Aerospace firm Airbus has warned it could pull out of the UK with the loss of thousands of jobs in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.
The firm, which employs 14,000 people at 25 sites across the country, said it would “reconsider its investments in the UK, and its long-term footprint in the country” if Britain crashed out of the single market and customs union without a transition agreement.
Publishing a Brexit “risk assessment” on its website, the firm also called on the Government to extend the planned transition period due to run until December 2020 if a deal is agreed, saying it was too short for the business to reorganise its supply chain.
If there was no extension it would “carefully monitor any new investments in the UK and refrain from extending the UK suppliers/partners base”, it said.
Tom Williams, the chief operating officer of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, said: “In any scenario, Brexit has severe negative consequences for the UK aerospace industry and Airbus in particular.
“Therefore, immediate mitigation measures would need to be accelerated.
“While Airbus understands that the political process must go on, as a responsible business we require immediate details on the pragmatic steps that should be taken to operate competitively.
“Without these, Airbus believes that the impacts on our UK operations could be significant.
“We have sought to highlight our concerns over the past 12 months, without success.
“Far from Project Fear, this is a dawning reality for Airbus.
“Put simply, a no-deal scenario directly threatens Airbus’ future in the UK.”
In its risk assessment, Airbus says it is “getting increasingly concerned by the lack of progress on the Brexit process”.
It says it supports more than 110,000 jobs among 4,000 suppliers in the UK, with parts crossing the Channel “multiple times”.
This business relies on “frictionless trade” under customs union and single market rules, it added, saying “any change in customs procedures, logistics and environmental standards would have major industrial and cost impact”.
It went on: “A no-deal Brexit must be avoided, as it would force Airbus to reconsider its footprint in the country, its investments in the UK and at large its dependency on the UK.
“Given the ‘No-deal/hard Brexit’ uncertainties, the company’s dependence on and investment in the flagship Wing Of Tomorrow programme would also have to be revisited, and corresponding key competencies grown outside the UK.
“This extremely negative outcome for Airbus would be catastrophic.
“It would impair our ability to benefit from highly qualified British resources, it would also severely undermine UK efforts to keep a competitive and innovative aerospace industry, while developing high value jobs and competencies.”
The Tories have handed big business a tax cut worth £110 billion while implementing austerity policies that left communities in “catastrophe”, Labour has claimed.
The opposition accused the Conservatives of creating a “bonanza for big business” after a new analysis of official figures - seen by HuffPost UK - revealed that cuts to corporation tax set out in the 2010 summer budget led to tax losses to the Treasury worth tens of billions of pounds.
Ahead of the eight year anniversary of the budget, Labour said the decision to reduce corporation tax to 24% over five years - and cut the small profits rate to 20% - cost the equivalent of £12 billion in tax receipts between 2010 and 2015.
Meanwhile, further tax cuts have since boosted the corporation tax giveaway to £47 billion, with the figure expected to hit £110 billion by 2022.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “The Tories, aided and abetted for years by the Liberal Democrats, have handed out billions of pounds in tax giveaways, while slashing funding for our vital public services.”
Calling the current Conservative government “a catastrophe for our communities”, he continued: “They have left our schools so starved of cash teachers are begging parents for money, taken police off the streets, and left our NHS and social care in crisis.
“The latest announcement for health falls short of what is needed and the Chancellor says there is no money for anything else, because he has handed it out in corporate tax giveaways.”
Theresa May announced on Sunday that the NHS would receive a £20 billion budget increase by 2022 - the equivalent of 3.4% a year.
The Chancellor is reported to be considering halting future planned corporate tax cuts in a bid to help fund the spending rise, while government has suggested that further cash will come from a so-called “Brexit dividend” and an increase in taxes.
However, critics have rubbished claims that the UK will save money by leaving the EU, with the head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies arguing that the government has already accepted that Brexit will swipe £15 billion a year from revenues.
McDonnell added: “The next Labour government will rebuild and transform Britain. We will invest in our economy and we’ll pay for it by taxing the super-rich and big businesses, to create a country for the many, not the few.”
A Labour source told HuffPost UK that the party is set to continue to highlight the “crisis” in public finances and services created by Hammond and his predecessor George Osborne through austerity policies.
But a spokesperson for the Treasury insisted that businesses are the “backbone of Britain”.
“Reducing their costs helps them to thrive; allowing them to reinvest in our economy, lower their prices, hire more staff, and increase wages,” they said.
“Not only are we supporting British business, we’re also helping families to earn more and keep more of what they earn by increasing the National Living Wage, increasing the tax-free Personal Allowance, and freezing fuel duty for the eighth successive year.”
