Britain’s coronavirus-ravaged economy slumped by 9.9% in 2020, the biggest annual crash in output in more than 300 years, but it avoided heading back towards recession at the end of last year and looks to be on course for a recovery in 2021.
Britain’s economy grew 1.2% in December alone, after a 2.3% fall in output in November when there was a partial lockdown, leaving output 6.3% lower than in February before the start of the pandemic, the Office for National Statistics said.
The 250 pound ($340) visa could attract over 300,000 people and their dependents to Britain and generate up to 2.9 billion pounds net benefit to the British economy over the next five years, according to government forecasts.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated on Wednesday the COVID-19 lockdown in England would last until March 8 when schools could start to reopen as the government announced new measures to clamp down on travel to and from Britain.
On Tuesday, Britain’s COVID-19 death toll surpassed 100,000, the first European state to reach that figure, leading to questions about Johnson’s handling of a crisis that has also battered the economy.
The yield on two-year gilts - which is sensitive to speculation about Bank of England interest rates - fell as low as -0.161% before recovering to -0.138% at 1017 GMT, down about six basis points on the day.
"The prime minister will leave no stone unturned in this process, but he is absolutely clear: any agreement must be fair and respect the fundamental position that the UK will be a sovereign nation in three weeks' time," the source said.
ECB President Christine Lagarde has made clear in recent weeks that a bigger Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) and more subsidised long-term loans for banks will form the backbone of its policy measures.