UK government to table legislation to safeguard language as revival gains momentum
Gregory Campbell, a Democratic Unionist party MP in Northern Ireland, once expressed his scorn for the Irish language with six words that became infamous: “Curry my yoghurt, can coca coalyer.”
He coined the gibberish phrase in 2014 during an address to the Stormont assembly to mimic and deride nationalist colleagues who began speeches with “go raibh maith agat, ceann comhairle”, which means “thank you, chairman”.
Cross-party group aiming to shore up support for NI protocol is welcomed in Dublin, but DUP meeting expected to be frosty
Unionists have responded with scorn and scepticism to a US congressional delegation that is attempting to shore up support for the Northern Ireland protocol.
The Democratic Unionist party (DUP) led accusations on Monday that the nine-strong delegation, which includes Democrats and Republicans from the House of Representatives and Senate, was partisan and out of touch.
Exclusive: Health leaders call for uplift for lowest-paid staff to prevent ‘mass exodus’, as dental services also face workforce crisis
The NHS faces a “mass exodus” of thousands of staff to better-paid jobs in pubs, shops and supermarkets as a result of the cost of living crisis, ministers have been warned.
Health leaders fear significant numbers of lower-paid workers will leave for higher wages in the private sector amid rising food and heating bills and soaring inflation. The NHS already has 110,000 vacancies, and there are fears that a further deepening of the workforce crisis will “jeopardise” the ability of hospitals to tackle record-high waiting lists.
Foreign secretary tells Richard Neal, chair of the US Congress ways and means committee, that she cannot let the Brexit impasse drag on
Liz Truss is resisting pressure from a close ally of Joe Biden not to rewrite the Brexit deal’s Northern Ireland protocol, saying she will not let the impasse “drag on”.
The foreign secretary is facing concerted pressure from senior US politicians on the issue. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, has already warned that she could endanger any hopes of a free trade deal with America.
Nine-strong team led by close Biden ally will visit Brussels, Dublin and London in significant intervention on division over NI protocol
One of Joe Biden’s closest allies is due to arrive in London on Saturday as part of an influential US congressional delegation seeking to calm tensions over Northern Ireland.
The nine-strong delegation includes Democratic and Republican delegates from the House of Representatives and Senate including members of the powerful ways and means committee chaired by Richard Neal, who will lead the group.
João Vale de Almeida warns of retaliation if UK passes law disapplying aspects of agreement
The EU ambassador to the UK has rejected Liz Truss’s demand that the Northern Ireland protocol be rewritten, and issued a blunt warning of retaliation if the government passes a law disapplying aspects of the agreement.
“Unilateral calls for unilateral; action calls for action,” João Vale de Almeida told journalists at Westminster.
Inflation has jumped to 9% putting renewed pressure on the government to take action on the cost of living crisis. John Harris is joined by Guardian columnist Gaby Hinsliff and the Guardian political correspondent Peter Walker to talk about what the government might do, finally
This live blog is now closed. You can find our latest cost of living stories below:
Starmer says PM ‘choosing to let people struggle’ with cost of livingPMQs – snap verdictSunak to tell CBI dinner that businesses will get tax cut in autumnTemporary VAT cut among options considered for cost of living crisisInflation likely to experience further ‘bump’, cabinet minister warnsEU ‘overzealous’ with checks under NI protocol, says Rachel Reeves
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the international trade secretary, has warned that inflation will experience a further “bump” before prices are likely to stabilise.
In a Q&A after delivering a speech on green trade at Bloomberg’s HQ in London, she said countries around the world were facing a “a global battle against inflation”. She went on:
This is something we have to tackle across the board.
And the worry we always have is that inflation tends to have two bumps to it.
Pascal Lamy says row is solvable if PM stops using emotional Brexit politics to solve ‘technical problem’
Boris Johnson’s row with the EU over Northern Ireland’s Brexit arrangements is “absolutely solvable” but only if the UK accepts that a border is inevitable, the former head of the World Trade Organization has said.
But Pascal Lamy said the prime minister could only achieve a breakthrough if he stopped mixing “oil and vinegar” and throwing emotional Brexit politics on to what he said was essentially a technical problem.
Analysis: leak blindsided US officials, caused shock waves in Europe and appears to have annoyed No 10
Given that it has just announced a bill that could spark a trade war in the middle of a cost of living crisis, it is remarkable how often members of the government say that what they want is for everyone to calm down.
The intention to legislate is now formally announced but when the bill will be seen by MPs is intentionally unclear. The Northern Ireland secretary, Brandon Lewis, says it was never meant to be this week. Of course it wasn’t. Now the only commitment is “before the summer”.
