BORIS Johnson’s senior Brexit adviser last night fired a warning shot to the EU that any proposal which gives the bloc the right to respond with tariffs to changes in British law will be refused. The opening salvo comes on the eve of critical post-Brexit trade talks which will determine Britain’s future trading relationship with the European Union from the beginning of next year. The next round of talks begins on Monday and will be held face to face for the first time since the coronavirus epidemic. David Frost, known as “the sherpa” on EU negotiations, said that the “intensified process” in the discussions needed to be realistic. The comments come after the Prime Minister insisted that the UK would reject an EU offer to extend the Brexit transition period beyond the end of the year. In bullish language, Mr Frost insisted that UK sovereignty over laws, courts, and fishing waters was “not up for discussion”.
A proposal seen as the best chance of avoiding a disastrous no-deal Brexit at the end of the year has been rejected by the UK’s chief negotiator. With the talks deadlocked, it was thought the EU could agree to give the UK the ability to break free from its rules – in return for the right to impose tariffs if it chose to do so. The arrangement would have avoided the feared cliff-edge on 31 December, when the UK will crash out of the single market and customs union unless an agreement is struck. But, in a series of tweets, David Frost, Boris Johnson’s negotiator, announced: “I want to be clear that the government will not agree to ideas like the one currently circulating giving the EU a new right to retaliate with tariffs if we chose to make laws suiting our interests.
THE UK has issued a huge final Brexit warning to the European Union and the bloc’s negotiator Michel Barnier ahead of the next round of crunch talks on a trade deal, warning Brussels its “unrealistic positions will have to change if we are to move forward”. The next round of negotiations between the two sides will begin in Brussels on Monday in what the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator described as “the start of the intensified process”, and will be followed by talks in London the week after.
DOMINIC CUMMINGS has set his sights on a radical overhaul of the civil service, accusing it of “incoherency” during the coronavirus crisis and failing to support the Government’s Brexit agenda. Boris Johnson’s most senior aide has told those inside No10 “hard rain is coming” after feeling frustrated at the Cabinet Office’s handling of COVID-19. He has vowed sweeping reforms of the civil service to make it more efficient and effective once the pandemic is over.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has demanded a ‘full explanation’ from Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick after police officers were overpowered and forced to flee a ‘mini riot’ after a block party in Brixton last night. In shocking scenes, social media footage showed hundreds of people gathered at a south London street party before turning their anger onto police officers who had been called to the disturbance at the ‘unlicensed music event’. Dame Cressida has been accused of turning the Met into a ‘laughing stock’ and abandoning ‘law abiding residents’ to ‘mob rule’ after a video showed revellers chasing away police officers while screaming ‘run them out’ as 22 officers were injured – including two who needed a full body scan.
CAMBRIDGE University has backed and promoted an academic who posted “White Lives Don’t Matter” after she was sent death threats. Professor Priyamvada Gopal, a fellow of Churchill College, faced a 4,000-signature petition calling for her to be sacked over the tweet. Reaction to the post turned nasty despite the English boffin, 51 clearly contextualising: “Yes, all lives matter. White lives as white do not.” But bosses at Cambridge University have leapt to her defence and said that attacks against her “are totally unacceptable and must cease”.
Cambridge University has backed an academic who claimed that “White Lives Don’t Matter” following a public backlash. The university said it “defends the right of its academics” to express themselves following calls for it to cut ties with Dr Priyamvada Gopal, an expert in postcolonial literature. Dr Gopal said that she stands by her tweets – which claimed that “white lives don’t matter” – adding that they had been deleted by the social media site Twitter rather than by herself. She said her remarks were “very clearly speaking to a structure and ideology, not about people.” A petition calling for her to be sacked claiming that her comments were “racist and hateful and must not be tolerated” by Cambridge.
The University of Cambridge has spoken out in support of one of its lecturers who was hit by a wave of abusive messages and death threats for tweeting ‘White Lives Don’t Matter’. Dr Priyamvada Gopal, 51, who teaches in the Faculty of English at Churchill College, took to the social media platform on Tuesday evening to write: ‘I’ll say it again. White Lives Don’t Matter. As white lives.’ However the controversial message, which has since been deleted by Twitter, was met with a barrage of outrage, with many people responding both publicly and privately with death threats and racist abuse.
Boris Johnson is facing a mounting rebellion from Tory MPs who want to guarantee the rights of lone migrant children to seek refuge in the UK. Six Tory MPs, including two former ministers, have put their names to a Labour amendment seeking to provide legal routes for unaccompanied children. Two schemes enabling them to claim asylum are coming to an end. One route known as the “Dubs scheme”, named after the former child refugee and campaigner Lord Dubs, was created in 2016 and allows lone minors with no family in the UK to resettle.
