Joe Biden dashes Boris Johnson's hopes for speedy US-UK trade deal

Seeking to demonstrate his eco-credentials and in a nod to Joe Biden’s affection for trains, Boris Johnson chose a sleek silver Amtrak train to travel between New York and Washington DC last night — a move that was rewarded by a rambling train anecdote from the US president. The good-will of the so-called special relationship, however, did not seem to extend as far as welcoming words on a post-Brexit trading relationship between the old partners.

© EPA boris-biden

Inside the bubble

Our political commentator Andrew Grice on what to look out for today

With Boris Johnson on his travels, prime minister’s questions will see a tussle between a man with three jobs – Dominic Raab (deputy PM, lord chancellor and justice secretary) and a woman with four – Angela Rayner (deputy Labour leader, shadow first secretary of state, shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and shadow secretary of state for the future of work). There won’t be much time for questions if the Speaker reads out all their titles.

On the select committee corridor, Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, will be quizzed about covid vaccines for children; Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, about foreign travel and the shortage of lorry drivers and Matthew Rycroft, permanent secretary at the Home Office, about the Windrush scandal, migrants crossing the Channel and arrivals from Afghanistan.

BACK OF THE QUEUE Despite the exchange of pleasantries at the White House last night with Joe Biden, the prime minister’s hope of delivering the long-promised post-Brexit Britain prize of a US-UK free trading agreement appears to be evaporating.Mr Johnson admitted yesterday that his special relationship partner had “a lot of other fish to fry” while the US president himself gave no cause for optimism about a swift agreement, saying only that the pair would talk a “little bit” about trade. Pouring cold water on the prospect while sitting next to the PM in the Oval Office, Mr Biden added: “We’re going to have work that through”. Perhaps former president Barack Obama wasn’t bluffing when he visited the UK during the referendum, warning that Brexit would put the country at the “back of the queue” in any trade deal with the US. Instead, the UK is mulling a bid to join a trade partnership between the US, Canada and Mexico, my colleague Andrew Woodcock reports from Washington. “There are a variety of different ways to do this,” a UK government source said. “The question is whether the US administration is ready. The ball is in the US’s court. It takes two to tango.” Today, the prime minister will also issue a call for the world to “grow up” and address the threat of climate change in his speech to the United Nations.

TOXIC COCKTAIL On the domestic front, the prime minister has dismissed growing fears of a cost of living crisis this winter — despite one of his cabinet colleagues, Kwasi Kwarteng, admitting some families may face a “very difficult winter” with energy bills rising and an imminent cut to the £20-per-week uplift in universal credit — introduced at the onset of the pandemic. Asked if people are “really going to struggle”, Mr Johnson told reporters: “No, because I think this is a short-term problem”. This claim has been rejected by the anti-poverty think tank, the Resolution Foundation, which warned of a “cost of living crunch”, even if the immediate gas supply problems ease. Director of policy at the fuel poverty charity the National Energy Action added: “This cocktail of challenges will leave millions of households struggling to cope with less income and higher costs. For many, it will be an impossible task.” Labour are again seeking to highlight what they have described as the cost of living “triple whammy” facing families. Elsewhere, the government is reported to have a struck a deal with CF Industries to restart carbon dioxide production at its UK plants, after they were closed last week due to spike in global natural gas prices.

CIVIL WAR Given the Labour Party actually votes on issues at its annual conference — in stark contrast to the Conservatives’ selection of speeches — it is perhaps no surprise there’s usually an internal battle over the party’s rulebook, despite repeated vows to stop “navel gazing”. On the eve of the last in-person Labour conference in 2019 there was an extraordinary attempt to abolish the position of deputy leader. This year, Sir Keir Starmer eyes changing the way leaders of the party are elected — reverting to the old electoral college system last used in 2010. Under the new (or rather old) proposed system, the vote for the leader would be split one third between MPs, one third between unions, and one third between members — in contrast to now where all party members get a single vote. The party’s governing body — the National Executive Committee — is expected to hear the plans on Friday, but they have already triggered an almighty row on the eve of conference. Left-wing group Momentum said the rule change “would mark the start of a civil war in the party”.

