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    Brexit latest: Macron’s hardman gamble backfires as panicked French fishermen lash out | Politics | News

    Boris Johnson apologies for ‘interrupting Cars 3’

    Meanwhile Irish fishermen have reacted furiously after the UK and the EU struck their last-gasp trade deal yesterday – with the head of a prominent trade organisation claiming they had been “sacrificed” by Brussels. Boulogne-sur-Mer Mayor Frederic Cuvillier said the agreement left much obscured, telling Europe 1 radio: “Relief for our fishermen, but what will be the impact on stocks? Who, for example, will be handling the controls? And over what time?” he told Europe 1 radio. “The only certainty today is that we need to find, during the transition period, more deals within the deal.”

    Mr Cuvillier’s views were echoed by French politicians Log Chesnais-Girard and Herve Morin, whose responsibilities cover the Normandy region bordering the English Channel, and who are seeking a meeting with Mr Castex.

    French fishermen had lobbied President Emmanuel Macron not to give an inch over fishing rights, but his government dropped initial demands to maintain the status quo.

    Sean O’Donoghue, chief executive of the Killybegs Fishemen’s Organisation accused the  of a “grievous wrong” – and vowed to seek compensation from other members of the . The deal was confirmed yesterday, with  hailing the agreement as one which takes back control of the UK’s “borders, laws, money, trade and fish”.

    However, citing “a host of written commitments in official documents pertaining to the fisheries sector post-Brexit”, Mr O’Donoghue claimed more than four and a half years of agreements had “effectively been shredded” by negotiators Michel Barnier and Lord David Frost.

    He added: “We cannot stand idly by and allow decades of investment in developing a successful enterprise, to be sacrificed by the shape of this very poor deal.

    “In spite of a seismic effort to redress the imbalance of the proposed deal in recent days, not enough has changed and our highly-developed mackerel fishery stands to lose out dramatically.

    READ MORE: This is YOUR fault! Furious Remainers attack Cameron

    Emmanuel Macron

    Emmanuel Macron has faced criticism for his perceived capitulation (Image: GETTY)

    “While the full detail of the text is not yet available, it will require very close examination and analysis.

    “Make no mistake – we will be seeking compensation from our EU colleagues to put right this grievous wrong.

    Mr O’Donoghue added: “We won’t accept this. Moreover, we fully expect the Irish Government to deliver the requisite compensation in the form of transfer of mackerel quota from the other EU coastal states which pro rata, have seen a much less severe impact on their respective mackerel fisheries.”

    His remarks are in contrast to comments last month, in which he very much stuck to the Brussels line.

    Sign up to our Express.co.uk app – get all the news and features direct to your mobile phone or tablet

    In a statement issued on the KFO’s website, he said: “When you leave a club, you relinquish the privileges that were afforded to you when you were a member. It’s a simple as that.

    “It is crystal clear, the 26 percent increase in fishing opportunities which was granted by the EU to the UK should end with UK membership.

    “With Britain now playing hardball on fisheries and fighting to doubling its catch, the EU negotiators must clearly spell out that the starting point in any fisheries negotiations has to exclude any additional catches it obtained, as part of the EU.”

    Speaking yesterday, Mr Johnson said: “While we made our fair share of compromises during the negotiations, we never wavered from the goal of restoring national sovereignty – the central purpose of leaving the EU.”

    [SCROLL DOWN FOR REGULAR UPDATES]

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    EU countries fishing

    EU countries most reliant on UK waters (Image: Express)

    2:05am update: ‘Brexit-proof’ – UK’s huge digital sector set to be resistant to Brexit downturn, expert suggests

    Britain’s biggest economic sector is “Brexit-proof”, an economy expert has claimed.

    Douglas McWilliams, deputy chairman of the CEBR business research group, has said the UK’s largest sector is ‘digital and creative’ which had been “kicked forward” by the coronavirus pandemic.

    He added: “Most of this is pretty Brexit-proof provided the UK continues to attract talented people,” according to the Daily Mail.

