EU

Times
Brussels is demanding that European Union judges have the power to rule on any post-Brexit agreement with the United Kingdom. An internal Brussels diplomatic document, seen by The Times, reveals that the EU will insist that the European Court of Justice be able to enforce the terms of a trade, fishing and security deal. The move, which comes days before Britain leaves the European Union at 11pm on Friday, has been condemned by Brexiteers, who called on Boris Johnson to “walk away” from the talks rather than accede to the demands. Downing Street sources also rejected the proposal, saying that the European court was “by very definition not a neutral arbiter”.

Evening Standard
Brexit trade row is brewing as Britain is only days away from its European Union exit, according to reports. The Times reports that Brussels will attempt to gain the upper hand before trade talks start late next month by insisting European judges continue to hold sway in Britain after Brexit. The UK will leave the European Union on Friday, with the country entering a transition period where relations with the bloc will largely stay the same while negotiators look to thrash out a trade deal before the end of the year.

Mail
Brussels is demanding its judges keep control after Britain leaves the European Union, it emerged last night. The bloc is calling for judges to have the power to rule on any post-Brexit agreement with the UK. According to an internal diplomatic document, the bloc wants the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to be able to enforce the terms of a trade, fishing and security deal. Under previous talks, negotiators insisted that the UK follows the EU’s rules and regulations in areas such as state aid and environmental protection – in a bid to try and prevent unfair competition.

Guardian
The EU has rejected Boris Johnson’s claims that there will be no checks on goods going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland after Brexit, with Michel Barnier warning such checks are not dispensable. Days after the prime minister said there would “emphatically” be no checks on trade across the Irish Sea, the EU’s chief negotiator told an audience in Belfast that the UK had agreed to them as part of a “creative and flexible” solution to the Irish border question. There was no provision for ignoring them in the legal test of the withdrawal agreement, Barnier said in a speech at Queen’s University.

Telegraph
Britain must “come to terms with the fact it’s now a small country”, the Irish Prime Minister has said, in comments that prompted outrage just days before Brexit. Leo Varadkar also suggested the UK could rejoin the EU if Brexit does not “work out for them” and said Brussels would have the “stronger hand” in trade negotiations. The Taoiseach’s comments, which come before trade talks begin in March, appeared to be deliberately provocative in a week which will end with Britain celebrating its new-found freedom from the EU.

Mail
Leo Varadkar taunted Britain last night – saying it has become a ‘small country’ as it presses ahead with Brexit. The Irish leader said the EU would have the ‘upper hand’ in post-Brexit trade talks, which formally begin after Britain leaves on Friday. He warned the bloc would try to force big concessions on fishing rights for EU trawlers by exploiting Britain’s ‘weak position’ on access to Europe’s financial markets. Speaking in Dublin about the trade talks, Mr Varadkar told the BBC: ‘I don’t think the UK has yet come to terms with the fact it’s now a small country… I think the reality of the situation is that the European Union is a union of 27 member states.

ITV News
Frictionless trade after Brexit will be impossible, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has said. Michel Barnier made the comments to an audience at Queen’s University in Belfast just days before the UK is set to leave the EU. “The UK has chosen to become a third country; to leave the single market and the customs union; to leave behind the EU’s framework of common rules, common supervision and common Court of Justice,” Mr Barnier said.

Mirror
Leo Varadkar has warned the UK that the EU will have the upper hand in post-Brexit trade talks. He warned that the bloc has a “stronger team” because of its far larger population and market in comparison. Mr Varadkar also suggested that Prime Minister Boris Johnson may run out of time to get a trade deal signed before the end of the year when the transition period finishes. The Taoiseach, who is fighting a general election, spoke to the BBC ahead of meeting with the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, in Dublin.

Independent
The European Union will have the upper hand in trade talks with the UK, Ireland’s prime minister has said. Leo Varadkar said the bloc would have the “stronger team” because of its sheer size and influence globally. He also warned that the EU would not accept a “piecemeal” trade deal in which the UK had rights without obligations. “The European Union is a union of 27 member states. The UK is only one country. And we have a population and a market of 450 million people,” the taoiseach told the BBC. “The UK, it’s about 60 million.

Yahoo News
The European Union will “never, never, never” compromise on the integrity of its single market, its chief Brexit negotiator warned Britain on Monday, saying London must now face reality after underestimating the costs of leaving. Some British politicians have suggested Brussels might be flexible on its rules in order to protect trade flows in talks due to begin in the coming weeks after Britain’s formal exit from the bloc on Friday.

Guardian
Any attempt by the British government to seek full access to European markets without alignment was “absurd” and would be voted down, one of Emmanuel Macron’s top allies in the European parliament has said. Pascal Canfin, a French MEP who chairs the European parliament’s environment committee, said it would be economically and politically absurd to allow the UK tariff and quota-free access to markets without ensuring it signed up to core EU standards on nature protection, the climate emergency, workers’ rights and state aid. That would mean “we would give more power to the UK than any member state”.

