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Brexit news latest – ‘Two YEAR’ implementation period even if last-minute Brexit deal struck before December 31 deadline

BRITAIN faces a “one or two year” implementation period even if a last minute Brexit deal is struck, experts said today.

Trade adviser Shanker Singham, who has been a key figure in shaping post-Brexit trade policy, told MPs today that the EU would likely back Britain into a corner in order to get a better deal for Brussels.

“The issue is whether a political deal can be done in the time, then there can be implementation periods and specific periods to cover ratification, but no one is going to talk about this right now because we are still in a negotiation,” he said.

Fleshing out the idea of a ratifcation period Professor Catherine Barnard added: “There may be a one or two-year proper implementation period to steadily turn off the positions we are in.”

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QUEUES ‘INTOLERABLE’

Kent MP Damian Collins has hit out at the government after it warned about the possibility of 7,000 queuing lorries in the county.

He told the House of Commons the “worst-case scenario situation of 7,000 queuing lorries would be intolerable for people in Kent and in my constituency”.

“Even if it was only half that value, it would still require the closure of the coastbound M20 and can he assure us that he will do all he can to make sure that that is not the reality that people are confronted with next year?”

ROAD RAGE

The warning that there could 7,000-truck-long queues in Kent if hauliers fail to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period has hit a raw nerve.

They have accused the government of trying to shift the blame to them.

Rob Hollyman, director of Essex-based haulage firm Young’s Transportation and Logistics, said this was “quite a clever statement” because it could lead people to blame “the idiot haulier”.

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, warned that the UK does not have enough customs agents to support traders after the transition period ends.

DETERMINED TO BE DETERMINED

The EU’s Brexit supremo is in town for informal talks with his UK counterpart Michael Gove.

When asked on arrival in London before informal talks if he was optimistic about reaching a deal Michel Barnier said: “I am determined.”

Four hours later, Britain said it was determined too.

“We’re absolutely determined to do everything that we can to secure a deal,” Cabinet Office Minister Gove told parliament.

“No-deal is in nobody’s interests. I’m confident we can overcome those difficulties and secure a free trade agreement which would be in everyone’s interest.”

WHAT THE TRUCK

Hauliers will need special permits to gain access to Kent as the Government confirmed plans to avoid post-Brexit gridlock.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the permits could help avoid queues of up to 7,000 trucks seeking to cross the English Channel.

The Kent Access Permit system could be enforced by police or the use of cameras monitoring the number plates of vehicles entering the county at points such as the Dartford Crossing bringing freight from Essex.

Mr Gove set out the measure as he outlined “reasonable worst-case scenarios” that could emerge from January 1.

When the KAP system was proposed in August, Logistics UK warned it would “create an internal UK border…adding more red tape to the work which hauliers will be obliged to comply with”.

‘WE’RE NOT GOING TO KEEP ON ABOUT EUROPE’, STARMER TELLS CONFERENCE

Sir Keir Starmer has said that the Labour Party is not going to keep ‘banging on about Europe’.

Starmer was delivering his first speech to his party’s conference since becoming leader in April.

“On Brexit, let me be absolutely clear. The debate between Leave and Remain is over,” he said.

“We’re not going to be a party that keeps banging on about Europe. The Prime Minister has repeatedly promised that he will get a deal.

“So go on and get one. British business needs a deal. Working people need a deal. Our country needs a deal.”

LONDON MAYOR CALLS FOR TRANSITION EXTENSION

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has repeated a call for the government to seek an extension to the Brexit transition period.

The period is currently set to end on December 31 this year.

Taking to twitter this afternoon, Khan wrote: “Today marks 100 days until the end of the brexit transition period, but negotiations have stalled — raising fears we could be heading for a no-deal Brexit.

“This would be disastrous for Londoners and businesses. The Government must act now and extend the transition period.”

