Brexit – live updates: Theresa May to meet senior ministers to discuss EU trade deal proposals

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Welcome to The Independent’s politics live blog. Today Theresa May is due to meet her most senior ministers to discuss what kind of trade deal the UK should have with the EU after Brexit. 

The Prime Minister will then tell the House of Commons she will attempt to finalise free trade deals with countries outside the bloc “where possible” – setting her on collision course with Brussels.

Ms May’s statement in the Commons will see her indicate that she is determined to push towards the UK’s post-Brexit systems on trade and immigration.

She will say that during the transition, she intends to “register new arrivals from the EU as preparation for our future immigration system”.

“And we will prepare for our future independent trade policy by negotiating – and where possible, signing – trade deals with third countries, which could come into force after the conclusion of the implementation period.”

Follow all the latest updates below

Live Updates

3 mins ago

The chief executive of investment bank Goldman Sachs has waded into the debate over whether a second Brexit referendum is needed, after new polling showed Britain turning its backs on EU withdrawal.

Lloyd Blankfein said he had to take an interest because the global bank “employs thousands of UK citizens”, after the survey for The Independent showed more voters now back staying in the EU than at any time since the June 2016 vote.

The poll conducted by BMG Research showed just 41 per cent still want Brexit, while 51 per cent now back staying in the union, with the lead buoyed by those who did not vote in 2016.

 

Goldman Sachs boss speaks out on Brexit after poll showing majority of Britons now back Remain

The chief executive of investment bank Goldman Sachs has waded into the debate over whether a second Brexit referendum is needed, after new polling showed Britain turning its backs on EU withdrawal.

 

8 mins ago

Liam Fox has a £1m plan to appoint new trade commissioners

The IndependentLiam Fox is under fire over £1m-plus plans to appoint new “trade commissioners” around the world, on gold-plated packages normally handed to the UK’s ambassadors. The roles offer £120,000 salaries – akin to the pay for the most glittering ambassador jobs in France, Russia, Japan and at the United Nations – as well as lucrative home travel costs and private education for any children.

18 mins ago

Theresa May insists she will try to sign new trade deals before Brexit transition is over

The IndependentTheresa May will insist on Monday that she will try to sign new free trade deals during the UK’s Brexit transition period, setting herself on a collision course with Brussels. Ms May will tell the House of Commons she will attempt to finalise the deals “where possible”, despite the EU signalling it would not be feasible under terms for the transition they are proposing.

28 mins ago

Brexit: Chief EU negotiator says ‘no way’ to bespoke trade deal for UK

The IndependentThe European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator has said “no way” to Theresa May securing a bespoke trade deal with Brussels.  Michel Barnier said the EU is not prepared to come up with a makeshift trade deal for the UK that knits together all the best bits of existing models.

50 mins ago

Theresa May has congratulated Austria’s new chancellor Sebastian Kurz on the formation of his government amid protests against his coalition with the right-wing nationalist Freedom Party.

Asked if Mrs May approved of the coalition, her official spokesman said: “As I would always say in relation to formation of governments in other countries, they are a matter for those countries.”

He added: “The PM has this morning spoken to the new Austrian chancellor to congratulate him on the formation of his government.

“They agreed that they looked forward to working together, including during Austria’s EU presidency which is due to take place in the second half of 2018.” 

1 hour ago

This is the agenda in the Commons today – May’s statement should begin around 3.30. 

1 hour ago

1 hour ago

1 hour ago

The Independent’s deputy political editor Rob Merrick is at Chatham House in London where Stefan de Rynck – an adviser to Michel Barnier – is giving a speech. He will later be taking questions and we’ll bring you any updates.

1 hour ago

House of Commons deputy speaker ‘devastated’ by his daughter’s death

House of Commons Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has spoken of his devastation following the sudden death of his daughter Natalie.  His 28-year-old daughter died suddenly in Essex on Thursday.  The Labour MP for Chorley, Lancashire said: “I am truly devastated by the death of our beautiful daughter Natalie.

1 hour ago

This is from the Press Association following the journalists’ briefing with Downing Street.

