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Thursday morning UK news briefing: What may wipe Chancellor's smile away

It might look like the dust is settling after a wild 18 months of pandemic-induced economic stasis. That was certainly the subtext of the Chancellor's Budget statement yesterday, in which Rishi Sunak opened the spending taps and set out the beginnings of his vision for a post-Covid world. 

But Juliet Samuel says it is the economics underpinning Mr Sunak's announcements where the true risk lies, as she argues that the spectre of high inflation may yet wipe his smile away. 

It came as the Office for Budget Responsibility warned that Britain faces a double squeeze on living standards as two decades of stagnating wages and spiralling inflation conspire against household finances. 

To bring yourself up to speed quickly, see the key Budget changes at a glance - and what they mean for your money. 

On a day that Mr Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited a south London brewery to hail an overhaul of alcohol taxes, it was also revealed that:

Comment and analysis: Budget special

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If you want to receive twice-daily briefings like this by email, sign up to the Front Page newsletter here . For two-minute audio updates, try The Briefing - on podcasts, smart speakers and WhatsApp.

Mr Sunak's generosity will quickly come under further intense scrutiny when the looming cost-of-living crisis bites further.

Janet Daley says the Conservative are in serious danger of misreading the national mood. Many observers noted that it appeared to be a Labour Budget with a Tory twist. 

Allister Heath warns that the Tories' apparent nightmarish conversion to Brownism can only end in catastrophe.

France detains British fishing boat in Brexit fish war

France has detained a British fishing boat and given a verbal warning to another fishing in waters off its coast. The British trawler was handed over to French authorities near the port at Le Havre overnight as tensions simmer over the post-Brexit fishing wars. Earlier, the UK Government vowed to retaliate if France carried out a threat to block British fishermen from its ports. A Downing Street spokesman said the French ultimatum to disrupt trade and hamper energy supplies will be hit with "an appropriate and calibrated response". Brussels Correspondent Joe Barnes explains the escalation of tensions.

Inside Singapore school that has taken over Oxbridge

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Today's political cartoon

View today's cartoon by Blower as he imagines Gordon Brown's reaction to the Budget. Matt is away.

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Covid rules | The travel red list and hotel quarantine are set to be scrapped under plans to be considered by ministers today that would ease restrictions in the face of a declining coronavirus threat from abroad. Home Affairs Editor Charles Hymas understands the Cop26 climate change summit in Glasgow is a factor. Meanwhile, experts estimate three-quarters of children aged five to 14 in England have been infected with Covid, amid signs the epidemic in young people is falling.

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A young girl in the city of Handan, in China's northern Hebei province, is given the coronavirus vaccine at school. China is one of a handful of countries around the globe to begin vaccinating younger children against Covid-19. Other nations where children aged under 12 are being vaccinated include Cuba, where some as young as two are receiving jabs. Read more on how Covid is being tackled around the world.