Tuesday, 21 September 2021: No 10 warned energy crisis and cuts could plunge households into hardship, US to ease travel restrictions for foreign visitors, Rich nations must increase climate support funds, says Boris Johnson


No 10 warned energy crisis and cuts could plunge households into hardship: Hundreds of thousands of Britons face a very difficult winter thanks to rising household costs, No 10 has been warned, as firms said the energy price shock could trigger a three-day week for factories and further gaps on supermarket shelves. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said there was „no question of the lights going out“ this winter as a result of huge rises in gas prices. Kwarteng said he does „not expect supply emergencies“ and described warnings about shortages as „alarmist“. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted he cannot guarantee a normal Christmas this year, insisting that it was “very much not the plan” to cancel Christmas for a second year in succession, after he ordered Britons to avoid family get-togethers as the Kent variant of COVID-19 sent cases soaring last December. But he stopped short of promising that the festive season would be back to normal, stressing that the winter plan set out by the government earlier this month envisaged possible Plan B restrictions – including mandatory face-masks and vaccine passports – if the NHS was coming under unsustainable pressure.
theguardian.com, bbc.com, independent.co.uk

Dozens of Afghan interpreters hit by Ministry of Defence data breach: Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has ordered an investigation into a data breach involving dozens of Afghan interpreters who worked for British forces. More than 250 former workers seeking evacuation to the UK were mistakenly copied into an email from the Ministry of Defence asking for an update on their situation, the BBC reported. Their email addresses could be seen by all recipients, showing people’s names and some associated profile pictures. The Ministry of Defence has apologised in a statement.
bbc.com, independent.co.uk

Labour’s Dan Jarvis to step down as mayor of South Yorkshire after first term: Dan Jarvis, who has spent the last three years as a Labour MP and the mayor of South Yorkshire, will not seek another term in the latter job, he has announced, saying he had never planned to carry out the dual role in the long term.

Brexit: Johnson’s claim Dutch PM offered to mediate in Brexit row not true, say sources theguardian.com
Racism: Sikh MP Tanmanjeet Dhesi describes the racist abuse he faces for wearing a turban independent.co.uk
Transgender issues: MP Rosie Duffield wants meeting with Sir Keir Starmer over transgender debate bbc.com
Universal credit: Young people ‚at risk of repeat homelessness‘ if £20 Universal Credit uplift cut, charities warn news.sky.com
Country retreat: Ministers rebuked by Boris Johnson for ‘frippery’ amid battle over use of Chevening country house independent.co.uk


+++ Jobs at politjobs.eu +++ Don’t miss any jobs with the politjobs.eu job alert +++


US to ease travel restrictions for foreign visitors: The United States will ease travel restrictions for international visitors who are vaccinated against COVID-19 in November, including those from the UK and EU, the White House said Monday. Noncitizens visiting the United States will have to show proof of vaccination and a negative Covid test taken within three days of departure, said Jeff Zients, who is leading the nation’s Covid response efforts for the White House. Fully vaccinated passengers will not be subject to any quarantine mandates upon arrival in the US.
cnbc.com, cnn.com

French submarine dispute could torpedo EU-Australia trade talks: France is threatening to block talks on a planned free trade agreement between Europe and Australia after the Australian government ditched a huge deal to buy French submarines. Clément Beaune, France’s European affairs secretary, told „Politico“ that Europe could hardly continue talks for a free-trade agreement after such a breach of trust. But Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan on Monday insisted that the negotiations between the EU and Australia on a future trade deal are not being hamstrung by France’s fury at losing the multibillion-dollar submarine deal with Canberra. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, meanwhile, said France was treated in an „unacceptable“ way when Australia, Britain and the United States negotiated a defence pact ditching its contract to supply submarines to Canberra. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told France not to worry about Britain’s new defence partnership with the US and Australia, insisting that it did not alter the UK’s “ineradicable” love of its cross-Channel neighbour.
cnn.com, politico.eu (Beaune); politico.eu (Tehan); rte.ie (Leyen); independent.co.uk (Johnson)

Rich nations must increase climate support funds, says Boris Johnson: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow next month marks a turning point for the world. The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow at the end of October. Speaking at a UN gathering in New York, Johnson said he was increasingly frustrated at support offered to countries hit hard by global warming. He added many richer economies had pledged nowhere near enough. Some 100 world leaders are meeting at the UN General Assembly this week, ahead of the UN climate conference in Glasgow.
standard.co.uk, bbc.com

Welted men’s footwear: Superior craftsmanship in shoemaking. Buy directly from our manufactures avoiding expensive middlemen. Experience true shoe freedom, handcrafted and custom made from the finest Italian leather. No matter the occasion; be it for the office, leisure or weddings – we have the appropriate pair of shoes

EU criticises Russia election: The EU has expressed its concern over political intimidation ahead of the elections in Russia. „What we have seen in the run-up to these elections was an atmosphere of intimidation of all the critical independent voices,“ said EU foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano. US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the elections took place under conditions not conducive to free and fair proceedings. And the UK Foreign Office said „measures taken by the Russian authorities to marginalise civil society, silence independent media and exclude genuine opposition candidates from participating in the elections undermine political plurality and are at odds with the international commitments that Russia has signed up to.“

MEPs prod Commission to chart animal testing phase out: Lawmakers in the European Parliament have adopted a non-binding resolution asking the EU Commission to come up with an action plan to phase out the use of animals for scientific experiments and tests. The text ultimately consists of a set of suggestions to the EU executive and contributes to the debate about alternatives to animal testing. The adopted resolution does not create any obligation for the Commission to act as the European Parliament does not hold the legislative initiative power in the EU system.

