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Brexit: Expats given ‘no disruption’ pledge by Spanish government

English people in SpainImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Spain is the most popular destination for Britons living in other EU countries

Britons living in Spain will not have their lives “disrupted” after Brexit – even if there is no UKEU deal, the Spanish foreign minister says.

The two sides are yet to reach an agreement about how the rights of expats will be protected after Brexit.

Theresa May has called for “urgency” from the EU side in finding a solution.

And speaking on the BBC‘s Andrew Marr Show, Alfonso Dastis sought to reassure more than 300,000 Britons living in Spain.

“I do hope that there will be a deal,” the minister said.

“If there is no deal we will make sure that the lives of ordinary people who are in Spain, the UK people, is not disrupted.

“As you know, the relationship between the UK and Spain is a very close one in terms of economic relations and also social exchanges.

“Over 17 million Brits come to Spain every year and many of them live here or retire here and we want to keep it that way as much as possible.”

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Media captionBritish expats sum up Brexit in one word

According to the Office for National Statistics, Spain is host to the largest number of British citizens living in the EU (308,805), and just over a third (101,045) are aged 65 and over.

Citizens’ rights are one of the first subjects being negotiated in the first round of Brexit talks – which have moved so slowly there has been increased talk of no deal at all being reached between the two sides.

The role of the European Court of Justice in guaranteeing the rights of EU nationals in the UK has been a sticking point. The EU argues this must continue, but ministers say the EU court will no longer have jurisdiction in the UK after Brexit.

Ahead of last week‘s Brussels summit, Mrs May said the two sides were “in touching distance” of finding an agreement.

On Monday she is expected to tell MPs she will “put people first” in the “complicated and deeply technical” negotiations.

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Brexit: Emily Thornberry predicts no deal with the EU

Emily ThornberryImage copyright JEFF OVERS/BBC

Brexit negotiations with the EU are heading for a “no deal” scenario, Labour’s Emily Thornberry has warned.

Shadow foreign secretary Ms Thornberry said the PM‘s failure to control her party was causing “intransigence” on the UK side, which was a “serious threat to Britain” and its interests.

But International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said a failure to agree a deal was “not exactly a nightmare scenario”.

The UK was preparing “mitigation” measures for such an outcome, he said.

Meanwhile, the Spanish foreign minister said the lives of UK expats in Spain would not be “disrupted” even if no Brexit deal is agreed.

Theresa May will update MPs on Monday on the progress made at last week‘s Brussels summit, where EU leaders agreed to begin scoping work on future trade talks while asking for more concessions from the UK on the opening phase of negotiations.

These talks, covering the UK’s “divorce bill”, the rights of expats after Brexit and the border in Northern Ireland, have failed to reach agreement so far – leading to a focus on what happens if nothing is put in place by the time the UK leaves the European Union in March 2019.

Speaking on the BBC‘s Andrew Marr Show, Ms Thornberry said: “I think what we may be seeing is the Europeans trying to make it clear that it is not their fault that there are these difficulties – the intransigence does not come from their side, it comes from Theresa May’s side.

“And in the end I think the reality is the intransigence is on Theresa May’s side, because she doesn’t have the strength or the authority to be able to control her backbenchers, let alone her cabinet. And I think we are heading for no deal, and I think that that is a serious threat to Britain and it is not in Britain’s interests for that to happen.

“We will stop that.”

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Media captionThree key points about how the Brexit talks are going

Labour is seeking to work with Tory rebels to amend a key plank of Brexit legislation – the EU Withdrawal Bill – so that Parliament has the power to reject whatever the outcome of the negotiations turns out to be.

Following last week‘s summit, European Council President Donald Tusk said that although not enough progress had been made to begin trade talks, reports of deadlock may have been exaggerated.

French President Emmanuel Macron said there was still much work to be done on the financial commitment before trade talks can begin, adding: “We are not halfway there.”

Speaking on ITV‘s Peston on Sunday, Mr Fox said a final figure for the UK’s financial settlement with the EU cannot come “until we know what the final package looks like”, later in the negotiation process.

‘People first’

He also dismissed President Macron’s suggestion that “secondary players” in the UK were “bluffing” about the possibility of a no deal outcome, saying this was “completely wrong”.

