UK & Ireland

Politics 23-06-2022

Commonwealth in crisis

The threat of an institutional crisis hangs over this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, with UK prime minister Boris Johnson leading the campaign to replace the organisation’s incumbent Secretary General Baroness Patricia Scotland, a Labour member...

Irish businesses to receive help to move away from fossil fuels

Dublin will help businesses in Ireland move away from fossil fuels and towards more sustainable replacements with a fund worth €55 million. The Green Transition Fund, part of Ireland’s EU-financed National Recovery and Resilience Plan, will be comprised of helping...
Politics 17-06-2022

Bank hikes interest rates in bid to curb inflation spike

The Bank of England on Thursday increased interest rates to 1.25% in a bid to head off spiralling inflation, which has hit 9% and is likely to rise further in the coming months. Read also: Europe’s central banks jack up interest...
Politics 16-06-2022

Ireland, Microsoft join forces to boost national cybersecurity

Ireland’s government has joined a programme run by tech giant Microsoft to strengthen national resilience against cyberattacks. The Microsoft Government Security Programme facilitates information exchanges on threats and vulnerabilities, access to source code, and technical details about Microsoft products, which...
Politics 16-06-2022

Ministers ‘undeterred’ by human rights court block on Rwanda asylum flights

UK ministers insist that they will press ahead with plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda as part of a £120 million deal, despite the first flight to east Africa being cancelled on Tuesday following a last-minute intervention by the...
Politics 15-06-2022

Scottish leader sets out fresh plans for independence from UK

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday announced plans for a “different and better vision” of an independent Scotland after unveiling a paper on Scottish independence that would set the scene for the debate on the second referendum. The SNP...
Politics 14-06-2022

Dublin blasts UK for protocol legislation move

Dublin has sharply criticised the UK government for moving ahead with legislation facilitating the unilateral setting aside of parts of the Northern Ireland protocol. Read also: UK could face EU sanctions over new NI protocol bill “UK Government now proposing to...
Politics 13-06-2022

Dublin welcomes Council of Europe’s criticism of UK’s ‘Troubles’ legacy bill

Dublin has welcomed a decision by the Council of Europe to request details from the UK on how proposed legislation that would grant conditional immunity to those accused of Troubles-era offences will comply with the European Convention on Human Rights....
Politics 13-06-2022

Ministers play down controversies in Protocol bill

UK ministers insist that the new bill designed to allow them to override parts of the Northern Ireland protocol will not break international law ahead of its publication on Monday. Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis told the BBC on Sunday...
Politics 10-06-2022

Johnson took ‘wrecking ball’ to UK-Irish relations, says British opposition leader

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken a “wrecking ball” to UK-Irish relations in handling the Northern Ireland Protocol, opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer said while visiting Dublin. Starmer was speaking about London’s plans to push ahead with legislation that...
Politics 09-06-2022

Unilateral UK action on protocol would be ‘historic low point’, says Irish PM

Unilateral action by the UK to scrap parts of the Northern Ireland protocol would mark a “historic low point”, Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheál Martin told MEPs in an address to the European Parliament on Wednesday. The UK government reportedly plans to...
Politics 08-06-2022

Ireland joins international trial of four-day work week

Thousands of workers in Ireland have begun trialling a four-day week after the country joined an international test of the system. Ireland joins the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as the only EU participant in the six-month-long pilot...
Brexit 08-06-2022

UK prepares for life without Horizon Europe ahead of ‘last round of talks’

The UK government is preparing to abandon its attempts should ‘a last round of talks’ fail to break an 18 month impasse on whether UK universities and researchers can access the EU’s €95.5 billion Horizon Europe research and innovation programme.
Politics 07-06-2022

Johnson survives confidence vote but faces long goodbye

Boris Johnson survived a confidence vote triggered by his own party on Monday evening that may well have left his leadership fatally undermined. The vote, which was triggered on Sunday after 54 Tory lawmakers, 15% of the Conservative parliamentary party,...
Politics 06-06-2022

War paves way for new EU ‘defence format’, Ukraine’s deputy PM says

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna has called for an ambitious agenda that could include “a new security and defence policy of the EU”. Stefanishyna attended the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) party’s 2022 congress, where Ukrainian...

Urgent action needed if Ireland to meet climate targets, agency says

Urgent and additional measures are needed if Ireland is to meet the climate targets it has set for itself, the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said in a newly released report. According to the EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions projections 2021-2040, published...

Ireland facing ‘different era’ of high energy prices, says PM

Newly agreed EU sanctions on Russian oil and gas are likely to herald a “different era” in terms of fossil fuel prices, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned. Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday (31 May) while attending the European Council summit,...
Politics 01-06-2022

UK’s Rwanda cash for migrants deal to start in mid-June

The first plane of asylum seekers being deported from the UK to Rwanda under a controversial cash for migrants agreement is expected to leave on 15 June, the UK government confirmed on Tuesday 31 May. Home Office officials confirmed that...
Politics 31-05-2022

Speaker unelected over Northern Ireland Protocol concerns

The Northern Ireland assembly failed to elect a new speaker on Monday after the Democratic Unionist party repeated that it would not vote on a speaker until its concerns about the Northern Ireland protocol had been resolved. The speaker cannot...
Politics 30-05-2022

Ireland confirms first monkeypox case

Ireland confirmed its first case of monkeypox this weekend in the east of the country as cases rise across Europe. The case was detected in the east of Ireland, the country’s Health Service Executive (HSE) said on Saturday (28 May),...

Government unveils windfall tax to fund £400 energy discount to all

Every household will get an energy bill discount of £400 in the autumn as part of a series of government handouts to be financed in part by a new 25% levy on oil and gas firms, the government announced on...
Politics 26-05-2022

Par-European rights watchdog alerted after Irish opposition leader sues broadcaster

An alert has been registered in the Council of Europe’s (CoE) press freedom platform after the head of Sinn Fein, Ireland’s largest opposition party, launched a defamation suit against broadcaster RTÉ. Mary Lou McDonald, leader of Sinn Féin, filed the...
Politics 26-05-2022

Johnson survives ‘partygate’, again

Boris Johnson appears to have survived the final report into lockdown-breaking parties and social gatherings in his Downing Street residence at the height of the COVID pandemic on Wednesday but the prime minister may well have suffered terminal damage to...
Politics 25-05-2022

Johnson faces Gray day

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to face the verdict on lockdown-breaking parties on Wednesday, when Sue Gray, the senior civil servant tasked with investigating parties held at his Downing Street residence at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, is...