19 января, 21:25

The Guardian view on Ireland’s election: a contest with consequences | Editorial

The start of the American presidential race next month may seem more alluring. But the Irish general election is of more immediate importance for BritainBritain’s political class is insular. It rarely shows any interest in foreign elections. That general rule may get bent as the United States presidential election gets into gear in the coming weeks. But the evidence of this country’s default inwardness is that there is an election on this side of the Atlantic in less than three weeks with a far more immediate bearing on Britain than the one in America. This one will get only a fraction of the attention that will be expended on the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. But then this one is in Ireland.Why does Ireland’s 8 February election matter to Britain? Partly for the obvious reason that Ireland is one of Britain’s nearest neighbours. Partly because the peoples of these islands are so intermingled. But more than anything it matters because of Brexit. Continue reading...

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19 января, 17:44

With Brexit imminent, what are the chances of a UK trade deal with China? | Rana Mitter

Trump has shown compromise with Beijing is possible but Britain has to dance between US, EU and Chinese demandsLast week, Donald Trump and Liu He, the Chinese vice-premier, signed phase one of a new trade arrangement between the US and China. The talks surrounding the agreement have been tortuous, leading to fears that the world could be caught up in a trade conflict between these two economic giants. The signing showed there is space for compromise as well as confrontation in dealing with China, but the negotiations illustrate the difficulties of dealing with a US that has embraced economic nationalism and a China whose markets are still restricted in many important areas.Nonetheless, as Britain prepares to leave the EU, there has been a resurgence of interest in the possibility of a major UK trade deal with Beijing. Just days after the 2016 referendum, the incoming Brexit secretary, David Davis, declared that “trade deals with the US and China alone will give us a trade area almost twice the size of the EU”. Continue reading...

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19 января, 12:30

House of Lords may move out of London to 'reconnect' with public

Tory plan a symbol of Boris Johnson’s aim to ‘level up’ rest of UK with capitalThe government is considering moving the House of Lords outside London – potentially to York – as one of a range of options to “reconnect” politics with the public, the Conservative party chairman, James Cleverly, has confirmed.Asked about the plan, which was reported in the Sunday Times, Cleverly said: “It’s one of a range of things that we are looking into. Continue reading...

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18 января, 20:30

What delights will be laid on for a joyful nation at the forthcoming Festival of Brexit? | Catherine Bennett

A blue passport on the fourth plinth, dog shows in abandoned libraries, a Wetherspoon literary prize? We can but hopePerhaps all anyone needs to know about the Festival of Brexit, which really is going to take place in 2022, is that its earliest recorded champion is Jacob Rees-Mogg. Love Jacob, scourge of the liberal metropolitan elite, and you’ll love his idea of fun.“A Festival of Brexit would be excellent,” he said, early in 2018. “There should be a huge celebration and in the spirit of friendship of our European neighbours we should drink lots of champagne to say that although we may be leaving the European Union, we don’t dislike Europe.” And the brand? Unspecified, though for peers we know Mogg insists on “the highest quality”. Continue reading...

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18 января, 20:00

If the UK doesn’t act now, the car industry will vanish | Phillip Inman

Brexit was the latest blow to the sector. Its future must not be left to the market – investment in electric vehicles is neededBritain’s economy is on course to grow by less than 1% in 2019. Last week’s retail sales figures for December, which showed the longest period of zero growth for more than 20 years, are likely to drag down GDP growth in the last quarter, limiting the annual growth rate to 0.8% or 0.9% at best.In 2020, the economy’s expansion may not be much better given all the uncertainty surrounding the government’s negotiating stance with the EU following Brexit. Few people inside Whitehall or even the cabinet know which industries will be sacrificed to achieve a quick and dirty trade deal. And while that situation persists business investment will remain low and the manufacturing sector will stumble along, possibly in recession as it is now. Continue reading...

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18 января, 10:30

Brexit: Javid comments on non-alignment with EU prompt warnings of price rises

Chancellor’s remarks represent ‘death knell for frictionless trade’, experts warnBusinesses have predicted price rises after the UK chancellor, Sajid Javid, said there would be no alignment with EU regulations once Britain’s exit from the European Union was made official.In what is being seen as an opening salvo in the next stage of negotiations, Javid said the Treasury would not lend support to manufacturers that favour EU rules as the sector had had three years to prepare for Britain’s transition. Continue reading...

