The ministers are embroiled in a “fierce” row over a possible new trade deal between the UK and Australia, according to a government source.
The division is focused on whether to grant duty-free access to Australian farmers, which International Trade Secretary Liz Truss supports, but which Michael Gove opposes, according to the Financial Times.
Meanwhile, a think tank has warned that the UK economy could experience Italian-style stagnation over the next decade due to Brexit and the pandemic.
The Resolution Foundation said Britain’s economic outlook could look more like Italy than Germany, the European power, if it does not address the challenges it faces.
“If the UK’s rate of underperformance relative to Germany continues at the same rate in the 2020s, it will end this decade with a GDP per capita much closer to that of Italy than to Italy. Germany, ”he said.
Clive Cowdrey, founder of the Resolution Foundation, added that “Britain’s recent record of low productivity, stagnant living standards and high inequality makes a new economic approach desirable.”
Morning and welcome to The Independent UK political coverage.
Rory SullivanMay 18, 2021 7:56 AM
UK warns EU of ‘turmoil’ in Northern Ireland this summer
The Prime Minister’s former chief Brexit negotiator has warned the EU of “turbulence” in Northern Ireland this summer if the protocol crisis is not resolved.
Speaking to the Commons European Review Committee on Monday, David Frost said: “We all know that late spring and summer in Northern Ireland can be turbulent at times and some days are important in that regard. We must take this reality into account.
“We have a responsibility to try to avoid further deterioration and difficulty in the situation – and that is obviously a possibility as we move into spring and summer.”
Our Deputy Political Editor Rob Merrick reports:
Rory SullivanMay 18, 2021 8:00 p.m.
UK economy faces ‘Italian-style’ decline without innovation, think tank warns
Britain’s economy will look more like Italy’s than Germany’s if it doesn’t take decisive action this decade, a think tank has warned.
The Resolution Foundation (RF) said Britain faces ‘seismic economic changes’ caused by Brexit, the pandemic and the transition to net emissions.
Without a new strategy, the RF suggested the UK would fall behind its competitors.
Sir Clive Cowdrey, founder of the think tank, said: “The UK’s recent record of low productivity, stagnant living standards and high inequality makes a new economic approach desirable. What makes a new approach essential is the magnitude of the change to come.
“The UK now faces a watershed decade as the consequences of Covid-19, Brexit and the Net Zero transition are accompanied by major shifts in technology and demographics.
“It matters more than the economy. Failure to meet this challenge risks leaving the nation diminished and divided. “
Rory SullivanMay 18, 2021 8:23 AM
In today’s political bulletin, Adam Forrest examines David Frost’s latest comments on Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The Brexit minister has his detractors, including Professor Michael Dougan, professor of European law at the University of Liverpool, who tweeted: “It is clear from his latest propaganda statements on the protocol that David Frost has totally failed to grasp the details and meaning of the deal he supposedly negotiated – or is now following his master’s signal by lying about them.
Rory SullivanMay 18, 2021 8:42 AM
Local locks are an ‘option’ amid spread of Indian variant, says Eustice
Local lockdowns are an option amid concerns about the spread of the Indian variant, a minister admitted.
Ask by Sky News On the possibility of regional lockdowns being implemented, George Eustice, environment secretary, said: “It would be an option – we can’t rule anything out at this point. “
Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has the details:
Rory SullivanMay 18, 2021 9:02 AM
Starmer says Labor must ‘modernize’ to win again
For those who missed it, Keir Starmer addressed Labor MPs yesterday for the first time since his party’s deadly defeat in the Hartlepool by-election.
He said the Labor Party should “face the outside and not the inside” and modernize to reach voters.
Rory SullivanMay 18, 2021 9:22 AM
Cummings criticizes government border system as a ‘joke’
Dominic Cummings said the government’s border system was a “joke” after it delayed stopping travel from India to stem the spread of a worrying variant.
The Labor Party has also criticized the government for its “catastrophic misstep”, with Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth calling the border “as safe as a sieve”.
Rory SullivanMay 18, 2021 9:43 AM
Minister is silent on alleged Cabinet dispute over Australia trade deal
Environment Secretary George Eustice declined to comment on an alleged row between him and his cabinet colleagues over a possible trade deal with Australia.
According to the Financial Times, Mr Eustice and Michael Gove are concerned about the implications of granting Australian farmers duty-free access to the UK market, while International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is said to be in favor of the move.
The minister said: “I am not going to get into the ongoing discussions within the government on individual trade agreements.
“At the moment, there is a very clear consensus within the government that we want to conclude a trade agreement with countries like Australia, but obviously on the right terms,” he added.
Rory SullivanMay 18, 2021 10:06 AM
Brandon Lewis meets new DUP leader in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis met with newly elected DUP leader Edwin Poots in Belfast.
The meeting at Stormont House was also attended by Ian Paisley, MP for North Antrim.
The meeting comes four days after Mr Poots, a creationist who thinks the world is only 6,000 years old, was elected party leader, following Arlene Foster’s decision to step down.
His appointment comes at a crucial time for the territory, amid continued dissatisfaction with the economic barriers caused by Brexit.
Rory SullivanMay 18, 2021 10:22 AM
Minister sows confusion by saying people can travel to “amber” countries to “visit friends”
British holidaymakers can travel abroad to countries on the UK’s orange list “to visit family or friends,” a minister said.
Environment Secretary George Eustice’s comment has caused further confusion over the new travel rules, as Matt Hancock recently said people shouldn’t travel to these countries unless they have a “compelling reason.”
The Orange List is for those who “feel the need to travel to visit family or friends,” Eustice said.