Brexit

The Telegraph outlines a warning the PM is to give to the EU boss today.

Boris Johnson is to warn Ursula von der Leyen that the UK will be ready to become fully independent  on January 1, 2021 “whatever happens”, as he urges the EU to agree a trade deal by the end of the summer.
In a video conference on Monday, the Prime Minister is expected to insist that the Government will be willing and able to end the post-Brexit transition period without an agreement with the EU, if Brussels fails to agree terms that ministers can accept.
Monday’s talks, which UK officials hope will “push the negotiations forward”, come after Michael Gove gave the EU formal notice that Britain would not request an extension of the transition period beyond the end of the year to buy more time for the talks.
The video conference will include Charles Michel, the European Council president, and David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, while Mr Johnson will be joined by Mr Gove and David Frost, his chief negotiator.

The Sun also reports Boris’ warning.

EU chiefs will be told to “take it or leave it” this week in talks aimed at clinching a Brexit deal.
Boris Johnson will tell European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen she is drinking in the last chance saloon in a video-conference meeting today.
The PM will tell her bluntly that she and her colleagues have six weeks to seal an agreement or Britain will leave without one on December 31.
Sneaky Eurocrats had demanded “tunnel” talks – secret negotiations carried out under a news blackout with ambassadors kept in the dark.
But they threw in the towel on Friday and agreed to “intensify talks” over the summer after Britain ruled out a further extension.

‘Get it done’ he’ll tell the bloc, says the Express.

BORIS Johnson will tell the EU’s three top officials tomorrow that they need to “swiftly conclude” a free trade agreement (FTA) with Britain or he will walk away from the negotiating table.
In what amounts to a take it or leave it offer from the Prime Minister, he will demand that the EU stops its foot dragging in negotiations and works out a deal consistent to the ones it has with other countries which will not tie Britain into its laws and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice or force the UK to surrender its fishing waters. The blunt message will be delivered at a video conference with the President of the European Council Charles Michel, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von Der Leyen, and the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli.

The Guardian quotes a survey, but what was the question?

More than half of people in Britain support an extension to the Brexit transition period, while three-quarters believe the UK should work very closely with the European Union to combat coronavirus, a survey suggests.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove formally told the EU on Friday that the UK would not ask for a delay despite concerns that its departure would compound the economic chaos inflicted by the pandemic.

EU

The bloc has rejected the PM’s plans, reports the Express.

BORIS Johnson’s plan for the EU to replicate a “light-touch border” on the English Channel isn’t acceptable, a senior official warned yesterday.
Maroš Šefcovic, vice-president of the European Commission who co-chairs a EU-UK committee implementing the Brexit withdrawal agreement said the EU would enforce full customs and regulatory checks immediately after Brexit. Mr Šefcovic told the Financial Times that while the UK border was a matter for the British government, he stressed the EU would “robustly maintain” its equivalent after meeting Michael Gove yesterday.
Downing Street yesterday proposed a temporary light-touch border regime for goods flowing into the UK from the EU.

Race riots

The law will clamp down on protesters, reports the Telegraph.

Boris Johnson has vowed that far right protesters will be “met with full force of the law” after a day of violence clashes with police in London.
The Prime minister said “racist thuggery has no place on our streets” after 3,000 supporters of groups including Britain First and the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) descended on the capital for what they said was a mission to protect the statue of Winston Churchill and the Cenotaph.
Mr Johnson tweeted: “Anyone attacking the police will be met with full force of the law.
“These marches and protests have been subverted by violence and breach current guidelines.

The Mail says he condemned the riots.

Boris Johnson has condemned ‘racist thuggery’ after clashes between far-right yobs, Black Lives Matter supporters and riot police erupted in Trafalgar Square and at Waterloo station as approximately 1,300 troublemakers remained in central London yesterday after a 5pm curfew set by police.
Police chiefs imposed the 5pm curfew on all demonstrations in a bid to quell the unrest seen throughout the day as the anti-racist rally and a pro-statue counter-protest descended into hooliganism driven by a hard core of violent activists on both sides.
While a small number of pro-statue military veterans in uniform made their point peacefully, their protest was hijacked by others intent on confronting police and BLM supporters.

And the Guardian also reports Boris’ comments.

Boris Johnson has condemned violence by protesters in central London on Saturday as “racist thuggery” in a post on Twitter. “Anyone attacking the police will be met with full force of the law. These marches and protests have been subverted by violence and breach current guidelines,” he wrote.
The prime minister continued: “Racism has no part in the UK and we must work together to make that a reality.”
By 9pm on Saturday, police were reporting they had made more than 100 arrests “for offences including breach of the peace, violent disorder, assault on officers, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of class A drugs, and drunk and disorder”.

Sky News reports that the protests were ‘hijacked by extremists’.

