UK Covid-19 vaccinations: Latest figures
The government has secured a “great deal” for the fishing industry in its post-Brexit trade agreement, Dominic Raab has insisted, rejecting the charge that ministers had “comprehensively betrayed” the industry amid an outpouring of anger and concern for its future.
has Faced with warnings that the Scottish fishing industry is “drowning under red tape” and that generations-old firms could collapse in a matter of days, the foreign secretary claimed he was “not convinced” that the chaos was a result of Brexit.
It came as Sir Keir Starmer told The Independent that bereaved families “deserve to know” when an independent inquiry into the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic will begin, with the UK’s death toll nearing 90,000. Meanwhile, ministers are to propose new laws to protect colonial-era monuments, following the toppling of slave trader Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol.
Government plans on making it harder to remove statues with links to racism and colonialism
The government plans on introducing new legal protections for statues linked to colonialism and racism, my colleague Zoe Tidman reports.
Writing in the The Sunday Telegraph, Robert Jenrick said decisions to take down heritage assets in England will need both planning permission and a consultation with local communities to go ahead
The communities secretary denounced recent attempts to “erase” pieces of “our national story”, which he said had been “done at the hand of the flash mob, or by the decree of a ‘cultural committee’ of town hall militants and woke worthies”.
Andy Gregory17 January 2021 10:50
Scottish fishermen eviscerate Boris Johnson’s ‘desperately poor’ Brexit deal in angry letter
Our business correspondent Ben Chapman has more on the outcry from the fishing industry over Boris Johnson’s “desperately poor” Brexit deal, which Dominic Raab insisted is “great” for fishermen.
With losses mounting by the day and many businesses fearing for their survival, the industry’s trade body has written a scathing letter to the prime minister.
Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Elspeth Macdonald accused Mr Johnson of misleading the public about the agreement and giving the industry “the worst of both worlds”, writing: “You and your government have spun a line about a 25 per cent uplift in quota for the UK, but you know this is not true, and your deal does not deliver that.”
Andy Gregory17 January 2021 10:36
Government has secured ‘great deal for the fishing industry’, Raab insists
Charged with “comprehensively betraying” the Scottish fishing industry by the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Dominic Raab said: “I don’t accept that.
“I think this is a great deal for the fishing industry, both short-term and long-term. We get control over our fisheries back, full control as an independent coastal state. There’s an immediate 15 per cent uplift in terms of our access to fisheries for the UK sector in the first year. That rises to two thirds in the five-year transition period, then we have annual negotiations.
“And of course, the fishing industry is going to want to increase its capacity to take advantage of those increased stocks, and that’s why we’re putting in £100m to shore up, to strengthen the fishing industry right across the whole of the UK to make sure that this really important opportunity of leaving the EU can be properly grasped.”
And pressured on the fact that the Scottish fishing industry is “drowning under red tape”, with generations-old firms facing collapse in a matter of days as a result of the deal, Mr Raab said: “I’m not convinced that that’s the result of the agreement.
“The agreement we have struck … will create huge sustainable opportunities. Of course we’ve always said as we leave the transition period and with a deal, and even more if we haven’t had a deal, there will be some teething problems.”
Andy Gregory17 January 2021 10:01
‘Simply no reason’ why Universal Credit uplift should be scrapped in April, Labour says
Reported government plans to replace a £20-a-week benefit uplift with a £500 one-off payment would be a “terrible policy”, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary has said, adding that there is “simply no reason” why the increase should be scrapped in April.
Jonathan Reynolds told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday: “First of all, if you go ahead with this cut you are reducing out-of-work support, unemployment benefits to their lowest real-terms level since 1992 at a time when unemployment is about to peak.
“The reason that a one-off payment is a bad policy is because whilst we’re talking about six million families being affected, those families will change throughout the year – some will go back into work, some will come out – we’ve had at times in the pandemic 200,000 new claimants coming onto the system in a single month.
“So, a one-off payment, a snap shot, completely fails to support those people. There is simply no reason that this cut should take place in April.”
