Brussels

The prime minister’s refusal to engage with moderate MPs has led her into the impasse that now makes it so hard to strike a deal in Brussels

Theresa May’s failure to make progress in Brexit talks this week is a function of having to conduct parallel negotiations, one at home and one abroad. The two conversations overlap, but rhetoric that animates the domestic debate can be far removed from the arguments the prime minister encounters across the Channel.

This is most evident in discussion of arrangements for Northern Ireland – the main obstacle to a withdrawal agreement. In Brussels, the issues are seen in terms of legal commitments: enforcement of the EU’s single market rules across post-Brexit borders; the Good Friday agreement, which makes the border question uniquely sensitive; and the December 2017 deal that sealed the first phase of exit talks. In that document the UK signed up to the “backstop”, keeping Northern Ireland aligned with EU regulations (thereby obviating the need for a restored border with the Irish Republic) in the event that no more innovative solution could be found.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

Ireland

Broadcasters would need new licences for Sky to carry them on UK and Ireland service

Sky has delivered an ultimatum to broadcasters including Disney and Discovery to sort out their post-Brexit licensing plans by the end of 2018 or face being taken off its pay-TV service.

Sky has sent the deadline letter because it needs to know the licensing plans of its channel partners to make sure it abides by European broadcasting regulations in the event of a no-deal Brexit in March.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

Alice in Wonderland

Jeremy Corbyn must make a manifesto commitment to keeping Britain’s EU voting rights

And so, it comes to pass that Brexit is not a British liberation strategy. It is vassalisation; the annihilation of our equal-rights status as a European country. The dawn of a new age of British colonialism. But this time round it is Britain that is the colony. This is where the Tories’ 40-year war with Europe has landed us. Brexiters who thought their leave vote was going to set Britain back on course to rule the waves should be feeling humiliated.

The Tories have not delivered their promised victory over the EU, and Brexit has become a Great British rout. Sunny utopian leave has vanished in the turbulent storms of exit reality. Theresa May has been humiliated in the latest summit negotiations, not because the European Union is being nasty, but because her own mob are fighting each other. Her arbitrary Alice in Wonderland red lines were an ill-fated attempt to placate Brexiteers within her own ranks rather than a serious attempt to get the best deal for our people. Her focus is firmly on saving her skin from a Brexiteer mutiny threatening to topple her and now she wants us to cede British sovereignty, parity and self-determination to stay in the customs union and the single market for an extended transition phase after Brexit. It looks increasingly likely that in all but name we will remain in the EU until at least the end of 2021. Who in their right minds would want to remain a member of a club, pay its fees, abide by its rules but give up the right to have any say in making them?

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

Brussels

European commission president says UK likely to stay under EU law beyond 2020

The UK will likely stay under EU rules and laws beyond 2020 to give both sides time to negotiate a trade deal, according to Jean-Claude Juncker.

The European commission president said an extension of the 21-month transition period that has so far negotiated would be a positive move, as he addressed reporters at an EU leaders summit in Brussels.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

Anna Soubry

Tarnished and in the minority, but little scope for compromise as political polarisation has further emboldened unionists

When the Democratic Unionist party this week threatened to paralyse the government’s domestic agenda over Brexit some Conservatives felt enough was enough: it was time to call the DUP’s bluff.

“Shocking, profoundly undemocratic,” Anna Soubry, a Tory MP from Nottinghamshire, seethed in a radio interview. “It’s breathtakingly irresponsible. They’re a blooming nightmare. Who do they think they are?”

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

Amsterdam

Paris and other cities have put out Brexit welcome mats for the City, but does banking unbalance the wider economy?

As the United Kingdom’s Brexit negotiations stumble on, other European countries are using the period of uncertainty about the future regulation of the continent’s financial markets to tempt firms and activities away from London to rival centres. The French have been particularly active in support of Paris but Frankfurt, despite lukewarm support from the government in Berlin, has not been far behind. And other cities such as Luxembourg, Dublin and Amsterdam have laid out their own welcome mats. Bankers have not been so popular for a decade or more.

But should other cities wish to emulate London and become a global financial centre? Do they know what is good for them and the national economies of which they are a part?

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

Chess theory

The key crunch-points and milestones on the road leading to Brexit over the next six months

As Theresa May pushes to the finish line, she knows even if she can strike a Brexit deal, her difficulties are far from over.

She must get approval for the deal across parliament and that is far from a given. Brexit will be a historic game-changer for Britain and every opportunity will be seized by opponents for political capital.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

food supply chains

The government and supermarkets must tighten up supply chains to prevent human rights abuses

As we mark both Anti-Slavery Day and World Food Day this week, I will be leading a debate in parliament highlighting how some of the worst instances of modern slavery and exploitation are to be found in our food supply chains.

Theresa May, when she became prime minister, singled out modern slavery as “the great human rights issue of our time” – and it is true that the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which May brought in as home secretary, was world-leading. We also have the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, created after 23 illegal migrant labourers drowned picking cockles in Morecambe Bay in 2004.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

Brussels

Minister reinforces government attempt to reduce scope for amendments on any final EU deal

Andrea Leadsom has told MPs their only real Brexit choice is whether to accept any final deal Theresa May negotiates with Brussels when it comes to the Commons to be signed off.

Leadsom, the leader of the house, sought to narrow the options for MPs on Thursday, saying that “the reality before the United Kingdom” would amount to an either/or choice on May’s deal, even if the Commons were to debate possible amendments.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com




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