MSPs defeat government to call for ‘halt’ to P1 assessments

Image caption Primary school education has become a hot topic at Holyrood MSPs have defeated the Scottish government in a vote calling on ministers to “halt” national assessments for five-year-old pupils. The assessments were introduced across Scotland last year, but some teachers and parents have criticised them. Ministers insist they are not high-stakes tests, but […]

Brexit: May urges EU leaders to consider ‘serious’ UK plans

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mrs May spoke to EU leaders for 10 minutes over dinner in Salzburg Theresa May has urged EU leaders to focus their minds on getting a Brexit deal in the next two months, saying negotiations will not be extended. At a dinner in Salzburg, she told her 27 counterparts […]

Brexit: Theresa May tells EU ‘don’t demand the unacceptable’

Media captionBBC News NI’s political reporter Jayne McCormack explains why the border is an issue Theresa May is to warn the EU not to demand the “unacceptable” in negotiations over Northern Ireland’s borders. The prime minister will set out her case to other European leaders at a summit in Salzburg later. It comes after EU […]

People should be proud of their council house – Theresa May

Image copyright PA People who live in council houses should be made to feel proud of their homes, Theresa May will say later. The PM will announce £2bn to build new homes in England, in a attempt to remove the “stigma” of social housing. Under the plan, housing associations, councils and other organisations will be […]

‘Wild West’ Bitcoin ‘should be regulated’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Cryptocurrencies’ trading prices have been extremely volatile Bitcoin and other digital currencies are a “Wild West industry” and need to be regulated to protect investors, a committee of MPs has urged. Problems include volatile prices, minimal consumer protection and risks of hacking and money-laundering, says the Treasury Committee. The […]

PM to announce £2bn for social housing

Image copyright Getty Images Two billion pounds of new funding to build affordable and social housing in England will be announced by the prime minister later. Housing associations, local authorities and other organisations will be able to bid for the money to spend on projects beginning after 2021. The PM plans to focus on the […]

Brexit: EU ‘ready to improve’ Irish border proposal

Image copyright AFP Image caption The EU’s negotiator wants to de-dramatise the issue of the border The EU is “ready to improve” its offer on the Irish border, Michel Barnier has said as he warned the “moment of truth” was nearing for Brexit negotiations. The EU’s negotiator said he wanted most new physical checks to […]

Sir Vince Cable: Brexit not inevitable and must be stopped

Media captionSir Vince Cable: “Brexit… can and must be stopped.” “Brexit is not inevitable – it can and it must be stopped,” Sir Vince Cable has told his party’s annual conference. The Lib Dem leader said 29 March next year – the date the UK is set to leave the EU – was “only a […]

UK visas: High-skilled migrants cap ‘should be scrapped’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A report says there should be no limit on the number of high-skilled workers, such as doctors, coming to the UK to work The cap on the number of high-skilled migrants coming to the UK should be scrapped, according to a key report, expected to influence the government’s post-Brexit […]

BMW to close Mini plant for a month post-Brexit

Image copyright Getty Images The Mini factory in Oxford will shut down for a month after Brexit at the end of March to minimise disruption in case of a no-deal outcome. Owner BMW said its summer maintenance shutdown had been brought forward to 1 April to reduce any “possible short-term parts-supply disruption”. “While we believe […]