Tag Archives: Britain

Pound rockets to three-month high against dollar as Brexit Britain

Pound rockets to three-month high against dollar as Brexit Britain

The pound rose to about $ 1.42 for the first time since February in early London trading, and at 0802 GMT was up around 0.5 percent on the day at $ 1.4207. But, it was only just up 0.1 percent against the euro, at 85.9 pence per euro. It comes as Britain’s unemployment rate fell again to 4.8 percent between January and March, while the UK was under strict lockdown rules, and hiring rose further in April.

The data also supported the belief that Britain would see an incredibly strong economic recovery from the pandemic, helped by the swift vaccine rollout.

Currency analyst Lee Hardman wrote in a note to clients: “Broad-based US dollar weakness has seen cable trade above the 1.4000-level for the longest period since April 2018.

“Our bullish outlook for the pound is based on the assumption that the UK economy will bounce back strongly, so we will need to monitor the latest COVID developments closely as they potentially pose downside risks.”

Simon Harvey, FX analyst at Monex Europe, said: “At the moment we’re seeing the latest leg higher in cable being driven by the broad sell-off in the US dollar.

“At the same time you’ve got the very preliminary stages of the second reopening which is boosting sentiment but we’re yet to see it translate into how robust the economic recovery will be.”

It comes as the dollar index was at a three-month low after Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan reiterated he did not expect interest rates to rise until next year.

The UK’s performance against the dollar and the euro comes in the wake of Britain fully cutting ties with the EU at the start of this year.

But tensions between Britain and the Brussels bloc are still high over the contentious Northern Ireland Protocol, included within the agreed Withdrawal Agreement.

Cabinet Minister Lord Frost has made clear of his frustrations with the Northern Ireland Protocol, aimed at preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland.

But, it has caused issues as many within the unionist community believe the arrangement has resulted in a border down the Irish Sea.

READ MORE: State pension: Could you get up to £358 monthly for arthritis?

Lord Frost told the Commons European Scrutiny Committee the relationship with Brussels “will be a bit bumpy for a time but there is a lot of business to be done” following the conclusion of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and EU.

Elsewhere, the UK has warned full unlocking from lockdown on June 21 may be halted by the spread of the Indian variant of coronavirus.

Stuart Cole, a head macroeconomist at Equiti, said: “Key to the continued labour market recovery will be virus mutations, with concerns already being expressed that the latest variant may yet lead to some slowdown in the pace of easing.”

Scientists believe the new strain is more transmissible, but do not think it is resistant to current vaccines in use.

Although on Tuesday Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was currently no conclusive evidence to cause a delay to plans to remove coronavirus restrictions in England next month.

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“I don’t see anything conclusive at the moment to say that we need to deviate from the roadmap,” Mr Johnson told reporters.

“We’ve got to be cautious, and we’re keeping everything under very close observation – we’ll know a lot more in a few days time.”

Meanwhile, the dollar also sank to a six-year trough against the Canadian dollar.

Valentin Marinov, head of G10 FX research at Credit Agricole said: ”The dollar is on its knees and this seems to be a direct result of how investors feel about the US inflation outlook and the Fed’s reaction.”

At midday on Tuesday, the pound was 1.4189 dollars compared to 1.4125 dollars at the previous close.

And, the euro was 0.8604 pounds compared to 0.8605 pounds at the previous close.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Champions League final could head to Britain – Urgent talks over Man City v Chelsea clash

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps made the announcement this evening as he confirmed Turkey was being added to the ‘red list’ of countries, meaning fans would be unable to attend the match which is due to take place in Istanbul.
Ministers today unveiled their plans to re-open international air travel after May 17, with 12 countries given the go-ahead for Brits to travel without the need to quarantine on return.

However, at the same time, it was announced Turkey was being placed on the ‘red list’ meaning those returning must pay to quarantine at a specialised isolation hotel when travelling back to the UK.

Mr Shapps admitted placing Turkey on the do not travel list was a blow for football fans looking to support their teams in the all English final of the European Champions League.

Announcing conversations about moving the final were taking place, he said: “With regard to the Champions League it does mean I’m afraid fans should not travel to Turkey.

READ MORE: Man Utd postponement handed Liverpool Champions League boost

UEFA has so far rejected calls for the fixture to be moved.

A spokesperson for the organisation said yesterday: “The UEFA Champions League final will take place in Istanbul on 29 May with a limited number of spectators and we are assured the temporary lockdown which is in force until 17 May should not have any impact on the match.

