MINISTERS will unveil two crucial bills which will prepare Britain for “no deal” with the EU and take the first step to turning it into an independent free trade powerhouse. Details of the Trade Bill and Customs Bill are due to be revealed on Tuesday as America’s top trade official Wilbur Ross said he is optimistic about a deal with Britain. The vital building blocks to Britain’s success after leaving the EU also came a day after the Prime Minister told the CBI that Brexit offers a bright future. She said: “We will get the best Brexit deal for our country, guaranteeing the greatest possible access to European markets, boosting free trade across the world, and delivering control over our borders, laws and money.”
BRITAIN will take the crucial first legislative steps preparing for a No Deal Brexit – by publishing a new Trade Bill. The new law will give the Government the power to strike independent trade deals for the first time in more than 40 years. And it will set out the legal basis for translating more than 40 existing free trade deals we currently have as EU members into UK law. Ministers will also unveil plans for a separate Customs Bill – giving the Government the power to impose and collect tariffs on goods entering the UK. It will also allow ministers to set preferential or additional duties in certain circumstances – for example, to support developing countries. The two bills are the first legislative step towards preparing the country for leaving the EU without a new trading deal in place.
The Government starts the legal process today to carve out the UK’s post-Brexit future as an independent trading nation. A Trade Bill will be published in Parliament which is designed to give the Government the power to develop its trade relationship with the EU and the rest of the world. At its core is a commitment to write the EU’s current free trade agreements into the statute books, so that existing arrangements can be closely paralleled. A Government source said this was designed to minimise confusion with our non-EU trading partners and avoid “substantive renegotiations”. The source suggested most nations with whom we currently trade as part of the European Union would welcome the clarity, which would “enable us to maintain and improve our role as a global player”.
Details of the government’s post-Brexit trade policy will become clearer as it publishes proposed legislation. Ministers say their Trade Bill includes provisions for the UK to implement existing EU trade agreements and help ensure firms can still access £1.3 tn worth of foreign government contracts. It will also create a new trade remedies body to defend UK businesses against injurious trade practices. The UK cannot sign or negotiate trade deals until it leaves in March 2019. However, ministers say they can “scope” out future deals with key trade partners, such as the US, Australia and New Zealand. The trade bill, one of nine pieces of new legislation in the pipeline to prepare the ground for Brexit, will be published on Tuesday although it will not be debated by MPs until a later date.
The US has said it wants to become Britain’s biggest trading partner in a major boost for Brexit. Leaving the EU would allow the UK to forge ‘even stronger’ ties with its closest ally, American Secretary of State for Commerce Wilbur Ross told British business leaders yesterday. He laid bare the huge extent of transatlantic trade as the UK is America’s seventh-largest trading partner with nearly $230billion (£175billion) in bilateral trade. The 79-year-old billionaire also took a swipe at the EU, saying it ‘talks free trade but actually is highly protectionist’. His comments came after President Trump’s call for a ‘very big and exciting’ trade deal with the UK and contradict former president Barack Obama’s claim that Britain would be ‘at the back of the queue’.
Britain must avoid too much compromise with the EU over the Brexit divorce deal if it wants a speedy free trade deal with the US, one of President Donald Trump’s most senior advisers has said. Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary, said that a trade deal with Britain could be signed within months of Brexit, brushing aside claims that it could take 10 years for an agreement to be reached. But Mr Ross said there would be problems if the UK retained the current EU-wide bans on chlorinated chicken and genetically-modified food. Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference, Mr Ross said his trip to the UK allowed him to “address with the UK some concerns we have that they may be tempted to include (provisions) in their agreement with the European Commission (EC) that could be problems for a subsequent FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with the US”, he said.
Britain must avoid compromise with the EU over the Brexit divorce deal if it wants a quick free trade agreement with the US, Donald Trump’s senior adviser has said. Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference, the US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, issued a warning regarding the Brexit negotiations. Mr Ross refuted claims that it could take ten years for the US and the UK to reach an agreement and has instead claimed it could happen within months. But he did suggest there would be problems if the UK chose to keep the current EU ban on genetically modified food and chlorinated chicken. His trip to the UK had allowed him to “address with the UK some concerns we have that they may be tempted to include (provisions) in their agreement with the European Commission (EC) that could be problems for a subsequent FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with the US”, he said, according to The Telegraph.
THERESA May should not align too closely with the EU post-Brexit as she would risk losing out on a free-trade deal with the US, Donald Trump’s Secretary of Commerce declared. Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry conference, billionaire Wilbur Ross said there would be problems if the UK kept the current EU-wide ban on chlorinated chicken and genetically modified food. It suggests Britain may have to pick sides between two trade superpowers with totally different demands. While striking a friendly tone, he also issued a veiled threat that talks with the US could be hindered if Mrs. May allies too closely to the EU post-Brexit.
Losing free access to Europe’s financial markets after Brexit would hurt Britain’s chances of striking a successful trade agreement with America, the US commerce secretary has warned. Wilbur Ross said the loss of passporting rights into the EU or a similar arrangement was a potential “landmine” in negotiations with Brussels that could set back trade talks with the US. He also called on UK negotiators to reject European food safety laws, claiming that failing to do so could create problems. He also suggested lowering tariffs on car imports. The demands underscore the complications surrounding Britain’s position. America simultaneously wants the UK to retain access to the EU’s financial services market, as well as to ditch the rigorous conditions that come with access to its goods.
