Ministers launch advertising blitz warning Britons about changes to holidays after UK leaves EU

'The UK's new start: let's get going' adverts, part of a £93 million campaign, will be launched by the Government on television, radio and online, with information also sent to people via text message.

Massive government ad campaign warns your holiday will be trickier after Brexit

People are being warned to check their passport and roaming charges, get 'comprehensive' insurance and visit a vet four months in advance in the upbeat new serious of adverts

'New start: let's get going': Brexit information campaign warns Britons of risks as full departure looms

Talk of 'opportunity' likened to Orwell-style 'Newspeak' – as advice highlights perils from new travel rules, bigger phone bills and border chaos

'Brexit is the biggest and most absurd waste of money in history'

The expensive campaign preparing for a New Year’s Eve no-deal crash out of Europe reinforces how Prime Minister Boris Johnson didn’t “Get Brexit Done” when he partied in Downing Street

Local anger over plans for post-Brexit 'lorry park' at Ashford

The government has ordered a 27-acre site be transformed into a customs clearance centre

It is a competitive field when it comes to noise, but the sweet birdsong rising up from 27 acres of ragwort, overground grass and dense bramble hedgerows just about wins against the hum of traffic from the nearby M20 in Kent.

But from Monday the victory for wildlife will end as the first machines and crews start work on a 27-acre Brexit customs clearance centre to process lorries coming from the EU into Dover in January and beyond, prompting anger from local residents, a Tory MP and other politicians.

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Irish PM Micheal Martin calls for 'urgent' progress in Brexit trade talks

Micheal Martin, who recently took over from Leo Varadkar, said there had been 'some progress' but called for an 'injection of momentum'.

Boris Johnson accused of plan to 'emasculate' UK devolution

Senior figures in Scotland and Wales warn Brexit is bringing a ‘statutory fist crashing down’

Boris Johnson has been accused of planning an “emasculation” of the devolution settlement, with senior officials and politicians warning that plans for a post-Brexit UK-wide internal market will put Scotland and Wales on a collision course with Westminster.

As support for Scottish independence shows a sustained polling lead and the Welsh parliament prepares for a debate on Wednesday about holding an independence referendum, the UK government has been accused of bringing a “statutory fist crashing down” as it attempts to regulate policy and standards across the four nations.

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Revealed: Dominic Cummings firm paid Vote Leave's AI firm £260,000

Boris Johnson’s chief adviser declines to explain reason for payments to Faculty

A private company owned and controlled by Dominic Cummings paid more than a quarter of a million pounds to the artificial intelligence firm that worked on the Vote Leave campaign.

The prime minister’s chief adviser is declining to explain the reason for the payments to Faculty, which were made in instalments over two years. Faculty also declined to say what they were for.

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Government to spend £700m on readying UK border for Brexit

Money will be used to hire 500 staff and build control posts to oversee customs procedures

Ministers are ploughing £700m into a Brexit border strategy to be ready once the country leaves the single market and customs union, hiring 500 extra staff and building control posts.

The financial package comes days after a leaked letter from the international trade secretary, Liz Truss, revealed her concern that the country would not be ready for the transition period to end on 31 December.

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Brexit: Ministers accused of building 'pointless lorry park in Kent' after announcing £700m for trade checks

'This is all so pointless. We are creating a vast customs bureaucracy, with costs passed on to the consumer'

UK to spend £700m setting up new border bureaucracy for after Brexit

Tory ministers will 'take back control' by preparing for a flood of new checks - as two-thirds of the money will pay for 'port and inland infrastructure' to 'ensure compliance'

Johnson must be mad if he thinks Britain can afford a no-deal Brexit | William Keegan

Crashing out of the EU would put paid to the prime minister’s ambitions to become a big-spending Roosevelt

Does Boris Johnson want to go down in history – or just down and down? At present all the signs are that, if he goes on in the direction he and his frightful lieutenant Dominic Cummings are heading, he will go down (and down and down) as having run the most disastrous government most of us can remember. Moreover, he will be forgiven by neither this generation nor the next.

