13 Oct Brexit news – live: MPs reject bid to protect food standards, as unemployment up 700,000 since lockdown
The UK’s £225bn professional and business services industry risks could “suffer” badly after Brexit, even if Boris Johnson’s government manages to strikes a trade deal with the EU, a House of Lords subcommittee warned.
It comes as MPs have overturned measures designed to protect domestic food standards in future trade deals. The Commons voted down a Lords amendment which would have required both agricultural and food imports to meet the UK’s standards after Brexit.
Meanwhile, there are nearly 700,000 fewer people in work than just before the pandemic, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The data also shows redundancies are at their highest rate in more than a decade.
France will accept ‘no weakness’ on fishing rights, says minister
The French continue to dig their fisherman’s sandals in over access to British waters after Brexit. Clément Beaune, France’s Europe minister and a close political ally of Emmanuel Macron, told business leaders: “We will have no weakness on this issue of fisheries, that is clear.”
Elsewhere, French MEPs told European Parliament colleagues to vote against any trade deal which does not guarantee “continuous access to British waters”.
A reminder that on Monday Emmanuel Macron’s top ally in Brussels, Dacian Cioloș, who leads the Renew group in the European parliament, told The Independent it was time for Boris Johnson to “decide” whether he actually wants a deal – and personally intervene to make it happen.
Adam Forrest13 October 2020 08:59
Sage scientists wanted ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown weeks ago
As Boris Johnson announced the details of a three-tier local lockdown strategy in England, it emerged the government’s scientific advisers called for an urgent “circuit break” lockdown for England three weeks ago.
Members of Sage (the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) warned a package of interventions was needed to stop an exponential rise in coronavirus cases, minutes from a 21 September meeting show.
The Sage advisors wanted a short “circuit breaker” of two to three weeks to cut the number of cases – closing all bars and restaurants, gyms and hairdressers, as well as a ban on all contact with members of another household inside a home.
The scientists also advised universities and limit teaching to online unless face-to-face contact was deemed “essential”.
Adam Forrest13 October 2020 08:55
Redundancies hit highest rate in a decade
Redundancies are at their highest rate in more than a decade, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said – as the rate of unemployment rose to 4.5 per cent (up from 4.1 per cent in the previous quarter).
In total, 673,000 jobs were lost between March and September. “However, in total there were still nearly 700,000 fewer [jobs] than in March, before the lockdown,” said the ONS’ Jonathan Athow.
Adam Forrest13 October 2020 08:24
MPs overturn measures to uphold food standards after Brexit
MPs have overturned measures designed to protect domestic food standards in future trade deals, amid fears over chlorinated chicken.
The Commons voted by 332 votes to 279 to strike out a Lords amendment which would have required both agricultural and food imports to meet the UK’s standards after Brexit.
MPs were also denied a vote on a key measure designed to help prevent the likes of chlorinated chicken from America entering Britain.
Adam Forrest13 October 2020 08:09