Tag Archives: Dominic Raab

Gibraltar: EU-UK agreement

Brussels 21.07.2021 Today the European Commission has adopted a Recommendation for a Council decision authorising the opening of negotiations for an EU-UK agreement on Gibraltar. The Commission also presented its proposal for negotiating guidelines.

It is now for the Council to adopt this draft mandate, after which the Commission can begin formal negotiations with the United Kingdom.

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, the EU’s co-chair of the Joint Committee and Partnership Council, said: “By putting forward this draft mandate, we are honouring the political commitment we made to Spain to start the negotiations of a separate agreement between the EU and the UK on Gibraltar. This is a detailed mandate, which aims to have a positive impact for those living and working on either side of the border between Spain and Gibraltar, while protecting the integrity of the Schengen Area and the Single Market.”

Gibraltar was not included in the scope of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed between the EU and UK at the end of 2020. The Commission committed to begin the negotiation of a separate agreement on Gibraltar, should Spain request so. That is why the Commission is now recommending that the Council authorises the launch of specific negotiations on Gibraltar.

Today’s Recommendation builds upon the political understanding reached between Spain and the UK on 31 December last year. It is without prejudice to the issues of sovereignty and jurisdiction, and focuses on cooperation in the region.

The proposed negotiating directives put forward solutions to remove physical checks and controls on persons and goods at the land border between Spain and Gibraltar, while ensuring the integrity of the Schengen area and the Single Market. The proposals include rules establishing responsibility for asylum, returns, visas, residence permits, and operational police cooperation and information exchange.

Other measures are included in different areas, such as land and air transport, the rights of cross border workers, the environment, financial support, and establishing a level playing field. It envisages a robust governance mechanism, including a review of the implementation of the agreement after four years, the possibility for both parties to terminate the agreement at any time and the possibility of unilateral suspension of the application of the agreement under certain circumstances.

Spain, as the neighbouring Schengen Member State and as the Member State to be entrusted with the application and implementation of certain provisions of the future agreement, will be particularly affected by the agreement. The Commission will therefore maintain close contacts with the Spanish authorities throughout the negotiations and afterwards, taking their views duly into account.

With regard to external border control, in circumstances requiring increased technical and operational support, any Member State, including Spain, may request Frontex assistance in implementing its obligations. The Commission acknowledges that Spain has already expressed its full intention to ask Frontex for assistance.

EU Delegation to UK

Brussels 05.05.2021 EU High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, and the UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Dominic Raab, met in the margins of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in London, on 5 May 2021.

In a joint statement, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement together, based on goodwill and pragmatism, on an Establishment Agreement for the EU Delegation to the UK. The EU Ambassador will have a status consistent with heads of missions of states, including agrément and presentation of the credentials to the Head of State. EU Delegation staff will have the privileges and immunities needed to function effectively, while allowing for effective administration of justice, and we look forward to moving ahead and tackling global challenges together.”

They also discussed future EU – UK cooperation on foreign and security policy and avenues for stepping up joint work on climate change and climate diplomacy, including ahead of the Glasgow COP26. The Foreign Secretary and the High Representative also exchanged on the Cyprus settlement talks. They stressed the need to build the momentum for a next meeting of the two sides and underlined their full support to the UN efforts in the process.

COVID19: Raab UK PM «par interim»

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been transferred to intensive care unit in hospital after his coronavirus symptoms “worsened”, Downing Street announced.
A spokesman said this decision has been made upon on the advice of his medical team and Boris Johnson is receiving “excellent care”.

Mr Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputise “where necessary”, the spokesman added. There is no futher information availble if this decision of Prime Minister was formalised.

The Boris Johnson, 55, was admitted to hospital in London with “persistent symptoms” of coronavrius on Sunday evening.

A No 10 statement read: “The prime minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus.
Over the course of [Monday] afternoon, the condition of the prime minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the intensive care unit at the hospital.”
It continued: “The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”

Michel Barnier, the EU top Brexit negotiator, who was also diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, was among those who reacted upon the news of Boris Johnson transfer to intensive care, wishing him “speedy recovery”.

EU27 “deliberately intransigent approach”

The United Kingdom and the European Union are close to agreeing an Artcle  50 deal,  Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said.

We have made good progress. We are close to agreeing a deal,” Raab said. “There certainly is a risk of a no deal especially if the European Union engage in a deliberately intransigent approach” he added.

 

‘Tribalision’ of UK politics towards Brexit

British Brexit minister Dominic Raab said the parliament will have sufficient time to debate any exit deal Prime Minister Theresa May agrees with the European Union, and that lawmakers will have a real say on whether to approve it or not. However not all of them are convinced by minister’s promise, preferring to deliver personally their message to EU27 top negotiator Michel Barnier.

Senior Brexiteers held ‘constructive‘ talks with the EU27 top negociator Michel Barnier in Brussels today, but they  denied undermining Prime minister Theresa May efforts.

Former Cabinet ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson, together with Lord David Trimble, held talks at the EU Commission Berlaymont building.

The delegates promoted their vision of an EU-Canada model of free trade to follow in shaping Brexit deal, putting forward the policy of the Tory European Research Group.

The fragmentation of British public opinion vis-à-vis Brussel creates apparent frictions in the process of Article 50 talks, weakening the officially mandated negotiator position Dominic Raab, who is facing complex consequences of “tribalisation” of the UK politics.

Raab insists on ‘pragmatic’ approach to Brexit

Britain’s Brexit minister Dominic Raab said the government’s proposal on the post-Brexit border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland was the only credible one.  He underlined that the border issue needs flexible approach.

Brexit Secretary made his point, calling the EU27 for a pragmatic approach to avoid ‘no deal’ scenario.

EU “closing in” on Article 50

The UK and the European Union are “closing in” on a withdrawal agreement, Brexit minister Dominic Raab said before a meeting of European leaders in Salzburg next week.

Different Brussels sources indicate that there cannot even be any change to Barnier’s mandate at Salzburg, because it is an informal Summit and doesn’t have the legal power to make instructions. Any change agreed informally would have to be passed next month, at the October European Council.

Barnier warns Brexit talks running out of time

Britain’s proposals on its future relationship with the European Union contain constructive elements, but many questions remain, EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said.

In a press statement Barnier ensured that he will continue discussion with Dominic Raab in a constructive way, suggesting the main focus must be the finalisation of the Withdrawal Agreement.

“Let me recall that the Withdrawal Agreement is the prerequisite for an orderly withdrawal, for the transition period, and for creating the trust that we need to build a solid partnership for the future” – Barnier said.

The border issue between Ireland and Northern Ireland is in first ranks, Barnier continued, because Europe is committed to protect Ireland and Northern Ireland against the consequences of Brexit and to preserve the Good Friday Agreement in all its dimensions.

“Let me simply recall the commitment taken by Prime Minister Theresa May to have a backstop in her letter to President Tusk in March. The respect of this commitment is essential” – Barnier reminded. He also made clear to Dominic Raab  that “we are not asking for a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. What we need is checks on goods because the UK wants to leave the Single Market, the Customs Union and our common commercial policy”.

Barnier pointed out that the time is running out, asking UK to continue working on issues without pause.

“We are open to any solutions as long as they are workable and can be transformed into a legally operative text in time for the Withdrawal Agreement”.

However, he underlined that it is also EU27 responsibility to be prepared for all scenarios, including a “no deal”, quoting the European Council request to be prepared for for “all scenarios”.

“We are encouraging national administrations and companies to use the time we have, which is very short, to accelerate this preparation” – Barnier concluded.