Just when you thought they’d gone away. The prospect of vaccine passports returns.

“Entertainment venues in England would be forced to make customers use so-called vaccination passports from autumn, to prove that they had either had both doses or a negative test the day before. Recent figures have shown a reduction in the take-up of vaccines with first doses halving in two weeks. Fewer than 100,000 a day are being given out on average for the first time since April. Unvaccinated young people are believed to be behind a rise in cases. One in 160 people in England were thought to have the coronavirus after a 58 per cent rise over seven days, according to the Office for National Statistics.” – The Times

> Yesterday: Sarah Ingham on Comment – The NHS failed the nation during the pandemic. Awarding it the George Cross was a mistake.

Crown Prosecution Service throws spanner in Patel’s asylum plan

“Patel revealed a proposed new offence in the Nationality and Borders Bill on Tuesday that would apply to those “arriving in the UK without a valid entry clearance”. It carries a penalty of up to four years in jail….However, on Thursday the CPS published fresh guidance stating that asylum seekers who were not involved in any criminal activity other than illegal entry should not be prosecuted because they could “usually be better dealt with by removal”. A Conservative MP said: “Refusing to prosecute people smugglers because they were rescued in the Channel by the British state is a new low even for the Crown Prosecution Service.” – The Times

  • BBC Board member Sir Robbie Gibb tried to block senior BBC editorial appointment – Financial Times

Kwarteng interview: The world is going green and we can’t be left behind

“In the UK, we’ve got a very simple choice, we can either be at the leading edge of that or put our heads in the sand. All the countries that I speak to, from the Norwegians, to people in the Gulf, right across the world, they are signing up to the net-zero agenda, and decarbonisation is happening.” Kwarteng’s argument is that embracing net zero now — and advancing government support — will provide the bedrock for future prosperity. He points out that Britain’s successful offshore wind industry was to a large extent made possible by early government pledges of a guaranteed price for the electricity it generated but with “auctions” to eventually bring down the price.” – The Times

  • Green is good, but we need to ask how, not why – Matthew Parris, The Times
  • People are starting to confront the painful choices that Net Zero involves – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • Free fruit and veg planned for the poor – The Times

UK and EU clash over Brexit bill

“Britain and the EU clashed today over Brussels’ demand for a Brexit ‘divorce payment’  than is billions of pounds more than the UK is willing to pay.    Downing Street rejected a new net figure that emerged in Brussels’ latest accounts of 47.5 billion euros (£40.8 billion). No 10 insisted the figure Britain owes remains within the range of its previous estimates of between £35 billion and £39 billion. Downing Street said it does not accept the revised sum, but the EU insisted that the figure was ‘final’, setting up a potentially combustable legal battle over the cost of Brexit. The bill, buried in the EU’s accounts for 2020, states that 6.8 billion euros (£5.8 billion) is to be paid by the UK this year.” – Daily Mail

  • Frost blames Northern Ireland Protocol chaos on May – Daily Express
  • Starmer says the province is “fragile” – The Guardian

Southgate’s ancient and modern patriotism. He speaks ahead of tomorrow’s European Championships final

“Speaking ahead of Sunday’s historic Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley Stadium, the England manager said the nation had “so much to be proud of” and argued that it was time to stop “looking at the negatives of our own country”. Southgate, whose grandfather served in the Royal Marines during the Second World War, said the country should not be ashamed to draw on past triumphs and admitted memories of the war had played a part in the defeat of Germany earlier in the tournament. He also stressed that his England team represented the “values” of what it was to be English with an emphasis on tolerance and inclusion, decency and respect.” – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Southgate and politics. That he’s good at football doesn’t mean that he’d be good at government.

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