POLICE WILL CHECK PERMITS OF LORRIES ENTERING KENT, SAYS GOVE

Lorries will have their permits checked by police as they enter Kent to avoid disruption after Brexit, Michael Gove has said.

The comments come after leaked documents revealed that the need to check documents after the end of the transition period could lead to queues of up to 7,000 lorries on their way to Dover.

Quizzed by MPs, Gove said that papers would be checked through policing, Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, and other means.

1,500 TROOPS ON STANDBY FOR ‘WORST-CASE SCENARIO’ OVER WINTER

Fifteen hundred troops are on standby to tackle unrest in the event of a ‘worst-case scenario’ this winter, a leaked government document has revealed.

The Cabinet Office document outlines the danger of a no-deal Brexit coinciding with a second wave of Covid-19.

It comes after the government announced new lockdown measures following a spike in coronavirus cases.

It reportedly warns that, should a peak in cases coincide with a no-deal Brexit, the economic impact could cause public disorder, shortages, and price hikes.

The troops have reportedly been put on standby to help the police deal with any unrest.

‘SAFE OPERATION’ OF CHANNEL TUNNEL AT RISK, MPS WARN

The “safe operation” of the Channel Tunnel could be at risk after Brexit, a committee of MPs has warned.

The British and French government had planned to agree changes to a 1986 treaty governing the operation of the tunnel, but no new framework is yet in place.

A report by the Commons European Scrutiny Committee said the lack of a new agreement would raise “concerns about the safe operation of the Tunnel after 31 December given that most EU law will no longer apply in the UK.”

MINISTERS ACCUSED OF SEEKING TO ‘PASS THE BLAME’

Ministers were accused of seeking to “pass the blame” onto businesses for the “chaos” caused by them over Brexit.

Labour former minister Kevin Brennan told the Commons: “7,000 HGVs parked end-to-end would stretch from this building to Dover. That’s the scale of the problem the Secretary of State is setting out.

“Where are the 29 extra lorry parks going to be? His statement seems to be all about passing the blame onto business for the chaos being caused by his Government.”

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove denied this was the case and highlighted sites in Kent and at other locations where money has been invested, also noting: “Should there be specific areas of traffic management in Kent that we need to deal with, steps have been taken with the Kent Resilience Forum to do just that.”

UK BREXIT BORDER DELAYS ‘LIKELY TO WORSEN’ IN JANUARY SAYS REPORT

Delays at Britain’s port of Dover after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union at the end of year are likely to worsen during January but could lessen in the first three months of the year, a British government report said on Wednesday.

The Reasonable Worst Case Scenario for borders report said there could be queues of up to 7,000 trucks in southeast England because some vehicles will not have the correct post-Brexit documentation.

“Disruption could be lower in the initial days of January but we would expect sustained disruption to worsen over the first two weeks as freight demand builds,” the report said.

ONE IN FOUR BUSINESSES ‘FULLY READY’ FOR POST-BREXIT ARRANGEMENT SAYS GOVE

Michael Gove said just one in four businesses believe they are “fully ready” for the post-Brexit arrangements.

He told MPs more businesses are becoming fully prepared but there are “still many” who have “not quite taken the steps they need to”, telling the Commons: “Our survey evidence indicates while 78% of businesses have taken steps, just 24% believe they are fully ready.

“Indeed, 43% of businesses actually believe the transition period will be extended even though the deadline for any extension has now long passed and the date we leave the single market and customs union is fixed in law and supported across this House.”

BREXIT ‘COULD REQUIRE ONE OR TWO-YEAR IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD’

Brexit could require a “one of two-year” implementation period, experts said today.

Appearing before the Brexit committee, trade adviser Shanker Singham said: “The issue is whether a political deal can be done in the time, then there can be implementation periods and specific periods to cover ratification.

“But no one is going to talk about this right now because we are still in a negotiation.

Fleshing out the idea of a ratification period, Cambridge law professor Catherine Barnard added: “There may be a one or two-year proper implementation period to steadily turn off the positions we are in.”

