Category Archives: European Union

EU27 rule out UK's preferred approach to future trade deal

‘Three basket approach’ would breach agreement to prevent cherry-picking, says Brussels

The EU has ruled out the UK government’s preferred approach to a future trade deal, describing it as a risk to the European project, just as Theresa May is seeking to strike an agreement on the way forward within her cabinet.

The inner cabinet is meeting at Chequers on Thursday to try to find an agreement among warring cabinet members on an approach sketched out to ministers by the prime minister’s Brexit adviser, Olly Robbins.

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Source: gad

Europe is facing a potential crisis in the Balkans. It has to act soon | Ivan Krastev

The promise of EU membership for states in the region is welcome, but Russia, China and Turkey could create instability

‘The second world war is over but the first world war is not yet finished.” Those were the words of a senior Turkish official I met recently in Ankara. He was speaking of the Middle East, but it was the sort of comment I might well also have heard in Moscow, in Kiev or in the Balkans, about the state of affairs on the European continent.

Related: Russian destabilisation of Balkans rings alarm bells as EU leaders meet

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Source: gad

Revealed: rightwing groups plot to ditch EU safety standards on food and drugs

‘Ideal’ UK-US trade deal would see banned products sold in post-Brexit Britain, says accidentally released memo

An unprecedented drive to lobby ministers to ditch strict EU safety standards in order to secure a US trade deal is being drawn up by a transatlantic group of conservative thinktanks, it has emerged.

Organisers of the self-styled “shadow trade talks”, which are set to include 10 leading rightwing and libertarian groups from the UK and the US, are preparing to push their “ideal free trade agreement” that would allow the import of US meats, drugs and chemicals banned in Britain.

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Source: gad

May wants new security treaty with EU next year

British PM says treaty is necessary to ensure military, intelligence and counter-terrorism cooperation after Brexit

Theresa May has called for a new security treaty with the European Union that should be up and running next year to ensure military, intelligence and counter-terrorism cooperation after London leaves the bloc.

“The key aspects of our future partnership in this area will already be effective from 2019,” the British prime minister told top European and US officials at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

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Source: gad

UK will need 'thousands' more customs officers after Brexit, Dutch MP warns

Netherlands plans to boost customs staff by 750 as reality of Britain’s EU departure sinks in

The Dutch government plans to hire at least 750 new customs agents in preparation for Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The Dutch parliament’s Brexit rapporteur, Pieter Omtzigt, who had recommended the move, said both sides of the English Channel had been slow to wake up to the reality that Britain was on course to leave the EU in 14 months’ time.

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Source: gad

Theresa May to warn EU not to put ideology before citizens' safety

PM to propose new UK-EU security treaty to close gaps that terrorists could exploit

The EU could put its citizens at risk if it allows ideology or rigid institutions to blind its leaders to the need to cooperate against terror threats, Theresa May will say on Saturday, proposing a new UK-EU treaty on intelligence and security.

The prime minister risks a rift with Europe in a speech in which she will say the UK wants to stay closely aligned with Europe on security policy, but that “rigid institutional restrictions” or “deep-seated ideology” could leave gaps that terrorists and organised criminals may seek to exploit.

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Source: gad

Is it possible to reverse Brexit? | Anand Menon

Even if all the hurdles to a second referendum and a remain vote were overcome, a huge number of problems would arise

It’s all kicking off. A poll carried out by ICM for the Guardian showed that, excluding those with no opinion, voters support the idea of a second referendum by a 16-point margin.

Simultaneously, there are signs that the parliamentary battle over Brexit is about to become more joined up. The main groups opposed to Brexit have agreed to pull together under the banner of the grassroots coordinating group (GCG) in an attempt to ensure a popular vote on the outcome of the Brexit process.

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Source: gad

Kosovo at 10: challenges overshadow independence celebrations

Migration, youth unemployment and unresolved alleged war crimes are headaches for Kosovo’s international backers

The bunting is going up on Pristina’s Mother Teresa Boulevard, stages are assembled for concerts starring Kosovo-born British singer Rita Ora, and international dignitaries are starting to arrive. On Saturday, the small Balkan state marks the 10th anniversary of its declaration of independence, and the air of pride and enthusiasm is palpable.

“Independence was the best thing, the best thing, to happen to Kosovo,” says Granit Miftari, a 27-year-old singer in aviator sunglasses as he passes a stage. “This is one of the best holidays that we can have.”

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Source: gad

What does Boris Johnson mean by a ‘teleological construction’?

Word of the week: the foreign secretary’s attempted slur on the EU backfires

The British public has been gratefully exposed to almost every conceivable way of insulting the EU, but Boris Johnson has offered a novel one. Johnson, who gave a key speech on Brexit this week, calls the EU a “teleological construction”; it is “ends-driven”, towards total political unity. In ancient Greek philosophy, teleology is the study of things that have a purpose or are directed towards a goal (telos). So beware the goal those foreigners are plotting towards! Shun teleological constructions!

Related: Boris Johnson warns thwarting Brexit vote would be disastrous

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Source: gad

Japan thinks Brexit is an 'act of self-harm', says UK's former ambassador

Sir David Warren says it is time for plain speaking on the impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union

Japan sees Brexit as an act of economic and political self-harm that will reduce the United Kingdom’s influence on the world stage, says a former British ambassador to Tokyo.

Sir David Warren, who served in the post from 2008 to 2012, argued it was time for plain speaking on the impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. He regarded the potential effect on UK-Japan relations as “grave”.

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Source: gad