Archives for posts with tag: European Union

Henkel is a German MEP and former head of IBM in Europe who has just iterated what many German businesses fear but what for some reason EU leaders and British Remainers cannot bring themselves to contemplate.

If Britain were to withdraw from the EU without a trade deal, Henkel said over the weekend, the biggest loser in the medium to long-term would not be Britain – it would be Germany.

Exports of German cars to Britain have already plunged by 20 per cent – as big a plunge, Henkel noted, as during the economic crisis of 2008/09.

Source: Why the European Union NEEDS the UK much more than we need them, says ROSS CLARK

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This is not good news for the disabled and others on low incomes and just proves that you can not trust this Government. On coming into office as Prime Minister Theresa May promised that she would ‘place fairness and social justice at the heart of her premiership’. This we now see was an empty promise and further reduces the trust we all have with regards to our politicians.

At a time when Brexit is a major Government priority, social justice should be, at least, an equal footing.

It now appears that the plight of the disabled and others on low incomes will be made even worse than it is now. We have already seen the punitive cuts to welfare benefits and the assessment processes that are ‘not fit for purpose’.

At a time when our trust in politicians and this Government ,in particular, is extremely low, it is now to be reduced even further.

Does this Government really wish to remove disability and others on low incomes by causing their extinction, by creating conditions that will cause situations where their life survival cannot be maintained. Thus removing many from the welfare system, not by improving their quality of life, but by ending their life.

Source: Theresa May faces new crisis after mass walkout over social policy


Source: Julia Hartley-Brewer: Theresa May needs to start making friends fast


GERMAN MEP Hans-Olaf Henkel blamed Brussels for Brexit saying they changed the game after Britain joined the EU.

By ABIGAIL MORRIS

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The MEP and former business chief said the European Union is to blame for Brexit as Brussels ramped up integration after Britain entered the single market.

Appearing on BBC News, the German MEP said: “It is our opinion and our conviction that Brexit is not only the fault, if you wish, of the British.

“No, I think it is the fault of Brussels because Brussels has always done much too much centralisation and harmonisation.”

Hans-Olaf Henkel said Brussels is to blame for Brexit

Mr Henkel went on to question if the UK was the one that actually left, comparing Britain’s EU membership to joining a football club only for Brussels to change the game to golf.

He said: “It’s like Britain having joined a football club and then the club management decided to play golf, then I ask myself who has really left whom.”

The MEP also urged the EU to give the UK the type of deal envisioned by former PM David Cameron.

He added: “We are addressing Brussels and want Brussels to give a deal to Britain, a deal which Cameron wanted and I’m quite sure with such a new deal, the situation in Britain would also change.”

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Mr Henkel also savaged the European Union over its handling of Brexit talks saying it had  “behaved in an absurd and arrogant manner”.

He also said the bloc should break the “deadlock” and look for a different kind of deal.

He said: ““We have absolutely no illusions.”

“Berlin will say ‘No this is the responsibility of Monsieur Barnier in Brussels’. Brussels will say ‘Oh look, it is now up to Britain to make the next move.

“However, I think the situation is so obviously wrong for both that it is necessary to try to change the situation.”

Britain is aiming to break the Brexit deadlock by making progress on the EU’s key Brexit issues – including the Irish border, the financial settlement and citizens’ rights.

Source : ‘Brexit is the FAULT of Brussels!’ German MEP LASHES EU with epic tirade at Eurocrats : The Express


THE EUROPEAN Union has racked up huge debts and wants the UK to pay for it, William Hague has warned.

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The former Tory leader said the reason Brussels was pushing for a large Brexit bill was because “they need it”.

He said the EU had got ahead of itself with budget commitments and project payments and now need the UK to pay a hefty divorce bill to help pay off debts.

Mr Hague compared the bloc to an “overbooked airline”, relying on people not turning up to prevent chaos.

