Brexit

Boris is starting to talk tough in the Telegraph.

Boris Johnson has accused the European Union of threatening to impose a food “blockade” in the Irish Sea that would destroy the “economic and territorial integrity of the UK”.
Writing in The Telegraph (you can read the article in full below), the Prime Minister made a passionate defence of his decision to alter the Brexit divorce deal, saying he has to protect Britain from the “disaster” of handing Brussels the “power to carve up our country”.
He also issued a direct plea to Tory MPs threatening to rebel over his plans, telling them that, if they stand in his way, they will reduce the chance of getting a trade deal with the EU.
Mr Johnson insisted a Canada-style trade deal with the bloc is still possible and remains his goal, but that Brussels must “take their threats off the table” and rebel MPs must get into line. He also believes the UK will still “prosper mightily” under a narrower, Australia-style trade deal.
The Prime Minister claimed the EU could effectively impose a food blockade across the Irish Sea by refusing to grant the UK approved “third party” status for food exports, which officials say Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has “explicitly” threatened.

Several of the other papers have reported on this.  The Sun says:

BORIS JOHNSON has said Brussels could “carve up our country” if Tory MPs rebel to block the Brexit bill.
The PM is facing a backbench revolt over his bombshell threat to rip up parts of the Withdrawal Agreement.
Mr Johnson has said his controversial legislation to override parts of his Brexit deal is needed to end EU threats to install the “blockade” in the Irish Sea.

The Guardian also quotes the PM.

Boris Johnson has said his controversial legislation to override parts of his Brexit deal is needed to end EU threats to install a “blockade” in the Irish Sea.
The prime minister said Brussels could “carve up our country” and “seriously endanger peace and stability” in Northern Ireland if Conservative MPs rebel to block the internal market bill.
Johnson is working to quell a plan to amend the legislation from senior Tories who are angry that it could break international law by overriding the withdrawal agreement signed with the EU last year.
The EU has said the move is a serious breach of trust and has threatened to take legal action if Johnson does not alter the bill by the end of the month.

Even Remain Central, aka the Times reports on the comments.

Boris Johnson has accused the EU of threatening a “blockade” in the Irish Sea in an effort to rally Tories to a concluding Brexit battle.
The prime minister said that Brussels could “carve up our country” and “seriously endanger peace and stability” in Northern Ireland.
He accused the EU of provoking the UK into insisting on a unilateral interpretation of the Brexit deal by threatening food exports.

It’s all getting very nasty, says the Mail.

Boris Johnson is accusing the EU of trying to disrupt the ‘territorial integrity’ of the United Kingdom with a ‘blockade’ in the Irish Sea.
The Prime Minister said Brussels could ‘carve up our country’ and ‘seriously endanger peace and stability’ in Northern Ireland if Conservative MPs fail to back controversial legislation to override parts of his Brexit deal.
Mr Johnson is working to quell a plan to amend the bill from senior Tories – who are incensed that it could break international law by flouting the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Guardian claims the PM’s move aims to push the EU into a deal.

Britain’s Brexit negotiators believe Downing Street’s plan to break international law, pushing the trade and security negotiations to the brink, may have helped reboot the talks by offering Brussels a reality check about the looming danger of a no-deal outcome.
The publication of the internal market bill on Wednesday, under which key parts of the withdrawal agreement agreed last year would be negated, has enraged the EU and prompted an internal rebellion within the Conservative party.

And City AM claims the new Bill will not get through the House of Lords.

The House of Lords may block Boris Johnson’s efforts to pass controversial legislation seeking to override the Brexit withdrawal agreement, peers have warned.
Former Conservative Party leader, Lord Howard of Lympne, said he would be “very surprised” if the UK Internal Market Bill was passed through the House of Lords.

EU

Meanwhile, across the Channel, politicians are cross says the Express.

FURIOUS Euro politicians tonight threatened to veto the Brexit deal unless Boris Johnson scraped key legislation.
It came as Michel Barnier vowed to throw the brakes on the talks after a tumultuous week of wrangling over the future relationship. During private meetings with senior European figures, the Brussels bureaucrat said he was reluctant to offer Britain concessions because of a furious row over legislation that would overwrite large swathes of the Withdrawal Agreement. The Frenchman was said to have lashed out at “British spin” after Downing Street officials claimed the European Union was softening its position, according to a source familiar with the talks. Mr Barnier also poured cold water over next week’s informal trade talks, insisting he would not budge from the bloc’s hardline demands for access to the UK’s coastal waters and a regulatory playing field with a role for European judges.

Reuters claims the bloc with veto any deal if the Bill goes through.

The European Parliament will not grant its necessary approval to any new EU-UK trade deal unless Britain fully implements its earlier divorce deal with the bloc, an official familiar with a looming statement by European lawmakers told Reuters.
The chamber must approve any new EU trade deal with Britain for it to be enacted.

And EU negotiators are still refusing any further discussions says the Express.

