EU

Guardian
European countries that fish in British waters are pushing for a tougher stance to protect their fishing crews before trade talks with the UK. Western coastal states made the call at a meeting of European Union ambassadors in Brussels on Wednesday evening, the first high-level diplomatic talks on chief negotiator Michel Barnier’s draft negotiating mandate since its publication on Monday. EU sources said western coastal states with a strong fishing interest wanted Barnier’s text to be clearer that the EU would seek to maintain the same access to British waters, and the same quota shares for 100 types of fish that swim in shared seas. Boris Johnson has vowed to “take back control” of British waters, saying the UK would be an “independent coastal state” conducting annual negotiations with the EU as Norway does. On Wednesday it emerged that the UK has been quietly increasing its maritime defences in a bid to avoid a rerun of the 1970s “cod wars”. But the EU wants to maintain the status quo that grants its member states 35% of the quantity of fish from British waters, with the richest harvest for France, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Telegraph
Brexiteers have reacted with fury after the European Commission insisted that it would force Britain to pay the billion pound bill Brussels sent the UK on Brexit Day.  The Telegraph exclusively revealed the jaw-dropping demand, which was made last Friday, on the very day Britain left the EU. The European Commission confirmed the £1 billion demand, insisting it was “routine” and “pure coincidence” that it fell on January 31. The commission today ruled out any hope of negotiating down the bill in the upcoming trade negotiations and warned the UK would feel the full brunt of EU law if it refused to cough up. British sources have insisted they will negotiate the bill down by at least half but that was dismissed by EU officials in Brussels today.

Express
THE EU didn’t want to let Britain leave the bloc because the UK offers a more “agreeable, secure, and decent” life to EU citizens – leading to a major brain drain on the continent.  A phenomenon known as the “brain drain” affected European nations when many university graduates and young workers emigrated from their home countries. In 2010, 5.8 percent of Europeans with a college degree left, motivated by economic need.  Workers were also fleeing from high unemployment, low wages, and poor living standards.

Guardian
A flood of senior German politicians visiting the UK this week have been left confused and unnerved by the hardline rhetoric set out by Boris Johnson on trade talks, prompting warnings that the risk of a breakdown, or a no-deal Brexit, is as high as it has ever been. Germany takes on the EU presidency in the second half of this year, and will have a crucial role in helping the European commission to steer the talks on a future UK-EU trading relationship to a successful conclusion by the end of the transition period in December.

Morning Star
BRITAIN has paid France hundreds of millions of pounds to increase border security, with the cash flowing into the pockets of military and security companies, campaigners revealed today. French authorities have been clearing refugee settlements in Calais over the last two weeks, while the British Border Force began using drones to spot and stop migrant boats from crossing the Channel. On-the-ground migrant-support groups say that the actions are part of the “increasingly repressive” border-security co-operation between the two nations.

Trade

Express
EU CHIEFS will move to block Britain from attempting to negotiate a Swiss-style trade deal with Brussels, Express.co.uk can reveal. Senior members of the European Parliament have inserted demands to prevent a series of mini deals from forming the new cross-channel agreement. It means MEPs could eventually vote against the post-Brexit trade deals if their stipulations aren’t adhered to. The EU Parliament are scheduled to vote on a resolution in Strasbourg next week locking in the terms. A draft copy of the motion, seen by this publication, states that any future deal must “avoid a proliferation of bilateral agreements and the shortcomings which characterise the EU’s relationship with Switzerland”.

Sky News
Australia is ready to begin talks on an “ambitious” free trade deal with Britain “as soon as possible”, the foreign secretary has said. Dominic Raab was speaking after meeting his Australian counterpart at the start of a four-country tour of Asia and the Pacific. It is his first foreign trip since Britain left the EU last week. As a result of Brexit, the UK will be able to strike its own trade agreements with nations around the world.

BBC News
Dominic Raab has said the UK will be a “force for good in the world” as he arrived in Australia on the first leg of a tour to promote free trade deals. Speaking ahead of a meeting with his Australian counterpart Marise Payne, the foreign secretary said Australia was “a natural partner” for the UK. The UK is hoping for early trade deals with Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the US after its departure from the EU. Mr Raab will visit Japan, Singapore and Malaysia over the next few days. The trip comes after trade minister Liz Truss said the UK was seeking broad reductions in tariffs in a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States.

Telegraph
Ministers say they will reclaim Britain’s mantle as the world’s foremost free trade champion with a radical overhaul of tariffs that could save households £8.3bn a year. The Government has pledged to slash thousands of tariffs and strike deals with the US and other countries as the nation sets its own trade policy for the first time in almost 50 years. The Department of International Trade (DIT) is consulting on a new post-Brexit UK Global Tariff, cutting the cost of a swathe of goods ranging from fridges to bricks, burglar alarms and some food products.

Times
Fridges, household scales and shavers could become cheaper under plans to cut prices for consumers after Brexit by scrapping low-rate “nuisance tariffs”. Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, said that Britain was preparing to overhaul the import duties “imposed on us” by the EU. Ministers have proposed scrapping levies on overseas goods that face duties of less than 2.5 per cent in an attempt to simplify the UK’s tariff regime.

