Tag Archives: Northern Ireland

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

Varadkar: no follow up Brexit talks

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar reiterated that the European Union will not reopen the talks on Withdrawal agreement it has concluded with the UK, neither will it remove the Northern Ireland border “backstop” clause. (Image: archive).

Anything a (new) British prime minister has to say in relation to resolving the Brexit impasse will get a fair hearing from me and from everyone in the European Union,” Varadkar said at a news conference at a meeting of the British-Irish Council in Manchester, on June 28.

“At the same time, it needs to be understood that we mean what we say, and that is that the withdrawal agreement won’t be reopened, without a backstop there will be no transition period but we are willing to examine the joint political declaration and make amendments to that enables us to proceed to an orderly Brexit with a guarantee that there will be no hard border,” he underlined.

Anderson MEP: gangs are not IRA

Member of European Parliament Martina Anderson (Sinn FeinUK) (pictured) expressed her sorrow for victim of terrorist incident in Creggan, Northern Ireland. “My heart is sore at the murder of Lyra McKeewrote Anderson in her Twitter micro blog. She also insisted that the murder was committed by gangs “masquerading as the IRA“, because the IRA “embraced peace”.

The President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani demanded the authorities to shed light on death of journalist Lyra McKee, underlining it is unacceptable that reporters pay price of their lives while fulfilling their professional duties.

All five main political parties at Stormont made a statement underlining the act is also seen as an “attack on all the people of this community, an attack on the peace and democratic process”.

The Editorial of American news aggregator Mediagazer, where late Lyra McKee worked,  published an article on the murder, including necrology:

Ms McKee was a journalist who wrote for publications including Atlantic and Buzzfeed and had recently moved to Derry to live with her partner.

She was from north Belfast and had worked as an editor for California-based news site Mediagazer, a trade publication covering the media industry.

In 2016, Forbes Magazine named her one of their 30 under 30 in media.

She had been working on a new book which had been due to be published in 2020.”

Journalist killed in terrorist incident in N.Ireland

An journalist was killed after shots were fired during a “terrorist incident”in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry overnight. As soon as the violence erupted police said it was likely the act of militant nationalists opposed to the British region’s 1998 peace deal.

Rioting broke out in the Irish nationalist Creggan area of the city late night on April 18 following a raid by police, who said they were intended to prevent militant attacks planned for the weekend. Nevertheless At least 50 petrol bombs were thrown and two cars set on fire.

“Unfortunately at 11 o’clock last night a gunman appeared and fired a number of shots toward the police and a young woman, Lyra McKee 29 year old was wounded” and later succumbed to injuries, Police Service of Northern Ireland Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton told press on April 19.

AMENDED: Late Lyra McKee lived in Belfast, she replaced Mediagazer’s founding editor at age of 21. McKee was passionate about journalism, and  venturing new ways of producing information in digital age, then she worked from her home and sometimes from the Sinammon Coffee Shop on Botanic Avenue struggling  to make living out of journalism. In Skype Video below McKee explains her vision of profession (published on March 20, 2018).

AMENDED: The president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani expressed his sorrow, and demanded investigation on death of Lyra McKee.  During his mandate Tajani has attributed names of three journalists slain in terrorist acts to EP press-center auditoriums in Strasbourg.

 

Brussels deaf to May’s attempts to save deal

Prime Minister Theresa May will address her own political family members of parliament (MPs) with a request to send a message to Brussels informing they would support her Brexit deal if a plan to avoid a hard border in Ireland is replaced. (Image: Berlaymont).

 

May attempts to seal bilateral Irish deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May intends to seal a bilateral treaty with the Irish government as a tool to remove the so-called “backstop” arrangement from Article 50 deal with the European Union, according to media reports.

May thought a deal with Ireland would remove the opposition to her Brexit plan from the Democratic Unionist Party that supports  her minority government and from discontent pro hard Brexit MPs in Conservative Party, the Sunday Times reported.

 

EU drafts Irish border solutions to save Brexit deal

European Unionstands ready to examine whether any further assurance can be provided” to the UK over the Irish border in Article 50 Agreement between the EU27 and the Britain.

The EU institutions are preparing a draft of a document the for British Prime Minister Theresa May  to facilitate  the divided Westminster to approve their Brexit deal, underlining said any such clarifications would not “change or contradict” the Agreement.

The 27 EU member-states have not reached consent on large parts of the draft text and the European diplomats presume the draft will be a subject of changes. The part of the text on the EU’s readiness to provide more assurances to the UK is under scrutiny of the Irish.

There is an opinion among the  European diplomats that Theresa May is seeking to terminate the Irish backstop after three years of transitional period, while Irish are insisting  on an agreement without an expiration date, but with a possibility to be replaced by another negotiated deal in the future, however the will be no situation of a political vacuum in this case.

Image above: illustration, Michel Barnier in Europa building.

Irish border amendment proposal

Three lawmakers loyal to Prime Minister Theresa May have proposed new Brexit safeguards to offer the Westminster  on the issue of Northern Ireland in a bid to help the leader to win a crucial vote approving the government’s Article 50 deal.

May is struggling to get her Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union through Parliament in a vote on December 11 that will shape the UK departure from the bloc and the Prime Minister’s future as a leader.

The main vote is on a motion stating that lawmakers in the 650-seat House of Commons approve the Brexit deal, however lawmakers can also try to amend the text in the process.

The latest amendment addresses the backstop, an element of the  deal that has disappointed lawmakers in May’s own party and her allies in Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). It is intended to ensure there is no return to a hard border between British Northern Ireland and EU member-state Ireland.

Critics say however it could leave Britain forced to accept EU regulations indefinitely, or it will regard Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the United Kingdom.

Laura Kuenssberg, theBBC ’s political editor published in her Twitter micro blog a photo of a signed amendment which would give Parliament a vote on whether the UK should enter the backstop period, or whether an extension to the implementation period should be sought instead.

At present the forecasts are pessimistic, indicating that May would lose the vote.

N.Ireland lawmakers “displeasure” with Brexit draft deal

The Northern Irish lawmakers, the allies of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government sent her a stark warning over her draft Brexit deal, refusing  support in several parliamentary votes on a finance bill.

Since striking a draft Article 50 deal with the EU27 a week ago, some lawmakers in her Conservative Party have tried to challenge her leadership and her Northern Irish allies added the deal threatens the unity of the country.

May vowed to defend the fruits of her work  repeatedly cautioning her critics of the damages to the Britons if they undermine her, the United Kingdom will be confronted with a potentially disorderly departure from the EU on March 29 or that Brexit could be postponed or even canceled for that date.

“We had to do something to show our displeasure,” the DUP’s Brexit spokesman, Sammy Wilson, said.

The votes, he said, were “designed to send a political message to the government: Look we’ve got an agreement with you but you’ve got to keep your side of the bargain otherwise we don’t feel obliged to keep ours.”

UK at crossroads

The ‘technical’ Brexit agreement reached between the EU and the UK negotiators envisages the two sides deciding in July 2020 whether they will have a new deal in place to ensure an open Irish border after the post-Brexit transition ends at the end of 2020, according to EU diplomatic sources in Brussels.

Beyond the transition period London would be able to chose between extending the transition period once, possibly until the end of 2021, or going into a “bare-bones” customs arrangement that would cover all of the United Kingdom but in which Northern Ireland would be aligned more closely with the EU’s customs rules and production standards.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is attempting to convince cabinet on Wednesday, November 14 to accept the draft EU Article 50 deal that her opponents say threatens both her government and the unity of the United Kingdom.

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