Brexit news LIVE – Boris Johnson 'assures' Biden that he will uphold Good Friday Agreement after call with new President

BORIS Johnson assured Joe Biden that Brexit would be implemented upholding the Good Friday Agreement, according to a source.

The British Prime Minister made the comment during a phone call with the US president-elect in which he congratulated him on the election results.

The No 10 source said: "They talked about the importance of implementing Brexit in such a way that upholds the Good Friday Agreement, and the PM assured the president-elect that would be the case."

It comes as John Major has branded Britain a second rate global power after Brexit.

At a speech in London last night, the former Prime Minister said: "We are no longer a great power. We will never be so again.

"We are a top second-rank power but, over the next half century – however well we perform – our small size and population makes it likely we will be passed by the growth of other, far larger, countries," he added."

Follow our Brexit live blog for all the latest news and updates…

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    BREXIT AND COVID HALT INTERNATIONAL TRADE FOR 1.5M UK SMES

    Over 1.5 million UK SMEs have stopped trading internationally this year which could cost the UK £20 billion, due to the impacts of COVID-19 and uncertainty around Brexit. 

    New research released by British fintech Currensea reveals that of the 80% of British SMEs (4.72 million businesses) that trade internationally in any given year, 1.18 million have had to pause directly because of the global pandemic and a further 283,000 because of Brexit.

    James Lynn, co-founder of Currensea, said: “It’s understandably a turbulent time for SMEs in the UK at the moment.

    “Many businesses were concerned about Brexit and the impact it would have, and that was before coronavirus doubled down on uncertainty.”

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    LARGE DIFFERENCES REMAIN

    European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said some progress has been done on Brexit negotiations, but “large differences” remain.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    GERMAN FISHERMEN FEAR BEING CUT FROM BRITAIN’S WATERS

    German fishermen fear being cut from Britain’s waters after Brexit, it has been reported.

    Claus Ubl, head of the German Fisheries Association, warned a no-deal Brexit could be disastrous for the industry, according to the Express.

    Mr Ubl said: “It’s not looking good. Because if the British implement an unregulated Brexit, then the German ships will no longer be allowed in the British territorial waters.”

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    MICHAEL MARTIN SAYS BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS NEED ‘SENSIBLE OUTCOME’

    Irish premier Micheal Martin said the Brexit trade negotiations need to “yield a sensible outcome” and that the last thing the UK and Irish economies need is a “second seismic shock” caused by a no-deal Brexit.

    Mr Martin described such an outcome as a comprehensive free trade agreement without any tariffs or quotas that would limit the damage of Brexit on jobs and on the Irish, European and UK economies.

    “Given the enormous negative impact that Covid-19 has had on our economy and on jobs the last thing that our respective economies need is a second seismic shock via a no-deal Brexit,” Mr Martin told the Irish parliament.

    He added that he welcomed the decision taken in the House of Lords on Monday in relation to the Internal Markets Bill.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    MINISTER SAYS GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO REINSTATE POWERS AS LORDS TO VOTE ON INTERNAL MARKET BILL

    The House of Lords is expected to vote on the UK Internal Market Bill on Monday, with the Government facing a potential defeat at the hands of peers outraged by its powers.

    Environment secretary George Eustice, asked if the Government would reinstate them, told Sky News: “We Will.

    “The UK Internal Market Bill is not about undermining the Belfast Agreement, it’s about standing behind it, making sure that it works and looking after the interests of Northern Ireland, making sure the peace and stability that’s been hard won there can carry on.”

    Peers will vote on an amendment calling for the removal of measures that the Government has admitted would give it powers to break international law in a “very specific and limited way”.

  • Debbie White

    CONTROVERSIAL BREXIT LEGISLATION WILL NOT RETURN TO THE COMMONS FOR WEEKS

    Controversial measures which tear up parts of the Brexit divorce agreement will not return to the Commons until the end of November at the earliest.

    Peers, including dozens of senior Tories, voted on Monday night to strip controversial clauses from the UK Internal Market Bill.