Brussels vows to respond with ‘all measures at its disposal’ as Liz Truss sets out plan to make changes
The European Commission has raised the spectre of an economically damaging trade war with the UK, pledging to respond with “all measures at its disposal” if Liz Truss presses ahead with a plan to rewrite the Northern Ireland protocol.
The foreign secretary set out plans on Tuesday to table a bill that would make key changes to the protocol, including waiving all checks on goods flowing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland where they are not destined for the Republic of Ireland.
Speaking at an event to mark the completion of London's new Elizabeth tube train line, Boris Johnson said he wanted to fix the Northern Ireland protocol and would work with EU partners to do so. The prime minister added that the government's 'higher duty' was to the Good Friday agreement and peace process, and that he would work to 'ensure the east-west trade and the integrity of the UK internal market'
Today’s politics news – live updatesUK to table bill to scrap Northern Ireland Brexit protocol, Liz Truss says Continue reading...
Liz Truss has said the government will announce 'in due course' how a law to amend the Northern Ireland protocol implementation that the government is proposing does not breach international law.
The government will announce new legislation 'in the coming weeks', but said she is open to further talks with the EU. Speaking for Labour, shadow Foreign Office minister Stephen Doughty said it was 'deeply concerning' the government would break the treaty and put the relationship between the EU and UK in a downward spiral
Foreign secretary confirms plans to ditch parts of deal, saying Good Friday agreement ‘under strain’
Today’s politics news – live updates
Liz Truss has claimed the east-west relationship between Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been “undermined” by the Northern Ireland protocol, as she confirmed plans to table legislation that would scrap parts of the agreement.
The UK foreign secretary, who is also responsible for Brexit, set out plans for the move in a statement in the House of Commons. The bill is not expected to be published for several weeks, but if enacted could spark a trade war with the EU.
Questions over whether win would bring a united Ireland closer, or if it could lead to complete collapse of assembly
Today’s UK political news – live
The Northern Ireland elections for the Stormont assembly could result in a historic shift in the balance of power.
With less than a fortnight to go before the election on 5 May Sinn Féin is in pole position to overtake the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) and become the largest single party in the devolved government.
After a century of friction, the party of Irish republicanism has finally rid itself of the whiff of sulphur and cordite
Brendan Behan, the Irish playwright, poet and novelist, said the first item on the agenda of any new Irish republican organisation is “the split”. Since its founding in 1905, Sinn Féin has been bedevilled by splits. There have been so many – some lethal – that the organisation has been through at least seven iterations in the last 117 years, some so radical that it is hotly contested whether today’s party has any connection with Sinn Féin 60 years ago, let alone the original Sinn Féin.
Nevertheless, today’s Sinn Féin (SF) successfully claims the mantle of Irish republicanism. It presents itself as the guardian of the mystical phoenix flame of Irish republicanism, like the mythical bird which gains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.
Proposed changes could provoke accusations from EU that UK is breaching international law
Boris Johnson is preparing a “fix” to set aside some of the Northern Ireland Brexit arrangements in a high-risk move that could provoke a row with the EU and lead to further accusations that the UK is breaching international law.
The prime minister told reporters in India that the UK is ready to take measures if necessary to “fix” the deal with the EU governing post-Brexit trading arrangements with Northern Ireland.
Brexit opportunities minister raises possibility of dramatic intervention after Stormont assembly elections
The UK will “reform” the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol if the EU will not, Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned, raising the possibility of a dramatic intervention after the assembly elections in a fortnight’s time.
The Brexit opportunities minister said he could not reveal any more due to the sensitivities of the Stormont election in Northern Ireland, where tensions have flared over the protocol.
Temperatures to fall and rain forecast for some areas as weather returns to normal for April, Met Office says
Monday is expected to herald a drop in temperatures and rain for some areas of the UK at the end of an unseasonably warm Easter weekend.
Temperatures were expected to reach the high teens on Sunday, with the possibility of even higher in the south after Good Friday was the warmest day of the year so far, with 23.4C recorded in St James’s Park in London – warmer than Ibiza.
Playhouse to stage Beyond Belief in 2023 to ‘say a proper goodbye’ to late SDLP leader who helped persuade IRA to give up arms
A musical drama about the life of John Hume, one of the main forces behind the Good Friday agreement, will be staged next year to mark the 25th anniversary of the historic deal that helped end 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland.
Beyond Belief, written by Damian Gorman with music by Brian O’Doherty, is the second part of a “peace-building trilogy” at the Playhouse in Hume’s home town, Derry, after The White Handkerchief, a play about the events of Bloody Sunday, earlier this year.
