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UK POLITICS: New Thinking From UK Needed for Brexit Breakthrough: Ireland Says

UK POLITICS: New Thinking From UK Needed for Brexit Breakthrough: Ireland Says

“The current approach the British government are taking is not compatible with the solutions that we need,” Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.

“Some of the ideas they published in their paper late in the summer hint towards finding solutions to those problems, but I don’t think they are comprehensive or credible … We need more detail and we need to see some new thinking that is flexible and recognises the unique challenges of the island of Ireland.”

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: EU Readies Sanctions on Venezuela, Approves Arms Embargo

VENEZUELA POLITICS: EU Readies Sanctions on Venezuela, Approves Arms Embargo

The arms embargo adds Venezuela to an EU list that includes North Korea and Syria, where European defense companies can no longer do business and to which the sale of any goods deemed as being used for repression are also banned.

Britain sold 1.4 million pounds ($1.83 million) of arms to Venezuela between May 2010 and March 2017, according to The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which lobbies to end arms sales to repressive governments.

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EUROPE POLITICS: EU to Sign Defence Pact, May Allow Limited British Role

EUROPE POLITICS: EU to Sign Defence Pact, May Allow Limited British Role

“We’ve never come this far before,” said a senior EU official said of EU defence integration efforts that date back to a failed bid in the 1950s. “We are in a new situation.”

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UK POLITICS: Brexit Never? Britain Can Still Change its Mind, Says Article 50 Author

UK POLITICS: Brexit Never? Britain Can Still Change its Mind, Says Article 50 Author

“Britain can basically change its mind at any time right up to the 29th of March 2019,” Simor told Reuters last month.

“If you can revoke Article 50, then parliament has the power to rescue the country if that becomes necessary – if the government fails to secure a deal, or the deal is terrible, or the people do not want it.”

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UK POLITICS: Majority of Britons Now Disapprove of Theresa May Handling of Brexit Talks

UK POLITICS: Majority of Britons Now Disapprove of Theresa May Handling of Brexit Talks

For the first time, more Britons disagreed that Brexit will help the economy than agreed, ORB said.

“There is no sign that the prime minister is beginning to turn things around when it comes to Brexit,” ORB said in a statement. “Overall these poll findings provide little encouragement for a prime minister facing multiple battles.”

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EUROPE POLITICS: EU to Discuss Blacklist of Tax Havens After ‘Paradise Papers’ Leaks

EUROPE POLITICS: EU to Discuss Blacklist of Tax Havens After ‘Paradise Papers’ Leaks

The subject’s inclusion on the monthly meeting’s agenda came after the weekend publication of media reports citing the so-called “Paradise Papers”, a trove of leaked financial documents mostly from Appleby, a prominent offshore law firm.

EU countries had planned for months to reach an agreement on a blacklist for tax havens by the end of this year. The new revelations prompted the discussion to be brought forward, EU officials said, but no final decision was expected on Tuesday.

The EU has discussed several measures to crack down on tax avoidance in the past, including in the wake of the “Panama Papers”, a release by the ICIJ last year which chronicled a shadowy world of offshore holdings and hidden wealth.

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NIGERIA POLITICS: European Union Denies Favouring Buhari in 2015 Presidential Election

NIGERIA POLITICS: European Union Denies Favouring Buhari in 2015 Presidential Election

Santiago Fisas, a former Chief Observer of the 2015 European Union EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) and member of the European Parliament said, “The international community was not in favour of any candidate. The election was done in a proper way and I praise former President Goodluck Jonathan for accepting defeat. I think it has proved that he is a man of the state that he put the interest of Nigeria before his own interest.

“That is an example in Nigeria and for many countries in Africa to follow, he accepted that he lost the election to another party,” Santiago Fisas said.

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UK POLITICS: Theresa May Offers Olive Branch to EU Leaders

UK POLITICS: Theresa May Offers Olive Branch to EU Leaders

Theresa May will say: “We are in touching distance of agreement” of securing the rights of the around 3 million people from other EU countries in Britain.