We shall come back to that. First we must consider the big news of the moment, Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s summer statement – a mini-budget whose scope necessitates a redefinition of mini-budgets. It was breathtakingly huge, but necessary. Inevitably, there were gaps, where an effort to rescue jobs and compensate for the damage caused by a government-imposed depression helped many victims but neglected some. But, on balance, a rightwing chancellor and a Treasury whose traditional raison d’être is to keep an eye on spending levels have together risen to the occasion, with a little help from our “build, build, build … spend, spend, spend … end austerity” prime minister.

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The Observer view on post-Brexit UK-China relations

Zealots touted a future based on lucrative trade deals with Beijing. Only now are they are waking up to the risks

Anger and alarm about China is mounting rapidly in government circles and especially among Tory rightwingers, anxious about national security, unfair trade practices and Hong Kong. It’s certainly true that the increasingly aggressive behaviour of President Xi Jinping’s authoritarian regime is deeply worrying. It’s a pity that the Tory grandees who are making the most noise now did not raise their concerns much earlier, before Britain became dependent on Beijing’s favours to escape its Brexit mess.

As pressure grows on Boris Johnson to exclude the telecoms company Huawei from the UK’s 5G rollout and to review Chinese investment in nuclear, transport and other security-related projects, Iain Duncan Smith and former ministers David Davis, Liam Fox and Owen Paterson are backing an interparliamentary alliance to scrutinise China’s activities. Separately, Tories in the new China Research Group, modelled on Westminster’s pro-Brexit European Research Group, are boldly promising greater vigilance.

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Michael Gove's £700million plan to beef up border security

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has authorised £470m to be spent on infrastructure such as border control posts, and a further £235 million for computer systems and extra staff.

Top civil servant quits amid growing acrimony between Downing Street and the Whitehall machine 

Once dubbed 'the Mr Big of Brexit', Tom Shinner had returned to the Government, having left for the private sector after leading cross-Government preparations for a potential No Deal exit.

Chancellor 'to set up 10 deregulated freeports' in Brexit tax cut plans

Rishi Sunak reportedly planning to open bidding for towns, cities and regions to become designated zones where UK taxes and tariffs will not apply

Brexit: Foreign care workers to be given special visas to move to UK to ease staffing crisis fears

Fast-track, cut-price permission to take up job offers – already promised for NHS professionals – will now be offered to some care staff, after widespread pressure

'Incredibly blokey': Women shut out of Boris Johnson's key decision making bodies, analysis finds

Four new strategy-setting cabinet committees have no female voices - while two others have only Priti Patel

My allotment was once a casual hobby. Since lockdown, it's become a lifeline | Alice O'Keefe

Growing our own potatoes is fun – but the pandemic and looming trade deals have exposed Britain’s fragile food security

Smugness is a well-documented side-effect of having an allotment, and at this time of year, with raspberries, gooseberries, currants, new potatoes and other goodies ripening and making it to the table, the condition becomes particularly acute. “Notice anything about these spuds?” I can’t help myself asking, faux-casually, over dinner. “And how about the chard? Particularly delicious, no?” To which the only acceptable answer, clearly, is a chorus of: “Oh yes, I noticed that immediately, I’ve never tasted such magnificent chard in my life.” (For some reason, this is not a response that comes naturally to my children.)

Many plot-holders will be even more insufferable this year, as we’ve had so much more time than usual to spend tending our plots. Allotments have been open throughout lockdown, designated as safe spaces for daily exercise. I nearly gave mine up before the pandemic, as I was too busy working and socialising to keep the weeds at bay. Boy, am I glad I kept it: as a mother of two energetic boys without much outdoor space at home, our plot has been a lifeline.

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Vast Brexit customs clearance centre to be built in Kent

Exclusive: council given only hours’ notice of emergency purchase of 1.2m sq ft ‘Mojo’ site

The government has secretly purchased nine hectares (22 acres) of land 20 miles from Dover to site a vast new Brexit customs clearance centre for the 10,000 lorries that come through the Kent port from Calais every day.

