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Russian source of Trump dossier denies links to infamous report

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russian source of trump dossier denies links to infamous report

A Russian woman identified as a key source in the dossier by British counterintelligence specialist Christopher Steele dossier is a former employee of Kremlin-owned state media.

Steele’s infamous report was leaked weeks before Trump’s inauguration, alleging Russian influence over him and contained salacious information about his reported conduct in a Moscow hotel room during the Miss Universe pageant.

Olga Galkina, 40, was linked to the dossier this week and was described by The Wall Street Journal as a ‘disgruntled PR executive’ living in Cyprus.

And while some people who know Galkina claim she’s maverick who was unlikely to have access to secrets, others suggested she was well-connected. 

Now, shown in exclusive pictures obtained by DailyMail.com, Galkina came forward on Friday to deny claims she was a key source in the Steele dossier. 

She used her former state-owned media employer RIA Novosti to say in a statement: ‘My mood is rather low because I did not expect this story at all and, of course, it complicated (my life) quite a lot.’

Olga Galkina, from Russia, was identified as a key source in the dossier by British counterintelligence specialist Christopher Steele

Olga Galkina, from Russia, was identified as a key source in the dossier by British counterintelligence specialist Christopher Steele

Olga Galkina, from Russia, was identified as a key source in the dossier by British counterintelligence specialist Christopher Steele

Olga Galkina, 40, was linked to the dossier this week and was described by The Wall Street Journal as a 'disgruntled PR executive' living in Cyprus

Olga Galkina, 40, was linked to the dossier this week and was described by The Wall Street Journal as a 'disgruntled PR executive' living in Cyprus

Olga Galkina, 40, was linked to the dossier this week and was described by The Wall Street Journal as a 'disgruntled PR executive' living in Cyprus

Olga Galkina, 40, was linked to the dossier this week and was described by The Wall Street Journal as a 'disgruntled PR executive' living in Cyprus

Olga Galkina, 40, was linked to the dossier this week and was described by The Wall Street Journal as a ‘disgruntled PR executive’ living in Cyprus

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35041980 8894967 image m 37 1604066085349

Christopher Steele’s (pictured) infamous report was leaked weeks before Trump’s inauguration, alleging Russian influence over him

The infamous dossier also contained salacious information about Trump's alleged conduct in a Moscow hotel room during the Miss Universe pageant

The infamous dossier also contained salacious information about Trump's alleged conduct in a Moscow hotel room during the Miss Universe pageant

The infamous dossier also contained salacious information about Trump’s alleged conduct in a Moscow hotel room during the Miss Universe pageant

She claimed the allegations that she was a Steele source were ‘not true’, but gave little detail.

However, she did admit to knowing her former school friend Igor Danchenko, 42, who the WSJ claimed had recruited her into intelligence gathering for the former MI6 spy.

‘We studied at the same school, but the thing is that after that he went to work and study in America,’ she said.

‘And we haven’t seen each other for a long time. This is the thing… The story is that we were friends. And he was helping me.’

She worked as a journalist for state-funded RIA Novosti, working at the Russian parliament between 2003-05.

More than a decade ago she also worked for Rosbalt, a news outlet run by Natalya Cherkesova (Chaplina), wife of ex-security services high-ranking member Viktor Cherkesov, a Putin associate.

Galkina attracts startlingly different descriptions in her homeland.

In a varied career she was also a PR executive for Russia’s environmental and nuclear watchdog Rostekhnadzor, which she left in 2011, around the time she moved to Cyprus.

In Cyprus, DailyMail.com was told by her acquaintances she was ‘intelligent and professional’, a woman who always looked ‘well-polished’, although she is now believed to have moved back to Russia. 

