Delay Brexit deadline amid coronavirus, say MEPS

The UK is due to stop following EU rules by the end of 2020 but a group of MEPs say the date should be pushed back.

Boris Johnson won't delay Brexit despite 'double whammy' coronavirus warning

Europe's biggest MEP grouping called for the PM to agree to a longer transition period - but he won't

Extend Brexit transition by years over coronavirus, UK told

European People’s party says it hopes ‘common sense will prevail over ideology’

The largest group in the European parliament has urged the UK government to do “the responsible thing” and extend the Brexit transition period, as coronavirus plays havoc with the timetable for an EU-UK deal.

The centre-right European People’s party (EPP), which unites the parties of 11 EU leaders, including Angela Merkel and Leo Varadkar, issued a statement on Monday calling on the government to extend the Brexit transition beyond the end of the year.

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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson faces fresh pressure to delay Brexit transition period

British economy faces 'double whammy' of coronavirus disruption and no-deal threat, warns largest grouping of MEPs

Largest group of MEPs in EU demands UK extend Brexit transition period

The European People's Party said pushing back the deadline for trade talks to conclude is the 'only responsible thing to do' in the current circumstances.

Coronavirus is the new Brexit – another battlefield in the never-ending culture war

The Leave and Remain armies haven't been demobbed. They are regrouping in new theatres of combat

EU citizens in UK at risk of becoming illegal as coronavirus response prioritised

Campaigners urge government to replace settled status process with guaranteed ‘right to stay’

Campaigners fear that EU citizens who have made their homes in the UK are at risk of becoming illegal as the government diverts resources to fight coronavirus.

Under current rules, all EU citizens have until June 2021 to apply for settled status. However, there are concerns that the pandemic will mean that the government support available to help EU citizens will reduce, and public awareness campaigns, designed to reach the most vulnerable people and those without an online presence, will be delayed.

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Labour leadership favourite Keir Starmer 'plans scorched earth removal of hard-Left'

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer is expected to romp to victory when the result of the contest is announced on Saturday.

Coronavirus: Two-thirds of Britons want UK to request Brexit extension to focus on pandemic, poll shows

Government has said it remains 'fully committed to the negotiations'

SNP urges UK government to 'hit pause' on Brexit due to coronavirus

The party says UK ministers should focus on the coronavirus pandemic and seek to extend the transition period.

Two-thirds of Britons want Brexit trade talks delay amid coronavirus - poll

The UK and EU have been trying to thrash out their future relationship, with the transition due to end in December. But the PM and his Brexit envoy David Frost (pictured) have coronavirus symptoms.

Did Michel Barnier infect PM? The EU's Brexit negotiator could be Downing Street's 'Patient Zero'

The coronavrius that has laid Boris Johnson low may have passed into Westminster's inner circle via the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, according to one theory.

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson revealed fears over lack of ventilators in call after his diagnosis, Donald Trump says

'I say 'how are you feeling' and the first thing Boris said to me is 'we need ventilators'.....'

Coronavirus: Brussels rubbishes UK government claim it missed EU ventilator scheme due to 'communications problem'

'Member states and the UK had the opportunity to signal their interest to participate in any joint procurements,' says EU spokesperson

Applause for NHS was bittersweet | Letter

For Corinne Fowler, the clapping event transcended the bitter rows of the last few years, but also caused a pang of sorrow

The mass clapping event (Millions of Britons clap for carers on coronavirus frontline, 26 March) was bittersweet and loaded with irony. It was an unprecedented show of collective gratitude, inspired by a Dutch woman living in the UK, by a nation whose Brexit vote caused a shortage of medical staff as it sent EU citizens away. A clapping nation whose government created a “hostile environment” to banish the Windrush generation, who made vital contributions to the NHS.

I also thought of supermarket workers on low wages now risking life and limb, generally with no gloves or masks. There is little consideration for their safety. If it weren’t for them we would not be eating.

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Brexit: EU-UK meeting to go ahead via video link

The government insists the coronavirus crisis will not slow its timetable for reaching a trade deal.

