Tag Archives: remote

A global survey of 32,000 workers reveals the biggest concerns about returning to the office

After nearly a year-long experiment in telecommuting, 85% of remote workers say they’d rather be back in the office. Only 19% say they’re completely satisfied with their current work from home arrangements. More than half want to cap their remote work time to one or two days a week.

These are some of the key takeaways from a global survey of 32,000 workers polled by Steelcase, which bills its new Reinvented Workplace report as the “largest body of research conducted on the state of work” during the pandemic. Conducted by the office furniture giant over the course of five months, the report summarizes findings from eight qualitative and quantitative studies conducted in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, and Spain. They represent the opinions of employees, managers, and executives who work in offices with 100 employees or more.

Sociologist Tracy Brower, a principal in Steelcase’s applied research and consulting division, says remote workers are finding it challenging to do their jobs effectively, largely because it’s hard to find spaces to think next to the din and demands of their domestic lives.

Where we are working

Steelcase / U.S. Work from home Study

Where remote workers are working from.

Brower says that there’s a greater appreciation for the fact that the spaces where we do our work has a direct bearing on our success. “A large percentage of people having a ‘middle of the road’ or even an unsatisfied experience, about 81%, according to our research,” she explains, offering a sobering counterpoint for the “work-from-anywhere” fantasy that some companies touted even before Covid-19. The report also registers a 6% drop in innovation when employees are scrambling to find conducive places for working outside of the office.

Only about half of telecommuters work from a desk. A fifth have camped out on a dining table, 15% are on a couch, 9% are working in bed, 7% are at a kitchen counter, and 5% use outdoor furniture. Managers tend to have a better work-from-home set-up compared to their employees, with over 40% reporting to have both an ergonomic chair and a second monitor. The interest in improving work spaces is reflected in the steady uptick in the commercial furniture market during the pandemic.

Common anxieties about returning to the office

Steelcase’s data suggests that majority of workers embrace a hybrid work schedule, and hope to go back to the office on a part-time basis. Only 5% say they prefer working remotely exclusively.

For employees eager to report back to their desks, the office’s air quality and evidence that colleagues are heeding health protocols are top priorities. This could mean strict enforcement of mask-wearing, posting signage, and reconfiguring the office layout to comply with social-distancing protocols.

Because work eventually will be done in two or more places, Brower ultimately puts the burden of creating ideal work environments on employers. “Leaders need to create a great experience in the office, as well as a great experience for people working from home—or risk a decline in their productivity and engagement,” she warns.

As the world’s top office furniture manufacturer in terms of revenue, Steelcase has a stake in convincing companies to increase their spending in new, Covid-19 compliant solutions. In the report, the company previewed a cocoon-like enclosure that may be of interest to firms that want to improve on the clunky social distancing solutions.

The five types of remote workers

Steelcase’s researchers suggest that remote workers tend to fall into one of five personas: The isolated Zoomer, the frustrated creative networker, the overworked caretaker, the autonomy-seeker, and the relieved self-preservationist. Of these archetypes, only the last two fare well with extended periods of remote work.

“It’s important to note that it’s possible for people to associate themselves with more than one of the patterns,” the report states. “They are meant to be extremes that can help us understand the different experiences people have had and what their expectations may be when they return to the workplace.”


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Author: Anne Quito

World Voting Machines and App Based Remote Voting Systems Report 2020-2026

Dublin, Jan. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Voting Machines and App Based Remote Voting Systems: Market Shares, Market Analysis, and Market Forecasts, Worldwide, 2020 to 2026” report from Wintergreen Research, Inc has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

App-based voting machine markets, at $6 million in 2020, is forecast to grow to $8 billion by 2026.

Voting machines, including smartphone voting services, represent next-generation automation of getting people to register selection of people able to perform governance.

With the opportunity to participate in the next generation voting by smartphone, more people are going to be able to have their preferences count collectively. Collaborative participation in achieves broad economies of scale, making them far more affordable and more available for the entire new industrial revolution.

