Brexit

Is an agreement nearing?  The Telegraph reports:

UK and EU negotiators are edging closer to a Brexit breakthrough that will make it easier to extradite criminals and catch terrorists after the transition period, the Telegraph has learnt.
Britain has rejected EU demands that it commits to remaining part of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which has blocked progress in reaching agreements on intelligence sharing and a new treaty to replace the European Arrest Warrant system.

The Express warns that any attempt to keep concessions quiet will not work – we at Independence Daily will see to that!

BORIS Johnson has been warned that any plans he has to keep compromises with Michel Barnier and the EU quiet will be exposed.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly ruled out an extension to the Brexit transition period, despite the disruption caused to negotiations by the coronavirus pandemic. This leaves only two options on the table – strike a free trade deal with possible compromises or brace for a hard Brexit on December 31. The UK and the bloc remain at loggerheads over contentious issues including fishing access and the so-called “level playing field” which would prevent UK businesses from undercutting their rivals abroad.

EU

Breitbart reports the bloc will ensure the UK does not undercut the Single Market.

The European Union will not reciprocate the United Kingdom’s pledge to treat goods crossing the British-EU border with a light touch customs check, saying it will impose full controls “to protect the Single Market”.
Speaking during a Chatham House webinar on Thursday, the EU’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Joao Vale de Almeida, said: “You can count on us to be forcible and systematic in implementing the deal, and in doing so certainly protecting the Single Market.”
Britain officially left the EU on January 31st, 2020, but remains in the bloc’s Customs Union, Single Market, and associated Free Movement migration regime during a “transition period” which ends on December 31st, 2020. During this time, both parties are working on agreeing a future trading arrangement.
The British government has maintained that it will leave all of the EU’s institutions, while the hardline EU has called for Britain to keep EU rules and continue to surrender her national fishing grounds to European trawlers.

And individual countries’ leaders are arguing over how to get over the pandemic, says Yahoo News.

European Union leaders have failed to strike a quick deal on an unprecedented stimulus package to promote economic recovery in the face of the coronavirus crisis, with members states still divided over its final amount and terms.
Member states agreed during a four-hour video summit that there was a need for a quick response on reaching a deal this summer, but divergences remain on the proposed 750 billion euro bailout, destined mainly for worst-hit nations like Italy and Spain, and how it will be disbursed.

Labour Party

The Leader of the Opposition has been accused of sexism, says the Sun.

SIR Keir Starmer has taken charge of a Labour outfit that “silences” women, a shadow Cabinet Minister has warned.
Lisa Nandy launched a blistering attack on the party – as a 150-page dossier warned that another 58 seats could be lost on top of Boris Johnson’s 80-seat majority.
The attack was made by the Shadow Foreign Secretary at an event last month just weeks into the reign of the new leadership.
She said: “Too often the experience of women in the Labour Party in the north of England is that they get a position and they go onto the council and then their voices are silenced.”

Foreign aid

The Independent claims the stopping of foreign aid is bad.

Funding for scores of life-saving overseas projects has been stopped ahead of the axing of the aid department, undermining attempts to prevent the coronavirus wreaking havoc in the world’s poorest countries.
The doomed Department for International Development (DfID) has “paused” grants as it prepares to slash billions from its budget – before it is abolished altogether in September, The Independent can reveal.
Worried aid leaders believe the move lays bare the real agenda behind Boris Johnson’s announcement, which is to shift funds from fighting poverty to bolstering trade and foreign policy struggles such as resisting Russia.

The Express is more positive about the move.

BREXIT provides an opportunity for Britain to overhaul its overseas aid spending, an influential thinktank has claimed.
The Centre of Brexit Policy (CBP) has pointed out at that 10 percent of the £13 billion spent by the UK on foreign aid was handed to the EU for their overseas projects. That money was spent on items which had the EU flag branded on them but gave no credit to the UK taxpayer even though it was the biggest donor to the EU aid budget and previously the only EU member to meet the target of 0.7 percent of GDP spent on aid.
The chairman of the CBP, former cabinet minister Owen Paterson, said that in the week that the Department for International Development and Foreign Office were merged, more can now be done to focus aid spending.

The Guardian reports a description of the move as ‘vandalism’.

The merger of the Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is a “quite extraordinary self-inflicted wound” that will do “huge damage” to Britain’s influence in the world, according to a former Dfid secretary of state.
Andrew Mitchell spoke out against Boris Johnson’s decision as opposition to the merger grows. “I’ve had messages from all over the world. People shaking their heads in disbelief at this utterly self-inflicted act of vandalism,” said Mitchell, who ran Dfid between 2010 and 2012.

The economy

In an exclusive report, the Sun reports that the PM has plans to revive the economy.

BORIS Johnson will promise a high-speed building revolution to kick-start the economy and protect jobs.
The PM is expected to unveil a wave of flagship projects to revitalise rundown towns and cities.
Mr Johnson will vow to “build, build, build” in a keynote speech to outline his plan to protect the nation from post-pandemic shockwaves.
He will this week announce he is ditching the two-metre rule and re-opening pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and beauty salons on July 4.
The following week, he will reveal details of a multi-billion pound investment programme to get Britain moving again.

