Related video: Watch as Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel make a joint statement
Angela Merkel has raised the prospect of fully vaccinated Britons visiting Germany after holding talks with Boris Johnson at Chequers, amid concerns over plans to restrict travel to the EU.
The German chancellor declined to immediately lift controls and pointed out that the UK had also imposed rules of its own on German travellers, but said restrictions may be eased for those who have had both doses of a Covid jab in the “forseeable future”.
“We have adopted certain protective measures when we were not, as yet so familiar with a Delta variant,” the chancellor told reporters at a press conference.
The chancellor also said she was “optimstic” about a solution being found to problems in Northern Ireland relating to the post-Brexit trading arrangement.
She said she believed that “pragmatic solutions” could be found so that both the integrity of the single market is maintained and “acceptable solutions” are created. “I think I’m optimistic that this can happen,” she said.
Ahead of Merkel visit, the Queen spoke about climate change with experts in Edinburgh
Ahead of hosting German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Windsor Castle on Friday afternoon, the Queen attended an event at the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute alongside Princess Anne.
Speaking with climate experts, the monarch could be heard commenting on climate change.
She said: “It does mean we are going to have to change the way we do things, really, in the end.”.
My colleague Eleanor Sly has more on the event.
Celine Wadhera2 July 2021 20:20
Why close ties between Germany and the UK are essential, even after Brexit
German-British relations will continue to be of critical concern, and there are plenty of areas where cooperation between the two states could deepen and intensify in a post-Brexit world, around foreign and defence policy, but also, potentially in relations with the US.
Germany and Britain already work closely together and agree on a range of issues, including the Iran nuclear deal, climate change, the peace process in the Middle East, and on resisting Chinese abuse of human rights against the Uyghur people and Hong Kongers, and could be expected to have a strong cooperative relationship moving forward.
The UK could also prove to be a bridge between the US and the EU, benefiting both Germany and the UK.
Associate Editor Sean O’Grady has more.
Celine Wadhera2 July 2021 19:57
Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater thanks supporters
The new Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater also shared a video on Twitter on Friday evening, thanking those who campaigned for her, voted for her, and wished her well.
In the video, she said that it had been an intense few weeks, “but, we did it”.
“I want to say a massive thank you to every single person who was part of this campaign in the Batley and Spen by-election, and a massive thank you to every single person who voted for me,”
She added that it was a “real honour” that voters had put their trust and faith in her, and she pledged to do her best to make them proud.
Celine Wadhera2 July 2021 19:28
Starmer calls Kim Leadbeater’s win ‘a victory of hope over division’
Following Kim Leadbeater’s victory in Batley and Spen earlier today, Labour leader Keir Starmer tweeted on Friday evening: “This is a victory of hope over division”.
His tweet included a video, in which he thanks volunteers and staff, acknowledging the “campaign has been tough”.
“It took incredible courage for Kim to stand – Kim epitomises everything I want our labour party to be,” the Labour leader says.
He adds that Ms Leadbeater’s win was “a victory of hope over division”.
Celine Wadhera2 July 2021 19:12
Cross-party call for abortion clinics to be established in law
MPs have tabled an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill, which would introduce “buffer zones” around abortion clinics and hospitals providing abortion services.
If selected for debate and voted through, these zones would make anti-abortion activity taking place within 150 metres of a clinic an offence.
The amendment was tabled by Labour MP Rupa Huq and Tory MP Sir Bernard Jenkins.
Dr Huq said: “It is high time that the UK followed Canada, Australia and France by making buffer zones a right for all women no matter where they live so this medical procedure can be accessed free or intimidation.”
Her constituency was home to the first buffer zone around an abortion clinic, near the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing, London, in 2018.
Celine Wadhera2 July 2021 18:46
Boris Johnson thanks Angela Merkel for commitment to global diplomacy
Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Chequers this afternoon, prime minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “It was a pleasure to welcome Chancellor Angela Merkel to Chequers this afternoon. The new joint ventures we have agreed today will leave a legacy that will last for generations.”
His tweet also included a video that he narrated thanking the Chancellor for her “truly historic commitment” to global diplomacy.
Celine Wadhera2 July 2021 18:28
No compromising news to come about Michael Gove, spokesman says
Following the announcement of Michael Gove’s split from his wife, Daily Mail journalist Sarah Vine, a spokesman has denied that the divorce announcement was a pre-emptive strike ahead of compromising news breaking about the cabinet minister.
When asked whether the dearth of responsibilities assigned to Mr Gove by the prime minister – including a review into the possibility of using so-called vaccine passports for large events, and a wide Brexit brief – played a role in the separation, Mr Gove’s spokesman said: “Mr Gove continues to get on with the job”.
Celine Wadhera2 July 2021 18:05
Unaccompanied child refugees wrongly refused family reunification
On Friday, the High Court ruled that unaccompanied child refugees had been wrongly refused family reunification by the Home Office.
The Court found that the UK’s family reunification policy unlawfully advised caseworkers not to obtain local authority assessments of family members in the UK unless the Home Office was satisfied that a genuine family relationship existed – despite the fact that these assessments can actually assist with establishing the genuine relationship.
This ruling could see hundreds of children stranded in Europe reunited with relatives in Britain.
Social Affairs Correspondent May Bulman has more.
Celine Wadhera2 July 2021 17:56
Michael Gove and Sarah Vine split
The cabinet minister and his wife, Sarah Vine, had been married for nearly 20 years before the split was announced.
The pair married in October 2001 but on Friday announced the end of their relationship, as they are “in the process of finalising their divorce”.
Writing for MailOnline this week, Ms Vine wrote about how Westminster “changes a person” – referencing Matt Hancock’s split from his wife Martha, following his affair with aide Gina Coladangelo.
“The problem with the wife who has known you since way before you were kind of the world is that she sees through your façade,” she wrote.
A friend of the couple said that the split was “entirely amicable” and added that no third party was involved.
Celine Wadhera2 July 2021 17:38
Michael Gove and wife to divorce but ‘remain close friends’
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove and his wife, Daily Mail journalist Sarah Vine have agreed to separate and are currently in the process of finalising their divorce, a joint spokesman for the couple said.
“Michael and Sarah have agreed to separate and they are in the process of finalising their divorce.”
“They will continue to support their two children and they remain close friends.”
“The family politely ask for privacy at this time and will not be providing any further comment.”
Celine Wadhera2 July 2021 17:13