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Follow latest developments as UK marks five years since referendum

Jun 23, 2021

Related video: EU will react if UK continues to make unilateral decisions on Brexit, says MEP
The UK marks five years since the Brexit referendum on Wednesday with a warning from a Tory grandee that storm clouds are gathering on the horizon.
Boris Johnson acknowledged the fifth anniversary of the vote by claiming it was his “mission” to use the UKs new position in the world to deliver a better future for the British people.
“The decision to leave the EU may now be part of our history, but our clear mission is to utilise the freedoms it brings to shape a better future for our people, he said.
However, in a sharply contrasting message, the veteran pro-European Lord Heseltine said the outlook was “ominous”, with the Northern Ireland peace process under real threat.
“Storm clouds are gathering on the horizon, chief among them the threat to the Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland, he said.
Labour said the prime ministers dishonesty over Brexit was still having real consequences.
Negotiating sausages while the world burns: Brussels cant move on from Brexit no matter how hard it tries
The real Brexit dividend? Minus £800m a week and counting
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Stitched up and sold out: UKs fishing crews outraged at Brexit betrayal five years after referendum
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Brexit a slow puncture for UK economy, says professor
Jonathan Portes, professor of economics at Kings College London and senior fellow at UK in a Changing Europe, said Brexitwould be a significant but not catastrophic drag on UK economic growth for many years.
Not a blowout, but a slow puncture, he said on the fifth anniversary of the vote to leave the EU.
A report from the Centre for European Reform in April said leaving the single market and customs union had reduced UK trade by 5 per cent by February 2021, on top of a 10 per cent hit to trade between the referendum and leaving the single market.
Tom Batchelor23 June 2021 09:48
Home Office receiving over 10,000 EU settlement applications a day
The Home Office is receiving more than 10,000 new EU settlement applications per day with just a week to go before the schemes deadline, sparking concern that many will be left without status.
Immigration minister Kevin Foster said on Tuesday that daily applications stand at between 10,000 and 12,000, up from around 6,000 in May with the backlog currently around 400,000.
Around 5.6 million people have applied overall since the scheme opened in March 2019.
Here is the story:
Application numbers double in a month, prompting concern many EU nationals will not apply in time for deadline and could fall victim to hostile environment policies
Tom Batchelor23 June 2021 09:37
Patel claims UK nationals living in EU denied access to services
Some UK nationals living in the EU post-Brexit have been denied access to benefits and services, Priti Patel has claimed.
The home secretary has called on EU nations to uphold their obligations towards UK nationals just as the UK has done for EU citizens in the UK.
Ms Patel said the UKs scheme had been a success and was very generous compared to those on offer in European Union member states.
However tens of thousands of European benefit claimants in the UK are yet to apply for EU settlement, with government estimates from the start of this month, seen byThe Times, putting the figure at around 130,000 one in six.
The Law Society warned on Tuesday that vulnerable EU citizens would be stripped of essential rights with an unprecedented number likely to become destitute as a result of not applying for settled status by 30 June.
Tom Batchelor23 June 2021 09:26
Teeny benefits of proposed Pacific trade deal dwarfed by hit from Brexit
A new Pacific partnership hailed by Boris Johnson as a key to post-Brexit prosperity has been branded a drop in the ocean after official figures showed the government expects it to increase GDP by just 0.08 per cent – less than one-fortieth of the expected economic hit from leaving the European Union.
And Labour warned that the benefit could slump to just 0.017 per cent (£400m) if Malaysia continues to hold out against ratification of the deal, according to figures from the Department for International Trade.
The forecast £1.7bn annual increase in UK exports to countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Australia from membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) contrasts with the £2bn hit in sales of food and drink products alone to the EU in the first three months of this year.
Here is the story:
On fifth anniversary of referendum, nation still deeply divided by decision to leave EU
Tom Batchelor23 June 2021 09:13
EU vaccine chief: Brexit had nothing to do with UKs speedy rollout
Thierry Breton, the EUs single market commissioner who is also in charge of the blocs vaccination programme, has said Brexit had nothing to do with the UKs vaccine rollout.
While acknowledging that Britain had led the way initially on jabs, he told The Guardian that had nothing to do with Brexit and said Boris Johnsons government had since been unable to boost production, and is dependent on the EU for over half its supply and all its mRNA shots.
He also said the UK looked more and more isolated and that while the aim had been to take back control, what we see is pretty much the opposite.
Tom Batchelor23 June 2021 09:01
Radiohead, Blur and Chemical Brothers tell Boris Johnson to fix Brexit touring crisis
Stars from Radiohead, Blur and The Chemical Brothers have joined a new campaign urging Boris Johnson to fix the touring crisis caused by his Brexit deal.
They are among more than 200 artists demanding help with the daunting barriers costly visas and work permits, plus equipment red tape that have put one of UKs finest exports at risk.
The #LetTheMusicMove campaign aims to pile on pressure to end the stalemate and secure financial support for a sector reeling from the twin blows of Covid and leaving the EU.
Here is the story:
The government has to take this issue seriously and support touring artists. The future of British music is at stake
Tom Batchelor23 June 2021 08:52
UK still split over Brexit, poll finds
A new poll has found that Britain remains split roughly down the middle over Brexit, five years on from the 52-48 vote to Leave on 23 June 2016.
The Savanta ComRes survey suggested that the UK would now vote to Remain in the EU by a majority of 51-49 per cent, but would reject the opportunity to rejoin by the same wafer-thin margin.
Less than a third of respondents (31 per cent) said that Brexit has been a success, with slightly more (34 per cent) branding it a failure.
And there was a clear majority (51 per cent) who believed the experience had left the UK more divided, compared to just 13 per cent who said it was more united.
Tom Batchelor23 June 2021 08:43
The real Brexit dividend? Minus £800m a week and counting
It was a vote famously won, at least in part, on money. We send the EU £350m a week, read the message on the side of Vote Leaves battlebus. Lets fund our NHS instead.
The figure referred to an estimate of the UKs gross contribution to the European Union in reality there was much more at play in the economics of EU membership, including money Brussels sent back to Britain and trade benefits.
So, five years on from the vote, what has Brexit really meant for the economy? Here is Ben Chus analysis:
Analysis: Its five years since Britain voted to leave the EU so what number should really have been on the side of the Vote Leave bus? Ben Chu examines the real impact of Brexit on the UKs economy
Tom Batchelor23 June 2021 08:33
Labour says Johnsons dishonesty is destabilising Northern Ireland
Labours Louise Haigh, the shadow Northern Ireland secretary, said Boris Johnsons Brexit deal was responsible for the current unrest in Northern Ireland.
There is a direct line from the prime ministers dishonesty over the deal he negotiated, to the instability we see in Northern Ireland today, she said.
The prime minister pledged never to put barriers down the Irish Sea and then a few months later did exactly that this dishonesty is still having real consequences.
Tom Batchelor23 June 2021 08:24
Brussels cant move on from Brexit no matter how hard it tries
Five years on from the referendum and were negotiating over sausages while the world burns, Guy Verhofstadt, who was the European Parliaments chief Brexit negotiator, has told The Independent.
The former Belgian prime minister, who is now chairing a conference on the future of Europe, said he despairs at the amount of political bandwidth Brexit still consumes for diplomats, MEPs and officials and the effect of this on the cross-channel relationship.
Here is the story:
It has been exactly five years since Britain voted to exit the European Union, 17 months since the UK formally left and 174 days since the end of the transition period. But in Brussels, theres one topic that even now just will not go away: Brexit.
Tom Batchelor23 June 2021 08:18