UK & Ireland

Politics 23-07-2021

Irish health minister: ICUs need to prepare for COVID surge

The department of health is preparing for a surge in ICU capacity in hospitals because of the “roaring” growth in COVID-19 cases, according to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, the Irish Times reports. Donnelly compared the possible fatality rates to those in the...
Brexit 23-07-2021

Von der Leyen rejects UK bid to reopen Irish protocol

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday (22 July) insisted that the EU would not reopen the controversial Northern Ireland protocol, a key part of the Brexit agreement with the UK, just a day after Boris Johnson’s published a paper setting out its plans to renegotiate it.
Politics 22-07-2021

EU won’t renegotiate Northern Ireland Protocol

The EU will not agree to a UK demand to renegotiate the protocol on Northern Ireland, the European Commission has said after the UK demanded changes to the post-Brexit arrangements, the Irish Times reported. The deal to keep the North broadly in...
Brexit 21-07-2021

UK accuses EU of ‘seeking to undermine’ Gibraltar status

The UK government on Tuesday (20 July) accused the European Union of “seeking to undermine the UK’s sovereignty over Gibraltar”, warning that the bloc’s plans “cannot form a basis for negotiations”.
Politics 20-07-2021

Cummings: Johnson did not want to impose second lockdown last autumn

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not want to tighten COVID-19 restrictions and impose a second lockdown last autumn because he said that the people dying from it were “essentially all over 80,” the PM’s former adviser, Dominic Cummings, said...
Politics 19-07-2021

Irish PM: Delta variant situation is serious

The government is very worried about the Delta coronavirus variant and is predicting a high volume of cases, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said on Saturday, the Irish Times has reported. “The situation is serious with respect to the Delta...
Politics 19-07-2021

EU-UK lost in translation over COVID vaccine certification

COVID-19 measures are set to lift in England on Monday in what is being dubbed as “freedom day”. But there is still no freedom for EU citizens hoping to travel unhindered to the country as it does not yet recognise...
Politics 16-07-2021

Irish Deputy PM: Expect indoor dining from 26 July

Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has set the date of 26 July as the new target for indoor hospitality to open in Ireland. Varadkar anticipated the legislation to be cleared through the parliament and signed into law by this date,...
Politics 15-07-2021

Ireland begins digital COVID certificate roll-out

More than 1.3 million emails and letters containing the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate have so far been issued Irish residents who have been fully vaccinated, RTE has reported. The government aims to have 1.8 million certificates issued by Monday, Minister of State...
Politics 14-07-2021

Ireland to soon reopen indoor hospitality

The Irish parliament committee on health has voted to waive pre-legislative scrutiny of a new bill to permit indoor hospitality, which will speed up its passage through parliament, news RTE News has reported. The opposition voted against the measure, but other...
Politics 13-07-2021

Call for Ireland to recognise non-EMA approved jabs for expats

A renewed appeal has been made for Ireland to assist Irish citizens living abroad who want to return home but have received a vaccine not accepted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Irish Times reported. Fianna Fail Senator Micheal...
Politics 12-07-2021

Northern Ireland could have restrictions imposed until autumn

COVID-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland may stretch into the autumn, warned Stormont deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, saying that “cases are increasing and will continue to increase” and that officials are carefully watching how that rise translates into hospitalisation and...
Politics 09-07-2021

UK signs trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein

Britain’s government said it signed a free trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein on Thursday, its latest post-Brexit trade agreement. The signing of the deal on Thursday followed an agreement in principle reached last month by the four countries....
Politics 08-07-2021

Irish Transport Minister: Fully vaccinated UK travellers won’t have to quarantine

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has said travel from the UK to Ireland will be much easier for fully vaccinated people as they will not have to quarantine from 19 July, RTE news has reported. “For others who don’t have the...
Politics 07-07-2021

Irish PM: ‘Window of opportunity’ for NI Protocol

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin on Monday called on the UK government to engage with the EU to work out an agreement on the protocol, saying “there’s a window of opportunity now given the extension that has been granted to...
Politics 07-07-2021

London to follow Denmark’s lead on migration

The UK is set to follow the lead of Denmark in seeking to establish offshore asylum processing centres as part of new legislation. The provision to allow asylum claims to be processed outside the UK, potentially in third countries, is...
Politics 06-07-2021

Ireland will soon start using digital COVID-19 passport

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin has confirmed that the COVID-19 digital passport will be available in Ireland from 19 July, despite concerns from some government officials. “We will commence with this on 19 July, and significant progress has been made...
Politics 06-07-2021

Johnson confirms easing measures

The wearing of face masks will no longer be compulsory and social distancing rules will end in England on 19 July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday. The end of the remaining pandemic-era social restrictions will be confirmed next...
Politics 05-07-2021

Ireland: UK showing ‘no generosity at all’ in protocol row

The UK is showing “no generosity at all” to the EU in a deepening row over the Northern Ireland protocol, said Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney in response to an op-ed by Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost and London’s Northern...
Politics 02-07-2021

DUP Leader: Northern Ireland protocol threatens North’s political institutions

“The protocol threatens the stability of the political institutions. It is the problem, and that problem needs to be resolved,” DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson said in his keynote speech in Belfast on Thursday. Donaldson went on to describe the protocol...
Politics 01-07-2021

EU, UK agree on temporary deal, allowing chilled meats into Northern Ireland

The EU and Britain have announced a temporary deal that will allow uncooked meats to flow into Northern Ireland for an extra three months alongside a number of other post-Brexit changes, the Irish Times has reported. Chilled meats cannot be imported into...
Brexit 01-07-2021

Britain’s Sunak promises to sharpen City of London’s competitive edge

Britain will unveil its blueprint on Thursday (1 July) for building the world’s “most advanced” financial sector after Brexit largely severed the City of London financial district from the European Union, its biggest export customer. Finance minister Rishi Sunak will...
Politics 30-06-2021

Ireland’s FM: UK needs to ‘show honesty’ over Brexit

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has urged the UK to “show some honesty” around what it signed up to on Brexit as he warned of rising tensions among loyalists in the north, the Irish Times reported. Coveney also said that...
Politics 30-06-2021

British musicians urged to lobby the EU to get visa free travel

British pop stars should lobby the EU and European governments to ease rules allowing musicians and performers to tour the bloc without needing visas, Brexit minister David Frost said on Tuesday. Speaking at a hearing of the UK parliament’s Culture...