Brexit 1) No-deal can be a good outcome, insists PM

“Boris Johnson has set a five-week deadline to reach a post-Brexit agreement with the EU, saying that a no-deal would be a “good outcome” for Britain. The prime minister will say today that there is “no sense” in carrying on talks if a free-trade deal is not agreed before a key EU meeting on October 15 and that afterwards the focus should switch to minimising disruption to lorry transport and flights. He will insist that Britain will “prosper mightily” if it leaves the transition period without a deal, saying that preparations at the border mean that the country will be ready for extra checks while being free to strike trade agreements around the world.” – The Times

  • Raab blames EU state aid row for Brexit deal delay – The Times
  • What are the sticking points stopping a Brexit trade deal? – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

Brexit 2) UK plan to undermine withdrawal treaty puts talks at risk

“The UK is planning new legislation that will override key parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, risking the collapse of trade negotiations with Brussels.  Sections of the internal market bill — due to be published this Wednesday — are expected to “eliminate the legal force of parts of the withdrawal agreement” in areas including state aid and Northern Ireland customs, according to three people familiar with the plans. The move would “clearly and consciously” undermine the agreement on Northern Ireland that Boris Johnson signed last October to avoid a return to a hard border in the region, one person with knowledge of the plans said.” – FT

Pressure on Keir Starmer over Extinction Rebellion’s press protest

“Sir Keir Starmer is under pressure to distance himself further from Labour MPs such as Diane Abbott who backed an Extinction Rebellion blockade of newspaper presses, as the Labour leader himself condemned the protests. Ms Abbott, the former shadow home secretary, said that direct action was a “legal tactic” and it would be “ridiculous” for the government to class Extinction Rebellion as a criminal group. “They’re not criminals, they’re protesters and activists in the tradition of the suffragettes and the hunger marchers of the 1930s,” she told Sky News. Sir Keir broke his silence on the climate protests yesterday, saying it was wrong to attack the free press”. – The Times

  • Veteran activist likens newspapers to Nazis – Daily Telegraph
  • Green activists and former Extinction Rebellion members criticise group’s ‘culture war’ agenda – Daily Telegraph
  • Police need to use ‘intrusive surveillance’ on Extinction Rebellion, says ex-counter terrorism chief – Daily Telegraph
> Today:

> Yesterday:

Patel: Why I want to tighten law on eco warriors after printworks protest

“A free press is the cornerstone of British society. The freedom to publish, without fear nor favour, and to inform debate on events that affect each and every one of us is absolutely vital. I was disgusted to see over the weekend that this institution, and the values we hold dear as a tolerant and free country, were threatened by Extinction Rebellion because it did not fit with their agenda. While Extinction Rebellion claim to be an environmental rights campaign group, their actions speak louder than their words, and their continued guerrilla tactics show that they do not believe in peaceful protest – but instead seek to undermine and cause damage to our society, disrupting the hard working individuals who are trying to keep this country moving forwards.” – Daily Mail 

Coronavirus 1) Daily cases rise to 3,000

“A steep rise in new infections pushed daily recorded cases of coronavirus to almost 3,000 yesterday, a rise of more than 1,000 on Saturday’s figures. The increase led to fears that Britain may be seeing an uncontrolled resurgence in the disease, driven in part by a growth among younger adults. Alan McNally, professor of microbial genomics at the University of Birmingham, and one of the scientists responsible for setting up the Milton Keynes testing laboratory, said the new data was extremely concerning. ‘It’s frightening and we need very detailed data on this to determine why and how worried we should be,’ he said.” – The Times

  • Hancock urges young people not to ‘infect their grandparents’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Lungs damaged by coronavirus can repair themselves in three months – Daily Telegraph
  • Universities face strikes if they can’t show they are safe – The Times
  • Airport bosses warn Johnson of “irreparable” damage without tests on arrival – Daily Telegraph