    Priti Patel

    Priti Patel has claimed the UK’s Brexit deal will help keep Britain safe (Image: Christopher Furlong / Getty)

    00:00am update: EU ambassadors set for provisional Brexit deal backing

    Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan will be implemented on a provisional basis by EU ambassadors before the European Parliament formally signs it off, according to reports.

    Diplomats in the EU have said they are planning to meet on Monday to decide on whether or not to back the deal. They will do so on December 31 at 11pm – just an hour before the UK exits the bloc’s trading rules – the Daily Mail reports.

    However, European Parliament is not due to vote on the deal until next year.

    Edward Browne takes over live reporting

    10.35pm update: Home Secretary says post-border controls will make UK safer and more secure

    Home Secretary Priti Patel insisted the Brexit deal will help make the UK safer, despite police chiefs’ concerns about lack of access to a key EU information database.

    The deal allows the two sides to co-operate on security and policing issues, but Brussels said the UK will no longer have “direct, real-time access” to sensitive information.

    UK officials insisted the deal would ensure law enforcement officers had the tools they needed, while new border controls and the end of free movement would help protect the public.

    The Home Office said the agreement includes streamlined extradition arrangements, fast and effective exchange of national DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data and continued transfers of Passenger Name Record data.

    Ms Patel said: “The safety and security of UK citizens is the Government’s top priority and the UK will continue to be one of the safest countries in the world. I’m immensely proud of the comprehensive package of capabilities we’ve agreed with the EU.

    “It means both sides have effective tools to tackle serious crime and terrorism, protecting the public and bringing criminals to justice. But we will also seize this historic opportunity to make the UK safer and more secure through firmer and fairer border controls.”

    8.55pm update: Brussels sets out fund to help EU countries hit by Brexit

    Brussels has set out plans for a £4.5 billion (five billion euro) fund to help European Union countries and sectors hit by the UK’s exit from the single market and customs union at the end of the year.

    The fund was announced the day after a historic trade deal was agreed by Boris Johnson and EU officials.

    The Brexit adjustment reserve will help fishing communities and can be used by the authorities to put in place the border checks necessary under the new terms of trade which come into effect on January 1.

    Europe’s commissioner for cohesion and reforms Elisa Ferreira said: “The end of the transition period on December 31 2020 will have an important economic and social impact on regions and local communities that are most linked to the UK’s economy and trade.

    “By proposing the Brexit adjustment reserve, the Commission puts again solidarity and cohesion as key elements of its response, making sure that those most impacted receive the necessary support.”

    7pm update: EU expected to back post-Brexit trade deal in days

    The 27 European Union states are expected to formally back the post-Brexit trade deal within days.

    Ambassadors from the member states were being briefed on the contents of the deal on Christmas Day by Michel Barnier, who led Brussels’ negotiating team in the talks with the UK.

    They have written to the European Parliament to say they intend to take a decision on the preliminary application of the deal within days.

    5.34pm update: ‘Real negotiating begins in June!’ Yanis Varoufakis issues Brexit warning

    Yanis Varoufakis has given a dire Brexit warning and claimed the “real negotiating” will begin in June.

    Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson landed a historic Brexit trade deal with the European Union just days before the end of the transition period on December 31. But economic professor Yanis Varoufakis has issued a dire Brexit warning.

    The former Greek Minister of Finance tweeted: “So, we have a thin EU-UK trade deal.

    “Better than nothing.

    “But the real negotiations will begin after June when no on is paying attention.

    “For now, Horace’s phrase suffices: Parturient montes, nascetur ridicules mus, or The mountain went into Labour and Begat a Ridiculous Mouse.”

    brexit news latest boris johnson michel barnier

    Brexit news: Boris Johnson announced a trade deal had been reached yesterday (Image: Getty)

    4.23pm update: Keir crisis: Labour MPs set to rebel against whip and vote down Boris Johnson’s EU deal

    Sir Keir Starmer is facing a political crisis after Labour MPs are expected to revolt following the Opposition leader’s decision to support Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal.

    Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced a historic Brexit trade deal with the European Union days before the end of the transition period on December 31. The deal is based on zero tariffs and zero quotas.

    Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer announced on the same day his party will “accept and vote for” the Government’s agreement with the EU but admitted it was a “difficult and tough decision”.

    But now Labour MPs have warned they will not be able to endorse the deal.

    Rupa Huq, Kevin Brennan, Neil Coyle, Geraint Davies and Clive Efford are among those who criticised the deal and suggested they would refuse to vote for it.

    3.35pm update: EU ambassadors support Brexit deal

    EU ambassadors have agreed to support the Brexit deal, clearing the path for the agreement to kick in on January 1.

    Ambassadors met today to decide on whether to support the deal, which was finally agreed yesterday after months of wrangling.

    They agreed and have written to the European Parliament expressing their position.

    Emily Ferguson has taken over live reporting from Ciaran McGrath

    2.51pm update: 

    With the European Research Group (ERG) going through Boris Johnson’s trade deal with a fine-toothed comb, the Prime Minister could still face resistance from within his own party if eurosceptics do not like what they find, a think tank boss has warned.

    And Mark Littlewood, director general of the Institute for Economic Affairs, said it was absolutely essential to be sure the mechanism for resolving disputes related to the level playing field was not tilted in Brussels’ favour.

    The ERG has reconvened its Star Chamber, which includes ERG deputy chairman David Jones MP, Sir Bill Cash, and Martin Howe QC, to consider the agreement line by line.

    Meanwhile, ERG MPs are also wading through the 2,000-page document, with one telling Express.co.uk the only break from it they would take today would be for the Queen’s speech.

    France President Emmanuel Macron

    France’s President Emmanuel Macron (Image: GETTY)

    2.31pm update: 

    Brexit trade deal negotiations have finally concluded, and from 2021 there will be new rules on travel and studying abroad in the EU. So what will happen to the Erasmus scheme after the Brexit transition period ends?

    The Prime Minister announced on Christmas Eve that the UK has reached a trade agreement with the EU.

    From January 1, 2021, going forward there will be a number of changes to how the UK interacts with the EU.

    Some aspects of the trade agreement will also impact students who wish to study or train abroad in the future.

    11.48am update: 

    Gibraltar is working feverishly to strike a deal which will ensure its border with Spain stays open after the end of the year, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has said, warning: “For us, the clock is still ticking.”

    Meanwhile, Andrew Rosindell, the vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gibraltar, has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to forget about the British overseas territory after he confirmed the agreement of a UK/EU trade deal yesterday.

    In a statement issued last night, Mr Picardo said: “I congratulate the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, on this historic achievement.

    “This is the largest trade deal in history and is a huge relief given the potential difficulties that a no-deal Brexit might have created for the United Kingdom and the European Union.

    “A strong United Kingdom is better able to support Gibraltar.”

    However, he warned: “This deal does not cover Gibraltar.”

    Borrowing EU negotiator Michel Barnier’s catchphrase, he added: “For us, and for the people of the Campo de Gibraltar around us, the clock is still ticking.

    “We continue to work, hand in glove with the United Kingdom, to finalise negotiation with Spain of agreement for a proposed treaty between the EU and the UK in relation to Gibraltar.

    11.22am update: French fishing chiefs demand meeting with PM

    Mr Cuvillier’s views were echoed by French politicians Log Chesnais-Girard and Herve Morin, whose responsibilities cover the Normandy region bordering the English Channel.

    Mr Chesnais-Girard and Mr Morin issued a joint statement welcoming the fact that a Brexit “no-deal” had been averted, but also calling for a meeting with French Prime Minister Jean Castex to analyse more of the details.

    French fishermen had lobbied President Emmanuel Macron not to give an inch over fishing rights, but his government dropped initial demands to maintain the status quo.

    French Seas Minister Annick Girardin issued a statement to say the government would set up financial measures to help French fishermen affected by the Brexit trade accord.

    There has also been discontent across the Channel, with Britain’s fishing industry expressing disappointment that the deal did not represent more of a reduction in the access that the European bloc currently has to British waters.