Democracy as a business leverages the equipment necessary for running elections. Voter registration devices are core to election systems. Marking devices, mobile voting devices, apps, prevention of election fraud, prevention of voting machine hacking, support for voting remotely, marking devices for voters, ID management devices, and tabulation equipment that counts votes accurately are used to run an election.

Worldwide remote voting systems markets are poised to achieve remarkable uptake in the market. Next-generation voting systems promise to bring the biggest change in a democracy that has ever occurred. The cost of running a voting system is dramatically lower. Solid, secure voting systems will encourage confidence in the voting process and draw more people into the voting cycles.

Smartphone voting supports ease of use. People take their phones with them everywhere they go. This new technology promises to have a profound effect on the pursuit of democracy worldwide for government voting, corporate voting, community development voting, and for union voting.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Smart Phone Voting

  • Voting Wireless Digitalization

  • Autonomous Mobile Voting Machines

  • APP-Based Voting

  • Electronic Voting Machines

  • Secure Storage Voting Equipment

  • Hacking Voting Machines

  • End to End Data Encryption

  • Vote Selection Data Protection

  • BlockChain Ballot Box

  • Secure Sockets

  • Middleware Messaging

  • Secure Vote Smart Phone

  • Remote Voting System

  • Voting Machine Market

  • Voting Machine Forecasts

Key Topics Covered:

1. App-Based Voting and Electronic Voting Machines Market Description and Market Dynamics
1.1 Secure Storage Voting Equipment
1.2 Difference Between Hand Counts and Counts Graph by Anselmo Sampietro
1.3 Hacking Voting Machines
1.3.1 Hackers at Defcon
1.3.2 Documented Voting Machine Vulnerabilities
1.4 Vote Counting Statistical Irregularities Graph by Anselmo Sampietro
1.5 Securing Democracy
1.5.1 Need for Secure Vote Smartphone Remote Voting System
1.5.2 Use Secure Banking System as a Model
1.5.3 Secure Remote Voting System Aspects
1.5.4 Remote Voting System Modeled on Remote Healthcare Delivery
1.6 Smartphone Voting
1.7 Voting Is A Singular Event: An Election Has a Beginning, a Middle, and an End
1.7.1 Smartphone Voting Has Not Been Considered Viable

2. Voting Machines Market Shares and Forecasts
2.1 Voting Machine Market Driving Forces
2.2 Voting Machine Market Shares
2.2.1 US Voting Machine Market Shares
2.2.2 International Voting Machine Companies
2.3 App-Based Voting and Electronic Voting Machine Market Forecasts, Worldwide
2.3.1 Non-Governmental Elections Including Union Elections
2.4 US Voting Machine Market Forecasts
2.5 US Voting Machine Market Segment Forecasts
2.6 Smartphone Voting
2.7 App-Based Smartphone and Tablet Voting, Elections Market Forecasts, Governmental and Nongovernmental Worldwide
2.7.1 App-Based Smartphone and Tablet Political Electoral Systems Market Forecasts
2.8 Political Electoral Systems Are Organized By Governments Worldwide As Illustrated Following
2.8.1 App-Based Smartphone and Tablet, Non-Political Elections Market Forecasts
2.8.1 Smartphone Voting as Response to Coronavirus Covid-19
2.8.2 Smartphone Voting as Response to Riots
2.8.3 Operating System Protection for Voting Machines
2.9 Voting Machines Costs

3. Voting Machines Users
3.1 ES&S Users
3.2 Types of Election Systems and Distribution
3.3 Voting Machine US State by State Analysis

