The European Commission has dropped plans for a blanket ban on UK involvement in EU research on space projects and supercomputers after a backlash from member states and leading scientists.
Thierry Breton, the former French finance minister who is now the EU internal market commissioner, had claimed the EU needed to keep control of intellectual property and that the UK’s involvement was an unacceptable security risk.
The commission’s proposal was criticised, however, by leading research institutions and questioned by EU capitals, including Germany, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands. Diplomats were concerned the bloc was treating the UK as if it posed a security risk similar to that of China, sources said.
Following weeks of discussion in Brussels, it is understood that at a meeting of EU diplomats last Friday it was agreed that a blanket prohibition on UK involvement will not be enforced.
Member states insisted the EU capitals would be involved in drafting the criteria for involvement of countries outside of the bloc on a “case by case basis”. Any exclusion of the UK in particular projects will also have to be given the green light by the 27 member states.
“It is still possible for UK entities to be excluded from certain calls, but only based on objective criteria that have been drafted in collaboration with member states,” one diplomat said.Quote:
The latest dispute about post-Brexit trade concerns chilled meats transported from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Reports suggest London intends to extend the “grace period” for such products beyond June, meaning the imposition of checks will be delayed.
However, the EU has warned the UK that it will respond “swiftly, firmly and resolutely” to any unilateral action which breaches the protocol, with the European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic raising the prospect of a trade war.
With tensions rising, Brexit minister David Frost released a statement urging “pragmatism and common sense” from the EU.
“Further threats of legal action and trade retaliation from the EU won’t make life any easier for the shopper in Strabane who can’t buy their favourite product,” he added.
The two sides will meet in London on Wednesday [today] morning to discuss the implementation of the protocol.
Senior US embassy diplomats in London, backed by the US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, have directly warned the UK’s Brexit negotiator, Lord Frost, that he will inflame tensions in Northern Ireland if he does not compromise over border checks.
A meeting between the US charge d’affaires Yael Lampert, currently America’s most senior diplomat in London, and Frost led to an urging by the US for Britain to come to a negotiated settlement with the EU, according to an internal UK government note.
Biden’s affection for Ireland, where his ancestors are from, and scepticism about the wisdom of Brexit have hardly been disguised, but he has always accepted the British right to leave the EU. There were some indications in the UK government note that the US was prepared to dangle a free trade agreement as an incentive if the UK compromised over the legitimacy of border checks in Northern Ireland to protect the integrity of the single market.
The US warnings came as direct talks between the EU and the UK over Northern Ireland appeared on the brink of collapse. London indicated it was still considering unilateral action to keep unhindered supplies flowing from Great Britain into the region. The talks are designed to rework the Northern Ireland protocol which set up a post-Brexit trade border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
The European commission vice-president, Maroš Šefčovič, said patience was “wearing very, very thin” and described the relationship with the UK as “at a crossroads”.
Amid fears that the escalating crisis over Northern Ireland would develop into a trade war, Frost said there had been “no breakthroughs” over the Brexit checks but no “breakdowns” either after a two-hour meeting with Šefčovič in London.
They agreed to continue to try to find a solution before 30 June when a ban on chilled meats including sausages and mincemeat is due to come into force.
Boris Johnson, prime minister
What he said then: “It ensures for those living and working alongside the border that there will be no visible or practical changes to their lives: they can carry on as before.”
What he says now: “If it looks as though the EU is going to be very dogmatic about it and we continue to [be in an] absurd situation so you can’t bring in rose bushes with British soil into Northern Ireland, you can’t bring British sausages into Northern Ireland, then frankly I’m going to, we’ll have to take further steps.”
Iain Duncan Smith, former Tory leader
What he said then: “If there is anything about this arrangement [the withdrawal agreement bill] that we have not now debated, thrashed to death, I would love to know what it is.”
