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Brexit LIVE: UK ‘was right’ to leave!’ Investors flock to Britain defying Project Fear

Brexit: David Frost on Theresa May’s EU negotiations

As the country marked five years since the historic referendum, the Independent Business Network (IBN) looked at the apocalyptic predictions that many Remainers said would have happened in the event of Brexit. Its report rubbished many of them, instead showing that Global Britain continues to attract international investment in its droves.

The report also slammed “pro-Remain” business and economic groups, including the IMF, OECD and CBI, for repeatedly underselling the benefits of leaving the EU.

John Longworth, the IBN’s chairman, said: “The UK’s decision to leave the EU five years ago has proven to be the right one.

“The continued GDP growth has confounded all expectations of Remain, the ability to write our own regulations has allowed The City to remain the top destination in Europe for financial services investment, and we have made a great start on securing mutually beneficial trade deals with the rest of the world.

“Not only does this report serve to highlight how wrong the many critics of Brexit were in 2016 with their predictions, more importantly it acts as a warning to those in power.

READ MORE: Matt Hancock’s wife braves the spotlight as strain shows

Global Britain

Investors have flocked to the UK since Brexit, the report found (Image: Getty/Number 10)

John Redwood

Tory MP John Redwood is a long-standing Eurosceptic (Image: Getty)

“A warning that they should stop listening to policy advice from groups such as the CBI who only now half-heartedly back Brexit to stay relevant.

“Those who did not support Brexit then should not be advising on policy to take advantage of Brexit now.

“We are in a great position to achieve super growth. But to achieve this we need the right policies in place.

“Prioritising family-run and owned businesses, which have been the backbone of our economy since the end of the Second World War, is essential to ensure that the government not only achieves super growth, but does it in a sustainable way, that does not risk our economy overheating and will aid the desired levelling-up agenda.”

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Lord Adonis

Vocal Rejoiner Lord Adonis wants to the UK to reverse Brexit (Image: Getty)

The report’s findings mirror an attractiveness survey by accountancy firm EY which found that the UK, France and Germany are virtually tied in their appeal to foreign investors.

It also said that the UK ranks top among investors for the most credible and investment friendly post-Covid recovery plans.

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Brexit: Johnson urged to ‘heed Barnier’s advice’ by Hayter

3.45am update: They said UK couldn’t fend for itself outside EU but look what happened – KWASI KWARTENG

Five years ago, the British people made a momentous decision. As a nation, we chose to leave the EU, putting our future firmly back in our own hands – right where it belongs – which was a cause long championed by The Sunday Express.

We are already reaping the rewards. I want to thank Express readers for keeping the flame alive for all these years. Critics fretted that if we went for it alone, we would be knocked off course at the first crisis we faced.

They said that we couldn’t fend for ourselves, that outside the EU’s vaccine programme we would struggle to keep our heads above water. 

Yet here we are, rolling out the fastest vaccine roll-out anywhere in Europe – all thanks to a powerful combination of our top universities, the best minds in science, our treasured NHS, and the sheer common-sense of the British people who are eager to get their jabs so we can reclaim our freedoms and return to normal.

Kwasi Kwarteng has thanked Express readers for

Kwasi Kwarteng has thanked Express readers for “keeping the flame alive” (Image: Getty)

1.45am update: Brexit Britain could begin new CANZUK alliance for space, trade and defence next year

Britain will be able to take the first steps to Canzuk by strengthening its ties with Canada, Australia and New Zealand in just twelve months time, experts predicted last night.

It follows revelations that ministers and senior civil servants invited proponents of so-called Canzuk to present evidence outlining its advantages before setting out terms of the recent Free Trade Agreement with Australia.

That deal, which goes beyond trade to allow under-35s to work in both countries for five years, is being viewed as a “template” for future deals with New Zealand and Canada which are expected to be signed by the end of the year and next June respectively.

11.45pm update: ‘Utterly incomprehensible!’ Spiteful German politician calls for EU ban on UK tourists

A spiteful German politician has called for the EU to ban all British holidaymakers from visiting the bloc.

