UK designs common plan to celebrate Christmas amid pandemic

The Government of the United Kingdom has started talks with the regional administrations in order to agree on a uniform program of social measures against the coronavirus during Christmas. Executives from Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast are participating in the negotiation that is being coordinated by British Cabinet Minister Michael Gove. All attendees agree on the “importance” of allowing reunions of family and friends living in different homes on Christmas, according to the Cabinet office.

The aim is to facilitate the creation of social “bubbles” “for a reduced number of days”, while continuing to instill a message of “caution” in the face of the persistent risk of contagion. “The ministers recognize that it is not going to be a normal holiday period,” the statement underlines.

The details of the agreement that the four governments hope to reach this week were not advanced yesterday. Each territory has adopted its own program and schedule of restrictions to deal with the second wave of Covid-19. Lifting the ban on travel within the UK is one of the common priorities for the month of December.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce the ‘winter plan’ against the coronavirus in England in a statement scheduled for today in the Westminster Parliament. The current phase of general lockdown ends on December 2 and no extension is planned, Downing Street said. But neither will it mark the end of social or economic constraints.

Consequence analysis

The official roadmap points to the return of the regional or local system of restrictions. The three-tier bands created in October will be maintained, but prohibited activities in each stratum will be reinforced. It is further anticipated that a vast majority of English districts will be subjected to the strictest regulations after the lockdown, which began on November 5.

The prime minister also faces a group of rebellious conservatives – around 70 deputies – who demand an analysis of the economic consequences of the new limitations. “We cannot support more restrictions until the Government demonstrates the impact they will have in slowing down the transmission of Covid and that they will save more lives than they are taking,” former minister and head of the Brexit hard sector, Steve Baker, tweeted.

Treasury Minister Rishi Sunak dismissed the lawsuit, reinforcing the government’s likely reliance on Labor votes to approve the new package of measures. A concession from Johnson is not ruled out when he specifies the days in December when he hopes to relax the social limitations against covid-19.

The United Kingdom exceeded the peak of 1.5 million coronavirus infections, after adding 18,662 new cases yesterday. In addition, 398 people who tested positive have died in the last 28 days. Both figures are lower than those recorded on Friday, although there are usually delays in data collection during the weekend. The total number of deaths, which rose to 54,751 on Sunday, is the highest in Europe.


UK says it will not sign a Brexit deal “at any price”

London, Nov 22 (EFE) .- The British Minister of the Economy, Rishi Sunak, said this Sunday that reaching an agreement on Brexit with the European Union (EU) would help mitigate the economic difficulties created by the pandemic, but warned that London will not sign a pact “at any price”.

Expectations that both sides of the English Channel will reach a pact on their future relationship have increased after the president of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, indicated this week that there has been a “greater progress” in the “important matters” of the negotiation.

In this regard, Sunak confirmed today in an interview with the BBC that “progress” is being made in the dialogue.

“I maintain the hope that we can come to fruition,” said the Minister of Economy, for whom “it would be preferable to have an agreement because it would facilitate things in the short term.”

He also told “The Sunday Times” newspaper that the UK is experiencing an “economic shock” due to the pandemic and cannot continue to increase its debt indefinitely.

In the spring, the government must “return to sustainable public finances,” stressed Sunak, who this week will make public its economic priorities for the next fiscal year.

Despite the added difficulties that the United Kingdom may face if it has not ratified a pact with the EU by December 31, when the Brexit transition period ends, the minister argued that they will not accept a pact at “any price”.

“That would be the wrong way,” said Sunak, who assured that London has been “completely reasonable, consistent and transparent” in the dialogue with Brussels.

“We simply want a treatment similar to the majority of the rest of the countries that also make trade pacts with the European Union,” the minister stressed.


Pandemic puts UK decentralization in check

Guillermo Ximenis

London, Nov 21 (EFE) .- The management of the coronavirus pandemic has put the young British decentralization system in check, by straining the balance of powers between the four nations that make up the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland from North.

The repeated disagreements between London and the autonomous governments have brought to the fore in recent months the lack of coordination mechanisms between administrations in a State that does not have a written constitution.

