BRITONS have expressed their rage at French fishermen blocked from UK waters who have threatened to set fire to British boats. Furious social media users have taken to Facebook to express their anger at threats made by French fishermen to the British amid a heated row over UK waters that has seen EU boats excluded for the first time in decades. One commenter said: “This is the real reason they didn’t want us to leave because they never had to ask they just took what they wanted now it’s a different matter!” A second said: “Tell the french fisherman to get stuffed.” Another added: “Just the sort of thing dictators would do selfish Instead of blaming them selves and their governments for over fishing there own waters but we won’t take laying down.” A fourth added: “It’s best if we deploy the navy to keep our boat’s safe.” Another said: “Brussels can go sling its hook into their own waters. And leave ours the hell alone!”
Britain is today bolstering the ranks of its fishing police force ahead of a potential showdown with the European Union over post-Brexit access to UK waters. Fishing rights have already emerged as one of the key battlegrounds in future partnership talks between the UK and the EU. Brussels is adamant that there must be ‘reciprocal access’ on fishing so that existing arrangements which allow European trawlers to fish near the UK can continue. But the government is equally adamant that who fishes in British waters will solely be a decision for ministers and priority will be given to British boats.
Britain has been quietly increasing its maritime defences in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the “cod wars” of the 1970s once the UK fully completes its departure from the EU at the end of 2020. With a post-Brexit deal on fishing to be negotiated, maritime authorities are taking on two new inspection ships, according to recent parliamentary answers – and will have more than twice the number of Royal Navy patrol ships by the end of the year. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs has said that it wants “a relationship with the EU based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals”, but has ramped up preparations in case talks with Brussels break down.
Ministers are getting ready to triple the number of boats in Britain’s fisheries protection squadron to police territorial waters in the event of a no-trade-deal Brexit. The government has already given the go-ahead to hire two more maritime protection ships and two aerial surveillance aircraft to be operational by the end of the year. The Royal Navy’s fishery patrol squadron at present has five offshore patrol vessels and one helicopter. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has also recruited 30 extra fishery enforcement officers to inspect fishing vessels and make sure they have the right to be in UK waters.
NAVY patrols to protect Britain’s fishing waters are to be expanded following the escalating row with the EU over access to coastal waters, Whitehall sources have indicated. Ministers are understood to have ordered the hiring of two ships to strengthen the Navy’s Fishery Protection Squadron. A further 22 smaller vessels were also said to have been put on standby to support the force. And more than 30 extra enforcement officers are reported to have been recruited to inspect fishing vessels and make sure they have the right to be fishing in the seas around the UK.
TALKS on an early trade deal with Australia will begin today as Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab lands in Canberra. The government wants to build on existing business links, which are worth more than £18 billion. Mr Raab is on a whistle-stop tour of the Asia-Pacific region following the UK’s departure from the EU last week, including stops in Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. He will meet Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison and as well as trade and foreign ministers. “The UK and Australia have a unique friendship, with shared history, culture and values,” the Foreign Secretary said.
Dominic Raab has flown to the other side of the globe on his first post-Brexit trip to begin talks on a fresh drive for free trade deals with countries outside the EU. The Foreign Secretary’s first stop was Austalia’s capital, Canberra, where he and his Australian counterpart reaffirmed their commitments to start negotiations on a bilateral agreement “as soon as possible”. Mr Raab said he hoped the country would be part of Britain’s “first wave” of “high priority” deals being chased after its official divorce from the bloc on January 31.
A Brussels crackdown on contactless payments could cause mass confusion for millions of customers and trigger a €57bn (£48bn) hit to businesses across Europe, experts have warned. The new Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) rules require banks to verify a customer’s identity every time they make payments totalling €100 (£85). It means that if customers breach this limit through repeated contactless card payments, they will be forced to type their pin into a machine. There are fears that the changes – which have already been introduced by Britain’s biggest banks – will baffle customers, meaning many walk away rather than paying.
European police and courts will be barred from cooperating with their British counterparts if Boris Johnson follows through on his threat to water down human rights law, Brussels has said. The European Commission has made human rights a red line in negotiations with the UK and said any security agreement would include an “automatic termination” clause tied to the UK keeping the Human Rights Act. It was reported on Wednesday that the prime minister is planning to rewrite the 1998 Act and potentially even suspend the UK’s membership of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), using a recent stabbing in South London as his pretext.
Calais is seeking authorisation to become a duty-free zone in an attempt to lure British shoppers after Brexit. Duty-free shopping could return on ferries between Britain and France for the first time since 1999. The prospect has left Natacha Bouchart, the mayor of Calais, anticipating a revival of the booze cruise. She wants to ensure that those on a day trip from Britain do not just buy wine, beer and cigarettes while on ferries but continue their shopping in Calais.
