Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn at the first PMQs of 2020 and Johnson’s meeting with the new European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen 9.34am GMT The BBC’s Europe editor, Katya Adler, has posted a helpful thread on Twitter about the talks between Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen in Downing Street today. It starts here.How significant is Boris Johnson meeting with new European Commission President @vonderleyen this afternoon? It’s significant in that it’s their first face-to-face in their new roles BUT today does not mark start of post #Brexit trade talks. Why? /1PM will counter with ‘truths’ of his own: i) that negotiations have to be done by December bc he won’t extend the ‘transition period’ UK enters into after leaving EU on 31 Jan. And why? Politically v difficult for him to defend eg paying into EU budget after #Brexit ALSO.. /10PM will repeat today that UK leaving EU to be sovereign nation, not to align itself to EU rules even after leaving the bloc. Johnson’s priority will be deviation from EU regulations after #Brexit to ease trade deals with others, esp United States BUT /11PM also will be wary of punishing new supporters in north of England by refusing to ease trade with EU in manufacturing for example. So: current EU assumption is that they’ll end up doing sector by sector deals with UK, with PM agreeing to alignment with EU in some areas eg /12 9.13am GMT One of Boris Johnson’s ambitions for 2020, apparently, is to turn Brexit into a story for the business pages and not the front pages (assuming he fails in his reported ambition to get people to stop using the word altogether). You might think some of the Brexiters have concluded that the whole process hasn’t been quite the triumph that some of them were predicting in 2016. But it would be surprising if the UK-EU trade negotiating taking place this year does not end up being a front page story and, although that negotiation is not starting today, there will be an important landmark in the process when Boris Johnson holds his first meeting with the new president of the European commission, the former German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen. They will meet in Downing Street this afternoon, a few hours after Von der Leyen delivers a lecture on the UK-EU relationship at the LSE.According to Downing Street, Johnson will tell Von der Leyen that he is firmly committed to wrapping up the negotiation this year (which many experts think is unrealistic), that he is firmly opposed to extending the post-Brexit transition period and that the new deal will not be based on “alignment” with EU rules. In a statement last night Downing Street said:At the leaders’ first face to face meeting since Von der Leyen took office in December, the prime minister is expected to stress the importance of agreeing a confident and positive future relationship by the end of December 2020.He is expected to tell President Von der Leyen that, having waited for over three years to get Brexit done, both British and EU citizens rightly expect negotiations on an ambitious free trade agreement (FTA) to conclude on time. There will be no extension to the implementation period, which will end in December 2020 as set out in the political declaration. The withdrawal agreement bill enshrines this in UK law.Ursula von der Leyen meeting Boris Johnson today. This is *not* to launch trade talks. UK has not left yet and EU has no mandate.
VDL (at LSE and No10) likely to stress Brexit has consequences. EU officials still concerned Johnson has not abandoned ‘cake and eat it’ approach. Related: Iran launches missile attack at US forces in Iraq at al-Asad and Erbil – live updates Continue reading…
Source link : https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2020/jan/08/brexit-pmqs-boris-johnson-corbyn-to-tell-eu-chief-at-first-meeting-that-trade-deal-wont-be-based-on-alignment-live-news
Author : Andrew Sparrow
Publish date : 2020-01-08 09:34:27
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