Mr Fox, who is responsible for striking global trade deals after Brexit, said he would prefer a “comprehensive” arrangement to be agreed – but was “not scared” of what would happen if this was not possible.

When she addresses MPs on Monday, Mrs May is expected to reaffirm her commitment to EU nationals living in the UK, saying she will “put people first” in the “deeply technical” talks.

Speaking on the Marr show, Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said expats would be allowed to continue living in Spain even if no Brexit deal was reached.

“I do hope that there will be a deal,” he said.

“If there is no deal we will make sure that the lives of ordinary people who are in Spain, the UK people, is not disrupted.

“As you know, the relationship between the UK and Spain is a very close one in terms of economic relations and also social exchanges.

“Over 17 million Brits come to Spain every year and many of them live here or retire here, and we want to keep it that way as much as possible.”

Thornberry: UK ‘heading for no-deal Brexit’

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has said she thinks the UK is “heading for no deal” with the European Union in its Brexit negotiations.

Speaking to BBC One’s Andrew Marr, she said the scenario is “a serious threat” to Britain.

And she vowed that Labour “would try to stop it”.

Credit where it’s due

Shoppers reflected in windowImage copyright AFP
Image caption Is the economy moving fast enough to bear a rate rise?

It’s been 10 years since the UK last saw interest rates rise.

Back then, the iPhone had only just been unveiled, Twitter was a one-year old mystery and Instagram didn’t even exist.

Hard to imagine life without these things now, but interest rates of 5.75% and Gordon Brown as prime minister seem strangely alien.

After that 0.25% rise, the world of monetary policy went into a tailspin, with central banks imposing a rapid series of interest rate cuts as it attempted to outrun the credit crunch.

Finally, in March 2009 they hit a record low of 0.5% until being cut again to 0.25% in August 2016 in the aftermath of the shock Brexit vote.

It will certainly be an unfamiliar feeling to see rates rise, although discussions about lifting them have rumbled during much of that almost nine-year period of record lows.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hold the phone: The last time rates went up the iPhone had just come out in the US

Next month is hotly tipped to be the one that changes the direction of interest rates. Last month, Mark Carney dropped what was seen as his biggest hint yet that rates would be increased soon, possibly in November.

Granted, the economic backdrop is difficult to decipher.

This week saw inflation at a five-year high, weak retail sales figures on Thursday – but government borrowing figures on Friday way better than expected.

And the underlying picture is of sluggish economic growth, persistently weak productivity, and wage rises that lag inflation and eat into earning power.

On top of that, household debt is rising five times faster than earnings and is more than £200bn – a state of affairs that Bank of England governor Mark Carney has remarked on often.

We ask two former rate-setters from the Bank of England‘s Monetary Policy Committee whether now is the time to bite the bullet.

The case for: Dame Kate Barker, non-executive director at Taylor Wimpey and Man Group, MPC member 2001-2010

“First of all, I would try very hard not to give advice to the Monetary Policy Committee. When you’re on it, you have so much more information to go on. But I might be tempted to join the ‘Raise’ group.

“I am concerned about the level of credit.”

She believes the Brexit effect is one that is out of the Bank’s control: “You can cut the level of credit, you can’t really do anything with monetary policy to offset the difficulties that are inevitable because of Brexit.

“We are going to go into a period of economic difficulty that will be worse if we have people with high borrowing.”

But won’t higher interest rates make life even worse for those with high debts, by simply making them harder to pay off?

“We have to try to keep the economy in reasonable balance. There was a failure to pay enough attention to what was going on with credit in households and small businesses in the run-up to the crisis.

“The debt position is precarious. Sooner or later, we are going to have to move to raise rates. If not, even more people will be taking on credit. We need to encourage savers and discourage borrowers.”

She accepts there is a worry about higher inflation, while the tightness of the labour market – which should mean higher wages – getting tighter still if fewer people come to the UK to work from the European Union.

She accepts the retail sales figure for September was weak, but points out that it does not capture the whole of what the consumer is doing, and that the GDP numbers are “fairly feeble”.

Her vote is to move rates higher now.

The case against: Dr Sushil Wadhwani, founder of Sushil Wadhwani Asset Management, MPC member 1999-2002

“In essence, in an ideal world, it would have been good if rates had been raised a year, or two, or three ago and were now at a higher level.

