Tony Blair ‘sought EU funding while lobbying for second referendum’ | London Evening Standard


Former prime minister Tony Blair was seeking funding from the EU while lobbying for a second referendum, it has been reported. The ex-Labour leader pushed this year for a second referendum and has

Source: Tony Blair ‘sought EU funding while lobbying for second referendum’ | London Evening Standard

My love letter to Britain: family ties can never really be severed | Frans Timmermans | Opinion | The Guardian


Since I went to a British school, you have always been part of me. Now you are leaving, and it breaks my heart

Source: My love letter to Britain: family ties can never really be severed | Frans Timmermans | Opinion | The Guardian

Brexit is a necessary crisis – it reveals Britain’s true place in the world | David Edgerton | Opinion | The Guardian


Who backs Brexit? Agriculture is against it; industry is against it; services are against it. None of them, needless to say, support a no-deal Brexit. Yet the Conservative party, which favoured European union for economic reasons over many decades, has become not only Eurosceptic – it is set on a course regarded by every reputable capitalist state and the great majority of capitalist enterprises as deeply foolish.

If any prime minister in the past had shown such a determined ignorance of the dynamics of global capitalism, the massed ranks of British capital would have stepped in to force a change of direction. Yet today, while the CBI and the Financial Times call for the softest possible Brexit, the Tory party is no longer listening.

 

Source: Brexit is a necessary crisis – it reveals Britain’s true place in the world | David Edgerton | Opinion | The Guardian

The three questions that will decide the next general election | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian


When answers are in short supply, sometimes the best we can do is try to ask the right questions. Some of those dive into legal and constitutional arcana, as experts try to work out how Boris Johnson can climb out of the hole he has spent this last week digging ever deeper for himself. Now that the opposition parties have refused to accede to his cunning plan for an October election, and will next week see passed into law their demand that he seek an extension of Britain’s EU membership, he’s left with a series of unpalatable alternatives – from breaking the law to resignation to tabling a motion of no confidence in himself.

Still, even if it’s later rather than sooner, polling day is coming. So here goes with the three questions that will decide the next election and, with it, the fate of Brexit.

First, when? Given the procedural chicanery and willingness to trash established convention we’ve witnessed these last few days, nothing is certain, despite today’s move to block a poll before 1 November. What’s at stake here is the context in which the election will take place. Johnson’s preference has always been to face the voters before the exit deadline, lest he be cast as having failed in his “do or die” mission to leave by 31 October. This is the prize the opposition has agreed to deny him, forcing him, they hope, to confront the electorate in November as a failure, guilty of either treachery or incompetence. Their hope is that Johnson’s inability to take Britain out of the EU will pump new air into the Brexit party balloon, thereby splitting the leave vote that Johnson had bet everything on uniting around himself.

 

Source: The three questions that will decide the next general election | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian

French MEP stuns BBC host during tense Brexit interview – ‘You create problem, you fix it’ | UK | News | Express.co.uk


Ms Loiseau insisted the  will not change their position on reopening the withdrawal agreement despite the British Government’s demands. The French MEP, who previously worked as ‘s Europe Minister, told a stunned Emma Barnett the UK had caused the “problem” with Brexit and should therefore work to rectify it. Ms Loiseau told the BBC Radio 5 Live presenter: “Let us be frank – you created a problem, you fix it.

 

Source: Brexit news: French MEP stuns BBC host during tense interview – ‘You create problem’ | UK | News | Express.co.uk

Which EU country gives most first residence permits? Hint: It’s not Germany | Euronews


More than three million first residence permits were granted by European Union member states in 2017, figures from the bloc’s official statistics agency revealed on Monday.

First residence permits granted by an EU member state allow nationals from non-EU countries (also known as third-country nationals) to stay for at least 3 months on its territory.

Poland was the main country giving such permits with 683,228 delivered or 21.7% of the bloc’s total, according to Eurostat.

It was followed by Germany (535,446 or 17%) and the UK (517,000 or 16.4%).

 

Source: Which EU country gives most first residence permits? Hint: It’s not Germany | Euronews

Factbox: How free would a UK-U.S. trade agreement be? – Reuters


Brexit supporters have said rapidly agreed trade accords with the United States and other countries will make a prosperous “Global Britain” outside the European Union.

