Boris Johnson to take lead on EU trade talks with his Brexit unit set for a rebrand: Brexit News for Monday 6 January

Boris Johnson to take lead on EU trade talks with his Brexit unit set for a rebrand: Brexit News for Monday 6 January
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Boris Johnson to take lead on EU trade talks with his Brexit unit set for a rebrand…

Boris Johnson is to take personal charge of the negotiations over the UK’s future relationship with the EU, as he prepares to rebrand his Brexit unit “Taskforce Europe”. After the planned closure of the Department for Exiting the European Union at the end of January, David Frost, Mr Johnson’s Europe adviser, will lead the team responsible for implementing the Withdrawal Agreement and conducting negotiations for a free-trade agreement. The name given to the unit, which Mr Johnson will oversee, mirrors the EU’s rebranding of its Brexit negotiations team. Michel Barnier’s Taskforce 50 has become “The Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom”, as the two sides prepare to thrash out a trade deal once the UK’s divorce agreement is passed by Parliament. – Sunday Telegraph (£)

  • Boris Johnson to set up Downing Street unit to boost Brexit free trade deal talks with EU – Express

…while the Cabinet is reportedly split over Brexit tactics…

Boris Johnson flies home from his holiday today to kickstart a government facing a familiar problem: divisions over Brexit. Ministers are split over how best to negotiate a new trade deal with the EU. Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, and Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, are pushing for the UK to begin parallel talks with America, putting pressure on the EU by making progress towards a transatlantic trade deal. Truss wants Johnson to publish a “mandate” for US talks in the next few weeks and a team of 70 delegates is in place to begin those negotiations. But insiders say other ministers think it is “unrealistic” to turn US talks into leverage against Brussels. They say David Frost, Johnson’s chief negotiator, is focused solely on the EU. His Taskforce Europe team will begin finalising Britain’s negotiating position this week. On Wednesday Johnson will meet Ursula von der Leyen, the new European Commission president, in Downing Street. The prime minister will demand that Britain has more say over the timetable of talks than was the case during the negotiations over the withdrawal agreement. MPs will discuss the remaining stages of the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, before the legislation moves to the Lords. – Sunday Times (£)

  • Boris Johnson to press Ursula von der Leyen for quick trade talks – The Times (£)

…as Donald Trump invites Johnson to the White House for discussions on post-Brexit trade talks

Donald Trump has invited Boris Johnson to visit him in the White House in the New Year as Britain and the United States prepare to open talks on a post-Brexit trade deal. The Prime Minister and his partner, Carrie Symonds, could fly to Washington in February shortly after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. Robert “Woody” Johnson, the American ambassador to London, forecast that Britain would enter a “Roaring Twenties” economic and cultural boom once Brexit has taken place. The President issued the invitation during a telephone call to congratulate Mr Johnson on his overwhelming election victory on 12 December. However, Downing Street has not begun discussions over when the visit might take place and will be keen to put off agreeing a date until Congress has debated calls to impeach the President. – iNews

Michel Barnier warns the UK it must stick to EU rules after Brexit to get a trade deal…

Michel Barnier has warned Britain must stick closely to Brussels’s standards on tax, state aid and the environment to secure a trade deal with the European Union, a day after Boris Johnson said there would be “no alignment” between British and EU rules after Brexit. Mr Barnier also said it will be “immensely challenging” to finish a EU-UK trade deal by the deadline of the end of next year, which Boris Johnson has vowed not to extend. “We will keep our strategic interests in mind. We know that competing on social and environmental standards – rather than on skills, innovation, and quality – leads only to a race to the bottom that puts workers, consumers, and the planet on the losing side,” Mr Barnier said. “Thus, any free-trade agreement must provide for a level playing field on standards, state aid, and tax matters,” he added in a sign of enduring EU anxiety that the UK will undercut the bloc’s rules to gain a competitive advantage after Brexit. – Telegraph (£)

…as Ursula von der Leyen claims a new trade deal might not be ‘feasible’ by the end of 2020…

A new trading relationship with the European Union may not be “feasible” by the end of next year, Ursula von der Leyen has warned. The European Commission President said she had “serious concern” over Boris Johnson’s 11-month time frame in which to reach a new trade deal with the EU. “It’s not only about negotiating a free trade deal but many other subjects,” Ms Von der Leyen said in an interview with the French newspaper les Echos. “It seems to me that on both sides we must ask ourselves seriously if all these negotiations are feasible in such a short time.” – Telegraph (£)