“I couldn’t be clearer: EU citizens living lawfully in the UK today will be able to stay,” Theresa May wrote on her Facebook page, adding she would set up a group of those affected and experts to make sure the process is smooth.

“I know both sides will consider each other’s proposals for finalizing the agreement with an open mind. And with flexibility and creativity on both sides, I am confident that we can conclude discussions on citizens’ rights in the coming weeks.”

Offering concessions, Theresa May will say that EU citizens settling in Britain will no longer need to have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, as they currently require under EU rules.

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EUROPE POLITICS: EU-US Data Transfer Pact to Pass First Annual Review

EUROPE POLITICS: EU-US Data Transfer Pact to Pass First Annual Review

The European Commission last month conducted its first annual review of the framework as it seeks to ensure the United States lives up to its promises to better protect Europeans’ data when they are transferred across the Atlantic – failing which it could suspend the Privacy Shield.

The EU executive however is satisfied that the framework continues to ensure adequate protection of Europeans’ personal data although it will address a number of recommendations to Washington, an EU source told Reuters.

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UK POLITICS: Angela Merkel Ally to Theresa May: Stand Up to Boris Johnson

UK POLITICS: Angela Merkel Ally to Theresa May: Stand Up to Boris Johnson

Michael Fuchs, the vice chairman of the German Chancellor’s party said, “Theresa May has to come up with decent proposals,” Dr Fuchs said. “Whatever she is offering, Boris Johnson is saying it’s too much.”

Arguing his influence was “pretty strong”, Dr Fuchs added: “Otherwise she would come up with other proposals. The problem is she has internal trouble in the Tories.”

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UK POLITICS: Jeremy Corbyn: ‘I Would Vote to Remain in EU in a Second Referendum’

UK POLITICS: Jeremy Corbyn: ‘I Would Vote to Remain in EU in a Second Referendum’

Jeremy Corbyn said: “There isn’t going to be another referendum, so it’s a hypothetical question but yes I voted Remain because I thought the best option was to remain, I haven’t changed my mind on that.”

“But we accept the result of the referendum therefore we want to make sure we obtain tariff-free access to the European markets and protection of all the rights and membership of agencies we have achieved through the European Union membership.”

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UK POLITICS: Deadlock! Brexit Talks Hit Money Impasse

UK POLITICS: Deadlock! Brexit Talks Hit Money Impasse

Barnier made clear, however, that despite new momentum from concessions given by May in a speech at Florence lsat month 22, British proposals on expatriate citizens’ rights and the Irish border still failed the EU test, while London’s refusal to spell out a detailed cash offer was “very worrying” for business.

“Regarding that question, we are at an impasse, which is very worrying for thousands of projects everywhere in Europe and also worrying for those who contribute,” EU’s Michel Barnier said.

With signs that nerves are fraying on both sides and some hardline Brexit supporters demanding that Theresa May just walk out of talks, both negotiators repeated that they were ready for any eventuality including a collapse. But, Barnier warned, “no deal would be a very bad deal”.

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UK POLITICS: ‘Wait for Leave Voters to Die, Then Rejoin EU’: Richard Branson’s Brexit Strategy

UK POLITICS: ‘Wait for Leave Voters to Die, Then Rejoin EU’: Richard Branson’s Brexit Strategy

“The older generation is dying off. Whether there’s a second referendum before Brexit happens, I’m sure the Tory party will do their best not to allow that to happen, within five years there will be a government in power in Britain that will ask Europe for a chance for Britain to re-enter,” Sir Richard Branson said the billionaire.

“And because there are so many young people who will be a little older by then, and so many older [people] who voted for Brexit will have died off, I think Britain will become a part of Europe again.”

“Britain was doing really well before the Brexit announcement. Since the Brexit announcement, we’ve dropped to the bottom of all European countries, as far as Brexit is concerned, and this is just a taste of what is going to happen,” Sir Branson said.

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UK POLITICS: UK Can Get Deal That Will Prove Anti-Brexit ‘Doomsayers’ Wrong’: Theresa May

UK POLITICS: UK Can Get Deal That Will Prove Anti-Brexit ‘Doomsayers’ Wrong’: Theresa May

Mrs May will say: “By approaching these negotiations in a constructive way – in a spirit of friendship and co-operation and with our sights firmly set on the future – I believe we can prove the doomsayers wrong.