Meanwhile, a Lib Dem spokesperson said the party had lowered corporation tax in coalition in order to “boost investment and revive our moribund economy” after the financial crisis under Labour.
“The result was a recovery in economic growth without a fall in corporation tax receipts, which despite Labour’s claims remain at their 2010 levels,” they said.
“This hard-fought recovery is being destroyed by the Conservatives, whose stubborn pursuit of Brexit – fully supported by Labour – has brought the economy back to its knees and already reduced tax revenues by billions of pounds a year.
“That is why the Liberal Democrats are campaigning for the most effective economic policy of all – an Exit from Brexit – as well the reversal of unnecessary further cuts to corporation tax by the Conservatives”.
As adults, it’s easy to forget how to play. We rush from bed to work to gym and back home to bed again, with exercise becoming a routine chore to carry out, rather than a space to relax, laugh and de-stress – rarely mixing two minutes of joyful movement into our packed days.
Considering that a May 2018 study of over 4,000 people indicates that three quarters of us are struggling with stress, and that recent research from the British Lung Foundation suggests that one in four Brits nearly never exercise, it feels like we’re missing a trick, here.
“Our lives of sedentary chair sitting and the other environments we inhabit discourage play and free movement outside of the gym,” Tony Riddle, a lifestyle coach who has studied healthy, natural lifestyles for nearly two decades, told HuffPost UK.
“Play, even as adults, is a fundamental human need. As children we actively play and have fun: running is fun, climbing is fun, balancing, crawling, wrestling and pillow fights are fun.
“However, as we grow up and move into education, our play is removed and in its place a serious subject, called physical education, is born.”
Riddle says that PE can introduce us to feelings of inadequacy towards movement.
When we grow up and enter the world of work, he adds, we then bump playful pastimes off our busy schedules, and view fun as childish and unproductive.
“The good news is that it’s never too late to find your movement flow, uncover and hone your own hidden movement skills and talents and reconnect with the body nature intended you to have,” he says.
The National Institute for Play is a nonprofit that supports research into the power of play, and is working towards “a longer term future in which the science of human play enables individuals, parents, teachers, leaders, and organisations to harness the power of play to create transformational differences in their individual, family, school and organisational lives”.
Dr Bowen White, a physician and founding member of the institute – which says that play is as basic and pervasive as sleep – has frequently called for more recognition of the importance of playtime.
“Play is so deeply ingrained in terms of our own evolutionary drive to survive,” he has previously noted. “Play helps us connect with other people because we are open in a way that allows them to feel this is a safe person to be with.”
Play often leads to laughter, which has been linked to decreasing stress and inflammation, as well as improving your immune system in the long term. Think play fighting, hide and seek and cartwheeling on the lawn with friends: all sure to have you howling in a matter of minutes.
As to using play as a fitness device? Jay Curry, founder of personal training company ‘Jay’s Way’, tells HuffPost UK that workouts should “always” have a fun element to them.
“That’s what keeps you motivated to keep going,” Curry explains.
Curry takes many of his clients to the park, using items like benches, trees and hills to make workouts more fun.
“I like to start workouts with some kind of icebreaker game-like exercise. Did you ever play that game in PE where you have to run around cones and flip them over, and another team or person is flipping them the other way round, and whoever has the most cones their way up at the end of a certain time period wins the game?”
“That’s one warm-up exercise that my clients respond particularly well to. Then I also have various hurdle races, or a tag rugby-style game that I use as well. It works best with partners, but with my single clients I will go against them and occasionally handicap myself with a weight vest to make it a bit fairer!”
As for obstacle courses, Curry suggests purchasing small hurdles, cones and rope ladders on eBay, or just finding objects around the house and garden, for a couple of minutes of movement.
“Use your imagination,” he advises. “Think about objects you can safely climb over or hop across. A DIY obstacle course can be completely tailored to you and your workout.”
Riddle says clients who attend his retreats, which focus around his “rewild and thrive” philosophy, rediscover their connection with nature by playing outside.
“In essence, it’s going from being a stressed out city dweller who rushes through life, to being someone who wakes up alert and excited to start the day.”
Riddle recommends trying to tap into the “amazing repertoire of movement” humans have in order to access our inner children.
“You can add more fun to your life by wrestling, or playing good old-fashioned tag – a tough workout with lots of free running and belly laughs. You can play ‘follow my lead,’ where you keep the same body part in contact with your partner and move. You can play heckling games, where you are trying to stop your partner from getting from one area to another.”
“Join a capoeira [a type of Afro-Brazilian martial art] class, or a parkour [a type of training derived from military obstacle courses] class or natural movement class, to explore what your body is truly capable of.”
The most important thing to attune yourself to?
“Find opportunities to play in your everyday life and you will find yourself stimulating something else unique to us human beings. Creativity.” Not only can play make finding your natural fitness groove easy - it could have you laughing more loudly and thinking more clearly, too.
Not bad for messing around.
The practise of revenge porn should be made a sexual offence as part of the government’s bid to crack down on upskirting, ministers have been told.
The government moved today to make upskirting a specific criminal offence after a backbench attempt was derailed by Tory MP Christopher Chope.
Conservative MP Maria Miller told HuffPost UK the legislation should be expanded to tackle the “scale of the misuse of images” and low conviction rates.
Miller, the chair of the Commons Women and Equalities Committee, said: “I think that there is a significant problem.
“I really welcome that upskirting will be made a criminal offence.”
But Miller added the “swift action” by ministers did “bring into question why revenge porn wouldn’t be also classified as a sex offence”.
The former Tory cabinet minister has already met justice minister Lucy Frazer to lobby for an amendment to be added to the legislation.
Under the current laws, people convicted of disclosing intimate images in England and Wales face up to two years in prison.
In Scotland the punishment is up to five years.
But police figures show that one in three revenge porn allegations made in England and Wales since 2015 were dropped.
Miller said the practise needed to be made a specific sexual offence in order to grant victims anonymity which in turn would increase conviction rates.
Writing for HuffPost UK today, Frazer confirmed the government’s upskirting legislation would see the most serious offenders added to the sex offenders register.
“We hope this action will increase convictions, and show that this behaviour will not be tolerated,” she said.
It comes as ministers have also been lobbied to amend the upskirting Bill to make the production of fake pornography based on pictures of real people, known as “deepfake” images, a criminal offence.
When it comes to finding exercises that target specific areas, make you feel buzzed on endorphins and are compatible with the zillion other things you’ve got to do that day: it’s tricky.
But a few, intense minutes peppering your day can be transformative.
“Exercising in short bursts, also known as HIIT, is very beneficial because it burns fat efficiently, increases endurance and strength and reduces your exercise time,” personal trainer Yoanna Savva tells HuffPost UK.
“By exercising specific muscle groups you concentrate all of your effort on one or two things instead of ‘everything,’ which may lead to a higher quality of work.”
If you’re looking to increase strength in your upper body, here’s Savva’s two minute, arm specific moves that you can sprinkle into a jam-packed 24 hours – as soon as you wake up, when you get in from work or when you’re waiting for the dishwasher to finish doing its thing.
This works your triceps, shoulders and even your core. Start in a high plank with your shoulders above your wrists and your spine long. Bend your elbows and lower your body to the mat. Push through the palms of your hands to straighten your arms – you can drop to your knees if this is too challenging.
These work your arms, shoulders, and core. Start in a high plank, then bend one arm to bring your elbow and your forearm to the floor. Bring the other arm down so you are in a forearm plank. Push back up to the start position, placing each hand where your elbows were. Repeat this movement, alternating which side you lower first with each rep.
This is a weight lifting exercise that works your shoulders, upper back, neck and biceps. For this one, you’ll need a barbell, or a set of dumbbells (worth investing in for sharp, at home workouts).
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grab a barbell with your palms facing down. Bend forward and slightly bend your knees, keeping your back straight. Your torso should be parallel to the floor, and your head pointed up. Keep your elbows close to your body. Breathe out, and pull the bar towards your chest, just below your ribs. Exhale as you do this. At this position, squeeze your back muscles and hold. Lower the bar down to the starting position, just around your knees. Repeat.
In aid of the day, children at Rosary Catholic Primary School in Birmingham have become activists for clean air after they discovered the pollution at their school was at illegal levels.
With help from Friends of the Earth, the school’s eco group tested the air for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) at two different locations around the school. Once they had their results, the pupils sent their data to local MPs and councillors to demand action against air pollution.
“The test results have shown that the air pollution around the school is well in excess of legal limits, and it’s really made us stop and think about the air we breathe,” said Joe Perkins, a teacher at the school.
“It’s been hugely rewarding to teach the pupils all about what affects air quality – we’re seeing the next generation of environmental activists at work!”
Muna Suleiman, clean air campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said they are inviting schools everywhere to join the fight against air pollution this Clean Air Day.
Parents can try this activity with their children at home or around their local area, and order a clean air kit here for a donation. It comes with an air monitoring tube, air pollution guide and instructions to help you get started.
