Brexit news live: Latest no-deal updates as Jennifer Arcuri ‘admits Boris Johnson affair’

Downing Street has told the EU’s chief negotiator there is ‘no point’ in him coming to London for planned talks

There is “no point” in Michel Barnier coming to London for planned Brexit talks, Downing Street has said. 

The UK has rebuffed Brussels’ offer of intensified trade talks next week, telling the European Union’s chief negotiator there is “no basis for negotiations”.

Meanwhile, businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri has told The Daily Mail she had an affair with Boris Johnson in an interview. 

The British PM has faced allegations he used his position as London mayor to get the businesswoman favourable treatment. 

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‘Why does Boris Johnson not call it what it is’

SNP’s Westminster leader has not minced his words over Boris Johnson’s comments on a possible no-deal Brexit yesterday. 

Following disagreement with the EU in negotiations, the UK PM said: “We should get ready for 1 Janurary with arrangements that are more like Australia’s, based on simple principles of global free trade.”

This is what Ian Blackford had to say:

Mr Johnson said on Friday it was clear from the EU summit that Brussels was not prepared to offer Britain the kind of Canada-style free trade agreement it was seeking, and warned the UK to prepare for a final no-deal break.

Zoe Tidman17 October 2020 12:07

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The PM is also under pressure to extend free school meals over holidays.

Labour has warned Boris Johnson he has 72 hours to agree to England footballer Marcus Rashford’s call or it will try to force a vote by MPs on the issue.

Our Whitehall correspondent Kate Devlin reports: 

Zoe Tidman17 October 2020 11:18

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In more Greater Manchester news, Downing Street is being urged to restart talks with the area’s political leaders over the highest levels of coronavirus restrictions.

Shadow education secretary Kate Green has called for discussions to resume to get the region – under pressure from government to accept the Tier 3 measures – an adequate support package.

“That has not been offered by the government,” she told the Today programme. 

Additional reporting by PA

Zoe Tidman17 October 2020 11:12

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Following rife speculation, Jennifer Arcuri has reportedly admitted having an affair with Boris Johnson months after he faced allegations of using his position as mayor of London to get the US businesswoman favourable treatment. 

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has the full story: 

Zoe Tidman17 October 2020 10:52

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Here is the full statement on the Brexit talks breakdown from a No10 spokesperson on Friday: 

“Lord Frost has spoken to Michel Barnier to update the EU on the Prime Minister’s statement.

“Lord Frost said that, as the PM had made clear, the European Council’s conclusions yesterday had left us without a basis to continue the trade talks without a fundamental change in the EU’s approach to these negotiations.

“There was accordingly no basis for negotiations in London as of Monday.

“He and Michel Barnier agreed to talk again early next week.”

Zoe Tidman17 October 2020 10:32

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Away from Brussels, the UK government is facing criticm on its home turf over its treatment of northern areas. 

Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester mayor who is resisting pressure for Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions, tweeted about Londoners calling for more support as they move into Tier 2:

Boris Johnson has urged to mayor to agree to stricter rules, while Mr Burnham and Greater Manchester council leaders have said people and firms need greater financial support before accepting the toughest lockdown measures.

Zoe Tidman17 October 2020 10:15

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Brexit uncertainty has led in part to Britain’s credit status being downgraded by Moody’s.

The ratings agency said the decision was based on falling economic strength also due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Additional reporting by PA

Zoe Tidman17 October 2020 09:53

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So, what is behind the Brexit fallout?

The UK prime minister has accused European leaders of having “abandoned the idea of a free trade deal”.

Boris Johnson said it was clear from the recent Brussels summit the EU was not prepared to offer Britain the kind of Canada-style free trade agreement it was seeking.

He has told the country to “get ready” for a no-deal outcome in the negotiations after his October deadline for reaching an agreement passed.

Ursula von der Leyen has said the EU would carry on negotiating, suggesting talks next week in London would go ahead as planned.

Additional reporting by Press Association

Zoe Tidman17 October 2020 09:48

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‘I think that goes without saying’

Around one year after the scandal into their relationship broke, Jennifer Arcuri has admitted to having an affair with Boris Johnson in an interview. 

“I think that goes without saying,” she told The Daily Mail when asked if they had an affair. “It’s pretty much out there… But I’m not going to talk about it.”

Mr Johnson has faced allegations he used his position as London mayor to get the American businesswoman favourable treatment.

The UK prime minister avoided a criminal investigation after the police watchdog found no evidence he influenced the payment of thousands of pounds of public money to her, or secured her participation in foreign trade trips he led.

Here is a recap of the watchdog’s review:

Zoe Tidman17 October 2020 09:20

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Downing Street has told the EU’s chief negotiator there is “no point” him coming for talks on Monday, amid the UK prime minister’s calls for “a fundamental change” in Brussels’ approach. 

Zoe Tidman17 October 2020 09:05



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