EU

The bloc doesn’t understand the UK, says the Express.

THE European Union has been warned Boris Johnson “won’t hesitate” to walk away from a post-Brexit trade deal, with a political expert lashing out at Brussels for not taking the Prime Minister’s threats seriously enough.
Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party crushed the opposition in December’s general election to secure a huge 80-seat parliamentary majority, enabling him to force his Brexit deal through the House of Commons, something former Prime Minister Theresa May failed to do on three separate occasions. This saw Mr Johnson deliver on his general election pledge to “get Brexit done” on January 31, with negotiations on a trade deal with the European Union beginning in March. But these talks are already on the verge of collapse, with the two sides trading vicious blows and insults since the conclusion of the latest round of virtual talks last Friday (May 15).
The UK and EU are at odds over several aspects of the future relationship, and have blamed each other’s negotiating stance for the lack of progress being made thus far.

Negotiations continue but security is a sticking point, reports the Guardian.

EU officials have accused the British government of threatening to weaken security cooperation with the bloc unless the UK gets an equivalent to a major crime-fighting database.
The UK is set to lose access to the Schengen Information System (SIS II), a massive EU database, where police across the continent share millions of pieces of information on criminal suspects, at the end of the year.
The EU has said it is legally impossible for non-EU countries not respecting free movement of people to access the database and has proposed more basic information sharing.

A top financier says the bloc should have a debt forever, reports the Telegraph.

The European Union should issue debt with no end date to “save” the bloc from the twin threats of coronavirus and climate change, billionaire financier George Soros has proposed.
The legendary investor who “broke the Bank of England” argued that perpetual bonds, also known as consols, could break the deadlock as the divided region battles over a Covid-19 rescue package.
Perpetual bonds are debt with no maturity date, meaning the bloc would only have to pay the interest. In 2014, Britain paid back consols that had their origin in the South Sea Bubble and Napoleonic Wars.

Immigration

Many of the boats of migrants coming in to the UK from France include unaccompanied children, reports the Telegraph.

The number of child migrants who have crossed the Channel and been placed in care has doubled this year, according to a council leader who has warned smugglers are now sending them across the water unaccompanied.
Roger Gough, Kent county council leader, said his county was becoming the “sole carer for the nation’s unaccompanied children” after the surge in smugglers sending them on small boats across the Channel particularly since the coronavirus outbreak.
“We have had almost 180 young people come into our care so far this year. That’s twice the level of what we saw the same time last year and in the month of May alone it’s 50. It is unsustainable,” he said.

These immigrants are a problem for the border force, says the Sun.

ILLEGAL migrants are crossing the Channel in such numbers they pose a major threat to border security, an expert says.
The warning from Tony Smith, ex-head of the Border Force, came as 65 migrants made the 22-mile trip on Thursday.
And 13 migrants crammed into one boat were picked up off the Kent coast yesterday, taking the May total to 601.
Mr Smith told the Commons home affairs committee the people smugglers say get close to British Border Force ships and “you’ll be OK”.

Grooming gangs

An MP with a special interest in child grooming has joined the government, says the Times.

A senior Labour MP who warned about Pakistani men raping and abusing young girls has been appointed to help conduct a review into grooming gangs.
Priti Patel, the home secretary, has asked Sarah Champion to join a review panel that will assess Home Office research into the characteristics of the gangs, including whether ethnicity is a factor.
The report will be published later this year. Ms Champion, who has campaigned on behalf of survivors, told The Times that the government must “follow the evidence”.
The Rotherham MP said: “When you at the convictions of what are identified as grooming gangs in the media by far the majority of perpetrators are of Pakistani heritage.

Children

The rules surrounding the return of students to their schools is echoed in several of the media.  The Times says:

Teenagers unhappy with GCSE and A-level grades this summer may not be able to sit exams until November.
Ofqual, the exams regulator, said it hoped that GCSEs would be available to take in October, and A levels a month later — six months after the exam season usually begins.
About a million students will be awarded grades that have been calculated by their teachers and moderated by the watchdog.
Ofqual said that every school should expect to have at least some of its grades changed. It warned that more weight would be given to the previous achievement of a school in a subject, than to a teacher’s opinion when finalising grades.

The Mirror says not all students will return soon.

Pupils in year 10 and 12 should not expect to return to schools in early June – and only a handful could return before September, headteachers have been told.
The Association of School and College Leaders wrote to members last night, urging members to “rule out” those years going back to school “immediately after half-term.”
And he said it was unlikely that all-but a “small handful” of secondary pupils will return before September.

But parents are wary of the return, says ITV News.

More than half of parents in England will not send their children back to school even if they reopen before the end of the current academic year, exclusive polling for ITV News has shown.
Almost two thirds of parents say they feel it would be “unsafe” to send their child back to school before the summer holidays as the coronavirus crisis continues.
Health concerns for their children is also a major worry for most parents (82 per cent) if they return before the end of the 2019-20 academic year, with just 16 per cent saying they had no concerns for their child’s heath once they return to a classroom.

