Boris Johnson: UK should reject ‘Brexit cash bill’

Media captionBoris Johnson: Britain has an “illustrious precedent” Boris Johnson has told the BBC that Britain should reject any EU demands for a £50bn “exit bill” and follow the example of former PM Margaret Thatcher. It has been reported that EU negotiator Michel Barnier has said the UK must continue to pay into the EU […]

Institute for Fiscal Studies backs National Insurance increase

Institute for Fiscal Studies backs National Insurance increase

Image copyright BEN STANSALL The chancellor was right to raise National Insurance contributions for the self employed in his Budget, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says The rise will see millions of self-employed workers pay an average of £240 a year more, but ministers say those earning £16,250 or less will pay less. Philip […]

Hammond: Budget National Insurance rise due to ‘new challenges’

Media captionChancellor Philip Hammond defends his changes on Today Chancellor Philip Hammond says National Insurance is being increased for self-employed workers because of “new challenges” the government faces. Mr Hammond is facing a backlash against the Budget announcement, which breaks a 2015 manifesto pledge on tax rises. He insisted ministers had honoured a “broad commitment” […]

Northern Ireland could face another snap election, says Brokenshire

Northern Ireland could face another snap election, says Brokenshire

Image copyright AP Image caption A second snap election would cause uncertainty and disruption, James Brokenshire said Northern Ireland could face another election if political parties cannot reach agreement within three weeks, James Brokenshire has said. The Northern Ireland Secretary warned that there would be “significant consequences” if there is no deal to restore Stormont’s […]

Sturgeon: Autumn 2018 ‘common sense’ for indyref2

Media captionNicola Sturgeon was interviewed by BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg Scotland’s first minister has said autumn 2018 would be a “common sense” date for any second independence referendum. Nicola Sturgeon continued to insist, however, that no final decision had yet been made on holding such a vote. In a BBC interview, she said she […]

Poland threatens ‘whole EU summit’ over Tusk vote

Poland threatens ‘whole EU summit’ over Tusk vote

Image copyright AFP Image caption Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo says Mr Tusk has “violated multiple times his European mandate” Poland has threatened to derail Thursday’s EU summit as it attempts to block the re-election of Donald Tusk as president of the European Council. Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said nothing should be decided without Poland’s […]

Labour vows to close ‘North-South divide’ in public spending

Labour vows to close ‘North-South divide’ in public spending

Image copyright ALAMY Labour has vowed to “close the gap” between spending in the north and south of England and end the “bias” it says there has been in transport investment. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said in a speech that London and the South East have disproportionately benefited from projects such as Crossrail. He said […]

Merkel welcomes May’s ambition for a strong Europe

Merkel welcomes May’s ambition for a strong Europe

Image copyright ANDREAS SOLARO German chancellor Angela Merkel has welcomed Theresa May’s remarks that Britain wants to see a strong Europe – even as it prepares to quit the EU. The prime minister told EU leaders she wanted to build a “strong partnership” with the EU and pledged the UK would be a “good friend […]

Brexit: Fresh legal challenge blocked by High Court

Brexit: Fresh legal challenge blocked by High Court

Image copyright AFP Image caption The campaigners have vowed to continue the fight A fresh legal challenge to Brexit has been blocked by the High Court. A group of campaigners who want Britain to stay in the EU single market argued that Parliament must approve the UK’s exit from the European Economic Area. But the […]

Northern Powerhouse report: Schools need urgent attention

Northern Powerhouse report: Schools need urgent attention

Image caption Closing the North-South attainment divide is key to success, says the report “Urgent attention” must be given to improving education in the North of England, says George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse Partnership think tank. In its first report since being set up last year, the think tank identifies what needs to be done to […]