Brexit

Sun
BORIS Johnson is taking personal charge of negotiations with Brussels for an EU trade deal after he shuts the Brexit ministry on Friday. Downing Street has announced a 40 strong team dubbed ‘Taskforce Europe’ will run the talks from No10. The PM’s Europe adviser David Frost will be in charge of it, reporting directly to Mr Johnson instead of a separate Cabinet minister. The new arrangement is hoped to spell an end to the bitter rows of the last three years when a series of Brexit Secretaries clashed with PMs.

Guido
Brexit Hero Dominic Frisby is in a frantic race against Remainers to make it to Number One on Brexit Day. Whilst pro-EU fanatics have busily been buying the EU anthem ‘Ode to Joy’, Frisby is battling to get his brilliant Brexit song ‘17 Million F*** O***s’ to the top of the charts. It is in the number two spot on Amazon Music, and Number Six on iTunes download charts. Streaming through Spotify and Apple Music will also count towards the chart position… Help force the BBC into playing this song on Friday’s chart show buy chipping in a quid and buying the song on Amazon or iTunes now. Frisby is donating all profits to the Maggie Oliver Foundation for victims of child rape gangs.

Fisheries

Express
BREXIT could spark a ‘cod war’ between the EU and the British in the Channel with vessels from Brussels cutting UK nets, throwing paint cans and even ramming boats to force access to the bounty of fish surrounding England, it has been claimed. British fishermen are battling their own fight with Brussels, which has lead to a series of dangerous conflicts over their attempts to protect British waters in the English Channel and the North Sea, which the EU believes they should be entitled to now and after Brexit. The EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, decided annually based on the development of fish stocks, states the share of the individual countries is based on traditional catches.

Sky News
Downing Street has insisted the UK will be “taking back control” of its fishing stocks, as a “fish for finance” trade-off emerged as the likely nature of the next round of Brexit negotiations. Both London and Brussels are currently gearing up for talks on a future EU-UK trade relationship, which will follow the UK’s official departure from the bloc on Friday night. EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier revealed he would present a draft negotiating mandate to the remaining 27 EU member states next Monday.

Independent
Britain got its first foretaste of life after Brexit on Monday, after the UK government went unrepresented at an EU summit that draws up rules on fishing quotas and farming regulations. No British ministers or officials attended the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels – where key decisions including fishing quota allocations are made. While today’s meeting was technically the final one the UK was allowed to attend, officials and ministers are already standing down early ahead of Brexit on Friday – when Britain will lose all rights to representation.

Sun
BRUSSELS will insist Britain lets EU fishing boats use our waters in a hardline stance on trade talks. They want an agreement on the hated Common Fisheries Policy, which Brexiteers want to rip up. Irish PM Leo Varadkar said the bloc will have the “stronger team” in the negotiations. And the Taoiseach, who faces an Irish election in days, declared that the UK had “yet to come to terms with the fact it’s now a small country”. Mr Varadkar said: “If these were two teams up against each other playing football, who do you think has the stronger team?” But No 10 would not rule out a deal on fishing in exchange for EU access for City financial services firms. The PM’s official spokesman would only say: “It will be for the UK to determine who fishes in our waters”.

Express
BORIS JOHNSON will “take back control” of UK waters after a Brexit fishing row. A leaked EU document showed the bloc could demand continued access for European trawlers in UK waters. Eurocrats will threaten to block the City of London’s dealings in EU financial markets unless the Government agrees to no new restrictions on fishing, it has emerged.  Details of the EU negotiating plans were revealed after Irish premier Leo Varadkar warned the UK: “You may have to make concessions in areas like fishing in order to get concessions from us in areas like financial services.” Brexiteers accused the EU of “bluffing” over the move last night, denouncing the threat as “hollow”.

The economy

Mail
Boris Johnson was handed another pre-Brexit boost today as economists upgraded their growth forecast, saying ‘clarity’ and political calm caused by his mammoth election win would help firms. The EY Item Club upgraded its growth forecast to 1.2 per cent for 2020 from the 1 per cent previously predicted, though it marks a slowdown on the estimated 1.3 per cent seen in 2019. But the upgrade was tempered by a warning over Mr Johnson’s plans to get a trade deal signed with Brussels by the end of the year.

Rail travel

Mail
Ministers have pledged £500million to reopen closed railway lines in the North of England. Lines earmarked for restoration include many which were axed in the controversial Beeching closures of the early 1960s. Dr Richard Beeching, then the chairman of the British Railways Board, closed more than 4,000 miles of the network – mainly branch lines – in an efficiency drive. One of the first lines to reopen will be the Ashington and Blyth Valley to Newcastle connection – benefiting the Blyth Valley seat won by the Tories after 69 years under Labour.

BBC News
A government fund is to be launched later to restore historic railway lines closed more than 50 years ago under the so-called Beeching cuts. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will visit Fleetwood to announce £21.9m for two railway lines and a New Stations Fund. The £500m fund was promised in the Tory election manifesto in November. But Labour called the plan “meaningless”, adding that £500m would reopen just 25 miles of railway. And the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) described the funds as a “drop in the ocean”.

