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PM warned CO2 situation ‘national security issue’ – follow live

PM warned CO2 situation ‘national security issue’ – follow live
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Boris Johnson cabinet reshuffle: How does his new team look?

Boris Johnson’s government has been warned that the UK faces a “national security issue” over a sudden shortage of carbon dioxide (CO2) used by the food and drink industry, with the issue set to cause problems in the food supply chain.

Ranjit Singh Boparan, the owner of Bernard Matthews and 2 Sisters Food Group, warned on Saturday that there was potential for “massive food waste” across the country due to the shortage, which is linked to a spike in wholesale gas prices.

“This is clearly a national security issue and unlike the labour supply crisis, where the government response to our sector has been disappointing to say the least, it has to be dealt with as a matter of urgency,” Mr Boparan said.

It came as new foreign secretary Liz Truss defended the UK’s security pact with the US and Australia (AUKUS) following strong criticism from France over the deal.

The pact has infuriated Paris after the Australian government announced that it would be pulling out of a £30bn agreement with the French to supply it with conventionally-powered diesel-electric submarines.

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You can find more of Sir Ed Davey’s comments on the Liberal Democrats’ chances in the next general election below:

Conrad Duncan19 September 2021 10:05
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Lib Dem leader says party can take many seats from Tories

The Liberal Democrats can take “a lot” of seats from the Conservatives at the next general election, the party’s leader has claimed.

Ahead of his party conference speech, Sir Ed Davey told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “What we found in the local elections in knocking on doors, now we are able to as the Covid restrictions have been lifted, we found a lot of people very unhappy with the Conservatives.

“They feel Boris Johnson has taken them for granted and they like what we are saying when they get a chance to hear it.

“I think we can be the strong voice that gets rid of a lot of Conservative MPs and deprives Boris Johnson of his majority.”

Conrad Duncan19 September 2021 09:57
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Energy supply fears show need to ‘transition to net-zero’, Labour shadow minister says

Concerns over the UK’s energy supply following a sharp rise in wholesale gas prices show the need to transition to a net-zero economy, a Labour shadow minister has said.

Pat McFadden, the shadow economic secretary to the Treasury, said on Sunday that the sudden jump in prices “must act as a spur to avoid situations like this where suddenly we’re very exposed when there’s an international price spike”.

“In the short term what the business secretary must do is ensure continuity of supply, that’s a basic duty of government for both domestic consumers and for businesses,” Mr McFadden told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips on Sunday.

“We’ve seen other ramifications of this over the last 24/48 hours, for example on food supplies, with CO2 being a necessary by-product, and in the long-term what this has shown is the need to get on with the transition to net-zero and the vulnerability of the reliance on fossil fuel markets, especially international ones.”

He added: “This should act as a spur to get on with the transition to net-zero, more renewable and sustainable supplies because the effect of all this will be rising prices for consumers just when they’re being hit with other things too.”

Conrad Duncan19 September 2021 09:53
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Caroline Lucas backs climate protests that blocked M25 because of ‘existential crisis’

The UK’s lone Green Party MP has backed climate emergency protesters who blocked the M25 motorway, arguing that they are justified by the government’s failure to act on the climate crisis.

Caroline Lucas refused to criticise the protesters on Sunday, saying: “In extreme situations, it’s reasonable to take extreme actions – and that is what has driven these protesters to do that.”

You can find more details on the story below:

Caroline Lucas backs climate protests blocking M25 because of ‘existential crisis’

‘In extreme situations, it’s reasonable to take extreme actions’, says Green MP

Conrad Duncan19 September 2021 09:40
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Time running out to make COP26 climate summit a success, Johnson to warn

Time is running out to make the COP26 climate emergency summit a success, Boris Johnson will tell world leaders on a trip to the US in the coming days.

It has been revealed that Mr Johnson will host a UN meeting on Monday to push for help for developing countries to adapt to the devastating consequences of global heating.

Our deputy political editor, Rob Merrick, has the full story below:

Time running out to make Cop26 a success, PM tells world leaders

Prime minister will seek to calm tensions with Joe Biden over retreat from Afghanistan on White House visit

Conrad Duncan19 September 2021 09:28
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China’s Xi Jinping has not said he will come to COP26 yet, minister admits

China’s president Xi Jinping has not said whether he will come to the COP26 climate conference later this year, a minister has admitted.

