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Wear mask in shops or face a £100 fine

“Facemasks will become compulsory in shops from a week on Friday, with £100 fines for those who do not cover up. Boris Johnson brought an end to days of confusion last night by announcing that police would get “tools of enforcement” as scientific evidence on the potential benefits of masks increased. Shops will not be expected to enforce the measures themselves. Ministers will make wearing masks compulsory under public health powers already used on public transport. Children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt. Earlier Mr Johnson said that masks “have a great deal of value in confined spaces where you’re coming into contact with people you don’t normally meet.” – The Times

  • Shoppers must wear face masks – Daily Telegraph
  • Public must mask-up – Daily Mail
  • People told to wear masks in shops – FT
  • And public split on wearing face cover – The Times
  • Queen and Attenborough may be asked to set face mask example – The Times
  • Shoppers are coming back to the high street – The Times
More virus news
  • Police hunt for infected picker who fled farm – The Times
  • Most too scared to fly for fear of infection – The Times
  • Where the latest cases have spread – The Times
  • Second Covid wave ‘could see twice as many deaths’ – Daily Telegraph
  • UK experts fear up to 120,000 Covid-19 deaths this winter – The Guardian
  • Hancock promises ‘biggest flu vaccination programme in history’ this winter – The Independent
  • California back in lockdown – The Times
Comment
>Today:

China dispute 1) Tory backlash at seven-year wait to scrap Huawei 5G

“The prime minister will hold a meeting of the National Security Council, which is expected to agree that telecoms companies will be barred from buying new Huawei equipment from January next year. However, under plans that will be considered by ministers today, the Chinese company’s technology will not be entirely removed from the 5G network until 2027. Sir Iain Duncan Smith described the delay as “unacceptable” and has called for Huawei to be removed from the network by 2025. In a letter to Mr Johnson, ten Tory MPs warned against “unreasonable delay”. – The Times

  • Johnson to bow to pressure with Huawei 5G ban next year – Daily Telegraph
  • BT sounds alarm over prospect of UK ban on Huawei – FT
  • U-turn fails to satisfy rebels – The Guardian
  • Britain to confront China with new carrier – The Times
  • Inflation rise warning in trade war with China – The Times
Comment

China dispute 2) Hong Kong migration to UK could hit 200,000

“About 200,000 Hong Kong citizens with British passports could come to live in the UK over the next five years, according to internal Foreign Office estimates, one of the biggest non-European migrations into Britain in recent times. Dominic Raab, foreign secretary, this month confirmed that Britain would give a “route to citizenship” to around 3m Hong Kong citizens with rights to “British National Overseas” passports, in response to China’s security crackdown on the territory. The offer infuriated Beijing but was warmly welcomed by MPs from all parties at Westminster, despite the recent heated debate in Britain about immigration. The issue of “border control” was one of the key factors in the 2016 Brexit referendum.” – FT

  • Around 200,000 Hong Kong citizens set to move to UK after citizenship offer – Daily Telegraph

Brexit 1) Patel outlines post-Brexit immigration rules

“Persistent pickpockets and shoplifters will be deported under a post-Brexit immigration policy that will make it easier to get rid of EU criminals. From January, ministers will have the power to exclude or remove foreign offenders who are repeatedly convicted of low-level crimes such as theft as well as those receiving a sentence of 12 months or more. The policy will also apply to migrants from the EU who have been given settled status to stay after Brexit. The rules, announced yesterday, are part of a new immigration system that will treat EU citizens in broadly the same way as those who come from outside the bloc.” – The Times

  • Row erupts over exclusion of social care workers from health visa – Daily Telegraph
  • Post-Brexit visa rules exclude low-paid foreigners – Daily Mail
  • Border checks to cost businesses £13 billion – The Times
Comment
>Yesterday:

Brexit 2) Sturgeon accuses Johnson of power grab with new trade bill

“Boris Johnson is facing a clash with Nicola Sturgeon over plans to force the devolved administrations to accept Westminster’s standards on food, the environment and animal welfare. The government will publish legislation on Thursday to underpin an “internal market” in the UK when the Brexit transition period ends on December 31. It includes a “mutual recognition” regime designed to ensure that goods flow freely within the UK even if Scotland or Wales choose to impose their own standards. The white paper means that the devolved nations must continue to accept goods and services from England.” – The Times

  • Johnson risks a disunited UK over state aid clash – FT
Comment

Sylvester: Failing Grayling is the wrong man for the job

“It’s like replacing James Bond with Johnny English. The prime minister’s decision to make Chris Grayling chairman of the powerful intelligence and security committee (ISC) has been greeted with ridicule in parliament and raised eyebrows in Whitehall. As a cabinet minister Mr Grayling was constantly doing the political equivalent of getting his tie stuck in the sushi conveyor belt or accidentally blowing up his fellow agents. There was the ferry company with no ferries that was given a contract in the event of a no-deal Brexit and the disastrous privatisation of the probation service that had to be reversed.” – The Times

Comment
  • Sunak’s ascent not assured, Robert Shrimsley – FT

Labour MPs ‘silenced’ over antisemitism report

“Opposition MPs were told not to speak out and “prejudice” the investigation into antisemitism in the party last night as Sir Keir Starmer confirmed that he had received the Equalities and Human Rights Commission’s draft report. The watchdog has sent its findings after a year-long inquiry. The Times understands that Labour received the report last week and that it is expected to become public in the first week of August. In an internal email David Evans, the party’s general secretary, warned MPs not to comment because they could prejudice party interests and the final outcome.” – The Times

Moore: Time for a white-haired revolt against the BBC

“With due apologies to readers whom this may annoy, I have always been against free TV licences for the over-75s. They began life as a transparent electoral bribe by Gordon Brown. There was never a good reason why all old people (as opposed to poor old people) should get special treatment. My main objection, however, is that the period of free licences let the BBC feel even freer than usual to ignore the voice of the old. If they’re not paying, it said to itself, what does it matter if they complain? Now that it desperately needs the money of the over-75s, it will have to listen a bit harder.” – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

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