BUSINESS confidence in Brexit Britain reached a four year high as eurozone confidence fell, it has emerged.
The Lloyds Bank Business Barometer survey also revealed UK companies were more optimistic about what is in store for the British economy over the next 12 months. 
Alongside this, a record number of UK businesses were planning to increase salaries and economic optimism rose for the first time in three months.
Meanwhile, business confidence in the eurozone fell following a rise in COVID-19 cases across the bloc and issues with supply chain disruption.
The data from the European Commission revealed confidence had fallen for the first time in 2021.
Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist at Lloyds, said: “This tells a positive story about the country’s economic recovery.
“This confidence is driven by the continued success of the vaccine rollout, the removal of lockdown restrictions and adjustments to self-isolation rules.” 


LIZ TRUSS is beefing up her trade team to seize lucrative opportunities across the continent and Central Asia ahead of an economic boom.
The International Trade Secretary has appointed two HM Trade Commissioners to boost British trade across the continent. The two roles which can pay up to £120,000 per annum will play a crucial role in attracting inward investment and helping British businesses seize export opportunities throughout Europe and Central Asia.
Ministers say both trade chiefs will lead on a coordinated government effort overseas to promote UK trade, delivering jobs and prosperity for the UK economy.
Ms Truss said: “As an independent trading nation, our relationships with our closest trading partner Europe and with Central Asia remain extremely important.
“We are working hard to promote Britain as a top investment destination – particularly in future-facing industries like science, tech and the green economy – and help British exporters access new markets.” 

Labour Party 

Labour’s conference may still be a month off, though Sir Keir is already facing headaches on multiple fronts. Young Labour chair Jess Barnard has published a lengthy Twitter thread bemoaning the party’s efforts to muzzle its youth wing and distance itself from its far-left politics. This is, of course, the same Young Labour that expressed ‘solidarity’ with the Cuban government, saying it fully supports “an end the illegal blockade of Cuba and stands in solidarity with Cubans against US imperialism.” Can you imagine why Starmer way want to put some distance between himself and the Labour youth wing?
Writing this afternoon, Barnard claims to have heard “nothing from Keir Starmer or the leaders [sic] office since being elected almost a year ago”, and that following the cancellation of their own YL conference, Labour’s General Secretary David Evans has now reneged on his promise to “provide YL with more resources at national conference [in Brighton] to make up for it.” Apparently the party just doesn’t have the time to run all those due diligence checks on its young socialists…
Young Labour aren’t the only ones making bad conference headlines; Labour’s elected leader in Wales, Mark Drakeford, has shocked political rivals by agreeing to appear alongside independent MP Jeremy Corbyn and recently expelled Ken Loach at a fringe event. Drakeford, fresh off bungling Wales’ response to the Covid crisis, will appear at The World Transformed  fringe tent. Wales Against Antisemitism has expressed rage at his appearance, asking why the First Minister thinks it “appropriate to speak at this event, given the antisemitism controversies involving many of his fellow speakers?” – a question Welsh Conservative Leader is also levelling at Drakeford: 

A similar story appears in iNews 


COVID-19 vaccines have lost some of their effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows. 
Vaccine effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations has fallen as low as 75 percent, from a high of 95 percent that was first touted when the shots first became available in late 2020.
Those same shots are still up to 95 percent effective at preventing serious cases of COVID, but the new data suggests that the chances of a fully-vaccinated person falling sufficiently-ill with the virus to require hospital treatment has started to creep up.
People aged 75 and up are in the highest risk group, with vaccines’ effectiveness at preventing hospitalization in that age group falling from 90 percent to 80 percent between June and July.
It remains unclear whether this is because the protection offered by vaccines declines over time, or if the COVID Delta variant has managed to overcome shots aimed at preventing it. 
The data was made available as America prepares to roll out booster shots to shore up protection against the Delta variant, and others that may appear in the future. 

There’s more covid news in the Guardian 

Plans to introduce compulsory Covid passports is resulting in making vaccine sceptics even more reluctant to receive a jab, a new research study has shown. 
The survey revealed groups including young people, non-white communities and non-English speakers were unlikely to get inoculated and viewed vaccine passports negatively.
The majority of those asked had not been vaccinated when the poll was carried out in April.
Writing in summary, the paper’s authors warned that the clear division of opinion risked causing a split among the public. 
‘This creates a risk of creating a divided society wherein the majority are relatively secure but there remain pockets of lower vaccination where outbreaks can still occur,’ they wrote.  
The poll, which included data from more than 16,000 people, is due to be published in the Lancet journal EClinicalMedicine.  

Similar stories appear in Breitbart, iNews 


Children’s learning must not be disrupted this term by ‘disastrous’ Covid measures, experts have warned.
As pupils return to schools this week, it is feared further interruptions would ‘inflict life-long damage’ on a ‘whole generation’, with the poor suffering most.
Teaching unions have warned individual schools could re-impose rules such as masks and the ‘bubble’ system if there are local coronavirus flare-ups.
Lee Elliot Major, professor of social mobility at Exeter University, said: ‘Continued school disruption will be a disaster for the life prospects of pupils, particularly those from poorer backgrounds, who have already suffered unprecedented learning losses during the pandemic.
‘Missing out on so much classroom learning threatens to inflict life-long damage for millions of children.
‘Our research has shown that pupils missed half of their classroom days during the first year of the pandemic. 

