Chancellor Sajid Javid has refused to say whether he will set aside money to prepare for the possibility that the UK fails to secure a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU by the end of 2020. Mr Javid’s deputy Rishi Sunak effectively confirmed on Saturday that a crash-out on World Trade Organisation terms remains a possibility if the Conservatives win the 12 December election, as he revealed that the government’s no-deal preparations committee will resume meetings following the vote. The chancellor insisted he has “no doubt” that an FTA can be negotiated within 11 months of the UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU, which will take place on 31 January if Boris Johnson wins an overall majority. But many economists believe that this is insufficient time to conclude a complex and detailed negotiation, which usually takes several years to achieve.
Boris Johnson today launched the Tory manifesto as he confirmed he will follow through on a threat to enact full-blown Brexit on 1 January 2021 – deal or no deal. The Conservative Party leader pledged he would not delay the transition period a day beyond 31 December next year – which critics brand a ‘trapdoor to no-deal’. Meanwhile he unleashed a torrent of U-turns on years of Tory austerity as he launched the manifesto in Telford – three days after Labour pledged billions in spending.
The UK could leave the EU without a deal in December 2020 if the Conservatives win power, the party’s manifesto has confirmed. Boris Johnson repeated his pledge to “get Brexit done” as he has launched his programme for government ahead of the December 12 poll. But the document makes clear that the Conservative prime minister would refuse to extend the implementation period with the EU beyond December 2020, meaning the spectre of no-deal has once again been raised.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are peddling fantasies before a Dec. 12 election, former British leader Tony Blair will say on Monday, offering his support to “mainstream” politicians. At a newsmaker event at Reuters, Blair will criticise Britain’s main parties for offering voters a stark choice, wanting to win “on the basis that whatever your dislike of what they’re offering, the alternative is worse”.
FORMER Prime Minister, Tony Blair, will label the Tory strategy to deliver Brexit a “fantasy”, adding that he would not trust Boris Johnson with a blank cheque. Mr Blair will deliver a speech today where he will define the current state of British politics as “utterly dysfunctional”. The former British leader, during a discussion at a Reuters Newsmaker event, will say that voters should consider this election seat by seat, describing the General Election as “650 mini elections”.
Tony Blair has branded the Tory plan to deliver Brexit a “fantasy” and said he would not trust Boris Johnson with a blank cheque. The former prime minister will deliver a speech on Monday and is expected to describe the state of British politics as “utterly dysfunctional”. Mr Blair, speaking at a Reuters Newsmaker event, will say that voters should look at this election seat by seat, describing the General Election as “650 mini elections”.
BRITAIN can roar ahead like a lion “release from a cage” if Brexit can be delivered at last, Boris Johnson’s general election manifesto promised last night. Writing in the introduction to the 59-page Tory policy document, the Prime Minister promised a “green industrial revolution” and “superb public services” if the poll on December 12 gives him a majority to end the deadlock and get the country out of the EU. “For the last three and half years, this country has felt trapped, like a lion in a cage,” he wrote.
Boris Johnson has failed to lay out a long-term strategy to resolving the crisis in social care as detailed proposals on helping vulnerable and elderly people were missing from the Conservatives election blueprint. Bruised by the disastrous “dementia tax” policy that derailed Theresa May’s 2017 campaign, the prime minister pledged £1bn a year to fund the sector over the next five years but delayed making any firm decisions until cross-party consensus could be found in parliament.
A Conservative promise of 50,000 extra nurses for an over-stretched health service has been welcomed, but experts said that the target could prove to be unrealistic. Labour immediately attacked the policy as “fake nurses” because 18,500 of them were due to come from dissuading staff from leaving. The NHS will also set up English-language courses in countries where it hopes to recruit nurses, with 12,500 of the Tory target intended to come from an overseas hiring spree that would boost recruitment of foreign nurses by a third.
Boris Johnson pledged an extra 50,000 NHS nurses as a major policy in his manifesto launch as he vowed to get Brexit done. At the launch of his manifesto the Prime Minister said that there will be 6,000 more doctors in GP surgeries and 6,000 more primary care staff such as physiotherapists and pharmacists. He also reintroduced a nurse bursary – which the Government had scrapped – worth £5,000 to £8,000 per year.
Boris Johnson has promised to scrap the Fixed Term Parliaments Act (FTPA), the law which prevents prime ministers calling general elections whenever they like. The law, introduced the the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition, frustrated three attempts by Johnson to call an election on his own terms as it requires two-thirds of MPs to vote for a poll. In the end MPs backed an election on December 12 by passing a short piece of legislation that fixed that date for the vote. The Tory manifesto published on Sunday pledged to “get rid” of the FTPA as it has “led to paralysis at a time the country needed decisive action”.
