Tag Archives: Guy Verhofstadt

Brexit: EU expects UK to find solution

The EU has done everything it can to help get the Withdrawal Agreement over the line. The impasse can only be solved in the . Our “no-deal” preparations are now more important than ever before” said top EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier via his Twitter micro blog.

I regret the outcome of tonight’s . It is disappointing that the UK government has been unable to ensure a majority for the Withdrawal Agreement agreed by both parties in November, even after multiple additional assurances from the EU. A solution must come from London” wrote Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime minister.

European Parliament Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstad blamed the UK for the failure to deliver orderly departure under Article 50.

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

EU27 defends Brexit deal as “best compromise”

Westminster voting down the proposed by the Theresa May government agreement with EU27 caused the range of reactions from the blocs’s institutions, and major players, warning about the catastrophic consequences of the no-deal Brexit for communities from both sides of the Channel.

The deal on the table respects the UK’s red lines and protects our citizens and companies from the surreal possibility of a no-deal Brexit. The Government should swiftly provide clarity on the next steps. The time for one-liners has run out, we need concrete choices”,  Manfred Weber MEP (Germany, EPP) said. Although he admitted that the UK departing without an agreement is becoming one of realistic scenarios.

The EU top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said EU is ‘fearing more than ever’ a chaotic departure of UK from bloc.

It is not up to me, as a humble Belgian, to lecture Brits on what to do, but I think it’s time the national interest overtakes narrow party politics & cross party politics redefines the red lines imposed by hardliners in the Conservative party. We are ready for this” said Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium, ALDE).

Europarl leaders refuse Brexit deal revision

The Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament political groups informed that the Withdrawal Agreement is fair and balanced and the it is only deal possible. It is therefore one not open to renegotiation.

 

The Conference of Presidents, together with the Brexit Steering Group, discussed  the state of play of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

The Conference took note that the meaningful vote in the House of Commons on the Withdrawal Agreement had been deferred and that the UK Prime Minister had held meetings yesterday with a number of European leaders to explore ways to facilitate the UK’s ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Conference reconfirmed its view that the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration are fair and balanced and represent, given EU principles, current UK red lines and the commitments set out in the Good Friday Agreement, the only deal possible to ensure an orderly withdrawal from the European Union. It stressed that renegotiating the backstop was not possible since it is the guarantee that in whatever circumstances there could be no hardening of the border on the island of Ireland. The Conference reiterated that without a backstop Parliament would not give its consent to the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Conference also reiterated its support for as close as possible future EU-UK relationship such that the deployment of the backstop would not be necessary. The President and group leaders reaffirmed that the backstop is in any case to be used only as a measure of last resort. All efforts to make this point clear were welcomed.

The Conference noted that failure to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement would mean no transition period following the exit from the EU. It called on the Commission and the Member States to continue and intensify their work on no-deal planning.

  • The Conference finally noted that Parliament’s consent to the Withdrawal Agreement would be facilitated by UK government assurances as regards implementation of the citizens’ rights provisions of the Agreement in those areas outlined in a ‘diplomatic bag‘ correspondence with the Home Office.

The Conference of Presidents agreed to return to the issue of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union at its next meeting.

UK opens settlement scheme for EU citizens

EU citizens will be able to apply for settled status in three easy steps for less than the price of a passport, under plans outlined by the Immigration Minister today, June 21. 

“EU citizens make a huge contribution to our economy and to our society. They are our friends, family and colleagues and we want them to stay. “This is an important step which will make it easy for EU citizens to get the status they need to continue working and living here. “We are demonstrating real progress and I look forward to hearing more detail on how the EU will make reciprocal arrangements for UK nationals living in the EU” – Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said.

EU citizens living in the UK and their family members will need to apply under the settlement scheme to obtain their new UK immigration status. Caroline Nokes confirmed that those applying under the scheme will only need to complete three key steps. They will need to prove their identity, show that that they live in the UK, and declare that they have no serious criminal convictions.

 The Minister also announced the planned fee for people applying under the scheme. It is proposed that an application will cost £65 and £32.50 for a child under 16. For those who already have valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain documentation, they will be able to exchange it for settled status for free.

The Home Office will check the employment and benefit records held by government which will mean that, for many, their proof of residence will be automatic.

Those who have not yet lived in the UK for five years will be granted pre-settled status and be able to apply for settled status once they reach the five-year point. From April 2019, this second application will be free of charge.

 The draft Immigration Rules which have been published today providing details of the scheme, deliver on the citizens’ rights agreement with the EU reached in March this year, which also guarantees the rights of UK nationals living in the EU.

 The new online application system will be accessible through phones, tablets, laptops and computers. The Government will provide support for the vulnerable and those without access to a computer, and continues to work with EU citizens’ representatives and embassies to ensure the system works for everyone.

The settlement scheme will open in a phased way from later this year and will be fully open by 30 March 2019. The deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021.

 The Home Office will continue to engage with stakeholders, including employers, local authority representatives and community groups, about the detailed design of the scheme before the Rules are laid before Parliament.

The European Parliament representative to Brexit negotiations MEP Guy Verhofstadt expressed his concerns about EU citizens rights to vote in the UK:

Arron Banks orders Verhofstadt to retract false claims

Lawyers for Brexit campaigner Arron Banks ordered the European Parliament’s chief Brexit coordinator to retract a claim that Banks colluded with Russia to deliver the UK vote to leave the European Union.

Guy Verhofstadt, who leads the European Parliament Brexit coordination team, said on Twitter that far-right and right wing leaders across Europe made up a fifth column of cheerleaders for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a letter to Verhofstadt, Bank’s lawyers, Mishcon de Reya, quoted the tweet which mentioned former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage as a cheerleader and he “colluded w/ Russians to deliver #Brexit”.

Severna Macedonians expect decision on EU accession talks in June

The EU “wholeheartedly” congratulated Prime Ministers Alexis Tsipras of Greece and Zoran Zaev (pictured) of FYROM (Republic of Macedonia) for their determination and leadership in reaching a “historic agreement” between their countries, which to the EU opinion will contribute to the transformation of the entire region of South-East Europe.

“This achievement belongs to the leaders of the two countries and their teams, but first and foremost it belongs to all the citizens of both countries, and of Europe as a whole” – the European External Action Service issued on occasion said.

The negotiating process, under the auspices of the United Nations and the mediation of the personal envoy of the UNSG, Matthew Nimetz, and with the European Union’s strong support, is also clear proof of the power of multilateral diplomacy, dialogue, respect and willingness to find win-win solutions to even the most difficult of issues. Together, we must now make good use of the window of opportunity that has been pushed wide open to accompany and consolidate the winds of peace and cooperation in the entire region.

The endorsement of the  recommendation of 17 April to open accession negotiations with Severna Makedonija (Severna Macedonia/Northern Macedonia) in awaited at June Council.

 

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