Brexit LIVE: No Deal is better than No Brexit, says Barclay as he defends 'bullying' EU

Posted on Jul 17 2019 - 8:20pm by admin

Sir Ivan Rogers said he discussed the same dilemma with Boris Johnson, the favourite to become the next prime minister. The former diplomat told the Foreign Affairs Committee Mrs May’s speech setting out her Brexit red lines prompted him to think they would cause a stir in Brussels. Sir Ivan said in 2016 told the the Prime Minister: “You have made three commitments in good faith to different audiences, but they are not really compatible with each other.”

Brexit Live

Stephen Barclay faces MPs today after a confrontation with Michel Barnier (Image: GETTY)

You have made three commitments but they are not really compatible with each other

Sir Ivan Rogers

“You have said to the Irish under no circumstances will a hard border be erected across the island of Ireland.

“You have said to the Democratic Unionist community under no circumstances will there be divergence from the rest of Great Britain.

“And you have said to the right of your own party that you are heading out of the customs union.

“You can’t do all three. You have got to choose two of the three.”

The backstop agreement – a last-resort mechanism to prevent a hard border in the island of Ireland if no post-Brexit deal is negotiated – proved to be a major sticking point and helped lead to Mrs May’s demise in Downing Street.

Sir Ivan also said he issued Tory leadership contender Mr Johnson with the same warning when he was foreign secretary.

He quit as the UK permanent representative in Brussels in 2017 after clashing with ministers over Brexit.

And today Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay faces an MP grilling days after firing a warning to Brussels.


11.35am update: Lammy take swipe at Rees-Mogg Brexit boost claims

Labour MP David Lammy has hit out at Jacob Rees-Mogg who suggested Britain’s economy could receive an £80bn boost in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Mr Lammy tweeted: “Jacob Rees-Mogg again conflating ‘our economy’ with his investment firm ‘Somerset Capital’.

“Maybe you are in for a huge personal ‘boost’ if we crash out with no deal but all of our constituents will suffer terribly.”

11.24am update: No deal Brexit “more likely than people assume”

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay has warned a no deal Brexit is more likely than people assume.

He said he refuses to back Tory leadership favourite Boris Johnson’s claim the chances of living the EU without a withdrawal agreement were just one million to one.

11.19am update: Barclay says “disruptive” no deal better than no Brexit

Giving evidence to the Commons Exiting the European Union Committee, Stephen Barclay acknowledged that a no deal Brexit would be “disruptive” but it would be better than not leaving the EU at all.

He told MPs: ”A no deal Brexit would be disruptive.

“But no Brexit is the worst of those two outcomes.”

Following warnings from the National Farmers’ Union that a no deal exit from the EU would result in shepherds being forced to slaughter their flocks because there would be no market for their meat, Mr Barclay acknowledged the problems that would face the industry.

He said the sheep meat industry was an “outlier” because 97 percent of exports go to the EU but the Government was working on intervention measures and compensation.

Steve Barclay

Steve Barclay (Image: PA)

10.58am update: Brexit Secretary offers reassurances on EU police and criminal databases

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay has told MPs British access to EU police and criminal databases could still be available after a no deal departure.

He said the issue was a matter for discussion but thought there would be a “renewed focus” on finding a solution if a no deal Brexit became more likely.

10.31am update: Barclay quizzed over no deal “deals”

Tory hardline Peter Bone asked Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay if a no deal departure really meant there would be no deals at all.

Mr Barclay said there are some agreements in place that would swing into effect in the event of no deal Brexit.

He said people tended to use the term “no deal” to mean the UK leaving without a withdrawal agreement in place.

Mr Barclay says some side agreements with the EU would be in place in such a scenario.

10.27am update: Barclay says trade talks would follow no deal Brexit

Stephen Barclay says he believes a No Deal Brexit should lead “quickly” to talks on a future trade deal.

10.25am: Barclay says Barnier “confrontation” was misinterpreted

Steve Barclay told Brexit Committee members his meeting with Michel Barnier had been misrepresented and insisted he was just making the point to the EU chief negotiator the withdrawal agreement as it stands would not get through Parliament.

He said: “There has been quite a lot of misleading information about my meeting with Michel Barnier.

He said: “In terms of the withdrawal agreement, what I said was that the House had rejected it three times, including the third time by a significant margin; that the European election results in my view had further hardened attitudes across the house and that the text, unchanged, I did not envisage going through the House.

“I don’t think that was a particularly controversial observation.”

