Brexit

We’re heading for no-deal, says the Express.

THE EU’s refusal to allow any progress in the talks unless Britain agrees to its “obsessions” on fishing and state subsidies means that the talks will time out next month with no deal.
The warning from Britain’s negotiating team led by David Frost comes ahead of another crucial week of talks with Brussels accused of only being interested in “trying to take the moral high ground” rather than “knuckle down” to make a deal.
The Brussels negotiators led by Michel Barnier are actively blocking the writing of complex legal texts on the areas where there is agreement to allow for trade in goods and services unless Britain agrees to their “unreasonable obsessions”.
Boris Johnson has already warned that a deal needs to have been agreed by the end of next month or he will pull the plug on the talks and go for no deal at the end of the transition period on December 31 this year.
This, according to Brexiteers, would jeopardise the Withdrawal Agreement at a great cost for the EU because it would lose out on the £39 billion divorce bill from Britain.
The UK Government has made it clear that the EU demands on access to fishing waters and forcing Britain to abide by Single Market rules are “unacceptable”.

The Times blames the EU for lack of progress in the talks.

The EU is trying to impose “Brexit in name only” on the UK, raising the prospect of a departure with no trade deal in December.
A senior Whitehall source rounded on Brussels last night, accusing the EU of treating Boris Johnson’s government like Theresa May’s by seeking to impose a deal that would tie Britain to EU rules for ever.
Officials say Michael Gove, the cabinet office minister, spends the bulk of his time preparing for a no-deal departure.

And Boris has been warned that his political career is on the line in the talks, says the Express.

BORIS JOHNSON has been told he must hold firm on the UK’s red lines in the current post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, or he risks “political suicide”.
Time is running out for the UK to secure a trade deal with the EU, as both sides need time to ratify a deal in their respective Parliament’s. But a Brexiteer has urged the Government not to make huge concessions in order to rush through a last-minute deal.
Former Brexit Party MEP Belinda de Lucy said it is vital UK negotiators maintain its red lines on fishing rights and the level playing field demand.
She warned the Prime Minister he may face a fierce backlash from voters if he caves on these two areas.

The Sun claims an exclusive report into emergency planning.

EMERGENCY plans have been drawn up to protect the UK from the perfect storm of a winter second wave of Covid-19 coinciding with a No Deal Brexit, a leaked document shows.
The warnings, including needing the Navy to protect our fishing fleet from illegal EU boat incursions, pile pressure on ministers to do a deal with Brussels as well as ready the system for a virus spike.
The Cabinet Office’s EU Transition Task Force gave ministers and officials a horror show Powerpoint presentation marked “Official Sensitive” amid concerns not enough is being done to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

EU

France is in trouble, reports the Express.

EMMANUEL MACRON has been forced to delay France’s €100billion (£90billion) coronavirus recovery package until next September, in a blow to the state’s economy.
Mr Macron was due to unveil the multi-billion euro fund aimed at restarting the recovery this month. The coronavirus recovery package will now be released in the first week of September. Businesses in the country had eagerly awaited to hear the Government’s plan but will now wait until next month as Mr Macron focuses on reopening schools instead.

Scotland

And Scotland is demanding more respect from the UK government, says the Express.

AN ALLIANCE is forming between the SNP and another Scottish party as both “unite” to tell Boris Johnson they needed to be more respectful to Scotland and its democracy, Express.co.uk can exclusively reveal today.
Patrick Harvie of the Scottish Greens last night told Express.co.uk Westminster needed to be respectful of Scotland’s wishes and way forward. The Scottish Greens co-leader said relations between Holyrood and Westminster have “certainly deteriorated”.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “There were people in the previous Tory government with whom I would strongly disagree with, with whom the SNP would disagree, but who were willing to have a functional professional relationship between ministers and senior civil servants.

Migrants

The Telegraph has an exclusive report that ‘child’ migrants are no such thing.

A quarter of migrants and refugees who claim to be children after crossing the English Channel in small boats to reach Britain are in fact judged to be aged 18 or older, it can be revealed.
Age assessments carried out by social workers have concluded that around 25 percent of unaccompanied ‘child’ migrants who make the crossing are older than they claim.
Many believe they will get preferential treatment if they are treated as children by the UK immigration authorities.
But figures obtained by the Telegraph have shown that of the 1,668 who claimed to be children after landing on the Kent coast in the past five years after making the treacherous journey in small boats and dinghies from France, more than 400 have later been assessed to be over 18.

And the Labour Party is in turmoil over the question of refugees, reports the Independent.

Sir Keir Starmer is facing a revolt from his supporters over Labour’s stance on refugees, amid claims that the party is “turning a blind eye” to desperate people trying to make it to the UK across the Channel.
Labour members were angered after the front bench criticised the government’s “incompetence” in dealing with migrants arriving by dinghy, instead of defending their right to claim asylum in Britain – which is protected by the UN refugee convention.
Home secretary Priti Patel has said she could send in the royal navy to intercept the boats, after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage accused a group of people arriving on a Kent beach of an “invasion”.

