BREXIT LIVE: EU will BUCKLE on Galileo: May predicts Brussels will ASK UK to join

Posted on Jul 24 2018 - 9:57am by admin

Britain has already invested some £1.2billion into the high-tech programme, which is designed to give Europe its own satellite navigation capability.

The EU has warned UK-based firms will be stopped from taking any further part in its “security sensitive” development after Brexit next year.

But the Prime Minister today said she believes Brussels will ultimately concede.

Speaking to workers in the North East, she said: “There’s a bit of interplay with the EU at the moment in one particular area, space and the Galileo project, about whether they will let us into that project.

“We are still working with them on that. I would hope and I think that what we will see actually is a recognition from those who are looking to procure of the benefits of procurement here.”

After it is completed in 2020, Galileo will give Europe its own technology to rival the American global positioning system (GPS).

The Prime Minister and her Cabinet are in Gateshead today as they continue to grapple with rising Brexit tensions over her new strategy.

The trip to Tyne and Wear comes as Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab accused the European Union of “irresponsibly” ramping up the pressure in withdrawal negotiations.

He is still trying to persuade members of the Cabinet that the Prime Minister’s Chequers compromise agreement was “the best plan to get the best deal”.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt warned of the risk of a no deal Brexit if negotiators wait too long for Britain to “blink” as the deadline for an agreement draws closer.

The Foreign Secretary is in Berlin to meet German counterpart Heiko Mass and said the close relationship between the two countries could be heavily impacted by a chaotic exit from the bloc.

Take a look back at all of today’s Brexit news from the live blog:


Brexit news: Theresa May speaking in Gateshead

Brexit news: Mrs May predicted Brussels would cave on its demands over the Galileo project (Image: AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

9.30pm: Brexit news roundup

It’s been a busy day for Theresa May, who travelled to the UK’s industrial heartland in an attempt to sell her Brexit.

The Prime Minister took questions from workers at a factory in Gateshead – her first Q&A session from members of the public since she appeared before a Question Time audience ahead of the General Election.

She spoke of the opportunities presented by Brexit and insisted it was up to Britain to shape its own future outside of the EU.

She also said she expected Brussels to budge on its position over the UK’s position on the multi-billion pound Galileo satellite programme.

Meanwhile, the House of Lords began a major debate on the UK’s preparations for leaving the EU.

7.45pm: Ireland ‘optimistic’ over border deal

Irish deputy leader Simon Coveney says the intensification of Brexit negotiations by the UK is a positive step.

He said: “Nobody wants a no-deal Brexit, it would be catastrophic for Britain, but also very bad news for Ireland.

“The responsibility is on all of us to find a way forward, and I’m optimistic we will.

“We now have a clear white paper, which is the negotiating position for the British Government, and started intensifying negotiations – that’s positive.

“We also have a Prime Minister that has repeated that we are not going to see physical border structure in Ireland.

“We want to reassure communities, especially in Northern Ireland, that we can manage our way through Britain leaving the EU, and protect the peace process.”

6.15pm: UK must REJECT Ireland’s ‘bogus posturing’

The Brexit-backing Tory former Cabinet minister Lord Forsyth has called on the Prime Minister to stand up to her Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar.

Lord Forsyth labelled the Irish Taoiseach “the latest recruit to Project Fear” after he claimed British passenger planes would be blocked from passing through his country’s airspace unless a Brexit deal is reached.

The Tory peer urged Mrs May to “reject the bogus posturing” of Mr Varadkar.

5pm: There IS a case for a second referendum, Remainer Lord Heseltine claims

The former Tory deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine has laid in to Theresa May’s Brexit plans, branding them a “disaster” and claiming there is growing support for a second vote on the split.

Speaking in the House of Lords during a debate on the UK’s preparations for the divorce, the pro-Remain peer said Mrs Mays Chequers deal is “dead and won’t work”.

He told colleagues in the Lords the document had been “disowned” by Brussels, hard line Brexiteers in the Tory party and parts of Labour as well.

He said the only options available to the Government now were either change the Chequers plan, or leave the EU with no deal.

He added: “There is a growing argument for another referendum.”

Brexit news: Galileo satellite

The Galileo satellite will provide Europe with its own GPS system (Image: GETTY)

3.25pm: Post-Brexit future ‘is what we make it’

The Prime Minister declared Britain’s future after Brexit will be defined by the actions of the UK.

