Fears grow locally over prospect of no-deal Brexit

Elias Hubbard
October 19, 2020

"We believe this would create a disastrous precedent", said the letter, signed by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who heads the Church of England, and four other archbishops.

They wrote: "If carefully negotiated terms are not honoured and laws can be "legally" broken, on what foundations does our democracy stand?"

The bill begins its progress through the Lords on Monday. It is likely to face strong opposition in Parliament's upper chamber, where the governing Conservative Party does not have a majority.

Senior minister Michael Gove said Sunday the door remained "ajar" for an overarching trade deal to remove much of the uncertainty if the European Union shifts position, despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson declaring last week he was ready to abandon talks.

Mr Gove said on Sunday "we are ready if required" to leave without a trade deal, but left room for talks to restart during an appearance on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show.

Mr Johnson previously set a deadline for an agreement last week.

The bloc sees it as a flagrant breach of an worldwide treaty that could undermine the delicate foundations of Northern Ireland's peace settlement, created by the 1998 Good Friday accord. "I'm keen to conclude one but it takes both sides to compromise in order for there to be one".

The British pound draws bids and pushes GBP/JPY higher on Monday, with Britain's Brexit minister Michale Gove saying that doors are still ajar or slightly open for a Brexit deal.

Mr Barnier had planned to be in London on Monday but Lord Frost told him not to come unless he was prepared to bring a "fundamental" change of approach to the negotiations.

The two sides disagree on the rules for fair competition, how these rules will be policed and how much access European Union fishing fleets will get to United Kingdom waters.

Failure to strike a deal would see Britain and Europe revert to World Trade Organization terms, with tariffs and quotas for businesses, potentially devastating for economies already weakened by the pandemic. British business groups warn that could mean border delays, soaring prices and shortages of some goods.

The British prime minister said the United Kingdom would get ready to leave the bloc's single market and customs union at the end of the year without a new agreement in place.

"Facing the triple threat of a resurgent coronavirus, tightening restrictions and a disorderly end to the transition period, it is little wonder businesses are struggling to prepare", BCC director-general Adam Marshall said.

But they are expected to discuss the structure of future talks over videoconferencing.

"It's a lot of red tape, and we know that preparations have gone backwards because of the impact of COVID", said Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the Confederation of British Industry. "Much may change for business at year-end, but a deal would give firms more clarity so that they can plan and adjust".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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