BRUSSELS is refusing to discuss British proposals to ensure a fair competition between the two sides as wrangling over a free-trade agreement descended into chaos.
Lord Frost, Britain’s chief negotiator with the EU, pushed to hold talks over a legal text on the bloc’s demands for a regulatory level-playing field after the end of the post-Brexit transition period. But Michel Barnier has refused to discuss the proposals because they fall short of his expectations.

The Sun claims Barmier could be losing his nerve.

BRITISH negotiators say Michel Barnier is starting to soften as they gather themselves for one last huge push to get a Brexit deal over the line.
No 10’s main man David Frost can see light at the end of the tunnel despite an explosive week of mudslinging.
It saw the EU threaten to block £5billion worth of British food exports in a high-stakes stand-off.

Reuters reports on the continuing plans for no deal.

The European Union stepped up planning for a “no-deal” Brexit on Friday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government refused to revoke a plan to break the divorce treaty that Brussels says will sink four years of talks.
Britain said explicitly this week that it plans to break international law by breaching parts of the Withdrawal Agreement treaty that it signed in January, when it formally left the bloc.

The BC’s chief reporter has told the Express how the EU intends to try and destroy the UK.

THE BBC’s Katya Adler has outlined the EU’s threat to wipe out Britain’s agricultural, car and financial industries if Britain defies Brussels again.
The BBC‘s Europe Editor Katya Adler has warned that the EU has plotted out a series of economic weapons to use against the UK. Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, Adler revealed the European Union’s plan to hit the UK’s car and financial industry. Tensions have recently flared between the EU and the UK this week after Boris Johnson unveiled legislation that would breach the original Brexit withdrawal deal.

Scotland

Wee Burney is not having a good time north of the border, reports the Telegraph.

The BBC is facing a major backlash from Scottish nationalists after it said it would no longer routinely broadcast Nicola Sturgeon’s daily press conferences on TV.
The First Minister suggested the decision, which came after opposition politicians compared her performances to party political broadcasts, could place older people at risk and some of her supporters demanded boycotts of the corporation.

And iNews reports on a bid for freedom from the mainland.

It is the untamed archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean that 23,000 people call home, and is best known for its ponies, traditional knitwear and being a “gastronomic paradise”.
But the Shetland Islands sought to create a new narrative this week when its council passed a motion to explore breaking off politically and financially from Edinburgh and London.

Fisheries

The Express is the only paper to quote a member of the Bruges Group’s view on our fish.

BREXIT Britain will engage in “conflict” with EU member states in a bid to protect UK waters once the country has fully cut ties with the European Union at the end of the year, an expert has claimed.
Dr Niall McCrae, from the think tank the Bruges Group’s, argued that British fishermen could expert clashes with EU member states over access to UK fishing waters. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Dr McCrae said clashes could occur if a satisfying post-Brexit trade deal – including elements on fishing – isn’t agreed between the two sides. He noted UK fishermen may have to defend themselves from French and Spanish boats, and even Irish vessels.

Trade deal

We’re starting to complete trade deals around the world, says the Times.

Britain will be able to trade with Japan on the same or better terms at the end of the Brexit transition period, ministers said, as they announced an agreement on a new post-EU partnership.
The deal will replace the EU trade agreement that expires at the end of the transitional period in December. It will protect existing imports and exports between the two countries and, ministers claimed, had the potential to improve future trade by up to £15 billion from the present levels of about £30 billion a year.

And there are more deals to come, says the Express.

BORIS Johnson says Britain will prosper outside the EU thanks to a £100 billion post-Brexit trading bonanza.
The Prime Minister said bumper trade deals are being lined up with the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada that will boost British firms and create tens of thousands of new jobs. It comes after the UK secured a “historic” first trade deal since quitting the European Union following an agreement with Japan.

Guido reports the prospect of a deal might get Brexit back on track.

The Government is hoping this morning’s shock news of the UK’s new trade deal signing with Japan will calm supporters’ nerves and get Brexit back on track after the last week’s news and rows over the Internal Market Bill, Guido hears. The deal, which represents a boost to trade of £15.2 billion over the next 15 years was agreed this morning via video call between Liz Truss and Japan’s Foreign Minister Motegi. The news came as a big surprise – most were expecting the talks to wrap up by the end of the month…
The DfIT had been deliberately keeping the true progress of the talks close to their chest in efforts not to trip up the deal, and are delighted they managed to pull the trade coup off before the end of the week.

Second wave

Corona-time, and the Times reports the prospect of fines for those who do not stay at home when they’re supposed to.

Boris Johnson is drawing up plans to fine people who breach self-isolation rules amid mounting concern that Britain is facing a second wave of coronavirus.
The prime minister is considering enforcing the measure after evidence suggested that people were routinely ignoring advice and leaving their homes.
The move, described as a realistic next step, would be part of a “carrot and stick” approach in which people could also be given bigger payments while they were isolating. The approach is likely to mirror quarantine measures for those returning from holidays, which require isolation for 14 days.
Police can issue fines of up to £1,000 for breaching quarantine, although the powers have barely been used. Only 34 people have been fined since the measures were introduced.

