Cabinet 'divided' as Brexit talks resume

Chancellor Philip Hammond has reportedly been accused of “treachery” by his cabinet colleagues over his desire a two-year transition deal with the EU to cushion the blow of leaving the bloc. Brexit Secretary David Davis begins the next round of negotiations with the EU today. 

South Korea proposes talks with North

South Korea has offered to re-start military talks with the North for the first time since 2015. Newly-elected President Moon Jae-in campaigned on a softer approach to North Korea and has called for a peace treaty, despite frequent missile tests by Kim Jong-un. North Korea has not responded to the talks proposal yet.

Northern route for HS2 to be announced

The route which the new high-speed rail link will take north of Birmingham will be announced today. A decision has been delayed because of disagreements about how HS2 should pass through Sheffield and opposition to the government’s preferred route, which will mean demolishing a newly-built housing estate in Mexborough.

Hidden costs hit warplane price tag

The Times says defence cuts mean the RAF’s next generation of warplanes will be unable to fly properly without huge extra investment in hidden costs such as software upgrades and spare parts. The US-built F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is supposed to cost £77m to £100m per plane – but the real cost will be £150m.

High Court hears right-to-die case

Terminally-ill retired lecturer Noel Conway begins the latest stage of his legal bid to be allowed to end his life with medical help today. The High Court will hear arguments over five days after the Appeal Court ruled in April his request for a judicial review should be considered. The 67-year-old has motor neurone disease.

UK is 'sleepwalking' into food insecurity

Three food policy experts are warning today that Britain is “sleepwalking” into food insecurity, with ministers and the public complacent after decades of stable prices and uninterrupted supplies thanks to Britain’s membership of the EU. The academics say there has been little thinking on replacing EU legislation or subsidies after Brexit.

Doctor Who fans divided over Whittaker

According to the BBC, the response by Doctor Who fans to the first female Doctor is “divided”. Many comments are positive, however, with fans delighted that Broadchurch star Jodie Whittaker will play the Time Lord. One commenter said the absence of female leads in science fiction in general has been “embarrassing”.

Living Dead director Romero dies at 77

Film director George A Romero has died at the age of 77 after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer”, his producing partner has said. Romero made the horror classic Night of the Living Dead in 1968 and followed it with several sequels. He added a pinch of social satire and humour to the gore-filled zombie genre.

Study: Most people kiss from the right

An international study by psychologists and neuroscientists has found that most humans turn their heads to the right when kissing. The preference seems to cross cultures, according to researchers from the universities of Dhaka, Bath and Bath Spa. They added to existing western research by studying 48 married couples in Bangladesh.

Briefing: Are we heading for a messy Brexit?

“Brexit is an opportunity,” said the Prime Minister last week. “It’s an opportunity for us to get out there and embrace the world and I think the world is waiting.”

But it may not be an easy one to grasp. Also speaking last week, Amyas Morse, the head of the National Audit Office, described the exit process as Britain’s “biggest peacetime challenge”. That, he said, was “only just beginning to click into awareness” for those in government.

“The government needs to act as far as possible in a unified way and we have an issue there because of departmental government,” he added. “What we don’t want to find is that at the first tap, this falls apart like a chocolate orange.”

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