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UK business groups call for changes to planned immigration reform

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A coalition of British industry groups and education bodies, worried by the prospect of Brexit worsening skills and labour shortages, has called for the next prime minister to relax proposed reforms of the immigration system. The #FullStrength campaign said on Wednesday it had written to both Boris Johnson, frontrunner to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and prime ... Read More »

Brexit looks to be an itch the U.K. cannot scratch

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Though everyone is confident of the U.K. heading out of the European Union, no one is sure about exactly how it will happen – or what it will look like. And much like actual divorces, Brexit has been a long drawn-out and messy ordeal that is now tentatively earmarked to occur by the end of October this year. However, the ... Read More »

UK says Iran tried to intercept British tanker

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London : Iran has tried to intercept a British oil tanker, forcing a Royal Navy warship to intervene, the UK said. British authorities have arrested the captain of an Iranian tanker it seized last week for violating EU sanctions. Iranian forces tried to stop and divert a British oil tanker as it crossed into the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, ... Read More »

UK: Opposition Labour Party calls for second Brexit referendum

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Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the United Kingdom’s next prime minister must put their Brexit plan to a second referendum on membership of the European Union. In a letter to party members on Tuesday, Corbyn said the new ruling Conservative Party leader and prime minister “should have the confidence to put their deal, or no-deal, back to ... Read More »

Iran demands UK release of oil tanker held in Gibraltar

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Iran has condemned the “illegal” seizure of an oil tanker by the United Kingdom in Gibraltar and demanded its immediate release. A senior Iranian foreign ministry official “described the UK move as unacceptable” in a meeting with the British ambassador, who had been summoned to hear a formal protest, the ministry said in a statement on Friday. He “called for ... Read More »

Barclays censured by UK watchdog over treatment of small businesses

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Barclays must reimburse smaller businesses compensation that amounts to a drop in the ocean compared with the bank’s own income after it broke rules that were designed to protect the companies, the UK’s competition watchdog said on Thursday. The UK bank must dole out a total of £2,000 to affected business premium account and deposit account holders to make up ... Read More »

UK construction industry suffers worst month in a decade

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Britain’s construction industry slumped to its worst monthly performance in more than 10 years in June as building firms blamed the Brexit crisis for a lack of new work. Housebuilders joined civil engineering firms and commercial building contractors to warn that a wait-and-see approach to commissioning new projects across the public and private sectors had hit the industry. Most construction ... Read More »

We don’t need a withdrawal agreement for a deal with the EU

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Most people assume that a deal with the EU would mean getting some changes to Theresa May’s thrice-rejected withdrawal agreement (WA). This kind of deal faces three huge problems. First, timing. Negotiating changes to the WA with the EU, and then getting the necessary legislation through Parliament in time to leave the EU on Oct 31, would be quite impossible. ... Read More »

Bank of Ireland to sell its UK credit card business for £530m

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Bank of Ireland has sold its British credit card portfolio to digital finance company Jaja Finance for around £530 million. The portfolio comprises existing Bank of Ireland UK, the AA and Post Office-branded credit cards. Bank of Ireland said the group had entered into a separate long-term agreement under which Jaja will become the issuer for the AA and Bank ... Read More »

U.K. Government Watchdog Slams Tax Office Over Brexit

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A U.K. government watchdog slammed the tax office for poor handling of Brexit preparations. In its annual report, the Public Accounts Committee, a bipartisan panel made up of lawmakers who review government spending, criticized Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for lack of communication with businesses that could be adversely affected if the U.K. leaves the European Union without a deal. ... Read More »

UK Caribbean overseas territories signs new customs organisation treaty

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CBC Director Charles Clifford and CCLEC Permanent Secretary Albert Sandy look on as the UK Ambassador to Cuba signs the treaty (Photo courtesy Aaron Smith) GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CNS) – Britain’s ambassador to Cuba, Antony Stokes, signed up most of the UK’s Caribbean Overseas Territories to a new Caribbean Customs Organisation (COO) recently at the 41st Annual Caribbean Customs ... Read More »

