Published:

European Union ‘calls truce in sausage battle’

“The European Union will next week drop a Northern Ireland sausage ban and offer unhindered access for British products that play a part in the “national identity” of communities there. Proposals on Wednesday from Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission vice-president, will float the idea of “national identity goods”, such as Cumberland sausages. EU sources said the idea was still at a “concept” level and would need to be worked out with the government in terms of what products would be included, especially cold meat exports from Britain that are banned under European single market rules. “The details are to be worked out with the UK,” said a source. “The term ‘national identity’ is used but not as a legal or precise term but rather as a concept to identify products where a risk can be taken.” Under the Northern Ireland protocol in the Brexit withdrawal treaty, sausages and other food products crossing the Irish Sea are banned under EU food safety and phytosanitary (SPS) rules.” – The Times

  • Food products would be labelled ‘UK only’ and not cross to Ireland, but offer falls short of demands – FT
  • British products ‘set for exemption from the bloc’s rules on third-country goods’ – Daily Mail

More:

  • 136 nations agree to biggest corporate tax deal in a century – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: The Northern Irish Protocol. Will Macron turn off Britain’s French nuclear supplies?

Tory MPs concerned over government inaction on looming cost of living crisis

“Tory ministers have privately expressed fear that government inaction on the emerging cost of living crisis could leave the country facing “a nightmare” by Christmas. Boris Johnson was accused by one frontbencher of trying to resolve struggling supply chains by “being optimistic and leaving it up to businesses to pick up the slack”, while a second called the response so far “suboptimal”. Another said: “It could all build up to be an absolute nightmare for both the public and us, especially if – in the next few months – the economy goes into negative growth that we could have done more to prevent.” Just days after a party conference speech, which was criticised for neglecting to mention the gas price crisis that has forced firms to go bust, shortages of food in some shops and a lack of hauliers and pork farmers, Johnson appointed a new adviser… in an attempt to resolve blockages in supply chains.” – The Guardian

  • Millions of shoppers claim they have been unable to buy food as one in three stock up for Christmas – Daily Mail
  • Here comes the cavalry! Soldiers to take the wheel of lorries to save the holidays – Daily Telegraph
  • Former Tesco boss has been enlisted to save Christmas – The Sun

>Today: Rupert Myers in Comment: The police should give a signal to the public – feel free to use reasonable force against the eco-activists

Energy is being used as a weapon, warns Defence Secretary

“Energy is being used as a weapon, the Defence Secretary has warned, amid mounting concerns about Russia’s control over European gas supplies. Ben Wallace on Friday night declared that the Government recognised the need to counter “unconventional threats” from foreign powers, after Downing Street raised fears that a new Russian gas pipeline could present “significant security implications”. Joe Biden’s administration has accused Moscow outright of using natural gas as a tool to pressure Europe as prices soar amid supply shortages. Gas prices have climbed eight-fold since the start of the year as economies began to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Some have pointed fingers at Russia, which accounts for 40 per cent of Europe’s gas supply, for being unwilling to boost gas shipments above the previously contracted levels.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Britain should reconsider its ban on fracking and exploit North Sea oil, MPs urge – Daily Mail
  • Gas levy gets green light as factories warn of closures – The Times
  • Ongoing high gas prices threaten knock-on impacts from manufacturing to retail – The Guardian
  • UK’s biggest source of greenhouse gas? This ‘eco’ power station! – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Sir Bernard Jenkin MP in Comment: Four lessons for government from the fuel shortages

Andrew Neil: The true cost of Net Zero is finally hitting home

“Ambitious targets for slashing UK emissions have been set. Then made legally binding. Then made even more ambitious still. Plans are being concocted to force fundamental changes in our lives, from how we heat our homes to how we cook, what we should drive and even how much flying and meat-eating should be tolerated. Investment is being ramped up to ensure renewable energy plays an ever-expanding role in electricity generation. All governments, of course, have a duty to tackle climate change, which is real and potentially dangerous on so many fronts. But getting from where we are now to a greener economy with net zero emissions (or close to it) is expensive, disruptive and difficult. The Government has a duty to give us the full picture and not just grandstand on the world stage with uncosted green rhetoric.” – Daily Mail

  • Our feckless Government has condemned Britain to a decade of crippling energy crises – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph

