Brexit

A fisheries boss has accepted that the EU will suffer if it can’t have our fish, says the Express.

BREXIT trade talks have stalled as Michel Barnier said a deal “seems unlikely” at this stage but a fishing expert has said it will come at a “huge cost” to the EU.
Brexit negotiator David Frost has said there has been “little progress” during trade negotiations with Michel Barnier amid differences on fisheries policy and state aid rules. But cutting off EU states from the UK’s rich natural resources will come at a “huge cost”, according to Barrie Deas, the CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations. He explained that many EU states are “vulnerable” without a trade deal on fisheries.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Deas said: “No coastal state accepts that as part of a trade deal another country should have free access to its natural resources.
“That’s just not an accepted norm. A trade deal is where both sides would benefit from removing tariffs as far as possible and having frictionless trade.
“We know we’re not going to be in the single market so it’s not going to be as it was before.

And the French seem to be prepared to destroy their economy just to be bloody-minded, says the Sun.

FRANCE is urging the EU to stick to its guns in Brexit talks next week, despite admitting a no-deal outcome could wreck its economy.
It needs a Brexit trade pact to shore up its economy but vowed not to be “weak” when talks reach their make-or-break moment in 10 days time.
And with negotiations on a knife edge Paris sparked a new row with Britain over our quarantine rules, accusing No 10 of taking a “playground” approach.

The Express reiterates that France will not concede in the talks.

FRANCE will not cave into Boris Johnson’s Brexit demands despite desperately needing a trade deal to prop up its economy.
President Emmanuel Macron’s top Europe adviser said the EU cannot be “weak” in the upcoming tussle over access to Britain’s fishing grounds and regulatory alignment. In a sign attitudes are hardening across the bloc, France’s European affairs minister Clement Beaune insisted Paris would not rubber-stamp a trade agreement unless the UK respects its hardline demands. Mr Beaune said: “Regarding Brexit, we could accept out of convenience an agreement that is too fast and too weak.
“It is in our interest and the economic interest of many sectors in France, but we can’t be weak.
“We can’t accept access to our market if they don’t respect our rules in terms of competition, environmental and health.

The Independent quotes the German chancellor.

Negotiations over a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the European Union will enter their decisive phase in the next few weeks, German chancellor Angela Merkel has said.
“The crucial weeks are now approaching in which we have to clarify the future relationship between Great Britain and the EU,” she told a news conference on Friday.
It comes as No 10’s negotiator David Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier prepare to hold emergency talks next week in a bid to save the fading prospects of a free trade deal.

Barnier is flabbergasted, says the Guardian.

The UK government has renewed its attempt to reopen the chapter of the Brexit divorce treaty protecting specialty food and drink, such as Parma ham, roquefort cheese and champagne, in a move that left the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, “a little bit flabbergasted”.
The British proposal on protected status for food and drink was included in a draft free-trade agreement handed to Barnier by his opposite number, David Frost, last week, according to two EU sources.
But EU officials have ruled out diluting the divorce deal provisions that protect more than 3,000 high-end food and drink products from copycats. “It’s just not going to happen,” said one official.

And the Express points out how the bloc’s member states are under the thumb of Brussels.

IRELAND’S Golfgate scandal which brought about the downfall of EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan showed the stunning lack of power member states have under Brussels rule, an Irexit campaigner has said.
Mr Hogan, known as “Big Phil” resigned from his top job in Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission this week over his attendance at a controversial golfing dinner in Ireland, where coronavirus restrictions were flouted. While Taoiseach Micheal Martin and Tanaiste Leo Varadkar lambasted the veteran politician for his irresponsible actions, power to sack Mr Hogan lay solely with the Commission President.

Illegal raves

Mass gatherings over the Bank Holiday weekend will be crushed, says the Telegraph.

Bank Holiday Monday is at risk of being the coldest on record, forecasters have said as weather warnings for heavy rain suggest a washout may be ahead.
Top temperatures will dip considerably below the average for this time of year in the UK, with parts of Scotland not expected to climb above 11C, according to the Met Office.
Outdoor staycations may also be thrown into jeopardy after a yellow alert for heavy rain and thunderstorms was issued for last night, covering swathes of England and south Wales.
Despite the gloomy forecasts, authorities fear the recent explosion in illegal raves could see thousands of revellers still attend underground parties, fuelling the spread of Covid-19.

The Home Secretary says she won’t tolerate breaches of the social distancing rules, reports the Sun.

PRITI Patel has slammed secret ravers as “breathtakingly selfish and senseless” as fears for Bank Holiday parties grow.
The Home Secretary made it clear that police will be clamping down on illegal gatherings and blasted those using social media to organise the parties.
The number of officers typically deployed for New Years’ Eve will be sent onto the streets this Bank Holiday weekend to shut down underground gatherings that risk fuelling the spread of Covid-19.

