Brexit latest news LIVE -Brussels ordered to 'get real' and 'show flexibility' as crunch talks begin

Downing Street has urged Brussels to 'get real' as Brexit talks restart amid warnings time is running out to do a deal.

Lord Frost, the UK's chief negotiator with the EU, said the two sides “can no longer afford to go over well-trodden ground” in the deadlocked discussions.

He said: “We need to see more realism from the EU about our status as an independent country.”

Talks on a UK-EU post-Brexit deal have stumbled on two major sticking points — fisheries and state aid.

Britain has set a deadline of October 15 to strike a free-trade deal and Boris has vowed to walk away if nothing is agreed by then.

Follow our Brexit live blog for all the latest news and updates…

  • DUP 'WELCOMES' SPECULATION OF GOVERNMENT PURSUING NI FALL-BACK MEASURES

    The DUP said it welcomed “in broad terms” speculation that elements of the Brexit withdrawal deal may be superseded.

    In a statement on Monday evening, the party said: “We note the speculation that the government will pursue fall-back measures under the Internal Market Bill to protect Northern Ireland's interests should a deal not be agreed that mitigates the threat of the NI Protocol.

    “We will want to see the finer details and clauses relating to this, and will study them carefully.

    “We welcome them in broad terms in so far as they go, but the Government must continue to work to remove any disadvantages to Northern Ireland brought about by its signing up to the protocol.”

  • UK CALLS FOR 'MORE REALISM' FROM BRUSSELS

    Progress must be made in crunch negotiations this week in order to broker a deal in time for the end of the Brexit transition period, the UK's chief negotiator has warned his EU counterpart.

    Lord Frost called for “more realism” from Brussels as he said the two sides “can no longer afford to go over well-trodden ground” in the deadlocked talks.

    The negotiator's firm words came ahead of him meeting his EU counterpart Michel Barnier for the eighth round of talks beginning in London on Tuesday.

    Downing Street has sought to increase pressure on Brussels, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson setting a five-week deadline for trade talks to succeed in time for the transition's end on December 31.

  • PM EXPECTED TO CALL WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT 'CONTRADICTORY'

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to tell the European Union during today's talks that the Brexit divorce deal is “contradictory” on Northern Ireland, the Telegraph claims.

    The newspaper said the PM believes the UK-EU withdrawal agreement is legally ambiguous and would leave Northern Ireland isolated from the rest of the UK.

  • IRISH PM: BREXIT TALKS 'NULL AND VOID' IF DIVORCE DEAL NOT IMPLEMENTED

    Britain's trade talks with the EU would be rendered “null and void” if the Brexit withdrawal agreement it signed up to is not implemented in full, claims Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin.

    The EU warned Britain on Monday that there would be no trade deal if a Financial Times claim that London might simply undercut the divorce treaty signed in January was accurate.

    The deal included special arrangements to avoid a hard border between Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland.

    “The withdrawal agreement is an international treaty and we expect the UK government to implement and to adhere to what was agreed.

    “We trust them to do so or they would render the talks process null and void,” Martin told the Irish Examiner.

  • JENRICK: UK WILL LEAVE WITH NO DEAL UNLESS EU SHOWS FLEXIBILITY

    Housing minister said on Tuesday that unless the European Union started to show more flexibility to help clinch a Canadian-style free trade deal then the government would be happy to leave the bloc without a deal.

    When asked if he was looking forward to a no-deal Brexit, Housing secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News: “We want to leave with a Canada-style free trade arrangement – that's always been our preference – and we think that's still possible.

    “But… if they don't show the degree of flexibility and realism that we want them to show… then we'll leave with the kind of trading arrangements that Australia and other countries have and we think that's also a good arrangement for the future.”

  • 'EU NEEDS TO GET REAL OVER BREXIT'

    Downing Street has urged Brussels to 'get real' as Brexit talks restart amid warnings time is running out to do a deal.

    Lord Frost, the UK's chief negotiator with the EU, said the two sides “can no longer afford to go over well-trodden ground” in the deadlocked discussions.

    He said: “We need to see more realism from the EU about our status as an independent country.”

  • BARNIER WARNS HE COULD WALK AWAY FROM TALKS

    Michel Barnier has warned talks will end if the Withdrawal Agreement and its crucial Northern Ireland Protocol that avoids a hard border were not honoured.

    His spokesman suggested the Frenchman will walk away from the talks if the UK doesn't live up to its commitments. 

    But No10 officials insist they are just trying to avoid legal chaos in a 'no deal' scenario.

  • TRADE TALKS ARE 'HANGING BY A THREAD'

    The UK's trade talks with the EU are hanging by a thread, it's been reported.

    It comes after Brussels erupted over claims Britain is 'backsliding' on previous promises over Northern Ireland.

    Boris Johnson has set a mid-October deadline to get a new deal done avoid tariffs on cross border trade after Brexit.

    But that's looking increasingly doubtful.