“UEFA continues to work closely with the Turkish Football Federation and the local and national authorities to stage the match safely.

“Detailed information regarding the capacity for the match, travel and ticketing details will be communicated publicly by the end of the week.”

In an updated statement released this evening following Turkey being placed on the red list, a UEFA spokesperson said “we need a bit of time to reflect on the topic”.

Turkey was originally due to hold the Champions League final last year between Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain but the fixture was moved to Lisbon because of the coronavirus crisis.

Earlier this week Aston Villa approached the FA and UEFA to offer Villa Park for the final.

It is thought unlikely the match could be played at Wembley which is already in use for the play-off finals for League One, League Two and the Championship.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Susanna Reid rages in Good Morning Britain 'sexist' marriage row

The question of whether marriage was a ‘sexist’ and outdated institution was debated on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today after a move to modernise the tradition with the introduction of mother’s names on marriage certificates.

In England and Wales, both sets of parents now will be named in the marriage certificates of their children – formerly it was only the fathers who were named.

GMB today posed the question to invited guests to debate whether the whole institution of mixed sex marriages involving the woman wearing a white dress and being handed over from one man to another – needs to change.

And regular presenter Susanna Reid revealed it was her “personal choice” not to marry, adding: “I’ve never married and I’d like to say to the children that you’re not illegitimate, or whatever convention says.”

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Feminist actress and presenter Jeni Barnett said marriage is an old-fashioned concept

“It is a sign of love and devotion and all that romantic stuff, but the romance finishes after two years.

“What us feminists are saying is it’s ok to get married and have this wonderful romantic gesture, but you have to remain who you are, and you are not a chattel.”

The actress said she couldn’t wear a ring for the first six months of her marriage and she didn’t take her husband’s name as she didn’t want to be ‘owned’ by him.

Debbie McGee revealed as a contestant for Strictly Come Dancing 2017
Debbie McGee

“After 33 years of marriage we get on with our own lives and marriage is ok but I wouldn’t care if I hadn’t done it at all.”

Entertainer Debbie McGee, wife of the late magician Paul Daniels, however argued that marriage isn’t out-dated or sexist.

“It’s your choice these days. It’s nothing to do with a man saying ‘this is my woman’ and so much has already changed and I think it’s great. We are changing and evolving and that’s good.

“It should just be about saying ‘this is the one I love over anyone else’ and I don’t think it should be about what other people are thinking. It’s between two people.”

Many viewers agreed with Jeni, with one tweeting afterwards: “Never lose sight that are also ‘you’ and don’t let your other half dictate.

“Yes, compromise, and listen to each other, but never be a prisoner, you have the right to your own life too.”

One traditionalist posted: “My dad waked me down the aisle and was so proud. I loved it. I took my husband’s name and love that too. Tradition is not a bad thing.”

Author: [email protected] (Lisa Baxter)
This post originally appeared on Hull Live – Celebs & TV

Britain continues to be the main buyer of Russian gold

Data from the Federal Customs Service showed that Russia’s exports of gold surged 220% in March year-on-year, amounting to 26.5 tons, worth almost $ 1.5 billion.

Exports were 2.3 times higher than in the previous month, the report revealed.

The United Kingdom remained the major buyer of Russian gold, purchasing 21.1 tons, worth $ 1.2 billion. Data, however, did not show whether the purchased gold will stay in the UK or will be sent to other countries, since London is an important world hub for the turnover and storage of precious metals.
Also on rt.com Russia’s foreign exchange reserves continue to rise despite sanctions & pandemic
According to the statistics, around 1.5 tons of Russian gold has been exported to Turkey and India. The precious metal was also delivered to Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Armenia, and other countries.

Overall, Russia’s gold exports in the first quarter of 2021 amounted to 51.8 tons, worth $ 3 billion. In physical terms that’s a 72% increase from the same period in 2020.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

Lockdown rules change: Travel across Britain rule to change tomorrow – important update

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Travel across Britain will be allowed for the first time since Christmas in an exciting update. As of Monday, the new rules will come in.

Both types of meeting will be not be allowed until May 17 at the earliest.

In England currently, you are able to visit campsites and self-contained holiday accommodation with your household.

Travel to Northern Ireland should be allowed from April 30.

Foreign holidays are still not legal for Britons.

So, France may reopen its borders to international visitors sooner than expected, the Telegraph reported.

The country may well be added to the UK’s green list when the ban on international travel for Britons is lifted from 17 May.

When will the US open its borders to the UK

The vaccine rollout is going well in the US, with President Joe Biden announcing all adults have been eligible for their first jab from April 19.