He was responding to a question from committee chairman Hilary Benn who asked him about reports that he had “ruffled feathers” during the “confrontational exchange” had left Mr Barnier “astonished and dismayed”.

10.17am update: Barclay acknowledges Brexit impact on UK car industry

Asked if there would be compensation for the car industry if it faced 10 percent tariffs for exports to the EU in a no-deal situation, Mr Barclay said: “What I’m saying is we are having extensive discussions with the industry, including the Prime Minister this week, because it is more nuanced.”

He said the Government would “need to look at what the implications are in terms of trade flow across the borders” and what the situation is at the English Channel crossings which are vital for supply chains.

Mr Barclay said: “Of course there will be impact, but the future trend is into areas such as electric vehicles and there’s a huge amount the Government can do in those areas, it’s not just what we have got in terms of the status quo.”

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders believes that no deal is “not an option” but Mr Barclay said that was factually incorrect because it remained the legal default.

He acknowledged it was “undesirable” and “disruptive”, adding: “Are there mitigations the Government can take? Yes. Do I sit here saying that will be a panacea to all issues? No.”

Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond has clashed with Jacob Rees-Mogg (Image: PA)

10.16am update: Hammond clashes with Rees-Mogg over cost of no deal Brexit

Chancellor Philip Hammond clashed with Tory Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Rees-Mogg, a prominent supporter of Boris Johnson, used a Daily Telegraph opinion piece to dismiss the “silliness” of forecasts suggesting a £90 billion hit to the economy.

Mr Hammond said: “Happy to debate scale of negative impact of no deal on the economy – but terrifying that someone this close to a potential future government can think we’d actually be better off by adding barriers to access to our largest market.”

8.53am update: Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay faces MPs after EU attack

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay will be grilled by MPs this morning – just days after a showdown with Michel Barnier caused fury in Brussels.

Mr Barclays told the EU’s Brexit negotiator five times Britain that Theresa May’s deal was now dead.

The comments saw the UK’s Brexit man described as “brutal, bullying, bad tempered and confrontational” by EU officials.

Mr Barclay is facing the Hilary Benn-led Commons Brexit Committee at 10am to update on the state of play in Brexit.

Stephen Barclay

Stephen Barclay goes before the Brexit committee (Image: PA)

8.36am update: Brexit sparks Huge surge in demand for driving permits

More than half a million permits which may be required to drive abroad after Brexit have been bought since February, according to Government figures.

During the past five months, 584,000 International Driving Permits (IDPs) have been issued at a cost of £5.50 each, transport minister Michael Ellis revealed in an answer to a written parliamentary question.

That means the total amount spent exceeds £3.2 million.

The RAC described the demand as “truly astonishing” and urged the Government to ensure post offices are ready for a “sudden surge” ahead of the latest Brexit deadline of October 31.

Driving licences issued by European Union states are valid for trips within the European Economic Area (EEA), which is the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

UK motorists may require IDPs to drive in the EEA in the event of a no-deal Brexit, leading many holidaymakers and business travellers to purchase the documents.

Andrea Leadsom

Andrea Leadsom would not support the suspension of Parliament to get Brexit through (Image: GETTY)

8.24am update: Leadsom rules out support for proroguing Parliament

Boris Johnson supporter Andrea Leadsom has indicated she would not support the suspension of Parliament to get a no-deal Brexit through but said she did not believe the Tory leadership frontrunner would take that step.

Mr Johnson has refused to rule out proroguing Parliament in order to prevent MPs blocking a no-deal Brexit.

Former Commons leader Mrs Leadsom said: “I don’t think that prorogation is the right thing to do and I don’t think a prime minister would choose to do that.”

Asked if she would go along with it if Mr Johnson took that course of actio

Sir Ivan Rogers

Sir Ivan Rogers gives evidence to the foreign affairs select committee (Image: GETTY)

7.30am updates: New PM urged to lower migrant salary threshold

The next prime minister should lower the salary threshold for migrant workers from £30,000 to £20,000 to avoid post-Brexit skills shortages, a coalition of business and education bodies has said.

The group, which includes the British Retail Consortium, business advocacy group London First and Universities UK, has written to both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt urging them to commit to clear action on reforming the immigration system should they secure the top job.

As well as lowering the salary threshold, they want the Government to extend the temporary work route for overseas workers from one year to two years and revise the sponsorship model to make it easier for firms of all sizes to bring in the overseas talent they need.

They are also calling for the reinstatement of the two-year post-study visa for international students to work in the UK after graduation.

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