Brexit

Telegraph
Boris Johnson has been given 30 days to come up with a solution to the Northern Irish backstop and forge a new Brexit deal with the European Union. Angela Merkel suggested she would be willing to ditch the controversial backstop if the UK can agree a suitable alternative by Sept 20. The Prime Minister said he was “more than happy” with the German Chancellor’s suggestion and said Brexit talks “can finally begin”. Ms Merkel’s comments were seen as a victory for Mr Johnson on his first trip abroad as Prime Minister, ahead of a meeting with Emmanuel Macron on Thursday and the G7 summit this weekend.

Mirror
Angela Merkel has handed Boris Johnson a 30-day ultimatum to solve the Brexit backstop row – or crash Britain out without a deal. Johnson reiterated his objection to the Northern Ireland backstop as he arrived for his first overseas trip as PM.  He said: “Clearly we cannot accept the current Withdrawal Agreement, arrangements that either divide the UK or lock us into the regulatory and trading arrangements of the EU.

Times
Angela Merkel suggested last night that it was still possible to avoid a no-deal Brexit, challenging Boris Johnson to come up with an alternative to the Irish backstop within 30 days. The German chancellor said that the time had come for Britain to put its proposals forward and pledged to “put our all” into solving the impasse. The prime minister praised the “blistering” pace of Mrs Merkel’s timetable at a joint appearance in Berlin before a working dinner.

Guardian
Angela Merkel has challenged Boris Johnson to come up with a solution to avert a no-deal Brexit “in the next 30 days”, putting responsibility for stopping the UK crashing out of the EU firmly at the British prime minister’s door. After weeks of diplomatic tension, the German chancellor used her first face-to-face meeting with her UK counterpart on Wednesday to emphasise that Britain still has the power to resolve the crisis, suggesting that the backstop was “a placeholder that will no longer be necessary” if a solution to the impasse over the Irish border can be found.

Mail
Angela Merkel delivered a Brexit boost to Boris Johnson today as she said ditching the backstop was possible if the UK can come forward with practical and workable alternatives within the next 30 days as she also insisted Germany is ready for a No Deal split.  The German Chancellor said if the UK could solve the ‘conundrum’ of the Irish border protocol then she would be willing to listen to the proposals.

Sun
BORIS Johnson got a huge Brexit boost from Angela Merkel as she suggested it was possible to get a new Irish border solution in the next 30 days. The PM’s first overseas trip got off to a flying start as the German Chancellor gave him a deadline to come up with fresh ideas to replace the controversial backstop. Mrs Merkel rolled the red carpet out for Boris Johnson tonight as the new PM made his debut on the world stage.

Reuters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested on Wednesday that Britain and the EU could find a solution to the sticking point of the Irish backstop in the next 30 days, a possible signal she is willing to compromise with Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The so-called backstop, which Johnson wants removed from the Brexit deal agreed between the EU and his predecessor, would require Britain to obey some EU rules if no other way could be found to keep the land border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland invisible.

ITV News
Angela Merkel has told Boris Johnson a solution to the Northern Irish backstop could be found in the “next 30 days” after the PM demanded it be removed from the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. Mr Johnson said the “onus is on us” to produce solutions for the Northern Irish border and he welcomed a “blistering timetable of 30 days” to come up with the answers. On his first foreign trip as Prime Minister, Mr Johnson said there was “ample scope” to achieve a deal with the EU but only if it dropped the backstop.

Express
BORIS JOHNSON mocked Angela Merkel during a press conference in Berlin while standing next to the German Chancellor, causing some members of the audience to erupt with laughter. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sparked laughter from some members of the press in Berlin on Wednesday as he repeated a German phrase. The phrase, “Wir schaffen das”, is associated with remarks made by the German Chancellor in 2015, when discussing how Germany would cope with the migration crisis.

Irish backstop

Telegraph
Boris Johnson wants to replace the Northern Ireland backstop  with new alternative arrangements including mobile examinations on livestock and crops, trusted trader schemes and electronic customs clearance checks. The Prime Minister said ahead of talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel that he was looking at measures proposed in a detailed 270 page report drawn up by Greg Hands, a former Tory minister, and Nicky Morgan, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport secretary.

BBC News
Boris Johnson is to meet Emmanuel Macron later, hours after the French president seemed to downplay hopes of solving the Irish backstop problem. On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested a solution to the backstop – a key Brexit sticking point – might be achievable within 30 days. The PM said he was “more than happy” with that “blistering timetable”.

Express
ARLENE Foster has delivered a withering rebuke to Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar over his insistence that the backstop arrangement for the Irish border must be retained – with the DUP leader pointing out: “He would say that wouldn’t he?” Mr Varadkar spoke to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson by telephone for more than an hour yesterday. During their conversation, Mr Johnson told his counterpart the existing withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May would never pass the House of Commons.