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18 января, 02:46

Британский кабмин проведет внеочередное заседание в день выхода страны из ЕС

Заседание будет проходить не в столице, а в одном из городов севера Англии

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18 января, 01:30

Boris Johnson saves face over failed bid for Big Ben Brexit chime

PM plans to project a giant clock face onto Downing Street on evening of 31 JanuaryBoris Johnson has announced plans to project a giant clock face on to Downing Street on the evening of 31 January, in a bid to move on after a backlash over his failure to get Big Ben to bong for Brexit.Diehard Brexiters, including Conservative MP Mark Francois and Brexit party MEP Richard Tice, had reacted furiously to news that Big Ben would not ring out to mark the UK officially quitting the EU at the end of this month. Continue reading...

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17 января, 19:37

Nul points for Britain in the EU revision bong contest | Fintan O’Toole

Brexiters lament the fact that Big Ben will not ring for Brexit. But isn’t being thwarted just how they like it?There will be no chimes at midnight. Anglican vicars have declined the suggestions of Brexiters that they should ring the bells of their churches to hail the beginning of the “golden age” that, as Boris Johnson has assured us, will be inaugurated by Brexit on 31 January. And Big Ben will not bong. The silence that Westminster’s great clock tower has maintained since its clapper was removed while restoration works are in progress will not be broken. Johnson claimed that he was “working up a plan so people can bung a bob for a Big Ben bong”. The plan turned out to be like all his other Brexit plans, which is to say nonexistent. So at this moment of destiny the prime minister will surely adapt John Donne. Ask not for whom the bell doesn’t toll. It doesn’t toll for thee.The problem with a revolt against imaginary oppression is that you end up with imaginary freedom Continue reading...

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17 января, 15:44

What are you planning to do to mark Brexit day?

We would like to hear what you are doing at 11pm on 31 January to mark the UK leaving the EUFriday 31 January is Brexit’s point of no return: the end of the article 50 process, which cannot be reversed. Many believe it will be decades before any attempt can be made to rejoin the EU.Brexiters were hoping to hold celebrations to the chimes of Big Ben at 11pm on the day the UK formally leaves the bloc , but what about those who are mourning the Britain’s departure after 47 years? Continue reading...

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17 января, 13:05

Brexit: UK has ruled out automatic deportation of EU citizens, says Verhofstadt

EU Brexit spokesman says Britain reassured him about those who do not apply for settled statusThe UK government has sought to reassure the EU that its citizens living in the UK will not be deported if they fail to apply for settled status, the European parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator has said.Speaking after a meeting with the Brexit secretary, Steve Barclay, on Thursday night, Guy Verhofstadt said he had raised a number of concerns regarding the status of EU citizens in the UK after it leaves the bloc. Continue reading...

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17 января, 09:00

EU nationals are fearful. And after Windrush, they should be | Gaby Hinsliff

For all the reassurances about their status, the risk of being kicked out still haunts those without a British passportA few weeks ago, an old friend posted something on Facebook that stopped me in my tracks. He’s a GP, married to a teacher he met decades ago at university, with three children. They’re the sort of energetic, adventurous, public-spirited family who pitch in wherever help is needed and make me feel vaguely embarrassed about my own civic shortcomings. I have never known him be anything but laid-back, and although he’s originally Dutch, in theory he should have nothing to fear from Brexit: he has settled status, confirming the right to live and work here with his English wife and family after 31 January, just as before. But now he’s fearful. What if, the next time he needs to renew his passport for a family holiday, the computer says no? How can he be sure his life won’t unravel in some faceless official’s hands?‘The despair is truly palpable now, and in some cases goes as far as suicidal thoughts' Continue reading...

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17 января, 03:01

EU's funding for UK's poorest areas 'must be matched after Brexit'

Government’s new fund should at least equal EU’s near £2bn, Industrial Communities Alliance saysThe Treasury will need to find almost £2bn a year to fill the hole left when EU funding for some of Britain’s poorest communities ends after Brexit, ministers have been told.A body that represents local authorities in the industrial areas of England, Scotland and Wales said the government needed to match the money currently coming from Brussels and allow for extra EU cash that would have arrived over the next few years. Continue reading...

