Covid-19 – Coronavirus cases have now surpassed 22 million, with US, Brazil and India accounting for more than half of the cases. Spain is once again the epicentre of the pandemic in Europe, after recording the highest number of new daily infections since April. Germany added more than 1,000 new cases for three consecutive days, France reported its biggest increase in new virus cases since May, and the UK added Croatia and Austria to its quarantine ‘red list’. Due to increased borrowing during the pandemic, UK government debt now sits above £2 trillion for the first time, which equates to 100.5% of gross domestic product (GDP). Over the past 12 months, debt as a percentage of GDP has increased by 20.4%, pushing
the debt to GDP percentage over 100% for the first time since 1961.
Brexit talks resume – UK and European officials resumed talks around the future relationship this week. British negotiators submitted a draft free trade agreement based on where they believe there is common ground with the EU, which didn’t inspire confidence between the two parties. Speaking after the seventh round of talks came to an end, EU negotiator, Michel Barnier said he was “disappointed” and “concerned” while British counterpart, David Frost, stated that it was “unnecessarily difficult to make progress”. The difficulties that have stalled talks surround fisheries policies and state aid rules. The transition period ends on the 31st December, with the EU wanting a deal to be made by October, making a no-deal Brexit
increasingly likely if talks continue in this way.
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