However, she did admit to knowing her former school friend Igor Danchenko, 42, (pictured) who the WSJ claimed had recruited her into intelligence gathering for the former MI6 spy. 'We studied at the same school, but the thing is that after that he went to work and study in America,' she said

However, she did admit to knowing her former school friend Igor Danchenko, 42, (pictured) who the WSJ claimed had recruited her into intelligence gathering for the former MI6 spy. 'We studied at the same school, but the thing is that after that he went to work and study in America,' she said

However, she did admit to knowing her former school friend Igor Danchenko, 42, (pictured) who the WSJ claimed had recruited her into intelligence gathering for the former MI6 spy. ‘We studied at the same school, but the thing is that after that he went to work and study in America,’ she said

She worked as a journalist for state-funded RIA Novosti, working at the Russian parliament between 2003-05. More than a decade ago she also worked for Rosbalt, a news outlet run by Natalya Cherkesova (Chaplina), wife of ex-security services high-ranking member Viktor Cherkesov, a Putin associate

She worked as a journalist for state-funded RIA Novosti, working at the Russian parliament between 2003-05. More than a decade ago she also worked for Rosbalt, a news outlet run by Natalya Cherkesova (Chaplina), wife of ex-security services high-ranking member Viktor Cherkesov, a Putin associate

She worked as a journalist for state-funded RIA Novosti, working at the Russian parliament between 2003-05. More than a decade ago she also worked for Rosbalt, a news outlet run by Natalya Cherkesova (Chaplina), wife of ex-security services high-ranking member Viktor Cherkesov, a Putin associate

Galkina is seen as implicating the firm in a Russian secret services-sponsored bid hacking Democratic Party servers to collect damaging material on 2016 presidential election candidate Hillary Clinton

Galkina is seen as implicating the firm in a Russian secret services-sponsored bid hacking Democratic Party servers to collect damaging material on 2016 presidential election candidate Hillary Clinton

Galkina is seen as implicating the firm in a Russian secret services-sponsored bid hacking Democratic Party servers to collect damaging material on 2016 presidential election candidate Hillary Clinton

Russian businessman loses libel battle against Christopher Steele for claims in his Trump ‘dirty dossier’

Aleksej Gubarev

Aleksej Gubarev

Aleksej Gubarev

On Friday, Russian businessman  Aleksej Gubarev lost his libel battle against ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele whose ‘dirty dossier’ on Donald Trump implicated him in hacking the Democrats in 2016.  

Gubarev sued Steele for ‘seriously defamatory allegations’ that he had ‘knowing involvement’ in the DNC computer hack during the US election.

But a London judge ruled Gubarev did not prove Steele was responsible for the report’s publication and so could not be made to pay damages.

Central accusations made in the dossier, which was funded by the Democrats, have been roundly rubbished and were largely thrown out by the Mueller report. 

It was published by Buzzfeed News website in 2017 and contained outlandish claims of Trump hiring prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room as well as allegations of Russian collusion with the Republican candidate’s campaign.  

Gubarev and his company Webzilla took legal action against Steele and his intelligence company Orbis Business Intelligence after the dossier was published.

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But her former boss in the marketing department at XBT Holding, Alexey Trankov, claimed: ‘She (Olga Galkina) has long been in need of medical assistance….

‘Of course, I’m not a doctor to give diagnoses, but I just want to say that she needs a doctor.’

Around the time she allegedly helped Steele in 2016, she became locked in a dispute with Aleksej Gubarev, owner of XBT Holding SA web-services company behind the Webzilla internet hosting unit. 

It emerged that Galkina travelled to the US in spring 2016, the year of the last US president election. The purpose of her visit is unclear.

But after Donald Trump’s win, she posted: ‘I sincerely congratulate our (intelligent) ideological opponents on the victory of their candidate.

‘For our comrades, we are thinking of organising a democratic retreat here,.

‘It’s only four years to wait, palm trees, again, Jay Z on the tape recorder.’

Galkina is seen as implicating the firm in a Russian secret services-sponsored bid hacking Democratic Party servers to collect damaging material on 2016 presidential election candidate Hillary Clinton.

Webzilla and Russian-born Cyprus resident Gubarev have strongly denied any involvement in the DNC hacking and he has since sued Steele for defamation in Britain.

Some Russian sources scathingly attacked a woman who earlier moved from journalism to PR and at one time also served as deputy head of the administration of Saratov city.

Prominent journalist, scriptwriter and director Roman Volobuev posted : ‘Oh sh**, I KNOW the girl WSJ just named as the source of Steele dossier.

‘(And yeah, she’s probably made the whole thing up).’

He added, however, that she was ‘everyone’s acquaintance’ and ‘moderately shady’.

