Trade with the EU after Brexit needs to be “frictionless” if the UK’s food and farming sectors are to survive the transition, the president of the National Farmers Union has said at the opening of the NFU’s conference. Meurig Raymond, who farms a large acreage of mixed arable and livestock in Wales, said: “We must have frictionless trade with the EU. Everything else, including the final shape of any domestic agricultural policy, is dependent on that.” In a veiled swipe at Liam Fox, secretary for international trade, who has advocated allowing imports of lower-standard US agricultural products such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef, the NFU president added: “Those who advocate a cheap food policy, of scouring the world for low-cost food should bear in mind the price paid in traceability, in standards, and in the offshoring of environmental impact.” But his pleas on Tuesday were largely ignored by the Brexit-supporting environment … [Read more...] about ‘Frictionless’ EU trade is vital post-Brexit for UK farming to survive
Post brexit no deal
The UK government has insisted its Brexit agreement will protect the fishing industry despite claims it is preparing to "sell out" fishermen.The government's draft agreement on post-Brexit relations says the UK will be an "independent coastal nation".The Scottish Fishermen's Federation gave the document a cautious welcome when it was published on Thursday. But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon predicted the industry would be used as a "bargaining chip" in the future. And Scottish Conservative MP Ross Thomson, a prominent Brexiteer who has been an outspoken critic of Prime Minister Theresa May's approach to Brexit, said the agreement was "unacceptable" as it meant "sovereignty over our waters" would be "sacrificed for a trade deal". Live: May updates MPs on draft declaration Draft agreement 'right for the UK' - May Reality Check: What's in the political declaration? The EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is deeply unpopular with Scottish fishermen who want the UK to be negotiating access … [Read more...] about UK ‘will not trade away fishing’ in Brexit deal – May
Germany and Britain on Friday signed a deal to further deepen their decades-old military cooperation. The agreement was signed by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her British counterpart Gavin Williamson in the western German town of Minden. This is a "symbolically important sign of German-British friendship," von der Leyen said, adding that the two want to strengthen the "good cooperation even further, in the navy, the air force, and in cyber capabilities." The pact comes as Britain's planned exit from the European Union nears. The UK, which has the highest defense spending among EU countries, expects to continue to play a sizable role in shielding the bloc from future security threats. British Prime Minister Theresa May has said Britain, which boasts of one of the best resourced and capable intelligence services and military in the EU, is committed to protecting Europe after Brexit. "We will further strengthen the European pillar in NATO, contribute to European … [Read more...] about Germany, Britain sign military pact for post-Brexit era
Blackpool may have many a slot machine and amusement arcade on its seafront, but it seems there is only one game in town as the general election approaches - Brexit.A couple of days before Boris Johnson visited the seaside resort, and as the wind howled along the famous beach, I asked people what would influence their vote on 12 December.Would it be local issues like the state of the NHS or schools perhaps? Or social deprivation and the state of the economy?No. Without exception - and regardless of how they voted in the 2016 referendum - the issue of how, when and whether the UK should leave the European Union trumped everything else.Josh Sheard said he was "right behind" Jeremy Corbyn's push for a new Brexit deal and a second referendum."I studied the EU when I did my A-levels and, to put it tactfully, we will go down the toilet if we leave," he said.The 22-year-old said he knew "a lot of people" who regretted voting to leave.He said they were "naive to the consequences" and many now … [Read more...] about General election 2019: ‘It’s all about Brexit’ in Blackpool South key marginal
"Not in my wildest dreams would I imagine that a possibility!"This is how an influential European diplomat responded when I put to him Boris Johnson's assertion that a trade deal with the EU could/would/should be completed by December next year. In these times of distrust in the media, charged emotions over Brexit and in the lead-up to a general election, I appreciate that many readers dislike journalists referring to unnamed sources, such as this "influential diplomat". But people speak to me on condition of anonymity. That's how I get good background information and - in the case of the Conservative Party's speedy trade deal pledge - I can assure you that this diplomat's response was one of the politer ones I've comes across, off the record, in EU circles.European politicians dismiss Boris Johnson's claim that he will "get Brexit done" if he wins the election. In fact, Brussels fears that whether Labour or the Conservatives form a government, 2020 could well be another year of … [Read more...] about How fast could UK-EU trade deal be struck?