BREXIT talks will up sticks to Brussels on Thursday with EU and UK negotiators eying a breakthrough in the wrangling over the trade deal. Lead negotiators Michel Barnier and Lord Frost are set to meet in the Belgian capital after a week of intensified talks in London. The Frenchman’s aides said both sides are “engaging intensively” in the hope of finding an agreement in the coming weeks. Brussels sources say the pair hope to have talks wrapped up by mid-November at the latest. A European Commission spokesman said: “I can confirm that negotiations are ongoing in London right now, they will run until tomorrow and then they will take place here in Brussels, as of Thursday.”
Brexit negotiations are at their most difficult stage, the president of the European Council warned on Tuesday, as Ireland’s foreign minister said a deal could be done within two weeks. “We all know that, in all negotiations, the last and final decisions are the most difficult,” Charles Michel, who chairs summits of EU leaders in Brussels, said. “Will we get a deal? I don’t know – it will depend on what will be on the table.” The former prime minister of Belgium said the two sides were still struggling to bridge differences over fishing, “level playing field” guarantees, especially concerning subsidy law, and the deal’s enforcement.
BORIS JOHNSON has been told to pull the UK out of trade talks with the EU as time is running out to reach an agreement, a new poll has shown. Brexit trade talks between the EU and UK will take place in Brussels from Thursday, it was announced today. European Commission spokesman Dan Ferrie said: “I can confirm that negotiations are ongoing in London right now, they will run until tomorrow and then they will take place here in Brussels, as of Thursday.” He did not say what stage negotiations are currently at, but he added both sides are “engaging intensively” to reach a deal.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen’s plan to “cripple” UK defence has been exposed by a defence analyst. Defence policy analyst and Brexit campaigner David Banks explained that the EU has set up the European Defence and Technological Industrial Base (EDTIB) to set out what all EU countries must achieve. He claimed that the EU can advance its project of defence political integration with the plans. Speaking to The David Ellis Report: EU Boobytrap, Mr Banks said: “Ursula von der Leyen is one of the key characters behind the EU defence architecture and the growth of military EU. “The link between the EU directive and the EU’s defence architecture is that the EU knew that it had to cripple or disable the link between member state defence equipment budgets and domestic industry in order for the EU to have the chance to be the principal supervisor of those industries.
SPAIN is seeking a last-minute Brexit deal with Gibraltar in order to halt any disruption at the start of next year. The Spanish government is working urgently to agree a deal with Gibraltar in order to prevent the disruption for workers who cross into the territory for work. If no deal is reached, there could be serious disruption to the 15,000 people who cross the border to work in Gibraltar every day. Negotiators on both sides are hoping a deal can be reached by mid-November before three-way talks between Spain, Gibraltar and the UK. Any overarching deal with the EU will not include Gibraltar, meaning Spain and the UK must agree a treaty separately.
A five-year-old and eight-year-old died and a baby is reported missing in the third fatal Channel migrant crossing in three months. It is the first involving the deaths of children. A man and woman also died when the small boat packed with about 20 migrants sank in strong winds and freezing waters in the Channel just two miles off the French coast on Tuesday morning. Boris Johnson said his thoughts were with the loved ones of those who had lost their lives, as he pledged the French “every support” to investigate this “terrible incident.” “We will do all we can to crackdown on the ruthless criminal gangs who prey on vulnerable people by facilitating these dangerous journeys,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
At least four migrants, including two children aged five and eight, died yesterday after their small craft with about 20 people on board capsized as they tried to cross the Channel. Searchers were trying to find a baby who was also said by the migrants to have disappeared when the semi-rigid inflatable boat foundered in bad weather five miles off Loon-Plage, between Calais and Dunkirk. In the worst sea accident since asylum seekers began to try crossing the Channel in small boats two years ago, rescue services were alerted by the crew of a passing British pleasurecraft.
The deaths of two children and two adults after a migrant boat sank off the coast of northern France should serve as a “wake-up call” to those in power, charities have said. Fifteen others were taken to hospital but the French authorities believe at least one more could be lost at sea. Care4Calais urged the government to create legal routes for refugees to reach the UK. UK PM Boris Johnson pledged to “crack down” on gangs facilitating crossings. An investigation into the cause of the sinking has been opened by the public prosecutor in Dunkirk. Searches, which paused overnight, are expected to be stepped up again on Wednesday morning, but the BBC’s Simon Jones said it was likely to be “a recovery operation rather than a rescue operation” if there are still people out in the Channel.
The deaths of two children and two adults in the migrant boat tragedy should serve as a “wake-up call” for UK and French leaders, charity bosses have said. A five-year-old, an eight-year-old and two adults died after the vessel sunk off the coast of Dunkirk on Tuesday, French authorities said. More than a dozen people were taken to hospital and searches have been carried out for any others caught up in the tragedy. It is believed to be the single biggest loss of life during the current migrant crisis, and brings the total number of deaths since 2018 to 10.
