Northern Ireland Protocol 

TENSIONS are rising between the UK and EU over plans to reach a deal over the post-Brexit protocol amid fears of NHS medicines being axed.
Brussels and London are at loggerheads on how to resolve the issue of checks on over-the-counter medicines destined for Northern Ireland due to the Northern Ireland Protocol as well as future implementation of the post-Brexit trading arrangements due to trade flow issues. The Protocol, part of the Brexit divorce deal agreed by the UK and Brussels, effectively keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods.
This means checks take place on goods including medicines arriving from the UK to Northern Ireland, but significant trade disruption has occurred as a result.
Lord Frost and EU Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic are due to have talks next week in a bid to resolve the deadlock after the Brexit Minister presented a Command Paper for consideration to the EU last month.
But Eurocrats are still developing a plan to put to member states over medicine checks despite the UK Governments objections and calls for them to be stripped from the Protocol. 

More on this subject from Breitbart 


BORIS Johnson has been accused of “destroying the fishing industry” with his Brexit trade deal with the EU.
And former MEP June Mummery, who lambasted Prime Minister Boris Johnson as “out of his depth” in a caustic analysis, also warned Northern Ireland was facing huge problems further down the track as a result of ongoing problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol. Addressing her remarks to Lord David Frost after his speech yesterday, fishing industry campaigner Mrs Mummery said: “Lord Frost face facts our PM is out of his depth, he failed NI, and has destroyed the UK fishing industry. “The people of Northern Ireland and Coastal Communities have been thrown to the wolves.”
Referring to fellow former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib, Mrs Mummery added: “You are a smart man, you know what needs to be done, Ben Habib is correct and you know it.” 


NICOLA Sturgeon has been urged to focus on the needs of the Scottish people and not her own party’s goal of independence as she announces her Programme for Government.
The SNP led Scottish Government’s Programme for Government dubbed the Scottish Queens Speech will be delivered to MSPs by the First Minister on Tuesday. Next week’s Programme for Government will set out the priorities of the SNP-led administration for 2021/22.
The Scottish First Minister is expected to announce a £2.5 billion increase in spending for Scotland’s NHS at the heart of the programme.
It will also include measures to achieve a just transition to net-zero and confirm plans to introduce legislation in the coming year to establish a new National Care Service in Scotland by the end of the current Parliament in 2026.
But the Nats are also expected to include a pledge for progressing work on a second independence vote, with SNP Ministers arguing a referendum will help Scotland to recover effectively from COVID-19. 

More Scottish stories in the Telegraph and Breitbart 

Vaccine passports 

Vaccine passports could be required for theatre visits from next month under government plans that hospitality chiefs said would be a “further nail in the coffin” of many live venues.
The Government is proposing adults over 18 will have to show they have been double jabbed in order to enter large venues, which could include bigger theatres with capacities for audiences of well over 500. The largest West End theatres can accommodate up to 2,300 people.
Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, said on Sunday that the use of the certificates for big venues as well as nightclubs was “the right thing to do” because larger numbers of people mixing in close proximity “could end up causing a real spike in infections”.
He indicated that the Government was looking to introduce the certification by the end of September when all over-18s had been vaccinated. 

Social care 

Boris Johnson will push through a £10billion tax raid to fund social care despite a mounting Cabinet revolt over his plans.
The majority of the Prime Minister’s top team are opposed to the idea of increasing national insurance contributions by at least 1 per cent, the Mail understands.
And thunderous criticism came No 10’s way from all parts of the Conservative Party, with former leaders and chancellors being joined by ‘red wall’ MPs in their condemnation.
‘I’ve seen it reported that five Cabinet ministers are opposed to the idea,’ an insider said. ‘The truth is you would struggle to find five of us who are in favour. We made a promise not to raise taxes and we have to honour it.
‘If we go down this road it will come back and bite us, whatever No 10’s polling might tell them. People are very unforgiving when it comes to tax.’
But amid talks of a possible reshuffle, no minister is expected to fight the PM’s plans as he is set to present proposals for Britain’s social care system at his first cabinet meeting since the summer break.   
And Johnson will have strong public support to raise national insurance with two thirds backing the plans, a YouGov poll for The Times suggests. 
A Treasury source said: ‘The PM is in invincible mode in meetings. Rishi’s team has proposed a series of cheaper alternatives but none works for the PM.’
Another said: ‘They’re still haggling over the cap.’
But the growing Tory revolt over social care funding now includes former Chancellor Philip Hammond and Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, reports say.   

