THE European Union has struggled to understand it has a “completely unrealistic position” in post-Brexit trade talks amid Boris Johnson’s refusal to “cave in” to its demands, according to a trade law expert. Boris Johnson has taken a different approach to UK-EU talks from the previous Government according to Shanker Singham. The CEO of trade law and economic policy consultancy, Competere, said that the UK will not cave into the EU’s demands and that the Prime Minister has successfully got that across to Michel Barnier. Speaking to Westminster’s Future Relationship with the European Union Committee, Mr Singham said: “I think what was going on in the sort of June/July period was the EU were essentially negotiating with the UK Government as it was prior to the new administration.
BRUSSELS has vowed to shutdown the Calais migrant route after Priti Patel ordered European countries to do more to stop asylum seekers reaching Britain. It was announced as part of the European Commission’s proposed overhaul of the bloc’s failed migration and asylum rules. Under the blueprint, France will be handed greater powers to deport migrants congregating in and around ports on the English Channel. The route has become a key target for people traffickers sending men, women and children on the perilous journey to the south coast.
Protesters have clashed with police at a former army base where migrants will be housed. Residents in Penally, Pembrokeshire, have expressed concerns over plans to bring more than 230 migrants to the village of 800 people. Far-right activists travelled from afar to hold rallies at the camp gates in the village and in the nearby town of Tenby. Police said that about 40 people protested near the camp on Tuesday and a 50-year-old man, who is not from the area, was arrested on suspicion of public order offences.
The first of up to 431 illegal migrants are arriving at a new open camp based at a disused Army barracks in Folkestone, Kent. The asylum seekers are “understood to be migrants who crossed the Channel aboard small boats”, according to the BBC. Chris Philp MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Immigration Compliance at the Priti Patel-led Home Office, said the migrants will be subject to social distancing and “Laundry facilities, food, essentials, and other items are all [being] provided and access to health care… facilitated.”
The Government’s 50,000 coronavirus cases a day projection is likely to be wrong, a leading academic said as she questioned why it had been shown to the public. At a televised press briefing earlier this week, Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific officer, showed a graph indicating what would happen if cases doubled every seven days until mid-October (illustrated below). But Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford, warned that it was impossible to predict that path for the virus.
The Government’s claim Britain could face 50,000 coronavirus infections a day was based on studies involving just hundreds of positive cases, it has been revealed, as debate rages over whether Number 10’s restrictions go far enough in stemming the spread of coronavirus. Sir Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty made the stark forecast on Monday but it has since been decried by experts as ‘implausible’ and ‘designed to scare us’. And even Boris Johnson U-turned from the prediction, admitting to the Commons yesterday that the number of infections may actually only be doubling every 20 days. Advisers have now revealed the Chief Scientific Adviser and Chief Medical Officer’ prediction was based on older studies claiming Covid-19 cases would double every week – a figure from the start of September that is no longer supported by the Government’s own testing data.
Rishi Sunak will on Thursday announce a replacement for the furlough scheme as part of a new economic rescue package to get the country through six more months of Covid restrictions. A wage subsidy scheme will top up the pay of people who work at least half their normal hours in an attempt to avoid mass redundancies when the furlough scheme ends next month. Mr Sunak’s November Budget has been postponed until next year because of the current financial turmoil that saw markets plunge after new nationwide coronavirus restrictions were imposed this week.
Rishi Sunak is unveiling an emergency COVID rescue plan to protect jobs that is expected to include wage subsidies, VAT cuts and more cheap loans for struggling businesses. In a dramatic move, the chancellor has ruled out an autumn budget and instead will launch a “Winter Economy Plan” after MPs and unions warned of the risk of a “tsunami” of job losses. The aim is to help the economy cope with the new coronavirus restrictions announced by Boris Johnson this week, including a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants and ordering office staff to work from home.
Rishi Sunak will unveil a multi-billion pound ‘winter plan’ today with a VAT cut and new ‘flexible furlough’ for staff returning part-time after dire warnings that 540,000 hospitality jobs could be lost. The Chancellor cancelled plans for a full-scale Budget in November, with sources saying it was ‘not the time’ for long-term plans. Instead he will map out an emergency ‘Winter Economy Plan’ today designed to help firms cope with new Covid restrictions which Boris Johnson has warned will last for six months.
Rishi Sunak will announce today a multibillion-pound package of support for the economy in an attempt to avoid mass redundancies this winter. The chancellor’s measures will include wage subsidies for part-time workers, VAT cuts and more loans for struggling businesses. Mr Sunak will set out his “winter economy plan” in the Commons. It is expected to feature a German-style subsidy scheme in the government would help to pay the wages of people returning to work on a part-time basis. The system is designed to encourage companies to keep on workers in viable jobs while ensuring that others are not retained in “zombie posts” that exist only because of the government’s furlough scheme, which ends on October 31.