Theresa May is committed to maintaining workers’ rights after Brexit and Cabinet ministers are not expected to discuss EU regulations which limit the working week to 48 hours at a crunch meeting on Monday, Downing Street said.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman reiterated her commitment to “maintaining and where possible enhancing workers’ rights” as senior ministers began thrashing out plans for a post-Brexit UK-EU trade deal.

A meeting of the Brexit “war cabinet” – formally called the Cabinet European Union Exit and Trade Committee – was taking place on Monday, with a full Cabinet on Tuesday, as ministers consider the relationship the Government wants with the EU.

The spokesman dismissed reports that Brexit-backing ministers could demand an end to the EU Working Time Directive, which limits the working week to 48 hours.

“I wouldn’t anticipate it’s part of the Cabinet discussion,” he told a regular Westminster briefing.

The spokesman added: “The Government position on this is clear – as part of the Withdrawal Bill those existing EU regulations are being moved over into UK law and going forward I’ve got nothing to add beyond the Prime Minister’s stated words that she’s committed to maintaining and where possible enhancing workers’ rights.”

 

1 hour ago

1 hour ago

Goldman Sachs boss speaks out on Brexit after poll showing majority of Britons now back Remain

The chief executive of investment bank Goldman Sachs has waded into the debate over whether a second Brexit referendum is needed, after new polling showed Britain turning its backs on EU withdrawal.

2 hours ago

2 hours ago

Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, has said the UK will continue to play a “pivotal role” as a global nation after Brexit.

Speaking from O2’s central London headquarters Mr Williamson told the Press Association Britain’s place in the world is “not going to be about retreat”.

He said: “The Prime Minister has made it absolutely clear that Britain’s place in the world is not going to be about retreat.

“It’s going to be about being involved in every aspect of world affairs, whether it’s in Europe, whether it’s in the United Nations, whether i’s about playing our part as a global nation – global Britain.

“That’s what we’re doing. The armed forces are going to be playing an absolutely pivotal role in that.

“We’re actually serving in over 30 countries right around the globe: 25 different operations.

“That’s not going to be something we’re going to be stepping away from anytime in the future.”

2 hours ago

How would a new EU referendum work?

Our chief political commentator John Rentoul analyses the practicalities of organising another referendum on the final terms of Britain’s exit from the EU

2 hours ago

2 hours ago

Goldman Sachs boss speaks out on Brexit after poll showing majority of Britons now back Remain

The chief executive of investment bank Goldman Sachs has waded into the debate over whether a second Brexit referendum is needed, after new polling showed Britain turning its backs on EU withdrawal.

2 hours ago

Brexit is the opposite of ‘taking back control’ – we must think again

The IndependentThe year 2017 was the year of skirting round the core issues of Brexit: 2018 will be the year when Brexit hits reality.  The public may be bored with the subject now, and feeling resigned to a poor outcome, but in 12 months’ time, when the deadline is imminent and minds are concentrated, I do not think the mood will be so relaxed. In the referendum, Leave campaigners pledged no more free movement of people, control of our borders and laws and, most famously of all, our money back – £350m a week extra for the NHS no less.

3 hours ago

Later today Theresa May will meet her most senior minister to discuss what kind of trade deal the UK should have with Europe after the end of the “transition” period, which is likely to last from 2019 to 2021. 
 
After that the Prime Minister will tell the Commons the European Council guidelines point to the “shared desire of the EU and the UK to make rapid progress on an implementation period”.
 
“This will help give certainty to employers and families that we are going to deliver a smooth Brexit,” she will add.
 
“As I proposed in Florence, during this strictly time-limited implementation period which we will now begin to negotiate, we would not be in the Single Market or the Customs Union, as we will have left the European Union.
 
“But we would propose that our access to one another’s markets would continue as now, while we prepare and implement the new processes and new systems that will underpin our future partnership.
 
“During this period we intend to register new arrivals from the EU as preparation for our future immigration system.
 
“And we will prepare for our future independent trade policy by negotiating – and where possible signing – trade deals with third countries, which could come into force after the conclusion of the implementation period.”
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