Blog: ‘It’s ridiculous!’ Panicked Ireland attacks UK for refusing to extend Brexit transition – Daily Express

In an interview, foreign minister Simon Coveney hit back at the claims the European Union’s refusal to drop demands over access to Britain’s fishing grounds and common standards had drawn out the wrangling. But he insisted a deal was still possible despite both sides’ disagreements on the main sticking points. Mr Coveney said: “The British Government was offered a much longer transition period and they turned it down yet they’re now blaming the EU for it. That’s just ridiculous.

“They were very clear that they didn’t want any more time despite the fact the EU was asking them to ask for it. The decision on the timelines is very much a British Government decision, not an EU one.

“I do think a deal is possible but it needs to be finalised this week if possible because we really are running out of time.”

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Blog: Time ‘running out’ for Brexit trade deal – The Canberra Times

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Britain and the European Union are running out of time to clinch a Brexit trade deal but if good progress is made this week then the talks could be extended, Environment Secretary George Eustice says.. With just over four weeks left until the United Kingdom finally exits the EU’s orbit on December 31, both sides are demanding concessions from the other on fishing, state aid and how to resolve any future disputes. “We really are now running out of time, this is the crucial week, we need to get a breakthrough,” Eustice told Sky on Monday. “I really do think we are now in to the final week or 10 days, of course if great progress were made this week and you’re nearly there it’s always possible to extend those negotiations,” he said. Britain formally left the EU on January 31 but has been in a transition period since then under which rules on trade, travel and business remain unchanged. From the start of 2021 it will be treated by Brussels as a third country. The two sides are trying to strike a trade deal on goods that would safeguard nearly $US1 trillion ($A1.35 trillion) in annual trade and buttress peace in British-ruled Northern Ireland. Talks between EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and British chief negotiator David Frost continued on Sunday. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was a very significant week for Brexit. “David Frost had made clear that we’re continuing the negotiations because we still think there is a prospect that we can get an agreement and while there is we should persevere with those,” Eustice said. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said a deal could be done this week, but there needed to be give and take on both sides. On fishing, Britain dug in its heels. While fishing alone contributed just 0.03 per cent of British economic output in 2019, it is an emotive subject as many Brexit supporters see it as a symbol of the regained sovereignty that leaving the EU should bring. Combined with fish and shellfish processing, then the sector makes up 0.1 per cent of UK GDP. Britain wants “zonal attachment” to agree a total allowable catch for the United Kingdom’s waters – a step that would give it a much larger quota share than if the fish maths were worked out on the EU’s proposals. “All we’re asking for … is there to be annual negotiations based on the science and also for there to be a move towards a fairer, more scientific sharing methodology which is called zonal attachment which is broadly where the fish are to be found,” Eustice told BBC radio. “Under that analysis we currently only have access to about half of the fish in our own waters, that is profoundly unfair on our fishermen, we’ve been clear throughout that needs to change.” Australian Associated Press

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Time ‘running out’ for Brexit trade deal

Britain and the European Union are running out of time to clinch a Brexit trade deal but if good progress is made this week then the talks could be extended, Environment Secretary George Eustice says..

With just over four weeks left until the United Kingdom finally exits the EU’s orbit on December 31, both sides are demanding concessions from the other on fishing, state aid and how to resolve any future disputes.

“We really are now running out of time, this is the crucial week, we need to get a breakthrough,” Eustice told Sky on Monday.

“I really do think we are now in to the final week or 10 days, of course if great progress were made this week and you’re nearly there it’s always possible to extend those negotiations,” he said.

Britain formally left the EU on January 31 but has been in a transition period since then under which rules on trade, travel and business remain unchanged. From the start of 2021 it will be treated by Brussels as a third country.

The two sides are trying to strike a trade deal on goods that would safeguard nearly $US1 trillion ($A1.35 trillion) in annual trade and buttress peace in British-ruled Northern Ireland.

Talks between EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and British chief negotiator David Frost continued on Sunday. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was a very significant week for Brexit.