Covid-19 puts post-Brexit relationship talks 'in deep freeze'

Brussels also laments London’s failure to table comprehensive legal text to work on

Planned negotiating rounds on the UK’s future relationship with the EU have been abandoned as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with Boris Johnson’s government still to table a comprehensive legal text for both sides to work on.

During a European commission briefing on Thursday, envoys for the EU capitals were told that holding negotiations via video-conferencing had so far proved impossible.

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No 10 accused of putting 'Brexit over breathing' in Covid-19 ventilator row

Government clarifies position after critics accuse Boris Johnson of putting ‘Brexit over breathing’

Downing Street has claimed it failed to take part in an EU scheme to source life-saving ventilators to treat coronavirus because it accidentally missed the deadline.

No 10 initially said it did not take part because the UK was “no longer a member” and was “making our own efforts”.

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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson blames administrative error for failure to sign up to EU equipment help scheme

Downing Street has blamed an administrative error for the UK's failure to sign up to an emergency EU scheme to help procure vital medical equipment to fight coronavirus.

The UK won't take part in EU drive for coronavirus ventilators because of Brexit

Boris Johnson has been accused of putting Brexit before breathing as Number 10 said we would not take part in the programme - even though the EU say we can

'Deeply inappropriate': Boris Johnson facing mounting demands to suspend all post-Brexit trade talks during coronavirus

'We call on the government to pause all trade negotiations until the covid-19 crisis is under control and to inform both the public and potential trade partners of necessary action'

Think you know how coronavirus will change Britain? Think again | Martin Kettle

Beware confident predictions of our future after the Covid-19 crisis. Our response to seismic change is often to entrench existing views

If there is one thing everyone living through the Covid-19 emergency agrees, it is that it is unprecedented. Everyone is surely right about that. But what follows in politics, economics and social behaviour from that recognition? There is no agreement there. There are resemblances with wartime, of course, but Britain never went into almost total lockdown in wartime. There are echoes of past pestilences too, but these afflictions did not bring normal life to such a totalising standstill.

And these are only early days in a long process. Politicians are no better than anyone else at adjusting to radical change. As Boris Johnson’s uncertain initial messaging exemplified, adjustment takes time. The worst of the crisis is also yet to come. Covid-19 cases and deaths have not yet peaked. The outbreak may drag on for longer than we have yet grasped, or it may return. Pretending that life could be back to normal by Easter, as Donald Trump does, is delinquent. If the 1918-19 flu pandemic is a guide, the Covid-19 virus may be with us for a year.

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Boris Johnson accused of putting Brexit 'ideology' ahead of patients after refusing to join EU scheme to buy key coronavirus equipment

Scheme leverages buying power of 500 million-strong single market to make bulk orders

Plan to cut the number of MPs axed over 'Brexit workload'

David Cameron's proposal to shrink the size of the Commons by 50 MPs is dropped by the government.

Nish Kumar: Audience member who 'pelted him with bread' over Brexit joke needs 'anger management'

'Mash Report' host was hit by the flying baked good at a charity dinner in December

Coronavirus: Welsh Government calls for longer Brexit transition

Not doing so could cause an "economic shock" as firms struggle with coronavirus, they warn.

In a time of national crisis, Brexit can wait – but woe betide the Remainers who gloat about it

An 11-month timeframe for agreeing a complex, comprehensive trade deal was already thought by many experts to be inconceivable. The onset of this coronavirus has now made it absolutely impossible

Tory MP says people considered 'low-skilled' in post-Brexit immigration system 'actually pretty crucial to running of our country'

'We've never said people at lower skill levels are unimportant,' says Patel

Coronavirus: Food rationing must be introduced immediately, experts warn government

Exclusive: 'Thirty years ago, the UK's food retailers carried 10-12 days of stock – now they have just 24-36 hours of stock'

Brexit: Boris Johnson's father 'applies for French passport'

Move revealed by prime minister's sister Rachel

The coronavirus outbreak has made the budget irrelevant

This emergency demands good judgment, not the usual obsession with debt and deficit levels

Seldom has a British government’s budget been rendered so out of date and so irrelevant as Rishi Sunak’s first.