“I believe we can seize the opportunities of this defining moment in the history of our nation. A new, deep and special partnership between a sovereign United Kingdom and a strong and successful European Union is our ambition and our offer to our European friends.

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UK POLITICS: 27 EU Countries Quickly Reject Theresa May’s Transition Deal Plan

UK POLITICS: 27 EU Countries Quickly Reject Theresa May’s Transition Deal Plan

In the speech the Prime Minister Theresa May suggested there should be a transition period once the UK leaves the EU, which she referred to as an “interim implementation period”. This would see the UK stay in the single market for two years after Brexit in exchange for continuing to pay into the EU budget and continuing to obey EU rules and regulations.

But when the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier met with ambassadors from the remaining 27 EU countries the idea was reportedly quickly rejected by Berlin and Paris.

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EUROPE POLITICS: EU States Engaging in Quiet Diplomacy Between North Korea and U.S. See Chances Diminish

EUROPE POLITICS: EU States Engaging in Quiet Diplomacy Between North Korea and U.S. See Chances Diminish

US President Donald Trump has taken a tough stance, threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary and calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un names. Kim has responded with threats — and name-calling — of his own.

Recently, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington was exploring channels to talk to North Korea.

Trump soon seemed to undermine him by tweeting that Tillerson was “wasting his time” trying to open lines of communication with North Korea. “Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”

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UK POLITICS: Theresa May ‘Please Sack Boris Johnson’: Angela Merkel’s EU Ally Demands

UK POLITICS: Theresa May ‘Please Sack Boris Johnson’: Angela Merkel’s EU Ally Demands

“Please sack Boris Johnson,” demanded Manfred Weber, a leading lawmaker in the European Parliament and an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservative group is the biggest in a legislature that must approve any deal which EU negotiators strike with Britain before March 2019.

“The key question is who shall I call in London? Theresa May, Boris Johnson, or even David Davis?,” Weber said, referring also to the minister handling the Brexit talks with Brussels.

“Please no more speeches. Show leadership on content. And the best probably would be, please sack Johnson.”

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EUROPE POLITICS: Merkel, Macron Pledge to Lead EU Forward Post-Brexit

EUROPE POLITICS: Merkel, Macron Pledge to Lead EU Forward Post-Brexit

“Last night’s discussions showed there’s a common realisation of a need for a leap forward in Europe,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters on Friday after an EU summit dinner that stretched beyond midnight in the Estonian capital Tallinn.

“Today we’re all convinced Europe must move ahead faster and stronger, for more sovereignty, more unity and more democracy.”

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UK POLITICS: Labour Party Shifts on Brexit

UK POLITICS: Labour Party Shifts on Brexit

Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said the party was ready to be “the grown-ups in the room” and take charge of negotiations to leave the EU, cautioning against taking anything off the table when looking at Britain’s future ties with the EU.

Starmer told hundreds of Labour members in the southern English seaside town of Brighton: “If we were in government…we would negotiate a final deal…that retained the benefits of the customs union and the single market. Subject, of course to negotiations, remaining in a form of customs union with the EU is a possible end destination for Labour.”

While challenging May’s vision for Brexit, the move also could deepen divisions in Labour, putting those who want the close economic ties of a customs union at odds to others who say the referendum vote means complete withdrawal.

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UK POLITICS: UK Not Prepared to Pay £40 to EU: David Davis Brexit Minister

UK POLITICS: UK Not Prepared to Pay £40 to EU: David Davis Brexit Minister

“I’m not going to do an actual number on air, it would be ridiculous to do that, but we have a fairly clear idea where we’re going on this,” UK Brexit Minister David Davis said.

EU claims for Britain to contribute to the bloc’s future pension pot, he said, are “debatable to say the least.”

“The last time we went through line by line and challenged quite a lot of the legal basis of these things and we’ll continue to do that.”

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