Viv says she’s ‘temporarily wiped out’ so it’s my turn:
LIZ TRUSS would be “100 percent” willing to trigger Article 16 as drawn-out Brexit negotiations fail to make headway, an ally of the Foreign Secretary has said.
However, this comes as the Foreign Secretary puts off any major escalation in the Brexit talks with the EU as she diverts attention towards the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It is believed Ms Truss has proposed a plan to push a “unilateral green lane” to allow easy transport of goods from the UK across the Irish Sea.
The source told the Telegraph: “Liz’s top priority in all of this is defending peace and stability in Northern Ireland and protecting the Union.
Liz Truss has set out plans to put the potential triggering of Article 16 on hold because of the Ukraine crisis and instead help Northern Ireland businesses with an “economic stimulus” package including tax cuts.
The Foreign Secretary is understood to have written to Boris Johnson outlining a proposal to boost trade between Britain and Northern Ireland with tax breaks and a “unilateral green lane” allowing goods that would remain in the UK to cross the Irish Sea with minimal paperwork.
The plan is seen by Ms Truss as a way to avoid a major confrontation with the European Union at a time when she is simultaneously helping to coordinate a united international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
But it is likely to provoke fury among Brexiteers who fear the Government’s resolve to overhaul the Northern Ireland protocol is slipping. Earlier this month, Steve Baker, a former Brexit minister, warned that it would be “risible” to shelve the triggering of Article 16 until later this year because of the war in Ukraine.
Russia has been accused of using banned phosphorus munitions during its invasion of Ukraine.
The country’s human rights ombudswoman claimed that Russia used the weapon during an overnight attack on the town of Popasna in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region.
Phosphorus is not considered a chemical weapon, but it is banned from use against human targets under international law.
Liudmila Denisova, the ombudswoman, shared a photograph purporting to show the alleged attack but did not provide concrete evidence.
“The bombing of a civilian city by the Russian attackers with these weapons is a war crime and a crime against humanity according to the Rome convention,” she said in an online statement.
Her claims have not yet been verified.
Phosphorus is a chemical that ignites when exposed to air, burning at more than 2,700 degrees celsius.
Similar to the napalm used in the Vietnam war it self-oxidizes. This means it is almost impossible to put out once it touches the skin, leading to extreme injuries and sometimes death.
Sajid Javid warned Russia would be at war with Nato if it bombed any of the military alliance’s territory.
The health secretary was responding to a question on Sky News about Russian bombings in western Ukraine, one just 11 miles from the border of Nato member Poland.
He said “even if a single toecap of a Russian solider steps into Nato territory” it would mean war.
Meanwhile, a scheme to pay £350 to people in the UK opening their homes to Ukrainian refugees is set to be launched today.
A website gathering expressions of interest will go live this afternoon and the government expects to see the first arrivals within a week.
Russian forces fired artillery strikes on suburbs northwest of Kyiv overnight and took aim at points east of the capital, officials said on Monday morning.
Regional administration chief Oleksiy Kuleba also reported strikes overnight on the northwest towns of Irpin, Bucha and Hostomel – which have seen some of the worst fighting in Russia’s stalled attempt to take the capital.
The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said Monday morning that Russian troops have not made major advances over the past 24 hours despite expanding strikes to the west.
On Sunday Russian forces carried out a deadly air strike on a military range near Lviv in western Ukraine, as the invaders continued their offensive closer to the border with Poland.
The Russian military fired eight rockets at the Yaroviv military range 30 kilometres northwest of Lviv, the Lviv regional administration said.~
Ukraine officials revised up the death toll on Sunday morning – with the number killed standing at at least 35 and more than 130 injured.
Russia has appealed to China for military equipment and support to sustain its invasion of Ukraine, senior US officials have said.
With the country’s economy struggling from increased sanctions, Moscow has turned to Beijing for aid.
The Financial Times reported that Russia had sought military equipment and other assistance.
Despite Beijing seeking to portray itself as an honest broker, Washington has been alarmed by the reports of Russia’s plea to China.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN that Washington was watching closely to see to what extent Beijing provided economic or material support to Russia, and would impose consequences if that occurred.
“We are communicating directly, privately to Beijing, that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions evasion efforts or support to Russia to back fill them,” he said.
China has called assertions by US officials that Russia asked Beijing to provide it with military assistance in Ukraine as “disinformation”.
Unnamed officials told multiple US news outlets that Russia requested China aid its invasion.
That prompted the US to warn Beijing it would face harsh “consequences” should it support Moscow.
But speaking at a press briefing in Beijing, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman accused Washington of spreading “malicious” falsehoods about China’s role in the war.
The spokesman insisted China had “played a constructive role in urging peace and calling for negotiations”.
Britain bluntly warned Vladimir Putin on Monday that he would face “war with Nato” if even a “single toecap of a Russian soldier” stepped into the territory of the military alliance’s 30 members.