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17 января, 01:52

UK must get post-Brexit 'defence privileges', says German minister

EU does not want to lose British military firepower The European Union should offer Britain “privileged third-party status” in defence and foreign policy cooperation after Brexit, the German defence minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has said in a speech in London.She said that such status should include access to projects such as Future Combat Air System, the Franco-German stealth jet programme. Continue reading...

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16 января, 20:20

Labour must stir up democratic revolution to win power, says Long-Bailey

Momentum-backed leadership frontrunner says party should have held public meetings to find popular remedies to crisesRead Rebecca Long-Bailey’s article for the GuardianLabour needs to “stir up a democratic revolution” and “pick a fight with the political establishment” in order to win power, Rebecca Long-Bailey, one of the frontrunners, has said.As she was endorsed for the party leadership by Momentum, the leftwing grassroots group, Long-Bailey said it was time to stop mourning Labour’s defeat last month and start plotting a path to No 10. Continue reading...

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16 января, 19:22

Brexit: no union jack-lowering ceremony in European parliament

Brexit party MEPs lobbied for a ‘last days of empire’ style ceremony but senior MEPs opt for ‘dignified’ low-key event One of the European parliament’s union jacks will be sent to the EU museum in Brussels, a committee has decided, but Brexit party MEPs are to be denied a flag-lowering ceremony on 31 January.Instead of the potentially dramatic scene of a union jack being lowered against the midnight sky when Britain leaves the EU on 31 January, parliament grounds staff will remove the flags without ceremony at an unconfirmed time. Continue reading...

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16 января, 18:42

Britons living in the EU: tell us what's next for you

As Brexit day approaches, we want to hear from British citizens living in EU countriesAs the UK prepares for its formal exit from the EU on 31 January, politicians, experts and voters all wonder what will be the implications of this historic shakeup.One group is often forgotten in the UK: British citizens living in the EU27. On the frontline of Brexit, they face real uncertainty over their future rights because Britain’s future relationship with the EU is yet to be negotiated. Continue reading...

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16 января, 16:07

Downing Street kills off plans for Big Ben Brexit bong

PM is focusing on other events amid ‘difficulties’ in accepting donations, says spokesmanThe hopes of diehard Brexiters to hear the chimes of Big Ben sound at the moment the UK leaves the EU appear to have finally been dashed by Downing Street, as it indicated this will not happen even if the public raises the £500,000 needed to pay for it.According to Boris Johnson’s spokesman, Commons authorities – who warned on Tuesday of the high cost of completing the complex restoration of the clocktower – have said there could be difficulties in accepting public donations. Continue reading...

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16 января, 15:30

900,000 EU citizens in UK yet to apply for settled status

Despite take-up by 2.7 million, alarm over numbers granted weaker pre-settled statusAn estimated 900,000 EU citizens in the UK have yet to apply for settled status, which most will need to remain in the country long-term after Brexit.The data comes a day after the European parliament raised concerns that EU citizens risked discrimination after Brexit in seeking housing and employment. Continue reading...

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16 января, 12:13

PM planning 'constitutional plumbing' to keep judges out of political decisions, says minister - live news

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happenMomentum set to back Long-Bailey as poll places her in lead 12.45pm GMT Both Tories and Labour attacked Nicola Sturgeon on domestic policy again at first minister’s questions in Edinburgh this week, but the first minister did not miss the opportunity to reference Boris Johnson’s refusal earlier this week to transfer to the Holyrood government the powers necessary to hold a second independence referendum.Reiterating SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford’s phrasing at PMQs yesterday, she told the chamber that “democracy denial will not prevail”, and that the outcome of the general election - in which the SNP secured 47 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster seats with an increased vote share of 45% - should be respected in Scotland as the Tories demand that it is in the rest of the UK. 12.41pm GMT This is from Michael Dougan, a law professor at Liverpool University, commenting on what Robert Buckland said this morning about the government’s plans to keep judges out of political decisions. (See 9.44am.)Buckland's vague, garbled, evasive interview about Tory plans for "judicial reform" left us none the wiser. But just to point out: if you really want to stop judges being dragged into politics, then start by not accusing them of bias every time they find you've acted unlawfully Continue reading...