4. Voting Machines Research and Technology
4.1 Voting Security and Accessibility Standards Organizations
4.1.1 Government Blockchain Association (GBA)
4.1.2 EAC
4.1.3 United Nations Assistance
4.1.4 ERS in the UK
4.1.5 Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center
4.1.6 US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Designates Elections as Having Critical Infrastructure
4.1.7 CISA’S Election Services
4.1.8 CIS Benchmarks
4.1.9 NIST
4.1.10 Google
4.2 US Election Infrastructure Subsector Government Coordinating Councils
4.3 Microsoft Windows
4.4 Gems Database
4.5 Remote Voting
4.6 Remote-Access Software from ES&S
4.7 Computer Security
4.7.1 Security Threats From Foreign Entities
4.7.2 Putin Takes Personally Hillary Clinton Charges of Rigged Election in Russia
4.7.3 Voting Machine Transparency Achieved Via Computer Scientists And Academics Hacking
4.8 Voter Registration System Vulnerabilities

5. Voting Machine Companies
5.1 ByteGrid
5.2 Clear Ballot
5.2.1 Clear Ballot: Independent, Automated Audit
5.2.2 ClearDesign Browser-Based Ballot Styles
5.3 Democracy Live
5.4 Dominion Voting
5.5 Hart InterCivic
5.6 McCarthy Group, LLC/Election Systems & Software (ES&S)
5.7 Facebook
5.8 Google
5.9 Hart InterCivic Paper Ballot Voting
5.10 Microsoft
5.11 Idox/Halarose Holdings
5.12 Indra Sistemas, S.A.
5.13 Microsoft
5.14 MyVote
5.15 Premier Election Solutions
5.16 Scytl
5.17 Sequoia Voting Systems
5.18 Smartmatic International
5.19 Voatz
5.20 Votem
5.21 Vidaloop

6. EAC Registered Voting Machine Companies
6.1.1 HAVA Mandates that EAC Accredit Voting System Test Laboratories
6.1.2 U.S. Election Assistance Commission System Manufacturers

7. US Voting Statistics

8. US EAC Certification
8.1 Selected Voting Machine Companies

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/8d84ai

Research and Markets also offers Custom Research services providing focused, comprehensive and tailored research.

CONTACT: CONTACT: ResearchAndMarkets.com Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager press@researchandmarkets.com For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900


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Australian state considers mining camps for coronavirus quarantine

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – An Australian state premier said on Thursday she was considering the use of remote mining camps to quarantine international arrivals, aiming to break a cycle of coronavirus outbreaks around the country at city hotels used for isolation.

Queensland’s state capital of Brisbane emerged earlier this week from a snap three-day lockdown sparked by the discovery of the highly infectious strain of COVID-19 in a worker at a quarantine hotel.

“I think with this new strain, we have to put all options on the table,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said of the camp proposal, which received a mixed reaction in Australia.

Since Australia effectively eliminated local transmision of COVID-19 in the second half of last year, almost all new outbreaks have stemmed from quarantine hotels.

Palaszczuk said health officials are considering “a number” of camps near airports as a way to isolate COVID-19 cases and prevent the potential spread of the virus through common infrastructure such as airconditioning.

Neighbouring Northern Territory began using a shuttered mining camp outside the city of Darwin in October for quarantining international arrivals.

A proposal for wider use of camps is on the agenda of a national cabinet meeting next week but New South Wales, the country’s most populous state, has already voiced its objections. The vast majority of incoming travellers to Australia arrive in Sydney where they are quarantined at city hotels.

“There’s strong views held in our public health team it makes sense to continue to have the hotel quarantine arrangements we currently have,” said NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, citing difficulties in providing support staff in regional locations and concerns about transporting infected travellers.

In Brisbane, authorities transferred 129 quarantined travellers from the Grand Chancellor hotel to another hotel late on Wednesday while investigations into the latest outbreak are conducted.

Both Queensland and NSW reported zero locally transmitted infections overnight, but six in returning travellers, while the Northern Territory recorded two cases in hotel quarantine.

Australia, which has recorded a total of around 28,650 infections and 909 deaths, has managed to suffocate several small outbreaks in recent weeks through targeted lock downs, contact tracing and mandatory mask-wearing.

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Jane Wardell)


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Australian state considers mining camps for coronavirus quarantine

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – An Australian state premier said on Thursday she was considering the use of remote mining camps to quarantine international arrivals, aiming to break a cycle of coronavirus outbreaks around the country at city hotels used for isolation.