UN General Assembly: Germany’s foreign minister warns of humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan deutschlandfunk.de
Embargo: Russian President Putin extends import ban on food from the EU spiegel.de
Rising gas prices: European governments weigh billions in aid ft.com
IoT: EU Commission plans new regulation for more IoT security heise.de
iPhone: Brussels wants Apple to change charging system by 2024 politico.eu
Brexit: EU exodus from UK continues, new data finds euractiv.com
Early general election: Why the Canadian election matters to Europe politico.eu


What we see there is a lost opportunity.
Jörg-Andreas Krüger, president of the nature conservation organisation NABU, on the national laws implementing the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).


Macron apologises for French treatment of Algerian Harki fighters: French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday asked „forgiveness“ on behalf of his country for abandoning Algerians who fought alongside France in their country’s war of independence. More than 200,000 Algerians fought with the French army in the war that pitted Algerian independence fighters against their French colonial masters from 1954 to 1962. At the end of the war – waged on both sides with extreme brutality, including widespread torture – the French government left the loyalist fighters known as Harkis to fend for themselves, despite earlier promises that it would look after them.

EU court fines Poland over refusal to shut down coal mine: Poland must pay the European Commission €500,000 for each day it continues to extract lignite at the Turow mine near the border with the Czech Republic, the Court of Justice of the European Union said Monday. The court said the daily fine was necessary to get Poland to comply with the court’s temporary injunction in May that called for the immediate closure of the Turow mine. The Czech government welcomed the decision, saying that the open-cast mine is draining water from Czech villages in the area and doing other harm to the local environment. The Polish government responded by calling the fine „disproportionate“ and saying it won’t shut the massive open pit mine.
politico.eu, apnews.com

Volcano erupts on La Palma island, nobody hurt but much damage: The volcano on La Palma, the first that has erupted in Spain since 1971, has the Canary Island on tenterhooks a day after it started to shoot out fire, smoke and ash. Up until now, the fissures that opened up Sunday in the Montaña Rajada mountains in the municipality of El Paso have emitted a lava flow measuring an average of six metres high, moving at a speed of around 300 metres per hour on Monday afternoon. It was destroying everything it touched through localities such as Tacande and El Paraíso.
english.elpais.com, apnews.com

German finance minister grilled in fraud probe: On Monday, German lawmakers questioned Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, the frontrunner in the race to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor, over an investigation into an anti-money laundering agency overseen by his ministry. Scholz was called in front of MPs after the finance and justice ministries were raided by prosecutors on 9 September as part of a probe into the Cologne-based Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The body, part of Germany’s customs authority tasked with tackling money laundering, is suspected of failing to report potential wrongdoing to the relevant authorities. Speaking after the hearing, Scholz said his ministry had taken steps to continually improve how the FIU works so that potential offenders do not go undiscovered.

Ukraine holds military drills with US forces and NATO allies: Ukraine began joint military exercises with US and other NATO troops on Monday, at a time when neighbouring Russia and Belarus have been holding large-scale drills that alarmed the West.

Hungary: Opposition alliance primaries resume after computer system crash over the weekend; Orban launches election campaign faz.net; reuters.com
Austria will require masks, COVID-19 passes for ski lifts reuters.com
Germany’s roadmap for greener CAP subsidies euractiv.com
Ireland’s opposition to global tax deal unchanged reuters.com
Mediterranean countries sign deal after summer of fires theguardian.com


Die GIZ sucht für den Standort Bien Hoa/Vietnam, eine:n Digital Ambassador: Entwicklungshelfer:in als Berater:in für eine Berufsschule in Vietnam (m/w/d)+++Die GIZ sucht für den Standort Neu Delhi/Indien, eine:n (Junior-)Berater:in im Bereich internationale Wirtschaftskooperation mit Indien (m/w/d)+++Das Verbindungsbüro Kärnten in Brüssel sucht zum frühestmöglichen Zeitpunkt (spätestens 1. Oktober 2021) eine:n Referent:in für Kommunikation und Organisation (m/w/d)+++Science Europe is looking for a Communications Manager (m/f/d)+++Transparency International EU is looking for an Intern Communications/Editorial Assistant (m/f/d)+++Jobs at politjobs.eu +++ Don’t miss any jobs with the politjobs.eu job alert +++


Austrian far-right leader swats at rumours he was secretly vaccinated: The vaccine-hating leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) is taking legal action to silence talk that he has secretly been inoculated against COVID-19. Speaking with internet portal oe24, PR strategist Wolfgang Rosam referenced a rumour that Kickl had secretly been vaccinated. It is an awkward situation for Kickl, who has continuously raged against Covid vaccinations in his public appearances. He claims the scuttlebutt is an attack on his “political credibility through fake assumptions and their reproduction.”


Newsletter subscription
Subscribe to our free daily newsletter with a compact overview of European topics:
Previous editions

Other political briefings

Our digital news briefings