• 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
  • Revealed: the darkness behind the beauty of Britain's great houses
    LONDON, September 22 (Reuters): Feted for their fine architecture and often used as lavish backdrops for period movies, Britain's great estates came under the spotlight on Tuesday for a darker reason: their links to colonialism or slavery. The National Trust, which runs some 300 heritage buildings, said about a third of them had past owners who had profited from slavery, opposed its abolition, been involved in colonial expansion or administration or promoted imperialism.
  • 'Work from home': Johnson starts shutting down Britain again as COVID-19 spreads
    LONDON, September 22 (Reuters): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and will curb timings for bars and restaurants to tackle a fast-spreading second coronavirus wave, but the opposition accused him of losing control. With millions across the United Kingdom already under some form of COVID-19 restriction, Johnson will tighten measures in England while stopping short of another full lockdown like he imposed in March, a
  • Germany tells Britain to "stop the games", time running out for deal
    BRUSSELS, September 22 (Reuters): Germany's Europe Minister Michael Roth urged Britain on Tuesday to drop plans for a bill that would break the country's obligations to the European Union under its withdrawal treaty as time was running out to clinch an EU-Britain trade deal. Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels that is to prepare a summit of EU leaders later this week, Roth said he was "extremely worried" by London's plans t
  • UK faces soaring COVID-19 death rate unless it moves fast, medics warn
    LONDON, September 21 (Reuters): Britain will face an exponentially growing death rate from COVID-19 within weeks unless urgent action is taken to halt a rapidly spreading second wave of the outbreak, the country's senior medics said on Monday. The United Kingdom already has the biggest official COVID-19 death toll in Europe - and the fifth largest in the world - while it is borrowing record amounts in an attempt to pump emergency money through the damaged economy. But ne
  • Britain, France, Germany say UN sanctions relief for Iran to continue beyond September 20
    UNITED NATIONS, September 19 (Reuters): Britain, France and Germany told the U.N. Security Council on Friday that U.N. sanctions relief for Iran - agreed under a 2015 nuclear deal - would continue beyond September 20, when the United States asserts that all the measures should be reimposed. In a letter to the 15-member body, seen by Reuters, the three European parties to the nuclear deal and long-time U.S. allies said any decision or action taken to reimpose U.N. sanctions &quo
  • UK hands over to India statues stolen from Hindu temple in 1978
    LONDON, September 17 (Reuters): Britain has returned three antique bronze sculptures to Indian authorities more than 40 years after they were stolen from a Hindu temple in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. A total of four bronzes from the Vijayanagara period, which lasted from the 14th to the 17th century, were stolen in 1978 from a temple dedicated to the god Vishnu in Nagapattinam. The thieves were convicted in India at the time but it was only in 2019 that three of
  • 'Shocking': Blair, Major chide UK plan to breach international law
    LONDON, September 13 (Reuters): Former prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major on Sunday said Britain must drop a "shocking" plan to pass legislation that breaks its divorce treaty with the European Union, in a breach of international law. The British government said explicitly last week that it plans to break international law by breaching parts of the Withdrawal Agreement treaty that it signed in January, when it formally left the EU. "What is being propos
  • EU considers legal action against Britain over plan to break Brexit deal
    LONDON/BRUSSELS, September 10 (Reuters): Britain and the European Union will hold emergency talks on Thursday over Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan to undercut parts of the Brexit divorce treaty, with Brussels exploring possible legal action against London. After Britain explicitly said it would act outside international law by breaching the divorce treaty, EU negotiators are trying to gauge how to deal with London. European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic wi
  • Brexit in crisis: EU 'very concerned' by UK plan to break divorce treaty
    LONDON, September 9 (Reuters): Britain plunged Brexit trade talks into crisis on Wednesday by explicitly acknowledging it could break international law by ignoring some parts of its European Union divorce treaty, prompting a rapid rebuke from the EU's chief executive. Brushing aside warnings from Brussels that breaching the treaty would prevent any trade deal being struck, London said in the proposed legislation that it would ignore parts of the Withdrawal Agreement, which
  • Brexit poker begins: UK ramps up no-deal preparations
    LONDON, September 8 (Reuters): Britain headed into Tuesday's fresh round of Brexit trade talks with a warning to the European Union that it was ramping up preparations to leave without agreement as both sides bickered over rules governing nearly $1 trillion in commerce. Adding to a sense of crisis, the British currency and stocks fell, while the Financial Times said the government's legal department head quit in disagreement with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's offic
  • 'Don't kill your gran' - Britain sounds COVID alarm
    LONDON, September 8 (Reuters): British ministers and medics are urging the public to get serious again about the coronavirus after a sharp rise in infections raised fears the outbreak was slipping out of control in some parts. Close to 3,000 new cases were recorded on Sunday and again on Monday - a sudden jump from numbers much closer to 1,000 for most of August, and the highest since May. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said young people had become too relaxed about social di
  • UK judge rejects Assange bid to delay U.S. extradition case
    LONDON, September 7 (Reuters): WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange, who is fighting to avoid extradition to the United States from Britain, failed on Monday in a bid to further delay hearings that resumed after a pause of months caused by the coronavirus lockdown. The U.S. authorities accuse Australian-born Assange, 49, of conspiring to hack government computers and of violating an espionage law in connection with the release of confidential cables by WikiLeaks in 2010-2011.
  • Brexit back in crisis: EU warns UK over divorce pact
    LONDON, September 7 (Reuters): The European Union told Britain on Monday that there would be no trade deal if it tried to tinker with the Brexit divorce treaty, raising the prospect of a tumultuous end-of-year finale to the saga. In yet another twist to the four-year saga since Britain voted to quit the EU, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government was reported to be planning new legislation to override parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement it signed in January. That
  • UK warns EU on Brexit: We won't blink first
    LONDON/BRUSSELS, September 6 (Reuters): Britain will not blink first in Brexit trade negotiations with the European Union and is not scared of a no-deal exit at the end of the year, the country's top Brexit negotiator warned the bloc on Sunday. Britain left the EU on Jan. 31 but talks have so far made little headway on agreeing a new trade deal for when a status-quo transition arrangement ends in December. "We came in after a government and negotiating team that had
  • Migrants play dangerous cat-and-mouse game with police in Calais
    CALAIS, France, August 21 (Reuters): Standing in front of the remains of dozens of inflatable craft in the backyard of a police station, Captain Eric Binet has a message for migrants considering the sea crossing to Britain: don't risk your lives. Warm weather and a deceptively calm-looking sea are tempting dozens of migrants to board rubber dinghies for the 30 km crossing to Dover, whose white cliffs are visible from Calais, while police try to stop them before they put to