Blog: Uhuru and Boris agree to start post Brexit trade negotiations – The Standard

Kenya and the United Kingdom have agreed to start post-Brexit trade agreement in a Saturday phone call between President Uhuru Kenyatta and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The negotiations, which are expected to be finalized ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) by the end of the year, will be conducted within the Kenya-UK Strategic Partnership Framework established by the two leaders in January 2020 and the East African Community (EAC) parameters to enhance regional integration.
In the telephone conversation, President Uhuru and Johnson also discussed several Kenya-UK bilateral interests among them the two nation’s response to the global Covid-19 health crisis.
Uhuru thanked the British Government for extending visa over-stay amnesty for Kenyan nationals in the UK who cannot travel back due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions until May 30.

SEE ALSO: Gilead’s Covid-19 antiviral remdesivir gets conditional EU clearance

The visa amnesty, President Uhuru noted, had enabled Kenyans especially students and workers, to apply for long-term visa renewal in the UK without having to travel back to Kenya as has been the norm.
He further thanked the UK Government for supporting Kenya’s Worker Protection Scheme which he said will benefit garment and horticultural sectors to avoid massive staff layoffs during the current Covid-19 global economic disruption.
On Britain’s support for Kenya’s successful bid for the recent UN Security Council elections, he thanked Prime Minister Johnson for his country’s endorsement.
The two leaders affirmed their strong support for the Commonwealth and committed to working together to ensure stability, continuity, and the deepening of solidarity among Commonwealth nations.

Blog: Brexit talks breakthrough: Liz Truss reveals booming future for UK after cutting EU ties – Express

Brexiteer and Secretary of State Liz Truss claimed the UK would greatly benefit from becoming a part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) after Brexit. During a speech at a Policy Exchange webinar event, Ms Truss claimed the CPTPP would allow Britain to grow in ways that it could not, had it stayed a member of the EU. Ms Truss said: “I also think it’s important to recognise these benefits we could gain by joining CPTPP that wouldn’t have been able to access as a member of the European Union.

“We would be able to accede to this agreement in ways that does not damage our national sovereignty.

“There is no ECJ and there is no harmonisation of domestic regulation and there is no seizing of our sovereign power.

Ms Truss then listed the benefits she expects the UK to see by becoming a part of the CPTPP.

She continued: “What it allows us to do is to be part of a modern, rules-based free trade area.”

DON’T MISS: Furious Macron scolds Barnier after ‘giving up too much’ on fisheries

“It enables us to sign up to advanced digital provisions.

“In effect, become part of a digital free trade area and I think that is incredibly important for the UK.”

Ms Truss also claimed the UK will be a key reason for the World Trade Organisation to adopt new rules and modernise.

She said: “We are third in the world in terms of the number of our billion-dollar tech companies, after the US and China, it is a real comparative advantage for us.

“The fact is that services and digital trade, we haven’t seen the progress that we should have done at the World Trade Organisation.

“The rule book was invented in 1995 before this trade was fully developed and it hasn’t yet moved forward sufficiently.

“I believe that by becoming part of CPTPP and by signing up to these advanced agreements in areas like services and digital, we will help push the World Trade Organisation to adopt new rules and modernise its rulebook, particularly in these types of areas.”

Ms Truss also explained why she was confident the UK would thrive outside of the European Union with new trade deals on the horizon.

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She said: “If you look at the patterns of our trade, since 2001, the value of the UK’s trade with the rest of the world has grown 60 percentage points more than our value of trade with the EU.

“What we want to do is go further, faster.

“Right now we are currently negotiating free trade agreements with the United States, with Japan, with Australia and New Zealand.

“We’ve got a team of negotiators working around the clock to make this happen.

“I see this as a broader strategy of the UK becoming a central hub, a network of free trade agreements. A Networked Britain, not Fortress Britain.”

Blog: ‘UK countryside at risk from Boris Johnson’s planning revolution’ – The Guardian

The British countryside and its wildlife are at serious risk because of Boris Johnson’s pledge to revolutionise the planning system, leading green groups warn today.

In a joint letter to theObserver, the organisations, which include the National Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Wildlife Trusts, say wide-scale deregulation leading to lower environmental standards and less protection would be a betrayal of promises by Johnson and Michael Gove to deliver a “green Brexit”.

Such backtracking, which they fear is imminent, would also damage the UK’s reputation in the battle against climate change. The prime minister last week pledged to stimulate economic recovery after the Covid-19 crisis with a “build, build, build” strategy, adding that he wanted to drive through the most radical changes to the planning system since the second world war to ensure fast progress.

