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Boris Johnson’s refusal to extend the transition period has given EU a much shorter deadline which in turn will focus their minds, according to Richard Tice. He claimed that a partial Brexit deal is likely to be agreed on by the end of the year providing there is a compromise. Mr Tice added that chief negotiator David Frost is well-placed in his role since he believes in what is being negotiated.
Speaking to Brexit Watch, Mr Tice said: “We at the Brexit Party put huge pressure on the Government over the last few months of 2019.
“It was us who forced them to commit to not extend the transition period in their manifesto.
“They have stuck to their word, the appointment of David Frost as chief negotiator has turned out to be a complete masterstroke.
“If you want someone to negotiate a good deal for you, it does help when they believe in what they’re negotiating as opposed to the previous Olly Robbins.
“They’ve done a good job so far. Going past the extension date that does focus the minds.
“In the world of business that I come from, there’s nothing like a short deadline to concentrate the minds, focus the attention and to agree what’s agreeable.
“In the most likely case, they will agree on some form of partial deal which will evolve an element of compromise.
“People seem to think you need a trade deal to cover absolutely everything, you don’t.”
His comments come as the Government announced more than £700 million is to be spent on building new infrastructure, hiring staff and developing technology to ensure Britain’s border systems are fully operational when the UK leaves the EU at the end of the year.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the major investment would ensure traders and the border industry are able to “manage the changes and seize the opportunities” when the transition period ends in December.
The £705 million package includes £235 million for staffing and IT systems, and £470 million for port and inland infrastructure to ensure compliance with new customs procedures and controls.
New border infrastructure will be built inland where there is no space at ports, while ports will get one-off financial support to ensure the right infrastructure is in place.
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The funding relates only to the implementation of the GB-EU border, and the Government is expected to publish specific guidance and measures for Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.
Mr Gove said: “We are taking back control of our borders, and leaving the single market and the customs union at the end of this year bringing both changes and significant opportunities for which we all need to prepare.
“That is why we are announcing this major package of investment today.
“With or without further agreement with the EU, this £705 million will ensure that the necessary infrastructure, tech and border personnel are in place so that our traders and the border industry are able to manage the changes and seize the opportunities as we lay the foundations for the world’s most effective and secure border.”
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