Boris Johnson is drawing up legislation that will override the Brexit withdrawal agreement on Northern Ireland, a move that threatens the collapse of crunch talks which the prime minister has said must be completed within five weeks. Johnson will put an ultimatum to negotiators this week, saying the UK and Europe must agree a post-Brexit trade deal by 15 October or Britain will walk away for good. But progress on the already fragile talks will be threatened by plans revealed on Sunday for the UK government to publish a controversial section of the internal market bill on Wednesday that will intentionally try to unpick parts of the withdrawal agreement signed in January. It will include elements of the special arrangements for Northern Ireland that are legally binding.
Ministers are planning new legislation that would override a key part of last year’s EU withdrawal agreement. The move would eliminate a requirement for new Northern Ireland customs arrangements which were intended to prevent the return of checks at the border with the Irish Republic. Labour attacked the plan. No 10 says it is a standby in case trade talks fail. Boris Johnson is expected to say later that if no agreement is reached by 15 October, both sides should “move on”. The prime minister will tell EU counterparts that completing the UK’s exit from the bloc without a trade deal would still be a “good outcome”. It comes after UK chief negotiator David Frost said the UK was not “scared” of walking away.
Boris Johnson today warns Brussels that he will walk away from trade talks in five weeks unless the EU ‘rethinks’ its demands. In a toughly worded ultimatum, the Prime Minister says there is ‘no sense’ in allowing faltering trade talks to continue beyond October 15, when EU leaders are due to hold a major summit in Brussels. Mr Johnson says there is ‘still an agreement to be had’ but says he ‘cannot and will not compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country to get it’, such as the freedom for the UK to set its own laws and fish its own waters. The development came as reports said the UK is planning to tear up parts of the Withdrawal Agreement ministers signed with the EU in January – a move that risks further damaging hopes of a deal.
Britain will walk out of Brexit talks if there is no deal agreed by the middle of October, Boris Johnson has announced — raising the chance that the UK will crash out of the single market with nothing to replace it. Speaking ahead of yet another round of negotiations in London, the prime minister said there was “no sense in thinking about timelines that go beyond” a planned EU summit on 15 October because any further delay would mean an agreement was not in place by the end of the year. “If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on,” Mr Johnson said — in his first major Brexit intervention since the start of negotiations in the spring.
BORIS Johnson has set a five-week deadline to agree a post-Brexit trade deal. And ahead of this week’s talks, he said he was happy to end negotiations with the EU without an agreement if terms did not suit. The Prime Minister insisted No Deal would still be “a good outcome for the UK”. He said it would mean we would trade with the EU on the same terms as Australia did. Mr Johnson insisted any arrangement must be signed by October 15 so it could be in force by December 31, the end of the transition period.
BORIS JOHNSON will issue an ultimatum to the European Union, stating that if a free-trade deal is not reached by October 15 the EU should “move on”. The Prime Minister is set to tell the EU on Monday that if an agreement is not reached by both sides before the October 15 deadline, they should “accept that and move on.” A statement released to the press, revealed Mr Johnson’s proposition ahead of the start of the new round of discussions set to begin on Tuesday in London. The statement reads: “If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free-trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on.
Boris Johnson has set a five-week deadline to reach a post-Brexit agreement with the EU, saying that a no-deal would be a “good outcome” for Britain. The prime minister will say today that there is “no sense” in carrying on talks if a free-trade deal is not agreed before a key EU meeting on October 15 and that afterwards the focus should switch to minimising disruption to lorry transport and flights. He will insist that Britain will “prosper mightily” if it leaves the transition period without a deal, saying that preparations at the border mean that the country will be ready for extra checks while being free to strike trade agreements around the world.
Boris Johnson will give the European Union just 38 days to strike a Brexit deal, warning that if there is no breakthrough by October 15 Britain will accept a no-deal scenario and “move on”. The Prime Minister will make clear that the UK “cannot and will not compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country” to get a trade deal as he insists failing to sign a trade deal would be “a good outcome for the UK”. Mr Johnson moved decisively to break months of deadlock between negotiators over the terms of the UK’s trading arrangements with the EU after the end of a Brexit transition period in December.
The Government isn’t scared of leaving the EU transition period without a deal, Boris Johnson’s chief negotiator David Frost has claimed. In an interview in the Mail on Sunday, the PM’s politically appointed point man for talks in Brussels said that Britain would stop following EU rules “come what may” at the end of December. It comes after fears have been building about the stalled negotiations on a future trade relationship between the UK and the EU. EU negotiator Michel Barnier warning that he is “worried and disappointed” by the UK’s refusal to make concessions.
