Brussels warns of far reaching Brexit impact as talks make little headway

Brussels has warned UK nationals to prepare for “thorough checks” at EU borders and the loss of rights such as free movement for pets and automatic recognition of driving licences, in a stark warning of Brexit’s ramifications. 

On the same day that Michel Barnier, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, said that “significant divergences” remained in Brussels’ future-relationship talks with Britain, the European Commission on Thursday issued a policy paper warning of “far reaching and automatic changes” regardless of the outcome of the negotiations. 

The paper, published to help companies and citizens prepare for the end of Britain’s transition period on December 31, reflects Mr Barnier’s repeated warnings that the UK cannot “cherry pick” the benefits of the single market in a future trade deal. 

Brussels also underlined that it would not mirror the UK’s intended policy of showing leniency when it comes to customs formalities in the months after the transition

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ONS signals rail nationalisation with debt sheet move

The de facto nationalisation of Britain’s railways is closer to being officially recognised after the national statistics watchdog launched a review to consider counting the operators’ debts on the government balance sheet.

The technical reclassification has prompted concern among rail executives who are anxious for the government to commit to a public-private partnership over the longer term. 

The Office for National Statistics said its decision was prompted by the government agreeing in March to rescue the sector through the Covid-19 pandemic with a six-month package that effectively underwrote any losses.

The rail companies have already received £3.5bn of taxpayer support. Ministers are now considering a further rescue package to help them survive through to late 2021 amid expectations of subdued passenger numbers for months ahead. 

“ONS is reviewing the classification status of train operating companies following the creation of emergency measures agreements between them and the government,” a spokesman told

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Rishi Sunak decided hospitality was worthy of special help

Chancellor Rishi Sunak was greeted with a thunderous banging of desks by Conservative MPs on Wednesday after unveiling his £30bn plan to save jobs.

Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs, urged them to cut short their effusive praise, telling Mr Sunak: “We take it as read that everyone thinks you’re brilliant.”

But Mr Sunak was brought back to reality with a bump on Thursday. Against the backdrop of more than 5,000 jobs going at John Lewis and Boots, he faced tough questions about the type of jobs he was trying to save in his coronavirus summer statement — and the way he was going about it.

The Treasury revealed that the top civil servant at HM Revenue & Customs, Jim Harra, had warned Mr Sunak that it was impossible to judge whether his £1,000-a-worker “job retention bonus” for companies and his “eat out to help

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Coronavirus: Gyms, indoor pools and leisure centres in England to reopen from 25 July | UK News

Gyms, swimming pools and other sports facilities are to be allowed to open their doors once again and this summer’s club cricket season is finally getting under way.

A day after Rishi Sunak served up cheap meals and urged the nation to “eat out to help out”, the government is relaxing lockdown rules to encourage us all to get fit again.

Outdoor swimming pools in England can reopen from 11 July and indoor gyms, swimming pools, dance studios and sports like badminton and volleyball from 25 July.

A gym in Northumberland moved equipment into the car park so classes could be held outdoors

At a Downing Street news conference, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed beauty salons, tanning shops and tattooists can reopen in England from Monday.

Outdoor arts performances – including theatres, opera, dance and music – will also be able to resume from this weekend, although audience numbers

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