MICHAEL Gove believes the European Union’s behaviour over the last four years has proven that it is not worth compromising in Brexit talks – and warned Brussels there will be no last minute capitulation. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who runs the Cabinet Office at the heart of government and is responsible for the Brexit talks, has given his clearest warning yet that Britain will happily walk away with no deal in a few weeks’ time. He mocked Brussels for being reduced to “kidology” to give the impression Britain was compromising when it was Michel Barnier’s team having to make concessions.
Britain’s car industry risks losing out even if there is a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, according to documents seen by the BBC. Car parts from Japan and Turkey used in the UK will not be treated as British, so some exports may see higher tariffs. In a letter, Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator says the UK has failed so far to get the car parts deal it wants, and “obviously cannot insist on it”. Having enough parts sourced within the UK and EU is key to a free trade deal.
Brexit has delivered another blow to the struggling UK car industry after the EU rejected a crucial UK plan to avoid tariffs on exports. Ministers had asked for parts brought in from Japan, South Korea or Turkey to be treated as British, to qualify under strict rules-of-origin if a trade agreement is struck. But, in a letter to car bosses, Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator has admitted he has failed to persuade the EU to accept the proposal – and “obviously cannot insist on it”. It means exports now face tariffs unless the majority of their value originates from the UK or EU.
Boris Johnson has been rebuffed by Brussels after making an eleventh hour attempt to break the Brexit logjam with new proposals on limiting state subsidies to ailing British companies. As the latest week of negotiations began, EU sources welcomed the UK’s effort to make a compromise with a submission of a new round of “negotiating papers”, but warned that a large gap remained between the two sides. According to Brussels sources, the UK’s paper on state aid, the most contentious of the outstanding issues, offered to lay out a series of “principles” on controlling domestic subsidies.
URSULA VON DER LEYEN has come under fire today after NINE member states rejected the EU’s draft text on rule on law proceedings in several member states. The EU Commission published its first report on the rule of law proceedings in member states, namely Poland and Hungary. Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Luxembourg and Holland have all called for tougher rule of law proceedings and rejected the council’s draft text.
MICHEL Barnier is “rattled” and under increasing pressure from EU member states to soften his stance on fishing rights, a Brexit strategist has claimed. Lee Rotherham, was speaking after details emerged today about a bold new offer from Boris Johnson aimed at breaking the deadlock over the dispute concerning fisheries, which has overshadowed trade talks so far. And Mr Rotherham – who recently suggested EU leaders might be ready to sideline Mr Barnier in favour of bilateral talks – suggested the move was motivated by a willingness on the part of Mr Johnson to find a workable solution irrespective of the EU chief negotiator’s input.
Britain offered Brussels a three-year transition period on fishing during trade negotiations with the EU, it emerged on Wednesday as the Government hailed a historic fisheries treaty with Norway. UK negotiators submitted plans to gradually scale down EU fishermen’s share of the catch in British waters from 2021 to 2024 in a bid to soothe fears over the impact of Brexit on European coastal communities. In London, it was announced the UK had signed its first fishing agreement since leaving the EU, and its first as an independent coastal state in 40 years.
Britain has offered Brussels a three-year “transition period” on fishing trade in a late bid to break the deadlock in the negotiations, amid further hopes a “basic” deal could be agreed in the coming weeks. UK negotiators handed their EU counterparts plans to scale back European fishing quotas between 2021 and 2024 in an attempt to give foreign fleets more time to adjust to the post-Brexit changes. The offer came as it emerged British car manufacturers could still face higher export tariffs even if there is a Brexit trade deal with the EU, the UK’s lead negotiator admitted in a letter to the car industry.
Britain has offered a three-year transition period for European fishing fleets to allow them to prepare for the post-Brexit changes as part of an 11th-hour deal sweetener. The catches of EU fishermen would be “phased down” between 2021 and 2024 to offer time for European coastal communities to adapt to the changes. The lengthy transition period is contained in a new negotiating paper tabled before the current round of negotiations in Brussels between the teams led by the UK’s chief negotiator, David Frost, and his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier.
Boris Johnson has been warned not to sell out the fishing industry in trade talks with the EU, as it emerged that the UK is offering a three-year transition period for European fleets in the hope of securing a trade deal. Downing Street did not deny reports that a compromise offer put forward by London would allow EU catches in British waters to be “phased down” between 2021 and 2024 to allow time for continental coastal communities to adapt.
Asylum seekers who enter the UK from Europe face being rejected after Brexit under a shake-up planned by Priti Patel. The Home Secretary is proposing legal changes that would mean asylum claims by migrants who come through the EU and enter the UK illegally will be deemed “inadmissible” once the UK finally leaves the EU at the end of this year. The move follows the surge in migrants crossing the Channel on small boats and concern that the immigration and asylum system is “not fit for purpose” with lawful attempts to return applicants to other EU nations “frustrated by repeated legal claims” on human rights or other grounds.