An internal government row over the extent of subsidy needed for Boris Johnson’s economic reform plans is contributing to Britain’s insistence on rejecting EU state aid rules, the foreign secretary suggested yesterday. Dominic Raab said an “economic debate” was being held about the extent of state intervention. He argued that it was crucial Britain retain control over its rules on subsidy and competition. There were “really only two bones of contention left”, he said. But he insisted that no compromise was possible on a “straightforward point of principle”.
A “treacherous betrayal” enacted by a group of Tory “charlatans” is how various political figures have described the Government’s reported plan to rip-up the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement ahead of the next round of trade talks. In reports a Government spokesman appeared to confirm, the Financial Times said Boris Johnson was planning new legislation that would override key parts of the agreement – the treaty that sealed Britain’s exit from the EU in January – in a move that could risk collapsing the UK-EU trade talks.
The DUP’s Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson has called for the EU Withdrawal Agreement to be scrapped, saying the party “will not accept” the deal. He said the deal, which includes the Northern Ireland Protocol, had placed a border down the Irish Sea. He issued the statement days after his party leader and First Minister Arlene Foster said the protocol was now “law”. She said although some would continue to fight it, she had to recognise that the protocol “is the reality now”. The Brexit deal negotiated by Boris Johnson last October means the whole of the UK will leave the EU’s customs union when the Brexit transition period expires at the end of 2020.
TRADE talks between Britain and the European Union could run into November despite Michel Barnier insisting a deal must be agreed by the end of October. A Brussels source has claimed negotiations will continue into November. This comes despite the EU’s chief negotiator warning an agreement must be struck by the “strict deadline” of the end of next month in order to have it in place for the close of the transition period on December 31. The source said: “The negotiations will last three or four days into November, but they can’t go beyond that.” The eighth round of negotiations led by Mr Barnier and his UK counterpart David Frost takes place next week in London.
The EU parliament has dashed hopes that Brexit negotiators could be given more time to avert a no-deal, drawing a red line on an extension to talks. Bernd Lange, the German MEP who chairs the parliament’s international trade committee, warned “a deal has to be done before 31 October”. The announcement is a blow to hopes of a late agreement breaking the deadlocked negotiations. Negotiators are due to meet in London next week for their eighth round of talks, but both sides have suggested the prospect of any serious movement is remote.
THE UK Government has announced a new campaign to help EU businesses prepare for the end of the transition period. The campaign aims to provide businesses with relevant information about the changes they must undergo in order to fulfil trade opportunities with the UK once the transition period ends on December 31, 2020. The effort launches as the eighth round of trade negotiations starts on Tuesday. The new move is an addition to the UK’s domestic efforts, dubbed The UK’s New Start. The domestic-leaning campaign gives businesses information on opportunities for trade outside the EU. According to the Gov.uk website, The UK’s New Start campaign “will clearly set out the actions businesses and individuals need to take to prepare for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, and ensure they are ready to seize the opportunities that it will bring.”
Lungs can repair themselves after a serious bout of coronavirus in just three months, a new study has revealed, raising hope patients will not be living with debilitating symptoms for years on end. Doctors said trials showed nearly half of patients in trials showed no evidence of lung damage at 12 weeks. Although they confirm longstanding fears that Covid patients can suffer serious effects weeks after recovering from the virus, the results are the first to show that these tend to heal over time. Eighty-six patients from an outbreak hot-spot in the Tyrolean region of Austria were hospitalised between April 29 and June 9, then followed up at six, 12 and 24 weeks after discharge.
Coronavirus patients admitted to hospital still suffer lung damage three months after they are sent home, a study found. Most people’s conditions improve within six weeks but researchers found that some struggled with breathlessness and coughing for much longer. Researchers at different institutions in Austria’s Tyrolean region asked coronavirus patients who had been admitted to hospital to come back for evaluation six, 12 and 24 weeks after being discharged. At the time of their first evaluation, more than half of the patients had at least one persistent symptom, predominantly breathlessness and coughing, and CT scans still showed lung damage in 88 per cent.
Airport bosses from Britain’s largest transport hubs have warned Boris Johnson that he risks ‘irreparable damage’ to the economy if quarantining upon arrival is not scrapped. Leaders from the likes of Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Luton set the Prime Minister a seven-day deadline to replace mandatory self-isolation with Covid-19 testing on arrival in order to revive the aviation sector. In the letter seen by the Daily Telegraph – also addressed to Chancellor Rishi Sunak – 20 airport chief executives claimed testing, alongside other measures, could save 110,000 jobs industry-wide. Having already lost over £4billion due to reduced traffic during the pandemic, they wrote: ‘We cannot currently envisage an end to this struggle, and without robust Government support there is real possibility of irreparable damage being done to our once world-beating aviation sector.’
