Withdrawal agreement

At last someone has realised the WA is a trap.  The Telegraph reports:

Senior Brexiteers have warned Boris Johnson that key parts of his Withdrawal Agreement with the EU amount to a “poison pill” that should be replaced as part of post-Brexit trade negotiations.
A 120-page report compiled by pro-Leave MPs and lawyers states that exiting the transition period with the current provisions of the agreement in place would have “crippling” consequences for the UK and prevent the country from becoming a “fully sovereign state”.
The document, which is published as the UK and EU carry out intensive trade negotiations, has been endorsed by a series of senior backbenchers, suggesting Mr Johnson could face resistance in the Commons if he fails to tackle some of their concerns.
On Saturday, Mark Francois, the chairman of the influential European Research Group (ERG) of Eurosceptic Tory MPs, said: “The report argues that the remaining elements of the Withdrawal Agreement after we leave the transition period cannot be allowed to stand as they are, and particularly that there must be no remaining role for the European Court of Justice over any aspect of our national life. That is something that I and my colleagues in the ERG would very much support.”

The Express also has the story.

A MAJOR new report has warned that Boris Johnson needs to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU or jeopardise Britain’s hard won freedom from Brussels control.
The 100-page analysis by the Centre for Brexit Policy (CBP) has warned that the deal mostly negotiated by Theresa May’s government contains “poison pills” which will undermine British sovereignty and could cost the country £165 billion.
The document comes just a few weeks after Boris Johnson’s chief negotiator David Frost admitted that the government was trying to put right flaws in the Withdrawal Agreement which allowed the UK to have an orderly exit on January 31 this year.

EU

The bloc is doing everything it can to stop us leaving – including risking lives says the Telegraph.

The European Union has been accused of risking lives by insisting on slow checks on vital medicines and potential coronavirus vaccines produced in Britain after Brexit.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has rejected UK calls for mutual regulatory recognition on medicines and medical devices during negotiations on the post-Brexit free trade agreement, which continue next week in Brussels.
British proposals would prevent the need for medicines, devices and any UK produced coronavirus vaccine to be tested twice in the newly separated UK and EU jurisdictions. This could lead to delays in critical supplies and cost companies hundreds of millions of pounds every year.

Barnier is simply ignoring the bloc’s problems says the Express.

MICHEL BARNIER, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, is creating his own “alternative narrative” and ignoring the reality of the eurozone’s weaknesses, and his belittling of the UK is part of a concerted strategy to pretend there are no problems with the EU’s financial system, a top City lawyer has said.
And Barnabas Reynolds, a partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP and Global Head of the Financial Services Industry Group, suggested the “eurozone volcano” had the potential to cause enormously damage should it erupt. Mr Barnier, speaking at a conference organised by the Eurofi think thank last week, took the opportunity to put the boot in, rejecting British proposals to give the City of London access to the European Union. Claiming the Government was seeking to maintain the benefits of the single market without the obligations, he added: “I will be blunt: its proposals are unacceptable.

Post-Brexit

Plans for next year, after we have fully escaped the bloc, are outlined in the Telegraph.

Taxes and red tape will be slashed in towns and cities across the country next year, under government plans for a post-Brexit and post-coronavirus ­economic revolution.
Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, is preparing to introduce sweeping tax cuts and an overhaul of planning laws in up to 10 new “freeports” within a year of the UK becoming fully independent from the European Union in December, The Telegraph can reveal.

There could be a bonfire of red tape, says the Mail.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is planning to slash red tape and taxes as part of a post-Brexit ‘economic revolution’.
Mr Sunak wants to completely overhaul planning laws and offer wide-ranging tax cuts just a year after the UK becomes fully independent from the European Union  in December, as reported by the Sunday Telegraph.
He is also said to be planning to open bidding for towns, cities and regions to become freeports – where UK taxes and tariffs will not apply – in his autumn Budget.

Our border controls are coming under scrutiny, says ITV News.

More than £700 million is to be spent on building new infrastructure, hiring staff and developing technology to ensure Britain’s border systems are fully operational when the UK leaves the EU at the end of the year.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the major investment would ensure traders and the border industry are able to “manage the changes and seize the opportunities” when the transition period ends in December.
The £705 million package includes £235 million for staffing and IT systems, and £470 million for port and inland infrastructure to ensure compliance with new customs procedures and controls.

Tax and planning laws will also be examined, reports the Independent.

Rishi Sunak is poised to introduce tax cuts and an overhaul of planning laws in up to 10 new deregulated freeports in a bid to boost the economy after Brexit.
The chancellor is reportedly planning to open bidding for towns, cities and regions to become freeports – where UK taxes and tariffs will not apply – in his autumn Budget.

The Sun puts a price on the plans.

A £705million upgrade of ports will bolster our borders for Brexit.
Hubs will get 500 more guards, new control posts, computer systems and high-tech camera scanners.
Britain takes back control in 172 days and Cabinet Office supremo Michael Gove said work on the overhaul will start now “with or without further agreement with the EU”.
Critics say UK borders are porous but Mr Gove said the changes will make them the most secure in the world within four years. The Government has bought 27 acres of land 20 miles from Dover to build a huge new customs clearance centre for the 10,000 lorries a day arriving from Europe.

