Connect with us

New Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said Britain should be ‘unashamed of our direct investment in communities across Scotland’.


2 min read

Boris Johnson is to stamp the Union flag on major schemes in Scotland from next year — in a move dismissed as “posturing” by the SNP.

The Telegraph reports that the national symbol will sit alongside the Saltire on projects funded by the UK government, and will replace the European Union symbol that currently adorns Brussels-backed infrastructure schemes.

New Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said the move — which comes ahead of Holyrood elections in 2021 — would show Britain was “unashamed of our investment in Scotland”.

Mr Ross told The Telegraph’s Chopper’s Podcast that he wanted to show the “visual connection” between UK Government money and schemes in Scotland.

“We should be unashamed of our direct investment in communities across Scotland.

“We will see that, through the shared prosperity fund, that is the money that the EU used to earmark for projects in Scotland and other parts of the UK.

“If they could have an EU flag on it, why not have the United Kingdom flag on it to show that here is an example of our two governments in Scotland, working together, and the UK Government delivering for individual communities and projects the length and breadth of the country?”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack confirmed the plan had been signed off by Number 10 and the Cabinet Office, and would kick in once Britain leaves the transition period with the European Union next year.

“Where there is direct investment or joint investment between the two governments, you would expect to see the Union Jack sitting alongside the Saltire,” he said.

But the SNP’s Tommy Sheppard branded the plan “political tokenism and posturing of the worst order”.

He added: “It would probably be counterproductive because there is no point trying to force the union flag down people’s throats in the hope that they would like it. 

“If the Union is so great, they should not need constantly to use the flag to promote it.”

The move is the latest push by the British government to emphasise the benefits of Scotland remaining in the United Kingdom amid polls showing rising support for Scottish independence.

Last week Chancellor Rishi Sunak paid his first visit to Scotland in the job, where he talked up the impact of the Treasury’s coronavirus support schemes in “every corner of the UK”.

The SNP said the trip showed ministers were in “full panic mode” ahead of next year’s Holyrood vote.

Source link

0
Continue Reading

Politics

Nearly 100 whales die in mass stranding in New Zealand

201125041656 new zealand whales mass stranding 112520 super tease

Some 97 whales and three dolphins died in the stranding, which conservation department staff were alerted to around midday local time on Sunday.

A power outage and the remote location of New Zealand’s most eastern islands, around 500 miles east off the country’s South Island, meant Department of Conservation rangers did not arrive at Waitangi West Beach until 3 p.m., officials said.

“Only 26 of the whales were still alive at this point, the majority of them appearing very weak, and were euthanized due to the rough sea conditions and almost certainty of there being great white sharks in the water which are brought in by a stranding like this,” biodiversity ranger Jemma Welch said in a statement.

Pilot whales — small, toothed whales with a bulging forehead, a short snout and pointed flippers — are sociable creatures, and live in groups of dozens, hundreds or even thousands.

Two more whales were stranded on Monday and also had to be euthanized, the Department of Conservation said, adding that the whales will be left to decompose naturally.

Sri Lanka rescues 100 beached whales after mass stranding

Representatives from the Indigenous Hokotehi Moriori Trust and Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri Iwi Trust performed a karakii/karakia — a prayer, or incantation — to honor the spirit of the whales on Sunday, the department added.

Mass strandings are common on the Chatham Islands, according to the department, which said that up to 1,000 animals died in a stranding in 1918.

In September, more than 450 pilot whales beached in Tasmania, Australia, in that state’s largest ever beaching. At least a third died during rescue attempts.

Source link

0
Continue Reading

Politics

Rubio calls Biden’s national security team ‘polite & orderly caretakers of America’s decline’

201124 marco rubio gty 773

In recent days Biden has announced plans to nominate Antony Blinken as secretary of State and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations — jobs whose occupants require Senate confirmation. The president-elect has also named Jake Sullivan as his national security adviser, a White House role on which the Senate has no say.