Cabinet minister Sajid Javid also accused the Russian president of committing war crimes, with Russian troops reported to have attacked 31 health centres in Ukraine including a cancer hospital, as well as a maternity hospital.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Sunday that it “it is only a matter of time” before Russian missiles fall on Nato territory after Kremlin forces fired 30 rockets at the Yavoriv military base, less than 15 miles from the border with Poland.
The attack on the centre, where Allied troops trained Ukrainian soldiers before the war started, killed at least 35 people and injured 134 others, according to local reports. It is also an important logistical hub and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov has said arms shipments to Ukraine from Nato countries would be considered as “legitimate targets”.
Diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine have stepped up, with Ukrainian and Russian negotiators set to resume talks, after Russia attacked a base near the Polish border and fighting raged across the country.
A barrage of Russian missiles hit Ukraine’s Yavoriv International Centre for Peacekeeping and Security, a base just 15 miles (25 km) from the Polish border that has previously hosted Nato military instructors, killing 35 people and wounding 134, a Ukrainian official said on Sunday.
On Monday morning the violence continued, with shelling of a residential building in the capital killing two.
But hopes of diplomatic progress were raised after Russia and Ukraine gave positive assessments after weekend negotiations.
A pregnant mum who suffered a crushed pelvis when the maternity hospital she was in was hit by a Russian airstrike has died along with her baby, who could not be saved despite a c-section.
A photo of the mum lying stricken on a stretcher while being taken away from the scene of the shelling shocked the world.
Sajid Javid says the attack on the maternity hospital at Mariupol was a “war crime”. Told the mum and baby had died, he told Sky: “It’s an appalling atrocity, it’s a war crime.
“Under international law you cannot attack health facilities, hospitals. The most recent information I have from the World Health Organisation is they now have documented evidence of at least 31 such attacks on health facilities, hospitals, including shelling a couple of days ago, a cancer hospital as well.”
A pregnant woman whose image went viral after Vladimir Putin’s forces attacked a Ukrainian hospital has died along with her baby, medics say.
Images of the woman on a stretcher had been beamed around the world and captured the brutal nature of Russia’s attack.
Horrifying images and footage from last Wednesday showed the woman stroking her bloodied lower abdomen as rescuers rushed her through the rubble of Mariupol.
It has been widely seen as one of the most bleakest moments in the 19-day-old war on Ukraine.
A mum and her baby have died in the rubble of a Ukraine hospital shelled by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
A shocking photo captured the moment the pair were heartbreakingly pulled from the debris and carried on a stretcher.
The abhorrent scene shows just a couple of the mothers and their infants who were inside the children’s hospital in Mariupol when it was bombed last Wednesday.
According to officials in Ukraine, the attack on the hospital left at least 17 people injured, many of whom were pregnant women evacuated from the building on stretchers.
The Antonov aircraft plant in Kyiv has been shelled by Russian forces, the capital city’s administration said this morning. Tweeting about the attack, the Ukrainian parliament said Russian occupiers attacked a high-rise building in the area at the same time, killing at least two people.
Seven people were injured in the attack, while about 70 people were evacuated, according to the authorities.
It comes as a surgeon in Ukraine announced that a pregnant woman injured in the Russian bombing of a Ukrainian maternity and children’s hospital died over the weekend, along with her baby.
Images had shown her being rushed to hospital on a stretcher following the air strike on the hospital in Mariupol on Wednesday, which killed at least three others and has been condemned as a war crime. Medics said she shouted “kill me now” when she realised she was losing her baby.
Tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees could come to the UK under the Government’s new scheme, Michael Gove has said.
During his appearance on Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Gove spoke about the new Homes for Refugees scheme offering £350 a month to Britons who will give a room to a Ukrainian refugee escaping the war.
The Secretary of State for Levelling Up said it is expected the Government’s new sponsorship route will bring tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees to the UK.
Asked for his estimate of the number of people who could come to the UK through the scheme, he told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Tens of thousands.”
Children will receive education in UK schools and refugees will be entitled to full NHS health care, he said.
There would also be £10,000 per individual refugee given to local authorities, Mr Gove added.
Three in four Britons back giving refuge to those fleeing war or persecution, new polling shows, as criticism of the government’s response to the Ukraine crisis continues.
An Ipsos survey found that even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a majority of Brits thought people should be able to seek refuge in the UK and the majority had sympathy for asylum seekers crossing the Channel.
The results come as The Independent’s Refugees Welcome appeal was set to pass 200,000 signatures. The petition was created to add pressure on the UK Government to act and provide a safe haven for refugees to ensure we take in Ukrainians who want to find safety. You can add your support here.
On Sunday charities and opposition parties voiced fears that the government’s new sponsorship route – which will give Britons who provide homes to Ukrainian refugees £350 per month – would be “slow and cumbersome”.
Michael Gove has ruled out tax cuts for families in the Chancellor’s spring statement despite the cost-of-living crisis.
The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary said on Sunday that Rishi Sunak would not cut taxes or reduce the rise in National Insurance in his mini Budget in two weeks.
