The Guardian

Brexit: No deal would put lives at risk, says former chief medical officer – live news

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Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen 9.33am BST As the Liverpool Echo reports, there is speculation that the Boris Johnson/Leo Varadkar meeting will take place in the city.This would be another reason why No 10 might want to keep the location of the talks secret, because Johnson is still unpopular in the city because of an editorial he published when he was editor of the Spectator 15 years ago that was offensive to Liverpudlians.If Boris Johnson is in Liverpool this week – he should put time aside to, at long last, acknowledge the pain he caused as Editor of the Spectator, in publishing an article that smeared our city and the lives of 96 football fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough. 96 – not “more than 50” – as the piece contemptuously put it. They were 96 innocent men, women and children who were unlawfully killed in Britain’s worst ever sporting disaster.On three separate occasions when I have raised this issue with him, and on the floor of House of Commons when pressed by @meaglemp, he has refused to apologise for the hurt those comments caused.If Boris Johnson wishes to be a Prime Minister for the whole United Kingdom – not merely parts of it – he must do the right thing and apologise unreservedly, once and for all. 9.16am BST The most important event today will almost certainly be Boris Johnson’s private meeting with Leo Varadkar, his Irish opposite number, where the two leaders will make one final attempt to reach agreement on an alternative to the backstop, which is the key that would unlock a Brexit deal. But it is also the event that may be hardest to report. Yesterday No 10 just said the meeting would place at lunchtime somewhere in the north west of England. “There are no media opportunities and this will not be open to the media or the pool,” the Downing Street operational note said. Obviously that won’t stop journalists trying to find out where the meeting is taking place, and doorstepping the two PMs, but they may not succeed.In the meantime, we had a fresh warning about the dangers of a no-deal Brexit this morning. As the Evening Standard’s Joe Murphy has pointed out, in the Commons last month the Labour MP Tracy Brabin asked Michael Gove if he could give her an assurance that “no one in this country will suffer in their health because of a no-deal Brexit”. Gove, the Cabinet Office minister in charge of no-deal planning, replied with a single word: “Yes.”The health service and everyone has worked very hard to prepare. But I say what I’ve said before – that we cannot guarantee that there will not be shortages, not only in medicines but technology and gadgets and things. And there may be deaths, we can’t guarantee there won’t. Continue reading…

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Author : Andrew Sparrow

Publish date : 2019-10-10 08:33:45

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