Brexit – live updates: Theresa May to meet Cabinet ministers to discuss EU trade deal proposals

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Welcome to The Independent’s politics live blog. Today Theresa May is due to meet her most senior ministers to discuss what kind of trade deal the UK should have with the EU after Brexit. 

The Prime Minister will then tell the House of Commons she will attempt to finalise free trade deals with countries outside the bloc “where possible” – setting her on collision course with Brussels.

Ms May’s statement in the Commons will see her indicate that she is determined to push towards the UK’s post-Brexit systems on trade and immigration.

She will say that during the transition, she intends to “register new arrivals from the EU as preparation for our future immigration system”.

“And we will prepare for our future independent trade policy by negotiating – and where possible, signing – trade deals with third countries, which could come into force after the conclusion of the implementation period.”

Follow all the latest updates below

Live Updates

2 mins ago

8 mins ago

Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, has said the UK will continue to play a “pivotal role” as a global nation after Brexit.

Speaking from O2’s central London headquarters Mr Williamson told the Press Association Britain’s place in the world is “not going to be about retreat”.

He said: “The Prime Minister has made it absolutely clear that Britain’s place in the world is not going to be about retreat.

“It’s going to be about being involved in every aspect of world affairs, whether it’s in Europe, whether it’s in the United Nations, whether i’s about playing our part as a global nation – global Britain.

“That’s what we’re doing. The armed forces are going to be playing an absolutely pivotal role in that.

“We’re actually serving in over 30 countries right around the globe: 25 different operations.

“That’s not going to be something we’re going to be stepping away from anytime in the future.”

20 mins ago

How would a new EU referendum work?

Our chief political commentator John Rentoul analyses the practicalities of organising another referendum on the final terms of Britain’s exit from the EU

32 mins ago

35 mins ago

Goldman Sachs boss speaks out on Brexit after poll showing majority of Britons now back Remain

The chief executive of investment bank Goldman Sachs has waded into the debate over whether a second Brexit referendum is needed, after new polling showed Britain turning its backs on EU withdrawal.

47 mins ago

Brexit is the opposite of ‘taking back control’ – we must think again

The IndependentThe year 2017 was the year of skirting round the core issues of Brexit: 2018 will be the year when Brexit hits reality.  The public may be bored with the subject now, and feeling resigned to a poor outcome, but in 12 months’ time, when the deadline is imminent and minds are concentrated, I do not think the mood will be so relaxed. In the referendum, Leave campaigners pledged no more free movement of people, control of our borders and laws and, most famously of all, our money back – £350m a week extra for the NHS no less.

57 mins ago

Later today Theresa May will meet her most senior minister to discuss what kind of trade deal the UK should have with Europe after the end of the “transition” period, which is likely to last from 2019 to 2021. 
 
After that the Prime Minister will tell the Commons the European Council guidelines point to the “shared desire of the EU and the UK to make rapid progress on an implementation period”.
 
“This will help give certainty to employers and families that we are going to deliver a smooth Brexit,” she will add.
 
“As I proposed in Florence, during this strictly time-limited implementation period which we will now begin to negotiate, we would not be in the Single Market or the Customs Union, as we will have left the European Union.
 
“But we would propose that our access to one another’s markets would continue as now, while we prepare and implement the new processes and new systems that will underpin our future partnership.
 
“During this period we intend to register new arrivals from the EU as preparation for our future immigration system.
 
“And we will prepare for our future independent trade policy by negotiating – and where possible signing – trade deals with third countries, which could come into force after the conclusion of the implementation period.”

1 hour ago

Britons now back Remain over Leave by 10 points, new poll shows

The British public has swung behind staying in the EU by its largest margin since the referendum, with those backing Remain outstripping Leavers by ten points, a new poll has revealed. The exclusive survey for The Independent by BMG Research showed 51 per cent now back remaining in the union, while 41 per cent want Brexit.

1 hour ago

Brexit: Chief EU negotiator says ‘no way’ to bespoke trade deal for UK

The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator has said “no way” to Theresa May securing a bespoke trade deal with Brussels.  Michel Barnier said the EU is not prepared to come up with a makeshift trade deal for the UK that knits together all the best bits of existing models.

1 hour ago

Gina Miller: I’m more than happy to put my trust in the public to reconsider Brexit

Wednesday’s vote to give Parliament a much greater say in leaving the EU, supported by 11 rebelling Tory MPs, poses a dilemma for Theresa May. It’s not the outcome she hoped for, but it is a belated reassertion by MPs of the primacy of parliamentary democracy. Many of us have been troubled by the acute irony of Brexiteers parading their belief that withdrawal would mean a repatriation of powers to Westminster and, yet, they have steadfastly tried to muzzle parliament ever since Article 50 was triggered.  

1 hour ago

Nicky Morgan says something is ‘going badly wrong in our democracy’ after a year of abuse and threats

An ex-Conservative cabinet minister has warned that “something is going badly wrong in our democracy” following a year in which violent threats and abuse flooded political debate. Senior backbencher Nicky Morgan pointed the finger at politicians, newspapers and commentators who do not take responsibility for inciting anger. Ms Morgan, who chairs the influential Treasury Select Committee, said those who turn a blind eye to abuse are “playing with a fire which will eventually consume them as well”.

2 hours ago

 

This is from the CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein, who is referring to a poll published in The Independent at the weekend, giving Remain its biggest lead (10 points) since the EU referendum last year.

2 hours ago

Pensions Secretary admits there have been benefits cases ‘where we got it wrong’

The IndependentPensions Secretary David Gauke has admitted there have been cases dealt with under the Government’s benefits sanctions regime “where we got it wrong”. Mr Gauke was challenged about the impact of sanctions on Sunday, which cover universal credit, employment and support allowance (ESA), jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) and income support. Critics blame the sanctions regime for forcing some of the poorest in society into debt and risk of homelessness.

2 hours ago

Liam Fox has a £1m plan to appoint new trade commissioners

The IndependentLiam Fox is under fire over £1m-plus plans to appoint new “trade commissioners” around the world, on gold-plated packages normally handed to the UK’s ambassadors. The roles offer £120,000 salaries – akin to the pay for the most glittering ambassador jobs in France, Russia, Japan and at the United Nations – as well as lucrative home travel costs and private education for any children.

2 hours ago

Tory former Cabinet minister and leading Leave campaigner Iain Duncan Smith told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “l don’t buy this idea of a fixed position in the world. It’s not a case of less trade, it’s a case of a different type of trade, and British business will have to learn, as they do, to get by in a different world.

“And to bear in mind, we are looking to make trade arrangements which will make life easier for us with other markets. So, you have to look at these things no longer in a case of just the European Union.”

2 hours ago

Theresa May insists she will try to sign new trade deals before Brexit transition is over

Theresa May will insist on Monday that she will try to sign new free trade deals during the UK’s Brexit transition period, setting herself on a collision course with Brussels. Ms May will tell the House of Commons she will attempt to finalise the deals “where possible”, despite the EU signalling it would not be feasible under terms for the transition they are proposing.

2 hours ago

Brexit: Chief EU negotiator says ‘no way’ to bespoke trade deal for UK

The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator has said “no way” to Theresa May securing a bespoke trade deal with Brussels.  Michel Barnier said the EU is not prepared to come up with a makeshift trade deal for the UK that knits together all the best bits of existing models.