But green organisations say weakening planning and protections, including the role of local people in shaping developments, risks setting voters in the shires against the Conservative government – alarming many Tory MPs in the process. In 2011, David Cameron’s government faced the wrath of the shires as the Daily Telegraph mounted its “Hands off our Land” campaign in protest at attempts to change planning laws.

In terms that reminded environmentalists of Cameron’s pledge to ditch what he called “green cap” – having campaigned on a green Tory manifesto in 2010 – Johnson blamed red tape and over-regulation for hold-ups in development, saying: “Newt-counting delays are a massive drag on the prosperity of this country.”

Downing St, under the direction of the prime minister’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, has issued orders in recent weeks to several government departments to come up with ideas on how to slash “red tape” and make sure big building projects can be pushed through in what is known in Whitehall as “project speed”.

Despite having promised to maintain high environmental standards post-Brexit, there are now fears of a government U-turn that will see ministers drop laws on the protection of habitats while promoting plans that would see more carbon-generating projects, many for new roads.

In their letter, the green groups say: “There are rumours of forthcoming deregulatory measures, including those that weaken laws to protect habitats and wildlife. Furthermore, the government’s flagship environment bill has been delayed and its new body to enforce environmental laws after Brexit will not be ready in time. This will considerably weaken our environmental protections.

“Countless reviews, including those commissioned by the government itself, have shown that environmental laws guide good development when implemented well. There is no public appetite for deregulation, with 93% of Conservative voters wanting to maintain or strengthen protections for habitats and wildlife.

“Rebooting our economy needs to be done in a way that doesn’t exacerbate the current environmental and climate emergencies. Ripping up important laws and lowering our standards would be a betrayal of previous commitments and reduce our international standing.”

As well as simplifying planning, Downing St is understood to be looking at how to get rid of Strategic Environmental Assessments, which under EU law have been used in this country to assess the green impact of big new developments.

In July 2017 Michael Gove, then environment secretary, promised to deliver a green Brexit, saying: “Leaving the EU gives us a once in a lifetime opportunity to reform how we manage agriculture and fisheries, how we care for our land, our rivers and our seas, how we recast our ambition for our country’s environment, and the planet. In short, it means delivering a green Brexit.”

Government sources said the environment bill would return to parliament as soon as possible, but declined to comment on whether environmental protections and planning regulations would be weakened.

Blog: People are reporting Nigel Farage to the police for ‘breaking 14 day quarantine’ to go to the pub – indy100

Nigel Farage is being accused of breaking a mandatory 14 day coronavirus quarantine after his recent trip to the US… to go to the pub.

On 20 June, the Brexit Party leader posted a photo of himself in the US before his scheduled attendance at president Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Farage’s presence in the US came about despite a ban from the US for UK visitors.

He was allowed to travel due to it reportedly being in the “national interest”. In fact, a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives launched an investigation into Farage’s “troubling” entry into the country.

According to Politico, Bennie Thompson said:

The decision of the Trump Administration to admit Mr Farage to the United States… at a time when most travel from the United Kingdom to the U.S. has been suspended raises numerous troubling questions, as does the claim that such travel was in the national interest

As soon as people land back in the UK, there exists a 14 day quarantine period in case they present with symptoms.

Failure to do so can result in, as the UK Government website warns:

In England, if you do not self-isolate, you can be fined £1,000.

Farage reportedly attended the rally on 20 June and even if he flew back straight after it was finished, he has not completed a full 14 days of self-quarantine as of today’s (4 July) date. If he flew back on 21 June, the quarantine should expire at midnight tonight.

Nevertheless, Farage posted a photo of himself holding a pint to celebrate the reopening of pubs today:

As a result, hundreds of people responded to the tweet to accuse the Brexit Party leader of breaking the 14 day quarantine rule:

While some tagged authorities in the tweet to bring it to their attention:

He travelled the 100 mile trip from his home in Kent to Pett Level in East Sussex during lockdown at the start of May to make a film about migrants.

Besides the film being branded “racist” and “xenophobic” on social media, people were angry he broke lockdown rules for non-essential travel or exercise.

According to the suggestion of a representative for Farage, he tried to claim he was a key worker.

Nigel was working as a broadcaster. His interviews taken as part of the report were later used on LBC Radio.

Regarding this latest alleged rule-break, indy100 reached out to Nigel Farage for comment. If he responds, we’ll let you know.

