Brexit news – live: Boris Johnson hails UK’s new ‘freedom’ as Macron attacks ‘lies and false promises’ – The Independent

Emmanuel Macron says that Brexit was ‘built on lies and false promises’ in his New Year message Boris Johnson hailed the UK’s exit from the EU’s single market and customs union as “amazing moment” in his new year message. “We have our freedom in our hands and it is up to us to make the most of it,” said the PM. It comes as French president Emmanuel Macron attacked the “lies and false promises” which led to Brexit in his own new year message.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said Europe should “keep a light on” – claiming Scotland will be “back soon” inside the EU. Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney warned of inevitable disruption, and the Road Haulage Association said firms were anticipating “invisible chaos” in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Tory grandee Lord Heseltine vowed to fight to re-join the EU. “The battle starts again,” he said.

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The diplomat who will come in from the cold

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has tweeted a picture from Savoie Mont Blanc in the French Alps with a Brexit trade deal reference: “Where there is a will, there is a way.”  Adam Forrest1 January 2021 12:34

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No more British cartoons for Europeans?

The Brussels-based Telegraph correspondent James Crisp spotted an important change this morning, now that Britain has fully Brexited. “Amazon Prime no longer lets me watch Peppa Pig!”

Adam Forrest1 January 2021 12:09

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Only 800 lorry crossings expected on 1 January

Government officials are confident there won’t be any significant disruption to cross-Channel trade today – and are said to be expecting about only 800 lorry crossings on Friday (well below the usual 10,000 a day).   But Rod McKenzie, head of the Road Haulage Association, said normal flows will start to build from Monday. “It is only then that problems will begin to emerge,” he said – adding that companies were still anticipating “invisible chaos” over the coming weeks. Driver Slavi Ivanov Shumeykov smiled and waved as his Eddie Stobart vehicle became the first to go through new Eurotunnel controls in Kent just after 11pm last night.  

Adam Forrest1 January 2021 12:01

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Britain will be ‘back on the world stage’, says top Tory MP

Influential Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the Commons’ foreign affairs committee, has said 2021 will be the year “Britain is back on the world stage”. Making predictions on the 12 months ahead for Politico, he said: “The lessons of the pandemic should shape the G7 and COP26, reminding us that interdependence is here to stay and that – from laboratory regulations to the environment – what happens abroad has an impact at home.” He said the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow this autumn offered Britain a chance to “energise a global revolution towards a greener world”.

Adam Forrest1 January 2021 11:56

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‘The battle starts again’: Heseltine will fight to rejoin EU

The Tory grandee and anti-Brexit campaigner Lord Heseltine has vowed to keep fighting to re-join the EU one day.   “The battle starts again – a chapter closed last night [but] a new chapter opens,” he told LBC. “It is up to us who believe in a closer relationship with Europe to use the same determination as the Brexiteers … who disrupted the partnership. We want it back.”

He said the trade deal meant there would be a “running battle” every time the UK or the EU wanted to change their position, and vowed that a new, pro-European campaign will “inspire a new generation to seek first closer and then union – membership of the European Union.” Adam Forrest1 January 2021 11:18

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Brexit will remain ‘dominant’ issue, says Grieve

The former attorney general Dominic Grieve – remember all those Grieve amendments during the Brexit battles of 2019? – said the relationship with the EU will remain the “dominant political issue” of our time. The ex-Tory MP told LBC the trade deal was extremely flawed and left a lot unresolved – including security arrangements. “All these issues are going to have to be addressed …

I have no doubt there will be a lot of public debate about what that relationship [with the EU] should be.” Adam Forrest1 January 2021 11:10

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ICYM: Gibraltar, packages and driving licenses

In case you missed some of the last-minute Brexit developments on New Year’s Eve: – The UK and Spain struck an agreement for the British territory of Gibraltar to remain part of the EU’s passport-less, free-travel Schengen zone.

Dominic Raab called it a “political framework” for a separate, formal treaty in six months’ time. – The government announced that packages moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland would not need customs declarations during a three-month grace period. But the last-minute announcement left companies little time to start up operations again.

Major retailers – including John Lewis and Dunelm – have suspended deliveries to NI due to uncertainty.   – Transport secretary Grant Shapps announced a deal with all 27 EU member states so UK driving licences would be recognised without any need for an international drivers’ permit. Adam Forrest1 January 2021 10:58

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‘We’re all in this together now’

Labour MP Jess Phillips thinks it’s time we move on from the tribal arguments of Leave and Remain. “This isn’t where I wanted to be but it is where I am,” she writes in her latest piece for The Independent.  

“From today, it is my job, as always, to get the very best for the UK for the future. I am not a Remainer, my constituents are not Leavers – we are all just people who want peace, safety, security a decent job and a nice place to live.” Adam Forrest1 January 2021 10:50

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47-year-old ‘experiment’ over, says PM

Boris Johnson said the decision to leave the single market and customs union ended a “47-year experiment” of EU membership.

In a piece for The Telegraph this morning, the PM said the “great new deal” with the EU honours the “most basic promises” of the 2016 referendum, and added that the UK has “taken back control of our money, our laws and our waters”. And in a clear sign the wans the UK to diverge from EU rules it inherited, Johnson said: “We need the Brexit-given chance to turbocharge those sectors in which we excel, to do things differently and to do them better.”

Boris Johnson (AP)

Adam Forrest1 January 2021 10:25

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Irish hauliers warn of ‘mayhem’ at ports

Irish hauliers have warned of “mayhem” at ports after the UK formally completed its exit from the EU.

The president of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) said there would be “trouble and chaos” in the coming weeks since vital systems had not been tested. “There will be delays, for sure,” said Eugene Drennan. “The mayhem that’s coming in Dublin Port is unbelievable. They’ve done nothing to alleviate it.

They have a plan that is absolutely nonsensical …. There will be trouble and chaos.” The IRHA predicted issues at ports across the island for the foreseeable future. “It will be a big issue,” he said. “All this regulation.

There’s no space for a driver to pull up at Dublin Port. There’s no facilities and all the money that has been spent. It’s outrageous.”

Aidan Flynn, general manager of the Freight Transport Association of Ireland (FTAI), said there was going to be a period of “unprecedented change” for the movement of goods and delays were “inevitable”.

Brexit news – live: Boris Johnson hails UK’s new ‘freedom’ as Macron attacks ‘lies and false promises’ - The Independent

First ferry arrived at Dublin port this morning

(PA)

Adam Forrest1 January 2021 10:19

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