Others confirmed the mother-of-one had a wide circle of contacts. 

But newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda stated: ‘When she worked in Saratov, Olga was remembered by her frequent disappearances from the office when even her bosses couldn’t reach her.

‘Many believed that this was linked to alcohol.’

Yet when she lived in Limassol she was a member of an ‘intellectual’ Russian expat social club formed to discuss poetry.

Born in Perm, in the Urals, she has a degree in law and a further qualification in philology from the Peoples’ Friendship University in Moscow.

Both news outlet Newsru in Moscow and the Russian-language Cyprus Daily News said she was behind a colourful but confused personal blog - however there was no clear evidence that this was correct. In one entry, the writer stated: 'Since my childhood I have been into palm reading, and I know quite a lot about this'

Both news outlet Newsru in Moscow and the Russian-language Cyprus Daily News said she was behind a colourful but confused personal blog - however there was no clear evidence that this was correct. In one entry, the writer stated: 'Since my childhood I have been into palm reading, and I know quite a lot about this'

Both news outlet Newsru in Moscow and the Russian-language Cyprus Daily News said she was behind a colourful but confused personal blog – however there was no clear evidence that this was correct. In one entry, the writer stated: ‘Since my childhood I have been into palm reading, and I know quite a lot about this’

In a personal review 2010 - when Galkina worked for the Kremlin environmental and nuclear watchdog - the blog attributed to her stated: 'The year was quiet, although not without adventures. Pleasant... Too much bisexuality. Festivals, hitch-hiking, sea, celebrations, two weeks in Moscow, a lot of games, nudity, nature, alcohol - there was leisure'

In a personal review 2010 - when Galkina worked for the Kremlin environmental and nuclear watchdog - the blog attributed to her stated: 'The year was quiet, although not without adventures. Pleasant... Too much bisexuality. Festivals, hitch-hiking, sea, celebrations, two weeks in Moscow, a lot of games, nudity, nature, alcohol - there was leisure'

In a personal review 2010 - when Galkina worked for the Kremlin environmental and nuclear watchdog - the blog attributed to her stated: 'The year was quiet, although not without adventures. Pleasant... Too much bisexuality. Festivals, hitch-hiking, sea, celebrations, two weeks in Moscow, a lot of games, nudity, nature, alcohol - there was leisure'

In a personal review 2010 - when Galkina worked for the Kremlin environmental and nuclear watchdog - the blog attributed to her stated: 'The year was quiet, although not without adventures. Pleasant... Too much bisexuality. Festivals, hitch-hiking, sea, celebrations, two weeks in Moscow, a lot of games, nudity, nature, alcohol - there was leisure'

 In a personal review of 2010 – when Galkina worked for the Kremlin environmental and nuclear watchdog – the blog attributed to her stated: ‘The year was quiet, although not without adventures. Pleasant… Too much bisexuality. Festivals, hitch-hiking, sea, celebrations, two weeks in Moscow, a lot of games, nudity, nature, alcohol – there was leisure’

Galkina is portrayed by WSJ as the source of a claim that President Trump's (pictured in Moscow in 2013) ex-lawyer Michael Cohen secretly met Putin's intelligence officials in Prague to discuss payments for the hackers in the summer of 2016. The Russian woman was the 'most important contributor' to the Steele dossier, according to WSJ. She was 'Source 3' in the dossier, it was reported

Galkina is portrayed by WSJ as the source of a claim that President Trump's (pictured in Moscow in 2013) ex-lawyer Michael Cohen secretly met Putin's intelligence officials in Prague to discuss payments for the hackers in the summer of 2016. The Russian woman was the 'most important contributor' to the Steele dossier, according to WSJ. She was 'Source 3' in the dossier, it was reported

Galkina is portrayed by WSJ as the source of a claim that President Trump’s (pictured in Moscow in 2013) ex-lawyer Michael Cohen secretly met Putin’s intelligence officials in Prague to discuss payments for the hackers in the summer of 2016. The Russian woman was the ‘most important contributor’ to the Steele dossier, according to WSJ. She was ‘Source 3’ in the dossier, it was reported

Both news outlet Newsru in Moscow and the Russian-language Cyprus Daily News said she was behind a colourful but confused personal blog – however there was no clear evidence that this was correct.

