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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USA POLITICS: Hillary Clinton to UK: Don’t Strike Trade Deal With Trump

USA POLITICS: Hillary Clinton to UK: Don’t Strike Trade Deal With Trump

“You’re making a trade deal with somebody who says he doesn’t believe in trade, so I‘m not quite sure how that’s going to play out over the next few years,” Hillary Clinton said.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is said to have been playing up the prospects of increasing trade with “old friends” like the US and “new partners” like China, India and Japan after Brexit.

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IRAN POLITICS: EU, Russia, China Fully Behind Iran Deal Ahead of Trump Speech

IRAN POLITICS: EU, Russia, China Fully Behind Iran Deal Ahead of Trump Speech

If Trump refuses to certify the deal, the Congress will have 60 days to decide whether to restore the sanctions against the Islamic Republic that the US has agreed to waive.

Trump has been critical of the agreement since he started campaigning for 2017 presidency. He has called it “the worst deal ever” and an “embarrassment” to Washington.

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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: ‘Brexit Supporters ‘Voted Against Modern Britain”: Hillary Clinton Says

UK POLITICS: ‘Brexit Supporters ‘Voted Against Modern Britain”: Hillary Clinton Says

“How, in democracies like ours [can] people believe nonsense and lies on the side of buses about how much money the UK government paid to the EU? How did we let this happen?” Former Democrat Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said, referencing Vote Leave’s infamous claim that £350 million-a-week was sent to the EU and could be spent on the NHS.

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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: Boris Johnson, Brexit Sour Theresa May Conservative Party in Manchester

UK POLITICS: Boris Johnson, Brexit Sour Theresa May Conservative Party in Manchester

“I am enjoying the conference very much and the prime minister just gave a great speech to the business lunch,” Johnson said. When asked if he was seeking to overshadow May, he said: “Absolutely not.”

Boris, as he is known in Britain, repeatedly upstaged former prime minister David Cameron at party conferences though after the shock referendum result sank Cameron’s career, Johnson unexpectedly dropped out of the race to be leader.

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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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UK POLITICS: EU Wants Theresa May to Make Firm Offers Now for Brexit Deal: Barnier

UK POLITICS: EU Wants Theresa May to Make Firm Offers Now for Brexit Deal: Barnier

“We will listen attentively and constructively to Theresa May’s important speech tomorrow in Florence,” added Barnier, who holds a new round of Brexit negotiations in Brussels next week.

“A rapid agreement on the conditions of the UK’s orderly withdrawal, and a transition period, is possible … For that to happen, we would like the United Kingdom to put on the table, as soon as next week, proposals to overcome the barriers.”

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EUROPE POLITICS: EU Plan to Raise Taxes for Global Internet Firms Hits Snag

EUROPE POLITICS: EU Plan to Raise Taxes for Global Internet Firms Hits Snag

Estonia, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, proposed a more structural solution that would permit states to tax companies where they have a digital, not just physical, presence.

The two plans could be complementary and be part of a two-step approach, the Estonian undersecretary for tax, Dmitri Jegorov, said.

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EUROPE POLITICS: Seize Brexit Chance to Forge Tighter EU Union: Juncker

EUROPE POLITICS: Seize Brexit Chance to Forge Tighter EU Union: Juncker

“The wind is back in Europe’s sails,” European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament, citing faster economic growth and the easing of a succession of crises — Greek debts, refugee crowds, Britain’s exit — that seemed to threaten the EU’s survival.

“Now we have a window of opportunity, but it will not stay open for ever,” he said, emphasizing a need to move on from and even profit from the British vote to leave the bloc come 2019.

“We will keep moving on because Brexit isn’t everything, it is not the future of Europe,” he said in a speech that Brexit supporters said showed they were right to take Britain out of a bloc set on creating more powerful, central institutions.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: EU Seeks Australia Trade Deals By 2019: Juncker President European Commission

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: EU Seeks Australia Trade Deals By 2019: Juncker President European Commission

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said there were “good chances” that the EU would agree the main elements of a new free trade with the Mercosur countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay and of an updated trade partnership with Mexico by the end of this year.

“And today, we are proposing to open trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand,” Juncker told EU lawmakers.

“I want all of these agreements to be finalised by the end of this mandate. And I want them negotiated in the fullest transparency,” he added.

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UK POLITICS: Wales, Scotland to Pose Challenge to Theresa May’s Brexit Plans: Report

UK POLITICS: Wales, Scotland to Pose Challenge to Theresa May’s Brexit Plans: Report

May’s bill will make it possible for Whitehall to “hijack” powers during Brexit process that should be passed to Cardiff, according to Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones.

“The UK Government is being rigid in its approach. It’s saying there is only one way. It’s acting as if it won a majority at the election in June. It didn’t,” Jones told The Independent.

“We will not consent to the bill as it is, and if they plough on that will spark a difficult constitutional problem. The House of Lords will also take a dim view of the UK Government ignoring the wish of democratically elected assemblies.”

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