Farage challenges Rees-Mogg on improving Brexit deal
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Richard Griffiths, chief executive of the British Poultry Council, wants the Government to fast track workers as the sector faces huge disruptions that have forced leading restaurants including Nando’s and KFC to change or even cancel theoir service. He has blamed worker shortages following the UK’s departure from the European Union for the issues the food industry is now facing.
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Mr Griffiths said: “When you don’t have people, you have a problem – and this is something we are seeing across the whole supply chain.
“The labour crisis is a Brexit issue.”
The British Poultry Council boss added the industry, which is responsible for producing half of all the meat eaten in the UK, is reporting vacancies of over 16 percent.
He said: “The alarming number of gaps only continue to grow due to a government that continually acts against the best interests of British food producers.”
Brexit news: A poultry industry boss has hit out at the Government over the food shortage crisis (Image: GETTY)
Elsewhere Avara Foods, one of Britain’s largest poultry producers, has dismissed claims the industry crisis is being caused by workers being told to self-isolate after receiving a notification from the NHS Test & Trace app.
A spokesperson has instead blamed Brexit, and said: “Our concern is recruitment and filling vacancies when the UK workforce has been severely depleted as a result of Brexit; this is causing stress on UK supply chains in multiple sectors.”
The company added: “We’re monitoring the situation closely and are putting in place measures to mitigate the strain on our supply chain, but this can only go so far.”
A Government spokesperson said: “We have well-established ways of working with the food sector and are working closely with them to ensure businesses have the labour they need.
“We are looking at ways to help the sector recruit more domestic labour and invest in automation in order to reduce the reliance on migrant workers coming into the UK.”
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Boris Johnson (Image: PA)
8am update: This blog is now finished – click here for the latest updates
Angela Merkel’s plans have been torn apart by Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who told Express.co.uk that the Government “shouldn’t be taking lectures from anybody” on meeting their net-zero target.
The Government has published its strategy to “kick start a world-leading hydrogen economy” in the UK.
Laying out the plans, Mr Kwarteng said it will support over 9,000 UK jobs and unlock £4billion worth of investment by 2030.
But INEOS, one of the UK’s largest producers of hydrogen, has warned the Government must now move “quickly and decisively” to level up with the rest of Europe, claiming that we currently “lag far behind Germany”.
Brussels’ embarrassing U-turn on its stance on the Taliban has been lambasted in France.
EU’s chief diplomat Joseph Borrell said on Tuesday that the bloc will only cooperate with the Taliban if they respect fundamental rights, including those of women, and prevent the use of Afghanistan’s territory by terrorists.
He told a news conference: “The Taliban have won the war, so we will have to talk with them.
He added that the EU side would “engage in a dialogue, as soon as necessary, to prevent a humanitarian and potential migratory disaster”.
Brxit news: Boris Johnson and his Government have sparked fury in the food industry (Image: GETTY)
3: 45am update: EU deal to import vaccines from Africa ‘stuns’ WHO chief
World Health Organisation chief Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus has issued a stinging rebuke to the EU after the confirmation of a deal whereby vaccines will be shipped from South Africa to Europe, in a move he said had left him “stunned”.
Speaking to reporters yesterday Dr Ghebreyesus told reporters just 10 countries had administered 75 percent of their populations, while low-income countries have vaccinated barely two percent of theirs.
He said: ”I called for a temporary moratorium on boosters to help shift supply to those countries that have not even been able to vaccinate their health workers and at-risk communities and are now experiencing major spikes.
“The divide between the haves and have nots will only grow larger if manufacturers and leaders prioritise booster shots oversupply to low- and middle-income countries,” said the world health chief.
Poland has issued a huge challenge to the supremacy of EU law in a move that could rock the bloc’s foundations.
In a seven-page letter to the European Commission, Warsaw set out numerous rulings from continental courts that argue EU law does not always have primacy.
Polish European affairs minister Konrad Szymanski even listed Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, which has recently questioned a European Court of Justice judgement on the European Central Bank’s bond-buying programme.
The letter comes after the ECJ ruled that Poland’s disciplinary chamber of its judges was in breach of EU law.
Brexit in front pages (Image: Express)
1: 00am update: EU’s flagship recovery plan ripped apart bit by bit
Ursula Von Der Leyen’s boasted recovery plan for member states was shredded to pieces by a Frexiteer.
France today received the first €5.1billion of the EU recovery funds destined for Emmanuel Macron’s government to ensure the successful bounce back from Covid for France.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen bragged about the first payment on social media, claiming this was the first concrete step towards full economic recovery.
She added: “With its recovery and resilience plan, France invests in the economy of tomorrow, focussing on the green & digital transitions, on competitiveness and on social and territorial cohesion.”
11: 45pm update: Britons taunt europhiles as damning report exposes EU
Britons have taunted Remainers after a damning new report exposed a major flaw of EU membership
Analysis by pro-Brexit think tank Facts4EU has suggested staying in the single market – a key argument put forward by europhiles in the 2016 referendum – would have been detrimental to the UK.
