Tag Archives: UK

EU-UK «ambitious partnership »

Michel Barnier (pictured) , the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, sets out points of convergence and divergence following the first round of negotiations. Here is the translation from original in French:

“This new negotiation aims to build – or rebuild – an ambitious partnership, after Brexit, with this great friendly and ally country that is the United Kingdom.

We must rebuild everything, on new legal bases.

So we started this work in a serious and constructive way:

       with David Frost, who leads negotiations on the British side;

       and with the two negotiating teams.

These teams, exceptional by their size and their competence, are made up of experts representing:

       on the British side, the various ministries and departments concerned, and

       on the Union side, 22 Directorates General of the European Commission, the External Action Service, and the General Secretariat of the Council.

I would like to sincerely thank all of these people for their work, their professionalism and, above all, for the cordial and constructive spirit they have shown over the past few days.

And I would like to personally thank President Ursula von der Leyen and her cabinet for the trust and support they have shown me”.

EU-UK negotiation mandate adopted

The Council adopted a decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a new partnership with the UK and formally nominating the Commission as the EU negotiator. The Council also adopted negotiating directives which constitute a mandate to the Commission for the negotiations.

The first formal meeting between the EU and UK negotiators is expected to take place in early March. EU ministers also discussed the next steps in the EU-UK relationship.

The Council adopted a decision giving the go-ahead to open negotiations on a new partnership with the UK. The Council also nominated the Commission as EU negotiator and adopted the negotiating directives which set the scope of the future partnership. This mandate covers areas such as trade, fisheries, foreign policy, security and defence, law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

As a next step, the Commission will agree with the UK the dates for the first negotiating sessions.

The Council has adopted a clear and strong mandate for our negotiator, Michel Barnier. This confirms our readiness to offer an ambitious, wide-ranging and balanced partnership to the UK for the benefit of both sides. The EU is now ready to start negotiations” said
Andreja Metelko-Zgombić, Croatian State Secretary for European Affairs.

Johnson’s post-Brexit vision

The European Union and Britain started arugment over a post-Brexit trade deal on February 3, setting out very different visions of a future relationship that could result in the most distant of ties, and even the departue without a deal.

Boris Johnson has set out his vision for a trade deal with the EU, saying there is “no need” for the UK to follow Brussels’ rules, underlining that in many areas British standards are higher and practices more advanced than the ones on the continent.
The PM expressed his clear preference for a Canada-style free trade deal, saying the UK would return to the Withdrawal Agreement if such a deal was not reached.

Almost three days since Britain officially left the EU, both sides presented their aims, with the question of whether the UK will sign up to EU rules to ensure frictionless trade shaping up to be the defining argument of the negotiations.

We have often been told that we must choose between full access to the EU market, along with accepting its rules and courts on the Norway model, or an ambitious free trade agreement, which opens up markets and avoids the full panoply of EU regulation, on the example of Canada“, the Boris Johnson said in his speech in Greenwich, London.

We have made our choice – we want a free trade agreement, similar to Canada’s but in the very unlikely event that we do not succeed, then our trade will have to be based on our existing Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.
The choice is emphatically not ‘deal or no deal’. The question is whether we agree a trading relationship with the EU comparable to Canada’s – or more like Australia’s. In either case, I have no doubt that Britain will prosper mightily.”
PM rejected the requirement for the UK to adopt Brussels-made rules “on competition policy, subsidies, social protection, the environment, or anything similar, any more than the EU should be obliged to accept UK rules”.

In any negotiations, both sides will do what is best for them.
The EU will protect the interests of our citizens and of the European companies.
We know time is short and the road is long, so we kick off the negotiations today”
the EU top executive Ursula von der Leyen said, indicating to the approach of the bloc.

London jihadist released on licence

The assailant who strapped a fake bomb vest to his chest before stabbing two people in South London had been released from prison just days earlier, The Sun reports.

Sudesh Amman, 20, was being monitored by counter-terror police before the “knife obsessed” jihadi went on a rampage on Streatham High Road on Sunday afternoon.

Amman, from Harrow, North London, was sentenced to more than three years in jail for committing terror offenses but let-out on automatic release after serving half his sentence despite concerns he still held extremist views.

