DW – March 18, 2018
The UK must consider delaying the country’s departure from the EU in the event that key issues are not resolved, said the House of Commons’ Exiting the European Union Committee in a report published Sunday.
“If substantial aspects of the future partnership remain to be agreed in October 2018, the government should seek a limited extension to the Article 50 time,” said the committee, which contains lawmakers from all parties represented in parliament.
Labour lawmaker Hilary Benn, who chairs the committee, said the British government has yet to provide concrete solutions to major issues, including the Irish border. London and Brussels have agreed that Brexit should not undermine the island’s peace by erecting a hard border.
“The government must now come forward with credible, detailed proposals as to how it can operate a ‘frictionless border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,” said Benn.
Nicole Stinson – March 12, 2018
AMID British dithering over how best to respond to the poisonings in Salisbury Vladimir Putin put on a defiant show of massive Russian strength today launching an ‘unstoppable’ Kinzhal nuclear missile.
The Russian ministry of defence announced a MiG-31 interceptor jet successfully made a training launch of the terrifying new hypersonic missile in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The test launch comes just days after the Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia had developed a terrifying array of nuclear weapons that can reach anywhere in the world and are “invulnerable to enemy interception”.
President Putin previously boasted to the Russian Federal Assembly that Moscow had developed missiles that no other nation possesses and today’s hypersonic missile – dubbed the “dagger” – is designed to destroy surface and waterborne targets at speeds of up 7,700mph (12,390km/h) across 1,250 miles (2,012 km).
Russia also said that UK’s defences would wither against the might of its Kinzhal hypersonic missile.
Hugo Gye and Natasha Clark – March 14, 2018
The PM said Russia had shown “contempt and defiance” in the aftermath of an attempt to kill ex-spy Sergei Skripal and warned that the poisoning represented “the unlawful use of force by Russia against the United Kingdom”.
She also confirmed that no ministers or members of the Royal Family will attend this summer’s World Cup in Russia – but stopped short of calling on the England team to pull out of the tournament.
Putin’s officials responded with fury, saying Britain’s tough response was “unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted” and describing it as a “provocation”.
A statement released by the Russian embassy in the capital crowed: “Obviously, by investigating this incident in a unilateral, non-transparent way, the British Government is again seeking to launch a groundless anti-Russian campaign.
“Needless to say, our response measures will not be long in coming.”
DW – February 28, 2018
On Tuesday, as Britain debates how to best incorporate EU law into national legislation once it exits the bloc, the governments of Scotland and Wales announced that they would introduce their own laws to prevent London from weakening their autonomy as a result of Brexit.
In the coming days, laws aimed at strengthening regional powers — including in the agriculture and fishery sectors, which are currently governed by EU frameworks — will be debated by the devolved parliaments in Edinburgh and Cardiff.
The Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh governments are concerned that the London parliament, which legislates on behalf of the whole of the UK, will seek to pass laws unilaterally that incorporate EU treaties into British national law, denying the three countries a say on key regional policies.
The three nations have been negotiating with London over exactly how the EU powers will be returned, but have reached a stumbling block.
WND – February 27. 2018
Move over Christians, there’s now a demand for pagan priests to help Wiccans and Druids behind bars.
The British government is now taking out advertisements looking for seven pagan chaplains to minister across the nation.
The part-time job pays the equivalent of up to $40,000 per year.
“This is a chaplaincy job in an establishment which provides pastoral and faith specific care to prisoners and staff,” the ad on the government website says.
“The job holder will provide for the religious care of prisoners and staff in the Pagan faith tradition and appropriate pastoral care for all irrespective of faith or tradition.”
The right person must also “possess the confidence and expertise to lead open ritual, officiate in Rites of Passage, and run workshops for mixed Pagan traditions within the prison system.”
Jordan Bhatt – February 22, 2018
Theresa May has brought her cabinet ministers together at her country residence of Chequers in the hope of bridging some of the divisions that remain over Brexit.
Ministers have been at loggerheads over the direction that the UK should be moving, with pro-Brexit MPs calling for a clean break, while pro-remain minsters are calling for a softer and less harsh departure from the EU.
As well as her own ministers, the PM needs to convince EU leaders that the UK has a clear direction and vision that it wants from Brexit.
Before the UK officially leaves the EU, a transition period will take place, currently billed as from March 2019 to December 2020.
Ministers have so far failed to agree on how the UK should proceed during this near two-year period with debate over new rules and ongoing EU policies.
Kate Lyons, Rupert Jones and Patrick Collinson – February 19, 2018
Britain will move beyond “peak cash” this year, according to data gathered by the Guardian that suggests notes and coins are rapidly being supplanted as the favoured payment method, particularly in cities.
Debit cards are set to overtake cash as the most frequently used payment method in the UK later this year, according to UK Finance, which represents leading finance and banking firms.
The volume of cash removed from cash machines (ATMs) is falling fast, while other data shows customers are eschewing cash for cards – even for small purchases such as a coffee or a beer.
In 2006, 62% of all payments in the UK were made using cash; in 2016 the proportion had fallen to 40%. By 2026, it is predicted cash will be used for just 21%, according to figures from UK Finance.
Jack Montgomery – February 5, 2018
Theresa May’s government has admitted that “a significant portion” of the more than 400 Islamic State fighters who have returned to Britain are at large, unpunished, having been deemed “no longer of national security concern”.
The admission came in response to a question in the House of Commons by Labour MP John Woodcock, who demanded to know why the Government is refusing to release figures on the number of returned jihadists being prosecuted, despite having previously provided them.
“Are more than 400 of those returning individuals in jail or going through the court system? We simply do not know, because the Government will not release the figures, despite repeated requests,” he told the chamber.
DW – February 6, 2018
Brexit opponents have begun pushing for a new referendum in the hopes that British voters will have had a change of heart about leaving the European Union. That may just be so, reports Samira Shackle from London.
At the end of December, former Labour minister Andrew Adonis resigned from his position as chair of the government-backed National Infrastructure Commission. His strongly worded resignation letter made his reasons clear: “The European Union withdrawal bill is the worst legislation of my lifetime,” he wrote. “It arrives soon in the House of Lords and I feel duty bound to oppose it relentlessly from the Labour benches.”
In the month that has passed since, Adonis has dedicated himself to campaigning for a second referendum on Brexit, introducing a proposal in the House of Lords and this week launching a nationwide tour to convince the public.