Brexit

Express
JOE BIDEN will hand Boris Johnson a brutal ultimatum in his first phone call to the British Prime Minister as US president-elect, with an order for the UK to back down from their Brexit demands. US president-elect Joe Biden will hand Boris Johnson a ruthless ultimatum in their first phone call, according to Nigel Farage. Mr Farage said it was “becoming clear” that Joe Biden will warn Mr Johnson to back down on his Brexit demands, or risk serious tensions with the US. Mr Biden, who has Irish roots, has been vocal against Boris Johnson’s plans to override parts of the EU withdrawal agreement if no deal is reached with the bloc. Mr Farage told LBC that the election of Joe Biden is a “very, very difficult result” for Boris Johnson and Brexit. The leader of the Brexit Party told LBC: “For Brexit, and for Boris, this is a very, very difficult result. “What is already becoming clear is that Biden’s first phone call with Boris is simply going to say, ‘Sign the right deal with Monsieur Barnier, or there is no prospect of a trade deal’. “Boris finds himself in a difficult position.”

ITV News
Boris Johnson will proceed with his controversial Brexit bill despite US president-elect Joe Biden having previously warned the UK over the draft legislation. The Prime Minister told broadcasters, after congratulating Mr Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris on their victory, that he intended to push ahead with the Internal Market Bill, with peers due to vote on it this week. The bill would override clauses in the Withdrawal Agreement relating to Northern Ireland and the Government has admitted it breaks international law. Mr Biden, who has Irish heritage, in September warned that the Good Friday Agreement cannot be “a casualty of Brexit” and said a UK-US trade deal would be dependent on the peace terms being upheld. Mr Johnson, asked on Sunday whether he was determined to pass the bill in the face of Mr Biden’s criticisms, said: “Yes, as I told Ursula (von der Leyen, European Commission president) the parliamentary timetable goes ahead. “The whole point of that bill, and indeed the Finance Bill, is to protect and uphold the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Telegraph
Boris Johnson will risk a rift with Joe Biden by pushing ahead with a Brexit law the US president-elect has said he fears will jeopardise peace in Northern Ireland. The Prime Minister insisted that he would push on with an unamended Internal Markets Bill, despite peers being expected on Monday or Tuesday to reject half a dozen clauses which breach the withdrawal agreement hammered out with the European Union last year. In September, Mr Biden warned that the unamended Bill could jeopardise the peace process in Northern Ireland by imposing a hard border on the island of Ireland. That came after the UK Government admitted that the legislation breaks international law in a “specific and limited way”.

Trade deal

Express
THE EU has been told to face up to reality by the UK and to treat Britain as an independent country and with more respect if it wants to get a post-Brexit trade deal. It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen agreed during a phone call on Saturday to “redouble efforts” to reach a trade deal and signed off on talks continuing next week. Downing Street said the Prime Minister told his Brussels counterpart that there remained “significant differences” in the UK-EU negotiations. The call follows two weeks of intensified talks between the UK’s chief negotiator Lord Frost and his European Union equivalent Michel Barnier, with Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen paving the way for further discussions between the pair in London next week.

Sky News
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted that a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union is “there to be done”, as the end of the transition period looms. A deal would need to be agreed by mid-November to allow time for ratification but talks had stalled in recent months, with both sides struggling to reach agreement on at least two main sticking points. The chief negotiators – Michel Barnier for the EU and David Frost for the UK – will resume talks in London this week. On his arrival in London on Sunday, Mr Barnier said he was “very happy to be back” and “work continues” on securing a deal. Speaking ahead of the talks, Mr Johnson said: “I’ve always been a great enthusiast for a trade deal with our European friends and partners.

Mail
Brexit trade deal with the EU is ‘there to be done’, Boris Johnson said yesterday. It came as peers prepared to vote down his controversial Brexit legislation in the Lords. As last-ditch trade talks resume in London today, the Prime Minister said the two sides were in sight of a deal. ‘I’ve always been a great enthusiast for a trade deal with our European friends and partners,’ he said. ‘I think it’s there to be done, the broad outlines are pretty clear.’ The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier arrived in London last night ahead of five days of ‘intensive’ talks with his British counterpart David Frost.

BBC News
EU and UK officials will resume trade talks in London later at the start of another key week for the negotiations. They will try to bridge what the two sides have said are still significant differences on fishing quotas and competition issues. Boris Johnson said on Sunday that the “outlines” of an agreement were clear and a deal was “there to be done”. But he has insisted the UK is prepared to leave the single market and customs union on 31 December without agreement. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart Lord Frost are in a race against the clock to conclude a future economic partnership in time for it to come into force when the post-Brexit transition period ends on 31 December. The UK left the EU on 31 January but continues to follow the bloc’s rules until the end of the year.

