Brexit

The legal advice is there’s nothing anyone can do to stop a Hallowe’en Brexit, says the Express.

BORIS Johnson can legally pull the UK out of the EU on October 31 even if he loses a vote of no confidence and his new Government collapses, Brexiteer Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said.
Brexit bulldog Mr Cox said there is no legal basis that would restrict new Prime Minister Mr Johnson from enforcing Brexit even if the UK was in the midst of a general election.
Despite Mr Johnson on Friday insisting he had no plans to call a snap general election, he could still face a vote of no confidence when the summer recess is over and Parliament resumes in September. Though senior figures believe Mr Johnson is legally entitled to disregard tradition should a seven-week general election clash with the Halloween Brexit deadline – the third after former leader Theresa May begged the EU for a delay twice.

And our new PM has set up his cabinet to make sure it happens, reports the Times.

Boris Johnson has set up a “war cabinet” to deliver Brexit “by any means necessary” by October 31 as a senior cabinet minister warned that there was “now a very real prospect” of no deal.
In a dramatic shift Michael Gove, the minister responsible for no-deal preparations, said the government was “working on the assumption” that Brussels would not strike a fresh agreement.

Tory Party

But will a General Election be called?  The Independent claims Boris is looking that way.

Boris Johnson has continued to stoke speculation about an early general election after using one of his first major speeches as prime minister to outline a series of domestic pledges.
Resembling a pitch usually made to voters during an election campaign, the prime minister promised new infrastructure projects, improvements to education, to “turbo charge” regional growth, tackle the social care crisis and increase availability of GP appointments.

Boris is continuing to outline his policies.  Sky News reports on a new train route.

Boris Johnson has outlined key policy commitments – including a new high-speed rail route between Manchester and Leeds – in his first speech outside Westminster as PM.
The new route is projected to cut journey times significantly, from over an hour on average to under 30 minutes, and provide extra capacity across the region.
He claimed the announcement would “turbo charge” regional growth and prosperity, and said one of his top domestic priorities is to level out opportunities and unlock the potential not just of London and the South East, but of every corner of the UK.

The new chancellor is laying out his plans, reports the Telegraph.

Sajid Javid will announce an urgent spending blitz to prepare for Brexit on Oct 31.
In his first media intervention since becoming Chancellor, Mr Javid pledges an overhaul of the Treasury’s approach to Brexit, beginning with “significant extra funding” this week to get Britain “fully ready to leave” on Hallowe’en, with or without a deal.
The additional spending will include financing one of the country’s “biggest ever public information campaigns” to ensure individuals and businesses are ready for a no-deal exit, Mr Javid reveals in The Sunday Telegraph.

The Express reports the prospect of a no deal.

SAJVD JAVID has announced his spending plans for a potential no deal Brexit on Halloween.
The new-Chancellor has pledged “significant extra funding” to get Britain “fully ready to leave” the EU on October 31 with or without a deal. Mr Javid  revealed spending will include the country’s “biggest ever public information campaigns” to ready the public for a no deal Brexit, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

And the Mail claims he’ll spend a billion pounds.

New Chancellor Sajid Javid plans to announce spending of around £1billion to ensure Britain is properly prepared for a possible No Deal Brexit in October.
Mr Javid said he would overhaul the Treasury’s approach to Brexit, starting with ‘significant extra funding’ announcements in the coming days to get Britain fully ready to leave the European Union on October 31, with or without a deal.

The Independent claims the spending package would be ‘significant’.

Sajid Javid will ramp up preparations for a no-deal Brexit this week by announcing a £1bn spending package, according to reports.
In his first major announcement since taking office, the chancellor said there would be “significant extra funding” made available to get the UK “fully ready to leave” the EU on 31 October, with or without a deal.
The additional spending will include financing one of the country’s “biggest ever public information campaigns” to ensure individuals and businesses are ready for a no-deal exit, Mr Javid wrote in The Sunday Telegraph.

Boris is looking at our bus services in the Telegraph.

Boris Johnson has pledged to begin making improvements to the bus system throughout the country “as a matter of urgency” as he focuses on “the local services people use everyday”.
Drawing on his experiences as London Mayor, which saw him scrap bendy buses and introduce the popular new routemaster, the Prime Minister said “the transformation of local bus services” would start today in Manchester.
“I will begin as a matter of urgency the transformation of local bus services, starting here today in Manchester,” he said.

A revitalisation of neglected towns is planned, says the Sun.

BORIS Johnson yesterday promised a £3.6billion windfall to revitalise scores of rundown towns and cities.
The new PM pledged cash for improved transport, housing and leisure facilities to reverse decades of decline and neglect.
Up to 100 forgotten towns will get a share of the fund under a drive to unite and “level up” the country.

The Guardian claims he’s shifting the focus away from Brexit.

Boris Johnson pledged a £3.6bn boost for deprived towns as he sought to shift the political spotlight from Brexit to the domestic agenda in his first major speech as prime minister.
The Conservative leader said the proposal, which will initially support 100 towns, will help improve transport, broadband and cultural infrastructure. The commitment, announced on Saturday in  Manchester, is part of Johnson’s strategy to “turbocharge” regional growth.