In one entry, the writer stated: ‘Since my childhood I have been into palm reading, and I know quite a lot about this.’

In a personal review of the year 2010 – when Galkina worked for the Kremlin environmental and nuclear watchdog – the blog attributed to her stated: ‘The year was quiet, although not without adventures. Pleasant.

‘In general successful and cheerful. Too much bisexuality. Festivals, hitch-hiking, sea, celebrations, two weeks in Moscow, a lot of games, nudity, nature, alcohol – there was leisure. Though, I worked a lot too.’

Another blog is clearly hers and it refers to a difficult break up with the father of her child.

Galkina is portrayed by WSJ as the source of a claim that President Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen secretly met Putin’s intelligence officials in Prague to discuss payments for the hackers in the summer of 2016.

Cohen denied ever traveling there.

The Russian woman was the ‘most important contributor’ to the Steele dossier, according to WSJ.

She was ‘Source 3’ in the dossier, it was reported.

She was allegedly recruited to the Steele intelligence-gathering team by Danchenko, who now lives in the US.

Christopher Steele: The British ex-spy who authored the ‘dirty dossier’

Christopher Steele, 55, embarked on a well-trodden path when he was recruited from Cambridge straight into MI6.

After a stint in London, he was stationed in Moscow just after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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35037198 8894967 image a 40 1604066629845

He returned to London and in 2006 was made head of MI6’s Russia desk, where he led the investigation into the poisoning of former Russian operative Alexander Litvinenko.

But he only became world-renowned after becoming a private intelligence consultant and writing the sensational Trump-Russia dossier in 2016.

His evidence was rubbished by Trump, but formed part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

In an interview at Oxford University, Mr Steele said he had been questioned for ‘two whole days’ but was disappointed with Mueller’s final report.

‘I was surprised that very little of what I had discussed with them appeared in the final report.

He criticized the report for being ‘too narrow’ and failing to follow up on crucial evidence. 

‘There were many things about the report that were good… but other (aspects) that were not so good,’ he said. 

Mr Steele said the fact that ‘a number of witnesses—including for instance, Donald Trump Jr.’ had avoided being interviewed ‘wasn’t great.’ 

Dismissing longstanding allegations of political bias, he described himself as simply ‘an opponent of President Putin.’

He said that Trump is naturally hostile toward the intelligence community. 

‘Trump himself doesn’t like intelligence because its ground truth is inconvenient for him,’ he said.   

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Romanian lorry driver, 48,arrested for trying to smuggle migrants out of the UK

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romanian lorry driver 48arrested for trying to smuggle migrants out of the uk

A Romanian lorry driver has been charged with attempting to smuggle migrants out of the UK including one man suspected of child sex offences. 

Sebastian Gabriel Podar, 48, was arrested at Dover Port on December 2 as he waited to board a cross channel ferry to France

Officers from the National Crime Agency searched the truck and discovered nine people hidden in the back, including a 39-year-old Bangladeshi man who was under investigation for child sex offences by Nottinghamshire Police. 

Sebastian Gabriel Podar, 48, was arrested at Dover Port on December 2 as he waited to board a cross channel ferry to France with nine migrants hidden in the back of his truck, pictured

Sebastian Gabriel Podar, 48, was arrested at Dover Port on December 2 as he waited to board a cross channel ferry to France with nine migrants hidden in the back of his truck, pictured

Sebastian Gabriel Podar, 48, was arrested at Dover Port on December 2 as he waited to board a cross channel ferry to France with nine migrants hidden in the back of his truck, pictured

The nine migrants included a 39-year-old Bangladeshi man who was wanted by police in Nottinghamshire on suspicion of child sex abuse offences

The nine migrants included a 39-year-old Bangladeshi man who was wanted by police in Nottinghamshire on suspicion of child sex abuse offences

The nine migrants included a 39-year-old Bangladeshi man who was wanted by police in Nottinghamshire on suspicion of child sex abuse offences

He has been handed over to detectives in Nottingham and faces charges. 

The eight other people were Indian, Algerian and Bangladeshi. They were all handed over to UK Border Force for processing. 

