms of the withdrawal agreement in what ministers have admitted is a breach of international law.

Such was the outrage over the governments move that the Democrat contender for US president, Joe Biden, warned that he would block a UK-US trade deal if the British government put at risk the Good Friday agreement by breaking with the arrangements agreed on Northern Ireland in the withdrawal agreement.

Despite the row over the internal market bill, in which the threat to breach the agreement was made, optimism has grown in recent days that a deal on a future relationship can be struck.

The internal market bill aims to enforce compatible rules and regulations regarding trade in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Some rules, for example around food safety or air quality, which were formerly set by EU agreements, will now be controlled by the devolved administrations or Westminster. The internal market bill insists that devolved administrations have to accept goods and services from all the nations of the UK even if their standards differ locally.

This, says the government, is in part to ensure international traders have access to the UK as a whole, confident that standards and rules are consistent.

The Scottish government has criticised it as a Westminster "power grab", and the Welsh government has expressed fears it will lead to a race to the bottom. If one of the countries that makes up the UK lowers their standards, over the importation of chlorinated chicken, for example, the other three nations will have to accept chlorinated chicken too.

It has become even more controversial because one of its main aims is to empower ministers to pass regulations even if they are contrary to the withdrawal agreement reached with the EU under the Northern Ireland protocol.

The text does not disguise its intention, stating that powers contained in the bill have effect notwithstanding any relevant international or domestic law with which they may be incompatible or inconsistent".

The bill passed its first hurdle in parliament by 77 votes, despite a rebellion by some Tory MPs.

Martin Belam and Owen Bowcott

A summit of EU leaders on 15 October is being seen by both sides as a crunch point by which time it will be clear whether common ground can be found on the outstanding issues.

The two sides have struggled to find a mutually acceptable solution to the level of access that European fleets will have to British fishing waters or how to maintain a level playing field for businesses in which neither side can unfairly lower production standards or prop up ailing companies through state aid subsidies.

But there is a growing belief in Westminster that the prime minister is not willing to face a no-deal exit from the transition period at a time when the country is struggling to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Ipsos Mori poll, Europe remains Britains most important relationship in the world for four in 10 of the public, with double the number of people choosing the EU over either the Commonwealth or the US.

Four in five think maintaining a close relationship with the EU is important despite Brexit, although only 39% of people now think that is likely, down 13 points since April 2019.

Two in five (40%) believe the top priority for Britains relationship with the EU is striking a trade agreement, with one in five saying it is to prevent and detect crime and terrorism, coordinate responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, or deal with global migration.

Paul Adamson, chairman of the EU-UK forum, said: The polling shows that the vast majority of people think it is important for the UK to keep a close relationship with the EU despite Brexit, and only a minority wants to see the UK stepping back from the global stage.

Since Brexit is a process not a final destination the EU-UK Forum is being launched to facilitate and nurture constructive and informed dialogue between the UK and the EU.

Ipsos Mori interviewed a sample of 1,068 British adults aged 16-75 between 10 and 14 September.

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Confidence in UK's global role plunges after Brexit, poll finds - The Guardian

Trade will be day-to day struggle after Brexit is completed, MPs told in grim industry forecast – The Independent

Trade will be a day-to day struggle after Brexit is completed, MPs have been told, in a bleak forecast from the key aerospace, chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries.

The inquiry heard of massive extra costs, a mountain of red tape, shrinking investment and chemicals disappearing from the UK market, from January.

Some medicines may not reach Northern Ireland if, as feared, extra tests will be required although it was very important that patients dont panic, it was told.

Those facilities [for testing] dont exist, so its not clear how it will happen, warned Richard Torbett, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

Neil Hollis, of the chemical giant BASF, highlighted 1bn of new registration costs, a loss of innovation and some chemicals no longer being available, adding: There's no positive spin on this.

And Paul Everitt, chief executive of the ADS Group, the aerospace trade organisation, said: Whatever happens now, we will be involved in a day-to-day struggle to ensure the goods that we need to see flowing across our borders.

He said: It will happen at whatever cost it has to bear but that obviously shapes and impacts on peoples future investment plans. Its not a happy place for us to be.

None of the three witnesses could state a reason for welcoming the end of the transition period, on 31 December, when challenged by Hilary Benn, the Brexit committees chairman.

The grim warnings came hours after the struggling UK car industry suffered another Brexit blow, when the EU rejected a UK plan to avoid export tariffs by circumventing rules-of-origin.

A woman poses with a home-made European Union flag as Remain supporters gather on Park Lane in London to show their support for the EU in the wake of Brexit


Remain supporters demonstrate in Parliament Square


Tens of thousands of people gathered to protest the result of the EU referendum


A majority of people in the capital voted to remain in the European Union


Protesters chanted: What do we want to do? Stay in the EU


The march follows a similar rally in Trafalgar Square that was cancelled due to heavy rain but which tens of thousands of people turned up to anyway


Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum by 52 per cent to 48 per cent


But support for the Leave campaign in urban areas and among young people was significantly lower

Rex features

Marchers gathered at Park Lane at 11am and marched towards Parliament Square


Some protesters held up baguettes in a display of affection for our continental neighbours


The disparity between different parts of the country has promoted a four million signature petition calling for a second referendum and even a renewed push for Scotland to cede from the UK


The events organiser, Kings College graduate Kieran MacDermott, wrote: We can prevent Brexit by refusing to accept the referendum as the final say and take our finger off the self-destruct button"


All the sectors will be hit even if a last-gasp trade deal is struck, because it will not spare domestic producers from the harsh effects of leaving the single market, the customs union and EU agencies.

The pharmaceuticals industry is pushing for the fallback of a mutual recognition agreement, to avoid the cost and delay of up to 6 weeks of re-testing when a medicine is exported to the EU.

Every month 45 million packs of medicines cross the Channel and 37 million are imported from the EU to the UK, it points out.

Mr Torbett stressed such an agreement was a bare minimum, pointing out a deal to allow data to cross borders was also incredibly important.

On the risk to medicines reaching Northern Ireland, he said stockpiles are being built up, adding: We will do everything we possibly can to manage risk.

The chemicals industry fears the 1bn cost of the UK pulling out of the EU database, known as REACH, in favour of its own regulation.

To put it bluntly, chemicals available now.... will remain on the EU market, but will disappear from the UK market, Mr Hollis said.