The situation could pose permanent problems, says the Sun.

THE lockdown is scarring children for life, scientists warned yesterday.
Kids are undergoing a “shock” that will last into adulthood.
And unless they get back into the classroom soon they will have LESS chance to socialise with pals and LESS hope of getting opportunities in future.
Yet hardline unions are fighting plans for a phased return for primary schools from June 1 — despite children being LESS likely to catch the coronavirus.

The Independent considers the effect children have on spreading the virus.

Evidence on coronavirus transmission rates among children remains “inconclusive”, the government’s scientific advisers have said.
Just days before primary schools are set to partly reopen in England, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said it could not confirm if the infection rate among children is lower than among adults.

Furlough

Businesses may be asked to pay toward their employees’ furlough costs says the Times.

Employers will be required to pay a quarter of the wages of furloughed staff under Treasury plans to unwind the state subsidy scheme.
Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, is expected to announce next week that employers will have to contribute from August as the lockdown is eased.
He will allow employers to take furloughed workers back part time for as many hours a week as they want. All employers using the scheme will be required to make the payments, even if they are still under lockdown.

How much?  The Mail says a quarter.

Employers will have to pay 25 per cent of their furloughed staff’s wages from August under plans set to be announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
Mr Sunak last week extended the government’s  coronavirus  furlough scheme – in which the government covers 80 per cent of wages of workers’ wages up to a ceiling of £2,500 a month – but said firms must cover a proportion of wages.

Quarantine

Many people are thinking about going on holiday, says the Mail.

Virus passports and travel corridors could allow families to travel abroad this summer.
A quarantine regime will be introduced on June 8 requiring arrivals to the UK to self-isolate for 14 days. But ministers hope to strike quarantine-free pacts or ‘air bridges with summer destinations – such as France, Spain and Greece – by August and possibly July.
They are also examining the idea of ‘Covid passports’ to let those who have had the disease travel more widely and without having to go into quarantine on their return.

Travellers will have to self-isolate for a fortnight, says the Morning Star.

TWO-WEEK quarantines will be imposed on new arrivals to Britain from June 8, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced today.
Speaking at the daily Downing Street press briefing, she said that self-isolation would apply to visitors and returning British citizens.
Ms Patel said the measures would “keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave” of the coronavirus.
Exemptions apply for people coming from Ireland, medics tackling Covid-19, road-haulage and freight workers, and seasonal agricultural workers.

But will it be enforceable?  The Telegraph says:

A 14-day quarantine for people arriving in the UK was described as “ineffective and unenforceable” as the Home Secretary faced a backlash from the travel industry and Tory MPs.
From June 8, anyone arriving in Britain – apart from those on a specific list of exemptions – will be legally required to self-isolate for two weeks or face fines of up to £3,200.
But on Friday night there were signs that the scheme could be short-lived, as Priti Patel said it would be kept under review and she would be working with the travel industry to refine it before it begins.

Sky News outlines the penalty for breaches.

International travellers could face fines of £1,000 if they fail to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the UK, the government is expected to announce.
Visitors, including returning Britons, will be asked to share their contact details under the measures, with health officials performing spot checks to ensure they are complying with the rules.
The policy, which will be introduced early in June, is set to be unveiled by Home Secretary Priti Patel at the daily Downing Street briefing this afternoon.

Breitbart says the rules are mandatory.

The UK is set to introduce a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for all arrivals into the country from overseas, including British citizens, with those breaking the rules facing up to £1,000 in fines.
Secretary of State for the Home Department Priti Patel is expected to make the announcement during Friday’s press briefing, with the measures set to come into effect in June.
Any travellers arriving into the UK — at airports, ports, or train stations — must provide Border Force with the details of where they are staying, with officials able to conduct checks on those on quarantine orders to make sure they are complying.

Aussies want to be exempt, says the Mail.

Australia is pushing to be the first country exempted from the UK’s new 14-day coronavirus quarantine – as arrivals face ‘spot checks’ on homes and £1,000 fines for breaking the rules.
Despite a huge backlash from airlines, ministers are due to unveil plans for mandatory isolation of everyone coming into the country, in a bid to stop the deadly disease flaring up again.
Those who flout the orders face £1,000 fines, followed by even tougher penalties if they fail to pay.

Some Tory MPs don’t like the rules, says the Times.

Boris Johnson was facing a backlash from senior Tory MPs and business leaders last night after unveiling tough new quarantine rules that could indefinitely restrict travel in and out of the UK.
From next month, anyone entering Britain will be forced to self-isolate for two weeks with spot checks on one in five arrivals and £1,000 fines for non-compliance.
The move, which divided the cabinet, was criticised by senior business leaders who warned it would entrench Britain’s Covid-19 economic slump.