Huawei

Times
Boris Johnson will defy the United States today over Huawei but pledge to work with Washington to reduce western dependence on the Chinese company. The prime minister is about to formally announce that the government will allow Huawei technology in the UK’s 5G network, despite intense lobbying from the Trump administration. He said yesterday that “a very important strategic win” was possible to provide the benefits of a faster internet to consumers without “compromising our critical national infrastructure”.

Mail
Britain’s intelligence chiefs will come together today to tell Boris Johnson that Huawei should be allowed to build part of the UK’s 5G network. Senior representatives from MI5, MI6, GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre will dismiss fears that our sovereignty would be under threat from the Chinese firm, sources said. The Prime Minister is expected to grant Huawei limited access to the network.  But the move will be met by a backlash from the Prime Minister’s own MPs, who say it will give China the ability to spy on British citizens and sabotage critical infrastructure.

Independent
Boris Johnson has sparked a major Tory backlash ahead of a critical decision on whether to allow the Chinese firm Huawei to build the UK’s 5G network. Amid escalating tensions with Washington, senior Conservatives broke ranks to warn the prime minister against “allowing the fox in the hen house” by letting the tech giant into the UK’s broadband infrastructure. Mr Johnson will chair a meeting of the National Security Council on Tuesday, with a decision expected on whether Huawei equipment can be used in the 5G network.

Coronavirus

Telegraph
Almost half a trillion pounds was wiped off global stocks on Monday as the rapid spread of China’s deadly coronavirus rattled markets. Companies trading on London’s main market lost £53bn in value, with the FTSE 100 suffering its worst one-day drop since the start of October, while the price of oil fell sharply. The virus is seen as a new “black swan” event for global equity markets, many of which ended last week at ­all-time highs despite lingering economic uncertainty. “The market selloff that everyone was waiting for is here,” said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at currency exchange platform Oanda.

Times
A British scientist is racing to create a vaccine to stop the “unprecedented” spread of the deadly coronavirus. Kate Broderick, vice-president of research and development at the pharmaceutical company Inovio, and her researchers in the US have been working round the clock to combat the contagion. She said it was “absolutely inevitable” that confirmed cases would emerge in Britain. The team believe they are the most advanced in the search for a vaccine to contain the virus, which has so far killed at least 81 people and infected almost 3,000 in China.

Sun
CORONAVIRUS will become a worldwide pandemic if governments do not impose heavy global travel bans, experts have warned. Scientists at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) have issued a warning that the spread of the deadly SARS-like virus was accelerating. Head of the team of experts Gabriel Leung said: “We have to be prepared that this particular epidemic may be about to become a global epidemic. “Substantial, draconian measures limiting population mobility should be taken sooner, rather than later.

Health

Times
Prostate cancer has overtaken breast cancer to become the most commonly diagnosed form of the disease in England with public health officials crediting the “Stephen Fry and Bill Turnbull effect”. NHS bosses said that the actor and the former BBC presenter had raised awareness among young men after speaking about their experiences of the disease in 2018. Diagnoses have risen steeply from 41,201 in 2017 to 49,209 in 2018.

Sun
LUNG cancer is now the leading cause of cancer deaths in the UK – and has just a five year survival rate. But new research has found that there are two symptoms which could act as potential predictors of the disease. Experts led by the University of Exeter Medical School found that shortness of breath and a cough were becoming more common as the first symptoms in diagnosis. Their findings, published in the British Journal of General Practice, aimed to improve potentially life-saving early diagnosis through analysing which symptoms patients present first to their doctor.

Independent
Almost a third of UK doctors may be suffering from burnout, stress and “compassion fatigue”, according to a survey that has raised concern about excessive workloads in the NHS. A&E doctors and GPs are the most likely to feel burnt out. They have the highest levels of exhaustion and stress, the survey, published in the BMJ Open journal, found. The findings of the biggest published survey of its kind underline the emotional impact on many doctors of working in an NHS that is under the most intense pressure in its 71-year history.

Times
A significant minority of the cancers that are diagnosed would have remained harmless if undiscovered, experts have said. Research showed that one in five of certain cancers identified in Australia would not have caused health problems had they not been discovered. The study is the latest to identify the problem of overdiagnosis in developed countries, in part because of screening. The research, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, examined five of the cancers that are most likely to be overdiagnosed.

Morning Star
STATE-OF-THE-ART minor operations unit has been standing idle for 12 years because the NHS Trust that runs it is saddled with PFI debt, the Star can reveal. Todmorden health centre in West Yorkshire, run by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, opened in 2008 and houses general practitioners, nurses and other staff. It has a modern minor injuries unit, but the unit has never opened because the Trust has no money to pay for staff as it is forking out millions in Private Finance Initiative (PFI) debt. Patients with injuries such as minor fractures and cuts must travel 12 miles to Halifax to visit Calderdale Royal Hospital.

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