There’s still deadlock in the negotiations between the UK and the EU, says the Express.

EUROPEAN UNION leaders agreed to intensify Brexit negotiations next month during a virtual summit on Friday – but appeared to be unwilling to backdown on fisheries.
EU leaders also reiterated the need to remain firm on fisheries and level playing field issues during the virtual summit. A French official said: “No leader sought to review Michel Barnier’s mandate.”
The EU has previously said an agreement on fisheries is a pre-existing condition to a free trade agreement.


Pressure is still being put upon UK negotiations to give in to EU demands, says the Evening Standard.

MPs are urging ministers to “compromise” and agree to European Union standards to make a breakthrough in trade negotiations with Brussels.
Boris Johnson has been holding video call talks with Brussels. During a meeting on Monday, he told the EU to “put a tiger in the tank” and step up efforts to reach a deal by July 31.
The EU’s long term insistence that the UK maintain a “level playing field” on workers’ rights, environmental standards and state subsidies after leaving the bloc has been a major stumbling block throughout negotiations.
But MPs on the Future Relationship with the European Union Committee have now asked UK ministers to “show where they are willing to move” by agreeing to follow “level playing field” terms as a base mark for UK standards when the transition period ends next year.

Northern Ireland

The government is planning to help businesses in the province if the EU slaps tariffs on them reports the Guardian.

The government is to reimburse Northern Irish businesses if they are hit by tariffs due to a collapse in Brexit talks, Michael Gove has said.
He revealed the plans after being criticised by MPs over Brexit arrangements for the region.
“We want to make sure that in the event of there not being a free trade agreement of whatever kind with the EU that we are in a position to indemnify and reimburse companies for tariffs,” the minister for the Cabinet Office told the Northern Ireland affairs select committee.

The Express also reports Mr Gove’s plans.

MICHAEL Gove announced that if businesses in Northern Ireland are hit by tariffs due to a failure in Brexit talks, he will reimburse them.
This comes after Mr Gove received heavy criticism from MP’s about being unprepared for the region of Northern Ireland. The Chancellor of the Lancaster of Duchy told the Northern Ireland affairs committee that: “We want to make sure that in the event of there not being a free trade agreement of whatever kind with the EU that we are in a position to indemnify and reimburse companies for tariffs.” When we talk about a ‘No-Deal’ that would mean a particular arrangement for Northern Ireland.
It would see EU tariffs payable on goods operating within the region, but then for goods that they don’t venture into the Republic of Ireland, you’d see rebates being granted.


The Telegraph outlines where the EU could start getting nasty.

Beef and lamb will be among the products targeted first by EU tariffs if the UK refuses to stick to level playing field guarantees in a trade deal with Brussels, the European Parliament has said.
The warning to the nation’s farmers emerged as France’s Europe Minister said on Friday that Britain couldn’t afford a no trade deal exit because of the economic impact of coronavirus.
“Those who need the deal the most are the British, they cannot withstand a second shock after the epidemic,” Amélie de Montchalin said, “they won’t have access to the safety net of Europe”.

There’s still a gulf between the two sides, reports Reuters.

Britain and the European Union still need to bridge “wide divergences” to reach a post-Brexit trade agreement, the European Union’s chief executive said on Friday, following a video summit of EU leaders.
“We have to bridge wide divergences,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference.
“Time is short, however, and even if we find a deal, many things will still change in our relationship with the United Kingdom, for citizens, for businesses, for administrations, Von der Leyen said.

And the bloc’s negotiator is talking tough, says the Telegraph.

Michel Barnier is refusing to negotiate with the UK on the future trading relationship until the UK agrees to the EU’s idea of a ‘level playing field’.
One of its key issues concerning the EU is ‘dumping’. Brussels is worried that the UK will become a super-competitive, de-regulated ‘Singapore-on-Thames’ that undercuts the prices of products produced in the EU, in the same way that China does.
However, the opposite is the case. It is the nineteen EU member states operating a single currency, the euro, in the Eurozone (EZ), that are dumping their goods onto world markets ‒ in particular the UK ‒ because the euro is a structurally undervalued currency.

The EU boss is begging individual countries for help, says the Express.

URSULA VON DER LEYEN has issued a final plea to the European Union on her Twitter account ahead of final talks on how to aid the economy after the coronavirus pandemic.
The European Commission President urged leaders to endorse the bloc’s plan to aid the economy after coronavirus without delay. The EU27 have been discussing the future long-term budget and a multi-billion-euro post-coronavirus recovery plan during summits. Today’s meeting is just the first in intense discussions that could culminate with a deal in July if member states can overcome their differences.


Wee Burney is determined to stay as close to the EU as possible, says the Express.

SCOTLAND is attempting to stay linked with the EU by passing a bill which will allow Scottish ministers a discretionary power to align Scots law with EU legislation after Brexit.
Constitution Secretary Mike Russell MSP said a new Bill at Holyrood will mean, on devolved matters, Scottish law can keep in line with those in Europe “when appropriate and practicable to do so”. Nicola Sturgeon’s government says its UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill will provide for continuity of provision that would otherwise be lost with Brexit.


