Blog: Brexit LIVE: Bitter Macron targets thousands of UK expats in France – new papers rejected – Daily Express

Brexit: UK ‘can be a global trading nation without EU’ says MP

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Without a post-Brexit agreement signed on the matter, up to 3,000 people could lose their driving licences after the French government announced all British expats must exchange their UK licence with a French one. This means some commuters risk losing their jobs while some expats who live in France may be forced to move back to the UK. Although some expats have applied to exchange their licence, the French system has rejected them on the grounds no post-Brexit agreement has been confirmed. 

France failed to agree a post-Brexit licence agreement and has been hit by an overload of applications, meaning some may lose their driving licence in the next few months. 

Amid the pressure on UK expats, the Government has indicated it is working to agree a deal with France, The Guardian reports. 

Without a valid licence, drivers could face a £12,808 fine, while if forced to take a driving test in the country, the theory must be done in French. 

In a Facebook group for expats living in France, Kim Cranstoun described the situation which is affecting British nationals as a nightmare. 

Brexit news

Brexit news: Britons at risk of losing driving licence in France (Image: GETTY)

She said: “I’d say there are 3,000 who are seriously worried – for whom this has really become nightmarish,

“Commuters risk losing their jobs, tradespeople can’t work, elderly people have missed medical appointments.

“Many British people in France live in quite remote, rural areas, with little or no public transport.

“Some are thinking of moving back to the UK. It’s quite desperate.”

PLEASE FOLLOW BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES: 

01:15am update: Pound increases gains against euro as Brexit Britain’s economy reopens after jab success

THE POUND has continued to gain against the euro as the UK’s vastly successful vaccine rollout scheme allows the economy to reopen.

It rose on yesterday’s high by 0.2 percent to make a euro worth 85.32 pence. As recently as last December a euro was worth 90 pence.

Commenting on the pounds recent strong performance, an expert put the jump down to Britain’s vaccination rollout and the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions.

Stuart Cole, chief macro strategist at Equiti Capital, said: “The sterling outlook remains positive, the combination of continued vaccinations, lifting of lockdown restrictions and rising yields all converging to support the pound.”

12:15am update: Can you retire to Spain after Brexit?

THE BREXIT transition period officially ended in January which means rules around living abroad have changed dramatically.

Spain is one of the most popular destinations for retirees from Britain. There are now more than 360,000 British citizens registered as residents in Spain according to official Spanish figures.

The average age of a British expatriate living in the country is 45, having been 50 and over before 2020. But can you retire to Spain after Brexit?

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Brexit news: Five moments which led to Brexit (Image: Express)

11:30pm update: EU vaccine fury: Brexiteer rage as ‘Brussels slimeballs’ AGAIN threaten UK with export ban

EU “SLIMEBALLS” have threatened to block vaccine exports to Britain again, a Brexit campaign group has blasted.

EU commissioner Thierry Breton said the UK was “totally dependent” on the bloc for vaccines as he hinted a blockade was still on the cards.

The French europhile’s outburst came just days after the EU spectacularly backtracked on a proposed ban after it threatened to spark a trade war with the UK.

Mr Breton appears to have learned nothing from the spat, arrogantly insisting “the British are unable to conduct vaccination policy on their own”.

Oliver Trapnell takes over from Paul Withers

8pm update: UK ‘true friend’ of Ireland, not EU! Irish leaders warned about bloc after ‘vaccine offer’

The UK’s vaccine offer shows that Britain is “Ireland’s true friend” not the European Union, Sammy Wilson, the DUP’s Brexit spokesman has claimed.

The former minister of finance in the Northern Ireland Assembly commented in the Newsletter that because the UK is reportedly willing to send millions of vaccine doses to Ireland, it should be clear that Britain “is Ireland’s true friend”.

Mr Wilson was speaking following a Sunday Times report that a scheme is being planned to “offer 3.7 million Covid jabs to Ireland”.

The Sunday Times quoted an anonymous “cabinet source” close to the Government, and said this move would be the first time the UK exported vaccines to an EU nation.

