Brexit: Boris Johnson told to ‘protect British industry’ by host
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has held talks wit her Australian counterpart as the two sides inch closer to a lucrative free trade deal. Ministers had met on Thursday to resolve differences with with Environment Secretary George Eustice and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove strongly opposed to a zero tariff, zero quotas agreement that is being demanded by Australia. Remainers have warned such a deal would undermine UK farmers undercut by a wave of meat imports from Australia that could flood the market under a free trade agreement.
But Brexiteer Dan Hannan has lashed out at the negativity shown by Remainers towards the free trade deals the UK is attempting to sign with countries throughout the world.
Writing for The Daily Telegraph, he said: “Something became painfully clear this week. The opposition to Britain’s global trade deals is not driven by concern for hill farmers, or fears for the Union, or any economic calculations whatever.
“It is driven, rather, by Europhile nostalgia; by the desire, perhaps unconscious, for Brexit to fail so that its opponents might be proved right after all.
“Most Remainers accepted the referendum result with good grace. But a handful cannot let go and, like Jacobites, cling to what they know to be a lost cause because it has become part of their identity.
Brexit news: Remainer negativity over the UK’s free trade deals has been torn apart
“The paradox is that, in doing so, they have lost touch with the principles that made them support the EU in the first place.
Speaking to Sky News on Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We are certainty looking at doing free trade deals with countries around the world.
“We see this as the global future for this country.
“I do think free trade deals do present a fantastic opportunity for our farmers, for businesses of all kinds, for manufacturers.
“It’s vital as a great and historic free trading nation that grew to prosperity thanks to free trade that we see these new openings not as threats, but as opportunities.”
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Officials close to the International Trade Secretary said she spoke by telephone to Australian trade minister Dan Tehan last night amid rising tensions from British farmers over the controversial £20bn deal.
Under the deal, products such as Scottish Whisky can be exported to Australia tariff-free in a boost to UK producers whilst cheaper meat and wine products could be exported by Australia to the UK.
Brexit Minister Lord David Frost has warned EU insiders are sabotaging the UK’s success for the sake of proving Britons’ decision to leave the bloc was a mistake. And Britons have lashed out at the bloc urging people to stop buying from the “EU superstate”.
The UK Brexit chief claimed that while the British Government wishes a successful future on EU member states, Brussels is adamant to prove Brexit should have been avoided by hijacking Britain’s future as an independent nation.
Speaking to the Spectator, Lord Frost urged the EU to solve “arguments about trade” in a “grown-up way”, drawing comparisons to the US-Canada model.
Alex Shipman takes over from Paul Withers
The trade deal Britain is close to sealing with Australia will provide access to one of the world’s biggest markets for UK farmers, international trade secretary Liz Truss has claimed.
Ms Truss has hit back after a week where the British agriculture sector has been warning that livestock farming in Britain could be wiped out by an australia deal.
They are concerned that tariff free trade with Australia and NewZealand will mean the UK market will be flooded by lamb and beef because farms in the Antipodean countries are much larger making food production cheaper.
But sources close to Ms Truss have pointed out that the Australia deal along with the one signed recently with Japan is the gateway to joining Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which currently accounts for 13 percent of global markets and could also ensure a trade deal with the US.
The CPTPP gives Britain tariff free market access to 11 nations with Asian countries increasing their demand for British produced meat.
It is estimated that the growing middle class in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to drive a nearly 1.5 percent annual increase per capita consumption of meat in the next decade.
Ms Truss has been a champion of the British agriculture sector sisting the Japanese dropped tariffs on UK cheese as part of a trade deal and reopening beef exports to the US in the last year.
A source close to her also noted that because of high standards and quality in the UK, British beef and lamb are among the best in the world and “incredibly globally competitive”.
Brexit news: Liz Truss is pressing ahead with a lucrative trade deal with Australia
Brexit Britain will prioritise bilateral agreements with individual EU member states over defence and security matters, showing the inability of the bloc to unite behind common policies.
The UK signed the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement at the end of 2020 but the deal aimed at ensuring an accord on the trading relationship between the EU and Britain did not include structural cooperation on defence and security matters.
The latter, defence expert Ester Sabatino claims, continues to be regulated primarily via NATO, of which both the UK and most EU states are members.
The researcher at the International Affairs Institute, however, noted in an interview with Express.co.uk that Britain may be inclined to sign bilateral or mini-multilateral agreements with EU states in a renewed independent capacity, rather than opt for a format that will see the EU Council sign a deal with Britain as a bloc.
Ms Sabatino argued that while the outcome of multiple bilateral agreements on matters of defence and security are to be welcomed, it would not put the EU as a whole in a particularly good light.