Good Morning Britain viewers turning off over 'annoying' host Adil Ray

Author [email protected] (Tianna Corbin, Deborah Hall)
This post originally appeared on Hull Live – Celebs & TV

Many viewers of Good Morning Britain viewers pressed the off button when they realised that Adil Ray had joined Susanna Reid to present today’s show on ITV.

The programme has had a number of stand-in hosts after Piers Morgan resigned after a live dispute on the show, which has not yet announced a permanent replacement, reports Cornwall Live.

Recently, Adil Ray has been taking the hotspot with Susanna; however, it appears not too many people are keen with viewers today announcing they were turning over the show after seeing he was on.

One person on Twitter said: “Ugh Adil Ray on #gmb Turning off. Annoying biased rubbish presenter…. oh and a Villa Fan”. Someone else said: “Adil Ray again, No thanks.”

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Adil Ray presenting with Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain
Adil Ray presenting with Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain

It seems one person wasn’t happy with either presenter saying: “My god is this the best GMB can do Susanna Reid the most boring presenter on TV who is now going to interview her.

“And no doubt will be all joy and happiness and Adil Ray who appears to have taken the seat vacated by Piers Morgan. Sadly time to turn over again. Please replace”.

In agreement, Jenny Sunshine said that Adil is “especially woeful”.

Although it’s not yet been decided who will be Piers Morgan’s permanent replacement, after Rob Rinder’s appearance on the show yesterday, viewers were calling for him to join his friend Susanna on the panel.

One person said: “Could Judge Rinder be a new #GMB presenter?”

Another said: “”Every time Rob Rinder speaks, he goes up in my estimation. Eloquently talking about housing on #GMB”

Guy Martin claims Battle Of Britain show bosses were hoping he’d 'throw up' on camera

Guy Martin, 39, believes the bosses of his latest series Battle of Britain, hoped he would “throw up” during his “tough” training to become a fighter pilot. The Channel 4 show, which began on Sunday night, sees the presenter take on one of his toughest challenges yet, with a near disaster upon take-off.
In a new interview, the motorcyclist admitted the experience was like nothing he’s ever done before in his career, pointing out the distinct differences between transport on the ground and the air.

“It sounds daft,” he said, “But the hardest thing is that in a plane, it’s all in 3D.

“On motorbikes and in cars, I’ve been used to going left and right and back and forward. Simple. But in an aeroplane, you’ve got all that plus you go up and bloody down, which was weird for me.

“The slightest touch on the controls and it moves and dips all over the shop.”

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And he thinks that the series bosses knew he may have a slight issue above the clouds.

“When we were looping the loop and doing evasive manoeuvres, you have to withstand incredible G-forces,” Guy explained.

“I ended up pulling 5G, which really makes you feel sick. The production team put a sick bag in the cockpit because I think they were hoping I’d throw up on camera!”

But that just made him more determined to pull it off perfectly.

But the fact he had an instructor with him throughout reassured him that he “wasn’t going to die”, despite being “b****y tough.”

Guy’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.

The final episode of Battle of Britain airs Sunday at 9pm on Channel 4.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

James May admitted Grand Tour stars 'mock Britain most' because they 'despair of it'

James May’s 2007 Top Gear Mercedes car is discovered by fan

The motoring journalist, 58, has presented alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Hammond for 18 years. The TV trio have travelled the world together and, during their adventures, seemingly playful scenes have unfolded on our screens. However, all may not be as it seemed after May lifted the lid on his co-stars’ opinions.
The presenters left Top Gear seven years ago after Clarkson had an altercation with a BBC producer. 

May admitted he considered staying with the corporation but there were “noises all around” that deterred him.

Amid the uncertainty of whether “they wanted us to stay”, he concluded that the stars had a responsibility to the fans.

The petrolhead said: “I quickly realised the best outcome for us was to stay together because that’s what our fans want.”


James May lifted the lid on his relationship with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond (Image: GETTY / BBC)


James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson have been presenting together for 18 years (Image: GETTY)

May described faithful viewers as their “first loyalty and our first love”.

Reflecting on the trio’s departure from the BBC, May admitted it “wasn’t a glorious moment” and it left him “a bit p***ed off”.

He claimed the “main problem” was that it “made my life more complicated”.

One of the difficulties was that May had just ordered a Ferrari 458 Speciale, a limited-edition sports car worth more than £200,000. 