Mr Everitt criticised the decision to pull out of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, which certifies products, arguing continued membership had been negotiable.


Trade will be day-to day struggle after Brexit is completed, MPs told in grim industry forecast - The Independent

Let’s have a deal and friends with benefits post-Brexit by joining Efta – Telegraph.co.uk

It's time to end the idea that we can seriously leave with no deal when we are far from ready to manage it and in the middle of a pandemic. With public opinion turning against the prime minister, he needs the political win of a deal with the EU more than ever. But even with a deal achieved, the warm glow of that achievement will disappear in the new year when the reality of leaving the single market and customs union in favour of a basic trade agreement sinks in.

Public opinion already shows a clear shift against Brexit, with a YouGov poll released this week that showed 50% believing that in hindsight the UK was wrong to vote to leave the EU. Public opinion is opposed to the governments handling of Brexit and can see it has been handled haphazardly and divisively since 2016. A pragmatic solution was needed that the majority of the country could get behind.

No deal or a basic deal is inevitably going to lead to renegotiation in the future. Whether it be the Conservative Party or Labour, a future government will build on the deal we leave with in January. The reality is that we need a sustainable partnership with the EU and a strong alliance. The UK must have a comprehensive trade agreement befitting of this vital economic relationship. This reality is going to become ever clearer in coming months and years.

If we leave with an inadequate and thin deal, opposition to it will grow over time as the consequences sink in. If we leave with no deal, our economic is in trouble and the backlash against Brexit will be furious. The debate will be resurrected and the rejoiner movement will have wind beneath its wings and fire in its belly. Its time for a rethink and a change of direction.

Switzerland had an opportunity to distance itself from the EU and chose not to, showing the merits of not burning bridges. We should learn a lesson from them. Instead of pivoting to be the 51st state or pretending were like Japan thousands of miles away from Europe, we should join like-minded countries in Europe who want to be free from the EU but working in close political and economic partnership.

Now is the time to reconsider a future in the European Free Trade Association, the first step towards a more pragmatic way of relating to the EU than the scorched earth method weve resorted to. Why not go Swiss and balance the benefits of being out of the EU with the benefits of a free trade and individual freedom?

We are not Canada. Were part of Europe, not North America, no matter how much Atlanticists may wish otherwise. Its madness to consider the Afghanistan option (WTO rules) and the rejoiner movement is on a hiding to nothing. So, lets instead rejoin the organisation we helped establish in the first place and enjoy trade-based cooperation with our European friends without the political ties. Friends with benefits is the happy compromise the UK needs!

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Let's have a deal and friends with benefits post-Brexit by joining Efta - Telegraph.co.uk

Ireland ROW: Coveney breaks ranks and says ‘good chance’ Brexit deal DONE by end of year – Daily Express

Brexit negotiations have proceeded tentatively over the past few months as both the UK and the European Union continuously failed to find common ground on issues like fishing and state aid. Despite Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin expressing concerns about a trade deal being struck before the year is out, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney appeared more optimistic about the future. Speaking to Bloomberg, Mr Coveney said: "I think not agreeing a trade deal between the EU and the UK between now and the end of the year would be an enormous failure of politics and diplomacy.

"It would be damaging to the British economy and indeed the Irish economy and other EU countries also.

"The incentive is there to get a deal done. We know what the outstanding issues are and they're not insurmountable."

Mr Coveney continued: "I still think there's a good chance we'll get a trade deal before the end of the year.

"Even if we don't, there's still a lot to do in terms of implementing the international treaty that facilitate the UK leaving the EU that was agreed this time last year.

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"There are two negotiations in place, one about implementing what has already been agreed, which the British Government is not threatening to legislate against.

"And secondly, there is a future relationship agreement, the important part of which is a trade agreement that would avoid tariffs and quotas impacting trade between the UK and the European Union."

Negotiations grew sour after the UK Government tabled the Internal Market Bill, which the Cabinet insisted would help protect the smooth passage of goods between the UK nations.

But Brussels has warned the legislation would impinge on the withdrawal agreement struck in 2019, with a particular impact on the Northern Ireland protocol.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon told to 'forget' second independence referendum in landslide poll

Asked about the role of the legislation in the talks, Mr Coveney insisted the bill would become "irrelevant" once the UK and the EU reached a deal on their future trading relation.

He added: "If there's a trade deal done, two of the three issues that the Internal Market Bill proposed to deal with effectively are solved.

"So if there's a trade deal done , the contentious elements of the Internal Market Bill largely become irrelevant."

Despite concerns about a potential rebellion, the Internal Market Bill secured the support of a majority of MPs in its third reading phase and headed back to the House of Lords one of the final stages of the process to becoming law.

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Negotiations with Brussels resumed for their ninth round earlier this week despite the tense atmosphere between the UK and the EU.

Boris Johnson earlier this month moved up the talks deadline to October 15, insisting an agreement will need to be reached.

No Conservative MPs are understood to have rebelled to oppose the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, according to the division list.

A total of 21 were listed as not recording a vote - those who did not record a vote included former prime minister Theresa May and former attorneys general Geoffrey Cox and Jeremy Wright.

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Ireland ROW: Coveney breaks ranks and says 'good chance' Brexit deal DONE by end of year - Daily Express

Brexiteers issue angry warning to Boris at trade deal sell-out: ‘We will come after you!’ – Daily Express

Former Brexit Party MEP Richard Tice argued the UK Government could not afford to back down to the EU on state aid. While speaking on Brexit Watch with Jonathan Saxty, Mr Tice claimed Boris Johnson needed the flexibility of being able to set his own policies on state aid. He noted that this was not only important for international investment but in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Tice also warned the Brexit Party would hold the Conservatives to account in the final weeks of the Brexit trade deal talks.

He said the Government had a potential to sell out Brexiteers at the last minute to strike a deal with the EU, though he hopes this won't happen.

He said: "We have all got to be alert to the risk that the Tories do what they have done before, talk a good game and sell us out at the end.

"People are on the watch and the lookout. I don't think that will happen, I could be wrong but I would be cross if I was wrong.

DON'T MISS:Richard Tice issues stern warning to Boris over Brexit crunch talks

"We will make a big song and dance about it if they sell us out at the end.

"The Government should not be surprised if we come after them if they sell us out.

"Especially if they sell us out on crucial things like fishing and state aid."

He added: "State aid is really important and we must not concede there.

"Because in this huge economic downturn that we are going through it is going to get worse and worse.