Polls suggest republicans on course to win most votes for first time in Stormont elections – and provide first minister
Northern Irish politics are on the brink of an inflection point on 5 May if the latest polling proves correct, ending a century in which the largest party in Northern Irish politics has come from the unionist community.
Instead Sinn Féin, a party that campaigns for a united Ireland, seems likely to win a historic victory, becoming the largest party in Stormont.
Ormeau, South Belfast: Its mellifluous melody has been an inspiration for poets and musicians, but what of its lesser-known, scratchy follow-up?
It’s still dark, but the dawn chorus is in full swing. This performance, however – except for a thin descant of robin – comprises a single thrush species. Elsewhere, song thrush (Turdus philomelos) or mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus) would be joining in by now, but around this urban garden, the blackbird (Turdus merula) commands the stage.
Although their ancestors were shy forest creatures, since the 19th century there has been widespread movement of blackbirds into cities. Their population densities are now higher in urban environments than in the countryside. Increased competition for territory rouses more urgent strains, but they can’t override the melody.
Architect planner who helped create the new town of Craigavon in Northern Ireland in the 1960s
The Scottish architect planner Sandy Bannerman, who has died aged 94, devoted almost all his long career to the UK’s new towns. His most important role was as chief architect planner to the Craigavon Development Commission, charged with creating a new city in Northern Ireland in the mid-1960s.
Great Britain was transformed in the 50s by new housing, schools and even new towns, yet little had changed in Northern Ireland. Terence O’Neill, the moderate unionist prime minister appointed in 1963, saw modern planning as a means of levelling up the disparate community and introducing new industries.
Bestselling author who achieved huge success with his 1975 wartime thriller The Eagle Has Landed
Under his own and several other names, including Jack Higgins, Harry Patterson had published 35 thrillers before, in his mid-40s, he hit the jackpot with The Eagle Has Landed (1975), an instant bestseller in the US, which is said to have sold more than 50m copies worldwide.
Its success carried Higgins, who has died aged 92, into tax exile in Jersey, to a mansion overlooking St Aubin’s Bay, from where he was to write a popular thriller almost annually, his books guaranteed to find a place in every airport departure lounge in the world.
In her first novel, the acclaimed short-story writer draws on the Northern Ireland of her childhood, merging unspeakable times with tough humour and romance
It’s the early 1970s, a time when the Carpenters are playing on the radio, the Milk Tray man epitomises sophistication and, in the small town outside Belfast where teacher Cushla Lavery lives with her mother, bombings and beatings fill the headlines. At 24, she is able to recall a time before the Troubles, unlike her class of seven-year-olds at the Catholic primary school, whose vocabularies already include words such as gelignite and internment.
Theirs is a “mixed” town, but community relations teeter on a knife edge. At the family’s pub, run by Cushla’s brother, Eamonn, Paras pointedly grind their cigarette butts out in the carpet and the “ould lads” propping up the bar reminisce about the second world war, “because this war was unspeakable”.
ONS data reveals about one in 13 people had virus in week ending 2 April, with only Scotland seeing fall
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The number of Covid-19 infections remains near or at record levels in most of the UK, with only Scotland experiencing a drop, figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed.
The ONS data, based on swabs collected from randomly selected households, shows that, for the second week running, about one in 13 people across the UK are thought to have had Covid – an estimated 4.88m infections.
With final season of Channel 4 sitcom about to air, Derry residents hope it will leave lasting legacy
After four years of jokes, memes, acclaim, and debate about whether Protestants really do keep toasters in cupboards, the imminent final season of Derry Girls is prompting bittersweet valediction in Derry.
The Channel 4 TV sitcom that became an unexpected global hit after airing in 2018 cast a warm haze over Northern Ireland’s second city that inhabitants hope will linger beyond the third season, which starts next week.
Company cancels sailings between Fishguard in south Wales and Rosslare in Ireland until 12 April
Travel disruption continues for lorry drivers and holidaymakers on the Easter getaway, after the ferry company Stena Line was forced to suspend all sailings between Fishguard in south Wales and Rosslare in Ireland to fill the gaps left by the continued suspension of P&O Ferries services.
Stena has cancelled all sailings between the Pembrokeshire port and the Republic of Ireland until 12 April.
Met Office warns of potential travel disruption due to ice in north-east and east of England as temperature dips below zero overnight
Wintry weather is set to continue this weekend, with further snow and sleet forecast across the east of the UK, after a light dusting fell in south-east England on Friday morning.
Temperatures will stay low on Friday evening, plunging to -1C (30F) in northern Scotland and the east Midlands by early morning on Saturday, resulting in widespread frost. There will be rain and sleet in the west that will keep temperatures slightly warmer, and some hill snow over Wales, possibly also landing in lower altitudes.