    Image: AFP

  • UK CALLS FOR 'MORE REALISM' FROM BRUSSELS

    The UK's chief negotiator urged “more realism” from the EU on the eve of crunch negotiations to broker a post-Brexit trade deal.

    Lord Frost said both sides “can no longer afford to go over well-trodden ground” in the deadlocked talks.

    He was speaking ahead of a meeting with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier for the eighth round of talks beginning in London today (Tuesday).

    Lord Frost said the UK is pushing the “fundamentals of being a sovereign state” and he called for the EU to “fully recognise this reality”.

    “If they can't do that in the very limited time we have left then we will be trading on terms like those the EU has with Australia, and we are ramping up our preparations for the end of the year,” Lord Frost added.

  • WHAT KIND OF BREXIT DEAL DOES THE UK WANT?

    The UK wants a “Canada-style” free trade agreement with the EU.

    This would means no or very few tariffs on imports and exports and removing barriers to trade.

    But it would also cut Britain free from following the EU's tightly controlled rules and regulations.

    PM Boris Johnson said at the outset of trade talks earlier this year: “We have made our choice: we want a free trade agreement, similar to Canada’s.

    “But in the very unlikely event that we do not succeed, then our trade will have to be based on our existing Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.”

    The bloc has demanded a “level playing field” which would mean the UK would have to follow the bloc's minimum requirements on food standards.

    However, the Government has vowed it will not be tied to rules set by Brussels.

    See more details HERE.

  • WHAT TUESDAY'S PAPERS SAY RE BREXIT

    Michel Barnier will arrive in London tomorrow with a warning for Boris Johnson that if he backtracks on last year’s Brexit divorce agreement, talks on a future trade deal will collapse, according to Tuesday's Financial Times.

    The Telegraph, meanwhile, says that Mr Johnson will make it clear that the deal is contradictory and must be rewritten to protect the union.

    However, Downing Street has said it’s just clarifications that it has been pursuing in regard to the Northern Ireland withdrawal agreement – basically technical, minor changes, to clear up a couple of loopholes.

    The PM wants these clarifications put through parliament.

    The Guardian says that Brussels' “plummeting” trust in the PM is laid bare in leaked diplomatic cables obtained by the paper, as Brexit negotiations reopen.

  • ‘BORIS MUST NOT BE BULLIED BY BRUSSELS’

    “Knocking on doors during the election last year, three resounding messages on Brexit were clear,” writes Dehenna Davison, Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland.

    They were: “1 – let’s just get on with it. 2 – Boris is the man to deliver it. 3 – we need to stand up to Brussels.

    “Now as talks reach the final furlong, more than ever, we need to remember that third message.

    “The Brussels bully boys will only blink if they recognise equivalent displays of strength from UK negotiators.

    “That is why I was so pleased to see the Prime Minister set out a definite deadline of October 15 for negotiations to be concluded or we will walk away.

    “Whether we leave with or without a deal, Brexit marks the start of a bright future for Britain.”

    To read the MP's comment in full, see HERE.

  • DUP WANTS ‘FINER DETAILS’

    The DUP isn't overly worried that elements of the Brexit withdrawal deal may be replaced.

    In a statement on Monday night the party said: “We note the speculation that the Government will pursue fall-back measures under the Internal Market Bill to protect Northern Ireland's interests should a deal not be agreed that mitigates the threat of the NI Protocol.

    “We will want to see the finer details and clauses relating to this, and will study them carefully.

    “We welcome them in broad terms in so far as they go.

    “But the Government must continue to work to remove any disadvantages to Northern Ireland brought about by its signing up to the protocol.”

  • 'NO COMPROMISE': PM

    PM Boris Johnson says he won't compromise on Brexit “fundamentals” and that no deal will still be a “good outcome” for the UK.

    “We will have the freedom to do trade deals with every country in the world. And we will prosper mightily as a result,” he adds.

    Mr Johnson reckons there is “still an agreement to be had” if the EU is prepared to accept a “standard” free trade deal along the lines it has agreed with countries such as Canada.

    “Even at this late stage, if the EU are ready to rethink their current positions and agree this I will be delighted.

    “But we cannot and will not compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country to get it,” he says.

  • EU WHAT?

    Trade talks with Brussels are hanging by a thread after the EU erupted over bombshell claims Britain was backsliding on previous promises over Northern Ireland.

    Boris Johnson has set a mid-October deadline to get a new deal inked to avoid tariffs on cross border trade after Brexit, but a furious row broke out today putting that in doubt.

    EU diplomats were left stunned after the FT claimed the PM wants to overwrite parts of last year's Withdrawal Agreement to water down checks on goods flowing between Northern Ireland and the British mainland.

    One said such a move would ruin Britain's reputation on the world stage, adding: “It would be a desperate and ultimately self-defeating strategy.”

    See the full story HERE.