Both Britain and the United States would need to determine the scope of negotiations, but past experience of Washington’s dealings with other would-be trade partners shows what it is likely to seek and the limits on what it would offer.

BRITAIN’S NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (NHS)

The U.S. ambassador’s comment that Britain’s NHS should be “on the table” in a trade deal caused an uproar in Britain.

There are two areas of U.S. interest. First, it would want its companies be allowed to bid for NHS contracts, although tenders are generally open already.

The second area concerns the reference prices the NHS sets for its purchases of drugs.

The United States, which sought to challenge a similar scheme in Australia during trade negotiations, argues that lower set prices are unfair on its pharmaceutical companies and leave U.S. consumers footing the bill.

Britain could exempt its health service from trade talks, as France did for audiovisual services in the EU-U.S. TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) negotiations, although this could limit what Washington would want to offer.

Spending on the NHS totalled 144.3 billion pounds ($183.0 billion) in 2016/17, according to an April 2018 parliamentary briefing paper. OECD data shows that per capita expenditure on health in the UK was $4,246 in 2017 compared to an OECD average of $3,992 and $10,209 in the United States.

FARM PRODUCTS

Washington is a net exporter of farm products, notably of meat and animal feed, but normally also wants its counterpart to accept its farming standards.

 

Source: Factbox: How free would a UK-U.S. trade agreement be? – Reuters

Fox says would be surprised if EU refuses to renegotiate Brexit terms – Reuters


CAIRO (Reuters) – British trade minister Liam Fox said on Tuesday he would be surprised if the European Union did not agree to attempts to renegotiate the country’s exit deal, and that it was up to both sides to avoid a no-deal exit.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who failed three times to get the deal approved by parliament, has said she will resign on June 7 and several of those vying to replace her have said they plan to seek changes to the agreement.

“If the EU doesn’t want to negotiate any changes – which I think would be unfortunate and I think would be quite surprising – then I think that of course does increase the chance of a no deal exit,” Fox said during a trade visit to Egypt.

Fox was in Egypt after Bombardier, which has a manufacturing base in Britain, was named as the preferred bidder for a 3 billion euro ($3.35 billion) monorail in Egypt.

Britain is due to leave the EU with or without a deal on Oct. 31, and the EU has repeatedly said its position is not open for renegotiation.

But, Fox said: “It’s in everybody’s interests that we try to find a compromise agreement that enables us to leave with stability, with predictability for our European partners as well as for the UK itself.”

 

Source: Fox says would be surprised if EU refuses to renegotiate Brexit terms – Reuters

How have European leaders reacted to Theresa May’s resignation? | Euronews


European leaders have been paying tribute to British Prime Minister Theresa May after she announced she will quit on June 7.

While they lined up to praise her determination and courage, it was clear Brexit was never far from their minds.

It is unclear who will succeed May, but if the favourite Boris Johnson prevails that could see a very different tone from London over the UK’s divorce from the EU.

France

 

Source: How have European leaders reacted to Theresa May’s resignation? | Euronews

Brussels fears no-deal Brexit could follow Theresa May’s departure | Euronews


British Prime Minister Theresa May is once more fighting for her political survival, after the resignation of one of her most senior cabinet ministers in protest against her Brexit strategy.

The leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom quit over May’s suggestion that MPs should have a vote on whether to hold a second Brexit referendum.

May made the referendum proposal to get parliament behind her deal on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. But now her chances of passing that deal look slimmer than ever before and many analysts believe she could be replaced as the leader of the Conservative Party by a more hardline Brexiteer.

Euronews Brussels correspondent Bryan Carter told Good Morning Europe that while European leaders remained committed to the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with Theresa May, they were also keen to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

“There’s a big worry here in Brussels that there will be perhaps a hardline Brexiteer, perhaps somebody like Boris Johnson, a notorious Eurosceptic, who’s not afraid of a hard Brexit, and so clearly this will harden positions on both sides and that will risk the UK crashing out of the EU which is an outcome that Brussels clearly doesn’t want,” he said.

 

Source: Brussels fears no-deal Brexit could follow Theresa May’s departure | Euronews