Tag Archives: Donald Tusk

EU Summit Brexit deadline dilemma

The European Council will start on Thursday (21.03.2019) afternoon with our usual exchange with President Tajani. We will then turn to Prime Minister May who will share her assessment of the latest developments regarding Brexit. After this, we will discuss the next steps concerning Brexit at 27″ Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council wrote in his open letter.

In the statement president Tusk underlined “..even if the hope for a final success may seem frail, even illusory, and although Brexit fatigue is increasingly visible and justified, we cannot give up seeking – until the very last moment – a positive solution, of course without opening up the Withdrawal Agreement. We have reacted with patience and goodwill to numerous turns of events, and I am confident that, also now, we will not lack the same patience and goodwill, at this most critical point in this process.” 

I believe that we could consider a short extension conditional on a positive vote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons. The question remains open as to the duration of such an extension. Prime Minister May’s proposal, of the 30th of June, which has its merits, creates a series of questions of a legal and political nature”,  Tusk continued, adding that the issues would be discussed during the  European Council Summit #EUCO.

 

May expected to request Brexit delay

British Prime Minister Theresa May will request a “short delay” for departure of the UK from the EU in a letter to the European Council on March 20, Sky News cited an s senior government source. The move is feared by the Leavers to become a first step in a sequence of events leading to de facto cancellation the results of the Brexit referendum.

The request of delay, almost three years since Britons voted in referendum to leave the European Union, leads to the Brexit uncertainty with options of the a sequence of delays, mounting up to next five years of negotiations to produce a meaningful and mutually acceptable Article 50 Agreement. Some experts consider the delay in reality might become open-ended, without any  definite deadline to respect, but causing by obligation of the UK to participate in the upcoming European elections, and engage in the next Brussels political cycle.

In need to postpone the formal Brexit date March 29  Prime Minister May has to apply to European Council President Donald Tusk, responsible for the EU Summit preparations to present the request to the heads of states and governments of the EU member-states on 21 of March.

However the length of the delay beyond May 24 inevitably leads to the engagement of the UK in the European elections, and the next political cycle in the EU, the move that the Leavers presume will jeopardise the entire Brexit process for years to come.

There are also concerns among the European politicians about the import the Westminster political crisis to Brussels, affecting the future of the bloc. The president of the EU Council Donald Tusk indicated via his Twitter micro blog, that ‘no-dealBrexit, or the break with the UK without any agreement, is still on the cards.

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Tusk supports long-term Brexit extension

The president of the European Council Donald Tusk made an appeal for long term extension of Article 50 “if necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it”.

Meanwhile the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) insist that any extension should have a clear reason behind it, because the prolongation of the situation might ‘hijack’ the European elections. It also exports the political crisis in Westminster to Brussels, blocking various, crucial for Europe, developments.

We have to know what for the UK is asking for extension”, – said Gabi Zimmer (Germany, GUE/NGL), the leader of Greens in the European Parliament  The extension should have a clear purpose, and it makes sense only in the framework of sealing the Article 50 agreement.

In any case it can’be prolonged beyond, interfering with the European elections, she continued. The EU Treaty clearly indicates that all the member-states are obliged to organise the elections to European Parliament. In case the UK stays in the EU after the 24 of May, it has also to join the election process.

On contrary the European Socialists consider Brussels should be generous, and more  more room and time should be given to the UK lawmakers with less restrictions to offer them a few years term to be able to organise the second referendum and recall their request to leave the EU.

MEP Marc Tarabella considers two or three years as an appropriate timetable to deliver tangible, solid result, building majority in the Westminster, and consulting Britons in a new referendum.

 

May attempts to save Brexit deal

The European Union promised to cooperate with the British Prime minister Theresa May on “whether a way through can be found” to avoid the disruption of a no-deal Brexit after her visit to Brussels on Feburary, 7. However the EU Council president Donald Tusk admitted that there is “no break-through in sight“. The note about it was made in his Twitter micro blog.

Meanwhile the European Parliament speaker Antonio Tajani warned that ‘no-deal’ will be a “catastrophe“.