“David Frost had made clear that we’re continuing the negotiations because we still think there is a prospect that we can get an agreement and while there is we should persevere with those,” Eustice said.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said a deal could be done this week, but there needed to be give and take on both sides.

On fishing, Britain dug in its heels.

While fishing alone contributed just 0.03 per cent of British economic output in 2019, it is an emotive subject as many Brexit supporters see it as a symbol of the regained sovereignty that leaving the EU should bring. Combined with fish and shellfish processing, then the sector makes up 0.1 per cent of UK GDP.

Britain wants “zonal attachment” to agree a total allowable catch for the United Kingdom’s waters – a step that would give it a much larger quota share than if the fish maths were worked out on the EU’s proposals.

“All we’re asking for … is there to be annual negotiations based on the science and also for there to be a move towards a fairer, more scientific sharing methodology which is called zonal attachment which is broadly where the fish are to be found,” Eustice told BBC radio.

“Under that analysis we currently only have access to about half of the fish in our own waters, that is profoundly unfair on our fishermen, we’ve been clear throughout that needs to change.”

Australian Associated Press

Blog: Pound ticks up on potential extension of Brexit talks – Yahoo Finance UK

Pound ticks up on potential extension of Brexit talks

Lucy Harley-McKeown

·2-min read
If good progress is made this week the talks could continue into the new year, environment secretary George Eustice said on Monday. Photo: Hannah McKay/Reuters
If good progress is made this week the talks could continue into the new year, environment secretary George Eustice said on Monday. Photo: Hannah McKay/Reuters

The pound gained slightly this morning against the euro (GBPEUR=X) and the dollar (GBPUSD=X) on the news from that Brexit negotiations could be extended if a deal isn’t struck before the deadline.

Sterling was up 0.2% on the dollar to trade at 1.3335, and 0.1% on the euro, sitting at 1.1139 at 8.20am on Monday in London.

If good progress is made this week the talks could continue into the new year, environment secretary George Eustice said on Monday.

“We really are now running out of time, this is the crucial week, we need to get a breakthrough,” he told Sky.

“I really do think we are now in to the final week or 10 days, of course if great progress were made this week and you’re nearly there it’s always possible to extend those negotiations.”

The pound was slightly up against the euro this morning in London. Chart: Yahoo FinanceThe pound was slightly up against the euro this morning in London. Chart: Yahoo Finance
The pound was slightly up against the euro this morning in London. Chart: Yahoo Finance

As the clock ticks down to the official deadline of 31 December, both sides are demanding concessions on fisheries, state aid and how to resolve future disputes.

READ MORE: Brexit: Dominic Raab calls on EU to accept ‘point of principle’ on fisheries

“There are some rumors in the market that the EU block may finally accept the UK’s proposal on fisheries. This means that the transmission period on Fisheries may be allowed,” said analysts at Avatrade in a morning email.

“If the rumor is true, this will be a big deal for Brexit as fisheries have been the most disturbing topic between the EU and the UK, and if any one of them can move or show flexibility on these, we could see the grid lock breaking up which has been there for several months.”

Watch: What happens if no Brexit deal is struck?

Over the weekend Dominic Raab emphasised that Britain’s position as “an independent, coastal state” meant it must be able to control its waters but added that there could be a transition period for an agreement over fishing rights.

“We can talk about transitions and things like that and we recognise the impact on other countries round Europe,” he said.

Although Britain officially left the EU in January 2020, the post-Brexit transition period ends on 31 December.

If no agreement is made, trade will default to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules — a move which would impact borders, spook financial markets and disrupt delicate supply chains that stretch across Europe and beyond, particularly at a time when the world is grappling with COVID-19.

Blog: Time is running out for Brexit trade deal, UK minister says – Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain and the European Union are running out of time to clinch a Brexit trade deal but if good progress is made this week then the talks could be extended, Environment Secretary George Eustice said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: A British Union Jack flag flutters outside the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

With just over four weeks left until the United Kingdom finally exits the EU’s orbit on Dec. 31, both sides are demanding concessions from the other on fishing, state aid and how to resolve any future disputes.

