Tag Archives: Britain

Britain, EU closer to possible agreement on Brexit: EU diplomats

Britain, EU closer to possible agreement on Brexit: EU diplomatsThe backstop is an insurance policy designed to avoid border controls between EU member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland after Brexit. “We are also looking at updating the declaration on future EU-UK ties after Brexit to give more prominence to the ‘alternative arrangements’ sought by Britain,” said one EU diplomat who deals with Brexit. “But May won’t get any firm wording before Feb. 28.” A second diplomat, briefed on the May-Juncker talks on Wednesday evening, confirmed the EU would only signal this was the direction of travel before the British prime minister faces another round of Brexit votes in the UK parliament.



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Lawyer: Britain plans to strip IS teen of UK citizenship

Lawyer: Britain plans to strip IS teen of UK citizenshipLONDON (AP) — Shamima Begum, a London teenager who left Britain four years ago to join the Islamic State group, is to be stripped of her U.K. citizenship by the government, her family's lawyer said Tuesday.



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Britain to strip IS teen of citizenship: lawyer

Britain to strip IS teen of citizenship: lawyerBritain will strip citizenship from a UK teenager who joined the Islamic State group in Syria but now wants to return home with her newborn baby, a lawyer for her family said Tuesday. The case points to a dilemma facing many European countries, divided over whether to allow jihadists and IS sympathisers home to face prosecution or barring them over security concerns as the so-called “caliphate” crumbles. A lawyer for her family, Tasnime Akunjee, said on Twitter that they were “very disappointed with the Home Office’s intention to have an order made depriving Shamima of her citizenship,” and that they were considering “all legal avenues”.



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Isil bride Shamima Begum suggests she is prepared to go to prison if Britain allows her back

Isil bride Shamima Begum suggests she is prepared to go to prison if Britain allows her backThe schoolgirl who ran away to join Isil has indicated that she is prepared to go to prison if she gets her wish to return to Britain. Shamima Begum said that she was still determined to come back from Syria despite knowing that UK authorities have the “option” to send her to jail. In an interview with the BBC yesterday, while cradling a newborn baby, the teenager was asked what she thought would happen on her return. “My first priority is my son, obviously,” she replied. “Because I don't know whether he'd be taken away from me or they'll let me keep him or give him to my family while the UK decides what to do with me. To put me in prison, to put me in a de-radicalisation course, I don't know.” Isil bride Shamima Begum | Read more Ms Begum flew to the Middle East four years ago to join the terror group.There, she married a Dutch-born fighter with whom she had three children. Her two eldest children have died, but she reportedly gave birth at a refugee camp in northeastern Syria at the weekend. Since she was discovered, Ms Begum has faced criticism for a lack of remorse, and an apparent reluctance to disavow Isil teachings. When asked about the enslavement and rape of Yazidi women by jihadist fighters, she replied yesterday: “Shia do the same in Iraq.” Shamima Begum has indicated she is prepared to go to prison if she is allowed back to Britain Credit: Enterprise/Enterprise Later she likened the deaths of 22 innocent people in the terrorist attack on an Ariana Grande concert in 2017 to the "women and children" being bombed in Baghuz, where Isil fighters are currently making their last stand. "I do feel that it's wrong that innocent people did get killed,” she said. “It's one thing to kill a soldier that is fighting you, it's self-defence, but to kill the people like women and children… "Just people like the women and children in Baghuz that are being killed right now unjustly, the bombings. It's a two-way thing really. "Because women and children are being killed back in the Islamic State right now and it's kind of retaliation. Like, their justification was that it was retaliation so I thought 'OK, that is a fair justification'." Ms Begum said she was old enough at 15 to make her own decisions, and added that she was partly inspired by videos hostages being beheaded, and also by propaganda videos showing "the good life" under IS. Isil schoolgirl | The schoolgirl who turned to Isil She added that she had watched videos of the murders of British hostages but did not know the names of the victims. "I just want forgiveness really, from the UK,” she said. “Everything I've been through, I didn't expect I would go through that. "Losing my children the way I lost them, I don't want to lose this baby as well and this is really not a place to raise children, this camp." The teenager also admitted that her disappearance had been a propaganda coup for Isil but insisted that she did not ask to be the subject of international media attention. She said: "I didn't want to be on the news at first. I know a lot of people, after they saw that me and my friends came, it actually encouraged them. "I did hear, yeah, a lot of people were encouraged to come after I left but I wasn't the one that put myself on the news. "The poster girl thing was not my choice."