Against this backdrop, calls have multiplied among experts to shore up the decentralized architecture designed by Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair just over twenty years ago, when the autonomous parliaments of Edinburgh and Cardiff were founded, and autonomy was regained in Ireland. of the North after the 1998 peace accords.

One of the most notable criticisms has come from the current British head of government, the conservative Boris Johnson, who has infuriated many this week by saying that Blair’s decentralization was a “mistake” and the autonomy of Scotland, in particular, has resulted. a disaster”.

His comment comes at a time when both the pandemic and Brexit (the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union) have driven Scottish independence to a record high of 58% in polls.

Supporters of secession in Wales have also advanced, up to 25%, and calls have been fueled for a future consultation on Irish unification in Ulster.


“During the first two months of the pandemic, there was a lot of cooperation between the autonomous governments. They thought that it would be in everyone’s interest to work together, although there was little mutual trust,” Michael Kenny, director of the Institute of Public Policies of the University of Cambridge.

“Very soon, that cooperation that the United Kingdom Executive was managing collapsed and each government tended to follow its own direction and make its own decisions,” the expert explained.

One of the first public signs of the conflict that was about to erupt came on May 10, when Johnson announced his roadmap to phase out the confinement measures that he had decreed a month and a half earlier.

The prime minister did not mention on a single occasion that his announcement affected only England, since it lacked the powers to make those decisions on behalf of the rest of the British nations.

For the first time in the health crisis, Scotland, Northern Ireland Wales had decided to deviate from the central government’s plan and make a slower de-escalation.

Most British people listening to Johnson that day “probably didn’t know he was talking only about England,” Jessica Sargeant, an analyst at the Institute for Government think tank, told EFE.

“That not only caused practical problems for those who did not understand that the averages were not applied to them, but also caused strong rejection in the administrations with transferred powers,” added the expert.

“This has been a very important moment in the history of decentralization. The self-government system is still not well understood in the UK,” Kenny said.


One of the recurring complaints among autonomous administrations during the coronavirus crisis has been their lack of power to adapt economic aid to companies and citizens to their own health plans.

This experience will lead to “governments and many citizens of these regions demanding more powers,” says the professor from the University of Cambridge.

In the case of Scotland, “it seems that what has produced is an increase in support for the idea of ​​becoming completely independent from the United Kingdom”, while in Wales there has also been a “surprising advance in support” for the break, he stresses .

The Welsh drift “is truly unexpected, because the arguments for independence there are not as strong. Economically, Wales is dependent in many respects on England and is much more administratively integrated” than Scotland, Kenny added.


The difficulties that have come to the fore with the pandemic have led various experts to demand that the Government accelerate its plans to create new coordination mechanisms between administrations.

“The emergence of the coronavirus has exposed problems with the informal constitution of the United Kingdom, among them the lack of clarity on the balance of powers between the central government and the rest of administrations, as well as the lack of homogeneity in decentralization”, Andrew Blick, director of the Department of Economic Policy at King’s College London, told Efe.

In this regard, Michael Gove, Minister of the Cabinet and Johnson’s “number two” in the Conservative Executive, has assured that his intention is to promote a reform of the governance structures to place the relations between London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast on ” a firmer foundation. ”

In 2018, the conservative government of Theresa May launched a process to review the coordination and cooperation mechanisms between administrations.

“A long time has passed, but there has not been much progress,” said Sargeant, who believes that there is an “urgent need to reform the structures that allow various governments to meet and discuss ideas.” EFE

gx / er / jac



| Q: POL: es-ES: 11024000: Politics: Politics (general) |




Who is Gabriel González Andersson, the most wanted Spaniard in the United Kingdom?

Gabriel González Andersson is the most searched Spanish at the moment in United Kingdom. British newspapers and televisions have been publishing all week about this Spanish businessman. A television in the country stands guard at the home of González Andersson’s parents, located in the luxurious urbanization of The morale, in Madrid.

The reason for the expectation that the Spanish has raised is its role as an intermediary in million dollar purchases of sanitary material for the British Health System. González Andersson was hired by the American jewelry designer Michael Saiger to mediate operations for the sale of masks, gels, gowns or gloves during the first months of the pandemic.

