Boris Johnson’s government enters a new phase of “intensified” Brexit trade deal talks with the EU today after Brussels’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said both sides would have to compromise to reach an agreement.
Mr Barnier and his counterpart David Frost will reunite for face-to-face talks in London later on Thursday after a week-long stand-off. It comes as the leaders of 39 food and drink industry bodies have warned businesses could pull out of Northern Ireland because of post-Brexit “friction”.
Meanwhile, EU criminals could be barred from entering the UK after the Brexit transition period ends, the Home Office has announced. And legislation to fine lorry drivers £300 for entering Kent without a permit has been brought forward by the government.
Moving away from coronavirus, an important story today is Brexit talks resuming.
Both sides promised to work “intensively” for a deal, following a recent stand-off.
Zoe Tidman22 October 2020 17:30
At the press conference earlier, Rishi Sunak said it was “not sustainable” to continue intervening in the economy forever.
“Whilst it is right to act I think with scale during a crisis like this to try and protect jobs and employment and ultimately that will protect our economy in the long-run,” he said. “It’s also right that… we always have one eye on the long-term public finances because we want to make sure that we are careful with that.
“It is clearly not sustainable to carry on acting in this way forever, so as we continue intervening in the economy, it is right that it is targeted and effective.”
Zoe Tidman22 October 2020 17:20
Vallance’s Covid estimate
The government’s chief scientific adviser gave his estimate of how many people per day could be contracting coronavirus in England, as he warned the country needs “to do more” to shrink the epidemic.
Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn reports:
Zoe Tidman22 October 2020 17:03
Boris Johnson has said negotiations with regional leaders and metro mayors this week were “all about fairness”.
He was asked about the row over £5m with Greater Manchester this week, while a new support package costing billions was being prepared.
The PM said the government wanted to make sure “everyone got the same package”.
Zoe Tidman22 October 2020 16:45
Here is Patrick Vallance’s staggering estimation of how many people are being infected with Covid-19 every day:
Up to 90,000 people now infected in England each day, Patrick Vallance says
Zoe Tidman22 October 2020 16:29
Here is a reminder of criticism the government has faced from Greater Manchester’s mayor just today:
Zoe Tidman22 October 2020 16:28
Boris Johnson said he “strongly rejects” suggestions the government has been “at war with local leaders”.
“We have had fantastic and extensive local cooperation,” the PM said.
Zoe Tidman22 October 2020 16:25
“Our plan for jobs will support British people and businesses wherever they live and whatever their situation,” Rishi Sunak said.
“Just as we have throughout this crisis, we will listen and respond to people’s concerns as the circumstances evolve.”
The government has been under fire from northern leaders who called for greater support amid new restrictions.
Zoe Tidman22 October 2020 16:22
Speaking about new support – which will be backdated until August – for businesses in Tier 2 areas, Rishi Sunak said: “We are being more generous to businesses and places that have been in higher alert levels for longer.”
Here’s Andrew Woodcock’s report on the new grants announced today:
Zoe Tidman22 October 2020 16:14
Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Sir Patrick Vallance are speaking to the public on coronavirus.
Watch the press conference below:
Zoe Tidman22 October 2020 16:06