42. Weekly Newsletter
UK involvement in Israel and Palestine
As the conflict in Israel and Palestine continues to exacerbate, Britain have deployed naval support in the Mediterranean. The UK have announced plans to deploy two Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels to the area in what has been described by the government as a “contingency measure” in order to both deter further escalation but also to provide assurance. Furthermore, the UK government also plans to commit support to Israel by overseeing military surveillance operations using surveillance aircraft. These operations will be used to provide intelligence through tracking the transfer of weapons to terrorists in the region.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels will be diverted from Libya where they have been providing humanitarian support as 5000 Libyans have been killed by floods and another 10,000 remain missing. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that the “deployment of our world class military will support efforts to ensure regional stability and prevent further escalation”. Britain has also arranged commercial flights to evacuate UK citizens stuck in the region after major airlines suspended flights back to country as a result of the conflict. Mass displacement of civilians fleeing the conflict in the region has emerged as a major concern and the UK has responded to this by offering support to Egypt to keep its border with Gaza open as a humanitarian route. This support has been deemed as essential as Rishi Sunak spoke with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week and highlighted the historic role Egypt has played including “seeking de-escalation”.
The UK’s front page news cycle over the last seven days has covered a wide range of topics. The UK wage growth slows as the labour market eases, Rolls-Royce to cut up to 2,500 jobs as restructuring takes place and the conflict between Israel and Palestine remains a major focus in the headlines. Some of the newspaper front pages from this week were:
- Financial Times-Sunak faces by-elections test as MPs return to Westminster
- Financial Times-Rolls-Royce to cut up to 2,500 jobs in bid to streamline group
- The Times-UK government borrowing cost is highest in 20 years
- The Guardian- Six Britons dead and 10 missing after Hamas attack on Israel, Rishi Sunak says
- The Guardian- Homes for Ukraine funding halt could put thousands on street says watchdog
- The Times- Jeremy Hunt rules out tax cuts and warns of gloomy fiscal outlook
- Sunday Telegraph-MI5 warns of sharp rise in attempts to ‘steal’ high-tech secrets by hostile states
Major UK investor left unimpressed
Australia-based IFM investors are one of the biggest shareholders in Manchester airport and the M6 toll road have stated that the UK is no longer an attractive place to invest. They state that political upheaval and uncertain government policy has made it difficult to see the attractiveness in new infrastructure investments. IFM, who have £115 billion in assets, says that there are no financially attractive investments in the UK and this comes days after controversial decisions to cancel the northern leg of HS2 were announced by the Prime Minister. A spokesman for Sunak has responded to these claims saying that “The billions of pounds flowing into UK infrastructure projects from abroad proves the UK remains one of the best places in the world to invest” and that in the last week the UK have confirmed £10 billion from the Marubeni Corporation into investing in clean energy projects.