Brexit 

Express
LORD FROST has unveiled “the next step” in seizing the opportunities of Brexit as ministers prepare to overhaul bureaucratic EU regulations.
A public consultation on bold proposals made by Sir Iain Duncan Smith’s Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGRR) will open on Thursday. The Taskforce made over 100 recommendations to strip back unnecessary red tape and unleash new opportunities from Brexit.
Officials say the proposals will help to free businesses from overbearing bureaucracy and reducing costs for consumers, whilst boosting competition, innovation and growth across the economy.
Lord Frost said: “Now is the time to think boldly about how we regulate, as we seize our new opportunities as an independent nation.
“For the first time in a generation, we are free to implement rules that put the UK first.
“This is the next step in driving forward ambitious reform, following the work of the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform. 

Illegal immigrants 

Mail
France is refusing to turn back migrant boats on their way to Britain despite being paid £54million to tackle the spiralling crisis.
Calais MP Pierre-Henri Dumont revealed ships would not intercept the small vessels but would let them sail through.
He claimed it was not their job to prevent passage under maritime law and said they would only be approached if they asked for help.
A Tory MP said the Government is being ‘fobbed off’ by the French authorities over the migrant crisis in the Channel.
Former minister Tim Loughton said lawyers believe France could stop migrant boats on the water and take them back.
Meanwhile it emerged France will stump up just two officers per mile per day – 200 over 85 miles – to stop boats leaving the shore.
Critics claimed this was akin to about one policeman per mile between Boulogne and Dieppe because otherwise they would be working 24-hour shifts. 

Similar stories can be seen in the Telegraph, Sun, ITV News,  

EU 

Telegraph
The wrong colour of pen, a mispositioned stamp and the dairy content of ice cream: these are just some of the “pointless” reasons trucks are being turned away or severely delayed in Northern Ireland.
On Wednesday, Archie Norman, the chairman of Marks & Spencer, complained that such “pettifogging enforcement” of Brexit rules had forced the retailer to employ 13 full-time vets who were “simply ticking boxes and filling out forms”.
“If one page is blue instead of black typeface, the entire wagon is turned away,” he told Radio Four’s Today Programme.
Norman’s frustrations are being felt among businesses throughout the region who are aghast at the “Kafkaesque” post-Brexit border frictions that are hampering trade.
The EU is running border checks, including in the Republic of Ireland, with an iron fist, rejecting lorries for tiny mistakes, while companies with supply chains spanning from Great Britain to Northern Ireland say they are already facing major disruptions. The situation is set to get even worse in October when a crucial grace period ends.  

A similar story can be seen in the Independent, 

Express
Brussels triggered a fresh Brexit stand-off yesterday after rejecting a plan to protect peace in Northern Ireland. Eurocrats were told they risk food shortages and disorder with tough border checks.
But Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland Secretary, warned: “We cannot go on as we are. We hope the EU will realise this and change course.” He added in the course. ”Writing in the Daily Express he said disruption in the region will only worsen unless changes are made now. He added: “We have tried in good faith to make the protocol work in its current form but these challenges are significant and growing. Put simply, we cannot go on as we are.”
Northern Ireland’s land border with the EU – its border with Ireland – meant that a special protocol was included in the UK’s withdrawal agreement.
To keep the frontier open, the province effectively remains part of the bloc’s single market; checks are made on some products arriving from the rest of the UK.
But the changes are unsustainable and are damaging the fabric of the UK, Brexit minister Lord Frost said yesterday. Mr Lewis and Lord Frost plan to break the deadlock by replacing current rules with a simpler trading system. They want an “honesty box” that would free from checks those regular traders supplying goods only to Northern Ireland.
The Government has not set a deadline for the EU to respond formally as it wants to focus on a solution. But a ban on sausages and other chilled meats is due to be imposed by Brussels at the end of September.  

Similar stories can be seen in the Mail, Times,  

Covid 

Order-Order
Steve Baker has warned the government against acquiescing to “tunnel vision” after Penny Mordaunt floated a review into public guidance in the Autumn.
A written question in the Commons saw Mordaunt commit the government to undertaking a review “to assess the country’s preparedness for autumn and winter”, which poses the possibility of new guidance depending on the state of Covid. Including restrictions such as face masks, and test, trace and isolate…
Responding to Penny’s answer, Baker tells Guido: “As we learn to live with coronavirus like we live with flu, and get on with our lives, it’s vital the Government doesn’t acquiesce into the tunnel vision that has made us sacrifice so much that makes life worth living. We don’t shut schools, pubs and theatres for flu so following the fantastic success of our vaccine rollout, we mustn’t do it for Covid either.”
Given debate is raging about current regulations, it’s interesting to see Baker setting out groundwork opposition to a future return to restrictions many months in advance. 
Guido also questions why the government is planning on assessing the country’s preparedness for Autumn and Winter “in September”. Can you prepare for an event once you’ve already run into the deadline? 

