French President Macron to discuss Brexit with UK PM Johnson in coming weeks

Macron’s talks with Johnson over Brexit would be “in regards to the demands of the European Union” regarding Brexit. (File/AFP)
Updated 26 July 2019

French President Macron to discuss Brexit with UK PM Johnson in coming weeks

  • Johnson set up a showdown with the EU by vowing to negotiate a new deal and threatening that, if the bloc refused, he would take Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 without a deal
  • One of the main areas of contention between Britain and the EU over the terms of Brexit has been the Irish backstop

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss Brexit with Britain's new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whom he has invited to visit in the next few weeks, an official from Macron's Elysee office said on Friday.
The two leaders spoke on Thursday, and Macron's talks with Johnson would be in regard to the demands of the European Union about Brexit, the official added.
On entering Downing Street on Wednesday, Johnson set up a showdown with the EU by vowing to negotiate a new deal and threatening that, if the bloc refused, he would take Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 without a deal.
One of the main areas of contention between Britain and the EU over the terms of Brexit has been the Irish backstop.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said this week there would be no withdrawal agreement or subsequent trade pact with Britain if it did not accept the backstop.
The backstop is an insurance policy to provisionally keep Britain in a customs union with the EU, pending a better solution, to prevent the return of a hard border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also told Johnson this week that a divorce deal agreed by predecessor Theresa May last November was the best and only deal with the European Union.


UK trials new breathing aid developed by Mercedes Formula One

Updated 11 min 20 sec ago

UK trials new breathing aid developed by Mercedes Formula One

  • ‘These devices will help to save lives by ensuring that ventilators, a limited resource, are used only for the most severely ill’
LONDON: A new version of a breathing aid that can help coronavirus patients has been developed in less a week by a team involving Mercedes Formula One, and is being trialled at London hospitals.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices have been used in China and Italy to deliver air and oxygen under pressure to patients’ lungs to help them breathe without the need for them to go on a ventilator, a more invasive process.
The new CPAP has already been approved by the relevant regulator and now 100 of the machines will be delivered to University College London Hospital for trials, before being rolled out to other hospitals.
Reports from Italy indicate that approximately 50 percent of patients given CPAP have avoided the need for invasive mechanical ventilation, which involves patients being sedated, freeing up ventilators for those more in need.
“These devices will help to save lives by ensuring that ventilators, a limited resource, are used only for the most severely ill,” UCLH critical care consultant Professor Mervyn Singer said in a statement on Monday.
“We hope they will make a real difference to hospitals across the UK by reducing demand on intensive care staff and beds, as well as helping patients recover without the need for more invasive ventilation.”
The new breathing aid was developed by engineers and clinicians at UCLH teaming up with Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains who worked at UCL’s MechSpace hub to reverse engineer a device that can be produced quickly.
Development of the new device took fewer than 100 hours from initial meeting to production of the first one. The team working on it also includes Oxford Optronix, a small company that will manufacture the oxygen monitors for the CPAP devices.
Britain is shortly due to announce it has placed an order for 10,000 ventilators to be made by a consortium of companies including Ford, Airbus and Rolls-Royce as part of efforts to fight the coronavirus, an industry source told Reuters.