Ursula von der Leyen warned that the Brexit trade deal has “real teeth” as MEPs branded leaving the EU an “historic mistake” today.
The European Commission president said that Brussels would not hesitate to hit Britain with trade tariffs if it failed to implement its commitments in Northern Ireland, before the European Parliament voted to ratify the deal in the final step of the years-long Brexit negotiations.
Mrs von der Leyen’s warning came as France, embroiled in a row over fishing licences with Britain, said the EU would hit sectors like financial services with tariffs if the UK did not properly implement the Brexit fishing agreement.
Back home, Downing Street has failed to deny reports that Boris Johnson said he would rather “let coronavirus rip” through the population than impose another lockdown.
After forceful denials over leaked comments of late, Number 10 was rather less emphatic today. Read on for details. It came as accusations of Tory sleaze dominated proceedings in the Commons.
Michael Deacon sketches how the tactic has given Labour a new lease of life – and they’re shouting about it at every turn.
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Europe frighteningly close to another Covid blunder
If Boris Johnson really did say “let the bodies pile up in their thousands” in a moment of exasperation, this was not in fact Government policy. However, bar the language, it could be argued it is the current policy of France, Italy and several other EU states. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard details how Europe tolerated the “pile up” of 3,000 bodies a day during the peak of the third wave earlier this month and fears the Continent is frighteningly close to another Covid blunder. The situation remains dire in India, where countries including the UK have sent aid. However, Downing Street has said the UK has no surplus vaccine doses to share with India and is instead prioritising vaccinating the British population.
Kate dresses down in 17-year-old boots for farm visit
The Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe is packed with glittering gowns and outfits for every occasion. But on a visit to a farm in County Durham with Prince William today, Kate’s style choices hinted at what she would rather wear. See how she dressed down in 17-year-old boots. Two days shy of the royal couple’s 10th wedding anniversary, Eleanor Steafel examines how Michael and Carole Middleton have provided a solid foundation for Prince William and Kate since they married in 2011. Meanwhile, the Queen has been photographed for the first time on an official public engagement since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
At a glance: Coronavirus evening briefing
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
Scottish elections | Nicola Sturgeon has been contradicted by her own Cabinet minister in charge of the constitution over whether a separate Scotland would automatically apply to join the EU. Meanwhile, ahead of the first leaders’ debate on Channel 4 at 7pm, Alan Cochrane analyses the three ways the SNP could be denied a second referendum.
Around the world: Israel accused of apartheid crimes
Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of apartheid crimes against Palestinian and Israeli Arabs in a landmark report outlining what it says are crimes against humanity. The watchdog accused Israeli authorities of methodically privileging Jewish Israelis and discriminating against Palestinians. . Read on for details of the 213-page report, which has been labelled “preposterous and false” by the Israeli government.
Mauricio Pochettino on Spurs, Neymar and the PSG pressure cooker
The Argentine lifts the lid on being back in the French capital ahead of club’s Champions League semi-final against Manchester City
Comment and analysis
Editor’s choice: Features and arts
Amber clamber | The holiday big-hitters on the cusp of the green list
Business and money briefing
Overboard | International shipping has always been a dangerous game, with hazards including storms, pirates – or even getting your ship stuck sideways in a canal. But pressure to speed up journeys and carry ever-greater carrier loads has created a new hazard: containers plunging into the ocean. Read how thousands of containers are falling off ships.
Lions tour | Premiership rugby players who are not involved in play-off matches will be released to the Lions training camp and warm-up game against Japan. However that accord comes with a warning from the English league that this will be a one-off. As ill-feeling remains, see if you agree with the six props our rugby writers would take to South Africa.
Three things for tonight
And finally… for this evening’s downtime
Home working health fears | Can work stress really cause a heart attack? After a LinkedIn post from a hospital bed went viral, there are concerns about the long hours Britons are working from home each day. Alice Hall looks at the impact of pandemic overworking.