Blog: Brexit: Cars produced in Japan to be stamped ‘Made in Britain’ under Boris Johnson’s plans – The Independent

Products from Japan or South Korea would be stamped “Made in Britain”, under Boris Johnson’s plan to save the domestic car industry after Brexit.

The proposal is an attempt to prevent punishing tariffs driving away the likes of Nissan and Toyota, but will sound “ridiculous” to voters promised huge benefits from leaving the EU, one trade expert said.

It also means the UK is effectively asking the EU for the benefits of a customs union, a new analysis says – despite the prime minister insisting the UK is leaving the trading arrangement.

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It has been uncovered in London’s proposals for an EU trade deal, which remain in trouble after face-to-face talks which broke up a day early despite the looming December deadline.

Goods made solely from foreign parts, but assembled in the UK – most notably vehicles, but also prepared foods and other manufactured goods – would be granted the same exemptions from tariffs as those from UK components.

Alan Winters, professor of economics at the University of Sussex Business School, said it reflected the reality that a tariff-free deal – even if agreed with Brussels – was of no use if it fell foul of strict rules of origin.

Pointing to Nissan’s threat to leave the UK if it had to pay tariffs, he told The Independent: “We know that the Japanese are wondering whether they would stay around.

“Brexit is going to be bad news for jobs in lots of dimensions. In this one dimension, the British proposal would help to head off some of those losses.”

And Dr Peter Holmes, reader in economics, said: “What the UK government is seeking from the EU on rules of origin is unprecedented.

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Pro Europe supporters gather on Brexit day near the British embassy in Berlin, Germany

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A decorated, old fashioned fire pump in Parliament Square

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Pro EU supporters display a banner ‘ Here to Stay, Here to Fight, Migrants In, Tories Out’ from Westminster bridge

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Pro-Brexit supporters burn European Union flags at Parliament Square

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Customers Scott Jones and Laura Jones at the Sawmill Bar in South Elmsall, Yorkshire, where a Brexit party is being held throughout the day

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Ann Widdecombe reacts with other members of the Brexit party as they leave en masse from the European Parliament

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Anti-Brexit demonstrators in Parliament Square

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Pro EU supporters let off flares from Westminster Bridge

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British MEPs Jonathan Bullock, holding the Union Jack flag and Jake Pugh leave the European Parliament, in Brussels on the Brexit day

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Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald with a Border Communities Against Brexit poster before its unveiling in Carrickcarnon on the Irish border

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National growers organisation British Apples & Pears has renamed a British apple to EOS, the Greek goddess of dawn, to commemorate Brexit day

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Pro-EU protesters hold placards in Parliament Square

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Britain’s departure from the European Union was set in law on January 29, amid emotional scenes, as the bloc’s parliament voted to ratify the divorce papers. After half a century of membership and three years of tense withdrawal talks, the UK will leave the EU at midnight Brussels time (23.00 GMT) on January 31

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A man walks with a St. George’s flag at Westminster bridge on Brexit day

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A British bulldog toy and other souvenirs at a souvenir store

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British pro-brexit Members of the European Parliament leave the EU Parliament for the last time

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Jonathan Bullock waves the Union Jack as he leaves the European Parliament

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A message projected onto the White Cliffs of Dover

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Big Ben, shows the hands at eleven o’clock at night

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Nigel Farage speaks to pro-Brexit supporters

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Pro-Brexit demonstrators celebrate on Parliament Square

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The Union flag is taken down outside the European Parliament in Brussels

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Pro-EU campaigners outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

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A pro-Brexit supporter jumps on an EU flag in Parliament Square

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EU Council staff removed the Union Jack-British flag from the European Council in Brussels, Belgium

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A pro-Brexit supporter pours beer onto an EU flag

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Pedestrians pass in front of the Ministry of Defence Building on Whitehall, illuminated by red, white and blue lights in central London

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A Brexit supporter shouts during a rally in London

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Pro-EU campaigners outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

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Pro-EU campaigners take part in a ‘Missing EU Already’ rally outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

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A large pro-EU banner is projected onto Ramsgate cliff in Kent

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Pro-EU supporters light candles in Smith Square in Westminster

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A man waves Union flags from a small car as he drives past Brexit supporters gathering in Parliament Square

AFP via Getty Images

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The five-year old Elisa Saemann, left, and her seven-year old sister Katie hold a placard during a rally by anti-Brexit protesters outside the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh

AP

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Pro Europe supporters gather on Brexit day near the British embassy in Berlin, Germany

