Brexit

Has the Times, aka Remain Central, finally accepted that we’re leaving?

Michael Gove today warns Brussels that Britain is “well prepared” for a no-deal Brexit and will brave the “turbulence” to go it alone, because the EU has refused to give any ground.
In a stark intervention from the cabinet minister in charge of no-deal preparations, Gove makes clear that he has sidelined his well-publicised concerns and is now preparing to trade on World Trade Organisation terms.
In an article for The Sunday Times, Gove accuses Brussels of reneging on a pledge, after talks broke down last week, to agree a deal along the lines of that given to Canada. “That’s what the EU said it would offer us,” he writes. “But it now seems that the EU won’t take yes for an answer.

Trade talks

There are warnings that a deal could be a long way away.  The Express says:

THE UK Government now believes it may be “several years” before Brexit trade talks can start again with the most recent negotiations derailed by EU posturing and game-playing.
A source close to David Frost’s negotiating team launched a furious attack on EU leaders for putting domestic political concerns ahead of efforts to strike a free trade deal with the UK. Senior Conservative MPs now argue that because the EU has negotiated in bad faith it is time to ditch the Withdrawal Agreement in a bid to ensure the UK is free from the threat of Brussels interference. The senior source said there were signs that EU leaders are so worried about the rise of populist leaders such as France’s Marine Le Pen that they have prioritised domestic politics over the need to agree a trade deal with Britain.

The Sun claims talks will freeze.

BRITAIN’S relations with the EU will be in deep freeze for years after the collapse of trade talks, it was claimed last night.
Senior negotiators say it will be near impossible to face Eurocrats across the table again after how they’ve been treated.
They accused Michel Barnier and his team of souring the whole Brexit process with play-acting, time-wasting and threats.
Last night, senior Tories urged the PM to tear up the whole Withdrawal Agreement and force Brussels to come begging for its £39billion divorce payment. The deep bitterness between the two sides was laid bare as Boris Johnson said there was no point in continuing with meaningless discussions.

EU

Our fish are still a problem, says the Express.

EMMANUEL MACRON has been warned if his aggressive strategy around fishing in a post-Brexit trade deal backfires, “he will end up with egg on his face” and be faced with a “difficult conversation” with French fishermen.
The French President has been insistent throughout trade negotiations that access for his country’s fishermen into British waters should not be compromised as part of any agreement between London and Brussels. The EU figurehead has continued to warn France’s fishermen will not be “sacrificed” as part of the now bitter and long-running Brexit process

The bloc is not serious about the talks, reports the Mail.

The European Union treated trade talks more like ‘performance art’ than serious negotiations, Government sources say.
In a blistering attack, insiders accused EU negotiators led by Michel Barnier of using the meetings to ‘shore up their domestic position’ – with particular criticism levelled at French President Emmanuel Macron.
‘There are signs that EU leaders, worried about the prospect of populist politicians such as Marine Le Pen, have decided that they would put domestic politics ahead of agreeing a free-trade agreement with the UK,’ said one source close to the talks.
Brussels was last night warned that it could be frozen out for years if it refuses to alter its approach.

And Mini-Manny is now isolated, says the Express.

EMMANUEL Macron was last night left isolated by EU leaders scrambling to rescue Brexit talks from the brink of collapse. Influential figures, including Angela Merkel, vowed to compromise over a free-trade deal.
Their climbdown came after Boris Johnson warned he will walk away from talks unless Brussels makes a “fundamental change in approach”.
EU leaders, led by the French president, infuriated Downing Street when they refused to intensify the negotiations and insisted the Prime Minister agreed to a trade-off.
But the German chancellor insisted the bloc is “ready to compromise”, including on access to Britain’s fishing waters and a demand for common standards.

Breitbart reports that the rest of the bloc are looking to fight their European masters.

The leader of Poland’s governing Law and Justice (PiS) party has vowed the country will not be “blackmailed” into giving up its “identity” or “freedom” by the European Union.
Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, regarded by many as the power behind the proverbial throne in Poland, as he still heads the party from which Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and President Andrzej Duda are drawn, was responding to attempts by the EU institutions and the bloc’s dominant, left-liberal governments in countries such as Germany to force Poland to give way on its conservative policies.

Deportations

Is the Home Secretary going to get tough with the courts?  The Telegraph investigates.

Judges will be told what constitutes “inhuman or degrading treatment”, under plans being considered by Priti Patel to curb the use of human rights laws to block deportations.
The Home Office is drawing up a legal definition intended to restrict the ability of judges to make “subjective” decisions about the conditions potential deportees would face in foreign countries.
Under the plans, the Government’s Fair Borders Bill would define “inhuman” or “degrading”, in cases in which foreign criminals or failed asylum seekers say they would suffer from such treatment if they were deported to a foreign country.

Patel’s insisting on a deportation, says the Mail.