Sport

There will be many people yearning to watch sport, says the Telegraph.

The ongoing participation of British clubs in European football this season has been thrown into doubt following new Government quarantine rules.
It was confirmed on Friday that sport is not currently exempt from the requirement, starting on June 8, of a 14-day self-isolation period for anyone arriving in the United Kingdom.
Manchester City and Chelsea are both currently midway through last 16 matches in the Champions League, against respectively Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United and Glasgow Rangers are at the same stage in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Maybe motor racing could resume, reports the Times.

Formula One officials have been making last-ditch efforts to save the British Grand Prix as the government finalises its quarantine plans for arrivals to the UK. Direct appeals were being made to Boris Johnson, the prime minister, in the hope that F1 personnel would be included later today in a list of exemptions to the 14-day quarantine period due to be announced, which would jeopardise two grands prix provisionally scheduled for Silverstone in July and potentially lead to the races being held in Germany and Hungary instead.

But the Telegraph says plans for two motor races in the UK are under threat.

British motor racing has been dealt a devastating blow after two planned grands prix at Silverstone, until now the country’s highest-profile summer sports events left standing, were effectively ruled out under strict Government quarantine rules to limit imported cases of Covid-19.
After fraught negotiations on Friday, Formula One failed to secure the exemption for which it had long lobbied, with all travelling team personnel learning that from June 8, they would have to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in the UK. Even though the legislation is due to be reviewed after three weeks, it leaves Silverstone with no room for manoeuvre in preparing for the races it had hoped to stage on July 26 and August 2.

Cummings

The Guardian claims an exclusive report about the government’s top advisor.

Police spoke to Dominic Cummings about breaching the government’s lockdown rules after he was seen in Durham, 264 miles from his London home, despite having had symptoms of coronavirus, the Guardian can reveal.
Officers approached Boris Johnson’s key adviser days after he was seen rushing out of Downing Street when the prime minister tested positive for the virus at the end of March, a joint investigation by the Guardian and the Mirror has found. There are now calls for his resignation.
At the time, the government had instructed people not to travel and to stay at their family homes. Cummings, however, was seen in Durham.

Other media have taken up the story.  The Telegraph says he has to go.

Dominic Cummings is a hypocrite whose position is “untenable”, the Government’s opponents have said, after it emerged that Boris Johnson’s top adviser breached lockdown rules.
Mr Cummings was investigated by police after he drove from London to Durham with his wife and son to stay with his elderly parents after developing symptoms of coronavirus.

The Independent also reports the calls for his dismissal.

Boris Johnson is facing calls to sack his most senior adviser Dominic Cummings after repor​ts suggested the top aide had flouted lockdown rules to travel to Durham to self isolate from coronavirus.
Police allegedly approached Mr Johnson’s chief aide to explain government advice against non-essential travel after he was spotted some 375km north of the capital.
No 10 confirmed that Mr Cummings was self isolating after developing coronavirus symptoms at the end of March – shortly after he was seen running out of Downing Street following the news that Mr Johnson and Matt Hancock had been struck down by the virus.

The Mail says he’s fighting back.

Dominic Cummings was fighting for his political life last night as pressure mounted on Boris Johnson to sack his chief adviser for flouting lockdown rules.
Downing Street‘s top aide travelled from London to his parents’ Durham farm in March to self-isolate with coronavirus symptoms – despite the government’s own restrictions banning non-essential journeys.
The bombshell revelations whipped up accusations of hypocrisy and prompted rivals to brand Mr Cummings’ position ‘untenable’.
Labour, the SNP and the Lib Dems all tightened the screw on the Prime Minister to take action, while the knives were also out among Tories already disgruntled with the firebrand Brexiteer.

China

In another exclusive report, the Telegraph reports Boris’ plans for the 5G network.

The Prime Minister plans to reduce Huawei’s involvement in Britain’s 5G network in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Telegraph has learned.
Boris Johnson has instructed officials to draw up plans that would see China’s involvement in the UK’s infrastructure scaled down to zero by 2023.
It comes as Mr Johnson is poised to visit the US for the G7 summit next month in his first trip abroad since the crisis began.
Having called for the UK to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on China for goods, he is expected to ramp up trade talks with US President Donald Trump as Brexit negotiations with the EU have become increasingly fractious.

The Guardian says he has given in to his backbenchers.

Boris Johnson has been forced to cave in to Conservative backbench rebels opposed to the presence of Huawei in 5G networks and has drawn up plans to reduce the Chinese company’s involvement to zero by 2023.
The prime minister’s retreat is designed to stave off what could have been an embarrassing defeat when his existing proposal to reduce Huawei to a 35% market share was to be voted on in the Commons.
Although Johnson boasts an 80 strong majority, the number of Conservative MPs willing to rebel on the issue is now estimated to be 50 – enough in theory to defeat the government – as anti-Chinese sentiment hardens in the light of the coronavirus crisis.

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