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Nicola Sturgeon issues Brexit state aid warning to Boris Johnson

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nicola sturgeon issues brexit state aid warning to boris johnson

Nicola Sturgeon today warned Boris Johnson that withholding post-Brexit state aid powers would represent a ‘full scale assault on devolution’ and increase support for Scottish independence.  

The UK has had to adhere to European Union rules on state aid during its membership of the bloc. 

But once the Brexit transition period finishes at the end of this year Britain will be free to set its own policy on subsidising private companies. 

Regaining the ability to act unilaterally on state aid is viewed by many in the Government as one of the leading benefits of splitting from Brussels. 

Number 10 wants to keep the powers for the UK Government to exercise but the Scottish and Welsh administrations believe they must be devolved. 

The Government is expected to set out its proposed way forward in the coming months, with a major constitutional row now viewed as increasingly likely. 

Nicola Sturgeon has warned Boris Johnson withholding state aid powers after Brexit would represent a 'full scale assault on devolution'

Nicola Sturgeon has warned Boris Johnson withholding state aid powers after Brexit would represent a 'full scale assault on devolution'

Nicola Sturgeon has warned Boris Johnson withholding state aid powers after Brexit would represent a ‘full scale assault on devolution’

Ms Sturgeon said if Westminster keeps the powers it would be a 'blatant move to erode the powers of the Scottish Parliament

Ms Sturgeon said if Westminster keeps the powers it would be a 'blatant move to erode the powers of the Scottish Parliament

Ms Sturgeon said if Westminster keeps the powers it would be a ‘blatant move to erode the powers of the Scottish Parliament

Ms Sturgeon warned if decision-making powers over state aid were reserved to Westminster it would be a ‘blatant move to erode the powers of the Scottish Parliament’.

She shared a Financial Times report that suggested the UK Government does want to control state aid policy at the end of the Brexit transition period.

She tweeted: ‘Make no mistake, this would be a full-scale assault on devolution – a blatant move to erode the powers of the Scottish Parliament in key areas.

‘If the Tories want to further boost support for independence, this is the way to do it.’

Ms Sturgeon has called for a referendum on Scottish independence to take place before the end of this year. 

A Panelbase poll published last week put support for a ‘Yes’ vote in an independence referendum at 54 per cent and support for ‘No’ at 46 per cent. 

Downing Street said: ‘We’ve always been clear we consider the regulation of state aid to be a reserved matter.

‘We’ll continue to work with the devolved administrations to look to agree a modern system for supporting British business in a way that benefits all within the U.K.’

Mr Johnson’s Government is expected to bring forward legislation to the House of Commons in the autumn which will detail its approach to state aid.

Current EU rules on state aid are designed to stop member states from subsidising private firms or sectors of the economy in such a way as could give them an unfair advantage over their competitors in other European nations. 

Ms Sturgeon wants a referendum on Scottish independence to be held this year but Mr Johnson has refused to give permission for a second ballot.

Ms Sturgeon wants a referendum on Scottish independence to be held this year but Mr Johnson has refused to give permission for a second ballot.

Ms Sturgeon wants a referendum on Scottish independence to be held this year but Mr Johnson has refused to give permission for a second ballot. 

Critics argue that the EU rules have restricted the UK’s ability to intervene when important domestic industries have struggled.  

Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Mike Russell has previously said plans to enshrine a UK ‘internal market’ after Brexit would seriously undermine devolution, describing them as a potential ‘power grab’.

In a letter to Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, Mr Russell said he is concerned about proposals for an external body that would ‘test’ whether a bill in Holyrood affected the UK’s internal market and plans for a ‘mutual recognition regime’, which he said could lower regulatory standards beyond what the Scottish Parliament found acceptable.

In response, Mr Gove accused him of trying to ‘confect’ a political row.

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What can we do if we have had no offers on our house for sale?

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what can we do if we have had no offers on our house for sale

We want to move home and put our house on the market in July at what we thought was a reasonable price that compared favourably with similar properties.

We have had quite a few viewings and some good feedback but no offers, which is frustrating when we keep reading about a property market mini-boom.

In the meantime, we have seen other similar properties come up for sale and go under offer quickly.

Property clinic: Is there anything we can do to try to get our house sold?

Property clinic: Is there anything we can do to try to get our house sold?