Rishi Sunak has scrapped his plan for an autumn budget and will announce fresh measures to halt job losses and business failures on Thursday amid government fears that a second wave of Covid-19 threatens Britain with a double-dip recession. The chancellor has decided that the long-term decisions that would have featured in the annual set-piece event must be shelved in order for the Treasury to be able to focus on avoiding a short-term economic crisis. With signs that the summer spurt in growth has proved short lived, Sunak will use his statement to MPs to announce an extension of business loan schemes and a package of employment support to replace the government’s furlough scheme, which is due to end next month.
Test & trace app
Frustrated Britons today took to Twitter to complain that software for the NHS tracing app cannot be downloaded on iPhone 6 or older models – excluding thousands of people from the service. Social media users shared attempts to download the app on their iPhones only to see an error message saying it required iOS 13.5 or later. This operating system can only be used on the iPhone 6S and newer models – excluding any handsets that are more than five years old. The app trialled on the Isle of Wight before being introduced to the mainland ran on the same operating system, meaning officials would have known that it would not work on older models.
Local coronavirus lockdowns are set to be automatically triggered by a three-tier “traffic light” system, with alerts sent directly to people’s mobile phones, The Telegraph can disclose. The planned new approach divides the country into different areas based on local infection rates, which will dictate the severity of local lockdowns. It will work alongside the new NHS Test and Trace app, which sees people scanning a special QR code to enter and exit pubs, restaurants and bars. The app will then send a message to the user about lockdown conditions when the coronavirus risk profile changes.
The public will be told to download a coronavirus tracing app to protect their families today in one of the biggest government advertising campaigns. Attempts will be made to convince people that their risk of infecting vulnerable relatives will be reduced if they use the delayed app, after appeals to civic duty were less effective. However, one in three people told to isolate by the app will have been given a “false positive”, in which it will have wrongly thought that they had been within two metres of an infectious person for 15 minutes.
At least seven million people will need to download the new NHS Test and Trace Covid app for it to start reducing the spread of the virus, according to government estimates. The new smartphone app was finally launched on Thursday, after months of setbacks, to allow users to find out quickly if they have been within close proximity of anyone with coronavirus and whether they need to get a test. It will also allow the public in England and Wales to scan for QR codes in specific locations such as pubs and restaurants, to make it easier if they need to be traced following any outbreaks.
Britons will be urged to download the new NHS Covid-19 tracing app, as it launches today following months of delay and questions over its effectiveness. The latest version of the app will be rolled out across England and Wales and health officials hope it will play a key role in bringing down the surging infection rate. It will use Bluetooth technology to monitor contacts and alert a user if they have been exposed to the virus by coming into contact with an infected person.
Relying on the herd immunity strategy in Britain wouldn’t work because the risk of overwhelming the NHS would be too great, a study suggests. Researchers modelled how the controversial strategy, which was pondered by the UK government in March, would play out in different scenarios. They found letting the virus run rampant with no preventative rules — the simplest way to achieve herd immunity without a vaccine — would lead to too many hospital admissions. Britain would need around 300,000 beds to cope — almost triple the current capacity in hospitals, the team estimated.
Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty asked for help to ‘calm down’ angry academics after facing backlash over the controversial ‘herd immunity’ approach that was discussed in March, emails show. The top experts, who’ve been steering Britain through the Covid-19 crisis, were hounded by fellow scientists for comments they made about the controversial tactic at the start of the pandemic. On at least three occasions, Sir Patrick Vallance, England’s chief scientific adviser, said the aim is to ‘build up some degree of herd immunity’ — when a disease runs out of room and can no longer spread because enough of the population have been exposed to it.
Risks of a double-dip recession in America are receding. Not even Covid-19 can repress the dynamism of US capitalism for long. The eurozone is another matter. The IHS Markit composite survey for September has fallen back to the boom-bust line at just 50.1. Services are in contraction again – even in Germany. The equivalent US index is in rude good health, with business orders rising at the fastest pace in two years. The crowded “long euro” bet against the dollar looks very silly now. Europe’s recovery was already fading before the second wave of Covid-19 struck, a truncated V pregnant with economic, social, and political trauma to come.
The UK’s chief scientific adviser has a £600,000 shareholding in a drugs giant contracted to develop a Covid-19 vaccine for the Government, prompting claims of a potential conflict of interest. Sir Patrick Vallance, who also chairs the Government’s expert advisory panel on vaccines, holds a deferred bonus of 43,111 shares in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) worth £600,000 from his time as president of the multinational drug company, The Telegraph can reveal. He has already cashed in more than £5 million worth of shares he received from the company during his tenure from 2012 until March 2018, when he became the Government’s chief scientific officer.