Elsewhere parents are being encouraged to walk or cycle their children to school along quieter routes, as research by Global Action Plan for Clean Air Day found primary school children are exposed to 2.5 times more pollution when walking a busy route to school compared to a quiet route.
For the 50% of children being driven to school, the situation is even worse as the research found they are exposed to double the pollution inside a vehicle compared to those walking on busy streets.
The experiments, conducted across four UK cities (Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and London), also found that primary school children are exposed to 30% more toxic pollution than adults while walking to school.
Mum Mala Kapoor, from Leeds, said she was shocked to hear how exposed children are to air pollution and will be walking to school with her son today. “Since having my son Ariyan, I have been more concerned about health and wellbeing. When going out I do try to take more back routes [avoiding the most polluted routes]. It might take me a couple of minutes longer but if it reduces Ariyan’s exposure to air pollution, then it’s worth it.”
So how can you get your children involved in the day? We spoke to Clean Air Day to get their advice on what else kids can do to take part:
:: Share and save: If it’s not possible to walk or cycle to school, get kids to ask friends if their parents or carers could organise lift sharing with others to cut down on overall pollution.
:: Find out facts: Do your kids know about air pollution indoors and the easy things they can do to tackle it? Clue: good ventilation such as opening windows when cooking, and using natural cleaning products really helps. Find out more on the website.
:: Pester power: Get kids to tell their teachers that it’s Clean Air Day. Tackling air pollution is not just on one day a year, so teachers can still plan a lesson after the day.
:: Make a pledge: What can kids do beyond Clean Air Day to save air pollution and their health too? Get them to come up with something they will commit to.
:: Do a lichen observation: Lichens (which looks like moss) on trees can be an indicator of air pollutions. This is because air pollutants dissolved in rainwater, especially sulphur dioxide, can damage lichens and prevent them from growing. In places where no lichens are growing, it is often a sign that the air is heavily polluted. Can kids identify any on trees in your school/park? Find out more about other indicators of air pollution here.
Experts have demanded a Parliamentary inquiry be held into Theresa May’s plan to boost NHS funding by £20bn.
A report by the Institute for Government (IfG) said the Prime Minister had not been “entirely straight” with the public over how she intends to finance the landmark move, which will provide the health service with a 3.4% annual budget hike - the equivalent of an extra £384m a week by 2023.
Chancellor Philip Hammond will deliver a speech on Thursday in which he will say taxpayers can expect to pay more “in a fair and balanced way” to bolster the move, effectively ruling out the possibility of further borrowing.
Announcing her plans earlier this week, May promised some of the money would be recouped through a so-called “Brexit dividend” - cash the UK is expected to recoup when it leaves the EU next year.
But the IfG dismissed the suggestion as “illusory”, claiming that the government’s own forecasts disprove the idea of a dividend. The theory has also been rubbished by several economists and MPs.
“Unless there is a clear way to raise the additional money, it will have to come from cuts to other parts of public expenditure, where there is little low-hanging fruit left to pick,” its report read.
Arguing that a “minority government muddling through” was unlikely to find a solution on its own, researchers suggested a Parliamentary inquiry made up of a group of high-profile cross-party MPs and peers would offer the Conservatives “political cover” to implement policies which may otherwise be unpopular.
An independent body such as the Office for Budget Responsibility should also scrutinise government spending to ensure better delivery of services, the think tank said.
Meanwhile, former shadow health minister Liz Kendall called on the PM to re-consider cross-party work on the funding plan.
“We cannot put the NHS on a stable financial footing without securing a long-term funding settlement for social care. And the Government needs to be straight with the public about how we will pay for both,” the Labour MP said.
“As we saw in the 2010 and 2017 elections, any party that puts forward radical proposals for funding social care risks being obliterated by their opponents.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “To secure the future of the health service as it approaches its 70th birthday, the Prime Minister and Jeremy Hunt have increased NHS funding by an average 3.4 per cent per year, which will see the NHS receive £20.5 billion a year in real terms by 2023.
“We will shortly outline the Government’s plans to reform social care to ensure it is sustainable for the future, including how to fund it.”
Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, Aldi and Lidl are among supermarkets that are “increasingly squeezing the price they pay their suppliers” leaving people trapped in poverty, Oxfam has claimed.
The analysis found that across 12 common food products, including tea, orange juice and bananas UK supermarkets receive almost ten times more of the checkout price than the small-scale farmers and workers who produce them.
In a report, the charity says “millions” of people overseas producing food for sale on the UK market are therefore being trapped in poverty, with some facing “brutal” working conditions and others going hungry.
