Nicola Sturgeon on hopes for Scotland to ‘trade freely’ with EU
The agreement came into effect on Saturday.
James Cleverly, the minister for Middle East and North Africa, said: “As we celebrate 100 years of UK-Jordan friendship, today’s new UK-Jordan trade agreement is an important step forward for our countries which will provide a boost to British and Jordanian businesses and ensure that friendship continues to grow and flourish.”
The deal is the latest post-Brexit pact to be secured by Britain.
But it is not plain sailing for the Government on the fishing front, as ministers face backlash over the collapse of talks with Norway.
Liz Truss has hailed a new post-Brexit trade deal with Jordan
The UK will continue to export cars to Jordan under the new deal
Barrie Deas, the chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said: “This is actually a loss of real fishing opportunities and in that sense we’ve gone backwards”.
The talks centred on British access to the North Atlantic.
The rich fishing ground which is key to Britain’s interests because it provides a large stock of cod and haddock for the nation’s fish and chip shops.
The UK and Norway signed an agreement last October but talks to decide the exact fishing quotas broke down on Friday in a defeat for Boris Johnson.
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The UK will continue to import vegetables from Jordan under the deal
1:30am update: Northern Ireland hit by another anti-Protocol protest by loyalists
Around 100 people took part in a band parade by Cloughfern Young Conquerors around the Rathcoole estate near Belfast on Saturday, protesting against the Northern Ireland Protocol.
It followed a small crowd gathered outside Belfast City Hall for a white-line picket the same day, and loyalists marching through Coleraine in Co Derry in a parade on Friday,
Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald claimed the protest in Coleraine on Friday was “a clear attempt to intimidate and raise tensions in the local community”.
Crowds carried banners including one with the slogan ‘Loyalist Coleraine Says No to Irish Sea Border’.
Loyalist bands played as people marched under Union flags.
Britons reacted with fury after a German MEP warned Brussels will use the UK as a “scapegoat” for its economic and Covid vaccine failures.
Gunner Beck MEP, a member of the European Parliament’s Brexit committee, said the EU is worried other members may follow the UK out of the bloc.
He commented: “If we assume that the recovery won’t be as rapid and dramatic as many had hoped, then the EU will be looking for scapegoats because it’s not in the habit of acknowledging mistakes, especially Ursula von der Leyen.”
Express.co.uk readers reacted with anger arguing Brussels is putting political concerns above its members’ economies.
Express.co.uk readers were angered by a German MEP warning Brussels will use the UK as a ‘scapegoat’
11:55pm update: Cheap steel could flood Britain after Brexit transition period expires
UK Steel, a trade body, has warned the Government ‘safeguards’ aimed at supporting the industry against cheap foreign imports expire next month after Brexit.
They said they believe the US and EU will extend their safeguards, and have called on International Trade Secretary Liz Truss to do the same for Britain.
In a three-page briefing note seen by the Mirror, the trade body says: “Extending the UK safeguards is the only sensible course of action whilst the US and EU continue with their own measures and global overcapacity remains as big a problem as ever.
“To do otherwise would unilaterally expose the UK market to significant increases in imports at a time when the steel sector, like the rest of the economy, is in the process of recovery.”
Dylan Donnelly takes over from Luke Hawker
Brexit name only is back, as Boris Johnson has failed to make a “decisive divergence from EU”, a political commentator has claimed.
The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to ratify the post-Brexit trade deal between the EU and UK, bringing to an end years of fraught negotiations.
The Parliament gave its consent to the deal in vote of 660 votes in favour, five against and 32 abstentions – a necessary final step for the deal to come into force permanently.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the ratification as approval as a more stable foundation for the relationship.
However, while Brexit might be done, political commentator and senior Economist Harry Western accused Mr Johnson of “failing to signal a decisive divergence from the EU economic model”.
Seats in the European Parliament after Brexit
London could be handed a post-Brexit boost with Britcoin, as the City attempts to grow outside of the EU, a financial adviser has suggested in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk.
