British regions replaced by economies of the same size

Boris Johnson, mayor of… UAE?

The ONS has released an infographic showing how much various regions of the UK contributed to the nation's economy. It shows the gross value-added (GVA) of Britain's constituent nations and regions, which is a statistical measure roughly equivalent to a country's GDP. London and the South East storm away from the rest of the pack, and Scotland and the North West are both tied for third place. Take a look:

But if you want something easier to visualise, try this. Each of the regions is matched to a country with an equivalent GDP. London's economy is roughly the size of the UAE's, the South East is as valuable as Israel, and so on.

The boring bit: Economies are matched based on the IMF's 2012 figures for nominal GDP. The GVA was converted to dollars at today's exchange rate. Scotland and the North West are actually both closest in size to Romania but that would have made for a boring map.

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.