Brexit LIVE: Boom! UK surge as economy growth outstrips every G20 nation – new data shows


Brexit: David Frost on Theresa May’s EU negotiations

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed the economy expanded by 4.8 percent, between April and June. By contrast, China only grew by 1.3 percent, and the US by 1.6 percent.

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Britain’s figure was the highest of any G20 nation, which contains the world’s leading industrialised economies.

The UK’s rapid coronavirus vaccine rollout, which has seen most of the population double jabbed, has been attributed to this growth.

This allowed lockdown to be lifted, with the final restrictions ending in July.

However, according to the Office for National Statistics, UK growth has since slowed dramatically.

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Ursula von der Leyen Brandon Lewis

The UK enjoyed the fastest growth in the G20 during the second quarter (Image: GETTY)

It estimated the British economy grew by just 0.1 percent in July, as the ‘pingdemic’ hit and Covid cases surged.

As such the UK economy is still 2.1 percent smaller than it was before the coronavirus pandemic began.

Separately, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has launched a scathing attack on Brussels after highlighting the threat of a kosher food shortage, describing the bloc’s behaviour as “despicable and disgraceful”.

Mr Lewis said the EU needed to “engage properly” with the UK’s position on trade to sort out “underlying problems” disrupting everyday life in the region.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (Image: GETTY)

Warning that Belfast’s small Jewish community would be unable to import kosher food, Mr Lewis said: “To have the EU effectively saying to the Jewish community you can’t source your products in your own country is a pretty despicable place to be.

“And to not understand that an elderly, vulnerable community like that cannot travel 100 miles each way once a week to get their shopping, I think is pretty poor form. I find that disgraceful, to be frank.”

Mr Lewis said: “The practice of the implementation is not working for the people of Northern Ireland. It is disrupting everyday lives of people and their communities.

“You’ve probably seen the stories around the challenges that the Jewish community’s having. This is not about unionists versus nationalists, everybody is suffering, businesses are struggling to get goods over, it’s not respecting the internal market of the UK.

“In its current state it’s not sustainable.”

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12:00am update: Merkel’s successor snubs EU and touts UK-German pact

Armin Laschet, the man widely tipped to be Angela Merkel’s successor as Germany’s Chancellor, has thrown his weight behind a bid to strike a bilateral agreement with the UK in a move that is unlikely to impress Brussels.

Mr Laschet, the leader of Mrs Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), outlined his support for the idea in a letter to Dr Reiner Haseloff, President of the Bundesrat, or Federal Council, the legislative body which represents Germany’s 16 regions.

A resolution issued by the Bundesrat states that both North Rhine-Westphalia – of which Mr Laschet is the Minister-President – and Lower Saxony want the Federal Council to adopt a resolution “to intensify German-British relations”.

The Bundesrat will decide whether to adopt the proposals of the two states in a plenary session on Friday.

David Atkins takes over from James Bickerton 

10.21pm update: Von der Leyen gloats about ‘world leading’ EU Galileo success – but forgets to thank UK

Ursula von der Leyen bragged about Brussels’ “world-class” leadership on the Galileo systems as she urged EU leaders to ensure the bloc could reach “tech sovereignty” with a new European Chips Act.

Speaking in the European Parliament for her State of the Union address, the EU Commission leader said the bloc needs to coordinate at European level to create a “state of art European chip ecosystem”.

In an attempt to rebuke concerns already simmering across the bloc about the EU’s capacities to reach “tech sovereignty” against China, Mrs Von der Leyen gloated about Galileo satellite systems, failing however to mention Brexit Britain’s contribution to the past project.

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9.23pm update: Masterclass in gibberish! VDL savaged over ‘vacuous’ vaccine claims in ‘drivel’ speech

Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union speech was a “masterclass in vacuous false aggrandisement”, not least her insistence on the success of the bloc’s vaccine rollout, a former Brexit Party MEP has said in a scathing takedown of the European Commission President.

Ben Habib was speaking after Mrs von der Leyen used her address to tout the bloc’s approach, insisting: “We did it the right way, because we did it the European way. And it worked!”

Mrs von der Leyen crowed about the fact that more than 70 percent of European adults are now vaccinated against Covid – although the overall total for all citizens (60.53 percent) is still lower than that of the UK (64.67 percent).

8.29pm update: Von der Leyen left red faced as MEP threatens to take her to court over ‘inaction’

Ursula von der Leyen was left red-faced after Renew Group leader Dacian Ciolos threatened to take her to court unless the Commission chief acts against the rise of “illiberalism” across the bloc.