Boris Johnson has claimed anti-racism protests in the UK have been “hijacked by extremists intent on violence”.
The prime minister said it was “absurd and shameful” that a statue of Sir Winston Churchill was “at risk of attack” by protesters.
Referring to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd in the US, Mr Johnson concluded a series of tweets by saying “the only responsible course of action is to stay away from these protests”.
He wrote: “We cannot now try to edit or censor our past.

But the protests were mainly peaceful, says the Mail.

Thousands of mostly peaceful protestors have taken to town squares across the UK today – with small clashes erupting between Black Lives Matter supporters and groups of counter-protestors.
In Newcastle this afternoon, police divided rivals groups of protestors as tempers boil over in front of Grey’s Monument, a memorial to the Prime Minister who oversaw the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.
The counter demonstrators were seen holding up a Union Jack flag emblazoned with Defenders of Newcastle, who were met with jeers by opposing North East Against Racism supporters holding Black Lives Matter sign.

The far right has been blamed for the riots, says Breitbart.

Black Lives Matter supporters have seriously assaulted a number of people suspected of being “far-right” in London.
The day’s protests saw Black Lives Matter supporters take to the capital’s streets in reduced numbers after some organisers attempted to call off planned demonstrations, along with counter-protesters including veterans, football fans, and some far-right elements, intending to prevent the vandalisation of historic statues and war memorials which has characterised previous BLM demonstrations.
Police, who at previous protests were seen kneeling to BLM supporters, fleeing from violent mobs, and failing to protect monuments such as Churchill’s statue and the Cenotaph war memorial, adopted a far more robust approach towards these counter-protesters, manning metal barricades in full riot gear including helmets, shields, and clubs to restrict their movements.

Taking the knee

But a position taken by police has angered some officers, says the Mail.

A police force has angered officers by warning that they may face consequences if they decline to ‘take the knee’ at anti-racism protests.
Hertfordshire Constabulary said those who chose not to make the solidarity gesture ‘may become the focus of the protesters’ attention’.
The advice was issued during a recent operational briefing and points out that, when officers kneel down – joining in the symbolic stance of the Black Lives Matter movement – it ‘has a very positive reaction on the protest groups’.

Statues

Ministers are thinking about the punishment to be meted out to those who deface war memorials, says the Telegraph.

Demonstrators who desecrate war memorials could face prison sentences of up to ten years, under plans being considered by ministers after the Cenotaph and a statue of Winston Churchill were boarded up to protect them from violent protests.
Robert Buckland, the Justice Secretary, Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, and Suella Braverman, the Attorney General, are understood to be discussing proposals to make it easier to prosecute people who damage monuments to those who died during wars. The measures under discussion could also cover some of the statues currently being targeted by activists.
The talks began after 125 Conservative MPs backed plans for a new Desecration of War Memorials Bill, which is due to be presented to the Commons on June 23 by two backbenchers, Jonathan Gullis, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, and James Sunderland, a former Army officer.

And the Sun says there have been lots of arrests.

STATUE-ROW protesters fought running battles with rival activists and charged at riot cops as more than 100 were arrested in London today.
There were ugly scenes as groups of men tried to get to Black Lives Matter protesters throughout the day while police tried to block them – before they eventually clashed.
Crowds of pro-statue campaigners earlier surrounded the monument of Winston Churchill, before peeling off to the Cenotaph – where they rushed up to the police blockade and pelted them with bottles and cans while chanting. 
Ugly scenes throughout the afternoon showed the group, made up of war veterans, football fans and far-right organisations including Britain First, massing in clear breach of social-distancing guidelines.

The Independent also blames far-right groups.

Home secretary Priti Patel has condemned acts of “unacceptable thuggery” by anti-Black Lives Matter  protesters who have clashed with police in London.
Hundreds of mostly white men descended on Parliament Square on Saturday after far-right groups, such as Britain First, called on supporters to guard statues of historical figures.
“Any perpetrators of violence or vandalism should expect to face the full force of the law,” Ms Patel wrote on Twitter, in response to a video of clashes between protesters and the police.
“Violence towards our police officers will not be tolerated.”

But the government won’t give in to the protesters, says the Guardian.

The government has signalled that it will not remove any statues or monuments from its property, as tensions mount over the UK’s memorials to controversial figures.
The culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, said he had written to MPs, peers and councillors to outline the government’s position, after a week in which tens of thousands of people protested against statues of historical figures linked to slavery and racism.

Social distancing

The two-metre rule could be relaxed, says the Independent.

Boris Johnson has indicated that the two-metre social distancing rule could be reduced if infection rates continue to fall in the community, even if transmission in care homes and hospitals keeps the crucial R figure high.
The prime minister is coming under intense pressure to cut the minimum distance for social contacts to 1.5 or one metre, with pubs and restaurants warning that the existing rule will make it unviable for them to reopen.
But there are concerns that the so-called R rate – which measures the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects – is remaining stubbornly close to the 1 figure above which scientists warn it will not be safe to ease lockdown.

BBC News also reports the review.

