24 December 2020 | UK NEWS
LIVE COVERAGE – WILL BE UPDATED AS EVENTS PROGRESS
A press conference is being held by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the EU’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier. Its topic is “the outcome of the EU-UK negotiations”.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold his own press conference afterwards.
14:55 The following images from a WhatsApp group chat have emerged from a Downing Street source:
15:03 Von der Leyen: “We can leave Brexit behind us.” Continued co-operation in climate change, energy, security and transport. 5.5-year fishing transition period.
15:04 Von der Leyen: “The European Union is well-prepared for Brexit, but we know this does not remove all the problems.”
15:07 Barnier: “The clock is no longer ticking.”
15:09 Barnier: This deal is “without precedent”.
15:15 Von der Leyen: “Strong measures that can be taken if one party does not play by the rules.”
15:19 EU press conference has finished.
15:25 Prime Minister Boris Johnson to set out UK statement imminently.
15:29 Johnson: This deal “achieves something which the people of this country instinctively knew was possible, but they were told was impossible”.
15:30 Johnson: Fully independent coastal state. 5.5-year transition period on fishing, during which catch rises from roughly half to roughly two-thirds. £100m support programme for fishing industry as well.
15:32 Johnson: “The concepts of harmonisation and unity are banished.” UK Parliament will vote on 30 December.
15:35 Johnson: “We will be your friend, your ally, your supporter, and indeed, never let it be forgotten, your number one market.”
15:56 Johnson: “Absolutely confident this is a deal that protects our police and security co-operation.”
15:58 Johnson: Erasmus Scheme to be replaced by “Turing Scheme”, in a similar vein but applying to universities around the world. Also: “The Opposition should vote for this excellent deal.”
The Prime Minister has written to Conservative MPs to outline the newly-agreed future relationship deal with the EU. His letter can be read here:489065796-Dear-Colleague-Letter-From-the-Prime-Minister-24-12-20-003