Brexit: Johnson denies going back on level playing field terms he agreed with EU last year – live news

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Michael Gove publishing the government’s negotiating mandate for the post-Brexit trade talks with the EU

In Northern Ireland the SDLP Stormont assembly member and former Downing Street adviser Matthew O’Toole has said the government’s Future Relationship with the EU document shows Boris Johnson’s contempt for Northern Ireland. O’Toole said:

If any more evidence were needed of Boris Johnson’s contempt for Northern Ireland, this document provides it. The UK government has yet again opted to put Northern Ireland’s economy at risk for the sake of indulging the fixations of English nationalists and libertarian fantasists.

The mandate sets out a vision for a trade deal with the EU that provides the maximum of UK asks but with minimal obligations.

Northern Ireland seem to have the maximum of cost and paperwork burden with few benefits under the Northern Ireland protocol.

Boris Johnson has rejected claims that he is going back on promises he made in the political declaration last year to agree level playing field rules with the EU. (See 10am.) When this suggestion was put to him in an interview this morning, he replied:

This is monstrous. I mean, honestly. People may dimly recall that I left the government, whenever it was, a couple of years ago, because I couldn’t accept the idea that we were going to be locked into the EU’s legal and regulatory orbit for ever under the so-called Chequers deal, which people have now forgotten. The whole objective of doing what we’re doing is so the UK can do things differently and better.

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Author: Andrew Sparrow | Source

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UK to withdraw from European arrest warrant

Government document reveals plans to ditch tool that allows for fast extradition of criminals

The UK is to abandon a crucial tool used to speed up the transfer of criminals across borders with other European countries.

Acting against the warnings of senior law enforcement officials, the government said it would not be seeking to participate in the European arrest warrant (EAW) as part of the future relationship with the European Union.

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Author: Jamie Grierson Home affairs correspondent | Source

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Manchester may get high-speed rail before Leeds, HS2 minister suggests

Transport department confirms plan to split northern spurs of HS2 into two stages

Manchester may get high-speed rail before Leeds, the new minister for HS2 has suggested.

In his first speech in the job, Andrew Stephenson said the next step for government was to “bring forward legislation to bring high-speed rail into Manchester as soon as practical”. There was no mention of Leeds in relation to HS2 as he addressed the New Statesman’s northern powerhouse-themed conference in Manchester.

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Author: Helen Pidd North of England editor | Source

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