“That would have helped to prevent the build-up of consumer debt that Kate and so many of us are concerned about.

“However, at this stage, the horse has bolted. The debt has already built up now and I’m not sure the macro-economic conjuncture justifies a rise at this stage,” Dr Wadhwani says.

He accepts higher inflation, which is outstripping wages, is a worry, but says that will work itself out of the system: “We all know that inflation is higher because of temporary factors relating to the pound and Brexit. Wage rises are benign and growth is pretty anaemic – and could get even weaker.

“It seems odd to be raising rates at a time when growth is likely to weaken further. It would be much better to hang on and wait for the uncertainty surrounding Brexit to lift.”

He also sees Kate Barker’s point on Brexit being none of the Bank of England’s doing – and hard for it to counter: “It’s true that the bank has no responsibility to deal with Brexit per se – it’s a political decision.

“You are, though, dealt a hand and you have to deal with it – Brexit appears to reduce demand more than it reduces supply, so as a bank, you have to keep your foot on the pedal [keep rates low] to stimulate the economy, and that’s what it should do.

“No real policy mistake is going to be committed by not raising rates at this stage.”

Conservative MP Tim Loughton ‘starts day with hour in bath’

Tim Loughton

A Conservative MP has revealed he spends up to an hour in the bath every morning “to relax and compose my thoughts for the day ahead”.

Tim Loughton is co-chairman of a new all-party group on mindfulness, a form of meditation.

He has claimed “one of the greatest causes of stress in the world was the invention of the shower”.

The MP follows in the footsteps of Sir Winston Churchill, who was also fond of a long soak in a hot bath.

Mr Loughton told BBC News: “As part of my daily bath routine I do a bit of work in the bath, I read papers in the bath, but I also do a bit of mindfulness to relax and compose my thoughts for the day ahead.

“And that’s a good use of my time because I’m normally in the bath by about 6 o’clock in the morning – and I’m in my office, as I was this morning, before 8 o’clock in the morning.

“So some people might stay in bed until 8 o’clock – I get up and do some work, but I do it in my bath.”

The former children’s minister, who last year ran Andrea Leadsom’s brief bid to be Conservative leader, says his daily bath is essential to his mental well-being.

Mr Loughton, co-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on mindfulness, revealed his morning routine at a conference in London attended by politicians from 15 countries, reported by the Times.

Sir Winston Churchill was famous for taking long baths from which he would dictate letters and conduct meetings, although he would start his working day in his bed.

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Wales scraps tuition fee rise to £9,295

Graduates

Plans to raise the maximum level for tuition fees from £9,000 to £9,295 in Wales have been scrapped, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has said.

The income level at which graduates will have to repay student loans will be raised from £21,000 to £25,000, she added.

It comes after the UK government pledged to raise the maximum threshold for loan repayments in England.

Ms Williams told AMs the announcement had caused “turmoil” in England.

“Many unscheduled changes recently announced in England are having an impact on their ability to follow a consistent approach to policy development and initiatives in higher education,” she told the assembly’s education committee on Wednesday.

“One only has to look at the front page of The Times today to see the turmoil there is across the border.

“I will not allow such instability and incoherence to knock us off course here in Wales, from delivering on a stable and sustainable system.

“We will bring forward regulations to increase the repayment threshold from £21,000 to £25,000, subject to concluding discussions with HMT [the Treasury].

Image caption Kirsty Williams said the long-term plan to shift support from fees to living costs remained on track

Scrapping the plan to allow tuition fees to rise in line with inflation, Ms Williams said: “We will maintain the maximum fee level at £9,000.

“We will allocate an additional £6m to HEFCW [Higher Education Funding Council for Wales] in this financial year to deal with short-term implications affecting the sector, primarily demographic changes and threats from Brexit.

“We will provide an additional £10m to deal with any immediate issues arising out of the tuition fee changes and provide a further £5m in both for the next two years.”

She said the longer-term Diamond reforms to student finance in Wales remained on track.

These would replace tuition fee grants with support for living costs.

Ellen Jones, president of the National Union of Students in Wales, welcomed the fee cap staying at £9,000 as “an incredibly positive development”, saying: “Students cannot be expected to shoulder the burden of austerity.”

She added that raising the repayment threshold to £25,000 would also “go a significant way to lifting the barriers that students face in terms of loans”.