ITV News reports the Manchester speech.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged a £3.6 billion boost for left behind towns as he sought to shift the political spotlight from Brexit to the domestic agenda.
Mr Johnson also used a keynote address in Manchester to pledge funding for a new rail link between the city and Leeds, as well as a boost for broadband connectivity and extra resources for crime-fighting.
The emphasis on the domestic agenda continued to fuel speculation the PM is keeping his options open for a snap general election, despite his strong denials.

In the Times, the new Home Secretary sets out her immigration plans.

The new home secretary has set out her plans for immigration in the UK after Brexit, prioritising “brilliant scientists” and highly skilled workers.
Priti Patel, who was appointed last week by Boris Johnson, the new prime minister, said the country must “seize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity offered by the end of free movement . . . free from the shackles of the EU and an automatic right of entry for their citizens”.

No deal

In an exclusive report, the Sun claims the government will flood the country with information.

AN information blitz will be launched by the Government to prepare Britain for a No Deal Brexit.
TV ads and leaflets are being produced to ensure every family and business is geared up to leave the EU on October 31.
Ministers are eager to spread the message that there is no need to panic — while ensuring the most vulnerable will be fully cared for.

But Boris is still warning the EU that we won’t agree to the backstop, reports Reuters.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cautioned the European Union on Saturday that the “anti-democratic” Irish backstop must be ditched if they were to strike a Brexit divorce deal.
Johnson, since taking office on Wednesday, has repeatedly said that if the EU continues to refuse to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement agreed by his predecessor Theresa May, then he will take Britain out on Oct. 31 without a deal.

The newly-appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is now focusing on no deal, reports BBC News.

The government is now “working on the assumption” of a no-deal Brexit, Michael Gove has said.
Mr Gove said his team still aimed to come to an agreement with Brussels but, writing in the Sunday Times, he added: “No deal is now a very real prospect.”
Mr Johnson has made Mr Gove responsible for planning a no-deal Brexit.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Mr Gove to chair meetings seven days a week until Brexit is delivered, according to the paper.

But some of Boris’ backbenchers may not be happy, says the Independent.

Boris Johnson is facing a backlash from his own MPs after his government dismissed demands for new laws to protect the rights of EU citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Conservative MPs warned that failure to guarantee the rights in law would be an “abrogation of responsibility”, because the EU is unlikely to guarantee the rights of the 1.3 million Brits living in its member states unless the UK acts first.

At least the man credited with knowing more about procedure than anyone else thinks a no-deal Brexit will be the EU’s fault, says Westmonster.

The Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has pointed out that a WTO Brexit will now be caused by the failure of Brussels to renegotiate. The new government have got Brussels on the back foot but will they see it through?
Speaking to The Telegraph, Mogg has said: “A lot of this is in the hands of the EU rather than the UK Government.
“The initial suggestion has been made that the backstop needs to be removed. That has been preliminarily rebuffed.

Remainers unite

There’s a plot afoot, reports the Guardian.

Even before Boris Johnson had been to Buckingham Palace on Wednesday afternoon to accept the Queen’s invitation to form a government, some very senior Conservative colleagues with whom he had once sat in the same cabinet were already plotting with Labour’s high command on how to stop the new prime minister taking the UK out of the European Union without a deal.
In the early afternoon of that day, after he had formally handed in his resignation as chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond met Labour’s Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, in the House of Commons. Former political foes made common cause. They discussed the need for a cross-party plan of action that they agreed would have to be finessed and thrashed out throughout August to thwart no deal, using parliamentary votes and devices to stop it in its tracks.

The Times says a failed leadership contender will head-up the plot.

Rory Stewart is being lined up to lead a campaign to stop a no-deal Brexit, as former cabinet ministers and millionaire donors hold secret talks on the plans.
Philip Hammond, who resigned as chancellor last week, is drumming up support for the campaign and wants Stewart — who had launched a spirited tilt at the Tory leadership that attracted support from young voters — to lead the charge.

The Guardian also reports on the plans.

The former Tory chancellor Philip Hammond held private talks with Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer shortly before Boris Johnson entered Downing Street last Wednesday, to plot cross-party moves aimed at preventing the new prime minister agreeing to a no-deal Brexit.
The meeting in the House of Commons – which took place shortly after Hammond had resigned from the government – is evidence of the fierce backlash Johnson faces from MPs of all parties if he tries to defy parliament and take the UK out of the EU without an agreement on 31 October.

And Reuters confirms the ex-chancellor is involved.

Former Chancellor Philip Hammond, who quit the government last week before Boris Johnson took over as prime minister, has held secret talks with the opposition Labour Party about how to stop a no-deal Brexit, a newspaper said.
Hammond, who has long opposed leaving the European Union without a transition deal to soften the economic shock, met Labour’s top Brexit official, Kier Starmer, shortly after he quit the government, the Observer said.

Will there be a General Election?  The Express says the PM has ruled it out.