GOVT DOC WARNS OF COVID AND BREXIT PERFECT STORM

A leaked government document warns of the danger of a no-deal Brexit coinciding with a second wave of Covid-19.

The Cabinet Office document comes after the government announced new lockdown measures following a spike in coronavirus cases.

It reportedly warns that, should a peak in cases coincide with a no-deal Brexit, the economic impact could cause public disorder, shortages, and price hikes.

It also says that troops could be drafted onto the streets to help police in the event of unrest, with 1,500 already on standby.

INTERNAL MARKET BILL A ‘TRANSFER OF POWERS BACK TO SCOTLAND’, SAYS PM

The Internal Market Bill will involve a large transfer of powers back to the devolved Scottish government, Boris Johnson has told prime minister’s questions.

The government has faced criticism over the bill, which would break international law if it ever came into force, but says it is a necessary step to ensure the security of the UK’s food imports after Brexit.

The Scottish National Party has said the bill will grant powers to Westminster that should be handed to the devolved governments.

Asked about the row today, Boris Johnson said: “This is a bill that underpins a massive transfer of powers back to Scotland from Brussels.

“About 70 powers and prerogatives go back to Scotland which they would throw away again.”

WINTER SPIKE IN COVID CASES COULD WORSEN PORT DISRUPTION

Any winter spike in coronavirus cases could worsen disruption at the UK’s ports after Brexit, a government documents warns.

The Cabinet Office document, seen by the BBC, lays out what it refers to as a ‘worst-case scenario’ for the end of the current transition period at the end of this year.

Concerns have been raised about the delays and friction that could be seen at ports in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The document reportedly says that disruption could be worsened by the absences of port and border staff that could be caused by a spike in coronavirus cases once colder weather sets in.

‘GRIM’ OUTLOOK FOR KENT IN GOVT WORST-CASE SCENARIO, SAYS LOCAL MP

The outlook for Kent and the South East under the government’s worst-case Brexit scenario would be ‘grim’, a local MP has said.

Rosie Duffield, Kent’s only Labour MP, was speaking after reports that exporters to the EU could face queues of up to 7,000 trucks to cross the channel after the end of the current transition period.

“For over three years, Kent MPs have had our concerns dismissed and many questions left unanswered,” she wrote on twitter.

“As the only opposition MP in the county, I have been made to look like I was ‘crying wolf’.

“V grim scenario for the South East.”

SHIPLESS FERRY FIRM HIRED BY CHRIS GRAYLING GOES BUST

A shipless firm famously hired by the then-Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to run ferry services after Brexit has gone bust.

Seabourne Freight was handed a £13.8m contract to bring vital supplies across the channel in the event of a no-deal Brexit despite not having any ships.

Grayling was forced to contract the cancel after the decision provoked a backlash.

The company owed creditors almost £2million when it went into liquidation earlier this month.

BREXIT DISRUPTION WOULD BE DUE TO ‘EU FAILURE TO PLAN’, SAYS MINISTER

Any disruption following Brexit would be the result of the failure of the EU to plan, a government minister has claimed.

Environment secretary George Eustice was speaking before a select committee on Tuesday.

Asked about possible disruption after the end of the current transition period, he said: “We can do all the work in the world to make sure that our borders are ready and we know exactly how we’re going to handle lorries and goods arriving here.

“If when they arrive at the other side, it’s all a bit slipshod and disorganised, and there’s therefore chaos because of the failure of the EU to plan, that’s beyond our control.”

SWITZERLAND TO VOTE ON FREE MOVEMENT

Voters in Switzerland are preparing to decide whether the country should end its free movement agreement with the European Union.

Switzerland is not a member state of the EU, but has many agreements in place that replicate certain aspects of membership, including free movement.

The question of whether to end the current agreement will be put to the population in a referendum on Sunday.

Polls suggest the attempted change won’t go ahead, with only 35 percent of people currently supporting it and 63 percent opposing it.

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