Britain received Europe’s highest number of asylum claims from unaccompanied children last year after figures surged by a fifth. The UK took 3,650 claims from youngsters travelling without a parent or guardian over the 12-month period, the EU’s asylum unit said. It was a 19 per cent rise year-on-year. In terms of overall numbers of asylum seekers the UK was placed fifth – receiving 44,835 claims out of Europe’s 738,000 annual total.
Boris Johnson is set to secure the £400million part-purchase of satellite operator OneWeb, which could deliver the same civil and military tracking services as the EU’s rival system Galileo. The Prime Minister and chancellor Rishi Sunak signed off the purchase of a 20% stake in American operator OneWeb Satellites last night. UK-licensed OneWeb filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 27 – partly due to the coronavirus pandemic – and has its headquarters in London. The firm has already launched 74 satellites – including 34 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in early February to provide high-speed internet access using satellite communications.
The government is set to spend hundreds of millions of pounds in a part-purchase deal for struggling US satellite firm OneWeb, it has been reported. The UK had found itself in need of access to a satellite navigation system after Brexit barred the nation from utilising elements of the European Union’s Galileo project. Now, the nation is expected to put forward £500m towards OneWeb, a low level satellite company that filed for bankruptcy in March due to the impact of the coronavirus, the Financial Times reports.
A BEACH brawl erupted yesterday as up to 200 sunbathers fought in front of horrified families. Police rushed to the sea front beauty spot at Orcombe Point, Devon after a neighbourhood officer spotted the youths fighting on a day when Brits packed out beaches nationwide. Cops raced to the scene just before 7pm yesterday but it is not clear if any arrests were made. Witnesses alleged the group were partying, swearing and taking drugs from 4pm onwards. A mum who witnessed the brawl said: “It was absolutely shocking behaviour.
A major incident was declared yesterday as half a million people abandoned social distancing and converged on the Dorset coast on the hottest day of the year. Emergency response measures were put in place in Bournemouth where roads were jammed, people discarded more than 40 tonnes of rubbish and drunken fights broke out. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council said services were stretched “to the absolute hilt” and pleaded with people to stay away.
HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock has threatened to shut beaches if social distancing measures are ignored after a major incident was declared in Bournemouth yesterday. Thousands of Brits squeezed onto the sand at Bournemouth for the hottest day of the year as temperatures reached 33.4C. Roads leading to the coast were gridlocked, cars were dumped at the roadside and tons of litter was left strewn across the popular resort. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council said it had no choice but to declare a major incident and condemned the “irresponsible” behaviour of crowds, some of whom got involved in fights.
Shameless sunseekers abandoned piles of rubbish on Bournemouth beach after a ‘major incident’ was declared on the hottest day on the year. Thousands flocked to the seaside town to soak up the sweltering 33C heat on Thursday causing carnage. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council condemned the “irresponsible” behaviour of crowds who gridlocked roads, dumped rubbish, parked illegally and some who reportedly got involved in fights.
Matt Hancock has warned he has the power to close beaches after a “major incident” was declared in Bournemouth today. The Health Secretary warned the Government was “perfectly prepared” to “take action” is people continue to flout social distancing rules. He told talkRADIO that the virus “does not respect that it’s a hot summer’s day”. His comments came as police and council officials deal with a day of chaos and carnage in the Dorset seaside town which police said saw them “stretched to the absolute hilt”.
Britain’s beaches could be closed to prevent the resurgence of coronavirus, the Health Secretary warned last night. It came after the heatwave triggered a frenzied rush to the seaside which led to ‘irresponsible and selfish’ scenes and a major incident being declared on the South Coast. An army of 500,000 visitors overwhelmed Dorset and forced the authorities in Bournemouth into an ’emergency response’ after they clogged up roads and dumped tons of litter on beaches.
It was a portrait of a nation at a loose end. Tens of thousands of people headed to beaches on Thursday as the national “hibernation” appeared to collapse completely. Along the south coast, the beaches were packed with people defying social distancing rules, while roads were gridlocked. In the resort town of Bournemouth, the council declared a “major incident” due to overcrowding – a measure usually reserved for floods, fires or terror attacks. It led Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, to appeal for calm, while Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, threatened to close down beaches unless people stayed away.
Britain’s most senior doctor has said that coronavirus will flare up again if people do not enjoy summer more responsibly after official figures suggested that cases had stopped falling. The warning came as huge crowds gathered on beaches, largely ignoring social distancing, with police declaring a major incident in Bournemouth. Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, said: “If we do not follow social-distancing guidance then cases will rise again.
Boris Johnson was on Thursday under pressure to open air bridges to the whole of Europe at once, as he prepared to announce “dozens” of countries will be exempted from the 14-day quarantine. He is expected to signal the change in policy on Friday when he announces the go ahead for air bridges led by some of the most popular Mediterranean holiday destinations including Italy, France, Spain and Greece. The list of up to 50 nations and the full coronavirus criteria used by Public Health England (PHE) to determine those for the first wave of air bridges opening from July 4 is due to be published on Monday.
