BoJo and mini-Manny have been talking says the Telegraph. Let’s hope the PM has laid it on the line.
Boris Johnson has warned Emmanuel Macron that Brexit negotiators will need to bridge “significant gaps” within days, as Tory sources suggested the French president’s stance on fishing was standing in the way of a deal.
In a telephone call on Saturday morning, the Prime Minister warned Mr Macron that “progress must be made” on fishing quotas and the EU’s demands for the UK to abide by a “level playing field” of rules, including on industrial subsidies.
Lord Frost, Mr Johnson’s chief negotiator, is in the middle of a fortnight of intensive talks with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier as they attempt to avoid a no-deal outcome at the end of the transition period on December 31.
Mr Johnson’s intervention came as Conservative sources said the prospect of a deal now turned on whether Mr Macron was prepared to make a “political decision” to compromise on fish – a totemic issue for British and French coastal towns and villages.
Time is getting short, says the Guardian.
Boris Johnson has held Brexit telephone talks with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, as the clock ticks down to the deadline for a deal.
The two leaders spoke on Saturday with seemingly just days remaining for an agreement on a future trade deal to be reached, after UK and EU negotiating teams met on Friday for what sources said was a positive meeting.
With the negotiators, led by UK’s David Frost and the EU’s Michel Barnier, due to reengage on Monday, No 10 said the prime minister “set out the latest state of play in the negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU”.
Just four more days to go, says the Express.
BORIS JOHNSON has given Brussels four more days to make significant concessions or face having the Brexit trade talks brought to an end on Friday.
The warning in a briefing from sources in Lord Frost’s negotiating team comes as Business Secretary Alok Sharma has told firms that they now need to step up their preparations for the Brexit transition ending without a deal. But the Prime Minister is also facing concerns from senior Conservative MPs and Brexiteers that he will fail to get as good a deal as the one struck with Canada by the EU if he does manage to come to an agreement with Brussels.
And the PM is talking tough at the moment, reports the Times.
Boris Johnson called on Emmanuel Macron to give ground over post-Brexit fishing quotas yesterday, warning the French president that Britain will have to walk away from the talks if he will not budge.
Senior government sources said the EU needs to give ground in time for a Brussels summit on Thursday “or else”. Otherwise, the UK will have to prepare for a no-deal departure from the Brexit transition period on December 31.
It all about the fish, reports the Express.
A FRENCH fishing captain has threatened Boris Johnson with “naval battles” if the Prime Minister walks away from Brexit negotiations without a deal.
Stéphane Pinto said the UK cannot “just click their fingers” and say the French “can’t fish in British waters any more”. It comes as the UK and EU’s chief negotiators, David Frost and Michel Barnier say they are inching towards a deal ahead of an October 15 deadline, but important gaps remain on fishing, level playing field issues and governance. Both sides have planned for a no deal Brexit.
But Mr Pinto said the UK leaving the EU without a deal would create tensions” and warned it might even lead to “naval battles”.
The deputy head of the fishermen’s committee of the northern region of Hauts-de-France told The Sunday Times: “They can’t just click their fingers and say we can’t fish in British waters any more.
The Times quotes the Frenchman’s naval threat.
Stéphane Pinto, who has been working the Channel for 35 years, is in no doubt what it will mean for French fishermen if there is no post-Brexit deal: la catastrophe.
Pinto’s boat, like most others in Boulogne-sur-Mer, takes about three-quarters of its catch in British waters. Without a deal, they will all be squeezed into a small area along the continental coast.
“They can’t just click their fingers and say we can’t fish in British waters any more. We are talking about agreements going back decades,” said Pinto, 52, deputy head of the fishermen’s committee of the northern region of Hauts-de-France.
A political scientist says the French are wrong in the Express.
THE EU has been accused of having an “absurd” position on fishing rights, where it wants to keep the status quo in a post-Brexit scenario, claims a political scientist.
Mujtaba Rahman of the Eurasia Group tweeted: “The UK has got a lot wrong in these negotiations, but the EU position on fish is absurd. Essentially it’s, ‘Everything changes because of Brexit, but on fish, it stays the same'”. This was in response to President of the European Council Charles Michel who tweeted: “The moment of truth.
In other Continental news, the Sun reports a vendetta against British motorists.
BRITISH motorists have been targeted in a pre-Brexit blitz by French traffic cops, official figures reveal.
More than 500,000 drivers have been hunted down for speeding offences since EU countries were given access to the DVLA records last year.
It has led to suspicions French police are cashing in now in case sharing of database details stops once the transition period ends on December 31.
The number of requests rocketed by 150 per cent in March last year when it looked like imminent Brexit might halt their ability to trace UK offenders.
Government figures show that 551,928 Brits were traced for speeding in France since data sharing began in January 2019.
The Home Secretary has an idea how to stop migrants crossing the Channel, reports the Telegraph.
