Mark Drakeford delivers speech at Leaders’ Debate
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The European Commission tabled a range of proposals aimed at cutting the red tape the arrangements have imposed on moving goods from Great Britain to the region on Wednesday. However, the plan did not address a key UK demand – the removal of the European Court of Justice’s oversight function in the operation of the protocol.
But Mujtaba Rahman, a former Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs at the European Commission and UK Treasury official claimed the EU deal went “further” than the Prime Minister was expecting.
Because of this, he said on Twitter: “Without such a significant offer, UK ministers believe Johnson would have triggered Article 16, probably by end-November, to suspend all or (more likely) part of the protocol.
“But UKG now has no choice but to seriously engage in talks.”
Lord Frost said the UK was studying the EU proposals “constructively” but stressed there is still a “long way to go”.
He added: “Clearly they have proposed some changes; we do need to understand that detail, and we’ve begun that conversation, but there’s quite a long way to go.”
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Au revoir Paris! Boris to build alliance with ‘sympathetic’ Eastern European Prime Ministers
The move comes as sources in the Foreign Office have told the Sunday Express that the UK is building up alliances with more sympathetic countries in the EU amid growing hostility from France.
A strong relationship with the Visegrad 4 – Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – could see support from the UK for Polexit and the other three countries’ efforts to assert their sovereignty against the EU.
A senior source close to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss joked: “Perhaps we should set up an advisory unit on leaving the EU.”
A source close to Ms Truss noted that she had still not spoken to the French foreign minister by the time of the Tory conference earlier month since she was appointed to the role in September.
It is claimed Ms Truss believes that “the EU is basically France” in the way Macron is able to dictate the bloc’s policy as Germany’s influence has reduced following the departure of Angela Merkel.
Macron looked down on UK following Aukus controversy says expert
Mr Macron was said to be furious after Australia formed the Aukus security pact with the US and the UK, which is aimed at maintaining Western influence in the Asia-Pacific.
Yet, a Warwick University academic and French politics expert told Express.co.uk that Mr Macron’s decision to not recall an ambassador from London was a move made to condescend the UK.
Professor David Lees said: “I think it was really interesting France didn’t recall the ambassador from the UK when it did recall those from Australia and the US.
“I think there was a bit of condescension there towards the UK and maybe there’s the sense that the UK is perhaps not as much of a competitor as maybe the UK thinks it is.”
Polexit is just ‘fake news’ says Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki
Last week, Poland’s highest court ruled that parts of EU treaties are “incompatible” with its constitution.
But despite warning EU institutions not to “act beyond the scope of their competencies” by interfering with Poland’s judiciary, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki appears to have since made a desperate U-turn.
For the past week, writing on Facebook, Mr Morawiecki has decried the Polexit suggestions as “fake news” and a “harmful myth”.
A day after the widespread protests, and in the first message of its kind, Mr Morawiecki wrote: “Polexit is fake news.
EU will be ‘forced to concede’ even more to the UK says former Brexit advisor
Stewart Jackson, a former Tory MP, told GB News that the UK was outmanoeuvring Brussels because the EU was overwhelmed with crises.
Mr Jackson suggested that the EU will be “forced to concede” even more to the UK.
The former MP and special advisor said: “The big issue is that the EU is at a juncture where it is struggling.
“It is struggling with its own members, with rule of law issues with Poland and Hungary.”
Mr Jackson added: “It is struggling with immigration issues. It has a demographic time bomb, it is slowing down.”
Brexit: EU ‘forced to concede’ says former Tory MP
‘We got Brexit but Johnson isn’t maximising it!’ says Nigel Farage
“I think the frustration is we got Brexit but we have a government which isn’t really doing enough to maximise the opportunities,” says Mr Farage who did not exclude a comeback to party politics.
“I don’t see the circumstances of me coming back into it but you never know.”
“The HGV thing [was] made worse by EU membership because of lots of access to cheap labour and a race to the bottom in standards,” he shoots back.
“What had once been a well-respected job suddenly became a horrible job, plus EU rules on tachographs and all the rest of it meant drivers sleeping on the side of the roads…
“The amber lights have been flashing for some years on this and no one chose to look.”
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to finally meet with French counterpart after Aukus controversy
France previously cancelled both the planned meeting scheduled for September 23 and a major defence summit hosted by the Franco-British Council after the announcement of the Aukus defence pact between Australia, Britain and the US.
Next week, Nato’s defence ministers’ will meet to discuss the possibility of renewed Russian aggression, following the build-up of tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine’s border in April.
A senior MoD source said: “While it may be the case that our commitments in Europe are being leveraged in view of the current situation with France, it is important to remember that things like the Joint Expeditionary Force ‑ a UK-led initiative involving nine Northern European nations ‑ were already well established.
“They continue to show how we continue to prioritise the high north and the Euro-Atlantic.”
Biden is not fit for purpose: Nigel Farage blasts US President ‘not up to the job’
Nigel Farage took a swipe at President Joe Biden in an outspoken comment while discussing the chances of a Trump return.
The 57-year-old believes his friend Donald Trump can win both the Republican presidential nomination and the next US election.
Speaking of the nomination in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Express, he said: “If Trump wants it, it’s his.