She spoke of the opportunities presented by the divorce and painted a picture of a brighter future outside of the EU.

She said: “The future post-Brexit is going to be what we make it. We want to get that good deal with the European Union, but we have huge benefits here in the UK, with our entrepreneurship, our innovation, our skillset, our workforces.

“We can really take those opportunities and have that brighter future.

“Many people said that immediately after the referendum, we would see a collapse in our economy. In fact our economy has continued to grow.

“Our future is what we make it.”

3.20pm: May ‘hopeful’ of deal on Galileo project

Theresa May told workers in the North East she is hopeful the European Union will see the benefits of working with the UK on the Galileo satellite project.

Once finished, the satellite will provide Europe with its own satellite navigation system to rival the Global Positioning System controlled by the United States.

Britain has been involved in the development of the £8billion project, but Brussels has warned it can no longer be involved in manufacturing security elements of the kit after Brexit.

Mrs May said: ”There’s a bit of interplay with the EU at the moment in one particular area, space and the Galileo project, about whether they will let us into that project.

“We are still working with them on that. I would hope and I think that what we will see actually is a recognition from those who are looking to procure of the benefits of procurement here.”

Brexit news: Theresa May in Gateshead

Brexit news: Theresa May spoke of a brighter future outside of the EU (Image: EPA)

3.11pm update: No second referendum 

Mrs May has again rejected the idea of a second referendum, despite the tensions that have been rising recently around Brexit negotiations. 

She said: Should there be a second referendum? No, we ask people to choose and they made their choice.

“It is up to the Government to deliver on it.”

3:05pm update: May denies economy will suffer post-Brexit 

The Prime Minister thinks the economy will not “collapse” post Brexit, as many forecasts have predicted. 

She said: “We’re taking a number of decisions in terms of investment and infrastructure , which I think will be important to our economy, regardless of Brexit.

“Announcements such as what we are doing on the East Coast mainline, devolution deals – these are part of a wider picture of investment.

“The future post-Brexit will be what we make it. We want to get that good deal with the EU.

“Many said that after the referendum we would see a collapse in the economy but in fact our economy has continued to grow.”

Theresa May touring a factory in Newcastle

Theresa May toured a factory ahead of her question and answer session with workers (Image: EPA)

2.50pm update: Lots of interest from countries wanting to do trade deals with the UK

Mrs May claimed there is “a lot of interest” from countries around the world wanting to do trade deals with the UK post-Brexit. 

The Prime Minister confirmed deals can’t be signed until Britain has left the bloc but that discussions are well under way. 

She said: “We can’t sign any deals until we leave the EU next March but we will be able to negotiate, sign those deals and they will come into effect at the end of December 2020 after the implementation period is in place.

“We’re looking to make sure we have a smooth exit so that agreements that the EU currently has with countries are able to translate into a UK agreement and then we can improve.

“We’ve spoken to the US, the Australians and Canadians are very interested in doing a trade deal with us.

“There is a lot of interest from other countries wanting to do trade deals with them.”

2.35pm update: “I’m working to get a deal that Parliament will support” 

Theresa May has reiterated that she is attempting to finalise an exit deal that Parliament will fully back her on, adding the Government is stepping up preparations for a no deal scenario. 

The Prime Minister was taking questions from factory workers at engineering firm Reece Group in Newcastle. 

She was asked that in the event that Parliament rejects a deal that has been negotiatied with the EU, whether it would be inevitable that there will be a no deal Brexit or if there would be time to negotiate a new deal. 

Mrs May replied: “My aim is to bring forward a deal that Parliament will support because it will be a good deal for the UK

“We’re going into negotiation, making sure we are prepared for no deal and Government is stepping up its preparations for no deal because it makes sense to be prepared for contingencies

“I’m working to get a deal that Parliament will support because they will see that it is a good deal for the UK.”

Theresa May

Theresa May was taking questions from an engineering firm in Newcastle (Image: SKY NEWS)

2:04pm update: Branson brands Brexit a “tremendous mistake” 

Richard Branson has described Brexit as a “tremendous mistake” that is “already affecting the lives of my countrymen”.

The Virgin Group founder is an outspoken critic of Brexit and in February called on MPs to vote against the Withdrawal Bill at the end of Brexit negotations. 

Speaking to Bloomberg, he had said: “I’ve been an open book as far as Brexit is concerned. I thought it was a disaster for the UK, very sad for Europe.

