BORIS JOHNSON has warned that it is “far from certain” that Britain will manage to get a post-Brexit trade deal with Brussels in time for the end of the year. The Prime Minister briefed the Cabinet – meeting by conference call – on the latest negotiations, telling ministers that time was now “very short”. Talks have been continuing this week in Brussels between the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart Lord Frost. However with hopes of a breakthrough this week receding, it is unclear whether the two sides will be prepared to carry on talking into next week if there is still no agreement. The Prime Minister told the Cabinet that while he remained “keen” to get an agreement he would not compromise on the UK’s “core principles”. He said there were still “significant issues” to be resolved – most notably on future fishing rights and the so-called “level playing field” rules on state aid.
A November 19th deadline to agree a Brexit deal appears to have already been brushed under the carpet, as talk of negotiations running to next week, or even next month, circulates. Britain’s top Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost has privately told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that a so-called ‘landing zone’ — Brussels jargon for a state of negotiations where an agreement is in sight — may appear early next week. This revelation comes from Downing Street-friendly British tabloid The Sun, which reports an unusually specific timeframe for talks to progress, with Frost reportedly having said this development would come “as soon as next Tuesday”.
A Brexit trade deal could be just days away after the Irish prime minister said “landing zones” for an agreement are now in sight. France is understood to have accepted that its fishing rights in UK waters will be reduced after the transition period ends on December 31, lowering one of the biggest hurdles in the path of a deal. The trade agreement could be announced as early as Monday, sources in Brussels suggested – but only if both sides made compromises on issues such as fishing and subsidy law. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has called foreign ministers to a meeting on Friday at which he is expected to update them on the progress of the talks, increasing speculation that a deal is close.
Irish leaders last night said a Brexit agreement could finally be in sight. Despite Boris Johnson urging caution, Micheal Martin, the taoiseach, said both sides could see ‘the landing zones’. But he suggested it would be possible only if the UK agreed to compromise. He told the Bloomberg new economy forum: ‘Will the decision be made in London to go for it and say lets get a deal done? Some of us think that’s an issue that has yet to be determined.’ Lord Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator, is in Brussels this week trying to make progress with EU counterpart Michel Barnier.
Sir Keir Starmer faced a mutiny from his own MPs on Tuesday night after Labour was accused of “adding insult to injury” by readmitting Jeremy Corbyn just three weeks after he was suspended from the party in a row over anti-Semitism. Former leader Mr Corbyn had refused to apologise for playing down the scale of the problem in the party, and his readmittance sparked a major new row over anti-Semitism which threatens to undermine Sir Keir’s pledge to clean up Labour. Sir Keir is now under intense pressure to withhold the whip from Mr Corbyn after the party lifted his suspension and gave him a “slap on the wrist”, and at least one MP has threatened to resign if the whip is restored.
Keir Starmer has declared ‘another painful day for the Jewish community,’ after Jeremy Corbyn was reinstated to Labour just three weeks after being suspended for saying anti-semitism in the party under his leadership was ‘overstated’. The hard Left icon was suspended last month in the wake of comments he made about a groundbreaking investigation into racism aimed at Jews. But this afternoon a panel of Labour’s National Executive Committee lifted his suspension and restored the whip, letting him off with what is believed to be its lightest possible censure. It came after he issued a lengthy mea culpa on Facebook this morning, admitting he had been wrong to criticise the official probe by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which found Labour was responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says the readmission of Jeremy Corbyn to the party just weeks after he was suspended marked “another painful day for the Jewish community”. Sir Keir said he would “not allow a focus on one individual to prevent us from doing the vital work of tackling anti-Semitism” and vowed to make the Labour party “a safe place for Jewish people”. He restated his criticism of his predecessor’s response last month to a damning Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report which found that Labour had broken the law in its handling of anti-Semitism complaints. Mr Corbyn’s claim that the scale of anti-Semitism in the party was “dramatically overstated for political reasons” by opponents and “much of the media” led to him being suspended and having the whip withdrawn.
JEREMY CORBYN had his suspension lifted by a panel of Labour’s NEC as the Morning Star went to press last night. The decision came following left advances in recent NEC elections. Details had not been released by our deadline. The Islington North MP was suspended from the party after 54 years of membership and nearly five years as Labour leader. He had the whip withdrawn last month over his response to an Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report on Labour handling of anti-semitism complaints. Following the report’s publication, Mr Corbyn said that “the scale of the problem [of anti-semitism in the Labour Party] was dramatically overstated for political reasons.”