"This Government is going to need to move at incredible speed to basically protect and prop up some strategically important businesses.

"For example the likes of Rolls Royce, British Aerospace, British Airways and many others that are facing a complete collapse.

"We have got to have maximum flexibility and it is more important than ever.

"There are working-class jobs up and down the country, these are in communities and local towns that rely on particular industries and it is very important."


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"The Government needs to be able to move very fast without having to go on bended knee to Brussels and to ask for forgiveness penance and their consent to do whatever."

Mr Tice went into greater detail of why Boris Johnson should refuse the EU's terms on state aid.

He added: "With state aid, people mostly say what is it and why do we care about it.

"It is very simple why we care about it, the hundreds and thousands of jobs that are potentially at stake, this is if we concede on state aid to the EU."

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Brexiteers issue angry warning to Boris at trade deal sell-out: 'We will come after you!' - Daily Express

We lost the Brexit fight now we must listen to voters, Ed Davey urges Lib Dems – The Guardian

Ed Davey, the new Lib Dem leader, has warned his party that it was diverted and distracted by Brexit and must now refocus on voters more urgent concerns, as he faces mounting internal demands to formally back rejoining the European Union.

Davey said that three poor election results in the last five years demonstrated the party needed to listen to voters again, warning that the Lib Dems had forgotten that we serve the community, we serve the people.

In an interview with the Observer during the Lib Dem virtual conference, he said the debate around EU membership was over for the next few years, adding that it was not the issue being raised by voters he had met during a listening tour he began after winning the leadership.

Davey lamented the course of the party since its huge loss of support in the wake of joining the coalition government with the Conservatives from 2010-15. He called for a return of the kind of party led by Paddy Ashdown or Charles Kennedy, which would listen to voters concerns and then give a liberal response.

I think somehow, whether it was the coalition years or recovering from the coalition or because we got not sidetracked but we got distracted by the Brexit battle, weve forgotten that we serve the community, we serve people. And we have to start with them and their problems, and not start with our particular interests.

We fought the good fight. I was marching on the streets. I was there in the lobbies. I gave it everything. But its tragic, we lost that fight.

Asked what he would tell ardently pro-EU members concerned about Brexit, he said: Id say that Im a pro-European. And Id say that were a pro-European party. That isnt changing. And by the way, the other thing we cant change is parliamentary arithmetic.

And so what is the challenge now? The challenge is to show that the progressives in British politics are on peoples side.

We are in a bit of a bind. Weve had three very poor election results, very disappointing, in five years. Ive got to rebuild the Liberal Democrats. And Im not going to be diverted and distracted like we were on Brexit. Im going to focus on rebuilding the Liberal Democrats.

However, his stance is already being challenged by members. About 700 are said to have signed up to a conference motion to back rejoining the EU preferably within 10 years. A similar motion calling on the party to back EU membership in principle will be voted on at the virtual gathering.

Davey, who has set out to make the Lib Dems the voice of Britains carers, accused the government of damaging the rights of disabled people with its coronavirus laws. He revealed his MPs would vote against the renewal of the coronavirus legislation this week unless the rights of the disabled were protected. The Coronavirus Act relieves councils of some of their legal obligations to provide care should they feel the need to do so in order to cope with the pandemic.

Theres some evidence showing that the pandemic has been hitting disabled people disproportionately, said Davey, who has a disabled son and cared for his mother as a teenager.

This is a time when they need more care, not less. I cant stand by, the Liberal Democrats will not stand by, to see disabled people lose their rights, lose the care they need, when they need it the most.

Asked how he now wanted voters to regard the Lib Dems, Davey repeated his leadership election priorities of a greener economy and a fairer society in a more caring country. However, the party had to take some time in trying to work out what voters are saying. Weve got to be humble enough to realise that we werent getting our message over.

Davey said the departure of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader would help the Lib Dem revival in seats where it was competing against the Tories. He said the fear of a Corbyn government had hindered the party at the last election. Corbyn was not helpful to us in our key marginals with the Tories. And the only way were going to get Johnson out of No 10 is if Liberal Democrats win more Tory seats, and Im determined we win many more seats off the Tories.

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We lost the Brexit fight now we must listen to voters, Ed Davey urges Lib Dems - The Guardian

PODCAST: Williams Mullen’s Trending Now: An IP Podcast – BREXIT: Its Effect on European Union Trademark Portfolios and What You Need to Know in the…

The United Kingdoms withdrawal from the European Union (BREXIT) is in its final transition period, which will conclude on December 31, 2020. BREXIT is affecting many areas of commerce for clients who do business in the United Kingdom and Europe and clients need to be prepared for the conclusion of the transition period later this year. Clients should pay particular attention to how BREXIT will affect intellectual property assets, such as European trademark registrations. This podcast will provide clients with advice on how to Seemore+

The United Kingdoms withdrawal from the European Union (BREXIT) is in its final transition period, which will conclude on December 31, 2020. BREXIT is affecting many areas of commerce for clients who do business in the United Kingdom and Europe and clients need to be prepared for the conclusion of the transition period later this year. Clients should pay particular attention to how BREXIT will affect intellectual property assets, such as European trademark registrations. This podcast will provide clients with advice on how to manage, protect, and expand international trademark portfolios in the wake of BREXIT. Seeless-

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PODCAST: Williams Mullen's Trending Now: An IP Podcast - BREXIT: Its Effect on European Union Trademark Portfolios and What You Need to Know in the...

Nigel Farage rages at Boris’s Brexit fishing compromise – ‘Already waited four years! – Daily Express

The Brexit Party leader said a three-year transition period for European fishing fleets was not what I campaigned for after the Prime Minister unveiled a scheme to reduce EU boats in UK waters. He said Britains fisherman have been waiting for four years for complete freedom.

Mr Farage tweeted: An EU deal is getting closer as the UK backs down on fishing.

A three year transition on EU fleets is not what I campaigned for. We have already waited 4 years.

It comes after new details of a fisheries compromise emerged from the post-Brexit trade talks with the EU as an eleventh hour attempt by David Frost to break the stalemate.

How is Boris Johnson handling the coronavirus crisis? Vote in our poll

Under new plans presented by British negotiators, the EU would be offered a three-year transition period to allow European boats to prepare for the changes.

Fishing opportunities for EU vessels would be phased down between 2021 and 2024 to offer coastal communities time to adapt to the changes.

