Brexit

There’s nothing coming out of the talks, says the Express.

THE UK’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost has remained tight-lipped on hopes of a trade deal with the European Union, but Brussels counterpart Michel Barnier has said gaps continue to remain between the the two sides.
British and EU negotiators are meeting in the Belgian capital following the latest intensive talks in London earlier this week. Lord Frost has remained silent on any progress being made in the crunch negotiations over recent days. This afternoon, Mr Barnier said the EU and UK are “working hard” to conclude a Brexit trade deal.
But he warned “much remains to be done” as the two sides try to strike agreements in a number of areas before the end of the transition period on December 31.

And the Telegraph reports a pessimistic comment by the French negotiator.

Michel Barnier on Friday dampened hopes that a Brexit trade deal could be done next week, warning that a lot of work still needed to be done before an agreement was struck.
Mr Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, met his UK counterpart David Frost as intensified negotiations resumed at the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels.
Trade talks are expected to continue through the weekend and into next week following negotiations in London.
“After seven days of intensive negotiations in London, talks continue,” Mr Barnier tweeted. “Working hard for an agreement. Much remains to be done.”

But talks continue, reports Yahoo News.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said that “much remains to be done” to broker a post-Brexit trade deal as negotiations continued in Brussels.
He said on Friday they are working hard to get an agreement but that there were still significant gaps after seven days of “intensive negotiations” in London.
Talks with his Downing Street counterpart, Lord Frost, resumed in the Belgian capital on Thursday as they try to get a deal in place for the end of the transition period on December 31.

EU

Looks like the bloc doesn’t want us to protect our plant life, says the Express.

BRITAIN is being sued by the European Union for having “unjustifiably stricter” rules to prevent the spread of deadly plant diseases.
The European Commission announced it had triggered infringement proceedings against the UK after the country failed to “comply with EU rules on Xylella fastidiosa and Certocytis platani”. Conservative politicians have previously lashed at at the EU’s insistence that the UK cannot ban plan imports on biosecurity grounds. In a monthly round-up of EU legal cases, the Commission announced it had “decided today to send a letter of formal notice to the United Kingdom for failing to comply with the EU rules concerning the plant pests Xylella fastidiosa and Certatocystis platani.

But perhaps the EU is finally waking up to the fact that we have the upper hand in these negotiations, says the Express.

GERMANY is “deeply concerned” about the lack of progress in the Brexit trade talks between the European Union and Britain amid fears the country’s businesses could be cut off from crucial funding.
Deputy finance minister Joerg Kukies said Berlin risks losing access to vital funding provided by the City of London if both sides cannot agree a deal before the end of the year. The warning came after the wrangling over a post-Brexit future relationship moved to Brussels as part of an intensive phase. Mr Kukies said: “German corporates, for all that I can tell, rely massively on wholesale financing offered from the City of London, so in that sense we will have to maintain pragmatism, no matter what happens.

Scotland

The Telegraph has analysed why there is still a move towards independence north of the border.

Scottish voters’ “loathing” for Boris Johnson is the main factor behind the recent surge in support for independence, according to an extensive new analysis.
A poll by JL Partners conducted last month found 56 per cent support for separation and 44 per cent opposition, a result in line with a series of similar surveys.
But it found that the most persuasive argument in favour of independence was “Boris Johnson is not the leader I want to have for my country”, a sentiment that 79 per cent of swing voters agreed with.

But all is not smooth in the Scottish parliament, reports the Express.

AN SNP MP has reacted angrily after his bid to introduce a “Plan B” strategy for securing independence was effectively blocked by his own party.
Together with Inverclyde councillor Chris McEleny, Western Isles MP MP Angus MacNeil want the manifesto for next year’s Holyrood elections to include a pledge that a pro-independence majority would be taken as a mandate to start negotiations with Westminster for Scotland to leave the UK – effectively turning the election in a de facto referendum. The SNP‘s annual conference in June was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – but with a virtual conference scheduled for the of next month, the pair were hoping to win support for the idea there.

Labour Party

With the suspension  of the former party leader, the Telegraph reports the door is not firmly closed.

Sir Keir Starmer has been accused of lacking “backbone” after he refused to condemn Jeremy Corbyn and senior Labour figures suggested the door was now open for his return.
The Labour leader on Friday held private talks with key union leader and Corbyn ally Len McCluksey alongside the party’s general secretary David Evans, fuelling speculation that a major climbdown could be on the horizon.
It came as allies of Sir Keir suggested that Mr Corbyn could be reinstated if he apologised and retracted his claim that the scale of anti-Semitism in Labour had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons.”

And the call for his return is led by senior front bencher, says iNews.

Former shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott has led calls for Jeremy Corbyn to be reinstated as a Labour MP, urging supporters to get behind an online petition.
The close friend and political ally of the former Labour leader has already spoken out against Mr Corbyn being suspended from the party, pending an investigation into comments he made about anti-Semitism.
And she told followers it was “really important that you sign this petition to reinstate Jeremy Corbyn”, which has been so far backed by more than 4,000 people.

