EUROPEAN fishermen have warned of skirmishes with British counterparts if both sides cannot agree a post-Brexit trade deal before the end of the year. The rows could break out as Irish, Dutch, Belgian and French vessels lose access to the UK’s fishing grounds if the transition period expires without an agreement in place. Sean O’Donoghue, CEO of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, said: “It’s not just Ireland that is affected by the British withdrawal from the Common Fisheries Policy though, as I believe the French fleet will up the ante. “You could have flashpoints everywhere from Rockall to the North Sea to the Celtic Sea and English Channel, with the British Navy, the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency, the Dutch, French and Belgian navies out at sea, and our Naval Service having an enormous area to control.”
THE European Union has refused to engage with Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit proposals to secure a “huge difference” for Britain’s fishermen, sources say. British negotiators are concerned Brussels is deliberately stalling talks on a free-trade agreement by avoiding the difficult discussions over future access to the UK’s fishing grounds. David Frost, the Prime Minister’s Brexit envoy, had hoped to begin talks over potential new fishing opportunities for after when the transition period expires at the end of the year. He wants to start technical discussions on future stocks and quota shares. But counterpart Michel Barnier has not moved away from reaffirming his opening gambit – status quo access to Britain’s territory waters for European trawlermen. “The EU is not really putting enough meat on the table for us to have that discussion and we’re both still pretty much on our points of principle,” a UK source said. In the mandate handed to him by EU capitals, Mr Barnier has been ordered to secure the same level of access for European vessels to British waters.
A group of rough sleepers believed to be migrants have set up camp in London‘s exclusive Park Lane in the last few days, after a group were removed from the same area last September. Men, women and children have pitched up tents outside the Hilton Hotel in Mayfair, just yards away from Hyde Park. Last year, a homeless camp mainly made up of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants pitched up in the same area after being moved from Marble Arch by police, having seen a rise crime and anti-social behaviour.
More than 200 illegal immigrants crossed the Channel to arrive on the British coast yesterday – a record for a single day. The astonishing number brought renewed calls for ministers to get a grip on the Channel crossings crisis. The previous record for one day was 180, set on July 12. In fact, yesterday’s figure of 202 could be even higher because the Border Force records only include intercepted boats and it was unclear last night if they account for at least two groups of migrants picked up by police inland.
Migration Watch UK has warned that Boris Johnson’s so-called Australian-style point-based immigration system leaves Britain open to around 660 million migrant workers, as it has no cap on overall numbers. Migration Watch has calculated the number of people beyond the European Union who would be eligible to apply for visas under the new system “to be at least 590 million”, according to an analysis sent to Breitbart London. The think tank estimates that, on top of this, “the likely pool of EU nationals will be 77 million” — leaving employers “able to draw on a worldwide pool of more than 667 million.”
NHS staff demanded Boris Johnson give them a fair pay deal as they handed a 480,000-signature strong petition to Number 10 today. Hospital workers gathered outside the gates of Downing Street, holding placards which read “What about us, Boris?” Almost half a million members of the public have now signed petitions organised by campaign group 38 Degrees, calling for all NHS workers to be recognised for their heroic efforts during the Coronavirus pandemic.
THE Labour Party has been targeted by hackers, leaving much of its data and confidential information compromised. The Labour Party is the latest in a number of organisation to have their data breached following a cyber-attack on cloud computing provider Blackbaud. Hackers are believed to have accessed information about thousands of party donors over a period of several years. The Party are understood to have been first informed of the breach on July 16 and will be informing all of those impacted by the attack later this week.
A NEW plan could see working-age Scots receive up to £6,000 under a new Universal Basic Income (UBI), a report has revealed today. UBI which has been backed by Nicola Sturgeon would see every citizen provided with guaranteed payments no matter what their circumstances are. A research paper by the SNP led Social Justice & Fairness Commission titled “A Secure Income for All” explored the principle of providing a secure minimum income. The report suggested a number of methods as to how UBI could work in Scotland which included a basic income of £2,400 per person per annum that sits alongside Universal Credit which people would still be able to claim.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS have raised concerns that possessing the Bible could become an offence under proposed new hate crime legislation. The Catholic Church of Scotland has become the latest organisation to raise its concerns about controversial reforms in the Scottish Government’s new Hate Crime Bill. It has made a submission to MSPs on Holyrood’s Justice Committee, who have been tasked with scrutinising the reforms put forward by Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf. The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill looks to extend the law on ‘hate crime’ covering particular characteristics, including religion, sexual orientation and transgender identity.
Ministers are on standby to impose quarantine measures on more countries amid fears that a second wave of coronavirus cases could undermine the reopening of schools in September. Millions of pupils have been kept out of classrooms for a full six months, with many falling behind or suffering loneliness, and the Government is keen to see every school reopen its doors for the autumn term. But a minister told the Evening Standard: “Getting children back into proper lessons is important for their wellbeing and for parents who want to get back to work. That could be pushed off course if the rises in Spain and other European countries is repeated here.”