But Downing Street is adamant the proposals will not infringe the UKs sovereignty over its coastal waters.

READ MORE:Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson hands car industry to EU in trade blow

A UK official said: On fisheries, we have been clear that we wont accept any proposals which compromise UK sovereignty over our fishing waters.

"Were seeking a relationship based on the EUs existing bilateral relationship with Norway.

In order to make progress, the EU must accept our position as an independent coastal state and any agreement on quotas must reflect that reality.

We remain committed to working hard to reach agreement by the middle of October.

DON'T MISSDon't bottle it now! UK fishermen send Frost extraordinary appeal[INSIGHT]Fishing trade deal secured! Boris Johnson to sign fisheries agreement [INFO]Boris has 'leverage' to deliver significant boost for UK fishermen[REVEALED]

Britain left the EU last January and is locked in negotiations on a new trade deal from 2021, as well as on implementing the divorce, as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, especially on the sensitive Irish border.

Trade talks resumed in Brussels on Tuesday.

Lasting until Friday morning and also due to cover energy links and transport, they are the final round of negotiations scheduled.

Brussels has dropped its demands for the two sides to reach a broad agreementon all the outstanding areas of dispute before drafting a final agreement and expects UK to engage in detailed discussions on post-Brexit fishing quotas and the government's future subsidy policy.

It comes after Britain signed a new fishing deal with Norway, which was hailed as a "crucial step forward" by chief Brexit negotiator Mr Frost.

He posted on Twitter: Delighted we have today signed a fisheries agreement with Norway.

It's a crucial step forward for when we leave the EU's Common Fisheries Policy in three months' time.

Continued here:

Nigel Farage rages at Boris's Brexit fishing compromise - 'Already waited four years! - Daily Express

Opinion: Ian McConnell: Pressure mounts on Brexit brigade to sort out their bizarre and sorry mess – HeraldScotland

PRESSURE on the Conservative Government to sort out its sorry Brexit shambles looked to be high indeed as the UK entered this crunch week in its hugely protracted negotiations with the European Union on a future trade deal.

Many arch-Brexiters are unlikely to feel much pressure. Wealthy Tories who have been pushing the European separatist drive would be relatively unaffected by the further major hit to UK gross domestic product from failing to secure a trade deal, and some might even benefit from the dislocation. For many others not in such a privileged and elite position, the ideology of Brexit they have been fed might satisfy them for now with some delighted to feel more British for some unfathomable reason (given UK sovereignty was never in doubt before this fiasco got under way).

Nonetheless, there is plenty of pressure on Boris Johnson and his Brexit-minded Cabinet to sort out their mess.

Among the public, there are already worries about a return to empty supermarket shelves, with the possibility that a no-deal Brexit at the year-end will add to major difficulties from a resurgence of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

READ MORE:Opinion: Ian McConnell: Pandoras box of Brexit woe as Biden and Pelosi intervene

Then there is peoples obvious desire to avoid further grim damage to an economy and living standards already hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, with much worse to come as unemployment surges and with Chancellor Rishi Sunaks job support scheme announced last week looking woefully inadequate.

Mr Johnson declared earlier this month that leaving the European single market with no deal when the transition period ends on December 31, if the trade talks with the EU were to collapse, would still be a good outcome for the UK.

The Confederation of British Industry, and UK businesses, seem to disagree.

Around 77 per cent of UK businesses want a deal to be agreed, a survey published over the weekend by the CBI shows. Only 4% say they prefer a no-deal scenario. This survey also reveals that the effect of the pandemic has lessened businesses ability to prepare for Brexit. Around 47% said the impact of dealing with Covid-19 had affected their preparations negatively.

CBI director-general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn talked about how the Brexit discussions were entering the eleventh hour this week. She said: A deal can and must be made.

Dame Carolyn warned that businesses face a hat-trick of unprecedented challenges: rebuilding from the first wave of Covid-19, dealing with the resurgence of the virus and preparing for significant changes to the UKs trading relationship with the EU.

She added: More than three-quarters of businesses want to see a deal that will support peoples jobs and livelihoods. This matters for firms and communities across Europe. For the whole continent, the pandemic has diminished firms ability to prepare for an abrupt interruption of restrictions on trade and movement between the UK and the EU.

Dame Carolyn talked about how a good deal would keep UK firms competitive by minimising red tape and extra costs, freeing much-needed time and resource to overcome the difficult times ahead.

And this brings us back to the big truth of Brexit. At this point, the UK is fighting to win the consolation prize of a comprehensive free trade deal with the EU. Such a deal is the Conservative Governments stated ambition in these talks, even if Brexit-minded ministers have at times signalled an alarming indifference toward whether or not there is an agreement. Such indifference has appeared alarmingly genuine, seemingly going way beyond mere negotiating bravado.

READ MORE:Opinion: Ian McConnell: If this is not time-wasting, just what is the Tory Brexit game?

The fact of the matter is that, even if a major free trade deal can be done, a huge amount of the economic damage for the UK is already set in stone with the Tory Brexiters determination to leave the European single market no matter what.

If Leavers do not believe this, they should look at the forecasts of the effects of Brexit under various scenarios drawn up by the Theresa May government. Some may feel a reminder of these forecasts is tiresome but the projections do point to the reality of the situation, which contrasts dramatically with Brexiters bluster.

Losing free movement of people between the UK and EU, with all the economic as well as societal benefits that brings, and the end of truly frictionless trade with the biggest free trade bloc in the world clearly constitute a very big deal indeed. And the May government forecasts show that.

The greatest damage obviously arises from a no-deal outcome. However, the impact is huge under any circumstances.

The May government forecasts, published in November 2018, show, even if there is no change to migration arrangements, UK GDP in 15 years time under a no-deal Brexit scenario would be 7.7% lower than if we had stayed in the EU.

The Tories, of course, plan to clamp down on immigration dramatically, and have legislated to that effect. On the basis there is zero net inflow of workers to the UK from European Economic Area countries, the forecasts from the May government have it that GDP in 15 years time would in a no-deal exit be around 9.3% lower than in a scenario in which the UK had remained in the EU.

READ MORE:Opinion: Ian McConnell: Moderate Tory voices absent as UK Brexit crusade at full tilt

If the UK were to conclude an average free trade agreement with the EU, the hit to GDP would be 6.7% on the scenario of zero net inflow of EEA workers, according to the forecasts. And even with no change to migration arrangements, which is now clearly an over-optimistic scenario, the hit to UK GDP even with the securing of an average free trade agreement is 4.9%.