The Mail has an interesting piece on the origins of the group leading the race riots.

Who are Black Lives Matter? Where did they come from and what, exactly, do they believe in?
These may seem silly questions. But in a month when Premier League footballers have joined Sir Keir Starmer and other British celebrities in ‘taking the knee’ to express their ‘collective support for the Black Lives Matter movement’, it is important that we ask them.
Ask most people who have protested on Britain’s streets following the killing of George Floyd and you will probably get one of two answers.

National insurance

In an exclusive report, the Sun claims the Chancellor is planning to get the economy back on track.

RISHI Sunak is considering slashing National Insurance contributions to spark a hiring spree by virus-hit firms.
The Chancellor believes the move will help struggling businesses get back on their feet.
He will set out his plan for NICs in the coming weeks.
Boris Johnson yesterday revealed the blueprint to help Britain “bounce forward” will be revealed soon.

Lockdown end

The end is nigh!  The Telegraph reports the PM’s plans.

Boris Johnson is preparing to end the “big national lockdown” with a raft of announcements to reopen England in the next fortnight after the official threat rating from coronavirus was reduced for the first time.
The government’s scientific advisers have given the go-ahead for the two-metre social distancing rule to be cut in half – providing masks are worn in certain circumstances – which will pave the way for pubs, restaurants and hotels to reopen early next month.

But raves during this warm weather will be quashed, says the Mail.

Lockdown-breaking revellers attending illegal raves at the weekend could face criminal prosecution, police have warned.
David Jamieson, West Midlands police and  crime  commissioner, said young people risked their families’ wellbeing by breaching social distancing rules.
He added there was an ‘indication’ there may be an illegal gathering in or around the region this weekend.

The West Midlands will be especially targeted, says ITV News.

Lockdown-breaking revellers are being urged not to attend illegal raves at the weekend as police warned they could face criminal prosecution.
David Jamieson, West Midlands police and crime commissioner, said young people risked their families’ wellbeing by breaching social-distancing rules.
He added there was an “indication” there may be an illegal gathering in or around the region this weekend.
Forces across the country have also urged people not to attend illegal raves because they are not safe and risk spreading coronavirus.

The alert level has been reduced, reports the Mirror.

The UK’s chief medical officers have ruled that the Covid-19 alert level should be lowered for the first time since lockdown began.
The Joint Biosecurity Centre has decided that the alert will change to “epidemic is in general circulation” from “transmission is high or rising exponentially”.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the lowering of the Covid-19 alert level is a “big moment” for the UK, and showed the “Government’s plan is working”.

And social distancing rules could be relaxed, says the Mail.

The two-metre rule is finally set to be relaxed following a significant lowering of the virus alert level.
A Government source last night revealed that scientific advisers were now ‘totally comfortable’ with reducing the restriction – provided other precautions are in place.
These could include making sure buildings are properly ventilated, greater use of masks or the installation of screens where people might be too close together.


Plans to get all pupils back to school in the autumn are well advanced, says the Times.

Schools could double the size of teaching “bubbles” to 30 to get every child back to full-time education in September, Gavin Williamson said yesterday.
The education secretary’s comments came hours after Boris Johnson pledged that every child would go back to school after the summer holidays.
Asked if the school plan would see children return full-time from the autumn, Mr Johnson said: “Absolutely. Provided we can make the classroom safe, and I think we can, I want every child, every student, every pupil back in September and I’m sure we can get it done.”

The ‘bubble’ size will be increased, reports the Evening Standard.

Gavin Williamson said the Government is looking at returning class sizes to 30 pupils as he hinted England will reduce the two-metre rule.
The Education Secretary said the Government is looking at creating larger “bubbles” to allow class sizes to expand in time for the autumn term.
He told Friday’s Downing Street briefing: “We’ve been creating bubbles of children in the classroom, creating a protective environment for those children.

And class sizes could increase, reports ITV News.

Class size limits imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus could be expanded to allow every child to return to school, a minister said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said his intention is that children of all ages in England should be able to return to school five days a week in September.
Under Government guidance, primary school class sizes should be limited to 15 to minimise the number of people they come into contact with.

But schools will have to wait another couple of weeks for details, reports the Mail.

Schools in England face waiting a fortnight to find out how the government expects to bring every child back to school in September with unions and teachers baffled over how a bubble of 30 children per class will work.
Boris Johnson and Gavin Williamson said on Friday they intend to speed up pupils’ return to the classroom, with the Education Secretary saying the government was looking at expanding bubbles of 15 ‘to include the whole class’.

Schools may not have enough space, reports the Guardian.

Ministers plan to drop restrictions on classroom “bubbles” to let all pupils attend school full-time in England from September, the education secretary has said.
Gavin Williamson said lifting the 15-pupil cap and expanding the size of protective bubbles would enable whole classes of 30 to be taught together, overcoming the lack of space that has resulted in schools having to rotate year groups.