Other media covering this story include the GuardianTelegraphSunIndependentMorning StarTimesITV NewsBBC NewsBreitbart 


A £5.5BILLION package to tackle the NHS backlog caused by the pandemic will be unveiled today by Boris Johnson. He will say the deal, funded by a rise in National Insurance, is needed to fight the crisis in delayed treatment and a crumbling social care system.
The Prime Minister agreed the plan last night with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid. He is also expected to put together £10billion annually over the next three years, for social care improvements, as soon as tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting.
In the face of a Tory revolt against his plans for a 1.25 percent NI tax rise to pay for the reforms, Mr Johnson will argue the health and care systems cannot cope without the extra taxpayers’ investment.
A Downing Street source said last night: “The Prime Minister wants to ensure that the NHS is fully prepared post-pandemic.
“That means, of course, a long-term plan for social care. It also means dealing with the repercussions of the pandemic on hospitals and other healthcare services.”
Senior Whitehall officials held a series of phone calls and online meetings last night to finalise details of this week’s announcements. 

Almost 1,000 GP practices have been ordered to improve patient access, amid growing concern about the number of patients struggling to see a family doctor.
Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, said GPs must provide face-to-face appointments, after patient groups urged the Government to “get a grip” on the growing crisis.
Health officials have identified hundreds of surgeries which are failing to meet the needs of their local communities, with long waiting times and low levels of satisfaction.
In May, NHS chiefs promised to abandon a system of “total triage” introduced during the pandemic which meant patients were refused face-to-face appointments. 
But latest figures show the number of patients who secured an appointment in person fell last month, with 420,000 fewer such consultations. In total, just 57 per cent of GP appointments were face-to-face in July, compared with 80 per cent before Covid. 

Breitbart also has the story.


Pupils should apply to university after getting their grades and start the term in January, 150 private girls’ schools have urged.
The Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) is lobbying ministers for an overhaul of the system to improve pupils’ mental health.
Heads say the current arrangement of giving places based on predicted grades leads to ‘stress’ and too much ‘negotiation’. 
They recommend shifting the entire process to the autumn and sending pupils on work experience while they wait to hear back
It comes after the Government held a consultation about moving university admissions to after A-level results day in future. 
A decision is expected imminently, and the GSA, representing more than 150 elite schools, is a powerful lobbying body.
Its new president, Samantha Price, said using predicted grades can put students under an ‘enormous amount of pressure’. 
The head of Benenden School in Kent said: ‘I don’t think it is fair… and I also don’t think it caters for young people’s mental health.’ 
The GSA’s idea is one option being considered by the Government. The other option is to have pupils apply in the normal way before results – but only allow offers afterwards. 

Similar stories appear in the Guardian ,  TelegraphTimesEvening StandardITV News 

Working from home 

Hundreds of thousands of workers are expected to be back in the office today in a watershed moment for Britain’s workplaces.
After 18 months of employees working at home during the pandemic, some of the nation’s biggest employers have told staff they are now expected to turn up for work – even if it is just for one day a week.
But there was dismay as civil service chiefs and the Bank of England again delayed plans to force their staff to return to the workplace.
A Daily Mail audit of 18 of the UK’s biggest firms, which together employ more than half a million staff, found that half of their office workers are expected to return this week.
Nine of the companies have targeted today, while a further three have demanded a return by the end of September.
Tens of thousands of employees working for Sainsbury’s, British Petroleum and a slew of banks and investment houses will return to the office for at least one day from today, while Vodafone and Deloitte will fully open their offices for the first time.
The drive to bring Britain back to the office came amid growing frustration among ministers that the Civil Service has failed to take the lead.
Official ‘work from home’ Whitehall guidance was removed on July 19 and businesses have been told that the Government ‘expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer’.
But insiders said Whitehall had only seen a slight increase in staff back at their desks, with the numbers in the office still ‘pretty low’. 

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