And the Times reports the Chancellor’s plans.

Rishi Sunak is ready to slash VAT and pump billions into the economy as the government prepares to ease social-distancing rules.
The chancellor has ordered officials in the Treasury and HMRC to prepare options to reduce the sales tax, including a cut in the headline rate, and zero rating more products for a fixed period.
In private briefings last week, Treasury officials pointed out that Sunak could lower VAT and business rates at the stroke of a pen when he makes a planned speech on the economy in early July.

But the Chancellor also warned that government departments must control their spending, reports the Telegraph.

Rishi Sunak is to issue a warning to government departments over their grip on spending, amid frustration at Gavin Williamson and Matt Hancock’s handling of several schemes costing tens of millions of pounds.
Sources said the Chancellor had become “increasingly irritated” with “certain parts of Whitehall” failing to work up sufficiently detailed spending proposals or presiding over poor delivery of projects.
Ahead of a government-wide spending review in the autumn, Mr Sunak is expected to write to Cabinet ministers to warn that they will be held to a “higher standard” as the country emerges from the height of the coronavirus epidemic.

And he is being urged to reduce the working week – without reducing the pay workers receive, says the Independent.

MPs and campaigners are urging the chancellor to consider a four-day working week as a way to overhaul the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to Rishi Sunak, seen by The Independent, the signatories including former shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Green MP Caroline Lucas, argue reducing working hours provide greater opportunities amid growing levels of unemployment.

The Guardian points out that the advice comes from opposition MPs.

A group of cross-party MPs have urged the government to consider a four-day working week for the UK post Covid-19, arguing the policy could be “a powerful tool to recover from this crisis”.
The MPs – from Labour, the Scottish National party and the Green party – have written a letter to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, asking him to set up a commission to explore the option, similar to Scotland’s post-Covid-19 Futures Commission which is looking at the possibility of a four-day working week to generate more jobs.
The letter, signed by MPs including the former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, SNP MP Mhairi Black and Green MP Caroline Lucas, said a four-day working week would reduce stress and overwork, boost mental health and wellbeing, and increase productivity.

Race riots

The toppling of statues and other memorials is to be outlawed, says the Telegraph.

The Justice Secretary has said that laws preventing the desecration of war memorials, religious headstones and statues such as Winston Churchill’s appear “inadequate”, as he pledges to ensure that acts of vandalism that cause “widespread disgust” are adequately punished.
Writing for The Telegraph, Robert Buckland, confirms that the Government will legislate to enable more severe punishments of those who damage monuments, in the face of a campaign by more than 120 Conservative MPs.
Backbenchers will present a proposed Desecration of War Memorials Bill this week.

There were more demonstrations yesterday, according to the Sun.

THOUSANDS of Black Lives Matters protesters marched on UK cities for the fourth weekend running yesterday – with calls to “burn down racism”.
Demonstrators gathered in London’s Hyde Park, where there was a peaceful atmosphere compared to last Saturday’s violence when ‘protect statue’ protesters clashed with police.
But scuffles broke out between rival groups in Glasgow’s George Square yesterday before police “kettled” anti-racism campaigners as they marched through the city.

The Star reports the clashes in Glasgow.

Tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters have taken to the streets of the UK for the fourth weekend in a row – but there were clashes in Glasgow among “pro-statue” demonstrators who crashed the event and police.
Crowds gathered in cities including London and Newcastle as demonstrators continue to protest the death of American George Floyd who died while being arrested by police on May 25.
But protests in Glasgow, Scotland, were marred on Saturday after pro-statue protesters crashed the demonstration and clashed with police officers.

Illegal migration

There’s a new migrants’ camp in northern France, reports the Times.

Migrants desperate to come to Britain are living in a new “Jungle” camp close to the beach in Calais, where they are buying £500 windsurfing boards from smugglers to cross the English Channel.
Albanian crime gangs are also selling seats on high-powered Zodiac boats and small kayaks. Their clients are struggling to cross to England by lorry because of tighter border security and fewer vehicles during the Covid-19 pandemic.
French officials say scores of young people are dying as they try to reach the Kent coast, many of them travelling in flimsy, unseaworthy vessels.

And the Morning Star reports deaths in the Med.

THE International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has estimated that 347 people have died trying to reach Europe while crossing the Mediterranean this year.
The central Mediterranean route (which stretches from war-torn Libya to Malta and the Italian islands of Lampedusa and Sicily) has been particularly deadly in 2020 so far. According to IOM Libya’s latest update 33 people have died on the route this year and 135 people are still missing.
Perhaps more concerning is the uncertain fate of at least 4,500 people the IOM says were pulled back from the central Mediterranean to Libya in the past six months — mostly by the country’s coastguard.

Social distancing

Back to the pandemic and the Mail reports the further easing of lockdown.