Scotland 

Express
NICOLA STURGEON has been handed a solution to “balance the books” after Scottish independence and rejoin the EU with a project that would be of “mutual interest”.
The leader of the SNP made her intentions to hold a second vote on independence clear to Prime Minister Boris Johnson after securing a fourth consecutive victory in the Scottish election in May. She claimed it “is the will of the country” and warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson against “picking a fight with the democratic wishes of the Scottish people”. In May the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) reported that it would hit the Scottish economy “two to three times” harder than Brexit.Leeds City Council to investigate Parkin links to slavery
But experts at Edinburgh Napier University may have found a way for Mrs Sturgeon to “balance the books”.
Energy formed a key part of the first independence battle as Scotland boasts one of the most favourable conditions in Europe for harvesting wind energy.
In their piece in the Conversation, economists Piotr Marek Jaworski and Kenny Crossan noted: “One major problem is the EU fiscal rules, which require a general budget deficit of no more than three percent of GDP per member (this is temporarily suspended because of COVID).
“In 2019-20, Scotland’s deficit amounted to 6.9 percent if North Sea oil revenues are included (or 7.5 percent without it). This was a considerable improvement on earlier years, but still well above the threshold – and that was before the pandemic. 

Pingdemic 

Mail
Boris Johnson’s Covid quarantine ‘pingdemic’ claimed another political victim today as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was forced to self-isolate – for the fourth time since the global health crisis began. 
One of the Opposition Leader’s children tested positive at lunchtime, the party said, forcing him to take action minutes after he had appeared in the House of Commons to grill the Prime Minister.
With the PM and Chancellor Rishi Sunak already self-isolating after Health Secretary Sajid Javid contracted coronavirus, he makes it three senior politicians having to work remotely because the double-jabbed will not be allowed to avoid quarantine for almost four more weeks.
It came as new pictures today showed aisles at some supermarkets already empty of cheese, meat and fresh vegetables as an expert warned food chains were ‘starting to fail’ due to staff shortages exacerbated by the ‘pingdemic’ – and one police force struggled to answer 999 calls.
Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Lidl and Morrisons stores in Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh and Southampton were seen with significant gaps on the shelves in sections including frozen fish, pizzas, bottled water, ice creams and packaged salads.
The images will raise concerns that a lack of supermarket staff and delivery drivers are leading to delays in replenishing product lines, although it is likely that many of these products are in higher demand in the summer, while other shoppers reported plentiful supplies. 

Similar stories can be seen in the Telegraph, Sun, Times 

NHS 

Mail
A three per cent pay rise for NHS workers will be paid for out of a National Insurance rise that was earmarked for a revolution in social care, reports say.
The estimated £1.5billion is reportedly going to be pulled from the new health and social care tax, which will be brought in next year.
NHS staff in England will get a pay rise of three per cent for their efforts during the pandemic but police officers and other public servants will be hit with pay freezes, the government revealed last night.
Those who will benefit from the health service pay boost include nurses, paramedics, consultants, dentists and salaried GPs, as well as domestic staff and other support workers.
They are being recognised for their ‘extraordinary efforts’ during an ‘unprecedented year’, the Department of Health and Social Care said.
Minsters have U-turned on their original one per cent pay rise offer to health staff in March, which at the time was slammed by trade unions as ‘slap in the face’ after two waves of coronavirus.
Officials said the pay bump will mean an additional £1,000 a year for the average nurse, while porters and cleaners will receive around £540. But the pay will only be backdated until this April.
Furious unions have demanded a rise of at least five per cent, with surgeons and senior doctors threatening to strike for the first time in decades if demands are not met. 

Similar stories can be seen in the Guardian, Independent, Times, Evening Standard, ITV News 

Vaccine passport 

Express
BORIS JOHNSON is facing defeat in the Commons after Starmer’s Labour announced they will oppose the Government’s vaccine passport plans.
The Prime Minister looks set to be defeated when his vaccine passport proposals reach the Lower House. The Labour Party has said it will not support the measures and Starmer’s party warned using Covid passports would be “costly”, “impractical” and even “open to fraud”.
A spokesman from Southside said: “Testing for access to venues would be more efficient, and would give people and businesses more certainty.”
Boris Johnson currently holds a 80 seat majority in the House of Commons but a rebellion on the Tory backbenches could see this be overturned.
At least 42 Conservatives have signed a petition opposing the use of Covid certification and could therefore confound the Prime Minister to a Commons defeat.
A number of Tory MPs have even threatened to boycott the Conservative Party conference in October in protest against any legislation on vaccine passports. 

Similar stories can be seen in the Mail, Telegraph, Times, Breitbart, 

Olympics 

Independent
The Tokyo Olympics continues today with softball on the agenda, while Germany meeting Brazil in Yokohama headlining a busy day of men’s football too. However the build-up continues to be overshadowed by news of emerging Covid cases among athletes and officials at the Games ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony.
Tokyo’s coronavirus infections surged to a six-month high on Wednesday with the host city logging 1,832 new cases just two days before the officially Games open. There have been a number of athletes reporting positive cases forcing them into isolation and potentially ending their hopes of competing, while the highly promising Team GB skeet shooter Amber Hill tested positive shortly before her flight and the “devastated” 23-year-old has been forced to stay at home.
The action started yesterday, when Great Britain opened the women’s football competition with a comfortable 2-0 win over Chile in Sapporo. A double from striker Ellen White secured the win and there were plenty of positives for head coach Hege Riise as Team GB opened their tournament with three points. The first big shock of the Games came shortly afterwards as the reigning world champions USA were humbled 3-0 by Sweden in Tokyo, as their 44-game unbeaten run came to an end. 

Similar stories can be seen in the Mirror, BBC News, 

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