Infrastructure

The Express claims the PM will announce a revolution this week.

THE BIGGEST revolution in transport and communications in Britain since the Victorian era will be unveiled by Boris Johnson this week.
The incredible package of spending on vital infrastructure is designed to ensure the whole country enjoys a renaissance of prosperity after Brexit. Its other key aim is to guarantee Britain can compete with the rest of the world.
It is understood the Prime Minister will give the HS2 rail project the go-ahead and reveal that 10 free ports are to be set up around the nation. They will allow firms to import goods and then re-export them outside normal tax and customs rules.

EU

An interesting story in the Express claims the EU is under the control of the Mafia.

THE European Union has allowed Mafia crime families to flourish by taking advantage of the bloc’s single market and lavish cash subsidies, an Italian MEP has claimed.
Sabrina Pignedoli, of the Five Star Movement, said crime bosses had capitalised on the EU’s expansion to Eastern Europe where they have invested vast sums of illicit cash in legitimate businesses. During periods of economic crisis, Italian mafia-style groups – the Cosa Nostra, Camorra and Ndrangheta – have maintained a low profile in their home country while investing billions of euros into struggling firms across the Continent. They use the legitimate business to launder cash from their large-scale drug trafficking, counterfeiting and toxic waste management enterprises.

An Italian MEP has demanded respect in the Express.

ITALY has sparked another furious row from within the EU after it demanded it be given the respect the member state deserves now that Brexit has made it the third biggest contributor.
Rome’s League political party hit out at the bloc and demanded the nation be given the “place it deserves” now that Britain’s departure has made Italy the third largest funder in Brussels. MEP Matteo Adinolfi said: “Today is a stimulating day because we are facing the next budget of the European Union and we are here with all the political forces because the future of the EU and Italy at this stage, defined by Brexit, is very important.”

Ireland

Yesterday’s general election in Ireland have produced a close result, says the Times.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, was on the brink of losing power last night in a general election where anger at homelessness and quality of life issues overshadowed Ireland’s economic recovery.
Last night, the three largest parties were each tied on about 22%, according to an Ipsos/MRBI exit poll.
The result, if confirmed in today’s election count, would mark another big electoral advance for Mary Lou McDonald’s Sinn Fein. It suggests Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, which both made an election pledge not to do a deal with Sinn Fein, would each need the other’s support to form a minority government.

The boss may have lost power, reports the Express.

LEO Varadkar has lost his grip on power as shock exit polls in the Irish election revealed a three-way tie.
Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Fein leader, soared in the exit poll of the crunch Irish general election, which saw Fine Gael leader Mr Varadkar humiliated. Irish voters took to the polls today to elect the 33rd Dail. The first votes were cast yesterday as people living on islands off the coast of Galway, Mayo and Donegal went to the ballot boxes, while the mainland voted today.
The results of the exit poll put Fine Gael at 22.4 percent, Sinn Fein at 22.3 and Fianna Fail at 22.2 percent.

The Evening Standard calls it a ‘tie’.

Ireland‘s three major parties are set for an extraordinary tie in the country’s general election, exit polls have predicted.
Today’s poll, carried out by Ipsos MRBI and published at 10pm, saw Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin win almost equal shares of the vote.
The results placed Leo Varadkar‘s Fine Gael party on 22.4 per cent, Sinn Féin on 22.3 per cent and Fianna Fáil on 22.2 per cent.
Sampling for the poll, commissioned jointly by The Irish Times, RTE, TG4 and UCD, had taken place all day at 250 locations, with more than 5,000 respondents across the country.
It has a margin of error of 1.3 per cent, the Irish Times reported.

And the final result could affect negotiations, reports the Express.