The charity said it surveyed hundreds of small-scale farmers and workers in supermarket supply chains across five countries and found that many people were struggling to feed themselves and their families or to earn a “basic standard of living.”
For example, in looking at grape workers in South Africa and seafood processors in Thailand it found over 90% said they hadn’t enough to eat.
Oxfam claimed there was a “striking gap” between the policies of British supermarkets now and what they needed to do to to ensure that human and labour rights are “fully respected” in their supply chains.
It also claimed to have found instances of female workers facing “routine” discrimination.
In analysis it carried out with the Sustainable Seafood Alliance, Oxfam claims that working conditions in prawn processing plants in Thailand and Indonesia - which supply some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets - were subject to forced pregnancy tests and strictly controlled bathroom and water breaks.
It said in one instance, Melati, an Indonesian factory worker, had to peel 600 prawns an hour - one every six seconds. Oxfam claims that when she couldn’t hit that target, she faced verbal abuse.
The charity has released the report to launch a new campaign called ‘Behind the Barcodes’ which aims to urge supermarkets to crack down on any supply chain abuses and increase transparency about where their food comes from.
Matthew Spencer, Director of Policy for Oxfam GB said: “Global businesses can help lift millions of people out of poverty, but the food industry currently rewards shareholder wealth over the work of millions of women and men with supermarkets ignoring the hidden suffering behind their food supply chains.
“When companies get serious about supporting decent work they can help transform lives in some of the poorest parts of the world.”
HuffPost UK contacted the major UK supermarkets mentioned in the report, many of whom referred us to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) which has responded on behalf of its members.
The BRC said the issues raised were “complex.”
“Improving equality is at the heart of the British Retail Consortium’s Better Retail Better World campaign and our members have made a number of commitments to improve the livelihoods of people working in our supply chains and to increase the transparency of those efforts”, a spokesperson said.
“Indeed, as Oxfam’s research shows, the UK retail industry is one of the most progressive in this area globally.
“The Oxfam investigation demonstrates how complex these challenges of respecting human rights in supply chains are and we welcome the recommendations set out in this report.”
In addition Asda told HuffPost UK it was committed to empowering workers and creating positive change throughout its supply chains. Lidl also sent the following statement:
“At Lidl UK, we operate with a fundamental respect for the rights of the people we interact with, whether they be our own direct employees, contract workers or people employed throughout our supply chains. Across our business and in our supply chains, we are firmly opposed to all forms of labour exploitation, and are committed to driving improvements in labour standards.”
It went on to say that it welcomed Oxfam’s report and that it would “work collaboratively with both Oxfam and the wider industry, to drive further improvements throughout the supply chain.”
Finally, a spokesperson for Aldi said the Oxfam report related to Aldi South Group, which Aldi UK is part of, rather than Aldi UK specifically.
He said: “Aldi UK operates with honesty and integrity wherever it does business around the world. We respect human rights and treat the people in our supply chain who make, grow and supply our products fairly.
“We have comprehensive policies and processes in place, based on internationally recognised standards, which protect human rights for workers across our supply chain.”
‘EastEnders’ bosses have announced plans for a special episode as part of its knife crime storyline, which will include true-life accounts from people who have lost loved ones due to knife crime.
Last month, the soap won praise for scenes involving schoolboys Shakil Kazemi and Keegan Baker, who were stabbed by a gang.
It has now been revealed that in an upcoming episode, which will focus on Shakil’s funeral, the soap will include testimonials from real people affected by the devastating social issue of knife crime.
John Yorke, currently serving as the show’s executive consultant, said: “From the very beginning we were determined to treat the difficult subject of knife crime in a responsible, non-sensationalist way.
“We started out with detailed research, and the more stories we heard the more we felt other people should hear them too. The episode gradually evolved into something unique for ‘EastEnders’ - real families telling their own devastating stories alongside our own characters.”
He added: “We’ve tried to find a way to do justice to an incredibly difficult, tragic and emotive subject, and with huge help from the families of real life victims and the support groups they work with, we hope we’ve come some way to getting that enormity across.”
To coincide with the episode, the BBC will also feature short films and written features relating to knife crime.
It was previously revealed that former ‘EastEnders’ star and anti-knife crime campaigner Brooke Kinsella worked closely with the soap to ensure that the storyline was handled sensitively and tastefully.
Brooke, who played Zoe Slater’s best friend Kelly Smith from 2001 to 2004, lost her 16-year-old brother Ben in 2008 when he was stabbed to death by a gang of three youths in a London street. She has since worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the issue.