Britain is preparing to use nets to routinely “disable” dinghies carrying migrants across the Channel, the former marine in charge of preventing the crossings has signalled.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Dan O’Mahoney, the Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, revealed UK authorities were “very close” to being able to deploy a new “safe return tactic” under which personnel would render individual boats inoperable and then use British vessels to transfer migrants back to France.
However France is currently refusing to accept such migrants back into the country – delaying the use of the tactic.
Setting out his four-stage plan to tackle the problem of illegal migration across the Channel, Mr O’Mahoney also revealed the Government was using social media campaigns and officials posted abroad to urge would-be migrants in Africa and the Middle East to claim asylum in the first safe country in which they arrive, rather than risking their lives in an “incredibly dangerous journey” to reach the UK illegally.
The Mail also has the story.
Migrants entering British waters across the Channel will have their dinghies ‘disabled by nets’ before being sent back to France.
Dan O’Mahoney, the new Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, has set out his four-stage plan in a bid to clamp down on illegal crossings.
The former marine has reportedly confirmed how UK authorities are poised to deploy a ‘safe return tactic’.
The move comes after it emerged that more than 7,100 migrants have reached the UK in this year alone.
A power-grab planned by the commission is being thwarted, says the Express.
A SENIOR minister has informed the Electoral Commission that the government will not support its bid to have prosecuting power amid concerns over its pursuit of Brexiteers.
The controversial electoral watchdog’s future is under doubt after it launched a series of investigations into Leave campaign groups but refused to look into allegations regarding Remainer campaigners. But despite questions about whether it will be abolished and replaced, the Electoral Commission is attempting to expand its role and is consulting on being allowed to be able to bring prosecutions itself instead of referring cases to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
MPs are not happy about plans for higher taxes on the self-employed, says the Telegraph.
The Chancellor’s plans to hike taxes on millions of self-employed workers are set to spark a revolt on the Tory backbenches, risking a repeat of the battle that predecessor Philip Hammond lost.
Several Conservative MPs are opposed to proposals being drawn up to increase taxes on the self-employed to bring them in line with normal employees, The Sunday Telegraph understands.
Rishi Sunak has hinted he will use the Covid support provided to self-employed workers as cover for a tax shake-up.
An exclusive report in the Telegraph suggests the removal of historical statues is to be stopped.
Boris Johnson is to give a minister the power to veto the removal of statues, plaques, and memorials across the country, to help guard against campaigners and politicians “bullying” local officials into wiping out public heritage.
The Government is preparing to change planning rules to allow Robert Jenrick, the Housing Secretary, to take over formal applications relating to the dismantling of statues and other monuments, rather than the final decision resting with councils.
Back to Covid, and it seems the country is being split into two says the Times.
The coronavirus is turning into a tale of two Britains. Infections are rising faster in the north of England, where the virus is starting to claim older people. But in London, one in five people have antibodies — which could help shield the capital from the worst of the second wave.
“The picture shows that all over the country the numbers of cases are rising,” Susan Hopkins, deputy director of Public Health England’s national infection service, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday.
“They are rising more quickly in the northwest, the northeast and Yorkshire and Humber than they are in the south of the country.”
The Mirror also reports on the north-south divide.
Boris Johnson has been blasted for hitting the North with lockdowns while doing nothing about soaring Covid cases in his London constituency.
And he wasn’t the only top Tory to feel the heat for dodging tighter restrictions in his own backyard that might upset constituents.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and housing chief Robert Jenrick were among others slammed for ignoring rising rates on their patches – and helping create a new North-South divide.
To rub it in, many of the northern locked down areas are so-called Red Wall Tory seats gained from Labour in the last election.
And mayors are getting cross as well, says the Guardian.
Mayors of some of the UK’s biggest city regions were threatening legal action against the government last night as they went into open revolt against “grossly unfair” financial support for workers in northern England facing new local lockdowns.
As No 10 desperately tried to win over council leaders before announcing new lockdown rules for the north-west and north-east on Monday, Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester and former health secretary, said Boris Johnson was leaving himself open to court action on grounds of discrimination, particularly against people in low-paid hospitality jobs across the north.
New lockdown laws are coming into force in the north, reports Yahoo News.
Drinkers and diners in Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester are enjoying what could be their last orders this weekend as pubs and restaurants across northern England are widely expected to be told to shut to limit the spread of coronavirus.
It comes amid Government concern that nearly one-third of Covid-19 infections are coming through hospitality settings and follows the start of a 16-day closure of venues across the central belt of Scotland.
And iNews reports that northern Tory MPs are cross.
Conservative MPs in northern constituencies have launched a campaign to ensure that Boris Johnson honours the financial promises he made to boost the region.
The Prime Minister’s so-called “levelling up” agenda, which was a key tenet of the party’s general election manifesto, promised to drive “lasting change in parts of the country forgotten by successive governments”.
Now a group of 35 Tories, including a number of MPs who won seats in traditional Labour heartlands in 2019, have vowed to hold Mr Johnson to account.
The newly-formed Northern Research Group is led by Jake Berry, Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen and a former government minister, who insisted the grouping is not “about giving the government a bad time”.
