Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 1 Feb 2020

1

Britain leaves the EU after 47 years of membership

Britain has officially left the European Union after 47 years of membership. Most EU laws will continue to be in force until 31 December, when the transition period comes to an end. By then, the UK hopes to have signed a Canada-style permanent free trade agreement with the EU. Boris Johnson has vowed to bring the country together and “take us forward”. 

2

Officials start search as coronavirus arrives in Britain

Health authorities are trying to trace people who had close contact with two Chinese nationals diagnosed with the new strain of coronavirus in the UK. Public Health England said anyone who came within two metres of those infected for 15 minutes or more should receive health advice. Meanwhile, Britons evacuated from China are beginning two weeks in quarantine.

3

Trump trade deal ‘would force NHS to pay higher prices’

Donald Trump will demand that the NHS pays higher prices for US drugs in a free-trade deal with the UK, says the outgoing British ambassador to Washington. Kim Darroch said Trump would reward his backers in drug firms and farming communities by opening up British markets. But Darroch questioned what benefits for the UK there could be in such a deal.

4

Families face ‘obscene’ delays for DWP benefit payments

The BBC says that people with the most serious complaints about the Department for Work and Pensions have to wait 18 months before their cases are investigated. Although the DWP said it appreciates “the impact that waiting for an investigation can have on people and their families,” one man in dispute with one of its agencies called the delay “obscene”.

5

Airbus faces record fine after bribery and corruption probe

Airbus is preparing to pay a record €3.6bn (£3bn) to settle an international bribery and corruption investigation. The joint settlement with US, French and British authorities is the largest-ever fine in a corruption case and concerns payments the plane maker made to middlemen to secure contracts. The fine brings to an end almost four years of turmoil for Airbus.

6

Donald Trump set for acquittal as senators reject witnesses

Donald Trump is poised to be acquitted in his impeachment trial after senators voted against calling witnesses or admitting new evidence. Senate leaders struck an agreement to hold the final vote to acquit the US president on the two articles of impeachment on Wednesday afternoon. Democrats had hoped four swing Republicans would vote for witnesses.

7

Weinstein accuser gives harrowing testimony at trial

A former aspiring actress who says Harvey Weinstein raped her on two occasions has said he shouted "You owe me!" before one of the alleged attacks. Jessica Mann, 34, told the disgraced Hollywood mogul's trial that she was in an “extremely degrading” relationship with Weinstein between 2012 and 2013. Weinstein, 67, has insisted that any sexual encounters were consensual.

8

Boris Johnson hints that HS2 will get the go ahead

Boris Johnson has hinted yet that he intends for HS2 to go ahead after saying that the way forward was to “keep digging”. Quizzed by child interviewers on Sky News, he said: “So we’re in a hole, we’re in a mess. But we’ve got to get out of it. In a hole the size of HS2, the only thing to do is keep digging.”

9

Quietest deadline day since 2010 ends football's winter window

Premier League clubs spent just £25m on deadline day - the lowest tally since 2010. Premier League clubs spent £230m in the month, the second highest total ever, but West Ham's late capture of Hull City forward Jarrod Bowen for an initial £18m was the only big-money move of the final day. The deadline closed for English clubs at 11pm last night.

10

‘Rise and shine’: papers mark Brexit in different styles

The morning papers have marked Britain’s exit from the European Union with striking front pages. “Rise and shine…it’s a glorious New Britain,” says the Daily Express. “Make Leave, Not War,” says The Sun. The Guardian describes Brexit sadly as “the day we said goodbye,” while the Daily Star opts for “Supervet Saves Dec’s Dog.”

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