Two children aged five and eight and two adults have died after a boat capsized off the French coast in stormy weather while trying to cross the Channel to the UK. Emergency services rushed to the scene after a frantic Mayday radio plea, which was received by a small fishing boat nearby, heard the migrants scream: ‘Help us, we’re sinking!’ Fifteen migrants have been saved so far after they were pulled from the waters near the Loon-Plage region of Dunkirk just after 9.30am. The rescue and search operations were still under way until 5pm, when they were paused due to lack of light.
French President Macron could announce a new nationwide lockdown today as a growing wave of anti-lockdown protests sweep Europe. The French government is envisaging a month-long national lockdown to combat the coronavirus resurgence which could take effect from midnight on Thursday, France‘s BFM TV reported yesterday. Macron is due to make a televised address at 8pm today which is expected to see a national lockdown imposed or a host of local measures and curfews extended. His office did not comment on whether Macron would announce such a measure then. The national lockdown under consideration would be ‘more flexible’ than the strict restrictions on movement imposed in France in March this year, reported BFM TV.
Angela Merkel is expected to press for a “lockdown-lite” in which bars and restaurants would be closed and public events banned but schools kept open. The German chancellor has said that the hospital system could collapse before Christmas without tighter restrictions as intensive care wards fill up. Today at an online meeting with the chief ministers of the 16 federal states, which largely set their own coronavirus rules, she will make the case for temporarily shutting much of the economy. Support is growing for a “circuit-breaker” lockdown, possibly involving an order limiting social contacts to two people from outside a household.
French President Emmanuel Macron could set out plans for a new nationwide lockdown later today after a huge spike in Covid-19 deaths. Mr Macron is due to make a televised address at 8pm when it is widely reported that a new month-long national lockdown could be imposed. Other possibilities include a host of local measures, a weekend lockdown and tighter curfews from 7pm extended. Two-thirds of the French population are currently under a nighttime curfew but the PM is reported to have told union bosses these were not enough to control the surge in infections, which on Sunday hit a record of over 52,000 cases.
As the coronavirus crisis drags on, the mood in Europe is turning ugly. Tempers are fraying. Frustration is at boiling point. And, as the shocking photos on this page reveal, with new Covid restrictions being introduced across the continent, many countries are sliding into open rebellion. Take Italy, for example, where this week at least a dozen cities have seen violent protests against the government’s reimposition of a tight lockdown. The most serious occurred in Milan and Turin, where demonstrators committed arson, vandalised public transport, looted shops and attacked the police with stones and petrol bombs.
ALL of England will need to be under severe Tier 3 Covid restrictions by mid-December, gloomy scientists have told ministers. It has dashed Boris Johnson’s hopes of a Christmas reprieve from lockdown rules. The Government’s Sage advisory body has warned that by the festive season, virus rates all over the country will soar past the levels seen in areas already put into the “very high” category. The Sun has learned that the latest government modelling overseen by chief scientist Sir Patrick Vallance shows more than 25,000 will be in hospital with the virus by the end of November — higher than the spring peak.
Boris Johnson’s hopes of saving Christmas have been dashed after experts warned all of England must be under severe Tier 3 lockdown by mid-December, it has been claimed. The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies reportedly predict coronavirus cases across the country will soon have succeeded the levels in areas already in the highest category. With the group’s latest modelling suggesting 25,000 people will be in hospital by the end of next month, exceeding the amount during the pandemic’s peak in April. In comparison, 9,199 Covid-19 patients were in England’s hospital on Tuesday – while the UK saw its highest daily death toll since May 27 with 367 fatalities.
Downing Street is privately working on the assumption that the second wave of coronavirus will be more deadly than the first, with the death toll remaining high throughout the winter. An internal analysis of the projected course of the second wave is understood to show deaths peaking at a lower level than in the spring but remaining at that level for weeks or even months. It is understood that the projection – provided by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) – has led to intense lobbying from Sir Patrick Vallance and other Government advisers for Boris Johnson to take more drastic action.
GOVERNMENT scientists have predicted that the second Covid-19 wave could be even deadlier than the first with a “lower but longer peak.” Downing Street is supposedly working on the assumption that the death toll during the second wave this winter is going to be worse than what Britain experienced in the spring. While the death rate is set to peak at a lower number than what we saw earlier in 2020 – deaths are set to stay at the same level for weeks or even months on end. If the analysis of the second wave is correct, it will mean that the coronavirus death toll could stay steady for longer than it did in March and April.
