Brexit LIVE: Truss gets tough! Trade Sec vows to destroy 'unfair' practice with new UK law

Brexit: Simon Coveney shut down by host on UK-US trade deal

Following the passage of the new UK Trade Bill, Ms Truss claimed the new legislation will usher in a new era for Brexit Britain. Ms Truss also praised the protection of the UK’s high food and environmental standards. The Bill was passed 319 to 297 despite attempts to add amendments from the House of Lords last night. The International trade Secretary also held talks with Katherine Tai, President Joe Biden’s trade representative last night. 

The talks officials said, marked a key moment to bring forward a UK-US Free Trade Agreement.

Figures from the House of Commons library revealed the UK exported £141billion of goods and services to the US in 2019, 21 percent of all exports.

The Express understands trade officials believe a UK trade deal with the US could be worth between £10billion and £12billion.

The talks between Ms Tai and Ms Truss stressed the importance of both nations continuing to work together to build a “closer economic relationship”.

This publication has learnt a “long-term” rough timetable was discussed but no firm date to secure a final deal was outlined.

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Brexit news: Ms Truss praised the passage of the new bill (Image: Chatham House)

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Boris Johnson and Liz Truss are hopeful of a UK trade deal (Image: GETTY)

During the call, both Ms Tai and Ms Truss acknowledged the UK and America’s “special relationship”.

A Department for International Trade spokesperson added: “They recognised the US and UK’s shared priority to shape the global trade agenda in 2021, including on issues such as WTO reform, tackling climate change and the future of digital trade and data.”

The International Trade Secretary previously scored a victory after securing an agreement with the US to suspend 25 per cent trade tariffs on Scottish whisky.

Former US President Donald Trump slapped the tariffs on the Scottish whisky following a 16-year battle with the EU over aerospace subsidies.

Commenting on the progress, the spokesperson said: “Both welcomed the work to de-escalate the Airbus-Boeing dispute, which paves the way for an even stronger trading relationship.

“They committed to building on this progress to find a fair and permanent settlement.”


11:30pm update: Brexit could spark House of Lords revolution after peers’ threat to stall EU exit

BREXITEERS declared war on the House of Lords after pro-EU peers hatched a last-ditch plot to thwart Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc.

41 percent of national parliaments, like the UK, use a bicameral system, meaning that Parliament contains two separate chambers.

It is another democratic innovation, started in England, developed over time within the UK and then exported worldwide. However, according to many, the Lords is an aspect of British democracy in desperate need of reform.

Since its creation, many Prime Ministers have attempted to reform it but bids to create a “second chamber of the nations and regions” have repeatedly failed over time.

Calls for an overhaul of the Lords particularly intensified after the 2016 EU referendum, as the upper house tried to derail the Government’s Brexit plans on several occasions.

Oliver Trapnell takes over from Bill McLoughlin

11pm update: Prince Charles to pledge strong post-Brexit ties between UK and Greece

Prince Charles will hail “strong” ties between the UK and Greece during a two-day visit to Greece on Wednesday. 

Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will attend Bicentenary Independence Day celebrations, following an invitation from Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

He is expected to say: “The ties between us are strong and vital, and make a profound difference to our shared prosperity and security.

“Just as our histories are closely bound together, so too are our futures.”

Meghan Markle could have been ‘Brexit ambassador’ says Greer

9.30pm update: Labour & Plaid Cymru blasted for EU threat silence– ‘Couldn’t dash quick enough on Brexit’

Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru have been accused of deafening silence over the EU’s threats to block “life-saving vaccines to Wales”.

Andrew RT Davies, the Welsh Conservative leader, hit out at the parties for “dashing to Brussels” to moan about Brexit following the 2016 referendum.

But when faced with threats from EU bureaucrats about preventing “life-saving vaccines” reaching Wales because it has bungled its own rollout, he claimed they were “silent”.

Mr Davies, who leads the Tories in the Welsh Parliament, was referring to a spat between Boris Johnson’s government and Brussels.

Last week EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen warned that if Covid vaccine supplies in Europe do not improve, the EU “will reflect whether exports to countries who have higher vaccination rates than us are still proportionate”.

8.10pm update: Abu Dhabi to “invest billion” in British business post-Brexit

Abu Dhabi is set to invest billions into British green energy, technology and infrastructure over the next five years. 

Mubdala, will pay £800million into life sciences over five years, according to the Financial Times. 