Mr Wilson said that the UK’s move to help Dublin with a shipment of millions of vaccines should make them question who their genuine friends are.

Owen Jones says Brexit museum is ‘really weird’ idea

6.15pm update: Sturgeon’s shameless bid to woo Brussels: SNP leader sent 31 Christmas cards to EU chiefs

Nicola Sturgeon has flooded EU Commission officials with more Christmas cards than their UK Government counterparts, the Express can reveal.

Freedom of Information requests reveal the Scottish First Minister sent 29 cards to European Commission officials compared to just two cards to UK Government colleagues last year.

Records reveal Ms Sturgeon sent cards to top diplomats including Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Head of the Taskforce for Relations with the United Kingdom Michel Barnier.

The Scottish First Minister also sent cards to the Prime Minister of Belgium and Iceland along with 59 members of the United States Congress.

German Europe Minister Michael Roth and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also received penned festive messages from the SNP leader.

4.50pm update: Macron recruits VDL in bid to class Britain a ‘rogue state’ in latest Brexit punishment

France is pushing for Britain to be classed as a “rogue state” in revenge for Brexit, insiders have warned.

President Emmanuel Macron wants the UK to be treated with the same level of suspicion as Russia, China and Iran.

He has secured the backing of top eurocrat Ursula von der Leyen, who has ordered officials to draw up plans to exclude British scientists from cutting-edge tech projects in collaboration with the bloc.

But a host of EU nations have launched a rebellion against the plot, insisting it would be foolish to shut out UK experts out of spite for Brexit.

One friendly EU diplomat fumed: “You can’t just put the UK in the same box as China and Iran.”

President Macron has enlisted the help of French commissioner Thierry Breton to ensure British, Swiss and Israeli experts are no longer allowed to take part in European science projects.

The pair fear our boffins could leak sensitive information on supercomputers, with military and space applications, to outside “power blocks”, according to a diplomatic note, seen by Express.co.uk

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Brexit news: France is pushing for Britain to be classed as a ‘rogue state’ in revenge for Brexit, insiders have warned (Image: GETTY)

3.45pm update: Britons now worrying less about Brexit – poll

Britons are now much less worried about Brexit than previously just a matter of weeks after the UK cut all ties with the EU.

Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,009 people from March 5-11.

Respondents were questioned over the big issues they considered for the country, with coronavirus dropping to 49 percent from 72 percent in February, although it remained the single biggest concern.

Brexit fell down the list of worries and was mentioned as a concern by 26 percent of respondents – its joint-lowest level since the EU referendum in June 2016.

3.30pm update: ‘Like a little kid!’ EU’s latest vaccine threats to UK torn apart by Frexit campaigner

Eurocrats’ relentless threats to the UK over bans on vaccine exports sparked the furious reaction of Frexit campaigner Charles-Henri Gallois.

The Generation Frexit leader lashed out against French MEP Pascal Canfin after he claimed London will be in a “very complicated” situation next month over vaccine supplies. The Renew MEP is Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment and Public Health.

Writing in Le Figaro, Mr Canfin said Europe is “now ready to block exports of AstraZeneca vaccines to the United Kingdom until the company closes its delivery delays”.

The comments infuriated Mr Gallois who took to Twitter to lambast the MEP.

He wrote: “Eurofanatics have still not supported the #BrexitFlag of United Kingdom.

“We can hardly be more hateful.

“He looks like the little kid who hasn’t done his homework and is trying to cheat.”

brexit news france eu uk vaccine

Brexit news: French MEP Pascal Canfin claimed the UK will be in a “very complicated” situation next month over vaccine supplies (Image: GETTY)

Paul Withers taking over live reporting from Bill McLoughlin.

2.50pm update: ‘Are you sneering at the flag?’ Susanna Reid skewers Owen Jones on GMB over Union Flag

Susanna Reid grilled Owen Jones on whether he was “sneering” at the Union Jack during a tense exchange on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

Owen Jones told ITV that he respected the flag and the importance of it to the British people. The political commentator added that he did not feel the current UK Government cannot protect their own people.

