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Study suggests Brexit not to blame for fall in UK trade



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Post-pandemic decline in UK exports to the EU can’t blame Brexitsays in the report.

The Brexit Policy Center called it a “myth” that Britain’s exit from the bloc was basically to blame for the lack of exportspointing instead to “a combination of global factors” and “the distinctive structure of UK exports”.

The think tank report looks at why UK exports are recovering more slowly than other G7 countries in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is said that due to distortion consequences of the pandemic And consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine it is difficult to establish the “primary driving forces”.

But the report argues that more than 80% of the UK’s current export shortfall is in sectors that “cannot be attributed in any meaningful way” to Brexit.

Heavy dependence on cars

It says a heavy reliance on foreign sales of automobiles and aircraft components, as well as declining oil and gas production in the North Sea, are the main reasons for lagging behind international competitors.

Phil Radford, trade analyst who wrote the report, said: “The specific composition of UK exports explains why UK trade should have lagged behind the G7 in 2021 and 2022.

“The automotive and aerospace sectors are by far our largest merchandise export industries globally. For example, in 2019 they supplied over 20% of all exports of goods from the UK.”

The report claims that these two sectors have been hit hard by recent global events, including the pandemic and subsequent temporary collapse of civil aviation, as well as the global shortage of microchips.

It said that the shape of the UK export industry means it has “a unique misfortune among the G7 countries”.

He acknowledged that Brexit was a factor in reducing food exports to the EU.

“Trivial Effect”

However, it argued that overall Brexit had a “trivial” impact on trade between the UK and the EU, and denounced by other developments such as the impact of higher corporate taxes on the pharmaceutical industry, EU subsidies for its automakers and environmental policies. UK energy importer.

The report says that around 17% of the drop in EU goods exports in 2022 could be directly attributed to Brexit.

Mr Radford said: “The deficit between the UK and the EU in these three sectors is the result of policy choices by UK governments, not changes in global competitive advantage.

“Their impact on British trade is many times worse than Brexit’s impact on food, agriculture, jewelery and other UK sectors. And yet the challenges faced by the UK automotive and pharmaceutical sectors in particular garner little attention from UK trade observers.”

A report from the Fiscal Responsibility Office for March said that “weak growth in imports and exports” partly reflects the “ongoing impact of Brexit”, which the forecaster predicts will “reduce the overall trade intensity of the UK economy by 15 per cent”. in the long term.”

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Zelensky meets with Pope Francis in Vatican and seeks support for Ukraine’s peace plan



ROME (AP) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a private conversation with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday, later saying he was seeking support for Ukraine’s peace plan from the pontiff, who has offered in the past to try to help end an all-out war. launched by Russia a year ago.

Zelenskiy put his hand to his heart and said it was a “great honor” for him to meet the Pope. Francis, who uses a cane to treat his knee, came to greet the Ukrainian president before escorting him to the papal studio next to the Vatican’s audience hall.

In a tweet after the 40-minute audience, Zelensky thanked Francis for his “personal attention to the tragedy of millions of Ukrainians.” He said he spoke to the pontiff “about tens of thousands of deported (Ukrainian) children. We must do our best to bring them home.”

Last month, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmygal dad asked help return children from Russia to Ukraine. But the Vatican’s statement on Saturday made no mention of the request.

Instead, the Vatican said the two men were talking about “the humanitarian and political situation in Ukraine provoked by the ongoing war.”

“The Pope assured of his constant prayer, as evidenced by his numerous public appeals and his unceasing appeal to the Lord for peace since February last year,” the Vatican said in a statement, referring to the Russian invasion that began on February 24. 2022.

The meeting comes after the Russian Defense Ministry said long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles delivered to Ukraine by the UK this week caused damage to unspecified civilian businesses in the Luhansk region in Ukraine’s far east. Luhansk authorities separately stated that another rocket attack hit the regional center, injuring an elderly woman.

Two Russian Mi-8 helicopters and a Su-34 fighter-bomber crashed on Saturday in the Bryansk region on the border with Ukraine, state news agency TASS and a Telegram channel close to the Russian Defense Ministry reported. The newspaper “Kommersant” cited reports of the crash of two fighters. The cause of the crash was not immediately disclosed, but there is growing concern in Bryansk about cross-border attacks from Ukraine.

