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Brexit LIVE: UK puts Navy on alert to stop fishing wars as trade deal on brink

The UK formally left the European Union back in January and with trade talks continuing stumble on key red lines on both sides the Prime Minister is said to be preparing a no deal Brexit amid a second wave of coronavirus.

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A leaked emergency plan by the Cabinet Office’s EU Transition Task Force raised concerns that not enough is being done to prepare for worst case scenarios.

Cabinet Office boss Michael Gove is said to “working flat out to make sure the UK is ready”.

According to the Whitehall document the Royal Navy might be needed to stop British fisherman clashing with illegal European fishing boat incursions.

Another worse case scenario raised is if trade restrictions are imposed through a no deal Brexit outcome, hospitals could be overwhelmed.

The transition period comes to an end on December 31 during winter when a second wave of coronavirus is feared.

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Boris Johnson working on no deal Brexit outcome (Image: Getty)

The Whitehall document, obtained by The Sun, also claims animal disease could rip through the countryside due to shortages of medicines.

It also warned parts of the country could be hit by power shortages and petrol as 8,500 trucks get stuck at the Dover border.

And food and fuel supplies are all facing threats this Christmas if trade barriers are put in place without a deal.

Michael Gove, Cabinet Office boss, said: “We got Brexit done with a great deal in January.

READ MORE: Brexit news: ‘Brexit in name only’ fears as ex-MEP warns of EU plan

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Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove (Image: Getty)

“And we are working flat out to make sure the UK is ready for the changes and huge opportunities at the end of the year as we regain our political and economic independence for the first time in almost 50 years.

“Part of this work includes routine contingency planning for various scenarios that we do not think will happen but we must be ready for, come what may.

“Whether we trade with the EU on terms similar to Canada or to Australia, a brighter future awaits as we forge our own path.”

The leak comes after the latest round of talks claimed negotiations were “going backwards”, raising concerns of a no deal outcome.

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Brexit negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier (Image: PA)

12.05am update: Leo Varadkar says EU Commissioner’s apology over golf dinner ‘helps’

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said the EU Commissioner Phil Hogan’s apology “definitely helps”.

But Mr Varadkar said Mr Hogan needs to “account for himself and explain his own actions”. 

Mr Varadkar and the Taoiseach Micheál Martin spoke to Mr Hogan on Saturday after the EU Commissioner attended the golf event at a hotel in the west of Ireland with more than 80 people.

Mr Varadkar said he welcomed the apology issued by Mr Hogan but “it would have been better if it had come sooner”.

He also said Mr Hogan has accepted that he “may have breached” the Government’ public health guidelines.

He said: “He does accept that he may have breached some of the Government’s public health guidelines but he believes that’s an honest mistake, that he is not resident in the country and wouldn’t be as familiar with them as a cabinet minister for example, who signed off on them.”

Mr Varadkar added how if Mr Hogan is unable to explain his actions well “then he needs to consider his position”.

Manon Dark takes over from Paul Withers.

10pm update:  ‘Walk away now!’ UK told to leave EU with no deal and trade on WTO terms

The UK has been told to shut down Brexit talks with the European Union and walk away with no deal in a move that would see Britain follow World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, an Express.co.uk poll has found.

Britain formally left the EU on January 31, with negotiations on a post Brexit trade deal beginning just under two months later.

But talks have shown little sign of making significant progress, and with the transition period deadline on December 31 is looming closer, the possibility of a no deal outcome is quickly increasing.

If an agreement is not struck by the end of the of this year, trade with the EU will automatically fall back on basic WTO rules.

Now in the latest Express.co.uk poll, have demanded Boris Johnson en the current negotiations with Brussels that would see the UK walk away without a deal and follow WTO terms.

Boris Johnson has been told to shut down trade talks with the EU in the latest Express.co.uk poll (Image: GETTY)

7.45pm update: Boris is STILL being browbeaten by Brussels and needs to shout NO to EU says DAVID JONES

Last year’s election presented a very clear, unambiguous, message to the Conservative Party: secure a strong Brexit deal and leave the European Union if you want to hold power in Westminster.

The voters who abandoned Labour in its northern heartlands in December 2019, and swung behind the Tories, did so in the expectation of a clean and final separation from Brussels and the diktats of EU Commissioners.

