Categories
Politics

EU rejected: Scottish taxpayers to no longer foot cost of free uni tuition for EU students

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Richard Lochhead MSP, Scotland’s higher education minister said the SNP led administration would save £19million a year. It comes after SNP MSP Alex Neil said the country could no longer afford the subsidy for “rich EU kids” at the “expense of our own kids.”

Currently, EU law states the government’s free tuition fee policy for Scots requires EU students to be treated the same.

But after the Brexit transition period, the Scottish Government will no longer be obliged to cover the cost for students from EU nations.

However, students already in university, or starting this autumn, will continue to be exempt from fees for the duration of their course.

Speaking in Holyrood this afternoon, Mr Lochhead said the money saved will go towards encouraging more Scottish students into university.

Overseas students attending university in Scotland currently have to pay fees ranging from £9,000 to more than £31,000 per year.

Figures show that more than 21,500 EU students studied at Scottish universities in the 2018/19 academic year, with 15,300 students receiving government funding while the cost of providing funded places to EU students was around £97m.

Mr Lochhead said in Holyrood this afternoon: “It’s with a heavy heart that we have taken a difficult decision to end free education for new EU students from the academic year 2021-2022 onwards, as a direct consequence of Brexit.”

Mr Lochhead said the Government from the money it saves will also seek to create an “ambitious scholarship programme to ensure the ancient European nation of Scotland continues to attract significant numbers of European students to study here”.

READ MORE: Sturgeon humiliated: Rees-Mogg says independent Scotland bankrupt

Although he argued the higher education sector is “performing wonderfully well”.

However, Jamie Greene MSP, Scottish Conservative education spokesman, warned universities face “deep, cutting financial problems” and an estimated “black hole of around half a billion pounds”.

Meanwhile, his Labour counterpart Iain Gray, added: “It was welcome to hear [Mr Lochhead] pledge to keep the funding previously devoted to fees for EU students in the sector.

“However, the failure to provide any new money to secure the future of colleges and universities was very disappointing.

DON’T MISS: 
Nicola Sturgeon shamed: 600 Scottish schools not inspected for decades [DATA] 
Sturgeon red faced as Home Office rebuffs claim it was responsible [REVEAL]
Nicola Sturgeon BEGS Boris for cash as Scottish economy faces crisis [INSIGHT]

“While UCAS figures indicate that international student applications are up, it’s not good enough for the Scottish government to cross their fingers and hope that they appear despite all the uncertainties around COVID-19 and a second wave of cases.

“Without a contingency plan for our universities, it leaves yet more uncertainty for the sector.”

Professor Andrea Nolan, convener of Universities Scotland, said it is “reassuring” the money saved will remain in the sector.

Professor Nolan said it provided an opportunity “to fully-fund the undergraduate education of Scottish students and shift the public funding of degree places on to solid ground for the first time in years”.

However, she stressed that a move to international fee status for EU students from 2021 represents a big change to policy and funding at “a challenging time for higher education”.

Scottish Funding Council (SFC) data also showed Universities face a loss of around £72m due to COVID-19 in the 2020/21 academic year.

They are expected to suffer a collective operating deficit of between £384m and £651m.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

‘Tories put cost on BBC’ Kuenssberg shifts blame as Dowden grilled over TV license fee

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg hit out at the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden as she said it was the Conservative Government’s decision to put the cost of the licence fee on the organisation. Her grilling comes just hours after the BBC announced it is scrapping free TV licences for the over 75s which Boris Johnson has said is the “wrong decision”. The free TV licence for over-75s will be means-tested from August 1.

Ms Kuenssberg asked: “As Culture Secretary, how do you respond to the BBC’s decision to scrap the free licence fee for most over 75s given that it was the Conservative Government’s decision to put this cost on to the organisation in the first place?”

Mr Dowden replied: “I very much regret the decision that the BBC has taken.

“We gave the settlement to the BBC back in 2015, they said that it was a good settlement.

“I regret that they couldn’t find efficiency savings to avoid having to impose the licence on the over-75s on the way that they have set out.”

The end of the free TV licence for over-75s will feel like a “kick in the teeth” to pensioners, campaigners have said.

