Evening briefing: Today’s essential headlines
The big story: EU signals surrender in sausage wars
The energy crisis. The fuel crisis. The pigs-in-blankets crisis. After all the woes the Government has been facing about essential supplies, at last today has signalled the arrival of a much needed victory. Britain may have won the sausage war with the EU after Brussels offered surrender terms to keep the British banger being sold in Northern Ireland after Brexit. The European Commission plans to offer a sausage clause to bring lasting peace to the banger battles over the Northern Ireland Protocol. Read how it would work and a guide to the Protocol. Former Brexit Secretary David Davis said it was a vindication of Lord Frost’s hard line approach, which comes with the EU fighting a separate battle with Poland. It prompted Ursula von der Leyen to vow that the European Commission will use “all its powers” to bring Poland to heel after a Warsaw court challenged the supremacy of EU law in the country.
Meanwhile, the boss of regulator Ofgem has warned households face a “significant” rise to their bills in spring amid soaring wholesale energy costs. Jonathan Brearley, chief executive, said there are no plans for the price cap on energy bills to rise before April, but warned that “legitimate costs do have to be passed through”. He also signalled a review of the way the energy price cap is calculated, which could help companies but expose millions of households to spiking costs. How much, then, are you likely to be paying in the not too distant future? Joe Malinowski, a price comparison expert, predicted the rise could be anywhere from £500 to £800 – pushing the average bill to over £2,000. Ben Marlow sets out in three charts why Britain’s energy crisis is only going to deepen. Here is guide to the price cap and how to protect yourself from rising bills.
The energy crisis is mainly being driven by rising wholesale gas prices, caused by a shortage of supply triggered by rising demand after the pandemic. Gas prices have climbed eight-fold since the start of the year and supplies are facing more pressure after a fire at a plant in east Siberia today. Some have pointed fingers at Russia, which accounts for 40pc of Europe’s gas supply, for being unwilling to boost the shipments above the previously contracted levels. Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan has warned the country against using natural gas as a tool to pressure Europe. This graph shows where the EU’s imports come from. The bloc is exploring a plan for national governments to jointly purchase and store natural gas to boost resilience and avoid shocks.
The other shortages giving UK ministers headaches are on supermarket shelves and at the petrol pumps. To tackle this, Boris Johnson has appointed a former Tesco boss to help advise the Government on supply chains. Sir David Lewis, who was chief executive of the supermarket giant during one of its most turbulent periods, will join the Cabinet Office from Monday, until the end of the year. Read more about the man once branded ‘Drastic Dave’. It must be a day for nicknames in politics, after Sir Keir Starmer revealed on a visit to a Kellogg’s factory today that he sometimes goes by the nickname… yes, you guessed it: “Special K”. Feel free to email whether you think it is any better than Jon Bon Govie.
Comment and analysis
Around the world: Kremlin’s nod to Nobel winner
The Kremlin has congratulated a “talented” Russian journalist who won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for angering President Vladimir Putin. The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee said today that Dmitry Muratov from Russia and Maria Ressa from the Philippines have been awarded the prize “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.” Mr Muratov, 59, is a long-time editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, a Russian daily known for its fearless coverage of atrocities in Chechnya and corruption scandals.
Emma Raducanu: Her six steps to world domination
Technical tweaks, locker-room life and ‘paradise syndrome’ are all challenges Britain’s tennis star must overcome, writes Simon Briggs
Sport briefing: Newcastle have £190m to spend
Newcastle United, if their new Saudi Arabian backers allow it, could spend as much as £190 million in January without falling foul of Financial Fair Play rules thanks to the parsimonious spending of former owner Mike Ashley. Read who could be on their transfer list. Alan Shearer is likely to accept an ambassadorial role at the club. Middle East correspondent James Rothwell analyses how the Newcastle deal boosts the hopes of the Saudi Crown Prince to repair his reputation with the West after allegedly ordered the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Elsewhere here is how practice for the Turkish Grand Prix went and read everything you need to know about Tyson Fury’s trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder early on Sunday morning.
Just revenge | How ‘orc’ Harvey Weinstein tried to ruin Lord of the Rings
Battle of the Adele Vogue covers | Did classy American or ‘Barbara Windsor’ British win?
Business briefing: Tesla moves after ‘fascist’ lockdown
Tesla is to quit Silicon Valley and move its headquarters to Texas after chief executive Elon Musk criticised lockdown measures by local leaders as “fascist”. The electric car company will move from Palo Alto to the Texas capital, Austin, Mr Musk told a meeting of Tesla shareholders, making it the biggest company to quit Silicon Valley for the Lone Star state yet. Tesla is also building a giant “gigafactory” in Austin. Read how Musk has been a critic of some of California’s coronavirus policies.
Tonight starts now
No Sudden Move, review | Steven Soderbergh claimed he was retiring from cinema in 2013. Likely story: his run of six films since then would be the envy of many a director. His latest, No Sudden Move, is a moody crime drama set in 1954 Detroit. Tim Robey reviews how the film spurns crackerjack noir swagger in favour of something more satisfying.
Three things for you
And finally… for this evening’s downtime
Finally, a film that gets Diana right | As ‘Spencer’ starring Kristen Stewart premieres in London, Tim Robey looks back at a litany of disastrous and laughable biopics of the Princess of Wales.