Read more on the subject in Morning Star, Sun, Times, Breitbart, GB News 

Social care 

Care home bosses are receiving “threatening” union letters over compulsory vaccines, amid claims that the embattled sector is in a “desperate” situation. 
As the deadline for the mandatory jab approaches, dozens of care providers across the country claim they have received requests for a formal grievance meeting on behalf of their staff who are refusing to be vaccinated against coronavirus. 
The formal letter, sent by the Workers Union of England, claims that the “requirement to vaccinate is invalid” and that managers “may be liable for the criminal offence of intimidation in the workplace”. 
The Government has ordered all care home staff to receive their first dose of a Covid vaccine by Sept 16 so they are fully vaccinated by the time the regulations come into force on Nov 11.
However, by the Department for Health and Social Care’s own estimates, around 40,000 carers will refuse the jab, meaning that managers will be forced to sack them.  

More details in iNews 


NHS patients enter a postcode lottery when it comes to common hospital treatments such as eye, hip and knee surgery in England – with some areas facing huge backlogs while others have almost none, new research reveals.
The “stark and huge” regional disparities show how thousands of patients have been left in discomfort and pain for months while waiting for procedures that would be readily available only 100 miles away.
For example, a total of 2,745 people in Birmingham and Solihull have been waiting more than a year for eye operations, while only two people in Barnsley are in the same situation.
Similarly, a total of 3,656 people in Norfolk and Waveney have still not had their orthopaedic surgery despite being on the waiting list there for more than 52 weeks. But that is 100 times more than the 36 people in North East Lincolnshire.
Even after adjusting for the different population size, Norfolk and Waveney still has 15 times more people facing a long delay for care than North East Lincolnshire. 

Further details are in the Morning Star, Guardian 

A “game changing” injection is being rolled out on the NHS to prevent 30,000 deaths from heart attacks and stroke.
Around 300,000 at-risk people with high cholesterol who have previously suffered such a cardiovascular event in England will be offered the twice-yearly jab costing £2,000 per dose.
Inclisiran is the first of a new type of “ground breaking” drug that boosts the liver’s ability to remove harmful cholesterol from the blood.
The RNA interference (RNAi) technology will first be targeted at 300,000 people deemed most at risk of dying from another heart attack or stroke.
NHS England estimates inclisiran could prevent 55,000 heart attacks and strokes, saving 30,000 lives within the next decade. 

Black surgeons are far less likely to be promoted than their white colleagues, according to analysis of NHS medics’ careers in England.
Black men who were junior surgeons in 2010 were 27% less likely to be promoted to consultant than white men between 2016 and 2020, while black women were 42% less likely. The stark evidence of a glass ceiling has raised warnings that treatment may suffer unless senior ranks are made more representative and “old boys’ networks” dismantled. The Royal College of Surgeons described the study of more than 3,000 doctors as “deeply concerning”.
Senior black doctors said the research matched their experiences and warned of a lack of support for minority doctors to pass the tests required to reach the best-paid ranks. It follows government research which identified racial barriers to promotion in the civil service and that almost a fifth of FTSE 100 companies have no ethnic minority board members.
The figures compiled from NHS records by academics at the University of Surrey revealed that the proportion of consultants who were men actually increased over the decade from 57% to 63%. 


BBC News
A more eco-friendly petrol is coming to British filling stations this month, but a quarter of drivers do not know whether their cars can run it, new research says.
The government intends to make E10 the new standard petrol grade.
It contains less carbon than other fuels and more ethanol, a kind of alcohol manufactured from plants.
But according to the RAC, 24% of motorists are unaware of it, while 27% do not know if their car is compatible.
Current petrol grades in the UK – known as E5 – contain up to 5% ethanol, with the other 95% being regular unleaded petrol.
Their replacement, E10, will see this percentage increased to 10% – a proportion that would bring the UK in line with countries such as Belgium, Finland, France and Germany.
Introducing E10 could cut carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year, says the Department for Transport, the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road and an important step towards the government’s climate change targets. 

Read more in the Sun, Times 

Extinction Rebellion 

The Met Police were accused of being ‘heavy-handed’ after finally clearing an Extinction Rebellion protest that saw demonstrators glue themselves to a bus that was blocking London Bridge. 
In video footage shared online, officers can be seen grappling with protesters before forcibly moving them from an open-top vintage bus with a wooden structure attached to the rear. 
The southern end of the London Bridge was taken over by XR activists, who blocked the road with a bus on Tuesday.
This followed a similar demonstration on Tower Bridge and sat on top of a parked caravan on Monday as the environmental activists continue their fortnight of action.
The Metropolitan Police said that as of 6.45pm on Tuesday, 43 further arrests had been made in connection with the protests, taking the total number to 469.
The force said the arrests were made for a variety of offences. 

A similar story may be read in the Telegraph 


British officials have opened talks with the Taliban about getting UK citizens and allies out of Afghanistan, it emerged last night.
Special envoy Sir Simon Gass, the chair or the Joint Intelligence Committee, met senior representatives of the group in Qatar to try to secure safe passage for those left behind following the chaotic military withdrawal. 
Officers from MI6 also met the militia group, while the head of MI6 Richard Moore flew to Islamabad for talks with the head of the Pakistani army.  
Downing Street confirmed ‘broad discussions’ with the Taliban had got under way.
A government source said: ‘The Prime Minister’s special representative for Afghan transition, Simon Gass, has travelled to Doha and is meeting with senior Taliban representatives to underline the importance of safe passage out of Afghanistan for British nationals, and those Afghans who have worked with us over the past 20 years.’ 

There’s more in  the Telegraph, BBC News, Independent, Morning Star, Sun, ITV News,  Guardian, Times, Evening Standard 

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