Fisheries

The Express reports a backlash to suggestions that the French could blockade ports from British fishermen.

BRITONS have reacted furiously after a fishing expert warned France could create blockades in the English Channel if its fisherman are denied access to UK waters after Brexit.
Brexit talks between the UK and the European Union ended prematurely on Thursday with outstanding issues remaining over trade and fisheries. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has demanded a level playing field with the UK over trade as well as access to UK fishing waters after the transition period – something his counterpart David Frost has rejected.
Britain is on course to leave the controversial Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) next year and become an independent coastal state – free to set its own tariffs and quotas on stocks.
Following the breakdown of talks, fishing expert and CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisation Barrie Deas, has warned French fisherman could block UK ports if its fisherman have reduced access to UK waters.

Asylum

The Express claims the Home Secretary aims to fix the asylum system.

HOME Secretary Priti Patel is planning to overhaul the asylum system to stop it being abused by “vexatious claims” championed by “lefty activist lawyers”.
The changes are expected to be tabled in the Foreign National Offenders Bill which will unpick the “over generous” rules set in 1999 by Tony Blair’s Immigration and Asylum Act. The Sunday Express understands that the plans were put in motion following a meeting between the Home Secretary and the influential new Common Sense group of more than 40 parliamentarians set up by former security minister Sir John Hayes to tackle the problems of holes in the immigration system.

Huawei

The country’s 5G network may not be done by Huawei, say the Telegraph.

Boris Johnson is poised to begin phasing out the use of Huawei technology in Britain’s 5G network as soon as this year, in a major about-turn, The Telegraph can disclose.
GCHQ is understood to have revised its previous assurance that the risks posed by the Chinese technology giant can be safely managed.
A report due to be presented to the Prime Minister this week is expected to conclude that new US sanctions on Huawei will force the company to use untrusted technology that could make the risk impossible to control.
The report, by GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre, has concluded that the sanctions, which bar Huawei from using technology relying on American intellectual property, has had a “severe” impact on the firm that significantly changes their calculations.

The Guardian also reports the prospect of a u-turn in the government’s plans.

The UK is poised to end the use of Huawei technology in its 5G network as soon as this year because of security concerns, according to reports.
The prime minister, Boris Johnson, is set to make a major policy change after GCHQ is believed to have reassessed the risks posed by the Chinese technology company, newspapers have said.
A study set to be presented to Johnson this week will declare that US sanctions on Huawei will force the company to use technology that is “untrusted”, reports said.

It’s all down to potential security concerns, says the Times.

Ministers are to start the process of stripping Huawei from Britain’s 5G network by the end of this year after a report by spy chiefs into the Chinese telecoms firm uncovered “severe” security issues.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has concluded that Huawei’s products are not secure after the US banned the Chinese firm, which is close to the regime in Beijing, from using American components, a move that “fundamentally changes” the situation.

EU

On the Brexit negotiations, the Express reports a suggestion that Barnier has made too many concessions to us.

TENSIONS inside the EU over the state of the Brexit negotiations have escalated dramatically according to a leading European Union expert, who revealed that Emmanuel Macron scolded Michel Barnier over compromising too much.
Emmanuel Macron led a group of eight infuriated member-states in scolding the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier last month. The French President accused Mr Barnier of compromising “too much” with his British counterpart, David Frost. He singled out the area of fisheries, where it is suggested that Mr Barnier was willing to back down on the EU’s original red lines.

Boris bridge

Plans to build a bridge between Scotland and Ireland have been slated, says the Express.

A BOLD proposal for a bridge linking Scotland and Northern Ireland, supported by Boris Johnson, has caused huge tensions at Holyrood, Express.co.uk can reveal today.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously described the bridge as a “very interesting idea” and said in December: “Watch this space.” This week he pledged to inject £5bn to develop infrastructure projects in the UK.
The plan will involve the Government carrying out a study of all future road, rail, air and cross-sea links between the “four nations of the UK” hinting at the concept for a fixed link between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Armed forces

The Times claims there are plans to reduce the number of servicemen.

Defence chiefs have drawn up plans to slash the army by a quarter and reduce the Royal Marines to a bit part as part of Boris Johnson’s defence and security review.
The drastic cuts, which would also close airfields and take helicopters out of service, were drawn up in response to Treasury demands that Whitehall departments map out cuts of 5% or more as part of the government’s comprehensive spending review.

Labour Party

The new Labour Leader is stamping his authority on the party, says the Mail.

Keir Starmer was last night accused of ‘spoiling for a fight’ with Labour’s Left.
The party leader was told he had ‘no chance’ of becoming Prime Minister if he did not keep faith with  Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy.
Unite boss Len McCluskey last week warned that the Labour membership remained ‘wholeheartedly behind the radical nature of the policies’ developed under Sir Keir’s predecessor.
And the union firebrand, who is understood to be furious at the party leader’s sacking of Left-wing frontbencher Rebecca Long Bailey, warned that Sir Keir ‘needs the Left’.