  • Commission Vice President slams ‘heartbreaking’ Brexit in biting ‘love letter’ but says Britain ‘will always be welcome back’ – The Sun

…although Brussels reportedly ‘crumbles’ as member states break rank to ramp up pressure on the EU

The EU “will be the loser” if the European Commission fails to make a trade and security deal with Britain by the end of 2020. The stark warning from two senior European politicians is the first crack in the united front presented by the 27 members ahead of negotiations. The senior ministers in the Hungarian government have also warned that attacks on Boris Johnson’s Brexit policy by EU leaders are “unacceptable” because the will of the British people needs to be respected. The comments are a slap in the face for new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who this week said a future relationship agreement with the UK could not be concluded by the end of 2020. – Sunday Express

  • Signs suggest the EU is finally preparing for the possibility of No Deal – Express

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer confirms Labour leadership bid…

Sir Keir Starmer has confirmed he is standing in the contest to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. The shadow Brexit secretary, seen as a frontrunner in the contest, has written in the Sunday Mirror that Labour needs to “rebuild fast” to restore trust. It comes hours after MPs Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips said they were entering the race. The contest was called after Mr Corbyn announced he would stand down as leader after Labour’s heavy election defeat. Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry and shadow treasury minister Clive Lewis have also confirmed they are standing. Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, seen as another potential frontrunner, is also expected to officially join the contest. Declaring his candidacy in the Sunday Mirror while releasing a video on Twitter, Sir Keir said Labour needed to listen to voters if it was to “restore trust”. – BBC News

…and says Labour should have taken a ‘stronger’ position on Brexit at the election…

Labour leadership favourite and shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer has said his party “should have taken a stronger position one way or the other” on Brexit. Sir Keir said that people wanted “clarity” on the issue, which the Labour Party did not provide, and that not enough was done by the party to “knock down” the Tories’ Get Brexit Done message. He added that, if he were to become Labour’s new leader, he would deliver the “fundamental change” needed to deal with inequality across the country. He said: “The public lost faith and trust in the Labour party as a force for good and a force for change and it’s rebuilding that trust I think [that is] is vitally important.” Sir Keir hopes that his leadership chances will not be hampered because he backed another referendum, which some critics have accused of playing a role in Labour’s disastrous election. Asked why voters can trust him to listen to them after his opposition to Brexit, he said: “We listened to the country in the last three years, there were many many views on Brexit, I went to lots of places that voted either Remain or Leave and of course in most places there was a mixture.” – ITV News

> WATCH: Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer on The Andrew Marr Show 

…while Jess Phillips hints that Labour could campaign to rejoin the EU if she wins the leadership race

The Labour party could campaign for Britain to rejoin the European Union if Jess Phillips is elected leader, the MP indicated on Sunday. In preparation for the Labour leadership race, which is expected to officially begin on Tuesday, Ms Phillips distanced herself from the other candidates by telling members she will not accept Brexit even after it happens. The Birmingham MP said unless the UK was “living in a paradise of trade” and was “totally safe in the world” after Brexit, she would fight to get back into the Union. Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show in her first major interview since announcing her candidacy for the party leadership, Ms Phillips said: “If we are living in a paradise of trade and we are totally safe in the world and are not having to constantly look to America for our security, then maybe I will be proven wrong. “But the reality is if our country is safer, if it is more economically viable to be in the European Union, then I will fight for that, regardless of how difficult that argument is to make.” Pushed by Mr Marr to brand herself a “rejoiner”, Ms Phillips said “we have to wait and see” and “look at what was going on at the time”. “Boris Johnson has a majority of 80, the Labour Party losing the election has consequences that we have to deal with, and I have to face that,” she said. “I have a Leave seat but I campaigned for Remain because I thought it was the best thing for the people I represent. I am not just going to change my mind on that.” – Telegraph (£)

  • Labour should always be pro-Europe – but our job now is to hold Boris Johnson to account – Jess Phillips MP for The Independent

> WATCH: Labour’s Jess Phillips MP on The Andrew Marr Show

Labour push for a two-year Brexit delay if Johnson doesn’t get an EU trade deal by June…

Labour has launched a fresh push for a two year Brexit delay if Boris Johnson doesn’t seal a trade deal with the EU by June. Jeremy Corbyn has tabled a change to the PM’s Brexit Bill – which will be brought back to the Commons for more scrutiny next Tuesday. After MPs passed the PM’s Bill before Christmas, just a few more Parliamentary stages are required before it becomes law, and Britain leaves on January 31. But nothing significant will change day-to-day until the end of 2020, when Britain exits the transition period. – The Sun