JUST IN: James May branded Top Gear star’s feuds ‘camped-up pantomime’


Jeremy Clarkson’s falling out and altercation with a Top Gear producer led the trio to leave in 2015 (Image: GETTY)

Despite his initial uncertainty, he stuck with the gang and moved to Amazon Prime to launch The Grand Tour in 2016. 

But since their move, May has been considerably less tightlipped about the dynamics of the group.

He claimed it was “the sitcom element” to the trio relationship that made Top Gear, and later The Grand Tour, such a hit. 

At its peak, the BBC show was watched by more than 8.4 million people when Formula One star Lewis Hamilton appeared on the programme.

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James May claimed he was ‘not mates’ with Jeremy Clarkson nor Richard Hammond (Image: GETTY)

Since Top Gear relaunched, it struggled to replicate that same success despite having a roster of celebrity talent.

They included Friends’ actor Matt LeBlanc, radio DJ Chris Evans and motoring star Eddie Jordan.

The current line-up, which has seen a return in viewing figures, features Andrew Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris.

Lord Tony Hall, the former Director General of the BBC, admitted it had been a hard decision to let the Top Gear team leave. 


James May took swipes at Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson in a series of rants (Image: GETTY)

During an interview on The Media Show last year, he maintained the show was “very good” and predicted higher viewing figures in the future. 

Meanwhile, Clarkson, Hammond and May have continued to be much-loved fixtures on Amazon Prime.

Despite their success, which has left May worth a staggering £29million, he admitted that he didn’t like his TV colleagues.

He felt frustrated over how his career changed from being a serious and respected “car journalist” to a star of the small screen. 

Grand Tour: James May discusses ‘A Massive Hunt’ on GMB

May claimed it “all spun out of all control” as they pandered for higher viewing figures, in a 2016 Guardian article.

The star felt bitter about them being “turned into figures of ridicule” through the TV shows that made them famous. 

He claimed the change from serious journalists to TV funsters was solely “to keep the viewers happy”, which he felt was a “fair deal, I suppose”.

May revealed the trio “hated each other” and that was “the magic formula” behind their success.


James May is estimated to be worth around £29million following his TV career and other outlets (Image: GETTY)

He added: “We get on each other’s t**s massively!”

When asked if they “socialised off-screen”, May replied: “We try not to. That’s a no.”

The star compared their animosity in front of the camera to a “camped-up pantomime” but insisted their “differences” were “real”.

He added: “We’re not really meant to be together but that’s why it works.”

In a 2016 Telegraph interview, he went further to state they were “not mates” and branded Hammond “just as much as a t*** as he always was”.


James May has fronted a number of other shows for the BBC (Image: BBC)

May also took aim at Clarkson, when he said: “I have never really changed my view of Jeremy, which is that he is a knob.”

In another admission, he described how the trio played “ridiculous caricatures” of themselves for TV.

May claimed they appeared “quite Brexit-y, quite UKIP-y” because they would “laugh at foreigners” during their shows.

However, he claimed the biggest joke was against the British public. 

May said: “If you watch carefully the country we mock most is Britain because we despair of it slightly.”

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Britain mourns Prince Philip; leaders honor service to Queen

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Philip “earned the affection of generations here in Britain, across the Commonwealth and around the world.”