It comes amid warnings from senior backbenchers that the Government must “give people some money back” to cope with a cost-of-living crunch brought about by tax increases and rising energy prices exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
“We’re very aware that there are cost-of-living pressures that will accumulate as a result of what’s going on in Ukraine,” Mr Gove told the BBC.
Asked whether Mr Sunak would consider any reduction of the tax burden on households, Mr Gove said: “No. What we have to do at the moment is to provide support in every way possible that is targeted.”
RISHI Sunak will not cut taxes in his mini-Budget this month — despite calls by Gordon Brown to axe the National Insurance rise.
The former PM slammed the Chancellor for his £12billion tax “bomb” as families face a cost of living crisis.
And he warned the Tories will “pay a price” for hitting the hard-pressed in the pocket.
Mr Brown — Labour Chancellor from 1997 to 2007 — said: “You can’t put up fuel prices, you can’t allow food prices to go up, you can’t raise taxes and cut benefits — you can’t do all these things at the same time.”
Despite the warning, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove insisted the Treasury will plough on.
Asked if taxes will be cut in next week’s Spring Statement, Mr Gove replied: “No.”
Millions of people in China face new restrictions as Covid infection numbers reach levels last seen in 2020.
Mainland China is struggling to control its biggest outbreak in two years with nearly 1,938 cases reported on Sunday – more than triple the previous day’s total.
The southern business centre of Shenzhen has been shut, while access to Shanghai has been restricted and bus services suspended.
Everyone in Shenzhen – a finance and technology centre next to Hong Kong with 17.5 million people – will undergo three rounds of testing after 60 new cases were reported.
All businesses aside from those that supply food, fuel and other necessities have been ordered to close or work from home.
Case numbers are low compared to other countries – and notably with Hong Kong which reported more than 32,000 infections on Sunday.
But mainland authorities are enforcing a ‘zero tolerance’ strategy and have locked down entire cities to find and isolate every infected person.
China touched a two-year high of 1,807 new local symptomatic Covid-19 cases on Sunday as infections rose, driven by a surge in a northeastern province. Overall, the country reported 3,200 domestic Covid cases across its 19 provinces on Sunday, the worst since 2020.
As of 12 March, mainland China had reported 115,466 cases with confirmed symptoms, including both local ones and those arriving from outside the mainland. As many as 4,636 patients have died so far during the pandemic in China.
On Friday, China announced a lockdown for the nine million residents of the northeastern city of Changchun amid a new spike in cases across at least 19 provincial regions.
Coronavirus cases in China have tripled after a surge in infections in the northeast and tighter controls have been imposed on access to Shanghai as the country battles its worst outbreak for two years.
Bus services in the eastern port city of 24 million people have been suspended and a negative COVID-19 test is required from anyone wanting to enter.
The authorities reported 1,938 new coronavirus cases on the Chinese mainland on Sunday, more than triple the previous day’s total.
THE QUEEN’s health has been widely speculated in recent months, but it has now been announced that the monarch’s diary is “under review” and it is likely she will only carry out light duties in the future.
It has been announced that the Queen, 95, who recently recovered from a back sprain and coronavirus, will not be attending the Commonwealth service on Monday. A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: “After discussing the arrangements with the royal household, the Queen has asked the Prince of Wales to represent Her Majesty at the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
“The Queen will continue with other planned engagements, including in-person audiences in the week ahead.”
It is thought that the journey from Windsor to London followed by spending an hour standing at the service, would have been too much for the monarch.
Fears were growing among courtiers last night that the Queen may be forced to pull out of the thanksgiving service for Prince Philip at the end of the month.
It comes after Buckingham Palace announced she was not fit enough to attend tomorrow’s Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey.
While the Queen ‘still hopes’ to attend Philip’s service, which will be held at the abbey on March 29, she may not be mobile enough to do so.
The Mail on Sunday understands she has ruled out the option of using a wheelchair at this stage and remains determined to continue to walk for as long as possible.
This is despite the Monarch reportedly being too frail to walk her beloved corgis over the last six months.
The Queen could be forced to pull out of a thanksgiving memorial for late husband Prince Philip as concerns grow over her health.
Buckingham Palace announced Her Majesty, 95, the head of the Commonwealth, is not fit enough to attend an annual service to celebrate the 54 member states at Westminster Abbey on Monday afternoon.
But she ‘still hopes’ to attend the event devoted to the Duke of Edinburgh, described as her ‘strength and stay’, who died last April aged 99.
The Queen has ruled out using a wheelchair and is adamant she will continue walking for as long as she can – despite worries over her mobility, according to the Mail on Sunday.
PALACE aides will urge the Queen to “pace herself” so she can make Prince Philip’s memorial in two weeks.
Her Majesty, 95, was pulled from today’s Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey following discussions.2
There were worries about her “comfort” on the 30-mile Windsor to London drive and in the hour-long ceremony.
Prince Charles will stand in.
She would face the same trip for the Duke of Edinburgh’s service of thanksgiving on March 29.