/Brexit LIVE: Hundreds of EU companies rush to enter Britain as January 31 nears

Brexit LIVE: Hundreds of EU companies rush to enter Britain as January 31 nears

The UK is set to leave the trade bloc on January 31 and according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), there were a total of 1,441 company applicants to enter Britain between 2018 and 2019. Under the temporary permission regime, European companies will be allowed to operate in Britain after Brexit but they will eventually need to seek full authorisation to remain past a certain point. The release of the data comes as the European Parliament’s Guy Verhofstadt insisted there would be a grace period for EU citizens who have not applied for the “settled status” scheme. 

Mr Verhofstadt told the BBC: “What will happen for those people even after the grace period?

“Well there will be no automatic deportation.

“After the grace period, they will have a possibility to apply, giving the grounds why it was not possible to do it within the normal procedures.”

Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement will return to the House of Commons this week for the report stage of the debate. 

The agreement passed through the House of Lords last week after receiving no amendments. 

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Brexit LIVE: EU firms rush to enter the UK (Image: GETTY)

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11.44am update: EU Commission issues threat to UK

The Commission reiterated Britain would have to accept less access to the single market if it diverges from EU rules after Brexit. 

Spokesman for the Commission, Eric Mamer said: “We have had this conversation a number of times and we have made our position very clear.

“There is a link between moving away from EU regulations and the degree of access that is possible into the single market.

“That position has not changed. I think both sides have expressed their positions very clearly and, hence, I have nothing to add to the comments that were made this weekend.”

10.52am update: “Global Britain after Brexit” 

Boris Johnson touted the UK as a potential business partner for the continent after Brexit. 

The Prime Minister spoke at the first UK-Africa summit today, something he admitted was ‘long overdue”. 

He did add, however, that Britain has “no divine right” to trade deal while also acknowledging the presence of China and Russia in the region. 

Boris Johnson

Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson to put people before passports (Image: Reuters)

10.40am update: Boris Johnson speaks at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London

Speaking at the summit, the Prime Minister insisted Britain’s post-Brexit immigration system will put “people before passports”. 

He added: “Our system is becoming fairer and more equal between all our global friends and partners, treating people the same, wherever they come from.

“By putting people before passports we will be able to attract the best talent from around the world, wherever they may be.”

10.27am update: Liam Fox urges Prime Minister to deal with US states

Speaking from Geneva today, Mr Fox will warn the Prime Minister to deal with individual US states if the issue of chlorinated chicken causes a US-UK trade deal to be bogged down, according to The Daily Telegraph. 

The former International Trade Secretary will insist Mr Johnson should look to deal with California, Texas, Florida and New York. 

9.54am update: Eurosceptics growing

Brexit Party MEP for the West Midlands, Rupert Lowe issued a warning to Brussels as he stated Euroscepticism was growing. 

He said: “The EU’s attitude to Brexit Britain has only strengthened the resolve of Eurosceptics across the continent.

“Make no mistake – the mood in Strasbourg last week was one of defiance and fury.

“Who will be next? Poland? Hungary? Sweden? Banning national flags will not have helped!”

9.17am update: Boris Johnson’s secret no deal planning

Ministers have restarted no-deal planning meetings in case negotiations over a post-Brexit trade deal collapse, Whitehall sources confirmed. 

The Cabinet’s EU Exit Committee, chaired by Michael Gove, met last week to begin discussing preparations for the talks breaking down ahead of the end of the UK’s transition out of Brussels at the end of this year. 

One minister present at the committee meeting on Thursday said the gathering was held to consider what happens should Brussels “fail to grasp we really are going at the end of the year.”

Boris Johnson

Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson’s no deal planing (Image: GETTY)

8.21am update: Wetherspoons to reduce price on foreign drinks

Pub giant, JD Wetherspoon will reduce the price of drinks originating from European countries. 

Under the ‘Let’s stay friends’ initiative, drinks from Germany France, Spain, Poland, Holand and Irelands will be reduced by 10 pence until February 29. 

7.58am update: UK house prices rise 

UK house prices rose at the fastest rate on record for the period between December 13 and January 15. 

Director at Rightmove, Miles Shipside said the recent general election had provided a “window stability” for the housing market. 

The average for houses coming onto the market rose by 2.3 percent, the biggest since the property website began its index in 2002. 

Mr Shipside said: “The housing market dislikes uncertainty, and the unsettled political outlook over the last three and a half years since the EU referendum caused some potential home movers to hesitate. There now seems to be a release of this pent-up demand, which suggests we are in store for an active spring market.

“While there may well be more twists and turns to come in the Brexit saga, there is now an opportunity for sellers to get their property on the market for a spring move unaffected by Brexit deadlines.”

7.38am update: European firms apply for UK entry

According to the FCA, over 1,441 firms applied to use the temporary permission regime. 

Moreover, 1,000 of those companies appear to be setting up an office for the first time, according to Bovill, a regulatory consultant which received the information from the FCA. 

Michael Johnson, from Bovill said: “The high proportion of firms without an existing UK branch that have applied for the temporary permission suggests there will be some movement of staff from these EU 27 firms into the UK.” 

The highest number of additions came from Irish financial firms with 228. 

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