CORONAVIRUS cases are rising in holiday hotspots Spain and France – but the number of deaths is not going up. Ministers have said Europe is seeing a “second wave” in the coronavirus pandemic, and are readying to axe more favoured destinations from the air bridge list. But figures show while cases are definitely rising across Europe in some spots, the deaths from new cases of Covid-19 have yet to follow this pattern. Across the continent 36 countries have reported a rise in cases, based on a rolling seven-day average from a week before, but little change in death statistics.
UK ministers met today to thrash out plans to place travel restrictions on more European countries with spiralling coronavirus infections as figures show cases are on the rise in holiday hotspots on the continent — but death curves have yet to follow suit. The Government will announce which nations will be removed from Britain’s ‘air bridge’ list tomorrow following the consultation with England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty and the Joint Biosecurity Centre. Spain became the first country to be slapped with restrictions on Saturday after cases almost trebled in July, rising to almost 40 cases per 100,000 people last week. For comparison, the UK’s rate per capita is roughly 15. Scotland today announced it will impose a 14-day quarantine on arrivals in the country from Luxembourg, a move almost certain to be echoed in England and the rest of the UK. A number of other EU countries considered to be ‘high risk’, including Germany, France, Belgium and Croatia, are being closely monitored amid upticks in infections.
A curious swell of panic is emerging in Britain, driven by fears that the country is about to experience a second wave of coronavirus. Boris Johnson is said to be “extremely concerned” about cases “bubbling up”, and it is true that the UK’s seven-day average rate now stands at around 700, 28 per cent higher than three weeks ago. But, arguably, Britain is once again suffering from its haphazard testing regime, which is making it virtually impossible to track the pandemic. The roll-out of test, track and trace means it is highly likely that many mild cases, which would never normally have troubled the testing system, are now being sucked into the figures.
Ministers have scrapped a quarantine exemption for health and social care workers arriving in England from high-risk countries amid fears of a spike in coronavirus infections. The move, which comes into effect on Friday, follows the sudden decision to reimpose stringent restrictions on tourists re-entering the country from Spain – throwing travellers’ plans into chaos. It means those working in NHS and social care settings will be forced to comply with the mandatory 14-day self-isolation period if they are currently on holiday in a country considered high-risk, including Spain. Announcing the abrupt change in policy, the Department for Health and Social Care said the move will bring health professionals in line with the general public and “further protects the NHS and social care system from the spread of coronavirus from overseas”.
Brits returning from Luxembourg will have to quarantine for 14 days following concern over coronavirus rates in the country. The Government will renew restrictions on travel to the small European country from midnight on Friday – with the formal announcement coming just over three hours before the changes come into force. The Foreign Office also updated its guidance to warn against all but essential travel to the country. Luxembourg had previously been on the list of destinations where holidaymakers were not required to self isolate for two weeks on return.
Portugal is to remain on the Government’s travel ban list despite having lower Covid-19 rates than “green” listed countries under the latest Government changes. Luxembourg is the only country to be removed from the “green” list of 79 countries and territories that exempt returning holidaymakers from 14 days UK quarantine. It is the second nation taken off after a surge in Covid-19 cases following the weekend removal of Spain. The continued rejection of Portugal will provoke fury in Lisbon.
A further 38 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in Britain today (Thursday), bringing the total number of the confirmed deaths during the pandemic to 45,999. The Department of Health figures released today revealed 38 died from the virus in England while Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales reported no new deaths. It was also announced that another 846 across the UK had tested positive for the life-threatening virus, which is up from the 763 recorded yesterday. The latest death toll is lower than yesterday when 78 deaths were recorded in Britain and is also down from last Thursday when 53 deaths were recorded.
Boris Johnson on Thursday night ordered swathes of the north of England back into partial lockdown as he warned of a “damaging second wave” hitting the UK. Hundreds of thousands of people in Greater Manchester, Bradford, Blackburn and other areas were banned from holding indoor meetings involving people from different households. It comes after NHS data showed coronavirus reaching worrying levels in parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire, prompting the Prime Minister to take “immediate action” to keep people safe. Effective from midnight, people from different households were banned from meeting indoors in Greater Manchester, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendleton, Rossendale, Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale. The same restrictions will apply to the city of Leicester. It reverses new freedoms announced by the Prime Minister on June 23.
