Beyond England

Irish Brexit
The Irish economy would come under ‘significant stress’ if the UK crashed out of the EU without a deal next March, the country’s foreign minister said yesterday. Simon Coveney also told the Irish broadcaster RTÉ that the backstop solution for the border with Northern Ireland was the only workable option. He said the Irish government had not made any further plans...
Northern Ireland

Stormont power vacuum halts Northern Ireland reforms

Vital education, health and housing reforms in Northern Ireland are being thwarted by the power vacuum at Stormont, the province’s top civil servant has said. The devolved power sharing Government of Northern Ireland collapsed in January last year after a row between the two main parties. With the Westminster government unwilling to reimpose direct rule, civil servants have been making day-to-day...

Brexit deal will be devastating for Scotland, says Sturgeon

Scotland will be left worse off if the UK government’s draft Brexit agreement is passed by Parliament, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said. She said the SNP’s 35 Westminster MPs...

Slate region of Wales could become a World Heritage site

Iconic locations such as the Great Barrier Reef and Taj Mahal could be joined on a list of World Heritage sites by the slate quarries of Gwynedd, Wales. The county’s...

End of Severn Bridge tolls make M4 relief road ‘inevitable’

Millions more vehicles will cross the Severn Bridge between England and Wales every year after tolls come to an end in December, a government study claims. The change will force...
Scottish issues

Thousands oppose new Trump plan for Scottish golf course

Thousands of people have objected to plans for a huge housing estate at United States President Donald Trump’s golf complex near Aberdeen. The Trump Organisation wants to build 550 homes, golfing chalets and a sports centre next to the Trump International Golf Links north of the Scottish city. Planners have received more than 3000 objections and another 19,000 people have signed...
Conservatives

‘Top Scottish Tories could resign over May’s Brexit deal’

Two senior Scottish Conservatives are said to have threatened to resign if any Brexit deal includes different arrangements for Northern Ireland. Tory leader in Scotland Ruth Davidson and Scottish Secretary David Mundell have written to Prime Minister Theresa May claiming any such arrangement would undermine the UK’s integrity. The BBC reports that both are prepared to quit if Northern Ireland has...
Elections

Welsh Assembly moves closer to lowering voting age to 16

The Welsh Assembly has taken a step closer to giving the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds from 2022. They are also considering renaming the Assembly ‘The Welsh Parliament’ as part of a package of reforms due to be put before AMs for approval. If 40 of the 60 AMs say yes, Wales will follow Scotland in lowering the voting age, increasing...
Brexit

Scottish MPs will back People’s Vote on Brexit, says Sturgeon

The Scottish National Party’s MPs in Westminster will back any vote in Parliament to hold a second Brexit referendum. Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the pledge on a ‘People’s Vote’ on any final Brexit deal as cross-party support grows for it nationwide. She also reiterated that her MPs would vote against the final Brexit deal as currently proposed by Theresa...
Wales

No deal could push Wales towards independence, says new leader

Wales could move towards independence from the UK if it crashes out of the EU without a deal, the new leader of nationalist party Plaid Cymru has warned. Adam Price, who replaced Leanne Wood, told The Guardian last week that no deal would spell economic disaster for the Welsh. He described a hard Brexit as a “cataclysm that is heading our...