On 1 January 2021, the freedom of movement of Swiss and European Economic Area (EEA) nationals to the UK will end, changing the landscape of movement rights, immigration and visas in the UK, as well as the nation’s relationship with the rest of the world.
With ministers unhappy with the way Public Health England (PHE) has responded to COVID-19, Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, has announced that PHE is to be replaced.
Page 48 of the 2019 Conservative manifesto contains this promise: “in our first year we will set up a Constitution, Democracy & Rights Commission”. When it was first written, the promise was, debatably, a precaution that Conservatives wanted to take in order to ensure that they could “get Brexit done” in the face of legal difficulties. The previous government had been overruled twice by the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) in relation to triggering Article 50 and the attempted prorogation (suspension) of parliament. Now, however, with a large Conservative majority, it is unknown what form this Commission will take. Some fear that the government will use it as a move to take revenge on the courts for these Brexit legal difficulties. Others consider it a necessary change in testing times.
After a marathon meeting, European leaders have agreed a €750bn package to help Europe recover economically from COVID-19. €390bn will be distributed in grants to member states that have been particularly hard hit and a further €360bn will be made available in low interest loans. Leaders also agreed a new seven-year budget which totals €1.074tn.