The BBC has announced that means-testing will begin in August, stating that continuing the universal entitlement would hit “programmes and services”.

The new scheme was originally meant to start on June 1, but was delayed and kept under review because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Age UK said the start of means-testing will feel like a “kick in the teeth” to pensioners and called on the Government to “sit down with the BBC urgently” to work out a deal.

Age UK charity director Caroline Abrahams called on the Government to “sit down with the BBC urgently to keep these TV licences for over-75s free”.

She said: “We’re bitterly disappointed by this decision on behalf of the millions of over-75s who have had a torrid time over the last few months and for whom this must feel like another kick in the teeth, during a terrible year.”

Ms Abrahams added: “Everyone needs to understand that under the BBC’s scheme many hundreds of thousands of the poorest pensioners will be facing a bill they will simply be unable to afford to pay.

“That’s due to its flawed design – you only get a free licence if you are receiving Pension Credit but as many as two in five of all the pensioners on the lowest incomes do not receive this benefit, even though they are entitled to it.”

DON’T MISS

‘SHAME ON YOU’ Piers fury at BBC ending free over-75s TV licences [VIDEO]
BBC licence fee: How Director General dodged probe in awkward exchange [INSIGHT]
BBC podcast branded ‘racist’ for criticising white women [OPINION]

The charity is worried about the “mental health of older people living on their own,” and those for whom “the TV really is their window on the world”.

The BBC said safety would be at the “heart” of the scheme, as “no-one needs to take any immediate action, or leave their home, to claim for a free TV licence or pay for one”.

The free TV licence was introduced in 2000, but the BBC agreed to take on responsibility for funding the scheme as part of the charter agreement hammered out with the Government in 2015.

The broadcaster, which faces increased competition from streaming giants, has said it cannot afford to take on the financial burden from the Government.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Meghan Markle’s fans dismiss survey crowning Kate most popular royal – ‘Nope, it’s Meghan’

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was among the members of the Royal Family included in a poll run by the Daily Mirror. And, contrary to the expectation of many, Kate came out on top, gathering the consensus of 35 percent of the voters. 

The Queen, who is usually the country’s favourite, came in second place with 928 votes out of 4000 respondents.

The country’s beloved monarch was followed by Prince William and his brother Prince Harry.

Meghan came in sixth place, proceeded by the Queen’s only daughter Princess Anne.

Zara Tindall, who doesn’t have a royal title, is the seventh-most loved member of the Royal Family, and performed better than Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. 

Many royal fans took to Twitter to comment on the surprising results of this poll.

While several were pleased to see Kate on top of the list, some Meghan fans voiced their disagreement.

A few spoke up under a video shared by the Good Morning Britain’s Twitter account showing Lorraine Kelly discussing the results with the Mirror’s royal editor Russel Myers.

Twitter user Tony Blight, referring to Kate’s performance in the poll discussed in the clip, said: “Not at all! Definitely Meghan”

Social media user Dianarare replied, saying: “Meghan Markle has never been the number 1 since joining the Royal Family”

To which Meghan’s fan said: “That’s an opinion I suppose, wrong but valid.”

Another Sussex fan, Olivia, also showed her disagreement on Twitter by simply writing: “Nope, it’s Meghan”.

A third, Trini Romeo, accused Kate of not speaking up about important causes such as racial inequality which Meghan and Harry have done in the wake George Floyd’s death on May 25.

They wrote: “I haven’t heard her once talk about the racial injustice in the world but Harry and Megan has.”

Another Twitter user, Louisa, said: “Meghan would have top the list but she is no longer in the family.   

“In my heart Meghan has topped the list.”

Many royal fans welcomed the crowning of Kate as most popular royal at the moment.

Dawn wrote: “Kate and Wills have been amazing during lockdown, zooming schools, NHS, mental health charities and much more.

“They’re an asset to the UK”.

Anita Jaeckel revealed she appreciates Kate despite not being a supporter of the monarchy.

She said: “I’m not a royalist by any means, but I do find Kate comes over as a very lovely and caring person, not at all fake. William chose well.”  

Another, Suki, labelled Kate a “credit to the Queen” before hailing the Duchess of Cambridge as our future Queen.

Sara added: “I am an American who absolutely loves the Duchess of Cambridge, I am particularly appreciative of her work in mental health especially for mothers.”

