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.
“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.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on November 12 that she expected Westminster to approve British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Article 50 deal with the European Union.
The United Kingdom voted by 52%-48% in 2016 to leave the EU, albeit without deciding how it would be done with or without a deal.
Queen Elizabeth abandons real fur garments, from now onwards all the outfits will be decorated with fake fur only, the Buckingham Palace announced.
“As new outfits are designed for the Queen, any fur used will be fake fur“, the royal spokesperson said.
However, the palace acknowledged “the Queen will continue to re-wear existing outfits in her wardrobe,” alluding that the decision does not mean the long-reigning monarch will dispose of real fur items she already owns, the Associated Press It also means that the animal rights activists were overly enthusiastic when they presumed the monarch will go “fur-free”, nevertheless it is a huge step forward, a milestone in evolution, indicating the direction of development of cruelty free fashion industry.
The European Union leaders have agreed to extend the UK departure date until 31 January 2020, indirectly acknowledging that the British government will not meet the foreseen deadline on October 31.
The president of the EU Council Donald Tusk assessed the delay as “flextension“, underlining that there is no need to keep membership in the block until the date, but Britons could leave anytime before the date as soon as the Withdrawal Agreement was approved by Westminster.
The new Brexit delay has been announced amid MPs intend to vote on proposals by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for an early general election on December 12.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) and Liberal Democrat’s (Lib/Dem) have also proposed an election a few days earlier – on December 9.
The UK was due to leave the EU on October 31, but PM Johnson was required to request an extension after Westminster failed to agree a Withdrawal Agreement.
Boris Johnson had repeatedly stated the UK would leave on 31 October meeting the deadline regardless the Withdrawal Agreement, but the law – known as the Benn Act – imposes to accept the EU’s extension proposal in absence of the Brexit deal.
The Downing Street source said to the BBC that the government would introduce a bill “almost identical” to the Lib Dem/SNP option on October 29 if Labour voted their proposal down later, and “we will have a pre-Christmas election anyway”.
The European Union has agreed to the UK request for a Brexit deadline extension but set no new exact date, offering to Westminster sufficient time to decide on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposal for a snap election. (Image above: Michel Barnier, archive)
“There was full agreement on the need for an extension,” an EU official said after ambassadors discussed postponing the deadline, less than a week before the agreed date of October 31.
“Work will continue over the weekend” and the envoys will meet again in Brussels on October 28-29, the civil servant said.
According to existing. EU Treaties the UK has an obligation to assign a candidate for a Commissioner to join European Commission next mandate team. In case Britons are still members of the European Union after October 31, they have to align with their legal obligations, and join the team.
Britain will have to propose a candidate for a commissioner in the next European Commission if it still is a member of the European Union after October 31 next head of the institution Ursula von der Leyen said.
The outgoing EU executive of Jean-Claude Juncker is supposed to conclude the five-year term on October 31, although a delay is imminent because the new Commission is still missing commissioners from France, Hungary and Romania.
Under the EU Treaty each of the 28 member-states has to delegate one commissioner.
Ursula von der Leyen reminded the UK about the obligations the EU membership imposes on the UK government.
Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas shared his hope of Westiminster lawmakers would vote to proceed with an orderly Brexit, he also confirmed his readiness for a short extension of Brexit for the lawmakers to proceed with the legislation.
“I hope that the British lower house, showing the necessary responsibility, can take a decision on this today and that on the basis of this decision we will be in a position to achieve an orderly Brexit,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
“Should there be problems in Britain with the ratification, I would not rule out that there could be a short, technical extension,” the top diplomat added.
“Should there not be a majority in the British lower house, then we in the European Union would have to look at whether there would then be a full extension – and only then would there be a decision about that. At the moment, I don’t think it is sensible or appropriate to speculate about that.”