On October 16, Podar had been stopped by police in Edmonton, north London who discovered six migrants in the back of his truck. 

According to the NCA, he was using the same truck when arrested for a second time earlier this week. 

He was charged with two counts of ‘attempting to facilitate a breach of immigration law’. 

He appeared at Margate Magistrates’ Court on December 3 and was remanded to reappear at Canterbury Crown Court on January 4. 

Chris Hill of the NCA said: ‘Organised immigration crime is a priority for the NCA and we are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks involved in people smuggling.

‘Complicit lorry drivers and the networks behind them are using both legs of their journeys to smuggle migrants into and out of the UK to maximise their profits.

‘I hope these arrests send out a clear message to the drivers involved in this activity, and those considering fleeing the UK in this manner for whatever reason.

‘This operation involved the NCA working in partnership with Border Force, Immigration Enforcement and Nottinghamshire Police.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Just a QUARTER of pubs reopened after lockdown many staying shut as it’s not worth opening in Tier 2

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just a quarter of pubs reopened after lockdown many staying shut as its not worth opening in tier 2

Just one quarter of pubs reopened after lockdown with many staying shut because it was not worth opening in Tier 2, according to the pub industry’s association.

A survey of pubs over the past week found that just 27 per cent reopened following the end of lockdown on December 2.

However, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), who conducted the survey, warned that many pubs are facing closure again as trade is so low under the restrictive tier rules.

The majority of the UK is in Tier 2, which prohibits the sale of alcohol to customers unless it is accompanied with a ‘substantial meal’.

A survey of pubs conducted over the past week found that just 27 per cent reopened following the end of lockdown on December 2

A survey of pubs conducted over the past week found that just 27 per cent reopened following the end of lockdown on December 2

A survey of pubs conducted over the past week found that just 27 per cent reopened following the end of lockdown on December 2 

Hospitality businesses in Tier 3 are even more severely restricted, as pubs can only operate a takeaway service.

Only 729 of the nation’s 37,552 pubs are in Tier 1, the only level where drinkers can socialise indoors with friends, according to Altus Group. 

The chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, Emma McClarkin, said that it was ‘ridiculous’ that pubs are being forced to close after investing millions in making their premises safe for customers.

‘Having invested £500m in safety measures to ensure they are Covid-secure, it is ridiculous so many of our pubs are being forced to remain closed unfairly,’ she said.

‘It is clear the meagre £1,000 one-off payment for pubs this Christmas isn’t going to be anywhere near enough to save those who simply cannot open or are completely unviable.’ 

Speaking to The Telegraph, she warned that many pubs already fear another closure as trade will be low under the harsh tier restrictions.

‘It is just a shame so few are allowed to reopen and make a good go of it under the harsh new restrictions they now face,’ she said.

‘For those pubs that are reopening, some fear they could close again as soon as this week because they expect trade to be so low.’ 

In Wales pubs, restaurants and cafes are banned from serving alcohol from Friday, and will be unable to open to customers beyond 6pm. 

Wetherspoons responded by saying it would close all of its 50 pubs in Wales, as it was ‘not viable to stay open’.

The pub chain later said they would keep eight pubs open, effectively trading as cafes and not pubs.

Tim Martin, chairman of Wetherspoons, said: ‘We’ve been perplexed by the low number of transmissions in pubs for a long time. We have no cases at all of the virus being transferred from staff to customers or vice versa.’

The British Beer and Pub Association warned that many pubs could close again as trade is so low in Tier 2. In Wales pubs, restaurants and cafes are banned from serving alcohol from Friday, and will be unable to open to customers beyond 6pm. Pictured: The Borough pub in Cardiff ahead of closing on Friday

The British Beer and Pub Association warned that many pubs could close again as trade is so low in Tier 2. In Wales pubs, restaurants and cafes are banned from serving alcohol from Friday, and will be unable to open to customers beyond 6pm. Pictured: The Borough pub in Cardiff ahead of closing on Friday

The British Beer and Pub Association warned that many pubs could close again as trade is so low in Tier 2. In Wales pubs, restaurants and cafes are banned from serving alcohol from Friday, and will be unable to open to customers beyond 6pm. Pictured: The Borough pub in Cardiff ahead of closing on Friday

Figures from Public Health England revealed that just 128 of 4,687 infections across England in the four weeks to the end of October were linked to bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants.