GUERRILLA CRACKDOWN Police made 38 arrests and dragged Insulate Britain protesters from the M25 after members of the group stormed onto the country’s busiest motorway once again. Footage taken at the scene by LBC showed the climate activists walking on to the motorway and sitting down  — forcing traffic to stop. Writing in the Daily Mail, the home secretary, Priti Patel, alongside her cabinet colleague, Grant Shapps, said the protestors had “broken the law, undermined the cause they believe in, alienated the public, and created extra pollution, in one of the most self-defeating environmental protests this country has ever seen”. The duo also insisted the government was giving the police “powers to better manage such guerrilla tactics in future”. According to the reports, the cabinet ministers are seeking a court injection to prevent protestors causing gridlock and is likely to be sought by National Highways at the High Court on Thursday. One protester told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme they were “consulting lawyers”.

KERCHING An investigation has found that Whitehall departments spent at least £500,000 since 2016 attempting to block the release of information under transparency laws, with government legal staffers challenging rulings by the Information Commissioner. Three cheers for transparency. The greatest one-off spend award goes to the Department of Health and Social Care, which raked up legal bills exceeding £129,000 fighting a single case to prevent the release of ministerial diaries. The judge in this particularly case eventually ruled against the wishes of the government. “At the same time when the public are concerned about government secrecy it is deeply ironic that government departments are spending hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money to hide information from the public,” said the editor-in-chief on the investigative outfit openDemocracy. A government spokesperson defended the approach saying they were “committed to being as transparent as possible” but added: “When considering FOI requests we have to balance the need to make information available with our duty to protect sensitive information”.

From the Twitterati

“Moving to an electoral college for Labour leadership elections – ending one member one vote and hoarding power in the hands of MPs in Westminster – would be a shameful attack on democracy”

Labour MP Zarah Sultana on Sir Keir Starmer’s proposed changes to leadership elections

Essential reading

Gloria de Piero, The Independent: Why is a lefty like me working at GB News?

Tom Peck, The Independent: What a surprise that the UK is, yet again, overly exposed to a global crisis

Vince Cable, The Independent: A terminal crisis is looming for Boris Johnson’s doctrine of ‘cakeism’

Polly Toynbee, The Guardian: Labour should be approaching its party conference with hope, not despair

Sign up here to receive this daily briefing in your email inbox every morning.

From news to politics, travel to sport, culture to climate – The Independent has a host of free newsletters to suit your interests. To find the stories you want to read, and more, in your inbox, click here.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Alec Baldwin Shooting Live Updates: Santa Fe Sheriff and District Attorney to Reveal Initial Findings

Initial findings about the fatal shooting of a cinematographer and wounding of another with a prop gun by actor Alec Baldwin are set to be revealed in a press conference ... Read more »

Antonio Conte declared how he differs to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after he beat Manchester United

Antonio Conte has been subject to speculation surrounding the Manchester United job as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s position as manager becomes increasingly under threat and the Italian has previously highlighted an ... Read more »

Glasgow hosts the COP26 summit next week - and has plenty of its own eco-credentials. So... listen up, Greta!

Greta Thunberg will be among the attendees at Glasgow's COP26 conferenceGlasgow has plenty of green spaces that can be explored by foot or by e-bikeTravellers should visit ‘ghost’ football ground Cathkin Park and Glasgow Green Read more »

Bank of Canada scheduled to make rate call, update economic and inflation outlook

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada is scheduled this morning to announce what will happen to its trendsetting interest rate, and provide an updated forecast for the domestic economy. © ... Read more »

Post-surgery patients monitored virtually do better than those seeing doctors in person, study indicates

© Cloud DX A woman speaks to a medical professional via a tablet in this photo provided by Cloud DX, the Kitchener, Ont., medical software company whose tablets were used ... Read more »

China traders hunt for coal price directions as Beijing reins in data providers

By Muyu Xu and Chen Aizhu © Reuters/CHINA DAILY Aerial view shows machinery working in an open-pit coal mine in Ejin Horo Banner BEIJING/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Chinese coal traders say ... Read more »

100 days to Beijing, Canadian Olympians are kicking it into high gear

© Nathan Denette/Canadian Press Marie-Philip Poulin, centre, comforts teammates after their shootout loss to the U.S. at the 2018 Olympics. The Team Canada captain has waited four years to avenge ... Read more »

