Ministers have been warned that EU leaders are not ready to sign off on a Brexit trade deal compromise ahead of the latest rounds of talks that get under way in London today. Senior government figures played down talk of a breakthrough yesterday after two weeks of informal discussions between Michel Barnier and David Frost, Boris Johnson’s chief negotiator. They said that while the talks had been constructive, Mr Barnier had made clear that the kind of trade-off proposed by the British side went beyond his negotiating mandate. He is said to have warned Mr Frost that it would require prior approval of member states and that such approval would not even be considered until the autumn.
MPs have defeated an attempt by Tory backbenchers to ensure parliament has a vote on any post-Brexit trade deal. An amendment to the Trade Bill currently going through the Commons would have given MPs and peers a say on any new agreement signed by the government. Jonathan Djanogly, the Conservative MP who led the rebellion, had argued that the US congress approves similar deals. He accused the government of taking a position of “less scrutiny than we did as a member of the EU”, because EU trade deals are subject to a vote in the European Parliament.
BREXIT talks are in danger of completely collapsing and a no deal scenario becoming increasingly probable, with EU member states digging their heels in on fishing and the level playing field – the UK’s red lines. The UK and EU are resuming talks on a post-Brexit trade deal in London today (Monday) as the two sides desperately try to thrash out an agreement and overcome a number of hurdles. Negotiations began in March but following several rounds of talks, both sides have lamented the lack of progress and significant differences that still exist. This means Britain’s future relationship with the bloc remains undecided – more than four years after the UK voted to leave the EU in a historic referendum. Now allies of Boris Johnson say he believes Brexit talks could completely collapse over the next few weeks as EU member states take an increasingly tough stance against British demands.
European fishermen told Michel Barnier to insist on EU boats fishing the same amount of fish in UK waters as before Brexit, ahead of trade negotiations in London this week. The EU’s chief negotiator meets with David Frost, his UK counterpart, for dinner tonight (Monday) before a full day’s talks on fishing rights after the end of the transition period on Tuesday. Britain wants annual negotiations over fishing opportunities and a Norway-style agreement with Brussels, which is supported by British fishermen, who voted in large numbers for Brexit. A senior source close to the talks said that UK fishermen’s share would increase after the end of transition on January 1. “Loss of access to fishing grounds, to markets for fish or the return of overfishing will ultimately harm all of us. Michel Barnier knows this,” said Gerard van Balsfoort, Chairman of the European Fisheries Alliance.
BREXIT trade talks with the EU will resume on Tuesday, but a breakthrough is not expected as the bloc is still adamant European fishermen must have the same access to UK waters – something British negotiators are keen to avoid. Britain will officially resume talks on a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU on Tuesday, as the two sides attempt to thrash out an agreement by the end of the year. But the two sides are still at loggerheads over a number of key areas, with fishing being a large area of contention. Today, European fishermen demanded their boats have the same access to UK fishing waters as they currently do – something Brexiteers want to severely restrict.
Britain will continue to engage constructively with the European Union in talks on a future relationship, but London is not willing to give up its rights as an independent state, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday. The two sides will resume talks on Tuesday after Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost hosts his EU counterpart Michel Barnier for dinner later on Monday, but there has been little movement on the “significant differences” that divide them. Britain left the EU in January and is in a status quo transition period until the end of the year, when some companies fear disruption if the two fail to secure a free trade deal.
European Union leaders reached a deal on a massive stimulus plan for their coronavirus-blighted economies at a pre-dawn meeting on Tuesday after a fractious summit that went through the night and into its fifth day. Summit chairman Charles Michel tweeted “Deal” shortly after the 27 leaders reached agreement at a 5.15 am (0315 GMT) plenary session. “This agreement sends a concrete signal that Europe is a force for action,” Mr Michel said at a dawn news conference. “It is about a lot more than money. It is about workers and families, their jobs, their health and their well-being.
EU leaders have struck a deal on a huge post-coronavirus recovery package following a fourth night of talks. It involves €750bn (£677bn; $859bn) in grants and loans to counter the impact of the pandemic in the 27-member bloc. The talks saw a split between nations hardest hit by the virus and “frugal” members who were concerned about costs. It is the biggest joint borrowing ever agreed by the EU. Summit chairman Charles Michel said it was a “pivotal moment” for Europe.
European Union leaders have finally clinched an unprecedented €1.82 trillion (£1.64 trillion) budget and coronavirus recovery fund. The leaders finalised the agreement in the early hours of Tuesday morning, finding unity after four days and nights of fighting and wrangling over money and power in one of their longest ever summits. To confront the biggest recession in its history, officials said the EU had a consensus on a €750 billion (£677 billion) Covid-19 fund to be sent as loans and grants to the countries hit hardest by the virus.