The Spaniard received more than 21 million pounds sterling for his work on two contracts with the British Government. In June, the American jeweler signed three more agreements to supply more material to the British health service, which would have caused González Andersson to have received another 15 million pounds in consulting fees. According to what has been published, disagreements between Saiger and the Spanish businessman have ended in court.

González Andersson appears named in the ‘Emperor case’ due to a police error, say sources close to the Spanish businessman

The matter has caused a stir in the United Kingdom, due to the millionaire amount paid by taxpayers to an intermediary. As in Spain, also the government of Boris Johnson has been questioned for the lack of transparency and competition in the multi-million dollar purchases of medical supplies made during the first shaking months of the pandemic.

This newspaper has verified the presence of González Andersson in various Spanish companies related to export and import business. Business sources consulted place it as an intermediary for operations for more than a decade of Spanish companies in China.

Until this week, a photograph of him, of his face, appeared on the Internet, but after jumping the case in the British tabloids, the image has been withdrawn. It featured a handsome man in his 40s, wearing a tie and jacket, and combed back.

‘Emperor case’

British media attention for González Andersson has been raised when, this week, Vozpópulipublished that the name of the Spanish businessman appears in the last order of the Court of Instruction number 4 of the National Court on the Emperor case.

In that car, González Andersson is mentioned as one of the people who would act in one of the three plots of the Emperor case, looking for clients interested in launder money. The Spanish businessman was never charged.

This newspaper has contacted a person very close to González Andersson. And he assures that his name appears in that car due to a police error, “because he was a neighbor of an investigated person and the police mistook González Andersson’s name for the address.”

In the car of last July, the judge Jose Luis Calama dictated the transformation into an abbreviated procedure of the case, a previous step for open trial and seat the 105 people on the bench investigated. They are accused, among other crimes, of criminal organization, money laundering or falsification of commercial and public documents.

The Emperor case is possibly the largest case of money laundering investigated in the last decade in Spain, linked to Chinese mafias. Sources close to González Andersson insist that his presence in the judge’s order is a mistake: “We have tried everything, written to the court and to the Police, but they say that by appearing in the investigation it cannot be eliminated,” they explain.


Government takes further preparatory measures for the UK’s withdrawal from the EEA single market in investment services and activities

Vaduz (ots) – At its meeting on November 17, 2020, the government approved an amendment to the Banking Ordinance (BO). With this measure, banks or investment firms domiciled in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are permitted, even after the United Kingdom has left the EEA internal market, to provide investment services and activities as well as ancillary services in accordance with Annex 2 Sections A and B of the Banking Act (BankG) To provide counterparties or professional customers (such as banks) in Liechtenstein.

This measure is a further step towards cushioning the possible negative effects of the United Kingdom’s exit from the EEA internal market. As a result of this measure, Liechtenstein banks, for example, can continue to obtain certain services from banks or investment firms in the United Kingdom even after January 1.

Banks or investment firms from the United Kingdom must notify the Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority (FMA) of commencement and termination of these activities in Liechtenstein.

This government measure is based on Art. 46 of Regulation (EU) 600/2014 (MiFIR), which applies in Liechtenstein on the basis of the EEA Agreement. According to this provision, the EEA states may allow third country firms to provide investment services or activities together with ancillary services for suitable counterparties or professional clients resident in their territory within the meaning of Annex II Section 1 of the MiFID Directive, in accordance with national regulations, provided (and as long as) the European Commission has not made a corresponding “equivalency decision”.

The regulations adopted today will come into force on December 1, 2020 and will initially apply until December 31, 2022 or until a corresponding equivalence decision comes into force at EEA level.

Press contact:

Ministry of Presidency and Finance
Markus Biedermann, General Secretary
T +423 236 60 09

Original content from: Principality of Liechtenstein, transmitted by news aktuell
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UK to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles from 2030

LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Britain to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars and vans from 2030, five years ahead of schedule, following the so-called “green revolution” that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering leading. carried out in order to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050.

FILE PHOTO: An exhaust pipe in the City of London, UK, on ​​December 2, 2016. REUTERS / Peter Nicholls

Johnson, who is grappling with Europe’s deadliest crisis in the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit trade negotiations and the departure of his top adviser, wants to underscore his green credentials as part of what he hopes will be a rethink. of your Government.

