Government and policy update from the New Statesman

9 April 2020 (Last Updated April 9th, 2020 11:22)

Global: The World Trade Organisation has predicted the drop in global trade caused by the Covid-19 pandemic will be worse than that caused by the global financial crisis in 2008.

Europe: The European Commission is preparing a “roadmap” for a co-ordinated lifting of lockdown restrictions, which member states are advised to extend until 15 May. The EU has also promised in aid €20bn to Africa, Asia, the Pacific and eastern Europe, and announced the intention to develop mobile apps and data tracking of the disease across the continent.

United Kingdom: Boris Johnson remains in intensive care in hospital but has shown signs of improvement. The Prime Minister is reported to be sitting up in bed and “engaging positively” with the clinical team, the chancellor Rishi Sunak said in a daily media briefing yesterday evening.

Sunak announced £750m of extra funding for charities providing key services. The new shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds responded that the offer “falls far short of filling the financial black hole many organisations are facing”.

France: Emmanuel Macron has thrown his support behind the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a call with its director, a day after Donald Trump accused the global health body of being biased towards China and threatened to cut US funding.

US: Joe Biden will become the Democratic Party nominee for this year’s general election after Bernie Sanders announced the end of his campaign yesterday afternoon.

Italy: Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has told the BBC that the EU faces “the risk of failure” as a political project if the bloc’s leaders do not respond in a co-ordinated way to the Covid-19 crisis.

 

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