Now, it seems, we are being browbeaten to accept a less than favourable settlement that would keep us shackled to a declining European Union.

Our manufacturing, fishing and farming industries, as well as our legal and political traditions, are at risk of remaining locked into the European project when we complete our exit from the transition period.

It would be a tragic irony if the same bloc we voted to leave in 2016 continued to dictate our global trading arrangements after 2020.

5.37pm update: Brexit OUTRAGE: Leaver snaps at bold Barnier for ‘laughing’ at UK with trade deal tactics

Brexiteer Ben Habib said Michel Barnier is behaving over-confident and laughing at the UK in the Brexit trade talks.

The former Brexit Party MEP claimed the UK needed to show the EU it is serious about leaving the bloc without a trade deal. While speaking to Michael Heaver on the Westmonster website,

Mr Habib insisted Michel Barnier was behaving as if the EU had put the UK on the back foot, as they had with Theresa May.

He went on to defend the idea of a no deal Brexit and highlighted mistakes he felt the Government was making in the trade deal.

Brexit news: Michel Barnmier has lashed out at UK negotiators on several occasions (Image: GETTY)

4.25pm update: EU trade commissioner issues ‘profound apology’ over golf dinner

Phil Hogan has issued a “fulsome and profound” apology after attending a golf dinner during the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU trade commissioner has a si9gnificant standing in Brussels and would be deeply involved in any deal with the UK after Brexit.

He has been urged to consider his position by both Micheal Martin and Leo Varadkar after attending the event at a hotel in the west of Irelands where more than 80 people were present.

In a statement, Mr Hogan said: “I acknowledge my actions have touched a nerve for the people of Ireland, something for which I am profoundly sorry.

“I realise fully the unnecessary stress, risk and offence caused to the people of Ireland by my attendance at such an event, at such a difficult time for all, and I am extremely sorry for this.”

He added: “I acknowledge that the issue is far bigger than compliance with rules and regulations and adherence to legalities and procedures.

“All of us must display solidarity as we try to stamp out this common plague.

“I thus offer this fulsome and profound apology, at this difficult time for all people, as the world as a whole combats Covid-19.”

3.15pm update: Brexit boost – UK has HUGE advantage over EU on world stage for THIS reason says expert

The UK has a massive advantage over the EU when it comes to securing deals with the rest of the world after Brexit – because English is spoken by business leaders everywhere, an economist has said.

And despite former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s apparent disdain, Mark Littlewood, director-general of the Institute for Economic Affairs, said English would only become more important in the years to come.

Mr Littlewood was speaking at the end of a week which saw UK negotiator David Frost meet with EU counterpart – and Frenchman – Michel Barnier for further talks in Brussels aimed at thrashing out a trade deal.

However, despite Mr Juncker’s 2017 description of English as “less important than it was”, Mr Littlewood said the reverse was the case – and suggested its common usage across the globe offers Boris Johnson a considerable advantage in tying up agreements with other countries.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak to drop ‘Facebook tax’ (Image: Getty)

Paul Withers taking over live reporting from Steven Brown.

2.15pm update: US/UK trade deal odds increase as Donald Trump’s popularity rises

Ahead of the US election in November, US President Donald Trump has been trailing behind Democractic candidate Joe Biden.

But according to betting giant Betfair, Mr Trump’s liklihood of winning the election have risen over recent weeks.

It is believed, as Mr Trump’s odds of becoming President improve, so do the odds of a UK-US trade deal being signed before the end of 2021.

Betfair spokesperson Darren Hughes told Express.co.uk: “Trump’s odds of winning a second term have improved throughout the week which appears to bode well for the prospect of a landmark UK-US trade agreement getting signed.”

2020 election winner: Betfair Exchange odds:

Joe Biden 4/5 (56 percent probability of winning election)

Donald Trump 11/8 (42 percent probability of winning election)

UK-US trade deal signed before the end of 2021 – 1/2 (implied 67 percent probability)

12.50pm update: UK government to drop new tax on global technology

The UK government has announced they are preparing to drop a new tax on global technology companies such as Facebook over fears it could jeopardise a post-Brexit trade deal.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is planning to ditch the so-called Facebook tax which was expected to generated around £500m to help pay towards the huge cost of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

A treasury spokesperson said: “We’ve been clear it’s a temporary tax that will be removed once an appropriate global solution is in place, and we continue to work with our international partners to reach that goal.”