The furious MEP blasted Ursula von der Leyen over her inability to tackle attacks on European values by “illiberal” leaders in the bloc.

Although he did not mention Hungary and Poland, Mr Ciolos referred to the EU Commission’s failure to apply the EU rule of law mechanism already triggered by the European Parliament one year ago against the two countries.

7.26pm update: Liz Truss made Foreign Secretary as Brexit wonderwoman sells Global Britain on world stage

Liz Truss has been appointed Foreign Secretary in a major promotion by Boris Johnson.

The MP was given the boost to one of the four great offices of state after impressing in her brief as International Trade Secretary.

Responsible for signing post-Brexit free trade deals, she successfully brokered agreements with 96 countries around the world.

Brexit

The Daily Express campaigned passionately for Brexit (Image: EXPRESS )

6.19pm update: Boris faces Supreme Court battle over hated EU deal – Brexit showdown looms

A tense Brexit battle over the Northern Ireland Protocol will take place in the Supreme Court next month.

The Protocol, which was incorporated into the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement to help avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, has left Northern Ireland tied to a range of EU customs and regulatory rules. 

But the Protocol, which is currently being renegotiated between Brussels and the EU, caused anger among Unionist politicians across Northern Ireland over fears it creates a border down the Irish Sea.

5.39pm update: Blast off for Brexit Britain! UK to launch rockets from Spaceport after Dane legal battle

Plans to build Britain’s first version of Cape Canaveral have been given the go-ahead allowing the UK to compete in the world space race – after a bitter legal challenge from a Danish billionaire.

The UK Space Agency in partnership with Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin and Highland and Island’s Enterprise (HIE) put forward a plan to create a launch site for rockets to carry micro-satellites two years ago in Scotland. 

But a legal challenge was brought by three crofters funded by Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen to the Scottish Land Court.

4.27pm update: What Project Fear? Merkel’s successor snubs EU and touts UK-German pact

Armin Laschet, the man widely tipped to be Angela Merkel’s successor as Germany’s Chancellor, has thrown his weight behind a bid to strike a bilateral agreement with the UK in a move that is unlikely to impress Brussels.

Mr Laschet, the leader of Mrs Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), outlined his support for the idea in a letter to Dr Reiner Haseloff, President of the Bundesrat, or Federal Council, the legislative body which represents Germany’s 16 regions.

A resolution issued by the Bundesrat states that both North Rhine-Westphalia – of which Mr Laschet is the Minister-President – and Lower Saxony want the Federal Council to adopt a resolution “to intensify German-British relations”.

1.35pm update: “I fear for the stability of Northern Ireland”

The DUP leader said: “Then I fear for the political and economic stability of Northern Ireland.

“To tamper with the very delicate constitutional balance takes a real risk with the stability of the political institutions and the stability of Northern Ireland.

“I really do think that the Government needs to do what they said they would do in their command paper published earlier this year and put this right, because unless we deliver the solutions that are required and remove these barriers to trade and the political instability they create, I fear for the stability of the political institutions.”

1.28pm update: Donaldson fears for future of Stormont

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said he fears for the future of the Stormont political institutions if the post-Brexit Irish Sea border is not removed.

Sir Jeffrey was giving evidence to the House of Lords constitution committee where he told peers that the Northern Ireland Protocol had altered the constitutional state of Northern Ireland within the UK.

The protocol was agreed by the UK and EU as a way to maintain a free-flowing land border on the island of Ireland after Brexit.

Unionists in Northern Ireland have been vehemently opposed to its terms, which see additional checks on goods arriving to the region from the rest of the UK.

Sir Geoffrey Donaldson

Sir Geoffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP (Image: GETTY)

12.02pm update: Lewis savages “despicable” EU over kosher food shortage worries

The prospect of EU-UK trade differences causing a kosher food shortage in Northern Ireland is “despicable”, the Northern Ireland Secretary has said.

Brandon Lewis said the EU needed to “engage properly” with the UK’s position on trade to sort out “underlying problems” disrupting everyday life in the region.

Highlighting the risk that Belfast’s small Jewish community would be unable to import kosher food, Mr Lewis said: “To have the EU effectively saying to the Jewish community you can’t source your products in your own country is a pretty despicable place to be.

“And to not understand that an elderly, vulnerable community like that cannot travel 100 miles each way once a week to get their shopping, I think is pretty poor form. I find that disgraceful, to be frank.”

11.25am update: EU savaged for ‘aggressive’ post-Brexit stance as UK business struggle with Covid impact

Conservative MP George Freeman called the European Union “aggressive” for imposing extra food checks immediately after Brexit despite the pressure faced by businesses in light of the Covid pandemic.

