No deal

Even Remain Central (Times) has now admitted that ‘no deal’ is still on the table.

Boris Johnson has admitted for the first time during the election campaign that Britain could still leave the European Union without a deal.
The prime minister had previously suggested that no-deal was off the table because he had an “oven-ready” deal that he would push through parliament if he won a working majority.
However, he said yesterday that the Conservative Party would remain in a “state of readiness” for a no-deal Brexit.

The Express reiterates.

BORIS JOHNSON has revealed the threat of a no deal Brexit still looms, as he confirms the Tories would remain in a “state of readiness” for leaving the EU without a deal on December 31, 2020.
The Prime Minister said there was “no reason to dismantle” preparations for a no deal Brexit, despite previously suggestion such an outcome was off-the-table because he had an “oven-ready” deal he would push through Parliament if he wins a working majority on December 12.
Boris Johnson has secured a Brexit deal with the EU, but once the UK leaves the bloc it will enter into a period of standstill transition until December 2020, during which negotiations on a long-term trade deal will take place.

Huffington Post says preparations will continue after the General Election.

The threat of a no-deal Brexit remains on the table, Boris Johnson has suggested, as he confirmed preparations for an exit to WTO terms will continue if he wins the election.
The prime minister said there was “no reason to dismantle” preparations for no deal, despite the UK striking a withdrawal agreement with the EU.
That agreement will see Britain leaving the EU but entering a period of standstill transition until December 2020, during which negotiations on a long-term trade deal will take place.


The media are split as to whether the Tories are pulling further away in the polls or Labour is recovering.  Reuters says:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lead over the opposition Labour Party has widened to 10 points, up from seven a few days ago, according to a Savanta ComRes poll for the Sunday Telegraph newspaper on Saturday ahead of the Dec. 12 election.
Support for Johnson’s Conservative Party rose by two points to 43% since the previous Savanta ComRes poll which was published on Wednesday, the polling firm said.
Labour fell by one point to 33%, the pro-European Union Liberal Democrats were flat on 13% and the Brexit Party was down one point at 4%.

The Sun says the opposite.

THE LABOUR giveaway bonanza has helped cut Boris Johnson’s poll lead in half in just seven days, a poll revealed.
Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign surge would put the UK in “hung Parliament territory” if repeated by voters on December 12.
The Labour leader has seen his rating UP five points to 33 per cent with the Tories DROPPING two points to 39 per cent, BMG Research shows.
Promises including free broadband, a £58 billion election payout to women pensioners and ending university tuition fees has boosted the party’s popularity.

The Times says the gap is narrowing.

In a sign that the election campaign could go down to the wire, Labour has cut the Conservative lead to nine points, a narrowing of two percentage points since YouGov’s last survey on Wednesday.
In the latest YouGov poll for The Sunday Times, the Tories are on 43% with Labour up two to 34%, the Lib Dems static on 13% and the Brexit Party down to just 2%. That is still enough for a Conservative majority, but if Labour gains two more points it will be touch and go.
A survey by BMG gave the Tories only a six-point lead on 39%, with Labour up five points to 33%.

Some in the Labour Party are blaming each other for the state of the polls, says the Mail.

Civil war has broken out in the Labour Party over Boris Johnson’s opinion poll lead – with pro-Remain MPs being blamed for the loss of Brexit-backing voters.
The Conservatives have maintained a consistent lead in the polls, with today’s Mail on Sunday-commissioned Deltapoll survey giving them a 13-point advantage.
The failure of Jeremy Corbyn to repeat the ‘surge’ of 2017, which destroyed Theresa May’s Commons majority, has unleashed a battle between the hard-Left and moderate wings of the party over who should replace him as leader if Labour crashes to defeat on December 12.

Terror attack

The murders on London Bridge are still causing reverberations.  The Times reports both major political parties are making political capital out of the incident.

The Conservatives and Labour have gone to war over the early release of the London Bridge attacker.
The two parties have blamed each other after it emerged that Usman Khan, 28, was released less than seven years into his 16-year prison sentence over his part in an al-Qaeda-inspired plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange in 2012.
Khan, who was released from prison on licence in December 2018, was shot dead by police during Friday’s attack, which left two victims dead and three requiring hospital treatment.

Sky News points out that the murderer was released early from prison.

London Bridge killer Usman Khan’s release from prison is brewing into a political row amid the ongoing general election campaign.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has sought to blame legislative changes by the last Labour government for the terror attacker’s release halfway through his jail term.
She claimed laws introduced in 2008, under Gordon Brown’s government, meant that “dangerous terrorists had to be automatically released after half of their jail term”.

And the Independent claims the PM was warned about the early release of political prisoners.

A former top prosecutor says he personally warned Boris Johnson about the risk posed by freeing terrorists who had not been deradicalised, but was told there was “no money”.
The hugely damaging claim came as the solicitor for the London Bridge attacker revealed he had asked for help to turn away from terrorism while in prison, but was not given any.
As anger grew over the early release of Usman Khan, Jeremy Corbyn branded the attack he was able to carry out “a complete disaster”.