Conservative Party

Mail
Boris Johnson‘s election as leader of the Conservatives has delivered a massive opinion poll boost to the Tories while support for Labour and the Brexit Party has gone backwards, new data suggests.  A survey conducted by KantarTNS between August 15 and 19 puts the Tories on 42 per cent – 17 points higher than the company’s last poll in May.  Meanwhile, Labour is on 28 per cent – six points lower than in May – while the Brexit Party is on just five per cent – five points lower than the last poll.

The Great Political Realignment

Telegraph
Jeremy Corbyn has invited senior politicians including several Conservative MPs to a meeting to discuss averting a no-deal Brexit next week. The news came as a senior Tory Brexiteer warned Boris Johnson that removing the Northern Ireland backstop from Britain’s Brexit deal will not be enough to win the support of hardline Eurosceptic Tory MPs. In the letter, Mr Corbyn said: “The country is heading into a constitutional and political storm, so it is vital that we meet urgently, before Parliament returns.

Guardian
Jeremy Corbyn will gather opposition leaders and Tory rebels at a meeting in parliament next week to discuss the fight against a no-deal Brexit, amid continuing splits over tactics to prevent Boris Johnson leading a crash-out from the EU on 31 October. The Labour leader invited SNP, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru, Conservative and independent MPs to visit his office on Tuesday, as he urged them to talk about “all tactics available to prevent no deal”.

Sky News
Jeremy Corbyn has invited the leaders of other political parties from across parliament to an urgent meeting to discuss “all tactics available” to prevent a no-deal Brexit. The Labour leader has also invited senior backbenchers in a bid to stop the UK “heading into a constitutional and political storm”. In a letter, he urged MPs to work with him to “do everything we can” to stop Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal.

iNews
Jeremy Corbyn has invited senior MPs from opposition parties to an “urgent” meeting to discuss the options available to Parliament to stop a no-deal Brexit. The Labour leader called on opponents of a disorderly exit to meet next week to look at “all tactics available to prevent a no-deal Brexit”. In a letter, Mr Corbyn said: “The country is heading into a constitutional and political storm, so it is vital that we meet urgently, before Parliament returns.

ITV News
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has invited senior politicians to a meeting to discuss averting a no-deal Brexit. In a letter, Mr Corbyn said: “The country is heading into a constitutional and political storm, so it is vital that we meet urgently, before Parliament returns. “The chaos and dislocation of Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit is real and threatening, as the Government’s leaked Operation Yellowhammer dossier makes crystal clear.

Express
JEREMY CORBYN has called an urgent meeting with the leaders of other political parties and senior backbenchers from across Parliament to discuss “all tactics available to prevent no deal” while Boris Johnson is negotiating his Brexit deal with Angela Merkel in Berlin. In a letter, Mr Corbyn said: “The country is heading into a constitutional and political storm, so it is vital that we meet urgently, before Parliament returns.

Mail
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has invited senior politicians to a meeting to discuss averting a no-deal Brexit. In a letter, Mr Corbyn said: ‘The country is heading into a constitutional and political storm, so it is vital that we meet urgently, before Parliament returns. ‘The chaos and dislocation of Boris Johnson‘s no-deal Brexit is real and threatening, as the Government’s leaked Operation Yellowhammer dossier makes crystal clear.

EU

Independent
Ireland‘s EU commissioner has launched a scathing attack on Boris Johnson, accusing the “unelected prime minister” of “gambling” with the Irish peace process. Phil Hogan said the prime minister was putting “the best interests of the Tory party ahead of the best interests of the UK” and had “stacked his cabinet with a ‘hard Brexit dream team’”.  The criticism of the nature of Mr Johnson’s election comes after he described the Irish backstop as “undemocratic” in a letter to EU leaders.

Express
BREXIT will happen on October 31 – “do or die”, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. With the Government stepping up measures to prepare for a no deal scenario and Mr Johnson in Berlin for last-ditch talks with Angela, will the EU ever renegotiate? This week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk saying, over four pages, that in order for the UK to leave the EU with a deal, the Brexit backstop must be scrapped.

Breitbart
While European leaders rebuff UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attempts to achieve a last-minute Brexit deal, the French government now expects the United Kingdom to depart the European Union without any deal at all on October 31st. Several sources including Bloomberg cited an unnamed French diplomat who said Wednesday that the position of his government was that Britain is now expected to leave the European Union without a deal, calling that the “central scenario” for which they are planning.

Evening Standard
France believes Britain crashing out of the European Union without a deal is the most likely outcome after Boris Johnson demanded the Irish backstop be dropped, officials have said. Ahead of a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said the Irish backstop was “anti-democratic” and demanded its removal from the divorce deal. Responding to Mr Johnson’s remarks, an official in Mr Macron’s office said: “The scenario that is now becoming the most likely is the no-deal scenario.

Elections

Independent
England has large areas of “democracy deserts” and had the “wrong winners” in 17 local authorities, according to a new study of 2019 election results. With speculation mounting in Westminster at the prospect of an early general election, the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) reiterated its call for the “warped” first-past-the-post system used in national elections to be scrapped. The Denied Democracy report, auditing votes held in 2019, including the local elections and European elections, claims voters are eager to “shop around” at the ballot box but are prevented by the current system.

