As a sign of respect to MP David Amess and his family we won’t be running our regular ‘good news this week’ in today’s Sunday roundup. Rather these are just our most read stories from the week (11th – 17th November).

10. UK Export Finance expands across the globe in ‘most ambitious trade policy programme ever pursued by a major economy’

UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK government’s export credit agency, has further increased its international business development network with four new hires in North America, Africa and Asia-Pacific. UK Minister for Exports, Mike Freer MP, said: “We are conducting the most ambitious trade policy programme ever pursued by a major economy, with new free trade agreements providing improved access to markets around the world. From Houston to Manila, these new overseas finance experts will give UK exporters the edge in winning contracts in key strategic markets”… click here

9. Thousands of new homes to be built and derelict land transformed

Thousands of new homes will be built on underused and derelict land to regenerate local areas and help people onto the property ladder, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) announced this week. Almost £58 million from the £75 million Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF) has been allocated to 53 councils. The funding will boost local areas by transforming unloved and disused sites into vibrant communities for people to live and work, with the demolition of unsightly derelict buildings and disused car parks and garages… click here

8. Five sites shortlisted for UK fusion energy plant

The STEP programme will pave the way to commercial fusion and a virtually limitless supply of low-carbon energy. Five sites have been shortlisted as the potential future home of the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant – the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production, or “STEP”. Fusion has the potential to provide a near-limitless source of low carbon energy by copying the processes that power the sun and stars where atoms are fused to release energy, creating nearly four million times more energy for every kilogram of fuel than burning coal, oil or gas… click here

7. Over £300 million to attract and develop world-class teachers and leaders

New trainee teachers can get bursaries of up to £24,000 and existing teachers in all state schools can access free courses to develop their skills. Graduates applying to train as teachers in high-demand subjects will receive thousands of pounds in tax-free cash bursaries under Government plans to recruit and retain world-class teachers. A total of £129 million is available for trainee teachers starting in 2022/23, which includes increased bursaries of £15,000 for languages… click here

6. UK and NASA join forces on new mission to study ‘magnetic bubble’ around Sun

The UK Space Agency and NASA have agreed to work together on a mission to observe and map the heliosphere – the area of space surrounding the Sun filled with charged particles known as the solar wind. Scheduled to launch in 2025, the US-led mission will be crucial for future human exploration of the Moon and Mars, and could also improve the UK’s space weather monitoring capability and our understanding of potentially damaging solar flares… click here

5. ‘The doctor will see you now’ says Health Secretary Sajid Javid

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is set to bring back face-to-face appointments with GPs. Mr. Javid, is expected to announce a package of measures this week to cut NHS bureaucracy and free up family doctors’ time to carry out face-to-face appointments once again. It comes after figures suggested that less than 60 per cent of GP consultations are held in person, compared to 80 per cent before the pandemic. However, within the findings, telephone consultations were classed as face to face, so it is suggested the figure is much less… click here

4. UK and Italy announce new dialogue to boost exports and investment

The International Trade Secretary has announced the start of discussions on a new export and investment partnership between UK and Italy aimed at boosting trade between the two countries. Anne-Marie Trevelyan made the announcement alongside Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio in Sorrento during a trip to Italy for the G20, her first international summit since taking the role… click here

3. Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan kickstarts green investment boom

More than £5.8 billion of foreign investment in green projects has been secured since the launch of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, along with at least 56,000 jobs in the UK’s clean industries, the government has set out this week. This major green investment boost, revealed in new data released by the Department for International Trade, helps to drive forward the Prime Minister’s ambitions to make the UK a global leader in green technology and finance. It includes more than £650 million in advancing offshore wind this year alone, supporting almost 3,600 jobs across the Humber and North-East… click here

2. Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan welcomes new £1bn investment partnership

UK and Australia Trade Ministers welcome new partnership between Transport for London and global communications infrastructure company BAI Communications. International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has this week welcomed the launch of the new communications infrastructure partnership between TfL and BAI Communications, which aims to transform the capital into a smart city and boost connectivity across London. International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The UK remains one of the most attractive destinations for investment globally and this partnership proves that investors are backing Britain. The upcoming Global Investment Summit will create more opportunities for industries of the future like digital and tech which support high-value jobs across every part of the UK”… click here

1. Priti’s new powers to suspend visas from countries that refuse to take back illegal migrants

The Home Secretary will be granted new powers to impose visa penalties on countries that refuse to take back their own citizens who have no right to be in the UK, under new reforms in the Nationality and Borders Bill announced this week. Under these new powers, the Home Secretary will be able to take a tougher stance on countries that do not co-operate with deportations and removals, by suspending visas entirely, imposing a £190 surcharge on applications to come to the UK or increasing visa processing times… click here

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