“Now is the time to plan for a green recovery with highly skilled jobs that give people the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to make the country cleaner, greener and more beautiful,” Johnson said in a column published Tuesday in the Financial Times.

The United Kingdom last year became the first G7 country to set a net zero emissions target by law by 2050, which will require major changes in the way Britons travel, use energy and source food. .

In total, the plan would mobilize 12 billion pounds ($ 16 billion) of government money, and the amount from the private sector would triple that amount. The project would create 250,000 highly skilled green jobs by 2030, according to Johnson.

The new date for the ban on new gasoline and diesel cars has been set for five years ahead of the one foreseen and promised by Johnson, in February 2035.

An additional 200 million pounds would create industrial clusters that would bring together technology to capture, store and use carbon dioxide emissions by the mid-2020s. Two other centers are also being projected for 2030, leading to total investment in the technology. to 1 billion pounds.

Johnson, who has pledged to increase the UK’s offshore wind power to 40 gigawatts by 2030 – from 10 gigawatts today – pledged to contribute up to £ 500 million for projects testing the use of hydrogen, including heating and cooking. .

The government would also help develop large and small-scale nuclear plants.

Johnson’s plan was applauded by the industry.

“It gives a springboard to the huge investment opportunities across the UK and the green jobs that a true low carbon economy can bring,” Josh Hardie, Acting Director of the Confederation of British Industry, said in a separate statement.

Information from Susanna Twidale; edited by Guy Faulconbridge and Edmund Blair; translated by Andrea Ariet in Gdansk


Spain plays the third foreign market for its cars with the green acceleration of the United Kingdom

Advancing the date on which the United Kingdom will ban the sale of diesel and gasoline cars to 2030 threatens consequences for the Spanish automobile industry, since it will mean a radical change in the market of one of the main destinations for vehicles made in Spain. The new date will mean a new acceleration of British plans, since in February the current prime minister Boris Johnson it has already advanced the cap from 2040 to 2035.

This new date of 2030 puts the United Kingdom ahead of France and Spain, which have dates of 2040, and in line with Ireland and the Netherlands, according to the European Climate Foundation. The only country with a more ambitious goal is Norway, which has a date of 2025. The sale of hybrid vehicles “that can travel a significant distance without emissions” will continue to be allowed until 2035.

According to the automobile association Anfac, around 13% of Spanish vehicle exports ended up in British territory in 2019, about 327,186 vehicles. It is also one of the main export destinations for Germany (12.6%), Belgium (20.4%) and France (7.6%), according to data from the UN Comtrade database.

In 2018, the Spanish automotive sector exported last year worth 5,635 million euros to the United Kingdom, and represents a little more than 30% of total trade with the country. 79% comes from the sale of vehicles and the remaining 20% ​​from components, according to ICEX.

In 2018, 287,422 vehicles, worth € 4,118 million, left our factories for British dealers. In return, only about 80,000 “made in Britain” cars ended up in our country, with a combined value of 1,486 million euros. The result was a positive balance for Spain of 2,632 million in 2018, but that has been reduced, due to the reduction in exports, since the country held the exit referendum, in 2016, when it reached 3,359 million.

«” As Europe’s second-largest car market, pushing the UK combustion car recall date forward will cause ripples far beyond our borders. Most of the more than 2 million cars sold in Britain are imported, this The decision sends a strong signal to the market “, according to Jonathan Marshall of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.” In the UK alone, almost 30,000 jobs will be created


The United Kingdom advances the veto on the sale of diesel and gasoline vehicles to 2030

Traffic on a UK motorway.

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced this Tuesday that The UK to ban the sale of new cars and vans with diesel and gasoline engines from 2030, ten years earlier than previously expected.

The hybrid vehicles capable of traveling “significant distances without emitting carbon dioxide” will continue on sale until 2035, the Government advanced in a statement, which plans to invest 1,300 million pounds (1,450 million euros) in accelerating the expansion of electric charging points.

The measure is part of a strategic environmental plan, the details of which will be released this Wednesday, with which Johnson wants “create and support” 250,000 jobs in the UKor, that next year it will host the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.