Priti Patel has promised the victim of a gang rapist that deporting her attacker is a ‘top priority’.
During a meeting last week, she reassured the woman that the Home Office was doing everything in its power to remove Yaqub Ahmed from the UK.
Ahmed, 32, was told a decade ago that he was liable for deportation but since then has, with the help of taxpayer-funded lawyers, run rings around officials, foiling repeated attempts to kick him out.
Two years ago, his deportation to his native Somalia, via Turkey, was dramatically halted when airline passengers staged a mutiny.
Unaware of his appalling crime, passengers on a Turkish Airlines jet about to fly him out of the UK demanded security guards remove him from the aircraft at Heathrow after he began screaming.

Covid exit strategy

On the pandemic, top Tories are asking how we get out of this mess, reports the Telegraph.

Tory grandees are demanding that Boris Johnson urgently sets out an exit strategy from “a constant cycle of lockdowns”, as an influential expert on public opinion warned the Prime Minister risked appearing “blasé” about the lives of ordinary people.
Senior Conservatives expressed growing anger at the Government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, amid mounting concern that swathes of the country are heading for further restrictions this week.

We can’t just carry on going into and then coming out of lockdown, says the Sun.

TOP Tories have demanded Boris Johnson ends a “constant cycle” of Covid lockdowns.
Party grandees urged the PM for an exit strategy from further shutdowns as millions more Brits were slapped with stricter regulations.
Senior Conservatives have expressed mounting anger at the government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis.
Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 bankbenchers’ committee, insisted “circuit breakers” to battle the virus are “pointless”.
Sir Graham said: “If further restrictions on people’s lives are proposed, the Government has to set a clear end date and a strategy for returning life to normal.”

Shielding

What about those of us with comorbidities?  We’re not going to have to submit to house-arrest again are we?  iNews reports:

A coalition of leading health charities supporting clinically vulnerable people have written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to request an urgent rethink following the release of the new guidance for those who are most vulnerable to Covid-19.
The MS SocietyMacmillan Cancer Support and Age UK are among those deeply concerned that the guidance falls short of the practical and financial support required to enable vulnerable people to stay safe as cases continue to rise. It is the second letter the coalition has sent to the Government – after the first in July failed to get any response – and highlights how vulnerable people living with long-term health conditions, like diabetes, Parkinson’s, lung conditions like cystic fibrosis, as well as people with organ transplants, are not being properly protected or supported.

‘Circuit breaker’

Will a short, sharp break do any good?  The Mail reports:

A senior Government adviser today warned that only a second national lockdown would achieve the suppression of coronavirus as he blasted other restrictions as ‘biting around the edges’.
Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, advocated a national circuit-breaker as he claimed the Government had lost control of an ‘eye-watering’ number of coronavirus cases.
He rubbished suggestions that testing would allow officials to keep the pandemic in check, and called the situation ‘grave’ as he appeared to blame a rise in cases on a national fatigue with the restrictions.
The top Government adviser then recommended a total shutdown of society and economy in an echo of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s unprecedented call for a circuit-breaker on Tuesday.

Restriction breaches

But there are some people who simply won’t obey the rules, reports the Mail.

Drinkers packed into the streets of London, Leeds and Manchester last night despite curbs putting a stop to multiple households sitting inside pubs and restaurants.
In central London drinkers braved the cold to sit outside as the city experienced its first night in Tier Two lockdown.
They filled streets that been deserted during daylight as businesses reported increased cancellations and said revenue across bars and restaurants in central London had plunged by 85 per cent.
London entered Tier 2 at midnight on Friday, banning multiple households from meeting inside pubs and restaurants.

Even Parliament is accused of breaches, say the Mail.

House of Commons bosses are today accused of a cover-up after admitting MPs broke a strict Covid drinking curfew – but failing to say if Matt Hancock was among them.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that an official inquiry has confirmed our revelations last week that MPs drank their way past the nationwide 10pm deadline in a Commons bar.
But in an extraordinary lapse, officials failed to ask if the Health Secretary was involved – despite the claims of a senior Tory MP that he was there.
Mr Hancock is today under mounting pressure to come clean about his actions after the witness insisted: ‘I stand 100 per cent by my story. I know what I saw, and when.’

The Telegraph claims it’s report into a former PM is exclusive.

Tony Blair was last night accused of a “flagrant” breach of Covid-19 restrictions, after failing to self-isolate for a fortnight after a two-day trip to the US on a private jet.
In pictures obtained by this newspaper, the former prime minister is seen leaving a restaurant in Mayfair 10 days after his return from Washington DC last month.
The Sunday Telegraph understands that Mr Blair appealed to Whitehall ­officials for special dispensation from the Covid-19 rules, but that he was not issued with the formal exemption letter he would have needed to avoid the 14-day isolation period.
The Telegraph is not aware of any other exemption for which Mr Blair could qualify. He claims he was advised to follow rules on attending “international conferences”, having travelled to the US for a ceremony at the White House at which Israel signed agreements establishing formal relations with Bahrain and the UAE.

The Sun reports that he denied the claim.

