Brexit

We’re out!  And the media have reported, in their own way, how we did it.

The Mail claims Brexiteers were jubilant.

Britain has ushered in a new chapter outside the European Union as Brexit was at last delivered, drawing a line under 47 years of membership.
On the stroke of 11pm last night, the UK officially divorced from the bloc after three years of bitter political struggle that split families and paralysed Westminster.
Jubilant Brexiteers heralded the moment with celebrations across the country, including a flagship bash in London’s Parliament Square headlined by Nigel Farage.

And the Sun reports the celebrations of millions.

BRITAIN has finally left the EU tonight as millions celebrate one of the biggest moments in the nation’s history.
The UK is at last an independent country again, sparking wild scenes of joy across our United Kingdom.
After years of dither and delay, tonight the public celebrates with Boris Johnson finally delivering Brexit.
It came as the Prime Minister vowed to unleash the “full potential” of Brexit Britain and pledged “hope and opportunity” for the North.

The Telegraph says:

The UK left the European Union on Friday night, as Brexiteers celebrated the end of a winding three-year political process with parties across the country.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there may be “bumps in the road” but Brexit can “unleash the full potential” of the UK now it has left the bloc.

But Breitbart reports a controversial BBC programme for children

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) marked Brexit Day with a “special” programme for children pouring scorn on British history and claiming “British things” don’t exist.
The skit for CBBC, which is aimed at children, was introduced by Nish Kumar, who presents a left-wing “comedy” programme for the publicly-funded broadcaster almost entirely dominated by anti-Brexit leftists, with right-leaning comics such as Geoff Norcott wheeled out only occasionally as a kind of curiosity.

EU

Meanwhile, the bloc has not stopped demanding money from us, reports the Telegraph.

The European Commission has issued Britain with a bill for £1.09 billion on the very evening that it finally left the EU.
Every year Brussels recalculates the contributions member states make to the EU Budget. This year, due to an increase in Gross National Income and VAT contributions, EU officials believe Britain owes an extra €1.09 billion.
The demand for payment was sent to the UK embassy to the EU and has been notified to the British government.
EU sources said the bill was for the period of 2019-20. Britain’s payment to Brussels for 2019 was nearly £9 billion pounds.

The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, has written an open letter to us in the Times:

Dear British friends,
Your country has just left the European Union, after 47 years of life together.
It is the result of the sovereign decision the British people expressed in the referendum of June 2016, a democratic choice France has always respected.
Yet I must also tell you, as an ally and, even more, as a friend and true European, how deeply sad I am at this departure. And I am thinking, today, of the millions of Britons – from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – who still feel deeply attached to the European Union.

The bloc’s boss has said the EU will have to ‘reinvent’ itself, reports the Independent.

The European Commission president has wished Britain well with Brexit, but warned that “strength does not lie in splendid isolation”
On the day of the UK’s departure, Ursula von der Leyen and other top officials told a gathering in Brussels that they should look at the future of the European project, as the bloc plans to reinvent itself at 27 members.
“We know very well that as the sun rises tomorrow a new chapter for our union of 27 will start,” Ms von der Leyen told an audience in the Parliamentarium, a museum dedicated to the history of pan-European democracy.

And the Irish vice-president has warned of trouble ahead, in the Express.

EU PARLIAMENT Vice-President Mairead McGuinness warned Britain on the upcoming Brexit stage that may be harder than the last three years.
Britain is set to leave the European Union, after 47 years of membership, today at 11pm. This momentous occasion will see Brexiteers around the country celebrating. However, the Vice-President of the EU Parliament Mairead McGuiness warned Britain that the more “difficult” stage could still be ahead.

Many of the bloc’s senior people were ‘sad’ at our leaving, says the Sun.

TOP eurocrats expressed sadness as Brexit arrived, with French negotiator Michel Barnier calling it “an emotional day”.
He said things “would never be the same” because “the British don’t want them to be”.
Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said she would miss the UK’s “very pragmatic, very down-to-earth” approach.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the loss of the UK was “a deep break for us all”.
Dutch PM Mark Rutte said: “There’s nothing to celebrate.”

The Mail reports on a symbolic gesture in Brussels.

The Union Jack was symbolically removed from a display of EU member state flags in Brussels tonight with just hours to go until Brexit takes place.
The red, white and blue national emblem was taken out of the line-up outside the European Council in the Belgian capital this evening.
Similar removals took place at other EU buildings and the blue European flag was taken down from a pole outside the UK mission in the Belgian capital, as EU leaders admitted the bloc must change to be ‘better loved’ if it wants to stop other countries leaving.

The Times calls it ‘a new chapter’ in history.

A page was turned and a new chapter in Britain’s history began at 11pm last night as the Union Jack was taken down in the European parliament in Brussels while cheers rose on Parliament Square in Westminster. One thousand, three hundred and 18 days (and one hour) after polling closed in the EU referendum of 2016, Britain had cancelled its membership of the European Union.