These are all huge numbers. They show that, even if the UK Government does at this late stage mitigate the damage by securing a free trade deal, the hit to the economy will still be very large.

To put these numbers in perspective, the Conservative Government notes in its own paper on its sought-after trade deal with the US that such an agreement could, in the longer term, boost UK GDP by around 0.07% or 0.16% under two different scenarios.

There seems to remain a huge problem of perception among Tory Brexiters, and other Leavers, in the form of a remarkable over-estimation of the UKs clout on the international stage. Of course, the UK remains a large economy and influential in world affairs, but the days of Empire have long gone and the country is not the power it once was.

In this regard, a poll conducted by Ipsos MORI and published on Monday made very interesting reading. The poll, conducted for the EU-UK Forum, found 49% of Britons believe the country is a force for good in the world, down 10 points since April last year.

It showed around 41% of Britons believe the country should punch above its weight in world affairs, which is little changed from last year, although the proportion disagreeing with this assertion has risen from 18% to 24%.

Meanwhile, 38% believe that Britain should stop pretending it is an important power in the world, up five points from a year ago, with the proportion disagreeing having fallen from 35% to 28%. Even though four in five think maintaining a close relationship with the EU is important in spite of Brexit, only 39% of people now think that is likely, down 13 points since April 2019. That is a gloomy, but perhaps realistic, finding. After all, even if a free trade agreement is concluded, the UK has surely tested the patience of the EU with its bizarre Brexit crusade.

And that is before we even get to the Conservative Governments decision to bring forward legislation which could override key elements of the withdrawal agreement signed with the EU, crucially the Northern Ireland protocol. This protocol was formulated painstakingly to avoid the re-emergence of a hard border on the island, and creates a customs and regulatory border in the Irish Sea. Northern Ireland, to avoid checks and controls on the island, will be required to apply EU customs rules and align with a list of single-market regulations.

The UK has, following its technical Brexit on January 31, been protected from the actual effects by the transition agreement which has kept the country part of the European single market.

At this crunch point on the future relationship with the EU, the UK Government has much that it should be reflecting on.

The Conservative Government should look back at the May government forecasts, in terms of the economic reality of the situation. It should weigh whether it might just be a good idea to mitigate the economic damage from Brexit as much as possible given what has already happened, and what is to come, from the coronavirus pandemics impact on output and living standards. And, as it does so, it should reflect on its own perceptions of the UKs place in the world, and whether these might be out of date.

And it should do all of these things rather quickly. The clock is ticking. Ominously.

Originally posted here:

Opinion: Ian McConnell: Pressure mounts on Brexit brigade to sort out their bizarre and sorry mess - HeraldScotland

GBP/USD to end the year at 1.29 on a modest Brexit deal CIBC – FXStreet

Sterling has depreciated by around 5% versus the USD in September as the Brexit clock is ticking. Jeremy Stretch from CIBC Capital Markets expects a modest deal to be reached, supporting GBP resilience.

While we still expect a deal even this late, it will likely be far from comprehensive. While the UK has placed a self-imposed October 15th deadline on discussions, in line with the EU leaders summit, we would not be surprised if talks extend at least until the end of October. As the timeline tightens, we expect sterling to continue to be whipsawed by Brexit headlines. We underline that the reaction to a deal or no-deal scenario is likely to be far from symmetrical.

If our base case of a modest trade deal being agreed to is correct, expect modest GBP impetus into year-end, towards the 1.29 mark. Failure to reach a deal could see sterling heading back towards the end of March lows.

Beyond Brexit, the BoEs assumed V shaped recovery looks set to be challenged by tightening lockdown restrictions. Although the UK government remains intent upon avoiding a repeat of the March lockdown, the drag on service sector activity will still weigh on the recovery. While the BoE has acknowledged negative rates as part of its toolbox, they continue to view them as only being used in an emergency setting, namely a no-deal Brexit scenario.

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GBP/USD to end the year at 1.29 on a modest Brexit deal CIBC - FXStreet

Measuring the impact of Brexit – Fruitnet

Although trade negotiations with the EU are still underway, it is evident that the UKs fresh produce sector is going to be significantly affected by the UKs departure from the bloc. As stated in the governments Border with the European Union published in July, from 1 January 2021 the UK will operate a full, external border as a sovereign nation with controls placed on the movement of goods between Great Britain (GB) and the EU; these controls will be implemented in three stages up until 1 July 2021. This followed Theresa Mays announcement of the UKs Global Tariff setting import duty rates.

New research

Against this background, Dr Stavros Karamperidis, lecturer in maritime economics at the University of Plymouth, and Andrew Morgan, director of Global 78 both members of the Ports, Maritime and Waterways forum committee of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) are now undertaking independent supply chain research concerning UK fresh produce imports. This is scheduled to start in September, with a final paper to be published in early 2022.

The research will assess the economic impact of Brexit on inbound fresh produce supply chains, especially those that are most time critical. Bearing in mind that the latest complete year of UK overseas trade data sets are those for 2019, and also that Covid-19 has impacted economic activity throughout 2020, the work will investigate matters across three time periods: 1) in 2019 i.e. before Brexit; 2) in the 2020 transition period; and 3) in 2021 after final exit.

Combining rigorous data analysis with investigation of operational realities, the principal objective will be to achieve a fact-based holistic view of inbound fresh produce supply chains. This will require operational and economic evaluation of As-is and What-if scenarios, including break-even analysis. It will recognise too the need for a whole system / system of systems understanding.

Pre-project planning will be followed by three investigative phases, with a fourth phase focused on further analysis, reporting, and drawing conclusions. In the investigative phases, the researchers will seek to engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders drawn from among the following groups:

Stakeholders will be invited to participate in online structured interviews and periodic surveys. While the final paper will be in the public domain, those stakeholders participating will be able to receive anonymised and aggregated outputs in the interim, namely:

Commentary on provisional findings to date.

A selection of end-to-end process maps.

Benchmark logistics costs and cycle times for representative import routes.

Pre-project observations

As reported in FPJ, the UK retail fresh produce sector has a current value of 11.5bn with consumer demand for year-round availability of the full product range. Defra reports further show a heavy reliance on imports, both from the EU and the Rest of the World (around 38 per cent and 30 per cent respectively of total supply volume in 2019).