PCG units on heightened alert ahead of Undas 2021

PCG logo The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Wednesday that it has placed all operating units on heightened alert status starting October 29 until November 3 in preparation for ... Read more »

Minimum pension age hike: Will pension age changes be put on hold at Budget?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak is set to announce his Autumn Budget on October 27. An alteration to the current plans for the normal minimum pension age could ... Read more »

City banks and financial services firms bet heavily on tech and data analytics

© Provided by City AM Banking and financial services firms plan to step up their tech investments in the coming 12 months to improve both front and back-end technology. In ... Read more »

Miners weigh on FTSE 100 as investors await UK budget

(Reuters) – UK stocks slipped on Wednesday as miners were hit by sliding metal prices, although some positive earnings reports helped limit losses as investors awaited the government’s spending plan. ... Read more »

'Optimistic' Sunak gets Budget firepower thanks to UK growth upgrade

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo BUDGET 2021: WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW RISHI WILL ‘REVEAL’ TODAY  The Government has already announced spending worth more than £30billion which Rishi Sunak ... Read more »

Peat protection key for UK conservationists tackling climate change

1 / 6Peat protection key for UK conservationists tackling climate changeA flooded area of Peat bog is seen on Black Ashop moor near Glossop By Lucy Marks and Natalie Thomas ... Read more »

William Pitt statue in Edinburgh could be removed despite him branding slavery 'curse of mankind'

The bronze sculpture of William Pitt – UIG/Reimar Gaertner Abolitionist William Pitt’s statue could be removed by Edinburgh council pending a public consultation on how to address the “city’s legacy ... Read more »

10 brilliant, bold queer Black Britons who deserve more shine

As the UK celebrates Black History Month, A.I.D of Dope Black Queers honours 10 Black Brits who’ve made invaluable contributions to the LGBT+ community. 1. Yvonne Taylor Taylor was one ... Read more »

Teenager charged with murdering two boys

A teenager has been charged with the murder of two boys following a disturbance in Essex early on Sunday morning. Frankie Watson, 19, of Baker Street, Orsett, Essex, has been ... Read more »

Video: NHS's 'world beating' £37BILLION Test and Trace program was an 'eyewatering' waste of taxpayer cash and at its BEST only 49% of £1,000-a-day tracers were working, report reveals

Read more »

Video: 'It's gone from innuendo to baking PORN!' GBBO's Prue Leith takes show's racy reputation to new levels with 'off-the chart muck' double entendres... leaving viewers and stars in hysterics

Read more »

Video: China carries out first successful test of underwater explosives that could destroy US ports after launching 'satellite-crushing' weapon and hypersonic missile

Read more »

Mauricio Pochettino 'still Manchester United's number one choice' if they sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with the Paris Saint-Germain boss 'highly rated' by club legend Sir Alex Ferguson

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under pressure after Sunday's 5-0 loss to LiverpoolManchester United will keep the struggling Norwegian boss for now Mauricio Pochettino has been linked to United several times in recent yearsThe Paris Saint-Germain boss is reportedly 'still United's top choice'Pochettino is highly rated by United's legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson  Read more »

Deputy headmistress, 30, is FIRED after posting revenge porn pictures of her boyfriend's ex on Facebook with the caption 'She is emailing Gaz her t*ts FFS'

Antonia Traynor, 30, shared images of her boyfriend's ex's breasts on Facebook The former deputy headteacher, of Swinton, Greater Manchester, later threatened her victim by mouthing at her 'you're f****** dead' during school run Traynor has since lost her job at the school and is now claiming Universal Credit Read more »

Sudan arrests 3 activist as pressure mounts on military

© Provided by Associated Press People burn tires during a protest a day after the military seized power Khartoum, Sudan, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. The takeover came after weeks of ... Read more »

One unnamed Manchester United star 'is questioning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's call to make Harry Maguire captain six months after joining', as more reports of dressing room disharmony emerge

The discontent at Manchester United continues with under-fire manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly questioned by one first-team player over why he appointed Harry Maguire as captain of the club. The ... Read more »

Video: Bizarre moment anti-vaccine mandate protesters swarm ABC offices plastering the windows with flyers and claiming 'the media is the virus' 