Boris Johnson has commissioned a review into the 2m (6ft) social distancing rule, following calls to scrap it.
Businesses and some of Mr Johnson’s own MPs have warned that large parts of the hospitality industry will not be viable with the 2m coronavirus rule in place.
The review will aim to be completed by 4 July, when pubs and restaurants could open at the earliest in England.

Boris will take control of the decision, says the Mail.

Boris Johnson will tomorrow pave the way for the abolition of the two-metre separation rule by taking personal control of the decision to axe it.
His crucial intervention comes as one of the country’s leading restaurateurs warns that if it is not scrapped, the hospitality sector will be hit by millions of job losses.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the Prime Minister has commissioned a comprehensive No 10 review which will effectively wrest control of Covid-19 social distancing guidance from Government scientists – and, critically, allow the devastating economic impact of the measure to be taken into account for the first time.

Quarantine

And rules over travellers going into quarantine are also under review, reports the Telegraph.

Airlines are increasingly optimistic the Government will signal the end of blanket quarantine before the first review at the end of June, as France prepares to open its borders on Monday to EU holidaymakers.
Industry sources said the Department for Transport (DfT) had “intimated” to airlines that the announcement of “air bridges” could come on June 25 or 26, allowing UK holidaymakers to fly to “low-risk” destinations without facing quarantine on their return.
The quarantine for nearly all arrivals, including returning Britons, requires them to self-isolate for 14 days with fines of £1,000 for any breaches. It is due to be reviewed on June 29.

Shielding

But those with underlying health conditions are still being victimised, says the Sun.

VULNERABLE Brits told to shield at home will not get any furlough cash — despite an assurance from the PM.
New government guidance says those with serious medical conditions who registered after June 10 will not get help.
On Wednesday Boris Johnson vowed to fix the anomaly — but 48 hours later there was no change.
So people who get a health diagnosis or are told to shield by their GP will not get a penny to make up for lost wages.

Testing

Testing is to be stepped up, says the Telegraph.

Coronavirus tests are to be carried out in workplaces across the country, under Government plans to significantly exceed the current 200,000-a-day testing target and help firms to re-open.
Officials from the departments of business and health are in talks with firms about employers conducting “workforce testing”, including with devices that diagnose Covid-19 within two hours, without the need for samples to be sent to a lab.
The proposals form part of the Government’s plans to rapidly increase testing across the country, as it attempts to expand the NHS test and trace scheme and avoid a dangerous second peak of infections.

Education

Is it safe for children to go back to school?  The Times reports:

Katherine Cumberbatch, head of Harris Crystal Palace, an academy in south London, admits she is “really worried” about some of her pupils.
Tomorrow she welcomes back dozens of children to her secondary school for the first time since March, after the government agreed that some in their critical GCSE and A-level years should go back.
They will return to a regime that includes temperature checks, facemasks for emergencies and troughs in the playground for pupils to wash their hands.

The Guardian reports an accusation that the government’s policy is harming children’s education.

Boris Johnson was accused of putting children’s basic right to education at risk last night, as he faced a mounting chorus of pleas to unveil an unprecedented emergency programme for England’s pupils.
With growing frustration among teachers, MPs and unions over the chaotic return of schools, Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England, warned there was a “very dangerous” threat to the historic right to guaranteed education.
She warned that next year’s academic year could be seriously hit, and that reduced access to education was being allowed to become “the default” in some schools.

Some headteachers may invite pupils back early, says the Sun.

HEADTEACHERS will invite more Primary pupils back to school before the summer break under new plans.
Ministers will allow children other than Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 for lessons when announcing updated guidelines this week.
The move comes after the Government was forced to abandon their intention to allow all under-11s to return for a month before the holidays.
School heads will only be allowed to accept some of the country’s four million Primary pupils back if there is capacity.

Sky News reports the new guidance.

From next week primary schools with capacity to accommodate maximum class sizes of 15 pupils will be encouraged to welcome back all year groups.
The new guidance comes after the government was forced to shelve its plan for all primary school children to have at least a month of classroom education before the summer holidays.
The Labour Party has said the short notice of the announcement will contribute to “widespread confusion” for schools, pupils and parents.

Shopping

Retail therapy will be back on the cards next week, reports the Times.

Times More than 100 retail chains will open their doors across England tomorrow as shoppers are urged to return to the high street.
Stores have been redesigned for a safer experience and some will operate for shorter hours. No dates have yet been set in Wales and Scotland for the opening of non-essential shops.
Two (John Lewis) stores — Kingston-upon-Thames and Poole, Dorset — will open tomorrow, with more during the week. Lifts will be limited to one person or family and there must be eight steps between each person on an escalator.

Unemployment

But workers may not have jobs when this is all over, says the Times.

Boris Johnson has been warned by cabinet ministers to brace himself for unemployment to hit 4.5 million, the highest number since records began, as a poll finds one in three firms is poised to make staff redundant due to the coronavirus.
A survey by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) reveals that 34% of managers are set to lay off staff, with 26% expecting to do so this year.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email