Karl Lauterbach believes that scuppering holiday plans for millions of Britons is the only way to stop the highly infectious Delta variant from spreading across mainland Europe.

Last month Germany and France banned non-essential travellers from the UK over concerns about the variant.

The SDP politician and health expert now believes all of the EU’s 27 countries should adopt the policy.

He told German newspaper BILD: “In view of the dramatic corona development in the United Kingdom in the middle of the main travel season, a travel embargo from the United Kingdom to Europe would be advisable.

“It is completely incomprehensible why there are no tough EU-wide entry restrictions for travellers from Great Britain.”

Alex Shipman is taking over from Paul Withers.

10.30pm update: Don’t do it! Boris warned retaliation against EU could DAMAGE global trade deal prospects

Boris Johnson has been warned an attempt from the UK to retaliate against the EU for any punishment over the Northern Ireland Protocol would be a “disaster” and could severely damage attempts to strike trade deals with other countries.

Earlier this month, tensions between Britain and the European Union surged after talks between UK Brexit minister Lord Frost and European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic over a solution to the implementation of the controversial Protocol ended in stalemate.

Brussels has threatened to launch a trade war against Britain if it does not implement checks on goods entering Northern Ireland under the terms of the Brexit deal, with Mr Sefcovic warning after the meeting with Lord Frost that patience with the UK is wearing “very, very thin”.

Officials from the UK and EU are expected to continue this week as they desperately attempt to find a solution to the issue.

Both sides have so far been unwilling to stand down from their respective positions on the implementation of the Protocol, sparking fears a hugely impactful trade war may be imminent.

Under the terms of the Brexit trade agreement struck at the end of last year, the UK and EU can impose tariffs on the other’s exports for breaching the pact, pending independent arbitration.

Now Prime Minister Mr Johnson has been firmly warned not to retaliate against any punishment inflicted by the EU as it would not sit well with countries throughout the world and could jeopardise trade deals the UK is attempting to strike throughout the world.

8.15pm update: ‘Controlling and suffocating!’ Britons furious at EU plot to bring nation ‘to its knees’

Britons have reacted furiously after Nigel Farage exposed the EU’s attempts to bring a member country “to its knees”.

The former Brexit Party leader warned Brussels is plotting to bring errant members to heel amid an ongoing row over domestic legislation with Hungary.

Currently the Netherlands is leading attempts to rein in the country over its an anti-LGBTQ law which has been championed by the country’s leader Viktor Orban.

It successfully passed through Hungary’s parliament earlier this month.

News that Brussels was allegedly trying to dictate domestic policy to EU members quickly sparked outrage from many Brits.

One raged: “When will this habit of telling another country what it should and should not do (end)?

“Why the EU thinks it is in charge of everything a country does is beyond comprehension.

“The EU was a financial and manufacturing based club to enable easy trading at one time, when did it become sovereign over all its members?”

brexit boris johnson

Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson has been warned over retaliating against the EU (Image: GETTY)

6.50pm update: Oh dear, Nicola! Sturgeon dealt blow as Scottish independence support dips in latest poll

The SNP have been dealt a huge blow in their ambition for Scottish independence after polling showed a fall in support for separation from the UK.

A Panelbase poll revealed support for Scottish independence was four points lower than April prior to the Holyrood elections. The poll revealed just 48 percent of people would back independence, once ‘don’t knows’ were excluded.

Meanwhile, backing for the Union stood at 52 percent, again once ‘don’t knows’ were taken out of the equation.

It comes after senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove has said he “can’t see” Boris Johnson granting a new referendum on Scottish independence before the next general election.

Mr Gove – who is responsible for countering the push for independence – said the Prime Minister’s focus was completely focused on recovery from the pandemic “for the lifetime of this parliament”.

Panelbase polled 1,287 Scots earlier this month.