Kate and Prince William have spent lockdown at their Norfolk residence, Anmer Hall, with their three children – George, Charlotte and Louis.

Appearing several times on conference calls and even carrying out the first-ever royal interview on video link with the BBC, Kate and William spoke about the importance of mental health for the general public and frontline workers.

They also opened up on the difficulties of homeschooling children and, as lockdown measures ease, Kate and William have visited several non-essential shops to hear about their struggles during the crisis.   

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Commons in hysterics as Rees-Mogg tells SNP COVID-19 would bankrupt independent Scotland

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Jacob Rees-Mogg shut down SNP spokesman Tommy Sheppard during an argument over finances for devolved administrations. The Commons leader explained coronavirus would have bankrupted Scotland if it was an independent nation. He told MPs that as a nation whose economy is “dependent on the oil price”, Scotland would be “bankrupt” as a result of COVID-19 if it had voted to leave the union in 2014.

During the Commons debate, Mr Sheppard asked: “The Chancellor must be peeved that his grand announcement yesterday received such a mixed response with many industry bodies saying it is insufficient.

“When we debate this on Monday, will the leader try to persuade his friend to listen to others and seek consensus?

“It is increasingly bizarre that the Chancellor insists on a one size fits all approach when everyone else knows that different sectors are affected differently.”

The SNP spokesman pushed for the furlough scheme to extended while he questioned the financial situation devolved administrations are “forced” to operate under.

He continued: “Everytime I ask about devolution powers, the leader gives me an answer about money. I’m not sure if he is evading the question or does not understand it.

“The fiscal framework of devolution was not designed to respond to a global pandemic and it needs to be changed.

“To give this week’s example, the arts rescue package announced on Monday includes repurposing capital spending in England.

“Why will the Government not allow the Scottish Government to do the same?”

Mr Sheppard argued smaller countries have “proven more agile and effective” in tackling the economic repercussions of coronavirus.

During business questions, Mr Sheppard made the case to Mr Rees-Mogg that more people than ever support Scottish independence and the country would be financially better off on its own.

He said: “Now we hear from many Cabinet members that Scotland’s salvation is due to the strong arms of the union, implying that only big countries can deal with the pandemic.

“But that is not true, in fact many small countries have proven more agile and effective but if the leader does believe this, can he explain why support for Scotland becoming an independent country is now running at 54 percent, an all-time historic high?”

DON’T MISS

POLL: After shock warning, are you worried about UK break-up? VOTE [POLL]
Ian Blackford stumbles as BBC’s Naga Munchetty gets truth on furlough [VIDEO]
Sturgeon branded ‘narcissistic sociopath’ in tweet liked by SNP MP [INSIGHT]

Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “Because of the strength of the United Kingdom, the Barnett consequentials have led to £4.6 billion being available to be spent in Scotland and this shows the success of economic management of the United Kingdom over 10 years of coalition and the Conservative government.

“The ability to answer the challenges of 2008 to ensure that the public sector finances got back into proper shape so that we were in the position where we could afford to deal with a fundamentally different crisis, which required a fundamentally different response, which required the expenditure of tax payers money, is a tribute to the strength of the United Kingdom.

“And where would Scotland be had they gone for independence in 2014 with their revenue dependent on the oil price that has subsequently collapsed? They would be bankrupt. Bankrupt.

“He calls for bankruptcy, Her Majesty’s Government has provided solvency and support for the people of the whole of the United Kingdom.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

How Kate Middleton’s family became ‘instrumental’ in Royal Family before she met William

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Speaking on Amazon Prime documentary Kate Middleton: Working Class to Windsor, royal experts analysed the Duchess of Cambridge’s journey from young middle-class student to Prince William’s wife, arguing her parents’ choice for her education was instrumental in hers and her siblings’ success in life. Katie Nicholl, Vanity Fair Royal Correspondent, said: “The Middleton’s are hugely interesting because they’ve been more instrumental and influential than any other family that has married into the house of Windsor.”

Former BBC Royal Correspondent Michael Cole echoed: “What they did is what good parents have always done.

“They’ve invested in education.

“It cost them a lot of money, they sent all of their three children to good schools.