Overall, Spain and the Netherlands are the leading EU source markets, the latter also re-exporting imports from other countries. Growing seasons affect availability across domestic, EU and Rest of the World production. For example, citrus production follows the sun with South Africa replacing Spain as the principal supplier during the northern hemisphere summer. By contrast, bananas are harvested in the Caribbean, South America, and West Africa and imported throughout the year.

The sector is necessarily dependent on ports and shipping. Modes of appearance will be temperature-controlled containers (e.g. ISO 40ft) or road trailers (driver-accompanied or unaccompanied). As a broad generalisation, shipping will be deep-sea services from non-EU countries; and short-sea services from the EU these as either roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) ferry services or container feeder services. Airfreight and rail freight services also feature.

The Dover corridor is the major RoRo trade conduit, comprising high-capacity, high-frequency ferry services from Dunkerque or Calais and Channel Tunnel freight shuttle services, to provide up to 50 per cent of the UKs RoRo capacity. In normal times it averages approximately 12,000 freight vehicles inbound/outbound in a 24-hour period with around 13 per cent temperature-controlled. Other UK port and service clusters are Thames, East Coast, Irish Sea, and western Channel, with port terminals then segmented by type and capacity.

Emerging issues

With major impending changes in the EU:UK trading relationship, issues are expected to emerge during the project that will affect its direction. Some of those already identified include:

How import duty rates on fruit and vegetables (between eight per cent and 16 per cent unless a trade deal is struck with the EU) will affect sourcing decisions made by UK importers and the choice between EU or Rest of the World supply. These decisions will in turn impact on the ratio of road trailer to container use and the UK arrival/import routes and services used as a result.

How the existing trade patterns with EU countries could be reshaped. For example, whether Morocco would increase its presence as a supplier of oranges and tomatoes in place of current EU suppliers (such as Spain) because of its Free Trade Agreement with the UK.

The need for UK importers to have appropriate customs arrangements in place by 1 January 2021 including a customs comprehensive guarantee (CCG), a deferment account, and authorisation for customs freight simplified procedures (CFSP) in order to benefit from the three-phase compliance introduction.

Round-trip transport compliance and economics. Inbound traffic is often matched with outbound traffic for maximum vehicle utilisation and overall operating cost control. Round-trip compliance will now involve four customs gateways and possibly increased journey times all affecting whether an operation is still economically viable.

The risk of congestion and its effect on journey times, especially those involving time-critical consignments. Allied to this aspect will be competition for port terminal capacity, and the introduction of the Goods Vehicle Movement Services (GVMS) and pre-lodgement requirements.

Whether and to what extent the Dover Corridor will remain the preferred RoRo trade conduit. The UK government has mooted having new inspection facilities but away from the Port of Dover, encouraging traffic to use East Coast ports, and use of alternative ferry services such as those handling unaccompanied trailers, although there is much uncertainty about the details.

How traffic involving Ireland the Republic of Ireland and/or Northern Ireland including traffic transiting mainland UK will be handled, especially in view of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Next steps

The researchers believe that this will be a significant project in that it will bring together a wide range of stakeholders across a broad spectrum of commercial and regulatory activity. It will maintain an independent view of matters and the provisional results will be made available for research participants in the expectation that quality information will support effective decision making.

Continued here:

Measuring the impact of Brexit - Fruitnet

Coronavirus, Job Market and Brexit Stresses Darken the Outlook for the British Economic Recovery – FX Empire

Transition out of furlough scheme to abet market-based adjustment but raise unemployment

Rules that restrict economic activity most critically within the UK services sector and thus adversely impact demand and labour markets are occurring while the UK is phasing out current furlough wage support policies by end-October to be replaced with a six-month Job Support Scheme to subsidise wages for short-time work.

The premise to this change in policies to abet market-based economic adjustment and arrest the sharp increase in public debt is understandable given many of the jobs may not come back and in view of a public debt ratio we see rising past 110% of GDP in 2020, after 85% in 2019, says Shen. However, there will be, in following, a significant increase in unemployment due to this policy transition, with the effects to reverberate across the economy in the fourth quarter and into 2021 as lost subsidised income and resulting curtailed private final demand interact with economic losses from renewed economic and social restriction.

The public health and unemployment crises gather as Brexit negotiations enter a critical three-month stretch, including this weeks nominal final round of formal negotiation, before the transition state ends in December.

We have considered a year-end no-deal Brexit as unlikely, especially amid a global health emergency thats elevated the need for just-in-time supply chains and given political sensitivities of any Brexit disorder around the end-year Christmas period, says Shen. Instead, a last-minute agreement late in the year of some kind that avoids no-deal, announces progress made since March in free trade talks and gives the UK and the EU potentially additional time by extending standstill conditions for most if not all goods trade temporarily into 2021 to allow continued negotiation, give any time needed for Treaty ratification and/or support necessary preparations around customs infrastructure appears more likely.

No-deal remains unlikely from multiple vantage points whether due to the significant economic, financial market, social and political dislocations thatd ensue including probable loss of life amid the pandemic, the succour no-deal could give nationalists in Scotland surrounding independence, the frictions to trade no-deal facilitates within the UK itself between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or between the county of Kent and the rest of England in travel to Dover, the fact the UK is unprepared currently to replace arrangements with many global trading partners it benefits from preferential trade within the EU customs union, or the damage a no-deal scenario could deal to EU-UK relations longer term for both counterparties in key strategic areas.

The Internal Market Bill detailed earlier this month was likely designed to add pressure in trade negotiations similar to the tactical use of parliamentary prorogation in 2019 with the intention that such pressure could force the EU to back down on some negotiation red lines, adds Shen.

As such, things on Brexit could easily still get worse before they get better with uncertainty looming around how much progress will have been made before a self-imposed 15-16 October European Council deadline. However, we maintain the view that even were the UK to agree on terms with the EU ultimately, theres an ongoing cost of Brexit uncertainties as future relationship negotiations drag on into 2021. Entering 2020, we estimated this Brexit cumulative cost in lost output had already totalled to over 1.5% of UK GDP.

With protests against coronavirus restriction, higher short-run unemployment and banks relocating operations to Europe, economic output is foreseen contracting in the fourth quarter and the robust recovery foreseen in 2021 will take some hit, says Shen. This holds important credit implications for the United Kingdoms AA/Negative ratings were economic uncertainty and rising public debt to not be firmly addressed.