British political leaders pay tribute to Brokenshire

“Senior figures across British politics paid tribute to James Brokenshire after the death from cancer of the 53-year-old former cabinet minister was announced on Friday. Brokenshire, a low-profile but highly respected Conservative politician, served as Northern Ireland secretary and communities secretary under former prime minister Theresa May. The married father of three was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017 and subsequently stepped down from cabinet to undergo treatment. After receiving the all-clear from doctors he returned to the more junior ministerial role of security minister in 2020. However, the cancer returned. He had his right lung removed in February and stepped down as a minister in July, admitting that his recovery was taking “longer than expected”.” – FT

  • Johnson praises dad-of-three Tory MP – The Sun
  • His condition deteriorated suddenly on Sunday and died in hospital yesterday – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: MP Etc.: “Kind”. “Decent”. “Loyal”. “Hard-working”. “Never self-interested”. James Brokenshire dies of cancer at the age of 53.

Prime Minister backs away from weakening assisted suicide laws

“Boris Johnson has decided not to back plans to relax the laws on assisted suicide when they are expected to be put before MPs in coming months, The Telegraph understands. The Prime Minister has come to his decision after reviewing detailed arguments setting out the pros and cons during his break in the summer. There was speculation earlier this year that some senior ministers were moving towards supporting a change to the rules to legalise the right to take one’s own life. In May, Matt Hancock, then the health secretary, wrote to the chief statistician to ask for figures on how many people with terminal illnesses kill themselves every year. His successor, Sajid Javid, is understood to have made clear to friends that he does not intend to vote to relax the law if there were a fresh vote.” – Daily Telegraph

Johnson urged by top Conservative donors to strengthen business ties

“Prominent Conservative donors have urged Boris Johnson to work more closely with businesses after he used this week’s party conference to attack UK industry for fostering a low-wage economy. City of London billionaire Lord Michael Spencer told the Financial Times that it was wrong to blame businesses for low wages in response to comments by the prime minister that “businesses have been able to mainline low-cost migration for a very long time”. “It’s a poor turn of phrase and also not true. But if they are pushing up wages — which is a great aspiration — without also pushing up productivity then inflation is the inevitable result.” Energy investor Alexander Temerko, who has also donated to the Conservatives, said that the “government needs to support business”.” – FT

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: What lower immigration?

Gove looks at cutting insurance costs to tackle building safety crisis

“Michael Gove is exploring how to cut soaring insurance premiums for homeowners hit by the building safety crisis and ramp up pressure on developers to pay for repairs, in the first signs of a new government push to tackle the widening scandal. Boris Johnson has tasked his new secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities with resolving the post-Grenfell crisis that has left hundreds of thousands of leaseholders in affected flats facing bills for tens of thousands of pounds. Gove is examining whether the government could underwrite home insurance for residents whose properties are deemed at risk until remediation work is carried out. A recent survey of 143 blocks by the Association of Residential Managing Agents found gross premiums had soared from £8m to £29m in a year.” – The Guardian

Employers ‘have lost faith in inflated exam grades’

“Businesses have lost faith in the exams system because of recent grade inflation and most now use their own assessment of recruits, a survey for the Times Education Commission has found. About one in seven completely ignore GCSE, A-level or degree results when it comes to hiring, the poll by the professional services firm PwC found. It comes after the university watchdog warned about declining standards in basic literacy, with too many institutions ignoring poor spelling and grammar in assessments. The survey for the commission discovered that three quarters had to give new recruits additional training in basic skills including literacy and numeracy. Almost a third of employers regularly had to give young people joining their work force extra lessons, and nearly half sometimes did, with only a fifth never having to provide additional literacy and numeracy training.” – The Times

  • Could computers mark pupils’ work to save teachers time? – Daily Mail
  • ‘Millions of children are jabbed in the US and Europe. It’s the right thing’ – Interview, The Times

Patel backs plan for 888 ‘walk me home service’

“A new emergency number to help protect lone women could be in operation by Christmas. The ‘walk me home service’ is being developed in response to public outrage over the murder of Sarah Everard. It would allow the vulnerable to have their journeys tracked, triggering an alert if they failed to reach home in time. Women could also use the mobile app – potentially with the number 888 – to summon police if they felt threatened. Priti Patel has approved the proposal submitted earlier this week by BT, which has run the 999 service for 84 years. In a letter to the Home Secretary, chief executive Philip Jansen said technology should be used to tackle male violence. He said it might cost as little as £50million and could be up and running by Christmas.” – Daily Mail