BREXIT trade negotiations could be seriously disrupted by the election of a Fianna Fail – Sinn Fein coalition government claims an Irish politician, as recent polls predict a shake up of the political consensus in Ireland.
Speaking of how a Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail coalition would disrupt post-Brexit trade negotiations, senator for Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael, Neale Richmond said: “It would certainly bring a far more inexperienced team and a far more nationalist government to the fore in Ireland.” He added: “Sinn Féin are extremely hostile to both the EU and the UK.” This claim is disputed by Sinn Fein TD, Teachta Dála or Irish member of parliament,

Labour Party

Back home, one of the Labour leadership candidates has suggested Brexit is renegotiated, says the Mail.

Labour should tear up whatever deal Boris Johnson reaches with Brussels and renegotiate a much closer relationship with the EU to boost the economy and ensure cooperation on security, migration and the climate crisis, leadership candidate Lisa Nandy has suggested.
Ms Nandy said that any question of rejoining the EU was for “future generations” to decide but told The Independent she wanted “a closer economic and political alliance with Europe” than Mr Johnson is pursuing, including access to the single market.
The Wigan MP was one of the loudest voices during the Brexit debate to warn that Labour risked losing swathes of voters in the north of England and the Midlands if it allowed itself to be perceived as a Remain party by backing a second referendum.

The Independent claims that a group of senior aides were responsible for the party’s GE defeat.

A close friend and adviser of Jeremy Corbyn has revealed how a “corridor cabal” of his top aides sabotaged Labour’s election campaign, blaming them for the party’s catastrophic defeat.
The explosive post-mortem heaps responsibility on the key allies – director of communications, Seumas Milne; chief of staff, Karie Murphy; and Andrew Murray, a veteran communist – for organisational chaos and for “suffocating” the leader himself.
It carries huge weight because it was written by left-winger Alan Simpson, a former Socialist Campaign Group MP and flatmate of Mr Corbyn, who returned to frontline politics to advise him on sustainable economics.

And Huffington Post claims lots of Labour MPs will quit if one of the lady candidates wins.

Scores of Labour MPs are preparing to leave the party if Rebecca Long-Bailey wins the race to become leader, HuffPost UK has been told.
It is claimed as many as 50 will not serve under the shadow business secretary and would instead stage a walkout, according to party insiders.
The split could see some continue as independent MPs but refuse to take the Labour whip while others may quit parliament altogether.
Long-Bailey is often described as the “continuity Corbyn” candidate and has been effectively endorsed by the leader.
Her policy of open MP selections, which would see MPs face a fight to remain the Labour candidate before every election, and rating of Corbyn’s leadership “10 out of 10” despite his handling of the anti-Semitism crisis and the election catastrophe, are said to have hardened the stance of some moderates against her candidacy.

Carbon

The Telegraph reports plans to ditch gas central heating boilers.

Homeowners could be forced to replace their gas boilers to ensure the UK meets its target to be carbon neutral by 2050, ministers are warning.
The Government will publish a White Paper later this year which will set out the “bigger decisions” that the UK has to make to meet the target.
Lord Duncan of Springbank, the Climate Change minister, said that the White Paper will consider whether the Government should ban gas central heating altogether from all homes.
It is not clear if homeowners will have to pay for this new strategy – which is planned to be introduced incrementally over the next decade – and whether there are enough plumbers to carry out the work.

Coronavirus

It’s getting bad.  The Telegraph reports cases in France.

Number of people testing positive continues to climb including a British family of five who were holidaying in the French alps at a ski resort.
A chartered aircraft carrying more than 200 passengers has left Wuhan for the UK and is due to arrive at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire at around 5.30am on Sunday.
South Central Ambulance Service said Kents Hill Park, a conference centre and hotel, will be used to house the returnees and they will remain there in isolation for 14 days.

And the Times claims we could have many more cases here.

Britain could suffer a “major outbreak” of the coronavirus, which is likely to become a pandemic, according to the microbiologist who co-discovered ebola and the presence of Aids in Africa.
Professor Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said he was “increasingly alarmed” by the rapid spread of the virus and the “huge” number of cases emerging daily.
Almost 35,000 people in at least 28 countries have been infected, with 3,500 new cases yesterday.