EUROPEAN UNION leaders struck a monumental deal on a vast coronavirus rescue package this morning after one of the longest and most bitter summits in the bloc’s history. The marathon talks, which entered their fifth day, saw leaders exchange verbal insults, bang their fists on the table and storm out of the negotiating rooms as tempers flared. But shortly after 5.30am in Brussels, European Council President Charles Michel declared a deal had been done on a recovery fund for the bloc’s pandemic-stricken regions and industries.
The four-hour A&E waiting time target is a step closer to being scrapped after senior doctors said they would no longer oppose the plans. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), which represents 23 medical royal colleges and faculties, writes in a letter to The Times published today that it is time to “move away from one-dimensional metrics, such as the four-hour A&E target”. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) is also now backing the change, highlighting the need to avoid a repeat of last winter when patients were frequently left on trolleys in corridors as hospitals were swamped.
UK scientists announced two breakthroughs in the war on Covid-19 — raising hopes of a vaccine before Christmas. Early trials of an Oxford University vaccine called ChAdOx1 show it is safe and triggers a strong immune response. And a new anti-viral drug may cut the risk of death or serious illness in Covid patients by 79 per cent. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said our scientists “played a blinder.” The data from research involving more than 1,000 healthy volunteers shows a vaccine developed at Oxford University is safe and triggers a strong immune response.
The eyes of the world were turned on Oxford University on Monday as the results of the first human trials of a potential Covid-19 vaccine were published. The British team is the furthest ahead of the 23 laboratories racing to find a way to prevent Covid-19, which has killed more than 610,000 people around the world since December. Experts hailed the results as a “really important milestone” which kept alive the hope of a vaccine being rolled out before Christmas.
A coronavirus vaccine could be available this year, Oxford University researchers said yesterday after a “milestone” clinical trial produced encouraging results. The vaccine stimulated “robust immune responses” and there were no serious side-effects in a phase-one trial involving about 1,100 healthy volunteers. The subjects displayed sufficient levels of neutralising antibodies, thought to be critical in protecting against viral infection, to give researchers grounds for optimism.
Hopes of ending the Covid-19 pandemic with a vaccine grew today after promising data revealed Oxford University’s experimental jab is safe and provokes an immune reaction that lasts for at least two months. Hugely-anticipated clinical trial results of the vaccine — one of the front-runners in the world’s race for a jab — revealed more than 91 per cent of volunteers injected produced an immune response against the coronavirus that lasted a month or more. Immune responses remained strong for at least 56 days, according to results in The Lancet. But it won’t be licensed for human use yet because it has not been proven to work and the results only show it has promise. The scientists who did the study, however, said it is ‘possible’ that the vaccine could be ready by December if tests keep going according to plan.
The Covid-19 vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford is safe and induces an immune reaction, findings of the first phases of the study suggest. The findings on the Oxford vaccine trial were published in medical journal, The Lancet. Professor Sarah Gilbert, of the University of Oxford, said: “There is still much work to be done before we can confirm if our vaccine will help manage the Covid-19 pandemic, but these early results hold promise. “As well as continuing to test our vaccine in phase-three trials, we need to learn more about the virus – for example, we still do not know how strong an immune response we need to provoke to effectively protect against Sars-Cov-2 infection.
Health secretary Matt Hancock has warned that conspiracy theorists are putting lives at risk as he hailed positive results in a trial of a new coronavirus vaccine. A vaccine that protects against Covid-19 could be a crucial breakthrough in the fight against the global pandemic. The government has already ordered millions of doses of different promising candidates. But experts have warned anti-vaccination campaigners could frighten people so much they resist inoculation, even when it is perfectly safe.
A DRUG used to lower cholesterol could reduce coronavirus symptoms to the level of a common cold, a study claims. Doctors found fenofibrate, which has been on the market for decades, significantly downgrades the severity of Covid-19 and could almost completely eliminate it in less than a week. Scientists studying the drug discovered coronavirus prevents the routine burning of carbohydrates. This results in fat build-up inside lung cells – something the virus needs to reproduce. So depriving the virus of these conditions could mean it is better controlled – and reduce symptoms to those of an ordinary cold.
Masks do help to protect the wearer, as well as people they meet, according to research by infectious disease experts. A report from a team at the University of California, San Francisco, says that masks can reduce the amount of virus that gets into someone’s system, meaning they do not get as badly sick. In England face coverings are mandatory on public transport and will become so in shops and supermarkets from July 24. The requirement appears to have strong public support, with only 19 per cent of Britons opposing compulsory wearing of masks in shops, according to a survey last week by the research company ORB International.