The taboo that has kept the far right out of German government for 75 years was broken yesterday when ultra-nationalists emerged for the first time as the kingmakers in a regional parliament. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party rejoiced after its support swept a liberal politician into power in the central state of Thuringia, leaving him heavily dependent upon its approval. The repercussions shook Berlin as Angela Merkel’s party came under pressure to explain how it had allowed the AfD such a significant breakthrough.
Down one country with the departure of Britain, the European Union’s executive proposed a new system for adding members in a move made all the more urgent by French objections to open enlargement talks with two Western Balkan nations. The European Commission hopes the streamlined rules will avoid further delaying the start of accession negotiations when aspiring members to what is now the 27-country bloc have met the conditions for such talks. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday the proposal was a “good message” to North Macedonia and Albania, who were both desperately disappointed when their hopes for the swift commencement of accession negotiations were rebuffed in October.
UK ministers will rush in emergency laws restricting terrorists’ release from jail by February 27. It’s understood the date is exactly one day before the next terror offender is due to be released on February 28 – with five more due for release in March. Today’s announcement leaves Boris Johnson in a race against time to rush the laws through – and will act as a threat to the House of Lords not to stall the process. A Whitehall official said: “If the legislation is passed by February 27 we can prevent the automatic release of any further terrorist suspects who might pose a threat to the public.”
MINISTERS are in a race against time to rush through emergency terror laws within 21 days to stop the next terror convict from being released on Britain’s streets. The Sun can reveal that the next terror offender due for automatic early release is Mohammed Zahir Khan on February 28. That has given the Government a deadline of February 27 to pass the emergency legislation they are rushing through Parliament to end the automatic release for all current terror prisoners. Boris Johnson announced the emergency legislation in the wake of Sunday’s Streatham stabbing spree from Sudesh Amman, who was released automatically last month despite authorities having serious concerns about him.
The Government faces a race against time to pass emergency laws following the Streatham terrorist attack. Ministers have just over 20 days to rush the Bill through Parliament. If they don’t, six more dangerous terrorists will be set free on our streets under automatic release rules. A Whitehall official said: “If the legislation is passed by February 27 we can prevent the automatic release of any further terrorist suspects who might pose a threat to the public.” It is understood that one offender is due for release on February 28, with around five expected to be let out in March unless the new law is in force.
Boris Johnson has nominated two men he kicked out of the Tories in the Commons for opposing him on Brexit for seats in the Lords, the BBC has learned. Former Chancellors Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond had the Conservative whip withdrawn last year for attempting to block a no-deal Brexit. They have now stood down as MPs but have continued to be critical of the prime minister’s policies. The nomination and vetting process for new peers is not yet complete.
The European Union may be delaying the UK’s response to the coronavirus outbreak with officials poised to ban all direct flights from China and turn away foreign nationals who have been to the disease-stricken country within the last 14 days. Scores of passengers fleeing the coronavirus-hit country have been pouring into Britain every day without being properly screened or tested for the virus, prompting calls for a blanket travel ban similar to that imposed by the US, Australia and New Zealand. But the UK is still thought to be bound to EU immigration laws and obligated to fall in line with any decisions on travel restrictions made by the bloc, despite having technically left on January 31.
All NHS hospitals in England have been ordered to create secure pods to assess patients with suspected coronavirus, to avoid A&E departments becoming deluged. Hospitals have been told to create “coronavirus priority assessment pods” in a bid to avoid a “surge in emergency departments”. The letter, sent last week, instructs all chief executives and medical directors to have the pods up and running by this Friday. In the letter, Professor Keith Willet, who is leading the NHS’s response to coronavirus, tells NHS managers: “Plans have been developed to avoid a surge in emergency departments due to coronavirus.
All NHS hospitals in England must have cordoned off coronavirus testing areas, according to leaked documents. Emergency departments have been told they should have isolated ‘assessment pods’ ready to use by this Friday, February 7, it is reported. From inside the pods patients will be told to phone the NHS 111 helpline and then assessed and the A&E staff updated by phone and warned if they need testing. The Chinese coronavirus, which spreads through coughs and sneezes, has now infected almost 25,000 people in more than 25 countries and killed 493, with the vast majority of patients in China.
Hospitals across the UK have been told to create “priority assessment pods” to isolate people suspected of carrying coronavirus from other patients. A letter from Professor Keith Willett, NHS strategic incident director for coronavirus, said the plans were necessary to avoid a “surge in emergency departments.” Patients who think they may have coronavirus symptoms would be directed away from A&E and towards one of the pods, where they could contact specialists on a dedicated phone line.
