May’s customs deal “dead on arrival”, Trump’s inflated welcome to the UK and French pilot ordeal. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
Dead on arrival
Theresa May’s proposed customs deal was declared “dead on arrival in the EU” by The Independent. The UK daily cited senior EU officials as saying they would reject any plan in which the UK is part of a single market for goods and not services. May is expected to publish her plans in which Britain remains aligned with EU regulation on goods but not services.
Trump’s UK welcome
Donald Trump will be greeted by a 6-metre, angry trump baby balloon among other things when he flies to the UK next week. According to The Guardian, protestors have planned demonstrations at each stage of his tour. Campaigners raised £16,000 for the baby balloon for which London mayor, Sadiq Khan, issued permission to fly it.
Environment chief resigns
The head of the US Environmental Protection Agency and Trump pleaser resigned Thursday amid a string of ethics controversies, Reuters reports. Scott Pruitt was known for aggressively reversing environmental regulations on manufacturing and energy. He has come under fire for his lavish lifestyle, in which he travels first-class at taxpayer expense and installed a $43,000 soundproof phone booth at the office.
Nerve agent worries
British-Russian tensions increased on Thursday after a UK couple was found to have been exposed to the same nerve agent used on an ex-Russian spy and his daughter, AFP reports. The couple fell ill in Amesbury, southwest England, near Salisbury where Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia were exposed to military grade nerve agent Novichok on 4 March. Moscow responded saying Britain was playing “dirty political games”.
A French helicopter pilot who was forced at gun-point to help free a notorious criminal from prison has described his ordeal publicly. The Guardian reports that Stéphane Buy thought he was giving a flying lesson to two men when he was beaten unconscious and ordered to land in the jail where Rédoine Faïd was incarcerated. Faïd, who is still at large, was serving 25 years for a failed robbery in 2010.