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Brexit LIVE: Mammoth six-hour fishing showdown TODAY as EU warns of 'serious consequences'

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Their timetable includes six hours solely devoted to fishing rights, with access to British waters after December 31 a key sticking point. Mr Sassoli was commenting on reports that legislation due to be published by the UK Government today will seek to alter the Northern Ireland protocol which aims to prevent a hard border with the republic by leaving some goods subject to EU checks.

 In a post on Facebook, he said: “I am deeply concerned about the lack of progress in the withdrawal negotiation with the United Kingdom, whose sovereignty the European Union respects.

“At the same time, we expect the UK to abide by our core principles which we have been clear and transparent from the start.

“We also expect the commitments it negotiated and signed last year to be respected, especially in relation to the rights of the citizens of Northern Ireland.

“Any attempt to undermine the agreement would naturally have serious consequences.”

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8.01am update: Welsh Government accuses Westminster of “stealing powers”

Wales has claimed the UK Government’s internal market bill, which breaks international law over Brexit, will sacrifice the union by stealing powers from the devolved administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Jeremy Miles, Wales’ counsel general and minister for European transition, said of the bill: “Let me be clear – the UK government plans to sacrifice the future of the union by stealing powers from devolved administrations.

“This bill is an attack on democracy and an affront to the people of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, who have voted in favour of devolution on numerous occasions.”

7.55am update: Gove says new legislation will free UK from “unelected EU bodies”

Michael Gove has said the Government’s Internal Market Bill was a way of empowering Britain and ending the reign of “unelected EU bodies”.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said: “This bill will also give the UK government new spending powers to drive our economic recovery from COVID-19 and support businesses and communities right across the UK.

“No longer will unelected EU bodies be spending our money on our behalf.

“These new spending powers will mean that these decisions will now be made in the UK, focus on UK priorities and be accountable to the UK parliament and people of the UK.”

The bill is intended to allow all companies to be able to trade unhindered in Britain’s four nations, to transfer powers to Britain allowing it to replace some of the EU’s spending programmes, and set up a new body to monitor internal trade.

7.50am ‘Respect your commitments’ French Minister takes swipe at UK

French junior trade minister Franck Riester said on Wednesday French companies needed to prepare for the risks of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Mr Riester told BFM Business radio: “We need to be prepared.

“We need to make sure that our British partners respect their commitments.”

Britain will set out new details of its blueprint for life outside the European Union today.

7.47am update: EU to use coronavirus crisis to BAN Brits abroad in top secret travel plans

EU countries could introduce mandatory quarantines for British tourists or ban them altogether as they scramble to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Britons could be isolated from part of the continent if EU countries decide to ban UK arrivals in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.

The European Commission and member states held a meeting to debate whether a colour system of red to green codes should be implemented in participating countries to represent the risk of coronavirus.

The standardised method would also indicate the infection rate thresholds at which a local lockdown would be brought into force.

7.41am update: Hancock “comfortable” with Government breaking law

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has defended the Government’s plans to introduce legislation which will override the withdrawal agreement with the EU, which Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis yesterday admitted was technically a contravention of international law.

Quizzed by TimesRadio about whether he was comfortable with the move, Mr Hancock replied: “I am.”

7.36am update: Boris sparks Brussels fury – landmark plan unveiled when EU ties fully cut

A cabinet minister has fuelled tensions in the EU trade talks by confirming that Boris Johnson will break international law to ensure a smooth Brexit.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis angered Brussels officials and MPs by admitting a Government bill to be published today [Wednesday] will breach the Withdrawal Agreement with the bloc “in a very specific and limited way”.

EU sources claimed the move could have “huge consequences” for the increasingly bitter negotiations over a UK-EU trade deal.



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