The Telegraph says the PM has demanded a review.

Boris Johnson has ordered a review of dozens of violent terrorists released from prison in recent years, as he attacked the “failed approaches” that led to the early release of a convict who stabbed two people to death in the City of London.
The Ministry of Justice launched an urgent inquiry to examine the licence conditions of up to 70 violent terrorists believed to have been freed from jail.

And the Times reports he’s planning new laws.

Boris Johnson announced sweeping new anti-terror laws last night as a counter-terrorism expert said ministers had ignored plans that might have prevented the London Bridge attack.
The prime minister said if the Tories win a majority next week, terrorists will serve their entire sentence, no longer be eligible for early release, and must spend at least 14 years behind bars.
He spoke as the government sought to prevent a public relations setback over Usman Khan — a convicted terrorist released from jail last December — who went on a stabbing rampage on Friday, killing two people and wounding three others.

Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by ISIS, says the Mail.

ISIS has tonight claimed the London Bridge terror attack was carried out by one of its fighters.
The terrorist organisation said Usman Khan, 28, who killed two and injured several more when he went on a knife rampage in central London yesterday, acted on their behalf.
The group, however, did not provide any evidence this is the case as it made the claim through its news agency.

Conservative Party

It seems that the BBC has stepped down from trying to blackmail the Prime Minister, reports the Independent.

Boris Johnson will be interviewed on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, the broadcaster said, going back on a pledge to refuse the prime minister a platform unless he agreed to an on-air grilling with Andrew Neil.
The broadcaster said it was necessary to provide a slot for the prime minister in the wake of the terror attack on London Bridge that left two people dead and three injured after convicted and released terrorist Usman Khan stabbed members of the public.
In a statement, the corporation said: “As the national public service broadcaster, the BBC’s first priority must be its audience. In the wake of a major terrorist incident, we believe it is now in the public interest that the prime minister should be interviewed on our flagship Sunday political programme.

And the broadcaster has been accused of surrender, reports the Mirror.

The BBC has been accused of “abject surrender” after confirming that Boris Johnson will be interviewed on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.
It had been reported that the BBC had told the Prime Minister he would not be allowed to face Marr unless he also agreed to be interviewed by Andrew Neil too.
But in a statement, the corporation said: “As the national public service broadcaster, the BBC’s first priority must be its audience. In the wake of a major terrorist incident, we believe it is now in the public interest that the Prime Minister should be interviewed on our flagship Sunday political programme.

The Guardian claims it’s because of the terror attacks.

Boris Johnson will be interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, despite him failing to set a date to be interviewed by Andrew Neil, the BBC has announced.
The broadcaster had initially refused to allow the prime minister to appear on Marr’s flagship programme unless he agreed to take part in a 30-minute interview with Neil, as every other party leader had agreed to do.
In a statement, the BBC said that after the terrorist attack on London Bridge, it believed there was a public interest in Johnson appearing on the show, but it repeated its request for him to face Neil.

BBC News itself says it must consider its audience.

Boris Johnson will be interviewed on Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show as it is “in the public interest” following the London Bridge attack, the BBC says.
It had been reported that the BBC would not allow the PM to appear on Sunday’s programme unless he also agreed to be interviewed by Andrew Neil.
Mr Johnson has so far refused to commit to a one-to-one with Mr Neil – who has already grilled other party leaders.
Labour called the BBC’s move to allow the PM on the Marr show “shameful”.

The Independent claims the Tories are planning to criminalise travellers in illegal camps.

The Conservatives are being accused of preparing to criminalise Gypsies and travellers under “racist” plans to make trespass illegal.
Changes to the law on trespass, which is currently a civil offence, were signalled in the party’s general election manifesto, which pledged: “We will tackle unauthorised traveller camps.”
The document outlines plans to give police new powers to arrest and seize “the property and vehicles of trespassers who set up unauthorised encampments, in order to protect our communities”.

A defence review is on the cards, reports the Express.

THE Prime Minister has revealed he wants to hold the deepest defence and security review since the Cold War and is looking to expand Britain’s warship building.
The revelation by Boris Johnson came in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Express, when he said he would like to increase defence spending. He said: “Obviously I would like to spend more [on defence]. We are spending more now. We put in another 2.6 percent increase which I think was more than was expected. We are committed to increase defence funding by 0.5 percent every year above the rate of inflation in the next parliament.”

And the Guardian claims that if Boris doesn’t get a Parliamentary majority in the election, he could be forced into holding a second referendum.

Boris Johnson could be forced into holding a second referendum on Brexit next summer if he fails to win a majority in the House of Commons but remains as prime minister, according to a new report by academics at University College London.
The detailed analysis of how a referendum could be triggered, how long it would take, and how it would work concludes that a second public vote – in which the options would most likely be Johnson’s deal versus remaining in the EU – would be very much on the cards if the Conservatives are denied a majority, or are returned with only a very slender one, on 12 December.