“I think the facts are now beginning to be very very clear what a disaster Brexit is going to be.

“Sadly it’s the very people who voted for Brexit out in the rural areas of Britain that the latest research shows are going to be the hardest hit by Brexit.

“I’m still hopeful when all the facts are on the table in front of the House of Commons and people realise just how damaging it’s going to be for Great Britain that Britain does what Ireland did and they change their mind at the last minute.”

Brexit live

Theresa May is continuing to grapple with rising Brexit tensions over her Chequers strategy (Image: GETTY)

12.27pm update: “Shambolic Tory Government hurtling towards hard Brexit”

Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray has warned a hard Brexit would destabilise the union between Sctland and England, as well as “decimate” jobs and “devastate” the economy. 

He claimed that such a move “plays directly into the hands of the SNP who will use it to pursue a diverse second independent referendum”. 

Mr Murray, who wants Labour to change its Brexit policy to support continued single market membership, said divisions over the Chequers deal highlighted “the chaos engulfing the Prime Minister”. 

He said: “This shambolic Tory Government is hurtling towards a hard Brexit that will decimate jobs, devastate our economy and destabilise the United Kingdom.

“As a result of the reckless referendum on EU membership, and the chaos engulfing the Prime Minister, the Tories are now as big a threat to the Union as the SNP.

“Theresa May can no longer be trusted with what she once called the ‘precious Union’, and Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Tory MPs are providing nothing but lobby fodder for the Prime Minister’s hard Brexit.

“This plays directly into the hands of the SNP who will use it to pursue a divisive second independence referendum with the aim of compounding Brexit by breaking-up Britain, hurting the poorest the hardest.

“Scotland deserves better than two nationalist governments which put ideology ahead of the public interest.”

12.00pm update: Workers in German car manufacuring industry should be “worried for their jobs” 

Conservative MP and Brexiteer Nigel Evans has claimed those working within the German car manufacturing industry should be “worried” for their jobs if Michel Barnier continues to “play hardball” in negotiations. 

Speaking on BBC’s Sunday Politics North West, he said: “We are going to go into World Trade with the rest of the world, doing trade deals with the United States of America.”

The BBC host, Kevin Fitzpatrick, claimed Mr Evans seemed already “happy and excited” by the prospect of the UK walking away from the EU with no deal.

Mr Evans said: “I tell you what, if Michel Barnier wants to play hardball, then quite frankly he can play hardball.

“But we import 850,000 cars from Germany every year. I would imagine if you were involved in the German car manufacturing industry, you would be worried for your job.”

Jeremy Hunt Heiko Maas

Jeremy Hunt is meeting German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Berlin for Brexit talks (Image: EPA)

11.59am update: Hunt warns ‘don’t wait for Britain to blink’ 

Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said on there was a risk of no-deal Brexit if EU negotiators waited too long for Britain to “blink”, as the deadline for an agreement nears.

In Berlin on his first foreign visit since being appointed, Hunt said Germany was “one of Britain’s best friends in the world” and they shared a commitment to a rules-based international order.

But all that could be upset by a chaotic exit from the bloc.

“When it comes to Brexit there is a very real risk of a Brexit no-deal by accident,” he told a news conference alongside his German counterpart Heiko Maas.

With a little more than eight months to go before Britain is due to leave, negotiators remain deeply divided over what form Brexit should take.

“I think that many people in the EU are thinking that they just have to wait long enough and Britain will blink,” Hunt said.

“My real concern is that (a chaotic Brexit) would change British public attitudes to Europe for a generation and would lead to a fissure in relations that would be highly damaging.”

Maas said Germany did not want a disorderly Brexit.

“We want an agreement. And we also know that for that we have to make steps toward each other,” he said, adding that the EU’s collective interests had to be defended.

11.55am update: Brexit no deal by April 1 is odds on

Bookmaker Coral has made its odds on (4/5) that no deal on Brexit will be reached by April 1, 2019 as negotiations continue to stall.

It has also made it 9/4 that there will be another EU referendum before the end of next year. 

Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead said: “As Theresa May said herself, the clock is ticking for the UK and the EU to get a deal in place for their severance and we make it odds on that it won’t be reached by the end of March’s deadline.

“It is something that seemed a million miles way a few months ago but the calls aren’t going away for another referendum and our odds have been steadily getting shorter on it happening.”

