Northern Ireland Secretary Welcomes Airbus Investment in Bombardier

James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, has welcomed the investment by Airbus into Bombardier. The move would allow the C-Series to be produced and avoid proposed US tariffs, as well as ensuring the employment of many workers in Northern Ireland.

Brokenshire said in a statement:

“Last night’s announcement that Airbus is taking a stake in Bombardier’s C-Series is positive and welcome news for Northern Ireland.

We have been working tirelessly across Government to secure the future of the C-Series in recent months, and we will continue to do all we can to ensure the unjustified case brought by Boeing reaches a swift and effective resolution.

Our number one priority throughout has been to safeguard jobs and livelihoods in Belfast. While there are still some steps before the deal is completed, this is clearly a significant move forward for the C-Series and for the workforce in Northern Ireland”.

OECD Warns of Damage to British Economy if Close Ties to EU Aren’t Maintained

The OECD has warned that the British economy faces long-term decline if it doesn’t maintain close ties to the European Union. It also said in a report that the British economy be boosted if the Government reversed its Brexit decision.

Angel Gurría, the Secretary General of the OECD, said in a speech:

“The UK’s preparation for Brexit in 2019 is creating big uncertainties, and will continue to weigh on the economy, at least until those uncertainties are resolved. It will be crucial that the UK and the EU maintain the closest economic relationship possible. This applies to the trade of goods and services, but also to the movement of labour, from which the UK has benefitted so much”.

The OECD added:

“The recent OECD economic survey recommends that the UK authorities secure the closest possible economic relationship with the European Union in its future trading arrangement. Rapidly concluding negotiations to guarantee the rights of EU citizens is a priority to sustain labour supply and ensure further progress in living standards. The United Kingdom should adopt simple criteria to deal with EU citizens living and/or working in the United Kingdom, which would minimise administrative burdens and avoid that some categories of EU citizens fall into the cracks, such as cross-border workers”.

A spokesperson for Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said:

“The OECD are a respected international body but what we should bear in mind is that it’s based on a no-deal situation, which is not what we are looking for. We are confident we are going to strike a good deal”.

Prime Minister Speaks to French President Macron by Phone

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has spoken to Emmanuel Macon, the President of France, by phone to discuss numerous issues including the situation in Iran and also the current Brexit negotiations.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“The Prime Minister spoke to President Macron of France this afternoon.

On Iran, they both expressed their firm commitment to the nuclear deal, and discussed President Trump’s decision last week not to recertify it.

They agreed to continue to work closely together to ensure the deal is properly enforced, and to push back on Iran’s destabilising activity in the region, including its ballistic missile programme.

They said they would discuss next steps in the margins of the European Council in Brussels later this week.

On Brexit, they discussed progress in the negotiations and looked ahead to this week’s Council.

They also spoke about the strong UK-France relationship, and agreed to continue building on our bilateral partnership in a range of areas”.

Inflation Reaches Five-Year High

The UK inflation rate has increased to 3.0% from 2.9% and is now at its highest rate since March 2012, causing concerns about whether interest rates will now need to rise. The increase in inflation will also hit businesses, with business rates now rising by 3.9% over the next tax year.

The figures were released by the ONS and were mainly affected by rises in food prices, recreational goods and transport costs. The figures were also offset by a fall in the increase of clothing prices, with the ONS noting:

“The depreciation of sterling seen in 2016 and particularly following the outcome of the EU referendum would increase the prices producers pay for imported goods. Whilst depreciation is likely to increase the cost of imports, other factors determine whether these are passed on to consumers. For example, there were reports of businesses having measures to protect against exchange rate changes in the short-term, often reported as being up to spring this year”.

The organisation added:

“Prices in all broad categories were higher in September 2017 than a year ago. The rate of 2.6% for recreation and culture is the highest since January 2010, whilst the rate of 3.1% for food and non-alcoholic beverages is the highest since October 2013”.

