COVID-19 vaccine: EU Commission insists AstraZeneca commitment ‘binding’ as supply row escalates | Euronews


The EU is a joke when they talk of transparency, for you only have to look at their budgets to prove that. Have they ever had a completed budget audit approved.

As usual the EU is trying to show they are big hitters and throwing around their assumed power. They have been behind in this vaccine all along and still have to approve it.

I feel it is a bit of jealously in that the UK got ahead of them, so I am glad we left the EU and other countries need to seriously look into the EU and ensure they put themselves forward instead of the EU.

 

Source: COVID-19 vaccine: EU Commission insists AstraZeneca commitment ‘binding’ as supply row escalates | Euronews

EU executive says ‘significant’ differences in Brexit talks – Reuters


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s executive said on Thursday that “significant divergences” persisted in its talks with Britain on their new relationship from 2021.

Britain left the EU in January and is in a standstill transition period with the bloc to give the two sides time to forge a new relationship on everything from trade to security.

 

Source: EU executive says ‘significant’ differences in Brexit talks – Reuters

Germany wants to conclude Brexit talks by year’s end – minister – Reuters


BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany wants to do all it can to conclude negotiations with Britain on its future relationship with the European Union by the end of this year, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Friday.

 

Source: Germany wants to conclude Brexit talks by year’s end – minister – Reuters

Irony of history: How Channel Tunnel breakthrough miner Graham Fagg became a Brexiteer | Euronews


Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the May 6, 1994 opening of the Channel Tunnel, retired mining worker Graham Fagg shared his memories of the moment he broke through to meet a French colleague tunnelling from the other side.

By a twist of fate, Fagg voted for Brexit in the 2016 referendum yet he sees no contradiction with his act of unification.

“I worked on the Channel Tunnel and done the breakthrough, but I actually voted for Brexit. But I don’t see that it’s incompatible,” the 70-year-old told AFP news agency.

The retiree made history on December 1, 1990, when he and his French counterpart Philippe Cozette, made the junction between their respective parts of the tunnel some 100 metres below sea level.

Less than four years later, on May 6, 1994, Queen Elizabeth II and French president Francois Mitterrand cut the ribbon on the new rail link.

Since then the railway line connecting the south-east of the United Kingdom to the north of France has been used by almost 430 million passengers and 86 million vehicles.

For many Britons, the tunnel has come to symbolise the country’s integration with the continent as a member of the European Union.

‘Brexit won’t drive us apart’

Fagg said he supported joining the European Economic Community — the forerunner to the EU — in a 1975 referendum but had not envisaged it would become a political union.

“We voted for a trade deal,” he explained. “I can’t remember anybody ever saying to me, ‘we’re going to turn it into a federal Europe. We’re going to set all the rules and you’ve got to obey them’.”

A lifelong resident of the southeast English port town Dover, where 62% of people backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum, Fagg insisted he wants close future ties with Europe.

 

Source: Irony of history: How Channel Tunnel breakthrough miner Graham Fagg became a Brexiteer | Euronews

We must ‘hold our nerve’ on Brexit, May to tell MPs : Reuters


The United Kingdom is on course to leave the European Union on March 29 without a deal unless May can convince the bloc to amend the divorce deal she agreed in November and then sell it to sceptical British lawmakers.

“The talks are at a crucial stage,” May will tell parliament’s House of Commons on Tuesday, according to remarks supplied by her Downing Street office. “We now all need to hold our nerve to get the changes this House has required and deliver Brexit on time.”

British lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected May’s withdrawal deal last month, with the major sticking point being the Irish ‘backstop’ – an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Critics say the policy could leave Britain subject to EU rules for years or even indefinitely after leaving the bloc.

The EU says the backstop is vital to avoiding the return of border controls in Ireland and has refused to reopen the Brexit divorce deal, though May insists she can get legally binding changes to replace the most contentious parts of the backstop.

“By getting the changes we need to the backstop; by protecting and enhancing workers’ rights and environmental protections; and by enhancing the role of parliament in the next phase of negotiations I believe we can reach a deal that this House can support,” May will say.

European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Monday the bloc would agree to tweak the political declaration on EU-UK ties after Brexit that forms part of the package, to reflect a plan for a closer future relationship that could obviate the need for the contentious backstop.

“It’s clear from our side that we are not going to reopen the withdrawal agreement but we will continue our discussion in the coming days,” Barnier said.

The leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, said lawmakers would back May’s deal if there were assurances the backstop was time-limited or the United Kingdom was allowed to leave it unilaterally, suggesting the deal itself did not need to be renegotiated.

Slideshow (6 Images)

 

Source: We must ‘hold our nerve’ on Brexit, May to tell MPs : Reuters

Germany’s Merkel drops hint of a ‘creative’ Brexit compromise : Reuters


TOKYO (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday offered a way to break the deadlock over the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, calling for a “creative” compromise to allay concerns over the future of Irish border arrangements.