And the Independent reports the call for an apology from the party’s leader.

More than a dozen members of Labour’s ruling committee have accused party officials of defending “racist, sexist and abusive” messages about colleagues – and called for a public apology from Sir Keir Starmer.
One third of the National Executive Committee’s members, including representatives from four trade unions, wrote to the Labour leader this week accusing his office of misleading them about how the party dealt with leaked WhatsApp messages by senior officials detailed in a controversial internal report.

Planning

Maybe we need more homes, but these could be built on our countryside, claims the Guardian.

The English countryside and its wildlife are at serious risk because of Boris Johnson’s pledge to revolutionise the planning system, leading green groups warn today.
In a joint letter to the Observer, the organisations, which include the National Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Wildlife Trusts, say wide-scale deregulation leading to lower environmental standards and less protection would be a betrayal of promises by Johnson and Michael Gove to deliver a “green Brexit”.

Education

Back to the virus, and the Times claims the number of exams taken by pupils will be restricted.

Thousands of children at state schools are to be limited to as few as five or six GCSEs while their peers in the private sector are taught nine or ten.
As head teachers struggle to make up for months of lost learning, leading academy schools plan to focus on cramming teenagers to pass GCSEs in maths and English. In September many state pupils will be withdrawn from “soft” subjects such as art, music, design and technology, drama and even foreign languages.

NHS

The chancellor is under fire in the Guardian.

NHS bosses have accused the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, of breaking a pledge to give the health service “whatever it needs” after he refused to provide a £10bn cash injection needed to avoid it being crippled by a second wave of the coronavirus.
They have warned ministers that without the money the NHS will be left perilously unprepared for next winter and the second spike in infections which doctors believe is inevitable. Nor will they be able to restart non-Covid services or treat the growing backlog in patients needing surgery.

And the plans for three-quarters of a million volunteers didn’t quite come off, says the Times.

The NHS volunteer scheme is facing fresh criticism as figures reveal that about 140,000 people haven’t been given a single assignment.
In March, ministers urged people to help protect the most vulnerable in a “national effort” by providing deliveries, lifts and chats.
About 750,000 people signed up to help with tasks, including driving people to hospital and delivering groceries to those who were isolated or ill, in the biggest volunteer drive since the Second World War, although many were not approved or accepted onto the scheme. Of the 360,000 who were approved and put themselves “on duty”, only 220,000 were offered tasks.

Hospitality

Meanwhile, the release of lockdown has seen pubs and restaurants heaving, says the Telegraph.

Police were prepared for a busy night as England emerged from its months-long “national hibernation” with a “Super Saturday” of reopenings that included pubs, restaurants, theme parks, hairdressers and cinemas.
Many could not resist the opportunity to return to their local for their first poured pint at the pub since lockdown was enforced to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Despite warnings from health officials that the pandemic is far from over, some patrons ignored social-distancing rules.

The Mail reports the crowds didn’t always practice social distancing.

Jubilant Britons last night blew off some steam after three months of lockdown measures as pubs lifted their shutters for the first time in 104 days on ‘Super Saturday’ – but large crowds gathered in some areas and many drinkers appeared to ignore social distancing rules in their excitement.
Experts said Britons sank up to 15million pints yesterday, as revellers poured out of their homes and into pubs and bars to enjoy their first taste of a draught pint.
But while much of the revelry passed peacefully, some large crowds gathered particularly in London’s Soho district and there were cases of disorder in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire that forced bars to close early.

Social care

There were warnings about Covid cases in care homes months ago, says the Telegraph.

Ministers and Public Health England were warned in early April that staff working in multiple care homes could be unwittingly spreading coronavirus among the elderly – five weeks before the Government finally issued guidance restricting workers to one institution.
The Telegraph can reveal that the warnings were repeated by government advisers over the following weeks as data showed that three quarters of one home’s residents were infected with the virus, despite its managers having identified only two cases.
An official study conducted in mid-April found that symptomatic staff were self-isolating and being replaced by “bank” staff who worked at multiple homes.

Vaccine

There could be a ‘jab’ available soon, says the Times.

Glaxo Smith Kline and Sanofi are close to agreeing a £500m deal to supply the British government with 60 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine.
The business department is understood to be taking an option to buy the vaccine from the pharmaceuticals giants should it work in human trials, which are due to begin in September.
The deal for an as yet unproven vaccine underlines ministers’ desperation to secure a supply as countries scramble to buy up possible Covid-19 treatments. America has bought most of the world’s supply of remdesivir, an antiviral treatment made by the Californian drugs giant Gilead, prompting fears that America might not co-operate with other countries.

And the Guardian reports on the possibility of a tie-up with the EU.

The UK is assessing whether to join an EU programme to help secure a potential coronavirus vaccine in what could mark a bellwether for post-Brexit cooperation.
In what the Daily Express described as a “Brexit backtrack”, UK officials are thought to be considering the advantages of being part of the EU plan because the bloc would have greater purchasing power to strike deals with multinational drug companies.

Furlough

With the possibility of the furlough scheme ending soon, businesses could have to pay back government cash, says the Telegraph.

Employers planning mass redundancies of furloughed workers face restrictions that may force them to pay back months of wages to the taxpayer.
The Treasury has panicked some businesses by rewording the purpose of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to say it is “integral” that its money is “used by the employer to continue the employment of employees”.

Leicester

Problems in the city were identified months ago, says the Telegraph.

Leicester’s mayor and Labour councillors were warned three months ago that factories were operating in breach of Covid-19 rules but failed to act, a former minister has claimed.
Conservative politicians wrote to members of the council in April warning that some manufacturing premises appeared to be operating in “shuttered premises”, risking the health of workers, as well as their families and the local population at large.
Baroness Verma, who was a development minister under David Cameron and chairs the city’s Conservative federation, said she had been concerned that the factories were operating in breach of strict social distancing rules, which required workers to stay two metres apart and regularly wash their hands.

But police have had to intervene since the city went back into lockdown, reports the Mail.

As the rest of England toasted the easing of restrictions, a massive police and public health operation yesterday swung into action in the locked down city of Leicester.
Officers in masks patrolled the largely deserted streets, while residents lamented the continuing wait to go to pubs, hair salons and restaurants because of the Covid-19 spike.
Concerns that residents would be tempted to slip away to nearby Derby or Nottingham led to checkpoints being set up on the roads. Plain-clothed officers also patrolled the city to ensure social distancing as the UK’s first local lockdown officially came into force.

China

The Times reports the possibility that the virus could have been identified several years ago.

In the monsoon season of August 2012 a small team of scientists travelled to southwest China to investigate a new and mysteriously lethal illness. After driving through terraced tea plantations, they reached their destination: an abandoned copper mine where — in white hazmat suits and respirator masks — they ventured into the darkness.
Instantly, they were struck by the stench. Overhead, bats roosted. Underfoot, rats and shrews scurried through thick layers of their droppings. It was a breeding ground for mutated micro-organisms and pathogens deadly to human beings. There was a reason to take extra care. Weeks earlier, six men who had entered the mine had been struck down by an illness that caused an uncontrollable pneumonia. Three of them died.

Clap for NHS

The country had a blue tinge last night, prior to the final clap for the NHS today, says the Mail.

Silence fell across the nation on Saturday night as Britons remembered those who died during the coronavirus pandemic while monuments across the country were lit up in NHS blue.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among those due to take part in country-wide event, with a candle planned to be lit at his official residence at 9pm, ahead of the National Health Service’s 72nd anniversary on Sunday.
A nationwide round of applause is set to take place on Sunday evening to mark the NHS’s milestone.

Leading figures have shown their support for the NHS, reports ITV News.

The Prince of Wales and Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer have paid tribute to the NHS ahead of a nationwide round of applause to mark its 72nd anniversary.
People will be encouraged to clap at 5pm on Sunday as a way of saying thank you to NHS staff who have worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The initiative follows the success of the weekly Clap for Carers, and it is hoped the applause will become an annual tradition.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet NHS workers in the Number 10 garden on Sunday afternoon, while public buildings including the Royal Albert Hall, Blackpool Tower and the Shard have been lit up blue in tribute to the health service.

BBC News reports this afternoon’s plans.

The prime minister will join a nationwide round of clapping later to pay tribute to NHS staff on the 72nd anniversary of the health service.
The public are being encouraged to give a round of applause at 17:00 BST for all those who helped save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a video message, Prince Charles has spoken of his gratitude and pride for the “costly sacrifices” of NHS staff.
On Saturday, UK landmarks were lit up blue in celebration and remembrance.
Downing Street, the Royal Albert Hall, Blackpool Tower, the Shard and the Wembley Arch were all illuminated and a minute’s silence was held to remember those who have died during the pandemic.

Hong Kong

More support to those residents of Hong Kong who are facing a Chinese crack-down is reported in the Telegraph.

Taiwan this week offered a lifeline to Hong Kong citizens seeking to flee the city over fears that a proposed national security law will instigate a crackdown on their already shrinking rights and freedoms.
The island democracy, just an hour’s flight from the troubled Chinese-ruled city, announced that it will set up a specialised office to support Hong Kongers anxious to leave the territory, many of them out of fear of retribution for taking part in months-long pro-democracy protests.
The government-funded office, which will open on July 1, will offer help to professionals who wish to move to Taiwan, including for school, employment, investment, entrepreneurship and immigration.

The Times ask what the residents of the former colony will do now.

They had planned lives, families and careers in Hong Kong. Now at a gathering of young professionals, one topic dominated conversation — to stay or to flee. All but one was considering quitting the territory as China imposed sweeping new national security legislation on their homeland.
The clampdown, proclaimed without consultation on Tuesday night, was even more draconian than feared. Secret courts, unaccountable police units, worldwide reach and penalties of up to life in prison were among the provisions.

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