• Britain again touts 'tiered' approach to COVID as neighbours lock down
    LONDON, October 30 (Reuters): Britain's "tiered" approach to reining in the coronavirus appears to be working, the foreign minister said on Friday, as EU neighbours France and Germany slapped new controls on movement almost as strict as their original spring lockdowns. Europe and the United States have emerged as the current danger zones for COVID-19, which was first identified in China in December, in a global crisis in which more than 44.94 million people have been i
  • A good chance we can get a deal with EU, says UK minister Lewis
    LONDON, October 25 (Reuters): Britain and the European Union have a good chance of striking a deal on future relations, the British government's Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis said on Sunday. The United Kingdom left the EU in January but the two sides are trying to clinch a deal that would govern nearly a trillion dollars in annual trade before a transition period of informal membership ends on Dec. 31. Talks resumed last week after Britain walked away in frustr
  • EU negotiators expect to resume trade talks with UK, EU sources say
    BRUSSELS, October 21 (Reuters): Negotiators from the European Union are expected to travel to London on Thursday to resume talks with Britain, two EU sources said, a move, that if confirmed, would mark a new push to protect billions of dollars worth of trade. Both the EU and Britain have spent days calling on the other side to offer more concessions in talks, which have been all but deadlocked since the summer, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson walked away from the negotiation
  • UK says China seeking biggest maritime fleet in the world
    LONDON, October 21 (Reuters): Britain's defence minister said on Wednesday that China was seeking to build the world's biggest surface and subsurface maritime fleet. "China is growing the largest maritime surface and subsurface fleet in the world," Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told the Atlantic Future Forum. "Our competitors continue to challenge us in the grey zone between war and peace."  
  • EU tells Britain to make up its mind as Brexit deal 'within reach'
    BRUSSELS, October 21 (Reuters): The European Union told Britain on Wednesday to make up its mind on Brexit, putting the onus back on London to unlock trade talks as the bloc's chief negotiator said an agreement was still within reach with 10 weeks to go. A frustrated European Union and piqued Britain both exhorted each other this week to compromise to avoid a disruptive finale to the five-year Brexit drama that would add to economic pain from the coronavirus crisis. &quo
  • Brexit brinkmanship: UK says no to more EU trade talks
    LONDON/BRUSSELS, October 20 (Reuters): Britain sees no basis to resume trade talks with the European Union unless there is a fundamental change in approach from Brussels, chief negotiator David Frost said on Monday, dashing earlier optimism that negotiations could resume. Earlier, Michael Gove, the minister overseeing Brexit, had said there was agreement on the need to intensify trade talks and work on legal texts, after the negotiations broke down last week. The two si
  • Brexit breakthrough? UK, EU agree to intensify trade talks
    LONDON/BRUSSELS, October 19 (Reuters): Britain and the European Union agreed on Monday to intensify trade talks and work on legal texts, a breakthrough of sorts after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would walk away from negotiations that had been deadlocked for weeks. After a weekend of both sides trading blame for the lack of movement in talks and calling on the other to move first, chief negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier agreed to a British demand to start
  • 'Door is ajar' on Brexit trade talks if EU is serious: UK's Gove
    LONDON, October 18 (Reuters): The door is still ajar for Britain and the European Union to strike a post-Brexit trade deal but the bloc needs to change its approach and show it is serious before talks can resume this week, senior British minister Michael Gove said. The bloc had squandered some of the progress made in negotiations because it had not been willing to intensify talks or produce detailed legal texts, Gove said. "We hope that the EU will change their position
  • Turning local, British PM Johnson to unveil new coronavirus rules
    LONDON, October 11 (Reuters): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce new measures to tackle a growing coronavirus crisis on Monday, moving to work more closely with local leaders from England's worst affected areas. With Johnson reluctant to repeat a national lockdown that would further hurt a struggling economy, the government is trying to contain a surge in cases, as well as growing anger, in parts of northern and central England. England's de
  • Britain is at a coronavirus tipping point, says deputy chief medical officer
    LONDON, October 11 (Reuters): Britain is at a "tipping point" in the coronavirus crisis and the country must act now to stop history repeating itself, the deputy chief medical officer for England said on Sunday, urging people to follow the rules. With the number of cases rapidly rising particularly in the north of England, ministers are readying a new set of rules to try to tackle the crisis that will include handing more power to local leaders to track the virus'
