News & Politics
The Week

The Week V. 1247

The Week covers the Best of the British and Foreign Media. With its non partisan reporting, The Week gives the reader an insight into all the the news, people, arts, drama, property, books and how the international media has reported it. This concise guide allows the reader to be up to date and have a wealth of knowledge to allow them to discuss all these key topics with their friends and peers.

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53 Issues

in this issue

9 min.
the main stories… …and how they were covered

What happened Deal or no deal? Boris Johnson unveiled what No. 10 said was his “final offer” to Brussels this week, at the end of a Tory conference conducted under the slogan “Get Brexit Done”. The PM called the formal proposal, designed to replace the contentious Irish backstop, a “fair and reasonable compromise”. The UK was “not an anti-European country”, he said; it just wanted “a new relationship with the EU”. Under the plan, Northern Ireland would remain in the EU single market until at least 2025, but leave the EU customs union with the rest of the UK at the end of the transition period in 2021. The former would require a regulatory border down the Irish Sea; the latter would require customs checks within Ireland, although No. 10 believes these…

2 min.

Controversy of the week A “toxic” Parliament? It was “the most repulsive parliamentary spectacle this country has seen in our lifetimes”, said Jonathan Lis in Prospect. Summoned back to the Commons last Wednesday, to face MPs for the first time since the Supreme Court ruled that his suspension of Parliament was unlawful, Boris Johnson did not apologise. He did not show humility. Instead, he doubled down – thundering that he would “not betray the people”. He declared that Parliament should “stand aside”; he used the phrase “Surrender Act” no fewer than 15 times to describe the Benn Act, which stops the UK leaving the EU without a deal. But the real nadir came when the Labour MP Paula Sherriff invoked the memory of her friend Jo Cox, pleading angrily with the PM…

1 min.
spirit of the age

Help is at hand for toddlers bewildered by the current political crisis: a new picture book, The Little Island, promises to introduce pre-schoolers to the “complexity” of the Brexit debate. Described as “Animal Farm for the Brexit generation”, it tells the story of some ducks and geese who live on an island on a pond beside a farm. The geese, representing Leavers, want the island to be cut off from the farm, while the ducks want to stay. Japan Airlines is introducing an online booking tool that will display where seats have been booked for infants, so that other passengers can select seats away from them. The “child icon” will pop up to alert customers to the presence of children aged between eight days and two years.…

1 min.
bad week for

Communal living, with a study showing that 90% of shared flats and houses in London – and a third across the country – have no living room. The Times’ report says landlords are maximising their returns by turning communal spaces into bedrooms. Labradoodles, after the man who created the mixed-breed dog described it as his “life’s regret”. Australian Wally Conron created the first labradoodle in 1989 as a guide dog for a woman whose husband was allergic to dog hair. But he says now most of the labradoodles he meets are “crazy or have a hereditary problem”. Common Entrance, Britain’s oldest exam, with news that it is to be scrapped. Introduced in 1904 to select boys for entrance to 13 leading private schools, the exam – which covers 11 subjects – is…

1 min.
vaccination measures

The Health Secretary has said he is considering making childhood vaccinations mandatory, to combat the recent drop in immunisation rates. At the Tory party conference, Matt Hancock said he was “looking very seriously” at the idea, which would mean unvaccinated children would not be allowed to start school. However, Downing Street later stressed that this was not on its agenda: it said the Government hoped to boost the vaccination rate by making it easier for parents to book appointments for the jabs. In 2018-19, rates for the first round of the MMR jab (measles, mumps, rubella) fell to 90.3% in England, well below the 95% required for “herd immunity”.…

1 min.
poll watch

Asked who would make the best Prime Minister, 41% of Britons say Boris Johnson; 21% say Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson, and 18% say Jeremy Corbyn. Survation/Daily Mail 45% of UK adults think the Prime Minister should face criminal charges if he breaks the law by refusing to seek a delay to Brexit. 37% think he should not; 18% don’t know. YouGov/ The Sunday Times Boris Johnson is losing support among women: 47% now describe him as “dislikeable”, up seven points since the end of August. By contrast, the proportion of men who think he’s dislikeable has fallen, from 43% to 42%. Only 19% of women say the PM is honest, compared with 25% of men. YouGov/The Times…