CORONAVIRUS panic has hit a cruise liner in Hong Kong after thirty crew members showed signs of the deadly virus. More than 1,800 people on the World Dream ship are now being tested after the boat was blocked from entering the Taiwan port of Kaohsiung yesterday. Yesterday, Hong Kong reported its first virus-related death and confirmed 18 cases, including at least four that were transmitted locally. Vincent Lee, Breaking News Editor for Reuters, tweeted this morning: “Hong Kong Health Dept says 30 crew members on cruise ship of 1,800 passengers said they had symptoms including fever.”
The workshop of the world is closed. China is on a total-war footing. The Communist Party has evoked the ‘spirit of 1937’ and mobilized all the instruments of its totalitarian surveillance system to fight both the Coronavirus, and the truth. Make GDP forecasts if you dare. As of this week two-thirds of the Chinese economy remains shut. Over 80pc of its manufacturing industry is closed, rising to 90pc for exporters. The Chinese economy is 17pc of the world economy and deeply-integrated into international supply chains.
Anyone found guilty of animal cruelty could face up to five years in jail under a proposed new law for tougher sentences after an outcry from campaigners. The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill would increase the maximum sentences for the most serious cruelty from the current six months to five years. The proposed law has been introduced by the new Conservative MP for West Dorset Chris Loder, who said he wanted to take action after finding a dog abandoned by the roadside which he went on to adopt. It would carry tougher sentences for those who organise dog fighting, cruel treatment of pets and gross neglect of farm animals.
One in eight cases of cancer may be triggered by viruses and could be prevented by vaccination, a new study suggests. Researchers from the University of East Anglia, and global partners, analysed the DNA of more than 2,600 tumour samples, from 38 different types of cancer. They found traces of viruses in 13 per cent of the samples, and also discovered ways by which they could have triggered carcinogenic mutations. It was known that some types of virus cause cancer, such as HPV sparking cervical cancer, and the presence of Helicobacter pylori in the digestive tract leading to stomach ulcers and possibly stomach cancer.
Cancers could be diagnosed and treated decades before symptoms appear after a landmark study that reveals the genetic errors behind the disease. The research suggests that cancers that strike late in adulthood can be predicted through DNA mutations that appear as early as childhood. Certain types of tumour, including ovarian cancer and an aggressive type of brain cancer, could ultimately be identified — and perhaps eradicated — long before patients fall ill, the scientists behind the work said yesterday. The findings, which involved 1,300 researchers, were the culmination of a decade-long collaboration that explored the entire cancer genome.
CANCER vaccines could save thousands of lives in future after scientists identified viruses that may trigger the disease. Jabs could be developed to attack the 11 newly-discovered pathogens the experts say play a role in one in eight tumours. Around 47,000 Brits a year could benefit as there are 363,000 cancer diagnoses annually. Experts arrived at the findings by analysing tumour DNA. It was the first study of most types of cancer for viruses. University of East Anglia expert Dr Daniel Brewer said: “There is strong evidence that viruses play a role in the development of cancer.
Middle-class families who pay for care homes are increasingly subsidising those who can’t afford to pay their own fees, an official analysis indicated yesterday. The report found that fees paid privately rose by more than 18 per cent over five years – a third more than the increase in the cost to taxpayers of state-funded care. At the same time, the report by the Office for National Statistics found that the quality of care is falling. It comes as ministers prepare to launch reforms of the social care system promised in the Tory election campaign – including a pledge that no-one will have to sell their house to pay for a care home place.
Nearly one teacher in four now works part-time as schools embrace flexible hours – and even job-sharing heads. The Government’s teaching vacancies service said more than one job in ten that it advertises is now a flexible role. There has been an 11 per cent rise in part-time teachers since 2010. The Department for Education wants all schools to consider offering flexible jobs. The trend has been welcomed as a way to help schools retain top teaching talent and attract career-changers.
Plans to replace the television licence fee could force the BBC to compete with commercial broadcasters for money to make public service programmes. Baroness Morgan of Cotes, the culture secretary, announced yesterday that the government would launch a detailed and “open-minded” review of the BBC’s long-term funding model. The licence-fee system could be scrapped or radically reformed in 2027, when the BBC’s royal charter expires. Ministers are already considering alternative ways of supporting public service broadcasting.
Climate change conference
Allies of Theresa May are lobbying for her to head this year’s United Nations climate change conference, arguing she “has the stature” for the role. The former Prime Minister’s name has been put forward in Westminster after it emerged David Cameron and Lord Hague had both turned down the job. A former minister yesterday told Tory MPs that Mrs May would be a fitting successor to Claire Perry O’Neill, who was last week fired as COP26 president. While Prime Minister, Mrs May put the 2050 net-zero target into law and spoke of the “moral duty to leave this world in a better condition than what we inherited”.