France has warned that talks between Britain and the EU over a future trade deal will turn nasty. Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister, said that the negotiators were likely to rip each other apart, with the two sides expected to fight particularly hard over fishing rights. David Frost, the government’s chief trade negotiator, will outline Britain’s vision for its future relationship with the EU in a lecture, his first public intervention, tonight in Brussels. However, Mr Le Drian said yesterday at a security conference in Munich: “I think that on trade issues or on the measures for our future relationship that we are going to discuss, we are going to start on, we are going to rip each other apart.
Britain and the EU will “rip each other apart” during Brexit trade negotiations, the French foreign minister has warned. Jean-Yves Le Drian said it would be tough to conclude the talks by the end of the year because of the differences between the two sides. The minister was speaking at the Munich Security Conference alongside the UK’s cabinet secretary and national security adviser Sir Mark Sedwill. “I think that on trade issues and the mechanism for future relations, which we are going to start on, we are going to rip each other apart,” he said. Mr Le Drian went on to qualify his remarks by adding: “But that is the nature of trade – everyone will protect their own interests.” He also said that there were “some difficult points” to sort out – including fishing rights – but expressed his hope that the negotiations would be completed as quickly as possible.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been warned that he will face a tough battle with the European Union in his efforts to secure a trade deal in the aftermath of Brexit. France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves le Drian gave the prediction during the Munich Security Conference, as both sides prepare to begin negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the bloc. Mr le Drian warned Mr Johnson that Brussels will defend its interests when talks formally open up next month, saying: “I think that on trade issues and the mechanism for future relations, which we are going to start on, we are going to rip each other apart. “But that is part of negotiations, everyone will defend their own interests.”
Britain and the European Union are going to rip each other apart in talks over a future trade deal, the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, has predicted, while also holding out hope that UK defence co-operation with Europe will continue. Speaking at the Munich security forum, he added it would be tough for Britain to achieve its aim of a free trade deal by the end of the year given the differences between the two sides. Le Drian said: “I think on trade issues and the mechanism for future relations, which we are going to start on, we are going to rip each other apart.”
France yesterday warned Boris Johnson to expect a bitter, bloody battle in Brexit trade talks – as its foreign minister predicted the two sides would ‘rip each other apart’. Jean-Yves le Drian said it would be hard to achieve Britain’s aim of agreeing a free trade deal by the end of the year as the nations are at odds over a range of issues. Tonight, Britain’s EU negotiator David Frost will make a speech in Brussels reiterating that the UK will not bow to EU demands to stick to its rules on workers’ rights and environmental protections.
The United Arab Emirates is keen to strike a post-Brexit free-trade deal between the UK and Gulf states as soon as possible, its foreign minister has said. Anwar Gargash said UK engagement with the Gulf had appeared to wane during three years of preoccupation with Brexit, but he now hoped for a rapid trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The prospect of a quick deal with an economic bloc comprising Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman will be welcomed by trade negotiators scrabbling to forge deals before the Brexit transition period ends. Between them, the GCC nations have a GDP of £2.8 trillion. The UAE alone is the UK’s largest export market in the Middle East and the 13th biggest globally.
Parliamentary opponents of a hard Brexit have not given up hope that Boris Johnson will eventually sign up for a trade deal with close alignment with the EU, one Remain-backing former cabinet minister has told The Independent. The 80-seat Conservative majority in December’s election has led to a marked hardening in the UK’s stance on trade talks, with the prime minister declaring that he believes Britain will “prosper” in a no-deal Brexit – which he now refers to as an “Australian-style settlement” – and ditching ambitions for frictionless trade with the remaining EU. But the ex-minister said that many in parliament expect him to back down as the reality of no deal approaches at the end of 2020, setting the scene for a do-or-die decision for Mr Johnson between inflicting serious harm on the economy or splitting his party.
HARD Brexit opponents are holding out desperate hope Boris Johnson will eventually sign up for a trade deal with close alignment with the European Union, one Remain-backing former cabinet minister has claimed. The Conservatives crushed political opponents in December’s general election, providing Boris Johnson with a huge 80-seat majority that has led to him taking a toughter stance with the European Union in trade talks. But one former cabinet minister has claimed many in Parliament expect Mr Johnson to “fold at the last minute” as the reality of a no deal Brexit approaches at the end of this year.
Exporters are still struggling with the impact of Brexit uncertainty and weaker global trade, a business group has warned. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said clarity was needed on the future trading relationship with the EU after a study found that manufacturing export orders weakened for a second consecutive quarter at the end of last year. Its survey of more than 3,300 exporters also showed that exchange rates remained the top concern for two thirds of manufacturing firms which export goods.