MP George Freeman has slammed the European Union for imposing “aggressive” post-Brexit food and farming checks.

It came after the British Government confirmed the decision to delay introducing these checks on imports to England, Scotland Wales due to Covid disruption.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, George Freeman said: “Contrary to the predictions-the UK is acting very fairly and continuing with free trade 

10.31am update: Brexit Britain win as green companies get £23million grant for ‘state-of-the art’ projects

Brexit Britain has seen another win after green companies won part of a £23million grant in a government research and development (R&D) competition.

The winners of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition were announced today by Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport as part of Boris Johnson’s 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution.

Among the winners were a green submarine and shipping charge-points powered by offshore wind.

The projects were included in a list of 55 companies to receive a share of the grant.

Brandon Lewis

Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland Secretary (Image: GETTY)

9.30am update: Furious Macron tells Brussels to get tough on UK over souring Brexit talks

Emmanuel Macron is growing impatient with Brussels over its soft-handed approach to the latest Brexit negotiation row as talks continue to sour between the UK and the bloc.

According to reports, the French President is putting pressure on the EU to get tougher against Downing Street in the resolution of the Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol negotiations.

The European Commission is expected to outline by the end of September plans that could ease the movement of goods from Britain to Northern Ireland in an effort to ease tensions resulting from Brexit, EU diplomats said.

The EU rejected a UK demand to renegotiate the new trading position of the British province.

But a deputy head of the bloc’s executive Commission, Maros Sefcovic, last week promised “creative and solid new solutions” under the current deal.

9.02am update: EU blasted over City of London ‘power grab’ to move banks to Frankfurt

The EU has been accused of pressuring City of London banks to move key operations from the Square Mile to the Continent.

Brussels banking chiefs have asked banks to move euro clearing operations from London, which accounts for the bulk of activity, to Frankfurt in Germany.

But Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England claimed the Eurocrats risk damaging the UK’s financial system if they prize part of the £80trillion market away from the British capital.

8.03am update: EU debate LIVE – Von Der Leyen braced for angry clash – MEPs target EU chief’s major speech

Ursula von der Leyen is braced for a furious MEP backlash at her annual State of the Union address today at the European Parliament after reflecting on the chaotic past year and setting out a vision for the future.

The European Commission President is delivering her speech to the European Parliament this morning at 8am BST (9am Central European Time).

The speech is a chance for Ms von der Leyen to reflect on the EU’s efforts over the past year to combat the pandemic and a litany of other issues.

She is also expected to chart a recovery path for the bloc and attempt to rally the nations together.

FOLLOW OUR LIVE EU DEBATE BLOG HERE

Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen delivers her State of the Union speech (Image: GETTY)

7.39am update: Brexit lift-off! Truss eyes ‘comprehensive’ £100bn India trade deal and takes swipe at EU

Liz Truss has said she is confident Britain can secure a “comprehensive” trade deal with India which some experts have predicted could be worth as much as £100billion.

And the International Trade Secretary also took a swipe at Brussels – by contrasting how rapidly trade negotiations between the UK and Australia had gone compared with the European Union’s efforts. 

Ms Truss outlined her vision for the future in a webinar organised by the Policy Exchange think tank today entitled Britain’s New Trade Policy: Moving from Defence to Offence.

In a question and answer session at the end, she was challenged about the speed of the process of brokering bilateral agreements with countries outside of the EU.

7am update: Fury as Remainers in civil service ‘still in control and denying EU exit’

Remainers in the “Silly Snivel Service” are purposely dragging their feet in order to keep the UK aligned with Brussels rules and regulation, a pro-Brexit campaigner has claimed.

And Jayne Adye, the director of Get Britain Out, said as a result, despite Boris Johnson’s pledge to “Get Brexit done”, the UK still does not have full control of its borders, well over 18 months after severing ties with the bloc.

Ms Adye set out her concerns in the course of her regular weekly bulletin, published at the start of a week in which Brexit minister Lord David Frost prepares to be grilled in the House of Lords on the subject of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

She said: “On top of inaction over Northern Ireland, the Government has officially delayed the full implementation of the UK’s new customs regime for goods being imported into this country.

“This means – for the moment – frustratingly we will continue to stay aligned to the EU’s own policies and we still won’t have full control of our own borders.

“The Government claims this is to make sure goods flow quickly as we come towards Christmas

“But what this screams to me is – ‘Remainers’ in the ‘Silly Snivel Service’ are still in control – denying Brexit needs to be fully implemented, so they are deliberately delaying getting themselves sorted out!”



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