A study using figures from the European Commission’s Single Market Scoreboard 2020, suggested Britain did not reap the benefits of the free moment of goods and services as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Compared to the other 28 EU member states at the time, it found the UK ranked 27th in terms of goods and 26th in relation to services.
David Atkins taking over live reporting from Paul Withers
Michael Fallon and Ursula von der Leyen (Image: PA)
Brexit tension between the UK and Germany reached boiling point as German media branded Prime Minister Boris Johnson a “cocky troublemaker”.
The European media has continued to watch the Brexit process closely as UK-EU relations remain tense.
In June, a German journalist said Britain is doing “better” than Germany during the pandemic and despite Brexit, the UK is now in the “economic fast lane”.
Gabor Steingart wrote: “Boris Johnson and his British do not need to be understood.
“But a look at the island can’t hurt to see what went better and is going better there during the pandemic in comparison to Germany.
“Despite Brexit, Great Britain is currently in the economic fast lane.”
While Mr Steingart praised the UK, European media has mostly viewed Brexit and indeed Prime Minister Johnson in a negative light.
When Mr Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019, German media offered its verdict on his promotion.
German news show Tagesschau described the controversial politician as a “cocky troublemaker”.
Drivers of company cars should have “no corporate leeway” on speeding when new EU limiter technology is installed in cars.
Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck said firms should be taking a “zero tolerance” approach to drivers who break limits. The new rule means all vehicles sold in Europe from July 2022 will need to be fitted with an intelligent speed assistance (ISA) tool.
While an official decision has yet to be made, the UK is likely to adopt the new rule despite leaving the EU.
This is because the UK has retained most EU laws for new cars as it helps standardise manufacturing practices.
The new tool will use GPS data and traffic cameras to determine the speed limit of each road.
The engine power of your vehicle will then be restricted to match the speed so drivers cannot drive faster than the limit.
However, drivers can still override the system by pressing down hard on the accelerator.
The tool will then restrict the fuel flow to the engine and issue audio and visual warnings until the car has slowed down.
Brexit news: The European trade landscape after the UK’s departure from the EU (Image: EXPRESS)
A tense row over post-Brexit fishing licences between France and the UK could escalate into a second protest by fishermen in the English Channel, Express.co.uk has learnt.
The French Government is getting concerned about the lack of action UK Government officials are taking on granting licences to allow EU fishermen in the UK’s 12-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Paris officials claim the UK “isn’t taking effective action” and stressed some fishermen especially in the Hauts-de-France region were “getting frustrated”.
A Paris source added: “The UK Government appears slow to act in granting licences, despite them receiving the information from us via the European Commission weeks ago.
“This is concerning and we urge the UK to urgently act else we could be facing another Jersey scenario.”
Officials were referring to a separate dispute over licences that flared in May when France and Britain sent patrol vessels off the shores of Jersey.
Frexiteer Charles-Henri Gallois brilliantly ridiculed Remainers over the rise in wages of workers in the UK as a direct effect of Brexit.
Brexit Britain saw workers’ wages surge following the reopening of the economy amid fears over the impact of inflation.
The latest labour market figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that total earnings, including bonuses, rose by 8.8 percent for the three months to June against the same period last year.
Meanwhile, earnings excluding bonuses were up 7.4 percent for the period, in line with analyst predictions.
The positive figures were praised by Frexiteer Charles-Henri Gallois who took the opportunity to mock Remainers’ over their pre-Brexit warnings of shortage of manpower.
He said: “The Eurolaters explained to us that the shortage of manpower, since the United Kingdom regained control of its migration policy, was a disaster.
“The reality: wages are up 8.8 percent! “We would like such a disaster in France!”
Brexit Britain ‘firing on all cylinders’ says expert
Paul Withers taking over live reporting from Ciaran McGrath.
13.58pm update: Vaccine deal is “temporary”, insists EU
The European Commission said on Thursday it had reached a temporary agreement with South Africa to use a plant there to bottle Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines that are being imported into the EU.
On Wednesday the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters he was “stunned” by news that J&J vaccines were being exported from South Africa to the EU, because the EU has already very high vaccination rates while in many African countries not even the most vulnerable have been vaccinated.
The news of South Africa’s exports of vaccines to the EU was reported by the New York Times on Monday, confirming earlier public statements from South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and from the South African drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare, which bottles the J&J vaccines.
A spokesperson for the European Commission told reporters on Thursday the agreement with South Africa was reached after J&J faced problems in producing vaccines in the United States at a factory belonging to its partner Emergent Biosolutions.
Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO (Image: GETTY)
Poland said on Wednesday it had sent more than 900 troops to help secure its border with Belarus and stop migrants entering the country.
EU countries accused Belarus on Wednesday of conducting “a direct attack” by pushing asylum seekers across its border and, uneasy about the prospect of a surge of Afghan migrants, agreed they need to strengthen their external borders in the future.
Polish troops rushed to the border to stop migrants from entering the country.
Polish Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wąsik said: “The border guard will not be admitting illegal immigrants to Poland.”
Elon Musk is “interested” in building a Tesla gigafactory in the UK after facing a red tape nightmare in Berlin, Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has exclusively told Express.co.uk.