Britain is considering creating a new “Britcoin,” or central bank-backed digital currency, aimed at tackling some of the challenges posed by cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak told the Bank of England (BoE) last week to look into it.
A BoE-backed digital version of sterling could allow businesses and consumers to hold accounts directly with the bank and therefore sidestep others when making payments, upending the lenders’ role in the financial system.
The UK-EU trade deal has now been formally ratified by MEPs, but the landmark agreement should be revisited as it hands control to Brussels on domestic issues, a leading Brexiteer has said.
The European Parliament reluctantly approved the Trade and Corporation Agreement on Wednesday, more than four months after the deal was agreed in December.
The divorce agreement has been provisionally implemented since January 1, but the interpretation of the deal has resulted in increased tensions between the UK and the EU.
Much of the friction centres around arrangements in Northern Ireland which has seen Belfast tied to the EU regulatory framework.
Brexit: Andrew Marr grills Dominic Raab over Irish border
Brexit has led to chaos for Scotland’s fisheries as fishermen warn they are enduring a “catastrophe”.
Fishermen on both sides of the English Channel are struggling to adjust to the post-Brexit terms as bureaucracy hit businesses.
Last month, French fishermen threatened to block trucks carrying fish from UK waters to Europe’s largest seafood processing centre in the northern town of Boulogne-sur-Mer.
One sign by a protestor read: “You want to keep your waters??? OK … So, keep your fish!!!”
Meanwhile in the UK, many fishermen are lamenting the Brexit trade deal as their businesses struggle to sell into Europe.
Brexit tensions remain prevalent as a former EU official said the bloc is “taking comfort in how much the UK has lost”.
The UK and EU’s Brexit trade deal has done little to quell ill-feeling between London and Brussels. Northern Ireland has been one key issue, with some Conservative MPs already lambasting the protocol which put a border down the Irish Sea.
The country has seen import struggles and also violence on the streets recently, and Brussels is threatening legal action over the UK’s decision to delay the full implementation of the protocol.
French fishermen also threatened to block ports last month while British fishermen have seen their businesses struggle.
Andrew Marr tore apart the Leader of Plaid Cymru’s Welsh independence plans claiming the European Union has never made a similar move in history.
Adam Price outlined that his party’s goal was to first join the European Free Trade Association and then eventually join the EU in the longer term.
Mr Marr said: “It must be very, very clever if you are going to persuade the EU to do something that absolutely nobody else in the world has been able to do.”
1.33pm update: Macron’s party teams up with conservatives for regional elections in south
French President Emmanuel Macron’s centre-right party has formed an alliance with the conservative Les Republicains (LR) for regional elections in June in the southern Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region, the prime minister was cited as saying on Sunday.
Coming a year after Macron’s La Republique en Marche (LREM) party got trounced in municipal elections, the alliance shows a recognition within the ruling party that it is too weak and unpopular to win some regions on its own.
Junior Minister Sophie Cluzel, the LREM’s regional candidate, will thus run on same ticket led by Les Republicains’ Renaud Muselier, president of the regional assembly.
Prime Minister Jean Castex told Le Journal du Dimanche that Muselier had proposed the alliance, to which Mr Macron’s party had responded “very positively”.
Mr Macron is preparing for the presidential elections in 2022 when Marine Le Pen will battle to unseat him from the top job.
President Macron’s party has teamed up with conservatives for regional elections
Guy Verhofstadt has called on the EU to step up its efforts to curb Russia’s influence by imposing “real sanctions now” – but Brexiteers have said the EU “should look inward before condemning others”.
On March 22 Brussels sanctioned two Russians accused of persecuting gay and lesbian people in Chechnya.
But Mr Verhofstadt suggested the bloc’s action did not go far enough as he called for a tougher response.
He said: “Putin’s nuisance value extends beyond Russia’s borders.
“He and his oligarch friends are not safe until free speech and critical media are silenced everywhere.
“Cut off their money supply, impose real sanctions now!”
