EU

You think we’re out?  Think again, says the Express.

BRUSSELS is plotting to keep the UK tied to the EU by blocking Brexit past 2020 citing jubilant Prime Minster Boris Johnson’s snappy timeline is not realistic enough for them to allow Britain to leave.
Mr Johnson agreed a buffer of 11 months would be acceptable for the paperwork to be signed, sealed and delivered after his January 31 Brexit deadline, as pleaded for by EU pen-pushers. But just 24 hours after Mr Johnson scored a stinking election majority of 80, the EU has said the timetable is simply not possible and now plans to lock the UK into the EU until after November 2020 and possibly into 2021. Mr Johnson has said time and time again he would not allow a fifth Brexit extension.
Another extension period would see the UK continue to obey EU rules, even in the so-called buffer zone.

The Telegraph says there could be a soft Brexit.

European Union member states are leaving the door open to Boris Johnson signing a broad-based trade deal by December 2020 in the hope that he will embrace a softer Brexit, EU diplomatic sources have told The Telegraph.
EU leaders last week ordered the European Commission to draw up a “comprehensive mandate” for the future relationship talks after pushing back against Commission plans to confront Mr Johnson with a narrower menu of options.
Three EU diplomatic sources said the shift in position creates the potential for a broader future partnership deal, including some elements of services trade, if Mr Johnson chose to extend the transition period which currently expires on December 31 2020.

And the Times claims there could be a showdown.

Boris Johnson is on a collision course with Brussels  when the second phase of Brexit negotiations open — as a former Downing Street aide warned that Whitehall is not “match fit” for the talks.
The prime minister will reject calls from EU leaders for Britain to accept a “level playing field” on regulations, which would mean the UK adopting many of the same rules as the rest of the bloc even after Brexit.
A senior figure in government dismissed claims that Johnson would use his new majority to abandon Brexiteers in the European Research Group (ERG) and pursue a softer Brexit.

The bloc will only agree to a deal if the UK agrees to all the rules says the Express.

BORIS JOHNSON has been warned by the EU to stick to the bloc’s rules or face years of trade talks after he vowed to deliver Brexit as soon as possible.
Following his 80 seat majority election win, the Prime Minister now has more of a chance of securing parliamentary approval for the withdrawal deal he struck with the EU in October. This will ensure Brexit happens by January 31. The UK will then go into a transition period until the end of 2020.
Mr Johnson can then negotiate a new relationship with the EU, including on trade.
But EU leaders said he will need to adhere to their single market rules in order to achieve this.

And the Guardian claims there WILL be an extension to the new transition period.

EU leaders would take the initiative and request an extension to the transition period, keeping the UK under Brussels regulations beyond 2020, under a plan mooted for getting around Boris Johnson’s stated refusal to seek a delay.
The move is being considered by EU officials as a way out of the problem posed by the short time available to negotiate a new relationship and the prime minister’s insistence that he will not seek an extension beyond 11 months.
With a majority of 80 secured by the prime minister, the UK is expected to leave the EU on 31 January – in fewer than 50 days. At the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, the UK is set to exit the EU’s customs union and single market and enter newly negotiated arrangements.

Remainers

There are moves afoot to rejoin the EU once we have left, says the Telegraph.

The battle has been lost, but hard line Remainers believe the war can still be won. Already pro-EU activists are trying to mobilise supporters to campaign for Britain to rejoin the European Union.
While Brexit has yet to be completed Remainers now accept it will be, following Boris Johnson’s emphatic election victory.
But some are convinced British voters can be persuaded to opt to rejoin the EU at some point in the near future.

Whitehall

Meanwhile, following Boris’ great victory, he has reform plans, reports the Telegraph.

Boris Johnson is plotting a dramatic overhaul of Whitehall after his landslide election victory, in a drive to demonstrate that the Government “works for the people”.
Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s chief aide, is to spearhead plans for radical reforms to the civil service, including a review of the processes for hiring and firing officials, to ensure Whitehall delivers the Prime Minister’s agenda.
He has previously complained that “almost no one is ever fired” in Whitehall, during a lecture in which he set out a “to-do list” he had maintained in case “I ever manage to get control of No 10.”

The Express says a revamp is on the cards.

BORIS JOHNSON is said to have plans for a huge Westminster shakeup over the next few months following his historic election win on Thursday night.
Whitehall could be revamped after the UK leaves the EU in January in a series of radical reforms. The Department for Exiting the European Union could be folded into Department for Trade and the Department for International Development could be turned into the Foreign Office.
Mr Johnson is also expected to announce a new-look team next week that could start as soon as Monday.

Maybe even a revolution, says the Times.

Boris Johnson has drawn up plans to run a “revolutionary” government that will see ministers sacked, Whitehall departments abolished and civil servants replaced by external experts in a bid to “reshape” the economy.
Up to a third of the cabinet face the sack in a February reshuffle after Brexit so that fresh faces can be brought in to create a “transformative” government focused on the needs of working-class voters who propelled him to a landslide victory last week.
In the Queen’s speech on Thursday he will announce he is enshrining in law the government’s commitment to boost NHS spending by £33.9bn by 2023-24 — the first time a government has made a spending commitment legally binding over several years.

