The danger with making specific manifesto pledges is that they can rapidly be overtaken by events that make them impossible to realise. The Conservative platform for the 2019 election promised to continue to spend above the Nato target of two per cent of GDP on the military “and increase the budget by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation every year of the new Parliament”. However, with inflation now approaching double figures, the Government has dropped the second part of that pledge . Instead, Boris Johnson said Britain would spend 2.3 per cent of GDP on defence this year, more than had been expected. However, since national output is set to fall if the country enters a recession, this could be less than we spend now. At the same time, the Prime Minister urged his Nato colleagues attending the summit in Madrid to “dig deep and spend more”. He is right to call for other countries to increase their contribution to Europe’s defence but equally he needs to do so from a position of … [Read more...] about Britain needs to think more seriously about defence
Trade war recession
Published 6 days ago Share close Share page Copy link About sharing Related Topics Russia-Ukraine war Russia is reported to have missed a deadline to make a debt payment, because of sanctions imposed on it. Since Russia invaded Ukraine a wide range of measures have been announced, to limit its ability to pay for the war. What are sanctions? Sanctions are penalties imposed by one country on another, to stop it acting aggressively, or breaking international law. They are among the toughest actions nations can take, short of going to war. How is Russia being sanctioned? Western countries have targeted wealthy individuals, banks, businesses and state-owned enterprises. Financial measures Russia is believed to have defaulted on a debt for the first time since 1998 , after missing a key deadline. It has the money to make a $100m (£81m) payment, … [Read more...] about What are the sanctions on Russia and are they hurting its economy?
Boris Johnson’s move to extend tariffs on imported steel by two years — a probable breach of World Trade Organisation rules — was welcomed by protectionist MPs from both sides of the political aisle. Industry also predictably lauded the decision, saying it will be protected from artificially cheap imports. Much like fishing, steel carries with it a disproportionate amount of political focus compared to its size — in 2020 the £2bn it contributed to the economy was the equivalent of just 0.1pc of total economic output and 1.2pc of manufacturing. But as the industry likes to point out: everything is made of steel. The metal goes into cars, aircraft, new buildings and the machinery that forms almost everything else. Without it, steel insiders say the logic of having a manufacturing industry in the UK would be considerably weaker — a fact that will not be lost on the Prime Minister. The move was pegged as an effort to “protect the steel sector”, Trade Secretary Anne-Marie … [Read more...] about With the Tories in turmoil, steel helps Boris Johnson show his mettle
Steph McGovern in the press room at the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2018 (Image: Ian West/PA Archive/PA Images) Sign up for FREE for the latest news from the world of showbiz SUBSCRIBE Invalid email We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info Chatty and friendly are the order of the day, something that pervades her successful daily Packed Lunch on Channel 4. And yet, the world might never have got to know her. "I come from Middlesbrough and I went to a college that was very much focused on the needs of the local area which is rooted in heavy industry," she explains. "We spent a lot of time getting input from companies like British Steel and ICI. I was pretty good at science so I saw my future in engineering." Related articles BBC's Naga Munchetty … [Read more...] about What Donald Trump said that made TV talkshow host Steph McGovern laugh
Iran's foreign minister warned Saturday on a visit to Damascus that Turkish military action in Syria would destabilise the region after Ankara threatened to launch a new offensive on Kurds in the country's north. "Any Turkish military action in the north of Syria would be a destabilising element in the region," Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told a press conference in Damascus, according to a simultaneous translation from Farsi to Arabic. Iran is a major ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and an important trading partner for Turkey. However, Tehran is eager to find a diplomatic solution to prevent Ankara from invading. Turkey has launched successive offensives in Syria since 2016 targeting Kurdish militias as well as Islamic State group jihadists and forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this year he wanted to encourage one million Syrian refugees to return to their country by building the housing and … [Read more...] about Iranian foreign minister opposes “any military action” in Syria