“We really are now running out of time, this is the crucial week, we need to get a breakthrough,” Eustice told Sky.

“I really do think we are now in to the final week or 10 days, of course if great progress were made this week and you’re nearly there it’s always possible to extend those negotiations,” he said.

Britain formally left the EU on Jan. 31 but has been in a transition period since then under which rules on trade, travel and business remain unchanged. From the start of 2021 it will be treated by Brussels as a third country.

The two sides are trying to strike a trade deal on goods that would safeguard nearly $1 trillion in annual trade and buttress peace in British-ruled Northern Ireland.

Talks between EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and British chief negotiator David Frost continued on Sunday. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was a very significant week for Brexit.

“David Frost had made clear that we’re continuing the negotiations because we still think there is a prospect that we can get an agreement and while there is we should persevere with those,” Eustice said.

FISH

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said a deal could be done this week, but there needed to be give and take on both sides.

On fishing, Britain dug in its heels.

While fishing alone contributed just 0.03% of British economic output in 2019, it is an emotive subject as many Brexit supporters see it as a symbol of the regained sovereignty that leaving the EU should bring. Combined with fish and shellfish processing, then the sector makes up 0.1% of UK GDP.

Britain wants “zonal attachment” to agree a total allowable catch for the United Kingdom’s waters – a step that would give it a much larger quota share than if the fish maths were worked out on the EU’s proposals.

“All we’re asking for … is there to be annual negotiations based on the science and also for there to be a move towards a fairer, more scientific sharing methodology which is called zonal attachment which is broadly where the fish are to be found,” Eustice told BBC radio.

“Under that analysis we currently only have access to about half of the fish in our own waters, that is profoundly unfair on our fishermen, we’ve been clear throughout that needs to change.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; editing by James Davey, William Maclean

Blog: FOCUS-Christmas, coronavirus and fear of no-deal Brexit push Europe’s warehouses to the limit – Reuters

LISBON (Reuters) – Retailers worldwide have never had more reason to pack warehouses to the brim and keep stock closer to shoppers who continue to buy a record number of items online.

General view of Europa Worldwide Group’s warehouse in Corby, Britain in this November 2020 handout obtained by Reuters November 28, 2020. Europa Worldwide Group/Handout via REUTERS

As well as stocking up for Christmas and any potential coronavirus-related lockdowns, Europe and the UK will soon have Brexit to deal with.

British companies are bringing as much as possible into the country before potential disruptions in January, while their European counterparts are piling up goods in pan-European distribution hubs close to ports like Hamburg or Rotterdam.

E-commerce management platforms including ZigZag and Global-e– which serve Forever 21, Boohoo, Gap, Selfridges and Hugo Boss — said around 30-35% of UK retailers’ sales are to customers in continental Europe. Brands popular in the UK like Chinese e-commerce retailer Shein or American sportswear brand Under Armour are currently stocked exclusively in the EU, ZigZag CEO Al Gerrie said.

The rise in e-commerce throughout the year as a consequence of the pandemic had already pushed warehouse space to the limit.

“Most carriers already operated at Christmas volumes during the first wave. If you now add the Christmas effect on top, it’s just getting even more challenging,” CFO of European e-commerce retailer Zalando, David Schroeder, said in November.

Demand for storage space after Brexit could shoot up even further as retailers seek to avoid customs checks and, if no deal is struck, tariffs.

“Retailers won’t want to be caught out again,” said Nick Cook, head of Europe for warehouse owner GLP, referring to the potential supply shocks Brexit could bring. Their warehouses, covering 3.3 million square metres in continental Europe and 700,000 in the UK leased to companies including H&M, Amazon and DHL are currently 97% occupied.

STOCKING UP

In the UK, leasing volumes for commercial warehouse space are at record levels of 32.5 million square feet and projected to grow to 40 million by the end of the year, according to real estate advisory firm CBRE.

