UK, French and German Governments Issue Declaration on the US Stance on Iran

The British Government has issued a joint statement with President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany over the US stance on Iran.

The statement reads:

“We, the Leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom take note of President Trump’s decision not to recertify Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to Congress and are concerned by the possible implications.

We stand committed to the JCPoA and its full implementation by all sides. Preserving the JCPoA is in our shared national security interest. The nuclear deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme is not diverted for military purposes. The JCPoA was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2231. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPoA through its long-term verification and monitoring programme. Therefore, we encourage the US Administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the US and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPoA, such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement.

At the same time as we work to preserve the JCPoA, we share concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile programme and regional activities that also affect our European security interests. We stand ready to take further appropriate measures to address these issues in close cooperation with the US and all relevant partners. We look to Iran to engage in constructive dialogue to stop de-stabilising actions and work towards negotiated solutions.

Our governments are committed to ensuring the JCPoA is maintained. Independent of the JCPOA, we need to make sure that our collective wider concerns are being addressed.

We have asked our Foreign Ministers to consider with the US how to take these issues forward”.

Crowd Sourcing Campaign Started to Force Government to Publish Brexit Studies

David Davis, Brexit Secretary

A crowd sourcing campaign has been started in an attempt to fund legal action to force the Government into publishing the text of studies it funded into the effects of Brexit. The campaign, being run by the Good Law Project, aims to reach £26,000 and has already nearly obtained its initial target.

The Good Law Project group said:

“Brexit is the most significant challenge facing the UK. Its effects will have consequences for every area of our lives. They will last for generations. Our Government recognises this, and the Department for Exiting the European Union has commissioned studies investigating the potential economic impact in detail.

On 14 December 2016, DExEU minister David Davis told the House of Commons’ Committee on Exiting the EU that “our studies cover 85% of the economy – everything except sectors that are not affected by international trade”. DExEU has promised to publish a list of these studies, shortly but not now. HM Treasury has also produced a report comparing the predicted economic harm of Brexit with the predicted economic benefits of alternative free trade agreements. That report has also not been made public.

We believe we have a right to know what the Government thinks are the economic consequences of leaving the EU. Political elites should not restrict information and deliberately leave us in the dark about the future of our own country. For Brexit to be justified as an expression of democratic will that democratic will must be informed.

We cannot have a real public debate about the terms of our withdrawal from the EU without knowing the full facts. And it’s absolutely essential that MPs have access to these studies to enable them to properly scrutinise government actions and proposals”.

Over 120 MPs had already signed a letter to David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, asking for the studies to be published. The Government has said that the studies will be published at some point in the future, but has yet to commit to when that will be and exactly what the studies consist of.

Government Confirms Appointment of Five New Crossbench Peers

The Government has confirmed that HM the Queen has signified her intention to confer lifelong Peerages to five individuals, who will all sit on the crossbenches in the House of Lords.

The new Peers are:

– The Right Honourable Sir Ian Duncan Burnett – Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

– The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Richard Chartres, KCVO, DD – lately Bishop of London (1995 to 2017)

– The Right Honourable Sir Christopher Geidt, GCVO, KCB, OBE – Private Secretary to Her Majesty The Queen

– Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, QPM – lately Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2011 to 2017)

– General Sir Nicholas Houghton, GCB, CBE, ADC, Gen – lately Chief of the Defence Staff (2013 to 2016)

Chancellor of the Exchequer Visits the US to Boost Trade

Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is visiting the United States in a bid to boost trade and to discuss other financial issues. During his visit he will meet numerous US financial figures and then visit New York to discuss the current economic situation in the UK with CEOs of American business organisations.

In a statement Hammond said:

“I will be in the US this week to demonstrate that Global Britain is not just a phrase, it is a reality. I am looking forward to productive discussions with my international colleagues as we work together to ensure that economic growth works for everyone”.

EU Warns of Limited Progress in Brexit Talks

Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Negotiator on the Brexit process, has said that there is still “deadlock” over the negotiations. He added that he still hoped that progress could be made over the next two months, despite the current situation. The announcement will put pressure on David Davis, the Secretary of State for Leaving the EU, who had previously said that progress had been made.

Barnier also criticised the UK’s negotiating team, saying their lack of discussion on how to resolve the current issues was “very disturbing”. During the press conference, Davis added though that he hoped an EU council meeting next week would help in moving the negotiations forwards.

