Tag Archives: Dublin

Ireland-UK free-trade possible

A new free-trade deal between the UK and the European Union by the end of 2020 is possible if it does not deviate significantly from current trading terms, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said. 

“In terms of negotiating a trade agreement before December 2020, I think that is difficult but not impossible” if Britain ratifies its EU withdrawal agreement by its current Jan. 31 deadline, Varadkar told press in Dublin, Reuters news agency reports.

https://twitter.com/merrionstreet/status/1195332555727417344?s=21

“The more like the status quo, the quicker it will be,” Varadkar said, but added that ratification by 27 member states may not be possible by the end of 2020, the scheduled end of a proposed Brexit transition phase.

Italian Socialist Sassoli new Europarl president

Italian MEP for a decade, former journalist David-Maria Sassoli has been elected as the new president of the European Parliament.

Mr Sassoli, (63) received the support of 345 out of a total of 667 MEPs in the second round of voting in Strasbourg Plenary session.

The centre-left politician was in competition with three other candidates. He has  assumed the respuonsibility of assembly speaker immediately.

In his frist press-conference in his new capacity Sassoli vowed to deliver more democracy to the European citizens, and even open wider doors for NGO, ensuring everyone is heard. He also regretted insufficient democratic tools in EU, and promised to work on improvement on institutional democratic procedures.

The vote took place in one day delay caused by protracted crisis Summit of the EU leaders stuck in disagreement over top jobs nominations. The proposed and agreed among leaders of the member-states list of candidates for top jobs should be endorsed by European Parliament. Sassoli promised to ensure comprehensive debate.

Answering questions Sassoli pointed out that Dublin regulation should be amended because it is not more relevant to the current context. He said that European Council has a “moral obligation” to discuss asylum system to ensure Dublin as amended.

Taoiseach “surprised and disappointed”

The leader of Republic of Ireland is “surprised and disappointed” that the British government was unable to conclude a deal Dublin believed had been agreed on the future of the Northern Ireland border after Brexit, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Monday.

“We had an agreement this morning. We’re disappointed and surprised to hear that agreement cannot be concluded today but we’re happy to give the UK government more time, if it needs it, so we can conclude it in the coming days,” Varadkar told a news briefing in Dublin, commenting of events taking place in Brussels, where Prime minister Theresa May had an exchange of views with the head of European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

Varadkar confirmed his position was unequivocal and Dublin would accept changes to the agreed text only if the essence remained.

#EUCO for "pragmatic" migration strategy

EU leaders agreed that their “comprehensive, pragmatic and resolute” migration strategy, which aims to restore control of external borders and to reduce arrivals and the number of deaths at sea, was bringing results and should be consolidated.

At the same time they highlighted the need for vigilance on all migration routes and readiness to react to any new trends and developments.

The summit called for further action, including:

  • support for directly affected EU countries
  • strong cooperation with countries of origin and transit, including with Turkey and the Western Balkans
  • further efforts to increase returns
  • applying the necessary leverage by means of EU policies, such as trade or development, to improve return rates and prevent illegal migration

EU leaders also reaffirmed their support for the Schengen system. They said they would get “Back to Schengen” as soon as possible, taking into account security interests of EU countries.

They also pledged to continue talks on the reform of the Dublin system at their summit in December, with a view of reaching a consensus in the first half of 2018.

Infographic – Migration flows: Central Mediterranean route

Irregular arrivals in Italy per month, from January 2015-2017

Central Mediterranean Route

Illegal arrivals decreased by almost 70% on the Central Mediterranean route in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, thanks to the efforts of the EU and its member states, especially Italy.

“Leaders agreed to offer Prime Minister Gentiloni stronger support for Italy’s work with the Libyan authorities. We have a real chance of closing the Central Mediterranean route”

President Donald Tusk at the press briefing of European Council meeting of 19 October 2017

At the summit the EU leaders called for further efforts, including:

  • working with Libya and its neighbours to boost border controlsand support local communities along the migratory routes in Libya
  • increase efforts to establish a permanent EU presence in Libya
  • providing adequate and targeted funding for migration-related projects in North Africa

Banks prepare for ‘no deal’ Brexit

Its is entirely possible that the UK  will leave the European Union without a transition agreement, and companies need to do more to prepare for an abrupt departure, Irish Central Bank Deputy Governor Ed Sibley said on Tuesday.

Negotiations on the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU have made slow progress before a March 2019 deadline. Talks on the transition period have not even begun.

EU leaders meet on Thursday and Friday to discuss Brexit, and a draft communique showed they won’t adopt guidelines on possible transitional arrangements until December.

JPMorgan said on Monday the chance of a “no deal” Brexit had risen to 25% from 15% previously.

“It is entirely plausible, while it might well be regrettable, that there will be a hard Brexit with no transition period, and much more work needs to be done to prepare for this plausible scenario, particularly in the insurance sector,” Sibley said in a speech at a conference in Dublin.