Brexit: Micheal Martin says deal ‘in best interest’ of everyone
Brendan Byrne urged Charlie McConalogue, Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin’s Minister for the Marine, to “do his duty” taking a stand for the industry – while lambasting the EU. The argument stems from the bloc’s decision to reverse a so-called derogation that allows crews to weigh their catches away from ports, with eurocrats citing alleged violations of the initial agreement.
French, Spanish and Belgian boats which also fish in Irish waters are not required to do likewise.
Mr Byrne, the chief executive of the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association, told Tom McSweeney during his Maritime Ireland radio programme on RTE Mr McConalogue should “do his duty and stand up for the industry he is mandated to represent”.
He added: “The Irish sector has had no visibility of the body of evidence against it that led to this draconian decision.
“We are working in a completely blind way. The Commission has taken this decision and, obviously, there is information contained within that, but none of us has seen that.
Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheal Martin and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
“This has had a devastating effect on the fisheries sector.
“We need more visibility, because this is going to impact every level, at every sector of the fisheries in the next two years.
“There’s going to be no quick fix, and this is going to be a long slow slog back to normality. This body of evidence that no one has seen but it’s been compiled by someone that has led to a decision by the Commission to revoke our control plan.
“No one knows what we’re accused of. We can defend our record on our plans, digitally and robustly and we will do that. But let’s see the charges against us.”
France is poised to take “retaliatory measures” against Jersey, such as cutting off the electricity supply, if UK authorities refuse French vessels access to the waters surrounding the island.
On Tuesday France’s minister of justice, Annick Girardin said: “These retaliatory measures we are ready to use them. I am sorry it has come to this. We will do so if we have to.”
She mentioned these retaliatory measures during a questioning session in the French government’s National Assembly.
Manon Dark takes over from Steven Brown
US President Joe Biden
Tuesday 4 May
Michel Barnier has become “a eurosceptic” according to Nigel Farage after the EU’s former chief Brexit negotiator admitted it was easier to “act alone” than within a major political bloc such as the EU.
Mr Barnier spoke in an interview this week with France Inter radio where he suggested there was an “ideological mistrust of public-private partnerships” that has plagued the EU’s vaccine output.
He also claimed the EU had “not yet learned to take risks”. Referring to the Frenchman’s comments today the former Brexit Party leader Mr Farage tweeted: “Michel Barnier has become eurosceptic.”
He then included a link to an article which suggested Mr Barnier had concerns about the effectiveness of the bloc in light of the slow vaccine distribution throughout the EU.
EU bosses have scrambled to salvage stalled trade negotiations with India as Boris Johnson announced a series of £1billion trade and investment deals with the manufacturing powerhouse.
The Prime Minister is tipped to sign a hefty trade package with New Delhi within the next 12 months.
On Tuesday Downing Street said the new partnership would “pave the way” for a future UK-India Free Trade Agreement.
A draft statement from the EU and India suggests Brussels is desperate to get a deal of its own with the South Asian nation, which is the sixth largest economy in the world.
And in a clear sign the bloc are keen to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, the document is scheduled to be signed by EU ambassadors on Wednesday.
Joe Biden has reinforced his warning to the UK to not interfere with the Good Friday Agreement, appearing to side with the EU on the fractious Brexit border issue.
Although the US and UK seem united on major global issues, one point of contention is the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
When Mr Biden was campaigning for election he hammered home relentlessly that he would “ensure there was no US-UK trade deal if the implementation of Brexit imperils the Good Friday agreement”.
This week US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab in London.
On Monday at a press conference, differences emerged between the US and the UK’s attitude towards border issues in Northern Ireland that have arisen due to Brexit.
A farmer in Belgium has sparked a border dispute after moving the frontier with France to make more space for his tractor.
Belgium has inadvertently annexed a part of France after an irate farmer decided to move a border marker blocking the route of his tractor.
The incident took place near the town of Erquelinnes which sits along the border opposite the French town of Bousignies-sur-Roc.
While the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc is not pleased, the mayor of Erquelinnes David Lavaux is reported to be “happy” that his community has grown by more than two metres at the expense of his French counterpart.
Mr Lavaux told the TV network TF1 the farmer had “enlarged Belgium and reduced France” by moving the stone which had marked the border for more than 200 years.
DUP’s Edwin Poots
Britons have lashed out at EU countries amid warnings taxes for UK expats could skyrocket, with some saying the proposal flies in the face of the bloc’s “luvvie, open arms” stance.