It will be the first customs post erected in the UK dealing with goods coming from the EU for 27 years.

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Food prices to go up from 1 January unless UK reaches EU trade deal, retailers warn

Mince, oranges, cheese and cucumbers among staples to become more expensive, retail trade body says

Government launches new 'Get Ready for Brexit' campaign

Businesses will discover details of customs regime after Brexit on Monday

The government is set to launch a multi-million pound “Get Ready for Brexit” campaign on Monday, as businesses learn details of the complex customs regime they will face.

Details of the campaign, which will be partly aimed at Britons living in the EU, will be confirmed by Michael Gove in TV interviews scheduled for Sunday. The controversial Brexit border plans – which were criticised this week by the international trade secretary, Liz Truss – published on Monday along with fresh detail on post-Brexit immigration.

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700% rise in EU settlement scheme refusals, figures show

One in 10 applicants who received outcomes last month given no immigration status, new data shows

Liz Truss is suddenly worried about a Brexit deal – but for the wrong reason | Jill Rutter

The international trade secretary fears the UK may fail to comply with WTO rules. But the real problem will be trade with the EU

The international trade secretary, Liz Truss, joins a long list of people concerned that the UK may not be as ready for Brexit on 1 January 2021 as it needs to be.

In a letter to cabinet colleagues this week, she has reportedly raised concerns that the UK will not be operating a World Trade Organization (WTO) compliant border when we leave the EU. It was an embarrassing revelation, particularly coming on the same day as the UK was nominating her predecessor, Liam Fox, as the man to lead the WTO into a new era.

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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson to reject place on EU's vaccine scheme

'The government walking away from this EU deal just smacks of ideological dogma'

No-deal Brexit will raise cost of UK household staples, say retailers

Meat, cheese and oranges among items that will cost more if no trade deal reached

The cost of household staples, ranging from meat and cheese to school uniforms and drinking glasses, will substantially increase if there is no Brexit trade deal, British retailers have warned.

With just six months to go before the UK leaves the EU entirely by exiting the single market and the European customs union, retailers fear further damage to a sector already reeling from the coronavirus crisis, with 5,600 job losses announced on Thursday from Boots and John Lewis alone.

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Britain will opt out EU coronavirus vaccine scheme

Ministers will opt out of the new 'EU vaccine strategy' after Brussels ruled that because of Brexit the UK would be barred from attending the scheme's 'steering committee'.

Indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres can reopen this month, government announces

Culture Secretary sets date but says mitigating measures will be put in place to stop virus spread

'Significant divergences' in UK-EU talks - Michel Barnier

The EU's chief negotiator made the remarks after the latest trade deal talks in London.

Brexit talks round breaks up after just a day and a half as 'significant divergences' derail progress

European Commission urges businesses to prepare for rough break with UK

Boris Johnson's pledge to recruit 50,000 more NHS nurses is in doubt

Number of nurses coming from EU fell again and coronavirus prevented further arrivals

Boris Johnson’s pledge to recruit 50,000 more NHS nurses is in doubt after the number coming from the EU fell again and coronavirus prevented thousands of arrivals from the rest of the world.

The prime minister made the promise a cornerstone of his general election campaign last year and has since reiterated many times his determination to deliver the increase.

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Boris Johnson news – live: Brexit plans could face international legal challenge, letter reveals, as Sunak admits UK entering 'very significant recession'

Follow all the latest developments

Liz Truss warns Boris Johnson over Brexit border plans

International trade secretary tells PM and chancellor plans risk smuggling and damage to UK reputation

An extraordinary cabinet row has erupted over Brexit with Liz Truss warning that Boris Johnson’s border plans risk smuggling, damage to the UK’s international reputation and could face a legal challenge from the World Trade Organization.

The international trade secretary wrote to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and Michael Gove on Wednesday warning of four “key areas of concern” over their plans for the border next January.