Bercow

Telegraph
John Bercow’s hopes of receiving a peerage were extinguished on Thursday night after he was publicly rebuked by the House of Commons and accused of using “sexually and racially inappropriate” language by his former most senior official.  After the former Speaker was admonished for naming former staff he is accused of bullying in his autobiography, The Telegraph can reveal that he is facing fresh claims of offensive behaviour. Lord Lisvane, the former clerk of the House of Commons, is understood to have set out details of Mr Bercow making inappropriate remarks in an official complaint submitted to the Commissioner for Standards, the Parliamentary watchdog. While Lord Lisvane declined to comment, senior allies have confirmed to this newspaper that his complaint goes beyond allegations of bullying and harassment to include examples of comments made by Mr Bercow in his presence.

Mail
John Bercow’s chances of another peerage were dealt another heavy blow last night after he was rebuked by the House of Commons authorities and a new complaint was reported to have been made against him. In an astonishing statement, they slammed the former Speaker for naming members of staff without their permission in his newly-published autobiography.  The slapdown came after Mr Bercow was accused of using ‘sexually and racially inappropriate’ language by his former most senior official. Lord Lisvane, the former clerk of the House of Commons, is understood to have set out details of Mr Bercow making inappropriate remarks in an official complaint submitted to the Commissioner for Standards, the Parliamentary watchdog.

Sun
THE House of Commons has blasted “unacceptable” former Speaker John Bercow after he named staff in his autobiography without their permission. His autobiography “Unspeakable” was released today, and includes a series of stories about his colleagues shared without asking. He has now been blasted by the House of Commons, just days after a Parliament official said it would be a “travesty” if the remainer got a peerage. A House of Commons spokesperson said: “House of Commons staff work incredibly hard to enable the effective functioning of our democracy and have a right to expect that their privacy be respected.

Coronavirus

Telegraph
A British man on his honeymoon is among 41 passengers on a cruise ship in the Japanese port of Yokohama diagnosed overnight with the novel coronavirus, almost trebling the total number of people infected while aboard the vessel to 61.  The man has not been identified but has been removed from the ship and taken to a nearby hospital, according to Japan’s health ministry. They added that none of the new patients are showing “severe symptoms” of the virus, although one of the people diagnosed earlier in the week is now listed in a serious condition, apparently worsened by a pre-existing medical complaint.

Mail
The first Briton and third person to test positive for coronavirus in the UK was confirmed on Thursday after the businessman returned from Singapore last week. The man, believed to be in his 40s or 50s, took himself to A&E at the Royal Sussex in Brighton on Sunday night after suffering from flu-like symptoms before being rushed 55 miles to Guy’s Hospital in London this morning. The businessman was whisked to the specialist infectious diseases unit at the hospital where he will remain quarantined for at least two weeks.

Times
Factories across Europe will have to shut within weeks if the coronavirus outbreak continues to disrupt their supply chains, analysts have said as the economic fallout grows. Fiat Chrysler, the Italian-American carmaker, said yesterday that it could shut one of its plants on the Continent as industry braces for a “significant” increase in disruption and multinationals scramble to respond. Leading global manufacturers sounded the alarm, with Nintendo announcing “unavoidable” delays in some shipments of its popular Switch console. Sony warned this week that supply of PlayStation 4 consoles could be affected.

Telegraph
Car maker Fiat Chrysler is on the brink of shutting a major European plant as the supply of crucial components from China dries up due to the coronavirus outbreak. Mike Manley, chief executive of the company (FCA), said that one factory in Europe is just two to four weeks from running out of parts. Four key Chinese suppliers to FCA have been hit by the virus, and he said the situation for one of them is “critical”. FCA – which is merging with Peugeot-owner PSA Group – is investigating alternative suppliers and it remains unclear when shutdowns will end.

Mail
There were fears over the deadly coronavirus in a nine-month-old baby in Northern Ireland tonight after a mother rushed the infant to hospital following a trip to China. The baby had travelled back from Hong Kong with its parents last week before it began having respiratory problems, Belfast Live  reported. The mother rushed the child to A&E at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry on Thursday after informing medics who were awaiting their arrival. It comes as the number of confirmed UK cases was raised to three today after a patient, believed to be a man in his 40s and 50s, returned from Singapore.

Migration

Times
Ninety migrants in several small boats crossed the English Channel yesterday, one of the highest figures reported in a single day. The Home Office is striving to combat the problem and last year Boris Johnson sent a message to migrants hoping to cross illegally. “We will send you back,” he said. “If you come illegally, you are an illegal migrant and, I’m afraid, the law will treat you as such.” The first two incidents happened in the early hours, with two dinghies intercepted by Border Force vessels.