Chris Grayling Rejects Suggestion that a Brexit No Deal Would see Higher Food Prices

Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, has rejected suggestions that a no-deal Brexit would see a sharp rise in food prices. He said that in such circumstances the UK would become more self-sufficient and look for markets outside of the EU. His comments come after warnings of significant price increases if the UK can’t secure a favourable Brexit deal.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show he said:

“What it would mean would be that supermarkets bought more from home, that British farmers grew more and that they bought more from around the world”.

He added when asked about rising food prices:

“Of course that will mean bad news for continental farmers, and that’s why it won’t happen. Because it’s actually in their interest to reach a deal”.

Foreign Secretary to Visit Moscow

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, is to visit Moscow for talks with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Secretary. The two are expected to discuss Iran, North Korea, Syria and other matters of international security.

Johnson said in a statement:

“Russia is a fellow permanent member of the UN Security Council and there are global security issues we need to discuss from Iran to North Korea. Of course we will continue to challenge Russia’s approach where we disagree, whether that is Russia’s actions in Syria or its aggression towards Ukraine. My visit will provide an opportunity to talk about these issues and more, face-to-face.

Our relationship with Russia is not straightforward. That is all the more reason to be talking to Russia – to manage our differences and co-operate where possible for the security of both our nations and the international community.

I am looking forward to visiting Moscow, to engaging with the Russian government and a wider range of Russian people including civil society and the all important next generation”.

Prime Minister Speaks to Angela Merkel by Phone on Iran and the United States

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has today spoken to Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, by phone to discuss numerous issues including the current situation in Iran and the United States’s new policy on the nuclear deal.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said in a statement:

“The Prime Minister spoke to Chancellor Merkel earlier this morning. They discussed Iran and President Trump’s decision not to recertify the nuclear deal. They agreed the UK and Germany both remained firmly committed to the deal. They also agreed the international community needed to continue to come together to push back against Iran’s destabilising regional activity, and to explore ways of addressing concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile programme. They agreed to discuss further at the European Council in Brussels next week.

They looked ahead to next week’s Council, agreeing on the importance of continued constructive progress in the UK’s exit negotiations”.

Foreign Secretary Makes Statement on Terrorist Attack in Somali

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has issued a statement offering his condolences following the terrorist attack in Somali today. A truck bomb in Mogadishu, the country’s capital, has killed at least 239 people and injured a further 300 people.

Johnson said:

“The UK condemns in the strongest terms the cowardly attacks in Mogadishu, which have claimed so many innocent lives. My thoughts are with families of the victims, and the Government and people of Somalia at this difficult time. I would also like to praise the swift response of Mogadishu’s security and first responders.

Those responsible have shown no regard for human life or the suffering of the Somali people. The UK will continue to support Somalia in the fight against terrorism”.

Ed Miliband, former Labour Leader, Says He Would Like a Return to Front-Line Politics

Ed Miliband, the former Leader of the Labour Party, has said that he intends to stay in front-line politics and would be interested in a return to the front bench. Speaking to Nick Robinson, Miliband said that he was “still relatively young” and that was much still to be fought for in politics.

Miliband added:

“After I lost the election it was never really a serious thought in my mind that I would give it all up and go off and be an academic”.

Miliband had been rumoured to be seeking a return to the Shadow Cabinet, despite saying in 2016 about Jeremy Corbyn:

“I think a lot of what he stands for is very important for us going forward. But I’ve reluctantly reached a conclusion that his position is untenable”.

Government to Introduce New Measures to Tackle Growing Problem of Violent Crime

The Government has announced new measures are being introduced in a bid to tackle the growing problem of violent crime. Legislation is planned which would require an individual to explain why they are carrying a corrosive substance in public and there will be an extension on the prohibition of knives.

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said:

“All forms of violent crime are totally unacceptable, which is why we are taking action to restrict access to offensive weapons and crack down on those who carry acids with the intent to do harm.

Acid attacks can devastate lives and leave victims with both emotional and physical scars.

By banning the sale of the most harmful corrosive substances to under 18s and introducing minimum custodial sentences to those who repeatedly carry corrosive substances to cause harm, we are sending a message that the cowards who use these as weapons will not escape the full force of the law”.