Boris Johnson’s pledge of 50,000 more nurses has been called “deceitful” by Labour and a “mixed message” by the Royal College of Nursing. The prime minister made the announcement as he unveiled the Conservative election manifesto on Sunday. The party said 18,500 of the 50,000 would come by encouraging existing nurses to stay in the profession and others to return; 12,500 would also be recruited from abroad.
Boris Johnson has pledged to “release the lion from its cage” by spending up to £100 billion over the next five years to “forge a new Britain” in the aftermath of Brexit. However, at the launch of the Conservative manifesto in Telford yesterday, the Prime Minister made it clear he will not enter a spending competition with Jeremy Corbyn as he unveiled an unapologetically cautious programme. While Labour would increase taxes to pay for an £83 billion increase in spending, the Tories will spend just £3 billion extra per year, or £1 for every £28 Mr Corbyn would take from workers and businesses.
Wildlife supporters have welcomed Boris Johnson’s pledge to abandon Conservative efforts to make fox-hunting legal again. The party’s election manifesto is the first since the ban on fox-hunting took effect in 2005 that has not included a promise of a free vote for MPs on repealing it. However, fox-hunting supporters insisted the ban would still have to be reviewed in the future. Animal lovers also hailed a raft of other pledges included in the document, suspecting that Carrie Symonds, the prime minister’s anti-cruelty-campaigning girlfriend, may have had a significant influence.
The Conservative Party completed a break with its historic support base in the countryside by dropping its longstanding to give MPs a chance to repeal the fox hunting ban. The party’s general election manifesto contained a simple statement that a new Tory Government “will make no changes to the Hunting Act”. The dropping of the commitment marks the end of a gradual move away from the party’s association with fox hunting. The 2017 manifesto pledged to “grant a free vote, on a government bill in government time, to give parliament the opportunity to decide the future of the Hunting Act”.
Labour was accused of “driving a coach and horses” through its fiscal rules with its £58 billion pledge to compensate women pensioners, as it unveiled an assault on private landlords that could skew the housing market. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), said the scheme to compensate women left out of pocket by the rise in the state pension age would lead to “another £12 billion of borrowing every year for the next five years”, on top of what Labour has already promised to spend.
Labour has been accused of driving a “cart and horses” through its commitment to balancing the books after announcing that it would spend £58 billion compensating women left out of pocket by rises in the state pension age. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, announced the funding package to end the “historic injustice” faced by three million women born in the 1950s who said that they were given insufficient notice of changes to the pension age.
Labour will today pledge £57billion to women who were denied state pensions. Some 3.8million hit by pension age rises will get up to £31,300. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: “We see this as a debt of honour.” The people affected will be eligible for sums of up to £31,000. Lifting the threshold from 60 to 65 since 2010 had left many on benefits, while others had to work beyond the age they expected.
Labour has vowed to “put bad landlords out of business” and bring in rent controls in England, if it wins power. Private rents would not be allowed to go up by more than inflation – and landlords would be fined for letting out sub-standard property. A Labour government would also bring in “open-ended” tenancies, to protect tenants from unfair evictions. The Tories have also set out plans to help tenants – including scrapping “no fault” evictions.
Labour said it will introduce new controls to help renters take on “dodgy” landlords. The party will announce a new national “property MOT” to deal with what they say is a problem with housing the private sector. Labour says it will introduce a legal requirement whereby landlords will be made to carry out an independent annual inspection to make sure homes are up to scratch. If the property is deemed to be inadequate, landlords could face fines of up to £100,000 and be forced to repay rent to tenants.
LANDLORDS of squalid or dangerous private housing would be forced to improve their homes or be slapped with huge fines under a Labour government, the party pledges tomorrow. Labour is promising to “put bad landlords out of business” when in government by launching a new charter of renters’ rights. It would include making landlords carry out annual “property MOTs” to ensure they are fit for habitation. They would be liable to fines of up to £100,000 or refunding rent to tenants if they fail to have their properties inspected or leave them in disrepair.
Jeremy Corbyn could be the only frontbencher to be “neutral” on Brexit, as John McDonnell publicly signalled that he would back Remain in a second referendum. The shadow Chancellor said he would not remain neutral in any second EU referendum, adding that he had not yet seen a Brexit deal “that could beat Remain.” Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner also refused to say whether a Labour Government would back the new Brexit deal that Mr Corbyn has pledged to negotiate with Brussels.
A SHATTERING of support for Labour in Dennis Skinner’s backyard could doom Jeremy Corbyn’s dreams of entering No 10. The party faces the epic challenge of trying to cling onto some of the most pro-Brexit parts of the country while promising Remainers a second referendum. If this proves Mission: Impossible, Boris Johnson could achieve the incredible and see a swathe of Labour heartland seats turn blue on election night.
Boris Johnson is on course to win the general election, Jo Swinson has said as a projection based on polls suggested the Tories could secure a majority of 48. The Liberal Democrat leader changed tactics as she said that the party would be targeting soft Tory voters and argued that her party was best placed to stop the prime minister being returned with a majority. Her comments were in stark contrast to her approach at the outset of the campaign, when she said that she could be prime minister.