This comes just weeks after Mr Sunak wrote to the US Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, demanding big tech firms pay more tax to help fund COVID-19 recovery.

Fisherman will blockade ports whether deal reached (Image: Getty)

12.30pm update: Brexit POLL: As EU trade talks stall, should the UK walk away on WTO terms?

With the Brexit deadline looming closer, negotiations between the UK and the EU are at stalemate.

With this in mind, Express.co.uk is asking, should the UK walk away with no deal and trade on WTO terms?

The UK formally left the European Union back in January and since then trade negotiations have been extended to the end of October due to the outbreak of COVID-19. But talks continue to stumble on key red lines on both sides.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been adamant he will not seek any extension to the current transition period, which ends in December, with or without a deal in place.

If a deal is not agreed by the end of the transition period, trade with the EU will automatically fall back on basic World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

11.15am update: French fisherman will blockade ports… whether Brexit deal reached or not

Furious French fishermen will stage a port blockade after the Brexit transition period has ended, a fishing chief has warned, regardless of whether a trade deal has been struck.

John Balls, chairman of North Devon Fishermen’s Association, said the French will not take a compromise lying down and predicted widespread disruption to the movement of goods and people on both sides of the Channel.

On Friday the seventh round of post-Brexit trade talks in Brussels wrapped up, with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier saying he was “disappointed” with the lack of progress.

Former MEP Alexandra Phillips blasts Boris’ deal (Image: Getty)

10.45am update: Brexit warning: Boris will need to ‘stick to his guns’ amid ‘intense’ Joe Biden NHS plot

Boris Johnson has been warned to expect Joe Biden to demand access to the NHS in any Brexit deal, if he defeats Donald Trump in the US election, a leading political expert has said.

Joe Biden is on course to win the race for the White House on November 3, with many leading polls putting the former vice-president ahead of his Republican rival Donald Trump. 

The current US President had previously flirted with the idea of including the NHS in any free trade deal – however, Mr Trump was quickly shut down by the Westminster Government.

10am update: Brexit Poll: Should the UK hold a referendum on whether to accept the final EU trade deal?

Brexit talks with the EU remain deadlocked despite months of talks with a number of tough decisions facing the UK’s Brexit negotiators – as well as Britons themselves.

And with the UK potentially having to compromise on some key red lines, do you think the UK should hold a referendum on whether to accept the final deal?

9.30am update: Brexiteer slams Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal

Former Brexit Party MEP Alexandra Phillips blasted Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, which he struck with the EU last October. 

She insisted it is almost identical to the agreement former prime minister Theresa May negotiated with Brussels.

Ms Phillips told Express.co.uk: “I’m afraid to say that what Boris Johnson has lumbered us with, the Withdrawal Agreement, is basically the same thing Theresa May penned that he called vassalage.

“The same deal that Boris Johnson called vassalage, the Withdrawal Agreement, is basically what went into print and is now part of statute.

“The most unsavoury aspects of that were just essentially moved into the Political Declaration which he said was not legally binding.”

9am update: Brexit trade talk difficulties have caused the EU to fear a no deal with the UK, according to an expert

Brexit talks have failed to result in an agreed new trade deal between the UK and EU so far. 

This has led many commentators and politicians to insist a no deal Brexit is becoming more of a possibility. 

Queen Mary’s School of Business and Management professor Liam Campling argued at this stage the EU may be getting scared of the no deal scenario.

During an interview with Express.co.uk, Professor Campling noted the bloc would be wary of the financial ramifications of failure to agree a trade deal with the UK.

8.30am update: Boris Johnson urged not to back down to EU demands

Boris Johnson has been told he must hold firm on the UK’s red lines in the current post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, or he risks “political suicide”.

Time is running out for the UK to secure a trade deal with the EU, as both sides need time to ratify a deal in their respective Parliament’s. But a Brexiteer has urged the Government not to make huge concessions in order to rush through a last-minute deal.

Former Brexit Party MEP Belinda de Lucy said it is vital UK negotiators maintain its red lines on fishing rights and the level playing field demand. 

Economic loss per EU state in no deal outcome (Image: Express)

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