Coronavirus 1) Extra cash for pubs and restaurants as Prime Minister tries to fend off Tory rebellion

“Pubs and restaurants hit by new coronavirus restrictions will be given extra cash to help get them through Christmas, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce as he tries to see off a growing Tory rebellion. The Prime Minister has decided the potential closure of tens of thousands of premises is an unacceptable price to pay for a new system that places 99 per cent of England under the toughest Tier 2 or 3 restrictions from Wednesday. A Government source said: “There are already grants of £2,000 and £3,000 for businesses in Tiers 2 and 3, but we recognise that we need to do more.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “MPs must not be kept in the dark and these restrictions must only last for four weeks. There must be another vote in early January”, says Nus Ghani – The Sun
  • Shops can stay open for longer in run-up to Christmas to help the high street, says Jenrick – Daily Telegraph
  • Hope for northern England as Covid rates halve – The Times
  • Covid cases cut by a third during lockdown, figures reveal – Daily Telegraph

Coronavirus 2) Ellwood – The tiered system is crushing constituencies like mine. We must do better

“The country has stepped up to the plate yet again. After a month-long lockdown we have checked the spread of this terrible pandemic and alleviated the pressure on our hospitals. But the Prime Minister is absolutely right to call for continued vigilance. A vaccine is our only real route back to normality and prosperity, but we are not out of the woods yet. Last week the OBR – and the Chancellor – based their projections on the fact that an effective vaccine is unlikely to be widely available until the latter half of 2021. We cannot possibly endure restrictions as tough of these for that long. These restrictions have extraordinary costs and we cannot keep expecting people to live under them. Covid is a horrible disease to many and it is vital that we control its spread effectively.” – Daily Telegraph

Coronavirus 3) Test and Trace working on ‘immunity passports’

“The NHS Test and Trace app could be used as a record of people’s vaccination status under plans being considered by the government. Baroness Harding of Winscombe, head of the test-and-trace programme, made the announcement as airline companies revealed they were investigating a digital “Covid passport”, which could mean vaccination becoming a condition of travel. Lady Harding told NHS bosses at an event organised by the Health Service Journal that at the same time at-home lateral flow tests were being rolled out, her staff and the vaccine staff were looking at how to combine test results and vaccine status into the app.” – The Times

  • Care home residents can go to families for Christmas – The Times
  • Avoid closing year groups after one Covid case, English schools urged – The Times
  • NHS to enlist “sensible” celebrities to take Coronavirus vaccine – The Guardian

Coronavirus 4) Johnson to announce £20m fund for the medicine manufacturing sector

“More medicines are set to be made in the UK to ensure the country is better prepared for future pandemics, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a £20 million fund for the sector.Mr Johnson is set to launch a new capital investment scheme during a visit to North Wales on Monday which he said would “equip us to fight future health crises”.The Government hopes the funding will incentivise investment in medicine manufacturing, improve domestic supply chains and create thousands of jobs in the sector.Mr Johnson said: “This new £20 million fund will significantly increase the capacity and resilience of our medicines and diagnostics manufacturing supply chains and equip us to fight future health crises.“Throughout the pandemic we have seen a coming together of British scientific industry and innovation and this new fund will enhance the UK’s manufacturing capabilities even further.”This multi-year fund will have an initial pot of £20 million, which will be available from next year.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The UK is expected to become the first country to approve a vaccine developed jointly by Pfizer and BioNTech – FT

Brexit 1) Raab – ‘deal there to be done’, but fishing remains major sticking point

“The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has claimed there is a “Brexit deal to be done” this week, but warned fishing rights remained an “outstanding major bone of contention” in trade talks. Mr Raab suggested it could be the “last week or so” of substantive negotiations as he urged Brussels to give ground on fishing rights by accepting Britain’s right to control its own waters as a “point of principle.” After weekend claims Britain may be just seven days away from leaving the EU without a trade deal, Mr Raab struck a more positive tone, claiming:  “I do think we’re in a reasonable position – there’s a deal to be done.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • EU offers Britain back 15-18 per cent of the quota European boats take from UK waters now – The Times
  • Could Brexit signal the end of the road for second-home owners in Europe? – Daily Telegraph

Brexit 2)  Ministers to outline plans for revolutionary farming policy

“Wildlife will thrive, air and water will be cleaner and livestock will be treated more humanely under the biggest change in farming policy for half a century, the government will promise today. A seven-year plan to phase out paying subsidies to farmers based on how much land they own has been laid out as part of a post-Brexit overhaul of agriculture in England. Instead, farmers will receive money for improving productivity and the environment. The present system of “direct payments” per hectare under the EU’s common agricultural policy will start to be reduced next year. By 2024 farmers will have lost at least half these payments and by 2028 the government aims to have ended them completely.” – The Times

Huawei: UK bans new 5G network equipment from September

“Telecoms providers must stop installing Huawei equipment in the UK’s 5G networks from next September, the government has said. The digital secretary, Oliver Dowden, set out a roadmap to remove high-risk vendors ahead of the telecommunications (security) bill coming before parliament. The legislation would create national security powers capable of imposing controls on when – if at all – a telecoms firm could use material supplied by companies such as Huawei. In the summer, the government announced that the Chinese firm was to be banned from the most sensitive core parts of UK networks. It also said it plans to rip out all Huawei equipment from 5G networks by 2027 – decisions that would be enshrined in law by the new bill.” – The Guardian

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