5 Important Things (And Counting) Buried By 'Brexit'

Political life - for better or worse - goes on despite leaving the EU
A shocked-looking Michael Gove and Boris Johnson after their Leave triumph
A shocked-looking Michael Gove and Boris Johnson after their Leave triumph

The shock and awe of the UK voting to leave the European Union has dominated the weekend's news bulletins, and is likely to crowd out everything else for months, possibly years.

What's the 'Brexit' plan? Who will be Prime Minister? IsLabour still a Party? Can Brussels rush the UK into invoking Article 50 and properly quitting?

Huge stories all. But politics can't be parked and we all come back to it later. A year ago, the UK elected a Conservative government on a manifesto of economic, education and welfare reform.

As far as we know, that continues - but stories that would have prompted a huge reaction, for better or worse, are now second-tier at best. Here are the first handful that have been buried.

Massive Shift In Climate Change Policy
Jason Reed / Reuters
The Government is set to adopt targets to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as it seeks to show its commitment to tackling climate change.

Ministers will lay regulations in Parliament for the "fifth carbon budget", which governs the reductions in greenhouse gases for the period 2028 to 2032, and are expected to accept recommendations from advisers for a 57% cut by 2030.
Justine Greening Comes Out
Another huge story in normal times would have been Justine Greening, the Conservative International Development Secretary, announcing she is in a same-sex relationship.

Her announcement follows that of David Mundell, who earlier this year came out as gay. She has become the second ever openly LGBT Tory cabinet minister.
There's An A&E Crisis
Gareth Fuller/PA Archive
A hard-hitting report by the Care Quality Commission says hundreds of patients are dying needlessly every year due to poor performance in A&E departments.

The inspector of hospitals found 57 per cent of the 176 A&E units it visited were not up to scratch, 16 departments were rated "inadequate".

Cliff Mann of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, told The Sunday Times: "Quite a lot of people are having worse care because of overcrowding and some, undoubtedly, will not recover from their illness, whereas had they been seen in a properly resourced department and seen as promptly as possible they would have survived."
Sadiq Khan's Multi-Faith Ramadan
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, a practising Muslim, was pictured breaking his Ramadan fast alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.

The event, held at Lambeth Palace and hosted by Welby, brought together people of different faiths for an Iftar event.

This is when Muslims break their Ramadan fast, which takes place from dawn to dusk, for a meal.

According to Sky News, Welby told attendees: “Somehow people, who were already of evil will, and I’m not blaming the Leave campaign I want to be quite clear about that, are using this as an excuse, a mere sham for their hatred to be expressed.

“We will stand together against intolerance, discrimination and hatred.

“That is absolutely crucial for the future of this country and for rebuilding our country with a new vision on what it is to be.”
MPs Want Prostitution De-criminalised
JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
Prostitution laws should be urgently rewritten so sex workers are no longer criminalised for soliciting, a major new Commons report has argued.

Brothel-keeping rules should also be adapted so prostitutes can share premises rather than placing themselves at risk by working alone, the Government was told.

In another measure, MPs called for previous convictions and cautions for prostitution to be deleted from sex workers' records.

The steps were outlined by the Home Affairs Select committee as it published an interim report after launching its first inquiry into the issue.

In England and Wales the acts of buying and selling sex are not in themselves illegal but associated activities such as soliciting, kerb crawling and brothel-keeping are outlawed.

The committee raised concerns that treating soliciting as an offence is having an adverse impact in terms of preventing sex workers from seeking help to leave prostitution and exposing them to abuse and violence.
Iceland's Epic Celebration
England crashed out to minnows Iceland in Euro 2016, but missed by some was the Nordic players joining with fans for a spine-tingling celebratory chant.

The performance saw them gather in the corner of the pitch facing their supporters and begin clapping and shouting. As the momentum built, the clapping grew faster and faster until fans and players alike broke into cheers.
Tory Minister Admits Libelling Imam
Hannah McKay/PA Wire
On polling day itself, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon revealed he is to pay undisclosed compensation to imam Suliman Gani for falsely claiming he supported Islamic State.

The accusation was the centre-piece of Tory attacks on the Sadiq Khan during the London mayoral election campaign. In an interview on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme, Fallon called Gani a “supporter of Daesh Islamic State”.

David Cameron had made the same accusation but in the House of Commons and under the cover of parliamentary privilege.