Ms Reid said: “Owen Jones, you stand accused of sneering at the flag, how do you respond?”

Mr Jones replied: “No, I think about my granddad who was amongst those who helped save this country from a Nazi invasion and helped save Europe from the Nazis.

“He was at sea, he was bombed twice with that flag flying above him and he was on an open boat.

“People like that fought for our rights and freedoms, I know how much the flag means to people.”

Owen Jones clashes with Jeremy Vine guest over Brexit

2pm update: French MEP orders Brussels to open its eyes – ‘London hasn’t collapsed after Brexit!’

A prominent French MEP has turned on Brussels – urging deluded and bitter Eurocrats to stop trying to punish the UK over Brexit.

Dominique Bilde attacked the European Union for continually taking cheap swipes at Britain in a desperate attempt to distract from its own failings.

The gaping hole between Brussels’ bureaucratic system and the soaraway success of Brexit is most keenly highlighted by the UK’s vastly superior vaccine rollout.

Analysts predict it will hit the key milestone of offering a jab to every adult two months earlier than the EU – allowing its economy to earn up to an extra £36 billion.

It comes despite some within the bloc previously calling on the EU to block vaccine exports to the UK.

Speaking to French publication Vu d’Europe, the member of France’s far-right National Rally party said: “The European Union doesn’t seem to accept the decision of the British.”

1.06pm update: Owen Jones hits out at Brexit museum plan as he warns of extra ‘division’ among Britons

Owen Jones has slammed the idea of a Brexit museum by claiming such a move could create further “division” amongst Britons.

Appearing on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine show the Guardian columnist questioned whether a Brexit museum would indeed be seen as a nice family day out for most Britons.

Mr Jones argued that the idea had likely only been thought up in order to “wind people up.”

Mr Jones said: “Is your idea of a nice family day out to go to the Brexit museum?

“Your family might be divided over it so that is one way to relitigate an argument that divided the nation, not something I am going to miss myself particularly.

“A lot of these ideas I genuinely think are brought up not because they are a good idea in of themselves but because people think they will wind other people up.

“I’m not wound up I just think it is really weird but it is funny, if people want to make a museum to Britain ending its direct relationship with the European Union as I said fill your boots, it’s just bizarre.”

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Brexit news: Tensions have soured since Brexit (Image: PA)

11.07am update: David Cameron’s Brexit failure as PM ‘should have pushed for fishing’ in EU catastrophe

David Cameron’s Brexit failure was laid bare as the former Prime Minister was told he should have pushed for more fishing rights in his fruitless negotiations with the EU.

Mr Cameron should have placed more importance on the rights of fishermen when he met with EU leaders before the Brexit vote, Express.co.uk was told.

The former Conservative Party leader travelled to Brussels as part of his campaign to remain in the EU, hoping to return with concessions.

He took a lengthy list of demands including on the border and migration – both hot topics during the Brexit debate.

The Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) told Express.co.uk: “Fishing wasn’t a factor in his 2016 attempts to renew the deal.

“There was stuff on immigration and borders, but I don’t think fishing was on his shopping list. But we would have argued it should have been.”

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Brexit news: The UK has attempted to end the vaccine row with the EU (Image: GETTY/PA)

10.17am update: Ban every EU ship! Boris urged to completely seal off UK waters in face of export threat

Britain needs to stop “playing the nice guy” and ban all EU vessels from UK waters until the bloc stops its vaccine grandstanding, a Brexit campaigner has said.

Jayne Adye, director of the Get Britain Out campaign, was speaking at a time of rising tension between London and Brussels, with the latter having taken steps to restrict the export of vaccines to countries which – like the UK – have significantly higher vaccination rates than that of the EU27.

Separately, Brexiteers remain deeply concerned at the impact of the trade deal signed by Boris Johnson on the British fishing industry, and believe access to UK waters should be restricted for this reason also.