There’s going to be a ‘hellova’ row, says the Express.

LABOUR is heading for a “hell of a row” after suspending Jeremy Corbyn, his allies warned yesterday.
Sir Keir Starmer tried to calm tensions after a torrid day following the publication of an investigation by the equalities watchdog in anti-Semitism in the party.
But he said that Mr Corbyn could be permanently booted out over his response to the report.
The former leader’s supporters are fundraising to cover the costs of a legal challenge to the suspension and warned the stand off will end “very badly” if he is not readmitted.

The Morning Star says there’s anger in the party.

ANGER grew today over the “anti-democratic” suspension of Jeremy Corbyn, as socialists warned that the Labour Party is now “more divided than ever.”
Momentum said the “unjust” suspension of Mr Corbyn from the Labour Party “makes a mockery” of Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer’s pledge to be a uniting force.
The left-wing pressure group held an online rally last night to demand the former party leader’s reinstatement.
Mr Corbyn was suspended on Thursday over his response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report into allegations of anti-semitism within the party.

And in an exclusive report, the Guardian claims there have been talks about a breakaway party.

Labour MPs who support Jeremy Corbyn have discussed resigning from the parliamentary party and sitting as independents amid fears that Keir Starmer could lead a “mass purge” of the left, an ally of the former leader has warned.
As senior party figures called for calm following Labour’s suspension of Corbyn on Thursday for saying the party’s antisemitism problem had been overstated, Ian Lavery said there are fears that the move was a “war cry” that could force some MPs to leave.

But Corbyn is not alone in facing his party, says the Telegraph.

The Jeremy Corbyn crisis deepened on Friday night as the Labour Party confirmed that it would consider anti-Semitism complaints against a number of its own MPs including the deputy leader, Angela Rayner.
It came after the party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, pledged to set up an independent disciplinary process following the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) anti-Semitism report, which found Labour responsible for “unlawful acts”.
In response to the report, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA), which formally referred the party to the EHRC two years ago, submitted complaints against 15 sitting Labour MPs.

National lockdown

Looks like we’re all heading back into house arrest, says the Mail.

Boris Johnson is expected to announce a national lockdown next week after his scientific advisers told him it was the only way to save Christmas.
Scientists from the Sage committee yesterday presented No 10 with bleak figures showing that Covid is spreading ‘significantly’ faster than even their original ‘worst-case scenario’ prediction.
Last night a Cabinet source told the Mail that the dramatic move will be announced next week.
Mr Johnson is expected to make the announcement on Monday, with the restrictions beginning on Wednesday.

And it could include all parts of the UK, says BBC News.

The UK government intends to hold a meeting to discuss a UK-wide approach to Covid rules at Christmas, the Welsh first minister has said.
Mark Drakeford said PM Boris Johnson had told him to expect an invitation to talks on a “common approach”.
Mr Drakeford said there was a need for leaders to “get round the table” and “share ideas”.
A UK cabinet minister said earlier this week it was “too early to say” what the rules will be.

The second wave is growing, says iNews.

The UK could be heading for new nationwide rules to deal with the escalating second wave of coronavirus, it emerged.
In the strongest signal yet that Boris Johnson is about to change his lockdown strategy, it was revealed he has summoned the leaders of Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish governments to a four-nations summit to agree a “common approach” to reducing cases before Christmas.
While a repeat of the full lockdown introduced across the UK in March is unlikely, there could be tougher national restrictions, such as a tightening of the Rule of Six and fresh curbs on hospitality.
No date has yet been fixed for the meeting but it is expected within the next few days.

And it could last until Christmas, claims the Mirror.

Boris Johnson is reported to be planning to plunge England into a full lockdown lasting until December.
The Prime Minister is said to have met with his Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove and Health Minister Matt Hancock for crunch talks this afternoon.
They came to the conclusion that more severe restrictions of freedoms are necessary due to the demand being placed on hospitals by rising Covid-19 cases, according to reports.
Mr Johnson is then said to have come to a reluctant conclusion that a full national lockdown for England until December was necessary.

The Sun outlines how the new lockdown will work.

TOUGH nationwide Covid restrictions could be introduced as soon as next Wednesday — and last until December.
Pubs and restaurants in England face being shut for a month after scientists gave the PM “grim” data on the second wave. He is tipped to announce the move on Monday.
The curbs, which would see everything closed except  essential shops and educational settings, could be introduced on Wednesday and remain in place until December 1.
It comes after government scientists presented the PM with “grim” data on the second wave, despite the R-rate falling.
No 10 has been warned deaths from the virus could peak just before Christmas, with a “massive spike” on Christmas Eve.

The Times reports that hospitals could be overwhelmed.

