Prime Minister Meets with EU Commission President

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has today met with Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission. They discussed matters including the current situation in Iran and Iraq, as well as the ongoing Brexit situation.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“They discussed the situation in Iraq, agreeing on the importance of Coalition forces being able to continue their vital work countering the shared threat from Daesh.

On Brexit, the PM stressed that his immediate priority was to implement the Withdrawal Agreement by January 31. They discussed the progress of ratification in the UK and in the European Parliament. He said the UK wanted a positive new UK and EU partnership, based on friendly cooperation, our shared history, interests and values. The PM reiterated that we wanted a broad free trade agreement covering goods and services, and cooperation in other areas.

The PM was clear that the UK would not extend the Implementation Period beyond 31 December 2020; and that any future partnership must not involve any kind of alignment or ECJ jurisdiction. He said the UK would also maintain control of UK fishing waters and our immigration system.

The PM made clear that we would continue to ensure high standards in the UK in areas like workers’ rights, animal welfare, agriculture and the environment. The PM said the UK was ready to start negotiations on the future partnership and Canada-style FTA as soon as possible after January 31.”

Boris Johnson Meets with Jean-Claude Juncker

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has today met with Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, in Luxembourg to discuss matters relating to the Brexit agreement.

A statement issued by the European Commission said:

“President Jean-Claude Juncker and Prime Minister Johnson had a working lunch today in Luxembourg. The aim of the meeting was to take stock of the ongoing technical talks between the EU and the UK and to discuss the next steps.

President Juncker recalled that it is the UK’s responsibility to come forward with legally operational solutions that are compatible with the withdrawal agreement. President Juncker underlined the commission’s continued willingness and openness to examine whether such proposals meet the objectives of the backstop. Such proposals have not yet been made.

The commission will remain available to work 24/7. The October European council will be an important milestone in the process. The EU27 remain united.”

A spokesperson for Johnson said:

“The Prime Minister and President Juncker had a constructive meeting this lunchtime. The Brexit Secretary and Michel Barnier were also in attendance.

The leaders agreed that the discussions needed to intensify and that meetings would soon take place on a daily basis. It was agreed that talks should also take place at a political level between Michel Barnier and the Brexit Secretary, and conversations would also continue between President Juncker and the Prime Minister.”

UK Loses European Banking Authority and European Medicines Agency as Result of Brexit

The European Union has confirmed that due to Brexit a number of agencies will be leaving London. These include the European Banking Authority, which will move to Paris and the European Medicines Agency which will move to Amsterdam.

A spokeperson for the European Commission said in a statement:

“The European Commission welcomes today’s agreement at the General Affairs Council (Article 50 format) to move the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) to Amsterdam and Paris, respectively. Both Agencies are currently located in London.

The relocation of these two Agencies is a direct consequence – and the first visible result – of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, as notified to the European Council on 29 March 2017. The EMA and the EBA are two key regulatory Agencies for the EU’s Single Market, and are essential for the authorisation of medicines and for bank regulation. They must continue to function smoothly and without disruption beyond March 2019″.

Labour express concern over the cut in the UK’s growth forecasts

John McDonnell GB Labour MP Hayes and Harlington

John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has expressed concern following the cut in the UK’s growth forecast by both the European Commission and the Bank of England.

The Bank of England confirmed today that they were cutting the UK’s growth prediction from 2.5% down to 2.2%. The bank’s report also cut the expected increase in wage growth from 3.75% down to 3%.

In a statement McDonnell said:

“It’s unwelcome that both the EU Commission and the Bank of England have cut their expected growth forecasts for the UK.

Labour has been cautioning for several months now about growing global uncertainty, something that George Osborne has only woken up to recently.

We should be particularly concerned that, in Mark Carney’s own words, the “accelerating fiscal consolidation” is part of the reason for why UK growth is expected to dip below past averages.

This is further evidence that the Chancellor’s austerity programme is driven by ideology and could be undermining the potential of the UK economy”.