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Macron ‘vows to veto’ attempts to renegotiate Northern Ireland Brexit deal

“Emmanuel Macron vowed to veto any attempt to renegotiate the Northern Ireland Brexit deal as the ‘sausage war’ deepened last night – but Boris Johnson and Joe Biden insist they are in ‘complete harmony’ on the issue. The French president said it was ‘not serious’ to want to review the post-Brexit trade rules this month, because ‘nothing is renegotiable’. ‘I think it’s not serious to want to review in June what we finalised after years of debate and work in December,’ he said, adding that he will discuss the Brexit agreement with Mr Johnson during a bilateral meeting at the G7 summit today. Claims of a row over the Northern Ireland Protocol and the post-Brexit trading relationship between the UK and the EU had threatened to overshadow the G7.” – Daily Mail

  • French leader said it was “not serious” to reopen the agreement – The Times
  • Jersey was practice run! Now France could hit electricity on mainland Britain – Daily Express
  • The G7 summit risks being overshadowed by the bitter standoff over Brexit – The Guardian
  • ‘Panicked’ EU chiefs cool threats of sausage trade war with Britain – The Sun

US:

  • President branded ‘senile’ by Tory MP who tells US to ‘remember who their allies are’ – The Sun
  • Johnson and Biden seek to smooth over Northern Ireland differences – FT

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: “You broke it, you own it” cuts both ways. As Biden, the EU and Ireland’s Government risk finding out.

G7 2) James Forsyth: Three ways to fix the Protocol

“What is most worrying is that the ill will between the two camps is now blinding them to the realities on the ground. Dublin’s representative in the meeting said the British description of the level of tension in Northern Ireland was “disingenuous”. Yet the protocol has already brought down the first minister; a plurality of people in the province — 48 per cent — want it scrapped. It is hard to claim the protocol is delivering stability. It isn’t just hardline Unionists who oppose the protocol, it’s pretty much all Unionists. Doug Beattie, the new leader of the Ulster Unionists, styles himself as progressive and inclusive. But even he objects to it, complaining, “The EU are more interested in stopping a sausage roll from getting into their single market than they are protecting the Belfast agreement.”” – The Times

  • Opportunities are being squandered by tactical politics – Claire Hanna MP, Times Red Box

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Could the fallout from the Protocol yet split the DUP?

G7 3) Johnson hails UK’s ‘indestructible relationship’ with US

“Boris Johnson has claimed the UK has an “indestructible relationship” with the US, after his bilateral meeting on Thursday with president Joe Biden. The prime minister is known not to be keen on the well-worn phrase “special relationship”, believing it makes the UK look weak. But in an interview with the BBC after the pair met, he sought to underscore the closeness between the two nations, despite Biden’s concerns about the damaging standoff with the EU over the Northern Ireland protocol… Johnson denied Biden had told him to resolve the standoff with the EU over the Northern Ireland protocol, instead reiterating the importance to both the UK and the US of the Good Friday/Belfast agreement.” – The Guardian

  • He describes meeting as ‘breath of fresh air’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Biden ‘actively engaged’ in case of Harry Dunn, says Johnson – The Guardian
  • Leaders vow to bring back travel between Britain and the US ‘as soon as possible’ in new Atlantic Charter – Daily Mail

>Today: Video: The G7 opens – and Johnson says that Biden didn’t raise the Northern Ireland Protocol with him when they met

G7 4) Prime Minister promises to give millions of surplus Covid jabs to world’s poor

“Britain will begin donating surplus vaccines to poorer countries within weeks of offering all British adults their first doses, the prime minister announced on the eve of the G7 summit last night, reaching 100 million doses by the end of the year. The announcement came after growing pressure on Britain to act immediately to help poorer countries that are unable to secure vaccines and as Boris Johnson prepared to urge other world leaders to donate one billion vaccine doses by the end of next year. Amid a mounting rebellion over cuts to Britain’s foreign aid budget, Downing Street clarified that the vaccine doses would count above and beyond the £10 billion in aid already committed to this year.” – The Times

  • UK will start donating vaccines within weeks, providing 5m by end of September – Daily Mail

>Today: Chris Skidmore MP in Comment: To keep up with our G7 colleagues, we must increase our spending on innovation and research

Johnson ‘ponders four-week delay’ before end of Covid restrictions

“Ministers are considering delaying the end of coronavirus restrictions for a month to give businesses “certainty” and allow more time for people to receive two vaccinations, The Times has been told. Plans are being discussed for either a two-week or a four-week delay to the final easing of restrictions on June 21, if the Indian variant of the coronavirus continues to lead to a significant rise in infections and hospital admissions. The variant now accounts for nine in ten cases and health leaders called yesterday for delay to prevent hospitals filling up with unvaccinated patients. Ministers are concerned that a two-week delay would not give businesses the certainty they need because it might have to be extended.” – The Times

  • Global Britain is ‘shut for business’, warns May – Daily Telegraph
  • Nightclubs plan to open up regardless on June 21 – The Sun
  • Delta variant now accounts for nine in ten cases of Covid-19 in the UK – Daily Express
  • Face masks should continue forever, says Sage scientist – Daily Telegraph
  • Hancock hints lockdown could return for new Covid variants – The Sun

More:

  • Economy grows at fastest pace since last summer – FT
  • British Airways puts thousands of staff back on furlough – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: In defence of Theresa May