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Donald Trump demands Britain puts jihadists on trial as Isil makes desperate last stand

Donald Trump demands Britain puts jihadists on trial as Isil makes desperate last standDonald Trump has demanded Britain and its continental neighbours repatriate their captured Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighters and put them on trial – or face the terrorists being set free to "permeate Europe." In a strongly-worded message tweeted late on Saturday night, the US president warned he would have little choice but to release approximately 800 "jihadists" currently held by American-backed Kurdish forces in Syria. He said now was the time for the ant-Isil coalition partners to "step up" and take over ownership of its rogue citizens who threaten the safety of Europe. Mr Trump's remarks came as the Sunday Telegraph exclusively revealed intense concern in Washington that "time is running out" to bring the terror group’s fighters to justice as coalition forces prepare to declare victory within days. "The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial," he wrote.  The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them……..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2019 "The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them.." "The U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go. We do so much, and spend so  much – Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing. We are pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory!" Time is rapidly running out to establish a coherent strategy with Isil fighters now controlling a pocket of land just 700 metres square in eastern Syria. At its height, the terror group controlled an area the size of Britain.     In a final gesture of defiance, surviving Isil militants on Sunday laid down roadblocks around their final redoubt to prevent an estimated 1,000 civilians trapped with them from leaving.   Mr Trump predicted victory would come on Saturday, but commanders of the Syrian Democratic Forces commanders have slowed a push on the village of Baghouz with fears that civilians were being used as human shields.    SDF fighters man a checkpoint on the road leading to Bagouz, the last village under Isil control Credit:  Chris McGrath/Getty Images Europe On Saturday, the French army revealed a senior officer was facing punishment after publicly criticising coalition tactics.  Colonel Francois-Regis Legrier said an emphasis on minimizing risk to coalition personnel resulted in unnecessary civilian deaths and destruction of infrastructure that could feed resentment leading to another insurgency in future.  At least seven British Isil members, including two alleged members of the notorious ‘Beatles’ terror cell, are believed to have been captured and held in Syria. But an unknown number of others, including Shamima Begum, the 19-year-old child bride from Bethnal Green, are living in refugee camps and may also pose a threat to the UK.  According to a statement released by Miss Begum's family on Sunday, the teenager has just given birth to a baby boy. Mr Trump's comments put pressure on the British government to rethink its reluctance to commit to taking back the individuals. The village of Bagouz, Isil's ;ast enclave, is seen from an SDF hilltop position on February 14 Credit: Getty Images Europe/Chris McGrath Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary,  insisted last week he would “not hesitate” to prevent the return of anyone who supported terrorist organisations abroad. But yesterday SUN General Lord Richard Dannatt, the former head of the British Army, said the UK had an obligation to accept its citizens. “Usually I disagree with Donald Trump, but on this occasion I think he’s right. “If there are … a large number of foreign fighters in captivity in Syria who originate from countries like the UK, then they are our citizens and we have a responsibility to act responsibly towards them. That means they have got to come back to this country.” And Jeremy Wright, the Culture Secretary, echoed those views. Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, he said: "It's clear, if you are dealing with a British citizen who  wants to return to this country and they're not a dual citizen – so their only citizenship is British citizenship – then we are obliged, at some stage at least, to take them back." ENDS



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Unresolved border could threaten other trade deals, Irish PM warns Britain

Unresolved border could threaten other trade deals, Irish PM warns BritainBritain might struggle in a no-deal scenario to negotiate free trade agreements elsewhere if the Irish border question remains unresolved, a reporter from national broadcaster RTE quoted Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar as saying on Thursday. “In a no-deal scenario, the UK won’t have any trade deals with anyone, and I think it will be very difficult for them to conclude any trade deals with the question of the Irish border unresolved,” RTE’s Tony Connelly quoted Varadkar on Twitter as telling reporters in Davos.



