Fears of unlocking in name only, with Covid laws to be replaced by ‘stringent guidance’
Fears are growing that lockdown laws could be replaced with a web of restrictive guidance later this month in what has been dubbed by critics a “smoke and mirrors” reopening. Government ministers still hope that, if the Covid-19 data allows, the law enshrining the current lockdown rules will expire at the end of the month as planned. That legislation limits the number of people who can gather to a group to six people, two households indoors or 30 people outdoors. However, some MPs and industry fnews.yahoo.com
Politics latest news: UK could face quotas or tariffs in Brexit sausage trade war
Exclusive: EU threatens sausage trade war Defence Secretary could be high-profile casualty in boundary shake-up Tory MP fined after his puppy caused stampede of 200 deer Exclusive: New rules fail to deport migrants to safe countries Coronavirus latest news: Britons should holiday in the UK this year, says Cabinet minister The UK could be hit with tariffs and quotas "if the UK keeps breaching its commitments" in the post-Brexit treaty, a senior French MEP has said. Nathalie Loiseau told Radio 4'snews.yahoo.com
It's now or never for social care reform, says Jeremy Hunt
Ministers must accept that it is “now or never” for social care reform, Jeremy Hunt has said, as he suggested such changes were facing Treasury resistance. The former health secretary urged the Prime Minister to make good on his promise to “fix social care once and for all” and introduce a cap on costs, so no one faced bills of more than £45,000. Writing in the Telegraph with Sir Andrew Dilnot, who drew up proposals for such a plan more than a decade ago, Mr Hunt said politicians needed a “boldness of vision” to make Britain a place where people could grow old with dignity. They said 50,000 people a year were now being forced to sell their homes to pay for help, in a lottery which meant cancer sufferers could expect free care, while those with dementia must pay. With one in 10 facing costs of more than £100,000 and some facing as much as £1 million, some kind of cap on costs, based on risk pooling, was required, they said. As Britain recovers from the pandemic, it requires a “1948 moment” – similar to the NHS being set up after the Second World War despite the country being almost bankrupt. “Giving an ageing population dignity and security for their future would be the best possible way to do just that,” they wrote. “After the heroism we have seen from people working in the care sector during the pandemic, it really is now or never for social care reform.” In a separate address to council leaders, Mr Hunt, now chairman of the Commons health and social care committee, suggested that the Treasury was resisting such changes. “There's a strong sense inside the Government that this is unfinished business, it needs to be addressed,” he told the association of directors of adult social services' spring conference. “I know that's what the Prime Minister thinks and I think the Chancellor recognises there's a manifesto commitment; there is traditional Treasury concern about the impact on public finances, but my own view is that it isn't a choice as to whether we spend this money or not, it's a choice as to whether we spend this money in a planned strategic way or in a haphazard way.” Mr Hunt said he would back tax rises, if the Chancellor deemed them necessary. “I think the sums of money we're talking about are the kind of sums of money that the Treasury could find, if it chose to, without tax rises, but that might mean that there's no money for any other priorities at all,” he said. “That's why my argument to the Treasury is, if you think a tax rise is necessary, I would support that and I think it would be popular with the public,” he said, suggesting there was “widespread support” for such changes. Government insiders hit back on Friday night against Mr Hunt’s suggestion that the Treasury was resistant to reforming social care, but warned that “trade-offs” were needed to fulfil the manifesto commitment. A government source said: “The Dilnot reform is, at the moment, the frontrunner in the Prime Minister’s mind about what he wants to do. “The levers you have to pull in terms of paying for it are things that involve breaking the tax lock promise we made, because it is so expensive.” The Conservatives made a manifesto pledge at the last election to avoid increasing income tax, national insurance contributions or VAT. The source added: “You can’t just spend the money [to reform social care] and not find it in other areas. The thing the PM needs to decide is whether he's prepared to pull some levers to pay for it or not.” It's now or never for the reform of social care By Jeremy Hunt and Sir Andrew Dilnotnews.yahoo.com
UK eyes traveler quarantine as virus toll passes 100,000
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts while leading a virtual press conference on the Covid-19 pandemic, inside 10 Downing Street in central London Tuesday Jan. 26, 2021. The government said 100,162 people have died in the pandemic after testing positive for the virus, including 1,631 new deaths reported Tuesday. U.K. statistics agencies say that the number of deaths registered that mention COVID-19 on the death certificate is more than 108,000. British authorities are banking on a successful vaccination program to help the country suppress the outbreak and ease the lockdown. People arriving in the U.K. from abroad also must show they have tested negative for COVID-19.
