Brexit trade talks to start with both the EU and US as soon as Britain leaves on 31st January: Brexit News for Tuesday 7 January

Brexit trade talks to start with both the EU and US as soon as Britain leaves on 31st January: Brexit News for Tuesday 7 January
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Brexit trade talks to start with both the EU and US as soon as Britain leaves on 31st January

Brexit trade talks are set to begin with the EU and the US as soon as Britain leaves the bloc on January 31, it’s been confirmed today. Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said discussions would be able to formally start with countries around the world once we’re finally out of the EU’s clutches on February 1. The PM’s spokesperson insisted that the UK would “not just focus on a partnership with the EU.” They added: “Once we leave the EU on 31 January we will be free to hold trade discussions with countries across the world.” The possibility of a speedy trade deal with the US could push the EU into sealing a trade agreement with Britain faster. – The Sun

  • Boris Johnson to open trade talks with Ursula von der Leyen – Guardian

Boris Johnson plans national celebration to commemorate EU departure on 31st January

Boris Johnson is planning a national celebration to commemorate our EU departure on January 31, Downing Street has revealed. The PM’s spokesman refused to discuss details but confirmed there were plans in place to mark the historic day Britain leaves the EU after 47 years of membership. He said January 31 will be “a significant moment in our country’s history” and details of the official events will be announced “shortly”. But he refused to say whether the Government will support a campaign by Brexiteer MPs to get Big Ben to bong as the hour strikes 11pm on January 31 – the exact time Britain’s membership of the EU lapses. – The Sun

MPs to resume scrutiny of PM’s Withdrawal deal today

MPs will resume scrutiny later of the legislation needed to implement the prime minister’s Brexit deal. Boris Johnson’s election victory means the Withdrawal Agreement Bill is set to get through Parliament comfortably, MPs having overwhelmingly backed it at its first stage last month… The bill now moves on to the next phase of the parliamentary process, what is known as the committee stage. It will be analysed in detail over the next three days before moving to the Lords. With the government enjoying a Commons majority of 80, it will not be changed in any way without the support of ministers. On Tuesday, MPs will debate the 11-month transition period after 31 January, in which the UK will cease to be an EU member but will continue to follow EU rules and contribute to the EU’s budget. – BBC News

Post-Brexit Budget announced for 11th March when the UK will seize the ‘huge opportunities’ of Brexit

Boris Johnson’s first post-Brexit Budget is set to take place on March 11, with Chancellor Sajid Javid explaining how the UK can take advantage of the “huge opportunities” that he claimed will be presented by leaving the European Union. The Chancellor said his Budget would help to “spread opportunity to those left behind,” but Labour hit out at the plans branding it a “budget of climate change recklessness not renewal.” Speaking during a visit to Manchester, Mr Javid said the government would follow through with its election manifesto pledge to loosen the purse strings following a decade of austerity. – LBC News

Jess Philips backtracks on her suggestion that Labour could campaign to rejoin EU under her leadership

Labour leadership hopeful Jess Phillips has rowed back on her suggestion that the party could campaign to rejoin the EU under her stewardship if Brexit proved damaging. The outspoken Birmingham MP set herself at odds with other contenders to succeed Jeremy Corbyn by saying “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.” But Ms Phillips appeared to backtrack from her comments to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, instead saying that a campaign to rejoin the EU would not feature in the next Labour manifesto. – Independent

Welsh Assembly should vote against PM’s Brexit law, says Wales’ First Minister

Assembly members should vote down Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill when it comes to the Senedd, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said. Mr Drakeford said while the general election settled the fact of Brexit, it did not amount to a “blank cheque”. The Welsh Labour leader has claimed the deal will damage Wales’ economy. The party lost almost all of its seats in north Wales to the Tories in the December election, when it took a pro-EU stance. The assembly and the Scottish Parliament are required to give consent to the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement under the way devolution in the UK works. A refusal would not prevent the bill from becoming law, however. – BBC News

Lib Dems’ ‘hideous’ attempt to cancel EU exit sparks outrage on Twitter

The Lib Dems have called for an investigation into the result of the EU referendum in their latest attempt to cancel Brexit which has left social media users outraged. In a shocking move, acting Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey announced that there needs to be an investigation into the EU referendum and its result. The party will table an amendment to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill. The amendment will reportedly call for an inquiry within six months of the bill being passed. The inquiry is likely to look into former Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to hold the referendum in the first place, the finances and the conduct of politicians during the campaign. This will also include the Government’s handling of the Article 50 process. – Express

Asa Bennett: Remain’s death has left the EU too toxic to embrace, as Jess Phillips has found

Jess Phillips hopes to become Labour leader by pledging to “speak truth” and unlike Jeremy Corbyn, who only went as far as pledging “straight talking honest politics”, to “win power”.  The Labour MP sought to show her supposed election-winning candour over the weekend, as Andrew Marr asked her how she would deal with the fact that by the time she aspires to take over her party, Brexit will have happened — and it will be many years before anything can be done about that. – Asa Bennett for the Telegraph (£)

John Longworth: Singapore offers shining vision of how Britain will thrive on its own

As I am whisked away in one of the MEP-only black limos, I am reflecting on the events of the past few weeks through the lens, or perhaps I should say looking glass world, of a member of the European parliament. Instead of attending the Strasbourg parliament in November, I went to Singapore. The term “Singapore-on-Thames” is often used in a derogatory manner, but, as a regular visitor over the years to this jewel of Asia, I am at a loss as to why. When I first made business trips in the early 1990s, Singapore was the rather sleepy cousin of the bustling skyscrapers of Hong Kong. Built on almost nothing apart from its own efforts, talent and determination, it is now an ultra-modern, high-rise Switzerland of the Orient. – John Longworth MEP for The Times (£)

Douglas Carswell: Fixing our broken state is crucial to making a success of Brexit

When Britain reasserts her right of self-government at the end of this month, she will be doing so at an extraordinarily auspicious moment in history. The world around us is undergoing rapid growth.  Remarkable advances in technology are underway, particularly in digital and biotech. The general condition of human kind has been elevated almost everywhere. Each year, tens of millions more people around the world are not only being lifted out of poverty and joining the global middle class, from India and China, to South America and Africa. We are living through a period of improvement, in everything from air travel and architecture to public health and private enterprise. In other words, if Britain now goes and makes a mess of the independence we are on the verge of reclaiming, we are going to have only ourselves to blame. `- Douglas Carswell for CapX

Jess Phillips: Labour should always be pro-Europe – but our job now is to hold Boris Johnson to account and call out his lies

Parliament returns this week and reality is about to bite us in the Labour Party – and bite us hard. Boris Johnson’s EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill is back in front of the House of Commons and it is going to sail through. That’s the painful consequence of our failure to win the general election. The prime minister is well known for being economical with the truth, but one of the biggest mistakes Labour’s top team made during the general election campaign was to let him get away with a whopper: that he will get Brexit done by 31 January. Instead we know the biggest challenge yet to come is getting a trade deal in place to agree the terms of our future relationship with the European Union and making sure we avert the serious risk of crashing out without a deal. – Jess Phillips MP for the Independent

Brexit in Brief

  • Today, the clock starts ticking down to the next big Brexit deadline – Stephen Booth for ConservativeHome