He wrote in the Telegraph: “The main reason they want a big pile of cash from us is because they need it, having in effect run up a vast debt on behalf of British people and everyone else in the EU.

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The EU wants the UK to pay off its debts, William Hague has warned

“The less charitable way of putting it is that the EU is like a giant overbooked airline, hoping that not everyone turns up at the same time for what they have been promised.”

He said the European Commission is short of “something like €250billion (£223bn)” and desperately in need in cash.

Mr Hague warned Westminster the EU was actually in a better position to demand payments than the UK was to reject.

He said: “The EU might not be a good advertisement for how to run your finances, but it is understandable that when someone is leaving it wants a share of these accumulated debts.

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William Hague said the UK shouldn’t pay a penny until numerous issues are sorted out

“The reason this matters is because psychologically and politically it is easier to pay a debt, even if someone ran it up on your behalf, than to bow to a ransom demand.

“In addition, it is quite obvious that making some contribution to these amounts is an inevitable part of coming to any agreement about future trade and relations.”

But he said the UK should not pay “a single penny” unless a satisfactory Brexit deal is signed with the EU.

Brexit billGETTY

The EU is billions of pounds in debt and wants the UK to pay, Hague warned

He said there were still “thousands” of issues to “haggle over” and urged Theresa May and her Brexit team to hold her nerve during negotiations.

He concluded: “Any such payment should be dependent on a final deal being signed, sealed and ratified – without that the UK should not pay a single penny.

“That way, the UK retains some leverage right to the end.”

Source : Why we shouldn’t pay a PENNY: EU is in debt and wants BRITAIN to pay it off, Hague warns : Express


Josep Goded

On Saturday, over a million Catalans marched in Barcelona to call for the release of the Catalan political prisoners recently imprisoned by Spain. The demonstration was given the name of “National Day for Liberty,” aiming for the same level of attendance and international impact as the yearly celebrations for Catalonia’s September 11th National Day. The demonstration filled more than three kilometers (almost 2 miles) of one of the Catalan capital’s main thoroughfares. Almost a thousand buses loaded with independentists from across the country headed to the protest in Barcelona.

At the front of the demonstration, a banner held by family members of the Catalan political prisoners and the organizers read, “Freedom for political prisoners, we are the Republic.” Attendance exceeded the expectations of the organizers, which delayed the beginning of the protest by an hour. The march lasted for 3 hours before arriving at the intersection with Avenida Icària, where…

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THOUSANDS of protesters took to the streets yesterday to demand Italy leaves the EU immediately, with march slogans labelling the European bloc a mafia.

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Thousands of anti-EU protesters voiced their fury at Brussels yesterday in one of the largest ever demonstrations against the European bloc to take place in Italy.The scale of the protest shocked police officers, and even prompted the local US embassy to issue a security alert, warning of up to “10,000 people on the streets”.

Among the urgent demands of the young protesters was an immediate Italian exit of the EU as well as a departure from the eurozone.

This follows polls yesterday that will alarm officials in Brussels, as eurosceptism remains on the rise in the country and anti-EU parties resurgent.

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Thousands of anti-EU protesters voiced their fury at Brussels yesterday

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The large-scale protest voiced opposition to the current Government

The large-scale protest, organised by more than 40 social and political groups, voiced opposition to Brussels as well as the current national government.Led by the ‘EuroStop’ political movement, the march had to be delayed for an hour yesterday morning following higher than expected turnout

Slogans chanted by the crowd included “Break the European Union and euro cage” and “No to the EU mafia”.

This follows a widespread general strike on Friday in Italy, which was orchestrated by key trade unions.

ITALY PROTESTGETTY

The US embassy issued a security alert to tourists in the area

One protester, holding a banner against the euro and the EU, told the press: “This is a struggle and there will be more f these on the streets. The country’s economic and social situation is unbearable.”Another said: “We will never be slaves to the banks, to the government and to the EU.”

They called for the government to reject the EU’s demand for Italy to cut back on its budget, and also urged politicians to abandon the free trade agreements with the US and Canada.