“In the case of Kate to Marlborough school, which is one of the top public schools, which means private in British terms, where she did quite well.”

Later in her studies, the Duchess met Prince William at St. Andrews University, where she shared a dorm room with him.

They became good friends before their romantic relationship blossomed.

For a while, Kate’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton were centre stage, especially around the 2011 Royal Wedding and during the early years of Kate’s marriage to Prince William.

They were seen laughing and joking with the Royal Family at Ascot and were even invited to board the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames in 2012.

The signal was clear that this normal middle-class family were being warmly accepted into the royal fold.

However, by 2016 Prince William’s in-laws were conspicuously absent from key events such as Ascot and The Royal Windsor Horse Show.

They were not even at St Paul’s Cathedral for the thanksgiving service for the Queen’s 90th birthday that same year.

They appeared at Wimbledon, but as guests of the All England Club, not the royals.

According to a 2016 article by royal expert Katie Nicholl in the Daily Mail, they were associating less with the Royal Family in private too.

For example, they went on several deer stalking weekends at Birkhall in Scotland previously, but Charles apparently stopped inviting them.

This is in stark contrast to just a few years earlier when the Middletons were aboard the Elizabethan paddle steamer for the flotilla on the Thames or riding into Ascot in one of the Queen’s carriages on Ladies’ Day.

They had even travelled in one of only three landaus that followed the Queen’s carriage after attending a lunch at Windsor Castle with a gathering of her friends.

DON’T MISS:
Kate Middleton’s parents celebrate two major milestones [INSIGHT]
Why this weekend is special for Carole and Michael Middleton [ANALYSIS]
Kate Middleton’s mum Carole was ‘devastated’ by Prince Charles news [VIDEO]

One royal source said: “I don’t believe the Middletons were on the Queen’s personal list of invitations this year, and it was unusual for them not to be there because they love racing.

“One gets the impression that perhaps a bit of distance is being enforced.”

One possible explanation for this is Charles’ apparent resentment about how the Middletons got to spend more time with their mutual grandchildren than he did.

One friend said: “Charles feels very much that the Middletons get more than their fair share of time with George and Charlotte.

“In comparison, he sees them very little and he bears a bit of a grudge about that.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Prince Harry confession: How Duke rejected move to South Africa with Meghan Markle

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Harry and Meghan sent shockwaves through royal circles this week, when they told youth leaders of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust that the association needs to address its “uncomfortable” past with colonialism. Many claimed their comments were inappropriate, especially as they have moved to Los Angeles, in the US, far away from any Commonwealth country. Once reports of a rift with Prince William and Kate Middleton began to emerge last year, so did speculation that the Sussexes could be planning to move abroad to be closer to their Commonwealth work, especially as both had signally great interest in it.

In the past, Harry has referred to Africa as his “second home”, and he even escaped there after the traumatic death of his mother Princess Diana with Prince Charles and Prince William in 1997.

He then spent his 2004 gap year in Lesotho and later founded his charity Sentebale with the country’s Prince Seeiso. Harry and Meghan are also thought to have fallen in love during a trip to Botswana in 2016.

Yet, speaking to Tom Bradby during the 2019 ITV documentary, ‘Harry and Meghan: An African Journey’, the Duke of Sussex explained why he felt the couple would not settle in Africa.

He said: “I don’t know where we could live in Africa at the moment.

“We’ve just come from Cape Town, that would be an amazing place for us to be able to base ourselves — of course it would.”

However, he pointed out that there were issues with living in the Commonwealth nation of South Africa.

He said: “With all the problems that are going on there, I just don’t see how we would be able to make as much difference as we want to without the issues and the judgement of how we would with those surroundings.”

Harry continued: “It’s a very hard place to live when you know what’s going on but then you’re sort of slightly disconnected from it.

“So, the rest of our lives, our life’s work will be predominantly focused on Africa, on conservation.

“There are 19 Commonwealth countries across this continent so there’s a lot of things to be done, but there’s also huge potential.”

Speculation that the Duke and Duchess could relocate to Africa began in April 2019.

A close confidante of both Harry and Prince William told the Sunday Times: “It wouldn’t surprise me if Harry and Meghan moved abroad.

