Macron: Britain would be first loser in case of no-deal Brexit

admin   •   January 16, 2019   •   1786

French President Emmanuel Macron addressing mayors during debate at the Grand-bourgtheroulde, France on January 15, 2019 | Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday (January 15) Britain would be the first loser if it left the European Union without a deal, after the British parliament resoundingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit divorce agreement.

Macron was reaching the end of an almost seven-hour debate with local officials at a town hall meeting in Normandy when he was told of the result of the British vote.

After praising the head of the European Council Donald Tusk and the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, Macron said he expected Britain to eventually ask for more time to renegotiate a deal. — Reuters

China warns of consequences if UK offers residency to HK citizens

UNTV News   •   July 2, 2020

China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday (July 2) that Britain would bear all consequences for any move it took to offer Hong Kong citizens a path to settlement in the UK.

China reserved the right to act against Britain over the issue, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing, without specifying what countermeasures Beijing might take.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and that Britain would offer around 3 million residents of the former colony a path to British citizenship. (Reuters)

(Production: Joseph Campbell, Wang Shubing)

Alarm raised in UK beach resort as huge crowds ignore COVID advice

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

Authorities in Bournemouth, a popular coastal town in southern England, declared a “major incident” on Thursday (June 25) over what they called the irresponsible behavior of crowds who had ignored public health guidance on coronavirus and badly overstretched local services.

The declaration came after visitors arrived in huge numbers in a spell of hot weather, resulting in gridlock on the roads, illegal overnight camping, excessive waste, anti-social behaviour and alcohol-fuelled fights.

Social distancing measures have been in place in Britain since March to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, although the rules are due to be significantly relaxed from July 4.

With pubs still closed, many people have been heading to parks and beaches to meet friends and drink alcohol, in some cases ignoring advice to keep two metres apart.

In Bournemouth, roads were obstructed by illegal parking, crews were abused as they attempted to empty overflowing bins and 33 tonnes of waste had to be removed from the stretch of coastline in and around the town on Thursday morning.

The emergency response will involve extra police patrols, security to protect rubbish collectors, additional parking enforcement, evictions of unauthorized campers and signage on approach roads warning people not to come. (Reuters)

(Production: Iona Serrapica, Yann Tessier)

Macron extends France’s lockdown until May 11

UNTV News   •   April 14, 2020

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday (April 13) announced he was extending a virtual lockdown to curb the coronavirus outbreak until May 11, adding that progress had been made but the battle not yet won.

Following Italy in extending the lockdown but announcing no immediate easing of restrictive measures as in Spain, Macron said the tense situation in hospitals in Paris and eastern France meant there could be no let-up in the country.

Since March 17, France’s 67 million people have been ordered to stay at home except to buy food, go to work, seek medical care or get some exercise on their own. The lockdown was originally scheduled to end on Tuesday.

Schools and shops would progressively reopen on May 11, Macron said. But restaurants, hotels, cafes and cinemas would have to remain shut longer, he added. International arrivals from non-European countries will remain prohibited until further notice.

Macron, whose government has faced criticism over a shortage of face masks and testing kits, said that by May 11, France would be able to test anyone presenting COVID-19 symptoms and give nonprofessional face masks to the public.

Macron also said he had asked his government to present this week new financial aid for families and students in need.

The French, long accustomed to being told their high taxes paid for the “best healthcare in the world,” have been dismayed by the rationing of critical drugs, face masks and equipment and have watched with envy the situation in neighbouring Germany.

After a relentless increase until the first week of April, the number of patients in French hospitals’ intensive care units has started to decline, prompting health authorities to call a plateau in the epidemic.

But if French hospitals are just about coping, helped by a massive effort to transfer patients by plane, helicopter or even high-speed train from hospitals in the east and Paris to the west, nursing homes have been overwhelmed.

By Monday, the coronavirus had claimed 14,967 lives in France, the fourth-highest death toll in the world, with more than 98,076 confirmed cases, according to official figures. (Reuters)

(Production: Johnny Cotton)

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