European Union governments want the power to suspend any future agreement made with the UK after the negotiation of a new free trade deal as part of its “toolbox” of punitive measures against Britain after Brexit. The move could give Brussels the power to prevent British airlines landing in EU airports on their way to non-EU destinations or restrict cabotage rights, if deals on those issues are struck after the end of this year and if Britain ignores rulings by a dispute panel overseeing the future partnership. The push is designed to stiffen the European Commission’s resolve in the face of British resistance to any form of dispute resolution that cuts across different sectors. The British government is understood to prefer a series of sector-specific deals rather than an umbrella structure covering all deals and allowing for cross-sectoral retaliation. EU member states widened the scope of the draft system for dispute resolution to include the future supplementary deals, as well as the powers to impose fines and freeze parts of the association agreement that Brussels wants to form the basis of the future trading agreement. The commission has already said it will reserve the right to issue fines and suspend parts of the overarching legal framework for the future relationship if a UK-EU dispute escalates in an earlier draft of the EU negotiating mandate for trade talks.
THE EU has drawn up a raft of “punitive measures” to suspend any future agreement with the UK which could put holidaymakers at risk. According to The Daily Telegraph, the list of measures against Britain post-Brexit could see Brussels the power to prevent British airlines from touching down in EU airports en route to non-EU destinations.
Boris Johnson will unveil a £5 billion transformation of the nation’s bus services today as he also gives the go-ahead for a slimmed-down version of HS2. The Government will buy 4,000 zero-emission buses as part of a plan to bring a “London standard” of service to the rest of the country with more frequent services, better routes and cleaner vehicles. The five-year funding package, believed to be the biggest ever one-off investment in regional bus services, will include fare caps and more “turn up and go” routes where buses are so frequent that passengers do not need to rely on timetables. Mr Johnson hopes the extra money for buses over the next five years – a 50 per cent increase on local transport spending in England – will help to appease opponents of the £106bn HS2 scheme.
Boris Johnson is to announce a £5 billion increase in funding for buses and cyclists in an attempt to deliver an immediate boost for new Tory voters. The £1 billion-a-year upgrade for every region outside London will lead to cheaper fares as well as more frequent and greener services, the prime minister will say today. The announcement comes as the government prepares to give the green light for the HS2 rail line.
Boris Johnson is heading for a rebellion by up to 60 Conservative MPs by giving the go-ahead for the controversial £100bn flagship rail project, HS2. The hugely expensive scheme is expected to be approved at a special meeting of the cabinet and then the prime minister will announce the decision in a statement in the Commons. In a bid to placate potential rebel MPs, the PM’s statement will also include the announcement of £5bn of new funding to overhaul bus and cycle links for every UK region outside London.
BORIS Johnson is set to reveal plans for 4,000 new buses in a £5billion boost for “easier and more affordable” travel across Britain. The PM will announce a five-year funding package to provide more frequent services and simpler fares. It will also allow for new priority bus routes and the purchase of at least 4,000 zero-emission buses in England and Wales. In a Commons speech today, Mr Johnson is expected to confirm the HS2 high speed rail link will go ahead, despite concerns about the costs and the impact on the environment.
Boris Johnson is poised to give the formal go-ahead to the HS2 project on Tuesday, with ministers promising an additional £5bn on buses and cycle routes to head off critics who fear the troubled high-speed rail line will suck cash from other priorities. Before the expected announcement giving the green light to the vast infrastructure project, Johnson will claim that his government will offer bus passengers outside London a more frequent service and simpler fares, as part of his agenda to “level up” the UK. Arguing that local transport could have a “truly transformative role to play in levelling up infrastructure across the country”, Downing Street claimed the investment package in bus transport of £5bn over five years would result in more frequent services, including on Sundays, a simpler fare structure, and new priority schemes to allow buses to skirt traffic jams.
The government is set to pledge £5bn over the next five years to improve bus and cycling services in England. In the House of Commons on Tuesday, the prime minister will say the extra money will provide more frequent services and simpler, more affordable fares. But Labour has accused the PM of refusing to reverse “£645m-a-year cuts to bus budgets, which have caused thousands of routes to be axed”. This comes as the government is set to give the go-ahead to the HS2 project.
Boris Johnson will attempt to take the sting out of the HS2 rail controversy today by announcing a £5billion package to improve bus services and cycle lanes. The Cabinet will meet in the morning to give the go-ahead to the troubled HS2 scheme, with the Prime Minister expected to make a formal announcement to MPs later. The decision means that construction work on the controversial line linking London to Birmingham will finally begin in the next few weeks. In a bid to head off criticism that the £100billion rail line will bring no benefit to many areas, Downing Street last night unveiled plans for a major boost to bus services in every region of the country.