Another ‘tipping point’? The Mail reports.
Britain has reached a coronavirus ‘tipping point’ one of the country’s top scientists said as new figures reveal the nation’s infections have trebled in two weeks with 15,166 more infections and 81 deaths recorded yesterday.
The figures come as millions of people across the North face draconian new measures when Boris Johnson sets out the details of a new three-tier local lockdown system in a speech to MPs.
On Saturday, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer said ‘the seasons are against us’ and the country is running into a ‘headwind’ ahead of the winter months.
More details of the lockdown are in the Telegraph.
Millions of people will be asked not to travel outside their local areas and could be banned from mixing with other households, even outdoors, amid fears that some hospitals in the North-West could be overwhelmed within days.
This weekend, Downing Street was briefing mayors and council leaders on the planned three-tier “Local Covid Alert Levels” system of restrictions for England, expected to be announced by Boris Johnson on Monday.
Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, said he was in discussions with Number 10 about placing the city into the third tier – with the toughest restrictions – amid mounting concern over the number of cases and the capacity of intensive care units at hospitals in the area.
But No. 10 is still talking about possibilities, says the Mail.
Boris Johnson‘s plans to introduce tough new lockdown measures in England were going down to the wire on Saturday as discussions between No 10 and local leaders continued late into the evening.
Millions of people in the Midlands and the North are facing travel bans and the shutting of pubs, with local communities tasked with enforcing the Test and Trace programme.
People could face fines if they travel between high and lower risk areas or breach orders to self-isolate.
The deployment of the ‘Covid vigilantes’ is an effective admission from Downing Street that the national programme has failed.
Anti mask demo
Hundreds have protested against the restrictions, reports the Sun.
ANTI-mask protesters chanted “freedom” as hundreds descended on Downing Street this afternoon.
The group marched from Hyde Park to the outside Prime Minister’s home to demand an end to lockdown.
Dozens of cops lined the streets as people marched with banners saying “martial law coming, think it’s still about health?” and “Covid-19 is a hoax”.
The protesters, mostly unmasked, made their way through central London, flanked by police officers, as they reached Parliament Square.
The group – including Piers Corbyn, who has been fined £10,000 for organising a rally – gathered as a man dressed as a clown spoke out against the lockdowns.
Test & trace
A decision to localise the tracing system means the government is admitting it doesn’t work nationally, says the Times.
Mayors will be given more control over the coronavirus test-and-trace system as ministers try to secure their support for tough new local lockdown rules due to be announced tomorrow.
In an admission that the national system is failing, ministers will empower town hall bosses to deploy an army of new local volunteers to knock on doors and ask people to self-isolate.
With Covid-19 running rampant, they want local people to take charge of controlling the spread of the virus in the hope it will generate “community spirit” and “improve compliance”.
But privacy could be a stake, says the Times.
Companies collecting data for pubs and restaurants to help them fulfil their contact-tracing duties are harvesting confidential customer information to sell.
Legal experts have warned of a “privacy crisis” caused by a rise in companies exploiting QR barcodes to take names, addresses, telephone numbers and email details, before passing them on to marketers, credit companies and insurance brokers.
The “quick response” mobile codes have been widely adopted by the hospitality, leisure and beauty industries as an alternative to pen-and-paper visitor logs since the government ordered businesses to collect contact details to give to NHS Test and Trace if required.
Children’s hospital treatment could be hit over the winter, says the Telegraph.
Senior doctors are publicly resisting the closure of children’s Accident and Emergency departments over the winter.
A string of prominent clinicians are among more than 4,500 signatories of a petition calling for the urgent reopening of children’s A&E services in London.
Dr Yasmin Baki, who runs University College London Hospital’s paediatric emergency department, and Professor Deborah Christie, a consultant clinical psychologist, have backed the petition, which warns that “seriously ill or injured children are being turned away from the hospital and having to travel miles” for emergency treatment.
Foreigners without a home who break the law will be deported, reports the Mail.
Priti Patel will deport the homeless who repeatedly engage in low level crimes under proposals being discussed by Ministers, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The Home Secretary has drawn up plans to change immigration rules to make it easier to send rough sleepers who engage in ‘persistent anti-social or dangerous behaviour’ back to the countries they came from.
It is understood Ms Patel wrote to Ministers on Friday to inform them of the plans.
The measures would be targeted at homeless people who regularly engage in ‘low level crimes, including drug pushing and ‘dangerous behaviour’, a source said.
Police race probe
Should a journalist be targeted by police for what a guest says? Perhaps only if he’s pro-Brexit, says the Mail.
Priti Patel on Saturday night threw her support behind a pro-Brexit campaigner facing a police probe over ‘damn blacks’ comments made by historian David Starkey.
There was fury from MPs and free-speech campaigners yesterday after Darren Grimes revealed he was being investigated for stirring up racial hatred over his online interview with Dr Starkey.
Supporters urged police to drop the case and said the 27-year-old commentator should not be held accountable for Dr Starkey’s remarks that ‘slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there?’