Queensland’s state capital of Brisbane emerged earlier this week from a snap three-day lockdown sparked by the discovery of the highly infectious strain of COVID-19 in a worker at a quarantine hotel.

“I think with this new strain, we have to put all options on the table,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said of the camp proposal, which received a mixed reaction in Australia.

Since Australia effectively eliminated local transmision of COVID-19 in the second half of last year, almost all new outbreaks have stemmed from quarantine hotels.

Palaszczuk said health officials are considering “a number” of camps near airports as a way to isolate COVID-19 cases and prevent the potential spread of the virus through common infrastructure such as airconditioning.

Neighbouring Northern Territory began using a shuttered mining camp outside the city of Darwin in October for quarantining international arrivals.

A proposal for wider use of camps is on the agenda of a national cabinet meeting next week but New South Wales, the country’s most populous state, has already voiced its objections. The vast majority of incoming travellers to Australia arrive in Sydney where they are quarantined at city hotels.

“There’s strong views held in our public health team it makes sense to continue to have the hotel quarantine arrangements we currently have,” said NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, citing difficulties in providing support staff in regional locations and concerns about transporting infected travellers.

In Brisbane, authorities transferred 129 quarantined travellers from the Grand Chancellor hotel to another hotel late on Wednesday while investigations into the latest outbreak are conducted.

Both Queensland and NSW reported zero locally transmitted infections overnight, but six in returning travellers, while the Northern Territory recorded two cases in hotel quarantine.

Australia, which has recorded a total of around 28,650 infections and 909 deaths, has managed to suffocate several small outbreaks in recent weeks through targeted lock downs, contact tracing and mandatory mask-wearing.

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Jane Wardell)


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Against Remote Work

As its boosters have long argued, remote work offers any number of obvious benefits. Companies save money on rent; employees don’t have to commute; and everyone, without the distractions of the office, can be more efficient. But for decades, telecommuting simply failed to take hold. On Episode 23 of The Politics of Everything, hosts Laura Marsh and Alex Pareene talk with the writer Richard Cooke about why, and what our historical reluctance to work from home augurs for the future.

Later in the show, Katie McDonough, a deputy editor at The New Republic, investigates the fantasy of escaping from work altogether, with a look at the politics of early-retirement advice.

Read a full transcript of “Against Remote Work.”


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Author: The Politics of Everything

COVID-19 spurs calls to boost protections for millions of homeworkers

By Emma Batha

LONDON, Jan 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The dramatic global shift to remote working during COVID-19 lockdowns has underscored an urgent need for greater protections for homeworkers, many of whom are paid far less than those employed outside the home, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

About 7.9% of workers – 260 million people – were home-based before the pandemic, but this figure has more than doubled, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).

“Homeworkers have been invisible for too long. But the explosion in homeworking during the pandemic has highlighted the poor working conditions experienced by millions worldwide,” ILO economist Janine Berg told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Homeworkers earn on average 13% less than non-homeworkers in Britain, 22% less in the United States, 25% less in South Africa and about 50% less in Argentina, India and Mexico, the ILO said in a report.

The U.N. agency looked at challenges faced by “industrial homeworkers” producing goods such as clothing, electronics and handicrafts, white-collar teleworkers and the growing numbers doing service jobs via digital labour platforms.

These jobs, where workers are paid by the task, include processing insurance claims, online content moderation, copy-editing and annotating data for artificial intelligence systems.

Homeworkers do not have the same level of social protection as people working outside the home, and are less likely to be part of a trade union or covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the ILO said.

They face greater health and safety risks especially when handling tools or chemicals like glues, and have less access to training than other workers, which can affect career prospects.

Berg, the report’s co-author, said a key issue was the classification of many homeworkers as independent contractors, putting them outside the scope of most labour laws.

The ILO called on governments to extend labour and social security legislation to homeworkers in the informal economy.

