Meanwhile, EU diplomats have said the Owen Paterson lobbying scandal has increased the risk of Britain starting a trade war with Brussels by triggering Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
There is building expectation the Government will unilaterally override parts of the protocol by invoking the clause, despite ongoing negotiations with the EU over cutting checks at the Irish Sea border.
“The risk of triggering Article 16 appears to be very substantial and increased by a need to distract from the embarrassment of the Paterson affair,” a senior EU diplomat said.
Here is a reminder of the background of the scandal.
Yorkshire’s new chair apologises for racism scandal
Another great institution trying to tackle scandal head on is Yorkshire County Cricket Club, where new chair Lord Patel has apologised to Azeem Rafiq over the county’s handling of his racism and bullying allegations. The county has been widely criticised, with the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB’s) suspension of its right to host international matches and other major games set to hit their finances hard, alongside sponsors walking away. Lord Patel said at a press conference that: “Azeem is a whistleblower and should be praised as such, he should never have been put through this.” Read on for details, although Simon Heffer takes umbrage at the ECB’s handling of the racism allegations, setting out why they have no moral authority to judge Yorkshire.
Covid-19 will ‘fade into the background’ expert claims
Something that everyone hopes they could see less and less in the headlines is Covid-19. One expert has raised that prospect, suggesting it will “fade into the background”. Prof James Naismith, a director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute and a biologist at Oxford University, believes Britain is over the worst of Covid in terms of case numbers and as infections continue to fall, so too will hospitalisations and deaths, which currently stand at more than 1,000 a day and 1,000 a week respectively. It comes as Britain took another step towards normality as travel to the US returned after a 600-day travel ban was finally lifted. Yet British families will still face hurdles on arrival, as it emerged unvaccinated children will have to take a Covid test in the first few days of their trip.
Comment and analysis
Around the world: Melted glacier reveals WW1 bunker
On a wind-blasted rocky ridge 9,500ft up on the Italian-Swiss border, amid fields of snow and ice, a hole about the size of a suitcase leads into a darkened chamber. It is a First World War bunker constructed from timber, scattered with the possessions of its past inhabitants, a platoon of Austro-Hungarian soldiers who repulsed suicidal assaults launched by Italian forces, but in the decades since was surrounded by a glacier. But a century on, the glacier that once entombed the bunker, located on the slopes of Monte Scorluzzo in the Stelvio National Park, high in the Italian Alps, has largely melted as a result of global warming. See the bunker and read how the frozen depository of the past now carries a stark warning for the future as world leaders gather at Cop 26 in Glasgow.
‘I wanted to make nasty pictures – and I still do’