November 15, 2020

Ireland warns of crunch moment in Brexit negotiations

Boris Johnson was warned by Ireland’s foreign minister that the main outstanding issues in Brexit trade talks must be “resolved in principle this week”, with officials in London also confirming a crunch moment in the negotiations.

Simon Coveney said on Sunday this was “move week”, while British officials admitted that after months of phoney deadlines the talks on a future relationship agreement had reached a moment of truth. “We’ve got 10 more days, max,” said one UK official.

The sentiment was echoed on the EU side of the negotiations. “It is crunch time,” said one diplomat, noting upheaval in Downing Street as some of the UK prime minister’s top aides quit last week. “We will see whether Number 10 can put an end to its internal chaos, make up its mind and come up with a sensible approach.”

David Frost, Mr Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator, arrived in Brussels on Sunday saying that “some progress” on a trade agreement with the EU had been made in recent days but that substantial differences remained and a “no deal” outcome was still possible.

Lord Frost’s former Vote Leave allies in Downing Street, Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain, resigned from their positions advising Mr

Top Biden advisor says national lockdown ‘measure of last resort’

Pedestrians wear protective masks while walking along El Paso Street in downtown El Paso, Texas, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A national lockdown of businesses and schools is a “measure of last resort,” even as cases continue to surge to record-highs across the U.S., a top coronavirus advisor to President-elect Joe Biden said on Sunday.

Covid-19 cases were growing by 5{6b17707e448e34f54d6d1a9e433426abf2addbba8938cba1c35a09fc0ada7803} or more in 47 states as of Saturday, based on a weekly average, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. reported 166,555 new cases on Saturday, the second-highest daily number of new cases so far.

The U.S. is now reporting a weekly average of 145,401 cases every day, a more than 33{6b17707e448e34f54d6d1a9e433426abf2addbba8938cba1c35a09fc0ada7803} increase compared with a week ago and a record high average, according to Hopkins.

More than 69,400 people were hospitalized with Covid-19, the highest number of patients with the virus at any point during the pandemic, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project, which is run by journalists at The Atlantic.

Top coronavirus advisors for Biden, who named a panel of scientists on Monday to help navigate his Covid-19 response, have