On Tuesday the Government announced a £1,000 Christmas grant for drinks-led pubs, but industry experts estimate that tenanted pubs are losing £500 to £600 per week on average. 

More than 6,200 jobs have already been lost at major pub chains, with many thousands more made redundant by smaller landlords.  

Hospitality venues will not included in the five-day relaxation of rules over Christmas, which allow three households to mix at home. 

A Government spokesman said: ‘We have acted quickly to support businesses with one of the most extensive packages of financial support in the world worth £280 billion, including the extension of the furlough scheme, various loan schemes, a business rates holiday, VAT deferrals and grants of up to £3000 a month for those required to close.’

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Brexit: Don’t let Britain become a permanent ‘client state’, MPs warn

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brexit dont let britain become a permanent client state mps warn

Die-hard Tories last night warned an under-fire Boris Johnson that the UK could become a permanent ‘client state’ of the EU if British negotiators cave in to Brussels on fishing rights and the ‘level playing field’. 

A group of Conservative backbenchers urged the PM not to break the promises he made to Leave voters in last year’s General Election and the 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union.

With the UK’s chances of striking a post-Brexit trade deal with Brussels teetering, Brexit radicals fear that Mr Johnson has reportedly agreed to defer repatriating up to half of the fishing quotas for several years. 

British officials hit out French President Emmanuel Macron, who they accused of pushing talks to the brink of collapse by pressuring EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier to take a hardline stance. 

The French President has also been pushing for French trawlers to maintain their access to UK waters, and is said to have demanded a 10-year transition to any reduction in EU fishing access – which No10 finds unacceptable. A senior government official told the Times the proposal is ‘not something that we can agree to or sell’.

Mr Barnier, who has been in London this week to try to hash out a deal, has also called for further concessions from the UK on state aid, with Mr Macron determined to protect French firms from British competition. 

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith called fishing a ‘totemic issue’ and said the UK needed to start with control over ‘100 per cent’. He also insisted that Britain be treated like Norway, which sets its own fishing quotas. 

Theresa Villiers, the former Environment Secretary, added that Britain could be ‘locked in as a client state’ if it did not secure regulatory autonomy, calling this the ‘main means’ by which the EU could ‘tie us into their laws’.    

Sir Iain told the Telegraph: ‘We have to be treated like Norway is treated. We’re not looking for an increase, we are looking for control. From there, we negotiate with other countries what access they get. It’s as simple as that.’

Mrs Villiers called the failure to secure regulatory autonomy the ‘main threat to getting Brexit done’. ‘There are level playing field agreements in the Canada deal and arbitration mechanisms that are acceptable. But on the other end of the spectrum we are locked in as a client state,’ she told the newspaper.

Some Brexiteers told Mr Johnson to walk away. Andrew Bridgen said: ‘I am very worried that the Prime Minister is about to sign up to something unacceptable. If Boris sells us out on Brexit then he is finished, and I think he knows that.’ But former Tory minister Tobias Ellwood said: ‘It would be a retrograde step for Global Britain.’  

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith called fishing a 'totemic issue' and said the UK needed to start with control over '100 per cent'. He also insisted that Britain be treated like Norway, which sets its own fishing quotas

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith called fishing a 'totemic issue' and said the UK needed to start with control over '100 per cent'. He also insisted that Britain be treated like Norway, which sets its own fishing quotas

Theresa Villiers, the former Environment Secretary, added that Britain could be 'locked in as a client state' if it did not secure regulatory autonomy, calling this the 'main means' by which the EU could 'tie us into their laws'

Theresa Villiers, the former Environment Secretary, added that Britain could be 'locked in as a client state' if it did not secure regulatory autonomy, calling this the 'main means' by which the EU could 'tie us into their laws'

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith called fishing a ‘totemic issue’ and said the UK needed to start with control over ‘100 per cent’. He also insisted that Britain be treated like Norway, which sets its own fishing quotas. Theresa Villiers, the former Environment Secretary, added that Britain could be ‘locked in as a client state’ if it did not secure regulatory autonomy, calling this the ‘main means’ by which the EU could ‘tie us into their laws’