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The Guardian view on Brexit and trade: an expensive geography lesson | Editorial

Boris Johnson is learning the hard way that the UK’s position on the globe is a relevant factor in its negotiations with Brussels

It is possible that Boris Johnson meant it when he said last year that Brexit would not involve checks on goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but only if he did not understand the deal he had signed. His position made sense as dishonesty or ignorance. It was never true.

As Brexit talks continue in London this week, it turns out the government has submitted to the EU its application to put border control posts at Irish Sea ports. That is a necessary act of compliance with the Northern Ireland protocol in the withdrawal agreement.

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Liz Truss warns Boris Johnson's 'oven-ready' Brexit border plan is vulnerable

In a leaked letter, the Trade Secretary told Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove she had concerns about the Prime Minister's plan

Trade Secretary says Boris Johnson's Brexit border plans vulnerable to smugglers and WTO challenge

Leaked letter shows Liz Truss has concerns with government's approach

UK could get itself locked out of EU coronavirus vaccine programme after refusing to pay

European scrutiny committee warns that UK approach risks access to vaccine

UK nominates Liam Fox to lead World Trade Organization

Government describes former international trade secretary as ‘ideal candidate’ for top job

Liam Fox, Britain’s former international trade secretary, will be nominated by the UK to be the next head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the government’s Department for International Trade has confirmed.

Fox was a cabinet minister in Theresa May’s government between July 2016 and July 2019, and has been a Conservative MP since 1992.

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Brexit will make Britain more attractive to people smugglers and organised criminals

Intelligence will always be exchanged informally. The problem is turning such exchanges into evidence that can be used in court – especially when we're shut out of European information networks

Fish on the menu as EU's Michel Barnier dines at Downing Street

Fishing access for EU fleets also point of discussion

Brexit: EU citizen registration scheme risks another Windrush scandal, MPs warned

Citizens' groups say no way of telling scheme is working until it is too late

Michel Barnier hints EU could compromise on Brexit fishing rights

Michel Barnier has hinted the EU is prepared to compromise on the crunch issue of fishing rights as he and his UK counterpart David Frost meet in Downing Street for Brexit trade talks this evening.

EU citizens being used as guinea pigs for digital immigration system, MPs told

Many will face problems after Brexit unless they have physical card to prove right to remain in UK, critics say

EU citizens settled in the UK are being used by the Home Office as guinea pigs for a future digital-only immigration system, MPs have heard.

They will also face “significant problems” after Brexit unless the government provides them with a physical card to prove their right to remain in the UK legally, parliament’s Brexit select committee was told.

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UK Remain campaign strategist to head Hong Kong PR push

Consulum’s Ryan Coetzee worked for Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats up to 2015 election

Hong Kong has turned to the former director of strategy of the UK Remain campaign in the Brexit referendum to revive its reputation, amid further scrutiny of the role played by London-based political operatives that advise overseas governments.

The Hong Kong government awarded a £5m public relations contract to the Mayfair-headquartered Consulum as part of its “Relaunch Hong Kong” campaign, shortly before Beijing introduced a new security law designed to crush pro-democracy protests in the territory.

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New Welsh factory at risk as Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos looks to make cars in France

Billionaire Brexit backer may ditch plan to build heir to Land Rover Defender at Bridgend, putting jobs at risk

Billionaire industrialist Sir Jim Ratcliffe may abandon plans to build car plants in Wales and Portugal in favour of buying an existing factory in France in a move which could put 1,000 new jobs at risk.

The Brexit-backing owner of Ineos has stalled work on the plants where the chemicals giant had planned to launch its car-making ambitions by building an heir to the Land Rover Defender, and may decide to scrap plans for the twin sites within weeks.

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Lady Hale responds to claims spider brooch worn at prorogation ruling had a 'hidden message'

'If I had realised some of the things that people might have speculated, then I would probably have worn an innocuous bunch of flowers,' Lady Hale says

Aldi vows to never sell chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef

'We will never compromise on the standards or specifications of our products,' says supermarket boss