It also highlighted particular challenges around employment protections for digital platform workers, who are spread around the world and may work in a different country to the online platform and the client.

Many earn less than the minimum wage and if their work is rejected they have no independent arbiter.

The report recommended using data generated by their work to monitor working conditions.

Berg predicted advances in technology and the COVID-19 pandemic would lead to a permanent increase in people working from home using the internet, email and videoconferencing.

“It’s not necessarily a bad thing – some people really like it. But it’s about being aware of the potential risks,” she said. “The pandemic has added urgency to these issues.”

One concern for teleworkers is that employers could gradually replace staff working from home with contractors, possibly from countries where labour is cheaper.

Another issue is the blurring between work and personal time. France, Chile, Belgium, Ecuador and Italy have introduced rules allowing workers “the right to disconnect” and ensure bosses respect boundaries between work and private life. (Reporting by Emma Batha @emmabatha; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)


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Filipino broadcaster ABS-CBN launches new cloud video editing workflow during COVID-19 then wins YouTube award

ABS-CBN’s video editing teams rapidly moved to remote production mode with Wildmoka before going into lockdown on 11th of March 2020. The ability to publish more content helped attract over 10 million subscribers to their YouTube channel, resulting in a prestigious YouTube Diamond award.

SINGAPORE, Dec. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — On the same day the management of ABS-CBN Corporation (the Philippines’ leading media and entertainment company) chose to close their offices and have most employees work from home, the company’s video operations team was busy with an entirely different challenge: launching a new cloud-based, digital content platform. Erwin Malimban, Head of Broadcast Technology describes the challenge of this undertaking during what was an eventful day. 

Wildmoka/The Digital Media Factory (PRNewsfoto/Wildmoka)

“We had been testing and preparing to launch with Wildmoka for a few weeks and the team was really excited and ready to go,” says Erwin. “The day we set to launch, we got the news our offices were closing. It was a challenge for sure but lucky for us, we did not miss a moment. Everyone could access Wildmoka, remotely, from home, the very next day.”

Lucky indeed. But their success was due in part to the fact that ABS-CBN had set a plan in motion months earlier to enhance their digital content production supply chain and chose Wildmoka as their partner. Patrick Ongchangco, Head of Media Engineering and Darryl Bernard Reyes, Head of Livestream Operations, brought the plan to reality – and just in the nick of time.

In one month after closing their offices, Patrick says there were more than 100 editors, producers and social media managers using Wildmoka to clip, edit and publish content daily to the ABS-CBN website and a multitude of social sites. To date, the volume of content created and published stands between 300 and 400 posts per day, covering mostly news and entertainment.

“It is like we never lost a step with our production,” says Darryl. “We continue to publish tons of content every day, keeping our viewers entertained and informed with video highlights from their favorite ABS-CBN shows. This would not be possible without Wildmoka.”

This new strategy on digital helped ABS-CBN News clinch the YouTube’s Diamond Award on 14th November, less than eight months after the launch with Wildmoka. This award recognizes organizations that surpass 10 million subscribers and quickly strengthen their video presence on YouTube.

Laurent Demene, Head of Sales (Asia) at Wildmoka, explains that: “We know how difficult a time this has been for video editors as they started working remotely. However, we’re delighted to see the success that ABS-CBN has had using Wildmoka in such a short timeframe – showing that the platform can facilitate massive remote video production and publishing for major broadcasters during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.” Laurent adds: “Keeping audiences informed and entertained during isolation and lockdown is so important, and we’re pleased to see that Wildmoka is helping companies like ABS-CBN reach their audiences in this critical period.”

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1391465/Wildmoka_Logo.jpg

Contact:
Lucille MARI 
contact@wildmoka.com 
+33 (0)428 270 220


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Filipino broadcaster ABS-CBN launches new cloud video editing workflow during COVID-19 then wins YouTube award

ABS-CBN’s video editing teams rapidly moved to remote production mode with Wildmoka before going into lockdown on 11th of March 2020. The ability to publish more content helped attract over 10 million subscribers to their YouTube channel, resulting in a prestigious YouTube Diamond award.

SINGAPORE, Dec. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — On the same day the management of ABS-CBN Corporation (the Philippines’ leading media and entertainment company) chose to close their offices and have most employees work from home, the company’s video operations team was busy with an entirely different challenge: launching a new cloud-based, digital content platform. Erwin Malimban, Head of Broadcast Technology describes the challenge of this undertaking during what was an eventful day. 

“We had been testing and preparing to launch with Wildmoka for a few weeks and the team was really excited and ready to go,” says Erwin. “The day we set to launch, we got the news our offices were closing. It was a challenge for sure but lucky for us, we did not miss a moment. Everyone could access Wildmoka, remotely, from home, the very next day.”

Lucky indeed. But their success was due in part to the fact that ABS-CBN had set a plan in motion months earlier to enhance their digital content production supply chain and chose Wildmoka as their partner. Patrick Ongchangco, Head of Media Engineering and Darryl Bernard Reyes, Head of Livestream Operations, brought the plan to reality – and just in the nick of time.

In one month after closing their offices, Patrick says there were more than 100 editors, producers and social media managers using Wildmoka to clip, edit and publish content daily to the ABS-CBN website and a multitude of social sites. To date, the volume of content created and published stands between 300 and 400 posts per day, covering mostly news and entertainment.

“It is like we never lost a step with our production,” says Darryl. “We continue to publish tons of content every day, keeping our viewers entertained and informed with video highlights from their favorite ABS-CBN shows. This would not be possible without Wildmoka.”

This new strategy on digital helped ABS-CBN News clinch the YouTube’s Diamond Award on 14th November, less than eight months after the launch with Wildmoka. This award recognizes organizations that surpass 10 million subscribers and quickly strengthen their video presence on YouTube.

Laurent Demene, Head of Sales (Asia) at Wildmoka, explains that: “We know how difficult a time this has been for video editors as they started working remotely. However, we’re delighted to see the success that ABS-CBN has had using Wildmoka in such a short timeframe – showing that the platform can facilitate massive remote video production and publishing for major broadcasters during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.” Laurent adds: “Keeping audiences informed and entertained during isolation and lockdown is so important, and we’re pleased to see that Wildmoka is helping companies like ABS-CBN reach their audiences in this critical period.”

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1391465/Wildmoka_Logo.jpg

Contact:
Lucille MARI 
contact@wildmoka.com 
+33 (0)428 270 220

SOURCE Wildmoka


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Pressure builds on Boris Johnson to allow more scrutiny of EU-UK deal

TOPSHOT - Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he holds a remote press conference to update the nation on the post-Brexit trade agreement, inside 10 Downing Street in central London on December 24, 2020. - Britain said on Thursday, December 24, 2020 an agreement had been secured on the country's future relationship with the European Union, after last-gasp talks just days before a cliff-edge deadline. - Paul GROVER/AFP via Getty Images
TOPSHOT – Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he holds a remote press conference to update the nation on the post-Brexit trade agreement, inside 10 Downing Street in central London on December 24, 2020. – Britain said on Thursday, December 24, 2020 an agreement had been secured on the country’s future relationship with the European Union, after last-gasp talks just days before a cliff-edge deadline. – Paul GROVER/AFP via Getty Images

Pressure is growing on Boris Johnson to delay Parliament’s ratification of the UK-EU trade deal until next month and allow Tory Brexiteers sufficient time to scrutinise the legal text.

Conservative MPs in the European Research Group were becoming “anxious” on Thursday afternoon at the Government’s delay in publishing the full legal text, according to sources within the group.

There are now five days to go until the Brexit transition period must, by law, end at 11pm on December 31. Mr Johnson has confirmed his plan to push the legislation, which gives legal effect to the trade deal, through both the Commons and Lords in a single day next Wednesday. 

However, Mark Francois, chairman of the ERG, told The Telegraph: “It seems incongruous that Parliament should have to ratify what is, after all, an international treaty at breakneck speed next week if the European Parliament can now do so at their leisure until the end of February.”

