Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 13 Dec 2020

The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am

1

Chance of no-deal ‘now at 80%’

Brexit trade talks have entered their final day with both sides warning they are unlikely to reach an agreement. A government source says the terms offered by the European Union are “unacceptable” to the UK. The Mail on Sunday claims the chances of a no-deal Brexit are at “80%” as Germany’s Angela Merkel tries to “make Britain crawl across broken glass”.

2

Europhile Tories slam Johnson

Conservative party grandees have voiced their disgust at Boris Johnson’s plan for a “nationalist” no-deal Brexit. Former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine said: “This government will be – and should be – held responsible for quite simply the worst peacetime decision of modern times.” Damian Green, a former cabinet minister, said: “Every rational person in Britain and Europe knows a deal would be better all round.”

3

Health chiefs urge Covid caution

NHS bosses have warned that easing Covid restrictions could trigger a third wave of the virus during the busiest time of year for hospitals. Writing to Boris Johnson, NHS Providers called for “extreme caution” before moving any area to a lower tier. On Saturday, the UK reported a further 519 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test and 21,502 new cases.

4

Protesters clash in Washington

There have been violent clashes on the streets of Washington DC after far-right groups clashed with counter-protesters. Four people were reportedly stabbed and 23 arrested as darkness fell and crowds began to disperse from a demonstration by Trump supporters. Pro-Trump protests also took place in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona.

5

Barneys owner to bid for Debenhams

The owner of iconic Manhattan department store brand Barneys is planning a double takeover of Debenhams and Arcadia Group. The US retail giant Authentic Brands is in talks with the administrators of both beleaguered outlets. City sources told the Sunday Telegraph that Authentic Brands has “deep pockets” and is considering bids for both retailers.

6

Police find mother of dead baby

Police says they have found the mother of a newborn baby found dead in a private garden in Somerset. The baby boy's body was discovered in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare. Police are treating the baby's death as unexplained. Det Ch Insp Mike Buck said it was a “very sad and distressing” case. The mother has been taken to hospital.

7

World on track to miss Paris targets

A UK minister has warned that the world is still not on track to fulfil the 2015 Paris climate agreement. After a summit of more than 70 world leaders on the climate crisis ended with few new commitments, the UK’s business secretary Alok Sharma said: “[People] will ask ‘Have we done enough to put the world on track to limit warming to 1.5C and protect people and nature from the effects of climate change?’ The answer to that is currently no.”

8

Moroccan Islamists denounce Israel agreement

Islamist groups in Morocco have rejected the government’s plan to normalise ties with Israel, following a deal brokered by the US. The Unity and Reform Movement said the move was “deplorable”. The Islamist PJD party restated the party’s “firm position against the Zionist occupation”. Morocco has become the fourth Arab nation since August to announce a US-brokered deal to normalise relations with Israel.

9

UK banks ‘well prepared’ for Covid storm

The Bank of England says UK lenders are well prepared for serious economic shocks and can continue to lend during the pandemic. In its latest financial stability report, it said banks have built up strong capital buffers since the financial crisis more than a decade ago. It also claimed that most risks to the UK's financial stability posed by a no-deal Brexit have been mitigated.

10

Car is driven into Black Livers Matter protest

A woman has been arrested after allegedly driving her car into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in Manhattan on Friday. Eye-witnesses say the car ploughed forward, with protesters sent “flying” and people screaming and running in panic. Six people were injured. One onlooker said the incident was “traumatising” and “horrifying”.

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