5.20pm update: Sajid Javid delivered Boris stinging Brexit rebuke before securing Health Secretary job

Sajid Javid delivered Boris Johnson a stinging Brexit rebuke live on TV before being appointed as the new Health Secretary.

Mr Javid is widely considered a safe pair of hands given his previous role in Government and brief spell as Chancellor.

While he and Mr Johnson had a closing working relationship, the pair locked horns on more than one occasion.

One of their most contentious disagreements was on Brexit and how to deliver it.

A heated instance led to Mr Javid publicly rebuking Mr Johnson for language he used to describe Brexit in the hands of the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, and then Prime Minister Theresa May.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he said Mrs May had put the UK constitution in a “suicide vest” and handed the detonator to Mr Barnier.

Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show the same day, Mr Javid said it was clear Mr Johnson held different opinions to Mrs May on Brexit.

sajid javid

Brexit LIVE: Sajid Javid once delivered Boris Johnson a stinging Brexit rebuke live on TV (Image: GETTY)

4pm update: ‘I’m so angry’ Elton John rages at ‘philistine’ Brexit chiefs who ‘f***** up’ fishing deal

Elton John has taken aim at the government, who he claims have “f****d up” the fishing industry in the UK in the wake of Brexit.

Sir Elton John never shies away from disclosing what is on his mind, often being praised for his honesty. Now, the musician has unleashed a blistering attack against the government who he claims “tell us lies”.

Five-time Grammy Award-winning musician Sir Elton, 74, has viciously slammed Boris Johnson’s cabinet’s handling of Brexit, five years after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.

The singer, born Reginald Dwight, has opened up, revealing he is “livid” at the handling of the move.

The dad-of-two has strongly criticised the government, going as far as to call cabinet members “liars” who “lie” to the public on a daily basis.

3.30pm update: Irish PM hits back at incoming DUP leader over Protocol claims

Micheal Martin has hit back at Sir Jeffrey Donaldson after the incoming DUP leader accused the Irish Government of “cheerleading” for the protocol.

Sir Jeffrey accused Dublin of only advocating for the nationalist side of the community in Northern Ireland on Brexit issues and claimed Mr Martin’s Government had ignored the concerns unionists have over the imposition of Irish Sea trade barriers.

The incoming DUP leader also suggested relationships between the north and south would be impacted if Irish ministers did not change stance.

But Mr Martin has hit back at the claims from Sir Jeffrey, and told RTE: “We do listen to unionists and I think Jeffrey knows that I certainly do,” the Taoiseach told RTE.

“I’ve known Jeffrey for quite a long time, from experience in government before and in politics more generally.

“I think what is extremely important is that we commit to work together and that we engage and there are issues that unionism has raised in respect of the protocol.

“Our view has been that we would like those issues and we want those issues to be resolved in the context of the European Union/United Kingdom negotiations and discussions, in the mechanisms that have been provided for in the (Withdrawal) Agreement, and that’s Maros Sefcovic (EU commission vice president) and David Frost (UK Brexit minister) and the negotiation channels that they’re involved in.”

brexit ireland micheal martin

Brexit LIVE: Micheal Martin has hit back at incoming DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson (Image: GETTY)

Paul Withers taking over live reporting from Oliver Pritchard-Jones.

2.21pm update: ‘Controlling and suffocating!’ Britons furious at EU plot to bring nation ‘to its knees’

Britons have reacted furiously after Nigel Farage exposed the EU’s attempts to bring a member country “to its knees”.

The former Brexit Party leader warned Brussels is plotting to bring errant members to heel amid an ongoing row over domestic legislation with Hungary.

Currently the Netherlands is leading attempts to rein in the country over its an anti-LGBTQ law which has been championed by the country’s leader Viktor Orban.

It successfully passed through Hungary’s parliament earlier this month.

1.58pm update: Brexit Britain to lead world defence race following HMS Defender Russia row

Britain will be leading the way to uphold the law of the sea as the world’s second strongest naval power after the United States, Daniel Hannan has said.

The former MEP turned Tory peer, who is also a special advisor to the Government on trade, made the comments as HMS Defender sparked a clash with Russian forces on Wednesday.