    That bill would enable ministers to set aside key parts of the Withdrawal Agreement signed with the EU, breaking an international treaty.

    The Government has said that it still wants the measures, and MPs would be asked to put them back in the legislation.

    But by delaying until the end of November, Boris Johnson will know whether progress has been made on a UK-EU trade deal which could take the heat out of the row with Brussels.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    EUSTICE HITS OUT AT CRITICS ABOUT INTERNAL MARKET BILL

    Environment Secretary George Eustice hit out at critics such as Mr Biden, who has Irish heritage, for claiming the Internal Market Bill threatens Northern Ireland’s peace.

    He said: “It’s about protecting it and not undermining it.”

    He suggested the critics do not know what they are talking about and said the plan is actually a “safety net”.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    BIDEN DELIVERS BREXIT WARNING TO BORIS JOHNSON

    US President-elect Joe Biden, has delivered a warning to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a post-election call, not to let Brexit destabilise the Northern Ireland peace process, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

    Johnson and Biden spoke about the importance of implementing Brexit in such a way that upholds the Good Friday Agreement, the newspaper reported, citing one British official.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    JOHN MAJOR SAYS BORIS IS ‘FAILING TO NEGOTIATE’ WITH EU

    John Major said the UK is no longer “relevant” to global superpowers and accused Boris Johnson of “failing to negotiate” with Eurocrats.

    But Tory MPs blasted Mr Major as a “second rate Prime Minister” who “never understood Brexit”.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    INTERNAL MARKET BILL UPDATES

    Members of the unelected upper chamber House of Lords rejected key provisions of the Internal Market Bill yesterday.

    A Government spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that the House of Lords has voted to remove clauses from the UK Internal Market Bill, which was backed in the House of Commons by 340 votes to 256 and delivers on a clear Conservative manifesto commitment.

    “We will re-table these clauses when the Bill returns to the Commons.

    “We’ve been consistently clear that the clauses represent a legal safety net to protect the integrity of the UK’s internal market and the huge gains of the peace process.

    “We expect the House of Lords to recognise that we have an obligation to the people of Northern Ireland to make sure they continue to have unfettered access to the UK under all circumstances.”

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    JOHN MAJOR SAYS UK WILL ‘NEVER AGAIN’ BE A GREAT POWER

    Ex-pm John Major has sparked fury after saying Britain should accept it is no longer a first rate global power.

    Tory MPs have lashed out at Mr Major and branded him a “second rate PM” for claiming the UK will “never again” be seen as having a forceful presence on the global stage.

    In a speech last night, the former Prime Minister claimed: “We are no longer a great power. We will never be so again.

    “We are a top second-rank power but, over the next half century – however well we perform – our small size and population makes it likely we will be passed by the growth of other, far larger, countries.”

    Click here to read more

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    PUNISHING TARIFFS

    Michel Barnier is warning that punishing tariffs will cripple UK exporters if Britain does not cave on access to waters.

    He has drawn up doomsday scenarios for key UK manufacturing sectors and is using them to turn the screw on our negotiator David Frost.

    Mr Barnier is dangling lucrative access to the EU market, but only in return for a big share of quotas for the bloc’s fleets.

    He briefed a private gathering that import taxes on British-made lorries would cost the UK £900million a year.

    Sources say he told allies: “I’m pitting one against the other. European access to British waters and British access to the Single Market.”

    You can read more here

    EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier is dangling lucrative access to the EU market
  • Chiara Fiorillo

    BORIS JOHNSON AND JOE BIDEN SPOKE ABOUT BREXIT

    Boris Johnson has spoken to Joe Biden to congratulate the US president-elect in their first call since his victory over Donald Trump.

    Downing Street said the Prime Minister discussed trade with Mr Biden, as he seeks to negotiate a post-Brexit deal with Washington.

    They talked “about the importance of implementing Brexit in such a way that upholds the Good Friday Agreement, and the Prime Minister assured the President-elect that would be the case,” Downing Street said.

