Brexit news latest – EU DESPERATE to end reliance on London and moans UK will no longer have to play by its rules

BRUSSELS is desperate to "wean itself off" London's financial markets and toughen up its own, the European Commission admitted today.

Warning of a "race to the bottom" post-Brexit, Brussels voiced concerns that Europe's largest financial centre would no longer be under the control of the EU – and will therefore no longer have to abide by its rules and regulations.

"Brexit has a significant impact on the Capital Markets Union. It further strengthens the need for the EU to have well-functioning and integrated capital markets,” the Commission said in a communication to EU governments this afternoon.

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  • CITIZENSHIP FOR SALE

    The number of Brit entrepreneurs looking to “buy” citizenship from countries offering visa-free access to the EU has risen sharply, investment migration firms say.

    The news comes as prospects of a post-Brexit trade deal between Britain and the bloc darken.

    Investment immigration firm Astons said it had seen a 50 per cent and 30 per cent year-on-year increase in interest from clients seeking Cypriot or Greek citizenship respectively this quarter.

    Henley & Partners also reported a rise in requests for advice on investment migration applications to Malta, Portugal, Austria and several Caribbean islands.

    Citizens of certain Caribbean sovereign states including St. Lucia and St Kitts & Nevis also enjoy preferred access to the EU, thanks to close ties with EU members as a result of historic, diplomatic and modern trade agreements.

  • IRELAND'S TRADE DEAL CONCERNS

    Any final trade deal between the EU and Britain will only be ratified if EU member states are fully certain the Brexit withdrawal agreement will be implemented in full, the Irish Foreign Minister said today.

    Boris Johnson plunged Brexit into chaos earlier this month by unveiling, and then pressing ahead with, draft legislation that would undercut parts of the 2020 EU divorce treaty relating to Northern Ireland.

    “Why would the EU ratify a new agreement with a country that is threatening to break an agreement that's not even 12 months old,” Simon Coveney, who played a major role in shaping the divorce treaty, told Ireland's parliament.

  • EU RECOVERY PLAN

    The European Union today presented plans to help reboot companies hit by the coronavirus and reduce the bloc's reliance on the City of London after Brexit.

    Companies need to refund themselves as they emerge from recession caused by pandemic lockdowns, with Brussels wanting them to use stock and bond markets to reduce reliance on loans.

    The plans would help give the EU market “strategic autonomy” when Britain exits the bloc's single market on Dec. 31, the EU launch documents said.

    “The strength of our economic recovery will depend crucially on how well our capital markets function and whether people and businesses can access the investment opportunities and market financing they need,” said the EU's financial services chief Valdis Dombrovskis.

  • MAKING HGVS OBTAIN PERMITS TO ENTER KENT 'POINTLESS AND COUNTERPRODUCTIVE'

    Requiring hauliers to obtain special permits to enter Kent from neighbouring counties will be “pointless”, an industry body has claimed.

    Road Haulage Association (RHA) policy director Duncan Buchanan said the measure aimed at avoiding post-Brexit gridlock is simply a “tick box exercise”.

    But Mr Buchanan said he was involved in a recent test of the system which indicated that KAPs will be issued to all lorry drivers who claim their paperwork is in order, without any checks carried out.

    He told the PA news agency: “It's an honesty box system. It's not an effective system to actually guarantee or ensure that someone is ready to cross the border. It doesn't do that. It is just a logging system for someone to say 'I am going to the port and I promise I'm ready'. It doesn't really do much more than that.”

  • NEW BREXIT CHECKS AT NI PORTS WILL NOT BE READY ON TIME, OFFICIAL CONFIRMS

    New checking facilities for goods arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain will not be ready for the end of the Brexit transition period, a senior official has confirmed.

    Contingency arrangements are being prepared, including the repurposing of old buildings and an interim paper-based checking system, when the requirement for additional regulatory checks at ports comes into effect on January 1.

    Denis McMahon, the permanent secretary in the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs, said he and his colleagues had been left in an “impossible position” as they worked on a project that was openly opposed by their minister, Edwin Poots.

    He told his Assembly scrutiny committee: “My message to you today is, despite monumental efforts by the team, not everything will be place by the 1st of January 2021.”

  • NO REGRETS

    The Government's top legal adviser has faced calls to resign as she defended controversial Brexit legislation which enables the UK to break international law.

    Attorney General Suella Braverman told MPs it is “entirely proper, entirely constitutional and lawful in domestic law” to enact legislation that may operate in breach of international law or treaty obligations.

    She also insisted she is “proud” to support the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill and suggested those MPs who voted against it are unpatriotic.

    The Bill gives the Government the power to breach the Brexit divorce deal brokered with Brussels last year.

    Ministers have argued such powers to override the Withdrawal Agreement are needed to protect the relationship between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  • N.I. POLICE NEED CASH SUPPORT

    Northern Ireland'schief constable Simon Byrne has said £4.5 million of funding was needed for Brexit.

