Author Archives: Europe correspondent

Health minister Barclay as III Brexit Secretary

British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Stephen Barclay, a junior health minister who voted to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum, as her new Brexit Secretary, the Downing street spokesman said.

Barclay replaced Dominic Raab who quit as Brexit minister on November 15 over May‘s draft Article 50 Agreement.

The spokesman added  that Ms.May herself would personally oversee the last 10 days of negotiations with the EU on the future framework.

UKIP MEP blasts Brexit draft deal

UKIP Member of European Parliament David Coburn describes the Article 50 Agreement presented by the Prime Minister Theresa May as the “worst deal that the world has ever known”. Mr.Coburn  says it has none of the advantages and all of the downside, and even worse than being in the EU.

No-one in their right mind would sign up to this. She’s betrayed the country and she’s betrayed her party I believe. And she’s misled her cabinet who are resigning in droves and I don’t blame them frankly — it’s appalling“, the MEP concluded. “British people don’t want to be close to the European Union, it is the last thing they want”.


EU27 expects to formalise Brexit deal by end November

In the next days, we will proceed as follows. The agreement is now being analysed by all the member states. By the end of this week, the EU27 ambassadors will meet in order to share their assessment of the agreement. I hope that there will not be too many comments” –  said president Donald Tusk after his meeting with Brexit EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

“They will also discuss the mandate for the Commission to finalise the Joint Political Declaration about the future relations between the EU and the UK. The European ministers will be involved in this process. The Commission intends to agree the declaration about the future with the UK by Tuesday. Over the following 48 hours, the member states will have time to evaluate it, which means that the EU27 Sherpas should conclude this work on Thursday. Then, if nothing extraordinary happens, we will hold a European Council meeting, in order to finalise and formalise the Brexit agreement. It will take place on Sunday 25th November at 9:30Tusk annonced.

Finally, let me say this to our British friends. As much as I am sad to see you leave, I will do everything to make this farewell the least painful possible, both for you and for us.”

We still have a long road ahead of us on both sides,” chief negotiator Michel Barnier said.


UK at crossroads

The ‘technical’ Brexit agreement reached between the EU and the UK negotiators envisages the two sides deciding in July 2020 whether they will have a new deal in place to ensure an open Irish border after the post-Brexit transition ends at the end of 2020, according to EU diplomatic sources in Brussels.

Beyond the transition period London would be able to chose between extending the transition period once, possibly until the end of 2021, or going into a “bare-bones” customs arrangement that would cover all of the United Kingdom but in which Northern Ireland would be aligned more closely with the EU’s customs rules and production standards.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is attempting to convince cabinet on Wednesday, November 14 to accept the draft EU Article 50 deal that her opponents say threatens both her government and the unity of the United Kingdom.

EU-UK Brexit draft deal agreed

The European Union and Britain have agreed a draft text of a Brexit withdrawal agreement and Prime Minister Theresa May will present it to her senior ministers on Wednesday.

“Cabinet will meet at 2 p.m. tomorrow to consider the draft agreement the negotiating teams have reached in Brussels, and to decide on next steps,” a spokesman at May’s Downing Street office said.

“It is going to be a “very, very hard sell” for British Prime Minister Theresa May to win parliamentary backing for her emerging Brexit deal”, said the deputy leader of Northern Ireland DUP party.

Merkel favorable of European army as “NATO supplement”

While delivering her speech on the ‘Future of Europe‘ the German Chancellor Angela Merkel shared her vision on the future of the European defence with the Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg Plenary session.

Chancellor proposed the organisation of the EU security council and operational forces to be able to act swiftly in performing mandated missions outside the EU.

While debating with the Chancellor Merkel Future of Europe, MEP Nigel Farage (UKIP) dabbed  the idea of organisation the EU army as a construction of an “Empire” and  “militarized union”, “expanding to the East“.

Treaty establishing the European Defence Community has remained  unratified since the day it had been signed on 27 May 1952 by six countries – West Germany, France, Italy, and the Benelux. The treaty would have created a European Defence Community (EDC) with a pan-European defence force. The treaty failed to pass ratification in the French parliament – National Assembly, and consequently never entered into force.



Merkel to debate Future of Europe with MEPs in Strasbourg

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will debate the future of Europe with MEPs and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday from 15.00 to 17.30 in the Strasbourg Chamber, France.


This will be the twelfth in a series of future of Europe debates between EU heads of state or governments and MEPs.


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