Migrants seeking asylum in Britain would be processed on disused ferries moored off the coast under plans being considered by Downing Street, The Times can disclose. The prime minister wants to deter migrants from making dangerous crossings from France and is working on proposals to “prevent abuse of the system and criminality”. One option being considered is to buy retired ferries and convert them into asylum-processing centres.
Ministers are considering converting disused ferries moored off the coast to process people seeking asylum in the UK, a report says. Record numbers of people crossed the Channel to the UK in small boats last month, despite Home Secretary Priti Patel vowing to stop to the crossings. Labour called the proposal to process people on ferries “unconscionable”. But Downing Street has said it is looking at what other countries do “to inform a plan for the UK.”
If current rates of confirmed Covid-19 infections continue, the UK is on course for around 11,000 new cases a day by mid-October – a fraction of a projection made by the Government’s chief scientists last week, Telegraph analysis has found. Yet the latest data also shows over 10 million people live in areas where the number of new coronavirus cases confirmed each day has already risen faster than the rate used in the scientists’ scenario. Last week at Downing Street chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance presented a scenario in which the number of new confirmed cases could reach close to 50,000 a day across the UK by October 13 if it began doubling every seven days.
Coronavirus admissions to hospital and intensive care units have spiked dramatically in recent weeks, shocking new figures show. Data unveiled by Boris Johnson at a Number 10 press conference showed the number of intensive care admissions rise dramatically in almost every age group and region. At a press conference alongside Chief Medical Office Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance, the Prime Minister said he had announced new lockdown measures last week because the number of Covid patients going into hospital had doubled.
The government’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has warned the UK has a “long winter ahead” as Covid infection rates in local lockdown areas head in the “wrong direction”. He said there has been a “significant rise” in test positivity, despite the new rule of six, with the increase “accelerating quite rapidly” in some areas such as North East and North West England. Infections are rising “rapidly” among the young, he said, but the spread is reaching older, more vulnerable members of the population.
Covid-19 patients are currently occupying fewer than 2 per cent of all hospital beds in England, official data suggests. The most NHS recent snapshot — released three weeks ago — shows just 478 out of 110,000 beds in use were by Covid-19 patients on September 3. This has since risen to 1,883, according to Department of Health data. Health chiefs have yet to update the total beds occupied figure since but it barely changed over the summer. Even at the peak of the crisis in Britain, only a quarter of all beds were occupied by virus patients.
Coronavirus hospital and intensive care are rising among over-65s, government figures show. Data discussed by Boris Johnson and top government scientists at Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing showed hospital admissions rising sharply for over-65s since the end of August. The number of people being admitted into intensive care also rose sharply from mid-September among older age groups.
Britain on Wednesday reported 7,108 new COVID-19 cases, the second day in a row there have been over 7,000 cases as COVID-19 infections spike. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a news conference on COVID-19 later on Wednesday as he grapples with a swiftly spreading second wave of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Lockdown measures are being imposed across the country as the government tries to limit the spread of the virus. Tuesday’s case number of 7,143 was the biggest single daily case total recorded.
The second wave of coronavirus rolling across Europe is still only a tenth of the size of the first, data suggests. Some 300,000 people are being diagnosed with the disease on the continent every week, but scientists estimate that figure was at least 3million back in April. Only 200,000 positive tests were being recorded weekly in spring because of a lack of testing, meaning millions of actual cases went missing. But countries ramped up their swabbing capacity throughout the summer in case of a second wave, in order to get a better grip on the disease.
Boris Johnson has defied calls for an easing of Covid restrictions, insisting the “only way” to fight a second wave of the virus is by making sacrifices which might have to get worse. In a riposte to his critics, the Prime Minister told a Downing Street press conference that “no matter how impatient we may be, how fed up we may become, there is only one way of doing this”. It came after Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, had said it was time to live “without fear” and many Tory MPs warned that lockdowns were damaging the economy.
Coronavirus could be contained in pockets of the country because Britain is not yet seeing the same national outbreak it did in spring, the chief medical officer for England has said. Chris Whitty said that the second wave was looking more localised than the first and illness and deaths could end up “very highly concentrated” in some areas. Boris Johnson said there could be a second national lockdown if that was not the case, urging the country to show “collective forbearance” in sticking to the rules to avoid one.