    Michel Barnier

    Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator (Image: GETTY)

    10.45am update: French fishermen facing a lack of certainty, says Boulogne mayor

    The Brexit trade deal still leaves French fisherman facing a host of unknowns, warned the mayor of the major northern fishing port of Boulogne-sur-Mer on Friday.

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday, as he presented the last-ditch accord, that his country had agreed a “reasonable” five-and-half-year transition period with the EU over fisheries, longer than the three years Britain wanted but shorter than the 14 years the EU had originally asked for.

    But Boulogne-sur-Mer Mayor Frederic Cuvillier said the agreement left much obscured.

    He told Europe 1 radio: “Relief for our fishermen, but what will be the impact on stocks? Who, for example, will be handling the controls? And over what time?” he told Europe 1 radio.

    “The only certainty today is that we need to find, during the transition period, more deals within the deal.”

    10.18am update: Ambassadors meet to consider deal

    Ambassadors from the 27 European Union members were being briefed on the contents of the Brexit trade deal on Christmas Day.

    The diplomats were being updated on the historic deal by Michel Barnier, who led Brussels’ negotiating team in the talks with the UK.

    The 27 European Union members still have to back the deal, which was thrashed out by officials from the European Commission with the UK.

    MPs and peers will be called back to Westminster on December 30 to vote on the deal, but MEPs are not expected to approve it until the new year, meaning it will have to apply provisionally until they give it the green light.

    Sebastian Fischer, a spokesman for the German presidency of the Council of the EU, joked that he was looking forward to the diplomats’ meeting “because nothing is more fun than to celebrate Christmas among socially distanced colleagues”.

    He added: “Thank you Brexit.”

    David Sassoli

    David Sassoli’s tweet (Image: Twitter)

    10am update:

    The EU reserves the right to suspend the Brexit deal if the UK drifts away from the European Courts of Human Rights, it has emerged.

    Britain and the EU have reached a post-Brexit trade deal after months of sometimes bitter negotiations.

    On Thursday afternoon, a statement from Downing Street announced “the deal is done” – swiftly followed by a confirmation from Brussels.

    Speaking shortly after the announcement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the agreement was a “good deal” for the “whole of Europe” – one that signified “a new stability and a new certainty in what has sometimes been a fractious and difficult relationship”.

    9.44am update: 

    Ireland is poised to pay a big price for former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s “misguided approach” to Brexit in the wake of yesterday’s unveiling of post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the EU, a former top diplomat has said.

    And Ray Bassett said while there was relief, there was also despondency – warning the EU “will never be the same” for his country after the UK’s departure.

    Mr Bassett, Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, took to Twitter afterwards to hail the announcement as “great news”, adding that it was “time for Remainers to put their disappointments aside”.

    He later told Express.co.uk: “There needs to be a serious post mortem in Dublin on their misguided approach.

    “The ending of the Brexit saga will also allow the Taoiseach Micheal Martin to reset relations with London after the turmoil of the Brexit period.

    “He has been noticeably less strident in his public utterances than his predecessor Leo Varadkar.

    9.10am No time to scrutinise deal properly, moans Sassoli

    David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, has complained because he says the period left between now and the end of the year does not offer MEPs sufficient time to consider the post-Brexit trade deal agreed yesterday.

    Mr Sassoli tweeted: “I welcome the deal on the future EU-UK relationship. This can now form the basis of a new partnership. However, the last-minute nature of the agreement does not allow for proper parliamentary scrutiny by the @Europarl_EN before the end of the year.

    “The @Europarl_EN will now analyse the agreement in detail before deciding whether to give consent in the new year. We will act responsibly in order to minimise disruption to citizens and prevent the chaos of a no-deal scenario.

    “We thank and congratulate Michel Barnier and the EU and UK negotiators for their intense efforts to reach this historic agreement. Regardless of #Brexit, the EU and the UK continue to share common values and interests.”

    Leo Varadkar

    Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s former Taoiseach (Image: GETTY)

    8.45am update: 

    Brexit has finally been done with a deal between the UK and EU now agreed. What does the Brexit deal mean for people living in the UK?