One of the best indicators of this was provided in his post-budget evidence to the Treasury select committee last week by Robert Chote, the much-respected chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). The OBR is the independent watchdog on government spending and taxation plans – the setting-up of which was one of the few acts of Chancellor George Osborne of which I approved.

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Boris Johnson 'tries to defuse civil liberties row over emergency laws'

Boris Johnson is said to be looking to defuse a civil liberties row over coronavirus emergency laws by dropping plans for the powers to last two years without a further Commons vote.

For centuries, the Speaker was impartial but puffed-up with self-importance Bercow tore up the rules

A scathing new biography of John Bercow reveals the hypocrisy of the former Speaker for claiming to be a champion of diversity when he was at the centre of numerous allegations of bullying women.

US trade deal ‘could flood Britain with toxic cosmetics’

Campaigners fear that EU rules banning dangerous chemicals will be relaxed to allow American companies into UK market

A UK trade deal with the US will see the relaxation of stringent laws prohibiting the use of dangerous ingredients in imported cosmetics, campaigners are warning.

Concerns about food that could be imported under a deal – in particular chicken washed with chlorine – have been widely aired. But so far little attention has been given to products made by other industries.

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Majority of Britons support extending Brexit transition period amid coronavirus outbreak, new poll shows

Latest round of negotiations delayed last week as governments scramble to contain outbreak

Tory backbenchers plan rebellion against Boris Johnson's plans

Tory backbenchers will stage a rebellion next week against the Prime Minister's plans to introduce emergency laws to help fight coronavirus.

SIMON WALTERS: Boris Johnson had to get real about coronavirus despite loathing the nanny state 

SIMON WALTERS: At long last, Boris Johnson has finally made the nation sit up and pay attention by ordering the closure of pubs, restaurants and cafes.

UK's Brexit envoy David Frost self-isolates with suspected coronavirus

David Frost, 55, is avoiding all social contact in case he has contracted the disease, in a fresh blow to hopes of making progress with trade talks.

Coronavirus: UK's Brexit negotiator David Frost 'self-isolates with symptoms'

Top British official's EU counterpart Michel Barnier tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday

I'm stranded in Italy but feel safer here than in the UK – they're taking coronavirus so much more seriously

For the past few years, even amidst all the Brexit chaos, I've felt more at home in London in Sicily, where I'm from. Now I feel I'm better off here

I'm stranded in Italy but feel safer here than in the UK – they're taking coronavirus so much more seriously

For the past few years, even amidst all the Brexit chaos, I've felt more at home in London than in Sicily, where I'm from. Now I feel I'm better off here

Michel Barnier tests positive for coronavirus 

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has tested positive for coronavirus.

Coronavirus: EU Commission's Michel Barnier says 'we're all in this together' after testing positive

Brexit talks in London were cancelled this week

Online bodyguard who can keep YOU safe: Ex-Met detective protects female MPs

Online bodyguard and ex Metropolitan police detective Philip Grindell protects female MPs, celebrities, and CEOs on the internet. He has advised Laura Kuenssberg and Kay Burley.

Boris Johnson accused of 'putting his head in the sand' over coronavirus threat to Brexit deal

Prime minister 'reckless' to stick to end-of-year deadline for EU trade deal, says Lib Dem acting leader

The Guardian view on Covid-19 and Brexit: extend the transition | Editorial

The deadline for a deal looked fanciful before the present crisis. Now it looks impossible and must be moved

If, at this critical moment, the government was to announce plans to put a new burden on business, disrupt supply chains and impede the flow of goods, the reckless folly of it would be obvious. But Boris Johnson does not need to make such an announcement, because the measures come into force automatically at the end of the year.

Unless an extension to the Brexit transition period is sought by June, a newly obstructive border will appear between UK ports and the EU single market next January. Customs checks will separate Northern Ireland from mainland Britain. The effect will be delays, costs and a decline in trade volumes.

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Thanks to coronavirus getting an EU trade deal by December is impossible – now is the time to push back the deadline

Indeed, the outbreak makes the case for a softer version of Brexit than the one the prime minister wants