France, Germany, and the United Kingdom have asked Iran to renounce the production of uranium metal, which violates the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal. The United States, for its part, has announced a new round of sanctions. Meanwhile, Tehran continues its military exercises, firing ballistic missiles at targets in the Indian Ocean.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday announced a ban on COVID-19 vaccines originating from the United States and the United Kingdom. The Supreme Leader said that he has no iota of trust in the two countries. Notably though, Tehran says it is currently developing its own vaccine.
Top world leaders have strongly condemned the assault on the United States Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump Wednesday as the victory of Joe Biden in the presidential elections was being ratified. The leaders have called for a “peaceful” transition in the United States and have denounced “an unprecedented assault on American democracy.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has postponed an official trip to India, scheduled for January, which would have been his first major trip abroad after the COVID-19 pandemic worsened, Downing Street announced today. As a reason for his cancellation, Prime Minister Johnson cited the need to oversee the pandemic response at home.
Citizens from the United Kingdom, with a residence in Spain, have been stopped from flying to Spain this weekend. Spain has strict COVID-19 regulations that prevented some Britons from flying to and from Spain. Several travelers have had trouble returning to their home countries after airlines refused to accept their proof of national travel cards.
According to the latest official data released today by the British Ministry of Health, in addition to chaining five consecutive days with more than 50,000 infections per day, another 445 deaths from the disease were recorded, a slightly lower number than the 613 reported yesterday.
The UK’s Brexit transition period came to an end on the last day of 2020, which means that the UK will completely break away from the European single market and customs union. Big Ben in London rang at midnight when Britain officially left the European Union, symbolizing the opening of a new chapter in British history.
When the epidemic swept through Europe and the United States earlier this year, companies scrambled to seek to raise funds, and some companies turned to the stock market to increase liquidity and tide over uncertain times. Subsequently, when central banks actively supported the financial market, the stock market rebounded.
The European Commission today proposed the establishment of a Brexit Adjustment Reserve to help member states and departments deal with the economic losses and social impacts caused by Brexit, and to support affected businesses and employment-damaged fields. The total budget is €5 billion.
The 2020 has been the worst year of this century. The Coronavirus pandemic has crippled the majority of the global economies. The Covid-19 lockdowns still continue and there is a talk of the third wave coming in the spring of the 2021. The realism suggests that the position of the leaders of an individual states is not differing from the past experience.
Russia is mourning a great loss of life. The legendary Soviet intelligence officer and former ex-British intelligence officer from the MI6 George Blake died at the age of the 99 on the December 26. The announcement via the Russian foreign intelligence press service.
The European Commission announced that after January 1st, the United Kingdom will be added to the EU’s third countries list. The list depicts travel restrictions from other countries to EU member nations due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The UK will no longer be part of the EU after December 31.
The British economy is experiencing challenging times. In 2021, it is plausible that the British economy will enter recession and could even lead to a depression. The majority of British nationals will have Christmas in isolation, and the British developed-Coronavirus vaccine is still pending.
The new travel ban between several European countries and the United Kingdom left thousands of trucks stuck in huge traffic jams at the port of Dover, on the south coast of England, on Tuesday. The traffic jam was particularly caused by France’s move to close its borders with the United Kingdom on Sunday.
Italian health authorities have detected the first case of infection with the new variant of the deadly coronavirus identified in the United Kingdom, Italy’s Ministry of Health said in a statement on Sunday. The new coronavirus strain has spread across the UK and, according to the British government, can be up to 70% more contagious than the known previous variants.
The Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy announced on Sunday the ban on the arrival of flights from the United Kingdom in their territories, after the appearance on British soil of a new variant of the coronavirus that is said to be 70% more infectious.The ban in Holland is valid for at least the rest of the year.
The French Mayor Frederic Couvillier, of the city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, has threatened the UK with with a “Falklands War” pertaining the dispute over the fishing waters with the European Union. Furthermore, the mayor warned of the threat of an armed conflict in light of looming Brexit deadline.
Russia continues to strengthen its partnerships with Eurasian nations. The main organizations are the Eurasian Economic Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The actual “Eurasian” direction of development is mainly manifested in the framework of the integration of the associations and international organizations in which Russia operates.
The European Parliament issued an ultimatum to the United Kingdom on Thursday. European lawmakers said they will not start the procedures for the ratification of a possible Brexit agreement before the end of the year if they do not receive the final text this Sunday.
Post-Brexit trade talks between the European Union and Britain have entered their last day, in a final attempt to reach an agreement. Both parties warned that an agreement might not be reached. The conditions set by the European Union are still “unacceptable” to the United Kingdom, a government source said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Friday that due to poor negotiations, the United Kingdom should be prepared to leave the European Union single market without a trade agreement. The Prime Minister said that the EU once again asked the UK to be subject to changes in EU rules in the future.
The British pound, which was hit by Brexit, expanded its decline against the U.S. dollar on Thursday. Investors have become more cautious, worrying that the United Kingdom and the European Union may not reach a Brexit agreement, and now there are only three weeks left before the December 31 deadline.
The United Kingdom has agreed to waive the clauses on Northern Ireland that violated the European Union withdrawal agreement. The technical negotiating teams of the 27 member states and the British government have concluded work on the implementation of the agreement as of January 1, 2021.
Kazem Gharib Abadi, Iran’s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), strongly criticized the release of a confidential report by the organization on Iran’s plan to install three new cascades of centrifuges in Natanz. The IAEA provided the information to the member nations pertaining to Iran’s decision to install the advanced IR-2M centrifuges.
On Wednesday, the High Court of Justice ruled that children under the age 16 cannot be prescribed hormone blockers. The blockers are used on patients who wish to transition to another gender. The hormone blockers aid in delaying the unwanted physical changes that don’t match someone’s gender identity.
British regulators have approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by US company Pfizer and its German partner BioNtech for use in the UK. With the approval of the Medical and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the United Kingdom becomes the first country in the world to start vaccinating its citizens against the coronavirus.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Sunday that the Brexit negotiators of the United Kingdom and the European Union showed “pragmatism” and “sincerity,” and “a deal is about to be reached.” In an interview with Sky News, Secretary Raab said that the biggest unresolved issue is fishing rights.
The UK will become the first Western country to approve the new coronavirus pneumonia vaccine, and independent regulatory agencies will approve it within a few days. According to insiders in the British government, the vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer will begin delivery within hours of approval.
The escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the subsequent ceasefire, has been on the forefront of the news around the globe. Earlier this month, the ceasefire agreement was signed by Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. History tends to repeat itself, but the future of Armenia can be problematic.
Swiss Prosecutors dismissed a nearly decade-old money laundering case brought by Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax advisor who worked with Hermitage Capital founder Bill Browder. Magnitsky was arrested on fraud allegations in 2008 and died of “untreated illness” within a year in custody.
The UK has reached a trade agreement with Canada that will extend the terms of the existing agreement between the EU and Canada when the Brexit transition period ends on January 1 next year. British Prime Minister Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau reached this agreement in principle via video calls on Saturday.
According to people familiar with the negotiations, the UK and the EU are expected to reach a trade agreement in the next few days. After an EU negotiator contracted the new coronavirus, the two sides suddenly suspended their in-person talks this week, but officials on both sides expressed optimism.
The European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, offered fresh cause for optimism during a press conference. “After difficult weeks with very, very slow progress now we have seen in the last days better progress, more movement on important files. This is good,” she said.
People familiar with the matter who did not want to be named because the content of the talks was not made public said that an agreement may be reached before next weekend, or more likely in the week of November 30.
People familiar with the matter warned that to do this, the British government and the European Union still need to make major political decisions and that more concessions from the UK are needed. Otherwise, the negotiations may break down.
Ursula von der Leyen continued: “Within the frame of the level playing field, progress, for example, has been made on the question of state aid, but there are still quite some meters to the finish line so there’s still a lot of work to do. Where the timelines are concerned, time pressure is high without any question at the moment.”
“There’s a lot to work on because there is now substance where you can go through line by line, word for word. The whole team is engaged and working tirelessly day and night to reach the natural deadline we have to be done by the end of the year,” said Ursula von der Leyen.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Barnier, the chief negotiator of the European Union, had to isolate themselves after contacting patients with the new coronavirus, making the drafting of the agreement more complicated.