    Nearly 200 of the new police officers recruited for neighbourhood duties have been earmarked for border areas, he said.

    “Criminals will exploit any gaps, in the opportunity to raise money – differences in tariffs, differences in the Common Travel Area – we are alert to them, they could be exploited,” he added.

  • KENT ACCESSPERMIT WILL BE 'SIMPLE' SAYS GOVT.

    A government spokesperson said: “We are prioritising the smooth movement of outbound HGVs over 7.5 tonnes through Kent to prevent unnecessary queues at the border.

    “HGV drivers, or those acting on their behalf, will be able to follow a simple process to get a 'Kent Access Permit' using the newly developed Smart Freight webservice.

    “We have been engaging with industry on this for some time and we will set out more detail on this shortly.”

  • HAUL LOT OF TROUBLE

    The Irish Road Haulage Association is warning trade will be “severely upset” because of Brexit and the price of some goods could double in price.

    President of the Irish Road Haulage Association Eugene Drennan said there could be a delay in delivering some goods and scarcity of products, which would not be acceptable.

    He told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that any hiccup with the landbridge through Britain could create havoc, resulting in thousands of trucks “stacking” on the M20 motorway before Dover.

    Mr Drennan most Irish imports and exports to continental Europe still use this landbridge but this will have to change if there is chaos in the UK.

    He called for a daily, fast, efficient service into northern France ports.

  • BRIE-XIT FEARS

    Shoppers face shelling out up to 55 per centmore for imported cheeses if the UK fails to secure a trade deal with the EU, new research by the London School of Economics claims.

    The price of cheeses such as brie, halloumi, gorgonzola, feta and roquefort are expected to rise amid widespread shortages of EU products caused by feared border disruption, warned the LSE’s Vulnerabilities of Supply Chains Post-Brexit report.

    Specialty meats such as prosciutto and bratwurst could also see increases of at least 31 per cent, the research claimed.

  • KHAN CALLS FOR TRANSITION EXTENSION

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for the government to seek an extension to the Brexit transition period set to end on December 31 this year.

    He wrote on Twitter : “Today marks 100 days until the end of the Brexit transition period, but negotiations have stalled — raising fears we could be heading for a no-deal Brexit.

    “This would be disastrous for Londoners and businesses. The Government must act now and extend the transition period.”

  • WHAT IS THE TRANSITION PERIOD?

    The transition period is an 11-month phase which started immediately after Brexit day.

    During transition the UK still follows EU rules and trade between the two is the same as before. The UK also continues to pay into the EU budget.

    By keeping most things the same, the idea behind the transition period was to give both sides breathing space to negotiate their future relationship.

    The transition period ends on 31 December 2020 and the deadline for extending it has now passed.

  • DFS BREXIT 'CAUTION'

    Sofa giant DFS Furniture has cheered a strong bounce back in trading after slumping to an annual loss in an “extraordinary” year caused by the pandemic.

    The group swung to a statutory pre-tax loss of £74.9 million for the year to June 28 from pro forma profits of £43.6 million a year ago after lockdown forced the closure of its showrooms.

    However, shares lifted 5 per cent as it said the new financial year had started “very strongly” with all its showrooms now open and thanks to pent up demand as households prioritise spending more on their homes.

    DFS said it was on track for additional sales of around £226 million in the new financial year, given sales growth of 7.6 per cent in the past 12 weeks and a higher opening order book, which is set to deliver a solid first-half sales and profit performance.

    But it added a note of caution, warning of a possible autumn slowdown in trading as the furlough scheme for workers comes to an end on October 31 and ahead of the Brexit deadline.

  • LAST MINUTE DEAL CONCERNS

    A last-minute Brexit deal could require a “one or two-year” implementation period, trade experts warn.

    Shanker Singham,head of the International Trade and Competition Unit at the Institute of Economic Affairs, told the Telegraph any agreement reached after early October would require additional “implementation periods and specific periods to cover ratification”.

    Professor Catherine Barnard, who teaches EU and labour law at the University of Cambridge, said: “It is likely there will be proper implementation period, most trade deals have an implementation period. There may be a one or two-year proper implementation period.”

    The UK's transition period after leaving the EU ends on 31 December 2020, regardless of whether or not a deal has been secured.

    The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has previously given the UK a deadline of 31 October to secure an agreement.

  • EURO NO DEAL PLAN

    Brussels is planning for the future on the basis of a No Deal with Britain, it has been reported. 

    Eurocrats will issue their next economic forecast for the bloc expecting such an outcome, EU sources have said.

    The reports came as Germany and France blasted No10 over the Internal Market Bill, which overrides parts of the Withdrawal Agreement. 