Britons have urged Boris Johnson to cut funding to the SNP led Scottish government following controversial remarks from first minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Addressing a press conference on Friday Ms Sturgeon refused to use the widely deployed term “Indian variant” for the new coronavirus strain. Instead, she insisted on calling it the “April 02” strain but proceeded to mention the “Kent variant” shortly afterwards.
Ms Sturgeon commented: “At this stage, and this is something that we have to remember, less than half of the adult population has had both of the vaccine doses.
“We have reason to believe that it might be more transmissible than the Kent variant which spread so rapidly, you will recall, over the winter period.”
Express.co.uk readers hit back accusing the first minister of double standards.
Brexit news: Nicola Sturgeon has come under fire over recent comments she made
Paul Withers taking over live reporting from Alessandra Scotto di Santolo.
The EU Commission has been accused of failing to understand its own rules after mistakenly denying the Brexit protocol prevents a cancer treatment to drug to be used in Northern Ireland.
The Commission said it is “entirely incorrect” to blame Brussels over the issue, arguing that the Northern Ireland protocol and other arrangements in the Brexit agreement “ensure the continued availability of medicines” in Northern Ireland.
But Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the EU executive was wrong in its assessment of the issue.
1:30pm update: Ireland used as ‘pawn’ to ‘beat Britain’ and tear UK apart
Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP for North West Leicestershire, warned Ireland is being used to pressure the UK. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Bridgen also warned the EU has always wanted to punish the UK for wanting to leave the bloc.
He said: “Lord Frost has a terrible job on his hands and he’s trying to get the EU to agree to a spirit of the deal.
“He is trying to sort problems and minimise disruption when the EU actually wants to make the protocol as disruptive as possible.
“The idea was that this joint committee was supposed to sort out all these minor problems and make it smoother.
“And constantly use the Northern Ireland protocol as a stick to beat the UK.
“It’s just clear the EU wants to annex Northern Ireland away from us, which is what they always wanted.”
Mr Bridgen also claimed the EU has shown a complete disregard for the problems faced in Ireland due to its intransigence on the Northern Ireland protocol.
Brexit news: Trade chiefs admit Ireland will benefit from Brexit Britain’s freedom
Britain is on track to sign a new free trade agreement with Australia, one of the first comprehensive deals the UK is set to sign since leaving the European Union in January.
Despite concerns raised over the risk of cheaper Australian farming goods flooding the British market, Australian British Chamber of Commerce CEO David McCredie noted agricultural goods will be a “small part” of the new agreement. Mr McCredie suggested the new agreement will help both nations boost their financial and investment ties in the long term.
Speaking to Sky News Australia, Mr McCredie said: “We’ve talked about quite a wide range of things.
“I think it’s important to keep in context agriculture is only a very small part of this deal and, in fact, the area where we’re going to see the biggest improvements for the Australia-UK alliance is services and investment in particular.
“It’s poorly named a free trade agreement these days because, actually, that’s a pretty small part of the picture.
“With global supply chains and the way things work nowadays, goods are important…don’t get me wrong, I’m very keen to see passenger vehicles tariffs and scotch whiskey tariffs removed and tariffs going into the UK on the same basis.”
Tory MP John Redwood lashed out against the BBC, claiming the Broadcasters are still “fighting Brexit” as their agenda.
The Tory MP made the comments amid the furore over the Lord Dyson inquiry into Martin Bashir’s 1995 interview with Princess Diana. The recent Lord Dyson report found that Mr Bashir secured the interview with Princess Diana by acting in a deceitful way.
Mr Redwood said this morning: “The BBC review should ask why the BBC ignores, attacks or dismisses the views of many it is meant to serve with its relentless politically correct agenda.
“It is still fighting Brexit, and exudes a superior distaste for any populist movement.”
08:30am update: Truss holds ‘crisis talks’ with Aussie counterpart as Australia insist on pushing ahead with trade deal
Liz Truss held talks with her Australian counterpart last night as the two countries edged closer to a free trade deal.
Truss spoke by telephone to Dan Tehan rising amid concern among British farmers that full liberalisation would see them severely undercut by their Australian rivals.
Tehan last night insisted on pushing forward with a deal.
Downing Street has indicated that Mr Johnson hopes an agreement can be concluded by the time of the G7 summit in Cornwall next month.
8am update: UK needs Ireland – Chiefs admit Brexit Britain is ‘key trading partner’
The British Irish Chamber of Commerce and financial services advisory firm BDO, who advise the Irish Government, said the UK is a key trading partner for Ireland
They stressed Ireland will benefit more from Brexit Britain as it releases its latest trading figures suggesting a trade boom with the UK.