“There have been various ideas floated for them to take on a job abroad, such as governor-general of Australia or Canada.”

However, those ideas were rejected, as Meghan had already spent seven years living in Toronto and some in the Palace thought Canada was “too close to the US”.

They could not take on roles as governor-generals either because that would “set them up as king and queen of a whole separate country”.

DON’T MISS
How Palace actually defended Meghan Markle EIGHT times [INSIGHT]
Kate Middleton: How Duchess faced brutal pregnancy warning [EXPLAINED]
Harry praised Commonwealth before joining Meghan in U-turn [REVEALED]

Speculation that the Duke and Duchess could relocate to Africa began in April 2019.

A close confidante of both Harry and Prince William told the Sunday Times: “It wouldn’t surprise me if Harry and Meghan moved abroad.

“There have been various ideas floated for them to take on a job abroad, such as governor-general of Australia or Canada.”

However, those ideas were rejected, as Meghan had already spent seven years living in Toronto and some in the Palace thought Canada was “too close to the US”.

They could not take on roles as governor-generals either because that would “set them up as king and queen of a whole separate country”.

“No decisions have been taken about future roles. The Duke will continue to fulfil his role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.”

Many sources have claimed that the shared interest in being “global humanitarians” is what drew the couple together in the first place.

When the Sussexes announced their plans to step back as senior royals, fans assumed they would set up permanent residence in Canada — being a Commonwealth nation it would still have a connection to the UK and allow them to continue their roles within the trust.

Yet, they moved to LA, earlier this year, allegedly because they did not want to pay two types of tax, Canada would not pay for their security and they wanted to be nearer to Meghan’s support network.

A confidante of Harry’s even predicted the shock move in 2019 when speaking to The Sunday Times. They said: “More and more friends are worried that they’ll just get on a plane and live in LA and never come back.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

UK hot weather forecast: Scorching 26C heat to BAKE Britain as ‘summer weather’ RETURNS

Britain has been battered by heavy rain this week as unsettled conditions swept across the country. Parts of northern and eastern areas of the UK are expecting further disruption on Thursday evening and into Friday as heavy rain and lightning hits. But, conditions are expected to improve this weekend, with the latest weather charts by Netweather suggesting thermometers could nudge towards 26C on Sunday in the capital.

The weather charts on Sunday also show temperatures widely above 20C across much of England, with highs of 20C in Scotland and Wales.

Meanwhile, the charts show highs of 21C in the UK on Saturday, with a cooler picture across the nation.

Looking towards the weekend, Brian Gaze, from The Weather Outlook, noted “more summery weather” was “on the way”.

He said: “Saturday is looking dry and bright in most of the county, although there could be some rain in northern Scotland. It will feel a little warmer than recently.

“Sunday should be dry and warm in much of the country. Temperatures could reach the mid 20Cs in the southeast.

“In the northwest, there is a risk of outbreaks of rain returning later in the day.”

He added: “Next week there should be a lot of dry and quite warm weather in the southern half of the country.

“In the north, it may stay more changeable with an ongoing risk of showers or longer spells of rain.”

Sunday should be dry and warm in much of the country

Brian Gaze, The Weather Outlook

Craig Snell from the Met Office told Express.co.uk on Wednesday evening: “As the drier and brighter weather develops, temperatures will respond.

“Saturday temperatures could reach around 22C or 23C in the south and on Sunday 24C or 25C.

“Temperatures will not see a quick rise, and the highs will be nothing like a couple of weeks ago, but the weekend is set to be fair for the UK.”

The forecaster added Britain will be hit by some rain in Northern Ireland and Scotland by the end of Sunday.

DON’T MISS:
Temperatures skyrocket to 38C as rain threatens Europe [BBC WEATHER]
Weather forecast: Thunderstorms to batter UK before weekend [MET OFFICE]
UK weather latest: ‘Conveyor belt’ of rain to SMASH Britain [CHARTS]

He said: “Compared to this week, the weekend will be a lot drier and brighter.”

But, before the warmer temperatures arrive, the Met Office has warned of “a few sharp showers” hitting Scotland on Thursday evening.

For Friday, the weather service said: “Sunny spells and showers.