Logistics operator Europa Worldwide Group, which delivers goods for retailers and third parties like DHL and Amazon, is holding 60% more e-commerce products than this time last year, the company said.

Shoe producer Vivo Barefoot said it was shipping as many shoes as possible from its Portugal manufacturing site to its UK warehouse ahead of December.

M&S, Next, and Primark said earlier this year their warehouses were still holding unsold summer clothing.

Even after the pandemic, demand for warehouse space is expected to remain high as customers now used to ordering online continue to do so. E-commerce generally requires around three times as much warehouse capacity as physical retail, according to figures from Prologis.

SPREADING OUT

Warehouse developer Panattoni Chief Executive Robert Dobrzycki said pandemic border closures spurred retailers to separate stock by country instead of stocking for several countries in one shared warehouse space.

“We’re seeing a move away from just-in-time logistics strategies and increasingly towards just-in-case,” said Andrew Jones of property firm Londonmetric in a November earnings call. “Not only in the period we’re all living through at the moment, but also the period we’re going to live through post-Brexit.” Retailers could also seek to split logistics operations across the UK and EU to avoid charges.

Even with a deal, cross-border traders will have to pay charges on goods travelling between the UK and EU and track every order with commercial paperwork. Britain’s logistics industry estimates that 250 million customs declarations a year will be needed for EU trade.

Holding stock in both markets would eliminate that problem and is a solution the biggest players have opted for. Amazon said in July that from December 28 onwards it would no longer distribute goods for merchants between the UK and the EU – instead, they would have to send their stock separately to fulfilment centres in both regions.

Meanwhile other industry players are beginning to discuss options like converting agricultural buildings, empty space on run-down high streets or vacant basements into warehouse space, according to research by firms including Savills and JLL.

But the construction and conversion process is slow and has been hit by delays during the pandemic and many plans are still a pipe dream.

“At this point, you may just need to choose your market,” Tim Crighton, head of EMEA at real estate advisory Cushman & Wakefield, said.

Parker Lane Group, a UK-based returns facility with offices in Barcelona and Warsaw, said some clients were positioning goods to mitigate tariffs but others said very few of their customers had made any arrangements yet.

“Retailers haven’t pulled the trigger just yet, because of the uncertainty around Brexit,” Al Gerrie of ZigZag said.By the time they do, there may not be much space left to lease.

“If people want warehousing today, you’re looking at older, second-hand, more functionally awkward space, without the same height or loading doors of newbuilds,” Paul Weston, head of Prologis for the UK, said.

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee in Lisbon, Michael Kahn in Prague, Sonya Dowsett in Madrid; Additional reporting by James Davey; Editing by Vanessa O’Connell, Elaine Hardcastle

Blog: How Oxford residents are preparing for the looming Brexit deadline – Witney Gazette

As the days until the Brexit transition count down, Oxford residents have shared their worries about how life may changed whether or not the UK reaches a deal with the European Union.

While some people are stockpiling supplies of food they think might be more expensive once the transition ends, others are concerned about how the end of the close trading relationship might mean fewer opportunities for work.

Others still are not concerned at all, and have not made extra plans.

James Fishar said he was stocking up on long lasting foods and medicines, and described his actions as ‘hedging his bets’ in case there was no deal.

ALSO READ: Man who killed with ‘one punch’ at Redbridge Hollow jailed

He added: “We just buy a little extra of beans, rice, pasta, frozen goods each time. Over the last couple of months we’ve got a shelf of cans, 10kg of chapati flour, 7kg rice, 5kg pasta and range of dried pulses. It takes a small cupboard.”

Matthew Gaskin added: “I’m anticipating shortages and supply problems and am stocking up on things that aren’t made in the UK that I’ll need. The Government don’t see food as strategically important and are leaving it entirely to the market.”

Witney Gazette:

Amir Ali

Amir Ali said he was worried about how the double hit of Covid and Brexit might hit the UK and specifically the NHS.