BORIS JOHNSON’S Government is preparing for the UK’s second wave of the virus to be even deadlier than the first amid warnings from chief scientists over virus figures. We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. The UK recorded 367 deaths from coronavirus, the highest figure since the end of May, along with another 22,885 cases. Now Government advisers have urged the Prime Minister to curb the spread of the virus by introducing harsh new measures. It comes as Mr Johnson has received warnings across the UK on hospital capacity and about the impact of lockdowns on the north of England.
The government’s scientific advisers are urging the Prime Minister to prepare for a second wave of coronavirus that has a lower daily death toll but which lasts for a longer period of time – making it more deadly overall, it has been claimed. Now SAGE scientists including chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance are pushing for stricter lockdown rules that apply nationwide and argue that the whole country will have to be put under the strictest restrictions by mid-December. The forecast being circulated through Whitehall predicts deaths will hit 500 a day and 25,000 people could be in hospital with the virus by the end of November, after the UK’s death toll passed 60,000 yesterday and the country recorded 357 more deaths.
DEATH rates of people hospitalised with coronavirus have halved since the peak of the first wave of the pandemic earlier this year, breakthrough new research has revealed. We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. The analysis of more than 21,000 admissions, led by the University of Exeter, found high dependency unit admissions and intensive care admissions plummeted between March and the end of June. The findings, which also involved the University of Warwick and was supported by The Alan Turing Institute, revealed from late March, 26 percent of people admitted to high dependency units and 41 per cent of people admitted to intensive care died from COVID-19.
THE death rate among people with severe Covid-19 has halved since the peak of the pandemic, new research has revealed. People admitted to hospital are now far more likely to survive thanks to better treatments and a greater understanding of the virus. A study of more than 21,000 patients found a significant drop in death rates in intensive care and high-dependency units between March and the end of June. Dr John Dennis, of the University of Exeter Medical School, who led the research, said: “The improvement in death rates in recent months is not simply due to younger, or previously healthier, people being admitted to critical care.
A further 367 people have died in the UK in the last day, the highest daily increase in five months and 50% higher than the daily increase last week. The figure is more than six times the daily death toll of 54 announced on 23 March when the national lockdown began. It confirms fears about the escalating second wave of the pandemic and brings the total of those who died within 28 days of testing positive to 45,365. It marks the highest daily increase since 27 May when 422 people were reported to have died.
Quarantine should be slashed to five days through coronavirus testing that would catch nearly nine in 10 cases, senior Tory MPs have told Boris Johnson in a letter ahead of next week’s Government taskforce report to the Prime Minister. The letter – signed by MPs including Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the influential Tory backbench 1922 Committee, and six former ministers – said the Government’s current proposal for testing at seven days is too long, citing evidence that tests on the fifth day could catch at least 88 per cent of cases.
Free school meals
Boris Johnson’s own food tsar yesterday accused him of ‘not doing enough’ to prevent children going hungry – as he urged Downing Street to spend £1.2 billion tackling the problem. Henry Dimbleby, the co-founder of the Leon restaurant, demanded urgent action including the nationwide rollout of holiday clubs during school breaks. The Government is facing mounting public anger at its refusal to extend free school meals into half-term and beyond following a campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford. Stars including Coldplay and One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson yesterday urged fans to sign a petition organised by the Manchester United and England footballer.
Boris Johnson’s food tsar said last night that the government had a “moral obligation” to stop disadvantaged children going hungry as he announced plans for a £1.2 billion programme to help those most in need. Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain and the government’s adviser on food strategy, has sent Downing Street a four-point plan to tackle child hunger and urged ministers to “set aside ideology”. The proposals include a holiday activity and food programme costing £500 million a year, a £100 million healthy food voucher scheme and a £670 million extension of the free school meals programme.
EFFORTS to feeds hundreds of thousands of vulnerable schoolchildren continued today as the government refused to reverse its decision to deny them free meals during the October half-term break. Protests multiplied outside the offices of Tory MPs who last Wednesday voted down a Labour proposal in the Commons to continue providing school meals or vouchers during the break, as happened over the summer. Ministers said today that they are examining how holiday clubs could be used to feed hungry children in England in an effort to defuse the row.
YELLOWSTONE scientists uncovered a “dome-shaped uplift” in the caldera system, in what scientists have suggested is linked to the intrusion of magma in the volcano. The supervolcano spreads beneath the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho and gets its nickname due to its ability to inflict devastation on a global level. It is monitored by the USGS (United States Geological Survey) for signs that a supereruption is on its way, something that has not happened in more than 640,000 years. University of Utah’s Robert (Bob) Smith made a fascinating breakthrough in understanding how the volcano’s system works after noticing a change in water levels at Yellowstone Lake.