BORIS JOHNSON has categorically ruled out a general election before Brexit is delivered – but insiders believe Parliament could force his hand and call for a fresh vote before October 31.
The first meeting between Government’s aides and the Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings, left some fearing UK citizens will be forced to vote once again before Brexit is delivered. Mr Cummings, the former campaign director of Vote Leave, was asked by political aides whether Mr Johnson was preparing for an election to take place before leading the UK outside of the European Union, BuzzFeed News wrote.

The polls

Brexit Party voters have been flocking back to the Tories, reports the Times.

The new prime minister has earned a “Boris bounce” for the Conservatives as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has seen its vote squeezed.
The Tories have opened up a 10-point lead over Labour, a surge that will fuel speculation about a general election this year.
A poll commissioned by The Sunday Times shows the Conservatives jumping six points since Johnson became prime minister on Wednesday to 31%, the biggest lead over the opposition in five months and the first time support has risen above 30% since April. YouGov’s survey puts Labour in second place on 21%.

The Mail says Boris’ popularity has surged.

Boris Johnson‘s move into Downing Street has led to a surge in support for the Conservatives, an exclusive Mail on Sunday poll has found.
Replacing Theresa May with Mr Johnson has given the Tories a ten-point ‘Boris bounce’ and a five-point lead over Labour.
But the pressure on Mr Johnson to call a snap General Election during his ‘honeymoon’ period will be increased by the survey’s finding that if Labour ditches Jeremy Corbyn as leader, the Tories would trail by six points.

Ireland

But the Irish PM is still issuing dire threats, says Breitbart.

A no-deal Brexit could lead to a united Ireland as more people in Northern Ireland would “come to question the Union” with Great Britain, Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar has said.
His comments came after new British prime minister Boris Johnson said the current Brexit deal was unacceptable and set preparations for leaving the EU without an agreement as a “top priority” for his right-wing government.
Tension around the withdrawal deal centres on the so-called Irish backstop — a mechanism designed to keep Northern Ireland in the bloc’s Single Market and prevent a customs border between it and EU member the Republic of Ireland.

Labour Party

Meanwhile, across on the opposition benches, Corbyn is planning tax rises, reports the Telegraph.

Jeremy Corbyn is planning to almost double the level of tax on thousands of companies across Britain, one of the country’s most prominent law firms has warned.
In a briefing for clients, Herbert Smith Freehills said Labour’s economic blueprint includes the equivalent of a corporation tax rate of up to 32 per cent, compared to the 17 per cent rate due to come into force next year.
The figures are based on new calculations by the firm showing that Mr Corbyn’s planned mandatory share ownership scheme for large companies would cost businesses the equivalent of up to 6 per cent in additional corporation tax. 

Sky News says he’s ready for a GE.

Jeremy Corbyn has told Sky News he is “absolutely” preparing to take on Boris Johnson in a general election.
The Labour leader was speaking in Mansfield, a Nottinghamshire town that was represented by the Labour Party for almost a century before it elected its first Conservative MP in 2017.
He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I’ve got my summer campaign plan in place, we’ve got most of our candidates selected in all our marginal constituencies.

Education

English studies seem to be slipping, reports the Telegraph.

Fewer pupils than ever are taking English A-level as experts claim that career-savvy students now favour more “employable” subjects.
The number of 18-year-olds taking English has plummeted to 72,015, the lowest number since 2001 when the Joint Council for Qualifications’ records began.
English remains one of the most popular A-levels, but last year its entries fell by 8.4 per cent, which is the biggest year-on-year decline the subject has seen in 17 years.

NHS

And a Telegraph investigation has found a problem with cleaning fluids.

NHS staff are at risk of inhaling toxic fumes from cleaning machines, a Telegraph investigation has found.
Employees claim that hospitals have been “gassing” them after they suffered nose bleeds, burning eyes and chest infections following exposure to hydrogen peroxide vapour.

Armed forces

PTSD is highlighted in the Telegraph.

A coroner has warned that more military veterans suffering PTSD may take their own lives unless urgent action is taken to improve their care.
Emma Brown, the coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, has written to NHS services and police highlighting a catalogue of failures in the treatment of Lance Corporal Dave Jukes in the months leading up to his suicide.
Earlier this month, she ruled the 49-year-old veteran from Birmingham, who had served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, took his own life last year after repeated calls for help were largely ignored.

And the Times reports millions of pounds of salary overpayment will not be reclaimed.

Defence chiefs have had to write off £4.5m in overpaid salaries and expenses for soldiers, sailors and air crew, more than a decade after the Ministry of Defence payroll system was first criticised for not working properly.
Details of the problems were revealed in the MoD’s annual accounts, published without notification during Boris Johnson’s first full day in Downing Street.

The Mail reports that a soldier previously thought to have been killed by a IED did, in fact, die from a ‘friendly fire’ accident.

A British soldier who died fighting ISIS in Syria was blown up after his US Navy Seal colleague accidentally detonated a grenade, it was revealed today.
Special Air Service Sniper Matt Tonroe, from Manchester, died last year alongside US commando Master Sergeant Jonathan J Dunbar while on an undercover mission to kill extremists.

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