Terror attack

The risk to the UK from an Islamist chemical attack has not diminished, says the Telegraph

The Islamic State terror group wants to carry out a mass casualty attack in Britain and has “no moral barrier” to using chemical weapons, a minister has warned.
Security minister Ben Wallace said there were reports of IS using chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq, where it controls large areas, and that the Moroccan authorities apprehended a cell in February which was harbouring substances that could be used to either make a bomb or a “deadly toxin”.
He also pointed to a recent Europol report which warned of the chemical threat and the potential realisation of “everybody’s worst fear”.
Mr Wallace said: “Experts have warned that their ambition is a mass casualty attack and they have no moral barrier to using whatever means possible.”
On Saturday he told
the Sunday Times: “The ambition of IS or Daesh is definitely mass casualty attacks. They want to harm as many people as possible and terrorise as many people as possible.
“They have no moral objection to using chemical weapons against populations and if they could, they would in this country.

And the Times also has the story.

The terrorist group Isis is plotting to carry out “mass casualty” chemical weapons attacks against Britain, the minister responsible for national security has warned.
Ben Wallace said Isis had used chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq and intelligence chiefs believe it has an “aspiration” to use them on home soil. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Wallace said security chiefs had recently carried out exercises to deal with what he called the country’s “worst fear”.
Ben Wallace, the minister responsible for national security, has warned of the threat from ‘traitors’.
Speaking after the US imposed sanctions on Russia for seeking to influence the presidential election result, Wallace warned that terrorist groups, Russian agents and cyber-conmen had all launched a concerted campaign to recruit “traitors” in government, the military and leading businesses.


Will 2017 be the year the EU collapses? That is quite a possibility, reports the Times.

Fears about the economy are growing but most Britons believe that other countries will follow our lead and decide to hold a referendum on leaving the European Union in 2017.
Just over half of people, 51%, think economic conditions will get worse this year, the Ipsos Mori research company found, up from a third 12 months earlier.
More than two in five, 45%, say unemployment will increase, while two-thirds expect inflation to rise, according to the annual “predictions” survey. Some 43% expect the pound to fall in value to the same level as the euro. Most, however, expect little change in their own standard of living, with 54% saying it will remain the same and one in four, 26%, thinking it will rise.


The ‘migrant children’ brought over from the Calais Jungle may not actually be children, says the Mail

A 29-year-old is among the hundreds of adult asylum-seekers in Britain who lied to officials and posed as children, according to newly released official figures.
Official age assessments carried out by social workers across the country revealed that a staggering number of those claiming to be lone refugee children were far older than they pretended to be.
In some cases they were close to 30 and could have posed a risk to school pupils or foster families had they not been checked.
The revelation comes after concerns were raised that some of the refugees allowed into Britain from the Jungle camp in Calais were no longer teenagers.
Figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday from 50 local authorities across England show that social workers carried out 2,028 age tests between 2013-14 and 2015-16. Over these three years, almost one in four of the claimants – 465 – were found to be over 18.


In her New Year message, the Prime Minister has promised that the deal she secures with the rest of the EU will be acceptable to Remainers, reports the Mail

Theresa May today pledges to heal the divisions caused by the Brexit vote by negotiating a deal with Brussels which will be embraced by Remain supporters.
In her first New Year message as Prime Minister, Mrs May makes a plea for national unity during the momentous process of triggering our withdrawing from the EU.
In remarks likely to be welcomed by supporters of a ‘soft’ Brexit – in which the UK remains part of the single market and takes a less draconian approach to immigration – the Prime Minister says she will fight hard for a deal which is acceptable to anti-Brexiteers.
Mrs May declares in the message: ‘We are no longer the 52 per cent who voted Leave and the 48 per cent who voted Remain, but one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future.’
She adds: ‘When I sit around the negotiating table in Europe this year, it will be with that in mind – the knowledge that I am there to get the right deal – not just for those who voted to Leave, but for every single person in this country.’


And in his message, our own leader, Paul Nuttall, has forecast even bigger turmoil, says the Independent

The coming year could bring “even bigger” political upheaval than 2016, Ukip’s leader has predicted.
Paul Nuttall said “ordinary people” had “kicked back against the liberal establishment” this year.
He called for the Government to implement a Brexit where no fee was paid to the EU, where border controls were introduced, and where legislation was made at Westminster.
In his New Year message, Mr Nuttall said: “It’s been a year when the ordinary people, the little people, have kicked back against the liberal Establishment that’s ruled over their lives for so many years.
“Working class communities in this country went out in their droves and voted for Brexit. The Rust Belt in the United States voted en masse for Donald Trump.
If you think 2016 has been a year of upheaval, 2017 could be even bigger.”

Foreign aid

The Mail reports on more silly spending by the foreign aid department.

High street stores including Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Tesco have been handed millions of pounds from Britain’s ‘out of control’ foreign aid budget.
The retail giants, which make huge profits each year, were given enormous taxpayer-funded grants to help their overseas suppliers.
Vast sums were spent on training and improving conditions for their Third World farmers and factory workers – schemes that critics say the multi-billion-pound firms should fund themselves. Yet official reports seen by The Mail on Sunday have condemned the £5 million scheme as a failure.
It can also be revealed today that there is a rift between the Whitehall mandarin knighted for handing out billions of pounds in overseas aid and his Cabinet Minister boss.

Royal Navy

More warships are to be built, reports the Mirror.

The Royal Navy is getting an extra £1bn to beef up its fleet as Russia continues to threaten UK waters.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced a raft of new measures including specialised early warning systems and eight new state-of-the-art patrol ships.
That is on top of an existing investment programme designed to protect British interests.
Mr Fallon said: “We are investing billions in growing the Royal Navy for the first time in a generation.
“New aircraft carriers, submarines, frigates, patrol vessels and aircraft are all on their way… 2017 is the start of a new era of maritime power, projecting Britain’s influence globally and delivering security at home.”
In October, the ageing Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov sailed past Dover cliffs in a provocative manoeuvre. Britain’s upgraded fleet will also support EU and NATO-led operations in the Mediterranean and Aegean, helping safeguard overseas territories.
And they will take the fight to Islamic State by joining a US Navy task force in the Gulf.