British diplomats to be expelled from Moscow in retaliation, Russian ambassador says – Politics live

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The location where the nerve agent novichok was developed and produced is a closed town in central Russia, Shikhany, according to a chemical weapons expert, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon.

Shikhany is the Russian equivalent of Porton Down, home to various research facilities that deal with radiation and chemical weapons.

He said the information was disclosed in a report sent by the Russians to the international body responsible for monitoring chemical weapons, the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

  • The UK is to expel 23 Russian diplomats, consider new laws to combat spying and look at sanctions as part of a sweeping response to the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, Theresa May has told parliament.
  • Jeremy Corbyn came under sustained attack, including from MPs on his own side, over his response to the prime minister’s statement on Russia in which he failed to condemn the Kremlin directly for carrying out the Salisbury attack.
  • Philip Hammond will need to impose tax rises worth at least £30bn to reach his target of balancing the public finances by 2025, undermining hopes that the chancellor will go into his autumn budget with plenty of spare cash to ease austerity, according to a leading economic thinktank.
  • The government is not planning to axe 1p and 2p coins, Downing Street has said, after a brief if vehement media campaign against the idea, which had been floated in a Treasury paper released with the spring statement.
  • Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, has failed to reach an agreement with Theresa May over what the EU withdrawal bill should say about devolution. But after a meeting in Downing Street she implied a deal was closer than before. These are from the BBC’s Nick Eardley and ITV Border’s Peter MacMahon.

Nick Eardley(@nickeardleybbc)

FM @NicolaSturgeon: No agreement on clause 11. We all aired views, indication on all sides we want agreement pic.twitter.com/3Fqk2isdRL

March 14, 2018

Nick Eardley(@nickeardleybbc)

A far more optimistic tone from @NicolaSturgeon on Withdrawal Bill after talks

March 14, 2018

Peter MacMahon(@petermacmahon)

No deal on #Brexit “power grab after @NicolaSturgeon meets @theresa_may. “If UK govt says thus far no further there will not be deal” @ScotGovFM tells me. But hint of deal as looking at assurances not no “unreasonable withholding of consent “? pic.twitter.com/MsuyXrSGfZ

March 14, 2018

That’s all from me for today.

My colleague Nicola Slawson is now taking over.

The Foreign Office has now updated its travel advice for Russia. It includes a passage saying:

Due to heightened political tensions between the UK and Russia, you should be aware of the possibility of anti-British sentiment or harassment at this time. If you’re currently in Russia or due to travel in the coming weeks, you’re advised to remain vigilant, avoid any protests or demonstrations and avoid commenting publicly on political developments.

While the British embassy in Moscow is not aware of any increased difficulties for British people travelling in Russia at this time, you should follow the security and political situation closely and keep up to date with this travel advice. You may wish to sign up for our email alerts to be notified of any updates.

www.theguardian.com

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