  • TRADE TALKS START TOMORROW

    Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission – who describes herself as “European by heart” – has sent a message about the latest round of Brexit negotiations.

    The Brussels-born leader warned there could be no backtracking by the UK on its previous commitments if it wanted to reach a free trade agreement.

    She tweeted today: “I trust the British government to implement the Withdrawal Agreement, an obligation under international law & prerequisite for any future partnership.

    “Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland is essential to protect peace and stability on the island & integrity of the single market.”

  • NO 10 – BREXIT LAW NEEDED TO PROTECT NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE

    Downing Street says new Brexit legislation is needed to protect the Northern Ireland peace process if Britain is unable to secure a free trade deal with the EU.

    The PM's official spokesman said the Government was proposing “limited clarifications” to the law to ensure ministers can preserve the gains of the Good Friday Agreement in the event of no deal.

    The Internal Market Bill will ensure goods from Northern Ireland continue to have unfettered access to the UK market.

    It'll also make clear that EU state aid rules – which will continue to apply in Northern Ireland – will not apply in the rest of the UK.

    The spokesman said legislative changes, to be tabled on Wednesday, were a necessary “safety net”.

  • ‘DON’T PLAY WITH PEACE IN IRELAND'

    An Irish politician has insisted that the Withdrawal Agreement is binding.

    Concerns have been raised after PM Boris Johnson threatened to walk away from Brexit talks if no new trade deal is reached by October 15.

    Euronews has been reporting on fears that the UK is planning new legislation that would override the EU Withdrawal Agreement on key areas such as state aid and Northern Ireland customs arrangements.

    Neale Richmond, of the centre-right party Fine Gael, told the broadcaster: “It's an international treaty with obligations in international law.

    “It can't be reopened or picked apart simply to meet domestic political demands in the UK.

    “The last thing we want to see… is somehow the British government trying to play with peace in Ireland as some sort of negotiating gambit towards fishing rights or state aid.”

  • OZ TRADE VOW

    Britain can get a zero tariff free trade deal with Australia by the end of the year, the former Aussie PM claims.

    Tony Abbott last week flew to London and hit back at critics of his envoy role representing the UK on the Board of Trade.

    Mr Abbott said: “It would be in both Britain’s interests and Australia’s interests to conclude a very full and comprehensive free trade deal between our two countries as quickly as possible.”

  • LEGAL WRANGLE

    A new law will be published this week that sets out Britain’s Brexit position – with No10 arguing it had to come this week in order to get through Parliament by December.

    An official said: “If we don't take these steps we face the prospect of legal confusion at the end of the year and potentially extremely damaging defaults, including tariffs on goods moving from GB to Northern Ireland.

    “We are making minor clarifications in extremely specific areas to ensure that, as we implement the protocol, we are doing so in a way that allows ministers to always uphold and protect the Good Friday peace agreement.”

    And Boris Johnson’s official spokesman added: “We will continue to work with the EU in the Joint Committee to resolve outstanding issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    “However, as a responsible Government, we cannot allow the peace process or the UK’s internal market to inadvertently be compromised by unintended consequences of the protocol.”

  • MACRON UPBEAT AFTER TALKS WITH BOJO

    French President Macron tweeted saying he had held a “very good discussion” with Boris Johnson on subjects including Brexit and steps to tackle migration across the Channel.

    He wrote: “We will step up our co-operation against migrant smugglers.

    “We discussed steps to take following the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, the situation in Lebanon and the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom.”

  • NO DRUG SHORTAGES VOW

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there will not be shortages of medicines or medical equipment because of a no deal Brexit.

    When asked on LBC about this, he said: “We already have a deal, the question is whether we can land a long-term future trade agreement.”

    “I am comfortable we have done the work that's needed.”

  • EX-CHANCELLOR WARNS AGAINST DITCHING EU DIVORCE DEAL

    Philip Hammond has claimed that overriding the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement with any UK legislation would be “an incredibly dangerous step”.

    He tweeted: “Let's be clear on two points: 1) Leaving without a deal would not be a 'good outcome for the UK'; nor would it be the outcome Boris and the Brexiteers promised.”

    He added: “2) The UK is a rule-of-law state, and attempting to legislate domestically to override international law would be an incredibly dangerous step and bound to lead to conflict with the judiciary.

    “It would also hugely damage our standing on the world stage.”

  • BRITISH POUND PLUMMETS AFTER SPECTRE OF A NO-DEAL BREXIT RETURNS

    The pound fell after Boris Johnson raised the prospect of negotiations with the European Union failing.

    Britain has set a deadline of October 15 to strike a free-trade deal with the EU, and if none is agreed both sides should “accept that and move on,” the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

    Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid said: “The probability of a deal seems to be reducing with state aid the surprising current sticking point.

    “This has certainly raised the stakes at a fraught time in talks.

    “The UK seems to be briefing hard in the media that they are quite prepared to walk away from talks if no progress is made.”

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