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NIGEL FARAGE has warned Ursula von der Leyen “the battle lines are set” after the European Commission President threw into doubt the possibility of a free trade deal between the UK and the European Union.

PUBLISHED: 08:00, Wed, Jan 8, 2020 | UPDATED: 20:39, Wed, Jan 8, 2020

The Brexit Party leader slammed the new EU chief after Ms von der Leyen indicated a free trade deal would only be available if the freedom of movement of EU citizens continued after Brexit. Speaking ahead of her meeting with Prime Minster Boris Johnson in Downing Street, the European Commission president suggested there would not be time to agree everything “without an extension of the transition period beyond 2020”. A furious Mr Farage, wrote on Twitter: “Von der Leyen has just made it clear the EU wants continued free movement of people and a ‘level playing field’ on regulations for any Free-Trade Agreement.

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“Boris wants ‘no alignment’. The battle lines are set. We must be tough this time.”

Earlier Ms von der Leyen issued a stern message to the Prime Minister and warned “every choice comes a consequence”.

She told an audience at the London School of Economics: "Our partnership cannot and will not be the same as before.

"It will not be as close as before because with every choice comes a consequence. With every decision, comes a trade-off.

brexit newsBrexit news: Nigel Farage has criticised Ursula von der Leyen (Image: GETTY)


"Without the free movement of people, you cannot have the free movement of capital, goods and services.

"Without a level playing field on environment, labour and state aid, you cannot have the highest quality access to the world's largest single market.

"The more divergence there is, the more distant the partnership will be."

The Government has confirmed freedom of movement will end after Brexit and Britain’s three million EU citizens can apply for “settled status”.

Downing Street said Mr Johnson will underline that the forthcoming negotiations will be based on an ambitious free trade agreement, and not on alignment.

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Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson and Ursula von der LeyenBrexit LIVE: Ms von der Leyen vistis No 10 (Image: PA)

8.31pm update: Boris Johnson reaffirms January 31 date

Following his meeting with EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, Mr Johnson released a tweet setting out his plans for the future negotiations. 

He said: "When we leave the EU on January 31st, we will negotiate a new free trade agreement with our European partners and continue to work together as friends and sovereign equals to tackle the world’s greatest challenges."

6.27pm update: Brexit talks described as "positive"

Following Boris Johnson's meeting with the EU Commission President, a spokesman said the talks were "positive" as the two spoke of the future relationship between the UK and EU. 

They added: "They discussed the progress of ratification in the UK and in the European Parliament.

"He said the UK wanted a positive new UK and EU partnership, based on friendly co-operation, our shared history, interests and values.

"The PM reiterated that we wanted a broad free trade agreement covering goods and services, and co-operation in other areas.

"The PM was clear that the UK would not extend the implementation period beyond December 31 2020; and that any future partnership must not involve any kind of alignment or ECJ jurisdiction. He said the UK would also maintain control of UK fishing waters and our immigration system."

Boris JohnsonBrexit LIVE: Boris Johnson meets Ursula von der Leyen (Image: Boris Johnson (twitter))

Crispin BluntBrexit LIVE: Crispin Blunt (Image: BBC)

5.30pm update: Scottish MPs vote to reject Prime Minister's Brexit deal 

Boris Johnson's withdrawal agreement is expected to pass through Parliament on Thursday but MSPs were able to voice their disapproval of the legislation at Holyrood.

Mike Russell, Scotland's Constitutional Relations Secretary, described the legislation as "uniquely offensive to Scottish democracy".

He added: "The Withdrawal Agreement which is contained in it and amplified by it is deeply damaging to the UK as the Scottish Government has set out in detail before.

"But it is particularly bad for Scotland, as all the evidence shows, and it is uniquely offensive to Scottish democracy."

4.25pm update: "Internal revision is needed"

Secretary-General of the Italian Bishops' Conference, Monsignor Russo, has warned that Brexit is not a good sign for the EU. 

He added: "Brexit is not good news.

"The long journey towards European unity has brought peace to our people, providing decades of democracy, rights and economic and social development.

"If this unity breaks, it means that something went wrong.

"The British choice to leave the European Union is legitimate and must be respected: looking to the future, we need to build a new partnership, which will see the EU and the UK still close and collaborating for the good of their respective people."

4.10pm update: Tory MP clashes with Andrew Neil

The UK will refuse to hand power back to the EU on regulation standards in the future, Tory MP Crispin Blunt has claimed. 

While hosting BBC Politics Live Andrew Neil argued the UK would have to listen to the EU’s rules and regulation if they want to engage in trade. 

Quizzed on if the UK would have to conform to Brussels' demands, Mr Blunt said: "We will set its own standards about what is going to produce here.

“We are perfectly capable of protecting workers standards and terms and conditions of employment and the environmentalist risks ourselves.

“That is one of the reasons we can safely leave the European Union."

Additional reporting by Luke Hawker. 

Brexit newsBrexit news: Boris Johnson will hold talks with Ursula von der Leyen in Downing Street (Image: GETTY)

2.30pm update: Brexit POLL: Do you think Brexit will be delayed after von der Leyen’s warning today? VOTE NOW

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Remainer Yasmin Alibhai-Brown sparked a vicious Brexit row with political commentator Iain Dale as the pair were

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