The Sun says it’s now in 28 countries.

THE global death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has now reached 724 – priming it to become more deadly than SARS.
Coronavirus has now been confirmed in 28 countries, and took the lives of 86 people on Friday alone.
The news comes as it was revealed five Brits had been struck down with the virus at a ski resort in France.
Japan earlier announced its first national to die from the virus putting the global death toll just 50 behind the 774 fatalities recorded during the SARS epidemic of 2002-2003.

The Mail‘s figures are more up to date.

The coronavirus death toll has hit 811, overtaking the number who died from the SARS pandemic, as the communist regime in China rounds up suffers in Wuhan before taking them to camps.
A total of 774 died in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak between 2002 and 2003 – another coronavirus that jumped from animals to humans in China.
Earlier today, the last evacuation flight carrying more than 150 British passengers back home left coronavirus-hit Wuhan for the UK.
It comes after a video showing a man suspected of having coronavirus desperately sprinting away from officials trying to put him in quarantine has emerged.

And the Times says emergency plans are being drawn up here.

Ministers have ordered a “no-deal-style” emergency plan to be drawn up to cope with the  coronavirus crisis amid fears that China will shut factories and cities for months, leaving Britain starved of goods manufactured there.
Last week the cabinet discussed the dangers of running short of lifesaving equipment or components for business supply chains.
Officials in Whitehall have been told to revisit plans for a no-deal Brexit and adapt them to secure vital goods, just as they prepared for supplies to be cut off from the EU last year.

Migration

The Times reports the government’s plans to increase immigration.

Skilled migration to the UK will rise under radical reforms to immigration that Boris Johnson signed off last week.
The prime minister and Priti Patel, the home secretary, met on Tuesday to finalise the details of Britain’s Australian-style points-based system, which will abolish the route into the UK for unskilled migrants from January 1 next year.
Home Office figures suggest the new rules will mean an overnight reduction in unskilled EU migrants of about 90,000 a year, who will no longer have a route into Britain. Net migration to the UK was 212,000 in the year to June 2019.

The salary threshold could be reduced, reports BBC News.

Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel are expected to set out their immigration reforms, including a drop in salary threshold for some migrants, at a cabinet meeting on Friday.
Currently, skilled migrants from outside the EU need to have a job offer with a minimum salary of £30,000.
The BBC understands ministers plan to lower this threshold to £25,600.
Workers from the EU will face the same rules once the transition period for leaving the EU ends on 31 December.

HS2

Boris is still keen on the high-speed rail line, reports the Times.

Boris Johnson will give the green light to the HS2 high-speed rail project on Tuesday and announce further spending on infrastructure projects.
The cabinet will give an immediate go-ahead to the London to Birmingham spur and the Birmingham to Crewe western arm of the Y-shaped route. The Manchester to Leeds section, however, will undergo a review to make sure that the plans are cost-effective.
The decision comes after Johnson was warned by Tory donors with links to the construction industry that cancelling HS2 would result in 400 construction firms going out of business and the loss of 250,000 jobs in the supply chain.

The Guardian claims he’ll approve the project this week.

Boris Johnson will give the final go-ahead to the first phase of the controversial HS2 high speed rail link early this week – despite fears over spiralling costs and strong opposition from at least 60 Tory MPs.
The prime minister is expected to make an announcement to parliament on Tuesday approving construction of the line between London and Birmingham, two days before conducting a wide-ranging reshuffle of his cabinet.

And the Huawei question has not gone away, says the Sun.

BORIS Johnson was facing double trouble last night as his MPs waged war over high-speed rail and tech giant Huawei.
The Prime Minister — likely to pave the way for HS2 on Tuesday — is facing post-Brexit unrest from his unhappy backbenchers.
He will attempt to calm the anger this week by accelerating plans to get the country connected with a flurry of road, rail and 5G projects.