Coronavirus 2) Get back on the trains and into the office, urges Raab

“Commuters have been told to go back to the office by the foreign secretary, who said that so many people working from home was “damaging to the economy”. Dominic Raab said “the economy needs to have people back to work”, insisting it could be done in a controlled and safe way. “It is important to send the message that we need to get Britain back up and running, the economy motoring on all cylinders,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. Conservative backbenchers have criticised the government for mixed messaging on whether staff should return to workplaces, urging a more consistent drive to get people back to normal working patterns. – The Times

  • Parliament not leading by example in the back-to-work push, say lawmakers – Daily Telegraph
  • Government is planning ‘seat out to help out’ plan for theatres and sports grounds – Daily Mail
  • Lifeline grants may be given to firms hit by new lockdowns – The Times

Budget must set targets to level up north, say Tories

“Tory MPs in former Labour “red wall” seats are demanding that Boris Johnson make “levelling up” more than a slogan by setting targets at the budget for raising wages in the poorest areas. Seats gained by the Conservatives last December are on average 5 per cent poorer than Labour-held seats and unemployment rates are higher, according to research by MPs who are calling for a renewed focus on reviving the economy in the north and Midlands. Today a group of 40 backbenchers launch a group to press for economic progress in the red wall areas, demanding that the government commit itself to revealing the impact of its policies on the poorer parts of the country.” – The Times

  • Dozens more elected mayors and the abolition of many councils planned to break Labour’s red wall strongholds – The Times
  • Planning rise in living wage could be shelved as UK firms face slump after Coronavirus lockdown – Daily Mail

> Today:

Police release footage of Birmingham murder suspect on the run after one is killed and seven injured

“A manhunt is underway for a young, black “Somalian” murder suspect behind a spate of stabbings in Birmingham city centre. On Sunday night, police released footage of the suspect, whom the public has been warned not to approach, pacing the street shortly before 2am. Dressed in black jeans, with a black hoodie and black cap, he had already stabbed most of his victims, killing a 23-year-old man. Detectives  quickly ruled out terrorism, saying there was “no suggestion” that it was a hate crime or that gangs were involved. They said the stabbings appeared to be random, with no obvious links between the victims. A 32-year-old woman, who was stabbed in the throat as she was pinned up against a wall, and a 19-year-old man suffered critical injuries.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “Whatever”, said Birmingham knifeman after his two hours of bloodshed – The Times

Ministers raise time limit for holding suspects on remand from 182 to 238 days

“People awaiting trial for serious crimes can now be held in prison for longer under measures announced by the Government as part of the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Temporary legislation was announced that will extend the Custody Time Limit (CTL) for people awaiting a trial for serious crimes from 182 days to 238 days. The new measures will apply to anyone arrested and held in custody for an alleged offence that is serious enough to be heard at the Crown Court. A statutory instrument will be introduced in Parliament on Monday to extend the time limits for all either way or indictable only offences awaiting trial after that date. Indictable only offences include the most serious crimes such as murder and rape, and either way offences such as theft and assault can be heard at the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court, depending on the circumstances.” – Daily Mail

Social care spending ‘is down by millions’

“Annual spending on social care is hundreds of millions of pounds lower than a decade ago, research has suggested. The TUC found that in 112 of the 150 responsible local authorities in England, social care spending per head of the population was still lower than 2010. It is 8 per cent below the level in 2010 for England overall, while regional reductions range from 18 per cent in London to 5 per cent in the South-East, East Midlands and east of England, the report said. The union organisation said this year’s spending review must fully offset the cuts of the previous decade and establish future rises which will allow local authorities to meet increasing demand and improve pay and conditions for staff. The TUC also called for funding to fill social care vacancies.” – Daily Mail

Windsor named the tax dodging capital of England

“Windsor has been named as the tax dodging capital of England, as experts warn that the stockbroker belt is “littered with tax avoidance hotspots”. There were 23 disclosures per 100,000 people of unpaid tax made to HMRC last year in the historic town, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex got married, and in neighbouring Maidenhead in Berkshire. This is the highest concentration of tax avoiders in all 279 areas of the country and more than three times the average of seven per 100,000, according to the new analysis. Avoiding tax (exploiting the tax system to reduce liabilities) is perfectly legal, whereas tax evasion is not.” – Daily Telegraph

News in brief: