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British actor Colin Firth granted Italian citizenship after Brexit vote

Rome: British actor Colin Firth, who has often played the role of a quintessential Englishman in his many films, has become an Italian citizen, Italy’s Interior Ministry said. British media reported last year that Firth had applied to become Italian following the British referendum to quit the European Union. Colin Firth’s wife is Italian. Photo: Supplied “The very famous actor, who won an Oscar for the film The King’s Speech, is married to a citizen from our country and has often declared his love for our land,” the Interior Ministry statement…

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Brexit: UK needs to clarify issues – Macron

The UK must provide more clarity about its negotiating position on Brexit, the French president has said. Emmanuel Macron said the issues of EU citizens, the exit bill and the Irish border question must be settled before talks could be held on trade. On Friday, Theresa May made suggestions including a two-year transition period after Brexit, and that the UK pay the EU for “commitments” previously made. She hoped this offer, made in a speech in Italy, would unblock Brexit talks. In the first response by a European leader to…

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Brexit: What did we learn from Theresa May's Florence speech?

Prime Minister Theresa May has used a speech in Florence to set out the UK’s position on how to move Brexit talks forward. With further negotiations planned next week, what did her speech tell us about the sort of Brexit deal we might end up with? Reality Check correspondent Chris Morris has been scanning the speech. Future of the EU What’s the significance? It’s worth noting that a lot of Brexit supporters in the UK jumped on Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the European Union speech last week – in which…

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Brexit: PM bids to break deadlock with two-year deal offer

Theresa May will tell EU leaders there is a shared responsibility to make Brexit work “smoothly” as she attempts to break the deadlock in negotiations. In a major speech in Florence on Friday, she will say history will judge Brexit “not for the differences we faced, but for the vision we showed”. The BBC understands she will propose a two-year transitional deal, after March 2019, ahead of a permanent trade deal. It could include payments worth 20bn euros over the two years. May ‘to offer 20bn euros’ transitional deal According…

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Theresa May Brexit speech to be 'open and generous offer' to EU

Theresa May’s speech on Brexit in Italy on Friday will represent an “open and generous offer” to the rest of the EU, a cabinet minister has told the BBC. It is thought that might include a guarantee that no EU country would lose out from changes to the EU’s current budget as a result of the UK leaving. But another minister warned against offering too much money, saying “it’s our only leverage”. Mrs May is briefing her cabinet on Thursday morning about the speech. The event in Florence is being…

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Theresa May 'driving from front' on Brexit after Boris Johnson row

Theresa May has attempted to reassert her authority after Boris Johnson set out his own vision for Brexit. Asked about the foreign secretary’s newspaper article, which sparked accusations of “backseat driving”, the PM told journalists: “This government is driven from the front.” “We are all going to the same destination,” she added. Mr Johnson said he was trying to “sketch out” the “incredibly exciting landscape of the destination ahead”. He said: “What I am trying to do is set out, in advance of the prime minister’s speech in Florence on…

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Brexit: Boris Johnson accused of 'misusing' statistics

The UK’s statistics watchdog has stood by its criticism of Boris Johnson in a growing row over the possible financial windfall the NHS may get from Brexit. Sir David Norgrove said he was “disappointed” the foreign secretary had, in an article, revived Leave campaigners’ disputed referendum pledge of £350m a week extra for the NHS. The watchdog said it was misleading and a “clear misuse” of figures. Mr Johnson has replied to Sir David – accusing him of “wilful distortion”. In his 4,000 word piece for Daily Telegraph on Saturday,…

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