A senior front-bencher could lose his place in the cabinet, reports the Mirror.

Jacob Rees-Mogg could be made to pay for his poor performance leading up to the election – with the Tory toff expected to be booted out of the cabinet by Boris Johnson.
Controversial Brexiteer Mr Rees-Mogg was sidelined during the Conservative campaign after causing an outcry with callous remarks about the Grenfell Tower inferno.
The North East Somerset MP was barely seen following his live radio interview, during which he suggested victims could have been saved if they used “common sense” and fled the tower block. He was later forced to apologise.

Labour Party

Where now for Labour?  The Telegraph reports a call for more members.

Moderate Labour MPs have called for an influx of new members to help elect the next leader, as a former minister declared that they were locked in “the final battle for the heart of the Labour Party”.
In a bid to wrest control of Labour back from the hard-Left, prominent backbenchers urged activists to sign up in order to tip the balance back in their favour.
However, a senior Labour insider warned that their efforts could be thwarted by the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC), which is firmly in the grip of Mr Corbyn’s allies.

The Express also reports the call.

LABOUR MPs have begun calling for an influx of new members to help elect the next leader of the party, after Jeremy Corbyn’s humiliating defeat in this week’s general election.
A former minister has called the party’s current position as “the final battle for the heart of the Labour Party”. In a bid to try and gain back control of the party from the grips of Mr Corbyn’s hard-left, prominent backbenchers have urged activists to sign up in order to tip the balance back in their favour, according to The Daily Telegraph.

And the party’s leader has accepted he could be to blame in the Mail.

Jeremy Corbyn has doubled down on his support for Labour’s wildly left-wing policies despite the party’s spectacular election defeat.
The outgoing opposition leader grudgingly shouldered some personal responsibility for the catastrophic collapse in votes, but used two newspaper columns to pin the blame on Brexit and the media.
Labour suffered its worst performance at the polls since 1935 after Boris Johnson reduced the party’s Red Wall of traditionally northern strongholds to rubble.
While accepting the result was ‘desperately disappointing’, Mr Corbyn said he was ‘proud’ of the radical anti-rich and spending spree platform he stood on during the campaign.

But he’s going to stay on as leader for the time being, reports the Times.

Jeremy Corbyn intends to remain as Labour leader until at least April despite pressure from his family to step down sooner, it can be revealed.
A source close to the Labour leader said it was “basic maths” that he would lead the party for months because a leadership contest takes at least 12 weeks and the deputy leader role is vacant.
Corbyn’s third wife, Laura Alvarez, is said to want him to quit sooner, amid concerns about media pressure and his emotional state. She is joined by Labour MPs, who are urging him to quit at once.

That could cause further ructions in the party, claims the Mail.

Labour’s post-Election civil war escalated last night as Jeremy Corbyn’s former top aide, Karie Murphy, was accused of trying to blame him personally for the party’s historic defeat.
The Left-winger is said to have formed a pact with union leader Len McCluskey to make Mr Corbyn culpable for the disaster – not his extremist Left- wing policies.
Sources say the plan by the two close friends – who are normally among Mr Corbyn’s biggest cheerleaders – is designed to pave the way for another hard-Left MP to become party leader and prevent moderates from seizing back control.

Who might take over from him?  It could be someone from the hard left says the Telegraph.

Labour’s hard-Left launched its bid to cling on to power on Saturday evening, as John McDonnell endorsed three of Jeremy Corbyn’s most loyal lieutenants as the “new generation” of potential leaders.
As the battle to succeed Mr Corbyn began in earnest, senior party insiders claimed that Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, was preparing to launch her candidacy.
Ms Long-Bailey is a close ally of the shadow chancellor and is expected to secure the endorsement of Len McCluskey and Unite, Labour’s biggest trade union backer.
Should she decide to run, she will be backed by Richard Burgon, the shadow justice secretary, who is preparing a bid for the deputy leadership role vacated by Tom Watson.

The Times claims letters leaked before the election show the party in turmoil even then.

John McDonnell’s team secretly warned that Labour’s campaign had created “confusion and distrust” among voters a week before polling day, according to leaked correspondence that reveals party tensions.
In emails obtained by The Sunday Times, one of the shadow chancellor’s political advisers blamed campaign staff for using “spin” to overstate Labour’s anti-austerity manifesto — while employing figures which suggested that “we are not going to be fully ending austerity”.
They were joined by one of McDonnell’s economics advisers, who warned he was “not comfortable” about public spending promises. He also questioned the “wisdom” of competing with the Tories on policing when Labour’s offer was the same.

LibDems

They’re still fighting for Brexit, says the Independent.