  • David Lammy attacks Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘mind-boggling’ neutral Brexit stance – Independent

…while it emerges that Tony Blair sought EU funding while trying to stop Brexit

Tony Blair was bidding for contracts with the European Union for his “institute for global change” as he publicly campaigned to overturn Brexit, The Telegraph can disclose. Documents obtained by this newspaper show that the former prime ­minister held talks with officials about striking a funding agreement between the European Commission and the not-for-profit Tony Blair Institute (TBI). The officials included Ana Gallo-Alvarez, who was previously seconded to Mr Blair’s Middle East envoy office as deputy head of mission. She chaired a meeting between Mr Blair’s staff and Commission officials last year after Mr Blair held talks with her then boss, ­Neven Mimica, an EU commissioner. – Sunday Telegraph (£)

Brexit-bashing Lords finally give up plotting to sabotage UK’s exit as they admit defeat…

The House of Lords inflicted repeated defeats on the previous government but the scale of Boris Johnson’s election victory has transformed politics. Legislation to ensure the country leaves the EU on January 31 is expected to clear the Commons this week and then go for scrutiny in the Upper House. The Conservatives do not have a majority in the Lords but peers recognise the scale of the Tory success makes it politically impossible to try to sabotage Brexit. Any attempt to derail Britain’s departure would boost calls for abolishing the Second Chamber. Convention dictates that pledges made in manifestos will not be wrecked by the Lords. A Labour source admitted that the scale of the Conservative mandate made it “difficult to change anything substantially”. Last month, former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine, a leading pro-European, admitted that the Remain side had “lost” and “Brexit is going to happen”. Lord German, a Lib Dem peer, expects there will be attempts to amend the legislation, but not to block it entirely. Peers may launch a bid to ensure Parliament has a say on whether trade negotiations with the EU should continue beyond the end of this year. The Withdrawal Agreement Bill is due to clear the Lords by January 22, ahead of a vote in the European Parliament a week later. – Sunday Express

…while the DUP, SDLP and Alliance suggest joint amendments to Brexit legislation

The DUP, SDLP and Alliance have jointly suggested changes to the government’s Brexit legislation. The parties want a legal guarantee that Northern Ireland businesses will have “unfettered access” to the rest of the UK, and the amendments are being backed by NI business groups. MPs will continue debating the legislation on Tuesday. Parliament voted overwhelmingly to back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal last month, but NI MPs voted against it. SDLP and Alliance oppose Brexit while the DUP says the deal would undermine Northern Ireland’s place in the UK. Each of the parties has tabled a series of their own amendments as well the joint efforts. It will be up to the House of Commons speaker to determine which amendments are selected for debate. The speaker is likely to select those with cross-party support. However, even if selected, amendments will realistically need government support to pass, given the large Conservative majority. Twelve Northern Ireland business organisations are also backing changes to the Brexit legislation. – BBC News

Nigel Farage concedes Brexiteers must prepare to make concessions ahead of trade talks…

Nigel Farage has conceded Brexiteers must be prepared to make concessions ahead of crucial talks between the UK and the European Union over their future relationship. The Brexit Party leader, who failed to win a single seat at the general election, also rejected suggestions that he denied Boris Johnson’s Conservatives a triple-figure majority by standing candidates in Labour areas. His comments on LBC radio come as the prime minister’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill is expected to pass through all its parliamentary stages when the House of Commons returns after the Christmas recess. Given Mr Johnson’s resounding victory at the general election, the government is now preparing to legally sever ties with the EU on 31 January. The next phase of the negotiations – on the future relationship between the UK and the bloc – is expected to begin the following month. But Mr Farage insisted the prime minister must still be prepared to walk away from the talks if he is unable to secure favourable trading terms from Brussels by the transition period deadline of December 2020. “I think for the first time we’ve potentially got the upper hand in these negotiations,” Mr Farage said. – Daily Mail

