Brexit news live – Boris Johnson says strategy won't change despite Dominic Cummings' exit as Farage warns of sell out

DOWNING Street has insisted Boris Johnson's EU trade talk strategy has not changed with departure of Brexit mastermind Dominic Cummings.

But Nigel Farage has warned Cummings' departure will force a "Brexit sell-out".

Meanwhile the Prime Minister's spokesman has responded to speculation over the fallout between Cummings and Johnson affecting the Brexit talks, by saying: "That is simply false.

"The Government's position in relation to the future trade agreement negotiations is unchanged."

Talks on a free trade agreement — which have been continuing this week in London — are due to resume next week in Brussels, amid increasing concern that if an agreement cannot be reached in the coming days it will be too late to implement before January 1.

Follow our Brexit live blog for all the latest news and updates…

 

  • Patrick Knox

    BREXIT TRADE DEAL COULD BE DONE IN '10 DAYS' CLAIMS SENIOR MEP

    The Telegraphs reports Philippe Lamberts, a senior MEP on the European Parliament’s Brexit committee, saying: “Given the information I have I expect the negotiation to last another seven to ten days.”

    The two sides are at loggerheads over fishing, level playing field guarantees and how the deal will be enforced.

  • Patrick Knox

    ‘HOSTILE TEXTS AGAINST BOJO’S GIRLFRIEND’

    According to the Daily Mail, tensions were raised further when the Prime Minister was shown “hostile texts” briefing against Miss Symonds, which had been forwarded to her.

    Former Brexit secretary David Davis told BBC Breakfast on Saturday many within No 10 had “turned on” Cummings.

    He said: “It is said… people ranging from Allegra (Stratton) – the new spokesman for the Prime Minister — right through to his (Mr Johnson's) fiancee, Carrie, turned against him.”

  • Patrick Knox

    BOJO AND CUMMINGS' RELATIONSHIP 'FELL OFF A CLIFF'

    Dominic Cummings left Downing Street after his relationship with the Prime Minister “fell off a cliff”, according to a former Cabinet minister.

    He left his role after a power struggle that has rocked the administration, amid claims he had briefed Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds.

    It comes after the Daily Telegraph reported the Brexit mastermind was said to have told colleagues Johnson was “indecisive” and that he and director of communications Lee Cain, who has also announced his resignation, relied on Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove for clarity.

  • Patrick Knox

    ‘IMAGE OF CUMMINGS LEAVING DOWNING STREET WILL HELP BOJO RESET THE GOVERNMENT’

    Former Brexit secretary David Davis told BBC Breakfast: “The photograph will last the weekend and people will remember it, but it's not the key.

    “And at one level, as I said, Boris will want to reset Government and in a sense, that photograph does part of the resetting for him.”

    Asked what the reset will look like, Davis said: “Well the first thing is there are going to be some new staff in Number 10.

    “He's going to need a new chief of staff who has got to be fiercely efficient but not fiercely political. He's got to find someone who doesn't have their own agenda.

    “Secondly, lots of my colleagues in Parliament are hoping for a new relationship with Parliament. More openness, more interaction with Parliament.”

  • Patrick Knox

    PARLIAMENT AND TORY BACKBENCHERS NOT “LISTENED TO” WHILE CUMMINGS IN AIDE ROLE

    Former Brexit secretary David Davis told BBC Breakfast that views on Cummings within Cabinet were “varied”.

    He said: “But certainly it was the case that Parliament felt it wasn't being paid attention to.

    “Parliament is a shadow of its former self at the moment anyway. You go there and you've got the number of people you would have at a parish council, not a parliamentary gathering normally because of the coronavirus issues.

    “Nevertheless, I think the 1922 Committee felt it wasn't being listened to, I think the Tory backbenchers felt they weren't being listened to.”

  • Patrick Knox

    DOWNING STREET: ANY COMPROMISE SUGGESTIONS ON BREXIT ‘SIMPLY FALSE’

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman James Slack insisted that suggestions the Government could compromise on key principles in the wake of Cummings's decision to leave were “simply false”.

    He was widely seen as the mastermind behind the victorious Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum.

    Talks on a free trade agreement between the UK and EU have been continuing this week in London and are due to “pause” over the weekend before resuming next week in Brussels.