The battle against Brexit has not ended with Boris Johnson’s emphatic general election victory, Liberal Democrat interim co-leader Sir Ed Davey has said.
While accepting that the prime minister now has the votes in the Commons to get his withdrawal agreement through by 31 January, Sir Ed insisted that this will not mean Brexit is “done”.
Johnson’s plans could still “implode” over the course of the coming year as the inconsistencies in his election promises come under strain in the struggle to get a trade agreement with Brussels by the extraordinarily tight deadline of December 2020, he said.
And he said that the threat which Brexit poses to the future position of Scotland and Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom will give the lie to Johnson’s “One Nation” rhetoric, declaring: “We are the unionists now – the patriotic party who support our union.”

Scotland

North of the border there are still calls for a second independence referendum, reports the Telegraph.

Nicola Sturgeon today claimed Boris Johnson will be forced to capitulate and hand her the powers for a second independence referendum as he cannot “imprison” Scotland in the UK.
The First Minister said in the short term “the Tories will rage against the reality” of the SNP’s landslide election win Scotland, which saw her party win 48 out of 59 seats.
But she said Mr Johnson’s pledge to refuse her the powers for another referendum for as long as he is Prime Minister cannot be sustained in the wake of a “watershed election.”

But Boris is unlikely to agree, says the Mail.

Boris Johnson has reiterated his opposition to a second vote on Scottish independence during a call with Nicola Sturgeon, despite her saying it is now a ‘democratic right’.
The First Minister confirmed she will formally request the powers for Holyrood to hold a ballot after the SNP’s victory in Scotland in a ‘watershed’ General Election.
Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government would ‘publish the detailed democratic case for a transfer of power to enable a referendum to be put beyond legal challenge’.

Sturgeon claims the GE result gives her people the right to vote again, says Reuters.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson needs to “focus on reality” and recognise that the Scottish National Party (SNP) has been given a mandate for a second independence referendum, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Saturday.
The SNP won 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats in the UK parliament in Thursday’s national election, prompting Sturgeon to step up her demands for another independence referendum.
However, Johnson, boosted by his own Conservative Party winning an 80 seat parliamentary majority in the election, told Sturgeon by phone on Friday that he opposed another independence vote.

BBC

The Telegraph reports plans to decriminalise the television licence.

Boris Johnson has ordered his aides to launch an urgent review into decriminalising the BBC license fee in the wake of his election triumph.
The move, which is bound to trigger a showdown with the corporation, comes as Downing Street has decided to impose an effective boycott of Radio 4’s flagship news programme over allegations of pro-Remain bias.
The Telegraph understands that Downing Street is preparing to launch a formal consultation on whether television viewers should face prosecution for failing to pay the £154.50 annual cost for watching live television or iPlayer, the broadcaster’s catch-up service.

ITV News also has the story.

Non-payment of the licence fee could be decriminalised, it is reported.
The Sunday Telegraph said Boris Johnson is looking into consulting on whether people who do not pay the £154.50 licence fee for watching television or BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service should be prosecuted.
It comes after Downing Street refused to appear on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme due to what they believe is its pro-Remain bias.
Last financial year, 25.8 million households had TV licences bringing in £3.6 billion to the BBC.
A review may recommend replacing the existing criminal sanctions for non-payment of the TV licence fee with a civil system of fines.

NHS

The law could be changed to ensure money is spent on health, reports Sky News.

Boris Johnson’s pledge to raise spending on the NHS by almost £34bn by 2023-24 will be enshrined into law on Thursday.
The prime minister is expected to use the first Queen’s Speech of the new parliament to underline commitments made during his victorious general election campaign to support the health service.
The Conservatives said it would be the first time any government has made a legally-binding spending commitment over several years.

The Sun has a similar report.

BORIS Johnson will make his NHS spending pledge a cast-iron guarantee this week – by writing it into law.
The PM will make it a legal requirement for him to keep his promise to boost funding by £33.9billion a year.
The bold gesture – the first made by any government – will convince doubters of his determination to make the health service a top priority over the next five years.
Mr Johnson wants to build on his stunning general election victory by proving to those who voted Tory for the first time that he can really be trusted.

And the Times reports that the service is heading for a court case.

The NHS will begin a £1m legal fight at Britain’s highest court tomorrow to prevent a woman who was left infertile from having surrogate babies in America at taxpayers’ expense.
The health service has been ordered to pay for the 36-year-old, from London, to have four babies after medics repeatedly failed to spot her cervical cancer, but has won permission to challenge the decision at the Supreme Court.
The woman, who has been granted anonymity and is known as Ms XX, said she believed she should have the chance to begin a family. The NHS blunders began when she was 25.

Breast cancer

Could the end be night for breast cancer?  The Mail reports.

Breast cancer treatment has so often been a cruel trade-off.
On the one hand, the priority is doing whatever it takes to obliterate tumours – be it with potent drugs or painful operations that leave the anatomy scarred and, sometimes, misshapen.
It’s thanks to these sometimes aggressive methods that 90 per cent of women with earliest-stage cancers are still alive and well five years after diagnosis.
But on the other hand, this comes at a mammoth personal cost.
Women face months on end of hospital visits, sacrificing successful careers, family life and intimacy.
There’s an onslaught of gruelling side effects, from unbearable nausea and exhaustion to painful skin sores and loss of sensation.

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