When asked by Sky News if the government had reveived a commitment from the Chinese leader, Alok Sharma said: “No, not yet.”

However, he added: “But as you know, I was in China recently, I had constructive and very frank discussions with China and of course they made various commitments on cutting emissions, on phasing down the use of coal, and I was very clear that we want to see the detailed policy around this and they, along with every other major economy, have committed before COP26 to come forward with ambitious plans to cut emissions.

“And I have to say to you that in every conversation that I had with the Chinese, they were very clear that they want to see COP26 as a success – so the ball is very much in their court.”

The interview comes amid tension between China and the UK over the British government’s involvement in the new AUKUS alliance with the US and Australia – which has widely been seen as an attempt to challenge China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

You can find his comments in full below:

Conrad Duncan19 September 2021 09:18
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Minister insists ‘no immediate concern’ over gas supplies

This is “no immediate concern” over gas supplies for the UK following a sudden rise in wholesale gas prices, a minister has said.

COP26 president Alok Sharma told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips on Sunday that the government was not expecting to see major problems this winter with gas prices despite concerns in the industry.

“As you will know, the business secretary has been having detailed discussions with the sector this weekend, he will be continuing those today, there is going to be a round-table tomorrow,” Mr Sharma said.

“But I think the clear message that is coming out of this is that there is no immediate concern in terms of supply.

“We don’t see any risk going into the winter and when it comes to prices, we have an energy price cap, there are also mechanisms such as the warm home discount which are available to support people as well.”

You can find his comments in full below:

Conrad Duncan19 September 2021 09:00
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France claims UK is ‘junior partner’ in new security pact

France has accused the UK of being a “junior partner” in a new security pact with the US and Australia, in the country’s latest rebuke of the deal.

In response to the pact, French president Emmanuel Macron ordered the recall of the French ambassadors to the US and Australia but made no similar order for the country’s envoy in London.

Europe minister Clement Beaune suggested on French television that this decision was because the UK was merely the “junior partner” in the agreement.

“Our British friends explained to us they were leaving the EU to create Global Britain. We can see that this is a return into the American lap and a form of accepted vassalisation,” Mr Beaune said.

“The UK is clearly trying to find its feet, perhaps there was a lack of thought about the strategic future. Today they are hiding in the American fold. I hope that will not be their policy for the decades to come.”

He added: “We see through this partnership, this strategic alliance and after the Kabul crisis, that Global Britain seems to be more about a US junior partner than working with different allies.”

Conrad Duncan19 September 2021 08:44
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Johnson accused of neglecting national security as he prepares to skip key meetings

The Covid-19 and Afghanistan emergencies have exposed how Boris Johnson is neglecting national security, according to a highly-critical report published today.

The Joint Committee on National Security Strategy has accused the prime minister of overseeing an “inadequate” Whitehall system that lacks clear lines of responsibilities and cannot cope with multiple crises.

Our deputy political editor, Rob Merrick, has the full story below:

Boris Johnson accused of neglecting national security as he prepares to skip meetings

Covid and Afghanistan expose ‘inadequate’ National Security Council – but prime minister poised to attend far fewer discussions

Conrad Duncan19 September 2021 08:32
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New foreign secretary Truss defends UK’s security pact with US and Australia

New foreign secretary Liz Truss has defended the UK’s security pact with the US and Australia (AUKUS) following strong criticism from France over the deal.

Ms Truss said that the agreement – which will see the UK and US work to develop a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines for the Australian navy – showed Britain’s readiness to be “hard-headed” in defence of its interests.

However, the deal has angered France as the Australian government has scrapped a £30bn agreement with the French for conventionally-powered diesel-electric vessels.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Ms Truss claimed that the pact underlined the UK’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.

She argued that Britain would always be a “fierce champion” of freedom and free enterprise around the world.

“But freedoms need to be defended, so we are also building strong security ties around the world,” she added.

“That is why last week the prime minister announced, alongside our friends president [Joe] Biden and prime minister [Scott] Morrison, the creation of a new security partnership called Aukus.

“It shows our readiness to be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices and malign acts.”

Conrad Duncan19 September 2021 08:23