The Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven has threatened to make the Brexit process “more difficult” unless the British government scrap planned corporation tax cuts which would see EU member states’ competitiveness eroded. Mr Loefvan warned that any “aggressive” tax cuts will damage British relations with her European Union neighbours, the Telegraph has reported. His warning follows an announcement by the Chancellor Phillip Hammond that he intends to “reset” British fiscal policy by unveiling measures in his upcoming Autumn Statement to cut tax rates while increasing borrowing to spend on infrastructure, Mr Loefven told Bloomberg that the Brexit process “shouldn’t take longer than necessary,” but denied that Britain should be rushed into starting the process.
Downing Street has asserted its right to set tax rates after an EU leader warned Britain against “aggressiveness” in slashing business levies during Brexit talks. A Number 10 spokeswoman said it is up to each member state how they set their taxes, following the comments made by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven. The exchange highlights a potential conflict point in EU negotiations, with Britain seeking to boost growth through lower corporate levies while also trying not to aggravate EU states concerned about a ‘tax war’. Chancellor Philip Hammond has already said he is ready to bolster the British economy with corporate tax cuts and other measures if need be.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has declared that “Borders are the worst invention ever made” in an anti-nationhood speech at the Alpbach European Forum in Austria. Speaking this weekend, Mr. Juncker – who is still reeling from the defeat of his pro-European Union (EU) lobby in the UK’s Brexit referendum – quoted former French president Francois Mitterrand, who once declared: “we have to fight against nationalism”. “Borders are the worst invention ever made by politicians,” he said, adding that solidarity should be offered to refugees, according to the Alpbach website. Lamenting the Brexit result, he said: “In the concentration of globalisation and European problems, we must not lose our way”.
Europe’s most powerful leaders have outlined their vision of the EU without the UK. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on the island of Ventotene off the coast of Naples. The leaders gathered amid growing euroscepticism across the bloc – as well as the ongoing migration crisis and economic turmoil. But speaking to reporters on the Giuseppe Garibaldi aircraft carrier after the meeting, Mr Renzi said he wanted to “write a future chapter” focusing on common defence, security and economic growth – especially addressing youth unemployment.
BRITAIN’S decision to leave the European Union can usher in a new era of solidarity for the troubled bloc, the leaders of Germany, France and Italy said today. Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Matteo Renzi delivered an impassioned plea for European unity as they pledged to reboot the Brussels project with a focus on jobs for the young and the fight against terror. At a press conference aboard the Italian battleship Garibaldi the trio offered up a political pitch heavy on idealism and symbolism, but desperately short of concrete policy. All three leaders demonstrated that they are acutely aware of the wave of eurosceptic feeling sweeping the content as they each prepare to face their own daunting electoral tests over the coming months. Mrs Merkel and Mr Hollande, both performing shakily in the polls, are set to contest general elections within a year whilst Mr Renzi is fighting a referendum campaign which could end in his defeat and resignation.
Angela Merkel has met with French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, in the first of a series of discussions between European heads of state aimed at protecting the European Union from the aftershock of Brexit. The three leaders met at mini-summit on an aircraft carrier off the Italian island of Ventotene, and agreed there must be greater cooperation on defence and intelligence sharing in the fight against Islamist terrorism. “In the face of Islamist terror and the civil war in Syria, we have to do more for both our internal and external security,” said Ms Merkel, while calling for national intelligence services in EU member states to share information with each other more closely.
The NHS may not have enough staff to make a seven-day service work, leaked Health Department documents have reportedly revealed. The secret papers, obtained by The Guardian and Channel 4 News, are said to detail a string of dangers in implementing the plan. As well as too few staff, there is also not enough money to deliver the government’s promise on time. And patients may not notice any difference even if it happens, according to the reports.
A confidential review of government plans for a seven-day NHS in England has identified 13 risks, according to the Guardian and Channel 4 News. These include concerns over a shortage of doctors and other health staff. The leaked risk register was drawn up by the Department of Health, and sets out a series of possible problems. The Department of Health said the government was tackling an “unacceptable variation” in standards in care across the week. The government has promised a “truly seven-day service” by 2020.
The NHS may not have enough skilled staff to deliver the Government’s high-profile seven-day service plan, according to a number of reports. The Guardian and Channel 4 News have obtained leaked Department of Health documents, which they say show senior officials have voiced a number of concerns about implementing the policy. Reports cite fears over the lack of detailed costings, risk assessment and limited data supporting the policy. Channel 4 News claimed a “risk register” for the seven-day services programme, dated 25 July, refers to the possibility that there will not be enough resources to meet the deadline for the “complete roll-out” of the policy.
