Britain cannot be trusted as a negotiating partner, says Coveney

The EU is reportedly ready to take legal action against the UK over its decision last week to unilaterally extend the grace period for Northern Irish companies aligning with the post-Brexit trade agreements.

Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič presented a number of legal options to member states at a closed session on Tuesday evening. The Commission is expected to send a letter to the UK in the coming days, Irish broadcaster RTE reported.

Elsewhere, the two sides are embroiled in a slew of new vaccines after the bloc accused Britain of imposing export restrictions on Covid-19 gunfire. In a newsletter to around 20,000 subscribers, EU Council President Charles Michel claimed that Great Britain had imposed a “total ban” on the transfer of vaccines.

In response, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wrote to Mr Michel to “improve the record”. “Any references to an export ban in the UK or restrictions on vaccines are completely wrong,” said Raab.

Insisting that the government “has not blocked a single Covid-19 vaccine or vaccine components,” added, “We are all faced with this pandemic together.” A senior EU diplomat was called to the Foreign Office in London on Wednesday as the fallout rumbled on.

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Japanese companies fled the UK to the EU because Brexit was unsafe

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit led to an exodus of Japanese firms leaving the UK for the continent, according to a report.

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) data analyzed by Rudlin Consulting showed that the number of Japanese companies based in the UK fell from 1,084 to 951 between 2014 and 2019.

The majority of these resignations came after the 2016 EU referendum, according to Rudlin, according to which the number of Japanese companies opening stores in Amsterdam over the same period rose by 67 percent.

According to the report, there were also increases in Germany, France and Italy.

Matt MathersMarch 10, 2021 11:16 am


EU diplomat called to the British Foreign Office because of vaccine dispute

A high-ranking EU diplomat was called to the Foreign Office in London in the increasingly bitter dispute over the supply of Covid vaccines.

This is followed by an allegation by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, that the UK government has imposed a “total ban” on the export of UK-made collisions.

Adam Forrest will bring you more details about this story as it develops:

Matt MathersMarch 10, 2021 10:46 am


Johnson commissions study to examine the possibility of an “Irish pier”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has commissioned a study to examine the feasibility of a bridge or tunnel between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The idea was circulated by the DUP in their 2015 general election manifesto and revitalized in recent months by Mr Johnson amid fears that Brexit would cut Northern Ireland off from the UK.

Mr Johnson has asked transport expert Sir Peter Hendy to investigate the possibility of connections across the Irish Sea. An earlier plan included a tunnel between Stranraer in Scotland and Larne near Belfast.

Matt MathersMarch 10, 2021 10:32 am


ICYMI: Brexit trade barriers cost UK e-commerce companies £ 5 billion a year, the report warns

The trade barriers created by Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal will cost UK e-commerce importers more than £ 5 billion annually, according to a new report.

The introduction of new bureaucracy and VAT fees for Brexit from January 1 has already caused “big problems” for 35 percent of EU importing retailers and dealers, as a large number of parcels have been blocked or returned and deliveries canceled the report from the international delivery company ParcelHero.

The crisis also affects parcels between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland. 38 percent of companies that send goods on the route report reduced deliveries of parcels in advance of the planned expiration of a customs declaration waiver agreed with Brussels on March 31, the report found.

Political Editor Andrew Woodcock has more to this story:

Matt MathersMarch 10, 2021 10:00


ICYMI: The new Erasmus system does not pay tuition fees or travel expenses and the living allowance is reduced

The replacement for the Erasmus study exchange program won’t fund tuition fees or travel expenses, as it turns out – and living expenses have been cut.

The reality of the new project has sparked new allegations that the ministers are destroying the hopes of a large number of students who want to live, study and travel abroad.

Boris Johnson promised last year that the hugely popular Erasmus program was “not under threat,” but his Brexit trade deal then pulled the plug.

Deputy Policy Editor Rob Merrick with the full report:

Matt MathersMarch 10, 2021 9:43 AM


Ireland’s Coveney and EU Šefčovič inform the US Congress in a series of minutes

The Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney and the Vice President of the EU Commission, Maroš Šefčovič, will inform the members of the US Congress about the latest developments in Brexit today.

The couple will speak to the Friends of Ireland caucaus – an influential non-partisan group on Capitol Hill – to discuss their concerns over the UK’s decision last week to unilaterally change the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Friends of Ireland Caucaus is headed by Massachusetts Democrat Richard Neal. He also chairs the Ways and Means Committee of Congress, which oversees US trade agreements.

Matt MathersMarch 10, 2021 9:28 AM


The EU accuses the UK of completely banning the export of Covid-19 vaccines

European Council head Charles Michel has accused the UK of imposing a “total ban” on exports of Covid-19.

In his weekly sticky note, Mr Michel, who represents the bloc’s 27 member states, wrote that he was “shocked to hear allegations of” vaccine nationalism “against the EU”.

In response, he said: “The UK and US have completely banned the export of vaccines or vaccine components made on their territory.

“But the European Union, the region with the largest vaccine production capacity in the world, has simply put in place a system to control the export of cans made in the EU.”

Matt MathersMarch 10, 2021 8:53 AM


The EU is ready to take legal action against Great Britain for unilaterally implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol

The EU is expected to launch a lawsuit this week against the UK for its unilateral decision to extend the grace period for businesses in Northern Ireland after Brexit.

Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič presented a number of legal options to member states at a closed session on Tuesday evening.

According to Irish broadcaster RTE, the Commission will be sending a formal notice to the UK in the coming days.

Matt MathersMarch 10, 2021 8:46 am


Dominic Raab writes to the EU about the bloc’s claim that Britain has imposed a “total ban” on exports of Covid vaccines

Dominic Raab wrote to the President of the European Council after claiming the UK had imposed an “outright ban” on the export of coronavirus vaccines.

Charles Michel accused the UK and US of banning the movement of bumps when he used a newsletter to resort to criticism of the bloc’s vaccine launch.

Emma Bowden and Sam Blewett have more on this story below:

Matt MathersMarch 10, 2021 8:29 AM


Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s rolling Brexit coverage

Matt MathersMarch 10, 2021 8:28 AM

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