…as he plans a party in Parliament Square to mark Brexit night

Nigel Farage is planning to host a £100,000 “Brexit Celebration Party” in Parliament Square, with fireworks, bands and comedians, to mark the moment Britain leaves the European Union later this month. The party in Westminster “under the watchful eye” of Churchill’s statue on Friday Jan 31 will culminate at 11pm when campaigners and MPs hope Big Ben will ‘bong’ to mark the moment that the UK brings down the curtain on its 45 year membership of the EU. Richard Tice, the Brexit Party chairman and Mr Farage are applying to the Greater London Assembly – which licenses events on the square – to stage the event which could culminate with a fireworks display similar to New Years Eve. Organised under the cross-party Leave Means Leave banner, between 5,000 and 10,000 members of the public are expected to attend. Each will be charged a small ticket price to cover costs although some donors are expected to help pay for it. Every attendee will receive a special “memento” to mark the day. The plan is to celebrate with bands, singers, speeches by key Brexiteers such as Mr Farage. – Sunday Telegraph (£)

  • Speaker Lindsay Hoyle indicates Big Ben can bong for Brexit – Telegraph (£)

Brexit and Remain campaign chiefs join New Year call for unity after ‘a decade of division’

Both Matthew Elliott, who led the 2016 Vote Leave campaign, and Will Straw, who was director of Britain Stronger in Europe, have put their names to an open letter to mark the start of the 2020s. The message has been signed by a string of cultural and political figures, including Sir Hugh Robertson of the British Olympic Association, Carolyn Fairbairn of the Confederation of British Industry, GMB union chief Tim Roache, and Mike Sharrock of the British Paralympic Association. It calls on Brits to “reach out” to someone they do not know this year in a bid to “start rebuilding connections between neighbours and fellow citizens” after a bruising decade in politics. It says: “As we start this new year and new decade, our country feels more fragmented than any of us would like. Too often we hear that our divisions – by class or geography, by politics, age, race or by faith – have come to define us. – PoliticsHome

Former senior Lib Dem slams ‘stupid’ and ‘extreme’ Brexit policy during Swinson leadership

The Liberal Democrats’ “extreme” decision to make revoking Article 50 their Brexit position will go down as “a historic miscalculation”, former Lib Dem MP Sir Norman Lamb told LBC. Former Lib Dem MP Sir Norman Lamb spoke to LBC about his party’s election “disaster”. December 12 saw then-leader Jo Swinson lose her seat to the SNP, causing the party’s numbers to drop down to 11. Sir Norman blamed the disappointing result on the pro-European party’s Brexit position, which “gave people across much of the country a positive reason to vote against” them. When asked if it was Ms Swinson’s fault, the former MP told LBC: “It’s not just her, I think the party took a very stupid turn. “I have to say I largely fell out with the party in the period since the referendum. “I think to just take a decision to seek to block a referendum which we’d voted to hold in the first place was a big mistake. – Sunday Express

Tories pledge £3bn funding for farmers to ‘thrive’ after Brexit

The £3 billion of funding – to be spread over two years – will be used to support farmers when the UK leaves the European Union and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) direct payments scheme next year. It will allow funding for direct payments for 2020 to continue at the same level as this year, and supplement the remaining EU funding that farmers will receive for development projects until 2023. Mr Javid said: “When we leave the EU and are freed from the Common Agricultural Policy, we will be able to support our vital rural communities – who are a cornerstone of life in the UK – with a fairer and less bureaucratic system. “Farmers can enter the new year with confidence that they have our backing and will be able to thrive after Brexit.” Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers added: “Outside the EU we will have a simpler, fairer funding system – one that rewards farmers for enhancing our environment and safeguarding our high animal welfare standards. – LBC

  • Ministers set to lose their farm subsidies when they vote for Brexit this week – Sunday Telegraph (£)

EU accused of seeking to cut funds for the poor in post-Brexit cost savings

The European commission has been accused of seeking to cut EU funding for the continent’s poorest people by 50% to secure post-Brexit cost savings and extra funds for defence projects. Jacques Vandenschrik, the president of the European Food Banks Federation, said the EU executive’s proposed spending plans for the next seven years posed a risk not only to the most vulnerable but to the stability of wider society. EU institutions are currently hammering out the details of the bloc’s long-term budget, known as the multiannual financial framework (MFF). The UK’s withdrawal will leave a large hole to plug. Senior EU officials have described the negotiations over the commission’s proposed €1,135bn (£970bn) in spending commitments as the most difficult ever undertaken. – Guardian

Ex-Speaker takes aim at Brexiteers in ‘Alternative Christmas Message’