The second wave of Covid-19 looks like a series of local outbreaks rather than a national resurgence of the epidemic, Boris Johnson and Chris Whitty have suggested in a sign they are leaning against a second England-wide lockdown. The Prime Minister and his top advisers began a new series of regular press conferences on Wednesday by warning that case numbers are “heading in the wrong direction” – even though recent scenarios showing infection rates doubling every week now appear overly pessimistic.
Boris Johnson’s rallying cry to the nation to keep fighting coronavirus has been bolstered by new figures showing the infection rate started slowing after restrictions were tightened. In the strongest evidence yet that local lockdowns are working, results from the largest Covid-19 study in England found the R-rate fell from 1.7 to around 1.1 this month. The director of the study by Imperial College London and Ipsos Mori said the interim findings from 80,000 participants ‘reinforced the need for protective measures’ to help extinguish the virus.
The fragmented system of local lockdowns across the country – which even the Prime Minister has found confusing – is set to be streamlined into a series of tiers, i understands. Ministers and officials are considering plans for a three-tier system which would make it easier for people to follow coronavirus rules. The arrangement could see local areas in England classified from tier one, covering areas with the tightest restrictions like Bolton, to tier two for regions with less tough measures in place, down to level three, which would cover the rest of the country not under local lockdown.
Ministers are to reconsider vitamin D as a potential weapon against Covid-19 after Matt Hancock wrongly claimed that government scientists had run unsuccessful tests. The health secretary told the Commons last week that he had ordered a trial that showed vitamin D did not “appear to have any impact”. Officials now admit that no trials took place. New evidence from Spain suggests that vitamin D, which some scientists believe helps to prevent a fatal overreaction to the virus, could save lives.
Over 650 households quarantined after returning to the UK escaped fines because no one answered the door to police officers or the returning holidaymaker gave a “wrong” address. The 680 households represented nearly one in six – 15 per cent – of the 4,114 homes checked by police since quarantine was introduced in June, according to figures from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) on Wednesday.
The UK’s economic plunge at the peak of coronavirus lockdown was not quite as bad as thought – but still the worst in modern history. Official figures for the fall in GDP during the three months to June have been revised down from 20.4 per cent to 19.8 per cent. However, the scale of the drop still makes it the biggest on record. And the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has also concluded that UK plc performed worse during the first quarter of the year. The economy contracted 2.5 per cent between January and March, compared to previous estimate of 2.2 per cent.
Plastic straws and stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds will today be banned in a major victory for the Mail’s Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign. From now on, it will be illegal for businesses in England to supply the items, many of which find their way into the ocean. An estimated 4.7billion plastic straws, 316million plastic stirrers and 1.8billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds are used in England every year. The Daily Mail has fought for 12 years against plastic waste, helping drive down plastic bag use and campaigning on microbeads.
The delayed ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds comes into force on Thursday as part of efforts to tackle single-use plastic pollution. It will now be illegal for businesses to supply plastic straws, drinks stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds to customers, with exemptions in place to protect disabled people and those with medical conditions who require plastic straws. The Government said it was the latest step in the fight against single-use plastic waste to protect the environment and oceans.
The former head of Britain’s nuclear deterrent is suing Matt Hancock to force the NHS to pay for elderly patients’ long-term health costs. If successful, the threatened judicial review by Rear Admiral Philip Mathias could cost the health service £5 billion in paid back medical fees. The case concerns the failure by local NHS bosses to pay for the continuing healthcare (CHC) of tens of thousands of eligible patients a year. It follows an investigation by The Telegraph which found that officials’ refusal to fund the costs was forcing patients to languish in hospital, or to pay sometimes hundreds of thousands out of their own pockets to manage conditions such as Parkinson’s and dementia.
Video calling has become a staple of staying connected during the pandemic. Even technology’s fiercest critics could not begrudge the industry for making available a mode of communication that made lockdown much easier than it could have been. But despite it being a crutch that so many of us rely upon, it may not be the go-to for long – at least, that’s if you believe Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg. In the future we’re more likely to be wearing a dashing pair of specs kitted out with augmented reality.
The Government is looking to clamp down on so-called “rabbit hutch housing” with new building standards. Homes built using Permitted Development Rights will need to have at least 37m² of floorspace for a new one bed flat with a shower-room, or 39m2 with a bathroom, under new standards announced on Wednesday. It follows concerns that unscrupulous developers were taking advantage of the lower scrutiny of not having to go through the planning process to deliver tiny homes unfit for living.
Developers will be blocked from creating tiny flats in former office buildings dubbed the “slums of the future” after the government announced that it would impose minimum size requirements. A relaxation in planning rules in 2013 paved the way for office blocks to be converted into thousands of flats without any space standards. Some landlords exploited the freedoms to build minuscule, sub-standard flats with limited access to natural light that were often used by councils to house children and vulnerable adults.