Generational change in the UK community

The outbreak of the pandemic disrupted travel and meetings. He hasn’t even been able to visit the island yet the ambassador, Hugh Elliott, appointed in September last year, who in June became an intense day of telematic meetings on tourist reactivation on his first virtual visit to the Balearic Islands, including a Mallorcan breakfast and a lunch with a lobster stew that he tasted at his residence.

Meanwhile, the British community with residence certificates has grown in the Spanish State. At the end of 2019 there were 366,498, with an increase of 2% (more than 7,000).

Generational change in the UK community

In the case of the Balearic Islands, the British with a valid registration certificate or residence card, as of June 30, amount to 29,532 residents (8% of the total in Spain), according to the latest report from the Ministry of Inclusion, Security Social and Migrations. The previous figures pointed to about 22,000 in the islands, about 17,000 in Mallorca. The islands are the third province with the largest British population – after Alicante and Malaga – and the first with respect to the German (32,266 with residence, concentrating 18% of the total).

“There could be up to 60,000 British people” in the archipelago, according to estimates from the closest groups, says Kate Mentink, president of the Association of Foreign Residents in the Balearic Islands. “There are many who at the last moment” they want to legalize their residence “because there is little time left”.

The British also points to a phenomenon driven by Brexit. «Many older people have preferred to return due to the uncertainty, but other younger ones, between 40 and 45 years old on average, come for the better quality of life». This is confirmed by real estate companies, moving companies, the presence of schoolchildren in public and private schools and aid organizations, says the former councilor of the Calvià city council. “The Middle Ages have changed a generation,” he maintains.

No employment contracts

Kate Mentink reviews all the meetings that have taken place since 2016 to inform the British community about Brexit. “They thought it wasn’t going to change anything, but it’s not true.” There are several problems when becoming non-EU. “There are people who have resided for years but have no documentation to prove it, or who lack employment contracts or financial means.” The British woman congratulates the Immigration Office for “the bilingual team” that helps her community.

Meanwhile the British Embassy continues with an extensive campaign with advertisements in social networks, newspapers, radios and podcasts to inform their citizens. In addition, it has organized online dissemination sessions that exceed 70,000 people mainly to “understand the process of applying for the TIE card”, it is indicated. The British are scattered throughout the island, but the most important communities are in Calvià, Pollença, Sóller and Palma.

The British Government finances Age in Spain to support the most vulnerable in the Balearic Islands and will continue to support them “until well into 2021,” they add from the Embassy.

Among British businessmen there is also a double concern, since Brexit is added to that of the pandemic due to temporary workers who will arrive in the 2021 tourist season, many from the nautical sector, Mentink points out. Brexit is almost a reality.


UK is ready to sell £ 200 million quick tests as a ‘pass’ to go to events


Updated:11/14/2020 01:42h


The UK is ready to launch a new step in managing the coronavirus pandemic, with the purchase of 200 million rapid tests that would allow people to know, in just 15 minutes and after paying five pounds (6.6 euros) if they are a carrier of Covid-19. If the result is negative, the person may have a special pass to attend sporting or cultural events that same day and in the same city. This was reported by the newspaper “The Daily Telegraph”, which ensures that the Government of Boris Johnson has placed an order for approximately 60 million rapid test kits for January, and at least 192 million more insured for March.

Scientists say that this test could detect around three out of four cases positive for Covid, with an accuracy of 95% in people who have a high viral load, which makes them more contagious, a percentage that however falls in those with a lower viral load. If the test is finally made available to the population, experts believe that it would be key to loosen the strongest restrictions to stop the outbreak, as long as people are correctly oriented on how to perform the test so that the results are correct.

John Bell, a professor of medicine at Oxford, explained that “these easy-to-use and inexpensive tests can play an important role in our fight against Covid-19” by “identifying those who are more likely to spread the disease“And when used” systematically in mass testing could reduce transmissions by 90%. ” In the same vein, Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor of the public contact tracing system, the NHS Test and Trace, stated that these rapid tests “are proving to be accurate and reliable, and, more importantly, they are capable of detecting Covid-19 in people without symptoms who could be transmitting the virus to others without knowing it. The first beneficiaries would be the residents of nursing homes, whose relatives would be subjected to the test so that they can finally visit them.

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