Boris Johnson is to unveil a £5bn, five-year package for bus services and cycle lanes in England, as the government attempts to reverse some of the damage of austerity cuts to public transport. It comes as the prime minister is expected to give the green light to the contentious high-speed rail project HS2 during a meeting of the cabinet in Downing Street on Tuesday. A BBC report late on Monday said the project would be given the full go-ahead. Despite more individuals using buses than any other mode of public transport, funding for those services has dramatically fallen over the last decade with over 3,000 routes altered, reduced or withdrawn.
JUST half of the controversial HS2 rail link will get the green light today. Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands and Leeds links are being suspended. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson will give approval for the London to Birmingham leg of the high speed railway line. One hundred workers on the northern section of the project, set to cost more than £106billion, have been sacked.
Emergency anti-terror laws will be presented to MPs tomorrow,Tuesday, as the government scrambles to stop violent offenders from being automatically released halfway through their prison sentences. The new legislation will stop approximately 50 terrorists from being let out early with ministers hoping it will be finished and on the statute book by the end of this month. The crackdown will make early release subject to the assessment of the Parole Board and no longer automatic.
About 50 prisoners convicted of terror offences will no longer be automatically freed halfway through their sentences, under emergency government legislation designed to prevent further jihadi attacks by recently released inmates. The urgent introduction of a parliamentary bill on Tuesday – due to become law before the end of the month – is aimed at pre-empting the release of any more prisoners serving a fixed-length terrorist sentence. The move follows the London Bridge knife attacks by Usman Khan in November last year and the Streatham stabbings by Sudesh Amman this month.
MPs are no longer to be involved in dealing with allegations of bullying and sexual harassment against their parliamentary colleagues in a “seismic change” to the way such issues are dealt with. Instead, an independent expert panel for determining bullying or sexual harassment complaints against MPs is to be created. The long-awaited reform is being pushed through by the new Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle. The powerful House of Commons Commission, which he chairs, backed it on Monday.
Allegations of bullying or sexual harassment by MPs will be investigated by a fully independent panel in a major victory for campaigners and unions. The new Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has pushed for the House of Commons disciplinary procedures to be freed from oversight by MPs, as they are currently. The fresh row that erupted last week involving his predecessor, John Bercow, over claims he bullied members of staff hardened Sir Lindsay’s resolve to create a new independent and transparent complaints system, i understands. The House of Commons announced that the changes will be put to a six-week consultation but it is believed the Commons Commission, which is chaired by the Speaker, backed the proposal for an independent system in a meeting on Monday.
MPs should report all threats made against them, the Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has said. Speaking in the Commons chamber, he urged MPs not to “shy away from reporting any incidents”. His comments came as Labour MP Yvette Cooper spoke of the threats made towards her by a Conservative local election candidate. Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was “hugely apologetic for what she has had to put up with”. Joshua Spencer was jailed for nine weeks for sending threatening messages to Ms Cooper, telling a friend over social media “I’m already organising to hurt her”.
BRITONS are furious at Nicola Sturgeon’s attempt to keep Scotland locked within European Union rules in a bid to enhance the prospect of rejoining the bloc in the future. The Scottish National Party leader told a think-tank event in the Belgian capital that she will propose new devolved legislation to mirror Brussels’ regulations north of the border. Ms Sturgeon said: “The right to diverge will come at a cost, a very cost. And in my view, a cost that is too heavy. “We’re also looking in Scotland to what we can do within our devolved powers to maintain as close as possible ties with Europe.
Scotland is already taking steps to hold a referendum on independence and believes it is a matter of when rather than if the country separates from the rest of Britain, Scotland’s First Minister said on Monday. “We should agree a process between ourselves and the UK government for a referendum in line with the clear mandate given by the people of Scotland,” Nicola Sturgeon told a news conference in Brussels on her first foreign trip since Britain left the European Union. “We are taking in Scotland the steps required to ensure that a referendum can be held that is legal and legitimate so the result can be accepted and agreed both at home and internationally,” she continued, adding that one such step was testing the potential question to put to voters.
A Sinn Fein coalition government in Ireland will complicate already “fraught” Brexit negotiations between Britain and the European Union, a senior diplomat has warned. The republican party’s leader, Mary Lou McDonald, claimed yesterday that she might “well be” the next Irish leader after her party topped the popular vote in Saturday’s election. She said that her party had already “won” the election having secured 24.5 per cent of first preference votes ahead of the two main traditional parties Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. However, Sinn Fein is likely to secure fewer seats than Fianna Fail because it did not field a full slate of candidates.
