Michael Gove reveals some pretty alarming statistics to the the House of Commons

Just 24% of businesses believe they're fully ready for the end of the Brexit transition period

Nearly double — 43% — think the transition period will be extended
Gove reveals the government's worst-case scenario estimates:

- 50% of big businesses and just 20% of SMEs will have the correct paperwork to export to the EU from January

- As few as 30% of HGVs will arrive at border with correct paperwork, while the rest face being sent back
Here are the sections of Michael Gove's House of Commons statement containing those eyebrow-raising statistics

Less than 4 months to go...
Asked about food labelling, Gove admits to @GwynneMP that while some information is available for companies, there is "more than depends on negotiations"

Reminder: the food industry has said the deadline for producing new labels needed to legally export has already passed
In a sobering statement, Gove reveals that <1/4 of businesses feel ready for Jan, and that nearly half think the transition period will be extended

Oh, and police are going to help run a new border in Kent - it's a funny ol' time for the unionist party! businessinsider.com/quarter-of-bus…
For those interested, I'm told that the business readiness statistics cited by Gove in the Commons yesterday were from a survey of 500 SMEs interviewed between July 20 and August 18

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More from @adampayne26

9 Feb
Exclusive: The shellfish industry claims that DEFRA admitted it was wrong about shellfish exports

"They now say that they believe on balance that the EU view, that the trade is not legal, is in fact correct," the bombshell email seen by PoliticsHome says politicshome.com/news/article/s…
"They [DEFRA] have now changed this position," the email sent to shellfish exporters says

"This is in complete contrast to everything they have told us so far"

Labour: "are they incompetent or do they simply not care?"

Lib Dems tell Eustice to resign

Eustice today said the EU stance was "indefensible" and last week said it was "legally wrong"

Yesterday he expressed frustration in a letter to the Commission

However, behind the scenes DEFRA officials say that the UK was wrong, the industry has claimed
Read 6 tweets
8 Feb
New: Here is the letter George Eustice sent to the European Commission’s Stella Kyriakides this morning about UK shellfish exports to the EU, first reported by PoliticsHome on Friday
Eustice says the UK's live shellfish exports to the EU have "been in place for many years" and the new rules - live shellfish caught in most waters barred EU entry - are of "grave concern" to businesses

The UK has high standards and EU customers trust its business, he argues
Eustice accuses the EU of changing its position on shellfish, citing advice the UK received in September

That's it's "unexpected and difficult news for an industry that relies on trade between the UK & EU"

Reminder: EU says rules apply to all 3rd countries, have done for years
Read 13 tweets
5 Feb
Exclusive: Government is urgently writing to the EU about the shellfish ban amid panic about a market collapse

The letter, which could go as soon as today, comes as UK officials say they were misled by the EU

Brussels says law for 3rd countries is clear politicshome.com/news/article/e…
What started as an esoteric consequence of Brexit has quickly emerged into a big UK-EU row

Angry UK officials insist that the EU has misled them over 3rd country rules for live shellfish

Brussels says it's DEFRA's fault for misunderstanding the law
Eustice is expected to sign the letter but Gove has also been involved in talks, in a sign of how seriously government is taking the issue

MPs heard yesterday that shellfish markets could be lost "entirely and permanently" without political intervention

Read 6 tweets
3 Feb
Eustice today said the EU's ban on live shellfish exports was "legally wrong" and "unjustified" and accused Brussels of changing its position twice

DEFRA is preparing to challenge the European Commission on the indefinite ban, which we revealed on Monday politicshome.com/news/article/g…
Fishers who attended a DEFRA meeting yesterday told me that the issue "was barely given 15 minutes before it was moved on"

They said an official suggested trying to export to the EU anyway, despite the ban

"We are shellfish exporters, not smugglers" politicshome.com/news/article/g…
The European Commission position: 1. the ban on live shellfish exports from 3rd countries is clear and has been set out in law for decades 2. the claim that the ban would be lifted on April 21, as government had been advising the industry, was a DEFRA misunderstanding of EU law
Read 4 tweets
2 Feb
Gove: UK will work with the EU “over the coming days to fix the difficulties” that have arisen from the NI Protocol. He says officials will “work calmly” and “at speed” to resolve issues. GB exporters to NI have struggled to cope w/ new paperwork, espec for food & animal goods.
Gove tells @LouHaigh that the looming end to GB-NI grace periods - the 3-month grace period for Export Health Certificates expires just next month - “do need to be addressed” and he will be writing to the EU today with “specific steps” for doing so.
Gove has mentioned Export Health Certificates several times, in an indication of how pressing an issue it is. EHCs need to be check by vets and cost lots of ££. Northern Irish hauliers and businesses have warned that failure to address that problem will unleash more disruption.
Read 9 tweets
1 Feb
Exclusive: DEFRA has been advising shellfish traders than an EU ban on live exports would end in April

However, the EU has told the industry that the ban is *indefinite*, in an email seen by PoliticsHome

Businesses say the post-Brexit ban will end them
Last month I reported that live mussels, cockles, and other shellfish caught in most UK waters were banned from the EU

DEFRA's advice was that this post-Brexit ban would end on April 21

However, a Commission email says it is indefinite, not temporary politicshome.com/news/article/e…
The industry held an emergency meeting to discuss the bombshell, which was "contrary" to government info

I've seen a November email by Victoria Prentis saying the ban was temporary

DEFRA is aware of the EU's stance and will "continue to raise" it w/ them politicshome.com/news/article/e…
Read 8 tweets

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