Sir Patrick Vallance has a £600,000 shareholding in a pharmaceuticals giant which is racing to develop a Covid vaccine for the Government, a report has revealed. The Chief Scientific Adviser holds the deferred bonus of 43,111 shares in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from his time as president of the multinational company. Sir Patrick has already sold more than £5 million in shares he received during his tenure from 2012 to 2018, when he was appointed by the Government. Accounts seen by the Telegraph show that Sir Patrick held 404,201 GSK shares when he resigned, worth £6.1 million at today’s price.
Kent Access Permit
Police patrols will turn away lorries entering Kent without a special access pass to ease border chaos caused by a no-deal Brexit on January 1, the Government admitted for the first time on Wednesday. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove, said police officers and number-plate recognition software would be used to enforce the Kent Access Permit once the transition period finishes at the end of this year. It would minimise the risk of huge queues tailing back from the port of Dover, he said, but critics accused him of creating an “internal border” in the UK. The permit will only be granted to lorries with the correct paperwork necessary to move onto EU territory after the end of transition and once Britain leaves the bloc’s Single Market and Customs Union.
The Government has confirmed it will impose an ‘internal border’ around Kent to prevent lorries without a permit entering the county. It comes amid fears there could be lines of 7,000 trucks at the English Channel and two-day waits to get into France immediately after the UK makes its economic break from the European Union at the end of the year. Minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove, said a ‘Kent-access permit’ would be put in place to prevent blocks at the Channel after Brexit. Conservative former minister and MP for Ashford, Damian Green, said in the Commons today: ‘The prospect of 7,000 trucks queuing to cross the Channel will send a chill through my constituents because we know what effect that has on all the roads in Kent and it’s disastrous.
Police will turn lorries away from Kent unless they have a ‘passport’ to enter when Britain leaves the EU in January, Michael Gove has confirmed. The Cabinet Office Minister said policing and numberplate cameras will be used to enforce the “Kent Access Permit”, which creates an internal border in a bid to prevent queues tailing back from the port of Dover. It comes after Mr Gove warned queues of up to 7,000 trucks were possible when the Brexit transition period comes to an end if hauliers fail to prepare for customs changes. The Cabinet Office minister, who is responsible for no-deal planning, wrote to logistics groups with the Government’s “reasonable worst-case scenario” planning, which warns of possible two-day delays for cargo travelling to France in January.
TRUCKERS could need a permit to enter Kent in the event of chaos in the event of a No Deal. Ministers warned the EU “time is running out” as Michael Gove unveiled measures to ease the pain of a hard Brexit. A traffic nightmare at Dover and Calais could occur if trade talks collapse and tariffs are slapped on goods after December 31. The tailbacks could cause major food and fuel shortages and significant disruption to the economy. A package of plans to soften the blow was proposed today in the shape of the Kent Access Permit system, which could be enforced by cops or cameras monitoring number plates.
Lorries will require a government permit to enter Kent under plans to prevent chaos at cross-Channel sea ports at the end of the year. Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, said that drivers who did not have the correct paperwork to pass French customs could be stopped by police using automatic number-plate recognition technology. They would be turned around and the drivers issued with £300 fines as part of efforts to prevent tailbacks and chaos at ports. Updating MPs on the government’s Brexit preparations, Mr Gove said that in a “reasonable worst-case scenario” only 50 to 70 per cent of large businesses and 20 to 40 per cent of small and medium-size enterprises would be ready for strict EU requirements.
Police will patrol the Kent border to turn away lorries without an “access permit” in a bid to ease Brexit border chaos, it has been revealed. Michael Gove said officers will use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and “other means” to block drivers – in what will be seen as an “internal border” in the UK. The move would try to ensure “constituents are not inconvenienced”, he told MPs, after warning of 7,000-long lorry queues and two-day delays to cross the Channel.
More than one in five Britons are unlikely to accept a jab against Covid-19 amid widespread misinformation about side effects and profiteering, a study has found. Researchers from University College London said that only 49 per cent of people claimed they would be “very likely” to get inoculated once a coronavirus vaccine was approved. The Covid-19 Social Study found that 22 per cent were “unlikely” to do so, of whom almost half were “very unlikely”. Fifteen per cent believed, to varying degrees, that vaccines did not work, and 25 per cent thought that vaccines were used for commercial profiteering. Four per cent “strongly” believed that vaccine programmes were a con by pharmaceutical companies.
Other health problems
Diagnoses of cancer and other life-threatening health conditions dropped off dramatically during the coronavirus lockdown, an alarming study suggests. Between March and May, there were 49 per cent fewer people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than doctors would expect at that time of year and 44 per cent less heart disease cases. Mental health diagnoses also plummeted plummeted by half in the three-month period, while there were 43 per cent fewer patients with respiratory problems.