Latest news on Brexit developments and trade deals as the UK leaves the EU.
Latest Brexit news
- The Telegraph
British Brexit negotiators arrived in Brussels on Thursday for trade negotiations with the city under threat of lockdown amid the second wave of coronavirus. Brussels is at the epicentre of rocketing infection rates in Belgium, which are second only to the Czech Republic in the EU and far outstrip the UK's. Belgium is expected to announce that it will follow France and Germany back into lockdown on Friday. UK-EU Trade talks resume that day and will continue through the weekend as both sides race to agree a trade deal before mid-November and avoid a damaging no deal Brexit. Future negotiations could be held exclusively in London – although this is understood to be unlikely – or shifted to cumbersome online video conferences, depending on how strict the Belgian lockdown is. UK-EU negotiations restarted in London last Friday after the European Commission promised Britain daily, intensified talks. They were extended until Wednesday in the hope that the public health situation in Brussels would improve. However, it has got worse. Belgium reported 1,424.2 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants over the last two weeks, and rising death and hospitalisation rates on Thursday. In Britain the rate is 424.1, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Contamination figures in Belgium are 10 times worse than in Germany and significantly worse than in France, where non-essential travel was banned this week. Brussels has already closed all its bars and cafes and introduced a curfew. Masks are mandatory everywhere outside, and working from home is strongly recommended. Marc Van Ranst, a virologist advising the Belgian government since the start of the pandemic, said earlier measures had failed. He tweeted: "Like in our neighbouring countries, it is time for us to hit the emergency brake: lockdown." Mr Frost and Mr Barnier, the two chief negotiators, will discuss the impact of the new Belgian coronavirus restrictions, which are expected to last a month and beyond the mid-November deadline, and make a joint decision on the next steps.
- Sky News
Britain's car industry had its worst September in 25 years, with a decline in the number of vehicles being exported to Europe and the US. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said 114,732 were produced during the month - 5% down when compared to September last year. Car production for the year is down 35.9% and is expected to fall below one million vehicles for the first time since 1999.
- The Independent
Talks moving back to Brussels after an intense week in London
- Evening Standard
Retail giant Next’s chief executive Lord Wolfson has called on the Government for more clarity around Brexit preparations, and said making sure ports run smoothly is important for the “health of the UK economy”.Wolfson, a Brexiteer who has led High Street bellweather Next since 2001, made the comments as his firm reported higher sales and upped profits guidance, despite the virus crisis.