UK lawmakers set to quiz Johnson amid pressure to fire aide
Dominic Cummings, top aide to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leaves his home in north London, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)LONDON Senior British lawmakers are set to question Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday amid growing pressure to fire his closest adviser for allegedly flouting COVID-19 lockdown rules. Now, I think, is the time for us all to move on,'' Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told the BBC. But Johnson appears determined to retain the aide seen as instrumental to his rise to power even if it erodes public trust in Britains response to the pandemic. One senior lawmaker on the panel, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has already said Cummings broke the rules.
Trump says Boris Johnson 'will be great' as Prime Minister
(CNN) - US President Donald Trump has congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming the leader of the Conservative Party and the UK's next prime minister. "Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Trump has often praised Johnson as a friend, and touted him as a potential prime minister even while Theresa May was in office. Johnson will take over from May as prime minister after she steps down on Wednesday. Johnson has stressed the need to work with Trump and has gained support from the President for his tough Brexit stance.
Brexit leader Boris Johnson wins race for UK prime minister
Boris Johnson, one of the biggest voices in the Brexit movement, won the Conservative Party leadership race on Tuesday and will become the U.K.'s next prime minister. Johnson, 55, was elected as his party leader, and consequently the U.K. leader, with 92,153 votes from members of the ruling Conservative Party. The new prime minister, who has previously been foreign minister and mayor of London, will likely usher in a new team of ministers. In addition to Brexit, Johnson faces an immediate crisis with with Iran, which seized a British oil tanker on Friday. We are going to unite this amazing country and we are going to take it forward," he told the audience.cnbc.com
UK set for a new prime minister as Brexit chaos rolls on
Boris Johnson (L) and Jeremy Hunt take part in the Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson debate Head To Head on ITV on July 9, 2019 in Salford, England. The U.K. will find out who its next prime minister will be this week as voting within the U.K.'s ruling Conservative Party comes to a close. The vote comes after Prime Minister Theresa May announced she would resign following repeated parliamentary rejections of the Brexit deal she struck with the EU. A "no-deal" Brexit is seen by many inside and outside of parliament as a "cliff-edge" scenario to be avoided at all costs. Finance Minister Philip Hammond has already said he will resign on Wednesday and has strongly opposed a no-deal Brexit, telling CNBC last week that "if the new government tries to drive the U.K. over a cliff-edge called no-deal Brexit I will do all I can to stop that."cnbc.com
Britain mounts diplomatic response for Iran to release tanker
Britain mobilized a diplomatic broadside but no immediate military action against Iran on Saturday in retaliation for its seizure of the Stena Impero, a British-flagged tanker, in the Strait of Hormuz. Hunt also stressed that Britain was not seeking to emulate the maximum pressure strategy adopted by the Trump administration. The U.K. tanker under Iranian control, and its crew, must be released, Corbyn wrote on Twitter. The British tanker, which Afifipoor said had no cargo, did not respond to repeated requests for contact from the fishing boat, whose crew then contacted maritime authorities. As I said in NY, it is IRAN that guarantees the security of the Persian Gulf & the Strait of Hormuz.latimes.com
What a failed Iran deal would mean for oil prices and military tensions
ATTA KENARE | AFP | Getty ImagesThe Iranian nuclear deal looks all but dead just one year after the President Donald Trump administration walked away from it and reimposed crippling sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The oil price impactThe direction of oil prices will depend on what Iran does with its nuclear program in the event of the deal's termination, and whether Tehran's strategy triggers a military response. "An actual military confrontation or even limited military strikes could cause prices to temporarily spike." Some security experts suggest a "surgical strike" on Iranian nuclear facilities by the U.S., if anything, rather than an all-out war. "But if the Iranians go too far, the U.S. Navy can strike Iranian small boats and ports from hundreds of miles away in the Indian Ocean, and the Iranian military would have no effective defense."cnbc.com
UK PM candidates Hunt and Johnson say Trump comments about U.S. congresswomen unacceptable
