Colin and Livia Firth. Photograph: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

British actor Colin Firth, who has often played the role of a quintessential English man in his many films, has become an Italian citizen, Italy’s int(...)

Theresa May’s speech in Florence, her third major set-piece address in Brexit in the past year, was a further step in the British government’s slow journey towards accepting the weakness of its own negotiating position.  Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

In choosing Florence as the setting for a speech designed to break the deadlock in the Brexit talks, Theresa May was presumably invoking the symbolism(...)

British prime minister Theresa May answers  questions following her speech   in Florence, Italy,  where  she said Britain would operate within EU rules during  a two-year  transition period. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

European leaders have given a cautious welcome to Theresa May’s call for Britain’s relationship with the European Union to remain almost unchanged unt(...)

Jean Moran spins yarn from raw fleece, watched by Hans Constable Herriott,  in Smithfield in Dublin as Culture Night gets under way. Photograph: Dave Meehan

On a corner in Dublin’s Temple Bar, pedestrians stop at a shop window to watch an artist working on a painting of man standing beside a shopping troll(...)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking at a joint press conference  at 10 Downing Street in London on June 19th. Photograph: Philip Toscan/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has given a “cautious welcome” to the speech by British prime minister Theresa May in Florence, describing it as a “genuine eff(...)

Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban and Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo in Warsaw, Poland. Photograph: Slawomir Kaminski/Reuters

Hungary and Poland have vowed to stand firm against what they claim is an overbearing European Union, intent on eroding the sovereignty of member stat(...)

Ryanair chief executive  Michael O’Leary at the company’s AGM last week.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Rosters issued to Ryanair staff have reportedly only offered shift details for the coming three weeks rather than the usual four week advance notice. (...)

Secondary students in Ireland have longer summer holidays and shorter school terms than most other countries in Europe, according to a European Commission report. Photo: iStock

Secondary students in Ireland have longer summer holidays and shorter school terms than most other countries in Europe. A European Commission report (...)

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May delivers her Brexit speech at the Complesso Santa Maria Novella in Florence. Photograph:  Jeff J Mitchell/AFP/Getty Images

Theresa May was never likely to break the deadlock in Brexit negotiations with a single speech and the “cautious welcome” from Leo Varadkar may be as(...)

British Prime Minister Theresa May: hopes her keenly anticipated speech in Italy will help to break the deadlock in Brexit negotiations. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Theresa May is on Friday expected to propose a transitional deal with the European Union for up to two years after Brexit, during which time Britain w(...)