Blinken, Thomas-Greenfield and Sullivan join a handful of other high-profile nominees — former Secretary of State John Kerry among them — who have thus far been light on surprises and heavy on experienced hands and veterans of the Obama administration. Biden has not yet announced his pick for Defense secretary, a centerpiece of the national security apparatus, despite widespread speculation that the job would go to Michèle Flournoy.

Rubio ran for president in 2016 and remains one of the GOP’s highest-profile lawmakers. The Florida senator, a child of Cuban immigrants, has been especially vocal on issues related to foreign policy, and his concern about the U.S. relationship with China dovetails with one of the Trump administration’s basic international relations tenets.

Biden has vowed to counter China’s growing influence on the world stage while breaking from President Donald Trump’s unconventional approach to foreign affairs — especially with regard to the United States’ traditional allies, whom Trump at times has alienated and cajoled.

But the president-elect has to walk a fine line with his choices for administration posts that need Senate approval given the razor-thin margins in the chamber and the likelihood that nominees will need to garner Republican support to win confirmation. Some Republican senators have recently indicated a willingness to sign off on Biden’s Cabinet selections — while warning they will sink nominees they believe to be out of the political mainstream — potentially defusing what would be an early standoff in Biden’s presidency.

Source link

0
Continue Reading

Politics

The Finance Watchdog Says There’s “Evidence” Neither Ministers Or Businesses Are “Fully Prepared” For Brexit

bigben a657oz nuqq4j

Chancellor Rishi Sunak made no mention of Brexit in his economic update


3 min read

The Office for Budget Responsibility has warned there is “evidence” that ministers and businesses are not prepared for “imminent changes” to the economy from Brexit.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has come under fire for failing to mention the potential impact of Brexit on the nation’s finances during the spending review, despite the OBR warning a no-deal outcome was a “material risk”.

The watchdog, which modelled a 11.3% contraction of the economy, said the figures were based on a presumption that ministers would strike a free trade deal with Brussels ahead of the 31 December deadline.

But it said the “unresolved nature” of the talks meant that “other outcomes are possible, including that no agreement is reached and the UK defaults to trading with the EU on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms from 1 January 2021.”

The finance watchdog concluded that under that scenario the UK’s GDP would be reduced by a further 2% in 2021, “due to various temporary disruptions to cross-border trade and the knock-on impacts”.

It added: “As these abate, the longer-term effects of lower trade instensity continue to build such that output is 1.5% lower than our central forecast after five years, and 2% lower in the long run…”

The analysis also found that a no-deal scenario would see borrowing likely rise by a further 0.5% of GDP from 2021-22.

And under its worst case scenario, which would also see vaccines failing to control the pandemic, the OBR predicted the additional impacts of a no-deal would lead to national debt reaching 126.3% of GDP by 2025-26.

“The degree of near-term disruption to economic activity associated with defaulting to WTO terms depend in part upon the preparedness of the Government and businesses to manage any additional administrative, regulatory, and customs requirements,” the report said.

“While both have had more time to prepare than when we last considered these issues in our [earlier report], they have also been distracted by the need to deal with the disruption caused by the virus.

“This is likely to have taken up personnel and resources at some businesses that would have otherwise been used to prepare for a no deal Brexit, while also running down cash reserves and inventories making them more vulnerable to shocks,” it went on.

Meanwhile, pointing to work carried out by business groups, the OBR said there was “evidence” that ministers and businesses were still not prepared for Brexit related disruption, even if a deal is signed.

The watchdog added: “We continue to assume that the UK and EU conclude a free-trade agreement (FTA) and that there is a smooth transition to the new trading relationship after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. However, there is evidence that neither the government nor businesses are fully prepared for the imminent changes even if a deal is agreed.”

Hitting out at Mr Sunak’s failure to address Brexit during his economic update, shadow chancellor Anneliesse Dodds, said: “In less than 40 days, we’re due to leave the transition period. Yet the chancellor didn’t even mention that in his speech.

“There’s still no trade deal. So does the chancellor truly believe that his government is prepared and that he’s done enough to help those businesses that will be heavily affected?”

Source link

0
Continue Reading

Trending