What he says now: “The reality is that the protocol is simply not working. These are not teething problems. We have already seen companies that normally ship to Northern Ireland now saying publicly that they will not bother to do so any more if it is too difficult. We are also seeing diversion: some supermarkets and others are talking about depots in southern Ireland rather than in mainland GB.”
Ranil Jayawardena, trade minister
What he said then: “We will be an independent United Kingdom – and this is a fundamental point – because, unlike the last withdrawal agreement, this deal will mean that Northern Ireland will remain in the UK’s customs territory, so it will not be for foreign powers to decide the future of any part of our country. This new deal that Boris has achieved – against all the odds – will bring an end to the uncertainty and division.”
What he says now: “It is wrong that anyone should be threatening the British sausage. We will stand up for the British sausage and no one will ever be able to destroy it.”
Andrew Bridgen, Conservative MP
What he said then: “If you had offered me what we’ve got here back in 2016 I wouldn’t have snapped your hand off, I’d have had your arms and your legs as well.”
What he says now: “It’s just clear the EU wants to annex Northern Ireland away from us, which is what they always wanted… Ultimately I think we’re being stitched up by the European Union and it’s had a very bad effect on the DUP - quite rightly.”
Bernard Jenkin, Conservative MP
What he said then: “NOW we can stop banging on about Europe!” and “the withdrawal agreement represents a compromise Brexit, which we now all must live with, and all can do so because it is a good compromise.”
What he says now: “If the EU insists on an unreasonable interpretation of the withdrawal agreement, the UK must stand ready to repudiate it. I hope it is not necessary, but if it is the only way to achieve UK prosperity and the kind of sovereign independence which is the democratic right of any nation recognised under the UN charter, then so be it. And most other nations would respect us for that.”
The European Union has agreed to a fishing deal with the UK that could be worth 333 million pounds ($472 million, €388 million) to Britain over the next two years.
The Council of Europe approved the UK′s fishing opportunities and deep-sea stocks for 2020 and 2021 on Friday as part of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
The post-Brexit fishing deal aims to provide security to the fishing industry on both sides of the English Channel.
It will now be turned into EU legislation and opens the door to future negotiations on fishing rights.
Dominic Raab has told the EU not to be “bloody-minded” about implementing the Brexit deal for Northern Ireland, ramping up tensions ahead of crucial talks.
In a defiant message, the foreign secretary said the bitter stand-off was putting the unity of the country at risk, vowing: “We will not allow the integrity of the UK to be threatened.”
The criticism came as Boris Johnson faced an onslaught of pressure to end his refusal to impose agreed checks and restrictions on trade across the Irish Sea, in face-to-face talks with EU leaders.
Boris Johnson was embroiled in an extraordinary public spat with EU leaders over Northern Ireland yesterday as tensions over Brexit boiled over at the G7 summit in Cornwall.
After a series of tense bilateral meetings at which the French president Emmanuel Macron, the German chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, told their summit host the UK must implement the Brexit deal in full, an unrepentant Johnson said he had urged his EU colleagues to “get it into their heads” that the UK is “a single country”.
And in a further explosive intervention, Johnson then reiterated the UK’s threat to suspend the Northern Ireland protocol unilaterally, by invoking article 16 – a move that would almost certainly provoke trade retaliation from Brussels. He told Sky News the EU was constructing “all kinds of impediments” instead of applying the protocol “sensibly”.
“I think we can sort it out, but it is up to our EU friends and partners to understand that we will do whatever it takes,” he said. “If the protocol continues to be applied in this way, then we will obviously not hesitate to invoke article 16, as I have said before.”
The row overshadowed a summit at which Johnson had hoped to showcase “global Britain” as a strong and independent force on the world stage after Brexit. Instead, former British ambassadors said his failure to honour a Brexit deal that he himself had helped negotiate had fatally undermined trust in his government and damaged its international reputation.