    London and the EU are trying to hammer out a post-Brexit trade deal after the current transition period finishes on December 31.

    The PA news agency understands Cummings will still be employed until the middle of December, although reports suggest he will be working from home.

    Speculation has surrounded the future of the UK's chief Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost but he has remained in his role as talks reach a heightened stage.

  • Patrick Knox

    FARAGE: CUMMINGS DEPARTURE HERALDS A BREXIT 'SELL-OUT'

    Nigel Farage has insisted the exit of Boris Johnson's top aide from Downing Street means a “Brexit sell-out” is looming.

    Brexit Party leader Mr Farage said he had never liked the Prime Minister's outgoing chief adviser Dominic Cummings, but admitted he was concerned about the consequences of his departure.

    Mr Cummings left Number 10 carrying a box on Friday evening as he quit as the Prime Minister's right-hand man, although he will continue to work for Boris Johnson until mid-December.

    Mr Farage tweeted: “It is well documented that I have never liked Dominic Cummings but he has backed Brexit.

    “Seeing him leave Number 10 carrying a cardboard box tells me a Brexit sell-out is close.”

    The comments came after Downing Street insisted that Mr Cummings's departure would not affect Brexit talks.

  • Patrick Knox

    PM WAS DEPENDENT ON CUMMINGS

    Tory former Brexit secretary David Davis told Times Radio: “The truth is, I think for a long time, the Prime Minister was very dependent on Mr Cummings.”

    Referring to relations with the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, the ex-Cabinet member said: “There has been a general feeling that the, sort of power, has been hoarded in Downing Street.

    “That the normal relationships with the 22 Committee… has been side-lined.”

  • Patrick Knox

    BOJO’S ADMINISTRATION ROCKED BY POWER STRUGGLE AS KEY AIDE CUMMINGS LEAVES

    Boris Johnson's right hand man Dominic Cummings has left Downing Street after a power struggle that has rocked the Prime Minister's administration.

    Johnson's senior advisor exited Number 10 carrying a large box on Friday evening following a bitter dispute which also led to the resignation of Mr Cummings' fellow Vote Leave veteran Lee Cain as communications chief this week.

    Sir Edward Lister was announced as the interim chief of staff pending a permanent appointment.

    The dramatic events have come with Brexit headed to a crucial phase next week, as London seeks a trade deal with Brussels ahead of the end of the transition period on December 31.

    The Sun reported there was a “shouty” confrontation between Johnson and Cummings over the ousting of Mr Cain and that a “livid” Prime Minister wanted both out “sooner rather than later”.

  • Hana Carter

    DOWNING STREET DENIES CUMMINGS EXIT WILL AFFECT BREXIT TALKS

    No10 has denied Boris Johnson has lost control of Brexit negotiations as French ministers warn of weeks of more talks.

    France’s minister for EU affairs, Clément Beaune said on Friday: “We have never set a fixed, scientific deadline for an agreement to be reached, but objectively, rationally, if it happens after the end of November we will be in trouble.

    “I think a deal is possible; both parties want one. It will require several days, possibly two to three more weeks, of negotiation.”

  • Hana Carter

    CUMMINGS' EXIT HAS ADDED PRESSURE ON BRITAIN TO MAKE CONCESSIONS

    Manfred Weber, a German MEP and close Angela Merkel ally, told the BBC Mr Cummings departure and the election of Joe Biden increases the pressure on Britain to make concessions.

    He said: “I see what is happening now in Downing Street.

    “We can see this as a quite chaotic situation where we don’t have any idea what is really the line.

    “I think it’s now time for leadership, having all the developments in America in mind, where London has understood it will be not so easy for Boris Johnson to achieve an easy trade deal.

    “Now it’s time to take responsibility and come to a common understanding.”

  • Hana Carter

    KENT TO BECOME THE 'TOILET OF ENGLAND' BECAUSE OF BREXIT

    Campaigners warn Kent could become the “toilet of England” in less than eight weeks unless loos are provided for thousands of lorry drivers who could be held up in the county for hours by post-Brexit border checks.

    They say Kent’s main roads are already littered with bottles of urine and bags of excrement and the problem could become much worse after 31 December.

    Local Liberal Democrat councillor Mike Sole, while speaking to The Guardian, said: “I’m worried Kent is becoming the toilet of England, not the garden of England.”