Nicola Sturgeon has said Jeremy Corbyn must commit to scrapping Trident, holding a second independence referendum and devolving more powers in exchange for the support of the SNP in the event of a hung parliament. Halting Brexit and bringing about a “real end to austerity” were also among the “progressive policies” Ms Sturgeon would push for if there is a hung parliament after the general election on December 12.
Nicola Sturgeon has laid out her red lines for backing a minority Labour government if there is a hung parliament. The SNP leader told Sky News that her party would want to see the Trident nuclear deterrent scrapped, as well as the granting of a second Scottish independence referendum. Ms Sturgeon also said she would push for the scrapping of Brexit, a “real end to austerity” and further devolution of powers over migration, workers’ rights and drugs laws if her party held the balance of power after the 12 December general election.
Nicola Sturgeon will press Jeremy Corbyn to scrap the UK’s nuclear deterrent in any talks on Scottish National party support for a minority Labour government. The SNP leader said abandoning Trident would a key issue in any post-election talks with Labour, alongside supporting a second independence referendum, abolishing the universal credit benefits system and devolving immigration policy to Holyrood. In an article for the Guardian Sturgeon attacked Corbyn for abandoning his longstanding opposition to nuclear weapons in favour of supporting Trident and its replacement by a new system, based at Faslane submarine base on the Clyde.
THE DUP could do a deal with Labour if they were willing to boot out Jeremy Corbyn. Arlene Foster claimed the far-left leader would “destroy” the economy, but refused to rule out working with a different leader. The DUP agreed a £1 billion deal to prop up Theresa May’s minority Government in 2017. Agreeing to back Mrs May on key votes, they will be hoping to come out as kingmakers once again. In comments sure to spark panic among the Tories, the DUP leader admitted there could be a situation where she helped Labour make a government.
Arlene Foster has called for the resumption of negotiations with Sinn Fein after the General Election in a bid to break the Stormont impasse over the Irish language. The DUP leader insisted the dispute, which she said centred on the “details” of proposed legislation, should not be allowed to prevent the restoration of the devolved institutions any longer. Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill responded to the comments on Sunday saying she remains “committed to working towards a new Assembly and a new kind of politics in the New Year”.
Cancer survivors could be up to six times more likely to die from heart disease. A US study of more than 3million patients found 11 per cent of survivors died not from returning cancer but from stroke, heart disease and related cardiovascular events. On average, those who had had cancer were two to six times more likely to die from heart problems than those in the general population. For those diagnosed with cancer before the age of 55, their risk was ten times higher.
Cancer patients are at far higher risk of death from heart disease than the rest of the population, major research shows. The study found that the chance of dying from heart disease and stroke is almost four times higher in the first year after a cancer diagnosis, compared to the general population. Risks remained higher throughout the rest of life, especially among older patients. Experts said common cancer treatments – such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy – could increase the chance of heart disease.
When they’re looking for ideas for their next futuristic blockbuster, Hollywood’s movie moguls could do worse than visit the University of Maryland Medical Centre in the American city of Baltimore. In 2012, doctors there carried out one of the world’s first successful face transplants. And earlier this year they pioneered using drones to transport a donor kidney. Both were remarkable achievements but they pale compared with news that surgeons at the hospital have placed a human being into a state of what is being called ‘suspended animation’.
An NHS ambulance trust is facing calls for an investigation after the suspected suicides of three workers who died shortly after a whistleblower made claims to bosses of psychological abuse within the service. Luke Wright, an ambulance dispatcher, and Christopher Gill and Richard Grimes, both paramedics, were found dead over the course of a fortnight between November 11 and November 21.
A leading private school headmaster has become the latest to launch a GCSE alternative, as he says exam boards have made the flagship assessment too “tick boxy”. Stephen Jones, the Warden of St Edward’s School in Oxford, said there is a growing feeling that GCSEs are “passé” and are no longer fit for purpose. “We don’t believe that GCSEs are good preparation for the sixth form or for degree level work,” he told The Telegraph.
University staff will not return to work until next Thursday amid a row over pay and pensions. An eight-day strike will see lecturers giving talks on colonialism, climate change and even BBC drama Fleabag instead of discussing the material which will be on exam papers. Up to 43,000 staff across 60 universities will walk out and hold pickets from 9am today, scrapping lectures and tutorials for a million students.
Steam engine enthusiasts are to build a new locomotive to recreate a lost LNER engine scrapped 60 years ago. The project, which will begin next year, will be the third of its kind in recent years and aims to satisfy growing demand for more locomotives to run on preserved railways and the main line. It follows the success of the £3 million Tornado, a Peppercorn A1 Pacific engine completed in 2008 and named by Prince Charles.