    Boris Johnson speaks to president-elect of the United States
  • Chiara Fiorillo

    BORIS JOHNSON FEARS DEAL IS SLIPPING AWAY

    Boris Johnson believes the chances of a Brexit deal are slipping away unless EU leaders step in and pressure their ­negotiator Michel ­Barnier to compromise.

    British officials are increasingly worried talks will fizzle out as there has been zero movement from Brussels on its hardline fishing demands.

    A Government spokesman said: “Unfortunately, we haven’t achieved as much as we’d hoped during this intensive process.

    “The EU doesn’t seem to realise the scale of change in fishing rights they face if there is no agreement.”

    Boris Johnson is worried a Brexit deal is slipping away
  • Chiara Fiorillo

    CONCERNS OVER NORTHERN IRELAND’S POST-BREXIT SUPERMARKET FOOD SUPPLY

    The European Commission said it is taking warnings about Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit supermarket food supply “very seriously”.

    Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill have told Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic it was “unacceptable” that it remained uncertain how the Northern Ireland Protocol would operate.

    It is less than two months before it comes into operation at the end of transition period.

    A spokesperson for the Commission said: “We take this issue very seriously – in the same way that we are taking very seriously every single issue regarding Northern Ireland.

    “We are currently exploring all options available under EU law. Discussions on this will continue with our UK counterparts in the Joint Committee and the relevant Specialised Committee.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    HANCOCK: COVID VACCINE AVAILABILITY WILL NOT BE DEPENDANT ON OUTCOME OF EU TRADE TALKS

    The availability of a coronavirus vaccine is not dependant on the outcome of post-Brexit trade talks with the EU, Matt Hancock said today.

    The health secretary gave an update on Britain’s planned procurement of 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to MPs earlier today.

    Responding to a question in the Commons, Mr Hancock said: “Of course we’ve looked at this risk and I have confidence in our plans to be able to deliver the vaccine whatever the outcomes of the negotiations over our future relationship with Europe.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOWNING STREET CONFIRMS INTERNAL MARKETS BILL WON’T RETURN TO COMMONS UNTIL END OF MONTH

    Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said controversial clauses in the legislation, which were removed by peers on Monday, represented a “legal safety net”.

    They added that the government would retable them when the bill returns to the Commons.

    “We have been consistently clear that the clauses represent a legal safety net to protect the integrity of the UK’s internal market and the huge gains of the peace process,” the spokesperson said.

    “And we expect the House of Lords to recognise that we have an obligation to the people of Northern Ireland, to make sure that they continue to have unfettered access to the UK under all circumstances.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER HOPES BIDEN PRESIDENCY WILL OFFER STRENGTHENED TRANS-ATLANTIC TIES

    Joe Bidens election victory means one thing in particular: new opportunities for the trans-Atlantic partnership, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday.

    Speaking to the Associated Press, Mass said: “We need a kind of new deal in the trans-Atlantic partnership, the basis of which would consist of responding to international challenges with international solutions and not with a policy of America First or Europe First.”

    Maas, who has been Germany’s top diplomat since 2018, said relations with the United States over the past four years often were one-sided, saying: “Decisions were made by the administration or in the White House, and they were then put in front of us, and we had to deal with them.”

    He added:”That’s not the cooperation we wished for and still wish for”.

    Maas said he hoped the Biden administration would “bring the United States back as an active player” on the world stage, joining other nations in tackling global challenges such as climate change, migration and the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GERMAN MEP CLAIMS BIDEN ELECTION VICTORY BETTER FOR EU THAN UK

    A German MEP says Joe Biden’s victory in the race for the White House is a boost for the EU in its talks with London over a post-Brexit trade deal. 

    Manfred Weber, who heads the largest political grouping in the European Parliament, told Euro News the “immediate impact” will be that talks between the United Kingdom and the European Union are “better for us Europeans”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CONTROVERSIAL BREXIT LEGISLATION WILL NOT RETURN TO THE COMMONS FOR WEEKS

    Controversial measures which tear up parts of the Brexit divorce agreement will not return to the Commons until the end of November at the earliest.