The Type-45 Destroyer travelled through waters south of the Crimea peninsula, which Russia unofficially annexed from Ukraine in 2014, in a move which was not recognised by international powers.

Moscow responded by having several aircraft shadowing the ship at varying heights, the lowest being approximately 500 feet – which Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said was “neither safe nor professional”.

But Mr Hannan claimed the Royal Navy’s move was an “assertion of the right to free navigation from which all countries benefit”, including the UK “more than most”.

 

Lord Frost

Brexit Minister Lord Frost (Image: Getty)

1.16pm update: Brexit Minister yet to respond to Northern Ireland committee invitation

Brexit Minister Lord Frost has yet to respond to an invitation by the SDLP chair of the Executive Office Committee at Stormont to appear before it tomorrow.

It comes ahead of a virtual appearance by European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic, who is due to face questions by Stormont politicians around the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The SDLP’s Colin McGrath told the BBC’s Sunday Politics show Lord Frost had been invited to appear at the meeting, but confirmed the minister has not replied to the offer yet.

He said: “This will be a very important meeting. [Maros Sefcovic] is a key player in the Brexit process and we have significant concerns and various issues we want to discuss with him,” said the south Down MLA.

“We want to take the time to speak to him, not least to say ‘what are the opportunities’…so that we can start delivering for people in our communities instead of this constant negativity.”

12.25pm update: Brandon Lewis blasts EU’s double standards ‘show flexibility you keep talking about!’

Brandon Lewis has urged the EU to “show the flexibility you keep talking about” as tensions rise over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Brandon Lewis, speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, said: “We’ve got to make sure that we are delivering for people in Northern Ireland, that we get the flexibility so that people in Northern Ireland have the same experience as they would anywhere else in the United Kingdom in terms of being able to receive products and goods.”

He added that, “now that’s a two-way thing and the EU needs to show the flexibility that they keep talking about”.

Mr Lewis, the Northern Ireland Secretary, stated that the UK Government would act to “rectify” the “big disruption” caused by the post-Brexit Irish Sea trading arrangements with Northern Ireland.

Mr Lewis blamed the problems attributed to the Protocol on the EU’s “purist” implementation.

Brandon Lewis

Brandon Lewis slammed the EU this morning (Image: Getty)

11.57am update: EU runs down the clock as it STILL won’t respond to UK’s sausage war plan with days to go

The European Union have not yet replied to a request from the British Government to extend the grace period for chilled meats imports into Northern Ireland, with the deadline fast approaching.

The British Government issued an official request for the extension of the Brexit grace period in Northern Ireland amid major import disruptions with mainland UK.

The European Union has been accused of taking a “purist” stance over its interpretation of the protocol relating to the UK nation included in the Brexit trade deal. Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis confirmed on Sunday Brussels has yet to respond to Britain’s request.

The deadline is currently set for Tuesday, June 30.

Mr Lewis told Times Radio: “We think we have put forward a sensible proposal, something actually quite moderate while we work out a long-term solution.

“And I am hopeful over the next few days that those technical discussions, we’ll be able to get that secured with the EU. We’re coming very close up against the deadline now and we’ve not yet formally heard back from the EU. They need to come back to us.”

11.38am update: ‘Hasn’t aged well’ Lewis left red-faced over Brexit tweet amid ongoing EU border row

Brandon Lewis was left red-faced as BBC host Andrew Marr confronted the Northern Ireland Secretary with a flippant tweet about the Brexit agreement struck with the European Union last year.

Andrew Marr had the Northern Ireland Secretary stumbling over his earlier claims that there is no border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK following the end of the Brexit transition period.

The British Government and the European Union have been locking horns for weeks over the interpretation of the protocol included in the trade deal struck last December. Mr Marr urged Brandon Lewis to admit he had been wrong in his assessment as the tweet was shown on the screen behind him.