BBC News also has the story.

All pupils in all year groups in England will go back to school full-time in September, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced.
At the daily coronavirus briefing, he said the government was “signed up… to bring every child back, in every year group, in every school”.
Guidance on safety measures will be published in the next fortnight.
It comes after the prime minister announced a £1bn fund to help England’s pupils catch up with learning.

Air travel

The prospect of going abroad on holiday is examined in the Telegraph.

“Air bridges” enabling holidaymakers to sidestep quarantine are likely to open with fewer than 10 predominantly short-haul destinations, The Telegraph understands.
A list of about a dozen potential countries – including Portugal, Spain, Greece and France – is being considered for bilateral agreements which would mean British holidaymakers could fly from July 4 without facing a 14-day quarantine on their arrival or return.
Officials are drawing up criteria by which to determine the risk posed by each destination of spreading coronavirus on tourists’ return.

And there’s a rush to book holidays, says the Sun.

WITH air bridges expected with Greece, Portugal, France and Spain by the end of the month, Brits are rushing to book holiday in July.
The ‘bridges’ would allow Brits to skip quarantine when arriving back in the UK after travelling, as well as any isolation requirements in the selected countries.
In the last few days, France has reopened its borders to Brits and Spain has also said that it will welcome tourists from the UK on June 21.
Since then, travel companies have seen a rush of interest from Brits keen to book their holidays for July.

There will be lots of testing, says the Times.

Air passengers will be tested for Covid-19 on arrival into the UK for the first time under plans to phase out blanket quarantine restrictions, The Times has learnt.
A trial will be launched at a big airport next month that will involve travellers receiving a swab test after passing through immigration and customs.
The tests — similar to those administered by the NHS — will in time identify those infected with the virus in as little as seven hours. It is hoped that  passengers with negative results will be able to avoid the compulsory two-week isolation period.

Spain is expected to start to welcome travellers soon, reports the Sun.

SPAIN is reportedly expected to announce a decision on opening a UK air bridge to allow holidaymakers to return “within hours”.
Brit tourists had seen their hopes of a summer holiday dashed as they faced a 14 day quarantine when they returned to the UK.
Government discussions have however been ongoing about the so-called “air bridges” – also known as “travel corridors”.


Fancy a pint?  The Times reports forthcoming plans.

Beer gardens will be patrolled to enforce social distancing, hotels will leave room service at the door and restaurant tables will not be set in advance under plans to reopen the hospitality sector seen by The Times.
Boris Johnson will announce next week that the two-metre rule will be relaxed from July 4 and that pubs, restaurants, cafés and attractions can reopen as he attempts to revive the economy. Guidance drawn up by the government and the hospitality industry will also be published as Britain embarks on a “new normal”.

Pubs could be patrolled, says the Star.

As the hospitality industry looks to open next month, pubs will implement new measures which include patrolling to ensure customers remain socially distanced.
Plans were revealed yesterday as the hospitality sector gears up to get back to business.
The new measures will also see changes in restaurants, tables will no longer be laid out in advance and hotel porters will leave room service outside rooms.

And Sky News says orders will be made by app.

Ordering pints on a phone app and having social distancing enforced by patrols could be the norm for the hospitality sector as lockdown measures continue to be eased.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce next week how pubs, cafes, restaurants and hotels can reopen in England from 4 July.
According to a report in The Times, guidance for the hospitality sector includes having drinks ordered using phone apps and not setting restaurant tables in advance.

There could be drinking on the streets, says the Mail.

Beer gardens will be patrolled by staff to enforce social distancing rules and pubs automatically entitled to serve alcohol for people to drink on the pavement in the street, under new guidelines to the hospitality sector.
The government has drawn up plans to introduce a ‘new normal’ in pubs, restaurants and cafes as they prepare to reopen on July 4th, with the two-metre rule finally set to be relaxed following a significant lowering of the virus alert level.

The Times describes it as an ‘al fresco revolution’.

Every pub, bar, restaurant and café in England will be allowed to sell beer and wine for people to drink outdoors as part of an “al fresco revolution” under a shake-up of licensing laws.
Next week the government will table legislation that will automatically allow any venue with an alcohol licence to sell drinks for people to take away. It will also include plans to fast-track approval for outlets setting up tables and chairs on pavements outside their premises in a bid to encourage people to drink outside.


The number of patients in intensive care is dropping, reports the Telegraph.

The largest hospital trust in England has become the first to declare it has no Covid-19 patients requiring treatment in intensive care.
Dr David Rosser, who heads the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), said there were signs that infected patients “don’t seem as sick, on average, as they were”.
At the peak of the recent outbreak, around 30 per cent of the trust’s normal treatment capacity had been taken up to cope with Covid-19 patients, the health chief told a webinar with the media.
The West Midlands has been among the hardest hit regions in the country by the virus, with 4,735 dying after testing positive for Covid-19.

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