Talks have also hit stalemate over fishing, where Mr Macron has been pushing for French trawlers to maintain their existing access to British waters. (Pictured, the PM and President Macron in London in June)

Talks have also hit stalemate over fishing, where Mr Macron has been pushing for French trawlers to maintain their existing access to British waters. (Pictured, the PM and President Macron in London in June)

Talks have also hit stalemate over fishing, where Mr Macron has been pushing for French trawlers to maintain their existing access to British waters. (Pictured, the PM and President Macron in London in June)

Barnier's telling tweet: Mr Barnier is expected to return to Brussels this morning to warn the negotiations are in peril

Barnier's telling tweet: Mr Barnier is expected to return to Brussels this morning to warn the negotiations are in peril

Barnier’s telling tweet: Mr Barnier is expected to return to Brussels this morning to warn the negotiations are in peril

Tensions were ratcheted up after France’s Europe minister, Charles Beaune, yesterday publicly announced that Paris would veto any post-Brexit trade deal that went against French interests. 

Mr Macron, who faces re-election in 2022, has made lavish promises to French fishermen and is said to believe blocking a deal could bolster his popularity. Mr Beaune insisted Paris wanted a deal but added: ‘France is attached to the interests of its fishermen, is attached to the fair business conditions.

‘It’s also the case for our partners that if, if there were a deal that isn’t good, which in our evaluation doesn’t correspond to those interests, we will oppose it. Yes each country has a veto, so it’s possible.’  

A UK source said: ‘At the start of the week we saw Macron agitating with other EU capitals that they were giving away too much. Then you see Barnier bringing this back and the whole process goes backwards. 

‘I think everyone can join the dots. We want a deal but it has to be on the basis that we are a sovereign country again. Some people still seem to be struggling with the concept that we are going to be an independent country setting our own rules. If it stays like that there will be no deal.’ 

It comes as the two sides’ chief negotiators announced yesterday they were putting the talks on ‘pause’ to allow political leaders to take stock. In a joint statement following the latest round of negotiations in London, Lord Frost and Mr Barnier said the conditions for an agreement had still not been met.

Mr Johnson will hold talks with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen this afternoon to try to rescue the process. But Lord Frost is said to believe there is little prospect of striking a post-Brexit trade deal unless EU leaders rein in Mr Macron and ultimately persuade him to back down.  

Boris Johnson was locked in a stand-off with Emmanuel Macron last night as Brexit talks teetered on the brink. British officials claimed the French president had pressured European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier to take a hardline stance

Boris Johnson was locked in a stand-off with Emmanuel Macron last night as Brexit talks teetered on the brink. British officials claimed the French president had pressured European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier to take a hardline stance

Boris Johnson was locked in a stand-off with Emmanuel Macron last night as Brexit talks teetered on the brink. British officials claimed the French president had pressured European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier to take a hardline stance

Mr Johnson was ready to accept the inclusion of 'non-regression clauses' into the deal, which would have guaranteed no cuts to current standards on state aid subsidies, workers' rights and environmental standards

Mr Johnson was ready to accept the inclusion of 'non-regression clauses' into the deal, which would have guaranteed no cuts to current standards on state aid subsidies, workers' rights and environmental standards

Mr Macron, who faces re-election in 2022, has made lavish promises to French fishermen and is said to believe blocking a deal could bolster his popularity

Mr Macron, who faces re-election in 2022, has made lavish promises to French fishermen and is said to believe blocking a deal could bolster his popularity

Mr Johnson was ready to accept the inclusion of ‘non-regression clauses’ into the deal, which would have guaranteed no cuts to current standards on state aid subsidies, workers’ rights and environmental standards. Mr Macron, who faces re-election in 2022, has made lavish promises to French fishermen and is said to believe blocking a deal could bolster his popularity

Failure to strike an agreement would leave the two trading partners to deal with each other on World Trade Organisation terms from the start of next month. This would lead to the imposition of tariffs on a wide range of goods, including levies of at least 40 per cent on lamb and 10 per cent on cars. 

After months of circling round the same issues, they said ‘significant divergences’ remained over fisheries, the ‘level playing field’ rules on fair competition and the enforcement mechanism for any deal.

Mr Johnson was ready to accept the inclusion of ‘non-regression clauses’ into the deal, which would have guaranteed no cuts to current standards on state aid subsidies, workers’ rights and environmental standards.

But Mr Barnier then brought back earlier demands for a so-called ‘ratchet clause’ to make the UK follow future EU laws in these areas. Britain would be threatened with tariffs if standards fell below those in the EU.     

In a further complicating factor, the UK Government is bringing back to the Commons legislation enabling it to override elements of Mr Johnson’s ‘divorce’ settlement with Brussels in breach of international law.

On Monday, MPs will vote on whether to overturn amendments by the House of Lords which removed the provisions in the UK Internal Market Bill relating to the Irish border. 

MPs will then debate legislation which contains further similar provisions. The legislation has infuriated the EU and – if it is passed – could further sour the mood in the negotiations making a deal harder to reach.     

A close ally of Emmanuel Macron yesterday said he would veto any trade deal that went against French interests. But UK sources said the president did not respect Britain's independence and was trying to shield his nation's firms from competition. One insider warned there would be no deal unless Mr Macron backed down (Above, Macron in Paris)

A close ally of Emmanuel Macron yesterday said he would veto any trade deal that went against French interests. But UK sources said the president did not respect Britain's independence and was trying to shield his nation's firms from competition. One insider warned there would be no deal unless Mr Macron backed down (Above, Macron in Paris)

A close ally of Emmanuel Macron yesterday said he would veto any trade deal that went against French interests. But UK sources said the president did not respect Britain’s independence and was trying to shield his nation’s firms from competition. One insider warned there would be no deal unless Mr Macron backed down (Above, Macron in Paris)

Could France veto a deal? When is the deadline? Your Brexit questions answered

What are the sticking points?

There are three key sticking points, which have hardly changed in months. The first is the EU’s demand that Britain observe a ‘level playing field’ on issues such as state a id subsidies, workers’ rights and environmental protections to prevent it undercutting the EU.

The second is fishing, where Brussels has demanded that EU trawlers maintain their existing rights to fish in British waters. The third is agreeing a mechanism for resolving disputes that is fair to both sides.

How can they be resolved?

The EU is nervous that its businesses could be undercut by British firms freed from the dead hand of Brussels red tape.

Boris Johnson is adamant that he will not tie the UK to EU rules after Brexit. In a bid to strike a deal, the Prime Minister has indicated he will agree to maintain ‘level playing field’ standards at at least the level they are now. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, appeared to have agreed but, under pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron, demanded that Britain also agree to continue matching EU standards as they change in future. This is unacceptable to the PM, who believes that the ability to set our own rules is the right of any independent state and a key benefit of Brexit that could allow the UK to outcompete the EU.

On fishing, most EU countries except France accept they will get lower fishing quotas in UK waters. Cuts to EU quotas could be phased in over a few years, but the UK is unwilling to accept a Brussels proposal for a decade-long transition.

Any dispute mechanism will have to put the UK’s Supreme Court on an equal footing with the European Court of Justice for it to be acceptable to Tory MPs.

Will Tory Eurosceptics accept a deal?

Most Tory MPs will back a deal that allows the UK to take back control of its borders and laws. But if the PM compromises on key issues of independence, such as allowing a decisive role for the European Court of Justice, he could face a dangerous revolt. However, this is not likely to affect his chances of getting a deal through Parliament as Labour are expected to either back it or abstain.

Could France veto it?

Yes, all 27 member states have a veto. French Europe minister Clement Beaune warned yesterday that Mr Macron was ready to veto any deal not in France’s interests.

When is the final deadline?

The Brexit process has had innumerable ‘make or break’ weeks, but sources on both sides agree the process is now in the endgame. Negotiators had been targeting a deal by tomorrow night in order for the hundreds of pages of legal documents to be translated in time for a Brussels summit on Thursday. But the process could now slip into early next week.

What about the UK’s No Deal legislation?

MPs will vote on Monday to reinsert controversial clauses in the Internal Market Bill which override parts of last year’s Brexit deal relating to Northern Ireland. The measures could have been dropped if a deal had been struck but now look certain to go ahead.

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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