The BBC host said: “As Northern Ireland Secretary, you tweeted this not so long ago. ‘There is no Irish Sea Border. As we have seen today, the important preparations the Govt and businesses have taken to prepare for the end of the Transition Period are keeping goods flowing freely around the country, including between GB and NI.’

“Can I just ask you, straightforwardly, to accept that is not true?”

Mr Lewis said: “I’ve said it before, I fully appreciate that tweet has not aged well. The reality is…”

11.08am update: Brexit warning: Failure to scrap EU rules will be ‘body blow to UK’, ex-MEP warns court

With a court ruling into the Northern Ireland Protocol looming, Ben Habib has warned any verdict which fails to declare the arrangements illegal will be a “body blow” for the region.

However, the former Brexit Party MEP said regardless of the result, he would continue to campaign against the controversial mechanism for preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland, which critics claim has instead resulted in a border down the Irish Sea.

The court is scheduled to reveal its decision on Wednesday, with Mr Habib – who has been instrumental in bringing the judicial review to the High Court of Northern Ireland – planning to fly to Belfast specially.

He told Express.co.uk: “The treatment of the people of Northern Ireland both by Westminster and the EU is contemptuous.

“Behind closed doors the British government and EU Commission decided on a new constitutional settlement for Northern Ireland. That constitution put a partition down the Irish Sea and condemned Northern Ireland to swathes of EU laws.”

Nigel Farage

Brexit talisman Nigel Farage (Image: Getty)

10.11am: Polling guru Curtice issues damning Brexit warning to Starmer before crunch by-election

Sir Keir Starmer has been issued a damning Brexit warning by polling guru Sir John Curtice ahead of next week’s Batley and Spen by-election, with Labour’s failure to “reconnect” with Vote Leave voters possibly proving to be a costly error.

The crucial by-election was triggered following a decision from Labour MP Tracy Brabin to quit Westminster following her election as the first mayor of West Yorkshire earlier this month. Ms Brabin had been Labour’s MP in Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire – like Hartlepool another marginal Red Wall seat – since 2016.

The seat had been represented by Jo Cox until she was shot and stabbed by a far-right extremist in June 2016. Last month, Labour announced selected Kim Leadbeater, the sister of Jo Cox, as its candidate for the constituency’s by-election.

Polling guru Sir John Curtice, who is also a Politics Professor at the University of Strathclyde, told Express.co.uk: “What has been clear is saying nothing about Brexit, which Labour has been doing, doesn’t help to reconnect with Leave voters.

“Judging from the recent Hartlepool by-election, is Labour has not had much success in reconnecting with Leave voters.

“It is still very reliant on Remain voters, the Brexit divide is still there, and Labour has not had much success winning lack voters, and the minority in Batley-and-Spen would underline that.”

9.49am update: Elton John attacks Johnson over Brexit’s affect on live performance

Elton John has attacked the British government failing to acknowledge how Brexit has hit touring musicians and performers.

Speaking to the Observer New Review, the veteran star said Boris Johnson’s administration had no grasp of the huge income normally generated by British artists working abroad.

“I’m livid about what the government did when Brexit happened,” he said.

“They made no provision for the entertainment business, and not just for musicians, actors and film directors, but for the crews, the dancers, the people who earn a living by going to Europe.

“We’ve been talking to Lord Strasburger about it, and we’ve been talking to Lord Frost, but we didn’t really get anywhere with him.

“It’s a nightmare. To young people just starting a career, it’s crucifying.”

9.32am update: ‘Project Fear was Project Delusion!’ Brexit ‘EXCEEDS’ expectation – strong growth forecast

Brexit has been an “unalloyed success” which has “exceeded expectations” and set the country up for decades of growth and innovation, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has said.

The verdict of the senior cabinet minister has come in an article to mark the fifth anniversary of the historic EU referendum result on June 23 last week. It comes as a report by the Independent Business Network (IBN) chaired by former Brexit Party MEP John Longworth has concluded that the Remainer’s “Project Fear has proven to be Project Delusion”.

It believes the UK is “on course for strong economic growth.”