  • UK will explore every avenue for EU deal, PM Johnson tells France's Macron
    LONDON, October 10 (Reuters): Britain will explore every avenue for a trade deal with the European Union but progress to bridge significant gaps needs to be made in the coming days, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday. Johnson has set a deadline of the Oct. 15 EU summit for agreement on a deal, and the EU is seeking a few more concessions before entering the final phase of negotiations. "(Johnson) confirmed the UK's
  • Britain will take back 'full control' from the EU on Jan. 1, says PM Johnson
    LONDON, October 7 (Reuters): Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday Britain would take back "full control of our money, our borders and our laws" on Jan. 1 when a status-quo transition arrangement with the European Union ends. "This country has not only left the European Union but on January 1 we will take back full control of our money, our borders and our laws," he told parliament, repeating a mantra that helped him win an election last year. &n
  • Lawmakers urged to ban child marriage in Britain
    LONDON, October 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Britain is sabotaging girls' futures and condoning child sex abuse by failing to scrap an "anachronistic" law allowing child marriage, a lawmaker told parliament on Tuesday as she presented a bill to criminalise marriage under 18. Pauline Latham said retaining the current law, which allows marriage at 16 with parental consent, also undermined Britain's global efforts to end child marriage in developing countries.
  • UK PM Johnson plays down technical failure of COVID-19 testing data system
    LONDON, October 5 (Reuters): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday sought to play down a failure in England's COVID-19 testing data system that delayed 15,841 results, saying the much higher updated figures were more in line with forecasts of the outbreak's spread. The glitch is likely to cast further doubt over Johnson's handling of the coronavirus pandemic: his Conservative government's response has been cast by political opponents as slow, poorly org
  • UK PM Johnson scolded for 'contempt' of parliament over COVID-19 rules
    LONDON, September 30 (Reuters): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was reprimanded on Wednesday by the speaker of parliament for treating lawmakers with contempt by rushing through far-reaching COVID-19 restrictions without proper scrutiny. In a rare intervention by the chief officer of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle scolded Johnson ahead of his weekly question-and-answer session for making rules in a "totally unsatisfactory" way. Johnson, who is due to hold
  • As Brexit talks intensify, banks see sharply higher risk of no-deal exit
    LONDON, September 28 (Reuters): The chances of Britain leaving the European Union without a trade deal have risen dramatically in the last three months, according to major investment banks, most of which now see the probability of such an outcome at 50% or higher. Britain left the EU in January but is currently in a status-quo transition period, which ends on December 31 irrespective of whether or not a deal is agreed. On Monday, the two sides started a decisive week of talks,
  • UK preparing Magnitsky sanctions over Belarus human rights violations - minister
    LONDON, September 24 (Reuters): Britain is preparing Magnitsky sanctions against individuals in Belarus in coordination with the United States and Canada, foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Thursday, after pointedly criticising the country's recent election. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in for a sixth term after an election that the opposition and several foreign governments say was rigged. "Given Lukashenko's fraudulent inauguration, I
  • EU chief negotiator 'determined' to get Brexit deal but will be firm
    LONDON, September 23 (Reuters): The European Union is determined to get a Brexit trade deal with Britain but will be firm and realistic with London after Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to break the divorce agreement, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Wednesday. The United Kingdom left the EU in January but remains a member in all but name until the end of the year, by which time it hopes to have clinched a free trade deal with the bloc. Talks have snagged on f
  • UK PM Johnson set to win vote on Brexit treaty-busting powers
    LONDON, September 22 (Reuters): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to win a parliamentary vote on Tuesday on laws which give him the power to break the Withdrawal Agreement struck with the European Union last year. Johnson's Internal Market Bill aims to ensure Britain's four nations can trade freely with each other after Brexit. Ministers say that will require breaking the EU exit treaty to protect Northern Ireland unless stalled talks with Brussels make a brea
  • COVID 'firepower': Britain imposes 6-month curbs against second wave
    LONDON, September 22 (Reuters): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered bars and restaurants to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19 with restrictions lasting probably six months. After government scientists cautioned that deaths may soar without urgent action, Johnson stopped short of another full lockdown as he did in March but said further action could be taken if the disease was not s