Johnson: I’d rather accept tariffs than obey EU rules

“Boris Johnson will enter the next phase of Brexit by warning the European Union that he is not afraid to walk away from talks as tensions escalate between London and Brussels. The prime minister will say today that he would rather accept tariffs than European law and that Britain has “made our choice” in refusing to follow EU regulations. Setting out his objectives on trade, Mr Johnson will accept that he has traded full access to the single market in order for Britain to reclaim full control of its laws. He will urge European leaders to honour what he regards as their side of the bargain. Downing Street is prepared to fall back on an “Australian” version of no deal, and the prime minister will say “there is no need for a free trade agreement to involve accepting EU rules”. – The Times

  • Britain will not accept EU rules to get a trade deal, says Johnson – Daily Telegraph
  • UK will refuse close alignment with EU rules, Johnson to say – The Guardian
  • Johnson to reject regulatory alignment in EU trade talks – FT
  • Foreign Secretary accuses EU of ‘shifting goalposts’ over Canada-style trade deal – Daily Telegraph
  • Nissan could double down on UK under hard Brexit – FT
  • MPs join forces to call for friendship pact with Germany – The Times
  • You are the loonies now, Nigel Farage tells Remainers – The Times
  • Brexit is done: Now for the hard part – RTE

Terror returns to streets of London

“Police have shot dead a terrorist recently released from prison and under surveillance by MI5 after he stabbed two people on a busy shopping street. Sudesh Amman, 20, was wearing a fake suicide vest when he stole a 10in kitchen knife and set upon a man and woman in Streatham, south London. Amman, an extremist from Harrow, north London, was jailed 14 months ago for possessing Islamic State recruitment material and manuals containing instructions on inflicting damage to the body with various types of knives. Amman was released from prison late last month after serving half of his sentence of three years and four months for possession of extremist materials. Boris Johnson is today expected to announce plans to review the automatic early release of prisoners convicted of terrorist offences, expanding his manifesto pledge that focused on those convicted of violent offences.” – The Times

  • A freed terrorist strikes again – Daily Telegraph
  • Streatham attacker freed from jail days ago after terror conviction – The Guardian
  • Attack shows weakness of Johnson’s crackdown on terror sentencing – Daily Telegraph
  • He grabbed a knife near the till then ran out and began stabbing – The Times
  • How the Streatham attack unfolded – Daily Telegraph
  • Met Police storm homes in London and Hertfordshire – Daily Express
  • Johnson announces ‘fundamental changes’ to the justice system – Daily Mail

Raab tells Varadkar to keep out of British politics…

“Dominic Raab told Irish PM Leo Varadkar to butt-out of British politics after he branded Britain’s post-Brexit foreign policy “petty”. The Foreign Secretary has ordered UK diplomats to sit separately from EU states at international summits to restore Britain’s independent voice in world affairs. But Mr Varadkar sparked a fresh UK-Irish spat by branding the plan childish, telling the Andrew Marr Show: “I think it just comes across as being a little bit petty. “It’s kind of when you’re in primary school or in, in secondary school that you get worried about who you sit beside in class. “Most international forums that I’ve attended, whether it’s UN or other international bodies, you tend to be seated either in alphabetical order or according to protocol. So I don’t really know what that’s about, but it seems a bit silly.” Mr Varadkar also doubled down on his controversial description of post-Brexit Britain as a “small country”. And he predicted the British economy would slip from its current sixth position.” – The Sun

  • Tone down EU rhetoric, Leo Varadkar warns Britain – The Times
  • Sinn Fein surge threatens to make Varadkar history in Irish election – Daily Express

…And he rebukes Tusk for saying Brussels would welcome Scotland with open arms

“Dominic Raab has rebuked a senior European leader for making the “irresponsible” suggestion that the EU would welcome an application for membership from an independent Scotland. The foreign secretary said that the comment by Donald Tusk, former head of the European Council, could worsen secessionist tendencies across Europe and enrage other EU leaders. Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, has urged the EU to “leave a light on for Scotland”, which voted heavily to remain in the bloc, and is seeking to use Brexit to build support for independence. Boris Johnson has rebuffed her demands for a referendum but she promised at the moment that Britain left that “Scotland will return to the heart of Europe as an independent country”. Mr Tusk, who stepped down from his role in speaking for EU member states in December, said he felt “like I’m Scottish, especially after Brexit”. – The Times


Sale of petrol and diesel cars to be banned five years earlier

“The Government announced in 2017 that it would impose a ban on diesel and petrol cars from 2040 as part of an effort to tackle air pollution. However the Prime Minister is said to be speeding up the plans with a view to implementing the ban by 2035. The idea was first mooted by Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, in October last year, when he indicated that 2035 was a target he would like to aim for. “The government’s own advisory committee on climate change said 2035 is a date for which we should aim,” he told the Conservative Party conference. A joint committee report in 2018 criticised the 2040 target as lacking “sufficient ambition” and urged for it to be brought forward.” – Daily Telegraph


Thornberry begs for a place in final leadership round

“Emily Thornberry has made a desperate plea for a place in the final round of the Labour leadership race, as she urged party members to “just get on and nominate me please”. The shadow foreign secretary, who is trailing behind Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy to secure her place to run for leader, acknowledged that despite being an “excellent candidate” she was “yet to get on the ballot”. “I’m the most experienced of the candidates, I’ve had seven front bench jobs, I’ve had two years shadowing Boris Johnson and I tore him to pieces every time,” she told a hustings in Cardiff on Sunday afternoon. Ms Thornberry, who only has nine of the 33 nominations needed from Constituency Labour Party groups to secure her position in the final leg of the race, implored members to give her “a chance”. – Daily Telegraph

  • Ashworth admits Labour got ‘thumped’ in General Election – Daily Telegraph

And finally, Trump congratulates wrong state for Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl win

“Donald Trump was among the first to laud the Kansas City Chiefs in the wake of their 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, taking to Twitter to congratulate the newly crowned NFL champions and the ‘Great State of Kansas’. The only problem: the Chiefs are, and have always been, based in Kansas City, Missouri. “Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on a great game, and a fantastic comeback, under immense pressure. You represented the Great State of Kansas and, in fact, the entire USA, so very well. Our Country is PROUD OF YOU!” Trump wrote. The US president was quick to remedy his mistake, deleting the tweet and re-posting it moments later with the correct state – but not before his error was noticed by a wide audience.” – The Guardian

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