British citizens who have set up home on the continent are braced for higher taxes on their buy-to-let properties in the UK. There are an estimated 500,000 Britons who own second homes in EU member states.
According to a Financial Times report, Britons living in Italy could see their duties increase on the property still owned in the UK.
Milan-based wealth manager Daniel Shillito warned taxes could jump “by the thousands” because expats will be considered third-country nationals after Brexit.
Boris Johnson is facing fresh legal action over his Brexit withdrawal agreement, with Northern Ireland’s agriculture minister threatening the Prime minister with the courts.
The DUP’s Edwin Poots said he has instructed legal experts to look into the Northern Ireland Protocol, which has been implemented since January as part of divorce negotiations agreed in 2019.
Accusing the deal of being unconstitutional, he said the deal had caused a barrier to trade and risked undermining the integrity of the United Kingdom.
Mr Poots said: “Ultimately the Protocol needs to go.”
The Northern Ireland Protocol has effectively created a trade border down the Irish Sea, goods travelling from Britain to the province require customs checks to ensure they meet EU rules and regulations.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Downing Street has hit back at suggestions from Brussels the UK could follow EU regulations to ease frictions in trade with Northern Ireland.
Yesterday the bloc appeared to signal it was willing to be more flexible in its approach on customs checks from Britain to Northern Ireland.
However, the proposals put forward by the bloc have already been rejected by No10.
As part of Boris Johnson’s Brexit withdrawal agreement, he agreed to the Northern Ireland Protocol which effectively implements a border down the Irish Sea.
It means food and agricultural goods must fill in bureaucratic paperwork ahead of travel.
3.35pm update: France to allow UK lawyers to keep practicing post-Brexit
UK solicitors working in Paris will be able to continue advising on English and international law following Britain’s departure from the EU.
The National Council of French Bar Associations (Conseil National des Barreaux) and the French government have concluded that the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement will enable UK lawyers to register as “foreign legal consultants”.
Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: “This is great news for our solicitor members based in France.
“The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement was instrumental in securing this outcome, as third-country lawyers are only eligible for foreign legal consultant status in France if there is a trade deal covering legal services between their country of origin and the EU.”
India trade deal ‘not possible’ without Brexit says Liz Truss
3pm update: Steven Brown takes over from Ciaran McGrath
Ireland is effectively powerless in the face of the EU’s concerted bullying over post-Brexit fishing rights, with resentment against Brussels steadily building as a result, a former diplomat has warned.
And Ray Bassett said the bloc’s attitude is indicative of a “cold indifference” which illustrates how peripheral Dublin’s interests have become in the wake of Brexit.
Mr Bassett, Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, was speaking after the chief executive of the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association, condemned a decision to suspend rules which previously permitted Irish fishermen to weigh their catches away from ports.
Mr Byrne asked for Brussels to present it with the evidence of rule breaches it said it had uncovered involving underreporting of catches, while calling on Charlie McConalogue, Ireland’s Minister for the Marine, to stand up for the industry.
British expats living in Benidorm are struggling to rebuild their livelihoods after the devastating Covid pandemic, with some desperate families being forced to rely on food banks as their euros run out.
The Spanish seaside resort, which has traditionally been a popular holiday destination for British families, is said to now be a shadow of its former self as tourists are not expected to be allowed to travel there again until at least mid-June.
However, the long-year deadly pandemic has already taken its toll on many British people who moved to Benidorm to start a new life with their families.
The British Business Association of Benidorm, which manages the food bank, also said it was at one point feeding 100 families, most of whom were British, as the pandemic raged across the country.
Brussels is attempting to bully Finland into ratifying the EU’s coronavirus recovery fund into domestic legislation, an analyst has claimed.
Helsinki’s five-party coalition appears to have the necessary support to pass the £650billion bailout.
But the European Union has taken tough-talking action in a bid to force the government to back the legislation.
Finland’s Constitutional Law Committee last week ruled that a simple majority would not be sufficient to pass plans that hand the EU Commission unprecedented borrowing and taxation powers.
Labour is likely to pay a heavy price for putting forward a Remainer as their candidate for Thursday’s Hartlepool by-election, a political analyst has warned party leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Professor Tony Travers suggested the potential election drubbing would serve to highlight the perception by traditional Labour voters that the party “had taken them for granted” for too long.
Prof Travers, the Director of LSE London, was speaking after the publication of a new Survation poll which gave Tory candidate Jill Mortimer a whopping 17-point lead over Labour challenger Dr Paul Williams.
