From June 2017 until January 2019, filmmaker Alain de Halleux was granted exclusive access to Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator. Month after gruelling month, de Halleux gets behind the scenes of the tense, frustrating and long negotiations between the EU and the UK with interviews with important public figures (Donald Tusk, Tony Blair, Yanis Varoufakis) as well as ordinary British citizens. What next for Brexit as the clock continues ticking?
Offensive posts get deleted, once in a while. Did you insult anyone?
Or maybe you just forgot to hit the "reply" button. Most of what you post is BS anyway.
Any hi-tech solution to the problem of how to keep the Northern Ireland border open after Brexit is at least ten years away, a leaked Home Office document has said.
The memo said the cost and complexity of using new technology to remove the need for border checks meant "the challenges of this work cannot be underestimated".
The finding will come as a blow to Eurosceptic Conservative MPs, who have repeatedly insisted that technology could be used to keep the border open in the event of a no-deal Brexit, removing the need for the controversial Northern Ireland backstop.
The memo, seen by Sky News, was drawn up by the Home Office's Policy Unit and sent to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Treasury. It says there could be a possible technological solution but that it would come with a huge array of difficulties.
The solution would involve companies uploading data on goods and using blockchain technology, sensors and automated collection to pay tariffs.
The memo said: "If all these technologies are brought together this could allow a seamless collection and analysis of the data needed. It would also provide the ability to target interventions away from the border itself."
But it also warned of a series of practical problems in introducing the technology, including cost, time and complexity.
It said: "The challenges of this work cannot be underestimated... No government worldwide currently controls different customs arrangements with no physical infrastructure present at the border."
Warning that the technology would take over a decade to introduce, the document said: "Current realisation for a similar technological solution in the UK is 2030."
The memo also highlighted the cost and difficulty of implementing such a project and questioned whether the government would be able to deliver it.
It said: "Any future system must operate with 28 government agencies and a myriad of interconnected existing and planned IT systems. There is currently no budget for either a pilot or the programme itself. And it will be expensive.
"This suite of technology would need to operate on both sides of the border; as such it would require agreement and commitment from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and possibly the EU too. It is a big and complex project, with possibly tight deadlines.
"Government does not have the strongest track record on delivery of large tech projects."
Ireland will pay for the European Health Insurance Card for citizens in Northern Ireland after Brexit if necessary, the foreign minister has said.
Simon Coveney, who also serves as the country’s Tanaiste (deputy to the Taoiseach) said his government will work to ensure that “Irish citizens in Northern Ireland continue to be EU citizens in all circumstances.”
Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, Mr Coveney said that while Irish citizens in Northern Ireland are EU citizens, they will not be resident in the EU after Brexit, “which obviously poses challenges.”
He explained: “In terms of the rights of EU citizenship, we are working, and have been working to ensure certain EU programmes and benefits – notably, the EU Health Insurance Card.”
The free European Health Insurance Card ensures that EU citizens have access to state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any EU countries.
Mr Coveney said the Irish government “are working, and will ensure, that we extend that right to Northern Ireland. That will involve passing legislation here, and it will involve the Irish government, if necessary, paying for that insurance cover for citizens in Northern Ireland, in the same way as EU citizens would have.”
This marks the first time the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has committed to pay for the insurance for citizens in Northern Ireland, which The Irish Times says is estimated to cost around €4 million a year.
Mr Coveney said similar preparations are being made around the Erasmus+ programme, to ensure students in Northern Ireland “can continue to benefit from accessing universities right across the European Union.”
“We are working to make sure that the practical benefits that come with EU citizenship continue to apply to people in Northern Ireland, and if necessary, we will fund that.”
Mr Coveney also addressed wider concerns about the status of EU citizens in Northern Ireland after Brexit, and said the Irish government is actively seeking the outcome of a review into this issue which was promised to him by Theresa May in February.
He said: “We do expect the British government will follow through on both the language and the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement, in terms of ensuring that there are no consequences or disadvantages for people, of choosing to be Irish or British or both.
“People in Northern Ireland should not be required to renounce Irish or British citizenship in order to access an entitlement. This question has specifically arisen in relation to immigration rules.”
“Being Irish, whether you’re north or south of the border on this island, also means that you have the rights and privileges of EU citizenship.”
Theresa May could face an unprecedented no-confidence vote among grassroots Tories, as the prospect of a crushing defeat in European elections looms.
Local party chairs have been circulating a petition that is on course to force the National Conservative Convention to hold an extraordinary general meeting where members could pressure the prime minister to resign.
The plot emerged as a poll showed Nigel Farage‘s new Brexit Party had stormed into the lead ahead of EU parliament elections next month.
A YouGov poll, commissioned by the People’s Vote campaign, puts the Brexit Party on 27 per cent, ahead of Labour on 22 per cent with the Conservatives trailing on 15 per cent.
It follows the burst of publicity the Brexit Party received with the launch last week of its election campaign, when it was announced that Annunziata Rees-Mogg – the sister of the leading Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg – would be among its candidates.
It will reinforce fears among ministers the Conservatives are heading for a crushing defeat if the poll on 23 May goes ahead as planned – a result which would almost certainly see fresh calls for Ms May to quit.
The prime minister has said she is determined to get a Brexit deal through Parliament before that date, which would mean voting would be cancelled.
However, that not only means winning a “meaningful vote” on a deal – which has already been rejected three times by the Commons – but also then passing a bill formally ratifying the agreement in law.
Much is likely to depend on whether cross-party talks with Labour can agree a common way forward – with the two sides expected to take stock of progress when MPs return to Westminster after the Easter recess.
Facts still exist in my world, and they trump theory.
You seem to think that you can invent reality, that you can make a wild speculation and it becomes a fact or at least something worth considering, by some kind of magic. That may work in the post-truth environment where you live (the US or Russia, I can't tell), but Walt and I are somewhat old-fashioned West European folks, interested in facts.
If I see Notre Dame burning not long after yellow vests rampaged much in the same area, it leads me to question who stands to gain. If people want jobs and economic investment, destruction works in their interest.
Quote:If I see Notre Dame burning not long after yellow vests rampaged much in the same area, it leads me to question who stands to gain. If people want jobs and economic investment, destruction works in their interest.
Oh is that what you were talking about? The jaunes setting Notre Dame on fire?
It's not impossible that someone did it on purpose. The scaffoldings could provide an access, for someone balsy enough. Some of these folks into "Urban Exploration" specialize in scaffolding exploration... One of them could have went up to smoke a joint and enjoy the view and then ooops... Or it's one of the workers who screwed up...
I guess it's going to be hard to positively rule foulplay out. On the other hand they might find some traces of controled fire, like handkerchief with gasoline on it or something, but that too seems unlikely. It's a big mess.
So you think the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11 was an inside job by the bankers?
Lyra McKee murder: Journalist shot dead during Derry rioting
19 April 2019 - Northern Ireland
A journalist has been shot dead during rioting in Londonderry that police are treating as a "terrorist incident".
Dissident republicans are being blamed for killing 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in Derry's Creggan area on Thursday night.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said the New IRA "are likely to be the ones behind this" and detectives have started a murder inquiry.
Prime Minister Theresa May said the murder was "shocking and senseless".
[...] Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said: [...] "We cannot allow those who want to propagate violence, fear and hate to drag us back to the past."
So 9/11 was done by construction companies, so that they would get reconstruction contracts?
So who blew up the Twin Towers, according to you?