Nigel Sheinwald, a former UK ambassador to Washington and the EU, said: “The lesson of this week is that you can’t have a global Britain which is genuinely respected and influential and impactful around the world if people doubt your basic bona fides.” Referring to a document signed at the summit by Johnson and US president Joe Biden, he added: “There is no point in writing new Atlantic charters which depend on mutual trust, mutual confidence and the rule of law, when you are operating as chancers.”
( Being tied to the German currency is likely not a pleasant experience in the southern & eastern regions of the Union).
Germany doesn't have an own currency.
It's almost painful, the level of ignorance you display on this thread, Walter.
I'm absolutely sorry to cause you pain, Builder
but who forces you to my response or this thread in general?
Btw: I live in Germany.
The rest of your post is about a previous currency. Not even close to the current topic.
Jsorel wrote:Germany doesn't have an own currency.( Being tied to the German currency is likely not a pleasant experience in the southern & eastern regions of the Union).
I can tell that you'd prefer that nobody contributes anything to your thread.
To which one of my threads are you referring specially?
And how do you know what I prefer?
Did you mean "specifically"? Because "specially" is lacking a C.
I'm not aware of another thread where you prefer to talk to yourself. Do you have several of them, Walter?
I can tell that you'd prefer that nobody contributes anything to your thread.
Your actions, and specifically your reactions, make it obvious that you'd rather just post updates, without the hassle of having to respond to incoming queries.
Johnson and his allies emphasize that Brexit did not happen in a vacuum. In The Globalization Paradox, the Harvard economist Dani Rodrik notes that the more tightly the world’s economies intertwine, the less influence national governments can have over the lives of their citizens. For a long time, governments—including Britain’s—believed that the economic benefits of globalization outweighed that cost. But when this bargain began to reveal its emptiness, particularly after 2008, voters demanded more control. In Britain this was particularly acute, because the country was more exposed than most, with its oversize financial sector and open economy. It was ripe for a revolt to “take back control”—the “Leave” campaign’s central promise.
Johnson has vowed to use the power of government to reinvigorate industry and boost growth outside London, using levers that he says wouldn’t be available if the country were still in the EU. One aide told me Johnson had ordered civil servants to reject conservative orthodoxies about government intervention being bad and to be “more creative and more confident around who we choose to back.” It’s an unusual approach for someone caricatured as a right-wing ideologue; on the American political spectrum, Johnson’s policies would fall well to the left of center.
The prime minister told me he doesn’t want the EU to fragment—he just doesn’t want Britain to be a part of it. For too long, Johnson and his team believe, Britain has been “living out a foreign policy of a world that has gone,” one of his closest advisers said. Beijing and Moscow have shown us the limits of the rules-based order. Britain can no longer afford to be a “status quo power” naively trying to resurrect a defunct system. “The world is moving faster,” the adviser said, “and therefore we have got to get our **** together and move faster with it.”
Whenever you talk to Johnson, you bump up against an all-encompassing belief that things will be fine. He believes, for example, that the threat of Scottish independence will melt away over time, with Brexit acting as a centripetal force pulling the U.K. back together.
Yet Johnson understands the art of politics better than his critics and rivals do. He is right that his is a battle to write the national story, and that this requires offering people hope and agency, a sense of optimism and pride in place. He has shown that he is a master at finding the story voters want to hear.
Whether he succeeds or fails matters beyond Britain’s borders. As democratic states look for ways to answer the concerns of voters without descending into the authoritarian Orbánism of Eastern Europe or the Trumpian populism that has consumed the Republican Party, Johnson is beginning a test run for a conservative alternative that may prove attractive, or at least viable.
But with Britain finally outside the European Union, Johnson must now address problems that cannot be dealt with by belief alone. If his domestic economic project fails, some fear the country will turn toward xenophobic identity politics. If he cannot unify the country at home, his bid to make Britain more assertive on the world stage may prove impossible. If he cannot fend off demands for Scottish independence, the state will fracture. “Telling everyone everything is fine is not the same as everything is fine,” Tony Blair told me.