A police force has announced they won’t crack down on shoppers not wearing masks in stores after retailers also said their staff would not intervene. Devon and Cornwall police said its officers don’t have time to respond to calls about the face coverings, unless they involve a public order offence. From Friday, masks will be mandatory for people going to shops and other enclosed places in England, with £100 fines in place for non-compliance. Scotland imposed a facemask rule for shop-goers on July 10, while the devolved governments of Northern Ireland and Wales are still keeping it under review.
Nearly a million public sector workers will be given inflation-busting pay rises as a reward for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. Teachers and doctors will see the largest pay rises at 3.1 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively, which the government said is to recognise their “efforts on the frontline during the battle against Covid-19”. This compares with a 2.75 per cent rise last summer, and a 2.5 per cent rise for doctors. Combined with previous funding promises, the announcement means some nurses will receive an average 4.4 per cent pay rise this year, the Government said. Inflation was 0.8 per cent in June, according to the Consumer Prices Index, up from 0.7 per cent in May.
Doctors, teachers and police are among 900,000 public sector workers who will get above-inflation pay rises this year. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, said the increases were recognition for the “vital contribution” they had made during the coronavirus crisis. Economists said that the rise was likely to make the public sector more attractive to private sector workers, who are expected to be hit hardest as the economy recovers. Teachers will be given a 3.1 per cent rise; doctors and dentists 2.8 per cent; and police 2.5 per cent.
Almost 900,000 public sector workers will be given an above-inflation pay rise on Tuesday, the Chancellor has announced, praising their work on the frontline during the pandemic. Teachers and doctors will be seeing the largest increase at 3.1% and 2.8% respectively, according to the Treasury. Police, prison officers and National Crime Agency staff will be given a 2.5% rise in pay and members of the armed forces will receive a 2% uplift. Members of the judiciary and senior civil servants will also see their pay topped up by 2%.
Britain has imposed an arms embargo on Hong Kong that bans the export of equipment that could be used for “internal repression”. Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, also confirmed that Britain’s extradition treaty with the territory was “immediately and indefinitely” suspended. Mr Raab told MPs yesterday that the measures were a “necessary and proportionate response” to a national security law imposed by China on Hong Kong that effectively outlaws dissent. It remains unclear how Beijing will enforce the legislation but Mr Raab warned: “The UK is watching and the whole world is watching.”
BRITAIN suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and enforced an arms embargo on the Chinese territory today in response to its new national security law. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab claimed in the Commons that the measures were a “reasonable and proportionate” response to the law passed in Beijing. He said that the suspension of the treaty would be enacted “immediately and indefinitely” because of concerns that the security legislation could allow suspects to be extradited from Hong Kong to face trial in mainland China.
The UK has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in response to China’s draconian national security law in the territory. Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, announced the move over fears that the arrangement – which has been in place for more than 30 years – would lead to dissidents being sent on to Beijing. The “immediate and indefinite” suspension follows similar steps in the US, Canada and Australia, because of concerns about China’s crackdown in Hong Kong. In a Commons statement, Mr Raab went further by announcing a ban on sales of “potentially lethal weapons” to Hong Kong, extending an embargo in place with mainland China since 1989.
Dominic Raab today announced the UK’s extradition treaty with Hong Kong is being ‘immediately and indefinitely’ suspended after Beijing imposed a controversial national security law on the former British colony. The Foreign Secretary insisted the UK wants a ‘positive relationship’ with China but he said ‘we will be clear where we disagree’. He said: ‘I have consulted with the Home Secretary, the Justice Secretary and the Attorney General and the Government has decided to suspend the extradition treaty immediately and indefinitely.’
The UK will “bear the consequences” if it continues to go “down the wrong road” on Hong Kong, China has warned. On Monday, the UK suspended an extradition treaty with Hong Kong over a new security law for the ex-colony, which gives Beijing more power. In response, the Chinese ambassador in London said the UK had “blatantly interfered” in China’s affairs. Liu Xiaoming said: “China has never interfered in UK’s internal affairs. The UK should do the same to China.”
The government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong “immediately and indefinitely” in response to “grave concerns” over alleged human rights abuses associated with China’s new national security law. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the House of Commons on Monday that China’s security law does not provide necessary “legal or judicial safeguards”. He said: “The government has decided to suspend the extradition treaty immediately and indefinitely. “We would not consider reactivating these arrangements unless and until there are clear and robust safeguards which are able to prevent extradition from the UK from being misused under the new national security legislation.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced that the United Kingdom is formally ending the extradition treaty between the UK and Hong Kong, as well as hinting that the UK may impose sanctions over the mass internment of Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps in Xinjiang. On Monday, Mr Raab announced in the House of Commons that the British government will revoke its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, as well as extending the arms embargo to the city, which has applied to mainland China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.