  • Tory peers to defy Boris Johnson with push to make misogyny a hate crime – The Guardian

Baroness Casey to lead review into Met

“Super-tsar Louise Casey will lead the review into the Met Police following Sarah Everard’s murder by a serving officer, it was announced today. Baroness Casey of Blackstock will probe Scotland Yard’s culture and standards and drill down into its vetting and training process. The inquiry was announced on Monday after PC Wayne Couzens was convicted of kidnapping, raping and then killing 33-year-old Sarah. In court it emerged he used his position as a copper to arrest the marketing executive as she was walking home through Clapham. Colleagues also nicknamed him “The Rapist” and he was previously caught flashing – but somehow managed to keep his badge. Baroness Casey has held various positions over the past few decades and is a former rough sleeping, ASBO, and extremism tsar under various prime ministers.” – The Sun

Covid hotel quarantine could be dropped for red list

“Hotel quarantine could be scrapped under proposals due to be discussed by ministers this month. Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, is understood to be pushing for passengers arriving from countries on the coronavirus red list to be allowed to quarantine at home rather than in a government-approved hotel room for 11 nights at a cost of £2,285 per person. However, the proposals risk opening up a cabinet split on travel restrictions, as other ministers — including Sajid Javid, the health secretary — are said to oppose ending hotel quarantine. The idea is to be discussed at a meeting of the Covid-O cabinet committee. Government health and scientific advisers have argued for the policy to stay in place as an insurance policy in case a new variant emerges.” – The Times

  • Free Covid tests could be scrapped as Treasury tries to save billions of pounds – Daily Telegraph

Army plans huge cuts to its infantry that ‘could see up to a third of troops axed’

“The Army is to make huge cuts to its infantry – its main body of fighting troops – in a move that critics fear will leave the UK unable to fight lengthy military campaigns. Reductions in personnel will see the military send smaller-sized forces on shorter missions, rather than bigger and longer deployments such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The controversial move will be overseen by the new Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin. In one case the Rifles Regiment is expected to lose more than 900 troops, falling in strength from around 2,500 regular soldiers to 1,600 by 2025. The plans are set out in a memo circulated among Rifles officers that has been obtained by the Daily Mail. The proposals are yet to be confirmed but, if approved, could see the infantry shrink by as much as one regular soldier in three, from around 16,500 to 11,000.” – Daily Mail

  • Johnson’s choice for new Armed Forces head ‘was not the MoD’s preferred candidate’ – Daily Mail

Tories urge Labour MP to defect after transgender row

“Tory whips have invited Rosie Duffield to join the Conservative Party after she spoke out about the abuse she received over her views on transgender issues. The Labour MP for Canterbury has been told through informal Tory channels that the party’s door is open to her should she decide to cross the floor of the Commons. The Times understands that Duffield, who won her marginal constituency off the Tories in 2017, has no intention of defecting. She said: “At times when abuse is really rife on social media we do support each other and it’s really nice to get support from all colleagues in parliament, but I’m not about to jump ship. I’m Labour through and through.” A Conservative source said that Duffield had been offered support privately and told that the Tories were supportive of her stance on trans issues.” – The Times

Embarrassment for Sturgeon as nationalist council leaves Glasgow streets awash with rubbish

“Nicola Sturgeon faces the grim prospect of becoming the laughing stock of the world as Glasgow’s streets continue to overflow with rubbish just weeks before it is set to host the prestigious COP26 global summit. Residents say they have been forced to watch their pavements pile higher with bin bags bursting at the seams and gutters fill with litter as once-fortnightly bin collections were pushed back by an extra week. Pictures show the grim reality of every corner of Scotland’s second city being blighted with rubbish, fly-tipping and bins overflowing in recent months. Glasgow City Council, run by the SNP, rubberstamped plans to make refuse collections happen every three weeks in April and introduced a new £35 charge for ‘bulk items’, which has prompted a marked increase in fly-tipping.” – Daily Mail

  • First Minister branded ‘knackered’ over leading ‘vipers nest’ SNP – Daily Express