TONY Blair has denied claims he breached coronavirus quarantine restrictions by failing to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to the UK from a trip to the US.
The former prime minister was pictured leaving a restaurant in London some 10 days after returning from a two-day trip to Washington last month, the Sunday Telegraph reports.
Mr Blair had asked Whitehall officials for exemption from the rules, but was not issued with a formal letter which would have allowed him to avoid the two-week quarantine, according to the newspaper.
But a spokeswoman for the former prime minister said he had been told to follow guidance on “international conferences”, having been invited by US officials to attend a White House event held over the Israel-UAE peace deal.

And a former Labour leader is also under scrutiny says the Express.

JEREMY CORBYN has suffered another humiliation after it emerged he attended a memorial service of up to 100 people.
The former Labour leader was recently forced to apologise after he broke the coronavirus rule of six when he was pictured attending a dinner party with nine guests. Now he has been pictured at a memorial service in honour of Occupy Wall Street founder David Graeber, which was attended by a crowd of approximately 100 people.
Rules to fight the COVID-19 crisis say no more than 30 people should attend memorials and funerals.

Police

There’s a ‘chilling’ report in the Mail.

Police are set to be given access to the contact details of people who are self-isolating in a move critics last night described as ‘chilling’.
The Department of Health and Social Care said forces will have access on a ‘case-by-case’ basis and they have now updated their online guidance about how data will be handled.
The move is said to have alarmed senior health figures, including Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, who fear it will stop people coming forward to get tested.
Critics have also said the move needs to be debated in Parliament, with Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, saying: ‘Treating test and trace like an inquisition is a certain way to deter people from getting tests and giving contact information.

The Sun also has the story.

POLICE will be given access to the details of Brits told to self-isolate by the government’s Test and Trace scheme.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHCS) said police forces will have access “on a case-by-case” basis to information, enabling them to know if an individual has been told to self-isolate.
People who fail to self-isolate “without reasonable justification” could have their name, address and contact details passed on to their local authority and then to the police.
“This may lead to enforcement action being taken against you, which could include you being fined,” the DHSC’s website said.

And the Guardian says the plan could mean fewer tests.

People who have been told to self-isolate through NHS test and trace could have their contact details passed to police, a move some fear could deter people from being tested for coronavirus.
Police forces will be able to access information about people “on a case-by-case” basis, so they can learn whether an individual has been told to self-isolate, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHCS) said.
England made it a legal requirement for people to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus. Those who fail to do so face fines starting at £1,000, while repeat offenders or those committing serious breaches could receive fines of up to £10,000, according to the DHSC.

Vaccine

The Mail has an excusive image of bottles of vaccination being made.

Whizzing off the production line in thousands of tiny bottles – this is the vaccine that could end the Covid misery engulfing the planet.
Drug giant Pfizer has already manufactured ‘several hundred thousand doses’ of the jab at its plant in Puurs, Belgium, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. They are being stockpiled ready to be rolled out worldwide if clinical trials are a success, and regulators deem it safe and effective.
The US giant hopes to make 100 million doses available this year, of which 40 million are destined for the UK – a figure that will be dwarfed by the 1.3 billion jabs the company aims to manufacture in 2021. Every patient who receives the vaccine will need two doses.

The Times says the vaccine will be ready in the New Year.

The NHS is preparing to introduce a coronavirus vaccine soon after Christmas. Trials have shown it will cut infections and save lives, Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, has privately revealed.
He told MPs last week that stage three trials of the vaccine created at Oxford University and being manufactured by AstraZeneca mean a mass rollout is on the horizon as early as December. Thousands of NHS staff are to undergo training to administer a vaccine before the end of the year.
The government changed the law this weekend to expand the number of health professionals able to inoculate the public. The regulations will enable pharmacists, dentists, midwives and paramedics to administer jabs.

NHS

But non-Covid surgery is being hit again, says the Mail.

Hospitals are cancelling non-urgent operations as the number of coronavirus outbreaks in the healthcare sector doubles in two weeks – with one heart surgeon calling it a ‘nightmare’.
Several hospitals are expecting a surge in Covid patients, leading to the cancellation of operations which have already been delayed for six months.
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, for example, said it was temporarily pausing non-critical planned surgery at Derriford Hospital, although day case procedures are still going ahead.
And Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Steve Warburton told staff in a memo that it had reached a ‘critical point’ and would be scaling back planned procedures.

And hospital admissions are soaring says the Times.

Hospitals and care homes are struggling to control the coronavirus, with the number of outbreaks in the health and care sector doubling in two weeks.
In hospitals, where Boris Johnson has been warned to expect daily coronavirus admissions to top 1,000 within days, the virus is spreading to other patients. Tens of thousands of NHS staff are absent because they are infected or having to self-isolate. Several hospitals have cancelled operations that had already been delayed for six months.
The surge in hospital admissions has thrown into disarray efforts to continue treating non-Covid cases. Hospitals had planned to maintain elective surgery such as hip and knee replacements during the second wave.

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