May says Britain is prepared if Brexit talks fail

May says Britain is prepared if Brexit talks fail

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday that the United Kingdom wanted the negotiations on its exit from the European Union to be successful, but would be ready to manage things if they failed. She was speaking at a conference of her Conservative Party in the city of Manchester, northwest England. “I believe it is profoundly in everyone’s interest for the negotiations to succeed,” May said in her closing address. But “it is our responsibility as a government to prepare for every eventuality. And let me reassure everyone in…

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Reynders: “Solidarity” with Canada and France

Reynders: “Solidarity” with Canada and France

The Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders (MR), mentioned Belgium’s solidarity with Canada and France on Sunday evening. Knife attacks of a terrorist nature were perpetrated in both countries over the weekend. The head of Belgian diplomacy said on Sunday evening, “Once again horror struck in Edmonton, Canada and Marseille, France. We stand together with you and are thinking of the victims.” He posted his message on the social network, Twitter. In the south of France, in Marseille, a man attacked two women within the city’s main station –…

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N-VA calls for dialogue on independence for Catalonia

N-VA calls for dialogue on independence for Catalonia

Belgium’s New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) party has called for dialogue on independence for Catalonia, the party said in a press release following Sunday’s referendum in the Spanish region. “Catalans expressed themselves clearly despite the intimidation,” the president of the Flemish nationalists, Bart De Wever, said. “For the N-VA it’s clear that a dialogue has to be launched with a view to following up the will expressed by the Catalan people.” Results from the referendum show that 90% of voters chose independence. The N-VA said it condemned the violence perpetrated on…

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Prime Minister Charles Michel condemns the violence in Catalonia

Prime Minister Charles Michel condemns the violence in Catalonia

On Sunday, Prime Minister Charles Michel condemned the violence surrounding the Catalan Independence referendum. He is the first head of government within the EU to do so. “Violence can never be the right response! We condemn all types of violence and call once again for political dialogue”, Mr Michel wrote on Twitter about the Catalan referendum. The EU representative for Catalonia, Amadeu Altafaj, thanked the Prime Minister for the Tweet. The N-VA Deputy Prime Minister Jan Jambon also condemned the violence via social media, saying it was “unacceptable in a…

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Insufficient progress on EU-UK divorce terms, says European Parliament

Insufficient progress on EU-UK divorce terms, says European Parliament

The first four cycles of negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) have not yielded enough progress on the EU’s priorities, according to a draft resolution drawn up by the European Parliament’s pilot group on Brexit. The draft resolution suggests that, barring a breakthrough at the fifth cycle of negotiations on the three priority points for Europe, EU leaders should postpone their evaluation, aimed at assessing whether sufficient progress has been made in the talks. The remaining 27 EU countries have set three priority points: the amount Britain…

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Prime Minister meets with Prince Laurent’s lawyer

Prime Minister meets with Prince Laurent’s lawyer

Prime Minister Charles Michel had a meeting on Monday with the attorney of Prince Laurent, the Prime Minister told the Belgian Chamber Committee on the Interior on Tuesday in response to a question from Peter Buysrogge (N-VA). The king’s brother wished to be represented by his attorney in the proceedings launched by the Government following his participation in an official reception at the Embassy of China without prior authorization. On the 1st of September, the Council of Ministers had mandated the Prime Minister to receive the prince for a hearing….

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Agreement on bill to leave EU dependent upon “new partnership”

Agreement on bill to leave EU dependent upon “new partnership”

The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, David Davis, took the opposing stance to that of Europe on Monday. He is framing the agreement as to the “cost” of his country’s departure from the EU as an agreement around “the new partnership” between London and Brussels. Mr Davies indicated upon his arrival in Brussels for a further session of negotiations, “The United Kingdom will honour the financial commitments that we have made during our period of membership of the EU. However we will only reach a conclusion upon this subject in the…

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EU closes excessive deficit procedure against Greece

EU closes excessive deficit procedure against Greece

The European Union (EU) announced on Monday that it was closing the excessive deficit procedure it had imposed on Greece since 2009, thus rewarding the country for its efforts to reform its economy. Three countries – France, Spain and the United Kingdom – remain under the excessive deficit procedure, down from 24 in 2011. An excessive deficit procedure enables the European Commission to place under surveillance any country that fails to respect the EU’s convergence criteria. They can ultimately receive fines, but, for now, that has never happened. The Commission…

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Theresa May asks EU for two-year Brexit transition period

Theresa May asks EU for two-year Brexit transition period

Speech calling for a pause to full exit until 2021 described as ‘constructive’ by Michel Barnier, the bloc’s chief negotiator. Theresa May has proposed delaying a full Brexit until 2021 by asking EU countries to agree to a two-year transition period during which the UK would continue to enjoy unfettered access to the single market. The prime minister said the government would be prepared to accept EU rules in that time, including allowing EU citizens to live and work in Britain, submitting to European laws and continuing to pay into…

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European Muslims have more confidence in democracy than their fellow Europeans

European Muslims have more confidence in democracy than their fellow Europeans

European Muslims have more confidence in institutional democracy than the European average. Moreover, more than three-quarters feel a strong attachment to the country in which they live. This emerges from a study by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (“EUFRA”). Last year, the organisation questioned more than 10,500 Muslim immigrants belonging to first and second generation groupings, originally from Turkey, Africa and Asia living in fifteen European Union countries. The Director of the EUFRA, Michael O’Flaherty, stressed, “The results of our survey entirely undermine the credibility of the assertion that Muslims…

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