“It will mean that graduates will not be required to pay back a penny of their student loans until they’re earning a decent wage,” she said.

Amber Rudd calls Brexit without a deal ‘unthinkable’

Amber RuddImage copyright House of Commons

The prospect of Brexit happening without a deal being reached between the UK and the EU is “unthinkable”, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said.

Ms Rudd was responding to a question about the impact on security of nothing being agreed before the UK leaves.

“We will make sure there is something between them and us to maintain our security,” she assured MPs.

Earlier Brexit Secretary David Davis defended keeping the “no deal” option open in the on-going negotiations.

After five rounds of Brexit negotiations, the EU has described the talks as in “deadlock” and there has been an increased debate about the possibility of the UK leaving without a deal in place.

One of the UK’s aims is for a new security treaty with the EU, and Ms Rudd told the Commons Home Affairs Committee contingency plans were being made in case this was not in place by the UK’s departure in March 2019.

Asked whether, if there was “no deal of any form”, Britain would be as safe and secure as it currently is, she replied: “I think it is unthinkable there would be no deal.

“It is so much in their interests as well as ours – in their communities’, families’, tourists’ interests to have something in place.”

Ms Rudd also said it was “unthinkable” EU citizens would be asked to leave the UK after Brexit, but was unable to offer guarantees while negotiations continue.

Mr Davis was asked about a “no deal” scenario as he updated MPs on Monday’s dinner between Theresa May and EU officials.

Reaching agreement with the EU is “by far and away the best option” he said, adding: “The maintenance of the option of no deal is for both negotiating reasons and sensible security – any government doing its job properly will do that.”

Mr Davis also said the UK was “reaching the limits of what we can achieve” in Brexit talks without moving on to talk about trade.

He urged EU leaders to give counterpart Michel Barnier the green light at this week‘s EU summit to begin trade talks.

Mr Barnier said he wanted to speed up talks but “it takes two to accelerate”.

This was a reference to comments made by Mrs May after her dinner with the EU’s chief negotiator, in which she said the two sides had agreed on the need to “accelerate” the process.

Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Barnier said a “constructive dynamic” was needed over the next two months but “there was a lot of work to do” and issues must be tackled in the “right order”.

“At the moment we are still not yet at the first step which is securing citizen rights, guaranteeing the long term success of the good Friday agreement and finalising the accounts,” he said.

The talks – which were held as EU member states prepare to assess progress so far on Thursday – were said to be “constructive and friendly” but the UK’s financial settlement with the EU continues to be a sticking point and the EU will not discuss trade until this has been settled.

Along with the UK’s “divorce bill”, the EU is insisting agreement be reached on citizens‘ rights and what happens on the Northern Ireland border before agreeing to open talks on the free trade deal Mrs May’s government wants to strike.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Mrs May and Mr Juncker embraced after their working dinner in Brussels

In his Commons statement, Mr Davis urged the EU to give Mr Barnier a mandate to start discussing its future relations with the UK, including trade and defence, telling MPs he was “ready to move the negotiations on”.

He suggested the UK was “reaching the limits of what we can achieve without consideration of the future relationship”.

“Our aim remains to provide as much certainty to business and citizens on both sides. To fully provide that certainty, we must be able to talk about the future.”

‘Right path’

On citizens’ rights, he said key issues such as the rules on family reunion, the right to return, the onward movement of British expats in Europe and the right of EU residents to export benefits had still to be settled.

Announcing that EU citizens who currently have permanent residence in the UK would not have to go through the full process of re-applying before Brexit, he said the UK had consistently “gone further and provided more certainty” on their status than the EU had done.

While the UK had “some way to secure the new partnership with the EU”, he was “confident we are on the right path”.

Speaking in the Commons earlier on Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he thought a reported bill of £100bn was too high and urged the EU to “get serious” and agree to settle the citizens’ rights question.

For Labour, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said EU and UK citizens were still no wiser over their future while it “appeared the deadlock over the financial settlement is such that the two sides are barely talking”.

“Nobody should underestimate the seriousness of the situation we find ourselves in. At the first hurdle, the government has failed to hit a very important target.”

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Front-line fighter

Kimmie TaylorImage copyright Kimmie Taylor
Image caption Kimberley Taylor left her home in Blackburn to fight against the so-called Islamic State in Syria

A British woman fighting against so-called Islamic State in Syria fears she “can’t go back to [her] own country” as she may be arrested.