  • Hana Carter

    BRAZIL TRADE DEAL

    Top trade experts for Brazil and the UK held a video meeting on Wednesday to discuss a possible post-Brexit bilateral deal.

    Roberto Fendt, of Brazil’s Economy Ministry, said: “We must explore the possibility of negotiating a trade agreement.”

    His statement came after a virtual meeting with the British trade minister, Liz Truss.

    The meeting addressed areas such as environmentally friendly and sustainable growth, multilateral and bilateral trade cooperation and access to each other’s markets.

    According to Brazil’s Economy Ministry, goods trade between the two countries totalled £4billion last year, with Brazil posting a £483million surplus.

  • Hana Carter

    CUMMINGS 'SHOUTY' CONFRONTATION WITH JOHNSON

    Once all powerful, Mr Cummings threw in the towel on Thursday evening following “a shouty” confrontation with the PM over the ousting of his close ally Mr Cain.

    It came amid a week of spectacular briefing and counter briefing that would have made the sweary fictional aide Malcolm Tucker from the BBC’s Thick of It blush.

    Ms Symonds and a number or powerful female No10 aides had objected to a plan to promote Mr Cain to No10 boss and told the PM directly of their concerns.

  • Hana Carter

    'TOXIC ENVIRONMENT IN NUMBER 10'

    The PM finally lost his patience with his two enforcers after months of simmering Downing Street tensions and bitter backstabbing – sensationally banishing the guru as well as his long time spin doctor to the shock of Westminster.

    A source said: “Their behaviour in the last 72 hours was toxic and Boris said enough is enough.”

    Insiders pointed to vicious negative briefings to the press about Ms Symonds and anonymous claims that chief Brexit negotiator David Frost could follow the pair out of the door as “crossing the line.”

  • Hana Carter

    BORIS KICKED CUMMINGS OUT AFTER ATTACK ON CARRIE SYMONDS

    BORIS Johnson gave Brexit bruiser Dominic Cummings his marching orders rather than letting the axed aide serve until Christmas, The Sun can reveal.

    The Vote Leave veteran quit after a brutal Downing Street power struggle saying he would serve in No10 until the end of the year when Britain finally exits the EU.

    But lockdown rows, leaks and attacks on his fiancée Carrie Symonds were the last straw for the PM who was heralded by senior Tories last night for “taking back control of his premiership”.  

    The Sun has learnt a livid Prime Minister wanted him and ousted PR man Lee Cain out “sooner rather than later” and they will work out their notice away from Downing Street.

    A No10 source said: “The atmosphere is one of reset and change and that can’t happen with those two still in the building.”

  • Hana Carter

    HAULAGE BOSSES SLAM GOVT FOR FAILING TO PRODUCE BREXIT GUIDE

    Haulage bosses have slammed the government for failing to produce a Brexit handbook to help truck drivers prepare for Brexit.

    Early drafts of the handbook produced by the Department for Transport were rejected as “unusable”.

    A new draft is due on November 18 and the final version is not expected to be delivered until December 7, the Financial Times reports.

    Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, said he had been left “speechless” by the failure to produce a guide, the Financial Times reports.

    He said: “It’s like there is a fog in every government department. There are so many questions being asked, that nobody can keep on top of all these things that are being raised.”

  • Hana Carter

    JEREMY CORBYN ALLIES HIT OUT AT KEIR STARMER FOR BREXIT POLICY

    Jeremy Corbyn's senior allies have attacked Sir Keir Starmer, claiming he should issue a “full-throated apology” for backing a second Brexit referendum at last December's general election.

    Ian Lavery and former shadow cabinet member Jon Trickett, who were both sacked by Starmer when he became leader, claim the party's Brexit policy was 'disastrous'.

    “Labour got on the wrong side of the Brexit debate,” the MPs claim in their report “No Holding Back”, which was co-written by former MP Laura Smith.

    “People repeatedly claimed that Labour had become too southern and too middle class. We do not believe that Labour's problems in the so-called “red wall” areas began and ended with Brexit.

    “Leave voters were too often sneered at and Remain voters were led up the garden path with a position – of overturning the referendum result – that was never seriously achievable.

    “People who had supported Remain were sold a falsehood that not only could the result of the referendum be overturned, but that every version of Brexit was disastrous.