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Anti-Brexit protester hugs a man while holding a placard

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A decorated, old fashioned fire pump in Parliament Square

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Pro Brexit Elvis impersonator performs at Parliament Square

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An anti-Brexiteers stands with his dog in Parliament Square

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Paddy from Bournemouth wears Union colours as he sits next to an EU flag decorated bag in Parliament Square

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A pro-EU activist plays a guitar decorated with the EU flag during a protest organised by civil rights group New Europeans outside Europe House, central London

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People celebrate Britain leaving the EU

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A Pro Brexit supporter has a Union Jack painted onto his face at Parliament Square

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Men hold placards celebrating Britain leaving the EU

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Pro Brexit supporters dance in the street draped with Union Jack flags at Parliament Square

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An anti-Brexit demonstrator spreads his wings during a gathering near Downing Street

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Pro EU supporters display a banner ‘ Here to Stay, Here to Fight, Migrants In, Tories Out’ from Westminster bridge

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Pro-Brexit supporters burn European Union flags at Parliament Square

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A man poses for a picture on Parliament Square in a ‘Brexit Day’ t-shirt

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People celebrate Britain leaving the EU

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A man wears a pro-Brexit t-shirt

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Anti-Brexit demonstrators visit Europe House to give flowers to the staff on Brexit day

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Pro Brexit supporter wears a novelty Union Jack top hat outside the Houses of Parliament

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Customers Scott Jones and Laura Jones at the Sawmill Bar in South Elmsall, Yorkshire, where a Brexit party is being held throughout the day

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Pro-EU activists protest

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A pro-Brexit demonstrator burns a European Union flag

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A Brexit supports holds a sign in Parliament Square

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A man carries an EU themed wreath

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Ann Widdecombe reacts with other members of the Brexit party as they leave en masse from the European Parliament

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Anti-Brexit demonstrators in Parliament Square

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Pro EU supporters let off flares from Westminster Bridge

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British MEPs Jonathan Bullock, holding the Union Jack flag and Jake Pugh leave the European Parliament, in Brussels on the Brexit day

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Newspapers and other souvenirs at a store, near Parliament Square

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Brexit supporters hold signs in Parliament Square

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Pro-EU protesters hold placards in Parliament Square

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French newspapers

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Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald with a Border Communities Against Brexit poster before its unveiling in Carrickcarnon on the Irish border

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National growers organisation British Apples & Pears has renamed a British apple to EOS, the Greek goddess of dawn, to commemorate Brexit day

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Pro-EU protesters hold placards in Parliament Square

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Britain’s departure from the European Union was set in law on January 29, amid emotional scenes, as the bloc’s parliament voted to ratify the divorce papers. After half a century of membership and three years of tense withdrawal talks, the UK will leave the EU at midnight Brussels time (23.00 GMT) on January 31

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A man poses with paintings on Parliament Square

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People sporting Union Flags gather in Parliament Square

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A man walks with a St. George’s flag at Westminster bridge on Brexit day

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A British bulldog toy and other souvenirs at a souvenir store

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British pro-brexit Members of the European Parliament leave the EU Parliament for the last time

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Jonathan Bullock waves the Union Jack as he leaves the European Parliament

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“To the average Brexit supporter this approach may sound ridiculous and not part of any deal they voted for, but without it Japanese car plants risk facing 10 per cent tariffs on cars made in the UK if they use engines, gearboxes or other components made in Japan.”

However, Dr Holmes suggested the EU would “do all in its power to stop the UK becoming a duty free offshore assembly base”.

The automotive sector was worth £18bn to the UK economy in 2018, directly employing 168,000 people and hundreds of thousands more in supply, retail and servicing.

But it is at risk from rules of origin demanding around 55 per cent of the value of a good must come from the UK or the EU to benefit from tariff reductions – because, typically, the figure is only 44 per cent for a “made in UK” car, the study says.

The new proposal would apply where the UK hopes to “roll over” an existing EU trade deal, a list of about 70 nations topped by Japan and South Korea.

Downing Street has been asked to respond to the analysis of the request made to Brussels.

The study, by the UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) at the University of Sussex, has identified other areas where the government is seeking “deeper integration” than in other EU trade deals – despite its rhetoric.

These include financial services and the recognition of professional qualifications – where it warned of disputes which would hit skilled specialists seeking to work on the continent.

The UK was after recognition of professional qualifications as “the default option”, unless there are specific reasons why this was impossible, which the EU is likely to agree to, it warned.

