BREXIT LATEST: Brussels CAVES as Barnier admits EU ‘moving TOWARDS’ British position

The Tory leader offered further talks with Labour in an attempt to secure cross-party support for an exit deal.

The Prime Minister questioned Mr Corbyn’s key call for the UK to remain in a customs union with Brussels but offered concessions in other areas and said she wanted talks between Labour and Tory teams “as soon as possible”.

2.47am update: Eurotunnel takes Government to court over no deal Brexit 

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s decision to award contracts to three ferry companies, including one with no ships, under no-deal Brexit plans, is being challenged at the High Court.

Eurotunnel, which operates the Channel Tunnel, says the contracts totalling £108 million were awarded through a “secretive and flawed procurement process”.

But the Department for Transport (DfT) argues that the “extreme urgency” of preparations for Britain’s departure from the EU on March 29 justified the process.

At a hearing in London on Monday, Eurotunnel’s barrister Daniel Beard QC said the procurement process for “additional capacity for transport of goods across the English Channel” had been “undertaken without any public notice being issued”.


Mr Beard said Eurotunnel only found out “when contract notices were published three days after Christmas”, adding that it was “quite remarkable” his client had not been informed given its recent history in running cross-Channel services.

He submitted that Eurotunnel was “an operator who actually ran a ferry service three years ago”, and was therefore not “speculating” about its ability to run cross-Channel services but “has actually done it”.

2.06pm update: ‘Something has to give’ Barnier suggests May take on Labour’s proposal 

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The EU’s Brexit negotiator said May could move towards proposals by the opposition Labour Party on a permanent customs union with the bloc to break the impasse over the details of the looming divorce, saying: “Something has to give”. 

1.43pm update: Food industry threatens to suspend cooperation with the Government 

Sky News said it has “seen a letter to Environment Sec Michael Gove from heads of more than 30 trade associations which says Britain’s food industry is threatening to suspend co-operation with a series of Government consultations until “catastrophic impact of a no-deal Brexit” is resolved.” 

1.39pm update: Labour’s customs union ‘not workable’

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox warned that Labour proposals for a customs union with the EU are “not workable”.

He said: “Of course we always want to work with the opposition but the opposition has put forward some ideas that are not workable.

“The idea that you can have a customs union with the EU and at the same time, as an outside country, have an effect on EU trade policy is to not understand the EU treaties.

“It is very clear from the European Union that non-EU members do not have a say in EU trade policy so to pretend that you could do so is a dangerous delusion.”

10.28am update: Liam Fox says Brexit cannot be blamed for economic slowdown 

He said the idea Britain’s exit from the EU is the only factor in GDP slowdown was missing thepoint, and instability in China was affecting global growth. 

Additional reporting by Rebecca Perring.


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