“Showers heavy in the east with a risk of thunder, whilst western areas see fewer showers and more sunshine. Feeling fresher in the south.”

And it’s long-range forecast from Monday, July 13 to Wednesday, July 22, says the majority of the period will be “mostly dry and settled for many areas, especially in the south of the UK”.

The Met Office added: “More unsettled conditions with spells of rain and strong winds may affect the north and northwest at times.

“These unsettled conditions could spread to other parts of the UK later in this period, but widespread unsettled conditions are unlikely.

“Temperatures are likely to be mostly around normal, although it may become warm for a time in the south and perhaps very warm in the southeast.”

With conditions likely to pick up this weekend, leading bookmakers have even slashed odds that this month will see the hottest day of the year.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Brits will be treated to a sizzling end to July, with temperatures ready to reach record-breaking highs for the year.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Sturgeon threatens to punish Scots with FINES if they do not wear face masks in public

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Nicola Sturgeon has announced that fines and police officers will be used to enforce her newest coronavirus measure in Scotland. Face coverings, which are already mandatory on public transport, will from Friday be mandatory in shops as well. There are exemptions for young children under five, people with certain health conditions and for staff with some circumstances.

Announcing the new legislation, the First Minister said: “For the vast majority of us, however, it will be the law that we wear face coverings in shops.

“Wearing a face covering on a bus, train or in a shop should, for the foreseeable future, become as automatic as putting on a seatbelt in a car.

“It should not need to be enforced, but the police can issue fines for anyone not compliant.”

The First Minister did not specify the range or cost of the fines introduced.

Ms Sturgeon stressed that she hoped for full compliance not because of fear of enforcement but because “it’s the right thing to do”.

With the death toll falling, Scotland has moved into phase three of reopening.

From July 3, outdoor hospitality spaces have been allowed to open in order to kickstart the economy.

The Scottish Government has also released a list of 57 nations that will form air bridges with airports in the country.

There will be spot checks at the border by Border Force, who may also impose fines on travellers who refuse to comply.

Failing to complete the locator form prior to arrival or refusing to complete it could result in a £60 fixed penalty notice rising on an incremental scale to £480. Breaching self-isolation could result in a fixed penalty notice of £480.

Persistent offenders can be reported to the Procurator Fiscal which could ultimately result in prosecution and conviction with a maximum £5,000 fine.

DON’T MISS
Nicola Sturgeon ‘trouble’ for No10 as they scramble with travel policy [INSIGHT]
Sturgeon accuses England of ‘under-reporting’ deaths as she’s grilled [VIDEO]
Sunak issues stern response amid fears Sturgeon could break ranks [WARNING]

The First Minister assured the Scottish Parliament that the coronavirus outbreak had been suppressed to a “low level”.

Ms Sturgeon said it was still “essential that we all take the utmost care and strictly follow all public health advice”, warning that “we mess with coronavirus at our peril”.

The changes which take effect from Friday will increase the size of gatherings that will be allowed in Scotland, and let people meet up indoors for the first time.

People will be able to visit other households indoors and stay overnight.

They will also be allowed to meet up in extended groups outdoors, and with two other households indoors.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

EU crisis: Italy sends warning to Brussels ahead of bailout summit: ‘We could destroy it!’

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that if the EU refuses to fund an unprecedented bailout for his nation, among other countries, then the single European market could be at risk. Speaking alongside Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Mr Conte said that Rome and Madrid would step up their demands for a costly bailout fund. He sent a terrifying message to Brussels at the press conference, saying that a weak response to the pandemic fallout “would destroy the single market”.

Spain and Italy have both been the worst hit countries in the EU from the coronaivurs pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis.

They would both be the largest recipients of the €750billion fund proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mr Sanchez demanded a prompt response from the European Union to implement measures, such as the European Recovery Fund, to help the two countries recover from the crisis caused by the pandemic.

He said: “July has to be the month of agreement, there is no other possible month, it has to be the month of July.”

JUST IN: EU fisheries panic: ‘Violent confrontations at sea’ warning exposed

Mr Conte warned of severe repercussions if the bloc’s response to the economic fallouts of the COVID-19 epidemic was not “strong and coordinated”.

He added: “We must be bold. The single market is in danger, it can be destroyed without a coordinated response by the EU as a whole.