Health care professionals, architects, veterinary surgeons and pharmacists were among groups at risk who currently enjoy “relatively easy” recognition of their qualifications within the EU.

Blog: Round 4 of Brexit trade talks: ‘Green lane’ progress, and a glimpse of the UK’s IT system for customs – TheJournal.ie

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Blog: UK: ‘Brexit won’t affect Turkey’s strategic value for UK’ – Middle East Monitor

The UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) will not affect its appreciation of Turkey’s strategic value, and the two sides’ relations will continue, Anadolu Agency reported Britain’s consul general in Istanbul stating on Wednesday.

“Our strategic bilateral relationship with Turkey will continue to be of great importance to the United Kingdom,” Judith Slater, who is also the UK’s trade commissioner for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, told Anadolu Agency.

Slater confirmed that the UK aims to strengthen its partnership with Turkey and make both countries safer and more prosperous.

“That means working together across a broad range of issues to facilitate regional stability and security, promote people-to-people and cultural links and growing our bilateral trade and investment,” she stressed.

Slater noted that the UK’s partnership with Turkey in leading organisations like G20, the Council of Europe and NATO is likely to become increasingly significant.

“We are leaving the European Union but not turning our backs on Europe. We will continue to cultivate close, productive relations – of mutual benefit – with European countries,” she added.

Read: Turkey sends 2nd batch of medical supplies to UK

UK continues to work closely with Turkey

Touching on the issue of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, Slater affirmed that both sides are very keen to ensure, as far as possible, a smooth transition [for post-Brexit trade relations] by putting an FTA in place before the end of the year.

“The eighth meeting of the Trade Working Group was held on 25 June, 2020, and made good progress,” she disclosed, noting that further talks are scheduled for the summer period.

“Turkey’s unique position in a customs union with the EU means some of the UK’s [with Turkey] will be influenced by the agreement which the UK reaches with the EU.”

The UK has signed FTAs with many nations, but Ankara is unable to sign an FTA with London due to Turkey’s international commitments with the EU.

The UK continues to work closely with Turkey to progress their discussions to ensure that a strong trading relationship continues at the end of the transition period on 31 December, 2020, Slater explained.

FTA to facilitate future trade

The UK government places a great deal of importance on the trading relationship with Turkey, according to Slater, recalling that bilateral trade grew by over 65 per cent between 2008 and 2019.

The UK is Turkey’s second-biggest export market and third-largest foreign direct investment partner, noted Slater.

“Ratification of a continuity FTA will facilitate future trade. We continue to promote bilateral trade and investment and are also keen to address existing market access barriers to our companies and to collaborate in projects in third countries,” highlighted Slater.

“We believe that the UK is a very attractive destination for foreign investment and will continue to be so.”

Read: Flights between Turkey, UK to resume as of June 11

Last year, the UK secured more foreign direct investment (FDI) than Germany and France combined, continuing to hold the title of the most attractive place in Europe for FDI.

“We have seen investment from big Turkish firms, like the purchase of United Biscuits by Yildiz Holding, Turkish investment in the financial sector and also the interest of Turkish entrepreneurial companies and startups, particularly in the tech sector.”

According to Slater, there is a lot of Turkish interest in investing in the UK, and the British side is optimistic about the future in this area.

“But we are not complacent and recognise that the UK cannot sit still but needs to continue doing everything it can to make sure it remains a magnet for investors.”

“Technology is one such key sector. This is very much the view of Prime Minister Boris Johnson,” concluded Slater.

Blog: E&I visit prompts calls for greater certainty over post-Brexit trading – Derry Journal

She made the comments after visiting the plant with Pádraig Mac Lochlainn T.D.

She said: “We got a tour of the factory and met with the owner Philip O’Doherty. E+I is one of the region’s biggest employers sitting on the border with 1,200 employees at the Burnfoot site and 200 employees in Derry, with a breakdown of the workforce being 60% from Derry and 40% the Inishowen area.

“We viewed health and safety measures at the plant. The company has taken a number of steps to ensure the safety of their staff in the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We walked around the factory, saw what is produced there and heard concerns of the impact of COVID and Brexit on our local economy across the border in the NW region.”

The visit took place as Britain declined to request a Brexit extension making a hard Brexit more likely.

“The reckless British government Brexit policy has created huge uncertainty for the business community in the border area and across the island. Businesses need certainty on how they are going to be able to trade post-Brexit and need assurances the impact and cost of this disastrous policy which is being foisted upon us will be minimised,” she said.