Theresa May Gateshead

Theresa May is meeting her Cabinet in Gateshead in the latest round of crunch Brexit talks (Image: PA)

10.53am update: Hunt warns EU over Brexit negotiations 

Jeremy Hunt has warned there is a risk of Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal if EU negotiators dragged their heels in talks. 

The Foreign Secretary, meeting Heiko Mass in Berlin, said the British public would blame Brussels in the even of a chaotic exit from the EU, which would shape its attitudes towards the EU “for a generation”. 

Mr Maas added that Germany wants to see an orderly Brexit. 

9.44am update: Amazon claims no deal Brexit could lead to rioting within two weeks

Amazon has controversially warned a no deal Brexit could lead to “civil unrest” within a fortnight of Britain leaving the EU.

Doug Gurr, head of retail at the online shopping giant, issued the warning during a meeting for key business leaders organised by Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab. 

According to The Times, “the remark stunned those present”, hile “some expressed scepticism about the company’s forecast”. 

An Amazon spokesman refused to deny Mr Gurr had made the alleged remarks.

9.17am update: Ryanair warns of hard Brexit risks as profits slump

Ryanair has expressed concern about the danger of a hard Brexit, adding the risk of one was being “underestimated”. 

The airline issued the warning after reporting a 20 percent fall in profits to £285 million for the April to June period, citing lower fares, higher oil prices and pilot costs.

Its profit forecast for this year remains unchanged at £1.12 billion to £1.21 billion, but said this was “heavily dependent” on fares in the current quarter and “no negative Brexit developments”. 

The Irish carrier said: “While there is a view that a 21-month transition agreement from March 2019 to December 2020 will be implemented (and extended), recent events in the UK political sphere have added to this uncertainty, and we believe that the risk of a hard Brexit is being underestimated.

“It is likely that in the event of a hard Brexit our UK shareholders will be treated as non-EU.

“We may be forced to restrict the voting rights of all non-EU shareholders in the event of a hard Brexit, to ensure that Ryanair remains majority owned and controlled by EU shareholders.”

9.14am update: Hunt meeting German Foreign Minister for Brexit talks

Jeremy Hunt is meeting German counterpart Heiko Maas in Berlin today, with Brexit taking central stage. 

Talks on a Brexit deal between the UK and EU are continuing, with customs arrangements the latest hurdle. 

Mr Hunt said: “I will be clear that our European partners must show much more flexibility and creativity in negotiations if we are to avoid a ‘no deal by accident’ scenario.”

9.00am update: May to hold crunch talks with Cabinet in Gateshead

Theresa May will meet her top team of ministers at 11am in Gateshead today in the latest round of Brexit talks. 

The Prime Minister will continue toi try to emphasise the positive impacts of exiting the EU after Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab suggested he still needs to persuade members of her Cabinet to get behind the controversial Chequers compromise deal on EU withdrawal aims. 

Mrs May is hoping to present the Cabinet visit to the north east as a commitment to regional development post-Brexit. 

The meeting will also see announcements of backing for technology and manufacturing development in the region.

7.02am update: Raab leaves ‘no deal’ on the table – UK could be OUT by October

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has warned Michel Barnier that Britain could thrive whaever the outcome of Brexit talks, adding the EU negotiator was under “tremendous pressures”. 

Mr Raab said Mr Barnier wanted to do a deal with the UK but that the Brexit Secretary was prepared for a no deal scenario.

He warned a no deal Brexit is possible if talks fail by October. 

Mr Rabb told BBC’s Andrew Marr: “I am striving with my department, with Michel Barnier who I think is a man who wants to do a deal with us, there are tremendous pressures on his side, to get the best deal.

“But I think we have got to, I think it is the only responsible thing to do, to be prepared if those negotiations and the energy, the ambition, and the pragmatism are not reciprocated.

“So that is the responsible thing to do, whether it is the allocation of money, the preparation of our terry relations, we are hiring extra border staff.

“I think people need to know that we are ready, so that Britain can thrive whatever happens.”

6.55am update: Major blasts Brexiteers over no deal “betrayal”

John Major claimed “irreconcilable” Brexiteers will betray Britons if they continued to push Theresa May towards a Brexit no deal.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr show, the former Prime Minister claimed crashing out of the EU without an agreement would have catastrophic consequences for Britain.

He said: “If we crash out without a deal, the people who have least are going to be hurt the most.

“It would be a terrible betrayal of the interest of everyday people who really are not political.”

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