British chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne at the Conservatice conference: he rejected claims he is targeting the poor. Photograph: Peter MacDiarmid/Getty Images

British chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne has rejected calls from senior Conservatives to declare that the UK would quit the European Unio(...)

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: has said  cuts of €2 billion will not be required to bring the budget deficit to 3 per cent by next year.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

in Brussels The European Commission is putting renewed pressure on the Government to implement €2 billion in cuts in the coming budget, echoing the v(...)

A tram is seen in downtown Lisbon. Loomis Sayles, which  sold at least part of its Irish bond holdings last year, now likes Portuguese dollar bonds. Photograph: Rafael Marchante/Reuters

Loomis Sayles, the investor that bought Ireland’s government debt before the nation’s 2011 bailout triggered a historic rally, now likes Portugal’s do(...)

Ukip leader Nigel Farage (right) welcomes Mark Reckless to the Ukip annual conference at Doncaster racecourse in south Yorkshire. Photograph: PA

Every September, thousands of horse- racing fans gather in Doncaster for the St Leger, the world’s oldest horse race and the final classic of the Brit(...)

British prime minister David Cameron appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show  before the start of the Conservative Party annual conference. Photograph: PA

British prime minister David Cameron has dismissed the defection of MP Mark Reckless to Ukip as “senseless and counter-productive” as Tory divisions o(...)

Conservative MP Mark Reckless (right) is welcomed to Ukip by party leader Nigel Farage after the tory MP announced he was defecting to the party. Photograph:  Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Conservative MP Mark Reckless, who has long argued for the United Kingdom to quit the European Union, has quit to join the UK Independence Party, thou(...)

Kurdish Syrian refugees stand in a truck at the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province. A UN report today says that the number of people seeking asylum this year is on track to hit a 20-year high. Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters.

Wars in Syria and Iraq, and instability elsewhere are driving ever more people to seek asylum in wealthy nations, with requests on track to hit a 20-y(...)

The Irish Ambassador to the US Anne Anderson: she has written to Pat McCrory to acknowledge receipt of his letter and has forwarded his correspondence to Ireland. Photograph: Marty Katz/washingtonphotographer.com

The governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory is the latest American politician to call on the Government to scrap its plans to introduce plain packagi(...)

A European Parliament spokesman has said that MEPs have parliamentary immunity in the exercise of their duties  following a row between Irish commissioner-designate Phil Hogan and Independent MEP Nessa Childers over a row she circulated to parliament members of his potential appointment. Photographs: The Irish Times and Patrick Seeger/EPA.

Members of the European Parliament have parliamentary immunity in the exercise of their duties as MEPs, a spokesman for the European Parliament has sa(...)

Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko said he would present a broad plan of social and economic reforms later today which would allow the former Soviet republic to apply for membership of the European Union in six years. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters.

Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko said he would present a broad plan of social and economic reforms later today which would allow the former Sov(...)