LONDON (Reuters) - Both candidates vying to replace Theresa May as Britains prime minister said they agreed with her that the language used by U.S. President Donald Trump about a group of mostly American-born Democratic congresswomen was unacceptable. Asked during a leadership debate whether they agreed with May that the comments were unacceptable, both frontrunner Boris Johnson and foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said they did. So it is totally unacceptable.Asked whether the comments were racist, both Johnson and Hunt declined to use that term however. This is the president of the country which happens to be our closest ally and so I think it is not going to help the situation to use that kind of language about the president of the United States, Hunt said. Three were born in the United States while Omar, a Somali refugee, arrived in 1992.feeds.reuters.com
Britains contest for prime minister roiled by Trumps bare-knuckled attack on envoy to Washington
President Trumps full-throated attack on Britains ambassador to Washington is roiling the race for prime minister, putting the Trump-friendly front-runner in an awkward spot. That means it will most likely be the next prime minister who decides Darrochs fate. I dont think that was necessarily the right thing for him to do, he finally said of Trumps attacks on both the ambassador and May. Earlier Tuesday, when Trump began hurling personal insults, he suggested the U.S. president had crossed a diplomatic line. AdvertisementWhen Trump just tweets insults at our allies, America moves on, tweeted Brian Klaas, a Britain-based academic who studies authoritarian governments.latimes.com
Leaked memos reveal British ambassador calling Trumps team clumsy and inept
Especially when its an episode involving the United States closest traditionally ally, Britain, and when the speaker is a veteran envoy discussing President Trump and his administration. A British tabloid, the Mail on Sunday, published a trove of what it said were memos from Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch, written from 2017 to the recent past. AdvertisementOn Sunday, the Foreign Office did not directly confirm the authenticity of the memos, but did not dispute it either. In the leaked memos, the ambassador cast a bleak eye on Trumps mode of decision-making and governance. For a man who has risen to the highest office on the planet, President Trump radiates insecurity, he wrote.latimes.com
Hong Kong protests spark diplomatic spat between UK and China
Protestors confront during police clearance after the Legislative Council building was damaged by demonstrators during a protest on July 2, 2019, in Hong Kong, China. (CNN) - A diplomatic spat between the UK and China deepened Wednesday after London summoned the Chinese ambassador over what it said were "unacceptable and inaccurate" comments made by Beijing regarding the UK's role in ongoing Hong Kong protests. China's ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, followed up with his own criticism, blasting London for its "interference" in Hong Kong and saying the UK-China relationship "has been damaged" because of it. "I think it's totally wrong for Jeremy Hunt to talk about the freedom (of Hong Kong protesters) ... this is not a matter about freedom it's a matter about breaking laws in Hong Kong," Liu said. "We all remember what Hong Kong was 22 years ago under British rule, there was no freedom (or) democracy."
China accuses Britain of intervening in its 'internal affairs' in Hong Kong
The diplomatic spat between China and the United Kingdom spilled into the open this week, after Beijing criticized the British government for "gross interference" in the Hong Kong protests. Beijing firmly opposed the U.K.'s "gross interference" in China's internal affairs, Liu said at a press conference in London. For nearly three weeks, political tensions in Hong Kong have escalated over a proposed extradition bill that would allow those arrested in the territory to be sent to mainland China for trial. Hong Kong citizens were concerned that their civil rights could be slowly eroded under Beijing. Hunt defended himself on Thursday, saying: "I was not supporting the violence in Hong Kong."cnbc.com
Hong Kong protesters urge world leaders to support them at G20 summit
(CNN) - Hong Kong protesters are appealing for foreign support in their fight for political freedom, calling on world leaders to act ahead of the summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Osaka, Japan, this week. Carrying signs reading "Liberate Hong Kong," activists at an evening assembly, many of them wearing black, sang protest anthems and called on G20 leaders to defend their rights. The Legislative Council -- Hong Kong's Parliament -- closed for a number of days in response to the protests. Although Hong Kong is part of China, it has different laws, a principle called one country, two systems. The protesters have also drawn support from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who tweeted that the people of Hong Kong are "not alone."