Labour Party

There’s a possibility that the Labour Party is short of cash, reports the Guardian.

Labour has told at least 20 staff in its Newcastle  communications centre that their jobs will come to an end after Christmas, the Guardian understands.
Party insiders said the team comprised 75 people, more than half of whom were on fixed-term contracts that coincided with the election period.
More than 20 others, some of whom have been in their jobs for up to five years, were called to a meeting on Friday and told their contracts would come to an end, according to one person present.

But many Labour candidates have been lying to their voters, says the Sun.

DOZENS of Labour election candidates have vowed to double-cross their own voters — by fighting to stop Brexit.
They have sworn a pledge to keep Britain in the EU after publicly insisting they would respect the referendum result.
About 40 wannabe MPs are standing in seats where a majority of people voted to leave the EU.
But despite previous vocal support for getting Brexit done, they have all signed the Remainer pledge to sell their prospective constituents down the river.

The Express claims pensioners will have to pay more tax under Labour.

BRITISH pensioners may be forced to pay an extra £1,000 in tax under a Labour government, despite Jeremy Corbyn’s insistence those earning under £80,000 would not be forced to pay out extra money. Do you agree that pensioners should pay more tax to help the Labour Party build a “fairer” taxation system?
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was grilled by BBC Money Box presenter Paul Lewis this morning, on the possibility pensioners on £20,000 would be forced to hand over more money to the taxpayer under a Labour  Government.

And the party claims GP services have declined under the Tories, reports BBC News.

Labour has highlighted NHS figures which it claims show a decline of GP services under the Conservatives.
The figures show that in October there were six million GP appointments – out of 31 million – for which patients had a wait of more than two weeks.
Labour said it was “yet more damning evidence of the crisis our NHS is in after a decade of Tory cuts”.
The Tories responded by highlighting their plans to deliver 50 million more GP appointments by 2024-25 if elected.


The Guardian reports a comment by an ex-leader.

Former Lib Dem leader Vince Cable has called the party’s policy to scrap Brexit without another referendum “a distraction and not a very helpful one”.
After Jo Swinson replaced Cable in July, the party adopted the policy to support revoking article 50 and cancel Brexit without a second referendum, were the party to be elected into office.
During a BBC Question Time leaders’ special last week, Swinson was forced to defend her party’s position.


Things are not looking good for the EU, reports the Telegraph.

The new European Commission will inherit an EU bitterly divided over migration and between Eastern and Western governments, Britain’s last ever commissioner has warned.
Sir Julian King told the Sunday Telegraph, as he cleared out the UK’s office for a final time, that the tussle over how to deal with the refugee crisis would continue to pose the greatest challenge to an increasingly fragmented European Parliament.

And if we don’t get a UK/EU deal, Germany could suffer, says the Express.

A NO deal Brexit could leave Germany teetering on the brink of recession, as well as damaging the country’s massive car industry, a German economist has said.
Professor Clemens Fuest, President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, told the worst case scenario, of the UK leaving the EU without a deal in place, either by accident or design, remained very much a possibility.

The German chancellor has spoken out against free speech, reports Breitbart.

Chancellor Angela Merkel railed against free speech in the German parliament, declaring that freedom of expression which offends “the dignity of other people” must be censored to secure a truly free society.
“We have freedom of expression,” the migrant crisis architect began dubiously, in a speech to the German federal parliament, or Bundestag, uploaded to social media by state broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).
“For all those who claim that they can no longer express their opinion, I say this to them: If you express a pronounced opinion, you must live with the fact that you will be contradicted. Expressing an opinion does not come at zero cost!” she warned ominously, to applause from the assembled politicians.

And the Telegraph claims her position is becoming untenable.

Angela Merkel’s political future was hanging in the balance on Saturday evening after the junior party in her coalition government voted to remove its leader.
Members of the Social Democrats, Germany’s oldest party, caused a political earthquake by electing a new Leftist leadership duo who have threatened to collapse the government.
The shock election result will see Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans, relative political novices, take power. Olaf Scholz, the current acting leader and Mrs Merkel’s finance minister was defeated with his running mate Klara Geywitz.


Bank account holders could be in for a windfall, says the Times.

Customers of HSBC and Santander are set to receive millions of pounds in refunds after the lenders failed to alert them that they were going into the red.
Regulators have revealed that the banks did not send text messages to customers who were about to go into unarranged overdrafts, triggering charges. The mistakes were uncovered by the Competition and Markets Authority, which requires all banks to issue such warnings.
HSBC is refunding £8 million to 115,000 customers after twice breaching the watchdog’s order, introduced last February. Santander, which broke the order six times, has agreed to issue refunds but has yet to confirm the number of customers affected.

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