Migration

Mail
The number of EU citizens moving to the UK is higher than previously thought, the Office for National Statistics said today as it revealed it had under-estimated net migration from the continent.  The ONS said the error affected figures on the number of migrants coming from the so-called EU8 countries – like Poland, Estonia and Hungary – before March 2016.  However, the ONS also said it had over-stated migration from countries outside the EU.

BBC News
The level of migration from the EU to the UK has been underestimated by the Office for National Statistics from the mid-2000s to 2016. The ONS said the error affected the number of migrants from eight of the countries which joined the EU in 2004, including Poland. It said it may have also overstated migration from non-EU countries. As a result, the status of the immigration figures compiled by the ONS has been downgraded to “experimental”. Immigration experts at the University of Oxford said the latest ONS analysis showed official data has been “systematically underestimating net migration from EU countries”.

Times
Long-term migration from the EU has been underestimated by as much as a quarter of a million people, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday, leading to claims that the figures should not have been relied on to set policy.  The ONS said that the error affected the number of migrants coming from eight eastern European states before March 2016, which means that the official immigration measure is to be downgraded to “experimental” statistic status.

Climate change

Mail
Fears over climate change have reached record levels – with 85 per cent of adults in the UK now ‘concerned’ about global warming in a poll. This is the highest figure since pollster IPSOS Mori first asked the question in 2005.  The fears are seen as a response to the record temperatures in July and what is predicted to be the UK’s wettest ever August.  The proportion of people ‘very concerned’ by climate change has jumped to a record 52 per cent, up from 18 per cent five years ago, the London Evening Standard poll revealed.

NHS

Independent
NHS chiefs have been ordered to repeat Boris Johnson’s claim that a no-deal Brexit must be carried out in October if necessary, in a controversial government memo. All communications sent by NHS England and other agencies must be “aligned to this script” and Downing Street’s weekly “top lines”, it says. The briefing sets out the prime minister’s insistence that “we will have to leave with no deal” if the EU continues to refuse to make concessions on the divorce deal he has rejected.

Times
NHS trusts have resorted to increasing salaries for doctors facing tax bills over their pensions to try to prevent a winter staffing crisis, according to a report. Some hospitals are already paying for expensive cover to fill staff gaps and said that government “inaction” was forcing them to come up with local solutions, the BMJ has found. Government changes to pension rules mean that higher earners face tax bills if they have paid too much into their pension in a year or over a lifetime.

Education

Mail
Tough new teacher training will be implemented in schools to deal with badly-behaved pupils, the Education Secretary will announce today. Gavin Williamson is set to launch a review into how schools can work on stricter behaviour strategies to reduce the number of pupils being excluded. ‘Top of my list will be to give teachers the support they need to tackle poor behaviour,’ he wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

Times
State schools are demanding top GCSE grades to enter sixth form and rejecting teenagers who do not meet conditional offers. Some comprehensives take only pupils with impressive grades into their sixth form. Others that select at 11 and have high GCSE requirements are setting sixth-form entrance exams. One grammar gives candidates until midday today to apply if they do not have a conditional offer and advises those with offers to keep their phones on or places could be withdrawn.

Mail
Pupils are braced for the toughest GCSE results day to date with fewer than 1,000 expected to achieve the clean sweep of top grades favoured by Oxbridge. Half a million 16-year-olds will today collect their results after becoming the first year-group whose exams were almost all in the tougher new format. The content has been made more challenging, with less coursework, and exams at the end of the two-year courses, rather than throughout.

HS2

Telegraph
HS2 could be scrapped, the Government suggested on Wednesday, as it launched an independent review into the controversial rail project. The launch of the review, which will consider whether the rail line should be scaled back or scrapped completely, comes just days after senior Downing Street aides discussed mothballing it before a potential snap election. Conservative MPs welcomed the announcement and claimed that scrapping HS2 would hand Mr Johnson a major boost in key marginal seats should he choose to go to the country.

Times
Boris Johnson’s most senior aide described HS2 as a “disaster zone” only days before the prime minister announced a review into whether it should be scaled back or scrapped entirely. Dominic Cummings, former head of Vote Leave, raised concerns about the multibillion-pound high-speed rail project on Friday as he asked government advisers to highlight wasteful policies that could be cut.

Sun
BORIS Johnson will decide this year whether to scrap the controversial High Speed 2 rail line – as he orders a fresh review today. The PM said earlier this year he thought the costs could spiral to north of £100billion and he wanted a “short review” into whether it would be worth it. The route for the new high-speed rail line will go through his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency and infuriated locals are demanding it be ditched.

Mail
The future of the HS2 high-speed rail project was thrown into doubt yesterday as the Government warned it could be scrapped or dramatically scaled back. Announcing an ‘independent and rigorous’ review into the scheme, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said ‘clear evidence’ was needed before a decision could be made on whether to go ahead. With £6.6billion already spent without a single piece of track being laid, ministers have given up hope of sticking to the £56billion budget – and Boris Johnson recently admitted it could be ‘north of £100billion’.

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