Johnson will end the quarantine next Thursday. The EU is urging him to make a final decision and make the necessary concessions to reach an agreement. So far, the UK has refused to accept the EU’s requirements on a level playing field for enterprises and a mechanism for implementing agreements.
A UK official said: “Although there has been some progress in recent days, there is much work to be done and time is now very short. We now need to see more realism from the EU on what it means for the UK to be an independent state.”
Officials said that, including the participation of high-level officials, many factors in the coming days will determine when and whether an agreement will be reached, adding to the last-minute complexity. Barnier may be isolated until November 26, and then may go to London for the final round of talks.
One EU diplomat said: “There is tangible progress on a number of areas while gaps are only slowly shrinking on core issues like a level playing field, governance, and fisheries. Growing concern that the negotiation process does not proceed quickly enough to ensure the ratification of a possible agreement until the end-of-the-year deadline.”
“Hope is nevertheless that negotiations can be finalized quickly if and once the necessary political decisions are taken in London. At the same time, EU member states are in agreement that contingency planning needs to be ramped up in parallel to the ongoing and hopefully successful EU-UK negotiation process. Still, the EU needs to be prepared for every possible outcome.”
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The European Union warned that the UK has not taken enough action to overcome the three major obstacles facing a post-Brexit trade agreement. The leaders of Belgium, France, and the Netherlands urged greater efforts to prepare contingency plans in case an agreement is not reached.
The leaders of France and Belgium urged the EU to intensify its efforts to prepare for a no-deal Brexit by the end of the year, in case negotiations with the UK fail to achieve a breakthrough at the last minute. That’s according to two people familiar with the relevant discussions at the EU leaders video summit on Thursday.
The Five Eyes alliance, comprising of the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, issued a joint statement on Wednesday, in which they expressed their “grave concern” over the autocratic actions of China against Hong Kong. The statement was issued through their respective foreign ministers.
On Sunday, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was officially signed during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting. After eight years of negotiations, the free trade zone with the largest population, the most diverse membership structure, and the greatest development potential in the world was born.
On Friday, the FTSE 100 capped its best week since April, as anticipation for a coronavirus vaccine has decreased at a critical moment for Brexit talks, in the midst of the soaring COVID-19 pandemic and upheaval at Downing Street. This week, investors have pumped a whopping £33.8 billion into global equity funds, Bank of America analysis has revealed.
Carillion and several of its former managers today earned a fierce slap from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Friday, which accused the defunct construction giant of supplying “fake or misleading” stock market details. Two years earlier, the building giant collapsed under the weight of £1.5 billion in debts.
Retailer WH Smith is set to close 25 high street stores, affecting nearly 200 jobs. The coronavirus pandemic pushed the company £280 million in debt. Over the year, WH Smith’s main business in the UK was heavily influenced by reduced passenger figures at its travel locations.
In October, the number of property hunters who wished to purchase a new home in London was positive for five consecutive months, but fell from 23% to 11% of the net balance. There was also a five-month sequential rise in the amount of new properties on offer, which is the longest consecutive development rate since 2014.
Top European leaders on Tuesday engaged US president-Elect Joe Biden via phone calls to congratulate him on his electoral victory and wish him well. Among them were British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, President Emmanuel Macron of France, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that the decision to expel the staff of the Belarusian embassy would be a “clear message” to the authorities of this country, led by President Alexander Lukashenko, that their unfair decision will have consequences.
Scotland became the first country in the United Kingdom to enact legislation prohibiting the physical punishment of children under the age of 16. In Scotland, a law has come into force against spanking children, according to the online edition Express and Star on Saturday, November 7.
Sources from Moscow have revealed that Vladimir Putin is a sick man, and that he is considering resignation. The Kremlin has, however, dismissed the report in a quick rejoinder, calling it nonsense. The news began circulating in the early hours of Friday to the effect that the Russian president is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
The Bank of England maintained interest rates as scheduled, but exceeded expectations to expand the scale of bond purchases. The pound jumped nearly 50 points against the US dollar in the short term. On Thursday, the Bank of England maintained the 0.1% central bank benchmark interest rate unchanged as scheduled.