    “This discourse was relentlessly pursued by senior politicians despite there never being a realistic prospect of it happening.”

  • Hana Carter

    DEAL OR NO DEAL

    Brexit talks will sail past this week's deadline for a deal as negotiators haggle over 600 pages of legal docs.

    Trade negotiations with Brussels look set to go to the wire with both sides unwilling to budge on issues such as fishing.

    Both sides privately admit this week’s target for a deal will be missed and crunch talks will have to continue into next week

    and even beyond.

    But the EU had previously set a date for the end of this week for a breakthrough after Boris Johnson’s deadline demand of last month was also ignored.

    The delay risks legal hell on both sides as both the British and EU Parliaments must ratify any deal in a process that can take weeks – before it comes into force on January 1, 2021.

  • Hana Carter

    TORIES BLAST SADIQ KHAN OVER RACISM ARGUMENT

    Tories have blasted Sadiq Khan for refusing to say the Met Police are not “institutionally racist” and demanding cops “justify” stop and searches.

    Mr Khan today warned police officers are not “free from bias” as he launched an action plan to “improve trust” among black and minority ethnic communities and the police.

    But the London Mayor's comments sparked fury from Tory politicians for refusing to back the police and deny they are institutionally racist.

    When asked on Sky News whether the Met were “institutionally racist”, Mr Khan said: “I grew up in the city and I was routinely stopped and search for no good reason by the police.

    “I didn't have confidence in the police force growing up, and the police force today is light years away from when I was growing up.”

  • Hana Carter

    PICTURED – CUMMINGS CARRIES BOX OUT OF DOWNING STREET

  • Hana Carter

    DOMINIC CUMMINGS QUIT NUMBER 10

    Dominic Cummings dramatically quit No10 tonight after losing the huge power struggle that has engulfed Downing Street.

    The Brexit guru, who had originally planned to leave in the New Year, chose to leave through the front door past waiting photographers carrying a cardbox box full of his possessions.

    The former Vote Leave boss – who shot to political fame working on the Brexit campaign in 2016 – had confirmed his departure late last night after losing a key ally in spin doctor Lee Cain.

    But it was unclear exactly when he would leave No10 for good. Mr Cain is also believed to be leaving with immediate effect.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky earlier “he'll be missed… but advisers come and go.”

    Today MPs came out to say it was right he was going – and called for a fresh approach in No10.

    One gleeful Tory said: “goodbye and good riddance”.

  • Hana Carter

    ROGER GALE TELLS BORIS JOHNSON TO 'GET A GRIP' ON BREIXT AND COVID

    Senior Conservative backbencher Sir Roger Gale said the power struggle in Downing Street is a “distraction” from the coronavirus pandemic and post-Brexit trade negotiations, and told Prime

    Minister Boris Johnson to “get a grip on it”.

    The MP told the PA news agency: “The Government, and Downing Street particularly, should be concentrating all of its efforts on the pandemic and on the end game of Brexit, and frankly this is a distraction that cannot and should not be allowed to take place, and the Prime Minister has got to get a grip on it.

    “For my money Cummings is a liability and what the Prime Minister needs and deserves is a first-rate chief of staff who is a serious heavyweight, I think the expression currently in use is big boy pants.”

  • Hana Carter

    TWO WEEK EXTENSION

    Stormont deputy first minister Michelle O'Neill told the BBC's Newsline programme a two-week extension would potentially have brought them to the other side of Christmas before new measures had to be reintroduced.

    “We potentially are coming back to this situation again before Christmas.

    “This is not a position that any of us want to be in.”

    The Sinn Fein vice-president said Stormont chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride's advice was very clear and stark.

    “To do anything other than a two-week extension would cause excess death.

    “I in all good conscience could not support a proposal that falls short of that.”

    She said it was a “challenging” time for the Stormont Executive's five parties.

    “I am appalled at the actions of the DUP this week, to use a cross-community vote when they did not get their own way.”

  • Jon Rogers

    BREXIT TALKS PAUSED FOR WEEKEND

    Trade talks between the UK and EU will be paused over the weekend with them to restart in Brussels next week.

    Downing Street has confirmed the “pause”.

    It remains to be seen if any progress in reaching an agreement will be made then.

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