Thousands are still trying to get to the UK, reports Breitbart.

Over 5,000 illegal boat migrants have reached the United Kingdom in small rubber dinghies from France since the start of the year, analysis from the Press Association on Friday found.
The massive increase in illegal boat migration this summer has forced the British government to deploy Royal Air Force (RAF) planes to the English Channel to assist the UK Border Force in the growing crisis.

Hysteria

The Telegraph adds another symptom to the Covid list.

The symptoms of coronavirus should by now be well-known: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and – in a recent official addition – problems with your sense of taste or smell. But another symptom has reared its head – affecting those who haven’t even been infected – which may be too troubling for authorities to handle. Some bill it as mere public anxiety, but others see the levels of fear as tantamount to full-blown hysteria.
The rush back in March among shoppers to stock up on essential goods, with some around the world even coming to blows in the aisles over items as basic as toilet paper, showed how pervasive the panic had become.

Social care

According to Yahoo News, care homes were bullied into accepting Covid sufferers.

Nursing homes were pressured into accepting patients with coronavirus while simultaneously being refused treatment for residents by hospitals and GPs, according to research.
A report by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) found homes were told hospitals had a blanket “no admissions” policy at the height of the pandemic.
The QNI, a charity which focuses on the improvement of nursing care of people in their own home, found care home residents were regularly refused treatment in April and May.

Illegal raves

Police will be clamping down on illegal parties, says the Times.

Fines of up to £10,000 for those organising illegal raves in England will come into force before next weekend’s bank holiday amid concerns that young people are fuelling a surge in the coronavirus.
Scientists say infections are rising again in some parts of the country, and believe the overall R, or reproduction, number may have gone above one for the first time since May. This is significant because when it goes over one, the number of new cases rises exponentially.

The Guardian also reports the soaring fines.

Fines of up to £10,000 for those organising illegal raves in England will come into force ahead of the bank holiday on Monday 31 August as authorities clamp down on unlawful gatherings.
Officers have responded to a surge in unlicensed music events in recent weeks amid warm weather and an easing of lockdown restrictions. Tougher measures targeting those breaching coronavirus regulations concerning large gatherings will come into effect on Friday, ahead of the August bank holiday weekend.

Testing

Could the intrusive nose- and throat-swab testing be replaced?  The Times reports.

The NHS is trialling a breath test that could detect the coronavirus in just 10 minutes. The device uses an electronic nose to capture chemicals floating in a person’s breath, and compares them to the biomarkers of the virus.
A trial has begun at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey, which aims to determine whether nanotechnology biomarker tagging can be used to detect Covid-19 infection.

Education

Pupils in English schools should be going back next month, but will they?  The Telegraph has been told they must.

Boris Johnson has told allies that “failure to reopen schools is not an option” as the UK’s four chief medical officers issue a joint endorsement of the Government’s drive to get every pupil back into the classroom next week.
Prof Chris Whitty and his Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish counterparts will state that children are at far less risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 and have an “exceptionally small risk of dying”.
In an interview due to be broadcast on Sunday, Prof Whitty says the threat posed by coronavirus to children pales in comparison with the “disparities” and “deep-rooted problems” that come with continuing to keep them at home.

And the famous government advisor is also quoted in the Mail.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said failure to reopen schools next month is not an option – as the UK’s Chief Medical Officers tell parents their children face an ‘exceptionally small risk’ from Covid-19 in the classroom.
The highly unusual ‘consensus statement’ from the country’s most senior experts removes the final hurdle to the resumption of full-time teaching in September – to the relief of parents who have been forced to home-school the majority of children since March.

The left-wing Guardian claims incompetence may stymie the return.

Plans to get all children back to school in early September are now at “serious risk” because of government incompetence and the chaos caused by the exams fiasco, the Labour leader Keir Starmer has warned.
In one of his strongest interventions to date, which is bound to draw a furious response from Downing Street, Starmer told the Observer that two crucial weeks, which should have been spent preparing for schools to reopen, have been wasted dealing with a self-inflicted “mess” that has destroyed public confidence in government.
“I want to see children back at school next month, and I expect the prime minister to deliver on that commitment. However, the commitment is now at serious risk after a week of chaos, confusion and incompetence from the government,” the Labour leader said.

The risks to children in school is very small says ITV News.

The risk of children catching coronavirus and getting long-term problems from returning to school are “incredibly small” compared to the “clear” chances of them being damaged by not going, England’s chief medical officer has said.
Professor Chris Whitty said that while the risk to children of Covid-19 from returning to school was “not zero” the evidence that not going to school damages children in the long run was “overwhelming”.
His comments to reporters on Saturday come as he joined the UK’s chief and deputy chief medical officers to issue a joint statement on schools and childcare reopening.

