Benjamin Fox

Coronavirus 06-04-2020

The Brief – The quiet revolution

Partisan politics has been one of the collateral victims of the coronavirus crisis. So preoccupied were most Britons by the coronavirus, albeit understandably, that the quiet revolution was barely noticed.
Coronavirus 03-04-2020

UK opens first COVID hospital but criticism of testing plans mount

The UK opened its first emergency field hospital to combat the coronavirus pandemic on Friday (3 April) but the government continues to face growing criticism about its plans to increase testing for the virus.
Global Europe 02-04-2020

The Brief – Solidarity with the South

‘Solidarity’ is one of the most overused words in EU discourse. There’s plenty of talk of needing it to combat the health and economic challenges of the coronavirus. What a shame that when it comes to actions, solidarity is in...
EU-Africa 02-04-2020

‘Put aid on the table’ to halt Nigerian killing

With the biggest economy in Africa, Nigeria should be a key partner for Brussels as the EU seeks to overhaul its political and trade ties with Africa. But terrorism and insecurity that plague the country continue to be a concern.
EU-Africa 01-04-2020

Pressure builds for EU to back new African debt relief programme

African finance ministers want the European Union, International Monetary Fund and World Bank to support a multi-billion debt relief programme for the continent amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Economy & Jobs 27-03-2020

The Brief – Comrade Corona

A few months ago, the universal basic income was a left-wing pipedream. Now governments across Europe and beyond are preparing to pay people between 60% and 80% of their salary for the next few months.
Coronavirus 27-03-2020

Boris Johnson tests positive for COVID-19 with ‘mild symptoms’

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the first European leader confirmed to have contracted the virus.
Coronavirus 26-03-2020

UK ‘putting Brexit over breathing’ as Johnson opts out of EU COVID scheme

The UK government has been accused of ‘putting Brexit over breathing’ after it confirmed it had opted out of an EU joint procurement scheme for urgently needed medical equipment to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus 23-03-2020

‘You must stay at home,’ UK cracks down on movement to curb COVID

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people that "you must stay at home" and drastically restricted movement on Monday (23 March) to curb the spread of coronavirus, as fears grew that people were not sufficiently respecting guidance on social distancing.
Coronavirus 20-03-2020

The last continent to face up COVID-19, Africa ‘needs to wake up’

As Europe and North American countries go into self-imposed economic and social lockdown to curb the coronavirus pandemic, Africa remains the continent least affected by the virus. Still, a raft of African governments were quick to impose travel bans on airlines carrying passengers from Europe last week.
Economy & Jobs 19-03-2020

The Brief – This time, no bazooka is too big

Boris Johnson wasn’t the only one being criticised for responding slowly to the social and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus.
Coronavirus 17-03-2020

UK unveils ‘wartime’ €400 billion COVID bailout programme

The UK unveiled an unprecedented £350 billion (€400 billion) financial rescue package to “support jobs, incomes and businesses” on Tuesday (17 March), in a bid to offset the economic damage unleashed by the coronavirus crisis.
Coronavirus 17-03-2020

Brexit talks cancelled due to COVID crisis, UK confirms

UK and EU officials on Tuesday (17 March) cancelled the second round of post-Brexit trade talks planned for this week 
Coronavirus 16-03-2020

Johnson puts UK in lockdown in Coronavirus U-turn

Prime Minister Boris Johnson performed a dramatic U-turn on Monday (16 March) and put the UK on lockdown to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, dropping his controversial 'herd immunity' approach and following the lead of continental Europe.
Coronavirus 13-03-2020

The Brief, powered by APPLiA – British exceptionalism

Whoever said that British exceptionalism would end with Brexit? While the continental cousins put themselves on self-imposed lockdown – closing schools and ordering people to work and stay at home as much as possible, it is almost business as usual across the Channel.
Brexit 13-03-2020

French polls – a reminder of post-Brexit voting limbo

France’s municipal elections on Sunday (16 March) will be a major test for President Emmanuel Macron in the wake of the popular protests by the gilets jaunes and over controversial pension reforms. They will also be the first such polls in which British citizens in France will not be able to vote.
Brexit 11-03-2020

Coronavirus set to derail Brexit talks, UK minister admits

The spread of the coronavirus epidemic is set to derail post-Brexit trade talks between London and the EU, UK Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove admitted on Wednesday (11 March).
Brexit 10-03-2020

Britain to table draft UK-EU trade pact, seeking to pressure Brussels

The UK will table its own free trade pact with the EU in a bid to up the ante on Brussels at next week’s second round of negotiations on post-Brexit relations.
Cities & regions 09-03-2020

EU unveils ‘partnership plans’ for new Africa strategy

Partnerships on ten policy areas are at the heart of the EU’s plan “Towards a comprehensive strategy with Africa,” launched on Monday (9 March). The paper will start a seven-month negotiating process with EU and African leaders, with a view to agreeing a partnership agenda at an EU African Union summit in October.
Brexit 06-03-2020

New reports urge EU, UK to clarify Brexit ‘no man’s land’ on citizens’ rights

Campaigners have urged European governments and the UK to clarify their 'confused' policies to guide UK citizens living in the EU through the post-Brexit “no man’s land”, following the publication of two new reports on Friday (6 March).
EU-Africa 06-03-2020

Post-Cotonou delays complicate EU’s new African vision

The European Commission will next week publish its EU-Africa ‘strategy’, which the bloc hopes will form the basis of a new ‘partnership’ with the African continent. EU Foreign Affairs chief Josep Borrell will launch the blueprint on Monday (9 March), kick-starting seven months of negotiation between ministers and leaders from the two continents. 
Brexit 28-02-2020

Beyond the belligerence, a Brexit deal is closer than it looks

Belligerence is in the air. Talks on future EU-UK relations will kick off next Monday (2 March) with the two sides looking as far apart as ever. There is scope for the gap to be bridged though.
Brexit 27-02-2020

We will walk away if no deal likely in June, Johnson warns EU

The UK has threatened to walk away from Brexit trade talks and head towards WTO trading terms with the EU if a draft deal is not in place in June, according to the mandate published by Boris Johnson's government on Thursday (27 February).
Brexit 25-02-2020

Brexit deal will be ‘difficult’, Barnier says as ministers agree mandate

The EU and UK formally agreed their negotiating mandates for talks on a new trade and political partnership on Tuesday (25 February), setting the stage for a bruising battle on regulatory standards.

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