Boris Johnson News: France says submarine deal a “huge mistake”

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France recalls its ambassadors in the United States and Australia over a sub-agreement

Australia made a “huge mistake” by canceling a major submarine contract with France in favor of a deal with the UK and the US, the French ambassador to the country said.

French envoy Jean-Pierre Thebault said on Saturday that the initial arms deal between the French and Australian governments was supposed to be based “on trust, mutual understanding and sincerity”.

This came after France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia in a dramatic escalation of diplomatic tensions over the new AUKUS alliance.

Meanwhile, the UK government is in urgent talks with senior energy officials to discuss a sudden increase in wholesale gas prices that has resulted in a CO2 shortage, potentially endangering the gas supply chain. food supply.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on Saturday insisted on the stability of UK gas supplies, while the chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association warned that the CO2 shortage was “definitely a crisis”.

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Ministers must recognize “cost of living crisis” as gas prices rise, Miliband says

The government must recognize the “severity of the cost of living crisis” facing families following a sudden increase in wholesale gas prices, former Labor leader Ed Miliband said.

The shadow business secretary said on Saturday that ministers must do more to put in place “a more robust, resilient and diverse energy infrastructure” across the UK.

“It is a fundamental failure of long-term government planning over the past decade that we are so exposed and vulnerable as a country and it is businesses and consumers that are paying the price,” Mr. Miliband on Twitter.

“If we had invested on a sufficient scale in diverse, secure and carbon-free energy supplies and if we had made energy efficiency a much higher priority, we would not be in such a precarious position. “

He added: “Ministers must recognize the severity of the cost of living crisis facing families today and reverse the cut in universal credit.

“They also need to ensure security of supply and take long-term action to build a much more robust, resilient and diverse energy infrastructure.”

Conrad DuncanSeptember 18, 2021 2:04 PM

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ICYMI: Health Minister Lord Bethell, who has been at the center of a series of Covid-related controversies, has confirmed he was sacked during Boris Johnson’s reshuffle this week.

Our political editor, Andrew Woodcock, has the full story below:

Conrad DuncanSeptember 18, 2021 1:43 PM

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Why has France spared the UK Ambassador in the AUKUS row?

Despite the role of the United Kingdom in the new AUKUS alliance, France notably chose not to recall its British ambassador on Friday when it asked its emissaries for the United States and Australia to return home during an important diplomatic reprimand.

Perhaps the reason is that the French government does not view the UK as an active party in the defense contract that sparked the feud.

According to a French diplomatic source for Reuters, the UK acted “opportunistically” in the deal between the US and Australia that ended a $ 40 billion submarine contract between Canberra and Paris

“The United Kingdom accompanied this operation in an opportunistic manner,” said the French diplomatic source.

“We do not need to consult our ambassador in Paris to know what to think and what conclusions to draw from it.”

Conrad DuncanSeptember 18, 2021 1:21 PM

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Exclusive: the government accused of lowering the ceiling for Afghan refugees by 10%

Boris Johnson’s government has been accused of quietly reducing the number of Afghan refugees admitted to the UK by 10% as part of a program to protect those fleeing the Taliban.

Liberal Democrats said on Saturday that the “already paltry” offer to host 5,000 people this year under the Afghan Citizen Resettlement Program had been reduced to 4,500 due to technicality in ministry policy. inside.

Our political editor, Andrew Woodcock, has the full story below:

Conrad DuncanSeptember 18, 2021 12:58 PM

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ICYMI: Australian government “regrets” France’s decision to recall its ambassador

The Australian government has expressed “regret” over France’s decision to recall its ambassador to the country over a dispute over a canceled submarine contract.

The French government is angry that Australia canceled a major defense contract after agreeing to work with the UK and US to build nuclear-powered submarines as part of the new strategic alliance AUKUS.

“We note with regret the decision of France to recall its ambassador to Australia for consultations following the decision on the Attack Class project,” said a spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

“Australia understands France’s deep disappointment with our decision, which was taken in accordance with our clear and communicated national security interests.

“Australia values ​​its relationship with France, which is an important partner and an essential contributor to stability, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. It won’t change.

They added: “We look forward to re-engaging with France on our many issues of common interest, on the basis of shared values. “

The AUKUS Defense Pact between the UK, US and Australia has been widely seen as an attempt to counter China’s growing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

Conrad DuncanSeptember 18, 2021 12:32 PM

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Why should the fuel-related CO2 “crisis” impact meat, beer and soft drinks?

Meat, beer and soft drinks could be scarce due to record natural gas prices which could impact the food supply chain.

High wholesale gas prices have been attributed in part to lower gas flows to the UK from Norway and Russia, as well as maintenance issues at some gas sites and higher demand around the world. .

Our journalist, Lamiat Sabin, has the full story below:

Conrad DuncanSeptember 18, 2021 12:04 PM

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Four ex-pm snub Boris Johnson’s Checkers dinner

Four former prime ministers have turned down invitations to a centennial dinner at Checkers, leaving Boris Johnson only able to welcome Theresa May into her countryside retreat.

Mr Johnson had wished that a rare gathering of all the surviving occupants of No.10 Downing Street would mark 100 years since a British leader first enjoyed his stay in the lavish Buckinghamshire country house.

Our Deputy Political Editor, Rob merrick, has the full story below:

Conrad DuncanSeptember 18, 2021 11:38 AM

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Our Deputy Political Editor, Rob merrick, has more details below on the attempt to block the planned £ 20-a-week universal credit cut led by senior Tory MPs:

Conrad DuncanSeptember 18, 2021 11:30 AM

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Leading Conservative MPs ‘Right to Express Serious Concerns’ Over Benefit Cut, Charity Says

Senior Tory MPs have “the right to express serious concerns” over the government’s plans to cut universal credit by £ 20 a week, a charity official said.

Dan Paskins, UK Impact director at Save the Children, on Saturday urged ministers to rethink the decision and maintain the increase, which was first introduced for the coronavirus pandemic.

“We know that almost half (47%) of people on universal credit – or nearly 3 million applicants – say they don’t think they can live on a family budget that is £ 20 a week less,” said M. says Paskins.

“Senior Conservative MPs, including Universal Credit architect Iain Duncan Smith, are right to express serious concerns and give the British government the opportunity to rethink this decision in a vote in the House of Commons on Monday.

“A decision to maintain this increase could prevent an additional 200,000 children from falling into poverty. “

He added: “There is still time for the UK government to do the right thing and keep the lifeline.”

Senior Tories, including former ministers Sir Iain and Damian Green, launched a final offer on Friday to block the cut by tabling an amendment to the annual pension increase.

Conrad DuncanSeptember 18, 2021 11:23 AM

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Rising fuel prices “will force families to choose between heating and eating this winter”

People living on the poverty line will be forced to choose between heating and eating this winter due to a “triple whammy” in the cost of living, experts have warned.

Annual gas and electricity bills are set to climb to £ 280 after the wholesale energy prices spike, while the end of the holiday scheme and the increase in universal credit risk creating a crisis in the economy. quality of life.

Our journalist, Jane dalton, has the full story below:

Conrad DuncanSeptember 18, 2021 11:10 AM


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