Theresa May sat down face to face with every other party leader tonight to strike an agreement for a new ‘grievance procedure’ for MPs’ staff harassed by politicians. Mrs. May said the agreement was an ‘important step forward’ following the talks in Parliament as a sex scandal threatens to engulf politics. The Prime Minister was sat face to face with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and was joined by politicians from the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, DUP and the Greens. Speaking after the meeting Mrs. May said party leaders also agreed to upgrade an existing complaints hotline to a face-to-face human resources service.
The latter will be introduced by the end of the month and the new grievance procedure should be in place in next year, Mrs. May told reporters.
BRUSSELS is facing a Brexit time bomb over its future finances with the departure of Britain set to coincide with “awkward” talks about the bloc’s future budget, a leading academic has said. Iain Begg, from the London School of Economics, said the EU faces an “intense” internal battle as member states fight tooth and nail to protect their own interests in a world without British cash. The project is facing a whopping £9 billion a year black hole in its budget once the UK quits in 2019, which will have to be made up with increased contributions or swingeing budget cuts. But the club is starkly divided over which future to pursue, with richer member states like Austria and the Netherlands ruling out more cash and poorer ones like Poland set to veto any savings.
The German Army has been using war games to simulate the EU being dismantled as one of six security catastrophes that could play out by 2040. Strategists envisaged a situation where more countries follow Britain’s footsteps out of the bloc and the world becomes ‘increasingly disorderly’. Other scenarios include one where some eastern European states halt progress in EU integration and others enter the ‘Eastern bloc’, a likely reference to Russia and its allies. Two scenarios in the army’s study saw a comeback of Russian-style ‘state capitalism’ in some EU countries and a halt in globalisation. A further two envisaged a more peaceful world.
German military strategists are preparing for a possible end to the European Union as we know it. Documents seen by Der Spiegel show the country’s Armed Forces are contemplating that the EU structure as we know it could be crumbling by 2040. One of the scenarios in this particularly eerie report is titled: ‘The EU in Disintegration and Germany in Reactive Mode’. It focuses on ‘the EU enlargement has been largely abandoned, other states have left the community. Europe has lost its global competitiveness’. Another potential circumstance in the report has been dubbed ‘West to the East’ – in that, some eastern EU countries aren’t complying with EU integration and others have overtly joined an Eastern Bloc of nations and side with Russia.
Jeremy Corbyn blocked plans for a pro-EU rally attended by all living Labour leaders because he did not want to appear with Tony Blair, Gordon Brown has revealed. The former prime minister writes in his memoir that efforts to unite warring party factions in support of the Remain campaign during last year’s referendum were scuppered by Mr Corbyn. The story will anger many Labour MPs, who believe that the Labour leader did not fully commit to the cause. Mr Brown said that he had the idea for the rally after he had vetoed plans by David Cameron to have all living prime ministers appear together outside 10 Downing Street.
An NHS hospital is to open Britain’s first accident and emergency unit for elderly people in an effort to avoid them being stranded on wards. The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital will ask all patients over the age of 80 to go to a separate unit, next to the existing A&E, staffed by geriatrics specialists. It hopes this will speed up patients’ assessment and treatment. The unit will work with social services to ensure that people who need help at home are not admitted to a ward because there is nowhere else for them to go. Older people’s health can decline during hospital stays, making it harder to return to living independently.
NHS leaders are calling on the Government to reform immigration policy to make it easier to recruit doctors and nurses from overseas and fill significant gaps left by UK workforce shortages. Staff shortages are the top concern for two-thirds of chief executives and chairs of NHS trusts and foundation trusts, according to a survey by membership body, NHS Providers. And 85 percent expect overseas recruitment to be very or fairly important to keeping services running over the next three years. To address this NHS Providers, which represents 98 percent of NHS trusts, says the Government must “urgently confirm the right to remain” of 60,000 EU staff in the NHS and set out how it will fund pay rises for staff now it has scrapped its public sector pay cap.
The flu jab is likely to offer limited protection this winter because the virus mutates during manufacturing, a study claims. Researchers have identified why the vaccine was only 20 to 30 percent effective last year — and warn we face the same problem this year. The H3N2 bug, one of those used, mutated when it was grown in chicken eggs so is less able to fight illness. The egg method allows for large-scale manufacturing but is unreliable. Dr. Scott Hensley, of the University of Pennsylvania, US, said: “Current H3N2 viruses do not grow well in chicken eggs, and it is impossible to grow these viruses in eggs without adaptive mutations.”
Suggestions Vladimir Putin is poised to reopen the Cuban military base have sparked fears of a new missile crisis. Russia should reopen its military base in Cuba, in the backyard of the United States, two key supporters of the Kremlin strongman have demanded. Such a move would massively ramp up tensions between Washington and Moscow at a time when relations are already at their worst since the Cold War. Many will see the coordinated call by two key parliamentary allies of President Putin as a sign that a new ultra-modern Cuban presence is intended by the Kremlin. ‘Our base on Cuba, naval and aviation, should exist. It’s a key issue,’ demanded Frants Klintsevich, deputy head of the Russian senate’s defence and security committee, according to Interfax news agency.
Investigations into scandals such as sex grooming will be harder to publish under proposals that threaten press freedom, peers warned last night. Amendments to the Data Protection Bill were a “profoundly misguided” attempt to impose statutory regulation of the print media, the Lords heard. The bill seeks to give individuals more control over their personal information and penalise companies that misuse private data. However, several peers have tabled amendments that critics claim will restrict the press’s ability to expose criminality. One set of amendments would tighten the public interest exemption currently granted to journalists who handle private data while investigating wrongdoing.