Yahoo News
A Brexit deal with the EU remains “there to be done”, Boris Johnson has said, with trade negotiations set to resume next week. The Prime Minister said the “broad outlines are pretty clear” and that European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen “totally agrees”. It comes as the Prime Minister and Ms von der Leyen agreed during a phone call on Saturday to “redouble efforts” to reach a UK-EU trade deal and signed off on talks continuing next week. Downing Street said the Prime Minister had told his Brussels counterpart that there remained “significant differences” in the UK-EU negotiations, with the two sides continuing to be apart on their positions over fishing rights and a level playing field agreement.

Times
A trade, security and fisheries deal with the European Union is “there to be done”, Boris Johnson has said before Brexit talks begin in London today. Lord Frost, the prime minister’s chief negotiator, has been holding internal consultations within the government after a short break in high-level negotiations. “I think it’s there to be done, the broad outlines are pretty clear,” Mr Johnson said. “We just need to get them to do it if we can.” The prime minister promised to “redouble efforts to reach a deal” after a weekend phone call with Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president.

Sun
MICHEL Barnier says a good Brexit deal is needed owing to the ­terror threat in Europe. The EU chief negotiator told allies of his fears before London talks today. He said the recent attacks in France and ­Austria weighed heavily on his mind. He also feels “a weight of responsibility on my shoulders” to find a decent agreement given the economic fallout from Covid. Mr Barnier made the comments in private briefings to Brussels bigwigs last week, sources said. It boosted chances of striking a deal before December 31’s end to the transition period. And yesterday Boris Johnson said there was a good chance of talks succeeding before Monday’s deadline. But he insisted the Internal Market Bill would go ahead. Peers are likely to strike out clauses related to the Irish border fix that break international law in a vote today.

Express
JOE BIDEN has been sent a warning over a future trade deal with the UK after the Democrat nominee won the US election – with worrying details leaked from Washington. A trade deal with the US remains one of the most important agreements for the UK but warnings leaked from Washington appear to indicate a lack of interest on that side of the Atlantic. Ahead of trade negotiations, Brexiteer and Tory MP for Wokingham, Sir John Redwood, warned the President-elect about the UK’s need to become an independent nation away from the EU and dismissed US concerns over the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). Writing in his blog, Sir John insisted the UK does not wish to violate the GFA following Mr Biden’s trade deal warning earlier this year. Sir John said: “I must stress that the U.K. does uphold the GFA in Northern Ireland.

Independent
Boris Johnson has cast doubt on the prospects of a trade agreement with the US under the president-elect, Joe Biden, saying a deal will not be “a pushover”. The prime minister instead talked up the chances of close cooperation with the Biden administration on climate change, as Britain prepares to host the crucial COP26 international summit in 2021. In the wake of Mr Biden’s victory, Mr Johnson faces an urgent challenge to forge links with a president-elect whom he has never met and who has previously described him as a “physical and emotional clone of Trump”. After the Biden camp refused all contacts with foreign governments during the election campaign, the British ambassador in Washington, Dame Karen Pierce, is understood to be leading a drive to build links with those likely to play roles in his administration.

Cabinet

Telegraph
Boris Johnson is being urged to hand differently worded briefings to Cabinet ministers in order to catch the leaker who revealed the second national coronavirus lockdown early. The Prime Minister was infuriated when details of the lockdown in England were leaked 10 days ago, forcing him to announce the plan the following day before MPs could formally be told. He is said to be determined to stop future leaks, and one idea being considered by Government whips is for Number 10 to give out differently worded documents.  The method – known as a “canary trap” – sees different versions of a sensitive document being given to several people and waiting to see which version gets leaked.

Sun
BORIS Johnson is furious that he was “bounced” into imposing a second lockdown, a government minister claims. The PM signed off a new lockdown in England on October 31 after he was warned by Government scientists that Covid-related deaths could rise to 4,000 a day in a worst case scenario. The PM was said to be “cross” that he was forced to hold the hastily-arranged press briefing after details of the short-term lockdown had been leaked to the media. He is said to be worried about the data, which was used to justify a second lockdown, “crumbling” under scrutiny. Public health officials predicted that 4,000 deaths a day could happen without intervention – a figure that has since been revised to 1,000  fatalities per day by the start of December.

Mail
Boris Johnson believes he was bounced into ordering a second national lockdown, a Cabinet ally said last night. The Prime Minister reluctantly signed off a new lockdown in England last weekend after being warned by Government scientists that deaths could rise to 4,000 a day – four times the peak seen in April. The decision was rushed out with minimal Cabinet consultation after news of the warning, and the PM’s reaction to it, was leaked to news organisations, including the Daily Mail. The 4,000-a-day figure has since been widely discredited and Government scientists have been forced to correct other dire warnings used to inform the lockdown decision.

Lockdown breaches

Telegraph
Police are preparing to escalate their response to lockdown breaches, ministers have warned, after large numbers of people appeared to ignore the Government’s advice to stay at home over the weekend. Despite all but essential shops being forced to close, large gatherings were seen at food markets, parks and other open spaces in defiance of the latest restrictions. While forces around the country have vowed to clampdown on large scale breaches of the lockdown such as raves and illegal house parties, concern is growing about the extent to which the ordinary public is adhering to the new rules.