UK investment minister Lord Gerry Grimstone said: “We think the future opportunities are very, very sizeable.”

The Government will also create a reciprocal deal to invest £200million into UAE life sciences. 

Brexit means the Netherlands has ‘lost an ally’ says expert

7pm update: Brexit superwoman Liz Truss launches trade masterplan – and Nicola Sturgeon will hate it

Ministers have launched a bid to strengthen the Union by establishing global trade hubs across the country.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has brought plans to develop new trade hubs in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the North of England.

Under the plans brought forward by ministers, the four trade hubs would be established in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and Darlington.

Ministers say the new hubs would help UK businesses in key industries take advantage of trade opportunities around the world and attract investment across the whole of the UK.

A total of 550 staff are expected to be present in the hubs by 2025, with an ambition to increase this to 750 staff by 2030.

Officials say goods exported from the North of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are worth an average of £98.4billion.

5.58pm update: EU extends temporary catch limits for fish stocks 

EU ministers have agreed on Tuesday to extend the deadline for setting this year’s catch limits shared with Britain. 

The EU and UK will negotiate catch limits each year and had hoped to agree this year’s catch limits this month. 

Now the EU have agreed to apply last year’s catch limits for shared stocks until July 31. 

Portuguese maritime minister Ricardo Serrao Santos said: “We found a solution so that EU fleets can continue to operate in their traditional fishing grounds after 31 March.”

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Brexit news: Liz Truss welcomed the lew legislation which was passed last night (Image: PA)

5.30pm update: British food faces exports ban in wake of EU exit

British food businesses face outright exports bans to trade with the EU, a House of Lords EU Environment Committee has claimed. 

Chair of the sub-committee, Lord Teverson said: ”We’re dismayed that our agri-food sector is facing such high trade frictions.

“The increases in paperwork and preparation required for food and agricultural exports to the EU are presenting very difficult challenges, particularly for small businesses.

“Higher haulage rates and issues with groupage and parcel deliveries are putting further pressure on food and agricultural produce exporters.

“Despite the improvements we hope to see, there are now new barriers to UK-EU relations and new administrative costs and burdens will be structural and long-term.”

5.03pm update: Labour mask slips! Starmer ally suddenly pulls out of Rejoin EU event after huge backlash

A Labour frontbencher due to appear at a “Rejoin EU” conference this weekend, has quietly withdrawn from the line-up following backlash.

Sir Keir Starmer’s Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Murray, was listed to be appearing at the event organised by Lord Adonis.

The European Movement Conference 2021 will assess the UK’s relationship with Brussels after leaving the trade bloc.

It has pledged to “bring activists and supporters together with influencers and decision-makers to discuss both the key issues we still face three months on from the Brexit deal, and how our movement is vital to shaping the UK’s relationship with Europe”.

Lord Adonis said the conference had a “great line-up in support of our campaign ‘step by step towards Rejoin’”.

Following outrage at the planned attendance of the shadow minister, Mr Murray appears to have dropped out from the event.

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Brexit news: A timeline of the events leading to the UK’s exit (Image: Express)

4.16pm update: Liz Truss praises passage of post-Brexit Trade Bill 

The post-Brexit Trade Bill was passed today, allowing the Government to set a new post-Brexit trade policy strategy. 

The bill will allow the UK to roll over several deals the UK had with third countries as part of the EU. 

Ms Truss said today: “This is excellent news for businesses and households across the UK. It will provide the certainty firms need to trade successfully overseas as we look to build back better from Covid-19.

“The Trade Bill enables the UK to champion free and fair trade, while dealing with unfair practices that could undermine British industry.

“It reaffirms our commitment to uphold high food and environmental standards by placing the Independent Trade and Agriculture Commission on a statutory footing, providing opportunities for our farmers and food producers. 

“And establishes the new Trade Remedies Authority to protect UK businesses from injury caused by unfair trading practices.”

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Brexit news: Five key moments which led to Brexit (Image: Express)

3.49pm update: John Lewis resumed NI home deliveries 

John Lewis has restarted deliveries of most items to Northern Ireland after they were stopped in December. 

The department store has now revealed 95 percent of all orders will now be resumed. 

Larger deliveries of furniture will begin as soon as possible. 

3.04pm update: EU ‘sole purpose is to make sure its power is preserved’ Habib erupts

Ben Habib hammered the European Union in a tirade following the jab blockade fiasco as he labelled the bloc a “super nationalist institution” whose “sole purpose is to make sure its power is preserved”.