The French president talks of a ‘shock’ inside the EU, reports Breitbart.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that Brexit is a “shock” and a “historic wake-up call” for the whole of the EU.
The French president, who is an avid supporter of the globalist-progressive European Project, made the remarks during a pre-recorded television address to the people of France, aired hours before the UK officially leaves the European Union.
“This departure is a shock,” Mr Macron said in comments reported by Ouest-France. “It is a historic wake-up call which must be heard in each of our countries, be heard by the whole of Europe, and make us think.”
However, rather than Brexit being a time for reflection and of considering returning sovereignty to the people of Europe, Mr Macron maintains that the continent needs more EU, more super-state bureaucracy, not less.

But other countries could follow us out, says the Express.

A BREXIT Day poll conducted by Express.co.uk has found that Italy is the favourite to follow the UK out of the European Union after Britain leaves at 11pm tonight.
More than 7,000 readers had their say in the ballot on the final day of the UK’s membership of the bloc as voters across the country prepared to mark the momentous occasion. Boris Johnson will address the nation at 10pm while Nigel Farage will lead a Brexit bash outside Parliament to help Britons ring in the new era in style.

Fisheries

But the bloc is not going to play fair, says the Irish T-shirt in the Express.

IRELAND’s leader Leo Varadkar has taken a parting shot at Boris Johnson – by suggesting the EU could BLOCK exports of UK fish after Brexit.
Mr Varadkar, the country’s Taoiseach, equivalent to Prime Minister, warned he was ready to take a tough stance in talks aimed at thrashing out a trade deal between the UK and the EU, signalling his determination to protect his country’s fishing and farming communities. Roughly one-third of all of Ireland’s fish – such as mackerel and prawns – comes from UK waters, making the fishing industry crucial to the country’s economy.

And in Briefings for Britain, the site formerly known as Briefings for Brexit, an economist warns against a fisheries trade-off.

Economist Catherine McBride warns against trading UK fishing rights for access to EU financial markets. In advocating this, she says EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan is talking Ireland’s book.
Earlier this week, Phil Hogan, the new EU Trade Commissioner, suggested that the UK could trade access to its fishing waters for EU financial service equivalence – so that UK based financial service firms could sell their products to EU based customers and EU based fishing vessels could fish in UK waters.
This would be a very bad deal for the UK. For a start the two are not equal in ownership. The UK, as a nation, owns its maritime economic exclusion zone, (EEZ) under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea which grants a country the control of all natural resources on its continental shelf or 200 nautical miles from its coast – whichever is the larger.

Trade

The Telegraph reports the Prime Minister’s plans for customs and border checks.

Boris Johnson is preparing to impose full customs and border checks on all European goods entering the UK after Brexit, in a ramping up of pressure on the coming EU-UK trade talks, the Telegraph has learned.
In a radical departure from pre-election ‘no deal’ planning that prioritised the smooth flow of goods into the UK from Europe, Whitehall departments have been told to prepare for imposing the full panoply of checks on EU imports to the UK.

And Michael Gove says the talks will not be plain sailing in the Mail.

Michael Gove today admitted UK trade with the EU after Brexit will not be ‘frictionless’ as Boris Johnson prepares to ask Brussels for an ‘off-the-shelf’ future partnership agreement.
Mr Gove, the minister for the Cabinet Office, said the government wanted trade with the bloc to be ‘as frictionless as possible’ as Britain gets ready to leave the EU at 11pm tonight.
But he conceded that the UK’s plan to diverge from some Brussels rules and regulations would mean the introduction of ‘some bureaucratic processes there that aren’t there now’.

But there is no doubt we could strike deals all over the world, says the Express.

BORIS JOHNSON has received a huge boost after Australia said it wants to finalise a post-Brexit trade agreement with the UK before the end of 2020
Simon Birmingham, the Australian minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, said Canberra was looking to an agreement which “essentially eliminated tariffs, quotas, trade barriers as much as is possible”. He said Australia was ready to get the ball rolling “as soon as the UK is ready to start”. Two-way trade between the UK and Australia was worth £13.8billion in 2018, according to the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Mr Birmingham told ABC Radio Adelaide Brexit has felt like “a never-ending story” but added there was desire to strike an agreement.

More procrastination from the EU in the Express.

FRANCE has threatened to block the UK’s attempts to rescue British Steel, it has emerged, potentially costing up to 4,000 UK jobs which could have been saved by the takeover.
China has come forward to assist Britain in rescuing British Steel from oblivion, but Emmanuel Macron’s government has blocked any hope of a deal between London and Beijing being done. Sky News reports French finance minister Bruno Le Maire told Chancellor Sajid Javid they would not sign a deal to secure the firm’s rescue. The row comes the day Britain leaves the EU.

Coronavirus

In other news, the Times reports the latest on the Chinese virus.