Report suggests new agri-food area for Ireland, UK

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A new shared food safety and animal health area taking in the island of Ireland and the island of Great Britain as a whole should be created to prevent the Irish backstop taking effect, according to a report by a UK non-government body of MPs, academics, trade and customs experts. The report suggests that such an arrangement would mean remove ... Read More »

UK signs OTs up for regional treaty

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Britain’s ambassador to Cuba, Antony Stokes, signed up most of the UK’s Caribbean Overseas Territories to a new Caribbean Customs Organisation (COO) recently at the 41st Annual Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) in Havana. The treaty provides a legal framework to formalise and enhance an existing MOU first signed in 1989. It allows for the 36 signatories to cooperate ... Read More »

Irish border: UK expert panel to advise on post-Brexit arrangements

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The UK government has appointed a panel of experts to advise on alternative arrangements for the Irish border after Brexit. Alternative arrangements refers to ways of maintaining a soft border without close regulatory alignment between the UK and the EU. It is normally used to refer to technical or technological solutions. A group of Brexit-supporting MPs has already set up ... Read More »

New rail freight service is to be launched from port in region

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A NEW rail freight service has been launched from a North-East port. PD Ports, which has its headquarters in Middlesbrough, has launched a dedicated rail freight service between Teesport and Doncaster in partnership with GB Railfreight, for its major customer Containerships – Intra-European leader of multimodal transport. The new service is responding to the growing demand for Teesport as the ... Read More »

UK settles £1.3bn lawsuit with Iran’s Bank Mellat, ending 10-year dispute

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The UK has settled a £1.25bn damages lawsuit brought against it by Bank Mellat over sanctions imposed by the British government in 2009 that prevented it doing business with the UK financial sector because of its alleged links to Iran’s nuclear programme. The two sides reached a compromise late on Monday that dealt with all outstanding matters in the claim, ... Read More »

Brexit Strikes a Bum Note for U.K. Artists as EU Gigs Dry Up

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LONDON—For the U.K.’s legions of musicians, from jobbing French horn players to stars of opera and the indie scene, a no-deal Brexit hits a bum note. An abrupt and messy break between the U.K. and the European Union is back on the cards now that hard-core Brexit fans are jostling to succeed Theresa May as prime minister. Such a split, ... Read More »

UK business plays a crucial role in meeting the 2050 net-zero target

A demonstrator waves a Union flag and a European Union flag as they take part in a march calling for a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal, in central London on October 20, 2018. - Britons dreading life outside Europe gathered from all corners of the UK to London on Saturday to try to stop their country's looming breakup with the EU. (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N / AFP)

The UK set its first climate change target back in 1997 under the Kyoto Protocol. With a commitment to reduce emissions by 12.5 per cent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012, the target allowed for incremental decarbonisation efforts as opposed to an economy-wide transition. Nonetheless, the UK managed to reduce its carbon intensity (tonnes of carbon emitted per unit ... Read More »

Liam Fox warns WTO is ‘in crisis’ as businesses told to brace for no-deal Brexit

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The US-China trade war, industrial strife and political deadlock all threaten to overwhelm the World Trade Organization, putting the future of the institution and the system of free trade in mortal danger, Liam Fox has warned. World leaders need to “seize the opportunity” to resolve the crisis, opening up trade rapidly to boost economic growth and spread prosperity, the International ... Read More »

No-deal Brexit could see UK ‘flooded with cheap copies of British goods’

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Britain could be flooded with cheaper foreign copies of UK goods in a no-deal Brexit, a leading manufacturing group has warned. A representative of the Make UK trade body said some of the key intellectual property (IP) rules protecting UK products from imitations by rivals may lapse if Britain left the EU without an agreement in October. Sean Nevin, chief ... Read More »