“Britain risks losing battles of the future to tech-savvy China and Russia “without a shot being fired” unless it adapts, a senior military chief has warned. General Sir Patrick Sanders, 54, who oversees cyber, Special Forces and intelligence as head of Strategic Command, said that the UK faced a “moment of reckoning” now it had left the European Union. Britain needed to fight back in the so-called grey zone, an area between peace and war, he said, and focus more on algorithms and cyber rather than the size of the military and conventional weaponry.” – The Times

  • £80bn boost for military to arm it with new tanks, warships and ‘kamikaze drones’ – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

Analysis:

  • Defence review: Soft power and the march of the machines as radical redesign creates modern military force – The Times

Iain Duncan Smith – Frost is absolutely right to be getting tough with the bullying EU

“It didn’t take long before the usual suspects were out, attacking the appointment of Lord Frost and trying to lay the blame at his door for what they referred to as our deteriorating relations with the EU. Frost, the Remainers claim, is too abrasive, he needs to be more conciliatory, soften his tone. Yet we already know where such a hopeless negotiating stance leaves us, for it was that approach to the talks early on that left the UK with the mess of the Northern Ireland protocol in the first place. Compare Lord Frost’s performance in the Brexit negotiations with that of Olly Robbins (remember him?). Robins was the exact opposite of Lord Frost, always smiling at Monsieur Barnier and constantly showing, as one attendee of the meetings put it, as though he was desperate to be friends.” – Daily Telegraph

More comment:

Gove to work part-time in Glasgow … as Johnson seeks goodwill in Belfast

“Michael Gove is to work part-time from Glasgow as the government steps up its efforts to make the case for the Union to Scottish voters. More than 500 civil servants will be installed in a new headquarters for the Cabinet Office in the city next year in a move described as bringing the “engine room of the UK government” to Scotland. Gove’s arrival in Glasgow is likely to antagonise Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, who have accused the Cabinet Office minister and Boris Johnson of seeking to dismantle the devolution settlement. The prime minister is to renew his threat to reject any request for a second independence referendum in a speech to the Scottish Conservative spring conference tomorrow.” – The Times

Comment:

Johnson will end ‘repulsive’ LGBT conversion therapy

“Boris Johnson has announced he will end “repulsive” conversion therapy, as he apologised to three LGBT advisers who quit over a lack of progress. The catalyst for the resignations was a debate in Parliament this week on gay conversion therapy, which drew attention to the Government’s failure to take action.  Mr Johnson said last year that he wanted to ban the controversial “therapy”, yet campaigners said that little action had been taken to do so. However, the Prime Minister and Equalities Minister, Liz Truss, announced on Friday that a ban on the practice is imminent. Conversion therapy attempts to change or suppress a person’s sexuality or gender identity.” – Daily Telegraph

Britain has underestimated the number of EU citizens in the country, according to Times analysis

“Parts of the country have more than six times as many EU citizens living there than previously thought, analysis by The Times has revealed. Home Office data shows that 12,000 people in Arun, in West Sussex, have been granted the right to remain in the UK under the EU settlement scheme, despite official figures previously estimating that only 2,000 EU citizens lived there. In nearby Worthing the number of EU citizens granted settled status is 5,200, more than five times the 1,000 EU citizens believed to have been resident there. There are three times as many Europeans given residency in South Kesteven in the East Midlands, Redditch in the West Midlands and Wolverhampton, where 27,000 EU citizens have been given settled status.” – The Times

Jenrick’s U-turn on Cumbrian mine stokes the anger of red wall Tories

“Ministers have been accused of “putting Britain at Putin’s mercy” by Conservative MPs after the communities secretary reversed on plans for the UK’s first deep coalmine in 30 years, making it the second to be denied approval in the space of a year. Ministers had previously refused to intervene on the issue but last night Robert Jenrick called in the application for the mine near Whitehaven in Cumbria. A public inquiry will now be held with the final decision made by the government rather than Cumbria county council. Conservative MPs in red wall seats were aghast by the sudden decision, with one accusing Jenrick of “bowing to climate terrorists” again.” – The Times

Analysis:

  • Approving Cumbrian mine would have global consequences – The Times

News in brief:





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