Hancock pledges to hand over any advice on discharges to care homes

“Matt Hancock has promised to reveal internal advice that is alleged to have required testing for people discharged from hospitals into care homes at the start of the Covid pandemic, amid claims the guidance was weakened following pressure from his department. The claims go to the core of a decision that meant thousands of people were discharged without Covid tests from hospitals into care homes in March and April 2020. Giving evidence to MPs investigating the government’s Covid response, the health secretary denied knowledge of the advice that a whistleblower said was produced by two senior officials at Public Health England in March 2020, according to a report in the Byline Times. However, he said he would provide whatever they produced.” – The Guardian

  • Health Secretary defends his conduct during the coronavirus crisis – FT
  • He promises investigation into inappropriate ‘do not resuscitate’ orders – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Cummings. Why bother giving seven hours of testimony – only to not provide supporting evidence?

Addiction treatment harder to get since councils took over, says Tory MP

“Fewer people with alcohol and drug problems are being treated since responsibility for their care was shifted from the NHS to local councils in England, a former Conservative health minister has found. Patients’ care has become poorer, specialist detoxification beds are now harder to access and the cost of treatment has spiralled, freedom of information (FoI) requests show. The duty to commission public health services including services for people who are dependent on drink, drugs or both was passed from the NHS to local councils in 2013 as part of the controversial health service shake-up by the then health secretary, Andrew Lansley. Dr Dan Poulter – who works part-time as a psychiatrist at an NHS mental health trust in addition to being an MP… submitted FoI requests to local councils to examine how the change was working out.” – The Guardian

Britain will lead global fightback against cyber attackers, says Raab

“Dominic Raab has vowed to “take the fight to cyber criminals” extorting businesses, schools and hospitals, as Britain is poised to announce a raft of sanctions on foreign hackers. The Foreign Secretary declared on Thursday that the UK and the United States would “lead globally” on countering ransomware attacks that paralyse national infrastructure. In an interview with The Telegraph in Cornwall, ahead of the start of the G7 summit, Mr Raab warned that cyber attacks had increased across the West. Setting out his determination to hit back against hackers, he declared: “We will apply a cost to those that systematically are engaged in cyber attacks for either profit, espionage or to do damage and just wreak chaos.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Move follows ransomware attacks on two Kent schools – Daily Express

Johnson ‘furious’ at Patel over migrant Channel crossings

“Boris Johnson has privately lashed out at Priti Patel over the soaring numbers of small boats crossing the Channel. More than 1,700 migrants have reached the UK in the past fortnight alone, including ten yesterday, taking this year’s total to almost 5,000. A government source told The Times that the prime minister was becoming “increasingly frustrated at the images of boats arriving day after day”. According to the source, Johnson told a minister: “What the f*** is the Home Office doing? When is she [Patel] going to sort this out?” No 10 insisted that the remarks were not representative of his views on Patel and said the pair “work closely together on this issue”… Last night a minister blamed officials for the growing migrant crisis, claiming that they refuse to carry out orders on issues such as seeking closer co-operation and intelligence sharing with the French, new tactics to detect and intercept boats and general duties in fighting people smuggling.” – The Times

  • ‘Unlawful’ barracks raise fresh fears over UK’s treatment of migrants – FT
  • Home Secretary urged to resign over claim that Home Office followed public health advice – The Guardian

Government warns Oxford students could win compensation over protesting dons

“The government today warned that Oxford students could win compensation if they are affected by a planned teaching boycott by 150 rebel academics protesting over the Cecil Rhodes statue, as Jacob Rees-Mogg said, ‘We must not allow this wokeness to happen’. Left-wing dons say they will still give lectures to Oriel College’s 300 undergraduates, but deny them the chance for in-depth discussion in small groups or one-to-one sessions until the monument to the colonialist is toppled. Proponents of the Rhodes Must Fall campaign claim the small statue high up on Oriel’s main building ‘glorifies colonialism’, but the college last month decided it would stay following a backlash from donors.” – Daily Mail

  • Universities Minister scolds ‘ridiculous’ academics threatening to boycott teaching over statue row – The Sun
  • ‘Everyone in my generation is walking a tightrope’ over culture wars, says BBC Director General – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Monstrous to put their own petty prejudices above the wellbeing of students – Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail
  • There is no excuse for an academic boycott over Rhodes – Oliver Kamm, The Times

Tory MP accuses Ofsted of ‘massive failure’ over sexual abuse in schools

“The Conservative MP Maria Miller has accused Ofsted of a “massive safeguarding failure” after a report by the schools inspectorate showed that sexual harassment and abuse in schools is so commonplace that pupils don’t bother to report it. Miller was chair of the Commons women and equalities select committee five years ago when it published a landmark report that exposed for the first time the scale of sexual harassment, abuse and violence, endured primarily by girls, in England’s schools… According to Miller, the government at the time was so shocked by the evidence gathered by the committee that it amended guidance to schools on dealing with sexual harassment before the report was even complete, then went on to issue new guidance.” – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • Biden doesn’t understand Northern Ireland – Henry Hill, The Spectator
  • The Democrats would sacrifice Brexit for a united Ireland – Douglas Murray, UnHerd
  • Students will suffer when dons act like children – Tom Harris, CapX
  • Forstater’s win at the Employment Appeals Tribunal is a victory for humanity – Josephine Bartosch, The Critic