Brexit: Boris Johnson refuses to rule out UK and EU failing to strike trade deal by end of 2020 – live news

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A slightly curious feud between No 10 and Good Morning Britain (GMB), ITV’s breakfast programme, has escalated after host Piers Morgan rang Boris Johnson’s head of communications to protest at the PM giving an interview to the BBC rather than them.

The tension dates back to the election, when GMB sent a camera crew to Pudsey in West Yorkshire to ambush Johnson on an early-morning campaign visit to a dairy company after being denied an interview. Johnson escaped into a fridge, although Downing Street aides insisted he was not hiding.

We’ve just found out that you’ve betrayed us and given another interview with Boris to BBC Breakfast, and you’ve also banned all your cabinet from coming on the show. So we’re going to play games with you too. I’m going to ring you live on air every day that I’m here until you stop this pathetic, childish behaviour, and you start honouring your promises. So good morning Lee, have a good day.

Before Christmas Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, formally wrote to Boris Johnson requesting a section 30 order – permission under section 30 of the Scotland Act for Scotland to hold a referendum on independence. She enclosed with her letter a 38-page report (pdf) published by the Scottish government explaining why the Scottish government believes a second referendum is justified.

In his letter Johnson rejects the request – not just for now (which was the line used by Theresa May when she rejected Sturgeon first request for a second independence referendum after the Brexit vote), or until the next Holyrood elections in 2021 (the line used by Jeremy Corbyn in the general election). He rejects it for the foreseeable future, on the grounds that Scotland settled this matter in the 2104 referendum.

You and your predecessor made a personal promise that the 2014 independence referendum was a “once in a generation” vote …

The UK government will continue to uphold the democratic decision of the Scottish people and the promise that you made to them. For that reason, I cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums.

Today I have written to Nicola Sturgeon. The Scottish people voted decisively to keep our United Kingdom together, a result which both the Scottish and UK Governments committed to respect.

Let’s make 2020 a year of growth and opportunity for the whole of the UK

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