ITV News
A record 90 migrants were intercepted by UK authorities in a surge of attempts to cross the busy English Channel on Thursday. A huge search and rescue operation involving the coastguard helicopter gripped the Kent coast today as authorities rescued migrants aboard six inflatable boats. Today’s surge of migrants intercepted is thought to be the most ever in a single day, despite repeated warnings about the dangers of making the trip in a small boat.  Women and children were seen being treated by emergency services at Port of Dover after crossing the busy shipping lanes in near-freezing conditions.

Breitbart
German newspaper Die Welt has admitted that most of the migrants coming in boats across the Mediterranean are not genuine refugees and are unlikely to gain asylum status. The paper’s political editor Marcel Leubecher made the admission in an editorial article for the paper this week, noting the rise of migrants crossing into Europe both into Italy across the Mediterranean and across the Aegean sea into Greece. “Contrary to popular belief, the majority of those arriving in Italy are not refugees.

Child abuse

Mail
A major £9million police investigation has uncovered a hidden ‘epidemic’ of child abuse in the 1970s and 80s, with officers receiving 11,346 allegations, 35% of which resulted in convictions.  New figures show Operation Hydrant achieved 4,024 guilty verdicts against paedophiles in all walks of life, including teachers, care home workers, priests and youth football coaches.   Officers say the convictions are evidence of ‘widespread’ child abuse in Britain during the period, and predict many more offenders will soon be brought to justice after thinking they had got away with their crimes.

Social care

Times
About 700,000 older people who asked for help with their care last year were unable to get it, a report has found. In about three quarters of cases frail and elderly people were told that they did not meet local thresholds to qualify for support, which many local authorities have restricted as they struggle with reduced budgets. Others were left waiting for councils to assess their needs. Age UK, the charity that analysed the figures, said they showed the social care system was “under siege” in the face of an ageing population, more people with complex care needs, a squeeze on funding, higher care costs and acute shortages of staff.

Mail
Nearly 2,000 older people who struggle to live at home alone are being refused help every day, figures suggest. Age UK found more than half of the frail and vulnerable who apply to social workers for care at home are turned down – because they fall outside the increasingly tight limits governing who is eligible for help. The figures indicate that the squeeze on home care has now reached the point where most of those who ask for assistance from their local council – such as meals on wheels, or carer visits to help with washing or cooking – do not get it.

Cancer

Times
A cancer treatment using immune cells that have been genetically supercharged to attack tumours has been successfully tested in humans. Researchers showed that a type of genetic engineering called Crispr-Cas9 could be safely used to modify a patient’s immune cells, and that when returned to the body these tweaked cells stayed potent for months. It was tested in three patients, two who had advanced myeloma, a bone marrow cancer, and one with advanced sarcoma.

Education

Times
Native English speakers have fallen behind the children of immigrants in CSE maths and English, government figures show today. Teenagers who speak English as an additional language have edged ahead of classmates in achieving strong passes (grades nine to five — equivalent to an A* to a high C under the old grading system) in the two core subjects. This measure was achieved by 43.4 per cent of English speakers and 43.3 per cent of those whose first language was not English in 2018. Last summer 43.2 per cent of native speakers reached this level, a drop of 0.2 percentage points, compared with 43.8 per cent of those for whom English was not their first language, an increase of 0.5 percentage points.

Times
The education secretary has given universities a final warning to guard free speech or face legislation. In an article for The Times, Gavin Williamson says that universities must make clear that intimidation of academics by student or other protesters is unacceptable, issue strong sanctions and work with police to prosecute those who try to disrupt events. He is considering greater regulation, possibly through law, if universities do not promote “unambiguous guidance” on academic freedom and free speech.

Police

Telegraph
The public has given up on the police solving crimes, an official report warns on Friday, as it says officers have been “rumbled” for failing to investigate offences including burglary and theft. Matt Parr, HM Inspector of Constabulary, said the failure of the police to investigate high-volume crimes like car thefts, minor assaults and burglaries was having a “corrosive” effect on the public’s trust in the police. His comments follow a series of investigations by The Daily Telegraph revealing how car thieves and burglars are not being pursued by police. The report reveals that victims are losing faith and pulling out of prosecutions across nearly all crimes.

Mail
The public have ‘given up’ on the police’s ability to solve crimes, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary warned yesterday. Matt Parr said the failure to investigate crimes such as burglary and car theft was ‘corroding’ the bond between the public and the police, adding that forces had been ‘rumbled’ as their ability to investigate cases declined, with many victims not bothering to report crimes. Among ‘volume crimes’ such as break-ins, car crime and minor assault, only a tiny proportion of offences are investigated by police, with fewer still leading to offenders being caught.  Growing numbers of the public were ‘losing faith’ in the criminal justice system as a result, the police watchdog said.

Times
Police have been “rumbled” by the public for their failure to investigate everyday crimes such as car theft and burglary, a watchdog has said. Forces’ inability to pursue some of the most common offences has eroded the relationship between police and the people they serve, according to a senior figure in the inspectorate. Matt Parr questioned how long society could tolerate a situation where, for some types of crime, a suspect was charged in less than 4 per cent of cases.

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