Category Archives: Brexit

Germany hopes for orderly Brexit soon

Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas shared his hope of Westiminster lawmakers would vote to proceed with an orderly Brexit, he also confirmed his readiness for a short extension of Brexit for the lawmakers to proceed with the legislation. 

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“I hope that the British lower house, showing the necessary responsibility, can take a decision on this today and that on the basis of this decision we will be in a position to achieve an orderly Brexit,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. 

Should there be problems in Britain with the ratification, I would not rule out that there could be a short, technical extension,” the top diplomat added. 

Should there not be a majority in the British lower house, then we in the European Union would have to look at whether there would then be a full extension – and only then would there be a decision about that. At the moment, I don’t think it is sensible or appropriate to speculate about that.”

Westminster aims at one year Brexit delay

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to negotiate further extension of Brexit deadline with the European Union, after he failed to win the support of Westminster for his Article 50 Agreement with the bloc, facing another delay caused by MP Oliver Letwin amendment. The MPs passed an amendment tabled by a cross-party group, led by Mr. Letwin by 322 votes to 306 – a majority of 16. The amendment says Parliament will withhold approval of the Prime minister’s deal until the withdrawal bill implementing Article 50 Agreement has been passed. In essence the #Letwin manoeuvre means winning time, shifting away the vote for endorsed in Brussels this week Brexit deal.

Voting down Prime Minister’s deal implies the request of a further postponement of abandoning the EU, the step Boris Johnson categorically denies, also pointing at the EU fatigue from the protracted debate on conditions of the departure.

MPs voted 322 to 306 in favour of a 26-word Letwin amendment that imposed an obligation on Prime Minister to ask the EU for a delay until the end of January 2020.

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“And of course, the truth of it is this is all about getting a second referendum. That is what the Remainer forces in Parliament want. And the more time they buy, the more chance they’ve got of getting something like that passed. 

“So you know, we’ve got this odd situation that goes on and on and on. A Remain Parliament and a Leave country and it’s just the most awful situation.

“I feel in the absence of a general election, nothing is going to improve” said Member of the European Parliament, and the leader of Brexit party Nigel Farage in his comment to LBC TV after the vote.

The representative of the European Parliament at Brexit talks. Guy Verhofstadt wrote: “The @Europarl_EN’s Brexit Steering Group will consider the outcome of today’s vote for the Letwin amendment on Monday. Whatever happens next, the marches outside the Parliament show just how important a close EU – UK future relationship is”.

The EU spokesperson said the European Commission took a note of the vote supporting Letwin amendment. “It will be for the UK government to inform us about the next steps as soon as possible” she added.

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The president of the European Council had a telephone
conversation with Prime Minister Johnson, and is awaiting an official letter, informing the EU about the situation in the Westminster.

EU Council endorses Brexit Deal II

European Council President Donald Tusk said that the EU and the UK were “very close” to concluding Article 50 Agreement, often referred to as “Brexit Deal”. After the European Council Summit, endorsing the deal, the approval by Westminster and the European Parliament will be the final steps to seal it.

President Tusk was addressing the press corps at Brussels Brexit Summit after the 27 European Union member states agreed to approve of a deal, under which Britain will leave on October 31 in an orderly fashion.

However the experts say the Brexit deal is far from being sealed, while there is growing scepticism among British Members of Parliament, who oppose it, claiming that the second version of the Article 50 Agreement is worse than the forme Prime Minister May deal.

Since day one, the EU has been United. We negotiated with the #UK as one union, one family. We put peace and people above everything else. Now it’s time to turn a page and look towards our new partnership with the UK #Brexit”, the EU top negotiator Michel Barnier wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

Brexit meeting delayed to 17 CET

The meeting on debriefing for the EU member-states on the latest developments of Brexit talks has been delayed to 1500 GMT on October 16 from 1200 GMT, European diplomats said, commenting on state of affairs between Brussels and London on sealing a deal for orderly Brexit was postponed on, Reuters news agency reports.

Later the reports of further delay were posted on Twitter, indicating 17 CET as planned time for the meeting.(Image above; Michel Barnier, archive)

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Barnier waits for UK proposals

European Union top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured) said that the UK has yet to provide “legal and operational” proposals that could lead out of Brexit deadlock.

“We are still ready to work on any new legal and operational proposal from the UK,” Barnier said. He aslo added Tweet to his micro blog, underlining that there is a need of legally operative solution in the Withdrawal Agreement  to address the problems created by Brexit on island of Ireland.  He aslo added that the EU27 are firmly united. Barnier  underlined importance of avoiding hard border, protection of Good Friday Agreement, all-island economy & integrity of Single Market.

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Tanaiste Simon Coveney,  said “significant gaps” remain between the two sides.

However, he added that Barnier and his team are “available 24/7 to negotiate to try and get a deal done”.

Image: Berlaymont building, European Commission

Judges rule Westminster prorogation “unlawful”

The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court ruled on September 24 that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to shut down parliament in the run-up to Brexit was unlawful, pushing the process of Britain’s exit from the European Union deeper into turmoil.

The unanimous decision by the court’s 11 judges undermines Johnson and gives legislators more scope to oppose his promise to leave the  EU on October 31. Opposition leaders demanded that he should resign immediately.

The decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification,” Supreme Court President Brenda Hale said, reading out the milestone document.

 

Europarl Sassoli invited to London

European Parliament President David Sassoli today received a phone call from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. It was the first conversation between the two leaders.

Prime Minister Johnson invited president Sassoli to meet in person in London and stressed the importance of the European Parliament in the Brexit process. He expressed his wish to find a positive agreement on the United Kingdom departure from the European Union. President Sassoli responded that this was also the wish of the bloc of EU27.

The call followed the approval of a new Brexit resolution which reaffirmed the European Parliament’s support for an orderly and managed Brexit. President Sassoli stressed in the call that Parliament’s priorities remain guaranteeing citizens’ rights and protecting the peace process in Northern Ireland. He also reiterated that any agreement will need to be approved by both the UK and European Parliament, so robust debate and parliamentary scrutiny is essential. The European institutions are ready to discuss any written proposal from the UK government to unblock the current impasse.

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