Race against the clock continues in post-Brexit trade negotiations

Elliot Chappell
© Ilyas Tayfun Salci/Shutterstock.com
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Brexit talks were extended past the ‘deadline’ this Sunday, and will continue this week as both sides agreed to “go the extra mile“. No new arbitrary deadline was set with negotiators working frantically ahead of the only one that matters – December 31st. Michel Barnier said this morning that an agreement is “still possible” but differences remain over “free and fair competition” and “reciprocal access to markets and waters”. In an energetic media appearance on Sunday, Ed Miliband stressed the importance of getting a deal and called on the Prime Minister to “stand up to a small bunch of people in his party whose fantasy it has always been to have no deal”, also confirming Labour would be “minded to support” a deal. His Labour colleague Steve Reed described the situation as “surreal” and highlighted that Boris Johnson told the public a year ago he had an ‘oven-ready’ deal.

Jeremy Corbyn yesterday announced his Peace and Justice Project. In a short video message released on social media, the former Labour leader said the programme will work for “social and economic justice, peace, and human rights in Britain and across the world”. Its mission statement commits to “work with labour and social movements and provide platforms to those campaigning for change for the many, not the few”. A number on the left have tweeted in support of the project, including Labour MPs Ian ByrneBeth Winter and former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell who described it as a “brilliant new initiative”. It will launch next month with an online event featuring Labour peer Christine Blower, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey and MP Zarah Sultana.

Keir Starmer has this morning called on the Prime Minister to tackle rough sleeping this Christmas, warning it represents “just the tip of an iceberg” of poverty and destitution this winter. In a letter to Johnson, the Labour leader urged him to work with local councils and mayors to ensure access to Covid-secure shelter. The intervention from Starmer comes ahead of his visit to the West Midlands to meet with homelessness projects in Worcester and food poverty campaigners in Birmingham later today. Also to look out for today is our editor Sienna in conversation with Andy Burnham at 6pm this evening. Feel free to send in questions for the Greater Manchester mayor before tuning in. Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.

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