Brexit LIVE: UK surges ahead of EU as eurozone slumps behind rest of world after Covid


Rishi Sunak: There are no plans to extend furlough

Analysis by EY claimed Britain’s economy was growing at its fastest pace in 80 years and could recover back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021. EY, formerly Ernst and Young, said GDP would grow back 7.6 percent, the fastest annual growth since 1941.

It comes after the UK economy shrank by 9.8 percent in 2020, the worst performance in the G7.

Elsewhere, a separate analysis by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reveals the UK economy would also grow by seven percent this year, compared to 5.8 percent for the Eurozone, seven percent for the United States and 8.1 percent for China.

In addition, data from the European Central Bank said the eurozone economy would only grow 4.6 percent by the end of the year.

The 19-nation bloc had already grown by two percent in the second quarter of 2021.

uk economy rishi sunak

The UK economy appears to be outperforming the Eurozone (Image: GETTY)

Martin Beck, the EY Item Club’s senior economic adviser, said the reopening of the “face-to-face” parts of the economy meant the UK should have a correspondingly faster recovery”.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said: “There are positive signs that our economy is rebounding faster than initially expected, with the IMF forecasting the UK to have the joint highest growth rate in 2021 among the G7 economies.

“That said, we still face challenges ahead as a result of the impact of the pandemic, which is why we remain focused on protecting and creating as many jobs as possible through our Plan for Jobs.”

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Brexit in Express front pages

Brexit in Express front pages (Image: Express)

11.20pm update: ‘Just because you lost!’ Verhofstadt lambasted on Twitter after his latest Brexit jibe

Guy Verhofstadt has stirred up Twitter with yet another thinly veiled jibe aimed at the UK over its decision to quit the EU – prompting claims that Brexit was “living rent free in your head”.

And in a reference to the result of the 2016 vote, others suggested the former Belgian Prime Minister’s apparent distaste for referendums stemmed from the fact that “you always lose them”. 

Mr Verhofstadt, who is now a MEP, served as the European Parliament’s Brexitrepresentative and has been a prominent critic ever since.

Earlier today, he tweeted a link to a Ipsos MORI poll suggesting just 45 percent of Britons agreed that the most important political issues should be decided by referendums rather than elected officials.

The figure was 15 percent below the global average of 60 percent.

Isabella Marsans is taking over from Steven Brown.

9.55pm update: Boris Johnson ordered to take N.I from EU’s clutches as bloc resists in Brexit row

Boris Johnson must resolve the EU Brexit issues with Northern Ireland now, according to an expert.

Think Tank Bruges Group’s Director, Robert Oulds, insisted the UK should no longer stand for Brexit issues with Northern Ireland.

During an interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Oulds said that the UK should trigger Article 16. He argued Boris Johnson would force the EU back to the table with the UK and force them both to come to a resolution.

Mr Oulds said: “It is quite clear that in the Northern Ireland protocol they need to trigger Article 16.

“That allows for Britain to unilaterally take Northern Ireland back into the function of the United Kingdom.

“Of course what it would really do is spurt negotiations between Britain and Brussels.

6.40pm update: Brexiteers tear apart ‘petty’ EU’s anti-Brexit plot to slap visa fees on UK travellers

Brussels is slapping a new £6 visa on British holidaymakers to enter Europe from the end of next year in an act of revenge for Brexit.

Furious Brexiteers said the border charges are a brazen reflection of the European Union’s anti-British attitude.

Ex-Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said the move was classic of a “small-minded, petty and self-destructive” EU.

European Commission officials today said they were “on track” to introduce their long-planned European Travel Information and Authorisation System from the start of 2023.

The announcement will come as another blow to the pandemic-stricken travel industry.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Image: NC)

5.20pm update: Sturgeon issued warning over rejoining ‘ruthlessly hard-nosed’ EU

SNP plans to rejoin the European Union in an independent Scotland will soon “come back to haunt Nicola Sturgeon”, a key union adviser has said.

Lord Dunlop, a former Scottish Office minister, issued a warning to the Scottish Government following the UK Government’s experiences with the EU over renegotiating the Northern Ireland protocol.

Mr Dunlop said: “The UK Government’s experience should serve as a warning to Nicola Sturgeon and her hopes of securing favourable EU treatment for Scotland.”

Mr Dunlop, an adviser to David Cameron as well as being commissioned by Theresa May to undertake a key review into the future of the UK, also stressed the “EU wasn’t sentimental” when it came to negotiations stressing “it’s as ruthlessly hard-nosed as they come.”

He added: “No amount of embarrassingly needy SNP attention-seeking will change that.

“A quick and easy ride to rejoin the club? Dream on.”

4pm update: Britons savage bloc as report shows top Brexit losers

Britons have brutally mocked and attacked the European Union after a damning new report revealed the bloc member states who have suffered the most as a result of Brexit.

The damning figures have been published by Facts4EU.Org and unsurprisingly as the European Union’s dominant member state, Germany has come out as the biggest loser after its economy plunged £12.2billion in the last 12 months compared with 2016 – the same year as the Brexit referendum vote.

The EU’s biggest economy was followed by Belgium (£3.7billion), France (£3.3billion), the Netherlands (£2.7billion), and Spain (£2.6billion).

In another devastating post-Brexit blow to the EU, the website also revealed British consumers bought £28billion less from the bloc compared to the referendum year.

Britons have launched a savage attack against the EU, brutally mocking its struggles since Britain voted to leave the bloc in more than five years ago.

uk economy lockdown latest

Eurozone grew by 2 percent in second quarter of 2020. Pictured: ECB in Frankfurt. (Image: GETTY)

3.15pm update: Ken Livingstone slams Farage in big debate ‘Still a remoaner’

Former London Mayor Ken Livingston insisted Brexit “has cost jobs” as he squabbled with Nigel Farage over Brexit before demanding the British government invest in jobs for British people.

Mr Farage asked the former Mayor: “Where do you see Brexit?

“Is Brexit now finished for you as an issue? Are we done, are we moving on?”

Mr Livingston accepted: “I don’t think we will ever have a vote to get back in.

“And we have now got government finally getting round to trying to tackle the problems of all of that.”

3pm update: Steven Brown takes over from Richard Percival

2pm update: Lord Frost to meet SNP ministers over Brexit strategy

Lord Frost will meet counterparts in the SNP-led Scottish Government tomorrow for crunch talks as trust between London and Edinburgh falls to an all-time low over Brexit-related issues.

Express.co.uk has learnt Lord Frost will meet Scotland’s External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson tomorrow after the Scottish Government claimed UK ministers Brexit strategy was significantly impacting Scotland and its future trade opportunities.

This publication understands Lord Frost will also use the meeting to make clear to the SNP led administration in Edinburgh that they should keep the UK Government involved and informed in all contact with EU institutions.

uk economy lockdown

The UK economy had been hit by COVID-19 (Image: GETTY)

1pm update: Britons to be hit with fees for travelling to EU from 2023 – Brexit rules set to bite

British holidaymakers will have to cough up £6 to travel to Europe from 2023 after Brussels approved the final plans for its visa scheme.

UK travellers will have to stump up the fee every three years as part of the EU’s new European Travel Information and Authorisation System.

The scheme is set to finally enter into force after years of wrangling over how the bloc can bolster security at its borders. 

12pm update: Wales on ‘new path to austerity after Brexit’ says Economy Minister Vaughan Gething

Wales is heading towards a new era of austerity after losing £375m a year in economic aid because of Brexit, Wales’ Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has claimed. 

Mr Gething said despite reassurances from Chancellor Rishi Sunak that there won’t be a return to austerity, the MS said he could yet find himself having to make “choices that look very similar to the choices I was having to make as a minister when austerity was at its height”.

The minister said most of Wales’ EU funding will end this financial year, there is no equivalent replacement from the UK Government.

11am update: Brits blame EU for Brexit trading teething problems in Northern Ireland

British voters are mostly blaming the EU for post-Brexit trade problems in Northern Ireland, a new poll has found.

The Redfield and Wilton poll for Politico revealed 45 percent of British voters aware of the issues in implementing Northern Ireland Protocol rules blame Brussels for those frictions.

This is compared with just 31 percent who believe the UK is mostly responsible.

uk economy rishi sunak

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the IMF figures were “positive signs” (Image: Getty)

10am update: Dublin Port boss slams over-the-top Brexit prep – EU was ‘dishonest’

Irish doom-mongers have been criticised for their overzealous Brexit preparations after they were branded excessive by the boss of Dublin Port.

Chiefs at Dublin Port said too much land had been set aside to deal with shipments to Britain.

15 hectares of land being used to cope with the aftermath of Brexit are now being used at a “fraction of what was anticipated”.

9am update: Calls to ban ‘damaging’ trawlers from Scottish Coast

An alliance of more than 100 organisations is demanding that trawlers be banned from fishing within three miles of Scotland’s coasts.

Members of the Our Seas coalition insisted that a “modernised” three-mile limit is “not a radical measure” and would benefit both the environment and coastal communities.

With talks taking place between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Greens over a formal co-operation agreement, the group is pressing both parties to consider the issue.

8am update: End of furlough will force extra 150,000 out of work despite strong Brexit and COVID recovery growth

Dole queues will become longer when the government’s furlough scheme ends next month despite Brexit Britain’s economic boom, a thinktank has warned.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) warned 150,000 would be out of work as it revised up its 2021 growth forecast from 5.7 percent to 6.8 percent. 



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