Lockdown

Further lockdowns have been threatened by the health secretary, says the Times.

England could face nationwide restrictions and very extensive local lockdowns in the event of a second wave of coronavirus this winter, the health secretary has warned.
Matt Hancock said that under a “reasonable worst-case scenario” Britain could find itself contending with a surge in coronavirus and a bad outbreak of seasonal flu as people spent more time indoors.
In an interview with The Times he said that a second wave of Covid-19 was “avoidable but it’s not easy” and that the return of children to schools next week presented challenges in stopping the spread.

Testing

Quick-fire testing could be introduced at Heathrow, reports the Sun.

COVID-19 tests that produce results in just 20 seconds are being trialled at Heathrow airport to replace the current quarantine system.
The airport plans to mass-screen the 78 million travellers that pass through every year.
They aim to screen people leaving or arriving in the UK to unlock the Government’s “red list” countries that require a 14-day quarantine upon return.
Oxford and Manchester universities are working with Heathrow on three separate tests.
The three tests include a throat swab which gives results in half an hour, the second a saliva-based test that brings results in 10 minutes and the other is a holographic microscope test pioneered for ebola – producing results in 20 seconds.

Back to work

The PM’s insistence that civil serpents should go back to work might cause trouble, says the Mail.

Boris Johnson was on a collision course with the unions last night as he prepared a fresh push next week to get all civil servants back to their desks to ‘set an example’.
Downing Street sources said the Prime Minister was determined to get ‘every’ official back to demonstrate a safe return to work is possible.
However, unions have warned that any attempt to force civil servants to return could result in ‘industrial unrest’.

But will work places be safe from Covid?  The Independent says:

The government has been accused of “abdicating responsibility” for making workplaces safe before urging people back to offices, ahead of the launch of a publicity campaign aimed at reducing homeworking.
Labour said the plan “beggars belief” and urged ministers to drop it, while the Independent Sage group of scientific advisors called on Friday for a national system of inspections to make sure even the worst employers are complying with social distancing best practice to keep workers safe.
The independent expert group, set up amid concerns about political interference in the official Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said workplaces should have to be certified before employees could return, and that unannounced inspections should be introduced to ensure they continue to follow the rules.

The unions have said this is a scare campaign says the Guardian.

Boris Johnson has been urged to produce a “credible plan” for persuading more workers to return to the office instead of relying on what unions have condemned as a “scare campaign”.
The prime minister, and the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, have become increasingly concerned about the impact on city centre economies of the shift towards home-working during the pandemic.
They are expected to launch a publicity campaign in the coming days to encourage more workers to return to the office, and advise employers about what they can do to keep staff safe.

Whitehall’s union says ministers are wrong, says the Mirror.

Ministers have been warned that trying to force people to return to work in their office won’t work and will leave them “sounding like dinosaurs”.
A civil service union chief said ministers should embrace the new way of hybrid working rather than trying to bully people back to old ways of working.
First Division Association General Secretary Dave Penman said: “Ministers are increasingly sounding like dinosaurs here.
“Millions of employees are working from home very successfully whilst employers are recognising that the world of work has changed and are embracing it.
“The genie won’t fit back in the bottle, best not try.”

BBC News says continued homeworking is damaging cities.

People will again be encouraged to go back to the workplace in a government ad campaign starting next week.
Employers will be asked to reassure staff it is safe to return by highlighting measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Business leaders have warned of damage being done to city centres as people stay away from offices.
And Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said some things were “impossible” to do remotely.
But Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he cared more about how employees performed than where they were working.

And many employers are considering making homeworking permanent, says the Times.

Three quarters of Britain’s biggest employers are looking at a permanent shift to flexible working in an “unprecedented” change, a survey by The Times has found.
Large companies, including the leading financial and professional services firms, are reviewing plans to make permanent the emergency changes that they introduced during the lockdown.
Some 32 of 43 respondents to a poll conducted this week either said or indicated that they were considering plans to allow staff to work from home more regularly and permanently.

Vaccine

The US has high hopes for a vaccine, says the Times.

Trials under way in the US are expected to show before the end of the year whether a Covid vaccine is effective and safe, the country’s leading infectious diseases expert has told The Times.
Anthony Fauci, a senior adviser to President Trump, said that high infection rates across the US were boosting the chances of conclusive safety and efficacy data being available for at least one jab before Christmas.
Three vaccines have been lined up for testing under the White House’s “Operation Warp Speed” plan to deliver 300 doses by January. Having results by November or December was “a safe bet”, Dr Fauci said.

And in the UK, there will be additional resources for those who will be administering a vaccine, says the Guardian.

Any new and effective Covid vaccine will be given emergency approval for use in the UK and an expanded workforce will be trained to give the injections to immunise as much of the population as possible quickly, the government has said.
A change in the law will allow the UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to grant temporary approval for a vaccine from October, before it has been given a licence by the European authorities, which would be the normal procedure. The UK will be out of the EU from January and will approve drugs and vaccines without Brussels’ involvement.