He said: “I don’t know if Brexit is right or wrong thing to do, but I believe in this current Covid situation will affect whole of UK if Brexit happens soon, because many NHS staffs are European, last thing we want is shortages of NHS staff and risking more lives as government has already done so by not taking Covid actions immediately from day one.”

And Emma Tucker said leaving the EU had scuppered her plans to study abroad, which she described as ‘massively disappointing’.

ALSO READ: Oxfordshire’s local Covid tracing has helped to break the chain of transmission

Ms Tucker said she had wanted to study a Masters course at Radbourd University in the Netherlands but the prohibitive costs for non-EU students compared to EU students would prevent her from doing this.

She said: “I wanted to study there because in comparison to UK university master’s fees (£24k) it was so much cheaper, and also it’s a chance to travel and learn a new culture.

“It feels frustrating, because it’s not a move I voted for, and the fact that the Brexit people did vote for is completely different to what has actually happened is awful! I’m all for democracy, so if we as a country have voted for Brexit then it should of course go ahead, but only if the reasons why we voted for Brexit have been upheld and maintained in the deals made by the Government.”

Witney Gazette:

A vigil on January 31 in Oxford’s Bonn Square, the day Brexit officially took place

Others said they would continue to live as normal.

Linda Jones said she would continue ‘minding my own business and paying my bills.’

She added that, if there was no deal by the end of December, then businesses would be hit the hardest.

She said: “I think, and I could be wrong, either way the small business person on the high street will be the ones that feel the most negative impact either way, particularly as they are now hit hard with Covid restrictions.

“For the everyday person, non-business related, just going on with their everyday life then I don’t think it will impact us as much.”

The UK Government said that the country had a resilient food chain which could cope with the potential of a no deal scenario.

A statement from the Government said: “As we have seen in recent months, the UK has a highly-resilient food supply chain, a food industry that is well versed in dealing with scenarios that can impact food supply, and consumers in the UK have access to a range of sources of food, including countless domestic food producers.

“This will continue to be the case after December 2020.”

Brexit negotiations are currently still in process and are being held by video link to prevent the spread of Covid.

Blog: Financial services feel the squeeze due to pandemic and Brexit – This is Money

Pandemic and Brexit deadline cause slump in number of foreign firms planning to invest in UK’s financial services industry

By Daily Mail City & Finance Reporter

Published: | Updated:

The pandemic and Brexit deadline have caused a slump in the number of foreign firms planning to invest in the UK’s financial services industry. 

Only 10 per cent of global financial services companies plan to establish or expand operations in Britain in the next year, down from 45 per cent in April, according to accountancy firm EY. 

Overseas investors are increasingly focusing on the digital sector, real estate and construction and healthcare. 

Slump: Only 10 per cent of global financial services companies plan to establish or expand operations in Britain in the next year

Despite the downturn in short-term sentiment, 53 per cent of firms surveyed now expect the UK to be more attractive for foreign investment in three years’ time, up from 40 per cent earlier in the year. 

Douglas McWilliams, of the Centre for Economics and Business Research, suggested that pessimism surrounding the UK’s post-Brexit prospects may be being overdone.

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Blog: European shares slip at end of stellar month; eyes on Brexit – Reuters India

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 25, 2020. REUTERS/Staff

(Reuters) – Europe’s benchmark stock index opened lower on Monday with focus on Brexit negotiations, but was still on track for its best month on record on the prospect of easing coronavirus restrictions and hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine.

After face-to-face talks restarted on Saturday, investors await news of a call between UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, seen as the first sign of movement either towards a trade deal or of talks crumbling five weeks ahead of the deadline.

London’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.3%, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.5% after four weeks of gains which have seen it rise nearly 15% so far in November.

Oil and gas stocks were the biggest decliners in Europe, down 2%, with BP and Royal Dutch Shell sliding as crude prices fell ahead of a meeting of producer group OPEC+ to decide whether to extend large output cuts to balance global markets. [O/R]

Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta