UK Credit Rating Cut Due to Coronavirus Pandemic, Uncertainty Over Post-Brexit Trade Deal With EU

After formally leaving the European Union on 31 January, the UK and EU have until the end of an eleven-month transition period to conclude a range of agreements on the future relationship between London and Brussels, the most pressing of which is a wide-ranging free trade deal.

UK’s Brexit transition plans released

EU sets out Brexit transition demands Pro-Brexit Tories set out demands The transition period is due to kick in as the UK leaves in March 2019, and is intended to give time to prepare for the long-term post-Brexit arrangements between the UK and the EU, which have yet to be agreed, and to give businesses […]

Fitch cuts UK credit rating to AA-

Fitch said the coronavirus shutdown was likely to shrink Britain’s economy by nearly 4% in 2020, assuming the drastic containment measures could be relaxed in the second half of the year, leading to a 3% bounce in growth in 2021. But doubts about Britain’s future trading ties with the European Union posed a further risk, […]

UK’s coronavirus death toll leaps by 260 in a single day to hit 1,019: Britain suffers its worst day yet with huge spike in victims as more than 17,000 have now been infected

The former Work and Pensions Secretary and Justice Secretary said: ‘This is badly misjudged. People should maintain social distancing, which is what these people are doing. We need to maintain public support for fundamental behaviour change which requires the authorities to focus on genuinely bad behaviour.’

Boris Johnson overhauls cabinet on first day as PM

Boris Johnson’s battles Bouquets and brickbats: May’s final PMQs A solemn start in No 10 Mr Johnson also pledged to improve infrastructure, recruit 20,000 new police officers and “level up” school spending. He promised reforms to ensure the £20bn in extra funding earmarked for the NHS “really gets to the front line”.

Australian hospitals about to shut, 100,000 staff under threat as coronavirus numbers rise

“We need to be careful in our language … there may well be further changes, but if there are, we will announce them in coming days, and if those changes are put in place it’s for the common good.” A 61-year-old man on his way to the beach has been charged after allegedly failing to […]

Fruit and veg ‘will run out’ unless Britain charters planes to fly in farm workers from eastern Europe

Although Bulgaria is on countrywide lockdown, farm workers are classed as key workers and can move around the country. But most airlines that operate in Bulgaria – including EasyJet – are grounded. A Wizz Air flight bringing in 450 people landed a week ago on Saturday.

Bug hunt: Volunteers needed to spot insect’s ‘spittle’

Facts about the spittlebug Small, sap-sucking insects which are also known as froghoppers Can be found in UK gardens, meadows, grasslands and woodlands from April to late June The most common species in the UK is the meadow spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius). Adults are 0.5cm long and vary in pattern and colour from pale brown to […]

Alister Jack: What do we know about the new Scottish Secretary?

Mr Jack quickly rose through the internal Tory ranks during his first two years at Westminster, first acting as an aide to the Leader of the House of Lords and then rising through the whips office to become Lord Commissioner of the Treasury.

Scottish Tories sign Brexit letter to PM

UK setting out Brexit transition position Laura Kuenssberg: Why Brexiteers’ letter matters Mr Jack, the MP for Dumfries and Galloway, told BBC Scotland that the aim was to ensure that the prime minister’s promises in her Lancaster House speech a year ago will be delivered, and that the UK will leave both the single market […]