And ITV News says these measures are necessary as the ‘R’ number climbs.

Tough new Covid-19 lockdown measures have been announced for parts of the UK as cases continued to rise and the R number climbed above one.
New measures banning people from mixing in homes and gardens will be imposed on Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell from Tuesday in response to a rocketing infection rate in the area.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the body representing rank and file police officers urged people to look after each other and avoid a “party weekend” before the “rule of six” restrictions come into force on Monday.

The numbers are growing in the over-50s, says the Telegraph.

Coronavirus cases are surging among the over-fifties, according to government figures seen by the Telegraph.
Senior officials have warned of “worrying” signs for higher risk groups, with Public Health England (PHE) data revealing that infections increased 92 per cent among those in their fifties last week, 72 per cent among sixty-somethings, and 44 per cent among those in their 80s.

And cases are doubling weekly, claims the Guardian.

New cases of coronavirus are doubling almost weekly across England, figures revealed, as Birmingham became the biggest local authority to announce a tightening of lockdown measures and health officials flagged “worrying signs” of infections in elderly people.
The measures to be introduced in Birmingham next week mean more than 7.3 million people – 11% of the UK population – will be living in areas affected by some level of local lockdown, according to a Guardian analysis.

Tracing

The new tracing app is about to be launched, says the Mail.

England’s beleaguered Covid-19 contact tracing app will finally launch on September 24, the Department of Health confirmed today after Nicola Sturgeon beat Boris Johnson to the punch once again by setting Scotland’s app live yesterday.
Officials in Westminster originally promised the app, hailed by ministers as a ‘game changer’, would be ready by May, but its rollout was repeatedly delayed because the software struggled to pass trials on the Isle of Wight.
The app will add to the NHS Test & Trace service which aims to track down people who have been close to those infected with the coronavirus.

BBC News also has the story of the app.

A new Covid-19 contact-tracing app will be launched across England and Wales on 24 September, the government has announced.
The app will let people scan barcode-like QR codes to register visits to hospitality venues and will implement Apple and Google’s method of detecting other smartphones.
Businesses are being asked to display QR code posters to support the app.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the launch as “a defining moment”.

Testing

Testing at airports might just save BA, reports the Telegraph.

British Airways “can survive”, but only if the Government takes action on airport testing, the company’s chief executive has warned.
In an article for the Telegraph, Alex Cruz warned that the aviation sector was fighting “for its very survival” after losing 95 per cent of its flights during lockdown, and still running at only 30 per cent of capacity in face of the 14-day UK quarantine.
This week, BA announced it had cut 8,236 jobs.

And testing could permit a relaxation of social distancing rules, says the Times.

People could be allowed to go to football stadiums and theatres with relaxed social distancing rules from the end of next month under government plans to pilot saliva-based coronavirus tests.
The government wants to give tests to people which can rapidly establish whether someone is infectious as they arrive at venues. Those who pass the test will be allowed to enter. However, they will not give people a wider licence to breach social distancing rules.

‘Rule of six’

Dissent in cabinet is reported in the Telegraph.

Michael Gove played a central role in persuading Boris Johnson to adopt the controversial “rule of six” in the face of strong opposition from fellow ministers, The Telegraph has learned.
Mr Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, was one of only two Cabinet ministers who argued for the “draconian” new measure when the decision was made earlier this week.

The Mail says the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was the guiding light.

Michael Gove played a key role in pushing through this week’s controversial Covid-19 clampdown, it emerged last night.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock was heavily outnumbered at a meeting of Boris Johnson’s Covid cabinet on Tuesday when he put forward plans to cut the limit on social gatherings to just six.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Business Secretary Alok Sharma, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and  Home Secretary Priti Patel are understood to have made the case for a higher limit of at least eight.

A leading Tory has called for the scrapping of all coronavirus rules, reports Breitbart.

Steve Baker has criticised the prime minister’s “draconian” new coronavirus rules which were passed without parliamentary scrutiny, saying, “This is not a fit legal environment for a free people.”
The leading Conservative MP has become one of the first in parliament to openly criticise Boris Johnson’s decision on Wednesday to impose strict laws forbidding more than six people from gathering in public or private spaces in response to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases.
Government figures are also reportedly unhappy with the new rules, with a Cabinet source telling the Daily Mail that every minister in the coronavirus response group was against the ‘rule of six’, apart from Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Booze cruise

Do you remember crossing to France for some cheap wine and beer?  The practice may return says the Mail.

Holidaying Britons will once again be able to snap up cut-price alcohol on holidays to Europe under a new post-Brexit regime from January.
Passengers making their way to EU countries from the UK are currently excluded from duty-free – but this is set to change once the transition period for leaving the European Union ends on December 31.
The Treasury today confirmed Brits can expect savings of £2.86 for a 75cl bottle of Champagne or Prosecco and £2.28 for six 50cl cans of four per cent ABV beer.

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