Storm Ciara

High winds, heavy seas and electricity blackouts are continuing, says the Telegraph.

Thousands of homes were blacked out this morning as Storm Ciara swept across Britain.
Western Power Distribution sent emergency teams to cities, towns and villages across England and Wales as trees were brought crashing down across cables.
Among those hit were 150 homes in Kegworth, Leicestershire, 109 in Moreton in the Marsh, Gloucestershire, and 106 in Gloucester.
Dozens of domestic and international flights have been cancelled and rail companies in England, Scotland and Wales have urged passengers not to travel.

Flights are hit, reports the Mail.

Hundreds of flights into and out of European airports were cancelled as Britain’s biggest storm in seven years swept into Scotland and the rest of the UK was put on warning for 90mph winds on Sunday.
Storm Ciara was thundering eastwards towards Britain’s shores and had already brought gusts of up to 70mph on the west coast of Scotland on Saturday as weather warnings were put in place across the country.
The bad weather, which is set to fully batter the UK tomorrow, has already brought chaos in the air as nearly 200 flights into and out of Europe, as well as dozens to and from UK airports, were cancelled or delayed.

The Sun calls it a ‘weather bomb’.

HUNDREDS of flights have been cancelled as Britain’s biggest storm in seven years sweeps into the country with 90mph hurricane-force winds.
Weather bomb Storm Ciara is set to cause travel mayhem as it hurtles into Britain overnight.
It is already causing chaos for Brits – with nearly 200 flights in and out of Europe, as well as dozens to and from UK airports, cancelled or delayed.
Travellers leaving Gatwick are facing 41 delays and one cancellation, while Heathrow has 37 flight delays and further three cancellations.
While flights are also disrupted in and out of Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool airports.

And the Star reports deadly fish coming ashore.

Deadly Portuguese Man O’War jellyfish are being washed ashore by Storm Ciara.
The lethal sea creatures, whose tentacles can expand to a whopping 165ft, have been found on several beaches across Cornwall – and it’s feared more are on the way as Storm Ciara is set to hit this weekend.
People are being urged to stay away from the animals because just one sting can leave victims in extreme pain and can potentially kill – even after the fish has died.
The Friends of Portheras Cove in Cornwall posted on their Facebook page to announce that several had been found on beaches across the county.

NHS

It seems we’re now the INTERNATIONAL health service, says the Sun.

HEALTH tourists coming here to give birth cost the NHS £7million last year.
They included a foreign mum who had a baby in hospital then gave her home address as a Premier Inn.
The bill was sent to the hotel but there was no sign of her — leaving taxpayers to pick the tab.
The mum and seven others left Co Durham and Darlington Trust with £40,000 of unsettled bills.
The £7million UK total came from 1,500 maternity cases.

Tax

Boris may be about to borrow a Labour policy, says the Telegraph.

Boris Johnson has been weighing up shock plans to impose a “mansion tax” on owners of expensive homes, in a move which will infuriate the ­Conservative Party’s grassroots and stun MPs.
Severe cuts to pension tax relief enjoyed by millions of voters are also being considered by the Prime Minister and his Chancellor, Sajid Javid, for the Budget next month in an effort to pay for a huge increase in public spending.
Two separate sources told The Telegraph that ideas to raise more tax from better-off homeowners had been discussed on separate occasions in the past few weeks at the highest ­levels of the Treasury and No 10.

The Express also has the story.

BORIS JOHNSON and Sajid Javid are considering imposing a “mansion tax” on the owners of expensive homes and cuts to pension tax relief in the next budget.
Sources have told The Telegraph that the ideas have been discussed at Downing Street and at The Treasury in recent weeks. It is not yet clear what form the tax would take if it was to be included in the next budget. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, John O’Connell of the TaxPayer’s Alliance said: “It seems to be a misunderstanding of what the ­Tories’ new voters were looking for.

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