Boris Johnson has faced calls to open ‘air bridges’ to all of the EU at once because freedom of movement makes it impossible to stop tourists crossing borders. The British Prime Minister is due to give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan. ‘Air bridges’ to France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey have been all but confirmed, sources disclosed, with the first flights set to take off on July 4.
Emergency Nightingale-style courts are to be opened to help to tackle a backlog of more than half a million criminal cases that have built up as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Ten sites have been identified after officials from the Ministry of Justice searched the country for suitable accommodation, including in town halls and university lecture theatres where cases could be held within social distancing guidelines. Ministers are expected next week to announce the first tranche of venues where justice will be dispensed outside the usual court setting, with more to be identified in the next few weeks.
More than half a million criminal cases have been delayed from being heard in court because of the coronavirus pandemic – with the backlog expected to last until Easter. Figures from the Ministry of Justice show there are around 484,000 cases waiting to be heard in magistrates court, while the number of outstanding crown court cases rose to around 41,000 between March 8 and May 17. Courts were shut at the height of the outbreak and jury trials put on hold as Britain entered unprecedented lockdown measures.
Gavin Williamson has said that he wants all children to face the front of the classroom when schools reopen in September. The education secretary told Tory MPs that he was concerned that in many classrooms children were sitting at round or square tables facing one another. He said the approach was “wrong” and that he wanted to “get the class to pay attention to the teacher” when lessons resumed. Mr Williamson is preparing to double the size of teaching “bubbles” to 30 to get every child back to full-time education by September.
A leading figure in the education sector is worried that Year 11 pupils in the UK are being neglected when they should be receiving urgent help. David Hughes, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said that he is most worried about this age group in terms of catching up from lost time caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Year 11s, who are set to start college or sixth form in September, were not included in the £1billion package provided for the Government to help pupils catch-up in their education. Mr Hughes told MPs: ‘We’re particularly worried about Year 11s because Year 11s are not the priority for lots of schools, and particularly the Year 11s who are going to go on to college.
Sir Keir Starmer has gone to war with allies of Jeremy Corbyn after he sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey for sharing an article containing an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.” In a move denounced by John McDonnell and Mr Corbyn’s wife, Sir Keir ousted his shadow education secretary for retweeting a controversial interview with the actress Maxine Peake, whom she described as an “absolute diamond.”
Keir Starmer is facing a showdown with the left of Labour after his decisive sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey reignited the party’s internal turmoil over the issue of antisemitism. In a swift move, Long-Bailey was summarily dismissed as shadow education secretary for sending an approving tweet about an interview in which the actor Maxine Peake said the US police tactic of kneeling on someone’s neck was taught by the Israeli secret service. This was emphatically denied by Israel, and Peake later retracted the claim.
Keir Starmer sacked his hard-Left former leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey today after she praised an interview in which actress Maxine Peake peddled an ‘anti-Semitic conspiracy theory’. The shadow education secretary posted a link to an interview in which Peake – one of her constituents – claimed that US police learned ‘neck-kneeling’ restrain techniques used on George Floyd from Israeli spies. The remark was described as ‘textbook casual anti-Semitism’ by Labour MPs.
Sir Keir Starmer was in a stand-off with the Labour left last night after he sacked his former leadership rival Rebecca Long Bailey. Moderates hailed the leader’s boldness after he dismissed Ms Long Bailey as shadow education secretary for sharing an article that contained an “antisemitic conspiracy theory”. But Corbynite shadow ministers saw the move as a declaration of war against the Labour left and were threatening to walk out.
MPs have little confidence in a government review of the Post Office scandal in which hundreds of postmasters ruined by false accusations of fraud. The business, energy and industrial strategy committee said that correspondence with Paul Scully, the business minister, left it fearing that the investigation will not “deliver justice for those who have waited for so long”.
Former Post Office boss Paula Vennells caused outrage yesterday after trying to shift the blame for an IT scandal that ruined the lives of more than 1,000 postmasters. The part-time priest, 61, insisted she did not approve prosecutions of her staff and was misled by computer experts. She said she was told the IT system was like ‘Fort Knox’ by the boss of operator Fujitsu in a letter to the MPs’ business select committee.
A group of Extinction Rebellion activists launched their new political party in London today by shoplifting from a supermarket ‘because poverty sucks’. Five members of the new Beyond Politics party walked out of a Sainsbury’s store in Camden with trolleys laden with food. They claimed it was an attempt to highlight the instability of food distribution and supplies globally. The group were not stopped by staff, though two activists did clash with security guards.
A new political party was launched in London on Thursday by a group of activists from Extinction Rebellion, who marked the event by shoplifting a haul of supermarket goods to highlight the instability of global food distribution. The stunt involved five members of the nascent Beyond Politics party walking out of Sainsbury’s in Camden with shopping trolleys filled with food but without paying.