The Tesla CEO said he hoped the first cars will roll off the production line in Gruenheide, near Berlin, in October after visiting the site to grill both state leaders and executives of the company building the factory.
Tesla has pushed back the expected opening of the gigafactory to late 2021 following German bureaucratic hurdles and environmental concerns.
But as the environmental agency in Brandenburg has yet to give final approval, a further delay cannot reportedly be ruled out, even until 2022.
Ardent Brexit critic Guy Vefhofstadt has delivered a furious rant over EU member states’ expenditure on security and defence, hinting at the formation of a joint EU army.
The Belgian MEP shared a map on Twitter showing the amount of cash spent by major powers in the world on defence, pointing out the EU spends as much as China.
Mr Verhofstadt suggested the creation of a united EU army in the bloc could save millions on defence but instead claimed member states prefer to cling on to national sovereignty powers.
He blasted: “Here’s what non-cooperation costs us: EU spends as much on defence as China… and gets little power or security in return.
“Why? Because we cling to a failed and archaic idea of ’national sovereignty’ and a flawed dependence on the US.
“Only a strong EU is respected world wide.”
Guy Verhofstadt is a vociferous critic of Brexit (Image: GETTY)
The EU’s Single Market has always worked against Britain, and in favour of the bloc, made almost £1.2trillion from the UK over the last nearly 15 years, an eye-opening new analysis has indicated.
And the Facts4EU’s report also underlines the fact that the EU sells more to Britain than almost 200 other nations combined.
The pro-Brexit think tank used figures from Eurostat, the EU’s own statistics division, to highlight the bloc’s trade surplus with the UK between 2006 and 2020, which marked the end of the post-Brexit transition period.
During that time, the EU sold exported goods worth £3.41trillion, with goods worth £2.24trillion going the other way – a surplus of £1.17trillion.
Brexit Britain has kept its crown as Europe’s biggest financial centre, a collection of figures and data has indicated.
Despite leaving the bloc in December 2020, a new report from the European Banking Authority (EBA) revealed the UK retains the majority of highly paid bankers in the EU.
It revealed 71 percent of the 4,963 bankers in the top pay category across the bloc were in the UK in 2019.
This is despite the annual survey of bankers revealing that 95 bankers earning more than €1million (£850,000) left Britain ahead of its departure from the European Union.
Five key moments which led to Brexit (Image: Express)
Alastair Campbell has attacked broadcasters for being scared of using the word “Brexit” in his latest tweet.
Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Mr Campbell made comments about job data being mentioned on the news and took yet another jab at Brexit.
He went on to say: “Watched news on job vacancies figures.
Presented as some kind of success when a lot of them are the jobs leading to rotting fruit, immobile lorries and understaffed hospitality, caused by EU exodus.” Mr Campbell then added: “The determination of broadcasters to avoid saying the word ‘Brexit’ is weird.”
The EU is a ticking time bomb and will “not exist as we know it” in two years’ time, according to an economist who made the doomsday prediction almost a decade ago.
Professor Patrick Minford said: “This updates the forecast for the latest numbers and shows we are on course for 8 percent growth in 2021 and another eight percent in 2022.”
In the Liverpool Investment Letter, the former Economists for Brexit member expressed a desire for the UK to “pursue a bold tax cutting strategy for growth and levelling up”.
The fellow at the Centre for Brexit Policy told Express.co.uk: “The Letter also highlights the need for a positive programme of tax cuts, reformed regulation and spending to support and boost growth.
“This extra growth will more than pay off the short term rise in debt.”
Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP is living on “fantasy island”, Professor David Blake has said (Image: GETTY)
Margaret Thatcher’s former adviser has said the UK’s recent economic bounce back is “connected” to Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Patrick Minford, Brexit-backing Professor from Cardiff University, noted the importance of a well-ordered vaccine drive away from the EU.
He said: “The bounce back is largely due to the vaccination success and yes, this was connected to being outside the EU so the Government could move fast, without worrying about EU state aid rules, and using our own medical regulator.”
Outside of the EU and with it the European Medicines Agency, the UK was able to push ahead with approving doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
A major Brexit battle is at risk of breaking out over the Northern Ireland Protocol as the UK Government could demand an extension to grace periods for key products which expire next month.
The Protocol, part of the Brexit divorce deal agreed by the UK and Brussels, effectively keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods.
This means checks on goods being sent from Great Britain into the single market in some cases could result in prohibitions on certain products that do not comply with EU rules.
Following unionist anger over the Protocol at Stormont, Brexit minister Lord Frost put forward plans to renegotiate the Protocol, which he set out in a Command Paper last month.
Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP is living on “fantasy island” if it thinks the EU would permit an independent Scotland to join the bloc with a national debt amounting to £300billion, a UK economist has warned.
These indicated the country’s budget deficit had more than doubled to 22.4 percent of GDP in 2020/21, the highest yearly figure since the Government’s annual accounts began two decades ago.
Spending increased by 21 percent during the year, reflecting the impact of the pandemic, while average public spending per person also rose to £1,828 above the UK average.