BRUSSELS -- The European Union cleared the way Friday for Brexit talks with Britain to move onto the second stage, which will involve wide-ranging - and potentially far trickier - discussions on their future relationship and trade. The 27 leaders authorized the move, almost nine months after Britain triggered the two-year mechanism by which it will leave the bloc. "EU leaders agree to move on to the second phase," EU chief Donald Tusk said on Twitter. Tusk, who is EU Council President, also congratulated British Prime Minister Theresa May in his tweet. Since March, the EU side has been marked by a high degree of cohesion, which contrasts with the sometime-chaotic nature of Britain's approach. The coming talks could well test that cohesion in the EU, not least because of the divergent trading relationships the 27 remaining EU countries have with Britain. Still, time is running out for Britain - EU negotiators have said that an agreement has to be in place by October next year in order … [Read more...] about EU clears way for second round of Brexit talks
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Bruno Le Maire, France's finance minister, felt that keenly during a recent panel event with European steel-makers after several hours of speaking English with EU counterparts. "Maybe one in French if possible, otherwise I will run the risk of being criticised," Le Maire, who speaks perfect English, said as he scanned the audience for questions. But raised hands quickly dropped away, leaving just one from a journalist, who asked the question in English anyway. Such is the fate of the speaker of French in today's EU bubble, that small world of European decision-making where the language of Catherine Deneuve and Moliere was once essential. Even after the shock vote of Brexit, English -- or at least that simplified, beat-up version known as Globish -- is firmly rooted as the lingua franca of the Brussels elite. "In the last 20 years, English has become completely dominant. French is not going to replace English in any way," said Nicolas Veyron, … [Read more...] about French language eyes ‘le comeback’ as Britain leaves EU
0 Have your say LEEDS business is being held back by the lack of an elected mayor, a company executive has claimed. Larry Gould, founder and chief executive of thebigword, said Leeds said deadlock on devolution meant that the city lacked the structure and ability to make big decisions for itself. Mr Gould told a round table event for leading members of the Leeds legal services industry that politicians needed “to stop faffing about” and identify a strong leader to stop the city being left behind as Brexit looms.He said: “New York became great because of the mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. It had great leadership. Whether you like them or not politically, they made you feel great about being a New Yorker. Our politicians need to stop faffing about.”His views were backed up by one senior lawyer from a global firm who said: “If you are trying to bring investment into Leeds, who do you speak to? There isn’t that … [Read more...] about City ‘being held back’ by lack of progress over devolution
CHIEF Remoaner Tony Blair has been blasted as "out of touch, elitist and anti-democratic" after urging pro-EU Brits to “rise up and fight Brexit at any cost”.The ex-PM used a big speech this morning to slam Theresa May for putting the British economy at risk through a so-called 'hard Brexit'.But he admitted the UK would still be able to thrive on its own, saying: "Of course Britain can and would survive out of the EU."This is a great country, with resilient and creative people. And yes, no one is going to write us off, nor should they."But making the best of a bad job doesn't alter the fact that it isn't smart to put yourself in that position unless you have to."And he told his fellow Europhiles it is their "mission" to persuade Brexit voters to change their mind about wanting to leave the EU.Mr Blair issued another rallying cry against the referendum vote, which was "based on imperfect knowledge", and will cause "real damage" to Britain and the embitterment of future … [Read more...] about Tony Blair calls for Remoaners to ‘rise up’ against Brexit – but admits Britain WOULD thrive on its own outside EU
DW: Dr. Michl, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann has threatened to send refugees arriving from Austria straight back there because he says the country is disregarding European law . Is that legally possible? Wather Michl: If it is, then it is for the federal government to do as states are not authorized to take such actions. Of course, if refugees have already made it to Austria, then theoretically another EU member state is responsible for them. That does not necessarily have to be Austria though. Germany would have to verify which EU member is in fact responsible. And, to that end, refugees would certainly have the right to remain in Germany until it could be determined. At the moment there are controls at the Austrian border. Nonetheless refugees are not being stopped . Could Germany close the border ? Viewed strictly in terms of German law, yes, they could. EU law says that such a one-sided measure is possible for a time period of up to two years in … [Read more...] about Can Bavaria really close its borders and build fences?