    Brexit is one step closer to full realisation, as of today, with high-level talks concluding years of negotiations.

    What negotiators have left with is a selection of victories, concessions and losses which will define the UK and EU’s diplomatic relationship for the foreseeable future.

    But the immediate agreement forms a broad picture of relations across the channel, which may have left people wondering how the new policies will trickle down to them.

    8.15am update:

    Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade agreement with the EU has been ripped apart by Fishing for Leave, who said it appeared to be a “pretty dismal deal” for Britain’s long-suffering fishermen.

    As details of the trade pact emerged, the group which represents fishermen issued a stern statement warning they were far from satisfied from what they had read so far.

    They said: “Sadly, from what’s emerging, the trade deal treaty is far from a clean break to international normality/law.”

    Fishing for Leave added: “The emerging details on what’s been agreed in relation to fishing would seem to be a cop-out to secure an overall pretty dismal deal, and that fishing communities who paid the ultimate price on the way in will get a poor settlement to pay for a deal on the way out.”

    Brexit deal: Ursula von der Leyen confirms UK-EU agreement

    8.10am update: Turkey welcomes trade deal

    Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Ankara welcomed the trade deal reached between Britain and the European Union.

    The ministry said in a statement: “Turkey, having close relations with the UK in all fields, is also an EU candidate country and in customs union with the EU.

    “We believe that this deal will provide Turkey with new opportunities in terms of its relations both with the EU and the UK.

    “In this context, the preparations for signing of a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and Turkey have also reached its final stage.”

    8am update:

    Andrew Neil has issued a dire warning to the European Union, predicting the bloc could become a “backwater” in as little as 15 years.

    The former BBC heavyweight said the EU could slip from prominence and be replaced by a booming Asian economy.

    Mr Neil made the prediction in response to a Tweet from Jim Pickard, Chief Political reporter at the Financial Times.

    Mr Pickard said the Brexit deal, agreed yesterday after months of wrangling, may silence the EU debate – but only temporarily.

    brexit news latest boris johnson michel barnier

    Brexit news: How a trade deal will be signed off (Image: Express)

    7.57am update: 

    LEO Varadkar, former Prime Minister of Ireland, has said Brexit will “never be ‘done'” despite the UK and the EU finally agreeing to a trade deal on Christmas Eve.

    Mr Varadkar, leader of Ireland’s Fine Gael party, expressed relief that a Brexit trade deal had been agreed and called the occasion “a sad but momentous day”.

    However, he claimed “disputes will arise” in the future and said he believed there would be a need for further agreements.

    The political leader said on Twitter: “Level playing field secured. UK will have to match EU standards to maintain access to full EU market.”

    7.54am update: 

    Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit deal with the European Union has been backed by Express.co.uk readers in a new poll.

    Express.co.uk asked readers if they were happy with the Prime Minister’s Christmas Eve trade agreement with Brussels. Some 57 percent said yes, while 33 percent replied no, and 10 percent did not know.

    Commenting on the poll, one reader said: “Remainers are livid so that’s a plus for me.”

    Another wrote: “Watched Nigel Farage being interviewed and he seemed happy enough, so I’m happy enough!”

    7.43am update: Irish fishing boss reacts angrily

    Irish fishermen have reacted furiously after the UK and the EU struck their last-gasp trade deal yesterday – with the head of a prominent trade organisation claiming they had been “sacrificed” by Brussels.

    Sean O’Donoghue, chief executive of the Killybegs Fishemen’s Organisation accused the EU of a “grievous wrong” – and vowed to seek compensation from other members of the EU27. The deal was confirmed yesterday, with Mr Johnson hailing the agreement as one which takes back control of the UK’s “borders, laws, money, trade and fish”.

    However, citing “a host of written commitments in official documents pertaining to the fisheries sector post-Brexit”, Mr O’Donoghue claimed more than four and a half years of agreements had “effectively been shredded” by negotiators Michel Barnier and Lord David Frost.

    He added: “We cannot stand idly by and allow decades of investment in developing a successful enterprise, to be sacrificed by the shape of this very poor deal.



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