Mr Kwarteng said that despite the covid pandemic “Britain is already reaping the rewards” of the vote in 2016 highlighting the success of the vaccine programme, shaking off EU state aid rules, using new powers to encourage research and development, and pointing to analysis which shows the UK is the top destination for overseas in investors in Europe.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

UK travel fury as Germans flock to Mallorca – ‘we expect an explanation’

UK travel fury as Germans flock to Mallorca - ‘we expect an explanation’

While the UK’s current restrictions limit international travel, Germans are flocking to Mallorca. Jet2 CEO said he was “bewildered” over why Britons couldn’t fly to those destinations.

Jet2 CEO Steve Heapy said: “When you take the UK Government’s own criteria for deciding where holidaymakers can travel to, and apply it to the Balearics, we are left bewildered as to why we cannot fly there.”

Mallorca, which has been a favourite destination of British tourists for decades, is currently on the amber list.

Travel there is not advised and a 10 day quarantine is required on return to the UK.

Manchester Airport Group’s CEO, Charlie Cornish, said EU countries were taking a more positive approach to resuming international travel.

READ MORE: Airlines demand travel standards to be discussed at the G7

“Hundreds of thousands of people from places like Germany are travelling freely and safely to low-risk holiday destinations,” he said.

But as Covid-19 rates are lower than ever in Mallorca, German tourists have started arriving in large numbers.

Currently, tourists arriving in Mallorca only need to show a negative antigen test or proof of vaccination.

Palma de Mallorca Airport reported that last month 397,931 tourists arrived from Germany on 3,363 flights, while only 5,813 UK tourists arrived on 333 flights.

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A British expat and bar-owner in Ca’n Picafort, Mallorca, said that with Britons still advised not to travel there, his business is struggling.

“If it weren’t for the Germans, we’d be broke. Ca’n Picafort is rammed with Germans,” he said.

Earlier this week, easyJet announced it was increasing capacity from Germany to Mallorca, to cope with the holiday demand.

“We’ve just recently added 150,000 seats from Berlin into Palma to try meet the huge pent-up demand that has been released from those restrictions lifting,” said easyJet Holidays’ CEO Garry Wilson.

“It is a shame we can’t do the same for UK customers, because we know demand is there,” he said.

The absence of British tourism has angered MAG boss, Charlie Cornish, who said that the UK does not take into account the low virus rates in other countries.

“The Government’s lack of transparency is unacceptable and makes operating a business in the travel sector almost impossible after what has already been the most challenging year in our history,” he said.

Jet2 CEO said he hopes the Government reviews its decision after June 24, when the travel list review is due to take place.

What do you think? Join the debate in the comments section here

“If Malta, Balearic and Canary Islands continue to have low infection rates, I expect them to be on the list. If they are not – we expect an explanation.”

MAG together with Ryanair has taken legal action against the Government over the traffic light system. They are suing the Government for the lack of transparency when it comes to deciding which countries qualify for the green list.

The Government has said to be considering the idea of allowing fully vaccinated Britons to travel without having to quarantine when they return from amber list destinations.

Jesse Norman, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “We don’t want to get left behind by countries who are adopting a two-jabs approach if it can be done safely.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Flock of Giant California Condors Trashes Woman’s Home

Flock of Giant California Condors Trashes Woman’s Home

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (AP) — Giant California condors are rare — but not at Cinda Mickols’ home.

About 15 to 20 of the giant endangered birds have recently taken a liking to the house in the city of Tehachapi and made quite a mess.

Mickols’ daughter, Seana Quintero of San Francisco, began posting photos of the rowdy guests on Twitter.

She told the San Francisco Chronicle the birds showed up at her mother’s home sometime last weekend.

The birds have trashed the deck — ruining a spa cover, decorative flags and lawn ornaments. Plants have been knocked over, railings scratched and there’s poop everywhere.

