Sunday, 29 Nov 2020

Brexit LIVE: EU finally to cave to Boris’s demands with fears no deal would be ‘dramatic’

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Brexit talks head to a crucial phase next week, as London seeks a trade deal with Brussels before the end of the transition period on December 31. However, impasses remain on both sides on fisheries, the level playing field and state aid following “frosty” exchanges between officials this week. 

Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts said Europeans giving ground was “inevitable” when it came to fishing. 

The Greens MEP, who sits on the European Parliament’s Brexit committee, said: “If there is no agreement, it will be dramatic; if there is an agreement it won’t be great.”

One EU diplomat close to the talks stressed “logic and reason” would point to a deal. 

He added: “But if anything became clear in the past three years, when it comes to Brexit, economic rationale and pure logic are not enough to explain what’s happening.”

But a Whitehall official close to the negotiations told Express.co.uk they hoped to see some “light at the end of the tunnel”.

They added: “We are standing our ground, let’s hope Brussels come to sense.” 

Fishermen in EU coastal states including France, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands have trawled British waters for centuries.

But the UK wants the access rethought to satisfy Britain’s coastal communities, which voted strongly for Brexit, No. 10 stressed.

It comes amid a slippery row in No. 10 after Boris Johnson’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings left carrying a box on Friday evening as he quit, although he will continue to work for the PM until mid-December.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman insisted Mr Johnson was not being distracted by the row with the departure of Mr Cummmings. 

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8am update: Brexit will not disrupt vaccine delivery, says Shapps

The Transport Secretary has said he can rule out the potential for delivery of a coronavirus vaccine to the UK being delayed by post-Brexit disruption.

Grant Shapps said there is a “back-up to the back-up” to prevent any hitches, amid concerns delivery of the Belgium-manufactured Pfizer jab could be affected if the Government fails to get a trade deal with the EU.

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