Junior doctors’ fears over Jeremy Hunt ’s “seven-day NHS” plans are shared by his own staff in Whitehall, leaked papers reveal. Workforce overload is the biggest danger flagged up by Department of Health officials – the same issue raised repeatedly by medics and dismissed by the bungling Health Secretary. A “risk register” drawn up by civil servants warns there may not be enough cash or staff for the full seven-day services pledged by Tory Mr Hunt . Another document warns: “The detailed costs of delivering in hospitals, including accurate estimates of additional workforce requirements, are not understood early enough.”
The health service has too few staff and too little money to deliver the government’s promised “truly seven-day NHS” on time and patients may not notice any difference even if it happens, leaked Department of Health documents reveal. Confidential internal DH papers drawn up for Jeremy Hunt and other ministers in late July show that senior civil servants trying to deliver what was a totemic Conservative pledge in last year’s general election have uncovered 13 major “risks” to it. While Hunt has been insisting that the NHS reorganise around seven-day working, the documents show civil servants listing a string of dangers in implementing the plan – as summarised by a secret “risk register” of the controversial proposal that has prompted a bitter industrial dispute with junior doctors.
A patient is treated by the NHS every 90 minutes following a serious medical blunder. More than 6,000 incidents involving accidental cuts, punctures, perforations or haemorrhages were logged last year – three times the rate of 2005. Campaigners say that poor training and inadequate staffing levels explain the mistakes. Senior doctors have warned the cash-strapped NHS is heading into an ‘extremely difficult autumn’. Hospitals have been told to cancel thousands of non-urgent procedures. The medical blunders make the financial pressures worse by extending hospital stays and encouraging compensation payouts. The figures released today reveal 6,082 incidents of patients needing NHS treatment following a blunder in English hospitals last year.
SCOTTISH business leaders have warned hellbent Nicola Sturgeon she would lose another independence referendum if held tomorrow – and wouldn’t even be able to win sovereignty this decade. The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) believes the Brexit vote has created the ultimate opportunity to push for independence after 62 per cent of Scots voted to stay in the EU and 55.3 per cent voted to stay in the UK in 2014. But several businessmen who publicly backed leaving the UK in 2014 have admitted pushing too quickly for another referendum would backfire. Corporate financier Peter de Vink, who signed a pro-independence letter in 2014, said it “would be crazy” to rush into another referendum as it would most likely be lost, partly due to the decline in oil prices since 2014.
The head of Britain’s opposition Labour Party in Scotland has joined calls to replace the organisation’s national leader, saying left-wing veteran lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn cannot heal deep divisions and win the next election. Scottish Labour Party leader Kezia Dugdale’s appeal to party members to back challenger Owen Smith over Corbyn follows a similar call from London Mayor Sadiq Khan over the weekend. “We can’t pin our hopes on a leadership who speak only to the converted, rather than speaking to the country as a whole,” Dugdale said in an article published in Scotland’s Daily Record newspaper on Monday. While Corbyn is favourite to win the leadership contest because of strong support from thousands of members who voted for him last year, most Labour lawmakers say his left-wing views leave the party with little chance of winning power.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale is backing Owen Smith in the Labour Party leadership contest. She said Mr Smith could reunite the party and win a general election. She said: “Owen Smith gets my vote. I believe Owen can unite our party, and move us on from the divisions that exist under the current UK leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.” A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said a majority of Scottish Labour members would be backing him in the ballot.
China has become the largest crude oil operator in the North Sea despite boasting that it uses deep-water oilrigs as strategic weapons. The scale of Chinese growth in the region meant that Britain handed about £2 billion in tax breaks to one state-run oil company last year, analysis by The Times has shown. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (Cnooc), which is controlled by the Communist Party in Beijing, runs two of the North Sea’s biggest oilfields. Nexen, a Cnooc-owned company, is responsible for extracting almost 200,000 barrels a day in the area, more than 10 per cent of output.
Space boffins are set to announce they have discovered a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri – the closest neighbouring star to the Sun. The new so-called “exoplanet” is rumoured to be similar to Earth – and may even be habitable. It could form a new homeland for humans escaping war, disease, nuclear apocalypse or climate change on Earth. The European Southern Observatory is said to have spied the planet La Silla telescope in Chile . But scientists have kept schtum – refusing to confirm or deny rumours the world is similar to Earth . However, the ESO has called the media to its HQ in Germany for a major announcement on Wednesday.
A NASA scientist has claimed the space agency is aware that the planet Saturn is a massive breeding ground for extraterrestrials. Dr Norman Bergrun said “living alien UFO spaceships” have started “proliferating” at a shocking rate on the planet’s many rings. The NASA engineer has done numerous interviews in the past in which he said the number of UFO crafts in the solar system had reached “critical” levels. But now Dr Bergrun is claiming the number of spaceships is multiplying and spreading to other ringed planets such as Uranus and Jupiter. He said: “What I found out is, these things inhabit Saturn, that’s where I first discovered them, and they’re proliferating. You can find them around Uranus and Jupiter.