Extensive coronavirus testing is needed at airports to stop the “dire” effect the quarantine system is having on the travel industry, Labour has said. The UK government has been making weekly decisions on which travellers must isolate for 14 days based on the countries they are returning from. But travellers have sometimes been given just a few hours’ warning, leaving them facing inflated airfares if they try to return before the restrictions are brought in.
Universities unable to show they are a safe working environment may suffer strikes among academics, the University and College Union (UCU) has said. As students return for a new academic year, Paul Bridge, the union’s head of higher education, said that in-person teaching should depend on an assurance that the universities had taken all the precautions necessary. “Workplaces have to be made safe before we can move to reopening of large-scale, face-to-face teaching,” he told The Sunday Times. He said that the union, which represents 120,000 lecturers and academic staff, would consider ballots on industrial action.
People awaiting trial for serious crimes can now be held in prison for longer under measures announced by the Government as part of the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Temporary legislation was announced that will extend the Custody Time Limit (CTL) for people awaiting a trial for serious crimes from 182 days to 238 days. The new measures will apply to anyone arrested and held in custody for an alleged offence that is serious enough to be heard at the Crown Court. A statutory instrument will be introduced in Parliament on Monday to extend the time limits for all either way or indictable only offences awaiting trial after that date.
Rural communities could get their own directly elected mayors so they can fight for their fair share of government money in a major “rewiring of the state” next month. Communities could also be allowed to scrap metropolitan names – which were imposed on them in a major local government shake up in 1974 – and revert to historic county titles, The Telegraph has learned. The changes are being considered for a Government white paper which ministers hope will help to “level up” the way that public spending is allocated outside of major cities. One proposal being considered by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is for shire counties to be allowed to elect their own mayors to lobby Whitehall for more cash.
Dozens more elected mayors and the abolition of many councils are being planned under a shake-up of local government due to be unveiled next month. Ministers want to devolve more power to areas that agree to new elected mayors, who they argue are more accountable and better at boosting local economies. Conservatives have also proved more successful in winning mayoralties in “red wall” areas than they have in winning Labour-controlled councils. However, a fight looms over plans to abolish significant numbers of district councils, many of them Tory-controlled, as part of plans for a slimmed-down local government system.
One is a former paratrooper, another a 22-year-old ‘birth-striker’ who vows she will never have children for the sake of the planet. They were among the ragtag – and rather middle-class – band of printworks rebels who attempted to blockade free speech on Friday night. Others included a failed would-be MP (who notably works for the Independent news website) and a retired taxman. All eight featured here marched on newspaper printers to impose their views and suppress all others. Extinction Rebellion’s protests led to a night of chaos and 81 arrests in Knowsley, Merseyside, and Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.
The media could be reclassified as essential national infrastructure in a bid to prevent a repeat of Extinction Rebellion’s shutdown of printing presses on Friday night. A total of 77 environmental protesters have been charged over the demonstrations at printing sites in Hertfordshire and Merseyside, which hit the distribution of several national newspapers. The Government is now considering a range of possible new laws to give the police more powers to stop similar future protests. Ministers are also encouraging officers to make more use of their existing powers under public order legislation, with Priti Patel understood to have told the police to “get stuck in”. One option being considered is updating the list of critical infrastructure which cannot legally be shut down by direct action – such as military bases and police stations – to include media production sites.
“The best work was done at the photocopier,” claims one former employee of Royal Bank of Scotland. Banks, the villains of the last economic crisis, are fighting to rehabilitate their image by lending to businesses hit by the Covid pandemic and granting payment holidays to mortgage customers. But allegations persist that customers of the likes of Lloyds and RBS lost their businesses and homes as a result of widespread document forgery within the industry. The RBS whistleblower, who later left the bank, claims he was taught more than a decade ago how to download customers’ signatures from the bank’s online systems, trace or glue them on to a new document, and use a photocopier to obscure the forgery. He’s part of BankConfidential, a network of about 50 current and former employees of multiple banks, who say they are aware of or participated in forgery.
The country’s biggest employers are calling on ministers to create an infrastructure bank to channel private sector cash into transport, broadband, housing and green energy projects. The CBI made the plea for a state-backed infrastructure bank because it was “likely” that the country would soon lose access to the European Investment Bank as a consequence of leaving the European Union. It said that the chancellor’s goal of £640 billion of infrastructure projects over the next five years depended on a credible organisation to give comfort to private sector investors and to help the flow of capital.