EU 

Express
BRITAIN will be made into a scapegoat for the European Union’s failings for years to come, an MEP has warned.
German MEP Gunnar Beck said jealous eurocrats would attempt to pin the blame on the UK for the bloc vaccine shambles and slow economic recovery after the pandemic. And he warned if Brussels refuses to cool tensions with Britain other countries could soon quit the EU. He said: “If we assume that the recovery won’t be as rapid and dramatic as many had hoped, then the EU will be looking for scapegoats because its not in the habit of acknowledging mistakes, especially Ursula von der Leyen.”
Mr Beck, a member of the European Parliament’s Brexit committee, warned resentment of Britain would grow as the benefits of Brexit come to fruition.
The German, who voted against a resolution on the trade agreement that branded Brexit a “historic mistake”, said many of his colleagues reluctantly endorsed the UK-EU pact.
He said: “There are still a lot of people in Brussels who deeply resent this agreement and If the UK economy continues to outperform the EU that resentment will linger.”
“If we continue to see confrontation, that’s clearly the underlying reasoning.”
In the four months after the Brexit trade agreement was concluded, antagonistic EU chiefs have threatened a hard border on Ireland and a blockade on the export of life-saving jabs to Britain in an ongoing cross-border row over Covid vaccines.
Mr Beck said that more counties could opt to follow the UK out of the EU unless eurocrats attempt to cool tensions with Downing Street. 

Scotland 

Mail
An independent Scotland would ‘totally’ adopt the euro as a condition of joining the EU, according to a senior SNP figure.
Foreign affairs spokesman Alyn Smith also suggested Scots could be asked to choose what currency they wanted in a separate referendum after leaving the UK.
His comments appear to contradict the party’s official policy that it would keep sterling initially before setting up a new currency.
Asked by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica about adoption of the euro, the Stirling MP replied: ‘Yeah, totally. The commitment is to participate in the economic and monetary union.
‘The euro is only part of that. We would want to participate in economic and monetary union for macroeconomic stability.’
He said joining the euro had worked for Ireland and had a ‘lot of advantages’, adding: ‘The adoption of the euro, I think is a democratic question that should be put to the people of Scotland in a referendum, same as Sweden did.’
But he also admitted: ‘Our public debt levels would be far too high to join the euro so we wouldn’t be eligible.’ His comments risk further damaging the SNP’s credibility over how an independent Scotland’s economy would fare.
NatWest has said it would have to move its HQ to London and the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank warned tax rises or spending cuts would be needed to cut the country’s massive deficit. 

Telegraph
Boris Johnson is prepared to take the SNP to the Supreme Court to stop the party unilaterally holding a second Scottish independence referendum should it win next week’s Holyrood elections.
The Government has legal advice dating back to 2011 that argues the Scottish Parliament cannot hold a binding independence referendum without the UK Parliament’s approval.
Government advisers are gearing up to deploy a “not now” argument to any request for a referendum, pointing to the Covid-19 pandemic that the country is still facing.
But they believe that position can hold for years, given the point of total recovery – on everything from the economy to court backlogs and education – is impossible to predict.
Mr Johnson’s Government is getting ready not just to reject a request for permission to hold “indyref2” but also to enter a court battle should the SNP then attempt to hold a unilateral vote.
A UK government source said: “If it comes to that, if those are the cards they play, I don’t think the UK Government can sit back and do nothing.”
The planning comes with UK government ministers and advisers awaiting the results of Thursday’s Scottish Parliament elections with trepidation. 

Germany 

Express
GERMAN businesses are furious with the terms of the Brexit deal agreed with the UK, and some are even vowing to snub trade with Britain altogether.
Earlier this week MEPs formally ratified the post-Brexit trade deal with the UK, after months of stalling. But despite the agreement passing by a landslide of over 600 votes, German businesses remain disgruntled with the terms of the deal.
Two-thirds of 93 companies said in a survey by the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany (BCCG) and consulting firm KPMG that the consequences of the new trade rules were more negative than expected.
BCCG President Michael Schmidt said: “As the Chamber of Commerce, we expected that Brexit would lead to severe drops in trade.
“The current situation goes far beyond that.”
The survey also revealed 17 percent of the companies want to stop trading with Great Britain completely. 

France 

Express
A MAJORITY of the French public support an incendiary open letter warning of “civil war” and military intervention, according to a new poll.
The letter was signed by 20 retired generals, along with other senior officers, and at least 18 serving soldiers. In response, the French government has said the serving soldiers will face military sanction whilst ex-military signatories will be stripped of privileges.
Originally published by right-wing magazine Valeurs Actuelles the letter claimed “Islamism” and “anti-racism” are threatening civil war in France.
It added “lax” government measures may require “the intervention of our [military] comrades on active duty in a perilous mission of protection of our civilisational values”.
A poll by LCI for Harris Interactive found 58 percent of the French public support the letter whilst 49 percent would back the military if it decides to “act on its own to restore order”.
Some 73 percent of respondents feared France could disintegrate whilst 86 percent believe there are parts of the country where French law no longer applies. 

NHS 

Mirror
The NHS faces an ‘exodus’ of staff if a better pay deal is not offered, Labour warned today.
Fresh data showed the number of nurses and health visitors leaving the profession last year was up by 50% since 2010/11.
And the figures showed a 182% increase in nurses and health visitors quitting over work-life balance.
Some 3,013 nurses and health visitors quit in 2019/20 – the largest number in a decade.
Labour warned that without a pay rise after the pandemic, there could be an even larger exodus of staff in the future.
Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders said: “These figures should be ringing alarm bells loud and clear that Ministers need to change course and start listening to and valuing the NHS workforce.
“Years of pay freezes, record vacancies and relentless pressure are having their effect with hard pressed staff voting with their feet.” 

Treason 

Times
Boris Johnson is planning to overhaul Britain’s 650-year-old treason laws to make it easier to prosecute jihadists returning from Syria and Iraq.
Ministers will consult on proposals to use treason laws for the first time since 1946 as part of a national security bill to be included in the Queen’s Speech on May 11. Among them are plans to redefine what counts as an “enemy”, including widening “acts of betrayal” to cover membership or support of non-state actors who seek to harm the UK, such as terrorist groups or hackers.
There is also a proposal to reverse the burden of proof needed to prosecute a British citizen who has travelled overseas to join a terrorist group such as Islamic State.LES 

Tube strike 

Morning Star
TUBE drivers on London’s Central Line will strike on polling day next month over the victimisation and dismissal of an RMT rep with 20 years of service, the union announced today.
Long-standing union activist Gary Carney, dismissed by London Underground (LU) for allegedly failing to take a drugs-and-alcohol test, is the victim of a deliberate “fit-up,” the union said.
Mr Carney has been backed by an overwhelming number of his colleagues in a vote.
The 24-hour stoppage, involving train operators at Leytonstone, White City, Loughton and West Ruislip, will begin at 9pm on May 5 and carry over into May 6 as Londoners vote on a mayor.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The sacking of Gary Carney is a blatant case of victimisation for trade union activities and his colleagues have made it clear that they stand shoulder to shoulder with him in this fight for justice.
“RMT will have no hesitation in escalating this dispute if LU don’t right this wrong.”
LU director of customer operations Nick Dent said that the organisation had “strict, long-standing drug-and-alcohol testing policies,” but added that the organisation remained “open for further discussions.” 

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