 

Source: Germany’s Merkel drops hint of a ‘creative’ Brexit compromise : Reuters

MPs send Theresa May back to Brussels to renegotiate Brexit deal – POLITICO


LONDON — MPs voted to send U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May back to Brussels to renegotiate the Brexit deal she agreed with the EU in November.

A proposal put forward by senior Tory backbencher Graham Brady demanding that the controversial Northern Ireland backstop be replaced by “alternative arrangements” won the backing of 317 MPs with 301 against — a majority of 16.

Downing Street had whipped Tory MPs to support the amendment.

The backstop is a central part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement which is designed to prevent the need for the hard border on the island of Ireland. Opening the debate, May told the Commons that she would seek to reopen the agreement and negotiate legally-binding changes.

“What I’m talking about is not a further exchange of letters but a significant and legally binding change to the Withdrawal Agreement,” May said.

French President Emmanuel Macron was the first EU leader to respond to developments in Westminster, saying the Brexit deal cannot be renegotiated.

Speaking in Cyprus, Macron said the Withdrawal Agreement “is the best accord possible. It is not re-negotiable,” the Guardian reported.

Macron said Britain leaving the EU without a deal is a situation that “no one wants, but we should all prepare for.”


Read this next: UK parliament rejects move to delay Brexit

 

Source: MPs send Theresa May back to Brussels to renegotiate Brexit deal – POLITICO

A genealogy of the term British reveals its imperial history – and a Brexit paradox : The Conversation


The genealogy of the term British reveals a fragile and contested historical identity – something Brexit has thrown into stark relief.

In the 17th century, being British only had meaning as a colonial identity, when it was used to denote the projection of English and Scottish interests overseas. When the term was used within the geographical confines of Great Britain – and later in Great Britain and Ireland – its common use was in reference to the British government or the British constitution.

Understanding the genealogy of the term British can help make sense of the lack of consensus which has emerged over Brexit. After all, the British empire no longer exists and the British government is instead managing a declining British presence worldwide. Alongside the devolution of powers within the UK, it’s unclear what the term British is now meant to describe.

The Irish context

While the term British had a medieval heritage, a modern genealogy of the term British began in the early 17th century. With the accession of James I of England (who was James VI of Scotland) to the English throne in 1603, the crowns of Scotland and England were united in one person. This recalled the ancient idea of a British monarchy, recounted by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, who had described a distant past when there had been kings of Britain.

Scotland and England, however, remained separate kingdoms until the Act of Union of 1707 and so the idea of a united “British identity” had little traction within the geographical confines of Great Britain in this period.

Instead, in those records which still exist of material published in Great Britain and its dependencies up to 1800, the term British was mostly used in relation to Ireland in the first half of the 17th century.

It was with the flight of the Gaelic earls from Ulster in 1607, which opened the way for plantation by Scottish and English settlers in the north of Ireland, that the first truly British policy emerged. The Scots were co-opted into the long-running English involvement with Ireland, justified by the idea of “civilising” the Irish. Crucially, it was the collective actions of the English and the Scots outside their home nations which gave meaning to the term “British”.

A 1610 pamphlet listed the “Conditions to be observed by the Brittish Undertakers of the Escheated Lands in Ulster”, while a 1618 pamphlet restated the terms under which “Brittish undertakers” had received land.

 

Source: A genealogy of the term British reveals its imperial history – and a Brexit paradox : The Conversation

Draft Brexit deal: Here’s how politicians reacted | Euronews


The UK and the European Union announced on Tuesday evening that they have reached a draft Brexit deal.

Reactions were swift, although it is believed few have read the 500-page document.

Euronews recaps who’s been saying what.

British Cabinet

So far, Cabinet ministers have stayed mute on the subject but they are scheduled to gather in Downing Street this afternoon. May has also already had one-on-one conversations with them to introduce the deal.

The Prime Minister needs her top team to approve the deal so it can then be sent to EU leaders, thus paving the way for a vote in the UK parliament — where resistance is expected.

Fears on May’s side are that some of the most vocal within Cabinet — whether from the Leave or Remain camp — will wait until after the afternoon’s meeting to resign in protest.

Conservative Brexiteers

Britain’s ruling Conservative party has been split by Brexit. Staunch Brexiteers have repeatedly condemned May’s approach and proposals during the negotiations and they did not deviate from the norm following the announcement.

Boris Johnson, who resigned from this role as Foreign Secretary in July in protest over May’s Chequers proposals, told Sky News that it is “just about be as bad as it could possibly be.”

He added: “The kicker is that we haven’t really managed to protect the union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland” and said that “it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, acceptable.”

Source: Draft Brexit deal: Here’s how politicians reacted | Euronews