Some Ukrainian units continue to advance in the Bakhmut area, the commander of the Ukrainian ground forces said on Saturday, just a day after Ukrainian commanders said their troops had retaken territory at the site of the longest and bloodiest battle of the war. “In some sectors of the front, our fighters are moving forward, and the enemy is losing equipment and manpower,” Alexander Syrsky said in Telegram.

The exterior of the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Saturday. Zelensky is in Italy on a one-day visit and will also meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

AP Photo/Riccardo de Luca

Zelensky also said he asked the Pope to condemn Russia’s “crimes in Ukraine” because “there can be no equality between victim and aggressor.”

“I also spoke about our Peace Formula as the only effective algorithm for achieving a just peace,” Zelensky said. Later, in an interview on Italian state television, the Ukrainian leader said the pope “knows my position.” There is a war going on in Ukraine, so this should be Ukraine’s plan to “make peace”.

Zelensky’s 10-point plan calls for the creation of a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes. It will also create a Euro-Atlantic security architecture with safeguards for Ukraine, repair Ukraine’s damaged energy infrastructure, and provide security around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporozhye.

Earlier in the day, Zelensky received promises from Italian officials of indefinite military and financial support, as well as stronger support for Ukraine’s cherished goal. strive to join the European Union.

“The message is clear and simple,” Prime Minister Georgia Meloni said after a meeting with Zelenskiy that lasted more than an hour. “The future of Ukraine is the future of peace and freedom. And this is the future of Europe, the future of peace and freedom, for which there are no other possible solutions.”

The prime minister, who is surprisingly supportive of military aid to Ukraine, said Italy will support the country “360 degrees for as long as necessary and beyond.”

Separately, Italian President Sergio Mattarella told Zelensky: “We are completely on your side,” Mattarella told Zelensky, welcoming him. Later, sources at the presidential palace said that Mattarella assured his guest that Italy would continue to support Ukraine militarily and financially, as well as in terms of reconstruction and humanitarian assistance.

Since the start of the war, Italy has provided about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in military and financial aid, as well as humanitarian aid.

Zelenskiy is believed to be heading to Berlin, where it will be his first visit to Germany since the start of the war. The exact timetable has not been publicly announced due to security concerns.

In the end of April Francis told reporters that the Vatican was involved in a behind-the-scenes peacekeeping mission but did not provide details. Neither Russia nor Ukraine confirmed such an initiative.

He said that he would like to go to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, if such a visit could be combined with a visit to Moscow, in the hope that the papal pilgrimage would help the cause of peace.

There have been speculations as to whether the Vatican might play some mediating role. But in an interview on Italian TV on Saturday, Zelenskiy pointed out that mediation was not possible at all. “You cannot mediate with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” he said.

Meanwhile, the German government has said it is providing more than 2.7 billion euros ($3 billion) in additional military aid to Ukraine, including tanks, anti-aircraft systems and ammunition.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that with the latest arms package, Berlin wanted to show “that Germany is seriously supporting” Ukraine.

“Germany will provide all possible assistance for as long as it is needed,” he said.

— Officials in the Ternopil region, about 350 kilometers west of Kyiv, reported on Saturday evening that an industrial area had been struck. The victims and other details are not immediately reported.

— Russian shelling Saturday killed two civilians, including a 15-year-old girl, and injured 10 more in Konstantinovka, a town less than 30km west of Bakhmut, the regional prosecutor’s office said.

— Russian forces on Friday and overnight resumed shelling the northeastern part of the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, resulting in the death of a civilian, local governor Oleg Sinegubov said. During the same period, four civilians were killed in the Donetsk region in the east, Governor Pavel Kirilenko said.

— “Large-scale” Russian artillery shelling at night damaged a power facility in the western part of the Khmelnitsky region of Ukraine, but did not affect the supply of electricity, according to the Ukrainian Energy Ministry,

Frank Jordans in Berlin, Joanna Kozlowska in London, and Nicole Winfield and Gianfranco Stara in Rome contributed to this report.

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Xi Jinping celebrates China’s rising power and his own




It was clearly warmer than Trump’s previous criticism of China and its economic and trade policies.

But other US officials are more critical of Beijing’s actions.

REX TILLERSON, Secretary of State: China, rising with India, did it less responsibly.

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Minneapolis and Minnesota reach agreement on police overhaul



Nearly three years after the killing of George Floyd, Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota say the deal will change how the Minneapolis police work.

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