The government's furlough scheme ends in the United Kingdom after 18 months. Almost a million people are reported to still be on furlough from their employer.
Sources: BBC News
Sources: BBC News
The United Kingdom signs an agreement with Pfizer to secure 35 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine due to be delivered in the second half of 2022 as the government focuses on a "future-proof vaccine programme" to prevent any virus variants that are resistant to the vaccine.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces that the UK's nuclear weapon arsenal will increase from 180 to 260 warheads, and that the UK will shift its foreign policy focus to the Indo-Pacific region, while remaining committed to NATO. The government's review also identifies Russia as the "most acute threat" to British security.
The United Kingdom approves the BNT162b2 vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech for widespread use, becoming the first country in the world to approve the vaccine. The government states that the vaccine will be rolled out early next week.
British retail tycoon Philip Green's Arcadia Group collapses into administration, putting over 13,000 jobs at risk and becoming the United Kingdom's biggest corporate casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic so far. Arcadia CEO Ian Grabiner blames the pandemic for the company's demise, saying "the obstacles we encountered were far too severe".
The House of Commons of the United Kingdom votes 358–234 to pass the government's Brexit withdrawal agreement for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union on 31 January 2020. The bill will now head to the House of Lords for final approval. The bill also rules out extending trade talks with the EU beyond 31 December 2020, known as the "transition period".
A petition, launched Sunday to cancel U.S. President Donald Trump's state visit to the United Kingdom later this year, tops 1 million signatures, passing the threshold for British Parliament debate. A British government spokesman says the state visit is going ahead as planned.
Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United Kingdom Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, in an op-ed piece in the "The Daily Telegraph", warns of "potentially serious repercussions" for the two countries' relationship unless a more respectful discourse developed. At issue is London's withdrawal from a £5.9m (US$9.1m) prison deal with Saudi Arabia which has been linked to London's concerns about a death penalty case and a case involving Karl Andree, a 74-year-old Briton who faces 350 lashes. Today, the Saudi Supreme Court confirmed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr's death sentence.