While his call was welcomed by some on social media, others pointed to double standards within the EU.
One Brexit supporter questioned why Mr Verhofstadt wanted to punish Mr Putin for his efforts to gag Russians after he himself didn’t seem too keen on Brexiteers speaking out.
The person wrote: “Didn’t the EU try to silence the free speech and free will of the British people who voted to leave the EU?”
The EU has been told by Brexiteers to ‘look inward’ before condemning Russia
Brexit has left smaller countries in the EU fighting against big powers like Germany and France without a strong voice on their side, sparking calls for more exits.
The so-called frugal four (Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark) have lost their biggest ally with Brexit. Anti-EU sentiments in those countries are now growing as the bloc’s major powers prepare to squash their demands at the negotiating table for future policies.
According to Rutger van den Noort, founder of the Nexit Denktank, things like deciding who will foot the bill in the EU budget now that the UK has left the bloc will be a reason for contention.
Asked about the effects of Brexit on his country, he told Express.co.uk: “In terms of trade I don’t think there will be much of a difference. We did trade quite a bit with the UK and we will continue to trade with the UK.
“In the long term there will be no difference, we just have to absorb all the changes.
“Probably the situation for the UK will be even better in terms of economic growth, so I believe the UK made a really good step to get out because that freedom has a lot of value.”
Dominic Raab slapped down Andrew Marr during a fiery clash with the veteran BBC presenter over the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland.
The Foreign Secretary clashed with Andrew Marr after the BBC presenter challenged the Government over promises made regarding the impact of Brexit on the Irish border.
Mr Marr pressed Mr Rabb that Northern Ireland had been assured that the Brexit protocol would find unfettered access to the UK market.
The BBC host put it to Mr Raab that Boris Johnson’s government had not kept their promise to secure the free flow of goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.
He said: “The truth is you have not delivered on that promise.”
The interviewer attempted to interrupt Mr Raab but the cabinet minister was determined to get his point across.
He replied: “No, no, no! There are tensions clearly in the Northern Ireland protocol between protecting the integrity of the single market which the Europeans want.”
11.26am update: Plaid Cymru eyes return to EFTA for independent Wales
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has insisted the party’s plans for an independent Wales would allow it to be a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and maintain a single market in Britain.
Speaking to Andrew Marr, he said: “(It is) the so-called ‘Norway solution’ that we became very familiar with didn’t we during the Brexit debate which does provide us with that more frictionless access that we currently enjoy to the European single market.
“It would also give us the flexibility and the autonomy to be able to maintain a single market on this island as well.”
He said the management of the Welsh economy by the UK Government meant it had failed to reach its full potential and Plaid Cymru’s plans would not lead to cuts or tax increases.
“The Welsh economy has not been able to realise its potential for generations,” Mr Price said.
Mr Price added: “Our positive message is that Wales has great economic potential. The problem is we be locked in this unequal United Kingdom which concentrates wealth in one corner of the UK.
“It is a problem for us in Wales, it is a problem for parts of the north of England – and we have see there is even a movement for independence there and who can blame them?”
The PM has been told not to give an inch on banking in post-Brexit finance talks with the EU
10.37am update: Nine in 10 loyalists say united Ireland risks violence
Some 90 percent of unionists and loyalists fear a united Ireland could spark a return of violence in Northern Ireland, a poll has found.
The survey, which coincides with the centenary of the creation of Northern Ireland, found a significant majority of people on both sides of the border believe peace will be compromised by a united Ireland.
More than 2,000 people from Northern Ireland and the Republic were asked if they thought peace would be jeopardised by the prospect of unification, in a poll commissioned by the Sunday Life and Sunday Independent.
In Northern Ireland, 68 percent of people said yes, while in the Republic, the figure was 62 percent.
The results show that while the overwhelming majority of loyalists and unionists were convinced that peace would be compromised, 24 percent of nationalists and republicans in Northern Ireland and 17 percent of people in south of the border disagreed.