The first two cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK. Here is what you need to know.
Two members of the same family have tested positive for the new form of coronavirus that originated in Wuhan in China. They have been taken to a major isolation unit in Newcastle upon Tyne for treatment.
No details have been confirmed about whether the patients are British nationals or had recently travelled to China, or about where they were taken ill. They were not taken ill on Merseyside or the Wirral, however, where passengers returning from Wuhan are due to be quarantined.

The Sun reports on the numbers.

THE deadly new coronavirus is now worse than the SARS outbreak – as global cases hit almost 10,000.
There were around 8,100 cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) reported during the outbreak between 2002 and 2003.
But the number of people affected by the new coronavirus, which emerged in China in December, has risen around TEN times quicker than with SARS.
It comes as China had its deadliest day yet – with the death toll hitting 213.

ITV News has a more up-to-date number.

The death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 259 and the number of confirmed cases of infection has increased to 11,791, Chinese authorities said.
The increases come as the US declares a public health emergency and takes steps towards stricter rules on entry into the country.
US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that President Donald Trump will temporarily bar entry to the US of foreign nationals believed to be a risk of transmitting the virus.

And Russia has taken action, reports the Mail.

Russia has closed its border with China in a desperate bid to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus that has so far killed 170 people.
The drastic measure was announced on Thursday after every corner of China was confirmed to have cases of the highly contagious disease.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said it was necessary because the country ‘had to do everything it could to protect its people’. He said it would come into effect immediately.

Italy has taken steps to protect its people, reports the Times.

Italy declared a six-month state of emergency today after two Chinese tourists tested positive for the coronavirus, as it became one of the latest countries to confirm cases.
Giuseppe Conte, the prime minister, announced the state of emergency and €5 million in funding to fight the virus’s spread. Flights to and from China were halted late yesterday.
The two infected Chinese tourists, a man aged 66 and his 65 year old wife from Wuhan — the centre of the outbreak — flew into Milan for a holiday on January 23 before visiting Verona and Parma then Rome.

And health professionals are seeking contacts of sufferers, says the Mail.

The hunt is on for 438 air passengers who’ve recently arrived from Wuhan and are yet to be traced – as medics in hazmat suits were seen entering a York hotel where two Chinese tourists fell ill.
Dramatic footage from the budget Staycity shows them marching through an eerily deserted reception area, despite the £49-a-night tourist spot remaining open to guests.
It is believed the medics were deployed to the hotel as part of a cranked-up manhunt to find anyone who came into contact with the two coronavirus patients.

HS2

The high-speed rail line could still go ahead says the Guardian.

Boris Johnson may have given his strongest hint yet that he intends for HS2 to go ahead after telling a 10-year-old interviewer that the way forward was to “keep digging”.
His comment came as he was quizzed as part of a children’s news programme for Sky.
Asked if he could explain more about the high-speed railway line, Johnson said so far money had been wasted and the project had been poorly managed.
In his answer to primary school pupil Braydon Brent during the meeting in Downing Street, he said: “Now the truth is, the people who did it spent far too much money, they were profligate with the way they did it. Do you know what I mean by profligate? They just wasted money.

The Times carries the PM’s words.

Boris Johnson appears to have confirmed that he will give the go-ahead to HS2 in an interview with a schoolboy, saying: “The only thing to do is keep digging.”
During an interview with children on Sky News, the prime minister was asked by Braydon Brent, aged ten, to explain the high-speed rail project.
Mr Johnson suggested that while those who built the line were “profligate” and had left the project in a “big hole”, it should go ahead.

The Telegraph also runs the story.

Boris Johnson appeared to suggest that he will give HS2 the green light after he said the only way to solve the problem was to “keep digging”.
The Prime Minister said that those who had been tasked with building the “colossal railway line” had “wasted money” and acknowledged the Government was in “hole” that they needed to get out of.
“The whole way it was managed was hopeless,” Mr Johnson told 10-year-old Braydon Brent during an interview on Sky News’ FYI news channel for kids.
“So we’re in a hole, we’re in a mess. But we’ve got to get out of it. And we need a way forward, so we’re thinking about how to sort it out now,” he said.

Education

The Guardian reports that inspectors heading for illegal schools will wear cameras.

Ofsted inspectors raiding suspected illegal schools  in England are to be given body-worn cameras for the first time to improve efforts to shut them down, the watchdog has announced.
Staff belonging to Ofsted’s illegal schools taskforce will wear digital video recorders similar to those used by police officers.
The taskforce was set up to investigate groups operating without registering as a school, which may not be following safeguarding or child protection regulations, and lack oversight of teaching and facilities.

Motoring

The Times reports that motorists could be uninsured.

Thousands of motorists are driving without insurance after falling for multimillion-pound scams being promoted on Google, Instagram and Twitter, a Times investigation can reveal.
Britain’s biggest insurance companies have warned that unwitting drivers are taking out cheap car cover from rogue firms that is invalid or does not exist. The scams could leave other road users at risk and are estimated to push up premiums by £50 for every driver, insurers say. They are now calling for tougher web advertising laws to tackle the problem.
The scale of the epidemic is not known as drivers with fake insurance can go undetected for months.

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