Ford has announced plans to close an engine plant in Wales, dealing yet another blow to a UK industry that is being ravaged by weak car sales and uncertainty over Brexit. The US automaker said it would shutter its plant in Bridgend by September 2020, when a contract to supply engines to Jaguar Land Rover ends. Some 1,700 people work at the factory.
President Trump mixed high-level diplomacy with schoolyard taunts as he arrived early Monday morning at Buckingham Palace as part of a packed overseas agenda that includes an audience with Queen Elizabeth II and D-Day commemoration ceremonies. Juxtaposed against that scene, however, was an opening scrap between Trump and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who penned a critical column of the president he called a “global threat.” Trump will be in the U.K. from Monday to Wednesday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which comes at a tumultuous time in British politics, with Prime Minister Theresa May due to step down on Friday.
The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a boy, the Duke of Sussex has announced. He said Meghan and the baby were doing “incredibly well”, adding that they were still thinking about names for the infant, who was delivered at 05:26 BST. The baby boy is seventh in line to the throne, behind the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and his children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – and Prince Harry. The baby is a dual citizen, having automatically acquired US citizenship, via Meghan, at birth. He is the Queen’s eighth great-grandchild.
British Prime Minister Theresa May summarily fired Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson Wednesday after an investigation into leaks from a secret government meeting about the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. An investigation was launched last week after newspapers reported that Britain’s National Security Council, which meets in private, had agreed to let Huawei participate in some aspects of Britain’s new 5G wireless communications network. Williamson, 42, insisted he was not the source of the leak.
Britain’s exit from the European Union looks set to be delayed by as long as a year in a blow for Theresa May that risks a destabilizing backlash at home. European Council President Donald Tusk rejected May’s request for a brief postponement to the U.K.’s membership, saying it would create a “rolling series of short extensions and emergency summits, creating new cliff-edge dates.” Leaders will finalize the length of the delay to Brexit at a summit on Wednesday.
Theresa May has promised Tory MPs she will quit if they back her Brexit deal. She told backbench Tories: “I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended in order to do what is right for our country and our party.” The PM said she knew that Tory MPs did not want her to lead the next phase of Brexit negotiations “and I won’t stand in the way of that”. But the DUP said it had not changed its position and would still vote against the deal.
For the second time in as many months, British lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce deal with the European Union. Tuesday’s defeat came only 17 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the 28-country bloc. Lawmakers rejected her deal 391 to 242, which was similar to the previous vote. They are now set to decide in the next few days whether to leave the E.U. without an agreement — an idea likely to be rejected due to its potentially devastating economic impact — or to ask the E.U. to delay Brexit beyond the scheduled March 29 departure date.
British ISIS bride Shamima Begum’s baby died Friday of pneumonia after being rushed to hospital with a lung infection. The 19-year-old and newborn Jarrah had recently been living at a desert refugee camp after being told she had been stripped of her British citizenship. A paramedic at the scene told the BBC the baby was having breathing difficulties and was taken to hospital along with Begum on Thursday morning. Innocent Jarrah, who was a British citizen, is now the teen’s third child to die after she fled the UK to join up with the terror group in Syria.
Ireland’s police service said on Tuesday it was helping British colleagues investigate who mailed three small bombs to two of London’s airports and a major rail station on Tuesday. No one was injured by the devices, one of which caused a small fire in an office building at Heathrow Airport, Europe’s busiest air hub. The packages were posted from the Republic of Ireland, according to a senior European government source, and Ireland’s police service confirmed it was helping British police to investigate.
Shamima Begum, who joined the Islamic State group in Syria aged 15, is to lose her UK citizenship. Whitehall sources said it was possible to strip the 19-year-old of British nationality as she was eligible for citizenship of another country. Her family’s lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, said they were “disappointed” with the decision and were considering “all legal avenues” to challenge it. She was found in a Syrian refugee camp last week after reportedly leaving Baghuz – IS’s last stronghold – and gave birth to a son at the weekend.