    Peers, including dozens of senior Tories, voted to strip controversial clauses from the UK Internal Market Bill that would enable ministers to set aside key parts of the Withdrawal Agreement signed with the European Union, breaking an international treaty.

    The Government has said that it still wants the measures, which have soured relations with the EU and the US president-elect Joe Biden, and MPs would be asked to put them back in the legislation.

    But by delaying until the end of November, Boris Johnson will know whether progress has been made on a UK-EU trade deal which could take the heat out of the row with Brussels.

    On Monday night the Government suffered a 268-vote defeat over one element of the Bill, with 44 rebels including former Tory leader Lord Howard of Lympne, ex-Brexit minister Lord Bridges of Headley and former chief whip Lord Young of Cookham.

  • Joseph Gamp

     UK SIGNS FISHERIES DEAL… WITH GREENLAND 

    Afisheries deal between the UK and Greenland has been secured.

    Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Greenland to boost cooperation on fisheries matters.

    It signals another step forward as the UK prepares to leave the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.

    However, negotiations between Michel Barnier and Lord Frost remain at an impasse with crunch talks continuing in London today.

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOWNING STREET SPOKESMAN SAYS PM CANNOT ALLOW ‘PEACE PROCESS TO BE UNDERMINED’

    Britain expects other countries to recognise that the government must stop its internal market being undermined, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday, defending legislation that undercuts its Brexit deal.

    Asked whether the prime minister agreed with some in Britain’s upper chamber, which voted to strip contentious clauses introduced to the Internal Market Bill, that passing the legislation would undermine Britain’s reputation, the spokesman told reporters:

    “We cannot allow the peace process or the UK’s internal market to inadvertently be compromised by unintended consequences of the Northern Ireland protocol.

    “We would expect other countries to recognise this and the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in.” 

  • Joseph Gamp

    JOHN MAJOR SAYS BREXIT WILL BE ‘MORE BRUTAL THAN EXPECTED’

    Ex-prime minister John Major has today said the UK’s “inflexibility” and “threats” towards the EU would make future trade “less profitable”.

    The former Tory leader warned how the Internal Markets Bill would have a ”corrosive” impact to the UK’s reputation of a proposed law giving ministers the power to over-ride aspects of the Brexit agreement.

    Sir John, who was an outspoken critic of the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 January, said this “was a slippery slope down which no democratic government should ever travel”.

    In a pre-recorded lecture at Middle Temple, Sir John – who led the UK from 1990 to 1997 – urged Parliament to resist measures in the bill which he said threatened essential liberties and could place ministers above the law.

    “This action is unprecedented in all our history – and for good reason. It has damaged our reputation around the world,” he said. Lawyers everywhere are incredulous that the UK – often seen as the very cradle of the rule of law – could give themselves the power to break the law.”

  • John Hall

    MICHAEL HOWARD SLAMS INTERNAL MARKET BILL

    Members of the House of Lords have today slated the controversial Internal Market Bill.

    The criticism comes ahead of a vote that is likely to remove the law-breaking clauses from the legislation.

    Michael Howard, a former Tory leader, said: “I voted and campaigned for Brexit, and I do not for one moment regret or resile from that vote.

    “But I want the independent sovereign state that I voted for to be a country that holds its head up high in the world, that keeps its word, that upholds the rule of law and that honours its treaty obligations.”

  • John Hall

    GOVERNMENT VOWS TO RESTORE CONTENTIOUS BILL MEASURES

    Charlie Falconer, who served as justice minister in a previous Labour government, said the Internal Market Bill was making the UK an international pariah.

    “The House of Lords is doing the government a favour by seeking to take out these lawbreaking provisions now,” he told Sky News.

    The government says it will restore the contentious measures when the bill returns to the House of Commons in the coming weeks.

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