A vote on a united Ireland within five years is Sinn Fein’s price for coalition talks, it revealed yesterday, after the party secured a historic result at the ballot box. The Left-wing Republican party sparked a political earthquake after romping home with the biggest share of the popular vote in Saturday’s national poll, making huge and unexpected gains across the country. After all first preferences were counted it party took around 24.5 per cent of votes – almost double its share at the last election in 2016.
Mary Lou Macdonald has warned the UK to prepare for a border boll after her party topped the popular vote shattering Fianna Fail and Fine Gael’s long time grip on power. The Sinn Fein president insisted she may lead a new government as taoiseach as her party continued to bask in a remarkable General Election result. On an impromptu walkabout in Dublin city centre, Mrs McDonald said: “I may well be the next taoiseach, yes.” Counting continued on Monday and, by 5.30pm, 134 of the Dail’s 160 seats were filled. Despite receiving the most first preference votes, Sinn Fein’s place in the next government is not guaranteed.
Northern Ireland could find itself in a different time zone to the rest of the UK under Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. Currently, EU countries and the UK switch to summer time hours on the last Sunday of March and back to Greenwich Mean Time on the last Sunday of October. But if Europe moves to a “double summer time” arrangement, the prime minister’s Withdrawal Deal could mean Northern Ireland has to be one hour ahead for six months every year. The European Parliament voted last year to stop changing clocks twice annually.
Flood defences will not be enough to protect parts of the UK from repeated damage in future, experts have warned after previously deluged towns were hit once again. Heavy rainfall brought about by Storm Ciara burst river banks in Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Cumbria and Lancashire, inundating around 550 homes at the weekend. It was a grimly familiar pattern of events in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, which flooded for the third time in seven years, despite millions of pounds being spent on new defences. The towns of Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge were among those to be inundated after river levels peaked on Sunday just below the record high that caused widespread damage in 2015.
Police have been handed unprecedented powers to force those at risk of coronavirus into quarantine, amid fears two GPs may have passed the virus on to their patients. The new measures have been put in place with immediate effect as the health secretary warned that the spread of the virus is now a “serious and imminent threat” to the British public. On Monday, the number of cases in the UK doubled, with panic on the streets of Brighton and the closure of a busy GP practice, as two doctors were diagnosed with the disease. An unnamed businessman, who contracted the virus in Singapore, is now linked to at least 11 infections among fellow Britons at a French ski-resort, before returning home to Brighton and later being admitted for treatment. They include five people who fell ill after returning to the UK, two of whom have recently been working as GPs in Brighton.
Britain is facing a major coronavirus outbreak after the illness struck down two GPs -sparking an urgent hunt for potentially hundreds of people who could have been in contact with people they have treated. Public health officials have shut down their surgery and are urgently tracing patients who might have been infected. Tracking down the patients of the two Brighton doctors has been made a priority because the virus is known to be particularly dangerous for those with pre-existing health conditions. NHS sources stressed a maximum of 15 patients came into contact with them since their return from the French chalet.
A SCOUT leader is suspected of being the “super-spreader” who infected 11 other Brits with deadly coronavirus on a skiing holiday, The Sun can reveal. They include two NHS GPs who are feared to have passed the contamination on to their patients in Brighton. The medics were among four new cases confirmed yesterday — a woman and three men — all of whom shared an Alps holiday chalet with the super-spreader. The married Brighton businessman picked up the virus in Singapore during a work conference in January. Days later, he then passed it on to pals during a France ski trip. Five Brits are now in isolation in three separate hospitals.
Health officials were trying urgently last night to trace patients treated by two British doctors who have been diagnosed with coronavirus as the number of cases in this country doubled. Two GPs were among four more Britons revealed yesterday to have caught the virus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to eight. All four were infected during a skiing holiday with a businessman from Hove who has been linked to 11 cases of the virus after catching it himself at a conference in Singapore.
HIGH sulphur dioxide levels in quarantined Wuhan and Chongqing could signal mass cremations, it’s been claimed. Satellite maps in recent days have detected alarming levels of SO2 around Wuhan which is the epicentre of the outbreak. The city of Chongqing, which is also under quarantine, also has high sulphur dioxide levels. Scientists believe this is produced when bodies are cremated but also when medical waste is incinerated. But some social media users who have probed the maps are convinced it is a sure sign of large numbers of dead bodies being burned on the outskirts of the city.
Swathes of the British coast along with the Channel tunnel will be hit by regular flooding without urgent action to limit global warming, according to the European Environment Agency. The agency published a series of detailed maps showing the fires, floods, torrential rain and droughts that it said were likely by the end of the century as sea-levels rises as a result of climate change. The maps showed that 3.65 million Europeans living by the coast would face regular floods if the sea rose by one metre or so by 2100, compared with 102,000 at present.