“She’s definitely frustrated but also is in awe of this and knows what an unusual experience this is,” Quintero said of her mother.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which runs a program to save the species from extinction, responded on Twitter. The agency noted that the house is in historic condor habitat, and suggested that Mickols try harmless hazing like shouting and clapping or spraying water.

“It is not unusual to see large congregations of condors in certain high use areas like the region where this incident occurred,” especially when feeding, Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Pam Bierce said in an email. “Unfortunately, they sometimes perceive houses and decks as suitable perch locations.”

California condors almost vanished in the 1980s before the few remaining birds were captured and placed in zoos for captive breeding. A few hundred birds are now in the wild. As condors re-colonize parts of their historical range, people could increasingly find themselves interacting with the “curious, intelligent, social” birds, Bierce said.

Author: AP News
This post originally appeared on Snopes.com

Eamonn Holmes in hospital with pain he’s never experienced as fans flock to wish him well

Eamonn Holmes in hospital with pain he’s never experienced as fans flock to wish him well

The presenter took a 10-week break from This Morning and Sky News at the time which included his recovery period.

He previously told The Mirror: “The pain was too much, the inability to stand – whether at a party, or to report on a news story, host a quiz show, to go ­shopping, play a round of golf, fool around with my kids or even walk the dog – one by one became too much.

“So I didn’t make the decision, the ­decision was made for me.

“But I did I decide to have both my hips done at once.”

Post-operation, he added: “I stand straighter, am an inch taller, can touch my toes and sit without pain.”

Utah Jazz stars say they feared for lives in emergency landing

Utah Jazz stars say they feared for lives in emergency landing

Utah Jazz stars have spoken of their horror when the charter flight they were traveling on was forced into an emergency landing when an engine fire broke out after the aircraft hit a flock of birds.

Jazz players and staff were traveling from Salt Lake City to Memphis on Tuesday when the Delta Boeing 757 ran into the birds shortly after take off, causing the left engine to fail.

The pilot safely landed, and the team later took a different plane to Memphis – albeit without teammate Donovan Mitchell on board – where they recorded a 111-107 win against the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

Also on rt.com Utah Jazz stars ‘shaken’ as battered plane is forced into emergency landing after bird strike and engine fire

Despite ending without physical injuries, the incident significantly shook up a number of the Jazz players and staff on board.

“It felt like there was an explosion,” Jazz point guard Mike Conley said after Wednesday’s game.

“We hit something big, the plane immediately started to bunce and tilted to the left, the people at the back saw flames, the people at the front didn’t know what was going on…

“It felt like the plane was breaking apart in midair. For five or 10 minutes, it felt like complete helplessness. We’re thankful it wasn’t as serious as it could have been, but it was scary.”

Fellow Jazz star Jordan Clarkson also discussed the team’s fears.

“It got to that point where we were all on the plane like, ‘This might be really the end,'” Clarkson said. “I mean, it was a crazy situation. I understand fully why Don didn’t come…

“A lot of us really came to a point… at least 30 seconds in that flight, everybody came to the point where it was like, ‘Man, it might be over for us.’ It’s sad to say that. I don’t play with death or anything like that.

“It’s just something that we’ve got to push through and come together and keep going, stay strong, support each other.

“How much time we’ve got to take off, or talking to our mental health people or whatever it is, that’s a serious situation if you’ve never been faced with life and death.”

Jazz coach Quin Snyder said the team had talked through the incident on Wednesday to help overcome any lingering psychological damage.

“Everybody’s impacted in different ways, all very significant,” he said.

“And it wasn’t something that we were going to solve by just talking through everything, but I think it was important to acknowledge what we all went through [Tuesday], and, really, that same feeling of gratitude and appreciation for the fragility that we all live with, sometimes without being aware of it.”

A number of players including Mitchell had shared their relief after the incident, posting a series of prayer emojis on social media.

Mitchell was said to have missed Wednesday’s game for “personal reasons”, although it’s unclear whether he will be affected for road games in the near future.

Photos of the plane after the emergency landing showed damage to the engine and nose, which appeared to smeared in blood from the birds it had collided with.

RT