Dementia sufferers are ending up dumped in Accident & Emergency departments following the closures of day centres for patients. A Telegraph investigation has discovered that 32 of the services – which are designed to alleviate pressure on carers – have closed in three years, including 20 in the last year alone. This has coincided with a sharp rise in the number of dementia patients being admitted to hospital via A&E, with an extra 100,000 such cases annually. Sir Simon Stevens, head of the NHS, warned that pressures in social care were now “putting real strain on families, carers and hospitals”.
Britain is facing a second day of flooding and travel chaos on Monday after being battered by Storm Dennis. Three people died over the weekend and thousands were evacuated from their homes as the number of flood warnings hit an all-time record. The Environment Agency said further “significant” river and surface water flooding was expected this week. Parts of the UK saw winds of 90mph while more than a month’s worth of rain fell in 48 hours over the weekend. George Eustice, the new Environment Secretary, said the Government had not been caught off guard and blamed the “nature of climate change” for the scale of the damage and said: “We’ll never be able to protect every single household.”
The government has been criticised for its flood preparations by councillors in south Wales who said that the damage wreaked by Storm Dennis was an “absolute disaster”. Hundreds of people were moved from their homes yesterday as police declared major incidents in England and Wales. The Met Office had forecast that the worst of the storm would affect Wales and the west of England, yet the most substantial defence preparations were in Yorkshire, where the army was brought in to build flood defences.
An explosive winter storm roared across Britain on Sunday, packing high winds and heavy rain that prompted a record number of flood warnings in England. The Met Office, Britain’s meteorological service, said Storm Dennis was expected to dump 5 1/2 inches of rain in south Wales before gradually easing. The weather service issued a rare “red warning” for life-threatening flooding in that region. Numerous rescues were reported throughout the area. The storm was dubbed a “bomb cyclone” after rapidly intensifying near Iceland Friday before slamming Britain over the weekend.
THREE people have been killed by deadly Storm Dennis after a month’s worth of rain fell in 48 hours and 91mph winds battered the country. A man in his 60s was swept to his death after falling in to a swollen river in South Wales this morning while landslides left residents trapped in their homes. The man died on Sunday morning when he fell into the River Tawe, in Ystradgynlais, South Wales. His body was recovered downstream near Trebanos. He was the third victim of the storm after two people were killed in rough seas on Saturday. It was feared the figure was set to rise to five last night.
Just over 1% of government infrastructure spending in England will go towards flood defences, analysis by BBC News has found. Current figures show nearly £5bn is due to be spent on flood defences up until 2026, with a third of the money spent in London and the South East. MPs in northern England said flood defence funding needed reallocating. The government said it was investing “record” amounts in new flood defences that would protect 300,000 homes. And it said in terms of money spent per home at risk of flooding, the North received more than the South.
Schools and colleges are today to receive guidance on what to do if they come into contact with the coronavirus amid confusion over how to handle an expected rise in cases. Head teachers in areas where the virus, officially known as Covid-19, has been detected have been telling parents that they will authorise absences for families wishing to self-isolate. Public Health England (PHE) is today expected to publish guidance clarifying that schools where a staff member or pupil is suspected of having the virus do not need to close. They will say that there should be no restrictions while laboratory tests for Covid-19 are being carried out, and that there is no need to send other children or staff home.
British citizens trapped on a cruise ship rife with coronavirus may be quarantined in Japan, it emerged on Sunday as they accused the Foreign Office of abandoning them. Ministers are resisting pressure to immediately repatriate the 78 Britons onboard after the US, Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea and Italy stepped up efforts to rescue their respective passengers. Thousands of people have been quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise liner of the Japanese port of Yokohama following an outbreak of the deadly illness.
Another 117 were tested for coronavirus overnight as the total screened soared over 3,000 with a sixth Briton infected by the deadly contagion. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said on Sunday that 3,109 tests have been carried out in the UK so far, with nine positive results. Eight of those patients have now been discharged from hospital after recording two negative tests for the strain known as Covid-19.
BORIS JOHNSON was facing a Tory rift over the BBC last night after Downing Street sources raised doubts about the future of the corporation’s TV channels and radio stations. A plan floated by Government insiders yesterday proposed replacing the annual TV licence fee which funds the national broadcaster with a Netflix-style subscription service. The blueprint also suggested the BBC should be forced to sell of the overwhelming majority of its 61 radio stations and scrap some of its 10 TV channels.
Boris Johnson’s administration may be serious about taking on the BBC, with sources revealing plans to scrap the compulsory television licence which funds it. At present, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) receives the bulk of its money by levying a compulsory £154.50 licence fee on anyone who watches live colour television — whether or not they consume BBC programming — or BBC iPlayer, with non-payment a criminal offence punished by fines which must be paid on pain of imprisonment.