The ISIS-supporting jihadi, who was only a teenager when arrested, was jailed for possessing and distributing terrorist documents.

Gibraltar considers joining Schengen

Gibraltar is considering to joint the Schengen free movement area in a gesture of guranteeing the fluidity on its border with Spain after the UK left the European Union, the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said.

Picardo remarks, made in an interview with AFP came just two weeks before Britain and Gibraltar formerly leave the bloc and enter into an 11-month period of intense negotiations to shape the future the UK-EU relationship.

“We talked about this issue before Brexit… about Gibraltar becoming part of the Schengen zone,” Picardo said.

The British enclave at the soutern point of Iberian peninsula, Gibraltar modus operandi counts on 28,000 crossings daily, and preserving it will be one of the central elements to talks when the transition period begins on February 1.

Johnson: EU and “energetic Britain”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Brexit could be a “stunning success” for the UK in a video address released on January 31, an hour before the country leaves the European Union.

Here is the full text of his speech:

Tonight we are leaving the European Union.

“For many people, this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come. And there are many of course who feel a sense of anxiety and loss.

“And then there’s a third group – perhaps the biggest – who had started to worry that the whole political wrangle would never come to an end.

“I understand all those feelings and our job as the government – my job – is to bring this country together now and take us forward.

“The most important thing to say tonight is that this is not an end but a beginning. This is the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act in our great national drama.

“And yes it is partly about using these new powers – this recaptured sovereignty – to deliver the changes people voted for. Whether that is by controlling immigration or creating free ports or liberating our fishing industry or doing free trade deals.

“Or, simply making our laws and rules for the benefit of the people of this country

“And of course I think that is the right and healthy and democratic thing to do. Because for all its strengths and for all its admirable qualities, the EU has evolved over 50 years in a direction that no longer suits this country.

“And that is a judgment that you, the people, have now confirmed at the polls. Not once, but twice.

“And yet this moment is far bigger than that. It is not just about some legal extrication, it is potentially a moment of real national renewal and change.

“This is the dawn of a new era in which we no longer accept that your life chances – your family’s life chances – should depend on which part of the country you grow up in.

“This is the moment when we really begin to unite and level up: defeating crime, transforming our NHS, and with better education, with superb technology, and with the biggest revival of our infrastructure since the Victorians, we will spread hope and opportunity to every part of the UK

“And if we can get this right I believe that with every month that goes by we will grow in confidence, not just at home but abroad. And in our diplomacy, our fight against climate change, our campaigns for human rights, female education, we will rediscover muscles that we have not used for decades. The power of independent thought and action

“Not because we want to detract from anything done by our EU friends – of course not.

“We want this to be the beginning of a new era of friendly cooperation between the EU and an energetic Britain.

“A Britain that is simultaneously a great European power, and truly global in our range and ambitions.

“And when I look at this country’s incredible assets, our scientists, our engineers, our world-leading universities, our armed forces, when I look at the potential of this country waiting to be unleashed, I know that we can turn this opportunity into a stunning success.

“And whatever the bumps in the road ahead, I know that we will succeed.

“We have obeyed the people, we have taken back the tools of self-government.

“Now is the time to use those tools to unleash the full potential of this brilliant country and to make better the lives of everyone in every corner of our United Kingdom.”

Macron laments Brexit “shock”

Britain’s exit from the European Union was made possible by the “lies uttered” during the June 2016 referendum campaign but also because Europe has not changed enough, Emmanuel Macron said on January 31, this Brexit must constitute “a historic alarm signal” for the EU. (Image: archive).

This departure is a shock, it is a historic alarm signal which must resound in each of our countries”, declared the president of the Republic in a televised speech diffused less than six hours before the effective exit of the Great Brittany from the EU at midnight (23:00 GMT).

We must remember at all times what lies can lead to in our democracies,” he continued.

“This Brexit is possible, has been possible and will come into effect in a few hours because we have too often made Europe a scapegoat for our own difficulties, because also we have not changed our Europe enough. We need Europe more than ever “, said Emmanuel Macron.

I am aware that Europe can only continue to move forward if we reform it in depth, to make it more sovereign, more democratic, closer to our fellow citizens and therefore also simpler in its daily life and that we succeed in rebuilding a clearer European project for all of you.

« Older Entries