Asked whether a Conservative rebellion could be expected on the matter on Monday, Mr Reynolds replied: “I can’t predict what Conservative colleagues will do, but, yes, people have been in touch – there has been some productive conversations.”
Andy Gregory17 January 2021 09:44
Ministers can hopefully start lifting restrictions in March, Raab says
The foreign secretary said that he hoped by the “early spring, hopefully by March”, ministers “will be in a position to make those decisions” about lifting some restrictions “gradually” so the country can “get back to normal”.
This “won’t be done in one big bang, but in a gradual, phased way”, likely “phasing through the tiered approach”, Dominic Raab said.
He said the things that put that “at risk” are the new variants and pressure on the NHS, as he urged people to follow the rules.
Andy Gregory17 January 2021 09:29
Government ‘should’ be able to deliver second vaccine doses within 12 weeks, Raab says
After failing to offer a guarantee that everyone in the UK would receive their second vaccine dose within 12 weeks of their first, Dominic Raab told Sky News: “We absolutely are aiming for that, we should be able to deliver it.
“And actually, when you look at our track record, we’re well out ahead of any other country in Europe, we’re a global leader frankly in rolling out a responsible vaccine, and I think we can be quietly confident.”
Dominic Raab refuses to guarantee second coronavirus jab
Andy Gregory17 January 2021 09:25
Raab refuses to commit to earlier vaccination target
Pressed on whether the government could bring its target to inoculate every adult in the UK by September forward to July, Dominic Raab maintained that the aim is to have done so in nine months’ time.
“Our target is by September to have offered all the adult population a first dose,” he told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday. “If we can do it faster than that, great, but that’s the roadmap.”
Dominic Raab says aim is to vaccinate all adults by September
Andy Gregory17 January 2021 09:20
Raab fails to deny reports that ministers considering ‘quarantine hotels’
Asked whether, per reports, the government is considering establishing quarantine hotels for new arrivals, as seen in nations like New Zealand, foreign secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News: “We’ve considered all of the possibilities.”
Asked again to confirm the reports, he repeated that all measures were being looked at, adding: “In terms of enforcement, we’re going to be strengthening the checks both at the border – so when people come in to make sure they’ve filled out the passenger location form, that they’ve got that negative test.
“… And also, because the effect of suspending the travel corridors is that people go into isolation for 10 days, we’re making sure that the Public Health England checks to make sure people are adhering to those checks are also followed.”
He added that the government is “also making sure that we beef up the capacity to make those checks”.
Andy Gregory17 January 2021 09:12
Cornwall to host first in-person G7 summit in nearly two years
Boris Johnson has named Cornwall as the venue for the G7 summit in June, when world leaders including newly elected US president Joe Biden will gather to discuss the world’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, our political editor Andrew Woodcock reports.
Prime ministers and presidents from the group of leading industrialised powers – the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan – will descend on the five-star Carbis Bay beach resort near St Ives for a three-day diplomatic jamboree from 11-13 June, which will cause enormous disruption but is estimated to be worth as much as £50m to the county.
It will be the first in-person summit of world leaders in almost two years, after last year’s G7 in the US was cancelled and the G20 in Saudi Arabia went online because of Covid-19.
Andy Gregory17 January 2021 08:58
‘Very difficult to say exactly’ when restrictions could be lifted, expert says
Asked when restrictions could end, Imperial College London epidemiologist Azra Ghani told Sky News: “The first thing we need to focus on right now is getting those case numbers down.
“Really we want to get back to the situation we were in in the summer with relatively low case numbers compared to now, so that we can actually test and trace and reduce onward infections.
“At the same time, we are of course rolling out a vaccine – that’s something we haven’t had up until now and that vaccine rollout is going very well. That will hopefully protect those that are most vulnerable to the severe consequences of this disease.
“But we’ll need to get a balance of these two things in place before we can start to lift restrictions, and it’s very difficult to say exactly when that will be.”
Andy Gregory17 January 2021 08:52