Times
Police forces are prepared to escalate their response to lockdown breaches, ministers have warned amid rising concern that the public is not adhering to the rules. Demonstrators faced fines for taking part in marches against Covid-19 measures on the first weekend of the second lockdown in towns and cities including London, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Brighton. Traffic data indicated that most people had followed the rules but police forces reported several breaches and online images showed packed beauty spots and groups flocking to parks. Under laws that came into force on Thursday nobody is allowed to meet indoors or in a private garden with anyone from another household.

Nightingale hospitals

Telegraph
Nightingale hospitals have cost the taxpayer £1m per patient with medical experts warning most of the facilities will not fully open due to lack of staff. Only two out of the seven Nightingales, built earlier this year at a cost of £220m, have treated patients with Covid-19.  The London and Manchester facilities cared for an estimated 200 people during the first wave. This is the equivalent of about £1m per patient, according to the Sunday Times.  Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers told the paper that there are “not the hundreds or thousands of NHS staff waiting to be deployed into those hospitals”. He added: “In effect, you would have to take them from existing hospitals.

Sun
BRITAIN forked out the equivalent of £1million per patient to treat covid-19 victims at Nightingale hospitals, it has been revealed. Seven of them were built at a cost of £220million to deal with the feared influx of coronavirus patients during the pandemic’s first wave. But only two, London and Manchester, have treated Covid-19 victims at all, according to The Sunday Times. Between them roughly 200 people were admitted – costing the equivalent of £1million per patient. And it is alleged most Nightingale hospitals may never fully open because there are not enough NHS staff to work them, the paper reports.

Vaccine

Sun
HOSPITALS are being told to get ready for a covid vaccine in as little as three weeks as the NHS prepares to give the jabs to the most vulnerable people before Christmas. In a meeting with senior managers and executives, head of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Jon Findlay, is believed to have said that a vaccine could be made available before the month ends. It is believed that the jabs would be made available for residents in care homes, people over the age of 80, and those health professionals working on the frontline. This comes after wide spread speculation that a vaccine could be produced before the end of the month.

Planet Normal

Telegraph
Back in the pre-Covid era, whenever a tabloid devoted its front page to news of the “latest model”, readers could expect something salacious. An ageing MP’s “close friendship” with a young aspiring actress, perhaps? Or gossip about the love life of the latest catwalk star. These days, the “latest model” makes headlines across all types of newspapers. But the articles are more frightening than fun. For mathematical models, built by faceless scientists across Whitehall and academia, have lately been used to generate terrifying predictions of Covid hospital admissions and deaths. Such models, and the boffins who build them, have been driving the Government’s approach to tackling this virus.

Cancer

Mail
Leading charities today plead with Boris Johnson to protect cancer sufferers after millions were abandoned during the first Covid-19 lockdown. In a hard-hitting letter published below, the head of Cancer Research UK demands a firm commitment that diagnosis, treatment and clinical trials will not be delayed again. The appeal by chief executive Michelle Mitchell is supported by 49 other charities and top doctors. With England in a second lockdown, the signatories insist the Government must ‘learn lessons’ and ensure patients are treated better. They call for Covid-free ‘safe spaces’ for them and more frequent testing of NHS staff while private hospitals must be on standby for use. The letter comes amid growing concern that pauses in treatment during the first lockdown left many patients with a shortened life expectancy and some have even died. Damning figures from the first wave suggest that up to 35,000 extra deaths next year may be caused by cancer as a result of the pandemic.

National Trust

Telegraph
National Trust members have accused the charity’s board of directors of pursuing “a witch hunt into the lives of past property owners” and pursuing a “woke agenda”. One member condemned the Trust for “defaming” the memory of Winston Churchill in a recent report linking its properties to colonialism and slavery, while another said she was cancelling her membership because the Trust was now too “political”. The news came as 26 Conservative MPs wrote to The Telegraph on Monday, saying “history must neither be sanitised nor rewritten to suit ‘snowflake’ preoccupations. A clique of powerful, privileged liberals must not be allowed to rewrite our history in their image” ahead of a debate on the future of the Trust in the Commons on Wednesday.

Mail
National Trust members have slammed its board for ‘defaming’ Winston Churchill’s memory with its ‘woke agenda’ report that detailed properties’ slavery and colonial links.   Angry members criticised the charity’s directors for pursuing ‘a witch hunt’ in a new report linking more than 90 National Trust properties to slavery. One woman said she was cancelling her membership, saying the Trust was now too ‘political’.  The 115-page report reveals that scores of properties under the charity’s management have links to slavery and colonialism. It comes after this summer’s wave of Black Lives Matter protests, which saw some protesters deface statues of historical British leaders including that of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square.

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