We will take back control of our borders, says the Express.

BRITAIN will seize back control of its borders by the end of the year no matter what the outcome of the Brexit talks, the Government has pledged.
It is investing hundreds of millions in border control in a clear indication Britain will be ready for no deal if necessary. It comes as Home Secretary Priti Patel  prepares to announce the next stage of the overhaul of immigration rules with publication of a points based system aimed at attracting the brightest and the best to the UK. In a further move, the Sunday Express has learnt that Mr Johnson is set to drop Chinese tech company Huawei as a supplier for the new 5G network at a National Security Council meeting on Tuesday – when a review into Chinese involvement in the existing 3G and 4G networks could also be agreed.

And more staff will be employed, says Sky News.

The government is spending £705m on new border controls and staff as the UK prepares to fully leave the EU at the end of this year.
The money will be spent on border infrastructure, 500 more border force staff and new IT systems and technology.
The government claims the country’s border systems will be “fully operational” from 31 December, when the UK is due to leave the Brexit transition period.
But one former Conservative cabinet minister and Kent MP says plans for a new lorry park and customs centre in his constituency have been “sprung on the area with no consultation”.

New homes

Breitbart claims thousands of acres of land have been dedicated to new homes to cope with the influx of immigrants.

Almost 835,000 acres have been concreted over in Britain, new data shows, while the so-called Conservative Party wants to build over even more green belt land to make way for new housing.
Satellite analysis revealed that between 1990 and 2015, a total of 1,303 square miles (3,376 square kilometres) in Britain was lost to urban sprawl.
Overall, grasslands were reduced by an astonishing 2,960 square miles (7,668 square kilometres), or 1.9 million acres — although a portion of this was replaced by woodland.
The UK Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH), which carried out the study, pointed out that the landscape covered by new urban development, most of which was in England, constitutes an area almost the size of Cornwall.

Sweatshops

Fear of being accused of racism stopped police raiding Leicester sweatshops claims the Times.

The home secretary fears “cultural sensitivities” have prevented police from tackling illegal sweatshops in Britain’s fast-fashion industry amid concerns that they would be accused of racism.
Priti Patel has privately raised concerns that police and other government agencies have turned a blind eye to exploitation in Leicester’s textile warehouses and factories in the same way as the grooming scandal in Rotherham was ignored for years.
She is considering new laws on modern slavery because of fears that the existing legislation is “not fit for purpose”.

The Mail also has the story.

The Home Secretary is understood to think that ‘cultural sensitivities’ prevented the police from tackling Leicester’s ‘slave’ sweatshops.
Priti Patel is said to have raised concerns behind closed doors that government agencies turned a blind eye to the factories where staff were paid less than the minimum wage and worked in poor conditions, as reported by The Sunday Times.
Ms Patel is thought to now be considering new laws on modern slavery after fears the current legislation is no ‘fit for purpose’.

Labour Party

The new Labour leader is supporting Black Lives Matters says the Times.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, has launched a “complete boycott” of party advertising on Facebook in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
Labour spent more than £1.2m on advertisements on the social media giant during last year’s general election. However, the firm has been accused of failing to do enough to remove hate speech and racist conspiracy theories following the death of George Floyd, the black man killed by police in Minnesota in May.

The Mail outlines the party’s plans for a wealth tax.

More than six million Britons could be forced to pay an average annual levy of £2,500 to the Treasury if Labour’s Left wing wins an internal battle to introduce a wealth tax, the Tories claimed last night.
The row was sparked after Sir Keir Starmer’s Shadow Financial Secretary Dan Carden wrote on Twitter: ‘We are following very closely the academic research… on how a UK wealth tax would work.’
He added that the party thought the cost of the Covid-19 crisis ‘should be borne by those with the broadest shoulders’ – and dismissed as ‘false’ reports that Labour was moving away from the idea.

The Express tells us of a new splinter group.

THE LABOUR PARTY’S left-wing faction may soon be overtaken by another splinter group known as Forward Momentum, potentially causing tension for newly appointed leader Keir Starmer.
Labour will be hosting elections for their new National Executive Committee and members of the “far-left” faction, Momentum, are looking to have a “united slate” of left-wing committee members. Forward Momentum has managed to, as of last week, get two of their candidates elected as Momentum’s National Co-ordinating Group (NCG) co-chairs. The two successful candidates were Firefighter Andrew Scattergood and Climate activist Gaya Sriskanthan.

Dementia

Light could help fight Alzheimer’s says the Times.

Scientists have uncovered a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease with the help of a giant microscope and a beam of light that is 10 billion times more intense than sunlight.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, affecting almost one million people in the UK. Someone is diagnosed with the disease every three minutes, but no new drugs to treat it have emerged for at least 15 years.
As a result, the hunt for a breakthrough has turned its focus to medicines used for other conditions. A laboratory at a campus in Oxfordshire has helped to unearth an “exciting” prospect: salbutamol, which is used to treat asthma.