“If we do not meet the challenge, we’ll be judged negatively by history.”

Mr Conte and Mr Sánchez will both be visiting the Netherlands and Germany over the coming week.

The Spanish leader is also planning a stop in Sweden while Mr Conte recently visited Portugal.

The Spanish and Italian PMs hope to arrive at the July 17 – 18 summit in Brussels with a strong backing for their bailout plan, amid resistance from the so-called ‘Frugal Four’.

Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark all oppose the idea of the €750billion fund, of which €500billion would be non-recoverable grants.

DON’T MISS:

Rishi Sunak hits back at BBC after host compares UK recovery to France [VIDEO]
BBC Weather: Temperatures jump to 26C as heatwave sweeps across UK [VIDEO]
POLL: After shock warning, are you worried about UK break-up? VOTE [POLL]

Italian Prime Minister Conte said that Italy and Spain will work together to recover from the consequences of the pandemic.

He said “the tragic experience of the coronavirus has brought our countries even closer together and reinforced our conviction that we must work together, in the same spirit, to ensure a renaissance of our societies and economies”. 

In Brussels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel laid out her priorities for Germany’s EU Council Presidency before MEPs on Wednesday.

She called for a “willingness to compromise” among MEPs. 

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Politics

Kay Burley puts Dodds on spot over Labour demands from Sunak ‘can’t keep borrowing’

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Kay Burley pointed out the British Government had committed nearly £200 billion to help the economy recover after the coronavirus crisis, with Rishi Sunak investing another £30 billion on Wednesday to contain unemployment. Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds welcomed the policies but insisted the Government could have spent more on revolutionising UK industries in light of the impact of the crisis. But the Sky News host told the Labour Party frontbencher: “We’re at £200 billion already. You can’t keep borrowing forever.

“We are going to have to pay it back eventually.

“The Government has to decide who should benefit more than others and they have made a conscious decision that it’s the young coming through employment who should be focused on. Surely, that’s what Labour wants to happen.”

Ms Dodds said she could understand the focus on youth employment but warned the Chancellor will need to ensure the schemes putting them into work do not push out older employees.

She said: “We do want to see that focus when it comes to sort of active labour market policies, so to help people who become unemployed.

JUST IN: Don’t be fooled, Boris! UK fishing chief exposes devious Barnier’s Brexit plot

“We wanted the Government to learn from previous schemes that have worked.

“I’m pleased they have set out this kickstart scheme, of course, they need to make sure those jobs are genuinely new jobs and are now pushing older people out of employment.

“This isn’t just about how much the Chancellor spends, it’s about whether that money is appropriately targeted.”

But previously Ms Dodds insisted Mr Sunak needed to move away from his “one size fits all” approach to the crisis and work on some sector-based solutions.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak shuts down Kay Burley as Sky News host challenges rescue plan – ‘Where’s the help?’

She continued: “There is going to be change in some sector. There is going to be change in aviation, for example, a reduction in demand.

“There needed to be change anyway because of climate crisis but really, it should be planned change.

“We don’t seem to have that plan coming from Government for many sectors of our economy.

“As I said, that will likely lead to additional unemployment and it will be expensive in the long run, not just for those people who become unemployed but it’s expensive for our economy as well.”

DON’T MISS:

Blackford stumbles as BBC’s Naga Munchetty gets truth on who would pay for SNP demands [VIDEO]
After shock warning, are you worried about the break-up of the UK? [POLL]
China issues sinister threat to Canada as furious row breaks out [WARNING]

Speaking to Sky News, Chancellor Sunak conceded he has focused many of his recovery policies to younger workers but insisted a new apprenticeship scheme will help older workers who are laid off find new opportunities in other sectors.

Mr Sunak said: “I’m concentrating my support on the young because that’s where there are the most acute issues, they are the ones that are the most impacted and the ones whose life chances are the most impacted as well by what’s happening.

“One thing we did yesterday is introducing a new bonus for companies to take on apprentices above the age of 25.

“That’s not something that normally happens, normally incentive payments for employers to take on apprentices are concentrated on youngsters.

“Actually, 44 percent of apprentices today are actually older than 25.”

Source: Read Full Article