“My guess it that he does want it.
“So, yeah, we’re set for another contest – another go from Trump.” Mr Farage last saw Mr Trump in early May and found him “incredibly fit”.
‘Arrogant’ Macron’s obsession with Brexit ignores Germany ‘taking advantage’ of France
Emmanuel Macron “obsession” with Brexit fatally ignores Germany’s increasing financial dominance of the EU, a historian has warned.
Gavin Mortimer claimed that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s nation has been “cruelly exploiting” France’s “neediness” for years.
This has only increased as Germany’s financial clout has become ever greater.
Bizarrely Mr Macron has remained “infatuated” with his EU partner – despite it “taking advantage” of his country economically for decades.
Writing in the Spectator, Mr Mortimer insisted that many in France are aware of this imbalance.
Greg Wise’s Brexit rebuke after Emma Thompson rant: ‘Petty and childish’
Greg Wise branded the Brexit debate “petty and childish” just a few months after his wife Emma Thompson had launched a passionate defence of the European Union, unearthed accounts show.
Greg met his wife Emma Thompson on the set of Sense and Sensibility, and they tied the knot 18 years ago.
While both are vocal Remainers, Greg admitted in May 2016 that there was scaremongering on “both sides” of the debate.
He insisted that Britons would be better off to simply ignore the issue of Brexit altogether.
We have power, Macron! Jersey mocks France energy cut claim in fishing battle
Jersey has played down French threats over cutting power to the island in a tense English Channel fishing row.
French Fisheries Minister Annick Girardin said the issue must be solved “by November 1 after Jersey said 73 vessels would be banned from fishing in their waters if they failed to provide the correct paperwork.
Paris said energy exports to the UK and the Channel Islands could be cut or restricted if all French vessels were not given the post-Brexit licences.
‘More Scots voted for Brexit than Sturgeon’ SNP supporter brilliantly shut down in BBC row
A Scottish Tory MSP shut down an anti-Brexit rant on the BBC by pointing out that more people voted to leave the EU in Scotland than voted for Nicola Sturgeon that year.
Oliver Mundell hit back at pro-independence football pundit Michael Stewart over Brexit this week.
The pair clashed during this week’s BBC Debate Night show when Mr Stewart blamed shortages on post-Brexit rules.
Mr Mundell said: “What you won’t do and what so many people in our established political circles won’t do, is speak up for the million people in Scotland who voted for Brexit.
French Finance minister claims UK leaving single market has made supply chain worse
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has told his British counterpart Rishi Sunak that Brexit has made the ongoing supply chain crisis even worse for the UK.
Mr Le Maire told the BBC that leaving the single market was the reason why Britain was most impacted by the supply chain crisis.
He blamed Brexit for the ongoing chaos seen in the UK during a meeting with his British counterpart Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
He said he told Mr Sunak that “for the UK it’s a little bit more difficult since they are no longer a member of the single market”.
EU Settlement Scheme applications made after deadline top 170,000
More than 170,000 applications have been made to the EU Settlement Scheme after the deadline passed, new figures suggest.
EU citizens and their families were asked to apply by June 30 in order to carry on living and working in the UK, after freedom of movement ended following the Brexit transition period.
According to provisional Home Office figures, 172,200 applications were received after the deadline and up to the end of September.
EU ‘gone to limit’ on making concessions over Protocol
The European Union has gone “to the limits” in making concessions to Boris Johnson’s Government over post-Brexit trade in Northern Ireland, the bloc’s ambassador to the UK has said.
EU ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida said Brussels has gone the “extra mile” and cannot go any further following Wednesday’s proposals.
He said: “We went to the limits of what we can do to address the problems of Northern Ireland because we care for Northern Ireland.
“These problems were caused by Brexit.”
He stressed that the EU cannot accede to a key British demand to remove the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in overseeing the protocol.
He added: “There is no single market without the European Court of Justice. It’s the referee of the single market.”
Boris urged to rip up hated EU deal and trigger Article 16 now
Boris Johnson has been urged to trigger a safeguard clause in a hated Brexit deal concerning Northern Ireland.
Former Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson claimed triggering Article 16 could force the EU to cave during negotiations over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Mr Robinson said triggering the clause, which allows either side to unilaterally suspend aspects of the protocol, would “achieve” the UK “goal” of bringing “much more movement” from the EU.
DUP facing legal challenge over meetings boycott due to Protocol
A businessman will seek a court order compelling the DUP to end a boycott of north-south political structures if it does not change stance next week.
Belfast businessman Sean Napier was back in court on Friday to demand the current “confusing picture” is cleared up after one of the party’s ministers failed to participate in two cross-border meetings earlier in the day.
The DUP has vowed to disengage from the structures of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC), apart from meetings on health issues, as part of its protest against Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol.
Boris Johnson urged to stop complaining over Northern Ireland Protocol
Boris Johnson has been urged to stop complaining about the Brexit deal concerning Northern Ireland he signed.
Mark Drakeford said he was “baffled” by the UK Government’s “complaints” about the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The Welsh First Minister said the protocol was the “is deal that they themselves signed up to”.
He added: “I don’t think it’s helpful when UK ministers make hardline speeches, drawing red lines, criticising the deal that they themselves had signed.”
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