In a statement, Fallon admitted his claim was "entirely untrue".
Most Of Us Shop In Aldi And Lidl
Bloomberg via Getty Images
All four of the major supermarkets have endured another year-on-year decline in sales as discounters Aldi and Lidl achieved a record share of the market, figures show.

In good news for consumers, like-for-like grocery prices dropped by 1.4% on last year as supermarket sales fell by 0.2%, Kantar Worldpanel said.

The decline, which dates back to summer 2014, is primarily a result of the fierce price war leading to cheaper everyday groceries.

Almost three fifths of Britons - 58% - visited either Lidl or Aldi in the past 12 weeks, leading to them claiming a 4.4% and 6.1% share of the market and increasing sales by 13.8% and 11.5% on a year ago respectively.
Torture Case Legal Costs Revealed
Dave Thompson/PA Archive
A Freedom of Information response has revealed the Government has spent at least £600,000 attempting to block revelations about torture.

A civil case is being brought against it, former home secretary Jack Straw, and former MI6 spy chief Sir Mark Allen by a husband and wife who allege that British intelligence was complicit in their detention, rendition and torture.

The case is being brought on behalf of Abdel Hakim Belhaj, an opponent of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, and his wife, Fatima Boudchar.
Move To Overturn Historic Anti-Gay Laws
SNP MP John Nicolson launched a bid to automatically pardon all those cautioned or convicted under homophobic laws no longer on the statute book.

He hopes that his Private Members' Bill at Westminster can become the “Turing Law” - named after the World War Two codebreaker Alan Turing - and restore the reputation of 49,000 people.

His work to crack Germany's Enigma machine helped bring the war to an end, but he later took his own life after he underwent chemical castration following a conviction for homosexual activity.
North-South Divide Grows
Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
The North/South house price gap in England has widened to a record high of nearly £169,000, according to an index.

Nationwide Building Society said the gap between property values in the South and North of England has increased by £24,000 in the last year alone.

The average house price in the North of England - which for the purposes of the report includes the Midlands as well as Yorkshire and Humberside, the North West and the North East - is £155,222.

In the South of England - which includes the South West, South East, London and East Anglia - the average price of a home is £324,078.

In London, average house prices lifted to a new record high of £472,384, although the annual rate of increase in the capital has slowed down slightly to 9.9%, compared with 11.5% earlier in 2016.

The report said property prices in the capital have been supported by extremely robust labour market conditions as well as strong investor demand in recent years. The price of a typical London property is now around 12 times average earnings in the capital.
The Ozone 'On The Mend'
Natacha Pisarenko/AP
The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica appears to be healing, say scientists.

Recovery of the hole has varied from year to year, partly because of the effects of volcanic eruptions.

Now after taking account of volcanic influence, scientists have concluded that the ozone layer really is on the mend.

They predict that the hole could close permanently by the middle of the century.

The change is attributed to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which brought in a ban on the use of ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

At the time, the chemicals were widely used in refrigerators and aerosol cans.
HS2 Rail Scheme In A Mess
Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images
The High Speed 2 rail project is under financial strain and could be delayed by a year, the Whitehall spending watchdog said.

The National Audit Office (NAO) warned that the 2026 target date for opening phase one between London and the West Midlands is "at risk".

It revealed that the Department for Transport (DfT) has asked the company responsible for building the railway, HS2 Ltd, to assess the impact of extending its timetable by up to 12 months.

The DfT has also called on the firm to revisit its schedule in a bid to increase its confidence of completing phase one on time from 60% to 80% without increasing costs.
Anti-Muslim Hate Crime Soaring
Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images
A report on anti-Muslim hatred has revealed racist incidents in the UK increased 200% in 2015 and warned that Britain could “quickly become extremely unpleasant” for minorities.

Data from over 1,128 cases of which over 800 were found to be anti-Muslim in nature, identified that women were particularly vulnerable to attacks; perpetrators were generally 13-18 year old white males and incidents often occurred around transport hubs.

MP Jo Cox, who was killed earlier this month, had been speaking to Tell Mama about its report, and was set to address parliament about the surge in attacks against Muslim women.
Max Clifford Stands Trial For Alleged Sex Attack
The former celebrity publicist is accused of assaulting a girl at his Mayfair offices in New Bond Street between October 1981 and May 1982, which he denies.

A jury at Southwark Crown Court in London was told the 17-year-old thought Clifford was “going to kill her” when he forced her to perform a sex act on him. The alleged encounter ended when a delivery person knocked on the door, the jury was told.