Two thousand jobs may be lost at BAE Systems

BAE Systems has confirmed that around two thousands jobs may be lost following a review of future business and operations. The bulk of the proposed job loses will take place at Warton and Samlesbury plants in Lancashire, at Brough in East Yorkshire and at RAF Marham in Norfolk.

In a statement the company said:

“The company is today announcing proposed reductions to its Military Air and Information and Maritime Services workforce to align capacity more closely with current and expected orders”.

Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive, BAE Systems plc, said:

“BAE Systems is a world leader in technology, advanced manufacturing and engineering and our diverse portfolio provides a strong platform for future growth. The organisational changes we are announcing today accelerate our evolution to a more streamlined, de-layered organisation, with a sharper competitive edge and a renewed focus on technology. These actions will further strengthen our company as we deliver our strategy in a changing environment.

Separately, we are also announcing actions at some of our UK sites to align our workforce capacity more closely with near-term demand and enhance our competitive position to secure new business. Those actions are necessary and the right thing to do for our company, but unfortunately include proposed redundancies at a number of operations. I recognise this will be difficult news for some of our employees and we are committed to do everything we can to support those affected”.

Prime Minister Speaks to Donald Trump On Phone

A spokesperson for Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has confirmed that she had had a phone conversation with Donald Trump, the US President, today. Discussions included the Las Vegas killings, the Bombardier factory in Northern Ireland and matters of international security.

“Prime Minister Theresa May tonight spoke with Donald Trump ahead of the US President’s upcoming decision on recertifying the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA).

The Prime Minister reaffirmed the UK’s strong commitment to the deal alongside our European partners, saying it was vitally important for regional security.

The Prime Minister stressed that it was important that the deal was carefully monitored and properly enforced.

Mrs May and the President also discussed the need for the UK, US and others to work together to counter destabilising Iranian activity in the region.

The Prime Minister and President agreed that their teams should remain in contact ahead of the decision on recertification.

They also discussed the importance of the jobs provided by the Bombardier factory to the people and economy of Northern Ireland.

The Prime Minister also reiterated her condolences to the President in the wake of the terrible shooting in Las Vegas”.

Prime Ministers Meets with Business Advisory Council

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has today chaired the meeting of the Business Advisory Council, a group established to help ensure a smooth from the European Union.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“The Prime Minister this afternoon chaired the latest meeting of the government’s business advisory council at Downing Street.

At the meeting, the Prime Minister set out the importance of the range of government’s engagements with businesses to date, and that these have informed our proposal of an implementation period and commitment to continue to attract the right talent to the UK workforce.

The Prime Minister reiterated the position set out in her Florence speech – that the government’s goal is for a smooth, orderly exit in which there is only one set of changes for businesses and people.

The importance of seeking an ambitious future trading partnership with the EU was also discussed, as well as forging new trade relationships around the world. The discussions on trade covered the publication of two White Papers today, outlining our approaches to trade and customs legislation after we leave the EU.

In addition, the council considered wider issues of importance to the UK economy including business and infrastructure investment, building consumer confidence, boosting productivity, further strengthening the UK’s skilled workforce and the huge potential for UK businesses to export.

The Prime Minister emphasised the benefits of meeting with employers at all levels over the past year and said she will continue to have regular engagement with a wide variety of voices right across business”.

Treasury Minister Warns Public to use old £1 Coins in next week

Andrew Jones, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, has warned members of the public that there are only seven days left to use the old style round £1 coin. It is thought that hundreds of millions of the coins remain in circulation, with shops no longer required to accept them after 15 October.

In a statement Jones said:

“The hard work of the British public has paid off and I am delighted that more than 1.2 billion round pound coins have been returned. Added together, these coins match the weight of around 3,500 elephants or 900 double-decker buses. That is a lot of coins!

There is still time to get involved and with just a week to go, I would encourage anyone who is yet to do so to dig out their remaining coins before Sunday”.

Home Secretary Launches New On-Line Hate Crime Hub

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, has announced the launch of a new on-line hate crime hub. The measures have been introduced to attempt to counter-act the growing problem of on-line hate crime and the hub will be run by specialist police officers.

Rudd said in a statement:

“Online hate crime is completely unacceptable. What is illegal offline is illegal online, and those who commit these cowardly crimes should be met with the full force of the law.

The national online hate crime hub that we are funding is an important step to ensure more victims have the confidence to come forward and report the vile abuse to which they are being subjected.

The hub will also improve our understanding of the scale and nature of this despicable form of abuse. With the police, we will use this new intelligence to adapt our response so that even more victims are safeguarded and perpetrators punished”.