He said this disparity between the time offered to the two sides’ parliamentarians was “made worse” by the fact the legal text was still not available for pro-Leave legal experts to pore over in the UK. The draft treaty and associated Brexit agreements stretch to 1,246 pages of legal text.

Andrew Bridgen, Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, meanwhile called outright for the Prime Minister to rethink the plan for MPs to be recalled next Wednesday to rush through the legislation.

He suggested the trade deal could be provisionally applied to avoid a “no-deal” cliff edge on January 1, but insisted MPs be granted time to examine and debate the agreement before formally having their say.

“I would prefer a provisional vote this week so the treaty can start on the December 31 at 11pm, and then both our Parliament and the EU Parliament had several weeks to study and debate, followed by a confirmatory vote,” he said. “Because a Treaty is for decades, not just for Christmas.”

His suggestion mirrors a plan in place for the EU to process the deal. MEPs have already declared that there is not enough time to discuss and ratify such a complex agreement before the end of the year.

In coming days the leaders of the EU 27 member states will therefore ratify and “provisionally apply” the deal until the EU Parliament votes on it later in January. 

On Christmas Day morning EU Ambassadors met in Brussels to be briefed on the contents of the deal by Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator.

European officials meanwhile worked through the day to prepare legal documentation.

Earlier this week the ERG, which boasts a membership of about 70 MPs, announced that they would reconvene a panel of lawyers to scrutinise the UK-EU agreement.

The so-called “Star Chamber” of legal experts was first assembled to review Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement in March last year.

Sir William Cash, a qualified solicitor as well as the MP for Stone, will resume the chairmanship. His views are held in esteem by ERG colleagues, with some privately warning that Mr Johnson’s deal must pass the “Bill Cash test” if they are to back it.

Bill Cash MP - Heathcliff O'Malley/The Telegraph
Bill Cash MP – Heathcliff O’Malley/The Telegraph

In a joint statement, Mr Francois and David Jones, deputy chairman of the group, urged Downing Street to publish the legal text of any agreement “as soon as possible”.

Acknowledging that the deal would be “highly complex”, they said: “The Star Chamber will scrutinise it in detail, to ensure that its provisions genuinely protect the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, after we exit the transition period at the end of this year.  

“It is intended that the Star Chamber, which will include some amended members (as some previous participants now serve in Government), will undertake its examination as expeditiously as possible, before providing its conclusions on the merits of the deal, which we will aim to make public before Parliament reconvenes.”

Tory MP Sir John Redwood, another veteran Eurosceptic, also ratcheted up pressure on Mr Johnson over the deal, warning on Twitter: “Any UK/EU Agreement must put us in full control of our laws, and needs an exit clause we can use without EU permission.”

Under the terms of the agreement, a formal review of the system can only take place after four years. At that juncture, if the UK or EU does not believe the system is working, they can nullify the deal and trade on World Trade Organisation terms.

The Brexiteers’ “Star Chamber” was named after the court that sat in the Old Palace of Westminster between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. Composed of judges and privy councillors, it grew out of the medieval king’s council as an addition to the common-law courts.

The current “Star Chamber” convened in March last year to pore over Mrs May’s withdrawal deal, and was made up of eight MPs from across the Conservatives and Democratic Unionist Party. These included Dominic Raab, now the Foreign Secretary, and Suella Braverman, currently Attorney General.

Sir Bill delivered a blow to Mrs May when, after scrutinising the legal meaning of her deal, he concluded he could not support it.

The panel also publicly questioned her right to delay the UK’s planned exit from the EU beyond the original departure date of March 29.


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China’s massive “Eye of Heaven” telescope now open to international scientists

Nestled shining and silent in the forested limestone hills of remote southwest China, the world’s biggest single-dish radio telescope is now opening to international scientists. The massive telescope, called “Eye of Heaven,” spans the length of more than five football fields. Ramy Inocencio gets a firsthand look.