Kimmie Taylor, of Blackburn, has spent a year fighting as a volunteer with the Kurdish-led YPJ women’s militia and has been on the front line in Raqqa.

She said she fought for “political and social revolution”, empowering women.

But now a “peace agreement” has been brokered with remaining IS fighters, she worries about her return to the UK.

The UK government has previously warned people not to travel to Syria and that anyone going abroad to fight for a foreign militia will face questioning when they return.

Security minister Ben Wallace has also said that fighting abroad for any militia could potentially leave people open to “a range of prosecutions” when they return.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme from the outskirts of Raqqa – once considered the de-facto capital of IS – Ms Taylor said it was not just a desire to battle against IS driving her, but a wider aim to fight to help the Kurds create a new system of governance in the wake of IS.

She said: “We’ve made a new system, a new way of democracy that includes every ethnicity, every religion, and empowers women at the same time.

“This is what we’re doing in all the liberated villages and cities that we’re taking.

“I saw the impact that the political and social revolution has been having here on women especially. This is the biggest part. This is why I am here.”

‘I want to go home’

After more than a year fighting in the country and now the battle for Raqqa is coming to an end, Ms Taylor wants to go home to see her family – but may face police action as soon as she lands.

“I don’t really care so much if I’m arrested and then released, it’s just a problem how long they will keep me on bail for and what conditions they will keep me under,” she said.

“It’s like I cant go back to my own country, because I decided to fight in a democratic women’s army, in a land full of daesh (IS).

“I don’t morally or politically accept that, and I think they should change what they’re doing, because I want to go home.”

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been besieging the city of Raqqa for nearly four months

Raqqa became the centre of the IS “caliphate” whose creation was proclaimed by IS three years ago, attracting thousands of jihadists from around the world.

Enforcing an extreme interpretation of Islamic law, the group used beheadings, crucifixions and torture to terrorise residents who opposed its rule.

Earlier this week, a deal was stuck to evacuate civilians by bus from the city – but the US refused to allow members of IS out to “create a problem somewhere else in this country”.

Foreign members of IS who had come to the city to fight were also excluded.

Ms Taylor said: “There were 275 daesh members that surrendered. Their morale is down, we’ve taken their capital city, there’s nothing left now.

“The ones that have survived up to this point, they’ve been surrounded, so it makes more sense for them to strike a peace agreement, for them to leave Raqqa, or to take any compromise that we give to them, like leave Raqqa or go to prison.

“They have no other option.”

‘Uneasy alliances’

An official declaration of the end of the battle for Raqqa is expected to made by the US backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) soon, marking a significant moment in the efforts to wipe out IS fighters’ control of the large territory they once held.

Dr Shiraz Maher, from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at Kings College London, said: “This war has seen all sides make a series of uncomfortable and uneasy alliances from time to time.

“Not too long ago it was the regime via its Hezbollah proxies, that allowed IS members to leave Lebanon. Nonetheless, this may still embarrass the American Army who remain close to the Kurdish-led SDF”

“As I understand it, the foreigners with IS largely elected to stay and fight. The hardcore of ultra-zealots are the ones who were left in Raqqa. It’s the local fighters who are moving out as a result of this deal.”

Ms Taylor said: “It’s been difficult but it’s been worth it. It’s all been mines and snipers, but today was the liberation and I feel ecstatic.”

FA abuse inquiry chief receives counselling after hearing victims’ stories

Police have spoken to at least 741 alleged victims who say they were abused through football

The man leading the independent investigation into historical child sex abuse in football has received counselling to deal with the traumatic evidence he has heard.

Barrister Clive Sheldon QC was asked by the Football Association to look into the scandal last year, following a series of allegations from former players.

So far he has met 15 victims, and – along with his team – has had therapy after hearing the stories of the devastating effect the abuse has had.

The sheer scale of the task facing the inquiry also means a final report will not now be completed until Easter 2018 at the earliest, several months later than originally planned.

Investigators have sifted through 1,266 boxes in the FA archives – each containing up to 1,000 pages – as part of their painstaking search for relevant documents relating to safeguarding procedures and child protection cases.