Boris Johnson is considering the imposition of new national lockdown restrictions from next week amid concerns that hospitals across the country are being overwhelmed.
The prime minister met Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, and Matt Hancock, the health secretary, to discuss “alarming” new NHS data yesterday.
He is expected to hold a press conference on Monday to announce the new measures, under which everything could be closed except essential shops and “educational settings”, including nurseries, schools and universities. The new restrictions could be introduced on Wednesday and remain in place until December 1.

It’s the only way to save Christmas, reports the Express.

BORIS JOHNSON will announce a national lockdown next week following scientific advice that it could be the only way to save Christmas in the UK according to reports.
The coronavirus is spreading “significantly” faster in England than the Government’s estimated “worst-case” scenario, according to a new survey. The Government’s “reasonable worst-case scenario” has been utilised by the NHS and officials to prepare for the following months ahead.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said there are approximately four times as many people catching the virus than originally anticipated.
The Government predicted there would be 85,000 deaths from COVID-19 over the winter.

The Telegraph claims it’s spreading fast.

Boris Johnson is expected to announce a new national lockdown next week after scientists warned Covid-19 was spreading faster than their worst predictions.
The Prime Minister spent Friday in crisis meetings with ministers and aides after being told deaths were tracking above the “worst case scenario” that suggested 85,000 in the second wave.
Mr Johnson is understood to have been persuaded that a national lockdown is the only way to save Christmas, and will spend the weekend contemplating exactly how severe it should be.
Senior government sources stressed that no final decision had been made and the measure would need to be put to the Cabinet before any announcement to the nation.

Circuit breaker

And a short sharp break won’t work, says the Mail.

A harsh ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown will now not be enough to reduce coronavirus to manageable levels, government scientific advisers said.
They claimed it is too late for a single two-week shutdown, which they first pleaded with ministers to implement in September, to stem infections for the whole of winter.
It would probably need to be imposed twice over the space of a few months to keep the country ticking over until a vaccine is ready, researchers at University of Warwick told the Government.
This is because the effects of the intervention would start to fade after a month or two and infections would start to creep up again.

Deaths

Fractionally more than one percent of the population is dying of Covid, says the Express.

THE CORONAVIRUS kills about 1.15 percent of people who become infected with the deadly disease, scientists in the UK have claimed.
Neil Ferguson, epidemiologist at Imperial College London, released a new report that shows the COVID-19 fatality rate could be as high as 1.15. He previously predicted that up to 500,000 Britons could die from COVID-19, leading to the Government enforcing a nationwide lockdown in March.
Professor Ferguson stood down from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) after it was revealed he let his married lover visit his home during the UK’s national lockdown.
He claimed the new calculations created with colleagues at Imperial are some of the most accurate to date.

Cases

But other research shows a different result, says the Telegraph.

Covid-19 rates are not surging, researchers at King’s College have said, after results from its symptom tracker app showed a far less deadly trajectory than Imperial College.
Earlier in the week, Imperial released interim data from its React-1 study which showed there are now nearly 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day in England, and nearly one million people are currently infected.
The Imperial team said rates were doubling every nine days, and warned that it was a critical time to  lower the R rate.
However, King’s College, which has been monitoring the symptoms and test results of millions of people through an app, said they were not seeing such alarming numbers.
The app found 43,569 daily new symptomatic cases on average, and calculated that doubling was happening every 28 days.

Is it worse than the worst possible predictions?  Yahoo News thinks so.

Boris Johnson was warned that England’s COVID-19 second wave was exceeding worse case scenario planning two weeks ago, newly published documents have revealed.
Papers show that COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions in England have been “breaching” the expectations outlined in what scientists thought the most realistic bad turn of events would look like.
Documents from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), dated to earlier in October – and released to the public on Friday – also show concern that the number of daily COVID-19 deaths was also in line with the reasonable worst case scenario and could still get worse.
A previous leak from Sage has shown that its reasonable worst case scenario forecast 85,000 deaths from coronavirus, nearly double the UK’s current death toll of 46,000.

La Nina

We’re going to have a long cold winter, says the Express.

BRITAIN is bracing for freezing temperatures to strike as a “significant cold” weather system sweeps across Europe next month, according to the latest weather charts.
Cold air from the Arctic is forecast to send a shiver through Europe during November and will likely bring wintry conditions. Snow is likely to settle across northern Italy and spread across to Spain during the second week of November, according to WXCHARTS’ snow depth maps. The latest models also predict a small risk of snow to fall in northwestern regions of England on November 14, including Cumbria, Manchester and Liverpool.
Temperature models show France and the UK being blasted with temperatures lower than average towards the end of November.

It’ll start next month says the Sun.

BRITAIN is set to be hit with freezing temperatures as a “significant cold” weather system sweeps across Europe.
Cold air from the Arctic will freeze Britain next month, bringing winter weather to the majority of the continent.
Temperature models show the UK being blasted with below-average breezes bringing chilly weather, according to the Express.
La Nina, the weather event which triggers cooler than average sea surface temperatures, may affect Britain in the coming months.

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