NHS

Millions of patients are suffering through having missed their surgery, says the Times.

Hospitals have postponed 1.5 million operations because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis that shows the true scale of the backlog engulfing the NHS.
Patients may be forced to wait up to two years for surgery, with those needing a new hip or knee left in agony and those with cancer or heart and respiratory conditions forced to wait longer for treatment. The number of people having to wait more than a year to start hospital treatment in England jumped to 26,029 in May, up from 1,032 in the same month last year. It is the highest number for any month in more than a decade.

The Guardian tells us the PM intends to give the NHS a shake-up.

Boris Johnson is planning a radical and politically risky reorganisation of the NHS amid government frustration at the health service’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, the Guardian has learned.
The prime minister has set up a taskforce to devise plans for how ministers can regain much of the direct control over the NHS they lost in 2012 under a controversial shake-up masterminded by Andrew Lansley, the then coalition government health secretary.
The prime minister’s health and social care taskforce – made up of senior civil servants and advisers from Downing Street, the Treasury and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) – is drawing up proposals that would restrict NHS England’s operational independence and the freedom Stevens has to run the service.

But he has been warned against his plans, says the Independent.

Jeremy Hunt has urged Boris Johnson to drop plans for another huge reorganisation of the NHS, warning patient care will suffer if it goes ahead.
The former health secretary said he was “astonished” by evidence that preparatory work is under way, including to curb the arms-length independence of  NHS England.
Mr Hunt urged the prime minister to look at the deep problems the NHS faces: “the social care system, which desperately needs a 10-year plan, the Cumberlege report into vaginal mesh, the issues in the Shrewsbury and Telford maternity safety report”.
He said: “If you want to improve care for patients, then looking at the quality and safety of care is going to have far more impact than another big reorganisation.”

Air con

Back to the pandemic and a report suggests it could be circulated by air conditioning, says the Telegraph.

Air conditioning units that recirculate the same air in a room should be switched off or only used with open windows, experts have urged, amid mounting concern  around the role of airborne transmission to spread Covid-19.
Experts told the Telegraph that air conditioning units that only used recirculated air could exacerbate the spread of virus particles if someone was infected with Covid-19.
Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, a fellow at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said there were two types of air conditioning units – ones that take air in from outside and expel it out again, or those that recirculate the same air.
This second type, known as a “split” unit, draws air in, passes it over cooling coils and sends it back into the room.

The Mail also quotes the experts.

Air conditioning units that recirculate the same air in a room need to be either turned off or used with the windows open in order to stop airborne transmission of COVID-19, according to experts.
British researchers say that those who use air conditioners that recirculate the same air are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 if an infected person was in the same space.
According to the Telegraph, there are two types of air conditioners – ones that take in air from the outside and expel it out again and the ‘split unit’, which recirculates the same air.

Railways

Could the railways be re-nationalised?  The Telegraph reports on the drop in passenger numbers.

The rail industry is bracing for full nationalisation as private forecasts show passenger numbers will not return to pre-pandemic levels for at least five years.
The predictions, circulated among train operators last week, make it almost impossible for the railways to remain in private hands without continued significant taxpayer support.
But while industry leaders are lobbying to secure billions of pounds more in state support, Boris Johnson’s administration plans to slash the current subsidies as soon as September.

China

An Asian cyber attack could be on the cards, says the Mail.

Ministers fear China could unleash a devastating online attack on Britain – dubbed a ‘cyber-9/11’ – amid increasing tensions between London and Beijing.
Senior sources say ‘a perfect storm’ of diplomatic rows over Hong Kong, the tech giant Huawei and Covid-19  could lead to an all-out attack by Chinese-backed hackers.
The warning comes as the Government prepares to formally announce a U-turn that would block Huawei from helping build Britain’s superfast 5G mobile network.

Tensions are escalating, says the Sun.

MINISTERS fear China will unleash an online attack on Britain called a ‘cyber-9/11’ as tensions ramp up with Beijing.
Security sources believe the UK is faced with a “perfect storm” of rows over Hong Kong, the tech giant Huawei and Covid-19 – and it could lead to an attack by China-backed hackers.
The Government is preparing to announce plans to block Huawei from helping build the 5G mobile network.
Boris Johnson has also infuriated the Chinese Communist Party with his tough stance on Beijing’s clampdown on Hong Kong’s freedoms.
In addition, the PM has called for an inquiry into the true source of coronavirus.
Some claim it accidentally leaked from a Wuhan lab.

The Star says any attack could be ‘devastating’.

Ministers fear China could unleash a devastating online attack by hackers on Britain.
Senior sources say ‘a perfect storm’ of diplomatic rows over Hong Kong, the tech giant Huawei and Covid-19, could lead to the attack funded by China.
A cyber attack could cripple computer networks, cause phone and power blackouts and cause hospitals, government and businesses to shudder to a halt.

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