It seems the government advisor has changed his tune, says the Independent.

England’s chief medical officer has backed Boris Johnson’s plans to reopen schools just weeks after warning of the risks involved.
Professor Chris Whitty said the evidence clearly showed children would suffer more harm if they did not return as planned next week.
Boris Johnson has pledged to get pupils behind their desks again from the start of September.
The prime minister has declared the move a “moral duty” and warned it is crucial to kickstarting the economy again.

But there could be a problem with transport, reports the Guardian.

Ministers have privately warned of a shortage of 6,000 public buses needed to get children to school in England next week for the autumn term and have urged coach companies to fill the gap.
Low passenger numbers during the pandemic have led some bus companies, particularly in rural areas, to reduce services, while social distancing requirements on public transport mean that there will be lower capacity on such services.

Furlough

Did you work from home during furlough?  The Mail reports that many did.

Six million furloughed workers broke the rules by doing their jobs from home during lockdown, according to a major report.
Almost two-thirds of the 9.4 million people whose salaries were paid by the Government worked during April and May, despite businesses being banned from claiming for employees who did so.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s £30 billion scheme, which pays 80 per cent of salaries for furloughed staff up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, was introduced to save millions of jobs. But a study by academics at Oxford, Cambridge and Zurich universities reveals widespread abuse of the furlough system.

The Sun also quotes the report.

SIX million furloughed employees worked from home during lockdown, a major report has found.
Businesses were strictly banned from claiming government money for staff who continued to work, but new figures reveal that a whopping 63 per cent of the 9.4 million employees still worked during April and May.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s £30 billion scheme, which began in March, pays 80 per cent of furloughed worker’s salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
It was hoped that the scheme would encourage businesses to retain staff as the coronavirus lockdown devastated the British economy.

Vaccine

The good professor has also warned that we may have to wait for a vaccine, says the Telegraph.

The Chief Medical Officer has warned the UK it is unlikely there will be a vaccine to deal with coronavirus before the winter of 2021.
Chris Whitty has warned the public it could take another year before a safe vaccine is developed and ready for widespread distribution.
He said he would be “surprised” if an effective vaccine which could be used for most of the population would be ready before this Christmas.
Professor Whitty’s words of warning will come as a disappointment to people hoping the development of a vaccine would soon allow the country to return to normal after the upheaval, restrictions and economic chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

And the Guardian reports it would be foolish to plan otherwise.

England’s chief medical officer has said it would be “foolish” to plan for winter on the basis of having a coronavirus vaccine.
But Professor Chris Whitty told reporters on Saturday that there was a “reasonable chance” there could be vaccines for the virus before the winter of 2021-2022.
He warned that going into winter there would be “real problems” with Covid-19 and said the country should plan on the basis of no vaccine being available.

Immunity

More of us could be immune than previously thought, says the Times.

Scientists are hailing “very encouraging” signs that people infected by the coronavirus could have lasting immunity. Experts had feared that those hit by the virus could face repeat attacks as the body’s defences waned. Now they are beginning to answer the key questions — can we become immune to a disease that has killed almost 800,000 people; how close are we to herd immunity; and what does it mean for the much-feared second wave?
Studies have shown for the first time that antibodies can protect against coronavirus reinfection.

Freezing

But there have been reports that the virus could survive freezing temperatures.  The Sun says:

CORONAVIRUS can survive on frozen meat and fish for THREE weeks, a new study suggests.
Scientists are now warning that contaminated foods could cause coronavirus outbreaks – since it survives even in freezing temperatures.
Individual pieces of salmon, chicken and pork from supermarkets in Singapore were sliced and a sample of the virus was added to them.
The infected meat and fish was then stored in freezing temperatures to see if the virus could survive.
They were put in conditions which simulate those used to transport food between countries – between 4C, which is standard refrigeration temperature, and minus 20C, which is standard freezing temperature.

The Star also quotes the research.

Scientists have warned the coronavirus can survive on frozen meat, chicken and fish for 21 days.
In a study slices of salmon, chicken and pork from Singapore supermarkets were laced with the virus.
They were then stored between 4C, which is standard refrigeration temperature, and minus 20C.
And after 21 days the coronavirus was still latching onto the meat and fish samples, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

BBC

Is it possible that the BBC could once again become impartial?  The Telegraph reports:

The next chair of the BBC must help restore the broadcaster’s reputation for impartiality, ministers believe, as they prepare to publish a job advert for the role within days.
Amid mounting frustration within Government over the corporation’s news programmes, The Telegraph has been told the successful candidate will be tasked with reviving trust in its reporting. Whitehall sources involved in the process of replacing Sir David Clementi, the outgoing chair, also believe applicants for the role will need to be help guide it through “significant reform.” This includes the potential decriminalisation of the non-payment of the licence fee, a move which would place further strain on the corporation’s finances.

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