We have a three-bedroom semi-detached house in good condition with a decent garden in a town about 35 miles from London, in an area popular with families.

We’ve seen a number of places we’d quite like to buy but not been able to make any offers stick, because we aren’t under offer ourselves.

Do we just need to be more patient, or is there anything we can do to try to get our house sold?

MailOnline Property expert Myra Butterworth said: By and large, if you’re failing to sell your house, it is often because you’re asking too much money for it.

Sellers often fall into the trap of thinking they know what a property is worth, but it is the buyer who has the final say. They will decide what price they are prepared to pay for the bricks and mortar in front of them.

If the price is right, they will overlook things that they don’t like. And, if the price goes low enough, someone will eventually see through the things that others can’t.

However, in this case, buyers obviously don’t think that the price is wide of the mark as they are still going ahead and viewing the property. This is despite them knowing the price tag well in advance – they are not ruling it out immediately based on price.

But obviously once they view the property in person, they spot something that makes other homes more attractive and you need to find out what this and whether it can be fixed – otherwise you may indeed have to lower the price.

If you listen carefully to the feedback, it may be something that you can remedy quite easily, such as painting over a bright lime front door with a more appealing neutral colour, tweaking room layouts, or doing some simple work to refresh elements of your home.

Another thing to watch out for is that your details online aren’t overselling the property or hiding something that puts buyers off. Rooms made to look much bigger than they are, a house that appears to look out over fields but actually has a busy road by it, or a small garden wide-angled to look huge, can lead to disappointment on viewings.  

James Forrester, managing director of estate agents Barrows and Forrester, said: There’s a wealth of ‘tips and hacks’ that can make your home more appealing to buyers, but the bottom line of a slow sale is often down to price.

The fact that you’re receiving interest is a positive sign that you’ve priced at a reasonable threshold and that your advert is of adequate quality and is being seen by the right type of buyer.

However, there may be an underlying issue that viewers aren’t disclosing in their feedback. This could be an overlooked garden, perhaps the road is just that little bit too busy, or there may be an aesthetic issue deterring them.

Push your agent to dig deeper at the feedback stage in order to find out exactly what the issue is, or take this task on yourself in person at the end of a viewing. Only then you can look to address it, and more often than not, an element of compromise on price could be the answer for a prospective buyer.

A top-line reduction in price via might not be necessary and this should be approached on a viewer by viewer basis depending on their hesitations.

A few thousand pounds less could make that road a little less noisy or cover the cost of that aesthetic change and is a small price to pay to get moving.

A top-line reduction in the asking price via might not be necessary to get your house sold

A top-line reduction in the asking price via might not be necessary to get your house sold

Buying agent Henry Pryor said: There is a market – you can buy and you can sell but you can’t get a premium price or bag a bargain – at least you can’t yet.

The asking price is part of the marketing, it is designed to get people to come and see the property. Like a price tag on a jacket in a shop it should be big enough for you to feel like you can afford it as a treat, but not too cheap that you worry for the welfare of the children who must have made it!.

If you have been getting viewers then the price has done it’s job and your agent needs to find out why these buyers haven’t made an offer. Have they been getting the wrong people round? 

It doesn’t sound like reducing the price is necessary. What you may need to look at is the marketing. Are the photos giving people a reasonable idea of what they can expect when they visit? Are they finding something unexpected? Road noise? Mess or smell? 

You never get a second chance to make a first impression so double-check that the house and garden are clean and tidy. You want people going away talking about how they would live in the property not remarking about the ring around the bath. 

Be brave and be honest with yourselves. Find out why the people who looking at it aren’t even making a cheeky offer and then take action based on what they say.

THIS IS MONEY PODCAST

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Fur sales will be BANNED in Britain once the country leaves the EU

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fur sales will be banned in britain once the country leaves the eu

Fur sales will be banned after Britain leaves the EU’s single market and customs union in December under proposals being drawn up by ministers.

Lord Goldsmith, the Government’s animal welfare minister and a close friend and political ally of Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds, is understood to be spearheading the move.

The Government is considering plans to prohibit the import of wild animal fur into the UK that would essentially forbid the sale of clothes containing fur in shops after the transition period.

The change would affect imports of nearly £200million of fur and fur-based products every year, many of which come from mainland Europe.

Defra — the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs — is expected to publish a consultation paper after the transition period ends this year.

Leaked Defra documents seen by The Daily Telegraph showed Lord Goldsmith met with the executive director of anti-fur organisation, Humane Society International, on May 12 in which he asked if there were any particular areas, in relation to the fur trade, that the Government should research.

Lord Goldsmith, the Government’s animal welfare minister and a close friend and political ally of Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds, is understood to be spearheading the move

Lord Goldsmith, the Government’s animal welfare minister and a close friend and political ally of Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds, is understood to be spearheading the move

Ms Symonds has called people who wanted to buy fur ‘sick’. She has also campaigned against whaling, and reportedly swayed Mr Johnson in his decision to axe a proposed badger cull

Ms Symonds has called people who wanted to buy fur ‘sick’. She has also campaigned against whaling, and reportedly swayed Mr Johnson in his decision to axe a proposed badger cull

The peer called the fur trade ‘one of the grimmest of human activities’ in 2018 and said the Government is ‘very keen’ to take action against it post-Brexit.

‘We have some of the highest welfare standards in the world,’ Lord Goldsmith told The Mirror last year. ‘Fur farming has rightly been banned in this country for nearly 20 years and at the end of the transition period we will be able to properly consider steps to raise our standards still further.’

The Defra minister has also argued that Brexit meant that ‘whatever barriers may have prevented us from raising standards on imports at the point of entry will have gone’.

‘We will be free to decide whether we want to continue to import the proceeds of one of the grimmest of human activities,’ he previously said.

Last year, Ms Symonds blasted people who wanted to buy fur as ‘sick’. She has also campaigned against whaling, and reportedly swayed Mr Johnson in his decision to axe a proposed badger cull in Derbyshire.

Fur farming was banned in 2003 but the UK still allows the product to be imported from overseas and France is one of the biggest suppliers.

Ministers believe a move to ban fur would buy hugely popular, with opinion polls indicating that around 80 per cent of Britons think the trade is unacceptable (pictured, protesters stand in front of British Fashion Council show space during London Fashion Week)

Ministers believe a move to ban fur would buy hugely popular, with opinion polls indicating that around 80 per cent of Britons think the trade is unacceptable (pictured, protesters stand in front of British Fashion Council show space during London Fashion Week)

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, fur could still be imported into Northern Ireland.

Ministers believe a move to ban fur would buy hugely popular, with opinion polls indicating that around 80 per cent of Britons think the trade is unacceptable.

However, the British Fur Trade Association, which represents importers and sellers, has said it will lobby against the ‘irrational, illiberal and misjudged’ proposed ban.

In a report available on its website, the group said: ‘Sales of natural fur in the UK have increased in recent years and are popular among younger age groups, as environmentally conscious consumers increasingly reject the mass-produced non-renewables epitomised by the fast fashion crisis and search out long lasting, sustainable natural materials.

‘Yet, animal rights groups are now actively and vocally lobbying the British Government for fur sales to be banned in the UK using selective data, arguments and anecdotal evidence.

‘Such shrill voices, of course, do not represent the ‘silent majority’ who do not support such a ban; opinions that should not be ‘cancelled’ but recognised and respected.

‘Those that shout the loudest seldom have the support of the majority or their moral backing.

‘Although they would never admit it, such groups would achieve their aims far better by working with the organised fur sector to drive up standards as cooperative models in other sectors have shown.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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The Simpsons bring on black actor Alex Desert to voice Carl Carlson replacing Hank Azaria

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the simpsons bring on black actor alex desert to voice carl carlson replacing hank azaria

Producers on Fox’s long-running animated series The Simpsons announced in June that they will no longer have white actors voicing black characters, though today it’s been revealed who will voice one of the show’s longest-running black characters.

Alex Desert (Swingers, High Fidelity) has come aboard to voice Carl Carlson, one of Homer Simpson’s longtime co-workers at the Springfield Power Plant.

While Harry Shearer voiced Carl in his very first appearance in the Season 1 episode Homer’s Night Out, Hank Azaria, a white voice actor like Shearer, has voiced Carl ever since.