Remainer John Bercow will say “democracy has come in for a pounding” when he delivers this year’s Alternative Christmas Message, it was revealed today. The former Commons Speaker, who stepped down in October after 10 years in the role, follows in the footsteps of Danny Dyer, Sharon Osbourne, whistleblower Edward Snowden and the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox in the TV slot. A fixture on Channel 4 since 1993, it is seen as a rival to the Queen’s own festive broadcast. But Mr Bercow, 56, who faced accusations of anti-Brexit bias during his time in the Speaker’s chair, is likely to have people reaching for the remote control as he begins his festive message. Speaking from a classroom at his children’s state secondary school, he will say: “I passionately support parliamentary democracy. For all the criticism and abuse lobbed at MPs, I’m still a cheerleader for them.” – Express

  • Bercow is snubbed in New Year’s Honours as Tory ministers ‘take revenge’ over his ‘anti-Brexit bias’ – Daily Mail
  • Anna Soubry suggests Nigel Farage should get a peerage – iNews

Iain Duncan Smith: The UK’s brightest and best can give us fresh optimism in EU negotiations

In the three and a half years that have followed the vote to leave the EU, chaos has reigned. With Parliament, dominated by Remain-voting MPs, this has resulted in the weakest set of negotiations ever undertaken by a British government since 1938. Small wonder we were treated with disdain by the EU. To understand how weak we were, think about this; we sent a group of officials with minimal or no treaty negotiation experience to Brussels. Then they left behind one of the world’s foremost trade negotiators, now working for the trade department – Crawford Faulkner – who successfully negotiated trade deals with China and the USA. Perhaps worst of all, the team were almost exclusively made up of people who hated the idea of Brexit and alongside the political establishment believed that the “negotiations” were an exercise in damage limitation. Boris Johnson has put an end to that. The sweeping Conservative victory on December 12 not only gave us a mandate, but it cast many of our Brexit foes onto the margins as ardent Remainers who, after the 2017 election caused mayhem, now can be discounted. Furthermore, as the Labour Party lashes out at its political opponents whilst sliding into a virtual chat room blaming the British people’s obsession with Brexit for losing the election, the Conservatives have the space to get this next and vital phase of negotiation right. – Iain Duncan Smith MP for the Telegraph (£)

David Campbell Bannerman: Of course Boris Johnson can get a good post-Brexit trade deal done in a year. Here’s why

Not one day on from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s stunning and decisive electoral victory, and the sneering negative forces of the Remain Alliance were already back in business. Slapped down with the scale of electoral defeat and vote to ‘Get Brexit Done’, they have now switched to campaigning on a supposed need for a ‘softer Brexit’, citing the claimed lack of ERG influence now, assert that the deal would have to be a bad one in such a short timeframe, and be only being deliverable if the UK surrenders to remaining in lockstep with the EU on its regulations – such as ‘dynamic alignment’ with its Single Market laws, including new laws not just existing ones. Basically, they claim we must dance to the EU’s tune without having any say – just like with their beloved Customs Union. All this is utter and complete nonsense. 10 years scrutinising numerous EU trade deals in the European Parliament – on the Canada deal, India, New Zealand, Columbia/Peru, Vietnam, Japan for example – makes me only weep at such bizarre and erroneous interpretation. The supposedly all-knowing and pompously judgmental BBC ‘Reality Check’ is just as unhelpful in its analysis. The actual reality is that the UK and EU can strike a bold and comprehensive free trade agreement which safeguards most of the claimed economic benefits of EU membership and do so by the target date of the end of next year. – David Campbell Bannerman for the Telegraph (£)

Daniel Hannan: After 20 years in Brussels, even I feel a bit wistful now about the thought of leaving

You know that awkward moment when you say a long and involved goodbye to someone only to find that the two of you are then walking the same way? Well, my past 10 months in the European Parliament have been like that. It keeps happening. A Brexit date is announced. I pack my office, hold a farewell dinner, do my best to see that my amazing Spanish staff have good jobs to go on to – and then, with thundering bathos, find myself slinking back again. First we were leaving in March. Then in June. Then in October. Then in January. Even my German colleagues, rarely the first to see the funny side, began to have an amused twitch around their mouths. “Ach, Hannan, you are back again? You love it here really, yes?” Only now is the fact of our leaving beyond doubt. We are in our last 40 days, our quarantina. As that reality sinks in, the mood in Brussels, oddly enough, is softening. The sneering has given way to something close to wistfulness. “We will miss you”, I keep being told, as if the British Isles were about to be uprooted and deposited in the South Pacific. Perhaps a certain wistfulness is inevitable. Indeed, I feel the tiniest batsqueak of it myself. My adulthood has, after all, largely been played out in the context of arguments about our relationship with Brussels. – Daniel Hannan MEP for the Telegraph (£)