For a look at all of todays economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Dennis Shen is a Director in Sovereign and Public Sector ratings at Scope Ratings GmbH.

Original post:

Coronavirus, Job Market and Brexit Stresses Darken the Outlook for the British Economic Recovery - FX Empire

Is Covid-19 giving brands a new perspective on Brexit? – Marketing Week

Covid-19 may have put Brexit strategy on the backburner, but has the existential threat posed by the pandemic recalibrated how brands view Britains exit from the EU?

With attention diverted by the all-encompassing trauma that is Covid-19 it has been easy to forget that, prior to the spring of 2020, Brexit was the biggest challenge facing most UK companies.

Now, just months before the transition period of the UKs departure from the EU ends on 31 December, businesses still dont know what shape Britain's future relationship with its nearest neighbours will take.

Have they been able to make any preparations for Brexit, or has dealing with the pandemic taken all their time and energy?

Shoe brand Joseph Cheaney imports nearly all its raw materials, particularly leather, from the EU. The tanneries are based in France, Italy, Germany. They make the best calf leather in the world and thats where we buy it from, explains joint managing director William Church.

He is hoping that tariff-free imports of these materials will still be possible next year and that any delays from customs checks will be minimal. Stockpiling large quantities of materials in case of supply issues isnt practical and the company wont be repeating the efforts it made on previous occasions when a cliff-edge Brexit looked likely.

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Is Covid-19 giving brands a new perspective on Brexit? - Marketing Week

Economic Data, Brexit, and the US Presidential Debate to Keep the Markets Busy – FX Empire

For the Kiwi Dollar

Building consents and business confidence figures were in focus.

In August, building consents rose by 0.3%, partially reversing a 4.6% slide from July.

The Kiwi Dollar moved from $0.65820 to $0.65853 upon release of the figures that preceded business confidence figures.

Of greater significance, however, was business confidence in September.

The ANZ Business Confidence Index rose from -41.8 to -28.5, which was down from a prelim -26.0. In August, the index had stood at -31.8.

According to the latest ANZ Report,

The Kiwi Dollar moved from $0.66010 to $0.66056 upon release of the figures. At the time of writing, the Kiwi Dollar was up by 0.27% to $0.6606.

Industrial production and retail sales figures were in focus.

In August, industrial production rose by 1.7%, following an 8.7% jump in July. Economists had forecast a 1.5% rise.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry,

Industries that mainly contributed to the increase were:

Industries that mainly contributed to the decrease were:

Forecasts for September were revised upwards from a 1.9% increase in production to a 5.7% increase. Industrial production is projected to rise by 2.9% in October.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, retail sales fell by 1.9%, following a 2.9% decline in July. Economists had forecast a 3.5% decline.

The Japanese Yen moved from 105.672 to 105.693 upon release of the figures. At the time of writing, the Japanese Yen was down by 0.03% 105.69 against the U.S Dollar.

It was a particularly busy morning. Key stats included Septembers NBS private sector PMIs and the markets favored Caixin Manufacturing PMI.

In September, the NBS Manufacturing PMI rose from 51.0 to 51.5. Economists had forecast a rise to 51.2. The NBS non-manufacturing PMI increased from 55.2 to 55.9, leading to a rise in the composite from 54.5 to 55.1.

The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.71341 to $0.71334 upon release of the NBS figures that preceded the Caixin number.

In September, the Caixin Manufacturing PMI slipped from 53.1 to 53.0. Economists had forecast a PMI of 53.1.

According to the September survey,

The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.71369 to $0.71381 upon release of the PMI.

Building approvals and private sector credit figures were in focus.

With geopolitics and private sector PMI numbers out of China, however, the stats had a muted impact on the Aussie Dollar.

Building approvals fell by 1.6%, while private sector credit stalled in August.

The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.71449 to $0.71369 upon release of the figures that preceded Chinas Caixin survey numbers. At the time of writing, the Aussie Dollar was up by 0.08% to $0.7136.

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Economic Data, Brexit, and the US Presidential Debate to Keep the Markets Busy - FX Empire

‘NO compromise!’ Boris ordered to stand firm as Brexit Britain ‘fighting for sovereignty’ – Daily Express

Former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib argued the UK cannot compromise on its red lines in the trade talks with the EU. While speaking with Belinda de Lucy from Brexit Unlocked, he urged Boris Johnson to stand firm in talks. Ms de Lucy said: "So I've noticed a few tweets from some very strong Brexiteers recently saying, 'Well, is it all that bad if we compromise a little bit on state aid?'

"To me, it's a way the EU can keep its tentacles around our economy.

"This is because I don't think they'll use it in good faith.

"How can you explain how these compromises will be bad for the UK, in the long term, if Boris does buckle on state aid?"

Mr Habib insisted the UK should remain strong and focus on its goal of being completely separate from the EU.

DON'T MISS:Italy fury sparks fears COVID-19 recovery fund will lead to Italexit

He said: "When people talk about making a compromise in a deal, that's around the edges of the grey areas of the deal.

"But actually, the key issue here, what we're fighting for here is our sovereignty.

"We're not fighting for an extra bit of tariff, perhaps or, you know, greater access to their fishing.

"We're fighting, actually, for our sovereignty, and there can be no compromise on taking back control.

"Boris promised he would take back control on all of our laws, our borders, our cash and our fishing."

Despite previously praising Lord David Frost, Mr Habib warned about a statement made by the negotiator.

Mr Habib said: "That is, and you cannot compromise on that.

"I heard David Frost a couple of months ago saying, well, we might have to compromise on 40 percent of our red lines.


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"Well, which bit of sovereignty do you want to give away? Which part of the United Kingdom do you want to hand over to the European Union?"

It comes as Brexit talks enter the ninth stage of negotiations this week between the UK and EU.

Ahead of talks Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said in London that Britain's focus was on progress in trade talks.

"Although the last two weeks of informal talks have been relatively positive there remains much to be done," he said.

"We simply want the standard free trade agreement ... we continue to be asked to accept provisions that do not reflect the reality of our status as an independent country."

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'NO compromise!' Boris ordered to stand firm as Brexit Britain 'fighting for sovereignty' - Daily Express

My blue passport has arrived and with it a crushing new sense of our Brexit nightmare – The Guardian

In February, I lost my passport in the stupidest way yet. I was not mugged, pickpocketed or burgled (passports one to three), I did not drop it in a pond (passport four), or lose it in a house move (passport five), I just walked through a station in a bit of a daze, and by the time I got to my platform, it was gone. I tried to self-soothe with the fact that, at least I now had time to renew before the blue ones came in, but that plan did not square with the global pandemic, and the document arrived today, as blue as midnight and also as dark.

