Ongoing Royal drama, foreign diplomacy rows and Extinction Rebellion protests dominated the headlines in 2019 before Boris Johnson's dominating election victory revealed light at the end of the Brexit tunnel. Britain's exit from the EU continued to be the biggest political story of the year, as continuing divisions took the public to the polls for a snap election held in the depths of winter. Boris Johnson secured a crushing victory over Jeremy Corbyn when a string of former Labour strongholds fell to the Tories, giving him the largest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. The country rejoiced at the birth of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor in May and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle embarked on a highly successful tour of Africa, just months after their son was born. Prince Andrew attempted to distance himself from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal by taking part in a disastrous BBC Newsnight interview, and was later forced to step down from royal duties in November. The … [Read more...] about How Royal drama, foreign diplomacy rows and Extinction Rebellion protests dominated the headlines in 2019 before Boris Johnson’s election win finally revealed a light at the end of the Brexit tunnel
Yemen foreign policy
THE Brexit Party will be announcing their plans for the country later today, although we don't exactly know when. Here's what we know so far about what to expect from Nigel's merry band of Brexiteers. When will the Brexit Party manifesto come out? The Brexit Party have confirmed they won't be releasing a manifesto. Speaking to LBC, leader Nigel Farage said the word 'manifesto' was a "horrible, horrible word that equates to 'lie'". Instead, the party will release a "contract with the British people", though it hasn't yet confirmed when or what the contract will say. A full list of policies can be found on the party's website.What have the Brexit Party announced? Farage called for migration to Britain to be slashed to 50,000 a year as he announced his party's general election policies today. The Brexit Party leader unveiled his party's election battle plan at this morning's Westminster launch. He also pledged to campaign for a "clean break" Brexit "from all EU institutions" as his party … [Read more...] about Brexit Party manifesto 2019 – policies and when does it launch?
US defence secretary Robert Gates has rejected a Russian claim that Nato is trying to assassinate Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Gates was speaking after a meeting at the Pentagon with British defence secretary Liam Fox, who also distanced himself from the accusation. Fox has in recent days has been edging towards declaring Gaddafi a legitimate target. Vladimir Putin, Russia's prime minister, made the claim after Nato forces bombed Gaddafi's residence in Tripoli on Monday. Putin, on a visit to Denmark, said: "They said they didn't want to kill Gaddafi. Now some officials say: 'Yes, we are trying to kill Gaddafi'. Who permitted this, was there any trial? Who took on the right to execute this man, no matter who he is?" The Russian leader said the actions were now going beyond the United Nations security council mandate passed last month in which Russia and China abstained. Libya asked Russia to call for a new security council meeting to discuss what it claims is illegitimate action by … [Read more...] about Libya: US rejects Putin’s claim that coalition wants to assassinate Gaddafi
The government has published its long-awaited Brexit white paper, the longest and most detailed explanation yet of its proposals for the UK’s future relationship with the EU. The 104-page document lays out many of the same plans detailed after the cabinet’s meeting at Chequers last week, but goes into much more detail. Here are the key elements: Main principles The white paper says the government seeks “a principled and practical Brexit”. It says its proposals follow on from Theresa May’s set-piece speeches at Lancaster House, in Florence, at Mansion House and in Munich, “and in doing so [address] questions raised by the EU in the intervening months”. It says the hope is that its publication will lead to “a redoubling of efforts in the negotiations”. The main purpose, its argues, is “respecting the result of the referendum and the decision of the UK public to take back control of the UK’s laws, borders and money.” … [Read more...] about What’s in the Brexit white paper?
The trade war between the US and China may never be settled, experts fear, even after the two sides agreed on an outline “phase one” deal. Economists and investors have been poring over the weekend’s announcement, which appeared to end a dispute that has roiled financial markets for 17 months. According to Washington’s trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, China has agreed to buy up to $200bn in additional goods and services over the next two years on top of the amount it purchased in 2017. The agreement would also require China to make “structural reforms and other changes to its economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange”. In exchange, Washington would roll back some tariffs on Chinese goods, which Donald Trump hailed as an “amazing deal”. Neither side offered any detail on what the Chinese reforms might be, leading to fears that … [Read more...] about ‘Amazing deal’ or ‘capitulation’? Why the US-China trade truce may not last