Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

With Brexit imminent, what are the chances of a UK trade deal with China? | Rana Mitter

Trump has shown compromise with Beijing is possible but Britain has to dance between US, EU and Chinese demands

Last week, Donald Trump and Liu He, the Chinese vice-premier, signed phase one of a new trade arrangement between the US and China. The talks surrounding the agreement have been tortuous, leading to fears that the world could be caught up in a trade conflict between these two economic giants. The signing showed there is space for compromise as well as confrontation in dealing with China, but the negotiations illustrate the difficulties of dealing with a US that has embraced economic nationalism and a China whose markets are still restricted in many important areas.

Nonetheless, as Britain prepares to leave the EU, there has been a resurgence of interest in the possibility of a major UK trade deal with Beijing. Just days after the 2016 referendum, the incoming Brexit secretary, David Davis, declared that “trade deals with the US and China alone will give us a trade area almost twice the size of the EU”.

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House of Lords may move out of London to ‘reconnect’ with public

Tory plan a symbol of Boris Johnson’s aim to ‘level up’ rest of UK with capital

The government is considering moving the House of Lords outside London – potentially to York – as one of a range of options to “reconnect” politics with the public, the Conservative party chairman, James Cleverly, has confirmed.

Asked about the plan, which was reported in the Sunday Times, Cleverly said: “It’s one of a range of things that we are looking into.

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Trump and Davos: US agents at Zurich Airport

American secret service agents have been granted access to Zurich Airport’s control tower as they prepare for US President Donald Trump’s visit to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the NZZ am Sonntag reports. WEF, which starts in the Swiss mountain resort on Monday, attracts wealthy, high-profile business and political figures, along with academics and other leaders of society. Around 500 people are expected to attend. + Trump to attend World Economic Forum in Switzerland “There are US Secret Service agents in the tower,” a spokesman for the Swiss air traffic controller, Skyguide, confirmed to the NZZ am Sonntag. According to the newspaper, it is unusual for foreign security agents to be allowed into areas that are usually off-limits. “It’s not the general rule,” said the spokesman in the article. The spokesman made no further comment on the role Trump’s staff would play during the landing and departure of the US president. Airforce preparations Meanwhile, the ...

What delights will be laid on for a joyful nation at the forthcoming Festival of Brexit? | Catherine Bennett

A blue passport on the fourth plinth, dog shows in abandoned libraries, a Wetherspoon literary prize? We can but hope

Perhaps all anyone needs to know about the Festival of Brexit, which really is going to take place in 2022, is that its earliest recorded champion is Jacob Rees-Mogg. Love Jacob, scourge of the liberal metropolitan elite, and you’ll love his idea of fun.

“A Festival of Brexit would be excellent,” he said, early in 2018. “There should be a huge celebration and in the spirit of friendship of our European neighbours we should drink lots of champagne to say that although we may be leaving the European Union, we don’t dislike Europe.” And the brand? Unspecified, though for peers we know Mogg insists on “the highest quality”.

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Sajid Javid: no alignment on EU regulations after Brexit

Chancellor’s comments will be seen as opening salvo in next stage of negotiations with EU

The chancellor, Sajid Javid, has warned that there will be no alignment with EU regulations once Britain’s exit from the European Union is made official.

In what is being seen as an opening salvo in the next stage of negotiations, he said the Treasury would not lend support to manufacturers that favour EU rules as the sector has had three years to prepare for Britain’s transition.

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Boris Johnson saves face over failed bid for Big Ben Brexit chime

PM plans to project a giant clock face onto Downing Street on evening of 31 January

Boris Johnson has announced plans to project a giant clock face on to Downing Street on the evening of 31 January, in a bid to move on after a backlash over his failure to get Big Ben to bong for Brexit.

Diehard Brexiters, including Conservative MP Mark Francois and Brexit party MEP Richard Tice, had reacted furiously to news that Big Ben would not ring out to mark the UK officially quitting the EU at the end of this month.

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Geneva parliament votes to ban cigarette sales to minors

Geneva has finally joined most other Swiss cantons in banning the sale of cigarettes to minors. Parliamentarians on Friday also voted to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to young people. They have adopted a draft law that called for cigarettes and related products to be put in the same category as alcohol. The change results in the introduction of a ban on the sale of cigarettes to children under 18 and e-cigarettes. Mauro Poggia, the Geneva minister in charge of security, employment and health, who pushed through the change, wants Geneva to assume a leadership role to combat addictions among young people. The Alpine nation, with its federal structure, has a piece-meal approach to tobacco control targeting young people.  Twelve cantons – including Geneva - now ban cigarette sales to children under the age of 18, while 12 have fixed the age limit at 16. Two cantons – Schwyz and Appenzell Inner Rhoden - have no official age limit. Canton Geneva tightened its regulations as the ...
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