A sample of 1,500 adults over the age of 18 in the Republic and 750 in Northern Ireland were interviewed for the poll, run in conjunction with Kantar.
Boris Johnson has been told to cut off the EU from the City in a post-Brexit ultimatum as he was warned Brussels will see any softness on finances “as a weakness and walk all over you”.
Post-Brexit arrangements between the City of London and the EU have yet to be finalised five months after the trade deal was announced.
Analysts had previously warned Brexit would lead to an exodus of finance jobs from the City and firms would favour Paris and Frankfurt, but their predictions have so far proved inaccurate.
Express.co.uk conducted an exclusive poll asking readers if Mr Johnson should play hardball with Brussels and threaten to cut the City of London off from the 27-member state as part of a post-Brexit hard stance.
Ninety-four percent (4,238) said yes while only four percent (206) said no.
Just two percent of those who took part (83) said they didn’t know.
Historic moments that led to Brexit
Labour’s decision to install a Remainer as their candidate in the Hartlepool by-election is a clear indication that the party is still “out of step” with its bedrock support in the north, Brexiteer David Bull has said.
Mr Bull, who has experience of running for Parliament in the north-east, having stood in Sedgefield, former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s former constituency, in 2019, suggested Labour was guilty of taking its voters for granted.
And in a swipe at current leader Sir Keir Starmer, he suggested the party was “now rudderless” – while comparing the former Director of Public Prosecutions to a “sloth”.
The battle lines of Brexit are likely to shape the results of this week’s mega-elections, according to one of Britain’s most authoritative polling experts.
Sir John Curtice says recent strong polling for the Conservatives suggests that Sir Keir Starmer is facing a “very, very sticky wicket” and argues that Labour will struggle to win over voters in parts of the country that voted for Brexit.
Labour is fighting to stop the Tories winning Hartlepool for the first time in the by-election since the founding of the constituency and Sir John said the race is “close”.
It may well hinge on how voters who backed the Brexit Party in 2019 decide to vote this time.
British fishermen are disappointed with the Government’s latest flop on post-Brexit fishing
French vessels can begin to fish in Channel waters officially as a tense standoff over post-Brexit fishing rights begins to ease.
Jersey has agreed to issue the first post-Brexit licences to allow French fishing vessels to operate in the English Channel.
Following months of tense negotiations with France, the British Crown Dependency said it would allow the French into its waters for the first time under new post-Brexit licencing rule.
Boris Johnson is planning to spend billions of pounds on infrastructure and health care in Scotland in a bid to save the Union amid Nicola Sturgeon’s calls for a second independence referendum.
The Prime Minister is expected to spend the money on new road and rail links as well as treating Scottish patients on English NHS beds, according to reports.
It comes as the Holyrood election will be held on May 6 with the First Minister pledging to hold another independence vote if elected.
The UK has failed to agree a post-Brexit fishing deal with Norway
8.01am update: Backlash over collapsed fishing talks continues
Boris Johnson is facing a mounting backlash over the collapse of post-Brexit fishing talks with Norway which served as a hammer blow to the long-suffering industry just months after it was slapped with the dismal terms of the UK-EU trade deal.
UK Fisheries, the company that owns a supertrawler caught up in the fiasco, hit out at the Government’s latest failure. Hundreds of crewmen are out of work as the Kirkella remains tied up in Hull because it is no longer allowed to fish in Norwegian waters. The failure to reach a deal means fish and chip shops will be selling Arctic cod imported from Norway rather than landed in Britain, the firm said.
Hull East MP Karl Turner fumed against the collapsed talks.
He told the Independent it was “absolutely disgusting” to have to watch the fishing vessel, which normally catches around 10 percent of all the fish sold in the UK’s chip shops, remain tied up.
He said: “Brexit was supposed to be the fishing industry’s salvation. We had shysters like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson running around saying this was an opportunity to get the fishing industry back.
“We have been warning them about this for at least two years and I fear this is probably the nail in the coffin for fishing in Hull.”
(Additional reporting by Laura O’Callaghan)