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May vows parliament vote on Brexit
LONDON: Britain will leave the EU’s single market when it exits the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday, putting an end to speculation that London might try to seek a “soft Brexit.” In a long-awaited speech in which she sought to define the country’s future as a global player that aims to trade freely far beyond Europe, May said the final exit deal would be put to parliament for a vote. That promise helped
 
 
Northern Ireland elections set for March 2
BELFAST: Britain’s Northern Ireland minister called an early election on Monday for March 2 following the collapse of the region’s power-sharing government that risks a lengthy period of political paralysis just as Britain prepares for talks to leave the EU. Northern Ireland is widely seen as the part of the UK most exposed to Brexit as it could upend trade and the free movement of people across its land border with the Irish
   
Most people back staying in EU, says poll
LONDON: More people favour either staying in the EU or close ties with the bloc as opposed to the hard Brexit apparently being pursued by Theresa May, a poll has revealed. The YouGov survey found just 39 per cent of people backed a hard Brexit, even if it meant having no free trade agreement with the EU, while 47 per cent backed a softer approach. It comes as the prime minister is due to give a major speech on her strategy for
 
 
Cameron ‘should not be Nato chief,’ says Tory MP
LONDON: David Cameron’s military policy failures mean he must be ruled out of the running in the race to become the next Nato chief, the Tory chairman of the Defence Select Committee has said. The former prime minister is a man of “charm and ability” but lacks the wisdom to take on the role of Nato Secretary General, according to Julian Lewis. Cameron has been tipped as a possible replacement for current post-holder Jens Stoltenbg
   
George’s cousin says singer ‘died of drug overdose’
LONDON: George Michael’s cousin Andros Georgiou has said he suspects the singer died of an accidental drugs overdose. Georgiou, who toured with Michael, said the musician started taking “hard drugs” again towards the end of his life but insisted his death was not a suicide. The 53-year-old was found dead at his Oxfordshire home in Goring-on-Thames on Christmas Day. The cause of Michael’s death continues to be unclear after
 
 
Woman fined £80 for pouring her coffee down drain
LONDON: A pensioner was fined £80 for pouring a cup of coffee down the drain. Sue Peckitt, 65, said she got rid of the coffee because she didn’t like the taste, and poured it away because she did not want to fill up a bin with liquid. But she said she was then approached by three litter enforcement workers near the Ealing Broadway Centre in London who followed her to the bin an issued her an on-the-spot fine. She told Get West
   
Survey ranks strike-hit rail firm worst
LONDON: Embattled rail operator Southern has suffered its worst customer satisfaction rating in an annual survey. The company scored just 21 per cent in the sixth edition of the report by consumer group Which? Just one star was awarded for punctuality, reliability, seat availability, frequency and value for money, with almost half (46 per cent) of travellers reporting their last journey was delayed. Southern passengers have
 
 
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