  • INDEPENDENT THINKING

    Sir Keir Starmer could back Nicola Sturgeon’s bid to hold another divisive Scottish independence vote, it has emerged.

    Boris Johnson has vowed to block a second referendum, which needs Parliamentary approval.

    Labour's leader said the Scottish Nationalists will have a “mandate” for it if they win next May’s elections.

    He also refused six times to say he would join the PM in blocking the poll.

    He told the BBC: “We’ll be going into that election making it very clear another divisive referendum on independence is not what’s needed. I am not doing a hypothetical of what will happen after that.”

  • FERRY FIRM SCUPPERED

    A ferry firm handed a multi million-pound contract from the Government despite having no ships has gone bust.

    Seaborne Freight went into liquidation earlier this month, owing nearly £2million.

    It was given £13.8million by former Transport ­Secretary Chris Grayling n 2018 to provide extra capacity in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

    The contract with the Kent-based company was terminated last year.

  • US BANKING GIANT'S EURO MOVE

    JP Morgan is moving around £180bn from the UK to Frankfurt as a result of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

    It's a shift that will make it one of the largest banks in Germany, reports Bloomberg.

    The US bank plans to finish the migration of the assets to its Frankfurt-based subsidiary by the end of the year, say reports.

    The change could boost its balance sheet enough to become the country’s sixth-largest bank.

  • STERLING ON THE RISE AMID BARNIER VISIT

    The pound had a turnaround of fortunes towards the end of the European session on Wednesday – rising byas much as 0.6% against a weaker euro.

    The news comes amid reports investors are seeing some room for cautious optimism over the impending Brexit deadline.

    Kenneth Broux, FX strategist at Societe Generale, said there was also some “cautious optimism” from the fact the European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured) is in London for informal talks.

    Barnier said that he is determined to get a deal, and senior cabinet minister Michael Gove separately said that he is confident that Britain can overcome its difficulties to secure a free-trade deal with the EU.

  • KEY BREXIT QUESTIONS FOR GOVE

    Michael Gove has been issued with a list of key Brexit questions that remain “unanswered” with just 98 days until the end of the transition period. 

    The British Chambers of Commerce has has written to Mr Gove seeking action for businesses and urgent discussions to help firms prepare.

    Earlier Mr Gove told ITV's Peston: “We want business to hold us to account. We want business to say what more we need to do as well as us working with business to get things done.

    “The second thing is, whether or not we get a Canada-style free trade agreement, or we leave with a non-negotiated outcome, on Australian terms, it will be the case that we will be outside the single market, outside the customs union, and that means that there are specific customs procedures that all exporters will have to discharge.”

  • MP WELCOMES LORRY PLAN

    Local MP Damian Green has welcomed proposals for the Kent Access Permit (KAP) for lorries heading to the Port of Dover.

    The former de facto deputy prime minister to Theresa May told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he supported them to “avoid chaos on Kent's roads”.

    He added: “Occasionally there are problems across the Channel and it is possible, I'll put it politely, this could happen again on January 1 when the transition period ends.

    “What we have done in the past is get as many lorries as possible as close to Dover and the Channel Tunnel as possible and then stop them there so you have to close the motorways and you get chaos on Kent's roads.

    “If you can say to these lorries there are problems, or in this case you don't have the right paperwork so you are going to cause problems at the border, it is much more sensible to sort them out before thousands of lorries descend on Kent.”

  • DEAL OR NO DEAL

    A NO-DEAL Brexit would cost the UK £160bn (€174bn), a new report claims.

    The government estimates for the coronavirus pandemic are a hit of £40bn, the London School of Economics said in the study.

    The UK left the EU in January but a transition period is in place until 2021 as trade talks carry on.

  • RISKY BUSINESS

    JUST half of UK businesses that trade abroad have considered how Brexit will affect their business, the British Chambers of Commerce says.

    Onlu 52 per cent of firms had carried out a risk assessment before the Brexit transition period ends on January 1, 2021.

    The BCC believesfirms need more clarity and has written to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove urging action and immediate talks.

  • PASSPORT TO KENT

    BORDER chaos in the event of a No Deal scenario could mean truckers needing a pass to enter Kent.

    Ministers warned the EU “time is running out” as Michael Gove unveiled measures to ease the pain of a hard Brexit.

    The Sun told in July of a traffic nightmare at Dover and Calais if trade talks collapse and tariffs are slapped on goods after December 31.

    Read the full story here.

  • GOVE ASKS FOR BUSINESSES TO GIVE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM

    Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told ITV's Peston: “We want business to hold us to account.

    “We want business to say what more we need to do as well as us working with business to get things done.

    “The second thing is, whether or not we get a Canada-style free trade agreement, or we leave with a non-negotiated outcome, on Australian terms, it will be the case that we will be outside the single market, outside the customs union, and that means that there are specific customs procedures that all exporters will have to discharge.”

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