The usual safety checks may be circumvented, reports the Mirror.

Ministers have unveiled a raft of measures designed to fast track the roll-out of any future coronavirus vaccine in the UK.
The rules could see any vaccine given a green light to be given to Brits without going through the usual product approval system.
At least on a temporary basis.
But the government has insisted that this will only be if the drug meets “the highest safety and quality standards” and it will put “reinforced safeguards in place”.

Education

With many schools going back next week, new ways of working are being developed, says the Telegraph.

Schools will be told to operate on a rota if local lockdowns make it impossible to operate as normal, the Education Secretary has announced.
Gavin Williamson said pupils will switch between classroom and home learning to “break chains of transmission of the virus” under of a four-tier system introduced just days before pupils in England return full time.
The Government had previously played down the idea of rotas, insisting that Covid security measures being put in place in schools would allow them to stay open.

GPs

The Times reports that some patients are struggling to see their doctor.

More than half of people who have tried to book a GP appointment since coronavirus hit Britain have struggled, according to a poll.
The results from a YouGov survey for The Times showed that 53 per cent reported it had been harder to book a GP appointment, whether in person or over the phone.
Latest NHS figures on GP appointments show there were about 22.8 million in July, 85 per cent of the number during the same month last year.
Appointments have increased substantially from a slump at the height of the pandemic and many patients report satisfaction with GP services.

Social care

Care homes could be persuaded to take Covid patients, says the Telegraph.

Care homes are being offered financial incentives to take coronavirus patients, it has emerged, despite the Government promising a “protective ring” would be placed around vulnerable residents.
More than 15,000 people have died of coronavirus in care homes according to the Office for National Statistics, with fears that many homes were seeded by patients returning from hospital with the virus.
In mid April, hospitals were told to stop sending untested patients to homes following a spate of outbreaks, and Matt Hancock insisted “we will keep working to strengthen the protective ring that we have cast around all of our care homes“.

Cancer patients

ITV News claims an exclusive report that cancer patients are to be treated quickly.

The Health Secretary says he hopes the backlog in cancer care will be cleared “within months” but cannot rule out further treatments and operations being cancelled this winter.
Speaking exclusively to ITV News, Matt Hancock said the number of people waiting longer than the 62-day NHS England target to begin treatment for cancer after an urgent GP referral had “increased substantially” since the coronavirus crisis began in March.
When asked how big the NHS cancer backlog had become, Mr Hancock didn’t say, but Cancer Research UK estimates 2.4 million people were waiting for a cancer screening, further tests or cancer treatment at the end of May, as Covid-19 caused the biggest delays in cancer screening with a backlog of around 2.1 million people left waiting for breast, bowel or cervical screening.

The Mail has picked up the story.

A backlog of cancer patients awaiting treatment should clear ‘within a matter of months’, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.
He admitted that the number of cancer patients waiting longer than 62 days – the standard the Government wants to see – increased ‘substantially’ amid lockdown.
Mr Hancock told ITV News, though, that numbers have ‘more or less halved’ since the peak of the pandemic.
He said: ‘We’ve had to take action right across the NHS to make sure that we deal with Covid, and it was very important when there were a lot of new cases of Covid that people weren’t made more at risk because of treatments, especially for cancer.

Train travel

If passengers don’t go to work every day, they may be able to buy a reduced ticket, says the Telegraph.

Commuters will be offered three-day season tickets under plans being studied by ministers to get Britain back to the office.
Rail firms believe the part-time tickets are the only way to entice home workers back on to trains to give them the flexibility of going to their workplace for a few days a week.
An announcement on new types of ticketing could be made as soon as next month if, as expected, the Government extends the current emergency funding for the railways.
Boris Johnson will launch a major new push next week to get people back to the office, and one of the major hurdles in his way is the financial burden of commuting.

Proms

The Proms started last night – without an audience, reports the Mail.

The live-music leg of the BBC Proms kicked off with a composition ‘exploring themes of identity’ by a renowned Black British composer.
The world premiere of Hannah Kendall’s Tuxedo: Vasco ‘de’ Gama opened the programme on BBC Two last night at the Royal Albert Hall.
Kendall sat in the audience as her spine-tingling Basquiat-inspired composition was performed to empty seats.
Classical-music enthusiasts have to watch the show from their sofas this year due to coronavirus restrictions as performers remained spaced out in a socially-distanced arrangement.

Cars

The roads could be going green, says the Times.

The sale of new petrol and diesel cars could be banned within a decade amid pressure from Conservative MPs to accelerate a transition to green vehicles.
Ministers are expected to publish detailed plans next month to phase out the combustion engine in efforts to cut roadside pollution and greenhouse gases. A consultation began in February on bringing forward the deadline from 2040 to 2035 with the possibility of a faster transition if feasible.

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