He said the fact the constituency voted to leave the EU by 69 percent to 31 percent in 2016 could not be ignored – even though Labour had apparently done precisely that.
Brussels has called on EU nations to reject Britain’s request to join a cross-border legal pact.
The European Commission has issued a “communication” recommending that the UK should not be allowed to join the Lugano Convention.
Eurocrats argue the accord is a benefit for single market members and shouldn’t be extended to Britain after Brexit.
The Commission said: “Given the UK’s decision to leave the EU, its Single Market and Customs Union, as well as its decision to have a more distant relationship with the EU than EEA-EFTA countries, the Commission takes the view that the EU should not give its consent to the UK’s request to join the Convention.”
Ardent Remainer Owen Jones
A Brexiteer has hit out at Owen Jones after he fumed about a new poll which suggested the Conservatives are on course to take Hartlepool from Labour in the by-election on Thursday.
The left-wing commentator branded the survey, which puts the Tories on 50 percent with Labour trailing behind on 33 percent, “diabolical”.
Mr Jones fumed that Labour is failing to win back voters who switched to the Brexit Party in the 2019 general election.
But former Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney hit back at Mr Jones, pointing out that Labour picked an arch-Remainer for its candidate despite Hartlepool backing Brexit by 69.6 percent in the 2016 referendum.
Mr Daubney said: “Perhaps that’s because Starmer, who did his best to reverse Brexit, chose a Remain candidate in a 69 percent Leave seat.
“So all the Brexit Party vote has swung Tory.”
12.23pm update: India agreement is “excellent news”, says economist
Boris Johnson’s new trade and investment deal with India is “excellent news”, Shanker Singham, an Academic Fellow with the Institute for Economic Affairs has said.
Mr Singham, who published an analysis of potential benefits of strengthened economic ties between the UK and India last month, said: “It is excellent news that Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi are accelerating their free trade talks, much in line with what my briefing paper, published on 22nd April by the Institute of Economic Affairs, recommended.
“It is important that Prime Minister Modi acknowledges the challenges I outlined, especially in the area of property rights protection, and the cases I highlighted where property rights were being violated.
“Satisfactory resolution of these will be important to making progress on what could be a very exciting and geopolitically important trade deal.”
Shanker Singham said the announcement was “excellent news”
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss took a swipe at the European Union after the UK secured a new £1billion trade deal with India – something Brussels struggled to agree upon.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new £1billion trade deal ahead of his virtual meeting with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi which will see 6,000 new jobs created in the UK. Vacancies will be created at several medical, information, and clothes manufacturing companies after the two countries invest in each other’s infrastructure – adding to the £23billion a year deal already in place.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss held several media rounds announcing and promoting the deal and could not hold back from rubbing it in the EU’s face during her appearance on LBC.
Speaking on LBC, radio host Nick Ferrari grilled Ms Truss over the Government’s new deal.
He asked: “Would this deal have been possible were the UK still in the European Union?”
She quickly replied: “I don’t believe it would have been no because the fact is the EU negotiated with India for quite some time and never got to a conclusion.”
Boris Johnson’s trade deal with India could eventually be worth up to £100 billion, unlocking unlock access to the world’s second-most populous country at its 1.4billion citizens in the process, an expert has said.
Mr Johnson unveiled a new £1 billion agreement with India’s President Narendra Modi which he says will create 6,500 British jobs, with the two due to formalise arrangements during a virtual meeting today.
However, Nayan Gala, co-founder of venture capitalist firm JPIN VCATS, suggested Mr Johnson’s announcement had the potential to deliver vastly bigger benefits for both sides.
He said: “It’s great to see that the UK and Indian governments have agreed to this trade partnership.”
Boris Johnson will speak with Narendra Modi by videolink today
Andrew Pierce has raged at the Labour Party for choosing Remainer Paul Williams to stand for the party in the Hartlepool election.
Good Morning Britain guest Andrew Pierce attacked the Labour Party for their choice of Paul Williams to stand in the Hartlepool election.
He argued it was an “insulting” choice as the majority of the constituency had voted for Brexit.
He questioned what the party was thinking and insisted the voters would pick up on Mr William’s Remainer stance.
Scotland is woefully unprepared to go it alone even if Nicola Sturgeon does succeed in her quest for independence, with no guarantees of a swift return to the EU after Brexit either, MSP Michelle Ballantyne has warned.