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Lunar eclipse 2019: ‘Blood Moon’ on Monday will be the last eclipse to be seen in Britain for 10 years

Lunar eclipse 2019: ‘Blood Moon’ on Monday will be the last eclipse to be seen in Britain for 10 yearsThe Moon will turn red tomorrow as Britain experiences its last total lunar eclipse for 10 years. The eclipse will happen in the early morning of Monday January 21 when the Moon start to darken at 2.35am with full eclipse beginning at 4.40am. It will be free of the Earth’s shadow by 7.49am. It  is the last chance for UK observers to see a total lunar eclipse in its entirety until 2029. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes exactly between the Sun and the Moon creating a shadow which stops solar rays reaching the lunar surface. Spectators can expect the Moon to begin to darken slowly before turning red as it becomes completely caught in Earth’s shade. Sometimes the eclipsed Moon is a deep red colour, almost disappearing from view, and sometimes it can be quite bright. Next weeks Super Blood Wolf Moon will be the last for a decade  Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe January’s full Moon is also known as a ‘wolf moon’, a name deriving from Native American Tribes who said wolves would howl outside villages during full moons at the beginning of the year. And the eclipse will occur when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth – making it a supermoon, so it will appear 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter. In Britain the Moon will be above the horizon throughout the eclipse, though from the extreme southeast of England the Sun will have risen as it comes to an end. The red effect is due to Earth’s atmosphere. Without an atmosphere the Moon would appear black or even totally invisible when it was within Earth’s shadow. But because Earth’s atmosphere extends about 50 miles up, during a total eclipse, although the Moon is in shadow, there is a ring around our planet through which the Sun’s rays still pass. Unlike the other wavelengths the Sun's red light is scattered much less by air allowing it to travel through the atmosphere where other colours are lost. Finally it is bent by a process of refraction as it leaves the atmosphere on the opposite side, channelling it on to the Moon’s surface. Lunar eclipses always happen at a full Moon as this is when it moves behind the Earth and into line with the Earth and Sun but most of the time no eclipse takes place because the e Moon's orbit is slightly tilted so it normally passes a little above or below the Earth’s shadow.



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Britain cautions Russia not to use detained ex-U.S. Marine as pawn

Britain cautions Russia not to use detained ex-U.S. Marine as pawnPaul Whelan was arrested by Russia’s Federal Security Service on Dec. 28. “Individuals should not be used as pawns of diplomatic leverage,” British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said. “We are extremely worried about Paul Whelan.



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Britain removes word 'unlikely' from no-deal Brexit guidance

Britain removes word 'unlikely' from no-deal Brexit guidanceThe British government has removed the word “unlikely” from its official Brexit guidance telling companies and citizens how to prepare for a disorderly exit where the UK leaves the European Union without a deal. Theresa May’s government has issued a string of technical notices in recent months with advice on what needs to be done before the country leaves the world’s largest trading bloc on March 29. The notices had originally referred to the “unlikely” chance that Britain leaves the EU without a deal.



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Britain, Switzerland reach post-Brexit aviation deal

Britain, Switzerland reach post-Brexit aviation dealSwitzerland and Britain signed an agreement Monday guaranteeing that flights between the two countries can continue uninterrupted even if London opts to leave the European Union without a deal with Brussels. “We have managed to ensure a flawless transition, which is in the interest of both of our countries,” Swiss Transportation Minister Doris Leuthard said in a statement after signing the deal in Zurich with her British counterpart Chris Grayling. Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but its relations with Britain are based on a long line of bilateral agreements between Bern and the bloc.



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