Roger Bootle: Britain’s position in the Brexit trade talks is far stronger than the gloomsters claim

Here we go again! After Boris Johnson’s crushing victory, the Remainerish Tendency hasn’t missed a beat in returning to the fray. The issue that is now causing acute angst is the possibility that we will leave the European Union by the end of next year without a trade deal. According to all the usual suspects, this is set to bring disaster. Does this ring a bell? The context is the hitherto widespread, lazy assumption in the media and elsewhere that a big Johnson majority would allow the Prime Minister to sideline the serious eurosceptics in his party and go for a “soft” Brexit, involving an extension to the transition period and as close an association with the EU as possible. This assumed that Mr Johnson wanted a soft Brexit and/or that achieving this is in his and the country’s interests. But why? It is typical of the Remainer mindset that they cannot get their head around the idea that Brexit is not some disaster whose scope and reach must be minimised, but rather a set of challenges to be met and opportunities to be seized. – Roger Bootle for the Telegraph (£)

Janet Daley: Disdainful metropolitan liberals are doing a disservice to British democracy

There is a pernicious mythology being fed into the public discourse by the indefatigable Remainer rump. It is also being adopted by the irreconcilable hard Left, because it serves their purposes for the moment too. That is, that the Conservative election victory – which was, of course, also another victory for Leave – was actually a defeat for the forces of Reason. The real winners were not Boris Johnson’s Tory party and that deplorable army of voters who were adamant in their determination to exit from the European Union. (And, by deduction, the real losers were not Corbynite Labour and those who longed to remain within the EU.) No – this was, in truth, a contest between the educated and the ignorant: between the intelligent, progressive, benevolent middle classes and the benighted denizens of backward hinterlands who emerged from their caves just long enough to wreck the future of Britain’s talented youth. I’ve lost count of the number of references I have heard on the BBC to the fact that far more university graduates voted for parties that supported Remain – whereas the Caliban vote went so overwhelmingly to the Conservatives that the whole accustomed edifice of party loyalty was rocked to its foundations. If you are the BBC or the Guardian, or some other species of desperate apologist for the losing side, there is only one possible conclusion: those who voted against the Tory-Leave option in whatever way was available to them represent Enlightenment and are a force for the General Good, while those who voted for Tory-Leave, even when it went against their historic loyalties, are stupid bigots who don’t understand what is at stake. – Janet Daley for the Telegraph (£)

Tim Newark: Brexit will lead to a massive trade boom

Brexit Britain can get set for the “Roaring Twenties” as wealth floods in from a trade deal with America, the US Ambassador has declared. Robert “Woody” Johnson said Boris Johnson’s election victory had given Britain “an amazing opportunity” and paved the way for a huge boost in trade between the two nations. His comments came as the Prime Minister began work on a series of international trade deals as Britain prepares for a new age of Brexit prosperity. The Government has also hailed our booming employment market, pledging to create jobs that meet people’s aspirations in the years to come and starting to spend money to help society’s most vulnerable. Speaking for the first time since the December 12 election result, the ambassador predicted a bright future for the UK and US. He was clear that the Conservative landslide victory was crucial for US-UK relations and had opened the door to huge prosperity. Ambassador Johnson, 72, said: “Prosperity will go up and I hope people will feel that quickly. – Tim Newark for the Express

Brexit in Brief

  • It’s time to consign the word ‘Brexit’ to the history books, and get on with self-government – Lord Tebbit for the Telegraph (£)
  • A letter to the Eurocrats: Britain’s quarrel is with you, not with Europe – Daniel Hannan MEP for the Sunday Telegraph (£)
  • Get Brexit Done and innovate like Israel – Ben Brittain for ConservativeHome
  • Radio 4 Today guest editor Charles Moore accuses BBC of Brexit bias – Daily Mail
  • European Research Group now the ‘manifesto support group’, says Sir Bernard Jenkin – Telegraph (£)
  • Government doubles the number of fast-track visas for scientists – Independent
  • George Osborne claims Boris Johnson is a ‘contradiction’ who used Brexit to ‘get himself to the top’ – Telegraph (£)
  • Spain’s Vox party under pressure to back ‘Spaxit’ after EU court ruling – Telegraph (£)