Source: ‘We will never be your slaves!’ Italy in crisis as THOUSANDS demand EXIT from ‘EU MAFIA’ : Express


An update, Catalan President Puigdemont and four members of his government have now handed themselves into the Belgium Police. A judge by tomorrow will decide if the European Arrest Warrants issued by the Spanish courts earlier this week , will be abided by.

Josep Goded

On Thursday, a judge from Spain’s National Court, Carmen Lamela, sent 8 members of the Catalan government to jail for rebellion, sedition, and misuse of public funds without any evidence. As expected, the attorney general had requested their immediate imprisonment without bail and the judge approved.

Carmen Lamela is the same judge who had already sent to prison the civil rights leaders, Cuixart and Sànchez, two weeks ago, for sedition.

In her order, Judge Lamela said that the imprisonment, pending trial of the 8 Catalan leaders was “appropriate, reasonable and proportional.” She based her decision on their flight risk, taking into account the “spending power of the accused which would allow them to abandon the territory”. She also mentioned that other ministers and Catalonia’s President Puigdemont had already abandoned the country to prevent a trial in Spain.

In fact, she describes the government of Catalonia as…

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FINLAND could be the first country to officially recognise Catalonia as a republic state, in a move that would put the Nordic country in direct opposition to the European Union (EU).

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The country’s MP for Lapland Mikko Karna has said that he intends to submit a motion to the Finnish parliament recognising the new fledgling country.

Mr Karna, who is part of the ruling Centre Party, led by Prime Minister Juha Sipila, also sent his congratulations to Catalonia after the regional parliament voted earlier today on breaking away from the rest of Spain.

Should Finland officially recognise the new state of Catalonia this will be yet another body blow to the the EU which has firmly backed the continuation of a unified Spain under the control of Madrid.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned today that “cracks” were appearing in the bloc due to the seismic events in Catalonia that were causing ruptures through the bloc.

Finnish MP Mikko Karna has backed independence for Catalonia

He said that the EU would continue to only speak with Spain.

Mr Juncker spoke in favour of unity. He said: “I do not want a situation where, tomorrow, the European Union is made up of 95 different states. We need to avoid splits, because we already have enough splits and fractures and we do not need any more.”

If Finland recognised Catalonia then this would make a mockery of the EU’s refusal to acknowledge the region’s new status.

A statement from the European Union on October 2 read: “Under the Spanish Constitution, yesterday’s vote in Catalonia was not legal.

Read more: CATALONIA INDEPENDENCE NEWS LIVE

“For the European Commission, as President Juncker has reiterated repeatedly, this is an internal matter for Spain that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order of Spain.

“We also reiterate the legal position held by this Commission as well as by its predecessors. If a referendum were to be organised in line with the Spanish Constitution it would mean that the territory leaving would find itself outside of the European Union.

“Beyond the purely legal aspects of this matter, the Commission believes that these are times for unity and stability, not divisiveness and fragmentation.

“We call on all relevant players to now move very swiftly from confrontation to dialogue.

“Violence can never be an instrument in politics. We trust the leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to manage this difficult process in full respect of the Spanish Constitution and of the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined therein.”

Argentina could also formally recognise the Republic of Catalonia and reject the intervention of the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who has moved to implement Article 155 which will permit Madrid to take over control of the semi-autonomous region.

Socialist Left Argentine MP Juan Carlos Giordano, who represents Buenos Aires Province said that he would present a bill in parliament for the South American country to recognise Catalonia.

The Scottish Government has also sent a message of support, saying that Catalonia “must have” the ability to determine their own future.

Catalan firefighters celebrate in the streets of Barcelona

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “We understand and respect the position of the Catalan government.

“While Spain has the right to oppose independence, the people of Catalonia must have the ability to determine their own future.

“Today’s Declaration of Independence came about only after repeated calls for dialogue were refused.

“Now, more than ever, the priority of all those who consider themselves friends and allies of Spain should be to encourage a process of dialogue to find a way forward that respects democracy and the rule of law.

“The imposition of direct rule cannot be the solution and should be of concern to democrats everywhere.

“The European Union has a political and moral responsibility to support dialogue to identify how the situation can be resolved peacefully and democratically.”

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

It comes as Britain, France, Germany and the United States backed Madrid.

Downing Street said Britain will not recognise the Catalan parliament’s declaration of independence from Spain.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman said the declaration was based on a vote which had been declared illegal and that the UK wanted to see the unity of Spain preserved.

The spokesman said: “The UK does not and will not recognise the unilateral declaration of independence made by the Catalan regional parliament.

“It is based on a vote that was declared illegal by the Spanish courts. We continue to want to see the rule of law upheld, the Spanish constitution respected, and Spanish unity preserved.”

French president Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that he was fully supportive of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, regarding the crisis taking place in Catalonia.

Source:  EU TURMOIL: Finland preparing to go against Spain and RECOGNISE Catalonia’s independence  : The Express


By 

With Basques, Bretons, Bavarians and many more eyeing the outcome of events, could this be the moment to formalise various levels of autonomy?

‘Democracy: freedom for political prisoners’: a protest in Barcelona outside the Generalitat, the Catalan regional government. Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

The EU countries may be right that Catalonia is legally a matter of Spanish constitutional law. But they should also be frightened. Catalonia is Europe’s problem.

The imprisonment on remand of eight Catalan politicians, on blatantly political charges, and the Belgian asylum sought by its president, appears to be an engineered confrontation.

Two days ago, the Madrid government reneged on an agreement that it would not suspend the Barcelona government if it did not declare independence and agreed to new local elections next month. Madrid then proceeded with suspension, and Catalonia duly proceeded with declaration – though with no mention of implementation. Madrid immediately arrested those Catalan politicians (and officials) it could find, on charges of rebellion and treason.

So far, so absurd. No poll has yet delivered a clear majority of Catalans for independence. Barcelona has proceeded within accepted democratic norms and without recourse to violence – unlike Madrid in the government’s efforts to stop the recent referendum.

Never in the long and far bloodier fight of the Basques for independence was the Basque leadership ever imprisoned. Catalonia now faces an election next month with the prospect of its entire independence leadership in prison.

Catalonia is being watched, with varying degrees of intensity, by Basques, Bretons, Flemings, Scots, Bavarians, Silesians, Ukrainians, Transylvanians, Venetians, Corsicans and others. Its struggle resonates among increasingly nationalist Poles, Bohemians, Hungarians and Greeks, across Europe’s patchwork of regional sensitivities and long-harboured grievances. Old feuds are rekindled and jealousies revived. Hypocritical Britain cannot talk. It long opposed Irish separatism and denied devolution to Scotland and Wales, while it sent soldiers to aid the break-up of Yugoslavia.

It is hopeless to seek recourse from these woes in statute books and legal niceties. Self-determination has been the essence of Europe’s stability since Woodrow Wilson’s 14-point programme for Europe’s future in 1917. How such determination is defined may be moot: what of the self-determination of Spaniards against that of Catalans? But it is in Europe’s interest to seek that definition, to formulate protocols whereby separatism can be resolved into grades of autonomy. European statehood has long been a “vale of tiers”.

Since the EU itself is inherently centralist, it makes sense for the Council of Europe, the 47-nation organisation which deals with democracy and human rights across the European continent, to undertake such a task, urgently. The EU has worked itself into a political straitjacket, such that few of its member nations would dare hold a referendum on continued membership. This cannot be healthy for the EU or for Europe. The rising tide of identity politics is now the greatest threat to Europe’s free development. Catalonia is not a little local difficulty. It is an awful warning.

 Simon Jenkins is a Guardian columnist

Source:   Catalonia isn’t just Spain’s nightmare – it is Europe’s : The Guardian

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