Speaking to talkRADIO, the Unlocked UK co-founder and former MEP Ben Habib launched a volley of damming criticism at the European Union following its threats to block jab exports to Britain.

Mr Habib said the EU will “never put the interests of its citizens first” because their “sole purpose” is to make sure its power is preserved.

He went on to brand the European Union a “super nationalist institution” with “malign intent” towards Britain.

Bill McLoughlin takes over from Richard Percival. 

EU ‘can’t stand Brexit’ says commentator

2pm update: Boris dispatches secret weapon: Top diplomat sent to Brussels for showdown on vaccine war

A Top British diplomat has been sent to Brussels to defuse the row over coronavirus vaccines, it has emerged.

Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s former ambassador to the EU, will lead the negotiations with the European Commission to prevent a full-blown trade war.

The veteran Foreign Office chief was dispatched to help broker a compromise after it emerged eurocrats were planning blockade shipments of the AstraZeneca jabs from the EU to the UK.

1:15pm update: Brexit causes shortage of ‘flower pickers’ 

Brexit has contributed to a shortage of flower pickers in the UK, a bulb grower has said.

Ordinarily, Taylors Bulbs in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, harvests around 2.5 million cut daffodil flowers per year.

Kevin Haynes, horticulture manager, said he expects the firm to harvest around a third of that this year due to a lack of pickers.

12:30pm update: Von der Leyen asked to impose FULL export ban on life-saving vaccines heading for the UK

Pressure is mounting on Brussels boss Ursula von der Leyen to impose a full export ban on life-saving coronavirus vaccines heading to our shores.

Hardline EU nations want the European Commission President to further toughen restrictions on Covid jabs being sent abroad amid growing anger over the bloc’s shambolic rollout. It comes as she is set to outline new plans for the EU’s so-called “Transparency and Authorisation Mechanism” ahead of a virtual summit of European leaders.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is an influential support of Brussels’ aggressive move to halt the export of jabs.

Katharine Tai

US trade representative Katharine Tai (Image: PA)

11:45am update: Truss to sign trade argeement with Canada 

The UK is closing in on a multi-billion post-Brexit trade deal with Canada, Liz Truss has said. 

The International Trade Secretary said she was poised to announce an enhanced trade agreement with the British Commonwealth giant. 

Figures from the UK Government reveal that trade between the two countries was worth £22.4bn in 2019.

11am update: Brexit Britain warned as Juncker’s right-hand man given top role – ‘He will be tough’

Brexit Britain has been sent a warning after a former aide of Jean-Claude Juncker was given the role of dealing with the UK, with Boris Johnson warned he will not take criticism lying down.

Jean-Claude Juncker was European Commission President from 2014 until 2019 and was central to the Brexit negotiations between the European Union and UK following the historic referendum nearly five years ago.

The leading Eurocrat often sparked outrage in the UK with his repeated outbursts over Brexit and criticism of UK during the negotiating process.

10am update: EU fishermen accused of ‘decimating fish stocks’ in British waters

EU fishermen have been accused of raiding British waters despite the Government’s promise to toughen its regulation on European boats.

Fishing was one of the main sticking points during the post-Brexit trade talks between the EU and the UK. 

But since leaving the bloc in January, tensions around regaining control over British waters have continued to grow.

Campaigners have called on the Government to keep its promise of regulating EU boats in UK waters.

Brexit news: Joe Biden

Mr Biden became the 46th President in January (Image: PA)

9am update: EU unity crumbles: Ireland demands €1BILLION in Brexit compensation

The EU is poised for a bitter standoff between member states over the allocation of Brexit compensation, with Ireland demanding at least €1billion (£861.7million) of the funds.

Brussels agreed a €5billion (£4.3billion) compensation package last year, formally known as the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

But the allocation of funds to member states has caused infighting between the EU27, with Ireland at loggerheads with France over how the money will be fairly split up.

Ireland is determined to secure almost €1billion in EU compensation, but France is attempting to reduce the country’s share.

8am update: UK introducing new post-Brexit regulations on shooting 

A ban on using lead ammunition in shooting could be introduced to protect wildlife, the environment and people, under Government plans.

The Government said it is considering a ban under the UK’s new post-Brexit chemical regulation systems, UK Reach, to combat the harm caused by large volumes of lead ammunition discharged in the countryside each year.

It has requested an official review of the evidence to begin, with a public consultation to follow on phasing out the ammunition.

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