Get Britain Out wrote to Environment Secretary George Eustice earlier this month urging him to ban all EU boats from British waters until the ongoing dispute over shellfish exports has been resolved.

But she told Express.co.uk it might be time to go even further, given the bloc’s behaviour in numerous areas, by imposing an outright ban which would send a strong message to Brussels.

She explained: “Unfortunately, the Prime Minister is concentrating on two fronts.

“He’s concentrating on trying to sort out the Covid problem that the EU has raised with the vaccine situation and he is also going around the country trying to keep his profile up for the May elections.”

UAE: Liz Truss discusses post-Brexit trade deal

9.33am update: Ten countries halt extradition with UK after Brexit 

Up to ten countries have suspended the tradition of criminals to the UK following Brexit, it has been revealed. 

With the UK now not part of the European Arrest Warrants scheme, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden will stop extraditing criminals to the UK.

To combat these issues, a new national extradition unit was formed by, Richard Martin, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Brexit. 

He said, there are two ways to resolve the issue: “One is we work with the Crown Prosecution Service and decide whether it is in the public interest to try and prosecute these individuals in their home countries.

“The second is we circulate them anyway on Interpol because as soon as they enter another country they’re fair game, so we can arrest them in that country and bring them back.”

Biden angers Boris

Biden may not make UK trade deal for years (Image: Getty Images)

8.51am update: Biden snubs UK! US President angers Boris as trade deal off cards for years

A bumper post-Brexit trade deal with the United States may not happen until 2024 after Washington decided not to prioritise a trade deal with Britain.

The Express understands a “fast and efficient” US trade deal is off the cards after Washington ruled out using a special exemption to speed up trade legislation through Congress.

This special power, which expires on July 1, is known as the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and was established by the Trump administration to accelerate the passing of trade deals through Congress.

Tensions also rose last night after the Biden administration published a list of British goods that could be hit by a 25 percent tariff in retaliation for the UK imposing digital services tax (DST) on technology firms.

Sources close to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss last night said the TPA and Tariff threat creates “an unnecessary and disappointing barrier.”

But one Whitehall source said a deal could “certainly be achieved” adding: “There is a positive tone on both sides but it could take years until the end of the current presidential term.”

8.14am update: Desperate Spain seeks to calm Brexodus fears as UK expats face being ousted from homes

Spain has attempted to calm Brexodus fears after British tourists and second-home owners were warned they are not allowed to spend more than 90 days in the country post-Brexit.

Hundreds of unregistered British citizens in Spain could be hit by new EU rules limiting visa-free visits to just six months.

However, reports Spain was planning a mass deportation of unregistered Britons were squashed by the Spanish interior ministry.

He said: “Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, and in accordance with the Brexit agreement with EU countries and international conventions, British citizens are subject to the same rules as citizens of other third-party countries.

“Like any other third-country citizens, the maximum period they can stay in Spain is three months – unless they have a work, study or another kind of visa that allows them to stay longer.”

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Brexit news: A timeline of events leading to the UK’s exit from the EU (Image: Express)

7.21am update: British expats now at risk of losing driving licences in France 

British nationals living in France may lose their driving licences due to the lack of a post-Brexit agreement. 

Prior to the UK’s exit, Emmanuel Macron’s government revealed all British residents must exchange their licence for a French one. 

Some UK nationals had attempted to do so but have been rejected by the French ANTS system on the grounds there is no reciprocal agreement. 

Amid this threat, up to 3,000 nationals could now be affected in what was described as a nightmarish scenario.

Kim Cranstoun, who is part of a Facebook group for nationals living in France, said: “I’d say there are 3,000 who are seriously worried – for whom this has really become nightmarish.

“Commuters risk losing their jobs, tradespeople can’t work, elderly people have missed medical appointments.

“Many British people in France live in quite remote, rural areas, with little or no public transport. Some are thinking of moving back to the UK. It’s quite desperate.”

A Government source told The Guardian that an agreement was close to being confirmed.

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