Read more »

Video: Tana Mongeau puts on a VERY cheeky display in a plunging thong leotard as she dresses up as a sexy Powerpuff girl for Halloween party

Read more »

There's a growing demand for value-based healthcare in the UAE: Dr Sangita Reddy

© Provided by Khaleej Times Dr Sangita Reddy is the youngest daughter of Dr Prathap C Reddy, an Indian entrepreneur and cardiologist who founded the first corporate chain of hospitals, ... Read more »

Viral alert! Toddler doesn't want to eat roti-sabzi, dal-chawal, he wants cake - Watch cute video

© Provided by Zee News Who wants to eat roti sabzi or daal chawal if there’s some yummy cake available? Not this kid, at least! A cute video of a ... Read more »

Hong Kong passes film censorship law to 'safeguard national security'

© Reuters/TYRONE SIU Trailer of Hong Kong’s movie ‘The Attorney’ is seen outside a cinema, in Hong Kong By Jessie Pang HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s legislature passed a ... Read more »

Madrid court suspends Bayern's Lucas Hernandez prison term

© Reuters/ANDREAS GEBERT FILE PHOTO: Champions League – Group E – Bayern Munich v Dynamo Kyiv MADRID (Reuters) – A Madrid court has suspended Bayern Munich and France defender Lucas ... Read more »

Bigg Boss 15: Rajiv Adatia reveals he's very close to Ieshaan; Latter blasts him saying ‘I'm a straight guy'

© Provided by Pinkvilla The new entry of Rajiv Adatia as a wildcard contestant has shaken the prior relationships in the house. With the entry in the house, he revealed ... Read more »

I've been a school teacher for three years and this is where your teenagers hide things that they never want you to find

HAVING a teenager is not easy and parenting teens can be difficult.  But if you’re concerned that your teen is hiding something, we’ve spoken to an expert to help you ... Read more »

21 beauty hampers for a more personalised gifting experience this festive season

This Diwali, make gifting a personal experience with beauty hampers that give your loved ones a feeling of pampering and indulgence.  Diwali gifting can be divided into two categories – ... Read more »

Rude ‘Sammy Snake' bouncy castle from Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights available to rent for £200

A RUDE bouncy castle once featured in Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights is available for hire. The Sammy Snake x-rated inflatable appeared in a 2002 episode – but can be yours ... Read more »

Covid travel requirements: Latest entry guidelines for the US, Turkey, and Ireland among other countries

© Moneycontrol News Covid travel requirements: Latest entry guidelines for the US, Turkey, and Ireland among other countries Starting November 8, foreign nationals travelling to the United States will be ... Read more »

GMB's Richard Madeley speechless as Insulate Britain protester screams swearwords live on air

GOOD Morning Britain's Richard Madeley couldn't believe his ears today when a guest screamed “stop sending d**k shaped rockets into space!” The live gaffe from an Insulate Britain protestor stunned ... Read more »

Aditya Roy Kapur Held An Impromptu Mini Concert In Gurugram & His Surprised Fans Loved It

© Provided by MensXP Sunil Grover is one of those rare artistes who not only managed to tickle all of our funny bones with his comedic genius, but also impressed ... Read more »

Man, 28, charged with rape after woman ‘has drink spiked on night out'

DETECTIVES have today charged a man with rape after a woman had her “drink spiked” during a night out last month. Dale Garlick, 28, allegedly raped the woman while she ... Read more »

Teaser of Vasanthabalan's Long-delayed 'Jail' to be Out on Wednesday

© Provided by News18 Tamil actor Dhanush will release the teaser of Vasanthabalan’s long-delayed action project “Jail” on Wednesday, October 27, at 5 pm. According to media reports, the film ... Read more »

Raveena Tandon's 47th birthday celebration began in India and ended in Los Angeles. All pics

Raveena Tandon shared pictures from her birthday celebrations. Raveena Tandon had a gala time on her 47th birthday (October 26). From cutting a cake at midnight at home in India ... Read more »

Amid Ranbir Kapoor & Alia Bhatt's December wedding rumours, here's what Soni Razdan has to say

© Provided by Pinkvilla Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt are one of the most talked about couples in Bollywood. While the lovebirds have been dating each other for quite some ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic