Britain must protect the peace in Northern Ireland from the fallout from Brexit, the top US diplomat said.
Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, said that while the United States had “no closer partner” than the United Kingdom, Washington was adamant that the Good Friday Agreement should not become a victim of leaving the EU. He was speaking at the first meeting of G7 foreign ministers since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the European Union stole a march on Britain with the intention of announcing a new trade deal with India.
The pact could be announced as early as the weekend, while Boris Johnson’s government was only able to announce a strengthened partnership, worth around £ 1bn, as a precursor of a possible broader agreement.
“We are climbing a mountain,” says Keir Starmer
Keir Starmer has been asked if he will step down as leader of the Labor Party if his party does poorly in this week’s local election.
“I take full responsibility for the election results – I take full responsibility for everything the Labor Party does under my leadership,” he told Sky News.
“My job as leader of the Labor Party is to rebuild the Labor Party from where we were in December 2019, with the worst result since 1935, into a position where we could win the next general election. It’s a mountain to climb – we climb this mountain. ”
Adam ForrestMay 4, 2021 8:43 AM
Starmer tries to manage expectations of local elections
Keir Starmer has warned that ‘rebuilding the Labor Party’ following the defeat of the 2019 general election is still an ongoing process, as he attempts to manage expectations ahead of Thursday’s local and mayoral elections.
Sir Keir a dit Hello Great Britain today: “I never thought, and I think no one realistically thought, that the Labor Party could come out of the devastating defeat of 2019 – the worst since 1935 – and fix it all in a year or about a year and a half.
“Of course it will take longer than that, but we are fighting for and we know we have to win every vote for this election.”
On the money-versus-curtains feud and other ‘underhanded’ allegations, he said: “There is a feeling at the top of the government that the rules don’t really apply to them…
Adam ForrestMay 4, 2021 8:40 AM
No free trade deal with India before fall, minister says
Addressing the announced £ 1bn investment deals with India, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss told Sky News: “This is a win-win for the two countries. This is to help India cope with the immediate Covid crisis, but also to help India to rebuild better after the Covid crisis.
The investment deals are not a free trade deal, but Truss said today’s announcement paved the way for further discussions.
“We will begin negotiations on a full free trade agreement this fall … we want these negotiations to be completed as soon as possible, but of course we will be looking for quick victories that we can win.”
Adam ForrestMay 4, 2021 8:37 AM
Poll gives Tories a 17-point lead in crucial Hartlepool by-election
Boris Johnson’s Tories are 17 points ahead in a crucial partial election battle for a Labor stronghold later this week, according to a new poll.
The poll for ITV’s Good Morning Britain by pollsters Survation gives Jill Mortimer, the Conservative candidate in the North East constituency held by Labor since 1964, 50 percent of the vote in the region.
That’s a huge lead over Labor candidate Paul Williams in the region, with just 33% of respondents saying they would vote for Sir Keir Starmer’s party in the May 6 by-election.
Jon SharmanMay 4, 2021 8:18 AM
Rewild Oceans to meet UK net zero targets, campaigners say
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and Rewilding Britain are calling on the government to treat this practice with the same urgency as reforestation in the fight against climate change.
In a new report, campaign groups write that UK coastal waters cover 500,000 km2 and store around 205 million tonnes of carbon.
The total is 50 million tonnes more than the carbon trapped in the UK’s entire stock of standing forests, the report adds.
Jon SharmanMay 4, 2021 8:07 AM
EU steals the show in race for India trade deal
The EU is on the verge of stealing a march on the UK in seeking a post-Brexit trade deal with India, as Boris Johnson has only announced a “strengthened partnership” with Delhi.
Brussels hailed “a clear dynamic”, with negotiations on a free trade agreement due to be confirmed on Saturday, threatening to put the UK on the slow lane in the negotiation race.
The Prime Minister has pledged 6,500 jobs will be created in the UK through trade and investment deals with India focused on health, technology and vaccine development.
The announcement comes ahead of a virtual meeting with Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister, on Tuesday – after a dramatic outbreak of Covid-19 forced Mr Johnson’s commercial trip to be canceled.
But the “enhanced partnership” certainly appears to be overshadowed by talks on a full-fledged trade deal between the EU and India, which will be confirmed in a few days.
Jon SharmanMay 4, 2021 7:41 AM
UK must protect Northern Ireland peace deal, US says
The United States has ‘no closer ally, no closer partner’ than Britain – but the Good Friday deal in Northern Ireland must be protected after Brexit, the top said on Monday diplomat to President Joe Biden during a visit to London.
“We are connected. It is often said, but it is always important to reaffirm it, ”Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a press conference in Downing Street.
“We are bound by ties of friendship, family, history, shared values and shared sacrifice.”
But between the heated talks about a special relationship, there was a warning that the 1998 peace deal covering the terms of the UK-Ireland border must be honored despite problems since Brexit.