MILLIONS of Brits across Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire were last night banned from meeting indoors as ministers scrambled to stop Covid-19 “bubbling up”. The orders came as England was hit with 846 new positive cases – the highest number in 32 days – adding to fears the country is facing a second wave of the virus. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was introducing the clampdown for 4.5million people with a “heavy heart” but was chilled by soaring infection rates in Northern England. And he said the spread in nine areas – including the cities of Manchester and Bradford – was “largely due to households meeting and not abiding by social distancing rules”.
Millions of households across northern England have been banned from cross-household gatherings in homes or pubs under last-minute new lockdown measures introduced overnight, as the government rushed to contain “increasing” transmission of cases. The new rules, announced the night before Muslims across the country are set to celebrate Eid al-Adha, are being introduced in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and east Lancashire following increased rates of coronavirus transmission. The restrictions bar different households from meeting indoors in homes and hospitality venues across Greater Manchester as well in as the local authority areas of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees.
Millions of Britons were put under tough new virus restrictions last night after a spike in cases in the North. Separate households in nine areas across Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Lancashire were banned from meeting in homes and encouraged not to get together in pubs and restaurants. The regional lockdown covers a population of more than 4.5million – including the cities of Manchester and Bradford – and is by far the biggest reimposition of restrictions.
Lockdown restrictions were tightened last night for four million people across large parts of northern England after a rise in the number of coronavirus cases. The government announced that people from different households would be barred from meeting indoors in Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire. The move comes after a rise in cases in northern England, which ministers believe has been caused by people failing to observe social-distancing rules. The restrictions apply to all indoor gatherings, including pubs and restaurants, with immediate effect.
The Prime Minister has revealed there are 30 areas in UK at risk of ‘tough local lockdowns’ as part of efforts to contain a second spike of coronavirus. Boris Johnson said late Thursday Covid-19 was under some measure of control in Britain, but a resurgence in some European countries showed the pandemic was not over. In response the Government is monitoring key hot spots to prevent a feared second wave of the virus sweeping the country – with Health Secretary Matt Hancock not out ruling further announcements in the coming days.
FOUR in ten cases of dementia could be prevented or delayed by adopting a healthier lifestyle, a study reveals. Experts have identified a dozen modifiable risks from childhood to old age that account for 40 per cent of cases. It includes too much boozing, too little exercise, smoking, obesity and high blood pressure. Loneliness, pollution, head injury, hearing loss, depression, diabetes and poor education also increase the odds. The report was compiled by 28 researchers from around the world, who want individuals and governments to take action. Lead author Prof Gill Livingston, from University College London, said: “We can reduce risks by creating active and healthy environments.”
Hundreds of thousands of people could ward off dementia by adopting a healthy lifestyle, a major study has found. Some 40 per cent of cases could be avoided or delayed, a comprehensive review of the evidence concludes. Eating less, exercising more, and cutting out alcohol and cigarettes significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia in later life, researchers said. These lifestyle habits – together with environmental factors, medical history and education – are responsible for roughly 340,000 out of Britain’s 850,000 dementia cases, the study suggests.
Targeting a range of risk factors associated with dementia, such as excessive drinking, exposure to air pollution or head injuries, could delay or prevent 40 per cent of cases, scientists have said. Researchers have highlighted 12 risk factors for dementia that they believe can be modified. Although some cannot be changed, such as genes or ethnicity, many relate to lifestyle, according to the report in The Lancet Commission. The report builds on research published in 2017 by the team, who identified nine preventable causes that span from childhood to later life. These include lack of early education, mid-life hearing loss, hypertension and obesity, smoking, depression, social isolation, physical inactivity and diabetes.
Universal credit needs a massive £8bn overhaul to make it reliable for the millions of families who will depend on it as the Covid-19 economic crisis grows, a cross-party House of Lords committee has concluded. The economic affairs committee said public support for the troubled universal credit system was “seeping away” because of multiple design faults, the inadequacy of benefit rates, and lack of specialised support for claimants. It proposes a series of reforms to make universal credit “fit for purpose”, including an urgent catch-up increase in the generosity of benefit rates: “Universal credit should be set at a level that provides claimants with dignity and security,” it says.
Universal Credit is failing millions of people and driving the most vulnerable deeper into poverty, according to a new report. A House of Lords committee – including former Tory ministers – today calls for urgent reforms to make the benefit system “fit for purpose”, saying it is particularly harmful to women, disabled people and the poorest. Some 3.2 million people made new Universal Credit claims between the start of the lockdown in March and mid-June, with expectations of surge later in the year when the furlough scheme ends.
China will stop recognising British National Overseas passports as valid travel documents, its ambassador to London warned, potentially trapping up to three million people in Hong Kong. Liu Xiaoming accused Britain of breaking the terms of the handover agreement with Beijing by offering residents eligible for the BNO passport five-year visas and a route to British citizenship. “Since the UK violated the pledge and commitment on BNO we have to take other measures not to recognise the BNO as a valid travel document,” he said.