Carl voice: Producers on Fox's long-running animated series The Simpsons announced in June that they will no longer have white actors voicing black characters, though today it's been revealed who will voice one of the show's longest-running Black characters

Carl voice: Producers on Fox’s long-running animated series The Simpsons announced in June that they will no longer have white actors voicing black characters, though today it’s been revealed who will voice one of the show’s longest-running Black characters

Voice actor: Alex Desert (Swingers, High Fidelity) has come aboard to voice Carl Carlson, one of Homer Simpson's longtime co-workers at the Springfield Power Plant

Voice actor: Alex Desert (Swingers, High Fidelity) has come aboard to voice Carl Carlson, one of Homer Simpson’s longtime co-workers at the Springfield Power Plant

Desert replaces Azaria as Carl Carson in at least the Season 32 premiere of The Simpsons, which debuts Sunday, September 27 on Fox.

There is no indication that Desert is becoming a permanent fixture on the cast, or if he will voice multiple characters on the show. 

Another black character on The Simpsons, is seen in the Season 32 premiere, though he does not speak, who has traditionally been voiced by Azaria as well and may be voiced by Desert or another black actor under this new initiative.

Replacing Hank: Desert replaces Hank Azaria as Carl Carson in at least the Season 32 premiere of The Simpsons, which debuts Sunday, September 27 on Fox

Replacing Hank: Desert replaces Hank Azaria as Carl Carson in at least the Season 32 premiere of The Simpsons, which debuts Sunday, September 27 on Fox

The Season 32 premiere, entitled Undercover Burns, features power plant owner Montgomery Burns going undercover (voiced by David Harbour) at his own plant as ‘Fred’ to see how his own employees think of him, including Carl.

When all of the employees start to befriend ‘Fred,’ Mr. Burns starts improving the plant’s amenities, which doesn’t sit well with his longtime right-hand man Smithers.

Azaria also revealed in January that he would no longer voice the Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, though it has not been confirmed who will replace him. 

Hank steps down: Azaria also revealed in January that he would no longer voice the Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, though it has not been confirmed who will replace him

Hank steps down: Azaria also revealed in January that he would no longer voice the Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, though it has not been confirmed who will replace him

There was even a 2017 documentary entitled The Problem With Apu by comedian/filmmaker Hari Kondabolu, where other South Asian actors like Aziz Ansari, Kal Penn and Maulik Pancholy discuss who Apu impacted their lives.

Kevin Michael Richardson (American Dad) has come aboard in recent years to voice several black characters, though there is no indication if more black voice actors will be brought aboard.

The Simpsons is one of several animated shows that has come under fire in recent months, with several white actors stepping down from voicing characters of color. 

Under fire: The Simpsons is one of several animated shows that has come under fire in recent months, with several white actors stepping down from voicing characters of color

Under fire: The Simpsons is one of several animated shows that has come under fire in recent months, with several white actors stepping down from voicing characters of color

Other animated shows have had white actors step down from voicing diverse roles, like Mike Henry stepping down from voicing Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, Alison Brie stepping away from Vietnamese-American writer Diane Nguyen on BoJack Horseman and Kristen Bell as Molly on Apple TV Plus’ Central Park. 

Jenny Slate also stepped down as Missy on Netflix’s Big Mouth, who will now be voiced by Ayo Edebiri.  

Emily Raver-Lampman will now play Molly in Season 2 of Central Park, and BoJack Horseman has already ended its run on Netflix.

Desert has voiced Jefferson Davis and Swarm on the animated Spider-Man series and he has also had voice roles on Momma Named Me Sheriff and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as Nick Fury.

Stepping down: Other animated shows have had white actors step down from voicing colored roles, like Mike Henry stepping down from voicing Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, Alison Brie stepping away from Vietnamese-American writer Diane Nguyen on BoJack Horseman and Kristen Bell as Molly on Apple TV Plus' Central Park

Stepping down: Other animated shows have had white actors step down from voicing colored roles, like Mike Henry stepping down from voicing Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, Alison Brie stepping away from Vietnamese-American writer Diane Nguyen on BoJack Horseman and Kristen Bell as Molly on Apple TV Plus’ Central Park

Voice veteran: Desert has voiced Jefferson Davis and Swarm on the animated Spider-Man series and he has also had voice roles on Momma Named Me Sheriff and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes as Nick Fury

Voice veteran: Desert has voiced Jefferson Davis and Swarm on the animated Spider-Man series and he has also had voice roles on Momma Named Me Sheriff and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as Nick Fury

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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