The leader of Reform UK Scotland believes the SNP’s high levels of spending north of the border has left the country more dependent on the UK than ever – a fact she believes Scots will recognise if it should come to the crunch.
With the Holyrood elections taking place on Thursday, First Minister Mrs Sturgeon is targeting the overall majority she believes will bolster her case for a second referendum on the subject.
But Mrs Ballantyne said Mrs Sturgeon’s party was purposely avoiding any discussion of the pitfalls of breaking away.
Liz Truss has outlined a planned trade deal with India which could see Britain secure almost £50 billion of trade with India by 2030.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss told Sky News on Tuesday that she is confident she can “double” trade between Britain and India by 2030.
Current trade between the two countries stands at “£24 billion” according to Ms Truss.
She said negotiations for a full free trade deal with India will be launched in the autumn and “wins” for each country will be achieved along the way as India pulls itself out of its current Covid crisis and the two countries work out ways to “lower or remove” tariffs in negotiations.
Brussels has claimed only Britain aligning to EU food safety rules will end the row over Brexit trade checks on Northern Ireland.
The European Commission said the move would eradicate most of the customs controls that have sparked tensions in the region.
And a senior EU official blamed the “kind of Brexit” Boris Johnson chose for the recent issues with the 2019 divorce deal’s protocol to avoid a hard border.
Brexit minister Lord Frost and his EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic are currently working on plans to implement the border fix after a recent spate of violence in Northern Ireland.
State pension rules were changed recently as a result of the UK leaving the EU. Going forward, the Government intends to change how UK state pensions are calculated for those who live abroad.
State pension payment calculations are set to change for those who move to the EU, EEA or Switzerland who have also lived in Australia (before March 1 2001), Canada or New Zealand. The Government confirmed this is the result of the UK leaving the EU.
From January 1 2022, those in such circumstances will no longer be able to count periods living in Australia (before March 1 2001), Canada or New Zealand, towards calculating their UK state pension if both the following apply:
- They are a UK national, EU or EEA citizen or Swiss national
- They move to live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland on or after January 1 2022, including if they move to live in another EU, EEA country or Switzerland on or after January 1 2022
Liz Truss, the International Trade secretary
Scottish voters have expressed serious doubts about the impact a new independence referendum would have on Scotland after Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic.
Scottish elections will see the SNP attempt to secure an overwhelming majority in Holyrood in order to push Westminster into agreeing to a new independence referendum.
Nicola Sturgeon has insisted Scotland would fare better outside of the United Kingdom as she claims London has repeatedly failed to recognise the position of Scots on issues such as Brexit.
But some voters have cast doubts about the plans for independence, expressing concerns about the impact breaking away from the UK would have on the economy amid the ongoing health crisis.
Brexit Britain has reached a “new high” with India and agreed to a £1billion trade agreement, it can be revealed tonight.
Ministers have agreed on a new Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) which will boost “bilateral trade and economic relations” with the world’s fifth-biggest economy.
The deal is set to be announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he meets his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during a summit today in a bid to build a new relationship with New Delhi.
As part of the deal, India will invest more than £533m into the UK economy.
Michel Barnier has admitted Brexit Britain had a successful coronavirus vaccine rollout, saying the UK’s programme was easier to implement than under the EU’s “bureaucracy”.
Mr Barnier, the EU’s Brexit trade deal negotiator, conceded Britain’s Covid vaccine programme showed how individual states can act faster than the bloc in rolling out life-saving jabs.
While he stopped short of praising Boris Johnson’s Government for the Covid vaccine rollout, he admitted the EU had “faults” with its jab programme.
Mr Barnier was asked in an interview whether Britain’s success in rolling out coronavirus jabs was an “extraordinary advert” for Brexit.
Joe Biden is set to reignite his anti-Brexit fury with the UK by pushing any bumper trade deal with Britain to the “backburner”, an insider has claimed.
A trade deal with the US is seen as one of the major targets for the UK Government but the President is set to extinguish any hopes of a deal in the near future as he refers to Barack Obama’s “playbook”, a Washington commentator has warned.
Despite the years of strong allegiance with the UK and special relationship, former executive assistant to Ronald Reagan, Peggy Grande claimed the new President will place the UK as a low priority on his list.
Although Mr Biden’s trade representative Katherina Tai held talks with Liz Truss this month, Ms Grande claimed it is unsure when a trade deal with the UK may become a priority for the President.