FAMILIES could be allowed five days to enjoy get-togethers over Christmas. Health chiefs are looking at the idea in a last-ditch bid to save the Covid-hit festivities. The aim is to unite the UK under a common rule that enables households to mix indoors for a limited period. Ministers fear a mutiny of mums if they do not hatch a workable plan and are worried relatives will throw big celebrations regardless. Health bosses are eyeing a five-day run when households could mix starting on Christmas Eve. The plan will come as a huge boost to families who feared they might miss out on seeing their loved ones over Christmas.
Families may be allowed to get together for up to five days over Christmas in plans reportedly being considered by the Government. In a bid to allow some kind of normality this festive period, the ban on different households mixing indoors may be lifted for a limited time only. Starting on Christmas Eve and running to the Bank Holiday on Monday, December 28, strict lockdown restrictions could be partially eased. The proposals would allow love ones to gather and spread some festive cheer, nine months after the country was first plunged into lockdown. The rules have not been signed off by the Government yet, and represent just one of the options being considered.
Millions of Britons have today been given a major boost that their number one Christmas wish – to be with their family members – could be granted this year. Families could be given a small window of opportunity to enjoy some of the festive season with their loved ones this Christmas, according to reports. Britons could get up to five days of loosened restrictions over the festive season under new plans being considered by ministers, reports the Sun. Government chiefs are also considering proposals which would allow family ‘bubbles’ of up to two or three households who will able to meet for Christmas, according to the Times.
Families may be able to mix in “bubbles” at Christmas under plans for a brief relaxation of coronavirus restrictions over the festive period, according to reports. Britons could get up to five days of loosened measures starting from December 24 under the new proposals reportedly being considered by ministers. Government chiefs are also considering allowing families made up of up to two or three households to meet for Christmas, according to the Times. It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to “ensure people can spend time with close family over Christmas”. No decision has yet been made on the plans.
BORIS JOHNSON is planning to ease coronavirus restrictions for up to three days this Christmas to allow families to celebrate together, the Daily Express has learned. The Prime Minister wants a UK-wide blueprint for the festive season that will loosen household-mixing restrictions to permit members from a maximum of three separate homes to gather under the same roof. Ministers are discussing an overall limit on numbers of people – likely to be around 10 – who can gather around the table for Christmas lunch and other festive meals. The talks come as the Government is preparing a toughened three-tier regional regime of restrictions – potentially including stricter rules than before on alcohol sales and household mixing – to replace the current second lockdown across England from December 2.
Households across the country are set to be banned from mixing when lockdown ends under Government plans to rescue Christmas, The Telegraph understands. Boris Johnson has repeatedly promised that the national lockdown will be replaced with a “regional tiered approach” when it ends on December 2. But Government sources say default restrictions across the country are likely to include a ban on mixing with other households until close to Christmas. Ministers intend to announce an “end of lockdown package” next week, including a schedule for Britain’s vaccination programme and an expansion of mass testing, which they hope will soften the blow of further restrictions.
Nicola Sturgeon today announced parts of Scotland that are home to millions of people will be moved into its toughest coronavirus level at the end of the week as she warned infection rates remain ‘stubbornly high’. The First Minister said 11 council areas, which include the city of Glasgow, will be subject to Level Four restrictions from 6pm on Friday. The areas have a combined population of approximately 2.3million people. People living in Level Four areas are banned from meeting with other households indoors while all non-essential shops must close. In an announcement to the Scottish Parliament, Ms Sturgeon told people in those areas is that they ‘should not be going out and about’ while the measures are place for the three weeks – until December 11.
School attendance has plunged into chaos, headteachers have warned, as the proportion sending classes home to self-isolate has doubled in a week. Between 18 and 20 per cent of schools sent 30 or more pupils home last week to isolate, up from 8-9 per cent the week before, according to the latest official data published by the Department for Education (DfE). Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of all secondaries in England sent at least one pupil home last week, up from 38 per cent the previous week. Fewer pupils were sent home from primaries, but the proportion had doubled in a week from 11 per cent to 22 per cent.
Schools in England are facing an exodus of headteachers, with almost half considering leaving the profession after the pandemic, according to a new survey. Headteachers interviewed by the Guardian said they were stressed and exhausted because of the enormous pressures of dealing with Covid. They were also worried about school budgets, which were already tight but have been substantially eroded by additional coronavirus costs. Almost half (47%) of those who took part in a poll by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said they were likely to leave their jobs prematurely, once they had steered their schools through the Covid crisis.
University students have called for tuition fee refunds over problems linked to coronavirus this term, as the government faces accusations of “mistreatment”. They told The Independent they felt online learning was not the same as face-to-face teaching, while campus facilities and resources were more difficult to access due to coronavirus. Parliament discussed tuition fees on Monday, after a petition calling for partial refunds due to coronavirus was signed by more than 200,000 people. “Students should not have to pay full tuition fees for online lectures, without experiencing university life,” the petition said.
The sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned within a decade, and hybrid cars by 2035, as part of the Government’s £12bn green industrial strategy. The UK will also develop its first town heated entirely with hydrogen by 2030, and invest in thousands of jobs in traditional industrial heartlands. The 10-point plan forms the centrepiece of Boris Johnson’s attempt to “reset” his premiership following the turmoil of Dominic Cummings’ departure. Mr Johnson’s green vision could also endear the prime minister to incoming US President Joe Biden, who will make climate action one of his first priorities in office.
The sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned from 2030 and hybrid vehicles outlawed five years later, Boris Johnson will announce today. Diesel lorries will also be phased out in the attempt to meet climate change targets. There will be a significant expansion of grants for domestic energy improvements and new funding for nuclear and hydrogen power. A 2030 ban on new combustion engine cars was a key demand of the Times campaign to cut toxic emissions. The “Clean Air For All” campaign, launched 18 months ago, called for Britain to come into line with countries such as Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.
A plan on buying new petrol and diesel cars will be brought forward to 2030, Boris Johnson confirmed tonight as he unveiled his £12billion, “Ten Point Plan” for a “green industrial revolution”. The Prime Minister unveiled a host of measures aimed at slashing the UK’s carbon emissions and tackling climate change – and “creating and supporting” 250,000 “green jobs”. He hopes the proposals will boost moves to meet Britain’s pledge for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The PM announced £1.3bn to accelerate the rollout of electric vehicle charging points in homes, streets and motorways.
BORIS JOHNSON is set to unveil a £12billion plan for a “green industrial revolution” aiming to create 250,000 new jobs across Britain – and it will diesel and petrol cars banned within 10 years. The Prime Minister on Wednesday will set out a 10-point programme for environmentally-friendly energy and transport in the effort to wipe out the country’s contribution to climate change by 2050. Boris Johnson will promise a surge in high-skilled jobs based in the UK’s industrial heartlands in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, West Midlands, Scotland and Wales. Key initiatives will include Government investment in offshore wind farms, hydrogen powers, electric cars, nuclear energy and host of other high-tech initiatives.
Sales of new petrol and diesel cars are to be banned in 2030, Boris Johnson will announce today. Paving the way for an electric vehicle revolution, he is to unveil a ten-point, £12billion plan for the environment. It includes further investment in nuclear power, wind energy, domestic heating and cutting-edge technology such as carbon capture and storage. The petrol and diesel ban is to start in nine years – a decade earlier than originally planned. The Prime Minister will herald a ‘green industrial revolution’ that could create 250,000 jobs and slash the country’s carbon emissions.
World War III
FEARS of open conflict between the United States and China surged following reports Beijing is preparing for a “final act of madness” from Donald Trump. According to all major US networks sitting president was defeated earlier this month by Democrat Party rival Joe Biden. However, he is refusing to concede, claiming the election was rigged against him, and has launched a number of legal challenges against the result. Speaking to the Global Times, a state controlled Chinese tabloid, an international relations expert warned Mr Trump could try and intensify his conflict with Beijing during his final months in office.
CHINA has sparked fears of an all-out conflict with Taiwan after footage emerged of a beach assault drill conducted by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The simulation, carried out on Tuesday, follows remarks by Chinese state media claiming China’s president Xi Jinping is preparing for multiple armed conflicts. Last month, Newspaper Global Times reported that Mr Xi “said the PLA Navy Marine Corps is an elite force for amphibious operations, and it shoulders the important duties of safeguarding the country’s sovereignty security, territorial integrity, maritime interests, and overseas interests.”
Sir Geoff Hurst has called for urgent new heading restrictions in professional football and a complete heading ban for young children after the devastating loss of four World Cup-winning team-mates with dementia. In an interview with The Telegraph, Hurst also said that his own personal risk was now a factor which “crosses my mind” following research which proved a link between professional football and neurodegenerative disease. Of England’s greatest team, Ray Wilson, Martin Peters, Jack Charlton, Nobby Stiles and manager Sir Alf Ramsey have all died after living with dementia and it was disclosed earlier this month that Sir Bobby Charlton has been diagnosed with the disease.
Sir Geoff Hurst has offered to donate his own brain for dementia research after watching 1966 team mates die in an “unbelievably brutal” year. Hurst, 78, the hat-trick hero of English football’s greatest triumph, has seen former team mates Nobby Stiles and Jack Charlton die this year and Sir Bobby Charlton diagnosed with dementia in 2020. Former England striker Hurst is one of only four members of the World Cup winning team still alive and admits he has been left deeply “shocked and saddened” to see his friends and team mates pass away down the years. Hurst believes more must be done to combat dementia and Alzheimers disease which has been closely associated with heading footballs and the deaths of former England players like Martin Peters, Ray Wilson and ex-West Brom striker Jeff Astle.