Some observations: we definitely are not in the EU any more. There are no stars, just a lion, a unicorn and a peculiar and bereft illustration of the UK, with Northern Ireland a floating blob, the rest of the landmass etched out like Trotskys face. I dont know why I should find this so disappointing. Obviously on some subconscious level, I thought it was all a dream, or a joke.

The colour, meanwhile, is not the nostalgia kick you might have hoped for, if that was your thing, since it genuinely is blue, while the pre-EU ones looked more like black. This somehow says it all about the Brexit project, that it would fight to the death over a principle that was trivial and wrong. Three flowers and a shamrock are embossed on the back, for poetry I suppose, except the daffodil could be any flower, and the overall effect is of someone finding free graphics on the internet for a superbly boring PowerPoint presentation.

Yet by far the worst thing about it was my own photo, as ever, contriving to look meaner and more like Myra Hindley than the last, which was itself the worst picture I had ever taken. Remarkably, and powerfully, this lifted my spirits. Some things never change. Every passport has a worse photo than the last even, mysteriously, one you lost after only six months. But everything else can change, and who knows, by 2030, the blue years could be over.

Zoe Williams is a Guardian columnist

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My blue passport has arrived and with it a crushing new sense of our Brexit nightmare - The Guardian

Remainer Ash Sarkar told Brexiteers ‘don’t have care in world’ about no deal in fiery row – Express

During Channel 5's Jeremy Vine programme, Ms Sarkar and Mr Parry clashed regarding the Government's negotiation strategy with the European Union. Ms Sarkar stated that Boris Johnson's Government needs to face serious questions regarding its competency on Brexit while Mr Parry argued the Government have prepared for a no deal scenario.

Ms Sarkar said: "Boris Johnson won an election promising to get Brexit done and saying that his deal was oven ready.

"That is a promise that he made to the electorate, it was a core part of his mandate.

"When his Government failed to deliver on that for whatever reason I think that there are some serious questions that we need to ask of their competence.

"When it comes to if these trade deals with the US and Japan will be enough to compensate for the lack of a trade deal with the EU, I am not as convinced as you."

READ MORE:EU warning: European fishing to be 'devastated' if UK chooses no deal

Mr Parry replied: "I agree but the point is how long do we go on with Mr Barnier and the Europeans just trying to pretend that Brexit hasnt happened?"

Mr Vine asked: "Isnt it the case we didnt foresee how important the fishing rights were going to be?"

Ms Sarkar responded: "I think there was a sense that it was going to become a real sticking point.

"It was one of the things that drove people to vote Leave in the first place, so I dont buy this argument that the Government did not see it coming."

Mr Parry said: "They did and they have made preparations for it.

"Michael Gove is going around telling people we are not worried, he has not got a care in the world about a no deal Brexit because they always thought it might come to that."

Earlier this month British fisherman Paul Lines told Express.co.uk that the UK faces a tough "balancing act" in trade negotiations with the European Union regarding UK fisheries following the completion of the post-Brexit transition period.

Mr Lines stated annual talks between the UK and the EU may need to be held to establish and develop the terms and conditions of fishing in Britain's waters following Brexit.

DON'T MISSSturgeon forced to accept EUs terms and common fisheries policy[INSIGHT]UK needs to push EU for same fishing deal already given to Norway[VIDEO]Underestimating the importance of fishing 'devastated' UK towns[ANALYSIS]

He said: "They shouldnt walk away, what they should do is add a deal that gives us back sovereignty of our waters and gives us back our resources.

"Then we can do some sort of access arrangement for foreign vessels to fish in our waters and pro-rota for our to fish in theirs because making a line down the sea on the second of January is not going to work.

"You are going to have to have annual talks on what the terms and conditions are going to be.

"That is a very fine balancing act, but it must not be decided by demands from Dutch and French fishermen who want to carry on as they are.

"Things have got to change, and we have got to rebuild an industry that is sustainable."

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Remainer Ash Sarkar told Brexiteers 'don't have care in world' about no deal in fiery row - Express

Brexit fishing victory: UK sector to explode after leaving EU as thousands of jobs created – Express

Paul Lines told Express.co.uk that the UK's fishing industry has the potential to grow from around 0.5 percent of Britain's GDP to 3.5 if zonal attachment is reintroduced after the post-Brexit transition period. Mr Lines added that Britain's coastal communities will thrive off having a fishery and it may result in thousands of jobs created within the fishing sector.

Mr Lines said: "I dont think GDP has any bearing on anything because if you put zonal attachment back and we get the fish back that we should have in our water, GDP will rise to about 3.5 percent.

"3.5 percent is not to be scoffed at and also it is meaningless when you talk about GDP in terms of jobs.

"Coastal communities thrive off having a fishery, there would be thousands of jobs developed directly involved in fishing.

"The nations GDP should not deny communities thousands of jobs.

READ MORE:EU warning: European fishing to be 'devastated' if UK chooses no deal

"You cant judge anything on GDP because it has to rise and get bigger.

"Any jobs that come from Brexit are good jobs so I dont think that should have any bearing on it whatsoever."

The British fisherman also stated during his 45 years as a fisherman he has only seen the demise of the British sector.

However, he insisted followingBrexit, the UK can return to its former glory and replace their European competition as the dominant force in the industry.

Mr Lines said: "Britain stands to regain some of its former greatness.

"I have been in fishing for 45 years and all I have ever seen is the demise of fishing, I have seen half of our fleet cut up.

"I have seen days where the sea comes in and restricts what you do.

"I have seen quotas fall to the point where we have got one vessel left.

DON'T MISSSturgeon forced to accept EUs terms and common fisheries policy[INSIGHT]UK needs to push EU for same fishing deal already given to Norway[VIDEO]Underestimating the importance of fishing 'devastated' UK towns[ANALYSIS]

"What we have got left we struggle to get a living from."

He added: "We gave it all away to be part of Europe, now we want it back.

"We want to see their boats cut up, we want to see their new modern fleet gone because we want that.

"As a country we have got to have that, if we are going to survive on our own, we have got to have everything that we can bring to play to make money."

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Brexit fishing victory: UK sector to explode after leaving EU as thousands of jobs created - Express