We are a matter of weeks away from the end of the transition period with still no sign of the deal Johnson’s Government assured the public would be so easy.
Control of fishing waters seems to remain one of the key sticking points. Barnier convened a meeting of the EU member states’ fisheries ministers at the end of last week, which some have suggested is indicative of a breakthrough on the fish stalemate – while others maintain that this meeting was routine.
On the ground, DEFRA has made a new announcement on what the government’s plan for managing agriculture is set to look like after Brexit. They will see deep cuts to farm support, with many farms losing up to half of their support in the first three years. Companies are rushing to stockpile goods from the European Union, according to logistics industry leaders, driving the price of customs services “through the roof”. Rates are estimated to have risen by about a fifth over recent weeks.
British seasonal workers have learnt that they are unlikely to be able to access jobs at EU chalets and ski resorts post 1 January, potentially leading to the loss of up to 25,000 jobs for British workers.
The Internal Market Bill is expected back in the Commons next week, though if there’s a deal, this may be changed due to the need to pass implementation legislation for domestic arrangements for our future relationship with the EU.