LONDON (Reuters) - Opponents of a hard Brexit in parliament may try again to assert their influence today by backing a bill that would require the assembly to get regular updates on the situation in Northern Ireland - a device whose main goal is to stop any future PM from suspending parliament to usher in a no-deal Brexit. If the vote does go ahead today, the big question is whether any cabinet members - among them finance minister Philip Hammond - will join that effort. Before that, the UK's official forecasting body is due to give a series of predictions on the UK economy, including what would happen to it in the event of a no-deal Brexit: according to the Times, the body will conclude that such an outcome would take a massive three percent chunk out of GDP. G7 finance chiefs wrap up their meeting in Chantilly with closing news conferences today. The main take-away of the meeting so far has been the almost uniformly hostile front shown to Facebook's Libra currency plan, with … [Read more...] about Daily Briefing: As clock ticks, what price no-deal Brexit?
Fashion wall clocks
Heading to the Big Weekend? Look out for the giant flower wall by the lake, if you want to catch a few selfies with your mates. The fabulous florals are the handiwork of Jemma Goddard, from Middlesbrough - and it's all to shout about how brilliant Teesside is. She's pictured here with just one of the panels that will make up 15 for the huge fashionable flower wall. Jemma's budding firm Hollands Floral Walls was commissioned by Tees Valley Combined Authority to make something "eye-catching and engaging" for music fans. Now the 35-year-old is working round the clock to make sure the three metre-high creation is ready for the weekend. She said: "I was really excited when I got the call from Tees Valley Combined Authority. "I said 'great, okay what's the occasion?' and lo and behold it was for the Radio One's Big Weekend. "I agreed - as long as I could have a selfie with Grimmy in front of the wall, so fingers crossed. "We are a really young business, so this is great for us. "You … [Read more...] about Jemma’s flower wall will be perfect for pictures at Big Weekend
For decades, Alex Molyneux found ways to convince himself he didn't have a drink problem. An entrepreneur with a house in a pricey neighbourhood and a Mercedes parked on the drive, Alex was the image of success. But, behind closed doors, he was drinking himself to oblivion and only just holding his life together. “I always wore chinos and brogues even at home, the Merc was parked on the drive and I told myself ‘there really is no problem,’" Alex said. The 53-year-old, from Altrincham, has opened up about his struggle to help others who have found ways of staying in denial about their demons. “If I had an early appointment I’d try to stop drinking earlier in the evening before, but when I hit the curb on the way, I didn’t stop to pick up my wheel caps because, really, I knew I was over the limit", he said. “I developed mental rules of never drinking before 6pm, only drinking Smirnoff vodka because ‘alcoholics drink supermarket own … [Read more...] about The fashion boss whose drink problem started when he was 10
As the world honours St Patrick, and these Irish are making their mark out there, sometimes more so than here - a theme with all of the names we have selected here is that they achieved renown as members of our rich diaspora. Whether by tapping into the enormous music audience of streaming services like Spotify or in experimenting with the gargantuan YouTube and Instagram followings, brilliant young creatives like David O'Reilly and Dermot Kennedy have gone directly to the world-wide audience and, in the process, carved out a new path to stardom. Social media has also brought about a conversation between visual artists and the audience which never existed previously and it has profoundly changed the way we buy art - more than 80pc of all art was bought online last year. With one fateful "follow", the respected eyes in the industry can consider an artist's work on a daily basis - one glowing mention in The New York Times was all it took to fan the hype and buzz around Mariechen Danz. … [Read more...] about The musician who sent 100 emails a day to record companies and the actor with ‘the body of a farmer’: Five Irish big hitters abroad
This was rugby heaven for those of a Welsh persuasion as Warren Gatland’s side blew Ireland away to seal Grand Slam glory in their head coach’s final Six Nations game. A request from the visitors meant the Principality Stadium roof was open for a Cardiff humdinger, but it surely would have been in danger such was the outpouring of noise here at the final whistle. Victory means Wales’ current numbers are impressive. They have won their last 14 matches and are ranked second in the world behind only New Zealand. Gatland is now the only head coach to have won three Grand Slams in the Six Nations era. This was his team’s first since 2012. We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view. From 15p €0.18 $0.18 USD 0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras. Subscribe now They have deserved it too. In the Cardiff cauldron a clinical Wales led 16-0 at the break. Hadleigh Parkes’ try and the boot of … [Read more...] about Wales secure historic Six Nations Grand Slam with 25-7 rout of Ireland