Theresa May ensured her government will deliver Brexit on time”, and she will continue to negotiate with the EU in coming days.

The EU promised more talks on Brexit issue to avoid no-deal scenario, but there are no signs for readiness to re-negotiate the deal, endorsed by the EU Council the end last year.

EU refuses to reopen Brexit deal

Following the demands of the British lawmakers Prime Minister Theresa May is attempting to renegotiate an Article 50 deal with the European Union, however Brussels is firm in its refusal of introduction of any change. The Irish border ‘backstop’ remains the apple of discord. (Image: illustration).

Within the current disposition the EU is preparing for ‘hard’ Brexit, meaning to leave the bloc under the WTO rules.

The EU top negotiator Michel Barnier said the position of Brussels institutions vis-à-vis the deal remains unchanged.

The EU rigid approach, and pressure applied to the UK, to opinion of experts is an attempt to direct Britons to cancellation of Brexit in one or the other form: for postponing it indefinitely, or demanding the second referendum.
Meanwhile the attempt of Labour MP Yvette Cooper to delay Brexit and stop a ‘No Deal’ has failed

EU-Japan ‘strategic partners’ era

From December 2018 to February 2019 EU-Japan relations are set to receive a major lift with the signing of a new trade agreement and a strategic partnership.

Although EU and Japan already enjoy good relations, they have agreed to upgrade their partnership against a background of increasing international tensions and protectionism.

The proposed trade agreement will make it easier for European companies to export to Japan, while a planned strategic partnership will boost cooperation on common challenges such as security and the environment.

 

The European Parliament endorsed both proposals of the Commission during the December plenary. The Council will also have to approve both agreements before they can enter into force.

EU companies export more than €58 billion worth of goods and €28 billion in services to Japan a year, but the trade agreement will boost this even further by removing remaining barriers to trade. This includes eliminating 90% of tariffs on more than 90% of the EU’s exports to Japan. This is expected to save EU exporters about €1 billion in customs duties a year. In addition, Japan will recognise the special status of more than 200 European agricultural products from specific regions, known as Geographical Indications. Measures will also be taken to lower non-tariff barriers, for example by relying on international standards rather than specific Japanese requirements.

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement sends a timely signal in support of open, fair, values- and rules-based trade at a time of increasing protectionism and an erratic trade policy by US President Donald Trump. This agreement also represents an opportunity for the European Union (EU) in the Asia-Pacific, especially since the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) regional free trade agreement, and helps promote EU values and high standards in the region.”  MEP Pedro SILVA PEREIRA a Portuguese member of the S&D group, said the agreement was being concluded at an important time:

“This agreement will foster not only closer bilateral economic ties, but also concrete cooperation on sustainable development like the fight against climate change. The agreement can, in addition, enhance coordination on multilateral issues with Japan and help shape rules for the global economy in line with our high standards and shared values of respect for human rights, democracy and the rules of law” the MEP added.

MEPs said they saw the agreements as possible models for cooperation with other countries.

It is the first EU trade agreement with a commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change and with dedicated chapters on corporate governance and small and medium-sized enterprises. The agreement also upholds the EU’s high standards on environmental protection, consumer protection, food safety and labour rights, protects public services and respects the right to regulate
Silva Perreira said.

The two agreements have been possible because the EU and Japan are like-minded partners with shared values of democracy and a common vision for global trade and cooperation… high standards and the readiness to address current global challenges should be the cornerstone of future cooperation agreements” MEP Alojz
Peterle said.

Tusk meets Barnier ahead of EU Summit

The EU27 leaders will meet in the framework of Summit on December 13 to discuss the situation around Brexit, and latest developments in the UK.
We will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop, but we are ready to discuss how to facilitate UK ratification. As time is running out, we will also discuss our preparedness for a no-deal scenario“,  informed Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council.

The EU leaders relentlessly repeat there will be no Article 50 deal re-negotiation, however they are willing  to “facilitate” the UK ratification of the Agreement.

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