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Brexit news – live: Ireland forced to ease customs checks as UK fishermen halt exports to EU

Follow the latest updates from Westminster

Samuel Osborne,Joe Middleton
Friday 08 January 2021 21:40 GMT
Brexit Briefing: The end of the transition period

Fishermen in the UK are halting their exports to European Union countries over new border bureaucracy introduced by the government as part of Brexit.

It comes as the Brexit campaign group has moved its internet registration to the Republic of Ireland in order to keep its .eu domain name after the UK left the European Union.

The group was founded by businessman Aaron Banks and supported by Nigel Farage and has pushed for the hardest possible Brexit since it pushed for Leave in the 2016 referendum.

Meanwhile, parcel courier DPD UK has said it was pausing its road delivery services into Europe, including Ireland, until at least Wednesday and Debenhams announced it was suspending online sales to Ireland due to “uncertainty” about the new rules, which mean some products are now subject to tariffs. Other major retailers were reported to be considering similar steps.


And that’s all for today...

I’m signing off after another hectic day as the UK economy adjusts to life outside the EU. We will be back on Saturday with all the latest news and analysis straight from Westminster.

Joe Middleton8 January 2021 21:40

Government to let farmers use bee-killing pesticide banned in EU

A bee-killing pesticide so poisonous that it is banned by the EU may be used on sugar beet in England, the government has announced.

The decision prompted fury from nature-lovers and environmentalists, who accused ministers of bowing to pressure from farmers.

Read the full story by Jane Dalton

Government to let farmers use bee-killing pesticide banned in EU

‘We need urgent action to restore the abundance of our insect populations, not broken promises that make the ecological crisis even worse,’ says Wildlife Trusts

Joe Middleton8 January 2021 21:20

Ireland forced to ease Brexit bureaucracy after hauliers warn supermarket stocks could run low

The Republic of Ireland has been forced to temporarily ease customs checks on shipments from Great Britain after hauliers warned Brexit red tape could cause shortages of some goods and leave gaps on supermarket shelves.  

Businesses have had problems shipping goods to both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, despite repeated claims by UK government ministers including Boris Johnson that there would be no border down the Irish Sea.

Read the latest by Ben Chapman here:

Ireland forced to ease Brexit bureaucracy after hauliers warn supermarket stocks could run low

Lorries turned away at ports and ferry crossings cancelled as backlog builds in England and Wales

Joe Middleton8 January 2021 20:56

Immigration detention centre forced to close due to Covid outbreak

The UK’s largest immigration removal centre has been temporarily closed due to an outbreak of Covid-19, and detainees have been transferred to another detention facility as a result.

Campaigners have accused ministers of “playing Russian roulette with public health” by maintaining detention during the third wave of the pandemic.

Read the full report by The Independent’s Social Affairs Correspondent May Bulman

Immigration detention centre forced to close due to Covid outbreak

Ministers accused of ‘playing Russian roulette with public health’ after detainees moved between removal facilities

Joe Middleton8 January 2021 20:38

Government monitoring the nation’s snack intake amid obesity concerns

Ministers are monitoring the nation’s snack intake amid fears that repeated coronavirus lockdowns are fuelling a surge in obesity.  

Information on the UK’s snacking habits and nutritional intake has been added to a monitoring tool used by Public Health England to assess the wider impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s health, with figures showing that sales of “sweet home cooking” goods rose by almost a quarter in the year to June.

Read the full story by The Independent’s Whitehall Editor Kate Devlin

Government monitoring the nation’s snack intake amid fears pandemic will trigger obesity boom

Experts are concerned about the impact that lockdown restrictions have had on the waistlines of millions of adults – and the long-term health implications this may have

Joe Middleton8 January 2021 20:24

Michael Gove warns of increased disruption at borders

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has warned of increasing disruption at Channel ports over the coming weeks as a result of Brexit.

It comes amid reports that Brexit red tape is already causing problems, with parcel couriers DPD suspending road deliveries from the UK to the EU and Scottish seafood producers saying they have been hit by a “perfect storm” of administrative burdens.

Read the full report by The Independent’s political editor Andrew Woodcock

Michael Gove warns of increased disruption at borders, as companies wrestle with Brexit red tape

Parcel couriers DPD suspend services to EU due to new administrative burdens

Joe Middleton8 January 2021 19:50

Labour urges government to ‘get a grip’ on Brexit border issue

Labour has accused the Government of failing to properly prepare for the end of the transition period.

Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon called on ministers to "get a grip" on the situation in order to avoid the lorry queues witnessed before Christmas after France shut its border to UK entrants following the discovery of a new coronavirus variant.

“The Government promised it had a plan to make sure things ran smoothly for businesses and hauliers post-Brexit,' Mr McMahon said.

“It’s clear the problems caused by its poor preparation and delaying tactics have not gone away. Ministers have to get a grip on this and make sure essential workers are actually able to do their jobs, or we risk seeing a repeat of the chaos on our roads at Christmas.”

A Government spokesman said: "Although many businesses have moved goods successfully since January 1, we are aware of some issues, and are providing guidance and support.

"Hauliers can use our 'Check a HGV is ready' service to make sure they have correct paperwork, and must obtain a Kent Access Permit if they plan to travel via Dover or Eurotunnel."

Joe Middleton8 January 2021 19:19

Major new TV campaign to warn public to stay at home

A major advertising campaign will urge the public to stay at home as a record new high in daily death figures fuelled fears the current lockdown is not working.

The new adverts, fronted by England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, will emphasise the risk posed by the new strain of the disease and how stretched hospitals are becoming. 

Read the fully story by The Independent’s Whitehall Editor Kate Devlin

Major new TV campaign to warn public to stay at home

Call comes as daily death figures reach record new high

Joe Middleton8 January 2021 18:53

Scotland’s Brexit Secretary blasts UK government for Brexit ‘extra burdens’

Scotland's Brexit Secretary accused the UK Government of having imposed "extra burdens" on businesses at a time of "unprecedented challenge".

Constitution, Europe and External Affairs Secretary Mike Russell hit out at the Conservative administration in Westminster over their "bad Brexit deal", claiming it would be "very damaging to the economy and for jobs".

His attack came as a new paper by the Scottish Government warned that trading costs for those firms doing business with Europe would "increase substantially due to additional customs and borders paperwork" with this making them less competitive.

Scottish Government research has already raised fears the deal struck by Prime Minister Boris Johnson could see GDP north of the border fall by 6% by 2030 - a potential loss to the economy of some £9 billion compared to staying in the European Union.

This latest Scottish Government paper suggests that "new delays at the border including new customs formalities are expected to cost Scotland and rest of the UK businesses £7 billion annually"

It adds: "Just-in-time supply chains of perishable products such as seafood may be jeopardised.

"Premium Scottish products such as salmon, beef and lamb will require new export health certificates for exporting into the EU."


Joe Middleton8 January 2021 18:30

Ministers under pressure to reveal more data on Covid-19 vaccination progress

Experts have called on ministers to reveal significantly more information about the progress of the coronavirus vaccination scheme, amid fears there could be “pockets” of the country rejecting inoculation.  

The government is facing growing questions about the scale and the speed of the rollout, which marks the UK’s best hope for lifting the current lockdown.  

Read the full report by The Independent’s whitehall editor Kate Devlin

Joe Middleton8 January 2021 18:02

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