LONDON, UK — World leaders and people on the street honored Prince Philip’s life of service to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, and the British nation Friday after hearing of the death of a man who had been by the monarch’s side longer than most of them have been alive.
At Buckingham Palace, the queen’s London residence, members of the public laid daffodils at the gates, and the flag was lowered to half-staff. The BBC interrupted programming to broadcast the national anthem, “God Save the Queen.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Philip, 99, “earned the affection of generations here in Britain, across the Commonwealth and around the world.”
“We are a kingdom united both in grief and in gratitude,” Johnson said. “Grief at Prince Philip’s passing, and gratitude for his decades of selfless service to the country.”
RELATED: Prince Philip, husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, dead at 99
Philip, who served in the Royal Navy during World War II, married the future queen in 1947 and kept up a full schedule of public appearances until he retired in 2017. On March 16, he was released from the hospital looking tired and gaunt after receiving treatment for an undisclosed infection and a heart problem.
Known for his sharp wit, he fulfilled more than 20,000 royal engagements to boost British interests at home and abroad. He also led hundreds of charities, started programs that helped British schoolchildren, and helped raise his four children, including his eldest son, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.
Soon after the announcement of his death, people lined up outside Buckingham Palace to see the official notice that had been attached to the gate. It was removed soon afterward because of concerns that it would attract crowds, violating social distancing rules during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government later issued a statement asking people not to gather or leave flowers outside royal residences around the country to protect public health.
“I’m quite emotional actually even just talking about it,” Louisa Crook, a 41-year-old London resident, said outside Buckingham Palace. “The news broke as we were walking through Parliament Square, and my daughter and I just said we just felt like we had to come down here and just be near the palace — safely, obviously, masks and everything else — and just be close to the Royal Family today.”
Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, the most senior cleric in the Anglican Church, gave thanks to God for Philip’s life of dedicated service.
“As we recover and rebuild after the terrible trial of the coronavirus pandemic, we will need fortitude and a deep sense of commitment to serving others,″ Welby wrote. “Throughout his life Prince Philip displayed those qualities in abundance, and I pray that we can take inspiration from his example.”
Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, was among the first to offer his condolences, noting Philip’s long record of public service.
“He will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to The Queen,” Starmer said in a statement.
“For more than seven decades, he has been at her side. Their marriage has been a symbol of strength, stability and hope, even as the world around them changed — most recently during the pandemic. It was a partnership that inspired millions in Britain and beyond.”
World leaders also expressed their sadness, including Australia’s Scott Morrison, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, India’s Narendra Modi and Canada’s Justin Trudeau.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, offered condolences to the monarch and the entire royal family.
“He represented the United Kingdom with dignity and brought boundless strength and support to the sovereign,″ Bush said in a statement. “Laura and I are fortunate to have enjoyed the charm and wit of his company, and we know how much he will be missed.”
RELATED: Queen Elizabeth’s 10th great-grandchild born on home bathroom floor
RELATED: Prince Philip leaves hospital after heart procedure
France’s Europe minister, Clement Beaune tweeted, “Prince Philip was a grand figure of the century for the United Kingdom,” following his death at age 99.
“Thoughts and friendship toward the British people,” Beaune added.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has expressed his condolences on the death of Prince Philip, praising his role as royal consort as well as his charitable works.
Blair described Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, as a man who was way ahead of his time in fighting for the protection of the environment, reconciliation among religious faiths and in the creation of programs to help young people.
“Our whole nation will be united in sadness at the passing of Prince Philip,’’ Blair said in a statement. “He will naturally be most recognized as a remarkable and steadfast support to the Queen over so many years. However, he should also be remembered and celebrated in his own right as a man of foresight, determination and courage.”
Below is an interactive timeline of Prince Philip’s life:

The most luxurious retreats in Great Britain to escape to when travel restrictions lift

Many people will have been lucky enough to have saved money over lockdown, thanks to reduced or no commute costs and no opportunities to socialise. After a year of staring at the same four walls, it makes sense, then, to treat yourself to a luxury break – and Booking.com have shared the top five across Great Britain with Express.co.uk.
Cliveden House, Taplow[1]

5 star, 8.8 guest rating

The hotel where Megan Markle stayed the night before her wedding, Cliveden House is rich with royal history.

First built in 1666, today it has 47 rooms each furnished with antiques and handmade beds.

A palace with a modern touch, Cliveden House boasts the Great Hall with a grandiose fireplace and cathedral-high ceilings, as well as a modern spa with external hot tubs.

Château Rhianfa, Menai Bridge[2]

5 star, 8.7 guest rating

Set in a Grade II listed Victorian villa with its own private beach and views over the Menai Straits and Snowdonia National Park, Château Rhianfa is an unforgettable luxury staycation.

The country house has three acres of grounds, including tennis court, spa and wine cellar – where wine tasting experiences are available.

The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh[3]

5 star, 9.4 guest rating

For a truly royal stay, stay at famous The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. First opening in 1902, The Balmoral now features three restuarants, two bars, a spa featuring five treatments rooms and a Turkish steam room, as well as an exercise studio.

This hotel in the heart of Edinburgh provides the ultimate indulgent staycation.

The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath[4]

5 star, 8.9 guest rating

This magnificent hotel is a landmark of Bath, the Royal Crescent offers world-class service and features an 18th century style décor.

Embrace Bath from the comfort of the hotel in the stunning Bath House spa, with relaxation pool, salty therapy treatments, steam room and sauna.

Guests can dine at the Dower House restaurant, or enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in the picturesque landscaped gardens.

This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently, see more details here[5].


  1. ^ Cliveden House, Taplow (go.skimresources.com)
  2. ^ Château Rhianfa, Menai Bridge (go.skimresources.com)
  3. ^ The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh (go.skimresources.com)
  4. ^ The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath (go.skimresources.com)
  5. ^ here (www.express.co.uk)