Boris Johnson is set to shower Britons will holidays and haircuts on July 4 as he revises down the two-metre social distancing rule to breathe life back into the economy.
The UK holiday season will start within a fortnight when the Prime Minister gives the green light to hotels and vacation parks to reopen.
Although Downing Street says that no final decision has yet been taken on restarting the £130billion-a-year domestic tourism industry, The Mail on Sunday understands that Whitehall officials have been told to prepare for an announcement as early as Tuesday.

The Chancellor is also hinting that the rules will be relaxed, says BBC News.

Ministers will announce in the coming week whether the 2m social distancing rule in England will be relaxed, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said.
The government has been reviewing the advice, amid warnings many businesses will not survive under current rules.
Mr Sunak said the outcome of the review will “make an enormous difference” to businesses “keen to see a change”.
The government has said it hopes to reopen pubs, restaurants and hotels from the beginning of July, if safe.

It won’t be long, says the Independent.

A review into the two-metre social distancing rule will conclude within the coming days, as a government scientific adviser claimed it is now a “reasonable political decision” to relax the measure and accelerate school openings.
Boris Johnson, who commissioned the review earlier in June, hinted on Friday the government could alter  the coronavirus advice to one metre – raising hopes in the hospitality sector after warnings many business will be unable to reopen under two-metre restrictions.
Speaking to the BBC, the culture secretary Oliver Dowden said the government’s review will be “concluding shortly, within the coming days” and, crucially, ahead of the anticipated reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants and other businesses on 4 July.

The Guardian says it’s due to pressure being put on the government.

The review of England’s 2-metre physical-distancing rule will conclude in the coming days, the culture secretary has said, as the government comes under increasing pressure from MPs and the hospitality industry to ease the restriction.
Oliver Dowden told BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions the review would be “concluding shortly”, and Whitehall officials have confirmed the outcome is expected next week.
Speaking on a visit to shops in Yorkshire, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, strongly signalled it would allow the government to ease the measure in England.

Quarantine

And you can go to Spain for a holiday, says the Telegraph.

People travelling from the UK to Spain will be able to visit the country freely from Sunday, but must self-isolate when they return home.
Spain decided to lift its restrictions on British travellers, but a reciprocal deal creating a so-called air bridge is yet to be struck, which means tourists will have to stay home for two weeks on their return to Britain.
The news is likely to please up to 400,000 Britons with second homes in Spain or those keen to visit some of the 240,000 British expats in the country.

The Times also reports the Spanish decision.

Spain will reopen its borders to British travellers today and not impose any quarantine restrictions.
The decision was made “out of respect” to the 400,000 Britons with second homes in the country, according to Arancha González Laya, the country’s foreign affairs minister.
She said: “We will allow British visitors to enter Spain just like the rest of the European Union or Schengen area from June 21 freely and without the need for the quarantine.”

But you’ll still have to go into quarantine when you get back to the UK, the Sun points out.

SPAIN will allow Brits to travel to the country without the need to quarantine there, the nation’s foreign minister has said.
Anyone returning to the UK would still need to quarantine for 14 days under the Government plans for nearly all new arrivals in an effort to prevent new coronavirus cases arriving from abroad.
Currently the Foreign Office warns against all but non-essential travel abroad.

Education

Teachers are being urged to return to schools in the Times.

Five former education secretaries have backed a plan to get all children back to class in September, including a demand that teachers curtail their six-week summer holiday to deal with the “national emergency”.
Under the plan, put together by Lord Adonis, a former Labour minister for schools, the government must confirm the social-distancing rules, appoint a national director of school operations to oversee safe reopening, and bring back teachers in August to get schools ready.
There are calls for an army of retired and supply teachers to stand in for teachers who are shielding or sick, the hiring of church halls and Portakabins to enable more children to be taught safely, and schools to be stocked with mass supplies of hand sanitiser, facemasks and thermometers.

But pupils could need psychological help, says the Guardian.

Many schoolchildren will need urgent support from psychologists when the lockdown eases because their lives and education will have been so badly disrupted by school closures, experts have warned.
With state schools not expected to open fully until September at the earliest, educational psychologists advising the government say ministers will have to foot a huge bill for professional help for those in urgent need, and that the longer schools remain shut the worse the crisis will become.

Courts

The huge backlog of court cases is being addressed, reports ITV News.

The government is planning to set up “Nightingale courts” to try and reduce some of the backlog of court cases built up during the coronavirus crisis.
While there were hundreds of thousands of cases already on court waiting lists, the pandemic has made the situation much worse, with Justice Secretary Robert Buckland expecting the backlog to run into next year.
By the end of May, there were more than 40,500 cases waiting to be dealt with by Crown Courts in England and Wales, up from 37,434 on December 31, according to figures released by the Criminal Bar Association (CBA).

Hong Kong

There are still problems in Hong Kong, says ITV News.

China plans to establish a bureau in Hong Kong to investigate and prosecute crimes considered threatening to national security.
The proposal forms part of a new national security law which Beijing is imposing upon the semi-autonomous territory.
In addition, bodies in all Hong Kong government departments, from finance to immigration, will be directly answerable to the central government in Beijing, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Saturday.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email