Times Radio is said to be making generous offers to some of the BBC’s biggest stars as Rupert Murdoch’s new radio venture looks to lure in top talent. The station, which will launch later this year, is in talks with Radio 4 Any Questions host Chris Mason and has approached Today programme frontman Nick Robinson, the Guardian reported. Sources told the newspaper that Times Radio was offering higher salaries, editorial freedom and the opportunity to build a national talk radio station from scratch.
Details of fraudulently obtained documents used in immigration applications may not be being shared with other parts of the Home Office for action, according to a watchdog’s report. It said that record-keeping was so poor that there was no consistent proof that evidence of attempted deception to receive right of abode status in the UK was being sent to HM Passport Office. Right of abode gives some British subjects, as well as certain Commonwealth citizens with connections to the UK before 1983, the right to live in Britain and to come and go. It also enables them to work.
British-made steel must be used to build the new high-speed rail link HS2, industry groups and unions have urged ministers. Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week gave the green light to the £106billion project, despite criticism of cost overruns and delays. The HS2 network will link London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds in a Y-shaped line. It will require an estimated two million tons of steel to build everything from track to tunnels and bridges over the next 10 years. This is equivalent to more than a quarter of the UK steel industry’s total annual production and could provide a shot in the arm to the sector, which is battling high energy costs and competition from cheaper – and often state-subsidised – foreign competitors.
All 3,000 bus routes axed because of government spending cuts will be restored and passengers could soon be “calling one up on your app”, the transport secretary has claimed. Grant Shapps made the audacious promise to reverse all the damage from the years of austerity, as he set out how the £5bn now pledged for buses would be spent. “We ought to be not just bringing back lost routes, but also ensuring that the regularity is such that you see in London,” Mr Shapps argued.
Heathrow airport was thrown into chaos this evening after its essential electronic departure boards failed across all terminals for more than three hours, causing delays and cancellations. The UK’s busiest airport said the failure was caused by ‘technical issues’ and wheeled out whiteboards with flight information written on them in black board marker. Furious passengers described standing in queues for hours, sitting in planes idling on the tarmac and an absence of staff on social media as airport staff scrambled to get the boards working.
PASSENGERS reported chaotic scenes at Heathrow Airport as the departure boards and check-in systems stopped working today – sparking cancellations and delays. Travellers reported “pandemonium” finding their departure gates, missing their flights and long queues to get the correct information. Travellers told of their hellish experiences today and tweeted pictures of whiteboards displaying handwritten flight numbers and destinations. Helen Kachellek told the Sun Online: “I’ve been sat at T5 for around 4 hours waiting for news on my flight to Amsterdam which should have departed at 4.30pm.
Students have hit out at lecturers preparing to start a fortnight-long strike this week – fearing it will harm their graduation prospects. More than a million will be affected by what is the third walkout in less than two years. And some students are expected to resort to private tuition to avoid falling behind – despite paying more than £9,000-a-year for courses. One student leader, at Cardiff University, privately warned undergraduates may have to repeat a year due to lost teaching time, and another student claimed she would lose £2,575 in fees for missed lessons.
Shock-absorbing pavements for pedestrians prone to stumbling are being developed by scientists. The surface is made from recycled tyres and is hard and durable enough for use on cycle lanes and walkways. Scientists hope it will encourage people, especially the elderly, to venture out more and stay active for longer. This summer, nearly 1,000ft of pavement will be laid in central areas of Lund and Helsingborg in Sweden. Prof Cesare Sangiorgi, from the University of Bologna, said: “My mother, who is 75, told me she wasn’t going out this morning because it was chilly and she was scared she might fall.
A pavement made of bouncy material that could save ‘thousands of lives’ is in development. Nearly 100,000 people a year in England suffer hip fractures, and falls are the most common cause of deaths from injury in those over 75. However, a pavement surface – more than half of which is made of recycled rubber tyres – could reduce injuries for those who lose their footing. It works similarly to the material in the ground in play areas, which prevents broken bones if children topple from swings or slides. But the new type of asphalt, presented at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle, is durable enough to cope with pedestrians.
Bouncy tarmac made from recycled tyres could help to prevent injuries to cyclists and pedestrians, as scientists announced trials of the technology. The surface is able to significantly absorb the force of impact. In the EU, including the UK, at least 38,000 people a year die as a consequence of falls, more than half of which occur outside. The elderly are particularly vulnerable — most injuries to those over 65 are caused by falls — at an estimated cost to the NHS of £2.3 billion a year.