However, there are still another 2,092 boxes yet to be reviewed.

The review is asking anyone involved with football who wishes to provide information about the way in which clubs or the FA dealt with concerns over child sex abuse between 1970 and 2005 to come forward.

The investigation has been hampered by four of the 46 county FAs not yet submitting their replies to the inquiry team, despite Sheldon originally writing to them on 11 May, and giving them a deadline of 1 June. Sources close to the inquiry believe this can be explained by ‘inertia’ rather than obstruction.

An FA spokesperson said: “We were made aware of this last week and have been working proactively to ensure these remaining county FAs assist and support Clive Sheldon’s investigation with the utmost priority.”

The last police figures at the end of June showed 741 alleged victims had come forward and 276 suspects had been identified.

Operation Hydrant, the specialist police unit in charge of the operation, had received 1,886 referrals and a number of court cases involving professional clubs are under way.

The inquiry team remain keen to speak to anyone with relevant information. To get in touch, email football@sportresolutions.co.uk.

Bombardier to partner Airbus on C-Series jets

Bombardier C-seriesImage copyright Reuters
Image caption Parts of Bombardier’s C-Series planes are made in Belfast

European aerospace firm Airbus is to take a majority stake in Bombardier’s C-Series jet project.

Bombardier has faced a series of problems over the plane, most recently a trade dispute in the US that imposed a 300% import tariff.

Bombardier’s Northern Ireland’s director Michael Ryan said the deal was “great news” for the Belfast operation.

About 1,000 staff work on the C-Series at a purpose-built factory in Belfast, mostly making the plane’s wings.

Airbus and Bombardier’s chief executives said the deal – which will see Airbus buy a 50.01% stake – would help to boost sales.

BBC Northern Ireland’s business and economics editor John Campbell said Airbus had effectively taken control of the C-Series project in a transformational deal.

He said it would use its financial muscle in procurement and sales, while Bombardier’s manufacturing operations would continue to build the planes.

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Analysis: John Campbell, BBC News NI business and economics editor

It’s perhaps symptomatic of the difficulties the C-Series has faced that Airbus will not have to hand over any cash for its 50% stake.

The hope will be that Airbus’ financial muscle will finally put an end to those difficulties.

In particular, Airbus thinks it can solve the C-Series tariff problem by assembling the plane for US customers inside the US at its factory in Alabama.

But, as trade expert Simon Lester of the Cato Institute pointed out to me, it may not be that straightforward.

That’s because of something known as “trade circumvention” – in crude terms, when a company tries to avoid tariffs by superficially changing the country of origin of its products.

Will the US trade authorities (and Boeing) see an Alabama-assembled C-Series as an attempt at circumvention?

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Davy Thompson, from the trade union Unite, said the deal was a “welcome development”.

“My understanding of the deal, and what it means for Belfast, is the supply chain still seems to be what it is today, which would mean Belfast is integral to the overall process.

“That should, we believe, increase and assure people‘s jobs down in the C-Series plan, but there are still further challenges.”

He said the deal there were still some “concerns” over non-C-Series related contracts at Bombardier’s Belfast plant, but the deal with Airbus should “allow for more orders to be placed” and help with long-term employment across the site.

‘Positive step’

Bombardier was accused of anti-competitive practices by rival Boeing, which complained to the US authorities.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe history of Bombardier in Northern Ireland

Boeing accused the Canadian firm of selling the jets below cost price after taking state subsidies from Canada and the UK.

UK Business Secretary Greg Clark said the Airbus tie-up was a “positive step forward”.

Image copyright PA
Image caption A US import tax on Bombardier jets could threaten jobs at the firm’s Belfast factory

Mr Clark said the UK and Canadian governments had been working to “safeguard jobs and manufacturing at Bombardier Shorts in Belfast, and the supply chain across the UK”.

The government was still pushing for a “swift resolution” to the Boeing dispute, he added.

Arlene Foster, leader of Northern Ireland‘s Democratic Unionist Party, said she hoped the deal would “safeguard” the C-Series programme.

“I’m thrilled there is a bright future ahead following what has been a dark time for staff and management,” she added.

Sinn Féin’s Stormont leader Michelle O’Neill said the deal was a “good news story for Bombardier” that would “come as a relief to the workers and their families and all those local businesses involved in the Bombardier supply chain”.