Published:

June 21 unlocking called off

“June 21 will no longer herald a full return to normality after Boris Johnson resigned himself to a delay of up to four weeks in lifting the remaining Covid restrictions. The Prime Minister will tell the country on Monday that the latest data on the spread of the Indian or delta virus variant means it is too risky to go ahead as planned. A four-week delay would mean pushing the date back to July 19. It had been hoped that weddings at least would be given a special dispensation after 50,000 couples – many of whom will have cancelled or delayed earlier celebrations – booked ceremonies for the four weeks following what had been billed as “freedom day”… The British Medical Association became the latest body to call for a delay after data released on Friday showed the ‘R’ rate at its highest since January – between 1.2 and 1.4 – with daily cases reaching 8,125, the highest number since February.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Delay freedom day, say public as cases of Indian variant soar – The Times
  • Tory travel ban critics rally behind May’s salvo – Daily Telegraph

Interview:

  • Gove: ‘We’ll re-engineer the whole NHS to make sure people don’t wait in pain’ – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: In defence of Theresa May

We’ll quash future pandemics in 100 days, vow rich nations

“The United Nations secretary general called for rich nations to join a comprehensive plan to vaccinate the world, warning that the G7’s pledge of one billion vaccine doses was far too little to help the developing world. Antonio Guterres’ intervention came hours after the former prime minister Gordon Brown accused the G7 of failing its first test by “passing round the begging bowl” for vaccine donations. Boris Johnson announced Britain would donate 100 million vaccines by the end of next year while President Biden offered 500 million, out of one billion expected to be promised by the end of the G7 summit. The World Health Organisation says 11 billion vaccines are needed to reach 70 percent global vaccination, enough to fully disrupt infections.” – The Times

  • Johnson vows to build back in ‘greener, fairer, gender neutral’ way – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Our closest allies no longer trust Boris – Matthew Parris, The Times
  • Row looks like stalemate unless Biden can solve it – Anand Menon, The Guardian

EU leaders to ‘threaten trade war’ at G7 summit

“European leaders will warn Boris Johnson today they are prepared to start a trade war with Britain. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and President Macron of France will use one-to-one meetings with the prime minister in Cornwall to demand that he honours the terms of the Brexit deal in relation to Northern Ireland. The co-ordinated diplomatic offensive at the G7 summit will be backed by Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, and Charles Michel, president of the European Council, who will formally reiterate the European Union’s demands at a separate meeting. No 10 said last night that Johnson would dismiss the EU’s threats and make clear he was ready to override a key part of the agreement this month unless the bloc backs down.” – The Times

  • Johnson hints he may rip up EU rule book over trade with Northern Ireland – Daily Telegraph
  • He will confront Macron, Merkel and VDL – Daily Express
  • Prime Minister at odds with bloc over plan to cut border checks by aligning UK’s food rules with Brussels – FT
  • EU leaders expected to put onus on UK to compromise – The Guardian

More:

  • EU fishermen can ‘plunder’ UK waters for remainder of this year – Daily Telegraph
  • Foster says goodbye at British-Irish Council summit in County Fermanagh – The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Yes, the row over the Protocol really is about the British sausage

Biden ‘eyes UK-US free trade deal’ to unlock opportunities ‘denied by EU’

“Joe Biden is attracted to a free trade deal with the UK as it will unlock opportunities “denied by the EU”, a leading economist has said. Prime Minister Boris Johnson held talks with the US President for the first time on Thursday and described the 78-year-old as a “breath of fresh air”. Mr Biden chose to coincide his first foreign trip since taking over the White House with the G7 summit in Cornwall. And he wasted no time in signing a new Atlantic Charter to strengthen the relationship between the two nations. The charter will build on a 1941 agreement between Winston Churchill and President Franklin D Roosevelt and outlines eight areas of focus, including “building a fair and sustainable global trading system”.” – Daily Express

  • Raab says Sacoolas set to face virtual trial over car crash that killed Briton – Daily Mail

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

Damehood for Bingham amid honours recognising ‘Covid heroes’

“Kate Bingham, who led the UK’s successful Covid-19 vaccine task force, is to become a dame in a Queen’s birthday honours list heavily weighted towards recognising contributions to the fight against coronavirus. Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute, is also made a dame for her pivotal role in developing the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Two Oxford colleagues who played a key role in the vaccine’s development, Adrian Hill and Andy Pollard, will receive knighthoods. So will two other Oxford professors, Peter Horby and Martin Landray, who led clinical trials of Covid treatments. Altogether, nearly a quarter of the nominations on the list, published to coincide with the monarch’s official birthday on Saturday, relate to the UK’s battle against the virus.” – FT

  • Leadsom and Lewis among Brexiteers receiving honours from the Queen – Daily Mail
  • New calls to replace ‘empire’ with ‘excellence’ in UK honours system – The Guardian
  • Head of Parole Board is made a CBE just days after it approved the release of child killer – Daily Mail

Minimum legal age to get married set to rise to 18

“The minimum legal age to get married is set to be raised to 18 in an attempt to combat forced unions. At present people aged 16 are allowed to marry with their parents’ consent. Campaigners have long said that the status quo facilitates sexual abuse when women are forced into marriages. Sajid Javid, the former chancellor, is introducing a private member’s bill next week that will make it illegal for anyone to marry below the age of 18. Justice ministers have indicated to Javid that they will back the bill and give it time on the floor of the House of Commons, all but guaranteeing that it will be passed. It is expected to receive cross-party support. Javid, who vowed as home secretary to act on the findings of an investigation by this newspaper into forced marriages in Britain, said he viewed people of 16 being pushed into marriage as “child abuse”.” – The Times

  • These children are rarely lovestruck teens… they are coerced young girls – Sajid Javid MP, The Times

Group led by Duncan Smith wants pension funds to have more opportunity to invest in tech

“A UK government task force is set to recommend sweeping regulatory reforms to the City of London and fast-growing sectors of the economy as ministers seek to free British businesses from EU red tape. Prime minister Boris Johnson set up the group, led by former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith, with a “mission to identify opportunities” after Brexit.  A report by Johnson’s task force on innovation, growth and regulatory reform will recommend that City pension funds be given more flexibility to invest in fast-growing smaller businesses — notably unicorn technology companies. One person briefed on the report said it was also expected to propose changes to Mifid 2, the EU rules that govern financial services, which some executives have complained are too onerous and of limited benefit.” – FT

  • Economy bounces back to almost pre-pandemic levels – The Times

>Today: Dr Sarah Ingham’s column: Tech, tax – and out of this world wealth

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

Police lose Patel’s texts on night of Extinction Rebellion print site protest

“Priti Patel repeatedly contacted senior police officers after the country’s biggest newspaper printing plant was blockaded by climate change activists. The home secretary’s text messages to officers were deleted in an IT “glitch” and no record was made of the telephone conversations. A report by Hertfordshire police said that there had been “significant political pressure” after Extinction Rebellion protesters blocked the entrance to the Newsprinters site in Broxbourne, where newspapers including The Times are printed. Six activists are on trial at St Albans magistrates’ court accused of obstructing the highway in September, which they deny.” – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: The Forstater case highlights why the role of the courts in politics is worth scrutinising

News in Brief:

  • Boris faces a choice, and it’s not between clubbing and no clubbing – Henry Hill, CapX
  • How to fix the protocol – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • The prostitution of Cornwall – Tanya Gold, UnHerd
  • Oxford’s civil war – Jeremy Black, The Critic