This article outlines the negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) that led to the Brexit withdrawal agreement. Negotiation policy "We recognise how important it is to provide business, the public sector and the public with as much certainty as possible. So ahead of, and throughout the negotiations, we will provide certainty wherever we can. We will provide as much information as we can without undermining the national interest." "The United Kingdom's exit from and new partnership with the European Union" (PDF). UK Government. February 2017. p. 9. Some effects of the UK withdrawal could emerge before the UK and the EU27 conclude the Article 50 negotiation, as a result of policies existing when the negotiation begins, or some change of policy later. At the outset policy provisions binding on the EU include principles, aspirations and objectives set out in the TEU (Treaty on European Union) Preamble and Articles, of which Article 3 … [Read more...] about Negotiations leading to the Brexit withdrawal agreement
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A European election drubbing has served as a harsh wake-up call for Germany's leaders that young voters fear climate change and are furious about the government's glacial response to it. A surge of support, helped by the Fridays for Future protest movement, propelled Germany's Greens to second place in Sunday's European Parliament elections, at the expense of the mainstream parties. Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right CDU/CSU bloc and their ailing junior coalition partners the Social Democrats (SPD) both suffered historic losses after being caught flat-footed on environmental policy. The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which denies man-made climate change and defends coal mines and diesel cars, pointed to the Greens -- who won 20 percent, double the AfD's score -- as their new "main competitors". For Merkel's government, the resounding ballot-box slap piles on the pressure to quickly phase out dirty coal, boost renewables and put clean cars on the road, among other issues … [Read more...] about Gathering storm: Merkel govt feels heat of climate vote
The center-right European People's Party clung to first position in Sunday's European election but will have a slimmer plurality in the European Parliament after voters delivered big gains to far-right populists, liberals and Greens. Voter turnout surged across the Continent to exceed 50 percent for the first time in a quarter century — suggesting renewed relevance for the EU amid Britain's so-far failed effort to quit the bloc, and mounting external challenges from Russia, China and the United States. Initial results and exit polls showed the EPP is likely to hold 179 seats — a sharp decline from the 216 it won last time. The center-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) is expected to come second with 150 seats, down from 187. A new centrist-liberal coalition led by French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is predicted to come third, with 108 seats, followed by the Greens with 68 seats. A disparate array of far-right … [Read more...] about Pro-EU parties suffer but hang on as turnout surges
The man behind a would-be "gladiator school" for populists has big plans for a 13th-century Italian monastery where students from across the globe will learn how to "defend the West". But trouble is brewing in the mountainside retreat. As project mastermind Benjamin Harnwell tours the austere monk cells, his walkie-talkie crackles into life: inspectors from the culture ministry are here. Attempts to transform the sprawling Certosa di Trisulti into a far-right political boot camp risk falling foul of a bitter fight between Italy's populist parties who are hoping to make gains in Sunday's European elections. Harnwell, a close associate of former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon, founded the Dignitatis Humanae Institute that will run the school and aims to create new leaders through "hardcore" personality formation. "It'll be a case of sticking your hand, your fist into the soul of the man and dragging it out," he told AFP. "Everything that's of this world we'll leave to the side, … [Read more...] about ‘Populist school’ in Italy at risk as EU votes
In 1969, Harold Wilson’s Labour government lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. Fifty years on, some believe the time has come to lower the voting age to 16. The idea is not a new one. It was first rejected by Parliament back in 1999 and again in 2005. But in 2014, 16- and 17-year-olds were granted a vote in Scotland’s independence referendum. This - combined with the overwhelming age gap between remain and leave voters in the UK’s 2016 European referendum - has firmly placed the voting age back on the national agenda. 1 Who supports lowering the voting age? Currently, all the opposition parties in Parliament back the idea of adding 1.5 million teenagers to the electorate by lowering the voting age to 16. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stated: “We cannot allow this Conservative government to deny one and a half million people their full rights as citizens.” In 2017 a bill brought by Labour MP Jim McMahon failed to go to a vote after running … [Read more...] about Should the voting age be lowered to 16?